It’s Not Better Over There Ep 28

It's Not Better Over There | Relationship Coach

We’ve all done it. We’ve looked at what someone else has and think their life must be that much better than ours. We see another couple smiling at each other in that cute little restaurant while making up the story that he for sure picked and lovingly suggested they go have a quiet romantic dinner after coming home from work early with a bouquet of her favorite flowers and that our husband never does anything romantic like that. It’s what we call looking at someone else’s outsides and comparing them to our insides while making a story up that makes the comparison even more dramatic. Today we’re going to look at the truth in that it’s not better over there where you are looking and desiring what you are making up about what you see.

The actual truth is that no matter what side of the fence you are on there will always be circumstances in your life that feel good and circumstances that feel bad. You can always jump the fence, settle in and then once again realize that someone else’s scenario looks so much better than yours, just knowing that could make you feel worse or give you some comfort, how’s that for confusing? It really isn’t confusing at all when I explain that it is all about how you are looking at the part of life that feels negative. When you deny the “bad” part of life it is like layering pain upon pain preventing you from growing and seeking the available wisdom during this trying time but when you embrace and accept it, that is when you can discern, move through it and start to see the value of this “bad” circumstance. It allows you to use it to grow versus using it to stay stuck, it actually helps you to see the “negative” coming and immediately begin to anticipate the good that will come from it.

When we look at what other people are presenting to us out in public and we compare that to what we are struggling with, our inside story, or the parts others don’t see. We take a snapshot of someone else’s life and compare it to our whole life while usually leaving out all of the parts of our life that are amazing, making us feel even worse, pushing us even deeper into the victim scenario. This is why I say “comparing it to our insides,” because most of us are hiding the parts of our lives that we feel guilt and shame around while presenting to the world our good parts or a presentation of what we think looks good to others.

Today I am going to share a story about a conversation I have had with other couples who I imagined to have a “perfect” marriage and then I’m going to talk about why we compare our worst to what appears to be other people’s best while exaggerating both sides of the fence, and then we’ll talk about how to stop comparing and despairing.

An example of how our brains make up stories

Because I am a marriage and relationship coach I do pay attention to the couple dynamic when I am out and about but from a place of curiosity and imagination of what may be the truth of their relationship, their insides. Then there are also times when I imagine that a couple has a progressive relationship where both are working together to continually bring more desire and growth into their relationship dynamic. No longer do I do this from a place of jealousy and wishing I could be that woman or that I could have that marriage, instead it’s more about wondering what might be behind what I see and knowing that I am using my imagination to imagine what their relationship might be like from the insides and then use that image in my own marriage while doing the work of creating that thing I am dreaming up!

When we are out with other couples I love coming up with questions to keep the conversation different from surface-level topics like the weather, and all of the things wrong with this person or that system. Often I will ask them about their relationship and what they are doing to keep it growing, evolving, changing; if you haven’t caught on, seeking growth in your relationship increases that desire we are all seeking. In ninety percent of the conversations, couples will admit that things aren’t perfect, that they all have their own struggles that they may or may not be addressing. Oh, how I love honesty because the other ten percent that says things are all blissful are lying; remember what I said about the 50/50? Here’s the deal my friends; even those couples that feel like they have an amazing relationship will come out and say that a good relationship is still work, but work that is fulfilling and has them growing more intimately close every year. This is the dynamic I was talking about earlier and it is the place where we go in AwakenYou. We first work on you in your relationship with yourself, learning how to really know yourself, accept yourself and then strengthen your relationship with yourself. Then right along with that work, we do the work of starting to untangle your marital relationship and owning your part in it. The work we do is the work of believing that you have the power to feel amazing in your relationship and that as you create that feeling, you see your marital relationship rebuilding itself in the process.

