Be the Peace

Busy Busy Busy 

It seems life a few decades ago was slower. I am not sure if that is true or not, but it is a perception many of us have. Most of us are working for the weekend.” We rush about trying to get to work on time, run  errands,  attend school and family activities and by the time the weekend rolls around, we want to tune out and relax!

Peaceful Week Days

You can have a peaceful week/work day!  First of all, start the day right.  Do not lay in bed too long filling your brain with dread to get up.  Think happy thoughts, journal, pray or meditate to set a positive tone before starting your  work day.

Set aside 30 minutes (more if you can swing it) just for you! Meditation. prayer, yoga, working out, bubble baths, reading or watching a vintage television show are all relaxing activities.  Make these things a priority!

Barraged With News

Gone are the days of a leisurely cup of coffee over the local newspaper to find out what is happening in the world.  Our phones ping with news, social media blasts news, our email inbox fills up with news, we have talk radio in our cars and if there is time to watch television, we have “breaking news.”

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We hear “fake news,” political news, opposing viewpoints, celebrity gossip, accusations, justifications and not enough “feel good stories.”  It is no wonder some of us get a bleak view of the world today!

Think

Now, think of this: people outside of the USA are also barraged with news. As we hear unflattering news about other countries, it makes sense they also hear bad things about the USA.  We know despite all the tragedy, most people in the USA are good,  we enjoy many freedoms and have more prosperity and privilege than most. The difference is a few decades ago, we had less news sources and therefore life seemed “safer.”

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Think again

Could it be that things are not as bad in other countries as we hear through the media?  That may or may not be so.  One way to get an unbiased perspective would be to travel the world. Although that sounds wonderful, it is not always feasible.

War and Peace

Without delving into history or politics, common sense should dictate that the more we understand someone, the less likely we are to harbor mistrust or dislike. Although the preceding statement references people, it is people that make up countries! Thankfully,  there are diplomats throughout the world working to keep our world peaceful. Unfortunately, those efforts are not always rewarded.

What We Can Do to Promote Peace

There are many things we can do to promote a peaceful world.  As Gandhi said: “be the change you want to see in the world.”  We can be less quick to judge, take time to know our immigrant community, walk away from conflict and “count to 10” before responding to negativity. This can promote a ripple effect.

We can cut back on social media, turn off the television, do our own research when we hear something sensational or “tune out” the bad.

Another way to promote world peace is through cultural exchange.  Cultural exchange is when families host students from other countries  for part or all of a school year. When the students go back home after their foreign country experience, the ripple effect spreads  when they talk of their favorable experiences in the country that hosted them.  Over 300 world leaders have been exchange students!  Wouldn’t it be exciting to find out your former exchange student is now a president?

exchange students at museum

Following are testimonials from former host families:

J. Anzek Orr We have hosted 11 students in the past 20 years, I see the difference between the students from back than and the students now with social media. We are very proud of our “Bonus Kids” and how they have grown, went to Universities, amazing jobs and having families of their own now. Sometimes you don’t see it right away what difference you make, but one of my Thai students from a couple of years ago was very shy and was not social here in the States. A year later he told me that he was out with his family and he heard some Americans’ sightseeing and they were lost, he went up to them and talked to them in English and helped them find where they wanted to go. To me that made us proud of him and that we made a difference and gave him the courage to walk up and speak English in his own country. ❤️

B.  Iszler We’ve hosted daughters from Thailand, France and Sweden next year. We’ve learned so much about other cultures in the journey. I highly recommend hosting an exchange student to anyone who is willing to open their heart and their home to a very well mannered student.

T. L.  Hughes Absolutely the best learning and cultural experience a family can share!

T.  Fredricks We have hosted from Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, Taiwan and in fall Italy. Our experience is hard to describe hosting as anything less than amazing. It has grown our family and encourages us to dare to be that “different” family! My children have learned so much about living with different cultures and customs. With each new student my husband and I always wonder if our heart is big enough for the task of hosting. However, each time we are left so proud of our international son or daughter of everything that was accomplished and our hearts are so full  and they leave as a member of our family…

S. Welch Great experience!! We hosted a boy from Spain. Even though we are miles apart, we are always close in the heart.

The Time is Now!

We all have the tools inside of us to help create a more peaceful world.  The tools are simply changing some habits, saving money for travel or participating in cultural exchange.

Learn More

To learn more about hosting an exchange student from  another country, or to consider the possibility of sending your high school aged student abroad, visit:  cetusa.org.

 

 

A Visionary Woman

What is a visionary woman?

There are many connotations associated with visionaries, but the first definition in Merriem-Webster defines the visionary woman we are celebrating today: having or marked by foresight and imagination.  This visionary woman persevered through childhood bullying, a physical impairment and heartache to become a fine jewelry designer, inspirational jewelry retailer,  marketing expert,  shopping club entrepreneur and leader in the self development industry!

What is her story?

