Tag Archives: friends

Day of Gratitude 142: Making a New Friend

Always feels good to add another bright light to your circle of mates.  Shannon Sodano, I’m lookin’ forward to some healthful adventures 😉

As if you needed a study to tell you friendship is beneficial, here’s a perspective published on Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com)….

The Health Benefits of True Friendship

By Lissa Rankin, M.D.
Created May 8 2012 – 8:40am

I recently went to the monthly Finding Meaning in Medicine group I attend with Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen and a few other awesome physicians who gather together to remind each other why we are in service and who we are. Each month, we choose a topic to discuss. The topic was FRIENDSHIP.

One person brought this to share.

The Definition of A True Friend

  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one’s counterpart
  • Mutual understanding and compassion; ability to go to each other for emotional support
  • Enjoyment of each other’s company
  • Trust in one another
  • Positive reciprocity — a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.
  • The ability to be oneself, express one’s feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgment.

The Health Benefits Of Friendship

It made me consider my friendships and whether I’m as good a friend as I could be. We all know that feeling connected to those you love and having intimate friendship leads to a happier life. But did you know it also makes you healthier?

While writing this book, I’ve realized that I have to expand the definition of health. It’s not enough to just eat your veggies, move your body, get enough sleep, and follow doctor’s orders. Many other factors contribute to your overall health, and friendship is one of them.

The research I’m doing for my book Mind Over Medicine shows that people with a close network of friends live longer, have healthier brains, survive breast cancer better, survive heart disease better, and get less colds.

But how many of us really think about our friendships when we consider what it means to be healthy?

A Friendship Practice

In my line of work as a blogger, social media junkie, public speaker, and doctor, I communicate with as many as hundreds of people every day. Some of these people are already friends. Some become friends. And some are people I’ve never met and probably never will. It really blurs the line for me regarding who my true friends really are, and I worry that sometimes I spend so much time interacting with (and genuinely loving) strangers that I fail to be as present as I want to be with my true friends.

When my friends need something, I’ll drop everything for them. But when they don’t write or call, I have to admit that sometimes I get so busy they slip my mind, and months – sometimes even years – can go by without any communication.

I wanted to change this.

So I’ve started a friendship practice to help me be more mindful of the friends I really love, my inner circle posse of awesome. I wrote all their names on a list and placed the list on my altar, where I meditate every day, so every day I will think of these people at least once.  I’m hoping that focusing my attention on those I love will help me be a better friend. Maybe it’ll even help my friends feel more loved, connected, and healthy.

As a wise, unnamed person once said, “A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”

I want to know the songs in the hearts of those I love.

Are You A Good Friend?

Are you there for the friends in your life? Do you feel comfortable being vulnerable and open with them? Do you ask for what you need from your friends? Do you give them what they need? Do you know the song of a friend’s heart? Do they know yours?

Appreciating good friends,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.comPink Medicine Revolutionarymotivational speaker, and author of What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about Lissa Rankin here. 

[1] http://www.psychologytoday.com/experts/lissa-rankin-md
[2] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink
[3] http://www.psychologytoday.com/taxonomy/term/41
[4] http://www.psychologytoday.com/taxonomy/term/2106
[5] http://www.psychologytoday.com/taxonomy/term/7
[6] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/brains
[7] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/breast-cancer
[8] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/colds
[9] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/compassion
[10] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/faults
[11] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/feelings
[12] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/friend
[13] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/friendship
[14] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/friendships
[15] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/health
[16] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/health-benefits
[17] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/heart-disease
[18] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/honesty
[19] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/judgment
[20] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/lissa-rankin
[21] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/nbsp
[22] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/network-friends
[23] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/owning-pink
[24] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/pink-medicine
[25] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/public-speaker
[26] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/rachel-naomi-remen-0
[27] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/reciprocity
[28] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/tendency
[29] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/trust
[30] http://www.psychologytoday.com/tags/veggies-1



Rendezvous in Paradise

Today I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting with three people who genuinely rock my world.


After a jaunt across the island in Hawaii’s infamous Da Bus, I partook in lunch and chit chat with my fabulous former debate partner and friend.  It didn’t hurt that we were meeting in Manoa, the gorgeous green valley that opens up right into Honolulu – pure dew-kissed class.

I made my way out to Waikiki later on to share a beer with my old housemate from Brooklyn, who just so happens to be in Hawaii at the same time.  His family are staying at The Breakers hotel, where I found myself completely enamored by the old school architecture and Japanese aesthetic.  Although Fort DeRussy is usually not top on my visiting list, it really is such a sweet stretch of sand and relaxation – my first full dip into the ocean this visit!

The night saw a perfect end with dinner with one of my dearest oldest friends at Greens and Vines (don’t mind the terribly-written review), a new raw vegan restaurant in downtown Honolulu.  And it was delightful!  The pad thai is perfectly seasoned with vibrant dashes of kaffir lime and miso, the lasagne a solid balance of pesto nuttiness and sundried tomato tang . . . and oh, the desserts are divine!

I am definitely one lucky lady.


It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Winter Solstice Appreciation

Twelve hours ago, at 11:12 a.m., the Winter Solstice officially crossed our skies.

After a few very long and arduous weeks, I treated myself to catching up with old friends, connecting with new ones, and tonight, appreciating all the beautiful connections this year.

Though I’m not looking forward to the cold to come, friendships are a good way to keep warm (awwww!  Cheese Fest!)  🙂


Wanna know more about the Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the solstice that occurs in winter. It is the time at which the Sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. [2] In the Northern Hemisphere this is the Southern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its southernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on December 21 to 22 each year.[3]

In the Southern Hemisphere this is the Northern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its northernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on June 20 to 21 each year.[4]

The axial tilt of Earth and gyroscopic effects of the planet’s daily rotation keep the axis of rotation pointed at the same point in the sky. As the Earth follows its orbit around the Sun, the same hemisphere that faced away from the Sun, experiencing winter, will, in half a year, face towards the Sun and experience summer. Since the two hemispheres face opposite directions along the planetary pole, as one polar hemisphere experiences winter, the other experiences summer.

More evident from high latitudes, a hemisphere’s winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun’s daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest.[5] Since the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, other terms are often used for the day on which it occurs, such as “midwinter“, “the longest night”, “the shortest day” or “the first day of winter“. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most Northern Hemisphere cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.[6]


Visiting Mates!

Today is Friday, November 9th, 2012 – and I am grateful for two of my dearest friends being right here in New York!!


I’m grateful for friends most days, writing emails, messages, texts, talking on the phone – I never realized how necessary socializing with friends is until Hurricane Sandy left me hermit-like for five days.  It felt like a vital nutrient had been sucked from my marrow.  That could also be the uprooting chaos-ridden energy of the week in general.  But the point is: I love me some friends.

Lena and Mad traveled from Seattle and Baltimore to make their ways to my ‘lil corner of the world (see song below) . . . and I can’t wait to show ’em what NYC has to offer 😉


Appropriate ditty from one of my favorite indie bands: