Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Can You Honestly Say…

“I am doing my best?”

If not you may be passing up many opportunities to exceed everyday.

CanYouSayYou can do that with a smile and by saying hello to a perfect stranger. It may be just what they need at that moment in time. You have to admit there have been times when a smile may have been just what you needed too.

You can do it by helping others help themselves.

Complimenting co-workers about a job well done is a very easy and affordable way of showing gratitude and appreciation.

“The inauthenticity between how we live life and the truth we know about it comes at a steep price.” ~ Parker Palmer

Do your best work by becoming part of the solution instead of being a part of the problem. Do your very best on every task and on your everyday interaction with everyone you meet. Are you doing the best you can? It’s good to ask yourself that question from time to time.

Learning to be happy with yourself plays a big part as to whether you will do the best you can. Are you enjoying your life? Distract yourself by doing something good for someone else. I find joy in doing something for someone else without letting them know that I did it. Let someone else claim the credit for some idea or something you did.

You may think you don’t have time to help others – but you do! You never have time to do the things you don’t want to do. Attempting to do your best brings out the best in you. It feels good to assist others!

It’s time to stop telling people that you are doing your best, when in your heart you know better. Stop looking for a pat on the back in order to validate your lack of effort as a sincere attempt at doing something extraordinary.

“Perhaps the one thing that is keeping you from achieving all of your goals and living out all of your dreams is your attempt to do your best. You don’t really know what you are truly capable of. None of us do. Doing is exciting. It creates. It breeds accomplishment. Fulfillment. Peace. It has unlimited possibilities. It comes naturally.” ~ Marc Ensign

We must DO more for ourselves and others. The “doing” is what is important. It may not be your best, but then, “What is your best?” I’m sure you have had times when you thought you were doing the best that you could but whatever you were doing was not enough. I would suggest that it “was” the best you could do at that moment in time. Next time, with a similar circumstance, you may very well succeed by doing better.

“It doesn’t always come together in an instant and it’s not as simple as just telling yourself to be more confident, more self-assured or more focused.” ~ Michaela (Founder of www.ForTheCreators.com)

Being your best at something begins with baby steps. Hand a bottle of water to a beggar on the median.

It’s also time to unleash your creativity and live it everyday with passion and an intention to put forth more effort and do more for yourself and others. Doing your best is about you and your relationship to yourself, your family and your friends.

“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude. Excellence comes not from education, money, ability or connections alone. It comes from a commitment to do the very best with whatever you have available.” ~ Ralph S. Marston Jr.

If you’re not doing your honest best, do “something” different and better. If you are doing your best, celebrate it and enjoy the contentment and joy that follow.

Don’t wait another day. Step out of your comfort zone. Declare a new intention to do more for others. No holding back. Reconstruct a vision of higher standards for yourself. Get out of your own way. No more negativity. Don’t give in to mediocrity. Stay on the right path. No more excuses. Just DO!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Fix a Relationship in 5 Steps

Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD., Guest Author

“Can this relationship be fixed?”

Troubled couples often ask this question in relationship or marriage counseling. Having exhausted all the tools in their toolbox, partners come to therapy as their last resort, feeling rather hopeless.

FIXrelationshipFixing a relationship doesn’t require a personality makeover, but it does take effort and energy to hone your communication skills and create deeper intimacy and connection. These five steps will start you on your way to repair:

1. Face and embrace your differences. ~ Ever know a couple who never seemed to argue, who was the envy of other couples in your circle of friends? They seemed to be the perfect pair. Next thing you know, you’re shocked to hear they’re splitting up.

We see this all the time. Couples who appear the most at peace may not be dealing with their differences. They may look good on the outside, but underneath it all they have a mountain of hurt, anger, resentment, sadness, and fear that they have been unable to share in their relationship.

They may be “pleasers” who avoid conflict at all cost. Or maybe one person controls the relationship and the other submits. Either way, they are not facing and embracing their issues.

2. Practice effective communication skills. ~

• Carve out regular time for dialogue about concerns. State your thoughts in terms of behavior, without judgment, attack, or blame. Be specific, constructive, and positive.

• Use “I” statements to convey your thoughts and feelings. Own your part of the problem. Tell your partner how his or her behavior affects you and why; e.g., “When you left for work without saying goodbye, I worried you might be angry with me.”

• Hear your partner’s story fully. Everyone’s perception is valid, whether or not you agree with it. Listen without interrupting or judging.

• Be curious about your partner’s point of view; e.g., “Help me understand what you mean by …”

• Paraphrase your partner’s thoughts. Affirming that you heard him or her does not mean you agree or disagree. It just means, “I understand and believe that’s the way you see it.”

