3 Ways to Use Spring to Help You Through Your Grief

When we’re grieving, sometimes all we want is a fresh start. You can’t undo your loss, so the next best thing is to move forward. Spring is a time of «Rebirth.» It’s the perfect time of year to get a fresh start on anything. This spring, take advantage of the changing season to help you through your grieving process.

1. Make Time for Spring Cleaning

There’s something about the beautiful weather and warmer temperatures that makes us want to clean in the springtime. Clean anything; a room, your car, a closet, your entire house, your mind. This is a great opportunity to organize or update your memories. Have a shoebox of photographs you’ve been meaning to display? Take time to put together a new memorial with the pictures. If you’re feeling really ambitious, brighten up your house with new paint colors. Research shows that certain paint colors have an effect on our mood. Freshen up your living room with a sunny yellow accent wall or cover your bedroom walls with a cheery green color.

2. Plant Something

Spring is the perfect time to put your green thumb to the test. If you have room in your yard, plant a memorial garden in honor of your loved one. If planting an entire garden isn’t feasible, start small with a single plant. The growth and beauty of the plants or flowers will give you inspiration each day to live life. Spending time outside will help you to clear your mind and be at peace with your thoughts.

3. Start Something New

There’s always more going on during the spring and summer months. Find out what’s happening in the community, or think of a new hobby to try on your own. Pick your activity and make time for it at least once a week. Your new activity will give you something to look forward to and will help take your mind off of your loss, even if it’s only for an hour a week.

The spring months can actually be hard on a grieving person. It’s hard to watch everyone else moving forward with the changing season if you’re not ready. But keep in mind, just because you’re starting something new or changing things up doesn’t mean you have to leave anything behind. Your loved one would want you to enjoy the relief from the cold and take advantage of the wonderful things that spring has to offer.

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Physical Therapy and Recovery

If you play sports or other physical activities, then you know that injuries come with the territory. Depending on the type of injury and the extent of your injury, you may need physical therapy. Physical therapy is the process of rehabilitation and recovery from your injury or physical ailment. Physical therapy works on recovery of your musculoskeletal system. Massage therapy is used as part of the recovery process. Some of the more advanced therapy clinics are starting to use massage chair recliners as part of their arsenal of tools to help people recover from their injuries.

If you start a physical therapy program, then you will be assigned a physical therapist. The therapist is a trained professional to help restore your strength, motion and activity. The therapist understands the mechanics of your body and will help design a treatment program for you. You will learn specific stretches, exercises and other specialized techniques to help your body recover. You may also use specific equipment that can address particular issues. Massage therapy has become an important tool in the recovery arsenal and many clinics are making use of massage chair recliners.

Your therapist is trained in different surgeries, treatments and rehabilitation techniques and goals. The therapist will design a recovery treatment targeting the areas of your body that needs greater flexibility or strength. If you are recovering from surgery, then the therapist will be knowledgeable about different surgical procedures. The therapist will help in setting goals as you work through the initial limitations of your physique. Some of the important physical therapy tools are stretching, exercises and massage therapy.

Stretching is important to help regain lost flexibility. The muscles may be tight, the joints stiff and you may have scar tissue. These reduce your range of motion and decrease flexibility. Stretching helps to elongate the muscles. This helps to stretch the muscles helping their elasticity. A frequent and continuous regimen of daily stretching helps to speed recovery. Your therapist will design a stretching routine which will help focus on restoring the range of motion.

Exercises are important to help rebuild strength. When we have an injury, we tend to protect that area. Protecting that area is usually to isolate and immobilize it. In other words, we tend not to use the injured area. This helps to prevent further injury, but at the expense of strength and conditioning. To help rebuild the body, exercises help to build up strength, endurance and agility. Physical therapy clinics have a wide array of exercise equipment from treadmills, stationary bikes, weights and more. These help you focus building up a particular set of muscles.

