Episode 28: Loss and Grief: Dr. Pamela Blair

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Loss and grief permeate the Third Age.  Normally, we lose our parents, we lose our friends and one of the couple will lose their spouse and partner.  How can we best cope with it?  How much should we lean on our friends, and what can we expect over the years? 

Dr. Pamela D. Blair is the co-author of the bestselling, award-winning book on grief entitled, “I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye.”  Dr. Blair is a holistic psychotherapist, spiritual counselor and life coach with a private practice in Hawthorne, NY.  A frequently invited guest on TV, cable and radio talk shows, Dr. Blair has appeared several times as an expert on CBS TV.  Her book is considered a classic in grief recovery.  Dr. Blair’s current book is “The Next 50 Years: A Guide for Women at Midlife and Beyond.” 

Some things Dr. Blair talks about are: how sudden death complicates the survivor’s life with unresolved regrets; how survivors replay the traumatic event over and over and how to stop it; and how to deal with PTST.  This interview is a must for the sandwich generation.

Transcript

Announcer: This program is brought to you by personallifemedia.com.

[music]

Peter Brill: Hello, and welcome to the Third Age with the doctor and the man from Hollywood. I am the doctor, Dr. Peter Brill, and the man from Hollywood is David Debin.

[crosstalk]

Peter Brill: On this show we turn the myths of aging upside down. We sort out the scientific and the trendy, the medical and the cultural, and we tell you everything you need to know about living in the Third Age. Remember, we guarantee if you listen to us you will never grow old.

David Debin: Well, I am the man from Hollywood. I am David Debin, and we are working here with a few other experts. We are talking about the Third Age. It usually starts around age 45 or 50, and it is the time when you start to feel a strong desire for deeper meaning and fulfillment in your life.

Your first stage is childhood. Your second age is building career and family, and as you know by now, the Third Age is a major transition to a whole new set of problems, values, opportunities, gratifications. Join us as fellow explorers in this journey to discover what brings passion and purpose and joy into this uncharted time of life. Peter?

Peter Brill: Loss and grief permeate the Third Age. Normally, we lose our parents. We lose our friends, and one of the couple will lose their spouse and partner. How do we best cope with it? How much should we lean on our friends? What can we expect over the years? What do we do about our haunting dreams?

Today's guest, Dr. Pamela Blair, is the co-author of the bestselling, award winning book on grief entitled, "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye". If you have lost anyone in your life and are still affected by it, you will want to hear what she has to say.

And then later in the show we will turn from grief to celebration. We have a special guest, Patty DeDominic, who has been central in bringing about Santa Barbara's first woman's festival where over 400 women will mark women's history month. She is a dynamic woman in her Third Age who will describe this exciting festival and what caused her to start it.

David Debin: Well, welcome to the half of don't be afraid of your age show.

Peter Brill: We had a little technical difficulty there.

David Debin: We had a glitch, but we are getting there. We are having some new…

Peter Brill: Don't be afraid.

David Debin: Don't be afraid of your age.

Peter Brill: No. No. Don't be afraid.

David Debin: Don't be afraid. That's right. Don't back down. Never back down. That is one of our theme songs.

Peter Brill: It doesn't matter, your age; just don't be afraid.

David Debin: No, don't be afraid at any age, right.

Peter Brill: At any age.

David Debin: We want to talk a little bit this morning about… Well, we have taken to talking about the steps that we use in our program, and we want to talk a little bit about step three. We have seven steps so you are almost halfway there if you are sticking with us. We are talking about step three which is opening your heart.

As we have observed before, all of us are living with partially numb hearts. Throughout your life and career there were times when you have been wounded, betrayed. You learn to be cautious about how you handle yourself. You built defenses against getting hurt again. Over the years these defenses have become like a scar over a wound. The body builds up a scar for defense, but a scar has no feeling. It is numb so you make yourself numb to situations that remind you of whatever it was that wounded you.

For instance, if you were betrayed by a lover you trusted you might feel a certain protective freezing of your heart when a potential new lover comes along. Over time that numbness permeates more and more of your life. You become more cautious, and you might feel afraid to reach out. That's a problem as you get older because as you get older your emotions and your feelings are what sustain you. If you are open to emotions and to feelings and to dealing with the things that might have hurt you in the past, you stand a better chance of living a full and complete life.

