Healthy Love Is Like Healthy Water by Maria Dorfner

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Healthy love is like healthy water. Transparent. You can see to the bottom of the pool or ocean.
 
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5 C‘s are crystal clear: caring, communicating, compassion, connecting and commitment. 

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When water is mysteriously murky, withholding and uncommunicative –creepy things may pop up.

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You end up mentally, emotionally, financially or physically dead.

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Healthy love is about respect & honesty.   Relaxing being together or apart.  It feels safe. 

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Healthy love lifts you up like an awesome wave.  It screams You are SPECIAL in a crowded world.  
 
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It says, I can be with anyone, but I choose you. I choose you because I love you.
 
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Healthy love:  Caring, Communicating, Compassion, Connecting, Commitment.   :-)
 
 
 
 
 
#healthy #trust #heart #love

5 Ways To Help Teens & Kids Cope Post Trauma

Today’s teens and kids are exposed to unpredictable adult-like stressors. 

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I spoke with Kate E. Eshleman, Psy.D., | Pediatric Psychologist| Pediatric Behavioral Health| Children’s Hospital, at Cleveland Clinic and contributing expert to MEDCRUNCH.

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She offers advice on how to help children and teens cope post trauma. 

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1. How can parents help children and teens after a traumatic event  , albeit a natural disaster or death?

There are many ways parents can help their children and teens cope. It is important for parents to make themselves available to their children, such that the kids can approach their parents if they are having any difficulties. It is appropriate for parents to check in and ask how their children are doing, but it is also important to be aware that not all children will want to talk or ask questions, and parents can take cues from their kids.

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If parents are observing that their children seem upset but are not wanting to discuss, they can try and engage them in distracting activities such as a family movie night, going on an outing (i.e., dinner or a fun activity), or every day errands such as to the grocery, anything to assist in getting the children’s minds off of what is bothering them.

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2. Does maintaining daily routines help, such as sitting down to dinner nightly?

Maintaining a routine is definitely important, as it assists in keeping some normalcy, even if things do not seem “normal.” Continuing to have the same expectation of the children’s behavior and activity is important, though if there are significant things going on, it may be okay to have a little more flexibility around those routines. Nightly, or at least regular, dinners are always important. This is a great opportunity to ask your children questions and/ or allow them to discuss their day. This will also be a good time for parents to observe/ assess for any changes in their children’s mood or behavior.

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3. What questions should parents ask children who seem withdrawn or anxious?

There are not necessarily specific questions that should be asked, but rather very general questions such as “how was your day?” or “anything on your mind?” More important than the specific question, is parents’ inquiring into how the child is doing, showing that they care and are interested in what the child is thinking/ feeling, and providing the opportunity for the child to discuss if (s)he is interested.

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 4. What healthy habits help? Should anything be increased/decreased during highly stressful times?

Healthy habits include eating well, getting rest, and being physically active. While these are relatively simple concepts, they are not always easy to implement, and can often be the first to go when times become busy and stressful. It may be helpful to prioritize what needs to be done and by when, and making sure to schedule in the healthy activities (i.e., finding a time to go to the grocery so there is food in the house, avoiding the need to stop and grab fast food on the way home, or planning to start a homework project on the weekend, so a child is not up late the night(s) before it is due). It is also important to maintain fun and enjoyable activities during stressful time, to provide a break from the stressors and an opportunity to relax and enjoy one’s self.

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5. Should parents share their own fears with kids or not?

 This one probably depends on several things. As a general rule of thumb, children should not have to worry about adult issues, as they are plenty busy worrying about kids’ issues. If it can be avoided, it is recommended that parents not openly discuss their concerns with or in front of the children. It is also important to note that children, beginning from an early age, take their cues from their parents, so even if parents are not verbalizing their thoughts and concerns, the children may be aware of what is going on, thus it is important for parents to monitor their own behavior and reactions. This being said, it is important for parents to tell their children the truth in a developmentally appropriate way, so if there is something happening that is directly affecting the children, it will be important for children to have some awareness of those things.

 

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Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones in Oklahoma.

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Stay healthy & safe, everyone.

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Cleveland Clinic is ranked one of the top hospitals in America by U.S.News & World Report (2012). Visit them online at http://www.clevelandclinic.org for a complete listing of services, staff and locations.

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How to Raise a Happy Baby and Child

How to raise a happy baby and child (birth to 12 mo.)

by Jill Storey
How to calm a crying baby
 
What makes children happy may surprise you. Child development experts who study the subject say that happiness isn’t something you can give a child like a prettily wrapped present.

In fact, says Edward Hallowell, psychiatrist and author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, over-indulged children — whether showered with toys or shielded from emotional discomfort — are more likely to grow into teenagers who are bored, cynical, and joyless.

“The best predictors of happiness are internal, not external,” says Hallowell, who stresses the importance of helping kids develop a set of inner tools they can rely on throughout life.

True for adults too.  My health TV series, “Healthy Within” is based on this simple concept.

The good news is you don’t have to be an expert in child psychology to impart the inner strength and wisdom it takes to weather life’s ups and downs. With patience and flexibility, any parent can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of happiness.

Learn to read the signs

As your child matures from a newborn to a more interactive baby by the age of 6 months, he’ll become a master at showing you when something makes him content or upset.

His face lights up in a heart-melting smile when you enter the room, or he wails when someone takes away his favorite toy. And you’ve probably noticed that he flips between smiling and crying faster than you can pop a pacifier in his mouth.

According to Lise Eliot, a pediatric neuroscientist and author of What’s Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life, a baby is so mercurial in his emotions because his cerebral cortex, which controls automatic responses, is barely turned on yet.  

As the cerebral cortex develops over the coming years, your child will be able to better control his behavior and moods.

If it seems your baby spends more time wailing than giggling, that’s because babies actually experience distress earlier than happiness.

Crying and distressed facial expressions are there for a reason, explains Eliot. They serve as an SOS to motivate the caregiver to fix whatever’s wrong.

But if your baby is crying, how do you know if he’s in pain, hungry, or just bored? “A sensitive mother can pick up on different kinds of cries and facial expressions,” says Paul C. Holinger, professor of psychiatry at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.

“The eyebrows, the mouth, and vocalizations are all signaling systems for the baby.”

For example, a baby in physical distress will cry with the corners of his mouth turned down and his eyebrows arched in the middle.

With anger, your baby’s face becomes flushed, his eyebrows turn down, his jaw clenches, and he lets out a roar.  Most parents recognize that a fearful, easily upset baby isn’t a happy camper, but Holinger finds that many parents don’t recognize that anger is simply excessive distress.

“If there’s a loud noise or bright light,” he says, “the child will show signs of distress. If that noise or light continues to increase, the feeling turns to anger.”

Carrie Masia-Warner, a child psychologist and associate director of the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Institute at the New York University School of Medicine, warns that you shouldn’t read too much into your baby’s moods.

“I wouldn’t call babies happy or unhappy,” she says. “They’re content or not content based on something in their immediate environment.”

While the youngest infants don’t really feel happy when they look happy, the good news is they’re not emotionally aware when they’re screaming, either.

Eliot explains that the “cortical emotion centers” of your baby’s brain don’t begin to function until he’s 6 to 8 months old, when he starts to feel the emotions that seem so vivid on his face.

Your baby probably has his own ways of showing you when he’s not content. Some babies may cry, while others become clingy.

As you get to know your own child’s temperament, you’ll become better at learning the signs that something’s not right in his world. For more insights into your child’s natural temperament, check out the article, “Are children born happy?”.

