Exercise, Relationships

Mindfitness

We can’t separate the body and mind. In order to lead a healthier life, it’s important to train both the body and the mind. This can be achieved through movement and breath using fitness and meditation.

I noticed as my clients were getting very physically fit, many were still stressed, anxious, having problems sleeping, depressed, not able to focus or concentrate and the list goes on. As I began to teach my clients about mindfulness and meditation and build them a daily meditation practice many of these issues improved.

I believe that stress is the root of many health issues and while physical exercise can help, it is only part of the solution so we must also address the mind. I’d like to share a few fitness tips and a meditation technique to help decrease your stress and give you greater clarity so you can begin your journey towards leading a healthier life.

shutterstock_592315520 - (S.Agrios)

To start with, write down a goal and action plan. Next, commit and reassess so you can make the appropriate changes depending on your results. Let’s say your goal is to get into better shape. Be more specific and make it measurable. For example, I would like to lose 10lbs, fit into size 8 pants, have a 28 inch waist, run a 10km race in 60 minutes, ride 100km on my bike etc.

If you decide your goal is to lose 10lbs then your action plan would be to do a variety of cardio exercises (walk, swim, bike, run, stairs, cross country ski etc.) and watch what you eat. If you don’t have a lot of time my suggestion is to do 30 minutes of interval training. The other key is to watch what you eat since you can negate all the calories you burned in your workout in less than 5 minutes by eating the wrong thing. Simply put, be clear on your goal and if your behaviour (action plan) helps you reach your goal then do it. If it takes away from your goal then don’t do it. Make sure you consistently use this as a check to keep you on track.

Often our emotions get in the way of our goals which is why it’s important to work with our minds. This is where mindfulness and meditation come in. If we are calm and focused we can respond better to a situation as opposed to reacting to it. We are clearer and able to come from a place of choice by accessing our neutral mind.

Close your eyes, breath through your nostrils into your belly for a count of 4 (belly gets bigger as it fills up with air), suspend / hold your breath for 4 seconds (make sure everything is relaxed on the held breath), exhale for 4 seconds (belly gets smaller), suspend / hold your breath for 4 seconds. Repeat this 4 times.

Inhale for 4 seconds

Hold / suspend your breath for 4 seconds

Exhale for 4 seconds

Hold / suspend your breath for 4 seconds

 


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Susan Agrios
Founder & CEO of Agrios Mindfitness

Susan Agrios is a former K-12 school teacher, an elite athlete with multi sport world medals, a fitness trainer and an internationally certified yoga & meditation teacher with advanced training in yoga nidra (guided meditation). With this unique background Susan dedicates her time to helping and motivating others to lead healthier lives both physically and mentally through fitness, yoga, and meditation. Working with schools, corporations, elite athletes and families Susan developed numerous successful programs: TIME OUT Mindfulness Kits & Trainings, Mindfitness Boot Camps and the Global Online Meditation Challenge. As well, she launched the first Agrios Mindfitness Triathlon (fitness, yoga and meditation) in Canada for thousands in schools. She leads retreats at conferences around the world. Over 9500 adults, teens and kids have taken her Mindfulness Challenge. Will you be next?

If you want to learn more about the body and mind, take a Mindfitness Boot Camp, Mindfulness Training or 40 day Mindfulness Challenge email Susan Agrios at sagrios@trainingbyagrios.com or go to www.agriosmindfitness.com

Communication, Money, Relationships

DREAM BIG

Now that you have committed to creating a life together, it is important to start planning for your future. What I encourage you to do, is take some time and sit down together and go through a discovery process.  Really sit with this and have fun! I call this Dream Building.

 

  1. Where would you really like your life to be over the next decade?
  2. How many children would you like to have?
  3. Will you be working from home or out of an office?
  4. How much money do you need to be earning monthly/annually each as a combined household income?
  5. How many revenue streams of income do you need coming into your family each month, to live the lifestyle you desire on your own terms?
  6. How many vacations per year would you enjoy having?
  7. Will you own your own home or rent it?
  8. How many homes would you like to acquire over the next decade?
  9. Will you have your primary home and a summer cottage or cabin in the woods?
  10. Will you get mentored over the next decade on how to buy real estate investment properties?
  11. Where would you love to live?

 

Take the time to write out, in specific detail, what you truly want in your life. When I first started practicing this exercise, I found that I had no dreams to write down. My mind would go blank, just thinking about it and I would begin to feel anxious. At the time, it was a challenge remaining present and giving myself permission to Dream Big. I had no idea how to get there and where to begin.

After doing this for many years and applying specific daily routines consistently, I began to notice things starting to come together and one by one, my dreams started to manifest themselves into reality.

