Monthly Archives: February 2015

The First Love

2 14 15 i love meLove is a special and complicated emotion, probably because we use the word “love” in so many ways: I LOVE my boyfriend; I love my mother; I love Rocky Road ice cream. And last month I really loved my personal car mechanic! The Greeks had four different words for love:

Eros: is the passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings; the kind that makes you say, “I love him/her.” It is simply an emotional and sensual love.

Storge: is family love. The love that parents naturally feel for their children and vice versa; the love that members of a family have for each other.

Phileo: is affectionate, warm and tender platonic love. This is the love between friends who are there for each other when the friend is in trouble.

Agape: is the highest form of love, an unconditional love that sees beyond the outer surface and accepts the recipient for whom he/she is, regardless of their flaws, shortcomings or faults. It’s the type of love that everyone strives to have for their fellow human beings. Although you may not like someone, you decide to love them just as a human being. This kind of love is all about sacrifice, as well as giving and expecting nothing in return.

All this talk of love, but maybe we are missing a key type of love. Self-love. In the Bible, Scripture says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” – but how much do we really love ourselves? Have you committed some self-talk that you would never say to your best friend? Do you ever say to yourself, “Oh, that was stupid of me!” Watch your self-talk! Watch what you say to yourself!

If we don’t love ourselves, then really how can we love others? Remember, even on airline flights they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, so that you can then help others. I always had a hard time understanding that!

Here are some tips to help you develop a healthy self-love:

Have self-respect. Self-respect means acting and believing that you are worthy. Because you are. If right now you don’t feel you deserve to be treated with love and respect, start acting like it any way. Do not allow people to talk down to you, degrade you, disrespect your time, energy, body, life, home. Respect yourself and respect others.

Healthy Boundaries. Boundaries are key for healthy relationships and a healthy life. Don’t exhaust yourself always trying to please other people. Say “no” when you need to. Say “yes” when you mean it. Honor your truth.

Vision. Vision helps bring more passion and focus into your life. What’s your vision? Set a daily goal to work towards bringing that vision to life. Vision allows us to stay on track. Pour some energy on your vision. It gives us purpose and self-worth.

Take care of your health. You only have one body – be nice to it and it will be nice to you! Drink water, eat clean and healthy and move your body! Dance alone in your living room! You are the only one who can take care of your body, so don’t abuse it!

Set simple morning and evening rituals. In the morning, meditate, listen to some favorite music, write an intention list for the day. In evening, light some incense or candles, take a relaxing bath and say a prayer for others and the world.

With these tips, you will become a healthier and happier self. With a stronger sense of self, you have deeper self-love, and with deeper self-love, you make more conscious decisions that will create a more peaceful life for yourself and for others.

Oh, but wait a minute. Every February comes along a holiday known as Valentine’s Day. Some love it. Some don’t. For those who may not have a “Valentine” it may bug us when we receive Facebook posts or calls from our friends gushing about what flowers or gifts they received from their sweetie. But don’t let this bother you.

A relationship does not define you. It can complement you, but it does not define who you are

3 tips for getting through the Valentine holiday:

  1. Consider Valentine’s Day as just a day on the calendar.
  2. Recognize that not all relationships are the same. Just because you don’t have a date today doesn’t mean that you will be loveless forever. Great love is out there, but it might not appear until you let go of your past.
  3. If you don’t have a date – make a date with yourself! Do something you love! Indulge in a favorite pastime or better yet, do some volunteer work, visit the lonely in a nursing home or help out at an animal shelter.

Remember, you have to love and respect yourself, before others can really love you in a healthy way.

Choose love, and don’t forget to love yourself first.



Just Say “Thank You”

2 2 15 thanks

When was the last time you said “Thank you”?

When was the last time that someone said “Thank you” to you?

When was the last time that someone said “Thank you” to you on your job?

The act of expressing gratitude and acknowledgement for performance above and beyond is called recognition – in the workplace, employee recognition.

An acquaintance of mine recently shared something her manager had done that was a beautiful example of employee recognition. The manager wrote a letter of thanks.

I don’t mean a Tweet, an email, or a typed message. I mean a handwritten (in cursive) “thank you” note on paper. A note that was sent via the Post Office.

For her that had to be so much better than receiving a bill or “junk mail.”

How many people write thank you notes any more?

I have a colleague who makes it a point to handwrite and mail a “thank you” note to someone every day.

Does this sound old-fashioned? When did thoughtfulness and a personal touch go out of style?

This colleague has spent a lifetime as an expert on etiquette, especially business etiquette, and in her opinion, gracious thanks is never outdated, whether in the business world or in personal life.

Even if you do not work in a corporate environment, keep reading, there is something for you.

When the recession hit, many companies shrunk their rewards and recognition budgets. This was a stressful time when hard-working employees needed appreciation and reassurance more than ever. While monetary reward programs might call for trimming in hard times, the concept of thankfulness and appreciation is always free. Perhaps when times are tough, companies need to focus on their recognition culture even more.

An employee recognition program is a means of supporting and honoring individuals and teams who contribute to the success of the organization through positive behaviors. Studies show that recognition increases productivity, reinforces initiative and creativity, builds relationships and team functionality, improves customer service, raises employee engagement and improves retention of employees.

It’s one thing to motivate people towards behavior through promised rewards, but better yet to instill a constant sense of “doing the right thing” because it is better for the company, customer and employee. In the end, it is the corporate culture that needs to be shifted so that the underlying philosophy will become firmly established.

To be effective, informal recognition needs to be sincere, timely and specific, and may consist of nothing more than a few well-chosen words of appreciation or praise. Sometimes the best recognition is simple and free. But just because it doesn’t cost, doesn’t mean it can’t have a great impact on an employee. What is key here is fitting the method of recognition to the employee’s likes or dislikes. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to be recognized in a public display! Given in the wrong way, praise can end up being counterproductive. When managers get to know their employees on a one-to-one basis, then they will know how their employees want to be recognized.

So the next time that someone does something for you on the job, whether it is expected or unexpected – take a moment to say those two words that our mothers taught us were magical: “Thank you.” It will only take a moment of your time, but it could be the bright spot that makes that person’s day.

This advice applies not just to managers, but also to co-workers, to entrepreneurs, clients and vendors. It applies to mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles and cousins. It applies when you go to the grocery store, retail store or restaurants. It applies even when a friend does something for you. When was the last time you said, “Thank you for just being you”?

My mother always reminded me to say thank you often. One might feel it in your heart, but unless the person hears it, they are not going to know. “Please” and “thank you” are three of the most magical words.

Here’s a challenge for you this week. See if you can say “thank you” at least once a day to someone. Once you master that, you can go buy those notecards!