If good girls are bad girls that haven’t got caught…

Are you afraid of getting old?

I’ve obsessed over my body my entire life. Until I found a very special kind of love.

Here’s a photo of me at 9 years of age. I think that’s around the time I became aware of how important body image was to me.

I never thought I was beautiful. But I can see in this picture I was cute! This photo was taken in 1956, I was 9, well before the internet. I don’t remember any body-shaming or certain ideals that we had to conform to in our era. The insecurity was all inside of me.

I’ve never been an athlete although I danced when I was young — you can see from my ballerina stance. So the physical things that many might miss as they age have never bothered me. But I’ve always been ‘on a diet’ which is a pathetic way to go through life. I’ve never been fat! But again, it’s the feeling of never being enough — pretty enough, skinny enough, talented enough — a woman’s insecurity for sure.

At some point in life, I realized I had to find that confidence inside myself to understand and love myself exactly the way I am.

1994 driving across Canada from Montreal to Whistler, BC after losing my fashion business and declaring personal bankruptcy. I have a Ph.D. in Starting Over.

I am not my physical body.

I’m a woman of many talents and lots of heart. I would say that since I was given 6 months to live in 2008, I’ve finally got a grip on my physical selfI stopped angsting over whether I could ski from the top of Blackcomb mountain to the base without stopping — who cares? I stopped worrying about old age because I might not live to experience old age. And I vowed to get a grip on my emotional insecurities and do the things I’d always wanted to do! I made a promise to myself to publish my poetry (the way I journaled my life) and then moved on to write and publish novels. In other words, I made a decision that I would not allow the physical parts of aging to define me. Instead, I would go deeper into what I was born to do, to inspire and motivate myself and others, to spread love and compassion — to make a difference in the world, no matter how small.

People tell me all the time that I am beautiful. I will be 73 in 3 weeks. I hear this more today than ever before in my life. Why? I believe it’s a smile that’s sincere, and a life purpose that shines through my eyes. These are gifts that I’ve earned through years of mistakes and disappointment.

I refuse to dwell in that place of “my body is aging” instead I say “I’m so grateful for second chances.” I’m happy my instincts send me to a doctor when something physical needs attention. But most of all, I give thanks daily for my outlook in life.

I will not allow the actions of others to define my emotional well-being. I’m not saying that’s an easy thing — I’ve worked hard to overcome past pain and current disappointments. I still have a child-like wonder and joy of a world that still has so much to show me, and people I have yet to meet. I will always have places I have to visit even if they are only blocks away from where I live. And I have a curiosity about everything and continue to learn new things daily.

I finally retired from my day job at the end of 2018. I sold everything I owned and bought an airplane ticket with no return destination. I left Mexico where I’d lived for 18 years, celebrated my 72nd birthday in Tel Aviv, and after I’d traveled for a few months, returned to Istanbul where I am today. Eighteen months ago I didn’t know where Turkey was on the world map!

Curiosity and attitude will truly sustain me and keep me off the ‘pity-party’ wagon as my body ages.

And if my mind goes, so be it — I won’t know what I’m missing anyway!

I only have one question:

If good girls are bad girls that haven’t been caught, where will the good girls go when we die?

Istanbul 2020.

How many times can you reinvent yourself?

I knew I liked to shake up my life, but this year has been amazing!

It’s almost 2020, so I’m taking a moment to look back and do the proverbial: how did Lynda do in 2019? But today I’m going one step further, I’m going ALL the way back. How many times can I re-invent myself?

I was a good girl, a Canadian army brat. We moved every three years. You packed up your things, said goodbye to your friends, and moved on with your life. Didn’t everyone live like that?

In my teens, I thought I’d be a Catholic nun. I entered a convent of missionary sisters straight from high school. I was religious. I wanted to save the world, look after orphans, feed the poor. Instead, I recall days of washing floors and stealing cookies from the kitchen after lights out! Less than a year later, I left the convent, returned to Ottawa, and married my high school sweetheart. A year later, I was divorced.

I look back on my life and see the characteristics and events that define the woman I’ve become. At the time, I couldn’t see it, but as Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “I can see clearly now.”

