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We Bend, Not to Break – The Art of Embracing Necessary Growth

Image result for personal growthLooking back on my own life, I can quickly refer to the times I totally avoided something (or someone). Whatever the reason, if it was because I wasn’t being true to myself or the situation, well, that is some of the strongest energy to have to work through.

It’s as if there is an unseen but undeniably felt pulling from the ethers when you are not being authentic. The Universe itself shakes you up, but in reality, it is just rippling back to you what you’ve sent out into the world. It took me a long time to understand this infinite, cosmic dance and how to learn to work with it rather than against it.

The first thing I had to do was to stop being someone I wasn’t. I had to let go of behaviors that were not filling my heart up. I used to be a “yes” person and literally did not know how to say “no” to people. This drew in those who were always in need in some shape or form, and while I was often thanked and praised for being “such a good friend”, I often felt drained and empty inside, like there was nothing left to give myself at the end of the day.

When I started to listen to that inner voice (Spirit) and that energetic pull calling me to take better care of myself, my entire life changed. When I stopped denying the fact that I deserved MY help and attention as much as anyone else, and in fact, I should be helping myself first, well, then magical things started to occur in my life; if only because I finally cleaned out the space for them in my life. I made them welcome.

You see, we cannot give from an empty vessel. We must do for ourselves the utmost caregiving in all areas: mental, physical, spiritual and emotional. When we do this, we put ourselves in the space where we can have the most confidence we can be of service to others. We can rest assured we are living a balanced, harmonious life because we know we’ve personally given each of these areas of our lives the attention each deserves; not expecting others to fix things for us, but seeing those people in our lives are mere puzzle pieces in it.

An example of denial would be if you had words or conflict with a friend, co-worker, family member, etc. and then act as nothing has happened. I’ve had experiences with this a couple of times in my life. Once it was a simple misunderstanding, another time the person was just the type to pretend if you don’t talk about things, they just go away. Accountability shows you truly care about others and own up to mistakes. It’s how you earn respect in my opinion because it is a reflection of integrity.

This ties in with the expectations we put on others as well and can be very disrespectful to others, especially if something hurtful, rude, or a genuine misunderstanding did occur. If you act to ignore it, and then furthermore act like you are setting the tone and expect (once again) for the other person to cater to your emotions, well I don’t need to elaborate how that will not help you grow personally or in your relationships.

Image result for personal growth

Growth comes from not avoiding issues or so much trying not to have them, but rather knowing how to handle them when they occur. If you can be open and honest with yourself and with others, you will most likely be an effective communicator and grow quickly from your experiences.

Most of us, however, lol tend to repeat mistakes a few times just to make sure. I think it’s the human way…I know I am one of the most stubborn people on this planet, so I always tend to really learn my lessons. Get them good and deeply ingrained in there so I can grow and expand.  And while I have seen a million teachers in a million different faces, I can always say the girl in the mirror, who was so mean to me for so long, was perhaps my greatest teacher of all; for now, she is my very best friend. <3

 

Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on FacebookTwitter and Google+

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.

 




How To Improve Physical Intimacy In A Relationship

 

 

Being in a relationship doesn’t always imply having lots of sex whenever you want. Sex is not as simple and exciting as it is shown in movies and written in books. It might be boring and frustrating. Moreover, the lack of sex or the lousy quality of it might be a reason for the number of fights between you and your partner.

Physical intimacy is one of the most important things in a loving relationship. It’s not only about pleasure, but it also indicates trust and passion.

If you stopped enjoying sex with your loved one, you should know that’s it’s not a reason to break up and go dating again (the Tinder world is scary). It only means that it’s time to start working harder on your relationship. The thing is that maintaining a great sexual connection requires constant efforts.

Is it even possible? Oh yes! You can have the best sex in your life with your long-term partner, no matter how many years you spent together (and how many children you raise together). Here is what you need to work on in order to improve physical intimacy in a relationship:

Start a conversation

It all starts with a conversation. Your partner might not even have a clue that you find your sex life boring and frustrating. That’s why you need to talk to your loved one about it. Make sure not to bring this kind of conversation right after sexual intercourse since it might hurt your partner’s feelings deeply.

Find a moment when you are both relaxed sitting on the couch. Avoid blaming your partner for boredom in your bedroom. On the contrary, you should suggest a solution to the existing problem. For instance:

  • I would like to make love to you more often. Let’s travel somewhere over the weekend to have more time for ourselves!
  • I really want to try one thing in bed, and you are the only person who will understand.
  • I need more affection from your side. Don’t mind if we spend some time hugging today?

As you can see, in all these cases, you start the conversation with ‘I’. That’s how you can avoid blaming your partner while bringing up the topic.

Bring some novelty

You need to create a WOW effect so that your partner will be as excited as you are. To do that, do something truly wild and sexy – piper sex doll , sex swing, or edible underwear! Let your partner know that you are eager to experiment and make their deepest sexual fantasies come true.

Also, tell your partner that you are ready to do all these crazy things only because you are in love with them. It will make your loved one feel truly special.

Other than that, consider taking your loved one for a trip at least for a couple of days. Changing locations can also bring some novelty and help to create that WOW effect that was missing in your long-term relationship.

Act like you are on honeymoon

No need to spend your savings to go to Paris just to feel like you are on honeymoon. Just start acting differently. For example, you can start kissing and hugging your partner more often, sending romantic texts in the middle of the day, or buying little presents. It doesn’t cost much, but it can put the sexual spark back in your relationship.

At first, it will be your responsibility to set the mood. After a couple of romantic sessions, your partner will also want to please you the way you want it.

See a therapist

In case you can’t solve your problems with an honest conversation, consider seeing a therapist together. The bad quality of sex life can also be an indicator of serious relationship problems. If you are not able to talk about that and answer a simple question ‘what holds us back’, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

The best way to do that is to go together. However, if you can’t speak with a therapist in front of your partner, you can always make an individual appointment.

Always recognize and respect the boundaries of another person. You should never force physical intimacy or use manipulations in the relationship. The best way to improve your situation is to admit that there is a problem and ask your partner to help you work on it.

The bottom line

To keep your sex life exciting in the relationship, you should be honest and creative. Remember that it is a job for two people. You will not be able to make a difference if your partner is not there for you.

There are so many things that you can do in order to rekindle this relationship. So, keep working because the reward is priceless.




It Turns Out “Happy Wife, Happy Life” is True

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

You’ve heard the saying “happy wife, happy life,” but did you know it’s been scientifically proven to ring true? Researchers at Michigan State University followed 4,500 heterosexual couples for up to eight years to collect data. They discovered a clear association between being married to an optimistic partner and having a reduced risk of developing dementia, cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease into old age.

The researchers suggested that living with an optimistic partner makes you more likely to live a healthier lifestyle, which may lend reason to the connection. Co-author of the study, William Chopik, explained, “We spend a lot of time with our partners. They might encourage us to exercise, eat healthier or remind us to take our medicine. When your partner is optimistic and healthy, it can translate to similar outcomes in your own life. You actually do experience a rosier future by living longer and staving off cognitive illnesses.”

He continued, “There’s a sense where optimists lead by example, and their partners follow their lead. While there’s some research on people being jealous of their partner’s good qualities or on having bad reactions to someone trying to control you, it is balanced with other research that shows being optimistic is associated with perceiving your relationship in a positive light.”

Optimism is associated with greater physical and mental health, and one reason why could be linked to its role in promoting better sleep. In a study of 3,548 people, those who were the most optimistic enjoyed higher quality sleep, hinting at the importance of a positive outlook in getting a good night’s rest. The ability to be optimistic has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Optimism allows for better immune responsiveness, lower levels of inflammatory markers, and higher levels of heart rate variability, among other benefits.

