Sassy Moment #10 The Trouble With Nudges

Good morning ladies, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and listen in, this is the Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #10 The trouble with nudges.   

Yesterday we talked about giving gifts to your future successful self and to imagine the advice she might give us to help us get there.  

I have to admit that conjuring up that episode was inspiring for me.  Talking about coaching from my Henessee hammock while cycling across Canada or hosting a retreat for a group of Sassy Ladies to cycle from Banff to Jasper – what a great dream!   Gives me such huge inside smiles I cannot suppress an ear to ear grin.  Yep, my brain is percolating on those future events.  Time will tell…  So. FUN.  

Dreaming is something kids and teens love to do.  They are always dreaming about the future… when they are 10 and get to play on the school baseball team, when they get into middle school and get to play in the school band, or when they get their driver’s license, or when they get into college.  

But somewhere along the line we set our dreams aside and they wither.  Especially for women – the dreams of others choke out our dreams.   The dreams of our children, or our spouse can muzzle the whispers of our heart and soul.  After all, women are responsible for the survival of the human race, we are busy raising children into competent adults – who has time for dreams?  While this is a common experience, it doesn’t have to stay that way. 

I believe our dreams are not withered and forgotten.  They are dormant, waiting.  Every once in a while they nudge up a thought up into your mind.  Every time I see (and often buy) a lovely piece by a potter… Hey, remember how much you loved to throw pots?  And in an instant my thoughts wander back to my early twenties, a student at the School of Fine Arts in Banff.   Ahhhh.. simpler times.  

Pay attention to those nudges.  Pay attention to where your mind wanders in its day dreams.  It’s trying to tell you something – it’s nudging you.  Gather those nudges, they just might change your life.  Start a list on your phone, post it on a sheet of paper on the fridge, or a white board.  I know it’s embarrassing to gather dreams.  It’s shunned.   There is always someone telling you why it’s nonsense or crazy or impossible or too expensive… Do it anyway.   See if a pattern that emerges.  See if there is a recurrent nudge.  

The trouble with nudges is… We don’t listen to them.  The whispers of our heart and soul are simmering quietly, but rarely do they bubble up and when they do, we snuff them out almost immediately.  “Pottery – who has time for that.”  “Look at these beautiful pieces, I could never do that.”  “My wrists are too weak.”  Choose to believe there is magic in those whispering nudges – waiting to be discovered.  

Not that long ago my coach offered me some absolutely terrific advice… Give yourself permission to not follow your arguments with yourself.  Such fantastic advice.  Not necessarily easy to follow, but well worth some serious effort.  Give yourself permission to not follow your arguments with yourself.  Which in essence is saying – give yourself permission to listen to your dreams.  Don’t squash your dreams.  Revel in them.  Let yourself explore those delightful nudges.  That doesn’t mean you have to sell your house, ask for a divorce and move to New Zealand to live with the yellowed eyed penguins, noooo!  It simply means you are exploring an idea.  Just for FUN! 

And while we are on the topic of following nudges into our day dreams and harnessing their energy and power, let’s talk about the single most powerful dream killer question out there… What will people think?  It is one of the quickest ways to deflate your enthusiasm.  What will other people think?  Who cares.  Let them be wrong.  Let them think what they want.  This is your dream. You are allowed to dream in full color with surround sound and three D.   

Let yourself revel in your dreams.  Listen to your nudges.  

How different would your day be if you let yourself listen to your nudges?  

Talk again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always…

Sassy Moment #9 – Gifts to Your Future Self

Good morning ladies, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and listen in, it’s time for the Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #9 – Gifts to your future self.  

Last episode I pointed out that reading doesn’t stimulate neurogenesis – new neural growth – because reading is not a new skill, I learned how to read decades ago.  My brain already knows how to read.  In order to stimulate new growth of neurons, we need novelty.  We must learn something new – something we have never done before.  And sadly, reading doesn’t make the grade.   It’s seems so unfair. 

