Finding Your Way

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“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~ Anaïs Nin

First and foremost, Ron Chapman is a full-time, all-time student of life. This allows him to approach any discipline, principle or practice in a search for valuable ideas to incorporate into his life. It also presents continual challenge, an opportunity to shatter old perspectives and ideas which no longer serve well.

An integral part of the role of the student is to seek. And for this Ron has become an adventurer and wanderlust. Who knows what places, events or circumstances may hold for any one of us. Yet we must commit ourselves to such experiences.

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From a developmental point of view, Ron values a notion described by the American philosopher Ken Wilber as “transcend and include.” Essentially, this is to incorporate everything new in a way that allows you to elevate your practice in the world, no matter what form it may take.

More important is the need to use knowledge and experience for the benefit of others…to find a way to make a contribution that is larger and provides greater value.

                    Ron Chapman

Ron Chapman

As this week’s guest on the Awakening to Awareness Radio Show, Ron discussed life transitions, what he’s learned from working through his, the concept of ‘metanoia,’ his work in the areas of healing and forgiveness and, the fact that – as boomers – vital years are not waning but beginning.

Ron talked about stepping out of comfort zones and “leaning into” / getting comfortable with discomfort as well as convincing ourselves that doing so can be in our best interests, as well as how this action can better prepare us to create breakthroughs and turn our lives into new directions. We get a sense of how Ron’s work and experience is transformational.

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The show’s podcast and Ron’s contact information is linked here.

Becoming Better Communicators

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“Communication works for those who work at it.” ~ John Powell

Jana Barnhill was elected Toastmasters International President at the 77th annual International Convention held August 2008, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She was only the fourth woman to serve as the top officer of the organization.

Recognized for her speaking skills, Jana placed 3rd in the World Championship of Public Speaking in 1993 and 2nd in 1996. In 1997, she became only the fifth woman in the organization to earn the coveted Accredited Speaker designation.

Jana Barnhill

Jana Barnhill

Professionally, Jana is a speaker/trainer for L.I.V.E. Speakers, Inc., a company she owns with her husband. She conducts seminars throughout the United States on management topics; including communication and leadership, team building, managing change and personality traits. She delivers keynotes and also serves as a speech writer and coach to other professionals.

Jana is no novice to staring trials in the face, while continuing to keep a smile on hers. Jana is a small plane crash survivor, suffers from a neurological disorder and her husband is battling ALS. She loves spending time with friends, theater, shopping, Christmas, movies, travel, anything fast, Disneyland (she has gone at least once, sometimes three times a year since 1991), entertaining and…shopping!

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As my guest on this week’s Awakening to Awareness Radio Show, Jana shared how she never really sought a global leadership role; how community, culture, and connection are integral to the Toastmasters experience; how boomers can offer their wisdom and experience to help members of younger generations and; how listening is such a critical element of effective communication.

She shared two personal stories about being inspired and how mentoring builds confidence. She acknowledged that “people are her oxygen” and how they help to sustain her energy and positive attitude. Jana advocates for no matter where one is in their life, there are always opportunities to work on your communication skills.

Interested in learning more about Toastmasters, listen to the show podcast or visit http://www.toastmasters.org

It’s About Having Fun

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“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.”   ~ Danny Kaye

Bobette Reeder is Past President of the International Coach Federation (ICF), the global professional organization that represents personal and business coaches. She has been a professional Coach since 1995 and was among the first 20 coaches to receive the distinction of ICF Master Certified Coach (MCC). She holds a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders and her coaching voice has been heard by hundreds of clients in 41 U.S. states and 10 foreign countries.

Bobette Reeder

Bobette Reeder

Bobette is active as a Partner with Serendipitous Events and a Co-Host/Co-Producer of the first invitation-only event for Master level Coaches,”Conversation Among Masters” (CAM). She has been married for 42 years and has two married children, four grandchildren and Murphy the Wonder Dog! Her style both personally and professionally is all about having fun and seeking the positive side and opportunity in everything life brings.

As my guest on this week’s Awakening to Awareness Radio Show, Bobette shared how and why professional coaching can be of considerable value to baby boomers; how the word “pause” and its practice is significant; why it’s important to know who you really are; why playing and having fun, especially when in a life transition is key and; the need for both a coach and ‘coachee’ to have chemistry or a “fit” for the partnership to be productive.

