This is 65.

I turn sixty-five this month, which is weird and amazing. I look in the mirror and see me, only me, 2.0. It turns out that doing less has provided more. And not all of those “mores” have been easy to accept.

But if we are lucky, we get to keep learning. And for that, I am grateful for being a crone.

Let me get more specific. I like being older, wiser, and more comfortable in my skin. I’m not as fond of hip replacements, sagging parts, and sun damage, but that’s the compromise we make. It’s all in the way we look at it.

In folklore, a crone is an ugly old woman, (think Hansel and Gretel, or the Wicked Witch of the East.) In youth-obsessed America, she’s often dismissed and forgotten.

But, indigenous cultures around the world hold post-menopausal women in high esteem.

They are the wisdom keepers, healers, and teachers. Experience has taught them the secrets of life and death and the mysteries beyond this world.

Age is not a liability, it’s a gift. I can get on board with that.

Sixty-five has brought rich opportunities for both reviewing my life and dreaming the next chapters into being. Stepping out of the momentum tunnel of the past has allowed me to discern the thread of a new destiny. As old stories die, the future pulls me forward.

This isn’t a rewrite, it’s a rebirth.

Life is a series of small deaths and births. If I’d had more trust, I could have suffered less in the dying. But that had to die, too.

I became a Grandmother at sixty-three. I am 100% in love with my grandson.

The freedom that comes from not being the primary caregiver opens endless possibilities. I’m able to give George the love I was unable to give my sons. 

I had it. I just didn’t know how to access it.

My grandmothers knew how to love and they poured it into me. Mamaw taught me how to cook and Rose Nell how to sew. Both taught me about God, faith, and responsibility. They weren’t educated, but they were wise. They were unassuming, but not passive.

It wasn’t what they said; it was what they did. 

With the strength of mountains, my grandmothers helped plant the seeds of my becoming. I knew who I was with them and who I could grow up to be. Their steadfast tether gave me the courage to fly. They were my home.

I want to be that force for George. I can do that by showing up, listening, and being a fun but grounding influence.

The hardest part is knowing he’s going to get hurt facing the challenges in life. Part of me wants to protect him; the other part wants to initiate him. But since neither is my responsibility I’ve come up with a list of lessons I hope help him see the doorways within life’s distress.

I’m not sure when I will give it to him. I guess I’ll wait until he can read.

Like George, I am young and still growing.  I used to need to know where I was going. I don’t anymore.

Many years ago, I was given the name Hummingbird at a spiritual healing retreat in Belize.  I assumed it was because I was overly busy, anxious, and flighty. Only recently have I learned about Hummingbird’s medicine.

These tiny creatures fly from Brazil to Canada each year and need a huge amount of nectar to survive. They don’t worry about where they’re going to get this nectar, they trust an inner conviction that all will be well. 

The hummingbird signifies healing, perseverance, freedom, and joy. In some cultures it is regarded as a spiritual messenger, linking our head to our hearts, the physical and spiritual worlds.

With her magical ability to fly in all four directions as well as in stillness, this small but powerful totem calls us to destiny, daring us to embark on our own epic journey.

George and I have some flying to do. 

The (Other) C Word

No, it’s not THAT C-word, (a word I have been rightly reprimanded for using in anger, arrogance, and for sheer shock value), the C-word I’m talking about is Calling.

I started thinking about the word calling this morning. It was suggested by my meditation teacher, Scott Schwenk, a man I have never met or spoken to, a man I hear only as a deeply embodied voice via my headphones, coaxing me to presence each morning though a variety of breath-work, contemplative, and meditation practices. I practice daily not because I want to, but because I need to.

Practice helps me take responsibility for how I show up in the world, not just for my family and friends, but also for the checkout person at Trader Joe’s, the intimidating handler at the Amazon Returns desk, and most of all, for myself, (the one with the capital S), because for the majority of my life, I wasn’t able to be there for her, and consequently not a lot of others, too.

Calling isn’t cosmic.  It’s not something to earn. It’s actionable- a daily practice of aligning my better self with my still growing one to bring a better me forward each day. 

Breathing helps me to quiet my nervous system and get still. It helps me return to a place of wholeness, the one that existed before life’s necessary nicks and wounds. 

In his book, The Myth of Normal, Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture, Dr. Gabor Mate describes the creation of these wounds as not so much as what happens to us, but our reactions to them.  

While he differentiates between Big T trauma and Little T trauma, all trauma impacts our perception of life. 

No matter where we may fall on that continuum, from suffering outright abuse to being raised by loving parents who unwittingly failed to support us the way we needed, trauma, left unrecognized, distorts our consciousness.

These wounds may lie dormant for years until something seemingly unrelated triggers a roaring reaction, or they may form rigid scars, leaving us numb, disconnected, and inflexible. If not acknowledged, all wounds undermine our capacity for wholeness, authenticity, and continued growth. 

Unhealed trauma may manifest in relationship troubles, depression, anxiety, and addiction. 

I’ve experienced all of the above.

My response was to overwork, over drink, and over intensify everything. This constant state of flux helped to tamp down a nagging certainty that I was, at root, ‘not okay.’

It was not possible for me to sit still.

Instead I created and ran a successful business, married, divorced, dated, all the while attempting to raise my boys.

For a long time my busyness paid off. Then, one day didn’t. 

It was beyond burnout, it was spiritual bankruptcy. 

All those years chasing “success” when what I’d truly longed for was significance.

Since selling my business, I’ve had time more time to read, write, and reflect. John Ortberg’s quote showed me how I’d put the cart before the horse. My driving workaholism wasn’t proactive- it was protective. Significance is an inside job.

Work helped medicate my unfinished business from childhood. In my case it was centered around my adoption.

It didn’t matter that I was raised by parents who truly loved and cared for me, I couldn’t get over feeling abandoned. If my own mother didn’t want me, what was I worth?

Shame is a merciless teacher, a bullying, manipulative liar. You can either believe shame’s lies or you can dare to look beneath them. The power of any bully is the power we give them. 

Praying helped. I asked for courage and clarity from Spirit, God, the Big Kahuna.

She told me to settle down, get quiet and listen. She told me to learn to be present.

In his book, Storyworthy, elementary school teacher and professional storyteller, Matthew Dicks, invites readers to do something called “Homework for life.” This entails noting one small interaction or observation daily- experiences that not only help ground us in the present, but with one another, too.

“It only takes five minutes to drop a sentence or two into a spreadsheet about something (anything) that touched you during the day,” he writes, “yet most people won’t do it. Instead, they’ll spend two hours watching television.” 

I get it.  I love to watch television, or check emails or social media…

Cultivating presence in this way is not only fun, it’s become a reliable spiritual practice.

I now look for those small but powerful moments not only to ground me, but to elevate me. Grace, compassion, and kindness are easier to access in real time. 

As a recovering Baptist, it’s also a good reminder that Wednesday is just a good a day to say AMEN as Sunday. Why starve for those big AH-HA moments, when all the small in-between moments are the ones that feed us?

Doing “Homework for Life” is just one example of spiritual practice. Tuning into our breath, taking a walk, telling someone they matter, turning off the phone at the dinner table… There are a myriad of simple acts to help us open to presence and grace. 

My new C-Word is Calling- the verb kind, not the noun kind. 

It isn’t grandiose- it isn’t religious. It’s  excavating buried treasure, celebrating the simple, and taking time to recognize one other with authenticity and kindness. 

In a world torn apart by disconnect and suffering, we have to try. Nothing changes until we do. 

Jewish sage, Rabbi Hillel wrote, “In a place where no one behaves like a human being, you must strive to be human!”

He also asked, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I? And if not now, when?”

These questions are still relevant today, and he wrote them in the 1st century, BC.

Who are we? What to we want for our children?  What do we owe to our planet? What can we do individually to shift collectively?

It’s a question about responsibility. It’s a mandate to be human. But first, we must hear the call.

Why the world needs Janet Mort

My friend Janet is a badass.

She’s also passionate, fiery, and completely committed to helping change the world, one child at a time.

Retiring after a 35-year career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools on Vancouver Island, Janet went back to school to earn her PhD in Early Literacy.  

Janet and her husband Michael at their home in Victoria, B.C.

Understanding the very real, very high cost of illiteracy, Janet was determined to address the unmet needs of struggling students learning to read.

I met Janet last March while hosting a retreat in Mexico.  She wasn’t a participant, but she looked interesting so I went over to introduce myself to her and her husband, Michael.

I’m glad I trusted my intuition because Janet and I were supposed to meet. 

We didn’t understand why then, but we do now. The universe provides, even when your shrimp cocktail is getting soggy.  (If you haven’t read my prior blog about Janet and our synchronicity, please do it now).

JANET is a problem solver.

Play Video

One of the things I love about Janet is her ability to get things done. 

When her husbands physician retired and they were unable to find consistent care through her health plan, Janet rallied as Michael’s advocate.

She ran an ad in her local paper, the Victoria Times Colonist, seeking a new doctor for Michael.

The response was overwhelming; not only did Janet find a doctor (over twenty responded to her plea), she succeeded in bringing national attention to a problem many others were facing in her home province,  British Columbia, Canada.

Nearly one million British Columbians were also without a family physician, according to BC Family Doctors.

Janet and Michael were interviewed for television and national news programs. 

(Press play on the graphic above for the whole story.)

Her willingness to take their private battle public reflects the same stubborn tenacity Janet brings to her professional pursuits.

After earning her PhD, Janet founded  Joyful Literacy, an evidence based program that helps children who are most vulnerable learn to read.


Janet returned to school because she wanted to know why over 35% of struggling children do not succeed in school.

Within seven years she had completed her analysis of the most compelling literacy research, designed the Joyful Literacy Framework, and implemented it in over a hundred primary pilot classrooms where data was collected by external examiners for the first four years of Joyful Literacy implementation.

The results exceeded expectations.

  • In Kindergarten, success rates rose from 40% to 80% over three years when the standard program changed to the Joyful Literacy Framework.
  • In Grade One, success rates rose from 54% to 89% over three years when the standard program changed to the Joyful Literacy Framework.
  • In Grade Two, success rates rose from 26% to 92% over three years when the standard program changed to the Joyful Literacy Framework.

