YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

An unlikely celebrity caught my attention the other night during the Icon Generation Award at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards Monday night. He offered a bit of information that I give out every week.

“Here’s the thing that I want to share with you guys – Because there’s another side to being your authentic self, your true self – and that’s the side that the magic is on. That’s the side that’s gold. While yes, it’s important to be yourself – you’ve got to recognize the joy and the responsibility of bringing everybody with you. And you do that by being kind, by being compassionate, by being inclusive and straight up just being good to people because that matters.” The Rock

Truer words were never spoken. Being your authentic self and being proud of that self. That’s where the magic lies. That is what has always been the most important. So many of us women over sixty sometimes lose our way once the children leave the nest or we retire from our careers. We can feel lost at sea without a rudder.

The beauty industry hasn’t helped. It has capitalized on selling us dreams of products that will keep us young. Fortifying that if we don’t look young we are worthless and undesirable. Not a word about the most important part of who we genuinely are – our inner selves. That is exactly where our beauty has always come from.

Years ago my husband kept talking about a famous race car friend of his who constantly had so many women running after him. In my mind, I envisioned a wildly handsome man. Instead, when I finally met him, my initial reaction was shock in how unattractive I thought he was.

At the time, I was guilty of only superficially reacting to his outer appeal. As I got to know him better, he became more and more attractive and actually quite sexy. His inner beauty was so strong, it radiated and translated into one very handsome and successful man.

That is how strong our inner authentic self – our true self is. We have to believe we are worthy and that we deserve all that life will bring us. Once you find that pot of gold within yourself it’s your responsibility to share it with others. We should not leave anyone behind.

I have often been asked why at my age would I want to be a life coach, or take the time and responsibility of sharing my years of living on Youtube. My answer was given by Dwayne Johnson, I don’t want to leave anyone behind. Everyone deserves to live the best possible life over sixty.

Copyright©️Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved

LEVI STRAUSS IS MY HERO

Here she goes again with her weirdo thought process. Jeans? Why on earth jeans today, Sandra?

Well, I say to myself, it may have taken me thirty years to warm up to the idea of wearing ripped jeans, but one is never too old to take a risk and live on the fashion edge, even if you are eighty! Sometimes as hard boiled as I am, I do have room for a change of heart!

1873 BIRTH OF BLUE JEANS

If Levi Strauss were alive today he would be either scratching his head in wonderment or snapping his suspenders with glee if he knew his work pants have become a staple and an American fashion icon.

Even in the 40’s and 50’s it was still a man’s world.

When I was growing up in the ’40’s and 50’s there wasn’t anything ‘jeans’ except the one ‘man-style’ any girl right away knew didn’t include them if she had a waist and hips. In order to get the right hip fit, the waist was miles too big and had to be belted like a paper bag to fit our waists. The legs were too long, so we had to cuff them a few times. But no doubt about it, we all wore jeans, even though it was a man thing.

Men, boys, girls, all shapes and sizes – jeans were in. There was an important exception, though. MOMS. I don’t ever remember one single mother who wore jeans. Ever. It was either slacks or dresses for casual wear.

THE MOM JEANS ARRIVE

Finally in the early 60’s we young mothers were excited when Levi’s finally awoke to the fact that the 40’s girl’s were now grown and were yearning to keep their love of jeans in their fashion choices. The cross over began as jeans were being designed with a woman’s shape in mind.

GRUNGE CHANGED JEANS

Yup! The grunge and rock scene changed how we would think about and wear jeans forever. Everyone’s favorite jeans that we had worn threadbare, but dared not leave the house wearing, suddenly became fashionable. Design houses began to purposely destress and deconstruct jeans into high fashion. Jeans had crossed over the rainbow bridge and found heaven in the fashion halls of the rich, famous and everyday man and woman. Manufacturers and designers found the pot of gold at the end of that beautiful rainbow!

DISTRESSED DENIAL

Well, you probably have already guessed the end of my story. After years of watching women my age and younger, walk around in ‘those things’, I have finally caved in and bought a pair of jeans that I could have destroyed on my own if I had any sense about me.

ELEGANT 80 CONVERT

Yes, they are very comfortable and so I like them because they make me feel hip – yes. Am I gong to buy another pair? Probably not, because the economist in me says I can make my own. I still love my regular grandma jeans, but the best part is that I am now more hip in my grandchildren’s eyes. That is worth all the ripped jeans in the world!

