Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Shadows of the Past

Shadows of the past are our out-dated precepts and ideas that serve no one. They are our preconceived notions about how we think things should be, should turn out or how things are. They cast their dreary shadow between ourselves and all that is good.

shadows1We must steadily move closer to the realization that our outer-circumstances are not something to be resolved but rather look upon them as inner-conditions to be acknowledged and understood. We can never see the fullness of the Light while standing in the shadows.

The shadows of the past disappear only when the lights come on! The self- illumination that occurs when connecting with our true inner-Self liberates us or disconnects us from the fear that keeps us in the shadows; it flips the switch that turns on the lights! The promise of self-discovery is liberation. It always delivers on its promise. It liberates.

Enlightenment comes only when you seek it. Ask yourself, “Do I want to be happy or right?” Ponder on that for a moment. Holding on is being right. It defends your old position which isn’t working. Letting go brings peace, contentment and true happiness. The answer is truly within the question. Explore this notion further on your own quiet journey within.

With this Higher Awareness you can begin to engage in activity that shatters the barriers of self-limitation; moving forward with dignity; with confidence; with vigor; and with zest for living life to its fullest in the present.

The past is an energy drain. It saps your strength. Let go. Experience the joy of release.

“Let go and let God” is more than just something nice to say. It works! This self-liberating insight alone can free you from being a slave to your past. It’s a transformational switch-flipper!

Contrary to popular belief, history does not have to repeat itself. It is our choice. When we put new, self-liberating insight into practice we become a powerful force in beckoning the Light that will free us from the shadows of the past.

Shadows only disappear when, through self-discovery, we have the courage to allow the inner-Self to lighten the path. This release of our old self; the letting go of “being right” to allow for enlightenment is an empowering notion and when accepted and nurtured, instantly begins to lighten the burden we feel we are carrying. There is always a higher solution available for every concern if we but seek it. It has never been necessary to carry burden to attain spiritually sound, self-liberating insight. Let go.

Encourage self-enlightenment or self-discovery for yourself and others. It is the only way to begin again; to get a fresh start. It is important to know that on our spiritual quest we will always be starting over and over and over.

On occasion, we stumble. Have no concern of this. To stay on the path without becoming overwhelmed with discouragement we must take no intended intermission. Simply, without hesitation, begin again. There is no shame in starting over.

Higher understanding is an unremitting quest worthy of pursuit. Letting go is the only acceptable path to Truth.

The hurt you carry with you today reflects a need for higher spiritual enlightenment. Suffering is only a symptom of spiritual short-sightedness!

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“Our wish to understand and dismiss any dark shadow that wants to overcome us awakens within us a living Light that sees to it our wish comes true.” ~ Guy Finley

There is always some higher notion; something beyond the limits of our present perceptions; some Truthful insight that we have yet to discover. We must learn to press forward and be willing to lift our eyes to connect with our higher Self. In short, we must forever be engaged in a quest for higher spiritual understanding. This is letting go. Step out of the shadows into the Light. Seeking the Truth about who you are and what you can become is letting go.

Release always follows revelation. When we let go of our own preconceived ideas about what works, and are willing to be receptive to new and higher ideas, this new inquiry always invites new insight. Spiritual awareness has no opposite. It just is. It is the Truth. And the Truth will set you free!

Letting go does not mean giving up. Letting go does not mean giving up! Letting go is granting yourself permission to dedicate the situation wholly to Truth, to turn it over to a Higher Power and allow the Truth of new ideas to guide you. Letting go is looking for, listening for and consistently being in search of a higher and better path to inner-peace. It means bringing the Truth to the front; putting the Truth first!

In effect, letting go is a form of forgiveness. It releases the circumstance and creates an opening for higher awareness. It makes peace of mind a preference and therefore, inevitable.

Truth or a higher spiritual awareness comes from God, a Higher Power, Infinite Intelligence, the Master Mind or whatever you choose to call It. It matters not whether you believe it.

You do not have to believe in Truth for it to be so. It just is. Truth is Truth no matter who believes it. Use it. It is there for all who will access It. And for Truth to effectively work in your life, you must learn to make application of it in a consistent, never-ending manner. Truth is the way.

