Wednesday, 22 March 2017

How to Practice Trust Effectively

 Trust is what allows us to believe in ourselves, in others, and in situations. When put into action, it looks like our being confident and knowing that all will be okay no matter what. Liberator of the constraints of our fears and anxiety, from a trusting place, we feel spacious, light, and more open to not knowing the answer, or okay with not being sure of what the exact outcome is going to be.
As a potent antidote to the stress and overwhelm so many of us feel today, there is no greater practice than to practice trust. By continuing to do a specific activity again and again in order to deepen our understanding and strengthen our skills and fluency of that very action.

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 The most opportune time to begin practicing trust is in the very moment you feel your confidence wane, and your anxiety rise diminishing your belief in yourself, or in another, or in the likelihood of an outcome you were hoping and wishing for.
We all know when we start heading down this rabbit hole of hopelessness and defeat to that dark place where pessimism trumps optimism. In this familiar scenario, we become our own worst enemies by convincing ourselves that nothing good could possibly happen. Most notably, we do this even after spending significant periods of time being so confident, hopeful, and positive. 

The most wonderful and powerful quality of trust is that we can keep growing and strengthening it within ourselves even after it feels like we have lost it completely. This growth-strengthening quality is what makes practicing trust so positive and rewarding. So before you go completely down that rabbit hole, use the following steps to start practicing trust again, and again, and again!

Step 1)
NOTICE: (as best you can) when you are feeling despair and disbelief in yourself, or in another, or in a desired outcome of a situation.


STEP 2)
STAND BACK: get some distance be it physical, or mental. Physical distance looks like literally moving away from the situation. Take a break, a walk, call a friend (but don’t talk about your despair!) Mental distance means ceasing all thoughts of what’s going on. Change your thoughts but first mark your transitioning into having new ones with breath. Take deep inhalations followed by big exhalations. Do this at least 3 times! Then with a clearer mind allow yourself to experience other thoughts apart from any negative doubting ones. Not always easy but you can do it!


STEP 3)
RETURN:Here is where you re-engage yourself to your original despair but in an empowering way. You do this by telling yourself: “I can’t believe I am allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole of despair. As hard as things seem right now, I do not want to choose despair even though I honestly am afraid things are not going to work, or that I can’t do what I said I wanted, or I won’t receive what I asked for….”


STEP 4)
CHOOSE- Here is the final part in which you tell yourself: “I am not choosing despair. I am not choosing to be cynical. I am choosing instead to practice trust in this moment by trusting that what I want, what I need, what I hope for, will and can unfold. I am choosing to accept that anything right now is possible and to be in the possibility that what I want, need, and wish for will prevail in the ways that I can imagine, and also in ways that I could never have imagined. I am willing to trust and be open here and right now.” Then, take a big inhalation followed by a strong exhalation 3 times to complete this final step.


After doing these 4 steps you will most probably notice a positive shift. And while this change might be small, and not have brought you back completely to a more comfortable zone of optimism and confidence, keep building upon the positive here.Keep going-Practice again and again: Notice, Stand Back, Return, and Choose. Make this your mantra

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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

You ARE Better Having Loved and Lost

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There’s a unique shame and brokenness associated with breakups. Relationships and love may be celebrated more in the church than anywhere else because we (rightly) love marriage so much. Unfortunately, these same convictions often make breakups an uncomfortable conversation — at best embarrassing and at worst scandalous or humiliating.
You feel like damaged goods, like you’ve been ruined in God’s eyes or in the eyes of others. The hard-to-believe, but beautiful truth is that broken-up you is a better you. If in your sorrow you turn to the Lord and repent of whatever sin you brought to this relationship, you are as precious to your heavenly Father as you have ever been, and he is using every inch of your heartache, failure, or regret to make you more of what he created you to be and to give you more of what he created you to enjoy — himself.
When one prize is stripped away, we can graciously be reminded of how little we have apart from Christ and the fortune he’s purchased for us with his blood. He has become for us wisdom for the foolish, righteousness for sinners, sanctification for the broken, and redemption for the lost and afraid (1 Corinthians 1:30) — and affection and security and identity for the lonely man or woman reeling after the end of a relationship. So even in the aftermath of a breakup we have reason to boast, as long as our boast is in everything Christ is for us (1 Corinthians 1:31).
In Jesus, God is always and only doing good to you. There’s no circumstance facing you that he’s not engineering to give you deep and durable life and freedom and joy. He loves our lasting joy in him much more than he loves our temporary comfort today. He’ll make the trade any day, and we can be glad he does. Know that God is doing good, even when we feel worst.