Massage therapy is important to assist the total healing process. The muscle tissue breaks down and its fibers become shorter. This makes the muscles tighter. Massage therapy starts where stretching leaves off. Massage therapy helps to penetrate deeper into the muscle tissue to help elongate and invigorate the muscles. This helps the healing process by restoring flexibility throughout the muscle and scar tissue. Massage is given either by a massage therapist or a massage chair. Massage chairs come with a variety of therapeutic massages, heat therapies and even traction. These not only provide effective therapy but also help you to relax and clear your mind.

Whether you are a professional tennis player or a beginner skier, injuries can happen to anyone. If you do find yourself in physical therapy, work on setting goals to recover. Find yourself an excellent physical therapy clinic. Make sure they have qualified people, proper exercise equipment and massage therapy. And if you need massage therapy, make sure a massage chair is part of your recovery plans.

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A Scary Thing Called Love in China

Introduction:

In China many young girls dissatisfied with the traditional Chinese man are seeking a foreign boyfriend, love and eventually a husband. In this article we will examine some typical case studies as seen in counseling sessions where young women come to seek solace, explanations and support after breakdowns from relationships with foreign men. To protect the identities of the clients some details have changed and names but the essential psychological trauma are common.

So why do many Chinese girls want foreign men? To answer this would take an article in itself so here I will just precis a short over-view. (See Dr. Myler's article the Chinese Patient) First many of these girls come from the main cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Guangzhou (we discount Hong Kong as it is too Westernized) they have been exposed to a variety of Western media, movies, magazines, fashion and life-style influences. This media show the Western men as romantic, kind, supportive, handsome, sexual and strong, all very appealing attributes to many young girls ideas about Mr. Right. The Western men they meet daily in China are however not typical of the average American, Englishman or Europeans but are the educated, from higher social classes, above average income and alone in China for the most part. If you add these two elements together you get a good idea of ​​how Chinese girls view Western men as something special. However as in cognitive dissonance they tend to ignore all the warning signs that they would normally associate with other relationships. In the West we would phrase this as rose-tinted-glasses or the "Halo Effect". Also most Chinese girls are less mature than similar aged girls in the West. They tend to have less experience with men in general and no sex education at school. It is amazing to ask even basic questions about pregnancy and sex and find they are unclear, confused and ignorant of even the basics of protection and disease. (Speaking to a 24 year old here is like talking to a 15 year old in the West – that is the best analogy for their maturity). In conclusion you may ask why they do not want to be with a Chinese man. Most have already had boyfriends finding that on average Chinese men are too traditional, controlling, uncaring and put their mother before the wife or girlfriend in all things. So with disappointments already in their mind they go off and seek the ideal Western man who they think will deliver them from their unfulfilled lives. One other important aspect with age is social pressure in China for a girl to marry before she is 26 years old. If they miss this deadline, then parents, friends and others all start a fear process of men will not want old women (they mean 30) and your babies will die if you have them too late. Of coarse this is all a non-sense in the modern world, but the girls all seem to believe beyond doubt that is you are 27 and above you have no chance of a good marriage. So many almost panic and marry the first man who asks – even if love is not in the equation. They quickly have a baby and then tell everyone how miserable they are in a love-less marriage with a man they can barely stand to touch them. Sad but often true here in China. So for these older single girls, Western men who care little about their age seem like manor from heaven.

The Scenario:

Most girls find a Western man in five distinct ways, first the work-place, many International companies set up offices in China to take advantage of cheap labor, inexpensive rents and huge potential home markets. Along with this they send their senior managers and staff to guide the Chinese workers in their practices. Many Chinese want to work for foreign companies as the pay is higher on average and have better working environments. The second is the teachers, at language schools, universities and other educational outlets the native speaking teacher is king. Teachers tend to be more out-going, confident and have a charisma that young girls do not usually see in their own teachers. Third is the club scene where young Western men, on short-term contracts, are looking for entertainment and company. Fourth the bars, much like the clubs but more relaxed atmosphere and less noisy. Finally the fifth and most popular way of meeting Western men is the internet. Chat sites and dating sites are in the hundreds here. Many girls from 18 years to 100 looking for Western boyfriends via this medium. Often with little of no English except written, so even when they arrive for that coveted date they cannot communicate sufficiently to make an impression. So with all these ways of meeting Western men why are so many of the girls frustrated by not finding a suitable man or date? Here we have to break the myth of Western men in the eyes of Chinese girls.

