• Reinventing Life @60+

    Reinventing Life @60+

2019 - health, art, business, love

Jan 8th - Planning the next painting

Today was the first Tuesday of the New Year - and my first day as a full member (having paid) of the Kinsale Atlantic Artists group.  To use the words of my friend Gillian - I have found my tribe!!!

They are wonderful and it is beyond marvelous to be doing “real” art again.  “What makes art real -as opposed to not real,” you ask?  Well scrapbooking, although it answered much of my need to be creative was never “real” art to me.  Real means I am using my brain and my skill to build something of general potential interest (as opposed to a family interest) and that I am committed to these ideas developing over time (in a series of work).

AS the reader will be able to see in the picture - this series will be mandalas - searching for the ultimate truths of our lived experience as humans in both our outer and inner worlds.  WOW - that is a BIG philosophical journey and yet I think I can do it.

I was pleased with the first result, which taught me I can still paint.  We’ll see where this one goes.  So far the colors for each season are chosen - each with a range that will play off of beads that are the chakra colors that run from the center (earth) to either the cities or the edge.  Aurora Borealis like clouds will run up and around the cities.

That is as much as I know for certain now.  Likely this one will be more painterly than the last - possibly along the lines of the style of Peploe.

Jan 6th & 7th, The prisons in our minds

For those who don't know, Margie and I listen as we go to sleep and first thing in the morning to one of the Deepak/Oprah 21 day meditation series - we have done so for going on four years.  We both will tell you that nothing in our lives has ever made such a long-lasting positive change in our life experience.  We own them all and have listened to them over and over as the mood strikes - frequently relistening to a series or part of a series immediately again when the lessons were particularly apt.  I can say that my ability to cruise into old age happy and satisfied is because of this work, and for that, I am truly grateful.

The series we are on is Shedding the weight which they did a few years ago - weight not just physical weight but emotional, mental, and spiritual as well.  The am Deepak said that all weight is caused by the prisons in our minds - where we trapped part of ourselves at an early age - step 1 realize those prisons, step 2 realize that we are not that person anymore, step 3 free them - let it go.  However, we accomplish those steps will change for all of us but for me, this writing is that process.

Physical weight has always been the prison in which I put myself, -not that I suffer from a poor self-image or have held myself back because of it - but as I grow older my bones would like it if I hauled around a few less pounds.  So what's the prison?  Family jumps to mind.  Not feeling loved, being criticized over and over with few accolades to balance the negative inputs.  I'm sure many can relate, and perhaps even more so for those of us driven to be more than, a brighter star, someone who pushes limits because then the family would push back harder to keep us in line.

When I look at my birth family and compare our relations to those values I hold dear, namely love, close relationship, supportive community, etc. I think that over half of my siblings have failed pretty miserably - and for one brother and myself who are blessed to be living with tender families around us have both had the good fortune to marry the right person, who taught us to become the loving people we are.  For my dearest oldest sister her work was social work with cancer patients and so that was likely her path.  It is one of the treasures of my life that as she grows old she has finally found the support that works for her and who treasures her as she deserves.

Step one -realize the prison - family comments that I internalized and protected myself from with weight and the physical medication of carbs to endorphins

Step two - acknowledge that I am not that person any longer and NOWHERE in my life do I get the message to be less than I am or that I am too much.  That's really old news.  So I think its time fore 

Step three - let that childhood memory go - it served and now it doesn't - my birth relationships are what they are - they feed my soul or they don't.  My task is to build the good inputs that will protect my body and my health for as long as I am blessed to be in this world.  Love does that - so next up will be how to give me more love.  I suspect that little girl has been in that prison so long she isn't just going to go skipping down the lane.  

Here's to anyone who ever reads this who can relate - may your prison sentence be over as well.


Jan 4th and 5th, 2019 Christmas, Little Christmas and starting the new year

Christmas is down and put away - still its a great time to remember just how good it was this year....

  1. I put up a lite version of decorations before I left for Washington and CGS - this was great as we had it all month and, with only three days when I got back before Berlin we would not have had decorations any other way.
  2. Next year though I want the more formal tree - not just the popup - but it did well this year.
  3. Berlin was MARvelous - pictures attached.  It is impressive how Berliners have embraced their very dark heritage as a learning experience - and the Christmas markets were grand
  4. We spent several days during Christmas week with the Ryans and the Barretts - truly our family of choice here in Ireland - how wonderful to see the kids grow up year after year.

It's down now and we move on - but many happy returns of the day(s) remain with us as we appreciate each other and all the love we have in our lives


January 2nd - things are happening at DoctoralNet

January 2nd - things are progressing!

  1. Today the staff met for the first time in 2019 - the uni websites are getting a facelift and soon a reorg more to the ways students are using content - highlighting video content and responding to the ways students search.
  2. New customers are getting back to me with questions before I call on them to see how things are going!  Yea Capella and University of Minnesota!
  3. The customer advisory council is progressing as well - in addition to Ali who signed on in December we now have Joanne as facilitator and Cari from UNH and Curtis from Capella.  It makes me think this will be easier than I suspected.

On the human side - I'm reading a good  book - the Oracle that offsets slow internet speeds

Life is good in Castlepark!

Letter to my future self - to be read Jan 1, 2020

Fast Company today suggested that the best way to (or one way) to set new years resolutions was in the form of a letter to ourselves to be read next year - predicting, if you will the year we have just experienced and recalling where we are now that was a stepping stone to those experiences.  Sounds good to me...

Dear Alana - 

Wow - what a year!  It went by in a flash, didn't it?  And while some things were unexpected, many were driven by your expanding @in touch@ awareness of your true self and so, therefore, were very gentle and easy.

  1. Art- From not having done one finished peice of art for 20 years to completing 4 this year was both easy, fun and also in its own way amazing.  Who could have predicted the painterly growth as well as the conceptual growth your work exhibited this year?  Funny, you thought maturity came with years of work and many pieces but maybe your accomplishments this year demonstrate that it comes from personal awareness and maturity as well - LOL - much like maturity in doctoral studies from your students.
  2. Business growth - YOU did it! doubled your income + for the second year in a row.  Looking back it seems like now the wind is well and truly under your wings. Some expected and many not - wonderful and a few hard lessons but year after year growth.  Thank heavens the financial challenges have diminished and the way is clear for more help.  Your team is really behind you - be sure they all feel appreciated.
  3. Health - remember that you started 2019 debating on whether and to what extent you could get by without surgery?  Your goal has been me in that you now travel with greatly reduced pain.  While not perfect, losing weight and the 
    DENAS  were helpful as well as Pat Tiedt.  Be proud of the way you maneuvered with the Irish medical system - you did it your way and your increased health and vitality really show.
  4. Travel-- Haven't you become the jet setter?  Such wonderful warm memories of: a) making friends at every regional conference, 2) Craig and Brian in Prague 3) Louise, Jenny and Shelley in May etc.

Good for you! You started this blog - great to see you take the time to feel your life as you live it - and no reason to imagine this ease and grace will go anywhere but up- keep following Viniyoga and the breath work - keep meditating with Deepak and take the time you need to share with friends, so you experience all the love that so easily comes your way now.

I love you - so glad its been a remarkable year.


  • 1
  • 2