Friendtastic

When was the last time you went out with a group of your girlfriends? If you have to stop and think about it, it’s been way too long.  A new study by a group of researchers from the University of Oxford, recommends that you go out with your girlfriends at least twice a week.

I’ve always been a girls girl. I love my time with my friends and I cherish my friendships. Those relationships are so important to me, I don’t think that I can live happily without them. I love talking to my girlfriends, listening to them and just connecting with them in general. It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and share your life with someone who cares, it’s even better to see them in person. It always leaves me feeling happier.

According to the study, spending two days a week with four of your gal pals will help you recover quicker from illness, strengthen your immune system, and decrease anxiety levels. But, when the group is bigger than 5 people, funny situations that generate the necessary endorphins for happiness and well being are less probable.” says one expert. That’s why it’s recommended to meet in a group of maximum four friends.

Research shows that we women need to maintain our friendships because it increases serotonin and oxytocin. Having these close connections becomes even more important as we age. I know that whenever I go out with my friends, I always feel amazing! And a happier me means that I’m a better mom, better wife, just better overall.

So pick up your phone, call your girlfriends and plan your outing, remember, it’s good for you!

 

Live Life Now!

In just a second your entire life can change. Someone you love can be diagnosed with cancer, or get hit by a car. You can have an accident that can leave you disabled. Your perfect idea of a relationship can suddenly end in divorce. These are changes that can leave you filled with anxiety and fear. There are also many positive changes in life, such as a new partnership or marriage, the birth of a new baby, a new exciting career opportunity.  Change is inevitable, it’s all part of life. Some are planned, others are unplanned

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We forget that we are all on an inexorable journey that will end with the obliteration of our individual ego. Change is all around us but we ignore it. I can remember exactly how I felt bringing my daughter home from the hospital. She was so tiny and perfect, so helpless, unable to do anything for herself. Now she is a tall, lovely, competent ten-year old girl with her own opinions and ideas. Before I know it, she will be a teenager and there will be even more changes in my life. These are things we can’t control. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is!

The end is inevitable. The journey is irreversible. We die because we are born and that begins the unrelenting odyssey. We don’t know how much time we have in life. What matters is what you do with the time you have. In fact, with each day. Live it now!

  • Spend time with the people who bring you happiness
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Don’t fall into the ‘some day’ trap
  • Use your best china
  • Go on that vacation
  • Explore the world, go somewhere new every year
  • Show your love to the people who mean everything to you, saying I love you is one thing but actions speak louder than words
  • Be kind, serve others
  • Spend one on one time with your children, parents, partners and friends you cherish

Do it now, this is not your practice life!

 

Having a Breakdown?

Sometimes having a breakdown is what we need to keep our emotional life in balance.

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Most of us have experienced holding back our emotions for so long that when they finally come out, we have something that looks like a breakdown. The overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, it takes us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or are busy with some mundane task. We may feel like we don’t know what triggered us. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much-needed release.

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When we find ourselves feeling this way, it’s important to find a way to let our feelings out. Set aside some time for ourselves to give our emotional system much-needed attention. Allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they don’t create imbalances in our bodies and minds.

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When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions regularly. You can do this by seeing a therapist,  talking to a friend,  journaling and or meditating. Making room in your life to take care of your emotional needs on a regular basis will keep you healthy and balanced.

Lavender Feilds

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Forgiveness is the smell that Lavender gives out when you tread on it.-Mark Twain

img_9311Every second of every day is an opportunity to be grateful. Grateful for the air we breathe, the beauty that surrounds us, our health, the children we are fortunate enough to raise, our loved ones, our friends. Every situation in life good or bad gives us an opportunity to grow and to be grateful. Even in the worst of times we can find something to be thankful about.  Live this way and you will see your life change for the positive.

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Here are some other ways to live a positive life

  1. Spend time getting to know yourself
  2. Appreciate what you have
  3. Accept and love yourself 
  4. See the positive in every situation
  5. Live in the moment
  6. Travel to new places
  7. Stop worrying about the future
  8. Spend quality alone time with your spouse
  9. Enjoy every second of your children, they grow fast
  10. If you are lucky enough to still have your parents, spend time with them
  11. Make time for friends that want to spend time with you
  12. Be a positive role model for your children by living authentically
  13. Teach kindness and compassion by practicing it yourself
  14. Do something for others on a daily basis, you will be surprised how much happiness this will bring you
  15. Keep on learning, a new language, knitting, dancing, cooking, something that will keep you reaching for goals
  16. Take time to make new friends and reconnect with old ones
  17. Forgive, love and let go
  18. Stay away from negative people
  19. Live your dreams and take risks, life is happening now
  20. Connect with your source, learn to meditate, pray

In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous -Aristotle

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Take time to be present, stop and smell the flowers.

 

Ride the waves

 

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In life we experience ups and downs, rocky and smooth times. People disappoint us or surprise us. New friends come into our lives while others leave. Loved ones pass away and new ones are born.

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All we can do is focus on the positive, appreciate today, enjoy the ones we have and be grateful.

imageAll we can do is live and ride the waves of life.

Kindness

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Persian nights, sharing food, friendship and tradition. How delightful and delicious it is to be together with loved ones in peace, laughter and harmony.

To our hostess,

Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.

-Rumi

The Power of Positive Strength

 

A much-anticipated makeover from the good folks at Essa Salon for my wonderful friend.

