Jane Fonda Ted Talk: Aging, Health, Longevity and Joy

Aging and Stress Solutions: 6 Tips for a Joyful Life

 

Your Smile Boosts Feel Good Hormones in the Brain

Aging and Stress Solutions: 6 Tips for a Joyful Life

I think we’d all agree that life today—natural disasters, global unrest, economic uncertainty—creates a stress response within. Since it’s proven that stress is the single factor most responsible for illness, anxiety and depression, I’d like to introduce you to 6 of the scientifically-proven practices that contribute to your joy and wellbeing.

Based on research from “positive psychology” and the “science of happiness”, the following tips are easy, quick and proven effective! You can find more than 200 joy-boosting actions  in my book: Joy After Fifty: A Woman’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Lasting Happiness.

1. Identify what’s working. At the end of a challenging day, when you feel stressed about what didn’t get accomplished, how you didn’t measure up, who disappointed you, simply name 3 things that went well that day. Practicing this during the day restores wellbeing, revives energy and increases effectiveness.

2. Savor life’s joys. Relive happy memories by closing your eyes, activating all 5 senses and re-experiencing the happiness. Become exquisitely mindful of the present-moment delights— the face of a loved one, the flavors of food, a birdsong, a sunset. Savor future experiences by anticipating them with enthusiasm.

3. Express Gratitude. More effective than writing a gratitude list as an antidote to negative emotions, is the verbal communication of your gratitude. Write a letter of appreciation on beautiful stationery to a mentor, a loved one, a colleague, a friend for whom you are truly grateful. If they are within driving distance, make a “gratitude visit”. Read the letter to them slowly, with sincerity, making eye contact. For those at a distance, a Skype or phone call is also effective.

4. Practice acts of kindness. Throughout the day, really connect with those you encounter. Ask the barista about her family as she prepares your latte, smile at strangers, offer to carry someone’s groceries, listen deeply to someone in need, give a gift for no reason. Nurturing social connections through kindness brings joy to both giver and receiver.

5. Condition your brain for joy. Slow down. Be still. Meditate. Walk silently in nature. Sing. Chant. Dance. Exercise. Avoid overthinking. Take action. Be of service. Discover Positive Psychology. Join a Laughter Yoga group. Cultivate optimism. Quit multitasking. Read inspirational literature. Rest. Play.

6. Practice Self-Love. Treat yourself as a lover. Be kind, tender, and patient. Praise, nurture, and love yourself first. Follow your heart. Choose to be happy.

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ANNOUNCING A DEEP IMMERSION INTO JOY:

Joy After 50+ Women’s Retreat,  October 25-27, 2013. Sonoma Ca. at the wonderful Westerbeke Ranch.

***REGISTER BY AUGUST 15th FOR EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT. BRING A FRIEND AND SAVE $50! Space Limited to 15!

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Joyful blessings to you!

Connie

 

 

Mother’s Day: Yoko Ono Inspires the Creation of a “Mothering Tree”

A UNIQUE MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE

We send cards and flowers. We gather the family and take her to lunch or on a picnic. We remember our mother’s in many ways. Thanks to a few women artists in Marin County, California, our community is participating in a new, meaningful way of expressing sentiments to our moms.

On the main street of San Rafael, a beautiful tree of vibrant colors adorns the city plaza. It waves its branches of rainbow colors to passersby. The curious who approach the tree discover that each waving colorful “leaf” has writing on it—handwritten messages to mothers, grandmothers, and women ancestors. It is called The Mothering Tree.

The Mothering Tree

People are invited to write a personal tribute to their maternal lineage using strips of colorful painted rice paper. Suggestions include, “Name the mothers in your family tree” and “Write a note to a female ancestors that youʼve never met.” The concept was inspired by Yoko Ono’s “Wish Trees”, part of the Imagine Peace Project.

The tributes reflect myriad feelings, including the following:

  • “My mom taught me to love.”
  • “My mom will be a grandmother come December!”
  • “I wish I knew you.”
  • “I love her, even though I’m grounded.”
  • “Mom, thanks for all the life lessons. It worked!”
  • “I forgive her.”
  • “My mom, even at 92, always believes in me!”
  • “I wish you’d respect me.”
  • “You’re the kindest, finest person I know.”
  • One leaf was written in honor of generations of mothers who immigrated from China. It says, “All your sacrifices are so appreciated, as your boys have become wonderful fathers and grandfathers.”