Peter Brill: Absolutely. The three tasks of the Third Age in regard to the heart are learning to love yourself, learning to love other people in relationships and learning to love life. All three of those come from your heart. If your heart is closed down or hypersensitive, overly reactive you become terrified or you become wounded and you just can't live life in the moment through your heart, you are going to have a tough journey in the Third Age. Those are just our thoughts for today.

David Debin: It is an interesting subject, and we all have a lot to learn about all of it, but today we have time for the news story.

Peter Brill: The news story [gong]. There we go.

David Debin: This is something that some people might consider optimistic. I think the title of this story is "What makes America great and why we need to spread freedom and democracy to backward countries like Iraq?"

Peter Brill: Like Iraq?

David Debin. Yeah.

Peter Brill: I would think Antarctica.

David Debin: Other backward… or Indiana, anywhere backward and cold countries. An upside down country.

Peter Brill: Absolutely. That's why they are so backward.

David Debin: The blood all rushes to their heads.

This comes from Boston, Massachusetts. An incident took place at a Boston Chuck E. Cheese Saturday when one woman's son hogged an arcade game from the other's nine-year-old birthday boy. Sandra Aliaga took offense to Marsha Williams' 13-year-old son using a basketball game machine for a long time. Aliaga said the other boy was done shooting hoops, and Williams replied, "No, he's not".

Words were exchanged, and things got physical between the moms with shouts, shoves and pushes. Williams lunged at Aliaga, grabbed her and began to hit her, punching her in the side of the face. Williams told Aliaga the fight was not over and would continue outside in the parking lot.

Well, the police arrived to find the women tussling in the Birthday Room. They sent the women and children home separately, and I think that this is part of the freedom, the great freedom…

Peter Brill: Wait a minute. They sent the women home separate from the kids?

David Debin: No, they sent the women and their children home separately, right. Black eyes, crying, everybody upset, and I think that this is what freedom is all about. It is the freedom to go to Chuck E. Cheese, to hog a machine, to get riled up if somebody is doing that and to punch somebody in the face if they are not getting off the machine when you are ready.

Peter Brill: I love your philosophy.

David Debin: What amendment is that?

Peter Brill: I think, David, the Israelis and the Arabs could use this.

David Debin: I think so, yeah.

Peter Brill: It would help solve their problems.

David Debin: Or they could use more arcade machines. Maybe, they just don't have enough Chuck E. Cheese.

Peter Brill: I mean, oh my God. What in the world is wrong? You know, there are mothers now calling up employers who don't promote their kids.

David Debin: Is that true?

Peter Brill: Yes. There is a whole bunch of stuff. Mothers will call up, they will have like a 25 or 26-year-old guy who will be working for somebody, and the mother will call up to complain to the boss about how he is treating their son.

Woman: That's embarrassing. [laughter]

Peter Brill: To who?

David Debin: To the son, or the son asked the mother to call up. You never know. In Italy it is a common, accepted practice now for 35, 40, 45-year-old sons to live with their parents, to live in the house with their mothers, to have their relationships and have their girlfriends and even their wives come and go. I wish my mother was around. I would go and live with her. She left a long time ago, but it must be a real comforting feeling to live with your mother all the time.

Woman: Yeah, all the time.

[laughter[

Woman: At least, you get free food.

Peter Brill: I want to get out.

David Debin: Is that from the psychiatric…

Peter Brill: Talking about therapy, we have a therapist coming on. You had better be careful about what you say.

David Debin: Oh, that's right. I had better not… That's right but we can certainly talk about loss.

Peter Brill: We certainly can. Well, we are very fortunate. Our guest today is Dr. Pamela Blair who is a holistic psychotherapist, a spiritual counselor and a life coach with a private practice in Hawthorne, New York. A frequently invited guest on TV, cable and radio shows, Dr. Blair has appeared several times as an expert on CBS-TV. She is the co-author of the bestselling, award winning book on grief titled, "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye" and now considered a basic classic in grief recovery. Her current book is entitled, "The Next Fifty Years", a guide to women at mid-life and beyond.

Welcome to the show, Dr. Blair.