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Saturday, 19 November 2016

In Times of Conflict - Return to a Love Situation


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It is often the case that the people we love most are those that we have the worst conflicts with. Our most intimate relationships can touch upon our deepest places of hurt, mistrust and wounding often leading to misunderstandings, distance or fighting. Although these bumps along the path of relating may be inevitable, we can smooth the ride (or at least manage to stay on the path!) by remembering to return to a place of love in all situations of conflict.
What does this mean? Well, It means that no matter how you are triggered, how right you feel, how hurt you are there is nothing that will support your relationship (and you) more than being able to stay connected to the deep love that you feel for the person with which you are in conflict.
There are lots of ways to practice this but here is a step by step plan of how you actually make the physical, mental and emotional shift from negative emotion to a place of love. So that you can be more effective at solving the conflict and building trust and intimacy. These are the steps to take when you start to see red while engaging with someone you love. Whenever possible, as soon as you become aware that you are getting agitated, take a breath and a moment to do the following:

Step #1: Recognize where you are. See your desire to hurt, blame or separate from the other person.

Step #2: Switch your perspective. You don’t have to forgive, agree or accept them, anything they say, or what they are doing. Just remember what it feels like to love that person


Step #3: Think of what you would do or how you would act if you were feeling this love. In other words, if you were to choose loving connection over hurt, blame or disconnection what would you do.


Step #4: Decide what you want. Now that you have seen each of the options, which is the one that you want to choose?


Step#5: Love yourself for making the best choice you can in the moment regardless of what it is. 


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It is really easy in the heat of the moment to lose sight of everything that we valued and believed when we were not in the conflict. Simply by reconnecting with the memory of being loving towards the other person, it frees us up to find new options for resolution and connection.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

How To Make Online Dating Work For You

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Online dating... it's a love hate relationship isn't it? I'm sure you've heard of all the horror stories about online dating... girls being cheated, men spamming your inboxes and men who just wants to have fun... and I don't blame you for freaking out after hearing so many horror stories.
You will want to try it out if you are new to the dating scene or if you haven't been dating for a while. And going out to meet new people isn't exactly your cup of tea right now.  It's scary to suddenly get out of your comfort zone and go out there and be vulnerable.   

But here's an interesting fact... the ratio of men to women on the dating sites is 9:1. That means 90% of the people on those dating sites are men and only 10% are women. So if that's the case then YOUR chances of success is so much higher than the men.

First of all, if your impression of online dating sites is on the negative side and you think that all the men on those sites are out to cheat or they are not serious then naturally that will be your experience because that's what you belief and focus on.
Because that's your perception, then even if a nice guy contacted you, you'll doubt his intentions and you end up sabotaging yourself.
Secondly, if you are someone who judges a lot on the physical, the men you attract will also judge you on the physical. The same principle applies to dating agencies. They match you based on the superficial level.... how he looks, what's his job (tittle), how much he makes....

How can you make online dating work for you?
Get rid of the mindset that all the men on the dating sites are jerks. If you feel that way, don't bother participating.  

Get clear on WHY you want to participate on the dating site. i.e. To make new friends.
Your profile picture should be one that is able to show the real you. No bikini photo.
Write your profile truthfully. You don't want to attract the "wrong" kind of men.
Send out good, positive vibes and expect success.
If you haven't been dating for a while now, you may get all excited about going on your first date and lose yourself. Going on dates doesn't mean you have to pretend to be someone you are not to impress the guy. The purpose of these dates is to get to know the guy better and get clear on what you want and what you don't want. If he ain't the right one... move on... NEXT...
Remember... you are the prize and you totally deserve the best because you are worth it!

The Best Breakup Advice is the Simplest

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You should note that this doesn't say the best breakup advice is the easiest. There's just nothing easy about it. With most things in life, just like breakup advice, the simpler the steps are to follow the better the advice is.
Why is that? It's best because people will find it a little more difficult to mess up simple, uncomplicated steps for one thing. Another reason it's so good is that people will actually put it into practice if it's simple enough. The final reason simple is best. 
There are few steps and even fewer lines to remember this way. Nothing important gets left out.
So, what's this simple breakup advice that's supposed to be the best?

Be Consistent about Breaking Up
Going back and forth or changing your mind not only sends mixed messages but it also gives the person you're supposed to be breaking up with a clear message that you're not really committed to ending things or attempting to make changes. Since there is something amiss in the relationship or you wouldn't be thinking about breaking up, it's safe to say that this is not really the message you want to be sending.

Get to the Breaking Up Part
There's no point in "hemming" and "hawing" around the main message. Get to the heart of the matter so that you can move on to dealing with the fallout. Expect some sort of fallout. It hurts when relationships end and people deal with that pain in different ways. It could be anger, tears, silent misery, and a need for quick escape. You owe it to the person you once loved to allow them to deal with the break up as they need to. Delaying will only prolong the inevitable.

Be Honest but not Brutally Honest
There are times in life when brutal honesty is the best course of action. This is not that time. You want to be honest about your reason for breaking up but not at the expense of his or her emotional well being. This is a time when your ex is down. You just don't go around kicking people when they are down. It just isn't very nice. Be gentle but don't give false reasons for calling it off.