As you begin your spiritual quest, for only several moments at a time, quiet your mind, let go of your ideas and listen for new ones. Commit to devote additional quiet moments each time you begin your silent journey. The more you listen, the more receptive you will be for your higher education.

shadowsOnly listen. Be still and know that you will hear only what you are willing to listen for. And you will understand only that which you are ready to accept. The only way to invite higher insight is to be receptive to it. You trigger transformation by taking the time necessary to put into practice the information the Truth presents.

On your silent journey, when you begin to hear the voices of the past, and you most assuredly will, quiet your mind, and begin again to listen anew. It really is okay to start over and over and over. Inspirational insight comes to us only when we let go of our thoughts long enough to attend to higher instruction. Deepak Chopra expressed it this way. “The Cosmic Psyche whispers to us softly in the gap between our thoughts.”

This higher awareness speaks from the heart, not the intellect. It feels. You will know the Truth when it presents itself. How will you know? Never fear. You will know. And you will understand. Within Truth is understanding.

To eliminate the shadows of the past, it is important to stand firm in your commitment to only listen for higher insight.

Pursue the quest for self-discovery and watch the shadows of fear, doubt, worry and all of the other self-created conditions you disdain disappear.

Author Guy Finley once said, “The only thing you lose when you let go of something you are afraid to live without is the fear itself.”

When you once decide to no longer live in the shadows of the past, the miracle of Love occurs! The essence of letting go is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the key to happiness. It dissolves fear. The absence of fear allows you to truly experience Love’s presence. And Love is the answer to all questions.

We Get LoveNotes… “I have been on your site less than 30 minutes and am already encouraged, revitalized, uplifted and recharged. It feels as though Love is calling out to me in a strong, clear voice; a voice I have in the past muffled with my own anxieties, doubts, fears, criticisms and irrationalities. As I sit here and look around me, I don’t suddenly see a new lover, but I feel a new love. It’s hard for me to define what Hope I feel but I feel a great Hope. Thank you Larry. Thank you a million times over. And I thank God that you are a believer because I believe He is directing you to be a channel of the celebration of love. . . He who created love itself and will eternally epitomize it.” ~ A visitor from Johannesburg, South Africa

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – 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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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Holy! Holy! Holy!

Filed under: Relationships,Religion,Spirituality — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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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
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Faith, Family and Friends

I’ve been a relationship coach since 1995. It seems that more and more couples are struggling to get their priorities right. The three topics that have come up over the past 8 to 10 months have been faith, family and friends. You would be wise to put these three things on your priority.

Maybe it’s just me, however I feel that your faith should always be first in your life. There are so many names for God. When I speak of faith, I invite you to call on whatever name you call your Higher Power. To me, faith in something higher than yourself gives you comfort at you live your life. It’s important to have a sacred purpose.

3FsThere are many religions: Judaism, Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islamic to name a few. Religion is a specific church’s organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of rules, narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, not unlike a “how-to” guide, that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to God or a higher power usually within that church’s denomination.

Spirituality has to do with what we make of what religion offers us and what we make of our place in life relative to the Divine, to self and to others. Religion could be thought of, at least in very general terms, as a large shared human activity organized and passed along in time to help individuals in their relationship to the Divine and to one another.

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.

Higher spiritual values give meaning and purpose to our relationships. They determine what we will turn away from and what we will move toward. Shared spiritual ideas are the basis for a lasting, fulfilling love relationship.

Putting your family next is hot! There’s nothing thrilling about wiping noses and refilling sippy cups once the children are in the picture, but it’s what you do because it’s part of being a family. It’s great to meet people who would rather enthuse their children than to bring their work home with them every night. Always respect family no matter what. Everyone can tell the difference between someone who gives you true respect and one who offers a show of fake chivalry – or no consideration at all. In todays busy world, many of us have jobs that do not allow for much free time to spend time with our family. I suggest that you make time!

