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3 Keys To Keep Your Relationship From Growing Apart

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(Lessons From A Tree) A common phrase passed around when a couple is considering a divorce or break-up is, “We just grew apart.” Personally, I am of the belief that seldom does this ‘just’ happen. Usually, there is an event, or series of events, that lead up to the parting of the emotional branches. Let’s take a minute to explore how this occurs and then hopefully prevent it from happening to you. The most common example of growing part is found in nature with a tree. A tree starts with one solid trunk and expands out into branches. There are certain conditions however that will cause the trunk to split, creating a situation where there appears to actually be two trees growing apart from one base. While technically together, they are no longer joined or growing in union. There are many factors to cause this occurrence, including storms, soil erosion and, of course, outside influences. Sometimes these trees can be saved, but other times the damage is irreparable. We can lear

What Autumn Can Teach Us About Stress Relief

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Living near the mountains of North Carolina, one of my favorite things to do in the fall is to take a day trip along those winding roads and soak up the beauty of the fall colors. A photo taken from an overlook of the vast expanse is beautiful, but nothing is prettier to me than a shot from the ground up through the trees with the sun shining through the golden and red colors. I knew there was a chemical process that caused the transformation, but I learned today a little more detail and I also learned how we can apply a similar process to make our lives more beautiful as well.    The leaves on a tree are basically a food manufacturing plant. They use a chemical called chlorophyll and sunlight to produce nutrients and carbohydrates for the tree’s nourishment. (See, trees like their carbs and starches too!) It is the chlorophyll that creates the green tint we associate with spring and summer tree leaves. What I didn’t realize until today was that the yellows, oranges and r

When Truth (And Kindness) Are Hard To Find

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I have always hated politics and therefore I have never followed them with great interest. I will be the first to admit I cannot hold an In-depth conversation about policies, parties or agendas. I have also always believed in order to climb the political ladder you had to sell out to something or someone. True mavericks rarely make it to the top. This past week was heart-wrenching to witness. And unless your head was buried in the sand, there was a flood of information pouring over you. Information that was vile, biased, mean and just plain unimaginable at times - from both sides. Grown men and women of all affiliations behaving in ways that to the rest of the world has to appear childish, ridiculous and incredulous. A horrendous example to our youth today of mature conduct. My two takeaways from what I witnessed this week are #1 - the facts about these two individuals lay probably somewhere in the middle and #2 - if everyone acting pious and self-righteous this week had to admit

Did God Close Your Door? (Or Maybe It Was Just The Wind)

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There is a popular quote that has been around for a long time and is still circulated today, that says, “When God closes one door, He opens another.” I understand the sentiment or message. It is one of HOPE. It encourages us to believe when something is taken away or withheld from us, that something better is coming down the road. In terms of a hopeful message, I love it. In terms of theology, I’m not sure it holds up. Now let me say right up front, that I’m not a Bible scholar or theologian, but I am not convinced that everything unfortunate or unhappy that happens to us is God’s fault or doing. I don’t actually imagine Him as a Divine Doorman going around slamming all these doors shut. I believe we have to accept that doors open and close for a variety of reasons. Other People Can Close Our Doors. This ‘door’ is actually presumed to be our heart. We leave it open and wait for someone to walk through, love us and hitch their wagon to ours. The thing about hearts (and doors), i

Differences In A Relationship. How Much Is Too Much?

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They say opposites attract. That you should be with someone who expands your borders and motivates you to experience new things. Those ideals are great and I’m not here to argue that point, and we certainly don’t want to date our clone, but just how much contrast do you really want with your partner? When does the variety turn into conflict? Let’s start with some significant differences. Politics & Religion. “They” say never discuss politics and religion on a first date. Well, if not the first one, then definitely by the second. Now, I did not say debate them, just discuss them. Everyone has a right to believe how they choose. The idea isn’t to criticize or convince, just to get an understanding of what their views are and how they line up with yours. Now, if you are just casually dating someone, this may not present an issue, but if you are looking for long-term, it could definitely have an impact. The political climate right now is at an all-time high in intensity. If you have

