• Reinventing Life @60+

    Reinventing Life @60+

2019 - health, art, business, love

March 11th - The Alana version of Captain Marvel and why we should all do a similar timeline

Not to be a spoiler, but if you haven’t seen the movie Captain Marvel yet there is one scene that is kicking off this blog. Carol stands up and says “Yes, just human” and then remembers the times when as a girl she was shot down and told she couldn’t do it but got up and went on to figure it out and succeed. I woke this morning asking what my

timeline would be?  What are the instances when a decision was made that formed my core strenghts And what would they look like all together in 30 seconds of mp3?  I believe this is an exercise everyone should do because it turns out to be very affirming of our true selves. 

Here’s mine

Zappa quilt. 19?? I’m ?? And back stage in a concert hall in Fort Collins Colorado. I’m saying to rock star Frank Zappa “I can make your quilt. “

Starting the New York showroom,  19??, I’m ?? In a suburban living room convincing my father to loan me money to start my own business in NYC. 

Moving to Ireland,  199? Margie and I are in a car and she has just told me she will come if I orchestrat the move. I begin to plan. 

DoctoralNet. 199?   I have put up a video and students are watching. I ask myself why technology can’t help with more student confusion problems?

A key thread here is that someone else had always done something similar that I knew about. I am driven by “if they can do it why can’t I?

What is your movie?  What will it teach you?  As Deepak’s said in or meditation this am “ No one has ever


Feb 25th-The warmth of the heart chakra


February 25th Luz, Portugal

Today's meditation was an ah-ha moment for me.  We're doing the flow cycle (Finding your flow) from Deepak and Oprah at the moment and today - Day 11 - was connecting with the heart chakra.  The moments that opened my heart were twofold ideas: 1) that the energy of the chakras do no need effort - that they are like warmth to cold, the melt what is in their way, and 2) that to continually focus on the bits and pieces of love and to share those is to open it up in our lives. 

I viscerally understand warmth as it is very important to me - reminding me of my mom in the hospital when a friend of mine worked there and gave her a blanket right out of the drier - you should have seen her face!  I'm like that when handed something warm and now I can imagine opening my heart and it having the same results to any frozen places that have accumulated over the years. 

And how to share the bits of love I find everywhere?  Facebook would be an obvious choice but it has such a sucking motion with it that I find it dangerous.  For now, I will put some pictures here in a slideshow, and then maybe build an album for FB and maybe open up only the alanajames@earthlink.  .  FB and cut out those who aren't really friends.  Not sure but seeing clearly that there is a need to share love more widely - and that I have more love and more people that I love than I commonly work.

Blessings to Deepak and Oprah - for exciting in me a new way.

Feb 6th - Here is me experiencing... joy, wonder, love and growth

A bit of a story here...

It starts with Deepak and Oprah's 21-day meditation on "Losing the weight" - not just physical weight but the weighty responses to life. As I wrote in the last post, control issues are part of that weight for me. Then, a few days ago, Deepak suggested that we all think about the main goals/energies/focus for our lives as we imagine them to be in our dreams - his focused on transcendence.  Mine are JOY - WONDER - LOVE - GROWTH

Today he continued the journey with a story about two men who show up for their flight at the airport - the flight is cancelled.  One throws a fit and the other goes to the bookstore and gets engrossed in a new book.  What struck out to me was his comment that at any given moment we can say - here is me .... (throwing a fit) and I have a choice to (read a book).  I have taken it a step forward today and have been having great fun with -

Here is me enjoying wonder in the yellows of the daffodils.  Here is me experiencing the wind on my cheek.  Here is me experiencing a loving conversation with Tracesea.

So I send this energy out - what are you experiencing?  Can I keep these for words and my experience of them as upper most in my mind?  Yes of course - we all can. 

Feb 2nd - Moving from darkness to .... playful? wonder?

Loss of control has had me in a grip and I fully realise how much I need to get out of the patterns of thought that are controlling me.  Margie comes back today but I don't want to lose the reflective and reflexive lessons I have learned because she was gone.  I have seen my dark side and its name is control.

My ego loves my alpha self, I love the getting things done and the admiration of others.  It can't be at a cost for those I love though and the tension between these two types or ways of being does not sit in one life.  Most of the time the daily effort of life distracts us.  these two weeks have shown me the cracks in the mirror I was holding up.  It leaves me afraid, and of course, the irony in that is that control is an effort of the ego to hide fear.

So now I need to guide my ship - away from the rocks and back out onto the sea of more happiness, joy and playfulness where I want to live.  Follows is my first attempt and steering - looking up from others their ideas on letting go of control and them moving on to what life is like after the work is done.  

The work - to be covered and worked through in future posts

  1. using imagery - rather than toughing it out to climb a mountain with a 100-pound pack on my back (keeping control) I can imagine soaring like an eagle over the challenges inherent in whatever has me uptight.
  2. write down a fear list - control is rooted in fear and false fears at that.  what are they?  let's expose them to the light (seems ripe for another post)
  3. focus on grace and mindfulness - another post is in order, what does it mean to me?  How do I see it and identify when I am there?
  4. move into the present - control fears are the future- remember that every moment can be a release
  5. focus on what I trust - keep moving forward into deeper and deeper faith
  6. perform "esteemable acts" - I stole this one from a list that had made the rounds on the internet bt I like it - we all know when we have acted out of our true self - do more of that.
  7. Say mantras, prayers, affirmations - each in their own time to release the tension that has me caught in the pattern that results in control.  (another path to staying mindful - a first step to mindful maybe?  another post)
  8. Get support - I don't have to do this alone???? (always a hard notion for me isn't it)  OMG another post!  LOL
  9. Keep refining what it means to be free - where am I going?  (posts galore in the making)

