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Dr. Elena's Info-Bits:
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4. The Relationship Between Altruism and Happy Marriages
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When Should You Step Up and Protect Your Man?
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

I recently attended an event where my husband was the guest speaker. I know that my husband takes time and care in everything that he does. If I had to say he had any faults, it would be that he is a perfectionist in his work. He gives 150% each and every time.

Anyway, at the luncheon event, just as my sweetheart was getting started, toward the back of the room loud conversation ensued. Due to the wire on the mike he could not do that old teacher’s trick and go and stand by the troublemaker.
I was looking around at other people at the event and I could tell that they were put off by the disruptive table. I whispered to the nice woman sitting next to me that I wanted to get up and tell the table to hush (among other things). As it turned out, the troublemaker was a person in my husband’s industry. And I also found out that someone at the event had chastised her for her rudeness. I don’t think it is necessary for me to go into the reasons why this individual behaved so poorly, or to reveal her identity.

My point in bringing this up is that while my husband handled himself like the pro that he is, and he got a rounding ovation at the end of the talk, I wanted to intervene on his behalf. I had to hold myself back and I wonder if any of you have had times in your relationship where you wanted to protect your partner from injustice and did you follow through.

It is a fine line. If I had spoken to the troublemaker at my husband’s talk, it would have made it look like he could not hold his own and his wife had to fight his battles. And anyone that knows my husband understands that he has great facility with words and is more than capable of taking care of problematic people.

However, it is a hard for me not to take direct action knowing what a good person he is, and the loving intention he brings to his work effort, while having a small-minded person with low self-esteem issues try to mess things up for him.

I am very protective of my husband. I am also very protective of people and pets that I love, especially those that are vulnerable and innocent. Maybe it’s that maternal thing I’ve got going for me. (Smile). As an example of this, when I recently asked my friend’s daughter to take care of our adorable pets while we were on a trip, I wrote out a laundry list of things to do to care for them. I also left 20 phone numbers of people to call in case of an emergency. I link care and protection up in one neat package. Judging by the way I am with pets, as well as my husband, I would probably be a mess with children.

I am an easy going person and rarely if ever have conflicts with anyone, yet I turn into this “warrior” when someone tries to hurt my own. Do you remember Zena: Warrior Princess? Well, when someone hurts my loved ones I turn into Elena: Wild Banshee Woman! Just kidding!

It seems that boys are emasculated by their Mom’s intervening on the child’s behalf at times, and I think the same is true with men. So yes, be supportive, but bring out your battle gear thoughtfully.

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Self-Absorbed People!
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

I ran into a friend of mine recently while clothes shopping. One of the things my husband and I enjoy doing when our schedules allow is going out to lunch on a weekday, followed by at least half a day of widow and other kinds of shopping. I really lucked out as my husband enjoys shopping almost as much as I do. When we are in a store, we go our separate ways and kind of meet later somewhere in the middle and share our special finds with one another. I have come to discover that while shopping is an activity/hobby that my husband and I share, it has also become an important part of my mental health. It is my therapy and relaxation. And it is not that I spend a lot of money while shopping. Sometimes I don’t buy anything. It depends on whether I see something I need and/or something spectacular. It’s just that for some reason when I am clothes shopping in particular, and going through the clothes racks, I am focused only on the clothes, and all of my worries, concerns and stresses cease to be important. I usually find it to be a very relaxing activity.

Anyway, while I was off in “la la” land sorting through the silk blouses, I noticed a friend of mine chatting away with my husband. She is a very sweet woman. Unfortunately however, her conversations don’t seem to vary with her over time and place. So I was pretty certain of the topic and conversation my husband was having with my friend. Her husband of almost 25 years left her for another woman. It is a sad and tragic story for too many women, and I have a great deal of compassion for her.

Anyway, I have known my friend for several years now and almost all of her conversations evolve around her divorce. She talks, and talks and talks some more, about her tragedy like it happened yesterday. Yet it happened over 10 years ago. In all of our conversations, I have mostly listened, occasionally offered possible solutions, and even asked her to come to social gatherings that promised to be fun etc., in hopes of giving her something else to think about at least for a short time. My goal in taking the course I had been taking was an attempt to help her get over her loss. But she wasn’t having it. Besides losing her husband, she has now lost most of her friends and family because, quite frankly, her friends and those around her can’t take it anymore. She is exhausting and draining.

While traveling through the clothes store, I walked down an aisle near where my husband and friend were talking, and was brought into the conversation. It was more of the same. I heard her saying, “My husband (she still calls him that) was sloppy and dominating”, and she went on and on. I walked off as soon as I could politely do so. Later I could see that her tirades about her husband were depleting my husband of energy, so I made my way over to my husband in hopes of rescuing him on this, his only day off in weeks. My kind husband said something to her like, “Would you really like your husband to make the rest of your life miserable?” Basically, he was telling her in a nice and diplomatic way, “You must let go off this and move on”.

My sweet husband was trying to help her. And she snapped at him about him never suffering and how would he know how far she had come, etc. I jumped into the conversation at this point and asked, “How do you know what he has suffered?” And she scolded me by saying that I should not fight my husband battles; that’s what she did for her husband. She then told me what her former therapist told her about that kind of behavior, and how I should learn from her experiences. I found myself getting annoyed on several counts. First of all, I felt that she was being disrespectful and cruel to my husband, who had simply listened, nodded and gave of his generous time, as she went into never-ending expressions of pain that she experienced at her husband’s hand. Secondly, her statement about my husband’s suffering was inaccurate and self-indulgent. I know firsthand that my husband has had his trials and pain. It seems to me that one of the common denominators that we share as humans is that we all have suffered. People may not have experienced the same pain as others, but that doesn’t mean that their pain is any less valid. Suffering is suffering. The third count had to do with my friend’s “buttons” being so easily pushed. She often falsely puts people into the category of her own experience. Yet this often doesn’t compare. It’s like people who have bad experiences with a person of a different race, religion and/or nationality, generalizing that everyone in that group is bad as well. It is unkind and untrue. I realize that we all tend to categorize, but I think it is something we have to keep in check. So, as I was saying, my friend bent my husband’s ear for several hours and intruded on my relaxation time. I have been through this with her so many times. I felt bothered and put upon, and her reaction stirred me up.

Don’t get me wrong, I will move heaven and earth to help my family and friends. And, anyone who knows me would describe me as a very generous person to people in need and/or suffering. But I have my limits. I openly admit that I am human, can lose my patience, and am quite verbal about it from time to time. Have any of you ever done that? Come on, come clean. My personal mantra is as follows: “Boundaries are good!” I do my best not to step on other people’s boundaries and I expect the same courtesy.

Anyway, I decided to escape from the craziness, and gather my thoughts. As we were leaving the store, my friend ran over and said to me” Please call me when you get a chance”. I looked her straight in the face and said, “I will call you, but I don’t want to hear anything else about your ex-husband”. My friend’s mouth opened wide and her eyes got as round, and large as saucers, and she said, “Well, he just seems to come up”. I got a bit abrupt and said, “I am sick of hearing about what your ex-husband did or didn’t do. From what you have described, I think he was a big jackass”! To which she interrupted me and said, “My friends said he was a pompous ass”… ”OK, the point is he is an ass anyway you look at it”, I responded. “I hate what he has done to you and I don’t want to waste my time talking about this loser. I love and care about you and I am interested in you and your life. I could care less about him and I am not going to be cornered into talking about him anymore”. ”You are a tough cookie”, she replied. “Yeah, I guess I am”, I told her, and we hugged good-bye. The story is not over with my friend. He still occasionally comes up in a conversation, but now she catches herself. I’m happy that she’s trying, but if she goes back to her old self, I don’t know if our friendship can continue. It’s just too draining!

