Friday, September 30, 2011

Are You Looking For God?

Want to see God?
Here you go...............

And this is my Daily Cyn..........

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bored with Life?

Are you bored with life?

Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart,

live for it...

die for it...

and you will find HAPPINESS that you had thought could never be yours.

(Dale Carnegie)

And this is my Daily Cyn.................

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Embracing Your Gifts

"If you do not embrace your gifts, they will forever be a plague to you!"

And this is my Daily Cyn.............. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tea Time

I take an afternoon tea-break every day.

Perhaps this sounds stuffy, frumpy or strange. No, I am not British.  Some of my relatives are actually from England. And France. Italy, too.  I just happen to enjoy my tea. I look forward to it every day.

I am not a tea totaler by any means. I drink coffee in the morning. A few cups.  I enjoy an occasional cocktail or glass of wine at night.  I also love a good cup of tea. The whole afternoon tea ritual is calming and centering.  It makes me feel good.

 I work from home. I can just put on the kettle and take a break any time I want.  Every afternoon around 3 o'clock, I start thinking about tea-time. It's a great way to step away from the computer or my chores. It's the perfect cure for a stressful day. When I meet with new clients, it's almost always over a cup of tea.

The English break for tea every afternoon. They stop working, sit back, relax and sip.  I think there's really something to this age-old ritual. Imagine stepping away from everything for a short period right in the middle of your day.  How many of you actually do that? Be honest. I know the truth. You eat breakfast in the car, sip coffee on the go,  have lunch at your desk,  and never, ever stop. Every moment of your day is crammed with information, activities, meetings, and constant interruptions.  I know this because I used to be exactly the same way. My mind was cluttered, my body exhausted and my spirit restless. Then I started breaking for tea.  I learned this from co-worker. She was from India and every day, she and I would have afternoon tea together. We worked in an office filled with demanding people, endless phone calls and dozens of unfinished projects. Our little afternoon tea ritual became my salvation. It kept me sane. And, when I took this much needed mini-break, I returned to my desk refreshed, alert, and ready to tackle any tasks that needed my attention.

For some reason, hot tea is more calming and healing than any other drink.  Iced tea doesn't have the same calming effects. There's just something about sipping hot liquid, even in the summer-time.  If you think you hate tea, try different varieties before you give up on it. There are all kinds of teas to choose from: green tea, herbal tea, flavored teas. I usually sip green or herbal tea. In the winter, I love a cup of Earl Grey. I don't add anything to my tea but that's my preference.  Feel free to add cream and a touch of sweetener to your tea.  Experiment until you discover what tastes best. If there's no way in hell you are ever going to enjoy a cup of tea, then try sipping hot vegetable broth. Hot water with lemon works great, too. For some strange reason, coffee (even decaf) just doesn't work the same. There's really nothing soothing about coffee. Tea is light and clean. For some reason, sipping hot tea every afternoon makes me feel pure and part of something grand and beautiful. I know millions of other people around the world are doing exactly the same thing.

The English love sweet treats with their afternoon tea. This is one part of the ritual I don't recommend. Don't use your tea break as an excuse to nosh on cookies, cake, candy bars or other sugary snacks. If you really want something to eat with your tea, make healthy choices: apple slices with natural peanut or almond butter, cheese and wholegrain crackers, a protein bar,  hummus with carrot sticks, a handful of almonds. Think energy. Think protein. Sugar will provide a temporary rush, but eventually, you will feel even more exhausted. And what happens then? You will be tempted to reach for more sugary snacks so you can keep going. BIG MISTAKE! 

I challenge you to try breaking for Afternoon Tea every day for next 5 days and see what happens. Step away from the computer, let the phone calls go to voice mail, sit back and enjoy. Invite a guest to join you  or just sit alone. If it's possible, find a peaceful place.  Put on some soothing music, browse through a magazine or just close your eyes and sit in silence. You will discover that your body is more relaxed, your thinking clear, and your spirit more at peace. 

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Veggie and the Carnivore............

The Veggie and The Carnivore............... sounds like a new reality show, doesn't it? Well, it is kind of a reality show- MY reality!

Can a Vegan and a meat-eater co-exist in a peaceful relationship? How about living together under the same roof?  It's not easy.......but it is possible!

In a perfect world, the men I choose to date would be tree-hugging, animal-loving, plant-eating guys. For some strange reason, I am not attracted to those guys. I can't figure it out so I am learning to deal with it.  I tend to gravitate toward the hard-working, flannel shirt or uniform clad guy who orders a burger for lunch and drinks beer with his buddies. Show me a cow and I immediately see a sweet. loving, gentle creature born to graze happily in a field eating grass. My guy sees dinner! These differences can cause some  problems, especially when it comes to cooking or sharing a meal together. It's been an issue in every relationship I've ever had, but I always managed to work around it. How? By being flexible, accomodating and never, ever snobby or condescending about my way of eating.

This doesn't just apply to love relationships. I have my son living with me and he is a meat-lover. He works hard every day and a simple meal of tofu, brown rice and steamed veggies is just not gonna do it for him.  He comes home from work with a huge appetite and he wants dinner. Most of the time, this means meat!

So what's a Vegan Mama to do? Hand him a frying pan and make him cook his own meals? Yes, he's a big boy and he's quite capable of fixing his own dinner. But I'm the mama and I work primarily from home.  My job is far from laborious and I am not commuting four hours a day to and from work. I'm not walking in the door at 8PM every night exhausted and starving. My son is!  So I cook. He eats.  He could stop off at the local drive-thru and order a burger and fries but I don't want him to do that. That's even worse for his health than eating a piece of chicken. So, occasionally, Mama cooks meat! I cry every time I do. I also take a moment and thank the chicken, turkey or fish for offering its life to provide nourishment.

Fellow Vegans, please don't hate me for this! I wish everyone could be a Vegan like me but I know it's just not possible. So, I need to make it work..............with love, kindness and respect.

Whether you are a die-hard Vegan or Vegetarian living with a Carnivore or you just want your family to start eating less meat, here are some tips on to how survive and few ways to sneak in some plant-based meals:

If you MUST cook meat, make it a condiment rather than the main focus of the meal.
Forget the huge pot roast surrounded by a few token potatoes and vegetables soaking in grease.  If your family loves pot roast or rib roast or any other type of roast, they will love it even more if you reserve it only for special occasions. Day to day meals should consist of very little meat, whole grains and plenty of vegetables.  Think chicken stir-fry with loads of fresh veggies over brown rice, turkey or chicken fajitas with peppers and onions in soft, whole wheat tortillas, grilled chicken, turkey or salmon over fresh greens or tossed salad. Always serve a couple of different vegetable dishes and a salad to go with the meat at dinner time.  When and if you do serve meat, avoid making heavy, starchy dishes to go along with it. Forget potatoes au gratin, Rice-a-Roni and egg noodles smothered in gravy.  Cook baked potatoes instead of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. Chicken and marcaroni and cheese might be delicious together but that's just fat on top of fat. Try oven baked sweet potato fries instead. Or don't serve a potato or rice dish at all. Serve vegetables. Lots of vegetables. 

