Girlfriends, chocolate, champagne

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it’s a friend with chocolate. Charles Dickens

Girlfriends, chocolate, and champagne—what a great combination! This afternoon I’m going to a Smoking Pots (my cooking group) event. Each of us brings a dish made from our favorite chocolate recipe and the hostess provides the champagne. Good menu.

I’m bringing Ina Garten’s, aka Barefoot Contessa, French Chocolate Bark. It’s a heavenly mixture of dark chocolate, cashews, and dried fruits including crystalized ginger. An early Valentine Day’s treat. 

Affirmation: Having fun and a little chocolate is good for me.

Coaching questions: What’s your favorite chocolate recipe? What would you like to do for fun this week? Get to it!

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Friends Make Life Better

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you. Winnie the Pooh

Having grown up with no mother and no siblings, friends have always been especially important to me. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have friends who were “sisters and brothers.” This week my college roommate, her husband from Boston and a college friend from Denver visited us. 

When we reunite, it’s like no time has passed. These dear friends stimulate me intellectually while embracing me in their love and caring. We spoke of the importance of diversity, what it means to lose the love of your life, our concern for the planet and our toxic political climate, grandchildren, and good books. Three ladies who have grown old together while being apart. Just as Winnie the Pooh says, I’ll always be with them and they with me. 

Affirmation: Friends matter.

Coaching questions: What do friendships mean to you? How have friendships helped you heal and grow in your life? What do you bring to your friends? 

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Wise Women Cultivate Friendships

Of all the things which wisdom provides to make life entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship. Epicurus, Philosopher

I’m very fortunate to have good friends. Being an only child, friends become “sisters” to me and I cherish them. Unlike children, grandchildren, and other relatives, friends choose one another. I’m not sure what Epicurus had in mind when he spoke of wisdom and friendship, but I do know that a wise woman seeks friends with whom she can be truly herself, women (and men) who share her joys and sorrows, who help her to become a better person, who make her heart sing. 

If your life is confined to your work and immediate family or husband and grandchildren, cat or dog, I encourage you to find a friend. Friends take time, energy, and cultivation (just like a beautiful garden) but, believe me, they will enhance your life for the rest of your life.

Affirmation: I seek out and have good friends.

Coaching questions: What do friends mean to you? If you are missing one or more really good friends, what steps can you take to attract friends into your life? 

Coaching request: Tell a friend how much she means to you. 

Four Keys to Greater Happiness

The happiest people in the world have a few characteristics in common: they create strong social networks, have a sense of purpose, are usually generous and have faith. The Blue Zones newsletter

There are two Blue Zones books and studies. One is about the longest-lived people in the world, the other is a study of the happiest. The formula discovered in their extensive research on happy people the world over seems simple…have friends, purpose, a generous spirit, and faith. As we search for happiness in more money to buy more stuff or have more experiences or greater leisure, we may be missing the point. 

We don’t need to re-invent the wheel. Whatever our economic background, age, or circumstance, we can embrace the principles proven to bring us greater happiness. 

Affirmation: I know how to create happiness in my life.

Coaching questions: Do you have friends, purpose, a generous spirit and faith? What element needs to be stronger for you to have greater happiness in your life?

IMG_3986I’m in a happy place with friends.