“Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted. . .
He lived happily ever after.”
I M A G I N E
t h a t
Who Cares - What Matters
“Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted. . .
He lived happily ever after.”
I M A G I N E
t h a t
It’s kind of amazing isn’t it. . .
It’s Valentine’s Day week,
Which means it’s a great day for people who really love each other
but not so great day for people that are grieving
or folks who have lost
or others who are alone. . .
Wonder if it
about that kind of love
Wonder if Valentine’s Day
was actually a gift that you give to somebody,
that includes Everybody
no matter alone
no matter grieving
no matter sad or happy
What if it was a day that you
just to love
and maybe even better
Wonder if it was just a day to love
the way a person deserves to be loved
now that would be quite a day
we’re celebrating, right
and guess what
. . .not just on February 14
How about let’s make it that kind of a day
not only on Wednesday
but each day
T O D A Y
before the 14th of February
(or the 14th of any other month)
S E E. . .
When Valentine’s Day is more than just a day
it has the greatest opportunity to become a
l i f e s t y l e
Ok, I’m a little confused here, and now, maybe you are, too.
Does anybody know what the ORANGE PEEL THEORY is? I mean, I really thought an orange peel, was uhhhhh, you know, AN ORAGNE PEEL? You?
A new thesis regarding relationships has gained popularity all over TikTok in recent weeks.
Dubbed the “orange peel theory,” the idea involves the ability to understand your partner and their feelings; it’s based on their tendency to perform simple tasks for you whether asked to do them or not ― like peeling an orange.
Videos have surfaced all over the social media platform with folks urging their partners to peel oranges for them or, more generally, requesting help with something you’re easily able to do yourself.
“The orange peel theory focuses on the idea that small acts of service are not just about the action itself but about what it represents in the relationship,” said Kate Truitt, a board-certified psychologist and applied neuroscientist. “They signal care, love and commitment, and the repetition of the act enhances the overall health and happiness of the relationship. These gestures, often simple and seemingly mundane, are in fact pivotal in nurturing a loving, supportive and enduring partnership.”
Georgina Sturmer, a registered counselor at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said that the trend is really a commentary on “the nuts and bolts of a relationship.”
In fact, many on TikTok have come to celebrate ― or negatively comment on ― romantic relationships based on observations made with the orange peel theory in mind.
Does your significant other peel an orange for you without you having to ask because he or she knows how much the smell of the skin bothers you, for example? Or does he or she complain about your “constant asking” when you do request a favor?
“The idea is that we are all subconsciously seeking signals from our partner to reassure us of their affection,” Sturmer said. “Signals that show us that they have an intimate knowledge of our likes and dislikes, and that they are prepared to go out of their way to make us happy.”
According to Truitt, “regular, positive interactions are fundamental in creating a sense of security, trust and emotional bonding.”
That is all to say: Consistent acts of affection will not only prove that your partner cares for you, but they will also allow you to feel comfortable enough to explore the relationship further and, perhaps, deepen your connection. By demonstrating his or her appreciation for you through seemingly meaningless efforts, your partner will subconsciously give you the green light to feel even more secure in your relationship.
Truitt explained that kind gestures help build a positive emotional atmosphere that then “triggers the release of vital neurotransmitters like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin.” These chemicals have been shown to reinforce positive feelings and, therefore, emotional connections.
In addition to providing an immediate sense of satisfaction and joy, these acts of kindness work to bolster the “foundations” of a relationship and one’s own sense of self, according to Truitt.
“This might sound obvious, but many of us carry around an inner critic that tells us that we are undeserving of kindness,” she said. “So when our partner offers a kind word, gesture or action, this strengthens the relationship between us, and it also boosts our own confidence and self-esteem.”
Some may contend that sporadic grand gestures may prove one’s love in their own way, perhaps even more than constant, small-scale actions — but the therapists don’t necessarily agree with that.
“Popular culture celebrates the grand gesture, like a proposal at the top of the Empire State Building, a dramatic race through an airport departure lounge,” Sturmer said. “These can be wonderful statements, but, in our everyday existence, the consistent caring interactions tell us that someone cares.”
Although the orange peel theory is clearly based on a specific action, the concept refers to a larger category of behaviors: everyday acts of tenderness that may not catch your attention immediately but, when put together, offer a pretty clear picture of your relationship status.
Examples of these quotidian efforts, according to Sturmer, include “cleaning dirty boots after a walk outside, collecting your partner at the bus station when it’s raining, refilling the gas in the family car when it’s running low.”
The key, according to the expert, is that the simple gesture goes unannounced and perhaps isn’t directly requested.
“It’s not accompanied with fanfare or an explicit requirement to show your appreciation,” she said.
Other examples may include ordering your partner’s favorite menu item from a restaurant before they can even ask, doing the dishes or bringing the mail in.
Truitt takes it a step further than the actionable aspect of the conversation, mentioning how certain behavioral dispositions fall under the scope of the theory, like active listening, expressions of appreciations, small feats of affection (“holding hands, hugs or a thoughtful note”), support during stress, quality time, consistent check-ins and celebrating successes.
It’s important to note that everyone has a different way of showing their appreciation and affection. However, if there is one thing that the orange peel theory has proved, it’s that small, consistent acts of kindness certainly help deliver the message that you care about someone. So how can you make sure that your partner knows this?
According to Truitt, there are a few ways. To start, lead by example.
“Often the best way to encourage behavior is to model it yourself,” she said. “Engage in small acts of kindness towards your partner regularly, which could range from a thoughtful note to a warm embrace, demonstrating the kind of affection and care you value.”
Communication is a big part of the subject as well, but, according to Truitt, it’s important to understand that the goal of any conversation is to enhance the relationship, not to “criticize your partner.”
You should therefore choose the right time and setting to bring the conversation up, focus on the positive aspects of your connection while also being specific about your desires. You might have to “clearly express what small gestures” you’re talking about, Truitt explained. Being direct is always the best course of action.
Don’t forget to also ask your partner’s take on it, Sturmer said. In addition to role-modeling the behavior, she suggested talking about what’s stopping your partner from fulfilling your needs.
“Maybe they’re assuming that you might find him or her doing things for you patronizing,” she said. “They’re worried about annoying you.” The solution? Direct communication.
One more tip: To ease into the conversation, Sturmer said, you might actually want to show your partner the various viral videos. “It gives you a chance to chat about it without making it feel personal.”
SERIOUSLY. . .
ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU KNOW THIS, NOW?
(so sorry; I couldn’t resist)
HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR DAY
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . .
We don’t quite say that the way that we do
HAPPY NEW YEAR
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
h u h. . .
Like most Monday morning blogs this is not a video that I researched or that I sought out, it is one that found me and now haunts me. As I listen to this video from Martin Luther King Jr. about the Good Samaritan, which was a part of his I HAVE BEEN TO THE MOUNTAIN TOP speech, I quickly realized that not only am I not the Good Samaritan, I am not even close to being the not-so-Good-Samaritan.
Quick: if you could describe your life to this point in just one single word what would it be? Seriously, mine might be ENCHANTED. I live a ENCHANTED LIFE; I really do. I am a severely white privileged male that has never really felt what racism is all about; or poverty; or disadvantage; or choice of sexual orientation, or. . . . Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked hard for everything that I’ve gotten and I’ve tried to do right by another person, not just by treating them the way that I want to be treated but really trying to go the extra step past the Mountain Top and finding out how they would like to be treated and then actually treating them that way. I have never joined a demonstration. I have never participated in a March. I have never protested. I would like to believe that part of me being a Caring Catalyst and trying to be a better One each day, is trying to convince myself that person by person the world itself changes and that I have an active part in participating in that every single encounter that I have with every single person.
No, I’m not a Good Samaritan. I’m the guy that is too busy to stop because I have business to do; important business, maybe even business that affects peoples lives. No, I’m not a Good Samaritan not because I don’t stop and help, or because I’m sometimes afraid I may to become that victim I too, may be misunderstood or harshly judged. No, but possibly because I have a great way of RATIONALIZING everything away so that I can feel just a little bit better about myself (one-not-that-all-important-act-but-makes-me-look-good-without-trying-all-that-hard. . . .
