Finding Love After Loss

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Are You Starving For Love?

It's Thanksgiving time, which is when we focus on the feast that we will prepare and enjoy.

When it comes to viewing the availability of quality men and women out there for dating and relationship development, how do you describe your attitude? Do you believe that there is an abundance -- a veritable feast -- of prospective mates from which to choose  OR is the landscape desolate with nary a tidbit to consume?

ABUNDANCE THINKING (FEAST)
-There's no shortage of quality men or women available to meet.
-With the bounty in front of me, it is not necessary for me to settle for leftovers or crumbs.
-If someone is not 'just right' for me, I will let him/her go because I know there IS someone right for me in the universe. I just haven't met him/her yet.

STARVATION THINKING (FAMINE)
-There are no decent men or women available to meet. 
-All the good ones are taken.
-I don't believe I will ever have an opportunity to meet many prospective partners. Consequently, I am willing to settle for less than I believe I truly deserve.
-I'm even willing to take the castoffs of others just so I can have SOMEONE.

If you believe "It's A Famine" out there, it may be necessary for you to change your world view before your dating success ratio can increase. 

Starving people can become desperate and make bad choices. The well-fed, who believe there will always be plenty, are continuously presented with multiple opportunities.

Don't settle for leftovers! Ask for, and believe, the entire meal is available to you.

Your success lies in your attitude about yourself and your opportunities. Respect and honor your own needs. Do not allow a needy attitude let you accept bad behavior from your dates.

The bottom line is to love yourself by only expecting and accepting the best life has to offer to you.

"Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and 
the universe is endlessly bountiful.
Just put forth a clear enough request, and 
everything your heart desires must come to you.
Mahatma Gandhi


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

Robert Holden, Ph.D. is the Founder and Director of The Happiness Project and Success Intelligence. He writes about the areas in which you can make change in order to "Be Happy" – which also happens to be the name of his new book. 

He suggests that one should give up the pursuit of happiness. Instead, start following your joy. This will ultimately bring you the happiness you seek.

>Here are some ways to accomplish that feat.

1. Know, accept, be faithful to, and come to love yourself. Your overall happiness is increased when you are happy with yourself.

2. Don't put conditions on your happiness. (I'll be happy when I ....)

3. Be the person with whom you want to have a relationship, be it family member, a friend or a romantic partner.

4. Find a job that doesn't feel like work. If it's not possible for you to find a job like that, fill that need to contribute to society or to fulfill your true purpose in other ways (i.e. volunteering)

5. Choose positivity and happiness. It is a CHOICE!

6. Live in gratitude for what you have rather than ruminating over what you don't have. Gratitude needs to be practiced until it becomes an ingrained way of thinking.

7. Don't harbor resentments, regret. Forgive past grievances.

8. Invite fun and laughter into your life.

9. Treat your body as a temple. Take care of it physically, mentally, emotionally and spirtually. Nurture it every day.

10. Develop a spiritual outlook, which helps you to connect to your real self instead of the self that is ruled by your ego.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Developing Inner Dimensionality

Having met my first husband when I was only 15 years old did not give me much time to try out my wings to find out who I was as an individual. We were so alike that we naturally grew together, our branches tightly interwoven. When he died, I lost one dimension of my entire being, and I needed to grow a new limb to fill the empty space left by his absence. And that’s when I really started exploring who I was and who I wanted to be going forward.

One of the hardest tasks for me to accomplish was to merge the old pictures of myself that I was carrying around with the new pictures of who I had become. I still had this image of a 15 year old girl who was shy and didn’t have much to say. I thought I might even be boring and no one would be interested in what I had to say.

I remember quite distinctly when those two images merged. It was maybe a year or more after my late husband died and I was out to lunch with some girlfriends and others whom I had never met. As the conversation buzzed, I found I was leader. I actually remember stepping out of my body and viewing the scene objectively. I was neither shy nor boring; in fact, everyone was quite interested in what I had to say! Now, I’m not saying that to “toot my horn” but only to point out that others were seeing me differently than I saw myself. This happened at the beginning of my dating career too. I would tell a man I was shy and he would laugh at me and tell me I was crazy. He would go on to say that I was anything but shy and that I made it comfortable for him to talk too.

