With an emotional mix of sadness and excitement, I am choosing to say goodbye. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the thoughts and rambles that come out of this head of mine. As much as I love to write, I find myself at a life crossroad when my true passion has taken me by the hand and is guiding me toward a more authentic life. Since I am a strong believer in following my intuition, I concluded that it is time for me to dive in and fully pursue that which is calling (loudly!) to my heart.
I want to sincerely thank everyone for taking time to stop by and see what I had to say. Your support truly meant the world to me. Though I will no longer be adding new content to the site, I will leave it up for the next two weeks after which time it will be gone. I will also be taking my Facebook page down at this time. Thank you again dear reader for taking this ride with me. Be happy, healthy and blessed on your sacred journey.
I am not a summer person and believe that July and August are the longest months on the calendar. Okay, so I know that both months have 31 days, but, that it not quite what I am talking about. As many bask in the sunshine and up their levels of vitamin D, this girl is dreaming of cool Autumn days right around the corner. I certainly understand that the summer lovers out there are most likely cursing me right now, but, just as you love summer, I love Autumn (first and foremost!) and spring. Cool weather is where it's at for me. That said, we recently had a stretch of, what I would consider, perfect summer days here in my neck of the woods. The temperatures hovered around the mid 70's and humidity remained low. These remarkable days coaxed me outside, on numerous occasions, to work my yard. Since the warmer weather started, I have spent countless hours outside manicuring what I consider a high-maintenance yard (inherited from the former owners of our home). As I reported in a prior post, our yard sits on an incline making mowing the grass difficult. It is honestly one of my least favorite things to do around our home. Despite that I am not thrilled about mowing the lawn, I have to confess that I secretly enjoy working outside amidst my flowers, bushes and veggies. On wonderful summer days, I revel in the opportunity to tinker around the garden and admire the magic of Mother Nature as she assists all my precious plants to reach maximum strength and growth. I relish watching the Autumn Sedum bushes as they anxiously anticipate their explosion of fall color, the Rose of Sharon bush as she grows ever taller and blooms, the random golden sunflower, which oddly popped up amidst my daylilies, the purple coneflowers with tall, slender stems who dance in the wind and thrive in a less than perfect location, and the beautiful orchids by our shed. I love, and am amazed by them all.
This year I was also able to plant some veggies. Several kinds of lettuce, spinach, kale, cherry tomatoes and colored peppers. I simply love watching them grow in anticipation of being able to pick fresh veggies to bring to our dinner table. Gardening has become meditative time for me as I focus on planting new offerings, weeding, tidying, clipping and shaping all the wonderful flourishing flora in our yard despite my novice gardener status. I have become quite fond of working the dirt, smelling the fresh, earthy aromas, as I sit in the grass basking in the glow of the sun, blue sky and puffy white clouds hanging lazily overheard. As I worked in the garden last week, it again struck me how truly beneficial it is to spend time in nature and reap it's meditative benefits. Focusing on the task at hand and working the land helps clear my head, and provides me with a great sense of calm and peace. It is the focus I put into this activity that makes the act of working the yard meditative. Meditation doesn't just have to be the act of sitting or lying still, eyes closed, and working hard to clear your mind. It can also be mindful concentration on simple tasks.
It is my hope that you too can benefit from spending time outdoors in your precious garden space. Take a deep breath and dive in! Until we meet again......Shari :)
Comments? Questions? I would love to hear from you!
With my 57th birthday now in the rear view mirror, I was thinking about the many things learned during these years I have been lucky enough to be on this earth. I consider myself a student of life and work hard to understand human behavior and lessons received, both good and bad. That said, here are some personal notes I believe to be true.
I hope my personal list of life wisdom resonated with you and has given you some food for thought. Until we meet again...................................Shari :)
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you!
I love this picture as it contains three of my favorite things - a crystal, Tarot cards and a smudge bundle. These objects can be utilized to bring us peace and clarity in times of stress and upheaval. This topic is near and dear to my heart, as I once again find a need to cleanse negative, unhealthy energy from my life which threatens to shred the semblance of peace and direction I started to develop in my present surroundings. Trying to gain footing since our move last year has been an uphill battle for me, yet, I was making slow and steady progress. Unfortunately, as soon as you start to feel like you are getting somewhere, life throws you another curve which rocks the proverbial boat. When things like this happen, I pull out all my tools in an attempt to find some pretense of balance. Thank heavens I have some magic tricks to pull out of my hat!
