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How to Stop Being Lonely

How to Stop Being LonelyIf you want to stop being lonely, the cure is easier than you might think. There are currently 7,506,058,357 other humans on the planet. Surely, some of those humans would like to be your friend (Or boyfriend. Or girlfriend.)

You are not doomed to a life of loneliness unless you choose it. Here are four tips to help you meet people and start enjoying life.

1. Join Something.

I like to read short stories and talk about them afterwards, so on Saturday mornings, I meet a group of other people who like to do the same thing. We discuss the short story our leader, Dorothy, assigned earlier in the week while getting exercise and walking along the Housatonic River. Since joining the group, I’ve met interesting (and fun) people. We like each other enough to hang out afterwards at the coffee shop that adjoins our favorite bookstore.

The key to stop being lonely is to meet people with similar interests. So, if you like to read, join a book club. If you like to run, join a runner’s group. Knitters can join knitting circles. The possibilities are endless. Pick something, join, and go.

(NOTE: If you feel awkward around new people, you probably need to learn to love yourself more.)

2. Start Something.

When I moved to a new state and was in the process of building a business, I wanted to meet other entrepreneurs and small businesspeople, particularly women. The trick was, most networking groups I’d tried met at hours of the day when I’d have to hire a babysitter (my children were eleven and ten at the time). The meetings tended to be cold. I’d shake hands with a couple of people, but the format of the group didn’t allow me to get to know anyone. I hated those meetings.

I had an idea to start a group of my own, a kind of old boys’ network for girls, where we could get to know each other, do business together, and maybe even become friends. I placed a notice in the Connecticut Post inviting women to join a group I decided to call Connecticut Women In Business, and the rest is history. We have been meeting two Wednesdays a month since 2006. I’ve made connections that would have eluded me had I not summoned the nerve to email the newspaper. Since then, members have become solid friends who also go to dinner or the beach together.

You don’t have to start a business group to stop being lonely, though. Maybe you just want somebody to hang out with. This weekend, on my neighborhood Facebook page, I noticed a post from a woman who’s moving into the area and wants to make women friends. She directed would-be members to a new Facebook page she started specifically for the new group. She got lots of likes and comments. At this writing, her page has already attracted five members. Others will surely follow.

If you decide to do something like this, do it safely. Always meet people strangers in public places until you like, know, and trust them.

3. Help Somebody.

You can stop being lonely by volunteering. Help out in a homeless shelter, and you’ll meet compassionate people. If you volunteer at Habitat For Humanity, you’ll meet able-bodied, compassionate people. If you’re good at sports, coach a team. If you like a political candidate, call to find out if she needs an envelope stuffer. Churches, hospitals, and animal shelters also offer volunteer opportunities. For more ideas, go to Volunteer Match.

4. Get Rid of the Dead Wood.

Spending time with negative people feeds loneliness. So, if you have a relative or so-called friend who a) makes you feel bad about yourself, or b) goes on and on about how the world is going to hell, you need to back away. Join something, start something, or help somebody so that you become increasingly less available to people who bring you down. Your happiness depends on it.

If you liked this post, please give it a share. If you have any other ideas about how to stop being lonely, leave a comment.

Oh, and by the way, How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams is available on Kindle!

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4 Surefire Dating Tips For Introverts

Dating Tips For Introverts

Dating can be painful, especially for introverts, who typically dislike small talk and consider themselves socially awkward. (Merriam-Webster defines an introvert as “a shy person” and, “a quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people.”)

Don’t fret, though. You can make attracting your perfect romantic relationship almost easy without falling into this sad trap. Here are some of my favorite dating tips:

Keep it short.

Meet a first date for coffee, not a meal. Lunch and dinner can take more than an hour, which may require more conversation than you can handle. Commit to drinking just one cup of coffee (or whatever you like to drink), and if things go well, drink another. If things keep going well, plan to meet for dinner next time. On the other hand, if you don’t hit it off with the guy, fear not. There are plenty of other pebbles on the beach. Keep making coffee dates until you meet the right pebble. It’s a numbers game.

Take the pressure off.

