Bring it on!

Of all the wonderful things that came out of going to the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics 21st (quadrennial) World Congress, #1 is my personal sense of being whole, of all the disparate parts – parts I’ve worked resolutely for 40+ years to identify – coming together into ONE.

It’s 09/08/17 & I am at the place that was a dream hope intention when I was 24.  And that young me is holding the feet of this current self to the fire to be…  What?

The first thing that has to GO is any belief that my best efforts are all fluff, no substance.  What an awful message!  And it was drummed into me.  Why, I will never know.  No sense even trying to fathom, since my best bet is that no one knew the why.  It IS time, however, to get OVER it.  Both the message & feeling unhinged by the perceived messengers.

That second part is really really really hard to get past.  We humans perversely hold ourselves back by clinging to things that continually do us dirt.  We seem to enjoy putting hurt on a ceaseless loop, constantly replaying “unforgiveable” things done to us by others.

What if people are doing the best they can?  Last winter, a dear friend of mine – all of  eight years old – was bad mouthing a teacher she felt treated another student unfairly.  She was well into her story when she stopped, paused, then said, “But I don’t know her back story.”  Way to go, Cecily!  Out of the mouths of babes, a great reminder that we don’t know the REAL back story, even our own.  All we can assume is that we’re all doing our best, given our situation & circumstances.   Even that jerk who was weaving in & out of traffic on I-95, doing 70+ mph.  Or John wearing a casual olive T yesterday instead of his dressier black one.

Holding in our heart as well as our head that people are doing their best – what a liberating belief!

The past seven weeks – the past 24 hours – share a sense of the surreal.  So many description-defying things happening, one after the other.  Things hoped for, dreamed of, worked toward.  HAPPENING.

Have struggled to find the right words to describe.  Life-shifting doesn’t cut it.  Clarifying?  No.  Illuminating?  Way too wimpy.   The best I can come up with is “terrifying homecoming”  because Stephen King can’t begin to come up with something scarier than getting to where I’ve been directing myself since 1976, claiming it as my own, feeling my past present future selves come together – leaving me without any excuse for doing anything less than my best.

For way over fifty years, part of me clung to the crock of nonsense, utter balderdash of being all fluff, no substance.   Am over it.

Thrilling & chilling to realize the Universe has thrown down the guantlet – “Okay, you have your wish.  You are whole, as you’ve always wanted.  NOW, what comes next?  What does your unified integrated homogenized self make happen?  Any excuse for playing small is gone.  Thoughts & words are all well & good;  show us your deeds.”

My here & now reality is that my past present future selves have coalesced.  And it IS Stephen King-scary because there aren’t any outs for my not being a person of substance.  I am about as far from fluff as possible, a 65-year old rooted in an intriguing family, nurtured by an unusual community, nourished by a remarkable faith, married to a wonderful guy.

I have no excuses for not being the best version of myself possible.

Many times last night found me explaining that where part of Aging2.0’s mission is connecting entrepreneurs to capital, part of ours is connecting innovators to their butt kicking self belief.  Today, I keep hearing my past & future selves shouting out, “Start with yourself – Bring it on!

Pam Grout – TED Talk Friday

Yes yes yes – I said today would showcase NANCY MURDOCH’s podcast, but it’s just SO unnecessary!  Her wondrous website links to it & to her blog & to many other terrific treats, including an online store featuring a  book for men on how to sexually please a woman** (did not see that coming!)

The only thing I’ll add about Nancy & her tremendous talents as a story-finding,confidence-boosting legacy builder is a link to a page with posts of personal tales posted by her devoted audio story e-course students – they make me laugh & smile & weep.

 

Onto today’s featured podcast, TED talk or blog – Which leads us to the amazing Pam Grout, who rocked my world almost 20 years about with her JUMPSTART YOUR METABOLISM.  If I had used the life-altering lessons learned in that book, I’d be far fitter & probably more mentally balanced.  But my gremlin sidetracked me & I am the sorrier for it.  But, HA!  Take THAT, you wretched gremlin!  I still have the book & have incorporated it into my miracle morning, positively productive day!

