A lesson from being totally numb!

I recently have been going to the dentist to take care of some periodontal issues. The serious nature has had me getting intensely drugged and numbed. I left the dentist office two different times looking like I had a stroke (mouth droopy) and my entire mouth numb and left without feeling. Talk about humbling. I could not feel my lips or tell if I was sucking a straw. It was terrible. I felt like Tim Allen…see below..hahaha

 

1Now, seriously. It was humbling and my heart ached for people who suffer from health issues. It made me think of my friend who was pregnant and had a stroke during her pregnancy. She lost mobility and memory. She struggled to find a reason for what had happened to her. She came to the realization that if it was for her child, she could struggle through & then she was thrown into the fire of losing that child. She wondered why. She began to question everything. She fell into a depression. She had not only lost physical mobility, she was now struggling with emotional mobility. She had other children she needed to take care of, so she had to go deep into her emotional reserve and find a place where she could begin to build again.

Today. I hope that many of you out there who do not struggle physically or emotionally will count the many gifts that you take for granted. I know walking out of that dentist office numb made me aware of the many gifts I take for granted. Think about it…A FEW things to get you thinking about the many gifts you are given…

 

site_photo_Our_Mission1Do you have healthy children? If you need a little more realization on this go watchthe movie,  “Miracles from Heaven.” My husband and I balled watching what that family had to go through and endure. It is based on a true story. Just imagine having a sick child & how difficult that would be. Go hug your children and thank the heavens that they are healthy and happy.

 

6db96ebcaa0ec34f9b184010c74191c6Two gifts you opened this morning–your eyes: You have the gift to see. There are many people who don’t take the time to look at the details, to notice the small gifts all around them. Read something. Go outside and look at the symmetry of leaves. Watch the clouds. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset. Notice color.

 

abundance-42-1024x860Do you have abundance? Whether it is fruit available for picking, a grocery store full of a variety of goods, running water, energy, family near, somewhere to live…My sister-in-law just moved to California. They had a house lined up to move into when they arrived, but the day they were to move in, the funding fell through. Luckily they had a trailer to live in while they are trying to work things out. My sister-in-law laughed as she explained their situation, “and I wanted to sell the trailer!” My response, “I bet you are glad you have it right now.”  They are living in a trailer, but are abundant with love. They took a day as a family and made it a memory in Disneyland. She joked that they are homeless, but they are in Disneyland and enjoying it.     Every situation is different, but if you can find the abundance wherever you are, you will find the gift within the situation.

 

Love-Heart-Made-With-Hands-At-Sunset_1Do you have love? We all come from love, but sometimes that gets lost in the confusion of life. You may be surrounded by friends and family who love you or you may have a best pet friend or maybe you are constantly searching for love. Do you love yourself? Love can be found in service, caring for another, holding the hand of someone afflicted, listening to someone in need…LOVE is everywhere, it is a gift that may be freely given or you may need to seek and find it. Love is in our nature.

 

healthymindbody_29Do you have a healthy body? Many of us take for granted and sometimes abuse the incredible gift we have been given–our body. It is an amazing piece of systematic genius. How are bodies function is a miracle & we do not have to do anything. It runs beautifully. Sometimes it is put on us to take better care of this amazing gift and we need to take it seriously. When we begin to break down, life becomes more difficult. We need to seek out good healthy habits. We need to find exercises we love. We need to sleep, drink water and do good things. Do you appreciate the ability to touch, to hear, to breathe, to taste yummy foods, etc.  We need to be grateful for the health and happiness we have.

 

Never-Stop-LearningDo you appreciate being able to learn and grow? We have a great ability to learn anything with the help of the internet, youtube, connecting with others, etc. It is amazing!! We are only limited by what we do NOT do. Learn something new & guaranteed you will find a new zest for your life. You will begin to strive to seek out new things more often to enhance your life. You will learn and want to share with others around you. It is contagious! When we don’t seek out new things, we become stagnate and don’t grow. Take the time. It is worth it. Seek to learn something new each day, even if it is something small. You will fill it boost your day. I promise!