Make room for fun

Although a colorful crib mobile and her first taste of applesauce may bring a smile to your baby’s face, what makes your baby happiest is much simpler: you.  And that’s the first key to creating a happy child says Hallowell.

“Connect with your baby, play with her,” he advises. “If you’re having fun with your baby, she’s having fun. If you create what I call a ‘connected childhood,’ that is by far the best step to guarantee your child will be happy.”

Play creates joy, but play is also how your child will develop skills essential to future happiness.

As she gets older, unstructured play will allow her to discover what she loves to do — build villages with blocks, make “potions” out of kitchen ingredients, paint elaborate watercolors — which can point her toward a career that will seem like a lifetime of play.

Play doesn’t mean music class, organized sports, and other structured, “enriching” activities. Play is when children invent, create, and daydream.

Help them develop their talents

Hallowell’s prescription for creating lifelong happiness includes a surprising twist: Happy people are often those who have mastered a skill.

For example, when your baby figures out how to get the spoon into his mouth or takes those first shaky steps by himself, he learns from his mistakes, he learns persistence and discipline, and then he experiences the joy of succeeding due to his own efforts.

He also reaps the reward of gaining recognition from others for his accomplishment. Most important, he discovers he has some control over his life: If he tries to do something, he can eventually do it.

Hallowell says that this feeling of control through mastery is an important factor in determining adult happiness.

Hallowell warns that children, like adults, need to follow their own interests, or there’ll be no joy in their successes.

Healthy bodies, happy children

Again, the following can be said of adults too. Healthy bodies, happy adults!

Lots of sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet are important to everyone’s well-being, especially children’s.

Giving your baby plenty of space to release her energy, whether that means kicking her legs in the air, crawling toward a beloved ball, or going back and forth — over and over and over — in the infant swing at the park, will help put her in a good mood.

And pay attention to your baby’s need for structure: While some babies are very easygoing, most thrive and feel more settled with a set schedule.

You might also want to pay attention to any connection between your baby’s mood and particular foods; some parents find that while sugar can give their child an energy boost, it can also lead to fussiness.

Food allergies and sensitivities may also play a role in your child’s behavior and mood. If you’re nursing, you may find that your baby becomes fussy after you eat certain foods. Talk to your child’s doctor if you suspect that your baby’s formula or diet is linked to signs of distress.

Let them struggle with problems

In the first six months of a baby’s life, it’s important for parents to respond to their infant’s needs. “You can’t spoil a baby,” says Masia-Warner.

But after about six months, if you run over at every little hiccup, you’re taking away an important learning opportunity. Masia-Warner says it’s good to let babies cry a little as long as you’re giving them lots of positive affection and attention the rest of the time.

But, you say, I’m supposed to be creating a happy child! Shouldn’t I swoop down and make everything better? In fact, Masia-Warner sees this as a big mistake many loving, well-meaning parents make.

“Parents try to make it better for their children all the time, to make them happy all the time. That’s not realistic.

Don’t always jump in and try to fix it,” says Masia-Warner. “Children need to learn to tolerate some distress, some unhappiness. Let them struggle, figure out things on their own, because it allows them to learn how to cope.”

In your baby’s first year, he’s learning so many things: to sit up, crawl, grasp objects, walk, and talk. Each accomplishment brings him confidence and satisfaction in his achievement.

So don’t hurry to pick up the rattle he just dropped or the teddy bear he’s struggling to reach: Give him some time and encouragement to pick it up himself.

Hallowell agrees that allowing children a range of experiences, even the difficult or frustrating ones, helps build the reservoir of inner strength that leads to happiness.

Whether a child’s 7 months old and trying to crawl or 7 years old and struggling with subtraction, Hallowell tells parents, he’ll get better at dealing with adversity simply by grappling with it successfully again and again.

Allow them to be sad or mad

When your baby gets older, you can encourage her to label her feelings and express them verbally. Even before she can talk, you can show her pictures of faces and ask her which one is feeling the same way she is.

Young children will pick up very quickly on “affect” words such as “happy” or “angry.” When they can put words to their emotions, they gain a whole new capacity to recognize and regulate their feelings.

However, Masia-Warner warns, you shouldn’t overreact to your child’s negative feelings. “It’s normal for kids to become oversensitive or clingy or nervous at times because of something in their environment, but it’s not unhappiness.”

You’ll find this is especially important as your child grows. When your child pouts in a corner during a birthday party, your natural reaction may be to push her to join in the fun.

But it’s important to allow her to be unhappy. Hallowell is concerned that “some parents worry any time their children suffer a little rejection, they don’t get invited to the birthday party, or they cry because they didn’t get what they wanted.”

Children need to know that it’s okay to be unhappy sometimes — it’s simply part of life. And if we try to squelch any unhappiness, we may be sending the message that it’s wrong to feel sad. We need to let them experience their feelings, including sadness.

Be a role model

According to Dora Wang, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and mother of 3-year-old Zoe, research shows that you can pass on your temperament to your children — not necessarily through your genes — but through your own behavior and childrearing style.

For better or worse, children pick up on their parents’ moods. Even young babies imitate their parents’ emotional style, which actually activates specific neural pathways.

In other words, when you smile, your baby smiles and his brain becomes “wired” for smiling. Similarly, if you have a colicky baby who cries for hours, the best thing you can do is to stay calm, because babies pick up on their caregivers’ stress.

With a new baby, it’s normal to feel tired and overwhelmed, but if you find yourself constantly stressed out or depressed, it’s important to seek help.

“Parents who tend to be depressed are often not good at being consistent with their discipline and providing structure, or at providing consistent praise and having fun with their children. All of this can contribute to emotional problems,” says Masia-Warner.

Teach them to do meaningful things

As your baby matures, she can be taught — with even the smallest day-to-day lessons — how satisfying it is to help others. Research shows that people who have meaning in their lives feel less depressed.

Even as early as 10 months, you can teach your child the satisfaction of give and take. If you give her a bite of banana, let her do the same by feeding you a piece.

Show her how happy her gesture of generosity made you feel. If you brush her hair, give her a chance to brush yours. These small moments can nourish a sensibility toward sharing and caring for others.

As your baby grows into a toddler, simple household chores, such as putting her dirty clothes in the hamper or setting the table, can help a young child feel that she’s making a contribution.

Sound Off
Do you worry about whether your child is happy? Take our poll and tell us.

The BabyCenter Seven: Ways to turn your child’s frown upside down

What do you do when your child’s in a slump? We asked BabyCenter parents, who shared their favorite tried-and-true tips to chase away the blues and bring a smile to their child’s face.

Read all seven tips for cheering up your child.

I love The BabyCenter. Make sure you visit them at www.babycenter.com.   Check out the wonderful Free Apps below if you’re expecting. ~Maria

 
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Hope you learned something.  Stay healthy!  :-) 

Healthy Leadership: Commitment Ignites Action

For as long as I can remember my Dad always said,  “You’re either IN or you’re OUT. Make up your mind.”  When I was a kid, I watched him play Baci (Italian bowling on dirt outdoors) and I heard him yell this out when teams were being created.  You’re either IN or you’re OUT.  The tone was get out of the way if you’re out.

He would also say it if he was going somewhere and wanted to know who was joining him or if anyone in the family, including myself, was undecided about anything in life.  Dad does not suffer fools and to him anyone who is wishy-washy or ambiguous as we say after college — is a fool.   The way he sees it if you have one leg in the car and one leg out, you’re going to get crippled.  Either put both legs in the car or get out of the car all together.  He will not ignite the engine of the car until you make up your mind.

