Tag Archives: Anniversary

5 Tips for Writing the Perfect Love Letter

shutterstock_67207468Yesterday was National Love Note Day, but I like to think that any day is a good time to tell someone that you love them. Love notes also don’t automatically have to go to a romantic partner – they can go to siblings or parents or friends, anyone that you want to know that you care for them.

Writing love notes – whether platonic or romantic – can be daunting though. Maybe we try too hard to be Shakespeare or Cummings, setting the expectations so high that we give up before we even begin and miss the entire point. In belated celebration of Love Note Day though I say we put those fears aside, break out pen and paper and give our hearts a voice. Still reluctant? I’ve compiled a few tips to help you out. Let’s get romantic, Intent.

    • Set the mood – The best love letters are written when you allow yourself to be vulnerable. The only way that happens is if you write from a comfortable place. For me, that’s at my desk in pajamas and listening to a playlist of songs I’ve curated that remind me of the person I’m writing to/about. For you it could be writing from bed or in the kitchen with the TV playing in the background. Maybe you want to light a candle and dim the lights – whatever allows you to get into the head and heart space that connects with how you feel about your love note recipient.
    • Find an anchor – Why are you writing the note? Is it an anniversary? Great, start by thinking of your favorite memories over the past year with this person. Are you in a long distance relationship? Then you should be mentally compiling the things you miss about that person. Are you saying thank you for them being there during a difficult time? Begin asking yourself why that meant so much to you and how were they able to comfort you. Knowing the motivation for the note gives it a purpose. This helps keep the note grounded and helps you avoid going on tangents. Words mean more when there’s a reason to say them (and yes the reason can be just because you love them – but you still have to answer why).
    • Be honest (and yourself!) – This isn’t your high school chemistry homework, so don’t cheat! Have faith that if you’re moved to be writing your affections and/or gratitude for this person down that they share the same feelings for you. For you – not Pablo Naruda or the sappy movie you found on Netflix. The point of a love note is for you to tell someone you love them, so they should be able to hear it in your voice. When you carbon copy from someone else you’re just telling your note recipient about that other person’s feelings. Why should they care about that? Use your own experiences as inspiration and allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to respond to them. How’d it feel the first time you held their hand? What was the first moment you knew this was a person you wanted in your life? How’d you know? The most romantic things to say are already inside of you, you just have to allow yourself to let them out.
    • Avoid clichés and euphemisms. Be specific – If you’ve already started and there is a line about your recipient’s “ocean colored orbs” then throw it away right now. We can argue that saccharine euphemisms like that are an example of dishonesty, but moreso they are generic and…awful. It’s fair game to talk about the recipient’s physical attributes, but make them as specific to them as you can. So instead of “I love your smile” try “I love the way you laugh with your entire body; the way your head tips back and your hands clap as if it’s the most hilarious thing you’ve heard. I love that it take such a small thing to touch you but you give your all to it.” Look how much more you’re telling that person! It not only shows that you’re paying attention, but that you appreciate these details about them, that the way they laugh tells you something genuine about their spirit. Be specific and you won’t have to worry about about sounding like a Hallmark card and the details are what can make a good love note truly great.
    • Get creative with metaphors – For those looking to take their note writing skills to the next level, try mapping what you want to say over something else you’re passionate about. Since I majored in music in college and spent most of my formative years at concerts or listening to my iPod I often find musical metaphors slipping into affectionate notes I write. Heartbeats become drums, voices are melody and the relationship as a whole is a song, etc. You’re still required to be honest and follow the rules above, but metaphors help you say things in a creative new way, especially if this isn’t your first time at the love note rodeo. I’ve seen both sailing and kite flying as great metaphors for love. I once managed to use eating trail mix as a metaphor for learning patience in a new relationship. You can use anything as long as you’re comfortable, anchored, honest and specific.

Do you have any advice for writing love letters? Share with us in the comments below! 

Honoring My Mother on the Anniversary of Her Passing

Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 10.26.43 AMIt’s a practice of healing and cleansing, one of renewal and expansion. As the shift happens, a rawness sets in. It is a total unshielding of spirit/heart/energy…whatever you choose to call it, it really doesn’t matter as it is one in the same. Once the breakthrough has taken place through yoga, you can’t hide.

Today she would have been 73. And fabulous.

A few sweet notes came in, three or four from family. I rolled through the day aware, but unfazed. I have been through 7 birthdays now without her, and 7 deathdays. I don’t miss her any differently on these days as I find little significance to the anniversary and birthday. Every day, any day, could be one of those dates. All those dates hold is one moment in time where she came, and left. There is an entire lifetime in between, so those are the days l choose to celebrate and honor.