 

download_images_7191338321_healthcorner_banner_3Do you have balance? Mind. Body. Spirit. All come together as a whole.

Well, this is a small list, but a good start. Create your own list of things you are grateful for and begin to to truly live, love and see the things that make your life incredible.

Peace and love to you. -H

 

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Lessons learned from the movie Mr. Church

Storyline: When a young girl and her dying mother are joined by a black male cook who comes to live with them, little do they know that their lives are about to change forever.  fyi: IMDb has a 7.7/10 rating from over 14,000 votes. Other sources may not be so kind. You may have to watch the movie and make your own critique. Smile. Smile.

 

"Cook"Some would say this is a slow moving movie, but I can appreciate a movie where you fall in love with the characters and wait to find out what happens to them and their stories. I loved seeing a sober side to Eddie Murphy (Mr. Church) and I also love Britt Robertson.

 

 

The Lessons I took away from this movie:

mr-church-759x500

mr-church-20160465YOU ALWAYS HAVE TIME TO IMPROVE YOURSELF–Mr. Church was always doing something that improved his world–reading, writing, playing the piano, painting, cooking…he  was a good example of this to “Charlotte”.

I know I left the movie feeling like I had a new sense of not wasting time & have been reading more and filling my time with learning. It was good for me.

 

 

375YOUR PAST DOES NOT HAVE TO DEFINE YOU–There may be dark secrets, hidden things about someone’s past, but it does not have to define them. Mr. Church gave and gave, but struggled with demons from his past.

I think we can all take this lesson into our personal lives. We all have pasts that hold scars, wounds, hurts, bad memories, BUT we can also learn from them and do our best to not let them hold on and weigh us down. We can break the chains and be free if we truly want to be.     I struggled with this one recently. I had an old boyfriend that I dated for over 2 years when I was younger. I recently found out that he had been put in prison for sexually abusing some young girls. The last couple of years I had memories that kept coming up about when we dated and I felt very violated. I had bad dreams, anxiety, fears…but I had to keep focusing on all the growth that has happened since I was that young girl. We had both changed by choices we made. He took a different path & I did feel bad for the place his life ended up, but I could not give my power away again. My life is full of wonderful things and those worries and fears and memories were beginning to weigh me down and chain me. I was not about to allow that because there is too much good in my life.  The past can haunt, but not have control. I took my power back and have not looked back.

 

 

Mr.-Church-6ALWAYS BE KIND–Always be kind to others, you never know the impact you may have on someone else’s life.  There was a sweet relationship between Charlotte (Charlie) and a guy named Larson. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so you will just have to watch.

I think we truly do not know the impact we may have on others. Our smile may lift another, a kind gesture, a listening ear, a hand to hold. We often overlook the simple connections that are always there to make.

 

 

Mr.-Church-4LOVE IS A GIFT— The relationship between Charlie and her mother was sweet and very loving. In the end her mother worries that Charlie would only have memories of the pain of her dying and not all the love that was shared. That was a tear-filled scene. It was very heart wrenching.

I think we can all look at the sweet relationships we have and choose to make them deeper, more love-filled, and more meaningful. Life truly goes by so quickly and it is the little, daily moments shared that will be remembered. Make time to hug, to talk, to spend one-on-one time with those important to you. Have special rituals or things you do that bind those relationships together. Maybe you have a weekly lunch date with best friends. Maybe you have monthly daddy/daughter or mommy/missy dates. Maybe you have a special bed time ritual. Maybe you write your children a special letter every six months. Maybe you have a special dinner to celebrate things your grateful for. There are so many things you can strive to do to connect even more with those you care about.

 

pictures-that-will-get-you-through-rough-day-27“Go and do something good with your life” were Charlie’s last words to her childhood friend Owen.

A good motto for our daily life. Go do good!!

PEACE. JOY and HAPPINESS to you today.  -H

 

 

Lessons learned from the movie With One Voice

df81b0c84a7dd883a1a26ef015803e95-1I am a seeker of good things. Religion has always been a tough one to grasp for me on a personal level. I have always seen the lines of division and have a deep longing to understand things on a higher level. This movie talks to a variety of different religious leaders and seekers. It had some good lessons to share.