As I discovered yesterday/today around midnight, unwinding after our mad dash to & from DC to attend the Aging2.0 Pint-0, Pam is way more than someone who preaches & teaches the bonus points of breath work.  She is a force of energy – literally.

As described in her Amazon bio – – Pam Grout is a hopeless romantic who still believes the world is a beautiful place, that people are noble and that anything is possible.  ~  For a living (and she always wonders why people think that’s such an important question), she writes books and articles for such magazines as People, Cooking Light and Travel & Leisure. She also enjoys writing bedtime stories for her daughter, but that’s more about making a life than a living. She’s keenly aware there’s a huge difference.

Although I’ve known about Pam for close to twenty years, it was just in the wee-ist of this morning’s wee small hours that I first heard her talk about money, making the point that the best way for creatives to generate capital is through – TA DA!creative capital.  She sure did – just look at her Amazon bio.

Hearing Pam’s talk was spooky wonderful.  It would have had a far different impact if I’d listened yesterday morning, when I first found the 2015 presentation.  Funny – the reason I didn’t listen right off the bat was because I was only using it as bait to reel people into an intro to Pam.  And WHY did I take the 14+ minutes to listen, since I was one bushed baby after the long to & from drive to DC?  But that’s how it rolled out.

Which is awe-some.  I soaked it in while still fully vibed, my funding underwriting backing energies jumpcharged by a group of remarkable innovators & enterprise promoters, all seeking to positively affect the lives of elders & their loved ones.  Before THAT moment, was not ready to hear that the best person to financially back underwrite fund my creative efforts in evolutionizing elder care is…  Oh my gosh – ME!

Everyone on the face of the planet should listen to Pam’s TED talk.  Add it to your baby’s lullaby downloads.  It is all about the importance of creativity for ALL of us, being shaped in the image of the Divine, making us – by our divine nature – wildly & infinitely creative.

It is within us.  Within every one of us.

Pam is old enough to hark back 30+ years, back to when we were kids, young adults.  Back when the only people who seriously worked out were actual athletes or ones wanting super buff bodies.  Now, it seems that all my under 55 friends have a gym, 40+ year old gal pals of mine compete in extreme sport events, while Dads who at best got in a Saturday basketball game with buds go into training for running marathons with their kids.   All of my younger friends either include some fitness routine in their day or keep quiet that they are not.

Pam’s set out to spark a similar revolution with our IMAGINATION, exercising building toning our creative muscle.

Artists aren’t the only ones needing creativity – it’s an overlooked core need for ALL of us, right up there with food & shelter.

It’s easy to see hear feel the pinging energies buttress Pam’s beliefs.  Tempting as it is to say to mysef, “Of course SHE found ways to transform creativity into capital – look at everything she’s done. Pam is especially graced with creativity.”

Except I am graced with abundant creativity.  And so are you!  Pam helps us connect with those creative juices.  Pam is one of us, not set apart on a higher plane.  She doesn’t get all puffed up with her accomplishments or seek special status for herself.  Instead, she beckons us to come, too.  To help, she includes an easy-to-take creativity self-evaluation form (see below) & a series of creativity exercises to strengthen our creativity muscle.  NOTHING she suggests takes special equipment or education;  ALL stir bolster boost our creativity muscle.

For all the people who know me, who know that I’m already hopped up on the importance of creativity at every point along our life span, always remember this – I discovered something life-shifting important listening to Pam’s TED talk.  EVERYONE, even those already regarded as creative clever innovative, has something to gain from what Pam shares.

I believe that Pam’s TED talk shifted my world.  She opened the way.  How it plays out – we will see.  How does it touch you?  Let me know!

 

Pam Grout’s Test of Creativity

Instructions:

Answer the following question.

1. Are you breathing? (‘x’ the appropriate box)

Yes______ No______

 

**  Nancy’s description –  This is NOT a book of bedroom tricks.  It is a book of awareness, self-realization and love that leads to deep intimacy.

+

NANCYMURDOCH.com ~ Live, Love, Leave a Legacy

Dashing this off in a flash because it’s the start of a big fabulous busy busy day & want to make SURE it gets posted.  My apologies for any typos, wretched grammar or disconnected sections, but Washington DC beckons & we’ve gotta be on our merry way!

