New Year Resolution That Actually Works

by Linda Franklin

New Years Resolution That Works Like you, I have read countless renditions of why New Year’s resolutions never work. We make promises to ourselves that we don’t keep and then kick ourselves in the ass because we didn’t.

Well I think that may change if you can actually do what Laurie Johnson suggests. I know I am taking her words of wisdom to heart and plan to start 2014 doing things in a more productive way.

Here is what Laurie suggests:

Just like creating successful vision boards, prayers and spells, there is a method to making New Year’s resolutions successful and it’s above and beyond just making a list or announcing how you’re going to change.

If you’re really committed to bringing a change or newness into your life, here is a formula that is taken from several different spiritual practices, all with the same core ideas, boiled down into a simple working instruction manual. The trick is, as it is with everything: the more you put into it, the more you get back.

Be very clear what you want. That sounds too simple, but the truth is most people know what they want in theory, not in fact. Some practices say to be exact and detailed in creating an intention. However, because we are aware of perhaps only one or two ways out of 1,000 to get what we want, being detailed limits how a desire can be accomplished.

We all have guides, angels and ancestors helping us achieve these goals. They know so much more about what is possible than we do. Give them your clarity and let them do the details. By saying: “I have my perfect job that provides more money than I need, in a convenient location with respectful co-workers and a smart, understanding boss who appreciates me,” your spiritual posse can bring you something in a way you might not have considered that is better than you could have imagined.

Know you deserve it. Many times I’ve met people who want a love spell that is more about finding someone to fix them than it’s about finding a soul mate. That can be seen as the same thing but it isn’t. If you’re unhappy that you’re overweight and want to call in someone to understand all the traumas you’ve had in your life without working on them yourself, all you get is someone who is as displeased with their bodies as you are and is looking for someone to understand them. You get what you put out. So know you deserve what you’re resolving to get or work on changing that within yourself before you call anything else to you.

Believe you get what you ask for. If you put out clear resolutions verbally but your energy is exuding doubt and resentment because you don’t believe anything will change for you, you’ve already defeated your intentions. Again, what you put out is what you get back. If you don’t have faith you can get what you ask for, take a leap.

Give your guides, angels and ancestors permission to help. The energies that look out for us help us accomplish whatever we ask for. But there’s a non-interference clause on the other side that stops them fixing things that we don’t ask for. So give them permission to help you accomplish your goals in any way they see fit for your best and highest interest.

Using correct words is vital. It’s important to put your resolutions in words that do the best good. That means avoid all negative “n” words: no, not, never, especially negative contractions. And avoid all words expressing lack, like “need”, “want”, “desire”, “wish”, “require”. The subconscious, which changes your vibrations to accept what you ask for, skips over any negative “n” words, usually with the same vehemence a negative statement is said. “I won’t eat sugar anymore!” That just programs you to eat sugar. “I want happiness in my life.” That indicates you don’t have it so the vibe this statement puts off is of lack, which only brings lack back. Instead: “I eat healthy foods without sugar.” and “I call happiness to my life.”

Keep it in the present tense. The future never comes. To tell yourself and your spiritual posse that you will accomplish something puts it forever out of reach. “I have…” “I am…” “I do…” are all far more successful and much clearer for your subconscious and guides to understand. The spiritual realm lives without our concept of time, so using the future tense only sends unclear messages.

Now using all of the above, make a list of 40 things you resolve to accomplish. 40 is a powerful, sacred number used through time to create change. This can be a list of 40 different things, or 40 versions of the same thing.

If you’re working on knowing you deserve something first, start the 40 things with “I am a worthy human being.” Then write 39 things or ways you deserve to get your desire, all starting with “I deserve… (to be loved, to have happiness in my life, to have a fulfilling job, etc.)”.

Read this list aloud to yourself right before you go to bed (and right after you wake up, or either/or) for 40 days in a row. Doing it at night makes it the thing your subconscious focuses on while you sleep; doing it in the morning programs your subconscious to think and work on it all day. If you skip one day, start again from Day One. You need the cumulative energy of 40 days in a row to really make change.