Most of the men you meet are not going to be love of your life, and that’s a good thing because if you were attracted to every man you meet, and every man you meet were attracted to you, life would get messy fast. View each first date as a chance to make a potential new friend, not a life partner. Treat the guy accordingly. See what happens.

If nervousness strikes at any point – you get red in the face, your heart starts racing, or your head fills up with cotton — by all means, excuse yourself and go to the restroom.

Close yourself in a stall and breathe slowly into your diaphragm until you regain confidence. You can also try EFT/Tapping, a DIY self-help technique that can calm the fight-or-flight response.

Give compliments.

Everybody loves a sincere compliment. Notice something to like about your potential new friend and mention it. It’s safe to comment on shirts, ties, and shoes. Observations about body parts will likely backfire, so steer clear.

Ramp up your attractiveness by being a good listener.

People want to be truly heard, so make yourself irresistible by gently peppering your date with open-ended questions like: How do you spend your free time? What do you like about your job? Where did you grow up? What kind of music do you like? If you absorb the responses without worrying to say next, conversation will flow naturally. BONUS: You’ll also figure out quickly whether or not a guy warrants a second date.

If you keep these dating tips in mind, finding romance will cease being painful. Keep putting yourself out there, and you’ll magically find yourself in the right place at the right time when the right guy comes along.

He’s looking for you, too.

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How I Beat My Obsession With Onion Dip

Beat onion dip obsession
No onion dip for you, Bowl.
I once had an obsession with onion dip, and you might think this isn’t a big deal, except it was. Whenever a bowl of onion dip appeared, I breathlessly dunked a series of potato chips into it until the chips ran out, and then I was sad until the host or hostess ran over with more. You may be glad to know that I never stooped to double-dipping (which is gross), but I lost all self-control around onion dip. It owned me.

People noticed. Once, at a Communion party, the little girl we celebrated commented, “You are going to get sick,” after witnessing me scoop a mountain of onion dip onto a chip that nearly splintered under its weight. Embarrassed, I popped the mountain into my mouth and stepped away from the table. But I couldn’t stay away, and when the little girl went into her house to get soda, I returned to my happy spot near the bowl.

Clearly, I had a problem. When I made onion dip for my own parties (and I always made it for my own parties), I had to test it extensively before I served it to my guests. Testing onion dip is a pointless and unnecessary exercise because making it is a simple process. It involves mixing sour cream with a pre-measured packet of onion-flavored chemicals. If you mess it up, there is something wrong with you.

But there was something wrong with me mornings after I ate onion dip. I woke up looking like Henry VIII. I am highly sensitive to its unpronouncable ingredients. My face swelled up. My eyes evaporated behind pillowy slits. My fingers puffed up like cigars.

The answer to my problem arrives

I knew I had an obsession with onion dip, and I knew I had to get over it. I was on the phone one day with my friend, Alison, when the subject came up. Alison, a nutritionist and EFT practitioner (among other things), said, “You know, we can tap on that.” She led me through a couple of rounds regarding my passion for this non-food. At the next gathering where onion dip appeared, I tried it but no longer liked it.

It tasted like a bunch of chemicals.

After just a couple of rounds of EFT, I no longer liked onion dip. That was probably five or six years ago, and I still don’t like it. I continue to make it for parties (even though it is heinous) because people expect it. I test it every time, just to prove to myself that it still tastes bad. One chip, and I’m done.

If you’re struggling with an obsession with a certain food or drink, try EFT. Since achieving my own EFT certification, I’ve helped my clients eliminate obsessions with food, including chocolate, potato chips, diet soda, and other substances. Seriously, try it. You can get instructions here to learn EFT, or you can hire a practitioner to guide you. You can hire Alison, or you can hire me.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know: How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams is now on Kindle!

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To Succeed In Life: Love Yourself

There’s a key to succeeding in life. It’s not a Prada handbag, getting into the right college or company, or even marrying the right person. Those things come as a result of knowing the key to succeeding in life, which is this: Love yourself.

Yeah, loving yourself (which is free and doesn’t involve taking the SATs) is the key to great relationships, money, and happiness.