I do know that sometimes a little tough love and boundary-setting is required. Most of us have had times in our lives when we have helped others through rough patches, or we were helped by others. I’m not talking about that kind of stuff. I am referring to the types of friends, associates and/or peripheral people who are either so stuck they can’t navigate themselves out of the mire and/or they are gaining secondary benefit from being miserable. A secondary benefit might be that they get everyone’s sympathy and attention. The types of so-called friends that bring you down and do things like, talk for hours upon hours, often in circles about themselves; the types who don’t listen to your advice and don’t take into account that you have a life outside of their problems. I think it is a decision we all have to come to terms with, that is to what extent are you willing to make yourself accessible to people. And/or, is your being helpful negatively impacting on you and those you love.

I feel great compassion for my friend and I wish her all good things. I have a feeling that if our friendship ends she will find someone else who is willing to go over all the gory details of her divorce. I hope I am wrong. I’d really like to see her become the star in her own life. Yet, as long as her family and remaining friends allow her to obsess about her ex-husband, she won’t become that star that I know she really is! Do you have people in your life that are draining your life force? Perhaps, you might think about making a stand on your own behalf.

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Article . . .

The Value of Good Communication Skills in Life and Love!
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

I briefly or not so briefly talked about communication skills and such in my last e-zine. However, more things have come to me about the subject this month from which that I think you or someone you know might benefit. (Don’t ever say I never gave you anything…gee. I’ve been hanging around my five year old niece too long, that’s her stock phrase as she hands you her empty gum wrapper). My brother tells me that the poor child has inherited my goofy sense of humor. How did we get off of this subject? Anyway, here goes.

I have to admit that from time to time a nice looking man catches my attention; much like you would look and appreciate a fine piece of art. At least that’s how I explain it to my husband! You all know, I’m joking right? No offense to my sweet husband, who is the love of my life! A few days ago, at the shopping market, there was a man standing in line in front of me. It seemed that everyone with-in gawking range was staring at this man. He looked like a movie star. As he got up to the register, I overheard him talking, or really mumbling, to the cashier. She was attempting to make conversation with him and flirting. I give her a lot of credit because flirting, while handing someone back a five pound bag of frozen corn as your prop, is quite a skill. Anyway, as the cashier spoke to him, his response was barely audible. And when the cashier asked him to repeat what he said. He raised his voice, and the volume made it perfectly clear that he was inarticulate, and sounded ignorant. “Um, er, eh, huh? Whatdja, say? Yeah. Uhm, ugh,” he continued. I felt kind of sorry for the guy. I thought his presentation/communication skills probably would not afford him a very nice lifestyle, let alone a date.

This brings me to another story. A friend of mine was talking to me about a woman that he used to date. He told me that she was very pretty and dressed beautifully. However, as soon as she opened her mouth, she embarrassed him. She was a grown woman who acted and sounded like a child. Her use of language and inability to carry on an intelligent conversation made her seem to be rather dull (which was not the case). My friend said he stopped bringing her to professional events because it reflected poorly on him.

I don’t know how many people realize the impact of speaking and communicating in business as well as in love. I wonder how many people really concern themselves with their mode of in-taking (listening) and outpouring (intelligently expressing ideas) information. I have heard time and time again from women that say they want to meet and marry/settle down with, a man that is upwardly mobile. I know a 30-year-old who very adequately represents this group of women wanting a man on the upwardly mobile track. She is a very nice person, works as a receptionist for a real estate company, is in great health and shape, and is well liked. Her plan is to date professional men that she meets through her job. However, when she speaks, she uses expressions like “ain’t” instead of “isn’t”. Her tone of voice is annoying, as she is very loud and shrilly-sounding, and she doesn’t listen when people speak to her - she constantly interrupts them. She makes every conversation about her. Her speaking and conversational skills are lacking. She thinks that if she dresses well, stays in shape, and is patient enough, she is going to meet and date men in a higher sociological class. I personally don’t see that happening. I don’t mean to sound callous, but I think it is true. Class, education, intelligence and value is placed on people according to the way they speak, listen and express themselves. I think this woman would make better use of her extra time by taking speaking courses and working on her voice.

Some years ago, I took a speaking course with my husband. Many of you know that he is a professional speaker and trainer. Many of the students in this class thought that because I was married to the teacher my skill level was equivalent to his. I’ve been told that I have a large vocabulary. And perhaps I could have found many large and interesting words to express my knocking knees and chattering teeth. LOL! His class expected me to not only have his command of language, but also his skill on stage. I kept thinking, “They think I should be George in a dress!” George is my husband’s name. Anyway, there was a lot of pressure on me because my level of experience and skill was/is not the same level as my husband. We may have started looking alike because we have been married for some time (just kidding), but we aren’t twins as far as our skill level and interest is concerned.

Anyway, I had been a college teacher and was accustomed to a more formal way of teaching/communicating. But I wanted to improve my presentation skills, and decided to go full force into my husband’s speaking course. After a day or so, he gave the class an assignment to speak in front of his class for 10 minutes, so that he and the class could critique us. Being the consummate professional, I stayed up a good portion of the night prior to the day we were to deliver the assignment. I was feverishly outlining and preparing my speech. My husband was joking with me about the precision and care I was taking with this assignment. He said it was like I was preparing a defense for my doctoral dissertation. The next day I did what some of my students used to do. I sat in the back of the room, slid down on my chair, and did my best not to make eye contact. Well, that behavior didn’t work for my students and as it turned out, it didn’t work for me either. My husband, who I thought would go easy on me (I was after all “teachers pet”, LOL), called on me to give my talk. It seemed like I was walking in quicksand, as I made my way to the front of the large room. And as I looked out, all I saw was a large expanse of critical faces staring back at me! My knees were shaking! And as I made my way forward, no large vocabulary words could save me. “Oh my gosh”, I thought, “this could get ugly!”

I walked up the chalkboard and started to compose my outline on the board. In an instant, I took the chalk and put a big “X” through what I had written. I didn’t even know I was going to do that. Something came over me! Maybe it was lack of sleep. Kidding again. I decided to take a chance with this group. I told the group that I had stayed up most of the night preparing my 10-minute speech. The group smiled and nodded. I shared with them that I wanted my speech to be perfect so that I would not make myself or my husband look bad in front of them.
However, I wanted to correct my problem of formal teaching and ease my discomfort of showing my vulnerability. I sure don’t have that problem in writing as you all know! So I proceeded. I can’t tell you where this idea came from, but I started talking about the issue of “Limitations”. I said that most of the limitations we have in life are the limitations we put on ourselves and I shared a personal story from my past. And, as I looked out into what I saw before as a sea of scary faces judging me, I now saw people wiping back tears and looking at me with love and compassion. I have to tell you, it was a proud and transformational moment for me.

I appreciate my husband so much for giving me the tools and courage to speak in front of people. A major part of who he is as a person and presenter/teacher is to inspire and give students the tools to reach within themselves and create personal speaking/presenting miracles. I’m not just saying this stuff because I love him; I’m telling you this in earnest. Check out his web site for the unbelievable and impressive list of testimonials he has, etc.

In the seminar that I attended, the shyest students who could not communicate even on a one-to-one basis at the beginning of his seminar were talking, laughing and hugging other students at the end of the seminar. It was amazing!

In my own life and career, George’s speaking workshop/seminar gave me confidence in speaking to people individually as well as in front of the largest groups. Even if you don’t plan on doing public speaking gigs, learning to communicate is vital to the well-being of all your relationships. Think about it, one of the main reasons for divorce in America is lack of communication. Couples don’t know how to listen, respond appropriately and/or effectively get their points across. So I urge all of you to take speaking and communication courses. Give yourself and the one you love every possible opportunity to enhance the quality of your relationship through communication.

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Article . . .

Summer Romance Almost Never Works!
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

Happy summer, readers! I love the summer. Here in the states the weather is warm in this part of the country, so many of us head outside for picnics and/or off to the beach for a day in the sun and fun. Which brings me to the subject I have been thinking about, a notion that I have carried for years that is, never trust a “summer love”. If you meet a man and fall in love with him in the heat of the summer days and/or comfortable nights, it probably won’t last. Am I being too negative? Hmmm. That does not seem like me at all.

