What It Takes To Love

January 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

Just found the below article on Oprah.com and wanted to share it with you.

The post “What It Takes To Love Well And Wisely” discusses the transformative power of romantic love. That is because  in intimate relationships we get to show ourselves in ways we don’t  in other relationships.  We also get to know parts of us which are called upon in romantic relationships.

I believe for a romantic relationship to be “successful” we must first be a complete person; love ourselves, and have our own interests.  It is then we can be vulnerable without the feeling that we are losing ourselves.  It is then we can truly share without feeling we are giving up on our own lives.

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The Problem With Happiness

October 1, 2010 by  
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Check out the below article by Todd Kashdan on the Huffington Post.

In the article, Todd writes about the pressure to be happy and I couldn’t agree more.  First because happiness is not something that comes one size fits all.  Second, happiness is a momentary feeling.  It doesn’t last.  Anybody that tries to sell you a book, a class or a session in how to be happy is trying to make money off of your confusion.

Life is made up of highs and lows and so feeling blue is part of it.  Now achieving a sense of well-being and stability is highly attainable and it only requires us to be present in our own lives and concentrate on what is really meaningful to us.

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What About Self-Help?

May 18, 2010 by  
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EYE-4Just read an article by Deepak Chopra (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/when-you-help-yourself-wh_b_578892.html).  It’s a good post about self-help really being about self-discovery if it is to have lasting changes.

What he left out is that self-help is really an American phenomenon.  Somehow we have developed a society that needs to read about, having sex, loving, being in a relationship, being happier, finding ourselves etc. instead of just being.  Why is that?

I think one of the answers is our values as a society, families, and individuals.  In the United States we live under constant pressure to work and to succeed while the rest of the world uses work as a means to have more fun. To us work is an end unto itself and success defines us.  The result is that more and more we live in our own world of trying to succeed and less and less in actually living.  And we are in a hurry, so we want immediate answers.

We want to have good sex now.  So instead of communicating with our partners, spending the time to actually enjoy the intimacy, we read books that give us step by step ways to have better sex.

We want a better relationship now.  So instead of giving the time and attention a relationship needs we read a manual on how to make it better.  We don’t have the time to just be.

I’m not ditching self-help books but am saying the answer, as Mr. Chopra has written, lays within us.  It also lays in the way we live our lives, and in the ways we have constructed our societal set of values.

Work and technology are tools to allow us to have better relationships with others and ourselves.  Not the other way around.  So if we really want to have better sex, relationships, lives, we need first to set our priorities straight.  Once we do that, we are set to take the voyage of self knowledge and most likely will not need any self-help books.

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Modern English

September 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Once a month, I go get a manicure and pedicure and yesterday was the day.  I go to a very simple but very busy Vietnamese place in Silver Lake. 

As I’m sitting there getting a foot massage for an extra $5, I see a guy walk in with his dry cleaning.  I wondered if he was getting a manicure or looking for someone.  A minute later my question was answered.  He sat next to a woman drying her nails under the dryer.

For some reason nail salons are always a place that I let my mind wonder.  Maybe is the holding of hands, feet or sometimes the extra massage, but there I was again lost in thoughts watching the couple.  They smiled at each other and made faces, particular expressions, that were reflections of their high level of intimacy.  And I realized that is one of the things that I most miss in my life now; the intimacy I shared with Chris. We trusted our relationship and each other so much that we were able to just be.

I think the reason why as people grow older as couples - and they really love each other - and they continue to see the other person as beautiful is because they are not seeing the wrinkles or sagging skin but they are seeing the expressions that are unique to the other person which they have loved and trusted for so many years.

At some point the woman saw I was staring at them and I turned my focus to someplace else.  I don’t know what she though of my staring but it was not jealously it was recognition of something beautiful and special.

