Becoming BOLD – Breaking Down Barriers Ep 66

Becoming Bold - Breaking Down Barriers | Marriage Coach

Happy Tuesday, everyone, I am so excited to be with you; this is one of my favorite times of the week; I know, you’re not really here with me…or are you? It sure feels like it! Before we dip into this week’s conversation, I want to share some of my celebrations, not to brag but to honestly celebrate. I have shared here on the podcast that last year, I solidified my commitment to helping women find happiness in their marriage by enrolling in an Advanced Relationship Training with my coach Aimée Gianni and at the end of April, I received my proof of certification which feels so good to me because relationships had always been a struggle for me. Early on in that journey, I asked Aimée if she would ever consider some sort of mentorship, and guess what? She created a Master Coach Mentoring program focusing on relationships that seven other women, and I, said yes to. Last week we kicked off a year of intense training that I am still swimming in a bit of disbelief over. Me, all in on opening up and growing into my best version of myself, which includes opening up to some new and vulnerable steps in my marriage as well as becoming more masterful in being able to apply all of this knowledge in my coaching practice. Mostly I wake up every morning in awe of what I have created for myself and how this work is changing lives, not just the lives of the people I work with but the trickle-down effect that happens when we do the work of addressing our old coping mechanisms and become more open and honest with everyone in our lives. It is a beautiful thing, and while I shake myself into reality today, I want to talk about you and I becoming bold.

Becoming bold in calling bull crap on our limiting behaviors, recognizing the chains holding us back from flourishing into what is possible, and saying yes to ourselves, maybe for the first time. Today I am doing what I call a ‘free fall,’ meaning I am winging it and having fun with it. This free fall is not scary because I’m no longer afraid of falling to the ground and wishing I hadn’t done it, I am flying, twirling, and swooning in the air, and when it’s over, I will put my stamp of fun approval on it. How’s that for fun? Let’s see what comes out of this!

Today, I will share what I call the phases of becoming bold and how stepping into phase one with full commitment will naturally draw you into phases two and three and into an infinity of your own becoming bold journey. Are you ready?

Phase one of becoming bold

Phase one is the true turning point in our lives. It is the point where we are completely over living life as is, no longer wishing things would be different and taking the scary, bold steps of finding professional help to facilitate change. Before phase one, you have likely done SO many things to improve your life. Things like ending compulsive behaviors, ending addictive behavior patterns, and balancing your life out so that it appears to fit in a bit more with what society deems a good life, yet still, after doing these beautiful processes, you still feel out of line with yourself. Often something dramatic will need to happen for phase one to be put into action because seeking help for oneself isn’t something you feel comfortable with. For me, it was the possibility of a second failed marriage, not that I felt like I needed to save that marriage, on the contrary, it forced me to look within, and that is where phase one starts—looking within ourselves to begin changing our lives—deciding to end self-preserving behaviors that lead to self-betrayal.

This is where you step out of your discomfort of asking for help, decide that reading and listening to self-help can only take you so far, and decide to be all in on yourself and the life you dream possible. In this phase, you may be taking stabs at what might work and connect with you, but even when processes you try don’t seem to be helping, you believe in your journey and don’t give up on the search for what will be your best fit.

Phase two of becoming bold

In this phase, you feel secure in your path. You find a process that feels instinctively right for you, it moves you forward, and you see yourself taking steps forward into better knowing, understanding, and loving yourself. This phase is full of growing pains because you tear down everything you have built up over your life. With each wall you tear down, you feel freer and closer to who you are, to your truth. Your light shines a bit brighter, allowing you to see better the next obstacle in your path to where you are going.

This phase feels awkward because it is mostly about you and discovering yourself, it may feel like you are alienating your spouse, and maybe you are. I know I did, but Jeff was such a willing participant; he gave me the space to figure it out.

The beautiful thing about this phase for my AwakenYou clients is that they are doing this work alongside me, their guide. I am helping them along the journey, and part of that guidance includes mending, repairing, and building their relationship with themselves and their spouse.

