Tag Archives: friendship

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



Words of Wisdom: Love, Friendship & Adventure

Now *that’s* a hefty post!

My first three-day combo blog since starting the daily gratitude practice . . . I am contemplating gratitude daily, and finding a multitude of things to be grateful for.  There’s certainly no shortage of goodness to appreciate here.  But I haven’t been *blogging* about them daily.  So today, we’ve got three, count ’em 1, 2, 3! – goodies to give thanks for.


A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.   ~ Thomas Carlyle

(It was Valentine’s Day, and all . . . )









The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.  ~ Abraham Lincoln
(Damn skippy! And Happy Prez weekend, Lena!  So happy you’re here!)
To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…. And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.   ~ Søren Kierkegaard
(As one of my soul sisters and I make our way out to the great infinity of possibilities the city has to offer us today . . . yes ma’am, we are lucky mo’ fo’s.)

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]


A Whirlwind Fortnight in Londontown

“A Friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature,” so mused Ralph Waldo Emerson, big papa of the Transcendentalists.

You may find yourself flying through the sky over ice-capped Himalayan peaks, or at the mouth of a glistening Holy Ganges; surrounded by California’s magnificent redwoods, or laying  under the sun on one of Hawaii’s milky white beaches … but you’ll never feel so blessed as in the company of a good friend.

Homey rendezvous point: Soho Square, Naked Statues

(Of course, the ideal situation is: good friend + gorgeous surroundings + nature’s highly underrated masterpiece: fresh local grub.  But out of the clouds, and back to the subject at hand …)

Walking past Brixton station, it’s 1 am.  To my left, the ominous church where a drum and bass night called Mass once went down.  Booming basslines and clumsy walks down winding stairwells.  Nineteen years old, without a friggin’ clue.

I can’t believe it’s been five years since I lived in London.

It wasn’t as though I didn’t want to come back.  I’d just never really had the cash to pull it off.  Ever since I’d left, my life seemed to be a series of incredibly dramatic events.  They were exciting, horrendous, lesson-filled, reactionary times.

Locked out of the house in Brixton. Not a bad time for contemplation ...

So it’s especially heartwarming to come back to my second home this time, with my feet on the ground, at least, relatively speaking!

I visited with everyone I could possibly see, spending two or three solid days and nights with each homey, moving around like a proper tramp, with my surprisingly heavy backpack (I’m such a girl when it comes to packing!).

Laura Lady, Me and the Zozo Bird ... for lack of an open pub, at the Big Chill.

It was a good time to practice non-attachment, to the past, to expectations, to the comforts of a less travely-existence :o)

But mostly it was a good time to relish in that unique love shared with very old homies.  (Yup, the older I get, the cheesier I get. There’s just no fighting it!)

Wanna guess what he's made of? (hint: narehsg)

We saw fabulous art as often as possible – lawd knows I didn’t get enough of that in the Middle East!

If you could name this piece, what would you call it?

Munched on all manner of delectables, from Tomato Wheat Crunchies (purchased for my arrival, I can’t believe you remembered, Chippy!) to gourmet meals of lemon sole atop fennel and white wine risotto, accompanied by a raspberry spinach salad (hells yeah, Mr. Graham).

That burger is *not* messin' around. Kua'aina, Oxford Circus

Stepping into someone’s unique corner of the world, you can really get a sense for the ins and outs of daily existence.  It’s nothing like a window through which you peer, as with Skype or the occasional phone call.  You actually get to walk beside them, down windy shortcut roads.  You see where they spin records, meet their new pets, and have the honor of a roast with their legendary mother.

That's love.

Too-rare, these shared moments on familiar ground …

Some of it was a surprise (the newly refurbished Victoria Line, the preparations for the Olympics, how settled-in everyone’s become).  But what was surreal was not the nature of this mad 10-person 14-day extravaganza of 5 years of catching up and non-stop uber urban exploration.

What was surreal about it all was its familiarity and comfort.

That hair was pretty surreal too, though

Having lived in two states and two countries in the last five years, I can honestly say I’d be comfortable living anywhere.  But this … this was a return home.  Like my visit to Hawaii.  And I know I’m a very lucky lady for having had these experiences.

I also feel pretty lucky for having captured this moment. Priceless.

Top five things I did in London you might want to try on your trip (keeping in mind, I didn’t really go as a tourist …):

Shoreditch buddy

5. Tripped around Shoreditch and had a tipple in Café 1001 (avoiding the food all together!).  Get your ass a few blocks outta hipster central to Broadwick Market and the surrounding canal bits.

Hipster flagship chillin' spot - it was cool seven years ago, I swear!

4. Saw loads of free art at the Victoria and Albert, Natural History Museum and the Tate Modern.  Mmmmm, soak in the inspiration …

Not usually my cuppa, but the Natural History Museum was entertaining for at least 45 mintues.

3. Ate some tasty grub at Hawaii’s very own Kua’aina burger joint.  Don’t hold back on the pineapple!  If casual sammitches aren’t your thang, I highly recommend a picnic in any of London’s most excellent parks (sorry, no fine dining suggestions from this rolling stone!).

Romantic picnicking!

2.  Checked out a few new acts at the Lexington in Angel and Camden’s very own Lock Tavern.  The music scene in London is much more accessible than in many other major cities – and you won’t be sacrificing quality for quantity.

Mustache Bar in Dalston, my old hood-come-hipster-center.

1. Strolled Southbank along the Thames where a food truck market lead us to many a bridge to choose from – take one across the way and take in the propriety of Westminster.  Top the night off with a proper Ale, cuz yes, we are that old now!

I highly recommend the Big Buddha Bowl (steer clear of the Paella!)
Westminster from the Japan Festival on the Thames.