Arguments - The Losing Side of a Relationship

Arguments - The losing side of a relationship -In the 34 years that I have been doing psychic counseling, it is only in the past 10 years that I have been involved with couples counseling. One thing I have noticed with many couples, whether those couples are a man and a woman, two women, or two men, is that there is often a lack of real and meaningful communication. This lack of communication causes small conflicts to become heated arguments where issues are not resolved because both partners are trying to make their points and are not even listening to what the other person has to say. Nothing can ever be resolved when one person raises his or her voice with what only appears to the other person to be demands. The effect of this is that the other person feels as if they are being scolded like a parent scolds a child and this causes the person to close up in a defensive posturing attitude where they don't listen to what the other person is saying. This intensifies the problem because when the person who is relating the problem area in their life feels that they are being shut out, or ignored, by their partner there is no meaningful dialog which allows a resolution to be achieved. The only resolution to the problem is for one or both partners to bring the subject up again, which might only create the same result. Instead of being resolved this issue now smolders like a hot ember, and this can make for an emotional forest fire!
The way I try to resolve issues like this is to teach couples how to discuss issues instead of just yelling and having the entire situation turning into World War III. There are several steps couples can take to have a good, open, and loving discussion, and to reduce the friction in their relationship by learning to resolve the very important issues that cause them to misunderstand each others feelings.
One of the most effective steps I teach couples is to express their anger, fears, aggravations, and concerns to their partner. This allows them the freedom of opening up without the fear of confrontation. It is a very simple method, but has certain rules which must be followed.
One of the ways I teach couples to do this is to encourage them to write a journal to document the issues in their relationship which they feel are causing problems. Detail is very important here. They must also devote an hour of uninterrupted time each week for open discussion. This discussion has to occur on the same day, and at the same time, and becomes a weekly ritual for the couple. During this hour, each of the partners has 30 minutes to read from their journal. While each partner reads their journal, the other partner cannot interrupt, or make any comments. After this hour, I encourage each partner to spend some time alone, and to reflect upon what they have just heard. They must also remember not to have any discussion about what has just been said. However, they can add some of this new information into their journals for the following week’s discussion. This method is not a quick fix for a troubled relationship, but most couples are amazed that after several months they are now working together to resolve the problems in their relationship.
One of the most complex interactions we face in life is the relationship with our partners. There is often some initial spark which brings two people together, but for a relationship to thrive it requires communication, cooperation, and compromise. This is only one of the many techniques which can be used to help couple resolve issues, but by teaching couples how to effectively communicate, it helps to strengthen the foundations of their relationship.
George Ministeri
PsychicHelp@GeorgeMinisteri.com">PsychicHelp@GeorgeMinisteri.com
http://www.GeorgeMinisteri.com
George Ministeri is an internationally acclaimed psychic, and intuitive counselor with over 30 years experience. Visit his website at http://www.GeorgeMinisteri.com to discover more about who George Ministeri is and how his psychic readings have benefited his clients.

"Your Perfect Partner"

A woman we'll call "Jane" thought she was a great "catch" and a "perfect partner" but she wondered why her relationships always seemed to fail.

Here's what she wrote to us--

"I dated men of various ages and cultures but all my relationships ended up in disaster. I constantly searched, hoping for love to come my way. Then I started reading your newsletters. I carried a lot of personal baggage from my past and set unrealistic standards and expectations for my lovers hoping they would fail because I was afraid to fail. I was afraid they would hurt me and disappoint me, so I made sure I would be in control when they did."

In this situation, Jane has an incredible opportunity in front of her. She can continue as she has been, being fearful and attracting people who will disappoint her or she can learn from what she has discovered about her patterns from the past.

It's been our experience that we attract the people into our lives who show us what we need to heal within ourselves, new possibilities for the future, and the contrast of what we want and don't want in our lives.

We take the rather contrarian view that there are no relationship mistakes or failures and only opportunities to heal, learn, grow and experience joy.

Even though "Jane" thought her relationships were failures, each one was actually another chance to become more emotionally aware of what was going on inside her, what she wanted for her life and to give her an opportunity to heal and create new ways to do it differently.

What we have found is that we keep attracting the same type of person, not just intimate partners, and experiences into our lives until we heal the past and "do itdifferently."

Otto's car is a black Buick Century with leather seats. He's very hot natured and since we live in Ohio where the summers are very hot and humid, he suffers in his "hot" car. He loved the way the car looked on the showroom floor, but his day-to-day experience has given him a powerful lesson of what he doesn't want in a car. As you can imagine, he's made a clear intention through the power of contrast that his next car will not be black or have leather seats.

He had an opportunity to learn this lesson when he was 18 years old and drove a black Ford Pinto station wagon with no air-conditioning to Tampa, Florida at the beginning of August. He swore then as he sat in traffic with sweat dripping onto the steering wheel that he'd never have another black car.

Obviously, he hadn't learned this lesson so he needed to bring another black car into his experience.

The point is that Otto has finally learned from this valuable experience and will do it differently the next time, although he really likes a lot about his current car.

This story is an example of coming to an awareness of what you want and what you don't want and of learning from past experiences that are not "failures" but are opportunities for expansion and growth.

Please don't misunderstand us and think that we are recommending that because you don't like something about your current partner or job that you "throw them away" and get another "model."

What we are recommending is that you take the opportunity to become emotionally aware, like "Jane" did, as much of the time as possible. Decide that you deserve to have a great relationship and a great life, whatever that means to you.

We are inviting you to learn from the past and the power of contrast so that you can begin creating the life you want.

Here are some ideas to help you...

1. Whenever something is important to you, don't stuff it down and pretend it doesn't matter. Have the courage to share it with your partner.

2. Accept responsibility for your part in past relationships that haven't worked out the way you wanted them to work out. Look for reoccurring patterns that will showyou where you need to heal.

3. Know that there's no such thing as failure in relationships, only experiences that you may not have enjoyed.

4. Embrace the idea that no matter what has happened in your relationships up until now, the future can be different.

So in a sense, each person who comes into our lives is "the perfect partner" for us if we use these experiences that we have with them to heal, learn and grow.

at 8:38 AM

Plus Size Bra Fitting Guide - The Inside Story

Plus size women must have a good bra fit and comfort to look fabulous in their clothes. The standard sizing system of measuring in the band area and around the breasts doesn’t address all the issues of women who wear plus size bras. It is a starting point, but not the whole picture. Over 35 million of us wear size 14 and up. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 of us are wearing the wrong size bra. The list below has some tips to help you understand why you are having plus size bra fitting issues and how to fix them.

The best way to determine your bra size or find more comfortable plus size bras is to take out all the bras you already own. Note what you like and dislike about each bra. Once you go through this list below you will have a better understanding of your own plus size bra fit.

Does your bra ride up in the back? Are you constantly pulling your bra down in the back? Try a smaller band size. To compensate for the smaller band size, increase the cup size one size.

Are your breasts bulging out the top and sides? Try a larger cup size, but keep the same band size.

Does your bra sag? Or does your bust droop with your bra on? Try a bra with a crisscross under support. Or try an underwire bra. And follow the steps for getting the band size and cup size right for you.

Do your plus size bra underwires stand away from the ribcage? Does the underwire stick out under you clothes? Try a smaller band size and add a bra extender to the back. Bra extenders come in lots of colors and sizes. This worked for me. Jane

Do your underwire plus size bras cut into your underarms? Try a smaller cup size and add a bra extender to the back. Bra extenders come in lots of colors and sizes.

Do your shoulder straps dig in? Try a wider banded bra with wide padded straps. You also may need to decrease the band size. This will give you more support in the band area and put less stress on the straps.

Do your straps slip? Try a bra with straps that V in the back.

Does your bra size seem to change from designer to designer? Each manufacturer has their own interpretation of sizes, especially in plus sizes. Most of the time, if you wear a certain size in a plus size bra by one manufacturer, all their plus size bras will fit you in the same size. Just make sure you know which size you really wear by following the steps above.

Should you measure yourself or let someone else measure for you? It is better to let someone else measure for you. But, you are only letting them measure for you. You can allow them to give you advice, but only you know what is truly comfortable. Follow the steps above to determine your custom fit.

Plus Size Women - Finding Your Ideal Weight

In nature, the Law of Equilibrium governs most things. It’s all about balance –- things want to even out in the end. And through this balance the Universe achieves harmony.

This same principle also applies to your body. There is an optimal zone of health where your body wants to keep itself. In this optimal zone is also an optimal weight for your body.

At this weight, you are at your healthiest and you will feel your best. You should have an abundance of energy, your skin should have a healthy glow, and your muscles should be toned and supple. And yes, it is possible to feel this way even if your dress size is 14 or above.

Many doctors only look at the scale and tape measure to determine one’s healthy body weight. You should certainly have regular checkups and make sure all your other indicators of health are within normal ranges. If your weight is truly causing you health problems then it should be handled properly.

It’s important to make sure there aren’t any hormonal or other physical conditions that are causing you to be over weight, but there are many plus size women who are just as healthy or even healthier than more petite women. They enjoy an active lifestyle, successful careers, loving families, and are also extremely beautiful.

So how do you know if you are at your optimal body weight?

The two most important things we all must do is eat a balanced diet and get regular physical exercise no matter what our size. Going on the latest fad diet rarely results in permanent weight loss. It’s far better to make an effort to consume more fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein if you eat meat. A severely calorie-restricted diet will ultimately work against you. It’s better to eat 4 to 5 small meals than 3 large ones. This will keep your metabolism at a higher rate thus burning more calories.

