“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” ~ Paulo Coelho
“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” ~Maya Angelou
Who doesn’t love love? You do, right? And, just maybe, you’e got a couple of friends or acquaintances who you just know would be perfect for each other.
They’re both single and you’re just dying to set them up. So what do you do? Where do you get started?
Start With the Set-Up: 7 No-Fail Steps to Successfully Hook Up Two Friends
- Ask for permission. Find out whether your friend is interested in dating. She may be healing from a recent divorce or consumed with launching a new business. If the timing is off, maybe she’ll still appreciate your thoughtfulness and get back to you when her situation changes.
- Rehearse your introduction. Explain why you think two people would be a good match. Do they share a love for opera or volley ball? Do they both want to marry and live outside the city?
- Listen closely. One of the most effective ways to figure out what would make your friends click is to pay attention to them. The things they talk about could reveal what they want.
- Share a photo. Your coworker’s definition of gorgeous could be very different from your own. Present a photograph to avoid misunderstandings.
- Check your motives. If you’re secretly attracted to someone, it’s easy to let those feelings persuade you to pair them up with someone else. Ensure that you’ll be happy for the new couple if things work out.
- Stand back. You’re probably going to be curious about whatever happens on the first date. Learning a few details is intriguing. Becoming too involved is disruptive.
- Live and learn. If your first match fails to ignite, refine your strategy. Experience and practice makes you more insightful.
For as many people as there are on the planet, there are probably twice the amount of ways to show somebody that you love them.
Traditional people can love you with cards or with flowers.
Kids love one another with a tug of the hair or punch in the arm.
Friends send you funny memes that only you will really “get”.
Parents leave hidden messages in lunchboxes.
Some love via text.
Some love through a song.
Some promise everlasting love with a ring.
How do I love?
I love with food. Sure, I love other ways too but food has been a constant sign of fondness for the larger part of my life.
For a woman conquering a weight issue, this can be a challenge.
I love to love people via culinary gifts. I adore watching the full bodied reaction of somebody enjoying a cupcake I’ve created with my own two hands. The relaxation of their body. The smile on their face. The lick of a finger. The deep sigh. For that moment, you made their life smile.
I’m no one way street though. I don’t just love people with food, I let them love me right back in the very same way. Just this week a colleague went to London and brought me back Cadbury Crème Eggs because she knows I have an unnatural affection for them. All lined up in a pretty little row at my keyboard, sat four magical foil-wrapped eggs, with that realistic, slightly creepy, egg white center and yellow yolk. A gift of friendship was well received with a yelp and a “squeeee!”
What do you do when gifts of friendship and love threaten to hamper your weight loss goals? What happens when your Mom makes your favorite dessert because she knows how you love it but it doesn’t fit in with your day? What do you do when love leaves you a five pound box of chocolate? You can’t just throw out perfectly good food! What about all those starving children… yes, we all know where that sentence leads us. The children are still hungry but your thighs aren’t exactly thanking you either.
I read the most brilliant analogy on a website once and it has stuck to me like glue. The key to battling food love is to accept it.
Some people will always love you with food. They will always send you home with leftovers because they know it’s your favorite. It’s how they love. Accept the gift, graciously. You do deserve that gift of thoughtfulness.
But what about those goals of yours? Therein lies the secret key that you’ve been searching for.
Receive the gift, but realize what the real gift actually is. They’ve given you the gift of love, thoughtfulness, caring, kindness and consideration. They’ve wrapped those deep seeded emotions, specific to you, in gorgeous packaging – love wrapped in brownies. Fondness tied up with a noodle bake bow. Friendship disguised as crumbly cake… whatever food it is you love… they’ve wrapped their emotional bond to you in that food. Now you’ve graciously received that gift of love and accepted it.
It feels really nice, doesn’t it?
With a clear conscious, because you graciously accepted the gift, you can now throw that wrapper away, just like you do with other gifts. Throw that brownie/noodle/cupcake “wrapper” away. Throw it away knowing that the gift of love was received loud and clear.
The empty wrappers will join my foil covered Cadburys in that great waste disposal in the sky but man, I can still feel the love!
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” ~Oprah Winfrey
How can you use feng shui for passion? Passion is so important in our lives–many people don’t even realize how important it is. Without it, there would literally be no human race, at least not the one we know today. We would have no desire to reproduce, right? But passion also counts when it comes to creating the lives we want in general. Passion is what causes us to move forward on that new project that becomes THE project. It’s the driving force behind our hobbies, our love lives, our families, our friends and even behind our whole selves.
As we continue our series on feng shui, we’re talking about the fire element, what it represents, how to represent it in your home and why you should. If you’re looking for ways to increase the passion, love and action in your own life, you can start with feng shui.
Using Feng Shui for Passion and Action
Feng Shui is an art as much as it is a practice. It’s the concept of bringing nature and natural patterns and surroundings into our homes and everyday lives. The idea is that by doing this, you can bring harmony and peaceful alignment to your personal space and ultimately, the world.