“The number one need in all people is the need for acceptance, the need to experience a sense of belonging to something and someone. The need for acceptance is more powerful in your family than anywhere else.” ~ Dr. Phil McGraw

It’s important to create a sense of security and peace in your home. People who take the family seriously plan family activities together… often. They think, “we” not “me.” They never let anything stand in their way as they stumble through this crazy balancing act of pursuing your dreams while putting family first. Show me someone who is willing to truly cherish their family and I guarantee that’s where you will find happiness. Remember to put the friendship back in your relationship too. It’s important to never exclude, never abandon and never forget about our families!

“When you have a family, you represent them as well as yourself, so always present yourself in the way you want to be known and remembered as. Carry yourself with dignity and respect when you’re around your family, and continue to do the same when you’re not.” ~ Chey B

It’s great to have a spiritual and emotional connection to other human beings, but what’s even more wonderful about having love for others is letting those people know through your actions and your words that you love them. There is no better way to experience your faith than through intimate connections with other people. That’s where friends come in.

Some people when that get married stop hanging out with their friends. Now they are married, some say their single friends don’t fit into the picture. Unless your friends are bad influences, this is a bad idea. Of course you can always and will always make new friends, but it’s important to continue your relationships with some of the friends you already have.

BONUS Articles: Religion vs. Spirituality

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, December 27, 2013

The Benefits of Integrating Spirituality into Your Daily Life

Filed under: Relationships,Spirituality — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Larry’s NOTE: I would encourage you to read this article with an open mind, knowing that there is a distinction between religion and spirituality that everyone needs to know. You can gain further insight by reading the BONUS Article at the end of this article.

Inna Segal, Guest Author

Exploring your spiritual, deeper, more mysterious side can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life. Spirituality can give you clarity, vision, and guidance where you had confusion, disappointment and lack of purpose. It can awaken your senses and arouse your intuition.

spiritualitySpiritual truths can answer many important questions and give you the ability to see things beyond the surface. Everything begins to take on a deeper significance and your choices no longer stem from ignorance of the universal spiritual laws.

“In order to experience everyday spirituality, we need to remember that we are spiritual beings spending some time in a human body.” ~ Barbara de Angelis

Rather than blaming everyone and everything for what you do not have you begin to examine your thought patterns, emotions, behaviors and overall ways of relating to the world. You become aware that as you shift your perspective, your experience of the world can transform speedily and drastically.

1. Connection ~ People who say that as you become more spiritual, life becomes more serious; have a lack of understanding of real spirituality. The more connected you become to the spirit within you, the lighter things get, as you develop an ability to laugh at yourself more and to recognize that this world is a playground for exploration.

You also realize that joy, happiness, fun and laughter are integral parts of your life and are necessary for your overall wellbeing.

2. Fun ~ I would often say that healing has to be fun for it to work. The more fun something is, the less resistance we have to experiencing it. When there is no resistance, life, wellbeing, joy, wonderful opportunities and abundance can flow effortlessly into our lives.

3. Freedom ~ The more spiritual you become, the more freedom you feel to be yourself and to allow others to be themselves. Your need to criticize others, dramatically decreases and compassionate understanding takes its place. You will also become softer with yourself and the people around you. You may even find yourself drawn to people you would usually have little interest in. Thus, you unlock the gates to the most fascinating, expansive, delicious connections with others and love, care and sweetness you could only dream of. Synchronicities become a regular phenomenon and life becomes a real adventure.

How fantastic would it be to wake up every day and know that anything is possible? You may meet a person who will change your life, receive an amazing job offer, discover an important piece of information, receive a positive surprise or have a deep spiritual experience.

4. Mystery ~ There is a well-known saying that ‘spirit works in mysterious ways.’ Wouldn’t you want to be part of the mystery, knowing that everyday holds an opportunity to transcend the ordinary and enter the realm of the extraordinary? The most beautiful thing is that you don’t have to work out how things will happen, just be open to amazing opportunities entering your life.

5. Different perspective ~ As you come into a spiritual communion with your Divine essence, you begin to attract people into your life, who will have a deeper connection and an understanding of who you are and what is important to you. Thus, you may expand your circle of friends, from people who are close to your age and your experience of life, to people from all walks of life who will offer different perspectives than what you know.

Integrating spirituality into your life is a unique process, which requires time, connection with yourself and deep and profound exploration.

