Second Acts

February 14, 2006

Volume 2, Number 2

" ... relationships
... can teach us how we communicate, deal with joy, and conflict."


Relationships Hold the Key to Your Success

This Issue ...



"Making someone happy (especially when it's unexpected) has a euphoric effect on you too."






Relationships Hold the Key to Your Success
By Michele Alexander Owner of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting

February is the Month of Valentines. Most of us are thinking about the romantic relationships that we are in or seeking. However, our passionate affairs always seem to take center stage in our lives, whether you want them to or not. This is especially prevalent when you are single woman.

What do these connections represent? They are the sum and by-product of what we have learned from all of our associations. Those other relationships, no matter what form, can teach us how we communicate, deal with joy, and manage conflict. They can affect our health, give us strength and reduce our stress. They also reflect the success, or show us the challenges we may have in our personal, romantic and professional lives.

This issue of Second Acts focuses on relationships and the strategies that can help us create healthy interactions where we can grow and contribute. Why is this important? Because, all of the friendships in our lives hold the key to our ability to communicate, love, support, forgive and grow.

Happy Valentines Day!!!

5 Ways To Having The Happiest Valentines Day Ever! (Even When You're Alone

By Marla Sloane

The thought of Valentine's Day conjures up romantic evenings, a candlelight dinner, and long walks with your loved one. It is, without a doubt the most romantic day of the year. So how could you possibly be expected to enjoy Valentine's Day when you're alone? Well, while it might not be all hearts and flowers, you can still spread the message of Valentine's Day: Love.

Over the years, I've interviewed numerous people and asked them what their favorite Valentine's Day memory was. Surprisingly, very few couples actually mentioned a gift or a special night out. In fact, most of the people I interviewed remembered their special Valentine's Day by things they did for others. Gifts they gave, whether they were store bought or home made that gave them the feeling of joy and happiness.

A heartwarming Valentine's Day for Jacque from California, was when she was in charge of bringing little treats for her daughter's 3rd grade class. After agonizing on what to do, she decided to make the extra firm red Jell-O, and cut them into heart shapes. After running to the store to get more mix, and spending a lot of time cutting out the heart shapes, she was frustrated and wondered why she ever signed up for the job in the first place. Was this a big mistake? When she passed out the treats in school, the kids' eyes lit up, and their sweet little voices filled the room with laughter and excitement. All the kids loved it! Jacque remembers feeling incredible that day. Her heart was glowing with happiness to see how much those kids loved her little treats.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our daily chores, that we often forget that children need to be remembered too. Teenagers often feel left out on Valentine's Day, but a handsome Colorado man gave two giggling teenagers a Valentine's Day they will never forget. Geoff was working on a resort property trimming trees, and noticed there were two smitten teenage girls sitting on the balcony watching him while he was working. Geoff knew he would be finished on February 13th, and thought he would he would surprise them with a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day, and signed it, the tree trimming guy. The girls were thrilled to get flowers on Valentines Day, and were still talking about it four years later! Geoff ranks that day as his all time favorite Valentine's Day!

Making someone happy (especially when it's unexpected) has a euphoric effect on you too. It's happiness shared twice. Is it possible to have a happy Valentine's Day even when you are breaking up? If you have a sister like Linda, you can. Linda's sister was going through a divorce in February, and she was heartbroken and distraught. On that Valentine's Day, Linda secretly sent her flowers at her office, and signed the card, "From your Secret Admirer." As soon as her sister received them she called Linda and said, "Oh my God, you will never believe what just happened, I got these beautiful flowers today, but I have no idea who they are from!" Linda had all she could do to keep from laughing, and giving away her little secret. Linda's sister went on to say that the entire office was trying to figure out who her secret admirer could be. Linda was happy that she could give her sister a happy Valentine's Day even when she was facing unhappy times.

Yes, it is possible to have a great Valentine's Day, even when things are looking a little dismal. Here are a few ways you can share your love this holiday.

