“The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.” – Michio Kaku
Let’s get more use out of this most complicated object; from what I hear, it holds the key to a healthy long life!
I am happy to celebrate birthdays, I will never lie about my age (48) but I am not going out without a fight!
Research indicates that the more we participate in life, engage our bodies and our minds, challenge ourselves to try new things, the more vibrant and fulfilling our years will be. Here are 3 things you can do this week (and every week) to feel and live younger:
- Work out with (heavy) weights. Our youngest son, age 17, and I have been lifting together recently and it has challenged me physically and mentally. I am told that “older” women should lift light weights to keep muscle tone. To hell with that! I am lifting more now than I did when I was 20 and it shows. Please find someone who can train you properly and who will push you harder and further than you (or they) imagined possible.
- Learn new skills. I have been taking a marketing class from one of the top MBA programs in the world, for free. It is demanding, interesting, inspiring and an energy booster. I use Coursera but there are other options, many of them offering great subjects and really simple ways to expand your knowledge and engage your brain.
- Practice using your memory; it’s a ‘muscle’ – the more you use it the stronger it gets. Instead of taking your list to the grocery store, try to memorize it and go shopping without it. (It takes time but is worth the effort). When you have a “senior” moment, give yourself time to access the deeper caverns of your memory rather than giving up or looking something up online. Even those games where you test your memory are great options.
When we push ourselves to learn something new, to think harder, to work in a challenging way, we commit to a life of joy and abundance, a life where we get to participate fully for as long as we can. I for one want to push my brain to new levels of learning and experience; please join me.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
Do you know where you are heading? (For all aspects of life)
Do you like the destination?
If not, today is a good day to turn the wheel and head somewhere better. (Leaner body, calmer mind, compassionate relationships, stronger connection to God…lots of options!!)
Recently, we chose to reduce the amount of animal-based products in our diet and increase the range of plant-based products. It has been pretty simple, no drama, no withdrawals, plenty of food to choose from and enjoy. This shift in direction is for 2 reasons – we want to be more physically healthy than ever before as we head into our 50s and we disagree vehemently with the mistreatment of animals for food (heavy hearts). No, we are not vegan; we are simply making choices daily that include more plant-based options.
All the research indicates a plant-based diet is best for optimum health and it is certainly better for the environment and the animals.
If you’re in doubt watch “Forks Over Knives’ “Vegucated” “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” among countless other documentaries.
I urge you to allow the profound quote from Lao Tzu to sink in and inspire a shift in a single element of your life. Today.
I’ve written several times about gratitude (Here and here) and during this week of national (in the US) thanks giving I have a few more words to add.
I love the premise of Thanksgiving – we celebrate all the blessings in our lives, we recognize how fortunate we are, we gather around a table with people we love and share our bounty. It is truly a wonderful tradition.
I have noticed some dramatic shifts in the 20+ years we have celebrated Thanksgiving in the US. When I first moved here, many grocery stores were closed and the ones that were open closed at 2pm. There were no other shops open, lining up at midnight or earlier on Thursday evening was not done and Black Friday weekend felt quieter, less aggressive, more like a good way to keep the togetherness of Thursday going.
I liked it better “in the old days”.
I admit to a strong dislike for the current buy-buy-buy world I live in. Corporations push harder every week to instill a desire for more and we absorb the messages that having a new xyz will make us happier, prettier, more lovable.
My answer to this was to sell most of what we owned and hit the road for 9 months of self-discovery. I am not sure what the bigger answer is.
The only thing I can suggest is that this week, if you are in the US, you join me in boycotting shops and websites. I ask that we stand together against consumerism; take a few days to look at our lives and truly appreciate our many blessings.
I love the idea of an entire nation giving thanks, together we can bring the true spirit of Thanksgiving back to our society but it takes action on all our parts.
Happy Thanksgiving and Namaste.
Not sure why but I have not read The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo, it has certainly walked through my awareness many times. I recently came across a quote from the book and wanted to share it here.
“Listen to your heart because it came from the soul of the world and it will one day return there.”
Them’s fighting words!! Here are my thesaurus options, in case you want or need them…
- Listen to = honor / follow
- Your heart = your inner voice / the whisper of your soul / the stillness that speaks
- From the soul of the world = God / the source of all / the universe / the divine / everything
- It will return there = your heart will return to wholeness, to truth, to love
Often we hear expressions that urge us to “do what you love”, “follow your bliss” and we do not fully grasp their enormity. Life is short, we are all going to die, time to get off the sidelines.
Abundance lies just beyond the first step we take in the journey to “listen to [y]our heart”.
I love reading Seth Godin, an interesting and provocative marketer. I am currently enjoying his book “Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?” and found this little gem I wanted to share:
When you are sitting right on the edge of something daringand scary and creative and powerful and perhaps wonderful…and you blink and take a step back.
That’s the moment. The moment between you and remarkable. Most people blink. Most people get stuck.
All the hard work and preparation and daring and luck are nothing compared with the ability to not blink.
I am going to work on diminishing my talent for blinking; meet you on the other side :)
I have come to drag you out of yourself and take you in my heart. I have come to bring out the beauty you never knew you had and lift you like a prayer to the sky. – Rumi
What if I told you I copy other people’s work? I actually use pen and paper to hand write their words into my notebooks. I do this for work writing and for “fun” writing and I do it often. I have notebooks whose pages are swollen with the abundance of words, the covers unable to close tight or contain the brilliant ideas held within.
Does that color your opinion of me?
It has certainly colored my opinion of myself; as I feel the pen engaged, the words flowing easily, something in me releases and I begin to feel like a writer. My own thoughts, ideas and words spill onto the page and suddenly I am not copying; I am creating, I am writing, I am free.
And that is the crux of the matter – I begin to feel like a writer. Let me say that again – I begin to feel like a writer. Holy crap, I felt that all the way to my toes – I feel like a writer!!
What lies deep in your heart, afraid of failure, of not being enough?
If there is even the tiniest whisper inviting you to create, you must listen to it, you must honor it, you must allow yourself to release it to the world. And if copying those who have done it helped me, it just might help you too.