July 20, 2021

37: Conscious Living, Envisioning The Life You Want and Elderhood with Martie Adler

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Welcome to the mindful fire podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond. I'm your host, Adam Coelho and I'm so glad you're here. 

On today's episode. I'm joined by my friend, Martie Adler, a consultant coach, and end of life, doula, who I met at the wisdom 2.0 conference.

Among a conference of thousands of people, Martie and I ended up in a community gathering breakout room on zoom and really connected on a number of topics. And I knew I had to get her on the podcast. 

In this conversation, Martie and I dive into a number of topics, including  conscious living, envisioning the future we want and the gift of elderhood.

Martie and I dive deep into the idea and practice of envisioning something that's been really impactful in my life. We discuss how we can apply envisioning to our life as we think about financial independence and retiring early. She's worked with a lot of people who get to the point of their life where they don't need to work anymore, and then don't know what they want to do with their life. 

And so she shares why it's so important that we envision what we want our life to look like all the time, as an ongoing practice and how the language that we use when we think about what we are creating and as we interact with other people in the world, how that really shapes our environment. I share a number of stories in this episode around how I've envisioned both positive and negative things in my life and the impact that that's had.

Lately I've been feeling really called to dive deeper into this idea of envisioning and to create a workshop, to empower listeners of the mindful fire podcast, to get clear on what their vision is for their future. 

So if after listening to this episode, you feel that you want to dive deeper into this practice and you'd like to attend a workshop on this practice of envisioning, please let me know. I want to understand what would be most useful for you. You can let me know by reaching out to me at mindfulfirepodcas@gmail.com or reaching out to me on Instagram at @themindfulfirepodcast.

Martie also shares how she's worked with elders in her career, both as they explore what's next for their life and as they approached the end of their lives. She shares her thoughts on the gift of elderhood and how people who are younger can really learn from their elders and leverage that experience to improve how they live their lives. 

Martie's also an end of life doula, which means that she works with people as they think about and approach the end of their lives. And as she tells us in the episode, none of us are going to get out of here alive. So it's really important that we use death as an advisor on how to live our lives.

 I really enjoyed this conversation with my  friend, Martie Adler, and I hope that you enjoyed as well. 

Connect with Martie

Resources Mentioned



Adam Coelho: Welcome to the mindful fire podcast, where we explore living mindfully on the path to financial independence and beyond I'm your host, Adam Coelho. And I'm so glad you're here. On today's episode. I'm joined by my friend, Martie Adler, a consultant coach, and end of life, doula, who I met at wisdom 2.0 conference.

Among a conference of thousands of people, Martie and I ended up in a community gathering breakout room on zoom and really connected on a number of topics. And I knew I had to get her on the podcast. 

 In this conversation, Martie and I dive into a number of topics, including  conscious living, envisioning the future we want and the gift of elderhood.

 In this conversation, Martie and I dive deep into the idea and practice of envisioning something that's been really impactful in my life. And we discuss how we can apply envisioning to our life as we think about financial independence and retiring early because she's [00:01:00] worked with a lot of people who get to the point of their life, where they don't need to work anymore, and then don't know what they want to do with their life. 

And so she shares why it's so important that we envision what we want our life to look like all the time, as an ongoing practice and how the language that we use when we think about what we are creating and as we interact with other people in the world, how that really shapes our environment. And I share a number of stories in this episode around how I've envisioned both positive and negative things in my life and the impact that that's had.

And Lately I've been feeling really called to dive deeper into this idea of envisioning and to create a workshop, to empower listeners of the mindful fire podcast, to get clear on what their vision is for their future. 

And so if after listening to this episode, you feel that you want to dive deeper into this practice, or you'd like to attend a workshop on this practice of envisioning. Please let me know. I want to understand what would be most useful for you, and you can let me know [00:02:00] by reaching out to me@mindfulfirepodcastatgmail.com or reaching out to me on Instagram at the mindful fire podcast.

Martie also shares how she's worked with elders in her career, both as they explore what's next for their life. And as they approached the end of their lives and she shares her thoughts on the gift of elderhood and how people who are younger can really learn from their elders and leverage that experience to improve how they living their lives. 

Martie's also an end of life doula, which means that she works with people as they think about and approach the end of their lives. And as she tells us in the episode, none of us are going to get out of here alive.

 So it's really important that we use death as an advisor on how to live our lives.

You can find the full show notes for today's episode, including links, resources, and books that we discussed at Mindful fire.org/ 37

  I really enjoyed this conversation with my  friend, Martie Adler, and I hope that you enjoyed as well. 

   Let's jump into today's [00:03:00] episode.


Martie, welcome to the mindful fire podcast. I'm so excited to have you on the show today. 

Martie Adler: Thank you, Adam. I am as well. 

Adam Coelho: For the audience just want to share a little context, Martie and I met a couple of weeks ago at wisdom, 2.0 a conference, all about technology and mindfulness and as luck would have it, we were in  a community session and we were popped into a breakout room together and  had a great conversation and made a connection and kept up through the conference and actually debriefed after the conference.

And I thought to myself, wow,  so much wisdom here. I really got to get Martie on the show, so I'm really excited to be having this conversation today. 

Martie Adler: Thank you. I am as well. And I absolutely do not believe in coincidence. So it was a joy and a pleasure [00:04:00] to meet with you and debrief after.

Adam Coelho: Tell me a little bit more about that. What do you mean you don't believe in coincidence 

Martie Adler: I guess the best language I can use around that is to say, I feel like I've lived a called life. I pay attention. I try to be awake and aware and watch for things that occur. And I say things that could be people, events, circumstances that keep returning over and over.

And in addition to that, I also believe that part of my life path, part of the journey I'm on part of the wisdom is paying attention to who comes into your life at what point in time. So the fact that we were together. I don't even remember how many thousands of people were at that conference. I think a couple thousand and the fact that you and I, yeah.

And the fact that you and I ended up in a breakout room together, not a coincidence. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah. It was pretty cool. And we only had five minutes to connect, really, something like that. Maybe it was 10, but yeah, that's pretty cool. Thanks for [00:05:00] unpacking that for me. My intention here is to be guided by curiosity.

