What Is Relationship Intimacy?

How To Increase Mental Intimacy | Relationship Coaching

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

There might be one of two reasons you decided to read this article; maybe you want to learn how to be more intimate in your current relationship or want your partner to be more intimate. I’m super curious what comes to your mind first when you hear the word intimacy; if you’re anything like me, the first thing I think is physical intimacy. My work in this upcoming series on intimacy helps you think differently about intimacy, know all the different ways we can express intimacy, and get you on the path of exploring the intimacy you want in your relationship. With that, let’s talk intimacy!

The definition of intimacy

The Google definition: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

I sort of love this definition of intimacy because it talks about two people’s blending in all aspects. I also am in love with a description of intimacy from the Focus On The Family website, where they talk about intimacy being “in-to-me-see.” It’s a blending of our heart with another’s, so we can “see into” who they really are, and they can “see into” us.

The truth is, as Erwin Raphael McManus simply puts it, “our souls crave intimacy.”

We go to great lengths to attract the opposite sex for that reason and that reason only, intimacy and love.

True relationship intimacy can only happen when you are connected to your own heart

Pure, connected intimacy in your relationship can only occur when you truly know who you are. “In-to-me-see” can only occur when we are fully connected to our own heart; that is when we can let someone fully in to see all that is us. Until we know who we are, what we are afraid of, what our wild and seemingly crazy dreams are, what our hopes and desires for this life are, we won’t be able to let someone else in to see.

True intimacy comes when we have nothing to hide, when we’ve worked through all of our insecurities from our past, our shame and guilt over what we’ve done or haven’t done. The process of getting to a place of being fully loving and accepting of who we are, all of who we are, is the first step to open up to intimacy in our romantic relationship fully.

Can you do this process in the middle of a relationship? Yes! It’s the first place we start in my 1:1 coaching program.

Five types of intimacy:

β€’ Physical intimacy

β€’ Mental intimacy

β€’ Experiential intimacy

β€’ Emotional intimacy

β€’ Spiritual intimacy

When we start learning how to be fully transparent in our relationships, we can start to look at all of the different intimacy areas and decide what they mean to us. As we develop our own love personality, we start to get in tune with what we want to believe for ourselves, and we create an open mind about other people’s beliefs. When this happens, we can open up to conversations that don’t make us shut down because we disagree with their perspective. Instead, we get to open up to their perspective, learn more about them, and grow closer through the process.

Over the next five weeks, I will break down the different types of intimacy and help you explore who you are, who you want to become, and how you want to open up to all areas in your intimate relationship with yourself. This will lead you to the beginning of creating an intimate relationship with your partner that is honest, seen, and full of love.

Want to read more about how to bring intimacy back into your relationship? Go read this post: Four Steps to Bring Sexy Back to Your Relationship

🎧 Audio version of blog here!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

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 Importance of Healing Past Relationships

The Importance of Healing Past Relationships | Relationship Coach

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Last week, during my quiet time, I was reading from Mark’s book in the New Testament, and there were two verses in the second chapter that made me pause and take deeper during my prayer time. The verse helped deepen the belief I hold around the importance of healing past relationships being included as we do the work to improve our current and future relationships.

First, let me share Mark 2:21-22 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

Creating your new self relationship starts today.

Much of the work we do in AwakenYou my 1:1 coaching program is about coming up with a vision of who you want to be in your relationship. I work together with my clients, helping them dream and explore what that might look like for them, and we do the work of making that dream a reality in their life. As we start doing this work of evolving into the person we want to be, there is a lot of cognitive dissonance around who we have identified as in our past and who we are becoming.

The work is multi-faceted in a way that as we peel off our old identity, just like when we exfoliate our skin, past “impurities” begin to rise to the surface.

As we do the work of living into our future self we have to do the work of sorting through and healing our past.

Many of us have stories from our past that we’d rather forget. Sometimes we think that we don’t want to forget them; they are part of who we are. Our past is definitely part of who we are, but as we start creating our future selves, it is important that we also do the work of sorting out our past and seeing where we are holding on to stories that aren’t serving us anymore.