If you struggle with optimism, there are ways you can learn to be more optimistic. For more info, check out this article.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




5 Essential Marriage Lessons From a Divorce Lawyer Who’s Seen it All

You might think that people get divorced because someone screwed up, but it’s not something that happened suddenly. It is rare that people part ways because of an event unless we are talking about infidelity. Usually, though, it is a long process. Is it possible to stop it before it gets too late? Sure, but you’ll have to put a lot of effort into making your marriage great again. In a second you’ll learn what the things that you should remember about to ensure that your marriage stays healthy are. Let’s go! 

Contempt is the worst!

Many people might think that you should avoid anger at any cost if you want to ensure that your marriage lasts as long as possible. It isn’t true – sometimes anger can motivate people to change something that has a detrimental effect on marriage.

According to the experts at Survive Divorce, the contempt, though, is a clear sign that the marriage is near its end. The person that feels contempt toward their partner no longer feels the desire to repair anything. Making the life of the other person a living hell is the only goal that is worth fulfilling, and it is next to impossible to stop this process. That’s why it is crucial to attempt to understand the motivations behind other people’s actions. 

Communicate your needs!

Although scientists shock us with new inventions every day, it is still impossible to read minds. It means that if you feel unhappy as a result of your partner acting in a particular way, you need to communicate it verbally – eye rolls aren’t enough. If you keep your dissatisfaction inside yourself without telling anyone about it, or worse – telling your friends only, you might discover that there’s a hatred slowly building up in your mind.

 Remember that people have different personalities, and we prioritize different things in our lives, our preferred styles of communication also differ. Although you might think that your sadness is obvious to spot, your partner could disagree with that. That’s why you should just talk about your feelings and needs to your partner. If he dismisses it as gibberish – well, then we have a real problem.

Life is difficult for everyone!

Although you might think that your life is terribly unfair, the same applies to everyone. Sure, the magnitude of our problems differs, but it doesn’t matter how much of an effect they could have on your life – you are the one that has to deal with them. And it can be scary. Sometimes, though, your own problems could make you inattentive to the issues that your spouse has to face. Sure, you might feel that your problems are the worst, but you are in this together, and you cannot, and should not focus solely on yourself. 

You are not your thoughts!

You might notice that for no apparent reason, you have started feeling uncomfortable when near your partner. Before you jump to any conclusions, you should try to think about what could be the reason. You don’t have access to all the inner working of your unconsciousness, but you can try to analyze, step by step, what are the connections your mind is making without informing you about the reasons.

 Maybe your state of mind is caused because you feel defensive about something? Perhaps it is caused by your fear, of feeling inadequate, or not worthy of the attention, and your unconscious mind decides that your relationship is meaningless. If the situation is serious, your efforts to fix your attitude might be fruitless, and you might need to contact a specialist.

Don’t avoid conflict!

Many people think that if only they avoid any conflicts, their marriage will be perfect. That’s dead wrong. Although you might initially think that you two are perfect for each other, you’ll soon discover that not everything is perfect. And that’s okay. Sometimes it will lead to some fights, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Only robots and people who lack personality won’t ever question your actions. The thing is that you should be focused on tackling specific issues, not criticizing your partner just for the sake of it.

 Diligence is needed!

Living with others in harmony is a task that at times could seem impossible. Humans are complex, it is true, but it doesn’t mean that your actions don’t matter. If you follow those rules, your relationship will undoubtedly be in a much healthier state. Hopefully, it will be enough to make your marriage last. We can see a trend of people abandoning the things that don’t work perfectly. Trust me, if you care about your partner, and there’s enough of a goodwill on both sides, you’ll overcome the obstacles. That’s what humans are good at.




12 Ways Your Life Changes After Marriage

Introduction

Ask most newlyweds and they’ll tell you life after marriage can change you in unexpected ways. The  love quotes for weddings you hear in movies will leave you to believe that marriage is all holding hands and happily ever after, but some of these changes can be negative.

But, being aware of how marriage changes you enables you to understand what to expect and control your circumstances.

Here are the 12 most common ways life changes when you get married.

Money:

Money is one of the most obvious and tangible ways a relationship changes after marriage. You’re sharing a life, which means sharing bank accounts. You’re going to be accountable to each other about spending which means impulse spending becomes far less frequent and replaced with more planning and budgeting.

Selfishness:

An immediate change to life after marriage is your state of being. The second you say “I Do” you stop becoming YOU and you become a WE. Each and every decision you make will impact your other half and it’s only natural that you’ll make decisions differently.

Work:

As mentioned, you’ll be making decisions differently after “I Do”, and a lot of this is apparent at work. You’ll often hear about men getting promotions after getting married or having a child. This is a direct result of that motivational shift that marriage triggers.

Habits: 

This part of life after marriage can have a lot of giving and take. Once you’re married you’ll be a lot more concerned about the wellbeing of yourself and your spouse. You’ll be a little more aware of the small and large habits you’ve accumulated throughout your life and make a conscious effort to improve your mental and physical health.

Weekends:

Weekends are all about letting loose and having fun before marriage. After marriage, you’re going to prioritize relaxation and progress. With the hustle of the workweek, couples want to disconnect with the stressors that everyday life presents and spend some quality, quiet time together.

Holidays:

Before marriage holidays mean time off from work. What changes after marriage are how hectic holidays become. You now have to budget your time across two entire families. It makes it easier if everyone can gather around a single table, but more often than not newlyweds travel back and forth between 2 different destinations, doubling the time spent in the car, the emotional effort spent, and associated expenses.

Downtime:

Many couples find themselves planning for alone time instead of looking forward to activities and other things to do after getting married. Once you’re married you’re rarely alone. It may feel difficult to tell your partner that you don’t want to spend every waking second with each other, but time with yourself provides vital self-reflection that’s needed for mental health.

Honesty:

Before you’re married it’s only natural to consistently put your best foot forward. You love the person you’re with and you want to give them the best that you have to offer. After marriage, there’s a mutual understanding that you each love every aspect of each other.

Health:

Married life is busy, which means far less time to exercise. Weight gain is normal. But sharing life demands that you plan larger meals. Planning in advance usually results in more careful consideration of what ingredients are used and less drive-through.

Security:

Before you’re married, you have to wonder what the future holds. Once you’re married, you’ve accomplished something. You feel like ‘you made it’, and it feels very comfortable. You know what life is going to be like tomorrow, next week, and next year.

Sleep:

There’s a weird phenomenon that occurs with married couples. Once you start sleeping next to each other you have to choose a side, and that’s your side for life! Aside from not being able to roll around at your own discretion anymore and potentially having to ensure some snoring, the sleeping situation is pretty good. You develop the habit of going to be around the same time every night.

Sex:

As mentioned earlier you’re never alone, which makes the opportunity to masturbate rarely. When the chance does arrive, you may feel guilty about not saving it for your spouse. However, sex with your spouse more than makes up for that little downside. You’ll be more intimate and discover yourself wanting to try more adventurous things in bed.

Conclusion:

You’ll notice that there are pros and cons to each of the ways life changes after marriage. The trick is to understand what to expect, quickly find a good balance and understand that the negative changes are natural so that you don’t wind up resenting your spouse because of it. Do this and you can take the most advantage of all of the positive changes marriage has to offer.




Signs You’re in a Loveless Marriage (And How to Cope with It)

By Jacqui Olliver | Lifehack

When you are unhappy with your marriage, chances are you may be in a loveless marriage without being aware of it.

