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  • February 21, 2017
    6
    43
    There is nothing simple about loving the girl with the guarded heart.

     

    She is not convinced by flowers and fancy dinners, nor won over by compliments and praise. In the beginning she is a slow dance, one step toward you, another step back, as she learns to trust the ways of your heart and the strength of your arms. The dance may be slow but it cannot be rushed, for she will sense the impatience of your steps and the way they fall out of time with hers. Dance with her. Follow the measure of her steps and in time, she will soon look to follow yours.
    She will not show you her heart all at once, instead offer you a little at a time, unhurried and watchful of the way you hold each fragile piece. She longs for you to understand how much it takes her to show you these pieces; for you to trace your fingers over the scars left behind from others, to feel the whisper of your breath against her neck as you promise to hold her heart with more care than those who came before. There are parts of her heart that remain unreachable, parts she has buried under layers she will never reveal. Love these parts of her, the parts unseen, the shadows of her soul. For even the sky knows without darkness, the stars cannot adorn us with their light.
    She will watch you closer than you realise, listen to every word you speak and weigh it against every action, searching for inconsistencies, seeking the truth of your word and the intention of your heart. Not because she can’t trust you, but because she is cautious, alert, wary; the stories of her past still etched upon her mind. She isn’t ready to trust her heart with you. Not yet. Not until she knows you are a man of your word, a man of steadfast hands and unchanging ways.
    There is a part of her that will always remain a little detached, ready to run if she thinks her heart will get damaged again. She no longer believes in second chances, having used all of them on those undeserving of such grace. To hurt her means to lose her, for she would sooner be alone than risk losing the life she has fought so damn hard to rebuild with her own wearied hands. She isn’t there because she needs you. She doesn’t need anyone. She’s there because she has chosen you, because she wants you, because she believes you are worth the risk. And all she asks is for you not to prove her wrong in the chance she has taken, for it has cost her more than you know.
    She will need more reassurance than most, she will need you to stay present, available, mindful of her scars. She will think too much, talk too little, cry too often, ask too many questions, struggle to rest in your love. She is complex. Complicated. Perplexing. Sometimes difficult.
    But beyond her guarded heart lies a soul that contains the wonders of the universe. One that longs to live and love with abandon, that desires connection and intimacy and to be in relationship with someone who sees both her beauty and her scars, and knows how to fall in love with both.
    She holds within her a fierce spirit; brave, strong, courageous, unrelenting; yet is also the quiet and the calm, a place to take shelter against the fury of the wind on storm-filled days. She is nurture, she is passion. She is a touch of madness against ordinary skies, a vulnerable heart with a fearless soul, a barefoot warrior who follows no trails but sets her own path.
    She is grounded in her truth, accepting of her flaws, far from perfect but closer to real than most. She is wildflowers and ocean currents and meadows that dance upon the breath of summer winds, uncontained in earthly beauty and free in spiritual grace.
    Broken, she knows what it means to suffer. But out of the depths of her suffering, she has come to understand love. And her guarded heart waits for the one who understands it too.
    No, there may be nothing simple about loving the girl with the guarded heart.
    But every day you choose to love her, she’ll prove to you why she’s worth it.

    Written by Kathy Parker.

    (With permission)

    Please check out Kathy’s blog at : https://kathyparker.com.au/

     

  • February 20, 2017
    22
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    POWERFUL ADVICE FROM A DYING MAN

    via Reddit

    “I am only 34 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.

    The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.

    Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important. So, I am writing to you for a selfish reason. I want to give meaning to my life by sharing with you what I have realized:

    • Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
    • It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you‘re a legend.
    • Take control of your life Take full responsibility for the things that happen to you. Limit bad habits and try to lead a healthier life. Find a sport that makes you happy. Most of all, don’t procrastinate. Let your life be shaped by decisions you made, not by the ones you didn’t.
    • Appreciate the people around you Your friends and relatives will always be an infinite source of strength and love. That is why you shouldn’t take them for granted.

    It is difficult for me to fully express my feelings about the importance of these simple realizations, but I hope that you will listen to someone who has experienced how valuable time is.

    I’m not upset because I understand that the last days of my life have become meaningful. I only regret that I will not be able to see a lot of cool stuff that should happen soon like the creation of AI, or Elon Musk’s next awesome project. I also hope that the war in Syria and Ukraine will end soon.

    We care so much about the health and integrity of our body that until death, we don’t notice that the body is nothing more than a box – a parcel for delivering our personality, thoughts, beliefs and intentions to this world. If there is nothing in this box that can change the world, then it doesn’t matter if it disappears. I believe that we all have potential, but it also takes a lot of courage to realize it.

    You can float through a life created by circumstances, missing day after day, hour after hour. Or, you can fight for what you believe in and write the great story of your life. I hope you will make the right choice.

    Leave a mark in this world. Have a meaningful life, whatever definition it has for you. Go towards it. The place we are leaving is a beautiful playground, where everything is possible. Yet, we are not here forever. Our life is a short spark in this beautiful little planet that flies with incredible speed to the endless darkness of the unknown universe. So, enjoy your time here with passion.

    Make it interesting. Make it count!

    Thank you!”

  • January 26, 2017
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    Settle for the kind of love that’s extraordinary in all of its ordinariness. Find the person who makes you feel excited to spend Saturday doing nothing, as long as you’re doing nothing with them.

    Settle for the kind of love that makes you unbelievably happy to sit there and spend your Sunday night sending work emails, or folding your clothes after pulling them out of the dryer, or chopping up vegetables while you make your meals for the week – as long as they are sitting next to you and keeping you company. Because no matter what you’re doing, no matter how boring the task, it’s still so wonderful if you get to be near them while you do it.

    Settle for the kind of love where you feel like you can just talk to them. Like you don’t have to be funny or clever or entertaining enough to ‘earn’ their attention. You can just talk to them and say the things that are on your mind and admit if you’re stressed about work or that you’re missing your mom – and you won’t worry about boring them or chasing them away with your uneventfulness, because the two of you have formed the kind of bond that strips away all expectations of being interesting and fascinating and cool all the time, and instead just lets you be your damn selves.

    Settle for the kind of love that simultaneously makes you feel accepted for who you are but also makes you want to be a better person.
    Find someone who encourages you and supports you and loves you for you. But also, find someone whom you admire so much and respect so much and like so much that you instinctively just want to be a better person, every day, because you feel safe and supported enough to try for it, even if you fail.

    Find someone who looks at you and sees you. Someone who puts their phone down, not just when you’re upset, but even just when you’re there, in front of them, and they want to show you that you matter more to them than a bunch of things happening inside of a little rectangle that will still be there in five minutes from now. Find someone who looks you in the eye and makes you feel seen and hears you but also listens to you. Find someone who makes you want to do the same for them.

    Settle for the kind of love that is hard, and challenging, and so worth every ounce of effort and sacrifice and joy that you put into it. Settle for the kind of love that is rare in its everyday sense of happiness and contentment, the kind of love that grows out of little, tiny moments of affection and thoughtfulness and tenderness and warmth. Settle for that kind of love, and you won’t be settling for anything.

    Written by Kim Quindlen

    (with permission)

    This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

  • January 23, 2017
    0
    19

    Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break. Believe the best rather than the worst. People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them. Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends. Please hand this down to your children and your children’s children. The more things change, the more they are the same. – Jane Wells (1886)

  • January 14, 2017
    6
    10

    ** This article contains strong language. It may be offensive to some readers.

     

    As an abused child, I learned to keep secrets.

    The heart of an abused child is laden with them. We carry the abuse as our fault, somehow we are to blame, somehow we deserve it. Our voice is taken from us; silent and powerless, we protect the ones who should have protected us. This is how we keep our secrets safe.

    Often, even when we expose the abuse, we are dismissed. We come to believe it is us against the world. We are on our own, there is nobody we can trust.

    We become the keeper of secrets.

    I reflect upon this as waves cavort with the shoreline and salt air adheres to my skin; upon how the heart of an abused child looks much like the heart of an abused woman.

    This, I came to understand when, as a woman, I was abused.

    And kept it a secret.

    The keeper of secrets.

    Broken shells scatter around my feet and in them the disorder of the last year reflects back at me. The gift of time and distance has offered me perspective, I find myself often in moments such as this; outside my body, detached from the experience yet desperate to put order to the chaos. To feel whole again, to mend, to grasp at some sort of closure.

    I’m positive this is why women stay in abusive situations for so long. Because we believe for the happy ending promised in the fairy tales of our childhood. We are nurturers, healers, fixers, empaths; it goes against our very nature to abandon that which is so very broken, until invariably, it breaks us.

    Hindsight leaves me to wonder how an intelligent, educated woman like myself allowed this to happen, allowed myself to be verbally and emotionally abused for so long by someone I trusted. But here lies the key. I trusted him. Respected him. Admired him. Not only did I, but so did my husband, my children, my friends. He was welcomed into my home, into my family, into my life.

    Into my secrets.

    And then, he took my secrets and turned them into his power.

    You fucking whore. You fucking slut. You are nothing but a fucking whore who fucks around. You make me sick you fucking slut.

    Messages like this continued for months, enabled by my silence. There is no physical proof with this kind of abuse. It is oh so easy to be the keeper of secrets, to pretend it isn’t happening, to delete the messages and pick your kids up from school and make dinner and kiss your husband goodnight as if your heart hasn’t been ripped from your chest and obliterated by words that will forever be seared on the back of your eyelids.

    I consider why I didn’t reveal the abuse the first time it happened, and can only concede that his abuse was tied to my shame. The two were inseparable. To tell of his abuse would be to admit I believed his words were justified. After all, he knew of my past, my pain, the choices I had made out of the places I had suffered. And he threw these things back at me, made sure I was smeared with the filth of them, made sure I knew how worthless that made me.

    I was no longer a grown woman, but once again a child, betrayed by someone I trusted, someone who should have protected me. Confused, scared, ashamed, I believed it to be my fault. I had made it happen, I allowed someone too close. I had been too vulnerable, too trusting, too naive. I deserved it.

    As if any woman deserves to be abused. As if any woman deserves to be shamed. As if there is any justification for destroying another human, ever.

