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Archive for the ‘Life Lessons’ Category

When making decisions, what is the one question you ask yourself?

Now that all that election stuff is over and I probably won’t be seeing the strong political opinions of others on Facebook (thank goodness), it got me thinking about the candidates campaigning and debating and why people make the decision to vote for a particular candidate. I didn’t really do any deep, deep thinking about it but it did bring to mind the phrase from that old Janet Jackson song, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” along with the questions, “What are you going to do? How will it affect me/my family?” and “How will it affect others (non-family)?”

Whether consciously or subconsciously, when we have a decision to make, the one question we want answered is — What’s in it for me (WIIFM). The answer isn’t always about what you will get, it could also be “how will I feel.” Years ago my father told me “people want to know WIIFM – What’s in it for me.” It wasn’t something I had ever really thought about before but it made sense to me. Many years prior (when I was much younger) to him sharing the WIIFM principle with me I had a frustrating experience at work. The head honchos of the directorates (major work divisions) decided they wanted to reorganize and place all the financial type people who worked within their organizations into one office within their individual organizations. At the time we had a main “Comptroller” directorate and the rest of us were financial people who interacted with the Comptroller organization. We were spread out amongst the different directorates and offices within those directorates. My directorate head called those of us affected into a meeting to tell us the news of our being reassigned but also said, “If you find someplace else you’d rather go within the agency, you’re free to go.” Well this was music to my ears. My immediate supervisor knew someone who was looking to fill a position and I interviewed with him and got the job. I waited. And then one day he said he was told that my directorate head was not going to let me go. I was a little disappointed but kept on going. An acquaintance of mine was looking to hire another budget analyst. I gave her my resume, we talked and she wanted to hire me. I waited. The news came back that Mr. X and my directorate head had made an agreement that they would “not steal” any of their budget people from one another. I was a little ticked. This was twice now that I had been blocked from taking another job. I kept looking. I knew a director in another directorate that had some budget positions available. A good friend of mine and I applied for the positions. They wanted both of us. Great news I thought — we’ll be able to work together. I waited and waited. Finally my friend received the “official” telephone call from personnel (Human Resources) offering her one of the budget positions. I was wondering why I hadn’t received a call. I called one of the guys I had interviewed with who had said he wanted me for one of the positions and I called personnel. In a nut shell I was told, “The directorate heads have all made an agreement not to take each other’s financial people.” Now I was really upset. They were messing with my career! I remember saying to the nice lady from personnel, “If that’s the case, why bother applying for any jobs?” And she said, “Don’t give up. You never know, things can change.” It was just what I needed to hear to keep me going. About a day later my friend received a phone call telling her that personnel had offered her the job by mistake and that she was not supposed to have gotten that call. So, my friend was stuck too. She ended up taking a job outside the agency. One day, not long after, I saw a job announcement via email and I knew the job was mine. I can’t explain how I knew it, I guess it was just a feeling, plus the fact that this position was in Corporate Operations. That was the directorate that was a direct extension of the Office of the Commander (the Admiral) of the agency. And I knew that if he wanted me, he out-trumped the other directorate heads. The Admiral was the head honcho of the agency. In essence, everybody worked for him. I knew if he wanted me, he had the power to make it happen. And I was right. I got the job without any problem. They brought another women in to fill my position and I trained her for awhile before I moved on to my new position. The whole time I had been looking at things from the perspective of “What’s in it for me?” but so had my immediate directorate head (I believe he was looking at it from the perspective of what was in it for his organization) – and he had decided that he didn’t want to let me go those 3 previous times. Live and learn.

While I had this WIIFM thing on my mind I decided to surf the web to see if I could find any information on it. This is one thing I found:

What’s In It For Me?
Written by Steve Martin
President, Natural Encounters, Inc.
Presented at the IAATE Conference
Toronto, Canada 2004

What’s In It For Me? That question drives most every decision you make. From the moment you wake up in the morning, “What’s in it for me” is the subconscious mantra playing quietly in the back of your head. These five words help you choose what clothes to wear, what food to eat, what people to hang around with, what movie to watch, and so on. They also help you evaluate risks: do you dare walk across that fallen log, do you try to make that traffic light, do you ask for a raise, do you ask her out, do you get a Bald Eagle, do you find a new job, do I go on with these examples, do I write do I go on with these examples….?

What’s in it for me is not always about what we will get, it is often about how we will feel. We are often inspired to do things for the feelings of pride, compassion, sharing, safety, security, thrill, excitement, etc. Our subconscious mind helps us make appropriate decisions based on our experience, motivation, and our prediction of the rewards and risks associated with our actions.