My hope is you can take something positive away. There are always good things if you look for them.

13235-man-alone-walks-water-path-road-sky-clouds-horizon-1200w-tnEVERYONE IS A SEEKER

We already are that which we are seeking.

“Ultimate freedom is not outside ourselves, it is not only within us, but it is our very nature.” -Buddha

“The intellectual can envision what a utopian society would look like. The mystic knows that paradise is within and that we can offer paradise. That we can offer the nectar of paradise. We can offer the banquet table of LOVE for all of humanity and we can all sit at the banquet table together.”  -Sufi woman

If you were to bring in 10 lamps of light in to one place, each would be different from the other in form. But when you look at their light you cannot differentiate one from the other.

We make no distinction of our messengers Were you to count 100 apples, 100 fruits, the 100 would not remain, but become 1 when pressed together. In matters spiritual–there are no parts, no numbers, there is no division.

All the great religions of the world have communicated the same universal message–appreciate the diversity of spiritual tradition by seeing g their inherent unity.

Many religious differences stem from different interpretations of the followers. Ex: Jesus had 12 disciples. Those disciples are not on the same level of understanding [as Jesus], so they each create their own interpretation of a message, teaching, experience, etc. They then share their story to others.

 

1246139-geshe-kelsang-gyatso-quote-without-inner-peace-outer-peace-isIT IS INNER PEACE THAT LEADS TO OUTER PEACE

Hatred and all forms of aggression will cease to exist in the world. Peace in the world will become a reality when individuals realized that we belong to each other.

“Peace is our true nature. The only way to have peace in the world is when people find the peace from within and then share it.” -Swami Karunananda

“War is more about ABSENCE–an absence of care, community, love, etc. It is an aggressive way to state what is truly NEEDED. Humans want more than anything to be in LOVE.” -Dr. Malidoma Patrice Some

“Anger. Hatred. Fear is not part of our essential nature. Not being open to our spiritual nature that disconnection or dis-association, by itself, moves our experiences to the opposite–instead of LOVE there is HATe. Instead of PEACE there is AGGRESSION.” -A. Hameed Alu

Begin with one person–YOU. You affect those who are in the same room with you. Then they go out into the world and affect others and on and on and on.

“If one person feels deeply, sees deeply into the unconditioned nature of the human heart that experience liberates all human beings.” -Joan Halifax, Roshi

 

214803-elbert-hubbard-quote-love-grows-by-giving-the-love-we-give-away-isLOVE

“Love is the essence that makes thorns into flowers, which transforms vinegar into sweet wine. Transforms the devil into an angel.”  -Dr. Mohammad F

“The only way to LOVE is by giving it.” -J Halifax

“Love is an infinite ocean.” -Sheikha Fariha

All spiritual traditions or practices converge in the belief that…we are one with the great perfection of life.

The mystic honors each spiritual tradition and realizes its importance in creating a medium for every person to discover their own personal truth.

 

354464-j-r-r-tolkien-quote-the-road-goes-ever-on-and-on-down-from-theTHE MANY PATHS TO TRUTH

“The reason there are so many spiritual paths is because there are so many different cultures.” -John Daido Loori

“The many birds in the air, each have their own songs. I have yet to see a crow sing an eagle’s song. They were each given their own song.” -grandmother Lillian Pitwanakwat, Ahishinabe Kwe Elder

“A group of people are gathered together and one person stands up and says,  “Salads are the only way.” Another stands up, “Pudding is the way.” Another, “Vegan is the only way to go.” We would think that is ridiculous, but we do the exact same thing with religions. -Swami K.

“Wisdom says I am nothing. Love says that I am everything. Between the two my life moves.” -Hindu

The beginning of Love is to know we are the other. True Love knows no boundaries and illuminates everyones heart. The beginning of Peace is to find it within ourselves. It is our own inner peace that leads to peace within the world. The beginning and end of this journey exists right here, right now.

“Is it possible to look around at all the people everywhere and see the gifts? Start with the gift of LOVE. What would the world look like if we converged our frustration into compassion. Our hatred into love.” -Dr.