Loveless marriages are more common than you think, and there are a variety of solutions to ease the dilemma you may find yourself in. In this article, I will share insights on 3 critical signs of an unhappy marriage, what happens in a marriage without intimacy and whether you should stay in a marriage without love.

Sign #1 You Question Whether Your Partner Still Loves You

Love is a very strong emotion. However, if you find yourself asking whether your partner loves you, it indicates there is a problem in your marriage.

Emotional divides that make you question a partner’s love, can be caused by a lack of communication, conflicting values, sexual incompatibility or too much time focusing on the less than pleasing attributes of your partner.

Some women ask me whether their husbands love them during their consulting sessions. These women had already spent many hours discussing it with their female friends: “He does this and that, but he never tells me he loves me. Does he still love me?”

Males tend to communicate their love more through their actions rather than their words. If his partner then questions his love, it can make him feel unappreciated when he thinks he is showing his love via his actions.

If someone loves you in a relationship, you usually know it, as it is obvious by their actions and overall attitude toward you. However, when you question or doubt their love, it can put a wall of resistance between you which puts you both on the defensive. This can become a vicious cycle, where you constantly trigger each other and stop noticing the qualities you originally fell in love with.

How to Cope with It?

Build an emotional connection and enhance feelings of attraction with your partner.

Yes, I know this is easier said than done. But it can definitely be achieved with the correct knowledge and technique.

Remember: you are 100% responsible for your life and the outcomes within it. You chose to date your partner; you decide how you interact with them; you made the decision to marry your spouse. These were your decisions.

Your choices are your responsibility, but it doesn’t mean you should blame yourself or your partner when things aren’t going as they should. You just need to make a few adjustments to how you are showing up within your relationship.

Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness. Only you are responsible for your happiness.

If you indulge in thoughts about being in a loveless marriage, you will continually trigger yourself emotionally and therefore feel unmotivated toward the very actions that would save your marriage.

Marriage is just one way to make your life happier, and that’s only when it is maintained with the right intentions and actions. How you maintain your marriage is up to you. It’s your responsibility to build a strong emotional connection with your partner and continue your efforts to enhance attraction over the lifetime of your relationship.

Start by Creating an Inviting Environment

First and foremost, create a more inviting environment for you and your partner. Pay attention to the way you think, act and dress.

Know that your thoughts will always directly influence how you feel. Start by changing your own thoughts, words, and actions from being negatively focused to being focused toward your ideal outcome and, you will create a flow-on effect which directly influences your partner’s behavior.

I understand that your spouse plays a key role in your marriage, but you can only influence your spouse’s actions and feelings; you cannot control everything. In fact, being controlling is the fastest way to experiencing an unhappy and loveless marriage.

Stop Blaming Your Partner – and Inspire Them Instead

Stop blaming your partner for your lack of connection and take action steps each day to reignite attraction. As well as paying attention to how you look and feel, this includes lifting your partner up with appreciation and gratitude for their contribution.

It’s important to inspire your spouse to invest in your marriage because someone who invests in something expects it to work. For instance, you can ask for his/her help once in a while, so your partner feels that they are wanted and needed by you. Then, appreciate their effort.

When your partner is contributing to your life, and you are showing your appreciation, the emotional connection between you naturally becomes stronger.

Create Shared Experiences and Show Your Love Passionately

Secondly, create more shared experiences with your partner. This can be a date night once a week. It can also be having a holiday for two weeks once a year. Or several romantic weekends away. Don’t let your marriage become boring and predictable after the initial excitement of your wedding.

Lastly, show your love passionately. In life, you don’t get what you want; you get what you give. Hence, you should show your love first. Tell your husband/wife how much you love him/her and then see how things change. This is the Law of Reciprocity.[1]

Sign #2 You Are in a Marriage Without Intimacy

Marriages without intimacy are more common than you would assume. This can be due to sexual dysfunction issues, one’s sexual technique doesn’t fulfill another, or the couple simply has no time, energy or mood for sexy time. For many reasons, there are many couples who stop having a sexy time in the bedroom a few years after getting married. It’s one of those secrets that people just don’t talk about and keep hidden behind their bedroom door.

Know that if you are in a marriage without intimacy, you are not alone. There are many others in a similar situation.

Now you may wonder, “What happens in a marriage without intimacy?”

The honest answer is that a marriage without intimacy is a sure sign of relationship breakdown. Your marriage is just not healthy without intimate relations. Along with emotional connection, sexual intimacy is the glue which holds your relationship together. While one partner may imagine they can live without sex, it’s unfair and unrealistic to expect their partner to be okay with it.

In most healthy marriages, sex results from the combination of closeness, intimacy, and emotional connection. Even as you age together, sex and intimacy remain a vital and loving component of a healthy and happy relationship.

While some marriages can sustain a lack of intimacy, usually one partner is not happy with this arrangement.

When encountering sexual function or other intimacy issues, it’s imperative to maintain a strong emotional connection and/or build mutual benefits in your marriage. Sadly, many couples who are in marriages without intimacy fail to build strong emotional connection or mutual benefits, so they end up in loveless marriages.

How to Cope with It?

Fix the problems in the bedroom and work on other areas outside the bedroom.

When you are in a sexless marriage, you need to fix the issues in the bedroom first. The best solution is to look for professional help in this regard.

Remember that in a marriage, you need to work together as a team. If one partner is suffering from a sexual function issue, then support them by providing emotional support and encouragement and get professional help. No one likes to feel like they are failing as a human, and most sexual issues can be corrected with the right knowledge and technique.

Your marriage is very important to you, so you may want to invest in professional consultation and improve the situation as soon as possible.

An expert who specializes in this area can identify the root cause of a sexless marriage and give you appropriate advice; thus, you will benefit from this new knowledge and reignite the passion in your marriage. Of course, you will need to reinforce the emotional connection with your partner as well.

Build Mutual Benefits

Meanwhile, you can look at various ways to build mutual benefits with your spouse. For a male partner, mutual benefits need to be intimately focused. This is because a man without sexual intimacy is like a fish without water! Giving each other a sensual and loving massage at least once a week, with the simple focus on giving enjoyment to each other without any other expectation, will help him know you are still attracted to him.

Outside of the bedroom, there are other ways to build mutual benefits. For instance, if you already have children with your partner, you and your partner can spend more family time with children. If you and your partner have built a business together, you can spend more time working together developing your business.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean mutual benefits can or should replace sexual intimacy in marriage but working on other areas of your marriage will certainly help to enhance connection.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE…




Integrity Cannot Exist Without Insight…Here’s Why!

Image result for insight integrity

When I hear the word, “insight” I immediately think of the esoteric principle of “go within or go without…the only way out is through.” For it is when we are courageously turning our focus inward, on ourselves, our thoughts, our feelings, our experiences, and our choices do we “get out” of a rut, but also out of our own way.

When we can objectively observe ourselves, can we play a proactive role in obtaining our goals, and reaching milestones we’ve planned for ourselves to accomplish. We stop just thinking about and we start doing it. No longer can we sit idly eating popcorn as a viewer in the theater…for once you realize you ARE the movie, you also can no longer deny the fact that you have not only a choice to but rather an obligation to contribute to the creation of the experiences, dramas, lessons, plot twists and mysteries playing out in the movie.

Having been an avid fan and student of meditation for many years, I’m familiar with the concepts of self-reflection, objective observing, and connecting to what I call the “divine silence” within us all. You know, the parts on the movie before something REALLY good or scary happens? 😉

There’s a reason we innately like to escape our “real” fears and sit with the ones we are comfortable accepting and keep an almost child-like wonder around how fun being vulnerable can actually be. Especially when the floor is lava. LOL Am I the only one who has played that game as a kid? My point is, it is our imaginations that allow us the courage to face fears and ultimately give us the confidence to dream up entirely new worlds!