Later, I learned NBA Legends on Management and my Dad think alike.  Pat Riley said, “You’re either IN or you’re OUT.  There is no such thing as life in-between.”   Dad could probably play Pat Riley in a film.  Since Dad’s not an actor, they got someone who reminds me of Dad — Al Pacino.   Pacino will star as Pat Riley in the tentatively titled Showtime.”

What my Dad and Riley are really talking about is COMMITMENTGoethe agrees with them too.

Goethe said, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”

Michael Jordon knows about commitment.  He said, “I’m not out there sweating for three hours every day just to find out what it feels like to sweat…I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come.”

We can rewind to 1835 to find John Anster saying,  “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin it, and the work will be completed.”

On pages 214-30 in Faust, there is a passage that reads:

“When indecision brings its own delays, And days are lost lamenting over lost days.  Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute; What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Why so much hulabaloo about COMMITMENT?

According to Prism, Ltd., the most important single factor in individual success is COMMITMENT. Commitment ignites action. Turns out, Dad and Pat Riley know what they’re talking about.

To commit is to pledge yourself to a certain purpose or line of conduct. It also means practicing your beliefs consistently. There are, therefore, two fundamental conditions for commitment. The first is having a sound set of beliefs. There is an old saying that goes, “Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” The second is faithful adherence to those beliefs with your behavior. Possibly the best description of commitment is “persistence with a purpose”.

Many successful business people are hailed as visionary leaders. On careful inspection they are found to be individuals who hold firmly to a simple set of commitments, usually grounded in beliefs such as “the best product money can buy”, or the highest possible customer service“. It is the strength of these commitments, religiously followed, that led to their business success.

WHERE TO PRACTICE COMMITMENT

It appears that effective leaders hold dearly to a half dozen commitments. The first, and most basic, of these is a commitment to a set of values, principles or beliefs. These underlying principles define both the organization’s uniqueness and the fundamental direction in which it wants to head. This first commitment leads to a common vision and purpose within the organization.

The second commitment is to oneself, to how one acts as a leader. An effective leader possesses a strong sense of personal integrity and self confidence. This leads to a willingness to share the credit for success. Another side to this commitment is a deliberate emphasis on continual self-improvement.

The combination of a strong, positive commitment to self and to a set of principles serve as a foundation to effectively maintain the remaining four commitments. These commitments are to: customers, results, employees, and the organization.

Everyone has a customer and is a customer to someone else. Customers are usually thought of as external to the organization who needs your product or service. A question worth asking is, “How much are others willing to pay for my work?” The price your customers are willing to pay measures its values in their eyes.

Besides serving customers, all organizations target specific results. Given the large number of demands placed on all of us, it is important to concentrate on achieving the most important goals and objectives. Commitment to results is largely determined by how clear priorities are, what actions get rewarded, and what risks are being taken to improve intended results.

The next commitment is to the people. The quality of the organization’s commitment to customers and results is largely based upon the quality of its commitment to people. The simple reason for this is that it is these people who serve the customer and achieve results. How are people treated in the organization? Commitment to people is largely the product of treating people with respect, challenging them, and giving them effective feedback on how they are doing.

The final leadership commitment is to the larger organization. Other departments, higher management, the organization’s overall strategy & mission are important. Communication is the key with this commitment. How people talk to, and about, each other greatly affects the quality of cooperation. How open are the channels of communication up, down, and across? Can management be challenged? Will people support management decisions and changes?

Balancing all six commitments is the key to well directed leadership. When management supports its employees, they will be able and willing to achieve intended results, When these results support customer needs and expectations, customers will support the organization with their business. A strong and healthy organization can then continue to show commitment to its people. The glue that holds this process together is the values and leaders in the organization.

HOW TO PRACTICE COMMITMENT

Effectively demonstrating commitment to others, to the organization’s basic principles, and to oneself is never easy. The truth is, demonstrating commitment is hard work. Wavering commitment is usually seen as no commitment at all. The only way to achieve a reputation for commitment is through determination and persistence. Genuine commitment stands the test of time.

Day to day, commitment is demonstrated by a combination of two actions. The first action is called supporting. Genuine support develops a commitment in the minds and hearts of others. This is accomplished by focusing on what is important and leading by example. It is not uncommon for people to be either confused as to what is important, or lose sight of it over time. Supporting means concentrating on what adds value, spotlighting what’s working, and rewarding others who are focusing on what is important and leading by example. A crucial aspect of true support is standing up to those who would undermine commitment, those whose words or actions show disrespect.

The second action underlying commitment is called improving. Improving stretches our commitment to an even higher level. Commitment means a willingness to look for a better way and learn from the process. It focuses on eliminating complacency, confronting what is not working, and providing incentives for improvement. The spirit of improving is rooted in challenging current expectation and ultimately taking the risk to make changes. These changes are based more on an optimism in the future than dissatisfaction in the past. It is embodied in the reply of car maker Professor Porsche, who, when asked which was his favorite model in the long line of Porsche automobiles replied: “I haven’t built it yet!”

It is the combination of both supporting and improving behaviors that makes up the practice of commitment. Separately neither action is capable of sustaining commitment. Promoting alone can come across as a shallow and pollyannish. Continuous improvement can be seen as “good is never good enough”. Together they provide a needed balance. Both are essential to commitment.

WHEN COMMITMENT IS MOST IMPORTANT

Commitment is most difficult and most readily proven during tough times. How someone weathers the storms most clearly demonstrates their basic beliefs. In antiquity, Epicurus stated: “…a captain earns his reputation during the storms.” When your competition scores big against you, when the money dries up, or when the glamour of success wears off, this is when it is easiest to compromise your commitments. The real test comes when you can hold the line against the easy route of compromise.

Fortunately, paying the price that commitment commands has payoffs worth the cost – a reputation for integrity and, even more important, the commitment of others in return. Commitment is a two-way street. You only get it if you are willing to give it.

Source: Prism, LTD

The above can be applied to other areas of your life.  Commitment ignites action.  Think about that. You commit first.  Then, you do.  Where does that begin? Your mind.  Thought. It’s one of the reasons good things take time. Bad things happen fast.  It’s because we “think” about good things before taking action.  It’s not uncommon for people to get asked, “What were you thinking?” when something bad happens. The response is usually, “I wasn’t.”  Take some time to think about what you are committed to and what steps (action) you need to take to ignite that goal.  This can be applied to Business, Health, Fitness, Sports, Relationships, and Finances.

“There is a difference between interest and commitment.  When you’re interested you do it only when circumstances permit.  When you’re committed, you accept no excuses, only results.”

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!’ ~Goethe

“Commitment doesn’t mean you never fail.  It means you commit to a specific outcome, so you continue to take actions  until you get desired results. The actions you take may change, but your commitment to the result never wavers.” ~Maria Dorfner

English: From the left: Shaquille O'Neal, Pat ...

Image via Wikipedia

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Healthy Relationships: Love vs. Fear

The most popular blog on MedCrunch  so far was one about Healthy Relationships.  This tells me today’s health consumer isn’t only concerned about their physical well-being, but they’re aware of the strong link between physical well-being and their emotional and mental state. 

That’s why having a healthy relationship is the Holy Grail of life.  When you’re healthy from the inside, you attract healthy relationships, which is why so many people want to know  how to do that. 

