From Enemy To Ally Ep 25

Healthy Time Apart | Relationship Coach

The concept of enemy and ally in our marriages have been deeply resonating with me right now because of its simplicity. When I consider different ways we all struggle in our relationships and the process of working through them in a way that benefits us and impacts the relationship positively, using these two lenses is a quick way to decide how we want to move forward. It’s like using two different macro lenses when viewing conflict, helping us to more quickly view potential outcomes and quickly assessing which lens will get us closer to our long-term desired marriage goals. Today we’re going to look at the definition of both, what it looks like to zoom out on your marriage so you can start to choose what your long term goals look like, then we’ll look at how to zoom in and decide which lens you want to choose and lastly, we will dig into what being an ally looks like in real life. If you decide that most of your past responses might classify you as “being an enemy” in your marriage, no worries because today we will take you through the steps from enemy to ally in your most intimate relationship.

Let’s start with looking at the definition of enemy and ally

To begin I think we can all agree that these two words are opposites, for me enemy is repelling and ally is drawing together but let’s look at what I found online.

Enemy: someone who is hostile to, feels hatred towards, opposes the interests of, or intends injury to someone else, a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. 

Ally: to unite, or form a connection between, one that is associated with another as a helper: a person or group that provides assistance and support in an ongoing effort, activity, or struggle.

I think it’s easy to discover which one we want to be if we are interested in improving our marital relationship yet we are often unaware of how we may actually be showing up from a place of hostility. Been there, done that, let’s re-frame.

Using a binocular perspective to envision our marital future.

Often when women come to me, they have stopped dreaming about their future relationship with their partner, they are just struggling to feel good in the moment, in the day to day, but if we were to zoom way out, as if looking through a pair of binoculars to see what our future together might look like, each one of them knows what they want. They want a happy, connected, joyful marriage and the only way to get there is through the lens of the ally. Too often, the reason we aren’t moving forward in our marriage is that we have taken a defensive position, and we’re, unknowingly, viewing and reacting to everything through the lens of the enemy. Though we may try things that could move us closer together, we don’t take the enemy glasses off, so when things don’t go as planned, we retreat to shelter and don’t take steps to join forces and move forward together.

When we can start looking through the lens of unity and alliance, we can start seeing what we want to create. This is when we can start choosing how we want to show up and create what we want in our relationship. From this perspective, we can keep moving forward and assess what is happening in our marital relationship. As you start to show up in your marriage in a way that makes you feel proud, that is when you get a clearer perspective of what is actually happening for you and your partner. As enemies, we hide and protect ourselves; from this perspective, we can’t clearly see what is actually happening on the front line.

Using a macro lens in your moment to moment decisions

When you can start to develop ideas about what you want your future relationship to look like and recognize that to start navigating in that direction means using the ally macro lens, that is when you can better choose your lens in the moment. In the day-to-day of our relationships, things can easily get messy, and they can get messy quickly. Someone says something; the other takes it in a way that makes them feel a negative emotion and off to the battle line you go, but when we are keeping the ally – enemy model in mind, it’s easy to pause and recognize that you are moving off track.

It’s a simple tool to help you quickly decide how you want to move forward. Sometimes the ally lens might be as simple as pausing and asking for a time out to examine what is happening so you can come back together after sorting through what happened.

I’m going to share a recent example from my life, something that happened this weekend in the grocery line.

Becoming a better ally to your partner

Allies run deeper than friendship; allies share a deeper purpose, shared meaning, and values. As allies, we share similar futures based on each person fulfilling their greatest potential in life. The truth is that allying with your partner doesn’t mean that we always agree and say the things we think our partner wants to hear; allies have our better interest in mind, which might seem a bit rough, maybe what you might consider being tough love. An ally is honest with you, and when you’re an ally with someone, they trust that you will be completely honest with them, and this doesn’t look like sugar-coating something they might need to hear, but it also doesn’t mean tearing them down. It’s telling the truth from a place of caring compassion and a desire to see the other person grow. Your partner as an ally shares your vision with you; they want what they see as best for you, they know your potential, and they want to push you to become the amazing person they see inside of you.

When you are an ally with your partner, you choose to align yourself with what matters to them, we know what their dreams are, and we understand what they are striving for and who they want to become. As an ally, we don’t expect them to conform to our ideals or set their goals to please us because we genuinely want them to create their best lives.