Copyright Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved

KEEPING MY HEAD ON STRAIGHT

Believe me, the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. Don’t waste your time worrying about it comparing your life to someone else’s. Let’s talk about the six things I practice to help keep my head on straight.

1. Forget what the other guy is doing. Why waste time and energy focusing on what you think is a better life than yours, when you can use that energy to focus on your own life to make it better. You can work to make your own life happier.

2. It’s okay to have a bad day once in awhile and instead of hiding it, acknowledge your feelings.

This is the hardest for me to do. I always have felt that acknowledging a bad day, would make me seem weak. I always felt I had to be in control, even when I’m having a tough time. When someone says “how are you?” we generally respond with “I’m fine thanks – and you?” even when were not – internally we might be depressed, stressed, hormonal and preoccupied with problems.

It’s important to remember that it really is okay to not be in charge and optimistic ALL the time. Its fine to feel sad sometimes – my advice is just to learn to recognise and indulge in “I feel sad” and give myself a break – curl up and read a book, listen to music or inspirational podcast, or eat a pound of chocolate ( well, maybe not a pound, but you get what I mean). Allow yourself to have a bad day. Tomorrow you can pick yourself up and begin again.

3 Find joy in the moment. Of course , you might say that this is so obvious, but how often do we step back and really do this? Waking up and having a cup of coffee in your pajamas while listening to the birds outside, watching your favorite Youtube channel, a movie or in lying cozily in bed with your partner. Just slowing down enjoying real life in the moment and appreciating real life as it is. All of these ordinary things really matter and are important.

4. Eliminate negativity. When you learn to be happy, you will not want to be around people who make you feel anything less than you are.

Any aura of negativity around you is toxic. Get rid of those that create that environment. At the same time, learn to give more love to others from your end.

I’ve become better at giving more of me, my love and my attention to kind people that deserve it, rather than people that drain me – and I’m better off for it.

5. Life is short. Buy that Chanel lipstick! As a friend once advised me, “Quite simply, I think if you truly love something, you should work, save, and get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s on trend, it only matters that it makes you feel great.”

Pampering yourself by treating yourself to some luxuries and recognising that you deserve to be treated well is important for everyone’s self-esteem.

6. Be kind. The next one has been my mantra for a long time and I end all of my Youtube videos with this one. Be kind. ‘Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.’ It could be something as simple as a smile it thank you. It is amazing how just a small gesture of kindness travels from one to another as it is played forward. If you can do good every day it will come back to you ten fold in one way or another.

We are not perfect, but I try with these steps to keep my head on straight.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️

WHO ARE YOU?

FIVE STEPS TO BUILDING THE LIFE YOU WANT | QUESTIONS WE SHOULD BE ASKING NOW | WHO ARE YOU

Women over sixty. Who are we? WHO AM I? Who are you?

The Five Ws, Five Ws and one H, or the 5 W’s are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering. They are often mentioned in journalism (news style), research, and police investigations. They constitute a formula for getting the complete story on a subject.

Who was involved?

What happened?

Where did it take place?

When did it take place?

Why did that happen?

Some authors add a sixth question, how, to the list.

I was thinking the other day that we can take those important fact finding W’s and use them in relation to our lives.

1) Who are you? Who do your friends think you are?

2) What do you want out of life right now?

3) Where do you want to be a year from now?

4) When is a good time to start?

5) Why do I think this is important?

6) How am I going to achieve this?

These are important questions we should be asking ourselves no matter how young or old we are. The sooner we find our direction and who we really are and what we want from life, the more fulfilled we will be. It is never too early or late to begin your personal fact finding journey.

https://youtu.be/8yZQNgA37nU

Copyright Sandra Hart 2919©️

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GRATITUDE AND TOXICITY

This 2019 adventure on which we are embarking will evoke thousands of resolutions and retrospectives. Good intentions, blessings and regrets of 2018 will be on all the social media sites.

I usually don’t add to the pile of thoughts about my past or future, but this year I am especially grateful. I am grateful for my family. My children and their extended families. Each of them deserve the best in life.

As a parent, no matter how young or old our children are, we want the best for them as they make their way through life, don’t we? What joys they have, we have. What pain they carry, we carry.

Fortunately, there are so many good people in this life. Contributing. Giving. Applauding our successes. They are the majority.

Then there are the toxic ones. Taking. Resentful. Spiteful. It is those negative sources we may be connected to through past decisions in our lives that can drag us down. This is especially hard when those negative people surround and try to take down your loved ones.