Everything I needed to know about the importance of leaving a legacy I learned from my Mom, who shared with us kids wonderful stories of her life, of what she knew about Dad’s.  Because of what she told us over her lifetime, I came to understand family human dynamics with a depth & reality no course or training could convey.

Everything my mother needed to know about the importance of leaving a legacy she learned from ME – it was little ‘ol moi who got her to WRITE THEM DOWN, to write them down first in journals, then online.

For years, doing my darndest to get her to write down her wonderful stories met with stubborn resistance tagged to her unyielding belief that NO ONE cared about such an ordinary life.  Over twenty years, I probably gave her ten journals of various types & sizes.  She’d write down one, maybe two, stories, then set it aside & never write another until she got the next journal.

But online – ah, that was different.  Different because we did it as a team.  Mom had more than a pen & paper.   She had another person, an engaged energy listening to her, an interested face looking back at her.  That turned the tide.  She not only had me, she had a circle of online friends who let her know, loud & clear, that her “little” stories had a big impact on their lives.  Mom had my interested, engaged face looking back at me -and- the loving, enthusiastic replies from men & women around the globe who felt forever touched by her writing.

I had never appreciated the power of a genuinely interested listener.  It was just recently that I learned that the biggest factor in whether a recounted story positively affects a person’s memory capacity is the person it’s being told TO – sharing  just one (1) a single recollection cab have a positive long-term impact,  IF  & only if it is told to an interested, engaged listener.

All of this is my rambling way to introduce this week’s featured website – NancyMurdoch.com.

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in heart forever.” – Native American Proverb

Nancy tapped into her inner storyteller when her daughters were little. She made up adventures to tell them, turning them in a book series.  She wrote personal growth books, included storytelling into radio shows & podcasts.  But it took becoming a grandma for Nancy to discover the greatest power of sharing personal, really-happened stories.

Grandma-hood hit Nancy with the full impact of how important it was for children & grandkids to know who we are, that we had an existence before they were born, that we were once little, teens, survived (maybe barely) high school, dated, had relationships, became parents.  That we are “human beings who have suffered through hardships and celebrated achievements . . . and learned and grew through the good times and the bad.”

Nancy’s mission – beautifully laid out & supported through her website – is to help people breath life into their memories, their life experiences.  She does what I did for Mom – nurtures an environment where sharing such personal moments feels safe & natural; asks questions to help lead people to a place where they can connect with what waits to be said, with often the smallest story having the strongest connection.

Mom thought writing about making chocolate chip cookies with her near-by grandchildren or walking her Aussie grandkids to the “milk bar” for a treat was just fluff – – but those stories go straight to their hearts, especially as they edge upward into the forties. Nancy helps everyone make that basic connection, which for some perverse reason seems so hard for so many to accept.

The adage of English professors everywhere – “Write what you know.” – has to be tweaked for legacy writing – –  “Write what you want to be known.”  That is easy to write;  it is NOT easy to do.

Mom’s friends would tell her, “Kay, if I wrote as openly & naturally as you, I’d share stories, too.”  At which Mom would howl with laughter – “It can be like pulling teeth for Elsa (aka me, DEEV) to pull out stories.  For both of us!  She constantly peppers me with questions.  It is easy now, because I know that people like my “little” stories, but it took a LONG time & a lot of shutting down to get here!

I write that, wincing.  Yes, it was sometimes painful, especially in the beginning, before Mom had received bouquets of love for sharing her life stories.  Nancy is far more adept than I at easing out beloved memories & favorite moments into the light of recollection. Through her website, blog & podcast (more on both of them tomorrow), Nancy helps nurture the remembering muscle.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Mom would have plunked down the money for Nancy’s online podcast class – How to Create Audio Memoirs for Your Grandkids & Loved Ones!  It’s lovely reading what Mom shared through Mindwalker1910; how special would it be for her great-granddaughters – whether in Texas or New South Wales – to could hear her voice sharing those tales!