You should come to terms with why you eat. Is your relationship with food a healthy one? Do you use food as a source of comfort or escape? Do you derive comfort by eating lots of junk food? There’s nothing wrong with deriving pleasure from food and eating. Just don’t let it become your primary source of pleasure. Ultimately, we must eat to fuel our bodies and help it repair itself and fend off infection and disease. Many people take much better care of their cars than they do their bodies!

Regular physical activity can take many forms. You don’t have to even join a gym if you don’t want to. Just be sure to do something that gets your heart rate up into your fat-burning zone for at least 30-45 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing or at least can tolerate such as jogging, swimming, elliptical trainer, or even brisk walking. The physical activity will burn calories and also help break up your day and relieve stress.

Give it a fair shot –- at least 3 months and then see where you wind up. Don’t weigh or measure yourself too often during this time. The goal is to get into some new, healthier habits. In most cases, if you make the commitment and don’t cheat too much on your food choices or slack off on your exercise routine you should see results. Regardless, if you loose 40 pounds or just 5, you will probably find yourself at the weight and size that your body is most comfortable with.

Take stock of how you feel and not how you look. Is your energy level up? Does your face, especially your eyes and skin, appear healthy? If not, then something else might be wrong. Be sure to have it looked into. But if you can answer, “yes” to all of the above, then you’ve done your best and you can thank yourself for a job well done!

This is the moment of awakening for you! Take a loving look at yourself in the mirror and accept your body the way it wants to be. Respect your body by putting only healthy fuel and nutrients into it and make sure you move it on a regular basis. By accepting your size, whatever it is, you can project confidence and that confidence will work to change how others see you. Afterall, there are many more important things going on in your life than stressing about your size!

Take Care of Your Inner Beauty

Let us talk about beauty from a different angle!

We have our own criteria for judging the beauty of a woman. We look the beauty of a lady from a certain angle and then pass the remarks whether she is beautiful or not. It’s not fair. Let me tell every woman that she is unique and beautiful.

The business of beauty is thriving everywhere. Women are spending much of their time and money on buying beauty products. Even in the third world countries, women living below the poverty line, buy cheap and substandard beauty products, which give more harm to their skin than good.

It’s the fundamental right of every woman to look beautiful. Every woman wants to listen the sweet words “you are beautiful”. But the beauty of a woman is far from her looks or figure. Physical beauty is only one aspect while a beautiful charming personality is a complete blend of many fine characteristics such as good manners, etiquette, behavior, smile, intelligence, sense of humor, social and family values etc., all make a woman look beautiful and attractive.

Didn’t you know that there is a marked difference between a carefully hand woven expensive Persian carpet and a cheap machine made carpet. Both of these cannot be equated. A beautiful woman is like an elegant hand-knotted Persian carpet. Each and every silky, colorful thread of her character, nicely woven into her personality, gives a woman an everlasting beauty and attraction.

Looks are very important indeed but the characteristics of a person are much more important. Besides taking care of your physical beauty, why not think of improving your inner beauty. The beauty which everyone admires is becoming a rare commodity these days. While on your way to a beauty parlor keep on thinking ways of improving your inner beauty.

Take care of yourself and take care of your inner beauty. No doubt you are a beautiful person.

Slay The Toxic Dragon In your Life

Any time you spend around that toxic dragon , you are adding another cup full of misery to your life. You must accept that the toxic person you are with will not change, does not want to change, and does not want you to change. The toxic people want to keep poisoning you with their behavior and feel that they have every right to do so.

Toxic people roam around freely and openly because they can. They take our energy, strength, love, and our precious time on this earth. This goes on and on and slowly before we know it, our lives are used up,our hearts and souls are ruined, and the dragon keeps on going like the energizer bunny.

This is a truth that each of us needs to understand. Some people cannot be around each other, be together, or even mix without harmful effects. There are definite mismatches that were never meant to be and certainly were not meant to continue.

Coming to grips with the fact that you must leave a toxic relationship is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. It is a life changing experience and you have to have the strength to do it.

Get Prepared To Slay The Dragon By Doing These Simple tasks:

Sit down with a friend, co worker, a neighbor, or a family member and review what is going on in the toxic relationship. You need someone who can help you put the whole situation in perspective. Unfortunately we may be so close we cannot see the forest through the trees. Maybe we have started to think all of this is our fault. (It isn't.) Make a list of what has been going on, the things that have been said or done which have left you feeling destroyed. Talk about how that toxic person makes you feel and how so far you have felt powerless to change things.

Realize that love and pain are not one and the same. You do not have a good or healthy relationship if you feel drained, used, hurt, and humiliated by that person. If you are angry, depressed, lonely, hurt when you are with this person, it is no good. It is not love. It is simply an addicition to the toxic drug of choice.

Is there a reason you have been sticking with this relationship which has nothing to do with your feelings? Are you staying in this relationship for your friends, for your parents for your kids? This is not good. The clock is ticking, your life is slipping away. You cannot stay in a toxic relationship for the sake of anyone else. The relationship has lost it's value if being around the person makes you feel horrible. Don't hold onto a hot potato.

Decide if you have to make the break and then do it permanently. No trial separations, no second chances, no giving it more time. Time will only suck more energy out of you and make the dragon stronger. This is asking a lot from you because you have become somewhat used to this toxic relationship. In some ways you find yourself attracted to it, maybe for money, security, sex, etc. Sometimes you have to give up a lot to get out.

Work on your health and physical fitness. Strong body, strong mind. Work on curbing any of your habits which are hurting you, like overeating or using alcohol or drugs. Make sure you are in shape to slay the dragon before you start. The dragon will not go away easily. There may be a confrontation and you need to be strong enough to handle it.

Only you can get yourself out of the toxic relationship. Only you can slay the toxic dragon. You have given the power away to someone who has no love for you. Now is the time to take back the power and take back your life.

She Loves You, He Loves You Not

SHE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT

Who Is Some Who Loves You?

1. Someone who sees the best in you.

If you were lucky enough to grow up with healthy parents, you have experienced the feeling of having someone who has always looked at your good qualities. Many of us missed that experience. You will be a lucky person if you have found a mate who is always looking at your 'silver lining'. Too often today people are more than willing to judge you by your errors, not by your potential.

2. Someone who gives you the benefit of the doubt.

There are so many times in your life when you need that little edge, that little opportunity to take just that extra step. It can seem as if your efforts are going nowhere and although you want to keep moving forward, there are so many negatives staring you in the face. That person who knows things could go either way for you but takes that leap to believe you will make it is the person who is more valuable to you than gold.

3. Someone who watches over you.

You need a guardian angel who is there, waiting to catch you if you fall, ready to help you when you stumble, ready to pave the way for you when you cannot get moving. There are people who love you who do just that. There are people who do not make a big deal out of saving your bacon. Do you know who they are?

4. Someone to watch you back.

You never know these days who is waiting to catch you off guard, to make sure you don't do well, to sabotage your efforts. You like to think that people will rejoice when you

do well. Many don't. If someone 'has your back' and runs interference for you when you are trying to run the gauntlet through life, give that person a big 'thanks' plus lots of your attention.

5. The person who tells you we all make mistakes.

You hate to be around that judgemental, harsh person who reminds you, 'I told you so', when things so south. You don't need anyone else telling you what you already know. On the other hand there are people who just let you know that the only way any of us learn is through experience. When you have really ended up in the dumper and blew it, stay close to the one who knows that the person who hasn't done anything wrong hasn't done anything much.

6. The person who gives you advice from the heart, not from the head.

When the situation gets rough and some big decisions need to be made, it's fine to have people outline the pros and cons of a problem and give you 'head' answers. But if you need a nudge sometimes to tip the scales, you always listen to this person who knows you must do what will let you live with yourself and have self respect.

7. The person who won't be the 'yes man' who agrees with you

No one who loves you is going to give you the green light and tell you to let er rip if it's clearly going to be bad for you. It's sad that often you surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear. The one who loves you will tell you to get help for a drinking or drugging problem, to stop the extramarital affair, and to be a good and decent person.

8. Someone who tells you to knock back, smell the roses, and enjoy life part of the time.

If you are a person who is a real performer and doer, there are likely to be people around you who enjoy the fruits of your labor and want you to do even more. Sometimes you may even see yourself as only valuable when you are giving, doing, and performing. Listen to the person who tells you that life is short and you need breaks and some R&R. That is the person who is looking out for you and your health.

9. The one who smiles at you and means it.

The person who loves you looks at you with eyes that smile and mean it. Too many people give you that slick smile, that quick pat on the back, and then forget that you even exist.

The eyes are the windows of our soul and you can read into a person's smile if it is saying, 'You are a fine person and I want to be with you as long as possible'. Don't fall for any phony smile that attracts you off in another direction, only to leave you stranded and alone.

10. Someone who sees you as beautiful, inside and out.

You know you aren't perfect. There are only too many examples of you looking around and thinking that you have flaws and aren't like the people on television. The person who loves you sees you through eyes of acceptance with no conditions. As you gain a few pounds and your hair gets thin, the person who sees you as attractive, inviting, and appealing is the person who loves you all the way, no strings or demands.