    He apologised, of course. He never meant to hurt me, he knew he was wrong, knew that’s not who I was, promised it would never happen again. I forgave him, of course. For not only had I been raised by generations of women who exemplified the female doormat, but had also been subjected to years of religious teaching on how we should love others. If someone slaps you on the right cheek? Offer him your left. How many times do I forgive the one who hurts me? Seventy times seven. My heart cracks wide open for the women under this teaching who stay in abusive relationships, who are told, if you love him better, he’ll come to understand love and will no longer hurt you. 

    No dear woman, he won’t.

    I no longer believe in a love that must suffer for the cause of another. For months I suffered. More months that I would even care to admit. I suffered for my own fear and shame. I suffered out of love for our mutual family and friends. I suffered for him, to protect him, because I wanted to believe the best of him, I wanted to believe he was a good man who operated from a place of his own pain, and maybe with more compassion, more love, more understanding, maybe he would heal. Maybe he would become the person I thought him to be. Maybe there would be reconciliation, restoration, a way for closure.

    Overhead, seagulls circle and I pick up a stone, feel the smoothness of it between my fingers, trace the outside of it. I ditch it toward the waves but like everything of late, the effort is halfhearted and lacks conviction.

    I had learned about pretence in my childhood, about the masks we wear and the words we say to ensure there is never questions of what lay behind the falsity. In fact, I reached beyond a level of skilfulness to complete mastery of such impression. To many, this could be construed as deceit. To the rest of us, this is a tool of survival we have carried into our adulthood, one we are disinclined to trade for the perils of honesty when we are so accomplished in our secret-keeping.

    To keep the secret of abuse, whether as a child or an adult, is to learn to live two different lives. There is your outer life, the one where you hold yourself together for your family, where normal is rehearsed and practised, where you go about your life and hope the people around you don’t notice the tiredness in your eyes and the way your hands shake when you pick up your phone.

    Then there is your inner life. The one where your husband leaves for work and you are finally alone and can fall apart right there on the bathroom floor. The one where you cannot find the energy or motivation to get dressed, where you haven’t showered for days, don’t answer your phone, and find every reason not to leave the house. Where your work suffers, your health suffers, your spirit suffers.

    Secrets destroy us. They eat away at our flesh and rot our soul and soon we begin to decompose, and all that festers inside our putrid body can no longer be hidden. We see it in our anger, our addictions, our depression. In the way our bones ache and our joints hurt. In our mood swings and outbursts and the way we do not sleep for days, weeks, years. In our fear, anxiety, isolation, numbness, irritability, hyper-vigilance, disconnection, self-destruction. We see it in our crushed spirit and dried up bones. In the way we turn away from life, turn away from ourselves.

    My secret stayed hidden within the darkest places in my soul until it almost destroyed me. This is the power of shame. But what I have come to understand is that shame can only survive in the darkness. The moment shame is exposed to the light, it loses its grip over us.

    My shame allowed his power over me, as did my silence.

    My shame almost destroyed me, until the moment I said no more.

    No more will I allow this to happen. No more will I believe I have done something to deserve this. No more will I allow another human to destroy me. No more will I hide in the dark. No more will I be afraid.

    No more will I be ashamed.

    No more will I be silent.

    No more will I be the keeper of secrets.

    It is over.

    The sound of children’s laughter from across the bay arrives on a warm gust of wind. I breathe the air deep into my lungs, hold it there, allow it to fill me anew with life, for breath is life and I have been dead too long. My warrior heart beats again, the one he tried to destroy. The one he almost destroyed. But not quite. Here, in this place, I once again find life.

    I will not speak his name out loud. I carry no bitterness, for this will only destroy me. I am instead thankful for the way this struggle has transformed me. Through this, I have become aware of the parts of my childhood not reconciled. I understand more of the human condition, of the way we operate out of our unhealed wounds, and project them onto other people and other relationships. I understand more about the hearts of women who live with abuse, the reasons they stay, the reasons they cannot leave. I am wiser, stronger, braver. I have found my voice, and I will be the voice for my sisters still trapped in their silence. I will spend the rest of my life fighting for the rights of women. For them, for me, for my daughters.

    There are reasons people enter our lives, reasons they become part of our journey.

    Sometimes those reasons are to break us wide open.

    I walk deeper into clear water, feel the sand squelch between my toes. The shock of cold awakens my soul and I run, dive, break through the surface, plunge beneath, deeper, deeper still, until I lift my face to the sun and rise back to the surface. I emerge, and I am weightless, washed, made clean.

    I am born again.

    Much has been broken; there is much to be healed.

    But sometimes, brokenness carries its own kind of beauty.

    Written by Kathy Parker.
    (With permission)

    Please check out Kathy’s blog at : https://kathyparker.com.au/

  • January 6, 2017
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    It’s so consuming, isn’t it? Like a dark gas that fills up your entire body and makes you wonder if you’ll ever feel normal again.

    Sometimes it lasts for a day. Sometimes, two. Sometimes it’s a bad month or a bad year. Sometimes it’s because someone broke your heart. Sometimes it’s just because it’s winter and it’s dark all the time. Sometimes it’s because your friend just got promoted at work or experienced an incredible success in one way or another, and you’re still just sitting here, being plain old you, wanting to feel happy for them but instead feeling panicky about how much worse this makes you feel, and then feeling even more awful because what kind of person are you if you can’t even be happy for your friend?

    But whether it’s because of a friend’s success or because of your own broken heart or because you miss the long and warm days of summer or because of no reason at all – and whether it lasts for a day or three days or 246 days, you’re not the first person to feel this way and you won’t be the last.

    I wish I could write you a list. A step-by-step guide of exactly what you need to do to stop feeling unhappy. But I can’t, because that’s not how unhappiness works. There are certainly things you can do to try to brighten your days a little bit – to make your home cozier and to do things that make you feel less alone and to find ways to help you keep your head above water until you can climb out of this hole. But there’s no trick to simply get rid of unhappiness, to wet your fingers and extinguish the flame in an instant.

    But what you can do, in the meantime, is be kind to yourself. And being kind to yourself means a lot of different things. It means being gentle with yourself, and doing everything in your control to keep yourself comfortable and healthy – getting enough sleep, taking time to rest when you need it, going for walks, eating well, leaning on loved ones when things are really hard.

    But being kind to yourself, especially when you’re unhappy, can also mean being hard on yourself. Refusing to let yourself wallow. Getting out of bed and making yourself go to work, no matter how cold or dark it is outside, or how sad you feel internally. Forcing yourself to exercise, even if it’s the last thing you want to do, even if all it means is walking outdoors for twelve minutes. Taking your friends up on their offer to spend time with you, even when all you feel like doing is hiding under the covers and being alone – because you know, deep down, no matter what you feel like doing on the surface, that what you really need is to be in the company of people who love you.

    You have to do these things, these harder things, when you’re unhappy. You have to be strong, you have to take care of yourself. You have to tell yourself you are tough, repeatedly, every single day, even if you don’t believe it. You have to keep moving, you have to keep going.

    The people who got out of these dark times before you weren’t better than you, or stronger than you, or less burdened than you. They felt weak and sad and like they were barely hanging on – just like you. BUT, they kept going.

    You’re not wrong for being unhappy. You’re not a freak or a failure. You’re not lazy or seeking attention. What you are is a person. And when you’re a person, sometimes you experience painful, almost-crippling bouts of unhappiness. Sometimes there is a reason for it, sometimes not.

    But all you need to remember is that you’re human, you’re okay, you’re not wrong for feeling this way. You have to be kind to yourself, you have to be kind enough to be hard on yourself. And most of all, you have to remember you’re not alone, you’re never alone, and this is exactly what connects you to every other person in this world.

    Written by Kim Quindlen

    (with permission)

    This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

  • January 5, 2017
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    When You’re Forcing Love To Stay Alive, It Isn’t Love Anymore.

     

    Sometimes love is ugly, challenging, frustrating, painful – even in the happiest and strongest of relationships. Love takes work. It takes effort. Love is not always light and pretty. It takes the ability to admit when you’re wrong. It takes dedication, it takes loyalty.
    But there is a difference between fighting for something that you know is too good to let go of, and clinging on to something that has already died.
    Often, deep down, we already know when it’s not love anymore. What it is is familiarity, routine, insurance. It’s something we’ve gotten used to. It’s a security blanket. It’s the guarantee that we aren’t alone. Sometimes the death of love is easier to sense, if we’re with someone who directly makes us incredibly unhappy. And sometimes it’s harder to admit to ourselves, because we’re with someone whom we care about deeply, even if we’re no longer in love with them. But no matter the specific circumstances, we try to convince ourselves that the love is still there, because we’re not ready for the alternative.
    And so we grasp onto it, no matter how much our gut resists, because we’d rather cling to something that is dead than willingly step into a world where we are hurt and alone.
    It’s not a fault really, not a flaw. Just human nature. It is in our bones to want to be with other people. To feel instantly comforted from the touch or the assurance of another human being. To feel actual, physical pain when we stretch out in bed and are once again reminded that there is no longer a warm body in the place next to us.
    But we must remember that there is a difference between forcing love and fighting for it. Forcing love – forcing yourself to feel something – is not love at all. It’s a manufactured emotion your body has created as a coping mechanism, a survival instinct. Forcing love means it’s already dead. And when you spend all your time forcing yourself to love someone, you miss the opportunity to fight for the person who really sets your soul on fire. The choice isn’t easy, but at least it’s yours.

    Written by Kim Quindlen

    This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kimberlyquindlen

  • December 5, 2016
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    Why second love is the real love

    Second love teaches you how to love again after you’ve been broken. It teaches you that love still exists, that you’re capable of loving again and loving harder. That you can still have faith in love no matter how much pain your first love caused you. Second love is there to pick up the pieces.

    Second love gives you hope. That your fairy tale is still out there. That heartbreak is not the end of the world and that there are better things ahead. It shows you what happens when you move on, when you let go, when you try again and when you never lose hope. Second love shows you the light after the dark.

    Second love is braver. It means you know how to forgive, you know how to risk getting hurt again because it’s worth it. It means that you’re prepared for the worst but you’re hoping for the best. Second love makes you stronger.

    Second love makes you believe in timing. Why things didn’t work out the first time around, why you fell in love with the wrong person, why you had to get your heartbroken and why someone left you when they promised to love you. It’s here to tell you that there is always a valid reason behind your pain and that loving someone doesn’t always mean they’re right for you. Second love answers all these questions.

    Second love makes sense. It’s not based on childhood fantasies or lust or infatuation. It’s not blind or reckless or toxic. It’s not based on unrealistic expectations or sheer obsession. Second love comes after you’ve learned to listen to your gut, to watch for the red flags, to pick someone because they will add value to your life and when you’ve learned to make decisions out of maturity not out of loneliness.

    Second love shows you that you can be someone’s first choice and shows you what it really means to be loved.

    Written by Rania Naim

    This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog

  • October 25, 2016
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    I Hope he Loves you like This. {Poem}

     

    I hope he cooks you breakfast
    Knowing how you like your eggs
    how you take your coffee
    how little or how much you wish to speak.
    I hope he cooks you dinner, too
    For no reason at all.

    I hope he holds your hand proudly
    as you walk through a room
    of people you don’t know.

    I hope he builds you up
    until you are standing on a pedestal
    of your own creation.

    I hope he encourages you to make art
    take risks
    travel the world
    be alone—
    always knowing that you’ll be back
    home in his warm embrace
    as long as his heart is open.

    I hope he wears his heart on his sleeve
    and is not shy
    to adorn yours
    as well.

    I hope he is the kind of person
    who, when presented with the ocean,
    will not shy away
    from diving in
    to ride the waves.

    I hope he is all of himself
    unafraid to own
    his stories
    no matter how dark they may seem.

    I hope he can see that all of you
    is in the stars
    poking through
    the dark sky
    of your past.

    I hope he is not scared
    by your ability to choose growth
    your ability to not be held hostage
    by the person you were yesterday
    last week
    last year.

    I hope his attention span
    is as long as every word
    that exits your mouth
    your heart.
    I hope that he hears your truth
    and meets it with gratitude
    for your vulnerability.

    I hope he loves you
    in a way you didn’t know love existed.
    For you have only seen love
    in other places
    with shaky ground that fell
    beneath your hopeful feet.

    This is who I hope
    for you—
    Because you are worthy
    of being loved
    by a heart so bright
    the sun blushes
    in admiration.

    ~

    Author: Annabelle Blythe


    Originally appeared on Elephant Journal

  • September 11, 2016
    5
    8

    The story goes that some time ago a mother punished her 4 year old daughter for wasting a roll of expensive gold wrapping paper. Money was tight and she became even more upset when the child used the gold paper to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree.

    Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift box to her mother the next morning and said, “This is for you, Momma. ”

    The mother was embarrassed by her earlier over-reaction, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty. She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner. “Don’t you know, young lady, when you give someone a present there’s supposed to be something inside the package?”

    She had tears in her eyes and said, “Oh, Momma, it’s not empty! I blew kisses into it until it’s was full. ”

    The mother was crushed. She fell on her knees and put her arms around her little girl, and she begged her forgiveness for her thoughtless anger.

    An accident took the life of the child only a short time later, and it is told that the mother kept that gold box by her bed for all the years of her life.

    Whenever she was discouraged or faced difficult problems she would open the box and take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there.

    In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and GOD. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

    ~Unknown

     

  • August 31, 2016
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    A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE:
    Enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to. Something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour. A youth she’s content to leave behind. A past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra. One friend who always makes her laugh and one who lets her cry. A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family. Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored. A feeling of control over her destiny.

    EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW: How to fall in love without losing herself. How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend, without ruining the friendship. When to try harder and WHEN TO WALK AWAY. That she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents, That her childhood may not have been perfect but it’s over. What she would and wouldn’t do for love or more. How to live alone even if she doesn’t like it. Whom she can trust, whom she can’t, and why she shouldn’t take it personally. Where to go, be it to her best friend’s kitchen table ora charming Inn in the wood when her soul needs soothing. What she can and can’t accomplish in a day, a month and a year.

    Written by Pamela Redmond Satran

  • August 25, 2016
    1
    28

    ‘I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.  I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.  I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.  I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a life.  I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.  I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.  I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.  I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.  I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.  People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.  I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.  I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

    ~Maya Angelou

  • August 15, 2016
    0
    11

    It feels good to have a strong, loud feeling to cling onto, especially when you’re in the middle of heartbreak. And hate is usually what does the trick.

    After all, it’s so easy to hate someone. Especially someone that broke your heart.

    It’s easy to come up with all the reasons why they’re terrible, why they’re worthless, why everyone else should hate them too. To list their shortcomings, their weaknesses, their insecurities, their flaws. And to use that energy – even if it exists solely inside you, without the other person even knowing about it – to give you the fuel you need just to get through one more day.

    Slowly, without realizing it, you start to survive off of this hatred.

    You breathe it, you drink it, you eat it, you allow it to become the main source that’s keeping you alive. It consumes you, and you welcome it, because you’ll understandably take anything at this point to replace the empty brokenness that seems to be swallowing you whole.

    And because hate is such an intensely strong and negative feeling, it makes you think that you’re over the person who broke your heart. That because you harbor so much ill will towards them, so much anger and so much bitterness – that it must mean they no longer have power over you. Because there’s no way, when your heart holds so much animosity towards them, that you could possibly want to ever go back to them.

    The one problem is that hating someone doesn’t mean you’re over them.

    Usually, it means just the opposite. Because whether the feeling you have towards them is extremely positive or extremely negative, it’s still consuming you. The way you look at the world, the way you look at your life – it’s still being done through the lens of your past relationship, through the lens of your heartbreak.

    The decisions you make, the actions you carry out, the way you handle the rest of your relationships – all of these aspects of your life are revolving around a version of you that is carrying hurt and heartbreak andthat person at the center of it.

    So whether you’re desperately in love with them or carrying more hatred towards them than you ever thought imaginable, you’re not over them. They’re still the driving force of your life.

    It’s okay to be angry, to be bitter, to have these uncontrollable feelings of hate towards them. You’re human, you just went through a breakup, it makes sense. But your life will be a whole lot easier when you acknowledge exactly what these feelings mean – when you take it as a sign that you’re still healing, that you still have some things to work through, that you’re not quite there yet.

    And as soon as you realize where the hate’s coming from, when you realize that it’s there because you’re trying to let them go but just can’t yet, it will begin to have less power over you. It will no longer be able to trick you into using it as sustenance. You will be the one controlling things, and your hatred will move out into the orbit of your life, rather than being at the center of it.

    And then, one day, you’ll feel the beginnings of the hate fizzling out, and the indifference settling in. And it will be the most beautiful feeling in the world. All it takes is time.

    Written by Kim Quindlen (with permission)

    This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

  • July 23, 2016
    1
    26

    The Last Time

    From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
    you will never be the same.
    You might long for the person you were before,
    When you had freedom and time,
    And nothing in particular to worry about.
    You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
    And days will run into days that are exactly the same,
    Full of feeding and burping,
    Whining and fighting,
    Naps, or lack of naps. It might seem like a never-ending cycle.
    But don’t forget…
    There is a last time for everything.
    There will come a time when you will feed your baby
    for the very last time.
    They will fall asleep on you after a long day
    And it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
    One day you will carry them on your hip,
    then set them down,
    And never pick them up that way again.
    You will scrub their hair in the bath one night
    And from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
    They will hold your hand to cross the road,
    Then never reach for it again.
    They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
    And it will be the last night you ever wake for this.
    One afternoon you will sing ‘the wheels on the bus’
    and do all the actions,
    Then you’ll never sing that song again.
    They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
    the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
    You will read a final bedtime story and wipe your
    last dirty face.
    They will one day run to you with arms raised,
    for the very last time.
    The thing is, you won’t even know it’s the last time
    until there are no more times, and even then,
    it will take you a while to realize.
    So while you are living in these times,
    remember there are only so many of them and
    when they are gone,
    you will yearn for just one more day of them
    For one last time.
    ~~Author unknown~~

     

  • July 21, 2016
    0
    15

    Motherhood takes you to heaven and hell every day. It erases your past and amplifies it at the same time. It destroys and rebuilds you, slowly and carefully: replacing the cracked, broken bricks with stronger ones with no anesthesia.

    Motherhood kills the old you; it doesn’t care who you think you are, only who you must be in this moment to meet the needs of the ones you invited into this world.

    And somehow, by feeding that child, loving that child, wiping that child’s tears from their damp cheeks, pouring water over that child’s head as you sit beside them, uncomfortable and damp next to the bathtub, you become the gentlest of warriors.

    Motherhood is a bridge that you walk alone, but as you look to your left and to your right, you see others on their own bridges, navigating the rickety planks of swaying wood. And as you see them struggling just like you are not to fall, it gives you the courage to take one more step.

    Motherhood is painfully lonely, but at 3 o’clock in the afternoon whether you’re sitting on the living room floor with a child who doesn’t know your real name or at 3 o’clock in the morning with a child who needs your steady tapping on their pajama-ed back, you’re not alone because all over the world, mothers are doing the same thing. Their minds wander through the garden of their imaginations and memories, dreaming of sleep and rest, but powered by the fiercest of love.

    The love that one pours into their child doesn’t come from the heart. Anyone can be in love. Anyone can be infatuated. The type of love one has for their child comes from the center of their bones. It’s the type of love that doesn’t need reciprocation to burn hot. It’s the type of love that never keeps score. It’s the type of love that powers nature in her infinite beauty and ruthlessness.

    When a mother says, “I love you,” she doesn’t mean “I love how you make me feel” she means “You are my world, my sun and my moon and not life or death can change that, wherever you are I will find you whether it be across seas or lost within yourself. You are my breath and the light inside my eyes.”

    Motherhood, while almost never glamorous, is always beautiful.

    Written by:  Bunmi Laditan

     

  • June 29, 2016
    8
    44

    It’s a hard pill to swallow. But the truth is going to heal your heart a lot faster than simply letting it break over and over until you finally face what you knew all along anyway:

    If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you.

    There are a million possible scenarios here. It’s easier when he’s an asshole – selfish, only thinking of himself, using you to make someone else jealous, using you in general, treating you poorly, crushing you thoughtlessly, whatever. But it’s a lot harder when he’s a good guy, and you still have to let him go. When he tells you that you’re an incredible person, but he just doesn’t feel the same way that you do. Or when he really likes you, but doesn’t think you’re the one. Or when he just doesn’t feel as strongly as you do and he wants to be honest. Or when he can’t seem to make up his mind and feels confused, which he doesn’t yet realize just means that he’s afraid of hurting you, that feeling ‘confused’ just a softer way of eventually saying ‘no.’ If he wanted to be with you, he wouldn’t have had to make up his mind in the first place. It would just be an answer that he felt deeply in his gut.

