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Empty Nester? Perfect Time to Reinvent Your Life!

Empty nest #2

All the connotations of an empty nest appear to be negative and come with a huge dose of sadness. Our babies have flown the nest, left the coop, moved on to grow as adults and leave us holding … memories! Memories of the most beautiful, challenging, emotional, happy, special, life-changing moments ever. I love being a mommy, feeling needed, wanted, nurturing, care-taking while constantly being in awe of these amazing little people that turn into grown up human beings – that WE created!!! It never ceases to amaze me and give me such incredible joy and fills my heart.

For some this is a time of celebration – to have the house back to yourself, to do what you want when you want, to have no day-to-day care-taking responsibilities. No more late-night trips to the market to make sure there’s basic necessities in the fridge to feed your kids…and god forbid you have to make cookies for that bake-sale fundraiser at midnight while you’re on a business deadline!

Now those hugs and face-to-face conversations have transformed into texts, calls and expensive plane tickets, but that’s ok as this is the new “norm.”

But I’ve got news for you! This is also the greatest time to consider Reinventing Your Life!
It doesn’t have to be HUGE but as you know, Reinventions come in ALL shapes and sizes so just consider this for a moment…

What are you going to do with all those extra hours and the lack of responsibilities that you used to have day in and day out that were your excuse for not doing all those things you “said” you wanted to do?

Guess what? No excuses!

So, put on those running shoes, download that language app, go buy that garden shovel, pick up your old guitar, go tell your boss how you feel about your job so you can get that promotion, clean out and redo one of the rooms, do that volunteer work that your subconscious mind has been urging you to do, call up some friends you’ve been pushing aside for years, pick up that tennis racket, take back your weekends and do, something fun, make those travel plans with your friends and loved ones, visit some remote part of the city, be a tourist in your own hometown…

Getting the picture?

This is YOUR time, again! Use it wisely, love your children, make sure they’re doing great and support them growing into great people but also, show them how it’s done and what is possible in life!

It’s actually an amazing way for your kids to see that we should NEVER stop exploring the world, our interests, our passions and that their years in college are just the beginning of them testing out life as adults, finding their interests and passions, learning about things they never even knew existed.

I remember taking courses in college (I was a Communications major) such as Astronomy, Archaeology, Sociology of Deviant Behavior, Middle Eastern Studies, Public Speaking, Film Studies, Philosophy – these are the courses that I constantly recall, as I got exposure to things I might not ever experience or learn again. Those made an impression on me.

That was my time to explore and guess what? It is again…right now! I may not be in college but there’s an entire world full of hobbies, interests, destinations and people to discover.

Perhaps our journey is just beginning again so rethink those tough moments, don’t be sad or anxious that your kids aren’t around – cease the moment and dig deep – what are your passions and how are you going to live this one incredible life?

Enjoy and #HappyReinventing!

If They Can Do It, I can Do It! Change Your Habits and Reinvent!

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“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

The more we see people succeed, break out of the norm, pursue their passions, make life happen… the more we realize we are not alone. They’re not special, they don’t have super powers, they just dared to dream and go for it.

Maybe it’s time you started changing habits, dreaming bigger and believe that you can do whatever you want.

Reinventing your life comes in all shapes and sizes. If you want to start working out, pick something fun and start small. Take a beginner’s class and start out easily so that you’re not in pain for a week and never want to do it again.

You want to learn a language? Go on Groupon download a language program – its right there. Don’t have time to do it? How about waking up 30 minutes earlier and taking a walk and doing two great things at the same time every day? Can you imagine how you would feel after just 10 days?

Wishing you could paint like a friend of yours who just picked up a paintbrush and started painting recently? They just started to do it, why can’t you? Do it for your own Joy, not to share or show to anyone, not to put on exhibit or post online, just do it for your passion and joy and to stretch your creativity!

Do you truly believe they have skills greater than yours? Are they smarter? Do they have some special gene that makes them more unique and capable than you? Or is it they just summoned the courage to actually try something they keep thinking and talking about? Is it about the time constraints you think you have? We’re all so busy and we say we don’t have the time but is that really true?

If you actually spent one week changing your habits, not watching your favorite TV shows, not monitoring your social media, and you wake up 30 minutes earlier every day, cancel lunch dates to spend time doing something that you’d like to try – writing, listening to the language lessons, planning a trip, researching a new career that you want to start, exploring more…you would be on your way!

Just like that!

