We live in a Global Village. What does that mean? We have the incredible opportunity to see what is going on in the world. This includes both wonderful and heart breaking events. In all aspects of our lives, we come into contact with people from different walks of life. We are a diverse community. It is important that while we may not always live our lives the same as others, we need to at least develop tolerance and respect for people.
How do we do that? Talk with others and listen, really listen. Ask them about their family, traditions and cultures. Ask about their country of origin. Avoid topics such as religion, politics and sex. These can break down rather than build a relationship.
There is so much we can learn from others. We see a different perspective and this can bring a fresh angle in solving challenges. When we learn, we grow. Diversity brings color to our lives. When we communicate with people that are different from us, we build trust and acceptance.
I love to watch sailboats. They glide and bob across and over the water with such grace. They rely on the elements to move and without a strong wind, they are helpless to propel forward. To be a sailor takes ingenuity and practice. Just like in a relationship. Both require the ability to move back and forth to reach their final destination. Seldom do they go in a perfectly straight line. Relationships require partners to give and take from each other. You may also face a strong head wind. You may have to navigate rough seas and external challenges. You also need to have a back-up plan and that is when you may have to paddle, row or a motor may come in handy.
Sailing has its own language. It uses terms such as trimmed, luffing and stalled. In relationships, even at work, you can have your own vocabulary, depending on the job. At times, a sailboat and a relationship may become stalled. In a personal relationship, you will use certain endearments and in negative partnerships, the language can be quite salty. Studies show that if your partner, early on in your relationship, starts using nicknames or calling you “dear”, “honey” and so on, that is a good sign that they may be interested in a long-term relationship.
It takes a team when sailing and they can change their role from time to time. They can be the captain or tactician. It is important that you know how to cover each other just as in a family. When one person gets tired, another person is ready to take over. At work, team members need to cover for everyone else. You don’t want a mutiny on your hands.
Everyone needs to keep their eye on the horizon and each other. You don’t want anyone falling overboard. In relationships, you need to both be going in the same direction and looking out to keep each other safe. You want the captain and navigator to agree where you are going to arrive there safely. Bottom line, in any kind of relationship, you need to work together to make the voyage a smooth one, enjoyable and everyone arrives securely. Take the time to maintain a sailboat; to keep it seaworthy and ship shape. Put the effort in now or you will find yourself in the middle of the ocean with a leaky craft. It is the same with people and your interactions. Be willing to put the time and effort in and it can be a wonderful adventure. Bon voyage!
Whether it is in a relationship or not, try something new. Move outside of your comfort zone. It could be a new food, taking a course, trying a new exercise program, listening to a different kind of music, watching an alternate TV show or movie genre or going to a festival. You could even try a new route to work. There can be so much fun in trying something different. You expand your mind and lift your spirits. Somethings as simple as driving a different way to the doctor keeps your mind sharp and can help when we are aging. If you are going through a change and have either started or ended a relationship, you may meet someone new if you expand your interests.
In my video, you will see what I did to try something new. I was “living on the edge”, lol! Speaking of food, a side note of interest is that you should try foods that you might not have previously liked every 10 years as our taste buds and preferences change with age. This could also be true in considering dating someone that is not your usual “type”. You never know. It could open up a whole new world for you. What are you going to do today? What can you try that is different from what you normally do? Go for it!
Showing eye contact is a critical part of communicating with others. It builds trust which is a key element in a strong foundation for relationships. It shows them that you value them enough to pay attention to them when they are speaking. If you don’t look at the person you are speaking with, they may think you are not being honest with them. This can have a profound impact on your personal and professional relationships. If you struggle with this skill, it may make it easier for you to look above their nose to the place between their eyebrows. You will want to look away for short periods of time as well. Only 1-2 seconds at a time though.
This can be a difficult skill for some people to master, especially when you are in a busy office or restaurant with so many distractions. You may have to concentrate very hard. It is well worth the effort and you won’t regret it. Making eye contact with another person creates a powerful connection; a bond if you will. It takes your relationship to a completely different level. Try it! You will feel the power.
We all have disappointment and pain at some point in our lives. In order for us to grow and learn, there is some kind of disappointment we have to face. Some of it can be more of a challenge than others. It could be a death, illness, divorce, loss of a job and so on. Whether or not you let that pain hold you back, is up to you. Will you continue to suffer? If you hold onto that pain, what are you getting out of that? You must be getting something; maybe it is the victim mentality.
When you are ready to move forward, here are some strategies to consider. Think about what role you played in the problem. Did you communicate what you needed and wanted? Ask for help. Focus on what you have, not what you have lost. What we focus on grows so look at all the positive parts of this experience. What have you learned about yourself from this? What will you do differently next time? Put a plan in place to move ahead. Maybe it is getting a place to live, a different job or taking a class. By writing things down on a piece of paper and checking them off when done, you will feel a measure of control and success. Your confidence will grow.
Staying for too long in the world of suffering will hold you back from living your best life. Take charge and step into your power. You have survived this difficult time and are starting a new chapter in your life. You are worthy of so much.
To make the most of my time at an amusement park, I plan things out. I usually go to the rides furthest from the gate entrance. I don’t want to get to the end of the day when I am tired and have to walk all the way back to the parking lot. I also get a Fast Pass when possible. Something similar to speed dating.
When you think of an amusement park, what comes to mind. Is it a specific ride, the carnival games or the food? I love the fried dough! For me, I like the roller coaster but only if it doesn’t do a loop. If it did, I would be in trouble. I like the anticipation as the car rolls to the top of the track and the exhilaration as it plummets downward. There is also anticipation when you are going to meet someone for the first time and how you may be so nervous you feel a little nauseous. Hopefully you don’t get sick.
