Category: Aging

Midlife Health – The Eyes Have It!

Castor Oil Plant

Last weekend I attended an all-day lecture by Dr. Norman Shealy. His discussion of energy medicine and alternative healing remedies was most informative. One of the topics that peaked my interest was using castor oil for cataracts. My mother had cataracts removed many years ago and I have a number of friends who’ve recently had surgery for the same reason.  If this is an issue for you, the following tips might be helpful.

The growth of cataracts is an issue many people face as they age.  Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The lens is responsible for focusing light and producing clear images. The larger the cataracts become, the more fuzzy the vision.  The process is begun by poor circulation that prevents the eye from ridding itself of “debris.”  Surgery may be the only resolution for a late-stage cataract but castor oil may help you resolve the issue in its early stages.

Castor oil was apparently used by the Egyptians for eye irritations, the medical intuitive Edgar Cayce recommended it for cataracts and Dr Shealy also endorses it.

The directions for use are to simply put one drop of the pure oil (make sure the oil is free of any contaminants) in each eye at bedtime. If you’ve ever used castor oil for any reason you’ll know why you want to do it at bedtime.  The oil is very sticky and you’ll certainly have cloudy vision for about half an hour.  Over time the oil gradually dissolves the cataract.

To prevent cataracts, you might want to increase your intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, two of the most abundant carotenoids in our diet. A new study from Finish researchers suggests that increased levels of lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of cataracts by about 40%. Increasing evidence supports the role of these two carotenoids for eye health, which also includes decreasing your odds of being afflicted with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

These carotenoids are available as supplements but if you want to go the natural route, here are foods that contain lutein and/or zeaxanthin:

  • kale
  • collard greens
  • spinach
  • swiss chard
  • mustard greens
  • parsley
  • eggs
  • beet greens
  • okra
  • red pepper
  • dill
  • romaine lettuce
  • endive
  • celery
  • scallions
  • leeks
  • broccoli
  • leaf lettuce
  • squash
  • green peas
  • carrots
  • artichoke
  • pumpkin
  • dates
  • grapes
  • oranges

Another recommendation for eye health is Vitamin D3. A recent study from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London showed that after taking vitamin D3 for only 6 weeks, older mice showed improved vision as well as reductions in inflammation of the retina and levels of amyloid beta accumulation, a hallmark of aging.  This suggests that vitamin D3 may be helpful in preventing AMD, the most common cause of blindness in elderly people.

So if you are looking to improve the health of your eyes, consider trying a more natural path before undergoing surgery.

Midlife Inspiration: You’re Never Too Old to Live Your Dreams

I recently spent some time visiting assisted-living facilities and nursing homes.  The event that prompted this “adventure” was my mother having a stroke and becoming visually impaired. Unfortunately this necessitated her no longer being able to live on her own and therefore having to make other arrangements.

What struck me as I was investigating these facilities and talking to some of the residents was how disengaged in life many of the folks had become.  The “why” I discovered was that fundamentally they believed they had nothing left to live for.

Some hadn’t even begun to empty out their “bucket lists” –  do those things they had always dreamt about.  When I commented that it was never too late, the majority said, “Oh no, I’m too old.”  What a sad statement.

I don’t believe we’re ever too old to experience the joy of doing something we truly love, even if it’s just a small piece of it.  For example, a client once told me that, at the age of 75, he was far too old to even contemplate becoming an architect, his life’s dream.  Perhaps he wasn’t about to go back to school to do the requisite study but does that mean he couldn’t live out his dream in another way.  He could have opted to volunteer at an architect’s office or do some simple online CAD training.  Anything that was related to architectural work.

If you need some inspiration to follow your dreams, then maybe these examples might spur you on:

  • Benjamin Franklin, at age 78, invented bifocal spectacles.
  • Mary Fasano, age 89, earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard.
  • Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum at 90 years of age.
  • David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, taught himself ancient Greek when he was at an advanced age just so he could master the classics.

Ages 35-55 might be the peak times for creativity in many fields but people in their 60s and 70s, though slower, are as productive as they were in their 20s. So if you’ve given up because you think you’re too old, think again, get rid of that limiting belief and GO FOR IT!

Cellist Pablo Casals was 91 when a student asked, “Master, why do you continue to practice?” His reply, “Because I am making progress.”

Midlife Health: Forgetfulness



Two elderly couples were enjoying friendly conversation when one of the men asked the other, “Fred, how was the memory clinic you went to last month?”

“Outstanding,” Fred replied. “They taught us all the latest psychological techniques – visualization, association – it’s made a big difference for me.”

“That’s great! What was the name of that clinic?”

Fred went blank. He thought and thought but couldn’t remember. Then a smile broke across his face and he asked, “What do you call that flower with the long stem and thorns?”

“You mean a rose?”

“Yes, that’s it!” He turned to his wife. “Rose, what was the name of that clinic?”

By the time we get to midlife, or even before, we can all probably relate to the joke.  First you forget your car keys, then you don’t remember whether you paid the phone bill and next you can’t remember your ATM password.  Forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging.