I’m reminded of the 1984 power ballad recorded by the British American rock band, Foreigner called, “I Want to Know What Love Is.”  The song hit #1 in both the UK and the U.S.

It’s no wonder why people want to know what love is because a healthy romantic relationship spills over into every other area of your life. It’s that extra skip in your step and glow on your face when you think of your special someone.  It gives you natural energy. 

As much as television shows, films or magazines may glorify the one night stand, casual sex or being a player (another name for “Loser”) — the reality of it is that great sex comes with a great relationship.  Fast food is momentary fullness with negative consequences, whereas consistently eating healthy has all the benefits that leave you feeling physically, mentally, intellectually and emotionally full and feeling good.

 The emotion that has the most healing power for all physical ailments is LOVE.  So many people focus time on finding the right mate, but don’t even know how to love because they don’t even realize they are filled with fear. 

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~Marianne Williamson

 Love and Fear are the most powerful ways of being that you can experience. In fact everything in your life every thought that you think, every word that you speak, every action you take falls under one of these powerfully creative headings.

You are at all times thinking, speaking and acting out of love or out of fear. They cannot coexist. In the same way all sponsoring emotions experienced can be and are categorized under one or the other…either love or fear.

When you begin to understand this you can then become more “conscious” of which you are expressing as you go about your day to day life which will provide you with a much deeper understanding as to how the day to day events, conditions and circumstances in the various areas of your life unfold.

It’s no secret in today’s world that the predominant thoughts that you think become things…physical things.

The more you focus on the things you want, (love) the more of those things you’ll see manifest in your life. By the same token, the more you focus on those things that you don’t want, (fear) that realization becomes just as apparent and shows up in the various areas of your life as events, conditions and circumstances that you don’t want.

In fact becoming consciously aware of the power of both love and fear and learning to consciously direct your thoughts, beliefs and emotions toward love, regardless of the “perceived” appearances in your physical world, will prove to provide “profound” transformation in each of your physical outcomes.

Your physical experiences in life…those things that you can see, touch, taste, hear and smell are merely effects.

These effects are determined by the predominant thoughts that you choose to think and become increasingly creative as emotions are attached to them.

A thought consistently focused on what you love will produce what you love in physical form. Consistent thoughts of fear (things you don’t want) are intensified by fear and create what is feared.

How can that be?

As with everything both Love and fear at their core in their purest and most basic form exist as a vibrational frequency of energy. These vibrational frequencies attract to themselves additional frequencies that harmonize with them creating in physical form whatever choice you make.

Quite simply Love attracts to you what you love and fear pushes what you love away. Put another way fear attracts to you what you fear and love pushes what you fear away.

Both love and fear are powerfully attractive forces. We get to choose which we will use because of “Unconditional Love” and that Unconditional Love attracts to us and provides us what we choose without fail whether that individual choice is based on love or fear.

We can choose to focus on lack, limitation and discontent which falls under the “fear” heading or we can choose to place and keep that focus on abundance, plenty and fulfillment which is categorized under the love heading.

Unconditional Love says “Whatsoever ye desire, “believe” and ye shall receive.”

Fearing in something happening in your life is due to an underlying belief just as the Love and experience of something is due to an underlying belief.

Fear is merely a “faith” or belief that the things we fear will be experienced by us in physical form and as a result of that underlying “belief”, that is what we will experience at some point unless and until the fear is changed within ourselves and we make the choice to shift the focus from what is feared to what is loved.

Learning to become consciously aware of our reactions to specific outcomes whether it be love or fear can be a great way to let us know what we are believing in at any given moment and begin to understand how to better utilize our creative power “consciously”, intentionally and purposefully.

From a scientific perspective…

Thought correlates with it’s object.”

Your choice to focus on Love and experiencing what you love is a belief that you can and “Unconditional Love”  makes certain that you do. Love projects a much different thought frequency than fear and attracts what you love in the same way that fear projects a much different frequency than love and too, you draw precisely what you fear.

Thought correlates with it’s object. Thoughts of fear correlate, attract and create what is feared. Thoughts of love correlate, attract and create what is loved.

Either choice delivers precisely what we choose because “Unconditional Love” says “Whatsoever ye desire…”believe” and ye shall receive.”

Unconditional Love  makes no judgments or determinations as to your choices, it only provides outcomes unfailingly and unconditionally just as you ask…”Whatsoever” you ask.

Unconditional Love provides you with the choice as to what you will experience and the same Unconditional Love provides it too you just as you choose.

When you really begin to grasp and internalize this truth you begin to understand that you have nothing to fear. You get to choose your experience. You only need become conscious of that fact…awaken and begin “consciously” choosing what you love by placing and consistently keeping your predominant focus on what it is that you love.

Many today…the mass majority in fact are inundated with various fears and as a result of what they are “unconsciously” asking for through their vibrational output or energetic projection are continually attracting events, conditions and circumstances that are harmonious with that choice resulting in outcomes which further reinforce the “perceptions” that life is hard, difficult or at best bearable.

Life is what you choose. You choose your own way….your own experience. An expression of Love is a choice just as an expression of fear is a choice.

Although you are unable to change the fact that you think, you do have a choice and can consciously choose “what” you think.

If you have a desire to see your big dreams and desires unfold, don’t fear what you don’t want…learn to shift and focus your predominant thoughts on loving what you do want. Both provide physical outcomes “unconditionally” that harmonize and correlate precisely and with unwavering certainty with your individual choice.

Make certain that what you are projecting through your thoughts and emotional output is filled with love which cannot fail to draw to you more of that which you love.

When focusing on and projecting love, remain in love and unattach from the outcome. Love doesn’t require effort for attraction to occur.

An attachment to or “anxiousness toward” an outcome projects and communicates want which implies not having or the lack of which projects an energy frequency which is tainted by fear and pushes away rather than draws to you the desired outcome.

An “anxious” expectation of receiving is a communication that you are waiting for and expecting an outcome which the Universe responds to in precisely the way it is being communicated which keeps you in a place of continual waiting and expectation with the desired outcome remaining just outside of your reach.

Fear keeps the majority trapped in a self imposed prison. Fear of a lack of security…fear of failure…fear of the unknown…fear of the future based on the past experiences they’ve encountered that were experienced simply as a result of fear based beliefs chosen and held in the past which created and caused the experience to begin with.

Many will claim it’s not fear that keeps them stuck in undesirable careers but rather that it’s wanting or needing security. “I stay where I am because I’m seeking security.” If that makes you feel better you have the ability as well as the choice to stand by your claim, but seeking security is a widely accepted form of logic which under the surface is operating under fear.

How is that?

When looked at from a deeper perspective, seeking security is simply another form of fear disguised. Seeking security implies that you don’t already have available to you what is needed to be secure and the reality is that you already do. As you’ll recall in a previous chapter, EVERYTHING already exists as a “probability of existence.” You only need to create it and call it to you…to “attract” it to you through a focus of Love.

Fear keeps people stuck doing what they feel they “have” to do to have their security and as a result few rarely venture out to fulfill their passion and purpose which would, when done with the proper intention…out of love…provide them with far more security than any “trade your time for money” J.O.B. could EVER provide.

Regardless of which area of life it might be, fear is a very limiting and sad way to live life. It will in fact keep the majority from ever “truly” living life to the fullest unless a conscious choice is made to choose something different.

A choice of focusing on Love in everything done is the answer.

Fear is merely a “faith” that whatever it is that is being feared will unfold and as a result it does. Fear of failure keeps you from “doing” those things which would create the success that you desire and IS the “underlying” cause for creating what is “perceived” as failure or mediocre results at best.