Pamela Blair: It is a delight to be here or there.

[laughter]

Peter Brill: It is a delight to be anywhere.

Pamela Blair: That's right.

David Debin: That is Keith Richards' line. But how can you be in two places at once if you know where at all. I think that is another line from the 60s.

Pamela Blair: Excellent.

Peter Brill: She is a spiritual counselor.

Woman: There you go.

David Debin: That's right.

Peter Brill: Go on. Go ahead, David.

David Debin: We were talking about a couple of your books. One of the ones that we deal with, the concepts that we deal with a lot in the Third Age is "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye".

Pamela Blair: Sure.

David Debin: Which is a book on losing somebody, and I think it is losing somebody suddenly.

Pamela Blair: Right.

David Debin: One of the questions that we want to ask is we understand that you have had personal experiences with the sudden death of loved ones. We are wondering, are you willing to talk about any of that or is that something we…

Pamela Blair: Oh, sure. As you know, I have a co-author who has also had sudden death, Brook Noel. Her brother, Caleb, died as a result of anaphylactic shock from a bee sting when he was in his 20s. My former husband, George, and the father of my son died of a brain aneurysm as did my sister's husband six months later. In fact, it is very spooky. The aneurysm was in an identical place in the brain for both my sister's husband and mine, and they both died suddenly without warning. George was 38; my sister's husband was 52. My sister's story among others are included in the book. 

David Debin: I personally hear a lot of this kind of thing, particularly brain aneurysms, massive heart attacks. And you said, without any warning. Is there any way to find out if there can be a warning because it just seems like it takes so many people, this type of thing.

Pamela Blair: You know, that is not my field. I did do some reading about it after it happened because it was a new thing to me. I understand that if they catch an aneurysm soon enough they can save a life.

David Debin: How does someone cope with a sudden death as opposed to someone coping with a long term death?

Pamela Blair: Well, the recovery, I think, is somewhat different, and you might agree with me. Shock and denial have a tendency to be extended in a sudden death, and basically that is what the book is about - sudden death rather than long and lingering death.

The shock may have all the earmarks; perhaps, of posttraumatic stress syndrome, and the denial response as far as I have seen may be delayed acceptance of what has happened. In order to cope the person may live in a fantasy for a while, like continuing to set a place at the table or wait for the door to open at the time they usually arrive after work. They convince themselves that the person is on a business trip, reactions like that.

Another difference in many cases is that the survivor will replay the traumatic event over and over saying to themselves and anybody who will listen, if only I hadn't let him take that plane or why did I let her get in that car or what I call the 'if only' mind game, guilt over not being able to prevent whatever happened, those types of things.

The other is to say that guilt may have to do with what was said or not said just prior to the death, and I heard this from some of the widows I spoke to after 9/11. One in particular, who was asleep when her husband left for work that day and didn't wake up to say goodbye, something as simple as that.

Peter Brill: God, just imagine what you carry with you, but the severity of the response is so much greater without the time to prepare. You and your sister must have gone through enormous, enormous pain and suffering. How do you help someone deal with this?

Pamela Blair: Well, one of the things that I think is important is recognizing that you are not alone in this. Perhaps, one of the most insightful things I ever heard was from a psychiatrist who I knew his own wife had died suddenly. I said to him, "How did you cope?" And he said that he went crazy. To have a psychiatrist say to me that he went crazy normalized it for me.

Peter Brill: That's that book, "A Year of Magical Thinking".

David Debin: That was Joan Didion.

Peter Brill: That was fabulous in terms of…

Pamela Blair: That's some book. In fact, I recommend it highly. When I went crazy and felt crazy I recognized that this was a phase to go through. What I do is I share my own experiences with people, not only through my book but in my counseling sessions. I am not afraid to divulge the craziness that I felt.

Peter Brill: Would you mind sharing a typical example with us? Did you know you were crazy at the time?

Pamela Blair: [laughs] Well, I am a therapist so I am supposed to know that.

Peter Brill: No, but everybody loses it. When you get mad at your kids, do you know you are crazy? [laughs]

Pamela Blair: You know, I think we are using the term crazy…

Peter Brill: Of course, you are.

Pamela Blair: I would be in a supermarket aisle and I would see his favorite soup and I would just break down and not be able to continue shopping and just leave crying.

