Tag Archives: mental health

60 is the New 30!

14 Apr

“I have found, for myself, that the best secret to aging is about your attitude,” Oprah says. “I think it’s how you feel about yourself at any given moment—if you’re in love with yourself, if you feel that you have [something] to offer to yourself, your family and the world.” –Oprah Winfrey

I saw a clip on a morning show the other day about a 60 year old woman who has been winning awards as a championship body-builder who was about to embark on training for the grueling Triathlon.

“Sixty is now the new Thirty” proclaimed the announcer.

I’m LOVIN’ IT!

I have been associated with an extraordinary group of people over the years who have remained active and productive; some of them well into their 70’s and beyond.

We build, we hike, we get involved in volunteer projects to benefit others. We joke about how we can fit an entire week into 24 hours. We laugh and sing and enjoy life.

Advertising agencies have long been on a campaign to convince the American public that they’re “toast” after 25. BULL!

We are who and what we think we are. Simply the mantra “Sixty is the New Thirty!” repeated over the course of the day is bound to put a spring in your step!

Jack Benny was famous for telling everyone he was perpetually “39” – but that was a form of denial. Everyone laughed. But everyone knew that was a lie.

“Sixty is the New Thirty!” is a revolution. It’s celebrating that fact that the mind has the ability to dictate to the body how it will function.

Think that’s a bunch of bunk? Take a look at Health and Fitness Icon Jack Lalane, who died at the age of 96. He chose to celebrate his 70th birthday “handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents”, towing70 rowboats, including one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, for a total distance of 1 mile!

Think he got up in the morning and thought about being old?

I remember when Jane Fonda turned 40. She as well as a host of other actresses of the same age was being celebrated as coming of age – a new age of arrival for women. Now, as the life expectancy increases for humans, and the crazy, rockin’ “Baby Boomers” move into their sixties – there’s a renaissance afoot that’s likely to throw all the old conventions about “aging” right out the window!

I, for one, celebrate this.

How old am I?

30! 🙂

 -Deborah Adler

“Treat your body as the Altar where you meet face to face and heart to heart with what you accept as supreme intelligence, in whatever sacred Name you call it. Live as you believe God to Be. And love as you desire to be loved. Appreciate and focus on what you want more of in life.” -Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha* from THE BODY AS AN ALTAR*

* © Copyright POL 2005 © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.
DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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Lessons from the Opposition

18 Mar

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” – Newton’s Third Law of Motion

This Law of Physics has a practical application in Life. I first heard it expressed by my spiritual mentor and Elder Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha many years ago when she shared how she measures the strength of her declaration to the Universe (i.e. goal, project, intention, etc.) by the strength and size of the opposition that comes back at it.

Most of us have been taught to retreat when we experience resistance. Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha welcomes it as a positive indicator!

According to noted author Fred Alan Wolf, PhD, “Resistance arises in each transformation. This is the transformational process itself.”

Athletes understand this principle. Any long distance runner will tell you about the cramps and the pain that starts up about three-quarters of the way through the race. Champions run through the pain. The Resistance.

That’s just one example.

When we experience opposition we can’t afford to shrink from it. We have to hold our ground and press on. That’s how we succeed – regardless of the goal.

When we speak up or take a stand on an issue or Principle, the opposition is likely to come back strong and heavy. The important thing to remember is to stay focused on our intent and allow that energy to be what fuels our moving ahead. We don’t shrink back or accept defeat.

“Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are in essence ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you and destroying your design.” Oprah Winfrey

We come from a culture of “make-wrong” therefore it’s almost instinctual for us to react to opposition as the “sign” that we are “wrong” or “bad” or worse. Actually, it means we’re “on target.” We need to become a culture of “make-right.”

Celebrate the opposition because it means you’re on track to your target. Don’t let others sway you. And don’t let the “bullies” become the wall you can’t break through – whether physically or in your mind. That “committee of voices” can be pretty formidable at times. Use it.

-Deborah Adler

“If your outcome is not achieved this time you’ll get it next one, or next one… Persist. As soon as you have no doubt it is yours. Now is the time to focus more and push through.” Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha


DISCLAIMER: All the opinions expressed in any articles, blog posts and Internet content written by me are my own and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any individuals or organizations with whom I associate.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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Life as a Paradox

11 Mar

Definition: “something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible.”