Or do I? Is this my triumphant ego talking of my healing path? Am I seeing what is really happening here? Today, I had a distracted morning yoga session. Happy but not, light but heavy, sorta wanted to be there sorta didn’t. The class I taught in the evening was about the same. “Totally disconnected to spirit,” was how I described my feelings to a friend after class. Without seeing the connection to the importance of the day, I chose to teach heart openers themed on balance between all facets of ourselves needing acceptance, honor, and love. All facets include flaw, beauty, scar, perfection, imperfection, insecurity, spark, and even consciously choosing dark when light is handed over on a white glove. In order to live a life of honor and self-love, we must self-love all of it. Just as we need to deeply feel pain so we feel joy in even greater measure, we must also honor the dark and the dingy so we can even more so love the easier to love pieces that ignite us.

It wasn’t until 9:30 this evening that I realized why I had been off all day. It wasn’t so much that I was full of sorrow and pain, it was that I hadn’t taken the time out to honor her. It has taken me years to get to a place where the pain of losing her isn’t so strong it shows up physically in my body. As much as I don’t want these days to be of significance, as much as my ego would like to decide when and where I shall feel…the heart doesn’t follow suit. My energy body needed to honor and love her. My soul needed to connect with her through some kind of ceremony. Living in a much more raw and unshielded place these days, it just doesn’t fly anymore to let my mind do the driving.

For my 36th birthday last month a friend gave me a tuberose candle that has two wicks. Unbeknownst to her, it was my mom’s favorite scent. I lit two flames tonight, laid for a few minutes with each of my sleeping babes, ate rainier cherries (her favorite), and sat in the quiet to write this piece.

It doesn’t need to be a big production to quietly and ceremoniously honor the heart. It doesn’t need much…just a little attention, some raw love, honor, and recognition.

Heart mended for the time being, maybe even on its way to being healed.

8 Cute (And Cheap) Ways To Celebrate Your Anniversary With Your Sweetheart

Is your anniversary with your sweetheart coming up? Whether you are celebrating your six-month, one year or five year, celebrating an anniversary is a wonderful way to rekindle old flames and remind each other how special your relationship is.

Celebrating a romantic anniversary doesn’t mean you have to go broke ordering a fancy dinner or going on a cruise. Here are 8 cheap and cute ways to celebrate that lovey-dovey milestone with your one and only.

1. Have a romantic staycation. Be homebodies at home, but with an extra touch of romance. Like take-out with tea light candles and a shared bubble bath. The usual home-cooked dinner and rented movie but with an extra-special bottle of wine and some decadent dessert. No hassle of taking reservations or leaving tip.

2. Make a day-trip of all the monumental places in your neighborhood that mean something to both of you. Have a whirlwind journey of all the places that only both of you would understand why it’s so special: the restaurant of the first date, the pier where that funny memory happened, that hole-in-the-wall  ice cream parlor you both discovered together on that random Friday night.

3. Go to that local attraction you’ve been meaning to go to for ages.  All of us are guilty of being lazy about enjoying our own neighborhood attractions because we take it for granted that it will always be there. Celebrate your anniversary by going to that one museum, state park, nature hike, botanical garden, funky dessert cafe or concert hall you’ve both been meaning to go for ages but have been putting off.

4. Enjoy a retro date. Where’s your poodle skirt and cat-eyes glasses? Enjoy love and romance with your honey bunny like it’s 1959: go roller-skating, find a drive-in, share an ice cream sundae at a soda shop and more.

5. Make something for each other. Go to one of those kitschy Color Me Mine stores where you and your sweetheart can make each other a personalized ceramic mug or plate. Or if you’re one of those super-ambitious creative types, make each other a small painting to hang on each other’s walls.

6. Find a cute and cheap way to document your very special day. Maybe your starving artist friend would be willing to snap some photographs of you and your soul mate for a very affordable fee for one afternoon photo session in the park. Or with a flip came and iMovie, you and your loved one can make a very short and sweet internet video that you can watch for years to come when you want to take a stroll down memory lane.

7. Learn something together. Many community classes offer very good discounts for first-time students who are trying out an activity for free. Maybe this is the day to learn ballroom dancing, take a cooking class, surfing class or to try bikram yoga for the first time together.

8. Check out some amazing flower fields in your area. Maybe your state has some awe-inspiring flower parks where you and your lover can hold hands, meander among colorful bloom and fall in love again.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / dmitri_morozov

Originally published in 2010

How My Soul Found Its Mate

I can’t remember the exact age that the visions started, but even as a little girl, I regularly saw visions of a single, dark-colored wolf. Figuring that people would think me crazy and haul me away in a straight jacket, I kept this secret entirely to myself for close to two decades.

