In this passionate talk, Eve Ensler declares that there is a girl cell in us all — a cell that we have all been taught to suppress. She tells heartfelt stories of girls around the world who have overcome shocking adversity and violence to reveal the astonishing strength of being a girl.
Turn off the alarm. Roll out of bed. Hop in the shower. Eat breakfast. Get ready for work.
Have you ever stopped to think about how much of what you do each day, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, is exactly the same as you did the day before? Probably not: most people go through their daily routine without so much as a second thought.
That’s because doing the same thing over and over again creates new neuro-pathways in your brain. The more you do it, the stronger these neuro-pathways grow, until eventually they become a shortcut to your brain that bypasses your normal neural routing altogether. As a result, sticking to a routine no longer takes the same amount of time or brainpower that you’d require to process unfamiliar information and then coordinate a response. You simply act automatically.
Get in the habit
Recurrent, almost unconscious patterns of behavior acquired through constant repetition are known as auto-responses or, colloquially, habits. Human beings are often described as creatures of habit — and with good reason. According to Ann Graybiel, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, “We live mostly by habit.”
But while practice makes perfect in the case of superstar athletes and performers, it also perpetuates less-than-perfect behaviors. These can be anything from spending your evenings parked on the couch with a bag of potato chips to not washing your hands after using the bathroom to thinking negative thoughts that provoke stress, anxiety, and depression. In order to shed unhealthy habits you may be doing by rote, you have to develop new auto-responses through methodical repetition. Here’s a five-step process that will help you retrain your brain:
1. Identify the habit you’d like to change or create. If your goal is to get rid of an existing “bad” habit, be sure to identify the behavior with which you wish to replace it. Be very specific. “I want to get fit” is not a new habit. “I will go for a walk on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. instead of watching TV” is far more inherently habit-forming.
2. Find your willpower. Write down all the things that are motivating you to want to develop your new habit. Everyone has their own unique reasons: to become the best at what they do, to live longer, or to feel better. Look at how this new habit will benefit you in various areas of your life, ranging from your relationship with your family to your career to your mental and physical health. The more thorough you are in doing this exercise, the easier it will be for you to follow through in reality. Keep brainstorming until you can’t imagine life without this new behavior.
3. Examine the consequences. Write down all the ways that your life will be negatively affected if you don’t change your habits. Again, consider all areas of your life.
4. Commit to sticking to your new habit for at least three weeks. That’s the minimum amount of time that it takes to form a new habit, based upon the latest research. Examine the lists you’ve made in the previous two steps and add to them daily to help sustain your drive to change. As Zig Ziglar, the renowned self-help author and speaker, liked to point out: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing: that’s why we recommend it daily.”
5. Practice, practice, practice. Say you want to stop being so negative: then push yourself to respond positively to each setback you encounter. If it’s pouring rain; tell yourself that’s good for crops. Or if someone veers in front of you on the freeway, thank your lucky stars that you’re well clear of the speed demon. This will no doubt feel forced at first. But if you keep at it, you can ultimately reprogram your brain to work the way you want it to work. Give it a try.
Creating a new habit isn’t easy, which is why people talk about “force of habit.” But if you have a clear and pressing reason to change and keep reminding yourself of what that reason is, then developing the habits you want to develop will become second nature.
This information was provided by Mental Health Pros.
When a couple first enters into a life-partner relationship, it usually has an intoxicating glow. Each partner sees the other in a very positive light, and is eager to do nice things for them. When one asks for a cup of coffee, the response is likely to be “Sure, sweetie; do you want cream and sugar with that?” However, the reality and disappointments of being with the other person day in and day out gradually start to shade their initial rosy picture of married life. Frustrations develop, as the other spouse’s flaws become apparent. After about a year or two, a request for coffee is likely to be met with “Get your own coffee.”
A significant milestone in many relationships is the birth of the first child. The husband can suddenly feel that he is on the sidelines, now that his wife’s attention revolves endlessly around their infant. The birth of the second child can amplify this feeling even more. His wife is even more busy and exhausted. She has less time for him and much less interest in, or energy for, sex. Meanwhile, the children are noisy, messy, and leave their toys everywhere.