As we age, we fall into patterns.  Behind these patterns are habits, and truthfully one of the focuses of my current attention is to create healthy habits that get to be so deeply ingrained, that even if I develop dementia in my future, those habits will be my default routine.   No snacking after 6pm.  Get up when you first wake up after 530am.  Cycle every morning.  Lights out by 10pm.  Read 60 – 90 minutes every day – even if reading doesn’t help with neurogenesis.  Write daily.  Play cello daily.

Those are the gifts to my future self.  Working on it.  

I love the idea of giving gifts to my future myself.  I talked about the future self as a wise advisor for our present self in the episode 4 The Infinity Paradox… 

Imagine your successful future self – the future you want to create for yourself.  She is you and you know you better than anyone else.  What advice would your future self give your present self?  She won’t lead you astray.  Assuming you want to create an amazing future for yourself.  This is the power of the infinity paradox:  The best way to predict the future is to create it, and the best way to create it is to imagine it.  And if you are going to imagine it, make yourself the hero.  Love your life now, not eventually.

I love that – the best way to predict the future is to create it and the best way to create it is to imagine it.  

What gifts do you want to give your future self?  Ask her.  Imagine your future successful self.  Here is a great question to ask yourself and journal about – What are you going to do with your one wild and wonderful life?  What a great perspective to think about your future from.  

I love thinking about my future self – how does she spend her time, what sorts of things does she think about, how does she manage self doubt and this inner critic of mine, who are her lifelong friends, where she travel, how many books has she authored, where does she live – I love that one.  Where does she live… Have I moved to a warmer climate?  On a lake or near a glacial river or in the mountains.  Do I cycle-tour the world?  

Such a fun exercise.  Imagine your future self does these wild and wonderful things.  Pick one that intrigues you the most – for me its cycle touring.  High on my bucket list is to cycle tour in Italy and France and other places around the world but at the top is to cycle the Ice Fields highway between Banff and Jasper National Parks.  In order for me to do that, say 5 years from now, what gifts do I need to start to create to give my 5 years from now self?  One is the gift of fitness.  Another is the gift of cycling bravery – currently I cycle on a stationery bike somewhat terrified of traffic.  I will need a new bike and additional cycling gear.  Cycle-touring requires an endurance mindset – a come rain or shine kinda thing… Truth be told it’s an impossible dream of my to coach from my henessee hammock as I cycle across Canada.  Or to organize a retreat where a group of Sassy ladies meets in Banff to cycle to Jasper forging new friendships and a lifetime of memories…  So fun… just thinking about this makes me want to pull out the bicycle cleats.

These gifts are for my distant future self, which admittedly I sometimes find hard to imagine – there are just too many variables to factor in.  It is a great exercise nonetheless.  Just let yourself dream and imagine – suspend reality for a few minutes.  Have fun with it.

We can also give our afternoon or tomorrow self gifts.  I cycle every morning for cardiovascular fitness – it’s integral to my 5 year future self as just outlined.  But it’s also for my afternoon self.  My early morning pedal sets a fantastic tone for the day.  I feel energized and enthusiastic, ready to tackle the activities and challenges of the day.  I make the coffee every night before bed and literally say out loud, here ya go Karen, Love ya!  In the morning, all I need to do is push the button and I say hey thanks Karen, appreciate it.  

Gifts to your near – future self are such a phenomenal way to love yourself more, and such a fantastic way to increase the joy in your life.   And when you love yourself and create joy for yourself, you cannot help but feel younger.  Am I right?

What gifts will you give your future self? 

Well worth thinking about!

Talk again soon!

Live Life, Love Life, Always…


Sassy Moment #8 Ten Strategies For Feeling Younger

How can we combat aging?  Here is my list of strategies to feel younger longer.  Do these today today and every day for a brighter, livelier, and interesting future.  

