How the beauty, fashion and advertising industries are messaging the false Ideal Beauty Standard and wreaking havoc on our self worth.
The holidays can be rife with bickering, arguments and disappointment with our partners. The stress levels of trying to have ‘the best Christmas ever’ or winning the approval from the in laws come Hanukah, mixed in with running kids to even more activities than normal, buying the absolutely perfect gifts for every one on your list, end of year meetings and reports by the sleigh load at the office, all while putting on your best sparkling party dress for dinners and drinks(!!) truly exasperates the cracks and wounds in our partnerships.
Happy F’ ing Holidays to one and all, right?
Ahem. Notice I used the words exasperates? Not creates?
Stress puts humans into survival mode. And in survival mode, our masks drop. Because, ain’t nobody got time for that. Old hurts, festering resentments bubble to the surface, unfettered by our normal level of control.
We lose out temper more easily. Our frustration levels skyrocket. And Bickering can become arguments to door busting fights in the blink of an eye.
The good news? Aside from some serious Zen Buddhist holiday makers (of whom I have yet to meet),
IT HAPPENS TO US ALL AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR!
Then we do something incredible regretful. We open the door to shame, and invite it to our holiday party. We berate ourselves and our partners with phrases like… It’s Christmas For heavens sake! Or “Can’t we just have ONE holiday season without doing this??! , Really? You want to ruin the holiday season, again??
So how can we get better at this? How can we lean into the acceptance that stress is exasperating our emotional state without said exasperation taking over, and yelling like a banshee OR spending days doing silent treatment?
I want to offer up two concepts to help you navigate this holiday season with more compassion and place happiness under your tree.
Confirmation Bias is where we have already decided something is true, and then seek out, both consciously and unconsciously the evidence that supports our theory.
We say, “He’s ALWAYS late to get the kids!” And so, what do we focus in on? The two times he picked them up on time? Or the four he was late? When we are in confirmation bias mode, we won’t even be able to see the two times he got it right. All we seek, and therefore see, are the four times, he did not.
When we believe “Every Christmas, she gets so crazy, I can’t stand it!” We wait, quietly, patiently like that creepy Elf On The Shelf, popping out with a mighty AHA!! GOTCHA!!! When she comes in with yet another box of expensive Christmas baubles or snaps at the kids whilst decorating the tree.
In Confirmation Bias Mode, we are blind to the moments and events, where our partner behaved in total contradiction to this belief we are holding.
Confirmation Bias antagonizes our old resentments and annoyances about our partner.
We want to become way more mindful about our language. The language we use in our own heads, first.
Words like ALWAYS, NEVER, EVERY TIME, NOBODY, EVERY BODY are red light indicators we are formulating a limiting belief. These all encompassing, finite words make our emotions, what we FEEL LIKE sound all too factual.
ALWAYS late to grab the kids?
EVERY Christmas she gets crazy?
The reality is… it’s not ALWAYS, OR EVERY TIME, OR NEVER, OR EVERY BODY… but it can sure feel that way. And when we confirm those feelings with language, we are primed for a good fight.
Let us, at this wonderful time of the year, try to foster more goodwill in our partnerships. To spread more cheer to one another.
I’m rooting for you both to win, my darlings. Now, let’s get you rooting that way too!
p.s. Can you imagine if you applied the above, to a fraction of the family that drives you mad EVERY December?!?! ;) WOWZA!
Happy Holidays from me and the hubba hubba! xx
What is the deciding factor in relationships that go the distance and those that don’t? No matter what status you would file your relationship under, ‘happy’ , ‘okay’, ‘on the rocks’ or ‘its complicated’, you can build a partnership that is no just surviving, but THRIVING and one that can truly go the distance. Even the happiest of partnerships, require sustained effort in order to stay that way.
Ahhhh “Date Nights”, it’s the calling card of most relationship experts and magazine fodder to couples who are struggling to connect.
Sure, you started out on this road side by side, and then life does what life does. Careers take off, layoffs happen, family members get ill, bills mount, adorable kids rampage, after school activities take over, and first, you met those challenges together. Then, needs must, and you split your resources to head off to put out one fire or another whilst the other did the same and now, you feel so very far apart, you’re not sure how you are ever going to meet in the middle and connect again
Date nights DO work!
Quality time is indeed remedy. Emphasis on the QUALITY.
And on some nights, a blissful night of watching your fav shows will suffice however in this weeks LOVE LETTER I want to offer you up some serious supercharge ideas to true connection that will traverse the chasm and endear you and your partner to each other much more significantly.
For most of us, date nights are stolen dinners out, hopefully not looking at our phones, and often fraught with keeping the convo engaged and inspired. We promise to NOT talk about the kids, or work but then… WTAF is there left to talk about?!?
Let’s take this whole DATE NIGHT concept, and dust off the cobwebs!
Studies have shown that when people participate in an activity together, a unique bond that is formed. And BOND is powerful connection.
Bronze star to activities you already both enjoy together.
Silver star if one partner is introducing a passion to another.