Numerous studies have found that marital happiness drops sharply with the arrival of children. When they leave the house, it tends to pick up to previous levels.
For many couples, the demands of raising kids are so great they have little time or energy to enjoy their relationship. The husband may retreat into his work to find a sense of fulfillment, reward, and recognition. The wife may devote herself excessively to the children, meeting their needs first and foremost. Little wonder, then, that relationship happiness drops.
The stress and conflicts of the early years of a relationship take a real toll on many couples. Statistics show that most divorces occur after four to six years of marriage. After that, the rate of divorce drops and remains fairly stable for the next decade. Then comes a second, smaller spike in divorces, corresponding to when the children leave the home. The couple discovers that they have grown apart over the years, nurturing the children instead of their partnership.
If the couple stays together, a new phase begins with retirement. Frequently, the husband retires first (since men tend to be the older partners in the relationship). This may be a difficult adjustment, especially if the wife keeps working. He may feel guilty that he is no longer the “breadwinner.” The couple also has to adjust to spending more time with each other in retirement. This can lead to divorce for some. For other couples, it can be a fulfilling time, free of demands and responsibilities.
The transitions that take place during a relationship are only part of the story. What’s more important is how the couple works through or deals with them. After all, both happy and unhappy couples must deal with the same issues: money, sex, kids, in-laws. How the couple handles them — and the process of marriage itself — is what differentiates successful marriages from those that succumb to divorce.
Dr. John Gottman, a Seattle-based psychologist who has conducted groundbreaking research on marriage, found that couples who stay together use five times as many positive statements as negative statements when they discuss tough issues in their marriage. When couples use more negative statements than positive, they were far more likely to divorce. In fact, based on his criteria, Gottman can predict who will divorce and who will stay together with 94-per-cent accuracy.
Gottman has pinpointed certain behaviors that lead to marital disaster. When spouses repeatedly resort to criticism, contempt, and defensiveness in their conflicts, get flooded and stonewall, or completely shut down, the wounds in their relationship accumulate and never get a chance to heal.
Defensiveness prevents a couple from reaching a resolution, because neither is willing to admit what they did was wrong, or that their behavior needs to change. They feel more isolated from their spouse, allowing distance to creep in between them. The isolation increases, and they begin leading increasingly separate lives.
A growing sense of distance from one another often serves as a pretext for affairs, which is the most commonly cited cause for divorce. Yet having an affair is not so much a cause as a symptom of the underlying isolation that partners feel in a foundering relationship.
On the other hand, if a couple learns to handle conflict well, then virtually any marital problem can be overcome. If the wife raises a touchy subject with a gentle segue, instead of an attack, then the discussion stands a better chance of going well. If the husband is willing to accept at least some of the points his wife is making, then the couple will be more apt to come to an agreement.
Successful couples persuade each other and try to see things from the other’s point of view. As the two learn to work together, they feel closer to each other, and their affection and respect for each other increases. The result is a fulfilling life partnership.
This information was provided by Mental Health Pros.
1. Address the root causes of your imbalance. Do you want to please everyone? Do you think you’re not good enough if you can’t achieve twice as much as the next guy or girl? Ask yourself these hard questions, and then find out how to address them.
2. Find out what it is that other people really need from you. Your boss may not need you to work overtime; your child may be happy spending time with you at home instead of on an expensive vacation; the charity asking you to volunteer your time may be able to call somebody else if you’re already overburdened. Before placing demands on yourself related to other people’s expectations, clarify what those expectations are. If you have difficulty asking other people, consider fine-tuning your communication skills.
3. Ensure your actions are congruent with your values. If you believe your family comes first, honor that commitment with your time. If you treasure your health, give yourself adequate time for rejuvenation and self-care. Your time and energy is precious: when creating goals for yourself and taking on responsibilities, make sure you spend your personal capital on things you truly value.
