A Year’s Worth Of Wisdom From HuffPost Parents Bloggers

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
A Year’s Worth Of Wisdom From HuffPost Parents Bloggers
From babyhood to graduation and beyond, we proudly present a selection of the many, many lessons we learned from HuffPost Parents bloggers in 2013.

THE EARLY DAYS

not for reuse

You are going to suck at this parenting gig and be awesome at it at the same time, all the time.
“You will be a different parent every morning to a child who will also be different, sometimes changing in just hours, or minutes, or before your eyes. There will be good days and bad days, good minutes and bad minutes, good choices and not-so-good ones. You will do some things, probably a lot of things, wrong. Be gentle with yourself, because you are wildly loved and incredibly needed.” — Karyn Thurston

Don’t read all the baby sleep books.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps. Clean when the baby cleans. Don’t worry. Stress causes your baby stress and a stressed baby won’t sleep.”– Ava Neyer

Post-baby bod is a four letter word.
“I’ve been doing the pregnant/kid thing since March 2010, and in that time I’ve noticed one thing: Our cultural conversation about pregnancy, birth and motherhood is way off from what the actual experience is. And it’s hurting women.” — Kate Spencer

You are always, ALWAYS doing something wrong, so stop worrying about it.
“Of course there are plenty of amazing, beautiful, transformative moments — but those generally take place when you are on the toilet by yourself. The rest of [parenting] is messy, both physically and emotionally. You will survive it, but it will not always be pretty. THIS IS NORMAL.” — Una LaMarche

No matter how you choose to feed your child, we support you.
“We all feed our children differently, but we are all feeding with love, and in ways that work for our individual circumstances and family dynamics.” – Kim Simon, Suzanne Barston and Jamie-Lynne Grumet

Forget the “terrible twos.” The threes are where it’s at.
“Every day, I suit up for battle. It’s not just the usual twice-a-day stuff like ‘I don’t wanna go.’ or ‘I don’t wanna eat that for breakfast.’ I’m talking about something every hour.” — Adrian Kulp

Let your 3-year-olds climb trees and 5-year-olds use knives.
“Children are drawn to the things we parents fear: high places, water, wandering far away, dangerous sharp tools. Our instinct is to keep them safe by childproofing their lives. But ‘the most important safety protection you can give a child… is to let them take… risks.'” — Christine Gross-Loh

Helicopter parents are everywhere — except where they’re needed most.
“There really is something very simple we can do to make our kids demonstrably safer. It isn’t particularly sexy or heroic; it just means making changes to the most humdrum of daily routines. Why is it a solution so many parents won’t hear?” — Jennifer Mendelsohn

Having a toddler is like being in prison.
“You’re always terrified someone is going to crawl into your bed in the middle of the night.” — Mike Julianelle

When all else fails, put a Band-Aid on it.
“Little children believe in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the power of Band-Aids. If nothing else, trying to peel the backing off the adhesive distracts kids from what ails them.” — Melissa Sher

THE SWEET SPOT

rachel macy stafford 3

Childhood shouldn’t be a race.
“Every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and … it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.” — Alicia Bayer

Sometimes, you just have to slow down.
“I will not say, ‘We don’t have time for this.’ Because that is basically saying, ‘We don’t have time to live.’
Pausing to delight in the simple joys of everyday life is the only way to truly live.
(Trust me, I learned from the world’s leading expert on joyful living.)”
Rachel Macy Stafford

Two words you should always remember are “at least.”
“These two small words give me great perspective and remind me to chill out. I use them readily in any annoying but not yell worthy kid situation. ‘He just dropped an entire jug of milk on the floor… at least it wasn’t glass and at least he was trying to help!’ I also use them readily when I want to give up: ‘Okay, this is hard but at least there are only three hours until bedtime, not 12.'” — The Orange Rhino

Give children choices.
“Kids have very little control over their lives. They are constantly being told where to go, what to do and what to eat. A little bit of control goes a long way toward feeling happy. Let your kids choose their outfits. Allow them to choose the dinner menu one night per week. Ask them what classes they want to take. Give them the opportunity to make some decisions and watch them smile in return.” — Katie Hurley

Pay attention.
“If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff.” — Beth Woolsey

Get comfortable with (some) back-talk.
“Our families are where we first learn how to say ‘No’ in a safe, supportive environment. If we don’t learn to do so there, we won’t learn to do so anywhere. If our children can’t say ‘No’ to us, they won’t say it to anyone.” — Kelly M. Flanagan

Stop solving everything.
“This one took me years to figure out. It’s one that is really hard for dads to get good at because we love fixing and solving things.” — Jim Higley

Share your sketchbook.
“Try not to be so rigid. Yes, some things (like my new sketchbook) are sacred, but if you let go of those chains, new and wonderful things can happen. Those things you hold so dear cannot change and grow and expand unless you loosen your grip on them a little.” — Mica Angela Hendricks

Don’t let yourself — or your kids — get bogged down in “first world problems.”
“I don’t know the answer to how to raise a kid who isn’t whiny and annoying and who doesn’t think that Pinterest stress is really a thing worth lamenting. But I do know that as a parent, it begins with me.” — Lyz Lenz

Face it: You won’t be as enthusiastic about school in May as you were in October.
“Mom out there sending Lunchables with your kid, making her wear shoes with holes because we’re.almost.there, practicing ‘auditory reading’ with your first grader, I got your back, sister. We were awesome back in October; don’t you forget that. We used to care, and that counts for something.” — Jen Hatmaker

Bring the holidays down a notch.
“Fellow parents: St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a ‘phone-it-in’ holiday. Yes, I’ve turned into a bit of a grinch, but SERIOUSLY WITH THE HOLIDAY OVERKILL. It used to be Christmas was the main event, but now it’s as if every holiday must be at a Level 10.” — Kristen Howerton

Tame the “Worry Monster.”
“Teaching kids about how fear and worry work in their bodies, and specific thinking and doing strategies to fight the Worry Monster, empowers them to take a stand against this bully. It’s time for us to take the Worry Monster down once and for all and turn our worriers into warriors.” — Daniel B. Peters, PhD

Parent like there is a repairman in the basement.
“After I realized how ridiculously careful I was being, I decided I should always parent my kids as if there was a drywall repairman in the basement. If they deserved all of my patience in the presence of a stranger, then they deserve all of my patience all of the time.” — Jessica Rassette

Revel in the sweet spot.
“If raising children is like baseball or swimming, getting it right must be a cocktail of luck, faith, and showing up every day to do the work. And of course, never quitting (even when it all seems like a hopeless goat rodeo).” — Julianna W. Miner

