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Are you TWO bickering your way through the holidays, again?

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.

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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.

First up…

CONFIRMATION BIAS:

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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.

 

Next up…

MINDFULNESS:

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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

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What makes a relationship last forever?

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.

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Discover Relationship Saving, Connection Boosting, Date Nights

 

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

 
Photo by  rawpixel  on  Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

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!

 
Photo by  Isaiah McClean  on  Unsplash
 

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.

 

 
AJ Garcia via Unpslash.com

AJ Garcia via Unpslash.com

 

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;
 

  •     Cooking Classes

  •     Cocktail making classes

  •     Lectures

  •     Personal Development Courses

  •     Music Lessons

  •     Walking Tour of Your City

  •     Museum Tours

  •     Surf Lessons

  •     Race Car Driving Experiences

  •     Zip Line Experience

  •     Continuing Education Courses

  •     Kite Surfing Lesson

  •     Fishing Day Trip

  •     Art classes

  •     Boudoir Photo-shoot

  •     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

 
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Have you put your own oxygen mask on first, in your relationship?!?

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?

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Discover THE cornerstone to finding and keeping LOVE!

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.

Photo by  Anna Sullivan  on  Unsplash

 

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.

Why?

Self love is the seed, from which a forest of self-worth and confidence can grow.  

 

Photo by  Trent Haaland  on  Unsplash

 

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!

 

Photo by  Artem Bali  on  Unsplash

Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

 

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

 

 

I do hope you accept this 7 day Self Love Challenge and boost that love for you by engaging with some real kindness, care and joy for yourself... as it will revolutionize how you find, attract, give and receive LOVE!

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Can LOVE conquer ALL?

Does Love Conquer All? What is real love? It’s time we revolt against what pop culture has told us love is all about…

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The Big THREE Relationships Types; Which one do YOU think healthiest?

An interesting topic keeps arising with both my Relationship Coaching clients, the brave couples and empowered individuals who are in relationships AND my Love Coaching clients, the incredible fierce women who are out there in the wilds of the dating jungle.

 

What is a healthy relationship?

 

 

Whilst there are as many ways to flesh out the many facets and unique paths towards a ‘healthy relationship’ there are a few basic fundamental points that are universal and if we want the journey of love and partnership to thrive and be a well paved smooth road, we need to navigate the three primary relationships highways, with great care.

 

Image credit: stephane delval  via unpslash.com

Image credit: stephane delval  via unpslash.com

One of the basic principals of coaching, for me the coach, is to never assume you know, what I know.  Confession time!  I don’t always get that right.   And over the last few weeks, it’s become apparent that this very topic is one of the ways, I’ve fallen down, as a coach.  And today, I RECTIFY THAT!  WOOT!

 

 

There are three major categories that relationships (and most people who engage with ANY kind of relationship) fall into; Independent, Co-dependent and Interdependent.

 

This is not one of those millennial races, where every one get’s a prize… there is one clear winner for the best and healthiest type of engagement in relationships. 

In today’s LOVE LETTER I am going to present the big three, and YOU, dearest one, are going to tell me, what you think is the #1 health winner.  Hop on, LET’S RIDE!

 

CO-DEPENDENT:

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Co-dependent relationships are one of the most common ailments I come across in my coaching practice. 

 

Here is the dictionary definition of CO-DEPENDANT.

Codependency is a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person's drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

 

Right now, you might be thinking OH SNAP, BEEN THERE BOUGHT THE T SHIRT!

Or you might be saying, Hey drug addiction>? Mental health?  That’s not been my relationship experience!

 

Let me  drill down on the simpler yet deeper explanation of co-dependency.

I am only okay, if you are okay.

My well being is directly influenced by your well being.

I am not sure where I end, and you begin.

 

 

Co-dependent relationships are toxic for ALL who are involved, it enables the person we are trying to fix and it stifles our own happiness and ability to self create happiness from within.

 

INDEPENDENT:

 

Dictionary definition of INDEPENDENT = Free from outside control.  Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.

 

Whilst this does affect more of my single Love Coaching clients, it’s also not uncommon with those in relationships.  Independence is not a bad thing. In fact this feminist LOVES her some independence! Hellllo free from outside control! YASSS!

HOWEVER when we are using independence to self sustain 100% because we are convinced others will disappoint us, OR we feel that no one can be relied upon to do the job and/or do it right AND/OR  in general are using independence to shield our own control issues… we lose out on allowing others to provide for us. 

Human beings often connect most meaningfully in the exchange of love and through acts of contribution.   If we are too independent to truly receive from others, we in effect make them redundant.  And most people want to feel they play an active, impactful role on others lives.  That they can contribute sustenance, whether that be emotional, mental, spiritual or even financial. 

People are generally drawn to go where they are needed most. In fact, that’s often how we define a ‘good person’.

 

INTERDEPENDENT:

image credit: Evertone Vila via Unsplash.com

image credit: Evertone Vila via Unsplash.com

Definition = mutually dependent; depending on each other creating a framework of partnership.

My personal definition for independent?  I want AND need you in my life, but not to have a life.  

 

Interdependent relationships mean relying on each other for mutual support.  Adding to someone’s happiness, however not being the sole font for that person’s happiness. We are open to give and receive within healthy boundaries, where asked, where appropriate whilst still allowing and even expecting self-sufficiency, too. Interdependent t partnerships do not necessarily mean everything is split down the middle 50/50, but instead means that each individuals assets and limitations are valued and utilized for an overall sense of equality. 

 

You can be in an interdependent relationship where one spouse is the overall ‘bread winner’ whilst the other spouse is provides the highly valuable ( yet wildly un monetized) service of childcare.  In a healthy interdependent relationships, those roles do not have to correlate with traditional gender roles, and yet they still can, if that is what works best for your relationship. 

 

You can be in an interdependent relationship and still put concerted effort in to brightening your partners day, or booking those concert tickets you know will bring them joy but you don’t feel you HAVE to do those things in order to be liked, loved desired by your partner OR that if you don’t ‘make them happy’ they won’t BE happy.

 

 

 

I do hope the above offers you a very clear and easy to apply standard for relationships. 

 

POP QUIZ!!!

WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS THE WINNER FOR HEALTHIEST RELATIONSHIP OF THE YEAR? 

And, where do you see where you have been curating, participating and harming yourself and others in your past relationship?  OR, your current one, my dear? 

 

 

Can’t wait to hear your responses in the comments!

 

 

xx

 

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