Why we think the grass is greener over there

The main reason is that we aren’t being responsible, emotional adults in our marriage and we aren’t owning what we perceive to be happening in our marriage. We feel stuck and don’t know what to do so we blame our partner because it’s easier than looking inside and facing what the true problem is. Instead, we find ways to distract ourselves from what isn’t working, we numb ourselves, overanalyze, and take on other people’s feelings. We want things to change but we don’t want to do the work of creating that change, we act confused by what the exact process might be to having that happily ever after marriage. All the while we keep looking outside of ourselves for more reasons as to why our situation is doomed, by looking at other people’s outsides and comparing them to our insides. It’s completely understandable as to why we aren’t being emotional adults, most of us aren’t and most of us were brought up around adults who also were often living outside of the emotional adult realm.

How to let go of the compare and despair

The first thing you have to do is notice what is happening, hence this podcast and the topics I bring to you. You will know that you are living in the described “things are better over there” model by how it feels, if it makes you feel like you could never have that relationship that you desire and that others have it so much better, then you’re comparing and despairing. If you are noticing other couples out of curiosity while being fully present with your partner then it could be that you are exploring what you might like while sharing an adult conversation about what that could look like for you and your partner. It could also mean that you simply choose to create that scenario that you are making up in your head with your partner and see how it goes, see how it feels, see if it’s as enjoyable as you imagined it to be.

Secondly, you have to accept that life is always going to contain the good and the bad, this contrast is how we actually recognize the good from the bad. Once you accept this you get to decide if you want to stay feeling like garbage about it, in victim mode, or if you want to start working on feeling something different.

The third step is to work on knowing yourself, knowing who you are, learn to like who you are at your core, not just that someone you’ve been creating in hopes that others will like you. Once you start taking a hard look at yourself, what your values are, and who you want to be in the world, that is when you can start the work of embracing and loving that true self. As you do this work of defining yourself and the continual work of strengthening that relationship with yourself, you start taking responsibility for how you feel instead of blaming others, you learn how to self-soothe and self-regulate instead of expecting others to take care of that work. This is where you grab that magnifying glass, turn the lights on and start owning your actions and your life. Yes, it hurts a little but it’s the kind of hurt that leads to self-growth instead of the kind of hurt that just keeps pricking you in the background of your life.

Lastly, I highly recommend that every time your brain offers you the idea that life is better over there that you pause and recognize this habit. Then take a moment to correct it and offer it a positive aspect of your own relationship. At first, this might seem a bit difficult if you’ve stopped seeing the good, my free Relationship Abundance course will help you start seeing things differently in your marriage, it will help you re-direct your mind and start creating evidence that your relationship isn’t as bad as you are making it to be. Then you can get to work on those things you don’t like about your relationship. A great question I love asking myself is if this thought is helping or hurting my relationship with my husband, remember the enemy and ally episode where I shared this concept?

If you find yourself comparing your marriage to the snapshots you are seeing out in the world, then I want you to consider this work that I have shared with you because doing what you are doing is only sabotaging your relationship even more. Your current thinking has your brain searching for all of the reasons your relationship is passionless, disconnected, and boring, which only gets you creating more results that prove your thoughts, don’t do that to yourself. Now that you know differently you can start catching it, re-directing it, and then you can begin to look inward. Ask yourself how you are not bringing in those things that YOU want in your relationship. Ask how you are putting yourself in a weak position by expecting your partner to do this work when they may be oblivious to your desires. How are you not being passionate, joyful, loving? Stop waiting for him to do it and be the one that does it, you’ll be surprised at the result you get!

If you want help ending the “it’s better over there” syndrome then I’d love to talk to you about your relationship, what about it has you hurting, and how this work will have you believing that you have the ability to change how you feel in your marital relationship.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. 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.

