4 Steps To A Life Changing Journey Of Personal Freedom

Hello Everyone;

I am a day late for the Making Love Monday post but I decided to post it late rather than wait until next week. Lately, I’ve been reading a book that has changed my viewpoint or perception of people and my relationships with them. Anytime you can read a good book that changes your thought pattern for the better, it’s always worth sharing with others. The book titled: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a must read for everyone, male or female, that’s looking for a practical guide to personal freedom.

The-Four-Agreements1-1080x675Purchase the book here on Amazon

I ‘m going to share a few highlights of the book without being a spoiler alert. Basically Don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Transitioning your life to committing to these agreements is probably going to be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is doable only if you are “willing to do the work” quoted frequently by spiritual advisor, Iyanla Vanzant .  If you are able to establish the four practices your life will change dramatically! The Four Agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

I purposefully did not go into detail about the four agreements because you need to buy this book and read it for yourself.

My Ephiany

Upon reading, my eyes were opened to new possibilities for living life. Number 2 has been one of my greatest challenges to overcome especially during the inception of this blog. I of course was ecstatic to have the courage to start this journey but I quickly discovered that SOME of those I thought would share in the joy with me (family members, friends, colleagues, etc) were silent. A muted voice to my happiness. This seemed unfair and was very hurtful, but understanding that nothing others do is because of me and that what others do is really a projection of their own realty and their own dreams, I was able to turn that disappointment into a celebration of sorts because I realized that I became a reminder to them, a mirror of their dreams gone unresponsive, a reminder of their fears. I realized that they actually admired my courage to go forward with the blog, but in that same moment my courage became a reminder of their fears  of not starting or doing something they’ve always wanted to do. You see, it wasn’t about what I was doing they had a problem with, it was about what they weren’t doing for themselves that became a problem for them. Whew…this revelation has been so liberating to me! Some folks just can’t celebrate with others and I get it now, I’m over it, and I forgive them even if they didn’t ask me to but I need to keep my mind and spirit free.  On the flip side I also realize that some simply don’t care what is going on in other people’s lives, or they only care about things that are important to or beneficial to them.

I wish you much Love, Joy, and Laughter in your Journey and I hope that you read the book.

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10 Signs You’re With A Good Man…The Guide To Getting Love Right After Divorce

Happy Making Love Monday everyone;

Tomorrow is my anniversary anniversary, weddingand I could not be more happy to be married to the sweetest and most compassionate man (along with my dad) I’ve ever known. We’ve been married for 3 years but together for 5. Yes I know many of you are saying to yourself. “Just give it some time lady, he will change or your feelings will change.” But I beg to differ. What makes me so sure? Because this isn’t my first shot at love. I was married for 16 years before and I could never have written the words I just wrote above about him even after 16 years. That to me speaks volumes about getting it right the second go around.

You see the first time I was younger, immature, and more emotionally unstable. I wasn’t looking for a husband per se (although at the time I thought I was) I was actually looking for a father figure, someone who could take care of me, make decisions for me, and pretty much guide me through life. I always grew up feeling that I was not very smart, and very unsure about who I was. I guess you can just call it insecure. When you are insecure, you tend to attach yourself to people who either feed your insecurities by allowing you to stay in the fragile state by making you feel like a victim and they will protect you and make choices for you. The “It’s okay baby, I will take care of you and protect you from the bad people.” I thought my ex was my security blanket. He would tell me what I needed to become in life despite what I wanted to be, how I needed to think, and he tried to mold me into the image of the women in his head. The problem was, I began to grow, to mature and to see things more clearly. Eventually I realized that I did not marry my life partner, I married an amplified version of a father figure. Not like my dad, who has and is always  supportive and caring. This man was something very much the opposite. He was controlling, and I was stuck. Or was I? I already had one child with him and every now and then I would see tiny glimpses of hope in the marriage, but that would quickly flicker a fade whenever I did something he did not approve of.

