Dealing with Financial Income Inequality in Marriage

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Arguments over money are the number one reason for marital stress. Couples often have different ideas about their role in earning and spending the household finances. When one spouse makes considerably more money than the other, guilt, resentment, and power struggles can also come into play. For the sake of your marriage, it’s important to understand the stress financial inequality can have on your relationship. Doing so can help alleviate misunderstandings and strengthen your marriage.

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Why Making Time for Vacation is Important

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Family vacations were a high point for me growing up. It was a time to explore and learn about the world. We didn’t have a lot of money and that required a bit of creativity. I consider myself lucky that my parents took the time for breaks in their schedule to spend time with us.

A simple definition of ‘vacation’ is a time when someone is away from home, school or work, in order to relax or travel. I like to think of it as an intermission from your normal, daily life.

Many of us have a tendency to push ourselves too much and ignore the chronic stress that comes with that constant drive to achieve something.  In the U.S. we tend to take “time off” for granted and treat it as a type of luxury. It’s not. We all need a break.

Expedia did a study called Vacation Deprivation and found that a vacation for most can just be “a remote office away from the office.” People are still engaging with work, taking calls, and checking email regularly (guilty!).  And a lot of paid vacation goes unused for various reasons.

We’ve all had a conversation about work-life balance and its relevance. But are you actually doing something to create that needed healthy balance?

After our recent family vacation before school started, it was a great reminder that taking a break – a vacation – is healthy and a key part of stress reduction. Here are 7 reasons why it’s important to schedule vacation on a regular basis: Continue reading

Spot It You Got it

point Many of us have heard the phrase, “When you point your finger at someone else, remember you have three fingers pointed back at you.”  It took me a long time to truly get an understanding for this phrase.  It wasn’t until going into recovery for codependence that I finally realized what it meant.  Now, it is a sort of tool that I use to help guide myself in my own recovery.

One of my biggest problems was judging and criticizing others.  I would blame them for things that I had a hand in, and I would comment on how something they were doing was irritating me.  When I began recovery, I started looking at myself rather than others.  In doing my fourth step,  my eyes were truly opened to my behaviors and actions.  Suddenly, I realized I was all of the things I saw in others that bothered me about them.  That’s why they bothered me so much! Continue reading

How to See a Beautiful Person in the Mirror

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Society has allowed our notion of beauty to go awry. Countless women–and not just women–look in the mirror and see a reflection of inadequacy. They have fallen short of an ideal that was defective to begin with. But conditioned since childhood to equate a “perfect” body with being beautiful, they blame themselves for being the defective one.

The situation is filled with cruel ironies. Children are naturally beautiful until they are taught to stop thinking that way and to start measuring themselves by an unnatural standard. Even the small percentage of women who are super-model thin suffer anxiety over gaining a pound. The first gray hair and wrinkles create panic. The worship of perfection belies the epidemic of obesity that constitutes reality for millions.

The problem has been diagnosed many times without a workable solution. One study after another has proven without a doubt that fad diets don’t work; in fact, the chances of becoming obese are higher for chronic dieters. Billions of dollars spent on cosmetics and plastic surgery have done nothing to solve a prevailing sense of not being beautiful enough. All of this points to a single underlying issue: a woman’s sense of lack. Continue reading

Is There One “Best” Type of Temperament? Or Tendency?

thomasmerton“Temperament does not predestine one man to sanctity and another to reprobation. All temperaments can serve as the material for ruin or for salvation…It does not matter how poor or how difficult a temperament we may be endowed with. If we make good use of what we have, if we make it serve our good desires, we can do better than another who merely serves his temperament instead of making it serve him.”

–Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

This passage from Merton caught my attention, because of my Four Tendencies framework for personality.

In that framework, I divide all of humanity into four types: Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. (Want to find out what you are? The Quiz is here. Almost 500,000 people have taken it.) Continue reading

The Biggest Lie on Earth: The Apocalyptic Smoking Gun

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The most important questions we can ask ourselves are oftentimes the most difficult to answer. Where did we come from? What is our purpose? What is our destiny? I’ve come to find the answers to these questions are influenced by dominating worldviews – a set of archetypes or thought-models, which are bolstered by inheritance, general acceptance and mainstream influence.

Viable challenges to the mainstream rendition of human history have emerged with discoveries of mysterious ancient structures and complexes throughout the world, yet the biggest challenge is unnoticed because the lie, which has been proliferated for over 100 years, is part of the collective consciousness. Continue reading

Scribbles

Wind blown.

Economic growth is important for the well being of families, communities, and cultures. Economic growth cannot occur without a certain degree of inspiration that leads to innovation. The myth that only certain people are inspired needs to be dispelled, and what needs to be realized is that anyone, regardless of their current state in life can be inspired, express their creativity, and be innovative enough to start something that can blossom and flourish into an entrepreneurial enterprise that not only enhances themselves, rather also it enhances everyone impacted by it. Continue reading

Is Reality Trying to Tell You Something?

A photo by Kayla Gibson. unsplash.com/photos/7KHYZ4eqSIw

One of the greatest puzzles facing each of us is whether the events in our lives form a pattern, and if so, what does the pattern mean. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” Some people say it in passing, others take it more seriously. But officially, if we accept the basic scientific principle that the physical world operates essentially through random chance, it’s not credible to believe that we live in a universe that has purpose and meaning. We can ask when the big bang occurred but not why. We can investigate how sodium and chlorine combine to form salt, but it makes no sense, scientifically, to ask the purpose of salt. Salt and the big bang just are.

Since the question of meaning and purpose are deeply embedded in religion, let’s set those claims aside. If God or the gods control human life, this is a matter of faith, not science. Humans have constructed faith-based systems for many centuries, of course. Placing an invisible higher power at the center of reality, a power who judges right from wrong, who punishes and rewards according to divine morality, is simply outside the rules developed by science and secular society. There are enough glitches in those rules without hauling God into the argument.

Those glitches center around a simple observation. Human life has meaning and purpose. The physical world, absent humans, doesn’t. When we are motivated by love or fear, when we make moral choices or create a vision of a better life, there is no doubt that human beings not only value meaning and purpose, we have evolved, along with the higher brain, to support meaning and purpose. Since Darwinian evolution allows for only genetic mutations, how did DNA, which is built from completely ordinary atoms and molecules, acquire any more meaning than salt? Or if DNA isn’t linked to the meaning of life, how can there be meaning and purpose outside our genes? Continue reading

Black and White Thinking

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Growing up with an alcoholic parent, we were taught to see things in extremes.  It was either the best possible thing that could ever happen, or the worst possible thing that could ever happen.  Our parents had been taught, and were passing on to us, the lesson that people in the world are good or bad, right or wrong, smart or stupid, strong or weak.  If something bad happened, we often heard phrases such as, “I should just give up, then.”  Our world was framed around these extremes.  We have extreme reactions to situations and people in order to get what we want.

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The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born to Travel

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If you look at history and the human tendency to travel to far-flung areas of the planet, you may begin to suspect there’s something in the human genome that causes this compulsive wandering behavior. You may become even more convinced of this genetic tendency if you have ever traveled to what you thought was a distant corner of the earth and met up with someone from your very own town or neighborhood. It appears that some humans are driven to explore and seek out new environments, a human habit which has caused some scientists to consider whether there is a “travel gene” that contributes to the behavior. Continue reading

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