First, I’m a loner. It turns out that’s a good thing because change is easy, maybe too easy for me. I don’t form the kind of attachments others form. As a result of my upbringing, I don’t have childhood friends. When people ask me where I come from, I never know what to say. I lived in Petawawa, Toronto, Lindsay, Edmonton, Montreal, Whistler—all in Canada. Then Puerto Vallarta Mexico for the last 17 years. What do I say Canada or Mexico? And now I’m in Istanbul, Turkey!

I could live anywhere in the world because “wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

I did the same thing with my various careers and in my own businesses.

I started in sales part-time over the summer in Ottawa when I was 18. Then I taught myself how to type and assisted the GM of a stock brokerage firm. I moved to Toronto and began a short-lived modeling career that led me into fashion. I opened a store and sold ladies’ clothing. I built that into a chain of stores. Unfortunately, husband number 2 was a gambler, and he stole money from the business. And “the rest is history!” 

The next stop was Montreal, where I began a career as a women’s clothing buyer for retail businesses, importing, designing, and creating. I woke up one morning and said to myself, “If you can make money for someone else, why not do it for yourself.” I opened a manufacturing plant. 

Several years later, I now had two young boys. Quebec was in a recession. So I moved from Montreal to western Canada and began a career in resort sales that lasted 25 years! “Why invest money for inventory, rent, retail, and wholesale, when you can make just as much money using your sales skills without the financial risk?”

Witness the evolution of a woman:

“I can see clearly now.” 

“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

“The rest is history!” 

“If you can make money for someone else, why not do it for yourself.”

“Why invest the money for inventory, rent, retail, and wholesale, when you can make just as much money using your sales skills without the financial risk?”

And this brings us to the year 2019. After 54 years of working, 9-5, 8-midnight, and 3, or 4-hour days, I retired! Well, my version of retirement. I sold everything and bought an airline ticket with multiple destinations—precisely the way I’ve lived my life! I celebrated my 72nd birthday in Tel Aviv to the sound of air raid sirens. And from there, I traveled to Europe, India, Thailand. And along the way, I found Istanbul.

The one constant in my life is my love of books. I think my first memory of a book is Little Women. I will reread it someday. In my teens, I started to write poetry and journal. And in my 20’s I wrote my first novel. I never published it and lost the manuscript in one of my moves. But that’s fine with me. It was never meant to be published. I never even tried. But in 2008, I was diagnosed with incurable heart disease and told I had 6 months to live.”  

This time I not only had to re-invent myself but re-create myself. “And that has made all the difference.”

Now the promises to self kicked in, and I began to write in earnest. I published three books of poetry and wrote several books of fiction. I waited for years to write and publish my journey to healing because I wanted to be sure that I actually survived what I call my miracle. And now I’m almost on the eve of publishing my 16th book on Amazon, The Istanbul Conspiracy! The 7th in my Code Raven Series.

THE ISTANBUL CONSPIRACY https://amzn.to/34Hzh0z

So far, it’s been and wild and wondrous journey. I’ve managed to stay retired all of 2019 and finally returned to writing to gather my plots for this new release. Yes, I call this retirement even though I am super busy with writing novels, blogs, Quora, FB, IG, Twitter, yoga, traveling, and living my beautiful creative life. I love Istanbul and I think I will stay for a while. It’s been 8 months so far. I’m researching for my books, learning to cook Turkish food, wandering the streets, doing photography, and now I’m back to full-time writing. I finally have time to keep in touch with friends I’ve made along the way in Mexico and in Turkey and all over the world. 

So, tell me something. How many times can you reinvent yourself? I say, as many times as it takes!

“6 months to live.” LOVE The Beat Goes On 

I believe in miracles because I am one!

Do you have any thoughts on Loneliness and Aging?

I believe that loneliness is a direct relation to self-love and self-worth. Let’s face the fact that aging is a subject that’s on every woman’s mind once she reaches the age of 30. Why is that? Why do we worry so much about getting older and being alone? I think it has to do with self-love. We just don’t love our selves enough.

We can blame it on the society we live in as aging is a first-world-obsession. All we have to do is look at the media to see that once a woman hits 50 she begins to become invisible. But mostly, this same woman is allowing society to create the fiction that there is something wrong with aging.

I know this might be a rambling comment, but it hurts my heart to hear talk of loneliness when I believe that within ourselves we are whole and complete. I’ve always been a loner—I’m a poet, a memoirist—LOVE The Beat Goes On—a novelist, a whole new career that began in the last decade.