I started going to church and grew really close to God. I was at church at least 3 times a week not including Sunday. I read the bible like it was the last edition of Harper’s Bazaar. Things were suppose to get better if I prayed I thought. Then I had the not so bright idea that maybe another child would make things better, maybe if I had a boy this time things would improve. I got pregnant and had another beautiful girl. Things again seemed good but only for a short time. I was finally seeing that my reality was going to be to live life as a single mom with two kids. I had to divorce my father figure so that I could marry my Husband. You see I really had never been married in the true sense of the word. I had only had a figment of my imagination of what marriage was supposed to be. I had to find my Husband and get rid of my father. Again I must stress that my ex was nothing in comparison to my father, but for analogy purposes I am using the term father.

Which brings me to now. I didn’t go searching for him because the good Lord says that he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing. I knew that he would have to find me but I prayed that I wouldn’t blow him off whenever he did come. Not to sound conceited by any means I am only painting a picture here, but many came and I blew them off, some I went to dinner with, but all of them ended up as nothing. I spent my time getting my master’s degree, nurturing my two daughters, adjusting to finally being free to be me, and learning who that new me was going to be. I lived this way comfortably for a while, but I continued to pray that same prayer that I would not blow him off when he finally arrived. How was I going to know when he arrived? None of the other guys seemed right for me, but how would I know for sure? I did not want to waste anymore time getting it wrong. This next time if there was going to be one, had to be foolproof, a sure thing, an ace in the whole. This made me very nervous and anxious at the same time. One day I was in my meditation time which was something that I practiced daily because it helped me keep my life and thoughts in focus. Anyways, I was in my meditation time and it was as if I had an epiphany, an ah ha moment. I would make a list of things I would need to see in my future potential husband. I felt so empowered now because finally I was in charge, I was calling the shots and I was the one deciding what was going to make ME happy. I quickly grabbed my pen and pad that I usually used as my daily To-Do list and I started writing. My hands could hardly keep up with my thoughts and some things were written like scribble but I was making my blueprint for my husband to be. I titled it: A Good Man. Here was my list:

 A good man always supports you.

a good man will always support you in what you want out of your life. He will never discourage you or make you feel as though you can’t do what you set out to do. He will be beside you every step of the way, cheering you on in your victories and comforting you during your defeats. He will let you be free to be you. He will not be a dream killer.

A good man will inspire you.

a good man will not only be supportive as above, but he will inspire you merely by being the man who he is. If he is ambitious, goal oriented, and hard-working, this will only inspire you to be a better. He should have drive and be about taking care of business no matter what his profession.

A good man will work to keep your trust.

a good man will always be trustworthy. No one should be able to tell you about your man doing anything shady or inappropriate because that would just simply be untrue. And a good man will want you to be comfortable and confident in knowing that he is trustworthy. You should never have to question his whereabouts or late night phone calls, etc. Ladies you know what kind of man I am talking about. He will understand that trust is not just handed over to someone,  it has to be earned, and then it has to be kept.

A good man will always make you feel beautiful.

a good man will understand that making you feel beautiful does not just mean telling you . It means making you feel beautiful by the way he looks at you, touches you, and treats you. He should look at you as if you are the best thing since Skippy peanut butter. I know that is so cliché but you understand where I am going. When you see yourself as fat and unattractive, he should be asking you to put on his glasses because he doesn’t see what you see at all. He should notice small details in your appearance like your new nail polish color, a new outfit, hairstyle, or that you have lost some weight. A good man will understand that whether you are in your sweatpants with no makeup and your hair pulled in a bun sitting on the couch or in your evening gown heading to an office party, when you love someone for who they truly are, everything about them becomes beautiful.

A good man does the little things.

a good man has your back when life throws its curve balls your way. Do you need the kids picked up? Do you need him to pick up dinner because you have a deadline to meet and have to work late? He knows that you love pedicures, so he grabs a gift certificate from your nail salon and tells you to treat yourself. He knows that you absolutely love lemonheads so he surprises you with a box of them. He understands that it is the little things that matter most to women and he makes sure he does it.

A good man never crosses the line.

a good man will never turns a disagreement or argument into a personal assault time against you. He should never call you out of your name or put his hands on you. A good man will remain calm and focus on the topic at hand and never go to bed angry.