One of the routines I love to do even today, is to drive around neighbourhoods visiting open houses. Go inside and look around these magnificent homes, even if they are way out of your price range. This one specific routine, done at least once a month, will help to expand your mindset to what is possible and will teach you to think in abundance and prosperity rather than lack and scarcity.

Today, I am glad to say, I am living an extraordinary life. I only wish the same for you. Go ahead, give it a try, what have you got to lose?

Remember, you only have one life to live and there is no dress rehearsal. If I can be of service to you, then please reach out to me.  You will be glad you did.


Darren Jacklin Biography Soft Photo

Darren Jacklin
World-Class Professional Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Investor

For over 22 years, Darren Jacklin has travelled four continents and personally trained over one million people in over 46 countries.

He has mentored entrepreneurs and business owners on specific and measurable strategies. These strategies have then been implemented into businesses to increase income, transform obstacles into cash flow and turn passion into profits.

Darren has an uncanny ability to increase wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities.

His talent has captured the attention of Tiger 21, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, NBC TV, CBS TV, Global TV, international radio stations, magazines and newspapers, movie producers, best-selling authors, CEO’s and business experts worldwide.

Darren is also a featured as an international celebrity in the 2015 movie The Treasure Map.

Darren Jacklin currently sits on paid International Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards of public and private companies.  He has also personally trained over one hundred and fifty Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, AT&T, Black & Decker, Barclays Bank, as well as high school, college, and university students and lastly, professional athletes.

His experience has connected him with people in more than 130 countries. He is also the Co-Founder of Solaris Resort and Estates Ultra Luxury Private Islands.

Communication, Intimacy, Relationships

Five Fun and Unusual Ways to Ensure Your Relationship Continues to Thrive Beyond the Honeymoon

I implore my coaching clients to utilize the honeymoon phase of their relationship wisely to firmly establish a solid foundation for their relationship.  Create beautiful, fun memories and clearly express your vision for a shared future during this time; plus take the time to develop the skills needed to be the best partner you can be. The honeymoon phase is filled with an incredible chemistry of love. These chemicals are nature’s way of heightening all of your senses to emblazon loving memories in your mind, giving you energy and endurance to stay up all night together, and to make you single focused on your heart’s desire. Studies show that taking a marriage course, relationship coaching or counseling during the honeymoon phase will strengthen the longevity of your marriage. In fact, some studies show it can reduce your potential to divorce by half. The beginning of a marriage is the best time to establish what matters most and co-create how you are going to work together as a team to get to your end goal of “happily ever after.”

Here are five fun, albeit unusual, suggestions for keeping your relationship on the path to success for the long-run:

Your Nose Knows
Proactively use your sense of smell to reinforce a positive state of being tied to loving memories together. I use an exciting bit of scientifically proven chemistry called the Proust Phenomena  when I work to anchor my coaching clients in certain positive emotional states. Psychologists have demonstrated that memories triggered by smells can be more emotional, as well as more detailed, than memories not related to smells. They have deemed this effect the Proust Phenomena, after French novelist Marcel Proust recalling his vivid childhood memories after being triggered by the smell of a madeline cookie dipped in tea. When you inhale, odor molecules set brain cells dancing within a region known as the amygdala, a part of the brain that helps control emotion. In contrast, the other senses, such as taste or touch, get routed through other parts of the brain before reaching the amygdala.

Research around the Proust Phenomena suggests that memories triggered by smells are more emotional and evocative than memories triggered by other cues. Studies also show a particular emotional association to a smell can be created by repeatedly having that scent involved when experiencing a certain emotional state. One way I suggest using this to your advantage is to create a signature scent for your intimate moments together. Enjoy the journey of finding a certain smell that has no other strong associations for either of you. I recommend using an essential oil because it can be used in so many different ways —diffusing in the air, a few drops in a bath or on your sheets, or massaged on the body. Once you have found a scent that resonates with both of you, deliberately create an emotional state of being you want to achieve when you are completely present and connected in a loving state with your partner. Describe what it feels like and work to establish that connection as you diffuse the smell in the air. Use this scent each time for the next consecutive 28 times you are intimate. After it is embedded in your memory, your partner will be able to help you quickly connect with them by diffusing your signature smell. Even before you consciously smell it, your brain will be getting you in the mindset for love.

Wire Your Brains Together
As they say in neuroscience, “neurons that fire together, wire together.” Mental states become neural traits. Day after day, your mind is building your brain. Be mindful of how this affects your marriage and note that intense, prolonged, or repeated mental/neural activity—especially if it is conscious—will leave an enduring imprint in your neural structure. Armed with this knowledge, it’s up to you to reinforce as many of those shared pathways of neural rewards with positive feelings and loving memories.