Misuse of our imagination would be a stubborn avoidance of any chance to not only look at personal behavior, but to actively change any behavior that is damaging or toxic to your life, and preventing you from evolving as a person spiritually. We cannot change what we do not acknowledge.

And I-I-I-I-I-I Wonder…

It still makes me wonder why indoctrination insists on disconnecting children from their imaginations. Something that was once “cute” is now “embarrassing” or “shameful”. Regardless of my own indoctrination, I am ever grateful for never having that vital tie to my imagination severed.

Regardless of what we’ve been taught, our imagination is what empowers us to not only play to win but play to serve. It is here we assume the role of “Grand Architect”. We can create the vastest playing fields, and create the rules of the game. And when we step into that role not with ego, but with heart, we literally begin to manifest the life we have always wanted.

Image result for self reflection

So…what do you want? It’s pretty amazing to me how many of us have no idea. We settle into our rituals and routines and just react to our daily experiences. To truly know what you want requires truly know who you are, and that is merely impossible with insight and imagination.

Insight allows us to reflect on our choices. How we chose to speak to someone, how we chose to spend the weekend, how we chose to react to someone being rude to us…it’s not a matter of micro-managing yourself, but rather simply being willing to sit down with yourself and be honest.

Intentional insight reconnects us with ourselves, our heart, our desires, our talents and gifts, our inspirations, our aspirations and ultimately gives us back the reigns of our own life. Over time, insight into oneself simply balances you out. Once you are able to humbly face your mistakes, and consciously accept it and look forward to how it may affect your life and those around you, you always find you have another choice to make. Stay the same…or evolve.

I’m Human…What Can I Say?

We are all human, but we are not all coming from a place of integrity. Those who act to serve only to be served are completely missing the point. The true reward is hiding in the act itself! Giving is never one-sided, however most of the time we refuse to allow ourselves to feel the joy it contains. We instead think our reward will come later on, like we just told the Universe, “You saw what I did, now you owe me one.” Sorry, but it doesn’t and never will work that way. Image result for insight integrity

Everything in our 3D reality is dualistic, but that doesn’t mean we must stand divided. We simply need to understand that it’s all part of something bigger, and something grander comes from their dualistic unity than ever would on their own. Allow it to be a reunion of integral proportions, and allow yourself to calmly reconcile any misconceptions between your own insight and your own integrity. This is the ultimate understanding that neither can exist without the other which slips them both into silent confidence each role plays…

As the saying goes, (Well, I say it LOL)…
“Insecurities Will Scream…Confidence Always Invokes a Whisper”.

 

Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

Follow Tamara on FacebookTwitter and Google+

This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Why Strong Chemistry Doesn’t Always Lead to a Strong Relationship

By Carrie L. Burns | Tiny Buddha

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~C.G. Jung 

Everyone says it. They say chemistry is a must. I know I say it. But why do we say this?  What exactly is chemistry, and is it really the best indicator of a good partner?

The man I had the most chemistry with (we’ll call him Tim) treated me like an option and was never particularly concerned with my needs, desires, or feelings.

I remember the day I met him, and he opened the door and flashed his ear-to-ear grin. I literally said to myself, “FML, this guy is going to break my heart.” Despite knowing he would, and despite his treatment, I stayed with him in a long-distance, off-and-on relationship for two and a half years. Oh, and yes, he did break my heart.

Not only have I done this once, but I’ve done it SIX times!

Why did I place my feelings for him and my desire to be with him over my own sanity, my security, and my needs? Why do we do it over and over again? Why do we value chemistry over caring?

What is Chemistry?

According to anthropologist Helen Fischer, chemistry is really a mixture of hormones (testosterone and estrogen) and neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin). In her book Why We Love, she lays out a framework indicating there are four distinct personality types, each made up of varying degrees of hormones and neurotransmitters.

The Four Personality Types

  • The Explorer, defined by high dopamine activity, is adventurous, novelty-seeking, creative
  • The Builder, with high serotonin activity, is cautious, conventional, managerial
  • The Director, pumped up with testosterone, is aggressive, single-minded, analytical
  • The Negotiator, more estrogen-influenced, is empathetic, idealistic, a big-picture thinker

But, underlying this biological chemistry is a psychological chemistry, which is when we are seeking out someone to heal the damage done in our childhood. This chemistry is where our problems come in.

Most of the time we don’t know that we are drawing this parental figure toward us in some quest to get them to do things right by us this time, thereby fixing our wounded hearts. Sometimes we know it, but we keep moving forward anyway.

With Tim I knew immediately. I felt his avoidance and his emotional unavailability. My intuition told me to run the minute I met him. Unfortunately, my hormones, my soul, and my heart told me otherwise, and I continued a pattern of push and pull, love and disdain for over two years.

With all of my other boyfriends and even my husband, it wasn’t so obvious. Some it showed up later and some were worse than others. But I felt an immediate connection with every single one of them and went from being single to being in a relationship within a matter of days.

So, Is It All Or Nothing?

Not once did I take the time to determine how they treated me. Not once did I take the time to observe their behaviors and their willingness to meet my needs. I let chemistry and my feelings toward them override common sense.

This isn’t to say they are to blame or that they were bad guys, because they weren’t. My childhood issues were running the show and have been since I can remember.

Every one of them had the same characteristics. They were all kind, honest, good guys. But none of them seemed to care about my needs as much as their own. Life was all about their wants, needs, and desires, and I was supposed to just accept it. Unfortunately, I did accept it. I took it for as long as I could until I eventually left.

However, this is not a healthy way to interact in a relationship. I was at fault for settling and not speaking my mind and discussing my needs. I suppose I felt that I was lucky to get their crumbs, and if they said they loved me that should have been enough. It wasn’t.

There was always an underlying chemistry with all of them that kept me there and kept me trying. One night while I was separated from my husband, he spent the night after we went out to dinner. I remember lying there next to him. My body craved being physically next to him, but I kept looking over at him and thought to myself, “I really don’t like you very much.”

Chemistry can override our common sense, and it can keep us with someone who isn’t right for us or doesn’t treat us well. Chemistry can be the most amazing thing on the planet. The highs you get are amazing. Unfortunately, the lows that can also come with it are very low. So, what do you do?

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE……




My Valentine’s Invitation: Write a Sweet Love Letter to Yourself (Here’s Mine)

Valentine’s Day is always a contemplative day for me.

It was the day that my marriage came to an end and my new life began.

So, on this day, reflections on love, life and my relationship to it always brings about some quiet contemplation in me.

I asked myself whether I’m lamenting about not having a partner to share my life with and I keep coming up with ‘no’.

I would enjoy being with someone who is of like values but, I’m not lonely. Almost never do I feel lonely, although certainly there are times I wish to share the joys and terrain of my beautiful life with someone.

I looked at my hand with the ring that I got shortly after my marriage ended. It is a gorgeous, big labradorite stone that we had bought me for our ten year anniversary. But, with resizing issues, I received it right after my marriage ended.

It has always represented me being married to me.

Labradorite is a power stone used to banish fears, break through illusions, and develop intuition. It helps actualize goals and dreams through the trust of oneself and the Universe. As I wore it, I noticed that I had begun to take in the healing elements of the stone. I was becoming more intuitive, more trusting, more deliberate in creating dreams that excited me.

I looked down at my gorgeous ring and heard that beautiful rock tell me to write myself a love letter.  So, I wrote.