5055545286_5983b7c600_mShe also addressed continuous learning; having a positive impact and ‘giving back’ and; how coaching helps to create new awareness. Interested in listening to the show, here’s the podcast link. If you’d like to learn more about coaching, you can reach Bobette at: http://www.bobettereeder.com http://www.coachinitiative.org or coachbobette@gmail.com

Pragmatic and Magnetic

Mike Jaffe

Mike Jaffe

“A fool despises good counsel, but a wise man takes it to heart.” ~ Confucius

This year I heard Lisa Nichols speak in person. If you’re unfamiliar with Lisa, check her out. She is a global speaker and successful businesswoman, who envelopes people in an inspiring life story. In my opinion, she is magnetic. Lisa used a phrase that has stuck with me because it aligns well with what and how I choose to share some of my perspectives and her simple phrase is, “I’m just here to stir your soul.”

In our respective blogs, each of us is privileged to open our minds, to express opinions, and to share whatever we deem relevant or worthy. I try to awaken people not only to their potential but to inspire individuals to see new possibilities and to live their lives at conscious, intentional choice.

Robin Lunney

Robin Lunney

As some of you know, I also host a weekly radio show with the same name as this blog. When I highlight show guests in a post, it is not to promote my show. Honestly, it’s not. I simply share a brief summary of my guest(s) and the program so you can consider whether their story might be of interest to you. I deliberately feature guests who have fascinating life experiences to which you might relate and who have unique information to share.

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Chuck Riley

For your consideration, I invite you to listen to any of the three most recent shows. They feature a 9/11 survivor and motivational speaker, a career professional who hasn’t allowed devastating loss to stifle her healing and positive outlook, and a financial professional who provides foundational advice for people planning for or transitioning into retirement.

Here’s a link to these and other Awakening to Awareness show podcasts. Happy listening!

Which Are You: 49% or 51%?

Jennifer Marchetti

Jennifer Marchetti

“A lifestyle is what you pay for; a life is what pays you.” ~ Thomas Leonard

In early 2014, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BH&GRE) conducted a National Survey of baby boomers to learn their retirement strategies, aspirations, and motivations. 49% of the respondents who felt more confident about achieving an ideal retirement lifestyle, cited their top factor for feeling confident as having a retirement lifestyle plan.

This two-minutes video highlights the survey findings.

As a boomer, the 49% figure does not surprise me. In my work with this generational cohort I have learned that many boomers have not substantively planned for their “retirement.” Thus, the post title. Are you part of the 49%, or one of the 51% who don’t yet have a retirement lifestyle plan? As an extension to this finding I find myself thinking, Why not a lifestyle plan for anyone, at any life stage?

Jennifer Marchetti is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for BH&GRE. She was my guest on this week’s Awakening to Awareness Radio Show. On the program, Jen discussed a wide range of matters significant to boomers including: a new definition for retirement; why boomers are pursuing their passions; two views on empty nesters; how boomers are repurposing their living space and; the amazing optimism of this generation who have served as economic drivers for much of their lives.

Also not surprising, as members of the “sandwich generation,” boomers are strong enablers for following generations. They intend to stay active whether continuing to work, volunteering, returning to school (to learn or teach!), as travelers and/or as emerging Encore Entrepreneurs.

The show podcast is linked here, for those interested in listening.

Maybe You Know an Expert

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new beginning.” ~ Carl Bard

This is a rare, off-category post. I’m reaching out to the WordPress community (or at least to you who read this blog) with a request. Many of you know that I host a weekly radio show. The program targets and benefits baby boomers, however its audience is not exclusive to that generational cohort.

Each week I host a guest who, as a subject matter expert, can tell stories, share personal and professional wisdom, provide valuable information and facilitate learning to a global listening community. Many guests have authored books about their expertise, speak publicly about their passionate work or contributions, are accomplished high-achievers, have won awards for their work, and are recognized and appreciated as knowledgable resources.

Perhaps you know someone who has an engaging on-air personality, who can confidently communicate, and who is a boomer or a member of the silent generation. If you do and you believe they would be an inspiring guest – I’d welcome the opportunity to further explore the possibility with them. Please feel free to share their contact information with me or you can have them connect back through this post.

