Monthly Archives: August 2014

Values Discovery

By: Gloria Marie

Sensational Sunday – Values Discovery

nature

Every Sunday the Single, Happy, and Strong Blog will have an exercise for you to do.  This is a wonderful way to start a new week; to reflect, grow, and begin a shift in your life.  This week for Sensational Sunday we discuss values and complete an exercise to help you define your values.  This is a powerful tool to help you get in touch with who you are.

“All human beings should try to learn before they die

 what they are running from, and to, and why.”

-James Thurber

Values define what is important to us and they help us make decisions in life.  We may be very clear about our values in some areas of our lives and more confused about them in other parts. Below are eight life areas. When doing the exercise take note, without judgment, which areas the words flow easily and which areas are more difficult to identify.

Discovery questions:

What are some of your core values?

What, if taken away, would make your life unbearable?

What are the things in your life that you are most passionate about?

 

Values Tools: The Eight Categories – Part 1

 The biggest challenge with values is that getting hold of them can be daunting and confusing. One way to make the process easier to grasp is to use a framework like the Eight Life Areas:

  • Work
  • Money
  • Living Environment
  • Personal Growth
  • Health and Recreation
  • Community
  • Family
  • God/Spiritual Life

 Do a values list of words and phrases that describe what you care most about in each category. The key to the list is to resist trying to organize or evaluate your thoughts-just start writing what comes to mind for five minutes or so in each area.

What did you discover about yourself?

 

 

 

 

 

Honor Thyself

By: Gloria Marie

Honor Thyself

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“Moving on” requires many changes and new situations to navigate. When I am not sure which direction to take I ask myself, “Does this choice honor me?” This is especially true in romantic relationships.

There was one relationship I had that consisted of a Saturday night date…that was it for 4 months. The relationship did not progress beyond that.  I really enjoyed his company, but, felt I was a convenience not a priority.  On a 3 day holiday weekend, we still only saw each other on Saturday night.  One Memorial Day weekend, it hit me so clearly.  I WAS a convenience not a priority and I chose to end the relationship.  I felt that was the choice that honored me.

By staying in that relationship I was telling myself that I did not deserve to be a priority in someone’s life.  After situations like that, I ask myself, “What did I learn from that relationship and situation?”  Sometimes the answer comes quickly and clearly, other times I have to spend time thinking about it.  In this situation, I realized that I wanted and deserved someone that was available for me both physically and emotionally.

When deciding to “honor yourself” it is important not to pass judgment on the other person. This approach is from the inside out.  All you can control is you. To improve your situation or relationships work on yourself in a positive, proactive way.

4 Steps to “Honor Thyself”

1. Spend some time making a list of what you want in a relationship.  Be specific.
2. Think of some of your past relationships.  Did you “settle” for someone just because it was convenient?  Or just because you did not want to be alone?
3. Stay flexible.  You are an incredible human being that is growing and changing.  Our values and priority change.
4. Remember to reflect and ask yourself periodically, “Does this choice honor me?”

 

 

 

 

Create a Personal Foundation

By: Gloria Marie

Sensational Sunday

Create a Personal Foundation

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Every Sunday the Single, Happy, and Strong Blog will have an exercise for you to do.  This is a wonderful way to start a new week; to reflect, grow, and begin a shift in your life.  This week for Sensational Sunday we will create a strong personal foundation.  We will identify “life’s drainers”.

Have you ever spent time with someone and afterwards you feel tired? Have you ever been to a place and when you left you felt drained?  Have you been in group settings and afterwards you felt lethargic?   We are all made of energy and we are all connected.  What you may have felt, is what I call an “energy vampire”.  These are people, groups or places that drain our positive energy both emotionally and spiritually.  Do not judge or interpret that these situations or people are bad; they just drain your energy.

Start to become aware of when you are feeling this way.  It may be very subtle or it may be very strong.  Also, be aware of what part of your body is feeling tired.  Mine is usually in the solar plexus area. It is important to create a strong personal foundation and identify your “life drainers”.   The exercise below will help you identify people and situations that zap your energy. Sometimes you may be able to take a physical action: limiting you time spent, removing someone from your life, go for a walk.  Other times you may be unable to do a physical action. In that case, visualize yourself surrounded with white light as a shield of protection around your entire body and say a prayer for protection.  It works, try it. But, first it is important to identify the energy vampires and then decide on an action.

  List the people, places, events and tasks that drain you emotionally and spiritually.

Then, decide on proactive steps to stop the “Life Drainers”.

 

                   Home Drainers        Action                                    Work Drainer’s           Action

 

Tip 20 More Dating Tips

By: Gloria Marie

Tip 20 More Dating Tips

Red Wine

Dating is not a science. It might be nice if it was, our dating lives would be a whole lot easier! But, we must deal with emotions and feelings.  It is a constant learning process and just when I think I have it figured out…. I am proven wrong. Today we will discuss more dating tips and some recent research on dating.

