Category Archives: Relationships

I Believed. Now For Love.

Believe.

That was my primary oneword365.com focus for 2016.  As I went to remove my 2016 wall calendar, I couldn’t help but smile when I read December’s message: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” A reminder that the journey is mostly mental.

The word “believe” served me well throughout the year. I learned to believe that I could trust myself again and I watched as incredible opportunities surfaced. Even when I wavered, deep inside, I understood that waiting, impatiently, was just a manifestation of not being able to control the Universe’s timing.  Like clockwork, an inanimate reminder of the word, on a pillow or wall plaque at Home Goods, or a quote on social media would draw my attention back. Believe. One word. A simple idea with boundless application.

But alas, it’s time is almost up.  A new year, a new beginning. I tuck the word away in my memory portal as the new arrival gently beckons for my attention. I curate a new word, just four letters, and I welcome its debut.

“Hello 2017; you look so inviting. This year will be all about ‘LOVE.’”

51 Weeks To Go and Counting

BELIEVEWith one full week of 2016 in the bag, I’ve noticed the trend in my social media circles to claim one “power word” rather than resolutions.  It actually makes a lot of sense to me, and hopefully to you, too.

With good intention, people make resolutions they plan to commit to in a new year. But once the holiday season is done and people get back into their daily grinds, resolutions can often fall by the wayside. Some people have become so disappointed with making resolutions, that they don’t even make them anymore; they just roll into the new year hoping for the best.

As my 23-year-old son pointed out to me, “People can resolve to improve at any time of the year, so it’s not a big thing.”  Responding with Mother Wisdom, I told him, “Yes, young wise one but the new year is like an automatic reset for many people to try again to accomplish something meaningful.”  Then I shared with him the trend of the Power Words, and he actually agreed with me that doing this seems more intentional, purposeful, and easier to commit.

The thing with identifying a Power Word is it can transcend any moment or area of your life.  For instance, if you choose “Thrive” as your power word, it can apply to goals for eating healthier and exercise.  Even if you messed up on a diet, your power word can be a constant reminder that any small accomplishment, like walking the stairs, is a move in the right direction. Thrive may even mean seeking a better paying job because you learned a new skill, or spending more time with a loved one just because.  It’s all thriving and you set the bar for what that means in your life.

So I picked two words that resonated with my spirit, BELIEVE (for the good that flows all around me) and FREEDOM (from anything that doesn’t serve me).  It is my intention and purpose to believe in the possibility of whatever my heart desires, because I know it’s poimg_2317ssible, and to be free from ANY thing, person, idea or thought that doesn’t serve my highest and best. Ironically, after I christened my words as part of my 2016 mantra, the word “BELIEVE” surfaced immediately in an image that adequately expressed my sentiments.

So what is your Power Word for 2016?  It’s never too late to pick one, or even change or add words. It’s for your personal edification to serve as a “compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps,” according to the One Word 365 community.  I recently learned about this social media community as I began to research the purpose behind the movement, and am sharing for anyone who may be interested (preview at http://oneword365.com/).

So here’s to your highest and best throughout 2016, to live with intention and purpose ALWAYS.

Men, Relationships and Masterdating

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Dating has its challenges and becomes even trickier during the holidays. Factor in an awkward lack of dating skills and one could find themselves alone and lonely. With back to back holiday celebrations such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, News Year’s Eve, with Valentine’s Day arriving shortly thereafter, it’s no wonder a single person can feel helplessly hopeless. But then there’s online dating, and that, too can be challenging, especially for someone newly single from a marriage or long term relationship. According to dating industry stats at datingreviewsites.com, men seem to take the biggest hit when meeting someone online because they make 80% of the initial contacts with only 25% response rate. That’s a lot of rejection and pressure if a man is really seeking a serious relationship. It would lead a man (and women) to wonder what he could be doing wrong.

According to relationship expert George Reagan, dating for a man is all perspective, preparation and having a game plan, he shares in his new book Masterdate: The Handy Guide to Internet Dating for Guys. The 150+ page book is a quick read and fun “how to” guide with a lot of practical advice and solid information such as writing a good online profile, tips on how to effectively search online for someone with common goals and interests, how to easily relate to women, writing the first email, and what should happen during your first meeting. George is an excellent, methodical and prolific writer who mastered success in online dating and wants to share his secrets with guys about how easy, fun and rewarding dating can be. I will admit that initially I was turned off by the title “Masterdate” because I thought he was presenting an innocuous sex guide cloaked under the guise of dating tips and would be a tongue-in-cheek dating advice tips. For example, he includes highlighted sections throughout the book called

Relationship Expert and Author George Reagan.  Follow him on Twitter at @masterdate48 and @writerreagan

Follow Relationship Expert and Author George Reagan on Twitter at @masterdate48 and @reaganwriter.

