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Monday, April 07, 2014

10 Ways to Navigate Mid-life Smoothly

It's hard to live through any transition but Menopause is a real Trickster! Follow these tips to smooth out the rocky ride.

1.   Sleep when you’re tired and don’t feel guilty. Banish guilt. Take naps.

2.   Do one thing at a time and breathe:  Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so stop, take a few deep centering breaths and reconnect to the parasympathetic nervous system. Feel each out-breath grow longer than the in-breath. This brings you into deeper resonance with the rhythms of your body, slows your heart rate and allows your mind to unhook from anxiety or worry.

3.   Say NO more often; release perfectionism. Learn to say, I have enough, I do enough, I am enough. — Sark

4.   Get away – time alone is the #1 thing most mid-life women crave.

5.   Discover the power of doing nothing. Rest, hot baths, alone time, retreats, mini-retreats in your home – lower anxiety and regenerate energy.

6.   Listen to your inner Bitch Goddess – don’t stuff your anger, and don’t dump it on others. Write it in your journal. Rock your anger like a crying baby.

7.   Cultivate your own IGS (inner guidance system) by listening to your body’s needs for healthy food, rest, exercise, connection with others. Be Present.

8.   Mothering Ourselves: stop stretching yourself too thin. MAKE A LIST of things you can do for yourself. If you want to feel cherished and appreciated, start by cherishing and appreciating yourself. Speak up and ask for what you need. For example, write yourself a prescription for rest if you are tired.

9.   Fifty is Feisty. Change your mindset. Find the 10 best things about menopause. Celebrate being 50+. These are the best years!

10.                 Creativity: find what you love and do it. Use Journaling or SoulCollage® to discover where you are now, what your heart desires, get into Flow. Take some down time to rediscover what makes your heart sing. Do something just for the fun of it. Your joy is waiting for you!

first published on MindBodyGreen under 10 Ways to Celebrate Aging at http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6335/10-Ways-to-Celebrate-Aging.html


Jennifer Boire, MA, www.jenniferboire.com, author of The Tao of Turning Fifty, What Every Woman in Her Forties Needs to Know, Follow Musemother on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

"None of us needs instruction in how to recognize what our heart is saying. We do need guidance, however, on how to have the courage to follow those feelings, since they will force us to change our lives in any case. But consider the consequences of not listening to the heart's guidance: depression, confusion, and the wretched feeling that we are not on our life's true path, but viewing it from a distance." — Caroline Myss 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Busy Mothers at Mid-Life

How are you? 

Busy! is the proud reply.

How we love to brag about how tired we are, how full our calendars are, how overfull our lives are.

But it's killing us, too.

Thomas Merton calls it a form of violence:

 "The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence."

And women seem particularly prone to this over-doing, over-giving. It's as if all our lives we've been praised for being busy, for you know what your mother said, idle hands are the devil's workshop. That's an old adage, but this drive for constant productivity has at its root a fear of laziness, a fear of the dreamer, the impractical one described in Aesops' fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper. The hard-working ant stored food away for winter, and worked hard to provide for the hard times, while the lazy grasshopper fiddled and played and sang, and starved once the cold weather arrived.

We have taken that message so much to heart in our busy culture that we can't allow ourselves to rest! Busy bees, busy ants, constantly moving, doing, connecting and creating. Except that at mid-life, the battery starts to run down. The wear and tear shows not only on the joints, but on the soul. We need a little more R&R, or the sabbatical day of the week to be brought back. Add to that, a tech-free zone where no one can reach us.

In her book, Overwhelmed, author Brigid Schulte makes the case that mothers have the least leisure time at all. In an interview in the Globe and Mail yesterday, she says we do it because it makes us look like 'a good woman" - look how busy I am. I'm putting myself last. 

She remarks that even our leisure time is spent driving kids to soccer games or carpooling. True leisure time is when you have time for yourself, to refresh, connect with your inner longings and desires, or simply sit and read a book, time you have a choice in what you do.  (read the article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/too-busy-to-live-in-a-contemporary-world/article17758066/) 


So what can we do? downgrade our expectations of how much we can get done in one day. Strike 2-4 items off the endless to-do list, and be satisfied. Learn to say, I am enough, I do enough, I am enough!


