Happy Gratitude Day!
I'm not good at waiting, are you? I'm a driver, quick to take action, but wisdom has taught me to leave space for Clarity to show up. I'm ready for my next opportunity to serve, I'm waiting to be found. So, while I wait (not so patiently), I follow my own advice to BE in this liminal space, as uncomfortable as it is, and look for the clues that best define who I am right now...'connect the dots' from my many years of work and career life. I have always loved to serve!
I remembered one of my first favorite jobs: Young Sophisticates, a privately owned retail shop filling young girls' trunks with the clothes they needed heading off to college. I had a ball, much to the chagrin of the matronly ladies laser-focused on the store's threshold ready to pounce on the next customer that entered their den.
They hated me. I was 18 years old, working part-time putting myself through college. Yet I was the highest ranking sales person on this team. Even back then and still to this day, yes, the money I earned was important and helpful toward my ultimate goal, but for me it was (and still is) always about the relationship that was the priority. I love serving women. And, you know how I always love fashion. Supporting women and helping them feel great about herself, that is what matters most to me!
I thought about Young Sophisticates and how much fun I had. Fun is a top priority for me these days! On one of my morning walks, I saw the sign HIRING for HOLIDAYS in the window of Chico's. I decided to BE BRAVE: why not put in my application for part time employment? I could hardly sleep the night before the interview, figuring out what to wear, how to present myself in this different space. I still don't know if I was hired, but what an adventure, so far!!
At this time in my life, I don't want to push the river no more. I want to 'sit-in' this open space and trust the process in discovering what will define my next chapter to serve. I'm ready to dream a new dream. As always, I will bring my True Self wherever I go...
In gratitude for the many moments you and I have shared, I count my blessings every day...and you are one of those blessings!
P.S. Thank you for the many responses from last month's newsletter regarding Dr. Dixon in Zimbabwe and his Grandmothers/Friendship Benches. I am passionately committed to finding what it will take to bring this concept to life here. I promise to keep you posted...
Featured Modern Elder*
Patsy Lowry: The Head-to-Toe Sparkle Queen
Age: 81.5 years young
Patsy discovered that sparkle was her Super Power at the young age of 13. Patsy was a star tennis player and as the only female in the competition against five athletic boys, Patsy won the Junior Athlete of Arizona award! There she was at the Award Ceremony, front and center, wearing her very pink dress that Patsy covered in bugle beads and jewels, reflecting the sun's sparkle to the amazement of 500 men in the audience of the on-looking crowd. This event influenced what Patsy is best known for...She is The Sparkle Queen even more so today at 81.5 years young!
Patsy never took an art class. She's taught art with women and children, beading shirts, jackets, and dresses. She hand-painted gowns for Halston. She's hosted an interview TV show, and continues to write for Trends and Stroll magazines. "You don't have to understand what you're doing...who's to say? It's a gift to find your gift!"
Winning an award as a competitive athlete so early in her life influenced Patsy's success: "I learned discipline. Many people have talents but they don't use them. I give my all...I do what it takes. I like to win...in fact, I am not happy unless I win. I learned to be successful!"
Patsy is married 60 years: "My husband realized early on, he was married to a rocket. I get dressed up every day of our marriage. He knows I'm restless, I take risks and create challenges. Art is a creative process...you don't grow if you don't risk!"
I had to ask this Sparkle Queen 'is too much ever too much?' Immediately and emphatically, Patsy raised her voice several octaves higher: NEVER! she said. "Sparkle is ageless...Light is important in our lives. Light reflects light!"
"My most important message right now is to START! Try doing something special...keep it small, but do it!! What is missing? Add this to your life! If you don't start being playful, expressing your creativity somehow, somewhere, then nothing happens. Keep challenging yourself, pushing yourself to use your own creative edge, to stay forever curious, forever young!"
In closing this month's ME Profile, I'd like to leave you with this thought to inspire and motivate you to new dreams:
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
- Robin Williams
*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*. Please send in your Modern Elder* nomination. 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 are 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 see the sunrise every morning and keep a curious mind, there's more living to do, so much more to learn, and 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.
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