DINK #302 How To Unlock Your “Real” Personality

Posted on : 26-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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What is your “real” personality?  I mean, if you were in the safest environment that you could find or if your temperament calls for it—the most invigorating environment….how would “you” show up?

Figuring out how to unlock my real personality is something that I have been working and fiddling at for years.  In my case, for a good many years I was completely outwardly focused which meant that I looked to the people around me (into their eyes, searching the nuances of their faces, bracing myself against the slightest quiver of a lip for their reaction to me) to see how I was doing.  I had no real sense of who I was.  Probably when I was a really young child, I knew what my favorite color was but then the onslaught of adolescence and puberty hit and many individual preferences got muted into the background of my mind.  Today I can tell you what colors I love  (there are many!) and that my color preferences change every day depending on how I’m feeling about the day, not because of what someone else says.
The first step to unlocking the “real” you is to be willing to listen to that still small voice within you to learn how the “real” you wants to respond.   For instance, I have a lot of energy and am the biggest dancer (in my socks on our bare tile floors) around our casa; however, I am very reticent about dancing like I do in front of my dogs….in front of other people.  So, I’ve learned to enjoy and let loose with that part of me who likes to choreograph and “pretend’ entire dance routines around my house without judging or negating myself because I don’t want to do this in front of others (like some of my friends who are professional dancers, singers and actors).

The second step which really goes hand-in-hand with the first step is to ACCEPT who it is that you understand that you are today. You may change something about yourself tomorrow, but who are you today?  I know that I am someone who loves to make people laugh.  I am pretty shameless about finding ways to make my friends laugh especially if we’re all sitting around a big table playing games.  For the longest time, I would not share this side of my personality except with a handful of friends because I was so scared that I would come off as a big dork.  Well, now I wear my “dork” title proudly and feel especially fulfilled when everyone at the table is laughing, being silly and letting loose to have a good time.  The clown inside of me knows she has done her job well.

Some of the intermediary steps to unlocking your “real” personality (because the list goes on through infinity) include but are not limited to:

  • taking “quiet” time or meditation time each day to still your mind and body so that all the knowledge and wisdom that has been swirling within and about you can settle down for you to absorb;
  • write down your experiences, impressions, insights that you have gotten each day at night before you go to sleep.  This doesn’t have to be a painful and arduous process, keep it simple. Just allow yourself this time and method to record what you are noticing about how you experience your life;
  • Although there are some pretty good personality assessments out there that will help you to see what some of your traits are please keep in mind that these assessments are only as good as the person who is translating what they mean to you and neither the test nor the person explaining the results is worth a hill of beans if you’re not paying attention to your head, heart or gut reaction;
  • Pay attention to how you feel/think about a song, book, movie, concert, etc.  Although I enjoy all kinds of music, there is some music (Opera) that no matter how much other people tout it…I just am never going to enjoy it like I do other kinds of music. And that’s okay. I want to keep my mind open to new information and at the same time acknowledge in myself that I definitely have some preferences about the music I spend my time listening to.  Additionally, just because I can really be in the mood sometimes to listen to very intense rock music with sophisticated guitar riffs, drums etc.  there are certain outdoor events that showcase this same kind of music that I have absolutely NO desire to be part of.

There will be further blogging on this subject of how to unlock your real personality.  In the meantime, I hope there will be some good discussion on this point from y’all to share with us who you are and how you have come to understand your “real” personality.

DINK #301 Lynn Kindler’s Top Ten List For What Makes a Successful Person

Posted on : 25-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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1.) A successful person is persistent.  A successful person doesn’t give up–no matter what.

2.) A successful person trusts themselves even when everyone else seems like they don’t.

3.)  A successful person is willing to entertain other points of view.

4.) A successful person is always teachable even when they know a lot.

5.) A successful person creates lots of reserves for themselves in many areas of their lives and gives freely to others from those reserves.

6.) A successful person loves deeply and widely and is able to set firm and appropriate boundaries both for themselves and others.