4. Separate your work life from your home life as much as you can. Though some overlap is inevitable, you’d be wise to create healthy boundaries between your work and your home. That way, it becomes much easier to assess and prioritize the diverse demands you have in both these spheres of your life, without minimizing the importance of either.
5. Look after your health. A common symptom of work-life imbalance is a lack of proper self-care, resulting in poor health. Conversely, people thrive and find it easier to maintain their balance when they eat well, get adequate physical activity, and attend to their emotional health.
6. Prioritize. You may have many things you need to accomplish, but in order to accomplish any of them, you first have to decide what must be done now and what can be done later.
7. Focus. Don’t allow the other tasks awaiting you down the road at Point C or Point D to distract you from getting from Point A to Point B. Besides, focusing also helps you to truly live in the moment — which is what life’s all about.
8. Evaluate. Always consider what the ultimate purpose of your life is and whether your current direction is correctly aligned with the vision you have for yourself. If you’re a spiritual person, you might consider prayer or meditation.
9. Be willing to ask for help. As the English poet John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island.” As human beings, we are designed to help one another with the challenges we face. Sometimes, this can be as simple as asking a friend to baby-sit or a co-worker to cover your shift. Other times, it involves reaching out for more formal types of help, such as counseling or coaching. Highly successful people know when to ask for help and willingly offer it to others in turn.
10. Be forgiving. Everyone makes mistakes. Forgiving others — and yourself — enables you to start each day anew and to see the big picture when it comes to life.
This information was provided by Mental Health Pros.
For a growing segment of the business community, achieving a harmonious balance between work and life has become a key factor in achieving peak performance.
Work-life balance is vital for two reasons. Number one: it’s good business. Smart business people understand that encouraging work-life balance actually improves the flow of commerce by boosting workers’ creativity and productivity, and strengthening their loyalty to their employer. Number two: it’s good for your health. Work-related stress has become a leading contributor to a myriad of physical health problems — ranging from high blood pressure to auto-immune disorders — to say nothing of its toll on relationships and people’s emotional health. By keeping your stress levels to a minimum and prioritizing self-care, a balanced life may be the single most important lifestyle change you can make in achieving improved health.
But old habits remain hard to break. Many people readily agree that they need a healthy balance between their work and personal lives but struggle to actually achieve it. That’s because they first need to understand the root causes of their work-life imbalance before they can even begin to address it.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is when your mental, emotional and physical resources (including your time) are equal to the demands placed upon you, both personal goals and obligations stemming from the responsibilities you owe yourself, your family, and your community.
Think of it as an equation:
Mental resources + emotional resources + physical resources (including your time) = achieving your personal goals + fulfilling your responsibilities
The Root Causes of Work-Life Imbalance
Most people who suffer from work-life imbalance tend to assume the problem is one of time. They often lament, “If only there were more hours in the day!” But while we don’t have control over the passage of time, we do have control over what we do during it. If you feel that you don’t have enough time to achieve your goals and fulfill your responsibilities, then you may need to find additional resources to deal with them. More realistically, you probably need to reassess the goals and responsibilities you currently have.
Many people who struggle with striking a proper balance between work and life have a classic “Type-A” personality. Hard-driving “workaholics,” these individuals tie their sense of self-worth to money, power, and status, neglecting other equally important aspects of life, such as family and self-care. In most cases, they suffer from low self-esteem, believing they must rack up accomplishments in order to prove their value to themselves and the rest of the world.
Another category of people who suffer from work-life imbalance are people-pleasers/overachievers. Desperate for approval from employers, co-workers, friends, and family, they set unrealistic goals and expectations of themselves in a quest for external validation. Overachieving, which shouldn’t be confused with mature goal-setting (something that’s not only healthy, but also crucial for optimal health), is typically symptomatic of low self-esteem and anxiety.
More generally, people who have difficulty achieving balance fail to understand the necessity of rejuvenation.
Signs Your Life Lacks Balance
- A short temper: You have difficulty processing feelings of anger and frustration, and frequently lash out at others. You find it hard to empathize.
