All ‘Relationships’ Posts

27 feb

3 Ways Families Are Like Conveyor Belts

RobertCordrayConveyor belts are a great asset to businesses, whether they’re used in warehouses, assembly lines, or other applications. In the same way, families are a great asset when each member supports the others, pitches in, and works for the good of the whole.

There are 3 ways that families are like conveyor belts:

1. Like conveyor belts, families are always on the move.

Life, like business, is always moving, and it seems that something is always happening to upset the apple cart. Unexpected events, like illnesses or accidents, call for changes. Family members are ready to roll with these changes, and help out wherever they can. A family in Dallas had a mom, a dad, and three college-aged kids. When Dad was struck with multiple sclerosis and confined to a wheelchair, Mom took over the driving until Dad was able to purchase a modified car. The kids also helped out with driving and assisting Dad with physical therapy, and cheered him up when he felt down.

Even when no major problems arise, family members often arrive at new milestones in life. A family in Maine had two at once. John graduated from college and entered the military as an officer, and Dad got a big promotion at work. The other family members were supportive and encouraging, congratulating them both and wishing them well. When the conveyor belt of life rushes into new situations, families are ready for both the joy and the challenge.

2. Families work as a team, like an assembly line.

Conveyor belts are often used as assembly lines, and families work as a team on an assembly line, producing happy and productive members. A family in Ohio had 2 kids who loved sports. Their parents attended every game, and their dad coached baseball and track. When the kids wanted to try a new sport, their parents encouraged them, and when the kids didn’t do so well, Mom and Dad told them, “That’s ok, as long as you do your best.” Mom and Dad emphasized that team spirit, fair play, and sportsmanship were as important as winning, and the kids repaid their support by being good team members and good sports.

Another family in Tennessee was not into sports, but they had a favorite project they did together. All good singers and musicians, they sang and played Christmas carols at the retirement home in their community every Christmas. Dad played the guitar, Mom was lead singer, Jeff played the violin, and Sara the clarinet. Just like conveyor belts are used in an automated material handling system, this family work together as a system to making the world a happier and more loving place.

3. Like assembly line workers, everyone plays a different role.

When a conveyor belt acts as an auto plant assembly line, each worker on it has a different job; one worker installs the motor, another puts on the fenders, and another does the painting. In the same way, each person in a family has a role to play, the role he or she is best suited for. In the Smith family, Dad was a model of strength, and taught the others responsibility by going to a difficult job. He was also an example of love, a sentiment President Howard W. Hunter past prophet of the LDS church, expressed in his inspirational quote, “One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” Mom taught love and patience by being an example. When 4-year-old Bobby colored on the wall, Mom understood that the wall was very tempting, but explained that paper is for drawing.

Each child was encouraged to discover a sense of self, and to develop his or her best attributes. Sally was very motherly, and helped with the baby. Tom was good at repairs, and put a new cord on the vacuum cleaner. Rob helped Mom learn computer skills. Each person in the family felt that he or she belonged, and had an important part to play.

Like conveyor belts, families are team-oriented, but with a place for individuality. And like conveyor belts, they’re adaptable, but there for the purpose of a greater good.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on February 27th, 2014 in Family, Relationships, Teens | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

28 oct

3 Common Marital Problems and How to Deal with Them

RobertCordrayNo two people are exactly alike, and when it comes to relationships, this is a good thing. After all, it’s generally the differences that make a person unique and exciting. However, when two people have been together for a long time, those little differences that used to seem so charming can start to get a little old.

This is especially true when a couple decides to make it official and settles down into marriage. Those who have been married for many years can attest that the wedding bond is a connection like no other. And like no other relationship, it can enrich your lives in countless ways, but only if you both work at keeping it strong.

So, in the spirit of making sure that your marriage stands the test of time, here are three common relationship problems, and how you and your spouse can work together to overcome them.