Okay, so whether you call it smudging or cleansing, it is the same thing. This technique is a Native American ritual that's like a "spiritual house cleaning" or spiritual purification. Throughout history, sage has been used by Native American tribes for numerous purposes including healing, clearing space and ceremonies. Think of it as an additional way to clean your home and body.
In my experience, the most common bundle used for cleansing is sage, however, the options certainly don't end there. If you want to branch out a bit, you can use cedar, rosemary, sweetgrass, lavender, and juniper just to name a few. Once you have decided on the bundle you will burn, you want to make sure you have some sort of receptacle to catch the ash. I usually use my Abalone shell when I do my cleansing ritual. Any container that is suitable to catch ash can be used.
With the basics out of the way, it is important to understand that cleansing needs to be done with intention. So what exactly does this mean? Well, simply put, it involves stating what your purpose is. For example, when I prepare to smudge my home this time, my intention will be to rid it of all negative energy created by recent events. These issues have severely disrupted the peacefulness of our home and it's occupants. I want it GONE! As I walk from room to room, burning bundle in hand to spread the aromatic smoke, I will state my intention. To do a complete cleanse of your home, making sure you don't miss any room, any crevice. Be mindful and thorough.
Once the smudging of my home is complete, I will cleanse myself as well as my husband. Don't skip this important step, as I believe you do not get the full benefit of an entire cleansing without it.
There is a lot of great information out there on this technique, but, I have found that sometimes it can be overwhelming to find the good stuff. To help you decide if smudging is right for you, here are a few resources that provide a solid foundation of knowledge on this subject.
From my favorite go to site, mindbodygreen:
Now that I have extolled the virtues of smudging and provided you with some solid resources, I guess it's time for me to go. I need to give the antagonistic energy that has recently arrived in my home a solid kick to curb! Until we meet again...........Shari :)
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you!
I recently decided to embark on a new journey after learning about something called "shadow work." In doing some preliminary research, I found that the concept of a "shadow" (also know as the ID) originally came from the works of Carl Jung and speaks to the negative aspects hidden within our psyches. To summarize, "shadow work" consists of looking at the side of you that you most likely don't want to acknowledge. This is more commonly known as your "dark side." Think Darth Vader.....................All kidding aside, everybody has a dark side whether or not they want to admit it. I have come to a point in my life where I want to introduce my lighter and darker sides in hopes that they will join hands and skip off into the sunset leaving me a complete, better informed, more content, well rounded person.
So why in the world would anyone want to do something like this? Well, for me, it comes down to a few things.
Perhaps your list of reasons looks a great deal different than mine, but, however dissimilar, consider "shadow work" as something that could potentially bring much needed clarity into your personal realm and assist you in moving forward on your life path.
I anticipate that the next few months, or however long it takes me to dig through my shadows, will be bumpy, full of pot holes, and very demanding to say the least. I know in my heart of hearts that I am up to this challenge and at a point in my life where I am ready to take it on. Perhaps taking a walk on the dark side is not so bad when you consider that once you confront all your demons, you will (most likely) be free to live a more balanced, honest, and hopefully happier life. Until we meet again.........................Shari :)
Comments? Questions? I would love to hear from you!
Words. We use them each and every day. Sometimes those words are used to give someone a compliment, convey heartfelt feelings, lift someone up, and essentially, make the world a better place, but, as life is life, words are also used in anger, to criticize, to hurt someone’s feelings or make someone feel small. When I was younger, I had a sharp tongue and many times spoke to those I cared about out of anger. I sincerely regret those times I let my temper get the best of me and put such negative energy out to others. Getting older has tamed me a bit, as I am more patient and less likely to speak to someone out of anger. Not only that, getting older has helped me to truly understand how important it is to put much needed kindness into the world and to choose words and from a place of understanding and respect.
To demonstrate how powerful words can be, I share this message I received from a friend of mine (also a supervisory peer at my last job) last Thursday, that was the inspiration for this post. This what the message said:
“Hello my friend. So we had a leadership training on Tuesday. Juanita, Lisa, Bobbie, and I were on a team. We had an assignment to write down qualities of a good leader. Then we each had to put a check mark next to each quality that a prior supervisor possessed. We all had you in mind and you got four check marks on every characteristic!!!! You are in our heads and our hearts as we figure out where we belong in this *** (name of company omitted) journey. You are loved and thought of every day. Thank you so much for all you have done for us.”