7.) A successful person understands that they will experience failure along their journey; however, they view each failure as a great learning instrument.

8.) A successful person knows they are successful because of how they feel inside and not because of how they think they should feel.

9.) A successful person sticks to their own measuring stick and avoids comparing themselves to others.

10.) A successful person is alive with pleasure, beaming with the joy of life and grateful for each new day they are given.

DINK #299 Keeping Your Mind Open To Learning New “Old” Things

Posted on : 20-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Have you ever started to read an article or listen to someone when it/they appear/seem like their focus is going to be about something that “you’ve already heard or seen” or “something that you already know?”  I wonder how many times I have done that and missed an opportunity to perhaps learn something I didn’t know or at least think of something that I thought I knew in a different way.

Everyday I am challenged (as a non-traditional student!) to keep my mind open to learning something that I thought I knew but didn’t or at least creating a whole new perspective on what I already know.  Why just today in Philosophy I heard a whole lot about the basic groupings and sub groupings around philosophy (i.e. categories such as metaphysics, logics, epistomology and axiology) that I basically already know but what was fun was to hear the ideas and passions of the professors and the interjections of some of the students.  I love hearing people in the learning process.  We also learned about styles of philosophy such as analytical and continental which was interesting and, at least in my way of thinking, helped me to understand where certain kinds of thinkers are coming from.  I’m still amazed that an admin assist who I supervised years ago was eventually able to earn his Ph.D. in Philosophy and is now a lawyer.  Had I been in his shoes, I might have found the contemplation as to whether a rock was alive or not to be too seductive a process for me to move on to other more useful theological wanderings about life.

Maybe I’m just one of those “people” who enjoys learning for learning’s sake but I sure do think in our tweeting twittering social networking googling world that sometimes we’re missing out on the deliciousness of learning and comprehension by not diving deeper into the understanding of a subject, theory, idea or person.  You’d think that I, of all people, would want to dash through this education process as fast as I could with the sands of time quickly falling through the narrow opening but something wonderful overtakes me when I get into class and the learning begins and I’m actually grateful for the present moment.  It’s so nice not to have all the hormonal distractions of yore!

I believe that being willing to continue educating ourselves and learn about those things that we thought we already knew is tantamount to our being able to evolve as a species into a being who I would want to be rather than someone who I would want to avoid.  Lest you believe that learning and contemplation is best left up to the scientists and mathematicians, many great things have been created as a result of  a great idea.  Learning helps germinate an idea.

What new old thing are you willing to learn today?

DINK #289 Asking and Receiving the Support You Need

Posted on : 18-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Having put myself through the paces of researching and developing a different approach to coaching, I am ready to offer a more concrete coaching program.  I’m one of those people who needs to hear, see and do something (sometimes several times) before I “get” whatever it is that I need to learn so I don’t know why I thought coming up with a new way of coaching (for my clients) would be any different.  For awhile now, I’ve been interested in the idea of coaching people who understood what they wanted to achieve or at least what their end goals was for having hiring a Coach (i.e. figuring out what career path they could/should take).  I also wondered if these same people would be interested in divvying up their coaching sessions from the traditional one 40 minute session every other week (i.e. 3 sessions/month) to 20 minutes of laser coaching M-F or MWF 2-3 weeks in a row depending on their coaching plan.  For new clients, or people that I don’t know and who obviously don’t know me, there would be an initial 45 minute coaching session at the beginning which would allow us to get all our ducks in a row.

As blessings would have it, one of my close coaching friends who I’ve been in a Master Mind group with for going on eleven years, heard my plea that I loved coaching but wanted to come up with a way of offering my services that better suited who I was and how I showed up at the table.  This friend of mine and I began doing some R&D on this method less than a week ago and already I “know” this is the direction that I will take.  Additionally, my parents (mom and step-dad) have also stepped into this laboratory to help support me in the coaching program that I am in the midst of creating.  I hadn’t realized how important asking and receiving the support I needed for redesigning and expanding my coaching business was to me but now that I’ve received it, I’m completely off and running.  I’m in the process of putting together an R&D team for further research and already people who want to be coached this way are stepping out of the wood work.

The purpose of this blog isn’t necessarily to advertise or market myself as a Coach (though any inquiries are greatly accepted) but to share some immediate examples of how asking for what you need and being receptive to receiving the support you need is a partnership for you to get what you need.  I think for those of us who are pretty resourceful and tend to be the kind of people who land on our feet, asking for what we need and then allowing people to give us that support is a very difficult thing for us to do because we are admitting that we are not one hundred percent in control (which, by the way is an illusion anyway) and we’re in at least some capacity, vulnerable. For those of us who have taken all kind of classes and seminars on leadership, the good ones usually tell us that a powerful leader is one who is willing to show their humanity.  I know that for me, I have always trusted those leaders who were willing to show me that although they were very good at what they did, that they were, after all,  human.  That took all the guess work out of the picture for me when I would usually  sit there and have this inner dialogue with myself while they were talking and I wondered what their imperfections were instead of paying attention to what they had to teach me.  A leader who could ask for what they needed and then gratefully receive that support always became someone who I wanted to pay close attention to because I trusted them.

Admitting that we need some support in an area of our lives is usually fraught with fear for most of us, but when we are willing to relinquish at least some of our control over the situation, the steady warmth of receiving what we asked for seems to be just what we need to bolster up our courage to carry our vision through.

Where, how and who will you ask for support today?

DINK #297 Time To Bring The Walls Tumbling Down!

Posted on : 16-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Here’s another good thing about getting older, if you’ve been doing your life-work—and by life-work I mean exploring who you are, why you are here and what you can contribute to this planet–and if you’re someone who plays just as hard as you work, then there doesn’t seem to be as many walls built up around you for protection because you simply don’t need the protection. And it’s helpful not to have more walls to add on to all the other walls that people put up around—gasp—aging.  I’m beginning to think that denial may not be such a bad attitude in some cases…..

Got into a very engaging conversation with a friend of mine today who I haven’t seen or spoken with since 1987.  I’m very grateful that even after all this time we were able to jump in and take off. It’s a very surreal thing to see someone who you knew in your twenties when you’re now in your fifties.  Since both of us never had kids, we were talking about how comfortable we are in having friends who are all kinds of ages and not feel like there is any kind of a generation gap.  Still, we did have to admit that we wondered how our younger friends may perceive us some times.  It’s weird to have been brought up at the tail end of the sixties when anyone over 30 was considered “the enemy”.  Those of us who grew up then still have that meme implanted in our consciousness only now, as Pogo said so long ago, “we have met the enemy and he is us!”  At least the friends I have in their twenties and thirties do not seem to have the same kind of prejudice that I had about people who were much older than me.

Even so, when looking for a job, selling a product or service and otherwise wanting people to pay you for your skills and experience I’m finding the importance in getting yourself in front of a person, or at least on the phone, so that you can bring any walls of prejudice tumbling down if only by perception.  The professional collective of the U.S. has spent decades and billions if not trillions of dollars on research and development to sell products to the masses with the understanding and belief of focusing on the youth and not the older generations.  If you study any history at all, it is certainly easy to comprehend this when you look at the Depression and Wars that The Greatest Generation endured and then the booming of babies that came like a tsunami not long after them.  Now all those babies who were booming then have gotten older and many of them (us!) still like to spend money like we were taught to not so many decades ago.  What I’m trying to say is to be aware that there has been a force much bigger than ourselves that was created by us and for us and now we get to step back and evaluate if it is still serving us or not.

I challenge you to be aware in every conversation you hear and have this week to notice what you are thinking about the person with whom you are having a conversation and if there are any hidden prejudices about the young or the mature that may be  lurking in the shadows of your mind.  Question its authority over your thoughts and beliefs.  How can you help others to want to know who you are and what you have to contribute to their world?