Yes, I fess up. I am of the opinion that a summer romance is just that, a summer romance. Yummy perhaps and exciting. So enjoy it but be careful about putting your complete heart into it. It’s like meeting a man while you are on a cruise, and/or vacationing, and/or in a setting that is unnatural like a convention or party.
When reality sets in, the party is over. Am I alone in this opinion? Do any of you think if you meet a man and pursue a relationship with him during the summer months, more than other times of the year, that it is suspect?

I don’t really have any facts to back up my perspective; however, I really believe it to be the truth. Now, I’m not saying that it will never work. I’m just saying that the odds are against it. Somebody please prove me wrong! I’m glad we can laugh at times like this.

Before I get any sillier, I’ll share an account that I heard from a woman that is representative of the types of stories I have heard over the years. She met a man last summer and as soon as the leaves fell off the trees her relationship ended. She recalled all the lovely details of the first blush of romance, her heart beating fast, his deep dark sexy eyes, and the “he said” and then “she said” descriptions of their first talks, and romantic details of the first time they . . . well, you know . . . my ezine is PG, so, I’ll let you fill in this part.

Anyway, she couldn’t say enough about her Mr. “Suntan Perfect” guy. She was wildly and giddily (is that a word?) in love. Her “Sun God” had come down from Mt. Olympus to sit on the Jersey shore with his new “lady-love”, my client. They talked, laughed and dreamed of their future together.
As the summer drew to an end, the lady in love and her bronzed muscle man moved in together. She quickly discovered that he had an allergic reaction to work of any kind. He had assumed that she was well-to-do and would gladly support “Mr. Look’s great in a bikini but can’t hold a job”. He had no idea what it meant to be considerate and dropped his clothes wherever he took them off. And he liked to do things like drink juice that they were to share right out of the carton. He must have been reading comic books when his Mom told him about having manners and living in society. It does make you laugh a little providing he’s not guzzling your orange juice!

Anyway, he often spilled a good portion of the juice on his already stained shirt and spit back the excess in the container. Disgusting, huh? A cave man could have given him etiquette lessons.
And he had no respect for her things or pets. In fact, he lost her beloved dog because rather than walking him, he simply let him out the front door. I must admit that he attempted to help with the laundry one time, but didn’t know that clothes need to be separated. As a result, he turned all of her clothes into an ugly shade of something that looked like the contents of someone who had lost their supper. Maybe that avant-garde look is popular in Paris, but it doesn’t go over real big in New York City. Can you imagine?

My client is the type who can make any life experience sound funny, so as she was sharing her story with me, I was holding my sides with laughter and so was she.

She told me that his idea of foreplay had something to do with picking dandelions from her front yard, and giving her a chocolate Hershey Bar and a diet Dr. Pepper ala candle light in front of the television watching war movies. Now that’s a “turn on”, huh? Yuk!
After six months of sheer hell, she had enough and helped him pack his bags and moved him into the YMCA across town.

Interestingly, she recently called me and told me that she had run into her previous “Sun-Worshipping Adonis”, and he was holding hands with a blond babe. She said her “hellos” to the couple all the while feeling a deep sense of compassion for the unfortunate woman who had become his new summer love.

I have to reiterate the point that I haven’t seen any research on this topic and quite frankly, I just don’t see myself leaping across beach chairs, or passing over the suntan lotion, while simultaneously asking would-be lovers how they rate their attraction to the man they are with on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the highest.

So for now, I am only sharing an informal opinion and observation. What do you think about summer love?

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Article . . .

The Difference Between a Girl and a Woman!
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

I recently had an interesting experience that I thought many of you, my readers, might relate to on some level. I was supposed to get together for dinner with a lady friend of mine that I don’t get to see very often. I was excited about spending some time with her. It seems that life can be very hectic for many of us. And putting time aside is difficult as well as costly in terms of scheduling and/or taking time and attention away from other business-related tasks. In any event, I went through the time and trouble to do this to accommodate our friendship. Well, as it turned out, my friend canceled two hours before we were to get together to go out to dinner and partake of some good old fashioned girl talk. She left a giggly high-spirited phone message about a guy she had wanted to date for months now, just calling her that night, and asking her out on a date.

So, instead of taking a rain check from him, she wanted to reschedule with me. I could not believe my ears. This is a woman whom I stayed up all night consoling when her last boyfriend told her that he had to find himself. She later found him also, at her best friend’s house having late night bootie calls. I am the one that she called at 3am on more than one occasion, when she was going through divorce, when her father was sick, and when her cat died, and on and on. And now, she had in essence, put a virtual stranger ahead of our friendship. My friend and I could do loops around 21 in terms of age and friendship history. And frankly, I felt her behavior was very junior high school.

A few weeks late, she called and was chatty, talking a mile a minute. She acted as if she had not offended me and betrayed herself. She wanted to get together to talk about her new boyfriend and the problems she was having with his children. And she wanted to mull over with me the pros and cons of being a step-mother to his kids, should the relationship develop in that direction. I thought that her behavior was incredibly self-centered, and I knew that I was not going to contain my displeasure much longer. It seemed to me that when she needed me she expected me to drop everything in my life to help her out. I decided to talk to her face-to-face about my feelings toward her and her recent behavior. As she started talking to me about her new love and their problems I interrupted her, and told her I needed to get some things off my chest first. I knew that I would not be present for any further conversation until this matter was resolved. And I proceeded to tell her the inconvenience she had caused me and how I felt about her actions. Surprisingly, she refused to acknowledge that she had done anything wrong, and in fact, became quite defensive. It was actually kind of interesting. It was like watching a television reality show, except we were not going to make up and jump into a Jacuzzi! She felt that because she was single and wanted to get married that her love goal took precedence over any friendships she had with females. I said, “You have just told me that the attention and time of a man that called you at the very last minute has more value to you than our many years of friendship.” She refused to entertain the idea that she did anything hurtful to me. I felt she was abusive with my time, which is precious. I was speechless, and that rarely happens to me.

It surprised and disappointed me, that my friend’s desperation took precedence over her sense of morality and integrity in friendship. I told her that I would always care about her and appreciate her many fine qualities however, I would not put myself in a position with anyone that could so easily take my time and life for granted at the mere whim of a man. This current experience brought me back to high school days when girls would not even call to cancel a get-together with you and other friends if a guy dropped by at the last minute. I didn’t like that then and I sure won’t put up with that at this late date. I hope that my friend will get her act together. I told her that I am keeping the door open, with the provision that my boundaries are upheld.

One story seems to lead into another. Some years ago, when I was in graduate school, my circle of female colleagues decided to take a break from the books and go to a local club for refreshments and a light snack. We were having a very enjoyable intellectual conversation about Classical Literature. The philosophies expressed, while varied, were stimulating. We were all enjoying ourselves. After awhile, a good-looking guy and his friend approached our table. We were all in deep conversation until the spell was broken. I think that if I had a egg timer, it would have been a five minute brrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiigggggggg then stop, as the conversation did a quick about-face. It was like my first friend was automatically captured and turned “stupid”. And then my other friend got a case of the “stupids” also! Ironically, the brightest among us somehow became the least intelligent among us. I didn’t know if I should laugh at the absurdity of it, or shake my head in disgust. I really can’t stand it when women put on a dumb act. My two, now “stupid-acting” friends, ignored the rest of us “lowly females” in favor of a more amusing conversation, about the same level as discussing which one of the Sesame Street characters is the cutest etc. They were talking like little girls, laughing at the guy’s simple jokes, and acting like they couldn’t tie their own shoe laces without assistance. It was funny and sickening all at the same time. Right before our eyes, five of us, saw our two “brainy” friends melt into a sophomoric puddle. At the end of the evening our two friends picked up their IQ points that they had placed on the table, next to their beer, and decided to join our group in time for the car ride home. I have to admit, my relationship with my two colleagues that dropped us and their IQ simultaneously when the guys were around, just never had the same appeal to me. I felt they were not trustworthy as friends. I never saw them in the same light again. I think that there is a certain maturity level in grasping some fundamental understandings like: if you make plans with your friends, keep the plans (unless you are hospitalized) regardless of whether a man has just been put into the equation, and/or something better comes along. It is about being respectful. Personally, I love my husband very much. However, there are some roles that he cannot fill in my life. I don’t think he would enjoy talking to me about pregnancy issues or shopping for eyeliner, or sitting at a fancy restaurant eating tea sandwiches at high tea. As much as he would if he could, it’s just not him. Perhaps, you have heard the old cliché that goes something like, “Men come and go, but woman friends, often last a life time!” (No offense to my sweet husband, who I believe will be able to take on the woman-friend’s role, in terms of lasting a lifetime-but not the other stuff!) LOL.

