Your Family Village

How we can build our own modern extended family in a busy world.

034 - Another Simple Way You Can Build Happiness

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If you’ve listened to much of my material before, you’ll know that what I talk about a lot is our ancestors and how humans biochemically change when we spend time with other humans. Sometimes, I get so busy that I forget to connect with the people I live with. I find that I’m too tired or overwhelmed.

I love my iPhone just as much, if not more, than the next guy. The digital world and the progress that we have made as human beings is so good. But the thing is, our ancestors did a lot of things that provided so many benefits. If we could bring those strengths and benefits to our current world, a lot of us would be healthier, happier, and would enjoy life more.

For example, let’s talk about when people started farming. When it was time to bring in the wheat, people gathered together to bring in the harvest. When a barn needed to be built, people would gather together to do so. I was at a friend’s house the other day. She was getting a dock built and needed a gathering of people to lift it. As I saw all these people raising up this heavy structure and working together, in reminded me of what out ancestors did.

While I really crave hanging out with other people, I do find it really challenging to just sit there and sip tea; I want to be doing stuff with my hands. Recently, I’ve been going to a friend’s house and helping her go through old cupboards and drawers to organize her home. I’ve found that I’ve gotten a lot of pleasure from that.

If you already have lots going on, one of the things to remember is that even if we just do a chore with a friend, doing it together can be such a neat way of spending time together. You get the job done and, at the same time, you get that connection of hanging out with someone. I ended up going home one night after organizing the house and thinking about how I was so satisfied and happy. It was because I accomplished something, I was helping a friend out, and I got to bond with some more friends who were also helping.

It’s such a neat thing to be able to spend time with other people. In our busy world, our digital world, we’re kind of losing that ability of just hanging out and getting stuff done. But what we do know, and what science proves, is that being in the presence of other human beings makes us happier.

Who would have thought? We’re social creatures.

033 - Moving Forward with Life Anyways

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Moving Forward with Life Anyways, Even when we forgot to get skinny, be financially successful, or become amazingly interesting.

For many of us who are getting to be middle-aged, or older than that, our kids don’t need us like they used to. When I look at my family environment, I realize that over the years when I’ve come home from work, it’s been so easy to just binge on Netflix or get on Facebook rather than connecting with my child or spouse.

 

Even though we’re more digitally connected than we’ve ever been, loneliness is on the rise. I’ve looked at my life and realized how consumed I was in my work. When I come home from work a lot of times, my brain feels so fried to the point that I don’t have a lot of energy left for my family. I’ve let that narrative impact my whole life, and now I’m realizing that the most important thing is connecting with the people we love.

 

As human beings, we are social creatures. Our ancestors really strived by living with other people. My mom was a stay at home mom, and she was in charge of making sure that Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. happened; she was the gatherer of everyone. I feel the same responsibility in my family. It’s up to me to ensure that those connections and gatherings happen.

 

I’ve always procrastinated and told myself “yeah, yeah, I’ll get to that.” What’s happened is that I look at my life, and my age, and realize that there’s so much that I haven’t got around to doing:I didn’t become super buff, I didn’t become as interesting as I wanted to become, and I didn’t travel as much as I wanted, and here I am. 51-years-old and wondering if my life has passed me by.

 

It hasn’t. I did Landmark Forum (a weekend-long life transformation event) years ago, and they have this expression: “living on the court.” The one thing that really stuck with me from Landmark is that I haven’t lived my life on the court in certain ways. Sure, on the outside I look pretty successful: I have a small law practice, I have a beautiful home, and there’s no question about those things. However, I’ve also lived on the sidelines in so many ways.

 

I live on the water, and although it’s cold, my family goes swimming in it almost every day in the summer. Because I have body issues, I’ve hardly gone in the water at all in the eighteen years I’ve been living in this house. What kind of tragedy is that? I’ve stood on the sidelines while I’m too shy or insecure to get into the water along with everyone else.

 

I have some friends who live in my neighborhood and they have three kids. This family lives on the court! The husband and wife go out to art events all the time. The kids travel with their parents. They swim every day in the water. I think about how often I think that I’m too tired to focus on having conversations and that it’s so easy to dive into Netflix. Yet, look at this family. The other night, they invited us over for supper. Next thing you know, we’re sitting around the table and telling stories. There was a vibrant energy.

 

While people who know me might say that I’m always in action, I think I could do better. Now, at 51-years-old, I’m really jumping into that role of matriarch for my family. I’m not going to allow the story of being tired or overwhelmed to burden me or stop me from connecting with the people who are most important in my life.