Source: naturalencounters.com


Think about it. Businesses, advertisers and politicians all get to us by using the WIIFM principle. They appeal to us with the lure — if you buy and use this product or purchase this information — your life will improve and/or your dreams will come true, you will look better, you will lose weight, you will smell better, your hair will smell better and look better, you will make more money, you can win by playing the lottery/gambling (if you win big you could become so rich that you can quit your job and live happily ever after, your problem(s) will be solved, you will meet the man/woman of your dreams (think internet dating sites), you will have a happier relationship, you will feel better emotionally and/or physically (think about all those ads for drugs, ads for energy drinks & so-called “healthy cereals,” feminine products, sex products), you will feel safe/safer/protected (i.e. alarm systems, carrying guns or having them in your home), you will become happy or happier, etc. Negotiations even happen using the WIIFM principle. Even your family and friends will sometimes appeal to you using the WIIFM principle. I remember whenever my father would break the news to us that the military was moving us once again, he also used to point out all the benefits he could think of that would appeal to us about moving to the new area. Bless his heart, he just wanted us to “feel better.” It helped to ease the pain a little but I was still upset about having to leave my friends and once again be the new kid at school. I would remain upset until the time we moved and I made new friends.

I say all this not to say that people don’t do things for others. Sometimes we can really come together as a country. Especially when it comes to donating items and raising money for a cause (but even that comes with a tax write off). I think some people are only concerned with getting, with receiving for themselves and their family and don’t really care about others or giving to others. Some people give just so they can get — they are trying to manipulate you to get what they want/have things their way. Some people give because they care about others but it also makes them feel good, feel happy inside to give by their choice. What’s in it for you? What’s in it for me? I’ll wrap this up with these two Bible verses about giving:

Deuteronomy 15:10-11 (New International Version (NIV)) – Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (New International Version (NIV)) – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.


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Election Day is fast approaching. Lately it seems like t.v. is bombarding us with political commercials and even on Facebook now friends are frequently sharing their political views. This morning the Today show aired a humorous video inspired by the 2nd Presidential debate:



Election Day is the day when Americans everywhere cast their ballot for the next President of the United States….Really? I’ve heard that Americans don’t directly vote for President. So what’s happening on election day then?



What Is the Electoral College?

U.S. Electoral College

U.S. Electoral College: Frequently Asked Questions


How Stuff Works:
How the Electoral College Works
How Does the Electoral College Work?


United States presidential election 2012

How the U.S. President Works


Which candidate should be U.S. President in 2012? ProCon.org has researched the U.S. presidential candidates and their views.


ELECTION DAY – THE NEXT ELECTION DAY WILL BE HELD ON NOVEMBER 6, 2012.


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“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside.  When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.” –Wayne Dyer

 

Have you ever been listening to a friend, loved one, or co-worker complain about something that someone else did to them, only to realize that this person is guilty of doing the same thing?


Years ago I heard that life reflects back to you the way you are. Hmmm.  I’m not going to go so far as to say that I agree with that 100% because people get treated in ways that they would not treat others.  It seems like sometimes life is just showing us the differences in people, and it is not always pretty and not to our liking.  However…I do know that there are times when I know this “reflection” thing to be true.  Of course it’s easier to spot it when it is happening to someone else.  I’m not talking about the pleasant stuff — I think most of us feel that we deserve what we consider to be the good stuff.

I remember when I first put the question to myself.  I don’t remember what the specific details were of the incident but I do remember it involved my supervisor at the time.  I think she had reacted in a way that I didn’t like.  What I do remember is that I posed this question to myself…”Do I ever act/react like that?”  After quickly thinking about my work relationships my answer was a definite “NO.”  So then I asked, “Do I react this way at home?”  Ding, ding, ding, winner, winner!  I’m not one of those fly off the handle when angry kind of people.  Sure, I had moments of frustration at work but nothing made me lose my temper at work.  But what I did realize was that when I got really,really upset over something concerning my hubby, I made sure I let him know about it immediately — because I could not stand to let the uncomfortable emotion continue to churn inside of me.  No, I didn’t yell or scream to make my point but still he felt attacked and went on the defensive.  My thinking was that I just wanted to get my concerns resolved but looking back I see there was more to it than that.  I realize now that I also wanted to get the energy out of me.  Once I became aware of my behavior, I worked on changing it.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anais Nin

The other times I witnessed this “reflection” thing was with other people.  People who lied to or deceived someone else were in turn lied to or deceived by someone else.   But yet these same people would not make the connection.  Yes, people will lie to you, but the stuff I’m talking about is definitely of the “reaping what you sow” nature.

Another example is hearing someone say how their sibling just will not listen to them about anything, they just do what they want — and what they are doing is not working.  Well I really had to bite my tongue on that one.  My thinking was, “I really feel for you, now you know how I felt when you didn’t listen to me and it all ended badly because you didn’t.”  Instead I just calmly said, “Yeah, I know it can be very frustrating.”

Then there were the times when I listened to the person with anger issues complain about how their sibling displays anger.  The truth was…these two people displayed anger in the same way. One day I was actually able to calmly and lovingly express my observation and the impact of just letting anything fly out of your mouth (not that I hadn’t expressed the impact of words before). You know how some people can dish it out but can’t take the same in return — well this person is like that.

Our children can also reflect traits that we have but don’t see in ourselves.  When the Universe shows us the way we are, it may come in a way or from someone we don’t expect.  It is not necessarily going to come from the person or entity you treated in a specific way.  So, the next time something (a situation) or person upsets you, ask yourself if something is being reflected back to you.


Food for Thought:
“If you’re looking for inner peace from the outside world, you’re not going to get that.  The inner peace starts with you looking at you from the inside.  Understanding that everything that comes to you is what you are.  Everything from friends to boyfriends to the job you get – it’s all a direct reflection of what you are on the inside.” –Mary J. Blige



You might also like:
Where Are You Running?
Having A Bad Day?
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You know when you’re walking down the street and you see one of those open manhole covers, usually surrounded by orange cones and yellow tape? These are no-go zones, where you will fall, get hurt, or at the very least put yourself at risk.

Wouldn’t it be great if these barriers just appeared for us, unbidden, around the things that could potentially cause us emotional or physical harm? It may not be easy to admit, but some of the biggest dangers to our emotional well-being are people we either love or have a long history with, jobs we want to succeed in, or belongings we very much want to possess.

Take Marie, for example, who lives down the street from her sister on a suburban street in Florida.  The sister (who shall remain nameless) is consistently condescending to Marie, fails to show up for lunch dates, and insults Marie’s friends behind their backs. Many of us have close friends or family members who are like this, and though we love them, when we engage with them in the wrong way, we end up getting frustrated and hurt.

So, do we need to cut these people out of our lives completely?  Not necessarily. Our close friends and particularly our family members are difficult if not impossible to detach from completely.  They often come barging back into our lives sooner or later.

The key is to set up emotional boundaries.  Just like those little lines of tape that keep us safe from open manholes, i.e. physical boundaries, emotional boundaries prevent us from getting so close we get hurt.

1.  Set up days and/or times when you can be reached and times when you definitely can’t.  John, a real-estate agent in Alabama, has his daughter over to stay at his house two nights each week and every other weekend.  His friends may call or text his phone in the evening, but John sticks to his guns and never responds to their calls or texts, barring emergencies, until his daughter goes to bed. This is a healthy boundary, and one that will even draw admiration from his friends.

You may choose one day a week, say Monday, as your “serenity day”, when phone calls from your friends are not answered until the evening, and emails are not replied to until later on as well.  Your serenity day may only extend to whoever is within your band of yellow tape, but no one needs to know that but you.

2.  Don’t get used.  You might have a talent for using the computer, or for filing taxes and managing your personal finances, but that doesn’t mean others should rely on you to do their dirty work for them.  Of course, there is room to be flexible here and answer a question or two, but if your close friend makes you feel unappreciated or obligated, or if they threaten you that refusal to help them will be a damage to your relationship, it’s best to back off and say, “Give this a shot on your own.  If you’re not done in a couple of weeks, I’ll be happy to answer some more questions for you then.”

3.  Communicate what you are not willing to do.  Anna, a website designer in Texas, agreed to be a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding. When her friend asked her to reduce her hours at work so that she could spend more time wedding planning, she refused, because she was up for a promotion.  After the friend barred her from the wedding completely, Anna realized that a friend who cared more for her wedding planning than for her well-being wasn’t a true friend after all.

4.  Keep your own counsel.  We all love to share plans and ideas with friends and family, but seeking approval from your pitfall friend can lead to disappointment and/or insecurity.  If you’re planning a holiday or starting a new club or project, keep it under wraps, at least until you’re through the initial stages.

5. Stick to your guns. Terry lives in the resort area of Tampa Bay and this means he has friends always popping in and out for short holidays and even sometimes for a week or more. Terry enjoys his friends’ company but doesn’t like having his entire private life invaded, especially over the summer period. He has a very clear set of house rules which he expects all friends as well as his family to abide by and anyone who doesn’t will be told. For example, Terry expects all house guests to do their own washing and contribute to the food budget, if they choose to eat in his home. It’s not a big deal but when you’re used to your friends taking advantage sticking to your guns with a few set rules can really make a difference to your relationship.

Your friends may want to be involved in every move you make, but everyone has the right to make decisions without the sway of others.  Besides, if things come to fruition later on, the do-it-yourself attitude will bring greater personal rewards.

Relationships with long-time friends and family members can be very complicated, so there’s nothing wrong with using guidelines to manage them.  Then you can continue to enjoy their company and still keep your feet on the pavement.

About the Author:

Kim Dockley is a freelance writer.

