Monday, September 24, 2012

I Do


There are lots of weddings going on these days. Music is being chosen for the first dance. Moms and daughters are gleefully picking out wedding outfits and future brides and grooms are tasting lots of cake: lemon, red velvet, coconut,vanilla and chocolate.

Time is also being devoted to writing vows. The words spoken on this solemn day of devotion are written and rewritten several times to impress upon partner and guests just how important and relevant the uniting of two souls is during this ceremony. Often, numerous days of intense thought processes are poured into these short passages promising to uphold, honor, love and cherish one another. The editing can be an arduous task to significantly convey just how the couple feels about each other.

Why then do so many marriages end in divorce? 

Psychologists' offices are filled with sad and unfulfilled husbands and wives who couldn't hold together their marriages. You may not believe in therapy and psychology, but the path of discovery most often used is this: going back in time to review your life. What might you discover when an educated and experienced therapist asks some profound questions?

I Do Love - Me
If men and women, young and old loved themselves as much as they loved their partners and others, we may witness fewer and fewer divorces. Self love seems to evade the higher percentage of the population. If you think back years or just moments ago, do you remember being critical of yourself? Judging yourself much more harshly than you judge others? Do you pick on yourself for every little thing? When was the last time you actually patted yourself on the back? Are you a good friend to yourself and encourage you, like you?

I Do Honor - Me
Self-respect is a dwindling commodity. Think about it: the media, reality TV shows and call-in radio programs are propagating the average person to diminish their self-worth. In today's world you can make a name for yourself simply by debasing your character and reputation in front of millions.

I Do Cherish - Me
What does cherishing ones self mean? For starters it means taking care of yourself at least as well and proactively as you take care of others, whether it is a parent, spouse, sibling, child or friend.

The Love of Your New Life
The love of your new life is YOU! It can take some getting used to, thinking about yourself in this way, but the expression "It starts at the top" makes you the CEO of your life. This does not mean that you focus 24/7 on yourself. It does mean that you start taking yourself more seriously and developing a better relationship with the president of the company called ... YOU!
  • Love You. Affirmations such as: I am a good, kind and caring person, I look forward to treating others and loving others as I treat and love myself and my self-love can make a difference because others are attracted to positive people, should be repeated daily.
  • Honor You. Before your toes touch the ground in the morning, close your eyes and envision a day filled with respect - given and received. It is a fact that one cannot get respect if one does not give it. Honor all that is right about you. Make a list of your wonderful, endearing and benevolent qualities.
  • Cherish You. While it is lovely to have a partner to hold and comfort you, bear in mind that parents teach self-soothing to very young babies. Although this is taught at a tender age, most forget how to self-soothe. Look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Take the time to have a quiet, loving talk with yourself every morning and at the end of the day. Compliment yourself on a job well done at work or for being there when a close friend is in need. Take time to relax and reflect. We all need it.
 I Now Pronounce You ...
You are now in the position to start loving others because once you have given to yourself, you can give the same love, attention and consideration to others. Your future husband or wife and your future children will receive the best you that there is.

I now pronounce you your own best friend. Have a good life.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seven Ways to Self-Soothe in a High-Tech World

Those who know me, know very well that I have shied away from high tech as much as is humanly, socially, responsibly, productively and resourcefully acceptable. I am the proverbial dinosaur that enjoys and leans toward the tactile: pen, pencil, paper, books, magazines and snail mail. When you read an article online there are no scratch and sniffs – open up a brand new magazine and, aside from that delicious aroma of shiny virgin paper, you can sample scents from Lancome, Dior and Chanel.

However, for the sake of those who enjoy computers and all of the other technological accoutrements that one can amass, I share with good wishes some ways that we can relieve our stress in a high-stress world of technology through technology.

Stress Reliever N°1 - You Tube
Many of us are aware of the wealth of information and resources at our fingertips through computers and Google searches. For those who do not, open up your computer and enter Once you are on the home page, enter one of the following search word phrases:
  • calming music
  • guided meditation
  • spiritual/inspirational music
These and similar prompts will direct you to videos from a couple of minutes long to those that are over an hour. You have the choice of length of time available to you at any time of the day that fits in with your personal schedule.

