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Thursday, November 20, 2008

On The Humorous Side: The Hot Flash Club

Welcome to the Hot Flash Club!

Whether you like it or not...this is the beginning of the rest of your life and it will be ushered in on a heat wave...it's too bad it couldn't happen on the beaches of Maui or the Bahamas...reality decided to have it happen across the landscape of your face, neck and body...OH, JOY!!! Isn't middle-age an adventure?!!!

Prepare yourself to coordinate your wardrobe with your coloring from now on...RED is going to be your enemy for the near term! Make sure you don't wear all red, because when you have a hot flash your clothes and skin will blend together...you'll look like a red hot chili pepper and I don't mean you will look like a member of the band with the same name...Oh…you'll look hot, but not sexy...hot...you'll be burning red hot all over...and there will be nothing chilly about you...your new nickname will be Pepper.

Don't worry though you'll learn how to do the newest mid-life dance craze...The Hot Flash...it is a striptease of sorts...there is nothing sexy about it...when you are finished you are dripping with sweat, standing naked in front of a fan and God help the man that wants to touch you after your performance! Your response to this will be: "You're kidding me...Right?!"

Your newest friend, who is replacing your old "friend" is full of as many surprises...but this time you will discover places that you never knew could sweat...new places that have aches and pains...but here is the bonus...you won't remember why...it's kind of like when you gave birth...all the pain of labor...you cursed your husband for putting through it…but afterward you don't remember any of it...so stupid you...you, do it again...then, you remember...you curse your husband...then forget again. Oh...yeah...you start to ramble… a lot because you can't remember your point. Yes, it affects your brain...the few brain cells you have left.

And the grand prize for entering into the Hot Flash Era is (drum roll, please!)

You will never have to worry about wearing white pants ever again!

Welcome...to Mid-Life...embrace the "hot"...and whatever you do... don't sweat the small stuff...it will be over in a flash!


Amy L. Harden Copyright 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guest Blogger: The Lazy Women's Guide to MidLife Reinvention


With all due respect to Oprah, the life coach industry, and my overly-enthusiastic friend Y. who keeps insisting I live an "authentic" life, I'm beginning to think this midlife reinvention stuff is strictly for the birds.


It sounds simple enough in theory. Relying on the wisdom and experience that comes to us at midlife, we take a leap of faith and pursue our deepest passions. Armed with little more than faith in ourselves and a copy of The Secret in our hands, we go forth expecting good things to certainly come our way. 

And let's be honest - after decades spent raising kids, climbing the corporate ladder, and living with the same, predictable man, who among us isn't ready to shake things up a bit? 

Aiding and abetting us is an entire industry that's sprung up to support our ventures. From books to videos to weekend retreats, there is no shortage of charlatans - oops, I mean professionals - lining up to tell us how to get to the next big thing in our lives. 

At 47, I've ploughed through my fair share of reinvention attempts. From the would-be crafting business ($700 in supplies yielded three scarves, one sleeve and zero sales) to the "youthful and playful" hairstyle my new stylist talked me into (he goes by the name of Jean Paul but I prefer to think of him as Edward Scissorhands on speed), I've tried diligently to reinvent myself but sadly, never quite made the grade. 

Reflecting on my failures to launch, I believe I've learned a thing or two about the awakening that comes at this stage of life. As a gesture of support and solidarity for the midlife women who might be reading this, I'd like to pass on some thoughtful advice to make your own midlife reinventions go just that much more smoothly. 

The Lazy Woman's Guide To Midlife Reinvention

1. It's more fun talking about reinvention than actually reinventing.
The planning stage is by far the most rewarding part of the process. What can beat long, contemplative walks, detailed list making of our strengths and interests and endless discussions with friends over dinner about hopes, plans and dreams. 

Play your cards right and you can remain in this stage indefinitely.

2. Don't write a book - read a book.
For those of you who dream of penning the great Canadian novel, try reading a book instead.

Most of us are so busy that we barely have time to read a book. Wouldn't it be a challenge just to start one and finish it in a reasonable amount of time?

And I'm not talking about the dry and slightly depressing Canadian literature your book club insists on reading because it makes them feel intellectual. I'm talking about a good, juicy, Chick Lit read that you can't put down, even if it makes you feel slightly dirty when you're done. 

3. Forget being a Cougar, chasing sexy, younger men. Go after the old guys instead.
Not only is the competition less stiff, older men are much easier to catch. I mean come on - which 40-something woman among us can't outrun an octogenarian in a wheel chair?

4. If you're itching to start a business, keep things on a small scale.
Sure we hear about the success stories but if the truth be told, most businesses fail within a year or two of start-up. 

If you really must scratch your entrepreneurial itch, might I suggest taking a cue from all the mompreneurs of Generation X. Create a simple product and market it from the comfort of your own home. 

I, for one, am waiting for some enterprising midlife woman to invent much needed products like Flash Memory Cards to combat those embarrassing short-term memory blips that come with middle age.

5. Skip the makeover - just get rid of your mirrors.
Why spend thousands on Botox, fillers, a new hairstyle and wardrobe? You're still the same, wonderful person inside that you've always been. 

--Karen Hamilton lives in Toronto, Canada, where she publishes The Best Kept Secret, an e-newsletter and Web site for women over 40. Like the proverbial Seinfeld of the perimenopause set, Karen is fascinated with “the little things” of midlife. You can reach Karen via e-mail at karen@thebestkeptsecret.ca, visit her Web site at www.thebestkeptsecret.ca or enjoy more of her quirky humour at The Best Kept Secret Blog http://blog.thebestkeptsecret.ca/ .

Saturday, November 15, 2008

MidLife Mindset - You Always Have the Power!

I have been taking a much needed break from all my blogging at various web sites to work on my upcoming book on Women in MLC. Indeed, there is very little out there for women who are going through Mid-life Crisis...in fact, the age for the crisis keeps on dropping...but the textbook quality of what is happening is not changing...just what we are calling it. Most books on MLC skim over the pain, hurt, confusion and frustration...they expect every woman to be able to breeze through the change or just pick themselves up by the boot straps and move on. The women that can do this are NOT in crisis...they are merely in transition. Transitioning women have the needed coping skills, the needed support and a positive mindset to work through the changes that are occurring in their lives, while those who are in crisis become lost, confused and frustrated... they don't have the tools to fix or deal with what is going on....they need to go back and get or replenish their life's toolbox.

Hitting mid-life is not necessarily a criteria for falling into life crisis...it is very apparent in my research that our younger sisters and daughters are also having difficulty in finding the meaning to their lives. Thirty year olds are now having the Quarter-Life Crisis (QLC), the Twenty year olds are being lumped in with QLC's but I call them Bi-centennial-life Crisis (BLC)...if anyone knows the real name for this age...tell me...I can't find it. BUT...all of these women are struggling with their identities, their significance, what makes them excellent; worthy...they want to create meaning in their lives...find happiness and abundance. Why? The meaning of way we live our life in our society has changed over the years...what used to be taboo is no longer AND we live lives that are at a much faster pace with larger expectations attached. We are inundated with messages...definitions that do not correlate with the way we were raised or the way our parents were raised. In our day and time...just about anything goes...we consciously believe that we can live without boundaries and deal breakers BUT the fact that our family histories or legacies rule our days subconsciously, we tend become fragmented, unbalanced...confused. In the end, whatever your age, no matter what triggers or symptoms that you believe is causing the crisis...it all goes back to your perspective or your mindset...it is what you believe to be true about your life!

