Your I Ching Hexagram for January 12th is 22: Grace and Beauty

22: Grace and Beauty

Saturday, Jan 12th, 2013

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A splashy sunset bathes the mountains in a soft radiance; the light of a full moon dances on the surface of a rippling river. Grace and beauty adorn the natural world. Grace is not an all-powerful force, nor is it the essential or fundamental thing. By itself, it is form without content. Grace is moonlight on water, not the sunlight at noon. Yet grace brings artistic expression into the world, and enhances the quality of our lives.

In the arts, grace arises out of adherence to form: the dancer becoming the form of the dance, the musician giving life to the form of a musical score, the painter becoming one with the brush and canvas. In human affairs, grace is also aligned with form — with mastery of aesthetic and cultural patterns honed by time and honored by tradition. Through appreciation of graceful customs in human relationships we apprehend the pure beauty of the ideal, of life raised above the mere struggle for survival.

Possession of grace, like the bearing of a beautiful gift to a wedding, can add stature to those in humble positions. Take care to lend grace and dignity even to small happenings, while giving the weight of deep and careful consideration to matters of greater consequence. Though it should not be confused with true substance, an artistic flair can take one far in this world.

Daily OM for November 19th – The Dance of Intimacy

The Dance of Intimacy

Coming Back to Center in a Relationship

by Madisyn Taylor

In a long-term relationship it is often necessary to get back to basics and come back to center with each other.

 

Anyone in a long-term relationship knows that the dance of intimacy involves coming together and moving apart. Early in a relationship, intense periods of closeness are important in order to establish the ground of a new union. Just as a sapling needs a lot more attention than a full-grown tree, budding relationships demand time and attention if they are to fully take root. Once they become more established, the individuals in the union begin to turn their attention outward again, to the other parts of their lives that matter, such as work, family, and friendships. This is natural and healthy. Yet, if a long-term relationship is to last, turning towards one another recurrently, with the same curiosity, attention, and nurturance of earlier times, is essential.

In a busy and demanding world full of obligations and opportunities, we sometimes lose track of our primary relationships, thinking they will tend to themselves. We may have the best intentions when we think about how nice it would be to surprise our partner with a gift or establish a weekly date night. Yet somehow, life gets in the way. We may think that our love is strong enough to survive without attention. Yet even mature trees need water and care if they are to thrive.

One of the best ways to nourish a relationship is through communication. If you feel that a distance has grown between you and your partner, you may be able to bridge the gap by sharing how you feel. Do your best to avoid blame and regret. Focus instead on the positive, which is the fact that you want to grow closer together. Sometimes, just acknowledging that there is distance between you has the effect of bringing the relationship into balance. In other cases, more intense effort and attention may be required. You may want to set aside time to talk and come up with solutions together. Remember to have compassion for each other. You’re in the same boat together and trying to maintain the right balance of space and togetherness to keep your relationship healthy and thriving. Express faith and confidence in each other, and enjoy the slow dance of intimacy that can resume between the two of you.

Daily OM

Daily OM for November 9th – Being Alone

Being Alone

A Relationship with Self

by Madisyn Taylor

By allowing ourselves to be comfortable with being alone, we can become the people with whom we want to have a relationship.

 

The most important relationship we have in our lives is with our selves. And even though we are the only ones who are present at every moment of our lives—from birth onward—this relationship can be the most difficult one to cultivate. This may be because society places such emphasis on the importance of being in a romantic partnership, even teaching us to set aside our own needs for the needs of another. Until we know ourselves, however, we cannot possibly choose the right relationship to support our mutual growth toward our highest potential. By allowing ourselves to be comfortable with being alone, we can become the people with whom we want to have a relationship.

Perhaps at no other time in history has it been possible for people to survive, and even thrive, while living alone. We can now support ourselves financially, socially, and emotionally without needing a spouse for survival in any of these realms. With this freedom, we can pursue our own interests and create fulfilling partnerships with friends, business partners, creative cohorts, and neighbors. Once we’ve satisfied our needs and created our support system, a mate then becomes someone with whom we can share the bounty of all we’ve created and the beauty we’ve discovered within ourselves.