Your tribute to your mom and your women ancestors: What feelings are living within you that you could express? Are you grateful? Resentful? Willing to forgive? You might take 5-10 minutes to sit in reflection, connecting to all the women, living and not, who have influenced your life.

*** Let’s each take a moment to send our love and prayers to mothers around the world who need our support, including Mother Earth. Imagine a rainbow bridge from your heart to theirs. Close your eyes and send your love now.

May we extend the qualities of loving kindness, caring, and nurturing to all beings each and every day. 

With love and joyful blessings,

Connie

 EARLY REGISTRATION IS OPEN/DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE  FOR :  

JOY AFTER 50+ WOMEN’S RETREAT

OCTOBER 27-29. SONOMA, CA.

www.joyafterfifty.com/retreats


 

 

 

 

 

Health after Fifty: John Lennon, Advance Directives, and Joy No Matter What

Dear friends,

First, let me offer a belated wish for your vibrant health, happiness and fulfillment in 2013. While it may seem strange to be sending this wish now, as we approach the first day of Spring, I have been fully engaged in a most important project: my HEALTH!

The holiday season found me “off duty” with 2 extended bouts of the flu. After taking time away from my psychotherapy practice to fully recover, I was grateful to return to my clients. When you are blessed to do work that makes your heart sing,  it’s a joy to return after being away.

I was thinking about you, composing blog posts in my head, wanting to reconnect, and to resume my communications with you.

And then…as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

I awoke one morning about 3 weeks ago, stepped out of bed and realized my right leg and arm felt unusually weak. As I wobbled to the bathroom I thought I must have slept “funny” on that side. Minutes later, an insistent inner voice said, “Call the doctor!” After a few hours in the hospital ER, undergoing a CT scan, an ultrasound, 2 MRIs and an EKG, I was diagnosed with a TIA: transient ischemic attack or “mini-stroke!

The good news is that, as is the case with TIAs, I am symptom-free. I feel so grateful for what I used to take for granted: walking, talking, smiling,  to name a few

 As you might imagine, this was a powerful wake-up call for me. For a couple of weeks my mind was seducing me with fear-inducing visions of my future as a stoke victim. (30-40 % of people who have a TIA have a serious stroke within 3 months to a year.) I am determined to be among the 60-70%!

How did I revive my joy? I used my book, Joy After Fifty: A Woman’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Lasting Happiness  and the simple practices to boost my happiness—practices like acts of kindness, savoring beautiful memories, naming 3 things that went well each day. While these and other simple actions have been scientifically proven to boost happiness, what I now know, for sure, is that they really work to alleviate fear, sadness, fatigue and anxiety. Yay! You can learn these amazingly simple 1-3 minute practices. Click here to read about Joy After Fifty.

I am living each day with renewed purpose and passion. Here’s what I learned from this experience:

  1. Cherish every moment.
  2. Live passionately, joyfully, gratefully…no matter what!
  3. Know your body. Feed it well. Eat to live.
  4. Have an emergency plan. Who will you call if you live alone?
  5. Praise the nurses and doctors...and assert your needs.
  6. *Complete your advance directive.
  7. Say goodby, as though you may never see that person again.
  8. Say, “I love you” often.
  9. Give thanks for tender kindnesses.
  10. Make time for joy…every day! Joy is the precursor to health, love, and resilience.

* You may find “Five Wishes” a more inspiring, thought-provoking advance directive than the usual ones www.agingwithdignity.org

Here’s to your health, happiness and fulfillment!!

Joyful blessings,

Connie

 

 

 


 

Winter Solstice Quotes: Holiday Gifts of Light, Love, and Transformation

Winter Solstice: Holiday Gifts of Light, Love and Transformation.

The Magic Of Winter Solstice

 

Many cultures have celebrations of light at Winter Solstice. In addition to the lights of Christmas, there is Hanukkah with its brightly colored menorahs and the lighting of Kwanzaa candles. In Pagan tradition, the holiday called Yule, takes place on the solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year, around December 21st. As a celebration of the returning light and warmth of the sun, the most important part of any Yule observance is the lighting of candles and bonfires.

I hope you are warmed by the inspiring, illuminating quotes that follow.