The Pew Research Center recently published the following statistics about online dating:

1. Online dating had lost its stigma.  50% of the public knows someone who uses online dating or someone that has met someone through online dating.

2.About 1/3 of people have never gone on a date with someone they met on these sites.

3. 1 in 5 daters have asked someone else to help with their profile.

4. 5% of American in a marriage or committed relationship met their significant other online.

 

My tips somewhat based on this research:

 1. Do not make assumptions.  You may go out with someone, have a great time and never hear from them again.  Just move on.  My favorite phrase….NEXT!  Or you have a great conversation with someone you met online and they never ask you out. The research shows that over 30% of people online never go on a date.  Maybe they just wanted a phone pal.

2.Have a friend look at your online profile.  They may be able to tweak it a little. You may be too modest about your accomplishments or too vague about what you are looking for.

3. Do not just relay on online dating to meet that special someone.  Get out and about, move off your couch, ask your friends for introductions.  You want better stats then just 5%.

Most important always remain positive. You are an incredible human being that is worth loving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Great Meditation Apps

By: Gloria Marie

Sensational Sunday     3 Great Meditation Apps

meditation

There are many different ways to meditate. In the 1970’s I took classes in Transcendental Meditation.  Today, I vary the type of meditation I do.  There are many Apps available to guide you through meditation. I will discuss three great mediation apps that I enjoy and have found helpful.

There has been much research conducted on the benefits of meditation. Research on Transcendental Meditation has found reduced blood pressure, and insulin resistance, slowing of biological aging, and even a 48% reduction in the rates of heart attack, stroke and death.  Research on meditation has also shown a wide range of psychological benefits.

Did this research convince you to give it a try?  You do not have to spend hours meditating on a mountain, like a monk.  Just a few minutes in your day will reap benefits.

3 Great Meditating Apps

 1.  Buddihify 2 – This beautifully designed app helps you learn to meditate and be mindful.  It offers guided meditations for different situations and a timer for unguided meditations. It also offers tips to stay mindful throughout the day. Buddihify helps bring calm, concentration and compassion to whatever you’re doing and wherever you are.  Some examples of the meditations include: going to sleep, in nature, walking in the city, work break, and just meditation. You can even keep track of how many minutes you meditated this week.

2. Breathing – This is app is great for when you feel tense or need to take a small break during you work day.  It is a guided meditation and all you do is breath. You can choose the amount of time you would like and also choose the music in the background. There are 6 relaxing sounds and a silent setting.

3. Insight Timer – This is useful app to set a timer while you meditate.  It does not offer any guided meditation.  You can choose from several soothing bell sounds to begin and end your meditation.  It also has a journal for you to record thoughts after you meditate and a world map that shows other people that are meditating the same time you are.

Have you tried these?  Were they helpful?

Steps for a Breathing Meditation

By: Gloria Marie

Breathing Meditation

Meditation

The Single Happy and Strong Blog will be exploring different types of meditation. Meditation is simply put, controlling your thoughts and mind.  It is not making your mind and thoughts blank. If that happens-great!  When you meditate, you should have not any expectations of the results. Breathing meditation techniques can be quickly learned.

In the February, 2014 issue of Psychological Science they reported a study on meditation that was conducted by INSEAD and The Wharton School. They found that a 15 minute meditation practice of focused breathing helped the participants make smarter choices.

Zoe Kinias stated in the article:

We found that a brief period of mindfulness meditation can encourage people to make more rational decisions by considering the information available in the present moment. Mediation reduced how much people focused on the past and future, and this psychological shift led to less negative emotions. The reduced negative emotion then facilitated their ability to let go of “sunk costs”.

 

Here are the steps for a Breathing Meditation:

1. Find a place to site where you will not be disturbed. You may sit in a chair or on the floor, whichever is most comfortable for you.  Turn off the television, mute your phone, and turn off your computer.

2. Set a timer for 15 minutes.

3.Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes and begin to concentrate on your breath going in and out of your nostrils. Have your body settle in to a natural state of respiration.

4. With each inhalation concentrate on the physical sensations in your body. With each exhalation release any thoughts or mental images.

5. When thoughts appear, just let them go.

6. If it helps, you may count your breaths.  There is no right or wrong.

7. Periodically confirm that your body is relaxed.

8. Continue breathing until the timer goes off.

9. When the timer goes off, slowly open your eyes and spend a minute quietly sitting.

 

How did you feel after the 15 minutes of breathing?