I remember a time when I wouldn’t go to a restaurant and dine alone. I didn’t always have the confidence I have today. I had to work at it.

This photo was taken on my 70th birthday. I spent it at a high-end restaurant on the beach in Puerto Vallarta—a sunset dinner ALL BY MYSELF! It was a first. And it was amazing.

It took me until I was 72 to begin an amazing journey to many countries in the world, not on a tour, not with a group—all alone. And it’s been life-changing.

WE create a situation called loneliness. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I’ve always believed that happiness, contentment, love, health, all these things are related to how much we not only like our self but LOVE ourselves.

I love to say I live in my own little world, they know me there. I could also add, they—all the different aspects that make up the person I have become—LOVE me there. I don’t need other people in my life and yet, I meet new people everywhere. I met my current boyfriend at a touristy spot in Istanbul seven months ago. He was studying English and wanted to practice with someone. It was cold and rather rainy so I accepted the offer of Turkish tea. I took a chance and said yes to dinner later that evening. And here I am, living in Istanbul—for now.

Loneliness is a decision and a choice. You can meet people in a coffee shop, at an art gallery, at the museum, standing in line at the grocery store. I met a woman who has become a friend in a restaurant in Istanbul. She was dining alone and asked me to join her. I had a cold and didn’t want the company. But she asked again when her dessert came and you can always bribe me with “this is too much for me, please share my baklava!” She’s from the Philippines, lives in Florida with her sister, and is currently doing some freelance writing in Rome! She fell in love with Turkey at the same time as I did. Now she’s organizing a religious tour around Turkey next year!!

In today’s world, it’s easy to make friends if you want to. But you need to have the strength inside your own heart—self-love and personal happiness—to make it through the ups and downs of navigating the world.

It all comes back to self-love. And it’s never too late to learn to love yourself.

Survival tips:

  1. learn something new every day
  2. Read, voraciously. Choose new genres, expand the mind
  3. Travel, even if it’s to a new neighborhood—take risks, step outside your comfort zone
  4. Take up a new hobby—everyone has a cell phone—take photos, have fun with them, join Instagram, connect with old friends.
  5. And if you’re my age, do something crazy, like color your hair—okay, not this bright (I manipulated the brightness for the fun of it!)
  6. And take care of your health, take your meds, do some yoga—you don’t have to leave home to find a great yoga video online
  7. And try writing. I know you already love reading or you wouldn’t be here.
  8. And most of all, take risks.
  9. The Best Things in life begin with YES!

Is it really that simple?

What is your best advice for staying youthful and healthy as long as you can?

It’s really simple to me. So enjoy the wisdom I shared on Quora tonight. Here’s my list.

  1. Be happy. There is nothing that ages us more than bitterness, and recriminations.
  2. Don’t live in the past. Embrace the present. Refuse to worry about the future because the future never comes.
  3. Laugh a lot, smile often. If you’re a woman, it hides the wrinkles. Life will try to take you down, throw curve balls that will bring you to your knees. Stand tall, be strong, never look back.
  4. LOVE, love yourself, love your life, love the planet, love your family, love your partner(s). Don’t be stingy with your love.
  5. Have no regrets. Never apologize about your life choices and decisions. You can’t change them, even if they were wrong in hindsight… let that stuff go.
  6. Don’t worry about the one that got away. If you’re too busy worrying about a bad relationship or marriage, you’re too bitter to notice the one ahead of you that might be that elusive soul-mate.
  7. Always lead with your heart. Yes, you will screw up, whether it’s in friendships, or with a child, or a mate. Forgive yourself often. You’re only human.
Lynda Filler Author 2019

Let’s Rock!

 

 

I felt it was time for an update. So this is the most recent post on YouTube on Cardiomyopathy. I originally started sharing my healing because I believed it was important to give people hope. No matter what the doctor tells you, your life is not over until it’s over!

This is my story, and yes it’s personal; but I really wrote it for you, your friends and family. Everyone needs to know they are not alone in their suffering. I’m someone who cares and I want to share the things that helped me heal. The doctors, and websites at that time, said my heart condition was incurable. But you don’t have to accept it. I didn’t. And now it’s ten years later! 

I wish you the best in health and happiness. #LOVE and get out there and live your life!