I noticed my hesitation about sharing my love letter with you…

Listen-compressedThe nature of a love letter is that it is unabashed in it’s adoration, it is syrupy sweet and void of any ‘objective’ look.  It is to make the receiver feel like anything that is remotely awesome about themselves would be willingly shouted from the rooftops. Valentine’s is not a day to hold back. It is a day we practice less holding and more exuberant  ‘unqualified’ expressions of love. And like any good spiritual practice, the goal is to make it a way of being.

On that, I share with you my unabashed, syrupy sweet, adoring love letter to myself.

My Darling Valentine,

Do you know how incredibly beautiful you are?

Your shining eyes so full of love, power and vulnerability make me soften into me. I can feel your invitation for me to be all of me.

I can hear your distinctive laugh – which you readily bubble over with even at the most inappropriate times. I love how you can see the humor of the gods in life’s happenings.

I love the way you drape your body and celebrate your curves in honor of the Divine Feminine. Others relax into the beauty of their bodies when they see your enjoyment of your own.

No space is the same upon your entry. You enhance the space. You need not do anything. Your being-ness is felt.

I love that you show your flaws. It makes you even more loveable.

I love your feisty, your gentleness, your smarts, your stubbornness, your dichotomy.

I am enchanted by your child-like mannerisms which makes me want to listen to your wisdom.

I am awed by the words that escape your lips without filter. In that, you deliver to me a poetic handbook on life.

I love your lust for learning. And equally, your content at ‘not knowing’.

I love that you choose truth over acceptance.

I love that you trust yourself and Divine to say ‘no’ to the obvious good thing and ‘yes’ to the not so obvious good thing just because it feels right. I love that about you.

Just when I think I know you, I realize there is so much more of you to unveil.

And that delights me.

Keep unfolding.

You are at the beginning of your bloom.

I love you wholly and eternally,

Me

Now it’s your turn. What would an unabashed, syrupy sweet love letter to yourself say?

Farhana Dhalla 172x204
Farhana Dhalla is a #1 Best Selling Author, International Life Coach & Speaker, and Creator of the transformational Thank You for Leaving Me Journey. She is the visionary and leader of the enlightened divorce movement and  the ultimate ‘go to’ person for shifting perspective. As a ‘suddenly single mom’ to three small children, she intimately knows the overwhelming fear and pain – -and the liberation of stepping into the highest version of oneself.



The Biology of Love – Making Every Day Valentine’s Day with Dr. Bruce Lipton

Source: Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.

Happy Valentine’s Day! On this wonderful little video, Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about the biology of love and how you can make every day Valentine’s Day.

Why do we have love in this world? It relates to something called the biological imperative, which is the built-in behaviors to survive. There are two levels of survival:

1. Survival of the individual
2. Survival of the species

The survival of the species is controlled by reproduction.

Do you need love for that? In primitive animals, the answer is no. But, as you go up the evolutionary scale, larger animals, when they are born, are not developmentally complete. They take a period of time to mature enough to be on their own.

When it comes to humans, it takes at least 13 years for a child to mature enough to be independent, during which time they are nurtured by their parents.

So, how do you keep the parents together for that long? Mother nature creates the cocktail of love (and self-love), the chemistry from the brain, which includes:
Dopamine – for pleasure
Oxytocin – for bonding
Vasopressin – for attractiveness

The chemistry of love is one of the most wonderful aspects of human life. That chemistry leads to compassion, altruism, love and harmony.




What Playfulness Can Do for Your Relationship

By  Kira M. Newman | Greater Good Magazine 

I live with a hip-wiggler. When we’re in an elevator, Fred shakes to the muzak. If we’re pushing a cart through the grocery store and B. B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” comes through the speakers, Fred starts shimmying—and watching for my reaction. My role in this bit is to survey the scene in mock disapproval, one eyebrow raised, trying not to giggle.

My partner is playful and I try to join in, in my introverted way. And that’s good because research suggests that couples who are playful together have closer and more satisfying relationships.

Unfortunately, we humans tend to become less playful as we get older. After all, play requires a bit of freedom and space; by definition, it’s not a productive activity. The schedules and stresses of life can impinge on our relationship and suck the playfulness out of it. There may come a day when Fred bops less to the beat.

That’s a bigger loss than we might realize. Scientists are investigating all the different psychological functions that play serves in romantic relationships, and they’re finding that it gives us more than just the occasional laugh. Play can bring us a sense of security, offer a way to communicate, and even help us resolve conflicts. If we’re serious about cultivating a close and lasting relationship, we might just have to find our own ways to dance through life.

Why bother being playful?

Why are humans playful? That might not be a question you’ve ever asked yourself, but it’s one that occupies the minds of evolutionary theorists, because (at least on its surface) play doesn’t seem to contribute to our survival. Rather than spending the time hunting for food or sleeping to save up energy, why would it be useful for our ancestors to hang around the fire doing funny imitations of each other? Wouldn’t that distract them from potential threats that might be creeping out of the bushes?

Playfulness, some researchers speculate, could serve as a signal to potential mates. Men who engage in friendly, reciprocal play with others might be demonstrating their lack of aggression—an appealing trait when violent males are a threat to their wives and children—and women who have the energy for play might be demonstrating their youthfulness, a proxy for their reproductive abilities. At least that’s the way certain researchers interpret the finding that, according to surveys, people seem to look for playfulness, humor, and a fun-loving attitude in potential partners.

When a 2014 study by the University of Halle’s René Proyer asked real people to reflect on how play served their relationship, they came up with a variety of answers.

First of all, people said, playfulness simply feels good; it makes us laugh. It also supports the relationship itself, in a variety of ways, they added. People talked about using playfulness to seduce their partner and make sex enjoyable, and to communicate things more effectively. For example, sometimes teasing our partner about their faults and oddities can be a way of quietly pointing them out, without the sting of criticism.

The very fact that play is unserious can make it a safe way to raise issues that are, in fact, quite serious. You can bring something up playfully—maybe a sexual request or an emotion you’re feeling—and gauge the response. Or it can work the opposite way: Serious relationship issues might crop up in your jokes and sarcasm, a signal that something needs to be dealt with. (Take, for example, the partner in one study who realized the repressed hostility embedded in her new nickname for her better half: “Moldy Oldy”).

A playful remark or gesture can also loosen up a tense situation, reminding your significant other that despite whatever stresses you’re under, you’re still in a safe and loving relationship. It takes a great deal of social intelligence to know when a gentle joke in the middle of a fight might make your partner crack a smile—but the research suggests that’s a skill well worth developing.

What does romantic play look like?

Of course, there are many playful paths we can take toward intimacy—and there’s something we can learn from the way researchers have enumerated, categorized, and cataloged all the different ways partners play.

One of the most common forms of play seems to be the secret language that develops between couples, from nicknames to private jokes. In my relationship, for example, Fred invented a word that’s an amalgamation of a Korean expression and our cat’s nickname—which makes absolutely zero sense—to communicate exasperation. I have to remember not to utter this word in the presence of others, lest it provokes strange looks.

Roleplay is also common. In the comfort of the romantic bubble, one might feel safe enough to pretend to be a puppy, do their best Elvis impression, or imitate the neighbor’s oddly high-pitched laugh.

Some play, of course, requires no words at all—my partner’s dancing being one example. We can playfully pilfer a cookie from our beloved, turning a normally selfish act into an affectionate exchange. Teasing is another behavior that walks the line between positive and negative, which is why play is a delicate negotiation: Our partner has to perceive our playful intent and join in the game, lest they are annoyed by our frivolity or put off by our kindly jabs.

Some play is more structured, like the rules and games that couples invent. When I’m debating Fred over a Googleable point of fact, we often bet three kisses on the answer before looking it up—and the loser has to immediately pay their debt.

In these ways, the play seems to spontaneously arise. But then those one-off comments or behaviors turn into habits, morphing and evolving over time but always expressing an underlying affection and understanding.

So, it probably comes as no surprise that playful couples are often happy couples. In studies that survey people about their behaviors and feelings, those who are more playful in their relationships tend to experience more positive emotions, be more satisfied with their union, and feel closer to each other. They report that they communicate better, resolve conflicts better, and see their relationships in a more positive light.

As a participant in one study said: “Feel[ing] free to be silly together . . . reaffirms a closeness and sensibility to one another that would be hard to express in any other way—it makes me aware of how relaxed I feel with him and he with me.”

What kind of play will work for you?

However, achieving those warm, fuzzy benefits of play might depend on what kinds of play we engage in.

In a 2019 study, Proyer and his colleagues surveyed over 200 heterosexual couples about their styles of play and how satisfied they were with their relationships. Some play is considered “other-directed”—the kind that truly draws others into silliness and good cheer. Another play is “intellectual,” where we enjoy wordplay and creatively solving problems. And play can also be “whimsical,” an amusement with life and a slightly oddball attitude.

One of those styles stood out in good relationships: other-directed play. People who tended to clown around in this manner were happier with their relationships overall. In particular, they were more likely to admire their partner, experience feelings of tenderness and togetherness, feel pleased with their sex life, be invested in the relationship, and believe it would last. Only some of these patterns held up for the intellectually playful, and still fewer were found in whimsically playful mates.

When we reflect on our own relationships, those playful moments are things to cherish. In the routine of every day, two people playfully construct a secret language and culture, and it is solely their own. Play involves showing our partner parts of ourselves that others rarely see, the childlike, silly side that might not be socially acceptable at work or in other settings.

“Playing is reconnoitering of the unknown borders of two psyches, whose contours can become reassuringly familiar only through the experience of mutual vulnerability and nonjudgmental responsiveness,” writes marital therapist R. William Betcher. “It is through playing that we learn how to approach someone’s more intimate self.”

For this reason, there’s no one-size-fits-all way to play with your partner. Every couple’s play will look a little different, and that’s the point. If there were any prescription, it would be something like this: Let your silly self come out, appreciate the goofiness of your loved one, and do what makes you both smile.

About the Author
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Kira M. Newman

Kira M. Newman is the managing editor of Greater GoodFollow her on Twitter!

Read more great articles at Greater Good Magazine.




Are You Open To Receiving Love?

On Valentine’s Day, everywhere you look there are red hearts, red roses, gifts for the one you love, all the symbols of romantic love. The emphasis is on giving love tokens to your loved one, but the question is “Are you open to receiving love?”.

Here’s a simple test…

When someone compliments you (an act of love), do you accept the compliment with gratitude or do you reject it and put yourself down in response?

If you can’t accept a compliment it’s a clear indication that you are not open to receiving love.

Love is the most powerful energy in the Universe and it’s the fuel that powers the manifestation of everything in your life, including relationships.

The ability to give and receive love is dependent on your level of self-love, so a truly loving relationship requires that each partner develops self-love.

What is Self-Love?

Let’s be clear about it…

Self-love is not to be mistaken for narcissism, egotism or self-absorption, which is an excessive preoccupation with self.

Self-love is a positive acceptance (love) of all aspects of yourself; an understanding and appreciation of both your strengths and weaknesses. It is linked to self-esteem and incorporates a positive self-image.

When you lack self-love your inner critic (the ego) is in charge which constantly criticizes you for not being good enough, pretty or handsome enough, slim enough, not (fill in the blanks) enough!

The ego lives in fear and the higher self lives in love – the ability to love yourself and others. The degree of self-love that you have is related to the level of control the ego has over your thoughts.

What Stops You Receiving Love?

When you lack self-love you criticize yourself and you assume that everyone else is criticizing you too! This makes it impossible to receive love because you don’t believe anyone could love someone with all the faults you imagine yourself to have.

You have a subconscious belief that you are unlovable!

Instead of being able to give love, you need to get love to fill the inner void where the self-love is missing; to convince yourself that you are worthy of love. But, paradoxically, you can’t accept the love you’re given because you don’t feel worthy of it.

How to Develop Self-Love

We all have an ego, and becoming ‘conscious’ involves becoming aware of the ego and overcoming it, so that you put your higher self in control of your beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. The more you grow in consciousness, the more the higher self is in charge and the more love you can give to yourself and your partner.

Listen to the voice in your head (your thoughts) and get tuned in to when your thoughts turn to self-judgment and criticism. At the same time you’ll notice that you feel uncomfortable too – that sinking feeling in your stomach, or a feeling of anxiety.

When it happens, don’t try to analyze your thoughts, and definitely don’t criticize yourself for having them! Just smile lovingly to yourself and silence the voice by immediately switching the critical thoughts to self-affirming thoughts instead.

Choose a mantra to say to yourself, such as “I am enough”, “I am beautiful”, “I am infinitely lovable”, or “I put my higher self in charge”. Your brain can only think one thought at a time, so doing this will automatically block out the critical thoughts of the ego.

Each time you shut down the voice of the ego you are weakening it and at the same time increasing the presence of your higher self and the love it represents.

You’ll find joy in your ability to give and receive love, and your self-love, self-esteem and the quality of the love in your relationships will grow and grow.

Jan Moore Intuitive Success CoachJan Shaw – The Success Alchemist, is a Spiritual Empowerment and Intuitive Success Coach, Success Strategist and Mindset and Manifestation Mentor and can be found at www.thesuccessalchemist.net. She delivers intuitive guidance, spiritual and metaphysical teaching, plus life and business strategies, to support you in fulfilling your Soul Mission and Life Purpose. Get your FREE copy of her Dream Achievers Success Kit or apply for a complimentary Success Strategy SessionHer book Empowered Manifestation is available on Amazon. Visit her YouTube Channel for more tips, tools, and training. You can also visit her Facebook Page and join her Facebook Group, Breakthrough to Brilliance. Jan also hosts the Cosmic Creating Show on Cosmic Reality Radio.




Lifting the Veil of Duality: 3 Key Practices of Self-Mastery

I believe not only that the Universe is alive, conscious and self-aware, but also that we are an infinite, eternal, ever-expanding part of it, and as we expand we add to the overall expanse of the Universe itself. As our self-awareness and consciousness grow, as does the Universe’s own magnificent vastness. Therefore, it makes sense, to me at least, that to make our mark on this world, we would be wise to learn what makes us expand out; to shine that light within and to never stop reaching for the proverbial stars.

heart-energy-field

If you’ve ever studied Sacred Geometry, then it is likely that you have come across the manifold structure known as the Torus. A Torus is the 3-dimensional doughnut form which has been used to represent a number of things in our “real” material world as well as our “potential” imaginary one.

A Torus is the perfect representation of the “Cosmic Flow” – everything in, everything out. There is no attachment, no judgment, just a perfect working order of absorption and release keeping things in harmony and balance. This is surrender; perfect trust, cooperation, connection, and oneness with the Universe and all that is. The only thing that disrupts this natural flow which sustains balance within us is our own free will; our own thoughts.

Here on Earth, we reside in the 3rd dimension which happens to be one of duality, or so our perceptions would have us believe. As humans, we tend to see our capability of self-knowing, of consciousness, as what puts us at the top of the species pyramid on this planet. Our ability to think logically somehow makes us the ones in charge, the rule-makers, the way-showers and controllers of all other life-forms and of course, of one another. We walk this path of supposed linear time, convincing ourselves it is a path of progression as we see continual advances in medicine and technology, but along the way have we lost sight of our most precious gifts towards Self-Mastery, simply by overseeing the nonlinear truths lying just beneath the surface of our own egoistic minds? Are we too distracted by our outer world which we struggle to control, that we have forgotten to retain the natural state of the Torus, which brings forth the knowing that there really is no need to try and control anything? If we only stop for a precious moment and surrender, we then allow the creation of the space where everything we expect the outer world to fulfill for us, can actually manifest within us.