1. Money troubles

Let’s just get this one out of the way. A recent study performed by researchers at Kansas State University has concluded that the leading cause of divorce are issues relating to finances—arguments about savings, spending habits, important purchases, salary and employment, and pretty much anything else associated with the “root of all evil.” Disagreements regarding money may often stem from other marital issues, such as spousal roles or clashing priorities.

However, sometimes an argument about money is just that. When dealing with finance issues, it’s important to remember that money only has real value as a means to an end. Your foremost goal in marriage should be the happiness of your spouse. If spending habits are causing friction, then sit down with your better-half and discuss the issues at hand. Be sure to keep things civil, and be willing to reach compromise. Consider opening a joint account into which you can deposit the bulk of your earnings (say, 90% or so), and split the remaining percentage between two separate accounts. Each spouse will be able to use one of the accounts for whatever they desire, thus eliminating the burden of using joint money for unnecessary purchases.

Remember, your marriage is more important than a few extra bucks spent or saved, so if you find that your money habits are causing problems, be mature about it and be willing to make some changes.

2. Intimacy issues

Much like money, intimacy problems in a relationship may be symptomatic of other existing problems. Although the mainstream media tends to casualise sex, the truth is that the physical act of love is an incredibly intimate experience. If there are issues regarding trust, hurt feelings, resentment, or any number of other issues, then time in the bedroom may become embarrassing, uninteresting, or even downright unpleasant. However, increased sexual activity between partners can also be a way to bridge communication gaps and address some of these other problems. As such, if your schedule doesn’t allow for much spontaneity, then you might consider setting aside a certain amount of time every evening or two for couple intimacy—you’ll be able to work out any friction or kinks that you might have in your marriage with a little kinky friction.

If you find that there are problems associated with the act itself, then there are any number of therapists or websites that you can visit to get a few pointers (just make sure you’ve got your antivirus software running and up to date). Marital aides can also spruce up a humdrum sex life, and if men find that they are having trouble lasting long enough to get the job done, premature ejaculation treatment may be the way to go. And although sex is certainly important, don’t skimp out on the other areas of romance either. Regular date nights, in addition to the everyday kindnesses and compassion that are so important for letting your spouse know you care will also help your marriage last.

3. Children

It’s been argued that the main purpose of marriage is to provide a secure and safe environment in which children can be raised. Unfortunately, some new parents see the arrival of their little ones as the end of youth and the death of their social lives. Well, you know what? To an extent, they’re right. Children require a lot of time and energy, and have a way of demanding your undivided attention for most, if not all, hours of the day. Well, suck it up. When you chose to bring an innocent life into this world, you took on a responsibility that far outweighs your need to stay out late and party. Of course, that’s not to say that you and your spouse couldn’t benefit from a little bit of time away.

Stresses involved with children have a way of wearing down emotions, and because parents (generally) know not to take out their frustration on the kids, they often turn on each other. Instead, plan for some quality away-time where the two of you can catch your breath and recharge. At the same time, be sure that you’re not constantly looking for ways to escape your kids. Plan family activities, and make sure that your children know that you love them and love to be around them. They’ll grow up all too soon, and then you’ll have to beg them to hang out with you. Above all, don’t look at your children as another ‘problem’ that needs to be fixed; see them for what they are: the best and most important parts of your life.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on October 28th, 2013 in Relationships | No comments

16 oct

Make Change an Evolution, Not a Revolution

MaricleMaricle3A young woman was telling me recently how torn she feels about whether or not to leave her boyfriend. They have been together for years, but now they spend less time together, he isn’t supportive, doesn’t like her friends, and gets jealous when she wants to go out without him. Should she leave him? Sounds like a no brainer, right?

Not really.

Each one of us follows a set of routines and habits that make up what we think of as our “reality.”

