Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Beginnings

sunrise beach

“I hope for the willingness to live this year in a way that will be gentle to myself… one day at a time.”  Anne Wilson Schaef

I love that the New Year gives us permission to start anew.  It clears the slate and we get to put new effort into eating better, exercising more or not swearing.  We get to start over.  Hit the refresh button, if you will.

But, the truth of the matter is, every day we can start over.  We don’t have to wait until January 1st to start a good habit or quit a bad habit.  Every day, every minute we have a choice.  When we screw up, instead of letting the voice of the critic chastise us, we could say, “My soul chose to have a human experience and I learn from my mistakes.”  We have to put on our big girl/boy pants and try again.  Over and over.  As long as it takes.

It takes three weeks of active work to break a habit.  I like to add a good habit to replace the bad habit.  For example, as I try to eat less sugar, on one or two of those sugar urges, I will eat a piece of fruit, some nuts or protein.  Not as exciting, but my body thanks me for it and it is guilt free.

I think the trick of breaking any habit is to be a positive cheerleader for ourselves.  ‘Is that a nice thing to say to myself?’, I think in my head.  ‘Would I say that to my friend, if they had the same problem?’  No, I would give them unconditional love and a boost of support.

So, let’s make one or two New Year’s resolutions and when we falter, let’s tell ourselves, ‘That’s ok, were still working on this.  Keep trying.  No worries.’  Let’s choose to look at our growth and set backs more compassionately so we will want to keep trying.  Let’s support our growth by choosing to love ourselves, before we loose the weight and before we stop swearing.

Every day is a new day to be a better person.  Every day we have the opportunity to treat ourselves, others and this Earth with love and respect.  If we make all our choices from this perspective, life can only get more and more wonderful.

Happy New Year!

“To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are.” ~ Anonymous

“Believing in our hearts that who we are is enough is the key to a more satisfying and balanced life.” ~ Ellen Sue Stern

sunrise land

The Most Important Ingredient for a Successful Marriage

Happy couple

“If we all were alike honourable and true, as I wish to be, it would be unnecessary to bind men and women together by law, since two persons who may have chosen each other from affection, possessing heart and honour, could not part.” ~ Harriette Wilson

I am a strong believer that in order to have a healthy, happy marriage is by not forgetting to playReally.  When you are dating, you are having interesting conversations, discovering new places, making each other laugh and appreciating everything about each other.

Then, you decide to get married, and you have bills to pay, dinner to make and garbage to take out.  Somewhere along the way, we forget to make time for pleasure.  It seems a logical place to cut when the kids need to be driven to sports and helped with the homework.

Don’t get me wrong, marriage is hard work, but it also should have daily laughter and playfulness.  Otherwise, year after year, the connection in the relationship can start to break down and we forget why we fell in love in the first place.  I know, it happened to me.

There was always something more pressing to do.  We had two kids, we were trying to run businesses, we were always broke.  We didn’t go on vacation for 7 years.  We weren’t connecting anymore and we were wondering why.  We didn’t have money to go to marriage counseling or weekend getaways.

When we realized that we weren’t making time or spending money for our marriage, we decided that it was time we did.  Bluntly put, if you get divorced, that’s a lot of money!  If you fell in love in the first place, maybe that is where to find the feelings you lost.  We used to pull out the wedding videos and talk about our first several dates.  That was always fun.

I always tried to think of new ways to connect.  Tell me 10 things you like about me and I’ll tell you 10 things I like about you.  Slipping love notes into his lunch and staying focused on all the things you like instead of all the things you don’t.  Perspective really is a choice!!

I really believe being talked into purchasing a time share saved our marriage.  We got a great deal and we began to go on vacation each year.  That’s when I learned the value of vacation and play.  We got to relax and enjoy each other and there were no chores to be done.  Every other year we would go without the kids and have a little honeymoon over and over.  We invested in weekend marriage workshops 1-2x a year to learn to communicate better.  We became strong together.

I really feel like we were put here to learn and grow.  Each day we need to find our joy and when you are in joy and gratitude, everything else falls into place.  So, my question to you is:  Do you want to spend thousands of dollars on an ugly divorce or do you want to invest in bringing happiness to your marriage?

“There’s no substitute for moonlight and kissing.” ~ Barbara Cartland

Happy couple at beach

Why the Defensive Stance?