• Empathize with your partner’s feelings. Feelings are never right or wrong; they’re just feelings. And all of them are genuine. Expressing empathy validates that you heard your partner’s feelings without judgment; e.g., “I understand that’s how it makes you feel.”

• Take your turn. Once your partner feels heard, share your story and ask your partner to validate and empathize with your thoughts and feelings. When people truly feel heard and validated, whether or not they agree, it’s like magic. They automatically feel better. Only then can people problem solve and come to consensus on solutions.

• Put the problem on the “chalkboard,” view it as a team, and resolve the problem. After each partner has had an opportunity to be heard, it is much easier to be rational and work toward solutions. Identify specific actions each person can take to fix his or her portion of the problem.

3. Love your partner the way he or she wants to receive love. ~ Make a list of responses to: “I feel loved when you …” Anything goes—give me flowers, plan a weekend away, bring home my favorite candy bar, initiate sex. Exchange lists. Giving love the way your partner enjoys receiving it is the greatest gift of all. Receiving love the way you enjoy it isn’t bad, either.

4. Create the habit of loving. ~ On holidays, we express our love with gifts and affection. On the other days, we often forget. Consciously doing small acts of love every day creates “love habits”—loving behaviors that become habitual. Practicing love habits grows connection and intimacy. It’s as simple as greeting each other after work every day with a kiss on the lips and a long hug, establishing a regular date night, going to bed together, and planning regular sex dates. When you show your love, you will feel your love.

5. Express gratitude for “the things your partner is supposed to do anyway.” ~ Most people thank their partner when he or she does something special. What if you thanked her for cooking a meal, or him for mowing the lawn? But wait. “Why should I thank my partner for the routine chores?” The answer: “Because it feels good.” Every drop of love you express nurtures and feeds the relationship.

Practicing these five steps will grow your love and connection. Start today. Share this article with your partner and ensure that your relationship lasts a lifetime. It doesn’t happen by accident.

“Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It’s not about how much love you have in the beginning but how much love you build till the end.” —Unknown

Copyright © 2014 by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, is a licensed counselor and co-founder of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together with her husband, Bob, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Change is Good. And… Inevitable!

Harold W. Becker, Guest Author

It is funny that we tend to avoid and often fear change, even though it is the one constant and guaranteed aspect of life. Change is happening every moment both within and around us. From the atomic structure of the cells of our bodies to the celestial heavens of galaxies spiraling through galaxies, change is forever an aspect of energy in motion.

Yet, how do we view personal change, as positive growth or negative setbacks? Do we embrace change with open arms or fear the loss of control, routine, and sense of security we perceive in the status quo?

ChangeISgoodWe can turn within and allow ourselves to go-with-the-flow and make true inner changes and choices in our personal understanding for a more enjoyable and easier navigation of our everyday lives. Embracing change with conscious awareness of change itself rewards us with new ideas, potentials and experiences. It is the shift of awareness from reactive to active (and conscious) participation.

In these days of rapidly evolving information, technology and global interaction, for example, we outwardly face a continuous stream of external change. It seems to be happening in all areas of our lives, like changes in health, career, spouses, friends, environment, geographic location, finances, cultural and political shifts, along with lifestyle concerns like nutrition, diet and exercise, and even our unspoken beliefs about death.

It is vital to retain a balanced perspective on life and to willingly embrace change. Although we have a tendency to believe all we see and hear, we are forgetting we are the ones who can and do qualify the energy of life. We qualify it by our thoughts and feelings, perceptions and beliefs. The significance in this realization is that we can affect personal change within our thoughts and feelings and we can also have a more positive impact on the world around us.

Life’s long and winding road can be stunningly beautiful and filled with joyful adventures. It can also be filled with drama, trauma and pain. We hold the key to experiencing either joy or struggle through our choice of intention. Which do you prefer?

Change Allows Us to Evolve…

change-is-the-essence-of-lifeConsciously embracing change is how we evolve. It begins when we start the process of going within and recognizing who we are at a deep level. Rather than solely pursuing our daily outer activities, maintaining stagnant routines, or perpetuating habits of generations, we can learn to tap our highest inner desires and manifest the things that bring us the greatest joy, individually and collectively.

Our unrealized potential is often limited by the beliefs we hold about life. We engage our grandest potential when we empower our thoughts and feelings by living from our heart. We still participate in our daily routine; however we begin to create all new perspectives and understandings. This is simply a matter of becoming aware of where we are placing our attention, and then learning how to change the focus of our attention when we wish to take on a different perspective. We can become solution oriented rather than problem centered. It is our choice.