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“Remember that nurturing yourself is as important (if not more so) as nurturing others.” –Mary Anne Radmacher

Guest post by Veronica Drake

Invite Simplicity Into Your Life and Your Relationship

Conference calls, carpools, drive-thru dinners and text-messaged I love you’s make up the life many of us know today. We hurry to get from one destination to another while constantly juggling thoughts of tomorrow and beyond. We spend more time in our cars and with our co-workers than we do with our families. That means spending less time with our partners. We ignore the fact that we see less and less of our significant other and become more and more confused as to why “we don’t communicate anymore”.

What happens when we can’t deny the disconnect any longer, and the effects of an overextended life have drained our relationship of all its life and vibrancy? We go to therapy, we take a pill, we have an affair, or we have a cocktail. As a relationship coach I have an alternative solution to the above.

If you are having difficulty getting back to the simplicity of your earlier days with each other think of a time when your relationship felt uncomplicated. Write down what you liked about that time. Was it your mental state, surroundings, responsibilities or physical stuff? Which feelings and situations would you like to recreate?

Before you can invite simplicity into your relationship you must first simplify yourself. What you are feeling/experiencing as your reality will manifest in your relationship. I suggest we focus on ourselves so that we can create deeper connection to those we love by providing a strong sense of purpose and self to our loved ones.

Some check points for you to acknowledge

1. Find Purposeful work. Do something you love

Do you drag yourself out of bed in the morning to another day of work? The sheer dread of lifting your head off the pillow is excruciating. To invite simplicity into your life, begin by examining your professional life. Find work that is fun and uses your natural gifts. Explore what you are naturally good at and then begin the process of finding a more suitable job. You may find the process alone creates serenity.

2. Give up the news

What you think about, you bring about. And what you focus on manifests in your life. Those can be scary thoughts when you apply them to what you are inviting into your life by reading or watching the daily news. Are you addicted to the drama? The violence and the tragedy do nothing to add to your inner peace. To simplify your life, spend the next seven days away from the news. Instead, read a book, make positive connections with family and friends or listen to soothing music.

3. Learn to say no

JUST SAY NO! Sounds simple, right? For a lot of people saying NO brings up a lot of stuff: Will I be liked? What if they talk about me, Will I go to hell?? Learning to focus on creating healthy boundaries makes our life easier, for example “When the head of the little league association asks you to work the concessions stand, tell her you can’t. Just say no. Spend the time on yourself instead.

When you use good judgment and integrity you will always be about love and acceptance. Saying no from a loving place is much different than saying no from a hateful, spiteful place. Practice developing boundaries and self love. Saying NO could truly save your life!

4. Embrace the outdoors

Nature is therapeutic. It reminds us of what life is really about, and connects us to the simple gifts that we all too often overlook. If you are stuck at the office feeling stressed and frustrated, imagine taking a walk through the woods. Envision a flowing brook. Capture the smell of wildflowers and honeysuckle in your mind. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. If you’re home, consider the therapeutic benefits of gardening. Even the simplest of gardens can release the stress accumulated in your head, neck and shoulders after a long day of meetings.

5. LOL (Laugh out loud)

Are you too busy to laugh and too serious to smile? Are you caught up in your own sense of importance? Many of us have tucked away the inner child who longs for attention and laughter. Laughing releases a mountain of tension. It’s a quick way to feel happy. When you let go and laugh, it’s infectious. Everyone around you feels it. A good belly laugh makes your belly muscles contract. It causes a chain reaction that works out the shoulders, and leaves muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart. Count how many opportunities you have to laugh today.

6. Be silent

Start a practice of sitting with your Higher Power and asking for a quiet mind. Start your day off with a ritual of reflection and praise. At the office, shut your door for 10 minutes, close your eyes and simply be still. It will be hard at first, but after a few days, you will find yourself feeling calmer and happier than you have felt in a long time. Take time to recharge during your day!

7. Experience Gratitude

Appreciate all the simple things in your life: the sunshine, the sky, the shoes on your feet and the heart beating in your chest. Being grateful creates an energy that flows through your body and shines through your eyes. It’s what makes happy happen. Create a gratitude calendar that is full of simple reason you’re grateful.

8. Create a simplicity statement

Write down your own personal declaration of what a simple life means to you.

A simple life means different things and is valued differently by each individual. For me, it means eliminating all the drama, all the unnecessary “stuff,” choosing peace over chaos, and spending my time doing what’s important to me.

For you it may mean spending quality time with people you love, and doing the things you love. It could mean getting rid of the clutter so you are left with only what really matters to you.

The Short List to Simplicity:

For those whose mantra is “I can’t,” here’s your list:

1. Identify what’s most important to you.
2. Eliminate everything else.

The key to anything in life is WILLINGNESS. Are you willing to incorporate some behavior and change some habits in your life? Are you willing to come out of the box and teach the world how to treat you simply? The good news is it all starts with you.

Achieving simplicity isn’t always a simple process. It’s a journey, not a destination, and the joy IS in the journey, so remember to embrace it. You will always have the conference calls, and technology will only become more prevalent in our lives. But the way you choose to manage it is the key to living simply!