As we move away from tradition and fall into more natural cycles of being in the world today, we may find that there are times where being alone nourishes us and other periods in which a partnership is best for our growth. We may need to learn to create spaces to be alone within relationships. When we can shift our expectations of our relationships with ourselves and others to opportunities for discovery, we open ourselves to forge new paths and encounter uncharted territory. Being willing to know and love ourselves, and to find what truly makes us feel deeply and strongly, gives us the advantage of being able to attract and choose the right people with whom to share ourselves, whether those relationships fall into recognizable roles or not. Choosing to enjoy being alone allows us to fully explore our most important relationship—the one with our true selves.

Daily OM for July 12 – The Friend We Want to Be

The Friend We Want to Be

Evaluating Our Relationships

by Madisyn Taylor

Be the friend to others that you wish them to be to you.

 

There comes a time in all our lives when we may need to evaluate our relationships, making sure that they are having a positive effect on us, rather than dragging us down. Without realizing it, we may be spending precious time and energy engaging in friendships that let us down, rather than cultivating ones that support and nourish us along our path. Life, with its many twists, turns, and challenges, is difficult enough without us entertaining people in our inner circle who drain our energy. We can do so much more in this world when we are surrounded by people who understand what we’re trying to do and who positively support our efforts to walk our path.

We can begin this evaluation process by simply noticing how we feel in the context of each one of our close relationships. We may begin to see that an old friend is still carrying negative attitudes or ideas that we ourselves need to let go of in order to move forward. Or we may find that we have a long-term relationship with someone who has a habit of letting us down, or not showing up for us when we need support. There are many ways to go about changing the status quo in situations like this, having a heart to heart with our friend showing through example. This process isn’t so much about abandoning old friends as it is about shifting our relationships so that they support us on our journey rather than holding us back.

An important part of this process is looking at ourselves and noticing what kind of friend we are to the people in our lives. We might find that as we adjust our own approach to a relationship, challenging ourselves to be more supportive and positive, our friends make adjustments as well and the whole world benefits.

Why women lose interest in sex

By Jennifer Abbasi, LiveScience

 

Study: The longer a woman is in a relationship, the more her sexual desire decreases. Men reported no such decrease.

 

New research is demonstrating what many people already knew from experience: Women lose interest in sex over time, while men don’t.

The finding has the potential to help couples, the researchers said. Knowing that many women’s sexual desire diminishes over the course of a relationship could encourage both partners to be more realistic about their sex lives, and could help them weather the changes in desire as they occur.
Sex researchers Sarah Murray and Robin Milhausen, both of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, asked 170 undergraduate women and men who had been in heterosexual relationships for anywhere from one month to nine years to report on their levels of relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction and sexual desire. Desire was scored using an established model called the Female Sexual Function Index, which ranges from 1.2 to 6.0.
The participants reported being generally satisfied with their relationships and sex lives, but women reported lower levels of desire depending on the length of their relationship. “Specifically, for each additional month women in this study were in a relationship with their partner, their sexual desire decreased by 0.02 on the Female Sexual Function Index,” the authors wrote online Jan. 23 in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
In fact, relationship duration was a better predictor of sexual desire in women than both relationship and sexual satisfaction. While the 0.02 decrease in female desire was small, it contrasts with male desire, which held steady over time, the researchers said. [6 Scientific Tips for a Happy Relationship]
Evolution of desire
Scientists have disagreed on what happens to desire over the course of a relationship. “Some researchers suggest that both men’s and women’s desire would decrease over time as relationships move from passionate love to compassionate love,” said Murray, the lead study author and a doctoral candidate in human sexuality.
Yet evolutionary theorists predict that male desire should remain perpetually high in order for them to produce many offspring, while female desire should decrease as their attention turns, historically, toward child-rearing.
The new research points toward the latter theory, although longer-duration studies on different groups of people are still needed, Murray said.
Men consistently report higher levels of sexual desire than women. Differences in levels of hormones — testosterone, specifically — are believed to at least partially explain the gender divide.
Hormonal changes that occur as couples move from the passionate early stage to the compassionate later stage into monogamous relationships sometime between six and 30 months may also mediate changes in desire over time. Pharmaceutical companies are currently researching the impact of testosterone on women’s desire, but so far, the results have been inconclusive.
Hormones are only part of the story, Murray told LiveScience. “Although they are one piece of the sexual desire puzzle, focusing too heavily on hormones can remove the contextual factors that play into desire, such as whether or not a woman is in a satisfying, loving relationship, and if she has time to feel relaxed, playful and sexy,” she said.
Keeping the spark alive
The results could help researchers understand why women who seek sex therapy complain of low desire more than any other problem. Differences in levels of desire within couples, known as desire discrepancy, is a growing area of interest for therapists.
“The concept of an absolute level of ‘normal’ or ‘low’ sexual desire is being replaced by the view that low sexual desire is relative to one’s partner’s level of desire,” Murray said. But although desire discrepancy is known to negatively affect overall sexual and relationship satisfaction, very little else is understood about it, such as whether it contributes significantly to infidelity or breakups.
The new research could also help couples manage their relationships over time. In an earlier study, Murray found that women who reported more realistic expectations about what sex would be like in a long-term relationship also had higher levels of desire than those with less realistic expectations. “I think that individuals who expect to maintain the high level of excitement and passion that often exists in the first few months of a new relationship are setting up unrealistic expectations about what is to come and will be more disappointed when the desire and passion take on different forms,” she said.
She added that normalizing the fact that sexual desire may decrease over time may help both sexes to understand that this decrease does not necessarily mean anything is intrinsically wrong with their relationship, and may help couples put more effort into their sexual relationship.
“When an individual has had sex with their partner over the course of many, many years, it takes creativity and openness to keep things fresh and exciting,” Murray said. “Making time to be together and keep one’s sex life as an important part of one’s relationship is very important, and putting in effort and keeping things fun and interesting are crucial components.”
A long-term trend?
The researchers cautioned that longer-term studies of desire that include older couples could show different results. Younger women may report decreased desire as they experience their first relationship move away from the “honeymoon phase,” for example.
They may also not have experienced some of the benefits of longer-term relationships that may increase desire, such as going on romantic vacations, getting engaged, learning more about their sexual likes — and feeling comfortable sharing those likes with their partner.
Murray added that the self-reported nature of the study could have also skewed the results. “It has been theorized that men may be less inclined to admit that they have low desire as this is considered against male gender norms and masculinity,” she said. “Thus, it may be that men are not accurately reporting their level of desire and they may too experience a decrease.” Murray is preparing to study whether men accurately report their levels of desire.
Follow Jen Abbasi on Twitter @jenabbasi. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

 

MNN

 

Choosing Happiness, It’s actually your choice

Nature Comments & Graphics
Choosing Happiness

It’s actually your choice

From Jaelin K. Reece,

Did you know that happiness is up to you?

It’s actually your choice.

You can choose to be happy instead of waiting around for it to suddenly appear out of nowhere one day and land in your lap. Happiness is called upon and cultivated.

I am the Creator of My Own Thoughts

Now keep in mind, this is my personal perspective of happiness. You might have a different view. Everyone has a unique view point, especially where emotion is concerned. But, nonetheless, I like my outlook on happiness. It helps me to see that I am the creator of my own thoughts and state of mind. It is my choice what feeling I choose to have on any given day. This does not mean I don’t go with the flow of feelings, but that I can choose at any given moment to change what it is I desire.

For example, if I am having a hectic day, and I do have my share, I can choose to be breathless with activity or I can remind myself to stop and choose to be calm. I can go out for a walk and embrace the beauty that surrounds me and choose to experience that aesthetic as appreciation, gratitude, joy or numbness. I can choose to vacate and disconnect from my feelings, I can space out and be oblivious, or I can call upon the grace of the moment and be one with the beauty. These are all options.

We Have the Power to Choose

I think we as a society, collectively lose sight of how power-full we really are. I mean really full of power. We have the power to choose. It is something we are born with. No one has the power to take that away from us. It is our birthright.

The key to owning that power fully, is to accept that you are a rightful heir to it. Knowing that you are empowered within to choose your emotion, to choose how you respond or react to something, is all up to you. It is all choice.

