Celebs Share Why Over 50 Is “The Perfect Age”

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersGood Housekeeping, Woman’s Day and L’Oreal Paris hosted a “50 Over 50” luncheon at Hearst Tower in New York City this week and I was pleased to attend. The event celebrated 50 accomplished women over 50 and also featured a panel discussion with celebs including actresses Kyra Sedgwick and Whoopi Goldberg, designer Cynthia Rowley, and journalist moderator Soledad O’Brien.

Cynthia Rowley; Soledad O'Brien; Kyra Sedgwick; Whoopi  Goldberg; #theperfectage

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com

Whoopi Shares Her Advice
Before lunch I was so excited to chat with one of my favorite stars on the red carpet. “What advice would you give to women over 50?” I asked Whoopi. Being her comedic self she said, “Get over it! Why should it be any different? Oh, and always have lube!” Yes, yes, yes, I can definitely relate – menopause has dried me out from head to toe.

Whoopi Goldberg; #theperfectage; over 50

After I ate the entire Tiramisu on my dessert plate, I settled in for the panel discussion about love, life and beauty for those of “the perfect age.” (I cannot resist a delicious Tiramisu. Nor should I ever again during my life after 50. As the panelists attested — life is too short to miss out on the positives at this point.)

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My Yoga Journey: Celebrating One Year As A Teacher

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness

Last month, marked one year since I completed my Yoga Teacher Training 200 Hour Program at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies.

Since graduation, I’ve taught 70+ hours of yoga to mature adults and seniors as old (or should I say as young) as 100. I’ve taught newbies and experienced yogis. I’ve taught Chair Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Aqua Yoga in the water and even Power Yoga (if there is such a thing). I’ve led Meditation and Mindfulness sessions too. Wow-o-wow! 

yoga, reinvention after 50

I remember my first few classes. I was very nervous. Would my voice project? Could I memorize a sequence of poses? What would happen if my sequence ran past the hour? What about the music, the mantras, the mudras, the Sanskrit names and directions for each pose? It was all so overwhelming. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to teach.

yoga training, yoga mat

Learning From My Students
Transitioning from a teacher in training to an instructor in the studio has been an incredible learning experience. Now my students are my best educators.

When I speak softly, my students tell me to talk louder or turn down the music.

When I mention “inhale your left arm up” instead of “inhale your right arm up,” my students remind me and I quickly correct.

“We don’t say pain,” said my Chair Yoga student. “We say discomfort.”  “Discomfort it is,” I replied. The word “pain” has left my vocabulary.

“Can we look in the mirror?” asked my Yoga 101 student. “Yoga is a practice, there’s no perfect pose, no judgement,” I said. “The mirror won’t tell you anything and may even bring you off balance.” The student found his focal point (or drishti as we say in Sanskrit) away from the mirror and attempted to balance in Tree Pose, first on his left foot and then his right. Continue reading

“Boomer Reinvention: How To Create Your Dream Career Over 50”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenEver since I’ve been on Twitter, @johntarnoff has been following me. He retweets my blog post almost every week. Who is this nice person, I wondered? I clicked on his Twitter handle and saw that he has more than 97,000 followers and is a super handsome, sixty-something, former Hollywood entertainment executive.

Wow-o-wow! 

John Tarnoff is also a very smart reinvention career coach, speaker and writer for baby boomers. He holds a B.A. magna-cum-laude from Amherst College, and a M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. He grew up in New York and Paris, and lives in Los Angeles. (All my favorite places,  another reason why I like him.)

Boomer Reinvention; John Tarnoff

John Tarnoff is author of “Boomer Reinvention.”

John has been reinventing himself for much of his forty-year career. In fact, he has just written a book called Boomer Reinvention: How To Create Your Dream Career Over 50. His publicist sent a copy to me. The book won high praise from noteworthy boomers such as Arianna Huffington, CEO and Founder of Thrive Global; Ken Burns, filmmaker; and Richard Eisenberg, Nextavenue.org, so I am pleased to share some highlights with you. (Note: Be sure to enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway below to win a copy!)

Boomer Reinvention; John Tarnoff

Statistics Set The Stage For Second-Acts
According to the 2014 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 65% of baby boomers working plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire. And 68% of Americans age 50-64 are worried about not having enough for retirement. (Gallup, April 2014). “Yikes,” says John. “Most boomers will have to work through their 60s and many even into their 70s. But that’s why I wrote Boomer Reinvention — to help boomers create sustainable second-act careers that are appropriate, authentic, meaningful and purposeful.” Continue reading

Be Inspired: This Boomer Girl Designs Activewear For Post 50 Women

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIt’s Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Woman’s Day. According to Women@Forbes, economists and academics agree women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion. In fact, based on the 2012 U.S. Census, women own 36% of all businesses,  ‒ a jump of 30% over 2007.