Substitute chicken or turkey for beef and pork as often as you can. If your partner enjoys fish, serve it once or twice a week. Wild salmon is quick and easy to prepare. Don't ever buy farmed salmon. Ham is awful, full of fat and usually loaded with salt. Just don't serve it.  Instead, purchase the best quality, anti-biotic and hormone-free, organically fed, free-range poultry you can afford. A big sale on chicken legs at the local market is no bargain, especially if the poor chickens have been mistreated, crammed in cages with hundreds of other chickens, and fed a continuous diet of antibiotics, hormones, corn and fillers. Your family is ingesting all that garbage and bad energy!

If you must cook beef, make sure it's from a grass-fed cow that has been allowed to roam and graze freely.  You should know where your meat is coming from.  If you're not sure, ask. If you can't ask or have any doubts, don't buy it. If you can purchase it from a local farm, that's even better. Yes, it's more expensive to eat this way and while I despise the whole idea of slaughtering animals for food, if I must cook it, I need to know the animal has been treated kindly.  I don't cook beef. When I do prepare a meat dish, it's chicken, turkey or fish. Those are my rules. If someone wants something else, they can go elsewhere or cook it themselves.

Substitute Vegan/Vegetarian Alternatives as often as possible:
This is the key to my survival! It also prevents me from having to prepare two different dinners every single night. Who has time for that? Bean Enchiladas are delicious. Stuff whole wheat flour tortillas with kidney beans and cooked rice or vegetarian refried beans, add cooked peppers and onions, pour tomato sauce or salsa on top and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Top with some shredded vegan mozzarella or cheddar cheese and return to the oven until the cheese melts. Good and satisfying. Hint: once it's melted, Vegan cheese is a great substitute for cheese made with milk in most casseroles and other baked dishes. Macaroni and cheese made from Vegan cheese just doesn't taste the same. I had to develop a taste for it and I like it but I know it's a bit of adjustment for most folks.  I don't get insulted if no one else likes it.

Make chili from beans instead of ground beef. Or try vegetarian "beef" instead. Morningstar Crumbles are perfect for this. You can also make delicious Sloppy Joes with it, too. Almost any recipe that calls for ground beef can be made vegetarian by using a meatless alternative: stuffed peppers, pasta with meat sauce, tacos. Use veggie meatballs in your tomato sauce to serve with spaghetti. Just toss them into the pot during the last five or ten minutes of cooking. When the veggie meatballs are covered in a good marinara sauce, it's hard to tell they are meatless.  Most ethnic dishes (especially Italian and Mexican food) can easily be converted to meatless meals with very little opposition. In fact, your loved ones might not even notice it's not meat. 

Meat alternatives are great for breakfast as well. Serve veggie sausage patties with pancakes and waffles. Crumble them into omelettes or scrambled eggs. Here's my little breakfast trick: I scramble tofu, add some tumeric (to make it yellow) add some crumbled veggie sausage and a tablespoon of salsa. This is so good! You can serve just like that, or pile it into a wrap, roll it up and VOILA! Breakfast to go! Get creative and have fun!

On the evenings that I do cook meat, I make something different for myself. Sometimes I cook a veggie burger or enjoy a slice of lentil loaf, baked tofu or a rice and bean dish.  Everything else I serve at dinner time, I can eat.

Practice, don't preach.
Nothing turns a person off more than your constant whining and complaining about their meat-eating ways. Whether it is their preference or simply the way they were raised, it is important to them. They might think they will wither away if they don't have meat. Accept them for who they are and never insult them. Lose the superior attitude. Perhaps we think we are more enlightened because we don't eat meat, but a truly enlightened person never puts herself above anyone else or judges them for being different. You want to win people over to a healthier, plant-based diet by your example, not by beating them over the head or making them feel awful when they bite into their burger. Just continue to subsitute with alternatives when you can and be gracious and accomodating when they request something special. My son recently asked for a Rotisserie Chicken so I went out and bought one for him.  Believe me, I didn't want to, but watching him enjoy it was priceless!

This is important::  Never lie about a meal.  If it's not real meat, don't try to pass it off as such. I might not offer information about a particular meatless dish I serve, but if someone asks, I tell the truth. Be honest. If your family or significant other knows you doing all this out of love, they will be willing to try it. If they hate it, don't serve it to them again. And make sure you have a back-up dish ready or be willing to order a pizza!

All relationships are about give and take and mutual respect. They will never work any other way- whether it's with your lover, your parents, or your kids.  Always rememer this and you will do just fine..........

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Friday, September 23, 2011

Five Things.............

This was posted on Face Book this morning:

"Quick! Post five things here that you LOVE about yourself!"


At a loss for words?, too! And that's rare for a chatter-box like me...........

Funny. I talk about self-love and how crucial it is to love ourselves first- before we can love anybody else. We all know this. We might not practice self-love all the time but we know we should!  And we work hard at it. I say I love myself, too.  In fact I often say it!

So if I really love myself, why can't I come up with five things?

So, I sat down for a little while to really ponder that question and now I am ready to list my five things:

1. I love my youthful attitude toward life
2. I love that I am concerned for my health and wellness
3. I love that I always cry at those ASPCA commercials on TV
4. I love that I am able to laugh and poke fun at myself
5. I love my strength and independence

Okay! I'm finished!

Your turn................

Can you think of five things you love about yourself?

Are you willing to share them here? Just five. That's not too much to ask. And don't be shy............

It's okay to toot your own horn once in awhile.............

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Love Fears Nothing...............

I believe there are two forces at work in our lives---- LOVE and FEAR. We are motivated by one or the other........

You might think the two forces are LOVE and HATE--  but hate is usually a product of fear. We hate or reject that which we fear the most.

We can hate or despise injustice and cruelty in the world, but those things only exist because there is a lack of love.

There is a lack of love because we are filled with fear--- the fear of rejection, the fear of pain, the fear of loss, the fear of suffering, the fear of punishment, the fear of being alone, the fear of death................