Eight other superintendents chose to participate in the pilot out of frustration that only 49.8% of their grade four students were achieving grade-level expectations.

The Joyful Literacy Framework was implemented with students entering Kindergarten in 2013.

Implementation was continued through to the year they entered grade four where, after five years of the Joyful Literacy Framework, the students’ success rate had risen to 85%.

Source: Fountas and Pennel Data

the high cost of illiteracy.

This is why Janet is on a mission to transform early childhood literacy in Canada, the United States, and the world!

  • 67% of students are not proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade.

  • Students who are not proficient by the end of 4th grade are 66% more likely to wind up on welfare or in prison.

  • Students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.
  • Students who are retained to repeat a grade will cost a District an average of $10,000 each.
  • The US illiteracy rate hasn’t changed in over 10 years.
  • 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.

Source: National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)

And it all starts with the quality
of our early childhood education.

janet has a plan.

Building on seven years of research and data collection, Janet created a literacy program she named Joyful Literacy.

This school-based program combines a clever use of technology with an evidence-based literacy approach that enables teachers to assess their students, track progress, and boost literacy success.

Using her proven Circle Chart methodology to assess, teach, and track all eight literacy foundation skills, this framework is broadly applicable. 

Janet’s goal is for the Joyful Literacy program to be used internationally in Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms across the world, a goal that will be met by offering in other languages.

In addition to this robust curriculum, Janet has written several books that weave together the essential assessment, teaching, and tracking components of Joyful Literacy with practical and effective classroom strategies for optimal teacher- student learning activities.

And because Janet understands that reading begins before school, her books also help parents who want to support and foster their child’s reading skills at home.

Along with her associate, Chelsea  Mytko, Janet provides online help for parents via their Born to Read YouTube channel. 

All videos include free and accessible lessons for parents to teach their child to read at home from the womb to kindergarten.

This winning combination is further supported by the Joyful Literacy Teachers App, which Janet created to help teachers easily track and support students who need extra help and attention in their classrooms.

Teachers! Click here to access a free trial!

Joyful literacy in the u.s.

When Janet told me about her plans to expand Joyful Literacy in the United States, I immediately asked, “How can I help?”

Since returning from Mexico I have met with Janet and Chelsea to learn more about how the program and app work within the classroom for proven results. 

They’ve also been busy meeting with other developers, marketers, and educators to help expand the Joyful Literacy program to the U.S. and beyond. And it’s working. They’re developing an expansive plan to introduce the system and app to educators across the country.

According to the  National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), low levels of literacy cost the U.S. up to 2.2 trillion per year. In fact…

  • 79% of U.S. adults nationwide are literate
  • 54% of adults have literacy skills below a 6th-grade level and 
  • 20%  below a 5th-grade level.

But the real cost for illiterate people is far greater. 

Imagine being unable to get a job, provide for your children, decipher street signs or the label on your prescription bottle because you can’t read.  This is a huge disadvantage and one that we can correct with Joyful Literacy.

You can help spread the word by sharing this post with your neighbors, teachers, and local educators.  There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!

I want to see Janet’s story on 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday morning.  Can you help me network?  Send me your resources and contacts!

We can change the world- one reader at a time because we now know how.

Dr. Janet Mort has been a featured keynote speaker at 28 summits in B.C., Alberta, and Washington state, as well as being chosen to represent British Columbia as a literary expert at the World Congress of Education in Melbourne, Australia.

She was awarded Canada’s Queen’s Jubilee Medal 2005 for her service to children and leadership in educational change and was recognized by The Order of British Columbia in 2020.

The Order represents the highest form of recognition the Province can extend to its citizens.

But to me, Janet is just my inspirational friend, a woman on a mission to change the world for good.

If you’d like more information on Joyful Literacy, please reply to me or reach out to Janet via email.

Because everyone deserves the opportunity to learn to read and live a full life.

Breathwork Resources

Thank you for saying yes!

Thank you for your interest in improving your health, vitality, and mood via learning to breath more effectively and efficiently.  

The resources below will help you build a solid breathwork practice and reap the many rewards regular practice reveals.

video tutorials

I created these three videos to help review the breathwork practices we covered together. 

Please use them to develop your own practice!


Click on book cover to order via Amazon. 

apps & websites


Thanks again for investing in your health by taking time to stop, breathe, and listen to your body.

If you have additional resources to share with our group, please email me and I will be happy to add!  

My mission in life is to learn and share.  Thank you so much for allowing me to share the power of breathwork with you!

Magical Mexico Retreat Resources

Thank you for saying yes!

Thank you to all who said yes to reclaiming your mojo in magical Mexico with me, Mach 11-18, 2023.  I hope you had as amazing a time as I did.  Here are some follow-up resources to help you keep grounded, open, and clear.


Just click on graphics of any resource to learn more.

meditation apps



Enjoy this curated collection of helpful ebooks and guides for support on your physical and mental health from a variety of health and wellness professionals.  

Click on links below to download these helpful guides.

Thanks again for investing in your health by taking much needed rest and reflection in Mexico. 

If you have additional resources to share with the group, just email me and I will add!  Love you!



1.  the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.

