meaningful relationships

 

 

Ever feel like you are living a song? I have been hearing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ frequently the last few years. When I began to notice the song, I assumed that my connection to the song was through the song title. I believed that I kept hearing this song as a way to encourage me down the path I’ve been traveling since leaving the corporate world.

 

Assumptions

 

Recently my wife questioned my assumption. She asked if the connection could be with the lyrics or meaning of the song. So, I looked at the lyrics and was surprised to find some interesting correlations with my life.

 

I’m just a city boy, born and raised in Omaha. I’m married to a small town girl. A couple years ago, we rode a midday train going anywhere (actually Georgetown, CO). We’re feeling like we’re living in a lonely world with everyone attached to their electronic devices and ignoring personal contact. And the associations go on, and on, and on. Okay, I’m sure you are now looking on the Internet for the lyrics. And, yes, I took liberties.

 

The point of this song is that we are all looking for meaningful relationships. This song suggests that the purpose in life is trying to fill an emotional void through personal connections. Sometimes we will find someone to fill that void and other times we continue with the search, going through relationship after relationship. This song encourages us to hold on to the feeling of hope that we will find the relationship that we seek.

 

Deeper Meaning

 

If I look beyond the song title, I think there is a deeper meaning for me. I interpret the search for meaningful relationships to be analogous to seeking out people I can help improve their lives. Some of these people are looking for their own meaningful relationships. Meanwhile, others are looking for ways to identify how to improve their lives.

 

On the flip side, some of those people are consciously or unconsciously seeking my assistance. When I am able to help them achieve improved clarity in their life or relief from ailments, I feel emotionally fulfilled. As such, the song both encourages me to continue and reminds me of the benefits of making such a connection.

 

The work I do is one way to help others. We all, however, have the ability to positively affect the lives of others. Sometimes it only takes a smile to establish a connection with someone. From there you never know where it may lead. Who knows, maybe there’s a meaningful relationship just waiting to begin with your next smile.

 

 

 

I have had cats and dogs at different times in my life. Like all cats, mine pretended that they were independent animals, but every so often you would see their true colors. For instance, they really don’t want you to be far away or ignore them. That is why they are always in the middle of anything you are doing. They just like it on their terms.

 

You Are Mine

 

When my sister-in-law and father-in-law were looking for a cat to adopt, they visited the local Humane Society. Many of the cats ignored them or were happy with them for a few minutes and then wandered away. Some of them clearly stated that they weren’t the right cat for them. However, there was one kitten that took up residence on my father-in-law’s lap and would not move. You could say that the kitten chose to adopt my father-in-law. She was making sure that no matter what, he wasn’t leaving the shelter without her. She had already created a bond with him before they got home.

 

Unlike cats, dogs have no restraint in showing their attachment to humans. In many cases, they are excited to meet any and all new people. However, they do bond strongest to particular people.

 

Dog Rules

 

Our dog Jaz is strongly bonded to my wife. When my wife leaves the house, our dog likes to lie by the front door or sit by the front window until she returns, which can be a challenge if she is gone for an extended period. Whether my wife is gone 10 minutes or 10 days, upon her return she is greeted by a very excited dog that demands immediate attention. My wife even has a furry little follower when she goes upstairs. The bond between them is obvious.

 

Jaz likes other family, friends, and clients. In her world, each person has a specific role or connection to her. For instance, she loves walks and any time I try to put my shoes on, she begins hovering over my feet. She is sure that means I will take her for a walk.

 

Similarly, she thinks clients are for petting her. Therefore, when we are getting ready for a client she begins watching at the front window in anticipation of their arrival. She is sad when the client meeting is via video because she doesn’t get the same interaction that she gets when they meet in person.

 

Connections

 

Pets and their humans have both physical and emotional connections. When people lose a pet, they go through grieving just like they would if they lost a family member. When a pet loses their human they also grieve. For example, when we lost my mother-in-law, the family’s dog would lay down and put his chin on the floor. You could see the sadness in his face. Somehow the dog knew my mother-in-law would not be returning home.

 

For some people, their connection to their pet is their strongest and maybe only connection they have with a living being. I’ve witness a few homeless people with their dogs. For these people, their relationship with their pet can be life saving. As their pets give them a reason to live.

 

Life Line!

 

Pets connect to people in ways that other people cannot. They are always there for us and there is no question about their devotion. They bring unconditional love into our lives and that is something very precious!

 

 

 

In the previous article “Don’t Stop Believing”, I wrote about my belief in past lives and experiences that reconfirmed that belief. Having studied the topic extensively, I have learned of even more profound cases where young children knew amazing things that they could not possibly have learned in this lifetime.  

 

This knowledge is interesting and exciting, especially in cases where it can be confirmed. However, it is really secondary to the healing that is available through exploring past lives.

 

Stumbling Into Past Lives

 

Dr. Brian Weiss MD’s work with past lives and healing is probably the most well-known of anyone’s in the world. He was a psychiatrist when he stumbled into past life regression. In the story that he tells about his first encounter with past life regression, his patient regressed when he was trying to use general hypnosis techniques. It wasn’t until she regressed to a previous lifetime that she began showing physical and emotional improvement.

