What’s Inside the Box?

This is a public service announcement for anyone who wants to live a sane life.

So unless you’ve been living in a cave, I’m sure you’ve heard about the movie, Despicable Me; so you’re familiar with those cute little creatures, the minions.  Anyway, in the past year, I saw a meme on Facebook, featuring the minions, and it read: “Why do they want us to think outside the box? Is there something in the box they don’t want us to know about? What’s in the damn box?”

Well, I can tell you what’s in that damn box: it contains our schedules, our routines, our mindless tasks; all of which are necessary at times, but can also be dull, boring and mind-deadening. Being inside the box is the same as continuing to live our lives in the dreaded comfort zone. The box, and even our comfort zone (weirdly enough) also contain all that old emotional baggage, regrets, and living in the past mentality that keeps us from living a sane life.

So outside the box is what happens when we step out of our comfort zone and into our discomfort zone.  That’s where the magic begins. It’s when we reach for that dream that’s been in our heart since we were a kid. It’s when we explore life’s possibilities and stretch our wings. It’s when we let go of our fears, regrets, anger, and resentment – freeing ourselves from the crap that holds us back and keeps us from growing. 

This is particularly important when we get older. Why? Well, we have no idea when our time on earth will be done. And I don’t know about you, but I’d like to live a kick-ass life before I kick the proverbial bucket. A common ageist stereotype is that we’re over the hill at 40. 40! Are you kidding me? I just wrote and published a book, and I’m the big 6-0. Age is no excuse to hide in that box. At 40, 50, 60 and beyond, we should be running (or at least walking) up the next hill, trying new challenges, feeding our brain cells, and adjusting our sails to face the changes that aging brings. 

So if you want to live a sane life, simply claw your way out of the box, like I did. Sure, I broke a few nails doing it, but hey, it was worth it. 

Do you want to view this post on my YouTube channel?  Simply click here: https://youtu.be/GiscGrpyU6M

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©2017-2018, Vital Aging for Women

Add Years to your Life – And Life to your Years!

 

One day I asked a friend if she’d like to live as long as George Burns. For those of you too young to remember him, he was a well-known comedian years ago who also played God in a couple of movies back in the seventies. God must have enjoyed his performances, because old George lived to be 100. He actually worked until he was in his mid-nineties! George also believed in having a good attitude about aging. He was credited with saying: “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend didn’t seem too keen on the idea of becoming a centenarian. She responded: “No, I don’t want to live to be 100. Can you imagine what I would look like if I was 100? Nobody would be my friend (mostly because they would all be dead). I would be lonely walking around my house with my walker, running into the wall and falling down. Do you know how hard it is for a person who is 100 to get up when they fall down??? I might lie there until I was 101!” (OK, I get the picture) Continue reading

ABCs of Vital Aging: Purpose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last summer, I attended a wellness seminar, “How to be your own Health Hero,” sponsored by Cambridge Consulting Group, a local financial planning/wealth management company. Dr. Partha Nandi, author of the book, Ask Dr. Nandi (which is also the name of his syndicated television show) talked about the importance of being a #healthhero for our own life. 

My ears perked up when he talked about the first step to becoming your own #healthhero.  This most important first step is having a purpose.  I’m a big believer in that concept. Even as a young kid, I wondered why in the heck I’d been born. I couldn’t believe that I was simply put on this earth to just hang around. Continue reading

Stay Curious – For Your Brain’s Sake

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Ted Talk Tuesday: Making Stress your Friend

Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk from 2013 is the most unique talk you’ll ever hear about stress!  We’ve all heard that stress kills.  In fact, for many years, she herself relayed that message to people, along with providing stress-coping strategies. Then she adapted her beliefs, after getting some revelations from a long-term study showing that it’s not stress that kills, but rather, how people react to stress. By changing how we face stress in our lives, we can make our lives healthier and happier.  

Check it out, and let me know what you think about Kelly’s point of view on stress and its positive aspects. 

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Ted Talk Tuesday: Amy Cuddy & The Power of Body Language

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I remember an acquaintance of mine describing my walk as “determined.”  This was years ago, but I never forget her saying that.  It’s how I’ve lived my life since I was a little kid: determined to change my life. Determined to do something that made a difference.

When I’ve been depressed in the past, I recall walking with head down and shoulders slumped. When I feel good about how my life is going and I’ve done something I’m proud of, I can feel confidence in my walk, just by walking tall.  Our body languages speaks volumes! Continue reading

Disrupt Aging – Join the Anti-Ageism Revolution

In a recent AARP magazine, I read an article by Jo Ann Jenkins, author of the book Disrupt Aging. She wrote about her fiftieth birthday celebration, where she received all the typical “over the hill” birthday cards. While she found them humorous, she also thought about the subtle (or not so subtle) message they provided to older people:   from now on, it’s all downhill. For Ms. Jenkins, that wasn’t what getting older was about. She looked at herself, and at her 50+ friends, and saw that they were climbing mountains, not rolling down hills.

Mature Couple On Walk Through Beautiful Countryside

While old “fogey” birthday cards, black balloons, and other “over the hill” gimmicks are just “for fun,” they’re also the tip of the ageism iceberg. Other darker aspects include  old age stereotypes, condescension and disrespect by other generations; along with discriminatory practices, scams against the elderly, family neglect and even elder abuse. 

Continue reading