How to Have a Great Relationship

swans in love great relationship relationships

When you experience challenges in your primary relationship it can impact all areas of your life, including the people around you. Building up resentment only makes you hyper-reactive and clouds your perspective.

So, when your relationship is feeling “off”, use these Principles for a Great Relationship to return to the foundation of love and partnership that will make your life feel blessed. Continue reading

Living In a Polarized World

polarized positive negative

When I was 15 my family moved to a new neighborhood. For some reason my mom wasn’t happy. She was a good woman who was normally well liked, but while living there she developed contentious relationships with a couple of the neighbors.

Things got pretty ugly and as a typical teenager I felt embarrassed and became angry with my mom. Continue reading

25 Ways to Stay Positive in Trying Times

happy little girl under umbrella stay positive

Life gets rough at times. You may be experiencing personal challenges, surrounded by negative people, or inundated with bad news, but you don’t have to feel yucky because of it.

As I write this we are nearing the presidential election and I find that talk of politics and all of the negativity involved is upsetting me. My clients feel the same way.

So this may be the perfect time to find some ways to feel good when when life is dragging us down.
Continue reading

When Someone Upsets You – Remember This

crying little girl, upset upsets

There are some people….   You know what I mean.  They don’t do or say what you think they should and sometimes people get hurt. Maybe even you.  It could be a spouse, relative, politician, or someone you work with.  Just thinking about them makes your stomach clench, your body tighten, and your heart rate go up.

They make your life miserable.  Or, do they?

When someone is irritating you, it is important to remember three things:  Continue reading

The Gift of Heartfelt Letters

writing heartfelt letters of gratitude

One of the things I loved about my friend Sybil who recently passed was her love of bringing people together for food  and stimulating conversation.  She loved to listen and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by interesting friends.

As she was losing her ability to speak, she would type letters to us. I came across a few recently and they were full of amusing observations and appreciation for the people around her. I could almost here her chuckling between the lines.

Eventually, she lost her ability to type and the letters she received from friends and family became a new source of joy. She would have me read them to her over and over again.

As time passed and her disease progressed the letters and visits from friends came less often and she felt more isolated. It was hard to watch her lose those connections to the outside world and I realized how valuable a simple letter could be.

Since then I have written several letters from the heart. As I wrote them I would be flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I was writing to. Their responses were incredible. They would cry. I would cry. And, I realized the gifts of those letters were not just for the recipients, but for me as well.

My friend Lynette Smith is a big fan of heartfelt letter writing. At her son’s wedding, he and his bride presented their parents with framed letters of appreciation. Lynette cherishes this gift and it has inspired her mission to get people putting pen to paper again. The cornerstone of this mission is her book: How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special. 

Who can you write a heartfelt letter of appreciation to? I encourage you to give it a try. You will find it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

 

The Power of the Pause

woman taking a break pause

Things move pretty fast in our world these days and that means we are moving fast too.  In order to keep, up we may feel we have to act and respond quickly to what is before us.  And, that can be a problem.

We end up reacting to what is happening in the moment.  We react instead of respond, and we do it without taking time to check within for what we really, really, really want.

Hitting the pause button and taking a moment to connect with your values and intuition allows you to act in ways that are more in alignment with your heart and soul.

Here are some ways that you can integrate the power of the pause into your life:

  • When you are craving unhealthy foods
  • When you want to lash out or react to something someone says or does
  • Taking time to gather your thoughts so you can communicate clearly and concisely
  • Making choices that are aligned with your core values and dreams
  • Pausing and setting an intention for what you are about to do
  • When you feel tired, sad, or upset and need to center yourself to be more effective
  • Taking time to question limiting beliefs that are making you fearful or keeping you stuck
  • When you want to spend money in a way that is not in alignment with your financial goals
  • When you feel tempted to do anything that you might wish you hadn’t later 

The power of the pause allows you to operate from the core of who you are and consciously create the life and relationships you desire.  And… it can prevent a whole lot of regrets…

Where in your life can you benefit from using the power of the pause?

