Category: Hair care

4 Ways to Regain Trust with Men and Start Dating Again After 60


Nothing hurts more than when a relationship has ended, especially when betrayal is involved in some way. When a man has lied to you and betrayed your trust, picking up the pieces and moving forward can feel daunting.

You may feel shame for not having seen the signs that something was amiss. Or you may feel angry with yourself for allowing a man into your life who had the capacity to break your heart.

You stop trusting yourself and you stop trusting men, making them jump hoops to prove they aren’t going to hurt you. You begin looking for perfection – which, by the way, doesn’t exist. And no man is ever good enough in your eyes.

Fear is holding you back as you try to keep yourself safe.

I want to share 4 tips that can help you learn to trust men and yourself again, so you can have the man and relationship in your life that you desire.

Tip #1: Healing and Forgiving

Take some time to heal when you’ve been hurt. It’s painful to think you played a part in attracting someone who could be so bad for you. But you did, and the best way to start the healing process is through forgiveness.

There is an amazing healing practice called Ho’opononpono that I’ve used with clients to help heal the pain in their hearts.

You repeat 4 simple sentences while focusing on forgiveness…

I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

Thank you.

You say them over and over again until you feel a release happen. The practice of Ho’opononpono is an amazing story worth Googling. Its healing powers are well documented.

As long as you hold anger towards yourself, or a man from your past, you are still connected and you can’t move forward. If you find you have trouble letting go, reach out to a therapist to work on this before you decide to date again.

Tip #2: One Bad Man, Doesn’t Make All Men Bad

I teach all my VIP clients to identify how they view the men they want to date using a tool called Trust Glasses. When you wear what I call the grey stormy pair, it means you are looking at men with the mindset that a man is going to hurt you until he proves otherwise.

You end up making him jump hoops over and over again to prove his worthiness because you’re afraid. Often, you end up losing out on a potential partner who might be perfect for you.

Instead, consider wearing the turquoise glasses. These glasses are like a calm ocean where you can see beautiful fish swimming close to the surface yet also see the bottom and any dangers that might be lurking.

With the turquoise glasses, you go on a date to meet someone new and interesting. Take your time before creating a relationship. See how a man acts around you and whether his actions consistently follow his words.

Words are cheap. Actions are what count, and men who don’t follow up on their words are the ones who will break your heart.

Tip #3: Really Listen to What a Man Is Saying to You

If a man shares stories about having cheated on his wife or another girlfriend, end it right then and there. This is a huge red flag that spells trouble. If he did it once, he can do it again – but this time you’ll be the one who gets hurt.

I can’t tell you the number of clients who tell me in hindsight that they walked right past these types of words thinking this man would never cheat on them, yet he does.

Men mean what they say. Pay attention. If you listen, you’ll know you can trust yourself to make the best decision for you.

Tip #4: Get Clear On the Values That Are Important to You

I have my clients identify their top 15-20 values when we create their Quality Man Template, a tool that helps them identify the right man for them.

It’s interesting that when they look back, they are often shocked at how many values were missing in the men they’d dated. For a relationship to work, you need to share the same values.

Knowing the values that are important to you will empower you and will help you trust and recognize whether or not you’re with the right man.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How are you dealing with trust issues with men in your 60s? Did you overcome being hurt in a relationship and find love again? Please share your experiences below!

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What Does Personal Growth and Transformation Mean for Women Over 60?


It can be infuriating to answer a question with a question. But if you think about the idea of personal growth and transformation as a journey that is in flux every decade of your life, it makes sense to ask one more follow up question. Or, at least, it does to me.

How do you sustain your “on the go” lifestyle while energizing what is most important to you in life – your mental, physical and spiritual health?

Let’s look at your journey of personal growth and compare it to a giant goody basket. This basket represents your life. In your goody basket is everything you are as an individual. You’re a gold mine of thoughts, emotions, passions, dreams, and virtues.

Inside is everything that has happened to you, your successes, joys, fulfillments, disappointments, everything you have done. Everything you have ever been goes into this goodie basket and sets you up to maximize your human potential, thereby, giving you an opportunity to define your personal growth.