6a00e55417fcfd8834012877a232e6970cSPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

“People seek external things.The main mistake people make in life–they seek happiness, they seek meaning in external ways. It is usually only when people have exhausted and convinced themselves that it’s not going to do it that the only other place to look is within.” -Swami K

“What has been invested for inner well-being? We spend so much time creating the external, fixing the outside…”

“Go hike. Stand still. Look at a tree. In the depths of quiet the greatest song can be heard.” -Dr.

13495-woman-sitting-mountain-valley-looking-cold-outside-1200w-tnSOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Sit. Look at what your mind is filled with—what are your thoughts? Are they filled with anger, frustration, kindness, love? That is what you are contributing to the world.

In the end, we are all mystics. We all share the longing to find our divine nature. We need only to look within our hearts and listen deeply, so that we will join the conversation and speak with one voice.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

2dgfpaq6Since the month of LOVE is quickly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to post about LOVE. Not just “Love YOU” sentiments or valentine hearts and kisses, the LOVE that begins with YOU.

I think on some level every single one of us have moments where we struggle with loving ourselves. You may be on one end of the spectrum where you just have moments of self-doubt or maybe you truly dislike many things and suffer through life. On any level, it begins with YOU. You truly cannot love others or give love without beginning with the person in the mirror.

I love how John Lennon puts it

il_570xn-641462913_qj2s

This made me want to find further information to prove that LOVE truly can conquer all fears and help us begin to love ourselves and others. We need to kick the fear, insecurities, shame, sadness, low energy feelings and begin to replace them with higher frequency thoughts and feelings. When we are able to begin to change FEAR (self-doubt, self-hatred, depression, envy, all the negative emotions) and replace them with LOVE (joy, happiness, self-love, trust, all the positive emotions) then things truly begin to change.

When we begin with ourselves LOVE and light will then radiate in all we do. We can then reach out and LOVE others. We can then have something to give to others. The beautiful circle begins.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THIS:

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In a joint study with Stony Brook University, Rutgers University, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, researchers performed brain scans of people in long-term relationships. The couples studied were in a loving partnership for an average of 21.4 years. The researchers found significant activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex.1 That is part of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in regulating behavior and decision-making.

If we take a look at the brain, we can break the brain up into three major parts. The first part or outside layer is the neocortex, or new layer. This is the last layer to evolve. Going deeper we find the limbic system or emotional brain. Then at the core we find the reptilian brain. This houses our automatic responses such as breathing and instinctual actions.

This small but mighty reptilian brain has the capability to shut down the neocortex and take over. It can literally take the part of the brain where love resides off line. When fear triggers the fight or flight response, brain activity is transfer from the prefrontal cortex in the neocortex to the inner reptilian brain. This can happen when we feel stress or anxiety. In fact, in some people without the behavioral modifying prefrontal cortex keeping their baser impulses in check, can find themselves over-eating, compulsively shopping, gambling, or even turning to drugs and alcohol.

But more importantly to this discussion, stress or fear can weaken the neuro-connections to love. In fact, research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that chronic stress or focusing on fear shrivel the connections to the prefrontal cortex.2 Therefor the concept that there is only fear or love is scientifically valid.

To make matters worse, fear is actually stronger than love. When fear pops up, it disconnects the brain from love. However, the good news is that the neuro-connections to love can be regrown. By letting go of fear and anxiety, you get the added bonus of the greater capacity for long-term love.  -Taken from dawnmaslar article

YOUR THOUGHTS: The principle is simple: Throughout your brain there is a collection of synapses separated by empty space called the synaptic cleft. Whenever you have a thought, one synapse shoots a chemical across the cleft to another synapse, thus building a bridge over which an electric signal can cross, carrying along its charge the relevant information you’re thinking about. It’s very similar to how nerves carry electric from the sensation in your toe all the way up to your brain where it’s actually “felt”. 
Here’s the kicker: Every time this electrical charge is triggered, the synapses grow closer together in order to decrease the distance the electrical charge has to cross. This is a microcosmic example of evolution, of adaptation. The brain is rewiring its own circuitry, physically changing itself, to make it easier and more likely that the proper synapses will share the chemical link and thus spark together–in essence, making it easier for the thought to trigger. Therefore, your first mystical scientific evidence: your thoughts reshape your brain, and thus are changing a physical construct of reality. Let that sink in for a moment before you continue, because that’s a seriously profound logic-bomb right there.   -curiousapes.com.   