Knowledge, understanding, a positive mindset...an understanding about the way your brain works, along with a strong life strategy is the foundation and framework you need to live a life of significance, success and abundance. If you don't have these things in your toolbox...it is time to go back and get them. Only you can do this...it is hard work...it takes perseverance, strength and a willingness to go full out! If you are at the point that you will do anything and everything to be happy...then start with your inner being first...do NOT rely on others to steer your life's ship...YOU must be the master and commander of your life's direction. Destructive behaviors, such as affairs, addictions, divorce, over spending are NOT an option...the mess you will make with these behaviors will only destroy you in the end. Do you really need to have others tell you their stories of how these behaviors destroyed them? Only teenagers believe that they are invincible...you are long past this stage...let's start where you are! Discernment will be your best friend throughout this change...you will have to sift through all the information that is given you. Start using your brain first...your heart always follows...in fact...it is your brain that controls the heart...not the other way around. Wrap your mind around this understanding...if you can do this...you have made a grand step forward!

Please stay tuned because I will be posting articles and creating a new blog named " Mindset for Life. on this subject that will help you, but in the mean time, I highly recommend anyone wanting to get a head start, please purchase or download a copy of John Assaraf's book, "Having It All: Achieving Life's Goals and Dreams". The audio version is excellent because Mr. Assaraf reads the book himself and his passion and knowledge on the subject is electrifying. Mr. Assaraf is a highly successful business man and he applies his theories and strategies to every aspect of his life....you can too by listening, learning and doing the techniques outlined in his book! I have had great success and abundance in all aspects of my life since reading, learning and using the techniques that John Assaraf teaches.  Please take the time to go my video bar and watch Mr. Assaraf speak on "Having It All".  If you ever have the chance of  seeing John Assaraf in person...GO....you will glad that you did!

Finally, it really doesn't quite matter what your age is anymore...all human beings move or transition through the seasons of life...this we have no control over...BUT...we do have control of HOW we transition...we can either choose the transition, work and adjust to create positive change OR we can fall in to crisis, turn our lives upside down...destroy what is good and regret the bad and allow the change to eat us from the inside out. It IS your choice...which do you want...or should I say...which do you NEED?  

You have always had the power...the power is in positive mindset!






"Dorothy: Oh will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
The Scarecrow: Then why didn't you tell her before?
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: Because she wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.
The Tin Man: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I - I think that it - it wasn't enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em - and it's that - if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!"

Taken from Wikipedia on November 10, 2008. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz

Join us at Women in MLC: The Dorothy Syndrome at:

http://www.womenimlc.lefora.com/forum/

Friday, September 26, 2008

If Your Spouse is Cheating...It's All Your Fault!

The most popular topic on the Oprah.com lately has been about the two most recent visits by Dr. M. Gary Neuman, author of “Why Men Cheat”. Women by the millions tuned in both days to find out the answer to this most frustrating, devastating and destructive subject, only to find out that, in a nut shell, it was primarily their fault. Did you hear the deafening, angry screaming coming from all the homes of Oprah fans across the nation...probably across the world? Every married woman, whether they had been cheated on or not, leapt out of their seats screaming, “Are you kidding me? It's MY fault! Oh, no, it's NOT!

Dr. M. Gary Neuman has got it wrong about why men cheat and he'll have it wrong for women too!

It doesn't have anything to do with the marriage or the relationship or sex. It has nothing to do with being a man or a woman...it has everything to do with being a broken human being.

Yes, it's about attention...but NOT the fact that the spouse isn't meeting the needs of their partner in the attention category.

Yes, most marriages get consumed by the every day stresses of raising a family, working and taking care of their homes. Marriage is work...relationships have their ups and downs...life happens. Husbands and wives enter in to their marriages with expectations that are perpetuated by the media, entertainment and a society that is sexually over-stimulated with little moral fortitude. This is a broad cultural explanation and not addressing the root causes of why human beings cheat on their mates.

The reason men AND women cheat is their mindset is wrong. They are relying on others to define them, feed their egos and fill holes that have been left empty since childhood. It is a flaw or disconnect with the individual that is cheating. Cheating occurs due to an inability to cope with an individuals life in the present, as a result of what has occurred in their past. The spouse is paying the bill for all of the past sins, circumstances, relationships and experiences that is stuffed in the cheaters baggage.

My research has shown most women and men who cheat are control freaks or perfectionists; either first-born, babies or only children in their families. Yes, it's more emotional than physical BUT if asked, you will discover certain personality traits, unresolved childhood issues that relate to physical/emotional abuse, exposure to addiction, broken homes or that their parents were cheaters too. Cheaters may have learned by example OR they've never met anyone's expectations or even met their own. They search for someone who will except the fantasy person that they portray.

Most spouses are doing what Dr. Neuman suggests: encouraging, paying attention, having intimacy.

On the first show there was the couple who was having great sex, family life, but he was still cheating! Even this man was confused about why he was cheating. Why? It's because it was NOT about his marriage, family or job. It WAS about him! He was subconsciously sabotaging his marriage, family and life. One of the other couples sat there with same dazed “This is not it either.” look on their faces. In the second show most of the couples seemed to not to accept what Dr, Neuman was saying...that it was about the attention they received from the other woman and the fact that the wife was not fulfilling her duties in giving the proper attention to her husband. HOGWASH!


I was able to get my free download of Dr. M. Gary Neuman's book titled "The Truth About Cheating: Why Men Stray and How you Can Prevent It." that was offered following the first Oprah show that he appeared on. I have not read it yet and the above commentary is only on the Oprah shows that Dr. Neuman appeared and discussed why men cheat.

To be honest the audience was filled with uncomfortable and guilt ridden men and their wives that only wanted answers to why their husband cheated on them. To say that the women could not accept Dr. Neuman's explanation for why they cheat, would be an understatement. Most of the men sat taller in their seats as the doctor pointed the finger at the ladies, saying that they had to work harder at paying attention, having gratitude for what their husbands provided and did for them. Yet, when several women countered the good doctor on his direction by saying that this is a two way street with in the marriage AND that there is no excuse for cheating, especially in the case that a man's ego is not being fed. These women were angry and insisting, if not demanding that their husbands were not teenage boys with raging hormones, but mature adults that should be able to keep a moral code and ethic and not become weakened because their egos were not being stroked properly. Many women in the audience refused to accept the doctors theory and the commentary rages on in this vein after the show and on in the forums under this very same topic.

By the end of the show, the men were slouching in their seats again in a pool of their guilt, wondering why they did what they did, while their wives sat on the edges of their seats waiting to hear the correct answer or the real truth to 'Why men cheat?"

The solution to the cheating problem in both men and women has to come from the person who is cheating. Resolving childhood issues, finding their true north, practicing positive mindset which include affirmations, positive visualizations and healing their inner being, which will recalibrate a cheaters life. It is NOT about the wife and what she is or is not doing. It is NOT about the fact that the husband isn't getting enough sexual satisfaction. It is NOT about the marriage or the relationship. It is about the cheater sending out the vibration of a cheater, so they attract those who will help them cheat. It is about the emptiness that was there within the man or the woman even at the beginning of the marriage. The wife or husband has been able to fill the hole or feed the need until the cheater needs to up the ante, increase the dosage...get an attention fix. They choose to cheat! We are talking about a new type of addiction here...the addiction to people or attention...it is like a drug. Just like in other addictions the root lies in the past, in unresolved issues, low self-esteem, poor decisions and destructive behaviors. Does this sound familiar to anyone? It IS an addiction...not treated correctly...they will cheat again.

To blame the spouse for the cheaters actions is justification, rationalization and pointing blame in the wrong direction. The blame sits squarely on the cheater! It is up to the cheater to dig deep, work hard at resolving their problems and holding to their commitment to not choose to pick up their addiction again.