You Determine the Quality of Your Life

Yet, as we all know, it’s challenging to sustain your journey of personal growth. Especially when there are life concerns involving family, health, relationships, or money. There is also a myriad of distractions. People, places, things, and technology (hello, iPhones and iPads) get in the way of your happiness. They keep you stuck in quicksand. Your thinking gets small and the size of your thinking determines the size of your results. Personal growth gets lost inside of worries, anxieties and distractions.

So the quality of your lifestyle significantly impacts the trajectory of your personal growth. Today, more than any other time in your life, you call the shots. You determine the quality of your life. It’s different for everyone, but you know it when you discover a more profound sense of self and purpose.

Discovering a Sense of Self

In order to create a fulfilling and joyful life, it is important to understand yourself first. And that takes time and commitment. So, it makes sense that you give yourself the simple but effective gift of a 10- to 15-minute daily meditation. Remaining in the present tells you everything you need to know about where to go next. The present truly defines the quality of your life.

Taking time to self-reflect helps you overcome resistance in your personal and professional life. Resistance is a defense mechanism that causes you to deny, resist or oppose an action. This state of mind is toxic and causes stress and anxiety.

Resistance is never helpful when you are on your journey of personal growth. It slows you down and mires you in struggle. I always told my yoga students that struggle is over-rated. And it is.

The antidote is to get up every day, every morning, one day at a time and make an intention to do the most important thing in your life. To do something that brings you joy and satisfaction, gives you positive energy, raises your temperature, or fulfills a need. It is then that you can pursue your passions and your dreams.

Discovering a Sense of Purpose

To create a clear path of personal purpose requires a clear understanding of your deepest concerns and how effectively you manage your fears – fear of rejection, fear of success, and fear of failure. A sense of purpose in life not only produces lifelong happiness and vitality. It is also a necessary quality when you consider what legacy you are going to leave.

An advantageous exercise is to begin a journal or write a personal inventory so you can actually see your thoughts in a visual context.

Here’s What You May Learn from Your Personal Inventory

A personal inventory helps you think smart, live well and redirect negative energy into positive results. You will learn to have a deeper insight into the negative influences that still have a residual effect in the present. Also, you will finally let go of any negative influences in the past and move forward with forgiveness and an open heart. You will learn how to prioritize your desire for change.

A personal inventory will help you understand how creativity and trust are integral to commitment and performance and how you can make a difference with small changes in attitudes and personality. Finally, you can reduce stress and increase productivity with meditation.

As you improvise and create your life, it’s important to not to judge or label what choices you make. Let the good times roll and to:

  • Start doing
  • Stop doing
  • Continue doing
  • Do more
  • Do less
  • Do differently

Mindfully grow your human potential, and a profound sense of self and purpose will take center stage and life.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What is your definition of personal growth and transformation? Have you ever done a life review or taken a personal inventory of your life? What did you discover about yourself? Please join the conversation and share your thoughts.

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Gina Kirschenheiter’s Black Sheer Shirt

Gina Kirschenheiter’s Black Sheer Shirt / Real Housewives of Orange County Season 17 Episode 16 Fashion

Wow, Gina totally rocks it on tonight’s #RHOC in her oversized black sheer shirt! She absolutely slays in her chic take on menswear, and it is super flattering on her. I just hope her and Heather Dubrow make amends so they stands for a hug and we can get a full, head to toe look . But in the meantime, while they’re getting down to Heather’s podcast proof, I’ll be shopping her sheerly stylish look!

Best In Blonde,


Gina Kirschenheiter's Black Sheer Shirt

Style Stealers

Originally posted at: Gina Kirschenheiter’s Black Sheer Shirt

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Easy Halloween Crafts for Adults

easy Halloween crafts for adults

I was born just after midnight on 31st October – so in our house Halloween has always been a time for celebration. I even got married in a grand Halloween wedding, where we made our own decorations and table settings – and even an orange wedding cake covered in spiders!

This year, why not treat yourself to a handmade Halloween? Whether you want to make elegantly eerie table decorations, spookily sophisticated crafts or gorgeously gothic garlands, here is a selection of easy and inexpensive ideas to create your own haunted mansion!

