Friday, January 25, 2013

Quotes For All Occasions

I admit it! I have been an incorrigible quoter since I was a teenager. In fact, on my 18th birthday, my boyfriend even bought the book “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” for me, which contains a whopping 1500 pages of quotations on every topic imaginable. This may not sound romantic to you, but it was to me because he bought me something he knew I would cherish forever vs. some trinket that could become outdated or break. 

He was pretty smart for one so young (which is probably why I eventually married him!). Without knowing it, he was following the Platinum Rule, which says that you should not only love thy neighbor as thyself (which is what the Golden Rule promotes), but you should also love thy neighbor the way thy neighbor wants to be loved. 

I have always found inspiration in reading quotes, and I tried to pass this on to the high school English students I taught. Each day, I posted a new quote on the blackboard with the hope that it could help them navigate the dangerous jungle of high school.

I’m also a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. So if you can find someone who is regarded with respect and authority and can beautifully express your thoughts, I say quote them! After all, as Julio Cort├ízar said, “In quoting others, we cite ourselves.” 

I’ve continued this practice on Facebook and in my many self-help books because as Shannon L. Alder said, “Inspirational quotes are dances of light that shine in dark places during your life.” And we all could use a little ray of hope and light to brighten up the days of our lives, which is what I aim to provide for my readers and clients. 

Many other people post quotes on Facebook, too. Even Abraham Lincoln said, “It is a pleasure to be able to quote lines to fit any occasion.” Or maybe people use quotes because “they are short on time, but long on big ideas,” as Bruce Edwin suggests. 

Personally, I think it’s interesting to share quotes but to also report how it affects you or what you think it means. Now, not everyone is going to agree with your interpretation, but reading alternate meanings can open up doors for new thoughts. And it is new thoughts that can change your perception of how you see the world. In turn, this allows you to make beneficial changes that can enhance your life.

Jay Woodman said, “Notice, when looking at quotes of each person – you'll never agree with every single quote of anybody's. We all have a different view of reality, of what is meaningful. This is why we can never argue, or there would be no man left alive – we have to agree to disagree, and just get on with it, maybe laugh a little too. It's wonderful really – delightful – the infinite variety of wisdom and beauty! Let's accept it gladly.” 

I’d love for you to share your favorite quote in the comment box and tell why it is so meaningful to you. Or, perhaps you have a special saying that you have thought up by yourself. And, if it resounds with me, I'm letting you know that I'm going to quote you too!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Chemistry of Relationships

Chemistry: a branch of physical science, the study of the composition, properties and behavior of matter. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds. 

When it comes to dating, chemistry is an often discussed topic, and many make the decision to pursue a relationship based on whether they feel it or not. But, let’s take a closer look at chemistry and what it really means. 

If you accept the premise that every item in the universe is comprised of energy – of positive and negative charges in constant motion – that means humans are beings of energy, too. Moreover, according to the definition at the top of the article, that makes all our interactions chemical reactions, for chemistry is the study of the behavior of matter (or how atoms interact with other atoms). 

The fact that there are positive and negative charges reflects the natural duality of the world, and, as such, a chemical reaction can have a positive or a negative effect. 

For example, take the statement, “We have chemistry!” 

This can mean that the sparks were flying when you first met someone. However, were these sparks igniting feels of lust/love OR was there such friction that you rubbed each other the wrong way? 

Personally, I think the idea of chemistry at the outset of a relationship is highly overrated. Of course, you want to be attracted to someone, but sometimes that takes more than one meeting. Furthermore, isn’t it true that once you get to know and like/love someone that you are attracted to their beautiful “insides” more than their less-than-perfect “outsides”? 

Getting to know someone inside out is what relationship development is all about, and that is what creates a real and lasting chemical reaction. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes about chemistry in regard to relationships.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Have You Turned Your Intention OR Your Attention on Finding Love?

Whether you are looking to find love or working towards attaining another of your goals, it is important to examine and understand the difference between attention and intention.

ATTENTION can energize your body, for good and bad. On whatever you focus your attention, the stronger it will become in your life. If you are stuck emotionally on being lonely, afraid, sick, or broke, and you focus all your attention on feeling sorry for yourself or angry at finding yourself in this place, you will only perpetuate these factors in your life. 

You can wish and desire all you want in order to move through these less than desirable circumstances, but that is not enough. Desire alone is weak because, in most people, it is simply attention connected to attachment. That is, you are attached to the outcome.

Instead, try focusing your attention on the present and practice not feeling lonely, afraid, penniless, etc. This will trigger your intention to NOT feel that way. 