Specifically, I am interested in individuals who can enlighten and provoke thought, and are well-versed in:

  • Food/Nutrition/Diet
  • Exercise/Physical Wellness
  • Travel/Adventure
  • Home Based Business
  • Long-term Care/Elder Care/the Sandwich Generation
  • Retirement Real Estate/Relocation/Adult Communities
  • Entertainment (notice I didn’t say “adult” entertainment)
  • Retiring Abroad
  • Volunteering
  • Continuing Education (especially as a teacher/educator)

I feel uncomfortable soliciting my valued WordPress friends yet I sense that many of you know very talented people. Thanks for allowing me to channel this invitation to and through you and in doing so, provide others with an opportunity to share and shine.

Social Media for Boomers

“Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.” ~ Brian Sollis

Put away that cozy image of the little old lady knitting a sweater for the grandkids, or the distinguished gentlemen playing chess in the park, because the newest elder generation is not going to sit quietly in a rocking chair. This according to Brian Profitt in his ReadWriteWeb article, “Why Boomers Won’t Release Their Grip on Technology.”

In August, 2013 the Pew Research Center on Retirement released a report with some fascinating statistics on social media among Americans 50 and older:

  • 60% of people in the 50-64 year age group, which is most of the boomer population, are now on at least one social media site.
  • Facebook is by far the most popular social media site for this age group.
  • Baby boomers spend 27 hours per week online, which is two hours more per week than those who are between 16 and 34.

My guest on this week’s Awakening to Awareness radio show was Carol McManus, America’s LinkedIn Lady. A self-described ‘recovering corporate executive,’ Carol left the comfort of the corporate cocoon (in 2007) after 26 years and reinvented herself as a coach, consultant and leadership trainer. In a few short years, her speaking and consulting requests shifted to social media because everyone wanted to know how she did what she did and how they could replicate her success for their own business.

                            Carol McManus

Carol McManus

On the show, Carol made it clear that this generational cohort was not heading “out to pasture” and that they are increasingly making use of social media for multiple purposes. She highlighted Facebook and LinkedIn as the two platforms most likely used by boomers and told listeners why. Not surprisingly, Facebook is the account of choice for those interested in connecting or reconnecting and rekindling relationships. And LinkedIn for business connections. Carol talked about online privacy, managing your own social media, stepping into one’s technology fears and why to avoid Twitter.

It was an enlightening and informative interview. You can listen to the podcast on iTunes here or on the Awakening to Awareness show page by clicking here.

As Time Goes By

“As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.” ~ H. L. Mencken

This title comes from Dr. Glenn Miya, who was featured in a mid-December post titled, “Why Wait?” Dr. Glenn uses the expression “As time goes by” with his chronologically gifted patients who prefer it to “aging.” On today’s Awakening to Awareness radio show, Carol McManus talked about social media and its use/value to the boomer generation. And a couple of weeks ago I wrote about The Joys of Living Beyond 50, a post that generated some thoughtful feedback.

Acknowledging these contributing factors, I’m going again with the “as time goes by” theme… sharing three additional awareness opportunities for those having achieved the half-century mark (source: purpleclover.com).

  • Opening that jar or stuck window will take more oomph. With muscle mass on a natural downward slope, it follows that simple everyday activities might suddenly stop you in your track. However, recent studies show promising signs that these muscle changes may be stoppable. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh found that staying active throughout life leads to only minor drop-offs in muscle strength. They’re not sure if similar benefits will result by taking up exercise mid-life, or if the type of exercise matters. Bottom line: Start or keep on exercising!

  • Cavities will start to be a concern again. Like your hair and your skin, your tooth enamel (the protective layer) is thinning out and breaking down, exposing your teeth to more bacteria. What to do? Don’t put off your twice-yearly dental cleanings and ask your dentist for dental sealants which are protective coatings that guard against decay.
  • Your legs won’t keep up with your will (or need) for speed. When people told you that life would slow down as time goes by, perhaps what they really meant to warn you about was the fact that you’ll literally become a slow poke. Here, it’s not your legs that are the problem, it’s the signals your brain is sending to your muscles. This change actually begins around age 40, when the brain cells that shoot motor-control commands to muscles started to slide. So? Vary your workouts but also toss in some mental training. In 2008, neurologists at UCLA found that giving brains their own workout could prompt repair cells to kick into gear. Try memorization activities, taking music or language lessons, or playing computer games.