Ultimately, our life journey is a personal one. Of course we share in our experiences with those around us like a spouse, partner, children, family, friends, co-workers and even strangers that help us to learn about our personal issues and beliefs. We also interact with our pets, environment, careers, culture and many other things in our daily experiences. Each encounter mirrors aspects of our consciousness, whether we are conscious of this or not. The journey can be as easy or as difficult as we desire: the solution is in our willingness to let go, embrace change and evolve our attitudes and perspectives.

The beauty is that our effort to grow and change is often met with new vistas of opportunities presently undreamed of. Things we never considered are now possible and even desirable. As we evolve our consciousness, the old ways of thinking and feeling actually become more dense and difficult to maintain and easier to release. Everything becomes lighter and brighter through a simple act of personal growth, acceptance and self awareness… and of course, unconditional love.

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Copyright © 2014 – Harold Becker. Harold W. Becker has dedicated his life to living and sharing the practical application of unconditional love. Since 1990, his consulting company, Internal Insights, has had its focus to “empower people through self awareness and unconditional love.” In 2000 he founded the globally recognized non-profit, The Love Foundation, Inc., with the intent to “inspire people to love unconditionally.” He blends incredible insight and intuition with humor, compassion and kindness for a strong inspirational and motivational vision in all of his endeavors which also include business, writing, speaking and personal guidance. Visit Harold’s Website: http://www.TheLoveFoundation.com/

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Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Everyday You Get to Start Over…

Filed under: Choice,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

unless you don’t.

The problem is you never know how much time you have left to begin again. If you are given the gift of another day, you get to choose.

StartOverYou can wallow in the issues you think are unsurmountable, continue to have your own little pity party (it’s kind of lonesome there by yourself, right?) and stumble around in this “Woe is me” attitude or you can pull the nail out of your foot – you know, the one that has your foot nailed to the floor – stuck (not going anywhere) and begin again.

Feeling absolutely paralyzed? Going down hill at full speed? Life has less zing to it? The issue is not whether we are stuck. The issue is how we pull ourselves out of this mess and get our lives going in a better direction again.

Life is short! Happiness is a choice. Staying stuck is also a choice. Redirect your focus. The harder you run from what you don’t want, the closer you come to it. You are either moving closer to a life that holds unlimited possibilities or further away from it. There is no fun in living life in the middle.

“When you fail to hit the target, it is never the target’s fault!” ~ Larry Winget

Different is a good thing. Yesterday is history. Challenge your negative thoughts and patterns. Stop believing what you think about your current situation. Give up blaming others. Carve your own path. Write yourself a better story. You need something bigger than the issue you are in to look forward to. Break out of your routine. This will help you free up your life to a multitude of surprises and joys.

Your heart always tells the truth. Listen to it and discover. What awaits you is how your life is going to open up next. It’s pretty scary and also pretty exciting. The idea of suffering and slowly dying in a life you hate has got to be worse than the pain of busting your ass to fix it. You always have the final word on what’s next. Be grateful you know this.

So… what are you going to do different today that might be a giant step forward?

Choose!

BONUS Articles: You Don’t Get Happy By Accident!
Turn On Your Happy Switch!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, September 5, 2014

You Don’t Need More Information ~ You Need More Romantic Action

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Remember when you first got together. Go waaay back… back when you were both were not afraid to be romantic and show your feelings. Remember when?

The longer we are together, it seems that we begin to suffer from paralysis by analysis. It’s a condition that holds many of us back. Way back. We wish it were like it used to be but we are afraid to take the first step to genuinely show our affection to our partner. We analyze the situation and become paralyzed or reluctant to make the first move. Why?

Hmmm. It’s been so long since we were romantic that you are afraid she/he may think something is going on – or whatever! The point is, you must take the first step while you are still afraid if you want romance to be present in your relationship.

BEromanticIn those cases what do we normally do? We have an idea and we start to seek out information on how to make that romantic idea into a reality. We read books, we follow gurus, we read blogs, we listen to podcasts, attend seminars, sometimes we buy products, etc. We seek and we consume, which in and of itself is awesome and is needed to help us learn… but then many of us don’t take action. It’s when we consume and keep consuming without applying – that’s when we learned that we have a problem.

Let’s be honest, you probably don’t need more information. You likely already know what you need to do, at least you know enough to get started. The real problem is starting isn’t it? The worst part is when you look back and realize that it’s been months, maybe years that have passed by since you have demonstrated that you truly love each other. Good intentions turned into mild frustrations cloaked in excuses… and you let romance slide.

