Choices

Be Careful of the Lure of “There Could Be Someone Better”

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When we are in a long-term relationship and the pink cloud has long sense disappeared, the real work of relationship begins. If you are fortunate enough to have found that special someone, be aware that Phase II is worth the work if you love them.

 

If you are still in the dating “adventure” stage and online dating is a choice you made to have more options, good for you! I believe deeply that as we get older and no longer have more natural gathering places like school events, our kid’s soccer games;etc. finding a partner can be much more challenging. But, there are a plethora of huge landmines in the online dating playing field.

 

Choice is a wonderful thing and online dating certainly provides us with endless photos of men and women of all sizes, shapes and interests. I’ve often said how nice it would be if we could cut and paste the perfect mate from that buffet of choices. Alas, we can’t and if we aren’t careful, we develop what psychologists call “cognitive overload”.

 

One day we see someone who really interests us. Who knows what it is? Perhaps it’s the smile, those eyes, the photo of the dog…but something says, “I want to meet this person”. So, we screw up the courage as they say, to send them an email. If you are sending winks or nods or handshakes or likes or rose icons, you’re not communicating that you really want to meet them. You’re just fishing and hoping they will do the risk-taking. So, email them! It really says what you feel and, of course, there’s never a guarantee they feel the same. But one day, you hear back from him/her and yep, there’s something happening. Both of you email a few times, then decide to meet for coffee, lunch or a walk to see just what’s up with the attraction thing. And, you’re off!!!

 

But wait!  You’ve got 48 hours before you meet them and who knows? There might be someone else better online today in those “matches”! Back on you go and sure enough, two more faces that make you curious…and on and on and on. You go back to check out their profile to “reevaluate” the person you’ve agreed to meet and there they are, screen screaming, “Online Now!”. How does it feel? Yes, you’ve been online too, but somehow, it just feels bad to see that they’re still looking.

 

Dating sites provide choices galore, but beware of the addictive nature of endless choice, and of cognitive overload. When you find someone you think is worth meeting, be courageous and contact them. Get together as soon as possible to check out your intuition, and then stop to appreciate the feeling of having found someone with mutual interests and attraction. Be aware of the temptation to overdo it at that love buffet. Stop and savor the moments and the people you’ll meet along the way.

Looking for Love or for Happiness?

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Sometimes the two come together in the form of two people who meet, fall in love and decide to be together sometimes for life, and other times for whatever period of their lives they share. But have we short-changed what happiness means?

 

 

Every year as Valentine’s Day approaches, and that begins for Hallmark the day after Christmas, our unconscious kicks into overdrive. Visions of hearts, chocolates, champagne…memories of red construction paper hearts with lace borders made from doilies and for some of us,shoe boxes covered in crisp red tissue paper, the top with a hole in it just big enough for our classmates to put a tiny valentine inside (or not!). With those images, our sweet little hearts remember the pain associated with times when we were disappointed in love. And, more importantly, amnesia sets in at least until that miserable February 14 has finally passed.

 

It’s hard to ignore the marketing definition and images of what love is. The good news is that we can turn that around by overriding those old memories with our newer and more accurate definition of love and happiness. It’s really simple when you are ready to move past the formula that Love=Happiness and that Happiness=Being in Love.

 

Here’s how to have a happy Valentine’s Day this year even if you haven’t found your special person yet. It’s low budget and you don’t have to go to a spa or Maui. All it takes is a sheet of paper and a pen.

 

Think of all the people in your life that you love and those that may no longer be a part of your day to day life that you once loved. List every single one of them! Then, remember places you have been, things that you have seen in the past few months that brought you joy and happiness. Don’t forget the tiny things…hummingbird2

 

 

 

 

and the big things that are yours for the taking every day of your life. If you are a music lover, list the artists, tunes , instruments, tones, memories of concerts that felt ecstatic and feel like eating  dessert when you hear them. Now, think of desserts (no fair including anything like cholesterol, organic or not, calories) that are the next best thing to an orgasm. Make a list of them!

 

There’s no shortage of happiness. There’s always an abundance of love. You just have to take time to remember!

 

If this is helpful to you, or you know someone who feels alone this Valentine’s week, post this on your Social Media page please.

Beauty and the Beach…Life’s Lesson Made Easy

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I think I am one of the most blessed people on the Earth. There are many reasons including health, family, loving friends, the loves of my life and the joy of having lived in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

 

Every month I travel back to Carmel, California to see clients and visit friends who always welcome me into their homes with open arms and hearts. I leave after a few days feeling that everything is alright in my life and the world. It’s magic in this area of the world and if you don’t have it as a destination for yourself, I would think about that.

 

I lived in Carmel for 11 years and had a distant view of the ocean and my favorite body of water, those wetlands where the waterfowl and birds find plenty to eat. Between the river and the turquoise ocean, during the summer and fall there is a pond of sorts and brown pelicans don’t mind sharing a hot day with small children who shriek and laugh and Golden Retrievers who lust for the ducks floating nearby. It is magic.

 

The pond is temporary because in the winter, the current changes and most of the beach disappears, as does the road above much to the City’s dismay. The river that flows down to the ocean gathers power and eventually pushes through the sand and flows into the ocean. It happens like this year after year after year and though I miss walking that long stretch of white sand during the colder months, I know what to expect and remember that spring will bring the beach back, the river will look still and calm, and the children will return a year older.

 

Life is like this too if we can give up the notion that it should stay the same or not pull any punches. Humans long for things to stay the same…safe and predictable. We write a story with that plot and when life constantly tries to tell us that “normal” is change rather than the status quo, we resist like toddlers, refusing to believe it. And we suffer.

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Perhaps its time for us to spend some time in nature. I highly recommend the River Beach in Carmel as a tutor. Try and learn to meet the waves of life as if you are doing Tai Chi rather than building a fortress. It feels so much better.

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