Stress Reliever N°2 - Online Images
Did you know that you can Google search any word and pull up the associated images? Search for words such as: peace, love, happiness, calm, serenity, certainty and beauty; then click on images and feast your eyes on beautiful photographs, prints and paintings.

Stress Reliever N°3 - Play List
It is not uncommon to find that the work place, where many feel the most stress, now allows for the use of ear buds plugged into MP3s (iPods). You have only to go to iTunes and create a play list specifically for calming and de-stressing yourself. This play list can be listened to at home, in the car and at work.

Stress Reliever N°4 - Kindle
The Kindle is an e-book reader. At the end of the day as you slip into bed and allow your body to relax, perhaps for the very first time during that very long, challenging day, you can upload a book, magazine or newspaper of your choice within moments. Of course, since you are trying to relax and nurture your body and mind, your choices will be made with spirit, inspiration, motivation and personal development in mind.

Stress Reliever N°5 - Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
No matter what high tech options are available, a large percentage of the populace still gravitates to the television set. When overtime at work cuts into TV time, that is when having DVR service or TIVO is welcomed. You can tape shows and view them at your convenience. This means you can meditate, exercise or enjoy humor when it is most needed.

Stress Reliever N°6 - Massage Appliances
Your favorite massage therapist is not always there when you need to relax. Lucky for you that there are many high quality massage appliances such as: neck massage pillows, feet and calf massage appliances and full-body chair massage options. Some are purchased at a minimal cost while others are in the thousand dollar range. One thing that is good to know, though, is sometimes the smallest adjustment (neck massage pillow) makes the biggest impact on the entire body.

Stress Reliever N°7 - Surprise!
We've now discovered how high-tech knowledge and a variety of options can see us through some of the stressful times. However, too much of anything is never good. Therefore, Stress Reliever N°7 is about unplugging. Yes, unplug. Just as candle light and quiet is a beautiful and welcome change from light, noise and activity, unplugging from technology can revive you more than you could ever imagine. Sit quietly in a chair and listen to your breathing, close your eyes and envision your life as you desire it and silently give gratitude for all that you have.

After a period of time you will feel capable of rejoining the fast paced, plugged-in, high-tech world that surrounds you and everybody else. The digital, electronic and virtual worlds are facts of life – inevitable, a reality. Good to know that you can plug in or plug out whenever the spirit moves you.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's Not About China

You might think that this blog post is politically based because of its title.  It's not. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It could have worn the title "It's Not About Crystal" or "It's Not About the Dress" or some other component of today's wedding celebrations. 

Weddings are a big deal – and they should be! They are the start of a union, a meeting of the minds, so to speak. However, it is a sad fact that more and more marriages are dissolving, and often within a very short time after emotionally speaking vows that meant something.  So why the title, "It's Not About China?"

Your china pattern may seem like a big deal, but here's a short story about a woman who had it all, or so it seemed.

Diane was married to a man who could provide for her everything her heart desired. She rode in the most expensive cars, wore clothes that came from high-end shops, had the diamonds, the home decor and the dishes. The only thing she didn't have was a husband who was on the same page as she. He was a brute and hit her. Not often but even once is too much. She finally divorced him.

Enter husband number two. A gentle man – a loving man toward Diane and her children. He was not a big earner but his love for her knew no bounds. Diane loved him and glowed when she mentioned his name. They were a happy couple and became a happy family.

This might not seem like the most interesting story but the day Diane excitedly told me of the dinner party she and her husband were giving made everything crystal clear to me. She said she didn't have enough dishes to serve the 8 or 10 people expected. She had walked away from everything in her previous marriage. I offered to lend her additional dishes for her guests. She declined and said, "No thanks, we'll make do." The next day I asked her how her dinner party went. She exclaimed, "It was perfect! We had so much fun." I was curious what she ended up doing about the extra dishes she needed, specifically the salad bowls. She happily said, "We washed out margarine containers and used those. They didn't match but the salad was great!

 As you enjoy the beautiful details of planning a wedding, remember that it's really about the marriage of two souls, two hearts that will live together and weave a partnership of the most intimate and loving fabric. The china pattern that you chose so carefully and the crystal that you picked out together may break or lose its charm. Dishes can be replaced. But it is far easier to smile at the love of your life over the cracked lip of a coffee mug than to smile at what appears to be a stranger over the most perfect bone china.