I promise you once you find peace and simplicity within you your relationships will naturally follow course.

To learn more about my relationship programs visit:

http://www.designyourrelationships.com

About the Author:

Veronica Drake is an International Relationship Coach and Intuitive. She specializes in working with women who are struggling to regain trust after the break up. She helps them access their inner wisdom so that they can create powerful personal relationships.

Veronica’s intuitive abilities are amazingly insightful and accurate. Her intuitive gifts empower her clients to journey deep into self-discovery … and create a deeper connection to their own intuitive voice.

She uses her witty, warm and sassy sense of humor to help clients relax, release and get in touch with what really matters to them.

Visit her at http://www.designyourrelationships.com

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Today we have a guest post by one of my blogging buddies, Jennifer Boykin, who also happens to be the creator of a new site called “Life After Tampons.”  Please show her some love and check out her site.


Three Choices Happy People Make

By Jennifer Boykin

Creator, Life After Tampons

Do you feel like Sisyphus?  Every morning you drag your sad old bag of bones out of bed and get to work pushing your boulder of responsibilities and challenges uphill, only to have it come rolling back to the ground every night on your way home from work?

Or do you wake up more like the Duncan Donuts guy.  Remember him?  It’s always dark when he gets up.  He shuffles around the house getting ready and muttering to himself, “Got to make the donuts.  Got to make the donuts.”  But then, he turns around at the counter of his shop and claps his hand with glee at all the donut buyers clamoring for his fresh Boston Creams!

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was certain I was doomed to a life of drudgery and unhappiness.  Truly.  If you had my problems, you’d be unhappy, too.

And then I would list my problems – my losses – for you.  So you would HAVE TO AGREE that lasting happiness was just not going to happen for me.  You might shake your head in sympathy, and then you’d get up and go about the business of enjoying your own life.

I wondered how you did it.  Really, life just wasn’t fair.  Of course I could be happy if I had your life.  If my dad hadn’t left me (47 years ago!), my baby hadn’t died (20 years ago!) and blah and blah and blah and blah.

Certainly, there were times of great joy, particularly with respect to my three sons.  But then something would happen and it would completely derail me and I would go all the way back to the beginning of the Loss List again, just like Sisyphus’ boulder.

But then, finally, MERCIFULLY, I figured it out.  Happiness is a choice!  Happiness is a DECISION!  And even better, it’s MY decision.  YOU get absolutely NO VOTE AT ALL in whether I get to be happy or not.  What you do or don’t do, what you decide or don’t decide, how you behave or don’t behave, what you say or don’t say – absolutely none of it has any bearing at all on my happiness.  (Further, since you get the same choice, I’m no longer for your happiness, either.  What a relief that is!)

BUT – there is a CATCH.

And here it is:

Although the CONCEPT of happiness as a choice is simple to grasp, its IMPLEMENTATION  is not.

In order to CHOOSE to be happy you MUST be willing to GIVE UP:

  1. YOUR STORY – This means that you no longer have permission to replay your unhappy memories over and over again.  You also don’t get to share your woes repeatedly with friends.  You might tell one or two friends about your CURRENT concerns, but then you move on.  Instead of repeating unhappy ideas and memories, you insist on shouting out your joys.
  1. “Bright Shiny Object” Syndrome – This means that you don’t use spending as a way to numb your pain.  Instead, you learn to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.”  You develop the maturity to sit with discomfort because you have learned that it passes more quickly that way.
  1. Selfishness, for a Life of Service – When you extend yourself to others you learn that you always have something to give.  When you help someone else, you forget about your troubles.  When you focus on others instead of yourself, your problems become “right-sized.”  You gain perspective and gratitude from helping others.

The sacrifice you make to be happy is your status as Chief Martyr of the Universe.  To “get happy” you have to give up the “sugar high” of attention you get from your misery.  Believe me, I’m the mother of a dead child – there are people in this world who would enable my unhappiness on this situation alone until I drew my last breath.

But my daughter’s story isn’t about loss.  It’s about triumph.  The miracle of Grace’s story is that ALL HEALING IS POSSIBLE.  That’s the message of her life.  That is her legacy.

And I have my own.

So, if you’re chronically unhappy see if you can’t make some better choices about what you focus on.  Decide to be the Duncan Donuts guy and leave Sisyphus aside.  Truly the world needs more donuts than martyrs anyway.

 

Jennifer Boykin’s vision is to “rebrand a gazillion crones.” She speaks, teaches, and writes as the Creative Visionary and Chief Rabble-Rouser of the MidLife Reinvention site, Life After Tampons. When you come and visit, don’t forget to sign up for your free/priceless home retreat, “21 Days. Reclaim the Sass!” Then, visit our Facebook and Twitter Wisdom Circles. We’d love to hear about your dream.