Nowadays, it's really important to know who loves you. Everything in our society is throw away, and many people have carried that over into the most important relationships in their lives. Think hard and look carefully. People who love you , like comfortable clothes, are easy on the heart, mind, and soul.

Divine Love Making

Have you read or heard about the controversy surrounding the story as to whether Jesus and Mary Magdalene were partners or actually married? There are several books that elude to this matter, including the latest best seller, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Let’s suppose for a moment this were actually true. Jesus was in human form after all and he embodied the principles of Divine Love or in other words he was a being of love. So, how would a being of love make physical love? If love’s eternal nature is to keep giving of itself, then would it be safe to say that a Divine being would GIVE love through the sensations of the body’s pure sexuality when making physical love?

What is the body’s pure sexuality? In essence, the body is a universe unto itself. Every internal and external organ works in harmony with each other to assure the survival of the system. The intelligence which governs the body happens naturally, and does not require you to think. For example: Do you have to tell your heart to beat? Of course not. Pure Sexuality is the innocent knowledge of love in the body. The magnetic power of pure sexuality attracts the Divine in another in order to give every quality of Love. This knowledge or intelligence directs the whole body during the making of love through the body’s sensations.

This is also referred to as making love with the Divine in you and in your partner. This is how a spiritual being of love makes physical love. When two partners join with the conscious intent to make Divine physical love, there is no thinking necessary and the love between the partners is then amplified as their vibrations are raised.

How does our thinking get in the way when making love? Thoughts get in the way when certain demands or expectations are placed on the encounter, instead of each partner being in the moment experiencing the beautiful sensations which occur naturally. Thoughts also get in the way when allowed to go to other places, persons or events from the past or to future imaginings during the love making. When this occurs, we lose the connection to the pure sexuality of the body or the Divine.

Everyone has experienced Divine love making at some time or another. These are the sensational moments when we come together without thought involved. We experience the great passion and connection with our partner through the sensations of the bodies. When the love making ends, we produce the vibration of well being and serenity that is recognizable in the presence of others. We remember these times fondly and may long to repeat them, but they cannot be recreated by thinking about them.

You can not make Divine physical love by wanting to recreate the past because your thoughts are in the way. Making Divine Physical love requires you to be the love that you are in the moment and to give from that place with no expectations or demands. If Jesus and Mary made physical love, we believe this is how they would have practiced.

What do you suppose would happen if more people practiced making love this way? Practicing Divine love making can heal and restore an existing relationship or build a powerful foundation in a new relationship. This may be what is needed to end the disharmony, pain and unhappiness that so many suffer from today.

Man and woman have forgotten how to naturally engage the body’s pure sexuality in order to make Divine physical love. This ancient knowledge has been buried under the piles of self absorption and self justification that humanity has been practicing for thousands of years. Giving up these behaviors is the key to freedom and the greatest challenge to realizing the way to Divine love.

When pure sexuality is present, the making of love between man and woman releases energies that are stored in the bodies creating a space for LOVE to expand which increases the vibratory rates of each person. Making love then becomes an opportunity to grow the knowledge of love and restore harmony. This occurs through the release of the finer energies that are exchanged through the organs of love during the making of love. This is really a great miracle and women can especially benefit from these releases, as they tend to store more emotion in their bodies than men do. This also can be transformational and restore man and woman to their true nature or the being the love that they are.

Practicing Divine love making is as natural as breathing once we get our thoughts out of the way. The effort lies in the great undoing that must occur to allow the Authority of love to command our lives. We can return to this beautiful state of being by practicing honest communication and making our intentions with our partners pure. The Authority of Love is ever present and available to us every moment. When we consciously choose to align with this presence, we begin to experience more Divine love in our lives. Is there anyone on earth that would not benefit from having more love in their life?

Those who choose to consciously practice Divine love making can experience a transformation that benefits all their relationships through the realization of something greater than themselves. This is the awesome power of the Authority of Love that lives within each of us.

The First Thing On Your To Do List

Making out your Advance Directives must be first on your to do list. It is better to plan in advance then to rely on fantasies of how we think others would react to making decisions for us. Others may make decisions that may be in their own best interest not yours. Unplanned events sometimes occur in our lives that may take away the opportunity for us to make our own decisions. Why burden others with expense and timely legal problems.

A living will allows you to document your wishes concerning medical treatment when you are unable to speak for your self or nearing the end of life. A medical power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to be your health care agent, usually some one you trust, who will be authorized to make medical and health care decisions, (medical treatment, care provider and environment) on your behalf.

No matter what your age is or how long you expect to be in good health or to be alive planning for your health care in the event of a medical health crisis is a priority. Give yourself a voice. For many of us it is very difficult to talk to the ones we love about events that we do not want to see as possible or inevitable.

Talking to those you love about what to do in the event of a medical health crisis is important even though it is impossible to foresee every event or circumstance. Bringing in your family and friends into the process will help you get a feeling for who may be best able and willing to support the decisions that are import ant for you.

When talking about your decisions it is important to consider your values and beliefs, as this is very personal. Advance Directives can be changed as your health circumstance changes. With age and change in life style habits our physical bodies may be prone to certain disease progression or debilitating impairments of one kind or another. So reviewing and updating your advance directives is important.

Talk to your medical provider or doctor and let then know that you are making your advance directives. They will be glad to know this. Your doctor can answer your questions about your health and explain treatments and possible outcomes. Let your Doctor know about the quality of life you want in the event of a medical health crisis. Find out if your doctor is willing to follow your wishes, as the law does not require them to, if they disagree and feel it is unethical or against their morals.

Consider the following:

  • Current age, life style and activity.
  • How you feel about doctors, caregivers and care-giving environments.
  • Your religious beliefs and your morals, values and ethical attitudes about care and illness.
  • Attitude about control and independence and the possible loss.
  • Health, illness, fearful situations of death and dying.

When you are ready to appoint a health care agent you may want to select some one you trust and understands your decisions. The person you select can be a spouse/partner, family member or a friend. It needs to be some one who is willing to act on your behalf. Some individuals may not be able to act on your behalf if they do not understand or agree with what you determine is the best and appropriate treatment for you. It is important to clarify what you want to reduce any remorseful feelings. Keep in mind that health care agents can make medical decisions when you are unable to, not just at life end.

You can obtain Advance Directives and Medical Power of Attorneys from your local hospital, long-term care facility, your physician may have them available, your local libraries reference desk, and your local Senior Law Office.

Ten Ways Women Sabotage Communication in the Workplace

Glass ceiling or partners in sabotage? While the glass ceiling exists, very often women undermine their success by how they communicate in the workplace. We’ve learned to dress for success but have we learned the language of success? When Catalyst, a non-profit organization dealing with women’s issues asked

“What holds women back from top management?”
Fifty-two per cent said “Male stereotyping and preconceptions of women.”

When they asked “How can women succeed?”
Sixty-one per cent said “Developing a style with which male managers are comfortable.” It seems communication style is vitally important.

Here are ten ways women weaken their image and what they can be do about it.

1.Too much head nodding-When women nod, they mean “I hear you,”
“I understand.” Men interpret head nodding as agreement with their ideas.
Too much head nodding will be perceived as weakness and may result in miscommunication. Continual head bobbing creates a subliminal message of submissiveness.

2.Uptalk-A rising inflection at the end of a sentence sounds tentative, as if posing a question. This is a real credibility killer. Women will not be taken seriously with this vocal pattern. To speak with authority practice bringing the voice down at the end of a sentence. American intonation patterns use a downward inflection to declare or demand and a rising inflection to question or indicate uncertainty.

This is not true for all cultures. In Canada, India, Pakistan, France and China it is more commonplace to hear the voice rise at the end of a sentence. This pattern is sometimes used by American men in the South or by Generation X. It is not effective for either sex.

3. Weak Language
Tag lines-Some communicators make a statement and then ask for validation. “This is a good idea, don’t you think? “We have the best team, right?” Tag lines weaken conviction and authority. Eliminate them.

Modifiers-Words such as some, just, only, hopefully, and guess, minimize the message and the messenger. “This is just a thought.” “I’m only a beginner,” “Hopefully, I’ve done a good job,” “I guess I have a question,” are weak statements. They signal a lack of confidence and tell the listener that it’s not very important. Constant apologizing is not appropriate and will have the same effect. Weed out wimpy words and replace them with powerful language. This is most commonly a female pattern.
time to sound confident and full of conviction.

4.Allowing interruptions-Men jump in and say what they think. They tend to interrupt more than women. Women are more likely to allow themselves to be cut off and lose credit for their ideas. Instead, they can say, “I’m not finished,” “ Please hold your questions,” “These interruptions break everyone’s train of thought” or continue talking and finish your point.

5.Not speaking up (Waiting to be called on)-Still waters may run deep but in our business culture, people who don’t speak up are perceived as not knowing anything. Commit to making one contribution at every meeting. It may be as simple as underscoring a point or adding to what ‘s been said. Some women wait to be called on or have difficulty taking the floor. It may be necessary to interrupt to have your say. Do it. You must be heard to be a counted.

6.Dressing too sexy-A visual impression takes seven seconds or less. Clothing and appearance are a visual shorthand. Women who wear spiked heels, low cut blouses, heavy make-up, and micro-mini skirts are communicating sexual availability rather than career mobility. To succeed in the workplace, women must dress the part. You don’t have to sacrifice femininity, but don’t appear too flashy. The goal is to look professionally attractive. To achieve advancement, dress one level above your present position. If you are a supervisor, dress, like a manager. On the opposite end of the continuum, executive women may dress too frumpy. At senior levels it’s no longer what you know but who you are as a leader. If a woman executive doesn’t look the part, she’ll lose respect and credibility.