It fascinates me how people who love Mom’s Mindwalker1910 shares balk at the thought that THEY have such stories to share.  Invariable, they roll their eyes & say, “My children don’t care.”

It’s always a shock when, instead of protesting,  I lean into their space, look straight into their eyes – and don’t try to convince them otherwise.  Instead, I tell a story – – “You’re probably right.  Your children probably don’t.  My mother had four surviving children when she wrote her Mindwalker1910 shares – and three of them beseeched her to stop.  They did not care.  But her grandchildren do.

Now, I can cap that true tale, handing them Nancy’s website address.

I love legacy writing, have advocated its importance for many decades.  Nancy makes it do-able.  Thanks to her, people can write in the cozy comfort of their own home or pull together writing circles, people – men & women – sharing those priceless “little” stories that have such a big impact on our heart.  Hard to imagine a better Christmas or special occasion present for parents or grandparents – what a wow way to socialize connect engage generation to generation!

Nancy Murdoch – embodying (& emboldening) the call to LIVE, LOVE & LEAVE A LEGACY!

In Nancy’s own words:  I created this business so baby boomer grandparents can learn how to preserve their own stories, and the stories of their parents, grandparents and family members, because I didn’t get this chance when my grandparents were alive. But the knowledge and tools I provide is for everyone who has a story to tell. I love helping people tell their stories. 

When I first started writing and recording my stories I had to jump over a lot of hurdles. I had no idea if I would ever be able to tell my stories with the passion and emotion I felt when living the actual experiences.  I made a lot of mistakes, and learned as much as I could along the way, and here I am. Now let me save you the time and trouble of learning the hard way. I promise to you that with your passion and my know-how, I’ll get you there too.

 

Tomorrow – we will delve into Nancy’s blog & podcast!

Hal Elrod – guest post (sort of)

Per this blog’s editorial calendar, Wednesdays feature a guest post.

Oops…

My week was so whackadoodle ~ & I am still such an editorial calendar fledgling ~ I flat out blew it. Never lined up a 09/06/17 guest blogger.

To keep the spirit if not the letter of my intent, am linking to an article about a FUTURE guest blogger – HAL  ELROD.

Hal’s MIRACLE MORNING books are must-reads for any age (yep, there’s one for parents & families!).  His The Miracle Morning for Writers  whipped mine into shape, something DECADES of purportedly  “determined” attempts failed to accomplish.

Here’s the  4/23/15  SUCCESS  article ~ Technically, Hal Elrod Has Died 3 Times ~ capturing how he helps others,  whatever their level of accomplishment,  more fully persist & achieve.  Great read, even better DO!

Oh, Hal…  if you’re reading this – I’d be deeeelighted to team up with you on The Miracle Morning for Elders  ’cause  gray IS the new green!

