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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.

We are in the middle of the “season of giving.”  What is giving
without receiving?  Do we all give as the rose gives its fragrance to
the air?  Do we give in order to receive?  Do we give with no ability
to receive from others?  Do we give out of a sense of obligation to
the receiver?  We have all heard the expression, “the flow of life.” 
When we resist that flow, we become hardened, brittle and easily
broken.  In order to create and maintain healthy relationships, we
need to exchange energy through both giving and receiving.  I know
many people whose only sense of personal worth is dependent on how
much they give to others.  They are willing to sacrifice themselves,
even hurt themselves, in the effort to give to others.   For these
people, the flow of life is one way…always outward from them to
others.  Relationships based upon this constant giving generate guilt
in the receiver and resentment in the giver.  If I am always giving
you water, would you ever suspect I might be thirsty?

There are others who are only receivers.  These are the people who
are so needy or so selfish, they never give out to others and are
always taking from relationships.  Always getting what they want, no
matter what the cost to others.  Lately, we have seen such examples of
greed and fear in highly visible individuals and corporations… let
alone in our politics.  Relationships based upon this single direction
of energy flow, result in emptiness in the others, and guilt/anger
within the receiver.

Both chronic givers, and eternal takers suffer from psychological
stagnation.  Stagnation is like stopping the flow of your blood. 
Whenever your blood stops flowing, it begins to coagulate…to
stagnate.  Non-flowing blood gives neither oxygen nor nutrients to the
billions of cells in your body.  When the flow of energy is only one
way between people, relationships die.

The word “affluence,” comes from the Latin word “affluere,” which
means “to flow to.”   Affluence implies “to flow in abundance.”  When
we give and receive in harmonious relationship to one another,
relationships thrive and abundance is assured.

Every healthy relationship is one of giving and taking.  Giving
requires a receiver.  In order to receive, you need a giver.  
Actually, giving and receiving are the same.  They are merely
different aspects of the flow of energy between each other and between
individuals and the universe.  If either person stops that flow of
energy, he or she interrupts the “flow of life.”

In order to be healthy, happy and fulfilled yourself, you need to
intend to create health, and happiness in the relationships you have. 
Your intention needs to be to create happiness in both the giver and
receiver, because your own happiness, as well as the fulfillment of
others, is life-supportive and sustaining.   In order to create joy
through giving, you need to feel joy in the act of giving.  In order
to create abundance, you need to feel fulfilled by receiving.

In his book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Success,” Deepak Chopra,
MD writes: “…Practicing the law of giving is actually very simple:
if you want joy, give joy to others;  if you want love, learn to give
love;  if you want attention and appreciation, learn to give attention
and appreciation;  if you want material affluence, help others to
become materially affluent.  In fact, the easiest way to get what you
want is to help others get what they want.”  Isn’t that a radical
notion?!  That translates:  “the best way for me to succeed in life is
to help others succeed in their lives.”  

This principle of personal success, found  most easily through
helping others to succeed, works equally well for individuals,
couples, corporations, societies, and nations.  For example,
traditional businesses operate on the principle of succeeding at the
expense of others (usually the employees).  An example of businesses
succeeding only when their employees succeed in getting what they
want, is most often found in the industry known as “network
marketing.”   Isn’t that a radical idea?! 

Chopra writes, “If you want to be blessed with all the good things in
life, learn to…bless everyone with all the good things in life.”

When we work toward the fulfillment of all our relationships through
giving and receiving in dynamic harmony, we are actually practicing
“going with the flow” of life.  Do this and you experience life, in
all its aspects, much more abundantly.   Certainly, you will find more
joy in your life during this season of giving… and receiving.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life
coach.  He serves on the faculty of the International University of
Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams)
the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and
Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton
2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D. has 30+ years experience as a Life Coach and
Licensed Psychologist.  He is available for coaching in any area
presented in “Practical Life Coaching” (formerly “Practical
Psychology”).  Initial coaching sessions are free.  Contact LJTDAT@aol.com.

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You are what you eat. You’re also how you feel, how you exercise, how you sleep, how you handle money, how you relate to people, and what you value.