Removing Emotional Barriers Ep 27

Removing Emotional Barriers | Relationship Coach

The journey of growth is multifaceted and a journey where every new step reveals a new obstacle to overcome before you can expand to that next level in your life. The more obstacles you’re willing to work through the further down the path to your future self you will go. Today I’m going to share a bit about my healing journey, why I’m sharing it here on the podcast, and what this journey has to do with my relationship with myself and my relationship with Jeff. Then I am going to share how to do this process for yourself around a goal you are working towards where you find yourself self-sabotaging and trust me, my friends, if you aren’t reaching your goals one of the most important things to correct is how you are getting in your own way, this is where removing emotional barriers comes in.

The first step in your journey is recognizing that the path to your dream come true result, the result you dream of having in your life requires effort and understanding that not achieving those goals has nothing to do with being dealt a bad hand. It requires that you dig deep into yourself and the reasons why you aren’t progressing the way you want or to move forward more quickly. I’m calling it a “healing” journey because as adults we have established patterns that were often put in place as a way to survive but what I am not saying is that these patterns were established because you had an awful childhood. Even if you had a fairy tale childhood there are many responses that have been passed down to us genetically or the patterns we developed by watching the adults in our lives and then we have our brain which perceives harmless things as dangerous.

Our resistance to digging deep is typically an unwillingness to look within or even the lack of awareness that the solution to your problem isn’t waiting outside in the world but that you have the answer already, you just have to look inside for it. Once you realize that the obstacle you are currently facing is something you can breakthrough by looking inward then it is a matter of whether you’re willing to open that door and step inside.

Today I am going to share my own personal journey, which will possibly seem a bit raw at moments, but I share in an effort to help you see that you have your own solutions to your current problems. My story isn’t your story, it’s different, but what is the same is that we both have human brains that act in ways that are often not getting us where we want to go. It is often having us act in a way that is counter to the way we want to act, getting us results that are opposite of the results we want. When I talk about “getting raw” I simply mean that often when we uncover what is in our way it can get emotional, but the gift is on the other side of that emotion. If there are old wounds that we have been ignoring then that old way of dealing with those wounds is often affecting the way we are showing up in our lives right now and exposing the raw wound is what actually allows you to start the healing process.

Here we will talk about this work and then apply it first to our relationship with ourselves. After we do the work of understanding, accepting, and strengthening ourselves I’ll talk about how this work helps us in our relationship with our partners. The beautiful truth though is that this can be applied to any struggle you are seeking solutions for, listen in as I share my past week of daily dives into different modalities of processing emotions and emotional blocks. I have made a 20-day commitment to dig deep into two of my personal and business goals where I have discovered a wall between where I am and where I want to be. This laser-focused commitment has revealed much which has allowed me to start disintegrating those barriers and open up to a truer version of myself, for me first and then how I show up in my marriage, at work, and in all of my relationships.

Let’s take a peek into what I’m learned in the first nine days and then I’m going to share how you can do the same for yourself.

What I am discovering

Most of the following is a download I poured out after a session of digging into an emotion I was feeling but wasn’t recognizing. I was showing up in a way that I wasn’t understanding so I laid down and dug into what I was feeling in my body, what vibrations this unknown emotion was creating. (link)

I determined the emotion to be anxiety and then proceeded to process that emotion to understand why it was there. This process in total probably took about 20 minutes, I processed emotions for about 5 minutes and then I wrote for 10-15 minutes. As I wrote more and more wisdom, understanding and clarity came to me allowing me to create more understanding and peel back some of what was keeping me from showing up in a way that made me feel good.

