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Heart-felt gift for friends

Tara Christie



Heart felt gift for friends

In a friendship, it is not important whether your gift is an object or affection. But, the most important is your presence to each other that is what  a heart-felt gift for your friend.

True friends are not fussy or judgemental. They care not what you are worth or what you own. And they certainly understand the meaning of your friendship, and whatever you may give as a present comes from the heart. Here are some of the most heartfelt gifts you can offer good friends, without a bit of monetary investment.

But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

Heart-felt gift for friends (3)


It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note could be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life (although it may cost a stamp if you mail it)


A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

Heart-felt gift for friends (2)

Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it’s not that hard to say “Hello” or “Thank You.”

Every gift for your friend is important, learn to value even if it’s not a concrete gift. The most special gift for your friendship is your quality time together.


Let’s Get To The Bottom Of This: Are Soulmates Actually Real?

Tara Christie



are soulmates real

The concept of having a soulmate has been floating around since practically forever. The idea behind it is simple: There’s one person out there who is destined to be your other half.

Of course, this is a little controversial. While some people are all in with the idea of having a soulmate, others think it’s total B.S. Still others are in the middle, with the belief that you can have several soulmates during your lifetime.

Before we get into whether soulmates are real or not, it’s important to hammer out what, exactly, they are.

What is a soulmate, really?

The definition kind of depends on who you’re talking to. “The actual meaning of the notion of ‘soulmates’ varies from person to person,” says Joseph Cilona, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist in Manhattan.

Still, he says, it’s fair to say that the most common belief around the term is that there is only one person in the world that is your soulmate, that that person is the perfect match for each of us, and that you must find that person to be happy in love and marriage.

“Furthermore, the thought is that if we do find them, the relationship will be perfect and blissful,” Cilona says. “If we don’t, any other relationship will never be as good.”

are soulmates real


Are Kaley Cuoco and her husband soulmates? Peep their body language to find out:

Other people define soulmates by what they do. A soulmate is “a person who appears in your life in order to teach you an important lesson,” says clinical psychologist Suzana E. Flores, author of Facehooked: How Facebook Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Lives.

“They can shake up your soul by providing experiences that change the way you perceive yourself and the world,” Flores explains. “Soulmates challenge you to transcend into a higher state of consciousness.”

Interesting, so why is the idea of soulmates controversial?

Here’s the thing: The concept of a soulmate is really romantic—provided you’re with someone you love and feel really, really good with. But experts have some issues with thinking your S.O. is your soulmate for a slew of reasons.

For starters, the concept implies that you’re not whole without someone else, and that’s pretty messed up, says relationship psychologist Karin Anderson Abrell, PhD.

“If you’re stuck on the notion of soulmates, you could feel this void throughout your single years,” she says. “Feeling like you need someone to complete you is a horrible way to approach dating and relationships because it comes from a place of need.”


Read more on soulmates here: Why You Should Stop Searching for Your Soul Mate

“I feel strongly that the entire notion of soulmates is totally toxic, completely false, and that the expectations and beliefs that it fosters can very often sabotage relationships and undermine for many the quest for healthy romantic love,” says Cilona. (A little harsh, maybe, but definitely not wrong.)

“The reality is there are almost 8 billion people in the world now, and many of them can be well-suited to be in a healthy, fulfilling, satisfying, romantic relationship with each other,” Cilona says.

While people often talk about the importance of things like values, common interests, attractiveness, education level, and cultural background, “the single-most important indicator of the likelihood of two people coming together is simply geographic proximity,” Cilona says.

And finally, what if something happens to your soulmate? What if you get divorced from someone you thought was your soulmate or, worst-case scenario, they die? Are you supposed to just take yourself out of the relationship pool for life? That seems kind of…sucky, to say the least.

What’s a healthier way to think of soulmates?

How about this: A soulmate doesn’t have to be limited to a significant other.