Although in reality there is no such thing as failure, fear keeps many from achieving what they desire and already have the ability to do.

Creation NEVER fails. “Perceived” failure is merely a successful creation with the “underlying cause” often going undetected by the one experiencing it. Failure is merely fear created in physical form but creation is ALWAYS successful…It NEVER fails and ALWAYS provides just what you ask.

Many are just doing the “asking” unconsciously.

There are MANY forms of fear…

Fear Of Loss

Fear of Failure

Fear of Success

Fear of The Unknown

Fear of The Future

Fear of The Past

Fear of…???

The list is endless…”Infinite” in fact. All that needs to be done is to replace the fear with LOVE. That happens as a choice. An individual choice that you have the right as well as the ability to make.

Fear creates outcomes…physical outcomes just as love does. Fear paralyzes and keeps hopes dreams and desires from being fulfilled in life just as love makes certain that they’re experienced.

What so few fail to realize and grasp is that Fear is merely “faith” disguised.

Fear is merely a form of faith that resides on the opposite end of the spectrum of love.

Most have heard and are familiar with the saying that Love and fear cannot co-exist. Although in reality they do co-exist in the physical world they cannot be experienced by the heart or mind at the same time.

Both Love and fear are based on faith and projected from the mind based on individual choice. Fear is merely a form of faith, often unrecognized which is determined by choosing to place your predominant focus on that which is feared.

Remaining in and focusing on fear will produce results in your life just as certainly as focusing on what you love will produce results that correlate and harmonize with that which is loved.

Faith is constant and unfailing in delivering outcomes in each and every area of life. It will provide physical outcomes that are feared just as certainly as it will provide outcomes that are loved.

Far too many attempt to create and experience what they love by experiencing and placing focus on what they fear. Put another way, you will never experience what you desire to experience in your life by keeping your predominant focus on what you would rather not experience. Faith never misses and as modern day scientists have proven, energy flows where attention goes without fail.

“Thought correlates with it’s object.”

Granted, the love of something emits a far greater and far more powerful energy, but remaining focused and fixated on fear can, will and does produce results based on that which is feared.

Although both love and fear, or ANY other emotional output for that matter, at their core exist as vibrational energies, love resonates and projects a much higher vibrational resonance than fear which can only draw to you energies that harmonize with the energy being projected which is transmuted from the unseen, metaphysical or spiritual realm and through the unwavering and immutable process of creation produces a harvest which shows up as the events, conditions and circumstances in your life.

The process of creation has been created to be VERY simple. Plant a seed and the harvest produced consists of and correlates with the kind and quality of seed planted.

Love represents one form of this seed and fear represents a different form of seed. Both are seeds and both produce a harvest. Although they are both creative and both a seed they can no more produce a harvest of the opposite than an apple seed can produce an orange tree.

You can no more expect to reap a harvest of what you “love” by planting “fear” seeds than you would expect to reap a harvest of apples by planting an orange seed.

Your individual choice to project love or fear is neither a right or wrong choice but simply a choice which determines without fail, your harvest. That choosing determines with immutable and unwavering certainty 100% of the time what that harvest will consist of.

So how do you break out of this fear mode? Become aware of who and what you truly are, which is a spiritual being inhabiting a physical “meat suit” which is having a physical experience with EVERY conceivable outcome already available to you.

Learn to “consciously” utilize the incredible and never failing creative power that has been freely provided to you and your ability to rise above any “perceived” obstacle that might be encountered in life by merely making the conscious choice to do so will be automatic.

Most fears are experienced as the result of looking at the past and believing that because some undesirable event, condition or circumstance happened then, that it could be or will be repeated at some point in the future. It’s this form of fear that will keep you stuck repeating the same self limiting patterns over and over again, always desiring to experience more pleasant outcomes yet continually running into the same roadblocks which have held you back in the past.

It’s choosing to place your predominant focus on the things feared from the past that will ensure that more of the thing feared and focused on will be created in the future.

The reality is that you are NOT running into blocks and barriers keeping you from your desired outcomes…those things that you love…but rather attracting them to you and creating them based on YOUR choosing of keeping your focus on them.

Many, fully believing that by remaining aware of those things feared will enable them to escape them when in reality it is the awareness of and focus on the things feared which draws them to you. While you may come up with ways to temporarily counter the effects that the fear will create, you will always find yourself acting and escaping from the effects of the fear rather than focusing on love and never having to dodge or escape anything.

The bottom line is this…

You can choose to project love or you can choose to project fear. That’s an inalienable right we have each been provided. Unfortunately due to a choice to remain “unaware”, the mass majority experience mediocre results at best and very few ever experience the wholeness and fulfillment that life has to offer.

Perhaps you aren’t experiencing all of your desired hopes, dreams and desires either. If not, don’t feel alone because you are a part of the majority…but does that make you “feel” any better?

Why does it seem to happen this way? Because of where you keep your predominant focus…your quality of consciousness. Focusing on that which is feared can only attract and produce what you fear in physical form just as remaining focused on desired outcomes…those that you love will, with unwavering certainty draw to you the ways and means to produce the desired outcomes.

Combine Love With Action And Prosper

Although “consciousness is the seed for all of creation there is another element to experiencing your dreams and desires in the physical world. Although you are currently working on the “most essential” first step there is another component that must be “consciously” utilized as well…action.

Make no mistake…action is ALWAYS required in the fulfillment of hopes and dreams but when the focus remains fixated on the love of something the avenues to make that something into tangible physical form will ALWAYS be pleasant and feel good to you and due to the love and passion you have for what is attracted and presented can seem effortless.

Fear NEVER feels good. Fear is always struggle, resistance and continually attempting to swim against the current. Acting out of fear is NEVER pleasant and enjoyable.

Love is going with the flow and fear is paddling against it. At some point you get tired…fatigued…worn out. Inevitably love ALWAYS wins.

With that understanding established think about the areas of your life where you have a fear of something happening and examine that area consciously. Is the experience of the thing feared being realized?

If you get nothing else from this I hope you’ll grasp and understand this…

Love is the result of an internal beingness, something that we choose to be. Fear is only experienced as the result of looking at the physical events, conditions and circumstances in our lives, both past and present

It is essential that you discover and exercise your “true” power to discover that who you “really and truly are” has absolutely nothing to fear, but that we make ourselves fearful each time we look outside of ourselves for some external thing or power to make us feel fearless.

You have absolutely NOTHING to fear except your “unwillingness” to begin consciously, purposefully and intentionally creating the kind and quality of life that you have been provided the right, the ability as well as the choice to choose for yourself.

That creation begins within yourself. Choose Love inside and you’ll experience those things that you Love on the outside.  Love and Desire followed by action that harmonizes with love and desire produce desired results…a kind and quality of results that you Love.

Fear, doubt and worry followed by actions or inaction that harmonize with fear, doubt and worry produce results that harmonize with our choices.

The heart “feels” and communicates only Love and the mind processes those “feelings.” Depending on the filters that have been formed in the mind is what determines what emotions are ignited and experienced in the physical body which determine what type of actions are taken.

Fear filters dissipate and suppress the “feelings of love” that heart always communicates creating emotion resulting in “action” that in the vast majority of cases is disharmonious with taking “a kind and quality of action” that harmonizes with creating the tangible result that we “love and desire.”

To experience more of what we Love.

You are the only thing standing between what you desire and that desire being fulfilled.