  1. Read about and do new stuff.  The ‘do new stuff’ part is crucial here.  I read a lot of non-fiction, believing that reading would keep my brain alive.  As it turns out, reading is not sufficient.  My brain already knows how to read so simply reading new material is not helpful – my brain is not forging new neural connections.  But if I actually DO something I have not done before with that information, then I can make new neural connections.  Unfortunately, simply making new connections is not enough – those connections must be reinforced. In neuroscience this making and reinforcing new connections is called neuroplasticity.  Neuroplasticity occurs when the brain changes in response to experience.  Simply reading about how to knit, won’t create new neural connections but actually doing the knitting – however cumbersome or awkward it seems, will forge new connections. Most memory-promoting sites recommend learning and practicing a new language or a musical instrument. Accordingly, because I am a classical music snob – about 5 years ago, I decided to learn how to play the cello.  And though I won’t be ready to perform any time soon – if every, I am having a blast.   
  2. Watch what you eat.  There is so much misinformation on the web these days, it seems impossible to sift out what to eat or not eat.  Plant protein versus animal protein, coffee versus tea, keto versus vegan, intermittent fasting versus multiple meals and snacks.  It’s so confusing. The experts that study longevity recommend a predominantly plant protein based Mediterranean diet with nightly 12 – 14h intermittent fasts, adequate healthy fats and salt with inclusion of coffee/tea and red wine.  
  3. Intermittent fasting.  Routine nightly fasting of 16 – 18h has been shown to increase the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neuro-peptide important in neurogenesis (new neuron growth) in the brain’s memory center improving overall memory.  Intermittent fasting has also been shown to improve sleep, boost immune function and decrease inflammation – all of which can have a beneficial impact on the quality of life with increasing age.
  4. Exercise your muscles.  Break a sweat daily.  As little as 20 minutes of moderate, heart pumping break a sweat exercise daily significantly increases the BDNF the miracle grow hormone for neurons in the hippocampus, the memory center of your brain.  Sadly, it is a fact that as we age we lose muscle.  Add in weekly strength training to counteract this muscle loss.
  5. Promote flexibility in your joints.  If you cannot move your joints you cannot use your muscles and you will cease up.  If you have ever had your wrist in a cast, you know what I am talking about.  Six weeks of immobility creates no movement whatsoever. And it takes months of diligence to get that movement back.   Stretch regularly or start a Yoga practice.  Personally, I find Yoga poses too challenging and complicated for my injury-related muscle imbalances. Instead I practice something called Active Isolated Stretching.  I love it and do a full body stretch-out daily.
  6. Enhance/improve your balance.  Balance is one of those things that disappears so imperceptibly it’s not noticed until you fall.  Do yourself a favor and work on your balance everyday.  Most people visualize the careful execution of various yoga poses for improving one’s balance.  And it’s true, yoga works.  But simply standing on one foot while you prep veggies for dinner is a good place to start.  I alternate balancing from right foot to left foot to a count of 10 for 10 sets while standing on a flat – side- up Bosu Balance Trainer as part of my stretching routine – it’s great fun and harder than you might think.   A quick google search on how to improve your balance will yield more than enough suggestions.  
  7. Exercise your cognitive powers – use it or lose it.  Our memory improves the more we challenge it.  The converse is equally true – poor memory is the result of disuse.  As a society we have out-sourced our memory, with the widespread use of smart phones and iphones and its detrimental to our memory. Gone are the days when you could easily recall a 7-10 digit number.  Give your phone a rest – use your memory!  
  8. Increase mindfulness.  Our attention span is shrinking at an alarming rate.  Think about it, it’s impossible to remember anything if you did not notice it in the first place.  We are a distracted society.  Learn to pay attention.  Notice what is happening around you.  Simply by becoming more mindful – to intentionally notice – you will improve your memory.
  9. Do something you love and that brings you joy.  For those of us closer to 100 than 1, chances are our careers are drawing to a close.  But if you have another 30 years to live, what would you absolutely LOVE to do with your time?  For me it’s to play cello sufficiently well to consider myself a contributing member in our community orchestra.  Find something you love, and pursue with all your heart.
  10. Spend time in nature every day.   Become a tree-bather!  Walk amongst the trees everyday.  The impact of solitude in nature cannot be understated.  Appreciate quiet solitude, birdsongs, the magical Northern lights on a cold, clear starry winter night, sunrise/sunset, the wind in the leaves of the trees.   Get as much as you can. 

