Back to Love Basics 3, Leap for Love!

Yes, it’s February 29, an extra day because it’s a Leap Year, So do something special today.
Leap for Love!

bc_FRONT_1.15.08

Love is not likely to find you if you’re not looking and leaping for it.
Leap for Love in 2016!

Tio Stib Signature

You might also enjoy: Starting Over Again, Back to Love Basics, Back to Love Basics 2, Give the Love You Want

Back to Love Basics 2, Give the Love You Want

Are you smiling? Just checking to see if you read my previous post about loving yourself and learning how to dribble the Love Ball.

Remember, it’s all about smiling.

Assuming you’ve done you’re Back to Love Basics homework, let’s move on to Lesson 2, “Give the Love You Want.”

Let;s consider how Frank is currently dealing with his loveless reality-

Frank, entering the coffee shop, notes that his favorite server, Coffee Girl, is at the counter and silently falls in line, immediately behind a sweet little lady who smiles at him.

Frank stares blankly back at her.

Two guys about Frank’s age come up behind him, talking about last night’s basketball game which the home team lost on a last second missed
shot..
‘Can you believe a guy who makes a million a year missed a simple layup,” says one of the guys.

Frank, who had watched the game, was similarly incensed but says nothing.

Suddenly, Frank is standing at the counter in front of Coffee Girl, an attractive young woman who he has had a crush on for weeks.

He stammers, then blurts out, “double espresso.”

“Double expresso coming up,” says Coffee Girl with a smile, and takes Frank’s money.

She hands Frank his change and leaves him with “Have a great day!”

Heartbroken that his secret crush did not invite him to dinner, Frank sulks over to the pickup counter.

Does any of this sound familiar? This situation is not gender specific. Frank might be Francesca. Coffee Girl might be Coffee Guy, or any number of possibilities. The point is someone who wants love,perhaps someone like you, is stammering at the service counter.

What might Frank have done differently to change the outcome here?

First, let’s get clear about what Frank and millions of lonely love wannabes really want. Frank thinks he wants an intimate loving relationship in is life, and he’d really like it to be with the darling Coffee Girl. The problem is that Frank has got his “wants” mixed up with his “needs.”

Sure, I’d like to have a brand new Porsche to rod around in. No mind that I’m blind but it sounds great doesn’t it.

The Porsche may be what I want, but what I really need is dependable transportation. Frank may want the fantasy relationship with Coffee Girl but what he really needs is more loving attention in his life.

Here’s how Frank could have got what he “needed”-

First, when the sweet little lady smiled at him, all he had to do was smile back. He might even have said, “Good morning.”

I guarantee her smile would have broadened and she have ans

I guarantee the lady would have smiled even more and probably answered him with another “Good morning to you.”

A small thing, but this interaction would have left Frank feeling good.

And how about the two guys behind him? Frank could have said, “Yeah, I saw that game. What a putz, he should have to pay a day’s salary for that miss.”

From this, Frank would have gotten the momentary camaraderie of three guys reliving a flash of vicarious outrage.

Again, not a big thing, but Frank would have felt good for having connected with other beings who shared a common life interest.

Then, there is the moment with Coffee Girl. Frank simply sates his order, nothing more. He doesn’t smile. He doesn’t greet the young woman.

Nothing but, “Double espresso.”

What if Frank simply said, “Hi! How are you today?”

Coffee girl would probably answer, “Great, thanks! How can I help you?”

Then Frank puts out his “double espresso, please!” with a little gusto.

For a smile and a few words, Frank actually gets to connect with Coffee Girl. No, she’s not going to marry him just yet, but I’m sure Frank would feel hugely better for having this encounter at the counter.

What is the lesson from Frank’s experience and, to be sure, the experiences of millions of other folks like him seeking love in the world?

Give the Love you want.

That’s it. If you want people to pay attention to you in positive ways, pay attention to them first.

Smile at people and they will, most often, smile back.

Greet people and they will, most often, greet you back.

Reinforce what someone else says and, most often, they will welcome your support.

If you want love in your life, give it first.

Please note that I believe the best way to do this is to love everyone around you, from the little ladies in line to the grumpy old farts who live next door. The more you open up and give love, the easier it is to open up and give love to someone you might be afraid of, like Coffee Girl.

What happens if someone chooses not to respond to your gracious outpourings? Move on. Some folks just are not going to have a good day no matter what. Keep smiling. Keep putting Love out there. You’ll feel much better for the effort.

Okay, time for this week’s “Back to Love Basics” homework-

For the next 7 days, give the Love you want. Make an effort to communicate in a positive way with everyone you meet. yes, last week you smiled at everyone, especially yourself. Start with a smile, add a greeting, then perhaps even ask, “How are you today?”

If you really want to get things going, add a compliment with your greeting.

“Hello, my, what a beautiful hat!”

“Hi, what a great smile you have!”

“Wow! Where did you get that haircut? I’ve always wanted a Mohawk!”

I’m not giving you a number of times to do this, counting past 10 seems to have created difficulties for some. Rather, just make an honest effort.

Smile, greet, say something nice. Do it with Everyone from kids to seniors and, yes, of course, even Coffe Girl or Coffee Guy.

Keep dribbling that Love Ball team!

Tio Stib Signature

You might also enjoy : Starting Over Again, Back to Love Basics, A Mirrored Smile

Finding Home

it’s a feeling
fleeting
flying off like a nervous bird
when my heart gets too close
yet memories whisper
and I wonder
what was it
that feeling
what was
home

I know I’ve felt it
the Oneness
of place
of people
of shared meals
and wild laughter
in silent awe
watching the moonrise from a porch
sliding up a far mountain
beaming shimmering light across a silent river
sparkling in enchanted eyes

I’ve felt it
in the garden
in the sweet scent of strawberries
picked by eager red fingers
wrapped in buzzing bees and flitting hummingbirds
in the joy of harvest
in the pleasure of shared
plenty

I’ve felt it
in warm murmurs around the fire
in the clink of glasses
in the evening glow of satisfaction
gained from sweating together
building a shared world

I’ve felt it
in smiles and greetings
in walking through community
in waves to passing friends
in bonds formed
by standing together
through tough times

I’ve felt it
in grief and solace
tears shared
remembering those lost
aching for those
forever gone

now I wander
the frontiers of being
soul seeking
heart hoping
to find home
again

tio stib 2016

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Starting Over Again, Back to Love Basics

A funny thing happened when I looked at who had checked out my last blog post, “The Love Game, For Guys Only.” I discovered that, For all my good intentions, I completely missed the mark attempting to serve the needs of my reading audience.

A large number of my blog visitors are seeking relationship help and love advice. My mistake was thinking most of these folks were already in relationships and wanted ideas on how they could not just survive their intimate partnerships but thrive together.

It turns out that many of my blog visitors are on the outside looking in. They can’t win the Love Game because they’re not even in it yet.

Dear relationship wannabes, I feel your pain. But, unlike most of you, I’ve got fifty years of trial and error experience with this subject, and I can help you if you sincerely wish to grow yourself into a more loving human being and will do the work to make this so.

I’m offering you my Back to Love Basics Series, an opportunity for you to learn how to get in the Love Game, and perhaps even discover happiness and fulfillment along the way.

Here we go-

Back to Love Basics Lesson One: First, Love Yourself

Okay, I can hear the groans. C’mon Tio, I’ve tried all that feel good, affirmation, positive thinking stuff.

My answer, maybe so, but please play along for a moment. This gets better, and it’s REALLY simple.

“First, Love Yourself,” is the only true foundation for building successful, mutually supportive loving relationships.

I’m going to skip by all the reasons people don’t love themselves, all the rationalization that occurs to justify low self-esteem. Rather, I’m going straight to Love Basics. I’m going to teach you how to start loving yourself right now.

I’m going to teach you how to dribble the Love Ball.

That’s right, like basketball. To learn how to play basketball, you first must learn how to dribble the ball. You learn how to dribble the ball before you shoot baskets and pass to team mates . In the Love Game, you need to learn how to dribble the Love Ball before you can score points with potential partners or make successful passes at them.

In the Love Game, the Love Ball is self love.

Repeat after me: The Love Ball is Self Love.

Now, this part is really amazing. Take a deep breath, let it out, and read this-

The way to dribble the Love Ball is to Smile!

Again-

The Way to Dribble the Love Ball is to Smile!

No, I’m not joking. Here’s how it works-

When you smile, you not only stretch the muscles on your face and perhaps even show a few teeth, you send a message to your mind that says “Happy!” Your brain is shot up with feel good hormones. You feel different.

You feel “Happy!””

Yes, sometimes the message is a little “happy,” and sometimes it’s a big “HAPPY!” It doesn’t matter, because any “Happy!” feels good. And, since smiles are self-activated, when you smile you are making yourself feel good.

When you smile, you are loving yourself.

No, I’m not going to get into any existentialist arguments on the meaning of “Happiness.” This is my blog and I’m choosing to equate “Happiness!” with feeling good and love. If you want to take another tack, please feel free to do so on your own ocean.

My purpose here is to help relationship wannabes get into the Love Game. With that, I offer you the first Back to Love Basics Exercise: Smile!

For the next seven days, I want you to smile at least one hundred times each day. I want you to smile when you see your surprised face in the mirror. I want you to smile when you spill coffee on your work clothes and have to change your outfit. I want you to smile at everyone you meet on the street, on the bus, in the elevator, standing in line to get another cup of coffee, smile, smile, smile.

No, don’t leer. No Jack Nicholson “Shining” weird smiles. Just curl your lips upward, stretch your jaw muscles, flash some teeth and that’s it. No need to say a word. In fact, for this exercise it’s better to say nothing.

Seven days. 100 smiles each day. Big smiles,little smiles, just smile, smile, smile.

I guarantee that in one week, you will feel better about yourself and life, because if you honestly do the work here, you will love yourself more in one week than most of you have loved yourselves in months.

Seven days. 100 smiles each day. No need to say a word, but pay attention to the reactions you get. Let me know what happens.

Next time, Back to Love Basics Lesson Two: Give the Love You Want.

Now Smile!

Tio Stib Signature

The Love Game, For Guys Only

For ages, men have been trying to figure out how women’s minds work, with little success. Although I’ve had my share of failures dealing with the enigma of women, I’ve discovered an approach to intimate relationships that offers some hope. I’ve concluded that if we men simply look at female relationships as a game, there’s a way we can occasionally win.

It’s called “The Love Game,” and here’s how it works-

As soon as you get involved with a woman, she starts keeping score. She puts your name on an imaginary scoreboard in her head and puts 1000 bonus points beside your name. Why? I don’t know, perhaps she wants to give you a chance at winning a game you’ll most likely lose.

Now, the fun begins, as she starts scoring everything you do against those 1000 points. She keeps a running tally, adding points when you do something she likes, taking points away when you don’t.

Yes, it’s a game for her, “The Love Game,” and it’s high time you know what this game is about, because most of you guys are losing it.

First, what are the rules of the Love Game and who makes them up?

Rule Number One: women make the rules. Unfair you say? Absolutely, but don’t think you’re going to change that before the proverbial freeze in hell happens.

Rule Number Two: The rules have never been written down. At least, never have all the rules been written down. Some have, but these have often been replaced by rules that have not. Confusing? That’s the way women want it. Unfair? See Rule Number One.

Is it possible to win a game with no definite rules? Yes, certainly, sort of. Remember that women are keeping score and basically you just have to keep doing more things they like than things they dislike. Of course, you can do something she really, really dislikes which could put you in a negative points situation, but no need to dwell on that.

How do you know if she likes or dislikes what you’re doing? Admittedly, this can be a challenge. It can depend on whether or not you smile at the right time, or the wrong time, what you said to your mother-in-law when she showed up unexpectedly at your door, and more likely, the position of the moon relative to a remote Mayan pyramid. Difficult you may think, no, impossible, but, again, let’s not get hung up on imponderables, rather let’s consider relationship realities.

Let’s talk curves.

I’m heartened to know that my male readers immediately jumped into a fantasy world of female delights, but those are not the curves I want to explore, at least not now

I’m talking about the shape of the infamous “Bell Curve.”

For those of you who think “statistics” is simply using numbers to figure out who’s going to win Saturday’s football game. let me raise your I.Q. a fraction.

A “Bell Curve” is the statistical shape created when plotting the typical distribution of activity performance over time. Consider New Year’s resolutions. We start out with little interest in such things, then we get nagged by conscious or partners to change things, we put a sudden burst of energy into the weekly conditioning program, we start feeling better, we start to slide and miss gym time, until eventually in a few weeks, maybe even months, we’re back on the couch doing our sloth imitation.

If you plotted out time in the gym versus time from the beginning urge to the final sloth recline, you’d create a “Bell Curve,” with the top of the bell reached when we maxed out our regular exercise and the bottom of the bell when we stopped.

Okay, so much for the statistics side trip, what do “Bell Curves” have to do with “The Love Game?” Surprisingly, such curves paint an accurate Picture of most males loving actions over time in loving relationships.

Consider energy and money spent against time. Once the guy thinks he’s got a shot at getting what he wants, he jumps in hot and heavy, putting lots of energy and money into making sure things work out. This is called the courtship period, where guys do whatever it takes to get whatever they want. What could guys want so much to command such extreme behavior? You can answer that, or if you’re stumped, ask your six year old niece. She already knows that much about men. Needless to say, this urge has plagued men for eons, and women know it. Perhaps that’s why they give us those first 1000 points.

Suddenly,something amazing happens.. When, by some fluke of chance, women decide to give guys what they are lusting for, male behavior radically shifts. There is a leveling off of energy and money men spend on relationships. men discover that they can still get what they want even when they stop paying for it. They start watching football games on Saturday instead of washing the little lady’s car, and she doesn’t seem to care. Now, the last side of the bell curve falls into place as basic male laziness sets in and the attention men give to their love relationship rapidly falls. guys begin to slouch on the couch

The delusion begins. Men now assume they’ve got it made. They start thinking a few nice words on occasion and “She” will just keep pumping out the love. “Great meatloaf, Honey,” and she’ll keep making those fantastic chocolate chip cookies.

No, Vacuum Brain, this fairy tale will soon explode like a well shaken beer..

But wait,there’s hope, even for those whose diminutive brains have sunk below their belly buttons.

Strangely, women have come to expect this behavior. In fact, they’ve even learned to accept that men’s minds are obviously limited,. For unknown reasons, women have chosen to give the lesser gender latitude for their foolishness as long as male homo sapiens will at least do a few minimal things.

Men, please pay attention here! This is how you win “The Love Game.”

If you simply remember to do nice things on four special days, most women, not all, not always, will forgive minor transgressions and keep your “love Game” score positive.

What are these “Special Days?”

Birthdays. Anniversaries, especially weddings. Mom’s Day. And, of course, Valentine’s Day. Christmas is a given. Only a real loser forgets Christmas. If you’re one of those, I can’t help you. I suggest you consider getting a dog instead of a lover. Your odds for affection are much better with man’s best friend.

Really, it’s that simple guys. You jusµµt remember to do nice things on those four special days and you can usually win “The Love Game.” Now that’s a absurdly small investment of your time to produce a return that would have Wall Street bankers drooling. A mere matter of hours, on four days over an entire year, to get a loving woman who puts up with your laziness every other day and still does your laundry.

Yes, you can still screw things up. You can still do something so stupid that she furiously wipes your name off her “Love Game: mental scoreboard and you’re out on the couch, or worse. Such things as giving her a lawn mower for her birthday, going to the hockey playoff game with your buddy Hank on your wedding anniversary, or getting drunk and calling her boss a bigoted slob at the company Christmas party, etc..

Sadly, male stupidity has no limits. But, I’m hoping this lesson on how to win “The Love Game” will awaken some long dormant brain cells and spark loving actions to minimize the inevitable damage that will be done by your basic instincts.

If you fall short and your “Love Game” score drops through the floor, check out my next blog post, “The Ultimate Romantic Gift, or how to recover from your inevitable love disasters. “

Now, get out there and win one for all Menkind, my dog and I are rooting for you!

Tio Stib Signature

Note to the woman who might read this: Yes, I admit it’s arrogant and foolish to pretend I know anything about how women’s minds work, but perhaps this post will inspire some man to at least try playing “The Love Game” himself. Okay, I also admit it’s foolish to expect men to read more than three paragraphs on improving loving relationships. I’m working on a comic strip that sends the same message.

The Bravest Man I Knew And A Beer

Peter Wells is one of my favorite blog stops. He is an eloquent, humorous, and insightful writer whose delightful essays always leave me smiling.

countingducks

“Was he the last man alive,” I asked myself. He who’d walked another life than mine; climbed mountains I would never see but whose eyes lit up with understanding when I talked. You do not have to be young to be lost, and living on the edge of approval, sited somewhere near exile, was a fate we had in common. I was twenty four and he “just over eighty” as he’d said for several years.

He was difficult by all accounts, and refusing to be wrapped in his obituary: we shared a horror of the commonplace as seen from Chaos Road. His morals were doubtful, his career had been patchy, but he was exuberant and a celebrator of the smallest episode.

He was there by force of circumstances and I, because I lacked vocation, but our bond was to “Grab the moment and let the morrow damn you if it can…

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Hotel Hypothermia

it was a trip mistaken
for a family vacation
a time so cold
my bones grew old
bundled up in layers of clothes
all that showed my bright red nose
even when I went to bed
I never shed a single thread
I wonder how eskimos have sex
queried my now recent ex

pounds of fat fell off of me
as I shivered constantly
take a shower?
I think not
in water that was icy hot

and when at night I had to pee
a new resolve came over me
as toes touched the icy floor
I hurtled towards the bathroom door
and in a fit of urgency
dropped my shorts
but woe to me
the thing that used to flow so free
had shrunk down to
a tiny pea

and so it went from day to night
with not a hint of warmth in sight
until we had to say goodbye
a moment when I nearly cried
afflicted now with freezer phobia
I bid adieu,
God Bless
Hotel Hypothermia

Tio Stib Signature

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