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How to Connect Spiritually: Episode 133

connect spirituallyToday I wanted to give you things I do to connect spiritually

You might not affiliate yourself with any one religion.  Or you might consider yourself to be “spiritual”.

This episode is not trying to convert you, just to spark your creativity on how you can connect more to your spiritual side.

If you listen to the show you know that I’m a follower of Christ, but I wasn’t always.  And even today, I’m considered a bit unorthodox by many of my Christian friends.

Much of what I believe today is influenced by what I was taught as a child, which doesn’t necessarily match what others think.

This might be you.

So today I’m going to tell you what I personally do to connect spiritually.  You can take some of it for yourself or leave it.  That’s up to you.

Connect with Nature:

First let’s talk about something that anyone can do, and that is connect with nature.

When I’m feeling disconnected, frustrated, or basically just un-spiritual, I tend to want to go outside.  I like going outside and standing in the daylight.  I go to my milkweed plants and search for monarch caterpillars.

Just being outside, soaking up the sunshine makes me feel more connected to God and more spiritual.

I know I’m lucky where I live, because not only is it sunny most of the year, but also I look out on “open space” in my backyard.  What that means is that no one can build on the land behind me as it’s set aside for wildlife.  That set aside is only for 400 feet, but right now I have a whole mountain behind me.

When I go outside in addition to the sunshine, I listen to the birds.  They are singing whether it’s cloudy or sunny.  And it’s something about the singing of the birds that calms me down and I

connect spiritually to God.  I don’t even have to talk with God, I’m just there.

And wherever I go, I listen for the birds.  Even in urban areas, there are usually a few around, chirping.  And if we listen carefully we can hear them.  Even crows cawing can soothe your spirit sometimes.

Listening for wildlife around us can bring us a spiritual connection that we don’t have in our urban busy lives.

You know what’s interesting, is that I have been training myself to listen for the last couple of years.  It’s difficult for me because I consider myself to be hard of hearing.  It’s usually when I’m in a crowded room, the talking all runs together and I cannot make out individual conversations.  So it’s hard for me to be in big groups of people.

But, since I’ve been training myself to listen, I can actually now hear the sounds of my worms eating.  Sounds gross right?

But I have a worm farm in my backyard.  I started it when I first started growing organic vegetables and didn’t want to put chemicals in my garden.  Now I just grow milkweed for the monarch butterfly caterpillars to eat.  But I kept the worm farm.  There’s something about watching them take food and turn it into compost that relaxes me.  And now at night when I go out to feed them, I can hear them eating.

Yesterday I was outside and I could hear the flutter of the butterflies wings when it flew by me.  There was a time that I would never have heard any of that.

And all of this listening is bringing me closer to God.

Perhaps if you listen more to nature it will open your spirituality as well.

Color Meditate/ Mind Mapping

 

I attend church almost every week, and I create drawings of the word that the pastor says.  Sometimes I’ve found that by drawing out the words it helps me concentrate, and then I remember what is being said.

Even though my pastor is a great public speaker, is funny, and connects with his small audience of about 150 people, I have a difficult time concentrating, and even staying awake during the sermons.

I’m not sure if it’s because during the week I’m so busy, and on Sundays, I tend to decompress.  After church, I often will take a 2-3 hour nap.

I guess this is why we are supposed to rest on the Sabbath day!  (But we Christians actually don’t keep a Sabbath, we have what I believe is called The Lords Day, which is on Sundays not Saturdays”.

Anyway, back to the drawings.

I call it “mind mapping”.  My husband videotaped me drawing during a service, and I’ll link to it in the show notes so you can watch if you’re interested.

I start with a blank sheet of paper and put the date on the upper right-hand side then I take the name of the sermon and write it in the middle of the page.

Then I will draw a box or a cloud around the name of the sermon, and that’s my starting place.

And then when the pastor says something that sticks in my mind, I’ll write it on the page.  I’ll draw a bubble or something around it.

This continues until my page is full and that signifies the end of the sermon.