Phase three of becoming bold

Here is where you become willing to open up to learning how to create the life you desire. At the beginning of the journey, most people feel disillusioned before phase one. They feel like they have done so much work to get closer to their core values, yet they still feel awful; nothing seems different except that they have let go of some of their destructive behaviors.

I like to call this phase the “tearing the veil” stage. It is the stage where we are ready to tear down the wall between us and our most intimate relationship with our spouse. We have done the work of tearing down many of the walls in the way of us having a loving relationship with ourselves, and now we come face to face with what seems like an indestructible barrier between where we are and how we want to show up in our marriage. There is so much here that I’m not going to get into today, but what I want to share is this barrier looks more impenetrable than it is.

Once we do this work on ourselves in phases one and two, we feel safe because it is work between ourselves and who we are today, who we were in the past, and who we are becoming. It is inner work but eventually, we come to the point where we feel mostly confident in ourselves, knowing we will continue to do that work, and we want to show up in a new way in our marriage, but we’re afraid of it. This is where I suggest we tear the veil and become bolder in taking ourselves into the intimate relationship in a whole new way. Open, unbridled, free, and amazingly elegant.

As you pass through each stage, you set down more of your insecurities and hesitations; you become bolder in your decisions to take steps towards what you want. You create more room to pick up bigger dreams, more significant challenges, new openings, and becoming open to stretching out because the willingness to become vulnerable actually creates safety. The more safety you create, the more willing you are to open up to what you want, and you begin to realize that your life and what you want to make of it is limitless.

So today, what I hope to have shared with you is permission for you to step into phase one without having to wait until it appears as though you have no other option. It is never too early to start working on your relationship with yourself, and it is never too late. This work is timeless, and it brings you closer to your youthful, happy, authentic self. I hope you will be bold this week and take one step towards your journey; there is no better thing to invest in than in your future self.


I am a marriage coach who helps women and couples go from feeling powerless to change how they feel about their marriage to feeling powerful and taking ownership of how they feel. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage, and through this process, you will begin to find that your partner will change as well! If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can finally fall in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about the next steps to making your dream life your reality.

How Past (Trauma) May Be Affecting Your Marriage Ep 65

How Past (Trauma) May Be Affecting Your Marriage | Marriage Coach

Happy Tuesday to all of you who stop by every week to gather more information on how to break through to new levels of understanding in your marriage. I know I don’t say this often, but I appreciate all of you who listen and take what I share and put it into action in your own life; you are the reason I show up every week, so thank you. This week I am sharing a personal growth experience/realization that I think will help many of you listening; if not personally, it might help you see something in someone else, maybe your spouse, friend, or co-worker. What I’m sharing today may help you better understand common behaviors of loved ones that you previously found yourself taking personally. It might help you generate more empathy for what the “other side of the table” is struggling with. Mostly I want you to consider yourself when listening to what I have to say today because wishing to focus on someone else’s behaviors could also be a sign that you are avoiding cleaning up your side of the relationship by looking to “control” the other. Today let’s talk about how past trauma may be affecting your marriage.

Before we dig into the heart of this discussion, I do want to recognize that I do not specialize in trauma coaching, and I am not a trauma therapist; what I am sharing is what I have learned in my journey of growth. I know that there are many things we can learn intellectually about development. Still, through persistent committed steps to continue the journey of growth and the desire to never settle into the comfort of being “ok” with ok, we will begin to experience the intellectual on a more visceral level. When this happens, I have a deeper understanding of myself, giving me a wider range of awareness of what might be going on for my clients.

To be clear, many of my clients work with various other mental health professionals based on what it is they are working on in their growth journey. There is space for all, and each professional compliments the others. There are times when working with my clients; I will discuss the possibility of wanting to find a more specialized professional to work through ways their past might be affecting how they are showing up in their current relationships.

The other space I will not dig into today is the difference between traumas. A definition that has helped me better understand the wide variety of types of trauma is an event that happens in one’s life that they are not emotionally or psychologically prepared for, causing an emotional response we call trauma. There is also Large-T, ex: car accident, war/combat, sexual assault, and Small-T trauma, ex: divorce, infidelity, loss of job but today’s discussion is primarily looking at how any trauma from our past might be interfering with the work you may be doing to improve your marital relationship dynamics.