 

The patient appeared to have true healing. Yet, Dr. Weiss was not convinced that past lives were real and was unsure as to what was really happening. . In a later session, the patient was actually able to obtain information about Dr. Weiss that she could not have possibly known. Although this was not about her life, it convinced him that something very real was happening. His experience with this client was the beginning of a journey that has changed his life and the lives of many others.

 

Our Work

 

My wife and I had read about Dr. Weiss’ experience many years ago. Then in 2014, we had the opportunity to attend Dr Weiss’ professional past life regression training where we witnessed such healing first hand. We learned that past life regressions can help heal both physical and emotional issues people are experiencing in their current lifetime.

 

Today, after additional study with others in this line of work, we include past life regression and other similar types of sessions in our service offerings. Our primary focus of regressions are for people who want to resolve issues that they cannot consciously explain. In many situations, the client becoming consciously aware of the situation that initiated the current day problem allows healing to begin.

 

Client Experience

 

Every person is different and every experience is different. Some have immediate understanding and healing. For others, there is a sudden recognition some time later. And, there are others where healing process occurs slowly over time as full understanding occurs.

 

I never expect miracles, but I am almost always surprised by the results. And, I love those e-mails that arrive from clients at a later date with new amazing insights. So, whether you believe in past lives or not, just know that if there is an issue with no apparent origin, your past lives might hold the key.

 

To learn more about Dr. Weiss’ work, check out his website http://www.brianweiss.com/

 

Note: Past Life Regression is not therapy and should not be used in lieu of medical treatment.

 

 

After the recent flooding in the Midwest, I had to scoff at a politician who claimed that there were towns totally destroyed that would never exist again. Although this is possible, this politician clearly does not understand the mindset and determination of Americans.

 

Examples From History

 

If we look back in time, Chicago rebuilt after a major fire destroyed over 17,000 buildings in the 1870s and San Francisco came back stronger than ever after a 7.9 earthquake hit in 1906. More recently New Orleans is rebounding from Hurricane Katrina. Likewise, Joplin, Missouri is on the mend after a devastating F5 tornado destroyed a nearly mile-wide swath when it plowed through the southern part of the city eight years ago.

 

In all these cases, people died and property was destroyed, but the community survived. The same can be said of countless communities across the country. The key to their recovery is the people. People coming together to help one another is a way of life for many Americans. They fight for their communities even if politicians don’t realize it. Human resiliency should never be underestimated.

 

I can tell you that my father and father-in-law are prime examples of people who would be there any time for anyone. And, there are countless others like them. During the recent Nebraska flooding, for example, a farmer lost his life when he was taking his tractor out to help someone in need.

 

A Little Help

 

People overcome tragedy on a regular basis. Some get more attention through the media than others, but that does not diminish the effort. There are millions of situations where people help each other every day. It can be as simple as the neighbor who clears another neighbor’s sidewalk and drive after a snowstorm. We’ve had neighbors do this for us and vice versa. The neighbor of my father-in-law offered a portable heater upon learning that he needed something to heat his back porch to keep stuff from freezing.

 

A Lot of Help

 

Sometimes the help is more substantial. For example, in his earlier years, my father-in-law raced to the scene of a fire to save a family’s home, took a tractor through two-feet of snow to get mail for the entire neighborhood, and did mechanic work on a semi on Christmas Eve so that the driver could get home to be with his family for Christmas.

 

Other times people risk and sometimes lose their life to save a friend, a neighbor, or even a stranger. People do this for each other. It is human nature to help those around you who are in need.

 

If we stop for a moment, each of us can recall with examples of how someone has helped our families or us. Likewise, we can remember ways we have helped others.

 

Gratitude

 

Even though there are times it is challenging to express gratitude, especially when the gift is anonymous, I believe most of us are grateful for those that help. Most of us have seen heart-warming videos of someone graciously giving their time and effort to help others in need. Those videos are very touching to us as a third-party. The person who was the recipient of the help, is likely extremely touched and grateful.

 

I for one am very grateful for human resiliency. I am proud to be a part of a community and a country where people help others in times of need. The world could be an even better place if we focused more on the wonderful gift of human resiliency.

 

 

 

The purpose of advertisements is to create a connection between consumers and the product being advertised. They really don’t care if the viewer has no interest in their product or no need for it. Instead, they try to show a connection and a need that will encourage people to buy their product.

 

Not Actors

 

The statement “These are real people, not actors” appears regularly in advertisements. This statement is intended to connect the viewer with the “real people” in the commercial. The idea is to get the viewer to think, “Oh, these are real people like me. If they like it, so will I.”

 

Other advertisements try to connect the consumer with things that they desire. A weight loss commercial may show men and women that lost 50 pounds. They are hoping that the viewer will react strongly. Perhaps they will say, “I want to lose that much weight. Maybe I should use their program.” On the other hand, the consumer may say, “I only need to lose 20 pounds. If they can lose 50, surely I can lose 20.”

