Relationship Enrichment

As the season is changing we are blessed here in Colorado with long days and warm nights and a number of outdoor activities that allow for creative and fun activities to enrich your relationships, provide more quality time with your family and connect with your community.

Here are just a few:

1) Invite your partner to go on a walk  3-4 times per week. This will not only allow you to enjoy the weather and each other but will also get your muscles moving and provide a daily dose of vitamin D.  Take advantage of the beautiful sunshine!

2) Plan a picnic or outdoor BBQ. This is a great way to break out of your evening routine and include the whole family in preparing a fun and healthy meal. Bring along a few games, a deck of cards, or art supplies to continue building relationships and create lasting memories.

3) Plant an outdoor or indoor herb/vegetable garden. Creating a small herb garden or a planter for fresh vegetables is much easier than one may think. A few fresh organic herb sprouts can be as little as $5.00 at your local natural foods market or hardware store and a packet of seeds for planting range from $0.40- $2.00. This is a hands-on way to educate your children on sustainable living and impart taking responsibility and caring for the environment.

 

For the singles!

 

1) Designate a few evenings a week to visit your local dog park or the park closest to your community. This is a great way to meet new people and enjoy some time outdoors.

2) Take up a new sport or hobby. Sign up to walk or jog in a local 5k, challenge a friend to a tennis game or join your nearest Rec Center. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you set goals or learn something new.

3) Throw a summer themed dinner party! There are a number of fresh and easy summer recipes to be found online that take no time at all. Turn it into a pot luck or have everyone join you in the kitchen to prepare the meal! This will not only enrich your current friendships but may even spark some new ones!

 

 

 

Enriching your relationships and your life is up to you! There are a number of fun and easy ways to move forward and there is no better time than right now!

 

Blessing!

Cydney Morgan, Counselor and Wellness Practitioner

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Self-Image and Loving-Kindness

Traditional therapy approaches to self-image often center around a person’s personality and family of origin issues. Others view self-image through the lens of “self-improvement” and within that view challenges are addressed with lifestyle choices (such as exercise habits, positive self-talk, addressing distorted perceptions, and so forth). I think that these ways of helping a person with her self-image—among others–are both beneficial tools. But I would also like to offer another idea, gleaned from the Buddhist tradition. The concept is known as maitri. The term means loving-kindness and in a sense is a radical departure from Western views of self-perception and behavior, which often ultimately lead us to believe that our love for ourselves needs to be conditional. That is, “if I do A and B very well and follow up about C then I have the right to feel satisfied and happy”. On the other hand if A, B, and C weren’t up to par or worse weren’t done at all, then all is lost and we should feel saddened and depressed by our failures. This is what we have been trained to believe about ourselves. Crazy but true right?! With maitri the person is asked to mindfully examine herself with compassionate awareness and to treat herself and her life with equal compassion and respect. Most of us already practice elements of maitri on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. Whether it is taking a hot shower in the morning, making and eating a tasty and healthy meal, napping if we’ve had a long week, walking the dog in a pretty park, or just making a cup of tea for oneself and a friend, all of these “practices” develop our sense of kindness towards ourselves and give us the experience of self-respect, dignity, and gentleness. These practices in turn, lead us to feel more emotionally spacious and grounded, which in turn creates greater contentment, satisfaction, and self-acceptance. In making maitri practice a mindful everyday experience we become more appreciative of ourselves and our lives. And the amazing news is that these practices are always accessible, in one form or another, to all of us! So, for this week, why not find two or three things to do each day to consciously take care of ourselves and our world and do so in a mindful and gentle way?

 Good luck! Nik

Nikolas H. Maslow, M.A., LPC, CGP                                                                                                                                                                                                             My background is in Contemplative Psychotherapy, having received my master’s degree from Naropa University in the spring of ’05. I have worked with several different populations and age groups, including adolescents , people in retirement and everyone between. I specialize in individual work, groups, and family therapy for young adults and their families. I am passionate about my work and dedicated to offering a warm and engaging environment to my clients that is safe for exploring their lives in my presence.

Become Your Own Witness: 50 Ways to Heal from Television Addiction

 
I read an article recently in USA today that the average American home has more televisions than people. According to the A.C. Nielsen Company, 95 percent of the U.S. population watches some form of television every day. A.C. Nielsen Company also reported that the average American home has a television on for nearly eight hours a day.  The average adult watches nearly five hours of television per day. This adds up to about 6 whole days of television watching a month on average!
When I started reading these statistics, I wasn’t shocked because I understand how prevalent television watching is in American society. I don’t have anything against watching television, but I do see how it takes a lot of time out of life which could be devoted to more meaningful pursuits. I do not own a television and for the most part I am bored with almost everything I watch. I get it—our culture works hard and people are tired and just want to sit on the couch and engage in something mindless for a few hours a day. I have had people look at me with shock when I tell them I do not own a television, for me it is just a preference and I probably would hardly use the damn thing even if I had one. I honestly don’t have any time or desire anymore to sit around and watch television. So I have come up with 50 activities that are soothing to do after a long day, or even a day off…without the big box on. ENJOY!
1.      Exercise
2.      Prayer/meditation
3.      Cook a meal
4.      Have a  meaningful heartfelt conversation
5.      Have a silly laughter-filled conversation
6.      Paint—or finger paint!
7.      Have a good cry
8.      Have a good laugh
9.      Take a class—something you always wanted to learn and would feel excited about!
10.  Make a plan to change careers, if you’re feeling drained by the one you’re in.
11.   Read something inspiring
12.  Make your home your sanctuary
13.  Find little and big ways to make your home sustainable
14.  Garden—anything from flowers, herbs, veggies, just get your hands dirty!
15.  Take long walks alone
16.  Travel somewhere local you’ve never explored before—e.g. a poetry reading, music event, exotic tea house, cathedral…
17.  Focus on your life purpose
18.  Call your mama
19.  Call your best friend
20.  Observe the phases of the moon every night
21.  Take long, amazingly healing baths
22.  Practice Yoga
23.  Practice yoga in the park
24.  Practice Yoga naked (especially if you live alone, and especially if you don’t!)
25.  Make a gratitude list—from small to big—keep adding to the list every day!
26.  Ride your bike without a destination
27.  Talk to a stranger and share something meaningful with them
28.  Talk to a stranger and make them laugh
29.  Leave a flower on a random persons car
30.  Make a list of your priorities, and make time for them
31.  Fall in Love with someone ❤
32.   Listen to someone you think you know like the back of your hand and realize they are still an amazing mystery
33.  Write down 50 things you can do without a television
34.  Make corny mix cds and dance your ass off
35.  Make a mix cd for a person who would least expect it
36.  Write out your dreams and start to live them
37.  Create a vision for a positive future, and live it.
38.  Get your favorite people together and enjoy your community
39.  Make love with your partner for hours
40.  Get to know and talk to your neighbors
41.  Organize a community event
42.  Write, journal, muse— A LOT
43.  Find a spiritual path and devote more time to that path
44.  Get support for an addiction you are ready to let go of
45.  Find a swing set and play in the park (alone or with friends!)
46.  Make an amends to someone
47.  Plan a weekend getaway to a natural wonderland with friends
48.  Contemplate your role in our expansive universe
49.  Ask meaningful questions, and listen and watch how the answers appear in unexpected ways
50.  Tell everyone you love just how much you love them.
These are just a few ideas to rid our lives from television addiction. I invite you to create your own list and watch how your life begins to transform into something exciting, fun, and FULL to overflow with more of YOU! Your life is the best reality show there is beyond your wildest dreams…
By: Rebbeca Norton

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