And so, thought I'd explore that. 

Martie Adler: Yeah. 

Adam Coelho: All right. So I'd love to have you share a little bit about who you are, what your journey has been and what you're up to these days. 

Martie Adler: Okay. How boy who I am. I would say that. From early in my life. I've been curious. I have been awake and aware long before mindfulness was even born.

 And just asking questions, why does life work this way? And so that's, I mentioned that Adam, because that's guided me as I've moved forward. So didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life knew I needed to work needed to raise my family. So I did a variety of things until ultimately I ended up in higher education and spent the majority of my career other than about five years in corporate America in higher education, [00:06:00] both as senior level administration and faculty.

So what really became prevalent for me back in the 1980s or 1990s where I had been studying human beings, watching their behavior. That guided me to the degree paths that I took, which was behavioral science and organizational development, and just watching human beings, watching their interaction, seeing how it worked on teams and in organizations.

And then  in my thirties I began coaching and it was simply a natural outcome of how I showed up as a leader. And again, that was before coaching programs were even anything anyone talked about. So there were no certificate programs. They were no formal classroom programs.

Organizational development really got its start, I would say very early in the 1990s. And so that then guided my career. I would say for certainly the last 25 years [00:07:00] where I've done a lot of work as a consultant and a coach, and finally left full-time work little over a year ago just before  the pandemic a lockdown hit most of us and still am working in my own business.

As part of my journey, I knew that I wanted to work with elders and I wasn't sure what that looked like. And so I followed a path that's been of great interest to me, which is death and dying. And I became an end of life doula as well. So that's a side line of work for me.

And it also permeates my consulting and coaching because I try to help people understand that by looking at death and looking at the process of dying, because we're doing it every day, looking at that to inform how we live. So I have actually begun to pull that into the mindfulness work that I do and the end of life work that I do.

Adam Coelho: Very interesting. A varied career. And you were [00:08:00] doing your consulting. In coaching for a while, or  is that a new piece? It sounds like the coaching has been happening for awhile. 

Martie Adler: Yeah. I started coaching in my formal roles in higher education.

And then I became a certified coach. Oh gosh. I want to say in the early two thousands. And I started my consulting business in 1996. So worked at it full time from that point until about 2006 and then did some work with a global firm doing some consulting and coaching for them globally. 

Adam Coelho: Got it.

Got it. Very cool. 

So Martie, I know that the idea of conscious living has been really important to how you lead your life and how you coach others. Can you tell me a little bit about your philosophy there? 

Martie Adler: Yeah, certainly Adam, when I first began doing organizational development work  the thing that [00:09:00] really jumped out at me was how very seldom people live in the present.

And  I'd had a mindfulness practice for quite a long time and then let it go. And then I moved into meditation and let it go. And finally pulled it back into my life on a full-time basis. And I think because of that's when I started really noticing and observing that this was just not happening on a regular basis.

And then as I would be called in to work with teams within an organization or to work with particular later, especially at the executive level, some of the questions that I would ask. Early on was, did you think about that before you said it, or as I was working with teams to say to them, what was your intention?

And the responses that I was getting back from people were what do you mean? , what was my intention? And so I started  recognizing that people do not stop, take that breath and even think about what they're going to say before they open their [00:10:00] mouth and say it. And that all sounds very well.

Sure, Martie, we all know this. We can see it on a daily basis yet we don't stop and ask ourselves what changes need to be made for us to be conscious in whatever it is we're doing. And so it became very apparent to me that. These problems are at the root of almost everything, whether that's a relationship, whether that's with your partner or a child, I'm a coworker that our lack of being conscious, our lack of being aware of where we're coming from in a conversation in a thought was just pulling down relationships and in an organization pulling down entire teams.

And I can make a side note here. I was fortunate in that my role as an ODI consultant and as a coach allows me to somewhat choose the path with which I want to do that work. And so [00:11:00] for me, it became then my passion, my intent to move mindfulness into my work , to really help people become more conscious.

And so that's why I shifted it that way. And then the results that I began seeing from it made it very clear that I was helping people in new ways and ways that resonated for them. And as soon as I say that I have to step back, I'm a truth teller. So I will say very clearly that being mindful living consciously is not something that everyone resonates with.

It's not a practice that everyone wants to follow. There are people that I did work with. It's an absolutely not, I'm not doing this. And so I know it's not for everyone that not everyone is in that place in their life, where they want to look at who they are and who they are being. They're not ready.

So that's where I started on the path still on that path today. I think it [00:12:00] informs everything that we're doing. And I also believe that  choosing to live consciously comes from the understanding that we are responsible for the quality of our life that we can choose  to interact with life in life, in any fashion we wish.

And there's a lot of books out there that talk about intent, or they talk about your mindset. They talk about your attitude choosing happiness and what that does, or choosing joy. A lot of books out there now. Coming from different perspectives yet, the result is the same, which is it's your choice.

You want to live with joy then you can choose to do that. You want to be happy. You can choose to do that. You want to be morose. You want to be sad. You want to be grumpy. You can choose to do that too, but it's your choice. And it always comes from inside out, not outside in. 

Adam Coelho: Got it.  Would you say that awareness is key [00:13:00] to conscious living? 

Martie Adler: Absolutely. I don't know how we can separate it. And thank you for pointing that out because mindfulness is about being aware yeah. About being awake and. While it's difficult to be present in every single second of our life.

We can begin training, that level of awareness and whether you're a meditator or not, you can still train yourself to be aware, to keep coming back. I do believe that meditation is the for me the absolute foundation in terms of training my mind. But yes, you are absolutely right. It is the key.

Adam Coelho: Got it. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. When I think about this podcast and I think about, the concepts that we focus on, mindfulness and financial independence, I really see the link between those things as awareness and choice. And so it's very interesting to hear those come up so early in the conversation.

 Because I do think that, yeah, you're right.  Not only can we choose the way we [00:14:00] want to show up, we are choosing even if we're not aware that we're choosing.  If we are choosing to, read the news and, dive deep into topics that upset us, we're going to be upset if we focus on taking care of our wellbeing and getting out in nature and having good relationships with people that we care about, we're going to have a different experience of life.