You’ve heard that “knowledge” is power, right? No it isn’t. Knowledge is not power unless it moves you to action! It most likely will require some sacrifice or perhaps putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. You just need to start taking action… even if that initial action is small.

Start small. Ease back into romance. Write your partner a post-it® note and simply say, “I love you!” Scribble a note on the bathroom mirror. Use your imagination. You don’t need more information ~ you need more romantic action!

Larry’s note: Chick here for more than 20 FREE articles about “romance” to get you started!

Shower your partner regularly with lots of Love and romantic attention. For example, flowers, small gifts and loads of affection. Tell him/her that you love them. Take them in your arms – give them a long, tender hug. Bestow them with positive sentences and loving gestures. Remember, action always trumps intention.

In my relationship coaching practice, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples over the years and those who really want to change for the better, know that coaching won’t do it… it helps get a gripe on what the real problem is, but they know they have to begin doing something different. The couples who call months later with the same questions are the ones who just couldn’t take the first step to begin again.

Please don’t wait! Life is short. You don’t even know if your partner will be here tomorrow. You never want to have to live with that regret. Time isn’t stopping and waiting for you to make up your mind to be more romantic. It’s up to you. Start again. Don’t waste time. Wasted time is never found again. Perfection is a myth so don’t let the pursuit of it get in your way. Show your fear who is boss and tell it to “shut the hell up” when it tries to tell you lies about yourself, your ideas of romance and why you “can’t” do it. It may not be easy, however, remember everything that is easy was hard first.

Action begets action. Inaction leaves you living in regret.

Decide today that things are going to be different. Make a commitment to yourself and your partner. Discuss why you are afraid. That’s not easy, and it will open the door to new discoveries.

Give up an hour of TV, wake up early, stop checking Facebook or Twitter so much, avoid letting convenient distractions get in the way. No more excuses! Use that time to act. Apply what you already know. Get started. Do something different. Never give up.

Romance may not come as easy as it was in the beginning, but it’s still there. You just have to bring it to the surface with action. Always remember, it will never come at all unless you take romantic action.

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Intimacy Quiz

Filed under: Intimacy,Relationships,Sex — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Larry’s NOTE: Some couples find it difficult to talk about sex. Doin’ it one thing… talkin’ about is quite another. Communication in a truly intimate sense means that you are able to say how you feel and understand how the other person feels. People who communicate positively in an intimate relationship are also able to be both active and empathic in listening to their partner’s concerns. Besides, half the fun of sex is talking about it. Well, maybe not half. ;-)

My suggestion is to print 2 copies of this quiz, then light some candles, have a glass of your favorite beverage, then each of you take the quiz. Once you know your score, you now have something to talk about. Go through each question and have an intimate, adult conversation about each of your answers. If you want the intimacy part of your relationship to be better you have to work on it… and part of working on it is having the courage to talk about. Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you! Enjoy!

IntimacyQuizMany people don’t know their partners’ needs as well as they should simply because they haven’t talked about them in the right way. The best way to do this is to talk with your partner about what turns him or her on and learn more about their “inner world” and desires.

How well do you know your partner’s inner world? Take this quiz and find out. Then work together to build love maps of each other’s inner worlds so that you can create more sexy sizzle in your relationship!

1. I know what makes my partner relaxed and feel safe: ❏ Yes ❏ No

2. I know my partner’s favorite sexual position: ❏ Yes ❏ No

3. I know how to flirt with my partner to get them in the mood: ❏ Yes ❏ No

4. I know at least one of my partner’s wildest sexual fantasies: ❏ Yes ❏ No

5. I know what NOT to do during sex with my partner: ❏ Yes ❏ No

6. I can tell when I’m turning my partner on or not: ❏ Yes ❏ No

6. My partner likes it when I flirt with them even when we’re physically not together: ❏ Yes ❏ No

7. I know how often my partner likes to have sex: ❏ Yes ❏ No

9. I know how to get my partner to have an orgasm: ❏ Yes ❏ No

10. I know what my partner’s sexual insecurities are: ❏ Yes ❏ No

11. I can tell when my partner likes it harder, faster, longer, slower, etc.: ❏ Yes ❏ No

12. I know at least two secret places on my partner’s body that are most sensitive and make them orgasmic: ❏ Yes ❏ No

13. I know what my partner likes to hear me say during sex: ❏ Yes ❏ No

14. I can tell when my partner is or is not in the mood: ❏ Yes ❏ No

15. I know what I can wear to turn my partner on: ❏ Yes ❏ No

16. I know what kind of rituals my partner likes to do after sex: ❏ Yes ❏ No

Scoring Key: Compute the number of times you checked yes. If greater than 14, your sex life is in good shape. If it is 13 or less, your sex life could stand some improvement. For more information about how to improve your relationship and your sex life, check out the newly debuted GottSex Series at www.gottsex.com, launched by The Gottman Institute.