** QUOTES about the GIFTS of DARKNESS and INNER LIGHT **

* “There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”  ~ Edith Wharton




* “When you possess light within, you see it externally.” ~ Anaïs Nin

* “Your path is illuminated by the light, yet darkness lets the stars shine bright.”~ J.L.W. Brooks

* “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” ~ Hamilton Wright Mabi

* “We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.”  ~ Mary Dunbar



* “The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come.  At the darkest moment comes the light.” ~ Joseph Campbell

* “We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.” ~ Earl Nightingale

* “I will love the light for it shows me the way.  Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” ~ Og Mandino

* “The stars are the street lights of eternity.” ~ Author Unknown

* “It snowed and snowed, the whole world over, Snow swept the world from end to end. A candle burned on the table; A candle burned.” ~ Boris Pasternak

** A HOLIDAY GIFT of JOY  FOR THE  WOMEN YOU LOVE :

  Joy After Fifty: A Woman’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Lasting Happiness by Connie Clark

               CLICK TO READ ABOUT: www.joyafterfifty.com/book

 ***   ORDER NOW for Christmas at www.amazon.com !!

With deepest love and gratitude. The Light in me honors and celebrates the Light in you.

~ Connie

Photo credit: crystalinks.com

 

 


 

 

California’s Book Passage Announces: Book Signing for the Joy of Women Over 50

San Rafael CA – November 12, 2012 – San Rafael resident and author, Connie Clark, whose expertise is the subject of Joy, will be speaking at Book Passage, in Corte Madera, Sunday, December 2 from 1 pm to 2 pm. A practicing psychotherapist, Clark presents principles and practices inspired by the science of happiness. Clark will be discussing her book, Joy After Fifty: A Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Lasting Happiness, and also leading the audience through easy-to-learn, joy-enhancing techniques.

Scientific research has proven that happy women are more successful professionally, financially, creatively and sexually. In addition, joyful women actually increase their chances for a long and healthy life. Research shows that optimistic women suffer 25% less breast cancer. Learning how to shift from stress to joy is an essential skill .

Clark specializes in the research-based practices that can enhance every woman’s vitality, mental clarity and quality of relationships. “Women learn to transform feelings of stress and fatigue into enthusiasm and a zest for life,” says Clark. “From a state of joy, women summon the unflappable courage to reach for their dreams and express who they truly are.”

A licensed psychotherapist since 1993, Clark grew up in a dysfunctional family, and was far from joyful. She discovered how to comfort herself and find true joy. Her grandmother’s home provided a safe haven where music, play, and nature obviated her sadness and restored her happiness

At 40, Clark studied psychology at The California Institute for Integral Studies where she earned an MA in Counseling Psychology, specializing in women’s psychology. Licensed as a LMFT, she began her practice in Sausalito. Additionally for the past 20 years, Clark has led transformational retreats for women, most recently “Joy After 50+ Retreats”.

With her expertise in the new science of happiness, Clark taught her clients how to alleviate their depression and anxiety. Encouraged by the transformational results, she wrote her first book, Joy After Fifty: A Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Lasting Happiness.

“The ability to activate innate inner joy is the key to establishing resilience, strength and effectiveness allowing women to flourish”, explains Clark. “It’s the lighthouse beacon.”

“For women over 50, I offer a simple blueprint for an extraordinary life. It’s a woman’s time to shine and make the world a better place. I wrote my first book at 63. It’s never too late to achieve your dreams.”

 

 

 

Harvesting the Gifts of your Life: Make a Gratitude Visit

First, I am glad to reconnect with you after honoring my need to be present for my family over the last few months. I hope your summer was filled with juicy delights.

As autumn approaches, with its theme of harvest, I invite you to consider the bountiful harvest of your life at 50, 60 and beyond. What are the fruits of life for which you’re grateful?

 I like to set aside time to be still and to reflect on the magnificence of my life—all of it—the victories, the losses, the challenges, the growth, the journeys, the discoveries, the inspiring mentors and wise guides, doing the work I adore. Above all, the fruits that have nourished me the most are my loving relationships. I am blessed to have a bounty of love in my harvest basket.

As I reflect on my deep gratitude for the exquisite gift of love of friends and family, my joy expands. Inspired by the research of Martin Seligman, PhD, on the practice of a “gratitude visit” as a means of elevating a state of happiness, I described and demonstrated in a talk to The Happiness Club of Fairfield, Connecticut a gratitude visit to my sister, Dale. Here’s how it works:

  • You identify someone who has made a positive impact on your life.
  • You write that person a letter, on beautiful paper, in which you specify the myriad ways they have made a difference in your life, for example: how they supported you, believed in you, loved you and the like.
  • To make it extra special.  You may laminate it, frame it or enhance the letter with photos that you present in a lovely album.
  • You then set a time to meet in person and read the letter, making eye contact and reading from your heart.

