Preschool Artwork Showing Difference Between Negative and Positive Thinking

It is such an exciting, passionate endeavor to teach preschool/K children about themselves. KNOW THYSELF is proclaimed by major philosophies to be a key to a strong, happy life. As an aging woman, I want to pass on to younger generations ways I have discovered to do just that: KNOW THYSELF. And the icing on the cake is to learn skills to manage thyself! Awareness is the first step….of internal resources with mind/body/emotions.

Using all the senses in a holistic teaching manner accomplishes a great deal more than just making a linear, cognitive statement such as “It is better to have good thoughts than bad thoughts.”

Children who get to experience the difference between bad and good thoughts get the sense of the lesson for themselves. Their awareness increases and as that happens there are more choices consciously of how to use those internal resources.

Artwork helps children to see the difference because, even if they cannot talk about it in words, they ‘get it’ and can feel the artistic expression, then SEE what it is that is going on inside them. These artwork samples are from 4 and 5 year old children. After having some experiences practicing the difference between bad and good thoughts they had no hesitation being able to show the difference. How exciting!

There is a continual thread of caring concern as an elder of this human tribe that lives in my heart. Creating opportunities for children to truly develop their own human potential is a key for positive changes on our planet that are dearly needed. Helping children to KNOW THYSELF gives a lot of punch in my Awesome Aging process.

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Aging Just Got More Awesome: Grant Awarded for my Children’s Work from The Ashland Food Co-op Community Grants Committee

AS IF the Ashland Food Co-op wasn’t already the most amazing co-op EVER, it also uses funds to strengthen the community. The Ashland Co-op awards grants that support local programs they see are assets in evolving community health and well being. WOW! They are truly an amazing hub in our community. Here is the email message I received yesterday:

“CONGRATULATIONS! The Ashland Food Co-op Community Grants Committee is happy to inform you that your grant application has been approved. The committee will present your grant award at our 17th Annual Community Grant Award Event on Wednesday, May 24, 5:00 to 8:00 pm, at Ashland Hills Hotel, Stardust Room, 2525 Ashland St, Ashland, OR to The Conscious Living Foundation.”
This grant will support the efforts locally in training pre-K and K children with self-help mind/body/emotional intelligence skills to manage stress, improve self-care, self-control, self-confidence. This work also gives tools to children suffering from Adverse Childhood Experiences. SO GRATEFUL for this support! Empowering Superkids! #lovinlifeisgreat@68

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Wisdom with Aging Whispers to Teach Children to BE the CALM EYE in the Lifestress Storm

Girl in Center Stays Calm with Noisy Stressful Ruckus all Around Her

As I continue aging, this 68th year is bringing up strong feelings about preparing children to cope healthily in a time of chaos on our planet. It is a case of wanting to leave an imprint that helps, that strengthens, that encourages children. The desire is deeply passionate to help them tap their own inner resources for a happy, healthy life with good choices based on their inner knowing….regardless of what is going on around them. 41 years of pioneering this work has convinced me these skills are essential for children to add to society’s strength instead of detracting from it.

How do children learn to be the calm eye in the middle of the storm? By making it REAL…..Like this: I taught them to focus on their deep, calm breathing and not pay attention to the tension/stress around them to stay in control of themselves. All the other children drummed loudly making stressful sounds around one child who practiced maintaining a calm center. AMAZING to see this successful 3D experience imprinted on each child taking a turn to practice.

Seeing the results of children learning and practicing this skill is nothing short of amazing and everything long of NEEDED. It is one of many skills I see as necessary for children (and actually teens and adults) in our fast paced world where we are top heavy with mental stimulation. It is important to stay grounded, be in the body and know how to work with thoughts/feelings/body sensations. The signals and triggers are all there waiting for instructions…..if we are aware and know what to do.

Seeking funding through the non -profit, tax exempt 501(c)3 Conscious Living Foundation to reach increasing numbers of children with these skills is ongoing. Wishing for philanthropists and others to support this critically important work.

Imagine all children learning skills like this in a geographic area such as an entire school district, a county, state, country. Benefits would be countless…..academic achievements improve, confidence building, mental health issues decrease, mutual respect increases, relationships strengthen, crime rate decreases…….

As an elder with a voice, skills to teach, remarkable insight with relaying tools of awareness and self-control to children with 3D learning, I want to do all I can while I am still here. This makes for a powerful and Awesome Aging process. Now to find funding, the right connections to move forward with this needed work and to be grateful for feeling passion to help in the best way I am able to do that. #lovinlifeisgreat@68

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Moonshine Reflections from Times Gone By……and my Dad, at 7, Bootlegging!

Croatian Grandparents, Papa and Mama, mid-life

Papa and Mama were my Croatian grandparents who came to the U.S. to escape dictatorship. Papa became an insurance agent as well as a wine maker, not to mention hand building a house. It took eleven years to get established financially before he could send for Mama, who remained in Croatia, waiting to come to the U.S. and get married to her betrothed.

