Monthly Archives: December 2011

12/14/11 – Effective Communication

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“Anger repressed can poison a relationship as surely as the cruelest words.”

– Dr. Joyce Brothers, Psychologist/Author

Communication. One of the  most important words in the human language, may just be THE most important word. I don’t care how you say it: comunicación, kommunikation, comunicazione, コミュニケーション, Komunikacja, коммуникация, Iletişim, 交流, Communication is imperative! That’s what this quote says to me.

When you initially get angry or upset with someone I don’t think you should immediately react. I think you should take a minute, think it all through, calm down and process the situation and THEN communicate your concerns or issue with the person. The two things you should not do are repress this anger, never saying something, or immediately responding with cruel words. Those two responses are synonymous.  The only answer that makes sense and that will hopefully solve the problem is to communicate civilly with the person you are angry or upset with. The longer you let anger build up inside of you the worse the problem gets. If you NEVER say something, it could build up to the point of resentment. Repressed anger grows and is just as dangerous as using harsh, painful words said to another.

Remember this! It is SO important! We have to communicate with one another. Just because something makes sense in your head doesn’t mean that anyone else knows what you’re thinking, or that they can see your side of a situation without you expressing it. I bet that 75% of the time, the problem is created based on assumptions, gossip, mis-understandings or mis-communication.

Don’t let anger consume your heart. Put everything on the table and leave room in your heart for love. Be kind, be understanding and be open! Click the graph for helpful communication tips.

12/12/11 – Sleeping and Resting

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“I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting.” – Mark Twain

I did something WAY out of the norm for Lauren this weekend, I TOOK A NAP, I slept until 10 am on Sunday and I sat down for longer than an hour and did NOTHING at all! And I feel amazing! I never nap or take time to get rest. It really is one of the best things you can do for your body.  Ironically, my daily email from Moodscope I got today said the following:

“It doesn’t happen quite so often with modern computers, but it was often the case that turning a PC off, then back on again really could solve all manner of problems. I think it’s still a useful first step in trouble-shooting. What tended to happen when your computer was doing something demanding such as retouching a photograph or calculating a particularly complex formula, was that it got stuck in a loop – performing processes that were invisible and also entirely unnecessary.The old on/off trick could help no end.

We could do the same with our own in-built ‘hardware’. It’s all too easy to get into an infinite loop of negative thinking. Round and round goes the bad stuff. On and on goes the destructive rumination. Enough already. Time to stop that, and start afresh. How? Perhaps a really good night’s sleep will do it. Or a coat, hat and boots long walk. Or a trip out to see a movie. Sometimes a good cry, even.When you find yourself trapped in a cycle of negative thinking, (a) recognise it (and well done when you do), then (b) do your level best to crowd out the bad thoughts with something else entirely. It’s probably only then that you can start to create a more positive approach.”

Take time to rest, relax, sleep, re-boot! You only get one body and one mind, give it a break from time to time. Click the lion to see more pictures of cute sleeping animals haha

12/10/11 – Music expresses the inexpressible

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“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley

I was with a group of friends last night to celebrate the holidays, some old, some new. It only took about thirty minutes for us all to realize that we all had ONE thing in common (besides that we were all fabulous people)…. MUSIC! One artist or band after another, we each named some of our favorites: Mariah, Celine, Adele, U2, Beyonce, George Michael, The Beatles and the list went on and on throughout the night. We went through the IPod playing some of our favorite Christmas and non Christmas songs telling stories about many of them and how we could relate to specific songs.  It was amazing to see how many of us could relate to the same songs, to realize the power music had over our lives and our emotions.

Then, this morning, I took the train for the first time in awhile. I don’t work off of a train stop anymore and I forgot how peaceful and therapeutic it was to ride the train, listening to my music, blocking out the world. I hate to admit, but sometimes I forget how important music is in my life and how it expresses the inexpressible, helping to put my thoughts and my soul at peace.

By the end of the night there was one song that we all seemed to relate to the strongest, many of you I’m sure have the same feelings. I have linked “Someone Like You” by the beautiful Adele to the picture below. This is a version that I was told to check out, live at Jools Holland.

12/9/11 – Make me feel important

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“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” – Mary Kay Ash

That’s all anyone wants; to feel important, to feel loved, to feel wanted and needed, it’s a natural feeling we all share. Well if we all know that we all want the same thing, why don’t we just do it, make each other feel important. It’s really not that difficult. I think it involves 2 simple things: listening and acknowledging.

We all want to be heard and to feel recognized. Remember that when you are interacting with people, make an effort to generally care about what they have to say, respond accordingly and have compassion and understanding when necessary. As this quote says, it will help you out in all areas of your life. We trust and build relationships with the people who make us feel understood, recognized and respected. I know that recently someone I do business with remembered Bailey’s name  and it meant the world to me. I was important enough for someone to remember my dog’s name. Someone listened to me, cared enough to make a mental note and then went out of their way to ask how she was doing since she was sick the last time we spoke.  That is how you build personal and professional relationships!

I heard Mary J. Blige sing a song last night that literally had me mezmorized, click the image below to hear it.

12/8/11 – Unlearn

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“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.” – Gloria Steinem

I think  that this is one of the hardest things for people to do, yet one of the most important things that they MUST do. What you have learned from your experiences begins to change your behavior and your views, but not always in a positive way. Many times, we learn things through experiences that were false yet they stay engraved in our minds and change us for the worse. We need to unlearn these things.