5 Ways to the Happiest Valentine's Day Ever!

  1. Send a heartfelt Valentine Card to someone who has really inspired you and tell them how much they mean to you.
  2. Make a homemade Valentine Card and send it to your favorite relative you haven't seen in a while.
  3. Send flowers or candy to someone who doesn't have a sweetheart, and sign it anonymous.
  4. Make a Valentine's Basket and send it to a family that has gone through a difficult time and sign it, From Your Guardian Angel.
  5. Take your little niece, nephew, or cousin out for ice cream.

Giving is the fastest way to feel good about yourself. It doesn't have to be expensive, even a single hand picked flower will do. Anything coming from the heart will surely be felt and appreciated. It's two gifts in one. One is for the recipient and even a bigger gift for you.

About The Author

Marla Sloane Ph.D. is a successful author and speaker. Her Daily Positive Affirmations subscribers have reached world-wide proportions, and her book, "The Masks We Wear and How to Live Without Them" is at the heart of her teleclasses; Live Your Best Life. Marla has also produced, Trilogy of Meditations, for your Mind, Body, and Spirit, which is distributed nationwide, and in Europe. You can visit her web site at:

Back to TOC

Simple Steps To Having Healthy Relationships

By Brenda Shoshanna

All people want love, then when they get it they become afraid and start running in the opposite direction. On the one hand, they want love and to be in a relationship; on the other hand, they are relieved to get away. It always seems to as if relationships are difficult; difficult to find, difficult to keep and difficult to enjoy.

The fundamental truth is there is never a scarcity of relationships, there is never a scarcity of love. Love is our natural condition. Why aren't we in it all the time? What is it that makes us run from the love we are so hungry for? What drives people from the arms of each other, and what would it take to keep them there? In order to answer this question, first we have to understand the difference between Real and Counterfeit love.

Most of us live with the mirage of love rather than the real thing. Like a mirage, Counterfeit love is false and can never bring true satisfaction. Like all mirages, when Counterfeit Love is seen for what it is, it evaporates, leaving no room the real thing. No on runs from love that is real; they cannot. It's too nourishing and too rare. But counterfeit love traps you, scares you, keeps you on the run.

Counterfeit love gives a mirage of water in the desert, and we all know that a mirage wont quench your thirst.

Many feelings masquerade as love; dependency, attachment and possessiveness are just a few. Below I have offered several touchstones to love, which are touchstones to help you separate counterfeit love from the real thing. To begin, we will first look at some needs and patterns inside people that keeps them from really being with the other people, and potential mates, in front of them.

Waiting For The Perfect Partner

Many people have a secret fantasy which whispers that a perfect partner is somewhere, waiting for them. This perfect partner will not only accept them fully as they express the parts of themselves that are hidden, but will also bring out the best in them. Rather than criticize, demean and demand from them, the partner will give unconditionally and fulfill his/her needs. Fantasy should not be discounted, as it constitutes much of life.

Touchstone 1

Rather than looking for perfection outside of yourself by seeking another, find the perfection in yourself right now. List five things you accept and like about yourself.






Add to this list everyday. Focus upon what is good in yourself, and the parts you don't like will fade away. No other person can make you whole. In order to find your perfect partner, you must become what it is you want to find.

Touchstone 2

Some use the quest for a perfect mate as a way to rejected and avoid being with the real people who come into our lives now. It is a way of avoiding fears that we may have of relationships. See if that is what you are doing. Is it safer to have a fantasy than a real flesh and blood person to build a life with?

Answer the following questions. What are the advantages to having a relationship? How will it improve your life? List as many as you can think of.






What are the disadvantages to having a relationship? How will it affect your live negatively? List as many as you can think of.






In order to resolve any concerns you have about relationships, you first must be aware and understand of them. Now that you have made your lists, please examine the disadvantages. Fantasy is a way of avoiding confronting such feelings. They must not be discounted, and you should ponder them closely. They constitute important obstacles standing in your way of having the relationship you desire. With this new awareness, you are now enabled to begin to resolve these concerns.

Touchstone 3

How to deal with people who are waiting for the perfect mate.

Be aware when a person is seeking an image, know that you will never perfectly fill that bill. Be who you are. Don't turn yourself into someone you think he/she will enjoy. They will know what you are doing, lose respect, run away.

