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Tag Archives: relationships

7 Simple Strategies to Turn Family Holiday Stress Around from Dr. Charlotte Reznick, PhD

holiday stress

“The Holidays” is a perplexing statement in the US – on any given day, it can conjure up either warm feelings of family, gratitude, and tradition — or it can cause stress, headache and sleepless nights. And it’s no wonder – the average American spends 42 hours a year on holiday activities. That’s one standard work week spent shopping, wrapping, and returning presents, attending holiday parties, and traveling from place to place, and often these extra activities are squeezed into already busy schedules.

Before holiday stress and depression ruins your holiday, take a mindful minute to consider these great strategies and simple tips from Dr. Charlotte Reznick to keep the joy alive:

(1) Visualize a heart-filled holiday.

You can do this one at the dinner table. Have everyone in the family close their eyes, focus on their heart, and imagine what kind of holiday will bring joy into their hearts. Then share your ideas around the table. This helps kids feel listened to, cared for, and included.

(2) Give the gift of calmness.

Ancient wisdom and modern research point to the calming effects and health benefits of slow, deep breathing. Make a regular practice of taking 1 to 5 minutes each day of relaxing “balloon breathing.” Breathe in to a count of 3 about 2 inches below the navel, imagining there’s a balloon filling up with air, and out to that same slow count. It’ll center and rebalance every family member to face the joys and inevitable disappointments of the holiday season.

(3) Offer distress a voice.

If this is your child’s first holiday without a loved one – grandpa passed away, or big sister is in Afghanistan – younger family members may feel a deep sense of loss. Or maybe your child is feeling the stress of a recent divorce. Give her paper and markers, and ask her to draw whatever is making her sad or mad. Then ask her what the picture wants to say out loud. Often, putting a face on an emotion and letting it “speak” makes a child feel better – and gives a parent a way to understand what’s going on inside.

(4) Sweat is sweet.

Kids (and adults) can get all pent up during holiday time. Surprise little ones by clearing the furniture out of the center of the room, turning on some fun music, and dancing vigorously for 10 minutes. Or bundle up the family and take a wintry walk while playing “I Spy.” Exercise releases feel-good chemical and is one of the fastest ways to chase away holiday blahs and instill a sense of togetherness.

(5) Blow out negativity, light up hope.

Create a family ritual of hope. Have two candles for each family member: one lit, one not. Have each imagine what they’d like to let go of – what no longer serves them – and say, “I’m going to toss this out (anger, worry, meanness to my sister) when I blow this candle out.” Then light a new candle and share, “I hope to bring in (kindness, faith, cleaning my room) as I light anew.” Let go of the old and bring in the new. You can use one candle to symbolize all, or light up your whole home with several.

(6) Be grateful for who you live with.

Avoid some of the little and big jealousies that crop up from comparing who has a bigger present or counting how many gifts go to whom by starting early and giving gifts of appreciation – to each family member. Take the rest of December and every day have each person share something they appreciate about another (big brother allowing younger sister to hang out in his room). Make a running list and post on the fridge or in the family room to remind each other when stresses build that you really do care about and love each other.

(7) Spread the joy around.

The time-honored tradition of helping others can shift priorities. If kids or teens are moping around or showing signs of stress, take them to the local soup kitchen to serve meals. Visit a nursing home with hand-made cards or offer a free concert. Helping others gives kids a feeling of more control and a sense of being both useful and appreciated.

We hope that these strategies will help you and your family have a wonderful, stress-free holiday this Christmas.

Charlotte Reznick Ph.D., is a child educational psychologist, an Associate Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, and author of The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success (Perigee/Penguin). As the creator of Imagery for Kids: Breakthrough for Learning, Creativity, and Empowerment, a positive coping skills program, Dr. Reznick has pioneered therapeutic interventions, combining visualization and meditation techniques to help children realize their full potential. In addition to her private practice, she creates therapeutic relaxation CDs for children, teens, and parents, and teaches workshops internationally on the healing power of children’s imagination.




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Take the plunge, marry yourself. Proclaim that you are fabulous!

Self Wedding 1Go on, take the plunge!

Marry someone who completely deserves your unconditional love… yourself! friends and all-round wonderful human beings Jeffrey Levin and Bonnie Powers, want to spread more love in the world, and have set out to get people to “take the plunge and marry yourself.”

