365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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One way to keep romance alive

Day 153
Celebrating lasting love

My husband and I have for the third time celebrated our friends’ marriage with a big party. The 1st time was when they got married the 3rd of June 1995.

The second time, when we celebrated their 10-year anniversary the 3rd of June 2005, and today 20 years later have we celebrated their love for each other once again.

Day 153dI think it is a beautiful commitment that our friends made to one other when they agreed to renew their vows with the same wedding guests every 10 years. It is for sure a great achievement to live with love year after year, and stay with one another and endure and work through tough and challenging years.

day 153cMost marriages are full of love, hopes and excitement initially. More than fifty percent eventually ends with the opposite emotions and in divorce.

What goes wrong…?

What if more couples decided to celebrate their love and anniversary in a more engaged way? Would fewer couple take each other for granted? Would more marriages be happy and survive?

Day 153e

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How sweet it is to be loved by you

Day 141How sweet it is to be loved by you

I have a lot to celebrate today and even this year.

Today May 22,nd is the 22nd wedding anniversary for my husband and I.

We have been a couple for 25 years – so a quarter of a century this year.

I have spent More than 1/2 of my life with my husband.

This year, it is also 30 years since I left Norway and became an adventurous expat.

My recipe for living in a happy, loving, and fulfilling relationship:

  1. Being real with one another
  2. Speaking our truth
  3. Sharing things with one another that feels heavy in our heart.
  4. Supporting one another.
  5. Taking responsibility for our own happiness
  6. Taking responsibility for our own growth and development
  7. Praising one another
  8. Showing and expressing gratitude towards each other
  9. Consciously giving the love our partner long for to feel loved.
  10. Understanding that intimacy and connection is of primary importance in our relationship when having a conflict and argument – not that of being right or bright.
  11. Having understood that love is a verb. Love is engaging in kind actions, which brings about feeling love for the other.
  12. Giving one another freedom to be ourself and to do our own things (from time to time).
  13. Family meals
  14. Quality one on one time almost every day.
  15. Spending a romantic weekend away at least ones per year.
  16. Dancing together
  17. Sharing positive experiences together and also sharing the family work-load
  18. Intentionally being positive and uplifting towards one another.
  19. Having the heart to say, “I am sorry.”
  20. Warm hugs, sex and physical touch.
  21. Being happy, proud and grateful for one another and for what we got.

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When a man loves a woman

Day 139

How much love can you give?

Have you heard the touching song “When a man loves a woman,”sung by Percy Sledge? You can listen to the song here:

The lyrics goes like this:

When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down …

When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
And trying to hold on to what he needs

He’d give up all his comforts
And sleep out in the rain
If she said that’s the way, it ought to be

When a man loves a woman
I give you everything I’ve got
Trying to hold on to your precious love
And baby baby please don’t treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Deep down in his soul
She can bring him such misery

If she is playing him for a fool
He’s the last one to know
Loving eyes can never see

I think that many men can relate to the words in this song when they truly love their woman.

Men have a huge capacity to love their woman despite what women often think and say. They have the capacity to perhaps love a woman more than a woman can love a man. How do you like that perspective…?

So if men has this great capacity to love, why then do men fall out of love? As in the case in the story I shared yesterday, it is quite obvious. If we give our man no attention or affection, love will not and cannot grow. Men need to feel loved as much as women do, if not more – in order for them to feel satisfied and not “run away” and get busy with other things, such as work or sports, or even another woman.

Men often feel it is complicated to love a woman… and they often fall out of love with their woman because she has changed and become different in the relationship.

Too many women forget to love and show love towards their men, as they are so busy doing everything they “think” is essential… especially after having children. This is partly because mothers are genetically wired to take on the responsibilities to love and nurture their children. Mothers’ love for their children often satisfies women need for love, while their children are young. But then once the children are more independent, they wonder where their man went…?

Well he got busy doing other things….

But children are not the only “obstacle” to loving acts towards their man. When the initial romantic stage is over, and women do not know how to love deeper, they can exchange their need for love by investing their time at work or with friends instead with their man.

Many men rely on their women only, to fulfill their need of being loved. They do not have the deep connection with their male friends that women have with their girlfriends. Sadly, men do not have the same capacity to find love somewhere else, and therefore can feel very lonely and sad in their relationship with their woman.

Women often feel that their children’s and friends’ love fill them up, and in that case they do not need as much love from their man…, which makes them more susceptible to not be so loving towards their man.

I believe that most women do not know how to love a man. If you are a woman reading this, you probably are reacting strongly now…, because you feel that it is just the opposite, that your man does not know how to love you. That might be true as well, but I think that women, who have generally a greater ability to sense their feelings and put words to them, also have a greater capacity than men to understand their man and find a way to make him feel loved.

If it really is so that a man that feels loved will do anything for their woman… what more then can you do to love him?