Consider this: there’s a consistent pattern to how you get ready in the morning, when and how you contact friends and family, where you get coffee, and where you go out for fun. What I am suggesting is that this young woman’s current habits make her boyfriend seem like integral part of her life. She texts him, talks to him, and may hang out with him on the weekend. Despite the fact that they no longer get along, they have habits that keep them connected. She is uncomfortable with their lack of connection, but the habits of their relationship are still comfortable, and therefore she has not changed them yet.

Because our habits and routines are so ingrained, we don’t have to consciously think about them.

This creates the sense that our reality is fixed, when in truth, it’s highly impacted by our habits.

Someone who is outgoing and seeks adventure likely has a different view of themselves and the world than a person who is a homebody. However, if either of these people wanted to change, a first step might be to slightly shift a habit or two.

As our experiences, interactions, and what we see changes, so does our perspective, and therefore our behavior and feelings.

If you think you want to change something, you might experiment with shifting one small habit and see what you notice.

For example, this young woman might be subtly avoiding conversations with men in order to not anger her jealous boyfriend. Perhaps she might experiment in low-pressure situations with making small talk, such as with the barista who makes her coffee, or the man in the elevator. She might notice that these men are kind to her and make her laugh. She might even feel desirable. Wouldn’t that experience shift her view of herself and her “reality?”

Sometimes change is simply peeking around the corner to see what else is there. We tend to think of change as big, sudden, and sweeping, but frequently change is more evolution than revolution. We have to prime ourselves for change through mini exposures to new experiences. This allows us to experiment slowly, deciding what we like and don’t, therefore incurring minimal risk. That’s a change most of us could tolerate.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not a substitute for professional psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content provided by Maricle Counseling and Amy Maricle, LMHC, ATR-BC is intended for general information purposes only. Never disregard professional medical or psychological advice or delay seeking treatment because of something you read here.

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Posted by Amy Maricle on October 16th, 2013 in Career, Health, New Directions, Relationships | No comments Read related posts in , ,

15 sep

How to Heal Relationships: What’s Love Got to Do with It? Part Two

WEJMDWhen our relationships fail it is because we have made choices which are destructive and self-defeating. So caught up in our ego and our need to be right, we are blinded to the truth that love flourishes when we are compassionate, accepting, and forgiving. So what can we do about it?

STOP YELLING & DISENGAGE

When we are yelling at each other we are not effectively communicating. We are not listening to the other person’s point of view. There is no true dialogue. No meeting of the minds. No desire for a meeting of the minds. We are just trying to continually drive home our own point, our own grievance, our own sense of righteousness and our need for retribution.

This behavior is not merely a pointless waste of time. It is incredibly destructive to the relationship because basically all we’re doing is attacking and abusing each other. More to the point, we usually end up saying hurtful things we wish we hadn’t said, which turn into resentments, which get lodged in our partner’s heart where it can be very difficult to remove.

Consequently, the best thing to do when we’re yelling at each other is to stop yelling and disengage. We agree that we’re not being productive, that we should table the argument for a while, go our separate ways for a while, give each other some space for a while. We agree to re-engage in the disagreement at a later time when we’ve both cooled off, have had a chance to think about all the issues involved, and are prepared to calmly discuss, mediate and negotiate a peaceful resolution of the problem where both party’s needs will be taken into consideration.

VALIDATE, SOOTHE & COUNTERPOINT

When we are engaged in an argument we oftentimes respond to what we perceive as an attack with an attack. Out partner accuses us of some wrongdoing. We feel it is unjustified and not true. But usually the first thing that comes out of our mouth is: “That’s ridiculous!”… “You’re crazy!”… “There you go again!”… “Calm down!”… “You’re being hysterical!” … “Did you forget to take your medicine?!”… “Are you having your period?!”

We engage in all sorts of name-calling, shaming and blaming. It is all extremely invalidating to the other person. And it usually leads to them being infuriated, them responding with anger, aggression and name calling of their own, and an escalation from a potentially minor issue to World War III.

