Want to Make Friends After 40? Try these tips.

Want to make friends after 40?  Hey.  Want to be my friend?  Sure.  And you go off…hand in hand into the sunset to play with pieces of bark, climb the jungle gym, or skip rope.  I just made a new friend like this yesterday.  Actually, that’s not true.  I wish it was.

As you enter what seems like a new era in your life, making friends should be this easy, right?  Not so.  I feel like I am personally stuck in some limbo place where I don’t know what to do.  My girls are both, ahhh, both going to be in high school now.  However, some of my friends have younger kids.  They seem to have more time to meet new people because they are in that “I still have to drive everywhere, and go to play dates, etc” phase.

I also have friends who don’t have children, or have kids who have been out of the house a long time.  I want to let you in on a little secret.  This in-between limbo place is hard.  I feel like other people have it together in this area, and I look around and wonder if I just don’t “people” well.  I probably don’t to be honest because I don’t fit in with the norm…and I like it that way to a certain extent.  Working alone doesn’t give me time to socialize face to face.

The difference now, is that people who are in their 40’s actually remember a time when we used to get together.  A time when we had dinner parties, house warmings, Christmas open houses, or just come by for a beverage nights.  So what can someone do to make new friends and rekindle this lost art of socializing?

How to make friends after 40:

  1. You have to be open to the possibility.  Meaning, it might take you out of your comfort zone and you might actually have to say “Hey.  That looks like fun.  Can I come too?”  <<< Now I know this seems like you are inviting yourself, but you are reaching out to see what the response is.  New friendships don’t just happen and maybe there seems to be the same ole’ crew doing things, and they aren’t aware that you might like to come to.  You can hint at it, but I actually suggest just outright saying that you’d be interested in x, y, or z event as well.  See what happens from there.  I bet they didn’t think you’d be interested.
  2. Announce it on your status.  Sadly, most people will read your status before they call, text or ask you what’s up, right?  So say “Hey.  I am thinking about getting a paint night together on x date.  Comment if you’re in.”  Boom.  You have a night out planned.
  3. Make a private list in your journal of what you like to do and what types of people you actually want to attract.  I don’t cross-stitch.  I just threw that out there because I am not going to find new friends at a sewing circle.  I do yoga, hike, walk in the woods (almost the same thing, but not quite), drink wine, be a hermit, go to the mountains, read books, garden, write, journal, listen to 80’s music, pet dogs, be a geek, like to eat food that’s gluten-free, and occasionally paint bad paintings at expensive paint nights.  I could go on, but you get my drift.  I would like to attract people who kind of like the same things as me or at least have a few things in common with me.  The hermit part is actually important because I need friends who ask me to do things, yet understand if I say no because insert hermity excuse.  << it doesn’t mean I don’t want to see people, it just means not then.
  4. Join online groups of like-minded people.  After you have your list, check out places like Meetup.com and/or local FB groups.  Also, you can always volunteer at a local museum or hospital.  What if there’s nothing on the list that you like?  Start your own if you want.  Announce in those NextDoor app places that you are having a book club on x night to read Harry Potter again for the 100th time and anyone who wants to discuss the new things you found after this 100th reading can come over.  Wear your house colors though.

Some people say that it’s a matter of lifestyle and what’s important to you.  That if you want to make friends, you really will find a way, not an excuse.  I agree with that to be honest.  I know that I use excuses to back out of things (I’m in a nest today.  I’m writing.  It’s cold.), but lately I looked up and felt panic.  Holy Crap.  My kids are almost in college.  I need to make more of an effort.  And I do believe there’s time for us all to make more of an effort no matter your age.  So let go of the “My house is a mess” excuse, and start planning an event.  I’ll bring the wine or gluten-free snacks.  If you tell me I can wear my pajamas over that’s a plus.

Interested in uniting separately in your own homes to work together with my like-minded journal therapy group?  Read more here >>> HHH Club <<<

Want to walk away from drama? Here’s how.

here's how to walk away from dramaLook.  I get it.  You’re a grown-up.  And so am I, but sometimes things have a way of following us around. As the mother of two teenage girls, I want to practice what I preach.  A few years ago, I was suffering from friendships that seemed to belong back in high school, and to be honest, I kept letting them happen.