Raves For The Rays (Solar Power For Your Mind And Body)

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Today I am all about the sun! I know most articles you read will give multiple reasons to stay out of or away from the sun. Not me! I love the sunshine and for a few minutes, I want you to soak in the sight and the sound of the sun! The sun is our very source of heat and light and the very point this swirling ball of joy and chaos revolves around. It is both a literal and metaphoric expression of radiance, sparkle and delight. Did you know that natural sunlight triggers the production of Vitamin D in your body? It is actually called the Sunshine Vitamin. It helps fight inflammation, lowers blood pressure, increases the absorption of calcium and improves brain function. It also helps boost immunity! And you just thought you were working on a tan and 'soaking up the sun'. Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow Sunlight exposure also has a dramatic impact on depression. It raises serotonin levels and creates a feeling of well being and contentment. It feels so good, it'

Build A Better Boat (Weathering Life's Storms)

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"Better Boat” is a song written by Travis Meadows and Liz Rose that Kenny Chesney (featuring Mindy Smith) used on his latest project “Songs For The Saints”. The album was made as a tribute to the human spirit after Hurricane Irma tore through the Virgin Islands in 2017. Kenny has a home there and is a part-time resident. He immediately started planning this album and all proceeds will go to his Love For Love City Foundation, which funds rebuilding projects. When I heard the song on the radio this week, it resonated with me and I knew it was what I wanted to write about. Life’s storms often come without warning and leave us battered, scarred and not exactly sure what our next step should be. We may even be concerned about the shaped of our ‘boat’, and if will sustain another gale. What I love about the lyrics of this song is that it doesn’t just talk about how bad things can get, there’s a solid message of HOPE. It’s more than just getting through this storm, it’s about prep

3 Strategies To Help Affair Proof Your Relationship

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Let me say right out of the gate that there is no way to 100% protect your relationship from infidelity. You can do and say all the right things and yet there are still some people who are pre-disposed to being unfaithful. It is a pattern, weakness or character flaw that has shown up in their life history. Why these people enter committed relationships is a mystery, and why others knowingly align themselves with someone like this is even stranger. However, I do believe the majority of affairs start with people who never dreamed they would do such a thing. I am not excusing or condoning it, I am merely stating that for THOSE people, one or more of these strategies might have helped. These strategies are not a pick one and go, but a combination of useful information that if followed will set you up for a happier, closer and more intimate bond with your partner, which I am sure is the goal of everyone who entered in a relationship for the right reasons. So, let’s go. RESP

Living Your Life By CHOICE And Not CHANCE

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Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” Many of us float through life with that voice in our head and blame our current conditions on this simple cute line from a Tom Hanks movie. And as much as I love Tom Hanks, today I would like to suggest this statement isn’t entirely true. While a standard box of chocolates does offer an array and assortment of delicious options, one does not have to blindly bite and hope for the best. The lid, on most, contains a diagram and a description to help you pick! So, there blows THAT theory! All it takes is a moment to read, think and consider and your culinary outcome is determined by CHOICE and not CHANCE! As should be our lives. Now I understand there are many things we have no control over. But I do believe there are times and situations where we can make conscious and informed decisions instead of drifting through life with no rudder or helm. Let’s explore this for a minute.

My Date With Murphy (‘s Law)

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So, I’m not a big believer in ‘signs’. I think things just happen the way they happen. But recently I had a date and the prelude to it was filled with so many missteps and fluke occurrences, it was hard not to feel like Murphy was joining me. By the way, do you know the origin of the phrase Murphy’s Law, which basically states ‘if anything can go wrong, it will’? It started in 1949 at Edwards Air Force Base and named after Captain Edward Murphy who was an engineer working on a project dealing with the body’s response to sudden deceleration. After finding faulty wiring by his technician, he made the statement, “If there is any way to do it wrong, he will find it.” This immediately became known as Murphy’s Law and was even documented in the project paperwork. When the Air Force gave the final report on the project it was said that the good safety record of the project was due to the belief in Murphy’s Law and the necessity to work around it. The key to working around it is being p