Author’s Note: All images are my own and can be found at Enter the Wildwoods.

Leaf-Cut Pumpkins

If you live in a place where the treesblaze with autumn glory, you probably look for ways to preserve and enjoy those jewel-colours indoors. For many years, I have pressed and dried autumn leaves and sealed them with mod podge or varnish, and attached them to my windows so the autumn sunshine can pour through them and lift my heart. A few years ago, I had the idea that instead of cutting Halloween shapes from paper or cardstock, I could cut them from leaves!

Collect a bunch of leaves – you can rope in grandchildren to help with this lovely task and follow it up with a hot chocolate and marshmallows to make it an occasion. Choose a variety of leaf shapes, sizes and colours for the best display. If you live somewhere where leaves don’t change colour, you can always collect waxy green leaves to make your leaf cuts.

You Need

  • Leaves
  • Scissors (small sharp embroidery type)
  • Mod podge or varnish
  • Paintbrush

What to Do

  • To make a pumpkin, fold your leaves in half and cut half of the shape you want, so that when you open the leaf out you have a full pumpkin shape. To cut a pumpkin, hold the stem of the leaf (this will form the ‘pumpkin’ stem) and cut your desired curved shape. Then open the leaf shape.
  • Fold in the outer curve of the leaf on one side and cut an eye. Remember, you are cutting half of the shape you want to see when the pumpkin shape is opened. Repeat the other side so you have two eyes. Then open the pumpkin shape.
  • Fold the leaf in half again and cut half of a jagged mouth to make a Jack O’Lantern – remember, when you open it you will see the whole mouth. Open the pumpkin, and you will see the grinning face!
  • Press your leaves in a book or a flower press. When they are dry, after a week or so, varnish the leaves with mod podge or varnish to keep the colours and to make the delicate shapes stronger. You can hang them in the window, make leaf bunting, use them as table decorations, stick them on Halloween cards or frame them.

You can watch a video of this craft at the bottom of this page.

Pretty Pumpkin

This simple to make pumpkin vase is eye-catching and will draw compliments from guests and Trick or Treaters alike!

You Need

  • A pumpkin and tools for pumpkin carving (knives, scrapers, paper towels etc)
  • A glass that fits inside your hollowed pumpkin – tall and heavy is good, like a pint glass
  • A selection of seasonal flowers – oranges, greens and purples work well together, but choose anything that fits your holiday decor

What to Do

  1. Carve a pumpkin as usual, making sure you blot the inside of the pumpkin once empty to ensure it is not too damp or slippery. Discard the top of the pumpkin – you don’t need it.
  2. Fold a paper towel and put it in the bottom of the pumpkin to make a sturdy, non-slip surface.
  3. Insert your glass and fill it with water – not too full; you don’t want it to spill or overflow!
  4. Trim your flowers and greenery, and arrange them in the glass. Add decorations if you want to, such as a ghost on a floral pick.

Place your pretty pumpkin on the table next to a bowl of Halloween candies, or make several to be part of your Halloween dining or party table – and enjoy!

Read more about how to choose flowers and keep them fresh here: HOW DO I MAKE MY MARKET FLOWERS LAST?

Toadstools in Bottles

These gothic looking toadstools in vintage bottles are so beautiful, you’ll want to keep them on display all year – can we say a toadstool is for life, not just Halloween?

You Need

  • A vintage bottle
  • Pieces of scrap wire or a reel of garden wire and a wire cutter
  • Scraps of fabric – I used cotton and linen
  • Scissors
  • Needle and embroidery thread
  • Krazy glue/superglue
  • A little moss or some wool fibre
  • Wax – a scrap end of a candle is enough

