Change And Grow

The Challenge of Change

Rumor has it that change is difficult. How many times have you promised yourself you would change something and never done it?  See how creative you are with those reasons? You can even take a moment, now, to make a list. How many things are on your list?

In one case, Joe, a successful local printer, said he would quit the business when the internet took over too much of the advertising market. Even though it put lots printers out of business, he never did quit. He got bitter and angry that the market collapsed. And he would tell anyone that would listen, how impossible it was for him to do anything different. He used these reasons to build a wall of impossibility.  He said: “I ‘m too old. (He was 59). I don’t know what to do. I don’t have time to support myself because I have to scrounge for new, low paying, work.” It’s easy to see the vicious circle he was building that lowered his energy and kept him frozen. He was creative in finding the reasons why not! I almost felt sorry for him.

Being Miserable

Joe failed to see how to change. He just knew things weren’t like they used to be. Sound familiar? He didn’t know what direction to take or how to find a way to discover it. He was caught in his own judgments. Yet, behind those reasons, he was paralyzed with his fear of moving on, at all.  All core fears are fed by old beliefs and questions we hold about ourselves. For Joe, there was no chance he could survive. He was terrified that, if he tried, he’d fail. This was too great a risk. It was easier to complain and feel miserable. He was so committed to his old beliefs, that money became a source of constant arguments with his wife. Life was miserable.

After So Many Years, How do you change?

Negative core beliefs can be changed. And I hope Joe is willing to go to a therapist, if he needs it. There is no way to get around the nature of change itself.  It can feel like jumping off a cliff, but it’s at the heart of doing something different. It might take being afraid for a while. Try to remember, changing means you have the courage to admit you don’t know everything. It’s the opportunity of doing and learning something new. This can be confronting, especially after being the owner of a business, or the head of a department for a long time. In the old job, you knew exactly what to do. In fact, you may have been the authority, the person everyone came to for help.

Have you ever seen yourself in this position? Uncomfortable isn’t it? But as you know that’s not where the story has to end. Let me know how your story is changing.

Interview With Jackie Silver

Midlife Cafe Interviews Jackie Silver

Jackie Silver is a phenomenon! She is an expert in the field of staying young. Fortunately, she shares her secrets, tips and shortcuts in her book, Aging Backwards: Secrets to Staying Young; and on her Web site, http://AgingBackwards.com, on TV and radio, in print and in person. She is a frequent television news guest, one half of The Ageless Sisters radio show, a newspaper columnist and contributor to numerous web sites, including three columns on Examiner.com. She also appears in dozens of videos on Livestrong.com and eHow.com. Jackie is sought-after as an anti-aging and beauty expert by the media. Jackie’s insights are an inspiration to all of us. So let’s get started.

1. Midlife Cafe: Hi Jackie: You truly have a unique way of empowering women. How did you get started?

Jackie Silver: Hi and thank you so much for inviting me! It is such an honor to be here! How I got started empowering women is a loooong story, wink, but it was born from my desire to help anyone who is interested, join me in staying young and healthy. I’ve always been the one that my family, friends and their friends come to for advice, when it comes to health and staying young. I guess they all know that I like to stay on the “cutting edge” of what’s new and what’s available. I have also made friends with many of the world’s anti-aging “gurus,” scientists and doctors, so you get the fresh info first from me.

2. MC: Your story is very exciting. How can the average woman become more like you?

JS: Well, the good news is…I AM the average woman! It’s easier than people think to stay young and healthy. All it takes is incorporating a few good habits into your life (and possibly removing some not-so-good ones), but making it a point to do these every single day!

3. MC: What’s the first advice you would give a woman who is just starting to take care of herself?

JS: Everyone is in a different place – someone who is “just starting to take care of herself” might be in her 20s or in her 60s. No matter where you are, the most important thing to remember is you should do what works for you, what you can comfortably fit into your day and what resonates with you. If I were to “generalize,” I would have to say start a workout routine immediately, if you are not already exercising consistently. Did you know you could exercise just 12 minutes a day and get a great result? This works: Dr. Al Sears’ MD’s PACE Express program.

4. MC: Your transformation from age 12 is remarkable. How do you explain that?

JS: Ah, Age 12…Well, yes, I sometimes say I “invented” childhood obesity. I was very overweight at a time when most people – adults and children alike – were at the correct weight for their frames. Regarding my “transformation,” as you describe it, I spent my childhood yo-yo dieting, which is probably one of the worst things a child can do, but luckily I was able to take charge of my eating, exercising and my weight by the time I was in my 20s.