Dr.Neuman, you are wrong...wrong...wrong! Your explanation is only perpetuating this epidemic of cheating by pointing the finger of blame at the faithful partner. Shame on you!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cyber Hot Flash: Do Parents today still have a voice in what their teens wear?


On the subject of whether or not parents still have a voice in what our teens wear:

You better believe that we still have something to say about what they wear...in our home our daughters and son know that they represent the whole family when they are out in public. Though we do give them or allow them to choose what they wear within the guidelines...while living under our roof they will wear the clothes that we approve of...please see the following:

Now, let me say this...my husband is a card carrying Preppy Handbook sort of guy...my kids have been trained under these guidelines since they were in the womb. Some have tested or tried to cross the line on this hard and fast description of style or fashion. As much of what is in the Handbook is classic...it is hard to argue with and is never met with too much fuss...and many of the brands that teens want to wear are carrying variations of this style...yet, these brands tend to break the bank...we do find one's that fill-out their wardrobe and don't cost as much.

By the time they hit 18 years old and are able to dress themselves by their own choosing...surprisingly enough they have all decided that Dad's way is the best way...my 20 year old daughter owns her own Preppy Handbook now and her younger sisters are following suit...my son has been a different story since he is a skateboarder...but even this group of fashion icons have turned their fashion sense toward a more preppy look...thank goodness! I thought my husband would fall through the floor when my son asked for a pair of those over sized, baggy jeans that don't stay up on their hips...he didn't get them!

My hard and fast rules...no cleavage...you have no breasts until you are married...minimize the bare skin...a nun's habit or priest collar is preferred...no droopy draws or showing of underwear or thongs...where did you put those Grandma undies or the Superman boxers I bought you?...no looking like you shopped by going through the Salvation Army bin...Vintage is okay...bag lady is not...no looking like you slept in your clothes...I realize what you wear is a statement on your personality or your way of self-expression...but wrinkles scream Lazy. If in doubt, consult your father's Preppy Handbook, if you can find the questionable piece of apparel within it(more than likely, you won't) AND your father doesn't have a problem with it...then more than likely I won't. These are my only requirements.

So, I guess the answer to your question is...train them up in the way they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it...OR...”while your under our roof you're not leaving this house in anything that we don't approve of...so, march back up those stairs and put on that ski parka and snow suit we bought you from L. L. Bean..AND...I don't care that we live in the south and it's summer!”

On the topic of tattoos, piercings, lewd T-shirts and high heels:

OMG...I had totally forgotten about the rules on piercings, tattoos, high-heeled shoes and questionable language on t-shirts...

My kids hate my response to this these...

Piercings: Girls can have their ears pierced. Your father and I will pay for two extra holes to be placed on your ear lobes for YOU to take care of, otherwise God has given you enough of these to take care of in the first place...and we have been struggling with getting you to take care of these since you were born. Boy's...you don't need two more, let alone one more...stop trying to make your life so difficult...enjoy the one's you have....you already do!

Tattoos: God has already given you tattoos...they're called birthmarks and moles...(Teenage groan)...Okay, try this one! If God wanted you to be a billboard then He would have put The Message on the outside of you instead of on the inside of you....(teenage groan)...Okay, let's try this one...I didn't carry you for nine months, apply gallons of Baby Magic and soak you in Mr. Bubble and then later become a stockholder in Bath & Body Works for you to decide at 16 to send me roses, declare your love for me or express your free spirit with a butterfly in a place that only God and I should see until your wedding day.

Boys: Your not old enough to be a sailor yet.

T-shirts- Girls - Hanes extra-large, no scoop necks, colors okay...stop showing me that Victoria Secret Catalog....if in doubt wear a turtleneck.

Boys - Plain, white or colored, will consider Sponge Bob, but that stupid cartoon drive me nuts. Refer to your father's Preppy handbook on this one.

High heeled shoes: Girls - If your nose starts bleeding...your heels are too high.

Boys: Son, why are you trying to channel Gene Simmons? Do I have something to worry about here?

Comments from a mother of four teenagers and one tween...who has to keep her sense of humor or she would be sitting in the corner drooling.

Copyright 2008 Amy Harden

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Women at Mid-Life Dreaming of Divorce While Happily Married


"She's Happily Married, Dreaming of Divorce" http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/08/26/o.divorce.dreams/, an article by Ellen Tien, a columnist at the Oprah Magazine was recently brought to my attention and asked to comment on it. Eagerly I clicked the link and began reading, wondering why it had been sent to me in particular for comment. As I read through the paragraghs, I soon realized why my friend had sent me this diatribe on a woman who claimed to be happily married, but secretly dreamed of being divorced...it was a perfect word picture of the many women that I write about, coach and speak to at events. Most importantly Ms Tein seemed to be planting the seed in her female readers minds that these feelings, dreams and desires were alright AND that their complaints and discontent were something that all wives have in common...so why not dream of divorce...in a very subtle way she was giving women permission to even act on their divorce dreams...she said it without even saying it. The resulting disgruntled and mostly negative comments that followed seemed to bear my overall reaction to the article out. I was unable to add my comments to the long list due to the fact that CNN had suspended commentary...so, I bring my comments here to our lovely group, just in case you read this article in the May issue of "O" magazine or caught it on the web.

Yes, this IS a thoroughly depressing view of marriage...yet a real...true statement of where our view of marriage is and what it has become. Not only is this a depressing view of marriage...it is also a horrible statement on the role of women in the United States and maybe even the world today. I am not talking about our roles as wives and mothers...I am talking about our view of who we are as women in today's world.

Women today are so caught up with being DIVAS and bitches...being bulldogs instead of being women of excellence, significance and grace.... embaracing elegance. We have taken the power that we gained through equality and morphed it into something bigger than we can truly handle. We convince ourselves that the grass is really greener on the other side, while forgetting that all who risk checking out the greener grass discover that the grass is green no matter what side of the fence they are on...no matter whose backyard they are in...Green IS green...it's all grass!

Articles like this one are extremely harmful to women, their families and their marriages. It gives permission to many women who are on the fence...trying to decide if they should remain in their own backyard or explore others. It gives a woman the sense or a feeling that they are not alone in their questioning...in their discontent...it fans a fire that naturally comes around at mid-life...one that every one of our mother's had ...even our grandmothers...but society at the time did NOT give them permission to explore. This article and other books that are being written for women in MLC are encouraging them to throw their morals and ethics aside, grant themselves permission to step out of their responsibilities and roles and be mavericks...focusing purely on themselves, their wants , needs and desires. It is shallow! It IS narcissistic! But then that is what our society has been doing ever since the "ME generation" came in to existence....it's just a continuation of the thought pattern. It didn't really work then...it doesn't work now.

As usual, women of the United States easily eat up what ever the media or Oprah feeds them...convinced that this is the gospel truth. The fact that this article appears in Oprah's magazine MUST mean that she agrees with the author. it must be okay...Right?! NO!!! Not even Oprah expects everyone to accept what she feeds them...she does expect women and men to be discerning in what information she is providing. Not even Oprah agrees with all the people who are on her guest coach on certain subjects.

This is what is important about this article...indeed this is a problem that many women today are struggling with...in fact the majority of women at middle age deal with these very same questions, discontent and inability to cope with their lives as they know it. The problem with this article IS...the author infers that it is okay to feel this way AND she even plants the seed that it is okay to even act upon these thoughts. This is NOT okay. The "everybody else is doing it "bandwagon is in full tilt here. Who says this at 40, 50, and 60 years old? Women and men who have not matured enough to evaluate their circumstances clearly...measure their emotions and the possibilities of their actions if indeed they decide to act upon leaving their marriage...that's who says this sort of thing. A teenager throws this response at their parent when they have been caught drinking, smoking or having sex. Are we to accept that it is okay as mothers and wives...women...that because we are presently discontent it is okay to act like our children? How is that being a good role model?