As someone predicted, there was not a dry eye in the auditorium when I faced my sister and began to tell her how I have loved her from the day I held her in my arms in the back seat of the car as we drove her home from the hospital for the first time. My sister began to weep, the president of club shot out of his seat in a standing ovation, men and women were wiping away the tears of joy.

What I know for sure is that as we express our gratitude to another in this manner, it creates a deeper bond of intimacy, trust and joy. Who will you honor in this manner?

Please write in and comment on your experiences of a gratitude visit. I promise that it will be one of the highest, unforgettable experiences of your life.

With joyful blessings,

Connie

**My next post will be: Love After Fifty: Why Women Give up the Dream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First, I am glad to reconnect with you after honoring my need to be present for my family over the last few months. I hope your summer was filled with juicy delights.

 

As autumn approaches, with its theme of harvest, I invite you to consider the bountiful harvest of your life at 50, 60 and beyond. What are the fruits of life for which you’re grateful?

 

I like to set aside time to be still and to reflect on the magnificence of my life—all of it—the victories, the losses, the challenges, the growth, the journeys, the discoveries, the inspiring mentors and wise guides, doing the work I adore. Above all, the fruits that have nourished me the most are my loving relationships. I am blessed to have a bounty of love in my harvest basket.

 

As I reflect on my deep gratitude for the exquisite gift of love of friends and family, my joy expands. Inspired by the research of Martin Seligman, PhD, on the practice of a “gratitude visit” as a means of elevating a state of happiness, I described and demonstrated in a talk to The Happiness Club of Fairfield, Connecticut a gratitude visit to my sister, Dale. Here’s how it works:

 

  • You identify someone who has made a positive impact on your life.
  • You write that person a letter, on beautiful paper, in which you specify the myriad ways they have made a difference in your life, for example: how they supported you, believed in you, loved you and the like.
  • To make it extra special.  You may laminate it, frame it or enhance the letter with photos that you present in a lovely album.
  • You then set a time to meet in person and read the letter, making eye contact and reading from your heart.

 

As someone predicted, there was not a dry eye in the auditorium when I faced my sister and began to tell her how I have loved her from the day I held her in my arms in the back

seat of the car as we drove her home from the hospital for the first time. My sister began to weep, the president of club shot out of his seat in a standing ovation, men and women were wiping away the tears of joy.

 

What I know for sure is that as we express our gratitude to another in this manner, it creates a deeper bond of intimacy, trust and joy. Who will you honor in this manner?

 

Please write in and comment on your experiences of a gratitude visit. I promise that it will be one of the highest, unforgettable experiences of your life.

 

With joyful blessings,

Connie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Vision for Peace and Fulfillment at the End of Life: How to Live Today!

What Matters at the End of Life? Loved Ones

 

What really matters at the end of life? How can one ensure peace of mind and fulfillment?

On Friday of last week, I received 2 pieces of mail that got my attention! One was for cremations services…an offer for a pre-paid
cremation..and the other was an introductory offer for “the most advanced hearing aid you’ll never see”. Both in one day! While I am not
ready to plan my cremation, the mailing inspired me to reflect on my life. Am I living each day in alignment with what has heart
and meaning? Am I making time for what will truly matter as a review my life?

My book, Joy After Fifty: A Women’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Lasting Happiness, is designed to guide you week by
week, to follow what makes your heart sing, to design your life in accordance with your soul’s calling, and to prioritize joy–especially in these
challenging times.  Here is the excerpt of Week 6 of the 52 week resource guide. Each week has a theme related to joy, followed by “Reflecting on Joy” , “Activating Joy” and a page for journaling.

Click here to read more about Joy After Fifty.

Week Six

Keeping the end of your life in mind is a helpful practice for ensuring ease and joy today. Getting in touch with what will really matter — what will bring you peace and a sense of fulfillment as you look back on your life—illuminates that which needs to be prioritized today.

 Reflecting on Joy

 1. What do I imagine will really matter to me at the end of my life?

2. As I evaluate my activities today, what aspects would generate a regret-free life review and ultimate contentment?

3. How might I reassess my priorities in this regard?  Where do I need to direct more—and less—of my attention and energy?