So here’s what we do: When we feel someone is unfairly accusing us of something, rather than immediately going to the default mode of “the best defense is a good offense,” we take a moment to think before we speak. And then we validate their feelings. We let them know we have listened to what they said. We have heard their complaint. We understand why they perceived the situation the way in which they did.

And then we soothe them as well. We take the time to remind them that we love them. We care about them. It is not our intention to hurt them in any way. Their feelings matter to us.

And then we counterpoint. We express our position, our perspective on what happened.

Here’s an example of the three part process: When our partner accuses us of doing something unloving, we might say, “I can understand why you thought I was being inconsiderate. I want you to know that I care about you and am concerned about your needs and your feelings. In this situation, when I said ________, what you heard was ________, but what I meant was ________. “

By first taking the time to validate and soothe them, they feel respected, they feel they have been heard, and they are much more likely to not get defensive and angry when we challenge their perceptions, and they are much more likely to be in a frame of mind where they can hear our position and calmly discuss and resolve the conflict.

By using these two techniques, a great deal of time once spent in emotionally exhausting and physically draining arguments can be re-directed into enjoyable and nurturing experiences which reaffirm our love and our commitment to our partner.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on September 15th, 2013 in Relationships | No comments Read related posts in ,

12 sep

How to Heal Relationships – Part One

WEJMDTruly loving, nurturing and sustainable relationships are not happening for a great many of us. The reasons for this have to do with our ego getting in the way, with our unwillingness to be more thoughtful, tolerant and considerate, with our unwillingness to rise above the battlefield, to release our anger and resentments from the past, to effectively communicate, to negotiate differences and to establish, maintain and respect boundaries.

I say unwillingness because although it may be difficult to do these things, we choose not to. Loving, sustainable relationships are not the result of accidents or luck, they are the result of healthy choices.

It’s profound the degree to which most of us treat strangers, acquaintances, co-workers and friends much better than we treat our loved ones. With our loved ones, we forget about being compassionate, generous, selfless, considerate, empathetic and loving. We take them for granted. We ridicule them. We shame them. We ignore their needs and invalidate their feelings. And then we complain that we don’t have the relationship that we want.

This isn’t tricky stuff. If we want to have a loving relationship, we need to be loving. If we want to be understood, we need to understand. If we want to be appreciated, we need to appreciate. If we want to be respected, we need to respect. If we want consideration, we need to be considerate. If we don’t want to be judged and shamed, we need to not judge and shame. If we want to be forgiven, we need to forgive.

We reap what we sow. It’s the Golden Rule and it works: When we treat others as we wish to be treated we tend to receive what we give. Our world gets better. Our relationships become more loving, more nurturing, more satisfying and more enduring.

So that’s the ticket: We choose to be generous. We choose to be grateful. We choose to be gracious. We don’t assume the worst. We give our partner the benefit of the doubt. When our partner says or does something that we feel is inconsiderate or unloving we don’t immediately assume they wanted to attack us and hurt us. We don’t immediately go into an aggressive attack mode.

We remind ourselves that in the past we have said and done things that were thoughtless, inconsiderate and unloving, and at those times we wanted our partner to understand, to tolerate our mistakes, to not hold it against us and to forgive us. And so this is what we choose to do with our partner. We accept, we tolerate, we overlook, we forgive.

We don’t need to turn every thoughtless word or action from our partner into a battlefield. We can choose to not sweat the small stuff. We can choose to remind ourselves that they love us, they care about us, they’re not trying to hurt us. We can let it go. We don’t have to make a big stink about it.

This ties into the idea of “Would you rather be right or happy?” Oftentimes, when we feel wronged, we become insistent about confronting our partner, getting in their face, demanding that they feel guilty and shamed, demanding that they own their transgression, demanding an apology. And it’s oftentimes over minor stuff. And it’s oftentimes over stuff that could be open to interpretation. For example, when we’re feeling insecure we are more likely to perceive an innocuous comment from our partner as an attack. And this prompts us to go into our attack mode.