I can still remember the overwhelming smell of wine in those barrels in his cellar through the hatch door in the floor leading downstairs. It may be the reason I cannot tolerate wine.

When Dad was 7 years old, he learned to drive Papa’s car. Dad drove it over the
Kansas/Missouri line to sell Papa’s wine. There were no laws stopping him from driving….and who would ever suspect a 7 yr. old bootlegger in prohibition days?

Evidently, Dad was paid for his bootlegging and began buying cigarettes from someone in the alleyways at the age of 7. In today’s world, it is hard to imagine all of this.

Neighbors would frequent the enclosed back porch near the alley at Papa and Mama’s house on Strawberry Hill, the Croatian settlement in Kansas City. I was always happy to see them for good reason. They would sit down at the little white painted table near the window and drink Papa’s wine. In my young mind I thought it was so nice of them to leave money on the table which always included a quarter that would be given to me. At that time I had no clue they were buying a glass or two of wine. My interpretation was they liked to visit with Papa and liked me so they’d leave a quarter.

Mama was nowhere to be seen on the back porch. I never learned why she didn’t visit with the neighbors until I was a teenager. I offered one day to take her to visit a lady she knew from Church (Mama never learned to drive). She responded immediately letting me know she did not want to go visit because that lady just wanted to gossip. She had no place for gossip in her life. I do recall people being discussed on the back porch so I finally understood why she was not a part of the ‘back porch bar scene.’

Of course, I comprehended much more about bootlegging and what Papa was doing on his back porch once I grew older. It is enjoyable to occasionally reflect on parts of my past that are miles away from my life today. However, I do see that the pioneer spirit manifests in many different ways. Papa, Mama, Dad and his siblings were pioneers in a new land quite different than life in the ‘old country’ as they referred to it. The common denominator in both old and new countries with the ability to make the switch was the determination to create a good life with hard work.

There is a pioneering thread that runs through my veins with my children’s work. A pioneer is a pioneer, regardless of circumstances. It takes courage to overcome fear of the unknown. In this 68th year I hope to discover more of these threads from my ancestors to add to the awareness of who I am in this Awesome Aging opportunity called ‘life.’ #lovinlifeisgreat@68
(Part of this story excerpted from my self-help memoire endorsed by Doris Day, “The Grandma Boom Chronicles….More Alive at 65!” (Available at Renaissance Rose and Tree House Books in Ashland, and on Amazon)

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Body and Soul Nourishment at Zagorska Oasis Spa’s Glowing Himalayan Salt Room

The intention set forth in a healing space lays the foundation for the experience therein. When I read the following quote by vibrant owner, Michele Zagorska, I understood why the feeling is so wonderful at Zagorska Oasis.

“I wish for you a healthier body, more vibrant skin, and a nourished soul, because
I am as focused on your heart as I am on your skin.” Michele Zagorska Eco-Luxe Spa & Apothecary

An amazing array of opportunities awaits clients from handmade organic skincare to healing salves, perfection massage, bio-mat nourishment and the incredible healing atmosphere of the Himalayan Salt Room. Special customized skin care products are available for individual skin types and needs. Michele Zagorska’s expertise is nothing short of a mastery with her work.

The negatively charged ions in salt improve our health and mood. Inhaling particles may reduce inflammation and mucus in the lungs, improving respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinus congestion and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

I can attest to the calming effect in the beautiful Himalayan salt room that is filled with 3,000 lbs. of Himalayan salt. I felt the peaceful, soothing energy as I approached the door before entering!

The detoxifying effects of halotherapy can support the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems. Stress is reduced which means there can be upliftment in energy level, improved quality of sleep, reduced headaches, allergy relief and more.

Salt ions purify the air which enhances pure oxygen intake for all ages. Treatments are recommended to help keep the body healthy during flu or allergy seasons.

Not only was I given a soothing, warm neck wrap while being infused with ions that cleared out jet lag from travels, but I was so tickled to have salt blocks in the form of feet to place my feet on during my visit!

With allergy season here, relief is just a few minutes away in downtown Ashland at Zagorska Oasis. Give yourself a healing gift or consider the gift for someone special on Mother’s Day……or any day that a natural lift brings an easy way to feel better, feel pampered, nourished and peacefully calm. Ashland is very fortunate to have such a phenomenal resource to create more vibrance and health in our community. It brings its own health glow that empowers one’s process as an Awesome Aging tool.

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Son Gifts me Blonde Wig for 68th Birthday

My son always hosts me for my birthday, usually in L.A. This year he chose Las Vegas, wanting to take me to see Cirque de Soleil which I’ve never previously experienced.

Before the dinner and show, Darion,35, handed me a gift. When I opened it I was rather shocked to see a blonde wig. I’ve never imagined myself as a blonde, but what the heck! Awesome aging is supposed to include a whole new range of adventures. So I put on the wig.

At first I could not relate to it and didn’t recognize myself. But there was something fun in looking not-like-me. So I went with it.

