Love is a Tide!

I could say if one does this, or, one does that… life, love, your physical health, your mental health and your spiritual well-being will always be what you desire them to be – healthy, happy and positive – but they won’t. I adore inspirational quotes and stories just as much as anyone, but we must remember they are only half of our life (and love) stories. Finding the love and way of being we want, actually lies not so much in learning how to recognize and appreciate the high moments – it is in fact learning how to gracefully handle life’s lowest moments.

The t(d)aoist symbol:

YinYang

which many recognize today as “yin & yang” symbolizes an ancient philosophy “the way”. It teaches that everything (every moment) in a healthy life ebbs and flows – like a tide. First the tide comes in then it goes out. Opposites. First there is day then there is night – then there is day…. Rotation. First there is joy then there is sadness then there is joy then there is sadness…. Constant (movement). In summary: All of life is a constant rotation of opposites (positives and negatives). By excepting this, one does not feel the pressure of feeling guilty when their life is not “perfect”. No one is perfect. Remembering this simple fact makes loving yourself and others so much easier!

The same eastern lifestyle philosophy believes that the lows in life are actually necessary learning tools. Lows help us develop knowledge and wisdom to later attain ever greater highs – such as in love. Remember: the lows are necessary. Although it can be hard at first, view them as learning opportunities. This mental attitude is the first step in turning a low point into your next high.

I am sure at least one person reading this post (that is now going through and/or has gone through an extended or extreme low point in their lives – physically, mentally, in love and/or spiritually) is probably thinking, “Yeah, yeah, what do you know of my suffering?” To that thought I will simply say, “I assure you, I can empathize”.

The small white dot in the sea of darkness (as seen in the ying & yang symbol above) is the first sign that the tide is changing. Learn to be able to see those positive opportunities (those rays of hope) when things are not going well. Don’t get stuck or dwell in ill health, mental anguish, a destructive relationship pattern or loss of faith in the world. As long as you continue to move forward you will find your good health, your love and your happiness again. Don’t get stuck in negative patterns!

Accept the fact that everyday is not going to be blissful. Forgive yourself when you feel that you haven’t lived up to your, your partner’s, or society’s ideal. Be thankful for what you learn when times are tough. With a mental attitude like that you will find you are healthier physically, happier and find it easier to love yourself (and others) more. Learn life and loves lessons, but try not to lose your harmony or grace, this will make even your darkest moments seem light.

Open Up Your Mind, Your Body & Your Heart.

Most people are searching for love outside of themselves. That’s a fundamental mistake. Love is something you cultivate inside yourself – it is born from the way you think.

Unfortunately, many unintentionally let media tell them: who to love, who to hate, who to be afraid of, who to trust, what to think, and, what not to think…

If you truly want love in your life, be intentional. You can enjoy popular culture – but you don’t have to make it your religion. Instead, make your inner life your priority. If you learn how to open and cultivate your mind and your body, you will learn how to open and cultivate your heart.

When you are full of love (when you love yourself unconditionally), then you will know the true meaning of “being in love” & know how to spot the same same ability in others. Then, enjoy!

Givers Need to Set Limits Because Takers Never Do.

GiverAndTake2

Givers need to set limits because takers never do, is a tenet of a number of Eastern philosophies.

Personally, I was born in the west and raised to always “turn the other cheek”, forgive (& forget), practice unconditional love…

As a young adult, to my surprise, I often found myself in relationships where it appeared that the other person had not received the same memos. Never-the-less, due to these beliefs being ingrained in my subconscious – I merrily committed myself to the unconditional love/’til to death do we part scenario… just to find myself literally dying from trying…

In short, I still believe in forgiveness (as do Eastern philosophies). Forgiveness is not so much for the sake of the person you are forgiving, but for your own peace of mind. However, I now also believe in limits.

Don’t get me wrong. It is important to put effort into your relationships. The old adage: the best things in life don’t come easy is quite true. Relationships can grow in depth and intimacy when they survive trials and tribulations – together.

I guess that is the key. If both people are trying, a relationship is worth fighting for. However, if you find you have been the only person trying for an extended period of time… you must set a limit. “‘Til death do we part” should be interpreted as the death/loss of any part of us that makes us healthy and whole (loss of physical health, loss of joy/emotional well-being, loss of spiritual well-being). Don’t let a ‘Taker’ take parts of you. If the lack of true partnership in a relationship is killing you – forgive, grow & go.

Delve a bit deeper.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out… (however,) when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. – E. Kubler-Ross

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched. They must be felt with the heart. – H. Keller

If you want someone thoroughly beautiful, you are simply going to have to delve a bit deeper.

Are women attracted to men physically, or, just their perks?

I was asked: Are women actually physically attracted to any men, or, is it really just about ‘everything else’?

I live in a town where men and women are obsessed with jogging. In the warmer seasons, both men and women run with literally nothing on but their sun block and running shoes.

Several years ago, I was driving in town when I was suddenly distracted by a very attractive (almost naked) man running in front of my car. I momentarily lost all higher-level brain function, my eyes became completely fixated on him, and, I nearly drove off the road as a result. It was a truly primal reaction of sexual attraction.