Ladies, we do not have to accept every message that the media or people of other viewpoints are throwing at us. Just because we ALL feel discontent, boredom, empty, frustrated and confused about our lot in life does NOT mean that we throw away our marriages and our family as we know it today. We have the power to change it...we have to realize that the answers are living in our own backyards...the power lies with in US....not our husbands...our children...our homes.

Everything this author has pointed out in her story as a point of contention in this marriage is in this women's control...she has just chosen not to do something about it...she has chosen to be a victim of her own circumstances. As she points the blame at her husband and children, she is preparing her justifications for any actions or behaviors she might take in the future, no matter how right or wrong.

As women and even as men...we need to look at our hand when we are pointing blame and giving ourselves permission...one finger points at another person...all the rest are pointing back at ourselves...who's to blame? Who ends up being the victims in the end? Think about it!

Final words: We end up sacrificing our life legacy by selfishly seeking temporary pleasures or successes and being a part of a women's movement that is still trying to figure who they are in the grand scheme of things...we end up throwing our husbands and children under the bus....we end up only hurting ourselves.

(C)Amy L Harden 2008 All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Letter to Dorothy on The Yellow Brick Road

Letter was written on Facebook by Devon Capman

(To women of Menopause who feel they are over the rainbow in support of:
Author/Speaker/ Coach/Admitted Mid-life Crazy Amy L. Harden - Thank you Amy)

Dear Dorothy,
What a wonderful work you are doing there "over the rainbow". I hope the blue bird I acquired delivers this note properly in the right spirit, and your heart receives it in the light of those who love you at home.

While there is "no place like home", we are praying for your efforts there that you would save as many as you can, to help them get home too.
What a precious gift it is to reach out and help those who think they may need a brain, when all they actually need a little direction (and maybe some meds - lol) and a flow of encouraging words.

Having the heart to love the right things takes courage. It seems with all the elements involved that you are facing numerous adverse adventures and trials every moment you are there.

By all means "Do" pay attention to what is behind the curtain when the time comes and share with your travelers that they have most of what they need already, though it will be tested. That's where your character should shine and mature as you go through that valley of experience.

Be aware, of course, the wicked witch will use many a romantic “Munchkin” or mean and angry "Monkeys" to take advantage of your disorientation.

We, too, have learned to be so thankful, for everything we are hoping for in you, and miss you immensely. You are a very important part of us. Please remember this.

Don’t dance too much with the scare crow and forget your focus, but DO have some fun.
Don’t let the Tin man, in sharing his heartache, keep you from helping him, find his way. (Your purpose for being there)
Don’t let the Lion keep you from facing the witch and the trials and trouble she sends your way. You must defeat her with what you have, because it is your only hope of getting home.

Remember the witch is feels the pressure of the urgency of time as a heavy weight upon her so she will lie at every turn to keep you there. Your feet must stay on the proper path without straying. The flying monkeys are just there to scare you. Remember us back here praying for you and draw from that strength. This is why you need those slippers of His peace to lead you home. (let you feet be shod in the peace of the gospel... remember?)

Do hurry, we love you so. Rescue as many as you can, for there is no place like home. We feel empty and incomplete without you. Fight that good fight of faith.

Your loving family,
Uncle Henry, Kansas

PS The wizard apologizes for the mishap of leaving without you. He has helped us in understanding what trouble you are in. Looking for your safe arrival. Come home soon.
Also Hi from your Auntie Em, and Hunk, Zeke, Hickory, and Professor Marvel

Written by Devon Capman 8-4-2008
To women of Menopause who feel they are over the rainbow in support of:
Author/Speaker/ Coach/Admitted Mid-life Crazy Amy L. Harden

Postcard from The Yellow Brick Road

Dear Uncle Henry:

Never thought I would find myself in OZ again, but for some reason I have forgotten the lessons I learned a long time ago when I visited here when I was just a teen.

Now that I have become a mother,wife and career woman...I have become consumed by it. I no longer see the rainbows or the bluebirds...these things always made me happy. Hunk, Zeke, Hickory dismiss the way I am feeling with a simple, "It's just a phase or Come on, kid...just get over it!" This new Toto has become more of a problem than the old Toto was and Toto was the cause of my last trip to OZ, ya know. Maybe my problem is these dogs.

I don't know what this trip will entail, but I know that I will be looking up the Scarecrow, Tin man and Lion...maybe they can help me find my brain, heart and courage. Bumped into the Good Witch of North when I first arrived and she gave me the same pair shoes. Can't remember for the the life of me, why I needed those shoes...so, I am off to see the Wizard again...maybe he will be able to tell me how my life got to be such a mess or is it a mess?...I am so confused.

Got to go...those Flying Monkeys you mentioned in your letter are circling overhead, which means the Wicked Witch is nearby. Getting a bit "home"sick...but I just don't know what "home" is anymore.

Your Loving niece,

Dorothy


To everyone who is reading this:

Devon's writing here is absolutely wonderful...he has caught the concept of what I do, but before there is any misunderstanding...I want to clarify that I (Amy Harden) am not Dorothy...I once was a Dorothy, but I am no longer...I have been called by a higher power to lift women and men up and out of The Dorothy Syndrome. I am putting the finishing touches on a book dealing with this subject and coach women and men who are on the Yellow Brick Road who are dealing with Dorothy's in their lives. As I network across the internet at all the social networks for women, I don't believe I see many Dorothy's among the women blogging, connecting and creating business ; all of them are wearing their ruby slippers and clicking them on a daily basis. My mission is to help those women that they can't reach yet. Dorothy is not ready for positive, uplifting, motivated. These women can't even think straight, they are confused , frustrated, depressed: barely able to get out of the bed on a daily basis.

I try to prepare them for these empowered ladies...so they will receive their messages and help...not dismiss them as another "Rah!-Rah!" Mid-lifer. Please ladies don't take this as an insult...it really isn't...it is just the way it is...there are women out there that are ready to hear you and then there are others that hate you for being so positive about life,your journey and mission. They are envious and jealous sometimes...they want what you have...they just don't know how to get out of the bed, out of the monotony of their lives to get. It is a bare bones, baby step process...time is what they need and most when you tell them what they need to do...they don't believe you, let alone have the energy to do it....thus you have "The Dorothy Syndrome". So, I travel with these ladies and men, helping them avoid the Flying Monkeys, leading them through the woods and the Poppy Field...slaying the Wicked Witch, not depending on the Wiz for answers. When Dorothy realizes it is really all up to her...she is ready to listen to you and follow your direction. I promise!

Friday, August 1, 2008

NEW Women In MLC: The Dorothy Syndrome Forum

What the heck is the Dorothy Syndrome and what does it have to do with mid-life crisis?

Well, it has everything to do with MLC! The Dorothy Syndrome is a phrase that I coined and is the premise for my upcoming book titled "The Dorothy Syndrome: Mid-life on the Yellow Brick Road". While coaching at another web site forum, I started using the metaphors used in one of my favorite stories and movies..."The Wizard of OZ". I was astonished at how easily I could use the dialog from the movie or premise of the story to describe the transitions, emotions, the typical experiences that occur during an MLC, whether it be for the woman or the man. The forum members could easily understand the correlations and even began using the same analogies that I had started in my discussions.

