strength & happiness /

A Multi-Faceted Definition of Love

Love. What is love?

The four letter word that tugs at our heartstrings and makes us dance with happiness and joy. What is love? The feeling that overwhelms us and causes harsh reactions when faced with adversity. What is love? The overpowering wave of emotion which ignites a smile as warm as the rising of the summer sun. What is love?  The painful feeling of being left behind without ample notice. What is love? The fresh smell of flowers that illuminates our senses and opens our hearts to give freely. What is love? A thunderstorm of tears that cascade down our cheekbones when the end is near. What is love? It wakes us up in the morning with the strength and endurance to live another day. What is love?  The sweet caress of raindrops on our lips which entices us for more. What is love? The hope and probability we will love again. What is love? The pounding of drums within our hearts that creates a melodic rhythm. What is love? The trembling force of a volcano ready to explode. What is love? Love is giving without expectation of receiving in return. What is love?

Your Weaknesses Can Say as Much About You as Your Strengths– So Work on Them

This weekend I spent some time working on my strengths. I entered a time trial race and got 2nd place. It’s really fun at times to focus on what you are good at. But, in athletics as with life, sometimes most energy should be focused on weaknesses.

For example, I am a good, strong flat rider. But why would I go out and ride the flats all the time? All that is going to do is reinforce what I am already good at. There are two things that are my weaknesses in riding – leg speed and hills. Therefore, I should spend as much of my riding time as possible working on both those things.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, In Our Every Day Lives

Who doesn’t love the latest Girl-Power anthem, performed with great energy and passion by Kelly Clarkson who belts out: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?”

Every time I hear it, I want to press the accelerator a little harder, go a little faster, bounce in my seat, and sing out loud. If I’m at home, I simply must move, dance, and celebrate being strong, a survivor.

Organized Sports Teach Women How to Be Strong, How to Fight, and How to Win

When I was a girl, I did not have a full slate of athletic options. In required Physical Education classes, we played Dodge Ball–a heinous form of Gotcha, in my opinion–although, I’ll grant, Vince Vaughn as captain of a dodgeball team softened the punch of this game by taking outcasts and oddballs under his rather large wing. In my experience, Dodge Ball existed because it entertained our teachers. We also played Red Rover, volleyball, half-court basketball, and the one that toughened us the most: field hockey without shin guards.

If You’re Apart From Your Children, Give Them Palm Kisses for Everyday, Especially Valentine’s Day

I once believed that I invented Palm Kisses one early morning in the late 1980s when my daughter was in need. I now doubt that the idea is original with me, especially after reading and buying a copy of The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak (Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America, 1993). No matter who first imagined them, Palm Kisses are a wonderful gift to give your child when she or he must spend hours away from you.

Progressive Goal Setting and Success: How I Trained Myself to Tour Long Distances

I am a believe in progressive goal setting as a means to achieve greater success over time. It is probably attributable to a degree of risk aversion in my personality coupled with a strong desire to accomplish new things.

A Visualization Exercise to Confront and Overcome Your Fears

Once, during a very dark patch in my daughter’s life, I searched for some way to help. We lived a bit more than five hours apart, but her need was immediate. Skype and phone calls were insufficient because they must come to an end, and schedules and commitments shrink our abilities to use them. So I proposed that we mimic John Donne’s famous sonnet and cry, “Fear, thou shalt die!”

Forget Resolutions– How to Formulate a New Year’s *Vision* for the Future

What’s your vision for 2013?

No, that’s not a typo– I didn’t mean 2012. I mean 2013. Where or what will be true of your life in less than 12 months from now when the flip of the calendar goes from 2012 to 2013?

Barely into the New Year, 2012 resolutions are new and hopefully not yet broken. At the beginning of the year, we look ahead, make plans, but primarily our focus is on the footsteps in front of us.

Instead, I envision 2013. Clear in my head, it’s a picture of the end result of a work in process.

How to Find a Mentor and Form a Relationship

As a follow-up to my last post, I thought I’d pose some ideas on how to establish a life mentor or mentors in your own life. There are two steps to this – finding a mentor and forming a mentor. Once you do these two things, it’s a matter of sticking with it and making a commitment to getting together regularly.

Finding a Mentor

As I mentioned in my earlier post, my mentors came to me as part of a faith-based group. Faith-based groups are a great place to find mentors, as you are already in a more open, vulnerable place when in one of these groups. So, a prayer, meditation, or support group can be a great place to find a mentor.

Karen Blaine Talks About Hypnotherapy, Her Chosen Practice

This is a guest blog by Karen Blaine, a certified hypnotherapist starting her own practice in Westlake Village.

I have always wanted to help others in a therapeutic way. I considered pursuing psychotherapy, but then I discovered hypnotherapy and personally found that it provides a more direct and lasting impact.

Finding conversational hypnotherapy was exactly what I wanted to do. Since I completed my bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications, I have always been interested in exploring the inner depths of the soul. Exploring and helping people integrate the conscious with the subconscious, and getting certified in the process, was like a dream come true.

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