When one is solely focused on the physical world around them, it becomes easy to be governed by the illusion of duality. The veil of thoughts and the five senses pulls the mind outside of ourselves and we get enamored with the endless opposites all around us; everywhere we look and in everything we know and care about. There’s good/evil, light/dark, and perhaps the hardest to deny are the ones that the laws of physics support moving more into polarity such as up/down, hot/cold, big/small, etc. But if we look closer, they are all relative and mere measurements of the same whole, just on opposing scales.

To further instill the illusion, we are usually taught at a young age that we must be on one side and must not like whatever is at the opposite end, without any regard for the middle-ground, or the fact one extreme could not exist without the other. We often see this in gender inequality, racial tensions & segregation, religious wars, homophobia, etc. We might even be taught that we are “special” or “different”, to compete or “be the best”, all which emphasize separation, however we are not often taught that we are all connected, or that things like race, religion, gender, and nationality are mere labels and underneath it all we are one and the same. We are rarely told of the beauty and balance found by walking in the middle, and that to be of the Light, we must also face in ourselves all that is Dark. Instead we are usually forced to repress or condemn certain feelings that are labeled as bad or evil. As we know, repression only emphasizes, builds up and leads to an eventual full-blown release. Why, then if we see so much damage done to our psyches, relationships, self-esteems, etc. are we not taught about healthy ways to know and feel through all of our emotions so we can best maintain our emotional, physical and spiritual bodies? This has been a question I’ve been trying to answer for myself for over 20 years now, and it always leads me back to the “damage of duality” and how we’ve literally been stuck in a generational loop of misguided consciousness about who we really are, where our true power comes from, and how we can all have the best chance at being our whole, happy selves.

So, how do we begin to transcend duality and walk the path of Self-Mastery? I’ve compiled a list of 3 main things I go to when I tend to get distracted, or “stuck in the mud of matter” to re-center, to find my balance and essentially my way back home.

  1. Remember – It’s All an Illusion. I always remind myself that when anything gets on my nerves or annoys me for not going as planned, that it is merely coming from my interpretation that I am separate from whatever or whomever might be bringing this feeling up in me. Instead of immediately reacting, I ask myself, “What is this trying to show or teach me?” “What can I learn here?” And more often than not, things that didn’t work out the way I initially had wanted them to ended up turning into something even more awesome! Allowing myself to trust and be in the natural flow of the Universe has only brought me more peace and less stress. We always have that choice as to how we react to things going on in our “outside” world, and I’ve learned that not immediately reacting emotionally serves to not only empower us, but has saved me from saying or doing things out of anger I would later regret. This is not to say I am repressing my feelings, but instead acknowledging them, sitting with them for a moment & feeling through them, and then letting them go energetically rather than verbally or physically spewing them onto another. This has not only empowered my life by allowing to step out of the “victim” role I used to so easily jump into, but also has given me a better understanding of just how conditioned we all tend to be, and how with practice, we can all learn to make conscious choices in our everyday actions and overall lives that work to better serve ourselves and our relationships. This in turn, deepens our connections and strengthens our bonds, reminding us of the truth that we are all connected; we are all students and we are all teachers. And when we can live in that heart space, rather than in fear, we find we are not so easily fooled by the illusion of separation. We begin to know; above all else that nothing truly exists but Love.
  1. Take Time to Be Still. Meditation is a daily ritual for me as it is for many. It is a way to declutter the mind and take control of your head-space. Too often we let the mind run on auto-pilot as we go on about our lives, and to me it is absolutely vital to put it in “time out” at least once a day. When you take time to quiet the mind and just be present, you are giving yourself the gift of your own full awareness and attention. Just like you would appreciate that from a friend while you are speaking, be kind enough to give that same attention to yourself as often as possible in the stillness of your own being. You will learn things about your body you may never have noticed before, simply by being fully present with yourself. It is only our thoughts that ever disrupt this presence. Yet it is in the stillness where truth lives, because it just always IS; always just BEing. If you have trouble quieting the mind, do not give in to rising emotions of frustration or judgement. Just let the thoughts and feelings come, feel through them and release them with a good exhale of your breathe. Think of it as a game you are playing with your thoughts, where you just always come back to center; to stillness; to peace. Your conscious mind will fight you tooth and nail to chat away endlessly as it doesn’t like being told to be quiet, especially if you are new at meditation. But over time, this will become easier. Even if you start with a couple minutes a day, that will be a welcomed break for your spirit, as ANY amount of time you literally pause your thoughts and become present, you immediately connect your heart space to all that is; to the Universe…to the pulse of existence.
  1. Keep Your Cup Full. One of the hardest lessons for me to learn on my own path was accepting the fact that I was teaching others how to treat me. I was always the super nice girl, the “yes” girl, the girl who would help anyone, anytime with anything no matter what it took from me emotionally, physically or even financially. I would act from guilt and a feeling like I wouldn’t be accepted as a “good” person if I wasn’t always giving, giving, giving of myself and while I told myself I was doing something nice, I could never figure out why it always left me feeling horrible. I would agree to do favors for people who I knew were taking advantage of me, but to whom I simply lacked the courage to set boundaries with and say no to. And perhaps my greatest lesson of them all lies within my past relationships where I always dated guys that I felt needed to be fixed in some way. And every time they left me, they left me completely drained in every area of my life. I eventually learned that I wasn’t being my authentic self and I wasn’t truly helping ANYONE by doing what I was doing. I realized that to truly be of service to others I had to “keep my own cup full” so that I was never depleted.  How could I ever help others if I have no energy, no resources, no self-esteem, no direction and no self-love? Fact is I couldn’t. So, I had to learn to finally put myself first and to be okay with that. Self-love is far from being selfish, and in fact it’s the most important love you need in your life as without it you truly cannot love others. Until you love the entirety of your own being, including all of your flaws, shortcomings, etc. you will only continue to pull in people who act as mirrors to you who will reflect those most inner parts of yourself you still do not love. And you will see this as something wrong with them, unless you are aware enough to know better. So, it’s actually the most conscious, healthy choice you can make for yourself, in my opinion…to love yourself first, so that you can then love the world with your whole heart! To love yourself enough that you are constantly receiving from the Universe as much as you are giving out, doing your service in the flow, rather than depleting your own energy. This is the magic of working with Source-energy rather than against it.

It might sound selfish to love yourself first, but it all depends on where you are coming from. If you come from a place of fear & separation and act as if you are better than or more deserving than others (inflated ego), then yes, that is not a good place to be. But when you love yourself from your heart space, with the intention to want to be the best you, so you can shine the brightest light and expand the farthest you can out into the world, making a difference; a positive mark for the greater good…well, I believe that just might be what life is truly all about. Coming from this space allows us to overcome the insistent illusion of duality and to walk the path of Self-Mastery with confidence, courage and peace in our hearts. This speaks not only to the individual, but to the entire collective consciousness we are all a part of. We are but a drop in the ocean, but as much of a vital part of it as any. Do not be afraid to make waves!