How your past trauma (recognized or not) might be interfering with a marital relationship breakthrough

I’m going to begin with a bit about my story and how I came to understand this phenomenon more personally. As you all know, I have been a self-growth enthusiast my whole life, only to 100% discover seven years ago that the motivation behind my desire to grow was so that other people would like me. Seven years ago, we had a crisis in our marriage that had me letting go of what was going on in my marriage to focus on myself. I discovered life coaching in that journey, became a certified life coach, dissolved my 30-year fitness business, and started dipping my toes into relationship coaching. These are all decisions I have never regretted, especially deciding to go all-in on relationship coaching because that has been the work that has challenged my self-growth the most. Had I chosen weight-loss coaching, business coaching, or time management coaching, I might not have ever gone as deep as I have with my relationship with myself.

A few weeks back, I was taking time to write about all of the ways I help my clients feel powerful, and I was thinking about my journey and places where I got stuck. One of those places was getting past the intellectual knowledge of what I needed to do while struggling with some areas of implementation. I knew intellectually that I was protecting myself, not fully opening up to vulnerability. Still, there was a wall in the way of moving forward that I couldn’t identify on my own.

That wall was a developmental coping mechanism I implemented early in my life to protect myself from what was happening outside and inside of me. Once I started seeing the connection between how I would respond to threats as a child, once I worked through my desire to feel love from my parents, and how I project those responses onto others, I was able to open up to new responses to my adult life. Once I realized that protecting myself from the potential hurt someone else might impose upon me as an adult was coming from learned behaviors as a child: opening up to getting the love I needed and interpreting the response as me being unlovable, unworthy, insignificant, unwanted it started to make sense and I was able to start letting go of the old response. This recognition of my actions being related to old trauma allowed me to open up to something different because I knew that I create my own love as an adult. I now know that I am entirely lovable, wanted, worthy, significant, adequate, and whole. I now know that anyone else’s reaction to me and my desire to be loved has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them; if only the little ones could know this truth.

When I made this connection, what I knew on an intellectual level sunk in more clearly on an emotional level and opened me up to a new way of dealing with conflict in my marriage. I share this to possibly open you or someone you know up to the value of working through some of your past trauma; it’s significant, whether you believe so or not. It’s also some of the best work you can do, though initially it might feel awful but cleaning all of that stuff up will be the best work you can do. It is your life; you get to decide whether you open that door and walk through it; I’m just here to tell you that it will open up a whole new life you never imagined possible.

Some common signs that you might be responding in your marriage from past emotional trauma

Marital relationship work often brings up people’s past trauma; let me share a few signs that might indicate you have trauma to work through:

  • Continuing to be stuck and not getting how to move forward
  • Emotional upset, which is ongoing and intense
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Having a difficult time regulating your emotions
  • Avoiding, disconnecting, withdrawing, extreme independence

Then there are the four common trauma response patterns that you might notice yourself resorting to; I’ve done them all:

  • Fight: arguing, fighting, being easily irritated and aggressive, moving towards the person you are in conflict with
  • Flight: withdrawing, avoiding, anxiousness, panic, fear, perfectionism, chronic worry
  • Freeze: disassociating: leaving the body, spacing out, not being able to move, shame, feeling stuck, depression
  • Fawn: needing others to like you (people-pleasing), conflict avoidance, saying yes when you want to say no, difficulty setting boundaries, prioritizing others over yourself

If some of these responses are familiar to you and you are struggling in your marital relationship, I want you to know that you are not broken and that change and a better life are available. I also know that if any of this resonates with you, you might have difficulty reaching out and asking for help, but what if that help was your ticket to feeling better and having a healthy, happy marriage? That is a ticket you will never regret purchasing, my friend. I’m here for you, and I would love to talk to you about what has you stuck in your marriage. I look forward to meeting you, and until then, ciao!