Be warm and caring. Touch your mate softly. Don't reject his/her fantasies. If he/she is a person who is controlled by his peer group, see if you fit into his/her group image? For some people, the perfect person is stable, without too much passion. For others, it's just the opposite. Find out who the person is. If you do not fit his/her image, say good-bye, don't conform.

Realize that everything changes. What seems perfect one day will seem flawed the next. Examine your feelings about yourself, the ways in which you feel imperfect. Work on these issues directly; Another person can never complete something you are lacking within. See if your desire for perfection is simply a way of avoiding falling from love. It is easier to focus on what is wrong with a person than on what is right? Make a practice of finding everything that is right about all the people you meet, day after day. This will bring you an entirely new perception of people and of life. Accept your own flaws, do not judge them. The more you love and accept yourself, the more perfect others will seem.

Rather than look down upon others, make an effort to focus upon their beauty and goodness. Even if he/she isn't the right one for you, you can train yourself to find reality positive and comforting.

Copyright 2006 Brenda Shoshanna

About The Author

Dr. Brenda Shoshanna Ph.D. is a Psychologist and award winning author whose self help books have been published in over 13 languages. Her new ebook, Save Your Relationship, teaches you the 21 basic laws of successful relationships. It shows you how to heal a broken relationship, and how to build health and happiness with your significant other. Download it now:

Back to TOC


4 The Perfect Fit Coaching & Consulting

New York, NY 10128

(212) 987-6177


We're on the Web!


Add Smile Power to Your Life to Empower Your Relationships

By John Kinde

People with a great smile radiate a warmth that draws others to them instantly.

Several years ago I was in a San Diego restaurant with my mother. While I paid the check, we both noticed an elderly woman waiting to be seated. As we left the restaurant, Mom asked, "Did you notice that woman with the wonderful smile?" I most certainly did. Her smile lit up the room. It was a smile to die for; one that would certainly win instant friends. It was a smile that you don't often see in a stranger. And maybe Mom and I smiled back, I don't remember. Mom later commented, "I wish I'd told her what a terrific smile she had." But neither of us had. We'd both received a gift without saying thank-you.

Later, on my long drive home, I stopped at a fast-food restaurant for a quick bite. A 70ish woman waited by the condiment bar while her husband ordered. She glanced my way and smiled brightly. It was one of those smiles that broadcast, "I love life!"

I wasn't going to let THIS opportunity pass. I was going to say SOMETHING. As I approached this woman from 30 feet away, her smile melted into a rather startled look; as if asking, "Did I do something wrong?" I walked over to her and simply said, "You have a wonderful smile!" Wow, did her face light up! And she responded with an enthusiastic, "Thank You". My comment probably made her day, but it also made MY day. We truly exchanged gifts that afternoon.


Life's lessons have taught me this: a smile is the number one feature that makes people attractive. It's a welcome mat. It's what makes folks approachable. People with great smiles radiate a warmth that draws others to them instantly.

Some people naturally have a great smile. Others, analytical types like me, must work at it. One way to tell if you're in my category is to recall picking up your developed photos. As you flipped through the pictures, you didn't like the way you looked in most of them. But discovered that one great picture of yourself. In it, you look friendly, you're smiling broadly and your eyes twinkle. Now THAT picture looks like you!

I hate to say it, but ALL the pictures look like you, even those you dislike. Unfortunately, those "bad" photos, where your face doesn't look its best, portray how you often appear. In fact, you might normally look even worse, since you were TRYING to look good for the camera. Usually you're not even making that effort, and may appear even less inviting than you do in "bad" photos. And if you're like me, you assume you're not particularly photogenic and that your smile needs work. When you've mastered your smile, you'll consistently look better in photos. Most important, though, you'll be more attractive and approachable every day.