    But regardless, whether he’s a wonderful guy or an asshole or somewhere in between, this is about you, moving on. Because no matter what the situation was, no matter how well he treated you or how much fun you had together or how well you got along, he doesn’t want to be with you. And that’s the truth. And that’s going to be your life raft for the next several weeks or months, no matter how much you don’t want to grab onto it. It is what is going to eventually help you come to peace with the end of your relationship, or the fizzling out of your fling, or the ‘no more talking’ after you guys spent so much time ‘talking.’ It is the truth, and as ugly as it is, it will be the only thing that can help you move on:

    If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you.

    It’s easy to try to soften the blow. He needs time, or he just needs a little space, or he’s just afraid of commitment and I just need to reassure him, or he builds walls and it’s my job to kick through them.

    But think about the way you feel about him. How easy and natural and obvious it feels. How you don’t even need to question whether or not you should be with him, because it just feels right in your veins. How, even if you were scared of committing to someone or getting hurt or opening yourself up, you were still willing to do it, because your heart had already made up your mind. You wanted to be with him, so you were. The decision was simple. It really wasn’t even a decision at all.

    Now can you imagine feeling all those things but choosing not to be with him anyway?

    That’s why your heart is broken. Because he didn’t feel those things. He didn’t feel that same certainty that you did, deep in your bones. And you can’t change that, and you can’t fix yourself, and there’s nothing you did wrong. It’s just the truth. His heart didn’t make the decision for his brain, because his heart is in a different place from yours. And that really, really sucks. And you just have to accept it. And that sucks even more.

    Maybe you’ll get over this in weeks, maybe months. Maybe longer. It will hurt, some days will be horrible and some will be okay. But the smallest of silver linings is this: you can let your heart break once – instead of breaking it a million times by convincing yourself that he’s making a mistake or he probably misses you or you should call him. Love yourself enough to be hard on yourself:

    If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you.

    Written by Kim Quindlen (with permission)

    This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

  • June 9, 2016
    1
    11

    One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. Approaching the boy he asked: “Young man, what are you doing?” The boy replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die. The man laughed to himself and said, ” Do you realize there are miles of miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?” “You can’t make any difference.” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the surf, then smiling at the man, he said; “I made a difference to that one.”

    My thoughts: We often think we are too insignificant or too unimportant to make a difference. We couldn’t be further from the truth. So, can I encourage you to take the time to do something that will make a difference to someone else’s life and it doesn’t have to be much and they don’t need to know. Just take a moment, do something special. Make a difference.

  • June 1, 2016
    2
    16

     23 Ways He’s Telling You He Really Likes You

    (That You’re Not Noticing)

     1. He doesn’t get weird when talking about future plans, whether it’s a concert that’s a couple months away, or a wedding he wants to bring you to as his guest.
    2. When he goes up to the bar to get another drink, he gets one for you too without asking, because he pays attention to what you order.
    3. He’s extra attentive when you tell him you’re having a bad day, by sending you encouraging texts or offering to come over after work to cheer you up.
    4. He ignores his phone when he’s around you, especially when you’re out to dinner together.
    5. When you guys hang out, he’ll occasionally show up with your favorite candy or beer, and you can tell he’s excited to surprise you with it.
    6. He makes it a point to actually make plans with you, by setting a date and a time, instead of throwing out a vague “we should hang out soon” kind of suggestion.
    7. He’s cooked for you, even if he’s barely capable of cooking.
    8. He doesn’t mind blowing off his friends once in a while when you ask him to hang out last-minute.
    9. You sometimes catch him looking at you when he thinks you’re not paying attention.
    10. He asks you a lot of questions about your life and the people in it, as if he really wants to know a lot more about you.
    11. He asks you a lot about your job and wants to understand exactly what it is that you do and whether or not you’re happy with it.
    12. …and when you’re answering his questions, he’s looking at you in the eye and listening intently instead of looking away or glancing at his phone.
    13. He talks about his family as if you’ll eventually meet them.
    14. He makes a point to introduce you to his friends.
    15. …and when he does, you can tell his friends are genuinely interested in meeting you and getting to know you, which means he’s probably talked about you a lot.
    16. He can’t help but laugh when he hears you laugh.
    17. He remembers little things about you that you’ve only mentioned once or twice in passing, like a sport you played as a kid or your aunt’s name.
    18. He goes out of his way to see you or meet up with you.
    19. …even if you’re on the other side of town.
    20. He sends you texts throughout the day, and it’s often something random or pointless, because he just wants an excuse to talk to you.
    21. He remembers your friends’ names and different things you tell him about them.
    22. He tries to get along with and get to know the guys that you’re good friends with, instead of being jealous or threatened by them.
    23. He smiles around you. Pay attention to this one, because even if it seems obvious, it’s not. He’ll have a certain irrepressible, contagious grin on his face, simply because he’s with you.

     

     Written by Kim Quindlen (with permission)
    This article was originally published in thoughtcatalog.com

     

  • May 31, 2016
    37
    57

    Those Top 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old.

    1. Not traveling when you had the chance.

    Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.

    2. Not learning another language.

    You’ll kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it.

    3. Staying in a bad relationship.

    No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.

    4. Forgoing sunscreen.

    Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself.

    5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.

    “Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.” Facepalm.

    6. Being scared to do things.

    Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of?

    7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.

    Too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you’ll dream of what you could have done.

    8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.

    Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then.”

    9. Not quitting a terrible job.

    Look, you gotta pay the bills. But if you don’t make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell.

    10. Not trying harder in school.

    It’s not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. Eventually you’ll realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you’d paid more attention.

    11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.

    Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.

    12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”

    When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.

    13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.

    You don’t want to hear it when you’re young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.

    14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.

    You’ll be embarrassed about it, frankly.

    15. Caring too much about what other people think.

    In 20 years you won’t give a darn about any of those people you once worried so much about.

    16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.

    Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine.

    17. Not moving on fast enough.

    Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.

    18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.

    What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over?

    19. Not standing up for yourself.

    Old people don’t take sh*t from anyone. Neither should you.

    20. Not volunteering enough.

    OK, so you probably won’t regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.

    21. Neglecting your teeth.

    Neglecting your teeth.

    Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.

    22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.

    Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource grandparents are. They can explain everything you’ll ever wonder about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.

    23. Working too much.

    No one looks back from their deathbed and wishes they spent more time at the office, but they do wish they spent more time with family, friends, and hobbies.

    24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.

    Knowing one drool-worthy meal will make all those dinner parties and celebrations that much more special.

    25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.

    Young people are constantly on the go, but stopping to take it all in now and again is a good thing.

    26. Failing to finish what you start.

    Failing to finish what you start.

    “I had big dreams of becoming a nurse. I even signed up for the classes, but then…”

    27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.

    You will go to hundreds, if not thousands, of parties in your life. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the life of them all?

    28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

    Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

    Don’t let them tell you, “We don’t do that.”

    29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.

    People grow apart. Clinging to what was, instead of acknowledging that things have changed, can be a source of ongoing agitation and sadness.

    30. Not playing with your kids enough.

    When you’re old, you’ll realize your kid went from wanting to play with you to wanting you out of their room in the blink of an eye.

    31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).

    Knowing that you took a leap of faith at least once — even if you fell flat on your face — will be a great comfort when you’re old.

    32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.

    Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young, but later on it becomes clear that it’s how so many jobs are won.

    33. Worrying too much.

    As Tom Petty sang, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”

    34. Getting caught up in needless drama.

    Who needs it?

    35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.

    Not spending enough time with loved ones.

    Our time with our loved ones is finite. Make it count.

    36. Never performing in front of others.

    This isn’t a regret for everyone, but many elderly people wish they knew — just once — what it was like to stand in front of a crowd and show off their talents.

    37. Not being grateful sooner.

     

    It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth — from the mundane to the amazing — is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.

     

     

     

  • April 27, 2016
    3
    2

    Homemade Avocado Hair And Facial Mask Recipes.

    Avocados are wonderful for your health, but this amazing fruit has many benefits for hair and skin that will surprise you. The oil of avocado is easily absorbed therefore it will do wonders due to it’s moisturizing properties. This creamy fruit acts as an effective natural conditioner for dry hair and skin.  Message your hair with its creamy paste to get healthy and soft hair. It conditions dry and damaged hair. It also manages frizzy hair!

    Avocado face masks are a great way to clean your pores, help with acne, soothe dry skin and simply relax. If you have dry skin, then this is the perfect masks for you.

    Avocado And Honey Hair Mask With Olive Oil:

    1) Take 1 ripe avocado , pitted and scooped out,  2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and couple of drops of lavender essential oil (optional).

    2)  Mash the avocado until it forms a smooth paste without any lumps. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and blend them all together, until the mixture is smooth.

    3)  Damp your hair with water, and apply the mask onto your hair, paying extra attention to the hair ends. Massage the mixture a little bit. Clip your hair onto the top of your head, and then cover with a shower cap. Allow the mixture to sit for about 30-40 minutes.

    4) Remove the shower cap, rinse your hair thoroughly as many times it requires removing the mask entirely, and then wash and condition your hair as you normally do.

     

    Avocado Face Mask:

     

    • ½ very ripe, soft avocado
    • ¼ cup honey

    Mash the avocado in a bowl, then stir in honey. Apply to skin and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse face with a cool washcloth.

    Avocado and Oatmeal Mask:

    Combine it with oatmeal and you can make an avocado face mask to act as a gentle and amazing exfoliator for your skin.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon ground oatmeal
    • 1/4 ripe avocado

     

    Mash 1/4 an avocado using of a fork until it is lump free. Stir in the oatmeal to make a paste. Slather the mask onto your clean face in a gentle circular motion. Massage for at least 2 minutes letting the oatmeal gently exfoliate your skin. Allow the mask to settle for at least 20 minutes. Wash off with cold water. Pat dry with a clean fluffy towel.

    I hope you enjoy these homemade tips.

    LessonsLearnedInLife Inc.

     

     

  • April 27, 2016
    9
    49

    Life is like a journey on a train
    with its stations, with changes of routes and with accidents!
    At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize that they vacated their seats! This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all the passengers…requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

    The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way – Love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty, we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life without us.
    I wish you a joyful journey for the coming years on your train
    of life. Reap success, give lots of love and be happy.
    More importantly, be thankful for the journey!
    Lastly, I thank you for being one of the
    passengers on my train!

