Retirement Rebels: Teresa Bruni
Retirement Rebels: Teresa Bruni on why we should all be laughing every day
Welcome back to our monthly ‘Retirement Rebel’ interview series. This month I talk to Teresa Bruni, author, speaker, and founder of Less Fear, More Flow LLC, and The 2020 Resilience Journal Project. You can find out more about her on her website here.
Teresa helps her clients break through obstacles that prevent them from living life to the fullest, and in that sense, she is very aligned with me! She believes that true healing, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, requires a well-rounded approach, and knows that healing can come in many forms resulting in abundance and joy in all areas of life. She believes everyone is worthy of achieving their true desires.
I’m really looking forward to sharing Teresa’s inspiring thoughts with you. In the meantime, if you’re a rebel too, and you’d like to be part of this series yourself, email me at [email protected].
Do you consider yourself retired – and if not, why not?
No, I am not retired. It’s difficult for me to imagine retirement because I love the work that I do and would feel lost without it. I’m the type of person that needs a purpose and a reason to wake up every day. For me, that is my work. It provides me with much more than income.
How do your thoughts on retirement differ from most people – in other words, what makes you a retirement rebel?
I remember an incident I experienced when I was in my early thirties. I worked for a large corporation, and one of the top executives retired. There was a big party and so much excitement as everyone celebrated his many decades of service and dedication to the company. He had a plan too. He and his wife were moving to Florida to enjoy their retirement. About two weeks later, the news came that he had died from a heart attack. These events hit me very hard. I thought, what a waste of life having worked so hard for that day and then having it all taken away in a flash.
That’s when my thoughts and feelings about how to live life and retirement changed. I decided that life is too short to risk not enjoying every day. Why wait? Make the most of every day starting right now. When a person does that, there’s no need to put a timeline marker on it.
I simply don’t see the need for retirement. I suppose, if I were just marking time in an unfulfilling job, I’d be looking forward to the day I could retire. But that’s not me. I feel young and vital, and as I said, I love my work so much so that it’s hard to call it “work.” It gives me so much joy I would feel lost without it. There is a huge difference between having a job and loving your work. No amount of travel, shopping, and downtime could replace the rewards I receive from my work.
Do you have a typical day? What does it look like?
A typical day for me begins around 5:30 AM. I wake naturally and rarely set the alarm. I greet the day with enthusiasm and excitement, wondering what it will bring. Treating myself like a queen, I have my first cup of coffee in bed. I like to ease into my day. Then I do my spiritual work followed by physical exercise. When that is done, I get ready for my day.
I maintain a strict work-life balance by getting to my office at 9 AM and leaving between 5 and 6 PM. During that time, I see clients and work on creative projects. My days are balanced and never rushed. I make sure of that. I enjoy different forms of relaxation during the evening. I’m a bit of a knowledge junky, so you’ll often find me taking an online course, watching documentaries, or listening to an audiobook. I rarely work on the weekends. And Sunday is my technology sabbath. No Internet or email and limited phone calls and text messages.
I’ve always seen things differently than most, and I rarely follow the crowd. Some say, “Live life as if it were your last day.” I say, “Live life as if it were your first day!” We take so much for granted. Life itself is a miracle. Just take a moment to look around and notice the beauty all around you. View your world as if you were a small child seeing things for the first time. And do this every day! You’ll be amazed at what you’ve been taking for granted.
What’s been your proudest moment since you turned 50?
I was very proud to turn 50, so much so that I threw myself a party. I recall being a teen and studying numerology. I charted my “whole life” to the age of thirty-three. As teens, many of us can’t imagine life beyond thirty so turning 50 was something to celebrate for sure! Who knew it could be so great?
I see birthdays differently than most. For me, birthdays are a celebration of birth, not age. It’s a recognition of the day you arrived. It’s not about age at all. If it were, we would call them, “age days.” But we don’t. We call them birthdays! Often, when I share my philosophy with people, I can see it is thought-provoking. I watch their eyes open up as their head tilts in contemplation. They’ve never really thought about it this way.
Since then, I would say my proudest moment was last year – 12 years later – when I became a #1 International Best-selling Author with my book The Resilience Journal – Transcending Turbulent Times Through Journaling.
Do you have a favourite quote that inspires you?
If the wind will not serve, take to the oars. (Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe) – Latin Proverb
What’s your favourite social media channel, and what was the last thing you posted on it?
I find that, for me, most social media channels are a waste of valuable time and can be toxic. Many of these platforms portray an unrealistic picture of society as most people present a false view of their lives, leaving others feeling inferior. We all see it, especially when we know people personally and we see the unrealistic image they present of themselves and their life. Because of that, I choose not to participate.
I spend time on professional platforms. I network with other professionals on LinkedIn, and I post content of value to my clients on YouTube. One of my most recent posts is a video interview of a former client sharing his experience in learning to manage his conscious energy. He speaks about how it impacted his life. Energy Leadership is an assessment tool in which I am certified and is hugely valuable in assisting others in living life to the fullest.
If you could tell your 18-year-old self one thing, what would it be?
Wow! That’s an interesting question. My childhood was pretty rough. I’ve spent many years reversing the damage done during my youth.
Looking back, I suppose I would say, “Everything is going to be okay. You are much stronger and more worthy than you can imagine. And hold on for the ride! It’s going to be a wild and exciting one with lots of ups and downs.” Without experiencing the downs, we can’t possibly know how good the ups feel. Contrast is key! Living without contrast is like trying to see a polar bear in a blizzard.
When did you last belly-laugh, and what was it about?
Oh, I make it a practice to belly-laugh daily! Laughter is a powerful healing tool. It raises your energetic frequency, turns on the healing response, and reverses the signs of ageing. It is simply impossible to be upset and laugh at the same time. It just can’t be done. Because of that, it’s one of the prescriptions I give my clients – laugh every day. We are fortunate these days to have so much hysterical comedy available on YouTube. I recommend everyone laugh every day!
Do you have any regrets?
No, never. I believe that at any given moment, we are all doing the best we can. And assuming that I am doing my best, then there is nothing to regret. Thoughts of the past do us no good at all. In fact, they do more harm by preventing us from living the joy that can be found in the present moment.
The only thing we can change about the past is how we “choose” to view it. We all make mistakes. With risk comes rewards and mistakes. That’s what being human is all about. And living without taking risks is pretty dull.
What are your aspirations for retirement – how would you like to see the way the world thinks about life over 50 change?
Well, I suppose everyone has the right to choose. I consider myself lucky in that I can take my business on the road allowing me to travel and work, which is exactly what I plan to do as soon as international travel restrictions are lifted. For me, that is the perfect formula for a great life. In addition to fun, I have to have purpose and fulfilment to make my life feel complete.
I think the biggest change I would like to see is the belief that with age comes uselessness. That needs to be eliminated. Somehow, we have lost respect for our elders and the powerful wisdom that comes with age. In other cultures, the elders are highly revered. They are not left to wither away. We can learn much from other cultures.
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