A way that you know that you are moving forward in your life is that you feel that you are growing and expanding.

BONUS Article: Spirituality ~ Take Two
Religion vs. Spirituality

Inna-SegalCopyright © 2013 – Inna Segal. Inna is the creator of Visionary Intuitive Healing® and the bestselling award winning author of “The Secret Language of Your Body,” “The Secret Language of Color Cards” and “The Secret of Life Wellness.” Inna, travels world-wide leading courses on healing and transformation. For further information please visit: www.InnaSegal.com.

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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
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, December 25, 2013

Seasons Greetings from the “Valley of the Sun,” Scottsdale, AZ!

In the desert, we do Christmas differently. The winter grass is growing, the palms are swaying in the breeze. We decorate our houses and the cacti in our desert yards with chile pepper lights while wearing our t-shirts and shorts. We also drive around town looking at the Christmas lights in our convertibles with the top down.

HappyHolidays3White Christmas? It’s rare, at least in Scottsdale. Snow is something we don’t see much of around here. During December the temperature will seldom dip below 35 degrees. The average temperature on Christmas day is 65 degrees.

We experienced a 15 minute snow storm, with the wind blowing hard, about 8 years ago, however it melted as soon as it hit the ground. Some say that was the first heavy snowfall in nearly 30 years. If we must have snow, we can drive two 1/2 hours north to Flagstaff and go skiing. I love this place!

snowballheartThere couldn’t be a better time to tell you how very much you are Loved.

During this Holiday Season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible. It is in this spirit we say . . . Thank you for your continued support of our work in the relationships and wedding ceremonies areas.

We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a New Year full of great relationships, health, happiness, prosperity and other good stuff!

May the Christmas Spirit of Love, forgiveness, prosperity and generosity be with you through this holiday season. My prayers and hopes for you in the coming years are that you will draw closer to God’s Divine Light and that His Love and His Grace will be evident in and through your life.

As part of my Holiday gift to you, please enjoy a heartwarming story called, “The Selfish Giant,” read by Og Mandino.

I wish you a blessed Christmas or a Happy Holiday. . . your choice, to people of all faiths and Spiritual persuasions! And. . . have a very Prosperous New Year!

Now. . . go give someone you love a big “Holiday Hug!” Or. . . kiss someone under the mistletoe! Or both!

More about Christmas! Read, “Rx for the “Holiday Blues.”

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – 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.

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

Friday, October 4, 2013

Focus!

Cheryl Ries, Guest Author

focusIf you haven’t felt joy, contentment, the presence of beauty or peacefulness in the world – perhaps you’re looking for those things in the wrong way!

All of your happiness, contentment and perspective comes from within. When you maintain a calm demeanor, a peaceful spirit and your soul is at rest, all of those things are evident to you because they are within you. The world might, and often times make it seem impossible to be at peace or to feel contentment, but your choice to feel that way and to remain calm no matter is in your control.

You’re only helplessly adrift in this world if that is how you choose to see things. You are able to shift internally to make even the biggest rogue swells and the roughest waters seem less so. You are truly the captain, sailing your vessel, guiding your course and responding as you go.

The moment you stop viewing life that way is the moment you will start to feel you are merely able to react. That is a lie you have told yourself which really only causes you to feel fearful, taking your peace and contentment.

When you center yourself first, believing you are in control of your emotions and your perceptions, then you can become proactive and less reactive. You will see more of the beauty around you while you are in the peaceful state of contentment and calm. Things may be going on – maddeningly so – all around you, but you don’t have to cede your emotions to taking that ride!

Life is short, why live it with an attitude of seeming helplessness and uncertainty? Live it knowing that no matter what happens, you can maneuver and alter as is best for you.

See first with eyes focused on your own contentment and the world won’t seem so out of focus.

cherylriesCopyright © 2013 – Cheryl Ries. Cheryl Ries is a friend who is in the process of writing her first book. This is a preview of things to come. She likes to take a bite out of life’s big juicy apple… and believes that richness is measured in friendships, family, love and what you give away. Visit Cheryl’s Facebook page.