- Lack of joy: Everything feels like a chore. In extreme cases of imbalance, you may sink into depression.
- Fatigue: You lack opportunities to rest and rejuvenate.
- Constant worrying: Even when you’re not busy performing a task, your mind is continually dwelling on it, and what people will think of you if you do it well — or badly.
- Feeling sick: You find yourself more prone to getting colds, having headaches, and suffering from joint or muscle pains.
- Boredom: You feel caught up in an endless, all-too-predictable cycle.
- Lack of control: Your life no longer seems like it’s of your own making. It feels like you’re following a script.
- Addictive tendencies: You turn to other sources of emotional stimulation, such as food, TV, the Internet, and thrill-seeking, in an effort to reassert control.
Pitfalls to Avoid if You Struggle with Work-Life Balance
- Excessive multi-tasking: The more tasks you try to do at once, the less well you’ll do on any single one. This includes trying to juggle work tasks when you’re home.
- Trying to work faster: The way to achieve your goals is through efficient time management, not revving yourself up to work at an unsustainable pace. As a short-term tactic, working faster may produce results. Over the long term, however, it will leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally drained — and far less effective in achieving your ultimate life goals.
- Making promises you can’t keep: Don’t tell someone at work or at home that you’ll do something if you know you can’t realistically do it. You’ll only end up shortchanging the demands you already have, while simultaneously disappointing the other person.
This information was provided by Mental Health Pros.
Dealing with Loss
Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion, and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. It is a typical reaction to death, divorce, financial hardship, a move away from family and friends, or loss of good health due to illness. It is, in other words, a natural part of life.
What Does Grief Feel Like?
Just after a death or loss, you may feel empty and numb, as if you are in shock. You may notice physical changes such as trembling, nausea, trouble breathing, muscle weakness, dry mouth, or trouble sleeping and eating.
You may become angry — at a situation or a particular person, or just angry in general. Almost everyone who feels grief also experiences guilt. Guilt is often expressed as “I could have, I should have, and I wish I would have” statements.
People in grief may have strange dreams or nightmares, be absentminded, withdraw socially, or lack the desire to return to work. These feelings and behaviors are normal during grief and will eventually pass.
How Long Does Grief Last?
Grief lasts as long as it takes you to accept and learn to live with your loss. For some people, grief lasts a few months. For others, grieving may take years.
The length of time spent grieving is different for each person. There are many reasons for these differences, including personality, health, coping style, culture, family background, and life experiences. The time spent grieving also depends on your relationship with the person or thing lost and how prepared you were for the loss.
How Will I Know When I’m Done Grieving?
Each person who experiences a death or other loss must complete a four-step grieving process:
- Accept the loss
- Work through and feel the physical and emotional pain of grief
- Adjust to living in a world without the person or item lost
- Move on with life
The grieving process is over only when a person completes the four steps.
How Does Grief Differ from Depression?
Depression is more than a feeling of grief after losing someone or something you love. Clinical depression is a whole-body disorder, which can take over the way you think and feel. Symptoms of depression include:
- A sad, anxious, or “empty” mood that won’t go away
- Loss of interest in what you used to enjoy
- Low energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Loss of appetite, weight loss, or weight gain
- Trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Feeling hopeless or gloomy
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Thoughts of death or suicide or a suicide attempt
- Recurring aches and pains that don’t respond to treatment
If you recently experienced a death or other loss, these feelings may be part of a normal grief reaction. But if these feelings persist with no lifting mood, ask for help.
What Will Help Me Cope with My Grief?
- Put together a scrapbook of the person you’ve lost.
- Write a letter of all the things you’d like to share with the person who is gone.
- Take the letter(s) to the grave site and read them aloud.
- Begin journaling what your experience has been like.
This information was provided by Mental Health Pros.
- Almost half of all incidents of domestic violence against women are not reported.
