Books One - Seven are now available through JudithAshleyRomance.com, Windtree Press and your favorite e-retailer.

Check out my website: JudithAshleyRomance.com for more information about my books and appearances.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Love Is More Than A Feeling

By Judith Ashley

A version of this post first appeared in February 2015.

Yes, love is more than a feeling to me. We tell others “I love you”. We hear “I love you, too” said back. At times someone may say “I love you” first and we repeat back that we love that person “too”.

I write romance a blessing, a gift, a way to balance my life because for almost fifty years I worked as a private guardian and geriatric care manager and/or in child welfare and/or in an emergency after hour’s capacity for vulnerable adults. My professional life has shown me all too clearly that there can be a gigantic disconnect between the words “I love you” and the actions we’d expect from someone who truly does love us. 

In my short story “Is He The One?” available through Windtree Press’s anthology Gifts from the Heartmy heroine, Sophia Denton uses Dr. William Glasser’s Basic Psychological Needs to sort through her feelings and find the answer to Jonathan’s proposal. She readily acknowledges they love each other (the feeling).

Her question is:

Is that enough? While she herself has not been abused, she is aware of the issue of domestic violence and child abuse. Committed to doing her very best not to get caught in that “but I love him” trap, she decides to delve deeper into the conundrum of love, to determine for herself if there is a disconnect between how she and Jonathan ‘feel’ about each other and how they treat each other.

Dr. Glasser talked and wrote about the importance of loving relationships in our lives. He also talked and wrote about the reality that the only person whose behavior we have control over is our own.

It is a myth to think that we really can “make” someone do something. There are people every day who literally die for their beliefs and that has been true throughout history. It is at times convenient to say “I couldn’t help it” or “S/he made me”.

When I hear those words, I know that isn’t actually true. I also know that if we are honest with ourselves and take responsibility for our actions, we know the real reason why we made the choice we did. Perhaps it is as simple as not knowing how to say 'no'; or maybe the person can fire us if we are defiant; or maybe it's just easier to go along with everyone. Standing up for ourselves and our beliefs is not always easy. People might no like me any more. I won't belong. Think peer pressure.

To help you sort out the connection or lack of between the feelings of love and the actions of love in your relationships, take some time and answer these questions.

1. Looking at your most important relationships and using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being high/good and 1 low/bad, how congruent are the words and actions of the people you love towards you?

2. Looking at your most important relationships and using a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being high/good and l1 low/bad, how congruent are Your Words and Actions towards the people in your life you love?

3. When you look at the disconnect, what are the others attempting to get or accomplish with their behavior?

4. What are you trying to get or accomplish in those relationships where there is a disconnect?
Please share your thoughts and ask questions! I’ll do my best to expand on Dr. Glasser’s concepts in my answers.

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance. She is also on the Senior Teaching Faculty of The William Glasser Institute and schedules trainings leading to Certification in Dr. Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.

Learn more about her work with Dr. Glasser’s concepts www.glasserconceptstraining.com or check out The William Glasser Institute for more information on training and educational opportunities.

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Learn more about her writing and The Sacred Women’s Circle series here.



You can also find Judith on FB! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Friendship

A Favorite Spot on the Oregon Coast
My very good friend of thirty-plus years has memory problems. Ten years ago they were noticeable and for a brief period of time she was on Aricept. I saw an improvement but she stopped taking them because of the side-effects and she was willing to acknowledge memory problems but not that she might have Alzheimer's or dementia.

Now her condition is moderate to severe.

She's never been one to have dozens of friends but she's always had several. The numbers have dwindled as her memory deteriorated until her childhood friend, who lives in the same city and I, who live across the country from her, are the only ones who have stayed in touch.

With two thousand miles separating us, I can't stop by, take her our to lunch or spend an afternoon visiting over a cup of tea.

But we are friends and have been through much together.

A few classes and her dissertation was all she had left to complete to earn a PhD. Two Master's degrees and hundreds of hours of classes are the result of her being a life long learner who valued education.