I never saw it coming.  I always thought of myself as a strong person, but somewhere deep down inside, I knew I just wanted to be like “everyone else”.  I had convinced myself that other adults were having these fabulous girl’s nights out, and going off with other couples and even going on vacation together (did I like someone enough for that??).

So at one of my many “this is the year I am going to…” moments, I decided to reach out and make a new friend.  The problem was and still is, things come with warning signs.  Many, many, many warning signs.  And if you are so desperate for friendship that you ignore some of your own standards, it goes to hell in a handbag really quickly.  << Southernism.

You see, the toxic, drama-filled friendship was full of stop signs, skull and crossbones type warnings, and red flags.  I ignored them all.  I honestly looked for the good in the friendship and for whatever reason, thought this person couldn’t help it (note, that is bullshit).  So I had attracted a narcissistic type relationship yet again.

What’s the good news in this?

I recognized the signs one day when I realized my friend wasn’t happy about the success I was having in healing, moving on, and getting better in my life.  Want to learn more?  Check this out later: Coping when a Dysfunctional Friendship Ends

How to walk away from drama:

  1. Acknowledge that you deserve better.  This is a huge step.  You are a magnificent human being.  Say that out loud.  Your past does not define you, and your past mistakes do not mean that you are no longer worthy and deserving of a great friendship, job, partner, or whatever it is that is causing you drama.
  2. Stop creating it if it’s you.  So this part might be difficult, but acknowledge your part.  Are you poking the bear?  Do you just love arguing?  Notice and reflect on areas where you might be the catalyst and start to step away from people and situations that feel like you are deliberately needing the attention or the last word.  Yes.  This is hard advice, but truly notice that having the last word with someone who loves drama will not change their mind…nor will it change yours.
  3. Gossip needs legs.  I worked with this woman once who would literally grab anyone who walked by her room, pull them inside and show them someone’s FB page just to joke on their recent photos.  It was like a Venus Fly Trap of gossip up in there.  Don’t be fooled.  Avoid, if at all possible, the water cooler type conversations where people can and will overhear.  Where Venus can run on back and grab more people saying that you, yes you, were the one that started this rumor knowing all along it’s not true.  However, people did see the two of you talking.  The perfect set-up.
  4. Set the boundaries.  I waited too long to tell someone I wished she hadn’t told me about all the back-stabbing and sleeping around every time I met one of her “friends”.  Because guess what?  If she’s ready to tell all about their business, she certainly will talk about mine.  You better believe this fact.  I didn’t want to be in that type of friendship.  It was draining to hide what I knew and draining to listen to it.  It was a loop.
  5. Accept it, learn from it, and go on with life. ~Vincent Neerings
    I could also quote good ole’ Kenny rogers and so I shall: You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.  Know when to walk away, and know when to run.  I learned a hard lesson.  And for a long time, I wasn’t sure if I could trust myself to make new friends.  Then one evening, I met a new person who was so full of life she was a joy to be around.  She only saw the best in other people and we talked about everything, and never once has the conversation veered into any areas that made me feel awful, drained, or lowered in any way.

I started surrounding myself with only people who lifted me up, and I continued to heal.  I felt better about myself and life and knew that there were actually people out there who were meant to stay in my life.  I also started teaching others how to attract the types of relationship into their lives that were good for them, and how to work on healing their own lives through my journal therapy, yoga, and affirmation exercises.  If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to have you.  >> I need support. <<

3 Signs You Are in a Fake “Textual Relationship”

textual

Oh.  You have another message.  Should you look at it right now?  You ignore it.  He or she knows you have your phone on you.  Something just doesn’t feel right anymore and you are really tired of this “textual relationship” nonsense.

For starters, what is a textual relationship anyway?  It is a “relationship” based in online messaging, private messages, Snapchat, or anything where you actually never talk in real life.  If you do talk in real life, it is not quite the same.

In a scary online world, where quite literally anyone can be behind the computer, are you sharing too much of yourself in these private messages?  How are you getting to know this person in real life?  Would you say the same things to them in the real world that you do online?  If the answer is no…maybe you should consider what you want out of this “textual relationship”?

What are some bad signs you should look out for?