If you’re serious about your continued wellness, here are three additional considerations:

  1. Investigate your family history. In your 50’s, it’s time to look at your family tree to learn if your genetics increase your risks for diseases such as cancer or heart disease. Understand that history. Get a colonoscopy or a calcium test to help determine whether your arteries are starting to harden, and if you need lifestyle changes. It can’t be just worrying about everybody else.
  2. Check your hostility. Anger often seems connected to a variety of health problems. When people indulge their anger, their heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones increase and stress the body. These people tend to display more depression, dissatisfaction with life, have fewer social connections, and use more unhealthy coping behaviors. Find healthier ways to cope, or change your job, relationships or attitude in some way to retain some balance.
  3. Enjoy the grape. Red wine has a powerful anti-aging compound in it known as resveratrol. Though it is unlikely that the dosage of resveratrol in red wine is high enough to impact lifespan, drinking alcohol in moderation is also associated with decreased risk of heart disease and other vascular problems. My own cardiologist confirms this. 🙂

Failure Yields Great Outcomes

“If you are not failing, you are not moving fast enough, close enough, towards your fullest potential.” ~ Larry Broughton

You’ve heard the expression, “The Real Deal,” right? It is frequently used when describing authentic people; those with character. I had the privilege of having a real deal on this week’s Awakening to Awareness radio show. If you were unable to catch the show ‘live’ you can download the podcast and my guest’s full bio, here.

Larry Broughton has lived one of those classic, humble beginnings to award-winning entrepreneur and CEO, stories. And on this show he shared a bit about his unconventional journey to success. Founder and CEO of Broughton Hotels, a leader in the boutique hotel industry; as well as Co-Founder and CEO of Broughton Advisory, Larry is a man who believes in his vision and walks his talk, personally and professionally.

One hour is barely enough time to scratch the surface of anyone’s story. Yet Larry shared valuable insights into what he believes makes each one of us successful. Having presented to, coached, and mentored thousands of current and aspiring veteran entrepreneurs across the U.S., Larry spoke about the importance of mindset, how it is essential to embrace failure and, how fear and failure are actually healthy as they nurture learning and growth.

Larry cited several abilities/qualities that are necessary to be successful entrepreneurs (and individuals!) including:

  • Having a sense of adventure, as did the early explorers who knew there was something else out there;
  • Being crystal clear about what you intend to accomplish and how to achieve desired results;
  • Possessing a strong belief in your vision;
  • Tapping your competence and confidence;
  • Banishing negativity and the “energy vampires” from your life; 
  • Surrounding yourself with brighter, bolder people and having mentors or accountability partners;
  • Undying resolve and;
  • The ability and sense to ask questions. Ask questions!

Larry’s upbeat, creative approach to business and life have been featured in countless newspaper and magazine articles and he’s been a guest on news and TV programs on every major network, including multiple appearances on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. In his grounded, inspiring ways, Larry emphasized for listeners: the importance of using one’s strengths; being authentic and transparent and; doing what it is you are great at, to yield clarity and live a successfully integrated, holistic life.

So much wisdom… so little time (on this show) with Larry. While he offered much on which to reflect, my three simple take-aways were:

  1. Get comfortable with the “panic zone”… embrace failure.
  2. “Do good things.”
  3. “Don’t let guilt of the past define you; let it refine you.”

Consider listening to the podcast (linked above). It was a good show!

In Six Hours!

                        Larry Broughton

Larry Broughton

Veterans, boomers, leaders, and entrepreneurs, tonight’s Awakening to Awareness radio show is for you! My guest will be Larry Broughton. His journey from the Battlefield to the Boardroom is amazingly inspiring. Named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Larry is CEO of Broughton Advisory Group, industry trendsetting Broughton Hotels, and Broughton Philanthropy. His accomplished bio is linked below.

Join us live at 5:00pm Pacific time and learn invaluable lessons about fear, failure, potential, and energy vampires – as well as what it takes to create personal and professional success.

Here’s a link to the show with Larry’s full bio. You can listen simply by clicking the “Live on Air” button. If you’re interested in calling in with a question for Larry, the studio number (in the U.S.) is 866-404-6519.

This will be an enlightening and informative conversation!