When you get repeated confirmations from multiple sources, sometimes you just have to make the adjustments in your own perception too. So, I merged my old and new pictures in my mind and accepted the “new me.”

Did I reinvent myself? Maybe not, but I certainly felt like a different person. What I actually did was recognize another dimension of my being that was always there but which I kept in the dark. It was brought forth by these new situations into which I foisted myself.

As we evolve, we add more and more dimensions to our being and to our life, like circles that radiate out and orbit around us. I think I choose to be like the planet Saturn and have lots of rings, for this gives me more depth or dimensionality. It allows me to be comfortable in all sorts of situations and with all types of people. It allows me a cushion so if I “lose a another limb” of my tree (as I did when my first husband died), I still have lots of other limbs to support me.

I consider reinvention to be the broad category under which a lot of different actions can take place. It is rediscovering the ‘you’ hidden beneath the veil of ego that has you compare yourself to others. It is coming to neutral and clearing your slate to start fresh. It is building a multi-layered and multi-faceted person who can jump into any role when the situation calls for it. It is taking on new roles. It is being confident and brave enough to step into the unknown – and, if you fail, to pick yourself up and try again.

I believe any sort of loss adds significantly to your dimensionality as a human being. You need strength and depth of character to get through the hard stuff that is encountered during a lifetime in order to emerge intact. As you move through your journey of life and explore new avenues, you are naturally adding to your dimensionality.
I suggest you complete a self check-in every now and then to evaluate yourself. You may have unknowingly reinvented yourself!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reinvention vs Dimensionality

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about reinvention, which Webster defines as remaking or redoing completely. And although I do believe you become a different person after any life-altering change, perhaps reinvention is too strong or daunting a term for some. What you are really doing is adding new dimensions to your personality and to your life – and you can add them at your own pace as you become more comfortable with change.

However, the end result may still be a complete reinvention. It all depends on the depth of the dimensions and how many you add.

That said, I think I will replace reinvention with a new “buzz” word: DIMENSIONALITY, or the level of consciousness which describes the elements, factors or aspects that make up a complete personality or entity.

Let’s just complicate it a little bit more, though! There is both outer and inner dimensionality. As we evolve as human beings, we are adding to both these layers.

We take on new roles, for example, I started off as a girl; I grew to a teenager, woman, wife, mother, widow, wife (again), step-mother, and now grandmother.

We may also change jobs. Here’s my quick resume and you will see I still am figuring out what I want to be when I grow up!

I started off as an English teacher wanting to make everyone love reading as much as I did. Through many incarnations, I owned my own bookkeeping company and kept the books for many retail outlets. I owned a custom card company where I designed and hand airbrushed the images. I earned a license to sell health/life insurance. I was a pseudo Cyrano de Bergerac and wrote for others what they could not express themselves. I was the Managing Editor of a small press. I manage a stock portfolio. I am a certified Grief Recovery Specialist. I am a Life Coach, speaker and workshop leader. And here’s a fun one ... I am a certified Toe Reader! I am the author of my own books and have also written the life stories of many clients. I have co-edited an anthology of stories that focus on grief and renewal. I have co-authored a book on spirituality with Melinda Vail, an amazing intuitive therapist who has the ability to speak to those who have passed away.

Every time I hear about something new, I want to do it – whether I have the training or not. (And I happen to be exploring something today!) I know I am infinitely trainable, so I never see the limitations. Okay, so maybe I won’t be a brain surgeon, but there is still a myriad of opportunities from which to choose if you are not happy wearing your current hat or just want to expand your horizons.

The above are mostly outward manifestations, but they do, however, dictate with whom I come in contact. Sitting at home in front of my computer trading stocks is certainly quite different than being out in the world speaking, coaching, and interacting with a diverse group of people. In turn, my thoughts and emotions are impacted by these interactions and the feedback I receive. As I process and digest new information, this leads to the growth of my dimensionality. My husband sometimes gets upset with me that I may change my attitude towards a particular subject. I tell him that I am always a work-in-progress and as I gather new information I may need to change my old viewpoints. I always want to remain open to ideas and thoughts that allow me to see issues from multiple perspectives.