    ~Unknown

  • April 7, 2016
    2
    16

    NINE SIGNS YOU’VE FOUND YOUR SOULMATE

    by author Kelsey Borresen

    Mention the word “soulmate” to a group of people and you’re bound to get a few eye rolls. The idea that there’s one magical person for you who you’ll fall in love with instantly and never disagree with is just not realistic.

    What does exist — at least for many people — is a person who you know instinctively, who you connect with on the deepest level and who allows you to grow as a person within the relationship. When that person is a romantic partner, you’ve come across something truly special.

    So how do you know when you’ve found The One? Below, a team of love and relationship experts identify the most telling signs.

    1. You communicate without speaking.

    Soulmates can read each other like an open book. “They connect fervently on every level of being,” clinical psychologist and relationship expert Dr. Carmen Harra told The Huffington Post. “One may finish the other’s sentences, they may pick up the phone to call each other simultaneously, or feel like they simply can’t be without their partner.”

    Dr. Sue Johnson, a clinical psychologist and author of Love Sense, said that a soulmate also knows how to respond to your emotional signals. “They stay close when you confide, give you their full attention and move in to answer to your needs, touching your hand when you are a little unsure, beaming and hugging you when you are glad, and tenderly comforting you when you are in pain,” she added.

    2. You know in your gut that you’ve found The One.

    The old adage “When you know, you know” rings true when it comes to a soulmate connection. “There really is no guessing or wondering when the real thing comes along,” wedding officiant and author Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway told The Huffington Post. “There is usually a telltale sign that lets you know when true love has arrived -– a voice in your head, a sense of recognition or a gut feeling that this is someone special to you.”

    3. The physical chemistry is palpable…

    …and the electricity that you feel doesn’t just happen on a sexual level. “Holding the hand of your soulmate throws your spirit into a whirlwind, even many years into the relationship,” Harra said.

    4. You’ve been totally comfortable around each other since day one.

    Soulmates connect with ease right off the bat and let their true colors show without fear of judgment. “Soulmates often feel a sense of the familiar and a sense of comfort around each other,” Brockway said. “Many people say it’s easier to relax into that person and allow themselves to be vulnerable.”

    “It is the one who opens up to you –- who lets you in, so you can see them,” Johnson added. “This is the kind of person who takes risks and shares about their inner world, their emotions and their needs.”

    5. But the relationship isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. He or she challenges you like no one else can.

    The soulmate relationship, despite what people might assume, isn’t always smooth sailing. “A soulmate isn’t always wrapped in the perfect package, physically or in terms of life circumstances — nor does it mean that the relationship will come without challenge,” author Kailen Rosenberg of matchmaking firm The Love Architects said. “Yet, the difference is that the life circumstances and the difficult challenges are a strengthening power that becomes the glue that keeps you together through the difficult times and helps each of you become your most authentic self.”

    What’s more, we rely on our soulmates to help us evolve as people. “You might find a soulmate relationship to be rocky, and that your partner is someone who pushes your buttons and aggravates you at first because they bring with them some of the more difficult lessons for the soul,” Brockway said.

    6. You may not see eye-to-eye on every little thing, but you’re on the same page where it really matters.

    “A soulmate relationship doesn’t necessarily mean both partners always share the same views, but that their overall goals and ambitions match,” Harra said. “More diminutive opinions will differ, but soulmates generally have the same virtues and values and see the world through a similar lens.”

    7. The relationship brings both partners a sense of inner calm.

    It’s obvious when you’re with the wrong person; you are insecure about the relationship and worry that one false move will turn your partner off. That’s not the case for soulmates.

    “You feel confident that your partner is with you for the long haul,” dating expert Tracey Steinberg, author of Flirt For Fun & Meet The One said. “No matter what happens in your lives, you both agree that you are teammates and in it together.” She continued, “Your inner voice tells you that you are in a healthy relationship. You trust each other, feel confident and comfortable around each other and feel safe discussing challenging topics in a mature way.”

    8. You and your partner have separate identities, but you face the world as one.

    “Soulmates recognize that they are two parts of the same whole, and no outside influence or external matter can break that bond,” Harra said.

    9. You may have known each other for years, but you suddenly find yourselves ready for love at the same time.

    When it comes to true love, timing is everything. “I have married so many couples who met in high school or in their twenties, maybe dated, broke up, moved on, or hung out around the same circle of friends and never connected,” Brockway told The Huffington Post. “Then one day, they run into each other again, sometimes in magical ways, and love blooms.” Keep an open mind and an open heart so that when your soulmate comes knocking, you’re ready to answer the door.

  • February 2, 2016
    0
    23

    Psychologists established a strong link between one’s sleeping position and the way they view the world. In fact, scientists believe that a sleeping person’s body language never lies.

    What does your sleeping position mean?

    Determine your favorite sleeping position and check out the interpretation;

    1.    Sleeping on your back

    As a rule, sleeping in this position means you’re feeling quite relaxed. It’s a sign of confidence and psychological power.  Confident people are always ready to take in new information and make new acquaintances. However, confidence can often turn into arrogance. Spreading your arms and legs wide and taking up a lot of space on the bed would be a definite sign.

    2.    Fetal position

    This position characterized by sleeping on your side with your legs often pressed up against your belly, and your arms wrapped around your body or the blanket. People who sleep in this position usually stay in one corner of the bed and like to sleep next to a wall. This position indicates that a person feels insecure or uncertain, and doesn’t feel like engaging in situations and events happening around them. They need a ‘guardian’, someone who can take care of them and protect them from life’s challenges.

    3.    Sleeping on your belly

    This position is characterized by sleeping on your belly hugging the bed with your arms. A person will normally rest their arms on the pillow or alongside their body, with their legs straightened. A person who sleeps predominantly in this position likes to take charge and make his own decisions in life. They often don’t take criticism very well, as they believe their own actions and decisions are usually the ‘correct’ ones. This sleeping position indicates the person is stubborn and extremely driven to achieve their goal, as well as attentive to detail.

    4.    Sleeping on the side

    The last sleeping position is characterized by sleeping on your side, but not curled up in a ball like the first one. Your arms and legs are stretched out, or slightly bent. As a rule, this position can be distinguished from the fetal position as the body tends to look more relaxed. People who prefer this sleeping position have an analytical mindset, are stable and reliable. They find it quite easy to adapt to any situation in life, and can overcome hardships without possessing the extraordinary mental strength or any kind of special qualities.

    5.   The snorer – The snorer is often easily irritated, usually within seconds they can become aggressive.  Probably because they don’t get enough sleep.

  • January 6, 2016
    29
    25

    HOW TO LOSE 10 POUNDS IN 10 DAYS BY

    ~ STEVE AITCHISON ~

    I was going to release this as my next guide however I have decided to share it instead via a post.

    I want to start this article by letting you know that I am not a health guru, I’m not a fitness freak, I don’t even go to the gym, and I’m not a medical expert in any way.  I am an ordinary guy who wanted to lose a few pounds and accidentally discovered a way to do this, and I am so excited to share what I discovered as I know it can work for you too.

    What I am going to tell you is not rocket science and it’s not a new discovery, many people have already benefited from the information I am about to share with you.  However, I discovered this for myself completely by accident without reading any books, without consulting a health guru and having no previous knowledge of this method for losing weight.

    The simplicity of this method is what makes it so very easy for you to lose your first eight pounds.  Please do not be put off by its simplicity and please, please, please don’t dismiss it before you actually try it.  When you try it, you will see results within 1 week and after 2 weeks I know you will have lost at least eight pounds, depending on your weight to begin with of course.

    Okay, let’s start by telling you the story of how I discovered this simple weight loss plan.

    The story behind the guide

    Only a few months ago I was struggling to keep my weight to under 212 pounds (15 st 2 Ibs), which is not that heavy but nearly 14 pounds (1 stone) heavier than I was 3 years earlier. I had been sitting around the 210 mark for about 1 year and decided I wanted to do something about it and get to the weight I was 3 years earlier.  The only exercise I was getting was walking every day for 2 miles, and I didn’t fancy going to the gym every day.  I am extremely busy with my online business and spending time with my family, which is very important to me.

    I tried all kinds of diets in the past; the atkins diet, burnfat4dummies diet and just the basic diet of eating less.  Yes the diets works, but they don’t help you keep the weight off unless you make that diet a part of your every day life. We all know that the less we put into our mouths the more weight we will lose, but our minds throw up all kinds of excuses for eating less, the main one being ‘I’m bloody hungry, so I need something else to eat’.

    My huge downfall is biscuits.  I can eat a pack of biscuits in one sitting, dipping up to 10 digestive biscuits into my cup of tea would take a few minutes.  A few minutes to shovel 700 calories into my mouth, that’s 1/3rd of my recommended intake!

    The accidental discovery

    About 9 weeks ago I discovered something that helped me lose 8 pounds within 1 week.  I was flabbergasted, and so was my wife.  I looked at exactly what I had been doing different.  I wasn’t exercising any more than normal, I wasn’t any more stressed than normal, I didn’t have a bug of any kind.  And then it hit me what I had been doing differently – Drinking water.  Now before you go and send me an email saying ‘Oh’ I know this already’, just read this guide to find out exactly how I managed to lose 8 pounds in 1 week and go on to lose 12 pounds and keep the weight off, without any real effort on my part.

    I started drinking water as a way to cleanse my body, as I started feeling sluggish in the mornings.  I get up very early, around 4.30 – 5am, and always feel alert and ready to write as I am always excited to start the day online before getting ready for my day job.  For a few weeks I was still getting up at 4.30, but I was feeling a little sluggish, which wasn’t like me.  I felt bloated, and felt like I needed a good detox.  I was going to try fasting for a few days per week, just to rid myself of all the crap inside my body, but then decided I would start drinking water to clear my insides, aid my digestion and just generally feel healthier.  I was used to drinking water throughout the day, but not in any planned way, and sometimes skipped the water a lot of the days.

