Eve Annunziato

WHO ARE YOUR VIPs? January 19, 2009

I don’t make resolutions, rather I make annual goals. Nothing wrong with New Year’s promises – no judgment here. But, reportedly they have a less than 2% success rate. However, you exponentially increase your chance of success and personal growth by setting  goals. Personally, when I write down my aspirations and visualize my expectations, I’m more likely to achieve them. For 2009, one of my top goals is to live in the present, shelf my ego while maintaining work-life balance by focusing on my VIPs. I want to ensure my relationships with my Very Important People are a priority.  In times of busyness, I have tendencies  to shelf my relationships and focus on VDPs (Very Draining People) and VNPs (Very Negative People).  NOT ANYMORE.  Why put an effort toward folks that suck the life out of you and form only conditional, one-way relationships?

As all of you know, the effect of relationships in our lives simply cannot be overemphasized. When they are in a positive healthy state, tranquility is easy to find. When they go sour, stress, depression and even physical fatigue can result. Because it’s so important to foster our relationships with those with whom we care most about, our VIPs, we should purposely place a higher priority on them.

In The Five Love Languages author Gary Chapman makes a very pivotal point for relationships when he writes, “When your spouse’s emotional needs are met and he or she feels secure in your love, the whole world looks bright and your spouse will move out to reach his or her highest potential in life.” Right then, it hit me: It’s not just enough to think about how much I love my most valuable players in life, I have to make sure and tell them.  It’s a daily decision to put the needs of your spouse, children and best friends before your own. There’s a healthy way to love and be loved and to be intimate.  Quality relationships require patience, consistency and attention. Too many times, because the rest of life wears us out, we just don’t have the energy to put toward the commitment. In reality, you’re likely going to have to rearrange schedules, drop some activities and not commit to so many other things that keep you from putting your full energy into your family and other quality relationships. Studies have shown 85% of our joy is rooted through nourishing relationships.

Ask yourself this after a conversation with your loved one, “Did I make that person feel better or worse about themselves about their life?” After all, people are already besieged by doubt and surrounded by negativity that can incidentally be profoundly sobering. One of my top goals is to make certain that after every VIP conversation, the people I love, admire, and respect feel more confident about their situation – about their life. My husband’s program, the Life Barometer, is a great resource for growing healthy relationships.

Abraham Lincoln said it this way, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” So, let’s start putting some life back in YOUR years and love your VIPs with all of your heart and soul in 2009!

 

FROM THE HEART November 7, 2008

This is what I pondered during my morning Yoga:

“Right now, and in every now moment, you are either closing or opening.  You are either stressfully waiting for something – more money, security, affection, or you are living from your deep heart, opening to the entire moment, and growing what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.  If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love, without holding back, then you will suffer.  Every moment is the most important moment of your life.  No future time is better than now to let down your guard and love.  Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone.  Your posture can shine your heart, or transmit anxiety.  Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression.  Your glance can awaken joy.  Your words can inspire freedom.  Your every act can open hearts and minds.  Opening from the heart to all, you live as a gift to all. ”    By David Deida

Wow, I love this.  It does always come down to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it?  It reminds me of what my Meteorologist husband, Charlie, likes to call, “The Vortex Rule.”  You see, when a storm becomes destructive, like a tornado, it not only affects areas directly in its path, but also an area around the immediate path.

It’s clear, The Vortex Rule, is also true for us.  When we’re living a hectic and imbalanced life, the resulting unhappiness and stress doesn’t just affect us, it affects those around us.  Oftentimes, THOSE WE LOVE THE MOST.  How many times has the mood of the whole room changed when you entered it angry?  A bad day for you can quickly turn into a bad day for your whole family, your co-workers, or your friends.

So, let’s create a healthy environment in which real JOY is possible both in our home and in our workplace, whether you lead your family, staff, volunteers or all the above.    We’re just one beat away from bringing down the room and sucking out the energy from everyone in it.  Do a pulse check and remember it’s the spirit of your heart that matters to you and the others around you.

 

LET IT GO ALREADY! October 16, 2008

Filed under: Just thinking...,relationships — Eve Annunziato @ 1:44 am
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Okay, I’m sitting in bed all covered up and toasty about to dive into a great book while Chuck, my sweet husband is doing bath, book and bed with the kids (God bless that boy!).  Yet, something weighs heavy on my heart – I keep hearing the words, LET IT GO ALREADY!  Did you ever feel like some people around you just need to hear that!  Okay, maybe not just “some people,” perhaps your own spirit, maybe my own soul.

Recently, Charlie and I returned from what we both agreed was one of our best vacations, ever.  I feel somewhat guilty admitting that, since it was just the two of us.  No kids, no family, no other friends.  Don’t get me wrong; I love all of the above  – spending invaluable time with our priceless loved ones.  It’s special, it’s a blast, and I appreciate quality time with friends and family.  However, there’s nothing better than connecting with my best friend in the whole wide world.  And, he loves me  (that’s a miracle in itself!).  We had five blissful days of non-scheduled time filled with indulgences of seafood, hot tubing, shopping and lots more ;-).  We got along swimmingly while enjoying our beautiful condo on the beach overlooking the picturesque Gulf located just above an amazing pool that served drinks with umbrellas!  One night, we decided to go surfing with the dolphins amidst a sunset cruise. I know, I’m a hopeless romantic – I can’t help it, but it sounded breathtaking.  And, it was truly amazing as we marveled over these entertaining dolphins joining us for the journey while riding our wake.  These precious mammals are known for their need for affection, love for attention (no wonder I relate!) coupled with great senses of humor and people-pleasing instincts (again, my esteem for these adorable guys is all making sense now!).

