Bless the heavens above, it's a new year!!!
We know the drill: on January 1, we assign ourselves all the resolutions that promise us perfection. All we need is the commitment and discipline and accountability to win this game of perfecting ourselves. Sounds like fun, right?
It's a set-up for failure. Sometimes we make it through the first week or first month, but being human gets in the way of perfection:
Ohhhhh, the punishment, the shame, the judgment...
Imagine how this misery leaks into our daily lives, our relationships, our happiness!
I confess: I am still learning this lesson the hard way. A diet is always at the top of my resolution list. In January, lettuce prices are sky-rocketing; gym memberships are all the rage. I'm older, losing poundage takes longer. I should know this by now. Unfortunately, I love to eat. I savor every bite of dark chocolate, creamy mashed potatoes, and warm bread. And, because I pulled my back during the Holidays, instead of taking my long, robust walks everyday, I go to physical therapy. As a result, I lost my waist.
Anne Lamott has always been a favorite writer. Her words speak to my own, along with her humanity and humor. She wins me over every time: "Diets make you fat, 95% of the time. We gain it back, plus 5lbs. We lose it, and it finds us again... Enjoy these musings from Anne Lamott for perspective.
2022 brought me to my knees. The struggle and suffering with Covid and health matters, the losses, the not knowing for so so so long, the shifting priorities, and, yes, time passing. ENOUGH! I'm losing precious time. I want to be happy, one day at a time.
Welcome 2023. Welcome Today.
I remembered my One Word exercise, the exercise I would do with my family, my coaching clients, my team at work: reflective, introspective, truth-telling, do-able, empowering. Choose ONE WORD to become your mantra for this year. ONE WORD that speaks to your Best Self. ONE WORD that fuels your every action, directs your every decision, and supports your growth and awareness. Choose ONE WORD that you know you can live by because it resonates with your needs right now. ONE WORD that will better serve you: courage, patience, engage, gratitude, health, humor, breathe, play, discover, generous, serve...you get the idea.
My word is INTENTION. Intention creates energy. It forces me to choose what I want the outcome to be in a relationship, a communication, an experience. It's my mind that decides how I want to live this day, who I want to spend my time with. And if my intention is to be healthy, for example, then I will take a pause from those french fries and take a longer walk!
Because I've seen this exercise deliver results:
Because this exercise requires you 'to go deep' in choosing the One Word that inspires you, excites you, engages you, perhaps a collaborative effort works best to engage your essence, your core...And, because my intention is to serve you:
BONUS: First 10 people who sign up will receive a FREE signed copy of my third book, Outrageous, Courageous and Highly Contagious, a leadership storybook that is a provocative fun-read for people ready to ignite Life in themselves and others.
Email Susan here to schedule your session.
C'mon...Let's do this!
Featured Modern Elder*
Toby Gerst Age 79
I met Toby when we both participated in an online Wise Aging class during Covid. Her comments were provocative. And she was both strong and vulnerable. I liked her.
She introduced me to Fisherman's Friend lozenges for my annoyingly persistent cough, and sure enough, my cough went quiet, at last. She also recommended a book I immediately purchased by Suzette Elgin, The Grandmother Principles:
Yes, I liked Toby, a lot. She didn't seem to mind my asking her so many questions, especially after she mentioned she was a Commissioner and Judge Pro Tempore of the Superior Court. Toby was a judicial officer.
Imagine knowing you're calling so absolutely in 6th grade!!
I don't often meet a judicial officer without her robe on! Other than jury duty, I'm not often in a court room.
My battery of questions took over this interview:
What are the lessons you learned serving on the bench?
Tell me about Pickle Puss:
How did you come home and be a parent after a day of being on the bench?
Toby is a grandmother of 5 grandchildren, and she treasures and appreciates every moment with them all. She lives by the Grandmothers Principles, and she understands the gift it is to be a grandmother:
Toby stays in awe of our global evolution on a daily basis:
Thank you, Toby, for giving us an inside look of what it's like to serve on the bench as a profession and a grandmother and a great model as a Modern Elder.
(Respecting Toby's privacy, let Susan know if you want to connect with Toby Gerst.)
*Chip Conley, best-selling author and speaker, hospitality entrepreneur and leading thought leader, created The Modern Elder Academy's mission "to inspire the ability to reframe a lifetime of experience and recognize one's mastery, relevance, and value in the modern workplace." The Modern Elder* is Conley's term and effort that "liberates and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path of growing whole, not old...The Modern Elder marries wisdom and curiosity."
Every month this newsletter will Feature the stories and wisdom of Modern Elders.
Share your Modern Elders with us...maybe it's you!! Please send in your Modern Elder Story along with a one-line Wisdom statement plus photo to be featured. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT.
Today, I am 76 years old, and proud of it! Paul Simon, who is now in his 80's said it best years ago: us boomers were BORN AT THE RIGHT TIME!
Yes, I was born at the right time! I'm still a hippie from the 60's, I marched for civil rights for all humans, equal rights for women, waving my bra with the best. I am proud to be living and growing in a robust marriage of 55 years. I survived motherhood, and so did my now-adult children. I was an award-winning woman business owner when there were but a few of us. I've learned a whole bunch of lessons, and more importantly, I've earned my fair share of Wisdom, too. I am Pro-Age!
According to Chip Conley, one of today's leading thought leaders: "Experience is making a comeback. Wisdom never grows old." Chip created the hallmarks of the Modern Elder*: "learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, cultivating a beginner's mind so that learning never ends, exemplifying a willingness to evolve both as a student and sage." Research shows that shifting our mindset about Aging can add 7.4 happy years to a person's life.
Proud to say I am a graduate of the Modern Elder Academy as well as an active participant in Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit programs. As one of the creators and hosts of the Thrive@55 event, we celebrated our female community leaders who were 55+.
As long as I'm able to have the blessings of good health and a curious mind, there's more living to do, so much more to learn, so many new ways to serve. Trailblazer that I am, and always will be, I recognize my next mission: by example and demonstration I am committed to Changing the Face of Aging: One Modern Elder* at a time!
I welcome both local and national speaking engagements as well as one-on-one coaching opportunities to delve more deeply into navigating life transitions. Email me Here.
© 2023 SUSAN L. BROOKS | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED