My Second Life Coaching Lesson with Coach Pia

The SoMoms had another life coaching session with Coach Pia recently. After my first coaching session with her, I realized how important it was to have a life coach that can look at your state of life and concerns from an objective and FEMALE (important!) point of view.

Click here to find out how my first life coaching session with Coach Pia went.

 

Coach Pia

Coach Pia coaching the SoMoms and other mommy guests

 

Coach Pia mentioned several factors that make a relationship with one’s spouse a healthy one:

(1) I can be myself – I can still be myself while nurturing my partner (AUTHENTICITY)

 I can trust myself – I can trust my partner (BASIC TRUST)

(2) I feel respected – I respect my partner (BASIC RESPECT)

I feel understood – I can understand my partner (DEEPER UNDERSTANDING)

(3) I can nurture our children – Our children feel nurtured by us (BASIC PARENTING)

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A Royal Wedding in April

I’m one of those hopeless romantics who will be following the live coverage of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. Many years ago, I also sat glued to the TV set, watching as Prince Charles wed Princess Diana.

What’s it with royal weddings that brings out the romance and the curious in us?

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they live such sheltered lives and any news published about them (except for the tabloids) passes through some sort of censorship and approval from Buckingham Palace. For me, the fascination lies in the fact that the royal family has come a long way from their traditions and customs. Princess Diana paved the way for a slow acceptance of commoners marrying royalty, of the royal family being more visible and closer to the people, and of love being of a high priority (up there with duty).

This wedding is more special to me because the foundation clearly is LOVE. Prince William and Kate have been together for 8 years. That is a long time to build a strong foundation for marriage. And with Prince William bearing a lot of the influence of Princess Diana growing up in terms of her capacity for compassion towards others, her popularity with people from all walks of life, and her strong sense of duty, it is widely believed that he will eventually be a modern monarch in all aspects.

In my other blog, The Philippine Beat, I assembled a list of popular apps available now on the royal wedding. You can also find there a link to the official royal wedding site.

This April 29, I will surely be at home, watching the entire event on TV.

Do you plan to watch? What are your thoughts on this wedding?

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A Most Romantic Blogger Proposal Happened Today! (complete with bloopers)

It can now be told. A blogger-friend just proposed to another blogger-friend in the most amazing, romantic, unlikely place. And she said YES!

Jay and Aileen are now officially engaged!

aileen_jay

And the moment happened away from Manila — in Davao — at a zipline — in the presence of other bloggers.

Flashback to a couple of weeks ago…

Jay met Dine and me at Bo’s Coffee Katipunan. Dine and I were about to go to the wake of Amiel in Ateneo; he was coming from two TV networks and wanted to drop by and chat. We engaged in small talk for a while till we got around to asking Jay when he planned to pop the question to Aileen.

Jay reminded me of that day in early February when I plurked, wondering what a great marriage proposal line would be. He had replied to that plurk: “I didn’t need a search engine to find you… but i love the top result”. What I did not know then was that Jay was already in the throes of planning the marriage proposal scenario.

You can read Jay’s entire plan HERE. He wanted it to be unusual, away from Manila, a great surprise for Aileen, unexpected, and still romantic. What great timing for the Davao Food Appreciation Tour (FAT) that Blogie was organizing. Jay only told a few people. Drew was the official co-conspirator in Davao because the tarpaulin with his marriage proposal had to be done there. Of course, Blogie was in on the secret too.

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Share How You Keep the Fire Burning (and win!)

(NOTE: The comment box is now closed.)

How do you keep the romance burning in your marriage? If the spark had gone out, how did you rekindle it?

Do you remember your warm, fuzzy, romantic feelings when you first exchanged ‘I do’s’?

Where is it now? More often than not, once the reality of actually being married sets in, you realize it is more than just the dates and lovey-dovey-ness of it. Once the baby/ies start coming, more time is spent taking care of the little ones and earning a living. There are bills to pay, problems with househelp, in-laws to deal with, and so much more. Some couples drift apart, then find a way to come together again (love is lovelier the second time around!!!). Others are lucky enough not to lose the spark but continue to nurture and feed it throughout their life together. I get teary-eyed when I see couples in their 70s or 80s still holding hands and looking dreamily into each other’s eyes.

Whether you’ve just been married a few weeks, a few months, a few years, or lots and lots of years, HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Share your story with us, let us in on your secret, and get a chance to win this if we think your secret formula gives us the tingles! We have as many as 5 of these to give away:

Pond's Age Miracle Dermabrasion Kit

Pond's Age Miracle Microdermabrasion Kit

Here are just a few rules:

1. I am opening this up to my male and female readers because I know you guys also have a story to tell!!!

2. You must be a resident in the Philippines.

3. Your entry can come in either of two (2) forms:

a. If you are a blogger, do a post in your blog on the question above (spice it up with pics or videos) but be sure to leave me a comment below with a link back to your blog post;

b. If you do not have a blog but wish to join, write your story in the comment box below. Maximum: 200 words.

4. The husband or the wife can submit an entry but ONLY ONE ENTRY PER EMAIL ADDRESS.

5. Entries must be submitted between March 14-27, 2009 (ending midnight of March 27, Philippine time). I will close off the comments box at exactly midnight.

6. The winners will be announced in this blog by March 31 and will be informed via email. Metro Manila winners will need to claim their prize personally from a Makati office. Provincial winners have to provide a valid MAILING address to which the prize can be sent.

7. I have chosen a special person to judge the entries. The decision of the judge is final.

(this is a blog promo tie-up)

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Should Wives Be Madonna-Whores?

I never thought my wholesome blog will ever contain the word “whore“. I cringe when I hear that term refer to women. To me, this word is a demeaning reference to our gender.

But on one visit to the salon, I picked up a Marie Claire magazine with Lea Salonga on the cover. She was gorgeous, sexy, slim, toned — in other words, she just looked AWESOME!!! One heck of a makeover, if I may say so!

“Lea the goddess” is far from the little Annie I watched at the CCP belting out “Tomorrow” or the young Eponine in Les Miserables, or even Miss Saigon. Becoming a wife and mother has made Lea bloom like never before!

And guess what! Lea actually called herself a madonna-whore! Seriously!

I read the entire article and began to understand what she meant. Lea says in that interview:

Ideally, a man should find both in one woman. Reality, however, doesn’t follow. Which is why you have men who go to girlie bars; because they cannot see their wives in the role that the other woman will play. In their own minds, they will turn their wives or girlfriends into these saintly creatures. But there are men who have the other woman who fulfills that other side; who will be the one in bed; the one they will have phone sex with. Two separate women. But it is possible for one woman to be both, if only men would accept that.

WHOA, what a loaded interview this was!!!! And it got me thinking…

When I was a younger wife, my prayer group leader’s wife gave me her bit of advice. She told me never to let go of taking care of myself and my body. She said that even an ordinary housewife had to make sure that even if she spent the whole day cleaning and taking care of the kids, she had to look presentable when her husband came home.

The seriousness of this statement never really struck me until much later. Maybe because I am blessed that I am born with the right genes. My body shape hardly strayed from my school days (except for wider hips now and some more…). I also do not bear any stretchmarks despite having 4 children by normal delivery.

But what about wives whose shapes have drastically changed? What if they have stretchmarks?

I think these do not matter so much as our general outlook and well-being. The point Lea is making, I think, is this — just because one is already married or in a relationship, one should not let go of the creativity, imagination, and sensuality that make up a large part of a budding relationship between two people. She and husband Robert have massage oils and candles. Why not?

Thanks to Lea, many women who come across her article will rethink their roles in their marriages and hopefully take the next steps to make it as exciting and fun as it first was. For myself, I think I can not muster enough guts to refer to myself as a Madonna-whore but I totally agree that a wife should continue to be both a friend and lover.

Here are a few ideas I am writing down:

* Feel happy, look happy. Feel young, look young. Feel sexy, look sexy. Believe me, it will show! One’s disposition inside has a very strong bearing on how one looks on the outside. Doing yoga has made me more aware of this; your aura (if one can call it that) has A LOT to do with how you feel on the inside. Acceptance of one’s body shape and loving one’s self despite the rough edges and deep hurts = a woman whose beauty is like the phoenix that rises out of the ashes, like a diamond polished to brilliance by rough cuttings, like gold that passes the test of fire.

* Do not be too predictable. If you are a housewife, surprise him one day by greeting him all dressed up, fresh out of a bath. If you work and your wardrobe is mostly office fare, let him see you every so often in something catchy and fashionable (and maybe be a bit more daring if you can). Do silly things like texting in the middle of the day just to say hi. Leave post-it notes where he can see it and write something from the heart. Pick a flower from the garden and put it on his dinner plate.

* Touch, hug when he least expects, give him a smack, sit on his lap, be playful. Never mind if you do it in front of the children. They become more secure when they see how much their parents love each other. At his birthday last week, hubby’s relatives asked us to pose together for a pic. Instead of the usual side-by-side pose, I came up from behind and wrapped both arms around the neck of seated hubby. It totally surprised him and this was caught on camera with both of us grinning from ear to ear. It elicited a good laugh from everyone and before I knew it, C2 posted the picture on her blog that very night!

* Continue to go out on dates (WITHOUT the kids!). This is time to yourselves. It need not be expensive. A walk around the neighborhood will do, capped with coffee at the nearest place.

* Learn how to use aromatherapy and other effects. The nose is sensitive and sends signals to the brain depending on what it smells. There are scents that are calming (like lavender which I love to spray on my pillows and sheets at bedtime). There are scents for other moods as well. Check them out! Unless your floors are wooden you can think of candles in dim light. And don’t forget — soft music too!

* Help each other unwind. I have had foot and back massages when I get extremely tired and have given them back too when needed. Your spouse will naturally unwind and might even engage you in small talk about his day. A relaxing way to catch up on the day’s happenings.

Can you think of anything more?

I am sure we can think up ways to be both nice and sensual. It is definitely NOT one or the other. Will it take effort? Yes definitely. In our busy lives, it will take a lot of conscious effort. But over time, once the habit sets in, I believe it will come naturally. And the great thing about this is actually experiencing the response from the other end. Before you know it, it will be your man who will be thinking up creative things for the both of you. What a great win-win situation!

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Living Together, Growing Together (updated)

The theme of my in-laws’ 60th Wedding Anniversary came from an old, almost forgotten movie “The Lost Horizon” with Burt Bacharach’s song, “Living Together, Growing Together”.

While this song never made it big and can hardly be found in CDs of Burt Bacharach songs, we felt this was the most appropriate for our celebration as it talks about how families start out and grow together. Some of the lyrics go this way:

It just takes wood to build a house
Fill it with people and you got a home
Fill it with love and people take root
It’s just like a tree
Where each branch becomes a family.

Living together, growing together
Just being together
That’s how it starts, 3 loving hearts

All pulling together, working together
Just building together
That makes you strong, when things go wrong.

Reaching 60 years of marriage together is quite an achievement. Many of our guests expressed this sentiment and come to think of it, how many couples are actually blessed to live long enough to see through their 60th? I think I myself won’t live long enough to reach that! So we cannot thank the Lord enough for this tremendous blessing He has given to us.

Cousin Marisa found a YouTube video from the actual movie. The lyrics alone express exactly what family is all about.

Last night, at the celebration, we all sang this onstage while the video presentation that C2 and her cousins worked on for days, flashed on a giant screen.

Update:

Below is the video prepared by C2 and her Aussie cousin, Eugene:

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