I first felt this feeling of what I am calling anxiety after coming home from the airport after dropping my husband off for a twenty-day training. My mind was in a buzz, like I imagine a little child might feel while standing in front of the candy in the candy aisle. I’m a doer, I LOVE doing things and my mind had decided that I was going to be able to do so much more while Jeff was gone…I was in such a spin that when I came home I went directly to the kitchen and decided to eat something, no idea at this point what that something was. Then I noticed my mind spinning some more and I found myself looking through cupboards trying to find something to eat. This is when I paused and asked myself what was going on. I didn’t know the answer so I laid down on the living room floor and closed my eyes. I did a few sense prompts, listened to my breathing to get out of my head, and then I asked myself again what was going on. All of a sudden I thought my mind was going to explode! All of the things I wanted to do, all of the places I wanted to go, all of the people I wanted to spend time with, oh, and all of the time I wanted to enjoy during this time to myself. Hello anxiety! No wonder I wanted to find something to eat, eating would have momentarily slowed that spin right down, and if I had eaten more, it would have slowed me down for the day. After recognizing it for what it was, I gathered anxiety up in my hands and set it on the shelf, promising to come back to it later. Then I went off for a beautifully long bike ride, coming home to clean out the garage.

As the days went on I continued to take that anxiety off of the shelf and ask it questions, eventually discovering under that anxiety an old feeling of fear.

Here is what I wrote:

“Today I processed that feeling I feel when I want to eat the other day – when I want to escape through food – this was my only way to feel temporarily good as a child. I felt criticized and beat up, never being able to please the people who I believed (and believe they thought) had my best interest in mind. Now as an adult, as I unravel this flee to a false safety, a safety that seemed to work in the past, I’m feeling it. I’m talking to it. All of those immediate sources of escape made me feel good, adequate, able to do more, so possibly I would achieve that status of finally being good enough. As I sit here in it I see why it is there, its intention to find safety at the moment because I was afraid to run, to leave, and tackle life on my own. I was too afraid something even worse would happen so I stayed where it was ok, where I could survive and fake it, where I continued to reinforce that this was the best I could get. I didn’t deserve anything better, to see what I had and not stand up for what was wrong because I should be grateful for what I have.

Now I see this safety mechanism, pattern and see how unnecessary it is at this point in my life. I see how this is patterned conditioning and response, I see how I have done the work of forgiving my past, and the people who played a role in my own personally developed protection mechanisms. Now as an adult I can let go of these behaviors but it isn’t that easy. I have to be continually aware and conscious of them. I have to recognize them, love them for their intention, honor them for what they have done for me in the past and how they have allowed me to cope. Now I can say thank you and then let them go, no longer needed.

Now I get to see them for what they are and I get to let that little girl out, I get to let her shine, I get to let her explore the things she’s been afraid of but has been dying to experience. I get to take her by the hand and say ‘let’s go.” let’s go do that thing your brain is telling you is scary, I’ve got you and I won’t let anyone hurt you again.

No one’s words or actions can ever hurt you now. I know differently now, I can see what might be true for me and what isn’t, I get to see what might be true for them and let them keep it for themselves. I don’t have to believe their thoughts anymore.

I get to be me.

I get to run barefoot through the stream.

I get to climb the hills and explore the beauty they behold.

I get to jump for joy and dance like a child.

I get to notice when my brain is afraid of what I might want to do and recognize why. I can now recognize my fear and desire to escape and hide and give myself a big kind hug, reassure myself and take the plunge that will bring more true life exhilaration than any food, drug, person, or time-wasting activity could.

I’m stepping into my next self and she is going to start saying yes when her anxious, fear-based mind is telling her no.

This is the work, my friends, uncovering the enemy’s grip on you. One of those grips is conditioned responses to threats you perceived as a child, now holding you back from your best life. Looking at your partner as the enemy holding you back is an option but a better option in my opinion is using your partner as your conduit to growth. What is it you are waiting for them to do so you can be happy? Be the influencer in your relationship and do that thing, stop waiting.

That my friends was my download. What I took away from that session is that under my anxious mind was fear, fear that I won’t be good enough, that I won’t do things well enough, that I will never turn out the way I should. Once this lie was uncovered I recognized where it came from but that isn’t even important for this exercise. Just knowing that it is there and why, is what is important and once you have awareness you can start changing how you act. I was able to tie my running to food as a way to feel good and safe in the moment back to a response I developed in the past and then I got to decide on purpose that I now want to show up for that little girl. I gave her a big hug and gave her a promise that I will face fear in a whole new, different way, a way that moves me forward instead of putting me in hiding.

What this has to do with my relationship with myself

Again, the reason I am sharing this process is to help you see that we are all working on something and that most often the thing in the way is something inside of us that is keeping us from achieving our best life. What this process did for me was open me up to understanding something that often interrupts me from doing what I want to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, eating isn’t the only thing that gets in my way, but it has been something that I turn to when I am feeling overwhelmed, anxious, bored, nervous, excited, proud, name an emotion and I might try to numb it with food OR I might try to amplify it with food.

What I’m getting at is that food is one of the things that get between me doing some of my best work, my most exciting activities, my time to relax and get to know myself, it is my easiest distraction, business runs right alongside it. Now I see one of the reasons I run to these distractions and it allows me to see it when it is in action which then allows me to pause, understand and decide how I really want to proceed.

This allows me to love myself more, to show up for myself more authentically, and have my back more often.

The same will go for you when you start uncovering the reason behind some of the things you are doing that you don’t want to be doing.

What this has to do with my relationship with my husband

First, it opens up awareness around some of the ways I show up during our time together, it helps me see when I might be avoiding him, fearful that he might be judging me or might reject me. Secondly, the braver I get around doing the things that scare me in my relationship with myself, the more secure I become in who I am and the less often someone else can make me feel rejected. This allows me to show up with more vulnerability in my marriage which means that when Jeff says or does something I am less likely to take it in a way that makes me feel awful and defensive. I get to show up in my relationship as myself, with all of my imperfections, knowing that other people are dealing with their own stuff.

What this work does for you is it gets you closer and closer to understanding yourself which gets you more and more understanding of the person you are married to. You start to understand that their actions are about them and their insecurities and have nothing to do with you. As you get to this place you are better able to open up and do the work that will bring your relationship together instead of pushing it apart.

How to do this same process for yourself

First I want you to pick one goal in your life that you want to work on, maybe something less sensitive and close than your marriage.

Second, notice when circumstances come up that push you away from that goal. Examples: exercise – sleeping in, eating – not sticking to plan, relationship – not creating time together.

Third, set aside time to sort through the circumstance, to do this you will write about the circumstance for 5 minutes, I explain this process in the linked article that explains the thought download. Then pick an emotion that comes up for you and if you don’t know what the emotion is; then do the worksheet linked at the end of this article, then process the emotion. Next, write for ten minutes about what comes up for you, maybe nothing comes up for you the first few times, that’s ok. Trust the process.

Fourthly, commit to doing this at least five times per week for two weeks.

Fifth, trust the process.

If this is new for you it will take some time to discover and feel comfortable with the process but don’t give up, the more you practice the better you will be able to hear what that emotion is telling you.

We know that a fulfilling life isn’t an easy life. Fulfillment never comes from things being handed to us, it comes from getting our hands dirty while digging into the stone walls we hide behind, that we put between us and our dream life.

If you want help and guidance with this process of breaking down the barriers between you and your dream come true marital relationship then I’d love to chat with you about it and help you see for yourself how this process works.

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. 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.

Healthy Time Apart Ep 26

Removing Emotional Barriers | Relationship Coach

Today I am on day five of a twenty-day stretch of Jeff being away at a business training and during that time I am digging deep into several aspects of personal growth, including the importance this time apart is for a couple. Time apart is time to build a stronger and more deeply connected marital relationship. If you enjoy time apart from your partner and you’ve been feeling guilty about it then today I am going to help you let go of that guilt because healthy time apart is good for your marriage.

If you have been questioning how good of a partner you are because you crave time apart, even if your partner doesn’t, then listen on. If you don’t like taking time away from your partner I will talk about that as well because that could be an area you might want to dig into. It would be interesting for you to uncover what it is that is keeping you from expanding outside of your comfort zone and questioning possibly your trust in the partnership you have committed to.