But then I’m not done.  I take it home and put it in a book.

At some point, I’ll start to color meditate.  This means I pull the sheet out, and I start to color each individual bubble with different colors.  As I color, I meditate on what was said, and how I can change my life to match what was said.

This act of coloring gives me a chance to connect spiritually with the message. I remember what was said, and then contemplate whether I made any changes and what I should do.

When I’m finished I have a little piece of art that helps me remember my faith.

This is an unorthodox way I connect spirituality, and it’s often one of the quick goals that I give myself when I’m writing in my 30 Day Baby Boomer Journal.

Talk to God while I’m driving:

Another thing I do to connect spiritually is talking to God while I’m driving.  I often have a drive time of 20-30 minutes and I find that talking to God about what is going on in my life helps me clear my head.  It helps me to focus on what I am doing well in my life, and what I should be changing to make the world a better place.

This can be called praying, but it’s really a conversation and don’t think it’s one-sided either, as many times I’ve received guidance from these seemingly one-sided conversations.

Another thing I do is try to list the things I’m grateful for.  This can be difficult because many things I take for granted, but I keep trying.

This area of gratitude…it can be difficult.  I try to go through the alphabet.  On the first day I’ll think of something I’m grateful for that starts with the letter A.  The second day it’s the letter B and so forth.

If you are having trouble coming up with something, try that.  I stole it from a visiting pastor at our church, and now you can steal it from me.

And this kind of stealing won’t get you into trouble!

Attend Church

Our path to find the church that worked for both of us was a long one.  First of all, we weren’t the perfect Christian couple, and so it was hard for us to start attending.

I started by listening to a show that wasn’t exactly a church show but started me on my path.  That show was called The Jesus Show, out of KFI in Los Angeles.  Its producer takes on the persona of Jesus and answers questions the way he thinks Jesus would.  It piqued my interest enough to make me want to learn more.

That’s when we started trying to find a church that fit both our needs.  It was hard.

But after several years of church hopping, we finally found our perfect church.

For us, that meant a pastor that we could relate to.

It meant music that wasn’t too loud.

I didn’t want a rock band.  I wanted to hear the words.

Additionally, we fell in love with the people.  They were warm and friendly.  I imagine that this was how the people were back when the church started.

But… just because I like the church doesn’t mean that I always feel like attending.  In fact, I hope my pastor doesn’t hear this, but I almost never want to go.  For me, it’s kind of like the gym.  I never want to go, but I always feel better after going.  Whether it’s a warm smile from someone or something from the pulpit, I’ve never regretted getting up early and going to church.

Bible Apps:

I have an app that lets me read and listen to the bible on my phone.  It’s in NIV which means our English, not King James.  I’ve never been able to understand the King James version.  I figure if I don’t understand it, I’m not getting anything from it and it just puts me to sleep.  So I listen to the Bible in my own language, today’s language.  And I find that I understand the stories better than many people who have been attending church for 30 or more years.

Listen to others but make the final decision:

Finally, I make my own decisions about my relationship with God.  I don’t let a TV evangelist, an author, or anyone decide for me how I’m going to participate in my relationship with God.

I don’t want to tell YOU how to practice either, but this episode was just to spark your interest in other ways to become spiritual.  If you’ve made it to the end, I hope you can take something that helps.

But most of all, you might have some ideas that I’ve not thought of.

Share below how YOU make your life more spiritual.  Feel free to share one of your daily goals if you’d like. What are some ways you connect spiritually?

You can also share in our Facebook group if that’s where you hang out.

 

Structure in retirement: Episode 131

structure in retirementStructure in Retirement

James Metz is an 83-year-old who loves playing tennis and golf. He spends much of his time in active competition rather than exercise studios or on exercise bikes. He leads a very active lifestyle. While James is happily married, loves traveling and stays active, he finds that he doesn’t have a lot of male friends.