This week, I’m delighted to feature an interview with a post 60 female entrepreneur from San Diego (who I might add was originally from New Jersey). Her name is Jacqueline Hook and she is the creator of Tenáz Athletics. A 62-year-old fitness fanatic (and mother to three grown children and grandmother to five), Jacqui has emerged from years of chronic back pain to enjoy all  manner of physical activity, from surfing to yoga to flying trapeze. She has run two full marathons and 13 half-marathons, all in her fifties and sixties, and recently set state and national records for powerlifting. No wonder she started an activewear company!

Tenaz Activewear; activewear for post 50 women; female entrepreneurs; Jacqueline Hook

Jacqueline Hook started an activewear company during her life after 60.

Enjoy our conversation. Hope you will be inspired by Jacqui’s story.

Q: What prompted you to start a new business during your life post 60?
Jacqui: “I was prompted by a feeling that had been gnawing at me for months. Last year I had reached 25 years at my corporate job— wonderful company, awesome people, great leadership—but the work wasn’t getting my creative juices flowing anymore. I remember this particular day when I was working from home, gazing out the window and sighing, when it occurred to me that I was craving the energized feeling I get when I’m in a creative flow. It was like needing air to breathe. Then it hit me, this idea of starting a business. In that moment I made the decision, like flipping a switch, and I perked up with excitement.” 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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Let The Countdown To 60 Begin!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersHappy New Year!

January 2017 marks the 10th year since I started blogging. A decade has passed since I typed my first blog post capturing my countdown to my 50th birthday. Times have changed but one thing remains constant — boomer women continue to do amazing things.

Some may say that as women age we become more invisible. I say that we’ve only just begun to shine. While we may not be celebrating a female boomer in the White House in 2017, we are a very large community of strong women, estimated at 38.44 million in the USA. As Girlpower Marketing CEO Linda Landers says, “Today’s 50-plus females are the healthiest, wealthiest, most active and influential generation of women in history.”

Arianna Huffington; The Huffington Post

Meeting Arianna Huffington and becoming a contributor to The Huffington Post was a blogging highlight in 2013.

My Countdown To 50
I began blogging in 2007 as an easy way to capture my thoughts and feelings as a boomer woman approaching her momentous 50th year. Little did I know that my countdown to 50 would turn out to be one of the most extraordinary years of my life. Halfway through the year, my husband M took ill. During almost seven months while he was in the hospital, my blog posts became my outlet to share the overwhelming fears that engulfed me as my husband began to drift away. My community of readers became my salvation. I couldn’t wait to get home from the hospital each night to read your emails and comments. Your support made all the difference in helping me survive during that tumultuous time.

ayearto50.blogspot.com; boomer women; post 50

From “Loneliness to Loveliness”
My husband M passed away shortly before our 24th anniversary and two weeks shy of my 50th birthday. I was a widow at 49, The loneliness was deeply felt and I wasn’t sure how I was going to lift myself up.  Continue reading

Women Who Inspired Me in 2016

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

I thought I’d finish off my last blog post for 2016 by honoring some of the talented speakers from the 2016 Pennsylvania Conference For Women. I’d like to share a few quotes that resonated with me from that day. Maybe they will prompt you to think or act differently in 2017.

#PENNWOMEN, Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2016

Nearly 9000 women attended the 13th annual conference in October. The theme was “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice.” It was before the historic election when our first female candidate, Hillary Clinton, was on the ballot for president of the United States. It’s interesting thinking about these quotes now — after the November results. To me, these women’s words are even more powerful and the theme more important. Maybe that’s why I signed up for the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st.

Anita Hill Inspired Me
“You are here to be part of a movement that will help all of us move forward together,” civil rights pioneer Anita Hill said. “There are direct business costs related to harassment,” Anita said, noting the need to end ongoing harassment against women in the workplace, 25 years after she testified during the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. “Time, energy and resources are diverted from work into litigation and court. So ending harassment is everybody’s business.”

Anita Hill, attorney and author; #PENNWOMEN

Anita turned 60 in July and is now a professor of law at Brandeis University. She said that despite the harsh treatment she received when she testified against Thomas, she will “continue to stand up and speak out” around equal education and employment protections for women. Quoting lawmaker and former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Anita said, “I was, am, and will always be a catalyst for change.”

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A Gift Book To Inspire and Celebrate Retirement

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenAs a blogger, many books pass my desk for review. One that caught my eye this season is Hello Someday by Kobi Yamada and John Christianson. It’s a gift book to inspire and celebrate retirement. It’s from Compendium, one of my favorite publishers of motivational gifts and journals. (Note: Read to end for Rafflecopter giveaway.)