2.  a decision or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose

3. the act or process of resolving or separating something into constituent or elementary parts.


Being in the line of work I am, resolutions are nothing new. 

Usually feeling less than stellar after the holidays, in years past I have diligently crafted a list of DO’s and DON’Ts for the upcoming year, dedicating myself to all kinds of goals, from eating less sugar, being kinder to others, to climbing a new, scary, mountain.

But this year, I could really care less.

I’m not sure what the Universe is trying to tell me: as I’m also feeling stuck, and anxious due to the holding pattern Herb and I are in waiting for his new hip.  Or maybe it’s something else altogether: a result of my newfound “maturity,” making attachments of any kind less attractive and compelling.

It could also just be, I am in a good place.

As someone who’s always looking ahead, being in “a good place,” feels a bit annoying.

And yet, isn’t that the very goal I’ve sought each year for myself and my clients?

I’m continually amazed by the power of the mind to hang on to shit thoughts and outdated, repetitive patterns. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

So this year, my resolution is to simply be present and open to my good health and to celebrate how good I can feel each day.

The last two years studying nutrition have helped deepen my appreciation for the power of food, and the very real costs of over-indulging in alcohol, which I am prone to do.

Mostly my studies afford me a new level of health that comes from understanding that “willpower” is a function of biochemistry and not a measure of character.

Our bodies keep the score. 

They reflect our thoughts, choices, and daily practices. Because our body systems function as a whole, our gut health, hormone balance, brain acuity, and emotional resilience are interdependent on creating a balance between them. 

It’s not very sexy and an even harder sell, but improving our gut health is the first and most important step towards balanced health. 

When you support your gut with  whole, unprocessed foods, (mostly vegetables), life simply gets better.

As a departure this year, I am not offering my regular 3 to 6-week fat loss course, opting instead for a one-day presentation with my Institute for Nutritional Endocrinology partner, Jennifer Taggert Whitmire.

Jen, a self proclaimed nutrition nerd, is a wildly talented chef  

and health coach who offers a variety of excellent online programs ranging from her 5- day seasonal Resets to her intensive 12-week C.R.E.A.T.E program.

The two of us are teaming up on Sunday, January 15th @ 1:00 pm CST for a FREE online Pivot Party, a post-holiday dry January workshop to help you support your better health in 2023.    

Yes, my body and I are in a good place, and although I’m not making resolutions this year, I still need my community.

Because we’re ALWAYS better together. 

Hope to see you soon. 

NOTE: This event is offered via ZOOM.  Get 80 healthy recipes to kick the new year off right when you sign up.

Ask the Surgeon

By now you understand the biochemistry of aging and the profound effects we can make on our rate of aging via epigenetic lifestyle choices.

How we sleep, eat, move, manage stress, and create a sense of purpose all influence not only our lifespan (how long we live) but our healthspan (how well we live).

But even when we’re doing all we can to reset our aging clock, evidence of our chronological age may linger.  Fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin can make us feel defeated despite our best anti-aging efforts.

To align our outer look with our newly younger body inside may take some facial cosmetic intervention.  

Neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport can help, and so can fillers like Juvaderm and Restylane, but what happens when surgery may be the best option for getting the results you want?

Then it may be time to talk to a plastic surgeon, and that’s just what we’re going to in the third workshop of THE BIG REWIND. 

Dr. Regina Nouhan, a plastic surgeon with over 25 years of clinical experience in all varieties of plastic surgery, joins us on Saturday, January 14, 2023, for a detailed discussion of facial plastic surgery interventions.

Following her successful and satisfying career, surgeon Regina Nouhan, MD retired from a broad practice in Cosmetic Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Hand & Microsurgery, and Skin Care. 

This was centered in the Midwest, primarily with the well-respected Monarch Plastic Surgery group.

After phasing out of active practice, Dr. Nouhan wished to continue to provide service, now in a different capacity.

Hence, RMN Projects, LLC was founded with the intent of finding new ways to put her insight and experience to good use, focusing on consulting, teaching, and communications.

After years of volunteering for local public radio station KCUR, and having been told she had a “good radio voice,” Dr. Nouhan decided to produce a patient-education podcast called: Plastic Surgery Decoded.

The following blog is a transcript from Season 1 Episode 10 where she discusses cosmetic interventions for lines and wrinkles. 

Read on to learn how the face ages, what causes the wrinkles and lines, treatment options, and how to layer different treatments for best results.

What can be done for facial rejuvenation? 

When we think of facial aging, typically what comes to mind is something that only happens when we are 40 or 50.  And it’s true that we will have many signs of facial aging by that time and beyond.

But actually, signs of aging can begin much earlier, even in our late twenties and thirties. Of course, there is nothing wrong with these fine lines and small wrinkles that eventually progressed to deeper and more noticeable ones. They are perfectly natural. 

And each one of us is going to age at a different speed, based mostly on our genetics. But many people want to minimize the outward signs of aging. 

We are typically born with wonderfully resilient and smooth skin which has great elasticity and is supported underneath by a healthy layer of natural fat. 

As time passes, the youthful building blocks of the skin, like collagen and elastin, gradually begin to degrade and break down. At first, the rate is very slow, but that picks up as we get older. 