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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
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

Friday, July 12, 2013

Are You Taking Care of YOU?

You are #1!

Don’t feel that way? Perhaps you should take better care of you.

frazzledYou can begin by saying “no” to anything that is not important to you. You don’t have to give any excuses or defend yourself. Friends may expect you to give an excuse, but you don’t have to do it. Make your own choices. Assert your right to say, “No, and thanks for asking.”

We often get so wrapped up in our everyday life that we forget that if we don’t take care of ourselves, who is going to do that?

Things are piling up. You just don’t have enough time to do the things that must be done. Relax. It’s okay to ask for and accept help. It is easy to overlook what is probably the most important step that can ease the stress of a stressful life and that is: taking better care of you. Never neglect yourself. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Read a “good” self-help book.

You must accept that you can’t do or be it all. Everything is not always up to you. Eat your veggies. Get enough rest. Exercise.

You also must learn to do what makes you feel energized and happy. What makes you smile? Seek more of that.

“Mindfulness develops attention, concentration and the ability to simply be present with little or no future orientation, past orientation or goal orientation – choosing to be a human being rather than a human doing.” ~ Ian Gawler, Paul Bedson

We can all come up with excuses about why we are too busy to take care of ourselves. It’s time to rethink the reasons, not the excuses. Excuses let you off the hook. Often it seems like there is not enough time to meet all of life’s demands. Sometimes there may be an occasional moment when there is a legitimate reason, but your job – if you decide to accept it – is to stop coming up with excuses and stop looking for reasons not to take care of you and to turn that all around so that you can begin paying attention to “your” needs. This might seem easier said than done, but if you stay on the path you are on… well… let’s not go there!

Here are a few ideas that will help you break loose:

• Get enough sleep. Sleep has a big impact on mood disorders. Depression can set in. Not good.
• Take a long nature walk by yourself. Stop under a tree and just watch the squirrels. Hug a tree (when no one is looking).
• Lethargy be gone. Get moving. Being a couch potato and watching endless TV shows is not good for you. Just 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week can make a significant difference. Choose more active activities.
• Give up your toxic friends. You know, the ones that suck the life out of you. Make a choice to limit your exposure to people like that.
Woman getting a back massage in front of the white background• Make some new friends and stay connected with them. Join a health club or book club; something that will keep your interest. Intentionally go out of your way to meet new people.
• Go shopping for some new perfume.
• Eat right, choose fruit, a variety of veggies and whole-grain snacks whenever possible.
• Take a hot bath or shower. Focus of the feeling of the water on your body. Shake the tension loose.
• Meditate. Turn off your brain for 30 minutes. Can’t do 30 minutes? Do 15 minutes. Meditation helps you to quiet your mind and to separate you from your thoughts. Be aware of your breathing. Stop, breathe in for a count or 8, breathe out for a count of 8. Try it 8 times. You will feel a restoration of calm.
• Visit a landmark or memorial in your city and take notes. Discover more information about it by doing a Google search later.
• Educate yourself on something you would like to know more about. Look up a word in the dictionary that you’ve heard used but do not know the meaning.
• Everyday focus some time on laughter. Watch a funny video or TV show. Have lunch with a friend who will agree to a “laughing lunch;” one where you each bring 5 of the funniest jokes you can find and take turns making each other laugh. You could to this at a private picnic if you are afraid of looking silly to the lunch crowd. 😉
• Get a 2-hour massage or spa treatment. Yes, 2 hours! Massage can help you sleep better, increase your immunity, decrease pain, anxiety, PMS and depression. Plus, it causes you to feel real good.
• Attend a spiritual service.

“You can think of spirituality as connecting to whatever you consider meaningful and holy. You can find it in God, in yourself, in other people, in nature, art or kindness. Whatever you focus on, spirituality offers many possible benefits, including better mood, less anxiety and depression-and even fewer aches and illnesses.” ~ Jeff Levin, PhD, adjunct professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center and author of “God, Faith, and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection

eatingchocolate• Give up your lack of self care excuses. Make a “I’m taking care of me” daily list and keep to it.
• Eat some chocolate! 😉

This from my friend, Connie Kadansky, Sales Call Reluctance Coach: Take yourself on a “date” – just you – and do something that you have always wanted to do; hike a particular trail, go to a museum, simply go to the library for an hour, go eat food that you have never eaten before, go to a movie by yourself and eat all the popcorn you can eat, go to Costco and buy a dozen socks and a case of water then donate them to a homeless shelter. Have fun!