The Blame Game: Are You Disempowering Yourself?

blame woman pointing finger and blaming someone else

It is true that people do yucky things. And, there are probably times in your life when you were truly a victim, but it is what you do afterward that matters most.

When you let yourself fall into the trap of blaming others and believing that people or your environment have conspired against you, you are disempowering yourself and embracing the role of a victim.

Living as a victim can be very seductive because it is a great excuse. People won’t expect a lot from you.  You can play small, avoid risks, and sometimes not even have to work as hard as everyone else.  It may even feel good because you get sympathy or attract attention.

I know, because I spent years rehashing the many ways I was a victim as a child and young adult. I was an expert at playing the victim role. I took it on as my identity as if that was all I was and all I could ever be.

The truth is though, that when you play the blame game you limit yourself, play small, and give your power away.  You will attract the wrong people and the wrong things into your life.  And, you will know somewhere deep in your heart that you are not being your best self or living to your full potential.

Even when you are sure that someone took action against you, blaming is not the answer.  Your true power is in forgiveness, accepting responsibility for your life, and moving forward into the life you were meant to live.

Don’t let blame become the center of your life. Delete blaming words from your vocabulary and focus instead on all you have to be grateful for. There are people loving and supporting you at this very moment. Why do you want to give your life over to those who don’t? Leave it behind. Move forward. And, know that you are so much more than whatever someone once did to you.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

Related posts:

3 Ways to Feel More Empowered When Facing a Challenge

Clear Your Mind and Heart with Freeform Writing

When Forgiveness Feels Too Hard – Try This 

forgiveness

Forgiveness is not always easy. Even when you know:

  • It’s the right thing to do
  • It will help you feel better and heal
  • It’s purpose is to free you, not them
  • It does not mean that what someone did to hurt you was okay

Sometimes your heart can be so broken or your anger so deep that you just aren’t ready to let it go. 

And then, the judgment against yourself creeps in because you just don’t understand how others can do this noble forgiveness thing when it feels so impossible for you.

This is where I step in. I want you to know that it is okay to honor where you are at. You can’t force forgiveness and you don’t have to forgive in this moment. But, there is something you can do to take some of the heat out of what happened and create a bridge between you and the peace on the other side of forgiving.

Remember – It begins with remembering that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience and that means both you and the person who wronged you. You are souls. Children of God. And, this is part of your journey.

Understand – The person who wronged you has a history that brought them to the point of hurting you. What could have gone so wrong in their lives that they would do this? What do you know of them that could lead to understanding how this could happen?

Here’s a hint:

It usually boils down to fear, even if it looks like something else. Unless there is mental illness involved they are probably very afraid of being hurt themselves. Often what people project the loudest out into the world is exactly what they feel least inside. So, the manipulator may be afraid of being controlled. Bullies diminish others because they feel unworthy.  And, the relationship enders or saboteurs may not feel lovable at the core.

Nurture Compassion – Use this understanding to let yourself start feeling compassion for the person who upset you. They are not all evil or bad. When you look through the eyes of their history you will likely see how they have been wronged or hurt or damaged. Can you feel sorry for what they went through? A yes means your compassion is coming through.

When you are able to move through this 3 step process, the peace of forgiveness is not far away. You can go there in your own time. It doesn’t have to be now. But, what you have done already has softened the hold this person had on you so that you can begin your own healing. Forgiveness will come when the time is right.

Quotes about forgiving.

A Process for Healing Bad Memories

CONTACT ME if you would like professional support through a process of forgiveness for something that has happened in your life. I would love to help.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

How You Use These Two Little Words Can Make or Break You

word I am ceramic princess with star

There are times when I hear myself or my clients or my friends say things like: I am confused. I am tired. I am sick. I am sad. I am overwhelmed. I bet you hear those words come out of your own mouth too.

Well, they simply aren’t true!

You may FEEL tired or sick or sad or whatever is going on at the time, but it is not who you are.

When you continuously reinforce those self-limiting labels by saying them over and over again, you program yourself into believing they are true.

So, use the words “I am” very carefully. They may be small, but carry incredible power.