Peter Brill: To me, that is not crazy. That is the most human thing that there ever could be.

Pamela Blair: Exactly. But the person going through it can feel crazy because you are losing your keys. You are losing what feels like your mind. You are losing where you put your checkbook and there is that phase of the grief, also.

Peter Brill: Could I ask you. I have a special interest, you have a whole part of a chapter on dreams, the dreams that people have and what to do about them. Could you comment a little bit about that?

Pamela Blair: As a spiritual counselor I have done a lot of Jungian studies, and I really do believe in the power of dreams to communicate on a certain level. When someone comes to me and says they have had a dream about a loved one who has passed on and this loved one is communicating with them in some caring, important way I take that very seriously. And I don't judge it as well, that is just something you made up in your mind. To the person it is very real and who is to say it isn't.

Peter Brill: Absolutely. There is all this research that was presented in extraordinary knowing that was profoundly documented that there is a lot that we don't know about the nature of communication and information. That's for sure.

Pamela Blair: Exactly. There is a beautiful book written, I think it is by John Sanford who says that dreams are God's forgotten language. In fact, I think that's the title of the book, "Dreams: God's Forgotten Language" and that not only are our loved ones speaking to us through our dreams perhaps even God is.

David Debin: I know that people that I have lost definitely speak to me through my dreams. In fact, some of them, I wish they would stop because after a while it gets very disconcerting.

Pamela Blair: Yes, it can be.

David Debin: We are talking to Dr. Pamela Blair who is the author of "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye", an award winning book on grief and also has a current book, "The Next Fifty Years", a guide for women at mid-life and beyond. If everybody will hold on, we will be right back with Dr. Blair.

This is David Debin and Peter Brill on the Third Age.

Announcer: Listen to Beauty Now, the intersection of cosmetic surgery, longevity and biomedical innovation for confident decisions in preventative aging on personallifemedia.com.

[music]

Peter Brill: Well, welcome back to the Third Age. I am one of your co-hosts, Dr. Peter Brill. I am here with the man from Hollywood, David Debin. Our guest today is Dr. Pamela Blair who is a holistic psychotherapist, spiritual counselor, and has written two books, one on "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye" about sudden loss and her new book which is "The Next Fifty Years", a guide for women at mid-life and beyond.

Dr. Blair, where can people get your books?

Pamela Blair: Well, online, of course, at Amazon or any of the other book sellers. I don't want to leave anybody out, but you can get it online. Often, you can pick it up at the local book store, Barnes & Noble, places like that.

David Debin: Let me put myself into the position of one of your clients, OK?

Peter Brill: It is about time. [laughter]

David Debin: I'm from Hollywood. We all need that. I am going to synthesize some experiences that I have heard from people. We have Third Age groups. I'll synthesize some experiences, but I would like to see where you take me on this.

My husband and I, my wife and I, let us put it that way. My wife and I loved each other very much, but we were constantly at odds over a lot of things.

Peter Brill: You are not describing yourself. You are describing somebody out of the group.

David Debin: I am making up characters because I am from Hollywood.

Pamela Blair: Make up something good.

Peter Brill: He expects to win an award for this.

David Debin: And there were things that I wanted to do that she didn't want to do, that she wanted to do that I didn’t want to do. We wound up at loggerheads, but we loved each other. We socialized, but we became less and less intimate and we didn't have sex for several years. I got to the point where I was telling my friends about how unhappy I was but didn't know what to do about it.

And then suddenly my wife had a stroke and she died. Here my friends were all-I could see them in their eyes feeling well, you complained so much why are you so upset? Why do you cry at the drop of a hat? How do I stop this? What is going on inside me?

Pamela Blair: In other words, the person that you are talking about is wondering why they are grieving even though the relationship was not so good and it was overish kind of in the sexual area.

David Debin: Why I'm grieving so hard and so much?

Pamela Blair: So hard?

Peter Brill: And the friends are not as supportive because they have heard nothing but complaints about the relationship for years.

Pamela Blair: Sometimes, we grieve for that which we know now we will never get. In other words, there are no more opportunities to make it right, and so that is another form of grief right there.