What to Do

  1. Create your stem. You can either cut a long strip of fabric and wind it round your wire scrap, securing it with glue, or you can cut a piece of fabric and wrap it round the wire, and stitch down the ‘seam’ of the fabric to keep it in place – it all depends if you like sewing projects or not!
  2. Cut two discs for each toadstool cap. Contrasting fabric – whether that’s contrasting colours or textures is a personal choice – makes for an interesting toadstool. You can cut the circles freehand by folding a small square of fabric twice and cutting a curve across the open edge, or you can use a large coin as a template.
  3. I used a simple running stitch on one of the discs for each toadstool just to add interest and texture. This will be the top of the cap. Again, you might choose a contrasting or complementary colour of thread to do this.
  4. The second circle of fabric is for the under cap or gills. Again, depending on whether you like to sew or not, you can either draw radiating lines with a fine marker from the centre of the disc of fabric to create gills, or you can stitch the gill lines with embroidery thread. Both are effective; it’s a matter of choice.
  5. Attach the gills to the upper circle of the cap. You can use a little glue or a few stitches.
  6. Attach the cap to the stem. Use a small blob of glue and press the stem into the centre of the gills. Use your fingers to shape the cap and draw it down until the shape pleases you. You make as many as you like and can fit in the neck of your bottle.
  7. To glue your toadstool or toadstools into your bottle, wrap them in a little scrap of fabric and make sure they will fit in the bottle neck. You can wedge them in or add a little glue just inside the neck of the bottle.
  8. Melt some wax and daub it round the neck of the bottle for effect.
  9. Neaten the bottle neck by gluing a little wool fibre or moss to cover the fabric scraps.
  10. Now you have your very own toadstools (poisonous of course!) to loom from the gloom! These make a lovely addition to a Halloween table display.


Halloween Handbag

I’m always looking at gorgeous Halloween accessories – and then I put them back down again quickly because I see the steep price on the tag! I came up with my own idea for creating Halloween handbags from vintage or thrift store purchases. You can guarantee nobody else will turn up at the party with the same bag!

You Need

  • A vintage handbag – it doesn’t matter if it is scuffed or has seen better days.
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Small, 2D Halloween decorations – the type you buy to put in Trick or Treat bags (optional) and glue
  • Sealer or paint finisher

What to Do

  1. Ensure your handbag is dust or grease free before you start – that will help the paint to adhere better. Use clean spirit or alcohol wipes to gently clean the surface.
  2. Sketch out a plan on paper – keep your shapes simple so that what you imagine looks as good as your end result. You can do more complex designs once you get the hang of the process!
  3. Use your chosen acrylic colour to paint a ‘background’ – on mine I chose a bold burnt orange. Don’t be tempted to paint thick layers – build things up slowly, and the paint is less likely to crack over time and use. Let your design dry between layers to avoid paint colours ‘bleeding’ (although that sounds appropriate for the season…).
  4. Add elements of your design – spooky trees, ghosts, moons, stars… the choice is yours!
  5. When the paint is completely dry, you can glue on any decorations you have chosen as part of your design. Small plastic skeletons or bats can work well. Use a strong glue such as Krazy glue or superglue.
  6. Seal your design with paint finisher or varnish – again, two thin layers are better than one thick one to avoid cracking during use.

Carry your bag with pride! If nothing else, it’s a great place to store the good Trick or Treat candy…

Witchy Wands

Now, for a quick costume, nothing beats slipping on a black dress and a witchy hat – we’ve all gone for that simple choice. But to give your outfit a touch of individuality, make yourself a wand that would make all the witches in Salem jealous!

You Need

  • Foraged stick from the garden or a walk in the woods – the more textured the better. I look for wood that has been wound round by honeysuckle or is covered in lichen.
  • A pretty stone or crystal as the ‘point.’ Old broken costume jewellery can be a good source.
  • Krazy/superglue
  • Mod podge or varnish
  • Copper/silver coloured jewellery wire and wire cutters OR waxed cord
  • Sandpaper if needed

What to Do

  1. Trim your stick or rub the ends to make sure it is smooth – you don’t want splinters! One end must be flat to attach the crystal point.
  2. Coat the stick in mod podge or varnish and prop it up in a jar to dry.
  3. Use a small blob of glue to attach the stone/crystal point.
  4. When the glue is dry and the crystal is securely attached, spread a little glue round the head of the wand and wrap with copper wire or waxed cord. The glue will help the wrapping to stay secure.