James and I met through SCORE and he reached out to me in response to one of my newsletters

James sold his business in Houston and moved in December of 1994. He soon found himself restless. James had a background in retail but soon found himself representing Sears. He claims it was one of the happiest times in his life.

I wanted to see if I could help him find structure in retirement and his daily activities

Today James faces a lull in the evenings, usually between 6 and 9 P.M. He has volunteered, been certified as a mediator and worked. Learn more about James and listen in on a brainstorming session about ways James could get involved during this episode.

What is a certified mediator?

A mediator certification instructs individuals on required skills to resolve conflicts directly and train others on workplace conflict resolution strategies.

James decided to get certified as a mediator when he realized he wasn’t a good listener in his business. His wife claims it made him a better person and a better listener.

EVERYBODY NEEDS STRUCTURE IN RETIREMENT – YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Imagine, you were working from 9 to 5 and all of a sudden, you're retired! What do you do in your free time? It is a tough transition for some, especially those who spent almost all of their adult life working. It is a monumental change in life. Filling up all of that free time and trying to find a purpose with your new retirement lifestyle all seems overwhelming sometimes. James, along with millions of other retirees need answers to these issues.

On Today’s Show we discuss:
  • Men being lonely in retirement
  • Brainstorming ways to fill James’ time
  • How to find structure in retirement
  • Learning to listen and take time to think about your answers
  • Difference between relationships between men and relationships between women
  • Men aren’t the same as women
  • It’s surprising what people will do when you ask
  • Importance of connection
  • James’ love for traveling
  • Planning ahead

Retirement in a different country: Ep 130

retirement in a different countryStephanie Cunningham came on the show to talk about her retirement in a different county.

On Today’s Show we discuss:

  • Retirement in a different country
  • Stephanie’s bicycle tour
  • Decrease in social status after retirement
  • Stephanie’s cultural transition in Australia
  • Needing a reason to be on this earth or sacrificing happiness
  • Value of community in Australia
  • Money isn’t everything

Stephanie was born, raised and worked in Colorado until she took early retirement to join a round the world bicycle tour. While on the tour, she found Australia and decided to move there. Because of visa regulations at that time, she couldn’t work, which forced her into an early retirement. Trying all of the activities that are traditional in retirement left her unfulfilled and wanting more.

The Bicycle Tour

The bicycle tour was a millennial trip. While it wasn’t an inexpensive trip, it was for a whole year. Stephanie did a lot of physical training for the trip. It was recommended each rider do at least 6,000 miles before the beginning of the tour. Each weekday, Stephanie rode 135K. It was physically challenging but not nearly as difficult as she thought it would be. Stephanie enjoyed the trip because you see things you wouldn’t see on a bus or in a car.

New Found Love for Yoga

One new activity she tried was yoga and enjoyed it. She decided to become a yoga teacher for over 50’s and then added yoga training to teach over 50’s for yoga teachers. In March of last year, she started the podcast Changing the Face of Yoga to expand the perception of yoga. She will launch the second broadcast in July about finding purpose in retirement as she struggled to find purpose and feels it is very important for a successful retirement.

She talks about her initial culture shock and the challenges for retirement in a different country.

Why Australia?

Australia is a tenth of the US population but as large land wise as the US. It is less crowded and frantic. Stephanie claims it is almost 10 years behind in certain ways. Australia has less commercial ads and consists of a much more laid-back atmosphere. It is also gorgeous.

Impact of Not Being Able to Work

Stephanie was not planning on retirement when she moved to Australia. She had worked for Colorado and retired for a nominal amount of money. She planned on taking a year off then going back to work in a different way. There were a lot things Stephanie loved about working and it was a hard adjustment at first. She certainly never imagined her retirement in a different country. 

Advice for Retirement in a different country

Stephanie recommends really planning it and understanding what you are getting into. She recommends going to an expat community when first adjusting. In addition, look at exchange rates and cost of living when considering retirement in a different country.