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When it comes to relationships, one thing I’ve noticed is…money and fame do not exempt you from relationship problems. And when it comes to dating, I’m still hearing stories of dating drama from people of all ages. Sometimes I felt like I knew exactly what the problem was but knew I just couldn’t be honest with the person because I knew they couldn’t handle the truth, and the other reason is because they didn’t ask for my opinion. It has been a very, very, very long time since I’ve been out in the dating world, but when it comes to sex and gameplaying, it doesn’t seem like men have changed at all. Just like men, women are out in the workforce – some climbing the corporate ladder, some owning their own businesses, and believing it is their right to have sexual fulfillment. I agree. The one thing I have not seen women handle well is just having casual sex. They will go ahead and have sex with someone the first time they meet them or in as little as a few dates afterwards — then they expect a relationship. And the women are often angry, hurt, upset, crying – you name it – when the guy no longer calls, or just periodically makes contact via email or text message — or some period of time after having sex with him she finds out he is not looking for a relationship, or he reveals that he had thought he was looking for a relationship but has now changed his mind – how convenient! Ladies, ladies, ladies, when will you quit falling for the bull***t. Women are giving up their heart and body too easily and too soon. I recently had a conversation with my daughter about something a female friend of hers went through concerning her falling for some guy’s line. This got me thinking. What are the mistakes women are making when it comes to sex and dating? What would be helpful for women to know? So my daughter and I decided to put together some dating advice for women. I even asked my hubby to look this over. He said, “It looks fine but I think it could be more personal.” I gave it some thought and just decided to go ahead and post what I already have. Keep in mind, we are not claiming to be experts, as with anything – you can take it or leave it. So here goes.

Let me start off by asking you this question – When it comes to sex, do you really think men have changed their thinking?


Some thoughts on Sex:

A man can have sex with you without being emotionally attached to you.

My husband once told me “If you had sex with me the first time I attempted to have sex with you, we probably would not be together now.”

There is the thought that if a woman has sex with a man too soon then she is easy. After all, If she had sex with him that soon then she has sex with other men just as soon/easily. Therefore, in his mind, he is not special to you. And we all want to feel special, right.

Quote from a guy- “If you are too easy, they’ll assume they can trade up. Why? Because we’re conditioned anything good worth having takes effort.”

“Men are basically insecure creatures and if you sleep with him on the first date, what might you do with someone else? It puts a question mark in his head and he can’t get around it. From my own experiences, I have slept with some men on the first date…but there was never a second date…ever. However, I wasn’t looking for a second date. I knew I liked each one of them before I met them and during the evening things clicked and at the end of the night I was interested in having sex. As independent women with needs we can do this but remember that most men do NOT like this type of behaviour when they think of the person they could settle down with.”
Source: (http://www.datingwithoutdrama.com)

“If you don’t feel safe opening your heart, then keep your legs closed.” –author unknown

Sex is very important to men. In fact, it is so important that some of them are willing to pay for it. And some of them are willing to pay big, big bucks for it. I was totally shocked when I heard of men paying $1,000 plus for a 1 hour rendevous. How many women do you know who are willing to pay for sex?

If you’re going to give up the booty on the first night, don’t expect a relationship.

Do not have sex with someone the first time you meet them.

Do not have sex with someone on the first date.

If the person is dropping hints about sex when they are chatting online or in an email or on the first date with you, they are not serious about you. It’s just about you filling a need for them to get their rocks off!
(The reason waiting to have sex is so important is because you want your guy to be attached to you emotionally before you are intimate. — from Biggest Dating Mistakes Women Make


Dating and Having Sex Too Soon

Men rate and categorize people and things. You may want to be in the “marrying kind” category but instead you’re in the “plaything” category.


Thoughts on Dating:

Not all men are looking for a relationship and they will tell you what they think you want to hear just to get you to have sex with them.

Just because a guy says he wants to be in a relationship or that he wants to get married one day doesn’t mean he wants that relationship to be with you. It doesn’t mean he wants to marry you.

When meeting someone, find out if they are in a committed relationship, married, or whatever. If they say no, they are probably dating people. Don’t assume that they have just been sitting around, not going on dates, waiting for you to come into their life. A married male friend of mine told me a long time ago that he does not automatically tell women that he is married. If they ask him he will tell them that he’s married, but if they don’t ask, he says he doesn’t just volunteer it. I told him women look for the ring on the finger to tell if a guy is married. So ladies, be sure to ask.

Not all married men wear a wedding ring.

If someone says they are not looking for a girlfriend or committed relationship of any kind, believe them. If they say they don’t want kids, believe them.

It’s not about whether they like you — it’s about you deciding if you like them. Take your time getting to know the person. Don’t give your heart away so easily.

Just because you have an initial sexual attraction to someone does not mean you will like them as a person. It does not mean that person will be a good relationship partner for you.