032 - Making Ourselves Happier By Being In Service To Others

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What most Buddhists believe, and a lot of people on a spiritual path believe, is that we are meant to be in service. Whether it’s to be in service to one another, or to create, we’re here to make the world a better place and make other people’s lives better. 

 

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open  

031 - Grow Your Extended Family With Unconditional Love: Adopt A Dog!

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While having a dog is a huge commitment and may not be for everyone, for those of us who have the time and structure in our lives, a dog is just the kind of “person” who can fill our hearts to full.

 

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open  

030 - How to Directly Touch Someone, Right in the Heart: Texting with Paper

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So many of us are too busy trying to keep up with all the demands of life. We sometimes forget how easy it can be to reach out. I was reminded recently of a profound way that we can reach out to people that we care about: the old-fashioned, hand-written note. The great thing about sending a note the old-fashioned way is that the sentiment is just as valuable as what’s written inside. 

Listen to today's podcast for inspiration, and a sweet story about how my step-daughter recently made my whole week. 

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open 

 

10 Easy Ways To Connect When You Feel Disconnected and Overwhelmed: #1 Puzzling

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Last week I shared my top-10 Easy Ways To Connect When You're Feeling Disconnected And Overwhelmed. Today, I talk about what I love so much about puzzles!

10 Easy Ways To Connect When You're Feeling Disconnected And Overwhelmed
1. Do a Puzzle
2. Play Cards
3. Grab a Cuppa
4. Make Food With Someone You Care About
5. Throw a Potluck
6. Host an Awesome Soup Saturday
7. Craft!
8. Bake
9. Go For a Picnic
10. Go For A Walk

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open 

029 - 10 Easy Ways To Spend Time With Others When You’re Feeling Disconnected and Overwhelmed

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Most of us want to spend more time with the people we care about. And a lot of us are wondering where we’ll find the time to do it.

In this podcast, I share my top-10 list of not-so-big-steps that we can take to stave off lonely, create relationships, and in general, grow our own happiness! These ideas are specifically for busy, tired people who want more human connections in their lives.

Links: 

Susan Pinker TED Talk: The Secret To Living Longer May Be In Your Social Life

https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_pinker_the_secret_to_living_longer_may_be_your_social_life

 

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open 

028 - How to Make a Dinner Party for Tired, Hungry, Busy People

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Nothing makes me happier than our home with people in it. It's all about the sound of laughter and conversation, with the chaos of kids and dogs playing somewhere in the background. It fills my heart.

Hosting a potluck is my favourite go-to when I need to reconnect and I'm too busy or overwhelmed with life to organize a formal dinner party. Listen to this week's podcast is all about where the word "potluck" came from, and shares ideas on how to throw one without adding to your busy schedule.

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open 

 

027 - Getting Our Friends to Hang Out Longer: The Uber Comfy Whistler Bench

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In this week's video I share how a relatively small construction project in our kitchen has radically changed how much time my friends and family want to hang out at my house. If you’ve been following my channel, then you already know what I believe - and studies show - about how important it is to spend time with the people we love.

 

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open 

026 - Antidote To Crushing Heartbreak: Part 5 - Forgiveness

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This five-part series, called The Antidote To Crushing Heartbreak, captures the wisdom of my divorce clients and puts it into a strategic guide for anyone struggling to overcome the aching loneliness of divorce or separation.

 

Part 5: Forgiveness talks about how adopting a Forgiveness Practice can help you to find the answers - and the power - within yourself to rebuild a life of happiness and fulfillment.   

 

Links

Antidote To Crushing Heartache ~ Part 1: Hope & Understanding

Antidote To Crushing Heartbreak ~ Part 2: Weaving Your Social Fabric

Antidote To Crushing Heartbreak ~ Part 3: Keeping Track Of What’s Important

Antidote To Crushing Heartbreak ~ Part 4: Finding Fulfillment

The Journey Is Too Painful To Go Alone: Why I Recommend Counselling To My Divorce Clients

The Happiness Advantage - Shawn Achor

Ho’oponopono Forgiveness Practice

Master Sha’s Forgiveness Practice

 

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Val Hemminger is a mother, lawyer, and person who loves to connect with other humans. For a daily dose of Your Family Village you can follow her on valhemminger.com and on the Your Family Village Facebook page. 

Connect with those you live with and love, create and develop more meaningful friendships. Get Val Hemminger's Free eBook: The Door Is Always Open 

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