7.Too soft spoken-A soft or breathy voice may sound sexy but it indicates insecurity or lack of confidence.
Breathe from the diaphragm and project the voice so that every person at the meeting can hear. If they have to strain to listen, they will tune you out. A speaker loses conviction when ideas are presented in a soft voice. Confident women project their voices.

8.Allowing others to take credit for ideas-A common complaint of women is that men take credit for their ideas. When this happens women must learn to speak up and claim their contributions. “Excuse me, I just said that a minute ago.” “How is that different from what I just proposed?” Do not sit quietly while someone intercepts your idea.


9.Weak Body posture-Cute gestures such as shrugging shoulders, not making direct eye contact, standing with one leg crossed at the ankle and a weak handshake will weaken one’s visual impact. Men naturally take up more space. Hold your ground. Stand tall and sit up straight, make direct eye contact and ground your energy. Channel nervousness by using hand gestures about the waist. Act like you belong. You have a right to be there.

10.Avoiding public speaking. This is one of the biggest mistakes women can make in their careers. Men don’t have a glass ceiling. Public speaking is an opportunity for visibility and equal exposure. Confront your fear, get some coaching, and get out there and shine.

Taking the Love Quiz

Q. Is there anything real behind a love quiz?

A. Good question. The answer is "maybe, maybe not". You see, the value of a love quiz depends upon who designed it and what the purpose of the love quiz is. If it was written by a magazine writer, for entertainment purposes, then that's a good example of the "maybe not" category. However, if the love quiz was written by a professional who is trained in behavioral sciences, psychology, or relationship counseling, then you might be over into the "maybe so" side of the answer.

You see, a love quiz can be based upon real, substantive issues, questions that really matter and answers that provide insight, or they can be frivolous and designed to give a few yucks to a group of bored girls.

If your love quiz has questions such as: "How important to you is quality time apart in a relationship?", or "Could you forgive infidelity if you were partially to blame for the act being committed?", then the love quiz is attempting to identify core relationship issues that tell you something about yourself and/or your significant other.

If, on the other hand, the love quiz has questions like: "Could you date a guy who wore braces?", or "What would you do if your crush burped in front of you?", then you're probably reading a teen magazine love quiz that has no significant value.

Even a love quiz that is written with the best intentions can provide misleading results if taken in an uncontrolled environment where the quiz taker may not understand a particular question or where the possible answers are confusing or poorly worded. For the best results, a genuine love quiz should be administered by a professional and the answers analyzed afterwards. That way issues can be explored and answers clarified.

The true purpose behind a professionally designed love quiz, especially a love quiz that is taken by both people in the relationship, is to determine whether or not the relationship has a long-term chance of survival based upon quantifiable personality characteristics that have been determined to be important in committed relationships.

These characteristics include all of the traits that you might expect such as: honesty, integrity, understanding, forgiveness, drive, ambition, moral strength, religious views, political affiliations, money management skills, sense of humor, and the importance of physical attractiveness to the other person.

By taking a love quiz that explores these issues, and having the results mediated by a qualified professional, a couple has the opportunity to make decisions about the viability of a long term relationship based upon their view of what is important to each other. If a love quiz results in one partner having viewpoints that are too far apart form the other partner's, then a red flag should be raised.

An entertaining love quiz, on the other hand, is best reviewed by a bunch of friends chatting on AOL Instant Messenger or their cell phones.

Whether the love quiz is for real, or for enjoyment only, the quiz takers should be cautioned against putting too much value in the final results.

No one should make long term relationship decisions based upon someone else's standards. In the end it is the magic and chemistry between two people that provides the answers to the only love quiz that really matters!

Do you really need a friend quiz to tell if someone is your friend?

Q. I took a friend quiz in a magazine and it says that I don't make a very good friend. Can that really be true?

A. First, let me say congratulations! If the quiz said that you don't make a very good friend then you must have answered the quiz honestly, at least from the friend quiz author's point of view.

Now let's delve into the content of the quiz. The bad thing about a friend quiz is that it is automatically biased by the author's opinion of what makes a good friend.

For example: There might be a question that asks:

Your friend wants you to cover for her by telling her mother that she is sleeping at your house when she is really going to an all night party with her boyfriend. Do you say:

A. "No problem." B. "I'll do it but I'd rather not." C. "No way, you're on your own girlfriend."

What's the right answer? Well, the morally right answer is obviously "C". Would that make you a better friend that either "A" or "B"? Yes, actually, it would. There is a very good chance that something bad is going to come out of the all night party. Your friend could get drunk and become a victim of date rape, get injured or killed in a car accident, or get arrested if the police raid the party. As a good friend, you should care more about your friend's safety and security than her having a good time doing something that she has to lie about.

However, if the friend quiz rates you a snitch because you answered "C", then, according to the author, you're not a good friend.

Look. You don't need a friend quiz to know if you're a good friend, or if someone else if a good friend to you. Take the quiz for the fun of it, but don't take it seriously. Your heart knows if you are a good friend and what it means to have a good friend. Trust your instincts and not some stranger's value system. A person's friendship is far to valuable a gift to trust the results to a friend quiz.

Early Versus Late Potty Training

Early Versus Late Potty Training
Many doctors and psychologists will tell you that you do not want to potty train your child early. They think that it is not conducive to helping the child when it comes to doing potty training early. As a matter of fact, they feel that potty training your child early takes longer than potty training your child at a later stage of the game.

In other words, what they mean is a child potty trained at the age of four might take a day to do while a child potty trained at the age three, might take three days to do and so on.

Now, I do not know how true these numbers are or what their statistics are, but let us look at the facts in reality versus how many days it takes to potty train.

Let's assume that at the age four it takes you two days to potty train your child versus at the age three it takes ten days to potty train your child, which is an extreme difference. Psychologists will have you believe it is better to potty train your child at four because it takes less work. Well, as a parent, wouldn't an extra ten days a year earlier make more sense to you than waiting a year to save three days worth of work.

Psychologists do not understand the work that is involved when it comes to having to change diapers and underwear and cleaning soil-filled clothes on a daily basis.

I do not know about you, but I would rather spend 15 days at the age of 2 and get potty training out of the way than wait 2 years and spend 3 days at the age of 4.

Now when you mention early potty training, most people really are thinking about potty training starting as early as one year or younger. Some cultures start potty training as six weeks.

In my opinion, it is not a bad idea to introduce your child to the potty as early as possible, even if that is six or seven months, do not be afraid to introduce your child to the potty.

Now, that does not mean taking your child and saying they have to do potty inside the toilet, but it is saying letting them sit on the potty, letting them get used to being on the potty.

What this does is, when you are ready to start potty training, you will essentially be able to get rid of the resistance that the child will have to the potty. See, the problem most parents have with potty training is they are introducing too many variables into the equation. Variable one is the toilet, or the potty. Variable two is no diapers. Variable three is potty training. So, there are a lot of things that you are asking the child to do at one shot.

What you want to do is start a little bit early. Start only by introducing your child to the potty so they can sit down, even if it is for five minutes a few times a day. Just sit down on the potty so that they can get used to being on it.

This sets the stage for when your expectations are for them to do potty in the toilet. There will be less resistance that other will go through.

Cheap Lingerie Without The Cheap Look

Men spend a lot of money trying to find ways to make their loved ones even prettier than they are. To find a look that flatters what his mate has and hides the things she doesn't like about herself can make everyone feel good. But what can be even better is finding cheap lingerie that looks like it cost a million dollars. Even now that's not an easy task. But with an increase in online lingerie shops, it's getting easier.

Cheap lingerie might be a misnomer. Even lingerie on sale is typically higher in cost than a pair of pants. But there are places and times where men can find lower-priced lingerie. Clearance bins at the local department store is one place to look. These bins hold the pieces that got overstocked, or failed to sell for some reason. As such, they may not be silk or satin lingerie with frills or extras. But they can still make a good gift for someone who has not become accustomed to higher-priced lingerie. Another place to look for low-price lingerie is online. With the myriad of lingerie storefronts on the Internet, there are inevitably going to be those pieces that arrive to the seller defective or tagged with the wrong size. Some will sell returns for a percentage off. And with all of the competition online, there will always be a shop here or there that is going out of business and needs to get rid of its inventory, for whatever customers are willing to pay.

There are as many styles of cheap lingerie as there are body types in the world. Two distinct purposes of lingerie are to enhance the body's natural beauty and to shape and modify parts of the body that need help. Corsets, bustiers, bras, garters and the like are shapers. They can make the breasts appear larger and more shapely. They can also slim the waist and bring out curves that are just barely there. Teddys, camis, baby dolls and other similar styles of lingerie can enhance the body's natural shape. They often cover the torso, and come in either one-piece suits or a set with a top and panties.

Movies have made popular the silky, soft and lacy lingerie, but it can be made of a variety of fabrics. Leather and velvet are popular choices for those looking to go against the grain. Cotton and other more 'comfortable' fabrics have made a recent appearance to cater to women with "discomfort phobia." Lycra, a stretchy material related to spandex, is popular among men's lingerie and increasingly with women's bodysuits.