Whatever you focus on is strengthened in your mind. A fun, love ritual that engages this phenomena is for you and your love is to set your phone alarms to go off at least once during the day in sync with one another’s alarm. When you hear the alarm, take a mental break from work, childcare or whatever else you were focusing on, if you are able to at that moment or shortly thereafter, for three minutes. Close your eyes, turn off your other mental chatter and concentrate on your partner. You could choose different themes for each day of the week; maybe on Mondays, it will be how much you appreciate your love and Wednesdays it’s a sexy thought. Have fun and play with the themes. You may want to text a little sweet something after your meditative moment or save the juicy thoughts till you reunite at the end of the work day.

Another way to wire together is to learn together. Find something that you enjoy and can be passionate about together. You could take on a big project like co-writing a book or teaching a class. Or it could be a smaller, easier to accomplish task of learning something about an upcoming art theater or cultural event you are going to attend and each study an interesting component to share. You could take up a new language of a country you plan to visit. Yet another fun activity could be finding a theme around your meals, co-create your menus and try cooking new things together. The possibilities are endless, get creative and brainstorm a list of what to tackle next.

Try to Win an Oscar Everyday for Best Kiss
“A peck on the cheek says, ‘I love you,’ but a 10-second kiss says, ‘I’m still in love with you!’” states Dr. Ellen Kriedman, PhD. A relationship that started with a lot of chemistry and romance, can over time become just a sweet friendship that lacks the spark of passion. So to keep your relationship passion-filled, create a contest with your love acting as if you are in a romantic movie of your choice and kiss like you intend to win an Oscar for your acting prowess. I recommend upping the time to at least 30-seconds. You could opt to make an impression to last the whole day through by planting one on your love first thing in the morning or jump start your transition from work-brain to relationship-brain by melting into your love at the end of the day. While you are studying which kisses to emulate, happily you will also be strengthening your relationship, lowering your stress and your potential to divorce.

A study, involving 174 couples, conducted by the University of Rochester found that an inexpensive, fun and relatively simple movie-and-talk approach to strengthen a marriage could be just as effective as other more intensive therapist-led methods—as it was shown to reduce the divorce or separation rate from 24 to 11 percent after three years. “We thought the movie treatment would help, but not nearly as much as the other programs in which we were teaching all of these state-of-the-art skills,” said Ronald Rogge, associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. Simply amazing and an easy bit of marriage insurance!

Keep a “Look Forward To” on the Horizon
In the movie, Hope Springs, Meryl Streep’s character, Kay hit the nail on the head when she said she knew her and her husband were in trouble when they no longer had any “look forward to’s” in their future. Your “look forward to’s” can be little things like splurging on a special ice cream or a nice bottle of wine to celebrate something together on your next date night or a big thing like an upcoming “trip of a lifetime” to Paris. Especially if quality time is one of your love languages then you truly understand just how special creating out-of-the-ordinary moments are for you and your partner’s togetherness. If something is on the horizon, you get to experience the positive body chemistry associated with anticipating something good is going to occur. Endorphin and dopamine stimulation happens when we experience and expect good things. Anticipating positive events sustains the output of dopamine into the brain’s chemical pathways. This chemical cocktail makes you feel good and links in your brain the good feeling with thoughts of your partner.

Technology makes this easy to create into a love ritual. With fun sites like Pinterest, you can co-create boards around upcoming trips, meals you want to cook, adventurous date ideas, or things you’d love to build or manifest together. You could also start putting together lists in a Google Document or via Evernote for things like: a remodeling project, weekend getaways, restaurants and wines you want to try, places to explore, books to read, movies to see, a bucket list of fun adventures you want to do together, and special ideas for upcoming anniversaries. Again the possibilities are endless, so make “look forward to’s” designed to establish special, memory-evoking memories a top priority!

Tap into Your Inner Investigative Reporter
By keeping yourself in a positive state of mind, you will be uplifting the overall state of your relationship. Studies have shown that the base happiness level in a marriage is tied to the level of the individual who is less happy. I would hope that knowing this might instill a desire to make an extreme effort to pull your partner’s spirits up daily by working on your own levels of happiness. Of course we all feel down or sad from time to time but overall, it’s important to strive to see the world with a glass half-full mentality for the long-term health of your relationship.

If you really want to keep the positive thoughts coming, make this a part of your daily ritual. Consistently ask yourself and your partner good, thought-provoking, open-ended questions around the topics of happiness, excitement, pride, gratitude, joy, commitment and love, you’ll find that you access your most empowering emotional states on a regular basis, and you’ll begin to create mental highways toward filling up your reservoirs of positivity. Co-create with your partner a set of questions you can ask at least once a week or better yet once a day when you sit down together over a meal or before you go to bed at night.

