Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birds Of A Feather…

There are many things that draw people together. We are given opportunities in our lives to encounter other individuals in a lot of different circumstances. Thanks to our family connections, school, our jobs, social situations, we get a chance at a diverse number of potential relationships. Yes, relationships – romantic or friendly, business or pleasure, healthy or unhealthy, we get the chance to interact, to bond, to share a brief or lengthy time together.
What draws the closest ones together in friendship? I would venture to say that it’s the things we have in common that start and form the relationship. It’s our growth and differences that keep it interesting. Whether we are talking about long-term friendships or brand new ones, there are reasons that you continue to build on the foundation, to nurture the relationship. Talking, laughing, spending time together, doing things that you enjoy is what it’s all about. You probably have friends that have been a part of your life for years. Tomorrow you could meet someone that you never knew you missed. Friends are so important to our health and wellbeing. It’s giving and receiving on a basic human level.
What draws the closest ones together in romance? I believe in it, that romance. I love the heart pounding, breath quickening, tingling feeling when someone gets under your skin. You know what I’m talking about; the anticipation, frustration, hesitation, and culmination of emotions and passion that hits you like a punch to the gut. I also appreciate the tentative, uncertain, simple dance that’s done when you are friends and sometimes you think it might be nice to be more than that. I believe in the passion that should still burn brightly in long-term, sustainable relationships; it’s very sad when it doesn’t. Never give up on romance. Whether you are lucky enough to have it or you are looking forward to relishing in it, appreciate your passion when you are in the moment.
There are reasons that certain people cross your path. The common denominators soothe and comfort a worried mind and an unsettled heart. The differences give you an opportunity to learn and teach. Those people in your life who are friends, lovers or both are important to develop and sustain a passion inside you that will affect every aspect of your life.
When you feel good, physically and mentally and know that there is love and support all around you, anything is possible. Loneliness doesn’t have to be part of your equation all the time. Find the people you can depend on and that you can be there for too. There is a purpose in the individuals that you flock to, we might not look the same, do the same things, but we have a goal – to experience endless possibilities. We can see with clearer eyes that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. Enjoy yourself…With love…

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Even Flow…

I had an experience recently that I would like to share. It was interesting in that it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for me and my life journey. As I have mentioned, validation means quite a bit to me. I’m learning to appreciate that from within, but hearing it from someone on the outside helps me believe that I am on the right path.
At my monthly WomenHeart meeting we had a guest speaker, Dr. Bruno Cortis. He has written a book called “Heart and Soul.” His presentation was very informative in that he firmly believes that it is necessary to heal the spiritual heart and mind before any physical healing can begin. When he started speaking, I got very emotional. I felt like he was reaching right into my brain. He seemed to take everything that I have attempted to shift in my life and lifestyle, put it out on the table with a huge stamp of approval.
He spoke about how it is necessary to try to let your heart be free, so that it can communicate most effectively with your brain/mind. In order to free your heart and find peace, there is some work required. A few minutes each day of meditation - closing your eyes, take some deep breaths, concentrating on your breathing. Release any thoughts that might try to invade on this time, continue to bring your thinking back to your breathing. If you spend about 10 minutes each day, first thing, before you get too busy and daily life begins, to take this time to regroup and refocus, the whole outlook of your day could be changed.
At the beginning of his talk, he had the lights turned down and he asked us all to take a few minutes to meditate with him. You could feel instant tenseness in the room from some of the attendees; they were obviously uncomfortable with the thought of this exercise, but what choice did they have? I suppose they could have gotten up and left, but they didn’t. They were good sports about it. We all closed our eyes and listened to Dr. Cortis and his voice. He gave instructions calmly and quietly; everyone was participating.
It only took a few moments, but I could feel the whole atmosphere in the room shift to a much more calm level. The whole group seemed to take a big sigh of relief and comfort that was needed by everyone. We did this for the first 10 minutes of the meeting. When we turned the lights on, a bit dimmer this time, and Dr. Cortis started to speak about really living, you got the sense that everyone was paying closer attention.
He shared the importance of a more even flow of communication and self-appreciation was needed to help all of us heal – physically and mentally. He encouraged us to do what we love, every day – read, write, play music, whatever made us feel happy, even if it’s just for a few minutes. We should relish in our strengths and accept our weaknesses. If we let go of fear or uneasiness and let some love in, our strength and health will grow and our weaknesses might have less of an effect on our life.
It was a form of validation for me on personal levels that raised my awareness and appreciation for the work I am doing to live a life I like. I’m working towards and achieving, life that has less anger and frustration that has more happiness and peace, a life that is fun and appreciated every single day.
Try to make the flow of communication between your heart and your head a little more even. It’s vitally important for you to make the connection and prosper. I have mentioned before, simple changes can mean so much to you and your wellbeing. Try it sometime…With love…