Choose one of more of the ideas above to focus on each day or make some up of your own. Create a sense of urgency to begin today! Making the decision to really take care of you is the hardest part. Once you’ve made the decision… the rest will fall into place. A daily self-nurturing item is simple in nature, and consists of creating a habit of devoting time daily to this important activity. It’s powerful and uplifting. Live your life well. When you feel good about the things that you are making happen in your life, you will feel motivated and full of energy.

And guess what? Everything around you – including your relationships – will appear to get better. The secret is, it’s always and only you that is changing. AND that affects everyone around you. Are you up for that?

BONUS Articles: 55 Gentle Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You’re Busy Busy Busy

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – 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.

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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Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Filed under: Gratitude,Holidays,Prayer,Spirituality — Larry James @ 8:30 am

Be thankful for your relationships.

All of them.

PrayerThanksgivingSeems to me that there may be only two prayers worthy of praying. One prayer is to know God better. The other prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving.

Pray a prayer of self-discovery and one of gratitude, and know God is listening.

It is useless and wastes God’s time — and our mental energy — to pray for things. God has given us the ability to choose. Our greatest power is choice. To use this power to choose to pray for things that God has already given us the power to create may not be an effective use of our time.

I can imagine God being amused. I can hear him saying, “Why don’t they get it? I have given them everything and yet they insist upon asking me for the same things, over and over again.”

childprayingIt may not seem logical that you should only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. If you are someone who has always used your prayers for asking, this may sound strange to you. This, to some, may appear to be an arrogant way to speak to God. Hardly.

“If the only prayer you ever said was, ‘Thank you.’ that would be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

God will view your prayers with greater reverence when you acknowledge that you have already been given the power to choose. Stop asking God to give you a great relationship. Instead, choose to thank God for a love relationship that transcends your own imagination, then do whatever you can to help it turn out that way.

It’s up to you to do. Take whatever steps are necessary to accomplish what you want. Do at least one thing everyday towards accomplishing what you have thanked God for. Make a call, attend a seminar; do whatever it takes.

“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

Thank God every day for guidance. Listen to the still small voice within. When you respond to what you “hear,” the rewards are often more than you ever expected. Listen to your heart. It always tells you the truth.

In the past we have asked for a great relationship, never received it, and never bothered to do anything differently and wondered why God didn’t answer our prayer. Hopefully, we have learned that lesson by now. That’s like asking God for a great job and never going to look for one. Excuse me! I don’t believe that’s what God had in mind. We must be thankful and do something.

Being thankful for the relationships you already have is one of the keys to attracting the relationships you want. Cultivate the practice of affirmative prayer. An attitude of gratitude is faith in action. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that what you are thankful for, you will experience. What you focus on, manifests.

A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire.

Someone once said, “Pray without ceasing.” God hears your quiet thoughts too. Another good reason for keeping your thoughts focused on what you desire. Thinking positive is a good thing. Caution: Negative prayer (or thought) works too.

“I pray every night and I don’t ask for much.  I just say, ‘Thank you.'” ~ Prince. American Musician, 1958 – 2016

Saying a prayer of thanksgiving has you focus on the good things that are happening to you and the good things that are about to happen to you. That alone may be a good enough reason to only pray a prayer of thanksgiving. It creates a thirst for more of the good that God says is already yours. Think about it. You get what you really believe.

Is it true that when something bad happens we tend to not want to take responsibility that the bad we see is what we created? Not taking responsibility means we try to find someone outside of ourselves to blame. When we ask God for things and the things don’t come, who do we blame? When we blame God for not answering prayer, our love for God becomes conditional. There is no room for blame in an unconditional love relationship.

gratitude“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie, author, “Codependent No More

How can we justify loving Him conditionally when we, in our self-serving arrogance, resist believing that our misfortune is our own fault?

