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Category “love & relationships”

5 Ways to Feel More Love and Compassion for Yourself and Others

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Lately, I’ve been feeling a sense of vulnerability that I always wished I could feel without being afraid.

I have always wished I was one of those people who could show my authentic self to the world and still be able to look you in the eye after I let you see me, without quivering in shame or regret.

Not too long ago, I shared my feelings with someone who I deeply loved. This was one of the hardest, …

How to Renew Your Relationship Instead of Getting Bored

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“Practice random beauty and senseless acts of love.” ~Unknown

We can grow comfortable in our romantic relationships.

In the first six months to a year, it’s all excitement and an adrenaline rush at the mere fantasy of skin touching, but after two years you really do have to work to keep the romance.

Life can get a little routine and formulaic. You do certain things on certain nights of the week, together or apart. The love is still there, but the accelerated heart rate, weak-at-knees sensation, and feeling that your heart might explode with passion have noticeably decreased.

I recently …

25 Ways to Be a True Friend

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown

The other night I called an old friend I hadn’t talked to in a while. As we caught up, shared stories, and laughed over private jokes that would sound ridiculous had the phone been tapped, I wondered why I let so much time go by since I’d last given her a call.

We don’t live close to each other, so grabbing a drink or hitting up a yoga class isn’t an option. But really connecting with her, sharing pieces of my life  and receiving the pieces she wants to …

4 Tips to Create Meaningful, Authentic Connections Online

“The most important things in life are the connections you make with others.” ~Tom Ford

Three years ago I was living in the Bay Area, working for a start-up website as a community and content and manager. Every day, I signed online and wrote for hours about a topic that meant absolutely nothing to me.

I accepted the position because it was a dramatic pay increase from my previous temp and freelance lifestyle, and it afforded me my first solo apartment. I’d held dozens of different jobs in my time as I searched for meaningful work, and I certainly …

Accepting & Loving Ourselves in 10 Simple Steps

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

The idea of loving yourself often seems cliché. We throw around the phrase, but do we really understand what it means? Do we actually know how to love ourselves? Or what the process of self love even looks like?

I really believe that everything in our lives is directly affected by how much we love ourselves, but I’m often at a loss for words when trying to articulate what is really all about. In my attempts to …

Authentic Communication: 3 Tips for Receiving in Conversations

“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it but to enable it.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Have you ever heard the expression everyone loves a cheerful giver? While there’s a great deal of truth in the philosophy of offering without hopes attached, what about the flip side?

Sometimes we become so focused on providing antidotes or anticipating what we perceive to be the other person’s needs that we steamroll a conversation, taking center stage in our interactions.

In my own day-to-day life, pauses and hesitations in conversation used to make me uncomfortable or even anxious. I would …

Fostering the Right Attitude: Know Who You Are

“I urge you to try not to get hung up in the mentality that says ‘I hope I don’t lose him (or her),’ but foster the attitude that says ‘He should be appreciative of having me in his life.'”

I read these words in the midst of a downward emotional spiral, and they grounded me almost immediately.

I was fifty-three when I read Marie’s words. I was in the eighth year of my relationship with my husband and realized that I had become a shell of the woman I was when I first met him. Amidst all the compromises I’d …

7 Simple Ways to Create Thanksgiving Every Day

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.” ~Unknown

Tomorrow as many people celebrate Thanksgiving Day with their loved ones, fully enjoy the day and take it all in.

This day is traditionally a time to be with families, friends, and loved ones. It focuses around sharing a meal and enjoying precious time together.

Here in London, I have never been to a Thanksgiving dinner, but I just love the whole concept behind this day of appreciation, sharing, and togetherness. Maybe in time, notwithstanding all the …

Staying Friends When You Wanted More

“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take action. Take action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron

Paul and I had been acquaintances for eight years. When I opened the door to his office one afternoon to offer our usual casual hello, an alchemical change packed a walloping charge through my body.

When had my coworker become a handsome man with whom I suddenly wanted to share more than impersonal cafeteria trays in a crowd?

I’m not sure what flipped the switch for me, but I’d already cheered him when he ran two marathons, listened when his wife …

Better Together: We Are Not Alone

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller

My patient, John Done, rolled in by ambulance from his home in rural Oregon. As his story unfolded I understood why the nurses and ER doctors in the room were slack-jawed and shaking their heads, and I understood why I had been called to see what the nurse called a “DIY’er.”