The Myths

The first myth concerns money, most Chinese girls think western men are rich. This is because on average even a teacher in a low income school will earn three times the monthly average of a Chinese teacher. However in many companies the foreigner is paid via his home-office at the rate he would be paid in the normal home position. In this case he will be earning considerable income compared to a Chinese worker doing the same task. This gives the false impression to girls that the man is wealthy at home. However for most foreign workers here at home they are middle class at best and many of course just working men. At home they would in a social scale of income be lower to middling at best. (I exclude the businessmen here). So while in China they can afford the best apartment, the best restaurants and clothing – at home this is clearly not the case in general.

The second myth is handsomeness. When you first come to China as a man the first thing you see is hundreds of pretty, delicate girls who are like spring flowers. In time familiarity tends to tone this down by noticing many are far too thin for western tastes, many have pock-marked faces and bad complexions. Then you begin to discriminate between the ok, the pretty and the beautiful. This is a natural process of becoming familiar with any race. So you have to imagine this in reverse, the Chinese girls tend to think most foreign men look handsome, however because the exposure is quite small and limited – they do not tend to become so familiar to them from a perception point of view. So they continue to see most of them as handsome, even though to the Westerner's eyes the attractiveness seems to be an illusion. However if enough pretty girls tell you, you are handsome – then you may start to believe it. Often that calls for a dose of reality on the part of the man to stop vanity taking over your thinking.

The third myth is intentions. The Chinese girl listens to the Westerner's sweet words, praise, support and caring attitude but unlike a Western woman who may be able to sift the salt from the sugar, the Chinese girls takes it all in as perfectly reasonable. Many are later shocked by the idea that he did not actually mean a lot of what was said and was in fact seducing them. Seduction by a Western man is more subtle over-all than a Chinese man's approach. The Chinese man is more practical talking about security, family, home and long term goals. Where-as the Westerner is thinking more often about short-term goals of sexuality and companionship. Very few Westerners are looking for a wife, long term partner or commitments – they are here today, gone tomorrow.

The fourth myth is about a twist in history. Western men always have a good storey to tell of woe and misery in their love life. Chinese girls find this irresistible, their mothering instincts fairly bound into play. You can almost hear them saying, "oh poor you, let me comfort you". What they fail to appreciate is that these men already have failed relationships in the past or have girlfriends and wives waiting back home for them but this of course is rarely mentioned. So the history they hear is a fabrication on the truth for the benefit of their-would be suitors. You may think I am being a little harsh here on Western men's integrity but this insight comes mainly from Chinese women who have a broken heart and a story of their own to tell.

Myth five – it is better in the West. From the media depicting life styles of the rich and famous you could forgive the Chinese girl for believing this is how everyone lives. Just as before I came to China I thought they would all be wearing Chairman Mao suits and short hair only to find modern western dress and a McDonalds at very street corner next to KFC. While certainly living standards in the West are over-all more advanced than China as a whole, this is not true of China's main cities. Shanghai for example would rival any western city such as New York, London or Rome for night-life, art, events and living standards.

Examples:

Lily: 24 – Westerner (France) Met in bar, she was a virgin, he single and looking. After three months – he left her for another girl. After the relationship Lily discovers she is his 30th girl in two years.

Sophia: 22 – Westerner (American) already she had left an older man (50) who she loved but knew her family could not accept – so found a young man of 24. After six months his contract ended and without a goodbye left China. He told his French friend he could have her as he did not need her anymore and she was easy. The girl accepts the next man and marries him – despite the fact she is not in love.

