Go Deeper

4f07b79d2e67ca2f3121eac1e4e955a9“But people are oceans. she shrugged. You cannot know them by their surface.”  -Beau Taplin//Surfaces

I think this is an incredible thought to think about and ponder. It genuinely gave me chills because of the truth held within this statement.

I often struggle at the surface conversations that seem to be the norm. Why can’t we truly connect and go deeper with people? Why is it such a struggle to talk, be vulnerable, to seek connection on another level, to learn from someone…

I often talk to my teenage daughter about not being afraid to “go deeper” in conversations with friends or people she meets. She tells me she doesn’t want this guy to assume she is getting too deep because she likes him or something.

Is it out of fear of getting to know someone on a more intimate level & feeling like you owe them something? Or is it a fear of having to go deeper yourself?

I am of the genuine opinion that every person we come in contact with has something we can take or learn from.

I recently watched a tv series that was short-lived, but it had life coaches, young adults with dreams & entrepreneurial spirit, so I was intrigued. At first glance, I thought it would be a shallow show with lots of egos, but as I watched each episode I began to see the people break open, become more vulnerable and begin to learn about themselves & one another. They developed deeper connections on many levels.

Here are some great lessons I took away from the show “Dream Quest”

One of the coaches was describing to one of the adults how “To become soft again”—it made me think of “moldable” to be able to create a better version of oneself. To be flexible and agile enough in a way that you could take things in, learn, create, change, move differently…take things for your life & make it better.

“Boundaries are not limiting, they are liberating.” The coaches were illustrating a point to one of the adults on the show. They were trying to show him how it is easier for people to pull or drag you down than it is for you to lift them up. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with good people. (They did a great visual–they put Tim (big guy on the show) up on a table & told him to pull up Kortney (Lifecoach who is a small woman). Tim could not do it. They talked about how it was easier for Kortney to pull him down than for him to lift her up. It was a great visual.

They talked about a study with school-age kids on a playground & they first had no fence (no boundaries) & they watched & observed them & how they played. Then they put a fence up around the playground & they found the kids played longer, were louder, felt safer & more secure. The boundaries were good.

Accountability—center console in your car metaphor
You clean your center as soon as you need to pick someone up at the airport.
You need people to help you be accountable.

Habit—your habits are either helping or hurting you.
The first part of a habit is the hardest part—
Did you know the Shuttle Uses More fuel in the first 7 seconds of liftoff than it does to orbit the entire earth?
As you get through the hard part & are committed to a good habit then it’s easier to go with the flow.

What discipline am I going to add into my life right now to make it better??

Good Communication is 7%words 35% tone and 58% Body language

Do it afraid!! Face the fear of rejection, what others think, regret, etc & do it anyway. Ask yourself. What if I didn’t try….how would you feel?
Choose COURAGE over FEAR
ITS OKAY TO FAIL, just don’t fail to try!!

Comparison & worrying about others will quickly handicap your dream
Take it one step at a time focusing on yourself & where you are going.

Switching your attitude will change everything in an instant. Nothing can be based on circumstances—it’s your attitude about it.

Never give up!

Emotional intelligence & dealing with people
Sympathy—I feel sorry for them…
Empathy—I understand how they are feeling
Empathy is one of the most important traits a good leader can have.

Kylie Jeans words of affirmations with her parents growing up: I like myself. I have a great destiny and people listen to me because I have valuable & important things to say.

Learn from anyone & everyone you can.

I believe you can learn SOMETHING from everyone you connect with. It is up to you whether you take it deeper and have it become more of a meaningful outcome for your own life. Lessons are everywhere—stories people tell us, feelings we get from someone, words of affirmation, life lessons shared via email or social media, a smile from a stranger, a compliment from someone you work with, a sincere thank you….there are so many ways to connect & when these interactions go deeper, they mean more.

Stretch. Learn. Grow. Don’t be afraid to invest in others by connecting on a deeper level. You both will benefit.

Here are some good links to help:

200 Deep Questions To Ask If You Really Want To Get To Know Someone https://thoughtcatalog.com/rania-naim/2016/02/40-deep-questions-to-ask-if-you-really-want-to-get-to-know-someone/

Tips for deeply connecting with others https://www.huffpost.com/entry/connecting-to-others_n_1083976

How to listen and build deep connections with people https://theartofcharm.com/networking/how-to-listen-and-build-deeper-connections-with-people/

 

Hope you will take away some good. Make today amazing. Connect.   xoxo -H

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Ways to share the LOVE a little more

I LOVE YOU MORE is a big phrase in our house, so seeing that February is THIS week, I thought I would post some ideas on ways to LOVE a little more in your life. Whether it is your spouse or kids, here are some great ideas. Enjoy!!

YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PARTNER:

beauty-couple-dance-dress-friends-girl-Favim.com-49574tumblr_m5lc17b0jM1qdblieo1_500I was recently reading an Oprah post and I loved this visual–“Drop your story about who your partner is and see him/her with a “fresh-start mind.” Decide that today you are going to learn three new things about them, or you’re going to really listen when you have dinner together. As Someone once told me, if you’re dancing with someone and aren’t paying close attention to the way they are moving, you step all over each other. And then you don’t want to dance anymore.”

I LOVE that visual of dancing, being present, moving in the moment, together. Can you see it? Can you visualize dancing and not being present—stepping all wrong, getting frustrated, not enjoying the dance. Who enjoys getting stepped on, both emotionally and physically–no one!! So, work on the dance within your relationship. Begin to get present, truly listen, find things you both enjoy together, hold each other and begin again.

heart-shapeMORE TIPS:
Here are a number of tips, I will probably do another post on this same topic because there is a lot to cover about Sharing the Love.  Look for my additional LOVE posts. 

According to PsychologyToday you should have a ‘pet name’ for each other because calling your partner by an affectionate name brings a positive response.

Share the housework is another thing they suggest, because it makes you feel like you are working together & that not one person carries the brunt of the work.    My husband has always been a great example of this. He is always working so hard and then is always looking for opportunities to help where he can. Amazing!!

Play, get out and do things together that are new.  I can definitely say that getting out and trying new things together helps you feel alive, it makes you look around and enjoy where you are—together. It is a fun way to connect.

Share a Surprise: Everyone loves a good surprise, so throughout this month do fun little things that will surprise the ones you love.  My Dad gives my mom a ‘Love Mantel’ where each day he puts something new on the mantel each morning. He puts cheesy plush animals that move, giant love cards, poems he writes, etc. It has been a fun tradition that my Mom looks forward to.  You could also plan a special date that is full of surprise locations, a special dinner, a walk on the beach, a fun activity, a stroll through a museum, a night under the stars, etc. You create it and Surprise!! A great gift for everyone.

Personalize something: A great gift is something from the heart, so pull out your guitar and write a song, make a delicious dinner, write a note that shares your feelings, plan a trip somewhere they have always wanted to go or is a favorite destination, send their favorite flowers, change their phone background to a picture of the two of you, Copy and paste the lyrics from one of their favorite songs with a sweet note, get a card deck & write things you love about each other on each card & then share them with each other

Pray together (as a family/as a couple): This is one thing that brings you together, solidifies, helps you listen to matters of the heart—what you are all grateful for, the highlights from the day, things to think about, matters to ponder. It brings everyone to a place of quiet listening.

Share something positive: Send a sweet text, share a quote you come across, a fun pic from the weekend, something that will inspire. Just send!! Just be careful who you send it to. smile. I know this sounds funny, but my husband was up in our kitchen working and I wanted to send him some love. I typed up a little note and texted it to him. I smiled as I heard the ding, only 20 feet away. I listened to him type up something & then I smiled again as I heard the jet plane noise go off. I waited for my text from him. He was waiting for my response. After a few minutes, he finally said, didn’t you get my text? Puzzled, I replied, No! He instantly looked at his computer and started to laugh out loud, with a little bit of shear panic. He realized he had sent the note to our brother-in-law. Luckily, it was just a sweet note full of…You truly mean the world to me and I would walk to the ends of the earth for you. I would swim the deepest ocean for you & I would climb the tallest mountain for just one kiss. Our brother-in-law responded….That was perfect!! You are pretty okay too!  It was very funny. Lesson learned—be careful who you send stuff to. smile. smile.

Say something positive: Researchers have found that happy couples have a ratio of five positive comments to each negative comment (urtango).  This only makes sense, relationships have a better foundation when the people involved are building!! Build a positive foundation with good things…compliments, things you enjoy about each other, things you admire in one another. Build! Build! Build! Don’t tear each other down, don’t tear down the beautiful things you have built together.