The message took me completely by surprise, left me teary eyed, and emotionally stunned for a short time. How wonderful it was to get a message like this such a long time after my departure (it’s exactly 2 years today!). I often think about those I left behind. As I have written about before, I am still working through the emotional ache of leaving behind those people and places I held tightly in my heart. Not being a regular part of their lives anymore has been one of the hardest things for me. To hear that I left this legacy behind is extremely special, as I can honestly say that I went to work with the intention to do my absolute best each and every day. The people I was lucky enough to train and supervise, the peers I was fortunate to work with side by side, and the clients I was able to serve, all remain near and dear to my heart.
When was the last time you shared kind words with someone? Whether it be a stranger or someone you know well, any day is a good day to bestow benevolence to a person in this world. So many years ago, Jackie DeShannon wrote these lyrics: “What the world needs now, is love, sweet love.” This is more true than ever! This love can be expressed by the sharing of gentle words. I know that some are thinking this is a bit simplistic, yet, we have to start somewhere! Communication is certainly a good place to start. While we are at it, let’s start a revolution today and make kindness a priority! From where I sit, the world really needs it BADLY. Until we meet again………Shari :)
I made it through my first year in PA! Today marks the one year anniversary of the day I arrived here to join my family. I wish I could say that it has been an incredible first year, but, if I said that, I would be lying. It has been a tumultuous year during which I spent a lot of time unpacking and trying to settle in my new home, navigating very different and difficult terrain, coming to terms with leaving behind the place, family and friendships I cherished, as well as having to carry burdens that frankly I don't believe were mine to carry. I recently posted about the dance I am doing to try to put myself first again. If you missed that post, you can find it here. I now find myself sifting through and disposing of those things that were holding me back from my joy and the life I deserve. Through it all, the most remarkable surprise has been the growth of Midlife with Moxie and all the wonderful people who spend a part of their days "stopping by" the website to visit and see what I am up to. Thank you for supporting this labor of love. It truly warms my heart, dear readers, that you are here! Again, thank you, THANK YOU!
So as I said, it has been an "interesting" year. When you leave a place you loved for one which you are not 100% sold on, you have to learn to work with what you have, as this can define whether you sink or swim. Here is a list of my go to's over the last year which have helped me maintain my sanity.
I am truly thankful to close out this first year and ready to start year two with a fresh perspective and lots of new goodies to share. When you travel the highway of life, you never know where it will take you. I am going to buckle myself in and enjoy the ride! Until we meet again.....................Shari :)
Living in a new area and have some pearls of wisdom to share about your experience? I would love to hear from you!
As I get older, I find that good, true blue friendship is hard to find and keep. Even during times you believe you have a friend who will remain a friend forever, remember that shifts in life circumstances can rock the friendship boat and cause friendships to drift and fail. This can certainly occur when you uproot your life and move from places lived for an extended period of time. I experienced this first hand early in life when I left the beloved town I grew up in, leaving all my friends behind as I ventured to Iowa for my freshman year in college. I remember how this bad decision shattered friendships I tended to, and grew during my early years. As I think back all these years later, I still mourn several lost friendships from that time. When you are young and stupid, as I was, you don't think of the long term consequences of things you do. Only later do the ramifications rear their ugly heads. More recently, I was reminded of this a second time, as I left the IL home and town I had lived in for 17 years. I still feel the ache of the loss of friends I left behind.
Thankfully, through it all, despite our ups and downs, is my dearest friend Elaine. Elaine and I have been friends for 40 years and have been through the best and worst life has dished up. We first met while working at Dockside Grill in Marriott's Great America (Gurnee, IL). I recently wrote about my memories of Great America and what an amazing place to work it was (find that here). Not only was it a great place to work, but, it was an even better place to make a life long friend! Elaine has been a true friend. Through the years she never gave up on me, even during times others might have. I often tell her how truly grateful I am for our friendship and all the amazing memories we share. Though we are now separated by 600 plus miles, we are both committed to keeping our friendship alive and well. We will soon honor and celebrate our 40 years of friendship when we meet in Frankenmuth Michigan to spend time together. I know it will be as it always is. We will pick up right where we left off and will have a great time.