Your life and the events, conditions and circumstances in your life are a mirrored reflection of what you yourself are choosing and “allowing” to happen.

Change is constant. It’s the way the Universe was constructed. It’s never idle. It never becomes stagnant. It’s constantly in motion and never rests. You could say that creation is a constant.

resist being stuck which creates an illusion that stuckness is our reality. It doesn’t “seem” to change but it is consistently changing and only recreates the same quality of outcome that we “perceive” that it will.

The cycles continue. Love provides it just as we choose.

These cycles can be clearly seen and witnessed in nature. The awe and perfection of the process never fails or wavers. The continuous arrival and passing of winter, spring, summer and fall clearly reveal one of these repeating and self replicating cycles which has been cycling for billions of years and will continue for billions more.

We never get “stuck” between seasons. We don’t get stuck in winter or any other season.

Universal Law which oversees and governs the process ensures that the cycles never cease…that the “flow” is always open. They are never interrupted or broken. They always unfold perfectly and precisely just as they were designed to do.

It begins by choosing to “become conscious.” First of all “conscious” of the heartfelt communication the heart is sending to the mind which is expressed in the desires you hold for yourself and others that harmonize with Love.

It’s nothing more or less than becoming “conscious” of the difference between heart data and head data.

Choosing to do so clearly reveals the difference between ego and higher self.

This requires nothing more than choosing to become quiet for a moment and allow those “heartfelt desires” to stir, awaken and surface at a conscious level.

 Reflect on…

  • What do you love with all your heart? What do you want with all your heart?
  • What experiences do you wish to engage in with all your heart?
  • Do these “desires” benefit and enable everyone involved to win?
  • Does the manifestation of the experience of what you love benefit all?
  •   Do these “heartfelt desires” align, harmonize and honor the “free will” of others?

 Become conscious of…

 What are you allowing your “mind” to do when you think about the manifestation…the tangible creation of these “heartfelt desires?”

  • What conceptualizations are processed as you think about and ponder the “tangible creation” of the “heartfelt desire?”
  • What “perceptions” do you hold with regard to the “tangible creation” or the sabotage of your heartfelt desires?
  •   What emotions ignite?
  • Do they harmonize with Love and joy? Do they create a win win for all involved?

 If you find the mind to be conflicting with your heartfelt desires, it’s going to be necessary to provide the mind with new data that supports, aligns and harmonizes with the desires held at the heart level.

To elevate the “mind” to harmonize with “heartfelt desires” that you have for yourself requires a willingness and a commitment to expand the quality of consciousness that is creating the “illusion” of limitation. It’s as simple and complex as developing the ability and willingness to harmonize and eliminate the “resistance” between heart and mind and developing the ability to accept and surrender to whatever “less than desired miracles” are being observed on the outside…in the physical Newtonian world.

The inflow of “heartfelt desires” begins by choosing to “Be anxious for nothing.” The flow provides “desired miracles” when we choose to “judge not by appearances and allow Love to shine through.

It’s an “internal battle” that you can disarm and win whenever you make the choice to do so. Doing so requires becoming conscious of the difference between heart communication (accepting, surrendering to and experiencing what you love) or head communication (accepting and surrendering to rather than avoiding and resisting what you fear)

You must involve, listen to and follow your heart if you want a consistent flow of consciously created and desired miracles. Your heart is far more powerful and creative than your brain or your mind when you choose to allow it to be.

Personally experiencing that power requires a surrender to the intellectual thought processes. It requires a willingness on your part to “Judge not by appearances”…to “be anxious for nothing” and keep focus on the “feelings” that the heart provides which always point toward Love and the fulfillment of “desires.”

It requires nothing more or less than turning the volume up at the heart level and turning the volume down at the level of consciousness. It requires becoming consciously aware of what the mind is instructing you to do that you recognize as going against or “resisting” the instruction of the heart which is clearly conveyed and communicated based on whatever you “truly desire” (love) to be, do or have.

Listen to and follow your heart…elevate your quality of consciousness to the heart level.

  • Focus on the love of rather than the “fear of.“

Focus on the “desired reality” rather than the “perceived reality.” 

Focus on the “fulfillment of” rather than the “lack of.”

  • Focus on winning rather than NOT losing.
  • Focus on being wealthy rather than NOT being broke.
  • Focus on what you can do for and how you can best contribute to the happiness and fulfillment of others rather than what you can do for yourself and get for yourself despite the wants, needs and desires of others.

 In essence it’s simply a matter of choosing Love as your conscious and/or underlying intention and doing the best you can to keep your attention on what is loved.

Learn to Love and accept unconditionally which automatically and effortlessly initiates surrender allowing what is loved to become real and tangible.

That’s where your “true power” lies and where infinite potential and possibility can be and will be experienced when you make a conscious choice to “allow“ it to be.

Love projected attracts to you and delivers what you love. Fear projected absent the Intention of Love keeps what you love from becoming real.

[Source:  Abundance-And-Happiness.com]

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Avoid Negative Spirals

This guest post is by Dan Lippmann of the Mood Switch Method.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is for your negative thinking to spiral out of control?

You start out by thinking one upsetting thought. In seconds, that thought leads to another, until you’ve produced a whole chain of negative thoughts. When combined together, these thoughts steal your sense of well-being, leaving anxiety and fear in their wake.

“I wonder if I’ll be able to meet that deadline.
If I don’t meet the deadline, my boss will go crazy.
He’ll give me a bad evaluation.
I’ll end up getting fired.
I won’t be able to pay my bills.
I’ll lose my home.
I’ll be out on the street with no money.
My life will be over.”

The most important thing for you to know is this: You don’t have to go along with whatever negative thoughts are triggering up in your brain. You can learn to direct your thinking in a way that will be helpful instead of harmful to you.

Breaking the chain of negative thinking

Picture your negative thoughts as a chain of associations. Your goal is to break the chain after the first link and then keep new links from being added.

This is easier than you might think and doesn’t require superhuman effort—only a little bit of awareness and practice.

You may be surprised to learn that your negative thoughts aren’t usually random. Often, there’s a specific underlying emotion (sadness, anger, jealousy) or theme (money, death, health) that triggers your negative thinking and serves to link your thoughts together. Once you’re aware of your personal patterns or themes, it’s easier to break the associations or links.

I realized this a few weeks ago when I heard on the radio that a TV personality from my childhood had died. I immediately felt mildly sad, and then I realized that my mind suddenly wanted to make other “death associations.” If I had allowed my thoughts free rein, they probably would have played out something like this:

“My mother’s dead.
My father’s dead.
I’m the same age as my father when he got sick.
I hope the same thing isn’t wrong with me.”

…and on and on!

If I had allowed this line of thinking to continue, I would have been in a down mood in a matter of minutes, and maybe spent the next few hours, or even days, feeling badly.

Fortunately, I recognized where my mind wanted to take me, and made a conscious choice to stop my thoughts in their tracks. I simply refocused my thoughts on something neutral – the tastes and smell of my breakfast – and then switched the radio to a music station that I like. I was able to stop the downward spiral before it began and to get on with my day.

So the next time you experience an upsetting feeling, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is there a benefit to thinking about this situation?
  2. Is there a benefit to following the chain of associations arising from this situation?

If the answer is no, turn your thoughts to something neutral, interesting, or uplifting. You might be surprised at how easy it is to avoid a downward spiral.

It might even save your day.

Change your negative thoughts, change your experience

William James, the “father” of psychology once wrote, “My experience is what I agree to attend to.” By refocusing our attention on the things that brighten our day, we can insulate ourselves from stress and boost our feelings of calm and contentment. What we pay attention to literally becomes our experience.