I urge all of you not to take your friendships for granted! It’s not kind, nor is it fair! On Valentines Day, send your man and your women friends a gift with a heart on it to show your appreciation and love!

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Article . . .

Cheaters!
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

In the course of many social gatherings, I was recently introduced to a woman by a well-meaning friend of hers, as a “Love Expert”. I think the introducee felt that her friend needed my help. Very soon into the conversation the woman who I was introduced to asked a question and made some statements. She asked, “What do you think about a woman 33 years old dating a man in his 50’s?” I said “I don’t see anything wrong with that as long as he isn’t married”. And I smiled. The young woman (who looked to be about 33) glanced down for a moment and said, “He is married”. She paused for a moment and crossed her arms over her chest and continued, “But his wife doesn’t give him what he needs”. “She doesn’t give him praise for his accomplishments and encourage him”. “She is so involved in raising her children, and she doesn’t give him any attention”. I found it interesting, that the woman’s arms were folded even tighter across her chest as she tried to explain away the apparent relationship she was having with a married man. And her voice took on a rather defensive tone. I have to admit, I had to step back for fear of coming on too strong. I thought, perhaps I could at the least help her examine her situation more clearly.

Unfortunately, I did not have much of an opportunity to discuss the matter with the woman in much depth because it was a social setting and people could overhear our discussion. So I took a deep breath and said, “ Maybe the woman who is dating the married guy better make sure that she gives him all the attention, praise and encouragement that he needs or she will soon be replaced, huh?” The young woman said, “I am sure he would NEVER do that to her”. “He loves her”. “How does she know that he loves her?” I asked. “He has already proven that he is a cheater and a liar by going outside of his marriage”. She shrugged off what I said and looked away. I then asked, “How many kids did you say his wife has, because you said she was raising her children?” “Oh, I meant that she was raising their children”, the young woman corrected me. Oh, so you mean this woman, his wife, is raising their children?” “How many kids do they have?” “Four”, she said” “What are their ages”, I asked? “3, 5, 7, and I think 12”, she added. “Does she also have a job outside of the house?” “Actually, she works with him.” “They have a real estate business”. I nodded and weaved into another verbal direction. “When you were a kid, did you ever baby sit?” I asked. She said, “Yes, I love children”. “That’s great”, I remarked. “I bet, even though you loved the kids, you were happy when you could give them back to their Mom”? “Yeah, I guess so”, she answered, wondering where I was going with all of this. And I weaved, conversationally, some more. “Is this married guy a success? Does he have money?” “Well, he actually is quite wealthy”. So, you told me that he and his wife have four kids under 13, a successful business together, and he doesn’t get enough time from his wife?” “Well, there is more to it then that”, she quickly offered. “He is so hard working, and he can’t divorce her because he will lose his kids and his business. I guess his wife, who helped build the business, maintain the marriage and family, is not hard working? Gosh, it seems like this married guy gets to have his cake and eat it too. He has a wife who is willing and able take care of their home life, and helps him in business as well. And he has a young single woman who is willing to cater to his schedule and lifestyle and put her life on hold for him. And, the last I heard, the court had such things as joint custody.” “You don’t understand”, the young woman interrupted, his wife is a B_ _ _ _! She will take him for everything”. “Is that really true? What is everything?”, I asked. “Well, that’s what he told me”, her voice trailed off. “And, of course you can believe him, because he is such an honest guy, right?” “Well, er, um, she began. I love him, I mean she loves him”. “But, does he really love her, you?” I asked softly. “Yes, he does”, she flatly relied. “You know this because he told you, right?” I didn’t add anything to that thought. She was getting it.

“Well, I have to go, nice meeting you”, she shook my hand. “You, too”, I answered. I know that she was very upset with what I said, and yet there was so much more that I wanted to add to the conversation. I wanted to say, “If he is doing it with you, there is a good chance that he’ll do it to you”. Not an original concept, but a concept that women in this situation must consider. “And, what if he did actually leave his wife for you? Could you trust him, knowing that he is a cheater? And, how would you feel if you put your heart and life into a relationship and found out that you had been betrayed, like his wife? Put yourself in his wife’s shoes. What about his children? Don’t they deserve their daddy’s devotion and love? And if by slim chance he left his family for you, do you want to help raise four children? Remember how you said you felt about babysitting? Doesn’t his wife, who has put in so much of herself into the marriage, deserve respect and fidelity? Be honest”.

“You could be contributing to the demise of their family foundation. And young woman, don’t you realize that every cheater claims their partner doesn’t understand them. If that’s true, then why hasn’t the cheater had a talk with their significant other, working to bridge the gap of understanding? After all, if the issue of not being understood would cause someone to cheat, then why not work on being understood?” As an aside, some years ago, I had a serious relationship with a man and we broke up. Some time had passed and he got married. He decided that he wanted us to get back together, while leaving his bride home to keep the home fires burning. He came to my home unexpectantly with a huge bouquet of flowers. The flowers really tipped me off because our relationship had ended brutally. The only flowers I would have expected from him would have been filled with thorns and/or arsenic! As the conversation circled, he told me that his wife didn’t understand him. I laughed and shook my head and said, “The problem is that I DO understand you”, and I sent him home.

OK, back to the conversation. I would have liked to continue having the young woman imagine, “How will you feel if you were looking back at your life, after you spent five or more years of your life wrapped up in this fantasy affair? Holidays spent alone, your birthday. Sneaking around to meet him for an hour here and there. Not being able to introduce your lover to your family, friends or colleagues. How will you feel when your friends are showing pictures of their boyfriends and/or wedding pictures, and/or pictures of their children, and you have only memories, false promises and years invested in an unavailable person?” I would have then continued, “I also wonder, young woman, why you would want to be second in someone’s heart, if you are in their heart at all? Personally, I am not the type who could accept the man I love not being fully into me, and if he were not, then I would know I was with the wrong person. I deserve the best, don’t you? Young woman, you obviously don’t think you deserve the best. The cheater has put you into the role of concubine. Also, I know, young woman, that the cheater is trying to make you believe his lies so that it makes what you are doing seem right. In your “heart of hearts” you know it is wrong. As time goes on, your self-esteem level will drop dramatically, because your conscience will devour you. I know from our conversation that you are not a sociopath without empathy or conscience. You are going against your own values and truth. Stop being an accomplice to your own emotional and spiritual decline. I knew a woman from a television station I used to work at, that would consistently go after men that were with other women. She felt that, by “getting the guy”, she was asserting her feminine wiles. It made her feel powerful. I thought she really didn’t have a clue into the behavior of men. And excuse me for being blunt, but most men, if pursued by an attractive woman, unless they are in love, will fall very easily into bed. And having sex with this type of man has nothing to do with a woman’s power. It’s more about chemistry and behavioral realities”.
I wish that this young woman and other women like her would make men step up to the plate. Basic rule of thumb, if a man has a girlfriend, is engaged, and/or married, regardless of whether he is understood or not, he is off-limits! In my single days it was my personal policy not to date men that even went out with my girlfriends in the past. Perhaps this year, this young woman and other readers of my ezine, will make and stick to a New Year’s resolution setting a high moral standard for themselves. Men will follow suit and meet you where you are in terms of morality! Honestly, I don’t foresee this young woman coming to her senses any time soon, and it makes me feel sad for her, the man’s trusting wife, and their children.

