Thursday, March 25, 2010

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Diana Morgan, M.A., Minister, H.H.E.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Your Wedding is a Ritual; It's not a performance

This is something I say to brides, grooms, and everyone else involved in the wedding day. It's just too easy to get caught up in the performance aspect of it. There's the dress, makeup, camera, video, can really start to feel like a performance. I have actually had numerous people call the start of the ceremony, "show time". Next thing you know, the day is over and you can't remember a thing. So here are some suggestions of ways that I help couples remain present on their wedding day:

As you begin your day, remember that this is a day to declare to your community of family and friends that you choose each other and they are there to celebrate with you. It's not a contest to judge the cake, the dress or the first dance. It's a day to enjoy each other and share in your love. It is an honor to be invited to a wedding and each person there loves you and cares about you.

Here is an interesting thing I have noticed over and over again. When I meet with couples the first time, they will give me an estimated number of guests, including "the ones that definitely won't come". When I meet with them again, a month or so before the wedding, they will tell me many of those people who "definitely won't come" are coming. Why? Because it is an honor to be invited to a wedding and EVERYONE wants to come!!

Take time throughout the day, with your partner, your family and friends and with yourself to pause and acknowledge the things about your wedding day that are sacred and dear to you.

During the ceremony, look into one another's eyes and hearts to really connect authentically with your whole heart.

At some point during the ceremony take a moment to look out at your family and friends and let in how much they love you and care about you and how wonderful it is that they are present to support you in your marriage.

Let yourself remember that this day will never happen again. As each moment passes, that moment will never happen again... Remember to breathe. Enjoy!

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052

For more information on ceremonies:
Blessings To You Ministry

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people in my travels. Today I want to talk about two of those people, Jewel and Chuck Savadelis, owners of Savadelis Films.

I recently had the opportunity to view one of the amazing Savadelis Films of a wedding in which I participated. It is particularly relevant that I was the officiant because of my experience of viewing the movie.

Let me see if I can begin to describe this experience. I was at the wedding! I was there the entire day! Yet when I viewed the movie, in some ways, it was as if I hadn't really been there. It was almost like I was watching the full experience that I was involved in, but had only experienced maybe 30% of it in person. From the views of the ceremony site to the reception site, to the different stages of the day, it was like reliving the experience of being at the wedding and viewing it for the first time all at once. I kept thinking, "I don't remember that... ", "How could I have missed that?"

Subtle I was noticing the drops of condensation dripping down the outside of the glass of champagne and the sparkles of the bubbles in the glass... I didn't notice that the first time.

On the wedding day, I didn't get to see the bride and groom each individually getting ready for the day. Who does, except maybe the moms...and the photographers? But Jewel and Chuck captured every moment of emotion on film.

I didn't get to see so many things, but the movie captured EVERYTHING!

As I watched the movie of this wedding, my eyes welled up with tears. I felt like I was there and it was happening all over again.

All I can say is if I had my wedding to do all over again, the only thing I would change is that I would have Jewel and Chuck create my wedding movie. Then I would actually watch it over and over again, and show it to people. ( Unfortunately, all I have is the video that a kind friend shot which I watched a few times and tucked away for posterity... sigh...)

Take a look at their site and call them!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ahhh. The Holidays

I have been thinking about the holidays as I’m sure many of you have. When the holidays start to arrive, (actually about mid October), it’s like life starts to accelerate from 60 mph (which is already too fast) to about 110mph. I feel like from Halloween until after New Years, I am holding my breath. I’m usually fine when I’m in my house, in my nice little haven away from the craziness of the world. But then, when I venture outside, it all hits me, the crowds, fast pace, holiday lights. Just about every store has been transformed into some sort of Christmas extravaganza. Anybody else relate?

The question is how you are thinking about and experiencing the holidays? Are you stressing about the holidays? Or are you excited? Maybe even joyous? Grateful? Or are you just hoping to avoid the whole nightmare, you know, just “get through it” unscathed? It seems that the majority of people I talk to are stressing. I would like to offer you some suggestions for a more harmonious holiday season. Expectations seem to be an enormous contributor to stress. One of the expressions that I always say is, “True happiness in life comes from a continual process of readjusting our expectations. If I’m unhappy, I need to change my actions or my expectations.” The holidays offer many excellent opportunities to practice this principle.

We all seem to get caught up in the material aspects of the holidays, feeling that we need to make up for whatever we didn’t do all year. We feel this pressure to send the cards, get gifts, connect, decorate the house, cook and spend time with the family. It’s like we have to get in a whole year or even worse, a whole lifetime of expectations in that one day. Those are all good things, so where does that obligatory feeling come from? It just feels like one big “should”! So the first step in de-stressing your holidays is to begin to notice how many times you say, “I should…” or “someone else should…” That is definitely a red flag. Watch it! You are about to be disappointed. And this leads to stress. So when you hit a “should” in the road, you can either choose not to do it, or you can change it into a choice. Notice how you relax once your “should” becomes a choice or you let go of it all together.
This morning I was talking to my friend and she asked me if I had any suggestions for spending the holidays in a meaningful and authentic way. For her, the holidays are not a religious experience. They are an opportunity to acknowledge and be grateful for her family and she wanted to do something that would honor her experience of the holidays.”

We’ve lost the authentic meaning of the rituals that I mentioned above, holiday cards, getting gifts, connecting, decorating the house, cooking and spending time with the family. Years ago, the gifts and meals were truly meant to help the needy during the long, cold, rainy winter. Over the years, in these modern times, the cooking for the less fortunate and gifts of clothing for the needy have morphed into making the most decadent and over-indulgent meals that leave us feeling so full that we might burst and buying ridiculously expensive and unnecessary gifts to impress those we love, as if our love isn’t enough. This is a great time of year to get in touch with the less fortunate and get into some selfless service, anonymous giving. Enjoy!

Connecting with family and friends is great but it must come from love and caring and not obligation. If it’s a “should” it will not be relaxing and fun. It will contribute to your stress level. Every time I am with my family, I am acutely aware that this particular gathering, with this group will never happen again. Even if we’re all in the same room next year, we will all be different. I am grateful and I appreciate each person and what they bring to the gathering and to my life. I make the effort and the commitment to have true, heartfelt, authentic interactions with my family members. And the most important aspect of connecting is to make sure to connect with your self. Make sure you get your down time, your relaxation. Go inside and be with your heart and what these holidays are truly about for you.
My goal for the holidays is to be of maximum service to those around me. I find that when I focus on what I can bring to the interaction or experience rather than what I can take, I am a lot happier! Speaking of maximum service and a meaningful way to celebrate the holidays, I would like to share something with you. Every year, on Christmas, my brother makes 100 lunches in paper bags with a sandwich, fruit, chips, a cookie, and candy and he travels around his town in his car, handing out meals to the homeless people who can’t even make it to a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter. Now that, to me, is the true spirit of the holidays.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Greetings and blessings to everyone.

This is the first day of this blog. I’m really excited to be doing this. Here are some of the topics I intend to discuss: weddings, baby blessings, house blessings, renewals, commitment ceremonies, life transitions, marriage and relationship health, raising kids, how to communicate with your kids and others, and whatever else comes up.

Who am I? I am a Certified Five Rings Coach and Stress Response Trainer with over 20 years experience teaching people how to communicate and have healthy relationships. I help people to reframe what they want to say within the framework of the Five Rings, wind, water, fire, ground and space. And I am an All Faiths Ceremony Officiant. I perform personalized ceremonies all over the SF Bay Area and have been for over 20 years.