Self love is this invisible energy that makes people sit up and say, “She doesn’t have the best test scores, but she has something I can’t explain,” or “She’s not especially pretty, but she has something I can’t explain,” or, “She’s not the most detail-oriented person, but she has something I can’t explain.”

And the thing they can’t explain is the thing they want. We’re highly attracted to people who think highly of themselves.

To Love Yourself Is Not Conceit

Lest you fret that self-love is another term for conceit, it is not. If you read the Bible (and I do), the Great Commandment, according to Jesus, is to love God above all things and “to love your neighbor as yourself.” Note that Jesus didn’t say, “Love your neighbor above yourself,” or, “Love your neighbor instead of yourself.” He said to love your neighbor as you love yourself, which insists that you love yourself.

Start by committing to listing five things every day that you love about yourself. It could be the way your hair curls after a shower, or the kindness you show people who are less fortunate that you, or your singing ability. Make note of your accomplishments. Make a list of the qualities that set you apart from all other living things on the planet.

When you truly love yourself, you will love other people (and they will pick up on that). You will be generous. You will laugh a lot. You will attract good things: better boyfriends, bosses, jobs, friends, and salaries.

When you love yourself, you will be less likely to be a victim of other people’s nonsense (OPN, or if you prefer, OPS), because you will spot it immediately and shoot it down because you love yourself too much to put up with it. You will finish projects. You will study. You will do the right thing.

Because you love yourself.

The key to succeeding at life is loving yourself. That is all. If you don’t love yourself yet, make learning how to your top priority. Everything will change. I promise.

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Why I Don’t Believe In Past Lives

past lives
Cogito doesn’t believe in past lives, either.
I don’t believe in past lives because I am lazy. As a small child, my mother told me that one day I’d die, and if I loved God and was good to other people, I would go to heaven. I liked that idea so much that I responded, “Oh, good,” when I learned Robert Kennedy died. My mother told me that was a terrible thing to say, and I didn’t understand. She had said that dying and going to God was a good thing. I was six years old.

I still think dying and going to God is a good thing, although I’m not in a hurry, and I understand that murder is evil. However when my time comes, my motto is one and done. I have no desire to come back to earth and relearn to put my napkin in my lap, be punished for pulling my sister’s hair, or to get hit by a nun for putting a decimal in the wrong place. And even though I recycle and drive a fairly fuel efficient car, a lot of people don’t give a crap about the environment, and who wants to come back to a mess?

That said, many intelligent people believe they’ve lived previous lives, including fellow EFT/Tapping practitioners. It’s possible I’m slated to return in the future as the person who brokers a peace accord between humans and our increasingly intellectually capable robot counterparts, but I doubt it.

Not Past Lives But Genetic Memory

I do believe, however, in genetic memory. I prefer to think that the experiences of my great-great-great-great grandmothers, are encoded in my DNA, and they influence my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Interestingly, science believes this too. Here’s an article about genetic memory from the BBC. Here’s another from Science Alert. And here’s one particular to inherited phobias from The Telegraph.

Genetic memory, as opposed to past lives, excites me on so many levels. When I’m tapping with a client, she’s talking to her subconscious, which remembers everything, and after a while, her subconscious talks back, revealing information and providing insight into limiting beliefs, situations, and behaviors. It’s thrilling to see the light go on in her eyes as she’s tapping and getting to the root of the cause of a weight problem or a pattern of attracting substandard boyfriends.

And just because I don’t believe in past lives, it doesn’t mean I don’t respect those who do. EFT practitioners are helping clients resolve all sorts of issues, no matter where they originated.

If you haven’t tried EFT yet, I recommend you do. It’s easy and effective. You can work with me, or you can do it on your own. To learn it yourself, search “how to do EFT Tapping.” An excellent book on the subject is The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner.

If somebody you know would benefit from this post, please share it!

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What to Do When He Breaks Up With You

He broke up with meIt hurts when someone breaks up with you, especially if you started to think he could be “the one.” It’s worse when you didn’t see it coming. It’s downright horrible when it happens around Christmas.

What do you do, especially if you want him to change his mind?

You do nothing.