T&A but it’s really his effort to share his exciting Tales/stories and Advice so guys don’t make some of the same mistakes he initially made. I quickly recognized that George is marketing genius for creating imagery, illusion and interest in his book. After all, sex is a major goal for men and successful dating helps them eventually reach their goal, so George speaks their language to keep the interest. But what George has really created in 13 engaging chapters is a no-holds barred honest male perspective on dating that begins with asking men to become their own harsh critic. Any man that is truly serious about getting out of a dating rut or just to begin dating again and finding love, will not want to put this book down. Even as a woman, I found it to be a very insightful look at dating from a male perspective and have recommended it as a resource for men inquiring about love advice.

With 2015 knocking at the back door, what are you waiting for? If you know a man (a sibling, best friend) struggling with the dating scene or new to dating, he may just need a nudge, so here’s a great gift to share this holiday season. After all, everyone deserves #finding4reallove, and Masterdate provides the required knowledge, technique, and advice to effectively prepare them for optimum dating success.

Love is a Magnifier

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© Nbvf | Dreamstime.com – Word Love Under The Magnifier Isolated Photo

Love is a funny thing because there exists such a wide range of emotions to describe the concept yet what remains constant about love is that it is needed, actually, required for human life to survive and thrive.  The example I present today is the wellspring of love radiating from the family of 13 year-old Jahi McMath, who continues to show the world what love, conscious resolve, and a lot of determination can do.

If you are not familiar with the story of Jahi, she is the young girl who was declared brain dead following complications from from a surgical procedure.  The family disagreed with this and fought to have Jahi to remain on life support, which ultimately resulted in Jahi being moved from her home state of California to New Jersey.  While a death certificate was issued in California, the family has recently released video of Jahi appearing to make movements with her feet and hands at the sound of her Mother’s voice.  You can view videos here for yourself…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsSeM0RVKuA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh4YC-XjG9k

Now, when I watch this, I feel and experience a Mother’s love and determination that is incomparable to any other type of love.  I don’t know or care what the medical textbooks may or may not say about Jahi’s condition because what I just witnessed was a young girl who can hear her Mom’s voice and she is responding to it.  It reminds me of a few times when I was in a deep sleep but I guess partially asleep when I could hear people talking but I couldn’t wake up.  I was fighting so hard in my sleep to wake up and it took a lot of work and energy.  One time I was able to wake up and thought that experience was the weirdest thing but afraid to discuss it with anyone because surely I didn’t think they would believe me. Another time, I couldn’t wake myself up and remember falling back into sleep feeling defeated that I couldn’t wake myself up.  Now, I am a healthy adult and know what that felt like and it was very scary to even be in that kind of state and actually witness it but not able to do anything about it.  I can’t even imagine what is happening with Jahi and her hearing voices, no less, her Mom’s voice, and she is trying hard to respond.  Now let me interject, I in know way am trying to compare my dream-state experience with what has tragically happened to Jahi, but my goal is to paint a picture of being in a place of helplessness and needing help but no one knows that you need help or even how to help.

In watching these videos, I profess that this is what real love looks like (to me).  You never give up no matter what the odds are.  While my goal for this post is not to stir up any debates about life support and the state of being brain dead, or quality of life, I would like to share the story of unconditional, uncompromising, steadfast love.  We can talk about the different types of love and suggest that a parent’s love is different than the love of a man and woman.  But is there really a difference? Say’s who? When real, genuine love exists in your heart,  it is like a faucet that can’t be turned off.  You respond to love in kind with love and it’s a force that can’t be stopped.

So my message is to never give up on love. The emotion may have to shift in intensity at times, and the timing and proper perspective should guide the intensity of love, but the power and resoluteness of love should never be questioned.  It is definitely something that every human should unequivocally experience. Jahi is so blessed and fortunate to have that type of love that surrounds her, encourages her and keeps her elevated in a realm that we will never be able to understand. While truly none of us really knows what is going on with Jahi and should refrain from judgment and politicizing something very sensitive and real for her family, we cannot deny that love is truly a magnifier that reveals that all things are possible, and it’s okay to be believe in miracles.

 

Love…Date…Relate…

An OnlinLove rocke Radio Talk Show

Join me as I host a relationship talk show called Love, Date and Relate with Ask A Love Goddess, an online relationship advice resource, along with Ms. B, a licensed professional and national board certified counselor, life and relationship coach and author, and Blu.J, a relationship expert with TarotBound.