I’m studying the Tao Te Ching. There are 81 verses. It’s possible to spend a lifetime studying these verses, which for the most part don’t have even twenty lines to them – but boy, do they nail Truth.

Of course, I can’t really explain what I’m reading, but when I read it there’s an innate recognition – I feel an “Ah-hah.” Somewhere deep in my Being, I recognize Mystery.

Paradox.  Know it, but can’t explain it. Recognize it, but never saw it before. I do know that when it starts talking about the Master Teacher, I recognize my spiritual mentor and Elder of 25 years, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha. It’s uncanny.

It seems the more we seek something the more it eludes us – whether it be prosperity, position, relationship – whatever. Perhaps it has to do with the Principle of Attraction.

When we concentrate our thoughts on what we don’t have – our focus is on what we lack. We give so much attention to that that we end up creating more lack.

Even when we’re carefully crafting goals in totally positive terms, if we’re concentrating on creating results, we are probably blocking our own success. We’ve become accustomed to plotting out the course to our goals. Quantum Physics tells us if we clearly define our beginning point and end point, the Universe will fill in the details. Another paradox.

“The Master leads

by emptying people’s minds

and filling their cores

by weakening their ambitions

and toughening their resolves…”*

There’s an old Chinese proverb about a Teacher and student. The teacher starts pouring tea into the student’s cup but continues pouring even as the tea overflows and pours all over the table. When the student questions why, the Teacher responds that the student’s mind is like the full cup of tea. The student has come to the Teacher pretty full of himself. Only when the student would be willing to let go of what he thought he knew, i.e. empty his mind, would the Teacher be able to work with him.

Recovery from addiction is a lot like that. We tend to walk in thinking we know what we need to do to “beat this thing” – and slowly we learn from the shared experiences of others present that in order to triumph over our addiction we need to “surrender,” form a partnership with the God of our understanding, and empty out what we think we know so we can really learn.

Another Paradox.

If my best thinking got me in a place of dire straights, it’s highly likely that only by building my core values will I transcend my predicament. Empty out in order to receive.

My ambition in life might be to rise to a particular position or status or income level – whatever – but only when I resolve to live a life of service will I achieve all that I want through helping others.

That’s not my wisdom. I’ve been hearing it from my Elder for 25 years, only to be reinforced in recovery rooms, by inspirational speakers and business motivators.

Now I’m reading it in the Tao.

I guess when we finally quit complicating life we find the simple solutions. If you find yourself thinking about something, “It can’t be that simple!” – you probably need an Ego check. Lose your self-importance and gain Wisdom.

Another Paradox…. 🙂

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” –Oprah Winfrey

“Allow each second of your time to be filled with a kindness to all and include yourself!” -Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

-Deborah Adler

*Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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Letting Go to Allow the Flow

8 Mar

“Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever.” -Deepak Chopra

I spent some time with a friend tonight who is fearful of losing his job. The details aren’t really important. What really matters is that he’s convinced that his Union is going to have him canned. He was talking about moving to …somewhere else…to start over again…somewhere where no one knew him.

I shared with him that in 12-Step rooms we often talk about the problem with running away is that you take yourself with you. “Geographical cures” may seem desirable, but they’re totally ineffective.

More than one person tried to remind him that sometimes Life has a way of closing a door for us that we weren’t able – or willing – to close for ourselves.

He couldn’t really hear any of it. He was too committed to his fear. In his mind, a determination has already been made. He’s already packed his bags – in more ways than one.

Active addicts – and some recovering ones, too – know all about running. We also know the futility of trying to hang onto something, or someone or trying to control an outcome through manipulation or deceit. “Resistance,” as the Borg of Star Trek would say, “is futile.”

But the futility comes from the paradox of life that you can only keep something by giving it away. No matter how adept one is at “creating their day” or mapping out their life, at some point there is a handing over to God-Creator-The Source for the ultimate unfoldment.

In my experience, God-Creator-The Source has always delivered a much more magnificent outcome than I could have imagined. Of course, that would be from the “hind-sight is 20-20” perspective, but even so, when I can remember I’m working in partnership with the God of my understanding, I can “let go” of the results and appreciate the journey.