After regaining my composure, the control of my vehicle, and, as the blood slowly returned to my head, I suddenly remembered why men have such a hard time when an attractive woman wears physically revealing attire. It is literally impossible not to look; literally impossible not to be attracted.

Because of that embarrassing confession: I can state that without a doubt: Yes, (hetero-) females are physically attracted to men, without “everything else”. That being said, I am also attracted to men (with clothing) that have a great mind, have a big heart, make me laugh… anyone who is happy and harmonious I find just as mesmerizing. In addition, I can honestly say that I have never been attracted to a man for the car he drove, the watch he wore, the private clubs he belonged to… This is not due to any greatness on my part, but the simple fact that I have been fortunate enough in my life not to have needed a man to provide me with nice things, or, security.

So please, don’t criticize those who instinctively do look for men with material strength. Remember, we are sexual animals first — conditioned to be a part of civilized society second. When we first see a person (of the gender we are attracted to), our first reaction is primal. Men innately are attracted to the woman who appears most ready to mate (bear their children) & women are attracted to the strongest male (who will be able to provide food, shelter and protection for her young).

In our modern world, physical attractiveness/health in a male is no longer enough to secure the well-being of children. Quite often, the male who is best able to provide these primal needs does not appear (if you were to strip him of his fine clothes) physically strong. Thus, our culture has changed what many women are attracted to in a man. One should not judge too harshly the women who are attracted to wealthy men for the material perks they can provide; anymore than you should judge the men who can’t help but look at a woman that is dressed provocatively. Instead, blame the industrial revolution.

Do not despair though, since WWII more and more women are able to provide for themselves (and their children). They have recently done studies on wealthy powerful women. It appears that they tend to be attracted to men who are the most physically fit. Period. No “everything else” required for these ladies. So, there you go. As culture changes, a woman’s innate primal need to ensure the well being of her offspring also changes. As a result, what she is attracted to in a man changes. Wealthy powerful women are still a small minority… but who knows? In time, it might be the majority of men that are primarily attracted to women with material perks. We’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, I think there are enough evolved people who can look past purely physical or material attraction. Not to say they won’t get an occasional whiplash from either!

Thanks for the question.

Be You (tiful)!

I was in the fashion industry for years. Therefore, I do appreciate outer/superficial beauty. And, as mentioned in my previous post, I understand its value and limitations in society. I just want to add: you can value superficial beauty. However, make sure it is be you (tiful)!

Changing fashion and beauty trends are often bizarre because they have to be different/new – to create a reason for people to buy them. If there wasn’t constantly something “new”, people would not have a constant (conditioned) need to buy (and the industry would suffer financially). The trick: learn to use the industry to your advantage – not theirs. Remember to be you (tiful).

Know: everyone has natural beauty. Everyone. The key to being a beauty is to make all your features (appear) harmonic. It is not who is the skinniest, or, who is the most voluptuous, or, who has the longest hair, or, who has the -est or –iest of anything. Any extreme, of any feature is bizarre looking. Bizarre is not beautiful. Period.

Instead of stressing yourself to be every fashion and beauty trend –est and -iest… First and foremost, just be your health-iest. Then, don’t allow fashion and beauty trends to dictate your looks (no one is beautiful in every trend). Instead, use fashion and beauty trends as experiments to figure out what makes you the most be you (tiful). Make the fashion trend your own. Don’t be afraid to tweak it to fit your personal beautifying needs.

If you are healthy – you will be beautiful! If your fashion & beauty tricks are harmonic (not extreme/trendy) – you will be breathtaking! If your are breathtaking – no one will notice if you are following a fashion trend or not! Simply be you (tiful)!

You Don’t Want Balance in your Life – You Want Harmony!

When you read English translations of ancient eastern philosophy, it is unfortunate that the word “balance” is used often – instead of the intended word – “harmony”. This has lead to the use of the word “balance” oft in western “New Age” vernacular…. Which has made it harder for western people to understand and follow the ancient lifestyle philosophies.

You don’t want “balance” in your life! Balance is a stagnant stationary point – extraordinarily hard to maintain. It is tension. In an instance, if one is not absolutely vigilant, balance will become instability, inequality, non-composure – differences. That is a stressful way to live. Who wants a life like that?

The harmony spoken about in ancient eastern philosophies is akin to musical harmony: the art of the combination of differences, into something agreeable or desired. It is not a stagnant point. It flows between while simultaneously incorporating (experiencing) the highs and lows of your life. The highs and lows are actually essential to joy you experience from a harmonious life.

There is tension in all lifestyles. Tension & stress are necessary at times. However, where as tension/stress is a constant state needed to achieve balance. Harmony is a state of constant flow; in which tension, (anger, grief… all the low notes life throws at us) are simply moments in your journey. Instead of falling off the balance beam (falling off the wagon, binge-eating, shopping-till-you-drop, having a string of illicit affairs… whatever your tension/stress response is) life simply goes on (it actually goes up). When you have mastered harmony, you have learned how not to get stuck and dwell in the mire – how not to become unbalanced. You have learned how to pick yourself up and naturally reconnect with all of life’s natural highs.

TenceBalance3

Balance is tense; harmony, flows.

HarmonicFlow