Remember whatever you focus on, you will feel and experience on a deeper level. If you focus on the problems in your life or what bothers you about your relationship, chances are you could come up with a long list of negative things and by concentrating on those, they will not only persist but appear to grow. If you concentrate on all the wonderful mutual goals you are committed to with your partner, you’ll find that you are both consistently moving toward the result you’re after. Armed with a set of beautiful questions, designed to expand your mind to the possibilities you can create, you will be focusing on growing what matters most in your lives together!

Design Your Happily Ever After in Big, Little Steps
I hope you take some, if not all, of these steps to heart as you move forward toward building a relationship that can weather any storm and bring you more joy and love than you could ever imagine. Drop me a line if you use these and let me know how they have influenced your life together. One last parting tip: keep a one line a day journal of your loving thoughts and joyful memories for they will be powerful anchors to look back upon over the years to come.


Joy Nordstrom

Joy Nordenstrom
MBA, CMM

Joy M. Nordstrom is founder of Joy of Romance Inc., a certified matchmaker, relationship coach, wedding proposal planner and special romantic event and vacation planner. Joy emphasizes making relationship maintenance fun, sexy and intelligent by educating individuals on a practical, scientific and passionate-based approach to maintaining their romantic relationships.

JoyOfRomance.com

Exercise

Love Work(out)

It’s time to pause the cuddles, grab your love by the hand, get up, and go!

If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, why not include your partner in your routine. Think of yourselves as each other’s personal trainer. By motivating each other, you’ll learn new moves, face new challenges, and accomplish goals together. Talk about strength training!

The first step is to make an attainable goal for the both of you. What do you want to achieve both individually and together in your fitness? You can set multiple mini goals or one big goal. One key is to make sure it is realistic. Your goal should extend you but not necessarily be simple either. “I’m going to exercise 7 days a week” may be less realistic than “I’m going to exercise a minimum of 4 days a week.”

There are lots of options to keep you and your partner motivated. Get creative and plan a routine that includes things you both like to do. Go for a 30-40 min walk after dinner, take a yoga class, try rock climbing, or maybe spice things up and try a dance class. This makes sharing your routine rewarding not only on a level of physical wellbeing but also the shared appreciation of working as a team.

There’s a sea of couple’s workouts that are available across the web, but to get you two love birds started, check out this workout we found from Ideal Shape! Try it out for a month and you are sure to make strides while hand in hand.

Good luck!
Couples+Workout+-+Bespoken+www.bespokenweddings

 Couple Part 2

Infographic Source: Be Spoken Weddings
Workout Routine Source: Ideal Shape

Communication, Relationships

Love’s Daily Practice

A couple of years ago, Jodi, a client of mine who was working through cheating on her husband, told me something I will never forget.  She said, “I took off my wedding ring when I met up with the other man, but it still left a lighter band of skin on my finger.   I felt so guilty and awful the whole time and I finally broke off the affair when I realized that my marriage had left a deep mark, not just on my finger but on my heart.”

Jodi and Seth worked hard to get through that very painful time and ended up saving their marriage.  The mark Jodi identified on her heart was that she had developed an even deeper capacity for love and compassion than she had ever imagined.  As they worked on their marriage week after week for about nine months, they had to learn to experience and express compassion.  It sounds like something we’ve all heard about, right?  Compassion.  But what does it really mean and why is it so important to the health of a marriage, especially as the years pass?

Compassion is defined as a sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.

I translate that as to be with the feelings of another.

Over time, we all know the “Take your mate for granted” syndrome.  Sometimes it sounds like “I’m too busy with work for date night” or “I’m too tired for sex” or the old “Let’s watch television and chill” instead of talking with one another.  This is what got Jodi and Seth into trouble in the first place.

Bit by bit the marriage loses the vital emotional connection that grew your love and brought you together in the first place.

Compassion conquers taking one another for granted by keeping you connected to your feelings for each other.  It’s important that every day you pay attention to your mate’s feelings as well as your own.  Think of maintain good love just as you would maintaining good health brushing and flossing each day, eating well, exercise and meditation.

Here are the four steps to creating lasting compassion and connection in your marriage:

  1. The Feeling Check-up
    Ask yourself: do I really know what my beloved is feeling today?  Take a moment and imagine what they might be feeling given what you know what is going on in their life and in your life together.  Then tell them what you are imagining and ask “Am I close? Please tell me more”

    Jodi had no idea Seth was working long hours because he was afraid they were not financially ready for a baby.  Instead she felt angry and cut off from Seth.  She had never imagined or asked him what he was really feeling.

  1. Good Love Daily Exercise
    You want your mate to feel loved by you.  Ask every Sunday morning “What can I do every day so you feel loved by me?”

