Finding the Love You Need

laurie-watson-blogHere is the first in a series of guest blog posts you can expect to see every Friday throughout February as part of the Work/Life Relationship Series. Our first guest blogger is Laurie Watson, Director of Awakenings Center for Intimacy and Sexuality.

Finding the Love You Need

If you’re single without any prospects or not sure if your current dating relationship is worth it, you may despise the Valentine’s Day reminders of all the love everyone else seems to be having.  Do you ever wonder: Why can’t I find someone decent? Why do they never call after the first date? Do I expect too much? Why do I feel trapped as soon as it starts getting serious? Why does the sizzle always fade so quickly? Now, the science of attachment theory can help you answer these questions and find a healthy relationship.

When we’re dating, we tend to rely on attraction and feelings to guide our choices.  But what if both are influenced by something that is beyond our immediate consciousness? Research shows that three attachment styles resulting from the way we bond as children, are relevant to the way we choose a partner: secure, anxious, and avoidant.

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Bring on the loving kindness!

Loving Kindness Heart Feb2016 ALPLiving in a society where the pressure to succeed is on as early as preschool and time moves so fast it sometimes feels hard to breathe, I’ve found meditation to be cheap therapy for my generally order-driven, perfectionist self.  It’s during this time, I quiet the chatter, nurture my spirituality, and bask in gratitude for the beautiful life I’ve been blessed to live.  For me, quiet time happens on long [or short] runs, bike rides, practicing yoga, and driving in to work in the wee hours of the morning before most people consider getting out of bed.  Personally, I’ve reaped the benefits of joy, peace, comfort, and strength with regular practice.  For that reason, at age 4 and gifted with a vivid imagination and a love of stories, I recently started introducing meditation to my son and he’s digging it! Bring on the loving kindness!

A couple weeks after we started this practice, we were in the car and my son was upset with his little brother. Then, the magic occurred. Read More »

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Can we parent better than the neighborhood pizza place?

Pam's PizzaThis past Saturday evening, my husband & I took a stroll around downtown Durham and checked out a pizza place in the historic Fire Station #1. As I was chatting with the manager, I learned that they hosted a “Family Meal” every Sunday afternoon with the goal of bringing families together.  There’s a caveat, however…

In order to foster the family time together we make a couple of small requests. Okay, they may be big requests for some folks. We ask that everyone put their phones or smart devices into the baskets on the tables and to not touch them during dinner. Crazy right? … We ask that you share your table with other families to foster community….Our tables also feature conversation cards to spark family talking, create dialogue and foster interaction between adults and kids of all ages.

Then, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, I heard an interview with Dr. Leonard Sax, author of The Collapse of Parenting. Dr. Sax said that, “…the point of the book is you need to give kids choices in some domains but not in others. I'm seeing a lot of parents who are really confused about in what domain is it appropriate to give kids a choice. For example, is it OK for your 14-year-old to take their cell phone to bed with them? My answer is no. But so many parents think it is their job to be their child's best friend. That's not your job. Your job is to keep your child safe, make sure they get a good night's sleep and give them a grounding and confidence and help them to know who they are as human beings.”

So, how is it that a pizza place can impose some limits to create a context for family connection and, yet, we have a hard time doing that as parents? The key is knowing what domains are appropriate to give kids a choice. Read More »

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Thaw Out with a Taste of Summer

frozen-produce

With our first real taste of Old Man Winter last week, we’re all dreaming of warm, sunny days and sweet, melt-in-your-mouth produce…..but wait, it’s only January, bummer!  However, just because it’s the dead of winter doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy juicy blueberries or succulent corn. Read More »

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Navigating love, starting with love for yourself

We’re approaching February in all its glory of the 14th. For most of my life, Valentine’s Day meant getting a supportive card in the mail from my sweet, sympathetic Mom (thanks Mom). I have a lovely relationship now, but am no relationship expert. Luckily, there are folks out there who have mastered the words and understanding to express some incredibly poignant thoughts on love. Here is my early valentine for you; some thoughts on finding and maintaining love.