Our conversation earlier today was about an organization we both belonged to and where we met. Her frustration that there isn't anything that can be done to stop the erosion of her memory was clear. "If this was happening to young people, something would have been done about it long before now."

I can't argue with her. When I was first working in social services in the 1960's I had people on my case load with "senile dementia" which was a catch-all diagnosis. One woman was in her late 40's. Now that the Baby Boomer generation is aging, the call to action is louder and more research is being done and more medications are being developed.

Judith Ashley
In many ways I'm like my friend. I've always had a few close friends. With her slipping away, my circle is shrinking. My own call to action is to pay attention to the relationships I do have, to reach out and include people my age and younger and to do what I can to protect my brain.

Learn new things
Eat a brain healthy diet
Physical exercise
Social interaction

Social interaction equals staying connected to my friend. It also means keeping myself mentally and physically fit so I can be a part of her life until she no longer knows who I am.

Do you have a someone in your life who has Alzheimer's or another disease that dramatically affects your relationship? How are you dealing with it?

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul. Hunter, the fifth book in the series is now available.

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith's website here.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Intend Kindness: Support Other's Passion

Staying with the “Intend Kindness” theme of the past two weeks, I’ve one more suggestion along those lines.
Intend kindness by showing support to others who are manifesting their passion.

It may be a published author whose books you’ve read. Write a Review.

It may be a friend who is excited about an idea. Listen.

It may be a non-profit fund raiser for a cause you believe in. Share the News!

For several different reasons, I’ve had time to read this year. Here is a list of the books I’ve enjoyed and certainly recommend!!!

Paty Jager
The Halsey Brothers’ series
Secrets of a Mayan Moon (An Isabella Mumphrey mystery)
Double Duplicity (A Shandra Higheagle mystery)

Peggy Bird
Sparked by Love

Tracy Weber
Murder Strikes a Pose

Delilah Marvelle
Romancing Lady Stone

Christy Carlyle
Whitechapel Wagers series

Jim Roy
Champion of Choice

Stephen Skinner
Sacred Geometry

Susan Pesznecker
The Magickal Retreat: Making Time for Solitude, Intention and Rejuvenation

How am I following through with the other two suggestions?

I’m supporting a wonderful woman who has single handed started a non-profit “Beading the Odds” that works with juvenile males, teaching them how to bead. This has been life-changing for several of the young men because they are successful, develop a camaraderie with a caring non-staff adult and each other outside the regular routine of incarcerated life.

November 7 – 8 the Bead Society is hosting a Bead Bazaar in Portland, OR. Even if you aren’t a beader, think about stopping by and checking out the fantastic work of these young men. Meet Juanita and see passion at work.

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nurture the soul.

You can find Judith on Twitter: JudithAshley19


Check out Judith’s website here; her Windtree Press author page here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Intend Kindness - Update

Intend Kindness – Part 2

My commitment to Intend Kindness in thought, word and deed for a full week had some challenges. If you missed my original post, click here.

I did pretty well with “deeds”. I didn’t do anything mean or harmful to anyone. In fact I let traffic

easily merge in my lane, stood to the side for people to pass me in the store, smiled, waved and chatted with people on my walks.

Words? Nothing verbal but I did get into a written word war on FB. Two interactions and that was enough for me.

Thoughts? Well, that was my Achilles heel. I found that although I may not say or do something, my thoughts are not always kind. This concrete knowledge became a gift because I’ve found a solution to my one most continuous negative thought.

The other “thought-problem” was connected to the mass shooting on the Umpqua Community College campus. I don’t have a solution there other than to not check out messages and to not read down posts and comments. In other words, I don’t need to go looking for posts that I find distressing.

And you? Did anyone take up my challenge for a day? The week?

I found this exercise so beneficial to my own mental health and happiness, I’m doing it again.

If you haven’t signed up for the Second Annual Mental Health and Happiness Summit. Here’s the link.

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nourish the soul.

Check out Judith's website.

Check out Judith's author page at Windtree Press.

Judith, a co-founder of Romancing The Genres’ group blog, posts the first Friday of the month.

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19