So, what does that mean: You are strengthening your brain with either LOVE or FEAR. YOU decide every second of every day what you are allowing to grow through your thoughts. You are either nurturing thoughts of LOVE or FEAR.

 

lovevsfearIN CLOSING
It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear. Can you think of a time when you’ve been in both love and fear? It’s impossible.

We have to make a decision to be in one place or the other. There is no neutrality in this. If you don’t actively choose love, you will find yourself in a place of either fear or one of its component feelings. Every moment offers the choice to choose one or the other. And we must continually make these choices, especially in difficult circumstances when our commitment to love, instead of fear, is challenged.   –Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler from “Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living”

tumblr_nsc2fqnyjl1qgpsoko1_1280love-fear

Begin today to become more aware of what you are telling yourself and what you are living–LOVE or FEAR. It truly is one or the other. Look at it for yourself. You either FEEL good or bad in anything you do, say or feel. Be aware and begin to truly LOVE yourself. This will then begin the beautiful circle that will surround you and all those in it.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

-Peace and lots of LOVE to you today. -H

LOVE & making it better

Love-Heart-Hands-851x315With Valentines around the corner I thought I would pass along some useful information that may help the relationship in your life. This past week my husband and I took a couple days to reconnect and spend some time together. My husband has been at a high-level stress with his work & our connection was a bit distant. We decided to take a couple days to get away. So, I invested in a relationship game, The Gottman Couples Retreat Board game, that I thought may be good to help us talk, connect, get out of the stresses of our daily life. It was a fun evening of writing little love notes to each other, playing the game, asking questions and stepping away from the day to day routine.

In the game there are a variety of cards, so I am going to  create this post to accompany some of the ideas [ie: Got Facts—I am going to create some facts I collect.  Ask open ended questions–I am going to create a questions list, etc] I am not going to take them from the game because that would take away from the game & you may want to buy it and invest in your own relationship. So, these ideas below are NOT from the game. Just the topics are. So here you go…

 

love-mapBUILD LOVE MAPS: LOVE Map: The principle of The Gottman Institute’s building Love Maps is simply this: knowing the little things about your partner’s life creates a strong foundation for your friendship and intimacy.  How to do this–Ask Open Ended QUESTIONS:  Here are some to get you started…What is your favorite memory of me?  What is your favorite thing that I do for you?  What movie reminds you of us?   What do you think we need to work on the most in our relationship?   Do you believe I love you?   What is your favorite thing I ever did for a special occasion for you?   When we are with family, do I make you feel important?   What’s another career that you think you would love?   What is a favorite memory with your Mom and Dad?  Biggest dream location you would like to visit?   What’s the happiest you have ever felt?   Did you ever talk to your parents?   What’s the accomplishment you are most proud of?   Where do you want to be living in 10 years?   Which of your friends would you choose if you had to be on a desert island with just one?   Which would you like most: a summer home, a year-long vacation or a boat?   What would you do with an extra $1000 to spend only on yourself?   If you could see into the future, what would you want to know?   What’s your greatest talent?   What is your most unique trait?   What is the best thing about our relationship?   Are you an optimist, a pessimist or a realist?   If you had to change one thing about yourself, what would you pick?   How did your siblings shape who you are?   What was your favorite date night we ever had?                [taken from Lifehack]

 