And, if you want to know who you really are:

Sit in a quiet place with pen and paper and start writing, “I am …”  Fill in the blank with whatever pops into your head. Keep writing until there is nothing left and you have reached the deepest truth. What most people find is that the first answers tend to be negative or superficial and the last connect with the more powerful spiritual truth of who you really are.

This exercise can be extremely grounding and also works well as a meditation where you simply say the words instead of writing them down.

I am. You are.

We are not tired or overwhelmed. We are wise. We are beautiful. We are powerful. We are love.

And, that is the truth!

4 Ways to Attract and Keep Great Relationships

relationships couple holding hands
In my line of work as a Life Coach, I hear a lot about relationships. My clients want to know how to fix broken ones, sustain and grow good ones, and even how to attract them in the first place.

Relationships are a hot topic in the coaching world. At least with my clients they are.

Whether they be friends, family, or romantic partners, the quality of your relationships shape your life. Mutual caring and shared intentions can lift you up, while drama, lack of skill, and disrespect can make your days miserable.

You can’t necessarily change the people around you, but you can show up yourself in ways that honor your relationships and demonstrate how you want to be treated. When you set the bar, other people are more likely to live up to it.

So, here is what I suggest.

Be Yourself: You don’t want to be laying on your death bed surrounded by all the wrong people. And, the only way the right people who will love you for who you are will be able to find you is if you are authentically you. This can be scary. Real scary. Maybe one of the biggest risks you will ever take in your life. And yet, the risk is worth the blessings of a life filled with true love and friendship.

Be Fully Present – Put down the phone, stop watching TV and be with the ones you love. Really be with them. Give them the gift of looking them in the eye and listening deeply to what they have to say. Let them know they are a priority in your life. You may be surprised by all of the magical moments you experience that could have easily passed you by.

Keep Your Agreements – Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yet, my clients talk about broken agreements all the time. Little agreements matter, too If you can’t keep one, let the other person know and renegotiate. It’s as simple as that.

Express Appreciation – In an earlier blog post I shared that I lost someone I loved without ever saying those three little words – I love you. I will always regret keeping those words to myself. Saying a simple thank you or letting the people in your life know how special they are to you is something that should happen daily. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Practicing these principles will lead to relationships that honor everyone involved and that you will want to keep forever. It will be a blessing when you are in your final days to know that you are surrounded by the right people and that your relationships are rich with love and respect.

Don’t forget to leave a comment.  I would love to hear what you have to say.

Related posts:

Having Trouble Forgiving? Try This.

How to Tell When it is Time to End a Friendship

How to Cultivate Inner Peace

The Art of Waiting In Line – How I Survived My Visit to the Post Office

people waiting in line

There I was at the post office waiting in line.  I had just walked a few miles up and down hills in my neighborhood and I was covered with a sheen of sweat.  According to my reflection in the window, my hair was standing up on end.  It was one of those lay low times when I was hoping not to be seen and instead I ended up stuck in a long, very slow line, with a lot of angry people.

There were conversations up and down the line full of complaints against the post office, government, and the world in general.  The worst offender was in front of me.  He had a big voice and used it quite effectively.  I knew I didn’t want to listen to negativity while I waited, so I engaged him in a conversation.  When I mentioned that it sounded like he didn’t like being there and I was wondering if he was going to choose to leave, I think I might have upset him.  It was probably my calm and gentle nature that saved me.

I shared with him that when I walked in and saw the line I knew I had a choice and mailing my granddaughter’s birthday gift felt worth staying.  And then, I asked him about his family and shifted the conversation to something more positive.  I did throw in a few coachy moments, though, hoping something might stick and help him feel more positive in the future.

Waiting in line is a choice.  What you do while waiting is also a choice.  It’s really quite simple, but also an art.

Here is how you can up level your waiting experiences.

Evaluate the situation impartially.  What are the facts here?  How long are you likely to wait? How important is the end result to you?  Can you change the situation for the better?

Make a choice.  Either you choose to get in the line or you don’t.  Once the decision is made, stop thinking about it unless you get new information to re-evaluate.

Find ways to make the best of the situation.  Avoid joining in with the complainers.  It will only make you feel bad and lower your energy.