Connect with Stephanie:

www.yogalightness.au

Stephanie is launching a new podcast in July of 2018 called Changing the Face of Retirement. If you would like to check it out go to https://www.yogalightness.com.au/changing-the-face-of-retirement/

Would you or have you considered retirement in a different country? Let us know in the comments below

Clever Life Hacks to Improve Health: Ep129

clever life hacks

On today’s episode, I am sharing 25 clever life hacks to improve your health.

I found this article at https://gethealthyu.com/clever-life-hacks-improve-health/ that gives some pretty clever life hacks. I thought I would share them with you

1.  Start every morning with a glass of water and freshly squeezed lemon or 100 percent natural grade lemon oil

I actually don't understand what this does to our body. I always hear “Drink an alkaline water”. If you know what it does, please comment below!.

2. Sweat it out before you get in the shower

This sounds easy to do but it's not! I heard that when you sit in a sauna for 30 minutes, one of its benefits is raising your metabolism to exercise.

3. Never eat a bad egg again

I found a perfect hack for this. Les bought me an instapot. Did you know that you can use your pressure cooker to boil eggs? It's also very easy to peel!

4. Meditate to clear your mind

I find it very hard to just sit there and meditate. There are plenty of apps you can use to help you meditate. One is called Brain FM. It doesn't take 5 minutes but 20. For me, what works best is coloring. Yes, you heard it right. It helps me clear my mind. There are also studies that say when you doodle, it will help you remember better.

5. Using baking soda as a natural produce scrub

I wish I read this before I bought some scrubs for $10! All you need to do is combine a few teaspoons of baking soda to 1-2 cups of water and you have a natural produce scrub!

6. Fancy up a water bottle to guzzle more

What I do here is that I have a water bottle and I put a rubber band at the bottom of it, Each time I drink from it, I put the rubber band on my wrist. That's how I help myself drink water. My goal is to drink 4-5 of those bottles per day.

7. Meal prep your way to healthy lunches

Usually, you do this by cooking a whole bunch of food every weekend and that's what you're going to eat for the whole week, You can also do those meal preps you see on social media. They put salads in those cute jars and have a separate small container for the dressing.

8. Take a stretch break

This boosts your energy, improves focus and benefit your mood.

9. Turn your commute into a chance to laugh

You can listen to Rock Your Retirement during a commute!

10. Save your wilting herbs in ice cubes

Save your wilting herbs. Chop them and put it in ice cubes with olive oil. You're ready to saute in no time!

Learn simple tricks and clever life hacks to live a better healthier life

11. Get a workout in while you are watching your favorite show

I asked Les to bring our elliptical machine down and watch TV. We have an activity room. It has a TV, elliptical machine, rowing machine, and many more. Do we use them? NO. I remember when we used to do that. It makes working out a lot easier while watching TV.

12. Use essential oils to clean more naturally

Making natural cleaning solutions are better than using chemical based ones. One of the most common natural cleaning solution is baking soda and vinegar.

13. Make a do it yourself travel cup

What they did is they use a regular glass and top it with press and seal wrap and put a straw through it. If you have travel cups then you don't need to do this. I think most people have travel cups today

14. Never buy a rotten avocado

To test whether an avocado is ripe or not, flick off the dry stem. If you see a brown spot, don’t buy it, if its bright yellow-green, buy it. I live in California and I never bought a rotten avocado. I buy mine at Costco and it's really green hard and you can't eat it for a week. If you put all of them on the counter they will all get ripe at the same time. So what I do is I keep mine in the refrigerator and take one at a time out to leave on the counter. It usually takes 2 days to ripen. (Perhaps we should call this Kathe's clever life hacks?)

15. Soothe a sore throat with a marshmallow

Sap from the marshmallow plant helps treat sore throats, coughs, and colds.

16. How to make your onions, garlic, and shallots last longer

Do this simple trick so that your onions, garlic, and shallots last up to 3 months. Take a paper bag, punch holes in it and secure the top with a paperclip. Put onions, garlic, and shallots separately.