Dolly: 27 – Western (Italian) after many promises of marriage she gives up her virginity to what she believes is her future husband. Two months later he is bored with her sexually and leaves her for another girl. Dolly makes a suicide attempt to try and keep him. He has no interest in her games of drama and goes back to Italy.

Elaine 25 – Westerner (English) having met when she was 21, she fell in love with a man of 51. After four years they are still together and happy. However he is her number one secret. She does not tell her work colleagues or her family and friends. He is unhappy being her secret but accepts the culture and tries to be patient. He knows at some point she will leave him under family pressure to marry a traditional boy.

Margaret 37 – Alone (No-one) despite some boyfriends when young she continues to dedicate herself to her business interests with little time for men. She is still living at her family home despite her success at work. She does not date. Recently she has met an English man who likes her – but she cannot commit as her family would never accept her even dating a foreigner. At her age no Chinese man is interested in her as she is seen as no longer viable for a baby. She sees her future as being alone.

Joan 32 – Westerner (Australian) having dated one foreigner after another she is alone most of the time. She believes that a Mr. Right is out there for her if she can just find him on the internet. Every night she searches for men – offering marriage and her sexual contact. Recently she has dated an Australian man (27) but he only wants a sex partner and so she agrees in the hope he will get to like her.

Daisy 23 – Westerners' (many) she drifts from one man to another in the hope of finding the right one – most use her sexually and then dump her quickly. She talks of getting married to them almost in the first date and the first conversation. Western men quickly realize she is a desperate girl and easy to use her. At the moment she is alone after therapy to give her insight into her behavior.

Conclusion:

The conclusion is obvious, Chinese girls get hurt and often. Many Chinese girls will read this paper and say, "well these girls are stupid" and maybe they are right, however when talking to these women they all have the same traditional thinking and want simply to find a good man to be with and more important to marry. The Western men love them and leave them in quick succession. It is not that Western men are bad people, they simply put less emphasis on relationships that they see as simply short term dating and that sexual contact is a normal part of a relationship even if it is not one they see as lasting or leading to something more. Of course many Western men enjoy the company of a gracious, sexy, smart Chinese girl and they too can fall in love and completely commit to the relationship like any other. Many do go on to marry their Chinese girlfriends and produce offspring (that are considered to be very beautiful in their looks having a mixture of East and West). Many of Asia's top models, singers and actresses have mixed parentage and are seen as exceptionally good looking. This may also explain there psychological appeal to both Western and Chinese audiences. Another aspect of course is once the couple do try to make a go of things – the Western man now has to face her family. Westerners' underestimate the power of family in China. If he cannot be accepted by the family he may find despite her deep love for him she will in fact end the relationship rather than lose her family. For a Chinese girl being ostracised by the family is about the worse thing that can happen to her. So if it is a choice between her Western boyfriend and her mama and baba – you can bet she will do as her family demands of her. Many Western men get very angry about how their girlfriend puts her family first and them second – they are not used to the situation where when her mama says do this and do that – the girl obeys – even if she is deeply in love – she will on most occasions do what the family tells her.

This article is not to put off Chinese girls and Western men having relationships but perhaps it will help to open their eyes to the realities of dating and falling in love with someone who has a different take on the world of relationships and love. Cultures can mix successfully and a happy future can pursue. However with divorce rates at an all time high in the West relationships can be seen as disposable and not permanent as in the past. Also as stated with strong family ties in China, Western men can too become victims of love and rejection when family takes a hand in the relationship. Some Chinese girls are strong enough to defy the wished of their parents in the knowledge that under the one baby policy in China, her parents only have one daughter – and they may not risk losing their future support when they are old because of a prejudice against her choice of husbands. Life is never easy and love is not always smooth.