Now you are free to turn any cheeky visitors into toads!

Needle Felted Pumpkins

Make a set of needle felted pumpkins in gorgeous autumn colours, and you can hang them on a branch to make your very own stunning Halloween Tree! They also look lovely in heaps on your Halloween mantelpiece, or with a hand-written tag added they can make a lovely place setting. You can even make your own pumpkin patch with a vintage tin.

You Need

What to Do

  1. Take a piece of fibre – the size depends on the size of the pumpkin you want to make – and roll it gently between your palms as though you were rolling a ball of dough. This helps to get the shape started.
  2. Place the wool on the mat and start to stab the wool to make a ball. Be careful to keep your fingers safely out of the way of the point – needle felting jabs hurt! Keep turning the fibre to make sure you form a ball – if you keep it in one position for too long, you will end up with a flat disc instead of a ball!
  3. Keep turning and stabbing until you have a firm ball. Make a selection of these in different colours.
  4. Now you are going to do a magic trick – turn your felt balls into pumpkins! Thread your longer, strong needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread. Push the needle up through the middle of the ball from the bottom to the top and pull the thread through firmly. Repeat as many times as you wish – this divides the pumpkin into segments.
  5. The sewing will have flattened the ball – or developing pumpkin – so you now have a dimpled centre where the threads all radiate out from. Before you glue a tiny stick into the dimple to make a stalk, you can add a few stitches or beading if you desire.
  6. To hang the pumpkins from a Halloween Tree, add a loop of thread to each pumpkin.

Pumpkin Patch

To make a tiny pumpkin patch display for your tiny pumpkins, all you need is a vintage tin or box, some tissue paper and foil scraps (I used black tissue with glitter accents to make a starry night sky), brown wool fibre or felted fabric for the ‘dirt’ and some PVA glue.

What to Do:

  1. Coat the bottom of the tin or box in PVA and press your brown fibre or fabric in the tin to make your ‘field.’
  2. Coat the lid of the tin or box in PVA and tear strips of paper to make a sky. Cut a disc from foil and glue it to the sky to make a ‘moon.’
  3. When these pieces are dry, arrange your pumpkins – if you don’t glue them in place, you can rearrange them to suit you.


If you have a go at making your own Halloween crafts, we’d love to hear about your experiences and see your photos, so please share them here in the comments and on our Facebook page.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you ever made your own Halloween decorations, or a Halloween costume? What is your favourite Halloween memory – did you make Halloween crafts as a child?

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Being of Service in Your 60s 

being of service in your 60

As discussed in my previous blogs, there are so many perks to reaching the wonderful milestone of 60. One of them is I finally have the time and the means to follow through in earnest on one of the most pressing items that has remained flickering on my back burner: volunteering.

I’ve dabbled in the past with various outlets, including the Make A Wish Foundation, manning the gift shop in a local hospital, showing up to assist with serving meals for the homeless, and all are rewarding in their own sweet way.

However, after returning to my home country of England just over three months ago, I have found myself passionate about (to the point of bordering on obsession) finding any way to volunteer with the elderly.

There are lonely people in all age groups, all walks of life, but my heart is captured by the plight of the older generations who become prisoners in their own surroundings. Ill health, families who turn a blind eye to their elderly parents, those who have become widowed, are losing friends to old age and literally don’t have a soul to interact with day to day, week to week, month to month.

It breaks my heart. I am blessed that I now have the time, the good health, the financial freedom, the wherewithal to be of service, and I’ve been busy beavering away to make that happen.

What You Get in Return

There are so many benefits, where does one begin? On a personal level, I find that my own wellbeing is inevitably enhanced; always grateful for my good health, I feel a sense of “paying it forward “ to those among us who are not so blessed with good physical fortitude.

A sense of purpose is vital to good mental health (increasingly hard to maintain in this tumultuous world we live in), and an overall benefit to the community as a whole should not be underestimated. It sounds like an overused cliche, but the reward is most certainly in the giving: ultimately the true benefits should be for reasons known only to you. We don’t need to put a label on why we volunteer, we just need to do it.

