No Matter How Much Love Hurts, These 5 Things Are Always True…

Love hurts

Through all the highs, lows and lessons love has brought me, there are a few things I have finally figured out that help me to continue courageously journeying down love’s path:

1. You will enter your next relationship as healthy as you left your last.

The amount of work you put into your current relationship will sow the seeds for your next. One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself and your partner is to stop blaming someone else for the issues at hand and own those “stuck” areas within yourself that need attention. Even if the relationship ends, it’s worth the effort to work on it to ensure the next one has a better chance for success.

Get more: No Matter How Much Love Hurts, These 5 Things Are Always True.

Self Esteem or Other Esteem?

Mel Schwartz, L.C.S.W. M.Phil. writes:

I have come to believe that the way the term self-esteem is used is actually a misnomer. The first half of the expression, self, would seem to indicate that esteem, the second half of the expression, is derived from one’s self. Yet if we look closer, we find that most people seek a sense of worthiness from that which lies outside of them. For a student, it might come from good grades; for a businessperson or worker, it’s derived from a promotion or a raise; and for most individuals, praise or acknowledgement provide a temporary increase in esteem. Our society generates billions of dollars in revenues from inducing people to seek the quick fix of vanity as a means toward feeling better. Yet none of these actually contributes one iota to self-esteem. Ironically, they may even get in the way. 

Continue reading: Self Esteem or Other Esteem? | Psychology Today.

How High-Maintenance Relationships Affect Your Psyche

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In the spirit of the upcoming ‘Twilight‘ movie, I would like to talk about the undead: vampires. More precisely, emotional vampires. Are there people in your life who just sap your emotional energy once they walk in the door? Do you feel totally spent after interacting with some people? There are vampires among us, and I am actually more frightened about sitting next to one at a dinner party than meeting Count Dracula himself.

My colleague Eli Finkel at Northwestern University conducted a very important series of studies on what he calls high-maintenance interactions. In essence, these studies are about social coordination, and how the lack of social coordination can deplete our ability to exert self-control.

Self-control is critical to everyday life. With high self-control, we can limit food temptations, complete difficult tasks at work, and, resist the urge to smack a co-worker when he/she is being a bit too condescending. Continue reading

Meditation Health Benefits: What The Practice Does To Your Body

Meredith Melnick writes:

We hear it all the time: Meditation can improve our creative thinking, our energy, stress levels and even our success. Prominent artists, businessmen and politicians cop to the practice. Would it work for you?

“It did to my mind what going to the gym did to my body — it made it both stronger and more flexible,” said Dr. Hedy Kober, a neuroscientist who who studies the effects of mindfulness meditation, which she has practiced for 10 years, at her lab at Yale University. She admitted during a TED Talk that she started meditating to deal with a break up, but found that it helped her handle stress and unpleasant feelings in all areas of her life.

Studies show that meditation is associated with improvement in a variety of psychological areas, including stress, anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and cognitive function, among others. There’s also research to suggest that meditation can reduce blood pressure, pain response, stress hormone levels and even cellular health. But what does it actually do to the body?

Continue reading

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Intimacy with our inner life

Jung wrote that our suffering arises from the unseen, unfelt parts of our psyche. This talk explores ways we can establish a healing presence by recognizing and communicating with the parts of our being that we habitually ignore or judge…

Live The Meaning Of Namaste Every Day

Brigitte Meinders writes:

The word “Namaste” has become quite mainstream thanks to the explosive popularity of the yoga industry in recent years.  I’m sure you’ve said it before, and you probably have an idea of the general meaning of it. It’s a way for your soul to recognize and acknowledge the soul of another.

It would be amazing if more people took the time to really understand why we should ALL be saying Namaste to one another, and were able to shift their perspective a little bit to see other people for what they really are.

Think of yourself as a vessel filled with light. Light that changes colors depending on what angle you are looking at it, and those colors represent the many experiences you’ve had in your life. Your soul has become all of the sunsets you’ve watched, the ocean air you’ve breathed, the friends you’ve made, the love you’ve shared, the times that made you laugh and cry. You are all of your experiences.

Each and every person out there is the same way. The person in the car next to you, the cashier at the grocery store, your mailman, your friend, your spouse, even that annoying co-worker… they all carry with them that same ever-changing light, a spectrum of colors that uniquely defines them and their life experiences. They too have experienced love and pain, they have their history, their own things they hold dear, and have seen their own beautiful sights. No two are the same, yet we all have it inside us.

It’s so easy to see only the surface of a person and dismiss them for only what they are presenting to you in a given situation. But we’re all connected in that we carry around our entire life — each experience you have, each interaction, all of it is with you all the time. 

The next time you find yourself passing a person on the street, in a meeting, or talking with your friends, try to be aware of the enormity of what they’re actually carrying around with them. Practicing this makes the ability to forgive and accept much easier.

To me, Namaste means that I see you. I understand we’re both souls trying to make our way in this world, all part of some larger plan. I know that while the color of our lights may shine differently, we all share the same internal fire, and my soul bows to and acknowledges that in your soul.

via Live The Meaning Of Namaste Every Day.

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Open heart, open mind…

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I really enjoyed this talk from Tara Brach‘s meditation series featuring Tsoknyi Rinpoche; perhaps you will as well…

In case you are wondering, I am not a Buddhist — I am a recovering Catholic if you must know! It’s just that lately, the Uni-verse has been using people who are Buddhist to teach me. Keeping an open mind to the wisdom of their message has helped me to open my heart…

Which wolf will you feed?

For most of my life, I have been a bitter, resentful, angry person. The story that I tell myself is that I came by it honestly. I’m a classic case of a person who suffered early childhood trauma around abandonment and rejection issues and much of my life has been spent in trying to get the people in my life now to make up for the things done by the people in my past. When this plan didn’t work [for reasons that are obvious to me now] I reacted with resentment and anger; first toward myself and then toward others… Continue reading

Why Self-Compassion Trumps Self-Esteem

Have you tried to pump up your self-esteem? Kristen Neff explains why it doesn’t work in the long run:

In this incredibly competitive society of ours, how many of us truly feel good about ourselves?

I remember once, as a freshman in college, after spending hours getting ready for a big party, I complained to my boyfriend that my hair, makeup, and outfit were woefully inadequate. He tried to reassure me by saying, “Don’t worry, you look fine.”

“Fine? Oh great, I always wanted to look fine . . .” Continue reading

Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

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Do you think peace requires an end to war?

Or tigers eating only vegetables?

Does peace require an absence from

your boss, your spouse, yourself?

Do you think peace will come some other place than here?

Some other time than Now?

In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.

That is all. This moment in the Heart-space

where everything that is is welcome.

Peace is this moment without thinking

that it should be some other way,

that you should feel some other thing,

that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgment,

this moment in the heart-space where

everything that is is welcome.

via Dorothy Hunt Poetry.