  1. They use fake looking profile photos and have only had their account up for a few months.  Okay, I get it.  The photo looks great.  Unless it’s a fake photo or a photo of their cat.  Which never ever changes no matter what.  Also, were they living under a rock?  Why are they suddenly online, but have not been prior to 3 months ago?  Are they tagged in any family photos?  Any mutual friends?  Is their name even real?  Not if warning bells are going off and many excuses are made.  Oh yeah, and never send money.  <<< huge sign they are a scammer.
  2. They use a real photo…without their spouse.  They are sending you messages about meeting up…but you know they are married.  Why would people do this?  What are they hoping to achieve?  They are hiding something plain and simple no matter what excuse they use.  They say they are happily married, then that’s great.  Why hide behind a private message?  Does their wife know?  Probably not…oh and they won’t be leaving anyone anytime soon.  You can bet on that.
  3. They like everything you post…all the time.  Even that stuff from 5 years ago.  Red flag.  Why are they going through your old photos on every account you have?  Does it come up casually in conversation?  Does it seem like they are stalking you to find out where you hang out?  What if they are there, just watching you, because you know, you have never met them?  Better yet, what if they actually know you and this is a fake profile they are using to follow you around.  Yup.  Warning.  Warning.  Warning.

Nice try blogging lady, but this hasn’t happened to me…yet.

Is texting your sole point of communication?  If so, read on.  Do you feel like you know this person and could call them up?  Then try that idea on for size.  Ask them to Skype with you one night and casually bring up things only you two have chatted about.  See what happens.

After the chatting on-screen, don’t forget to make a date to really chat in person.  Once you feel comfortable…and of course, take the back-up friend to plant in the restaurant or coffee shop just in case things go wrong.

Texting relationships allow you lots of easy ways out, but they also have many downfalls.  You can read into the texts, dwell on why they haven’t sent you a text, but you see the read receipt, and it also allows you to only send them the best photos…perhaps with some touching up done.  This is so not like real life.  There are no filters for bed hair, morning breath, and real body functions.  Just saying.  In a world where you can be anything, be real my friend. 

Coping When a Dysfunctional Friendship Ends

 dys·func·tion·al

The friendship started innocently enough.  We had lots of things in common so small talk led to drinks after work, outings, and even group adventures.  I was so happy that I had found a friend who really listened to me and supported me.  As time went on, I started feeling heard less and less.  I tried to make adjustments in the conversation, but it always circled back to whatever new and terrible thing had happened to her.  Some nights, I would be on the computer for hours consoling her and helping her through something.  I would go to bed mentally and physically drained.  The “friendship” was not reciprocal.

My husband had enough and told me to just ignore the messages that always started out the same way.  It seemed she wanted to catch up and “talk”, but we never did anything anymore.  She didn’t call me on the phone, didn’t answer my text messages, and didn’t want to see me.  She just wanted to use messenger as her personal dumping ground all night long.

I felt alone and isolated in the friendship.  I was not important enough to make time for.  There were other examples as well.  An event we were going to go to together that she said we would plan…weeks later, photos of her with someone else at the event.  Exercise class no show…and excuses on nights I asked her to do something with me, or just come over and chat.  However, throughout this process, when she needed me or wanted to come over to see a mutual friend, I made the time.  I was always making time because trust is something I value.

That’s when it finally hit me.  I didn’t trust her anymore due to the lies and excuses.  I was nurturing a friendship that was crumbling because I believed she would wake up and see what she was doing to me.  It wasn’t going to happen because I was not the only one she lied to.  She lied to her husband, to her work, to mutual friends, and most of all, to herself.  I could not fix this.  She had to get back to seeing a weekly counselor and nothing I did or said would ever be enough until she was ready to work on herself.

How to cope when a friendship ends?