Push back against the constant pressure to be busy! allow your inner creativity to come out and daydream a little. Give yourself some down time to do what you love. Explore why you don't even know what you love to do anymore. Get off the Guilt Train. That old feeling that it's never enough, never good enough, and pat yourself on the back a little more often.


Mothers at mid-life have many stressors and lots of 'things' to do. But they need a day off too! Give yourself that, at the very least. Let the laundry sit in the basket one more day, and get outside for a walk, listen to the birds. 


I'm headed out there now, while the sun is shining!


Musemother/jenn






 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Tao of Turning 60


What does it mean to turn 60? Since I’ve written the book on turning fifty, and am now 59, it seems people want to ask me, what about the tao of turning 60? Will you write that book. If I do, what would I write about?

The celebration of the journey from baby to young girl to youth to young married wife to student and writer and mother, then menopause and wise woman, teacher and facilitator? Might be a place to start, by feeling grateful. Instead of what I have done mostly all my life, complain complain complain about the hardships, the curves thrown at me, the things that have not turned out the way I wanted.

It was not without adventure that I set out on this journey, born eldest of eight children in a small house in the country that quickly grew too cramped. Little mother, helper and caretaker, house cleaner, house mother, secretary, poet, writer and proofreader, volunteer and organizer, communicator… oh the roles I have played, cook and breastfeeder, birther and nurse, playful sister and overarching boss of everything.

But turning sixty is not to look forward in fear and loathing of getting older, but in celebration of all that came before. Failures as well as successes. Forks in the road, unexpected turns, returns and circling back as well as moving sideways and forwards, crab-like. Ok there are wrinkles and aching joints and stiffness, but some of that is within my control and there’s no point complaining.

I want the comfort and grounding of the continuing present, as the circular spiral path of my life continues;  I am not looking ahead so much (although there is a part of me that is reassured by money in the bank account once my husband and provider retires). Physically I want to remain strong and active, so I know there is work to do, or ‘fun’ to have, in yoga, walking, zumba and dance. Some stretching and relaxing of overused muscles, some breathing and centering in meditation and yoga. A lot of letting go.

My heart has grown and stretched too – to the new babies that come along in the extended family as nephews and nieces marry and grow their families. We are 25 on each side! And still growing. 


My heart also stretches towards new friendships and women I meet in classes, lectures and retreats. I am learning, still taking classes, stretching my inner growth in rites of passage training and women’s circles and creative exercises. Life is too short to stand still and become cemented in one spot. My roots move with me, I am a dancing tree who feels connected by my underground spores to all the trees around me.

Sixty may bring health challenges, but I am conscious and aware of how my diet, exercise and movement or lack of it affect my health. I can only do what I can do, stay in the middle ground, not get caught up in extreme health fads, but listen to my body’s guidance. My emotional health needs care to – can I listen and embrace sorrow, sadness, joy, grief and happiness? Conflict with children and spouses or friends? It gets easier the older I am. I know that I am flawed, and fabulous, but can I allow others their flaws too, without hope of changing them? Acceptance and compassion are life lessons I am learning, loving kindness not only towards the self but to others, less judgment (oh that is an easy trap to fall into), less shame and blame, and more laughter and reassurance.

 Good company, flexibility and awareness. I don’t know what else I want – a bit of travel, but not too much. New vistas, but mostly, a comfortable home that reflects colours and fabrics and spaces I love to be in, and the added comfort in knowing my own center travels with me everywhere.


I may have Ireland, Italy, Provence, Australia and the wilder side of ancient Persia and China on my bucket list, as well as the barren landscapes of Arctic and Newfoundland, but I am patient and not in a hurry. My own backyard has treasures that have not been uncovered completely. I can explore this new inner landscape of meeting women at lectures and in public, women who have the same need for understanding their journey, the whys and wherefores of creative transformation at mid-life.

I am enjoying this 59th year, and am in no rush to move ahead, but as life is moving, always, I need to stay flex and move along with the current of this river – with curiosity and awareness, alert, relaxed and trusting. One day at a time.

I do look forward to seeing grandchildren, to growing older with my ‘chum’ and husband, to seeing more family added to our tree. A bountiful harvest then, that is what turning 60 means to me.