So I think it's interesting that we can bring awareness to  the choices that we're making and decide if we need to correct horse. 

Martie Adler: There's two responses I'd like to give to that because I remember early on, this is long before I had  a detailed spiritual practice, if you will, long before I learned about meditation.

And I remember watching a show on television and it did not feel good. It was about killing and, and I just I knew I viscerally felt this. And so I started paying attention to what I was reading, what I was watching, [00:15:00] what I was hearing. And I was raising my boys at the time and some of the programs that were coming on and I just said, no, we're not going to watch these,  they're not treating each other respectfully.

It doesn't feel good. And, so I, I became aware of it earlier. And now as many people will know,  one of the worlds Most notable and and love teachers. Thich Nhat Hanh has written numerous books about this, where everything has energy, everything that enters our sphere can impact our life. And so this idea of language of what we're viewing of what we're reading of, what we're allowing and tolerating in terms of our relationships all have an impact. And so those, you know, again, brilliant of you to bring this up because you want to talk about conscious living.

Who do you have in your life? What do your relationships look like? Are you being respected and honored and heard and seen. [00:16:00] Are you doing the same for others? So I think those are huge. And the second thing that I wanted to bring up with what you were saying about that is in most cases, we have a choice and I can remember numerous people that I've coached over the year that came to me because they wanted to become financial, independent. They wanted to change jobs, or they wanted to to change to a different career path  or move to higher level positions.

And I can't tell you how often I heard the words. You don't understand.  I can't just quit my job. And as we had conversation around that, so we don't have to quit your job today. What else do you want to do? How can we determine a path for you? What, no, I can't do that.

I, you don't understand my situation. I have a family and I have, and there were excuses, every step of the way that I'm certain we're fueled by fear and I've had some of those myself, but the point is we always have a choice and we may not [00:17:00] wish to make choice a, because of a particular situation.

Then that's a choice as well, choices, abound. And we often don't want to  look at the fact that we are responsible for the choices that we're making. 

 Adam Coelho: In that example, they could choose to quit their job. They're choosing not to.

And they're choosing to believe that they can't because of XYZ and those are choices and they can reflect on those and explore those and decide if those are the right choices they want to be making. Or if there are other choices they'd like to make. 

Martie Adler: Yes, absolutely true. 

Adam Coelho: So Martie, one of the things that  I've been feeling called to explore more and to potentially even bring about as a workshop is this idea of envisioning and I'm curious in the work that you've done with people of all ages, what do you feel is the power of envisioning and getting clear on what it is you want to create with your life or to bring into your [00:18:00] life?

Martie Adler: I think that's maybe one of the more important questions that we can ask ourselves these days, Adam,

something that I've seen with a number of my clients is that they do have a plan and they do begin to envision it. And yet they often don't know until the end of it, how narrow it has been, meaning that they haven't stepped back enough to really look at the whole person. They may know that they want to retire by a certain age.

They may know that they'd like to have a certain number of dollars in the bank.  Yet they might not have looked at what was beyond that.  For example I'm actually thinking of someone.  An elder that I worked with and he just kept saying, Martie, what I really want to do is  have the freedom to golf every day.

And I said that's great. And how do you envision that? What is that going to look like? And the more we talked about it over time, [00:19:00] he began to see that yes, that excited him. That was something that was important to him in his life. Then we started talking about all the minutes of his days, the days of the week and the weeks of the month.

And he said, wow, that's not going to do it. Is it, I can't just exist in my life by golfing. And that's all I have. And I'm using this example because that's what I began to see with people that, that are going through that process of envisioning. And I would encourage anyone who's listening to this envision, the whole person.

Ask yourself and what else on a, have a certain amount of money. Great. And what else house do you want to have? Meaningful relationships. And what else? So if we want to have meaningful relationships, then what are you doing at 30 or 35 or 40 or 45 or 50? What are you doing to bring that into your life?

If you want to have a particular [00:20:00] lifestyle, Maybe you want to have a boat. Maybe you want to sell everything and have a tiny home, whatever that is. How are you looking at it now? Because we can't just wait until we achieve that end game in one piece, right? That one piece might be financial then what?

So I think that's what I really see with some of the people I've worked with and. Moreover people that I have in my life that are also trying to live consciously, we help each other be accountable by saying great. and what else, where will you bring in the joy? Where do you bring in the happiness?

Where do you bring in the piece about taking care of yourself? And then I'll put in this kind of last piece, Adam, which is, as I look at death and dying, and I look at the fact that none of us are going to escape that journey right there is no way out, but death for every single one of us.

And I think the pandemic has brought it [00:21:00] to the surface in ways that many people have not faced before. Yet we in America remain the most death phobic culture of all. And looking at the envisioning from the eyes of, okay. So I have a limited time in my journey on this earth. I don't know when that's going to be, maybe I'll make it to 40 or 50 or 60 or 70, maybe I won't.

But in the meantime, how am I going to live my life with full consciousness about what I'm doing, what I'm envisioning and who I'm being. And I've used that language before who are we when we're in relationship with someone who do we want to be? So all of those things, I think fit into the envisioning that you're talking about.

And I think a workshop would be an outstanding idea. There are many people, myself included that are still envisioning our lives. Doesn't have to stop. When you're young, believe me. [00:22:00] 

Adam Coelho: Yeah.  You mentioned looking at the whole person, and practically, would you recommend someone who's thinking about what they want to create or bring into their life that they envision in these various aspects of their life, their relationships, their wellbeing, their health, their money, their work, would you suggest envisioning those particular aspects to, in a specific, but also open way?

Martie Adler: Yes, absolutely. I want to give you an example. I've had some physical issues simply with the way my body was formed at birth. I have  what's known as hip dysplasia. Didn't know that when I was young and didn't really even think about or envision what I wanted for my body later in life.

And I'm finding this, especially with some of the younger people that I'm coaching and , they're in their twenties and their thirties, and they're doing some of these things and I'm saying, how does your body feel about it? And they look at me like what do you [00:23:00] mean? How does my body feel about it?

