Monday, February 22, 2016

How to Save Your Marriage

As individuals, we really should learn to be happy with ourselves.  But we’re human; we’re wired to want and need companionship.  When we enter into a good relationship, the world can be a brighter and more beautiful place.  But when we’re part of a good relationship that sours over time, things can go dark and ugly pretty quickly.  Any relationship may begin happily and with the best of intentions, but as things go along, misunderstandings may arise due to any number of factors – ego, personal issues, or external situations that take their toll on the relationship.  When things come to a breaking point, one or both parties in a couple may decide that the relationship has run its course.

Divorce or separation can affect both the social and personal aspects of each person involved. It may be surprising to know that even when problems do come up, the marriage does not need to end. Most issues can be addressed and managed with some hard work and dedication. I have coached and counseled many people with relationship problems, and here are five of my favorite pieces of advice for couples with fractured relationships…

1. Understand and agree the problems exist. We’re not talking about giving or receiving blame and fault at this stage of the game; let’s just focus on the idea that there are problems, and things need to change.  Too many people will live in denial all the way up until the last possible second – and by then, it's often too late. Be honest with yourself and your partner. Try to identify what the issues are in your relationship so that you can make an effort to improve them. Denial is not your friend.  Instead of retreating, practice acceptance.  With acceptance comes the ability to prepare for the challenges you'll be facing.

2.  Communicate without fear or judgement.  Author George R.R. Martin is quoted as saying “The unseen enemy is always the most fearsome." When it comes to marriages good or bad, this concept is always true. Whether there are known and concrete problems, or things just "seem off” in your relationship, there is no better solution then to start a dialogue. Give your spouse many chances to open up and try to get his or her perspective.  Even if your partner is unwilling to discuss problems with you, persevere. However, know that sooner or later they will need to start opening up if they wish to save the marriage too. In the meantime, watch and listen carefully for cues and clues.  And don't forget to be transparent in your own feelings.

3. Never underestimate the importance of passion. Problem-solving should be your biggest priority, but reigniting that flame of passion that you once shared is also one of the most important parts in salvaging a damaged relationship. This does not mean that you need to force yourself to have lots of insincere sex or to fake orgasms. What it does mean, though, is that you need to reconnect in fundamental ways. Remember what attracted you most to your partner when your relationship was young. Encourage your partner to share what attracted them to you as well.  We may have a few extra gray hairs on our heads and a few more pounds beneath our belts, but essentially, you are still that lovable "you" that once took their breath away. Strive to relive those moments and feelings.

4. Seek help. Marriage counselors, coaches and therapists are all fabulous resources in the quest for saving a marriage that is mostly good. There is nothing wrong with seeking help and learning the tools that you need in order to mend something that needs some reinforcement.  Getting help is a sign of strength, never of weakness.

5. The most important tip that I can give you is to have patience. You did not get into this mess overnight, and you won't get out of it overnight either. Be consistent as well as persistent. If you love your spouse, and you feel that your marriage is worth saving, work together in order to make that slow and steady effort.  Give it time.

My bonus tip for you is that while it only takes one person to want to end a relationship, it takes both people to want to save it. At the end of the day, it truly doesn't matter whose fault it is that things aren't perfect, who did what, or why it happened.  Both people need to be on board with repairing the relationship, and both people have work to do in order to make that happen. There will be times when walking away is the only option; but until or unless your sure that it is, it's not too late to try turning the tide.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happiness in Communing with Nature

Our fast-paced world can really burn us out quickly.  With technology enabling us to communicate faster and easier than ever before, "alone time" is quickly becoming a concept of the past.  It can be wonderful to feel connected, but it can also be daunting and draining as well.  How can we get back to basics and quiet the multitudes of voices that surround us?

The answer may be simpler than you think.  Try communing with nature!