God always answers prayer. Always. It may not be the answer you want but he always answers.

Can we look at ourselves in the mirror, take complete responsibility for our relationships and all areas of our lives, and know that we do have choice and we do create our own reality? As within, so without. Consider saying ‘yes’ to prayers of self-discovery and thanksgiving and experience the miracle of good that God has already given to you. Then get busy and do something different. Change your thinking and your behavior and you will change your life!

“Gratitude is a wonderful way to experience this world through peace, freedom, and joy. When we recognize the limitless good contained in every moment, we begin to know the grace that flows through life. Acknowledging all experiences as being helpful in some way, does immeasurable good to correcting wayward thoughts and feelings. Thankfulness helps release our hold upon old energy that limits and binds us.” ~ Harold W. Becker

Pray to know God. Thank Him for being there for you. Be grateful for the gift of constant and faithful devotion He has given to help you get to know Him better. Pray to thank God for His abundance. Let Him know how grateful you are for the relationships in your life. Offer thanks for your present circumstance, regardless of what you think or feel about it. Thank Him for the lessons of good you learn from the things you often call bad. Thank Him for the tears of joy and the tears of sadness.

Be grateful for your abiltity to create an attitude of receptivity. Thank Him for more love, courage and understanding. Express gratitude for the everyday miracles that occur that you often take for granted. Be grateful for the power of choice. Thank God for creating the possibility of unconditional love and for the self-discipline to stay on that path. Thank Him for the opportunity to express gratitude. Be thankful for all that God has freely given.

Now. . . receive it!

Whatever you want in your relationships. . . wants you! Thank God for that, too!

“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do.” – Oswald Chambers

Read a special thought and prayer about gratitude from Rev. Richard Rogers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Your thoughts?

GratefulHeartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2007, 2012 & 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.

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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Friday, December 30, 2011

A Great Relationship is Built First on Friendship

Filed under: Friendship,Guest Authors,Spirituality — Larry James @ 9:00 am
Tags:

Steven Eric Connor, Guest Author

In all relationships, new and established, it’s wise to build upon a solid foundation of friendship. A real friend never gets in your way and will remind you when you’re getting in your own way.

couple-hugging-passionatelyIf you want more happiness in your life – create happiness for others and feel it spill over into your heart.

Love is friendship set on fire. ~ Jeremy Taylor

Tolerating one another is not the same as enjoying one another and being together.

Peace and love on the outside comes from knowing God on the inside. Let your spiritual awareness redirect your priorities and attention. Your faith and perseverance defines you – don’t allow anything to set you back when God is bringing you forward.

BONUS Article: Why “Friends First” Doesn’t Work

StevenConnorCopyright © 2011 – Steven Eric Connor. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission. – Steven Eric Connor is a seasoned Transformational Life Coach, Communication & Relationship Coach, Professional Sales Trainer and Profitability Consultant. Steven Connor knows firsthand the challenges of stepping outside one’s comfort zone to create and live a vibrant, more meaningful and fulfilling life. Visit Steven’s Website at: www.StevenEricConnor.com and follow him on Facebook.

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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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Religion vs. Spirituality

Filed under: Prayer,Relationships,Spirituality — Larry James @ 7:00 am

peanutsWhen I perform my “romantic” wedding ceremony, I always ask the Bride and Groom about their spiritual beliefs. I get a wide assortment of answers which often leads to some very interesting conversations.

I need to know because each ceremony is always customized to their complete satisfaction. They always get to choose just how spiritual they want their wedding ceremony to be. My belief is that what is in the wedding ceremony should only and always be the choice of the Bride and Groom, not what the Minister thinks should be in it. I never push my beliefs off on anyone. They get to choose.

It is also my belief that you must never forget the importance of the spiritual side of your relationship.

“My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn’t.” 😉

Affirmation ~ My love partner and I share similar spiritual values. Higher spiritual values give meaning and purpose to our relationship. They determine what we will turn away from and what we will move toward. Shared spiritual ideas are the basis for a lasting, fulfilling love 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.

mosesemailAre you listening?

I highly recommend the following list of priorities for your relationship: God, you, your relationship and your work – in that order!