“The enemy of fear is love; the way to put off fear then is to put on love…Love is self-giving, fear is self-protecting. Love moves toward others; fear shrinks away from them. But…we must remember that love is the stronger since it is able to ‘cast out’ fear. In dealing with fear nothing else possesses the same explusive power.”
- (Wayne and Joshua Mack, The Fear Factor, Hensley Publishing, Tulsa, Oklahoma 2002, Pg. 23)

Walk in love or walk in fear............YOUR CHOICE.

And this is my Daily Cyn.................

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Drop EVERYTHING and Dance- A Sure-Fire Cure for the Blues

The sure-fire way to release your cares and burdens and cure a bad case of the blues?  Put on some good music and dance. Grab a partner or dance solo. Who cares what you look like? Let it all go!!!

You feel better, your mind will be clear AND you will be getting a good dose of exercise as well. And just think how great you will look--- you will be glowing from the inside out.

I did my daily dance today! How about you? If not, here is some inspiration! I love this song!!!

Try it!! You'll like it!

And this is my Daily Cyn.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time Love and Tenderness

Nothing heals a broken heart like time, love and tenderness............

Take the time to love yourself. Treat yourself with tenderness........

Do the same for others.

This is always the answer.

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Monday, September 19, 2011

Up Close and Personal

A friend of mine recently told me I absolutely must get a web cam. He said it would be really fun and a way to take my consulting practice to the next level. I could record personal videos.  I could also sit down at my computer and have actual live face-to-face conversations with my clients. I could supply a webcam for them (included in my consulting fee) if they don't already have access to one. They are fairly inexpensive- around $20.00. This is such an excellent idea because some of the folks I work with are not local. It's impossible to meet in person so we do it the old-fashioned way- telephone calls, computer instant message, FaceBook and email.  

The whole 'Live on Camera' idea, however, presents a whole bunch of new issues. The beauty of networking or conducting a business through Social Media, email or over the phone is that no one actually has to see me or my environment.  I can present a perfect image of myself and my whole life.  Friends and clients only see what I want them to see.

Remember The Jetsons television show? Everything was computerized in George Jetson's world. They didn't have telephones, they took video calls.  If Jane (his wife) happened to just roll out bed when a call came in, she stuck her head under a contraption that instantly did her hair and make-up.  This way, she always gave the impression of being (and looking) perfect, even though there were times she obviously wasn't.

I am impatiently waiting for someone to actually invent such a device! Until then, I have to work with what I've got.

This means I am going to have to put in a little extra effort, especially if I want to present the illusion of perfection. But I am always talking and writing about being authentic, being REAL.

This raises an important question:

If I fuss and primp and take extra care to create a perfect picture before I get behind the camera, doesn't that sort of make me a hypocrite?

The last thing I want to be is hypocritical. I hate it in myself. I despise it in others.  Be who you are. Never pretend to be something you are not. It's easier to admit your faults than to hide them.  Do what you want and say what you feel because those who mind don't don't matter and those who matter don't mind.  These are just a few of my personal favorite mantras and what I wish to convey to others.  I believe these are the keys to living a successful, authentic, happy life!

Yes, I know I can turn the camera on and off any time I want. So if things are not in order, I can just avoid it. Schedule my live on-line appointments when I have everything all set and ready to go. Most of the time, I will probably be doing exactly that. All my consultations are scheduled in advance. But what if I have a great tip or an idea I want to record immediately so I don't forget? How about the client who wants to speak with me right away? They need me to talk them out of eating an entire cheesecake and a telephone pep talk just won't do. Would it be fair to put them off for an hour while I do my hair and makeup? Or insist they message me instead? Lie and tell them I am not at home? If I am front of my computer and they know I am, why wouldn't I be willing to turn on the camera to chat?  Because my hair isn't done? They are paying for my services and paying me well. They deserve to get what they pay for and more.......don't you think?

So I sat down and thought about all this for awhile. If I decide to get behind the camera, what would people actually see?

Well, right off the bat, I can guarantee they are NOT always going to see this:

This is a candid shot of me taken when I was out with friends. The friend who actually snapped this photo just happens to be a professional photographer. It's a great picture. I have it posted everywhere but this is not how I look all the time.

Most of the time, this is what they're gonna get:

I work primarily from home. I always make sure I am presentable, but I am busy just like everyone else. I only fuss if I am going out or meeting with clients. My hair is always aggravating me so most of the time I have it up in a big clip and I can't read a thing without my glasses!

What else?

They might actually view my apartment which isn't always as neat as a pin.  I no longer have an actual office in my home. It's being used as a spare bedroom so business is conducted at my kitchen table. Not very professional, but it's the best I can do for now.

They will most likely see my cat, P'aqu, walking all over my computer keyboard and hear me scolding him. He is always demanding my undivided attention. Or they might see him in the background, shredding up my latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine. He also does this for extra attention.

They might see me half asleep and slumped over my computer early in the morning, sipping coffee. Perhaps they will catch a glimpse of some not-so-eco-friendly products or even a plastic bag!

Do I really want clients and prospective clients to see this sort of stuff? Not really. Especially when I take a personal stand for health, wellness and protecting the environment. Believe me, I try to practice what I preach but there are times I fall short, just like everyone else. We can't be perfect all the time. Racing about to put myself and my surroundings in tip-top shape to impress others or to keep up a certain image is just going to wear me out.  It will take energy away from my true passion and purpose- HELPING OTHERS.  How can I possibly tell anyone to be authentic if I am constantly white-washing everything for appearance sake?

I am getting  tired just thinking about all this..............

And that leads me to this: trying to be perfect is exhausting! Nothing will subtract years from your life faster than working overtime trying to present yourself in the most flattering light. As a result, you will be tired all the time, you will make poor eating choices, your relationships will suffer, and you will begin to find faults and problems with everything and everyone around you. Why? Because no one can keep up that kind of pace for very long. You will be stuck in a never-ending cycle of covering up flaws, mistakes and short-comings. You are presenting an image of yourself that is not authentic. And when others discover this about you., they will be disappointed because they were expecting something else. This is why most relationships fail.  In the very beginning, we are on our best behavior. Everything is perfect. We are perfect. It's not until we are comfortable that we begin to let our hair down. If we pretended to be something we are not just to impress the other person, imagine their surprise when they learn who we really are!

Relax. Be who you are. Present to the world the genuine article: YOU in all your shining glory- flaws and all. You are beautiful exactly as you are and the world deserves to see that beauty. When you present the perfectly polished version, you are robbing yourself and everyone around you. No one can really identify or compare with perfection. It is something they know they can never achieve. If you are trying to present a perfect image- you are actually pushing people away rather than drawing them close. This could be the very reason why you are alone..............

