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Thursday, February 28, 2013

"FINE" The Automatic Answer

When asked “How are you?”

“I hear people saying (all the time), I am doing good, I am doing fine, I am doing well, I am fine. I am OK, I am pretty well, I feel good, I feel terrific, I am just FINE!  The automatic answer; but not always the truth. You can even find this response in song lyrics, for instance; “I’m doing FINE now without you baby” by New York City or “I’m doing just FINE, time’s made me stronger, you’re no longer on my mind” by Boyz II Men or  “If you told me from the start that you ran around I woulda been FINE…It's fine, fine, fine, fine, fine” by Whitney Houston and so on, you could probably think of some yourself. The point here is “FINE” it’s just a knee-jerk response and easier to answer this way instead of explaining how you REALLY feel. Besides people usually ask “How are you” as a greeting, like “Hi” or “hey” or “hello” They don’t REALLY care how you are. 

But our subject for today is dealing with a FABULOUS kind of FINE!!! Like, living a lusciously, delicious life; or looking  oohhh so FINE. Like when you say I’m 4o or 55, fit, FINE and FABULOUS!!! (and mean it!) I know it sounds kinda lame & contrived, however it IS possible…..How’s that you say? "Imagine your life can be like a cozy living room...arranged just right..." yes, it can with a few changes & choices and well placed “arrangements”  yes! You can get what you really want from life. If you STOP settling for less than you deserve. It’s TIME! It’s time for you to  “Put the key in the ignition and start your life over again(theme for another day)…” We have jumper cables for those that need a jump start.

When you've learned how to "F.L.Y" (First Love Yourself) and have Joy in the midst of any sorrows or change... You've Learned How to LIVE! THAT is success. THAT is the nature of “Living Arrangements” Here is some steps you can take to start living FINE.

BE at peace with who you are. *”There is a sacred ache, felt deep within each of us. It is a calling from our true selves imploring us to let go and live our purpose. It’s the beginning of the realization that you will not accept a life sentence of being everything to everyone but yourself, and awakening to the fact that you are here to express the gifts you were created to give.” Live your purpose. Share your gifts and change the way you think about YOU! Change your perspective; see things in a different way, hopefully more positive.  Be more daring & take risks, try something new that maybe you didn’t think you’d ever do, then, DO it!

Tweak some areas in your life that may need new energy breathed into them. If you’ve always been conservative, stretch yourself & be a little more flamboyant (around here we call it FABULOUS) wear that RED, color your hair something a little racy, wear that new makeup look you’ve been dying to try, strap on those heels, spray on a new exciting fragrance and make it your signature scent, the one others will know you by.

Here’s the point, DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!! Step out stop trying to fit in when you were created to STAND OUT!!  That’s the kind of “FINE” I’m talking about. The kind of FINE that’s “Like a woman walking into a room wearing a pair of striking Red Stilettos, people take notice, and without words she makes a BOLD statement” The “FINE” that Mary J. Blige sings about in her song…”Like what you see when you’re walkin past the mirror!” Love yourself, your life. Embrace the challenges of getting older, do it gracefully with **Advanced Style  be among women who are enjoying their later years with grace and panache, marching to the beat of their own drummer. These timeless images and words of wisdom provide fashion inspiration for all ages and prove that age is nothing but a state of mind...” It's not about the numbers, it’s the mileage.  STOP being the stereotypical “old lady” like the images we see in movies and television. It’s time for a FRESH take on getting older. Remember “There’s only one REALLY good life, and that’s the life you KNOW you want and you make it yourself.” ~Diane Vreeland

DO whatever you feel passionate about, do it often & pursue it with all your heart..... SMILE because you know you are beautiful, radiating confidence (and confidence is QUEEN)from the inside out.. Make others laugh too, maybe they’ve wanted to be a little more “daring & bold” as well (you never know). Anything that adds "beauty, joy & fulfillment & maybe a little naughtiness too (tee-hee) in your world will never be wasted. It’s FINE!

Your choices may change several times during your lifetime as you get older especially if it’s for a BETTER YOU!  As you evolve, stretch and grow, experiment more and become more aware of WHO you really are and what is important in LIFE for YOURSELF. Like the quote says
"The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.” When you can say; “ I Keep my head up high, I’m Having a really good time, I'm not complaining, I appreciate life, I'm so glad I got mine…” THAT’S your new “Living Arrangements”

Feels so good, when you're doing all the things that you want to do
Get the best out of life, treat yourself to something new
It's a really good thing to say
That I won't change my life, my life's just fine
By Mary J. Blige

*excerpt from Cynthia Occelli
**excerpt from Seth Cohen -Advanced Style blog

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

40 Days of Renewal Challenge

40 Days of Renewal Challenge Day 4 Mindfulness….
(also translated Awareness)

Our challenge officially started on Wednesday, February 13th which was the first day of Lent….now it’s February 19th and we have had a few distractions along the way and have not posted the daily renewal challenges from day 3 till now. BUT not to worry, the countdown continues and we will just pick up where we left off. For those of you who are following “Living Arrangements” .
We may just have to double up on the posts until we catch up. How’s that? Listen, we’d really appreciate it if you tell your friends about us--

“Our work is not to change what you do, but to witness what you do with enough awareness, curiosity and tenderness that the lies and old decisions upon which the compulsion is based are questioned and fall away.”
~Geneen Roth

·         Becoming an impartial witness to your own experience.
·         PATIENCE
·         Willing to see everything as if for the first time
·         Trust in yourself
·         Non-striving by doing nothing…nothing needs to be done
·         Acceptance – seeing things as they really are in the present
·         Letting Go – Release

Q: When was the last time you were truly “Mindful” in the moment or    witness to your own experience?

“In “Mindfulness” we observe inward, watching our thoughts without attachment to them…. Our own mind carries us away. Our thoughts are like unruly children, constantly pulling us here and there. And this constant pulling is the source of our stress and pain. Mindfulness is the skill that allows us to watch our thoughts and feelings without being pulled by them.” ~Jill N. Henry. Ed.D.

There is far more to this renewal challenge subject than I could EVER cover here…But it IS one of such importance that it’s worth diving into and exploring more. Especially the personal aspect of it, watching our thoughts, without attachment and impartially witnessing our own experience. THAT’s the one that resonates with me deeply. Take self inventory watching what you do, learning the reasons WHY you do them. Asking yourself the hard questions. Be willing to accept the answers, once revealed. Be open to any necessary changes. Letting go – release the myriad of thoughts that bombard your mind and distract you. Learn to be present in the moment Learn to be at peace with yourself and enjoy your own company…and be patient with yourself. Stop judging yourself so harshly. Stop putting everyone else before you. Sometimes it’s good just to be good to yourself. The purpose of the 40 Days of Renewal Challenge is to learn how to LOVE ourselves-- our free, liberated, empowered, authentic selves. As women-of-a-certain-age we’ve come a long way to get to be where we are at this stage in our lives…Learn to appreciate it, embrace it, enjoy it, don't just endure it. No matter HOW you do it, LIVE fabulously, every day.

“Mindfulness gives you time.
Time gives you choices.
Choices, skillfully made, lead
To freedom. You don’t have to
Be swept away by your
Feeling. You can respond with
Wisdom and kindness rather than
Habit and reactivity.”
~Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Make “Mindfulness” a necessary “Living Arrangement”