If the other person says “I love you” too soon – run! They may just be saying this in the hopes you will fall for this line and have sex with them. I went on a few dates with one guy and at the end of the week he was telling me “I could see you being the mother of my children,” and how his parents would like me. Not taking anything away from me but I thought, this guy is just saying something he thinks women want to hear. Maybe I was not your typical woman because that was definitely not something I wanted to hear from someone I barely knew or who barely knew me.

Don’t hog the conversation. Need I say more.

Time. I once had a friend who met guys who only seemed to have time for her between Monday through Thursday. I remember this one guy she was seeing always had an excuse for why he couldn’t see her on the weekend. He usually said he had to go out of town. She couldn’t understand why she had that problem and I didn’t. I didn’t because I knew I was not going to be in a relationship with someone who didn’t have time for me on the weekends.

They give up too much too soon, such as sex, money and their hearts. — Source: The 4 Dating Mistakes Women Make

Quit fantasizing, quit trying to make every man you feel you click with (or who looks good to you on paper) into “the one” you are going to have a long-term relationship with or marry. I had fun dating. I learned more about myself as well as about other people and relationships.

“Take a cue from our male counterparts and approach the dating scene with the idea that there are plenty of men who are capable of making you laugh, sharing your values and melting your heart, and you’re going to have fun with several of them until you find one worthy of your commitment.” — 8 Dating Mistakes Women Make


You’re worth it!
Just like everyone else in the dating world, I played, had fun, made mistakes and learned lessons. But when I was serious – I believed in a courtship period. After all, I felt like I was worth it. This gave me time to get to know the guy and decide if I really liked him or wanted to move on (end it). I don’t know how I figured it out but I finally realized that 3 months was a pretty good time frame to see if the guy was serious about sticking around. See, when people first meet I noticed the guy is on good behavior…but he can only pretend for so long, and if he was playing, he’d be gone before 3 months. If he was on his best behavior, I figured out he couldn’t keep up the front, eventually his real self would start to show through. I never told any guy about this timeframe of observation/getting to know him. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you know a person in 3 months; however, you can save yourself some time, drama, and heartache. You see, a player does not want to invest a whole lot of time or money in you. And he certainly isn’t investing his emotions in you. He just wants to “hit it.” He may want to “hit it” more than once, like keeping you on ice, or like a doll on a shelf that he just takes off of the shelf to play with when he feels like it. With that said, here’s some good relationship advice from Madea:


Relationship Advice from Video World on Vimeo.



What dating advice do you have? or What “dating” lessons have you learned?



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Guest post by Kristin Offiler

Anyone who owns a pet can tell you how rewarding it is. What’s even more special? When your pet teaches you a thing or two about life.

My husband and I had been married for only three weeks when we started browsing PetFinder.com in search of a dog to adopt. We went back and forth between feeling like it wasn’t the right time to adopt a dog and feeling like it was the perfect time. We had moved into our house a few days before our wedding, so why not make three huge life changes all in the same month?

We found Mia’s profile on PetFinder on a sunny Saturday afternoon in August last year. Earlier in the day, our friend had been telling us stories about the previously abused dog she’d adopted. My heart broke thinking of all the animals in shelters that would be put to sleep if no one took them in. We had a new house with a backyard and I work from home—who were we to not adopt an animal in need? That’s when we found Mia.

I called the rescue league listed on her profile, which was based in Tennessee (we live in Rhode Island). The league’s founder called me back the next day and we chatted for at least an hour. I filled out the necessary paperwork, she called our references, and by Monday night we were picking up our new rescue puppy at the foster home 45 minutes away in Massachusetts.

The past fourteen months with Mia have been a time of great learning and growth for all three of us. I’d like to share some of the most precious lessons with you and hear what others have to say about the joy of owning and learning from a pet.

• Be filled with curiosity about the world. Like I said before, I work from home. This means Mia and I can take walks whenever we feel like it during the day, and the one thing I always love about our walks is Mia’s endless curiosity. We walk different routes around our neighborhood, but essentially we tend to walk through familiar settings. That hardly seems to matter to Mia, who follows her incredible sense of smell and sharp eyesight with such joy and curiosity that you’d think we were exploring new territory! It’s hard to keep this lesson in mind as humans who often fall into routines and ruts, but the world is truly a fascinating place worth exploring and enjoying. A simple walk with my dog always reminds me of this.

• Remind the people in your life that you love them. Mia wakes up and wags her tail at the sight of us. She affectionately nuzzles our faces and licks our hands when we talk to her. And when we get home from running an errand, she cries with excitement, even if we’ve only been gone an hour. She reminds us constantly that she loves us, and we remind her (and each other!). Life is so short and so fragile—take a lesson from your pet and tell someone you love them today.