I will not share all I know about her story, as that is her tale to tell. What I will tell you is she has helped dozens of people I know find their purpose and passion in lives, raised two beautiful and successful daughters as a single mother, and is a young, lively, glamma!   She is an expert “shifter”, teaching people how to reframe their self defeating thoughts. This expert shifter envisioned her ideal husband on a vision board before she met him and lifted herself from near poverty to enjoying a second ocean side home in addition to her home in Minnesota.

How did she achieve her dreams?

Only she can tell this wonderful story properly!  The expert shifter and visionary woman we are celebrating is Mary Hartmann, owner of Mary Hartmann-Simply Shift and Mary Hartmann Designs.

Mary offers you a first breakthrough coaching session for free, as her giving heart wants to help all who seek her assistance.  Mary says:

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“If you’re like me, you’ve asked yourself this question more times than you can count and came up empty. No matter how many books I read or positive affirmations I recited, at the end of the day, I was mostly back to square one. It didn’t make any sense.

So I started digging really deep. I wanted answers. I wanted to truly change my life. There seemed to be some door locked tight, shutting me out of life’s good things, peace, joy and happiness.

Then one day, something clicked. Like a stubborn key finally releasing a lock, I learned about the subconscious mind and the paradigms controlling us that we don’t even realize are there. 

 Once that door opened, I never looked back. You can open that door, too.”
Mary doesn’t sell a hodgepodge of jewelry.  Her designs are either original or hand picked for meaning. The following is Mary’s original, trademarked design:
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From her website:
Wearing symbols which represent our desires, our milestones or the steps we’re taking on our journey is a tangible way to express gratitude for all that we are and all that we are growing to be.
If you are not where you want to be in life, take advantage of Mary’s free coaching session while it is  still available. Whether you desire coaching or not, it only takes a moment to click on the link to Mary Hartmann Designs to view her symbolic jewelry offerings.
For my overseas readers, Mary coaches through Skype.  I also want to disclose I am never paid for my articles and receive no compensation from anyone I highlight. It is my calling to write when the inspiration comes from the Spirit.
Namaste

 

 

Aging: An Inspirational Tribute

Dear readers, I took a hiatus due to the passing on of a family member, which I will address here. However, it’s a story of lasting joy! Of course many tears were shed and we are still grieving, but I am referring to the everlasting joy of the family member that transitioned to the after life.

I met this amazing man in 2012 and he ended up becoming my brother in law. I call him amazing for many reasons. First of all, he suffered a debilitating stroke about 12 years ago and never stopped having fun! He threw huge parties complete with live music, enjoyed wagering on sporting events, flirted with the ladies, enjoyed meeting people online, keeping up on current events, staying in touch with siblings, friends and more. He was a doting father and that never changed. When we cleaned out his room, I found inspirational readings, complete with Bible verses.

Secondly, although wheelchair bound, he would “dance” at his parties and worked hard to stand. He always participated to the best of his abilities to transfer from his chair. Working hard with his physical therapist, he never lost hope of living in his own home again and talked of buying a new car. In fact, yearly he visited the Auto Show with my husband.

A little over 3 weeks ago, this dear man suffered a heart attack and ended up in the hospital. The doctors were not optimistic and I entered the hospital room with dread. Holding back tears and hiding my eyes with glasses, there he was, having a little party with his daughter, her friend and a cute nurse! Jokes abounded and he was laughing so hard at one point, that he couldn’t speak!

The dire news of a risky surgery that was not recommended did not perturb him. He stated ” do it! I have a lot of life to live!” The procedure accomplished less than we had hoped for, but his good spirits never wavered. A transition to a good care facility was looked forward to. Two days after the surgery, he was on the phone and enjoying the excellent care and attention of staff. His last conversation with my husband involved compliments of his beautiful and kind nurse.

We met that beautiful and kind nurse the following morning after we received the news of a peaceful and quick passing. She and other staff worked hard to revive him, but he was called away to host parties in heaven.

“A lot of life ” was still lived, as my brother in law put a lot of life into each day. The stories at his celebration of life were full of business accomplishments, fun, golf and laughter. In his honor, it was held at a beautiful country club with wine and fine food. There was never a word spoken of his great suffering, as he always remained “whole ” in attitude.

What legacy will we leave behind? I’m inspired to put challenges of the past behind and live each day with joy!

Aging with Purpose

As we are all aging each day, no matter our current  age, this series on aging applies to us all. We may not want to get older (age) on purpose, but we have no choice.  What we can choose is keeping our attitude young.

Keeping our attitude young may seem a daunting task on those days we are tired and our bones creak. We have work, bills, chores, family and social obligations.  How do we fit in a youthful attitude when our minds are swimming with all we need to do?

tired lady

We must have purpose! Why are we working, paying bills, doing chores, etc? Is it security,  a vacation fund, to provide for our families? Those are purposes!  If these are purposes,  why are we still stressed? Where is that magic pill to keep our minds clear and happy?
Many books have been written about finding our “purpose. ” We may meditate,  go to seminars,  synagogues,  churches or mosques.  We leave feeling refreshed,  ready to begin anew, then……we go back to the old “grind.”

