HOW BAD IS HEARTBREAK?

By Terry Carter

When we are young, many of us think we are invincible. Then we suffer heartbreak and slowly begin to realize we are not quite bulletproof.

I remember being paralyzed while enduring a traumatic breakup years ago. It was among the lowest moments in my life. I felt helpless, always angry and desperate for a solution. Every day was a “Don’t bother me” nightmare.

If you are there now, know that time soothes most, but not all, pain. Lessons are learned from being in pain, particularly long-term pain like a lost love.

I once thought that my heartbreak would last forever. However I worked on my mindset, my vulnerability, my frustration and my healing until I was ready to test the dating world again. As with most painful events, personal determination to play the long game was the redeeming quality that helped the most.

That and God’s grace to ease my pain.

And somewhere around November 1984, I met a beautiful, petite blonde with a strong, spunky personality. She was kind, considerate and playful. She has changed my world for the better for about 33 years. Without the my future spouse taking my hand, I don’t think I would be where I am today.

She has been a huge blessing in so many ways.

Have we always been blessed with good fortune and amazing gifts from heaven? In the short term, the answer often appears to be no as people always disagree. We are all human after all.

But step back from my latest squabble with a human being, and I can see that Suzie is a lifetime blessing. She has managed to deal with me for three decades, and I have grown exponentially at certain times in mental and philosophical ways. So that can be hard to deal with.

Plus I began working out consistently and learning to run again after an injury some six years ago. Surgery, rehab, changing diets, diabetes, work schedules and 100 other things pull us in opposite directions.

Yet I love Suzie, and she still lets me take her to dinner. That’s pretty good when boredom, restlessness and worse are exceptionally common among a lot of people our age.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

For those of you hoping to keep your relations alive for the long term, cry when your loved one is sad. Cheer when they are happy. And share love every change you get (verbal approval or a hug or a sympathetic ear may be all they need for the moment).

Stay in moment and really try to hear what your loved one says to you. You likely don’t have all the answers, and you shouldn’t. But be willing to give 100 percent to search for the lost screwdriver or finger nail polish if you are asked. It makes an impression on the heart of the person you love the most.

I sincerely recommend you don’t take advantage of or manipulate your loved one as these things leave long-lasting emotional scars. That’s a Type-A or immature maneuver that sinks boats — and relationships — pretty quick.

I am a firm believer in hope, faith and prayer to solve the toughest problems — and to thank the Lord for his daily miracles. Recently meditation, which still gets curious looks from even friends, neighbors and my loving spouse, helps me to focus on what is truly important in life.

It is my way of discarding stress that accumulates daily and allows free radicals to damage our health, our best thinking and creativity.

While heartbreak cannot always avoided, I recommend that your prayers or meditation can often conclude by asking God to allow the Holy Spirit (aka fate) to rule the day for the greater good.

If a breakup today benefits you moving from LA to New York and eventually meeting the person you marry, don’t wait 10 years to say thank you for the breakup and the move. Try acknowledging God’s path even when its purpose is totally bewildering to you today.

By accepting life’s oddities as God’s move to benefit us or people we care about, the future can often look more worthwhile both today and in the future. What happens will happen. How you respond determines whether the happening was a victory or a defeat in your mind.

 

 

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TOP 10 MOMENTS IN SPAIN

On UDPhotos.com’s first trip to Spain, we came home salivating from the cuisine, as well as the adrenaline rush of this special week that included amazing tourist adventures, rare meetings with world changers and world-class service. Many thanks to Mind Valley for hosting this event and to Marisa Peer for being the first to invite us to join this historic annual journey.


Here are UDPhotos.com’s TOP 10 MOMENTS IN SPAIN (and unedited images for effect):

See additional images and blogs here, at UDPhotos.com.

10. Meeting 26-time world-record holder and endurance/pain specialist Wim Hof. This man has lived a life of challenging the limitations of human capacity. He currently baffles science and laughs about it. So refreshing to here is honesty on stage. If he visits your area, take the time to meet Wim. He is a special combination between a Guiness World Record live demonstration and a visit to the Improv!

9. The varied architecture, historic buildings and castles around Barcelona are too numerous to count. But adventure hunters are invited to chase them all down, including the Gaudi masterpieces. Feel free to start and finish The Magic Fountain in Montjüic where the nightly water fountain show borders on surreal. It was created for the 1929 International Exposition by famed engineer Carles Buigas.

8. Checking out the 3-story, marble Apple Store in Barcelona was a kick. Apple architects are always sharpening their store appearances. In this rendition, the glass/marble look (maybe its plexiglass and PVC, but it looked great) keeps visitors engaged.


7. The sculptures and water fountains in Barcelona are among the best the UDPhotos team has ever witnessed. Dancing waves that change color in perfect sequence often attracts crowds in the thousands. When you visit, don’t miss these highlights.

6. The beaches of Barcelona bring to mind the mellow atmosphere and physically-fit nature of a Southern California beach. Volleyball, biking, roller blading, running and fit bodies of all ages were plentiful. The water was clear although as loaded with Atlantic Ocean saltwater. The beach sand was a little coarse, but easy to enjoy. Also the beach we visited was clothing optional. 