 And I'm bringing this up because I had an incident where  had some issues with my spine due to the hip dysplasia and the doctor that I was seeing said, okay you need to stop doing this particular type of exercise maybe for the rest of your life. And I was bemoaning that fact with a friend of mine who  I think that correct term is an extreme bicyclist.

He went all over the world with this absolutely. Lightweight bike and rode for days and weeks and months at a time. And he said to me, every time I buy a bike, Martie, I have to start from the beginning and I have to allow my body to get used to this particular bicycle and then work my way up to what it is I want to do with it.

And he said, you've got to look at your life as a long game. How do you want to be physical when you're 40 or 50 or 60 or 70? Not today when you're upset by the news you got, how do you want to move when you're 70? And that, [00:24:00] that advice has really driven the rest of my life.  I'm now looking at it and saying, Whoa, I want to be active.

I want to be able to have good health. I don't want to be on drugs, and these medicines for blood pressure or whatever else.  And now that I'm thinking about it, this would be a great aspect of a workshop. I would encourage people as young as we can get to them.

Any age group start envisioning what you want for your body. Now change your diet. Now, if it's not bringing you the results you want, change your exercise pattern. Now, listen, when your body says this hurts and I don't like it. So maybe that's a very long answer to your question, but as you can tell, I hope from the passion in my voice, yes.

The whole person is important. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's really helpful. I find it. I find it challenging to some in the willpower to eat healthy and exercise as much as I probably should. But if I think [00:25:00] about what I want my life to look like five years, 10 years, 20 years down the road, I'm going to need to put in some work to make that happen and really, live in alignment with the lifestyle that will get me there.

And if I'm not thinking about that or not clear about that it's going to be very hard to get there. And it's going to be a lot bigger lift when I have to undo a lot of the, not so healthy habits that I  have been doing. 

Martie Adler: Yeah. Or to be in a situation where you can't undo it. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah.

 You have a health issue 

Martie Adler: or you have a body issue.  The spine does something, a leg bone does something, fingers do something, your shoulder does something, whatever it is,  not everything can be recovered.  

Adam Coelho: Yeah. And talk a little bit about the language piece you mentioned earlier that language is important when you're envisioning what you want.

 Can you talk a little bit more about that? 

Martie Adler: Yes. Be happy to talk about that. As a matter of [00:26:00] fact, language often holds us back and we don't even know it. It can show us our psychological and emotional States. It can portray certain fears. So for example, I'm thinking about people that I've coached and this one is very prevalent where we'll be in conversation and someone will say I know I should do this, or I know I need to get better at this and I'll stop them and say really according to whom?

Why do you feel you need to get better at this? And so I would say  if we all could begin looking at our language, it's another way to become really aware. It's another way to keep ourselves conscious. It's going to get in the way of envisioning that is I can guarantee you think about language we would use.

 For example, I'd say I wish to obtain my first million dollars by the time I'm 36 years [00:27:00] old. And then when I'm talking about language, this is also unspokens and then the thought is, yeah, how's that going to happen?

And right now,  I can't even see how that could be. And we begin going down that path of  self-doubt . It comes up in the language also, as you begin watching your language with anything , I'm not just talking about  the envisioning, just the self-talk that we do.

You're going to start finding out that other things are driving you, that you're not even conscious of. It'll come out in your language. Look for the shoulds. Look for the can'ts. Look for what I would call that dead stop zone, for example, was in a meditation. The question was, who am I? And we were to sit with us and just meditate on that for awhile.

I can tell you that the language that came up around that showed me very clearly that I've got some work to do around self-esteem. I don't know that I would have [00:28:00] had that awareness. If that question hadn't been asked and I hadn't watched the words that came up.

My point is just watch, listen, learn, and then determine how you want to see yourself and change the language. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah, thank you. I think that this is what mindfulness and meditation  are really all about.  Bringing a non-judgemental or a loving awareness to our experience, to our thoughts. I'll speak for myself has really allowed me to bring to light that inner critic, that language around you're doing it wrong.

You're not good enough. You're not where you need to be in your career. If only you had this, then you would be worthy. All these things that were driving me, as you said, totally unconsciously for many years. And once I started, sitting in meditation and kind of turning down the [00:29:00] volume on, everything else  was able to start to see these thought patterns.

And another thing that came to mind as we were talking about language and envisioning The power of  envisioning really comes from the fact that our minds are pretty predictive. There's this study the, from a woman named Regina Pally she  published  a study called the predicting brain.

And basically in it, she wrote that even before events happen, our brain makes a prediction of what is most likely to happen and sets in motion, the thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and even physiological responses for what is expected. And in a sense  we're learning from the past, what to predict from the future, and then living the future we expect.

And the interesting, then coming back to the idea of language, the language that we're using. And the things that we're envisioning, whether they're positive or negative, whether we're conscious of them or not are creating our reality. And an example of when this came up for me is,  in [00:30:00] 2014, I was doing an entrepreneurial program online, trying to build a saas company.

And that was in this community of people who are all trying to build this saas company and leave their jobs.  It was all about create the life you love. But I was telling myself that if I'm going to be successful, I need to quit Google.

 Success is quitting Google.  And I was even going as far as to say, if I get promoted at Google again, I have failed. So you can probably imagine that's not the most useful thing. And I didn't realize it until my job was eliminated and I had five months to find a new job or leave the company.

 That was a very rough time.  Around the same time, my project that I was working on through this entrepreneurial program also crashed and burned. And I was one of the lowest  points in my life. And  upon reflection, I created [00:31:00] that reality. I was saying to be successful, I need to quit my job at Google.

And guess what? My job was gone. And the reality is that I, if I really wanted to quit my job at Google, I could have just quit my job.  But ultimately that, wasn't what I was trying to create. So I say all of this, just to point out that, we're envisioning all the time, whether we're aware or not, and the language that we use really colors our experience and the path that we take.

