Archive for the ‘Happiness’ Tag

Sowing Seeds of Happiness   Leave a comment

Preamble

I wrote the original version of this post back in August 2013. Amazing how time flies! Since then I’ve learned a lot more about the power of the brain and how it’s conditioned to tilt toward the negative based on our ancestors’ needs for survival; something that kept them on constant alert for oncoming threats and danger. Their need for protection was prominent, and therefore the reaction to potential danger to fight or flee was hardwired into the brain for the purpose of keeping them safe; something the brain continues to do today even when theres’s no real threat of danger. It’s no wonder that many of us struggle in pursuit of our dreams and goals, or are afraid to make changes because we’re conditioned to think the worst. This is known as the brain’s “negativity bias.”

I am so grateful for the HEAL process, developed by Dr. Rick Hansen, and the growth I’m seeing in myself, and others, based on the principles of experience dependent neuroplasticity (also known as Positive Neuroplasticity); a simple, yet powerful process that helps us grow inner resources for safety, satisfaction and connection so we can better meet life’s challenges and enjoy greater health, happiness and fulfillment.

SOWING SEEDS OF HAPPINESS

“All that I am is the result of all that I have thought.” – Buddha

It’s amazing how fast time flies, and how our dreams and goals, and the changes we wish to make often get sidetracked by the thoughts we think, the beliefs we hold, and the rationale that we’ll get to them someday. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t let your thoughts and beliefs hijack you!

Every word we speak, and every thought we think, has a powerful and corresponding effect. Whether we know it or not, we are constantly creating our own reality through our thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. Moreover, when we react to conditions and situations in our lives, the brain behaves as though we are in danger and strives to keep us safe.

For instance, let’s say you want to learn how to dance, but your mind tells you all the reasons you shouldn’t do it: “You won’t know anyone in the class, ” “you’ll  make a fool of yourself,” “you’ve got nothing to wear,” and “it’s too expensive,” etc. In this way, the amygdala, the part of the brain whose job it is to keep us safe, reacts and prompts us to flee, by staying at home and watching a movie by ourselves instead. And so rather than risk trying something new, we may feel lonely and unsatisfied as our dreams and goals are thwarted.

Alternatively, we can respond to life’s challenges by learning how to calm the nervous system and help the brain learn from positive facts and experiences. As we do, we create new neural pathways within the circuitry of the brain, which lead to a greater sense of well-being, joy and contentment.

Let’s redo our dance scenario. Let’s say, once again, you want to learn to dance. You still feel anxious and nervous about talking the class, but this time you recognize the brain’s bias toward negativity and its function to protect and  keep you from what it perceives as danger. Instead of reacting to the situation and staying at home to watch a movie, you respond by drawing on the inner resources you’ve developed for safety, satisfaction and connection. In this case, growing resources of calmness, confidence and feelings of belonging may have helped you feel more relaxed and comfortable about about taking the dance class. As neurons that fire together wire together, over time, you would be helping the brain learn from the new experience.

A final note: Please note that the practice isn’t about denying what’s happening within or around us. It’s about becoming mindful of our needs and growing inner resources that help us better meet life’s challenges. In doing so we create greater happiness for ourselves, for others, and for the world.

THIS WEEK’S TIP ‘N TOOL:

 SOWING SEEDS OF HAPPINESS

Change starts with mindfulness…

This week, without judging your thoughts, or yourself, simply notice the thoughts you’re thinking and the feelings they elicit. Be mindful of what they’re telling you. Ask yourself if they’re really true.

Next…

Try calming your nervous system by putting your right hand on your heart and taking several deep breaths. Let your exhale be longer than your inhale. Repeat this exercise until you feel a little calmer.

Choose a Resource…

Ask yourself what resource would be helpful to meet the challenge you’re experiencing.

Try this…

For example, let’s say you’ve been feeling insecure, afraid and timid. To match the resource to the situation, you might choose to grow confidence.

Begin by taking a few breaths, and relax as you let go and feel supported by the chair beneath you. As you breathe, and feel yourself relax, let go of any remaining tension. Then, as you’re ready, visualize or think of a time, or times, you felt confident.

Notice the sensations in your body, and any thoughts you may have in support of your feeling confident as you watch the experience play out in your minds eye. If opposite emotions or thoughts come up, know that’s natural and bring your attention back to the experience of feeling confident.