Here is the link: http://www.physorg.com/news180300326.html

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By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!”  Preparing for
holidays” can be like preparing for a revolution.  Perhaps you are one
of those people who decorate for the holidays prior to Thanksgiving. 
Perhaps you haven’t yet started your holiday decorating.  Whether or
not you have begun decorating for the forthcoming holidays, this
column may alter how you think about decorating for any holiday

So you have taken on the task of decorating the home for the
holidays.  How can you do it without strife?  You know that no matter
what the decorative touch, someone is likely to take offense at the
symbolism, be irritated by the colors, allergic to the odors, or
loudly object to the clutter.

The majority of us spend most of our lives attempting to fulfill our
need for affiliation, achievement and recognition.  That is a painful
eternity if the home atmosphere or physical environment breeds fear,
anger, cynicism and resentment, instead of beauty, fun, humor and joy.
Creating a beautiful and balanced environment is one way you can
express your love and care for yourself and for the others who share
your living space.

Everybody invites (or provokes) negative attention, only when they
believe positive is unavailable, because negative attention is
emotionally more satisfying than no attention at all.  The deepest
human need is for appreciative acknowledgment.  More than sex or
money, the two things people will work for are praise and recognition.
Put all these ideas together, and you will want to decorate your home
in such a way as to affirm and acknowledge all those who spend time
there.  How are you going to do that?

Begin by asking a direct question of all those who share your home:
Will you tell me what kind of holiday decorations bring you the most
delight?”  Affirm them by genuinely listening to their responses. 
Thank them for helping you to understand what reminds them of fun and
enjoyment.  Promise them you will consider their preferences as you
begin decorating the home.  Invite them to participate in the process,
or bring to you those decorative objects they most enjoy.  If they do
the latter, make certain you acknowledge them for acting on their
preferences.  Even if you don’t use their particular decoration, they
can always keep it displayed in their personal space.  Even if the
decorations are objectionable to some, they will not be as likely to
give voice to their negativity, if they feel they have been considered
and appreciated in the decorating process.

Ask for feedback as you begin decorating.  “Does this wreath look
best here or over there?”  “Will you let me know where you would put
this tree (pumpkin, candle-holder, card…whatever)?”  Genuinely
compliment them on their decorative taste.  If they express no
preference, at least they will feel you have considered them.

Any group becomes negative if the leader grabs the lion’s share of
the credit for the good work that has been done.  Families are no
exception.  There are three simple points to keep in mind:  If
something goes wrong with your decorating, it is your fault.  If it
turns out all right, “we did it.”  If it turns out great, everyone
else did it.  If you keep these three principles in mind as you begin
decorating, you are much less likely to have “strife” over the
decorative outcome.

Emotionally involve yourself in the decorating.  Emotionally detach
from the outcome.  Consider your decorating and decorations as gifts
you offer others.  You want the gifts to be of value to the
recipients.  So make certain you are aware of what your family members
value about how their living-space appears.  Put your most positive
emotions into your decorating.  Invest all the love and care you can. 
Once you have expressed your best, give it away totally to others
without any further emotional attachment or expectations.  Whether
people appreciate you, or the way the home looks becomes irrelevant. 
What others think of you or your decorations becomes none of your
business.  You have decorated the home in the most caring way you
know.  You have no power to control how others respond to it.  You are
free to respond to the decorated home-environment as you choose.  So
are others.

Decorate for the holidays?  No.  Decorate for yourself.  Decorate
for others’ delight.  Decorate for expressing yourself.  Decorate for
joy.  Decorate for sharing.  Decorate for beauty.  Decorate for
creating quality relationships.  While you’re at it…decorate your
life!  Then the possibility of strife-filled holidays, let alone a
family revolution, is greatly diminished.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dr. Thomas is a licensed psychologist, author, speaker, and life
coach.  He serves on the faculty of the International University of
Professional Studies. He recently co-authored (with Patrick Williams)
the book: “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and
Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” (W.W. Norton
2005) It is available at your local bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D. has 30+ years experience as a Life Coach and
Licensed Psychologist.  He is available for coaching in any area
presented in “Practical Life Coaching” (formerly “Practical
Psychology”).  Initial coaching sessions are free. E-mail: DrLloyd@CreatingLeaders.com or LJTDAT@aol.com.

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