  • Make a plan. What would you do if you were to run into this person again?  What would happen if this person wanted back in your life?  I know the answers seem hard to think about, but it’s best to run through that now while you are fresh to whatever happened in the relationship.  The main question is does the relationship empower me or deflate me?  Is there capacity for an authentic, honest relationship or not?  Honestly, you already know the answers to these questions.
  • Write your feelings down. I know that this is not like a funeral…but in a way, it is.  You are dealing with the stages of grief, and it is a serious thing.  You have loved that friend, cared for that friend, and despite your best efforts, the friendship ended.  I haven’t forgotten the moments of happiness the friendship brought me, and despite the fact that for the better part of a year I saw the friendship going down a steep hill into a black abyss that sucked all the joy out of it, I still regret the way it ended.  But I also know it takes two working together to save a relationship.  Not one.  The primary emotion that comes to me is anger because of the way it ended.  Anger that I was made to be in the middle of something that was never about me anyway. 
  • Think about the qualities you really want in a friend.  I was in a bad place when we met, but as I started to get better, it seemed to make my friendship worse.  That doesn’t even sound okay to me now.  How could a friend not be happy for me?  I wanted someone who could talk to me in person and not make excuses because they were mad that I was doing better.  I am not sure why I didn’t notice it before.
  • That brings me to “Don’t take it personally.” Everyone is dealing with their own demons.  If the friendship ends, there is a good chance that it is freeing you up for something new.  It will hurt for a long time, but eventually you will realize that you have broken the cycle and moved on.  New friends await you, and this time, as soon as you see something that doesn’t sit well with you, be brave and have that conversation on what is important to you in a friendship.  If this person is meant to be in your life, they will understand, value you, and most importantly, make time for you.

As your self-esteem and self-worth improves, these old friends WILL fall away if they are not meant to be in your life.  You are making room for so much more my friend.  In my closed group, the Head|Heart|Health Club, we are working on exactly what we want to attract in our lives and that includes new boundaries for ourselves and realizing that it truly is okay to feel worthy.

Put Down Your Phone…and Other Tips for a Relationship.

Put down your phoneListen, I am not trying to get everyone mad at me right now, but I remember when texting first came out.  I thought to myself “This is so dumb.  I can just call you and scrolling through every letter takes forever.”  Seriously, it did.  Or I could page someone.  I am totally laughing at that because we used to think only doctors or drug dealers ran out of the room after getting a page.

If I have already lost you, perhaps you are a wee bit younger than I am.  For those willing to listen to my advice, I want to describe a whole new world.

In college, we met our friends at a lunch area that had an open table area.  We would sit on tables, chairs, the wall whatever to get closer to people and chat.  We would laugh so loud and so long about inside jokes that we dreaded getting up from the tables and drifting off to class.  We would meet later, the brothers, and the sisters, at one of the grills on the campus and cook up some food.  I can see, hear and smell it right now.  It was called engagement with your fellow people and it was life. 

Whether one fraternity was putting on a show on the great lawn for the girls or whether the soccer dudes were out there, it didn’t matter.  We walked around with our heads held high…making eye contact.  Laughing with the friend next to us.  I don’t think we knew how good we had it.

When I met my husband, he was not in a fraternity.  He had been staring at me when I went to the computer center.  That’s right, we had a place to use computers since we didn’t really have laptops back then.  Anyway, I went to print out my paper for English, one of a bazillion on Tolkien, Grendel, Vonnegut, Shakespeare or possibly Don Quixote, who knows, and the printer didn’t work.  He yelled over his shoulder it wouldn’t work and kept walking.  The rudeness.  Little did I know that we would start dating.

When we ended up across from each other in class that fall, I almost went through the floor.  It was that dude who I thought liked me, yet didn’t really know how to speak to me.  Luckily, his wing-man did.  He helped him chat with me as he ran cable in the English tutoring center I worked in.  We met face to face and chatted for hours after the initial shy period was over.  Then we would chat on the phone for hours.  Then we would go out and chat.  But the entire time, if I hadn’t been able to read his eyes or if he had been looking down or away from me during this time, I would have thought he didn’t like me, and that would have been wrong.  

The culture has changed so much now that I feel like people need to remember what it used to be like just 20 years ago…which really wasn’t that long in the past.