Do you prefer to ride on the Merry-Go-Round that goes in a more predictable path with less risk? You can change from one animal to another with less danger. You have a pole to hold onto to keep you more centered. There are some lights and music as well to offer some stimulation.
How about the tea cups? They spin around and around and you can control the speed using the wheel in the center. Relationships can make you dizzy and keep you off balance. Sometimes that is good but over time that could be difficult. It is understandable that in the beginning, this is natural and can be very exciting.
Another ride that I enjoy is Bumper Cars. However, maybe not when it comes to relationships. Do you look for “affairs” like Bumper Cars? You “bump” into others for one night or a superficial connection and then move onto the next one. Are you unwilling to consider a deeper partnership?
So dating is like an amusement park. You can get more out of the experience when you have a plan and know what it is you want to do. Are you just out to get as many dates (rides) as you can? Do you want to just have fun, try something new or make it a day to remember? It’s up to you. Remember to be safe and buckle up when necessary.
One of my favorite books is, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. It is a collection of short essays. In there, they talk about the importance of play among other topics. In my video, I talk about passing a playground and the sounds of laughter as the children play. I learned how to play again by watching my own children. The simple act of dancing in the rain for example. Yes, I do that. Although, now I make sure it is not thundering and lightening. I still like to chalk on the sidewalk and give me a bottle of bubbles and a wand and watch out! My children and I still sing and dance to this day and I did so as a public school teacher and as a college professor. Occasionally, my children walk away from me when I do so in a public place. Ahhh, I’m still able to embarrass them. It is a gift! My play is a little different when I got older as I go hiking or fishing when I get a chance now. I have more freedom now that I am retired.
I have always tried to make my work seem like play. This could be challenging at times in my career but in doing so, I could try to add to the fun parts of my job. It was a great way to lower my stress too. I tried to find activities that brought be outside more. I had a chance to enjoy the sunshine, which was limited in Rochester, NY, and to feel the warmth on my face was such a joy. Probably because of the overcast weather in my hometown, I have come to appreciate the sunshine on the west coast so much more. When you are outside, you can connect with nature more. You feel more grounded and if you live in a place with clear air, take in a few deep breaths. It will calm and center you. Try it now, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out…now, don’t you feel better?
When looking at the relationships in your life, it is an added bonus if you find someone who shares the same sense of play and interests that you do. It is another avenue for you to explore and create shared memories. As you get older, you can recall them with affection. There are many opportunities for you to meet like-minded people in your community. Check online for ideas.
So, the world is waiting. Now put on your sneakers, go outside and play!
I spent many years of my life giving and giving. At the end of the day, there was nothing left for me. I am a helper. That is what I do. I like to help people but forgot that the most important person I needed to help, was myself. This is often the case for women. We are caregivers by nature and can’t expect to help others if we don’t “recharge our batteries.”
Over time, when we keep giving of our time and talents, we will eventually burn out. That is what happened to me. I was tired, kept getting sick and started to get depressed. We need to learn what we like to do to build back up our energy. I like to exercise and make sure I get enough sleep. I have a friend who loves art so she takes a class once a week. My mom loves to garden and so she does that. At 85 years young she has 3 acres of manicured gardens and shows no signs of slowing down. I’m tired just trying to keep up with her! She is an inspiration.
Don’t look at this as being selfish. You deserve to take time for yourself. When my children were young, and I was home alone with them, which was most of the time, I had to find some stolen moments to care for myself. It might have been reading a book outside under a tree or listening to some music. I did not have a big budget to work from at that time. I also gave my children more responsibilities around the house. It taught them valuable skills and took some of the burden off of me. Figure out what you need to do to recharge yourself. You deserve it!
I recently went to an event at Paramount Studios. We walked down streets made to look like NYC or a city street. At first glance, they look like buildings and you could walk right into someone’s home. Once you ascend the steps, you can only go in a few feet and then have to turn back around. They are facades only. It made me think about relationships and how people can put on a fake façade. This often happens at the beginning of any relationship. People want to make a good first impression. It may take a few dates before you see the “real” person, warts and all.
Let’s face it, none of us is perfect. Some people are very good at hiding who they really are. Many abusive relationships start this way. People are manipulated into believing that the poor behavior of the abuser is the fault of the victim. They can be very effective at this. If you suspect you are in this type of relationship, seek help to get out. It is not up to you to “fix” them and don’t believe them if they try to tell you that they are the only one who would ever love you.
Learning to accept someone for their faults can lead to a deeper and more meaningful connection. No bond is going to be perfect. There are going to be rocky times. Learning to manage through these together can bring you even closer. You have a shared experience. Look for the signs of an abusive relationship. I was in an abusive relationship for years. I kept thinking things were going to change and get better. They never did. There are multiple ways of be abused. Physical, mental, emotional and so on. Wasn’t it Albert Einstein that said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
This goes along with first impressions. Your handshake says a lot about you. Are you confident, friendly, positive, and full of energy? All of this can come through in your handshake. This is very important in your professional life and your personal life.
In my video, I show you the proper placement for a handshake. I also talk about the wet washcloth or wet noodle. This is a big turn off for many people if you don’t give a strong handshake. Handshakes have changed over the years. Check out the TEDx talk by Allan Pease entitled “Power is in the Palm of Your Hand” and he explains the history of the handshake. It is very interesting. Here is the webmail address for that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZZ7k8cMA-4
Now, back to you. When you shake their hand, look them in the eye and pump your hand 2-3 times then release. More than that can make the other person uncomfortable. Smile!! I can’t stress this enough. They go “hand in hand”. See what I did there? Practice, practice, practice. Practice with family, friends and eventually others. Maybe a church, at a business event or a party. So, make your first impression count and your handshake is a big part of that.