Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Individuals and families develop a lot of emotional and relational baggage in the course of a lifetime. However families can provide a lot of emotional support, and provide strength to family members (and family friends). Love and happiness should be the plan at this time of the year (and all year!), especially when people don't live nearby or you don't see them often enough. Unfortunately, people bring their baggage. We fall into old family habits that create tension, and stress during a time that we're supposed to be taking a break from that. We need to be celebrating. Focus on enjoying each other this holiday season. And enjoy some tasty, nutritious, easy Pumpkin Pancakes.
The "bacon" in the picture is made of soy (put out by Morningstar Farms), tasty too!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Before you let stress get the best of you, figure out how to handle it better. Choose your friends carefully. If you notice them bringing you down constantly or trying to pull you into situations that you know are not good for you, dump them. Take responsibility for yourself, what you say and do. Followers are more stressed. Have people in your life that you trust. They'll help you see different possible ways to deal with problems. Some parents, or other adults are good for this. Know that you are important, valuable even. So you deserve to be healthy, and happy. If you are not, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. Also people who think positively, are less stressed and more successful. Focus on your strengths, even though people around you may try to point out your faults. Those things that challenge you (and stress you), are opportunities for you to be stronger. You may be surprised at how good you can really be.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Why is it important to be able to talk about sex? Well, it is an enjoyable, intimate part of a relationship. Usually the participants care about each other, and should be able to talk about any issue that involves them. It is an intense physical, and deeply emotional act, that sometimes doesn't work so well for a variety of reasons. In some cases, open and honest communication about this activity would require people to depend less on medicines, drugs, and alcohol in order to perform well. Perhaps if people were having enjoyable sex more with each other they would argue less, and cooperate more in other areas of their lives. Communicate better. Trust each other more.
My most important point here is about improving communication in a relationship, whether you are having sex or not. There are many other enjoyable aspects of happy relationships. If there are ANY areas of your relationship that cause you distress, or you are not as happy as you want (and deserve) to be, TALK ABOUT IT!
One more thing. By the time your child becomes a teenager, you should have had the "birds and bees talk." The updated version which includes a discussion of the value of abstinence, STD's, and contraception. If you can't do it, get some help with it.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Linda says this is TOO EASY to make. And I can tell you it tastes great, especially as a healthy snack or nutritious side dish at your summer barbecue. We first tried it this past July 4th at my brother's house. His wife Lidia made it. A few days later a friend of ours, Cindy, gave us a few bags of mangoes from her mango tree. Perfect timing! Give it a try, it's easier than it looks.
MANGO AVOCADO SALAD Recipe
1 large Mango (skin removed), chopped pieces
1 Avocado (skin removed), chopped
1 can Hearts of Palm
1/4 cup Lime Juice
Add the ingredients together in a serving bowl. This recipe serves 2 - 4 people. Increase the ingredients to serve more people.
[Be sure to check out our Easier-Than-It-Looks Mango bread recipe (posted 9/12/08).]
Sunday, June 20, 2010
So Happy Father's Day to those Dad's who are involved (even if you got involved late), and to you Mom's who deserve a second day of celebration if you've been doing twice the parenting job.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I do a lot of work with people who have anger management problems. Either they express anger too aggressively (sometimes resulting in violence); or they don't express it enough (sometimes resulting in depression). You can fix that (see my posting of 9/14/07, Anger Management). I'm concerned here with people who just seem angry at the world, and don't realize it's a problem. This can be the result of too much stress for too long. And/or depression. Maybe a sad, frustrating life. Sometimes having experienced a lot of hurt. Often they are alone, because people don't enjoy being around them. Take a real look at how you relate to people. Do they disappoint you too much? Could YOU be described as "mean" sometimes? Start today being nicer to people. You will be happier (and what have you got to lose?).
Anger is a normal emotion. Express it in a healthy way. It's best to respond to situations that trigger your anger when it happens (if possible). [REMINDER: Yelling, and demeaning the person is not a healthy way of expressing your frustration.] Then move on. Get over it! Use your anger to accomplish something productive, for example get motivated to resolve a relationship problem or fix a work situation, improve your performance (as in a game or sport).