And holy smoke level gold stars for activities that are new to both partners!
Dance class is a classic, heck, many a rom-com has even featured it HOWEVER there is so much more than that cliché date night to be had.
Here are some shiny star ideas to jump start you into your very next date night! From those that cost the big bucks to some that cost little to nothing.
Grab each other close, & set date night mode to EXPLORE;
Cocktail making classes
Personal Development Courses
Walking Tour of Your City
Race Car Driving Experiences
Zip Line Experience
Continuing Education Courses
Kite Surfing Lesson
Fishing Day Trip
Golf Driving Range Night
We want to curate date nights that give us more to talk about and/or create magical moments of play and laughter and/or bond us as we are first timers together.
I know some of the above ideas, will be a trifecta for many of you!
Now, take the above, let your fingers to the walking on Google, check out groupon, and even your local town hall board and supercharge your next date night.
Which heart connecting idea will you choose? comment below!
P.S. And to all my fab singletons reading this... erm HELLLLLO great 3rd, 4th and 5th date ideas that pack some serious connection punch right here! Begin as you mean to go on, dearest ones. xx
Relationship advice on how to combat the most common problems that cause divorce and separation. How do we rebuild connection when we feel we are no longer IN LOVE with your spouse?
Oh my, this week’s topic applies to ALL of us, regardless of relationship status.
My Love Letter to you, is focused intently on the very cornerstone that any search for love OR attempts to nurture loving relationships, rests upon.
That cornerstone, is our individual level of self-love.
Many of us don’t recognize how our own lack of self love is affecting our relationships and how we present to others. The symptoms bare themselves out, but the root is harder to see. We can address some symptoms in the moment however the coaching work I do with my clients is about sustainable change, not momentary epiphanies, therefore we go deep to the source, so true love can flow.
The most common symptoms people call me with is a lack of confidence and self-worth. And whilst there is work we can do to be more confident, and to build our self-worth… if we don’t focus on self love, most of our efforts will be for nought.
Self love is the seed, from which a forest of self-worth and confidence can grow.
We must sow the seeds deep, and in great abundance!
This week I am running a SELF LOVE CHALLENGE in my fb community and I wanted to share it with you, too. The following is a step by step process to spend your next 7 days, taking action to curating a practice of self love.
Are you ready to take the challenge towards more self love?
7 DAY SELF LOVE CHALLENGE
Challenge Step 1:
>> Make a list of at least 10 items you know are acts of self-love for you, and you alone.
Ten actions, that are not just self care of your basic needs but strongly affectionate acts that bring you joy, calm, happiness, wellbeing, pleasure physically, emotionally and spiritually. Ten acts that are real treats, genuine special splurge like ideas, that maybe you just don't allow yourself often enough, that bring you childlike wonder and joy, and are just for your own absolute pleasure!
*this could be... making a beautiful dinner that you eat by candlelight with some of your fav music, yoga, reading a good book for pleasure, long walk in the countryside, chocolate, spa day, facials, fav pod cast, coaching, time with nephews and nieces, spin class, meditation, jumping in the sea, fancy meal out, antiquing, live music, being creative with art or hobbies, positive affirmations, a course that will fulfill your soul, lunch in the sunshine, open mic nights, and on and on and on!
Challenge Step 2:
It’s time to get really REAL with ourselves and assess just how active we have been in our self love.
>> Take some time here and line by line, item by item, make a numerical notation next to each item that correspond with how many times you actually participated and partook in each of these estimable acts of self love on your list, in the last 30days.
Challenge Step 3:
>> Take out your calendar/diary and schedule in SOMETHING every day!
It doesn’t have to be an hour yoga class… maybe 15 minutes on a Yoga app before bed? It may not be 30 minutes of mediation at 7am, but instead a sleep mediation you find on youtube you use at bedtime. It may not be a grand dinner with friends, but scheduling in a 10 minute phone call to your bestie for a giggle.
Do not let your perception of time, stop you from loving you. Find ANY time you can, every day to LOVE YOU!
Intentionally CARVE out 5 minutes on one day, 20 minutes on another, 1-2 hours on a Sunday.. whatever it takes to implement even the smallest act of self love, EACH DAY. It’s high time, you make YOU the first stop on the LOVE tour.
Maybe you don’t have a top 10!?! Maybe you have never EVER considered yourself, your needs, your desires, your care as a priority? Maybe you’re not even sure what makes you happy?
WELCOME dearest one. You're in the right place!
I challenge you to come up with a list, let your fingers to the walking on google “What is self love?”, carve out those same blocks in your dairy with the notation ‘Find my joy!’ and “Self Love’. Go out and experiment till you find your personal Top 10 list!
Find your happy places, and visit them daily!
Challenge Phase 4:
Accountability in a challenge can boost your results tenfold...
>> Grab a friend and do the challenge with them!
>> Comment here with your lists!
>> Are you a single lady out in the wilds of the modern dating jungle? Then, dearest one, come join is over at the quite discreet and incredibly supportive, Feminist Seeks Love fb community, where we are doing it together! Join us, HERE