As an aside, this is also part of what we do in AwakenYou; we work on who you want to be, who you were created to be, who you are at your essence, and start living into that life. As you do that work, you will also start seeing your partner from a different perspective, from the perspective of who they are at their core, and as you create your new alliance with yourself and your marriage, you can allow your partner to become their best self as well.

Being an ally does not mean enabling your partner by rescuing them and pushing them along their path; it’s more about encouragement and letting them find their way. You influence them and encourage them along their best path because what we learn is that they are the only ones who truly know their own path. A healthy alliance is an engaged relationship where you give and take and complement each other; one isn’t superior to the other. We align with our partners so that when things don’t go as planned, we can help them see their vision instead of feeling sorry for them, which only keeps them stuck where they are without seeking solutions.

How to go from enemy to ally

It is really the process I have laid out here, first stepping back and assessing what has happened in your marriage and where you want to go. From this new perspective, you can decide which stance you want to take in your day-to-day interactions and will that perspective bring you closer to that long-term goal you want out of your most intimate relationship.

As you make these decisions, you can start implementing them; seeing when you have taken the wrong perspective and changing course will allow you to continue getting back on course and start feeling better in your relationship. You start to discuss your disagreements and begin coming up with compromises bringing you closer together in all of the little decisions required in a marital commitment.

This concept has made it easy to choose my next steps in every situation of my marriage. I can easily tell which direction things are going while also recognizing that going off course is part of the journey, knowing that how I move forward will either take me further off the path or re-direct me back to where we want to go together.

If you are struggling in your marriage and feel like you and your partner are more enemies than allies, it is ok. Sometimes we get so far off course that we have no clue where we are or how we got there – have you ever had this happen in your car? You get lost in your thoughts, and all of a sudden, you come to consciousness not knowing where you are, but the truth is, you are never really lost. You haven’t crossed an ocean or country borders; you are still in the marriage you said yes to.

In AwakenYou, you will start discovering who you are and who you want to be in your marriage. Then we start doing the work of bringing you back on course, and I hope you will join me on this journey back to your best life and marriage!

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Done Bingeing with Martha Ayim Ep 24

Done Bingeing with Martha Ayim | Relationship Coach

Martha Ayim, MA, is a master coach, level-3 trained in IFS (Internal Family Systems, an evidence-based, trauma-informed, and empowering approach that relies on a client’s intuitive wisdom to heal). She is the author of the e-book, 12 Surprising Steps to Stop Binge Eating, Starting with Your Very Next Urge, and the host of the 5-star-rated Done Bingeing Podcast. A former binge eater for nearly 35 years, Martha coaches through an IFS lens to help clients re-establish the internal leadership needed to heal the parts of themselves that make them do things they don’t want to do (e.g., binge, overeat, over-restrict).

You can find Martha at Done Bingeing here

Her monthly membership program is The Done Bingeing Membership.

Other places to connect:

The Done Bingeing Podcast available wherever you access your podcasts




I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

How To Process Those Emotions Ep 23

How To Process Those Emotions | Relationship Coach

I talk a lot about processing emotions and the value that comes out of this process. I have promised to share my process, and today I am delivering on that promise. Today I am going to explain why processing emotions is so important, the how of my process; I am going to take you through the actual process so if you have something you ever want to work through, you can save this episode and come back to it, and then I’m going to share how you can benefit from this process. Let’s dig into how to process emotions!

Why processing emotions is important

As I have shared so many times, emotions are important signals with a whole lot of information packed into them. Our brain sends signals to our body, or our body will send signals to our brain; either way, we experience a response in our bodies. Oftentimes we attempt to fix those feelings we are feeling in our body with our brain by trying to figure things out, but how many times have you actually figured it out with your brain? More times than I can count, we instead push that emotion away and attempt to power through, ignoring the message it has for us.

When we can take some time to pause and listen to what it is, the emotion is telling us many things occur. We create awareness around why the emotion is there and what it is trying to tell us, and then we can let the emotion go. Instead of it being stored in our bodies as a stress response, only to pop up again when a similar signal comes through, we flush it out and can thank it for being there. We can thank it for the information it brought us, giving us insight into how we might want to move forward.