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good Day Sunshine…

There have been studies over the last several years about how sunshine and the weather affect our mood. We are experiencing a true summer in Chicago. We have had many days that are hot, sticky, lots of bright sunshine, with temperatures over the 90s and 100s.
Personally, I find myself much happier about my day, warm or cold, when the sun is shining. I feel a bit of pep in my step with the warmth on my skin. I welcome the rain and the snow because our plants and flowers need it to grow. But when the sun is shining and the day is bright, it really has a positive effect on how I feel. I want to be out in the sunshine, enjoying the day.
Try to look at the bright side, your internal sunshine. It’s difficult at times to remember to do that, but the outlook of things to come can be elevated to another level. Positive, productive levels that will make you feel better and help your decision making. You will look at the world around you with eyes wide open, a brighter, better place where you can make a life worth living. It takes some work, but it’s worth it in the end.
In the meantime, when you have a chance, if the sun is shining, get out there and enjoy it. Bask in the warmth of the sun…it will lift your spirits…With love…

Friday, July 20, 2012

Give Peace A Chance…

I am horrified. I am scared. I am very sad. What’s going on? What’s our world coming to? Our children are not safe on the streets. They can’t play outside without the danger of abduction or a stray, whizzing bullet in a drive-by. We have to be mindful and on high alert, it seems, all the time now. You can’t let your guard down? You might have someone who has lost their mind, come to your job, school, and now the movie theater armed and ready to take you down.
I can’t think of anything positive to say to turn this type of reality around. Maybe I’m not supposed to turn it around? Maybe I’m supposed to be reminded that no matter what there are always going to be those with a hateful, disturbed mind and heart? Man, I hate that.
Be mindful and cautious when you are traveling unfamiliar territory, physically or mentally. If you need a friend to help you get through a rough patch, find one, use their shoulder to cry or laugh on. Take care of your mental wellbeing. Continue focusing on your strengths and strengthening your weaknesses.
Say a prayer, to whatever higher power you believe in, that we all remember to always give peace a chance…With love…

Thursday, July 19, 2012

PS. I Love You…

I love you. Those three words that we long to, like to, love to, want to, hear directed to us.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about the phrase – I love you. On both sides of the discussion there was a bit of a quest for definition or meaning when the words are spoken. Why was it said, in what context, who said it, what did they mean by it? Why the suspicion? Why the question? Why not just feel it? Shouldn’t it be nice to have someone say “I love you,” no matter what the context? Well, of course it should! I had forgotten that.
Is it a phrase that is overused? I don’t really think so. If it’s sincere and comes unsolicited, it should make your heart beat a little faster, endorphins release, your spirit soar. I don’t know when or why I became so cynical or almost suspicious when those words were spoken to me. Perhaps it’s because at times in my life it was said to pacify me rather than to share the feeling. I’m not sure; all I know is that I want to find the joy in that phrase. I am rediscovering what it is supposed to feel like when someone tells you that they love you, no matter what the circumstance.
I want to have the majority of what I say or do be with a caring or loving purpose. I had the tendency to be a little harsh until I discovered how short life really is. I am working to be taken both seriously and sincerely. It’s important to me to open my heart and mind to love and to give it back. It’s not only romantic; it’s cathartic, friendly, and positive, like a special tool to help heal whatever ails us.
Say the words with meaning and truth. Listen when someone says it to you. Let it in your heart and in your head. It will promote the release of negative energy and have good things come back to you. Enjoy it, you deserve it, remember that. Don’t overthink or question, just feel…you will be amazed at what it can do for you…With love…

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Times Like These…

I hope that you are enjoying the summer weather. I know that it's been really hot, but that's what summer is all about.