As a preliminary promotion of my upcoming book I have created a forum for both women and men to come discuss, receive encouragement and guidance on MLC. I will be continuing my dialog using the Dorothy Syndrome metaphor/analogy. The forum for the women is primarily for women who are experiencing the crisis themselves, not necessarily for women who are dealing with their husbands who are in MLC, while the men's side is for husbands dealing with a wife in MLC. This forum is a safe haven for the women and learning ground for the men. It has been only recently that women in MLC has been acknowledge as a true experience that we go through. In fact the degree of MLC that women experience is STILL downplayed or brushed off as something that the woman will just get over or will end when they're finished going through menopause. Do not kid yourself...this is real...it can get very bad...it has many causes and triggers...it doesn't miraculously go away. Many families are being torn apart by this new phenomena....BUT...there is hope...in the knowledge and understanding of the what I call the MLC tornado, the process that each MLCer MUST go through to discover that they have always had the power to go "home".

Come join me at www.womeninmlc.lefora.com/forum/ and discover what you can do to avoid the pitfalls of having the Dorothy Syndrome or if you are living with a Dorothy...discover what you need to do to keep the Flying monkeys at bay. Even if you are not experiencing this phenomena...learn about the syndrome...keep your eye out for the signs...be amazed at how common it is today...send the link to a friend who may be in need of our counsel.

Believe me when I tell you...a person who is in MLC must travel the Yellow Brick Road to discover their brain, heart and courage...you can not tell them these things...they wouldn't believe you anyways.

Please join us!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Before the Tornado of MidLife Crisis Hits!


This is from the women's perspective only...what is going on in her brain and how her body reacts...it may be different for some and this occurs over time...not in a day:

When my children were young...two in diapers, one in pull-ups, one barely potty trained, one very clingy...my days were long and hard...one of my children or several of my children climbing on me, being carried, held, bottle fed...it seemed like all day long someone or something was touching me or wanted me to touch them. By the end of the day, I was exhausted...every tiny nerve under my skin was on hyper-drive...I could feel the electricity of it at times to the point of overload. Combine this with the emotions that you must feel and calibrate all day long...it was no wonder when my H came home and wanted a hug or God forbid wanted to intimate...his touch downright hurt or made the electric feeling underneath my skin streak through my body like electric shock. It was horrible. It was tiring...my H just didn't understand it. My sense of touch and being touched was way over stimulated....sexy this feeling did not make me. My only escape was sleep and even in sleep I could not be touched...forget sleeping like spoons, hugging, wrapped around one another...if my H touched me by accident while sleeping, I would bolt awake like I had hit by lightening.

As the years went by, this feeling changed...it turned in to numbness...my brain shut down when I was touched...in an effort to protect myself from the intense reactions...I started to not have any reaction to anything, physically or mentally...I flat lined...it was like my nervous system was broken from over use. I couldn't control it...my body was taking over just like when I was pregnant...you just have to go with it, you think. No matter how I tried I couldn't react...the fog...the numbness continued to set in...it was just like the main switch on my electrical board had switched in to the permanent "off" position...I just couldn't jump start myself and if I tried I immediately went in to overload again and I would crash in to numbness again. No matter how you look at it your whole body and emotions are out of whack...there is no escaping it and soon you grow tired of being tired and being in the "off" position...you feel like you are dieing a slow death from the inside out. You can't fight it anymore...you give in....OR maybe just maybe, if you could get away from what you believe is causing it. Yes, "flying" is a good answer...when you leave the house alone...the numbness slightly subsides...if you go to a room alone...the fog slightly lifts...when you are with others that don't expect anything from you or know nothing about you...you can be the person you dream of being without the fog, the numbness...most of all you can "breath". That is really all you want at this point...is to "breath"....to stand still for a very long time, doing nothing and just breathing. In doing this you can convince yourself that you are still alive... you are not lost...you are in here in each moment...not moving forward or backward...you just ARE!

BUT...this is not reality...life bombards you...as hard as you try to stand and just "be"...you feel attacked from all sides...draining the itty-bitty drops of strength or energy you regained while you had removed yourself from what you believe is sucking you drier than a desert. Leaving for short periods of time or escaping to your bedroom with door closed doesn't cut it anymore...you remove yourself completely! You make the decision to leave or you start evaluating who or what is the primary thing or person that causing you to feel like you do. Even though the kids do add to your present state...life is much easier when your H is not present...with his presence gone, maybe you could regain your life and he can take care of himself...he's an adult.

All you want is the numbness to go away...the fog to lift...you grow desperate...you have to do something or die!

Stay tuned...more to come...

If you are experiencing or anything you have read sounds familiar to you and you have a sneaking suspicion that you may be in Mid Life Crisis (MLC), please feel free to contact me here at my blog. I would be more than happy to direct you to the best places to receive encouragement or even take you on as a coaching client.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

OMG...Botox Will Suck Out Your Brain Cells Too!


Botox rat study shows toxins migrate to the brain
By Simon Pitman

"04/04/2008- A new scientific study on rats suggests that the anti-wrinkle treatment Botox may be able to move from the skin into the brain, degrading proteins and acting on nerves
."

Botox...no, thank you...I am not putting poison in to my face to get rid of my wrinkles. Not only does Priscilla Presley look bad...look at Joan Rivers...Cher looks like she is wearing a mask now too! What's up with all those puffy, "I'm having an allergic reaction" lips, anyways?

Forget about the way it makes you look...now you're telling me that it is going to effect my brain...Good heavens...my children have already sucked half my brain cells out of my head...now if I try Botox...the remaining cells will be damaged too. If I'm going to be sitting here hunched over and drooling with no brain cells left...
NAH!I don't think so...by God...I better be looking great!...but what's the point of looking great and not being able to have facial expressions or enough brain matter to even coax a smile?

Luckily, I have been blessed so far with oily skin...too much oil really...but long ago I was told to "Embrace the oil, my dear...it is a blessing, not a curse."

My anti-aging mantra: "Ohm! Embrace the oil, Amy, Embrace the oil."

Then, exfoliate, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize...eat well (low-carb diet optimal), facial and neck exercises, along with full body exercise, increased water intake, limited drinking of alcohol and caffeine, limited sun exposure and making sure I get anti-oxidant supplements through vitamins and drinking 2 oz. minimum of MonaVie daily. A good facial every two months or so by a professional also doesn't hurt. Detox is probably the best thing you can do for your skin....eat L Active cheese and yogurt...keep your lower tract clean and moving. Try The Perricone Prescription...it does work. His products are very expensive, but worth a try. Your choice of make-up and skin regimen is primary...don't cut corners with cheap make-up and products...but at the same time you don't have to break the bank to get what you need. I have been using the "Boots - Botanical" line from Target with great results. Natural and minimal will go a long way.

Oh, I forgot…one very important thing to do…Laugh…laugh a lot! A rich, warm, hearty laugh and smile will do the trick every time…it’s part of the beauty plan that works from the inside out.

Sounds like a lot of work….but I can still smile, my forehead still moves and my eyes don’t have that continual surprised look about them.

Holistic and natural is the way to go…and then you just have to embrace the wrinkles when they have won…in the end you have probably earned every single one of them.
*Please see my Top Picks for Today for links to the books and products I
recommend.
**If you would like more information on MonaVie, please go to the following link:




Tuesday, April 22, 2008

MidLife Crazies

What Does Red Lights, Sexy Clothing and Disrespectful Kids have in Common?

Recently, I asked a group of women what three things drive them absolutely crazy?
A member wrote::

“Women who are in their 40s who dress like they are 18. You can dress stylish without showing all. I bowl with one lady who is always cold. I told my husband if she would not wear jeans with holes as big as she was, and “trying” to dress so sexy, she would not be cold in the bowling alley.

Kids who are rude, thinking they are the only person on the planet. Do they act this way in front of their parents? They have no respect for older people.