More to come on inner dimensionality ....

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm Seeing RED Today!!

I'm seeing R.E.D. today! No, I'm not angry. 
It's my new buzz word, and it stands for 
 
REVOLVE to EVOLVE to DISSOLVE.

So, what does that mean exactly? Well, before I explain it, the high school English teacher in me feels obligated to show you how these three words have a long history of connectivity.
 
Taking a look at their origins, all three came into usage between 1400 and 1600 and have the same Latin root.
 
     Revolve, from the Latin revolvere, means to roll or turn around
     Evolve, form the Latin evolvere, mean to unroll, open or unfold
     Dissolve, from the Latin dissolvere, means to loosen
 
Okay, enough with the English lesson! What does R.E.D. really mean and how can you put it to use in your life?
 
Revolving, or turning your head, lets you see people and issues from a new perspective. With these new thoughts and ideas, you can begin to see the part you play in your own life dramas. This fresh insight allows the old to become new; obstacles to become opportunities; or even good friends to turn into prospective romantic partners.
 
Once you have "revolved" or opened up your mind to new possibilities, you can begin to examine your attitude and emotions toward a particular person, event or circumstance. Work towards coming to neutral by feeling your emotions so you can process them through your mind, body and soul. Once processed, try removing the emotional connotations you have assigned to a particular circumstance/issue. It is at neutral where you can make the greatest strides in your evolution towards greater understanding and enlightenment. Additionally, it is the place where you are more likely to clearly see both sides of an issue, which will allow you to figure out the way for you to move forward in your life.

With an action plan in hand, you can then move towards loosening your foothold from the unwanted muck and mire of your life. In other words, you are dissolving the attitudes and emotions that have kept you stuck in the place in which you find yourself and one in which you would rather not be.

If you are feeling stuck in your life, use R.E.D. as a reminder to step back and look at the larger picture of your life! 
 
I invite you to join me and see R.E.D. in your life today!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Relationships: The Delicate Balance

Balance is a state of equilibrium for which we each strive, not just in relationships but in all aspects of our life.

Envision yourself with your feet planted on a narrow plank atop an oversized ball. With your arms spread out and your legs flexed to spring into action, you attempt to keep your balance. Perhaps, for a few moments at a time, you actually are perfectly still and in balance. The rest of the time, however, you expend a lot of energy wavering back and forth trying to rebalance.  

Think of this “balancing act” as a metaphor for life – reaching that elusive balance in life require ongoing effort. Luckily, it is the time spent readjusting your stance that makes up the multi-colored threads and textured fabric of a rich life.

The term “balance” is often used when discussing relationships, but what does that really mean? Does it mean that relationships should always be 50/50? I think not, for our life is fluid and so must be our relationships. Just as you wavered atop the ball, sometimes relationships are 60/40 or 70/30, and, in extreme instances, they can even be 90/10 or 100/0 -- and each of these scenarios can still be healthy. For example, in the midst of a personal crisis, you reasonably could expect a partner to be totally supportive, thus, shifting the balance heavily to one side – and that’s good thing!

Couples also need to learn that one person can’t be in charge all the time, and, just because you’re not in charge, it doesn’t mean you are giving up your power. Sometimes it is just nice to be taken care of, and just as pleasant to turn the tables and take care of your partner. This constant “transfer of power” is what keeps the balance in a relationship.

If you are presently not in a relationship and are considering entering the dating arena, keep in mind that inner balance, or striving to be the best possible version of yourself, is a necessary component to having a healthy experience.

It is important to remember that you must be a “whole” person before entering into a relationship, meaning that you must take responsibility for the circumstances of your life and not look for someone else to “fix” what you consider wrong. And while a partner certainly may inspire you to work towards a greater purpose or lend support to you in times of need, no one else can “complete” you. Most importantly, you must love yourself before you can begin to love another.

It is when two distinct individuals come together, who keep the boundary space between them visible, that a successful relationship can be forged and eventually flourish.