Though it may be physiologically possible, I seriously doubt I will live to 120y, even if longevity runs in my family.  But I may well live to 90y.  I have time to learn cello and much , much more.  

Why not choose to spend the next 30 or so years doing something you love and that brings you joy while keeping your brain and body running as smoothly as possible? 

Alright my friends, talk again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always…


Sassy Moment #7 A Mindset Shift

Good morning ladies, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and listen in, it’s the Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #7 A Mindset Shift. 

Last episode I shared the story of Olga the 90 something track athlete – a woman who lived life to the fullest.  A woman whose health span pretty much equaled her life span.  

We are not breaking into unchartered territory here.  It is possible to live longer, happier lives – it is possible to feel younger longer.  The first step is to choose to believe that – it’s a mindset thing.  Mohammad Ali described it beautifully – “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.”  If you do not believe it is possible, you are quite right, it is not possible, for you at least.  

We must not submit to the lowest common denominator when it comes to our future and the legacy we are creating.  When it comes to longevity – we want our lifespan – how long we live, and our health span to be roughly equivalent.  We want to live as healthy as possible for as long as possible.  

In developed countries, thanks to modern medicine and our understanding of human physiology, we have extended our lifespan.  In fact, by some estimates, it is believed that based on our current understanding of human physiology, we should be able to live to about 120 years.  We are living longer, much longer – often more than a quarter century longer than compared to one century ago.  But our health span has not extended in kind.  Though we are living longer, we are not living longer healthier.  Obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease have reached epidemic levels in the past 50 years.  In Canada 1 in 4 adults have some form of dementia by the time they are 85 and you can bet their lives had been impacted long before that. 

But these disorders are not inevitable.  Noooo…. It is possible to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, obesity and diabetes.  And guess what – it’s under your control!  These are lifestyle related disorders you can control.  Increase physical activity; don’t smoke; avoid alcohol; control your weight; eat a healthy diet; manage stress; get adequate sleep.  Some are easier than others to adopt, but it is possible.  

Why not strive to create a brilliant future?  Why not believe that like Olga, we can extend both our life span and our health span.  It is possible, no matter how old you are now.  Remember Olga was 77 when she took up track.   At 85 she was working out 3 times a week.  She set world records until she was 95.  

We can conceive it in our mind. That is the first function of our brain… to be creative, to imagine more. 

Imagine.  What do you want to believe is possible for your future?  I have a 7 in 10 chance I will live long and mindless – it’s in my genes.  I choose not to focus on that.  I choose to shift my focus on the 3 in 10 chance I will live an active, independent and meaningful life.  I see no advantage to the former belief and nothing but benefit to the latter.  Creating habits now that will serve me well later, I am all in.  All in.  How about you? You in?

How can you build the belief that we can create a brilliant future for ourselves and for generations to come? How can we build the belief that we can narrow the gap between our health span and our life span?  

Belief provides fuel for the fire of whatever it is you want to do.  To attempt anything, you must first believe – at least a little, that it might be possible.   A belief is simply a thought you have told yourself so many times you accept it as true – so true you don’t ever think to question it.  To build belief, you cannot tell your brain a lie – she won’t accept it and will kick up a really serious futz. 

I think of belief as a continuum, with disbelief at one end and belief at the other end.  To build belief – to move yourself from disbelief closer to belief, make tiny shifts in mindset.   For example let’s create a shift in mindset to believe as a non-exerciser, you can become a consistent exerciser.  If you are a non-exerciser, you hold the belief I never exercise.  If you tell yourself I exercise daily consistently – your brain knows you are lying to it.  And you will be unable to sustain the change.  Make a small shift in several steps.  Instead of “I never exercise”, you could tell yourself “it’s possible I could exercise” – that’s not a lie.  Then as you start exercising  you could progress to “I exercise sometimes.”  Then “I exercise often”… then “I always exercise” and ultimately “I always exercise consistently.”   