Recent Broadcasts

To preview recent broadcasts, visit http://www.askalovegoddess.com/love-date-relate-radio-broadcast.html. We are still working out the format and during the show’s pilot phase, we are broadcasting live on Sunday evenings with topic guests and co-hosts and uploading to Blog Talk Radio as well as to the Ask A Love Goddess website.  Eventually, the show will become more interactive and welcome live guests to participate with questions and commentaries.

Engage Audience Participation

In the meantime, if you have questions or topics of interest related to love, dating and relationships, please email them to my attention at divaninawrites@gmail.com for consideration as discussion topics.  As well, we are always seeking interesting love and romance stories to highlight and share on the website.

Follow the Show

Lastly, follow our show on Twitter at @askalovegoddess using the hashtag #finding4reallove, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/askalovegoddess?ref=hl.

Social Media as a Romance Connector

dreamstimefree_62569While attitudes about online dating being an acceptable way to meet people has grown in popularity because of its ease and convenience, there are still some people who don’t like the trend.  The good news is that’s not the only way to meet people in the 21st century.  But everyone you know is talking about online dating, so what’s a poor lonely person to do if they choose not to participate in online dating, or peruse singles forums and chat rooms?

Get Social Being Social

Dating is really about being social and making connections that may possibly turn into a romance.  The traditional face to face, in person meeting/introduction is still the best choice.  So, you are going to have to disconnect from your cell phone, tablet and whatever other mobile device you are using and get out of the house and become social.

But before you do that, be strategic about your approach to finding a date using technology and social media as your people connector.  Here’s how:

1)      Use your social media network to find out about local events and activities, including free festivals and outdoor park concerts.  If you are on social media, you are following either friends, friends of friends, people you admire, people within a common community, or people you want to get to know. Someone is talking about an event and as summer is winding down, there are still many outdoor activities still to get in, like day parties, which seem to have grown in popularity.  Then there is the sports scene.  Whether sports is your thing or not (because some men, and especially a lot of women are not into sports like that) there’s nothing wrong with checking out the atmosphere for lunch and a drink. There are many upscale bar environments that offer a wide menu selection and a great atmosphere to interact and be social.  Men and women, alike, go to sports bars not just to watch the games, but for the social atmosphere. Or how about trying free salsa lessons and check out the scenery while learning to dance the rumba or merengue.

2)      What’s trending in your industry on Twitter? If you are a career person, then you are more than likely digitally connected either through a professional membership organization or follow someone in the industry.  More than likely, they use social media to promote events, conferences, or social opportunities to connect with like-minded people. As you are staying in the know for business purposes, always look out for social opportunities to meet new and exciting people.

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© Photographerlondon | Dreamstime.com – Romantic Couple Holding Hands In Field Photo

3)      While we’re on Twitter, you can use this tool to professionally connect with someone who follows you or who you follow.  Now this can be tricky because you don’t want to come across as a stalker.  But let’s say they tweet information that is helpful.  You can tweet back or direct message them saying the information was helpful and thank them for sharing. I wouldn’t use this technique too often but you never know how a person will respond and it could possibly lead to a longer tweet conversation. Or not, but at least you are keeping your options open on other ways to meet people.

4)      The longstanding dating belief is that friends are good sources to meet people, so use your handy apps to find out where your friends are hanging out and ask to join them.  This may require thinking outside the box.  Let’s say a group of friends is at the bowling alley but you don’t bowl.  Doesn’t mean you can’t join them and cheer them on while exposing yourself to a new opportunity and new people.  You don’t drink but your friend is hosting a wine and cheese tasting for a worthy cause.  I’m pretty sure they will have more than wine there to drink, so stop in for an hour because again, you never know who may be present.

Leveraging your Social Media ROI

While these suggestions are just spins on traditional dating advice, consider a different perspective. This is about leveraging your return on investment of time spent on social media activity to create opportunities for finding dates in a way that may be more natural to navigate than online dating.  The bottom line is that there are options for meeting people who could be potential dates so don’t force yourself to jump into the sea of online dating profiles and your heart is not into it.  Finding real love is about timing and creating the right opportunities to connect with people.

#RIPRobinWilliams 1951-2014 #NanoNano

Robin Williams was one of those zany comedians and Oscar winning actors that I grew up watching on television (Mork & Mindy) as a teenager and found him to be quite funny and entertaining.  As I got older, my humor tastes grew so my repertoire of comedians Robin Williams pichas changed but Robin Williams is someone that I always liked and enjoyed his acting performances in movies like Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, and World’s Greatest Dad.  So when I learned that he passed and possibly of suicide, of course, like other fans of his, I was taken aback.  Obviously, death is imminent for us all but when someone’s life is publicly visible, you feel like you know them.  Or do you?