Having conducted a number of self-weddings, this husband and wife team are out to grow this idea in as many ways as possible. They see the self-wedding idea as a movement that spreads happiness.  ”Love doesn’t start with the idea of waiting for the right one to complete you. Love starts with completing yourself. Realizing you are the right one,” says Powers. “The more you love yourself, the better able you are to love others.”

The Self-Wedding In-A-Box comes in a fabulous vintage-modern blush and mint colored kit with a sterling silver or 14k solid gold unisex ring designed by Levin, the ceremony verbiage, vows, and affirmation cards.  Their kit has all you need to create your own ceremony, including a self-wedding ring and vows.

I Married Me Self-Wedding In-A-Box is a genuinely inspirational practice. It reminds you, as you wear your ring, that the simplest thing you can do to make for a happier, more content life is to LOVE YOURSELF!

Help support this idea, and the campaign to raise funds on Indiegogo!

I Married Me from I Married Me on Vimeo.

Follow the Love:
Contact:Jeffrey Levin, Ring Maker: jeff at imarriedme dot com, 310.207.8899Bonnie Powers, Wedding Planner: bonnie at imarriedme dot com, 415.305.8973 


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Are You in a Relationship with Yourself?

Relationships: They are a significant part of our Earth curriculum and they consist of friendships, romances, colleagues and family.  But how do relationships come about and why do we attract the people we do?

As you go in and out of your day-to-day, you are emitting energy.  Sometimes this energy is high vibrational, other times it is on the lower end of the spectrum.  Essentially when you attract someone, they are attracted to this energy force.  You will therefore attract people who mirror the level of consciousness you are at.  So, on some level, you are constantly in relationships with yourself.

The people that show up in your life are physical manifestations of an aspect of yourself.  Maybe it’s an aspect you most need to see, embrace, forgive or heal right now.

Likewise, when relationships end, it is due to a conflict in this once compatible energy level.  One person may be evolving at a faster rate, or one may be threatened by his or her own resistance to change.  But the shift is not to be taken personally; it is merely a reflection of awareness that is no longer a mirror image.

Other times individuals will admire our current level of evolvement and will rise to that occasion with us.  These are the friendships and partnerships that we feel compelled to cultivate.  They allow you the space to be more and more of who you are, and you get to enjoy growing and developing as souls into your fullness.

When your relationships begin to shift, do not react in fear.  It is the universe’s way of allowing that relationship to take a new form, in whatever form that may be, for each of your highest good.

If you enjoyed this article, you will also appreciate: “Life Doesn’t Get Better By Chance, It Gets Better By Change”. 

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Soulfully Ignite Your Love Life- 5 Spiritual Dates

Tired of the same old date night ideas? Here are five ways to soulfully ignite your love life and bring you and your partner closer together by expanding your romantic and spiritual horizons.  Some ideas to try:

1.  Take a class. Learning something new together can lead to spiritual growth. Get started by making a list with your partner of new things you would like to learn- a new language, self-defense, cooking or a landscaping class perhaps. Many community centers and YMCAs offer affordable classes or one-day workshops. Here are some upcoming events to scope.

2.  Go Outside. Take a scenic hike, locate a labyrinth or meditation garden in your area. National Parks are great destinations to connect via nature, too. Make it extra special by timing it as a sunrise or sunset event.

3.  Volunteer together. Spend a day at your local animal shelter or do a cleanup event in your neighborhood.  You’ll be humbled by the gratitude you feel for each other – as well as sharing the satisfaction of making your neighborhood, city, town and world a better place. A date spent helping is a great way to get to know someone spiritually. Find out which causes your partner wants to get involved with and join them.

4.  Get sporty. Revive the P.E. days and spend an afternoon playing beach volleyball, having some basketball court action or at the batting cages. You could bring a Frisbee or your yoga mats to the park even.  If you love to ski and your partner is a surfer, hit the slopes and waves and learn each other’s sport of choice. Remember: For many people, their sport is a spiritual experience, so start getting in shape to reach Nirvana together.

5.  Explore new faiths. Even if you and your partner are not particularly religious, this can be a soul-expanding voyage of joint discovery. Get up one Saturday and go to a shul, or check out a gospel church on Sunday. Find out if visitors are welcome at your neighborhood mosque and make a plan to go. Sit pudja together at a Buddhist temple. Several music festivals are spiritually themed. Talk about your experiences together. This is a good way to gently ease into what for some can be a sensitive topic. Keep an open mind. Awakening your spiritual consciousness together can help bring you and your partner closer. Here are some centers that offer mediation gatherings in the LA area.

