February 2010

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Wintery greetings to you!

I am sitting here watching the unceasing snow falling in central Pennsylvania. Everyone in my neighborhood seems to be hunkering
down now that the initial round of snow shoveling has been completed. Throughout the series of snowstorms we’ve been experiencing, I’ve heard many people
complaining and railing against winter and the inconvenience of the snow. As I have listened, I have realized that I can consciously choose my reaction to this
weather: I can complain or I can savor the gifts of winter. I choose to savor.

There is such serenity in a snowfall such as this. Every sound is muffled. The snowflakes drift and swirl in the wind.
Life seems to move more slowly. And, of course, it’s nice to feel all warm and cozy inside, enjoying my cup of ginger tea.

This issue is about making conscious choices and being completely present in the moment. “It is our choices…that
show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, 1999
Here’s to making conscious choices,


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WANTED: Adventure seekers…

Mount Moran in Wyoming

… willing to get up early enough to catch dawn’s early light, endure sub-zero temperatures, hike through knee-deep snow, enjoy stunning landscapes in
the stillness of a national park in mid-winter. Whiners and control freaks need not apply.

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to partake? Well, not many people if comments from my family and circle of friends are any indication.

Oh, and did I mention that I paid hard-earned money to answer this ad?

So, what motivated me, beyond the fondly bestowed label of “gutsy broad”?

I am at a phase in my life where pushing the envelope, moving beyond the expected for a “woman of a certain age”, gleefully ignoring the derisive labels
and shocked expressions – all provide me with a feeling of being fully alive, the joy of trying new things, of testing my mettle.

I have come into my own.

So, what did I learn from this latest adventure? I learned that challenges are to be met head-on. I learned to relax and go with the general plan, even
as it changed based on environmental conditions. I learned to savor every moment knowing that it would never happen again. I learned that breaking out
of the ordinary frees my creativity, fuels my resiliency, and shakes up my status quo.

I also learned that ibuprofen is my friend. Enough said.

So, what have you done lately to get out of your comfort zone? I mean really out of your comfort zone? What can you do to feel more fully alive?
What can you do to push past the limits you have defined for yourself?

Answering these questions doesn’t really require money, although that expands your options. What it does require is a raised awareness. And a desire
to shake things up, even it’s just a little bit.

What one thing can you do in the coming week that will move you out of your comfort zone?
Get out there and Just Do It. Then, take time to reflect on how that small action made you feel, helped you grow, shook things up.