The flow of energy can only happen through a clear pathway. If we try to contain it, we stop it – like a giant circuit-breaker. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, money…if we allow for a flow of energy, a freedom, we create the pathway for it to return to us. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t ours to begin with.

“Generosity is the outcome of faith.  Give and you will receive.  Give how you want to receive.  Generosity heals poverty.  Generosity helps us to be free of material attachments that we will never own.  They own us; they do not serve us.  We serve them.  Give when you have very little for yourself, or you will never be free.  Non-attachment does not mean you need to live in poverty.  It guarantees wealth.” – Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha*

*Follow the Question Inward ©  1994 Pa’Ris’Ha  © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

-Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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The Value of A Reflection

6 Mar

“There is a lesson in almost everything that you do, and getting the lesson is how you move forward. It is how you enrich your spirit.”-Oprah Winfrey

I have learned the importance of seeking a “reflection” over the years in my association with Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha.  A “Reflection” – just as the word implies – is a starkly objective feeding back of what you give to it. It does not judge, it does not seek to improve upon or make better or compensate for, but like the mirror – which holds no opinions of what it sees – it merely “reflects” back.

A great coach is an accomplished Reflector.

I taught swimming for ten years through the Red Cross Water Safety programs at Girl Scout summer resident camps in Michigan and Ohio. This was long before the age of camera phones, digital movies, etc. We had to use words to communicate to our swimmers – to help them understand the difference between what they were doing and the proper execution of a swimming stroke.

One tool that I developed that became tremendously successful was the ability to mimic the student’s movements. So I became a sort of live human “video-cam” to “playback” their execution in the water while they watched from my vantage point on the deck.

One thing it allowed was for them to laugh at themselves when they saw the sometimes large gap between what they thought they were doing and their actual movements. I would show them what they were doing and then show them the correct stroke.

It turned out to be a very successful teaching tool.

Whenever I had to correct a student’s stroke – I gave them something they were doing right. I found something they were executing correctly and reinforced that. But I didn’t lie to them. I didn’t try to look past or minimize what they were doing wrong. I showed them what needed adjusting – in order to perfect their technique and execute the stroke properly.

A good swimming teacher has two objectives in mind. Some students will want to compete. So they’re interested in speed and efficiency. But ALL students need to be drown-proof. A good swimming teacher will give their students tools that will help them maximize their energy in a survival situation, and keep them from exhausting themselves in practice or recreational swimming.

The fact is swimming strokes have been modified and stream-lined over the years to require less energy and maximize a swimmer’s power working together with the resistance factor of the water. When executed correctly, a swimmer can utilize the resistance of the water to propel themselves forward, maximizing and even conserving energy.

When executed sloppily or incorrectly, the swimmer can actually find him/herself working against natural forces and will exhaust themselves in the effort.

My goal was always to help my swimmers achieve their best performance – whether for competition or just plain efficiency. I helped them there by holding no judgment of what I saw, reflecting their performance back to them and helping them to make the necessary and appropriate corrections to bring them up to optimum performance.

Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha has been the ultimate coach in my life. She holds no judgment, reflects without distortion and stays steadfast in her commitment to helping others achieve excellence. I haven’t always been the best student, but I’m no quitter. So long as I don’t give up on myself, Coach Pa’Ris’Ha is there.

I have been very blessed to have someone in my life who cared enough about me to help me be my best. Too often we surround ourselves with people who are afraid to offend us, who are afraid to deliver the truth. But then that simply enables us in our weaknesses. It really doesn’t serve personal development, in fact it stunts it. Personal growth requires stretching beyond our comfort zones – being willing and able to take direct feedback without injury and change.

If I run from the truth, I live in a world of denial. The fact is that that existence creates a far greater pain than facing the truth and acting upon it. With the support of a skilled and compassionate but firm coach, learning from a “Reflection” can become a life of discovery and unfoldment.

It’s always a choice.