I have been a surgeon for over ten years and had never been consulted for a case of do it yourself surgery. John had had a belly button hernia sticking out a couple of inches …

Compassionate Boundaries: Saying No Without Guilt

“Some people think it’s holding that makes one strong–sometimes it’s letting go.” ~Unknown

Today I’ve been thinking about fences, I guess as a metaphor for boundaries in life. There are many different kinds of fences, but that they all have the same purpose: creating a boundary.

Whether it’s a sweet white picket fence with roses or the electrified chain fencing at a federal prison, what it signifies is a line drawn in the sand. This is either a starting place or a stopping point, depending on your point of view.

Creating boundaries has always been a challenge for me. Until

5 Ways to Create Random Acts of Love

“Practice random beauty and senseless acts of love.” ~Unknown

I recently decided to reverse the order of common sense, and senselessly follow my heart through an unplanned acts of kindness. After I made the choice, it was amazing how the world changed before my very eyes.

No longer was I fixated on how quickly I move through the events of my day. With my new focus, people began to shape shift from task zombies to loving beings.

One situation in particular really humbled me to the true power of random acts of love.

I was riding a train from LA

LOVE Versus Fear

LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL (fear is conditional)

LOVE IS STRONG (fear is weak)

LOVE RELEASES (fear obligates)

LOVE SURRENDERS (fear binds)

LOVE IS HONEST (fear is deceitful)

LOVE TRUSTS (fear suspects)

LOVE ALLOWS (fear dictates)

LOVE GIVES (fear resists)

LOVE FORGIVES (fear blames)

LOVE IS COMPASSIONATE (fear pities)

How to Help Someone Without Saying a Thing

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”  Benjamin Disraeli

Listening. It’s a very powerful tool but unfortunately not well utilized.

I propose that if we all learned to listen better, there would be less of a need for therapists. I myself am a social worker and have been providing counseling to clients for years.

I have often felt that I was working as a well-paid or glorified listener; that if “lay” people could just listen better, there would be less of a need for professional …

How to Let Go of a Past Relationship: 10 Steps to Move On Peacefully

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Nine years ago my heart was in a million little pieces that formed the basis for a million regrets.

I had my first serious relationship in college, when all my insecurities came to a head. My ex-boyfriend had to juggle multiple roles, from therapist to cheerleader to babysitter.

The whole relationship revolved around holding me up. I realized this soon after it ended—that I’d spent three years expecting someone else to love me when I didn’t love myself. The …

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: An Alternative to Competing with People

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

We all do it or have done it at some point in our lives: We compare ourselves to others and gauge where we are based on what we observe them to be doing.

If this was simply an observation, that would be one thing. But in comparing ourselves to others, we often end up judging ourselves. There’s no one worse to judge!

If you have ever noticed, it doesn’t matter how many people are on your side, cheering

One Simple Way to Live a Successful Life

“Whenever you fall, pick something up.” ~Oswald Avery

There are plenty of people in this world who know how to be successful, but how many of them know how to fail?

When you fail, that’s when you become stronger—you learn to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and move on.

These are also opportunities to learn and to help others as you come back up. As the quote above says, when you fall, pick something up. I would add that when you fall, you should pick someone up too.

I used to envy other people, thinking them more successful …

10 Tips to Advise Wisely: How to Give Advice That Actually Helps

“If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” ~Buddha

Nothing appears to be going right. The worst part? No one gets it, even though they might claim to.

Even though you know this is all temporary—it always is—you feel the need to ask other people what you should do. If they say what you want to hear, you’re relieved. But it doesn’t usually work that way. In fact, oftentimes you’re more frustrated than you were before once they put their two cents in.

We’ve all been there before.

Think back real …

40 Ways to Live Life Without Regrets

“The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~ Unknown

We all have something stored in our memory banks of the past that we wish we could have done differently, or something we wish we didn’t do.

As we get older we learn and grow, but that doesn’t mean we have to regret what we did before we learned how to do things differently. If we didn’t go through those experiences, we might not have grown into the strong and knowledgeable people we are today.

What I’m proposing is that we get rid …

One Simple Way to Make a Big Difference in Someone’s Life

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“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”  ~Samuel Johnson

Just after my mother’s colon cancer surgery, my father was laid off from work.

I was sixteen years old and felt silently helpless and terrified. My mom had been attending church but, on this certain day, she didn’t feel well enough to attend. After this particular church service, an exceedingly thin, frail, elderly woman approached me. She requested if I would please accompany her on an errand.

I felt too afraid of being disrespectful of the elderly, so shyly I …