Archive for the 'Water' Category

The Engagement Gap

Friday, August 1st, 2014

runningcouple“The real measure of our lives may ultimately be in the small choices we make in each and every moment.”  -Jim Loehr 

 

Recently, I decided to try out a new yoga teacher and was forced to notice just how much resistance I had to changing my routine. In fact it took me weeks to actually finally get to that new studio. The first time was the hardest, but every week afterwards, required a little inner cajoling to go back. Adding something new to our routine is harder than it seems on first glance, and getting ourselves to change how we do our days takes concerted effort. In part, interrupting our routine requires that we literally change how we think and considering that for most of us, 95% of our thoughts are the same ones we had yesterday and the day before that, this is no small thing.

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Propelled by Discomfort

Friday, September 20th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”  -M Scott Peck

 

We resist change.  We prefer our known discomfort to the fear of what we don’t know. We stay in jobs we don’t like, we stay in relationships that are toxic, we stay in mindsets that keep us trapped in familiar ways of perceiving the world even and often in spite of the regular messages our body is giving us about how uncomfortable we are. Often, without our own witness, we fabricate stories that spin our discomfort into choices that we wouldn’t actually be making if we had the courage and insight to squarely look at our fear of the unknown. I keep thinking about the classic tale of the frog that is placed in a pot of cool water and is slowly boiled to death. We all have some of that amphibian brain that chooses the slow boil over the leap into the unknown.

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Endings and Beginnings

Friday, May 31st, 2013

childrenshandsresizedOur life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every ending is a beginning.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have never been a good quitter in life and so it is not surprising that my relationship to endings is challenging. Still, this midyear cycle is always poignantly full of them with school year endings, graduations and all of the moving on that summer invites. This year, two of my children are graduating from college and my younger kids are completing their final years of high school. I am often struck by how the last day of anything, even the things we count down towards, can catch us off guard because, while it is easy to envision moving on from an activity like classes, leaving behind  the relationships within that context carries a silent loss that we often don’t recognize until it is gone.

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Learning to Stay

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”  ~Buddhist Proverb

 

Working as I have for decades on learning how to sustain and nourish lasting relationships has brought me continuously back to the same question of how to learn to stay both in my own relationships as well as in many others that I have counseled.   Usually the question is a reflection of the viability of the relationship itself.  We look at our partner and ask if they can change or whether the relationship will improve. Generally the question is provoked when we are in the midst of painful times.  We don’t wonder about staying when things are easy and predictable. It is when things fall apart that we doubt whether the work that our relationship or other life commitments is demanding is worth it.

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Flexibility: Stretching Your Boundaries

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Relationship Bootcamp: Week Two

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”  -Anonymous

 

Relationships require stretching. In fact there may be no more important place in life to practice and improve our flexibility than in our hearts. Getting over the belief that our own desires are the most important consideration at any given moment is a lifelong practice in flexibility. Realizing that our relationship is our most gentle and perfect teacher to get beyond our own individual desires is at once its purpose and its gift. Learning to show up for the people we love in ways that are meaningful is how you build safety into your loving relationships. Read the rest of this entry »

The Curious Listening Heart

Friday, May 27th, 2011

“Being listened to, is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference.”  -David Oxberg

When I walked into Starbucks today for a late afternoon cup of tea to accompany me on my way home, I walked in on a young barista telling his invisible co-worker in the back room how tired he was of being told what to do. He said, “I don’t want you to give me advice, I just wanted someone to listen. I am sick of people telling me what to do.” I heard her voice coming from the back, “That’s ok. I am a good listener…” He didn’t see me at the counter until I said, “No one can really tell anybody else what to do. Although there are certainly people who think they can. I do it sometimes with my kids.”  It never really works though, not nearly as well as listening closely and deeply to what they are saying.

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Start Foreplay with the Dishes

Friday, April 8th, 2011

“I like hugs and I like kisses, but what I really love is help with the dishes!” ~Author Unknown

For years the most significant and unresolved conflict that lived between my husband and I had to do with the division of labor in our home.  In fact, this is one of the top mechanisms of dissatisfaction and ultimate destruction of many long-term partnerships. For most couples, establishing a balance to working through life’s responsibilities and details is the single largest predictor of relationship success and the clearest reflection of the overall dynamics of the relationship. When daily workload does not feel equitable or fair, the trust and intimacy in the entire relationship is affected.

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Routine Gratitude

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

-Anonymous

There are brief moments lately when I start to feel like I am returning to a normal routine after my son’s near miss with tragedy. He has also returned to his normal routines and is seemingly stronger than before. His recent fall feels more like a dream now and I am noticing how easy it is for the miracles that bless us to fade over time. The further I get from the experience, the more that I wonder about what happened, the more incredulous it seems that everything could just be as it was before. I want to hang onto the gratitude and faith that this experience has instilled in me.  I want to learn to live with the intention of taking nothing for granted.

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On The Same Path

Friday, March 19th, 2010

climbing-mountain “We shall not cease from exploring, and the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” ~T.S. Eliot

I am becoming reacquainted with the power of goal setting lately. I used to teach how the power of our written intentions can change your life, and for many years kept regular lists of what I was working to create. Even a to-do list carries some of the power of mapping your life through goals. The act of naming and writing down our goals creates structural tension that seeks resolution and motivates us to live differently, moving us closer to what we intend, often without our bearing witness. Claiming a life direction has boldness and magic in it and many studies demonstrate the success factor that results from envisioning, describing and choosing our personal life directions.

This same process energizes relationships with equal intensity. Two people who have a shared language of intention and vision for their days together are literally on the same map. Once the two people agree on their life direction, when one strays s/he can be pulled back by the other. Their shared goals not only add legitimacy to their commitment, but acts like the rudder, righting the ship that they both identify as a shared journey.

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Once In a Blue Moon

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”- Anthony Robbins

The New Year began under the light of a blue moon, although I couldn’t see it as I drove down a dark freeway in the driving rain. I was trying to follow the lane markers when the car started to hydroplane. Then a light symbol showed up on my dash that was uncomfortably close to my warning lights. As I floated right looking for dryer road I was also checking my lights. Minutes later I look up to see flashing lights behind me.

My car clock struck midnight as the state trooper came to the window. After hearing about the hydroplaning and light problem, the officer took my license and asked for the insurance and registration, which I quickly learned was on my husband’s desk instead of in my glove compartment. The officer came back and told me I was ok to go. No ticket, ‘just be careful going home.’

Having a positive run-in with the law seems like a good portent to the New Year. Not only was I able to expand my idea of state troopers to include a helping aspect, but also I was able to reduce my fear of being seen by them. It was transformative and as I made my way through the pouring rain, I felt some mix of protection and luck lead me into the New Year.

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