Scientists now tell us that most of us can stay both alert and able as we age, although it may take us longer to remember things. I like to think of it as already having so much information and knowledge in my brain that some of it gets misplaced for a time underneath another pile of good information.  It’s not lost, just buried.

In addition to some of the popular brain training games and memory techniques, there’s a supplement that might be helpful – Vinpocetine.

Vinpocetine is an extract from the leaf of the periwinkle plant.  Studies have shown that it can help circulation in the brain, improve oxygen use and make red blood cells more flexible and less clumped together.  It was developed in the 1960s and is available as a prescription drug in Japan and Europe but as a dietary supplement in the US and Canada.

Interestingly, this brain booster has also been shown to improve eyesight in many cases. That way, you can see more clearly what you’ve forgotten!

As always, check with your practitioner first regarding any possible side effects and interactions with other substances.


All material is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or condition.

Aging and Attitude

The following poem was found among the possessions of an aged lady who died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland. Unknown and with little left to give to the world, she has touched the lives of many all around the world with these eloquent words.

A Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?

What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?

A crabby old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,

When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try!”

Who seems not to notice the things that you do,

And forever is losing a stocking or shoe.

Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will,

With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill….

Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?

Then open your eyes, nurse; you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,

As I do at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of ten … with a father and mother,

Brothers and sisters, who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,

Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet.

A bride soon at twenty-my heart gives a leap,

Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now, I have young of my own,

Who need me to guide and a secure happy home.

A woman of thirty, my young now grown fast,

Bound to each other with ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,

But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn.

At fifty, once more babies play round my knee,

Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead.

I look at the future, I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing young of their own,

And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old woman …. and nature is cruel;

‘Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,

There is now a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,

And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,

And I’m loving and living life over again.

I think of the years … all too few, gone too fast,

And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses, open and see,

Not a crabby old woman; look closer, see ME!!

* * * * * * *

Remember this poem when you find yourself becoming irritated with an older person, being negatively judgmental or brushing by them without seeing the young soul inside. One day we too may be the “crabby old woman/man”!

Attitude is a Matter of Choice

What are you sculpting today?

What are you sculpting today?

The Sculptor’s Attitude

“I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. I have responsibilities to fulfill today. I am important. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or … I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money or … I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or … I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn’t give me when I was growing up or … I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or … I can celebrate that the thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or … I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or … I can shout for joy because I have a job to do.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or … eagerly open my mind and fill it with rich new tidbits of knowledge.

Today I can murmur dejectedly because I have to do housework or … I can feel honored because God has provided shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to me. I get to choose what kind of day I will have!

Have a GREAT DAY … unless you have other plans.”

—Author Unknown

This piece spoke to me because of a recent client. He had just completed an assessment which pinpointed how his THINKING, (not the situations) was not only causing stress in his life and leading to health issues but also keeping him from being successful. Seeing it “on paper” was a real AHA moment for him.

We talk to ourselves all day and 90% of it is negative. If you’re at all familiar with some of the quantum physics concepts, you know that what you put out into the world is what you get back. The more negativity you put out there, the more negative situations you will find around you.

So next time you have a negative thought, STOP, and turn it into a positive one. It can’t hurt and it might just change your life. It’s your choice!

Midlife: Is Age Holding You Back?

“I’m too old, I couldn’t do that now.”  That’s a statement I hear all too frequently during my “Find Your Passion” programs.  Do you feel like you’re too old to start following your passion, even if you knew what it was?  What makes you believe that?  Other people’s comments, societal norms, your parents’ “self-talk” …?

Yesterday my husband and I visited the exhibition Australian Indigenous Art Triennial: Culture Warriors presented by American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center in Washington DC. The exhibition showcases Australia’s leading indigenous artists with works from the traditional to the modern, some with obvious political overtones. Works include paintings on bark and canvas, sculpture, textiles, weaving, new media, photomedia, printmaking and installation.

When the exhibition made its debut in 2007, it coincided with the 40th anniversary of a landmark 1967 referendum mandating that indigenous Australians be included in the country’s census. Imagine that just 42 years ago, two-thirds of the artists were placed under the same category as Australia’s flora and fauna.

Racial conflict aside, what struck me was that one particular artist hadn’t started painting until five years ago, at the age of 90. Here was a man who was so passionate about wanting to pass on the story of his culture that he didn’t allow his “ripe old age” of 90 to stop him. Five years later he is being recognized as one of Australia’s top artists.

So let me ask you again, are you allowing age to stop you from doing something you truly love?  Perhaps it’s time to let go of that false belief and start living your passion.

Midlife and Thereafter: Instead of a Nursing Home

There will be no nursing home in my future…

When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service ( which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week).

3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.

5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7or 14 days.

7. T.V. broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.

8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don’t even have to ask for them.

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare. If you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don’t look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.

P.S. And don’t forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge.

How about that for a great plan for the future?

Would anyone actually consider living this sort of life?  Yes indeed…

Bea Muller, an 86-year-old retiree, has been a permanent resident on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 since 5 January 2000. Her husband had passed away while the couple was on a world cruise 11 months earlier, and rather than opt for a retirement home, Mrs Muller sold her house and possessions and booked herself onto the ship.  She is not the first-time long cruiser: Cunard had one previous guest, Clair MacBeth, who lived on board for 14 years.

