Tuesday, April 29, 2014


          Sometimes saying “All is well,” doesn’t quite cut it for me. Say what, you gasp? Wasn’t it just a couple of blog posts ago when this “all is well” mantra was my panacea for everything?

          Yeah, but that was then.  It’s not working so well today.

          I have more than one tool in my restorative bag, however, and what I'm looking at today is an excellent backup that may work very nicely. It came about when we were talking about this month's theme of humor at the Center (CSLSR). After the service, as I walked to the car, I realized my mouth and the fronts of my teeth were all dry and icky. I’d been smiling for over an hour as we heard jokes and talked and sang about the transformative power of humor.

          Humor and laughing are SO powerful,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Power of You - Dr. Chris Michaels writes

      It is my pleasure to share an excerpt from Dr. Chris Michaels' exciting and inspiring new book The Power of You.  I picked this passage right out of the middle and there's a lot of juicy and insightful good stuff leading up to it, so check it out. ~ Antonia

          “Resentment is like a twelve-foot-high, electrified barbed-wire fence you put around yourself. You built it for good reasons. You’ve been hurt, abused or treated poorly, so you want to guard yourself. You’ve been a victim of some great injustice. There are many good reasons for you to be angry or to feel resentment. So to prevent your history from repeating itself, you build a fence. Next time, if anyone tries to hurt you they’ll get zapped, electrocuted and burned.
          There are a couple of problems with this strategy, however. First of all, because the fence is so high, no one can climb over it. You are trapped behind it. And in time, that becomes a very lonely place to be. Second, every good thing you dream of having in your life is on the other side of that fence...  The solution to your problems, the healing of your body is there, just on the other wide of the fence. But none of it can get to you.
          Here’s the ironic truth:  The resentments you hold in your mind for others do nothing to hurt them. They block the flow of good into your life. They keep good things from you and good people from entering your life. They prevent new opportunities from coming your way. Nothing good can get to you until you tear down the fence.”

Thank you, Dr. Michaels for your astute and reassuring words. Your book is filled with common sense wisdom.  ~ Antonia

You might also enjoy Chris Michaels' previous guest post Balance Your Relationships from last year.
Learn more about Chris and all that he does here. You can get your copy of The Power of You here.
You may reach out to me at antoniasseniormoments@hotmail.com or Antonia's Senior Moments on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Smoking Again? Yikes!!

          I thought I gave up smoking years ago when, in addition to the obvious health risks, if you continued to smoke, you were a pariah, a social outcast. It turns out I may have started smoking again and didn't even know it.

          Both CBS News and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health  have recently likened sitting to be the new smoking. The Journal study found that for those 60 and older, every additional hour a day spent sitting or being sedentary has been linked to a doubling of the risk disability, regardless of the amount of moderate exercise a person gets. The description of disability in this study included limitations on everyday tasks like dressing, eating, bathing and walking across a room.

          Looks like in spite of moderate regular exercise like walking daily, if you sit a lot you are at higher risk for obesity, diabetes and, no surprise, heart disease. It makes sense that if you sit at a computer or in front of the TV, circulation slows and fewer muscles get used, both of which contribute to overall poor health.

          I know for myself, as a retiree and a writer, I spend lots of time just sitting. I do exercise regularly but now I'm hearing that that's not enough to counteract the ill effects of smoking ... I mean sitting.

What to do?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What are Your Intentions?

 “A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.”
, Moral Essays, Volume III: de Beneficiis

          Everything you do starts with intention. Without intention you’re just along for the ride, like a leaf floating on a puff of wind.  With intention you are able to create anything you want. Intention is one of the cornerstones of your most powerful self.

Clear away the fog

       Have you ever started out on one path to accomplish something and then felt somewhere along the line you got off track? For me, it's not "if" but "how often." Things became muddled and unclear or overwhelming? Looking at your intentions can clear away any fog and confusion. A lot of the time I have to literally write down my intention and post it on the bulletin board above my desk. It becomes the hub in the wagon wheel of my activities and thoughts. (groan!!!)  Did I actually just use that dorky analogy????

          Having a clear intention will keep us on track toward our end result. Let’s say we want a new car. We save money with the intention of having a safer and more reliable vehicle to transport our family about town. When we get to the dealer, however, that spiffy two-seater sports car beckons us like a piece of chocolate cake. The salesperson steers us toward the more expensive and less practical. If we’re not clear on our intention we drive out with a vehicle that doesn’t meet our needs. It’s fun but not what we set out to get.
We want things

We all want things;

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Senior's Emotional Life: How Letting Go Helps

          This message continues to be valid no matter how much we hear it.

Letting Go of Attachments

          We get stuff and then we don’t want to let it go. By the time we’re in our senior years, we’ve accumulated a fair amount of things.

          There are boxes of unread books, that old salt and pepper shaker collection that you started 40+ years ago, dried flowers and other memorabilia from proms a cabillion years gone by and pictures. I’m not talking about digital pictures, but real pictures that were developed and printed at the local drug store. When my sister died 6 years ago, her two sons, while going through her belongings, were aghast at the volume of printed pictures she had saved over the years. “Why would she have all these pictures?” they wondered. They were just floored that anyone would keep albums and albums of pictures when they could easily be stored on a computer or cell phone.

Christine spring cleaning
          My girlfriend in Southern California sent me an e-mail yesterday saying she was in the throes of spring cleaning. While she joyously exclaims how much she loves doing it, there is always an issue of letting go of things to which she has become attached, items that bring back memories of events and loved ones.

          We can quickly get attached to things and their representation of good and bad past times. There are even reality programs dedicated to people who just can’t let go of all this stuff. It can kill you! We also develop and maintain strong attachments to people and emotions and habits and feelings and judgments and theories and falsehoods and history…I could go on.

          These kinds of less tangible attachments take on a different significance. Like possession of real things, they can be helpful or harmful but many times on a deeper psychological level. I must admit, there’ve been times when I was completely unaware of any emotional attachment I harbored until it popped up in some form of sadness or depression or even aberrant behavior.

Attachments can zap spirituality

          Attachments can spoil a healthy sense of spirituality, too. Where we can get into trouble is when we experience a feeling but then don’t let it go. It’s likely a negative feeling. We roll it around in our souls for a day or a year and by then we don’t want to let it go. It can be, for example, a perceived personal transgression, say daughter Janette doesn’t respond to that dynamite gift you sent her last week. If we cling to this as a hurtful event and make a ton of negative assumptions based on this one incident, we’re screwed; we’ve become attached emotionally to an unfounded theory. This kind of diligent clinging to less-than-uplifting vibes can cause a negative manifesto in our souls.

          Attachment to anything negative, like guessing what someone else is feeling or thinking, can totally block the way to peace and enlightenment. Where is there room for good to come in when we’re all shut down with our need to create a falsehood about something where we don’t have all the correct information?

Spiraling downward