There are going to be wedding gowns from $199-$1999. Not only will there be wedding gowns, but you will also be able to find bridesmaids dresses, shoes, veils, and accessories! It is defintely worth stopping by if you are in the market for any of the mentioned items.
.....Until SPRING. I am itching for beautiful weather. Who isn't over this winter weather?
I just can't wait for the trees to blossom with buds, flowers to bloom, and the wind to be a warm breeze.....Spring brings everyone back to life as well. Think of all those who stay indoors simply because it is cold out. Oh I can't wait to put the boots, sweaters, and wool coats away! It is just around the corner....
Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
Are you feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed? Just take a few deep breaths and you will begin to relax. Close your eyes, inhale through your nose, hold till the count of 4, and exhale through your mouth. Repeat. Zone out your surroundings. Feel your body relaxing. Listen to your breathe.
O.K. so maybe that didn't solve your problems, but you can't deny that it didn't relax you a little! I am one who relies on my breath (alright, then again, who doesn't it?). I have suffered with anxiety in the past and every time I felt anxious, I became uncomfortable in my own skin. My heart would be racing as if it was going to jump out of my chest. In order to calm myself (hoping the anxiousness wouldn't lead to an anxiety attack) I would close my eyes and focus on my breathing (sometimes this would take 10-15 minutes before I could begin to relax). But it truly helped me! It is amazing what a little breathing can do!
I subscribe to Self magazine (my family would say "Of course you would." I have been known to be self-absorbed from time to time.) Anyways, getting back on track my March issue just arrived today and on the cover in bold fuchsia letters is read Make today happier.
Authenticity is key to a happy, healthy, more meaningful existence. Just being yourself sounds so easy, yet it's suprisingly hard to do. Here's how to be your truest self every day. —Marjorie Ingall
A few years ago, I was sitting at a family brunch listening to an elderly relative blithely spout racist and homophobic remarks. The room was so silent, you could have heard a pin drop—a pin I wish I could have poked her with. Was anyone going to challenge her? Apparently not. Should I say something? Because I'd only married into this family, I worried about overstepping. Gently, I offered, "I think you're making some major generalizations…." She glared, and a cousin shot me a silent message: Shut it. I did.
Years later, I still regret not speaking up, and the memory of that moment makes me feel as if I'd betrayed myself. As I discovered, being genuinely authentic—something experts define as knowing who you are and what you value and being true to those things in your daily life—is vital to happiness, as important as forming strong friendships and finding fulfilling work. "Research shows that if you talk about what you believe and identify with what you say, rather than hiding yourself from others, you'll be a happier person," says Kennon Sheldon, Ph.D., professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri at Columbia. "To achieve peak happiness—autonomy, competence and relatedness—we have to do what we believe, do it well, keep getting better at it and connect to other people in the process. The surest way to achieve all that is to live authentically," Sheldon explains.
Understanding who you are and feeling confident enough to express your views may also lead to improved health and longevity. "People who score high on measures of authenticity tend to have better resources for dealing with setbacks, feel more secure in their ability to meet life's challenges, form deeper relationships and develop a stronger sense of self-worth," says Brian Goldman, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Clayton State University. They also seem to experience less stress. "Studies suggest that individuals who know themselves well and act on what they know report fewer stress-related symptoms such as headaches, backaches and stomachaches."
But what if who you are defies the expectations of everyone around you? Or what if you have conflicting impulses, as I did that day at brunch—specifically, a desire to avoid a scene versus standing up for what I knew was right? "We all have versions of ourselves that pull us in different directions," says Catherine Birndorf, M.D., a psychiatrist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and self's psychology expert. For instance, you may act one way at work and another with friends. (No F-bombs at the staff meeting!) "But if loved ones are pointing out that you're not being yourself on a regular basis"—e.g., you suppress your opinions because you don't want to anger your hotheaded boyfriend—"that's a clue you're not being true to yourself and you should look at that," she says.
Women, in particular, may have a tough time with authenticity. "Marching to your own drummer goes against evolutionary conditioning," says Julie Holland, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. "Women are hardwired to chug along a predetermined path—couple up, have kids," she says. "Plus, most of us are taught that it's more important to fit in than to be authentic to who we are."
Another evolutionary strike against authenticity: "Typically, women tend to be nurturers; we're more attuned to other people's needs," Dr. Birndorf says. "When you're worrying so much about how others are doing, it can be difficult to be aware of what you want, never mind speaking up about it." But if you make no effort to figure out what you want, you're almost certain to disappoint yourself—and be less happy, to boot.
