Friday, October 31, 2008

Tales from the Ranch

I returned from Canyon Ranch in Tucson earlier this week, and must share with you the experience.

It was such a huge growth opportunity, in ways I never would have anticipated.

I was there as a guest speaker to share my wisdom from How to Marry a Mensch, and stayed on to vacation a couple of days.

I was traveling alone, which felt like a bit of a challenge. But, it took me back to my single days when I signed up alone to go on the singles trip where I met my husband. So, traveling solo does have its advantages! :)

My talks at Canyon Ranch attracted both couples and singles, seeking advice for themselves, to pass on, or to reaffirm that they had found their Mr. or Ms. Right Mensch and were grateful. It was interesting that after I spoke, various individuals approached me to share their story of how important it was that they married, or were dating a mensch. It made me feel good that others recognized the desirability of partnering with a quality person, and being a mensch themselves.

While I am not being paid by Canyon Ranch to endorse them, I have to share with you how whole-heartedly I recommend a stay there, if you can swing it. They have various locations, and it's such a great step toward practicing self care. Whether it be to exercise, develop portion and calorie awareness, be pampered, share your thoughts with others, etc., it's the ideal place to get in touch with you soul.

And, if you think about it, if you are seeking a soul mate, you want to be in a good place in your life. If this means taking some time out for you, you need to do that. Self exploration might feel like a luxury, but we all want to grow in our lives. And, the richer we are as people, the better we are able to connect with others on a deeper level.

Traveling to Canyon Ranch alone reminded me of my single days for another reason. I found myself eager to talk to new people and to want to be liked, so that I had companionship. I recalled all the times I went to socials and so desperately wanted to make conversation.

While I was far from desperate this time 'round, I did feel a bit of initial insecurity until I started to break the ice with some new folks. And, in general, I found the guests (and staff) quite welcoming and open to spending time, even if they came with friends or family members, which many did. It was a blessing to feel warmly received, and I relished getting to know different people, hoping I would stay in touch with a select few.

One workshop I attended addressed the point of wanting to be liked. The expert facilitator said that everyone craves that. I questioned her and said that I felt like it is a shame that we tend to seek out approval. But, she didn't take it that way. Her feeling is that if someone appears to not like you, for whatever reason, they are someone who needs a hug the most. What I learned is that we shouldn't judge or compare ourselves to others.

We are all so different, and you can never know what someone thinks or feels on the inside. Regardless of how they look, a person might not be as self confident as you imagine, yet you might find yourself sizing them up, envying them, aspiring to be like them, etc. And, it's not worth it. If you are comfortable in your own skin, you will put out a positive to the world and people will gravitate toward you. So, whether you want to attract new friends or a love into your life, make sure your self esteem is in a good place.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chemistry...What is it?


How do you define it when it comes to a relationship?

I was way on a weekend at Omega recently to hear the author Joan Anderson who wrote A Weekend to Change Your Life, among other bestselling books, as seen on Oprah.

She was very down-to-earth, with a strong message to share about the possibilities for reinventing your life so you can achieve happiness, reach goals, overcome fear, reinforce relationships, etc.

One gal in the audience asked the question, how do you know if you have chemistry with someone?

Anderson is not a relationship expert, so I almost felt like jumping up and sharing my two cents worth, but I didn't want to overstep my bounds. Plus, I wasn't there wearing my "author/love coach hat". I was a participant like everyone else.

But, it got me thinking. And, I did wind up approaching the woman who asked the question to share some thoughts.

It became evident to me that there is no one way to define chemistry.

You want to know you have it in a partner, but what is it exactly?

It is natural to first be attracted to someone on a physical level. And, for some, that would be how they define chemistry. But, it's really not that simple because you may be attracted to someone for various reasons. And, it could actually go against your physical type. You might think you like blondes, but a brunette might get you going if they have other traits that resonate with you.

For example, if someone makes you laugh, that is very appealing. If you enjoy someone's mind, that's a big plus. If you can make easy and on-going conversation with someone, that is desirable. If you embrace similar interests, that's cool. If you are open to each other's differences and applaud them (and are confident you could live with them), that can be empowering.

So, when you think about and yearn for chemistry with a potential mate, be aware that chemistry comes in different packages.

Make sure you give people a chance. Don't judge a book by it's cover only. You'll do yourself and the other person a big disservice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Be a Mensch to Find a Mensch

I recently had a bit of a falling out with someone I've known casually over the years. I had asked for some information, thinking we were supportive/respectful of each other, and one thing led to the was not something I expected.

Got me thinking about the notion of one hand washing the other.

I've always been someone who takes pride in helping others. I imagine that's part of the reason my work as a love coach is so gratifying to me. And, why I've chosen to write self help books.

I consider myself to be someone who is generous with their time and advice (to the best of my ability), and hope that others will do the same in return. I try to be a team player and have always believed that what comes around, goes around. My philosophy is we can all get much further in life if we support each other.

In my mind, the bottomline is, it's about being a mensch.

If you want to find and potentially marry a mensch (decent person), it takes one to know one.

Do you do good for others (without getting paid for it)?
Do you do any volunteer work?
Do you put others before yourself at times?
Do you always expect things in return?

Part of making a contribution to this world is in the giving.

Look at actor/philanthropist Paul Newman, may he rest in peace. He was able to use his high profile status and earnings to ultimately give back to others in a big way. There's a lot to be said for that. And, he had an enduring marriage to actress Joanne Woodward. Something to aspire to.....

Do you consider yourself a mensch? In what regard?

Why would you deserve to find one, if you don't hold yourself up to the same standards?

Take a hard look at yourself and how you spend your time. Granted everyone is busy these days, but you'd be surprised how little gestures can add up. You don't have to do major volunteer work if your schedule doesn't permit, but there's all kinds of ways to help others.

Give it some serious thought, and you'll be all the better for it, and your love life may benefit in the long run as well.