Do as I say, not as I do…

Falling under the “believe it or not” category, I did a header down a whole flight of stairs on my birthday two days ago!

We have so much construction and painting going on at our house, as we prepare it for sale.  Who knew we needed new “accent walls” etc.?

I was trying not to step on my puppy at the top of the stairs, when I went flying head over heels down ten stairs!

I am now semi-OK.  No head injury this time, but my bad knee is sprained, my shoulder is sore, and I have carpet burns in various places.  I keep trying to tell myself I’m lucky that I didn’t break anything, but the aches and pains are bad enough…

Can’t wait to move on to our next home, the one with no stairs!

Get to know me better….

I had an interesting and fun experience yesterday!

I appeared on the Huff Post Third Metric explaining how getting fired for the first time in my life ten years ago, showed me the amazing value of listening to my own inner wisdom.

It’s short and sweetGo view it here!

The secret to personal transformation:

As many of you know, I suffered through a few bad years in my late 40s.  It seemed like I just could not get my life right.

First I married the wrong man at age 39, and that turned out badly.  I also continued to work in a career that simply didn’t suit me.   Why?  Because I was stuck in a rut, and I didn’t have enough knowledge or courage to admit it.

In retrospect, I think I was somehow lucky the day I lost my job and my career back in the spring of 2004.

No one could have convinced me at the time, but I now see that apparent misfortune as the opportunity of a lifetime.  I finally had the time and money (severance and unemployment) to sit and quietly contemplate my past choices, and then choose again!

Since then I have become a student of midlife.  I have kept up with the most important literature and research on the psychology of boomers, what we share as a generation, why we suffer from more depression, chronic illness and addictions, and how loss can help us change our perspective.

I also have been studying the history of the idea of “midlife” from its inception in the early 1900s to the present, and I feel like I have finally discovered something important:

We are the first people in human history to have the luxury  and the opportunity to stop in the middle of our lives, and decide to do things differently.  If we so choose, we can experience a new (and improved!) adult rite of passage!

Unlike past generations, we still have the time to change our minds, change our careers, and change our relationship with ourselves.  We can choose to see our world in a new way!

This is the positive message I share in: Find Your Reason to be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife.

In my new book I summarize much of what I learned by studying the experience of midlife from the inside out.  I explain what naturally happens to our hearts and our brains in this unique transitional time.

Here I document the shared emotional experience of boomers, explaining why our parents experienced midlife differently, and then show you how to turn tough life challenges into the best time in your life.

Choose to become the person you are inside TODAY! 

Buddha and me

Summer Buddha closeup mediumMy approach to learning from all world religions has been to take what I feel I can use from each of them, but I continue to learn the most from Buddhism.

Buddhism seems to fit better into our world today, more so than when Buddha walked the earth.

How?  Because too many of us today actually believe that egotism and ignorance is bliss.  Got a problem?  Go buy more, and surround yourself with your own illusion of control.

Sooner or later most of us wise up and see how little we control in this world, and how buying more things isn’t the answer to either the human condition, or fundamental human suffering.

Buddha began from the premise that we all share suffering at times in our life.  No matter how hard we try to avoid it, we will all suffer through difficult changes, illness, and the death of ourselves and those we love.

How best to learn to live with this fact?

Buddha wanted to solve this mystery for himself, and so he first followed a couple of different gurus and found no satisfaction.  Then he followed the path of severe austerity for six years, living with a group of ascetics and almost starving himself to death.  This was also not the way for him.

When he was very near death, a maiden offered him food.  That simple act saved his life, and also showed him the way of compassion.  He thought, we truly are all in this together and the best way to live is with compassion for both self and others.  Look within and trust your own inner wisdom.  Tame the mind and the passions.  This moment seen directly is all we need to see right now.

I attended a Buddhist-based counseling program, Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.  There I learned even more about the peace to be found is sitting silently with yourself and your thoughts.  But I feel I never truly learned the full lesson until my own life fell apart at age 49.

spring Buddha in backyardIt seems it is only when we have lost the most, that we can clearly see the truth of our lives.

How have we spent this life?  What have we to show for it?  And we realize that, to paraphrase Thoreau, when it comes time to die, we do not want to discover that we have not lived.

Getting down to the basics and staring this moment directly in the face, is the only way to begin to change your life in positive ways.  It is truly the only way to find your very specific reason to be here. 

I wish you luck in this final quest.

 ”No one was ever wise by chance.”  –  Seneca

New reviews for “Find YOUR Reason to be Here”

“In fewer than 100 pages with an intriguing bibliography, this is a quick but comprehensive overview of our generation at this moment in the 21st century.  Carter’s telling is at once realistic and optimistic—and her own story is living proof. 