A good man will open up to you.

a good man will find a way to express his emotions, fears, and even his inner most desires no matter how uncomfortable it makes him. A good man, knows how to strike a balance between what he wants to keep private while not hiding things that are important for you to know. He also knows not to keep things bottled up inside.

A good man will stand by you.

a good man commits his love and time to you without rules or requirements.  He understands that there will be good times and not so good times. There will be challenges and unexpected situations that will come. But he will always stay by your side and be your teammate through it all. Any man can be by your side on the sunny days. The real test of character is whether or not he will hold the umbrella over you during the stormy days.

A good man never lets you forget how much he loves you.

a good man will show affection towards you. He will kiss you just because, he will give you a love touch out of the blue. A good man will make you feel loved, wanted, and appreciated.

A good man loves his mother

a good man loves his mother. After all if a man doesn’t have a good relationship with his mother then how do you expect him to have one with you? Mother’s are their sons first teacher about how to love.

My list was not this organized but the headings were there. I still have the note safely tucked away to remind me of how I got to where I am now and the road I had to travel.

And as my life’s story goes on, a short time later he came. My soul mate, the man that I mapped out in my checklist. When he came, I knew it was him. Not immediately because I had to be sure that I really got it right this time. My checklist had to be tested. He passed, not because I gave him the answers, not because I had to tell him how I needed to be treated, but because he was the man God created for me a long time ago before I even started entertaining his conversation. He was the man that God spoke to my thoughts about as I sat and wrote down my list. He was made for me and hand delivered to my heart. I will keep him there without a doubt in my mind because he after all is MY HUSBAND, MY GOOD MAN and not my father.

Happy Loving

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8 Tips For A Successful Marriage Makeover

Happy making love Monday everyone. June is known as one of the most popular wedding months of the year. So before you head down that alter or to the Justice of Peace to say your I do’s or if you have already been down one of these roads, here is one of the top marital problems that may or will maybe someday affect your marriage.

It is my hope that having this info in your storehouse, may give you the upper hand you need to intervene in marital concerns before they can become a problem.

Communication

Lack of communication is probably a deal breaker in any marriage. After all if you cannot communicate properly then neither of your desires or needs are being met. It’s a given that men and women speak differently and what may take a women 30 minutes to express, a man can express in half that time. The problem is, most of the time the details are left out or the overall message is lost in communication. On the side of the women, the man is listening for about the first 10 to 15 minutes, but after that you start to sound like clanking symbols and everything you say   sounds like gibberish. So the communication is sometimes attempted but failing in its delivery. After several failed attempts to communicate, the couple stops communicating altogether. What to do?

  1. First admit that you both have a communication problem. This admission will remove the stigma created by the breakdown and will open up a new line of communication.
  2. Don’t repeat your past actions. You and your mate must not go back to the same ineffective ways of past, otherwise you will be right back to the problem.
  3. Set aside talk sessions. Carve out a period of time daily or weekly  to have your pow-wow sessions. Much longer than this could cause things to grow into numerous issues that will require longer discussions. Bottom line, don’t let things build up!
  4. Turn off cellphones, television, the kids, and any other distractions that could potentially break the flow of your conversation.
  5. Don’t interrupt each other. Decide which one of you is going to have the floor first and the other should listen intently to every word your mate is speaking. remember good communicators are also good listeners. This will be a challenge because some of the things your mate may say, could strike a nerve cord, or simply be untrue. Hear them out completely, remember you will have your chance for as rebuttal.
  6. Always begin your rebuttals with the words, “So what I am hearing you say is…” This is the best start to communication because nobody can tell you how you process words. Saying it,  will also diffuse a potentially heated moment because you are letting your mate know how you processed what they just said. It lessens the defensive element that some conversations can create.
  7. Always end your conversation on a good note. Never let your meetings end in arguments. Always end with a hug, a kiss, or kind words to one another. If the conversation did not reach a turning point and you realize another chalk talk will be necessary, try to end at a place you both can agree.  that a continuation of the matter will be needed.
  8. Set a time limit. Don’t sit and talk so long that you both grow weary and begin to think about what you are missing on tv, social media, your phone, or the kids begin to get restless and start interrupting you. Agree on a time limit from the start and either set a timer or keep track another way. The saying about you can’t rush love is true in one sense but timing is key in this sense.