Copyright © 2014 by Dr. John M. Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman. Distributed under license by The Gottman Institute, Inc. Reprinted with permission by The Gottman Institute.Dr. John Gottman is a psychologist and one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of marriage and couples. His research has enabled him to predict, with over 90% accuracy, when observing a 5-minute conflict conversation, which couples will stay together and which will separate. Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman is cofounder and Clinical Director of the Gottman Institute and co-teaches the Institute’s Advanced Training Seminar in Couples Therapy and The Art and Science of Love Couples Weekend Workshop. For videos, products, workshops and therapy, visit http://www.gottman.com and also check out http://www.gottsex.com.

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Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Author and Speakers BLOG” at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Holy! Holy! Holy!

Filed under: Relationships,Religion,Spirituality — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

You must never forget the importance of the spiritual side of your relationship. Marriage is sacred. So are the vows you make. Making a relationship work should not be totally dependent upon what you or your partner do or do not do. God, a Higher Power – or whatever you choose to call what you believe in – can only inspire you to make the right choices. He alone cannot do it for you. You and your partner must do the work.

Listen for God’s soft whisper. He speaks to you in the stillness of daybreak and in the midst of conflict. Are you listening?

HolyHoly“Crisis is an opportunity for radical change!” ~ Gabrielle Bernstein

During a crisis, incorporating ideas that can be described as spiritual (compassion for self and others, healing from wounds – some of which are older than the relationship – and finding personal meaning in the pain) can ease the process of getting back on your feet and being stronger for the experience.

“It’s important to commit to something higher – whatever you call it/him/her, etc. The element that elevates a spiritual partnership beyond an ordinary relationship is the revolutionary idea that your role is to support each other on your path to reach ultimate evolution, to become your best self. Get clear that what you are looking for is not just physical security or emotional support but spiritual evolution. If your goal is radical evolution of your body, mind and spirit, expect fulfillment beyond your dreams.” Source: http://www.yourtango.com.

Are you spiritually compatible? When I interview a future bride and groom about their wedding ceremony I feel it is important to talk about how much spirituality they want – if any – in their wedding ceremony. Most say that they seldom attend church services, however about 75% prefer to have God mentioned in their ceremony. Occasionally, one or the other will claim to be an atheist. About 50% of atheists will request leaving God in the ceremony, but no scripture – to honor the faith of their guests.

Where both are spiritual, but of different religions, we often will touch on the touchy topic of which spiritual path will you choose for your children, if any. Most have not discussed it. It’s important to incorporate parenthood into your spirituality. Many spiritual practices are rooted in religion, but most would argue that one can be spiritual without being religious. There are countless definitions of spirituality, and how one defines spirituality is unique to his or her experience.

Do daily spiritual exercises such as yoga, walking, reading, reflection (introspection), positive thinking (cognitive work), prayer and meditation.

In my own life, I have come to believe that time spent in prayer and meditation is another way to express my own spirituality. The easiest way to do this is to wake up 15 minutes earlier each morning. Sit in quiet meditation and connect with my inner-self and listen for God’s soft whisper.

If and when you do spiritually connect with someone with whom you are also very compatible, the relationship is taken to a whole new level. It’s that spiritual connection that can really drive the passion. When you connect mind, body and soul, you have all the ingredients for marriage success.

The bottom line is that each and every person is ultimately responsible for his or her own spiritual growth. The more you grow spiritually, the greater presence, peace and harmony you find within. And what you are within reflects in your outer life experiences. I highly recommend the following list of priorities: God, you, your relationship and your work – in that order.

BONUS Articles: Religion vs. Spirituality
When Someone Doesn’t Support Your Spiritual Path

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Larry James Named “Love Ambassador!”

This letter was received on August 19, 2014 from The Love Foundation, Inc.

Dear Larry James,

Love Ambassador banner only 100Congratulations! – We are delighted to announce you have been accepted as one of our Love Ambassadors. Your willingness to live your life dedicated to the vision of love is a potent model for so many. By your words, deeds and actions, you are having a profound impact on all those you contact. We are grateful and happy to extend this recognition to you.