5. MC: You have great tips on everything from beauty and fitness to nutrition and makeup on your website. How do you find time to stay fit and do all this research?

JS: I am blessed with excellent organizational skills…okay, not really!  I am an avid “list maker.” If you saw all my lists, you might even think I suffer from Hypergraphia, but rest assured I don’t. Keeping lists not only keeps me organized and on-track, it also provides me with extra satisfaction when I can cross off the “done” items. Also, I am very disciplined when it comes to scheduling fitness. I don’t make “all the usual excuses,” such as: “I’m too tired,” “It’s too late,” “I’ll do it tomorrow,” “I worked out yesterday,” “I didn’t eat that much today…” the list goes on.

6. MC: At what age should a woman start following your advice?

JS: Well, interestingly, I don’t consider myself an “advice giver.” I am an imparter of information. I provide the information and the resources, conveniently, all in one place (AgingBackwards.com) and let people decide for themselves what fits into their lives. That’s one of the secrets to Aging Backwards. Stress causes aging and illness. Eliminate as much stress from your life as you possible can and you will be much better off. If your routine for staying young stresses you out, it cancels itself out. Here’s a little tip to help: Next time you find yourself worrying and stressing about something, tell yourself over and over, “90 percent of everything I worry about NEVER happens.” You’d be surprised at how that little affirmation can go a long way toward making you feel better.

7. MC: Can you be too old to start “aging backwards”?

JS: You’re never too old to start aging backwards! I even like to say you’re never too young either! I started working out consistently and deliberately at age 17 and I have never stopped for more than six weeks (to have a baby, wink).

8. MC: If a woman is over 65, where is the best place to start?

JS: The best place to start at any age, is to visit the Web site AgingBackwards.com and sign up for my free newsletter. The great news is you don’t get just me – you get a whole panel of experts in your inbox, including Dr. Al Sears, M.D. (anti-aging guru).

Thanks again for inviting me!!

This has been great Jackie! Your website and Twitter posts are fun and easy to follow. In fact, you are amazing. Thank you for devoting your time to helping us feel and look younger!

 

 

Purpose Of Aging

WHY AGE?

I mean everyone believes there are purposes to all the other stages of life. According to the Oxford American Dictionary purpose means, doing something with an intention and not by chance. Infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood all are recognized as periods of growth and development. They are automatic and sequential. They have the purpose of coming into adulthood. Well, midlife is sequential too. Unlike the others, no one pays much attention to its complexities and developmental purpose.  It was, until fairly recently, a period of crisis. Historically men reaching midlife would leave their wives or change jobs and act oddly. They became typecast, because they went into therapy when this happened. Overall, most people see midlife and up as a time to hold onto the past, to preserve youth. For example, when I told my cardiologist that I was blogging and doing videos about the value of aging he asked,”Is there anything good about aging?”

VALUE IN AGING?

Someone could say aging means we are closer to death. But are we? Can’t and don’t we die at many different ages? Here, I am talking about an intrinsic value in the aging process, even after we reach and go deeply into midlife and through the 60′s, 70′s , 80′s and 90′s. Now, there are physiological changes that occur naturally. These are known to  promote wisdom and societal nurturing. Some changes are so precious, I would have loved to have had them as early as possible in life. They would have made my life a lot easier. Many are only possible with the repetition and the experience age offers.

CHANGE OR DIE INSIDE

If I look at the internal pull and drive to change in midlife and the pressures  and pulls to change in the earlier stages of life, I am aware they all have something in common. The desire to be more alive!  Remember how it was? Think about what it felt like to want and get that first great job you hungered and prayed for.  What did you think you would get? I thought I would belong to a new club of people who made money to support themselves. Since I’d never done that before, it was a miracle. Wow, I had become a counselor for a program at Wesleyan University right out of college. I had fulfilled my purpose and felt alive with possibility and excitement.

TALK ABOUT EXCITEMENT

Midlife and aging seem to me to be about having lived one life and beginning a new one. This new life is filled with passions and ventures. We find direction from our unfinished interests in the past, or from new explorations in the present. Suddenly, a lawyer starts playing rock and roll with a band he gets together. A computer consultant returns to college to get a masters degree in spiritual leadership.  People in their 80′s go back to college for a degree. One women who was 89 when she graduated  with a BA, got a standing ovation from the entire class. Why not? You can do anything if you are willing to go through what it takes to do it. Isn’t that great?