As we work on creating a fierce new romantic relationship, we carry with us all of the old relationship stories that get in the way of us fully experiencing the love that could be available in our current relationship.

Here is where the verse comes in. Jesus talks about creating a patch on an old garment with new fabric and how the new will pull away from the old, making the tear worse than before. This is exactly what happens in our lives when we start repairing and living into our potential if we don’t do the work of healing our past relationships.

What healing our past relationships looks like.

This process is about re-writing our current past life story in a way that serves us. I love to ask my clients to think of three ways that their past relationships could be turned into a gift and opportunity. I also ask them what unresolved matters from past relationships might be keeping them from having the relationship they dream of with their current or future mate.

Jesus’ words proved several things to me, the first being proof of how He speaks and teaches us truth through The Father’s words. The second being how powerful the work being done in my coaching program is and how much it aligns with my goal of bringing people closer to a life they were created to live; a life full of love that feels fierce and free.

I want to invite you to come experience what this freedom feels like for you in your life and in your closest relationship.

🎧 Audio version of blog here!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

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.

Scheduling Time To Improve Your Relationship

Scheduling Time To Improve Your Relationship | Relationship Coach

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

When you think about scheduling time to improve your relationship, what comes to your mind first? Most of us won’t think about our time to ourselves or with our partner; instead, our to-do list comes to mind, all of those things we told ourselves we MUST do. We schedule, or don’t schedule, our to-dos and leave ourselves, and our relationship, to the left-overs. Maybe we do have “self-time” on our to-do list, but if we actually carve time for ourselves, all we think about are all of the other things we should be doing instead.

We fill our minds with lies like:

  • I’ll get to that later
  • My relationship can handle it, we are made for each other
  • When I get that promotion I’ll schedule time for that
  • I’ll have time for that when the kids are out of the house

We get exhausted thinking about it.

Let me be clear about something, I am speaking from experience; I know all too well the powerless cycle of believing the lie that I don’t have enough time. If you are “too busy for all of the things I should be doing,” then I feel your pain, and I want you to know I have a masterful solution to your problem. My solution will free up your day to bring in time for you and your relationship without rushing to get it over with, so you can move on to that next super important thing.

Learning how to manage the 24 hours we are each given every day will allow you to start prioritizing the things in your life that are truly important. If you find yourself not prioritizing your relationship above your job and your to-do list, I want to challenge you to ask yourself why. Why do you think it’s not important to prioritize yourself and your romantic relationship? Trust me, if you’re telling yourself it’s important, but you don’t have time for it, you are really telling yourself that it’s not that important. Tell yourself the truth, which is this: all of the things you do fill up your 24 hours with are more important than your relationship. Check out this article where I explain why you aren’t doing what you want to be doing.

Today I am going to share six tips to start managing your day and prioritizing you and your relationship.

When I ask people why they don’t take time to work on their relationship, the top response is around time. They think they don’t have enough of it. I used to believe this as well, but then I started thinking about the Creator of time and decided that He probably knew a bit more about time than me, so I decided to test a new belief. The second reason I hear is that they don’t know how to start making time, so I’m glad you are here because I will help you figure this out.

When I told myself that I didn’t know how to make time for myself and my romantic relationship I felt confused.

Confusion is an emotion that keeps us from moving forward, it is what I call indulgent meaning it produces more of it. More confusion? No thank you.

First, it’s important to recognize it, and then to get out of confusion ask yourself what one step you can take to get closer to the solution.

If you want someone to guide you, like a coach, and you continue to sweep it under the rug, let me suggest you pick someone, go with it, and be all in on your decision. Will it be the right choice? Maybe or maybe not, but deciding will help you discover the answer. Deciding will mean you find your dreams’ guidance or find solutions that move you forward towards your next solution.

Let’s dig in!

Goal setting

Not setting goals is a way to avoid failure ahead of time; it does not move you forward; it is a false sense of protection. If you want to stop using the B-word (busy) as a way to validate yourself and the things you want to do but aren’t, then go ahead but recognize it. Stop blaming the outside world and start looking to your own inner wisdom to plan and conquer. I ask you where you want to be one year from now in your life and your love relationship? Then I want to ask you how you will achieve that life if you can’t manage your time?