A Love Ambassador shows others what self acceptance means. They are tolerant and embrace diversity. They forgive themselves and others. They visualize how love can transform the world. Ambassadors bring unconditional love to family, friends, communities, companies, schools, and civic organizations. They share their love for the animals, plants, oceans and rivers. They love the earth and all that inhabits it. They are an example of what unconditional love can do in all situations.

uncondloveAs this is a special program for us to acknowledge the silent heroes of love, you are a wonderful addition to this group on our site. We are honored to connect with so many like you from around the world that quietly share their vision and personal commitment to loving unconditionally.

Love, light and peace,

Harold W. Becker, President
John T. Goltz, Vice President
And The Board of Directors

The Love Foundation, Inc.
“Inspiring People To Love Unconditionally”
http://www.TheLoveFoundation.com/loveambassadors/

BONUS Articles: Why Unconditional Love?
Being Divine Love

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Do People Get Married?

Filed under: Marriage,Relationships,Weddings — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Everyone knows that there are ups and downs to putting a ring on it! Yet, thousands of couples get married every year. Love seems to be the main reason. What’s Love got to do with it? A lot. AND Love is never enough!

Love usually tops the list with most people. Companionship is a close second. Marriage usually involves tradition, religion, family and/or culture. Signing papers conveys respectability. You don’t need a marriage certificate or label to be happy. It’s a public declaration of love for each other. It is a promise of fidelity. It’s socially acceptable.

Demographers project that at least 80 percent of Americans will marry at some point in their lives. Love does not make for a strong enough foundation. It is far from “all you need.” Love alone will not carry you the distance. It is not something that can stand alone. Mature Love is more than whatever you think marriage is.

Marriage isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. A healthy relationship takes constant attention to it. It’s something you must work on all the time, not only when it’s broken and needs to be fixed.

WhyMarriageAaron T. Beck, M.D., author of “Love is Never Enough” says, there is an art to loving and being loved. The ingredients in mature love are:

• Feelings of warmth
• Caring
• Expressions of affection
• Acceptance
• Empathy
• Sensitivity
• Understanding
• Companionship
• Intimacy
• Friendliness
• Pleasing
• Support
• Closeness

I would add 6 others:

• Working together – Teamwork
• Trust
• Best friends
• Keep Romance Alive
• Shared Goals
• Respect

The list above is but a small gathering of traits that we must become skilled in to have a long-lasting, healthy relationship. It’s a list that couples contemplating marriage should become familiar with because those traits are a part of being hitched.

According to most relationship experts, effective communication is one of the most difficult to master. In my mind, so is undelivered communication. We often don’t say what we know we should because the last time we did, someone got upset and we don’t want to go through that again, so we close down, don’t say anything and when our partner asks, “What’s wrong?” we say nothing. The next time our partner doesn’t take out the garbage we want a divorce and it’s not about the garbage… it’s about all the things we didn’t say.

It’s important to take communication one step further. It’s one thing to have great conversations when you are dating and quite another to know how to communicate when problems surface. No yelling is the #1 rule. Keep it calm. No name calling. You can learn to express your anger or disappointment in a responsible and loving way. That must be a high priority.

“If you want your relationship to work, let go of your demands and expectations for how your partner should be, and make peace with the way they are. Do your best to empower them and do everything you can to make sure they feel loved, accepted and appreciated.” ~ Bill Ferguson

So, why get married? Marriage is the ultimate level of commitment that our society recognizes. A marriage commitment puts a protective shell around your relationship that helps keep your bond strong when there are bumps in the road – it gives couples a sense of security that they’ll stay together no matter what. It’s serious business. You have finally identified each other as your this-is-it, once-in-a-lifetime partner.

Tax breaks should never be a good reason to get married. It’s a benefit, but not a good reason. Another benefit is that married people live longer than single people. A 2006 study performed by University of California researchers contended that single people are five times more likely to die of infectious disease, nearly 40% more likely to die of heart disease and twice as likely to die accidentally.

More sex, anyone? A study done by the Kinsey Institute, for example, suggests that 23% of non-married men periodically go a year without sex, while only 1% of married men experience 12-month dry spells. ;-) Procreation has always been a factor in why people marry.

A final reason people want to get married is the gala event the wedding has become. The wedding is not the marriage. Everyone is there to celebrate you and your love for one another. Weddings are beautiful events. I know. I’ve performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies. When the couple truly understand what “marriage” is really about… something wonderful happens as that leave the alter and step into their new life together.

