Friday, September 27, 2013

Turning 50, er 59

I used to be able to link the blog directly to Facebook notes, but somehow that stopped happening.
What I really am doing these days, besides resting in the sun? dancing in a Musical theatre show every night this week, and preparing for an interactive lecture at Beaconsfield Library, Tuesday Oct 1, 10 am.

And thinking about how wonderful my fifties have been.

There's a life coach somewhere who said we should keep track of our victories, especially when we feel a little down on ourselves for not accomplishing much. Looking back at my fifties so far, I can see a lot has happened.

My kids hit their teens, then grew up enough to leave home and attend University in 2 different cities.

My husband has joined three different bands, and I sing along in one of them.

I wrote a book, self-published it, and attended many workshops on how to promote and publicize in this age of social media. The Tao of Turning Fifty is popular with the women who attend my classes and retreats.

Am leading more and more weekend retreats for women, and day-long mini-retreats.

Learned how to SoulCollage(R) and became a facilitator, so I can share this intuitive and creative process of self-awareness with others.

Hired a web master and created a new website to share the books, CD, and classes.Took fab author photos (bartered with a student for a class).

Recorded Musemother Relaxation CD, at home, while looking at the lake.

Sang, recorded and helped produce Friends of Peace album in our home studio.

Began teaching Creative Journaling from my home, and now am calling it the Creative Circle.

Volunteered at the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre teaching journal writing for one year.

Organized a fundraiser Golf Benefit Tournament in Montreal 2012, with my husband, for TPRF and 60 Million Girls foundations.

Helped organize a Concert for Peace at the Hudson Music Festival summer 2013, fundraiser for and wrote an article about the successful (and unforgettable) musical event.

Recently enrolled in a year-long course (in French) to become a Facilitator of Rituals, with Ho Rites de Passage.

Performing with my quartet and in some group numbers, Still in the Mood, musical revue with Hudson Music Club at the Village Theatre. (a life-long dream!)

so there it is, only some of what I've done in my fifties, 
I feel better already!
aka Musemother

Friday, September 20, 2013

Peace Day Watch Livestream broadcast Now

If you are interested in Peace

If you don't know where to start to feel peace

If you want to be inspired by music, dance, poetry, videos about Peace

Watch the video to the right of this blog.
Today and Tomorrow, all day, all night, until Sunday morning ET 6 am



and check out  WORDS OF PEACE

Friday, September 06, 2013

Mid-Life: Ripe with my own Knowing

Ripe is defined as something that has matured: having arrived at a stage of growth or development as to be ready for reaping or eating, as in a grain or fruit, or a high point of development or excellence, as in a human being.

Sometime in your mid-40's you may start to get a whiff of fall changes coming. You can smell those tomatoes ripening on the's not mid-summer anymore. You might not be looking forward to this kind of ripening, even though it may turn out to be the best time of your life.

Every season has it's challenges and discoveries, but somehow, for a lot of women turning fifty is a big one. It may be the fear of growing older, wrinkles, gray hairs and pudgy love handles. It may be fear of losing your shiny fertility, mourning (or celebrating) the closing of the baby factory. It may be facing a knee or hip replacement, or even your own mortality, or the grave illness of your parents.

But the joys of turning fifty, for me, far outweigh the slight inconvenience of any changed facial features and hair colour, or having to deal with new creams, hair dyes and oh yeah, more Zumba. The calm acceptance and internal joy didn't come right away though - at first it was all topsy turvy emotions, upside down confusion and a lot of questions.

Being a work at home mom, the big question was what to do now that the fledglings had pushed off out of the nest into university. They didn't need me hovering, there was no more school to volunteer at, and I felt distinctively un-useful, unneeded, but also free! After a few small pangs of grief at letting go, I realized the upside: no more cranky voices calling Mom! down the hallway when they couldn't find their cell phone or their favourite pair of socks. No more laundry baskets overflowing in the hallway. I could buy eggplant and cook my favourite spicey meals!

But what would I do with my new found time? and what did I want to do?

This is where my journal came in handy. I asked myself a lot of questions on my Quest. And, being a perpetual learner, I also took courses, went on weekends away on retreat or to workshops, sniffing out that ever elusive Purpose to my Life. I had already gone back to school in my 30's, and gotten two degrees over ten years, so that was not the object of my search.  It took a few years of trial and error, but I ended up back where I had started - teaching writing classes to women,but with some new tools to add to my journaling classes, (SoulCollage(R) so that it morphed into a more Creative Circle. I also wrote a book on the mid-life transition and menopause and incorporated those learnings into my classes as well. (The Tao of Turning Fifty).

Above all, though, my biggest realization was how important self-care, down time and rest and napping were to keep me sane and balanced. And somehow, my own need of self-nurturing, self-kindness and compassion has lead me to help other women nurture themselves and put themselves on the list. Developing an inner coach and realizing how loud my inner critic were was a big part of that.

So the mid-life journey has been a circular one, not linear, not outer goal oriented, but more inner goal oriented. I asked myself, What do I need to make me happy? How can I use my skills and talents to give something back? What do I love to do? What will make me feel fulfilled and aligned with my purpose?  With over half my life gone by, and many accomplishments (including two beautiful, healthy children, by some grace), turning fifty was a good time to re-evaluate, re-assess, look into my deepest heart's longing and allow it to surface. This involved getting some help to re-imagine myself as a retreat leader, doing what I love to do - with a focus on yoga, meditation, visualization and more time swimming in that centered core place that feels so nourishing.

Entering one's fifties is high time for becoming a little more mature - and the ripeness I'm feeling is that connection to my inner knowing. A little more confidence in following my intuition, a lot more of being sure of what I want, what I am willing to do, the kind of people I want to be around. Last night my husband was talking about his own future - at what age he would like to retire, how much of a nest egg we will need, and then he added, what I want is to be around people with Heart!

I had to laugh, because both of us are nearing age 60 now, and after 30 years of marriage, at least we can agree on this - no more wasting time on cocktails, business meetings, fundraisers, parties and events where there is no Heart. And that's what the ripeness of my own knowing has brought me. Knowing what I love to do, and who I love to be with.

Happy Mid-Life Journey to you,

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Peace Day is Coming up

Back to school, back to teaching classes, back to blogging....

September is full of 'back to's and here's one more : back to Peace for People

a series of short videos for International Peace Day, and the latest is my favourite:

Peace and War

Jennifer aka Musemother