My personal joy is radiating from coming on board with the following organizations:

It takes a little while, some perseverance, and a lot of dedication to get to the point of actually getting out there with some of these organizations, especially with the requirement for a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check (which is much needed to protect the vulnerable in our society), but as it happens, I am like a proverbial dog with a bone, so that doesn’t faze me!

Closer to Home

So, for those of you who have been following my journey since I arrived back in the UK, I am pleased to report a new development. I have a new friend. He is an amazing artist living here in Cornwall, and in keeping with the theme of my blog, he is also being of service in his 60s.

He selflessly painted over 60 portraits of NHS staff during the Covid lockdown and gifted them to each and every one as a thank you for their dedication to serving others: that tells you something about him. You can check out his prolific artwork on his website!

In the meantime, I highly encourage you to go out and find what resonates with your particular volunteer passion. There are so many fabulous causes, all waiting for somebody like you to come along and reach out with helping hands.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What do you feel passionate about? How do you find ways to be of service in your life? Why should we devote our time to helping others?

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Gina Kirschenheiter’s Ivory Leather Jacket

Gina Kirschenheiter’s Ivory Leather Jacket / Real Housewives of Orange County Season 17 Episode 16 Fashion

Gina Kirschenheiter looked gorgeous shopping for her favorite holiday, Halloween. It might not be my favorite holiday but Gina’s ivory leather jacket might be my new favorite jacket. Since I wear a lot of neutral and dark colors this jacket would look great in my closet to complete my winter looks. And Christmas (my favorite holiday) is coming up so scroll down to add similar styles to your list!

Best In Blonde,


Gina Kirschenheiter's Ivory Leather Jacket

Click Here for Her Jacket in Gold / Click Here for Her Jacket in White

Style Stealers

Originally posted at: Gina Kirschenheiter’s Ivory Leather Jacket

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Lesson 19 – Remember the Count-Off!

count off in music

Welcome to Lesson 19, friends! Today we are talking about count off and covering pages 61-62 in our Upper Hands Piano, BOOK 1.

[NOTE: If you are just joining us for the first time, you can find my previous Sixty and Me Free Piano Lessons on my Author page. You can join our lessons any time and move at your own pace!]

19.1 Remember the Count-Off

In music, we generally “count off” or “count down” a measure or two before we start playing to establish the tempo internally. When we play in bands, ensembles or orchestras we always count off a measure or two to make sure that everyone starts together. When there is a pickup in your music, you might count a full measure plus a partial measure, as with Did You Ever See a Lassie, on p.62.

For the next two weeks, I suggest that you play Did You Ever See a Lassie and review or start Listen to the Mockingbird. Both are tricky to play, so play them slowly for a while. If you have time to review an old song in the book, remember that when you first play it, it might feel as though you have never played it. Don’t get discouraged, play it through a few times and you will find that it’s coming back to you.

Notice that when you review a song it IS NOT truly as though you have never played it (it just feels that way at first). You will relearn it much more quickly than the first time you played it. Acknowledge your progress and notice how much you have learned since starting our lessons together!

19.2 Did You Ever See a Lassie, p.62

I counted a measure plus a partial measure for this song: “1 & 2 & 3 &, 1 & 2 &” then came in with the pickup for 3 &. I suggest you count this many beats as well. It’s a great way to establish the beat, and start to feel the tempo in your body.

19.3 Finger Drill with Hands Together, p.62

Play the finger drill forwards and backwards with each hand alone first, then play with your hands together. Here I demonstrate what it will look like when you play with hands together.

Passion Practice!

  1. Exercise #3 in B-flat (review) and F (new). Play each exercise 3 times: 2x Forte (loudly) then 1x Piano (softly) with each hand. Use the PENTASCALES chart at the back of the book if you are unsure of any hand positions Review Ex #3 in all 12 keys, when you can. Next week we will be moving on to Exercise #4!
  2. Chord Calisthenics #3 – Play the major/minor/major triads in D-flat & A-flat, and review B and F#.
  3. Review or start (if you haven’t already) Listen to the Mockingbird on p. 61. You can watch the demonstration video here.
  4. Play Did You Ever See a Lassie on p.62. Play the Finger Drill at the bottom of the page with hands separately, then together.
  5. Review The Irish Washerwoman, or any song in BOOK 1 that you find challenging or enjoy playing.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Are you understanding the concept of a count-off? Do you know why we start counting the pick-up for Did You Ever See a Lassie, with “3&” instead of “1&”? If you have any questions or need any further explanation on anything in our book, please post your questions below! I am here to help!