And so I think we need to be very careful about that. We're very conscious about it. At least be aware of the language we're using, as you said And if the audience wants to dive deeper into this in episode eight of the podcast with a friend of mine, Frazer Kirkman, we discussed this idea at length and he calls it brain programming.

But it's essentially the same concept. 

Martie Adler: Yeah. And I loved your example because it pointed out a lot of what we were talking about today. Many of the [00:32:00] key focal points, and again, this idea of thinking that in order to be successful, you'd have to quit your job. I've done similar things when I was working in a toxic environment and let me be really clear, I didn't notice at the time, I was afraid to quit my job. I was a vice president at that time. Very toxic knew I needed to get out. I was not in alignment with the organization, but I was afraid. And my fear was not. Financial, frankly, my fear was, I don't know what I want to do.  I know I can't stay here, but I don't know my next job.

And that went on for well over a year. And a situation came up where I was asked to do something unethical and illegal. And I said, no that was it for me. That was the final straw. And I left point is I could have made a decision earlier just as you and possibly planned it. But instead I was [00:33:00] left with, okay, here I am with other job.

And I still don't know what I want to do. So it's really interesting. Again, in terms of how we envision this and I'll give you a different example, and this is also about language. But it's got a very positive outcome. It was about the time that I knew I needed to live this company.

And I knew I also needed to be in a different physical environment because the one I was in was not good for me. I had severe allergies. I was not able to live a quality life in that particular climate and environment. And so what I envisioned was, and these are almost the exact words  I'm living in an environment that is warm and sunny all year long in my home, on the water. That's what I started envisioning. And that was like the very rudimentary. Statement. 

I ended up in Venice beach, California renting a home, and the Venice canals, my [00:34:00] home was literally on the water. It was warm and sunny all year long. It was much better for me in terms of a climate and an environment, but it began with that envisioning statements. And every time I had thoughts that were around how are you going to get that to happen?

And,  you never thought you were going to move to another stage or you never blah, blah, blah.  All the thoughts that we have. Language is hugely important and certainly can give you a much different end result.

So we gotta be aware and conscious and awake to what we're thinking. What we're speaking, what we're writing and I'll make one last comment about that. It sounds like it's  horribly time consuming. It's really not. You just have to begin and you start watching produce soon as easier and you actually become conscious of when you're not, because it's so dissonant.

It's Whoa, what thought did I just have? And you can go back and change that. 

[00:35:00] Adam Coelho: Yeah. I think that's a really good point that  it seems a little bit overwhelming, to think, Oh, like I got to figure out what I want to do with my life. And it's no, you don't have to figure that out all right now, but you can think about  what you're wanting your life to look like five years from now, or 10 years from now, if everything was going better than expected, and then you can just start moving in that direction. 

 I'll give a positive example. One of my dreams has always been to design and build my own house. And, I would visualize in my mind all the time, like the great room of this house, and I'd be like designing in my mind.

And a lot of times, I think, Oh my God, I'm just  wasting my time fantasizing about this, but ultimately, I had no idea of how I was going to get there when I was going to get there. And. You just trusted, just doing that exercise. And having those thoughts ultimately I ended up in this house, which is not only so similar to what I [00:36:00] envisioned it's better than I envisioned in a lot of ways.

The location's better. The opportunities for my family are better. Even the design in a lot of ways is better than I expected. And and I didn't even know I have to build it. I just had to walk right in. And we don't have to figure out every little aspect of things we can just start. And I think one of the things that you mentioned earlier is  paying attention and it becomes second nature to.

Recognize when things are falling into place. That's really the practice. And I think that really enhances the envision future because like me, like I'm sitting in my room, which is so similar to what I envisioned. And I just like, wow, this is amazing.

Like I envisioned this room, like I'm in this room. Or, with the podcast, the podcast was just a fantasy as well. And I didn't know anything about podcasting. And now here we are having a [00:37:00] podcast episode. That's probably like my 30th episode. So we don't have to figure it all out right at the beginning.

Martie Adler: And you've touched on something that I hadn't even thought about. And  yet it's critically important. And that is when you were saying. We don't have to have it all figured out. First of all, we can't, we think we can, but we really can't. We really only can live, one day at a time, if you will.

And yes, certainly we can envision the future. Something that you said though, really triggered this thought for me, which was, and we have got to appreciate what we have, and that may be, a can of soup that may be all we can afford in any particular day. It doesn't matter what it is, but the idea of being grateful of being appreciative for what we have in our life also begins to change the way we see our life, the way we can begin to envision our life and completely changes that focus of [00:38:00] energy outward.

And I am so thrilled that quantum physics brought into the world  a credibility to this whole idea of energy, that everything that's going on is energetic. And so to not forget, to be appreciative of what we have, that it may not be exactly what we want yet, how wonderful that we have a piece of it in your case, that it was even better than what you envisioned and to be able to say this is truly amazing  very important as part of the envisioning process.

I think. 

Adam Coelho: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think it gets to something we were talking about before we hit record. It's that appreciating what we have, the more we start to turn our attention to the great things that we already have and to feel grateful for what we have. The more, we're able to realize that we can bring what we want from the future into our lives right now.

And [00:39:00] we may already have those things. Another example, I'm giving so many examples,  and I'm would love to hear examples from your life as well. But an example in my life is I have this thought of Oh, I need to reach five and retire so I can teach mindfulness and get paid for teaching mindfulness.

But when I turned my attention a little bit and look at what I have, I've been teaching mindfulness at Google and getting paid to do it for the last four years.  And so as I'm telling myself this story that I don't have what I want and that I need something from the future. I already have it.

  To your point, that  appreciating what we have allows us to move forward and envision our lives from a place  of abundance and gratitude rather than of lack and scarcity. And that I think is essential. 

Martie Adler: I absolutely agree with you, Adam. And it changes our language, which again we've already spoken about, but [00:40:00] something else that when you were saying that it really triggered something else for me as well, and this is the human brain.

We tend to be black and white. We tend to be this or that. So this idea that you brought up earlier in order to be successful, I need to quit my job. It's only this to get this right. And I would suggest, and I guess almost challenge people to say, why, what else, how else might it look?

