To me life is movement, vitality itself. I like to play tennis and dance, but walking, strength training and yoga have always been my staples. Yoga keeps me loose and calm, and a good workout leaves makes me feel strong. But walking has always been purely for pleasure. That is, until not long ago, when I discovered walking poles. What caught my attention is the workout they give the upper body. I was skeptical, but the multi-tasker in me awakened, so I borrowed a set from a friend and gave them a try. To my great surprise, my first 30 minute walk worked my upper arms and shoulders to fatigue, I was standing straighter, and felt great, like after any good workout. I was an instant convert.
Being one of those people who like to pile virtue on even the simplest pleasures if I can manage it, I got curious and did some more research. Tom Rutlin is the original inventor walking poles, which he calls Exerstriders Exerstrider Fitness Poles…work smarter, not harder! Read more

“A job should not just put bread on the table but also a smile on your face.” That’s the philosophy of Brian Kurth, founder of an innovative company, Vocation Vacations , that offers brief, pay-for-mentoring opportunities. A light bulb went off for Brian during a vacation he designed for himself as a break from his corporate job. Now he’s an expert in dream job and life style exploration, featured on NBC’s Today, Oprah magazine and the WSJ.
What a great opportunity to reality check your fantasies. Want to run a cozy B&B? One mentor comments on his daily laundry and kitchen detail: “This is how I spend my time. Is this what you want to be doing?” Clients can gift their child or spouse with their dream job. One’s husband said his stint as a vitner was the best gift he’d ever received.

Vocation Vacations offers over 100 opportunities, from learning the ropes of owning a coffee shop, to sports announcer, landscape designer, actor, florist, alpaca trainer, private detective and wine maker, to name a few. In addition to mentoring vacations, packages for career changers includes Read more

News from The Body Shop

November 14, 2008 | 1 Comment

Many of us remember the Body Shop. It brought natural cosmetics to the mass market, was a pioneer in refusing to sell products tested on animals, and advocated for Trade Not Aid, long before it became a buzzword. I loved to walk into my local shop just to smell the delicious scents. But truly it was Body Shop founder, British-born Anita Roddick, whom I admired the most. Sadly - a bit behind the curve on this one - I learned only recently that she passed away last September.
Dame Anita Roddick was knighted by the queen for her social justice work, and was among the two dozen founders of Business for Social Responsibility, along with Ben and Jerry, in 1976, that set out to revolutionize how business in America operates. They walked their talk, introducing family leave, fair wage and health equality practices in their own businesses. It’s hard to imagine what radical notions these were at the time. There’s still a ways to go, but the idea of corporate responsibility - profits with principles - is embedded in business ethics. And they were surely forerunners Read more

We lived in the Washington DC area for many years, and as health professionals, long admired James Gordon’s courage in exploring nontraditional, natural - i.e. nontoxic and self-care! - therapies with his patients. He’s the founder of the Center for Mind Body Medicine at Georgetown University, a psychiatrist with expertise in Chinese and Indian medicine. He wrote the practical Manifesto for a New American Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnerships and the Wise Use of Alternative Therapies. many years ago and now, his newest book on the roots of depression Unstuck: The Seven Stage Journey Out of Depression, is glowingly praised by Andrew Weil, Dean Ornish and Christiane Northrup, among others, as a counterpoint to a medical system that “tends to pathologize, and then reflexively medicate” all our problems. Depression to him is instead the “beginning of an unfolding process of self-awareness, not the grim end of a disease process.” This kind of thinking is just the antidote to our lopsided disease care system. Read more

Midlife in a Nutshell

November 8, 2008 | 1 Comment

Though this site on building midlife skills site seems neglected, its brief insights and overview of the sources of conflict that take place during midlife crisis are relevant and enduring. It describes midlife crisis as an internal conflict between our true selves and our socialized selves, the parts of ourselves that learned to conform, to fit in with the values, ethics and behaviors around us. In a nutshell, they recommend a way out of crisis: to identify who you are today, decades later, and to replace the limiting beliefs you’ve taken on about yourself and your possibilities. Straightforward enough - and easier said than done! It can be confrontive, slippery and dispiriting excavation work at times, but the prize of reclaiming oneself is pure gold. A mini-test on the site may provide clues to areas of disconnect and discontent. A note: there is no newsletter, they have apparently moved on to other things.

The Daily Reckoning offers a “uniquely refreshing” perspective on the global economy, investing and the ability to live well in uncertain times. Since 1999, New York Times best-selling authors, Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin - along with a staff of experienced investors, writers and editors - have been crafting an “intelligently written” and often humorous guide through the financial world - suitable for both the avid investor and those just starting their financial journey. Learn what you can expect from today’s markets — and how to prosper in the face of uncertainty.

I take care of my mother, who has Alzheimer’s, and I’ve been in serious need of a system to help me track the myriad activities, service providers, and expenditures involved in her care. I happened to come across an ad for a free tool kit for organizing health care expenses, so I checked out their website. It turns out that Goodcare is a woman run health consultancy in New York state that works with people as well as businesses, to help them plan for, and figure out how to pay for their health care needs. They specialize in pre-retirement and retirement planning, and have a wealth of free information, checklists, tracking tools and other resources on their site.

Since I live in Hungary, thankfully I don’t need to wade through Medicare or insurance copays - a great benefit of socialized medicine - Read more

The quickest way to push for a more just and sustainable economy is by using our purchasing power to encourage social and environmental change. How we shop, where we bank, and the manner in which we invest our money, are key actions we can take every day to help establish new patterns of local and national economic development, and allow us to emerge out of this crisis stronger than ever.

One trusted resource, wholly committed and consistently on the leading edge of advocacy for sustainability for over a decade, is the Positive Futures Network, founded by David Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and Sarah van Gelder. The PFN is an independent nonprofit best known for its publication of YES! Magazine, that gives “visibility and momentum to the signs of an emerging society in which life, not money, is what counts; in which everyone matters; and in which vibrant, inclusive communities offer prosperity, security, and meaningful ways of life. Here are some ways from Yes! to weather this crisis while using our buying, investing, and borrowing power to create a more regenerative infrastructure.

I am a great fan of micro-finance, granting small loans to entrepreneurs in developing communities that empower them to help themselves. Muhammad Yunus was an early innovator in making credit and technical assistance available on a large scale to people who otherwise wouldn’t have been eligible. When he won the Nobel Peace prize for his work with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, I was elated. For me, it forged a link in the global mind between development and peace: the idea that by reducing the hunger, inequity and frustration of people with nothing to lose, you lessen the likelihood of conflicts that lead to the violence. Read more

Do you want to know more simple natural healing techniques to help yourself, family or friends without having to reach for OTC drugs? Are you interested in expanding your holistic lifestyle in a way that earns you a little extra income as well? Maybe you’re a nurse and would like to expand your knowledge and skills, but there’s no school in your area to certify you in an alternative therapy? As it happens, the Alternative Healing Academy has designed a series of home study certification courses with just your needs in mind. Read more