I meet people every day in so many different walks of life and at so many levels of their careers – from 19-year-olds just starting out to 72-year-olds, all talking from a different perspective about what they wish they could do with their lives. What I find fascinating are the older folks who haven’t fulfilled their dreams, who look at their lives and wish they could’ve done so many other things and question whether or not it’s too late to tackle it now.

I have a friend who used a family tragedy as a catalyst to start checking off things on her bucket list. Confronted with the reality that our lives could be taken from us at any point, she realized that she wasn’t going to sit around and be one of those people that said I wish I had done this or that. She’s taking life by the horns and looking at how to conquer every fear and every dream small and large, and most certainly way out of her comfort zone. Everybody looks at what she’s doing and they’re wishing that they had the courage to Dream as she does.

So what does it take? How do you take that first leap of faith even if it’s something as small as starting that diet tomorrow, or telling your boss that you want a raise, or leaving that job so that you can go do what you really dreamed about, like opening that little chocolate store in the middle of Main Street, or saving people in Third World countries that need a helping hand, or move on from a bad relationship, or starting some charity work, or go horseback riding, or learn a language, or start spending more time discovering your spirituality, or align with a cause and find your voice,  or start meditating every morning for five minutes.

Anything that you do that adjusts your daily habits and routines and creates a new focus and a new direction in your life is an amazing moment of reinvention. One small change can create such a huge shift in your energy, your surroundings, the way you connect with other people, your moods. You’re sending a signal to those around you and to the universe that you are open and interested in creating the best possible life you could have and then you’re not going to be the one to say “I wish I could…”

Want to break old habits and create new ones? Start small and gain confidence with that feeling. You’ll find the joy, not fear that comes with “mixing it up” a little.

These mini Reinventions can shake up your norm. Changing your routine can remind you how new and exciting different experiences and habits can be – try the simplest of things for starters, like:

  • Drive to a different Starbucks in your neighborhood,
  • Order an Iced Tea vs Ice Latte
  • Put on shoes you have in the back of your closet, rather than the ones you wear all the time.
  • Wear a colored shirt vs black or white shirt with your suit
  • Walk vs drive to the close grocery store
  • Exercise in the morning vs evening
  • Read a book vs watching a tv show (dvr it for another time)
  • Call an old friend for dinner
  • Cook vs ordering in
  • Change your shampoo brand

Getting the picture?

We take for granted the daily habits that are our routine.

Try getting comfortable with change.

Embrace Change with Excitement and Courage

Minimize the Fear and let Inspiration and Curiosity take over

Have faith in who you’d like to be.  Believe it’s there. Go for it. Create it.

Life won’t just happen to you, make it all yours on your terms!

Happy Reinventing

 

#lifeonyourterms     #changeyourhabits    #HappyReinventing

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Share your stories, feedback, anecdotes – I’d love to include them in my blog, website or upcoming book –visit my website and join the conversation. See great links to others’ inspiring websites, sign up for the newsletter and please share with everyone.

www.TheReinventionExchange.com

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Reinvent Your Life – The Perfect Holiday/New Year’s Kick-Off Time

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If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.   – Elon Musk

Reinvention is our Soul Food – it lifts our spirits, rekindles our fire, ignites our passion and renews our spirit.

Reinventions come in all shapes and sizes. They are “aha moments” when you realize that you really want to do something new, return to something you used to love doing, explore something you’ve dared only to dream of, explore your passions.  It’s a chance to further discover the real you and what you’re made of.  It’s chance to become the best version of yourself.

Overwhelmed by the thought of Reinventing but desperate to shake things up?  Wanting to explore that creative part of you that they’ve tried to suppress in you since you were seven years old?

Over the Holidays and as we approach the New Year, give yourself the perfect gift of precious time to spend on something you’ve been meaning to explore or delve into. Stop reading other people’s social media feeds, don’t binge watch anymore shows on NETFLIX…and do something truly special for yourself. Jumpstart your Reinvention.

Take the time over the holidays, don’t wait till the typical “January 1st” New Year’s Resolution. Start TODAY!

The holidays give you more down time so you can actually reinvest time in something that’s meaningful to you. The things you keep putting off because you have no time – just try spending THREE SESSIONS of time on something you’re interested on focusing on – whether it’s THREE HOURS, THREE HALF DAYS, THREE EVENINGS…whatever fits into your down time.

Once you do this, you’ll get “into it” and start to find ways to calendar more sessions of time working on this Reinvention plan, hobby, habit, inspiration. Don’t be discouraged if it’s a multi-year plan – it has to start somewhere so make NOW the time to create the plan, find your mentors, research what you need to know to create this new reality.