Go home, make yourself a cup of tea, and let yourself absorb the shock and pain of the rejection. The only way out is through it. Let yourself feel it, as miserable as that sounds. Then, get it out of your system by tapping on it. You don’t believe me now, but you will get stronger.

By doing nothing (except tapping) you are giving the guy who broke your heart space to decide whether or not he did the right thing. He may wake up next Thursday morning and realize he’s made a terrible mistake, but he needs to come to this conclusion by himself. Give him time to do that.

If, instead, you decide to drive by his house, “accidentally” run into him in a bar, drunk dial him, or make any other bids for his attention, you will come off as a pain in the neck and convince him that dumping you was the right move.

So, don’t do that.

You May Become Magically More Valuable to Him

When you give him (and more important yourself) time to process the breakup, you may become magically more valuable to him. He may want to get back together, which may or may not be a good thing.

Then it’s up to you to decide whether you want him back. Suddenly, you’re in the driver’s seat. Ask yourself if he’s worth it. Consider this carefully.

Of course it’s possible that he won’t contact you. He’ll move on with his life. If this happens, know that he’s done you a favor. He was never the right one for you. It’s better you know that sooner than later, so that you can make yourself available to someone who will love you and treat you the way you deserve to be treated.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Do This

If you are telling yourself, “I’ll never feel that way about anyone again,” please stop. That sort of fantasy sells movie tickets, but it doesn’t apply to real life. If your employer transferred you to an office overseas, I’d bet you’d stumble upon someone attractive pretty quickly. I’d bet if you moved to the next town, the same thing would happen.

If the guy who broke up with you does move on, you do the same. Change things up. Rearrange your furniture, change the paint on your walls, do something different with your hair. Do something that will signal and keep reminding your brain that you are in an exciting new phase in life.

You only live once, so make the decision to enjoy it.

Note: This advice applies to men as well as women. If you know a man who’s suffering from a breakup, please share it with him.

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Are You Are Dating An Asshole?

One Big Clue You're Dating

If you set one goal in your dating life, please let it be to not date assholes. If you date an asshole, you could end up marrying an asshole, and you don’t want to do that.

The key to not dating assholes is to spot them and run away from them.

So how do you spot them?

Assholes commit many asshole crimes, but chief among them is commenting on women’s looks, either yours or other women’s. Some assholes are downright obvious about it: They rate women’s body parts. They compare women’s body parts. They use infantile or stupid words to describe women’s body parts.

Other men are more subtle. For example, they may tell you you’re beautiful one day. The next, they say something like, “What’s going on? You don’t look so hot.” Assholes seek to control women by making judgments about their looks.

Worse are guys who deliberately try to make a woman insecure by making a fuss over other women’s looks, or by exchanging asshole comments about her with other assholes in the vicinity: “Hey, Mikey, check that out.”

Also to be avoided are men who make derisive comments about the appearances of other females. For, example, one night my husband and I had dinner and heard a collegiate-looking guy at the next table snickering about the waitress’s weight. The women he was sitting with laughed heartily (“We’re not fat! We have College Boy’s approval!”), but they should have called him out on it. The guy is an asshole.

Flee, Ladies, flee!

When assholes get married, they become even bigger assholes.

A good friend of mine ended up legally bound to one. Before their wedding, he made dumb comments about her weight, a definite red flag. The best part about this is that the professorial sweater vests he favored couldn’t hide the fact that he was a bit of a fat fellow himself.

After their wedding, he would flirt with waitresses and complain that my friend was “old and ugly.” My friend is many years younger than this asshole. If I showed you her picture, you’d see she is not ugly.

My friend used to cry a lot, but then she got smart. She invested her free time in a hobby, met some like-minded people online, and developed the courage to divorce her asshole. She’s a Catholic, so she felt guilty about leaving him all alone until she talked to a priest who told her she deserved to be happy. I guess the priest thinks the guy’s an asshole, too.

This friend has since moved on. She is now happily dating a man who really believes every single day that she’s beautiful  (even when she has a bad cold, and her face is red and puffy). He’s turning out to be her friend. He’s shown her that her happiness is as important to him as his own. That’s the basis of a happy romantic relationship, by the way: Friendship.