As the quality of it continues to increase, cheap lingerie isn't just for the financially burdened. As many a cheapskate has said, why spend a fortune to buy the name brand, when you can get a knockoff for half the price? Purchasing lingerie on clearance can be a great investment, if buyers are willing to accept the imperfections. Trying a piece of lingerie on before buying can keep sizing mistakes from becoming an issue. And a simple inspection of the hems and fabric will minimize any chance of getting a piece that will have to be donated to Goodwill.
at 9:07 AM

Bridal Lingerie Explained

A wedding gown is the centerpiece of a wedding. But if the gown is the centerpiece, the lingerie is the largest flower in the centerpiece. Without the right lingerie, a wedding dress doesn't fit the theme. Who would think to wear cotton panties and a simple bra underneath a wedding dress? Bridal lingerie can make or break the effects of a wedding dress. Different styles of lingerie can enhance or hide parts of the body that the bride feels are prominent.

What type of lingerie a bride gets depends on the style and length of the wedding gown. The choice also varies with the bride's body shape. Dresses that show some skin, or shorter dresses, will need an "invisible" undergarment that doesn't get in the way. Women who wear strapless dresses cannot wear a bra. In this case, adhesive cups or breast petals are tasteful and attractive. Breast petals cover the nipple and center of the breast. They can be made of polyester or silicone gel, and ensure that nothing comes through the gown that doesn't belong. For women who need to enhance their breasts, a bustier or push-up bra can do wonders to make them appear larger and fuller.

Bridal lingerie is reminiscent of the old corset/bustier style of the Victorian Era. But unlike the old style, newer types actually emulate comfort. They also offer the control that brides need underneath all that fancy ribbon and lace. Modern corsets tighten and form the waistline. They can be of a lace-up style or made from naturally stretchy material like spandex. Bustiers are also popular wedding lingerie. They emphasize and control the bust. And a simple pair of panty hose or control-top panties can support and tighten the rear.

It is usually the maid of honor who chooses the bridal lingerie. However, she only chooses lingerie for the wedding day itself. Sometimes the wedding night. It will be up to the bride to choose lingerie for the honeymoon. Each occasion will dictate a different kind of lingerie, since each has its own emotional context. For the wedding ceremony, lacy or patterned fabrics are not recommended. They can show through the gown, making it look somewhat sloppy and distasteful. Seamless undergarments and thongs are good for those who are comfortable in them. Especially if the bride wears a short dress or one that reveals the panty line. A bodysuit that covers both the breast and the torso will serve as a slimming garment, if the wedding dress is thin.

Finding bridal lingerie is a very important job. The bride will be wearing the wedding lingerie for more than twelve hours. She will need something that is comfortable while still being classy. Lingerie for the wedding night is easier to choose. No one but the bride and her new husband will see this lingerie. It's all about romance. Frilly, lacy lingerie is sexy and provocative without heading into pornographic. For the honeymoon, pornographic is good. Almost expected. But the theme doesn't have to be taken too far. The maid outfits and the fishnet stockings should be spared for later, when men and women need to spice up their sex lives, not on the honeymoon, when sex is most of the reason for celebrating!
at 9:06 AM

Where To Find Cheap Online Lingerie

There is no shortage of lingerie shops online today. Not too long ago, they were scattered in dark corners of alleys and hidden in out-of-the way places. Somehow, the Internet has validated a lot of businesses that would otherwise find themselves skirting society's boundaries. Cheap online lingerie can be found in any corner of the online apparel industry, whether from a specialty shop or a local department store website. Some high-class lingerie companies sell cheap brands online to widen their audience, in addition to gathering profit for their flawed or otherwise unwanted merchandise.

To find cheap online lingerie, simply search. Just about every lingerie seller will have bargain bins. They will mark down those styles that have reached public saturation. Lingerie companies can still profit from these by moving their sale to other areas of the country or world.

If you buy bargain lingerie online, inspect the picture and description of it carefully as permitted. Make sure that if you are going to buy from a company you're not familiar with, you read the return policy thoroughly. It is likely that your bargain lingerie will be flawed in one way or another. This might be minor design problem. A piece being labeled with the wrong size, or a small tear. The fabric might just be unevenly cut.

The advantages of buying lingerie cheaply online can be one of attitude. Some women aren't seductive. They don't feel attractive. They are shy. They may even be body-phobic. Having the choice to buy lingerie online, discreetly, gives them the chance to find some of their innate sexiness. Plus-sized women often feel self-conscious walking through a lingerie shop. They see the thin models and body-baring styles and get scared. But online, they can browse the selection and the price in the comfort of their own homes. And since most lingerie companies ship their merchandise in plain brown boxes, nobody needs to know. This goes the same for men searching for lingerie for that loved one. Many men don't particularly want to go into a Victoria's Secret and walk around. Online lingerie stores allow them to search as much as they want. And if they decide to go for a cheap piece of lingerie, they don't have to see the shop clerk. They don't have to see the accusation. The voice saying: "That's not all you're going to spend on her, is it?"

The kinds and styles of cheap online lingerie vary from storefront to storefront. Many of the cheap selections will be made of cotton or polyester, but you may be fortunate and find a real silk set. They may not have the lace or the frills, but they will probably look tasteful and attractive. Lingerie that covers the torso can be inexpensive; styles like the camisole, chemise, or teddy. Invariably, however, you'll be able to find more provocative items. These might include crotch-less panties, g-strings and thongs. Lingerie of all different sizes, colors and styles are scattered about the Internet. All you have to do is look and you can find the cheaper varieties of most lingerie.
at 9:05 AM

A Primer On Uk Lingerie

Modern lingerie designers have a lot more freedom to use their imagination than they used to. In the UK lingerie market, this opens up an arena of opportunities for producers to make something wholly new and exciting. In lingerie, excitement is the name of the game. Camisoles with frilly panties, leather teddies with fishnet stockings, backless panties of Lycra...all stimulate the senses. Some prove stimulating in other ways. Some styles of lingerie don't have to excite. Corsets, bustiers and garters, for example. They control. They enhance. They sometimes shock. But as other lingerie, they all get attention.

In the UK, lingerie is often sold alongside swimwear and other mainstream items. Corsets, bras and bodices can also be found in the same area, along with men's lingerie. Styles in some smaller boutiques are made to measure. With all of the body sizes and types in the UK, this can mean getting a customized fit.

One of the most popular fabrics used to make lingerie is silk. It begins cool to the touch but warms the body, keeping the wearer nice and snug. Of course, for those who don't have the extra money and time that silk demands, satin is a related fabric. It is also smooth. And soft. But it is slightly less expensive then silk. But it is not as sturdy, due to the construction differences between the two fabrics. Other popular fabrics for UK lingerie are mesh and lace. Cotton is a newer option that promises comfort. Velvet and leather are popular fabrics for erotic lingerie. Lycra, a body-hugging material rather like spandex, is becoming a success for those wanting a sporty and slimming effect.

The kind of lingerie consumers look for depends on their purpose for the clothing. Those whose primary goal is to gather the attention of a lover will find success with leather teddies or a sheer camisole set. For a romantic lead, lace and satin negligees or a simple chemise might do the trick. For comfortable eveningwear, cotton gowns afford warmth and comfort. And then there are those styles of lingerie that can serve a multitude of purposes. Bras, bustiers and corsets can lend support and can also serve as a turn on. The baby doll, a style of lingerie that became popular in the 1950s, is a versatile piece that usually covers (but not always) the torso and ends at the hips. It normally comes with matching panties. Sheer material is often used to heighten a man's libido.

Traditionally, UK lingerie is produced for mass consumption. Therefore, the primary colors of lingerie are black, white, and red. Black denotes mystery and allure. At the other end of the spectrum, white represents purity and innocence. A lot of women like to play on that irony during sexual encounters. And red has always been a symbol of boldness and sexuality. Which color buyers choose to buy depends on these facts and some knowledge of skin tone and color compatibility. Fair-haired women look best in pastel shades. Brunettes look good in bold colors, like purple and red. Red-heads impress with earth tones and other Earth-inspired colors, like greens and blues.
at 9:03 AM

Menstrual Cycles And Ovarian Cysts

In the post-menopausal group, I would say 50 percent of those are going to have a cancer risk associated with the cyst, and certainly as one gets older than 50, that increase goes markedly up. Certainly if a 75-year-old woman came in with any type of cyst, that should be looked into aggressively. So the problem in management really is when you have a prepubital girl who comes in and has a documented large cyst, you're going to operate. The post-menopausal woman is going to be followed very aggressively and most likely, she's going to be operated on. The key in management is, the challenge is, well how do you manage the reproductive age group? Which is the majority of where these cysts show up and we'll talk about here, that in a minute.

But I want to say something about the size of cysts. And a cyst depends on your definition. We've already said that a cyst is a fluid filled sac, but how big is it? Clearly it's any size, but most likely a cyst is going to be visible if it's about a centimeter. What is considered as a cyst that bears watching is usually something at three centimeters or greater. And if you have a cyst six centimeters, which is for the non-metric group, sometimes I have to check myself, the, it's about a little over two-and-a-third inches. If a woman presents with a cyst that's two-and-a-third inches, that bears definite watching and rather aggressive management. Indiana University trained Obstetrician Gynecologist, Christopher Freville suggests that certainly very large cysts have the necessity for more aggressive, aggressive management.