    So I made a concerted effort to drink water every day. I started drinking water as soon as I got up, about 500ml, and again 1 hour later I drank another 500ml, during the day at lunch time (500 ml) 30 minutes before every meal I drank 250ml and  another 250ml a few hours before going to bed.  Great! It worked.  After a few days I felt less sluggish and less bloated throughout the day – job done, just keep drinking water and I would be back to my normal energetic self.  That’s what I thought, until I weighed myself 1 week later and discovered I was down to 204 pounds (14st 8Ibs).  Obviously I thought the scales were playing up and stepped off the digital scales to wait for ‘error’ to show up on the little screen, but no, everything was okay.  I stepped back on, and again the reading was 204 pounds – I shouted for my wife, who weighed herself and sure enough the scales were working okay, no anomalies, no battery losing power, no slopes in the bathroom to skew the results.  Could drinking 2 litres of water help me lose weight?

    I then started to experiment.  I stopped drinking water for 1 week, only occasionally drinking it when I felt thirsty, just as before.  1 week later I was back up to 209 pounds (14st 13Ibs).  Words can’t describe how I felt, you’d think I’d discovered the lost city of Atlantis (quite fitting really).  I then went on to experiment more and ask lots of questions and done a hell of a lot of research on the many benefits of water.

    As I write this, I am down to 200 (14st 4Ibs)  pounds, a full 12 pounds lighter than I was a few weeks earlier.  I have even hit 198 pounds (14st 2Ibs), which is what I weighed 3 years ago, totally amazing.  You can probably tell I was, and am, excited about this.  You have to understand I haven’t changed my diet in any way, I was still eating the biscuits, and coming up to Christmas there’s always goodies in the office to munch on.

    During my research it turns out that A lot of other people have discovered the many benefits of drinking water, including to help keep your weight down.  But, I want to give you an exact plan, a very easy plan that will help you lose weight and help you keep it off.  Not only will you lose weight but you will have more energy, feel healthier and feel more alert.  All this by not really changing your lifestyle and drinking a few glasses of water every day, even if you are not exercising, not dieting, and still eating your Big Macs.

    The Daily Plan

    This is an extremely simple plan and one which I have followed now for around 6 weeks with huge benefits and little downside.

    Time How much
    As soon as you get up each morning Drink between 300 – 600ml of water
    1 hour later (before breakfast) Drink between 250 – 500ml of water
    After every cup of coffee/tea Drink between 100 – 250ml of water
    20 Minutes before each main meal Drink between 250 – 500ml of water
    2 Hours before going to bed Drink between 300 – 600ml of water
    Total amount of water per day Between 1200 – 2,450ml

    If you are from the US and use Oz instead of ml you can download this PDF file which a very kind reader, April Gaskins,  has made up for us.

    Click here to download the PDF that April made

    The amount of water you drink will depend on your current weight.  Obviously a woman of 150 pounds does not need to drink as much as a man who is 300 pounds in weight.

     

    Why the water plan helps you to lose weight

    You might be asking yourself why such a simple, plentiful, substance such as water can help you to lose weight.

    In the plan you’ll notice that I’ve said as soon as you get up to drink ½ litre of water.  This is to kick start the metabolic process.  You brain does not distinguish between food and water, and treats water as food.  This means that the metabolic process is kick started as soon as you drink water in the morning and will start to use the energy to process the water.

    There are many forms of metabolism going on in your body right now, but the one we are concerned about is the metabolism of fat. This is actually something that the liver does when it converts stored fat to energy. The liver has other functions, but this is one of its main jobs.

    However the liver is also a close friend with the Kidneys, which need plenty of water to function properly.  If the kidneys are not getting enough water the liver goes into overdrive and does it’s own work as well as pick up the slack from the kidneys, which lowers the functioning of the liver.  The liver then can’t metabolize fat as quickly as it should therefore fat is stored.

    There’s a lot more to it than that, I just wanted to give you one of the areas where water affects the body and how it can change our bodies.

     

    Resisting the temptation not to try it

    A lot of you might be thinking ‘I know that already, I’ve tried it.’  The key to using this is to keep using it, no point in doing it for a couple of days and then stopping; make it a habit.

    The first few days of drinking more water will have you running to the loo more times than you’ll like, however if you stick with it you will see some amazing benefits.  Your body has been storing water for years, and the more fresh water you drink the more flushed your system will be and it will get rid of the water it was originally holding onto.  That means less water retention, less swelling of the ankles, hips and thighs and even from around the stomach area.  You will not only be flushing the body out but you will excreting all the stored water as your mind and body realize it no longer has to store water as it is getting all that it needs.  You’ll also increase your ability to hold the water and return to a normal loo routine.

     

    Other benefits

    Drinking plenty of water is also great for your skin.  It flushes out all the impurities which will leave you with a glow and a great complexion.  You’ll also notice your skin looking younger and healthier.

    You also notice a difference in muscle tone. You can lift all the weights you need, but if your muscles are not hydrated you won’t see a big difference in your appearance. When you muscles that have all the water they need. they contract more easily, making your workout more effective, and you’ll look better for it.

    There’s a million reasons to drink more water, but I wanted to make this about losing weight with water so I will leave it at that.

    As always I would love to know what you think about this.

  • January 5, 2016
    5
    19

    Why Saying No to Others Is Saying Yes to Yourself.

    “When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself.” ~ Paolo Coehlo

     

    A good friend once told me that, “By saying ‘no’ to others, you are saying ‘yes’ to yourself”.

    Taking the time to discern your answer prior to your response assists in speaking your truth.

    When we were children, when we said ‘yes’, we meant ‘yes’. When we said ‘no’, we meant ‘no’.

    Observe toddlers, they know when to say and speak their truth.

    But what happens when we grow older? Is our truth silenced due to other people’s judgment? And if so, what happens when that occurs? Do we suppress who we truly are in work and life?

    “Just in general, no matter what you’re doing, be true to yourself. Never let anyone else dictate how you live your life.” ~ Rumer Willis

    When you’re used to saying ‘yes’ all the time, setting boundaries may be a challenging thing to do, but each time you do it, you will feel so much better.

    “It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.” ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation

    The people who are in the pattern of saying ‘yes’ all the time, if, and when they say ‘no’, seem to feel they have to give an explanation. But unless someone asks for an explanation, no explanation needs to be given. Because just like Jules Renard said it,  “The truly free man is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse.”

    At times in my life, I have struggled with doing too much and not recognizing that saying ‘yes’, was an energy drain. Ultimately, my true talents were not fully being applied.

    Each time you use discernment in your decision-making, one’s life little by little becomes more balanced. By saying ‘no’ to others so that you can say ‘yes’ to yourself, you can observe the full situation carefully, and this will help you gain more wisdom and understanding.

    If you ever need some time to discern, you can say something like, let me think about it, or let me check my calendar and I will respond either way to you by a certain date. If you are “pushed “ to answer immediately, say ‘no.’ Change the subject to a different topic. The person is not honoring who you are or your time to make a decision.

    Be firm and do not apologize, which many ‘yes people’ do. There is no need to apologize, you may be sympathetic, but as a human being, there are only so many hours in the day.

    Do not over-schedule yourself because this will only lead to a list of stress-induced behaviors.

    Another option is to politely decline, by sharing “I have a conflict”.

    This is a true statement, since the conflict is time with yourself, to nurture yourself and your energy.

    Assess if you really want to participate.

    Is it aligning to your truth or your values?

    Does it serve my energy or higher good?

    Are you doing this for approval?

    You are the one in control of your life, not them or anyone else. The only person you need to receive approval from is you. You are of value by just being you! Is this something the other person can perform on their own? If the answer is ‘yes’, then be cautious in saying ‘yes’, otherwise you may feel resentment, regret, anger or taken advantage of.

    “Choose temporary discomfort over long-term resentment.” ~ Brene Brown

    There is a big difference in saying ‘yes’ to something when you feel it in your heart, versus ‘yes’ out of fear of the dreadful “I should do this” type of thinking.

    Personally, I think the word should, be replaced with “I choose”.

    The word “should” is used as many times as a guilt, as a pressure and ultimately resentment will come from using should too often.

    While performing and doing so much at the same time, no one really wins. You are not giving your full focus on the item at hand, and performing only at less than your true potential.

    It is in the silence of the time you spend with oneself when the authentic you arises. Your true energy and power always lies within yourself.

    This article was written by Eileen Timmins, Ph.D. Eileen is an author, artist, motivational speaker, teacher, life coach, labyrinth builder and board member.  She is founder of Aingilin, (which means little angel in Gaelic). To learn more about Eileen, visit www.Aingilin.org or contact her at aingilin@gmail.com
    We hope you enjoyed this article.

    ~Brigitte/Administrator

     

     

     

     

  • December 12, 2014
    60
    34

    HOW TO LOSE 10 POUNDS IN 10 DAYS BY ~ STEVE AITCHISON ~

    I was going to release this as my next guide however I have decided to share it instead via a post.

    I want to start this article by letting you know that I am not a health guru, I’m not a fitness freak, I don’t even go to the gym, and I’m not a medical expert in any way.  I am an ordinary guy who wanted to lose a few pounds and accidentally discovered a way to do this, and I am so excited to share what I discovered as I know it can work for you too.

    What I am going to tell you is not rocket science and it’s not a new discovery, many people have already benefited from the information I am about to share with you.  However, I discovered this for myself completely by accident without reading any books, without consulting a health guru and having no previous knowledge of this method for losing weight.

    The simplicity of this method is what makes it so very easy for you to lose your first eight pounds.  Please do not be put off by its simplicity and please, please, please don’t dismiss it before you actually try it.  When you try it, you will see results within 1 week and after 2 weeks I know you will have lost at least eight pounds, depending on your weight to begin with of course.

    Okay, let’s start by telling you the story of how I discovered this simple weight loss plan.

    The story behind the guide

    Only a few months ago I was struggling to keep my weight to under 212 pounds (15 st 2 Ibs), which is not that heavy but nearly 14 pounds (1 stone) heavier than I was 3 years earlier. I had been sitting around the 210 mark for about 1 year and decided I wanted to do something about it and get to the weight I was 3 years earlier.  The only exercise I was getting was walking every day for 2 miles, and I didn’t fancy going to the gym every day.  I am extremely busy with my online business and spending time with my family, which is very important to me.

    I tried all kinds of diets in the past; the atkins diet, burnfat4dummies diet and just the basic diet of eating less.  Yes the diets works, but they don’t help you keep the weight off unless you make that diet a part of your every day life. We all know that the less we put into our mouths the more weight we will lose, but our minds throw up all kinds of excuses for eating less, the main one being ‘I’m bloody hungry, so I need something else to eat’.

    My huge downfall is biscuits.  I can eat a pack of biscuits in one sitting, dipping up to 10 digestive biscuits into my cup of tea would take a few minutes.  A few minutes to shovel 700 calories into my mouth, that’s 1/3rd of my recommended intake!

    The accidental discovery

    About 9 weeks ago I discovered something that helped me lose 8 pounds within 1 week.  I was flabbergasted, and so was my wife.  I looked at exactly what I had been doing different.  I wasn’t exercising any more than normal, I wasn’t any more stressed than normal, I didn’t have a bug of any kind.  And then it hit me what I had been doing differently – Drinking water.  Now before you go and send me an email saying ‘Oh’ I know this already’, just read this guide to find out exactly how I managed to lose 8 pounds in 1 week and go on to lose 12 pounds and keep the weight off, without any real effort on my part.

    I started drinking water as a way to cleanse my body, as I started feeling sluggish in the mornings.  I get up very early, around 4.30 – 5am, and always feel alert and ready to write as I am always excited to start the day online before getting ready for my day job.  For a few weeks I was still getting up at 4.30, but I was feeling a little sluggish, which wasn’t like me.  I felt bloated, and felt like I needed a good detox.  I was going to try fasting for a few days per week, just to rid myself of all the crap inside my body, but then decided I would start drinking water to clear my insides, aid my digestion and just generally feel healthier.  I was used to drinking water throughout the day, but not in any planned way, and sometimes skipped the water a lot of the days.

    So I made a concerted effort to drink water every day. I started drinking water as soon as I got up, about 500ml, and again 1 hour later I drank another 500ml, during the day at lunch time (500 ml) 30 minutes before every meal I drank 250ml and  another 250ml a few hours before going to bed.  Great! It worked.  After a few days I felt less sluggish and less bloated throughout the day – job done, just keep drinking water and I would be back to my normal energetic self.  That’s what I thought, until I weighed myself 1 week later and discovered I was down to 204 pounds (14st 8Ibs).  Obviously I thought the scales were playing up and stepped off the digital scales to wait for ‘error’ to show up on the little screen, but no, everything was okay.  I stepped back on, and again the reading was 204 pounds – I shouted for my wife, who weighed herself and sure enough the scales were working okay, no anomalies, no battery losing power, no slopes in the bathroom to skew the results.  Could drinking 2 litres of water help me lose weight?

    I then started to experiment.  I stopped drinking water for 1 week, only occasionally drinking it when I felt thirsty, just as before.  1 week later I was back up to 209 pounds (14st 13Ibs).  Words can’t describe how I felt, you’d think I’d discovered the lost city of Atlantis (quite fitting really).  I then went on to experiment more and ask lots of questions and done a hell of a lot of research on the many benefits of water.

    As I write this, I am down to 200 (14st 4Ibs)  pounds, a full 12 pounds lighter than I was a few weeks earlier.  I have even hit 198 pounds (14st 2Ibs), which is what I weighed 3 years ago, totally amazing.  You can probably tell I was, and am, excited about this.  You have to understand I haven’t changed my diet in any way, I was still eating the biscuits, and coming up to Christmas there’s always goodies in the office to munch on.

    During my research it turns out that A lot of other people have discovered the many benefits of drinking water, including to help keep your weight down.  But, I want to give you an exact plan, a very easy plan that will help you lose weight and help you keep it off.  Not only will you lose weight but you will have more energy, feel healthier and feel more alert.  All this by not really changing your lifestyle and drinking a few glasses of water every day, even if you are not exercising, not dieting, and still eating your Big Macs.

    The Daily Plan

    This is an extremely simple plan and one which I have followed now for around 6 weeks with huge benefits and little downside.

    Time How much
    As soon as you get up each morning Drink between 300 – 600ml of water
    1 hour later (before breakfast) Drink between 250 – 500ml of water
    After every cup of coffee/tea Drink between 100 – 250ml of water
    20 Minutes before each main meal Drink between 250 – 500ml of water
    2 Hours before going to bed Drink between 300 – 600ml of water
    Total amount of water per day Between 1200 – 2,450ml

    If you are from the US and use Oz instead of ml you can download this PDF file which a very kind reader, April Gaskins,  has made up for us.

    Click here to download the PDF that April made

    The amount of water you drink will depend on your current weight.  Obviously a woman of 150 pounds does not need to drink as much as a man who is 300 pounds in weight.

     

    Why the water plan helps you to lose weight

    You might be asking yourself why such a simple, plentiful, substance such as water can help you to lose weight.

    In the plan you’ll notice that I’ve said as soon as you get up to drink ½ litre of water.  This is to kick start the metabolic process.  You brain does not distinguish between food and water, and treats water as food.  This means that the metabolic process is kick started as soon as you drink water in the morning and will start to use the energy to process the water.

    There are many forms of metabolism going on in your body right now, but the one we are concerned about is the metabolism of fat. This is actually something that the liver does when it converts stored fat to energy. The liver has other functions, but this is one of its main jobs.

    However the liver is also a close friend with the Kidneys, which need plenty of water to function properly.  If the kidneys are not getting enough water the liver goes into overdrive and does it’s own work as well as pick up the slack from the kidneys, which lowers the functioning of the liver.  The liver then can’t metabolize fat as quickly as it should therefore fat is stored.

    There’s a lot more to it than that, I just wanted to give you one of the areas where water affects the body and how it can change our bodies.

     

    Resisting the temptation not to try it

    A lot of you might be thinking ‘I know that already, I’ve tried it.’  The key to using this is to keep using it, no point in doing it for a couple of days and then stopping; make it a habit.

    The first few days of drinking more water will have you running to the loo more times than you’ll like, however if you stick with it you will see some amazing benefits.  Your body has been storing water for years, and the more fresh water you drink the more flushed your system will be and it will get rid of the water it was originally holding onto.  That means less water retention, less swelling of the ankles, hips and thighs and even from around the stomach area.  You will not only be flushing the body out but you will excreting all the stored water as your mind and body realize it no longer has to store water as it is getting all that it needs.  You’ll also increase your ability to hold the water and return to a normal loo routine.

     

    Other benefits

    Drinking plenty of water is also great for your skin.  It flushes out all the impurities which will leave you with a glow and a great complexion.  You’ll also notice your skin looking younger and healthier.

    You also notice a difference in muscle tone. You can lift all the weights you need, but if your muscles are not hydrated you won’t see a big difference in your appearance. When you muscles that have all the water they need. they contract more easily, making your workout more effective, and you’ll look better for it.

    There’s a million reasons to drink more water, but I wanted to make this about losing weight with water so I will leave it at that.

    As always I would love to know what you think about this.

     

  • November 25, 2014
    8
    43

    HEY LOVER-TALK TO ME BY DOMINICA APPLEGATE. (Author, Writer, Speaker)

    Ever been in a relationship and heard these words: “We need to talk?”
    Yuck. Who likes to hear those words?
    Well, if the tone reflects “I’m not happy about our relationship and this could be the end”, then no one.
    But if the tone reflects “Hey baby, we need to talk. We haven’t really talked lately and I just want to know what’s going on in your life, how you’re really doing, if you’re happy with me and our relationship, etc.”
    Yes, now that sounds like delicious talk.
    Lack of communication is a big problem in many relationships. Oh, in the beginning it usually is sufficient with all the love talk oozing out of every pore, but over time it can dwindle significantly. It can get down to the:
    “Hey there. How was your day?”
    “Good. How was yours?”
    “Fine. Wanna watch a movie?”
    “Sure.”
    How nice, right? Yes, but a bit shallow night after night.
    Take time for real heart to heart talks once in awhile.
    Here are some rather good communication tips for you and your love dove to grasp and put into action as soon as possible.

    1. Actually have a conversation

    This may sound like a no-brainer, but many couples get out of the habit of actually conversing about quality things, so it’s important to make time to actually have a meaningful conversation on a daily basis.
    Even if it’s not daily, purpose to make it happen every couple or few days. Turn off the television, computer, and cell phone and TALK. Ask questions, talk about your dreams, goals, the children, vacation ideas, finances, etc. Just do it!

    2. Don’t hold back

    If you have something to say, just say it. Some people have a hard time communicating in a clear, concise manner, but the more you practice, the easier it will get. People who hold back tend to bottle up their feelings until one day they can’t stuff one more feeling and the lid busts open and well, it’s usually not pleasant!
    Little piece of advice here: Be honest and communicate regularly to avoid blowing your top.
    If you feel ticked off because your partner has slacked off with helping around the house, say so. (In a nice way, of course.) If she seems cold and distant, just tell her.

    For the good sake of your relationship, don’t hold back.

    3. Let each other talk
    I’m talking mainly to guys right now (or ladies who prefer ladies).
    Let her share her feelings.
    Just let her share! Many guys can’t take it when their woman starts off saying, “I feel like…..” They go into shut down or instant ticked off mode. See, when they hear their girl share her feelings, they feel like they have to fix it and they don’t know how to fix a lady.
    (I mean, right? Who knows how to fix a woman?)

    Many times, all you really need to do is let her share. Listen to her. Let her get it all out! Nod your head and acknowledge that you are listening. If you really want to be the best sport, reflect back to her what she just said. “So babe, you’re saying that you feel frustrated because I am being a total lazy bum around the house every evening?” of “So honey, you’re saying that your boss is an asshole and you’re so frustrated with work?”
    Um, affirmative!

    Now, you could get all mad and start rambling about how you go to work every day and how tired you are when you get home and blah, blah. You could, but that won’t score you points. You know what will? Saying this: “Ok hun. I understand. Maybe I have been a little slack and I will help out more around here. It is a pretty big task to keep this house spic and span for sure. I don’t want you to have to do it all alone. Sorry babe.”
    Or how about, “Wow, babe. Your boss sounds like a total loser. So sorry you have to contend with that. Is there anything I can do?”

    SCORE! You just scored a 3 pointer baby!

    Ladies, this goes for you as well. If your man takes the initiative to share how he gets annoyed because you complain a lot or give him a hard time about his favorite pastime of watching football, reflect back to him his feelings and then really take in what he said. Think about what you can do to help ease his annoyance.
    Do you complain a lot? Why can’t he watch football a couple times a week? Why is that such a big deal? (It’s not.) You both want to score. You’re both on the same team. It’s a give and take relationship. Work it out together!