The four keys to living authentically
So how do you go about getting real? Goldman says these four factors are critical to finding and projecting who you are. 1 An awareness of what makes you tick That could mean knowing you value the freedom to be creative more than you do having a regular routine, or that you'd rather have a few close confidantes than a wide circle of casual acquaintances. 2 The ability to gauge your weaknesses Maybe you know you're not the biggest brainiac, but you compensate by being a superstar worker. Or you can acknowledge that you have a habit of telling white lies to make your anecdotes more interesting. 3 A willingness to act in accordance with your values That might mean speaking up against injustice or refusing to do work that runs counter to your beliefs. 4 Honest and sincere relationships "Letting people know who you really are, revealing your vulnerabilities as well as your strengths, is key if you want strong, healthy relationships," says Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of The How of Happiness. Meaning you need to be able to share all the sides of you, even the ones you're not always proud of. "Honest disclosure helps create closeness, which leads to greater social support and long-term joy," she says.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the more comfortable you are with your beliefs, the easier it will be to stick up for them. "It may be tough to speak out about an issue when you're feeling ambivalent, but once you're clear about what your true feelings are, you'll feel stronger and more able to stay the course," Dr. Birndorf explains.
One surprising factor that might make it easier to be authentic: the economic downturn. "What's happening in the economy is terrifying, yes, but it's also forcing some of us to break down our facades and do a bit of soul searching about who we are and what we want," says Mike Robbins, a life coach and author of Be Yourself: Everyone Else Is Already Taken. "We're trying to define our identity without a job or a 401(k)." That can feel frightening at first, but it's also an opportunity to figure out how to pack more meaning into your day-to-day and connect with others more deeply.
Ready to lead a life you feel good about, from the inside out? Dive in to the following exercises, designed to help you hear your inner voice and heed it, so every day can feel richer, more joy-filled and less stressful, starting right now.
Pinpoint what matters to you
Pursuing intrinsic goals—goals motivated by you alone, rather than family, friends or society—will bring you more satisfaction and pleasure than following a path you haven't chosen freely, according to Lyubomirsky. So grab a pen and answer these questions, to hone in on what you value most.
What makes you happiest? Is it spending time with people you love or solving tough problems? If you're having trouble being specific, "try thinking about words or concepts that feel meaningful, whether that's integrity, ambition, passion, success or connection," Dr. Birndorf suggests. "Ask yourself what defines you, what's most important in your life."
Next, consider what upsets you most. All the injustice in the world? Feeling disconnected from friends and family?
What are your deepest fears? That you'll become homeless? Never having the adventures you've dreamed of?
What gifts do you want to share? Are you a genius at bringing people together? Do you have a yen to write poetry?
If it's difficult to zero in on what you truly value, ask yourself this question: "If today were my last day on earth, what would I do?" This exercise should help you target what really resonates with you, whether it's leading a life that's endlessly stimulating or enjoying well-loved rituals with family close at hand. Once you've achieved this self-awareness, you'll be better equipped to choose friends and a partner who share your values, find a career and hobbies that thrill you and build a life you love.
Know your weaknesses
It's not enough to know what you care about. You also need to be aware of your strengths and where you fall short so you can choose realistic goals that will ultimately feel satisfying. To see if you're a master of unbiased processing—the ability to view yourself objectively, warts and all—try to recall…
A time you ignored your gut. Ever hooked up with an ex against your better judgment, then felt (predictably) regretful? Next time, pause when you get that initial sinking feeling. "Often, when you're not paying attention to your inner voice, you'll experience a variety of physical sensations—aches and pains or a pounding heart," Dr. Birndorf says. "Take note, then ask yourself, Am I listening to my internal compass?"
A time you tried to whitewash one of your flaws. Maybe deep down, you know you're an ace procrastinator, but somehow, you always find an excuse for why things don't get done. (No time!) "None of us is perfect," Dr. Birndorf says. "By accepting the various shades of gray, you'll have a clearer picture of who you are and what you need to do to get what you want."
A time you blamed someone else for your mistake. ("If you hadn't distracted me, I'd have done a better job!") The point of these questions is not to beat yourself up—you probably do too much of that anyway. "You want to become more aware, a key step in changing any negative behaviors," Dr. Holland says.