Choosing Powerlessness

Many times, our childhood experiences and life learning gear us away from our power. We learned to give it all away, to quietly accept whatever happens to us, without question, without standing up and saying ‘No!’ We have become a passive society of powerless and uninspired automatons, going along with the crowd. It’s a sad state of affairs that we have been raised in. Somewhere along the line, a standard was laid out and we are ‘expected’ to magically meet this invisible ‘standard’ by compromising and living according to someone else’s perspectives. Where is the happiness in that?

I guess that leads me back to my original statement.

Choosing happiness is a choice.

Anytime you choose, you are making a decision. You are engaging your power.

Think about how you are feeling right now. How long has it been since you chose what you wanted to feel?

I am not suggesting that you go into a state of denial if you are in trauma, but I am suggesting that you insert a new option for yourself. Instead of sitting in pain, decide for 10 minutes that you will focus on happiness.

How does it make you feel? Are you lighter? Was a burden lifted? Even if it was a mere 10 minutes, it was a starting point. It was a choice. Would you rather go through life choosing happiness and drawing happy experiences to you, or by sitting in pain and expecting the worst, thereby feeling the worst?

It is still a choice.

It is your choice.

Why Not Choose to Experience Happiness?

I ask only that this stirs a thought within you. It is my hope that you will look at the power you possess and carpe diem – seize the day! Make a choice! Choose to experience happiness in your life.

It’s all up to you.

Enjoy – or not- it’s your choice.

    
~Magickal Graphics~

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 9th is 53: A Steady Pace

53: A Steady Pace

Hexagram 53

General Meaning: Like an ancient old-growth forest — where the subtle play of light, texture and shadows is the product of a process measured in centuries and inches — most things of lasting value develop gradually, at their own pace. The ability to learn from experience — one of humanity’s greatest capacities — implies constant yet gradual progress. The combination of stillness within and determination without are the essence of this dynamic. Good things sometimes sprout quickly; the truly delightful take much longer.

The principle of gradual development applies also to human relationships. For love and marriage or any important partnership to endure, progress must be slow but steady: slow enough to allow for the bonds to knit properly; steady enough to keep moving in the right direction.

You can’t expect to have everything all at once. Development must be allowed to take its proper course and allotted time; events must neither be rushed nor manipulated, but allowed to unfold naturally. In this way, you will come to enjoy long-lasting relationships and achieve success.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for June 23 is 32: Endurance

32: Endurance

Hexagram 32
 
General Meaning: Endurance is fostered when inner constancy is coupled with external flexibility. Long-distance runners must adapt readily to changing conditions, while maintaining an inner determination and strength of purpose. Two trees growing near each other adapt to enhance each other’s survival. A strong image of durability is a stable marriage of intimate partners striking a dynamic balance between involvement in the outside world and nourishment in the home.

True endurance is not based on rigidity, for endurance implies movement, not immobilization. Only by adapting to change can we stay in the race; but only by deepening our sense of purpose can we develop the fortitude to win it.

Continuity is achieved through movement, not by keeping still. That which has ceased to grow is close to death. Stay active, but allow yourself time to stay in touch with your innermost thoughts and feelings.

Today’s I Ching Hexagram for June 6 is 53: A Steady Pace

53: A Steady Pace

Hexagram 53
 
General Meaning: Like an ancient old-growth forest — where the subtle play of light, texture and shadows is the product of a process measured in centuries and inches — most things of lasting value develop gradually, at their own pace. The ability to learn from experience — one of humanity’s greatest capacities — implies constant yet gradual progress. The combination of stillness within and determination without are the essence of this dynamic. Good things sometimes sprout quickly; the truly delightful take much longer.

The principle of gradual development applies also to human relationships. For love and marriage or any important partnership to endure, progress must be slow but steady: slow enough to allow for the bonds to knit properly; steady enough to keep moving in the right direction.

You can’t expect to have everything all at once. Development must be allowed to take its proper course and allotted time; events must neither be rushed nor manipulated, but allowed to unfold naturally. In this way, you will come to enjoy long-lasting relationships and achieve success.

Your Rune For May 11th is Naudhiz

Your Rune For Today
Naudhiz

Naudhiz may foretell needs unmet and friction in relationships. You may be in a time where you should be very careful in whatever endeavor you take on. Also it may be that you are about to learn some of life’s hard lessons and come out the other side of this period a stronger being.