Today we’re going to look at why time apart is a necessary and healthy part of creating an exciting and highly desirable relationship, how to start incorporating it into your marriage if it isn’t something you currently practice, and how to not use your time apart as a weapon.

Three primary reasons why healthy time apart is necessary and a habit that will create an exciting and highly desirable marital relationship

Individual revitalization

Time apart from the one that you are in a primary relationship with helps you explore your own individual interests and do the work of developing a sense of self. In our relationships, we are often so focused on the needs and wants of our partners that we forget ourselves. It’s even quite likely that we’ve made that a consistent dynamic, avoiding ourselves and what we most need by investing that time in others in an effort to find our value. Time to ourselves allows us to connect and get to know ourselves which is a crucial part of a healthy relationship. If our identity is in our partner and our relationship then when there is tension in the relationship we feel lost and become either desperate to fix it or avoidant by pushing them away.

This alone time gives you space to better know, accept and strengthen your relationship with yourself. The better you know, accept, and strengthen your relationship with yourself the better you can connect with your partner in a deeply intimate way. This is actually the basis of my coaching program, you can not build a strong healthy marital relationship when your relationship with yourself is weak, when you don’t know and accept who you are. In my program, we alternate between self-growth, self-discovery, self-strengthening work, while building the marital relationship with connection and intimacy.

Taking time alone allows you to recharge which takes the pressure off the marriage, reducing stress and constant reliance on each other. When each partner takes time to revitalize themselves it brings renewed excitement into the relationship, new conversations. Marital relationships demand time and energy, they can be distracting and create anxiety. If you’re here, you are doing the work of creating a different relationship than what you currently are experiencing, and this work can build stress. Time apart allows you to let go of that demand on your time, to clear out your brain and sort things out, sort of like the cleaning of the junk drawer but with relationships, and I highly advise you to do the sorting before the drawer gets too messy. Hence the need for a regularly scheduled respite away from the relationship.

Getting perspective

Taking time apart from your partner creates a healthy disruption in your relationship routine, opening each of you up to more interesting conversations. Creating varied life experiences that light you up will bring your own type of passion and flame into your life and your time together. Without this flare, you are only focusing on the day-to-day routines which can get stale and boring which then translates into a stale and boring relationship dynamic.

Spending so much time in macro view keeps us focused on the same perspectives and not just the day-to-day but also all of the things that have happened in the past and what you want out of your future. Alone time allows us to zoom out for a bit and see other viewpoints, allowing you to contemplate different options when you come back together, helping the relationship to grow, increasing desire to keep working towards that future goal together. It’s like the fertilizer you add to the garden to help it produce a more abundant crop.

Zooming out through alone time allows you to do some introspection, creating space for solving relationship difficulties, bumps in the road. When you don’t create and see the need for this space that is when emotional buildup occurs, typically manifesting itself in unhealthy, destructive ways.

Time apart helps create self-sufficiency, it sparks independence instead of dependence, while growing independence allows us to come together and be interdependent versus a one-sided, unequal relationship. A partner that has a sense of self, taking initiative to create relationship equality brings a freshness to the marital dynamic which increases attraction.

Finding appreciation for your partner and your commitment to the relationship

Think about the time you get to spend with a family member you love but don’t get to see that often, because of our limited time with that person we want to optimize it and find ways to connect in the time you have together. Same with your partner, if you have unlimited time together, no limits to your time, you start taking that time for granted and don’t utilize it to its potential. Having designated time together helps you to plan and appreciate it which optimizes the quality of your time together. It makes you more aware of the time you have together.

Appreciation comes when we take time away to see all of the things they do for us and the value that they bring to the relationship.

Not enjoying time apart

The first question to dig into here is why. Why don’t you enjoy your partner taking time alone for themselves or why don’t you like taking time alone for yourself? I would highly suggest you take 15 minutes to reflect and write your thoughts to the question. What are your fears? What emotion is coming up for you when you think about your partner taking time away or you taking time away from your partner, here is where your work is. What is it that is keeping your from wanting to pull apart for a bit as a way to enhance the relationship you have?