Don't be a hater!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I've been talking to people lately about the benefits of developing a "Plan B" as a backup to plans that they may have in place. You know, just in case things don't work out the way you would have liked for them to. It is sometimes really hard to do. We often feel that if we think about other options, then we're not having enough confidence in our "Plan A," and won't put enough energy and motivation into making that work. That we're sabotaging ourselves. No. It really is better to have as many options available to you as possible. Allow yourself to be creative, to think outside the box. When possible consider Plans A, B, and C. So if there are goals that you have, for example in personal relationships, your job and career, your family, investments, develop a backup plan, so you don't feel lost if things don't go the way you planned.
Now, I realize that this is all based on the idea that you plan at all. Perhaps I should be talking about how important it is to plan in the first place. Of course if you don't have plans, a direction, or goals then it's hard to know where you're headed. And the more you are able to visualize what you want/need to have in your life, then the more likely you are to attain that. The more we focus on past unattained goals, failures (which we've all had), or obstacles in our lives, the more we'll repeat those errors. Look forward. Make a plan, then make a back up plan (Plan B). Remember: IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, THEN YOU PLAN TO FAIL.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Our need for immediate gratification sometimes causes us problems. We rush through relationships. People are "falling in love" before they know each other for a few months, sometimes even before they meet thanks to the internet (for more on the need for patience in relationships, read my posting of 5/11/07, Make It Through The Night, To Make It To Better Days). And we've learned a lot about the health hazards of "fast" food, and those "crash" diets. The hurried life style also contributes to a lot of anxiety. We worry so much about what's going to happen in the future that we miss out on enjoying the present. So whenever you're feeling rushed, or worried about tomorrow, take a deep breath, and acknowledge your life in the here and now. Be mindful of the good things in your life now ( see Turn Off The Lights, from 7/10/08 for more on mindfulness). In fact, don't rush off right now to do the next thing you have planned. Take a few minutes to appreciate your life. Remember: Good things come to those who wait!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
When we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works. It's as if little miracles are everywhere. Our health improves, we attract more money, our relationships become much more fulfilling, and we begin to express ourselves in creatively fulfilling ways. All this seems to happen without even trying.
Loving and approving of yourself, creating a space of safety, trusting and deserving and accepting, will create organization in your mind, create more loving relationships in your life, attract a new job and a new and better place to live, and even allow your body weight to normalize. People who love themselves and their bodies neither abuse themselves nor others.
Self-approval and self-acceptance in the now are the main keys to positive changes in every area of our lives.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Most relationships that you choose start out being fun, but too often they go bad. You do want to get to know the person as well as possible before committing yourself to them. However, as soon as you see it's not working out the way you want/need for it to you have to take action. The sooner the better. Talk about what you see happening. The two of you commit to making some changes, even if you're partner is happy with the way things are. If you are not happy in the relationship, then something is wrong that the TWO of you have to fix. You are not responsible for your partner's happiness. We are responsible for our own feelings. However you are responsible for, and have made a commitment to the relationship, and to making it work FOR BOTH OF YOU. You're both responsible, 50 - 50 (mostly), for what happens in the relationship. And you, individually, give 100% to making it work.
Many people say they've done "everything" thing they could, "tried everything," and it still doesn't work. Before splitting, try counseling. Another perspective on the relationship can help you see how you're both still contributing to the problems. Usually it's bad habits that the two of you have developed with each other, that continue to undermine your efforts. I often suggest that the couple identify 2 or 3 things about your partner that you like and want them to keep doing; a couple of things that you don't like and want them to stop doing; and a few things that you want them to start doing. Choose 1 in each category to start working on. Choose a time frame, maybe 3 to 6 months, to see some effort and change. Determine that at the end of that period, if things are still not working, that you consider changing the relationship, for example trial separation or something more permanent. Of course, during that time you want to communicate as much as possible, without arguing (after all what's the use in arguments at this point), about progress (or lack thereof) that you see. Progress should include improved communication and trust (two of the biggest complaints I hear from couples), improved expression of love (see my blog of 9/22/07. All You Need Is Love), and improved feelings of happiness and optimism.
If you decide to split, it should be with mutual agreement. Especially if you have kids, you want to be able to maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship. I have seen, and continue to see parents who are angry and antagonistic towards each other be unaware of the damage being done to their kids (even though it is obvious). That is very sad. A happy relationship is the best thing you can have in your life. You deserve to have it. Do what you need to do to fix yours, or find the right one.