If you have no idea of what your “midlife or thereafter” looks like, consider taking The Passion Test to get clear on your new direction.  Contact me [evelin(at)] for further information.

It’s Never Too Late …

… to venture outside of your comfort zone, to learn something new, to make a difference in the lives of others.  If you are like many of today’s Baby Boomers, you have probably wondered whether you had the courage to “get out of that warm, comfortable cozy box”, whether you still had enough brain cells to master something you had not done before and whether it was important to contribute to the world at large.  These are issues that come up at midlife when we are driven more by internal motivation than external, when we make a shift from success to significance.

Imagine yourself in this position …

 …at the ripe old age of 82, having been home-schooled in your younger days, you decide to go to college to take classes. Although you have spent your whole life appearing in public and making speeches in front of groups ranging in size from the small to the thousands, you believe that your professional speaking skills are lacking. You have always commanded attention due to your persona but now you want to provide input on a more personal level at community hall meetings.  Believing you don’t have all the necessary skills, you begin attending weekly classes and occasional monthly labs to improve your speaking skills. 

It can take a lot of courage to admit when something isn’t working, and certainly no less so in your senior years. But isn’t it worth it to live a more authentic life; don’t you deserve to take a more active role in living!  So if you think it’s too late, perhaps it’s time to think again and take another look at what is going to fulfill you, make you come alive and live up to your potential.

If you find you need a guide to help you discover your passions, those things that are most important to you, or you need support on the journey of becoming a more “authentic you”, please visit me at or email at evelin(at)

PS  In case you are wondering who the 82-year old is … it’s HRH Queen Elizabeth 2 and yes, this is a true story.

How Do You Want to be Remembered?

Mid-life is a time of reflection, changing goals and reorganizing priorities. It’s a time of letting go of habits, behaviors and thinking patterns that no longer serve you and figuring out what legacy you want to leave behind. It’s about going from a “me” to a “we” life.

Your accomplishments during the first half of your life were no doubt worthy goals but will they last? Are they what you want to be known for when you reach that last part of your life? A “no” answer is the first step in the process of clarifying what is truly important to you at this stage of the game.

One way of defining your legacy to the world is to imagine that you are at your 100th birthday celebration.  Your family, friends and neighbors have come to celebrate this momentous occasion with you.  The person who is closest to you is going read a speech to the audience.  This speech is about YOU, about all that you have accomplished; how you have made the world a better place for the next generation; all the ways you have been of service to others.  YOU are going to write that speech yourself.

Visualize how you have made a difference in the lives of those closest to you, acquaintances, friends, family, colleagues and the world in general.  What have you given, what have you created and how does it make you feel? Now take pen and paper and start writing.

This is just one of the steps in discovering your purpose, your passion, why you were put on this earth. If you would like to gain more insight into what’s missing in your life, why you’re not waking up to greet each day with enthusiasm and joy and why you are in a rut, please email me via my website –

Sleepless in Boomer Land: What to Do?

When I was first asked to do some lectures on getting better sleep in order to be more productive, my first thought was “How many people are going to attend this?”  Did I get a surprise!  This turned out to be a popular topic, particularly for the more mature audiences.

If you’re a typical Baby Boomer, you may be finding that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get the amount of sleep that you need. This can be due to health issues, medications or as a normal part of aging. Not to mention the snoring of a spouse! 

As we age, the various sleep stages are affected. The deeper stages are reduced and replaced with more of the lighter stages of sleep.  In addition, sounds and interruptions are more likely to awaken us. Have you ever felt as if you could be awakened by a mouse tiptoeing through the room?  Another aspect is that sleep tends to be spread more across the 24-hour cycle rather than just at night.

What to do?

Here are some simple tips for getting a better night’s sleep:

Create a healthy sleep environment.
— Keep your bedroom for s** and sleeping.  Get rid of the piles of magazines and books, the treadmill, the TV and discussions about bills and other negative topics.
— Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature. The optimum temperature is 60-65 degrees F.
— Consider keeping pets out of the bedroom. Did you know that 21% of dogs snore!
— Hide the clock and the night light. Even a small amount of light will affect your body’s production of the sleep hormone.
— Use blackout curtains or blinds. If you can see your hand when you hold it up in front of your face, it isn’t dark enough.

Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule. Try not to vary it by more than one hour.
Be light-wise. Avoid excess light before bedtime but expose yourself to bright light within 5 minutes of waking.
Avoid stimulants (coffee, nicotine, colas) late in the day.
Don’t drink alcohol before bed. It may help you fall asleep but will wake you up later on when it’s being metabolized by the body.
Don’t exercise or eat heavily before bed.
Don’t nap after 3:00pm. It may undermine your nighttime rest.
Numerous studies have been done around the topic of whether we actually need less sleep as we age. A recent UK study seems to indicate that this is in fact the case. So if you’re sleeping less than 8 hours a night, it may just be a natural consequence of aging.

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