• Rest when you need to. Ah, if only more humans could follow a dog or cat’s cue on napping, the world would be a better place! Maybe you can’t doze off at work or in the middle of a hectic meeting, but you can take time to rest and restore when you need it. Mia has the ability to be both full of energy and completely relaxed in the same moment—she can curl up and nap, but spring to her feet if we say the word “walk.” I try to keep this in mind when life gets stressful. If I need to unwind and relax, it’s best to take care of myself instead of stressing myself out more. Mia would never push herself without resting. Animals are smarter than us sometimes!

• Be patient with yourself and have a little bit of fun every day. When we were training Mia as a puppy, she learned her commands very quickly. But we had to be patient because even the smartest dog takes a little bit of time to learn new tricks. And even now, a year later, there are still commands she understands but resists because she’s impatient and wants that cookie you’re holding now! When she’s patient and we’re patient, she gets into the right frame of mind to do her trick. And she always makes time for a little bit of play every day. It’s never a bad idea to treat yourself with patience and do something you enjoy every day.

• Go outside. The best part of having a dog is the built-in excuse for taking a break from work and chores to get outside! Mia is always thrilled when we ask if she wants to go for a walk. Not once has she said no (and I doubt she ever will!). After our walks, my head feels clearer and my muscles feel more relaxed. I’ve learned from my dog that a simple 45-minute walk around the neighborhood and down to the beach can be exactly the thing I need to reduce stress and feel happier. And you can see it in her, too. When we get back from a walk, her energy is high and she’s happy to run a few extra laps around the yard or chew her favorite bone at our feet. It’s enough to motivate me to enjoy my chance to get outside with her and then come home to a cup of tea and a good book.

Life is full of lessons, but some of the most important ones are the small ones we learn from unlikely teachers, like our pets. On a daily basis our pets can inspire us to be better people and can show us how to truly enjoy life. Then there the astonishing stories of animals beating the odds by overcoming illness, abuse, or disfigurement and going on to live each day with joy. There are a million worthwhile lessons in every happy wag of the tail and affectionate nuzzle.


Kristin Offiler is a freelance writer in Rhode Island who writes for a site that helps students find the right psychology degree.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Life can be so serious at times. We know we should count our blessings instead of focusing on what we don’t have. One of the things I’m thankful for is the gift of laughter. Laughter lightens my mood and just makes me feel good all over, plus I hear laughter is good for your health. Check out the articles below the video to learn more about the benefits of laughter. So, when is the last time you had a good laugh? I saw this video years ago and it mad me laugh. Hope it will at least make you smile.



Benefits of Laughter:
The Benefit of Laughter – How Laughter Can Reduce Stress and Increase Health
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Benefits of humor


What makes you laugh?


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Guest post by Jenny Boykin

One really important thing that I didn’t know about happiness was that I don’t have to catch other people’s misery. Or anger. Or whatever. I didn’t know that loving you didn’t mean following you down into your own abyss. Besides, I’ve got my own abyss to deal with.

I used to get really unhappy that people I cared about wouldn’t get down in my misery muck with me. I can remember calling a friend who was supposed to be part of my inner circle and prattling on about my unhappy this or my tragic that and she would interrupt me mid-sentence and say, “Look Jen, I know you are going to do the right thing. But right now I gotta run and take care of my fish tank. You wanna call me tomorrow and tell me how it worked out?”
How effin’ rude! What kind of friend are you? Your tetras are more important than my tragedy?

Well, now I get it.

It’s not that my metaphorical tetras are more important than your rant-du-jour. (Well, maybe they are.) It’s just that if you are a ranter by nature, then everything in your life will trigger justifiable anger. And, if I’m your “go to” rant receiver, then I never get fed what I need from our relationship. And why would I want that?

If you are someone I love and hang out with, then I trust that you are fully capable of handling the stuff that comes your way. There will certainly be times when I need to be there in a deeper way for you, but if you are an emotionally healthy person, it won’t be every damn time we talk.

I want to continue to attract and be with people who take responsibility for the way their lives look. If you are a blamer or whiner or complainer, I want to love you too, But in smaller bits, from over there on the other side of the room.

In other words, I want to help, if I can. But I don’t want to lose myself in the process.

Live your beautiful life. Really, really, it’s okay to start now. You don’t have to be responsible for the crappolla of everyone in your life, but you do have to be responsible for your own. So allow less of that and more of the joy.

(Will somebody please remind me that I actually wrote these words when I call you tomorrow to complain about my whozits and whatnots? Here’s our code phrase: “I love you, Jen, and I just know you’re gonna work this out. Right now, though, I gotta go clean tetra poop. Call me tomorrow and let me know how you chose to handle that.”)


About the author:
My name is Jenny Boykin. Next year, my body will be 50. I keep meaning to make my life an art piece, but no one else I’m attached to seems to share in that objective. Apparently, I’m not the only woman with that dilemma. If, like me, you’re curious to answer that age old question, “Is there life after tampons?,” please visit me at www.couragetochange.us or contact me directly at jenny@couragetochange.us.

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