SCREEN SENSE

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The minute we give our kids a gadget, we become responsible for whatever happens next.
“Checking our kids’ news feeds to see what they are viewing, scrolling through their profiles to see what they’re posting, investigating the people who want to follow them, finding out who they’ve given their password to and monitoring all of their accounts (because most kids have more than one Instagram account, in case you didn’t know) doesn’t make us helicopter parents. It makes us smart parents.” — Hollee Becker

Show, don’t tell, your kids about the power of interacting IRL.
“Bottom line: Our children need a break. But what should we do? And how do we convince them of the dangers of something that has become so central to their existence?” — Katie Anderson

Beware distracted living.
“We live in an age where we are constantly fed messages that we should try to do as much as we can as fast as we can; to live at maximum efficiency. Except when we shouldn’t. How many homework assignments and extracurricular activities and educational apps and appointments and meetings and spin classes and returned email messages and social media sites and DVRd shows and any number of things with varying degrees of importance do we try to cram into any one day?” — Jennifer Meer

RAISING GIRLS

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Don’t tell your daughter her body looks amazing.
Instead, “[r]emind [her] that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.” — Sarah Koppelkam

Dads, your daughter needs you as a role model for how she should be treated by boys and men.
“No matter her sexual orientation, your daughter will live in a world with boys and men. Pay attention to the way you address her as well as to the way you talk about women.” — Joyce McFadden

Let your daughter express herself.
“Yes, kids might tease her… you know it happens. But the only thing worse than that is teaching her that she should make choices in life solely based on how other people (not even people she cares about) might perceive them.” — Jackie Morgan MacDougall

Our daughters can be excellent role models for us.
“She’s beautiful and smart and funny and graceful and witty and brilliant, and for four years, I nodded my head in agreement with every Joe off the street who told me she is exactly like me… when I thought exactly none of those things about myself.” — Brittany Gibbons

RAISING BOYS

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“Soft” is not an insult.
“They’ll tell you you aren’t a real man. That you’re something else. They won’t say it directly. They’ll say it in advertisements and characters in movies and ‘the American way’ and the hot men that always get the hot women.
But the bravest thing you can do, kid, is to keep that softness intact, to let that heart stay open for all the pain it will entail.” — Janelle Hanchett

Talk to your son about everything.
“Let him tell you about girls, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. He is not only your son, you are not only his father. Be his friend too.” — Sarah Driscoll

But specifically, talk about sex.
“When you have the ‘avoid getting raped’ conversation with your daughter, it is difficult, as you don’t want to imagine her as a victim. The idea of having the ‘don’t rape’ conversation with your son is more difficult as you don’t ever want to imagine him as a perpetrator. Do it anyway.” — Carina Kolodny

The “princess culture” doesn’t only affect girls.
“A funny thing happened when I met my son — I started to realize how destructive girl power can be to boys.” — Dresden Shumaker

DON’T FORGET YOU

Parenting can be brutal.

crappy pictures
Amber Dusick

Real life isn’t picture perfect, especially where children are concerned.
“Kids are messy and uncooperative and frustrating, as well as adorable and sweet and charming. Shouldn’t we document and share all of that? Years from now, the pictures you’ll appreciate most are the ones that truly reflect your life at any given moment in time.” — Jill Smokler

You. are. not. alone.
“The other moms in preschool, at the grocery store, at work, at school, at co-op classes, at the doctor’s office, at where ever you may be, well chances are that they might feel tired as well. Wondering about all this motherhood stuff. Yet, still giving of self for those kids that you love.” — Rachel M. Martin

Moms need to stay in the picture — for their children, and for themselves.
“We must not just stay in the pictures for our kids; we must do it for ourselves. Pictures of us say: we laughed, we loved, we had adventures, we felt pain. We lived. We were perfectly their mothers… and perfectly ourselves.” — Allison Tate

Special needs moms are not easily offended.
“Despite what our social media status updates say, we are vulnerable, and life messes with us daily. So really, ask what you want to ask and it’s OK to start with ‘I don’t really know how to say this, how to ask you….’ I am especially touched when someone cares enough to ask me how my child is feeling, or how to include my child in a social gathering, meal or other event, and am happy to collaborate on what will work for us.” — Suzanne Perryman

Don’t judge a parent by the tantrum.
“A kid going berserk at a grocery store doesn’t indicate the quality of his parents, anymore than a guy getting pneumonia after he spends six hours naked in the snow indicates the quality of his doctor.” — Matt Walsh

Don’t alienate your non-kid-having friends.
“It’s not a competition. If, on a scale of 1 to Passing Out Awkwardly in the Shower and Waking Up When the Hot Water Runs Out, your friend is at a 7, and three weeks into your first newborn you were at a 9, that DOESN’T MAKE YOUR FRIEND ANY LESS TIRED.” — John Kinnear

Thank the people who make a difference.
“To nurses everywhere: You should know that you have made a difference to so many people in this world, my family included, and I cannot thank you enough.” — Mike Spohr

Your love story is not boring.
“This is love with the lights on and eyes wide open. This is the brave love, the scared love, the sacred boring, the holy ordinary over sinks of dirty dishes and that one cupboard in the kitchen with the broken hinge.” — Lisa-Jo Baker

Needing a break isn’t the same thing as wanting a vacation.
“When I get a break at the end of my day, I don’t use it to have fun. … I do whatever I need to do, in that moment, to feel like I deserve to exist. I do what I need to do to feel sane and stable and capable of keeping up with the never-ending needs of my beautiful children.” — Amanda King

You’re not going to have the perfect solution for everything — and that’s fine.
“You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.

You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.

You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.”
Steve Wiens

It’s time to stop treating dads like idiots.
“I’ve seen dads criticized and made fun of for how they dress the baby. For how they feed the baby. For how they handle things differently than moms. Despite the fact that most first-time moms are just as clueless and confused as first-time dads, it’s chic to make fun of the dads, while moms are assumed to know absolutely everything.” — Aaron Gouveia

You are better than you think.
“No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt this one thing: You are not perfect. And that’s good. Because really, neither is your child. And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience.” — Lea Grover

Parenting is the most important thing to many of us and so it’s also the place we’re most vulnerable.
“We’re all a little afraid we’re doing it wrong. But even when we’re scared — we can still choose. We can choose to see each other as competition or as fellow warriors — fighting the same fight on the same team. One goal — many paths. We can learn from each other. We can even ENJOY each other.” — Glennon Melton

It’s more than enough to be “just” OK.
“That’s right. I don’t aspire to be the World’s Greatest Mom. I don’t even try. I am perfectly happy being the World’s Okayest Mom and no one’s childhood will be ruined by that.” — Jen M.L.