    Seth had fallen down pretty badly in this arena because of this fear.  He had shut down and stopped doing the little things that made Jodi feel loved, like rubbing her neck or even kissing her goodnight.

    Tip: if it’s your turn to respond to the question, keep your response simple and positive. For example, “Thank you for asking. I love it when you rub my neck.”

  1. Good Love Vitamins
    If only Seth and Jodi had opened up and let one another in instead of going into their separate corners, feeding on anger and resentment, instead of this vitamin.  It’s Vitamin O- openness.  Openness and vulnerability are the keys to intimacy and require compassion for yourself and your partner.  For most of us, it’s harder to share our fears, flaws, heartache and pain.  We want to have others think well of us.  In a good love relationship, it is your relationship to take your daily dose of Vitamin-V (vulnerability).  Show your true self to your partner.
  1. Meditation
    This was the big turnaround for Jodi and Seth.  Even though they both created distance in their marriage, Jodi was the one who pulled the trigger by having an affair.  She had a hard time forgiving herself and Seth had a hard time forgiving her.  Forgiveness was crucial for both of them.  First they had to recognize what had driven them apart, then accept they were human and that all human beings make mistakes and that in a marriage, mistakes can make you stronger only if you learn from them and make changes.

What did they learn?  The practice of learning compassion.  Marriage is meant to change us, to leave its mark on us because we become better people when we learn the steps to good love.  Learn from Jodi and Seth because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, your Granny was right!  You deserve good love and it requires daily practice.

“Where your attention is, that’s where you are.  What your attention is on, is what you become”  
-Le Counte St. Germaine


Dr. Wade Image

Dr. Brenda Wade
Nationally recognized relationship expert, author, and trainer

Creator and founder of the Love, Money & Seva Seminars and Power Coaching and Training International, Dr. Wade ignites change and transformation in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year. Employing her unique blend of Psychology, Science and Spirituality, she has become “one of the most renowned psychologists in America,” earning numerous awards for her TV programs, best-selling books and breakthrough seminars and trainings.

Media: Co-hosting her first television show: HELP! at age 16, Dr. Wade has been transforming lives over the airwaves ever since. She hosted four national television shows, two in syndication, and two for PBS television. As a popular and dynamic guest expert on shows like Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and most recently, Dr. Oz and Dr. Drew, she connects with the audience.

Author: Dr. Wade, author of four ground-breaking books, including: 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Falling In Love, Power Choices: 7 Milestones on Your Journey to Wholeness, Love, Joy and Peace, What Mama Couldn’t Tell Us About Love, and Love Lessons: A Guide to Transforming Relationships., (the latter two co-written with journalist Brenda Lane Richardson). He on-the-money, sometimes in your face advice, regularly appears in: Essence, “O”, Ebony, Ladies Home Journal, Jet, Heart & Soul and Bridal Fantasy magazines, and Huffington Post.

www.DrBrendaWade.com

Communication, Relationships

Giving Up the Need to Be Right to Have More Love

In her Ted talk from March 2012, University of Houston research professor Brené Brown makes a claim that vulnerability is the only way to create intimacy. “If we are going to find a way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path.” Indeed, closeness is the foundation for any relationship. But there needs to be a willingness from both sides to be open to that level of intimacy. Love is based on a decision to be extremely vulnerable with another person. Love doesn’t happen to you. You choose it.

As a recovering “need to be right” person, I grew up in an era and a home where “being right” was highly valued.  From my first days in school I saw that raising your hand and having the “right” answer meant you were smart. At home “being right” meant being loved for being smart. I was brainwashed into believing that when I was “right,” I was good enough to be loved.  Quite the ego boost! But that was about it. It certainly didn’t boost my long-term confidence.

As I grew up and matured, I found out there is something so much more important than being “right.” It’s being “loved.” I discovered that when I was committed to being “right,” it always meant making someone else “wrong.” As you know, feeling wrong does not go well with feeling loved.

Relationship expert and soul sister, Heide Banks, was pondering an old fight she had with her ex-husband after she asked him to buy her some iron supplements at the drugstore and he forgot.  She mentioned it to her friend Nat when she was asking him why he thought she was having such a difficult time with relationships.

Nat said: “One word: liquid iron.”

To which Heide replied: “That’s two words.“

“Exactly!” said Nat.

In a flash of a moment, Nat pointed out to Heide that her need to be “right” was getting in the way of her desire to be loved.

“I think that was the last time I corrected a man,” Heide shared.

Since that time, Heide is now happily in love with her soulmate and having the time of her life.

So many of us like to assume a rigid stance and “dig in our heels” to fight for our point of view and prove how “right” we are — often about some pretty stupid stuff.  The cost of needing to be right is hurting, harassing or humiliating the ones we claim to love the most.

