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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?

Never Burn Bridges– You Only End Up Burning Yourself

Burning bridges is an ill-advised, final emotional act, one that will not serve any of us well. First, the satisfaction in telling off someone is brief. I can’t speak for everyone, but I have found a fair degree of self-loathing present after I have told off another. At the very least, I set a higher standard for myself–in spite of the occasional failure to meet that standard. I wish to treat others as I would like to be treated, the old Golden Rule. Whether someone deserves a sound verbal drubbing or not just doesn’t measure up to the standards I strive to meet.

Discovering Celiac Disease: My Gluten-Free Way

Choosing a gluten-free diet is popular right now, even among people who do not have an allergy to gluten and consequently, Celiac disease. Gwyneth Paltrow admits that she is not allergic to gluten, but has stated that she feels better eating gluten-free.  “Cupcake Wars” contestants have included owners of gluten-free bakeries, suggesting that eating gluten-free is bigger and bigger business. Even more convincing is that product labels now carry the words “gluten free” prominently, making it easier for consumers to choose wisely.

Appreciating the Work We Do With Our Capable Hands

Whether you are a fan of the 1984 or 2010 versions of “The Karate Kid,” you surely recognize the Zen-like instruction that transforms a lost, defenseless kid into a disciplined, convicted young man. Mr. Miyagi is stern and steady while requiring the Kid to wipe wax on and off an old car or take a jacket from his shoulders and hang it correctly on a hook.

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.

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