To believe we can narrow the gap between health span and lifespan, we must first believe it might be possible to narrow the gap, to believe there are many strategies that can be used to build a bridge between health span and lifespan.  Neither of those two thoughts are lies.  So shift your mindset, one small step at a time.  The smallest ember can be coaxed into a great blaze.  

Talk again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always…

Sassy Moment #6 Connection is Key

Good morning ladies, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and listen in, this is the Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #6 Connection is Key. 

Love your life and love your future.  This is our legacy – to change the societal view of aging.  Can you imagine where a shift in perspective might end up?  I can’t but I know it is better than believing we will end up lonely, frail and forgetful.  The woman who pushed over the lead domino to create a spider and little critter free home could not possibly have imagined air conditioned luxury condos.  But that’s where it got us.  

What is the bug free luxury condo equivalent of aging brilliantly?  I think it will end up with women entrepreneurs ruling the world with kind firm clarity of purpose.   No drama, no hyperbole, just love and service to ourselves and others from a place of abundance.  Because once we learn to love ourselves as much as we love others, ain’t nothin’ stoppin’ us.  We will create a world that is spectacular beyond our wildest imagination for future generations to come.

Why not believe that?  A world full of love and abundance?  I’m good with that as a possibility a generation or two from now.  

We must push over the lead domino.  We must shift the perspective we have on aging.  We must reject the notion that we will end up lonely, frail and forgetful.  I believe the lead domino is that we love ourselves and we love our future.

Longevity.  Look after yourself.  Where to start?  

Connection.  The single most important factor that contributes to living longer is connecting with others.  Social isolation is worse than obesity, physical inactivity or smoking on our health.  The healthiest 100 year olds on the planet, in addition to living active, relatively independent lives they have the common thread of having connection with friends.  Connection with others is widely considered a fundamental human need and the impact of social isolation on our health is well documented.  Social isolation has been shown to have adverse health consequences including depression, poor sleep quality, impaired executive function, accelerated cognitive decline, poor cardiovascular function and impaired immunity… in short it messes with just about every aspect of your well being.  Social isolation sucks to say the least. 

In the book What Makes Olga Run, author Bruce Grierson explores the secrets to her longevity.   As a 90 plus year old track athlete and sprinter, Olga has cracked the myths and untruths about aging.  Olga took up track at 77.  At 91, when asked “How old do you feel? Her answer – About 50.  She reported the same level of energy she had when she was more than 40 years younger.  

Umm… what?  

At 85 she was training three times weekly, each 2.5 hours – lifting weights, doing squats and cycling for cardiovascular fitness. On rest days, she did a ‘lighter workout’ focused on core strength and general strength.  

Umm… what?!!

Surely she has extraordinary genetics, remarkable discipline and extreme resiliency.  Right.  There is no special diet, no special supplements.  Clearly she has the mindset of an athlete and she listens carefully to her body.  

It’s a fascinating read.  Getting to know Olga was a transformative event for Grierson.  Her secret to living longer happier lives?  Turns out it’s not at all complicated and he sums it up beautifully “break a sweat daily with a friend.”   Such fantastic advice.  

Chat again soon!

Live Life, Love Life, Always…

Sassy Moment #5 Love Your Life

Good morning ladies, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and listen in, this is The Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #5 Love Your Life. 

Love your life.  This.  Love your life.  Is foundational to longevity.  Love your life every day.  Who wants to live long if you’re grumpy all the time?  If you had no choice but to live to 95 or 100, would you change your current choices to impact your future?  If you’re 50 and you are gaining 5 pounds a year – which is not uncommon (sorry for that ladies!). Well after another 10 years (let alone 50) that might pose a bit of a mobility problem.  

Or if you find your career is demanding all of your time and energy and quality time with friends is squeezed to a minimum, you might find yourself alone in your 90s. Sleep is usually the first casualty when the demands of daily life exceed 24 hours a day.  Sleep friends and exercise are set aside for later.  I know.  I did that.  And rebuilding from scratch is no easy task.