There's nothing more wonderful than the real, authentic you.  And if you are not sure who that is, why not discover it for yourself? If you need a little help or a push in the right direction, send me an email or a message here. It would be my pleasure to chat with you.

As for the web cam, as soon as I finish posting this blog, I am purchasing one!  I will let you all know when I am ready to "GO LIVE" and if you decide to tune in, I hope you will see a genuine, caring, loving person- UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL!

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Sunday, September 18, 2011

They Put Tape Over My Mouth When I Was Little................

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

When I was a young girl, I was a real chatter box. I was a bundle of energy, constantly talking- about anything and everything. I would follow my mom around the house all day, pestering her with questions.  I remember her asking me if I could just try to be quiet for five minutes. She always offered some kind of reward to keep my mouth shut-- a cookie, ice cream, a piece of candy. I tried so hard to give my mother some peace but I was never successful. After about thirty seconds, I would burst into tears because I just couldn't shut up! I had so much to say and so many questions I needed answered.

When I went to school, it was the same thing. I always had something to talk about, something to share with everyone else. And my questions never stopped.  I had to know why: why are we doing it this way? Why are we reading this book today? Why do we have to use that color construction paper?  Eventually, my teacher became so frustrated, that every morning when I arrived to class, she placed a piece of masking tape over my mouth. I was not allowed to talk at all.  Evidently, my reputation as a chatter-box preceded me each time I was promoted to the next grade. On the first day of school, my new teacher had already been warned.  In addition to new pencils and books to start the new school year, I was also handed a roll of tape. I knew the drill.  Every morning, I had to rip off a piece of it and cover my mouth. If I wanted to stay in class, I had no choice.

You might be shocked at all this, but back then, it was the 1960's. This was when it was actually okay to spank disobedient children in school. Teachers were disciplinarians in those days and while my behavior certainly did not deserve a beating,  the tape over my mouth was a perfectly acceptable punishment and a means of control. In this day and age, it would be considered abuse and the teacher would be severely reprimanded. My parents were aware but they did nothing to stop it. Teacher knew best.

I could have mumbled right through the tape or disobediently ripped it off if I really wanted to, but I never did. It was the sheer humiliation of sitting day after day with my mouth taped shut and the teasing I endured from fellow class-mates that kept me silent. Eventually, I mastered the art of shutting up and when I graduated to the forth grade, the tape was no longer necessary.

I am sure there were alternative measures my teachers and parents could have taken other than the masking tape method. Perhaps I could have been steered in the direction of sports, dance lessons, acting classes, school chorus or other extra-curricular activities- some kind of outlet. There wasn't much to choose from back then and no one ever suggested anything to me or my parents.  After-school programs didn't really exist (mothers didn't work back then so there was no need) and only rich girls took dance lessons. Everyone took the easy way out. Tape her mouth shut, we have peace and quiet, and no harm done.  In this day and age, I probably would have been diagnosed with ADD and given drugs to calm me down and keep me quiet. Who knows? I was simply a child with a desperate need to express myself and seek answers to all my questions. I was never satisfied with yes or no or a simple explanation. I needed more than that. I still do.

I discovered creative writing at an early age as a way to express myself since no one really wanted me to talk. I created little fantasy worlds and wrote about them. My teachers loved this about me but other people were not so enthusiastic. I was perfectly content to sit in my room and read and write. This was considered a bad thing. I didn't talk much anymore (which was what everyone wanted) but now I was out of touch with reality and forced to get outside and play. Eventually I stopped writing, too. The well just dried up and I had nothing to say. Nothing--not even on paper.

I learned to keep my mouth shut. If I talked, that meant I was bad and I would be punished or humiliated. As a result, I grew up to be a very quiet, compliant, flexible person. That's okay for some people but I was to the extreme. I talked but usually when I was spoken to or asked a direct question. Even then, I said what everyone told me to say. I expressed myself exactly the ways others expected.  I never voiced a thought, an opinion,  a like or dislike that differed from anyone else. I never expressed my needs or concerns and didn't dare raise my voice, defend myself (or anyone else), or argue with anyone about anything.  And I didn't ask questions, even when my heart was breaking over injustices I witnessed all around me. Everyone thought I was so good and so spiritual. I wasn't really any of those things. I was miserable. That roll of masking tape was a distant memory but every day I still slapped that big old piece of tape right over my mouth.  It was a habit and if I forgot, I knew there was always someone around to remind me.  You see, when I grew up, I made sure I had plenty of people standing by waving that roll of masking tape just in case I forgot.  Just like that little girl in school who wanted to stay in the classroom, I so desperately wanted to remain comfortable and accepted. The only way to do that was to keep my mouth shut.

Something awful happens to a person when they are forced to shut up or feel the need to constantly censor or silence themselves. They begin to die a slow and painful death. I often wonder how many people out there who are considered so agreeable and easy going are only that way because they are afraid to speak up or be different. If I were to ask what they really think or feel, what would they say?

I have since found my voice again and I speak it. I write it. It took alot of time, effort and healing to reach this point in my life. I am almost half a century old already. Do I really want to live the rest of my life in silence? There are things that matter and are important. If they matter to me, they must matter to someone else, too.  I can't possibly be the only one who feels this way!

It's okay to talk. It's okay to express yourself and ask questions. Eventually, you'll find someone with the answers. But you will never find those answers if you don't ask. What was done to me as a little girl is sad but I have no one to blame but myself for allowing it to continue into adulthood. Thankfully, I still have time left to get my word in edge-wise or seek answers to all my questions.  And I refuse to allow anyone to censor me! I have to express myself and if people don't like me or reject me as a result, that's their problem, not mine.

This freedom of expression does not give me license to plow all over everyone else, however. It is never a good thing to insult, hurt, humiliate or reveal the shortcomings of another person in order to get my point across. That's wrong and I don't want to do that. Sometimes I pick and choose my battles. There are times things are just not worth arguing about because someone is going to get hurt.  I no longer wear tape across my mouth but I do make sure I have a filter in place every day. The filter is love.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.
-1 Corinthians 13: 1 -8

Speak up and speak out. Express yourself. Never be silent about things that matter to you or anyone else. Even if it sounds ridiculous, say it anyway. If you don't, you will die a slow and painful death. There might be one person who needs to hear what you have to say, the way only you can say it.  Just be sure to filter everything with love and you will never have to worry about hurting another living soul.

And this is my Daily Cyn...............