I am a marriage coach who helps women and couples go from feeling powerless to change how they feel about their marriage to feeling powerful and taking ownership of how they feel. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage, and through this process, you will begin to find that your partner will change as well! If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can finally fall in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about the next steps to making your dream life your reality.

Could It Be Marital Grief You Are Feeling? Ep 64

Could It Be Grief You Are Feeling? | Marriage Coach

Welcome to another beautiful week over here in AwakenYou world; I hope wherever you are listening to this episode that this may be the sunshine you were looking for in your day. Today’s topic is one that you might not think could brighten your day but keep listening; what you discover might loosen up something inside of you that feels like a warm ray of sunshine. It just so happens that I am experiencing grief around something in my own life, and when I uncovered grief, everything fell into place, and it made me think about all of you. I know for sure that there have been many times in my marriage when I was experiencing grief. As a matter of fact, I still do, but years ago, I didn’t know it, and if I had someone help me to see it, I would have been able to work through it differently. Today let’s see if it could be grief that you are feeling about your marriage under other possible emotions like anger, fear, guilt, shame, annoyance, frustration, sadness, and loneliness; what else are you feeling?

First, I want to share how I discovered grief in my own life because it might help you better understand your underlying emotion. A few weeks back, I had a general feeling of melancholy which Google defines as a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no apparent cause, and this is spot on. I even impressed myself with naming the emotion weeks ago, and now looking it up for you and seeing that it was actually spot on, I had this somewhat overwhelming sadness, but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. I had ideas like the weather, but it didn’t seem quite enough; I was just “blah.” So what I did was I sat down with myself, some paper and a pencil by my side, and I processed emotions, going into the process wanting to discover what it was I was actually feeling. Go to Ep 23: How To Process Those Emotions and you can try it for yourself. Often I will use this process to look at an emotion I am feeling, get familiar with it, and get a better understanding of why it is there, but this day I went into the process not knowing what emotion I was feeling.

Similar to the process I described in episode 23, I turned into my body, described what I was experiencing, started asking questions, and, wham, grief came to me. I started crying, and what I was grieving was revealed. When this information was revealed I understood why I was feeling the way I was feeling and was better able to allow for it. When you practice processing your emotions, you get in touch with what is happening in your body and the actual messages that it is sending you. I highly recommend you process the practice from that episode regularly and watch what you start to learn about yourself and what you are experiencing.

Could you be experiencing grief in your marriage?

I highly recommend you use the process in episode 23 to discover whether you are feeling grief, and I also highly recommend you book yourself a free mini-session to have me walk you through the process.

Many of us associate grief with death, but grief comes in many forms: when you get a negative medical test result, loss of a job, divorce, and we also will often feel grief when our expectations aren’t fulfilled. That could be when you thought you would get a job promotion but didn’t or in the case of our marriages, when you thought you found the perfect mate to live a happily ever after and that isn’t what you are experiencing. Often we realize we are feeling some of the emotions I listed above, like disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, and discouragement. Often, under these emotions is the grief of an unmet expectation.

All of the above emotions are valid and have a lot of information to share with you, but when you can process the emotion of grief you will find a whole new understanding of what you are experiencing. With this new understanding, I often see that people can give themselves the gift of space and hope to start creating something different. Space helps them settle into what they are experiencing, and hope allows them to see an opening of possibility.

Grief often helps you make sense of where you are at and gain insight into what is happening for you to start moving towards solutions. It brings in some compassion for yourself and for the expectations you may be placing on your spouse.

If you think you are feeling grief about where you are in your marriage I would love to share a mini-session with you to help you pull apart what is happening and how you might want to start moving towards what you want instead of pushing it away. Let’s normalize this emotion that you might be feeling in your marriage and then use it to get to where you want to be to celebrate a brand new beginning in your life!


I am a marriage coach who helps women and couples go from feeling powerless to change how they feel about their marriage to feeling powerful and taking ownership of how they feel. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage, and through this process, you will begin to find that your partner will change as well! If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can finally fall in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about the next steps to making your dream life your reality.