Here’s a list of places you can start looking into … Just pick one for starters – could be the catalyst for amazing new changes and inspiration in your life:

Diet/Exercise

Relationships

Friendships

Style/Fashion

Spirit/Religious

Yoga/Meditation

Work/Career

Personal Brand

Travel

Dreams

Attitude

Perspective

Hobbies

Habits

Routines

Leisure activities

R&R

Home Décor

No matter how big or small, a reinvention can completely shift your mood, morale and sense of adventure.  So go for it – give yourself an hour or two to delve into this just a little and embark on your Life Reinvention – it’s all yours!

#HappyReinventing #NewYearsResolutions #hobbies #dream #foodforthought #deepthoughts #reinventyourbrain #soulfood #habits #newtips #inspiredthoughts

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Share your stories, feedback, anecdotes – I’d love to include them in my blog, website or upcoming book –visit our website and join the conversation.  See great links to others’ inspiring websites, sign up for the newsletter and please share with everyone.www.TheReinventionExchange.com

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@KathiSR   #HappyReinventing

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Discovery and Adventure – I Dare You to Reinvent Your Life!  

OMG – you’re not going to believe what I did!

Ok, ok…kinda’ kidding but wouldn’t you love to be saying that about something new and exciting in your life that you made happen?

“There is no greater way to reinvent yourself but through discovery.”- Kathi Sharpe-Ross

I’ve heard from a lot of friends and colleagues lately who aren’t where they want to be in life.  I’m glad I’m their friend and that I have chance to help give them strength and perspective to remind them of who they are.  I am having a lot of conversations that enable me to share a little of my wisdom and compassion, as well as my benefit of “distance” to hold a mirror up to them and to provide them with the strength to know who they are and dig deep to remember what they’re about, their values, their purpose and how to get where they wish they were going.

Can you relate to either side of that conversation?

It makes you question your own soul searching, even if you’re in your “happy place” and you’re helping out a friend or colleague.

What is your soul dream?

Shhhh be still, listen, really listen – who are you, no really? Are you the best version of yourself? Are you self-aware? Are you simply living the image that others want you to be or an illusion of who you could be?

And how do we really know if we’ve ever arrived at who we really are. We evolve, grow, learn, stretch, explore so many angles of ourselves and with each twist and turn, a new nugget appears – an epiphany, a wisdom, an insight that reveals just a little more that perhaps makes us that much more curious … That can be so fun but are you stopping long enough to even recognize it?  Are you capable of seeing what’s right in front of you or inside you to harness that energy and do something profound with it?

Read more

A Letter To My Parents #HappyReinventing

I wrote this Blog sitting on a plane one day on one of my many cross-country flights, contemplating my wonderful life and thinking about all that I’m doing with the “Reinventing Your Life” space – my media company, website, book, blogs, interviews, content and social media.

I started this “hobby-turned-business” because people have always told me how lucky I am that I get to do what I want, when I want, how I want and my business – THE SHARPE ALLIANCE – always makes it look like I’m just having fun.

Not so! It’s hard work but I owe a lot to my parents who gave me the tools to recognize HOW to have the life that I want – entrepreneurial, no box, free spirited, balanced, passionate, curious and driven.  As they say, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life! And I do!!

For that I’m grateful and thus, I wrote this sitting on that plane ride and decided to share it with you.  I hope it resonates for you.  We don’t always stop and take stock of the profound impact our parents have had and the learnings we have taken away from all of our life experiences with them – good, bad, different, other… but if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here!

I love you Mommy and Daddy! This one’s for you…

 

Thank you for showing me what’s possible

Thank you for bringing me up with the view that there’s no box

Showing me the world

How to be strong and independent

The safety I grew up with

The security to be me

To be self-reliant

To be open

To be inclusive

To be accepting

To see what’s possible

How to love

How to live

How to give

How to be compassionate

How be inspired

How to be curious

How to speak up

How to want more always

How to be involved

 

Not because it’s your birthday or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day

Just because I can. Thank you.

I love you!

Kathi

#HappyReinventing

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And please share this with your friends, family and those that might want a dose of inspiration.  Share your Reinvention Stories with me anytime. Email, on the website, on social media!

Enjoy and #HappyReinventing

THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK…AND OTHER EXCUSES FOR NOT LIVING YOUR IDEAL LIFE

The Dog Ate My Homework…and Other Excuses for not Living Your Ideal Life

 “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”  – Benjamin Franklin

Whether  it’s been on your mind or never crossed your mind, there comes a time where reality about this notion of “life” and what it really is settles in and you realize that you’re saying “I wish had…” I should have…” What if I…”

Do you really want to wake up one day, perhaps when it really is too late and have regrets about all the things you might have done.  Call it the “Bucket List,” “Second Chapters,” “Life Reinventions,” they’re all a nagging reminder that living large and the journey of life can be quite extraordinary. It can be spiritual, health, career, hobby, relationships, business, skill related – anything you’ve thought of that might enhance this journey in your life.