Nearly all of us struggle to feel beautiful in our own skin — but we shouldn’t.
“My dream is to be a part of a movement of being kind to ourselves and to others and witness a generation of young people that no longer waste years of precious life on self-loathing like I have because they think they are un-beautiful.” — Jade Beall

Don’t tell a working mom you “don’t know how she does it.”
“I don’t know how I do it. But I don’t think that’s because I work, I think it’s because parenting is hard whether you stay at home or go off to the office. I don’t know how any of us do it. It’s glorious and rewarding and full of love and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Balancing kids with anything else, whether a paying job or running a household or finding time to watch Honey Boo Boo, is nearly impossible.” — Devon Corneal

The kids are all right. It’s the people trying to convince us otherwise who are in desperate need of attention.
“This post is for my mom and all the moms, because now I know how many sacrifices it took to raise us, and now I understand the unshakable guilt in parenting, and now I realize that I had all the attention I could ever need, and that moms deserve time when they’re not tending to kids, and that no one has a right to say how moms spend that time — no one gets to decide what’s worthy and what’s wasted.” — Brenna Jennings

Calm the f*ck down.
Step 1. Calm the f*ck down.
Step 2. There is no second step.
David Vienna

THIS IS CHILDHOOD

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Remember, every age has its peculiar charms.
For evidence, see these lovely pieces by Aidan Donnelly Rowley, Kristen Levithan, Nina Badzin, Galit Breen, Allison Tate, Bethany Meyer, Tracy Morrison, Amanda Magee, Denise Ullem and Lindsey Mead.

Forget Resolutions — Time to Set Intentions

2014 intentions instead of resolutions

Every year we make these resolutions and never keep them. Last year I asked you what your life would be like if your resolutions were to actually stick.

Specifically I asked:

What would your financial situation be?
What would your love and family life look like?
What would your health be like?
What would your professional realm look like?

Now, a year older and hopefully a year wiser, I am questioning whether there is even a purpose to resolutions aside from creating a platform from which to feel guilty and shameful when once again, we don’t maintain them.

Forget the resolutions. Together we will move beyond specific personal resolutions and instead create, cultivate and manifest great intentions. See, intentions are easy because they don’t tie us to an outcome. Intentions simply ask that we go through our day, hour-by-hour, being as mindful, conscious, aware and awake as we are able to be in that moment.

Intentions simply ask that we go through our day, hour-by-hour, being as mindful, conscious, aware and awake as we are able to be in that moment.

Intentions invite us to do our personal work on becoming more of a human-being, and less human-doing or a human-thinking.

Try these intentions on for size:

In 2014 I am:

Present
Loving
Healthy
Fearless
Creative
Focussed
Carefree
Light
Passionate
Adventurous
Awake
Vibrant
Abundant
Transformed
Peaceful
Happy

I could go on and on. When we go about the activities of our day wearing an intention of love, vibrancy or health, it doesn’t matter what we are doing. Our actions will take on a different quality. We become freed from the idea that we need to achieve a weight loss goal, a financial goal, a five-year plan or live up to any status quo that isn’t really us.

Setting your intention from the start of your day and reminding yourself as often as you can to be vibrant, awake, and loving will transform you from being the lightbulb that lights up a room to the source of electricity that gives light to the bulb. Is the switch turning on? You getting this?

You have the ability to be the power source for making your wildest dreams come true.

2014 is the year we are entering and we can choose to enter it thinking of the challenges that engaged us in the past, and likely allow ourselves to marinade in that as we move forward. Or we can shimmy and shake off the cobwebs of 2013 and focus on the greatness that surrounds us. Let’s start dancing that dance with the very best of our highest intentions.

Do you know what will happen?

Every resolution you have ever made in your whole life will come to be effortlessly achieved. Health, happiness, and prosperity are your birthright. The law of attraction doesn’t work by enabling us to magnetize great things through our thoughts. It works by inviting us to see the greatness that currently is within us and surrounds us and so we are more ready to say YES to the opportunities, people, places, and experiences that bring us more of what we desire — because we are awake to see what’s up for grabs.

When our intentions are to bring our greatest selves into the world for positive contribution, to do our most awesome at whatever it is we are doing, the universe conspires in our favour to make that happen.

And it all starts very simply. Set your intention now and remember it everyday when you wake up. Consider it as you fall asleep. And keep it in your mind and your heart as often as you remember throughout the day. You will be amazed at what unfolds.

Today is the day!

Now you’re turn. Finish this in the comments below: In 2014 I am…

Making New Year’s Resolutions: Tap Into the Power of Intention
Have you ever set your New Year’s resolutions only to find a few months after that you lost interest, moved onto something more urgent or just ditched the idea altogether? It’s not enough to set goals — what’s missing is tapping into your intention. Here are five ways to help you achieve your resolutions, and enjoy the journey along the way.

The Myth of New Year’s Resolutions
A new year indicates a new start, and it’s easy to get excited about that. Out with the old patterns that did not move us forward and in with brand new goals that will change everything. What is often overlooked is that the reason resolutions often do not work is because you are starting out from a place of frustration or judgment about the situation you wish to change. “I want to lose 10 pounds… and I’m so fed up with how bad I feel in my clothes, and how I can’t resist eating late at night.” Every new year, while there’s often a honeymoon period where your motivation is high, when the inevitable challenges or setbacks appear (life happens), the critic’s mind is primed to chime in with negative messages. “I knew you couldn’t do it, there are too many distractions, it’s too hard…” What is really hard is fighting back the discouraging and constant messages of the inner critic. That’s where intentions come in.

Why Intention Matters
Your intention is far more than the goal or objective you have set. It also includes how you want to feel along the way. Let’s say your goal is to finish a marathon next year. Your intention could be to make the training fun and social. If your goal is to learn a new sport or instrument, your intention could be to feel alive and joyous just because you are making time to practice it. Ask yourself: What kind of experience do I want to create as I’m moving towards my goal? Can I be on the lookout for my own self-critical messages and set it up so that I appreciate just showing up, which is half the battle anyways? Here are five steps to move forward:

1. Accept where you are
When thinking of a resolution, self-acceptance goes a long way. Instead of coming from a place of judgment and pressure, come from a place of curiosity and meaning. “What would it be like if… This matters because…” Instead of making lofty and long-term goals that are not sustainable, set up some baby steps which allow you to feel good about being in the process of moving forward. Focus on something for a month or two. Some research says it takes 21 days to change a habit, some suggests 66 is the magic number. The point is, you get better at whatever you practice. Give yourself some love for even little victories.