INTENTION is what transforms your thoughts into reality. In order to accomplish this feat, you must first quiet your mind. Meditating is a good way to do this. It allows you to access your intentions/desires. As you affirm them, you release your intentions to the universe and create the energy to start the process of realizing your goals. 

Once the energy is set in motion, you can then let the universe decide HOW this process will be revealed to you – always keeping in mind that there is not always one path and one favorable outcome. In other words, try not to become attached to how you see it happening. Let yourself just know it will happen and be surprised at how it comes about!

You may want to think of attachment as blinders on a horse; it only lets you see and desire one outcome. You become so attached to the end result that you’re not aware of a world full of available possibilities. For example, you may miss a wonderful friendship, if you are only desirous of a love connection. You may be better off, if you don’t force “your” solution. Instead, step back and witness it emerge from chaos and confusion. It is when you are in a state of confusion that you will find yourself in a true state of grace, for it is here that "spirit" (or your inner guidance) can provide you with the answers you seek.

The preceding is an excerpt from my book, "Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story." It's available as a soft-cover, Kindle, or ebook in pdf format. 

Click here for soft-cover.
Click here for Kindle version.
Click here for ebook version.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Are You Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions?

According to a survey, forty-five percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions. The most popular resolutions are (in order from number one): (1) lose weight; (2) get organized; (3) spend less and save more; (4) enjoy life; and (5) stay fit and healthy. 

Unfortunately, out of the 45%, seventy-five percent of the people only maintain their resolution(s) through the first week. Forty-six percent maintain their resolution(s) past the six month mark. To put those numbers into perspective, what that means is that in a population of 100 people, 45 people make resolutions, but only ~33 of those people keep the resolution past the first week. By the time six months roll by, only 20 people are still keeping to their resolutions. 

So, today, we are 4 days into the first week of 2013. If you made a resolution, how are you doing on keeping it? 

Unfortunately, follow-through is not very strong on the resolutions many of us make for the new year. Perhaps it is because many of the ones we make tend to deprive us of pleasurable activities, such as eating great food, drinking and shopping. When you feel deprived, it usually increases your desire for it ten-fold, and it eventually leads to a breaking of the resolution with an overindulgence of the so-called pleasure. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in setting goals and making resolutions to accomplish them. However, it’s important to create these with a positive mindset that rewards you for “good” behavior vs. a negative one that punishes you for “bad” behavior.  

I like Ellen Goodman’s take on it when she wrote the following. 

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. 
 Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives ... not looking for flaws, but for potential.” 

In regard to dating ....
There are many who put off entering the dating arena because they feel they are too flawed, have too much baggage or have a negative body image. Are these excuses because they are afraid of rejection? For example, in regard to body image, do they subconsciously sabotage their weight loss efforts so they have an excuse to put off attending social events, etc. A favorite saying might be, “I just want to lose 10 pounds before I try to meet anyone.” Those 10 pounds never come off and can become an immovable obstacle unless the reason behind the avoidance is addressed. 

I’ve written a short book, Understanding Fitness and Weight Loss From A to Z, that speaks to 26 subjects and address some of these issues. Following is an excerpt on overcoming obstacles. 

SPECIAL OFFER: I’m offering a FREE download of the book from January 4 to January 6, 2013 via Amazon. It’s a Kindle book, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Just download a free reading app to access it on your computer, tablet, or phone. Links following. 

Click the book title name to access the free download of Understanding Fitness and Weight Loss From A to Z. 



OVERCOMING OBSTACLES: conquer, defeat, get the better of difficulties 

There is no such thing as a free lunch! In other words, every individual has his own obstacles to overcome in order to reach his goals. 

To an outsider, some may seem trivial and easy to resolve. However, you cannot truly understand another’s perspective until you have walked in his shoes. 

As you work towards overcoming your personal obstacles that are keeping you from the healthy and fit lifestyle you desire to live, there are two ways with which to confront them. In spiritual terms they are referred to as acting in object-referral or acting in self-referral. These represent two methods of dealing with your emotions and circumstances. 

Very often, a negative emotion is regarded as a weakness and dealt with in an inappropriate manner, such as the renunciation of responsibility for the creation of the circumstances that gave rise to the negativity. This is an example of acting in object-referral. 

However, if every time you experience negative emotions, you choose to learn and grow spiritually then you will be able to turn seemingly negative situations into positive experiences. This type of behavioral pattern is referred to as acting in self-referral

It is the choices you make on how to deal with your emotions that determine the outcome of the situations with which you are confronted. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”