People who start out with thicker skin tend to take longer to show age, but in general, the skin starts to thin out and become less elastic.

Also with age, we can see irregularities in the specific skin cells that produce and control pigmentation, called melanocytes. Those irregularities can lead to uneven pigmentation.

In addition to all that, the nice supportive fat layer under our skin layer starts to thin out and migrates south, following gravity, losing its youthful fullness. 

These natural changes can be accelerated by environmental factors like smoking and sun exposure over the years.
They can also be expedited by hormonal changes, including menopause.

So given how the skin ages, how does that translate to wrinkles and lines?

Well, think of a piece of elastic fabric whose elastic over time has stretched and given out. If you fold

it, it will likely crease, and if you hold it up, there will likely be areas of sagging.

Our skin can act like that too. 

Our facial skin covers the muscles that contract and move to show expression. When we are younger, the skin doesn’t leave a crease after the underneath muscles temporarily fold it. It returns to a smooth state after we’re done smiling or frowning.

But as we age, our skin loses some of the quality and amount of its collagen and elastin over time with repeated muscle contractions.

And think of how many times we smile frown or squint each day. The skin starts to develop some crease lines where it folds and it just can’t bounce back.

We must also factor in the pull from gravity.

With less fat underlying and supporting our skin, it can sag and settle to aggravate the appearance of lines and folds.

So what can be done?

Well, luckily, there are a multitude of options for facial rejuvenation but choosing which are best for an individual person depends on the specific problem at hand. Because not everyone has the same aging process.

The bottom line is we must diagnose the cause of the specific concern.

It may be helpful to break the issues down into three categories: 

1. For some, fine lines or skin surface texture is the biggest problem.

2. Other people may have more of an issue with loss of elasticity, creating stretched out or excess skin.

3. And for some people, the lack of underlying skin support is the main problem.

Dr. Nouhan often used a triple-layered approach to facial rejuvenation based on evaluating all three skin properties and treated each if needed though not necessarily simultaneously.

To review, those properties are surface texture, skin elasticity, and underlying volume.

First, if skin texture has become a problem, such as with fine lines, then treatment can start with a good skincare product regime to promote new collagen production and turnover or clean out old damaged collagen.

This is great for milder cases.

For more significant skin texture problems, minimally invasive procedures aimed at resurfacing the skin like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, micro-needling or laser peels may be just the thing.

And of course, these can range from a light touch to relatively aggressive depending upon what’s needed and how much downtime the patient is able to tolerate.

Most of these are able to be done in the office setting, possibly with a topical numbing cream. 

Adding a growth factor serum or maybe platelet-rich plasma which is derived from your own blood right in the office may enhance results as well. 

If the skin texture problem includes perhaps some discoloration, light-based treatments like BBL (broad-band light therapy) as an example, may be of benefit.

After chemical or laser treatment, there may be some skin peeling and redness with, as you’d expect, a lengthier recovery if the peel is deeper. 

The selection and method of peel are best determined by an experienced practitioner, taking into account the individual patient’s needs and desires.

But like anything, keeping the results requires maintenance. The frequency depends on how invasive or deep the remedy was.

For lighter treatments, the required maintenance or touch-ups will need to be more frequent. But sometimes that’s preferable for patients who don’t want to deal with a longer downtime from a more intense treatment.

Secondly, let’s talk about problems with skin elasticity. 

Again, there is a spectrum of severity. On the lesser end, the loss of elasticity may just be manifested by a little bit deeper wrinkles but in a more advanced case, there may also be loose sagging skin.

Neither topical products nor superficial skin peel treatments are likely to do enough for these issues.

If the loss of elasticity is mild, external tightening treatments such as laser treatments or radiofrequency treatments can noticeably improve things, and sometimes reducing the muscle contracting underneath the problem area can reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Again, normally the muscle sits under the skin and when it contracts, the overlying skin has to bend in response. If a person is losing skin elasticity,

Repeatedly, contracting muscles will create an actual skin crease. And this is where Botox or similar neural modulators can come in handy. There are a few of them available these days.

Botox and the like have no direct effect on skin, but a neuro modulator can indirectly make a difference because it weakens the amount the underlying muscle moves. Going back to our fabric analogy; if you don’t fold the fabric, you don’t see a crease. 

Now, that doesn’t mean that Botox can completely erase skin lines, especially if they’re pretty etched, but it can often help. 

It’s a very tolerable procedure as things go, but it needs to be done in a judicious way to avoid complications or overdoing it. It lasts around three months on average. So maintenance is key here.

But what about the more involved loss of elasticity cases where there is sagging skin or actual skin folds?

If it’s not too bad, and in certain locations, sometimes a little bit of injected filler can plump out the region enough to make it look better.  But beware.

Attempting to do too much correction with just filler risks looking bloated and overdone. And unfortunately, we’ve probably all seen someone who has that issue.

A better option in those situations is to lift or tighten the problem area and remove the excess skin.

Surgical options for resetting the facial aging clock can include a facelift, sometimes with added suspension threads, a neck lift, which is normally part of a facelift, but can be done separately, eyelid tuck, and a brow lift.