People who have to be the first person at the red light. I worked with a lady many years ago and she admitted that during PMS days, she would KILL to be first at the red light. Haha! If you want to drive crazy, become a race car driver. "

I agree with her about the lady’s who dip into their teenage daughter's closet to pull together their wardrobe. Sexy doesn’t have to mean scantily clad...in fact, I wrote an article a few years ago where I interviewed several men where the majority told me that this was indeed true. Men preferred a woman who was dressed in clothing that left a bit of mystery, feminine, not over done...classy. But why do these women chose to let God and everyone see what they have been blessed with?

Women who dress too young for their age are possibly displaying one of the many signs or clues that she is going through a Mid-life Crisis...especially if her dress prior to her turning 40 or the MLC was more covered up, classy or suitable. If she has always dressed like this...then you can just write it off to ignorance, bad taste or her need to be the center of male attention for all the wrong reasons...feel sorry for this gal...she is probably dealing with a lot more deep down underneath than what little she is wearing AND there is probably a lot more holes she needs to fill other than the ones that in her jeans.

As for kids who are rude and disrespectful... the fact is that as parents we are left with little to do to discipline our children nowadays...sitting in time out or "the naughty spot" just doesn't seem to cut it after a child turns 13 years old. By the time a child has reached this age think of all the many televisions shows and cartoons that they have watched with sassy mouthed, disrespectful children in them. Our young ones tend to mimic these children and we tend to perpetuate it by thinking it is cute...then we wonder why they talk to us like this when they get older....Well, we have taught them to talk to us this way and not nipped the disrespectful tones and quips in the bud long ago when they first started using it to get attention or get a laugh out us.

I also believe the fact that as a nation we no longer live in multi-generational homes and many families are broken due to divorce or they are scattered across the country. When families were made up of children, parents and grandparents all with in the same house or within the same vicinity of each other...children were taught by their elders to respect them. Also, we no longer allow others, whether it is our neighbors or friends, to insist that our children be respectful, let alone discipline them. Back when I was growing up, it was an unspoken rule in our neighborhood that any mother on the block had the right to discipline any child, if they were caught being disrespectful or doing bad things. Today, you run the risk of a huge confrontation which may even include a lawsuit or the police being called. (This did happen to one of my friends) Many of our children are not held accountable for their actions within the home and definitely, not outside of the home.

I have told my children that if they are out of line that anyone can call them on their misbehavior. Also, they had better give me something to stand-on if they want me to go to bat for them if they believe they have been unjustly accused. I will not lie or defend them if indeed they have been disrespectful or done wrong. I have been amazed by how many mothers AND fathers will defend their kid to the death, even when the kid is so openly wrong. This is a disservice to the child and to all the rest of us who have to deal with kid in the future.

As for being the first person at the red light…being number one has been the chant of our nation for many years now. It is in our blood…it’s the reason behind why we get out of bed each day. We are striving for bigger, better…the best. What makes anyone think that this attitude hasn’t finally sunk all the way down to the most inconsequential things in life…like being first at the red light? Anyways, why let it bother you? By all means, let the speed demon, overly competitive nut-job have the first position at the white line or do you not like the fact that person just got the number one position?

So, what is the common thread in these three things? Well, it is the fact that we no longer know how to deal with the changes in our more open and passive/aggressive society. We act out, give in and do anything to be number one…even in the smallest of circumstances….it can just about drive a person crazy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

CYBERHOTFLASH: American Idol Not Only Gives Back They Stick IT to Michael Johns

No Second Chances For Michael Johns

Not only was last night's American Idol Results show a shocker...I was highly disppointed with the way the American Idol people handled giving the news to Michael Johns...it was downright mean!

Last year they gave the lowest voted contestant a reprieve by letting them stay on for another week, combining the scores and then cutting two contestants...this is year...NOPE...Michael Johns was out!

Ryan Seacrest even lead this poor guy, the other contestants AND the audience to believe he would get the same chance as Chris Richardson and Jordin Sparks the year before...but this year the powers that be at AI were not going to be as forgiving or giving...Michael Johns was out!

I found myself screaming at the TV "NO WAY! NO WAY! HOW MEAN CAN YOU GET?!!"

This act alone made me want to go back and retrieve all the many downloads I purchased at iTunes and the donation I had made the night before at American Idol Gives Back...but the money I donated is going to the greater good and I will not forsake all the many children and families that need the money just because AI muckety- mucks made a poor decision in this year's follow-up results show.

This has put a very bad taste in my mouth about AI. I am thinking twice about watching this show for another season. There are contestants in the remaining group that should have left several shows ago...Michael Johns may have gotten the lowest votes, BUT in light of last year's Give Back follow-on show...Mr. John's was ripped off!

Makes me wonder, if last year there was an end to their means, when Jordin Sparks and Chris Richardson were kept on...I mean Jordin did end up winning the contest in the end...not that she didn't deserve it...BUT...it does make you wonder..doesn't it?
There is no two ways about this thing...Michael John's got screwed!
Message to Michael John"s: Take heart, my friend! This was probably a blessing in disguise...go the way of other contestants that were voted out to early...rise up from the ashes and show them what everyone in America already knows....YOU ARE A SUPER STAR!!!
POST SCRIPT: I believe in the end I am not as upset about Michael John's being eliminated...I mean this happened fair and square...he didn't get the votes from America that he needed to stay on....the thing I am having trouble with IS...how American Idol went about it this year. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief...just not cool!


Photos courtesy of the American Idol.com

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Glamour Shots and the MidLife Crazies

Recently my Stumble Upon blog was reviewed by a young man of 32 years who must have issues with either his wife, his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend or mother.


Out of no where...this guy not only slams my picture that I use for an avatar..tagging it as a "glamour shot" and searches through all my blog posts to find the one misspelling I had...to then tell me that I shouldn't criticize other people's copy, if I can't even spell correctly.

Okay...so first, I am hurt overall that I have received a red thumbs down in amongst all the other green thumbs up that I have received in the short time that I have been stumbling.


Second....Glamour Shot...who the heck does this guy think he is criticizing my picture...Glamour Shot ... indeed! Oh, wait...it is sort of a "glamour shot"....but heck...I had this picture taken back on my birthday to celebrate the fact that for a 50-year old wife and mother of five children...I still could rock with the best of them...if Christie Brinkley can do it...well, by gosh, so can I!


This gentleman...and I use this term loosely...sent me flying off into a mid-life crazies moment...
I mean...I still look pretty darn good for not having more than six hours of sleep a day in 20 odd years; my butt being perpetually flat from driving my kids here and yon; a small muffin top that the fitness instructor at the YMCA told me I'd never lose because of bearing five children, along with rapidly greying hair that my genius of a hairstylist has hidden with lovely blond highlights (I am really a brunette) and that my genes have blessed me with oily skin, which a Mary Kay lady long ago told me in a honey-sweet southern drawl: "Hon...your oily skin is a blessing not a curse...it's God's natural retinol...embrace the oil."


Yeah...right! Still...I am "embracing the oil"!

I have to admit this guy hit me in two of my sore spots; copy editing and where I am on this journey in my second adulthood.

I am a fanatic about copy editing and misspellings...I wear out my spell checker and my dictionary is dogeared. How could I have missed that "alot" is not spelled "allott"...oh, wait...my spellchecker told me that I had misspelled it. (Actually, the Blogger spell checker says that both of these words are spelled wrong.)

Lesson learned...don't trust your spell checker...look it up instead...Webster's isn't out of business yet!

But let's get back to the "Glamour Shots" issue...Why do woman feel the need or want to go and have their pictures taken like this...AND...why do you suppose that a person would not like seeing pictures in this style?