I recently hosted my annual “ladies only” pool party. 20 of my girlfriends came over for an afternoon of sunshine, swimming, music and laughter. New friends meet old friends; we connect and converse. It’s a time like this that reminds me of girl power. You know, that power of intelligent friendship that can get you through anything. We need that share time, to talk, to laugh, and even to cry a little. A bit of respite in a world that can be tough sometimes. This was a very good time.

I had the opportunity to listen to a really great band a couple of weeks back. They did 80s and 90s covers and they ROCKED the house. Now I’m certain that there would be those who might say that to stand up on a stage, playing the music and singing the lyrics of others, would be a sellout. I’m not one of those folks. The band members played their instruments flawlessly and sang just about perfectly and seemed to have a blast doing it. I had a blast singing out loud, recalling the times I’ve heard that song before and I was grinning from ear to ear. It’s a time like this that reminds me that it doesn’t matter how you use your personal talents, as long as they are feeding a need in you, they will feed one in those around you. It doesn’t matter if the material is original or someone else’s, if you are doing something you love and entertaining me while you’re at it? That’s the best part!

Spending moments with people you love and who love you back. Getting past the negative influences and embracing the positive. Breaking down the walls you built around your heart and mind for protection. Taking steps to remind yourself of the good times in your life. These are all things that will help you get through times like these, where the world seems to be worn out, tired, crabby, and a little bleak. Changing your thinking will change your life. It’s true, it works, just try it sometime.

I know that it’s a little hard to believe, but things will get better for everyone. Personally, professionally, anywhere you need it. It’s time to reach out and work a little harder for what you want, what you desire. Say what’s on your mind, feel the real emotion, don’t overthink. If you let things flow, back and forth, try not to worry or question motives, new relationships can be built, current ones can improve and toxic ones can be removed. It’s a life worth living that belongs to you. Enjoy it for as long as you can…with love…

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I’ve Seen Better Days…

These past few months have been days of experience and growth. If you are working hard, taking care of yourself – body, mind and spirit, making plans or just going with the flow, I am hoping there have been better days for you. Here’s what I’ve seen…
My daughter got married. It was both an honor and a privilege to be part of some of the best days of her life, which in turn were some of the best days of mine. It was an intimate occasion and the love of my daughter, her new husband and our melded families was true and real. The days and evenings that were spent relishing in family and fun were full of that love; it was in the air and in our hearts. I am grateful she has found the love she has desired and deserves. My new son-in-law got a pretty good deal too!
I travelled out of the country for the first time. The afore-mentioned wedding was in Playa Del Carmen. I have never seen sky or water so blue; sand so white and fine. I can’t wait to go back again. It was a magical experience those days on a vacation. It helped clear my mind and open my heart. I really can see a bit clearly now, the direction I want to head in. I will get there, patience and perseverance as my guides.
I turned 50. We had an evening of local celebration that happened to fall on my 50th birthday. The friends and family that attended made this event special for me and my daughter. I realized again that evening that I am extremely lucky and grateful for every single person that is in my life. This particular day was a milestone, one that will be remembered for the rest of my days.
There have been some bad days too, we all have them. But when they are interspersed with days that make me smile when I think about them, that’s what gets me through. It's what I try to focus on.
I can't do anything about the days that don't end well or that are stressful. It's very hard for me and my personality type to accept that. It seems a bit easier to remember that I should concentrate on the good ones, get past the bad and move on. I used to ruminate about a bad day or things that are crappy at times. I really don't want to let that take me over any more. It's hard work NOT to, but very worth it.
Have YOU seen better days? Share your days with me…if you want to. Are there ways to get to them that feels right and easy? Life is way too short, we run out of time and we don’t even know it. Isn’t it a great idea to take good care of YOU and enjoy your days? Try it sometime. With love...