And I'm using this language deliberately. It may not be best grammar. I'm using a deliberately. How else might it look you were talking about, for example, Oh yeah. I'll, I'm going to do this and then I'm going to quit my job and then I'm going to go teach mindfulness and I'll get paid for that.

Okay. Whatever now let's take a look at it a different way. Let's see how else it might look. I'm enjoying my job. It's not what I want to do for the rest of my life. It's good,  it's good right now. And  I want to learn [00:41:00] mindfulness and I think I want to teach mindfulness and Oh, maybe I'll teach mindfulness to children.

Oh, I might even want to learn how to do this. Oh, I might want to become a teacher. We can just, there's all of these things that we can begin to envision. And I'm saying if we can open ourselves to this and this, and instead of this, not that, not this. So just, if you can remember those two words, this and.

This and, and if we can keep going that way, what an amazing way to envision and what an amazing way to live. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah. It's really all about possibility, opening to the possibility. 

Okay, so we've gone to deepen envisioning, and as you can probably tell, I'm very passionate about this more and more.

I'm realizing that I should  create this workshop. So I'll just say for the audience,   as I mentioned, I [00:42:00] am very interested in feeling called to create  a workshop around a visioning.

And so if you're listening to this and you would be interested in diving deeper into this and envisioning your future, I'd love for you to let me know. So you can come to mindful fire.org and sign up for our email list and let me know, or you can message me on Instagram at the mindful fire podcast.

I'd love to hear what you'd like out of that. 

So anyways,  I would love to talk about elderhood. Do you want to dive into that a little bit? 

Martie Adler: Sure. So  I'm not the one that has coined the term elderhood it certainly has been around there's a lot of different.

Language used for people as they're aging. I'm sure you've heard the term Sage in some belief sets crone others. Why is elder in some cases, elder, just that term alone and what I started noticing as I was aging and I'm in my [00:43:00] sixties. So I will tell you that it began in my fifties and I have a young man I'm coaching who's in his forties, who also feels that he's been aged out.

And that's what I'm getting to here in just a moment, which is in our culture in this country. So all I can speak to with any sense of knowledge from my learning elders are not appreciated. And please for anyone who's listening to this, I'm being very general. It is not true in every family units. It is not true for for everyone.

I'm just speaking generally in our country. There's not much purpose anymore once someone reaches a certain age and I was rather shocked  when this 46 year old male said, Oh, Martie and my field and my industry, And he was in highly technical field, I pretty much aged out at 40. . 

And he said, we have a lot of [00:44:00] young people coming in and I'm pretty much being pushed out. And so whether it's being looked at like you are aging out of an industry, aging out of a country of a culture, It's something that I noticed, especially being in higher education, where there is a large number of young people.

Yeah. So I started viewing this and saying, . I'm not going to go down without a fight on this one. And the thing that's really concerning to me is that there's a lot of wisdom that I believe elders can give to others. There's what happens as we pass, right? As we age, and then we ultimately die that voices silenced.

So I'd like to in any way that I can help by sharing wisdom. Yes. I know that things are moving quickly and [00:45:00] changing and yes, I know that many elders might not even understand how to operate a computer. I'm working with some in their nineties that are just learning how to do this. And I'll just share something that I think is so sweet at a 93 year old woman that I'm working with.

When I called her one day to check on her, she said, Martie, I'm a Zoomer. And I just started laughing. She was so pleased  that her grand child had taught her how to zoom so that they could be able to see each other face to face. So the point is yes. I recognize that there are many generational differences yet.

That doesn't mean that there's not wisdom to be had from sharing it.  I've started my own business. I've started a number of businesses. I've. Worked in a number of organizations I've been in the HR arena. I've been in the ODI arena. I've been at the executive level in corporate America.

And there's a lot of people younger than I that want to start their own [00:46:00] businesses or have started their own businesses or want to envision a different future. And if nothing else I can be an accountability partner. I could say, what on earth are you thinking? Or I could say, wow, that's great.

That's 17 ideas. Now, which one would you like to begin with? So there is a commitment to honesty, authenticity and truthfulness. That's always been in my life and I'm no longer afraid to show up that way.

Very different when I was in my twenties, thirties, and forties right now, pretty much my attitude as an elder is really, if you don't like what I'm saying, then I guess we won't continue to have dialogue around that.  Don't ask if you don't want an answer, I would not have necessarily have said that in my thirties.

So I think the idea of going to those that are our elders and asking for help is really a pretty great thing. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah. [00:47:00] Yeah. Thank you for talking through that.  I've always appreciated relationships that I've formed with people older than me. I don't know what it is. Maybe people have said, Oh, you're an old soul. Not necessarily because of that, but just for whatever reason, one time when I was 2013, some guy I met in Japan, I asked him how old he thought I was.

He thought it was 42. I think I was like 28 at the time. So I was quite offended. But nonetheless people have said that I have an old soul. But the point is that, I've always been very attracted to this idea of learning from people older than me. They've lived longer than I have.

I've seen the effect of growing up in my own life. I feel like I've learned more in the last five years than in the entire time beforehand.  Really learning about myself and how I interact with the world. And as you said, coming into a more authentic way of being and a few years ago at wisdom, actually I heard Chip Connolly speak [00:48:00] and he wrote he has this like modern elder Academy and he went in to Airbnb and was  the oldest person in the company by far and in a place of leadership.

And he realized that not only does he have a lot to learn about the tech industry and the company and from the younger people, but vice versa. And so he saw it as a two-way street and and I've always been attracted to that. My question to you is, how can people who are ready to learn from their elders, how can they seek that out and bring that into their life?

Martie Adler: Wow, that's a tough question that I've not really looked at in its entirety. And the first thing that comes up is there's a group and I'm not going to be able to speak with high level intelligence because I only have a bit of information, but they're called Encore, ENC O R e.org. And I've just begun learning about them and the work that they're doing, [00:49:00] and they are connecting elders and others. Their group is not a specific age group, but it is youngers and olders.

And for example, one of the things that I'm looking into doing with them is to tutor  some younger people I'm talking elementary school in certain subjects, they're beginning to find  that's been very beneficial, especially in certain populations. And so that's just one very tiny example there.