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Didier Drogba and the Ivory Coast Men’s National Soccer Team

Didier Drogba was a smash hit at the African Nations Cup which was produced by CAF (Confederation of African Football) and hosted in Egypt. The final with Ivory Coast took place on February 10 2006 and was won by the host country Egypt 4-2 on penalty shoot-out.

Didier Drogba had the most impact of any other national player of any other of the participaying teams during the course of the intra African match-ups. He is essentially a centeral force on any of the teams he has played on.. This also includes Chelsea of the English Premier League of which he is also a striker.

For team mate, Toure, Drogba presents a potentially decisive edge in the first competitive meeting between Ivory Coast and Nigeria since the 1994 Nations Cup semi-final won by the Nigerians on penalties.

«Drogba is a really great player and he is something special. We are really proud of what hehas a done for the team».

«It’s going to be a very hard game. But now we are in the semi-finals, anything can happen. We’ve got our chance,» said defender Toure.

Seconds into the second half, the whole difference was made when Drogba netted his fourth goal of the tournament and the Elephants could afford to sit back for most of the second half.

The goal stung the Nigerian bench who immediately replaced Mikel Obi with Jay Jay Okocha and Kanu Nwankwo with Julius Aghahowa, but still the Nigerians could not turn the game round. This is the first time the Ivorians, who have qualified for the World cup, will have played in the final since winning the title in 1992 in Senegal.

The Egyptians must thank goalkeeper Essam EL Hadary for saving two penalties as Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba missed a crucial first spot kick for the Elephants.

COTE D’IVOIRE (Ivory Coast) National Team Line-up

01.Tizie Jean-Jacques Hobrou

02.Akale Kanga Gauthier

03.Boka Etienne Arthur

04.Toure Kolo Abib

05.Zokora Deguy Alain Didier

06.Kouassi Koffiblaise

07.Fae Emerse

09.Kone Arouna

11.Drogba Tebily Didier Yves

21.Eboue Emmanuel

19.Toure Yaya Gnegneri

How many of these following substitutes will make their way to other Premier League teams in Europe and Asia?

10.Yapi Yapo Gilles Donald

08.Kalou Bonaventure

14.Kone Bakari

15.Dindane Aruna

16.Gnanhouan G. Amoukou Okosias

17.Domoraud Depri Cyrille Leandre

18.Tiene Siaka

22.N’dri Koffi Christian Romaric

23.Barry Boubacar

20.Demel Guy Roland

12.Meite Abdoulaye

13.Zoro Kpolo Marc Andre

The battle for African Footballer of the year

Drogba overshadowed Samuel Eto’o, his rival for the African Footballer of the Year award usually held in late February. Didier Drogba scored the decisive penalty to put Ivory Coast into the last four in a dramatic shootout victory over Cameroon in Cairo.

However it might be blindsided by a contender from Egypt. Could Mido be in the mix?

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Florida is Unbeatable

Florida is no doubt the best team in this National title game. I argue that Oklahoma doesn’t even deserve a shot at the title because of a lack luster performance against Texas. Either way you slice this one up. Florida is the superior team and Tim Tebow who may not be the best «NFL style quarterback». But is most certainly the best quarterback in this game.

Not to mention the rest of the gators outmatch the Sooners in every category other than passing. This years National title game will not be a disappointment…to folks who reside around Gainesville. The Okies will be singing a familiar story of yet another lost opportunity for great glory and the Gators will be yet again champions.

I argue further that the SEC is simply a cut above the rest. The teams like Ohio state and Oklahoma that are getting matched up with the Florida’s and LSU’s of the generation have virtually no chance. Playing against teams that are rougher, tougher and all around just more talented. I think it is a major failure on the part of the BCS to create such match ups. One day a playoff system will be in place and the best teams will truly get an opportunity to shine in that light that only big name schools with a reputation have had lately. Either way this year there was and is no denying who the true champion will be this year.

And yes, yet again the best team in the nation resides in the best conference. The SEC!

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