At the end of the rainbow you will find a pot of gold

Day 115Are you searching for more in your life?

Last evening, my girlfriend and I were fortunate enough to see this beautiful complete rainbow. We stopped the car with excitement to take pictures and were thrilled when we were able to capture the complete rainbow in a photo (thanks to IPhone’s panorama option). It is not very often we can see a complete rainbow and less often we have a chance to capture it in a photo, so I feel very fortunate and grateful.

The rainbow is not only beautiful, it is joyful to watch; and it represents some mysticism for me. As the legend says, those that arrive at the end of the rainbow will find a pot of gold. As a little girl, I hoped that I would once experience being in the right place at the right time, so that I would find the pot of gold.

Today, I see the pot of gold as a representation of the abundance I find in my life. I was for a long time searching for ‘more.’ More happiness, more fulfillment, more meaning, more love, more of everything. After years of searching, I did find it – all of it…

Was this because I was at the right place at the right time? Or did I find myself at the end of a rainbow? Once I did believe that I was driving through a rainbow and wished with all my heart that my life would take on a new turn – and one day it did. Working at improving our lives and not only wishing it intensely will eventually get us there.

I live in great abundance and feel forever grateful that I searched and found my rainbow and have learned how I can be happy, fulfilled and live with meaning and love.

In the end; I found that what I was longing for and hoping to find at the end of the rainbow, already existed inside me. Once I changed my view of myself and the world around me, then I was at the end of the rainbow, and I did find my own pot of gold…

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You can’t bullshit an old friend

Day 114A good friend from childhood is worth more than a 100 likes on Facebook.

In a way, society has become more superficial as we often spend more time connecting with one another in cyberspace than in real time. Social media can be a wonderful way to stay in contact and be informed, but most people benefit from meeting face-to-face when love and respect is present. Connecting with good old childhood friends can be extra nurturing, healing and fun.

My best girlfriend from childhood is visiting me now and it is just delightful. We met when we were nine years old and were inseparable until when we began different high schools. We have kept in contact and we see each other quite regularly despite that I have lived abroad for the past 30 years.

There is something very unique and special about spending time with old friends from childhood; friends who we grew up with and who know us inside and out, and that we share many memories with.

Friends from childhood can wake us up and remind us to reconnect with ourselves if we have deviated from who we really are. As we often know each other’s families, we often have an insight into one another’s lives that most recent friendships do not have. Old friends can also help us relax, laugh and have fun in a profound way that just good old memories can bring.


Married to probably the best husband in the world!

Day 92Marriage works if we do the work

Today is my wonderful husbands’ birthday, and I think he probably is the best husband in the world. He for sure is the best husband for me.

What about you? Do you also feel that you are married to the best husband or wife in the world? I hope so! If you do not feel that way, perhaps you can make him or her into the best one….Do you think that is possible…?

My husband and I have been together for 25 years this year and we are becoming closer as each year goes by. We love each others company, our communication is open, honest and smooth (most of the time), and we are more generous and giving towards each another than possibly ever before.

Our relationship has however not always been a dance on roses. We both have learned and realized that a healthy nurturing relationship requires time and can sometimes feel like hard work. It has taken us years to find our way and come to this level of profound loving connection. Even though we have had bumps on the way, we have both been committed to our marriage and have believed that we can work things out.

Most of us that go into a marriage have high hopes and beliefs in true love. However, according to research, only a minority of those marriages that last beyond the initial romantic stage (1-2 years) experience real deep love – many that stay together throughout life end up living parallel lives or simply endure.

When I got married I knew that most couples were not truly happy and that it was part of life. I also did not believe that the grass was greener on the other side. I accepted that marriage was going to be tough at times and I had no rosy expectations. I did not believe in the happy ever after story.

It has therefore been a positive surprise that we have managed to make our marriage work so well and that our relationship is as rewarding as it is. I am deeply grateful and happy for the fine relationship we have, the true love we feel, and for how amazingly rewarding it is to spend time with my dear husband (who by the way is maturing and just getting better for each year – I hope he would say the same about me).

If we are not mature when we enter into a marriage, but we last and feel happy and fulfilled in the relationship, these are clear signs that we have matured. That is what marriage can do to us. Without a willingness to grow, adapt and change a little to accommodate our partner, we will never experience the richness and reward that marriage can bring.

To arrive to the feeling that my husband probably is the best in the world has taken some time for me (after those initial years of passion…). Not to change him, but to truly appreciate him for who he is and all his amazing talents and gifts. He is an extraordinary man that I respect and value deeply. During our first years, after the initial romantic stage had passed, I was more frustrated about his weaknesses and what he was not, rather than being grateful for the great guy he was. How fun is it to live with someone who points out your weaknesses…?

What fills your up mostly about your spouse, his or her strengths or their weaknesses?