During the reading of the list (or before or after), take the time to feel the success of what you asked for as if it’s already happened. We accomplish more with intention and resolutions if we involve all our senses when asking for them. So if you’re calling a new home to you, feel your satisfaction of being in the new home as if it’s already happened.

At the end of the 40 days, burn the list and let your new vibration work for you. Allow it to work without worry, fear or resentment. Have patience, have faith and let go of the control.

Also be aware there are specific days of the week that are best to start resolutions that aren’t necessarily January 1st (or January 31st if you go by Chinese Astrology). None of them are Monday or Wednesday. Here’s why:

Monday is ruled by the Moon so anything started on Monday changes all the time, as the Moon changes her appearance in our orbit daily.Wednesday is ruled by Mercury and moves very quickly in an 88 day orbit around the Sun. Starting things on Wednesday means anything long term will come to conclusion much faster than intended.

Tuesday is a good day to start almost anything as it’s ruled by Mars, with good fire energy to accomplish most resolutions. If it’s about business – especially the entertainment or creative business – Thursday is your day. It’s ruled by Jupiter and is about expansiveness, growth and success. And Jupiter is very fond of creative people and artistic endeavors.

If you’re resolving anything to do with your body, as in eating better, losing weight or staying in shape, then, for women, start on a Friday (ruled by Venus) or for men, on Tuesday (again, ruled by Mars). To call love to you, start on a Friday for both men and women. To change the structure of your life or things regarding where you live, start on Saturday (ruled by Saturn). Call joy and happiness to you on Sunday(ruled by the Sun).

I wish us all great good luck and growth for our journey as human beings in 2014.

Happy New Year!

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says, ”there’s no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.

Intimacy Begins With Your Ability To Be Alone

Intimacy Begins With Your Ability To Be Alone The Real Cougarr WomanWhile the definition of intimacy may vary depending on the relationship, it is generally felt to be the “ authentic” connection between two people. As such, the connection reflects a mutuality of loving feelings shared and expressed in thought, affect and behavior.

Less discussed and perhaps surprising, is the importance of the “capacity to be alone” in establishing true intimacy.

What Is The “Capacity To Be Alone?”

  • Originally coined by the British pediatrician/psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott, the “capacity to be alone” refers to the development of individuality that starts with the infant’s ability to be alone in the presence of the mother.
  • It is the child’s ability to move from the sense of the mother’s compassionate, comforting and loving presence, to his/her ability to hold on to her presence, even when alone.
  • This internalized sense of the comforting mother develops into the psychological capacity to regulate anxiety, self-soothe, and experience a true authentic self. In essence, this is the capacity to be alone.

Why Is This an Asset To Intimacy?

  • True intimacy starts with a comfort in your own sense of self.  If you like yourself and feel comfortable, you will be able to relate in a real and genuine way with another person.

You won’t have to be what someone else wants or needs you to be.

  • True intimacy is possible when you have the “capacity to be alone” because it implies choice. You may want to be with someone. You don’t have to be with someone because you fear that being alone leaves you without stability or value.

You don’t have to cling to someone to avoid abandonment or avoid someone for fear of rejection.

  • True intimacy is possible when there is psychological separation or room for partners to come and go from each other physically and psychologically.
  • Couples often report that when they are apart from each other during the course of the day, they think more positively and romantically about each other than at any other time.

Neurochemistry supports this idea with findings that separation actually revs up dopamine and epinephrine, the hormones associated with sexual desire.

Do You Have The Capacity To Be Alone? Does Your Partner?

Most self-growth starts with self-reflection that leads to self-awareness.

The following list is a translation of the “capacity to be alone” into thoughts, feelings and behaviors that occur in the day-to-day lives of partners. They may be with considering.

If you have the “capacity to be alone”….