Over the years I have finally learned to manage my mind and my mouth.  I’ve learned that most of the time it’s not necessary to “correct” anyone on what I think is right or wrong unless it’s really pertinent to someone’s well-being. Now, when I am smart enough to “catch” myself, and I am about to blurt out something in order to be “right,” I slap some imaginary masking tape over my mouth and choose love instead.


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Arielle Ford is a leading personality in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. For the past 25 years she has been living, teaching, and promoting consciousness through all forms of media. She is a relationship expert, speaker, and the producer and host of Evolving Wisdom’s Art of Love series.

Arielle is a gifted writer and the author of ten books including the international bestseller, THE SOULMATE SECRET: Manifest The Love of Your Life With The Law of Attraction. Her most recent book, Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate (Harper One/Elixir) offers 16 simple, easy, and fun ways to reignite and stay in love, passion and respect to your relationship – no matter how many years it’s been since you first fell in love. With practical tools, techniques and actionable steps, this book provides everything you need to quickly create harmony and happiness on the path to a legendary love relationship.  For free chapters please visit www.ArielleFord.com

Arielle has been called “The Cupid of Consciousness” and “The Fairy Godmother of Love.” She lives in La Jolla, CA with her husband/soulmate, Brian Hilliard and their feline friends.

Relationships

Relationships in a Fast Paced World

We are now living in a society where everything is fast paced and a lot of distractions are present every day.  We have friends who are frequently requesting us to add them to our  social media accounts, we download apps on our mobile so we can connect with them faster and have more fun.  In fact, some of you who are reading this even met online through dating websites.

In one of my passions, I get to meet a lot of people from all walks of life from across the planet each year as I travel globally.  I am a big believer that success leave clues. So in putting this article together, I reached out to some close people in my my personal Rolodex who have been married for more than forty years and have also grown up in a different generation and have a lot more life experiences.

What I discovered during my interview with them was that their was a common theme between the three different couples: They all agreed that the secret to a long term and committed marriage were as follows:

● Keep excitement alive in the relationship.  Do things that you haven’t done before.  Think outside the box and think of ways to stimulate curiosity and excitement.

● Never raise your voice at your partner no matter how difficult or challenging some situations are.  There may be some disagreements but that is just the way  relationships are.  You just need to agree to disagree.

● Never go to bed mad at each other. I read in the good book that we should not let the  sun go down on our anger.  This simply means that the day should not end without  both of you fixing relationship issues or concerns.  Going to bed needs to always be a loving experience and not a depressing act.

● Become resourceful and find creative ways to take the stress out of your partner’s day to day life.  By doing this, you are freeing the relationship from unnecessary  burdens. There will always be challenges that will arise from your personal or professional aspect of life, and that will surely show and your partner will see it.  It is important that you deeply care and show that you got there back no matter what.

● Schedule technology breaks when in the house or when you are together ­there should be no technology that can distract or interfere your quality time. Remember, love is spelled as T­I­M­E and quality time does not always mean quantity of time but the quality of attention you give to your partner.

● Go outside the house and watch movies, shows, concerts, or take a walk in the park or do a hobby together.  This is also vitally important.  What’s important is that you are  able to do something together.  It’s not what you are doing but the memories you make as you do these things together.  This is what matters most.

● Read the book entitled  “The Five Love Languages” By Dr. Gary Chapman.  This is a “Must Read” for any relationship. This book will surely give you an idea on how you  can show your love to your partner in the language he/she will understand.

We are living in a crazy and fast world.  Everyone wants everything fast and it’s so easy to get distracted.  This is not how it works with relationship.  Relationship is built in time.  Relationship is like a time deposit where you invest now and earn later.  You have to wait until you reach a point where you enjoy the benefits of it.

Above are a few good suggestions that I have collected and I really hope that it can help you and your relationship.


Darren J

Darren Jacklin; World-Class Professional Speaker, Corporate Trainer, Angel Investor

For over 20 years, Darren Jacklin has travelled four continents and personally trained over one million people in over 45 countries.

He has mentored entrepreneurs and business owners on specific and measurable strategies. These strategies have then been implemented into businesses to increase income, transform obstacles into cash flow and turn passion into profits.

Darren has an uncanny ability to increase wealth and success by uncovering hidden assets, overlooked opportunities and undervalued possibilities.

His talent has captured the attention of Tiger 21, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, NBC TV, CBS TV, Global TV, international radio stations, magazines and newspapers, movie producers, best-selling authors, CEO’s and business experts worldwide.

Darren is also featured as an international celebrity in the 2015 movie The Treasure Map.

Darren Jacklin currently sits on paid International Boards of public and private companies. He has also personally trained over one hundred and fifty Fortune 500 companies such as, Microsoft, AT&T, Black & Decker, Barclay’s Bank, as well as high school, college, and university students and lastly, professional athletes.

