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Monday, April 25, 2011

Celebrate Your Life Now

"I used to have a bottle of good champagne in my refrigerator. It remained there for months, as I kept waiting for something to 'celebrate.' Finally, someone stole it. I got the point. I had waited too long."

- Marianne Williamson
"The Age of Miracles"
(Hay House, 2008)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learn To Relax And Love Your Guts To Health!

According to research conducted by the medical journal, Brain, Behavior and Immunity, gut bacteria may be prove representative of what is transpiring in the entire body.

The study indicates show stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the stomach area, which may explain why the stressed have less immunity.

Lead researcher Michael Bailey of the Ohio State University said exposure to stress led to changes in composition, diversity and the amount of gut microorganisms. Bacterial communities in the intestine became less diverse and had greater numbers of potentially harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium - a group of bacteria (some of which are resistant to antibiotics).

"These changes can have profound implications for physiological function," Bailey relayed. "When we reduced the number of bacteria in the intestines using antibiotics, we found that some of the effects of stress on the immune system were prevented. This suggests that not only does stress change the bacteria levels in the gut, but that these alterations can, in turn, impact our immunity."

Gut bacteria stimulate the lymphoid tissue associated with the gut mucosa to produce antibodies to germs, which the immune system acknowledges and battles toxic bacteria.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Questions To Ask In Search Of Your Truest Love

No one wants to be alone.

But no one also wants to be in a bad relationship, whether they are married, engaged, or just starting to "see each other."

In either case, that "special relationship" should only be with the "right person."

And how do you know who that right person is?

Well, I'll tell ya' this much: it ain't necessarily the hottest one on the block. The individual you presently call "the Love of your life" may be beautiful and have a rockin' bod. But if they're hurtful, mean-spirited, self-centered, egotistical and just plain "a drag" to be around -you gotta' ask yourself, "But for real - is this person really worth it?

That said, here's a group of questions you can ask yourself to insure that you either have the right person who may already be in your life, or if you're still seeking the right person. Frankly, these questions may be applied to ANY of the individuals in your life or who you would like to have in your life, with regard to romance, friendship, work associates and family.

But for the moment, let's just stick the the "significant other" category.

Here we go, ask yourself:

1) Is the "right person" in my romantic life loving-kind?

2) Are they sweet?

3) Are they gentle?

4) Do they Love me for who I am, and not for what I am able to give or do for them or buy them?

5) Would they leave me if I lost my job?

6) Would they leave me if I got sick?

7) Would they leave me if I experienced any kind of emotional, psychological trauma?

8) Are they self-centered, egotistical, self-absorbed?

9) Do they talk too much - and mostly only about themselves?

10) Do they care about my family? My friends? The world?

11) Are they generous or cheap?

12) Do they respect different religions and the various spiritual beliefs of others?

13) Are they argumentative or confrontational?

14) Are they clean? Do they bathe? And what about underneath those fingernails? They're not dirty, right?

15) Do they have a sense of humor? Do they take themselves too seriously?

16) Are they just plain fun to be around?

Either way, that should help you get a start on clarifying the kind of person you want to have in your life. And if you're already with someone who more or less fails this test, be they your spouse or your fiance (or as Elaine on Seinfeld would say with an exaggerated French accent, your "fee-ahn-say)- well, then - what I can tell ya' - you need to just dump that puppy - and find someone really nice.

'Cause, you know what?

Nice ain't over-rated.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You Are Love Itself

"The eternal self dwells in eternity, and eternity intersects linear time at only one point: the present. Who you are at this moment, therefore, is who you truly are. And who you are is Love itself. From that essential point of perfect being, created anew by God every instant, miracles flow naturally. Love interrupts the past and opens the future to new probabilities. No matter who you are, no matter how old you are, in the present, all things are possible."

- Marianne Williamson, page 16, The Age of Miracles (Hay House, 2008)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Your Relationships Must Evolve

I consider myself a relatively happy person.

I've had my share of various ups and downs, good times, great times, major traumas, minor set-backs...the stuff of life we all experience in relationship to our fellow human beings.

Yet in relating to others - our relationships in general and in particular - must evolve.

For example, it took me years to realize that a particular relationship with which I was "IN"-volved was not "E"-volving - and that it never would evolve or change - for the better.

I realized I made many mistakes early on in the relationship, and I tried to improve things. In fact, I went out of my way to work at the contribute to it in as many ways as possible. To be as cheerful as I give favor to the bend over backwards in any way possible.

And for a while, the response was positive to my improved behavior. But then, after a time, all the good I tried to bring to the relationship didn't seem to matter or worse was forgotten. And the relationship went back to being abusive...for me.

