How To Enjoy A Mindful Cup Of Tea

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women“Would you like to try our teas?” said the nice representative from Adagio Teas. “Yes, yes, yes,” I replied. I was given a gift certificate to purchase some tea and teaware. The package arrived a few weeks ago and I waited until my BFF R visited last week to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea for two.*

I was excited to try Adagio Teas and carefully unpacked the gift items I had ordered:

Adagio tea; mindful cup of tea

Decaf Earl Grey Tea – a decaf blend of tangy Ceylon black tea, flavored with bergamot – a citrus fruit.
Decaf Orange Teabags –  a brisk decaf black tea, flavored with zesty orange rind dry notes and hints of sweet orange juice.
Decaf Chamomile Iced Tea pouches – a premium herbal tea in cold-brew pouches that make four cups of tea. This tea contains the finest chamomile flowers from Egypt’s Nile River Valley and is naturally caffeine-free,
PersonaliTEA Ceramic Teapot and Two Ceramic Tea cups – a personal teapot with a large infuser basket for the tea leaves. I selected the set in pastel pink (my favorite). It also is available in sky blue, black and white.
Glass Jar for tea storage – The jar is made out of Borosilicate glass to block UV rays from harming the tea.

Adiago teaware; pink teapot; pink ceramic teapot; pink tea cups

I found both the teas and the teaware reasonably priced. Definitely a good gift idea for  a housewarming party, BFF birthday present, yogi, or for anyone who likes tea. The teapots range in price from $14 for ceramic to $24-$34 for glass, and $49-$59 for cast iron. And you can try sample packs of loose teas for as little as $2.

Stop, Breathe, And Enjoy A Mindful Cup Of Tea
Preparing a cup of tea using tea leaves can be a very mindful experience. Boiling the water, measuring out the tea (all you need is 1 teaspoon of loose Adagio tea per cup), inhaling the fragrant tea leaves, watching the water change color and then savoring each sip.

Asiago tea; making a mindful cup of tea; steeping tea; pink teapot

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Making The Most Of My Mindfulness Journey

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIt has been almost 10 years since I studied mindfulness meditation. My therapist C at the time had suggested I sign up for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Management Program at The Penn Medicine Program for Mindfulness. It was right after my husband M died and she thought learning these new skills would help me process my grief and reduce my stress. I went to an 8-week program and began my mindfulness journey. It changed my life.

Last night I was reminded of these changes as I sat among mindfulness newbies in one of Penn’s 2-hour introductory classes. As a yoga instructor, I wanted to brush up on my mindfulness skills so I can share the benefits with my yoga students.

“Mindfulness originated in India. It comes from a word that translates as heartfulness,” said our leader M. “It is a way of bringing your attention to the present moment.” Like yoga, mindfulness is a practice. You have to work at it to experience the changes it can bring.

The Penn Program is modeled after the philosophy of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., who has done landmark work on mindfulness meditation and healing, and is the author of the bestseller Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, Illness. M noted that “Dr. Kabat-Zinn says mindfulness is when you are bringing your attention on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement.” (Note: If you want to learn more about Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn check out his 60 Minutes interview from 2014 with Anderson Cooper.)

How Do You Practice Mindfulness?
During the evening session, M guided us through different exercises to bring us into the present moment. We did a 25 minute meditation, closing our eyes and bringing our attention to various parts of our body, such as noticing the top of our head when M would mention it, or our fingers or toes. For many of the newbies, their thoughts wandered during the meditation. Each time M reminded us to bring our attention back to the body. My mind wandered too, but not as much as in earlier days.

“You become more aware of your thoughts as you practice,” M said. “You are strengthening your attention like you would strengthen a muscle during exercise.”
Rock Cotton, Rock Cotton , tee shirt dress, yoga, mindfulness

Using Mindfulness To Manage Stress
“What is stress for you personally?” M asked. We gathered in groups to discuss our stress. “Lack of sleep,” said one participant. “Pain,” said another. “Worry,” said another. “Perfectionism and over thinking,” chimed in two more. Continue reading

A Podcast Interview: Sharing My Reinvention After 50

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

Last week, I had a chance to share my reinvention after 50 during an interview with Mary Rogers from Experience 50 – The Podcast. It’s an audio show that as Mary says “Kicks Your Midlife Into Gear.” It was my second-ever podcast and a change of pace from the written word.