Immersing yourself in nature doesn't need to be an elaborately planned scenario.  Try taking a walk.  Even in an urban area, you're going to have opportunities to see animals and plants -- even if it's just squirrels in your local park, or the shade of a tree planted by the sidewalk of a busy road.  Find a place to sit and breathe the air.  Observe the weather -- is it sunny out?  What time of day is it?  Perhaps you can enjoy the clouds during the daytime, or try to see stars at night.

If that's too difficult, or your access to nature is limited, try simply gazing out your window at the sky.  Alternatively, you can bring natural elements inside by planting flowers, herbs, or other small plants indoors. 

Whatever way you decide to commune with nature, know that it will rejuvenate your mind and spirit when you're able to let go and focus on the world around you.  Our planet is filled with beautiful things, so take the time to enjoy!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Read for Your Happiness!

There's a whole world in each and every book!  To me, reading is like meditation.  It can quiet the mind, activate the imagination, reduce stress, and force your focus elsewhere.  Reading is such a wonderful way to fill your head and relax your body all at the same time.

You needn't choose to read anything lofty, or super cerebral -- it's nice if you like that, and by all means choose it if you want to -- but even something easy and light can provide the benefits of reading.  Grab your tablet, your dusty copy of War and Peace, or even the fun, short fashion magazine that brings a smile on your face and inspiration to your heart.

No matter what you choose to read, reading leads to learning -- which reads a richer and fuller life!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Importance of Alone Time

In a world where we're used to always being connected with others, we cannot underestimate how important it is to unplug, unwind, and just spend time alone.

If you're exhausted after a long week of work and personal obligations, there is nothing wrong with kicking back with some ice cream and your favorite TV show.  If you're able to do so, make the time to spend an entire day by yourself.  This doesn't need to be often, unless you need lots of time to recharge your batteries. 

Try to set aside some time weekly, or even every few days, for a small mental vacation.  Give yourself time to meditate, to read, even to cook or to plan your week.  If you're able to set aside larger blocks of time, make an effort to have an "alone date" once a month, perhaps for an entire day or night.  By making opportunities to keeping yourself company, you'll also be better able to relate to others as well.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Spend Time With Your Friends

We often get immersed in relationships with our significant others, or our families.  But we should also strive to spend time with our friends, too.

Friends are the families that we choose for ourselves.  Lovers may come and go.  Family members -- even though they love us -- can sometimes possess blind spots about us, since their opinions of us may not change as we grow.  Friendships with those outside of our romantic or familial circles are vital to our psychological and spiritual health; they can offer us perspectives of who we are as people.  Friends can also give us the objective opinions and ideas that others may not.

Make the time to maintain the relationships with your existing friends, or expand your social circle to include more people. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

For the Love of Bubbles

One of the greatest things that we can ever do in order to love ourselves, is the simple yet vital act of self-care. Self-care is not a “one size fits all” type of behavior. Although the basics are universal, the concept of self-care can take very many forms: keeping ourselves well fed, exercising, getting adequate rest, keeping ourselves safe. Stress reduction is a very large part of self-care as it can encompass so many different facets of being good to ourselves.

An important such ingredient in the recipe of our own self-care is cleanliness. Keeping ourselves and the world around us clean is a wonderful way to show love and regard for ourselves (and other people, since they have to smell us too!). However, simply keeping ourselves clean, or enabling others to do so (like our children, for example) is more than just a simple act of hygiene or physical health. It is also an important aspect of our mental health as well.

The website For the Love of Bubbles, reveals a very poignant and important philosophy of cleanliness as an act of self-care: it’s important, but it should also be fun! The owner and operator of For the Love of Bubbles, Ayieta Crawford, shares with readers her passion for all things bath and body, so that she can entertain as well as inform friends and fans alike.

For a person like myself, the physical act of bathing is intertwined with the spiritual act of cleansing as well – not just a purification of the body, but a purification of the soul as well. For the Love of Bubbles is a website that truly understands that bathing is helpful for all of our dimensions: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. A truly good bath product should clean well, but it should also make us feel more than just clean. It should renew the spirit, entice the senses, and rejuvenate us whether we are finishing up the night with a long relaxing soak in the tub – or we are simply doing a quick scrub to wake up and take on the day.