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Maximum Macaroni and Cheese

Okay............I admit this video is a bit extreme.  Macaroni and Cheese creations that will blow your mind, not to mention your good health or weight loss efforts. Some of these dishes weigh in at over 7,000 (YES-- THOUSAND) calories per serving.  That's almost a entire week's worth of calories in one meal!!

I don't know anyone in their right mind who would actually eat these Mac-n-Cheese dishes but obviously somebody does or these guys wouldn't be in business.

Before you totally toss your cookies- think about this: if you were to take everything you eat in the course of a day, combine it all together and throw it in a pan--it could resemble one of these outrageous concoctions.

Remember: regardless of whether you eat it all in one sitting or spread it all out over the course of a day-  AN UNHEALTHY DIET IS AN UNHEALTHY DIET!  Even if  you spend every single waking moment in the gym- you will never gain control of your weight or your health.

Here's the video- watch it and weep (or drool). Hopefully you won't be drooling and this will be a bit of a rude awakening to the kinds of things we actually feed our bodies, minds and spirits!!

I must admit: a splash of Tequila mixed into Guacamole does sound awfully good! I just might have to try that!

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Friday, September 16, 2011


"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." - Mother Teresa

Pain, suffering, hunger, waste, poverty and even pollution exist in the world because I do not LOVE.

Because I do not love:

I stuff myself with food and drink when others go to bed hungry and thirsty. .

I spend hundreds of dollars on another pair of heels yet children go to school without shoes.

I abuse and waste the earth's resources as if there is an endless supply for future generations.

I expect others to spoil me, love me and make me feel good when others are longing for one simple act of kindness.

When I am selfish, greedy, careless, wasteful or unkind, I am taking something away from some one else.

If I truly loved, it would be impossible to live my comfortable, selfish, materialistic life without regard, concern, and consideration for every living, breathing thing that shares the same earth, sky and sea.

And the ones I find impossible to love, the most unlovely of all---those are the ones I must love even more. They are put my path for a reason--because they are hungry for the love only I can give. The love God deposited in my heart for them. For God dwells in me, as me...........

Bleeding heart? You betcha!

May my bleeding heart bleed LOVE................

And this is my Daily Cyn................

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The More You Know...........

"The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you."
-Lost in Translation

And this is my Daily Cyn........

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

In memory, love and honor............
For those we lost,
Those who lost,
Those who gave,
And those who continue to give.
We will never forget.................

And this is my Daily Cyn.................

Friday, September 9, 2011

Giving Life Meaning.............

We should give meaning to life, not WAIT for life to give us meaning.................

And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are You Awake?

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart... Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. - Carl Jung

So many people just go through life, day in and day out with absolutely no clue who they really are, what they want, or what they are supposed to be doing. Everyone has a calling and a purpose. You just have to wipe the sleep from your eyes and look within.

Are you awake yet?

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Great Smile

There's nothing more attractive than a great smile. It's the first thing people usually notice about you.

How's your smile?

Your smile is the true expression of who you are. It portrays how you feel inside: happy, friendly, confident. Your smile is also a direct reflection of your health. Go ahead. Smile in the mirror.  Is it big and bright? Are your teeth nice and white? Does your smile show the happy, friendly, confident, healthy you? Or does it need a little tender loving care?

To get and keep a great smile you need healthy food, plenty of calcium and good oral hygiene. Regular appointments with a dentist are crucial.

Visit to locate the Best dentist in your area to fit your needs, your schedule and your budget.

Your life is already hectic enough without having to spend time searching through the phone book or making phone calls. Go to, type in your zip code to find an approved dentist and schedule your appointments right on-line.

A great smile is just a click away with

I Am A Real Pain-in-the A**!

I never realized what a pain in the ass I am to live with--until now!

I am a single girl. I live alone. For the past four years I've been basking in the silence and enjoying the luxury of my own space. I do what I want....when I want. I answer to no one. I can spend all day at the beach because there's nobody waiting for me to come home.  Okay, I have a cat but all he ever does is eat and sleep.  As long as his food and water bowls are full, it's all good.

I don't need to cook. I can have soup or cheese, crackers and wine for supper. Or nothing at all.  How refreshing after years of juggling a husband, a son, work, school, cleaning, shopping and preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner every single day.  If I don't have time to shop or cook, I  can order take-out.  No one ever whines: " Oh no! Not CHINESE again!"

I try to keep things nice and orderly.  My house is so small.  A few items out of place makes it look cluttered so I have to be disciplined about putting stuff away.  I have my home organized and decorated to suit my taste. I can put things just where I want them and nobody is around to move them or complain. I have ten pillows on my bed- some covered with shams to match my comforter and some decorative pillows. It's just me climbing beneath the covers at night so I just push all those pillows aside or toss them on the floor. Next morning, I make the bed and arrange them again. It's not a big deal. I like how it looks. Same with the couch. Only I sit on it, so again, plenty of pillows- six color-coordinated, strategically placed pillows.  On my coffee table, I have a big basket filled with my favorite books. And there's the a candle in a tall bronze candle holder. I light the candle every night. These things never obstruct my view of the television. My little personal touches make the living room warm and cozy. I have everything exactly how I want it.

My LIFE is exactly how I want it-- at least for right now........

A week ago, it all changed.

Enter my twenty-two year old son. He originally left home at eighteen. Once he got a job and a car, that was it. He wanted to be on his own.  He just moved back in. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE having him here. I missed my little boy. But he is not so little. He's 6'4" and about 230 lbs. That's big. When he stretches out on my couch, there's not much room left for me.  The back bedroom I recently converted to an office is now a bedroom again. He needs his own space so now I do all my work at the kitchen table. A small sacrifice. Thankfully I have the extra space or my son would have no place else to go.

Since he's been here, a few things have happened. A wicker shelf I've had hanging over the toilet in the bathroom for years has fallen off the wall three times in the past week. I store my skin care products and other toiletries on that shelf.  Someone keeps forgetting to put the toilet seat down. The cat has fallen in the bowl twice already. And when the shelf falls off the wall,  guess what happens to all my little bottles and jars.  Hundreds of dollars worth of face cream down the toilet- LITERALLY!

All those pillows on my couch? Thrown on the floor. Not gently removed or piled up neatly someplace else. Thrown-- in frustration. I keep picking them up, putting them back and my son keeps tossing them off again. "Ma, you have too many pillows!  There's no room to sit!" After listening to my son complain for the 20th time about all my pillows, I snapped back at him. " There's plenty of room for me!"