Love your life. It is the ultimate goal for everything we choose to do.  All of the actions we take we take because we believe the result of that action will make us feel better.  It’s the universal default position.  We all want to love our life.  To feel fantastic.  It’s a 20th century luxury.  Four hundred years ago – before the agricultural revolution of the 1700s, our time and energy focused on staying alive and passing along our genes, not being happy.  But that is another story.

Love your life is foundational to longevity and requires a lot of TLC.  A lot.  If you want to love your life, you must look after your body and your brain.  And yes I understand that your brain is part of your body, but it is the master coordinator and director of your life.  Because I am a classical music snob, I think of my brain as Maestro – the conductor of the symphony of my life.  And like most Maestros it is temperamental and very high maintenance. 

I believe we have a brain for two reasons – 1) to be creative and 2) to move our body.  The latter because, if you cannot move your body around to do the stuff you need to do to create there is no point creating.  

Think about it, we used to live in damp dark caves with spiders and little critters.  We now live in bug free air conditioned homes.  We were creative and we did all kinds of really cool stuff.

Our brain also keeps our body alive, without us really thinking about it.  It digests and absorbs what you eat, it stores energy for future use (often too much these days), it keeps your heart beating, it removes toxins from your system, it fights off viruses and bacteria and heals itself… all without you giving it any directions whatsoever or having any understanding of what it needs to do what it does.  It is truly remarkable.

So we must love our brain and love our body, to create a life we love.  But it doesn’t stop there.  We must love our future.  It is our intrigue about the future that primes the pump to get our creative juices flowing.  Had we not wanted to live in a spider free environment, we would not have started the cascade of events that ultimately created luxury air conditioned condos.

So there you have it.  To love your life, you must love your brain, love your body and love your future.  These are the four pillars of longevity.

Chat again soon!

Live Life, Love Life, Always…

Sassy Moment #4 The Infinity Paradox

Good morning ladies, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and listen in, this is The Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #4 The Infinity Paradox. 

Before you call me out for contradicting myself, let me call myself out.  This is the one of the most fascinating paradoxes there is.  In an earlier episode, I unabashedly claimed that for me at least, there is no eventually, only the now to choose to love your life.  That is true and I repeat well worth pondering extensively.  Extensively. 

I call this the infinity paradox – because an infinity loop intersects itself once.  When pondering on past/present/future related issues, that single intersection point is the present moment.  The here and now – the present moment is the only place where you can take any action – Agreed?  I hope so.  I think we can all agree that the past is over and you cannot change what happened.  And as for the future, be it 5 minutes or 5 years from now only exists in our imagination.  

The past is over.  The future exists only in our imagination – only the present moment exists.  But there is tremendous power in the infinity paradox, if you learn how to use it to your advantage.

Okay, listen carefully this gets muddled easily – our present self was the future of our past self, and our present self is the past self of our future self.  So present Karen, was the future Karen of past Karen, and present Karen is past Karen of Future Karen.  I know it’s a bit tricky to wrap your head around.  Our past, present and future are intimately intertwined.  Stay with me here.  

You may have been asked the question –  Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your past self?  I somehow doubt your present self would tell your past self that life really sucks and nothing works out so better get used to it.  Nooo, of course not.  You would offer up some encouragement.  You might say hey, I know it seems unbelievably unfair, but it truly works out well in the long run.  The lesson learned, the courage created, the resilience forged forever, have really come in handy.  

I know, I know – your past self absolutely did not believe that – I can hear echoes of myself arguing – courage and resilience don’t be ridiculous, this is humiliating.  But wouldn’t that have been a helpful bit of advice to know at the time?  The problem is the past is over and your present self cannot change the events of the past, because, back then you did not know about the Infinity paradox.  But now you do.

Your present self, is the past self of your future self.  Ask your future self for advice now, while your present self can take action which will impact your future.  What?!?!? This stuff makes your brain implode at times.  It’s a paradox.  