What processing emotions is and how I do it

My process for processing emotions is quite simple and can take as little as a minute but more often between 5-10 minutes, and you can do it anywhere. Personally, I prefer to go to a quiet room and take as long as I need, especially for potent emotions, emotions that are keeping me from being fully present with whatever it is I want to do. It is similar to meditation but with the specific purpose of listening to the emotion and letting it be heard, calming the nervous system down. If I don’t have the time or space for a longer meditation and I am feeling full of emotion, I will take a minute or two to get quiet, listen and honor the emotion, which will often bring me a bit of awareness so that I can continue knowing that I will create space to dig deeper at a later time. Sometimes a minute or two is all I need to let it go.

Now I will invite you to close your eyes as I do the same, and I am going to take you through my process. Listen to the episode where I lead you through. I have also written a post that talks about how to start feeling your emotions for those struggling to feel emotion: How To Start Feeling Your Emotions. In this post, I list several questions that will help you describe how your emotion feels in your body, which is part of the process I lead you through in this episode.

Learning from the process

First, you will want to practice. It’s possible nothing happened for you the first time; maybe you weren’t in a space where you were able to relax and take the practice to a level that appeared to be helpful. Do it again and again when you notice an emotion keeping you stuck; your body will speak to you with time and practice, which brings me to the second way to learn.

Listen. You have to get quiet and listen. You have to trust your body to tell you exactly what you need at the moment; it’s your body; as you start listening to it and opening up to it and honoring what it tells you, you’ll get better at the practice.

Trust and be open. Remember that the brain is part of the body and that it is meant to work together. There is a reason you feel pain when you stub your toe; there is also a reason why your stomach is turning upside down right before that presentation. The better you get at listening to and understanding these responses, the better you will utilize them to create what you want in your life and marriage.

When you feel stuck in an emotion, maybe when you have a conflict with your partner, and you can’t let it go, one of the best ways to move through it instead of spiraling into it is this practice. Let the body communicate with the mind to learn and move forward with your own inner wisdom and insight.

If you are curious about this process and would like to work together on an emotion that you can’t seem to let go of, I want to encourage you to book a free coaching session to take you through this powerful process.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

From Shutdown to Alive In Our Marriage Ep 22

From Shutdown to Alive In Our Marriage | Relationship Coach

When you think back to the beginnings of your marriage, you might remember that time being one of giving all of yourself to that relationship; they were your everything, you’d do almost anything for them. Fast forward to now, where you feel like you are in a marital desert; you feel disconnected and distant in this relationship that you said “yes” to. Today let’s talk about how we get to what I’m calling marital shutdown and how we go from shutdown to alive in our marriage relationship.

Getting to marital shutdown

Let’s start with what marital shutdown is. A marital shutdown is when we stop taking action towards developing a relationship with our partner that matters to us. We maybe make half-hearted attempts to connect, but when things don’t go our way, we use it to reinforce the thought that our marriage is failing and has stopped growing.

Marital shutdown comes from a series of actions that either you take or your partner takes that create a feeling of hurt and has you pulling away and maybe even taking actions that might cause the other to pull away. It’s a slow process of each of you giving a little less of each other, not clearing up what got in the way of relationship growth and having one or both of you withdrawing a little bit here and there. Over time you find yourself in a place that you never wanted to be, not really knowing how you got here or how to change directions. You feel lost in a distant marriage, surface level, and disconnected.

How we get to an alive marriage

Let’s start with what an alive marriage looks like. An alive and fully awakened marriage is not a marriage where we behave “perfectly” all the time, whatever perfect marital actions are. An alive marriage is where we own our actions, understand why we took those actions, and share with our partner what happened and why. When we share, we share from a place within, taking full responsibility for why we responded the way we did and using the experience to learn, grow and create a more intimate relationship with our partner/

How we get to alive is honestly the same way we got to shutdown, by taking small steps of vulnerable actions. We start taking steps that feel super uncomfortable but help us understand each other better. We begin to feel empathy for what the other person is experiencing and have compassion instead of judgment.

Our marital relationship and any relationship will be stuck at a level of closeness based on our mutual willingness to be vulnerable and expose ourselves. If we want to get to a higher level of closeness in our marriage, one of us needs to be willing to be a little more vulnerable. When we take small steps of vulnerability, it leads our partners to feel comfortable following us, and this is why AwakenYou is so powerful. In the program, you learn how to take the steps you want to take in the marriage you want to create, and as you do that, your partner will follow, I promise!