I experienced that kind of awareness firsthand, when I landed a coveted producer job at a new, much ballyhooed cable network for women. Many friends and colleagues were envious and told me so. I should have been thrilled, except I hated the work. I found the pace too fast and the treatment of issues superficial; I missed delving deep into research and writing long paragraphs. If I had been honest with myself, I'd have admitted that I was doing something that didn't suit me. But I was too busy forcing myself to put on a happy face to pay attention to what I was feeling—like a fish out of water. Everyone else thought my job was prestigious and cool, so it must be so!
Clearly, I was ignoring the first tenet of authenticity: being aware of what made me tick. I also wasn't paying attention to what I knew about my strengths and weaknesses (the second tenet).
Then I got promoted: The big bosses wanted me to manage the other writers. Given that the only part of the job I enjoyed and valued was the friendships I had made with these writers, the prospect of having to be the one to tell them what to do, cracking the whip and losing those congenial relationships made me feel anxious rather than joyful. My reaction, and the fact that I was finally able to acknowledge it, hammered home how unhappy I was. So I gave notice and returned to magazine writing. And before long, I could breathe again.
Align your values and actions
As for my failure to stand up to my bigoted relative at that long-ago brunch, that broke authenticity tenet number three: I didn't act in a way that was congruent with my values. I've always prided myself on being someone who stands up to oppression. (I write articles in favor of gay marriage and against racism. I bring my kids to political rallies. I watch Jon Stewart!) I'm not saying I should have drowned out her rant by singing 1960s folk songs, but let's be honest: After a feeble protest, I caved. And my silence conveyed the message that this woman's words were acceptable. Maybe if I'd done the following exercise beforehand, I wouldn't have betrayed myself that way.
Think of a time you didn't act in concert with your values. Next, change the script. What could you have done or said differently? What if you'd said X and she'd said Y? "It's easy to brood over the times we've let ourselves down or blurted out something silly," Dr. Birndorf says. "Instead of replaying these missteps, it's helpful to reimagine how you might have handled things differently so you can do better next time."
That doesn't mean envisioning a scene in which you're simply telling the person off. "Being authentic is not about being a jerk—you have to respect where someone else is coming from," Sheldon says. "The best way to be persuasive is to take in someone else's perspective, to say something like, 'You may not see it this way, but here's why I think what I do.' You have to give people the space to have a different opinion."
Reflect on the possible consequences of your new version. What's the worst that could have happened? Would speaking your mind really have been so catastrophic?
When I look back on my relative's tirade and my tepid response, I realize that I could have tried to say something along the lines of "The way you're talking is making me uncomfortable. But we have different views here, so let's change the subject." Even if she lost her temper, no biggie—I'd still look like the reasonable one. Or I could have kept my mouth shut, avoided conflict altogether, then clued in my younger cousins as to how I was feeling later. ("You know it's not right to talk like that, don't you? I wish I'd said something, but I didn't want to embarrass Cousin So-and-So.")
Dare to reveal your true self
Perhaps the toughest part of being authentic is owning up to your less than noble emotions (jealousy when a friend announces she's pregnant while you've been fruitlessly trying for years). Why bother? When you allow yourself to be known, you give others the opportunity to reveal themselves as well. That's what brings people closer, a key to happiness.
Consider whether you express your true emotions. Start by asking yourself this question: A friend tells you that she has landed your secret dream job. How do you react to the "good" news?
A With a squeal of joy; you can cry later, when you're alone.
B By saying, "Wow, I've heard they work really long hours there. Forget that vacation you were planning!"
C By telling your friend how proud you are of her and that you know she'll do great in her new gig, but also admitting that you're a little bit jealous of her accomplishment.
If you answered C, congratulations. You're generally able to show your emotions, even when they're not pretty, which means you likely have close bonds. If you answered A or B, you'll be glad to know you have the chance to improve your relationships. "Being your true self doesn't mean obliterating the traits that aren't great," Dr. Birndorf says. "If you're feeling jealous, you don't have to hide it. Coming clean may even help you identify a possible problem before it turns into something huge, and you'll both understand each other better." There is a bonus beyond deepening the friendship: "When you recognize that it's possible to have complex, opposing feelings at the same time, that's a huge emotional victory," Dr. Birndorf says.
As I've gotten older and learned to trust myself, I've had more of those kinds of victories, like when I fell in love with my husband and decided to go live with him, clear across the country. When I told a former boss and mentor about my plans, she was horrified: "My generation did not pave the way for yours so that you could give up and play house!" I had always looked up to this woman, so her negative response made me anxious. I, too, felt worried about not being properly feminist or that I'd feel like a fool if the relationship didn't work out and I ended up slinking home with my tail between my legs.