Put down your phone so you can…

  • Make eye contact.
  • Read the person’s body language.
  • Be fully present with the experience.
  • Know that they are interested by HOW they are being.
  • Not texting other people to already meet up while you are on a date.
  • Not using the phone as an escape.
  • Ask each other important questions.
  • Pay attention to little cues on how they treat others…like the waiter or waitress.
  • Allowing things to just be.  Can you be okay in stillness?
  • Be genuine with each other and not have a mask in place.
  • Ask about their day…and listen.
  • Go on a walk…and put phones in glove box.
  • Plan small outings to learn more about the other person.  The real person.
  • The highlights are on the phone…but what happens during bad times?  Are they there for you?
  • Can you cook together?
  • Think about the pet peeves together and plan ways to overcome the conflicts.
  • Don’t forget to say out loud, I like you.  Just liking the photos isn’t enough or proclaiming your undying love on the social feeds.
  • Meet the family…and really pay attention to what the dynamic is like.
  • Do you eat at the table or in front of the T.V.?  Where are the phones?
  • Laugh with each other.  Long and loud and free.
  • Be silly.  It’s okay.
  • Date like you just met…even if it’s been 20 years.
  • Let anything go from the past, and start today, to live in the present.

The truth is, these tips can be for friends, partners, or spouses, it doesn’t matter.  I love that my husband’s friend jokingly named everything “horrible” about our relationship the other night.  It was that we aren’t like other married people, and that we are both secure in our relationship of almost 21 years…enough so that when my brothers call me, and they still do, I can go out and hang with them and chat about the old times.

I enjoy the face-to-face time and the just being.  The bonds of friendship can be a beautiful thing when they are built on trust and love, just like the beginning of a relationship.  But one thing is for sure, you have to cultivate it, care for it, and nurture it too.  You also have to admit when you are just going through the motions.  So, I hope this inspired you to have a tech free date night…or a tech free family night.  Live like it’s the 90’s…or earlier.

 

7 Signs that Your Relationship is the Right One

I remember the feeling of relationships just not quite clicking.  I would possibly ignore the signs that they were not going to work out, and I can look back now and think, why did I ignore that??

I should have been looking for signs that the relationship was actually the right one, and not ignoring the signs that it was, in fact, the wrong one for me.

Years have passed since then, and I have seen my girlfriends struggle through people using them, hurting them, and talking to them like they are not worthy.  The last one is what always pisses me off.  The first thing I am here to tell you is that you, whoever you are reading this right now, are worthy of Love. 

Here are 7 Signs that your Relationship is the Right One:

  1. Your partner is your best friend.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your best friend from high school still.  No, but what it does mean, is that if you needed someone to be there for you, he/she would drop everything and be there.  THIS is a true sign.  I remember being in a relationship with a narcissist, and realizing that I needed to get the hell out of there, and fast.  He had the most excuses in the universe for never being there when I needed him…and if he could fit me in, I had to drive to him.
  2. You only have eyes for this person, and they only have eyes for you.  To this day, my husband and I can joke around about people we think are attractive in movies, but in real life, my mom said that was how she knew it was not just some passing romance.  And, to be honest, I wasn’t sure at first as both of us had ended long relationships right before we met.  However, after 2 months, I no longer thought it was a rebound relationship.  I no longer thought about anyone else at all.  It was quite scary at first because I had spent years with someone else and so had he.  I also never, seriously, ever, believed in the “You’ll just know” saying until this point.
  3. You can be you.  With the ermmmm more narcissistic folks I had previously attracted, I felt like I had to make an effort to look good, and that included when I didn’t feel like it.  Some people enjoy putting on make-up, doing their hair daily, and dressing up.  And that is fine, as long as it is what you like to do.  The first time my husband, then college boyfriend, and I traveled to a hiking spot and campground with some friends, I didn’t feel like packing a hair dryer or anything.  It was camping.  I needed my hiking shoes, and warm stuff.  It was much colder than expected at that time of year.  I didn’t care about the hair, but after using the camp showers, I was freezing.  We dried my hair using his heat vents in his beat up car.  Boom.  He kept staring at me.  No effort needed.
  4. You can be weird together.  So.  Fancy a game of Dungeon and Dragons?  Well, my husband did.  Again, think college, but it was quite an honor to be taught D & D as the only girl in a secret-ish society of geek boys.  I know you are thinking of Big Bang Theory right now…and it’s true.  The difference is, I had previously kept my love of fantasy things somewhat close to the vest.  Not anymore.  Wooo-hoooo.  Dice.  All the dice.  I can be an elf?  Sweet.  I can have a bow?  Why not.  Accepting all the parts of who they are includes a little bit of weirdness at times…but it might not be weird to them.  If you have something you are afraid to share about you, see what happens.  You might end up with a new D & D partner.
  5. When you think about them, you get a little rush.  Maybe it feels like butterflies in your stomach, or maybe it’s just that anticipation of them holding you, but whatever it is, you still feel it.  After 2 months, 2 years, or 21.  Yup…21 years of a rush.  Woosh. They don’t spend time thinking about what’s wrong with you…like perhaps others did.  Or if you would only lose a few more pounds, drop that person by the way, they love you for who you are.  Right now.  Now future you.  Past you.  Present day, in all your glorious mess, you.
  6. You can work through your problems.  So you had a fight.  It is okay.  It is not all your fault.  If someone makes you think it is entirely your fault…well, arguments are part of life.  You both have to own up to whatever it is without throwing in the kitchen sink as well.  Or that other person you dated gets thrown in your face, or whatever it was that is past.  You don’t resort to low blows if possible because guess what?  They aren’t needed.  You learn to work on your open communication and that really does mean facing problems together.  Not secretly.  Not avoiding.  Not hiding.
  7. You can’t imagine your life without them.  I do still need my alone time, don’t get me wrong, but this is different.  I don’t want to do too much without him because I actually miss him.  I can’t sleep right, think fully, or operate well when we are apart.  I know that it is the same way with him.  The difference is, if you would rather be with friends or another interesting possible new flame, then it’s definitely time to think about what you are looking for in a partner.  Luckily, my soul knew long before my head caught up.  Things felt like they were missing with other people, but I thought it was me.  It was actually just my soul trying to guide me out of those relationships, and into the “One” that was meant for me.