When you we have a woman with a cyst who has let's say something less than ten centimeters, it's just noticed. Unless we have substantial pain with that, and again that's one of the criteria we're looking at the age of the woman, we're looking at the size of the cyst and we're looking at the symptoms. Obviously if the woman's in excruciating pain, and we've got a documented cyst, well that bears investigating quickly, perhaps surgery, active imaging because it could be a complicated, complication of the cyst, which we'll talk about. If the cyst in most cases is say less than ten centimeters, and there are no severe symptoms pain associated with it, then most of these can be watched for a period of one to three menstrual cycles, so up to 90 days, come back periodically, have another exam and see if these resolve. Because most of them are going to be the functional cysts, the cyst associated with the period that we talked about in the first category.

Does that mean that you're monitoring them over two or three menstrual cycles that they could well reduce in size after that time?

Absolutely, many of these will go away spontaneously. But as part of the management process, it depends on what is the goal of the reproductive age patient. Again, we've already eliminated the children, they're going to be, they're going to have surgery, most likely. We've already - because there's no reason for a child under the age of 12 to have a cyst, we've already said that the woman over 50, if she has a cyst, say a six centimeter cyst and she's stopped her periods, we could watch her one or two cycles but most likely, it's not going to be a leftover renegade cyst, if it persists more than that, and she needs to have further testing beyond the ultrasound. She needs to have a surgery to actually go in a small incision can be made above the pubic bone a laparotomy and to remove it.
at 9:02 AM

Staying in Shape Over 40 - What You Need to Know

Turning 40 can be a powerful and transient event even though many women believe that everything starts to change or even fall apart at 40. This doesn't have to be so! Women can stay strong and competitive, healthy and fit well over the age of 40. There may be some changes you need to make, but it is an important time for you to make these changes so that you can continue to stay in shape.

Some basic dietary changes can help you to supplement your workouts and keep you strong. Calcium, for example, has always been important in a woman's diet, but it is critical to start supplementing calcium now if you haven't already. Bone density begins to decline and if this gets really bad, it can lead to osteoporosis later in life. Ginseng is an herb that can help to give you energy when you start to feel fatigue, and some people swear it is what helps keep them young. Consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables is crucial to keeping yourself young. Not only is it very healthy for your body, it is quite beneficial for your skin as well. Natural foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are full of antioxidants, and these help keep free radicals from destroying that youthful appearance of your skin. Also good are salmon and other foods such as almonds, flax and fatty fish which provide a strong source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Again, this is good for your heart health but also for your radiant skin.

Staying in shape also means getting - or staying - physical, of course. You may discover aches and pains that you haven't noticed prior to turning 40. It's not because 40 is some magical age, but rather a useful timeline to gauge when women tend to start feeling less energetic, more rigid, or have tighter muscles than they used to. A fun and relaxing antidote to this is yoga. Yoga has been said to be the true fountain of youth! A good, long yoga session a few times a week or a simple practice of ten to twenty minutes daily can relax, tone and lengthen your muscles as well as your spirit. It also helps to de-stress your mind, which has been shown to have an effect on cortisol levels in the body. By reducing cortisol, you can help reduce the belly fat that may be more stubborn to remove these days. Any time of stress-relieving mechanism you use will help keep you young, but yoga is an especially good one.

If yoga isn't really your speed, pick something that is. Maybe you enjoy spinning, or a step class or kickboxing. Whatever it is, don't stop now just because you've reached that dreaded age. Keeping active now is just as important as it was when you were twenty, if not more so. If your aches and pains feel like they are preventing you from doing what you like to do best, it probably means you need to stretch more. Stretching can be a wonderful tool to keep you young and keep your muscles supple and strong. It can help prevent muscle tears and help you reach new levels of fitness by warming up the muscles and ligaments, but it can also just feel great after a nice, long bout of exercise. If you run or bike, be sure to stretch the calves and quadriceps muscles as well as the hamstrings. If you like to partake in a class at your gym and there is a lot of jumping involved, make sure to stretch the ankles as well. Simply adding ten or fifteen minutes of stretching to your daily routine can make you feel years younger if you are faithful about it.

Staying in shape doesn't just mean looking good or staying in good shape on the outside. Once you reach the age of forty, keeping up with regular doctor appointments becomes more important than it was in days past. Make sure to get a mammogram and screen for early detection of breast cancer. Make an appointment with your general practitioner for a complete physical. Consult with a dermatologist, and keep regular full-body skin checkups once or twice a year, which can help screen out skin cancer and suspicious moles that may crop up. If you used to see the eye doctor once every couple of years, cut that in half and see him once annually. Unfortunately, the eyes are quick to deteriorate as you age, and you will want to keep up with these check-ups for safety reasons, to be able to keep reading, and to check for signs of glaucoma and other age-related diseases.

Nobody said getting older was fun, but it does not have to be painful. The age-old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies to the aging process very well, and if you take these measures you too can age gracefully.
at 9:01 AM

Fashion Forward 2008 - The Top Hot Fashion Trends

You probably can't recall who said it, but whoever first uttered that fashion comes full circle every 30 years or so was not too far off. This season on the runway is reminiscent of the flowing 70s in both fabric and style. We are seeing much more of the long skirt and much less of the micro mini. Materials like silk and chiffon, which tend to flow and gather, are much more popular for Spring 2008 than fabrics like cotton or denim which tend to hold shape and stay stiffer in appearance. The word for the season is feminine, feminine, feminine! The exception to this seems to be in outerwear, where rubber is oddly back in style. Indoors, though, thin little belts, hats, and scarves are also popular and a throwback to the 70s as well as being womanly. Don't despair, though - some things from last season are still popular and can be recycled for this season. Accessories like metallic bags and clutches, as well as sequins and some of the longer pencil skirts can still be worn with confidence. Dresses with color blocks are still around as well, left over from last season and still cute. Headbands are still a popular accessory as well.

Sheers are in this year as a fabric style, which works well with the flow-y nature of the season. Pairing a sheer shirt over a camisole with denim jeans is a great casual look. In fact, a sheer scarf works with almost anything this season. Especially cute is the above-mentioned shirt and jeans with a little scarf and dressy sneakers. "Dressy sneakers" are another big hit this year, which will keep your feet happy as you get to be comfortable and stylish at the same time. Low-lying, patterned variety sneakers with ties that sport the best of brand names are the most popular for the young trendsetter.

Speaking of patterns, big bold prints such as tropical themes and jungle prints are back. For whatever reason, and it seems to happen every several years, tribal and jungle themes like leopard prints and zebra stripes make their way back to the runway. This year is no exception. Color is back, and black is out, at least for now. Last year, brown was the new black, and this year it is muted silver and grey that's all the rage when you want to opt for a non-color.

What about shoes, you ask? Pointy-toe pumps are back! Not that they ever really went out of style, but they certainly came second to the flip flop, the ballet slipper, and other such cutesy flat footwear, along with the rounded toe pump. Also noteworthy is what's in store for later on in the season. Fall 2008 promises to be chock full of the "bigger is better" theory. Bigger, chunkier heels, bigger, longer boots, and bigger and heavier accessories on the shoes themselves such as thick buckles and chains should be on your radar for footwear.

Of course, if we are going to talk shoes we must talk shades. Still popular, especially with the Divas, are the ever-present round and dark sunglasses that cover most of your face. The celebrities, of course, brought this trend to the forefront of fashion and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere anytime soon. Also popular though, is the blue lens which seemed to disappear for a while. This lens is more appropriate with a smaller frame than with the oversized shades discussed. The RayBan Wayfarers, so popular in the 80s, also seem to be making a comeback this year.

Last but by no means least, there could not be a fashion article written about what's hot for 2008 without mentioning jeans. Designer denim continues to be the hottest thing around. We all know that True Religion, Citizens of Humanity, Buffalo, Seven for all Mankind and Lucky have become standard, almost run-of-the mill designer jeans. Even though they cost upward of $200.00, they are still the 'norm'. Slightly more pricey is Diesel, and this brand continues to be popular as well. Relative newcomers, though, are some of the names that were actually around long before these newbies even existed. Yves St. Laurent, Donna Karan, and some of the more elite designer's names are being plastered on the derrieres of the most discriminating fashionistas this season. As for jean style and cut, the zipper-ankle and straight-leg varieties that were popular in the 80s are making a comeback. Expect to see them on the legs of the trendsetters this fall.

This season proves to be an interesting and eclectic mix of 70s and 80s styles. This may seem contradictory, but the feminine nature of the season's styles pulls from flowing 70s fabrics and cuts and seems to just use a hint of 80s metal and accessory - and it's a hit.
at 8:59 AM

The Most Serious Health Concerns for Women and What You Can Do

These days, it seems women have more health concerns than ever. Perhaps they are greater in number than ever before or perhaps we are just more aware of women's issues as women are more comfortable having them brought to the forefront.

One issue that continually does get the attention it deserves is breast cancer. The breast cancer statistics are alarming, and almost everyone you know has a sister or mother who has suffered from this deadly disease. If caught early enough, it does not have to be deadly. In fact, there are things you can do so that you don't get it at all. Every woman (young and old) should be checking their breasts monthly to detect for any strange lumps or any unusual signs. This can be done in the shower, with one arm raised and the other performing the checking task. Any doctor can show you the specifics on how to do this. If you do sense something suspicious, make an appointment with your doctor right away to have it looked at. The other thing you can do is be a conscious consumer; every day the FDA is coming out with new information as to what may be potential carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), from food additives to plastics to environmental hazards. Becoming aware and taking the time to be educated can make all the difference in the world.