ASLQuote2OPPORTUNITY:   Take opportunities to CONNECT–Go on a walk together & see if you can hold hands the entire time.   TOUCH: kiss, high-five, hug, hold hands, tickle…touch & try to for a least 30 seconds.   TALK: avoid the usual, “how was your day” and ask thought provoking questions. Sharing this little chat every night really can improve your relationship, says psychologist Angela Hicks, PhD, of Westminster University. She’s found that couples who discuss recent positive events with each other feel happier the next day, with increased feelings of intimacy and connection to their partners. [prevention]  GET GRATEFUL: Let them know how much you appreciate them. Share the little and big things you appreciate and love about them.   CREATE new memories together: no one wants the same old day in and out routine. Avoid boredom and try new things together.  Stony Brook University social psychologist Arthur Aron, PhD. According to his research, novelty is the spice of life—and a key ingredient of a good marriage. You don’t have to give up your favorite couple-time activities, but do make an effort to inject some new plans into the mix: a hike, a cooking class, or even amusement park rides qualify. Just pick something you’ve never done before (or recently) together. Rewarding experiences flood your brain with dopamine, a mood-boosting chemical. “If your partner is present, that feeling becomes linked to him,” says Aron.[prevention] LAUGH: find things that make you laugh together, whether it is a favorite comedy show, a good joke, fun memories, share in the laughter. Appalachian State University study, experts asked 52 couples to reminisce about fun times they had experienced both alone and together; those who liked to recall shared laughs were most satisfied with their relationships. “When people laugh at the same thing, they validate each other’s opinions,” says lead author Doris Bazzini, PhD. [prevention]  EXPRESS: do little things to show and express you care. Leave a little note on the mirror that says, I love you. Leave a warm robe or towel for them when they get out of the shower. Buy their favorite drink & write a note on the lid & leave it in the fridge.   CELEBRATEDo you smile when your partner comes home with a pat on the back from his boss or nudges his golf handicap down a point or two? Good, say UCLA psychologists, because the way you receive your significant other’s exciting news may be even more important than how you react during a crisis. In a study of 79 couples, partners who shared excitement for each other’s achievements (“Your hard work is paying off” versus “Can you handle that responsibility?” in response to a promotion, for example) had the most satisfying relationships. Interestingly, how a partner reacted to tough times wasn’t as closely tied to satisfaction. A celebration provides the opportunity to boost his ego and reinforce your status as a team, say the authors, so break out those champagne flutes and start saluting yourselves more often. [prevention]

 

bda9e7e4cca24999a43f876e319ca111GOT FACTS: Look at your relationship in a more objective manner. Stop playing the “blame game.” That is not helping anyone.

Learn how to COMMUNICATE. Learn how to listen. Men get the bad rap for never listening, but admit it: You can probably use a bit of a refresher course too. In fact, Harvard researchers say that couples who express the most empathy and affection are most likely to stay together for the long haul. To become a better listener, try these tips from marriage counselor Harville Hendrix, PhD:

  • Be a mirror. When your partner expresses his or her feelings, show that you’re listening by paraphrasing. Start with “Let me see if I’ve got that: You feel…”
  • Resist the urge to interrupt. “Instead of ‘Are you through now?’ try ‘Is there more to that?’ ” says Hendrix. “This shows your partner that he or she can feel open and safe with you.” Of course, saying it calmly helps too.
  • Validate his POV. Finish with “I can imagine that because of [fill in the situation], you feel [angry, sad, guilty, etc.].”     [prevention]

RESOLVE a disput: Resolving a marital dispute without damaging your relationship may boil down to a single choice of words. When researchers recently studied disagreements among 154 couples (all married 15 or more years), they found that pairs who used plural pronouns—such as we, us, and our—during an argument were more likely to express positive feelings and report less mental stress afterward. Conversely, those who preferred using “I” during a spat were more likely to have negative emotions and report marital dissatisfaction. “Using ‘we language’ during a disagreement may help couples align themselves on the same team, as opposed to being adversaries,” says lead investigator Benjamin Seider. [prevention]

WORK IT OUT: Working out with your husband kills two big birds with one healthy stone: You’ll likely get fitter, which benefits your sex life too. One study found that 94% of couples stuck to a fitness program when they did it together, which makes perfect sense. You can keep each other motivated, and it’s exciting to explore new fitness activities, like biking or hiking, together. (Here are 7 ways your partner can help you lose weight.) Other research shows that women enjoy sex more when they’re physically active—workouts relieve stress, boost energy, and give body confidence a lift, all great for your libido. [prevention]