I don’t do good with vacations or paid time off, so every year I rarely take a week or two weeks off at a time. I’m better at taking days off especially Friday and Mondays. I, on purpose, take my birthday off. I take my wife, Erin’s, Birthday off. I take off good Friday every year usually the Monday after Easter and yes now Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I usually take these days off to spend them with people that I love and people who love me. In particular, I take off Martin Luther King Jr. Day, just like Good Friday, to reflect, to ask myself, ‘why am I not the not-so-Good Samaritan; why am I the one that would go to the other side of the road; why am I the one, that being as privileged as I am, would make myself feel better by literally, just writing a check and mailing it in? Tough questions, but not always elicit the most honest answers. Somehow, just asking the questions helps, eases me as it inspires, challenges me not by attempting to answering the questions with my words or my mouth, but with my actions. Hoping, just hoping, that what I might do for ANOTHER, personally, intentionally, and yes maybe even, intimately, will not only be world changing for them but also mean the universe to me, too.
HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY
. . .today. . .tomorrow. . .for-an-ever
let’s not pass each other by
but attend to each’s wounds
and heal as we are healed
no matter what
no matter who
no matter when
no matter how
to get one step higher than
THE MOUNTAIN TOP
What a great song
WHAT A BETTER CONCEPT:
WE ARE ALL ADOPTED
in one way or another
traveling through this world as
one big family
each of us a member
trying to not only find our way
but be included in
that’s far bigger than any
ONE OF US
but includes each and every one of us. . .
What are you doing right now
to include Others
. . .to show them
. . .to make Another
feel like they belong and that they are going to
L O V E
H E R E
reminds us:“The stories we tell ourselves shape our reality. We may try to box ourselves in, but we’re much more expansive and multifaceted than we think. Maybe if we tried to count our sides, they’d approach infinity—like a circle.”
(My thanks to Grant Snider.
W E L L. . .
ARE YOU A RESOLVER?
Another way to ask that question is:
ARE YOU A RESOLVING RESOLVER
or do you even try
or do you even care. . .
IN EVERY CASE
(and a few in between)
. . .And JUST LIKE THAT
A NEW YEAR
Whether a new year fills you with excitement or dread (or maybe a mix of both!), the hope is that when you look back on 2023
there are too many wonderful moments to count
which serve has the greatest foundation
for new memories to be
m a d e. . .
ALL WAYS Remembering that
which are gentle reminders
between old and new years of
Letting us each know in between all of the Seasons
“May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young.”
And may you stay forever young.”
Photo in New York, by John Cohen (1962)
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .
Can you actually make your
T I C
T A L K. . .
People often start setting goals with a little too much gusto, trying to overhaul many aspects of their life at once. But that can quickly become overwhelming and backfire. “It’s better to have a systematic approach and identify the one or two that are the most important,” Smoll says.
Making your goal specific can help you follow through on it; research suggests that narrowly defining a goal helps you clarify the tasks necessary for reaching it. “You should define your goal discretely enough to measure and use it effectively,” Smoll says.
It should also be realistic, says Zander Fryer, founder of the coaching company High Impact Coaching. He’s a fan of the Goldilocks-sized goal. “If it’s too big, it will scare you off; too small, and it won’t motivate you,” he says. “Each individual must figure out the goal that gets them moving.” To stay accountable, give yourself a timeline that you can achieve, recommends Fryer. “That will motivate you to take action.”
Whenever you set one goal, you should actually set two: a process goal and product goal, Smoll says. Aiming for a 4.0 grade-point average would be a product goal: the ultimate objective. A process goal would outline the steps it takes to get there. While the product goal gets all the attention, the process goal is equally vital.
Write down a plan for how you’ll go about achieving your end goal, identifying specific strategies. If a hockey player wants to get 5% faster, for instance, “a productive achievement strategy could include skating additional 10 sprints after practice each day,” Smoll says.
Jason Bahamundi, who has completed eight Ironman races and 30 ultramarathons, sets a process goal before every race. “I think a lot about the training, the timing and the cost of what I’m undertaking,” he says. “If I can think about the challenge and then work backwards, I’m successful.”
Setting the goal is the fun part. Sticking to it is tougher. “You will hit barriers and fears,” Fryer says, so accountability is important, especially at the beginning. “Having a mentor, a partner or social accountability will help when you reach a sticking point.”