Thirdly, if there is volume loss in the area that is contributing to the tendency for skin sagging, folding, or just looking deflated, suggesting the underlying fat has thinned out or migrated south, surgically stretching and taking out excess skin could help. 

But surgery may still leave a non-youthful appearance.  That’s where injectable filler or even the body’s own fat injected beneath the 

problem area could help to plump up the region and go a long way to restoring contour.

Fillers often have hyaluronic acid as their basic ingredient, something normally found in our bodies. Just a couple of examples are Juvederm and Restylane.

Hyaluronic acid gel not only fills up a space, it also attracts water from the surrounding tissues, helping keep the area plumped. Hyaluronic acid fillers do typically require periodic maintenance injections, though.

But what’s nice about them is that if you don’t like the new look, it will eventually dissolve after 3 to 6 months or more. 

A reversal medication can be injected to dissolve it much quicker if the results are not as expected.

A different category of filler is called bio stimulatory, and it works by stimulating the collagen in tissues in the area of injection to thicken up over time. As the tissue thickens up, there is more volume and less appearance of sagging skin.

Examples include Sculptra and Radiesse. They will often last much longer, perhaps up to a couple of years, but they cannot easily be reversed. It may be wise to start with something that will dissipate more quickly to be sure you like the new look, then you can progress to something that lasts longer. 

In general, fillers are a nice option as downtime is pretty minimal, though there can be rare complications. Downtime is usually pretty minimal.

We’ve discussed three levels at which the facial skin can show age and basic options for treating each one. 

But what if a person has more than one of these issues going on simultaneously?  This is most often the case.

When someone presents complaining of skin lines, wrinkles, and folds, it’s usually due to a combination of etiologies, even all three.

As long as that is recognized, treatment can be focused accordingly. Combination results are therefore superior to treating only one aspect. 

And that’s where a layered approach to rejuvenation comes into play.

If it’s clear that a patient would benefit from a layered approach, some physicians will choose to build from the bottom up, creating a foundation, and then treating the surface. 

If there is volume loss, they may build this with filler or fat grafting.

Afterward, it’s a bit easier to assess how much extra skin is present. 


If there is still excess then surgical tightening or removal may be indicated. If not that much excess is present, perhaps something like percutaneous threads used judiciously can produce a limited lift without surgery. 

But most well-trained plastic surgeons can predict what will ultimately be needed at the time of the consultation. So sometimes those two steps, lift and fill, can efficiently be done at the same time. 

If surgery has been performed, after sufficient surgical healing, a laser or chemical peel could be done to refine the skin surface and try to help those superficial fine lines that surgery and filler can’t resolve. 

But there is no magic order of treatment.  Some plastic surgeons may prefer starting with the skin surface, then building up volume later.

And sometimes it comes down to the patient’s preferences and priorities, or certainly finances. 

Now, all of this timeline of layered treatment we’ve discussed is with or without Botox. 

You can’t use Botox everywhere, but depending upon the location of the lines and wrinkles, Botox can be a great tool to start with easing a person into facial rejuvenation. It can also be a nice way to help maintain results from other treatments.

If the underlying muscle contractions are reduced, there is less of a stimulus for lines to return so quickly.


This blog has covered a lot of ground!  Dr. Nouhan hopes it makes the concept of facial rejuvenation and the treatment of lines and wrinkles seem a little more logical. 

It’s important to remember that all three levels of skin aging should be evaluated with a realistic expectation about what can be accomplished.  

Expecting too much from one type of treatment may be a mistake that leads to disappointment. 

Professional guidance is crucial.

As always, there is no substitute for a formal consultation with your plastic surgeon who will counsel you with their best judgment.

By now, you know longevity relies primarily on our lifestyle choices.  What we eat, when we eat it, exercising, managing our stress, and prioritizing sleep provide the foundation for living longer and living healthier. 

There is no shortcut to optimal health or longevity.

Perhaps you’re all in- doing everything you can to optimize your biochemistry for anti-aging from the inside out, but lingering wrinkles and sagging skin are deflating your motivation.

It may be time to think about facial rejuvenation.

Join Dr. Regina Nouhan on Saturday, January 14, 2023, as we discuss facial plastic surgery interventions to help your outside match your newly younger inside as part of THE BIG REWIND series.

Learn more from dr. nouhan's plastic sugergy decoded podcast

The mechanism of aging all boils down to keeping our mitochondria and DNA clean, healthy, and functional.

In addition to eating healthy, moving regularly, and staying connected in your community, new scientific discoveries in longevity can help us not only live longer but better, healthier, and with more joy!

Join Tina Sprikle for THE BIG REWIND, a 3-part series exploring the reasons why we age and what we can do about it. 

All workshops take place in-person from 2:00-3:30 pm at Centered Spirit located at 8131 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Mo. 64114.  We will film each session for replay later should you have to miss the live event.

Single Workshop:      $45
All three workshops: $69

@ Centered Spirit
8131 Wornall Road
Kansas City, Mo  64114

workshop #1.
why we age

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2022  2:00-3:30 pm

Take a deep dive into the biochemistry of aging, and longevity science, to learn how you can not only live longer but live better!