Nothing is perfect my friends.  Love is messy, complicated, and it makes you want to scream at times; however, nothing is worse than staying in the wrong relationship thinking it is you.  You are worthy of true love and stepping out of that narcissistic or failing relationship, will really give you the space you need to be true to you.  This month, I invite you to do the work within.  Come join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club.

Dating Again After Heartbreak…5 Tips to Share

A reader actually asked about this, so I am digging way deep into my own archives of experience, as well as the experience of a group of women I call “sisters”.

One of the women who I speak with regularly thought she noticed a pattern in her life that was leading her to date again.  I flashed back to over 20 years ago, when I had a long-term relationship of about 5 years end.  The first thing I wanted to do was actually be alone; however, it lasted only a few weeks.  I was in college and thought the way to get over a relationship was to immediately jump back into one.  Oh boy.  If I could give myself some advice…I know exactly what I would say.

5 Tips on Dating After Heartbreak:

  1. Are you comfortable being alone?  If the answer is yes, then it might be time to explore, not necessarily date, but probe the idea again.  If the answer is no, then that really needs to be researched a bit longer.  It goes from being you and so-and-so to you.  You can really start to test what it’s like being just you again and what compromises you have made over the years for you know, good ole’ so-and-so.
  2. Check for a repeat pattern.  Do you tend to choose the same people again and again?  What could you do differently this time?  Don’t dwell on this too much or beat yourself up, but definitely use this as a wake up call.  Note, click on the linked words to read more on a pattern you must break!
  3. Listen to your gut feelings.  If something is probably a mistake, it is.  <<< Seriously listen to that feeling and just say no to the date, the call, the re-bound date, etc.  Don’t ever let someone talk you into doing something you are not comfortable with, even if it’s a blind date.  It might be the best thing in the world, or it might be a mistake.  Listen to your own feelings and explore them.  Take time.  You can actually have phone conversations like in the old days with the person before you ever even go out.
  4. Do not be desperate…be true to yourself!  Worse than being alone is actually being in the wrong relationship.  Trust me on this.  Especially a verbally abusive or physically abusive one.  That will take some time to heal from and the wounds might run deep.  You don’t want children around that, and you also don’t want your inner child around that.  Take long, deep thoughts on what you want to create in a relationship this time around.  What would it look like for you?  How would you feel?  What are the ways you would be supported?
  5. Time doesn’t heal all things.  <<< Why people say it does, is beyond me.  Take as long as you need.  There is no one else in this world who has to live with your decisions except for you.  Don’t make the wrong ones!  It can spiral out into the life of your family and over time, yes, they will hurt as well.  Remember your self-talk, the talk you say in front of your children about an ex, or even how you talk to yourself in front of a new person.  What are you putting out there on social media?  Hatred and anger?  Dirty laundry?  Take some time to process in a  journal.  Not on social media.  Find the good in your life and hold on tight!