 

TamaraRantTamara Rant is a Co-Editor of CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. Connect with Tamara on Facebook by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com




Why We Shouldn’t Separate Boys and Girls For Sex Ed

Being in one’s teens is usually a hard experience both for youngsters and for their parents. It’s the time of puberty when children grow up and change in terms of their appearance and behaviour. Then, they particularly need their parents’ help, understanding and support. Unfortunately, in most cases, the reality is harsh, and adults avoid talking to their kids about such topics as pubescence, sex, and relationships. It’s usually caused by shame, but also the lack of expertise. That’s why teenagers are very often left alone and forced to learn about these things on their own. They are looking for answers on the Internet, where they may come across some misleading and unreliable information. Sometimes they even try to struggle with their sexual problems through buying some products from online pharmacies, such as medicinedirect.co.uk, because they feel afraid of asking a real pharmacist for advice.

Another source of their knowledge usually comes from school and sex education lessons. That is again debatable since youngsters are said to be ashamed of attending such classes and talking openly about sex with their teacher. Therefore, there are many approaches to how to deal with this situation. One of them is to separate boys and girls. But is it indeed the best solution for them? Shouldn’t they know about the other gender’s sexual organs and activities? Separating them won’t provide them with the full picture of sexual life. It may only lead to adolescents’ increased shame and in consequence, even sexual risk-taking behaviours, such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and sexual victimisation.

Imposes boundaries between boys and girls

Separate lessons undoubtedly impose certain boundaries between boys and girls. They are already told that they can’t share this intimate sphere of their lives with the other gender. Because of different body structures and biological processes happening to boys and girls during their adolescence, they are believed to find out only about their own physical appearance and sexual organs. Such thinking is, however, outdated. We live in the 21st century, and sexual topics are no longer a taboo. Both boys and girls should be aware of their own biology to be able to speak out about their sexuality with their peers and parents. It’ll also be helpful to understand better their partner’s needs in the future. Otherwise, the lack of education and misinformation may lead to some relationship problems and even breakdown.

Stimulates deeper shyness

Contrary to popular belief, separating boys and girls during their sex education classes won’t make them less shameful and more open to conversation. It actually stimulates even deeper shyness among adolescents who are afraid of talking about such topics publicly. It may have serious consequences in the future. Let’s take the example of sexual harassment or abuse at work when the boss has molested a young woman, but she is ashamed of revealing the truth. Because of some social norms imposed on her in childhood, now she is scared and more likely to sweep the whole incident under the carpet, giving men consent to commit similar offences on other innocent women. If this woman had attended sex education lessons with men, now she would probably be more self-confident and adamant about protecting her rights.

Excludes kids who are not sure about their sexuality

Finally, there are still some children who aren’t sure about their sexuality yet. They even don’t know that they can feel different. By separating them during sex education along the traditional gender lines, they have been labelled in advance. But what about children who are transgender or non-gender conforming? Why should girls learn only about the menstrual period while they feel as if they were boys? There are more and more sex reassignment injuries, also among teenagers. Thus, schools shouldn’t take them the opportunity to acquire full knowledge. Quite the contrary- they should encourage teenagers to talk about their sexuality and feelings in front of their colleagues. That is so important while observing a growing tendency to commit suicides by adolescents who are left alone with their problems, unheard and misunderstood. They are only kids who need love and support. And who will give them these things if not parents and teachers?

To prevent and say definite NO to sexual abuse and assaults, we shouldn’t separate boys and girls at sex education classes. It’s not good or more helpful for them. Let’s make children well-educated and courageous to voice their opinions on various topics, not stereotyping them according to traditional gender roles.

Daria Skutecka




10 Flower-Themed Activities for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a season not only for love and romance but also for a wide range of activities for kids and adults. Aside from valentine’s day flower bouquet, romantic dates and get-together, everyone will surely enjoy fun activities to celebrate the day of hearts. On the other hand, it is not only a time for hearts. It is also a time for beautiful flowers. If you are planning an interesting and engaging activity for everyone, here are 10 flower themed activities that you can do on Valentine’s Day:

1. Lollipop Flowers

Paper flowers can be an easy craft to do. If this is an activity for preschoolers in school, the teacher may provide paper flowers already cut in shape to avoid kids from using sharp scissors. The paper flowers can be added with a piece of lollipop in the center.

If you want the flowers to emphasize the Valentine’s Day celebration, you may choose to use heart-shaped papers as the petals of the flowers and attach them accordingly to the stick of the lollipop to create a lovely flower.

2. Flower-filled Hearts

Heart-shaped containers made from paper or plastic can be hanged on ceiling, windows, or wall. To make it look more festive, fill each heart-shaped container with colorful flower papers. You can have those flowers in different sizes, shapes, and colors for added attractiveness. This activity can be done by kids and adults as part of their Valentine’s Day activities at home, school, or in places or venues they choose.

3. Cupcake Flowers

Cupcakes are one of the activities that kids, and even adults, love to do. For Valentine’s Day, you can make this activity more interesting by simply baking the cupcakes in flower shapes or design them with icing in flower shapes. You can use icing in colors of Valentine’s Day or sprinkle the icing with heart-shaped mini candies.

4. Flower Paper Bouquet

There are so many materials at home that can be used to create a bouquet of flower paper. Used egg cartons can be cut to form flowers and arrange in a bouquet. You can also have them painted or colored with the colors of Valentine’s Day for added attractiveness and style.

Tissue papers, colored papers, and art papers can also be used for this activity. If you have coffee filters, muffin layers, or cotton balls at home, you can also use them for the activity. Kids and adults will surely enjoy this activity for the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

5. Flower and Heart Garland

A garland accentuated with flowers and hearts is a perfect decorative item to do for Valentine’s Day activity. Using hard papers or other forms of papers you may cut them out in heart and flower shapes for the garlands. These garlands are nice to hang on windows and walls for the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

6. Valentine’s Day Cards

Another activity to do in time for the Valentine’s Day celebration is the Valentines card. Instead of the ordinary rectangle shaped cards, you can have a flower shaped card this time. Hard papers cut in flower shapes are nice for this fun activity. If you intend it for preschool activity, it is best to have the papers already cut in flower shapes for safety reasons.

Even adults will enjoy doing this activity. They can have the flower cards in different sizes. Each card can be written with Valentine’s Day messages and greetings or have them paste the cards with hearts and images.

7. Artificial Flowers

Flowers made from ribbons, laces, or silk cloths can be arranged to create a romantic bouquet. There are silk flowers to find in the flower shops or department stores, but you can always choose to craft your own artificial flowers.

Ribbons and laces are also an ideal option for the materials in creating artificial flowers. When artificial flowers are arranged in a glamorous bouquet, it can be a lovely gift for someone special. Kids and adults are sure to have fun creating and arranging the artificial flowers for Valentine’s Day bouquet.

8. Wall of Flowers

Fill the wall with flowers on Valentine’s Day and use the wall as backdrop for picture taking. You can use a wide range of flower varieties from Roses to Tulips, Sunflowers, Carnations, Orchids, and Lilies. If you can’t buy freshly cut flowers, you have the option to use silk and artificial flowers. Paper flowers are a great idea, too.

9. Flower-themed Valentine’s Day Treats

Homemade biscuits, tarts, and cupcakes in flower shape are an ideal activity to do with kids or with adults for the Valentine’s Day celebration. If you have the place and baking supplies and tools to use for this activity, it will be a fun activity that everyone would want to participate.

10. Wreath of Flowers

Form a wreath using flowers. Whether you want Roses or any other types of romantic flowers, you can easily create a flower wreath that you can hang at home, in the office, or in school. Paper flowers and artificial flowers can also be used for the wreath if you want the wreath to last for a long time.

These simple but fun and engaging activities for Valentine’s Day are a great way to enjoy the love month. Kids and adults are sure to have fun doing each of these activities. Aside from teachers of preschoolers and elementary students, parents may also find these activities useful in teaching kids to on how to be creative.