@ Centered Spirit
8131 Wornall Road
Kansas City, Mo  64114

what we can do

Saturday, November 12, 2022   2:00-3:30 pm

The importance of nutrition, meal timing, exercise, and targeted supplementation and peptide therapy for slowing down and reversing aging with special guest Dr. Rahul Kapur

@ Centered Spirit
8131 Wornall Road
Kansas City, Mo  64114

workshop #3. ask the surgeon

Saturday, January 14, 2023  2:00-3:30 pm

You’re eating right, exercising and working your anti-aging protocol but still want a fresher face in the mirror.  Join special guest Dr. Regina Nouhan as she answers your questions about options for facial cosmetic surgery.

Each 90-minute workshop provides participants with:

  • The latest longevity research education
  • Actionable steps to improve your health, slow and or reverse aging
  • Workshop handout and Ebook
  • Resources links and service providers
  • Video replay
  • Optional follow-up resource texts

until we get this party started why we age - 10.22.2022


I’m always a text or email away.

Email me at or send me a text at 913 963 8546.

Barbados Brain Spa Resources


The resources listed here are to help you increase mindfulness and reduce stress, tension, and anxiety. 

This is a dynamic list so please share your favorite tips and resources by emailing

 Click on pictures to link to the specific resource. 


The Body Keeps The Score
by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.

Getting Past Your Past
by Francine Shapiro

Heart Minded
by Sarah Blondin

Mindful Self Compassion 
by Kristin Neff /Christopher Germer

The Tapping Solution
by Nick Ortner

The Heart Math Solution 
by Doc Childre and Howard Martin

What Lurks in the Woods
by our very own Nicole Bell

Get it!  Read it!


Heart Math Website

Heart Math/Inner Balance 

Touchpoint Solution
Bi-lateral Buzzies for EMDR

Pinch me Therapy Dough

Insight Timer Meditation App

Think Up Positive Affirmation App


Living Centered Podcast

Transforming Trauma Podcast

Live Awake Podcast

Michael Singer Podcast

guided meditation

Sarah Blondin is one of my favorite meditation teachers.  Focusing on self-love, and compassion, Sarah’s warm and gentle approach make her meditations especially nurturing. 

Meditations vary in length and focus.

Dakota is an international teacher, author, speaker, and the founder of Gaia Wisdom School.  Trained in Shamanic Breathwork, Trance Dance, Shamanic Soul Coaching, Celebrant, and Meditation, Dakota’s guided sessions take you to another realm of presence and creativity. 

Dr. Kristin Neff is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research and author of many books on the topic. 

Her insight timer library is a treasure trove of talks and guided meditations.

other resources







Before you head to the ranch

Greetings WILD IN MONTANA Retreat participants! You will be in Montana, hosted at the incomparable B Bar Ranch in just a few days. I thought it might be fun to learn more about the ranch, its mission, unique landscape, and beauty, as you travel this way.  Taking a moment to envision your retreat and what you’d like to get out of it is always good!

welcome to the b bar

The B Bar Ranch, established in 1906, preserves and protects the land, natural resources, and property values within the unique landscape in the Tom Miner Basin.
A place of spectacular beauty, the B Bar ranch is committed to protecting its unique and extraordinary environment in perpetuity.

The B Bar supports this deeply satisfying way of life and stewardship in the way they operate the ranch:

  • Raising Ancient White Park cattle (organic grass-fed grass-finished beef)

  • Embracing ecologically responsible practices

  • Maintaining organic certification of the land, cattle, and gardens

  • Practicing low-stress livestock management

  • Providing habitat and allowing free passage for the myriad of wildlife species that reside on or travel through the ranch

  • Sharing what they do with others who are interested in our activities and the values that underlie them
The Land and Natural Resources
The ranch is a part of a unique and fragile ecosystem and a place of exceptional beauty.

They respect and maintain its splendor by managing the natural resource base for sustainability and diversity, and strive to live in harmony and balance with its many native floral and faunal inhabitants.

They continuously evaluate how their management practices impact native species as to how they influence neighboring habitats, including U.S. Forest Service lands, other working ranches, and Yellowstone National Park.

The distinct assortment of vegetation and topography on the ranch provides important habitat for most forms of wildlife found in neighboring Yellowstone National Park.

Elk, white-tail and mule deer, moose, grizzly and black bear, wolves, coyotes, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, bobcat, mountain lions, and numerous small mammals roam the ranch’s 9,000 acres and freely traverse the six-mile boundary with Yellowstone Park.
Respecting the role of established predator/prey relationships and the importance of tempering activities with regard to native wildlife populations, they endeavor to live without conflict with their wildlife neighbors.

Traditional bird migration patterns include the flyways above the B Bar. More than 75 bird species either journey through or reside year-round on the ranch. We are fortunate to regularly observe sandhill cranes, great blue herons, great-horned owls, and bald and golden eagles.

We also see red-tail and rough-legged hawks, Clark’s nutcrackers, western meadowlarks, black-billed magpies, mountain bluebirds, ruffed and blue grouse, gray and Steller’s jays, western tanagers, mountain chickadees, pine grosbeaks, Canada geese, trumpeter swans, and various ducks and other waterfowl.

Tom Miner Creek provides precious habitat for its rare community of native Yellowstone cutthroat trout and a growing population of beavers.

