A Gift That Lives On

August 7th, 2017 Comments off

It takes so little to offer a lasting gift, a gift that lives on. All it takes is a simple card, mail or call.

Such a gift was presented to me unexpectedly this morning. Someone who I had coached several years back phoned to update me on where she was in her life. She is at a new fork in the road as she transitions from one job and country to another based on a personal decision that she has made. This transition is planned and prepared with a six week break for rest and recreation before moving into her new life.

Why is this a gift that lives on? Knowing that I have positively supported someone and in her words, “inspired” her long after our coaching session to live her life more fully motivates me. It gives me an even greater desire to continue. – And it warms my heart to know she cared enough to reach out to me with thanksgiving.

Is there someone I could phone to remind them that I am thankful for their guidance, for their support, advice, love, friendship…?  Oh, yes! There are many. And, as of this moment I am going to remind one person each day that she or he has offered me a lasting gift.

What about you? Who are the people you would like to reach out to today to say “Thank you”?

Bonnie Fatio

The Power of A Dream

August 3rd, 2017 Comments off

– It is never too late to dream –

“If everyone tells you it’s possible, then you are not dreaming big enough.” – Bertrand Piccard & André Borschberg

Watch this 360 video about Solar Impulse, Explorers Of The Impossible.

The vision was to fly an airplane using only renewable energy. There is no noise, no pollution and no fuel. It is new technology. 100% renewable energy.

“When people think something is impossible they stimulate you to find new solutions and be creative… This is what drives us to show the power of a dream, the power of perseverance.”

I was struck by the pilots’ comments that they purposely went to experts in other fields when designing/building the airplane so that no preconceived ideas would limit them (for example the huge sheets of carbon were created by shipbuilders, not the airplane manufacturers).

“People thought we were crazy. It was a nice feeling. When people tell you it is possible, it means you are not ambitious enough.”

They believed in this dream, the vision, and understood that every question had a solution.

“They did not know it was impossible, so they did it.”

Believe in the power of dreams!

Bonnie Fatio

Don’t Give Up On Your Dream

July 31st, 2017 Comments off

Life moves one step at a time. Something I learned years ago while working with children with very special needs. You need to recognize the little successes that keep us moving in the right direction.

Even though we sometimes think we are off course, my experience proves time and time again that we never really are. We simply are stopping along the path to smell the roses or turn over a rock. And from each little detour we learn something precious for the future.

You are moving towards what you want with little steps.

Enjoy the journey.

Bonnie Fatio

Joyous Aging

July 27th, 2017 Comments off

Here I am in Florida, USA, among senior citizens everywhere I go. – And the energy is amazing. I am in one of the popular restaurants where breakfast is served all day. There is a senior’s menu that has smaller portions and smaller prices. My coffee, eggs, fruit and pancakes with sausage cost less than $10.

So people keep returning. Business is good. There is a line of people waiting for tables. It is all cheery and good fun. Nothing to make you think being older is anything but joyful.

Yes, there are also a few scattered children either with grandparents or families. They transform sections of the picture into intergenerational joy.

No matter where you look, age relates to happiness.

AgeEsteemers are champions at making the most out of every experience. Life is, after all, what you make it to be.

Bonnie Fatio

Reliving Age 25 With All I Know Now

July 24th, 2017 Comments off

To continue the conversation at a retirement party (Ah, To Be 25 Again) discussing “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be 25 again”, I asked the person if he really meant it. He said “Yes, especially if I could be 25 years old and know all that I know today.”

It is probable that 25-year- olds today do know as much as their grandparents knew when they were 60. The ease of communication and access to information has grown exponentially. A 25-year- old person today has access to more information in a few minutes than our grandparents had in a several years.

If this is the case for the 25-year- old, it is also true for us who are 50, 62 or 87. We too had greater access to information than our grandparents had.

The critical difference is the ‘living’ that we have acquired. – The experiences with both positive and difficult passages that have taught us what we could never learn in a classroom or on the Internet. These experiences include people we have met, places we have traveled, foods, flavors and aromas that have tickled our senses. They include childbirth, illness, accidents, healing and death. They include love, despair, joy, grief, forgiveness, gratitude, passion, spiritual awareness, empathy and understanding.

Would you choose to give up all that you have lived since age 25 in order to be 25 again ‘knowing’ what you know today? Maybe you would. Or perhaps you are like me, filled with age esteem and loving the experience of living each age and each stage realizing that each day brings a new beginning.

Personally, I would not want to be 25 again and to miss out on these past 44 years of living and learning. It seems to be a poor exchange to trade these years of experiencing life in order to be in a younger body and simply ‘know’ without having gone through the process of living.

What about you? Would you trade the years you have lived since the age of 25?

Bonnie Fatio

Ah, To Be 25 Again!

July 20th, 2017 Comments off

Would you like to be age 25 again?

At a retirement party one of the guests explained to me that he would soon turn 60, but was telling everyone that he was 25. He seemed genuinely nostalgic with a desire to relive his 20’s.