- Domestic violence and battering is the leading cause of serious injury to women, more common than rape, muggings and car crashes combined. (Stark and Flitcraft, 1985)
- Domestic Violence and Battering is more than a bruised face or broken arm. It includes:
- Physical Abuse — slapping, kicking, choking, spitting, punching, and pinching;
- Sexual abuse — forced sexual activity, sexual assault, sodomy;
- Emotional abuse — humiliation, intimidation, name calling, demoralization, playing mind games;
- Financial abuse — limiting access to family income or assets, restricting or disrupting employment
Domestic violence victims are more than just statistics. They are your co-workers, neighbors, friends or family. They have names: Alex, Nicole, Miguel, Renee, Tamika, Ryan, Michelle.
Battering is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person with whom an intimate relationship is or has been shared through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Battering happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another.
Domestic violence may include not only the intimate partner relationships of spousal, live-in partners, and dating relationships: familial, elder and child abuse may a;ps be present in a violent home. Abuse generally falls into one or more of the following categories – physical battering, sexual assault and emotional or psychological abuse – and generally escalates over a period of time.
Victims of abuse may experience punched walls, control of finances, lying, using children to manipulate a parent’s emotions, intimidation, isolation from family and friends, fear, shame, criticism, cuts, crying and afraid children, broken bones, confusion, forced sexual contact, manipulation, sexist comments, yelling, rages, harassment, neglect, shoving, screaming, jealousy and possessiveness, loss of self-esteem, coercion, slammed doors, abandonment, silent treatment, rape, destruction of personal property, unwanted touching, name calling, strangling, ripping, slapping, biting, kicking, bruises, punching, stalking, scrapes, depression, sabotaging attendance at job or school, brainwashing, violence to pets, pinching, deprivation of physical and economic resources, public humiliation, broken promises, prevention of seeking medical and dental care, ridicule, restraining, self-medication, forced tickling, threats to harm family and friends, threats to take away the children, threats to harm animals, threats of being kicked out, threats of weapons, threats of being killed.
Who is Battered
In all cultures, batterers are most commonly male. Rural and urban women of all religious, ethnic, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds, and of varying ages, physical abilities, and lifestyles can be affected by domestic violence. There is not a typical woman who will be battered: the risk factor is being born female.
Heterosexual males may also be victims of domestic violence as perpetrated by their female partners. They experience the same dynamics of interpersonal violence as female victims, including experiences of disbelief, ridicule and shame that only enhance their silence. However, there are specific cultural groups whose peculiar vulnerabilities may put the members of that population at risk of experiencing violence in their relationships.
Battered immigrant and refugee women have further complications due to issues of gender, race socioeconomic status, immigration status, and language in addition to those complications of intimate partner violence. A battered woman who is not a legal resident or whose immigrant status depends on her partner is isolated by cultural dynamics that may prevent her from leaving her husband, seeking support from local agencies that may not understand her culture, or requesting assistance from an unfamiliar legal system. Some obstacles may include a distrustful attitude toward the legal system, language and cultural barriers, and fear of deportation.
Children witnessing domestic violence and living in an environment where violence occurs may experience some of the same trauma as abused children. Not all children are affected by domestic violence in the same way. Children may become fearful, inhibited, aggressive, antisocial, withdrawn, anxious, depressed, angry, and confused; suffer from disturbed sleep, problems with eating, difficulties at school, and challenges in making friends. Children often feel caught in the middle between their parents and find it difficult to talk to either of them. Adolescents may act out or exhibit risk-taking behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, running away, sexual promiscuity, and criminal behavior. Young men may try to protect their mothers, or they may become abusive to their mothers themselves. Children may be injured if they try to intervene in the violence in their homes.
Individuals with physical, psychiatric, and cognitive disabilities may not only experience sexual and domestic violence at a higher rate from intimate partners or spouses than the mainstream population; unlike the mainstream population, they may also experience mistreatment, abuse, neglect, and exploitation from their caretakers, including personal assistants, paid staff, family members, and parents. Examples can be the denial of medications and personal care, the use of psychotropic medication as a restraint, daily and intimate care mistreatment and neglect, inaccessible organizations and facilities, unavailable or disabling assistive technology devices essential for communication and movement, improper use of restraints, and the denial of life-sustaining medical treatment and therapies. Yet this population gets little attention from the community, the media, or policymakers, allowing the abuse to continue in isolation and apathy.