This is a strong beautiful woman at the end of a difficult fight with cancer. She is an example of what strength, dignity and the power of positive thinking looks like. She is my friend and my inspiration. Today and everyday I celebrate the power of strong beautiful women. It’s just a day in the life of many women I am blessed to know and love.

 

Everyday Is Valentine’s Day

I love holidays, any reason to get together with loved ones makes me happy but celebrating Valentine’s Day can be tricky. For single people, it can bring attention to the fact that they are without a partner. For couples, the pressure is on to show their love for one another. I personally don’t think we should reserve flowers, hearts and love notes for one day of the year. Instead, I think we should show our affection and love for people that we love every day.

 

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I used to always leave my husband little notes everywhere. Bringing flowers home just because you thought of your loved one is a nice way to show your appreciation. Being considerate, kind and loving every day would also be ideal.

We all have days when we are tired or busy and inattentive but carving some time to just show you care is important in a relationship romantic or otherwise. I think the best thing we can do as couples is to have one on one time every once in a while. Once a week would be wonderful, but if that’s not possible then once a month would be great too.

My best friend and I would send cards and flowers to each other on Valentine’s Day. For the first time, my little girl and her bestie exchanged cards and little tokens of love. They always connect and let each other know how important they are to one other. Valentine’s Day was just a bonus for them.

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You don’t have to buy flowers or big gifts to show your love and it doesn’t even have to be romantic. You can look at this day as just another day to express your appreciation for your parents, siblings, husband, wife, children or friends.

With this in mind, I thought I would share some meaningful ways to celebrate your Valentine.

  1. Write a Love Note

Putting your feelings down on paper is one of the most long lasting and appreciated things you can do for someone.  The note doesn’t have to be long — it just has to come from your heart.

  1. Express Words of Gratitude

We all need to hear how much we are appreciated more often. I encourage you to thank the ones you love on a daily basis.  Whether it’s that they ran an errand for you, picked up their socks, helped you with a project, or just have faithfully stood by your side through thick and thin. You never know how much a word of thanks can make someone’s day.

Praise character that you appreciate instead of just saying thank you for actions done. Tell your Valentine how much you admire their patience, their kindness, or their amazing ability.

I have my nine year old and her best friend write five things they love about one another every week. I then have them put it in a special box. When they are feeling down about themselves they can open the box and see all the great things they see in one another. I think it’s a great way for kids to learn to love the great qualities that their friend see in them.

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  1. Do Something Nice

Do something that you know your Valentine will love. You know them best, so if your partner loves a certain dish make it and make it often. If they appreciate that you show up to meet him or her for lunch in the middle of the week, do it. Buy some flowers if you know that it will make them happy.

  1. Speak Their Love Language

Everyone has a unique LOVE LANGUAGE.  It’s the way they feel loved most. If you aren’t familiar with the 5 love languages, they are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Some people can be a mix of a few of these, but you’ll almost always have one that is dominant. If you aren’t sure what your love language is, you can take a quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ just click on profiles and then love.

Once you know what someone else’s love language is, it will help you understand what matters to them the most. My dominant love language is Quality Time. It means that it’s important to me that my partner spends one on one time with me without any distractions.  My second dominant love language is Receiving Gifts. What can I say, I really like getting gifts.

I hope you appreciate the gifts of love you have in your life. Just look around you and express your gratitude.

A Magical Time

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Childhood is  a fleeting time. I never  realized just how quickly it goes until I had my own child. It  feels like yesterday when we celebrated our little girls first birthday and now in just a few months  she will be ten. My time as a child feels so far away and yet I have such amazing memories. Now that I am a mother seeing my own child growing before my eyes is  so  surreal. I want to create amazing memories for her so that she can look back in time with fondness.

Holidays, birthdays, family weddings and new babies in the family are all really special occasions . I want my daughter to remember all these significant occasions so I take a lot of pictures. I want to  document every special moment for her.

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Every year I see a huge difference in her. She is taller, more mature looking and she is really growing emotionally too. She is becoming more self-aware. Year after year I watch as she understands more, becomes more a part of this world. I wish I could bottle up that amazing feeling of being able to do anything when we are children.

IMG_0766Along with great memories of family, I have wonderful memories of friends. Friendships growing up were so important to me. They have literally saved me from many gloomy and sad days. I am so thankful to have had every single friend in my life…even those whom are no longer a part of my life. They helped me endure all the ups and downs of growing up. I know my little girl’s friendships are precious to her as well.

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I always try to keep the magic alive for her and her friends during the holidays.  Although we are not Christians, we definitely believe in giving and we believe in Santa Clause! We try to do simple yet wonderful things together with friends and family.

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We indulge in creating beautiful memories. We spend time with the people we love. I try to instill in her what my parents instilled in me. I want her to open her heart to her family and friends. I want her to know what it is to be compassionate, to be thankful and enjoy the simple joys of life. I want her to know how special she is and I want her to have self-love as well as love in her heart for others. It’s a time of giving so she will certainly get a few presents from Santa…but I already see that what matters to her is that connection we all need with one another. She is also a little girl who has compassion for others and wants to give her own money and time to help others.

Here is a painting my daughter created…honoring her favorite magical friend.

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I hope this season is a magical one for you and your family. Wishing you peace and love.