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What 'Ghosts' Are You Going To Bust This Year?
December 31, 2005

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #049, December 31, 2005

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

· What 'Ghosts' Are You Going To Bust This Year?

· Something To Do On New Years Day

· Book Review: Recipes for Inner Peace


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2005


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

Well... another year is gone. Was it one you will look back on and say "I'm glad I lived that year the way I did"? If it was, bully for you! You are on a good path.

If it wasn't, maybe you will find something in this newsletter that will help you live the coming year more to your liking. I particularly recommend "Recipes for Inner Peace", reviewed below.

I wish you the best of everything in the coming year. May you achieve your goals, have much love in your life, and have just enough challenge to keep things interesting.

Happy New Year!



"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust


What 'Ghosts' Are You Going To Bust This Year?

There is an Japanese folktale about a young woman who marries an older man. After a few years, the man sickens, and on his deathbed, asks his wife to promise never to sleep with another man. The woman, full of grief, and, another relationship being the last thing on her mind, promises.

Time goes by, and eventually the woman becomes friendly with a young man in the village, and human nature being what it is, they feel the urge to sleep together. Remembering her promise, she resists for a while, then finally succumbs to the temptation.

A few nights after her first dalliance with her new lover, the ghost of her husband suddenly appears, and pointing an accusing finger, tells her she will die because she has broken her promise to him.

The woman is terrified, and runs to the village wise man for help. Hearing her story, he says first they must determine whether it is a real ghost. He tells her the next time the ghost comes, she should ask him a question that only the two of them know the answer to.

When the ghost comes that night, she asks, in a trembling voice, what she wore to bed on their wedding night. He tells her it was a pink silk nightgown with embroidered blue flowers. Even more terrified, she goes back to the wise man and tells him the ghost's answer was correct, and no one else could have known.

"Hmm", says the wise man, "it looks as though it is a real ghost alright. So here is what to do", and he whispers some directions in her ear.

That night, before going to bed, the woman takes a handful of rice from the bag by the stove, and puts it in the pocket of her nightgown. When the ghost comes to haunt her, she asks him to tell her how many grains of rice are in her pocket.

The ghost shrieks in anger, and disappears, never to return.

The reason this test works is that the ghost is a projection of her own fear and guilt, and it only 'knew' what she knew. When she did not know how many grains of rice were in her pocket, and consequently he did not know either, it broke the 'spell' she had cast upon herself, and the 'ghost' disappeared.

Now here is the question… what spells have you cast upon yourself? What, or who, are you staying loyal to, when it no longer serves you to do so? What outdated beliefs are you hanging onto, that you would be better off letting go? Where do you need to cut your losses and move on?

Maybe this is a good time to examine your 'ghosts of years past' that are keeping you from moving forward. Here some questions that might help:

  • What have I sworn I will never try, or even consider doing again, even though other people seem to benefit from doing it?
  • What am I still doing as a 'favour' to my spouse/partner, that I no longer enjoy doing, and that I have not discussed with him/her to see whether it is even seen favourably?
  • What am I still doing, which I used to enjoy, but only do now out of habit or 'loyalty' to it?

Good luck with your 'ghost-busting'. I hope the coming year is good to you.


STOP THE PRESSES! I have said before in this newsletter, I think a website can be a wonderful and rewarding way to express a passion (hobby, special skill, whatever, and make some money at it. I may have also mentioned that the VERY BEST, bar none, small business web package on the net is Site BuildIt!. It dramatically over-delivers in value at the regular price, but until January 3, there is a special buy-one-get-one-free deal that makes it a truly incredible value. If you have been thinking of building a site, and want one that works, get this. You can partner with a buddy and each get one half-price, or maybe give one to your spouse, or one of your kids, or...? You decide.

But don't take too long. The deal ends on January 3. Click here: Site BuildIt!


Something To Do On New Years Day (or any other day for that matter)

Every New Years day, Elizabeth and I set aside about half an hour to do the Lifetime Goal Setting Exercise from Alan Lakein's 1974 book How To Get Control of Your Time and Your Life. It is the best I know of for setting goals that you truly care about for the coming year, and then making a plan to achieve them. You can find this exercise on my website at

The best way to predict your future is to create it, and clarifying what you want in your life, and setting goals to achieve it, will help you do that :-)


"Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment. Mastering others requires force. Mastering the self needs strength." Tao Te Ching


NOTE: In the last newsletter I offered you an opportunity to make a small donation to my website, if you wished. It turned out I couldn't do it the way I wanted, which is to let you decide how much to donate, as Clickbank (the company I use) is set up only to receive specific amounts. I have decided, at least for the moment, to abandon the idea, as I am reluctant to specify an amount for those who might want to make a donation.


BOOK REVIEW: Recipes for Inner Peace

by Warren Redman, with recipes by Robin Harnish, Merlin Star Press, 2005

Want a recipe to make your life better, as well as some recipes for cooking really great dishes? Yes? Then this little book is for you.

Redman has written fifteen books, including the award-winning "The 9 Steps to Emotional Fitness". A psychotherapist, coach, and trainer for thirty years, he is President of the Centre for Inner Balancing in Calgary, Alberta.

In an effort to spread the principles of emotional fitness to a wider public, he (perhaps with Harnish's help) came up with the idea of a 'life/food cookbook' (I don't know how else to describe it), and it works. I have never seen a book quite like this, but having seen it, I recommend it!

The book follows the journey of a young woman named Jenny, who's life is not working very well. Short on friends, not able to maintain a romantic relationship, and using food to fill the emptiness inside, her boss one day suggests she see the same personal coach he uses. Thus begins Jenny's journey.

The simple, but interesting, story is the carrier for a much more profound and useful series of learnings and exercises for the reader. The nine steps Jenny's coach leads her through will be powerful for anyone to use (you, for instance), in clarifying who you are, what you want, and moving ahead in achieving it. This book will lead you toward a more fulfilling, harmonious life.

The recipes from Chef Robin Harnish look delicious (I have not tried any yet, having only recently got the book, but I will soon). Harnish has been a cooking instructor, personal chef, and now runs a small restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has won many professional culinary competitions.

You can order your copy ($12 US, $15 Cdn) at Bon appetit!


New Years Resolutions...

  • 1999: I will get my weight down below 180.
  • 2000: I will watch my calories until I get below 190.
  • 2001: I will follow my new diet religiously until I get below 200.
  • 2002: I will try to develop a realistic attitude about my weight.
  • 2003: I will work out 5 days a week.
  • 2004: I will work out 3 days a week.
  • 2005: I will try to drive past a gym at least once a week.


Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.

Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men.


Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , and follow the instructions.



Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.

I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

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