Older battered women are a nearly invisible yet tragically sizable population and uniquely vulnerable to domestic violence. Older women are more likely to be bound by traditional and cultural ideology that prevents them from leaving an abusive spouse or from seeing themselves as a victim. Older women are very often financially dependent on their abusive spouse and do not have access to the financial resources they need to leave an abusive relationship. Many older women find themselves isolated from their family, friends, and community, due to their spouses’ neglect and abuse. This is especially true because older women experience higher rates of chronic illness, which makes them more dependent upon their spouses or caregivers and more reluctant or unable to report abuse.
Rural battered women face lack of resources, isolation, small-town politics, few if any support agencies, and poor or little transportation and communication systems in addition to the other complications of intimate partner violence, which are intensified by the rural lifestyle. The act of leaving the homeplace, land, and animals that could depend on her may be emotionally wrenching, leaving the battered rural woman surrounded by walls of guilt and self-abasement.
Teen dating violence may be one of the major sources of violence in teen life. Even in the best of circumstances, the passage from childhood to adulthood is often one of awkwardness and unease. When that passage is marked by danger and violence that explodes in relationships, then the journey into adulthood becomes even more overwhelmingly complex. Given that social, cultural, religious, and family messages about intimacy and relationships between teens can be confusing, misleading, nonexistent, or even unhealthy, many teens find themselves unsure of what to expect and how to behave in dating or intimate relationships. Fear, misconceptions, lack of services, low self-esteem, control by the abuser, peer pressure, and concern about family response all combine to keep battered teens trapped in silence and secrecy.
- Your partner calls you names.
- Your partner yells and curses at you.
- Your partner uses pressure (guilt trips, threats, etc.) to force you to make the choices they want you to make.
- Your partner orders you around, makes decisions without you, and demands for you do to things their way.
- Your partner insults you in front of family and friends.
- Your partner talks badly about your family and friends, and makes it hard for you to see them.
- Your partner lies to you, cheats on you, and gets jealous for no reason.
- Your partner is cold to you. They are not supportive, loving, or respectful.
- Your partner refuses to let you work, makes problems for you at work, takes your paycheck, or hides your keys.
- Your partner threatens to hurt you and/or themselves if you try to leave the relationship.
- Your partner follows you and checks up on you.
Are You Emotionally Abused?
- Does your mate ignore your feelings or withhold affection to hurt you?
- Does your mate call you names or humiliate you?
- Does your mate make decisions for you, tell you what to do, or make you feel guilty when you don’t do what they want?
- Does your mate put you down in front of or prevent you from seeing your friends or family?
- Does your mate manipulate your feelings, lie to you, or cheat on you?
- Does your mate refuse to help you with the children or household duties?
- Does your mate become extremely jealous, follow you, or check up on you?
- Does your mate blame you for his/her angry outbursts or actions?
- Does your mate refuse to let you work, take your money, or hide your keys?
- Does your mate threaten to harm themselves if you leave?
(These questions and warnings signs were adapted from “Domestic Violence: The Facts” from Peace at Home.)
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. To help determine if you are, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the U.S. at 1-800-799-SAFE (TDD 1-800-787-3224), a local mental-health professional, or your local domestic abuse coalition today. For a thorough medical evaluation, please consult your professional health-care or mental health provider.
No matter how much searching or personal growth we do, how many crystals or oils we work with, how much incense we burn, how many affirmations we repeat, how much chanting we do or gizmos we have, most of us would still admit to feeling we are not good enough, clever enough, beautiful enough, knowledgeable enough, rich enough, slim enough, young enough, experienced enough, qualified enough or anything else enough.
Or worst of all, we fear that one day someone else might find out that we are not as good as we think they think we are!
We are frightened that we will be found out – found to be a fraud! We constantly think we need to have more, do more, be more, become more, improve more and justify our existence more.