Do you find yourself living vicariously through others –  marveling at their facebook page, reading stories of amazing ventures that others dared to take on, life changes that were a complete 360 that someone had the courage to figure out and tackle?

STOP!  Stop doing that to yourself.  It’s time to stop making excuses.  Especially now as you start to enter the “Empty Nester” phase of life.  This is the most exciting time of rediscovery in your life.  Recognize the things that have held you back for the last 20+ years and stop hiding behind them because if you ever had an excuse, now’s the time to dispel it.

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DOORS – The Gateway to Reinvention

 

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Doors – they hold the promise of something new, curiosity, adventure, fresh starts, mystery. They all stand just on the other side of that door.  So close yet so far away.  Bringing two worlds together, yet part of the same. Inches apart yet so divided.

Doors separate rooms, tones, themes, experiences, activities.  They have their own distinct space and worlds yet that one door brings them together when open. Blending the visual and energy of two different spaces.  As you step through one to the other, the new environment is usually in deep contrast to the other, leaving traces of the old to the new.  The door symbolizes a gateway to something different.

The metaphor of a door captures the moment in time when we’re on the precipice of a movement, decision, opportunity. We stand in the familiar, with the vision of what’s on the other side right before us.  We can choose to walk through it, we can choose to stand in the doorway till we’re ready,  we can turn back and never cross that threshold.

Doors offer a glimpse into the future.. what’s next. The option to indulge in it are yours. Is it freedom or confinement? Future or regression? Stand still or Reinvent your life? These defining moments, whether small or large are the doorways of your life that offer you opportunity or confine you. The choice is always yours.

I always walk through those doorways, usually I run thru them, excitedly approaching what’s next. What do you do? How do you live your life?

And what does your doorway look like? Big, small. simple, ornate? Wood, iron? With windows, without? How do the doors that present themselves in your life show up? And when? Are they barriers for you? Do they stop you or invite you?

There’s a saying that when one door closes, another opens.   Do you believe this?

What’s your interpretation of the doors in your life?

#HappyReinventing

Share your stories, feedback, anecdotes – I’d love to include them in my blog and website –visit our website and join the conversation – www.TheReinventionExchange.com;

See great links to others’ inspiring websites, sign up for the newsletter and please share with everyone.

Follow me, share, retweet, repost and like @:
TWITTER: @KathiSR   #HappyReinventing
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WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

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I love other peoples’ stories. I see a family , a woman eating alone, a man in a biz suit, two friends chatting, a group of teenagers hanging out…and I’m curious.  Who are they, where are they from, what have they endured, who have they inspired, what’s been their contribution to humanity or community, are they happy or sad, coming or going, simple or complex, where were they born, where are they headed, what do they think about, what’s their story???

Not everything and everyone is as they appear and behind everything we see is some kind of story, anecdote, history, future, nuggets of what I deem to be interesting…

All around us there are stories – they just show up in different ways – songs, ads, social messages, movies, TV shows, photographs.

By nature, we are curious human beings and thus the ongoing interest in stories.

Everyone is a story, they are the center of their story, the Protagonist – each and everyone of us.  We bring our own self-working, emotions and experiences to all that is around us and everyone we interact with and it shapes how we perceive and experience our worlds.

The little anecdotes that are our lives are either gone unnoticed or become headlines…or somewhere in between, and they’re all little stories.

Have you ever looked at a house on your street and wondered who lives there? Watched a little old lady walking down the street and wondered what her long life sorry can tell – history, joys, observations, wisdoms, heartbreak, moments of courage?  The man sitting with his two boys having breakfast – is it just another day in their routine or is this the special monthly breakfast with divorced parents?

I’m always curious, I love to wonder and weave stories and tales in my mind and then wonder how right or wrong my hunch is about what I’m observing?

As I go about my busy day with my very busy mind, it never ceases to amaze me the room for this imaginative thought.  It’s a game of sorts and is probably the reason I don’t mind chatting with strangers.

So next time you glance at the old man crossing the road, that teenager with her friends giggling over a coffee at Starbucks, that sad lady on the phone in the middle of a shopping center, the young man at the grocery checkout, the clerk helping you at the yogurt store…everyone has a story – they’re the protagonist in their life and just maybe we’re playing a supporting role in their story.