Choose something to do while in line.  The ideas I came up with at the post office included:

  • People watch
  • Sing the national anthem
  • Give my mind an assignment to work on
  • Let it roam
  • Make farting noises
  • Practice mindful meditation
  • Do stretching exercises
  • Engage others in conversation

(It seems I chose the higher road.)

It is easy to resist these moments of inconvenience, yet that very resistance that entices you is the real source of your discomfort. You can actually have fun in line.  Meet great people.  Get things done.  Fantasize.  Or, according to this Huffington Post article, even make it a joyful experience.

The next time you find yourself one of many in a long line, don’t forget that it is a choice you felt had value.  Instead of dwelling on the negative, see it as an adventure and find a way to use the time to your advantage.  Who knows?  Maybe there is someone in that line you are meant to meet or being there is preventing a car accident you might have been in.

What I do know for sure is that developing the art of waiting in line and recognizing it as a choice, feels more peaceful and empowering than any of the other alternatives.

I’m curious.  What are your favorite things to do when while you wait?  You can share in the comments below …

How to Tell When It is Time to End a Friendship

sad women with thumbs down

People are like elevators.  Some lift you up. Some take you down.  And, some keep you trapped in a little box, unable to move at all.

When you consider that the people you surround yourself with influence how you feel and live your life, there are times when it makes sense to hit the emergency button and get off the elevator.  This doesn’t mean that you become reactive and ruthlessly start cutting people out of your life.  We all have ups and downs and no one is perfect

So, how do you know when it’s really time to let someone go?  Start by asking yourself these questions: 

  • Is there a long term pattern of negative behavior or worldview, or is this person going through a challenging time that is temporary?
  • Is your perception of this person or their behavior even true or could it be seen differently?
  • Are you contributing to the situation by jumping in to the negativity with them?  If so, what might happen if you shifted your behavior?
  • Are they a part of a group or family that you value and want to stay connected to?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how much is their negativity impacting you?

Once you have a deeper understanding of the situation, listen within.  What is your heart telling you?   The answers will be there.

And then, your choices become more clear:

  • Keep things as they are
  • Limit your exposure to their energy
  • Have a powerful conversation asking for change
  • Shift your behavior to see what happens
  • Visualize being protected by a white light when you are around them
  • Bless them and move on

Only you can decide whether to stay on their elevator or get off.  Whatever you choose, I encourage you to let your actions and communication be guided by compassion and love for all concerned (including yourself).   This will provide the best possible foundation for an outcome that serves everyone in the long run.

8 Telltale Signs Someone is Lying to You

Pinocchio's nose growing

When someone lies to you they are more likely to:

  1. Touch their face or scratch their nose
  2. Blink more often than usual
  3. Avoid eye contact
  4. Smile only with their mouth
  5. Seem uncomfortable with pauses in conversation and jump in to fill the gap
  6. Provide more information  than  they are asked for
  7. Look relieved when the subject changes
  8. Have closed body language like crossed arms or have something between you

A Unique Way to Deal with Challenging People

toddler having a tantrum

When you are feeling challenged and frustrated by people around you, changing how you see them can make all the difference.  You can adjust your view of people, events, or things to make them seem more or less powerful and make it easier, even entertaining, to be around them.

Just imagine what would happen if you visualized the troubling person in front of you as a:

  • 2 year old having a tantrum
  • Cartoon character
  • Hologram
  • Character in a fairy tale or myth
  • Naked
  • Mouse sized version of themselves with a little squeaky voice

You can flip the view and use this idea in a loving way that brings forward compassion for the other person, by seeing them as:

  • The beautiful baby or child they once were
  • A hissing cat or barking dog that is afraid and really just wants to be loved

Visualizing words flashing on their foreheads like hurt, afraid, insecure, or sad, can also help you feel more understanding and diminish the impact their actions have on you.

The most powerful way to view yourself and the people around you is to remember that we are all souls.  Our souls are perfect, but they get covered up by our fears, pain, and reactions to the things that happen in our lives.  Remembering the true nature of the troubled and troublesome people around you can support you in interacting in a more comfortable and loving way.