If you’re not visual, or have trouble visualizing, think of a time you felt confident and what that feels like in your body.

Enrich the experience by making it bigger. For instance, notice the details – where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, how the air feels on your skin, etc.

Then, let the sensations you’re experiencing as you visualize or think about the situation flow down into your body, like a sponge soaking in water. Stay with the sensations for 5 to 20 seconds or longer. Let yourself absorb and enjoy the experience.

When you’re ready, open your eyes.

Then, as you go through the course of your day, be aware times you feel encouraged, hopeful and assured, and once again, let the good feelings of the positive experience flow down into your body.

 When done consistently, you will help the brain to learn from the new experience, and over time, the tendency to tilt to the positive will become more natural.

Good Facts…

Look for good facts that support your feeling confident. For instance,, notice the things you do well, or the things you accomplish as you go about your day.  Then soak in the good feelings.

***Note that absorbing the good feelings into your body for as little as five to 10 seconds is what will help your brain to learn and grow for the better, and is an essential part of the practice.***

For more resources, please check out my books on Amazon.

As always, I’d love to hear about your experience, should you decide to try the process.

With love, Theresa

Connect with me on:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-conti-clc-95b4972b/

Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Reconnecting2Yo

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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) 12 Steps to Organize Your Project   Leave a comment

“Sometimes if you’re not sure about something you just have to jump off the bridge and grow your wings on the way down.” – Danielle Steel

Today, I created a list of my top seven goals (who needs to wait until the New Year?); things I’ve been thinking about, but haven’t been acting on – at least not with an organized plan! Among my top three goals is publishing my next book, which will include 365 Tip ‘N Tools (one for each day of the year) on topics such as joy, health, safety, love, and belonging, among others. My mission is to inspire my readers to reconnect to their inner being, enhance their sense of happiness, and provide support to help them take consistent actions to fulfill their goals and dreams. The book will be based on more than 25 years of experience working with clients in the coaching, healing, and training fields.

I chose my writing project as the first among my seven goals to organize. Next, I created a plan to bridge the gap between where I am am now (just starting) and a date I deemed realistic for publishing my book. I then broke the project down into 12 steps I need to take, along with timelines, in order to reach my publication date. The process I just outlined helped me to organize and visualize my project in an orderly and doable way.

It’s easy to procrastinate on the things we would like to do, or experience, until we have a plan and take committed action. And when we do, we build our confidence, and feel energized and hopeful.

THIS WEEK’S TNT: 12 Steps to Organize Your Project

Step 1: Brainstorm a list of one to seven goals you would like to achieve, but haven’t yet acted on, or created a plan to attain it.

Step 2: From the list of goals you brainstormed, choose one that most energizes and excites you.

***Step 3: Decide on a realistic date for accomplishing it.***

Step 4: “Bridge the gap,” by breaking your goal down into manageable and achievable steps you know you can accomplish.

Stretch yourself, but make the steps attainable.

For instance, if you want to write a book, one step might be researching publishers who publish the type of content you wish to write about.

Step 5: Create realistic timelines for completing each of the steps you outlined above, in order to reach your target date.

Step 6: See if the date for completing your project lines up with your timelines, or if you need to adjust it.

For instance, using the example of publishing a book, if your target date for publication is February 30, 2019, but it will take you until April 1, 2019 to complete all of the steps in your plan, adjust your target date accordingly.

If you like, schedule each step into your calendar to remind you of your actions, and reinforce your timelines.

Step 7:  Print out your action plan and place it where you can see it.

Step 8: Create a plan to address resistance, when and if it should occur.

For instance, you can talk with a supportive friend, join a writer’s group (if writing is your goal), or hire a coach or other professional who can help you through the process.

You can also reflect on what’s getting in the way, and how you can address it.

Step 9: Follow-through on the steps you have committed to.

Step 10: If you find yourself struggling, imagine yourself being support, and carried along by the process.

Step 11: Acknowledge each step you complete and celebrate your successes!

For instance, as you complete each piece of your plan, stop and savor the feelings of satisfaction, joy, and achievement.  

Step 12: Use the same process to complete your other projects when you’re ready!

As long as you keep moving forward, you’re guaranteed to cross the bridge!

***Note: You can also write your timelines first, and then establish your projected completion date.

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Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing Practitioner, Author and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

You can find her book, “Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself,”  on Amazon.