“Soulmates don’t necessarily have to be reserved for romance,” says Abrell. Think of Meredith and Cristina on Grey’s Anatomy. Or Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe on Friends. Or Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw and her girls. Sometimes you have a BFF who just gets you like no one else—and that’s magical on its own.

“Soulmates don’t necessarily have to be reserved for romance.”

With this broader definition, you can feel more fulfilled in life by the high-vibration connections you have with multiple people. And there’s less pressure to make things perfect that way.

So I should let go of the idea that romantic soulmates are real?

If you’re single and doing the whole dating thing, you don’t want the fairytale idea of love to blind you from potential partners just because they may not seem like the soulmate match you’ve envisioned. Being a hopeless romantic can definitely ding you in that department.

But if you swear you’ve found your soulmate in life and you feel like an otherwise happy and fulfilled person, there’s no harm in thinking the concept is legit, Abrell says. Just keep in mind that, on a romantic level, it’s really not something that science can prove or that most relationship experts even support (if, ya know, that matters to you).

soulmates reality

You also need to remember that “soulmate” or not, relationships take work. Cilona stresses the importance of clear and effective communication, mutual trust that develops when each person’s words match their behavior over time, mutual respect, and mutual caring. (Clearly, lots of mutual stuff here.)

Bottom line: It doesn’t really matter if soulmates are real—as long as you are realistic about love and what it takes to nurture it.

Original article by Korin Miller. She is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.

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5 Core Practices for Effective Communication

Tara Christie



effective communication skills

We yearn to talk to someone and be understood. In order to understand and be understood, we need to practice effective communication. Learn the core practices here…

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” –Epictetus

There is one activity we each do every day, all day long, in every area of our lives—at home, at work, with friends, even when we’re alone. The success of our relationships, our work,and life in general rests heavily on it, yet few of us ever receive explicit training in this area.

I’m talking about communication. We’re social creatures, and good communication is perhaps one of the most essential skills for a meaningful life. Poor communication is one of the primary causes of divorce, and as much as 85% of job success comes from having strong soft skills like communication and relationship building.

The fact is, we’ve all had communication training. It’s generally just been unconscious and unintentional—we pick up whatever is around us in our family, culture and society, and do the best we can to get by.

If you’re interested in improving your relationships, advancing in your career, or enhancing your capacity for change in life in general, communication is a powerful lever. Here are five core practices you can start using today to improve your communication. These are both foundations and advanced practices. The difference lies in the quality of your attention and depth of your investigation.

Learn more techniques for effective communication…

core practices for effective communication

1. Lead with presence.

Awareness is the pre-requisite for effective conversation. If we want to understand something or make a meaningful connection, we have to be here firstYet the habit of multi-tasking rarely stops when we leave our desk. Try to give your full attention to whomever you are speaking with. Put down other thoughts and projects. To help stay present, feel the weight of your body or the sensations in your hands or feet. When speaking, experiment with slowing the pace of your speech down ever so slightly to bring more clarity and choice to your words. Over time, include other forms of communication like talking on the phone, texting, and email.

2. Listen completely for effective communication. 

We learn to speak by listening. In the same way, learning to communicate mindfully begins with careful listening. As you engage with others, try to listen whole-heartedly. Make a mental note of important thoughts, questions, or responses as they arise, and return your attention to hearing the other person. What would it be like to just listen?

3. Come from curiosity and care.

The foundation for productive discussion and skillful negotiation is in the quality of connection and understanding we create. When our interactions are driven by an agenda, by getting our way, wanting to win, being right or making a point, we limit the possibilities for mutual understanding and creative outcomes. Instead, see if you can find a genuine intention to understand the other person. Practice cultivating and returning to the simple intention to understand.

4. Focus on what matters.

We often attend primarily to the content of what’s being said, our views, ideas and judgments about it. To create a clearer quality of connection, focus on the underlying needs or objectives. Ask yourself, “What matters about this?” Listening with this kind of attention helps us get beyond surface positions to the underlying values in a situation, thereby creating more room for understanding, collaboration, and creative problem-solving.