I have seen the friend that I’ve always wanted, and that friend is me….

DINK #296 Which Face Do You Put Forward?

Posted on : 16-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Being in the middle of social and societal change is really interesting especially when everything and everyone, including yourself, is in process.  There is a saying in some Al-Anon literature that says, “change is inevitable but suffering is an option.”  Right now this saying is especially meaningful for me because it reminds me that I have no control over everything changing but I do have the choice to suffer or not.

If you are mid-career, in-between jobs and trying to find yourself, figuring out which face to put forward can be its own kind of rubric cube. And because there are so many of us out here at the same time figuring out where our place is in the world it is very easy to get confused on how to proceed.  Here are ten suggestions that I have found helpful that I hope are helpful for you as well:

1.) “Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you.” said Don Miguel Ruiz in his The Four Agreements. Remembering this can help you to take action when necessary and to sit quiet when it isn’t.

2.) Help people to discover you. We can assume that a hundred+ resumes are being submitted for every job opening.  Distinguish yourself from the herd by showing that you have paid attention to what they need for the job as well as what they think they need.

3.) Pay attention to how you communicate with others. Remember to listen, ask questions and think about what you want to say and then say it.

4.) When submitting your resume for a position as best as you can use the same language and communication style of the posting for the job. Don’t take it for granted that the first receiver of your resume can extrapolate your experience and history to see that you are the perfect fit. Be careful of jargon words that you may have used in one job that will be like a foreign language to others outside of your sphere.

5.) Before an interview research, research, research, about the company, their product/service and their mission. It’s very attractive for a prospective employee to show their interest in the company when they research what it is about.  Sprinkle your interview with questions throughout but make sure they are well thought out and the more you can join what you understand about the company with your experience—the better!

6.) Understand how and why some people may be prejudice about you and head them off at the pass. I’ve been a Professional Career and Life Coach since 2001.  I’ve coached hundreds of professionals, entrepreneurs, artists and others.  Before becoming a Coach, I was an Associate Partner for a company where I wore many hats which included recruiting and account management. The good news is that I can do many things with many different kinds of people; the prejudice can happen when people don’t understand the skills, talents and training it took to do these positions. It is my responsibility to help others to understand what I’ve done and help them to translate this into how I can help them with what they need–now.

7.) Discover how others see you. Your good friends, colleagues, and family will be happy to tell you how you come across to them. Listen to what they have to say and weigh this with what you know to be true about yourself.  I have been told by countless people that I would be good leading seminars/groups and inspirational speaking.  I know this about myself because I’ve been speaking in front of groups for years, often free of charge.  What I have to do now is to merge how others see me with how I see myself to understand how to take my next action step.

8.) Clean up nicely!! I know, I know this should be obvious, right?  Wrong. You can’t imagine how some people show up for their lives much less interviews.  When you are looking for a job, every time you step out of your house you could meet someone who could hire you or introduce you to someone who could.  Groom yourself well, wear clean clothes and keep a positive countenance because you are a walking billboard for yourself.

9.) Treat others as you would have them treat you. You are your own Ambassador so pay attention to how well you treat others.  Don’t gossip, don’t complain and/or whine and don’t belittle yourself or others.  Be your own golden rule.

10.) Trust the process, trust the process, trust the process. For some of us, you will get hired very quickly in your job hunting process and for others of us this process may feel like an endless road to hell.  For whatever reason (that hopefully we will discover soon) we’re not getting hired right away.  Trusting the process is one way that I’ve learned how to keep going and to not give up.  Review your day at the end of each day and make any changes you think are necessary.  Be humble and willing to ask for help from others.  Eventually you will find a job, it may not be the ultimate job that you were hoping for right off the bat….but it could be the first job in line to get you where you want to go.  Don’t give up and trust the process.