2. How you want to feel inside yourself
Deliberately set an intention of how you want to feel while moving towards your resolution. Realize that challenges are part of the journey. What will you say to yourself when they come up? Do you want to focus on and appreciate your efforts, rather than only your results?

3. How you want to feel with others
How you interact with the people around you, also contributes to how you will feel while you are working towards your goal. If there are other people around, set your intention for the kind of interaction you would like to have with them. (calm, harmonious, fun, etc.) What would that look like?

4. A tip from top athletes
Top athletes are taught that doing their physical practice sessions is not enough. They have to visualize themselves doing their best and actually experience how they would feel in that state. They are encouraged to run a mental movie of what they would be like as they work towards and finally achieve their goal. Imagine yourself achieving your goal. In your mental movie, how do you feel? What would you say to yourself in your mind, what emotions would you experience in your body? Research from University of Chicago has shown that athletes that visualized their progress had very similar results as those who physically practiced. Visualization activates new neural pathways. This is powerful!

5. Relax in your intention
We’ve all heard that it’s the journey, not just the destination. While goals can be specific and set, intentions should be more fluid and relaxed. Create your intention, the way you want to feel while moving towards your goal, and let it go. You are setting an energetic foundation for progress. By building in your intention with your goal, you give yourself a huge advantage in reaching it. If you can detach yourself from the minutia of reaching that resolution, and surrender to the feeling of achieving it, you may be surprised at how easy it becomes.

Subliminal hypnosis: sports hypnosis, weight loss hypnosis, mental health hypnosis, and 40 different topics hypnosis at Amazon.com, full catalog    http://amzn.to/VGoe0Y photo 2163_zps044fb03b.jpg

A Blueprint for a Purposeful Year in 2014

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
A Blueprint for a Purposeful Year in 2014
You can make your life purposeful, meaningful and enjoyable, and can choose to be the driver of your life or be driven by others. The choice, as well as the excuse, is yours. I pray that we retain the ability to choose what we want in our lives.

2013-12-30-A.Purposeful.Life.Is.Yours.2014.Here.is.your.blueprint.png

Success is not necessarily driving a Mercedes, having a luxury home, yacht, or making a six-figure income. It is not about doing better than your friends, classmates, siblings or parents either.

Success is rather living the life you want to live with or without things.

Nothing in life is more important than knowing yourselves, who you are, what is that you want, and how do you get it. Remember, no one knows you better than you.

I am pleased to share my experience with you, hoping that you can relate with it.

Once upon a time, I was an ambitious guy and was driven to conquer the world, and simply did not have the patience with people who lacked ambition. A divorce and the death of my mother had humbled me down, as other things have humbled others. I started understanding the varying ambition levels in people and decided that there was no need to drive oneself nuts. I have learned to respect the otherness of others and have accepted the God-given uniqueness of each one of us. This has brought peace, tranquility and happiness to me.

Another year is about to go away. Some of my friends will read this note next year, but those who read it now, I urge you to consider spending an hour with yourselves creating a purposeful blueprint for 2014.

Where to Begin?

The most important thing is to commit yourselves to actually sit down and write out what you want in 2014. I am serious. If you make that simple commitment, you will find yourselves a life that you can enjoy. If you are afraid of making that commitment, then it is time to challenge yourselves. You got nothing to lose, but gain.

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Goethe wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy… Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred…. Whatever you can do or dream that you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Here As a Step-By -Step Outline.

Grab a writeable napkin, email yourselves, open the note pad on your cell phone or simply write on a 3×5 card — Hell with these, write it on your palm — the following seven things in any order you want.

1. Family

2. Friends

3. Financial

4. Professional

5. Spirituality

6. Volunteerism

7. Health

It should not have taken you more than five minutes to write this down. Now you can get back to your work, driving, eating or whatever you were doing.

When you get the next coffee break or have to go to the rest room, think of other items that are important to you. Register it in your mind and let go of it, and don’t worry about remembering it. I guarantee you, it will come back to you because you have made the commitment.

Number One Friends

On your way home, work, gym or grocery store, think about your item number one and don’t let anything crowd you, not even item number two. Let’s say your item number one is Friends. You then will spend the next few minutes reviewing about your friends, and what you need to do. Think about a friend who can listen to you, encourage you, and uplift you.

Do you have a friend that you really like, but resent his or her criticism of everything you say or do? It is time to be straight forward. Good friends will not go away if you gather up the courage to say, “Joni, I need your help. When I say something or do something, please hold on to your temptation to critique me, and kindly listen to me and encourage me with positive thoughts. I am having difficulty in coping with criticism at this time.”

If they don’t like it and want to break the relationship, let them. If you fear a loss of a relationship, then you really did not have the relationship to lose it. You don’t lose good friends, no matter what happens, unless you steal their spouse.

Consider reducing your close friendships to a few who can take and give crap without affecting the relationship. Good friends can tune in to your moods or listen and be gentle to you when you want them to be, or brutal when you need them to be, but always be truthful.

Please remember, no one knows what is going on in your mind and you don’t need to be afraid of seeing all the possibilities from useless to useful and everything in between.

Number One Family

If you were to select Family as your number one item — please understand that many people are hurt. Some of the relationships are good, bad and ugly, and unfortunately that is a fact of life. You still have a life to live and how you want to steer it forward is your choice. Let that be your choice and don’t let anyone to run over you, as it may have happened through this date.

Start with each relative. Give at least a minute to each one of them, but don’t hesitate to dwell on them as much as you want. Whether you believe in God or not, those are incomplete transactions of life that will bite incessantly until they are closed.

Closure comes with death. There is nothing you or they can do, and the ugly transactions do close upon death. Do we want to live in agony till then? We owe it to ourselves to have freedom from that bondage now. Forgiving is the most powerful tool available to humanity — there is nothing like it. It brings freedom.

If you are religiously inclined, and are Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Wicca, Pagan, Zoroastrian or from a native tradition, your tradition has a lot to offer on the subject. God’s love is not denied to anyone who seeks it. Every religion is beautiful — it is our understanding that is flawed.

Number Seven Health

Now that you have thought about each one of the seven major items, it’s time for you to take an hour out — the best hour of your life that you can spend on New Years Eve or New Years day.
In that hour, you get to finalize your plan for 2014. You sum up your thoughts in bullets or paragraphs — it is entirely up to you.