5. Meal to Live For: The cuisine in Spain is flavorful and diverse. We stayed at a Crown Plaza Hotel, which hosted the event and included two restaurants: A bar and a full restaurant we could not seem to coordinate schedules with. On our final night, we enjoyed a 5-star dinner highlighted by beef tenderloined cooked in salt.

4. Main Meal to Live For: We joined about 25 other people at a dinner at a special location on Saturday night after listening to Marisa Peer talk. At the restaurant, we were exposed to a variety of Spanish delicacies like baby octupus, but the main course of beef was so flavorful and tender, it left most of us speechless. And that is a rare quality for a roomful of ambitious leaders! Best food we found in Barcelona, and we logged numerous Top 20 dining experiences this time.;

3. After watching dozens of Vishen Lakhiani videos on YouTube.com, I was searching for an opportunity to see him in person, and this trip brought three of my favorite speakers together at one time. Vishen founded Mind Valley (MindValley.com) several years ago and has partnered with numerous of the world’s elite personal improvement speakers. His book, The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, is an eye-opener to the way most of us were taught when we were younger. On stage as in his book, Vishen cites research and facts while challenging everyone to test the rules they live by daily, which may be holding them back.


2. Famous hyponotherapist Marisa Peer (MarisaPeer.com) made me an offer I simply could not refuse. Having seriously considered flying to England to train with her in recent months, her invitation email regarding the Barcelona MindValley.com event arrived at a key moment. And we enjoyed the opportunity to eat a meal and ask for personal advice from Marisa. Marisa has been a counseling sensation for years for her Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) method, which she has used on television programs to solve serious problems in rapid fire for celebrities. Marisa is a trendsetter in her industry and the author of numerous books, including the best seller Ultimate Confidence. She holds the key to happiness for millions of us.

1. The spontaneous conversation my wife and I had in March as this trip originated with the announcement of a rare live convergence of authors and speakers at the very top of my must-see list. Marisa Peer’s signup email arrived, announcing a 3-day event only in Barcelona, Spain in June. I called Suzie and asked if she wanted to go to Europe for the first time for an early anniversary trip. Fortunately she said yes.

FITNESS IN YOUR LIFETIME

By Terry Carter, Editor

I have always been an athlete, playing a handful of sports as a student. Today, I display a few war wounds, but not many are from sliding into third base, catching a pass or getting hit with a ball.

My right knee has had surgery and six months of rehab after a non-sports accident. The right leg is now about 1/2 inch shorter thanks to the surgery, but I’ve learned to walk and jog again. And in 2015, I completed two 5K runs within two weeks. It was dramatic progress over walking and dragging my bad leg behind me like Festus in the long-running TV series Gunsmoke.

My left hand also sustained a serious injury, but at least this one was somewhat related to sports. About 15 years ago, I was the National Football Editor for an ambitious prep website called VarsityOnline.com. While covering the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, I was on the sidelines taking photos with some pricey Nikon equipment and a monopod to keep my images steady. All went well until a cornerback plowed into me about 3-4 yards off the field. Naturally I took the brunt of the collision, and my monopod — shiny, new and straight when I arrived — wound up looking like the letter Z. Unfortunately a couple of fingers on my left hand did the same. They have never recovered despite surgery, about 30 stitches and more therapy.

Now in my 50s, I’ve learned several ingredients to getting in game shape from the athletes I covered over the years and from the authorities in healing and improving your health. 

My weight has dropped about 25 pounds and stayed off since my wife and I began walking to rehab my legs. That began about 26 months ago in February. By June, my competitive nature forced me to keep a wrap on that healing right knee and jog a little at a time. Later that fall, I began adding 50- or 100-yard “old man” sprints into the walking jogs to keep the workout challenging and fresh. I recall reading that the best body builders constantly changed their workouts to keep their muscles growing because standard routines minimize explosive growth.

Later I incorporated swimming 1-2 times each week. OK, I am not much of a swimmer. But I race walk in chest-deep water and am breathing hard by the time I finish 15-20 laps. At the same time, I challenge myself by pushing off the wall and swimming as far as possible on one breath to improve my lung capacity.

Why would an old, scarred guy in his 50s do this? Same as you, I hope. I am not ready to be stuck in a rocking chair yet. Most people my aged still some get-up-and-go. I decided when I fell on some stairs 4 years ago not to let that end my active days. So I’ve chased improvement ever since, and I am typically beat when I go home from work, which is physically taxing. 

Just because we are not 25 and handsome or beautiful does not mean we cannot stay focused on being our best — and keeping our best years ahead of us by working out mentally, physically and spiritually.

The result of my somewhat rigorous workouts has truly surprised me. I am now stronger in the leg press than when I was 35 years old. I can run faster and farther than anytime in my life. However running was never my forté, I might add. Still I have shown that beginning to use a weight room and a county park running trail and a pool can change you physically regardless of your age. I am 51 now and happily accept the compliments from those who guess I’m about 40.