As I walked out of the nail salon with my nails and toes looking perfect, I remembered the lyrics to one of my favorite songs: “I Melt With You” by a band from the 80s Modern English.  I’m pasting the lyrics below.  I hope you enjoy it too.

I Melt With You

Moving forward using all my breath
Making love to you was never second best
I saw the world thrashing all around your face
Never really knowing it was always mesh and lace

I’ll stop the world and melt with you
You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time
There’s nothing you and I won’t do
I’ll stop the world and melt with you

(You should know better)
Dream of better lives the kind which never hate
(You should see why)
Dropped in the state of imaginary grace
(You should know better)
I made a pilgrimage to save this humans race
(You should see why)
What I’m comprehending a race that long gone bye

(I’ll stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you
(I’ll stop the world) You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time
(Let’s stop the world) There’s nothing you and I won’t do
(Let’s stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you

The future’s open wide

(Let’s stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you
(Let’s stop the world) I’ve seen some changes but it’s getting better all the time
(Let’s stop the world) There’s nothing you and I won’t do
(Let’s stop the world) I’ll stop the world and melt with you

The future’s open wide

hmmm hmmm hmmm
hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm
hmmm hmmm hmmm
hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm

I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world)
You’ve seen the difference and it’s getting better all the time (Let’s stop the world)
There’s nothing you and I won’t do (Let’s stop the world)
I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world)
I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world)
I’ll stop the world and melt with you (Let’s stop the world

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Bonding Behaviors

September 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

Written by Marnia Robinson

Want to bond more deeply with your lover? Use these behaviors to speak directly to the only part of your brains that can fall in love, or stay in love. The desire for, and rewards of, these behaviors are deeply rooted in millions of year of evolution. Enjoy!

  • smiling, with eye contact
  • skin-to-skin contact
  • holding, or spooning, each other in stillness for at least twenty minutes to a half-hour
  • wordless sounds of contentment and pleasure
  • stroking with intent to comfort
  • massaging with intent to comfort, especially feet, shoulders and head
  • hugging with intent to comfort
  • lying with your ear over your partner’s heart and listening to his or her heartbeat for several moments
  • gently placing your palm over your lover’s genitals with intent to comfort
  • providing a service or treat without being asked
  • giving unsolicited approval, via smiles or compliments
  • gazing into each other’s eyes for several moments
  • listening intently, and restating what you hear
  • forgiving or overlooking an error or thoughtless remark, whether past or present
  • preparing your partner something to eat
  • synchronized breathing
  • kissing with lips and tongues
  • making time together at bedtime a priority (even if one partner has to get up and work on something afterward)

Marnia Robinson (with degrees from Brown and Yale) is a former corporate lawyer who left her career to investigate how ancient sacred-sex prescriptions can heal disharmony in intimate relationships. She is the author of Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships. Her work has been featured in the award-winning anthology Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age. She runs the web site Reuniting: Healing with Sexual Relationships, and resides in Ashland, Oregon with her husband, Gary Wilson.

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The Magic Of Holding Hands

August 3, 2009 by  
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When I first moved to New York from Brazil the thing I missed the most was human contact.  In Brazil, when you meet someone you give them one kiss on each cheek instead of shaking hands.  You also often hug and hold hands with your family and friends.  So I caught myself going to get a manicure more often than I ever had anytime before in my life just to have my hands held.

As I think about it when babies, touching and holding is how we communicate and experience the world.  As we start to walk, an adult holding our hand gives us the courage and the safety to take those first few steps.

As we become kids we hold hands with our friends and when we start dating holding hands becomes a whole new experience.

What I most miss about my physical experience with my husband is strolling in the neighborhood on a Sunday morning holding hands.  On those moments I felt safe and a part of something bigger than just me.

I wonder why in this country we are so hesitant to touch each other.  Why must we shake hands instead of a kiss or a hug?  Why if not dating someone we need to go to have our nails done so someone will hold our hands?

I did a little digging on the web and what I came up with as answers were that today hand holding means commitment (between partners) or the streets are too crowded for hand holding or we are too busy to make time to hold hands.  To me these all seem silly reasons to not do something that is so easy and can affect the way we feel in the world. 

If you don’t believe me below is an excerpt of a New York Times article proving my point.

“Based on what we’ve seen, when we get more physical intimacy we get better relationships, whether a mother and an infant or a couple,” said Tiffany Field, the director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Even monkeys understand the importance of a hand squeeze every now and then. In “Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals,” Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University, wrote that some monkeys hold hands in reconciliation after a fight.

James Coan, an assistant professor of psychology and the neuroscience graduate program at the University of Virginia, has studied the impact of human touch, particularly how it affects the neural response to threatening situations, and said the results of a recent study were more dramatic than he expected.

“We found that holding the hand of really anyone, it made your brain work a little less hard in coping,” Dr. Coan said, adding that any sort of hand-holding relaxes the body.

I do love this country but I’m reverting back to my Brazilian habits when it comes to hugging, kissing and holding hands and if anybody says anything I’ll always have the excuse of being born in Brazil.

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Human Touch

July 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Today I was watching a couple in love. 

I’m starting to miss the human touch.  Kissing, touching, and curling up together.  I don’t think I’m ready for a relationship but I’m craving physical intimacy.

As Chris got sicker, he worried about me and who would sooth away my doubts, my pain, my insecurity. 

My beautiful Chris did that for me.  He worried who would do that for me when he was no longer here.

How’s that my love story ended up like the film A Love Story?  I was supposed to be Cinderella; awaken from a deep sleep to live love.

I now dream about being touched and so I’ve become addicted to my sleep. 

With my eyes closed and my mind absent, I dream.  I dream of love, of caress.  When I wake, I take my time to transition from the world of dreams to the world which is now absent of caresses.

Oh Chris, do touch me in the night and do bring me love in the morning.  You’ve open the gates in my soul and now I can’t hold the waters back. 

But I do want the waters to wash me away in the bosom of love and hope to take as many people as possible with me.

May I, may we, have the chance to rewrite A Love Story.

And to the couple that brought up my longing please keep on loving.

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Wikipedia’s Love

June 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection and attachment. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure to intense interpersonal attraction. The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure (“I loved that meal”) to intense interpersonal attraction (“I love my girlfriend”). This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.

As an abstract concept, love usually refers to a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for another person. Even this limited conception of love, however, encompasses a wealth of different feelings, from the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love to the nonsexual emotional closeness of familial and platonic love to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.

Love
From a scientifically testable frame of reference, love is a type of interpersonal relationship where mutual assumption of good faith results in a state of emergence, i.e. constituents individually perceive the group’s social evolution as both beneficial and greater than what could be achieved by the sum of the relationship’s parts.

Biological sciences such as evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology and neuroscience have begun to explore the nature and function of love. Specific chemical substances such as oxytocin are studied in the context of their roles in producing human experiences and behaviors that are associated with love.

Evolutionary Psychology
From the perspective of evolutionary psychology the experiences and behaviors associated with love can be investigated in terms of how they have been shaped by human evolution. For example, it has been suggested that human language has been selected during evolution as a type of “mating signal” that allows potential mates to judge reproductive fitness. Miller described evolutionary psychology as a starting place for further research: “Cognitive neuroscience could try to localize courtship adaptations in the brain. Most importantly, we need much better observations concerning real-life human courtship, including the measurable aspects of courtship that influence mate choice, the reproductive (or at least sexual) consequences of individual variation in those aspects, and the social-cognitive and emotional mechanisms of falling in love.” Since Darwin’s time there have been similar speculations about the evolution of human interest in music also as a potential signaling system for attracting and judging the fitness of potential mates. It has been suggested that the human capacity to experience love has been evolved as a signal to potential mates that the partner will be a good parent and be likely to help pass genes to future generations.

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