Looking at your motives for time away is introspective and allows you to know yourself better. Time alone is healthy while avoidance may mean it is actually something to consider. Always remembering to never use time away as a weapon or threat. For example, if it is that you are feeling stressed in your relationship, making sure that you are not blaming your partner for that stress, bring it back to the positive reasons for time away while allowing your partner to have their own thoughts about that time.

Know your reasons for taking time away and express them during a time set aside for discussion. Let’s take a look at how.

My suggestions for coming together to discuss time alone with your partner, from a place of love, not hate

Starting a practice of healthy time apart requires intentional collaboration and negotiation and if you haven’t been practicing time alone you may want to start small, see how it goes, and move forward from there. Here are some ideas for how to come together and build this practice into your relationship:

  • One, share this episode with them!
  • Talk about each others needs, they may be different for each of you, coming together and being honest is critical, again making sure not to blame the other.
  • Come up with a schedule for alone time, this may include longer periods of time, maybe quarterly, as well as time throughout the week and on the weekend.
  • Make sure that you are also scheduling intentional time together so you can come together and share yourselves, making sure you are optimizing that time you have for each other.
  • This requires creating balance between your desires along with compromise and negotiation so you can come to terms that work for both of you.
  • When you come together have a set goal for the conversation, remember that you are allies not enemies (see last week’s episode From Enemy To Ally), remembering these actions are for self and marital growth, not revenge.
  • Talk about what this alone time will look like for each of you while creating boundaries if one partner is insecure around what you want this designated time to look like.

It’s possible after sorting through all of the reasons I have listed above, that your mindset around time apart may have shifted, I hope that is true for you. In a trusting and loving relationship, we allow each other space to grow. Think about a garden where the plants are too close together, it stifles the growth of each plant but when spaced apart each grows to its potential. I love this quote from poet Kahlil Gibran (jubran):

“And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

If you are someone who craves time to yourself then I give you permission to let go of any guilt or shame you may have around this desire. Wanting time to yourself does not make you a bad partner in the relationship, it makes you a responsible partner.

To wrap up I want to emphasize the importance of time together as well as time alone. I’m curious to hear how you and your partner have worked on creating space for each other and how it has impacted your relationship. I decided to document my twenty days in my Instagram stories and five days in I have already opened up to a deeper understanding of some of the things I am working on in my relationships, my life and my business, come join me and share in the conversation!

I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. 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 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.

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.

Being The Watcher

Being The Watcher | Relationship Coaching

🎧 Prefer to listen to the audio version? Click here!

If you have ever had a time in your life when you have watched something from afar or from a place of curiosity, then this process will resonate with you. Being the watcher is just that; you have no thoughts, no judgment, or suggestions; you only watch with a neutral, open mind. Being the watcher of your relationship will help you step out of the thoughts that are causing pain and frustration for you without changing who your partner is; you learn how to sit in a place of neutrality and observe what is happening on all sides of the story.

During the first week of this new year, I used this tool abundantly with some unexpected circumstances in my life. Let’s say that after the holidays and lots of reflective, goal-setting time, I was ready to dive into the year and start producing results. It turns out, life had other plans for me, and the unexpected circumstances that life handed me sent me down a road I hadn’t planned on traveling.

A road that I wanted to argue with until I noticed that arguing with this reality wasn’t getting me good results either.

The first day and weeks of 2021 brought a series of events that most certainly were not planned, and this uncertainty helped me learn more about what is important when life throws you a curveball. These uncertain events helped me to look at the curveball from a distance, assess the whole situation, and decide who I wanted to be as these events unfolded. I went to my future self and asked her how she got through these events; I thought about how I wanted to think and feel about myself, and then I did my best to live into that model.