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These may not seem like much but they do make an effective method for breaking up. More importantly they are simple steps and that makes this the best breaking up advice you might see for quite some time.

Does Age Matter In Relationships?

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When it comes to relationships, there is an old saying that goes, “age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” What is basically being said there is that age really doesn’t have any bearing on a relationship unless you choose to make it one. That seems like a perfectly plausible argument, yet there are still plenty of people out there that just don’t think that people who are years apart can ever be in a relationship that will last. My feeling is that it really does all depend on the two people who are in the relationship, as it is their dynamic that will ultimately make their union succeed or fail.

Age differences in relationships are a funny thing that seems to become less important with the passing of time. For example, a 10 year age difference doesn’t seem that big a deal when one of the people is 50 and the other one is 40. Roll those ages back to 28 and 18, and you begin to get people questioning the validity of that relationship. There are those that would look at the latter of those two age pairings and question what the 28 year old was up to. Some would even look at the older of the two in a way that was less than favorable, almost with the feeling that they must somehow be taking advantage of the younger person.

The fact is that none of us should really get to judge a relationship based solely on the ages of the two people involved in it. Just because we don’t think that we could relate to someone much younger than ourselves, doesn’t mean that another person can’t. It’s also a little arrogant and foolish to believe that someone who is younger doesn’t have the maturity to be involved with someone who is older than they are. There are some 20 year olds that have their heads on better than people twice their age, yet there is still the feeling that they must still somehow be emotionally stunted at that age.

You would think that by now we would all have become somewhat desensitized to relationships that involve big age gaps, especially since we are subjected to them on a daily basis on TV and in the movies. It’s almost become the norm now that the leading man in any show has to have a partner who is a lot less younger than he, whilst also usually being way out of his league. Yes, this should desensitize us all, but what it really seems to do is add fuel to the fire for those who see that sort of age difference as some sort of abomination.

It doesn’t really help when what we see on film spills over into real life. There have now been numerous instances of a much younger person “falling in love” with someone far older than they. The intentions of those folks are usually questioned, if only because the person they choose to fall for usually has millions in the bank and is on their last legs. It certainly doesn’t help the cause of those who believe that love can ignite between two people, regardless of age, but that is like saying that all marriages are a sham because so many now end in divorce.

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There are plenty of couples out there who are far apart in years, but whose souls were somehow meant to be together. The problem is that we seldom get to see or hear about these couples, as it’s only the bad ones that get the spotlight on them as an example of how relationships like that work. We really don’t have any business poking our noses in and passing judgment on relationships that have a big age difference. We know nothing about what those folks truly feel for each other, and at the end of the day, all that really does matter is how they feel.

Planning a Date for Her? Here Are Some Tips


Have you met someone nice and you want to date her? Planning a date for her could be really stressful if you do not know what to do. With good planning, you can create a date that she will reminisce even years after. To save you of the stress and anxiety, here are some tips in planning a perfect date for the girl of your dreams.

Do not panic and relax. Although a date can make or break your future relationship with the girl of your dreams, relax because getting anxious cannot help you in the planning. You can think and decide clearly if you are calm. It is normal to get nervous thinking about the date you are going to have with her but do no let your nervousness rule you. Be positive and always think that everything will turn out well.

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If this is your first date with her, it is more appropriate to have a lunch date. First dates should not be stressful and you both should feel comfortable with each other. Dinner date on a fancy restaurant for a first date could be really serious and too much formality can be really uncomfortable for both of you. Choose a less formal venue and have the date at lunch time so your date will just be light and fun. With less formality, you and your date will get to know each other more.

It is important to be punctual. In planning a date for her, the venue and the activities you both want to do are important but if you appear late on your date, you will ruin a supposedly perfect time. So plan accordingly and make sure to show up before the scheduled time.

In planning a date for her, take note that this is about her. It can be overwhelming to think about the venue, the food you are going to order, your attire etc. that you may forget that this date is about her.  Always have her in mind when planning. Know what she likes to do and what will make her feel special. It will be great if you have a common hobby or interest that you can together to make the date interactive.

Clean your car and your place. If you offer to pick her up, clean you car if you want to leave a good first impression. Accept it or not, a man can be judged by how he takes care of his things. A well-kept and clean car can leave a good first impression on her. You do not know if she will end up hanging out in your place so tidy up just in case
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Always have a back up plan. You will never know the circumstances, so it is best to have a back up plan just in case something goes wrong with your original plan. This will also show how flexible you are, a trait most women admire.

Be prepared to pay for the whole date. Some women are comfortable sharing with the expenses but you should be prepared to pay for the whole date. In planning, keep your budget in mind. Do not make plans for something that is beyond your financial capability. Remember that a perfect date does not have to be expensive. But if you can afford it, there is nothing wrong to be extravagant but you have to be careful not to send the wrong message.
Planning a perfect date is the first step in attracting the woman of your dreams.