Imagine your successful future self – the future you want to create for yourself.  She is you and you know you better than anyone else.  What advice would your future self give your present self?  She won’t lead you astray.  Assuming you want to create an amazing future for yourself.  This is the power of the infinity paradox:  The best way to predict the future is to create it, and the best way to create it is to imagine it.  And if you are going to imagine it, make yourself the hero.  Love your life now, not eventually.

Chat again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always,

Sassy Moment #3 The Hero’s Journey

Good morning ladies.  Grab your coffee, it’s time for The Sassy Moments Podcast – Moment #3 The Hero’s Journey.  

Last moment I introduced the idea that we need to take a stand against the currently accepted norms surrounding aging.  And we must reject the notion that we will end up lonely, frail and forgetful and do so with radical defiance and extreme disobedience.  

This is our legacy ladies.  

We can design and create a future overflowing with meaningful purpose, connection with friends, and unyielding resilience.  Such a better perspective right?  Slide into your grave with reckless abandon – I just love that visualization.  Be you with all your might.  Do what you love with all your might.  Be uniquely you with all your might.  

I love love love the quote by Roosevelt, popularized by Brene Brown… and paraphrased for women “It is not the critic who counts… it’s the woman in the arena… and if she fails, at least she fails while daring greatly.”

Dare greatly.  However I would argue there is no failure, just more information to dare again only more effectively.

But how?   How can we alter societal dogma?  With a paradigm shift.  Not a simple shift in perspective – a paradigm shift – a fundamental change in the way you view your present, to redesign your future.  You can design and create your future.  You are the author AND the leading lady in the story of your life.  Are you the tragic victim or the heroic victor?  You get to choose!  Choose the latter. 

The hero’s journey.  What might that look like for you?  Start to get to know your future heroic self.  How does she spend her time?  What relationships are important to her?  How does she manage self doubt?  What does she believe about herself?  Who has she become?

These are fantastic questions to start to explore.  Remember you get to write the story of your life.  You are the leading lady.  No NOT – I repeat do NOT settle for supporting actress. 

Chat again soon!

Live Life, Love Life, Always

Sassy Moment #2 Tell Yourself A Better Story

Good morning ladies!  Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and listen in, this is The Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #2  – Tell Yourself a Better Story. 

Understanding longevity is near and dear to my heart because both longevity and early onset dementia run in my family.  This means, there is a 7 in 10 chance, I will live long and mindless.  And while I am more than happy to live long, it’s the mindless part I take issue with.  

Now some will argue, you cannot fight genetics – I wholeheartedly disagree.  While genetics may load the gun – it’s our lifestyle choices that pull the trigger or not.  And though I cannot change my genetics, I can take full control over my lifestyle choices.  And choice is a beautiful thing.

We live in a youth obsessed society and that society wants us to believe we will end up lonely, frail and forgetful.    Well if you are going to forget anything – forget that nonsense forever.  True or not, who cares?  How is it helpful to believe that?   In fact recent studies in neuroscience have shown that what you think about comes about.  So you could accidentally create the very circumstance you want to avoid.  By thinking you will end up lonely, frail and forgetful you just might end up lonely, frail and forgetful.  So let that nonsense go with radical defiance and  extreme disobedience.  

It’s time to redesign the meaning of aging for future generations – this is our legacy.

Radical defiance – what a great stance to tackle the accepted norms of aging.  Did you know that in the 1920’s women lived to the ripe old age of 58?  Yep 58. I’d be gone.  Fortunately, in 2020 women live on average to about 81 an additional 23 years. And quite often many women well into their 90s and more and more are living beyond 100.  You have 23 more years than your grandmother – what are you going to do with that time?  Pick up the needlepoint? Noooo of course not.  Unless you already feel old.  Choose otherwise!

How old do you feel?  Critical question.  That old saying, “You are as old as you feel” is bang on, though I would change it to “you are as young as you feel.”  How young do you feel?  I feel about the same as I did when I was 31 – just starting my doctoral studies.  Back then I felt ambitious and enthusiastic about my future, ready to tackle any challenges that came my way.  I still feel the same, though the challenges I choose to tackle are quite different.  