Feng Shui brings together the five elements, including fire, earth, air water and metal. The underlying concept is that the qi, or life force, must be able to move freely in a room.
Practitioners often start by bringing in certain types of furniture and various types of décor and lighting that represent these elements.
Correspondences in Feng Shui for Passion, Love and Action
In general, the fire element includes the following correspondences.
- Emotion: Happiness
- Planet: Mars
- Chinese Astrology Compatibility: Serpent, Horse, Sheep
- Direction: South
- Season: Summer—think hot
- Shape: Triangle
- Room: Living Room
- Symbol: Red Phoenix
Color and balance are also very important in feng shui.
- Feng Shui Fire Element Colors: Color is probably the simplest way to bring the fire element into your home. Colors such as red, bright yellow, orange, purple and pink represent the element ideally.
- When the Fire Element is Balanced: The fire element, on the positive side, can fuel enthusiasm, help leaders be more effective, encourage expressiveness and inspiration and help people be bolder. It can ignite passion and excitement in your relationships. It spurs action.
- Too Much or Too Little Fire Element: When the fire element is overstated in a home, people often display anger or aggression, or they may become irritable or impulsive. But if there’s not enough fire, residents might be emotionally cold and have a problem with low self-esteem—or they could just experience a lack of vision and be generally apathetic.
Practical Feng Shui for Passion: Bringing the Fire Element Into Your Home
You can represent the fire element in your home in a number of ways. In addition to incorporating the colors listed above into your plan, some specific ideas include the following.
- Fireplaces (wall hung gas fires are a great substitution if you can’t afford a traditional fireplace installation)
- Art with fire images and/or colors
- Gas fire baskets
- Lighting fixtures incorporating the fire colors
- Vases, throw pillows and other “pops” of color in the fire colors
- Electronic equipment
- Animal prints
- Sunlight (open the windows!)
Personally, I’ve got red throw pillows, a ton of candles and red incorporated into my artwork in the living room. I am still working on that fireplace. 🙂
What are your favorite ways to incorporate the fire element into your home or office décor? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.
Ask any counselor and they’ll tell you that no relationship is perfect and we can all do things to strengthen them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at 4 ways that we can make small adjustments that will really cement that relationship bond.
A little gratitude goes a long way
Remembering to thank your partner may seem a little obvious but you may be surprised at how much those two simple words could mean. Studies have shown that on days where one partner said ‘thank you’ to the other, the recipient felt more relationship satisfaction. This is something that many relationship and marriage counseling services in Orange VA and the surrounding areas teach.
Have fun and joke around
Okay so maintaining a relationship is undoubtedly hard work and when you get into the nitty gritty of living together such as working, paying the bills, cooking and cleaning, quite often fun is one of the first things to disappear from a relationship. Ask any marriage counselor that if a lack of fun has been cited as a couple’s reasons for seeking help and you can be certain that the answer is going to be yes. When you can use fun to handle the tough stuff in relationships, then things get resolved far easier. Do inject some humor back into your relationship.
‘Go to town’ on good news
We all expect our partners to be there for us when times are tough, But equally important is how couples respond to each other during the good times. Counselors, Culpeper VA state that individual’s whose partners respond in an enthusiastic and interested manner tend to report a greater satisfaction in their overall relationship.
Say it with words
One of the most powerful exercises that sessions of couples therapists undertake is to get each party to write down their feelings. Being able to express your feelings using good old fashioned pen and paper in the form of a love letter or a romantic poem often gives far more meaning than even the most expensive of gifts.
Whether you decide to say thank you more often, say ‘I love you’ with a poem, or inject a bit of humor back into your relationship, it is possible to enhance it and cement that bond, by doing these little things.
I learn lessons in love that help to make my relationship stronger.
I believe in love and the stirring emotions that I feel when I encounter someone whom I can call my soul mate. I realize that such a relationship is rare, so I carefully nurture it to allow those feelings to grow deeper and stronger, fortifying our bond of love.
I acknowledge that no relationship is perfect, yet everything that happens in my relationship has a lesson attached to it. I take advantage of these lessons in love to build a more positive relationship each day.
When I have an argument with my partner, I always endeavor to reach a point of forgiveness in a short time. I initiate discussions on the issue so we can find a resolution. This approach makes it easier for us to relate more positively going forward.
Whenever I make the mistake of doing or saying something hurtful to my partner, I immediately acknowledge the negative effect on their well-being.
I take a step back and revisit my actions. I put myself in my partner’s shoes and realize the impact. Then, I sincerely apologize.
Today, I take the time to learn from love so our love can keep growing. I commit to learning each day from my relationship and embrace the fact that every effort made to build a better relationship results in a stronger love.
1. Do I strive to strengthen my relationship?
2. How can I avoid saying or doing hurtful things to my partner?
3. Do I make it a point to apply the lessons learned in love to fortify our bond?