Do something small: Write a little note & stick it on the car dash before work. I like this one, use a toothpick to write “I Love You” on the outside of an unpeeled banana (I am going to try this right now!)–urtango. Write a note and leave it on the bathroom mirror, grab their robe when they get out of the shower, put their favorite treat with a note on the car seat, record a memo message on their phone, write a love note on their calendar, get them a new audiobook to listen to on their way to work, get their favorite bath gel & leave it in the shower with a little note, buy a magazine subscription they like…

state-of-the-nation-children-390x285YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CHILDREN

Share the Love: By saying I Love You, Giving hugs (at least 15 a day), Sharing highlights from the day with each other, Wrapping up in a big blanket and sharing a good movie or reading a chapter in a book together, Having special back scratches or ways you paint their face with your fingers, Having a special song you put them to bed by, A special story book you read out of, By letting them help cook something in the kitchen & then licking the spoon, By walking home from school together, By having Mommy Missy or Mommy son dates that are one-on-ones especially for them, Sharing a sweet smile, Lovingly hold their hands when you walk together, Sharing your time and being present.

Share Stories: Share with them memories of their childhood, the day they were born, the way their name came about, stories about your childhood, things about you, share your likes, your dislikes, share stories that connect you.

Write a letter: I write a special letter to my daughter every six months. I write about what she is like, what she is doing in school, her friendships, her likes and dislikes, funny moments, her favorite things, and then I am collecting them to give to her when she is 18. I occasionally read bits and pieces of them with her to make her smile. It’s a great tradition.

Ask Questions: Ask your child what they are thinking about, What they wonder about, What is magical to them, What they love about their life, What they love about you as their parent, What was their favorite part of the day, What they wish for, What they want to be when they grow up, What it means to be a good friend, What they like you to do as their parent, What they struggle with, What they enjoy about the different holidays throughout the year, What they love about the seasons…

Give special gifts: Find something special, that is especially made for your child. Put some thought into it & create a memory when giving gifts. Write a note that accompanies the gift. i.e.: my daughter loves Orangutans & wants to be a zoologist one day. She also dances, so when I found a small orangutan doll, dressed in a tutu, I knew I had to have it. My daughter fell in love with it–the message with the doll…be You, Shine, Be an original. It was perfect. When you take the time and put thought into gift giving=great memories and gifts that will be cherished.

Give them a gift of a memory with you: Teach your child something special—teach them to make homemade pumpkin cookies, how to peel potatoes, how to fold laundry, how to shuffle cards, how to play HORSE or Around the World, how to play ping pong or mini golf, how to knit, how to take a photo, how to write a thank you card, how to draw or doodle, how to set a table properly…

Hope these ideas get you thinking about ways to share the love a little more.  Enjoy the month of LOVE!!

LOVE Padlocks

ImageLast night I went to see the wild ride of the movie “Now You See Me”–to me it was a great visual of entertainment, always wondering what was going to happen next, enjoying the magical illusions, never being able to guess the next move, wondering how each character fit. I truly enjoyed it. At the end of the movie there is a scene on a bridge & the bridge was covered in padlocks. To me it was a visual wonder & i wanted to know more, so I googled and found “Love padlocks”–people place padlocks in certain places to symbolize their love they want to hold onto–called Love padlocks.

All over the world there are specific locations, some the beginning of the padlocks is a mystery, other stories are of lovers lost, hope of lovers returning, wishes of romance, etc. It is a beautiful symbol of a cherished, heartfelt gesture.

Love is funny like that. So much of our life is seeking and finding someone to share your life with, the days, the moments, the laughter, the hurt, the pain…if you were able to meet someone & literally padlock their love, would it truly be a good idea? Would you miss the challenges that turn into making up? Would you miss the moments where you grow together? Would you begin to take your love for granted? Would you try as hard to hold on to the special feelings you have for one another? Would the affection be as passionate if you knew it could not be taken away? Would you miss the moments of insecurity that bring you back to finding a place of gratitude in your heart for one another? Would you cherish your time together?

The padlocks did remind me of a time where my husband and I were going through a hard spot emotionally and I was feeling very vulnerable to situations that could possibly ruin our relationship. I remember giving him a set of three keys and explaining they were a visual of the keys he holds to the heart of our family. One key was to symbolize each one of us in our little family & every time he looked at the keys he was to realize the importance of what he held within—our hearts.

Relationships are like that, you are given opportunities to learn from another, to invest in their life story, to see glimpses of who they really are, to be trusted with emotional keys, so remember in any relationship you are in, hold a knowing that you are unlocking a piece of someone’s padlocked heart where they hold hurts, sensitivity, hopes, dreams, and they are inviting you in to experience a part of it. Be gentle, be wise, be loving, be kind.

