Zen and Crazysexycoolness

Leo Babauta sprinkles Zen wisdom into our daily lives

LPTrendsSpirit – Zen Habits …Breathe

With more than 250,000 “crazysexycool readers” we’re thinking Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog must be pretty crazysexycool too! Simplicity, health & fitness, motivation, inspiration, frugality, family life, happiness, goals, getting great things done, and living in the moment are each eloquently illuminated in this, Babauta’s gift to the world.

In his endeavor to help us all focus on the important stuff, find happiness and simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives, we believe this San Francisco writer, dad to six kiddos, runner and vegan will be an amazing world-changer.

This series curated by Lori Anderson, part of our new (and soon to be unveiled) elevated LPNetwork.

Ape Girl – Birth Order, Baseball and Pornography?

LPTrendsBody - Ape Girl – Sex, evolution and birth order

Author Catherine Salmon, Ph.D. writes the Ape Girl blog for Psychology Today, in which she shares her research – on birth order and the family, reproductive suppression and dieting behavior, and female sexuality – and what it means to our everyday lives. In her recent post What Do Baseball and Pornography Have in Common?, Dr. Salmon reveals how both baseball statistics and pornography can illuminate our understanding of human nature. Other posts explore evolutionary psychology, the relationship between birth order and allergies, and do grandparents have favorites? We think Dr. Salmon’s astute insights are unique and quite relevant to today’s conversations about women’s rights and family values.

This series curated by Lori Anderson, part of our new (and soon to be unveiled) elevated LPNetwork.

My Summer Vacation: My Story

Playing by the beach – summer vacation!

Summer. A season ripe with possibilities. The yummiest, freshest fruit – from peaches to nectarines to raspberries. Family time. Barbecues, picnics, day trips to the ocean, late nights swimming under the stars. And bittersweet moments when your child goes away to camp or on vacation with your ex. Of course, you know he will be fine, he will likely have loads of fun and amazing adventures – the kind you had as a kid. But your heart aches anyway, that tiny pang of separation zaps you, as those beautiful wings unfurl and you catch a teensy glimpse of the strong and powerful creature he is becoming.

Yesterday, my son left on vacation with his dad for a week, yep, only a week. And I’m fine with it, but it’s the longest separation we’ve had in his eleven years of life. So I’m learning from it. And he’s learning too. And I’m observing myself as I move through all the feelings – loneliness, love, separation, hope, excitement, knowing that in a week, we’ll both be just a little bit stronger. And we still have the rest of the summer to nosh on juicy peaches, mush our toes into the sand, and share new adventures.

Lori Anderson

Given the gift of extra time with no one’s needs to look after, I started playing with poetry today, for the first time since I was a kid. Simple and silly it may be, but sweet in the letting go of and sharing it.

He’s gone on vacation with his dad
And though I’m feeling lonely and sad
I’m overflowing with hope
That he’ll see how he was able to cope
With the few pangs of sorrow
Knowing that tomorrow
He’d be doing something new and fun
And that I’d be here when he was done
Exploring, venturing, basking in the relaxation
During those few brief days of his summer vacation.

While he’s gone on vacation with his dad
I’m going to try to not be sad
And relish the moments of unscheduled time
And visits with my friends so sublime
And do my work and exercise
At times I couldn’t have otherwise
With moments of missing his sweet little smile
And his charismatic goofy style
I’ll be here waiting with love in my heart
When finally our time apart
Is done.

SUBMIT YOUR STORY NOW

For more about me, Lori Anderson, go to my website hilorianderson.com

Find Lori on Twitter @luckylori11

Lori is a: Content strategist, writer & editor for Possibility Publications, BlogHer & other cool businesses. Fascinations: art & film, green lifestyles, living juicy.

Share your summer stories too! What’s bringing you joy this summer? What’s bittersweet? What’s growing or changing for you?

This is a first of what we hope will be many stories from people around the world, telling tales of what makes them whole, unique, authentically them…enjoy and submit your’s today!

Family Glue

#LPTrendsFamily: Kathryn Mattingly does it not just again with Family Glue, but with stunning humor, insight, and candor. LPMag is so lucky to have this extraordinary voice…

Family is the glue that holds us together. This is good to remember in-between bouts of breakage. Somehow, when feeling invincible, unstoppable and downright successful we tend to take family for granted. We might even find them somewhat annoying – like a bottle of spilled glue running all over our neat tidy lives leaving a trail of stickiness.

Who wants a reminder that we are indeed vulnerable and imperfect, rather than this strong solid vessel of perfection we purposefully present to the world? However, when our world falls apart, only family is there – super glue in hand – to fill those crevices of doubt with renewed confidence in ourselves.

It’s an unfortunate reality that our relationship with family, like glue, can occasionally become quite messy. Sticky situations arise. When we choose to unstick a family member through divorce for instance, it generally makes for an ugly rip or traumatic break of some sort for everyone – causing families to seldom look seamless and smooth. Rough spots and cracks, however, are a reminder that nothing’s perfect.

Without the glue of family, our chances of surviving brokenness are greatly reduced. Family bonding is key to our survival on many levels. Like super glue, a super family is permanently bonded if you’re lucky. It depends on how carefully you apply the bonding process and how patient you are about letting it setup and take effect.

         How do you do that you ask?

Well, it takes a lot of unconditional love. Strong families are all about forgiveness. Caring for one another and not being self-absorbed, or self-righteous… or self anything is also key to family bonding. Strong, successful families will tell you the truth with love, sometimes whether you want to hear it or not – but they will also forgive and even help you rebuild whatever it is you’ve broken. And we all break things in our lives – causing consequences to come crashing down on us.

A well-bonded family is there to pick up the shards of glass and take your hand, walking you through the shattered mess, helping you bleed as little as possible. Scars would be much deeper and more noticeable without family glue to reform, reshape or reestablish us.

The best part is that while helping you pick up the pieces of your life they are not stating the obvious. Rather than tell you there are so many tiny fragments it is not possible to glue them all back together – they convince you that you can become whole again. Assuring you the world can once more be your oyster and they will help you find the pearl.

Of course, those fortunate enough to have a family like this do realize eventually that the pearl is the family itself, and thank God they are always there when you need them to bedazzle your sorry, world-weary eyes.

So, try never to run out of family or glue… because when you need it, you NEED it, and nothing else will do!  A good support system is everything it’s cracked up to be – and then some.

If you liked this by Kathryn Mattingly, you might also like:

On Poetess Jackie Kristie

Dance Chicago: From Orland Park To Istanbul

Kathryn Mattingly’s Latest Short Fiction

Connecting – Don’t Forget the Small Stuff

The Qualley Family, Circa mid 1930's

#LPTrendsFamily: Despite becoming exceedingly connected via technology, families today are challenged to stay connected amidst the clutter of daily schedules and obligations. From early morning until we close our eyes to sleep, we shuttle our kids to school, sports, play dates, get ourselves to work, run errands, put healthy meals on the table, get the kids to bed, and too often end the evening exhausted in front of the television. I know this isn’t news. It’s been happening for generations, although the level of intensity has increased exponentially thanks to technology enabling us to happily (or not so much) juggle more than we should. Wouldn’t it be great to know that even in chaotic times, we can connect with our families meaningfully, memorably, in a myriad of tiny ways?

Mom blogger and entrepreneur Julie Cole‘s short article “Don’t Forget the Importance of Greetings and Farewells” illustrates the connection ‘buzz’ derived from one of the smallest everyday gestures – a happy hello or a sweet goodbye. Beyond hi’s and bye’s, it’s the small stuff we do countless times each day – knowing glances, a wink, a supportive pat - that can keep our connection alive and thriving.

Writer Lori Anderson & Son Mixing Work and Pleasure

Here’s some of the small stuff we do at my house, as often as possible, and almost effortlessly. They may seem silly, but try one out – if they spark a smile or hug, you can celebrate a little more connection and a tiny mission accomplished!

  • Just Do It - Pick up the phone and give your partner a call or text message just to say “Hi, I’m thinking of you.”
  • Party! - Notice and celebrate life’s little victories – your daughter made a new friend, your son got an “A” on his spelling test, you made it through the day without caffeine – pop a candle into a cupcake, have a family glitter toss, or plaster your fridge with post-it congrats – find a quickie way to celebrate!
  • American Idol - Crank a tune or two and sing together.
  • Take Ten - Make a ritual of the 10 minute screen break – once a week, put away the screens, set a timer and share jokes or anecdotes from your day or take turns sharing the one most pressing thing on each person’s mind.
  • Hit The Deck – Pull out the deck of cards and play an old fashioned game of Garbage, Hearts or Go Fish. Board games count too – fun without electronics – what a concept!

My hunch is that you can come up with a gazillion more small ways to make the important souls in your life feel just a little bit more loved, connected, acknowledged. What will you do to make intentional connections today?

You might also like:  

The Esther in All of Us

Family Poems and Poetry

Article by Lori Anderson

A Single Mom’s Mother’s Day

On Family – LeadingPossibilities Magazine: “I had a cruddy Mother’s Day this year. It started as a plan for a beautiful day to be spent with my son and my mom – a joint celebration of our three generations …

We were to spend a few hours visiting the fab forties neighborhood of Sacramento, viewing the most elegant gardens of this oh-so-exclusive neighborhood. This tour would be followed by lunch at my son’s favorite Chinese restaurant (if the kid is happy, Mother’s Day can only be wonderful, right?).

Well, as my first Mother’s Day as a single mom began to unfold, it became crystal clear that this holiday has taken on a new shape, pretty much unrecognizable to me. Daddy isn’t there to prompt the child/children to pay mommy her proper respect. He no longer orchestrates breakfast in bed and lovely surprises sprinkled through mommy’s day to make her feel especially pampered, like the princess she is for all she does. No, my son was hot and cranky and had no one to remind him that it wasn’t his day to be the center of the universe. The gardens were average at best, and crowded, and eluded even his true love of botany. My eleven-year-old’s behavior downgraded to that of a four-year-old, stomping, huffing, clearly incensed. We stopped the tour after the fourth disappointing garden, never to know what surprises the next six held.

Blessedly, lunch was a hit – grandma, mom and child enjoyed a quiet, urban-chic, Chinese lunch, along with a chance to smooth ruffled feathers, hurt feelings and disappointments. Grandma was a trooper, she kept the conversation light, upbeat. On the drive home, my son had a meltdown that he didn’t have time left for a play date. Silly me, trying to compensate for all the lack in his life, phoned two of his friends, only to find they were busy honoring their moms on this Mother’s Day, and were too busy to play.

By evening, I was a crabby, cranky mommy, feeling cheated, abused and unappreciated. My son was completely out of sorts. I decided to let him know that I was saddened over his inability to put his needs aside for even a very short time, to help me celebrate my mom’s and my special day. His ashamed feelings and apologies initiated a deep conversation around lessons in respect, in valuing others’ time, others’ concerns, and I think it was a moment of healing through understanding of a painful reality. His ability to embrace that while his behavior was less than phenomenal, I still love him truly and steadfastly, was a lesson that I hope will spill into areas across his life, and bolt him up when he feels criticized or “less than.” This bumpy day morphed into a more mature way of connecting, sharing and teaching that I look forward to continuing as he becomes a teenager, then an adult. And isn’t that the biggest role we play as moms – empathetic teachers?

The cliché is true – being a mom is just plain hard. Single or married, it is the most profound, most painful, yet rewarding job imaginable. We hold these little hearts and minds for a short but critical period of our children’s lives. And this year I learned that Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the impact we have on each other, whatever shape that takes, along with the gift of unconditional love that we moms feel oh-so-intensely. And as a single mom, Father’s Day will be my day of peace, quiet and reflection!

Have you had a Mother’s Day that totally sucked? What was the divine lesson that you learned as a result? Did you plan to do something different next year? We’d love to hear from you!

Article by Lori Anderson.

Family Values

From Lori’s desk…

This week, I had an enlightened moment, where I learned that at our very core, my ex and I have very different values. “Well, duh,” you might say, “Isn’t that why he’s your ex?” To which I would have to reply something about it seeming obvious. Yet after years of piling personal disagreements on top of life’s challenges, it’s oh-too-easy to lose sight of the obvious.

My “aha” moment came while deciding whether to work full time or continue to work as a contractor, with lower pay and less stability in exchange for being available almost anytime my son needs me to take him to activities, to visit with his friends, or just to be present.

This is my family value. My ex, meanwhile, enjoys full time, stable work, with a generous paycheck – but he misses a huge quantity of time with his son.

Why do I share this insight? I’m sharing because I believe in the adage “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.” Because to acknowledge and accept our differences, free from judgement, and to work around them can make all the difference within a marriage or family. Respecting and supporting the values of another, even when they don’t coincide with our own, is an invaluable life lesson to share with our children.

Each member of our family is a unique being who operates from a value that is uniquely theirs. These values affect the choices they make every day. Your son may be need to feel independent, while your daughter needs to know you trust her judgement. Your spouse may need to feel respected for working daily to bring home the bacon. And maybe none of this blows your hair back – you just want your family to be grateful to you for getting everyone to practice on time and still managing to cook a healthy meal for dinner.

These are strong values, each with their own set of emotions that are felt whether or not the value is supported by the family. Do you know what drives your family members? What values are important to you? Which ones you may not have acknowledged at home?

Take a few minutes to talk with your loved ones. See what you can learn. And let us know if it shifts your perspective, even just a teensy bit!

The importance in establishing values within your life cannot be understated. We found this blog (PositiveShare) from a regular human being just like you who dedicates his writing time to the distinction of values of quality. Way to go Russell!

Spirituality & Family

From Lori’s Desk…

I consider myself to be a spiritual person, having been involved in various religions seeking the “perfect fit,” and ultimately coming to the conclusion that there is no right or wrong, and that the only perfect fit is a blend of beliefs that resonate in my soul. As a parent who wants my child to develop a sense of spirituality that resonates for him too, I often wonder how to help spark that curiosity in him. How do I give him the grounding that a set of spiritual values imparts when I don’t have a book to share or a church community to teach and model for him? Of course, there isn’t one approach, so I share my thoughts and beliefs openly, while modeling behaviors that encourage exploration and openness. I share what I learn about the religions of the world, and work to help him understand the beliefs of people who are very different from us. And, hey, you know what’s the best part? I get to learn and grow while I seek answers for him!

How do you practice and teach spirituality in your home, with your family? What resources do you use to learn and share from? How has it affected your childrens’ paths? Share your story in “comments” below.

 

Who’s Got Your Back?

From Lori’s desk…

Nearly two years ago, in the midst of the economy tanking, escalating home foreclosures and long-term unemployment going mainstream, I chose to no longer subject my son daily to an un-loving, angst-inducing marriage and became a single mom. As a self-employed writer and editor with wildly fluctuating income and opportunities, I still often think that this may have been a crazy-making decision, but then, staying would have been just as crazy-making, with the added daily outbursts of anger and frustration.

As scary as this life change has been for each of us, many beautiful epiphanies have revealed themselves in the time since our split. The key revelation is this: It takes a village to raise a child, and I am so blessed to have the gift of supportive community.  It may sound trite, but I think it’s important to cultivate your village rather than trying to take everything on myself. My village provides help and support in times of need, and it provides opportunities to share my gifts and time with others.

It Takes a Vibrant Village

If my son needs somewhere to go after school while I have a meeting, I have friends who will take him. When I’m sick and homebound, my sister brings us popsicles and ginger ale. Because some of my village peeps are involved in amazing business ventures, we get access to an eclectic assortment of enriching activities like film screenings, community garden parties, gallery openings and theatre workshops. Entrepreneurial friends come to me for marketing advice. Others refer me for projects that have become promising or lucrative work.

My son gets the additional benefit of having an extended “family” of friends and friends’ children. By spending time with others, he sees alternative versions of what it looks like to be a dad and a man. Experiencing how other families operate brings the gift of perspective and new ideas about how we want our little twosome to work to resolve issues and share feelings.

Most importantly, my village provides listening ears, hugging hearts and loving guidance through the trying times. I get lots of supportive grins, giggles and kudos through the good times. Creative brainstorming and innovative ideas abound through the unsure times. Sure, I would love to have more work, more money, more stability, but my village has my back and for that, I’m so very grateful.

Who is your village? How do you cultivate community? How does your family benefit from it? We’d love to hear your stories.

Powerful Relationships – How To Get Them


Stand Conscious Against The Hot Winds of Life

You can Keep Your Sanity

 

 

Emotional intelligence is key to powerful relationships. This article was developed as part of a Warrior Series workshop. Find out about how to be more powerful here. What works in communication for you in your successful relationships?