Jan 25th - The Dark and the Light

During the Oprah Deepak meditation of yesterday, Oprah was talking about the now moment.  Earlier in the series, Deepak had discussed meditation bringing up our sleeping dragons.  I would term those moments "the dark"

 The dark we learn to run away from in childhood - whatever it is, hard feelings, moments of indecisions or self-doubt, times when our Soul does not quite connect with us and we grow afraid.  I think also that people tend to have dark times of day - or rather a time of day when their dark thoughts are more likely to appear.  For many it is 5 am - and for me, it is often late afternoon and evening or any time I face a task I really feel anxious about doing.  Then I become restless and moody and have learned for decades to salve those feelings with sweets or carbohydrates  - in enough quantity to dull the pressures of it so I can move on. and be productive.

Productivity is a great balm for me to darkness - the focus and accomplishment of it and the boost in energy brought on by the sweet or carb allows me to climb over the hump.  So what would I find if I didn't use that ladder and chose to remain in the pit and explore it?  Scary thoughts indeed.

Deepak would guide us that our True Selves are easy and gentle healers - so maybe staying in the pit would be like lighting a candle and the darkness would simply proceed.  But where would I find that candle?  Likely meditation will give me ideas about that.  My commitment then is to say "bring it on" and to spend today fully feeling those dark thoughts when they arise and to meditate when they grow uncomfortable and I feel antsy.

Giving it a few moments today, fully anticipating release and freedom, but unable to not act out of the patterns from before I realize that when we need to heal, it is difficult to think about health but rather we think about the illness.  How am I to move on when my body continues to send the signals that for decades have caused a response?  Hard stuff - dragons indeed.

 Stay tuned and we'll see where this leads - can it really be as easy as the meditations suggest?  Am I ready for it to be that easy and to evolve in this new way?  Are my dragons ready to crumble so I can be free of them?

Jan 20th - fulfillment and emptiness

WOW! what a topic!  

First, how did I come today to want to write about issues that the philosophers have wrangled over for centuries?  Margie is visiting family and therefore the house is "empty" - or so my friend Patrick Ryan named it last night when we were discussing what it is like for one of a couple when the other ones (and possibly the children too) are away.  Why our home is never empty because we have the dogs and the cat, there is definitely a huge hole when Margie leaves.

Nature abhors a vacuum - and within our souls, our partners fulfill some aspect of life for us - so when they are not around I contend that our tendency is to fill that hole with something.  Confession: most of my life I have used food to fill or seem to fill some of those holes and while that works for me better than drugs did, as I grow older the side effects bring on challenges like joint wear and tear.  

This, coupled with my current state of being to uncover my True Sefl and to Heal leave me feeling exposed as I confront the emptiness that Margie leaves behind.  However, committed as I am to NOT FILLING THE GAPS WITH KNEE JERK REACTIONS AND FEEL GOOD MEASURES, what do I do?  Yesterdays' focus on a liquid diet, therefore minimizing the effects of food, was a start.    First I'll muse on fulfillment and what it means to me, then I'll move on to motivation.

Fulfillment - What is it?

I confess when I asked this question I drew a complete blank.  At that moment fulfillment seemed an impossible dream - I felt empty and scared.  Now I realize that is bullshit and it doesn't serve to play small.

I am fulfilled when I help others reach their dreams.  A bold statement and a thousand percent true.

So that directs me to do as much of that as I can.  To teach, to facilitate, to help things move ahead - whether through nurturing OR through pruning as my spirit raises up at the injustice as much as it jumps in to support. Right now that support is DoctoralNet - both to help students and propel what I think is best for educators to consider about students.  I realise it has both the energy of pruning AND support - raises my hackles that students don't find the support they need and fulfills me to be able to offer new options.

What other parts of my life are driven by fulfillment?  Water aerobics is another way I support - myself and others.  Probably my body as much as anything so not exactly altruistic. Blogging like this also fulfills that need, whether or not anyone reads it I am supporting both myself, lecturing to myself really, and, hopefully, someday others.  Art????  I don't know, something there satisfies my Soul deeply - beauty?  philosophy?  sharing "how the world seems to me"  using the language of symbology.


My friend Julie Silvferberg reminds me that 50% of the people are motivated by the positive and 50% by the negative.  I wish I could say that the positive (fulfillment)  motivated me but looking at my life it has been a few moments where that was true.  Now those were life-changing moments like when I  told Margie I could live in Ireland and she responded that if I orchestrated it she would follow - still I can count those moments on one hand.

No, the truth is that so far, day to day I have moved ahead motivated by fear of a known obstacle I was trying to avoid.  This makes life a bit like a pinball machine where I'm careening from one bumper into another one, hoping to come out in the high scoring position at the end.  Looking at myself in the mirror yesterday I see that weight has become one of those bumpers again.  I wonder if we all have one or two that loom large from time to time, much like a tide that ebbs and flows?  Worth considering what they are and what life might be like if they were never an issue again?

That seems a perfect place to leave this for today.  Hopefully, I'll figure out the backend and get the blog to show up properly later today and then I'll begin to share.  I hesitate to open the site to comments because with comments come hackers and spam, maybe for now I'll just ask anyone who reads this and wants to comment or share to come back to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.?