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Yep, that used to be comfortable.

“She ain’t what she used to be!”

Yoga studios are crawling with raving lunatics. I should know. I was one of them and looked every bit the part. While I could twist myself into a pretzel, it was only after tumbling off my mat that I began to embody what yoga truly means. Turns out perfect balance, inner peace, and abiding joy have little to do with how much kale I ate and everything to do with my attitude toward life.

The Western emphasis on yoga’s physical benefits belies its fundamental intention: to slow down our stimulated, overwhelmed, forever multi-tasking brain of ours. As spelled out by Patanjali 2,000 years ago, the purpose of yoga is “to still the fluctuations of the mind.” …


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And now I want it back! A journey from consumerism to minimalism.

I used to pride myself in knowing the only shopping I truly enjoyed was for produce. That pristine image changed the day I enrolled for Amazon Prime. “This is great,” I thought. “No more malls!”

It’s started small. Some eye cream with a book. A few hard to find chocolate molds. I felt appreciative, grateful even, to have such convenience at my fingers tips. Then boxes started arriving by their own accord.

One day Amazon changed their page. Instead of quietly recommending purchases, the page was broken into Brady Bunch boxes of my purchase history. My mind spun over the amount of stuff I had bought. There was the double pack of scissors (Why buy one when you can have four?), six pairs of footies (I gave to my niece), and countless books (I resold at a fraction of their price and checked out from the library). …


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The Path Less Beaten

If it’s something we can’t buy
There must be another way

Growing up, our self-worth is determined by how others perceive us. It’s how we develop as human beings. Somewhere around mid-life, this begins to change. We become mildly anti-social. We gradually start turning down invites for the quiet nights at home. Long baths become solitary oasis. We’re often in our jammies by 7pm. Okay, the last one is me.

This desire to turn inward is normal. It’s a natural deepening that results from knowing what matters most. …


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Come, join me.

Another curmudgeon bemoans technology.

The desire to be seen is nothing new. We come into this world with a need for belonging. What is new is the means by which we get that need met.

The average person checks their phone 80 times a day. Partly for utility, but mostly out of conditioning. The brain rewards us with powerful endorphins whenever we feel seen and loved. Thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram we can receive our daily dose of warm fuzzies throughout the day. …


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The Happy Couple

If I met him in a bar, I’d head for the hills.

Why so dramatic? Because we’re in the midst of an unprecedented social experiment. Folks, we have surrendered without question. Don’t get me wrong. Tech is great. This is not a slander piece. It is about discernment.

We come into this world with a need to belong. Back in the day, banishment meant death. It’s that important. We need each other to survive, emotionally and physically. Our body, sculpted by the biological forces of natural selection over millennia, hungers for moments of oneness and eye contact, with real eye balls.

Speed of Life

The problem with technology, is that we are making less time for others. Modern life baits us to speed through our day at a pace that is antithetical to connection. We multitask just to stay afloat, and increasingly “connect” with others through e-mails, texts, tweets, and other ways that don’t require speaking — let alone seeing one another. …


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Never forget.

Now, THAT is a question.

There is no right or wrong way to grow old. You can sit on your butt or hit the gym daily, either way it is going to happen. What matters is our attitude. Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, our aversion to aging is a fear of dying. Once we wrap our noggin around that concept, we’re golden.

Ever since cave men dragged women into domestic bliss, we of the fairer sex have been indoctrinated to believe our worth is the sum total of our bodily measurements. Somewhere around mid-life, after years of drinking the cultural Kool-Aid, that begins to change. We can let go of trying to meet the ever changing criteria of what women should look like, smell like, walk like and talk like. …


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Ram Dass, 1931–2019

The Harvard professor, best known for expanding awareness through psychedelics, left his greatest legacy for last

A beloved mentor has passed. Richard Alpert, known to many as Ram Dass, embodied the role of spiritual seeker. At the age of 66, Ram Dass suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed on the right side of his body and limited his ability to speak. Typically, this did not deter him. He went on to write about his experience of aging so that we may embrace it with ease, grace, and humor. My own ideas on “conscious aging” have been heavily influenced by his shared vision.

Ram Dass was clear that we cannot underestimate the media’s influence on how we view aging. Our youth-obsessed culture is set up to make us feel like aging is human failure. Pitting ourselves against such an inevitable reality is a form of insanity the West has mastered. Until we see ourselves as part of the natural life cycle, we will continue to view aging and death as something removed from us. …


Coach Kerry stands behind her team of five five-year olds.
Coach Kerry stands behind her team of five five-year olds.
Storm Team Volcano Jaguars

A middle-aged mom’s journey into the world of kid sports.

I have fond childhood memories of going to the Angel Stadium with my dad. He loved baseball and his enthusiasm for anything was contagious. When Tee-Ball signs began wallpapering the neighborhood, I didn’t think twice to enroll my son despite his astonishing lack of athleticism. Swept in the memory of a simpler time, I happily checked the volunteer box and never gave it another thought.

My son would only be six once. And I know enough about life to know coaching tee-ball was my one and only chance to coach anything. His dad is the athlete, not me. In the blink of an eye, my son will out run, out throw and out swing his middle-aged mama. …


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Discontent with our changing bodies is a rich source of suffering. The feeling is intensified as we age due to marketing and the cultural obsession with youthfulness. This leads many people to fight aging by any means necessary, often going to extraordinary lengths to hide it. The second half of life is a good place to re-examine our attitudes toward body image, the thoughts and feelings that arise as we view ourselves in the mirror. We can begin by asking: who am I now that my body has changed? What am I holding onto? …

About

Kerry Ogden

Mother, therapist, writer, photographer, gardener, food lover, food maker and chocolate eater. www.kerryogden.com

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