The most memorable part of the cruise was the profound words from our philosophical captain, the point of this post.  As the sun was setting, he encouraged us to hold on to our spouse, enjoy the moment, clear our minds, take a deep breath, appreciate the picture, live in the present and then said these exact words:

“As the sun is setting from the west above the gleaming ocean and as it disappears from our sight remember, this day will never return.  It’s gone forever.  Therefore, forget any negative feelings you harbor in your heart.  Let your fears, anger, bitterness, sadness, disappointments, failures, and regrets disappear with this very sunset.”

“Amen,” I exclaimed from the top deck. Sure, I got some looks, but his words inspired me – enough to journal this exact moment.   After all, like the sunset, all past circumstances are out of our control – evaporated into the night vanished onto the bottom of the ocean floor.   I’ll always view every sunset in this light.  Try it guys  – with every completion to the day, let it go.  A much needed reminder, following the conclusion of today.  Let it go already, and if not for you for the others around you!

 

Compromise – But Why Should I? July 14, 2008

Filed under: Life and Leadership — Eve Annunziato @ 4:29 pm
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There was a time long ago (okay, not that long ago) that I didn’t like to compromise. I didn’t care for the concept, the idea, the act because I thought it was a sign of weakness or a declaration of defeat especially in leadership. I had that, “this is my story, and I’m sticking to it” mentality. I felt I could balance the dichotomy of having a teachable spirit with out having to “give-in” or bend against my wishes. Have you been there?

However, after a few years of marriage, I realized that if I continue to think the “c” word was a bad word my marriage would suffer the consequences. Incidentally, the more I fail, the more I become a pragmatist and open to practical change. My wise and sweet-spirited husband kindly taught me the benefits of this “give and take” approach by leading through example. I began to mature in this area, and I would soon commence to appreciate the art of compromise is other avenues of my life. Eventually, I learned that it’s a sign of strength. However, there are still situations when we should NEVER compromise – and I thought my husband’s latest post (http://lifebarometer.wordpress.com) on the subject put it pointedly. Here are his thoughts; I would love to hear yours:

If you’re not very good at compromising, you’re missing out on opportunities to strengthen relationships and to make your world better than it is today. Compromise can improve your relationships because it shows others that you consider their side important. It assures them you take their feelings seriously. In business, if you’ve ever closed a big money deal, you know the importance of the “give and take” in negotiations. Most deals wouldn’t be done without some compromise from both sides.

Compromise is generally a good and productive thing. However, there are things you shouldn’t compromise. Hold fast to your morals and principles. Don’t compromise your core values. Your values determine your daily actions and how you conduct your life. Don’t change who you are to satisfy someone else if you have to lower your morals to do so. No deal is worth that. The goal in compromise is to create a win-win situation. Everyone should get something of value out of the deal. But how can you get value by compromising your core values?

The truth, I have compromised my values in the past, but now realize I was making the wrong kind of deal. No longer entering into that kind of one-sided deal is a skill I plan to work on and develop in both leadership and in Life!



 

In Marriage, Nice is a Necessity… July 8, 2008

Filed under: Just thinking... — Eve Annunziato @ 12:58 am
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Eve’s husband, Charlie, here. I’m continuing my stint as a guest blogger for Eve. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments from the previous posts and I’m glad you’re reading! Thanks!

This week I wrote the following over on my blog at lifebarometer.wordpress.com…

Whereas you love your spouse deeply;

Whereas your spouse deeply loves you;

Whereas your happiness is increased when your marriage is of high quality;

Whereas the quality of your marriage is highly influenced by how you treat one another;

Whereas how you treat your spouse is a daily decision;

Then…

Shouldn’t you be nicer to your spouse than anyone else?

This post is the result of a conversation Eve and I were having in the car a few days ago. We were musing on how we truly enjoy each other’s company. One of the reasons we get along so well is because we make a concerted effort to be nice to one another. Eve is great at this. She freely gives words of affirmation. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy walking into the door of my home at the end of the day and have the person I most adore be kind to me. The simple act of being nice goes a long way into making marriage work. I know this isn’t always easy. There are days you probably don’t feel like saying much and there are other days when you might be in a bad mood. But on those days, not saying much is nice compared to flying off the handle and verbally bashing your spouse over something insignificant. Even when Eve and I disagree, we try to respect each other’s opinions and not attack in a mean-spirited way. This keeps our discussions on track and in control. It’s easier to want to spend time with someone who’s nice. It’s easier to enjoy time together with someone who’s nice. Life’s more fun when your spouse is nice.

I’ll leave you with this thought… The next time your about to walk through the door of your home and see your husband or wife, which would you rather have happen? You walk in the door and are greeted with kind words of affection and genuine interest or with a short “hello” and a cold shoulder… I bet I know what your answer is. Could you be a nicer spouse and if so, how would that affect your marriage?