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  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine

Come to open mic night at Blu Elefant Cafe near USC on Feb 27th, from 5p-8pm. Don’t miss Dr. Lauren Costine as she discusses her new book at 6pm, Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong.

  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine

10 Things You Can Do to Love Yourself on Valentine’s Day Whether you are single or partnered up, your relationship with yourself is the key to a fulfilling life. The truth is, you are the person you spend the most time with! Giving yourself the care and attention you need and deserve will help to restore your valuable inner resources, and once YOU are filled up, this will allow you to more fully give your love to others.

Below are 10 Things you can do to Love Yourself on Valentine’s Day.

  1. Give yourself permission to do whatever you want on this day.

  2. Go on a self-date – take yourself out to something you love even if you have a date with your partner later that night.

  3. Self-care – whether it is exercise, watching a movie, brunch with friends. Do things that you know will open your heart.

  4. Reconnect with an old friend you love and haven’t had enough time to spend time with.

  5. Buy yourself a Valentine’s gift – it does not have to be a big purchase but something you have wanted for a while. This is a chance to treat yourself.

  6. Go outside of your comfort zone–The Artist’s Way a book by Julia Cameron – has multiple suggestions on ways to connect with yourself in new and unusual ways.

  7. Start a creative project – one that allows you to connect with your inner child- we often ignore that part ourselves and she needs attention – creative projects light up our right brain and its the best way to connect to those special parts of our inner world.

  8. Spend time in nature – nature is one of the best ways to find inner peace and be with yourself – it quiets the mind, ignites your spirit and opens your heart.

  9. Watch your inner critic today and tell her to take the day off. Our negative thoughts take us away from loving ourselves. It is a life-long process to conquer these thoughts but today is a good day to say no- I am not listening to you!

  10. Follow Your Bliss – think about things in your life that open your heart and fill you with meaning because meaning brings human beings the most happiness. When we feel useful or become part of making the world a better place it is not only fulfilling but life-enhancing!

  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine

Nurse Reveals The Top 5 Regrets People Make On Their Deathbed

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

by Bonnie Ware

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