I grabbed this quote today from an AMAZING article posted on HuffingtonPost yesterday. PLEASE read it!!! It is linked to the image below. ESPECIALLY YOU LADIES!!!  What an awesome article written by a man. Actually, I will rephrase, ESPECIALLY YOU MEN!!! I think you need to read this more than we do. It was liberating for me just to read it so I hope you enjoy.

Here’s a taste:

“And this is the sort of emotional manipulation that feeds an epidemic in our country, an epidemic that defines women as crazy, irrational, overly sensitive, unhinged. This epidemic helps fuel the idea that women need only the slightest provocation to unleash their (crazy) emotions. It’s patently false and unfair.”

12/7/11 – Laughter

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“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.” – Yiddish Proverb

I have a piece of art hanging in my hallway with this quote on it. This morning, when I was walking back to my room from the shower, my eyes were drawn to it for some reason and I stopped and read it over a few times. Funny enough, it made me laugh. Just having gotten out of the shower, using soap to cleanse my body, it really resonated in me. How true are these words? Everyone feels great after a good laugh. I think it really does cleanse the soul.

I know that recently, for example, I was really stressed out and it was draining the daylights out of me. I needed something to get it all out of my head so I asked a friend, “Please make me laugh, a joke, anything! I’m about to flip out and I just need to laugh.” Problem solved, it was a success!

Sometimes that’s all you need, just to laugh, let go and relieve stress in a way that feels good all the way down to your soul. I can’t think of any better medicine than laughter. Just look at this baby below! I don’t even know who he is but dang do I feel better just seeing his sweet face laughing. All my troubles go away when I look at him.

You WILL laugh if you watch the video linked to this precious laughing baby!  I can PROMISE you that, this one NEVER fails!

12/6/11 – Good Memories

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“It takes more than good memory to have good memories.” – Unknown

I have a pretty dang good memory, and I hope that never changes, but that doesn’t mean all of my memories are good ones and I don’t  have as many good memories as I do because I have a good memory. The good come with the bad, the bad I try not to think about for what they were but for what they’ve taught me. I have so many good memories because I have been surrounded by amazing people my entire life. I truly believe that I’ve been one of the luckiest girls in the world to have met and know all the people that I do.

It’s the good memories with all of my friends and family that help me to get through some days or to help make the good days ever better. I love getting together with my friends and laughing for hours about the memories we have made. I could go on for pages right with the ones that just popped in my mind this second but I won’t.

Today, think of 5 of your favorite memories, write them down, so that on a rainy day, when you are feeling a little down, you can read about them and be reminded how truly special life really is. Thank you, friends and family, for helping to create the good memories that have helped to create who I am, that have taught me so much and that make my dark days brighter!

This picture is from one of my favorite memories and, the song it’s linked to, another! (Right UT friends?)

12/5/11 – Don’t Gossip

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“The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.” – German Proverb

This is a great quote to consider every time people are gossiping. I try so hard to not believe things I hear unless I witness them first hand. If not, it turns into a bad game of telephone, someone always gets hurt, people may fight over nothing ruining trust in their relationships and it is a downward spiral from there.

Not much feels worse than spreading wrong information and being confronted for doing so. UGH what a NASTY feeling of guilt! I would give specific examples but I don’t want to relive that feeling, we can all relate to this without sharing concrete situations. Believe what you see, not what you hear. Save yourself the trouble of false information. The only person you can truly trust is yourself.

Like Marvin Gaye said MANY years ago when he “Heard it Through the Grape Vine”…’People say believe half of what you see, Son, and none of what you hear.’ (Linked Below)

12/2/11 – The Beauty of Nothing

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“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.” – Spanish proverb

The first time I read this quote, I laughed, thinking back on my time in Spain and the phrase, “Mañana.” As many people know, and maybe some of you don’t, the Spanish aren’t in a big hurry. They start work a little later than most (a lot later than Americans), take a mid-day siesta, stay up late and have a holiday for EVERY Saint where they don’t work or go to school and spend the day with family and friends, dancing, eating and enjoying life. When you ask a landlord when something can be fixed or when the internet will get hooked up, the response is usually, “Mañana.” HAHA There is no hurry.

At first I found this a bit frustrating, but things eventually changed. This slowed down way of life made me slow down. For the first time in my life I wasn’t in such a rush, I wasn’t trying to fill every minute of every day with something. I started to enjoy the simple things: walking through the city, lying in the grass at the park, enjoying a cafe con leche at a cafe on the sidewalk, listening to the locals speak and laugh and taking in everything the Catalan culture had to offer me….every.last.drop!

I learned so much about myself by just doing nothing, enjoying the moment and then resting afterwards, in my head going through all that I learned during the silence of “nothing.” But, what I always thought was nothing, was everything! It was the most beautiful time of my life, when I did nothing and then rested afterwards. Slow down, what are you in such a hurry for? Enjoy your life, nature, the silence, the sound and feeling of laughter and, remember, we don’t come out of this life alive, so live it! Take time to RELAX and take it all in…every.last.drop!

If you’ve never mediated, try it. Click the picture below (courtesy of Melissa Amason taken while visiting Barcelona) sit back, close your eyes and clear your mind while listening to my favorite song to meditate to. I promise, you won’t miss ANYTHING and you will gain EVERYTHING!