Agsin, where is that magic formula or pill to keep us clear, happy and young? This article  originally implied purpose, then said purposes can make us stressed!

The magic formula is one main purpose, or our WHY. What makes you most happy? If that is difficult to pinpoint,  make a list. You may find that many things that make you happy tie into one main purpose.

For example; my happy list  items are: travel,  time with my husband, helping others and feeling healthy. I was able to condense those items into one main purpose: feeding malnourished children.


Feeding malnourished children obviously fulfills helping others. It also takes care of my health,  as the whole foods nutrition I purchase is a social business model similar to Tom’s Shoes. My husband and I are able to spend time together and travel by visiting some of the children we feed, in addition to other trips we qualify for.

Honing in on  my main purpose has renewed my energy and outlook on life! I feel younger than I did 2 decades ago! Your WHY is simply what makes you happiest.  Find It,  pursue it, and age with purpose!

Aging: the Change

Keep reading,  men! This is not about ” THE change ” We are discussing how changes can affect us as we age. We ALL are aging,  even children,  so this isn’t just for “older ” folks.

Think back to when we left the safety of home, routine and our caregivers to venture onto a school bus for the very first time . I think most of us had mixed feelings, including a bit of fear. When we entered the cheerful and bright atmosphere of kindergarten, our fears mostly melted away. Theoretically,  where would we be without any education? Fear wasn’t able to hold us back, as the law requires us to be educated. However, the law does not require us to make changes to age in a healthful manner, so it’s up to us to make adjustments. 

Think of our accomplishments. They all required a change; whether in habit,  attitude, financial risk, values, etc. Now, think of the aging process. We cannot change that. However,  by resisting change, we may be speeding up our physical aging. Young people should also be concerned with this. Right now, you are laying the foundation on which to build your lives.

I still encounter “older” people that resist cell phones.  That one change could save their lives in an emergency! There are also so many of us that continually have body discomfort and weight issues. We complain, half heartedly try fads, then comfort ourselves with Netflix binges and sugar. ( I’ve done this, too)

If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone to change,  I would still be falling over in the morning due to imbalance,  crying because I hurt and unable to wear my wedding ring. 

What in your life needs to change so you may age in comfort? Are you at a loss as to where to start or what to do? Start with something small, like using Stevia in your coffee in lieu of sugar, or adding flair to your look with a new cosmetic or hair color. When we try new looks,  we do not appear dated!

The change that helped me most was being open to new scientific research on whole foods nutrition.  Now that I made that  change, I am staying stuck in those ways! You see, some things we are doing need never change!

Is Age Just a Number?

We’ve all heard the saying ” age is just a number. ” So many of us have thoughts about that, like: ” yeah, tell my aching body that, oh, I wish that was true, ” etc. I think we can agree that common statements like that are bandied about so much, that we dismiss them.

How do you feel now compared to when you were younger? As I was a sickly child with very little physical capabilites,  I feel better decades later!

Why do I feel better as I age, while many people feel worse? It’s not due to surgery or prescriptions.  I did not see a faith healer, either. There are many others my age or older doing remarkably well, also! We have a secret!

Our secret can be summed up with one concept: being proactive! We don’t wait until we feel bad to take action; we consistently strive to feel better.  It could be a combination of diet, exercise, mindset,  environment,  spirituality, medical care,  hobbies or supplements.

Yes, I know we’ve all heard this before! (blah, blah blah!) Well then, you must feel better, right? Awesome! If not, you can take steps to correct that. Now, I do realize there are conditions like cancer that seem hopeless.  What I’m referring to is general health.  You may be doing everything you know of to feel younger, to no avail.  Is age just a number? My opinion is “no,” and that is perfectly okay by me! Stay tuned for future blogs on additional ideas to look and feel your best. 

Aging is Good!

Whether you consider yourself young or old, please read on; as even babies are aging. Our society continually fights aging, as though we have the power to stop it! A seventy year old person with a facelift is still a seventy year old person! A 40 year old person may still wear their highschool hairstyle,  but no one is mistaking them for a highschool student!

I, myself,  have been guilty of trying to look younger with certain clothing styles,  but I’ve come to realize I’m not fooling anyone!

When younger, I was overworked, and generally dissatisfied with my quality of life. As a model and young business professional, I had the attention of people, but none of that compensated for the anxious feelings within me. I was jumping though hoops trying to keep everyone happy but myself.  

Looking over these pictures,  I am happy we have become more tasteful with fashion! That’s one great thing about aging! I’m also glad I’m not a baby, dependent on others to feed and clothe me. What gifts has aging brought you? Most of us have acquired more wisdom. Even if you are young, you are learning each day.

This begins my series of blogs on thoughts about aging. The aging process will never stop, so let’s accept it and live the best life we can today!