In the end, you will know when you are ready, but there really is nothing wrong with working on yourself for a while as you put the broken pieces back together.  You will eventually be okay again and you will know when you are ready to trust someone once again with that precious thing called your heart.

Trust

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Coping During a Mercury Retrograde

Are you feeling a little bit anxious?  Do you feel misunderstood?  Friends who are empaths read this before continuing if you haven’t read it before.  What is empathy?  Well, empathy can be described as the ability to read and understand people.  Empaths are a bit different and are quite sensitive to others moods, energy and thoughts without even being aware that they are.  They just sometimes “know” things aren’t right and can really feel shifts around them.  During this time of a high communication “fritz”, we need to be mindful on HOW we are communicating and what types of messages we are putting out there in the universe.

Lack of clear communication can lead to years of not speaking to someone.  Trust me, I know.  Sometimes it for the best, but other times, you wish you had talked to the person face-to-face.

What is Mercury Retrograde anyway??

It has been described to me as such:

We use the term “retrograde” to describe the backwards movement of a planet. Of course, the planet is not actually moving backwards; however, from earth it appears to be moving further away. When it does this, astrologers call it a retrograde, a time where the planet is almost “resting” or not in full action.

All planets retrograde, however Mercury retrograde is often the one that is given most attention because Mercury is associated with communication, technology and contracts- in many ways, Mercury is the messenger.  Communication, travel, and technology—all of these areas might go haywire for about three weeks.

How to cope during this time:

  1. Read everything thoroughly that you are sent.  But Don’t read INTO it.  I admit that I might have a tiny problem when people send me things with ALL CAPS.  Don’t do that to people unless you are writing a blog article and want them to read that part:)
  2. Remember my 3 breaths from the FB Live video?  Pause and take those 3 deep belly breaths.  Put your hand on your belly, and then feel it rise and fill your lungs as they expand, exhale through your nose.  Repeat x 3!
  3. Confirm all travel plans before you head out.  If possible, have a back-up.  If not, just go with the flow if there are delays.
  4. Think of this time as a time to get to know the phone better…as in phone calls with voices.  Not texts, messages, e-mails on important items.  As a matter of fact, limit messages if you can.  They can be read into big time.
  5. This is a time to connect with your inner wisdom, not reactions.  Is it true?  Could the other person be feeling off?  What do I know about this person?  Is it in character?  Connect with your gut feelings.
  6. Do not put too much on your plate during this time.  <<< repeat it friends.  Back-to-school, new routines, new plans, for 3 weeks, just hold on before adding lots more to this time.  October is a great month after you have gotten into the routines of school to add things.
  7. Have patience.  Above all, I wish you patience during this time.  Seek out yoga, meditation, and quiet reflection at night.  Pause, breathe and be kind to yourself.

I have some great articles on journaling, self-care, and grounding your thoughts that might help you.  <<<  check those out for more!

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How to Detach from Someone With Love

Love.  It can be a great and powerful thing, but when you get your heart broken, it can seem as if you don’t recognize yourself anymore.  Sometimes, we lose ourselves in a relationship and that my friends, is not a good thing.

However, sometimes we can also detach and realize we don’t need to be with that person 24/7 and declare our undying love and faith to this person every single day on social media.  Moreover, we can actually do things that are different and freely be able to let go with love and trust in your heart…and know that they are going to come back.  Both of these situations are different, yet they require the same kind of actions.