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Article . . .

Prince Charming and Other Fairy Tales!
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

I was watching a talk show some time ago that featured a group of five women discussing how they had all been duped by the same guy. The theme throughout their stories was that initially the guy charmed their socks off. He did things like constantly tell them how attractive they were; he made them feel like they were the only woman on earth. He painted romantic pictures of how they would be together well into the future. He described scenes like the happy couple (he and his target woman) years from now, sitting in rocking chairs, holding hands, and reminiscing about the wonderful life they had had together. And he got things wrapped up fairy quickly, that is, they married within the first month of meeting. He then took most, if not all, of their money. He also took material things like cars and/or expensive jewelry. And then he was on his merry way to his next victim.

Upon watching the story I felt deep compassion for these women that had been played so well by this lothario. They lost their hearts, pride and in some cases, even their houses! Disgusting, huh? I started thinking about how we as women are so vulnerable overall when it comes to this sort of thing. I don’t think it is just women in their teens or early 20’s that suffer from what I call “romantic delusional thinking”, it’s across the board. I have a friend who illustrates this point very well. She seems to go from one delusion to another, thinking each and every time she starts dating a guy, that he is the one! And, it usually turns out that he is “the one”, but not in the sense that she is thinking about, him being “the one”. It seems to turn out that the newest “Mr. the One” is indeed, the one that breaks her heart worse than the “the one” before him. Why does she and many other women fall prey to these seasoned guys? In my opinion, it is because she, like many other women, still believes in fairy tails! My friend thinks that a wonderful man, i.e., “the prince”, will come along and take her away from her everyday life and save her! In my life observations and experience, inevitably, anytime a woman thinks that a man is going to save her there is a good chance that she will eventually have to be saved from him. And, if by chance a man did save her, he in essence would really be taking her from herself. In other words, her inner core would be missing. I don’t think that is a good idea at all. Do you? After all, it is vital to any woman to be the person in her own life that she can count on. Even in a good relationship it’s not smart to be taken away from yourself and/or lose yourself in favor of the man you love.

Contrary to the notion that many wedding vows express that “two shall become one”, it is unhealthy to take that vow to mean that a woman should fold herself up and disappear into her man interest. (More about this is future ezine issues).
In my friend’s case, it usually starts that the “guy du jour” (“the one”, actually, the “guy of the day”) has had some kind of heartache which he uses to manipulate my friend so that she ends up supporting him financially. She has been known to pay for all the dinner dates, his car payments, rent, etc. Usually within a few weeks of dating “the one”, my friend has a wedding gown and brides maids picked out She gets angry or upset with her family or friends that ask her what in the world she is doing and/or thinking. My friend recently told me that the newest guy with whom she has been corresponding via the net is coming across the ocean to visit her for the first time. He told her that he has a question for her, and she thinks he is going to ask her to marry him. She’s so excited! I told her that it could be that he is going to ask if he can live with her because he has no money or job prospects. She says I am cynical. My friend is the same age that I am (22), just kidding! Really though, she is no spring chicken, but relationship-wise, she is about 16. In affairs of the heart, I think many women are considerably younger than their chronological age.

Personally, I think it is unwise to bring a man into your home that you have never met in person and/or have not investigated. But my friend insists that he is soooooooooooo sweet and kind. She is so impressed that he sent a photo of himself holding a puppy! Oh, pleassssssssssseeeeeeee! He could have gone to the ASPCA and had a friend take a picture of him kissing some cute dog! Her new online lover already told her a sob story about his rough life, and my friend feels sorry for him. Anyone see a pattern emerging? I think my friend is prime for the picking! I have warned her but she is not listening. And I can see that she is getting ready to plunge right in . . . . . “heart first”.

Interestingly, there is a worldwide group of men that have been taught by “a guru of sorts” to use hypnosis and NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming strategies) coupled with psychological theories to break down women’s defenses. I don’t think men even need to go to all the trouble of becoming schooled by “the guru of heartbreak-manipulation” as I call him. Because even the savviest women often buy into lies in order to perpetuate the fairy tale ending. So where is the challenge?


I don’t believe in burning books, but maybe we could somehow rip out the pages in those children’s fairy tale books that distort our minds at an early age - “and they lived happily-ever-after”. Digressing, this group of men (trained in NLP, hypnosis and psychology) get a kick out of going out on the town and sleeping with as many women as they can, as they practice and develop the skills they have been taught. The leader of this gang says that he is only teaching men how to balance the dating arena. He obviously hates women and enjoys getting over on them! I was at an event sometime ago and happened to chat with one of his followers. The guy told me that he took the courses from the guru because he was the “original Mr. Nice Guy” and a bit shy, and he felt that these techniques would further his chances with women. He told me that he ultimately wanted to have love in his life, and he saw these skills as a means of getting him closer to his goals. Among the guru’s lessons is that he teaches men how to create scenarios that are in keeping with fairy tails so that women fall in love with them quickly. The man then uses the woman’s perceived feelings of love and attraction that he instilled in her and he sleeps with the “target woman”. Then, soon after he has completed his goal, he dumps her. I said to the guy that had been trained by the misogynist guru, “You seem to be a very decent person. Why would you want to manipulate someone into loving you? Don’t you think you are good enough to be loved for who you really are? Is this really about love, or is it about something else?” He seemed to feel challenged by the questions, and didn’t really give me an answer. In this guy’s case, I believe he wanted love, but was going about it in the wrong way. Most of the other guys in this group, probably want to bed as many women as possible, and could care less about love. The point is that there are some guys out there that have actually been trained to use and discard women for fun and entertainment. And too, there are the self-taught guys that quickly see what the target woman needs and wants and pretend to be able and/or willing to be her very own “knight in shining armor”, at least until they have slept with her and/or emptied out her bank account, etc.

So how, you might ask, can women be more protective of their hearts? I have a few suggestions as follows:

  1. Don’t let chemistry cloud your mind.
    Listen to your inner wisdom/intuition and personal truth. If he sounds or feels too good to be true, he probably is, and is bogus.
  2. Be true to yourself. For example, if he wants to go to bed with you and you believe intimacy is saved for someone you love, don’t yield to his prodding.
  3. Remind yourself ladies of the funny way a male friend of mine explains men. He says, “they got it (the ‘they’ being woman), and we (the ‘we’ meaning men) want it”. Funny, but true!
  4. Meet his friends and family and even an ex or two to find out about his character.
  5. Let his actions show you the truth about who he really is, not who he tells you he is and/or who you want to think he is based on your character and needs.
  6. The biggest protection you have is time. The common feature of these heartbreaker-types is that they want to move in quickly for the kill.
  7. In the guru’s courses, he tells his followers that the majority of women will succumb to his manipulations. The women that do not are very much in love. So women out there, even if you don’t have a love in your life, be the “love” in your own life! That is, work on loving yourself more so that you will not fall prey to anyone who strategizes against you.
  8. Pretend that you are a boxer and you are protecting your heart. Lead with your intellect and jab with your emotions. Always let your mind lead and not your emotions.
  9. If you find that you are emotionally getting involved with someone, check him out. Gee, maybe my friend is right. I am cynical! See if he has been married before, convicted of a crime, etc.
  10. Don’t put all your cards on the table until a lot of time has passed and he checks out.

There are some men who are heartbreakers that may still sneak under the radar, but you may greatly reduce heartbreaker-traumas if you adhere to the suggestions I have provided.

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Article . . .

Money or Love?
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

Recently, while reading information in Forbes on the Internet (I Love Forbes), I came across an article on “how to meet rich men”. The underlying assumption was that the meeting would turn into dating, and then loving feelings would occur, and then the game would be bagged into marriage. The article went on to tell women that they had to upgrade their lifestyle that is, go to the places where the wealthy hang out. Skip McDonald’s for a cup of coffee and a snack; instead hightail it to the business district and grab both a hot cava with a rich man for dessert. Volunteer your time and resources to political events and charities and involve yourselves in sports outings. Golf anyone?