True friendship is one of life's most glorious treasures. Please don't take your friendships for granted. Nurture, honor and grow them. If you have someone in your life you cherish and haven't been in contact for a while, reach out to them. It could light a spark and rekindle something wonderful for the both of you right now, and in the future.
Until we meet again......................................Shari :)
Okay so I know that it's not good to live in the past, but, I have to say that sometimes I just can't fend off those sweet memories of yesteryear. I recently found myself thinking of the decade that truly shaped my life - the 70's. Now that I am in my fifties, I certainly understand that to be an adult during this decade would have been challenging. There were so many disturbing things that happened in the 70's. Here is a short list:
In contrast to all the antagonistic things going on during the 70's, there were a lot of good things too!
Closer to home, and very exciting to the community I grew up in, was the opening of Marriott's Great America (Gurnee, IL) in 1976. Before Great America arrived, Gurnee was an unknown destination. After it's opening, people came from all over the United States to take in all the rides, games, attractions and food. What an amazing place to work and play in! To this day, working at Great America remains one of my fondest memories. Unfortunately, the Great America I knew is gone, as it barely resembles what it originally was. In my opinion, progress is highly overrated when it comes to some things. This would be one of them.
Several years before I was hired to work my first job at Great America, I was growing up in a grand neighborhood where I enjoyed many adventures with childhood friends. I am talking about the kind of neighborhood you rarely see anymore. When I wander back in my mind to the 70's, I fondly remember my favorite ABC Friday night TV lineup, which included two quintessential 70's shows - The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. When ABC launched this terrific twosome in 1971, my friends and I anxiously awaited each and every Friday night episode to see what shenanigans would befall our two favorite families. We gathered, made big bowls of popcorn and, flopped down in front of the TV. It was truly magical. Although I liked The Brady Bunch, I LOVED The Partridge Family and David Cassidy. Each and every week I could not wait to hear the song David would sing on the episode. It made me sad that I could only hear each song once until it was played on the radio, or I saved enough money to buy the record. At the time, there was nothing quite like the anticipation of Friday night. "Back in the day" there was little to no immediate gratification and that was okay. It made these kinds of times extraordinary and something to cherish. I smile now as I remember these incredible memories.
I just thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed my ramble. I would certainly love to hear some of your adventure stories from the 70's. Don't be shy! Please share by using the comment section.
Until we meet again...................................Shari :)
As I was preparing a different post for this day, I remembered that today is Father's Day. I have not had the opportunity to celebrate with my Dad for a very long time as he died when I was young. Today I choose to celebrate my Dad and the life he lived as I reminisce about the love he shared with his family and his only daughter. The photo above shows Dad holding me when I was just a little lass. Mere words cannot express how much I adored my Dad. He meant the world to me. In the short time we spent together, he taught me oh so much about how to enjoy simple pleasures, live life to the fullest, and how to love your family unconditionally.
My Dad made life fun. Like a cherished story waiting to be revisited, I remember our expeditions to the Glen Rock bottling company in neighboring Waukegan, IL to hand-pick a rainbow of flavored sodas in glass bottles sold by the case, trips for flame grilled hamburgers at Burger Chef, and treks to Dairy Queen where I always got my favorite vanilla cone with cherry dip. Summers were filled with camping adventures, large family picnics, pool escapades, cloud watching and nights spent around a campfire under star filled skies and bright moon glow. Dad was the driving force behind my love of both the day and night sky, as well as my adoration of the natural world, it's glorious landscapes, and all it had to offer. Dad was an equal opportunity season enthusiast and made the winter months just as adventuresome with snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating, snowman building and grand celebrations at Christmas with all the trimmings.
I lost my Dad when I was only eleven years old. It is impossible to describe the pain I felt when he died suddenly. I can still recall the details of that fateful day as if it were yesterday. Through the years, I have learned to put the pain aside, and celebrate the amazing man he was. I know in my heart that there have been times he has watched over me and smiled, and protected me to ensure that I remained safe and sound. As I get older and think of all he did for his family, I am still awed by his selflessness. I think of things he taught me and I treasure each and every one of these extraordinary memories. Today I want to remember a life well lived, and the man who helped guide me and shape the woman I am today. I love you Dad. Happy Father's day in heaven.
Hi! I'm Shari. I love to write. I love to ramble. I hope my posts give you something to ponder, a reason to smile, and a great excuse to pause and take a well deserved moment for yourself.