David Debin: But what am I going to do? I mean, I am grieving because I can't make it right with my wife who is gone, but this has been three years now and I still can't seem to get over it. What do I do?

Pamela Blair, Oh, OK. You are talking about an abnormally long time of grief.

David Debin: Well, from what I have seen-stepping out of character here-from what I have seen it is not that abnormal. I see people with…

Pamela Blair: No, it's not but I thought the way you were projecting it that you were playing it…

David Debin: I feel that it is because I don't know any better.

Pamela Blair: Well, in fact, recovery time, as you probably already know, from sudden loss or any kind of major loss, divorce, for instance, is two to five years for you to go through the whole gamut of these feelings and the anniversary dates and all of that, the holidays and all the triggers that come up.

People who recover, I think, on the lower end of that after two or three years or so are people who are really allowing their emotions to surface and are working with a professional, perhaps, who is helping guide them through the steps of putting back together their lives. That is what I would say is that working with someone can really be helpful if you find that you are in that place where you feel stuck.

Peter Brill: Can we add a few things to that?

Pamela Blair: Sure. Please do.

Peter Brill: Because oftentimes when you have these conflicted relationships where people are very conflicted, there can also be a huge charge to them. I mean, they may be conflicted and they may be unhappy. But, there is a huge amount of feeling that is still going on.

Pamela Blair: Yes. I agree.

Peter Brill: The fact that they are mourning isn't surprising at all, and then in addition to that all the unresolved issues of the individual person can be brought into this mourning process. Why were they in such a conflicted relationship? What did it mean to them? What kind of development did they need to do in their own lives in addition to the mourning process, to unlock the door?

Pamela Blair: It is also an opportunity for enormous growth.

Peter Brill: Oh, absolutely.

Pamela Blair: I think it is the Chinese that have a word for crisis opportunity. They put the two words together.

Peter Brill: We are very sorry. We actually had somebody call in and lecture us in quite a lot of depth that those are not quite the way the field has presented it.

Pamela Blair: No?

Peter Brill: No. Let's tell our audience what it is so they know what we are talking about.

Pamela Blair: I think the Chinese word and I am probably mispronouncing it is weichi [sp] which means crisis opportunity.

Peter Brill: There are two different words and they… Anyway, we got this whole lecture.

Pamela Blair: You did?

Peter Brill: Somebody called in and gave us a lecture on it.

Pamela Blair: All right.

David Debin. But in a sense every tragedy is an opportunity to grow and that is understood. Then I went to a grief group, and you know what-and it didn't help me at all. It just seemed like people wanted to hold on to their grief. Do you suggest that I go to a grief group?

Pamela Blair: Yeah, I do. Sometimes, it is helpful to see other people going through their grief and coming out the other side. Sometimes, it is helpful to be sitting alongside of someone who is feeling the same feelings you are feeling or similar feelings. I think groups can be enormously helpful, and then when you step outside yourself to help someone else because you know something about this loss from personal experience it can help your own grieving process.

Peter Brill: Can I ask a question that I finding permeating the field at this point, which is, we are finally integrating spirituality and psychotherapy. There are many, many places where that is taking place. What do you feel spirituality brings to this discussion?

Pamela Blair: An acceptance.

Peter Brill: Well, there is acceptance in psychotherapy.

Pamela Blair: Yes, there is but just let me finish the sentence. It's all right. An acceptance of things that are unknowable or beyond ourselves. In trans-personal psychology, for instance, you have that element of what is outside your normal experience.

For instance, if someone comes in and says, "You know, I heard a knocking at the door and I am sure it was my husband who passed away", knocking at the door, trying to come in. I am not going to negate that person's experience that they need medication or something. I'm just going to say, "Well, perhaps, that’s a possibility and we explore possibilities".

The other element of spirituality, of course, is religion, and the two are not synonymous as you know. If someone comes in with a very deep belief in reincarnation, for instance, because of my background as an interfaith minister I have no problem discussing that with a client.

Peter Brill: Would you also agree that with all the modern studies and conceptual work that is beginning to see that we are not actually isolated organisms, that we are part of some collective energy process. You can document this with fairly decent science.

Pamela Blair: Yes, you can.

Peter Brill: If you get into that at a spiritual level where you see the connection of yourself with others, maybe there is more to draw on in the world than you believe.