Smile exchange

“I have often depended on the blindness of strangers.” ~ Adrienne E. Gusoff

I see it often.  I see it while walking the dog, while driving and at the grocery store.  I hear it in conversations.  It rears it’s ugly head on a daily basis.  What I wonder is:  Why??  I am talking about the defensiveness that is prevalent in our daily lives.

I have noticed that sometimes people take a defensive stance and are ready for a fight, when sometimes, probably even most times, it isn’t necessary.  Each person is always coming from their own perspective.  We only need to try on their perspective and let them know about ours.  Gently.  Even passing by strangers that are doing something “annoying”.  Maybe they are so involved in what they are doing, they forgot to pay attention.  Maybe they don’t realize they are talking too loud or blocking your way, but they are not trying to be a jerk.  Can we take the time to go the extra mile and be friendly?  Can we notice they are distracted or not paying attention and nicely say, “Excuse me.”?

I mean, seriously.  When I walk the dog, if a person has their dog off leash and I need to pass with my leashed dog, I pull her in close to pass safely, and I say, “Excuse me, my dog is not friendly…” and sometimes I get, “What do you want me to do about it?”  Or may favorite, “That’s okay, mine is!”  (That’s when I want to take the defensive stance and say, “Well, she eats friendly dogs as well!”)  But, I resist the urge and  keep her from biting the dogs that get too close…

I just don’t know why we choose anger, annoyance or just plain indifference when we have a chance to be friendly.  We can have a happy exchange, make someone’s day or even make a new friend.  Then we both walk away thinking how nice the world is, instead of helping to create a tense moment in time.

There is too much stress in the world to keep adding to it unnecessarily.  Let’s commit to adding more smiles and joy into the world instead.  I love to pay attention to positive things.  I love to tell the bank teller they have a beautiful smile or tell the bagger I love his hair.  When I do things like this, I can see they are pleasantly surprised and I feel good.  Then, we both have a great day.

Will you join me in passing out unprovoked compliments, smiles, hugs and respect for everyone that crosses your path?  (Even if they are blocking it?)

“You cannot hate other people without hating yourself.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

 

Let’s Feel Gratitude Everyday

gratitude swirl                                  gratitude hands heart

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.  The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be!  How much you can love!  What you can accomplish!  And what your potential is.” ~ Anne Frank

“There are only two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton

I feel grateful for so many reasons.  I have a wonderful husband, who loves me no matter how grumpy I can get.  He supports me and whatever new endeavor I am into, he is right there to help me implement my dreams and goals.  I have a wonderful daughter, who seems to accomplish any goal she puts her minds to.  She’s smart, funny and drop dead gorgeous.  I adore my son, he is brave beyond belief, he knows how to have fun in life.  He is smart, witty and exists on practically no sleep.

I am blessed beyond comprehension.  I have a wonderful family and awesome friends.  I work for myself and get to make my career exactly as I want it.  My work is spiritually infused and I get to know my clients on a deep level where there is so much love.

I am lucky enough to have found my spiritual teacher and guide and she teaches so much through all her classes and words of wisdom.   I have a comfortable house and a beautiful garden.  I get to eat some form of chocolate each day…  My car is running well.  My loving pets are all healthy…  There is so much to be grateful for.   So much more than what to be ungrateful for.

I choose to see my cup running over.  Not half empty or half full.  Running over.  When I am in this mindset, all is well.  It really is a matter of perspective.  If we focus on our blessings, the list is always longer than things we want to change.

Gratitude every day keeps our hearts open and our spirits lifted.  I got to go to a workshop earlier this year hosted by Angeles Arrien.  It was amazing.  She advises to have gratitude for our learnings, our blessings, our mercies (kindness, compassion, forgiveness), and our protections.

When we break it down like this, we see our lives are full of blessings.  You really can’t spend as much time worrying and thinking life is so unfair when we are in this mind space of gratitude.  It’s a natural high and a wonderful place to be.

Let’s go into the holiday season and our lives with the positive attitude of gratitude!  Even hardships and hard relationships have their lessons and silver linings if we look for them.

My friend, Shelley is actually starting a monthly class on gratitude.  If anyone is interested, I can give more info.

“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” ~ Indira Gandhi

gratitude