PURCHASE YOUR COPY HERE

Alpha V2

Connect with me on:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-conti-clc-95b4972b/

Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Reconnecting2Yo

 Yelp: http://goo.gl/1I8BNy

 

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Stress Less. Charge Your Life   Leave a comment

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

Reducing your stress has the implications of strengthening your immune system and lowering your cortisol levels, which in turn reduces inflammation and improves your overall health.

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather these last few days and have been coloring in one of the coloring books I purchased when I was in Barcelona for a week’s vacation last November. I flipped through the pages, found a design I liked by Joan Fabre’ I Oliver, and have been keeping the book on my living room counter, open to the page I’m coloring, to give me easy access. Each time I walk by, I take a peek, and when I feel inspired, stop for a minute or two or five and color another piece. I just finished coloring in the sides with Faber Castell’s Middle Purple Pink! When I finished the section, I stood for a moment and noticed how light, calm and healthy I felt.

We often think of reducing stress as a stressful thing to do – and something we have to work at. But what if we had a paradigm shift and saw stress as an opportunity to be more playful?

THIS WEEK’S TNT

Do something every day that makes you smile,  lights you up and brings a sense of joy and playfulness.

Then stop and notice how good you feel and let the positive sensations soak in.

Doing so on a regular basis will reduce your stress and improve your sense of happiness.

With love,

Theresa

STRESS LESS. CHARGE YOUR LIFE.

“ALPHABET AFFIRMATIONS: TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE AND LOVE YOURSELF” IS AN EASY AND EMPOWERING PROCESS, THAT CAN HELP YOU REDUCE YORU STRESS AND CHARGE YOUR LIFE WITH  GREATER HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.

PURCHASE YOUR COPY ON AMAZON.

https://goo.gl/DSEpCY

HERE’S WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

“Theresa’s book and techniques will help guide you on your path to transformation. When you create a life you love and are grateful for your life, mind, body and spirit receive the love message and all benefit.”   Bernie Siegel, M.D., Author of 365 Prescriptions For The Soul 

“A beautiful and simple concept – as easy as ABC! This sweet book offers a creative way to counter the leanings of the mind and provides exercises to stay buoyant and positive — and it offers a section to add even more affirmations to the mix! How cool is that? A great book to have on hand as a reminder that every moment is a new moment and it “affirms” that one can transform their thoughts and their lives in a quick minute. My favorite letter is Q!” – S.G.

FIND IT ON AMAZON

https://goo.gl/DSEpCY

If would you found this week’s TNT helpful, and would like to support my ongoing work, please visit my Virtual Tip Jar at PayPal.  It’s here:
Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, Author, and Workshop Facilitator with more 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and create happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

Website: www.reconnecting2you.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-conti-clc-95b4972b/

Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Reconnecting2Yo

 Yelp: http://goo.gl/1I8BNy

To sign up for Theresa’s mailing list, email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com or click the “Join My List” icon on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2youda

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Just Say “No”   Leave a comment

“Although it may feel uncomfortable to think about saying no, it’s important to remember that each time you say yes to someone, or something else, you say no to you and your priorities.” – Oprah Winfrey

We want to be kind. We want to be loved. We want to give because it feels good, and we want to be generous with our gifts, talents, abilities and time. But how often do we say “yes” to requests from friends, colleagues, family members, and others, when we know, within our heart of hearts, that it means taking time away from caring for ourselves?

Saying “no” can conjure up feelings of guilt and shame, because we may think it’s self-centered, and be afraid that others may judge us. But people learn how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.

Giving and receiving is an art of balance. But how can we achieve it? Change begins with awareness. Are you aware of how often you say “yes” when you would rather say “no?” The answer may surprise you!

THIS WEEK’S TNT

This week, make not of how many times you say “yes,” when you would rather say “no.”

Keep a record in a small notebook or make a list on your phone.

Notice how you feel when you say “yes” to something you don’t want to do.

Do you feel resentful, angry, frustrated, stressed, or exhausted?

Your body is giving you clues!

At the end of the week, add up the number of entries in your notebook.

Then,  make a list of five things you would like to say “no” to.

Start with something small.

You don’t need to explain or justify yourself.

Don’t know what to say?

Here’s a rule of thumb you can follow:

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don’t say it mean.

Learning to say “no” takes practice. But you can learn how to say it.

The more you practice, the easier it will become.