Pamela Blair: One of the most interesting clients I ever had was a physicist who was doing just that kind of work and who was becoming more and more spiritual every day in doing his research.

David Debin: It sounds like Einstein saying that those who aren't standing in awe of the great mystery will never live life to the fullest or something like that.

Pamela Blair: Something like that.

David Debin: Thank you, Dr. Blair, for talking about your book, "I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye". We would love to have you back again to talk about your new book for our next Third Age show which is "The Next Fifty Years", a guide for women at mid-life and beyond.

Pamela Blair: Well, I am absolutely enjoying my Third Age. I will be 60 in June, and I am working on the next book called "The Evolving Woman", so here we go.

Peter Brill: Here we go.

David Debin: Another 60 years.

Pamela Blair: There you go.

David Debin: Thanks for being with us.

Pamela Blair: Thank you.

David Debin: This is the Third Age. I am David Debin with Peter Brill. We will be right back.

Renee Stephens: Hi, this is Renee Stephens, host of Inside Out Weight Loss. If you want to be a thin person you have to learn how to think like one. Learn how on my weekly show that aligns mind, body and spirit for lasting change. Find me on iTunes or at personallifemedia.com. That's Inside Out Weight Loss, how to think like a thin person on personallifemedia.com.

[music]

Peter Brill: Welcome back to the Third Age. I am one of your co-hosts, Dr. Peter Brill. I am here with my other co-host, the man from Hollywood, David Debin. We are here with Marisa Servais [sp].

We are very fortunate today to have Patty DeDominic with us. She is the wife of a friend of mine, actually, Gene Sinser. They have lived here in Santa Barbara for over a decade, but she was still commuting until last year when she sold her business and moved her home office.

She is absolutely a true entrepreneur and a great community volunteer. Carpentry of Girls is going to honor her later this spring at an inspiration award lunch, and she was named the CEO of the Year by the Los Angeles Journal and the National Association of Women's Business Owners.

Welcome to the show.

Patty DeDominic: Thank you, Peter and David. I am so happy to be here.

David Debin. Boy, that is quite a run of achievements that you have put together, and you look like you are only 25 years old. How did you do it all so fast?

Patty DeDominic: Well, when you get to the Third Age you're just count up your highlights. [laughs]

Peter Brill: Why did you sell your business?

Patty DeDominic: I started my staffing business which was PDQ Personnel Services in 1979. I ran it for over 28 years. That is a long time to have the same job, especially since the new age of work, the new world of work; people don't really have their jobs for over 10 years nowadays. It used to be when we were growing up that you would have a job and you would have a career, and you would pretty much stay in the same career for your whole life.

Well, that is not the way it is in the new millennium. People have job changes and career changes; every five to 10 years is common now. I think our young producers and our college students of today may have 10 major career shifts in their lifetime.

Peter Brill: So you got tired, you were done with it, but now you have started another business.

Patty DeDominic: Well, I grew from scratch a staffing company because I wanted to help people find jobs, and I grew it to become the largest LA city-based staffing company. I sold it to Select which is based here in Santa Barbara. Select is now one of the largest privately held staffing companies in the world, actually. They are the largest privately held staffing company in America, and I am thrilled to be able to do that. In selling a business, the timing is important.

I am doing volunteer work now, and we decided to celebrate International Women's Day this weekend on March 8th.

Peter Brill: So, this is not a business for you. This is an affair of the heart.

Patty DeDominic: Yes.

Peter Brill: To volunteer for free.

Patty DeDominic: Yes, it is - to try and go find corporate sponsors. We found corporate sponsors, but we were hoping they would write us big checks for 50 and 100,000. They decided to write us checks for 5 and 10,000. If you are going to throw a party for 2,000 people over the weekend you have a lot of volunteers, and Gene and I are the main underwriters of the event.

David Debin: Is that why your cell phone hasn't stopped ringing since you got to the studio?

Peter Brill: We had to drag her into the studio.

David Debin: What's it been like, putting that together?

Patty DeDominic: It's been incredible. We have over 80 volunteers. We have over 75 speakers and resources, and the whole town of Santa Barbara has come out in support. We have got volunteers from City College, USB, Pacifica, Fielding Graduate. I mean, every educational place has got great students who are volunteering.