Just an aside, I remember a funny incident that happened when a college friend and I decided to learn golf because we thought we would be big business moguls one day, and we believed most business deals were made on the golf course. As it turned out, my friend and I would have spent more time looking for the ball and finding and retrieving it from ponds and the highest branches of trees than actually getting a business associate to sign on the dotted line. Golf, as it turned out was just not our game!

The good news, according to the article in Forbes, is that you don’t necessarily have to play the game; you can just watch it, like professional tennis. It went on to say, that you just have to place yourself wherever rich men are and then lay on the charm. On the practical side, it seems to me that water rises to its own level, that is, the majority of people feel most comfortable with people who are within their same socio-economic group. Rarely, do people marry outside of the socio-economic group to which they are born. I am not saying it is not possible but I do think it is unlikely. I think if a rich man marries and/or has a committed relationship with a not-so-rich women, a serious inequity will be present The relationship environment in many of these relationships, from my point of view, seems to have a paternalistic theme. And as we know, most children will eventually revolt. And too, it seems to me that if a woman is accomplished and/or outstanding in some way, has exceptional good looks and/or is highly intellectual and/or just by luck falls into a situation that brings her into a new and improved lifestyle, the odds are largely against such a union. Perhaps many wealthy men date a less than wealthy women but marriage is an entirely different thing.
Conversely, I have several very wealthy lady friends who find it virtually impossible to find a man suitable for dating and/or a relationship since the majority of men don’t have the same amount of money as my friends. And when most men find out that my friends can buy and sell them. they either expect my friends to financially support them while they find themselves and/or just want to play and/or they become intimidated. I can see why my lady friends are looking for wealthy men. It’s because they want their “financial equal” so they can get past money and onto love. It makes sense.

Money is one of the top reasons for divorce, but marrying for his money is not going to change that statistic. Couples need to work together to find solutions in regard to life style and money matters before they get married, and perhaps renegotiated from time to time as needed in the marriage.
However, I am disturbed about women these days thinking that they have to trap a wealthy man to give them a luscious lifestyle. What kind of message does this give to young girls? My grandfather had a very interesting idea about this subject. He said, “If a person marries for money, they will pay for every penny of it.” First of all ladies, don’t you think that a wealthy man has women throwing themselves at him all the time? What would make you stand out in this crowd? And too, if by rare chance he did marry you, you would always know deep inside that you had manipulated him. You had to somehow trick someone into marrying you …you weren’t worthy of just being loved. I realize that there may be some women who would gladly make the compromise of having money and the heck with love! But I don’t believe that most women today would marry for money exclusively. What do you think? Money and financial issues are an integral part of every relationship and being on the same page as a couple, is paramount to the success of the relationship. Perhaps I am old fashioned and just plain stubborn, but personally I would not track down a rich man and trick him into marrying me just because I wanted to live the high life! I understand what it’s like not to have much money, and I hate having to struggle financially as I have had to do at times in my life. And of course I really enjoy luxury and fine things, but I would take love over any and all of it. Love is first to me. What about you?

So ladies, my suggestion is for you to get a solid education (college and/or on the job), dig your heels in and pursue your career interest with all the gusto you have. Create a happy and fulfilling life for yourself, and then when a man of interest (rich or not so rich) comes into your life, make sure that he is a happy and good man who has also made things happen in his own life. You then come together in integrity.

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Dr. Elena's Info-Bit!

Drinking Oolong Tea

In a recent study conducted in Beijing, and corroborated by other research groups, it was discovered in a five-year study the benefits of drinking Oolong tea in the battle of the bulge.

Apparently, Oolong tea has polyphenol which helps to enhance fat metabolism and results in weight loss.

So if you and your honey bunch want to lose weight you might start by drinking a nice cup of tea together. And then figuring out what to snack on for dessert
. . . . . hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . . .

-Elena

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Dr. Elena's Info-Bit!

One More Reason to Quit Smoking!

According to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, smokers deal less effectively with stress than non-smokers. You would think that smokers often use cigarettes to calm their stress and so they would actually be less stressed then non-smokers, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.

This sturdy went on to say that smokers are more likely to develop “mental health disturbances” after experiencing a disaster than non- smokers. Prior to this study it wasn’t clear whether people who smoked were more prone to mental conditions and were more likely to smoke or whether the smoking itself actually increased the chances of a mental condition.

Interestingly, it seems that smoking does affect mental health, and people going through traumatic experiences help their chances of recovery by quitting smoking. Ironically, it is usually not the recommendation for mental health professionals to tell their clients/patients to quit smoking in the middle of post-traumatic stress, when actually this directive would increase the patient’s recovery rate.

-Elena

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Dr. Elena's Info-Bit!

More Incentive to Exercise

Based on a Nurse’s health study, researchers tracked 70,000 women over a 28-year period, and came to the conclusion that women that did not exercise and were even moderately overweight ran the highest risk of dying from sudden heart failure.
Ironically, they also found that women that had been overweight and/or inactive, immediately and dramatically reduced their risk from the moment they changed these bad health habits. Things you can do to keep your “ticker” in order? It’s a no-brainer “Eat well, and Exercise!”

I got info on this study from Denise Austin’s daily ezine. Did I ever mention that I love her? Just kidding! However, I do like her and find that she’s usually “right on”! I’ve mentioned her frequently in my newsletter!

You can easily subscribe to Denise Austin’s ezine at this email address:
morningstretch@deniseaustin.com

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Dr. Elena's Info-Bit!

The Relationship Between Altruism and Happy Marriages

According to an in-home, 2004 research study, conducted by the National Science Foundation, “Altruistic Love is Related to Happier Marriages”. In this study, 1,329 adults from a cross-section were polled on several questions geared to identify their own altruistic level and how they saw their marriages. The study found the following:

  1. Women have a greater feeling of empathy than men. (I am not surprised about that finding, are you?)
  2. Children from two-parent homes are more empathic.
  3. Girls raised by a single father are the least likely to develop empathy.
  4. Financial status bears little on altruism and empathy.
  5. People who vote are more altruistic and empathic.
  6. Empathy is higher among those who fear crime.
  7. Empathy is higher among those who support increased spending on social programs.
  8. Altruism runs higher among older people.
  9. Altruism and empathy runs higher in those with college educations.

Some years ago, when I was in college, I remember being introduced to my best friend’s Father. He was a “straight-shooter” kind of guy. He asked me what kind of man I would rather have in my life, a man with good looks or a man with money. I responded with the first thought that came into my head and said respectfully, “I would have to add a third choice. I would most want to be with a guy that was kind and loving”. And my friend’s Dad looked at me for a second and said, “That’s the best answer yet”. And from that day on, he approved my friendship with his daughter. He did not like her other friends.

I wasn’t being a “goody two-shoes” (although my personality kind of runs in that direction, I’ve been told). I didn’t answer his question in that way to gain his approval. I answered right from my heart. And I think the above study says it best when it points to the fact that the happiest relationships/marriages are those that have a high level of empathy and altruism. It is important to take the time and care to learn about those things that are hurtful to the person you love, and to help them to heal those hurts, whenever possible. I don’t mean that you should get out your “play psychologist coat” and hat. I mean, listen with your heart and your mind as the person you love is talking and expressing their feelings. Allow them to be open, without your ever bringing it back to them in the heat of an argument or elsewhere. It is the “golden rule” stuff, about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, if you want and need to be treated with love and kindness, treat the person you love in that way. If the person you love is a well-functioning person, they will give you back the same kindness and love. And too, everyone has different ideas about the way they need kindness and love to be expressed. Find out what makes the person you are with feel loved.

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Dr. Elena's Info-Bit!