It is important to learn what to say and when to say it. Read on for more effective communication from: Words and Phrases to not say to your Partner


effective communication techniques

5.  Pause; remember the option to stay silent.

Learned habits of communication run deep and often come out of our mouth at lightening speed. As with other mindfulness training, slowing down is essential for building skill. Practice pausing before and during speaking. Consider if your words will contribute to mutual understanding and connection.

With email, waiting a few hours or a day to send a message often brings clarity and saves unnecessary complication. One of the most overlooked (and often underutilized) communication tools is holding one’s tongue! It takes restraint, but knowing the right time and place to speak our truth is essential. Try listening or nodding until you have a clearer sense of what will be most useful to share.

These tools can create the conditions for more meaningful conversations. I hope they help bring more ease, understanding, and creativity into your life, your work, and your relationships.

We need to understand one another in order to communicate. In order to send a message or listen, we need to learn about effective communication.

Original article written by Oren Jay Sofer, he is the author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication. He leads retreats and workshops on mindful communication at meditation centers and educational settings around the United States. 

Syndicated from Spirituality & Health magazine. S&H was founded in 1998 for people seeking holistic health in body, mind, and spirit. It aspires to help guide the journey to self-knowledge, authenticity, and integration. Its articles draw from the wisdom of many traditions and cultures, with an emphasis on sharing spiritual practices, and look to science to help provide a context for the spiritual quest. 

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A hardworking father

Tara Christie



A hardworking father

If your dad is or was a hardworking man and, has helped you as much as he could at the time, no matter how good or bad you were, and is just a best dad ever. As a bread winner of the family, he is the one who exert more effort.

Father was a hardworking man who delivered bread as a living to support his wife and three children. He spent all his evenings after work attending classes, hoping to improve himself so that he could one day find a better paying job. Except for Sundays, Father hardly ate a meal together with his family. He worked and studied very hard because he wanted to provide his family with the best money could buy.

A hardworking father

Whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

The day came when the examination results were announced. To his joy, Father passed, and with distinctions too! Soon after, he was offered a good job as a senior supervisor which paid handsomely.

Like a dream come true, Father could now afford to provide his family with life’s little luxuries like nice clothing, fine food and vacation abroad.

However, the family still did not get to see father for most of the week. He continued to work very hard, hoping to be promoted to the position of manager. In fact, to make himself a worthily candidate for the promotion, he enrolled for another course in the open university.

A hardworking father

Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

Father’s hard work paid off and he was promoted. Jubilantly, he decided to hire a maid to relieve his wife from her domestic tasks. He also felt that their three-room flat was no longer big enough, it would be nice for his family to be able to enjoy the facilities and comfort of a condominium. Having experienced the rewards of his hard work many times before, Father resolved to further his studies and work at being promoted again. The family still did not get to see much of him. In fact, sometimes Father had to work on Sundays entertaining clients. Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

As expected, Father’s hard work paid off again and he bought a beautiful condominium overlooking the coast of Singapore. On the first Sunday evening at their new home, Father declared to his family that he decided not to take anymore courses or pursue any more promotions. From then on he was going to devote more time to his family.

Father did not wake up the next day.

It’s very inspiring and touching story. A father do his best for her family for them to have a stable and better life. Respect and valued all the efforts of your parents, this is the way to show their love.

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Do You Know You Are Loved?

Polly Stevens



Do You Know You Are Loved

Do You Know You Are Loved?

It has been my good fortune to know Dr. Everett Blanton and to be counted among his friends. Come to think of it, that doesn’t make me all that special. His circle of friends is pretty large. And I don’t know anyone in his still-larger circle of acquaintances that didn’t like him and respect him.

This is how his booming voice greeted those of us fortunate enough to be his friends: “Has anyone told you today that he loves you?”

