Living is my word for the new year. Living is one of those words that is typically followed or preceded by other words or phrases. Although inspired by the subtitle of our upcoming book, Midlife, New Life: Living Consciously in Midlife and Beyond, many positive words and phrases can precede or follow the word living: Living Well, Living Life Creatively, and Living with Technology, are all chapters in the book; other phases that may come to mind include living space, living wage, living things, living peacefully, living the dream, or senior living, sustainable living, purposeful living, vibrant living, working for a living, or the philosophy of living. Living from the place of surrender, living in harmony, and living in hope all connect well to my words for previous years.
Living is the active word for the verb to live or the noun life, it is about being alive. This brought to my mind the words of Howard Thurman, “Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” The new year offers new opportunities for being awake and alive, and for living intentionally.
Living is such a versatile word. What are the “living” phrases that come to your mind? How are you choosing to live? I invite you to bring attention to what you are noticing as you read this blog post and set an intention for how you will be living in the new year. Join me in living more consciously.
Hope is my word for the new year. I am sometimes weighed down by pessimistic perspectives on life’s challenges. This year I want to turn this pessimism around, going beyond simple optimism, to real hope for the possibilities of the future. This hope is defined as the belief that our future will be better than today and we have the power to make it so. Ecophilosopher Joanna Macy uses the phrase active hope.
In research studies of hope by Charles Snyder (author of the compelling book, The Psychology of Hope: You Can Get There from Here, 1994) and more recently by Casey Gwinn and Chan Hellman (authors of Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change your Life, 2021), three components of hope have been revealed: goals, willpower, and waypower. Goals need to be aspirational and realistic, built on imagination and possibility, and a belief that the goals are achievable. We need multiple pathways to follow from the present time to the desired future, with alternatives for when the inevitable obstacles impede our progress. And we need confidence, energy, and willpower, sometimes referred to as agency, to sustain us as we move along these pathways towards our goals.
We may also need help and collaboration from others rather than trying to go it alone. “Together we can; together we will” is Dr. Jane Goodall’s rallying cry in her new book, The Book of Hope, written with Douglas Abrams. In her invitation to hope, Jane acknowledges that we are going through dark times but believes the hope for our world is much more than wishful thinking. My invitation is to begin a new journey of hope, or reinvigorate an existing journey, with two or three aspirational yet believable goals to make our future better than the present, and a belief that we have the pathways of possibility and the energy and willpower to make it so. I invite you to take positive steps on your journey of hope today.
Hope Blog Post originally published on DrPaulWard.com website.
I first heard the phrase vocational arousal from inspirational teacher Barbara Marx Hubbard. This is about emotional arousal not sexual arousal. In my book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership, I talked about combining our avocation (our personal purpose, what we want to do) with our vocation (what we are paid to do). Robert Frost, in his poem, Two Tramps in Mud Time, put it this way: “My object in living is to unite, my avocation and my vocation, as my two eyes make one in sight.” Identity, purpose, and calling are all important aspects to consider when combining our avocation with our vocation.
Off road motor racing may at first glance appear to be a surprising topic for this 2Young2Retire blog page but read on and find out why it may be more relevant than you might think. In our new book about conscious living in the second half of life, we are exploring opportunities to make a contribution to saving the world. Environmental sustainability and social responsibility will be featured in a chapter on saving and savoring the world and the philosophy of Extreme E racing is perfectly aligned to this message.
Extreme E is motor racing for a purpose. Founder and CEO, Alejandro Agag and motor racing legend, Gil de Ferran dreamt up the idea of using the power of motor sport to raise awareness of climate change, electrification, and equality. Revolutionary all-electric off road SUVs use emission free energy from batteries charged with hydrogen fuel cells. Each of Extreme E’s nine racing teams line up with one male and one female driver, all champions from different forms of motor sport, sharing the driving equally.
Leaving no trace left behind after the event is over, races are being held in stunning, remote locations around the world representing five endangered ecosystems: the deserts of the Middle East, the coastal regions of West Africa, the rainforests of the Amazon, the glaciers of the Arctic, and the glacier mountains of South America.
Extreme E off road motor racing is supporting environmental awareness, promoting electric mobility, and affirming gender quality. At 2Young2Retire, we are completely aligned with this philosophy. Even if you are not a motor racing enthusiast, visit the Extreme E website to be inspired and learn more about their contribution to efforts aimed at saving the world.
Image source: Sky Sports
Surrender is my word for the year 2021. Rather than new year’s resolutions which frequently get diluted within the first few days of January, I advocate setting clear intentions. Not so much specific goals or outcomes, but intentions for how we wish to show up in the world. So, my intention this year is to surrender to life as it unfolds.
During the past year, I read The Surrender Experiment written by Michael Singer, the creator of a thriving meditation center and founder of a highly successful medical practice management software company. Singer’s philosophy of “surrendering yourself to Life itself” was an inspiration to me during the early days of the pandemic where the uncertainty about the future and loss of control of the present was paralyzing for a time.
According to Michael Singer, “The practice of surrender is actually done in two very distinct steps: first you let go of the personal reactions of like and dislike that form inside your mind and heart; and second, with the resultant sense of clarity, you simply look to see what is being asked of you by the situation unfolding in front of you. What would you be doing if you weren’t being influenced by the reactions of like or dislike? Following that deeper guidance will take your life in a very different direction from where your preferences would have led you.”
My intention is to surrender, devoting myself to the present moment, allowing life to unfold and not trying to force things to happen. Surrender doesn’t mean we won’t have to make decisions or chose between different options but, with clarity of intention, we can, in the words of Christina Baldwin, move at the pace of guidance.
Article previously posted on the Dr. Paul Ward Blog
There are many kinds of lies we hear and sometimes use in life. They come in all shapes and sizes. There are little white lies such as we use to teach children, “Stop that or you’ll go blind!”, and of course big fat lies such as we hear from politicians and salespeople, like “Buy this and get rich!” or “You can keep your Doctor!” Lies can be shaped in very creative ways like gift-wrapped presents to mask the truth or enhance it.
As part of the research for our upcoming book on conscious living in the second half of life, I was fortunate to have a wonderful conversation with Greg Peters who lives in Long Beach, California. Greg’s philosophy is, during the first half of your life you go and investigate what it is that you enjoy doing and the second half of your life you try and do it. He has put this philosophy into practice. After a 28-year career in the aerospace industry working in commercial design and communications, Greg chose to pursue his passion for fine art. Greg painted the picture above and it is included with his permission.
our conversation, Greg said, “I strongly believe that each of us comes to Earth
with a mission to learn so that we can raise our consciousness and use our
mission to raise everybody else’s consciousness.” Raising consciousness is part
of the reason we are writing this book on conscious living. Raising
consciousness begins with awareness.
Raising consciousness through art is Greg’s life purpose. In his book, The Vanishing West, Greg and co-author Johanna Lerwick combine interests in history and the American West, as well as Eastern and Western philosophies, to raise people’s consciousness about what has been going on in the western United States. They have told the story with inspirational quotations and beautiful images, helping people to connect with history through imagery. If you have a story of transition you would like to share, please contact us via the contact page.
For your free copy of The Vanishing West, a colorfully illustrated ebook featuring artworks from Johanna Lerwick and Gregory Peters, go to https://www.gregorysfineart.com/
phrase conscious retirement refers to making conscious decisions about our
transitions from long term careers into whatever comes next. Unfortunately,
this phrase sounds like the terminal stage of our working lives. Yet in today’s
world, retirement no longer means stopping work entirely. It is not a terminal
stage; not the end of working, but rather an opportunity to make conscious
choices about how we live during these transitions. It is about living consciously.