Get out your calendars – Sept – Nov

WASHINGTON, DC  –   AGING2.0 PINT-0  Sept 7 – 6:00 p.m. –  Vapiano’s
“The Aging2.0 Washington, DC Chapter invites you and your colleagues to join us for drinks and networking on Thursday, September 7th from 6:00pm-8:00pm at Vapiano’s in the heart of Chinatown! We are excited to have team members from our head quarters in San Francisco as well as Aging2.0 Alliance members join us, making this a coast to coast evening of fun.   This event is a unique event for anyone interested in innovation in the aging, health-tech and long term care space!   Cash bar.   To learn more about Aging2.0 Alliance members,  visit https://www.aging2.com/alliance/
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
NEW YORK CITY   MEMBERS-ONLY SUMMER SALON  Sept 13   6-:00 – 8:00 p.m.
“The Radical Age Movement invites you to our Members Only Summer Salon.  Join us at our quarterly members only salon in our beautiful lobby at 1 East 53rd Street. This will be a delightful, after-summer opportunity for members to get together over wine and light refreshments and meet new friends who share your concerns about older persons in our society.  New members can join at the event or join online.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
NEW YORK CITY   WHY AGEISM NEEDS A MOVEMENT  Sept 14   6-:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The Radical Age Movement & Senior Planet are co-hosting a special evening with Ashton ApplewhiteWhy Ageism Needs a Movement. We’ll view Ashton’s widely successful TED talk, followed by Q & A and discussion.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
WASHINGTON, DC  –    2017 LeadingAge D.C.’s 5th Annual Conference Oct 5, 8:00 a.m – 4:30 p.m. 
“LeadingAge DC is the advocacy and education leader for not-for-profit aging services organizations through the continum of care: continuing care retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes and home and community based services.  Our association represents a strong and undiluted voice for not-for-profits in policy, education and public arenas.  We advance policies and promote practices that supports, enables and empowers people to live fully as they age.”   see website for details about the all-day event  – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-leadingage-dc-annual-meeting-registration-36829391702
SEPT 8 – last day for Early Bird Registration 
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
NEW ORLEANS –  LEADINGAGE ANNUAL MEETING & EXPO *   Oct 29-Nov 15
“You’ll share victories, exchange ideas, renew inspiration and build relationships along with thousands of your fellow dedicated professionals—and after four enriching days, you’ll go home better equipped to serve your residents and clients. Whether you’re a CEO of a multi-site organization, a case manager in a hospice organization or a service coordinator at an affordable housing community, you’ll find innovative solutions to your challenges and discover new ways to improve operations and quality. Passionate commitment, personal growth and organizational excellence all align here—join us October 29-November 1, in New Orleans to reenergize your commitment, refresh your knowledge and renew your passion for ensuring the future care of our elder community.’
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
SAN  FRANCISCO  –   AGING2.0  OPTIMIZE 2017 *  November 14-15, 2017
“Join us for the annual Aging2.0 OPTIMIZE Conference in San Francisco on November 14-15, 2017. Cutting edge content, networking and partnership opportunities make this a high-value event for anyone interested in innovation and aging. Taking place in the iconic Herbst Theater at the War Memorial Building, OPTIMIZE will feature captivating keynotes, exclusive networking opportunities, unique market insights and a cutting-edge showcase of innovative exhibitors.”
 https://www.aging2.com/optimize-2017
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
2017 CHANGINGAGING TOUR * –  Dr. Bill Thomas
 
Buffalo, NY –  09/18        Strongville, OH   –  09/19         Fort Wayne, IN  –  09/20                   Indianapolis – 09/21     Orlando –  10/16              Miami –  10/18                Pompano Beach – 10/19
Boo hoo – the 2017 ChangingAging Tour never got even close to Philadelphia – driving to New Britain CT would have been a bit of a stretch, even to see the great Bill Thomas!
“The ChangingAging Tour delivers live non-fiction theater experiences. It was created to build community by engaging directly with you, our live audience. Each of our performance experiences are unique, we take pride in sharing in the unexpected but here are a few things to look forward to, especially visionary storyteller Dr. Bill Thomas and a remarkable cast of performers weave mythology and science to bring new, true stories onstage”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~
* On our 2018 calendar!
 

Trifle & THE AGELESS WAY

Okay, I finished reading THE AGELESS WAY on Monday,  wrote my 2nd review about it yesterday, was geared up to tackle the end-of-chapter Reflections, when it hit me – last night – that the book has exerted a greater power over me than I’d imagined.

Last night, John & I were at a “Designing Your Dream Day,” part of Be Well Cafe‘s Wellness Speaker Series.  A table of five women, ranging in age from early twenties to forties, sat to my left.  They looked like the sort of friendship circle that most touches my heart, so I introduced myself & shared my happiness at seeing them together.  Then, to my shock, I heard “There’s a book you should get & read together!” come out of my mouth! And I dove right in, describing THE AGELESS WAY.

As I started describing Karen Sands’ opus, they edged back a bit in their seats, like they suspected they were dealing with a crazed publisher, but as I described THE AGELESS WAY – the generous margins, the interweaving of subject matter, that reading it would give them an unmeasurable advantage moving forward in their lives – they leaned toward me.

I am NOT the sort of person who goes around advocating authors & their books, but I am convinced that reading Karen’s book – all the people & stories & lives she draws into it, as well as her own strong clear clarifying voice – would put all of us in a terrific place, whether we are aging upward from 20, 40, 60, 80, 100.