4. Where would I have to say “no” to make more time for what really matters?

Activating Joy

** Consider this line from Mary Oliver’s poemWhen Death Comes.” “When it’s over I want to say ‘all my life I was a bride married to amazement.’” Journal about the message it has for you.

** If you had three years to live, what would you make a priority and start doing immediately?  Who or what would you make more time for?

** Considering what you did NOT identify in the step above, what can you do to eliminate activities or associations that don’t contribute to your eventual peace and fulfillment?

** The future is not promised to any of us.  As you design your activities this week, keep the “end” in mind.  For each item on your to-do list, ask, “How is this commitment of my time and energy contributing/not contributing to my overall life satisfaction and joy?”

I hope you found inspiration and meaning in Week 6 of Joy After Fifty. Imagine having 52 weeks of lessons in JOY! Click to order Joy After Fifty now.…a truly meaningful gift for you and the women you love.

With loving blessings,

Connie


Brene Brown Ted Talk on YouTube: Vulnerability as Key to Love, Happiness and Healthy Relationships

 

Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on Vulnerability is Key to Loving Relationships. Watch this Inspiring YouTube Video.

Even if you’ve seen this amazing Ted Talk, I encourage you to watch it again. Here are 10 highlights from her talk for you to save and share:

  1. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
  2. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
  3. “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
  4. “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”
  5. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”
  6. “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”
  7. “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
  8. “If we share our shame story with the wrong person, they can easily become one more piece of flying debris in an already dangerous storm.”
  9. “Shame works like the zoom lens on a camera. When we are feeling shame, the camera is zooms in tight and all we see is our flawed selves, alone and struggling.”
  10. “Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.”

Please forward this to your friends and share your impressions below! Which of the 10 quotes is your favorite?

May we all reach for the courage and self-trust to be our most authentic selves!

**Since a JOYFUL STATE  supports our self-worth and courage, *discover simple proven practices to boost happiness*: Joy After Fifty: A Woman’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Lasting Happiness

With loving blessings,
Connie

 

 

A Women’s Retreat for Health, Happiness and Vitality: A Life-Changing Vacation After Fifty

Joy After 50+ Retreat Participants

Joy After 50+ Women’s Retreat: A Life-Changing Vacation

I have been leading women’s retreats since 1993. What I know for sure is that I was born to do this. I say that, not in an ego-centric way, but as a simple acknowledgment of gratitude for doing the work that I love. I wish that for you, too.

I hope you enjoy these photos from my April retreat for women 50, 60, 70 and better. We dressed in white for a special commitment ceremony.

One of the themes in my retreats for women in the second half of life is finding a life calling that ignites passion, inspires creativity and ensures fulfillment. I create a safe place for each woman to share from her heart, reconnect to her spirit, and to listen deeply to her true desires for this powerful time of life. The world needs each of our gifts… mostly our radiant joy, loving kindness and purposeful service… in these challenging times.

A Sanctuary for Sacred Space

 

This is our meeting space where laughter, deep sharing, loving support, and transformation happens. The “arrows” around the altar are symbols of what each woman wishes to release in a fire ceremony… limitations, judgements, fear and the like. Being freed from these saboteurs opens a pathway to true joy.

 

 

Deep Connection and Bonding

 

Women arrive as strangers and, as the weekend progresses, feel safe to midwife one another  into taking the next step on their life path. I am blessed to witness this process in each and every retreat.

 

 

 

Lunchtime in Paradise

 

I carefully select resorts of great beauty and tranquility, like the Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, California. The lush gardens, cozy cottages, quite spaces for reflection, healthful,delicious gourmet cuisine all create the conditions for rejuvenation and personal transformation.

 

 

Deep Personal Reflection for Meaning and Inspiration

 

***TO BE NOTIFIED OF THE NEXT RETREAT DATES AND INFORMATION: click to contact Connie 

You will be on my list to learn FIRST of future one day, weekend and week-long retreats in the U.S. and Mexico!

 

 

 

A Circle of Love, Support and Delight

 

I hope you will forward this to the women you love.  Discounts are offered when you attend a retreat with a friend or relative.

 

 

 

 

****A PERFECT MOTHER’S DAY GIFT****

CLICK TO ORDER CONNIE’S ACCLAIMED BOOK: Joy After Fifty: A Woman’s Guide to Passion, Purpose and Lasting Happiness

With joyful blessings to mothers everywhere. We are all mothers in one way or another!

Connie

 

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