My Own Liminal Time

In any transition, we recognize there is always a liminal time–that is the threshold between what was and what will be in the future.  My life experience of that past month is the physical limitation of a broken wrist.  It is healing well and will be fine.  Still I sense that I am having an experience that pushes me into another life phase–one in which I cannot rely on my body to be fully functional without pain.  It seems that in recent years, if it is not one thing, it is another.

I confess I do not like it!  My mind and spirit are vital and I have much that I want to do.  I do grieve the loss of physical strength, flexibility and energy, while being pain free.  Meanwhile I am communicating a message to others that this can be the best time life–if we so choose.  The Third Chapter is meant to be the climax–the fulfillment of a life well-lived.  Now when the daunting challenge is mine, I need to walk the talk.

So here goes some self talk:  “Where do I focus my attention?  On that which I can do or that which I cannot?  Maybe my golf days are over (have not been out in four years) but I can still bike (after my wrist heals.)  Maybe yardwork is too much now.  I will hire help and enjoy other activities instead.  Maybe pulling a camper is too daunting now but there are rental cabins and hotels.  There are other ways to enjoy travel and the outdoors.”

Does this conversation with self echo your own?  It usually boils down to focusing on our abundance instead of our scarcity.  It is something for us to remember going into the Thanksgiving season.


















Planning Your Life’s Encore

Planning Your Life’s Encore
Saturday, September 30, 2017 9:00 am – 3:30 pm                                                                             Center of Compassion, Omaha, NE

I will explore the elements that constitute a full and successful
retirement. Participants will leave with an understanding of the importance of finding “purpose” in the retirement years.  In this phase there is an opportunity to nurture ourselves–body, mind and spirit–while developing a legacy to pass on the world.  Cost $45 which includes lunch.  Register online at or call 402-951-3026.


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The Mission of the Servite Center of Compassion, located at the Servants of Mary Motherhouse in Omaha, is to be “a sacred space in the city welcoming all with compassion and hope.”

Inviting the New to Emerge

In order to allow for something new to emerge in the Third Chapter of Life, it is necessary to let go of what was, i.e. the Second Chapter.  The sense of importance that marks the mid-life coming from the responsibilities we carry, the salary we earn, the prestige of titles, the recognition that we  “made it”—-these are all the things that fade as we enter the Third Chapter.  Our very identity shifts.

For those who are less conscious, this feels like unrequited loss.  However, the loss is not without rewards. This self-dissolution is required in order to have self-transcendence.  In other words,  to be more than we have been, we must let go of what has been.

In making a conscious passage deeper into the inner life, we cannot continue to cling to the acquisitions and pre-occupations that take all our attention in mid-life.  They served their purpose and now is the time to release our grip so something new can happen.  Now is the time to see, savor, enjoy whatever has meaning and purpose for us now.  Watch for it!  If we are awake, it will surely come.

What is Wisdom?

A wise woman I know who is 90 has said to me that she does not know what wisdom is even though people tell her she is wise.  Been thinking of this question as I prepare some talks for upcoming events.  I do find it is hard to define wisdom.  However it is not hard to say that “you know it when you see it. ”

Here are some earmarks of wisdom that we can use when looking at our own experience or listening to others.  The voice of wisdom is compassionate toward both ourselves and others.  It is spacious; when practiced, our heart relaxes.  When we are listening to the voice of wisdom, we have a gentle good humor about ourselves or the situation.  There is a generosity of spirit, a kind open-hearted view of people and situations.  And finally there is a sense that all is well in the big picture.  This is, of course, the opposite of being uptight, defensive, humorless and fearful of impending doom.  (These ideas are adapted from Maria Nemeth’s excellent book, “Mastering Life’s Energies.”)

As I review this and think about my own reaction to world affairs, I see that I am not so wise.  I have been quite uptight and fearful when I watch the news.  I don’t think listening to the voice of  wisdom means that I should not stand up for what I believe but I do think it means that I must take the long view.  Trusting the forces of good more than the forces of evil may be the wise thing to do at this time.

What do you think??






70th Birthday Reflection

As I celebrate my 70th birthday, I think about a piece I wrote in November when I was taking a day for reflection.  It is a metaphor that fits today.

I walk around the lake I visited in late spring. It is different now.  Most leaves have fallen and I find it easier to keep my bearings because  I can see further and glimpse the lake and the buildings in the distance.  When I walked on these paths in May, I got turned around and had to backtrack to find my way.  The bushes, trees and weeds were so thick I had to go by trial and error.

This is a beautiful metaphor for the life cycle.  In youth and middle age, we find our way as we go.  When one path takes us in circles, we try another.  Eventually we learn.

By the time seven decades have passed, we enter the autumn of life.  We have learned so much that it is easier to stay the course.  We have perspective from the many years we spent negotiating the thickets of life.  We move a little slower because we have less pressure and anxiety.  We have time to look at the sky and notice the changing colors.  We have a better understanding of where we are going and how to get there.

We celebrate the fact that we can walk, hear the birds, see the sky through the bare limbs and breathe fresh air.  Yes, winter will come but right now the joy is being in the moment when all is well.