How young do you feel?  And why did you choose that age? Questions worth contemplating. 
Perhaps you have some aches and pains from old sports injuries that have come back to haunt you; or maybe you find yourself looking for your keys far too often. We make these things mean we are getting old, beyond our years and dementia looms not far off.  Noooo.  It’s not true.  Stop telling yourself lies. 

Guess what?  The twenty somethings of the world have the exact same issues.  Except they are causing the injuries that come back to haunt them later.  They lose their keys all the time.  The difference is the story we tell ourselves about what those things mean.  The twenty somethings think – huh, I guess I need to get more than 4 hours of sleep.  They do not assume they have dementia or rheumatoid arthritis and are destined to a life of mindless suffering.  Why should you?  Tell yourself a better story.  You can do that.  You get to choose what you tell yourself.

You can just as easily tell yourself that you must have been distracted when you put your keys down.  Of course you were distracted, you were late getting away from the office, needed to pick up a few groceries for dinner and your cell phone rang just as you unlocked the door.  Hmm.  You backtrack your steps and there they are, right where you put them down.  You can then make that mean that your brain is working brilliantly, helping you find your keys when you weren’t paying attention and tada there they are.  Or you can make it mean you are losing your memory.  Which is more helpful? 

Tell yourself a better story – don’t change the facts – in my case, I do misplace my keys and my knees do hurt.  Tell yourself a better story.  You get to do that. 

Talk again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always,
Dr Karen

Sassy Moment #1 A Little Bit About Me–1-A-bit-about-me-e1bud3b 

Good morning ladies, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and listen in this is The Sassy Moments Moment #1 – A little bit about me.    

Introductions are always a good way to start a friendship, right?  So, I’m Dr Karen, retired pediatrician turned longevity advocate and coach.  I believe it is high time for a paradigm shift in the way we view aging.  Sassy at Sixty life coaching is all about how you can live each and every day to the fullest, to become the best version of yourself.  This is our legacy my friends – to fundamentally change the societal dogma that we will end up lonely, frail and forgetful.  Join the movement, rejuvenate your mind… Feel younger longer.  

Anyway, before pediatrics I did a doctoral degree in Pathology and before that, an undergrad in nutrition sciences and before that, a music degree.  Yep, music was my first dream.  Ah such fond memories! 

About 5 years ago, it was time for a major shake up and I gathered my stuff, took a deep breath and jumped off the medicine cliff – against the advice of just about everyone I knew, especially my financial planner and accountant.  After about 4 months floundering in what I now refer to as the post medicine void, I was like, hmm… Now what?  Medicine really does consume your life and without it’s demands dictating my schedule, I was kinda directionless.

So I started exploring.  And wow – there is a whole world of non-medicine mentality.  A whole world of people who don’t believe 80h work weeks are normal; A world where the idea that you would work a full day, the entire night and then another full day without sleep, is crazy.  A world where you get Christmas eve, Christmas Day and New Years eve off.  

In all fairness, I should not have been blindsided by the medicine lifestyle.  I remember a discussion I had with one fellow doctor and mentor, and she was thrilled to have negotiated a part time contract after having her first child.  Guess how many hours she was expected to work – part time?  Forty.  40.  And she was thrilled.  It is so true… our expectations of the norm are skewed by the people we surround ourselves with.  And in medicine, well, relentless hours and sleepless nights are the expected and accepted norm.  

We all have our misconceptions no matter the career right.  If you love your life, that’s awesome, bravo.  I believed I would love my life eventually.  Head down, grind on, you’ll be fine, eventually.  

Sadly I wasn’t.  Overweight, hypertensive and pre-diabetic and perpetually tired, I was done.  And there I was in the post medicine void.  Wondering.  Now what?

While that remains to be seen, I do know that for me at least, there is no eventually any more. Love your life now, there is no eventually.  

How different would your life be if you truly believed that? 

That is a question that is well worth pondering extensively.  

Talk again soon.

Live Life, Love Life, Always
Dr Karen