Planning

Start with a list. Write down on paper ALL of the things you want to do, get those nasty cobwebs out of your head. This includes work, personal, relationships, family, all of the things. If you’ve been dreaming about going to Nepal for 10 years, then either take it off of your list or give yourself a deadline. A deadline is a sure way to get you moving into the planning stage of making the trip of your life with your partner a reality. Afraid you’ll forget about this trip of a lifetime? If you forget about it, then was it really that important to you?

Then I want you to go through the list and realize that all of the things on this list are optional; NONE of it HAS to be done, like paying the electric bill, not necessary unless you want some power in your place of residence. Then decide which ones you “have” to do, you “want” to do, and you don’t want to do. Those you don’t want to do, cross them off your list.

Ask yourself what the consequences are if you don’t do the things on this list.

Then ask yourself what is getting in the way of completing these to-do’s, how might you need to break them down into smaller tasks?

Lastly, start prioritizing the list, one is top priority all the way to the last to-do.

Scheduling

Yes, it’s important.

Maybe you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work. Let me suggest that it didn’t work because the teacher didn’t teach you how to overcome that thing called your brain. It didn’t teach you how to overcome that voice that told you to keep working on a task past the allotted time and to skip that personal time you scheduled for yourself because, you know, it’s for people who aren’t as busy as you. Your last system didn’t work because you gave up, you didn’t take massive action, you didn’t learn from your failures, you made it mean that something was wrong with the system.

Schedule your day so that your day doesn’t schedule you.

Schedule personal time first

Yes, this is most important, and I know how hard it is to do. As a recovering “I haven’t done enough” addict, I understand but trust me here, it’s important. This includes intentional time with your partner.

Daily question

“What will I do today to improve my relationship?” Ask yourself this question every day, be deliberate. Relationships require intention, especially those that mean the most to us, like our partners and our family.

Small steps

Take small steps; it took you a lifetime of beliefs to get where you are. A lifetime of listening to others talks about how busy they are; breaking this habit and breaking habits take time. One step forward at a time.

Managing the time you have in a day isn’t finding the right time management system; though it helps, it’s about managing what happens in your head. Time management is about trial and error, just like anything else you want to get good at, it’s about planning what’s important to you and letting go of the rest.

Never saying or using the “busy” words in conversation or as an excuse is freedom, pure freedom. Owning how you choose to use the time we are all given is one of the most powerful things I have done, and I love sharing this skill with my clients. If you want to learn how to have more time in your day, I would love to help you find it; trust me; it’s there for you. Let go of buying that next time management book and instead schedule some time to have a conversation with me about AwakenYou; let’s start opening up your calendar to the love you want in your life.

Want to know more about how I manage my time?

🎧 Audio version of blog here!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

I am a life coach who works 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.

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!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

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.

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Loving Without Limits (and a dog named Luna)

Loving Without Limits (and a dog named Luna) | Relationship Coach

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

Lately, I have played with the consequences and benefits of loving without limits, and through this play, I have discovered new ways I want to think about how I love. I wondered what it might look like to love without limits in my own life and how I can continue to keep stepping closer to this reality.

Today as I write this post and reflect on the past three weeks of my life, I contemplate much. The events that have unfolded since Christmas of 2020 until this moment are all now written in the books of our life, but as I walked through these past days, nothing at all was certain except for one thing: uncertainty.

Certainty and expected uncertainty are definite upcoming topics wrapped up in my learning over the past three weeks. Still, today I will be sharing what these days have taught me about loving without limits.

These past three weeks have brought a laundry list of emotions ending by going through the depths of pain felt in the loss of what we call “man’s best friend.” I have experienced the loss of many pets in my adult life and every time marveled at the depth of pain I experience in these losses.

This latest loss I experienced somewhat second hand because it was my daughter’s dog, Luna, we lost during a period where Shandi lived with us. During this experience, I spent many moments being the watcher to step out of my emotional state and hold more understanding, empathy, and compassion as the experience unfolded.

In this experience, I was able to feel my own pain and step back to understand how Shandi’s heart was being squeezed dry as she did everything within her power to do what was best for Luna.

