Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Love Month

      It’s the "Love Month." You know, the month when Cupid takes aim, couples swoon, Hallmark gives itself a high five and romance fills the air. For a day. And a night. Then what?
      Don’t get me wrong. Romance on Valentine’s Day is great! But romance for life… that’s beyond wonderful. How do you make it happen? Between juggling the kids, the boss, the bills, the chores… who has time for romance? And, what’s the big deal anyway?
     Trust me, it’s a big deal.
     I wrote a little book a few years ago called “30 Days To Better Love.” It was written for men, but the advice also applies to women and couples everywhere. The point is that we need to take care of our romantic relationships.
     Remember when you first met the love of your life? You couldn’t wait to see them, hold their hand, put your arms around them. You’d race through the day just to race through the door to grab them in a hug and plant a big, fat, juicy kiss right on their lips. When’s the last time you did that? Have your hellos and goodbyes gone from hot and bothered to cool and distracted?
     Perhaps this year’s Valentine’s Day can be more than a Hallmark holiday. Perhaps it can be a catalyst to pump real and lasting romance into our relationships. Here are 3 quick tips from my book to get you started:
Number 1: Kiss ‘Em Like You Mean It. Do you remember your very first kiss? Heart racing, knees jelly, hands sweaty. It was scary and shaky and sexy. It was wonderful. But as time goes on, those melt in your mouth kisses can morph into a peck on the lips or even the cheek. Stop that. FULL ON KISS YOUR PARTNER. Do it often. When you wake up, when you go to bed, when you leave the room, when you enter the room, when you’re on the couch, or in the kitchen, or doing yard work. Kiss them like you did when you were first dating. Kiss them slowly. Kiss them deliberately. Kiss them often. Kiss them passionately. 
Kiss them now.
Number 2: Hold Their Hand. Holding hands is one of the earliest forms of intimacy. But, somewhere along the way, the art of hand-holding becomes lost. Our hands become filled with briefcases, diaper bags, grocery bags, babies, or books. But when you slowly lace your fingers with your loved one’s, you communicate so much without saying a word. You tell them how much you love being with them, how proud you are of them, how much you like being “that close” to them. Reach out and touch. It’s more than a song.
     Number 3: Say “I Love You.” What? They know I love ‘em," you think to yourself. So? You ever watch a quarterback who’s blocked from throwing a pass, scrambles, and runs into the end zone for the touchdown? He knows everybody loves him. But watch him. He runs the sidelines, looking for the hugs, smiles and fanny slaps that are football language for “I love ya, man.” He looks for his girl so she can blow him a kiss and say “I love you.” Yes, they know you love them. They still want to hear you say it. Often. Unexpectedly. For no reason at all. I. Love. You. Three little words that will give them a reason to read your lips. They’ll probably kiss them, too.
     So, there you go. I dare you to try these three simple steps, consistently, for at least a week, better yet, for the entire “love month.” I bet you’ll notice the temperature’s rising in your relationship. And when it comes to love, “heat” is not a bad thing.
     For 27 more tips, on spicing up your romantic life, check out Drexel’s book “30 Days to Better Love” at www.drexelgilbert.com Also available at Amazon.com.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019: Year of No?

Shonda Rhimes, the producer of mega-hits Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, wrote a best seller a few years ago, entitled Year of Yes. It’s a great book about the benefits of recognizing and accepting opportunities and of saying “yes” to people and moments that cross our paths.  That’s a wonderful philosophy that can lead to personal growth.
But I’ve decided that for me, 2019 is the “Year of NO.”
I do not mean this in a negative way but in the most positive way possible.  In 2018, I said “yes” so often, it stretched me so tightly I thought I would snap and break into a million pieces… even when I looked like I had it all together. Last New Year’s Day, I decided to live 2018 the fullest. I vowed to do, read, experience, and/or eat something new every day of the year.
I did.
It wore me out.
I found that in “saying yes,” to every career, academic, social, family, and even spiritual opportunity and invitation that came my way, I was doing a lot. But I was not getting a lot done. And I wasn’t doing any of it very well.
So, this year, I’ve decided to say “no” more often.
It will be hard. I am an adventuress. A doer. A “carpe diem” gal. I live for the experience and the moments. I love to go, see, and do! I love a challenge. My favorite saying is “Who says you can’t?” Saying “no” will be hard. And, I’m not saying there won’t be plenty of wonderful people and opportunities and invitations that I will say “yes” to in 2019. But this year, I will be more discerning about those “yes” answers.
I've learned I’m not alone in this weariness of saying yes. A recent report on CBS News talked about “JOMO.” That’s the “Joy Of Missing Out.” Apparently, a lot of us long to de-tech, destress and even detach. It seems many of us want to simplify our lives, instead of cramming so much stuff into every single minute. We want to stop filling up our moments, and simply enjoy them. We want to put down the laptop, ipad, and cellphone and actually talk to each other, explore our feelings... and breathe. We want to live and love the people we know and the things that we do. We want to focus on a few meaningful activities, instead of scattering ourselves on many wearying things.
JOMO. Rhymes with NO.NO.
So, how do we get back to strolling, instead of racing, through life? Perhaps in 2019, we should ask these questions when presented with an opportunity or invitation.
Will this feed or drain my spirit?
Will this feed or drain my relationships?
Will this feed or drain my health?
Will this feed or drain my career?
Will this feed or drain my mind?
Will this move me forward or distract me from doing what’s really important?
Most importantly, will this make me better… for God, for others, and for myself?
If we can’t answer “yes” to each of those questions, we might consider saying “no.” That’s what I’ll be doing in 2019.
Happy "No" Year!