In an excerpt from “In Play with Jimmy Roberts,” airing Tuesday night on the Golf Channel, Bush says he understands the pressures of the White House and that playing golf is a good outlet. “You know, I see our president criticized for playing golf. I don’t – I think he ought to play golf,” Bush says in the interview. “Because I know what it’s like to be in the bubble. And I know the pressures of the job. And to be able to get outside and play golf with some of your pals is important for the president. It does give you an outlet.”
Fifteen of the last 18 presidents have played golf, and two are in the World Golf Hall of Fame – Dwight D. Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush. Eisenhower was a member at Augusta National.
George W. Bush quit playing golf in the fall of 2003 after 2 1/2 years in office, saying it was inappropriate for the commander in chief to be seen on the course while Americans were fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.
When Roberts suggested that golf is a good release, Bush agreed.
“I think it is,” he said. “And I think it’s good for the president to be out playing golf.”
Obama has played more than 140 rounds of golf since he first took office, according to CBS News. Earlier this year, he played with Tiger Woods in south Florida.
Be creative and find new and interesting things to do together. Though it takes a little energy, the rewards are worth it. Preferably choose something that neither of you have ever tried. This adds to the relationship, the fun of exploring new things together.
These are the things we do when we first begin to date, the fun things that keep us in a state of anticipation and relaxation. This is something that one can do to keep that sense of excitement and expectation alive.
2. Remember to laugh.
Humor is a cure for almost everything. Even in our darkest moments of despair, we can smile and laugh at some quirky or funny event, or some memory. Be playful, watch comedies, go to comedy clubs, etc. Fill your relationship with laughter.
3. Become a foodie.
When we are new to a relationship, food can become an aspiring component. The old adage, that “the way to a man’s heart, is through his stomach,” has a grain of truth to it.
We must all eat to survive, and our culture has made eating, cooking, and kitchen comfort a part of our everyday lives. So be creative, ham it up. Take cooking lessons, cook together, and cook for one another. It’s all part of the grooming, caring, taking care of, that is so essential to the relationship.
4. Make life an adventure.
Go to new and different physical locations. It does not have to be a grand trip. It can simply be a weekend road trip. When you move your head to a different pillow in a different place, your defenses drop away and you become more open to one another.
5. Always keep each other’s confidences.
Never, ever share with friends the intimate experiences and conversations that arise in relationship. Trust is based on experience, and if either partner hears their conversations and experiences casually bantered about in the public domain, trust can be easily broken and hard to re-establish.
6. Be honest.
Integrity is essential to relationships. That means to be honest about everything, including money. In my experience as a parenting and family expert, money is one of the most common reasons for fighting.
7. The Empathic Process
When a relationship is in trouble, it is important to communicate in an empathic way. Empathy helps to put things in perspective. This means to dialogue without defense, to listen to each other in an intimate way, by holding hands or touching, in a neutral environment, without accusation or blame.
Take turns dialoguing and then dialogue together, to try to come to a compromise or solution. The most important part of the empathic process is to listen without defense. This creates a safe space in which to return again and again, and work out problems.
For more by Dr. Gail Gross, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.
Obama was chatting privately with a U.N. official Monday and said he hoped the official had quit smoking. The exchange was caught on camera and aired on CNN. After the official appeared to ask Obama about his own cigarette use, Obama said he hadn’t had a cigarette in probably six years.
He added, with a broad grin, “That’s because I’m scared of my wife.”
Obama has acknowledged over the years struggling with tobacco use. Mrs. Obama said in 2011 that her husband had finally kicked the habit.
Monday’s exchange came on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Back then I lived a vastly different life brimming with stress: ever-looming deadlines, uncomfortable shoes, the constant ringing of the telephone (cell phone and fax machine, too), stacks of papers, a lack of sleep, a pen in one hand and a paddle in the other (a paddle I was using to ferociously row up a dimly-lit creek — we all know the name of that creek). Despite this, when I asked the aforementioned question above in said paragraph one (yes, I am a lawyer), I answered with an out-of-breath yet enthusiastic, “I want to be happy!”
As I spent years chasing the elusive and fleeting feeling of happiness, I came to realize that I was in need of a new GPS, so to speak. At this brilliant pause (admittedly, I sometimes used to do a “slow-down-rolling-semi-stop” when driving) I realized the true answer to the question was that I desired peace.
Why peace? Peace is truly what we yearn for, because without it, real happiness is simply not possible. Peace is foundational to happiness. Peace, I have discovered, is foundational to everything!
Back to my stress-filled life… As I took that pause, the thought that peace was indeed what I longed for was an intriguing proposition and so as a lawyer, I set out to prove it. To reroute my GPS from seeking happiness to peace, I started with a simple question. Where in the H-E-double hockey sticks does one find peace? I came up with four simple steps:
Step 1: Think of a time I felt peace.
Step 2: Replicate.
Step 3: Rinse.
Step 4: Repeat.
Step 1 was easy to recall, and I am sure many women can relate — maternity leave! Well, what I am actually referring to is breastfeeding. Breastfeeding my three children was always an ultra-peaceful experience for me. So, as for Step 1: Check!
Step 2: Replicate. Easy. Start breastfeeding again. Wait! No! That would be rather difficult unless I was to become a wet nurse (doubt anyone was hiring). Thus, an analysis began and I surfed my way through research that led me to the interesting subject of hormones.
The oxytocin hormone is a powerful hormone, often referred to as the “love hormone,” but I refer to it as the hormone of “peace and calm.” Both sexes produce oxytocin but women, in larger amounts and in a uniquely robust way. (You go, girls!)