  • You can have an intimate relationship with a partner without feeling you have jeopardized your parents’ love.
  • You can tolerate your partner’s relationship with his/her family.
  • You value your independence but you are not threatened by the reality that you and your partner also depend on each other.
  • You enjoy spending time with your partner and others; but you also value your solitude.
  • You are not jealous if your partner enjoys time with his/her friends.
  • You can tolerate your partner’s having a difference of opinion from yours.
  • You can agree to follow your partner’s opinion without fear of being controlled.
  • You can negotiate a mutual solution in a way that balances needs and dreams.
  • You are able to recognize that as separate people you and your partner may be preoccupied with things that have nothing to do with the other—and need not be taken personally.
  • Given that you are individuals as well as partners, you don’t hold the other responsible for knowing what you need without communicating it in some way.
  • Given that you are partners as well as individuals, you take pride in knowing your partner in ways that others don’t—without presuming to know all.
  • You can hold on to the connection with your partner even if you are not physically together.
  • You can make a sexual overture without fearing rejection.
  • You don’t need you or your partner to be perfect in order to have a sense of self-worth.
  • You can say “ No” to your partner without fear of reprisal or rejection.
  • You don’t need the world to love your partner—because you love your partner.
  • You can risk being angry with your partner.
  • You can recover from a fight or argument with your partner without “ winning” or “ blaming.”
  • You can own your part in a problem or your mistake without a blow to your self-esteem.
  • You can tolerate the temporary disconnect that comes from arguing with your partner without fearing that the relationship will be over or the love will be lost.
  • You can apologize.
  • You can forgive.
  • You feel a personal sense of worth although you greatly treasure your partner’s affirmation.
  • You are not afraid that asking for or receiving your partner’s help will compromise your self-esteem.
  • You feel pride and confidence in face of your partner’s plans to achieve personal goals without fear of being overlooked or left behind.
  • You don’t need your partner to want to do whatever you are doing, whenever you are doing it.
  • You can comfortably enjoy the benefits and balance of the You-We-Me in your relationship.
  • You never believe that a partner who is out of sight is out of love with you.

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.

Women Who Are Self Abusers

by Linda Franklin

Women Who Are Self Abusers Linda Franklin The Real Cougar WomanWomen are incredibly hard on themselves.  We don’t seem to comprehend that all that second guessing or picking apart every flaw we see in the mirror, is abuse. That self-inflicting feeling of not being enough is hard on us and causes all kinds of repercussions.

Research shows that women are generally kinder, more nurturing and empathetic than our male counterparts, but at the same time, we’re meaner, more dismissive, and critical of ourselves.  What does that say about us?

Low self-esteem is a killer. The need to see ourselves as worthy puts incredible pressure on our psyche.  It’s like walking around with a 100 pound weight on each shoulder.  This notion of perfection, isn’t realistic yet for some reason feel it’s very real.

Our sense of self-worth goes up and down like a yo-yo in lockstep with our latest success or failure. We get an incredible high when we receive a nice complement, but feel like jumping off a bridge when someone ignores us or — worse — criticizes us.  We may say we don’t care what others think but inside where it counts our stomach is in knots.

Study after study shows that women who are self-compassionate are much less depressed, anxious and stressed, as well as happier, more confident, and satisfied with their lives, than their harshly self-critical counterparts.

But what does self-compassion mean exactly? The concept stems from Buddhist traditions that emphasize compassion for all beings — ourselves included —– because we are all part of an interconnected whole.

It also entails relating to our situation with mindful awareness and making a mountain out of every little mole hill.

Fortunately, women have access to an incredibly powerful tool they can use to turn things around. We can draw on our ability to care for and nurture others and direct these strengths inward.

The help we need to thrive is available inside us, there whenever we need it, especially when things are at their worst. We have to dismiss the notion that others are worthy of kindness and we are not. We need to promote compassion in every aspect of life, and the first place to start is with ourselves.

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality.  Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.