When you're having a good time, does your face show it? You might be surprised. Years ago I dropped into a comedy club in Montgomery, Alabama. I was sitting in the front row, where one is typically fair game to be picked on by the comedian. But being the non-expressive, serious Norwegian that I am, I wasn't giving the comic the jovial feedback he needed. I was enjoying the show, but in a straight-faced manner. About halfway through the show, the comic interrupted his routine to ask me point-blank, "Are you having a good time?" I responded, "I'm having a great time." His comeback: "Well then, tell your face!" I was enjoying the program, laughing inside, even studying the performer's humor and technique. BUT...not giving him any outward indication.

In everyday life the same concept applies. You might be enjoying your job, but fail to show it. You may want to meet someone, yet not give them a single, friendly clue. You can even be IN LOVE with somebody, and totally hide it. Your face should express what you feel when you wish to connect with others.


One way to become better at smiling is increasing your awareness. Take notice of those you find warm and inviting. Is it their smile? Make an effort to LOOK for great smiles. Notice the appeal of people who smile with their EYES, not just their mouth. The whole face gets involved. Consider these people your models. Study yourself in the mirror. How do you look in the rest room, when shopping, and while passing a reflective window? Do you look friendly? Approachable? Do you really LIKE the image you're projecting?

In fact, a mirror is ideal for your smile workout. Practice various smiles toward capturing that perfect look for the camera. Work on expressing your smile with your eyes. A tip: cut a paper rectangle that permits you to see only your eyes in the mirror. Practice smiling just with your eyes; get used to the feel of your cheekbones as they lift to brighten your eyes. When you see how a great smile LOOKS, remember how it FEELS. When you can finally project your best smile, hold it. Turn away from the mirror. How does your face feel? What muscles are you using? Make an effort to develop muscle memory, so you can instantly recreate this smile at will.


Sometimes it's life's little reminders that help us focus on making self-improvements. I set out to find a "smile" lapel pin as a permanent token of my smile's importance. After a fruitless one-year search, I commissioned the design and production of smile pins. Now when I encounter a total stranger with a million-dollar smile (not an everyday occurrence), I share the compliment, "You have a wonderful smile...thanks for brightening my day! I'd like you to have my golden smile pin." Then I might add, "And someday, when YOU see a total stranger with a fantastic smile, you can pass on the pin to them."

This little reminder has conditioned me to search out life's glowing smiles, and not to allow them to pass unnoticed. I always carry "golden smile" pins. And when I spot a show-stopper smile, I always express my appreciation.

Other strategic pluses:

  1. The pin reminds me never to leave home half-dressed: without my smile. Even while I'm running routine errands, it keeps me focused on smiles as life's true blessings.
  2. By shaping my focus, the pin increases awareness of my public appearance and attitude. For example, when in a grocery line, I don't want the checker to glance up and think, "Why in heaven's name is this sourpuss wearing a smile pin?" It forces me to wear a friendly face all day.
  3. The pin encourages me to compliment others. When I fail to say a kind word about someone's beautiful smile, I feel guilty. Now, that's what I call constructive guilt! We've often been conditioned to feel shame because we've not lived up to what others expect, but isn't it more positive to suffer guilt for failing our OWN expectations?

You needn't search for a smile pin to remind you. You can choose another object, like a clown pin, that will program you to focus on smile power. Or consider something that nobody else sees, like whimsical underwear. In fact, you may discover that the sheer strength of just your awareness can create positive life changes. With practice you can focus on life's smiles; and create your own relaxed, naturally warm smile. And THEN when you get back a roll of photos, you'll like almost all of them! That's certainly been my pleasant experience. And when you encounter customers, strangers, or loved ones, you'll always be ready to pass on your award-winning smile!

About The Author

John Kinde is a humor specialist who has been in the training and speaking business for over 30 years specializing in teambuilding, customer service and stress management. Free newsletter and articles are available at

Back to TOC

Learn To Listen - Three Ways It Benefits Relationships

By Cori Swidorsky

We always hear about communication being the key in a relationship. If we are always talking and not listening, then communication becomes meaningless.

It's not easy to hear what someone else is saying, especially when our feelings, thoughts and opinions are different. Here are three reasons why learning to listen benefits our relationships.

1. Shows Respect - When having a discussion, listening to the other person shows that you respect what they are saying. Even if we disagree with what's being said, we still need to respect their thoughts and feelings.