At the end of the day, we all need a friend. We want to be loved and supported. We do not want to be belittled and controlled. We want to be valued for ourselves, not for our looks. (Especially, since if we’re lucky, we’re going to get old.) We are human, and we want to date men who respect that.

Assholes are not capable of of this. Keep them out of your life. Do not lie to yourself and tell yourself you can change anybody. You can’t.

If you persist, one morning you will wake up and find an asshole on the next pillow. Don’t let that happen to you.

 

 

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Take Charge of Your Happiness and Healing

Take Charge of Your Happiness and HealingIf it’s time to take charge of your own happiness and healing, you’ll be interested in hearing about a valuable new book.

I just finished reading the excellent and highly instructive How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. It’s by Amy B. Scher, an energy therapist who overcame a grave illness, among other things. In each case, she determined that healing is more than physical. It’s emotional.

You can experience real physical pain that is rooted in an emotional problem.

If you suffer from back pain, for example, your pain is real. It is not “all in your head.” However, Scher makes the convincing case that your pain may be the result of a trauma or some event that affected you emotionally. It’s possible you don’t even remember it. To bring it to light, she includes helpful lessons on muscle testing, so that you can plumb your subconscious mind for those beliefs and traumas that have led to your pain, illness, and unhealthy behavior.

Truly, You Can Take Charge of Your Happiness and Healing

In a step-by-step fashion, Scher shows you how to uses various energy techniques to facilitate healing and reverse negative beliefs. She includes my favorite, Emotional Freedom Technique (or EFT/Tapping), in addition to Chakra Tapping, Thymus Test and Tap, and some other methods that were new to me. (I’ve already started experimenting with those on a personal basis.)

You may be relieved to know that Scher writes in a conversational style, so you won’t waste energy trying to comprehend something when your goal is to heal as efficiently as possible. Her book is an easy and almost fun read, even when she describes her clients’ cases.

I was especially interested in the author’s own experiences of recovering from anxiety, physical illness, her need for self-sacrifice, and her former attraction to unhappy relationships.

It’s lovely to know we can use our own two hands to stop ourselves from being attracted to people and situations who make life miserable. It’s even lovelier to know that we can get to the root of our pain and illness, and in many cases, eliminate it.

If you agree, get your hands on How to Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. If you liked this post, please share it and leave a comment.

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5 Steps to Making Your Dream Come True

cape cod august 2015Most of us have dreams. Some of us want to be millionaires, others want to meet the man or woman of our dreams, and still others want to travel. Some of us just want to quit smoking or lose a little weight.

It’s been hammered into too many of us, though, that achieving such goals are either out of the question or require back-breaking work and endless sacrifice.

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are three steps to making your dreams come true.

1. Define your dream. You have to know what you want if you want to get it. It’s fine to say you want to travel, but where? Define a destination. You want to meet the right woman or man? Define the qualities you’d like in such a person.

To naysayers who say this list writing is for fools, you’re wrong. When you define what you want, your reticular activating system kicks into gear, alerting you to the presence of the kinds of people, opportunities, and things you desire.

2. Write an affirmation. If your goal is to quit smoking, write something along the lines of, “My hair and clothes smell so good now that I’ve quit smoking.” Or, “My children are at peace now that I’ve quit smoking.” Or, “It feels great walking up a flight of stairs easily now that I’ve quit smoking.”

It’s always good to use a phrase that evokes feeling. Some experts agree it’s best to write your affirmation in present tense, although Scot Adams, the creator of Dilbert, used future tense. He wrote, “I, Scott Adams, will become a syndicated cartoonist” 15 times a day, and everything worked out just fine for him.

3. Tap on it. If you feel any resistance while writing your affirmation, as in, “This is complete BS, and it’s never going to happen,” you might want to tap on that. If you get a scary feeling while writing your affirmation, you might want to put down your pen and give it some thought: Where is the feeling in your body? What’s it trying to tell you? Maybe you truly do want to travel, but you have anxiety about leaving your job for two weeks. Maybe you want to meet the right man or woman, but your parents got divorced, and you never, ever want to go through what they did.

Acknowledge your fears and understand that they may be holding you back from getting what you want. Tap on them and see if they don’t loosen their grip on you or, even better, flee altogether.