Peter Brill: What are you putting on? What is all this?

Patty DeDominic: A fabulous three day party for women and men. It's called the Women's Festivals or Santa Barbara Women's Festival. If you Google it, you can find it or you can find us online. We are having a conference and a festival. It is not exactly a conference which is sort of boring, and it is not a fair which has very high workers comp costs. It is a festival which is a conference that is a lot of fun.

At City College on Friday we are having a VIP reception. City College on Saturday from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. we are having classes and seminars. Hoopnautica opens up in the morning. Booty Camp will be there if you feel like getting up at six or seven. Keynote speaker at 7:30.

We are covering five main themes. You want to hear them?

David Debin: Of course.

Peter Brill: I am still stuck on Booty Camp.

David Debin: I thought she said Booty Camp.

Patty DeDominic: I did say Booty Camp.

Peter Brill: I will be there.

Patty DeDominic: You are going to have to come.

Peter Brill: I'm coming. I'm coming to this. What are the five themes? I'll try to get my mind in it.

Patty DeDominic: Please try to show up. We also just for you guys and women because heart health is really important, we have Dr. Howard Elkin, who is a leading cardiologist but he is also California Amateur Body Building Champion. He doesn't want to take care of anybody's heart attacks any more. He wants to help people be healthy and well and live a long time, so he changed his practice from intervention and doing pacemakers to wellness and longevity. He would rather teach you how to live to be a hundred and enjoy your booty camps, your Hoopnautica and everything else. He will be there supervising in case any of the guys show up need heart help.

Then at 7:30 we have Susan Solovic who owns Small Business Television. She is coming in from Chicago. She was also a beauty contestant, but that is not a good thing to say about her even though she is beautiful.

She has books. She wrote "The Girl's Guide to Money and Power", and she wrote "The Girl's Guide to Building a Million Dollar Business". She will be speaking at 7:30 in the morning in Leni FeBland's Forum at Santa Barbara City College, sbcc.edu at 7:30 in the morning. You should come in.

Peter Brill: 7:30 on Saturday morning? We better move along.

Patty DeDominic: Then at 8:30 in the morning our sessions start. We have got multiple themes going on: personal, professional, political, philanthropic and planet. Under those five themes there are speakers.

We have rented all of City College for Saturday, and we have rented Earl Warren Show Grounds for Sunday.

Peter Brill: City College wouldn't do Sunday?

Patty DeDominic: We actually tried to get Earl Warren Show Grounds for the whole weekend, but they have some other things going on.

David Debin: Let's hear the five themes.

Patty DeDominic: The five Ps, OK. Personal, that is about your personal life, your beauty, your longevity, your finance and your fitness. Professional, that is about your job, your career, your business.

Political, that is about how do you support a candidate. Are you going to vote for Hillary? Are you going to vote for Obama? Are you going to vote for McCain or Ralph Nader? How are you going to make up your mind? We have got Republicans and Democrats debating and talking about this. If you want to get an issue through, what can you do to help?

Personal, professional, political - we are non-partisan. The next one is philanthropic. Our committee really believes that everybody can be a philanthropist whether you are a volunteer or a multi-millionaire. So, we are talking about philanthropy, and we have asked Ms FeBland, Baroness FeBland, to come and talk about why she gave money to have some building named after her at City College.

And then finally, planet. We will be giving the Green-to-Gold Awards Saturday night for inventors who have come up with businesses or non-profit organizations which support sustainable livelihood; so, it is a business that makes things green.

David Debin: How do people get there?

Peter Brill: How do people sign up?

David Debin: I need to get a ticket.

Peter Brill: I know you do. Where do you get a ticket?

Patty DeDominic: You can show up. It would be better to pre-register online. There are special discounts, and there are scholarships available. They go to womensfestivals.org. Both those words are plural: womensfestivals.org and you can get information and register online. The student price is $39. The adult price is a little bit more, and there are scholarships. If you don't have money you can apply, and we do have corporations: Cisco, Citrix [sp] Online, The Orphula [sp] Foundation and private donors have said we will pay for scholarships for anybody who wants to come that can't afford to come.

David Debin: What about my senior discount?

