Confessions of a Couch Potato

Basically I have a low threshold for boredom and this is especially true when it comes to exercising. I know I should exercise thus I keep making plans to do it. However, almost all my strategies stay in the realm of “it’s a good idea.” To this end I’ve made some fantastic playlists to accompany me on my walks thinking surely these compelling tunes will keep me distracted from counting how many minutes I’ve trekked and how many more to go. This is to no avail. I love my playlists but they are no match for the sense of boredom
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Believing In Yourself

My dear friend, role model, and New Dimensions guest Robyn Posin says, “When others are interpreting, analyzing, advising or directing you – they are really only communicating what they believe would be appropriate for themselves were they in your situation. Remember this if you choose to hear their views… Remember, too, that in the deep knowing place inside of you, you are the world’s best and only authority on you! Practice listening inwardly instead of outwardly!” I know this is very good advice. There are moments when I’m faced with some choices in my life and often the last place I
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Hard Grace: What Jack In the Beanstalk Taught Me

Most of us can recall the tale of Jack in the Beanstalk and can remember how we thrilled at the rhythmic chant of the giant ogre, “Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.” As an adult and the mother of an adult son, this tale became quite significant to me. Robert was about 20 years old when Michael, my husband, and I bought some property in Mendocino County in Northern California. We became landowners with three other couples and were experimenting with living communally
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What’s It All About?

Several years ago I gave myself the gift of a detox retreat at the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, California. This is a place where you can give your digestive process a break using a cleansing diet along with freshly juiced wheat grass. During my stay there were about one hundred other participants and, as you can imagine, some significant conversations unfolded as we took our minds off our stomachs and started exercising other aspects of our beings. On one occasion I sat on the lawn with the soft winter sun gently warming me, and had a pleasant exchange
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Skipping Rope

We do most of our New Dimensions interviews in a private home in a quiet middle-class neighborhood. The spacious yards are nicely groomed. There are sidewalks and an impressive variety of architecture. As I get out of my car, I notice a young man on the sidewalk next to my car. He’s wearing an electric blue sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head. His black shorts hang loosely down to his knees and his running shoes have a bright orange stripe circling round them just above the sole. He’s fumbling with a cord he’s just pulled out of
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Moving: An Impossible Task

Several years ago my partner Michael and I moved from Ukiah to Santa Rosa, California. We’d been living in Mendocino County for more than twenty years. The house had a surprising amount of space where “stuff” could be stuffed—out of sight, out of mind so to speak. For over twenty years we didn’t have to make any decisions about what to keep and what move out of the space. That is until we started packing up for the move. It was a gargantuan task that entailed sorting through not only tchotchkes but at least 1000 boxes of papers and items
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What Color Is Your Palette

Recently I attended the Wisdom 2.0 conference and pushed my edge by sitting in on the Wisdom and Technology day-long Intensive. I found myself in a room full of tech-savvy developers, tech entrepreneurs, and Silicon Valley workers, etc. It definitely pushed my edge. Just keeping up with the language was a challenge. I debated with myself whether to change to another intensive where my comfort level would be much higher, such as the Wisdom and Women, or the Wisdom and Aging Intensives. Deciding to stay put turned out to be a great decision. Buried in one panelist’s comments was the
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Back Stage Pass

I’m coming up to the one year anniversary since Michael, my dear friend, husband, and partner in New Dimensions for 40 years, passed and I’m pondering that great mystery beyond this physical reality. Some years ago Michael’s Mother Dee arranged her life so that Michael could be there for her great transition. She made a Herculean effort to move from San Francisco to Ukiah to be close to Michael when her health was failing. I remember the move entailed a myriad of obstacles and details, but she was fiercely determined and insisted that we assist her in conquering every barrier.
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Angels in My Closet

“The sun is peeking through the misty rain as its light brightens the Ukiah valley for the first time on the first day of the new year.” I wrote these words as I was sorting through belongings Michael and I had accumulated for over two decades. We were preparing to move fifty miles south. The following is more of what I wrote at that time, and it is just as relevant now as it was three years ago when I wrote it. “I’m curious about this new year and feel compelled to do some retrospection of the year past and contemplation of the
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Happy Isles

As I’m preparing for an upcoming interview with Rick Hanson, Ph.D., I’m feeling excited by his many good ideas for how to rewire our brains to cultivate joy and happiness rather than fear and negativity. His research shows that, even in the most hectic day, if we take 10 seconds several times a day to acknowledge a positive experience, it will build new synaptic pathways in the brain that will be an antidote for our more negative, reactive brain. It’s like growing flowers in your brain. He describes it as “taking in the good.” When I’m in the throes of panic
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