Examples of vulnerable steps you can take to move from marital shutdown to an alive marriage

  • Holding their hand
  • Setting your phone down when they talk and engaging with all of your attention
  • Planning a date and inviting them
  • Telling them what you appreciate about them
  • Sharing a compliment
  • Giving them a small gift
  • Writing a love note and tucking it into their work bag
  • Inviting them to help you with a project or asking if they’d like help with a project they are working on
  • That thing you wish they would do for you, you do it for them
  • Making them their favorite meal or snack
  • Letting them pick the movie and not complaining about it
  • Inviting them to join you in a game

I’d love to hear your ideas of how you could take a tiny, powerful step forward in your marital relationship. Every little step you take will empower you to feel more courageous to take the next step and what you will see is how your partner is following in your footsteps. Join the other women who have joined AwakenYou and brought their marriage from shutdown to thriving by implementing the processes I teach in the program. You, too, will be one of the women who learns that they have the power to actually shape their marriage into exactly what they want and live a life of dedication to their truth.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

The Power Of Pause Ep 21

The Power Of Pause | Relationship Coach

We are at the six-month marker of 2021. Halfway through the journey of achieving those goals we set for ourselves at the start of this year. Today I am going to share a little secret about the power of pause right now, at this time of the year, in your life. What I am sharing with you today is actually going to fuel you with the power you need to keep making strides towards hitting that impossible goal you intend on achieving by the end of this year.

To kick this episode off, I am going to be completely forthcoming with all of you. This year I have let go of a few of my power of pause practices because I was “too busy” focusing on my goals, telling myself the lie that I don’t have the time to pause. Instead, I have been incorporating some new practices that have given me newfound gratitude for my body and the messages it sends me that I typically ignore by staying in my head. I have been practicing and preparing a new level of breakthrough for my AwakenYou program that incorporates getting out of our heads and into what the body is telling us. I have always known the power of the body, but in the past, it was more about using my head to power through, which ultimately leads us to fall short of the goal that is possible for us.

I’d love for you to think of a time when you knew you needed time off, you felt it in your body, but instead, you ignored your body and used your mind to keep pushing forward, promising yourself when you get to the next step you’ll take a break. Lie, lie, LIE. Then what happens? Your body takes over the show and forces you into a pause. Really think about a time that this happened in your life, go there and visualize it, think about how it felt when you were “stuck” mending your body, waiting for it to heal so you could get busy with those goals. Then, of course, not using the pause to learn and grow but instead diving in when your body starts to set you free to see how you will practice the pause moving forward.

I just experienced this last week. I came off of a week up at my brother’s cabin for my birthday. I was afraid to take even a whole day off, “my business is depending on me” were the thoughts I was hiding behind. I came home from a stunning week, my body not feeling quite right, and using my new practice, I focused on listening to the signals my body was sending. It was loud and clear; you are sick, and it’s time to let go and let God. So I did. I let a throat and ear infection ride its course and honored their reasons for being there; they were looking after me, teaching me the power of the pause.

The body knows, and I am so grateful for that and am softening into the practice of listening with a pearl of newfound wisdom as I share the steps I am taking in my practice of the pause. I’d love for you to join me and share your experience. Together let’s honor our dreams to reach goals that could never be achieved without this practice. Let’s recommit to the goal we are completing over the next six months, the future we will create for ourselves, and the marriage we love coming home to.

If you struggle with taking time for yourself, make this a short practice to start; I’m starting with one day; maybe you give yourself a half-day and then ask yourself how to create space for a full day the next quarter. Grab yourself a notebook and pencil to take notes and decide right now what day you will practice the pause with me. Commit. Write it on the calendar and honor your commitment. Me? I’ll be doing mine this Friday, and yes, my brain is already making excuses about how this is not going to work out but I’m willing to listen and hold that fearful child while I move forward and do it anyway.

The first step to the power of pause is writing an achievement list

Schedule thirty minutes at the start of your scheduled day to write down all of the things you have achieved this year. ALL of the things, regardless of whether they apply directly to your planned goal or not.