DINK #295 It’s Time For (the) U.S. To Come Up With A New Name For Our Elders

Posted on : 12-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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It’s time for us (especially in the U.S.) to come up with a new name for referring to our elders.  Okay, okay, I’m not quite in the elder-ranking yet (well, in some cases I might be) but I have lot’s o’ friends and family members who are so how our country in particular treats the aging and future wise women and men of tomorrow is pathetic with a capital “P”!   Just today, I realized while brain storming some ideas with a coaching friend of mine about a new business that combines coaching and person touch errand running that even I used the “labels” of elderly and home bound in a limiting description of what could be a wide audience of people (elder or not) who could use my services. I was horrified!

The coaching friend who I am working with now as a guinea pig to try out some new and different coaching approaches just turned sixty in December.  What I also realized this morning as we were talking was how particularly beneficial I find her help (in addition to adoring her tremendously!) because she is a “wise woman” who has walked the path that I now find myself in today and is able to identify and alert me to dips in the road or choices that I can make.  There’s a whole country of baby boomers who are 65 and younger now who we are missing out on using their well-earned wisdom because of our learned prejudice about our elders.  There are also members of the Greatest Generation like my mom, dad, aunts and uncles who we can benefit greatly from as well if we are willing and able to become aware of our own blind spots about people who are older than we us.  How did this happen?  Was it really with Abby Hoffman in the 60’s or have we been moving in this direction for awhile just in smaller more hidden groups than today?

Anyone with some knowledge of NLP knows how powerful our spoken words can be, so to change our perspectives we must first change the way we talk about things, people, ideas.  There are many cultures such as Native Americans, many Asian cultures, many Hispanic cultures and many African cultures to name a few that are not only respectful of their elders but seek out their advice and wisdom as people who have lived on this planet for a good long while.  The fact that I’ve even chosen this topic as a bone to pick is pretty funny since I’ve always been a kind of “question authority” kind of person, but here I am picking this bone!

It’s especially humbling when I talk with hiring people who are younger than me who admit the prejudice that their employers have about hiring older workers.  I know when I was recruiting and managing accounts in the late 90’s and early 00’s that there were several clients who we’d really have to work at convincing them to consider an older contractor if that is who we had to submit as the best person for the job.  I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity the last few years to meet these kind of prejudices head on when I returned to school to complete a degree.  I’ve met and made some great friends with students who are much younger than me and enjoy them very much as I think they enjoy me.  Somehow I feel like I’m kind of an “Ambassador” of sorts for my generation.  I’m showing some people who may never have had the chance to interact with a specimen such as myself, who is the same age or older than their parents, as a peer.

This afternoon I attended a birthday luncheon for one of the neighborhood “gang”. Charles just turned 81 and is recovering from brain cancer. I was the youngest person there by 30+ years in some cases but I had a great time. Yes, I sometimes have to let some of the ways my friends talk about things fly over my head out of respect for them, but we there were so many things we could talk about that made me feel happy and grateful to be their friend.

How do you talk about the wise women and men in your life?

DINK #294 Noticing Your Big Self And Your Little Self At The Same Time!

Posted on : 11-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I’m still stuck on the idea that every moment is an eternal one which causes me to ponder on the theory that in every moment we are living all kinds of possibilities as posited in the “String Theory” which I can just barely hold in my brain to think about.  So given the idea that there may be a “Lynn” in another dimension/universe who is that famous actress that I loved to pretend to be when I was younger or the Jane Goodall equivalent studying big cats in their wild habitat or a philanthropist who creates many vehicles to empower and free people to be who they want to be…..well it’s not such a great leap for me to notice  that there is an “observer” inside of my consciousness who recognizes both my small self and big self simultaneously!