Choosing to think about something you’re looking forward to each day may sound simple – and it is. And if you do it consistently, you’ll notice your mood improving and your stress decreasing.

So before getting out of bed tomorrow morning, focus on one positive thing the day holds, and let me know how the rest of your day goes.

“You can think your way out of any negative emotion.” ~Dan Lippmann

Dan Lippmann counsels clients from his two Chicago-area offices and is the creator of the Mood Switch Method, an easy to learn technique that breaks the painful cycle of negative emotions, such as anxiety, down moods and anger. Download his free eBook, Beyond EFT: 7 Steps to Banish Stress, Worry, Fear and Anxiety, and sign up for his weekly tips at www.danlippmann.com.

Australian Survey: Half of Breakups Take Place on Valentine’s Day

A survey has found that Valentine’s Day, which is touted as a day of love, is being used by almost half of young people in Australia for breaking up.

A Galaxy Research survey of more than 1200 people aged 18-39 has found 47 percent have chosen to end it with their partner on or around Valentine”s Day after taking stock of their relationship.

Commissioned by big-four bank NAB the relationships survey found most young Australians, 57 percent, did not like the day nor did they want to celebrate it as the most romantic of the year.

Almost half – 44 percent – of respondents said Valentine”s Day was a cynical marketing exercise designed to make couples shower each other with flowers, chocolates or underwear, while one-in-four singles saw it as a day of dread and a time to feel bad about themselves.

The survey has been launched as part of a cheeky anti-Valentine”s Day campaign spear-headed by social commentator and author Zoe Foster to encourage people to evaluate their relationships, including with their banks.

Foster, who co-wrote ”Textbook Romance” with radio funny man Hamish Blake, said that while for some couples Valentine”s Day could be filled with happiness it was also a time when couples assess their relationship and looked at options.

“Between New Year and February 14 is a time when many evaluate whether their relationships are right for them,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Foster as saying.

“Almost half of young people will actually break up with their partner around Valentine”s Day – it”s almost what you could consider ”break-up season”,” she said.

The survey found that as many as one-in-three unmarried couples used February 14 to consider their relationship while one-in-four, 25 percent, admitted to staying in a relationship over Valentine”s Day even though the relationship had lost its spark.

“Trust, respect and honesty are all of incredible importance,” Foster said.

“So, if your partner has cheated, or you”re feeling it”s run its course, or you just don”t bring out the best in each other, perhaps it”s time to move on,” she added.

Passion vs. Self-Discipline


Which is better: passion or self-discipline? I’ll argue that self-discipline is the better fuel.

I received an immediate comment from Hanif Rehman on Facebook to this blog, and I think he makes an extremely valid point.  Here’s what he said.  I believe it’s true.

“You’ll need passion or very strong desire to start though…self discipline then later kicks in.” ~Hanif Rehman

Like any emotional state, passion waxes and wanes. Sometimes you’re highly motivated. Sometimes you aren’t. Passion has its peaks and valleys, so if you base your actions on your level of passion, your results will depend on your emotions. Feeling passionate? Great actions, great results. Feeling dispassionate? Weak actions, mediocre results.

Using passion as your only fuel will no more assure you of success than being in love will ensure a successful long-term relationship.

Self-discipline is far more important than passion, especially in business. In fact, if you develop the quality of self-discipline to a high degree, it will put passion to shame.

“The undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites and passions.” ~Stephen Covey

Self-discipline allows you take action and therefore get results no matter what your emotional state. Where passion is erratic, self-discipline provides steadiness and stability.

And because your emotions aren’t in the way, your decisions are more likely to succeed because they’ll be made from a state of disciplined intellect rather than from emotional peaks and valleys.

Which would you bet on if your life depended on it?

If you were to undergo open heart surgery, would you want a disciplined, dispassionate surgeon or an undisciplined, passionate one?

If you were being tried for murder, would you want a disciplined, dispassionate defense team or a an undisciplined, passionate one?

If you were flying in the Space Shuttle, would you want the ground controllers to be disciplined and dispassionate or undisciplined and passionate?

Passion is great, but it’s icing. It needs self-discipline to back it up.

Self-discipline is quieter though. Passion gets more attention these days because it makes more noise.

StevePavlina.com

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Aphrodesiacs for Valentine’s Day, Romantic Dining in NYC, Musings from Mom & Dad

“Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” ~Steve Jobs

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie — it’s amore.” ~Dean Martin

Ah,  love.  And pizza.  And love of pizza.   When I was a bright-eyed kid, my Dad made pizza for a living when he wasn’t working in “construction.”  Fellow Brooklynites will get the quotations joke.   While in grade school, I waited up for him for three reasons.  One, he brought home the next day’s New York Post and Daily News.  I loved feeling like I knew what was going in the world while everyone was sleeping.  Yes, New York was the WORLD.  Two, he always brought home large fresh pizza pies and three, quality time with Dad talking about  news and pizza.  So naturally, I associate pizza with love.

English: Picture of an authentic Neapolitan Pi...

Image via Wikipedia

Turns out, pizza made Reader’s Digest list of Top 10 Love-Foods for Valentine’s Day.  Saying “Love Foods” the way Don Cornelius would say, “Soul Train” in his honor today.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, aphrodisiacs are based in “folklore, not fact.”  Still, people continue to believe in the love-inducing effects of certain foods, herbs and extracts.

Some say if you believe something, you’re halfway there.  Ah, the placebo effect.  None of these attract a mate, but if you already have one, they may help improve  your love life.

                                 “Love each other.” ~Nonna Angelina

Discovery Health listed some of these:

  • Asparagus: The vitamin E in this vegetable is said to stimulate sex hormones.
  • Chili peppers: Some researchers say that eating hot peppers makes us release endorphins, which might lead to “other things.”
  • Chocolate: This favorite for Valentine’s Day contains phenylethylamine, one of the chemicals your body produces naturally when you’re in love (see The Chemistry of Love).
  • Oysters: Oysters contain high levels of zinc, which reportedly increased the production of testosterone. Testosterone increases libido for both sexes.

Others include Ginkgo, Spanish fly (dead beetle parts) and Damiana.

Back to pizza.  READER’S DIGEST also compiled a list of sexy foods to boost your libido.  This one includes pizza pizza. Lots of ‘em are yummy, so enjoy!   The first 6 are in my favorite snacks.  The link that follows it describes the health benefits of each.

  1. WATERMELON
  2. SPANISH OLIVES
  3. STRAWBERRIES
  4. CHERRIES
  5. ARTICHOKES
  6. CHAI TEA
  7. PROMEGRANATES
  8. PIZZA
  9. WHIPPED CREAM
  10. STEAK
Reader's Digest

Image via Wikipedia

 
CLICK BELOW FOR READER’S DIGEST LIST with HEALTH REASONS to ENJOY THESE FOODS:

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/10-more-aphrodisiacs-for-valentines-day/

Reader’s Digest Magazine: Only $4.00 per Year! (livingrichwithcoupons.com)

 

You could stay in with your  love and one of the yummy items on the list above OR if you’re in NYC you can check out these special 2012 NYC Valentine’s Day deals and prix fixe menus OR do both.

By , About.com Guide

 

1. 21 Club

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at New York’s landmark ’21′ Club, where the romantic upstairs dining room has been the site of numerous wedding proposals. For Valentine’s Day 2011, ‘21’ is serving a sumptuous three-course dinner, including a Veuve Clicquot champagne toast, for $125 per person.