So far, I've tripped over his work boots in the middle of the living room more times than I can count. His backpack (that's been dragged on and off the train and up and down the streets of the city) and dirty work sweat-shirt are tossed on my white - yes, WHITE- chair near the door the minute he comes home every night.  He ate pizza on my brand-new couch (thankfully, not white) and the other day he fell asleep with a beverage in his hand. The big basket of books on the coffee table has been removed.  The candle holder, too. Apparently, they block his television viewing pleasure. Well, son, if you sat UP to watch TV, you would be able to see perfectly!  Personally, I never lay on the couch. I sit. And I alternate the spots on which I sit. If the cushions are going to sag I want them to sag evenly.  I know this sounds crazy but I love my new couch. I paid good money for it and I don't want to it to get all worn-out and lop-sided.

My sink is filled with dishes because my child is an eating machine. Every time he eats, he takes a different dish rather than wash the one he just used. He asked about paper plates but of course those are a no-no in my house.  I would rather wash dishes more often than be responsible for killing another tree.

He needs to save money so I suggested he bring lunch to work rather than buy it every day . Then I realized I don't have anything to prepare for him to actually bring for lunch.  I sent him to work today with the rest of the mac and cheese he had for dinner the other night but with his appetite, I don't anticipate a whole lot of left-overs. He likes turkey breast on a roll with mustard and mayo. So now my fridge and pantry is stocked with cold cuts, bread, rolls, cookies, chips- all the things he likes. I never keep that kind of food in my house. And now I have to think about what to make for dinner every night, because my boy comes home starving!

The kid gets up at 4AM every morning to catch the train to Penn. I've been waking up at the same time to make sure he's up.  I don't know how he managed before but I did hear rumors about him being late for work quite a few times. That's not good. I serve him coffee every morning and off he goes with the lunch I prepared the night before. I am an early riser but this 4AM business is kind of tough because once I am up, I'm up. There's no way I can ever slip back under the covers for an extra hour or two. So I get busy and manage to put in almost an entire day's work before most people even open their eyes. At the end of the day, I am worn-out. Last night I was in bed by 10 o'clock. I woke up at 2AM. Every light in the house was on. The television was still on. My son was in his room, fast asleep.  Later on today, we are going to set up a few house-rules.

My perfect, peaceful life and orderly home have been turned upside down.  I clean up messes that are not mine, relinquished control of the television remote and I am constantly rearranging all my stuff.  I even have to put on a bra first thing in the morning now.  My son has upset the delicate balance of my little world just a little. When you're accustomed to having everything exactly how you want it--adding another person to the mix can be a bit of an inconvenience. 

This morning I scurried about fluffing pillows, cleaning up little messes, taking inventory of the toilet water-logged face creams I now need to replace and picking laundry up from the floor and putting in the hamper (where it belongs). Then, it hit me.  I am a real obsessive-compulsive, pain-in-the-ass!  I am selfish and I want things my way. I am so bent on creating and maintaining a haven for myself  that I forgot that my child needs a haven right now even more than I do.  I won't go into details, but he's broken and needs to heal. My nagging,  fussing and following behind him with the vacuum cleaner isn't helping. I certainly don't want to make him feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. I need really need to lighten up a bit. What is the purpose of having a lovely haven if no one else is able to reap the benefits?

I am so happy to have my son here and truth be told, I enjoy the company.  It feels good to have someone depending on me again. He needs to be spoiled in the ways that only a mama can spoil a child. I am doing his laundry, folding it and putting it away. We watch movies together at night, play Scrabble, or sit around talking. He needs to talk so I just listen.  I am cooking all his favorite dishes and he's loving it.  Last night I made him strawberry short cake. Tonight it's Penne with Vodka Sauce.  I'll probably gain twenty pounds with him living here, but it's so nice to see my boy smile.

I think I will just suck it up and wash dishes a little more often, wipe up the whiskers in the sink, secure that wicker shelf in the bathroom with stronger hooks, and keep arranging and re-arranging my pillows. I won't complain, shake my head or roll my eyes. If my couch begins to sag unevenly, I will deal with it. It's just a piece of furniture. It can be camouflaged, covered or replaced. The body, heart and soul of my child are irreplaceable.

I have worked very hard to create an atmosphere of warmth, peace and love- in my home and in my life. It is vital that I keep it that way. But, honestly, what's the point of it all if I am possessive, selfish and uptight? It's meaningless if I am not willing to share............

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do The Right Thing..............

"I think we have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don't know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do." - Christopher Reeve

I think if lived in a place like this, I would hear the sound of my own inner voice.....

Nothing to hear for miles but the joyful chorus of the birds welcoming the sunrise
The screech of an owl late at night
Crickets in the distance
Rain falling on the roof........

I would always make good decisions and do the right thing if I lived here........
But here?
Never a quiet, dull moment. Constantly moving, constantly changing. An  assault on all the senses--an overdose of sight, sound, taste, smell, touch. Survival depends on constant motion and awareness.  And there are so many opportunities to do the wrong thing......
In a place like this, it would be difficult to stop, think, to look within, and hear that small still voice..........

And to do what's right.....for ME.
We can't always choose our location, but we all have the ability to turn off the noise, close the door to stress and drama......despite our surroundings.
We don't have to join a meditation group to do this, go to church or practice yoga. These are wonderful tools that do help find us to find that peaceful place within and to hear that small, still voice.......but they are not essential.
All we really have to do is STOP.

And just listen............

We all have an inner voice. We decide to let it speak or to keep it quiet. Most of us choose to silence it.


In very subtle ways............

We are always plugged in to something: TV, radio, internet, i-Pod, cell phone

And even more subtle............

We work too much.
We eat too much.
We drink too much.
We spend too much.
We sleep too much.

And very often, as a result, we make bad decisions and poor choices.............

Because we have no idea who we are. We don't know what's right for US..........
We never take the time to stop and listen.............

Even in the most tranquil setting, our inner voice can remain silent. Our minds work overtime and we are exhausted, frustrated, stressed, confused. We have no idea where we are going or what we want to do.

In the midst of hectic surroundings, we can still hear that small still voice if we are willing to just shut up for a moment and listen................

Stop. Listen. Honor your inner voice by giving it permission to speak. It is never pushy. It never shouts. It whispers. It weeps gently and longs for you to hear it.  Let it guide you. It is never wrong. It is always right.....

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Monday, September 5, 2011

How to Get Thin and Stay That Way...............

Yoga. Pilates. The treadmill. Jogging. Belly dancing. Aerobics. Carmen Electra's Strip Tease Workout DVDs. God knows I've tried them all and I keep mixing it up to keep it interesting.