 

 

If This Book Could Save Lives…

Lynda’s story will help someone avoid the health crises that plague our society today. Attention to early warning signs, self-care, emotional intelligence, and self-love are all concepts that Lynda covers in her personal and sometimes humorous story of how she went from 6 months to live in 2008 to cured and living a healthy life today. Insurance companies should give this book with every policy written. Heal yourself one heart beat at a time. 

 

on May 18, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
I hadn’t heard of Dilated Cardiomyopathy before reading this book. But, I know any number of people who have been given a death sentence and suffer years of treatment. When Lynda Filler was given this same prognosis, she decided to defy the odds and embrace life. Her choice to believe the impossible and live the imaginable is truly inspirational. I loved her energy, her zest for life – both of which are evident on every page of this book.
There are no clear answers, no step by step directions; rather, Filler’s message is simple, follow JOY. Set negativity aside and follow what you love. Fill your hours with that which gives you life. I highly recommend this jewel of a book.
on March 31, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is going in the birthday bags, Christmas stockings and every get well package that I send this year. Lynda Filler’s journey through cardiomyopathy is amazing, inspiring, and thought-provoking about more than just illness. Anyone facing a major obstacle, a fork in the road, or looking to reinvent their lives would benefit from a journey through Lynda’s heart and soul story.
Format: Paperback
Often self-help or books that offer advice on how to improve your life are pedantic or so “new-agey” to be taken seriously. This is not true of Lynda Filler’s book Love The Beat Goes On.
Appropriately titled, the book chronicles the author’s own life experiences, beginning with what was essentially a death sentence. Diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, her life expectancy in 2008 was about five years. From the beginning Filler was determined to survive and enjoy a healthy and rewarding life. Her journey provides many lessons for readers ill or fit. Following her as she navigates the health care systems, spiritual awakening, and self-awakening the reader can’t help but become invested in her story.
Throughout the book, she reminds her readers to follow their physician’s recommendations and take medications as prescribed. Her book is not about medical advice. It is the telling of how her determination and positive vision has enabled her to long outlive the dismal prognosis of early doctors. Dedicated to living a full life and doing the things she enjoys, Filler did things most people with a bleak and hopeless future would not even dream of. Traveling extensively, driving from Mexico to British Columbia, following spiritual paths many would not consider, Filler took charge of her future.
After telling a remarkable and inspiring tale, the author devotes the final chapters of her book to “Heart Habits”; methods readers can use to overcome negativity and enhance their quality of life. By using creativity, developing a positive spiritual outlook, and exercising mind and body, Filler improved her health and lengthened her life well past her doctor’s forecast.
If you do no more than read this book as an autobiographical journey, you will come away with a smile on your face. This is an uplifting and inspiring book. Personally, I plan to use some of Filler’s “techniques” to begin my own journey to a healthier and more vibrant life.
on April 27, 2017
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! First of all, when I saw the cover, I was intrigued. As I turned page after page so many instances, names, and locations were absolutely familiar to me. Wayne Dyer snippets. I knew them all. Although I was unfamiliar with cardiac problems, I found all the medical information fascinating and can honestly say I enjoyed every minute. From medical emergencies to romantic scenarios to paranormal events, this book was one happy surprise after another.
on April 15, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I will agree with the author, Lynda Filler, in the one thing that she stresses in LOVE The Beat Goes On, “Don’t Google your illness.” I’d add to that, “Don’t Google your illness if you are ignorant of its variations and do not know where to get to right advice.” Similarly, realize that when a doctor tells you to get your things in order, that your disease is in an acute phase, but, it may not stay that way. Acute illnesses, even ones affecting the heart, may go away, just like the measles and the mumps do. The condition that remains is the chronic disease, which is less dangerous in many instances.
There are many conditions that Google might give a ten-year life expectancy for the acute phase, whereas in a chronic phase of that condition one would be able to live with the disease for a normal length lifespan, or an only slightly shortened life expectancy.Yes, avoid doing blind medical research on Google if you do not have a trusted medical guide, as that can only alarm you.The author, with her doctor, and mentors’ assistance, and her courage, determination and positive attitude combined, reclaimed a healthy life.Even if she remains with a symptom-free, mild, chronic version of the condition, there is no reason why that should worsen.As we mature, we have chronic illnesses, or disease, in common. I applaud Lynda Filler for having regained her health and for sharing her journey through this book. An excellent, inspirational read.