Articles

Giving Thanks after Thanksgiving: The Real Role of Gratitude

Between the months of October and November, the United States and Canada celebrate “Thanksgiving” – the  holiday seemingly designed for uncomfortable conversations with in-laws and turkey (or Tofurky), garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie and giblet gravy.

The original reasons for “Thanks Giving” celebrations are various; from Martin Frobisher surviving his voyage from England to discover a Northern Passage to the Pacific, or the Pilgrims of Plymouth celebrating an especially good harvest in 1621, to  the many many “harvest” celebrations in gratitude for the bounty of the season.

Thanksgiving dinner is over, but Thanks-Giving is also an act that we would all do well to inspire on days that don’t include snapping wishbones or football comas.  Giving Thanks and being grateful for what we have, observing the good things in our lives and thinking about what we care about is one of the fastest and surest ways to attract more success and abundance in our lives.  Being content and valuing what is HERE NOW is one of the most powerful things we can do to take care of those things which are truly important to us.

Gratitude reduces pain, fear and stress in ourselves and others.   We spend most of our lives focusing on what DOESN’T work, what we’re scared of, what we don’t like, what we don’t want to happen that we spend little time reflecting on what is true in the moment.

Meditation for People Who Think They Can’t

Is there meditation for people who think they can’t do it?

“I know I should meditate. I keep thinking about it but every time I try I get distracted and I just never end up doing it routinely.”

In recent years, meditation is no longer thought of as only for Buddhist Adherents, monks or seekers; it  and has been adopted by people of all ages,  faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds as part of their spiritual and wellness routine.    Meditation has gone from ritual to routine in homes, meditation centers, Churches and health-complexes worldwide.

Many people believe that meditation inspires a quieted mind, the clarity of their Higher Selves, and feeling more attuned with their spiritual selves as well as reaping physical and mental benefits.

Does He Want to Break Up?

Does He Want to Break Up?  Does She want out?

In the Part One article last week, we explored some of the signals that a person wants to be in a relationship with you.  In this article, Part Two,  we’ll take a look at the signs and signals that a partner wants to end a relationship. 

As in the previous article, there’s no cookie-cutter formula that will show you the complexities of each personality and situation but there are a few energetic signatures of fear and withdrawal  to look out for in a person who wants to leave a relationship but is afraid to talk about it directly.

Sometimes one or both people wanting out doesn’t really mean a permanent end to the relationship; it can be a crisis signal that there is a serious issue within the relationship that is not being communicated effectively and there can be an opportunity to move forward.   However, these signals often mean that an ending is near.  It’s not possible to change what isn’t working in a relationship if one partner is unwilling or unable.

Here are the signs that the two of you are headed for a break even if they insist  that things are fine, or don’t want to talk about the relationship:

Does He Want a Relationship?

A few years ago I started hearing a new kind of jargon from people seeking romantic guidance,  “What are his / her  intentions?” 

When I first started hearing it, it seemed like a weird question.   After all, relationships are organic, flowing and dynamic and people rarely have fixed “intentions,”  exact blueprints or robotic instructions of what they want and how they wish to proceed. Nope. Most people (just like you) are trying to understand another person, decide how they fit in their lives and protect their heart from hurt in the process.

I quickly tuned into the fact that what people really wanted to know was whether or not the person they were seeing was interested the same kind of relationship they were.  Does he want a relationship?  Is she interested in me the same way I am?   And while this might have been a more obvious process a few decades ago  (don’t people talk openly anymore?)  modern dating has made figuring out how another person feels a more complicated and confusing process as dating (and social technology and social media) changes the relationship landscape.

Have an Amazing Romance Instead of a Whirlwind Disaster

Are whirlwind relationships delightful breezes that propel emotional and physical attraction; that time when we can’t get enough of the other person’s presence?

Or, are whirlwind romances a hurricane gale force wind that will inevitably send us crashing into the rocks of relationship disaster?

It depends on how successfully we meld the zing of attraction with the discernment of our strength and authentic selves.

When we meet a new person, the temptation to throw ourselves head over heels into a whirlwind romance is heady. After all, we’re trained that whirlwind romances are desirable.

Romantic fiction, movies and media all tell us that real love is intense, destined, and can progress at the speed of light. “He swept me off of my feet,” they say, “I knew right away that this was perfect.”

We’ve all heard stories of the person who meets a guy on Monday and by Wednesday they’ve declared a new relationship status on Facebook.

Six Question Relationship Check Up

relationship

It’s the beginning of another year and a time when many people are taking stock of their fitness, the health of their bodies, and pocketbook.

While it might seem more confusing or daunting to give our relationship a check-up than it is to get a check-up at the doctor’s office, checking in and assessing the health of a bond is just as important and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here are a few questions to help determine if your relationship needs some extra TLC or if emergency care is needed.

Is give and take in balance in my relationship? 

An imbalance of give and take in a relationship means that one partner often takes on the role of the giver who doesn’t get anything in return and the other person takes on the role of the taker who doesn’t give back.

Seeing Winter Anew; Embracing Stillness

Out of the bosom of the Air
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.

 

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

To those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we move towards December’s coming of winter.  We equate winter with harshness, cold and stillness. Indeed, it’s the time when the blossoms, trees and world have gone into hibernation, rest and retreat.   But to many cultures, winter represents potentials building within a cyclical womb.

In the last ever panel of one of my favourite cartoons (Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson), the two main characters embark across a snowy scene with their sled, marveling about the gleaming snow.  “It’s like having a big sheet of paper to draw on,” muses Hobbes, to which Calvin replies, as they head off into the sea of white, “A day full of possibilities, it’s a magical world, Hobbes ol’ buddy…. let’s go exploring!”

Life is full of beginnings and endings, and though we fear endings, an end represents a beginning.  When I painted this scene of a tree standing in a winter landscape, I had the idea to leave half of the image blank and white, “it’s like having a big sheet of paper to draw on,” an untapped potential… something ripe and ready for creation in the right time.