Aren’t you a bit curious?

What’s your story? Are you living the story you want your life to be? It’s never too late to Reinvent your life in a myriad of ways.

#HappyReinventing

Share your stories, feedback, anecdotes – I’d love to include them in my blog and website –visit our website and join the conversation – www.TheReinventionExchange.com;

See great links to others’ inspiring websites, sign up for the newsletter and please share with everyone.

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TWITTER: @KathiSR   #HappyReinventing
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Summer Inspires Reflection…and Reinvention

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Reinvention, renewal, inspired ideas…they all have time to breed just a little more during those lazy summer afternoons when you may be taking an extra walk, sitting on a beach, hopefully even holidaying somewhere wonderful.

These are moments when we disconnect from the everyday moments that drive our every movement, the tasks and the chores of life, jobs, family, commitments and just take a deep breath – literally and metaphorically.

When you take that deep breath, that pause, that moment of reflection, what do you do with that time? What could you do with that time?  Are you using it in a quiet and important way to focus on you?

Hello, are you still in there?  It’s not such an odd question, really.  Don’t we all get so caught up in the business of life, that we don’t stop to make sure we’re on the right trajectory?

That time is yours – so use it wisely.  Are you doing what you want? Inspiring yourself to have the greatness in your life you deserve?  Loving the best way you can? Sharing the way you want? Indulging in the things you love? Nurturing your passions?

Every moment is a chance for Reinvention so never stop asking yourself if you’re happy and how to have more of what you want/need/love in your life.

Be Inspired, Get Inspired and Go For It – It’s Yours!

Have a beautiful Summer Day.

#HappyReinventing

Please share your stories with us – visit our website and join the conversation – www.TheReinventionExchange.com;

See great links to others’ inspiring websites, sign up for the newsletter and please share with everyone.

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Re-Find Your Passion – Tennis Was My First Love

LIVE WITH PASSION quoteWhen I was a little girl, I learned to play tennis. My dad played semi-pro in Australia against some of the big Aussie tennis names and understood the value and fun of the game – old school tennis, clay courts, tennis whites, wood rackets.  Classic!

Lucky for me, my parents instilled that love for tennis in us kids as well.  My sisters and I loved to play and I took that much further – always had a racquet in my hand and as we moved from country to country, tennis was my sanctuary, my “go to place.”  A way to bond with new friends in new places with some common ground.

I played through high school – chose cheerleading over tennis team (yes, admitting it!), through college, and always recreationally with friends and family.

And then it stopped…just like that, life got in the way, and it wasn’t until my boys were old enough that I had to get them on the court and get a racquet in their hands too. A life skill, sport and passion that I wanted them to have.

As I started to play here and there with them, it reminded me how much I loved and missed the game and vowed every time to keep playing…but I didn’t.  Life got in the way.

They went to tennis camp every summer, played occasionally with friends and the occasional family trek to the court – 6 blocks away -happened.

I had “tennis envy” of everyone that played and still loved the game but everything else seemed to take precedent and I was doing all these other activities – Zumba, Pilates, business activities, mom jobs… but not tennis.

Fast forward – my youngest son is on the high school tennis team and for years has become an excellent player.  For the last few years when I asked him to play he refused.  Thought he was too good and didn’t want to bother with me!

Hmmm – that got me going and when my husband asked me to sign up with him for a tennis clinic, without thinking I said “yes.”

That first week I played five times, enlisted a coach and for three months I have been fully re-engaged in what was my first love and passion – tennis.

I cannot tell you how incredible it feels to be reconnected …

My scheduling priorities have shifted from “I can’t exercise to because I have a business dinner,” to “I can’t do that business dinner or drinks…because I’m playing tennis!”  As a result, I’m also finding lots of new tennis partners – business colleagues and friends – that we can now socialize over a game, rather than the traditional lunch, drinks, dinner plans.  Love that!

What’s your passion that you’d love to rekindle?  What’s that one thing you keep saying you want to do or revisit that you once loved? Was it learning a language? Playing the guitar? Painting? Indulging in some hobby that made you happy?

This Reinvention is a tremendous antidote to boredom, a mid-life crisis, a yearning to stir things up in your life, a desire to be happy and just have fun,  so if you have that itch and feel the need to mix things up a bit and nurture your passions, give it a try – you’ll be amazed at the results you feel and how it affects so much of your life. #GoHaveFun

#HappyReinventing

Please share your stories – visit my website and join the conversation – www.TheReinventionExchange.com;

See great links to others’ inspiring websites, sign up for the newsletter and please share with everyone!

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