“All around you no matter where you are is opportunity. You decide its potential and outcome. You are the co-creators. Make a life worthy of all the gifts we are. Love from a place empty of fear. Live in eternal celebration of being chosen for this world and life, and if we manage well, we will dwell in its glory and beauty again.” –Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor*

* from Grandmother’s Legacy. © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

 

-Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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Confessions of a Positive Thinker

2 Mar

I’ve had a couple of challenging days. And I have a confession to make. As much as I write about and expound the virtues and benefits of “positive thinking” – it’s not always my first instinctual response to adverse circumstances.

Sometimes I have to work my way around to that “silver lining,” that hidden gift, that blessing in disguise – well, you get the picture. Sometimes staying positive feels like hard work!

I’m pretty sure my spiritual mentor and Elder is laughing as she reads this. When I first met her and stated my desire to commit to the path of personal and spiritual development, she looked at me and said, “It’s going to take work.”

I remember feeling slightly offended and confused. “What does she mean?” I thought to myself. “I am a hard worker.” I laughed nervously and just shook my head up and down in agreement, but twenty-five years later, I have at least a glimpse of what she was trying to forewarn me.

“Taking the high road,” as I have come to call it (borrowed from an actress who has inspired me with her ability to make the best of the adversity in her life) doesn’t always necessarily come easy. But the rewards are obvious.

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” –Oprah Winfrey

Every day we wake up we face choices:

How do we start our day? Giving Appreciation for the gift of a New Life? (As is the traditional practice my spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha).

Do we see everyone in our life as mere reflections or aspects of ourselves?

Do we embrace the opposition or resistance and transform that into the creative energy we need to break through to victory?

These are all choices. There are so many more – moment to moment –  that comprise our day.

“Want success? Just count the good things of each day and give grateful acknowledgment that you have allowed it to be part of your day!” Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor

Sometimes I need to rely on “tools” – like the slogans of the 12-Step Programs – to help me into “right thinking.”

“Let go and let God.”

”Live and let live.”

“One day at a time.”

“First things first”

“How important is it?”

Sometimes I have to talk to myself – like the Observer, and say, “So, Deb…is that really what you wanted to do?” When the answer is “no” I get to make a course correction, or “re-take” as Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha refers to it.

The point is that personal growth is about stretching. It’s work. At least for me. Being positive doesn’t always come naturally to me, but if I commit to the process of transforming my mental state to a positive one, the rewards extend to physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

The ultimate reward is that the ripple effect of one person choosing to be positive has an exponential effect upon humanity.

“Just one optimistic person, with a willingness to allow people to grow from mis-takes, can affect 90,000 others. That’s what one person can do.” Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

That’s cool! – Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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One Law: Respect

27 Feb

“I choose to rise up out of that storm and see that in moments of desperation, fear, and helplessness, each of us can be a rainbow of hope, doing what we can to extend ourselves in kindness and grace to one another. And I know for sure that there is no them…there’s only us.”
-Oprah Winfrey

When emotions rule our thinking, humanity pays the price. We, as a species, are not individual units but a collective. We are One.

Separation is an illusion. That you and I are different is a myth. Physical type, skin color, bone structure are all just externals. They are elements of appearance.

Thought can be measured as Energy. Religion, philosophy, opinion – all of these are just forms of Thought, or Energy. Energy is neither good nor bad, it simply Is.

We judge each other, condemn each other, and even destroy each other based on perceived differences, all of which are really just illusions. The instruments of destruction can be words or physical actions as much as weapons designed to take life.

In the tradition of the ancestors of my spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, there is only one Law: Respect.

When we relate to ourselves and others with Respect, there can be no harm brought through any means. Through Respect we can achieve Harmony.

Harmony is the state of peaceful co-existance. I’m talking about a world rich in diversity, not homogeneity.

We all must rise to the necessity of choosing to regard all Life as Sacred. That begins with how we think, how we speak, and the actions we take.

It begins with me.

-Deborah Adler

“The system of living for the Cherokee meant being surrounded by demonstrations of value and examples of respect.

“That respect goes out to everything as being valuable. The knowledge that all Creation is a living ecosystem and that even the “body” we call the Universe is the transforming of ourselves. We live “in” and “through” the Great Spirit. Everything is “alive” and therefore is life and needs respect and care. -from Grandmother’s Legacy, by Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor

Grandmother’s Legacy © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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