 

Magic Pill

 

Pharmaceuticals often advertise the magic pill. In commercials, someone suffering from depression magically becomes a happy person after taking the magic pill. Advertisers hope that you will ignore or not even see the fine print that says some people have suicidal thoughts when taking the magic pill. In reality, there are no magic pills.

 

Alternatively, the advertisement may feature a sexy woman or man. Consumers are drawn to them because they want to be like them and they want to have what the person in the advertisement has. The hope is that the consumer will equate the sexiness of the actor with the product. Thus, they are attempting to implant the idea that the fancy car will make the consumer sexier or draw a sexy person into their life.

 

People are driven to see the grass on the other side of the fence as greener, which is fueled by these advertisements. Of course these advertisers don’t tell consumers that they are fine the way they are. If they did then they wouldn’t sell anything. Connecting people with being happy the way they are and with what they have is completely contradictory to advertising.

 

Negative Advertising

 

Advertisements aren’t, however, always presented in a positive manner. In political advertisement, for example, many advertisements paint an opponent in a negative light and contrast themselves as positive. These advertisements may use black and white images of the opponent, shroud the opponent in darkness, and/or use negative verbiage stamped across the opponent. Meanwhile, the favored candidate is presented in color with positive verbiage. These types of psychological techniques have evolved over the years, but are still obvious in commercials today.

 

Be In Control

 

It’s important for us to understand how advertisers attempt to make connections to products, services, and people. By having this understanding, consumers can use their own critical thinking rather than being at the mercy of the advertisers.

 

So, next time you see an advertisement, especially if it seems too good to be true or is very degrading to someone, question it, research it, and consciously choose how you react to it.

 

 

 

 

 

As you may have noticed, this year we’ve shifted the focus of our blog posts and re-titled it Connecting. We have chosen this focus because everything in existence involves making connections. Those of you who enjoyed our Pay Attention blog or our Imagine If blog need not worry as both concepts will be found within Connecting.

 

Flavors of Connections

 

Connections come in many flavors.   There are things where the connection is physical and obvious, such as, a fingernail is clearly attached to a finger, the finger to the hand, the hand to the wrist, etc. These connections are observable to the naked eye. A scientist might, however, describe these connections with more precision and in ways that are not visible without special equipment. Those descriptions are also physical. The details are just not obvious to the casual observer.

 

Similarly, there are connections that are emotional, such as, connecting Christmas with family. A particular home or set of activities may be involved, but no physical connection exists. Yet, when you think of Christmas, you might immediately think of being with family.

 

Similarly, you might associate both horses and tractors with transportation. Unless you are talking about a horse drawn carriage, there isn’t a physical connection. My Grandfather might have made an emotional tie between the two because he loved his horses and was heartbroken when they were replaced by motorized equipment. However, most of us make this connection because of something we learned – a mental connection.

 

Lastly, connections can be spiritual.   The power of prayer is an excellent example for those that believe. It can’t be empirically proven, but prayer seems to perform miracles.

 

Connection Game

 

Connections go far deeper and cover many more situations than are initially obvious in the above scenarios. By playing a simple game we play with students to teach creative problem solving, you can begin to see how everything is connected. That game consists of searching for as many connections as you can between two seemingly unrelated objects, ideas, beliefs, etc. For example, how is a dog related to a banana? If you don’t come up with something initially, challenge yourself. We have yet to find any two things without a connection.

 

More The Same Than Different

 

The world today teaches people to see the differences, yet things are more connected than they are different. If you look at two different people, for example, they may look very different based on gender, race, height, etc.; however, humans share more than 99.9% of the same DNA. So, there is biological connectivity between all human beings that goes far deeper than physical characteristics.

 

What about our beliefs? Although most the time you wouldn’t know it, there is a significant amount of connectivity in our personal, political, and religious ideologies. For instance, most people believe in the concept of family. Now, some believe in monogamy while others believe in plural marriage. Still, at the core is the idea of family. Likewise, most religions believe in a higher power or universal power giving life to the idea that there is something more.

 

And, lastly we arrive at the dreaded politics. No matter your political views it is guaranteed that there are people with your general set of beliefs that are truly working toward what they believe to be the good of the people and the good of the country. It is equally true that there are others who are working toward their own power and not the good of anyone else. Those working for good may disagree on how to achieve the goals, but they share more goals than most people realize. The challenge is to find the connections and focus on them instead of focusing on the disagreements.

 

Pay Attention

 

As you can see in these few examples, everything in life involves connections. Those connections range from the obvious to the overlooked to the ones that you really need to think about and consider. Once you are paying attention and open to seeing connections, they will start jumping out at you from every angle. You might even start imaging what life would be like if we focused on the commonality and connections instead the differences.

 

Read our new blogs post each Tuesday and Friday to get a glimpse into some of the connections that we see around us!

 

 

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