IMHO, I believe that women of all ages want to capture their elegance and beauty for one brief shining moment on film...especially if they spend most of their days running around with their hair barely combed; lucky to have their face washed and the scent of the day is eau de "Soft-n-Dri" and the uniform of the day is the newest line of women's sweats and athletic shoes from our boutique of choice...Targ`et.

Women always justify a "Glamour Shot" with..."I'm having my picture taken for my husband...it's our anniversary (his birthday, Father's day, Christmas, Valentine's Day)...ya know...he's always wanted pictures like this"...Wink, wink.

If you believe this statement, well...I own some land in Florida you might want to look at....

The main reason we get these pictures taken is to prove to ourselves that indeed we are beautiful...that our lives haven't sucked us totally dry...there is still hope...all is NOT lost AND if it is...then by God, at least we had our picture taken when we could still put the glamour in to the shot.

Let's admit it ladies...we have "Glamour Shots" taken for ourselves! WE want them...we want to look at them...we want to keep them for posterity's sake. They allow us to step out of the box. They are a reminder that we are still beautiful, alluring, sexy...we are not trapped in our wife, mommy, sister, daughter roles....we discover our power...we are women first!

We make an elegant statement!

We don't care what people think....which brings me back to our Glamour Shot critic....

You know what...I don't really care what he thinks about my picture...I didn't have it taken for him....I did have it taken for my hubby...but most of all for me. The time was right...I seized the day...and there I am in all my glory...a lot is being said in that one picture.


FYI: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary On-line: For the definition and usage of the term "alot" please go to the following link:


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alot

Photos courtesy of Kaiser Custom Images: http://www.kaisercustomimages.com/

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CYBERHOTFLASH: ashes and snow

Check out this web site...

"ashes and snow" is by far the best internet experience I have come across in a very long time.

This is the internet at its very best!

You will be drawn in by the beauty of the photography, gentle tone of the spoken word...the serene melody that runs through the background like a calming stream of ideas, thoughts, emotions.

It IS a meditation through pictures, words and music.

Discover the beauty...the emotion...the serenity of ashes and snow.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

CyberHotFlash: A Delicious Contest LIVE from Maine

The Maine Lobster Giveaway at the Fresh Maine Lobster web site is a treat that is hard to resist. Check out this new web site and enter to the win a prize worth $100 and receive a LobsterGram Gift Certificate. It is easy to do...just comment on the blog entry, share the link with friends...sit back and digg through the web site.

You will find everything you ever wanted to know about Fresh Maine Lobster: cooking tips, lobster history, recipes and the ultimate information for every lobster lover...the LobsterFest.

Even if you don't win the Lobster Giveaway...you have a discovered a direct source on learning about and ordering Fresh Maine Lobster.

Remember CyberHotFlashers...seafood of any kind is a wonderful source of Omega-3's...we can eat these tantalizing red delicacies without too much worry that it will make our "muffin tops" expand....just don't over due the butter. This is a wonderful treat for we can give ourselves every once and awhile...consider it as a celebration ...a feast we definitely deserve.

Now...go enter this giveaway, while I start boiling the water and melting the butter. Don't forget your lobster bib!

http://www.freshmainelobster.com/the-maine-lobster-giveaway/

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Am I Becoming Too Cynical or Bitter?

See the woman to the right....this is the woman that I fear I am becoming...OMG...please don't let this be!!



Since turning 50 years old, I have become more opinionated, less patient, frustrated with the world-at-large....everything seems to rub me the wrong way or will get a rise out of me...and don't forget to add in the new experience of having hot flashes at the most inconvenient of times. Coming of age, yet again, has been just as trying for me as embarking on my teenage years back in the 70's. I struggled then, as I struggle now with all the many changes in my body, in my mind and in the world that revolves around me!



Oprah wants me to find my purpose, while "giving BIG"; The Secret wants me to have a vision and reach for the stars; along with all the many second adulthood books for women out there who want me to jump out of airplanes, climb Mount Everest or give up my career and pursue the one dream I have always held near and dear to my heart....this usually involves wine tasting in France or Napa or renovating an old Victorian home as a Bed and Breakfast. I am supposed to do this while doing Pilate's or yoga fives days out of the week, watching my carbs and eating Omega-3/Antioxidant filled meals, plying my face and body with over priced natural creams and exlirs...ensuring I get eight hours of sleep...all in the pursuit of making sure that my eyes won't puff, my rear end won't drag and my muffin top (a residual from bearing my five children) will not hang over the top of the low-rise jeans that I am forced to purchase because no one carries a jean that covers a muffin top any more that doesn't look like pants that my 80 year old mother would wear.(WHEW!)!



Don't even get me started on plastic surgery, Botox and boob-jobs! My boobs are just fine, thank you very much!!



Do most people really have the extra pocket change to invest in all of this junk? Even though I do have extra money, these things are not what I want my money going toward just because the new way of keeping up with the Jone's is not only having the $800,000 and up custom built home, but being custom built ourselves...this is what will get us through the second half of our lives...Yes, indeed. It is all so temporary...all so material....superficial.!



Somehow I believe we are missing something here. In our effort to find our purpose and discover "the secret", we have raised the bar on ourselves yet again. We no longer view life experience and growth, knowledge and understanding as a priceless commodity...age and wisdom are dismissed. We will risk anything and everything to have what Mr and Mrs. Jones2008 has gotten for themselves. (Here's a Secret: Mr. and Mrs. Jones is in just as much debt, having the same trouble with their kids, is just as unhappy, if not more than most folks in the neighborhood...don't let Mr. Jones's sport car in the drive or Mrs. Jone's botox filled forehead & boob job fool ya!)!



We wrap our lives around celebrity, wanting to look, act and live like people we are not. Women have lost their elegance trying to look like they've walked out of the pages of a magazine, while men fear that being of noble character will some how offend the many women AND men in their lives...in the end men have been put in the position of being doormats.!



Simplicity is no longer simple...there is even a proper media dictated method of going about this also. Even in today's society trying to keep your life easy going, calm, uncomplicated...simple is work.
!


Now I ask you my friends...if all this be true...is there any wonder on most days that I worry that I will one day end up looking like the lady above? Maybe a good airplane jump or a trek up a mountain would do me some good....maybe a pinch of Botox in the corners of my mouth to force a smile.............NAH!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The ABC's of Empowered Living

Check out this list or ABC's of Positive Approaches to Living an Empowered Life...it is just one of the many things I have "Stumbled upon"..... Og Mandino Quotes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Making or Breaking the Grade

Today's Cyber Hot Flash: Are our children being prepared to compete on an international level?

According to a story on Good Morning America highlighting an upcoming film documentary on the education system in the United States....it is a resounding NO!

In the story they compared the educational systems of China and India to ours...US schools just aren't competitve enough. Students in China and India will not move forward in to Junior and Senior High School unless they succesfully test or meet the high standards of these advanced schools...thus leaving them without a complete education and forever restricting them to a certain part of their societies and cultures.

This is not only true in China and India...but I learned this first hand when I was stationed in Japan back in the 1980's. Getting into Senior High School in the Japanese society is not a given...you MUST test in with high scores or you are left behind, with no hope of ever going on to college....your life is determined at the young age of 15-16 years old. Many Japanese will enter in to the military...it is here that they will learn a trade...AND...college is still not a future option.

I am unsure if this still remains true in Japan...but I believe that probably things have not changed that much in 20 years....change comes much more slowly there. If anything I am sure the standard has probaly been raised much higher than when I was living in this awesome country. The competition was extremely high even then.