REKINDLE the ROMANCE: Last—but most certainly not least—staying intimate and romantically connected is one of the surest things you can do for a happy lasting marriage. But about one-third of couples in American suffer from low sex drive or desire, and getting things back on track isn’t always as simple as splurging on a new negligee or booking a bed-and-breakfast getaway. Here is a link to 13 ways for seriously  better sex http://www.prevention.com/sex/better-sex/tips-better-sex          Here is a link 14 days to rekindle your relationship by Laura Berman http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health-pictures/days-to-rekindle-your-relationship.aspx#02

 

 

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50 “Quick Connects” from the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative—

  1. Make sure your kisses last at least six seconds. Every now and then go for a full minute.
  2. Feed each other grapes.
  3. Stick a love note in a lunch box, purse or pocket.
  4. Send funny and/or romantic cards by snail mail or e-mail.
  5. Learn how to give a great foot massage.
  6. Wash each other’s hair.
  7. Set your alarm for five minutes earlier than usual to cuddle.
  8. Smile at each other.
  9. Get silly with each other and laugh out loud together.
  10. Grab your partner for a spontaneous dance when a favorite song comes on the radio or stereo.
  11. Make eye contact when you talk.
  12. Hold hands.
  13. Leave a wonderful voice mail message on their phone.
  14. Text a love note.
  15. Send a love e-mail every day.
  16. Leave little love notes in unexpected places.
  17. Send a funny photo on your phone.
  18. Ask about each others’ days.
  19. Listen with 100% attention.
  20. Give a one-minute shoulder massage.
  21. Do something unexpected for your spouse.
  22. Snuggle on the couch.
  23. Touch each other with affection.
  24. Notice and comment about something your spouse does that you like.
  25. Say thank you.
  26. Say you’re welcome.
  27. Be interested in what your spouse is doing.
  28. Tell a joke.
  29. Leave a flower.
  30. Offer to help.
  31. Write a poem.
  32. Read a poem to your spouse.
  33. Cook a romantic dinner.
  34. Offer to cook dinner if you aren’t the one who usually cooks.
  35. Burn a CD with favorite songs, or love songs.
  36. Post photos on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror that remind you of wonderful times you’ve shared.
  37. Bring home great take out for just the two of you.
  38. Say “I love you” in a different way every day.
  39. Slow dance to a love song.
  40. Write a love note on the bathroom mirror. PG rated if you have kids!
  41. Offer to take the kids out of the house for awhile and give the other parent some alone time.
  42. Dip a strawberry into whipped cream and feed to your partner.
  43. At night, step outside together for five minutes and look at the stars.
  44. Sing to each other.
  45. Make a care package with his/her favorite snacks and leave it in the car.
  46. Establish a weekly ritual that you faithfully observe. For example, watching a favorite television program, taking a walk after dinner, putting candles on the table.
  47. Give your spouse a little token to wear as a reminder of your love. (Try for creative rather than expensive.)
  48. Kiss your spouse on the back of the neck.
  49. Flirt with each other.
  50. Watch a sunrise or sunset together.

Learning about Love through Loss

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It all began last Thursday during a rain storm in Disneyland. My sweet friend who was taking care of our little dog, Buddy, called to let us know she was worried. My heart sank as every scenario went through my mind, maybe he is just missing us, maybe he has slept so much that his little legs are sore and he can barely walk, maybe…     I had so many emotions fill me: worry of what might happen, denial that he would leave me before I got home, sadness for my friend that she was even having to worry about the burden & situation she was in, frustration that I could not just blink myself home and be there for my little friend…  Within the hour my husband received another call, his face said everything. I was walking off the Pirates of the Caribbean ride when I knew my best friend had died. I began to sob outside. There were people everywhere, but my heart was broken. I looked over at my sweet daughter who never cries & has a hard time showing her emotions, but tears filled her eyes. I grabbed her and we just hugged.  We kept hugging as the rush of people passed by in usual Disney fashion.

My sweet friend continued conversing with my husband over the details of where to bury our little dog. My mind raced of what we could do, I just then realized her husband and oldest son had just left for Sturgis & my dear friend was six months pregnant. I felt immense sorrow that she was in this whole situation. That is where my lesson of love came from. To see my dear friend emotional at the whole situation handle everything with such genuine care was a true testament of unconditional love. She stepped right in and did all she could to not have us worry about anything while we were away. She did all she could to take away the sting of our loss. She was the greatest friend anyone could ask for.

Our trip continued on with my entire family, so we were not able to return home for a few days, but my anxiety began to set in as we got closer to home. I would have to face being home, seeing his bed, seeing the spot on the couch that was his, seeing his dog bowls empty, seeing the many places he would be, the doors he would scratch for my attention, the top of the stairs where we would do our yoga stretches together, his sun spots…but most of all I was worried about missing him as we walked through the door. I would miss his excitement that we were finally home, his loves, his kisses. As we pulled in I noticed his face wasn’t in the dog door, my heart began to sink with sadness. I walked through our garage door and before I could begin to cry, I began to see big, colorful hearts taped throughout our house. They were hand cut hearts that had words like JOY, LOVE, You are Loved, Happy…I smiled and felt the love of dear friends. Then I noticed a beautiful flower arrangement left on our table. My heart welled up with gratitude for such kindness. I looked down at Buddies little bed (the spot where he had peacefully died) and I wanted to go find the spot he was buried. We walked to the back of our yard and looked around. We couldn’t miss the spot because there was a handmade, beautifully stenciled name plate made out of a small cut of tree wood. On the top, the word BUDDY with little paw prints circling it. I couldn’t honestly believe the love that was so freely given to our family. I couldn’t believe how genuine kindness could be so lovingly shared. I instantly called my friend to give her my heartfelt thanks through the tears that wouldn’t stop from such a beautiful gift. My friend said, I knew you would miss your little dog when you got home, so we wanted to fill your home with love. It was so sweet and truly touching.

I truly learned such a beautiful lesson through our loss—LOVE is given freely, especially when you need it most.

Thank you Rasband family for lovingly giving so freely in a time of genuine need. You are all a beautiful example of what we all can give, be, do. Love you so. Thanks for being there for us.

Big LOVES to all, especially my sweet Buddy. Peace to you my Soul Buddy. Love you. -H

Truly SEE what is wonderful

IMG_3693I have this sweet, old, aging dog who has lost his hearing and is losing his sight. He follows me around with his last sense of smell and a dim shadow that I know he catches once in awhile. It makes my heart break, but it also makes me see how grateful I am to still have him in my life. Each morning me and my dog Buddy, I call him my “Soul Buddy” stretch together in the downward dog yoga position at the top of my stairs. I gently touch his paw and he begins the stretch. It is a small, loving connection that we still have this loving bond. As I watch him maneuver the house I struggle to see him trip over an object that may not usually be in his natural path. I observe him barking even louder because his hearing is so faint. It is like he feels he is not being heard, so he needs to bark louder to ensure his voice. Although many things have changed for him, he still is able to find a warm sun spot, he still nuzzles his nose under my arm for a hug, he still does his very best to follow me & be my faithful companion & best friend.

As I watch him I am even more grateful for my own sight, my ability to see the details all around me. I watch him and admire his never ending, unconditional love for someone. I see his willing heart yearn to keep up when we go on a walk, even though his body is tired and ready to turn back. I see him sleep because he needs his rest.

What do I learn and see every day from my little Buddy…

Even though his life may be a struggle, he continues on, he does his best to keep up when things are tough, he loves without limits, he ventures outside & smells everything (because that is all he can do), he gives everything he has and then only asks… for a little love and a little rest.

Are you doing your best? Are you trying to SEE what is wonderful in your own life?? Are you pushing through the struggles? Are you venturing outside and smelling the roses, or taking in the beauty of a sunset? Are you loving those around you? Are you giving something of yourself? Are you doing a little better than yesterday? When you begin to truly SEE the wonderful things in your life, your life will begin to BE wonderful.

-Peace to you and my little Soul Buddy. xoxo