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Have you made a refreshing discovery lately
May 15, 2012

I have been thinking a lot about such ideas as reframing, repurposing and refreshing. Maybe this is due to the fact that it is spring, but I also think it is because I am writing a series about reframing how we look at our lives as we go through different life transitions. What worked during one chapter of our lives may not be effective, or even relevant, during the next chapter of our lives. Sometimes we need a fresh perspective. It’s more than applying a fresh coat of paint. It goes deeper. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

I have spent the majority of my professional career engaged in some format of teaching—classrooms, museums, organizational training rooms, and personal mentoring. I have always loved instruction and learning. Another interest of mine has always been working with dogs. During the chapter of my life when kids were home, I helped out at shelters, veterinarian business organization training, and fund raising efforts. But with an empty nest, it was time to reframe how I looked and used these passions and skills. Enter Beretta, my Great Dane.

I decided to pursue my interest in instruction and learning in a new venue. Dog training. Therapy dog training to be exact. I have a new purpose to pursue—Beretta and I have completed our Therapy Dog International training and still participate in obedience training each week. I was feeling guilty that I had dropped my involvement with the shelters but realized that in this new chapter of my life, I can make my contribution by visiting hospitals with Beretta. This is my reframing and giving new meaning to skills and passions that had been used differently in the past. By the way, I often talk about Beretta on my SM4W Facebook Fan page, so you might want to skip over there and join our conversation. Here is another example of repurposing.

There is a woman I recently met. She is a fine example of repurposing. For many years, this woman (I will change her name to Beth) was a mother, wife and professional in the culinary arts. After her divorce, she decided to go to college, as an adult, and study art. She obtained her teaching degree but during this time, discovered her true untapped talent was that as an artist. She has pursued her oil painting ever since! Because her children were grown at the time of her divorce, she was able to travel, covering her expenses by setting up house sitting arrangements at her destinations.

What is so instructive to anyone dealing with life transitions, is that Beth identified her strengths—being creative and artistic in the culinary arts—she repurposed those talents into a new form of expression—oil painting. Secondly, she believed in herself. She took the risks of traveling alone and being self-sustaining at the same time. The result has been a woman, who in mid-life, has a motivation to greet each day with optimism and confidence. Her endeavors bring a sense of self-fulfillment as she continues to learn, grow and enrich her life.

Spring is a great time to take a fresh look at things. Maybe there is a transition happening in your life journey. Have you taken time to reframe how you use your skills and passions? Life is such a wonderful journey—if you let it be. There are many opportunities for fresh starts as we enter new chapters in our lives. Maybe this is a moment for you to refresh, reframe and repurpose. Let me know what you find out about yourself. Isn’t it exciting to discover new things about ourselves?

That's all for now! Enjoy the beauty of the season and the vibrant colors found in the nature around youl.
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Thanks for reading this newsletter. We will be dropping you a line about once a month. Each month will feature a stress management tip to help you find your sense of calm. For further information about stress management or if you have suggestions or concerns, drop me a comment either on my Fan Page,, or on the web, Stress-Management-4-Women.

Enjoy and stay calm,
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