Patty DeDominic: Yes, you get it. Actually, I will tell you what. Here's the deal. If people will go online, register at womensfestivals.org there is a special code that says, what is my affiliation. Is it Santa Barbara Chamber or is it Women Business Owners or Girls Inc. or Score? If they write Peter and David in the special code box, they can get in for free.

Peter Brill: Wow. There you go.

David Debin: Thank you.

Patty DeDominic: Special just for you, just for you.

David Debin: Thank you. Fabulous.

Peter Brill: We will be right back with the Third Age. Hold on.

Announcer: Listen to Living Green, effortless ecology for everyday people, a weekly online audio program featuring champions of sustainable personal living at personallifemedia.com.

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Peter Brill: Well, welcome back after that exciting adventure into women's festivals and International Women's History Month.

David Debin: It actually sounds great. I am definitely going to go.

Peter Brill: Are you going to go? All you've got to do is go to the website, womensfestivals.

David Debin: Womensfestivals.org to pre-register and put Peter and David in and you will get a free $39 ticket.

Peter Brill: I think it's $39 or more.

David Debin: Yeah.

Peter Brill: I think the student one is $39.

David Debin: That's right. That's right.

Peter Brill: So it may be a lot more than that. We have had quite a day. What did we learn today and what would we like to talk about? I'll tell you one thing I want to talk about is our workshop at City College.

David Debin: What do you do in your workshop? Is it interactive or can I just come and sit there and watch?

Peter Brill: It is interactive. We give lectures. We have little exercises. We also want to learn a lot about you and what you are doing in your life and how to have celebration and energy and excitement so that your life is filled with energy and joy and passion and purpose.

David Debin: Do you take couples? Should I bring my wife?

Peter Brill: Absolutely. Bring your wife; bring any kind of couple.

David Debin: Do you show movies or shows?

Peter Brill: We lecture. We have interactive exercises, and we help people plan what they want to do and how to make this the most exciting time of their life which it easily can be.

David Debin: What if I know what I want to do but just can't get myself started to do it? Then, what? Can you just help me there?

Peter Brill: We have a sky rocket up the kazoo. [laughs]

David Debin: A sky rocket up the kazoo? I think you are talking about a different kind of doctor than you are.

Peter Brill: It gets you moving. No. No. We have exercises that will get you moving.

David Debin: Will I come out with something? Not a disease, but will I come out…

Peter Brill: You have got to watch those sky rockets.

David Debin: Will I come out with something that I can use? Will I really come out with something that I can actually put into use?

Peter Brill: That depends on you. You can come out with it if you work hard. It will be available if you work hard. You can come out with a clear idea of where to get started.

David Debin: And you are not going to ask us any embarrassing questions or anything like that.

Peter Brill: Yes, I will.

David Debin: You will? Personal things?

Peter Brill: But you don't have to answer them. Yes, we are going to have dialogues, serious open discussion of this stage of life and what makes people happy and what people want from this stage of life.

Now, you don't have to be embarrassed about that, and you don't have to share any time you don't want to, but, yes, there are going to be very, very open discussions there.

David Debin: It sounds great. How much is that?

Peter Brill: Free.

David Debin: Free. Your workshop is free. If you don't get anything out of it, it is still free. Well, we had a very interesting author on the show today, tonight, whatever it is, talking about how you deal with the sudden loss of somebody that you love. It seems to me that almost everybody has had that experience in one way or another. To deal with that is something that you need to learn especially at this stage of life.

Peter Brill: You know, I see so many-I am going to say-women because it is much more common with women.

David Debin: Right. Yes.

Peter Brill: Women and men who are wealthy, well off, educated and never get over the loss of their spouse.

David Debin: I have seen that, too.

Peter Brill: It drags on year and year, and it is a waste of life. Their spouse was wonderful. They had a wonderful marriage, a wonderful life but they've got a lot of lifetime left and it can be 20, 30 years of misery if you don't learn how to deal with it. I really suggest strongly that you work on keeping your life alive.

David Debin: It has been a great show. It has been nice to be with you and Marisa Servais and Lee here. We want to thank Les Carroll who is our program and station manager here. I am David Debin. He is Peter Brill, and you have been listening to the Third Age. Come back and see us again real soon.

Announcer: Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com.

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