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5 Tips to Keep Playing Tennis as You Age


The older I get, the more I realize that age is no reason to stop playing tennis, or any sport for that matter. In fact, as the “golden years” sneak up on us (really, what are they anyway?) and the demands of family and employment lessen, we may have more time to participate.

Needless to say, illness and ongoing health issues may not allow us to do everything we wish, but that can be a factor at any point in life. Allow me the liberty of assuming you do not have any serious limitations and you do have an interest in the game of tennis.

There appears to be some evidence of the game being played as far back in time as ancient Greece. However, records usually refer to the game of “Paume” (Palm) played in 12th Century France as the beginning of tennis as we know it today.

Tennis smashed onto the worldwide athletic scene soon after its modern rules and equipment were introduced in 19-century England. Exciting, competitive and uniquely accessible to people of all ages and talent levels, tennis continues to enjoy popularity, both as a recreational activity and a spectator sport. Now it is possible to follow the tour practically all year.

Tennis Is Fun

You laugh a lot more playing tennis than you do playing golf, that’s for certain! Most of the people I play with are over 50, and some are in their mid-80s.

There is no shortage of competitive spirit and those who may not be able to scramble like they used to, can still play a good game of doubles. Several of the seniors have just taken up the game and enjoy it tremendously.

I’m willing to bet there are tennis clubs in your neighborhood, both private and public, and groups of people of all ages that would welcome you. Playing tennis is a fabulous way to socialize, too.

Like anything else, lessons are essential to get started and there will always be groups to join at your level. Once you learn the game, your enjoyment watching the action on television or attending tournaments will be enhanced.

Tom Sweitzer, a USPTA Master Tennis Professional at Blue Ridge Country Club, offers up the following helpful tips for seniors to improve their game and have fun while playing tennis.

Tip # 1: Improve Your Strokes

You want to have effortless strokes, which allows for maximum control and power with minimal effort. Young guys can stand on their head when they hit the ball, but bad mechanics really show up when you get older. Better strokes lead to better play – and for seniors, fewer injuries.

Tip # 2: Play Within Your Abilities

Seniors should play within their abilities. A typical injury occurs when you are hitting back and forth, and a player will run after a drop shot like they are 20-years old. If you are 50, you have to, at some point, realize you don’t play like you are 20. Use realistic judgment and know your limitations.

Tip # 3: Take Time to Rest

Smart senior players realize the body needs to recharge and will play every other day instead of every day. Even the top five players in the world know the body needs to recharge, so you have to know your own time table for recovery.

Tip # 4: Choose a Clay Court

The sooner a senior player starts playing on a clay court, the better it will be on their joints. Not only from a physical standpoint in extending a career, but it also teaches you to control the ball better. Playing on a clay court also cuts down the heat index.

A hard court will burn the skin right off when you touch it, a clay court is dirt and is watered regularly. The biggest growth in USTA (United States Tennis Association) tennis is with seniors and super seniors and most of them are playing on clay courts.

Tip # 5: Choose the Best Time of Day

We’ve had some pretty hot days, so it’s important to play in the morning or in the evening. Those are the best times to play for seniors because you can play longer and don’t get drained. We schedule USTA team matches at 6 p.m. because you aren’t getting the direct sun and the temperature decreases as much as 10 degrees.

No matter when you play, you want to take fluids as you lose fluids. Take in fluids a little at a time, every two games during a changeover.

It’s never too late to add a new activity to your life or pick up one you may have dropped some time ago. Just do it!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you play tennis or some other sport? What tips have you adapted to the game as you have aged? Please share in the comments below.

