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Life is a Wonderful Adventure
By Carol S. Wolf

The New Year is here! January brings thoughts of New Year resolutions for many people. Books, television shows, magazines, and newspapers are full of stories and ways for people to start the 2019 on the right foot by providing ways for people to find meaning and purpose in their lives. I, too, think about my resolutions and what I would need to do to be successful. I was looking through some of my folders of ideas and came across several folders of workshops I had attended years ago.

I liked this one:

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:

1. SMILE: It’s the melody of the soul

2. WORK: It’s the service of the spirit

3. PLAY: It’s the secret of youthfulness

4. READ: It’s the source of wisdom

5. LOVE: It’s the gift of the heart

6. PRAY: It answers every need

I had to laugh at reading some of them. How about this one: “Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.”

Here is another one:

The Path to Joyful Living

1. Dreams – Hopes and desires, creating affirmations

2. Developing the Inner Hero – Finding an alter ego to support, coach, and humor us

3. Thinking better thoughts – Creating the explanatory style of optimism

4. Singing out loud – The sounds of life through music

5. Visualizing our happiest self – Drawing and seeing ourselves joyful

6. Expressing our energy – Moving and grooving

7. Food and Mood – Eating to feel good

8. Poetry and Passion – Food for the soul

9. Laughter and Tears – One is never far from the other

10. The Unique You – Becoming your own entertainment center

I also found a folder from a weeklong Writers and Spiritual Renewal Conference I attended. It was the first time I had spent hours in silence. It was not a silence of not talking, but a silence of the mind and a listening of the heart. I was beginning to feel God more personally and I felt I was being led in new directions.

We were encouraged to spend time alone and think about what we would like to do in the next phase of our lives. They suggested we think that we are a creative person. They explained that creativity is a life-long process and there are techniques that you can use to improve your ability to generate ideas. These techniques are as follows.

1. Curiosity: You must have a desire to know about the world and everything in it.

2. Openness to People and Ideas: Be willing to accept people and ideas that are different from your own background.

3. Be Tolerant: You must take a risk now and then.

4. Energy: You must maintain an energy for helping others and for making yourself a better thinker for life.

5. Explore taking some classes in things you have not done before. Senior Centers, churches, and various organizations are always offering classes.

Two years ago, I went to a beginner’s art class at my church, Church of the Nativity UCC. I had never done anything artistic before other than coloring with my sons when they were little. It was really a fantastic experience. I discovered that it was not only fun being in a group and sharing thoughts and ideas, but I learned something new. I have my art hanging in our dining room. WOW.

In another folder, I found short stories and some poems from another class on writing. One of my favorite poems is:

“You Can Be Whatever You Want To Be” by Donna Levine

There is inside you,

All the potential to be whatever you want to be-

All of the energy to do whatever you want to do.

Imagine yourself as you would like to be,

Doing what you want to do,

And each day, take one step towards your dream.

And though at times it may seem too difficult to continue,

Hold on to your dream.

One morning you will awake to find

That you are the person you dreamed of-

Doing what you wanted to do-

Simply because you had the courage

To believe in your potential

And to hold on to your dream.

Here, below, is the poem I wrote in the class. WOW. I had forgotten about it.

“A Look Within”

There came a time in my life,

When I had to take a look

At who I was and what I’ve done,

And where I wanted to go.

The search led within my soul

To find the real me,

And coax her out

To merge her life

With all the rest of me.

As I mentioned earlier, the first time I spent hours in a silence of the mind and a listening of the heart. It was the beginning of feeling God more personally and I was led in new directions. I became a part of a meditation group, began journaling, and I even wrote a book which was published called Journey into Prayer.

One day, a friend who had been listening to my complaints about working and not having time to do what I would like to do, etc., simply said, “Why don’t you retire?” A bell went off in my head- I thought, “Early retirement?!” I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I retired in May 1999. I began exploring a variety of activities and have enjoyed them all.

In April 2004, the After 50 monthly newspaper began and I started reading it. I thought it had great information so I sent in a proposal to be a monthly columnist for them. My column would be 21st Century Spirituality: Faith in Action. I would write about the groups and volunteers in WNY doing wonderful things for the community. They interviewed me and said yes, so for almost 15 years I have been living my dream. I have learned life is a wonderful adventure and wonder what awaits me next!

I ask you as well, what awaits you next?

If you know of a successful program in your community or would like more information please let me know at cdwolf1132@gmail.com.

Carol Wolf is a writer, speaker, storyteller, and leader of workshops and retreats. She is retired from 35 years in health care administration and co-hosts a TV show called Challenge for the 21st Century for the Network of Religious Communities. She is the author of Journey into Prayer and Biblical Storytelling in Youth Ministry. She has been married to Dick for 58 years and they have two sons, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson.


 

 


Carol wrote this book as part of her two year Master's program in the Academy for Biblical Storytellers. It has just been published and is available for $10.00. Carol is an author, speaker and leader of workshops meditations and conference.
"This book give you an opportunity to experience how, when we become a part of the biblical story, we often find meaning for our own life. It is an incredible resource for confirmation, baptism, and intergenerational groups." Trracy Radosevic, Dean, Academy for Biblical Storytellers.
Anyone interested in buying a book can email me @caroldickwolf@cs.com. The book is $10.00 + $2.00 mailing.