I would say that those communities have something around a council on aging and. It's interesting that I've done the research as an elder. So I know where I can go  to begin doing some work right with others. And again, my, the work that I have chosen for the most part is end of life.

Yet those very same organizations could give younger people, some alternatives. What are these older groups doing? So I would [00:50:00] say, start with your council on aging, start with any of the groups. And most of them have information that will talk about what elders are offering. There's also another group.

I don't know. It's a resource for me as an elder, it's called saging S a G dash I N G saging international. They've got some programs and podcasts. Most of that I believe is for elders wanting to learn how to get out there and to help others, but what a great resource in terms of helping some of our younger folks figure out where they can go.

So those are just off the top of my head. I would also say if you have family members that you are involved with, take time to ask them the stories that you want to hear. And it may be stories about their life. I do know that my father owned his own business, that he had taken over from his dad.

And [00:51:00] in the last. I wouldn't say the last 20 or 30 years of his life, I turned to him as a resource all the time. This is what I'm thinking about doing what do you recommend? And he was a source of extreme information and knowledge for me. So just ask those around you. If there's, you had a school teacher that you really enjoyed, or there's someone in your community that, every time you walk down the block or, hop on your bike and there's a, there's an elder that you pass, stop and get to know them.

There's lots of different ways that, that I think if we just pay attention and again, be aware, stop and ask. I do know, and I believe they're still active. It's a, it's an organization called score. It's a society for retired executives. Yeah. And I think that they're still probably intact. They helped me a lot when I began my business.

So it's [00:52:00] free. It was free advice. I went to some classes, again, these are older people, retired people. And I think one final thing I'll say is there are retirees and that's an all age groups all over the country that are getting actively involved. So I think doing some searches, especially for those that are very technically proficient you should be able to find out pretty quickly.

Adam Coelho: Yeah, thanks for sharing those resources.  This is like coming back to me now,  score I forgot all about that, but I remember when I was starting a business in college, like that was a resource that I think I might even have taken advantage of, or certainly I was aware of. But I think you're right.

I think it's as simple as stopping saying hello and getting to know somebody,  not letting them being much older than you preclude you from starting up a conversation with them. And it doesn't have to be someone older. It does, it can be anybody, we can learn from [00:53:00] anybody. Another thing that you said that I'm taking as something I want to do more of is asking my family members the stories that I want to hear because.

Once they're gone or they, God forbid, lose their memory or whatever,  those stories are gone and there's no way of getting them back. And one thing that I did I had my dad on the podcast. I think it was episode 13 and episode 16.

And I had a conversation with him where he's tell me about your life.  He came to the United States when he was 24. And, I had heard bits and pieces of this story, but hearing it from start to finish and hearing about his experience growing up and, the dictatorship in Portugal and what happened to  his father's business and what it was like, all of that is so important.

And  I feel like I barely even know my parents, like their history. I know them as my parents, but they had a life much more than just being my parents. And I think there's a lot to that. 

 Martie Adler: And you bring up something that again is common to all human [00:54:00] beings.

I know, and that is, we make a lot of assumptions and we forget that we are viewing life through our lens that no one else sees life and the world the way we do and this whole idea of well that person's old. So what do they know? They know things that you may not have ever even been exposed to and could really be helpful.

So I think again, How wonderful it would be. If we could ask those around us, that we care about whether that's in our family or possibly even a second mother, if you will, a woman that might've been down the street, that took care of you. If your mom wasn't around or, could be someone else's father that maybe, took you somewhere because you didn't have a father or your own father, wasn't able to go with you.

So just people that you really care about and stuff say, how do you see life? That's my [00:55:00] new question with people that I'm coaching. How do you see life? Help me understand how you're seeing it. So well, what a great question to begin asking people, and then really listening. 

Adam Coelho: Yeah.  Really cool topic.

 I don't know why I've always had this, but it could be that I grew up around older people. My parents have been owning and operating assisted living facilities in Florida since I was like 10, so I really grew up in this environment with older people.

Not that I had a ton of conversations, but I did have a handful of conversations and I did see my dad get very close with several of the residents and really learn a lot from them. Maybe it's that for me, but I think there's a lot more that I could do there.  

So let's shift gears into what I call the mindful fire.

So the first question is there anything that we didn't discuss that you'd like to share with our audience?

Martie Adler:  There's two points. I think I'd like to make one around living consciously and [00:56:00] one around death and dying. And the living consciously pieces to ask yourself what would stop you from doing so why wouldn't you want to be conscious to life?

And that ties into the other piece around death and dying. Really encourage anyone listening to this to become awake and aware of the fact that you do not know how much time you have. I'm not saying this as an elder whose life timeline is shortening. I'm saying, I didn't know how much time I had left at 18 at 31 at 46.

Yet we live our lives as if we have an unending amount of time and we do not. So the lesson that I think is so important from this is become mindful about how you want to live. And again, I go back to that question, which is [00:57:00] why would you not want to live your life consciously? What would be preventing you from doing that?

And I think that's some questions that will raise huge growth for some, I just, frankly, do not understand why someone would not want to be conscious to life. There is so much beauty, there is so much joy and there is no way that you can truly experience joy without experiencing the pain. So rather than running away from those things that we find uncomfortable, I would suggest that you lean in and open yourself to that discomfort and begin to figure out in awareness what's going on for you.

Adam Coelho: well said. So the second question is what piece of advice would you give to someone early on their path to financial independence?

Martie Adler: To really envision possibilities, not to get locked into it must look a [00:58:00] certain way. Again, that's our human, that's our brain, how we tend to look at things. And unfortunately, if we have this creation, we're all about creating this and envisioning this. Yeah. And so if it looks like a blue box with a red ribbon and that's what we're focused on, we don't even see all the other boxes that come into being, maybe there's a green box with an orange ribbon,  and so try to be as open to possibilities as you can. If you find yourself in a place of doubt in a place of negativity around it I don't know how this is going to happen. I can't see it happening to catch that again, be aware of your language, really catch when you're in that and shift that energy.