Plastic Surgery for Men

In my Internet travels, I came across an article from “Men’s Health” (I love that magazine), posted by Bethany Sanders. It seems that plastic surgery isn’t for just women anymore. In the past six years, plastic surgery in the male population has increased 44%. The most typical surgery is botox, microdermabrasion, and hair removal. Now here’s a surprise: (I’m being sarcastic and joking too). Surgeons also suspect that liposuction, body lifts and tummy tucks, and gastric by-pass surgery is going to dramatically incline in the next few years as well. Say, these surgeons have no vested interest in such a dramatic incline, do they? Hmmmm.

I was kind of shocked and dismayed when I read this article. I had no idea that men had succumbed to the cosmetic surgery madness, like so many woman! Personally, I don’t even like to go to the dentist, so I can’t imagine having stuff injected into my face to freshen it up (it will just have to be stale). Or needles injected into my body and sucking out the fat. I’m going to hold onto my fat just in case I’m ever in an emergency situation and need it. And I can’t imagine silicone or foreign materials filling up my breast cavity. I don’t think my breasts should have to stand on their own when I am in a resting position anyway. And my face may drop and wrinkle more in time, but I kind of like that I inherited my grandmother’s laugh-lines. And too, I’ve earned the character demonstrated in my wrinkles/life lines. How about you?

It seems that in many circles these days, it is more unusual to see someone who hasn’t dabbled into cosmetic surgery. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that there are some people who really do need cosmetic surgery, like people who have endured serious accidents or women who have lost a breast to cancer, etc. However, it seems to me that we women and now men too, are jumping in on the surgery bandwagon. And it concerns me on many levels. First and foremost, who has the right to tell us we are not good enough? I mean really, if you have the perfect tan and wear a perfect size 2, and have no cellulite, stretch marks and/or saddle bags, does that make you a better and more loving person than the average size 14 woman? (I will be writing more about body image stuff in future e-zines). I want to hear you all yell out a resounding “No”. And let’s get real, surgery is surgery, and it does involve risk. So, in non-elective surgery a person is putting themselves at risk for something that is non-essential.

Digressing about this concept of physicality equaling lovability, I think that we have become obsessed with thinness and youth, neither of which, qualifies anyone as being a good person or contributing to society in a loving and substantial way. I also think that both genders are getting caught up in this superficial game, and our priorities are becoming perverted. I think people of all ages need to come to terms with who they are and what they stand for in life, and not judge themselves or allow others to judge them based on their appearance. I probably will not win any awards from plastic surgeons because I think that this is an un-healthy trend. I would love to know what you, my readers, think about the subject. And you don’t have to agree with me. And if you disagree, all I ask is that you disagree respectfully and intelligently (show me why or how you have a differing point of view).
As always I wish you love, and even more importantly, I wish you self-love!

PS
On a recent Tyra Banks television show, she addressed the sensitive issue of girls/women’s self esteem as it is relates to body image. I really admired the care, concern and love that she brought to this program. I think the message she gave to girls/women is that they are lovable no matter where they happen to be in the appearance spectrum. Their qualities as people make each and everyone of them special. This is a powerful message! Go Tyra! I love her! Guys, you are also special and important for who you are and not what you look like!

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Article . . .

Focus on Love
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

I find myself staring out the window frequently at the dancing winds scattering assorted shapes and dimensions of leaves from the once very green parts of the trees . . . . . washes of full orange, yellow, brown and rust make a perfect contrast to backdrop of the light-blue color of the skies. The coolness in the air fills my house and reminds me of a new season approaching. I often become reflective at this time of year as I contemplate the winter months to come.

Some time ago an older lady from my church was sharing some stories with me about her life. I felt quite flattered, and I was fascinated with the life she had lived and was living now. She told me she was born in Poland and had immigrated to the states in her late teens. She told me about the struggles she and her family had endured in her native country with the Nazi occupation and the work camps that she and many Poles were forced to endure. She and others she knew had knowledge about the other camps to which Jews were being sent, but felt helpless in doing anything about it. Her family’s home had been taken from her by the Nazis, and later by the Russians. They lived anywhere they could. Many times she and her family had very little to eat. She thoughtfully rested her hands on her lap and looked down when she said that she had spent a large portion of her life hating, fearing and not forgiving her tormentors.

Her life story sounded like a novel yet to be written, as she described in detail what her daily life had been like within the historical context. Yet she moved from decade to decade with grace and skill. She said to me, “I have lived a full rich life. And in every season of my life, I have come closer to understanding that love is the most important thing of all.” She continued, “When all is said and done, it is the people who have loved you and that you love that bring all of humanity together. As my seasons diminish, my ability to love becomes stronger.”

As the wind picked up, I shut the window but left the curtains open. This is a great metaphor for what my senior friend had done in her life. She was well aware of the politics of her day but still kept herself open, like the curtains, to the possibility of love. I wonder if in our new seasons we can focus our attention more on acts of love rather than on the people or situations that have caused us great consternation. It transcended her pain. Maybe in areas of your life it can do the same thing for you.

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Article . . .

New Beginnings
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

It always seems to me that the Fall Season is a time for fresh beginnings and new starts. Some people say that actually every day brings fresh starts and new beginnings, and that is a nice philosophy to embrace as well. However, for me, the Fall intensifies the world of possibilities. Maybe my attitude comes from early life when school started every September. My parents took us shopping for notebooks, papers, pencils, small pencil sharpeners and other school supplies. And each of my brothers and sisters got a pair of shoes for school, and a pair of dress shoes, and we each also got a new outfit. I just loved strutting my stuff and seeing the new attire of the other students the first day of school. I thought we all looked pretty snazzy!

Looking back at the expenses my parents had each Fall must have been a dreaded financial burden for them, but they never complained to us about it, and in fact made us feel so special. Even as an adult I like to make new plans for each season, I tell myself that it doesn’t matter what happened to me in the proceeding season, this season is a clean slate. Perhaps, this will be your time to start fresh new relationships and/or bring new attitudes into your current relationships. And/or enjoy even more the relationship you have with yourself!

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Article . . .

Perception
© 2007 Elena Bien All Rights Reserved
Note: To use this article, you must include the Author's full name and link to www.elena.tv

I love the summer! In America, at this time of year, it is warm, sunny and much more relaxing than the rest of the year. I developed the philosophy years ago, that you should never expect to fall in love with anyone you meet in the summer months. My reasoning was that if you met someone at that time of year, you would think that it was love, when actually it is the good weather and a more restful state of mind that summer brings that distorted your vision. I’m not really sure if it’s true or just my own personal experiences that led me to that conclusion. I do know that so much of what we believe to be true or real about another person is often reflective of who we are and what perceptions we hold at the given time.

My husband often quotes a saying that goes something like,”I am not who I think I am; I am not who YOU think I am; I am, who I think, YOU think I am.” What did I just say? Let me explain. We often become the person we have perceived over the years through the observation of the responses of others - who we thought others thought we were. This then can become reflected in our perception of others. As an example, if over the years you believed yourself to be an honest person; you probably feel that most potential partners that you meet also have this quality. And, if they reflect the same feelings towards you, it validates your belief. On a more negative note, if you have ever been in a relationship with a very jealous person to whom you have given no valid reason to be jealous, yet they are suspicious and controlling without cause (chances are they are probably cheaters themselves), it can lead you to questioning the initial belief you had about yourself.

Isn’t that interesting and disturbing all at the same time? You are probably wondering why I started talking about never falling in love in the summer due to perceptions and mind set. I’m getting there, honest. The relationship between the two dynamics is that when you are dating and/or in a serious relationship, it is important not to interpret your potential partner's, or relationship partner’s personality, behavior, way of thinking and beliefs, based on your desires and/or personal expectations. I have a friend who is a very sweet woman. Yet, it never fails that every time she dates someone, she tells me how sweet they are, when actually they have been closely related to, looking and acting, like they could be on one of the "10-Most-Wanted" lists. My husband George jokes in his seminars that when he is having a good day, he thinks I’m great and can do no wrong.