Should we be concerned about our students ability to compete on an international scale?....You bet ya! Our educational standard affords the opportunity for all children to go to high school even if they are bearly making the grade...in fact, they are required by law in most states to attend school until they are 18 years old. Some even fail and fail and fail until they reach the cut-off age...then leave or even choose to drop out OR they choose to just get by knowing that some college will probably take them on. This is not so in Japan, China or India...college students are their stellar students...they have earned there place through intense study, high scoring tests and diligence. They have proven themselves over and over again...the the tests and standards weeds the other students out.

Now, I am not saying we don't have these types of super achieving students here in the US....but I do believe that our educational standards are not as high as many of the emerging international cultures/societies. Our educational systems are not necessarily in the business of weeding out the good students from the bad....they want everyone to be given an education no matter what their ability levels.

One important fact that must be brought out here is that these countries school year is much longer than ours. Japanese students go to school year round with only August off...BUT...this time is not necessarily for going to the beach or hanging out with friends...these kids are required to do research papers or projects in all of their classes during this August break....they are due on the day that they return. I'm not talking about a 'What I did during my summer vacation "essay....I am talking about full fledged research papers with in-depth projects in about six subjects!

I wonder what our kids would do if they had to do this type of thing over summer break...Hmmmm?....Would be interesting to find out...wouldn't it?

In any case....this GMA story was very interesting. Please check it out at the following link...come back and comment.

In my humble opinion...this is not new....we are more than 20-years behind the curve on this one!

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4316090&affil=wrtv


Monday, February 18, 2008

The View: Too Much Talk...About Talking to Your Kids

Today's President's Day topic on The View was all about a new book Elisabeth found...in fact she has read it to the point of being "dog-earred". I have tried to find the title and author at the web site...but much to my dismay was unable to get this information for this blog post. (I will further research it and get back later) Needless to say, the discussion was on disciplining children in today's modern society. Let's talk to them and then have them perform acts of random kindness to make up for their offenses...how politically correct is that?!!
Elisabeth, who I normally tend to agree with on most days of the week, was going on and on about how this author doesn't believe that children should be made to apologize for inappropriate acts towards others. Instead, a mother or adult should encourage the offending child to commit an act of kindness toward the offended. For example: child says something nasty to another child and the other child's feelings are hurt...an adult observing this should NOT make the child who made the offending comment apologize for what was said (children don't understand this concept), they should instead go give the offended child a ball or toy that would make that child happy. SAY WHAT? What does this teach either child?
Mother/Adult: "Now, Johnnie that wasn't nice...go give Sally
this toy...it will make her happy!"
Child: "Why would I want to give Sally this toy...she
just pushed me down behind the slide and then stuck her tongue out at me...yeah
right , Ma...you go give Sally a toy."
Break away to the long shot of the whole View cast....Whoopi is sitting there in stunned amazement with the biggest "Say what?!" expression on her face....along with every other mother who was raised in her generation. Whoopi finally speaks up after letting Sherri, Elisabeth and the clueless, Joy have gone on and on about not making a child apologize for an offensive act . Whoopi states that she never allowed her daughter to act in this way...she nipped it in the bud immediately and not necessarily by talking to her child. She would perform the same mean act upon the child, thus demonstrating or allowing the child to feel what the other child had felt...followed by a firm reprimand telling the kid that the behavior was unacceptable. Whoopi even tells a story about how her mother would have handled a situation: if a kid pulled the tail on a cat or dog...her mother would have come up and pulled her hair to let her see how it felt. Joy immediately comments how this indeed would probably teach empathy...yeah! Joy...you actually got something right.
But in the end ALL of The View cast missed the point....Whoopi was the closest to the right anwser....
We as a society do not set boundaries and dealbreakers for our kids. We have proven for years, since the infamous theories of Dr. Spock of Baby & Childcare fame, that talking at children without reprimand or consequences has failed miserably in the raising of our children. If our children do not have boundaries laid down early on...insisting that they apologize for their mean acts and words...these children will not learn how to measure their words and tame their tongues...even their actions towards others. They will blurt out whatever they feel and follow it up with a kindness to buy the offended persons forgiveness...or even physically harm someone thinking that all will be well when they do their community service act toward that person or society.
Elisabeth throw that book away...you will be sorry that you followed this advice.....set boundaries and dealbreakers with your kids....make them apologize for their words and actions, even if they don't understand now...they will learn after awhile because you have pointed out their wrong and made them atone for it by apologizing. Soon you will find that your children will measure their words...learn self-control in their acts...learn to walk away from another who is hurting them with out confrontation, instead of performing senseless acts of kindness for someone who is too young to get it anyways or may be just as guilty of being mean as your child.





Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Small Pearls of Wisdom: Positive Attraction/Intention

I have been trying to work out my brand, writing a book, writing a column at Fabulously40, encouraging men and women at Path Partners, trying to get my own web site created and running.

In much of this effort of trying to fulfill my goals, reaching and hoping for the vision I had placed on my Vision Board over a year ago...I have slowly come to realize that none of this happens as quickly as one might think that it will...this is yet another 'secret' to the "The Secret".
On a daily basis I still struggle with 'reclaiming my womanhood"...my family and children eat up my time...I am constantly putting out fires. paying bills, contacting the workman that didn't quite do his job to the best of his ability, not seeing the nuance in the school's rules and regulations on attendance and tardiness...realizing that after all this time I should have been making carbon-copies of the notes I write to my kid's school. I find it hard on some days to utilize the power of positive attraction...when being bombarded by the negative forces of daily life.
And then, I realize this thing called life is really truly work .
I may struggle at it every day...it may be weighing me down at times...but in the end it MUST be done.
A lovely lady that I know through Facebook sent me this today:
"You must avoid breaking when things don't go your way.You'll always be secure to the degree that you accept change.True security comes from being able to bend your insecurities.Recognize and accept that change will inevitably take place.You'll become secure, not by standing still, but by growing,moving, and staying energized.Be secure in the knowledge that you can deal with anythingthat happens to you.Have the courage to bet on your ideas.Take some calculated risks and act on your dreams.There is no permanent security on this earth, there is only opportunity." JoAnn Donahue
I think in this moment of being burned out by the fires of my daily life, I will flood my thoughts with the wisdom of the hope that is held within these words from this extremely positive ray of sunshine.
Thank you, JoAnn.
I hope that maybe someone out in cyber-space receives this cyber hot flash and it moves them through yet another day...filling it with positive attraction and blessings.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

USA Today- Middle-Age Article No New News

"USA Today - "Middle-Age is truly depressing, study finds"

Duh! Okay...tell us something we don't already know and then don't tell us why this is the trend! Skim the surface of the subject and then have every news outlet from ABC's Good Morning America to the Evening News trot out all the middle aged Pollyanna's that have reached or are in Mid-Life "Nirvana". Give me a break!

I guess we will have to wait for the report to come out in the journal of Social Science and Medicine...but even then I am wondering if this research was too broad, not taking in to consideration cultural factors and various other indicators, let alone that they grouped men and women together...or did they?....they didn't tell us...now did they.

Let's just take the fact that the research study included people in 80 different countries, from Albania to Zimbabwe. WHAT?!!! I can't relate to this! Where does the U.S. fall in between these countries? Then they tell us that only 72 countries showed this "U-shaped pattern". Which countries showed this and did the U.S. fall into this grouping? What countries didn't have a "U-shaped pattern"? I don't know...do you?!

But we are supposed to remain calm...relax...accept what this study is showing...read the story...watch the news...take a collective sigh of relief as we realize that everyone who is entering into their 40s are depressed...it is out of their hands...just go with it....take your anti-depressant...it will all be over by your 50Th birthday! YEAH...RIGHT!

Excuse me, while I get into a lotus position...repeat my mantra and become one with the universe...

Who are these people kidding? Mid-Life is much more complex than this study is revealing...at least at this point.

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