You will feel better, and while some relationships may fall away, others will deepen and grow.

As always, I would love to hear your comments about how this week’s TNT worked for you and what it is you discovered.

With love, Theresa

If would you found this week’s TNT helpful, and would like to support my ongoing work, please visit my Virtual Tip Jar at PayPal.  It’s here:
 paypal.me/Reconnecting2You

Is there a goal or dream you would like to fulfill and would like support in moving forward? It would be my pleasure to speak with you. Email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com to schedule a Complimentary Coaching Consultation. Available internationally by Skype and U.S. telephone.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and create happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Website: www.reconnecting2you.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-conti-clc-95b4972b/

Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Reconnecting2Yo

 Yelp: http://goo.gl/1I8BNy

To sign up for Theresa’s mailing list, email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com or click the “Join My List” icon on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?   2 comments

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” – Hafez

I was first introduced to the question “Would you rather be right or happy?” as a student of A Course in Miracles back in the 1980’s. It was a profound turning point, and changed the way I viewed my relationships and my perceptions of life.

The mind is riddled with judgment and loves to be right, which creates conflict within ourselves and our personal and global relationships.

The state of the world, and the stress we experience, often stem from our thoughts and perceptions. What would happen if we suspended our judgments for just one day and created space to listen and understand one another? To find common ground? And extend love and compassion to ourselves instead of comparing what we have and who we are to others?

Suspending judgment doesn’t mean we accept the status quo or don’t change what isn’t working when our human needs for love and security are neglected. Rather, it calls for questioning whether our judgments and opinions about ourselves, and others, are accurate.

Our happiness resides within and is waiting to be found. Let’s discover it!

THIS WEEKS TNT

Choose one day during the week to experiment.

Stop at regular intervals during the day to take note of your thoughts and perceptions.

Choose an activity that you engage in throughout the day to serve as a reminder to stop and observe what you are thinking.

Take a breath and notice any stress or discomfort in your body as you take note of your thoughts.

Ask yourself if the thought or perception is accurate.

Is it based on the past or the present?

Is it yours or someone else’s?

How else can you view the situation?

What, if any changes, are you aware of?

As always, I would love to hear your comments about how this week’s TNT worked for you and what it is you discovered.

With love,

Theresa

Are you in transition?

Is there a goal or dream you would like to fulfill and would like support in moving forward? It would be my pleasure to speak with you. Email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com to schedule a Complimentary Coaching Consultation. Available internationally by Skype and U.S. telephone.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and create happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Website: www.reconnecting2you.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-conti-clc-95b4972b/

Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Reconnecting2Yo

 Yelp: http://goo.gl/1I8BNy

 

To sign up for Theresa’s mailing list, email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com or click the “Join My List” icon on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Affirmations: The Power of Our Words   Leave a comment

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

Although we may be accustomed to thinking that our minds and bodies are separate entities, the truth is that they are intimately connected and have an effect on our behaviors and our experience of the world.

For instance, let’s say you have a conflict with a co-worker or family member and are uncomfortable addressing it.  Here’s how the scenario might go:

Thought: I am afraid of conflict.

Feeling: Fear, anxiety, resentment

Behavior: Avoidance, aggression

Physical response: Shallow breathing, stomach pain, tight muscles

When we change our thinking, we change how we feel about the situation or person, which then alters our behavior and how we physically feel.

In my workshop, Developing a New Relationship with Your Body, I facilitate a kinesiology exercise that proves the point.  I ask a volunteer to come to the front of the room and extend their dominant arm in a horizontal position. I then ask them to resist my pressure as I press down on their wrist and test their strength. They always test quite strong.

Next, I ask them to close their eyes and repeat the phrase “I am weak and helpless” 10 times. (I always do the counting!) When done, I ask them to extend the same arm and I retest their strength. The volunteers’ arms, without fail, become weak and fall limply by their sides. The class is always quite astonished.

In the final phase of the exercise, I ask the volunteers to repeat the statement “I am strong and powerful” 10 times, with eyes closed, and instruct them to soak in the good feelings. I then retest their strength. It sometimes takes volunteers a few tries to regain their original strength (such is the power of our negativity bias), but they always do, and often feel much stronger then they did at the beginning of the demonstration.