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Ballet – Diverse and Inclusive. Really?

ballet diverse and inclusive

The idea of inclusivity demands that we examine who we are and what we stand for. I struggle with that on a personal level, as I don’t want routine assumptions to blind me to reality and limit my participation in our evolving society.

But what about established cultural institutions, where the role of tradition is especially strong? As audiences are comprised more and more of the grey-haired among us, the need for relevance (read new patrons) is acute.

Let’s Talk Ballet

The world of ballet, for example, has always fascinated me. Captivating is my word for the elegance and discipline of its dancers. But I recently found myself wondering how ballet organizations, both performing and training, are making this art form more accessible and reflective of society. I decided to chat with some key people leading this change. Their dedication and vision left me feeling so inspired. 

I found that traditional ballet institutions are indeed working to include a broader range of styles and viewpoints. They’re trying to preserve ballet’s beauty while making it more accessible to everyone, to reinvigorate it with fresh creativity. 

Change Is in the Making

Esie Mensah is one of the dynamic change agents bringing new thought, feeling and movement to the world of dance. Earlier this year, she worked with Ballet Kelowna to direct her new work, which had been commissioned especially for the company. In the video below, she touchingly describes the inner work required to make these outer changes, and the discipline needed over her own thoughts and feelings. Change, it seems, comes from a combination of courage and creativity.

When I spoke with John Dalrymple, the executive director of Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), he emphasized the need to include the right voices in the conversation. He told me, “We had to reflect on who we didn’t know, people we should have known for years, who should be at the table when we have any event.”

What Is Not Being Said

The struggle to search for what is not seen rather than what is already visible is such a worthwhile effort, and so challenging. As a therapist, I was trained to listen to what is not being said. This is taking that idea to a whole different level. What is it that we are not thinking, what are we ignoring, that is right in front of our faces?

Robert Binet, a choreographer at the National Ballet of Canada, shared a similar sentiment, saying that ballet has a big role in keeping all doors open for young people, so they can excel and make choices that align with who they are. The very idea that success can come from including the whole person, rather than giving people the skills to fit into a pre-ordained model, reflects a larger change in society. It is new and exciting, and we don’t know where it will end up. But we can’t do anything other now, as the genie is out of the bottle in that regard.

It’s About Keeping a Balance

I found out that Canada, through its National Ballet School, is playing a key role in balancing ballet’s discipline with inclusivity. Some years ago, NBS initiated Assemblée Internationale, a gathering of dancers and teachers from different ballet schools around the world to help young dancers learn and grow.

This year, many more schools, including some important schools founded by artists of colour, were included (expenses for all attendees were paid by NBS!). John said to me, “We’re not here to compete against each other. All performances will be by blended casts, so kids from different schools meet each other, learn different roles in a new work, spend a few hours in the studio and then present it on the stage.” The new work was one developed by Esie and Rob, mentioned above. Needless to say, it featured creativity and feeling.

Expanding Ballet in the Community

Collaboration could really push ballet into new territories, making it more approachable and reflective of society. Sponsoring artistic projects can help brands reach new customers, while funding enables dance institutions to take risks with innovative productions. Small wins can make a big difference. Offering classes in under-served communities, providing scholarships, and making sure people with disabilities can participate all help create a radically expanded ballet world.

One amazing example is how Canada’s National Ballet School is helping people with dementia through ballet. A 20-minute film on YouTube, Dancer Not Dementia, is so beautiful it had me in tears. It includes comments from Mavis Staines, the Artistic Director and CEO of NBS, whose visionary leadership has been crucial to the concept of dance as an integral part of the broad community.

As I explored the changing world of ballet, I couldn’t help but feel excited about the future. Empowering the next generation of ballet dancers and promoting inclusivity is so important for keeping ballet relevant. New collaborations, diverse artistic styles, and a focus on inclusivity point towards a bright future for ballet, one where everyone can enjoy its beauty.

In the end, the transformation of ballet is not just about dance; it’s about the power of art to bring people together, regardless of their background, and to create a more vibrant world. How wonderful is that!

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Are you a regular of ballet performances? Which ones are among your favorites? What do you think ballet lacks that can make it more attractive to all audiences?

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