I credit my loving wife for making it much easier to remain dedicated because she is often at the gym and walking beside me. Teamwork makes it much easier to let the fitness dream work. She is also keeping us healthier by altering her cooking routines and mixing in low-carb meals. Vitamins, more water, more daily steps and 100-percent juices are also keys to keeping me energized.

To those of you who are thinking you are past your prime, wake up and go for a walk. If permanently disabled, scarred diabetic who used to walk like Festus can do this much, you — my friend — can do much better. Now go outside and enjoy this fabulous spring weather.

Or take a long walk off a short pier. At least you will get your steps in and a short swim also.

BEAUTY LURKS EVERYWHERE

  
By Scott Thornton

To those who judge superficially and see anything but beauty, take a long walk into a fire ant bed. Surely there will be beauty for you there if this world does not impress.

Beauty is in the eye of each beholder, but each beholder is not qualified to see beauty as God creates it. In other words, anyone looking for beauty with an joyful mind will find it. Perhaps not every face or shape pleases everyone, but who cares! Beauty is much more than what pleases one subjective person with limited vision. Even war, torture and attacks leave a person who has beautiful qualifities. Surely it abounds for all to see — at least those able to see past their own pain.

A Special Statement to Internet and Live Bullies: To those of you who waste your time attacking people with critical, subjective remarks about a person’s appearance, you are wasting your time here. Only God is qualified to judge a person’s worth or if beauty exists within them. You are simply not qualified for such a job. Your comments reflect upon you — a lying human incapable of seeing God’s magnificence and one filled with self-esteem issues. Those with a healthy self image can appreciate beauty in another human far better than those stuck on their own shortcomings. Those who struggle to see if God loves them often want to drag others to their own sewer-level mentality. It is unfortunate, and some of them can bluff you with empty words. But don’t take the bait by even acknowledging such BS! They cannot see beauty in themselves, let alone you. PS: Don’t let me catch you acting like an angry brat around anyone in my world. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry — or protecting a loved one.

  
If you are gifted in a physical sense, certain people will tell you that you are beautiful. It’s a temporary gift for most us. Don’t use it as a tool to torment or manipulate; it will cost you later if appearance is your primary talent in life. Still take care of your body, skin, hair, etc. In most cases, God only allocates one full set. 

If you are gifted with a special ability, your work is likely to earn you kind remarks from admirers. Artists like authors, photographers, illustrators and more will hear from time to time that their work is beautiful. It’s a way of complimenting what is beautiful inside the writer, the creative soul and the image taker. Whatever your gift, give it away. Learn to see beauty in everyone and every event, and you will eternally live in a gorgeous world.

If you are known for having a huge heart and patience, beauty pours from you every time you speak. Your wisdom and kind words each day are a blessing to all you meet. Forgiveness does not happen in the heart of the angry and frustrated, nor the superficial and selfish. All of these Godly skills are blessings from Jesus, bestowed especially on those who walk a special path and set a righteous example for mankind. I am amazed by those I call friends who can inspire me with a special “thank you” when they have helped me — and I have done so little for my friend in that moment.

If you take charge and lead in every situation, God has granted you the strength of leadership. Without your rare blessings, lives can perish in an instant, and mistakes are made by less decisive minds. Leaders display their beauty be taking the reins when others won’t. Are you the George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan of your friends, each time you start a conversation, solve a dilemma and pull a friend out of the road, you are beautiful. The world needs each of our talents, and leaders are the key to change. Keep chugging.

If you bring smiles and merriment to every event you attend, you are surely God’s child ordained with a special  sense of humor. Where you go, the fun follows. Spontaneity is your middle name. And the Lord has blessed you with the unique ability to ease tension, “make ’em laugh” and bring a smile to everyone’s face. That comic skill is God’s beauty as you can distract or stop evil intent and lead a man or woman to re-evaluate if their original thoughts are valid.

On a more serious side, beauty can also be revealed by the person digging up facts and evaluating the numbers when an overwhelming situation arrives. The man or woman who uncovers the ultimate solution to a large wall of numbers will be hoisted and promoted for their magic answer. Despite their clothing, their hair and other alleged shortcomings, this answer man could easily get on a roll and be a vice president in 2-5 years. Now that’s a beautiful thing.

  
While physical beauty in humans is most commonly observed by an enormous media world, it should not be your goal as a young person to be only beautiful. Beauty vanishes over time. Develop your true personal strengths and your base character — one filled with integrity, love, kindness, loyalty, faithfulness and hope. Be known for these wherever you live and work.

With these and God’s help,  you can clear any hurdle. With these, you will set an example that will inspire others to follow in your footsteps today and tomorrow.

Beauty is truly everywhere you look if you learn to recognize it. I saw beauty all over in the last week. Some at a wedding. Some at a party. Some on the face of a wonderfully curious child. Some in acts of kindness. Some in dedication. Some in charity. And so many more in random acts of love shared with total strangers.

Like love, beauty is everywhere, ladies and gentlemen. You simply have to open your eyes, open your heart and embrace the next beautiful thing that happens in your life. 

Be brave. Be beautiful.