In her book co-written with award winning author Lodro Rinzler, How to Love Yourself and Sometimes Other People, Meggan Watterson offers advice on how to fall and stay in love: Read More »

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Health: Make it a habit

GA CardioThe New Year is one of my favorite times at the gym.  Fresh, ambitious faces show up in their bright new workout clothes and fancy new shoes.  There are gadgets – arm bands, Garmin watches, weight gloves, and the latest water bottles.  Classes are full.  The pool has a slight resemblance of a koi pond at feeding time. Getting on a piece of cardio equipment? Maybe in a couple hours.  And the weight area, well, that’s a topic for another day.  The "natives" look forward to mid-February when all these “resolutioners” get back into their routine of NOT exercising.  But I am thoroughly excited and overjoyed by this gym busy-ness!  You, the fitness freshmen,  who’ve decided that “this is the year I’m finally going to do it”– exercise, that is, or start running or find the weight room or practice yoga or finish a half marathon, are the reason I do what I do.  Because this year, a few of you really WILL do it – change your life – and I will joyfully watch, be here to coach, and see you succeed.  You’ll fit exercise into your life.  You’ll feel better.  Sleep better.  Get off your blood pressure meds.  Have the energy to enjoy your family and run around with your kids or grandkids.  Be more productive.  I love seeing you succeed, change your life and take care of that beautiful body!  As a trainer, I can tell you what you need to do:  eat healthfully – lean protein, healthy fats, and lots of colorful fruits and veggies, sleep 7-8 hours a night, move as much as possible, pick up heavy things, and take time for fun.  And for most people, this is no surprise.  You know what to do.  So, how do you get from knowing what to do and actually doing it? Read More »

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SPROUT into the New Year

sprouted-lentils

With the New Year also comes new beginnings and feelings of a clean slate.  With that fresh start, many of us have high hopes of cleaning up our diets and eating more nutritious foods.

You’ve probably heard all about the importance of replacing processed carbs with intact, whole grains and limiting your intake of added sugars.  So why not take it one step further this year with sprouted grains! Read More »

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Exercise & Depression: Why Fitness Leads to a Happier You

Whenever I am feeling down, I can always guarantee that going for a run, horseback riding, hiking with friends, or teaching a group exercise class will instantly lift my mood. Can a few minutes on the treadmill make your emotional problems disappear? Most likely not. However, a regular exercise routine can certainly decrease depression, enhance mood, and result in many other health benefits. Getting active can potentially be the key to living a happier life!Chelsea Hiking
For someone dealing with depression or anxiety, exercise may often be the last thing he or she wants to do. Simply taking medication may seem easier than getting into the gym. However, some studies have shown that the benefits of exercise continue to last longer than the benefits of anti-depressants. Perhaps one of the greatest outcomes of exercise is the way it naturally makes you feel. Exercise has proven to be a very effective, but often neglected, method of treating mild to moderate depression. Why is this? Read More »

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Managing Your Anxiety as Parents

Waterdrop Falling into Blue Water --- Image by © Radius Images/Corbis

Waterdrop Falling into Blue Water --- Image by © Radius Images/Corbis

Next week I will begin facilitating a six-session class, “Preparing for the Teen Years”.  I have taught this class more than two dozen times and each time I do it, I learn something about the topic of parenting teens…and about myself.

One truth I have learned over the years as both a parent of teens and as a facilitator of this series is that fear is an enemy to growth.  When we get afraid, we get more rigid…more set in our ways.  The last thing we need to be as parents of emerging adults is inflexible.  Read More »

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Revisiting "Lessons from Danny" and Gratitude vs. Grief

Last month in Lessons from Danny I wrote about embracing the present. So naturally on Thanksgiving the universe decided to see if I practice what I preach. I had rented a beach house for my family. Thanksgiving morning we packed up the car: three adults, two dogs, and a full turkey meal. The drive there was beautiful; a sunny day with no traffic. Before checking into the home, we walked along the boardwalk with the warm sun shining down. Filled with optimism, I thought, “This is going to be a wonderful trip”. Then we arrived at the home to see two cars parked in the driveway…

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