• Women and Our Relationship with Money

    Hourglass Workshops was created to help women re-discover ourselves in our middle years to create a more passionate, colorful and full life. This includes relationships—in all forms. A loving, honest and caring relationship with oneself is paramount and the cornerstone to how we will thrive in mid-life and beyond. We also explore how to best create more powerful, passionate and loving relationships with our partner, as well as expand and enrich our friendships as we go through our many life transitions.

    However, to ensure a comfortable and secure midlife, women need to have a good, honest relationships with money. This time of life we are nervous about whether or not we have enough money to fund our future (which showed up much sooner than we expected!), especially given the past decade of financial uncertainty.

    Through most of our life, we may have turned over the financial responsibilities to our husband, and after a divorce, realize we know little about securing our own financial future. Or perhaps we were so busy working, raising our children and living life, we didn’t pay enough attention to our financial security.  It is NOT too late! One thing I’ve noticed is that women are socialized not to discuss money, “it’s just not polite”, or we’re made to feel we’re asking stupid questions or its something we feel we should know and don’t. Whether or not its polite is immaterial, it is necessary we understand money, investing, and our financial security.

    In September, we are offering a 3 evening series (Sept, 9,16,23) on “Empowering Women—Money and Their Future”. It is a seminar for women-only, and offers an opportunity to learn and share in a safe environment. The objective is to empower women to make good financial choices in the future, with the knowledge and confidence to do so.

    Won’t you join us? For more information, click to “Empowering Women—Money and Their Future”. You’ll be glad you did!

  • Travel—the Elixer of Life!

    Cafe in FranceFrom the age of 16, I’ve always loved to travel after a life-changing experience as an AFS exchange student to Brazil. With my newly issued passport, I clearly remember sitting in SFO waiting for a flight to New York City and then on to Rio De Janeiro. Looking back at my parents as they waved good-bye at the gate (obviously back in the pre-TSA days), I still remember the excitement, fear, and heightened sense of anticipation as I boarded on my very first flight. Since then, I seem to always be planning the “next trip”. I thrive on travel. Not only the trip itself, but the planning, anticipation and the pre-trip excitement. I just don’t understand people when they say they rarely ever go on vacation!

    With all its frustration, too small seats in crowded planes, extra fees, and petty inconveniences, travel continues to fully engage me and during trips I really stay in present. Studies show that travel improves our physical and mental well-being. I’m sure its partly due to the heightened awareness we have when we are out of our routines. Also, I always walk more when I’m on a trip than I ever seem to at home and it feels so effortless. (A real bonus is regardless of what I eat, I never gain weight while traveling.) I remember a recent trip to Paris and all the walking we did. Who hasn’t walked from dawn to dusk all over a new city, exploring streets, aware of architecture, people watching, and the variety of sights, smells and sounds? I have been keenly aware of the sensory feast in a Greek spice market, the sounds of waves crashing as we walked along on a Hawaiian beach, and the stunning vibrant autumn leaves along the Blue Ridge Highway in Virginia— all remain vivid reminders of travel. I was fully engaged in those experiences, my level of everyday stress was reduced, and I felt much more in the flow of life.

    In an excellent article published by the Global Coalition on Aging , the authors discuss the physical, mental and emotional benefits of travel. Perhaps it’s not that healthy people travel, rather people who travel and remain active are healthier! In one study, women who travel twice a year are statistically less likely to have a heart attack than those who travel once every 4 years! So, for your heart’s sake, plan a trip!

    There are many, many wonderful travel blogs and one I suggest is The World According to Barbara, a delightful travel log by a woman in mid-life…well written and inspiring.

    More later as I share some of my travels and insights, and of course the health benefits! And if you have a favorite blog or a comment about how travel has made you healthier, let us know in the comments below.

    Ciao!

  • Toolbox Tip #5–Road Trips–Venture off your Beaten Path

    Blue Ridge Parkway“On the road again!” was my October theme song. (thanks Willie Nelson). We just got back from a wonderful 2 week vacation–“Americana Road Trip 2013”!. Along the way I learned several things I felt would be great tips on life’s journey, especially at this time of our lives.

    1. Identify several “must’s” in your life and decide when you want to do them. (Hint: The sooner the better.) For me, I love our National Parks and road trips. Fortunately my husband does too. I have wanted to visit the Smoky Mountains and drive the Blue Ridge Parkway in the fall. It was everything I’d hoped for and more. We hit the fall colors perfectly, visited fascinating historic sights, enjoyed delicious regional food, wines and beers, and shared some memories with family and friends along the way.

    2. Get something scheduled. I almost always have some kind of trip on my calendar. It can be a big vacation, but often they are day trips or weekend getaways. They keeps me focused forward and excited about something new. Planning something is invigorating, opens our minds to new possibilities, discoveries, and stretches us to learn about new regions and enjoy different experiences. I have a close friend and when she’s a bit down, she’ll call and say, “let’s get something on the calendar”. We do and it cheers us both up. Anticipation and planning are great antidotes to the “blahs”.

    3. Embrace the unexpected. One morning, after we’d spent a night in a relatively unknown small town along the Hudson River, we realized we were 1/2 hour from Hyde Park (Roosevelt’s home and Presidential library) so we drove up and spent several hours. What a fascinating look into history at that time…one of the highlights of our trip.

    4. Get off the freeway of life. Side roads offer a slower pace and many more interesting sights. We stopped at a local fruit stand with over a dozen varieties of apples; found a local bbq dive with the best pulled pork sandwich we’ve ever had; and toured an interesting craft brewery.

    Give one or all of these a try soon, you’ll find your life’s journey much more interesting.

  • Midlife Transitions–Bridging Old and New Energies

    Italian BridgeDuring this mid-life transition, my feelings can quickly shift from contentment to mildly crazy, often without any warning.  Sometimes I feel stuck, uncertain of where I am, let alone where I’m headed. This is intensified by my awareness of time quickly passing by and feeling I really need to get on with “it”–whatever “it” is.

    The universe abhors a vacuum…and it seems so do I. Having spent most of my life always doing something, I realize I’m an activity addict. And I’m not alone. For most of us in the Western culture, we live an over-scheduled, noisy, cluttered, fast paced life. Up until recently, I loved it and thrived. Now, at this time in my life as I move from the shores of my old life, I am crossing the bridge of uncertainty onto new, unfamiliar shores of midlife. I know I want to be open, receptive, and available to what may happen, rather than trying so hard to make it happen.

    I know my next 15-20 years will be much different than my last several decades. I also know my future won’t resemble that of our parents or grandparents. So, what will this period look like for me and for our generation?

    This is a shift from the masculine energy of “doing”  to the feminine energy of “being” receptive to the flow of life energy. My old way of living no longer works for me and I am seeking answers to so many new questions. I know these questions will help me awaken new aspects of myself and life’s possibilities.

    We’re at that place in the hourglass of life where the single grain of sand moves through that very small space before it enters a new phase and our life again expands. It is this squeeze point, the narrows of our life when we must let go of what has been to make ready for what will become. On this journey, it takes a willingness to simply allow what is without judgment, coupled with a spirit of adventure and especially a  sense of humor. For more ideas, check out our  article Five Secrets to a Brilliant Second Half and enjoy this great time of life!

    Please add your comments below and share what has worked for you during this midlife journey. We’re all in this together.