The depth of my belief harks back to…  dessert.  Young adulthood is the equivalent of Jello – tasty but still a bit wobbly.  Our middle years blend into a luscious pudding – cool creamy delectable.  But our upper years – ah, they beat the other two on every count!  They combine into a fabulous trifle, delectable layer upon layer beckoning others to dip deep down & discover a sampling of our textures & flavors.

That could equally describe THE AGELESS WAY.  I have just gotten through the first layer; the second automatically formed through my personal response – underlines words comments throughout the book.  Am just started on the third – journaling my impressions, jotting down the quotes that speak most deeply to me, recording what I jotted in the margins.  Then, will onto the fourth – going through the exercises at the end of each chapter.

That IS a lot of work & will take way more time than doing the end-of-chapter exercises as I read through.  We all read differently.  That would work for many, maybe most people.  For good or ill, when a book calls to ME, it can take eons to fully finish it.  The deeper the call, the longer the read.  I need to take the time to concoct a trifle – with some books, the treasured few, Jello & pudding won’t cut it.

Again, I urge everyone 20+ to read & experience THE AGELESS WAY.  As I told the circle of friends next to us last night, it will touch deepen enrich your life experience in unimagined ways.

 

I’ve spent days, weeks reading THE AGELESS WAY   Will spend more weeks journaling.  Will cap that by printing out the workbook Karen so generously makes available, using it as my guide in processing through the end-of-chapter reflections.   But my way isn’t yours ~ some people will get a lot just reading through it, without even doing the exercises.  Do what works for YOU.

As for me…  Well, it was a couple years back that I learned that, with certain books (a precious few), a DEEP read works best for me.  A former student  (Blessings on you, Andy Adams!),  now a successful serial entrepreneur, recommended  The Greatest Salesman in the World  after  I griped about what I felt was my weak internal infrastructure.  He suggested I read a book by an author by the curious name of Og Mandino.  I ordered it that very night!  From reading that book as the author intended, I learned that some books – the few – are meant to be read, reread, reread again & again, leading to more than fresh insight & inspiration. Leading to permanent, glorious transformation

I started reading The Greatest Salesman in the World when I was 63, finished it a year later.  Andy’s hunch was right – it tightened up & strengthened my previously woefuly weak inner infrastructure.  I’ve always wondered what I could do for him to fully express my appreciation for his life-evolving, world-changing advice.

Stumped.

But not anymore.

Thanks, Karen, for writing the perfect “thank you” gift – your glorious trifle,  THE AGELESS WAY.

THE AGELESS WAY ~ a must-read book

Whatever your age, my advice is to grab your own copy of Karen Sands’ THE  AGELESS  WAY & read it.  Read it all the way through, making notations in the brilliantly generous margins.  Read through a 2nd time, doing the exercises at the end of each chapter.  Then let it steep & work its magic.

Okay, I’ve only gotten through Step One – just finished it the other day, in itself a special experience, since the tag end is an afterword by H.R. “Rick” Moody, the guiding light of the Positive Aging movement.  The words I’d struggled to find to describe Karen’s book were right there, in his last sentence –  “What Karen Sands has done by interweaving Herstory & history with mythology & modern-day story, trend-spotting, resources, and each chapter’s clarifying questions… is to shine a light on what we need so profoundly to understand & see.”

Amen, brother!  And reading Rick’s words, my own much broader description hit me – THE  AGELESS  WAY is 1/3 manifesto;, 1/3 Karen storytelling through moments & myth, the ins & outs & ’round abouts of aging upward; 1/3 provides the ways & means to become more grounded in our now, whatever age that might be, and live forward fully. Turns out the book is about one of my own favorite taglines ~ full-throttle living, at every age.

Writing this review puts me in mind of my mother.  Mom was a gifted writer, but if the topic was especially close to her heart, she invariably found herself stumped at finding words to match her thoughts, feelings – she could write about the days leading up to my wedding, but never the actual day.  Too close.  That’s how I feel about THE  AGELESS  WAY ~ its effect goes so deep, so real, it’s hard to capture the words to describe my experience.