Lastly, I would like to offer a good read for all couples. The book is a couple’s must have aside from the Bible and it’s called the 5 Love Languages. Written by Gary Chapman, he explains that in every relationship, there are 5 love languages present. Each couple needs to know their mates love language(s) so that they will know how to  communicate more successfully and ultimately fulfill your mates needs. The 5 love languages are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Quality Time
  5. Physical Touch

Chapman says that although your mate may possess more than one of these 5, only one of them is the dominant victor. Chapman also created an online quiz for couples to take together in order to identify their love language. Click the link below:

http://www.helloquizzy.com/tests/the-love-languages-test1

Happy Loving,

♥ Lolo

Top 5 Turn-Offs For Guys That Every Girl Needs To Know When You Are Dating

If you have lived then you have liked, it’s just life’s rules of engagement. But for some guys the dating scene has become a painful process; mainly because most women don’t even know that they are turning a guy off. They only start to wonder after he stops calling, or when he starts acting uninterested after pursuing you like a fish out of water. Well ladies the guys have spoken and I have listened. For the sake of my fellow amigas, I compiled a short list of what I consider the top 5 turn-off’s for guys that you need to know pronto.

  1. Too clingy/desperate– I am going in for the gusto from the start on this one. Ladies we are dating not mommying  our guys. Men by nature are not huge conversationalist so if you are a chatty chick and clingy you will be sure to win the record for the shortest relationships. Play it cool if you really are smitten by the new beau. Here are your rules ladies
  • don’t answer every phone call when he calls. Let some go to voice mail and wait an hour or two before calling back.
  • cut the date short before he ends it sometimes. Tell him you’ve had a long day or you have a busy day the next day and you want to turn in early.
  • Follow the 90 day rule before allowing intimacy. You have a 90 day probationary period on your job before the company sees if you and them are a good fit, so why not use the same reasoning in a relationship? I’m just saying.

2. Always Talking about your Ex- Ladies your ex is your ex for a reason so why bring him and all of the problems that made him your ex into your relationship? Duh…if you find comparisons of your current to your ex then maybe you need to take a hiatus from relationships altogether and go see a therapist to discuss why you keep being attracted to the same type of guys.

3. Being too easy-This part is piggy backing off of my rules of engagement part from the being too clingy where I talked about the 90 day rule. Of course intimacy  is a beautiful thing and it is very enjoyable (in most instances) but it isn’t intimacy if you haven’t established a relationship, it is just sex! Also watch the way you dress. Don’t dress too provocative if that’s not how you want him to view you.  As Bey says in her one of songs: “A women should be a lady in the street and a freak in the you know what.”

4. Too Overbearing- Now on the flip side of the easies are the overbearing. Ladies you want to linger somewhere in between the two. Like I said earlier you are not his mommy. You don’t need a son you need a man. It kills me when I hear women refer to their mate as one of their kids. Unless you are a pedophile that is just “Goofy” (Thanks for the word Ashley) . He can make his own decisions, after all he was making them before you came along. Overbearing women can breed a resentful man and you don’t want that.

5. Gossiping- Let’s face it, women like to gossip. It’s an innate nature given to us from our mothers. We grew up with the play dates where the children played while the moms sat around and talked about all the single women in the neighborhood or the latest scandal. But for men this can be a turnoff. Even if there is truth to your claims, it can make you come across as a trouble maker, a pot stirrer. You don’t want him to mistake you for a bad person. You want him to see you as the good catch that you are.

I am so sure there are plenty more turn offs but these are the top issues that the men I spoke with have with us. I also confirmed it with my dad who is old school and he shared the same sentiments. I hope you find these pointers helpful. Happy dating.

Are any of you ladies guilty of any of these? Are there any men out there that have more to points to add?

♥ Lolo