4. Keep writing that affirmation. As you clear the fears and limiting beliefs that prevent you from making your dreams come true, you’ll find yourself writing your affirmations easily. You’ll find your imagination filling in all sorts of fun and new details you hadn’t considered before, which encourages your subconscious to bring your goals to pass quickly.

5. Take action. You’ll find that taking action is easier after you’ve been writing your affirmations for a week or two. Saying no to the cigarette will seem possible, as will booking the cruise, or writing the dating profile you’ve dreaded. Tasks that once seemed insurmountable may even be pleasant. Continuing to write your affirmation fifteen times a day for thirty days will supercharge your actions.

See what happens and let me know how it goes.

If you like this post, please share it. If you’d like to tap with a practitioner, I’m here for you.

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How the Movies You Watched as a Kid Screwed Up Your Life

How the Movies You Watched as a Kid Screwed Up Your LifeIf you’re like me, the movies I watched as a kid screwed me up for a while. I grew up on Snow White and Cinderella and internalized screwed up ideas about a prince coming to my rescue to make my life complete.

For eons, a woman’s success was measured by whether or not she had a man, preferably one who came with cash and prizes. (Women without husbands were considered losers and the object of pity.) Movies directed at us as children reinforced such screwed up notions.

We were brainwashed, but you’ve probably figured out by now that relying on a man (or any other person, for that matter) for your welfare and happiness is a sucker’s game. Some men are most definitely not princes, and the ones who are are subject to the same vulnerabilities as women: Unemployment, illness, and death. And it really is unfair to a man to expect him to live up to some fantasy we were force-fed as tiny children.

It’s good to know this on an intellectual level, but sometimes our emotions have trouble catching up. For example, you may know that marriage isn’t necessarily the key to security and happiness, but still you obsess about being single and, in society’s estimation, unwanted. Or, after you break up with one guy, you immediately leap into a relationship with another one.

EFT/Tapping can help you release the destructive beliefs and ideas that drive unhealthy behaviors. It can help you dissolve the feelings that lead you to take actions that ultimately leave you hurt and disappointed.

If you take time to get rid of the gunk in your subconscious, you’ll find yourself attracting healthy relationships with healthy men that bring you genuine happiness.

How Movies You Watched As a Kid Trip You Up In Other Ways

Has anyone has ever asked you, “Why are women so catty?” or “Why do women compete about the pettiest things?” They’ve asked me, and my initial response is, “What kind of ideas do you have about women?” I do get defensive about it. (Should tap on that!) I consider jealousy, for example, an ugly trait, and I don’t want to be accused of it. I’d hate to be described as catty or petty. I do my best not to be.

However, I am human and sometimes that despicable jealous feeling– however slight — threads its way through my body. At those times, I ask myself:

– What are you afraid of?
– Where did this fear come from?
– Where do you feel it in your body?

And then I tap.

If the jealousy is directed toward another woman for something stupid like her height, her looks, or her youth, I can pretty much trace it back to the movies I watched as a child. Snow White’s stepmother despised her because she was younger and prettier. Cinderella’s stepsisters were not as attractive as she and also thorough creeps. My developing baby mind got the picture: Youth and beauty in a woman equal good. Age confers not wisdom in a woman but meanness, envy, and shame. And, if you’re born beneath society’s standard of physical beauty, you might as well kill yourself.

The Antidote to All That Crap

If you ever find yourself jealous of another woman, ask yourself why. Acknowledge the feeling, for Pete’s sake, because society instilled it in you. Then tap on it and see what comes up. See how your life changes when you let go of barriers to happy, secure friendships with other women. You’ll probably start seeing crow’s feet as evidence of a person who’s laughed long and hard, instead of reason to max out a credit card in a plastic surgeon’s office.

Women can only benefit from being allies, not competitors, although it probably won’t bode well for those surgeons, nor for the Real Housewives franchise, which is popular among people accustomed to watching women tear each other’s hair out.

So, start tapping.

And if you decide you’d rather work with a certified practitioner, I’m here for you. Contact me at terryhernon(at)gmail.com.

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