Another major health concern for women is heart disease. This continues to be the number one killer of women, actually, and it doesn't just happen to those you would suspect. When people think of heart disease, most people think of the severely obese. However, women can suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, and clogged arteries from poor food choices, lack of exercise, and stress. Believe it or not, if you eat fast food on a regular basis and skip the gym in favor of drinks after a very stressful work day that ends at 7:00 p.m. instead of 5:00 p.m., you may be in a higher risk category than your friend who remains calm, eats a lot of healthy food choices, and practices yoga a couple times a week. If you know you are in the first group, the best thing you can do for yourself is to start making small changes. If you can't get away from a stressful job or career, make sure to step away each hour and do deep breathing exercises, and stretch your body while at work. Go to the ladies room to do it if necessary! Try to make smarter food choices, even if it means just eliminating one of your ‘junk food meals' a week. If you're not big on exercise, start with a simple walk a couple times a week and go from there. The sooner you make these changes, the healthier you will be and the less at risk for heart disease.

A third issue for women and one that has been on the rise for quite some time is obesity. The "average" American woman has increased in size to a size 12 or even a size 14, with many women reaching far beyond that size. This can be unhealthy depending on your body fat percentage. While women can take some of the same steps as with heart disease discussed above, people who suffer from obesity may need to take more drastic measures in order to get their weight down. If you are obese, it is definitely time to get your diet in check so that you don't later develop heart disease, or adult diabetes, or a host of other problems from being overweight. Eating a lot of processed, artificially sweetened, or sugar and fat-laden foods is likely a habit, and one that needs to be nipped in the bud. Hand in hand with poor eating habits is exercise habits, and if you don't have any it's time to get some! It will be difficult at first, and you are likely to be winded and tired after a very short time of exertion. However, if you keep pushing through the challenging times you will soon see and feel the difference. You will notice you have more energy, as your workout time may go from ten minutes on the treadmill to fifteen to twenty. As you benefit from this greater energy, it will not only help power you through your workout sessions, but it will put a brighter spin on the rest of your life. You will find you have more energy throughout the day, and chances are you will continue to burn calories because of this. You will probably find an easier time making healthy food choices if you incorporate exercise into your fight against obesity as well.

Women's issues can be the same as men's issues or they can be different. The good news is, women's health concerns get discussed more than they used to, and this gives us greater power in awareness.
at 8:58 AM

3 Romantic East Coast Destinations

Would you like to take your significant other to a romantic destination? If you can afford to take an extra day or two to do more than just dinner, there are a great many East coast destinations all within a couple hours of each other that are wonderful in the winter.

Although it can be blustery cold in late fall and winter, New York City can be a very romantic place for couples. Many couples could use a relationship refresher, and what better way to get back to basics than with a romantic spring-time stroll through Central Park or a horse-and-buggy ride instead? Close by is Rockefeller Center, where, in the late fall and winter, you can ice skate on the open-air rink below the flags of the world and all of the sightseers on the street. Top this off with a cup of steamy cocoa or some hot, sweet peanuts or almonds from the street vendor and you have a very romantic, enjoyable afternoon for not a lot of money.

Of course, New York hotels do not come cheap and a wonderful dinner that evening is a must. If you enjoy being downtown when you visit New York, the Soho Grand is a simple, boutique hotel that is even pet friendly should you need to bring a non-human significant other. It will not be cheap, but the room does come with a complimentary pet goldfish upon request! The Tribeca Grand is its sister hotel, and if you choose to stay in this area you can visit Robert DeNiro's restaurant while you are in the area. Another unique and romantic suggestion is to dine on a yacht. New York's harbors boast wonderful dining aboard ships that sail around the island of Manhattan while you feast. What a memorable dinner that would be! The typical visitor to New York would, of course, make sure to see a show on Broadway after dinner or after their day out and about on the streets of New York. Certainly, there is plenty to choose from if you decide to choose this city that never sleeps for your getaway.

Another wonderful but completely different East coast destination is the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains. Only two and a half hours from New York City, the Poconos offers beautiful scenery and plenty to do either during the spring and summer months or during winter. Depending on the town, it is full of quaint little shops and big manufacturing operations that offer everything from antiques to chocolates to candles. If you enjoy taking scenic rides and shopping ‘til you drop, this could be just the perfect destination.

If you are more of an outdoors type, the Pennsylvania Poconos offers some very good skiing to keep you active through both day and night. Some of the resorts offer lodges with fireside dining and lovely villas to come home to after a full day of snow and sun. Some of the villas come with their own private hot tubs, and we know how romantic a hot tub can be!

Perhaps you would rather have everything included in your short time away? There are a number of romantic, all-inclusive resorts in the mountains of Pennsylvania that have made the Poconos a favorite with honeymooners on the East coast. Caesars Pocono Resort and Cove Haven are just two of the resorts that offer secluded, top-notch room selections. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can even book a room with its own private swimming pool! If you don't want to go quite that crazy, most rooms come with fireplaces and heart-shaped Jacuzzi tubs, room service and complimentary champagne, and some have saunas and round, mirrored beds as well. It's all about togetherness at these resorts, and they cater to the couple. What more can you ask for from a romantic destination?

Another top destination for romance on the east is the New England shore towns. Believe it or not, the shoreline can be extremely romantic even during the winter months. The towns are no longer full of the music and festivities of the summer, and long gone are the young and loud partygoers. Instead, you are left with the quiet calm of the locals, many of whom operate bed and breakfast inns throughout the year. You can still enjoy an amazing seafood feast in the later fall and winter months; the difference is that it is prepared in front of a fireplace at a bed and breakfast, rather than al fresco at some seaside cabana. While the latter is fine when you are sunning with family and friends, it can be quite relaxing and romantic to enjoy a bowl of hot chowder and fine sea fare at dinner, prepared in someone's home with the utmost care, knowing that a four-poster, warm quilted bed awaits you in this old farmhouse by the sea when you are ready to retire.

No matter which city or resort you choose, you really cannot go wrong with any one of these romantic East coast destinations.
at 8:57 AM

How to Finally Live Your Life with Passion

You know you're living your life with passion if you can say, "If someone offered me two hundred million dollars per week to give up what I’m doing, I would say, No, thank you!"

That's all fine, well and good, but you may be wondering, "how do I get there?"

The key to living this way is to first eliminate those tasks, adult people, obligations and associations that you are not deeply enjoying.

Second, it is imperative that you take some time out of your schedule and really ask yourself what has been some of the most difficult periods of your life? You may wonder what this has to do with living a life with passion, so I will share this with you, now.

Living a life with deep passion means living a life with deep meaning. It may very well be those precise areas of your life where you have endured great hardship, and became determined to turn it around, that you find you can share the same with others.

Then you are a beacon of hope. First for yourself, and for others by way of your example. You will share from your heart just to make a difference, because it feels good, and not for any ulterior motive or reason.

You will feel validated from within because you will be living from your heart, rather than the fears in your head. This requires courage, and many times it is not easy. If I were to tell you it is easy all of the time, I would be lying to you.

It is scary to move into unfamiliar territory, but it is even scarier to wither away and watch your lifetime slide by without ever taking a pure and positive risk.

Furthermore, you do not ever need another person’s permission, stamp of approval, understanding, or validation to be and express who you are. The only person’s stamp of approval you need is your own.

When you begin to worry about what others think, immediately turn your attention to how you feel, and what you prefer. Then, follow through in your actions one moment at a time.

So many people worry about how it's all going to turn out, at leas I used to. But what I have found to be so empowering is to follow through in the moment because it feels true and good to me, and I know my motives are pure. They are not attached to an outcome. It is the process of living out what you love from your heart, because that aspect of you carries deep meaning to you, that it will naturally touch the lives of others who need what you are sharing.

Perhaps they need a role model who has "been there" and who can relate. Perhaps you will attract other people with whom you collaborate and work together to spread the word about what you are sharing with the world.

There is one thing that passion can never be; it can never be bought. It's something you feel in your heart, and you feel a great deal of joy during your process. Does this mean you’ll never have a difficult or sad day? No, it means that when you do, you know it will pass, and you have a great deal of purpose and meaning backing you, which adds to the joy you experience in your day to day life.

Here are some suggested guidelines that you can follow.

Only follow through with what feels true to you, as long as it does not bring harm to anyone or anything.

Make sure your motive is pure, without being tied to an agenda or an outcome.

Be certain that what you are sharing truly matters to you in your heart.

Keep putting it out there on a consistent basis because people will resonate with and relate to what you are sharing.

Honor what makes you unique, every part of you, and cease all negative criticism.

Tell the naysayers in your life nothing! When they ask how you are, simply reply, "Good, no complaints!"

Seek out a trusting and supportive support system of people who are on a similar path and who share a lot in common with what you believe.

Dare to take a risk every time you want to create or express something, do it.

Never take insults into your being and allow them to hurt you. They are the perceptions of others, and other people are entitled to their beliefs and preferences. At the same time, continue with what you are doing.

Make your passion your "from-the-heart-mission" in life, and allow it to bloom, expand and unfold one moment at a time. Instead of worrying about how it’s all going to turn out, live it out in the moment.