You Are Done Now.

It is a great feeling to know oneself — it is liberating. The mere exercise will put a blue print in your hands. Now you are ready for 2014. You have a good idea where you are heading and once you see the pathway, you just have to walk on it. If you get in the car, you need to know where and how to go. Your blue print can be simple or more detailed.

Those of us who can free ourselves from tension, pain, anxiety, apprehension, hostility, malice, pressure, tension, stress, strain and conflicts, are showered with blessings of peace and joy. It is good to be free.

My example:

As an example, I am pleased to share about my life. Of course, this is the generic information and not specifics, which will remain private. By the way, there is not much that is private about me. Here is the Ghouse formula for happier living — Happiness and secretiveness are inversely proportional (i.e., greater the happiness, lower the secretiveness and vice-versa).

2013-12-30-MikeGhousewithCardforHuffingtonPost.JPG

1. Family wise there is improvement and more time will be spent with family in 2014.

2. Relationships with friends have been steady. I have not added any new friends in 2013. However, 2014 will have at least one new friend. I will work on mutual growth of at least three friendships to grow into my venture of teaching pluralism.

3. Financially, I have not improved a bit over the last year and I plan to restore the financial status I had several years ago.

4. Professional goals:

– Publishing 313 articles per year was my goal and I accomplished it with 317.

– Over 300 newspapers have published my work worldwide this year.

– The release of my book, Standing Up for Others, is delayed to January.

– Failed to open a session at Capitol Hill with pluralism greetings and prayers.

– Will be on Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow, and Piers Morgan shows in 2014.

– Workshops on pluralism at Capitol Hill and Senate will be conducted.

– College campus tours to talk about building a cohesive America.

– The Pluralism Journal and Pluralism Institute is planned, patrons invited.

– You can count on learning about every major festival this year.

5. Spirituality has become boundary-less for me.

6. Volunteerism will continue at a slower pace than the past years.

7. My future is what I make with the blessings of the spirit around me, and from my friends and well wishers.

We will never go to any place if we don’t have a place to go and we will never have the joy of knowing ourselves, if we don’t make an effort.

Please share your goals with your close friends or public to hold you accountable, and to keep you on the tract.

Happy New Year.

Mike Ghouse is a motivational speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a “Cohesive America” and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at http://www.TheGhousediary.com. His book, “Standing up for others,” is due to be released in January.

Ten Spiritual Resolutions for 2014
New Year’s resolutions are hard to maintain. We are very familiar with the routine where we feel Gung-ho about a change we want to make and a few weeks into the New Year, the resolution is already slipping away. Even having the desire to make a change, in my opinion, is praiseworthy and deserves a pat on the back. What to speak of actually following through on it, even if it only lasts a few days or weeks. Some change is better than no change. A little endeavor is better than no endeavor. If the resolution isn’t made, then no action will follow. So, go ahead and make the resolution.

I am including some resolutions that will help us grow spiritually. Resolutions I plan on working on myself. Pick one, two, or all 10 and do the best you can with them. Good luck and a Happy New Year!

1. MEDITATE two to three times a week for 10 minutes by focusing on your breath.

2. Spend quality TIME with friends and family, in person or on the phone, at least once a week.

3. Consume COMPASSIONATELY, by eating only vegetarian food at least once a week.

4. Take time to write down and express GRATITUDE for the positive things happening in your life.

5. REFLECT on all the small and big ways in which people are helping you.

6. Feel JOY for another’s success even if it is the same success you were hoping for.

7. Mend old RELATIONSHIPS by forgiving those who hurt you and by seeking forgiveness from those you hurt.

8. COMMUNICATE mindfully — practice speaking in a way that is honest, helpful, yet doesn’t offend or hurt others.

9. ANGER can lead to regretful behavior; so don’t let anger get the best of you.

10. Don’t become proud of your gifts. Instead, just BE grateful.

Call to Action: QUESTION THE DEEPER MEANING OF YOUR LIFE

These Animals Will Make You Love Your Imperfections In 2014
It’s almost 2014, and you’re feeling seriously motivated to make some major life improvements.

You’ve imagined a year full of weight loss, wisdom, and sticking to a budget. Hours before the clock strikes midnight, imagining your new and improved self makes you feel kind of like this guy:

But alas, new year’s morning rolls around, and you’re lying in bed with a hangover. You spend your days ruing the resolutions that never got off the ground. But you know what? That’s OK.

These animals will teach you to love yourself.. NO MATTER WHAT.

You’ll aim to eat healthier, but sometimes the sight of a fruit will make you want to cry.

There ain’t nothin’ wrong with indulging every once in awhile — right, little squirrel?

You’ll try and get your exercise in. You’ll work those muscles.

But if you want to sit on the couch one day, gosh darnit, sit on the couch. Who did a few extra rolls ever hurt, anyway? Not this guy.

Maybe you want to be the type of person that makes new friends this year. That’s cool.

But feel free to just love up on your old friends all year long, too.

Or you’ve decided to be brave and venture outside your comfort zone.

But being brave isn’t always fun. So sometimes all you’ll want is your favorite blankie.

The point is, January 1st is a great time to set goals for yourself. Everybody can use some improvement. (Except for maybe this kitten. He’s pretty perfect.)

So if you only make one change this year, let it be this: Learn to love your imperfections.

Happy New Year!

Rules at Impact: How to Survive Early Grief
Accidents, catastrophes, sudden illnesses or medical events — statistically unlikely things happen all the time. People die with no warning. Even when you see death coming, the impact can still come as a surprise.

Grief erupts into your life, rearranging everything.

The first weeks and months after an out-of-order death are a world unto themselves. At that initial time of impact, few things bring comfort. Things that brought comfort in the past become flimsy under the weight of this kind of grief. Words of intended comfort just grate. Encouragement is not really helpful. Platitudes never help.

The truth is, survival in early grief has a very small circumference. It’s not an ordinary time, and ordinary rules do not apply.

In the first few months of my own grief, I had a list of survival rules. They hung on the wall next to a chair in my kitchen, where I spent hours and hours just trying to breathe. I’ve written those rules out for you here, in hopes you might find something to hold on to.

1. Safety first. If you are driving while crying too hard to see straight, pull over. If you are about to get in the car, help yourself calm down before you start. Distraught driving is dangerous.

Let’s be honest here, sometimes you do not care one bit about your own “safety.” I know. What kept my hands on the wheel in those cannot-care-about-myself moments was knowing I did not want to create another me. I kept driving, or stopped driving, because I did not want to risk harming someone else. I would not chance creating another widow. I did not want to mess up someone else’s life, or cause anyone else any pain, by creating an accident scene they had to clean up.