It’s not only the activities themselves that will bring you closer, but the mindset you embody during the experience.  When you try new things, you discover new things about your partner…and yourself.

Do you have any interesting spiritually oriented date ideas?  Please share with the rest of us!

If you enjoyed this article, you will also like: “What Does Spirituality Mean to You“?

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When is It Time to End a Relationship?

Often, change is unsolicited. It’s sudden, it’s quick and it disrupts our equilibrium. It’s frightening, because one way we survive is by being able to predict our environment and our lives to adapt to that. When predictability disappears, so does our sense of personal safety. Our known existence, whether we liked it or not, is replaced by an unknown one, and we become fearful and disoriented, not knowing where to turn next.

But, change is a necessary part of life. Without change there would be no life at all. Our lives are actually fueled by change, though most of us want a certain amount of stability. When we begin to realize that change is not something to be feared and avoided, we can learn to let go of the fear of change.  Particularly, change in our relationships.

Beate Chelette is a successful career coach who has seen first-hand how interconnected our behavior patterns regarding our career path and personal relationships can be.  We are happy to share her insights for recognizing when it’s time to make a much needed change in the relationship department.

When Is It Time To End Certain Relationships?

By Beate Chelette

Most people we get to know in our lives aren’t meant to travel the whole road with us. We forget that sometimes, especially when there’s been a good connection, yet endings and new beginnings are the natural flow of life.

Impermanence is one of the toughest concepts to get a handle on, as if we ever can. The prospect of having to let go and move on from a friend, a lover, a spouse, maybe a close colleague, is tough stuff and we all go through it.  I love this quote from Buddhist nun, author and teacher Pema Chodron:

              That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. It is the ordinary state of affairs. Everything is in process. Everything—every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate—is always changing, moment to moment.

Every year I ask myself: What does my spiritual and personal life look like? Where am I stuck?  Where can I improve? What worked and what didn’t and who is and isn’t supporting my emotional and spiritual growth? For me, it was a business-related discovery. I realized I wasn’t getting the support from my assistant and the marketing consultants I’d worked with for the past two years.

Admittedly, sadness comes along with the process of actually pruning some people from our lives.  With friends—and in business–a big one is losing trust when you can no longer rely on people to do what they say they’re going to do.  As the CEO of a busy business consulting firm, I want to feel confident that my team, all of them smart, likeable people, is following through on projects without my having to remind them.

How about the friend who competes with you and is jealous of your successes?  I’ve known women like that and as soon as my photo image licensing company took off, and I sold it to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions, I felt a chilly resentment from a couple of them. I stayed in these friendships way too long because of old ties, but it became clear that they were no longer on my side and I finally moved on, an emotional but liberating decision.

If you have a nagging suspicion that something is not right or needs to be changed, your instincts are probably correct. Maybe it’s time to make a few tweaks here and there, and challenge the world to keep up with you!

Here are a few ideas and techniques to help you close the doors on what is not working so you can let in things you want that are actually good for you.

Why we overstay some situations

The certainty we have seems to give us more comfort than putting ourselves out there and facing the uncertainty of what is still to come.

We fall into the trap of scarcity. What if there is not enough for me out there? What if I don’t attract new friends?  What if there is not enough business to sustain us all and every naysayer who predicted you wouldn’t be able to succeed, is right? Our thoughts have such a powerful impact on our lives and it’s essential that we stress the positive. Here’s why.

Is your fear that there isn’t enough of anything—prosperity, money, love—any different than you believing it to be the other way around? Why wouldn’t there be enough to go around?  Why wouldn’t there be someone or something even better?

Dreams and wishes

Be honest with yourself.  When your mind wanders, what do you dream about?  Is it about the life you currently have or do you see yourself in a second, much better life?

I certainly daydreamed about having a different life and this time, I did something about it. I hired new assistant, new consultants, and even started therapy to get the support I needed to create healthier business and personal relationships.

There’s no rule on how much you should get or have, how much you will be loved. Your contribution matters—it is you who determines what is or isn’t enough for you. You are worthy of greatness. And you are the one who defines what that is.  Do we have a deal?

Beate Chelette
is a respected career coach, consummate entrepreneur and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, Beate created The Women’s Code to share with women everywhere her strategies for success and leadership.



Are there certain resources you used when closing a relationship door?  Let us know about them.  We are always on the look out for soulful materials to add to our Amazon store

 If you liked this article, you will also enjoy: “What Your Intuition Wants to Tell You“. 

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