And the best way I noticed shifted my energy immediately. And there's many people that have written about this is to move into gratitude. [00:59:00] If you're in a spiral in this moment and you're not feeling good about something shift to what you're grateful for. And it takes just under a minute to be able to shift out of that energy spiral.

So I would say that one other thing that I would say is face your fears, get real about it. And I have Just a real quick model that works very well. Simply sit down with a piece of paper. I would not suggest you do this on the computer. Really put pen or pencil to paper and literally make a list of what you're afraid of.

I'm afraid I'm going to fail. I'm afraid I won't make money. I'm afraid, whatever it is, every single one. And then in the column right next to it, write out the truth, right? I'm a fear. I'm afraid I'm going to fail. Okay. So what take a look at it. What's going to happen in your life. If you fail and really begin to just face each one of those pieces and I'll tell you, it doesn't take [01:00:00] long.

First time I did it, I think it took 18 minutes and I went really, it felt like a life and death situation for me. And it took 18 minutes. That's all you got Martie. Really? So face it. 

Adam Coelho: Is that with regards to a specific thing that you are contemplating doing, or just in general? 

Martie Adler: I would say it works with any fear.

It might be fear of changing a job. Especially as you look at financial independence. What's preventing you. What are these other opportunities? And as I listened to the excuses, where I have a family, I have a mortgage. Okay. But sit down and really face those fears while I have a family.

Okay. So what about that?  They won't understand. Okay. What else?  It could be serious things. It could not be serious things, but you got to face them one way or the other. So I think  it's irrelevant. You just use that model whenever. 

Adam Coelho: Got it. Okay. Yeah. That's helpful for sure.  

The third question is what piece of advice would you give to someone getting started with meditation and or mindfulness?

 [01:01:00] Martie Adler: This is where the elderhood comes in. Don't make the mistakes I did. So I had some wonderful teachers and eventually got to the place where now it's been years and years that I've meditated every day. So here's a couple of things that I guess I, the advice I would give you one, don't worry so much about the time, just do it.

I had a teacher that that basically said it was about yoga actually. And I was making all these excuses for why I haven't done it. And he finally looked at me and said, Martie, just go to the mat. And I actually use that phrase with meditation as well. Just go to your seat, just go to the mat, go to whatever the chair or the floor, just get there every day.

If it's for five minutes, it's for five minutes, but you've got to begin to practice in a level of commitment. The other advice that I will give is you can't quiet the mind completely until you're dead. You just can't [01:02:00] the mind does what it does. Don't think that you're doing something wrong that you're failing because your mind constantly gets in the way that's the practice.

So the goal is just come back and it does get easier. I promise you I've been doing this for years. It does get easier. You will have longer periods of time, but I can also share with you that in an hour's meditation, I may have to bring my mind back. At least once every minute there may be an hour's meditation where I only have to bring my mind back once every four or five minutes, it just, it varies, but at the end, be kind to yourself and say that was my practice today.

 So just the mistake I made was thinking that I was doing it wrong because my mind wouldn't quiet down and that's not true. 

Adam Coelho: I had the same experience myself in the same, almost the same language. And so that is excellent [01:03:00] advice to anyone getting started and what I recommend to people as well.

It's not about how much time you do it. It's about the fact that you do it and don't think you're going to. Clear your mind or 

 push away the thoughts or have no thoughts. It's what the mind does. And so expect that and realize that each time, your mind wanders and you bring it back, that is the practice, as you just said.

So thank you for that advice. And the final question is how can people connect with you online and learn more about what you're doing with three CS consulting 

Martie Adler: or in general? 

I would say the best way to connect with me is  through my website, which is three CS consulting services.com I do not have, and this is deliberate and would be happy to talk to people about this.

At some point in time, I do not have a heavy social presence. That's deliberate. That's not really a part of my life. And so yeah, , if you want to reach out, just hit my [01:04:00] website and. Send me an email and, we'll get started having conversation, do a lot of coaching and do some pro bono work in there as well.


Adam Coelho: Wonderful. Martie, this has been excellent. And I really appreciate you taking the time to share your wisdom with me and the audience today. So thanks so much for joining me on the mindful fire podcast. 

Martie Adler: You are most welcome, and I wish you well, and all of your endeavors. 

Adam Coelho: Thank you. 

Thanks so much for joining me on today's episode of the mindful fire podcast. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Martie Adler.

If you enjoyed our conversation about envisioning and you'd like to dive deeper into this with a workshop, please let me know because I'm considering creating one and I'd love to know what would be useful for you.

 You can let me know by reaching out to me@mindfulfire.org, my email mindful fire podcast at g-mail dot com or on Instagram at the mindful fire podcast. I really appreciate it. And I'd love to hear what would be useful for you.

And if you enjoy today's episode, please [01:05:00] hit subscribe wherever you're listening to this, this just lets the providers know you're getting value from the episodes and you'd like to be here when they produce additional content. 

 If you're enjoying the podcast, I'd really appreciate. If you could leave a written five-star review on Apple podcasts,  this helps more people find out about the show.

And as a reminder, You can find the full show notes for today's episode, including links, resources, and books that we discussed at Mindful fire.org/ 37.

 Thanks again. And I'll catch you next time on the mindful fire podcast.

Martie AdlerProfile Photo

Martie Adler

Principal Consultant and Coach at 3Cs Consulting

Martie Adler spent over 40 years in higher education and corporate senior/executive level leadership roles. She is also the owner of a consulting and coaching business, which she began in 1997. Martie’s focus has been in the field of organizational and human resource development, and she has provided executive level coaching throughout her career. Martie began to shift the focus of her consulting and coaching business to a mindfulness approach; encouraging leaders to become intentional and thoughtful in the creation of inclusive and compassionate cultures that encouraged trust and equanimity. Martie is also an End of Life Doula and has created dialogue circles addressing conscious aging where attendees bring the practice of mindfulness and meditation into the understanding of death and dying. The intent being, to consciously create our lives knowing that death is inescapable. Martie’s personal mission is to bring her knowledge as an elder forward in any way that will uplift humanity.