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler Ross

Here is my take on Religion and Spirituality:

Religion is a specific church’s organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of rules, narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, not unlike a “how-to” guide, that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to God or a higher power usually within that church’s denomination. Most religions and denominations are about conformity and the leadership has the right to demand such. However, it puts limits on us and often traps us in its dogma. God is too big to be confined to any one religion or denomination.

To me, spirituality means that, once one has accepted his or her faith in God, Great Spirit or a Higher Power (or whatever they choose to call it), how they personally choose to express it is their own personal choice not particularly what a church denomination chooses to impose on their followers. Spirituality is natural. We all have it, whether we know it or practice it, it is in us.

“Spirituality is NOT a Religion. Being spiritual just means you are in touch with your own divine self.” ~ Anna Pereira

Spirituality has to do with what we make of what religion offers us and what we make of our place in life relative to the Divine, to self and to others. Religion could be thought of, at least in very general terms, as a large shared human activity organized and passed along in time to help individuals in their relationship to the Divine and to one another.

InGodWeTrustSpirituality is all about finding the truth that resonates the highest with you. Religion is based on a fixed belief-system, and to be included (or to be saved) you need to adopt this belief system.

childprayingSo to some, to be spiritual may mean the individual expression of their faith without religious interference from a church or any reference to God. It is only and always a personal choice. It is the connection we feel to something greater than ourselves. In a sense, spirituality is personalized religion. It also means that you recognize and acknowledge a power or sensibility within yourself and outside of yourself, beyond the purely physical or mental.

“Every religion on the planet, and there are so many more than you are even aware of, has the potential of absolute thriving. But when you think that you must prove that you have the only one that is right – and you use your condemnation to push against the others – your condemnation separates you from your own Connection that, before your condemnation, you were finding in your own religion.” ~ Abraham

It is your way of loving, accepting and relating to the world and the people around you. It cannot be found in a church or by believing in a certain way. It is independent of religious beliefs, dogma or doctrine.

Spiritual beliefs are developed individually and quite often deal with issues of a more personal or intimate nature than those addressed by religious doctrine.

Many followers of religion feel that only their path can lead to salvation. They have tremendous faith in their own religion, but at the same time they feel other religions are wrong and cannot lead a seeker to God.

Religion“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness should be part of our daily lives.” ~ Dalai Lama

Spirituality feels that all religions are valid. Spirituality knows there are many paths to the same goal. Spirituality embraces all the world religions, but at the same time, is not constrained by any religious dogmas or forms. It does not require membership in any group.

The religious beliefs of spiritual groups do not necessarily lead people to the same conclusions as organized religions, but that doesn’t make them less religious. Being religious or spiritual both usually connote belief in a Higher Power of some kind. Both also imply a desire to connect or enter into a more intense relationship with this Higher Power.

Although this may be controversial thought, it also seems to me that some atheists are spiritual, in their own way. If being spiritual also means following good, life-affirming principles, then any atheist would be thought of as a spiritual person who passionately believes in, and lives, a life that includes helping others, being honest, and sharing oneself.

Few men are so obstinate in their atheism, that a pressing danger will not compel them to acknowledgment of a divine power. – Plato

By the way, neither religion or spirituality are bad because what you personally believe is what is true for you. Both give order to a world in chaos; they provide a moral foundation upon which to base behavior. Religion is a path to God. Spirituality is also a path to God. However there are differences in the approach.

Holding on to your religious beliefs can often inhibit spiritual growth.

“Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience.” ~ Deepak Chopra

religionMy friend, Jennifer Scott put it this way: “I deeply believe in God but only through my personal relationship. I believe that God is everywhere and in every living thing. I personally do not believe in the rules of any church yet strongly support those who do.”

I concur.

You choose!

Seen on a bumper sticker: “My car ran over your dogma!”

God is smiling.

Religion is for people who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there. – Bonnie Raitt

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

BONUS Article: Vows, Parents & Religion: Conundrum!
6 Differences Between Religion and Spirituality
A Geriatrics Tale about…

loveneverfails

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and 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 a nondenominational minister. 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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