To be successful in a relationship requires hard work.

This is something often said as advice or is an observation of what it takes to achieve a level of greatness in a relationship. It's true, but "hard work" as a description sounds exhausting, negative, and possibly frustrating; it doesn't sound fun.

Does this mean one should not work at our relationships?

No, of course not.

But instead of reading the statement as an act of drudgery, it should be seen as what it truly is: an opportunity to put forth an effort into something that is worth the work involved. It is best to turn around the perception of the work as something happily accomplished.

As for the work required in a loving relationship, it's easy most of the time. Work means remembering to say "I love you," being kind and considering, and expressing love in more ways than words. These few examples of "tasks" keep relationships successful, but also feel good for both people involved.

Sometimes the work is a bit more difficult. It might mean saying "I am sorry," forgiving a partner, or choosing compromise over a win in an argument. Like the easier work, these too lead to relationship success.

Similar to the work required in relationships, it's also hard work training for a marathon, learning to speak a foreign language, giving birth, completing a higher education degree, and raising kids. Ask anyone who has accomplished one of these rewarding endeavors if it was hard work, but also rewarding. As the cliché goes, it was most likely a labor of love for those who have achieved one or many of these undertakings.

Do the work-regardless of the level of difficulty–and enjoy the positive results.

It will be worth it.

by Kelly Sajonia

"…We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you…" ~ Marianne Williamson

Dear You,

I have never been afraid of the trappings of success. I'd like some fame, some money, someone to ask my opinion on world issues and value my feedback, someone to hand me a fancy coconut shell drink on my very own tropical island.

I have never been afraid of trying something new or different or seemingly impossible. I'm not afraid to fail…I've failed over and over in my life and stood up and brushed myself off and started again.

What I am afraid of, what keeps me from my ultimate greatness, is you. Yep…you. I want to make sure that I am not shining my light too brightly because I don't want to make you feel bad. I don't want you to think nasty things about me, like I'm a show off or I think I'm better than you in some way.

I don't want you to judge me. I want to come in under the radar, so that I can inspire you just enough so that you like me and are comfortable around me. I don't want to challenge you in any way. I want you to feel OK where ever you're at. I put your comfort, your needs above my own…and I don't even know you.

Now, of course this isn't your fault. It's mine. I brought into it. I followed the rules that our society tends to offer; please me and get a gold star, eat all the food on your plate and get desert, don't start nothin' and there won't be nothin'.

Besides, it was easier that way…you didn't expect all that much from me and so…I didn't expect all that much from me either. Everyone is happy, right?

Except…not really. I'm actually not that happy. I don't like the world I see around me. I worry that my children won't have a future. I worry that no one is teaching our children peace. I worry that our children's world is so polluted with chemicals and guns and rhetoric that they don't stand a chance of making something of their lives. I worry that we're screwing up our environment so badly that life as we know it today will not exist in the next 20 years. I could go on…

But what can I do?!…You know how much I care about you and what you think about me so if I take a stand, I'm sure to offend at least a few of you out there. If I jump up and say, "Hey, this is wrong! We have to do something to change this world!" I'm sure to ruffle a few feathers and you know how I hate ruffling feathers.

However, I have a confession to make…there's a secret I've been keeping from you. A couple years ago…I started seeing someone. Someone who told me that I was strong. Someone who told me that I was powerful. Someone who told me that I could change the world, if I really wanted to.

And I wanted to believe them. I did, but, it just didn't seem true. And not only that, it didn't seem to fit into the nice little life I'd built for myself. If I stood up and screamed "STOP!" at the top of my lungs you would look at me different. You might not buy the picket fence and the 2.5 kids and the dog in the yard. If I embraced this supposed power I had…what would you think? So I made myself quiet and still and didn't rock the boat.

And yet, the pain continued to push until the vision began to pull.

I was then given the opportunity to really spend some quality time with myself and this other person…not only that but this other person introduced me to still more people who told me the same thing the first person did…that I was strong, that I was powerful, that I could change the world.

Not only that…these people told me that it was my mandate, that it was my truth, it was my purpose, my duty to shine my light and shine it as brightly as I could. They handed me the keys to my own kingdom and said,

"You can do this. We believe in you."

So here's the hard part about this letter. It's not you…it's me. See I am actually beginning to believe them, for real. For real. And I just don't see how I can care about what you think anymore. It's taking away from my ability to follow my path, to discover my true purpose, to live my destiny, to shine as brightly as I need to shine to change the world. And I know that's not what you it?

And I really feel I need some time. I need time to explore this amazingly powerful person that I am. I need time to examine my own light, to see what I have to offer. I need to plant some roots and make space for my light in my heart and mind, to learn how to live with it, grow it, nurture it, protect it and watch it blossom. Then I will figure out how I can best use my light to be in service to humanity.

So instead of saying you won't hear much from me, I'm gonna say, you will. You. Will. Hear. From. Me. And when you do, know that I am light, I am love and I am embracing myself so that I can be fully in my power.

"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

We can still be friends. Who knows, someday you might look at me and think, "Boy, I wish I had what she has." And maybe you'll ask me how I got it. And then maybe I can help you realize that you are strong, you are powerful and that you can change the world too, that shining your light is your mandate too…and maybe at that point-we can head off into the sunset and do it together.

by Elisa Van Arnam

12 Rules To Live By

by Lance Ekum on February 19, 2013

Video by Craig Ballantyne of Early To Rise

~ Comments Closed ~

Spinning is more than just an indoor cycling exercise; it is a unique, high energy fitness experience. Spinning bikes use a weighted flywheel and other custom-designed features to emulate the experience of riding on a real bike on natural terrain. Spinning classes have popped up all over the country, adding a communal element to the workout.

Any healthy exercise will deliver results when performed regularly and accompanied by a healthy diet. But while some exercises can be difficult, painful or monotonous, Spinning is always fun and challenging. If you have given any thought to taking a spin class, consider some of the benefits that the exercise provides.

Anyone Can Do It

Spinning is low impact. It places very little stress on the knees and feet, while still benefiting a full range of muscle groups. The potential for injury is extremely low, and since the bike allows you to go at your own pace, you need not worry about over-exerting yourself. Just use the machine according to your own fitness needs.

It's Great for Losing Weight

After 60 minutes of high-impact indoor cycling, participants have been known to burn up to 1,000 calories. Even a simple 30-minute workout can burn 500 calories, which is extremely difficult to achieve on a treadmill. If you're trying to lose weight, you want to find exercises that can help you to burn the greatest number of calories in the shortest amount of time, without creating too great of a physical strain. Spinning fits the bill perfectly.

Spinning Promotes Heart Health

As far as cardiovascular exercises go, Spinning is second to none. The workout promotes heart health and improves lung capacity. The fat burning benefits also serve to combat obesity, which further reduces one's risk of heart disease. And with heart disease being the #1 killer of Americans, this benefit can hardly be overstated.

Spinning Builds Strength in the Legs

Not all cardiovascular exercises are also capable of building muscle, but Spinning strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and even the abdominals. When combined with the fat loss benefits, it results in a more overall turned physique, which is always a great quality to have when beach season rolls around.

Your Mental Health Also Benefits

Let's not forget about the importance of mental health for overall wellbeing. Research shows that regular exercise is important for promoting good mental health, and the group environment of a Spinning class adds a beneficial social dynamic, which improves mood, motivation and output. Try a Spinning class for yourself and see what it can do for you.

If you have any Spinning class questions, visit your local gym and ask if they have a program available. Spinning has become one of the most popular fitness programs in gyms across the world, so you should have little trouble finding a class in your area. So get out there and get into the best shape of your life!

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