I thought to myself, "What's going on? I was wrong. I tried to fix that. I tried to be as pleasing as possible. I admitted my mistakes. But now, it's like all my efforts were in vain."

Because I am a hopeful person, and I did not want to give up hope with this particular relationship, I hung in there.

Problem is, I nearly hung myself in the process, or almost put myself out to dry, or at least kept on placing myself on the tracks while the train kept riding by.

Truth of the matter is this: Love is not a doormat, and it serves no one when you are abused by what may be very toxic people in your life, be they friends, family members, co-workers, or associates in any area of your existence.

I believe that people can change, always for the better.

But if they cannot, and these particular negative non-changers are in your life, then they quite simply should not be anywhere near you.

Ultimately, relationships should evolve...they should grow. As the relationship continues, after weeks, months, years, the love and respect that was initially the basis for the relationship should not only continue, but increase. Not decrease and get worse.

It's an ancient over-used cliche, but life really IS too short to have anything but positive, motivating, healthy relationships in any category. You should not waste your precious time trying to change the negativity in others, or hoping that those who are abusive or unhappy in relating to you will change.

If the relationship is abusive in any way, shape or form (particularly, of course, in the obvious ways of physical or verbal abuse), then get out of that relationship. Immediately.

But exit that association with respect for all those concerned. Bless the individual or individuals on their way, because, basically, it's really nobody's fault when a relationship goes bad. It's part of life in this broken world. Everything and everyone can't be fixed automatically. That's just not the way it works here.

The truth is, just because a relationship has gone sour or south, that doesn't mean it has not evolved. The evolution of a relationship does not necesarily have to be positive all the way through. It's always nice when it is, but such is not the case.

Emotional, psychological and to some extent, spiritual growth may still transpire by leaving a negative relationship. The negative, abusive, unhappy person is no longer in your life, and they may give thought to why that has transpired, which in turn, may lead them to one day change for the better.

Either way, that person's evolvement, for better or for worse, is not your concern. Your concern is developing your own happiness in order to share that happiness with the world, and yes - to make it a better place.

Once everyone starts focusing on their own happiness - in an unselfish way - and ideally, adding that happiness to the global scale, then a true EVOLUTION of relating will transpire...for the highest good of all those concerned...on the entire planet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Be Great Where You Are, And Where You Are Will Be Blessed

"...if sometimes you find yourself doing work that isn't supposed to be desirable, remember that there are other good folks doing the same sort of work, and that still others would like to be doing it, even though circumstances have placed them at something else. Whatever you undertake, do it the very best you can. Folks will note your good work, and soon you will be given more important positions. Show the Father that you are ready to do your best, and He will keep increasing your ability and will place you where you will be blessed and where your work will bless others."

- Myrtle Fillmore, Co-Founder of Unity Church

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Art - and Health - of Generosity

According to a recent study, more than four of every 10 Americans (41 percent) volunteered in 2009, and almost 70 percent of Americans made financial donations to an organization. Certainly, there are some altruistic reasons for giving of one's time and money, but a survey released by UnitedHealthcare and VolunteerMatch revealed that volunteers also receive physical and emotional benefits because they give.

In the September 2010 edition of SUCCESS Magazine, Publisher and Editorial Director Darren Hardy relayed: "Giving feels good, but there's more to it than that. Helping others incites physical and emotional responses within us. When we direct our energy and focus on meeting others' needs, we push aside our brooding and negative emotions, especially those that contribute to stress-induced psycholgocail and physical illnesses."

Hardy went on to say that when we help others, we "release extra amounts of endorphins into our system, and we get what researchers call a "helper's high." What's more, Hardy revealed, "giving has a direct impact on the body's neurological, hormonal and immune systems - it can even prolong your life."

One study found that older individuals who are actively involved in helping others outlive those who aren't. In fact, the physical benefits of helping others have been shown to have a greater impact on longevity than exercising four times a week.

What's more, the benefits of generosity extend beyond the physical, fostering traits that undergird a successful life. "As a result," Hardy said, "our careers and relationships often improve when we purposefully seek to make a difference in others' lives. And studies show that people of all ages who actively help others, even in small ways, feel the happiest."

Mehmet Oz, otherwise known as TV's "Dr. Oz," stated recently, "People who donate money are happier than people with the same amount of money who don't donate to others. Helping others inspires gratitude for what life has given you, and this is what really turbo-charges your happiness and helps you define your own purpose in life. After all, the real secret may be realizing that true peace isn't about being happy, giddy and feeling as if you're charged up on caffeine all the time. It's about slowing down enough to realize that you have a lot of gifts - gifts that you should be passing along to others."

Anyway you look at it, being generous offers the highest return for all those concerned, the giver and the givee. Or as Darren Hardy concluded, "What you earn and receives makes you a living; what you give and contribute makes you a life."