A bountiful, beautiful orchard full of ripe trees and juicy fruit. And feeling loved and held in the center of it. Community, family, and love.

namaste
Musemother






Friday, March 14, 2014

Jennifer's Crazy Wild Adventure in Virtual Blog Touring

Day 5 of the Blog Tour is at MinniePauz, a site with a sense of humour!

http://minniepauz.com/reading/guest-articles/mid-life-moms-and-the-hot-flash-clash

and yesterday, Day 4 I had a great interview with Sahara at Literary Diva:

here's the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/diva29/2014/03/13/literary-diva-presents-author-jennifer-boire#.UyEh5-Y4m30.email


Day 4's blog post was at Sensibly Selfish: http://sensiblyselfish.com/ Self Care is Your Medicine.

Day 3's post: http://www.menopausegoddessblog.com/2014/03/12/menopausal-journey-a-rite-of-passage/
Menopause Goddess is a great site, full of interesting facts and articles.

Day 2's blog was over at Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog, about all things for writers. 5 Tips for Creative Self-Care is a post everyone can relate to, not just menopausal women:
http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/guest-post-5-tips-for-creative-self-care-at-mid-life-by-jennifer-boire/



Have a great weekend. I'm ready for a break from blogging! headed out to the lake and snow.

Musemother/Jenn

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blog Tour Day 2 Morgen Bailey

Hey folks and readers,
if you're following along, the blog tour is on Day two, at Morgen Bailey's blog for writers:




Here are the Facebook links for today and yesterday on Book Marketing Services and on The Tao of Turning Fifty:

Giveaway, Day 1 and Day 2 –



don't forget to enter the Giveaway contest to win great prizes.

and please leave a comment on the blog posts or 'like' and share them, if you find it of interest!

thanks for playing with me this week!
jennifer

Monday, March 10, 2014

Blog Tour Starts at Menopause Chit Chat

have a look see over at this great website and resource for Menopausal Women


Day One of Book blog tour

let me know how you like the interview,

xxx
Jennifer/Musemother


Friday, March 07, 2014

MEDIA PRESS RELEASE JENNIFER BOIRE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jennifer Boire, info@jenniferboire.com
Focusing on the transformative powers of menopause and changing the mindset of women who feel overwhelmed at mid-life.

Montreal, Quebec, CanadaMarch, 2014 –In The Tao of Turning Fifty: What Every Woman in Her Forties Needs to Know  author Jennifer Boire uses a light touch and gentle humour providing her brand of women’s wisdom on matters such as Where Did My Libido Go? Tango at Mid-Life, Feeling Like You’re Going Crazy, Menopause is Not a Disease, and How to Cultivate Your Own IGS System (inner guidance system).

This interactive workbook for women at mid-life is a must read for women in their forties to learn the blessings and challenges of menopause. It treats menopause as an awakening, a transformation on a woman’s journey with the focus on self-care through journal prompts, as well as exercises to calm and center.

Boire is passionate about the subject and says “The Tao of Turning Fifty grew out of research done for my blog, and interviews with women approaching or already past menopause. In my own experience, it felt momentous, like a psychic shift, or heroine’s quest, so much more than just hot flashes and low libido. I want every woman in her forties to know what is coming, to educate herself, to honour and prepare for this important rite of passage and mid-life transition that is menopause.

Kirkus Reviews called the book “a pragmatic guide doubling as a workbook that examines how to find inner balance during a woman’s tumultuous midlife change. Boire masterfully encourages introspection and engagement in her book, which brings Eastern philosophy and Western lifestyles together to deliver what every woman in her forties needs to know.” They summed up their review referring to it as “an interactive workbook for women wanting to find harmony and understand the inevitability of life’s physiological changes.”

Boire begins a five day virtual book blog tour on Monday, March 10th ending Friday, March 14th, 2014 organized by Book Marketing Services, http://www.bookmarketingservices.org.

The Tao of Turning Fifty, What Every Woman in Her Forties Needs to Know by Jennifer Boire
Printed by Little Red Bird Press, 146 pages
ISBN: 978-1466378117
Paperback: CDN $12.30
Kindle Edition: CDN $9.99

The Tao of Turning Fifty, What Every Woman in Her Forties Needs to Know  is available online from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca,  Chapters Indigo and Barnes and Noble. For more information, visit http://jenniferboire.com/.


Contact: Jennifer Boire, info@jenniferboire.com

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