The death of a notable person like Robin Williams’ creates conversations about mental health, public health, depression and suicide.  People may open up more about personal pain and their battle with depression.  Whenever I read or learn of someone who committed suicide and suffered from depression, it makes me sad and I automatically think of my mom, Marcia.  She committed suicide when I was 15 years old but the depth of her actions did not impact me until I was in my mid-20s.  I always thought if someone had taken her concerns seriously, a stranger said an encouraging word, or something, that maybe she would be alive today and I could buy her gifts for Mother’s Day and tell her how much I love her.  However, because of the stigma associated with depression and suicide, my family didn’t talk about it or her much, not even to this day.  And that’s the problem with depression.

Many people really don’t think it’s a disease or don’t like that it is associated with mental health.  Licensed and national board certified counselor Ms. Bahiyya Amh-Shere of YOUniversal Change, Inc. says depression is real and “that It is easier to associate a person with being weak-minded or can’t handle pressure than to acknowledge that there may be a real medical problem, like heart disease.  We have to change our mindset about mental illness and its role in society today.”  Personally, I’ve known enough people in my adult life who I have witnessed struggling with depression, as well as a few people who have committed suicide.  And what I saw was people who were in pain and deep turmoil that they felt they had to hide from others in fear of judgment so that they could be accepted.  And let me tell you, it never gets easy to ever understand the how or why of suicide as a result of depression.  It just hurts to know that someone was hurting that bad to make that kind of a permanent life decision.

I remember at a place of employment where a senior vice president was found hung in her office over the weekend.  Employees were shocked and couldn’t believe it.  She seemed so happy and had it all together.  But what we saw was her public mask; the one she wore to keep from being judged.  The real person, was in some type of unbearable emotional pain, and she could not see what everyone else saw in her.  She only felt her pain. As a journalism college student, i interviewed a prominent campus administrator for a school assignment, only to find out a week later that he was hospitalized for a self-administered gunshot wound. My instructor came to me and told me she understood if I wanted to re-do the assignment on someone else. I didn’t.  He had some positive information he shared about getting a college education and that’s the person that I wanted people to know.

marcia

My mom, Marcia, getting her party on, lol, lol with family . This had to be the early 70s judging by the attire. Anyway, she did try to have some fun, it seems, in spite of her sadness.

But this is what I believe:  No one would consciously take their life knowing they are leaving behind people who love them and care for them. No one would just give up a bright and promising future or pretend to have feelings of sadness and worthlessness.  Sometimes it’s not that simple as mind or matter, just pray it away.  It really is a medical problem resulting from a chemical imbalance that should be properly diagnosed by a doctor.  It IS something that is treatable with the right diagnosis and medicine.  There are even herbal and natural medicines that might work. The key is taking it seriously when a person shows symptoms of depression.  You never know when a person is experiencing their own private hell and may ultimately make a deadly decision.  While it’s their decision, it’s one that is preventable.

If there is someone you love that you know or think may be struggling, please show compassion and offer encouragement when suggesting that they seek medical help.  Even offer to go with them. To learn more about the signs of depression, visit http://www.webmd.com/depression/.

In closing, stay eternally blessed and be grateful for your life and good health. Life is worth living no matter how bad it seems or feels; it’s a temporary moment in time that will pass. Make sure you sincerely share this message today, and please call or go hug a loved one and let them know you love them and that their life DOES matter.

Peace…

Everyone Is Looking For Love

Someone recently sent me a link to a new online advice website for lo2 love goddessve, dating and relationships because they thought I would really like the name.  Well, I DID which made me curious to visit, especially because I’m always looking for interesting things to write about.  I was actually pretty impressed with the website and their logo; very classy. They obviously are just getting up and running because no real advice being dispensed just yet but I would say it’s promising. I mean after all, isn’t everyone looking for love?! The key is going to be if they can build followers and provide good and consistent dialogue on their subject matter.  That should be easy because life is all about relationships and plenty of people are trying to navigate them, especially through social media vehicles and online dating. And if you are a fan of reality television, there are enough shows that highlight the good, bad, and ugly of love, dating and relationships. I plan to keep checking on their progress and post back in about a month to see how it’s going.  But if you’re interested, you can visit them at askalovegoddess.com and on Twitter at @askalovegoddess and let me know what you think, too.