Oxytocin is best known by mothers — it is released when a woman nurses her baby. Nature created it this way to help form an emotional bond between her and the little one. In other words, it helps bring us back to a place of peace and love, while intermittently dealing with poopie diapers and nighttime cry fests. Ah, now it makes sense why I loved breastfeeding.
Humans release oxytocin not only when breastfeeding, but at many other times as well. For example, oxytocin is released when people hug, make love, laugh, and gather with friends to name just a few. Cool beans for all mankind, but even cooler beans for women and here is why. 2006 research at UCLA demonstrated that women release oxytocin as part of their stress response. This research shows that in stressful situations, women have an innate tendency to desire peaceful interaction because when stress hits, our bodies immediately produce oxytocin. What’s more is as we engage peacefully in a situation, it causes us to release yet greater doses of oxytocin resulting in further calm and providing us with a secret weapon: inner peace.
This response is unique to women, and unfortunately, does not occur in men. Because men also tend to release testosterone when under stress, it cancels out much of the peaceful effect of oxytocin. By contrast, the estrogen present in females, serves to enhance the oxytocin effects.
Knowing this, we, as women, can harness the power of our hormones in remarkably productive ways. We are living in times where women have more opportunities to bring about change and utilizing this knowledge can help create more peace for ourselves, our families and our communities. Now ladies, I must ask, are you feeling empowered yet?
Step 3: Rinse. The rinse step is when we purposefully call upon our peace hormone, oxytocin, during stressful situations and allow it to fill our systems. Just as when we rinse away shampoo from our hair, leaving it freshly clean, the “rinse” step allows the peace innately produced in our female bodies, to cleanse negativity and chaos from our beings. When we get in touch with this naturally occurring internal peace, we can share it with those around us through our love and encouragement. “The rinse” is how I personally created calm in my world. Back then, I appealed to my oxytocin to toss my paddle into the creek, jump ship and swim ashore to a more peaceful and secure place. Nowadays, I appeal to my oxytocin to remain safely ashore, even when life becomes hectic.
Step 4: Repeat. Carrying this on as a central theme in our everyday lives is crucial. Daily, I call upon my desire for peace, as well as my almost magical intrinsic ability, as a woman, to create peace. When I shifted from living in a manner where I seek peace (instead of happiness), my life changed in simple, yet exceptional ways. I became empowered.
Lastly and interestingly enough, I have found happiness to be a fantastic byproduct of my peaceful life.
For more by Fiona Childs, click here.
For more on happiness, click here.
Exactly, I thought. What might her baby already have been exposed to? And what more can we be doing are we doing to protect that baby’s environment from toxic chemical exposures?
Pregnant women have been on my mind lately as the scientific evidence piles up about the devastating effects that prenatal chemical exposure can have on later-life health.
Take bisphenol A, or BPA, for example. It’s the ubiquitous toxic chemical used to line most of the canned foods on our supermarket shelves. BPA exposure in the womb disrupts fetal development and sets the stage for later-life diseases, according to the Breast Cancer Fund’s just-released comprehensive review of more than 60 peer-reviewed animal and human studies on prenatal BPA exposure. The science is showing us that these exposures increase risk for breast cancer, prostate cancer, metabolic changes, decreased fertility, early puberty, neurological problems and immunological changes.
Wait, so we may be setting the stage for diseases like breast cancer before a baby is even born? Tragically, but also logically, yes. The developing fetus is busy forming organ and endocrine systems, which are particularly sensitive to the disruptive effects of chemical exposures. My colleague Marisa C. Weiss, M.D., founder and president of Breastcancer.org, explains, “We know that a baby growing in utero is laying down the foundation for her future breast health, and the cell damage from prenatal chemical exposure can lead to a higher risk of cancer later in life.”
So what should we do? First, what we shouldn’t do: We shouldn’t place yet another burden on pregnant women by giving them the nearly impossible job of avoiding chemical exposures. Yes, women who are pregnant should avoid canned food, but that’s not enough. The science shows us that the first 11 weeks of gestation may be the most critical window, and we all know that many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant until well into or even after this period.
How about this for a start: Get BPA out of all canned food. If we know that eating canned food is a major route of exposure, to protect every woman who’s pregnant or may become pregnant, banning BPA from food packaging and replacing it with a proven safe alternative is the only logical solution.
We know we can get BPA out of cans because, after years of hard work by the Breast Cancer Fund and others, we got the chemical out of baby bottles and infant-formula packaging. First manufacturers began moving away from the chemical; then state governments began passing laws; and finally the FDA imposed federal bans on these uses.
We can’t afford to wait years more to get BPA out of food cans. The Breast Cancer Fund’s Cans Not Cancer campaign has secured vague commitments from all the major canned-food manufacturers to move away from BPA, but no major company has given a precise timeline, nor are they telling us what they plan to use as a substitute. So we’re calling on brands like Campbell’s, Del Monte, Progresso and Healthy Choice to set a timeline and to be transparent about alternatives. We’re also calling on lawmakers to take action, because ultimately we need more than voluntary action by industry — we need laws that ensure that chemicals like BPA are not used in food packaging. Jeanne Conry, M.D., Ph.D., president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, agrees. In a statement in support of the Breast Cancer Fund’s report on fetal BPA exposure, Dr. Conry says, “At this point, potential toxins are released freely into the environment and used broadly without any research assuring their safety before their use. ACOG’s most important role will be in supporting legislation that prevents exposure to chemical sources until those chemicals are studied and deemed safe for us.”
It’s up to all of us — consumers to say no to BPA and yes only when we know the substitutes are safe; voters to demand laws that protect all of us; health professionals to inform patients of the dangers; industry leaders to invest in safe alternatives, and lawmakers to require it. We have to take decisive steps to protect the next generation’s first environment from toxic chemical exposures. Eradicating BPA from our food supply is a good place to start.
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