Friends have asked if blondes have more fun…..I would have had just as much fun that evening in any color of wig! Grateful for the entire experience but mostly for the joy of spending time with a son who wanted to spend time with his mom. #lovinlifeisgreat@68


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Turned 68 with a New Hashtag and a Touch of Flair and Flare

Turned 68! WOW! Wanted to add to my Awesome Aging process and have some
FLAIR (Webster says ‘flair’ means stylish and original). OK. Thanks to Renaissance Rose in Ashland I was able to try on some outlandish outfits and truly got to fill in the FLAIR! What fun!!!

Looked up FLARE. One definition was that a flare becomes wider at one end. Well, that certainly is true! hahahahaha

I figured I may as well celebrate with both of my flairs/flares. It’s the simple joys that bring the heart many smiles. I embraced my ’68′ with my new hashtag that I love because it is my daily reminder mantra to DO IT. #lovinlifeisgreat@68

Now I am motivated to live by that and up to it. Awesome Aging has its quirks and its gifts. Doing all I can do to flow through the quirks so they don’t own me and giving hugs to all the gifts with deep and great appreciation.

Good wishes to all for finding a formula to age with grace, a splash of fun, growing wiser, appreciation of joyful moments, the beauty that surrounds us, the challenges that teach us more about life’s intricacies, the feeling of accomplishment for our skills, staying humble and grateful while being confident about our contribution to society…..and so much more. #lovinlifeisgreat@68

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Grant from Starseed Foundation Helping Area Pre-K and K Students

A warm hearted THANK YOU to Starseed Foundation for a much needed grant to The Conscious Living Foundation, non profit, tax exempt 501 (c)3 that allows children to receive supplies and books in the Self-Help Empowering Superkids program.

In addition, another deep expression of gratitude for the acknowledgment from Starseed about the importance of this needed work being taught to young children when they are forming ways to cope with life stress. As they learn self-help skills, they have more healthy options available in their tool boxes to make good choices, build confidence from the inside-out and assume more self-control.

Beeing Calm is a delightful story about Buzzbee who has too much tension. His sister teaches him about the importance of self-calming. Interactive and provides related art activities to reinforce the concept. Available on Amazon. Kids love it!

Thank you so very much, Starseed! This work for children is fueled with great passion, vision and mission. You have added high octane fuel for my Awesome Aging process to live with even more passion providing needed services to children in our world of many challenges. They now have a wonderful opportunity to live with greater inner strength because of your support.

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Conversation with a Homeless Teen…..

“Why are you homeless?” I asked the young man – an older teen. His sad eyes looked down at the ground for a couple seconds before he responded. His clothes were very worn but he had a cleanliness about him.

“I couldn’t take the abuse anymore. There was a lot of it – different kinds. So I ran far away because there wasn’t anybody to run to.” At that point he glanced at my eyes, looked down at the ground again, then raised his head up, connecting directly with me.

I asked him what he thinks about for his life and if drugs are a part of it. “I have always liked music and would like to be a musician. Sometimes drugs helped me forget the abuse but sometimes they made me think about it more. I want away from the abuse. That’s why I ran away. Now I am trying to stay away from the drugs for that reason.”

He indicated he is still on the run, not knowing where he will end up. The conversation ended with me thanking him for sharing. He smiled a gentle smile, saying, “Thanks for taking time to understand.” Oh how the heart wants kindness to touch it……so true for everyone, isn’t it!

Taking time to have this conversation made my aging process more awesome, more meaningnful, more enlightened, more compassionate.

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Research on Heart Health from Gratitude…..Do you have Baditude or Gooditude?

Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, conducted a study on the impact of gratitude on health. He found that the more grateful people were, the healthier they were: less depressed mood, slept better, more energy, lower levels of plaque on the heart, as well as reduced inflammation.

As a senior citizen desiring an Awesome Aging experience, I love teaching empowering lessons to young children. Bringing awareness to their little minds and hearts, their everyday experiences, means they can have more choices in how they live their lives. Gratitude is a heart filler that keeps a positive outlook on life, so why not teach ages 3-6! It is what I call Empowering Superkids – they can be their own heroes and heroines in everyday situations.

And we can EMPOWER SUPERKIDS by teaching them simple, fun ways to focus on gratitude.

BADITUDE AND GOODITUDE….. these words were created this week in a Kindergarten class where I was teaching about GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION – how they keep the heart happy and healthy. The yellow poster with the glowing heart I designed gives a FEELING of what happens to the heart when we are thankful/grateful/appreciatiave.

Baditude – when we do not have a good attitude because we are grumpy and do not find something to feel grateful for. Gooditude (good attitude) happens when we choose to FEEL grateful. Saying ‘thank you’ without heart does not register on the Gooditude Scale. There’s always a choice….and how exciting in my aging process to be inspiring children with this vital information for heart health! I am GRATEFUL to know to do this, to feel passion to do it and helping my own heart in the process.

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