What a Reagan Conservative Politician Taught Me About Love, Soulmates and Gratitude

What a Reagan Conservative Politician Taught Me About Love, Soulmates and Gratitude

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” ~Ronald Reagan

A few years ago, I drove to a different town to do a series of political candidate interviews I’m working on for one of my local news writing jobs.

The first interview was with a candidate who called himself a Reagan conservative republican. I’m not very political by nature, but I think in general, some of my beliefs and ideas would be considered pretty liberal. Even so, I could definitely identify and connect with this man.

The Definition of Soulmates

In addition to all of the political stuff, the candidate talked a lot about his wife, who unexpectedly passed away more than a decade ago.

He told me that he hadn’t changed a thing in the home she decorated, and then he told me the story of their epic love.

Even now, more than a decade later, the love shone brightly in his eyes as he spoke of his beautiful wife. He showed me pictures of her and talked about their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Since they’d married young–he was 20, she was 18–they had planned to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary together.

Goodnight, Sweetheart, It’s Time to Go

They were married for nearly 40 blissful years when his wife had a terrible headache one night and went to bed.

The candidate said he tried to take her to the hospital because the headache seemed so severe–in fact, he tried three times, but each time his wife refused, preferring to stay in the comfort of her own home.

She wasn’t even sick, as far as they knew, and the next morning, he left her to sleep as he went about his morning routines.

One of his daughters called him that morning, around 7:15 am. She asked after her mother, and the candidate told her she was asleep.

His daughter then asked him a question that, to this day, he has no idea why she’d ask–was her mother breathing?

The candidate said of course she was, but when he hung up, he thought about how strange it was that his daughter would say something like that. He went into the bedroom to check on his wife and found her there, unresponsive. He said she couldn’t be moved.

He called 911 and the paramedics, fire department and police arrived soon after. He said that much of the rest of the day was a blur, as he was understandably quite traumatized by the whole situation.

But he did remember that he tried to go into the bedroom to see her again. He was not allowed into the room, so he paced the floors of the family room where they’d spent so many happy hours together. He waited, and finally learned that she’d been declared dead.

One True Love: Soulmates are Forever

Since the death of his beloved wife, the candidate hasn’t even had the desire to date anyone else.

He said there was only one true love for him, his soulmate, his wife. He also mentioned that he had grown closer to his children since then and told me that his wife had done such an amazing job raising them.

She had been the primary caregiver as a stay-at-home mom while he worked to support the family.

The look on his face as he talked about his wife was indescribable. He was clearly still in love with her, even thirteen years after she’d passed away–theirs was a love that truly transcended even death.

Honestly, I was moved almost to the point of tears by the depth of his love for her.

In addition to getting a glimpse inside of an amazing love story, the thing that really struck me about this man is that, even though he lost the love of his life so unexpectedly, he was still so very grateful for everything that they’d been given in life.

He made it very clear that even now, he feels very grateful for the life he has been given, he is all about love. Love is the answer, he said, to everything.

That day, I found myself feeling grateful that I had the opportunity to meet such an amazing man with such an incredible outlook on life and that he was kind enough to share it with me.

And that night, when I kissed my husband good night, I kept this political candidate’s love story in my heart and remembered to be grateful for every moment we have together.

Do you believe in soulmates? Have you met yours yet? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!

What a Reagan Conservative Politician Taught Me About Love, Soulmates and Gratitude

The Power of Suggestion: What We Expect Influences Our Behavior, for Better or Worse

suggestionA lucky rabbit foot. A glass of wine. A pill. What do these things all have in common? Their effects – whether we do well on a test, whether we mingle at the cocktail party, whether we feel better – all depend on the power of suggestion.

Psychological scientists Maryanne Garry and Robert Michael of Victoria University of Wellington, along with Irving Kirsch of Harvard Medical School and Plymouth University, recently delved into the phenomenon of suggestion, exploring the intriguing relationship between suggestion, cognition, and behavior. The article is published in the June issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Over their research careers, Garry and Kirsch have both studied the effects of suggestion on cognition and behavior. Kirsch focused mostly on suggestion in clinical psychology, while Garry, whose work is supported by the Marsden Fund of New Zealand, was interested in the effects of suggestion on human memory. When the two got to talking, “we realized that the effects of suggestion are wider and often more surprising than many people might otherwise think,” says Garry.

Across many studies, research has shown that deliberate suggestion can influence how people perform on learning and memory tasks, which products they prefer, and how they respond to supplements and medicines, which accounts for the well-known placebo effect.