Maybe that’s a good thing when we can recognize both our little selves and or big selves at the same time….it certainly can keep us grounded and aware of our egos.  I guess I’d better define what “little self” and “big self” means to me.  To me, little self means the part of me that is really persuaded by the ego, it’s the part that can be seduced by fear and often it’s the part that shrinks my self esteem because of doubt, worry and anxiety.  The big self is the higher consciousness self that is connected to the bare bottom thread of what I understand “God” is which is to say the connection to “One” and the collective consciousness.  The Big Self is confident and hopeful about what is happening in the present as well as what will happen in the future. The Big Self understands and uses every single choice, decision and path we have taken in our past.

It’s kind of funny to realize and observe both selves in your every day life too! Take today for instance, I’ve stayed in my jammies all day long. I’ve been writing a lot and communicating with all kinds of people as well as attending various inspirational and thought provoking “work shops” via the telephone and internet all in the comfort of my own home and in my jammies with sleeping dogs afoot. Today has been a day of birthing ideas and sending out notices to see which one will catch hold and grow.  All of these activities were definitely inspired by my Big Self.  At the same time, my little self would send up smoke signals now and then with doubts of the future and writing on the walls with a myriad of possible failures.  I’ve learned that I can’t pay too close attention to the smoke signals because I’m very easily hypnotized and can succumb to their mind numbing call pretty quickly if I’m not paying attention.

The good news about being able to observe your Big as well as little selves is that you can see/hear the directional choice for your life at that moment.  You can decide to pay closer attention to the Big Self and delve deeper for clarity and if you’re at all interested in psychology (like I am!) you can notice the fracas that your little self throws your way from in-attention and wonder how many times you must have decided to listen to your little self in the past and chosen the path of the dark tunnel instead.  Besides being interesting, that kind of awareness can help us to make different choices if/when we come across the familiar little self voice in the future.  With this awareness we can also help others who may be coming up the path behind or beside us and help them to remember the choice as well.

What are you noticing today about your Big Self and little self?

DINK #293 It’s Tempting To Sell Yourself Out….But Don’t!

Posted on : 11-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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My friend Walter Stroup likes to tell the story about the frog and the boiling pot of water. You know the story where if you put the frog in cold water and turn the heat up with him/her in it, likely as not the frog will not jump out but will stay in the water and meet his untimely demise whereas if you took a frog and tried to put him into a pot of boiling water, he would immediately jump out.  I don’t want to know how Professor Stroup knows this particular scenario but it makes sense to me as a human who has had the tendency to stay inside of the pot way after it has reached the boiling point.

Since the recession in the U.S. began a few years ago, jobs have morphed and changed or been eliminated so that in many cases an employer (depending on their location) can expect to receive at least a hundred resumes immediately upon posting their job, if not hundreds more.  For anyone who has either been laid off from a job or out of work for whatever reason and looking, these lean and mean times can bring out the ferocious beast in even the most tame of us.

For someone like me, who is naturally competitive (though a team player) and ambitious (though not at the expense of others) I can forget what it is about a job that can make or break the deal for me and be so hell bent on winning a job that like a frog who keeps sitting in the water until it is roiling hot, I will sell myself out just to get hired.  Now, I realize that some of you may not quite understand what the problem is with this so I will try to lay it out as best as I figured it out for myself so that you can understand.

Your options for work will greatly expand or diminish depending on your level of experience and skills.  If you’re someone like me who has the entrepreneurial spirit and has worked on her own for awhile as well as been in long-term career positions with responsibilities then usually there are more options available to consider.  Unfortunately, the economy is shaping opportunities at a mind numbing rate and so it’s easy to lose faith in yourself or others, become discouraged and feel frantic to except whatever work comes along that you can take.  In some cases, depending on where you live and what your area holds in the way of jobs–your choices may be limited. It’s important to consider that there are always more than three options to anyone problem.

I had a coaching friend point out to me recently when I had applied for a project that would have me working many more hours a week then I am now, for me to stop before my interview and think of questions that I could ask the interviewer about the company such as the culture, and the environment as well as how much the position would pay and whether I could work on or off site.  I’ve been really feeling the fire under my tail end for awhile now to earn more so much so that I was forgetting to think about asking some basic questions—and establish some negotiating topics–and was completely focused on just holding my breath and jumping in to “win” the job come what the cost to me might end up being.