The first time he posed the question to you, you may have tried to answer it. You would try to remember if your wife or children said “I love you” before they left for school or when you left for work. Or perhaps you would simply be stunned by such a question – and stand a bit wide-eyed and not know how to respond.

His handsome face would break into a broad grin, and he would say something on this order: “Well, I do! And I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you. You are special to me, and I am grateful to have you in my life.”

Do You Know You Are Loved

Now that might sound mushy – if not downright suspicious – if Everett’s hair had not been completely white and his face marked with the signs of age. Coming from him, both males and females heard the genuine affirmation of a godly man who wanted to tell the people in his life how he valued them.

When a move to another state put distance between us, we would occasionally speak by phone. It was always important for me to begin the conversation. As soon as he picked up, I would say, “Everett, has anybody told you today how loved you are?” He would laugh, call my name, and tell me how special I was to him. There was no way to get ahead of him!

Everett Blanton passed away. Loved and supported by children and grandchildren, he had battled cancer courageously – and tried to keep his family from worrying too much about it. The battle had become hard.

His closest ally, best friend, and devoted wife through all his life adventures, Peggy, mourns his loss – but smiles at the treasure trove of sweet memories they made together. She tells me how fortunate she was to have had all those years with him. He would tell you he was the lucky one.

You don’t have to know Everett to learn from him. Learn to affirm the people who are important in your life. Tell them you love them. Then tell them again and once more for good measure. Be remembered for it when it comes your time to go home. As Joe Bain said, Everett was “a man with the kindest heart I’ve ever known.” Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way for people to remember you?

Rubel Shelly

Rubel Shelly is a Preacher and Professor of Religion and Philosophy located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. In addition to church and academic responsibilities, he has worked actively with such community projects as Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, From Nashville With Love, Metro (Nashville) Public Schools, Faith Family Medical Clinic, and Operation Andrew Ministries.

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Darth Vader Quotes – Be Seduced by the Dark Side




Darth Vader Quotes

Undoubtedly Darth Vader is one of the most well known movie character of all time.  The villain that was a good guy of the Star Wars franchise, is considered one of the most powerful and prominent movie villains of all time, but has it always been like that? The answer is no…

As it turned out he was once a heroic Jedi Knight.  Learning his craft under Obi-Wan Kenobi many considered he was the “chosen one” the one born to bring balance to the universe. However that did not turn out to be the case as Anikan  was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force, to became a Sith Lord, and led the Empire’s elimination of the Jedi Order. For decades, He remained in service of an evil Emperor – Darth Sidious – enforcing his Master’s will and seeking to destroy the fledgling Rebel Alliance. But was there still good in him?


darth vader quotes


“Luke, I am your father.”


darth vader quotes


“I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”


darth vader quotes


“If this is a consular ship, where is the ambassador?”


darth vader quotes


“I sense something. A presence I have not felt since….”


darth vader quotes


“That name no longer has any meaning for me.”


best darth vader quotes


“This will be a day long remembered.”


best darth vader quotes


“All too easy.”


best darth vader quotes


“Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.”


best darth vader quotes


“Apology accepted, Captain”

Darth Vader quotes from the Dark Side

best darth vader quotes


“Be careful not to choke on your aspirations.”


star wars quotes darth vader


“Don’t fail me again, Admiral.”


star wars quotes darth vader


“From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.”


star wars quotes darth vader


“He will join us or die, my master.”


star wars quotes darth vader


“He will not be permanently damaged.”


star wars quotes darth vader


“He’s all yours, bounty hunter. Reset the chamber for Skywalker.”

famous darth vader quotes


“He’s just a boy.”


famous darth vader quotes


“I do not want the Emperor’s prize damaged.”


famous darth vader quotes


“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”


famous darth vader quotes


“I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new empire.”


Yoda Star wars Quotes

Best Darth Vader quotes


famous darth vader quotes

“I have felt it.”

darth vader quotes dark side


“If he could be turned, he would become a powerful ally.”


“Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well.”


“It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.”


“Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.”


“Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.”


“Take the princess and the Wookie to my ship.”


“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”


“The Emperor will show you the true nature of the Force. He is your Master now.”


“Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends.”

Famous Darth Vader quotes

“The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.”

darth vader quotes dark side


“There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you.”


“Luke, you do not yet realize your importance.”


“The circle is now complete.”


“When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”


“We would be honored, if you would join us.”


 “With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.”


darth vader quotes dark side


“Yes, your thoughts betray you.”

Star Wars quotes Darth Vader

darth vader quotes dark side


“You are beaten. It is useless to resist.”


darth vader quotes dark side


“You don’t know the power of the dark side.”


“You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.”


“You have failed me for the last time, Admiral….”


Star wars quotes


“You have learned much, young one.”


Star wars quotes


“You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.”


“You’re asking me to be rational. That is something I know I cannot do.”


“Your destiny lies with me Skywalker. Obi-Wan knew this to be true.”


Yoda Star wars Quotes

More quotes from Darth Vader


“Now his failure is complete.”

“I see through the lies of the Jedi.”


Star wars quotes


“I do not fear the dark side as you do.”


“Just for once let me look on you with my own eyes… You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister you were right.”


“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force… ”


“I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side as you do. I have brought peace, freedom, justice, and security to my new empire.”


“Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.”


“She must have hidden the plans in the escape pod. Send a detachment down to retrieve them. See to it personally, Commander. There’ll be no one to stop us this time.”


“This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi; it will soon see the end of the Rebellion.”


“I do not want the Emperor’s prize damaged. We will test it…on Captain Solo.”


“There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you. Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.”


“If you only knew the power of the dark side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.”


“Sister! So, you have a twin sister! Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete. If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will!”


Yoda Star wars Quotes


“You saw what we did there right?”


Star wars quotes


“When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”


“The Force is strong with this one. ”


“Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for… sister. So, you have a twin sister.”


“Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from me. Now his failure is complete.”


“I see through the lies of the Jedi. I do not fear the dark side as you do.”


“Power! Unlimited power!”


“You are a part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor!”


“What have I done?”


“Asteroids do not concern me, Admiral.”


“Give into your hate and anger”


“I sense something.”


“I have you now. ”


“What is thy bidding, my Master? ”

Best Darth Vader quotes

“This technological terror is nothing compared to the power of the force”


“All I am surrounded by is fear, and dead men!”


“Search your feelings, you know it to be true!”


“You are unwise to lower your defenses!”


“Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your friends. Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong.”


“I hope so for your sake, the Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.”


“I sense something. A presence I have not felt since….”


“There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you. Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.”



Which of these Darth Vader quotes is your favorite?

Darth Vader’s tragic story as the valiant Jedi Knight turned evil is proof that even the good people of this world can make bad decisions when caught in a compromising circumstance in the name of love.


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Personal Growth

What is A Family?

Sheila J. Highland



What is a Family

What Is A Family?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”

DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?” replied the man.

SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”What is a Family

DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.

SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”

DAD: “If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”

“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said,

“Daddy, may I please borrow $10?”

The father was furious, “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.” The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $10 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door. “Are you asleep, son?” He asked. “No daddy, I’m awake,” replied the boy.“I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier,” said the man. “It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $10 you asked for.” The little boy sat straight up, smiling. “Oh, thank you, daddy!” He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man, seeing that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. “Why do you want more money if you already have some?” the father grumbled. “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do,” the little boy replied. “Daddy, I have $20 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.” Share this story with someone you like…. But even better, share $20 worth of time with someone you love. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family. An unwise investment indeed!

Moral: In our busy lives in this world, we should not neglect our family. Let us spend more quality time with our loved ones especially our family.


What is a Family? is a motivating story of more quality time with family. Another moving story is True Wealth.

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