This line has always spoken to me:  “Let there be spaces in your togetherness,” said Khalil Gibran. “And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

How to detach emotionally from someone:

  1. Do a serious mental check and see if you have your own source of happiness.  << link to the formula  I love the meme of the little guy carrying the jar of happiness.  When his friend asks him where he got that with wide eyes, he says “I made it myself.”  BOOM!  This is such truth in this tiny cartoon.  jar of happinessNote:  I do not know who drew this and have looked everywhere or it would be a link to you.  Mystery artist.
  2. Take a huge breath!  Yes, just breathe.  <<< link to creating that space you need.  Listen to your inner guide.  How long have you been thinking that you are clingy, losing yourself, or jealous?  Have you thought those things?  Do you instinctively know that you need a “break” from someone, but are afraid of the alternative.  Really start to trust your inner guide in this situation.  You can press the pause button and still be okay.  It happens in relationships.  It helps you get through the rough times when you see that there are mistakes being made, and you can actually own those mistakes.  It shows that you can admit when you are wrong.
  3. You have absolutely zero, that’s right, zero control over someone else.  No matter what you would like to believe, you are not the man behind the curtain.  In fact, you are more likely to be the Wicked Witch if you think you can control a relationship.  Free your mind…and the rest will follow.  Wait, that’s a song.  I want you to listen to that.  Seriously.  Listen to En Vogue a minute.  Now back to this.  Sometimes people wear clothes that you might not approve of, speak their mind, or do other things that make YOU think a certain way.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that was their intention.  Ask them.
  4. Pain is temporary, but being in a relationship that isn’t working can last a long time and really cause more harm than good.  You are not defined by their actions and it can be really hard to understand that you didn’t do anything wrong.  Focus on loving them enough to let them go if it’s not working and work on healing for you and you alone.  Start creating that jar of happiness and keep on adding to it.  Surround yourself with supportive people as you make this move to detach.

Detachment with love, instead of pain, regret, hate and malice is so much better for our higher good and spiritual healing.  Raising your vibration to love helps you heal faster and shows you the way to go for yourself.  You are not doing this for anyone else, remember that.  YOU control your happiness.  You.

Strength

 

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Life After a Narcissistic Relationship Ends (How to Move Forward)

What is a narcissist exactly?  By definition it is someone who is overly self-involved, vain or selfish.  I happen to know quite a few of these people, and yes, was in a relationship with one once long ago.  Quite thankfully, I recognized what he was doing even back then as it could have been quite scary.  What exactly were the signs I recognized?

  • everything was on his time
  • wanted to party all the time
  • had to be in the center of attention by drawing people to him
  • put on an “act” like it was a circus show
  • lied to me…constantly
  • would do one good thing, to replace the 50 bad things he did

These are just some of the signs that I recognized and knew it was a ridiculous arrangement.  Read this article for more on When an Empath Loves a Narcissist.  So how does one move on after this?

How to Move Forward:

  1. Stop feeling guilty, judging yourself, or feeling used.  It is quite possible that this is what he or she wants.  It creates that isolating feeling that they love.  Now you have no one to call, and feel sorry for yourself.  It is normal.  You will be able to build up relationships once again that help you with your self-esteem, not drain it.
  2. Start your self-care routines again…which means focusing on you!  Consider this experience a lesson in how to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority once again.  Honestly, you can be stronger than the you that just came out of this relationship.  I know it sounds crazy, but it is true.  Start your wellness routine which includes fitness, nutrition, balance and self-care.  I talk about this in 4 Weeks to Wellness, but it is absolutely the best way to heal yourself completely.
  3. Journal the things you want to remove from your life and the things you want to attract.  Write down the qualities you would like to have in your next relationship, and compare your list to what just happened.  Chances are, the qualities were never there to begin with.  It was all smoke and mirrors.  Get in the habit of putting yourself first and thinking about your goals and dreams.
  4. Take stock of your feelings.  Sit with them a minute.  Write them down.  How are you feeling?  Now imagine the best version of you.  The you that is there, but is just hidden way below the surface right now.  What if you journaled each and every night on the best parts of your day, you, your family, your friends, and everything about your life that is great?  There is so much left to be thankful for and after all this, the relationship has shown you what you don’t want to be like.  That was not a relationship for your highest good and somewhere deep inside you knew it all along.  You are able to see much more clearly now that the fog has lifted.

You will be able to move forward.  Use yoga, journaling, meditation, walks in nature, alone time, massage and more as a way to get back to the you that you want to be.   We all have bad days, make bad decisions and date the wrong people.  But that doesn’t mean we have to stay in that place forever.  This has prepared us for what we no longer want in our lives.

move forwardNew!  See the tab Head|Heart|Health for more support on getting back to the real you.

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