We all know how important daily exercise is for our well-being. No one is going to get thin by dieting alone--at least not HEALTHY THIN. We want to look firm and fit- not emaciated. Muscle takes up less room than fat so if the smaller size turns you on, you need to firm up everything you've got.

The only way to do that is to exercise. So pull on your yoga pants and hop to it because today I am going to give you the #1 secret to getting thin and staying thin-- FOREVER!

You do have a pair of yoga pants, don't you? Everyone owns some type of comfy, cozy, non-restricting stretchy pants to exercise in. Elastic band or draw-string waist--with plenty of room for movement without cutting or binding. You don't work out in your demin jeans, do you? Of course not! Yoga pants are the way to go. I see women in them all the time. At the gym, at the coffee shop, in the grocery store. I love them so much, I could wear them all day. Every day! Why not? They look great, they never wrinkle and they expand!

Are you ready for the #1 Secret for getting thin and staying thin forever?

Exercise, Exercise Exercise!


Yes, I know yoga pants are the latest fashion. Women who have never exercised in their lives and think Downward Facing Dog is a Native American Indian Chief, strut around in yoga pants. Why? Because they're comfortable. They stretch. They look good. The ones without pockets with the built-in lift make your ass look amazing. I can't argue with that. BUT--they can conceal excess weight gain. You can pack on an extra five or ten pounds and you might not notice. Even if you do, you'll let it slide. Yoga pants are so forgiveable- especially if you're like me and every pair you own is black!

I love my yoga pants. When I worked in a office, the first thing I did when I came home was take off my skirt and stockings and slip into them- whether exercise was on the agenda or not. They are so much more comfortable than jeans. When I started working from home, unless I was meeting with a client, yoga pants became my daily attire. With the change of job came a change of lifestyle. I didn't plan it that way-- it just sort of happened. I spend a lot of time at home. Sometimes several days go by before I even leave the house.  I don't have a boyfriend and my son recently moved back home. He loves to snack while watching TV and lately, I've been snacking along with him.  Last weekend I went to church for the first time since Easter and when I slipped on my favorite skirt- HELLO! It was a tad too tight! I have put on a few pounds and I didn't really notice. Actually, I did notice because my jeans were getting a little uncomfortable but I blamed it on all the current drama and stress in my life.  I let it slide because of those damn yoga pants!

So, now I reserve my yoga pants for yoga. Well, first it's thirty minutes on the treadmill while watching the morning news and then it's yoga. Regardless of my exercise choice, I do it and then I put my jeans back on. And I stay in them, all day until it's time for bed! Am I uncomfortable? Sometimes! Do I feel constricted? Wel....if I eat too much at dinner, I feel it- immediately. There's no way I can squeeze in a second helping of anything except maybe salad. When I sit on the couch to watch TV at night, those slightly tight jeans keep me from sticking my hand into that bag, box or bowl of whatever my son is noshing on. If I was sitting there in my cozy, stretchy yoga pants, I might not think twice about over-indulging. If I make mistake of living in my yoga pants, I just don't feel the extra bloat or it's just easier to ignore it. If I start expanding, the pants expand right along with me! NOT GOOD. NOT GOOD AT ALL! I can't afford to put on weight.  I am in the Nutrition and Weight Loss Business!!

This little trick helps keep me on the right path concerning my eating habits. There's too much forgiveness in those yoga pants--they camoflauge a belly bulge, 'muffin top', or expanding thighs. A few extra pounds in my  jeans and I feel it. I can't breathe!

Want to lose weight quickly? Eat a healthy, well balanced diet : lean protein, whole grains, lots of fruit and veggies and exercise. If you want to keep the weight from coming back: wear clothes! Clothes with zippers, buttons, belts and waistbands. Waistbands that don't stretch! Clothes are unforgiveable. Those jeans that are starting to get a little tight or tough to zipper up is a constant reminder that you shouldn't have that extra helping of mashed potatoes. If you're watching TV at night in your jeans instead of yoga pants, you'll be snacking on fresh fruit salad instead of a box of cookies of a bag of chips. Trust me! It works!

Exercise attire (yoga pants, sweat pants, which ever you prefer) is specifically for exercise.  You're not supposed to live in them! Yes, they look cute. You might think when you wear them to the store or to pick up the kids from school that they send a message that you are into exercise. But here's the thing. They make you look that way if you are absolutely fit and fabulous (or a full time yoga or fitness instructor). If you are carrying around excess weight, you're gonna look like a fat girl in stretchy pants.  

When you come from work, don't default to the yoga pants. Slip on a pair of jeans until it's time for bed. On the weekends- same thing. Wear clothes- not the yoga pants. When you exercise or go to the gym, resist the temptation to strut around or run your errands in your gym clothes and put your jeans back on!  Yoga pants serve one purpose- to make you comfortable while exercising so you can lose weight, build muscle and look amazing in your jeans.  
And this is my Daily Cyn........

Friday, September 2, 2011

Do You Want to Fly?

If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down. ~Unknown

Nice quote, huh? Who doesn't want to fly? Imagine being able to soar high above everything and see the world from a totally different view. And the freedom! I can't think of another creature with more freedom than one with ability to fly. To be able to just pick up and go anywhere by spreading its wings and soaring upward and beyond!! What a rush!

When birds fly south in winter they don't take anything with them. They leave everything behind:  their nests, their source of water, even food.  Now there's a scary thought. What if they get hungry and can't find anything to eat on their trip? Birds instinctively know if they try to take anything with them, it's just going to weigh them down and impair their ability to fly. Some birds even leave the weakest among them behind. They are not about to let anything or anyone prevent them from taking their journey.


You have to leave some things behind. Drop your excess baggage and all that stuff that's just too heavy to carry. They are just going to weigh you down and prevent you from soaring to new, amazing heights. You can't see things from a new point of view unless you leave the drop a few things. Let it all go!

Try to think of some the excess baggage you carry. You might believe you can't fly because you have no money. Perhaps you never went to college, or you just don't have any spare time.  You're too fat or too thin. You feel sick. You have too many commitments and obligations, a demanding job, no energy. You have a disagreeable mate, partner, friend, parent, or boss who continously holds you back.............  

These are obvious, every day set-backs--little weights around our ankles. We all have them but they shouldn't hold us down-- not if we really want to fly. They are simply by-products of a much heavier weight we carry.

What really prevents us from flying?