But what can explain the powerful and pervasive effect that suggestion has in our lives? The answer lies in our ‘response expectancies,’ or the ways in which we anticipate our responses in various situations. These expectancies set us up for automatic responses that actively influence how we get to the outcome we expect. Once we anticipate a specific outcome will occur, our subsequent thoughts and behaviors will actually help to bring that outcome to fruition.

So, if a normally shy person expects that a glass of wine or two will help him loosen up at a cocktail party, he will probably feel less inhibited, approach more people, and get involved in more conversations over the course of the party. Even though he may give credit to the wine, it is clear that his expectations of how the wine would make him feel played a major role.

But it’s not just deliberate suggestion that influences our thoughts and behaviors – suggestions that are not deliberate can have the very same effects. As the authors point out, “simply observing people or otherwise making them feel special can be suggestive,” a phenomenon termed the Hawthorne effect. As a result, people might work harder, or stick to a task for longer. And this case is more worrying, says Garry, “because although we might then give credit to some new drug or treatment, we don’t realize that we are the ones who are actually wielding the influence.”

It is for precisely this reason that the issue of unintentional suggestion has important implications for academic researchers. “In the scientific community, we need to be aware of – and control for – the suggestions we communicate to subjects,” says Garry. The authors note that some recent failures to replicate previous research findings may ultimately be explained by such unintentional suggestion. “Recent research suggests that some of psychological science’s most intriguing findings may be driven, at least in part, by suggestion and expectancies,” Garry observes. “For example, a scientist who knows what the hypothesis of an experiment is might unwittingly lead subjects to produce the hypothesized effect—for reasons that have nothing to do with the experiment itself.”

And the unintended effects of suggestion aren’t just restricted to the laboratory – they cut across many real world domains, including the fields of medicine, education, and criminal justice. For example, converging evidence on eyewitness identification procedures demonstrates that the rate of false identifications is significantly higher when lineups are conducted by people who know who the suspect is than when the lineups are conducted by people who don’t.

While research has provided clear evidence for the phenomenon of suggestion, there is still much more to learn about the underlying relationship between suggestion, cognition, and behavior. As the authors point out, researchers still don’t know where the boundaries and limitations of these effects lie. “And, if a ‘real’ treatment and a ‘suggestion’ lead to a similar outcome, what differentiates between the two?” says Garry. Understanding these issues has important real world implications. “If we can harness the power of suggestion, we can improve people’s lives.”

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Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes concise reviews on the latest advances in theory and research spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications. For a copy of “Suggestion, Cognition, and Behavior” and access to other Current Directions in Psychological Science research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or [email protected].

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Meditate with Kids

3 Fun and Easy Ways to Meditate with Kids

By Roberta Smith

1. Gibberish Meditation – The origins of the Gibberish meditation can be traced to Gabar, a wonderful Christian mystic, introduced this meditation technique which later came to be known as Gibberish. It is said that people would come to Gabar with all kinds of questions about enlightenment and he would simply answer with nonsensical sounds. He just talked nonsense, a constant stream of sounds and words with no commas or periods, no sentence structure. People realized that just by sitting near him, listening to his gibberish, their minds became more and more silent.

This is an amazing meditation as it can be done alone or with people. It’s a great way to spend time with your kids and also a great way to get your kids to release pent up emotions. Making a game out of it is really simple.

All you need to do is start making nonsense sounds and using nonsense words. Here’s an example.

el ol pol kol mol dol la ma pa da ka so lo mo po do eeh ooh poo doo koo moo….

It’s good to start for about 5 minutes first and build up to 20 minutes. After just lie down and be silent. The feeling after is quite simple amazing. Gibberish gets rid of our mind’s clutter and as mind needs words to think the nonsense words drive all thought from the mind. Also the mind is focused on making new words so it stops the process of thinking, leaving you thoughtless which is a meditative state.

“Gibberish is to get rid of the active mind, silence to get rid of the inactive mind and let-go is to enter into the transcendental.” ~ Osho

2. Whirling Meditation – The whirling dance or Sufi whirling is a form of Sama or physicaly active meditation which originated among Sufis, and which is still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order. Best known through the Persian poet, Rumi who was a Dervish himself, the dervishes whirl, always from right to left, thus in the motions of the blood circulating around the heart, the Dervishes hold their hands in a unique position. The right hand is lifted, palm-out, towards god and his gifts. The left is palm down towards the earth, to both draw forth its sustenance and to deliver god’s gifts of the spirit to humanity.