Remember you are here to live, not stagnate. You are here to share the best of times and the worst of times, knowing that they all contribute greatly to your growth, and your mission.

Remember that many people who create enormous contributions in our world have experienced great adversity. That adversity strengthens us, and it teaches us a lot.

What have you learned from the adversity you have experienced?
What do you love doing?
What are your natural talents?

Start right where you are, now, this moment, and express what inspires you. Then, follow through just one moment at a time. That is really all it takes. But, it takes your deepest heart and the meaning behind what you are doing, expressing and creating that carries the most weight to living a life passionately.

If you don’t feel passionate about it, toss it.
If you feel inspired, go for it.
When you feel scared, just know that everyone feels scared moving out of their comfort zone.
Make that a positive sign of your personal growth.

Most of all live it all out from your heart, because it brings joy to your heart. That is what matters most, and that is the only way you can live a life with passion. Just start, now. You have a clean slate ahead of you.

© Copyright 2006 by Barbara Rose, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

Barbara Rose, Ph.D. is the best selling author of nine books including If God Hears Me, I Want an Answer!, Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE, and Know Yourself. She is an internationally recognized expert in personal transformation, relationships, consciousness and spiritual awakening, and a pioneering force in incorporating Higher Self Communication, the nondenominational study and integration of humanity's God Nature into modern personal growth and spiritual evolution. Dr. Rose is known for providing life changing answers, quick practical coaching and deep spiritual wisdom to people worldwide as the Founder and Director of IHSC, Institute of Higher Self Communication. Her highly acclaimed books, public speaking events, spiritual intensives, teleseminars, webcasts, and internationally published articles have transformed the lives of thousands across the globe. Dr. Rose works in cooperation with some of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time, to uplift the spiritual consciousness of humanity.

Three Relationship Goals for the Single Woman

This time of year is the perfect time to set goals to better your life. Lots of people will try to lose their holiday weight. Others will resolve to better their employment, improve their relationship with others, or become more educated. As a single woman, you may feel like the one area of your life that you'd really like to improve is impossibly left up to chance. Is it really possible to resolve to improve your love life?

Absolutely! You choose how your love life turns out. Of course, you can't do anything to ensue that Mr. Right will be in your life by Valentines Day, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of finding true love and feel better about your life. Listed below are three simple resolutions you can do to better your love life.

1. Discover the Real You

At the moment, you are single. So many women feel that this is a situation to be avoided. This is the wrong way to look at it. Each of us will be single at some time in life. It is more important that we take advantage of being single instead of seeing it as a curse. Right now, you are the only one who has a say in your life. You can do what you want, go where you want, and become whatever you want. This makes single life the best time to decide what you want out of life and figure out who you want to become. It's an exciting adventure that it best to take while single.

2. Enjoy Becoming your Best Self

After you have decided where you are going and who you want to become, start working towards those dreams! You'll be amazed at the joy that comes from developing yourself. This will also help you decipher what kind of guys will be best for who you really are. No more trying to impress men! By being true to yourself, you will naturally impress the ones who would be most compatible with you.

3. Find and Keep the Guy for You

Once you begin developing your true self, how and when to add the right guy will become more apparent to you. It will even be more obvious where to look for him. You will also know more about what you need in a soul mate, and will be able to decipher between true love and another dead end relationship.

Is it possible to set goals about your love life? Absolutely! It is your choice whether or not your love life improves. Decide today to make this year better than ever!

Want to find true love? Wendy Bridger is here to help you reach your relationship goals and find your true soul mate through a unique journey of self discovery and understanding.

A Plasma HDTV or an LCD TV Set - Which is Better?

Though both LCD and plasma displays come in the form of slim flat panel displays, yet from a technology perspective, these two flat panel displays process the image in a totally different manner.

Plasma uses a matrix of tiny gas plasma cells that are charged by precise electrical voltages to emit light and hence to create the picture image. Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) panels - work by trapping a liquid crystal solution between two sheets of polarized glass. When an electric current is passed through the liquid crystals, they change the polarization of the light passing through them in response to the electric voltage – as a result of which, more or less light is able to pass through the polarized glass on the face of the display.

It is not the scope of this article to go into the actual details of how these different display technologies process the image – after all, what really matters is not what is going behind the screen but rather how these different display technologies perform as a television screen. At the same time, it is worth taking note that it is these same differences that give each of these display technologies, its strengths and weaknesses, and that therefore render one more suitable than the other in certain circumstances.


The list below highlights the most important differences between these two flat panel display technologies:

Size: For the time being, collision between plasma television and LCD TV occur in the 40 to 50 inch screen range. In reality, most LCD TVs top out at around 50 inch; larger screen sizes are also available though choice is still very much limited. This means that for anything larger than 50-inch, a plasma display is your only real option if what you are after is a direct-view TV system. On the other hand, at the smaller end of spectrum, namely 15” to 36” TVs, LCD is the way to go if what you want is something stylish and slim (at under 4-inches in depth).

Price: Here, the playing field is leveling at a fast rate. Up to very recent, plasma was the obvious choice for all screen sizes where collision between these two technologies occurs; this is no longer the case. In general, plasma still leads by a good margin only at the bigger screen sizes – 50-inch and upwards. At the smaller end (up to 44-inch), the price advantage when it comes to plasma vs LCD TV sets, starts to shift more towards LCD TVs.

Overall Picture Performance: Both plasma and the latest TFT-LCD flat panel displays are capable of producing excellent picture quality – with bright, crisp clear images. However, plasma flat panel displays are more suitable for basic home theater usage than LCD. The gas cell structure within a plasma display is such that there is no light leaking between adjacent cells (or pixels). This renders plasma displays capable of displaying deeper blacks – hence more suited to television and movie scenes where lots of dark and light content is shown simultaneously.

In comparison, the nature of LCD technology – where a backlight shines through the LCD layer – means that it is hard for it to achieve true blacks (i.e. true absence of light) as there is always some light leakage from adjacent pixels.

This does not mean that LCD panel s are not suitable as TV screens; today’s LCD TV sets make use of extreme high contrast panels that are capable of displaying very deep blacks, yet the latest plasma TV sets still have a slight edge.

Viewing-angle: What used to be a clear advantage for plasma displays is becoming more and more a non-issue especially with the latest generation of LCD televisions, however...

Do not always assume that viewing angle is no longer an issue when comparing plasma vs lcd TVs. The tendency – in particular with the cheaper LCD TV sets - is that the deterioration in picture quality with off-axis viewing is more accentuated with LCD than with plasma displays.

Image Retention and Burn-in: LCD TVs enjoys a technological advantage; they are not prone to burn-in, and image retention in LCD TVs – referred to as ‘image sticking’, is often completely reversible.

It is important to realize here that while burn-in in plasma displays and image sticking in LCD panels both lead to image retention, yet these are two completely different phenomena.

Burn-in is no longer much of a concern as it used to be with plasma televisions up to the recent past, especially for people with normal TV viewing requirements. Similarly, image sticking with LCD TVs is unlikely to take place under normal home entertainment use.

Viewing Distance: It seems that the pixel size and shape of an LCD panel renders a smoother picture than an equivalently sized plasma panel for the same pixel count.

This means that even if your viewing distance falls within the recommended distance of approximately twice the screen width for an HDTV, if this is less than at least nine feet, most probably you will be better off with an LCD TV.

Life-time: This is a non-issue with either technology. In fact, both plasma and LCD TV sets come with a quoted half-lifetime of around 60,000hrs. Even if this were just 30,000hrs, it would imply more than 14 years of use at 6 hours a day. And this when the average household in the US replaces the TV set every 7 years!

In other words, both plasma and LCD TV sets make use of extremely stable and reliable display technologies. As such, lifetime is more dependent upon manufacturer quality rather than upon display technology.

Response: Plasma TV sets carry an advantage here because even though LCD technology has improved to the extent that this is becoming less of an issue, yet LCD has still some way to go to achieve the same level of pixel response times as phosphor based displays.

Power Requirements: The advantage here goes to LCD panels as these consume less electricity. Estimates show that the use of LCD panels can result in some 30% power savings for the same screen size than plasma display.


Making the Choice

There is a market for both plasma and LCD displays - Plasma gives you a bigger screen for your dollar, deeper blacks, but then LCD do not suffer from burn-in and at the smaller end of the market (less than 40-inch screen size), LCD is your only way forward if you want something slim and stylish.

It is all a question of knowing what are the advantages and limitations of each with respect to your specific needs.


This article is an excerpt from a series of informative guides appearing on Practical-Home-Theater-Guide.COM under the Plasma and LCD TV sections of the site.

It covers only the very basics when it comes to compare plasma vs LCD TVs. There are a lot more considerations one has to take into account when selecting the display technology for a flat screen TV.

To find out more, please refer to the detailed guides appearing on the same site at http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/plasma-vs-lcd-TV.html.

Last updated on 10th May 2007. Copyright (c) 2004/2007 www.practical-home-theater-guide.com. All rights reserved.


Andrew Ghigo – A Telecoms/Electronics engineer by profession, with specialization in digital switching and telecoms fraud management systems; a keen home theater enthusiast, with a lifelong interest in home electronics and a devoted audiophile for the last 25-yrs.

Editor and publisher of http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com - a comprehensive home theater guide to home theater systems, product reviews and home theater design.

More informative guides on LCD TV sets appear under the LCD TV section of the site at http://www.practical-home-theater-guide.com/LCD-Tv.html.

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