 

 

Experience 50 - The Podcast; reinvention after 50

An Experienced Host
Mary is a a mentor, entrepreneur, entertainer and former talk radio host with over 3,000 interviews under her belt including celebrities and public figures. Since launching Experience 50 – The Podcast, Mary says ” I’m enjoying having real conversations with real people about their stories, life lessons, pivots and also with topic experts who can provide the information they need as they navigate changes that come with balancing a bucket list with grown kids and aging parents.”

Experience 50 - The Podcast; Mary Rogers; reinvention after 50

Mary Rogers is the host of Experience 50 – The Podcast.

To quote her website: “With The Experience 50 Podcast and Experience50.com, she is rapidly expanding her following of highly motivated midlifers looking to make the most of this life and have an awesome third quarter. From teaching confidence building skills to sharing tips on how to gracefully become an in-law or grandparent, Mary just has a way of making the road to change smoother and a helluva lot more fun.”

Reflecting on a Decade of Change
Mary asked me to reflect on my decade of reinvention from 49 – 59, after losing my spouse, selling my house, emptying out my nest and retiring from my full-time job. During our conversation I talked about how I used my yoga and mindfulness practice and blogging to successfully transition into my second act. I spoke about the role of gratitude, about making new friends, and working with a coach to help me make the right choices.

reinvention after 50

Next month will mark four years since I retired from my full-time job.

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It’s Time to Positively Rock In the New Year!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersThe new year is almost here. Feels like the past 12 months flew by. Does time speed up as we age? Some say it does.

Reflecting In The Rearview Mirror
While I’ve been doing a good job of practicing mindfulness and living in the present, come December I find myself looking back in the rearview mirror. There are more wrinkles on my post 50 neck and  face, but not for lack of anti-wrinkle creams and serums. Thanks to all the nice  PR reps from Loreal, AHAVA, EB5, and Beverly Hills Cosmeceuticals for keeping my skin care in check in 2015.

Loreal, AHAVA, EB5, Beverly Hills Cosmeceuticals

Thanks to all the PR reps who sent me anti-wrinkle creams and serums.

My blogging brought me other good fortunes this year, with a trip to Portugal on my first-ever Viking River Cruise and my first-ever international trip with my boyfriend L. It was an adventure and the best part is that L and I still love each other after eight days onboard.

Viking River of Gold Cruise, Portugal, Douro, river cruise, over 50, life after 50, boomer travel

My boyfriend L and I took our first-ever Viking River Cruise to Portugal.

In addition to my travels, 2015 brought great personal and professional growth as I started my training to become a yoga instructor at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in Camden, NJ. Being a student again after more than 35+ years has not only physically stretched my body, but also required me to emotionally open my mind and spirit. The best news is that I passed my first semester. (Go Judi! Go Judi! Go Judi!)

yoga, The Eight-Fold Path of Ashtanga Yoga

In 2015, I started my training to be a yoga instructor.

Time To Rock In The New Year
The January magazines are on my night stand with bold headlines for 2016: Vogue says “Be Yourself!” InStyle shares “How To Get Away With The Best Year Ever!” AARP The Magazine advises “Experts Agree: Slow Down To Live A Longer, Healthier Life.” Oprah says in O, “No moment but this one is guaranteed, so I’m ready to be in each as the healthiest, strongest, fittest, most conscious, most alive me I’ve ever been.”