 In my mid-twenties, I decided to attend meditation classes with a remarkable woman who I later learned is a shaman and an intuitive. Toward the end of a wonderfully peaceful meditation, she paused and asked if she could offer each person in the class a unique message to help us with our spiritual growth. Everyone agreed. She looked at me and said she’d end with me because her message for me was so strong she wouldn’t forget it. I waited as she shared a beautiful message for each person. Based on the large smiles and the nodding heads, I could tell her messages seemed to be exactly what each person needed to hear.
Then her eyes met mine and without further hesitation she bluntly asked me, “do you ever see wolves?” I hadn’t intended sharing this incredibly personal experience with a group of strangers, especially since I had never told even my closest friends or family members at that time. “Yes,” I sheepishly answered. “Do you know what it means?” Now I was ecstatic to hear that question because I sensed a meaningful answer might follow. For those two decades I felt a bit anxious about these visions because I didn’t have a clue what they meant. I had grown up in what I considered a fairly “normal” Canadian family, without any exposure to shamanism, or anything else that might give me insights into this recurring vision.
The shaman quickly responded telling me that it was my animal totem in shamanic traditions and that it meant someone who would be a teacher, particularly a spiritual teacher, and represented someone with strong loyalties, and a family-oriented person, among other things. I was intrigued and relieved to finally have a clue into these occurrences. 
I continued to attend the meditation classes for some time. Close to a year later, I awoke one morning during a weekend visit to my parents’ house. I clearly saw a vision of an almost white-colored wolf. I had never seen a light-colored wolf in any of my previous visions. It was accompanied with a powerful understanding that this wolf represented my soulmate. I felt an inner knowing that I had never felt before: it was time to be with my soulmate. I was elated and petrified all at once. I was in a long-term relationship and I suddenly realized this man was not the person I was meant to be with.
Again, I told no one. My family and friends would probably not understand that I was leaving a seemingly good relationship because of a vision of a white wolf. Even I recognized that this seemed crazy. But the feeling was so strong that I knew I had to follow my instincts. I left the relationship and went out on my own. Petrified that I might be wrong, I cried long and often. 
About three months later I registered for a class that I had tried to take five previous times. Each time before, something would go wrong that prevented me from taking this class. I decided to give the course one last try. If it didn’t work out, I decided, than it simply wasn’t meant to be. 
On the first day of the course, I arrived early, took a seat and waited for the class to start. Suddenly the most beautiful man walked through the door and smiled the warmest, most genuine smile I had ever seen. My immediate reaction was to say, “Hi! How are you?” the way someone who hadn’t seen their best friend in years might say it. I realized that such an excited reaction might be odd to him and, instead, I simply smiled. But inside, I knew that this man was the white wolf I had seen in my vision a few months earlier. That night and the following week, I kept sensing his eyes on me and when I’d turn my head, he would smile again. I felt like a school girl. Well, in essence I was, albeit a fairly mature one. 
I got the nerve to ask him out for a date, to which he immediately agreed. I learned that he was fascinated by wolves and had pictures of them on his walls as a child. The more I learned about this incredibly man, the more I feel deeply in love with him, even though it was clearly “love at first sight.” And, to my great excitement, he seemed to be head-over-heels in love with me too. We married soon afterward and I am proud to share that on Valentine’s Day, we are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary! These years have been the best of my life. I am fortunate to share them with such a beautiful soul!
But, there’s more to this story… I had always dreamed of moving to the Rocky Mountains. I asked Curtis if he would consider moving there. Fully supportive of this dream, he agreed and we made all the necessary plans. Living about 3500 miles away we relied on the internet to help us with our home search. We made an offer on a house and with the condition that we could decline if we didn’t like it after we saw it in person. After giving the realtor all the conditions of the offer I asked him to tell me the street address of the house, since it wasn’t listed anywhere. I laughed out loud when he said, “37 Wolf Drive.” Again, the wolf vision had led me to exactly the right path.
Circumstances took us away from that area but a couple of years ago, Curtis and I drove through the Rocky Mountains. To our excitement, we spotted two wolves—in the exact town in which I have always dreamed of living. We’re not there yet, but I know the wolf visions and this rare wolf sighting mean it’s just a matter of time. 
In the meantime, I thank Spirit/God/the Universe/the Divine for communicating with me through my visions and intuition, but mostly I am thankful for the opportunity to share life with my wonderful soulmate! It definitely exists!
Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, CNC, is a six-time and best-selling book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. She is a doctor of natural medicine, holistic nutritionist, and holistic life coach®. Visit: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com to learn more.


7 Years Later

Like everyone, I know exactly where I was when the planes hit the World Trade Center: In my case, I was working in London, just a couple of months into the biggest job of my life. I’d moved to the UK after 13 years as a New Yorker; except for college, I’d spent nearly all of my adult life living in Manhattan. Since the UK is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Time, it was around 2 pm when I saw the second plane hit and heard a BBC announcer say, "That one was no accident," referring to the early assumptions that the first plane was some sort of horrible accident.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...