New Years Resolutions Don’t Work

by Linda Franklin

Phooey on New Years ResolutionNew Years Resolutions Don't Work, Linda Franklin, The Real Cougar Womans!  Let’s ban them forever because they just don’t work.   By January 15th, I have been frustrated by my list of woulda-coulda-shouldas but didn’ts.  That isn’t good way to start off a new year. So from now on no resolutions for me.

Starting with 2013, I am going to focus in on what makes me happy.  Sounds simplistic doesn’t it?  Well it is.  I am just going to train myself to pay attention to how I am feeling as I go about my day.  Notice what’s working and what’s not.  It’s just like training at the gym to gain muscle strength – the more you do it the stronger you get.  This is feeling good training.  The more you do the easier it gets.

Ask yourself this question –  “what’s more important” satisfying your demanding ego or nurturing your soul?  Both are tough taskmasters, but when you don’t satisfy your soul, you are always left feeling like something is missing from your life.  No matter how much  success you achieve, the good feeling drains away quickly leaving you feeling empty – searching for what’s next.

Let’s make 2013 a year of real change by replacing your resolutions with feeling good training.  When you are happy, your happiness has a way of radiating way beyond you and the rewards can be felt in all areas of your life.

Give it a try – you’ve got nothing to lose and the a world of happiness to gain.

Happy New Year.  Wishing you everything you wish for yourself.

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says, ”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.


Women Need To Focus on Happiness

by Linda Franklin

One thing becomes more and more obvious to me as I get older, women need to re-evaluate their priorities.  We get stuck. On the surface we seem okay, but there’s a lot of hurt and disillusionment churning on the inside.  You can see it the eyes and you can feel it in the energy. The way we really feel is hard to hide.

We women need to have ongoing heart-to-heart discussion with ourselves – pinpointing what’s working and what not working in our lives.  We don’t have to be resigned to just okay because just okay turns to unhappiness and resentment  much quicker than you think. Vital, intelligent women start to feel powerless and that’s such a waste of creative energy.

Life has its own special way of beating us down if we let it.  The way to combat that is to live in the moment – making sure feeling good is a #1 priority. Really work at noticing the negatives we focus on. Thinking too much is a dangerous thing.  Isn’t it crazy that no matter how many good things there are to be thankful for, they get kicked to the curb for something that upsets us?

We are always going to have challenges and we are constantly being tested.  What we have to do is accept that, learn from it and move on to create the next feel good thing.

If you can finally accept that the only person we are capable of changing is ourselves, and that our happiness is our responsibility, we will put ourselves in the driver’s seat.  Life would be a much more enjoyable that way.

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says, ”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.

Holiday Healing In Unexpected Ways

Holiday Healing In Unexpected Ways The Real Cougar Woman

Given the unprecedented destruction and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the continued sacrifices of our military, the escalation of international strife, the threatened fiscal cliff and the personal storms most people face, it has been difficult enough to negotiate daily life – much less, think about the holidays.

Do We Really Need The Holidays Now?

Yes. We need the holidays because if we can look past the details and avoid getting trapped in expectations, holidays hold great healing potential. In ways we hardly expect, they provide many of the ingredients recognized as essential to the stages of healing and recovery after traumatic events.

Physical and Psychological Safety

We know that in the aftermath of trauma and disaster, people are most comforted and stabilized by familiar networks of support. The Holidays provide this.

  • In the case of survivors of Hurricane Sandy, we know that families embraced each other and gathered together earlier than expected and may stay together longer than planned. For them, as well as for other familiar networks be they a military unit, a medical staff, evacuees at a shelter or a few students far from home, a Thanksgiving dinner has the potential to stop the clock, take them off task and offer physical and emotional sustenance.
  • No matter how many hours they have worked, cried or served together, to stop and gather with the mutual goal of celebrating and giving thanks reduces the isolation and alienation inherent in the challenges they face. The shared experience adds to their cohesion and the sense of being held together. When the festivity ends – the benefits and memories do not.
  • Food plays a major role in holidays. As such it is as emotionally healing as it is physically gratifying. Emotionally charged events, be they wonderful or traumatic, are remembered and encoded in the senses – the body remembers. As such, food is evocative of powerful memories. While it may seem small, the long awaited fragrance and taste of stuffing, pie, or turkey can re-awaken a memory and provide a restorative feeling of home, family, country that no words can provide.