When we go into our attack mode and insist that we are right and they are wrong, we are loving and they are not, we are cool and they are cruel, and that they need to capitulate and apologize for their horrible acts, this oftentimes causes greater polarization in the relationship, greater antagonism and resentment.

If we don’t get their capitulation, everyone is upset. If we do get their capitulation, oftentimes everyone is still upset because of all the fighting that preceded it. Point being: If we insist on getting an acknowledgment that we are right, we usually end up not being happy. If we decide to stop needing to prove that we are right and instead choose our battles and choose to not make mountains out of molehills, we end up being happy. Isn’t that the whole point of having a relationship in the first place?

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on September 12th, 2013 in Relationships, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

01 sep

6 Habits of Bad Managers

RobertCordrayMoving into a management position is often the next step on a career path, but many employees find that they are not naturally disposed to the new responsibilities a management position requires. Being a good manager requires wearing many different hats and maintaining a balance between pleasing bosses and pleasing subordinates. Often the added pressure will cause managers to develop some bad habits that lead to ineffective leadership and a negative work environment.

1. Hiring Second-Rate Employees

Managers need to be skilled in the field they work in, but many managers make the mistake of thinking that they need to be smarter than everyone they work over. This can often stem from pride or a sense of insecurity. These managers tend to quash their employeesí creativity and ingenuity and may insist on being right even though the best decision for the company goes against their own ideas.

Over time, these managers will tend to hire employees who will be subordinate to their ideas and donít threaten to show the manager up. The problem with this is self explanatory: the company will be left with mediocre teams that rely solely on the ideas of one person. Instead, managers should seek out the most skilled employees possible and draw on the expertise from everyone to get the best business results.

2. Being a Bully

While occasionally a workplace will see a single manager that bullies his or her subordinates, bullying tends to be part of a wider company culture that is either prevalent or tolerated. Many managers will become a bully that abuses employees verbally or even physically when they have too much pressure placed on themselves from their own managers. This type of negative culture leaves all employees in a state of fear because even if one employee hasnít been yelled at, they are left wondering when it will happen to them. Staff that live in fear cannot put forth their best effort and be creative nor can they trust their managers enough to come to them with a problem.

3. Focusing on Numbers not People

Managers have to wear many different hats, and often that means carefully managing a budget and getting certain productivity numbers. Since these numbers are often used to evaluate managers by their own boss, some managers will forget to manage their people and sit and crunch numbers all day. The problem is subordinates are rarely motivated by getting a certain number set each week, and if all they hear from their manager every week is a numbers report, they will quickly check out of their job or get frustrated from the lack of direction.

4. Not Giving Credit

It can be easy for managers to take all of the credit for the success of a project at meetings, but failing to acknowledge the contributions of subordinates makes you look dishonest and weak. Failing to express employee appreciation for outstanding accomplishments will quickly lead to discouragement and mediocre employees who feel there is no reason to put in an extra effort. The same goes for only criticizing employees or placing all of the blame on them when a project goes south.

5. Not Delegating

Whether they are unwilling to trust a subordinate with an important task, or simply cling to responsibilities to communicate their importance, some bosses will simply not let their employees do their job, which is to do what the boss no longer has time for. Delegating tasks doesnít diminish your importance, rather it simply shows you have a lot of important things to do. Nit picking and micro managing is merely taking the fast road to discontent and is likely to backfire in the end.

6. Not Setting the Example

If a manager wants employees to show up on time and have a good attitude at work, they need to start by doing that themselves. Staff will follow the lead of their manager, so if they see their manager skirting the rules or not upholding company values, they are not going to take those values seriously or seek to uphold them themselves.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on September 1st, 2013 in General, Relationships | No comments Read related posts in , ,

17 may

Ariane’s Four Talks on Change

ArianedeBonvoisinHello! I’ve just added to YouTube four (4) videos that I wanted to share on Navigating Change. Some of them are nice and short, only five minutes long. If you’ve got a cup of tea and your journal, you can watch the hour-long talk I recently gave on “The 9 Principles of Change,” to a group of 500 executives. I cover personal, professional, health, family, relationship and financial changes. Enjoy and please share with anyone you know who is going through a change, thinking about a change, struggling or helping someone else with a change!

