Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What, Me Try to Control?

          Two mornings ago Rod and I were in the car on our way to breakfast. As often happens, I was using the opportunity to express my expertise on something…anything….I don’t even remember what it was. 

  In the moment, and without breaking stride, my consciousness left my body and I began to watch myself speak. What I heard shocked me. This is what I heard: “I have the answers, I am smart, I am in control, I can educate you, I can impress you with my knowledge, I can control you, Don’t even think of interjecting something into this conversation (as if I’d ever take a breath long enough for you to do so), I can control any situation.” The main theme of my little diatribe was about controlling someone else’s opinion or thought process about whatever the heck I was talking about. Geesh!

          The really sad part was that, in spite of seeing myself speak from outside myself, I couldn’t stop. Not my finest spiritual growth and development hour for sure. I do know, however, I learn from my less than glowing behavior…perhaps not immediately, but eventually.

The Main Issue
          Control is a main issue for me (along with impatience). I, just for the fun of it, looked up “control” in Louise Hay’s book of ailments to see that control is often associated with kidney stones. Hummm …gee that couldn’t be me, or could it? I have suffered two bouts of kidney stones:  a year ago this past Thanksgiving and almost exactly a year later just this Christmas. Uh, perhaps there IS something to my trying to control.

          Control is a massive subject, and I could write a hundred blog posts about its role in my life alone. Suffice it to say, it won’t be resolved overnight (much to Rod’s chagrin, I’m sure!). I am motivated to let go of control, and the beginning of letting go is to first acknowledge how it doesn’t serve me. Thus this slightly uncomfortable post…my beginning. More to come about control in the future.

          Can you relate?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Can Avoiding Marriage Keep You Younger?

          I was intrigued by a recent  NY Times story of a 115 year old woman in Italy who credited her longevity, in part, to being single and to averting relationships where she could be “dominated” by a spouse. Her experience goes against the grain of most studies that show married people, in general, live longer. It’s only fair to mention, obviously, other factors contribute to her longevity.

          I was curious nonetheless about her staunch foothold in remaining single. Emma Morano was unhappily married briefly when she was quite young and, in spite of a ton of opportunities to partner up since then, she has consistently decided to remain single and to live alone. Today Ms. Morano still lives alone, even at 115. She has a caring neighbor and an attentive niece who cook and look out for her. She has throughout her life hated hospitals and eschewed doctors and had little reason for their services. She is deemed in good health by a physician who she has let care for her minimally since she was about 90.

          It’s difficult for me to wrap my brain about what it must be like to have lived through two turn of the centuries and been witness to so many historical occurrences. She has survived two world wars and the  hardship of their aftermath. She has also been an observer of the complete transformation of her native Italy from one of agriculture to one of massive industrialization. While I can remember back as far as Eisenhower, Emma’s life has spanned 70 governments in seven decades plus a 20-year Fascist incursion in the middle.

          I feel certain genetics play a significant role in Emma’s longevity.  One of her sisters died just before turning 100 and another lived to 102. She also credits her long life to the consumption of raw eggs – three a day until recently when she reduced it to two. 

          Has avoiding marriage kept Emma alive? I don't think so.

          In spite of any specific reason(s) for living to a super centenarian age, I was most impressed by her attitude. She is said to enjoy her life now and “…she’s aware of the privilege of living.”  She may live alone, not able to get around like she used to but “I’m still here,” she said recently. What’s better than that?

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Words of Others Including Leo and Wayne

          When I can’t find it in myself to say the right thing – be it something to console or motivate or scold lovingly – when I can’t find the words to exactly and concisely express my feelings at a given moment in time, I look to the words of others. One of the first such people whose words touched me was Leo Buscaglia. Remember him? Leo was “Dr. Love,” and he was one of the first people who brought words such as “acceptance,” “compassion” and “non-judgment” into my world. [If you’re just hearing of him for the first time, check out his publications here.]

I was so cool

          I knew what love was when I first saw Leo – at least I thought I did. I was 20, living in Berkeley and thought myself to be very cool. I mean, I had my nose pierced, and that alone made me cool! I knew that love was a feeling I had from time to time for members of the opposite sex. It was through this feisty Italian and very charismatic man, however, that I learned the value of love for all humankind, be they boyfriends or my women friends or people I didn’t even know.

Another huge contributor

          Another influential wordsmith I found early as I was beginning what I fondly refer to as my "inside journey" was Wayne Dyer. His method of speaking so simply, so directly to the issues in my life captured my rapt attention beginning with his first book Your Erroneous Zones.  Through his communications, I learned to identify and speak my truth – not in all situations but at least to open the door to the power of positive thinking. To this day, every time he appears on PBS, I garner some new insight into my well-being.

          These are just two of the early healers who presented themselves to me when I was just beginning to find my way through the emotional gauntlet of spiritual growth and development. Before them, my life was about holding the voices and attitudes and opinions of my father or my fiancĂ© above my own. At that time in my life I didn’t know it was okay to own my own feelings.

          It hasn’t always been easy lo these 45+ years since my innocent and naive youth. I have made huge and devastating mistakes with myself and with others. But, today, I feel whole in my imperfection. I am honestly proud of the strength of who I am, even if I have hurt myself and others in the process. I am proud to say my senior voice has been crafted out of the words and the feelings behind the words of these two wonderful men, Leo and Wayne, as well as those of Depak, Earnest, Chris, Edward, Louise, Melody, Jeff, Mary Anne, Eckhart, and many, many more.

          Were there words of others that enhanced your life and helped make the journey easier or more fun, more complete or richer?

Contact Antonia at antoniasseniormoments@hotmail.com or