Remembering and Mourning

While holidays stir treasured memories and invite new ones, they can also be reminders of years of unhappiness, the devastation of loss or the absence of a loved one. As such they offer painful but important possibilities.

  • It is very understandable that on Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, many people report being “thankful but not happy.”
  • While everyone grieves in their own way and their own time, it is worth considering that holidays often unexpectedly evoke many different feelings.
  • You may be moved by the laughter of your children even as you mourn a parent you greatly miss. You may treasure the friends and family who have gathered to help you re-build after the storm; but feel bruised by the loss of the family home. Owning and enabling a mix of feeling is empowering.
  • An important gift that families and friends can offer each other at the holidays is to bear witness. The freedom to share pain in a way that is understood and contained by the compassion of others makes it easier to bear.
  • While families and friends may face considerable hardship and loss together, it is often only at the holidays (when everyone is sitting in the same place at the same time) that there is the opportunity for all family members to “ weigh in” on their version of what happened, the impact, the joy, the regret, the memory.
  • Children need to be included in the discussions of family experiences. The situations and the family stories need to be explained in a way that makes sense for their age. These family stories can be edited and expanded as children develop, as the years pass. There is always another holiday.
  • Because holidays make room for family narratives, they reduce the intergenerational legacy of unspoken pain.

Connection in Time

One of the impacts of natural disaster and traumatic events is to disrupt the continuity of time. Traumatic events freeze us in time. The past feels lost and the future feels impossible. The story of the life we knew has stopped.

  • Holidays reinstate order. They arrive no matter what has happened. They intrude with a reminder of past, an invitation to look beyond pain in the present, and the promise of a future.
  • A dramatic example of this was the famous Christmas Truce during WWI when in the midst of war on a Christmas Eve, in an unplanned display of humanity,the shooting stopped and was replaced by the exchange of Christmas Carols between enemy armies.

If holidays can offer a physical and psychological respite, a community of mutual sharing, a revival of treasured memories, a place for grieving, a time for a family narrative and a reconnection to our own story – they will help us heal.

Holidays won’t end all pain and suffering but they can help us restore what we need- to look forward with hope.

Carmen Dell’Orefice – Living Large at 81

Carmen Dell'Orefice - Is Living Large at 81 Linda Franklin. The Real Cougar WomanAt 81, Carmen Dell’Orefice walked the Norisol Ferrari Spring / Summer 2013 show during New York Fashion Week on Monday.

“I don’t know if it’s good or silly,” she told TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager of her current modeling career. “It’s what I enjoy doing, and I’m able to do it.”

In my opinion, that’s not silly at all.   Loving what you do, not taking life too seriously, and realizing each day has something wonderful to capture is the secret to living the dream.  She is a wonderful example of what all of us dream of achieving – True Happiness.

Carmen says,  “I think America may be growing up and accepting the fact that the bulk of life exists beyond 50. Because demographically … the vast population is over 50″.

Yes, she admits to getting some help with her looks – admitting to using fillers, with the philosophy, “If your ceiling was falling down, wouldn’t you fix it?”

I don’t know Carmen personally but I do know a good friend of hers.  My friend is a wonderful women who is also in her 80’s.  She is my inspiration. She doesn’t think about age or let it stop her from doing whatever she wants to do.  Last year she went on safari to Africa and this year has already planned her Christmas holiday trip to Havana.  She works out at the gym twice a week with the energy of a 35 year old.  And, she loves driving around in her Silver Bullet – a 1966 Mustang convertible – top down.

These two women prove to me the limitless value of living in the moment and the excitement of trying and enjoying new things without fear or reservation.  They don’t fight getting older because their curiosity and vitality keep them tuned in to what’s important.  Both of these women illustrate beautifully what it means to be a Real Cougar.

The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.