His experience has connected him with people in more than 128 countries. Darren Jacklin is also the Chief Executive Officer of AFS Superfoods Ltd.

DarrenJacklin.com

Money

Ready, Set, Married!

Planning a wedding is exciting. Heading out on the honeymoon is exciting. Cleaning up your money so getting hitched goes as smoothly as possible, not so much.  Since getting married means merging your life with someone else’s, what better time is there to take a good look at what you’ve been doing with your money? A spit and polish here, a trim there and you’ll be in fine shape to integrate your money and your lives.

Just as it’s easy to accumulate a lot of junk in the junk drawer so, too, is it easy for singles to accumulate a lot of spending that’ll have no place in married money. Time to dump the stuff out of the drawer and decide what should be there and shouldn’t. Can you merge accounts to save on bank fees? Are there services you’re paying for that you seldom actually use? And what will you no longer need in your budget because you both don’t need to pay for the same thing?

Whatever you can trim from your spending, pour that money into your most expensive debt or into your emergency fund. You know that gym membership you never use? Dump it. Ditto the magazines, which pile up in the corner or that outrageous cable bill.

Don’t forget to update your wills and powers of attorney. A will becomes old news as soon as you marry unless it was made ‘in contemplation of marriage.’ Powers of attorney will let your new mate speak on your behalf if you become a drooling fool. No, it doesn’t happen automatically when you marry, you have to give your mate the right to speak for you.

This is also a great time to throw out old crap. As you go through your financial paperwork ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Am I likely to need this again as a reference?
  2. Am I obliged to hang onto this piece of paper just in case someone official starts asking questions?

If the answer is yes to either question the item gets filed. No and that paperwork joins the ranks of the recycled.

A great way to start a conversation on what you want to achieve together is to update your net worth statement so you can see what direction you’re moving in. See some things that need fixing? Make a plan for how you’ll make things better together.

Now that one has become two, look at your insurance coverage to make sure it’s adequate and to eliminate any dual coverage.  Raise your deductibles to save some money, and make sure you combine your coverage – home, car, life, disability – to get the very best deal possible. What made sense a few years ago when you put those policies in place may no longer work for you once you’re married.

Marriage means taking some time to adjusted your financial plan to reflect what’s new. How you will you manage your money as a couple? Do you have different priorities?  How have you adjusted what you’re doing with your money to reflect what you’re doing in your life? Answer these questions and you’ll be ready to go!


imageedit_2_2577933095

Gail Vaz-Oxlade is the host of “Til Debt Do U$ Part” and “Princess” on Slice.
Gail blogs daily at her website. Gail’s book, “Debt-Free Forever”, published by HarperCollins shot to the top of the bestseller list in 2010. Her latest book, “Never Too Late”, has proven to be another huge success.
GailVazOxlade.com

Communication

7 Ways to Say I Love You

In the glow of wedded bliss, deepening commitments, and the possibility of brand spanking new pans, silverware and candle holders ~ it’s hard to imagine that anything aside from forgotten table decorations, bickering in-laws, or perhaps an early new member of the family could possibly break the spell.

And you’d be right to feel this way. Newly wedded bliss is a pretty heady spell. It’s yummy and should be relished to the fullest. And who the heck wants to think about their work situation when a honeymoon in paradise is just around the corner? Not many. It’s a time of celebration, and so it should be.

Work stressors left unaddressed between two people can leave a taste of something not great that hovers right under the blissfulness of the wedding day and on into the first year as Mr. and Mrs. And that taste can taint an otherwise magical memory.

In an average year an average working man or woman will spend approximately ¼ of their 24-hours-a-day working. If someone gets laid off, or their hours get reduced, or they hate what they’re doing… that’s about 2,200 hours a year partially dedicated to “what do I do now?” and/or “get me out of here!” And guess where that stress ends up? At home.

Having a Plan B when it comes to unforeseen work changes or challenges is like knowing that your friend made it safely home after a long flight. It’s comforting. On some level in the brain it activates a sense of safety and when two people feel safe together and like they have each other’s backs, they have a pretty solid foundation.

I do want to acknowledge that it can be tough to shift out of that all-encompassing feeling of romantic connection and can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you to “Hey honey, what will we do if one of us loses or leaves our job?” So celebrate with a glass of champagne and some serious hands-back-on-each-other activity afterwards because having those conversations is an act of love.