 

 

 

3 Steps to Your Best Summer Ever

By: Gloria Marie

 

Sensational Sunday 3 Steps to Your Best Summer Ever

Water, sun and boat: A sonnet in orange, blue, and white

 

Every Sunday the Single, Happy, and Strong Blog will have an exercise for you to do.  This is a wonderful way to start a new week; to reflect, grow, and begin a shift in your life.  This week we are going help you decide on some action steps to make this your best summer ever.

Allow yourself 5 – 10 minutes of quiet time to write out your answers. Sit in a chair, take a few deep breaths and think back to your childhood or a summer when you had a great time.  What were you doing? Where were you? Who were you with? What made you smile?  Your answers do not have to be complicated, simple answers are the best.

Step 1. Get a sheet of paper and a pen.  At the top of the page write, “The Top 10 things that would MAKE THIS YOUR BEST SUMMER EVER”.    Write the numbers 1- 10. Imagine the sun is shining. You’re relaxed, happy, can’t help but smile and are at peace with yourself and the world. What are you doing? What’s going on in your life?  Now, start writing the 10 things.

If your life is busy with not many options right now, find small things you can do for yourself. (a 20 minute walk, dinner with friends, a weekend away) And remember- your best summer ever may be about what you don’t do as well. (Taking a nap, resting)

Step 2.  Below your 10 things, write 3 actions that will move you closer to your BEST SUMMER EVER. These can be small action steps. The important point is that you take these three steps this week.

Step 3. Next week create 3 more action steps based on your 10 things.

What would make this your best summer ever?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coping with Change

By: Gloria Marie

Coping with Change

Calm waters

Most of us fear change and have difficulty coping with change. We get comfortable in our daily routines: work, our home, and even our eating habits. There is a certain security in the sameness of our lives. When I was training my lab, the breeder said to me, “Dogs like the same things every day, they do not like change”. We are not much different. So today we are going to discuss doing a week of firsts!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw of the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover”

-Mark Twain

How many times has someone asked you to do something different and your first answer was “no”.  The “no” probably came out before you even gave yourself time for a proper answer. For example, a friend asks you to go kayaking.  You think: what will the weather be like, I do not know how to do that, and I won’t have time to clean my house if I go.  Sound familiar.  This week try to say “Yes” when you ordinarily would say no.

By saying yes more often, you break from routine patterns.  Trying to say yes to small changes will prepare you for big changes in your life.  And, you will have big changes in your life that is just the way it is.

This week try to do a “first” everyday. Of course, you cannot quit your job, leave your home or escape your responsibilities, but, you can incorporate some small “firsts” this week.  Look at some examples below.

“Firsts”

1. Say “yes” to a new experience instead of “no”

2. Try a different method of exercise.  If you go to a gym, take a new class.

3. For lunch, try a new restaurant. If you bring your lunch to work, bring a salad instead of a sandwich.

  1. Reading – if you read fiction, try a non-fiction book.

5. Music – change channels to a different type of music.

6. Take a different route to work.

 

Now, these are just suggestions, experiment and have fun!

 

 

 

Walking in Balance

By: Gloria Marie

Sensational Sunday   Walking in Balance

Every Sunday the Single, Happy, and Strong Blog will have an exercise for you to do.  This is a wonderful way to start a new week; to reflect, grow, and begin a shift in your life.  This week we are going to discover some tools that Native Americans use to “walk in balance”.

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Native Americans believe in “walking in balance”.  They try to balance their mind, body and spirit.  They have very rich traditions that are handed down from their elders. Being in silence or meditating is a part of their tradition.  Today, I will describe some of their techniques.  Think about your day: Do you balance your mind, body, and spirit? Or do you get caught up with work and day to day routines?  Do you carve out some time to sit in silence?

Meditation

Sit outside and watch the sun come up. Say thanks for the things you are grateful for-things below the ground, on the ground, above the ground.  Progress from the material to the spiritual.  Say a prayer similar to the one written below.

At the end of the day, watch the sun drop.  Open yourself up and say prayers of thanksgiving.  Watch nature in silence.

Spiritual Circle

After meditation or after sitting in silence, practice visualizing a spiritual circle around yourself. This process keeps your energy strong and keeps your aura (your energy field) close around you. This is an area around you, like your own residence. You may allow certain people to enter this spiritual circle, but, the more you practice this, the stronger your field becomes.

 Prayer Used to “Walk in Balance”

Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to the whole world, hearken!

I come before you as one of your many children. See, I am small and weak; I need your strength and wisdom.

Permit me to walk in beauty. May my heart treat with respect the things which you have created, may my ears hear your voice!

Make me wise that I may understand the things which you have hidden in every leaf and rock.

I long for strength, not in order that I may overcome my brother, but, to fight my greatest enemy, myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you with pure hands and straight eyes, so that my spirit, when life disappears like the setting sun, may stand unashamed before you.

Did you find time today to “walk in balance”?