Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"The Sky is Falling!" Let's Scare Seniors Again!

          News Flash! Seniors are NOT responsible for the sorry state of the economy because of our use of Social Security benefits. That’s what some wealthy leaders and politicians would have the younger voting generation feel about our need and desire to retire and engage the benefits that were established for our use in 1935 under Roosevelt and for which we have contributed to our entire working careers. Personally, I have relied on these funds to support my life after leaving the work force. To withdraw or significantly reduce them after such a reliance would be devastating to many who need these funds just to make ends meet. There are millions of seniors who rely entirely on them just to stay alive and function within a bureaucracy that meagerly acknowledges the value and contribution of our elder communities across the U.S.

The impact         
As seniors, we don’t have the opportunity to earn more money to support ourselves. Thus, proposed cuts and changes trap many elders into further poverty and poor living situations without a way out. The younger generation, however…the generation being sold seniors’ selfishness…does have the opportunity to make changes now that will allow them maximum retirement benefits when their time comes. Keep in mind, Social Security is completely self-funded from contributions earned by members who have or will receive the benefits. It draws no funds from the overall federal budget.
          The closing of field offices and eliminating thousands of workers who help seniors navigate the system on a face-to-face basis is the current threat to not only seniors but to the disabled and children who also rely on these benefits. I’m not in favor of foisting our problems onto future generations, however, to significantly reduce Social Security benefits for current recipients is short sighted, politically motivated, and harmful to one of our most vulnerable groups of people. It’s bad enough that the closure of the majority of Social Security field offices forces non-techie seniors to use the Internet to communicate about their benefits with SS staff.
Lots of talk, little action
Both the government and the public have been complaining about the shortfalls associated with Social Security for well over a decade, yet no real changes have been proposed to date that would help alleviate the escalating shortages. As I’ve seen with many national issues, we’re better at complaining and scaring everyone than we are at doing the work to create viable solutions to the problem. 
          I'm confident you have or can find the resources to establish the best time for you to begin drawing on Social Security benefits. In the meantime, let's encourage the efforts of politicians and other policy makers to find solutions rather than finding someone to blame.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Get Over It" Packs a Punch

          When something goes wrong, get over it.

          When disappointment pays a massive visit, get over it.

          When emotional hurt becomes a burden upon your spirit,     
                   get over it.
          The bitterness from these situations takes root and will keep problems in your subconscious unless you get over them.
          Do you want to know what hanging on to grief, anger, stress, anxiety and general negativity REALLY does:  it kills you…. physically, emotionally and spiritually. That may sound harsh, but I truly believe it. I can just feel the life being sucked out of me when I’ve clung to something negative for well past it’s “Use By” date.
          Getting over it means really releasing all the power something – usually negative – has over you. Getting over it means moving on to the next great fun, creative, challenging, inspiring, motivating, uplifting and joyous thing life has just for you.

     I love to be reminded of what we can learn from our pets. I never see Kali (my beloved tri-pod kitty) hanging on to terror (like when a plastic bag accidently chased her because it was stuck to her one good back leg) or disappointment (“No snacks right now, missy.”). I can recall more than once when I’ve come waltzing around the corner only to smash her precious little face with my big foot. She darts off in fear and confusion but will return moments later, when I’m sitting down, for a love fest petting session. I may be anthropomorphizing just a tad but, the point is, she gets over it. It obviously does help that she’s not as highly evolved as her mom. Despite their lack of higher education, I still think we can learn from our pets’ actions.

          So, the next time:
     -          Someone cuts in front of you in traffic or
     -          Forgets to do something you asked them to do or
     -          Doesn’t invite you to the party, dinner, or other event 
     -          When your partner hurts your feelings or
     -          When you fail … at anything or
     -          Act harshly to yourself or others or
     -          If you relapse back into bad behavior

...and do yourself a favor…GET OVER IT and move on to goodness.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Becoming a Spiritual Rebel - guest post by Rev. Jane Beach

          With age comes experience, inviting new possibilities waiting for each of us!

          Growing up as the middle child, I was the peace keeper, shying away from the clashes my older brother and younger sister found so intoxicating. I settled into contented, relaxed relationships with the people and situations around me. Generally happy and optimistic, I was a solid student, a reliable person, and later, a good wife and mother. I followed the rules, avoided conflict and rarely made waves. I looked out for others, wanting everyone to feel at ease. I enjoyed my role most of the time; it suited me, and it was what I knew.

          All that changed when I found out that God was real. A new awareness allowed me to see that there was more to me than I had ever known, and my life was to be much larger than I could have imagined. Suddenly I found myself paying attention to a loving Presence that I couldn’t even see, and yet was as real to me as the face I saw in the mirror. Old pastimes lost their glow; I had less in common with some of my old friends, and television shows I used to like were no longer my favorites. “What’s up with me?” I asked. “In one sense, I am absolutely enjoying my spiritual awareness. I’m more calm and happy than I’ve ever been, relaxing into life instead of fighting it, feeling comfortable in my own skin for the first time in ages! And yet there is a growing unrest in other areas. I feel a quiet (or not so quiet!) urge for something new. What’s happening?”

          Feeling a pull away from what was familiar was scary on one hand, and at the same time the stirring within me compelled me to do so; it’s a natural part of spiritual awakening. If I tried to bring along everyone and everything from my past, I wouldn’t make room for the new.  I began to listen and take action. Gathering courage, I said yes to my new life. As I let go of the past, my todays became filled with a level of joy and creativity that I’d never known before! I became a spiritual rebel, and I’ve never been happier!

          What about you? Is something stirring? Are you ready to let go of the old? Are you feeling a bit rebellious? If so, good! Go for it!

Contact Rev. Jane at revjanebeach@janebeach.com
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