That's right. The ways we think or don't think about ourselves, the world around us, and others. If we want to fly we need to let go of ourselves. Why? Because most of us are full of: 

1. Negative thoughts and attitudes
2. Unforgiveness- toward ourselves and others
3.  Fear of the unknown
4. Insecurity or poor self-confidence
5. Doubt
6. Limited vision
7. Fear of failure
8. Little or no faith
9. Little or no belief in a power greater than ourselves (God, the Universe, etc)
10. Obligations or attachments to people who emotionally drain us, discourage our dreams or tell us we can't fly!

Drop all this stuff and all those little ankle weights like no money or lack of education will fall off, too.  If you are stuck on the ground and can't fly it's because you are held to the ground by one or two of these particular issues. Perhaps all ten of them.  If you had confidence and a positive attitude, faith, no fear of the future or failure, honestly believed that God or the Universe will always provide, and surrounded yourself with successful, enthusiastic people who continously encourage you to keep going-- do you honestly think a lack of funds, a few extra pounds, or a demanding job will really hold you down?


If you want to fly--it's up to you.  It's YOU and all your attitudes, fears, doubt, lack of trust in yourself and others, and the people with whom you choose to associate that prevent you from soaring to great heights. That's it! 

Tomorrow, we'll dive deeper into this as I discuss how to drop some of that weight so you can finally start flying!

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Thursday, September 1, 2011

R-E-S-P-E-C-T !!!

A great relationship exists for two reasons : first is the comfort found in similarity. Second is respect for the differences.........

My son is staying with me. He recently wrecked his car in an accident and until he can work everything out with the insurance company and get a new car, I suggested he camp out here because I live very close to the train station. It's so nice having him here. It's not very often I have someone to fuss over. 

Both of us were up and at 'em by 4AM today.  I hate turning on TV first thing in the morning (it disturbs my peace) but he asked and I obliged. My child is a news junkie and a Republican.  A very conservative Republican!  I didn't raise him this way but I wasn't the only one who had great influence over him while he was growing up.  I did raise him to have a mind of his own, however, and those lessons obviously 'stuck'. Evidently, he and I have very different political views but we both love God, our country, and our world. One thing I do have to say for my son, he is passionate about what he believes to be "right". I might disagree with his views, but I respect him. 

We sat for a few minutes this morning watching the news and sipping coffee. We saw a report about Dick Cheney being compared to the evil Darth Vader (based on the new book he wrote) and Obama described as a peace-loving Jedi Warrior.  My son snorted in disgust and said "Anyone who is a Liberal has absolutely NO morals."

Okay,  first of all, that was a really insensitive comment. That's something an ignorant person would say and I know my child is not ignorant.  Secondly, I am a Liberal and I HAVE MORALS!!!  He knows I do. But, it was way too early in the morning and I certainly hadn't had enough coffee to argue so I just let it slide. It makes me so sad when people consider those with different lifestyles, likes and dislikes, beliefs, opinions, ideas, political views, etc. as misguided, immoral, or just plain stupid. I don't want my son to be like that.  I want him to have respect for others despite their differences.

I adore my son.  He's a good kid - kind and generous and I am so proud of him.  I have no problem with him disagreeing with me. Okay, I secretly wish he shared my political views and thoughts on marriage equality, a woman's right to choose, global warming..... but he has different ideas and I refuse to insult him because he doesn't think like me. I want him to think for himself and speak up for what he believes.  But I want him to do it with love and respect for those who believe or feel differently than he does. My son definitely needs a refresher course on respect despite differences.  Hopefully the time we spend together over the next few weeks will help. If not, his lack of respect will create tension and a gap between us. His air of superiority concerning his political views is just a reflection of a larger issue. Evidently he lacks respect for anyone who thinks, feels, or acts differently than he does. I know who he gets this from and it breaks my heart. If he continues on this way, he will always cause friction and isolate himself and others.  He'll have difficulty in all his relationships.

Respect. A great relationship cannot survive with out it. 

I recently ended a relationship. Lack of respect is the reason why. When we first met we had common likes and dislikes. We were drawn to each other because we enjoyed many of the same things and had similar values and goals for our lives. We were also very different but those differences are what intrigued and attracted us, especially on his part toward me.  He was attracted to my spirituality, creativity, my eco-friendly ways and how I viewed the world. He was intrigued by my vegetarian lifestyle and passion for health, wellness and yoga.  In fact, the whole yoga thing really turned him on. He used to think my love for animals and how I wept over every dead bird, opossum, or a cat on the side of the road was absolutely adorable. I was unlike anyone he'd ever met but eventually all my differences caused a huge gap between us. We fought all the time. He wanted me to think and be like him. He wanted me to view religion and politics his way, give up my ideas, hopes and dreams and eat a piece of chicken, for god's sake!  Even my recycling efforts (separate cans, paper, plastic, glass) he thought were a major pain in the ass. He used to think this was a noble, necessary effort and I had different bins for each. It wasn't that difficult!  Rather than love, accept and respect me for the ways I was different, he despised and insulted me. Everything about me that used to be inspiring and fascinating to him suddenly became idiotic, inconvenient and unacceptable. He lost respect for the differences he once found attractive and sadly, our relationship came to an end.

No two people can ever agree on everything. A combination of our similarities and our differences is what usually attracts us to another person. What we have in common help us to identify with the other person. Our differences make them and the whole relationship more interesting. When we spend long periods of time with someone, occasionally we make the mistake of expecting them to be more like us. We want them to eat the same foods, watch the same TV programs, read the same books, enjoy the same movies, have the same views and values, have the same saving and spending habits. In extreme cases, we might even demand they think and feel as we do. If they don't, sometimes we will hurt, humiliate, punish or reject them. Why? We've lost respect for their differences. If we can't respect the differences in others, our relationships are destined for failure.

I used to believe that all I wanted was for someone to understand me. If I could find one person who really understood me, that relationship would be a successful one. That might be true but more than understanding, I need respect.  No one can ever completely understand why I think, feel, act, believe or even vote the way I do. Especially if my views, thoughts and actions are so much different.  Why? Because they have never lived my life and no matter how hard they try, they will never see the world through my eyes.  To be respected, regardless, is the true desire of my heart--in any relationship I have: with a lover, a friend, my parents and even my son.

There's always going to be some body who thinks, believes, acts, lives, loves, worships, or votes differently than we do. What would happen if we decided to respect them for those differences rather than reject, isolate, or insult them?  Give up our right to be right for once? Could we ever just say, "Look, I don't agree or understand but I totally respect you anyway?" I think this is the greatest expression of love.

I think every single person in the world is longing to be loved, accepted and respected exactly as they are, differences and all.

And this is my Daily Cyn..........