So — safety first. Do it for yourself, if you can. Do it for others if you must.

2. Drink. Drink water. Number two on my own early list was: Crying for three months has really been dehydrating. Please drink water.

Oh, it was so early then. I can close my eyes and feel it. The same is as true now as it was then: Drink. Drink water. Your body needs it.

3. Move. Number one on that survival list said “move: this is the most reliable thing.” And by “reliable,” I think I meant that moving was the thing most likely to induce even the smallest measure of calm. Do yoga, go for a run, or a hike, or a walk. Even to the top of the block and back is a good place to begin. Not because it solves anything, but because movement is good.

4. Get outside. Being outside in a non-human world is a relief; the trees will not ask “how are you really?” and the wind does not care if you cry. There is a lot to be said about being in places that don’t need anything from you.

Getting out into the natural world can be a bit tricky if your loss happened outside in nature; you may need to experiment. For example, I still find the presence of water a necessity, though rushing rivers are no longer a place I can be. Find a place, and let the earth hold you up for awhile.

5. Tend something. This is also on my early survival list. Clean out the garden. Water the plants. Brush the animals. Bake someone a cake. Send a care package. Why this soothed me, I don’t know. I’m sure it has something to do with thinking of others, or giving love, or getting out of myself for awhile. Whatever the reason, tending something seemed to help. It did then, and it still does now.

6. Read. My notes from back then say simply: Reading seems to put you in a better place.

If you are a reader by nature, you may find yourself starving for words. I read and discarded more books than I can remember now. The ones that fed me, I devoured. It’s true: The right words will put you in a better place.

7. Shower. Really. You will feel just the tiniest bit better. The same goes for sweeping the floor or any other seemingly tedious and irrelevant task of hygiene. Really. You will feel just the tiniest bit better to be clean.

8. Eat. This is a tricky one. Some people eat under stress; some people, like me, lose all interest in food. I dropped over 20 pounds within the first few months. I simply did not eat. My nutrients came largely from the cream in my tea and the occasional cupcake. Every few-to-several days, I might eat a few bites of something more.

I was fortunate — there was no lasting damage to my physical body. I was also under my doctor’s care at this time, and she let me know she would intervene if she felt I was in danger. Your body may respond differently. Some people develop serious, lasting physical challenges due to what we call “the grief diet.”

You might find that small doses of healthy, nutrient-dense food are more easily tolerated by your mind and body than full-on meals. Do what you can.

9. Do not turn your anger on yourself. Looking back on this list now, I am somewhat amazed at myself for this one. I wrote: do not turn your anger in on yourself. This is what you are doing when you think you aren’t doing your grief right, that you’re the one messing up your continued connection, that you should be better at this. Notice you’re angry. Call it that. Name it for what it is, don’t turn it on yourself. The answer to constriction and anger is to name it, express it, not beat on yourself.

The current me has nothing else to add to what I wrote back then.

10. Say no. Say yes. You cannot afford any big drains to your energy, and you can’t afford to miss too many ways to replenish it. This will mean saying no to people, places, and events that are too much for you. It will mean leaving a place you thought you could be, right in the middle of everything.

This also means saying the occasional yes to things that have brought, or could bring, a small amount of light or love into your hour, your day, your week. Try out that new meditation group you read about, explore the group for new widows. Sit in empty churches in their off hours, or go to satsang while it’s full. Meet your old friends for tea. Be willing to gift yourself some light.

Say no to what drains you further, say yes to what might offer even the smallest respite or support.

While these are the highlights from my list, the most supportive rules or guidelines for this time will come out of your own experience.

You know yourself best.

The core parts of you, the ways you care for yourself, the ways you find solace and connection — these have not completely changed, though they may feel irrelevant.

It’s true that unexpected death messes with your world in a way few things can. Adding to this list, or creating a whole new one of your own, might give you just the tiniest roadmap inside a wholly disorienting time.

Megan Devine is a licensed clinical counselor, writer, and grief advocate. She’s the author of Everything is Not Okay, an audio program on living with grief. You can find this and other resources at www.refugeingrief.com.

If you have questions about grief, or need more support, let’s talk. You can schedule a free 30 minute phone-call right here.

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Religiosity may enhance brain’s protection vs depression – study – InterAksyon

spirituality – Google News
Religiosity may enhance brain’s protection vs depression – study – InterAksyon

InterAksyon

Religiosity may enhance brain's protection vs depression – study
InterAksyon
NEW YORK – For people at high risk of depression because of a family history, spirituality may offer some protection for the brain, a new study hints. Parts of the brain's outer layer, the cortex, were thicker in high-risk study participants who said

soulful – Bing News
Bollywood musicians select their favourite songs of 2013
Mumbai: The year 2013 saw several chartbusters, but the melodious and soulful “Tum hi ho” from ‘Aashiqui 2’ seems to have multiple fans in the Indian music industry. Here’s a look at which Bollywood musician, singer and writer liked which songs in the year …

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The Only Resolution

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
The Only Resolution
New years are supposed to be about fresh starts. About new beginnings and start-overs and impossible possibility. But every year, instead of diving forward into the pool of chance, I find myself sinking helplessly into what once was. Memories flood my throat like quicksand, warm and fierce and treacherous. Because the past isn’t dangerous at first. Like quicksand, in small amounts, the past is captivating. It’s majestic. But it is also deceivingly potent. Like quicksand, the past snares its oblivious prey. Like quicksand, it fills in the empty space, pulling its quarry deeper and deeper until, it discovers much too late that it has lingered for much too long; it discovers only after it has asphyxiated.

This year, I don’t want memories. I don’t want wishes or goals or resolutions. I don’t want the fantasy, the promise of tomorrow. I don’t want plans or agenda or deadlines. I don’t want excuses. I don’t want distractions. I don’t want more time. I don’t want yesterday. I don’t want tomorrow.

We all have our demons. The things we wish we had accomplished, the ones that got away. The goals we claim we will achieve someday. We have numerous excuses for how they slipped through clenched fists, shields of alibis to protect ourselves from our shortcomings. To admit that the only enemies we have are ourselves.

A wise older woman once told me that humans are victims of time. Not just in death, but in desire. We miss what has passed while we neglect what is now. And then the present becomes the past, and then we long some more. We fall prey to the illusion that there is always tomorrow while missing today. And in that way, we only have yesterday. I’d like to be the exception, but I’m rather certain I am the rule.