“Let me find the key to your heart so I can unlock your secret chambers of love; when I do find that key, I will lock myself in your heart forever.”  -unknown

ImageNow, I love the symbolic idea of these beautiful padlock places, so here are some ideas to

SPREAD THE LOVE: I think the idea of LOVE PADLOCKS is a heartfelt, loving gesture. I LOVE it!! I think it is another fun way to spread some love. So, here are a few ideas…there are world locations, so I am going to leave you with this link of some of the prime Love Lock locations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_locations_with_love_padlocks

Find a location, list those you love & make a loving wish that they will fill your life with continued LOVE.

You could also do a fun family lock where everyone lists their names & makes a wish. You could hang it somewhere special in your home, yard, car mirror or find a special location that is special to your family.

Image-best wishes  Heather

Create your own Couples Retreat

CoupleHoldHandsBeachIn the spirit of LOVE week I want to offer you some additional ideas on making this week of love special. If you missed my other ideas check back in the archive on creating a couples bucket list, putting a little love in all you do (little ideas to share love & some great connection questions for all the people you love), Valentine ideas for those you love and so much more…I have tried to fill the last couple weeks with lots of LOVE.

Here are some ideas to make tomorrow night memorable…

How to create your own couples retreat

“To LOVE is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.”  -Gottfried Von Leibnitz

To retreat is to step away from the daily noise, to relax into another element of who you are, to look at your life with a new perspective, and to see your world through different lenses. You may approach a retreat with resistence for the time it takes, the questions, the necessary relaxation, but shift your thoughts to wonderment and necessity.

These retreat ideas are meant to bring you together as a couple, to help you reach beyond the daily and replenish your soul. It is time to be quiet, time to think, to communicate, to nurture one another.

Plan your night to include quiet time, a relaxing/fun activity, some yummy food and time for reflection.

Here are some activity ideas:

Create vision boards together (directions for this are in my archive) or write down a fun couples bucket list of activities to try together in the upcoming year.

You could have a night of Q & A to learn more about one another.

You could create a PLAY retreat, where you plan activities that would have you playing from morning to night.

You could create an evening of nothing but relaxation by giving one another a gentle massage or lying together in quiet meditation.

You could create an evening of romance

The activities are endless, but here are some ideas to help you plan a great activity…go on a walk together, practice mindful eating as you enjoy a delicious dinner you create together, write down ten things you appreciate in one another and then go out to dinner and share them over your favorite dessert, have a romantic movie night, take a moment and sway to the music, go to a flea market or thrift store and give each other $5 to buy the best present for the other, go to a wishing well and make wishes for your future together, plan to watch the sunrise/sunset, create a dessert night and make all your favorites, visit a museum or gallery and learn something new, have an evening of milk and cookies by candlelight, have breakfast in bed (morning or night), take the evening and reminisce about special moments like your first kiss, first date, when you met, etc. Take the evening and lay beneath the stars, Say I love you in a foreign language, go golfing with a fun lunch planned on the 9th hole, go to a amusement park and ride the ferris wheel, learn a new game together, cuddle…the ideas are limitless. You just need to plan it together, so both of you have an enjoyable time.

The food: After you plan a fun activity make sure you plan something yummy to eat. Food is a must in any type of retreat, it soothes the soul, it helps you to slow down and savor the moment. You could get take out for two, head to your favorite restaurant, create something from scratch or take a trip together to the store to find the right ingredients of a quiet meal at home. You decide. Are you in the mood for fondu, a picnic in the park, an outdoor bistro or a steak dinner by candlelight. It is your evening together, so take the time to plan something special.

Don’t forget the music. Your retreat should be a time of togetherness, so make sure your music selections (whether your driving in the car or lying by a fire) are in harmony with everyone. Music can break or make the special moments together. Music has a beautiful calming quality, so play it softly and definitely take a moment to pause in each others arms and sway to the quiet melody.

Time for reflection: No matter what you do together take some time at the end of the evening to reflect on the day, the moments that connected you, the close feelings you shared. Express your love to one another and be grateful for the relationship you have. Talk about what you are grateful for and share the things you appreciate most about your life together.

“Love really is the answer. We’re here only to teach love. When we’re doing that, our souls are singing and dancing.”  -Gerald Jampolsky, MD

Best wishes for a beautiful Valentines day. Enjoy those you love. -Heather