When it is out of control what advice do I give them? Keep a positive boundary? Don’t go for an easy fix? Fight fire with fire? Hold onto what is going well and don’t let hateful energy coming your way destroy the good in your life?

I truly believe in karma. What comes around goes around. Those who try to steal our joy eventually cannibalize themselves. The vitriol and envy eats away and eventually…’poof’ they disintegrate into into nothingness.

As my husband often quotes, “On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions, who at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and in waiting died.”*

I think this is the best advice I can give myself or my children when we are encountering negative and toxic people in our lives.

There is nothing wrong for fighting for your and your loved ones happiness. Face it head on.

* George W. Cecil

Copyright©️ Sandra Hart 2019

All Rights Reserved.

https://youtu.be/mhmQO210DUA

SARATOGA TRUNK STARTED IT ALL

The year was 1945. Going to the movies was the great escape. It was entertainment that helped everyone escape the stress of WWII. My mother loved the movies. As early as I can remember sitting on my mother’s lap during an afternoon matinee was an important part of my life; memories that have stayed with me throughout the years.

I fell in love with Gary Cooper while sitting on my mothers lap. So much so that I struggled free, escaping from my comfortable perch to join Gary Cooper on the screen. Movies and movie stars. My love of both started with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk when I was five years old.

I never outgrew my passion for movies. Moving from teenage crushes on Tab Hunter, then William Holden in Picnic and then Cary Grant in To Catch A Thief. I absorbed the lives I saw on the screen and made them mine. I wanted to be a part of that life. I wanted to be an actress. I never lost that dream.

Well, life happened and I wound up, not on the big screen, but the small one. Television. For most of my adult life I was in television in various rolls. Romper Room, talk show host, news anchor and syndicated host of my own financial show. My plan for my life was different than my five-year-old dream.

Then, before I could blink my eyes it seems, my fiftieth birthday rolled in. My hair was starting to gray, I had just celebrated an anniversary with my husband of five years. Somehow all of these changing factors, milestones in my life, proved to culminate in an ‘aha’ moment. I was going to go for it.

For forty-five years I had put my life’s dream on the back burner. Never say never. I was going to be an actress. Maybe not a movie star, but I was ready to work at building a new career and living my dream.

I immediately got headshots, made the casting rounds, and auditioned for a theater group. I used the same persistence that had helped build my television career. I made new friends and connections and soon was working in theater, film and television. I was older and didn’t have to compete with ingenious like I would have had to years ago. I had a chance at a second act and life was good.

Well it still is. I rarely audition anymore, though, because I am in what I consider my third chapter. My husband and I have resettled to Florida. I write books, this blog, lecture, have a presence on social networks and have a YouTube channel. But one thing has remained constant. I love movie stars of the 40’s and 50’s. Those glamour girls with great acting chops and charisma.

What’s the proof of that? I am doing a retrospective on Instagram (sandrashart) of the actresses that kept me company in many darkened movie theaters while growing up and dreaming of being a movie star. Let’s remember the good days of movies together!

Copyright Sandra Hart©️2018

All Rights Reserved

LATE-IN-LIFE REJECTION

It is Saturday and I’m sitting in my favorite chair, coffee at my elbow, Sofi at my feet and my husband across the room reading his favorite news magazine. Alexa is streaming big band music and I am wondering what I can write about here on my blog. It’s a brain fog kind of day and my thoughts are all over the place.

My husband and I have been married close to 35 years. Ours was his first marriage and I came into the partnership a widow with three teenage children. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for us, but we have weathered the ups and downs of a late-in -life marriage and are still here.

Recently one female friend and her husband celebrated their 60th anniversary; another lost her husband and a third is divorced in her 70’s. Loss by death is one thing we understand is out of our control, but divorce has its own separate pain. Rejection. How does someone in what should be the best years of her life survive that?

A divorce in later life is not only a personal rejection by an individual, but a shattering of long-held values and one’s self-image as someone who thought she and her partner would live happily after.

Therapists suggest the next 7 steps to help ease that feeling of rejection.

1. Feel the feelings. …

2. Understand you will go through the stages of grief. …

3. Think of your pain like a wave. …

4. Gather your support system around you. …

5. Stop the self-blame. …

6. Practice self-care. …

7. Find a therapist who can help.

Life is not always mapped out the way we planned, but as women we have to look at ourselves and say every day to our mirror, “I am worthy. I am enough.”

https://youtu.be/XsEu84UMAac

Copyright Sandra Hart 2018©️

All Rights Reserved.