17. De-stink your sneakers

Wash and air dry them, sprinkle them with homemade powder, stuff with newspaper overnight then put them in the freezer. Do you want your stinky shoes in the freezer? I don't! What do you think of this? Comment below and let us know.

18. Baby your spices

Cover baby food jars with fabric, label and put a magnet on the bottom. Can use for spices and stick to the fridge.

19. Make exercise a real page turner

All you have to do is download an audiobook and listen to it while you're at the gym. How are you going to know which book will you be interested in? Comment below, please!

20. Use yoga to heal a headache

You need to do yoga poses which is your head should be below your heart. It improves circulations, stretches out necks and shoulder muscles and helps you relax. I personally do the Child's pose wherein you're on the ground, laying on top of your knees with your arms outstretched and touching the ground and your head's on the ground and it really is a relaxing pose for me.

21. Sweet potato chips in 5 minutes

Put them in the microwave. Find the recipe at sheknows.com.

22. Avoid limp lettuce

Place a paper towel over the lettuce in a bowl and put plastic wrap over the bowl. Replace the paper towel every few days. Your greens should be good for a few weeks!

23. Chew gum to curb cravings

For me, chewing gum makes me hungry. So personally, this one won't work for me. How about you? Comment below!

24. Scrape your tongue to remove toxins

This is proven to be more effective than simply brushing your teeth and is a practice of Ayurvedic medicine. This one also removes toxins.

25. Make your bath extra relaxing with Epsom salts

I wonder if your body absorbs Magnesium through your ski?. If you know, please let me know by commenting below!

Do you have any clever life hacks you want to share? Comment below and tell us!

Developing Creativity in Retirement: Episode 128

developing creativityI brought Karen Poirer-Brode on the show to not only talk about scrapbooking, but about developing creativity. After retirement, Karen launched a podcast called A Creative Approach Podcast. She shares stories of people who used creativity to their own advantage and worked through challenges with a creative approach. Karen loves storytelling and uses it as an art and way to connect. In addition, Karen also has a blog called Karen’s Corner of The Web. She also spends time volunteering and working as a Scrapbooker.

On Today’s Show we discuss:

  • Karen’s love for scrapbooking, art and photography
  • The spiritual impact of art
  • Scrapbook crops
  • Developing creativity 
  • Family memories around crafting activities
  • How scrapbooking relates to the 6 pillars of retirement

Developing creativity through scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is Karen's way of making stories. She does digital scrapbooking and traditional scrapbooking. Karen's teacher discouraged her from art when she was little and she wouldn't discover that she has a passion for art if it weren't for scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is one of the ways in developing creativity. You can take a photo and tell stories about it in fun ways.

Karen also gives scrapbooks to her family and friends occasionally. There are also groups in scrapbooking and Karen belongs to the creative department. People from different parts of the world get together via webinar and they make scrapbooks together. What a great way to make friends! In addition, you may use scrapbooking to document your travels so you remember the happy memories you experienced.

Scrapbooking is a fun thing to do with your grandkids and a way to connect

Karen shares a story about her childhood and what her mom used to do. Do you remember when you were little and it was raining outside so you had to stay in? Her mom would take out pictures and they would tell stories about them. Karen says it is a great way to have fun with your children and grandchildren even today!

What is a scrapbook crop?

These are events where two or more scrapbookers gather to work in a social circle on their books, cards or other projects. It came from the word “Crop” which means cutting out a part of a picture. They bring all their paper and embellishments. Others bring their digital crops. They bring their laptops and they make scrapbooks together.

Karen Poirer Brode was born in the Canadian Prairie. She lived in Canada until she finished medical school in Montreal. She then became a physician, specializing in OBGYN. After marrying and having a family, she moved to California, where she is today.

One of the websites that offer digital scrapbooking is Get it Scrapped

Connect with Karen

www.acreativeapproachpodcast.com

karenscorneroftheweb.blogspot.com

Do you have any ideas for developing creativity? What hobbies mean the most to you? Feel free to share in the comments below