‘Why did I write this book?’ she asks in the prologue of this new book, and then answers with a quote from Joan Baez, a troubadour for our generation:   ‘Action is the greatest antidote to despair.’ 

Carter never looks at our generation through rosy glasses.  Her even-handed reporting and clear and compassionate writing help me understand the challenges and opportunities we all face.  Thank you.”               – Carrie Tuhy

“This book is for any boomer who is looking for validation, knowledge, inspiration and encouragement for their midlife journey!”      – Lisa Froman

Is it time to find YOUR reason to be here?

Find Your Reason to Be Here: The Search For Meaning in Midlife  is where I share what I have learned from years of research into the psychological legacy of boomers, where the idea of ‘midlife’ came from, and how boomers can make the most of this unique new stage of emotional development.

Come and learn the good news!  Midlife is an amazing new revolution in psychological development, a natural, normal rite of passage into full adulthood.

Reviews of FIND YOUR REASON TO BE HERE

In case you’re still sitting on the fence about purchasing my new book:

First, a brief review from Jed Diamond Ph.D., an expert on male midlife issues, and the driving force behind MenAlive:

If you’re between the ages of 35 and 65, you owe it to yourself, and those you love, to read Laura Lee Carter’s magnificent new book which describes the uniqueness of  each of our shared journeys through midlife.

I read many books each year, but this one is exceptional.  It’s well written, with solid and helpful information that men and women will find extremely valuable.  Its insights into the problems of midlife men will be particularly helpful to the millions of men and women who are dealing with the male midlife crisis.  If you plan to read one book this year I encourage you to consider, Find Your Reason to Be Here.

And here are links to a few other reviews from those who just finished reading my book:

Click here is read Janette Fuller’s review. She’s a blogger and reference librarian.

Click Here to read Jennifer Comet Wagner’s review.  She’s previously a librarian turned blogger, and makes a point of listing Some of what she learned from my new book.

Click here to see what Holly Parper learned from my book!

I am so pleased that they are all learning more about midlife by reading my book!  I made a point of including all of the new information I learned about what we share as boomers, midlife change, and why this is such a unique and important time in life to blossom.  Anything that made me say, “WOW, I didn’t know that!” got put in.

My purpose was to provide a user-friendly summary of the latest discoveries in midlife social and psychological research, and then include extensive references for those who want to learn more about the specifics.

Find YOUR Reason to Be Here, my new book!

Learn what’s normal and to-be-expected, and how to make the MOST of your middle years. This book includes so much new research on what boomers share emotionally, how they compare to their parents, where the idea of “midlife” came from, and the exciting new rite of passage we are experiencing for the first time in human history!

This is the research project I have been working on for the past few years,  containing important information for boomers, those anticipating midlife, and the parents of boomers who want to understand their children better.

Click here to purchase your own copy,  and please do write a review on Amazon for me!

Why I Believe in Love!

At the beginning of 2005, kismet played an interesting trick on me.  At age 49, feeling that love was not in my future, and certainly not in my immediate future, I finally met my soul mate, and we’ve been enjoying that amazing twist of fate ever since!

From this experience I learned how a new and powerful love can provide powerful inspiration.  My new love first inspired me to become a better person.

He offered me his boundless love and support, so I would have the time and the energy to transition into my new life as a writer.  He then inspired me to author a few encouraging new books including: How to Believe in Love Again.

Through this book I now offer YOU hope, even if you feel certain that you will never believe in love and find it again, do not give up!

Most of us start out believing that love can transform our lonely existence into something better. When that doesn’t work out as hoped for or planned, do we dare dream again?  

I say YES!   That is exactly why I wrote this book!

Go buy your own copy when you are ready to quit playing games. 

When you feel certain that love is your highest priority, work through the exercises in this book, and then go make love happen again in your life.

How to live a life full of passion

“Love is not just something that happens to you: it is a certain special way of being alive.”    -  Thomas Merton

I think too often we confuse finding love with living a life full of passion, because we seek both.

The place to begin in your search for a life full of love, is to create a life full of passion.

What does that mean?   It means waking up each day feeling a passion for everything: the amazing new day given to you, the exciting things you plan to do with it, and the passion you feel for life itself.

I know the alternative to this way of life, because I lived it for decades.  The drudgery of doing a job you rarely get any excitement from.    The dead end relationships that slowly sap all of your energy and passion, never giving any genuine love or appreciation in return.

How do you escape this 9-5 way of dying?   By saying to yourself you are finally through with settling and mean it this time.  By sitting alone with yourself for a time, and allowing  yourself to feel all of the anger that comes from seeing your  life EXACTLY the way it is.

By having the courage to say, “I’m going to change this or die trying!”

Most will say this sounds far too risky.  They will say “Get real!”   But I have found that there is no excellence without taking the risk of feeling true love and passion for your life and your goals.

Take the leap today and build your wings on the way down!