Yet despite all that, I kept on with my plan. I also vowed to tell people the real reason I was moving (my boyfriend lives in California, and I'm going there to be with him) as opposed to inventing fake reasons for my move (I need a break from New York City). Despite the inevitable criticism, it was easier to tell the truth—even to my mentor—because I knew that my desires were authentic. And although there were no guarantees that things would work out, I wanted to try. In return, I got love and challenges and hot sex and pain and joy and, eventually, beautiful children. But even if my relationship had tanked and I'd moved back alone, I know that taking the risk would have been worth it. I was, after all, following not only my gut but also my heart. You can't get more authentic than that.
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
~Alexaner Graham Bell~
We too often are attached to the past, to what we are fimiliar and comfortable with; therefore, we may miss opportunities that are right in front of us! Those two quotes are so true! When a door closes we tend to dwell on the past and forgot that a new door has been opened. The world is full of opportunities, if we could only see them.
We need to learn to except that not all of our plans will work out. We will have losses, failures, problems in relationships, and sometimes unpleasant occurances. It needs to be accepte that we will not always have control over these happenings; however, we can excercise control with our attitude and our attention we display. When something doesn't go according to "plan" we focus our attention on that loss (closed door) which causes frustration and unhappiness. Yet, if we could only divert our attention off away (from that closes door) we could surprise ourselves with a new discovery (new open doors).
This is not something that can easily be accomplished...it hard to let go and move away from the attachment of fimiliarity and toward the fear of the unkown.
Now you ask how can you be set free of those past attachments? How can you bring yourself to realize, see, and enter the new doors of opportunites have been opened for you?
Well, there is some much need effort on you part:
1. You will need to be more aware of your thoughts.
2. Desire to free yourself from thoughts that keep you stuck in one place.
3. Develop some degree of self discipline.
4. Develop some concentration ability and control over your mind.
5. Take advantage of the power of affirmation and visualization.
6. Some degree of inner peace is also required. Since inner peace helps you reject unwanted, negative thoughts, and become more open-minded, positive and happy. When you experience inner peace, it would be easier for you to detach yourself from the past, keep an open mind, and therefore see more clearly the new doors that open for you.
Holding someone's hand is a powerful emotional act that is so simple to do! It can symbolize many things; strength, support, connection, togetherness, affection, protection, guiding, it can express friendship or love....
Do you know that in Arab countries, Africa, and some parts of Aisia men and/or boys hold hands which is a sign of rescpect and friendship.
The human hand is one of the most amazing parts of our bodies. Think of the things you’ve touched with your hands, all the things you have made… There are so many things we have held in our hands, from car keys to cell phones to flowers. Even now as I’m typing this on my keyboard I am using my hands. (Obviously!)
Today, why don't you to hold someone’s hand. You don’t have to hold it for very long, just for a few minutes. You can hold anyone’s hand: the hand of a child, the hand of a friend, your partner, your neighbor, maybe even a stranger you barely know!
I am not sure if it is because I am single, but I find today to be such a commercialized holiday! I think the true meaning of (Saint) Valentine's Day has been lost. Tell me, why is it that our society makes us believe we have to shower our loved ones with chocolates, flowers, jewelry, lingere (O.K. you get my point) on this 14th of February. Valentie's Day should be EVERYDAY! We should be able to share our feeling to those we care about everday! There is no need to have to shower each other with gifts either (however, I am not one to complain when I recieve a gift, I am just saying).
Now, for those of you who are single.....
Happy Singles Awareness Day!
(I am not implying that those in relationships can't think for themselves.)
My dearest friend, Hayley, and I were out to dinner the other night and got talking about how people force their happiness. How happy are you? Do you force yourself and attempt to make yourself think that you are happy? Or perhaps, you are content, but not necessarily happy. But why settle with contentment?
I can now openly admit that there was a time where I faked my smile and made myself believe that I was actually happy thinking that would fool those I was surrounded by that I was happy. I will never forget asking my therapist if I would ever be happy, truly happy. I even question what happiness was, did it even exist? Or could I just settle with being content and by being content would I really be satisfied? I had moment where I thought that nothing would ever be good enough for me. I worried that if I "settled" then there would be something I would miss out on. After two years of working with my dearest therapist (God, I love her!) I said in a session that I love the feeling of happiness. I was not only content with my life, but I was HAPPY! Who would have thought! I certainly believed I would never see the day!
After doing some research on happiness vs. contentment my results were quite intriguing. There are some people who believe that the two are exactly the same, and there are others that that think contentment is greater to posses than happiness. I may not agree with those thoughts and then again people may not agree to my beliefs. We all have our own opinions and that is what makes life interesting....
I came across a this one particular person's contribution of happiness vs. contentment on Angelfire.com.
I wanted to share it and I have also added some comments in red through out the explanation.
"Happiness is something that comes and goes (I beg to differ). It is about excitement, fun, moments, actions, and material things. Contentment is something that lasts (And why can't happiness last?). It's about going with the flow, enjoying the satisfaction of work, and appreciating nature and life. Selfish people tend to strive for happiness and are less content (Really?). People who strive to be content tend to be more patient, caring, and happier. You can find happiness in money, pleasure, and doing what you want. You can find contentment in religion, family, giving, making other people happy, hard work, education, and exercise (But can't you also find happiness in these things as well?). Also, when you are content, your happy times are happier and your sadness is less sad. Self-indulgence makes you happy. Sacrifice makes you content.
A less obvious way of becoming content is your environment. Try to avoid negative people, depressing music, staying indoors too long, not getting enough sleep. All these things can make a person unhealthy and depressed (I agree). One thing that I have experienced personally is the color of your walls. Darker wall colors make a person less content. I suggest white walls with a colorful trim (Who knew we were also getting interior design advise - O.K. now I am getting a little fresh..). Watch less TV. All that violence and apathy really tick at a person's mind.
You may not see the difference between contentment and happiness, or you may think the ways of becoming content are stupid. I'm not demanding that you paint your house, stop watching TV, go outside more, read more, and go to church. You may not even notice a difference if you do. But I am suggesting these things, because believe it or not they really do make a difference." (Ah, a good way to end this.)
I think that my happiness and my contentment now go hand in hand with one another....Now, what are you feeling? Where are you in your life with happiness and being content?
A week ago today a new life was brought into this world.
Callum Geisert Bresnahan was born February 3, 2011.
7 lb 11 oz. 21 inches
He belongs to my cousbrofnd (cousin, brother, friend) Liam and Christina Bresnahan. Callum is Liam and Tina's first child and they are going to be such wonderful parents! His middle name is Tina's maiden name, incase you were wondering where Geisert came from. Callum will grow up to be an avid sports fan just like his parents. It is going to be a toss up between being a Cardinals or Red Sox fan. His paternal grandparents are wishing for a the Red Sox to be in his blood! I bet they have already bought his Red Sox gear. He will more than likely play football since that is his mother's favorite sport! He will appreciate the value of cars just like his mother and maternal grandfather.
Callum is a wonderful addition to our growing family. I can't wait to meet him.
My soon-to-be 3 year old nephew, Toriano, sure does know how to melt my heart. I woke up Saturday morning with a voice message from him. Normally, I would have answered; however, I was in Tahoe which is three hours behind Massachusetts. Most naturally the first thing I did when I woke up was listen to his voicemail.
I hear this adorable voice say:
"Hi. Call me back. I miss you. Love you. Bye."
Of course I saved it and have listened to again and again! I mean how could I not!?!? Just hearing his voice makes me smile. I called him back - O.K. I really called his father and he put Toriano on speaker phone.
Once again I hear that lovable voice:
"When are you going to come visit me?"
Oh, it broke my heart to tell him in another month!
After our conversation I began thinking how much I missed him and his sister. Would I really be able to last another month before I got to see them again? Ha-ha, nope! I caved and decided to go home this weekend!
I may be single and not have a "Valentine", but now I have two! I can't wait to shower the two of them with Valentines! Of course, now all excited about going home I wanted to share with Toriano that I will get to see him soon! I called last night and I heard him in the back ground....
"Casey is coming to see me this weekend, from New York."
So, I have been down and out for the past few days with a lovely respiratory infection. Today is my first day back to reality and the real world....While I was at home I would wake up from my naps and I thought about blogging, but then I thought about what the hell I would write about because I for one was not a happy camper!
Today, I want to share some quotes about smiling....
"Sometimes just a smile on our face can help to make this world a better place. Stand up for the things that are right. Try to talk things out instead of fight. Lend a hand when you can, get involved this is good. You can help to make a difference in your neighborhood."
- Robert Alan-
"Most smiles are started by another smile."
-Frank A. Clark-
"Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other -- it doesn't matter who it is -- and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other."
"A smile cures the wounding of a frown."
"There are hundreds of languages in the world but a smile speaks them all."