  • All of the uncomfortable conversations you have planned and followed through on
  • All of the adventures you have planned with your partner and followed through on
  • The impossible goal you have written down and the steps you have taken to move towards achieving it
  • The time you have taken to do your daily practice of examining your thoughts and planning how you will thin out those that are anything but useful

Look through each month/week/day of this year so far and remember. The way I remember is by writing them down every single day. I daily write down at least three things I made happen that day; some days, it is getting out of bed. From these daily achievements, I collect the ones that stand out and make me proud of my daily work.

Secondly, take a look at that impossible goal you set for 2021

Take fifteen minutes to revisit that impossible goal and all of the mini-goals you set to get there. No condemnation. No judgment. No should haves.

  • If you’ve already achieved them then high five yourself! Could you reset your goal for something bigger?
  • If you “haven’t” achieved them ask yourself how all of the achievements from the first step have moved your needle forward allowing you to get closer to your goal.

Step Three is to review and renew your commitment and compelling reason

Take fifteen minutes to look at your commitment and the compelling reason that you set for yourself. Recommit and decide if you need to make your compelling reason more compelling. If you haven’t ever written out a commitment and compelling reason for your goal achievement, I have a worksheet just for you, grab it here. (share document to mailing list sign up)

Visualize your completion of your goal

Take fifteen minutes to write about what your life will be like when you reach your stretch goal for this year; how will you feel? What are your weeks and weekends like? Describe them in detail. How do you interact with your partner? What are you doing on a day to day, week to week basis? How will you start living into that person now? Create your vision so you can start living into who she is and looking to her for advice when things feel hard.

Lastly, download strategies you will implement to finish strong

This is a fun contemplation exercise where you get to let go and allow yourself to dream big.

  1. Start by asking yourself a question, “What strategies will I take to reach my goal of having a fun, joyful, loving marriage?”
  2. Do a 5-10 minute contemplation, set a timer, where you empty your brain and focus on your senses. Don’t think about your goal and how you will achieve it. When you notice yourself in your brain thinking, come back to your breathing, touch, sight, or other senses.
  3. After your contemplation, ask yourself the question again and allow yourself to free-write ideas. Fill a page with any ideas that come to your mind, yes, especially those that sound stupid and ridiculous.
  4. Pick at least five out of your list to implement; for more ideas of implementing and following through, check out this post: (link to goal setting article).

Now about the implementation

Take these five steps and spread them out throughout the day you have set aside. Schedule them on the calendar or a piece of paper, plan your success. Pay close attention to what comes up for you when the time comes for you to take the next step; expect your brain to come up with other “more fun” ideas instead of what you planned. Visualize and think about how you will feel when you follow through on what you planned on doing and then do it anyway, no matter how uncomfortable you feel.

In between these five steps, you will plan something fun, something that lights you up and takes you away from thinking about your goals and where you are right now with them. Singing, dancing, cooking, swimming, gardening, running through the sprinkler, doing cartwheels, biking, laying in the sun, reading a chapter in a silly book, buying a coffee or tea at a cafe you have meant to visit. Whatever it is that fills your heart with joy, do it, and then dive into the next step.

I highly suggest no media on this day to increase the power of your pause.

I am doing mine this Friday. Let me know when you are doing yours, and let’s share in the energy and power we are creating. Maybe you want to do it with me; we’ll send each other powerful, dream-building vibrations. Then I want to hear how it went for you because you know I will be sharing my experience with you!

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Why Your Style Matters with Judith Gaton Ep 20

Remember that time when you had that outfit on and you thought you were unstoppable? Today we’re going to talk about how to bring that feeling into your every day just by discovering your style personality and bringing it to life. This month get ready to laugh while getting some inspiration to begin the process of letting go of what you don’t like putting on your body and bringing something new into your closet so you can show up in your life and your marriage in a way that feels amazing.

Judith Gaton is a stylist, Master Certified life coach, and lawyer. She is your professor of glam and elegance. Through her signature course Style Masterclass, she teaches her clients that thought work is the key to a lasting makeover. Through confidence coaching and mindset work, she helps her clients to see that they can dress and love the body they are in right now. When Style & Confidence are dialed in, women can go do the work they were created to do in the world. Her ultimate style philosophy: Confident Women Build Legacies.

Her program is called Style Masterclass.

You can reach Miss J through her website: Judith Gaton

Style Masterclass podcast



I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.