Archive for the 'Earth' Category

Getting the Hurt We Believe We Deserve

Friday, October 10th, 2014

silhouette3resized“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”  -Buddha

 

I have come to believe that so many relationships are so hurtful because we believe that is the love we deserve. For years after my parents’ divorce, I watched my mother have a 30- year affair with a man who would never really show up for her in the ways she needed. She would end it over and over again after holidays or her birthday when she was alone, and then after they would get back together, she would go on about how this is enough for her. This was all the love that she believed she deserved. My friendships during my adolescent years mostly, were like hers- and left me feeling wanting, not pretty enough, not good enough. Like many of us, I learned how to have relationships that belittled and hurt me. My earliest romantic relationships went from bad to worse, yet even through my tearful protestations that I deserved someone who would love me, I continuously attracted boys who didn’t see me or care about me. Basically I got the hurt that I believed I was worthy of.

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Intimate Violence

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

domvi1resized“In violence we forget who we are.” -Mary McCarthy

 

Seeing a pro-football player knock out his girlfriend on an elevator video captures our collective attention. The league is held responsible for not taking the violence seriously, giving the offender a two game suspension, and then, after the public outcry, they expel him indefinitely. Intimate crimes persist, in part, because we don’t want to see them, and it isn’t just among our celebrities and sports heroes that we look beyond domestic violence. The numbers are mind-boggling. In a lifetime, one of four women are seriously physically abused by their intimate partners, which means that you probably know someone who has been or is being abused. Unbelievable but true- 15% of all violent crimes committed between 2003 and 2012 were by intimate partners. Although men are also sometimes victims, they are the perpetrators in 90% of the cases according to a 2002 report.

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Engaging Our Breakthroughs

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

nightsky2“…Having breakthroughs isn’t the point.  Living them is.  Seeing in a new way is only the beginning.” -Martha Beck

 

I find myself sobbing in a bathroom stall in the Chicago airport on my way to a meeting across the country, thinking “has it really come to this?” Grief catches up to us in unexpected places and times. The airport bathroom scene was triggered by sitting near a young family with four kids on the plane I had just unboarded, recognizing the finality of my active mom days that has shaped my world for over 25 years.  It occurred to me, as I walked the endless corridors between gates, that we spend the first half of life building, acquiring and creating what we are then required to let go of in the second half. On some moving walkway an emotional breakthroughs comes through me, unannounced like the change of the sudden thunderstorm over head, and I realize that this grief of mine is a privilege that I earned. This breakthrough in thinking lifted me and gratitude replaced my despair.

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Let Love In

Friday, August 8th, 2014

gratefulgirl5“I know what I have given you.  I do not know what you have received.” -Antonio Porchia

 

Perhaps the most salient recognition that we can make about our relationships is that we have no real control over what someone else receives from us, and moreover, often we are not even aware of how our love is transmitted to someone else. This explains the strange yet common phenomenon of long-term relationship’s endings and the surprising conversations, which demonstrate this very fact. Two people who inhabit a single relationship are often in two very different relationships.

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Flexing Your Love Muscles

Friday, July 25th, 2014

coupledoor4 “Love is natural, but loving well doesn’t come naturally.”  -Rachel W., Love Agent

 

Celebrating the joys and successes of people we love is a more powerful glue of connection than providing support or consolation for life’s challenges and disappointments. Equally powerful are the small ways that we intentionally communicate to our partners how they hold a special place in our life and hearts. Ironically, this is where many relationships fall short. It was a Love Agent’s feedback that made me think about this simple, yet often overlooked aspect of loving someone else.

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Saying Yes

Friday, July 18th, 2014

carcouple“Dream as if you’ll live forever.  Live as if you’ll die today.” -James Dean

 

It takes a lot of courage to get what we want. It seems counterintuitive, but I witness how many people refuse the goodness coming towards them, the goodness that they created themselves.   It’s like there is some default setting on our hearts that clicks off right when we get to the edge of what we have been striving for. In retrospect, we could go back to those moments and realize it would have been just one change of mind that would have altered the course of events. Getting to that different way of seeing and lifting the veils from our perspective is the most challenging, yet gratifying work in which we can engage. It is the way we change the fundamental feel of our life and it starts by saying yes.

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All of Me

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

dancingcouple“Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…” -John Legend

Sometimes I begin believing that my philosophy of love and relationships is so outmoded that I am an oddball relic from some historic past when love reigned. And then, just like that, out of one of my teenagers’ room, I hear a new song wafting under the door and it catches me in the hall – knowing the voice but not having heard these words before. John Legend’s new ballad “All of Me” has been playing in my head for days now. I wake up in the morning with his soothing tenor voice serenading the start of my day. I think it has been on constant repeat because a few of the lines could be used to define what we do for love when we are open to its power to transform us into the best version of ourselves.

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Mothering Ourselves

Friday, May 9th, 2014

momngirls“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” -Meryl Streep

 

If you haven’t yet seen the replay of Kevin Durant dedicating his MVP award to his mother, I urge you to look for this rare, heartfelt tribute to mothering. The selflessness that this NBA star demonstrates for those who have held him up is a direct testament to the loving embrace in which his mother held him. This is the kind of mother’s love that Abraham Lincoln referred to when he said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.” Truly, a mother’s love is the first love we know and unlike any other relationship we ever have. Those who are born into such a love walk through life differently than the rest of us. The ground under their feet is somehow more solid and the inevitable injuries of life don’t stick in quite the same way. People well loved by their mothers approach relationships differently too, they have more of themselves to give and need less.

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Can You Change?

Friday, April 25th, 2014

desert “Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.” -Phillip Shepherd

 

I still remember the summer afternoon I met my designer, Benjamin, who has made my work beautiful and real since 2010. He had never answered a Craigslist ad before, but some kind of synchronicity occurred and he called me to set up a meeting, as he was coming down from Portland to sign up another much larger client. He walked into the little house we then used as our office. It was hot because the windows were stuck and closed in the heat. He looked me squarely and asked simply, “Can you change?” I sat for a moment, considering and then said, “Yes, I can change. I think so.” This is the only real question that defines every relationship we are part of, including and most importantly, with ourselves.

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To Be Yourself

Friday, March 7th, 2014

beachwomanresized“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Tomorrow starts my tenth Natural Products Expo West show, and yesterday, as I was setting up my booth space I was overcome with both the sweet memories of the decade past and the recognition of the vast shift that has happened to this industry. I started out with many of the best-known national brands in their early stages. We had parties on rebuilt buses and caroused late into the night, sharing inspiring stories of product discoveries, marketing mistakes and miraculous sales opportunities.  Brands then were individuals with a passion.  Those days are mostly gone as venture capital and corporate takeovers have remolded the landscape and feel of the natural products space. Maybe it is because I am a late bloomer and am just now prepared to take the bold steps of capitalizing Good Clean Love that I am so keenly aware of this shift, or maybe it is the immensity of this expo circus that left me reeling. Whatever it was, I found myself in tears, lost to my sense of accomplishment and direction, coming up short to everything around me.

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