“All these promises we make, and we break, why is it that people get married? Because we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet, I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything, the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all the time, everyday. You’re saying, your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.” ~ Susan Sarandon, in the movie, “Shall We Dance”

The truth is that when love wanes (and all the things that love entails), the marriage gets shaky; when the romance stops, the nuptials generally crumble. However, when you put in the extra effort required to make a marriage work, over time it becomes a strong, healthy, long-term relationship that can endure.

BONUS Article: Think Long and Hard…
Resist Exercising Your Voice Power…
Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com

Saturday, August 16, 2014

10 Steps to Peace Within!

Aine Belton, Guest Author

1. Acceptance ~ Take a moment to accept yourself, life and others just as you/it/they are.”

With acceptance comes peace. What’s more, as you accept yourself as you are, you more easily let go of what you’re not. Same goes for others.

It’s what you resist that persists, and judgment only compounds anything it judges.

PeaceWithinAccept yourself for who and where you are right now. Accept all of you – the light and dark, strengths and weaknesses – and open to more of the beautiful loving nature of your true self.

Acceptance helps with letting go, puts you back in flow, makes you more open and free to be more of who you are, and brings positive transformation.

By acceptance I don’t mean turning a blind eye to, tolerating or putting up with something that feels inappropriate to you (see responsibility below for more on that). It can, however, be a great first step on any path of healing and change and the peace that comes through that.

2. Letting Go ~ Holding on to anything, be that a person, situation, an expectation of how things should be, the past, etc., can stand in the way of peace. Perhaps you fear letting go because of feared consequences around that, but what I suggest is:

In letting go you can only ever win; if something’s for your best it will come back, else something better will.”

Control, a lack of trust in yourself or faith in the unfoldment of life and events, may also hinder a natural letting go that can be part of any change in life – change that may be for your best whether you realize that at the time or not.

Things you can let go of for greater peace include negative beliefs and stories (about yourself, life or others), un-serving thoughts, feelings, attitudes, habits, behaviours, situations, grievances, and any painful pasts.

What can you let go of today for greater peace in your life? Perhaps it’s fear, guilt, anger, pain, shame, blame, judgment, etc. Letting go will create the space for a new birth in your life. One thing that helps with letting go is forgiveness, shared next.

3. Forgiveness ~ Forgiveness of self and others is like a mind-body-soul detox. It liberates you from toxic emotions and draining attachments. Forgiving yourself also helps resolve guilt, shame and feelings of undeserving that can otherwise block peace and happiness. Forgiveness returns you to love and truth, is an immensely powerful force for healing and transformation, and a beautiful gift to give yourself or another.

4. Suspend Judgment ~ Judgment will always stand in the way of peace. Judging others, or yourself, lowers your energy and separates you from love and joy. Having an opinion isn’t the same as being judgmental.

What you judge in another may be something you secretly judge in yourself that you have not yet owned and are projecting outwards, what you have yet forgiven in yourself or others, or of beliefs you hold – that you can change. Use judgment as a means to become more conscious of yourself and inner beliefs, stories, repressed aspects of self possibly, and hidden agendas.

The more you love and accept yourself, the less you will judge others or be affected by judgments of others and the more at peace you will be.

When you judge you project your shadows onto others, when you love you project your light.”

5. Trust ~ Trust is a great ally of peace, and a potent anti-dote to fear which so often stands in the way of peace.

Trust yourself and your power as a creator and that you have what it takes. Trust in a loving universe that is on your side. Trust the doors that are opening and the ones that are closing. Relinquish control and allow yourself to be carried along a river of trust and flow towards bright realities aligned to your highest purpose with grace and ease.

Trust that you are on a co-creative journey, that there is a bigger picture, and that there is love, help and guidance available to you in every moment. Trust that the universe wants you to have what you desire as much as you do. Trust that you are loved more than you know, more than you will ever know!

Life doesn’t have to be a struggle. You can have what you desire with belief, intention, positive expectation, knowing you deserve (which you always do) and a willingness to receive.

Trust brings a sense of peace, ease, faith and confidence, and lessens any desire to control or have things be a certain way. If there is an area of your life you are fearful or doubtful around, lean into trust, embrace it, and let it embrace and carry you.

You deserve the best, ever and always, whether you realise that or not. The universe wants the best for you in every moment. You are the only one who can stand in your way.

Have faith and hope in your heart. Hold bright visions of the future, make positive choices for yourself from that bright future, and commit to those through action.

6. Feel your Feelings ~ Harboring constricting emotions obviously blocks inner peace. You may need to get in touch with and release those feelings first. This may mean moving through repressed pain, hurt, rage, guilt, loss, etc. to the peace that awaits on the other side.

I’ve no doubt you’ve experienced that deep sense of calm that comes after a big emotional release. If you are trying to stuff emotions down, instead let them move through you, you won’t feel at peace. There are emotional release techniques of many different kinds are available these days – EFT, energy healing, the Release Technique and Sedona Method.

Simply feeling your feelings is a powerful way to release them!

Repressing emotions, trying to control them, being scared or judgmental of them, obviously disturbs peace. Honour your emotions and listen to what they are telling you about what’s going on inside. If they are negative or uncomfortable, what thoughts, beliefs or stories are they pointing to that may need changing or releasing?

Expressing your feelings rather than denying or repressing them brings healing and release. By this I don’t mean wallowing in them or giving them undue attention if they don’t serve you (i.e. nip that self-pity in the bud!), nor do I mean dumping them on another under the banner of being honest and authentic – take responsibility for your impact.

Benefits-of-MeditationAs part of releasing your feelings you may want to write them down, share them with a friend, or express them through creativity.

When it comes to emotions don’t skirt in the shallows; dive in deep, get wet, let their currents be fully felt.”

7. Meditate ~ Meditation has so many benefits, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically, as science is now proving. Meditation allows the conscious ‘monkey mind’ to still, brings calm and clearer perspectives and dissipates negative energy, allowing stress to wash away as you come to centre and connect to more of what’s real – more of the true nature of your being and the loving voice of your Higher Self – the spiritual being that you really are.

Meditating creates an opportunity to raise your consciousness, connect to your heart, honour the sacred (in you, and the Source of All, whatever name you hold for that), and for your energy to renew, recharge and to ‘plug-in’ to higher awareness and clearer more balanced and loving perspectives.

8. Take Responsibility ~ Responsibility brings freedom and empowerment, and with that comes peace. It shifts you out of victim mode, blame and resentment, for example, all of which block inner peace. The more you take responsibility for your life, the better able you feel to change it.

When you blame and complain you remain the same; responsibility brings freedom and change.”

You create or allow your experience at some level, whether you are aware of that and the roots and whys or not.

Become aware of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and choices that are creating your reality. Take responsibility for them and choose those that serve you. Shift the gears of your focus from fear and problems to solutions and desired outcomes, from blame to gain, wounded to winner, falling to soaring.

One of the swiftest ways to empower your life is to start realizing that you are its author and get writing a new script!”

9. Know You Are Loved ~ You are loved by people in your world, by your Higher Self How much do you let that love in? You are also loved totally and unconditionally by the Source of Creation, whatever name you hold for that. If you don’t walk a spiritual path, imagine there is a part of you that loves you totally and unconditionally, beyond reasons and seasons. This love is available to you in any moment and requires only your willingness to receive. There is nothing you need do to win this love, and nothing you can do to lose it. Open and allow this love in; the love that wants to be given in every moment. With that will come great peace.

Start by allowing in the possibility that you are loved totally and unconditionally right now, just as you are. You are loved more than you will ever know, in ways beyond that which you may be able to even currently comprehend.

Opening to the love that is always there for you helps you experience more of your true value, worth and inherent deserving, dissolves fear and heals pain of separation.

You are loved beyond reasons, you are loved beyond seasons, unconditionally, eternally, you are loved. “

10. Love, Love, Love! ~ Love yourself and others. There may be times this is easier than others – make it an overriding intention. On a path to love you may need to process what’s in the way of that love – pain, fear, sorrow, etc. Accept yourself wherever you’re at. Then affirm your willingness and permission to love yourself and others. There may be some people you choose to love from a distance, yet that love is still a valuable energy nonetheless.

The beauty with love is, whether near or far, you can love from wherever you are.”

Love lies at the heart of all that you seek, and separation from it at the root of your troubles and pain. Let love be a guiding light in your life that will steer your ship back to the shores of peace, happiness and joy. We all love to love and be loved. It doesn’t get better than that!

BONUS Article: Forgiveness… What’s it For?
An Affirmation for Letting Go
Faith and Trust… You Must Have Both!
Validate Your Partner’s Feelings

AineBelton

Copyright © 2014 – Aine Belton. Aine Belton is a visionary transformation expert, writer, speaker and facilitator in the spiritual fields. Having found love to be the most potent healer in her own life and that of others’ she launched the Global Love Project and its various initiatives as platforms and opportunities for opening to and celebrating humanitarian love. You can read a collection of Aine Belton’s articles at: www.globalloveproject.com/articles-by-aine-belton. The Global Love Project is a platform for honoring and celebrating humanitarian love, with numerous facets, initiatives, free resources, inspiration and events.

ljspacer

CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Author and Speakers BLOG” at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

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