2. Helps Us To Understand - It's difficult to understand what someone is trying to tell us if we aren't listening. Listening helps to understand why someone is feeling a certain way. Once we understand, we can move forward with the situation and take the steps needed.

3. Helps To Be Approachable - In relationships, it's important for someone to feel they can to talk to us about anything. Learning to listen can help others feel comfortable approaching us any time they need or want to discuss something. We are likely to have a more open and healthy relationship if we are approachable.

We want others to respect, understand and be approachable to us right? Work on learning to listen and watch your relationship grow in positive ways.

About The Author

I Reside in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Stay at home mom,work at home mom, author and editor of Informing Women Newsletter and owner of Author of Advice from an Ordinary Woman column for the Crescent Hills NewsLetter. Have articles published at , and other various websites.


Back to TOC

Better Friendship For Success
By CD Mohatta


How to make better friendships for a successful life?

Success in life depends on many factors. Relationship is one of them. Do successful people have better friendships? Is there any relation between art of making friends and success? How to make friends who remain for a lifetime?

What is success?

Everyone of us has his/her own definition of success. An artist feels successful after creating a beautiful painting and a business person feels successful if the business makes profits. Each of us has his/her own parameters that decide success in our life. How do our friendships affect our success?

Happiness and success?

A successful person is essentially a happy person. Happiness means - to feel satisfied with life in most of the ways and to maintain a state of mind that is contented. Our friendships are part of our life. If we want to succeed, we will also have an art of making good friends and keep friendships strong through-out our life.

Maintaining friendships. How?

How to maintain friendships that last? The art is in giving rather than expecting. Share your friends' worries, concerns and happiness. Join them on all occasions that are important to them. Congratulate them at every success, express empathy at every loss and share joy at every success or any enjoyable occasion.

The role of Internet in keeping contacts:

In the earlier times, when the Internet was not there, talking on telephones, sending letters and meeting personally were the preferred methods of keeping in touch. After the advent of Internet, emailing and chat are slowly replacing these earlier ways.

How to make more impact?

Would you prefer to send a one line congratulations mail to your friends on their birthdays, their anniversary, their promotion and all such other occasion when they are feeling special? What if you search the net and select an ecard or greeting card and send it? Does it make a difference? It surely does. It tells your friend that you took some effort in sending a message. Stop sending plain emails and start sending ecards to connect with your friends on days and occassion that are special. You will find the differenece in quality of relationship very soon.

Try it.

About The Author

CD Mohatta writes about different aspect of life. Love, inspiration, pains, humanity, truth, relationships etc. He is currently a dedicated content writer for network websites. He writes text for ecards, wallpapers and screensavers in and


Back to TOC

Text Box:  Inspiration Corner

Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.

--William James--

American philosopher and psychologist, leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, 1842-1910.

Back to TOC

Quick Links

The week of February 21 - 24th is the 2nd anniversary of
4 The Perfect Fit's Coaching and Consulting. Celebrate with me. During the next two weeks 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting celebrates by offering free group coaching, tele-classes, 25% discounts on first time coaching services purchases and mini e-courses to help individuals who would like to find out about coaching and experience its services. Thank you all for your support and patronage.

Check out what's going on below.

         Register for Upcoming Free Info Sessions and Teleclasses

Feb 21 @ 12 Noon EST

  Group Coaching Info Session
Feb 22 @ 12 Noon EST
  How to Achieve 10 Goals in 90 Days
Feb 22 @ 1 PM EST
  SMART Goals The Foundation for Action Plans that Succeed
Feb 23 @ 12 Noon EST
  Ladies Network to Achieve Your Dreams
Feb 24 @ 12 Noon EST
  Creating your Second Act
  • Sign up for the Free mini ecourse Six Steps to Writing a Personal Mission Statement. Email and start today.

Back to TOC

Contact information

Michele Alexander


Phone: (212) 987-6177



I would love to hear you comments and stories. Please email me at

To Subscribe to the mailing list please email

To Unsubscribe to the mailing list please email