I retired from my full-time career in my mid-fifties and wish I had this book to guide me. According to the publishers at Compendium, “In the next 15 years, more than 20% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65.” That means a lot of baby boomers may be retiring. However, just because you are retiring doesn’t mean you can’t pursue other passions.

That’s where Hello Someday comes in. It offers an optimistic attitude about retirement with questions and activities to get you thinking about and designing the next chapter of your life.

Hello Someday; Compendium; NYNOW; retirement; holiday gifts

“Hello Someday” makes a great gift for a future retiree.

I enjoyed this book so much that I asked if I could interview one of the authors. I wanted to know more from those who created Hello Someday. Co-author John Christianson shared his thoughts: Continue reading

“70Candles!” Shares Advice on Positive Aging

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLast month, The New York Times journalist Jane Brody wrote an article about “Thriving at Age 70 and Beyond.” I enjoy reading Jane’s weekly columns on Personal Health, but this one was especially appealing. Jane mentioned a blog called 70Candles!, with stories from women in their 70s, and a book by the same title written by bloggers (and now authors) Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole.

While I am fast approaching my 60s, I was intrigued by the advice that these two long-term friends had to share about how women are “thriving in their 8th decade.” I contacted Jane and Ellen to ask if they would participate in an interview for my blog. Their wisdom about positive aging is very inspiring for baby boomer women who are following in their footsteps. It’s great to know that there is much to look forward to into our 70s, 80s, 90s, and maybe 100s! (Note: if you cannot view the video below please click here.)

A Practical and Positive Guide
The book, 70Candles! Women Thriving in Their 8th Decade, is a compilation from the conversations that Jane and Ellen had during gatherings with women of this era and from many of the women who contributed to their blog. The authors do a great job pulling all the pieces together into as they say, “a practical and positive guide to have at your side as you traverse your seventies.” Included are lessons learned from their gatherings, a review of pertinent literature on this topic, and a look at the future. In the back section is a handy reference with relevant web sites and additional readings.

The Taos Institute, the publishers of the book, kindly provided a copy of 70Candles! for a giveaway. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below and leave a comment on how you intend to stay vibrant during your second act.

Now let’s hear more from Jane and Ellen: Continue reading

My Post 50 Yoga Journey: A New Perspective on the Body and Mind

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIt’s been a while since I shared progress on my post 50 journey to become a yoga instructor. Through my education at Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, I’m gaining a new perspective on the union between the body and the mind.

Our Amazing Bodies
In prior posts, I told you about my deepening knowledge of anatomy and physiology. This spring, I decided to re-audit A+P. Our bodies are very complex with so many muscles, bones, limbs, joints, and organs – it’s truly amazing how everything works together, or sometimes doesn’t work together when you don’t take care of yourself. It’s been said that a consistent yoga practice can help resolve “the issues in the tissues.”

yoga, transformation, boomer wellness, anatomy + physiology

I learned a lot from yoga instructor N and her companion Raja.

The Power of Prana
I introduced you to prana, the Sanskrit word for “life force” and demonstrated different breathing techniques – Dirgha and Nadi Shodhana – to move prana through the body. Over the past several months, I’ve learned additional ways to use breath to calm and focus the mind, build lung capacity, and activate energy in the body.  From Ujjayi, great sound breath, to  Kapalabhati, skull shining breath, Sama Vritti to Vishama Vritti, both with a counting rhythm (Sama is equal counts with inhale and exhale and Vishama has a longer exhale) – I’ve witnessed how marrying breath with movement can bring greater benefits to the body and mind.

yoga, nadi shodhana, pranayama, prana, meditation, life after 50

I practice meditation with Nadi Shodhana breathing, alternate nostril breath, to help lower my blood pressure and relax.

The Artistry of A Yoga Sequence
My artistry of asanas has multiplied with a broad portfolio of poses to choose from as I enhance my own practice and craft sequences to teach others. There are joint-freeing series, reclining poses, seated poses, standing poses, backbends, forward bends, twists, and inversions. There are the three-dimensional aspects of poses, their Sanskrit names, and proper alignments. There are key benefits, precautions, and contraindications for poses, plus modifications and assists for those who may need help.

yoga, asanas, Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Studies, reinvention post 50

Our instructors L and M show us the correct alignment and assists for poses.

We begin each sequence with centering. “Let your thoughts go. Bring your mind to the mat as well as your body,” said my instructor L. We end with savasana, known as corpse pose, the most important asana of them all. It’s when the body and the mind totally relax lying flat on the mat and the goodness of all the other poses melts into every cell. Continue reading