Ayieta also loves to share her sweet and soapy adventures with products that come from small businesses and independent retailers. Her philosophy seems to incorporate the idea that even small businesses can create huge amounts of happiness in every product -- and sometimes, just as a fast-food restaurant cannot compare to a home-cooked meal -- nothing can satisfy the need to feel pampered and loved better than a beautiful bar of homemade soap or an amazing small-batch sugar scrub!

For the Love of Bubbles isn't just about loving bath and body products. The blog expresses a great deal of love for its followers, too. From giving tips on the best brands or the coolest new products, to announcing some truly awesome prize giveaways, this blog is clearly not just one of many marketing tools in the online realm... Instead, it is a labor of love, handcrafted with care, exactly like the product brands that Ayieta loves to share with the world.

Oh... And the pictures of her "soap rack" (as opposed to a run of the mill soap dish!) are pretty spectacular too. Check out For the Love of Bubbles today, and add a little magic to your next bath!

Friday, October 9, 2015

So... Exactly What Is Cupping, Anyway?

The cupping trend is taking the holistic wellness world by storm!  Everyone is asking... "What is cupping?"

Cupping is an age-old therapeutic practice where cups, usually made out of glass, are heated and applied to various meridians along the body. These special therapeutic cups rest on the skin and create a suction in order to stimulate energy flow within the body.

Although this practice originated in Chinese medicine, massage cupping has enjoyed a surge of popularity in modern times.  Cupping is now actually a very current and popular practice. Cupping massage simply combines the two practices of massage therapy and cupping therapy, in order to provide a powerful holistic wellness experience.

Ancient Chinese cupping practices involved using glass cups, but obviously those aren't always convenient for everyone who is practicing this type of alternative therapy. Luckily, in the modern age, cupping therapy sets are actually made of all types of materials. Silicone cupping sets are considered among the best of these.  They are very common and highly prized as they are durable and flexible.  Additionally, a silicone suction cup can be much easier and safer to use.

My 3-piece silicone cupping set in action!
The vacuum therapy practices of cupping are a fantastic alternative medicine supplement for health as well as beauty. Many people are turning to this practice instead of commercial anti-aging products. One of the many benefits of cupping is that it has been said to provide the best wrinkle treatment possible for simply the reasonable price of your favorite reusable silicone cupping set.  Instead of investing time and energy, not to mention money, in skincare products to reduce wrinkles, facial cupping can be used to help reduce wrinkles. Many of the creams, lotions, and surgical procedures on the market today may or may not be effective, but facial cupping is being used more and more as not only does it reduce wrinkles, it can be a safe and noninvasive alternative to surgery.

Other benefits of cupping are truly remarkable to one's musculoskeletal health. Many pain sufferers turn to this ancient practice in order to alleviate muscle spasms and to help with lymphatic drainage.  Cupping can also be an excellent supplement to your myofascial release therapy routine. A suction cup can aid in the massage of sore tissue, and also to promote better circulation.

The silicone cupping set that I own is from  My set is just perfect for a beginner!  The three-piece cupping set was easy to use from the moment it emerged from the package.  It is also safe, and was very stimulating for my skin.  The cup artisans at Cupping Warehouse are known for their fabulous holistic health products: these items are a modern version of the ancient tools which were so effectively used in days long ago. This silicone cupping set is soft but durable, very safe and easy to use, yet surprisingly effective. Additionally, Cupping Warehouse offers a free trial subscription of the "Cupping Secrets" section of their website, so users can learn even more methods and techniques of cupping to look and feel fabulous!

To learn more about cupping, or even to order your own awesome silicone cupping set, have a look at today.  It's a must for anyone who practices Reiki, therapeutic massage, or any other form of alternative medicine. Enjoy!

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