Would he really want to be 25 again?

Speaking with people around the world during my travels for AgeEsteem, I have learned that people rarely mean that they would like to be 25 years old again. – It is the associations with the age that they would like. What they miss is what they remember as endless energy, exciting projects on the horizon, and the opportunity to tread on and even blaze new paths.

What they overlook is the fact that we can have much of that at any age. So much of what we seek around us is within us. Instead of wasting time with what we wish we had, we should focus on what we do have, and what we wish for in our lives.

I still have seemingly endless energy when I am doing something that I love, whether it is speaking in a foreign country to a new audience or doing a sun dance in the rain with my granddaughters. Catch yourself doing something that you love and the same will be true. Like me, you will probably also need some down time to compensate for all that energy, but remember how we used to sleep late or take a nap between activities when we were younger? Even in college I used to nap between classes. Times haven’t changed all that much.

Exciting projects can still beacon to us and there are multiple new paths to tread physically, virtually and figuratively. It is up to each of us to realize what we want. In the words of Lou Tice, a great teacher and mentor, “If it is to be it is up to me”.

Would you really want to be 25 again and miss out on all that you have lived, learned and experienced? Or do you enjoy living the NOW with passion and age esteem?

Bonnie Fatio

A New Lesson In Unconditional Love

July 17th, 2017 Comments off

As I started to settle onto one of the benches in St. Michael Shrine in Tarpon Springs, Florida a woman came towards me. There was something in her bearing that made me stand up even though I had not seen her before.

She came directly to me, wrapped her arms around me and simply said, “I love you. Be happy.”

It was without surprise that I hugged her in return saying, “I love you. I am happy.”

How simple it is to share the joy of love by hugging a complete stranger, saying “I love you”, and encouraging them to be happy.

There have been odd moments when I have hugged a stranger. I also do tell people that I love them. But to do all of this at the same time to a complete stranger? – That was a new lesson in unconditional love.

Bonnie Fatio

Perseverance – Practice Makes Perfect

July 13th, 2017 Comments off

It’s no fun having a sore joint. In fact its downright painful! At the same time, being less than one’s usual self can bring positive lessons, increase one’s awareness of what others go through regularly on a day-to- day basis, and teach us how to be better persons.

One of these lessons is perseverance. Practice does improve performance. But we must stay with it and persist. The first day that I climbed on the stationary bike at the clinic, there was a very old gentleman on the bike next to me. As I peddled at my gentle speed, I glanced over at the controls on his cycle. Wow! He was climbing mountains compared to me.

When I told him how impressed I was with his capacity to bike up difficult grades, he turned to me and said, “I have had to build up to this. When I began three weeks ago, I could do less than you are. But I have worked at it each day and it has paid off. I now climb steep grades and can still find my breath to speak with you.”

The key is perseverance! – A key to keeping strong with age-esteem at every age.

Try

July 10th, 2017 Comments off

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

“Try”, she said. So I pushed first one button and then another. Finally the loud ringing stopped abruptly.

What a relief. The ringing had been unbearable. I was caring for my granddaughters for several days and someone had set all the alarms to go off so they would be certain to get to school on time. The other alarms had been easy to stop, but this one? This was on a radio with more buttons to push than the elevator in a sky scrapper.

While I pondered over which to push? Six-year- old Viviane entered the room. “Try,” she insisted, so I tried. – And it worked. The ringing stopped.

This was a great reminder and lesson. Just try.

I pride myself in trying the new and unknown. Adventure is exciting. In those situations I do not hesitate. I find it fun to try. However, I am a technological immigrant and am concerned that things will go wrong if I hit the wrong button. This was a good lesson.

Now I will reconsider how I view technology, and “try” in order to learn.

Bonnie Fatio

How Do You Define Abundance?

July 6th, 2017 Comments off

What is your abundance made up of? Is it money, jewelry and designer clothes? Do you count it as your friends and family? Is it waking up in the morning knowing you have the gift of a new day to open and discover? Do you consider the fragrance of the flowers and sounds of a bird chirping or water running in a stream as part of your treasures? Is the simple fact that you have a job with a regular income or the skills to find such a job part of your fortune?

When Maya Angelou was a young girl she was so depressed and unsure of herself that she considered suicide. A teacher took her aside and told her, “Sit down and write everything that you are thankful for.” When she replied that she had nothing to be thankful for, her teacher said, “You might begin with the simple fact that you can hold a pencil and write.” Realizing our abundance helps us to uncover an untapped potential that is waiting to be called on. Look at all that Maya Angelou has accomplished since that time and the lives that she has positively touched.

Each of us has potential that can be freed by looking at the abundance and goodness around us. When we lighten our lives by seeing the fortune that we have we are not only happier and more confident, we also become a magnet for others. There is a goodness in abundance that creates more goodness and more abundance. Look around you. The abundance is there. It just needs to be defined and appreciated.

AgeEsteem is recognizing the abundance around you as a key to healthy aging.
Bonnie Fatio