    Communication plays a big factor in the quality of relationships. Do your best to take some time on a regular basis and just talk. Go out to dinner, look into each other’s eyes, and talk. Go for a walk in the evening, and talk. Give each other massages, and talk. Put a movie on for the kids, go into the den, and talk. Make amazing, passionate love, and then talk! Take a mini vacation, and talk.
    Do what you have to do to keep the communication lines open.

    Your relationship is worth it.

  • December 8, 2013
    18
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    100 Wisest Words:

    1. Never take things personally.
    2. Never end a relationship by text message
    3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
    4. Show up.
    5. Always use “we” when referring to your home team or  your government.
    6. When entrusted with a secret,keep it.
    7. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.
    8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
    9. Don’t dumb it down.
    10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.
    11. If you’re staying more than one night , unpack.
    12. Never park in front of a bar.
    13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.
    14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car and first girl/boyfriend.
    15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.
    16. Don’t text and drive.
    17. Never lie to your doctor.
    18. All guns are loaded.
    19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me , they know.
    20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if its’ only once.
    21. Take a vacation off of  your cellphone, internet and TV once a year.
    22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.
    23. A handshake beats an autograph.
    24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.
    25. If you do something, do it with passion or not at all.
    26. If you want to know what makes you unique , sit for caricature.
    27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.
    28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires.
    29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.
    30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.
    31. Eat lunch with new kids.
    32. When travelling, keep your wits about you.
    33. It’s never too late for an apology.
    34. Don’t pose with booze.
    35. If you have the right of way. Take it.
    36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.
    37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.
    38. Never push someone off a dock.
    39. Under no circumstances should you ask  a woman if she is pregnant.
    40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.
    41. Don’t make a scene.
    42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is the best.
    43. Know when to ignore the camera.
    44. Never gloat.
    45. Invest in great luggage.
    46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day too.
    47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.
    48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.
    49. Give credit. Take blame.
    50. Suck it up every now and again.
    51. Give your seat up to the elderly.
    52. Don’t stare.
    53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.
    54. Stand up to bullies.You’ll only have to do it once.
    55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.
    56. Admit it when you’re wrong.
    57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.
    58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.
    59. Thank the bus driver.
    60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.
    61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
    62. Know at least one good joke.
    63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.
    64. Know how to cook one good meal.
    65. Learn to swim.
    66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.
    67. It’s ok to go to the movies by yourself.
    68. Dance with your mother/father.
    69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.
    70. Always thank the host.
    71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.
    72. Know the size of your husband’s/wife’s clothes.
    73. There is nothing wrong with plain t-shirt.
    74. Be a good listener. Don’t just take your turn to talk.
    75. Keep your word.
    76. Fight for what matters.
    77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.
    78. Be patient with airport security. They are just doing their job.
    79. Don’t be the talker in the movie.
    80. The opposite sex like people who shower.
    81. You are what you do. Not what you say.
    82. Learn to change a tire.
    83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.
    84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent.
    85. Don’t litter
    86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.
    87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest .But you can be the toughest.
    88. Never call someone before 9 AM or after 9PM.
    89. Stay in shape.
    90. Make the little things count.
    91. Always wear a bra at work.
    92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.
    93. You’re never too old to need your mom.
    94. Count your blessings.
    95. Know the words to your national anthem.
    96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun than sitting on the bench alone.
    97. Smile at strangers.
    98. Make goals.
    99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.
    100. Pray
  • December 5, 2013
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    55

    I hope your fifties mean going back to school or starting yoga. I hope your forties include falling in love with someone new – a friend, child, or partner. I hope you stay up all night laughing with your friends. And when you’re thirty, learn something new. I hope your life is one of wisdom and youth, adventure and old age – no matter what year it was that you were born. What I really mean to say is that I hope you aren’t held back because of a number. And that you don’t rush into things because it feels like time is slipping by. I hope you do what’s right for you. Hold on. Slow down. And breathe in. Your age is your age. But more importantly, your life is your life. Don’t change your journey so that it matches someone else’s. We need to walk different paths so the whole world can be explored. Revel in the differences. And enjoy where you are. -Jessica  from (www.todaywasmeaningful.wordpress.com)

    Photography Denise Hecht

  • November 27, 2013
    6
    48

    No matter who you are, what you look like, or what you share with the world, there will always be someone who doesn’t approve. And that’s okay. You’re not going to like everyone and not everyone is going to like you. And that isn’t some fundamental failing on your part — that’s just life. It’s normal, and it’s nothing to beat yourself up over. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be accepted, but you shouldn’t ever have to change who you are for the sake of winning someone else’s approval. You don’t live for other people. It isn’t your job to conform to their idea of what constitutes a “worthwhile” human being. You are who you are, and you’re enough. Instead of focusing on all the people who don’t accept or appreciate you, take some time today to remind yourself of all the people who do. It’s easy to forget about them, but they exist and they care. They’re the people who matter. To them, you matter. Let go of the rest.

    Daniell Koepke

    Photographer Denise Hecht

  • November 19, 2013
    8
    72

    “You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend or new acquaintance- You don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It’s one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings,ignores your boundaries, and “continues” to treat you in a harmful way, they have to go.” – Daniell Koepke

    Photography Denise Hecht

  • November 19, 2013
    2
    53

    You don’t have to swallow your tears. You don’t have to hide how you feel or ignore your pain. You have to give yourself a hug, look yourself in the eyes, and say, “I’m sad and I’m angry and I’m hurting. And you know what? That’s okay. My feelings are valid. I’m not broken or crazy. I’m wounded. But I can heal. And I’m going to be okay. Maybe not today or tomorrow or a week from now, but sometime soon, this is going to pass. And until it does, I’m going to keep taking care of myself. I’m going to talk back to the negative voice making me feel small and speak to myself with kindness. I’m going to let myself feel my feelings and do self-care. And I’m going to treat myself like a friend. Because if there’s anyone who deserves my love and affection, it’s me. – Daniell Koepke

    Photography by Denise Hecht

  • November 19, 2013
    0
    59

    People will try to tell you otherwise, but the boundaries have nothing to do with whether you love someone or not. They are not judgments, punishments, or betrayals. They are a purely peaceable thing: the basic principles you identify for yourself that define the behaviors that you will tolerate from others, as well as the responses you will have to those behaviors. Boundaries teach people how to treat you, and they teach you how to respect yourself. – Cheryl Strayed

  • November 19, 2013
    1
    26

    It’s okay to ask for help. Reaching out doesn’t make you a burden. It doesn’t make you weak or incapable or inadequate. And it doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you someone who has the courage to honor their needs. It makes you honest and proactive and brave. It’s a form of self-care and it’s something that takes a lot of strength. So stop beating yourself up for needing support and start giving yourself permission to take care of yourself. You’re important and you matter, and your wellbeing matters. And if you’re struggling, you deserve to get support.
    Daniell Koepke

    Photography- Sunrise at Fernandina Beach  by Denise Hecht

     

  • October 31, 2013
    6
    35

    “Everyone Can’t be in your front row”

    Life is a theater so invite your audiences carefully. Not everyone should  have a FRONT ROW seat in our lives.
    There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance.

    It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships, friendships and family!
    Everyone Can’t be in Your FRONT ROW.

    Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know or appreciate you?

    The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you… the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of YOUR LIFE.

    ” If you cannot change the people around you, Change the people you are around.”

    Remember that the people we hang with have an impact both our lives and our income. And so we must be careful to choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds. We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed our dreams with negative thoughts.

    It is your choice and your life. It is up to you, who and what you let in..

    LIFE IS A THEATRE.

    INVITE YOUR AUDIENCE CAREFULLY

     Author: Grant Brenner MD

  • October 29, 2013
    5
    63

    There is a story many years ago of an elementary teacher. Her name was Mrs. Thompson. And as she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

    Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant.

    It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then putting a big F at the top of his papers.

    At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s past records and she put Teddy’s off until last.

    However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

    Teddy’s first grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.”

    His second grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student, well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

    His third grade teacher wrote, “His mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

    Teddy’s fourth grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.”

    By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper,except for Teddy’s.

    His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume.

    But she stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

    Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.”

    After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy.

    As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her “teacher’s pets.”

    A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

    Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

    Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it,and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life.

    Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

    The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

    Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

    They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson’s ear, “Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

    Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, “Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn’t know how to teach until I met you.”

    Written by: Elizabeth Silance Ballard (Ungar)

  • October 16, 2013
    8
    48

    Grandmother says… Carrots, Eggs, or Coffee; “Which are you?”

    A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

    Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

    In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what do you see?”

    “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

    She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they got soft.She then asked her to take an egg and break it.

    After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

    Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point,grandmother?”

    Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water–but each reacted differently.

    The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

    The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

    “Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.

    “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

    Think of this: Which am I?

    Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

    Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?

    Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

    Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

    When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

    ~Author Unknown

     

     

  • October 16, 2013
    8
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    “I wish you enough”

    Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter’s departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said: “I wish you enough.”The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom.” They kissed and the daughter left.The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?” “Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?””I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

    When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, “I wish you enough.” May I ask what that means?”

    She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.

    “When we said ‘I wish you enough’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,

    “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

    I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

    I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

    I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

    I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

    I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

    I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”

    She then began to cry and walked away.

    They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them.

    Written by Bob Perks

  • October 10, 2013
    8
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    LETTER FROM A MOTHER TO A DAUGHTER:

    “My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.

    When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl?

    When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.

    If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you.

    And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.

    When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.

    I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.”

    – Unknown,

  • September 24, 2013
    3
    33

    One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out a way to get him out.
    Finally the farmer decided it was probably impossible and the animal was old and the well was dry anyway, so it just wasn’t worth it to try and retrieve the donkey.
    So the farmer asked his neighbors to come over and help him cover up the well. They all grabbed shovels and began to shovel dirt into the well.
    At first, when the donkey realized what was happening he cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down and let out some happy brays.
    A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well to see what was happening and was astonished at what he saw.
    With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was shaking it off and taking a step up.
    As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, to everyone’s amazement, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!

    1.  Moral: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.
    2.  Moral : Every adversity can be turned into a stepping stone. The way to get out of the deepest well is by never giving up but by shaking yourself off and taking a step up.
    3.  Moral : In life, what happens to you isn’t nearly as important as what you do about it or how you react to the happening.

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