I hear you all. My headline is to “Positively Rock In The New Year!” That’s right. I plan to positively welcome 2016 with my BFF L and her hubby and my boyfriend L when we celebrate New Year’s Eve together – if we can all stay up until midnight. Then my plan is to continue to positively rock in 2016 – each and every day. (BTW, I’m wearing a Rock Cotton – Cotton For Your Body, Rock For Your Soul – tee-shirt dress that the nice PR rep N sent to me. Each shirt comes with a matching rock necklace. My rock was onyx – with properties of strength, positivity and stamina. Perfect for my 2016 theme.)

Rock Cotton, Rock Cotton tee shirt dress, yoga

I intend to rock in the new year wearing my Rock Cotton tee shirt dress.

So Excited For 2016
I know I’m supposed to live in the moment, but there are so many things I’m excited about in 2016: Continue reading

My Post 50 Yoga Journey: It’s About Mind, Body, and Spirit

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Welcome to yoga training Methods & Techniques I,” said my instructor B as she addressed our first weekend class at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies in Camden, NJ. “We come together as strangers, but we leave as a tight-knit community. These are your sisters.”

There are five women, or should I say five yoginis (female yoga practitioners are called yogini, male are yogi), in the YTT200 program this year and by May 2016, after 200 hours of training, we will be eligible for our first yoga teacher certificate from Yoga Alliance.

Discovering My True Self
I was excited and anxious to begin training. I started practicing yoga about seven years ago, after my husband passed away. It helped me heal my “mind, body, and spirit” and work through my grief. It continues to provide an outlet for “letting go” and “slowing down” – which is an on-going challenge for me since retiring from my fast-paced full-time job.

“Explore your own creative expression as a yoga teacher, ” said B. “Don’t worry about anything. I’m looking at your growth during this training.”

Om, om, om, I breathed in and began to relax on my mat. This journey I am embarking on for the next nine months is sacred. Am I ready to discover more about my own true self? Am I prepared for what lies deep within?

Yes, yes, yes, it’s a bit scary delving deep, yet at the same time freeing. Plus, I’m eager to improve my own strength, flexibility, and balance during my life after 50 and share all the benefits that yoga has to offer with others,

yoga training, yoga mat

I was ready for my yoga training with my mat, cushion, blanket, strap, and blocks.

The Eight-Fold Path
B explained the “Eight-Fold Path” Of Ashtanga Yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, who lived and wrote a long, long time ago between what is thought to be 200 BC – 200 AD. The guidelines start at the base with Yamas (restraints such as non-violence and truthfulness) and Niyamas (behaviors and observances such as contentment and cleanliness). The path moves up the hierarchy to Asanas (postures), Pranayama (controlling your breath), Pratyahara (where you close your eyes and be with yourself), to Dharana (concentration), to Dhyana (meditation), and finally, to Samadhi (a blissful state of spiritual freedom). Continue reading

The Yogi’s Way to a Good Night’s Sleep

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessCatching my nightly zzz’s has been getting more challenging during my life after 50. What about you? Is your mind racing when your head hits the pillow? Still experiencing menopausal night sweats? Is your body exhausted?

Since yoga has helped me to lower my stress levels during the day, I asked my friend Alene Brennan, health coach and yoga instructor, if she had any yogic advice that might work during the wee hours of the night. Here’s an excerpt from our chat:

life after 50, over 50, boomer women, good night's sleep, sleep, Ayurveda, yoga, menopause

Alene Brennan, Health Coach and Yoga Instructor

J: What principles do yogis follow in regards to sleep?
A: “Yogis follow Ayurveda, a sister science of yoga and one of the world’s oldest healing systems.  Ayurveda offers simple routines that can create balance and a restful sleep.”

J: I’ve always wanted to learn about Ayurveda – tell me more.
A: “A good night’s rest begins with the time that you wake up each morning According to Ayurveda, there are cycles of energy in nature throughout the day and the more you synchronize your daily routine with nature’s clock the better balanced your energy will be throughout the day.”

J: So what time does nature awaken?
A: “Ideally you want to rise by 6:00 a.m. or before sunrise. This is known as Vatta time when the energy is fresh and full of renewal. Rise and shine to welcome the new day and sync your internal clock and energy with that of nature.”

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