Will do the best I can, which is to share a few impressions that hit me as I read through:

This is an important book to read as a young adult because it puts clarity around aging upward.  Young people with the privilege of choosing a career path do so based on – let’s be honest – scant knowledge about themselves, their area of interest, of what life holds in store.  Their pick is based on hopeful guessing.  They are 100% future focused.

A 21-year old can look at his 43-year old mother & think, “Without an endless horizon of to-be-discovered, what’s left for Mom?”  To youth, it’s all about tomorrow.  But by the time we hit 40, it’s beginning to dawn on the savvy among us that new, enriching layers have built up within us, the fertile silt of years that rushed by, leaving traces behind to nurture our growth.  Knowledge perception insights that aren’t future directed, but here & now rooted.  What is THIS moment holding? What am I doing NOW?  That is an awareness & perception that isn’t possible any earlier.

A young person reaches for a career that reflects  his or her interests and goals.  As we grow older, we gain experience, learn life lessons, discover the difference between likes & passion, realize that what we can do might not be what we want to.  The six-figure business woman might realize the she’s reached her corner office goal, but the return on her sacrifice is not what she expected.  Does she stay put or follow her heart?

Let’s look at that exec.  It could be that she is dissatisfied with what she’s achieved, feels that it doesn’t provide the rewards she expected or that they come at too high a price.  OR it could be that she’s achieved the goal she she set out for herself years before.  She’s achieved it & learned all that made that accomplishment possible.  Maybe it’s not that she is dissatisfied with her achievement, but that she is ready for a new goal, rooted in the person she became in order to reach the earlier one.

I came away from my first reading of  THE AGELESS  WAY with a new-found appreciation of how we evolve through the work we do pursuing a semblance of our original goals ~AND~ that in so doing we come to develop skill sets to take us – if we dare – in new directions.

Thinking about the publication date of THE  AGELESS  WAY – last year – gives me goosebumps.  For sixteen years, we have been hit with one emotional & economic disruption after another.

Twenty years ago, losing a job was a badge of shame to most Americans – now, it is practically a rite of passage.  There aren’t many jobs out there that provide the work satisfaction & generous income that had been our norm for most of our careers, but there is plenty of opportunity for people to go in new directions, to take risks & pursue dreams.

While I can only speak for myself – and this is before I’ve tackled any of the exercises she includes –  this much is already clear to me ~ ~ reading THE  AGELESS  WAY has helped me see what is possible.  Not just because of what Karen shares, but because of her unique way of presenting core information.

Every part of THE AGELESS WAY  supports an easy delivery of its message – that we are born to be Ageless.  Easy-to-read print with generous margins & lots of empty pages for jotting down notes comments insights.  The integration of manifesto & background & workbook.  The progression of chapters.  The use of quotes & sidebars showcasing bits & pieces.  Opening with foreword by 40-something Sandra Yancey -and- ending with an afterword by 70+ Rick Moody, both mega thought influencers in their fields.

Most of all, am blown away by how Karen delivers her message ~ through a full mental massage. Going back to Rick Moody’s description, Karen interweaves “Herstory & history with mythology & modern-day story, trend-spotting, resources, and each chapter’s clarifying questions… ”  Each of those touches a different area of the brain, sparks different synapses to light up & illuminate once dark corners of understanding.  Through the information she presents & the way she presents it, Karen leaves us literally lit up from within.  Astonishing.

Like Mom writing about my wedding day, it is almost impossible to describe all that is in my mind & heart about reading THE  AGELESS  WAY.  The bottom line is that it is a remarkably wise insightful empowering book by a woman I described in my Amazon review as eerily Forrest Gump-like, on the forefront of so many moments issues movements wrapped around facing down & ridding ourselves of self-destructive ageism.

This is just the beginning of my Ageless adventure.  Now, it’s time to roll up my sleeves, get myself a new journal & work my way through the exercises at each chapter’s end. Look forward to hearing about my adventures!

Until then, get cracking & get yourself a copy of THE  AGELESS  WAY!  Pick up a copy to share with a friend.  Get a circle of your friends together to experience it together.  And share your comments HERE.

Karen wants her book to start a grand discussion – let’s make it so!