Put on some nice beaty sufi music or any music you like. Keep your eyes open and feel the center point of your body. Lift your arms to shoulder height, with the right hand palm up and the left hand low, palm down. Start turning around your own axis. Start slowly and gradually go faster and faster till you are ready to drop.

Let your body fall to the ground when the music stops or when you feel ready to. Roll onto your stomach immediately so that your navel is in contact with the earth. Feel your body blending into the earth. Keep your eyes closed and remain passive and silent.

Again a great meditation to enjoy with the kids. They love twirling and with music and the falling it’s simply great fun.

“Whirling is one of the most ancient techniques, one of the most forceful. It is so deep that even a single experience can make you totally different. Whirl with open eyes, just like small children go on twirling, as if your inner being has become a center and your whole body has become a wheel, moving, a potter’s wheel, moving. You are in the center, but the whole body is moving.” ~ Osho

3. Laughter Meditation or Laughter therapy as it is sometimes called is simply the act of laughing. Same principles apply – when you laugh wholeheartedly you can’t think and your mind is blissfully empty.

What do you do? Simple – laugh for 10 minutes! Think of the funniest incidents, the funniest stories, the funniest movies and let the laughter just burst out of you. Can be done alone or with a group. Start with 10 minutes and build up to 30 minutes and it’ll guarantee some amazing days!

“Laughter is one of the most sacred phenomenons on the earth. Heartfelt laughter releases your hidden sources of energy. When it is really arising out of your heart, when it is total, whole, when your whole being is throbbing with it, then it gives you a taste of meditation. Mind disappears; it cannot exist in laughter. It melts, it evaporates, for a moment there is no mind, there is only laughter. There is no one who is laughing, there is pure laughter.” ~ Osho

About the Author 

Roberta Smith is an Entrepreneur who designs and develops solutions for a business in Kia, Arizona. She also writes as a freelancer for a number of online communities and is writing this post for http://www.markkia.com

What to Do if Your Lover Still Loves The Ex

What to Do if Your Lover Still Loves The Ex

Guest Post by Tonya Vrba

English: A young woman and man embracing while...Two people meet and fall in love.

As the years go by, they profess they will love each other forever. Somewhere along the line, however, one decides they no longer want the relationship and leaves.

Terminating a relationship doesn’t always mean either person stops loving the other. Before we go further, it is important to note the difference between loving someone and being in love with them.

Think of a family member you don’t usually get along with. While you prefer to limit the time you spend with that person, you still love them. They’re family.

Loving a person does not require you to trust them, or even be near them. When a person is in love with another, they feel intimate attachment. Being near that person makes them feel happy and fulfilled.

When someone says they will love another forever, it is usually true. Society molds us to think the one we are dating must regard us a far superior to all the rest. We want to hear that we are far better than our partner’s ex. There are many things wrong with this desire, though.

1. The idea that you are better than someone else may put you uncomfortably high on a pedestal or be a sign that you are meant as a replace to the ex. Ideally, comparing you to an ex should be like comparing apples and oranges. The love your partner had for their ex was unique and the love they have for you is also unique. If you act as a replacement for the lover your partner lost, there’s a good chance they are not completely over their ex.

2. Having resentment or anger toward an ex shows a lack of forgiveness. Especially if your partner was the one who was dumped, they may have dealt with feelings of resentment toward their ex. Forgiveness is always better than resentment. As time goes on, they should come to a point where they forgive their ex for the pain they caused and move on. A part of them may always wonder where their ex is and hope they are doing well. After spending years in love their ex, there will also probably always be a part of them that loves them. As I said above, loving someone is different from being in love.

Good and honest people never say they will love someone forever without believing in their words. Not only is it completely normal for a person to wish their ex well, it should be preferred. This shows the person has a great amount of maturity and a strong will to move forward. It is no easy task to forgive someone who has hurt your so badly. Forgiveness is not meant to benefit the offender, though.

Forgiveness is essential for a person to move on. There are many vicious actions people take against one another. Those who are able to forgive their offenders and move on are the ones that lead a happy and healthy life.

Be open and honest with your partner. It is completely normal to feel anxious about your place in your lover’s heart, especially if their last relationship lasted a very long time. Don’t be afraid if they think well of their ex and express forgiveness.

If one day your current relationship were to take an unfortunate turn, would you not want your partner to someday still wish you well, as you will also wish them?

 

Author Bio: Tonya Vrba is a passionate freelance writer. Her work has been published in newspapers and blogs. She is currently an active writer for Online Dating Sites. Learn more about Tonya and her work at her personal website tonyavrba.wordpress.com.

 

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