Fryer recommends choosing someone who you don’t want to disappoint, paying for a mentor or accountability partner or finding someone with similar objectives through a professional or social media group. This person can help by defining clear expectations, focusing on performance and monitoring progress.
Honing your patience will be helpful as well. “Remind yourself that achieving a goal takes persistence, drive and resilience,” Fryer says. “Set your expectations that it will be harder and take longer than you expect.”
That means recognizing when you might need to stop and catch your breath. Bahamundi knows how to guard against mental fatigue by building breaks into his process, particularly when he’s preparing for long events. “I train hard for three weeks at a time and then take a full recovery week,” he says. Cycling through work and rest can help you avoid burnout in any endeavor, whether you’re aiming to lose weight, improve a relationship or launch a big career change.
Savoring how it feels to chase your goal is useful for maintaining motivation long term, says Brad Stulberg, a performance coach and co-founder of the Growth Equation. “Most people cycle through three stages: the grind of putting your head down and doing the work, anger and fear of failure, and enjoyment,” he says. But finding joy in showing up for the work is essential throughout the whole process and shouldn’t be left for the end. “Before you take on a goal, visualize the process and how it makes you feel,” Stulberg says. “If you become tight and constricted, it’s probably not the right goal or time. If you feel open and curious, that’s a good sign.”
The process won’t uplift you all the time, so it’s important to mark the little achievements en route to the big prize. “As you make progress along the way, celebrate each of the smaller steps,” says Smoll. “I like the saying ‘Yard by yard is hard, but inch by inch, it’s a cinch.’ Self validation is very motivating.”
When you do reach the finish line, you might just find that the process—not the product—was the real prize. “I know that every day I’m out there working is putting me in a better position to be successful on race day,” Bahamundi says. “The race is my celebratory lap for all the hard work I’ve put in.”
THIS KIND OF SUMS UP A LOT OF OUR
f e e l i n g s
this time of the year
as we rear view mirror
where we’ve been
where we are headed. . .
JUST WON’T GO FAR
S T A R T
(or put it in gear)
(or take your foot off the brake)
(or get in IT)
You can actually make your
T I C
T A L K
. . .but WILL YOU?
North Royalton Christian Church is a parish I have served since January of 1995 and it has never had any more than 60 members since I’ve been there, in fact, we usually have 25-35 people every Sunday for our 10:00 worship service; we have another 200 that may tune in to watch via FaceBook Live. It’s small, very small and we usually spend more time drinking coffee and eating in the wonderful goodies folks bring in for Coffee Hour following the worship service. We may pack in a whopping 45-55 folks if we have a Potluck dinner but we really turn out when it comes to outreach or supporting a cause. On Christmas morning we’ll take down nearly two hundred pair of new gloves to St Augustine, a saintly place that feeds the homeless and the indigent. They’ll leave with a full stomach, bags of leftovers and some warm gloves for cold hands. . .
My hand shakes
can you still it
My hand is cold
can you warm it
My hand is extended
can you reach it
My hand touches
can you feel it
My hand is empty
can you fill it
A hand in a hand
never leaves it shaking
A hand in a hand
a human interwoven tapestry
that completes a single One
to a single Another
Just because a hand is outstretched
doesn’t mean it’s going to be grasped
. . .offer it any
or there’s another way to view it:
“Grandma how do you deal with pain?”“With your hands, dear. When you do it with your mind, the pain hardens even more.”“With your hands, grandma?”“Yes, yes. Our hands are the antennas of our Soul.When you move them by sewing, cooking, painting, touching the earth or sinking them into the earth, they send signals of caring to the deepest part of you and your Soul calms down.This way she doesn’t have to send pain anymore to show it.“Are hands really that important?”“Yes my girl. Think of babies: they get to know the world thanks to their touch.When you look at the hands of older people, they tell more about their lives than any other part of the body.Everything that is made by hand, so it is said, is made with the heart because it really is like this: hands and heart are connected.Think of lovers: When their hands touch, they love each other in the most sublime way.”“My hands grandma… how long since I used them like that!”“Move them my love, start creating with them and everything in you will move.