Affirmations are a powerful way to change our mindsets and improve our lives.  In my upcoming book, “Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Live and Love Yourself,” I provide 78 empowering affirmations to help you create a more joyful and healthy life. Pre-orders are coming soon!

In the meantime, try the following experiment:

THIS WEEK’S TNT

Pick a day to pay attention to your thinking.

Make note of your dominant thoughts.

Notice how you feel.

Choose one thought that diminishes your sense of well-being.

Write an affirmative statement to refocus your thinking.

Soak in the good feelings.

Notice any difference.

Use the affirmation as often as needed.

As always, I would love to hear your comments.

With love,

Theresa

Is there a goal or dream you would like to fulfill and would like support in moving forward? It would be my pleasure to speak with you. Email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com to schedule a Complimentary Coaching Consultation. Available internationally by Skype and U.S. telephone.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and create happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Website: www.reconnecting2you.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-conti-clc-95b4972b/

Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Reconnecting2Yo

 Yelp: http://goo.gl/1I8BNy

 

To sign up for Theresa’s mailing list, email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com or click the “Join My List” icon on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Living In Your Sweet Spot   Leave a comment

Preamble

I first heard the phrase “Sweet Spot” uttered by my father in relation to the number of strokes he could swim in the Atlantic Ocean. The phrase stuck with me through my childhood and re-emerged several years ago when speaking with a colleague about where in the world to live.

I love closing my eyes and imagining living in my sweet spot, whether it be related to work, a relationship or an adventure I would like to take. Visualizing my sweet spot elicits feelings of love, prosperity and a deep sense of joy and fulfillment.

We all have our personal sweet spots – some that we know of and some yet to be discovered.

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Living In Your Sweet Spot

“Life is too short to waste time in the wrong place.” – Joel Osteen

Are you in a job, a relationship, or other situation that drains you? Do you wake in the morning dreading the day? Do you settle for less because you’re afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a risk that jeopardizes the life you’re accustomed to? Or are you tired of the same old, same old, and ready to try something new?

The status quo provides a measure of safety, but it comes at a definite cost.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was in a dysfunctional marriage and was afraid to leave, because I wasn’t sure I would be able to support my son and I. Looking back, it’s clear to see that when I was ready to take a leap of faith, and file the papers, the universe was there to catch me. I have experienced this phenomenon repeatedly. Most recently when I left New York and began a new life in Trieste. Although your intentions may be different than mine the same can happen for you.

Change can be both exhilarating and scary. It opens new doors, provides new opportunities, and helps us flourish and grow. However, when fear or doubt set in, we may unconsciously sabotage ourselves by thinking the worst, rather than the best, case scenario.

In his book, “Hardwiring Happiness,” Rick Hanson, Ph.D. writes the following:

        “…in general, the default setting of the brain is to overestimate threats, underestimate opportunities,  and underestimate resources, both for coping with threats and for fulfilling opportunities. Then we update these beliefs with information that confirms them, while ignoring or rejecting information that doesn’t.”

I find Dr. Hanson’s research empowering.

Making a major change can present challenges and leave us feeling vulnerable. However, challenges also come with breakthroughs. For instance, I am in the process of making new friends and speak little Italian. I recently told a few acquaintances that I had been feeling lonely and asked if they would like to get together for dinner or an aperativo. Voila! The next day, I was invited to go sailing! (Hence, the delayed Tip ‘N Tool!)

Being vulnerable may feel uncomfortable, but it can lead to greater happiness and fulfillment.

THIS WEEK’S TNT

What change would you like to make in your life?

Write down your vision in detail.

Then close your eyes and imagine it has already happened.

Let the good feelings sink in for 10-20 seconds.

Repeat as necessary.

It will change your vibrational chemistry and open new doors and opportunities.

When you find yourself doubting the possibility, remind yourself that it’s only a belief and connect with people who support you.

As always, I would love to hear your comments.

With love,

Theresa

Is there a goal or dream you would like to fulfill and would like support in moving forward? It would be my pleasure to speak with you. Email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com to schedule a Complimentary Coaching Consultation. Available internationally by Skype and U.S. telephone.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and create happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Website: www.reconnecting2you.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/theresa-conti-clc-95b4972b/

Facebook at: www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Reconnecting2Yo

 Yelp: http://goo.gl/1I8BNy

 

To sign up for Theresa’s mailing list, email Theresa@reconnecting2you.com or click the “Join My List” icon on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/Reconnecting2you

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