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One of my favorite quotes by Helen Keller is:
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Last October I began a new chapter in my life which I call my “Zen Nona”.  It’s a term I created that means my: “Zen - Now or Never Adventure”!  This term got created because unfortunately, or shall I say fortunately, after almost 20 years with my client, I was informed they could no longer afford my services!

I was not completely surprised, since I was their accountant, and they needed to restructure their business for eventual retirement. Needless to say I was at a crossroads in my life, and I could either make lemonade out of the lemons, or become bitter as a lemon peel! I took the Zen Attitude and spiked my lemonade with rum!

I came to the conclusion while enjoying my spiked lemonade; I would take some time off, before networking for new clients. Considering my age of 64 years old, I decided to collect my Social Security pittance and use a small portion of my savings to subsidize a 6+ month sabbatical of sorts.

zen heart creation

Like a Gap Year for kids, this is my Gap (nonna=grandmother!) period of time to create, dream, learn, travel, volunteer, network, maybe start a new business venture, and possibly reinvent myself in this 3rd act of life. Another favorite quote that inspired my decision was by Wayne Dyer:
“Go for it now. The Future is promised to no one.”

Unfortunately, I am in the same boat as many Baby Boomers who have not saved nearly enough for retirement. As a single woman, never married, without children (other than the 4 legged furry ones), and the high cost of living these days just for a roof over your head, it leaves very little to save for ones future. I know after my Zen Nona comes to an end, I will have to find employment, and continue to work until the day I die, unless I win the lottery!

We all want to earn a living doing what we love. We all have things that we are passionate about, and I believe we live and breathe every moment attempting to find and fulfil our purpose in life. There are so many wonderful words and phrases in all languages that mean: to find our Purpose.

Zen heart creation

My most favorite of these words is Ikigai, the Japanese concept that means: “a reason for being”.  In French the phrase is raison d'êtres, meaning: “the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence”.  In Italian the phrase is ragione di vita, meaning: “reason for living”.

We need to follow and listen to our inner guidance “GPS – Gratitude, Purpose, Soul” system! Our Zen Intuition will always lead us along the divine path, but we need to listen and have faith that we are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.  

Several years ago I created an acronym for the word FAITH: Fearless Attitude in Thy Heart, and also wrote a piano song; “Fearless Attitude-FAITH”, here are a few lines:

I’ve got a fearless attitude
In thy heart
Every day in every way
I live my life

Every day in every way
I live my life
In thy heart
I call it FAITH

zen heart creations

Also I have been writing lyrics about finding my purpose for years! Here are a few lyrics to “My Purpose”:

Seeking the purpose in my lifetime
Show me the way to make a difference
Seeing the Beauty all around me
Show me the way to find the meaning

The advice I give to myself, and offer to you, is to take life one Zenful Moment at a time. Each moment we have the choice between love and fear. Fear is not living in the moment; it is “false evidence appearing real” in the future or the past. I like the quote by Sonia Ricotti : "Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.” I like to think of it as keeping your Zen On, which means to always be grateful, be calm, and don’t worry about things we cannot change.   

It's not easy to keep a Zen Attitude all the time, but if we just take life one moment at a time, it makes it a lot easier. I continue to work on this practice doing the best I can, which is all any of us can do. With my double Gemini “monkey- mind”, I may need a Zen Miracle to keep it focused in the moment! If we can be grateful, optimistic, and have FAITH, we will be on the right path.

If you haven’t noticed by now, I love the word ZEN! It’s a very enlightening word, and its only 3 letters! Don’t worry about things you cannot change, relax, turn on your inner GPS, be grateful, and enjoy your Spiked Lemonade!  You can enjoy a “Zen Nona” every day, taking a walk along a labyrinth, enjoying a lovely nature hike, taking a moment to smell the roses, or do whatever your heart desires!

Remember: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!”


MarleneAbout Marlene Rose Besso
Marlene has been enjoying her “Zen Nona” in Sedona for a few months now, and has created a website entitled: Zen Heart Creations. She thinks she may have found her “Ikigai” and is working diligently to share it with the world. Her mission is to share Zenful Inspirational Blogs, Zen Art, Zen Daily Words, Zen Essays, & Zen Nona Adventures! She has been inspired to create this new venture by many other like-minded organizations such as: Project Happiness.org, Tiny Buddha.com, Etc. You can enjoy her Zen Blogs & Zen Original Art at [http://www.zenheartcreations.com/] and [http://www.marlene-besso.pixels.com/]

She is also known as: Mars Sedona-The HEART Lady, and sells her Zen Heart Art at the Sedona Artist Market, in Sedona, AZ.