Here are 8 ways to say I love you and win at the tough conversations:

  1. Set a date, a start and end time. Maximum two hours to begin. Don’t go over.
  2. Honesty: This is the time to share the tough stuff. If you know on some level that you’re not going to last much longer in your current career, now’s a good time to start figuring out what you’ll do.
  3. Respect: If eye-rolling, heavy sighing, or any other signs of no longer listening to and considering each other start showing up, take a break.
  4. End Goal: At the start, agree on the final destination. For example: by the end we want a clear financial back up plan that we build towards to cover any surprises that might happen.
  5. Action & Next Date: Design 2 or 3 action steps, assign them, and put another time on the calendar.
  6. Commitment: To not putting things off.
  7. Appreciation: Share 2 appreciations about your partner at the end of each date.

As you’re planning on being married for the rest of your lives, there’s a good chance that a work change will impact you or your partner. So play smart and be ready for it. And remember: Get help when needed. Doing it alone isn’t the best plan. But you already know that ~ that’s why you’re getting married!


Clara Chorley Headshot
Clara Chorley
is the founder of Clarity Unlimited. She has an extensive and unique international background as a Career Transition Coach, professional speaker and program management consultant for Africa-based humanitarian organizations. She has worked and travelled through 40 countries and 5 continents, is author of the best-selling book T.U.R.N: 4 Steps to Clarity in your Life and Career, TEDx presenter, and currently lives in San Francisco, California.

Food

Here’s An Easy Dinner Party Menu that Delivers Health & Beauty Benefits

Want to host a dinner party that will be super easy for you and create fun for your guests? How about hosting a Chinese Hot Pot Party?

Chinese hot pot parties are easy, delicious, and engaging for your guests. And with a few easy recipe tips, you can also bring a mega dose of health and beauty to the party!

The Chinese Hot Pot Meal

If you want a unique experience, this one is it! Hot pot meals are considered the ultimate in communal cooking — they’re meant to be shared with friends and loved ones who want to gather together in the most social of meal experiences. We continue to hear stories of people making lasting friendships after sharing a hot pot meal.

You take a single burner or two, plug them in on a center island or table, and place pots of hot broth on the burners. The group gathers around, customizing their meal fondue-style. Thinly sliced meats, shrimp, and chicken; vegetables; and rice noodles all cook within 3 minutes in these communal pots.

With fine mesh strainers, slotted spoons, or hot pot strainer scoops (all of which can be purchased at Amazon.com or your local kitchen store), you can put the foods you want for your meal into the hot broth and allow them to cook. Your guests who are new to hot pot meals will be surprised by how fast everything cooks.

Serves 10–12 people


Broth (See Basic Chicken Bone Broth Recipe

  • 10 cups of basic chicken bone broth (make this well in advance to freeze and take out to thaw a day or two before the party, or make fresh one to two days before the party).

Vegetables

  • 2 cups spiral-cut, julienned, or thinly sliced half-moons of yellow summer squash and zucchini
  • 6 baby bok choy or 1 head large bok choy, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped up (use florets and save stems for future bone or vegetable broth)
  • Pickled Ginger (optional – make yourself or purchase)

Noodles

  • Organic rice noodles (you can often get these gluten free, fast cooking noodles in your grocery or health-food store, and of course they’re available online; King Soba Organic Thai Rice Noodles is a nice option)

Meat, poultry, and fish

  • 1 lb. chicken thighs
  • 1 lb. beef eye of round, sliced thin
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp

Dipping sauces

Hot pot meals are traditionally served with 3 – 4 choices. You can make your own or purchase them. Some options are:

  • Wheat free tamari
  • Soy sauce
  • ½ cup toasted sesame oil (add a teaspoon each of minced garlic and chives, if you like)
  • Aioli (homemade or store bought)
  • Sriracha
  • German mustard (this is mustard and horseradish—you can also mix Dijon mustard with prepared horseradish)

Tools

  • One or two single burners. You can use your stove if you like; it’s up to you! If you want to use burners, you can get them at your local kitchen store or department store, or from Amazon.com. They start at around $13 and go up from there.
  • A deep saucepan for each burner (about 8- to 10-cup capacity)
  • One or two stainless steel fine mesh strainers (OXO fine mesh strainers have a silicone handle and all stainless strainer, and these were our favorite hot pot tools).
  • Optional: tongs, slotted spoons, or hot pot strainer scoops to scoop smaller things out of the broth; chopsticks for the meal.

LouiseHayandHeatherDane

Louise Hay, the author of the international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, is a metaphysical lecturer and teacher with more than 50 million books sold worldwide. For more than 30 years, Louise has helped people throughout the world discover and implement the full potential of their own creative powers for personal growth and self-healing.
LouiseHay.com

Heather Dane, is a certified health coach specializing in applying functional medicine and nutrigenomics protocols to resolve chronic conditions . She has worked with many of the great minds in medicine, natural health, nutrition, and energy healing, and designs delicious recipes to nourish body and soul.
HeatherDane.com