(We had Rush’s book signing at 21 Club and I found it a tad stuffy.  Although, it may have been in  a different room than the dining room they speak of)

 
 

2. Agave

Enjoy a laid-back Southwestern Valentine’s Day at Agave with a special three-course menu and a premium tequila tasting for $120 per couple.

3. Aureole

For Valentine’s Day 2011, Aureole is serving a sumptuous five-course, prix-fixe dinner featuring foie gras and lobster for $175 per person ($100 wine pairing supplement). While there are certainly more affordable Valentine’s Day options, Aureole is a great choice for a special occasion splurge.

4. Bouley

The legendary Chef David Bouley is offering a six-course tasting menu for $195 per person ($295 with wine pairings) this Valentine’s Day. You can also take your Valentine to lunch at Bouley for just $36 per person for the tasting menu.

5. Bun Soho

This fabulous Grand Street Vietnamese spot is serving up a four-course prix-fixe menu with specialty cocktail and dessert for just $45 per couple. It’s the most affordable Valentine’s Day deal we found in Manhattan for the second year running.

6. Bryant Park Grill

At Bryant Park Grill, Valentine’s Day specials include the seafood raw bar for two, romantic cocktails (Budding Romance for Two features raspberry vodka and an edible orchid), and a complimentary box of hand made truffles. The regular menu is also available.

7. Chez Josephine

Chez Josephine, the restaurant inspired by the legendary Josephine Baker, offers a romantic setting complete with red velvet walls and chandeliers. Pianist/vocalist Christ Curtis will serenade diners as they enjoy a prix-fixe menu of French American bistro favorites for $75 per person.

8. COMMERCE

Enjoy incredible food in this historic Greenwich Village space. The three-course Valentine’s Day menu  offers options for $69-$98 per person (depending on entree choice).

 

9. Gentleman Farmer

Make it an intimate local Valentine’s Day at Gentleman Farmer on the Lower East Side. This cozy 20-seat restaurant serves a menu that combines traditional French cuisine with fresh local ingredients. The Valentine’s Day 2011 prix-fixe menu is $55 for three courses.

10. Guantanamera

Make it a Cuban Valentine’s Day with a three-course dinner, live music, and hand-rolled cigars for $69 per person.

If you want to impress someone special, choosing the right restaurant can make all the difference. These restaurants offer romantic atmosphere, as well quality food and service that are sure to impress — whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or another special occasion.
 
(Some of the following seem like nothing special when you’re  a local. Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe don’t seem particularly romantic to me.  The Sea Grill gets lots of tourists.)
 
More Romance in New York City:
 
 
 

1. Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern Dining RoomPhoto by Ellen Silverman, used with permission
Danny Meyer’s restaurants are reknowned for impeccable service, and Gramercy Tavern is no different. Serving creative American fare, Gramercy Tavern is the perfect place for a perfect meal, from start to finish. Reservations suggested, though the tavern area has reduced prices and a no-reservation policy.Gramercy Tavern Basics:
42 E. 20th St.
Between Broadway and Park Ave. So.
212-477-0777
 

2. Union Square Cafe

Union Square CafePhoto by Nathan Rawlinson, used with permission.
Another Danny Meyer destination, Union Square Cafe offers great service and delicious fare in a comfortable setting. Union Square Cafe is friendly to vegetarians. Reservations suggested, though the bar area offers you an in without a reservation.Union Square Cafe Basics:
21 E. 16th St.
Between Fifth Ave. and Union Sq. West
212-243-4020

3. One If By Land, Two If By Sea

One If By Land, Two If By SeaPhoto Courtesy of One If By Land, Two If By Sea, used with permission
Often considered the most romantic restaurant in New York City, One if By Land, TIBS is housed in a former carriage house that features nightly live piano music and working fireplaces. Exposed brick and dim lighting make this a great destination for a romantic evening.One If By Land, Two If By Sea:
17 Barrow St.
Between 7th Ave. S. & W. 4th St.
212-228-0822

4. Balthazar

I must admit, I’m a bit prejudiced, since Balthazar is where I went for dinner after I got engaged, but if being transported to a bustling Parisian bistro is your idea of romance, this is the perfect destination. Steak frites are fabulous, as is the onion goat cheese tart.Balthazar Basics:
80 Spring St.
Between Crosby & Broadway.
212-965-1785

5. Daniel

If you really want to dazzle your date, Daniel is among New York City’s most impressive restaurants, with prices to match. Decor reflects Daniel Boulud’s appreciation for Italian Renaissance design, but the menu features creative French cuisine. 3 Course Prix-Fixe $96.Daniel Basics:
60 E. 65th St.
Between Park and Madison Aves.
212-288-0033

6. Blue Hill

With an annual Valentine’s Day tradition of serving a “hands-free” meal, Blue Hill offers an off-beat take on your typical romantic evening. Serving American cuisine, Blue Hill builds a menu focused on seasonally available produce from the Hudson Valley.Blue Hill Basics:
75 Washington Pl.
Between Sixth Ave. and MacDougal St.
212-539-1776.

7. Savoy

This warmly lit restaurant feels more like a country inn — complete with a roaring fire in the colder months. Dine on fine American cuisine and if you’d really like to impress, reserve for the chef’s special menu.Savoy Basics:
70 Prince St.
Between Crosby and Lafayette Sts.
212-219-8570

8. The Sea Grill

Overlooking the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, The Sea Grill is a great choice for a romantic evening, assuming your date likes seafood. From oysters and clams to herb crusted skate, the menu offerings reflect a range of seafood options all well prepared and very fresh.The Sea Grill Basics:
19 W. 49th St.
Between Fifth and Sixth Aves.
212-332-7610

If it’s the perfect view that makes you feel romantic, you can do no better than The River Cafe on Brooklyn’s waterfront. Featuring delicious food combined with professional, attentive service, The River Cafe is well worth leaving Manhattan for the food alone, but the view of downtown Manhattan makes this an irresistable choice.The River Cafe Basics:
1 Water Street, Brooklyn
718-522-5200

10. The Place

This West Village restaurant offers all of the romance of New York’s finest restaurants, but with a more affordable price tag. The menu features both American and pan-European cuisine.The Place Basics:
310 W. 4th St.
Between Bank and W. 12th Sts.
212-924-2711

If anyone had a personal great experience at any restaurants listed –please let me know in comments.

More Romantic New York City

MUSINGS FROM MOM & DAD

 
MOM:      Love isn’t about getting roses or going to restaurants.
ME:          What is it?
MOM:      I don’t know.  Ask your father. (married 50 years and she doesn’t know)
 
ME:          Dad, Mommy said to ask you what is love?
DAD:       She’s crazy.
ME:          Well, what is it?
DAD:        What?
ME:           Love.  Amore!!!
DAD:       When you want to be with one person so you can be crazy together.
ME:           Brilliant.
 
 
 
 
 
Actually, Mom gave me a beautiful answer when I asked her once before. I always ask them that question.  If they have an epiphany, I want to be the first to know.  Mom said love was about two people who want to grow a garden together, water it every day, watch it grow, thorns and all.  Something like that. I wrote it down somewhere.
 
 
 
 
Post note:  If you’re single and alone on Valentine’s Day — you can’t go wrong with the pizza.     One of the few things you can still find for one dollar a slice.  Pizza = Love.   :D
 

Link below to find .99 cents pizza anywhere in NYC or click on City/State to find elsewhere:

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”                      ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery