Mindfulness

Love Without Boundaries Will Not Last

Love Without Boundaries Will Not Last

Boundaries are a "litmus test" for the quality of our relationships. Those people in our lives who can respect our boundaries will love our wills, our opinions, our separateness. Those who can't respect our boundaries are telling us that they don't love our nos. They only love our yeses, our compliance. "I only like it when you do what I want.”

― Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud

What a Master Interrogator Can Teach You About Love

What a Master Interrogator Can Teach You About Love

Communicating accurately and communicating effectively are two very different things.

When we’re angry, scared, threatened, nervous, ashamed, or embarrassed, we tend to communicate very accurately what we’re feeling… but it isn’t very effective.

That’s the tricky part.

How do we communicate in a way that enriches, uplifts, and strengthens our relationship when emotions are running high, blood is pumping in our ears, and we feel like we either want to punch our partner or completely shut down?

How Breathing Can Improve Your Relationship

How Breathing Can Improve Your Relationship

In order to help you achieve that goal, I need to inspire you to make changes in the way you act, speak, think, and feel in order for you to get the results you want.

Then, I have to help you find a way to make those changes STICK! Changing for 24 hours, 24 days, or even 24 weeks does not an epic marriage make.

Those good choices you choose to make after listening to one of my podcasts or reading a blog post like this have to stick.

You’ve gotta repeat them over and over and over again for them to make a real difference.

So, what makes behavior change like that possible?

Episode #52 - The Tao of Dating with Dr. Ali Binazir

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[powerpress]On this week’s episode, Melissa and I sit down with Dr. Ali Binazir, author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible and several other books. He's a super insightful guy, and we cover a lot of different topics in this interview including:

  • The 5 Principles of the Tao of Dating
    • The Principle of Abundance Don't think scarcity
    • Be. Do. Have. Be the kind of person. Do the kind of things. Have what you want.
    • Enlightened Self-Interest Good decision making = The decision that serves the most amount of people for the longest amount of time. How do you fill your life with the things and people that will have positive long-term effects on you.
    • Yin Yang You must have polarity in your relationships. Masculine and feminine. Giving and receiving. Different roles are essential to a dynamic relationship.
    • Get Out of Your Own Way Often times the only thing standing in the way of what you want is you.
  • The power women have to bring light into a relationship, act as a goddess, and inspire men.
  • By mentally wishing happiness upon others, you can completely change your neurology. "May you be happy."
  • The gift of appreciation and gratitude will make others feel valued and give you power in your relationships.
  • The men determine the direction of the relationship. The women determine the depth.
  • How meditation will transform your life and your relationships. "Bring your mind back from distraction."
  • The destructive notion of Soulmates.
  • A great way to tell whether or not you're a good fit for the person you're with is to notice what kind of person you become when you're around the other person.
  • The Magic Question - What's important to you about that?
  • We also reference Gary Chapman in this interview. You can find his interview here.

Remember that in life, everything that you want is outside of your comfort zone. Because if something is inside your comfort zone, it's either something you already have or something so trivial as to be undesirable: you don't want something you already have. So in order to get what you want but don't yet have, you have no choice but to venture outside of your comfort zone. -Dr. Ali Binazir

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Mindful Mouthful - Day 5

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Day 5 - Emotional

Mindfulness. I’ve heard this term thrown around quite a bit over the last few years and if you asked me if I knew what it meant, I’d have said yes. Just like I did to my good friend who then asked me to explain it to her. “Err… Uhh.. Well it’s about being mindful.” Yeah. A tid bit vague on the description there, Meg. So allow me to assist you (and avoid any future embarrassment) regarding a fuzzy understanding of what mindfulness really means.

Mindfulness is described as “a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”. Still fuzzy? That’s why I prefer this sweet and simplified explanation:

Paying attention. On purpose.

Four little words. But really think about them. How often are we really paying attention? You’ve been present in your particular moment for at least 30 seconds while finding and beginning to read this post. Are you paying attention? Who is around you? What’s the temperature of the air touching you? Check in with your body. How deep are your breaths? Feel the beats of your heart. If you’re sitting, what does the surface beneath you feel like against your person? Is this easy for you? Or are your daily tasks already infiltrating your thoughts at this exact moment, distracting and hijacking you from the present?

Exercising awareness to the present moment is what makes up a mindful practice and it is often used as a therapeutic technique. Regular practice of mindfulness has shown to affect both brain function and structure actually increasing both the activity and the area of our brain responsible for positive emotion. One study showed that mindful based cognitive therapy reduced the risk of relapse of depressed people by an impressive forty-three percent.

I have sincere admiration for this practice because I find it to be one of the most difficult to implement in my life. I experience a constant stream of messages, voices, thoughts and actions flashing through my subconscious minute to minute— like several movies competing on one screen simultaneously, while in fast forward. The chaos of this multi-tasking mentality can truly dull the mind and soul’s ability to fully appreciate and absorb life’s experiences… if you let it. One of those important experiences being when we eat food.

Food goes into your mouth several times a day but how often do you think beyond the bites?

Knowing that you’re eating is not the same as mindfully eating.

Even though we are aware of the physical action, our minds are often elsewhere thinking about a million different things: television, to-do’s, friends, work, etc. A very small part of our awareness is actually focused on eating and even less on the emotions or feelings occurring at the same time. This often leads to a variety of problems such as emotional eating and overeating.

Researchers are learning that teaching overweight people mindful eating skills such as paying closer attention to your bodies’ hunger cues and learning to savor food can help change unhealthy eating patterns and support weight loss. And, unlike other forms of treatment, mindfulness may address the actual underlying problem behind the tendency to overeat (cravings, stress, and emotional eating) which makes it so hard to overcome.

Daily Challenge

Ah, an eating challenge… my favorite kind! Let’s practice a little mindfulness with this short, meditative exercise. It only takes a few minutes so soak up the moment, the food and the chance to savor life’s little pleasures with the one you love.

Items needed:

  • a piece of chocolate (try for dark chocolate with greater than 60% cacao for the best health benefits) or a blackberry (if you’re avoiding sugar),
  • space to sit
  • your significant other.

Begin by exploring this little piece of food, using as many of your senses as possible. First, look at the food. Notice its texture, color and weight in your hand.

Explore the food with your sense of touch. What does this food feel like? Is it hard or soft? Grainy or sticky? Moist or dry?

Notice that you’re not being asked to think, but just to notice different aspects of your experience, using one sense at a time. This is what it means to eat mindfully.

Before you eat, explore this food with your sense of smell. What do you notice?

Now, begin eating. No matter how small your piece of food, take at least two bites to finish it. Take your first bite. Before you chew, allow the food to sit on your tongue for a few moments. How does it feel? Hard or soft? Have your taste buds begun to dissect its sweetness?

Begin chewing very slowly, noticing the sensory experience of chewing and tasting. Remember, you don’t need to think about your food to experience it. Close your eyes for a moment to focus on these sensations.

Continue to notice the texture of the food; the way it feels in your mouth.

Notice if the intensity of its flavor changes, moment to moment.

Take about 20 more seconds to very slowly finish this first bite of food.

Now take your second and last bite. Chew slowly and continue paying attention to the sensory experience of eating this piece of food from the second it touches your tongue, caresses your taste buds and travels down your throat. Just pay attention — with purpose.

Swallow your last bite and open your eyes, if closed. Discuss with your partner what novelties you noticed about this piece of food, your eating experience and how you might implement a portion of mindful eating practice into your daily life.

This “Mouthful of Mindfulness” concept of creating a truly sensational experience can be implemented every minute of each meal. Note that it isn’t always necessary to eat as slowly as our exercise to eat with mindfulness but it is helpful at first to slow down to practice this art. Here’s a handy guide from Eating Mindfully to guide you while practicing this technique. Print it out and put it in your kitchen to help you evaluate your hunger, listen to your body and maximize your wellness at every meal.

Mindful Eating Plate | The Loveumentary

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[jbox title="About the Author:" border="5" radius="15"] Megan HeadshotMegan is a Doctor of Audiology, Holistic Nutritionist, wife, yoga-lover and ever-evolving health aspirer. Having transformed her own health, she’s eager to help you transform yours. She believes in power in its purest form: FOOD. Whole foods, to be precise. So pick up a fork and join her in a revolution of habits, health and happiness. A WHOLE new life awaits! Read more about her reformation of health and wellness at My Whole Food Habit.[/jbox]