And so this year, I only have one resolution.

To not stand in the quicksand. To not let wistful turn to longing and longing to regret and regret to disappointment. To turn longing to this moment. To be wistful for today. To not wish. To just do.

To live for today.

One Simple Trick to Dramatically Reduce Stress in 2014
Life rarely perfectly follows a plan.

But that doesn’t mean that you should just give up and not make a plan. It means that you should embrace a realistic expectation of what planning can and can not do for you:

Planning Can Not:
Guarantee everything will go perfectly.
Make all work fit within the desired estimates.
Eliminate all unexpected obstacles.
Planning Can:
Give you clarity on your priorities.
Reassure you that you’re not forgetting anything.
Allow you to get the most important things done on time.
The importance of realistic planning was re-emphasized for me in the completion of my book manuscript — my biggest professional project to date. I would like to share a bit with you about this simple yet very powerful secret to dramatically reduce stress:

On Time is Late
I’m a realistic optimist in the sense that I think very positively but I plan very responsibly. A very simple, yet important principle that I’ve incorporated into my planning is the idea that “on time is late.”

This principle resulted from the fact that I used to plan to do things “on time,” yet then sometimes ended up super stressed out or slightly missing deadlines whenever something unexpected happened.

To solve that problem and reduce my anxiety, I started setting personal deadlines for myself before the actual deadlines. With short, rather predictable projects, that could look like simply making a goal to get things done the day before they’re due. But with larger, more complex projects, like my book, that means pushing myself to try to get everything done far in advance of when it is due.

For instance, I finished writing my manuscript two and a half weeks before my deadline so that I would have a few weeks to go back through and do the style edits and proofreading. And I’m so glad that I did! This was my first book writing project, and I vastly underestimated how long it would take me to do all of the fine tuning and tweaks. But because I gave myself extra time and a personal deadline before my “real” one, I had the time to do what needed to be done and even to delegate some of the work.

This one mental shift in your approach to planning could dramatically decrease your stress levels. Here are some ideas of how to apply the concept of “on time is late” in other areas of your life:
Prepare for meetings the day before they happen, including reviewing notes, location and any items you need to bring.
Before you go to the grocery store, look out over the entire week to see if there are any gatherings like a BBQ or a birthday party that require some special food purchases.
When you have a special event that requires a gift, like a wedding, put time into your calendar to shop for the gift on the next possible free weekend or evening. You want to avoid that last-minute panic at Bed Bath & Beyond just minutes before the bride walks down the aisle.
If you have people working for you, delegate projects to them as soon as they come into your inbox instead of waiting until it’s too late to pass them off.
Plan on finishing any large projects like presentations or creative projects at least a couple of days before they are actually due so you have a buffer and time to “sit” on them.
If you need to leave the house at a certain time, get completely ready first and then work on optional activities.
When you have a big trip, go through a checklist like this one at least a week before you leave.
If it’s very important you arrive somewhere on time that’s very far away, try to arrive the night before. If it’s very important you arrive somewhere on time that’s near, give yourself at least a 30 minute buffer unless you’re in a big city in which you’ll want to plan even more time.

Aiming for early will play a dramatic role in helping you to achieve more success with less stress!

About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.

McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of the Year by Stiletto Woman.

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52 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2014

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
52 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2014
Sometimes I dread the new year for this uneasy feeling of making resolutions that may not stick.

The problem with resolutions is the follow through.

I would get lazy, lost or overwhelmed by something “more important.”

Each time I would gain some momentum in my life, my mind would create these negative stories, causing me stop following through on trying to lose weight, recharge my career or do something meaningful for my quest to get my book published.

My mind held me back and made me feel stuck.

Over the last few years, I made this important realization: Finding a way to overcome our mind’s negative overthinking is a powerful way to get unstuck. And it requires not some bold, unique strategy but a simple one.

To get unstuck and follow through on our goals, we need to break the pattern of overthinking, replacing it with something more useful — even if it’s for a brief moment.

… must… break… old… pattern

And so for 2014, I have developed a few tips that I have used daily to help interrupt the negative pattern of overthinking that keeps us from achieving our resolutions and goals and makes us feel stuck.

To get unstuck in life… to move forward on our 2014 goals, it helps to try these simple techniques whenever we encounter the disabling force of our overthinking mind.

I want to help you get unstuck in life because I truly believe that each of us are meant to be making a positive contribution to the place we work, the people who we love and the passion we pursue.

Here are 52 tips to get unstuck and move forward in 2014:

1. Accept things as they are not as you wish they were or ought to be

2. Don’t listen to negative people

3. Start the morning off on the right foot by creating your vision for the day, listening to positive words, writing and creating

4. Read one page from an inspiring book

5. Take action right this minute

6. Get busy with a specific project

7. Insert positive ideas into your head proactively twice a day

8. Turn off the news

9. Stay away from gossip

10. Exercise for just 15 minutes each day

11. Take a course, a seminar or a class that teaches you something new

12. Do something really hard that requires your total concentration

13. Set a goal and work towards it

14. Believe that the possibility of success lies at the intersection of work and persistence

15. Listen to someone tell a story about their life

16. Learn one new skill

17. Read a book that teaches you something

18. Change your body’s posture

19. Call a friend

20. Get off Facebook and social media for a half a day

21. Write down what you really want to achieve in your life… write from the heart not from your head

22. Attend a meetup or a conference where you’re likely to meet interesting people

23. Take a lesson on how to swim, play tennis or any other sport

24. Read a biography about someone interesting you admire

25. Find someone who’s doing what you want to do and say to yourself, “If he/she can do it, why CAN’T I?” and get busy doing it

26. Feed your body natural foods

27. Decrease your caffeine and increase water intake

28. Meditate or connect with your higher self each day

29. Smile at the smallest things

30. Watch an inspirational movie that lifts you up

31. Talk to someone who has been through a rough time and ask them what they learned

32. Take small actions towards your bigger goal every single day

33. Pinch yourself each time you start going down a negative spiral of thoughts

34. Have 4 or 5 rituals that you do every single day no matter what happens

35. Celebrate the small milestones because it fuels your momentum towards your bigger success

36. Ignore the critics because you know the real truth: that you are unstoppable

37. Start a conversation with a total stranger at the supermarket or coffee shop

38. Stop believing that others are more fortunate than you — because you don’t know the chaos that people have been through

39. Participate, contribute and share

40. Volunteer for a tough assignment, project or task

41. Travel to an unknown place and force yourself to take public transportation when you get there

42. Eat and drink at the right time of the day, when your body needs it

43. Set a compelling goal for yourself for 3 months and put it on a piece of paper and stick it all of your home where you see it morning, noon and night

44. Start without having a complete plan. Most of us figure it out as we go.

45. Take every rejection or problem as an offering from life for you to grow

46. Be strong in your beliefs but flexible with your plans

47. Say YES more often

48. Work really, really hard at something you believe in

49. Spend more time doing than planning

50. Recognize that your future is unwritten and being created right now

51. Put as much trust and faith in yourself as you have in someone you respect

52. Use your hands to fix something that needs your effort

Learning to get unstuck in life doesn’t have to be so complicated.