But, when he is having a bad day, he knows that I have faults and he sees everyone one of them clearly! So I ask you daters, and you fairly-new-relationship types, regardless of the season you met your love interest, to take your time getting to know someone. And base that knowledge of who that potential or new partner is on reality and not on your own internal workings. It is not an easy thing to do, but ultimately well worth your time!

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Author, Seminar Leader and College Professor, Dr. Elena Bien has combined her broad knowledge base, compassion and humor to her writing, seminars and college faculty positions.
She is committed to transforming the lives of women around the world!

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Thoughts and Questions about Life and Love (1 & 2 - Women Only!)

This exciting and thought-provoking 2-part workshop series discusses issues that many couples find themselves confronted with in the course of their relationship.  Create the kind of love relationship of your dreams! This workshop invites you to learn, grow and thrive in love!

About Long Distance Relationships (Women Only!)

How many times have you heard that long distance relationships don’t work? Is that really true? In this workshop we will examine some of the myths as well as challenges that many couples endure in long distance relationships. We will examine possible solutions. This fast paced, informative workshop, may help get your long distance on the right track!

Thoughts, Questions and Quotes about Love (Women Only!

Love is painful. All guys are out for one thing. I always attract the losers. There are no good men out there. I will be alone forever. Love never lasts. This dynamic and educational workshop will help you examine your underlying beliefs about love. Understanding your beliefs can help you to invite and create the type of men and relationships you want into your life. This workshop is interactive.

Thoughts, Questions and Quotes about Marriage (Women Only!)

Do you think marriage is meant to last a lifetime? Do you think that it is better to live together than marry? What do you think is the best way to create a happy marriage? These issues and other important issues and beliefs will be addressed in this revealing and dynamic workshop.

Loser Alert! Is “He” the one for you? (Women Only!)

Your clock is ticking and you want to marry and have children. You have just spent the last 4 years of your life involved with a guy who was more interested in his car than you. After you broke up and started dating you just weren’t sure of how to tell if each guy you dated might be the one! This interesting, fun and educational workshop can help you unravel the mystery.

User alert! Is She the one for you? (Men Only!)

The assumption is that men are the hunters in our society, so they of course know when they are being conned in a love relationship, right?  The truth of the matter is that men are as vulnerable as, and maybe even more so, than women in this regard. This workshop can assist men in putting into place certain tools that will help men determine if she is the one to keep or the one he needs to avoid like the plague. This is a fun, interesting and informative workshop!

Who says love can’t last forever? (For Women  Only)
(25 ways to beat the odds!)

You don’t have to go very far these days to be fed the details of the demise of marriage in our society. After a while some of these idea’s that bombard our thoughts can lead to self-prophesizing, which can become your reality, unless there is some kind of intervention. This exciting, entertaining and educational workshop may very well be your intervention!  We will examine at least 25 tips that can help make your love last forever? This workshop may help you beat the odds!

Before you move in with him. (For Women Only)
Men will not openly tell you that they . . . . .

The notion of men meeting a woman and knowing within the first five minutes weather she is the kind of women he wants to marry or the kind of women he wants to live with are still prevalent. If you want to be the marrying kind of women this workshop is for you.

“He said that we needed to live together for at least a year to get to know one another and then we would get married.” ....“It has been five years and he has not put a ring on my finger, and we have no plans to walk down the aisle.” ….”I moved into his place and cleaned for days upon days to make his old place our love nest. About six months after we started living together, he came home and told me that he was in love with another women and they were getting married! I was devastated."  This interesting and informative workshop examines some of the pros and cons of living together. In this workshop you will learn how to be self-protective! 

The Fine Art of Romance (For Men only). Be one of the guys that gets it!
10 Romance tips sure to "WOW" her! 

Most women believe that sex starts with romance…..

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Releasing and Replacing Ineffective Love Relationship Patterns (Seminar and/or Training Manual)

This educational workshop teaches clinicians how to use a specialized system called "RILP," which incorporates hypnosis and NLP techniques and language. Participants must hold Certifications in both Hypnosis and NLP.

In many situations in life it is impossible to go forward without going back.  Many clients go through the same heart-breaking scenarios time and again because they have little self-awareness. This is true in the area of love relationships.  Effective guided derivational search methods and revivification can help keep clients from repeating the same mistakes.  In this fast-paced workshop your will learn effective ways to deal with your clients’ love relationships issues.  You will learn how to help them identify healthy verses unhealthy patterns, and adjust and/or modify them to make better love choices in the future.  The time-tested techniques and processes addressed in this seminar are easy to use and often produce almost miraculous results.

2-Day Love Awareness Workshop Series

How to Meet and Marry Rich Men (for Women Only!)

There are several reasons why most women want to meet and marry rich men.

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.....then this workshop may be for you! We will explore the particulars of how you can meet and marry rich men today!

The Fine Art of Flirting

Flirting is a fine art.  It can help you meet people. It can be fun, interesting and thought provoking. Take this seminar and enjoy and learn how to fine tune your natural abilities.

Getting Over the Loss of Love

There are few things that seem to hurt as much as the loss of love either by divorce or death. In this seminar we will give you ways in which to cope with the ups and downs of breakups.

"Divorce-Proof" Your Marriage

It is estimated that a staggering 1 in 3 marriages in the United States will end up in divorce. Why is the divorce rate so high? Is there anything you can do about it? In this fast paced, educational and informational workshop you will be given tolls to assist you and your husband in not being counted as the one who gets divorced!

How to Enjoy the Single Life

I know a woman that wanted to buy a single bed but decided not to buy it because she thought it would somehow jinx her possibilities of meeting and marrying Mr. Right. Perhaps you know someone that has put her life on hold in so many ways waiting and hoping for “him “to come into her life and transform it. In this workshop learn how to enjoy your life, whether you are waiting for him to sweep you off your feet or not!

Great Ways to Meet Men!

I've have heard time and time again that it is virtually impossible to meet eligible guys in New York ! This simply is not true! Learn how you can have a great time and meet lots of interesting and possible dating material type’s guys in this fun and educational workshop.

The Sweet Art of Revenge

I once went to a party and met a woman that I thought was very nice, until I heard her saying she wanted to run over her Ex husband with a tractor trailer. At the time I thought that was a horrible thing to think let along say it out loud. However, when I went through divorce years ago I understood her anger and need to devise a state of revenge. It is actually very healthy and healing. In this workshop you will learn about the benefits of revenge.

Domestic Violence defining and developing strategies to create a Better Life for Yourself

Do you think yelling, cursing at, belittling, pushing, intimidating and/or actual hitting are acts of Domestic Violence? If you or someone you know is in a relationship that has these and other questionable qualities than this may be the workshop for you. We define, explore and engage in life strategy planning.

How to Spot a Liar Before He Makes Off With Your Heart!

Most woman who have been dating for awhile think that they can spot a liar, yet time and time again when they are put to the test they fail…and the liar moves in and takes their heart hostage. Learn some quick and easy to remember ways to spot even the best liar!  This workshop can lessen your changes of ever being taken in again!

How to Have an Affair with Your Husband or Boyfriend

I know it is difficult after a long day at the office or after a full day of picking up after kids to have the energy or inclination to put on your sexiest outfit and play lover with your man. Learn how to put time aside and plan wonderful sexapades!  This workshop can help to assist you in turning your beige intimate relationship into assorted colors of passion, interest and fun! 

Getting Through Divorce Intact

I have heard it said that it is harder to lose your man through divorce than through death. In death you still have fond memories in divorce you may only wish he was dead figuratively!

How to Be Happy if You Are Single During the Holidays

Other than saving all the money you would have saved in gift buying for your would be lover and perhaps his family, this workshop will assist you in exploring ways to increase your pleasure in being single around the holidays!

How to Be a Great Step-Mom! 

If you are engaged or already married to a man that has children that you will/have inherited by virtue of marriage, this may be the workshop for you.  I will help you explore ways to improve the quality of the relationship you cultivate with your step kids!

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