Here is the gold nugget I rescued about loving without limits and a dog named Luna.

The pain we experience in our loss is directly connected to how much we loved.

Our pets love us unconditionally.

They desperately want us to pause, look in their eyes, and be fully present with themβ€”every waking moment.

The more we connect with them and teach them how to interact, the deeper the bond we build.

The more time, energy, and care we invest, the more love we feel.

When the time comes for them to leave our lives, the pain we feel in our hearts is in direct correlation to the love that we offered.

This experience, this wisdom, this beautiful realization has opened me up to a new challenge in my life.

I want to challenge myself to love without limits.

I want to recognize when I’m holding back on my love and correct my path.

I want to risk being heartbroken because deep heartbreak comes from loving without limits.

I want to love without limits and let the pain wash through me when love is lost. Through the pain, I reach great comfort in the love I had instead of the love I left unknown.

I hope you will join me in learning how to love without limits.

Peace.

🎧 Audio version of blog here!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

I am a life coach who works 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.

The Relationship Huddle

A meeting that will transform your relationship | Relationship Coach

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

Our days are filled with activities that we have decided are our priorities. Like it or not, this is the truth. Whatever you choose to fill your day with are the activities you said yes to, and the things left behind are the activities you decided to say no to. Today we will talk about one twenty-minute meeting that I suggest you prioritize and schedule on both your calendar and your partner’s; that activity is the relationship huddle.

When I ask people what stops them from improving their relationship, the most common thing I hear is the most common thing I hear about ANY goal they have that isn’t really a priority: time. Time management is a topic for a future day, and I highly recommend you go back to a previous post I have written to help you get started in your time management success.

A couple of things that are true about our relationships:

  • As we get comfortable in our romantic relationships, we start unintentionally reprioritizing our activities; we start incorporating “more important” activities and letting go of activities that keep us connected in our relationship.
  • We start becoming less familiar with our partner, and when we attempt to connect, it seems difficult, so we put it off until some later, seemingly better, future moment.
  • We start feeling awkward and uncomfortable when we have time together, not knowing what to talk about, so we add more things to our calendar, again unintentionally squeezing our relationship out even more.
  • We keep avoiding our relationship until it eventually breaks, and trust that if you keep going down this path, it will break. When it breaks, you can then choose to make room on the calendar to work on mending it, or you can keep on avoiding it.

My suggestion this week is that you start scheduling this twenty-minute relationship tool in now, before you reach the breaking point.

Already reached the relationship breaking point?

That’s ok, you can still implement this twenty-minute tool I call the relationship huddle so let’s get to the implementation!

The Weekly Twenty-Minute Relationship Huddle

This twenty-minute meeting is meant to be deliberate, thorough, and brief. If you haven’t been having conversations with your romantic partner, you will want to resist the desire to unload and turn a twenty-minute plan into a 2-hour download.

KEEP A STRICT TIME SCHEDULE!

As you continue making this weekly meeting intentional and turning it into a habit, you’ll begin to notice communication channels opening up, allowing for longer conversations.

Relationship Huddle Five Step Process:

  1. Catch up: this is where you catch up from your last session. Discuss any conversations you haven’t wrapped up, what discussions need to be had between now and your next huddle.
  2. Build trust: talk about things you might have done wrong or how you could have done better, forgive or ask for forgiveness from anything left hanging, tell the other how you appreciate them.
  3. How are we relying on each other: here is where you can share how the other is doing in meeting your needs, what might we need in the time between now and our next session. You all know that I am all about figuring out how to meet your own needs, so you’re not relying on someone else to do that, but there are needs that we appreciate; this is the time where you can share that. 
  4. Calendar: check-in with each other about upcoming events and how you might like support through them.
  5. Affection: here, you get to catch up on how you can intimately show up and support each other. 

Change and growth come one step at a time.

If you like the idea of the relationship huddle but are struggling with the implementation I want to invite you to schedule a free coaching session where I will guide you through to getting started or you can register to join Ask Christine Anything my monthly public free coaching call on the first Wednesday of every month, 12 pm CST.

🎧 Audio version of blog here!

πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

I am a life coach who works 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.