It’s always my desire that by sharing what I am learning along this road of life, my experience, strength and hope may help others.  What I am realizing today is the importance for us to remember who we are and what kind of environments/cultures allow us to become our very best.  Yes, I can probably jump into the project that I was considering and do a really good job at it; however, there might be another opportunity that is for less hours and less pay but would allow me to fly.  And what I know about myself when I can fly is that I can fly for a really long time and cover a huge expanse of distance as well.

Perhaps there are more ways that we can figure out how to meet our needs that we don’t have to sell our souls in the process.  Be curious.  Explore.  Investigate and discover options.

What steps will you take to find new ways to solve and old dilemma?

DINK #292 The Good Side of Menopause

Posted on : 10-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Over twenty years ago, the concept of meditation was introduced to me through the Self-Realization Fellowship and Kriya Yoga.  I learned how to calm my brain and body down so that I could center my thoughts and focus on that Divine love that many of us are seeking.  For a long time it seemed like every time I sat down to meditate my mind would hop from one thought to the next scrambling to all the corners of my brain to dig out as many distractions as it could.  All the teachers said to notice those thoughts and then let them float out.   The ultimate goal in the Buddhist practices that I studied was to empty out my mind.  I’m discovering that the good side of menopause is my mind seems to be emptying out without any real effort on my part!

The good news about my mind emptying out is that holding on to rage or having an obsession migrate into a fixation just doesn’t happen anymore.  My mind seems unwilling to hold in all the riff raff that it did in the past.  Today in class after the Baha’i services, the speaker shared on the most excellent topic of Divine Love.  I was telling a friend of mine later on in the day that this speaker was so unassuming in his countenance that I didn’t realize the depth that his talk had gone to until suddenly I realized that he was talking about ideas like each moment of our lives is eternal.  He weaved in many of the philosophies and teachings of several of the great religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Baha’i.  One piece that I grabbed from his talk on Buddhist philosophy was to think of the mind as being a vessel that can receive information from the outside but in order to receive new information it must be emptied first of distractions and irrelevant pieces. That’s when I realized the good side of menopause.

For my younger readers who have many years to live before they reach the menopause stage, this blog can be a beacon of hope for you to recall when you are where I am now.  For my male friends, I’ve learned that guys go through a type of menopause just like we women do, it’s just talked about even less.  In this aging process that I am going through now, much like Jill Bolt Taylor’s “Stroke of Insight“, I’ve been given the where-with-all and energy to grasp what I’m going through now so that I can question my perceptions and insights through this process and capture what I understand through this mechanism of blogging.  Perhaps when I’m 85 and read back on these archaic days of blogging I’ll shake my head at what a dear I was but for now I’m determined to uncover what I understand is the good side of aging.  And, by the way,  I’m sharing about the good side of aging from the perspective of someone who never had children (although I enjoy them) and never particularly understood the fulfillment of being a grandmother (though I understand the joy that my friends’ feel).

By late afternoon this past Saturday, I felt pretty much like a “she-woman” after taking an hour and twenty minutes of a pretty rigorous Hatha Yoga class and then jogging 6.5 miles later in the day.  I’m not quite sure what the God of my understanding is preparing me for these days with my exercise program, school and twelve-step work but I do feel ready to face much more that life may hand me then I ever have before (by the way God, if your listening I am not tossing out a challenge to you!).  I am glad that I can be of service to some of the friends in my life who I care about because I have enough energy to take care of me and then plenty of reserves left over to be there for them.

So while there is a changing of the guard going on with my brain chemistry and hormones during this time of my life, the good side of menopause is the brain I have today remembers the many times in the past of my intentions to empty it and realizes there is an opportunity to grab onto the gaps of spaces in-between to empty out the unnecessary in order to fill itself up with the Divine.

What does the good side of wherever you find yourself today look and feel like?