It can be as simple as making a call, writing something down, going somewhere and meeting people.

The key is to stop overthinking the future or the direction in your life and to start doing something. Anything that brings out our abilities, our purpose and our passion.

No one will have the perfect path, the perfect job, the perfect career or perfect life because perfection is an illusion. Once we learn to accept the ups and downs and simply move forward, we will get unstuck in life and start living.

I wish you great success, prosperity, success, happiness and lots of fun in 2014.

— Bob Miglani

What Will You Worship In 2014?
Each of us have choices to make about our lives and New Years Eve Day is as good of time as any to make them.

Today we can ask ourselves the ultimate question: To what will we devote our life in this very short span of time that we have in this world? What will captivate us, be the focus of our life’s energy, be what we care most about in the world. In short — what will we worship?

I use the term ‘worship’ because we worship that which we value, that which holds the highest place in the pantheon of our lives. New Years Eve allows us yet another opportunity to focus on our lives and make sure we are ‘worshiping’ the things we really want to be worshiping.

Much of what we worship is, as we all know, not worthy of our time. We succumb to the desire for luxury that is out of our reach, or the perfect body, that will never be ours, or the status of power and intelligence that is fleeting and fraudulent. We can be aware of these unworthy objects of devotion while still spending far too much time bowing down at their altars.

Yet we can replace these false idols. The decision of what is worthy of devotion, and actually devoting ourselves to it, is ours to make this New Year’s and every day of our lives.

So, what will I worship in 2014 — to what will I pay my attention and how generous will I be with my attention to those things that really matter?

Faith
I would start with my Christian faith. I love my faith, but too many times I am on auto-pilot — not truly devoting myself to exploring the deep mysteries of who God is, what Jesus’ teachings and life mean to me, and exploring the profound spiritual wonders of my faith and the caring for my spiritual well being. Sitting more in prayer and meditation will always be time well spent as it will open new avenues for experiencing this beautiful world.

Love
I want to truly acknowledge how much I relish every moment in my relationship to my partner, my family and friends. I’ve lived long enough to know how easy it is to take the people we love for granted and to wish we had done more to let them know how valuable they are to us. The empty spaces at our dinner table at the holidays remind me that I cannot count on ‘next year’ to be as loving as I can possibly be to those around me.

Service
Being of service was a big part of my younger life as I would volunteer in various agencies, but now I feel like I am so busy that I don’t have time and try to make up for it by giving money to causes. This separation from those in need is actually crippling my sense of compassion, and I need to be giving of both my time and treasure.

Nature
Today I want to fuel my sense of oneness with the natural world and a commitment to its wellbeing. Some of my deepest moments of awareness of being alive and a part of this great universe have happened when I get out of my head and take time to really be aware of the beauty of nature. This might seem hard in NYC but actually there is life teaming in every park, and even in trees along the sidewalk. Taking time to recognize my kinship with the ant walking up the stem of a blade of grass would go a long way in providing perspective for this life and my place in it.

Courage
This year I would like to be more courageous in speaking out on injustice. I often worry that people might not like me if I am forthright on issues of justice that are important to me. However, I don’t have much time on this earth and I would like to be remembered for being courageous in standing with those who are in need, than being ‘liked’ for who I am not.

Presence
I want to be more present to what is happening right here and now. Using my senses of smell, touch, sight, hearing, taste and that sense that is ineffable but that guides my soul. I want to present to the people, places and things that surround me and not off into the a future fantasy or in some regretted past. I want to find the beauty and gratitude in this, here, now.

May 2014, and even December 31, 2013 be the time when all of us devote ourselves more fully to that which is truly worthy of this amazing, beautiful, complex and wondrous life that each of us is living.

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6 Reasons Why Hawaii Will Be Just As Awesome In 2014

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
6 Reasons Why Hawaii Will Be Just As Awesome In 2014
As the year comes to an end, the Hawaiian islands are enjoying some standbys: spontaneous rainbows, days of powerful surf pulsed with days of calm, cradling waters, breathtaking sunsets that allude to the end of something beautiful and the start of something new.

Island residents and visitors are soaking up every last drop of 2013. Below, see six ways Hawaii’s kamaaina (people of the land) are savoring the last few days of this year and showing off, once again, why we are #LuckyWeLiveHawaii in 2014 and beyond.

1. We workout in the most beautiful places possible.

2. We open our arms to all of mother nature’s blessings.

3. We take time to relax and unwind in the water…

… poolside and oceanside …

… and next to waterfalls.

4. We let the current take us…

…even if it’s a scary ride.

5. We are committed to making every moment an adventure.

6. And we make sure to do all of the above with the ones we love.

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Thicker brain sections tied to spirituality, study finds – Fox News

spirituality – Google News
Thicker brain sections tied to spirituality, study finds – Fox News

TheBlaze.com

Thicker brain sections tied to spirituality, study finds
Fox News
For people at high risk of depression because of a family history, spirituality may offer some protection for the brain, a new study hints. Parts of the brain's outer layer, the cortex, were thicker in high-risk study participants who said religion or
Thicker brain sections tied to spirituality: studyReuters
Study Reveals What Religion and Spirituality Might Be Doing for the Human BrainTheBlaze.com

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Study ties thicker brain sections to spirituality – InterAksyon

Study ties thicker brain sections to spirituality
InterAksyon
NEW YORK — For people at high risk of depression because of a family history, spirituality may offer some protection for the brain, a new study hints. Parts of the brain's outer layer, the cortex, were thicker in high-risk study participants who said

spirituality – Bing News
Study Reveals What Religion and Spirituality Might Be Doing for the Human Brain
Religious people may have a whole new reason for joy in … the researchers explained that the cortex, the brain’s outer layer, may hold some keys to combating depression. “A thicker cortex associated with a high importance of religion …

One Word for 2014
For the last few years I have focused on one word as a theme for each year. This is a phenomenon that many other people do, so not an original idea with me. And to be honest, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. One word is …

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