The cattle on the b bar

Ancient White Park Cattle
Originally imported from England just before WWII, the B Bar Ranch purchased a bull and several female Ancient White Park cattle to begin their own herd in 1989.

Ancient White Parks have white coats with colored points (ears, feet and muzzles) that are usually black but occasionally red. Some of the cattle are mottled or solid black, expressing a recessive gene for color that runs through the population.

The cows frequently have upswept lyre-shaped horns that continue to twist as the animal’s age. The bulls typically have shorter horns that curve forward with age in a flat arc. 
The bulls reach mature weights of 1500 to 1800 pounds. They are extremely active and alert cattle with large flight zones that require careful handling. They are aggressive grazers and calve with exceptional ease.

The ranch has grown its own herd to a size that now allows for the establishment of new herds throughout North America.

Through the Ancient White Park Cattle Society of North America, they are maintaining the registration of offspring and producing herd books at regular intervals in addition to the registrations maintained with the White Park Cattle Society in Britain.


With an abundance of native, bio-diverse grasses and wildlife active,  the B Bar goes to great lengths to protect this ecosystem.

  • They manage cattle activity to imitate that of wildlife while limiting their competition for resources.

  • They assure that the land is certified organic each year.

  • They streamline energy and water use whenever possible with gravity-fed irrigation systems, decreased labor energy, and vigilant use of high-efficiency light bulbs, consolidates trips to down and carpooling.

  • They also use current green guest laundry service practices, utilize gentle cleaning products, recycle materials and equipment, and compost kitchen and garden waste.

  • Visitors are encouraged to participate in our recycling efforts by using the containers placed in common areas and cabins and rooms. 


The B Bar’s owners have welcomed non-profit organizations to make use of the ranch guest facilities since they bought it in 1978.

Known for their long-standing philanthropic activity, the owners have opened up their ranch home to select non-profit groups and guests whose goals synch with their agricultural, environmental, and social goals.

It’s especially rewarding how many people find themselves transformed by their experiences at the B Bar.

I’m  excited about our time together in this amazing landscape, so rich in history, and tradition.

Your time on the ranch will be a magical time of rest, renewal, fun, and adventure,  


b bar magic

By coming on this retreat, you have already set an intention to step outside your comfort zone and explore the great outdoors.

What other adventures, experiences, or ah-ha moments would you like to get out of your time on the ranch?

Challenging yourself through hiking, riding, rafting?  Wildlife viewing, sitting on your front porch, writing, reading, or simply resting?

All of these experiences are yours to explore, embrace and delight in.  What is your WILD in Montana adventure? 

With love and excitement, 


The view from the overlook trail on the B Bar Ranch.

Fall Yoga, Meditation & Journal Retreat



Unchanged:Restore your mind and body as Tom and Tina lead you through daily yoga and mindful movement designed to both inspire and calm the senses.

Coming home to your body through guided movement and awareness is a powerful and healing act of self-love.

Taking this time to move inward to reconnect your head and heart, will strengthen your movement practice or help you begin one.


“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather..” ~Pema Chodron



Unchanged:Stillness is a practice we cultivate to feel fully present and alive. In this retreat, you’ll have ample opportunity to drop down and drop inward with three-daily meditation practice sessions.

You’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll love this practice and the peace and comfort it brings to you.

Tom is an excellent meditation teacher, skillfully weaving humor, storytelling, and music to uplift and inspire your practice at Timber Creek and beyond.




Unchanged:Keeping a journal can be transformational. It’s a decisive practice that allows us to create a safe place to record and express our feelings, emotions, and deeply held desires.

If this is something you’d like to explore, Tina will provide guided journal prompts to make the process accessible and fun.

Keeping a journal can help access the music and voice of your true emotion.

For some, a journal is considered a best friend.


“All serious daring starts within.” ~Eudora Welty



Unchanged:Let yourself sink into the luxurious comfort and care of Timber Creek Retreat House. Just one hour south of Kansas City, you’ll feel you’ve escaped to a magical and magnificent lodge in the woods.

Surrounded by eighty acres of wooded trails and wildlife, Timber Creek is a refuge from life’s daily stresses with no detail of your comfort overlooked.

Take a nap in your king-sized bed, slip into a good book by a cozy fire, treat yourself to a massage or a lazy walk in the trees, or enjoy the serenity of the beautiful meditation room.

Timber Creek was conceived and created with one goal in mind: your comfort and well-being.


“Just be, and enjoy being.” ~Eckert Tolle




Unchanged:Busyness is an addiction that robs us of our wholeness. Taking time to rest, reflect, and retreat is a statement of our own self-worth and value.

  • Make time for healing.
  • Make time for presence.
  • Make time for sustenance, friendship, solitude, and silence

Open up and make time for your light to shine. It’s greatly needed in this world.


“Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for a minute,
including you.” – Ann Lamott





Please email or text Tina for answers!
Text: 913 963 8546


* Timber Creek rooms are limited. Most are private rooms but you’re
welcome to share with a friend if you’re open to also sharing a bed.
Just select the semi-private option @ checkout.



Register before May 31st, 2022 and save $150!
Use code EARLYBIRD at checkout.