Long story short, we had a dog in the house, which over two weeks declined markedly in health, to the point of losing all mobility in her hindquarters on New Year’s Eve. Watching this decline occur, helping to care for a dog that couldn’t take care of its own needs, building in time around what I had previously scheduled on my calendar, and managing my brain was an interesting lesson, to say the least. I shared the experience last week when I wrote about Loving Without Limits and a dog named Luna.

When we want to argue with reality, as Byron Katie tells us, we will lose, but only 100% of the time. Oftentimes though, our brain still wants to argue with reality. My brain was telling me all of the reasons this wasn’t right, that I had plans, and now my lack of being able to attack those plans is setting me up for failure in the 2021 goals that I so diligently put into place. Stepping aside, getting out of my head, and looking at everything that was going on from a place of neutrality has been a gratifying learning experience. Watching ourselves take control over what our brains do on autopilot so that we can actually steer the plane in the direction we want to go is a process that empowers us to step back and show up in a way that we will look back and be proud of.

Destination control, let me show you how to get there.

Becoming the watcher of your life

First, I want to suggest you start simple; this process can be a bit “mind-bendy,” and if you’re not used to meditation or any other process that helps you step out of your brain’s state of chaos, then just like learning how to ride a bike, start slow. You do this by finding something to practice on BEFORE you are in the middle of a highly emotional circumstance, learn how to sit and observe without any thoughts and emotion.

The beginner watcher process

  • Pick a pet, or an inanimate object like a coffee mug, focus on it for 5 minutes.
  • As you sit and observe, watch the thoughts that travel through your mind and the emotion they create.
  • See if you can let go of the thoughts and see what it is you are looking at with complete neutrality, no words.
  • As you see thoughts come in that create emotion, let them go and come back to neutrality, “it’s a cup,” “it’s a dog.”
  • Play around with it and be curious, notice how the thoughts make you feel and how you feel when you let them go.

How to apply the watcher to your relationship and why it’s important

As you get better at the process, you can start adding more emotionally charged items into your practice. Maybe you have a neighbor that drives you a bit nuts, watch them from afar and see what happens as you let go of your thoughts and notice it is a person, maybe a woman, nothing good and nothing bad, just a person. Start gently letting go of the thoughts that create tension for you. You can also do this process with something from your past, recent, or further back. Visualize the scenario, watch the thoughts your brain comes up with, let them go, and see if you can look at the scene with no judgment, no words.

After you’ve practiced this for a bit, please give it a go with your partner. Start with applying this practice when they are doing something that makes you feel amazing, step back and peel your thoughts away, and see them without words. Next, you can use it when you feel negative emotions about your partner, see if you can let go of your opinions and see them for who they are, no right and no wrong but a human.

The benefit of becoming the watcher is that it moves us into a neutral emotional state, and when we are in an uncharged emotional state, our mind opens up. When our mind is open, it allows for empathy, problem-solving, reasoning, creating solutions instead of only seeing what is wrong. When we can only see the problem, then the only way for us to feel better is for them to change; as you learned in The Relationship Fix, that doesn’t work. Learning how to be the watcher of your life allows you to move through the muck of what you might be currently experiencing, and instead of being consumed by it, you’ll start to see what there is to learn in the muck.

The more you apply this process the easier it gets, I’d love to hear how you are applying the watcher to your relationship and what you are learning from it, send me a message by hitting the button below! If you would like to experience what it’s like to experience the watcher then come to one of my social media lives or my Ask Christine Anything calls and I’ll walk you through the process!

🎧 Audio version of blog here!


I am a certified life coach and a love leader. I work with individuals looking to change their current or future romantic relationship – my program helps them discover that they are enough. This self-love empowers and equips them to take continual, forward steps in achieving the healthy, romantic relationship they desire. Are you ready to explore this journey in your life? 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.

Stay up to date.
Get notified as soon as I post new stuff!
Get Updates