We constantly compare ourselves with perfection, and are found wanting. As a result, women are taught to step into their masculine energy and strive harder. We have taken on a masculine lifestyle, with a power of focus that goes against our feminine core, and it is damaging us in so many ways.
When we live our lives as if we know who we are, all our actions, all our behaviors are performed through that supposition. Can you imagine how it would be at the end of your life if you looked back and said, ―But that‘s not who I really was!
So if you are living your life as if you are not good enough/clever enough/beautiful enough/wise enough/sexy enough/qualified enough/slim enough, what do you think your life will look like?
Deep down, we all know there is much more to us and our lives. We just haven‘t been shown how to access it. Until now!
This year is about being authentic, not about creating masks to hide your true beauty behind:
What are your pre-conceived ideas about women and femininity?
What is holding you back from experiencing the flow and dance of life?
What are the deep-seated myths which have influenced generations of women?
How are you changing beliefs and thoughts which do not serve you?
Thank you Susie Heath – Little Gems Selected from “The Essence of Womanhood – Re-awakening the authentic feminine”
In everyone’s life there are problems to solve,
Even in the strongest relationship,
there are differences to overcome.
It is easy to give up when confronted with difficulties;
to fool yourself into believing that
perfection can be found somewhere else.
But true happiness and a lasting relationship are found
when you look inside yourself
for solutions to the problems.
Instead of walking away when things get tough
and blaming the other person,
look for compromise and forgiveness.
Caring is not a matter of convenience.
It is a commitment of one soul to another.
And if each gives generously of themselves,
then both lives are enriched.
The problems will come and go,
just like the changing seasons.
But unselfish love is constant and everlasting.
~ Susan Staszewski from LOVE ISN’T ALWAYS EASY edited by Susan Polis Schutz
- The annual divorce rate in the United States is about 50%
- Marriage is the most popular voluntary choice that Americans make
- Over 90% of Americans will marry at least once
- There are 2.3 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces each year
- 35-40% of engaged couples receive premarital counseling
- Premarital counseling can reduce divorce by 30%
- There are over 6 million cohabiting couples in the United States, some may eventually marry, some will break up, and others will continue to live together.
Does the moon exert some magical pull on our watery bodies or our primitive minds? Maybe. What I do know for sure is that to flourish, we need to feel connected to the world around us.
The practice of patterning our lives, even in small, symbolic ways, on the patterns of nature can be very affirming. For me, the cycle of the moon is a beautiful reflection of the cycles of increase and decrease in my own life.
HOW ABOUT TRYING THE MIRACLE QUESTION EXERCISE:
Do you know what you truly want?
Try the Miracle Question now.
Suppose tonight, while you are asleep, the miracle happens.
Because you were asleep you didn’t know it had happened, but everything you ever wanted is there. You now have your perfect life.
When you waken in the morning how will you be able to tell that the miracle has happened?
As an exercise, sit or lie down somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed, and carry out the miracle exercise. Allow your breathing to slow, settle comfortably and let your mind wander where it will.
Ask yourself ‘After the miracle,
“What will I see that is different?”
“What will I hear that is different?”
“What will I be that is different?”
‘”What will I feel inside that is different from the way I feel now?”
Think about those questions for a while, and then ask yourself, “What would the other people in my life see, hear, notice, that was different?”
Think about each of the people in your life and see yourself after the miracle from their point of view, imagining what is going into their eyes and ears, what is going through their mind as they deal with the new you.
Think about what they would think about your behavior, attitude, values in your new life. Think about how you would behave, knowing what they think and see, and what you would have to do to make them see you behaving that way.
Spend about ten minutes or so doing the exercise.
Then resume your normal tasks, go through the rest of your day, and in every situation, as you get into that situation, imagine how you would behave if the miracle had happened, and then do as much of that behavior as you can.
The following day, think about how you acted when you assumed that miracle had happened, and how many things you actually did that were part of the miracle, and then imagine your life after the miracle in even more detail.
Repeat the Miracle question exercise every day until the miracle has happened.
You will then be living the miracle.