Click here to view Ariane’s Overview of Change.

Click here to view Ariane’s Questions about Change.

Click here to view Ariane’s The First Principle of Change.

Click here to view Ariane’s The 9 Principles of Change.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on May 17th, 2013 in Ariane, Career, Diet and Fitness, Family, Finances, Global/Social Change, Health, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Spirituality | No comments

21 jan

How to Talk to a Crush at Work This Valentine’s Day

JennaSmithCrushes at workplace are common, so if you have one at your co-worker, it’s nothing new. However, if you want to take things a step further and talk to your crush on this special day, then here are few tips that can help you strike that most-wanted conversation…

1. Ask Her to Lunch: Business associates and colleagues often discuss work over lunch. So asking her to lunch is a pretty harmless request, for which you won’t have to venture much out of your comfort zone. However, if you’re nervous about it then invite some of your other co-workers to join you.

2. Give Non-Threatening Compliments: Valentine’s Day is when women are more receptive, so why not show your interest to your co-worker by paying her some nice compliments? The only thing you need to be careful with is your choice of words. Be subtle in your approach and avoid saying anything that may look inappropriate.

3. Walk With Her Through the Building: If your workplace is in a building where you have to move from one place to another, then make use of this time that you travel through the building with her. Even spending a few minutes with her on this special day can do wonders if you don’t do or say anything uncomfortable while you’re walking.

4. Tickle Her Funny Bone: One easy way to begin talking to your crush is to crack some jokes because humor will make it easy for her to let her guard down and connect with you as a person, not just a colleague. However, do make sure your jokes are squeaky clean so that you don’t end up offending her right on Valentine’s Day.

5. Get Her Coffee: Sometimes even the smallest gestures matter a lot. If your crush likes coffee, then why not bring her one on this special day? It’s a great way to break the ice and get a conversation started. She will see your gesture as sweet and not aggressive. If you see her comfortable then you could take things forward and arrange for regular coffee dates.

6. Stop By Her Desk: While there are many indirect approaches you can take to spark a conversation with your crush this Valentine’s, the most obvious and direct approach is to stop by her desk for some official work, and get the conversation going where you try to ask her out.

7. Have Flowers Delivered: Flowers and Valentine’s Day go in hand hand, so what you can do is order some good flowers like daisies at Floristexpress.com and have them delivered at her desk. This will let her know that you’re interested in her and will make it easier for you to approach her.

Go ahead and use the tips that we discussed above with complete confidence, and don’t miss out on the chance to talk to your crush and ask her out on this Valentine’s.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on January 21st, 2013 in General, Personal Stories, Relationships, Things We Love | No comments

10 dec

How to Help a Loved One Who Has Lost a Parent

JennaSmithIt is never easy to lose someone you love, but it can seem especially hard when it is a parent. Parents help shape and contribute to so much of who we are as people that their loss seems to hit extra hard. At the holidays, loved ones will be missed even more and good friends will be needed to get you through. As a friend it may be difficult to know what to do, but a few ideas of how to help a friend grieve their parent can help.

One of the first tips is to realize there are specific stages to grief. There is no set way in the order that someone will go through them, or for how long each stage will last, but they will cycle through all of the stages at one point or another. Theses include:

· Denial and Isolation

· Anger

· Bargaining

· Depression

· Acceptance

You need to know that no one will grieve the same and taking the time to listen to what your friend needs will be important. Let them take the lead on this and tell you how to help. They may need someone to sit and listen, share memories with, or just talk to. Or you may find giving them practical help like running to the grocery store, making some food, or helping with house or yard work can be most beneficial.

Depending on how your friend is grieving, you may be able to do something creative with them to help them re-channel their grief into something positive. Asking them about some of the holiday traditions they did with their parents can be good, and maybe even participate in a tradition with them. Finding old photographs and repurposing them into a photo wreath, wall collage, or even a special scrapbook can be great for a good walk down memory lane.

Doing something completely special for your friend is great too. For a female friend you could take them out for a pampering day and get pomegranate or holiday spiced facials and spa treatments for under $50. For a guy friend maybe you could have an outdoor ATV day followed by some pizza and maybe bowling or watching a game on TV. If they tend to be a little more quiet or private in their grieving then sending them a special gift from someplace like In Time of Sorrow can warm their hearts and help them feel remembered. And depending on your or their personal beliefs, you can never underestimate the power of prayer.

Grief is difficult for anyone to deal with at any time, but especially at the holidays. As a friend to someone who is grieving a parent just remember to connect with them in some way. They will let you know what they need and how you can help. And no matter if it is a day out, a meal in, or them just knowing you are their being patient and encouraging with someone in the grief process is perhaps one of the greatest things you can do.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on December 10th, 2012 in Family, Health, Personal Stories, Relationships | No comments

07 oct

Emotional Health

ZulmaCarbajal When I first took a real look at my life a few years ago, I was filled with regret, remorse, and sadness. For one, it finally hit me how many years I wasted making the same mistakes, being in the same situations, dating the same kind of people, being friends with people who were so unlike me, and so on.

While I finally came to the realization that I no longer wanted to live that way, I had no idea how to proceed with changing my life. I was so overwhelmed by everything I needed to work on. Every area in my life was a disaster; my emotional health, financial situation, dysfunctional relationships, physical health, and even problems with my son. You name the problem I had it.

As a single mom, with all of the other obligations I had as well, I felt I did not have enough time for working on all of the areas that required my attention. However, I told myself that if I did not start changing my life it would only get worse and I would be forced to change my patterns. Already I was diagnosed with high blood pressure at the age of thirty and put on medication.

What transformed my life was taking baby steps. First on my list was healing my emotions; the deep sadness that would never leave me, severe anxiety and suppressed rage. I recognized that I was avoiding them by being a workaholic and an excessive exerciser. Later on I used food to numb my emotions, which only made my health problems worse. The healing did not come all at once, but by taking small steps, little by little, things started shifting for me.

I recommend that if there is something in your life that you wish to change, and you are serious and committed to it, start off by taking baby steps. A lot of times when we look at the people who seem to have it all together, we tend to believe that they magically became who they are overnight. But we do not know the daily things they did in order to get to where they are now.

Another thing I learned during the change process is that if your emotions are not balanced, it is very difficult to change your outer circumstances. I will give you an example from my own life. My relationship with my son was a mess. I was trying to fix it because I knew that once he entered his teens, it would be more difficult. But I was not emotionally healthy so I did not have the energy to repair things between us. In fact, my emotional issues were making me impatient and mean. Not until I finally took the time to center myself and learned to release my negative emotions was I able to focus on improving my relationship with him.

Prior to this, I felt I had no time to be dealing with emotions because I had way too many things going on at the same time that required my attention. However, things weren’t getting resolved in other areas challenging me because of my emotional imbalance. So actually I couldn’t afford not to make time for my emotions.

In our society we are taught to ignore our feelings or that emotions are only for silly women. But the truth is, that one of the major reasons that there are addictions is because people try hard to suppress emotions. Some of the emotions people carry since their childhood.

If you would like some assistance releasing emotions please contact me via email, carbajalzulma@gmail.com, or you can also see related articles in my personal blog quantumlifechanges.blogspot.com

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Posted by Zulma Carbajal on October 7th, 2012 in Health, New Directions, Relationships | No comments