Self-Soothe To A Happier Marriage Ep 38

Self-Soothe To A Happier Marriage | Relationship Coach

Hey everyone, happy Tuesday, and welcome back to the podcast where we are exploring some of the benefits that I shared due to establishing a six-second kiss habit back two episodes ago, episode 35, Six-Second Kiss Paralysis. In that episode, we talked about how to go from being paralyzed when thinking about one six-second kiss, much less establishing it as a daily routine, to taking action on something you want to do in your marriage. Last week we talked about Love Maps: Getting To Know Spouse and what I think I forgot to mention in that episode is how the six-second kiss can build the knowing of your partner, so I’ll share that here and now. Think about it, when we share a six-second kiss, we have time to explore our kissing style, how we want to kiss, and different ways to kiss. While you are exploring what is happening for you, you can also tune into how your spouse kisses and responds to your kissing experimentation. It helps bring meaning and understanding to the action instead of the simple peck, which doesn’t give you time to be present. Once you get into the six-second kiss routine, you will find much more presence during even a simple one peck while appreciating the longer version. Now that I have that covered, let’s dig into the steps of how to self-soothe to a happier marriage.

Today, we will define self-soothing, why it is so important in your marriage but even more so, for yourself, and then I’m going to talk about ways to self-soothe and how the six-second kiss can be self-soothing.

What is self-soothing?

Self-soothing is a way to bring ourselves to feelings of betterment to move forward from any negativity or pain. It is a way to help you know that “everything is going to be ok.” It is learning how to regulate your emotions, which you can find more about in Episode 35, where I talk about Emotional Regulation In Your Marriage, and an exercise to distract or ground yourself when you feel negative emotions onboarding. I do want to pause here to talk about how self-soothing is often first recognizing where you are going emotionally and with that awareness being able to judge what actions you need to take that would best serve you. With practice, you will be able to tell whether the situation is “light” enough for you to stay in the circumstance and self-soothe or whether it might be quite possible that the circumstance is too “heavy” for you to self-soothe at the moment and throw up a time out signal.

Now that you know what self-soothing is notice how often you might soothe someone else; we do it with babies and children when we think they are afraid of something. I find myself doing it all of the time with Aurora, our new puppy; while I am trying to get her comfortable going on walks in the neighborhood, I’m constantly telling her, “everything is ok.”

As you begin to learn how to self-soothe, it may start with the awareness after the circumstance and process what happened so you can start doing things differently. As you practice, you will be able to see the circumstance on a scale of 1-10 in your ability to self-soothe at the moment, which will help you to understand when you need to create a boundary for yourself and bow out of what is happening so you can evaluate and take care of your mental health.

This self-soothing helps us regulate our emotions by bringing some relief, like stepping out of the fire and into a cool misty day, and when we’re able to do this, we can better assess what is going on for us. We can look at what was said, what we said, how they reacted, or how we reacted and have a clearer perspective of what is actually happening after we step away from an emotional battle.

How self-soothing builds a stronger marriage

In our marriages, there are so many things that could create tension for us; it could be our schedules packed with activities and commitments, a lack of connection and communication, it could be lack of passion and love, or even something as simple as a look or reaction that sets us off. Self-soothing helps us step out of being stuck in the middle of an emotional storm, pointing our fingers at our spouse, and showing up in a way that feels awful. Self-soothing helps us pause when we need to keep pushing our point, wanting our partner to step down and examine what is really going on for us. Self-soothing turns us inward to reflect on what we are making this circumstance while checking how we want to show up intentionally. In our marriages, self-examination and self-reflection seem difficult and painful because we think our partners should understand and show us love, and this, my friends, is the point. We have been relying on them to do this for us, leaving us powerless to create that feeling for ourselves, and a disconnected feeling in your marriage is the perfect conduit to turning inward and learning the process of showing up for ourselves through our own care and love and understanding of self.

Self-soothing helps us see how to make ourselves feel better whether we are in a frictional state with our partner in a face-to-face confrontation or when we are plain feeling down. This helps our marriage because we can process through our own pain and then come together with our partners to share. When we’ve processed through our pain ourselves, we don’t need our partners to fix us, make us feel better, or agree with us; we can be there to love them and, in turn, let them love us in their own way.

I love self-soothing because it helps bring us closer to our partner without actually opening ourselves up too much to someone else, which is important for most of my clients. In AwakenYou, we do so much work with our relationship with ourselves before we start taking too many actions with our partner because these self actions often feel so much safer than opening ourselves up to possible rejection. Even though we learn in the program that no one can reject you unless you are first rejecting yourself, it often takes time to resonate. That is why self-soothing is one of the more accessible ways to start rebuilding the marital foundation.

As in everything we do here in AwakenYou, learning how to calm your nervous system and working through the issue that is creating friction is a process of self-growth, and not every strategy will work in each situation. This is why I share so many tools, and as you use the tools, you get better at handling them and knowing which one might best work for each situation; this is what keeps you engaged, inspired, and connected in the relationship. Remember that avoiding a situation by pretending it didn’t happen or pushing it away is NOT self-soothing; it is a form of resistance that erases self-growth and moves the relationship backward.

Ways to self-soothe and how the six-second kiss can be self-soothing

  • When it comes to conflict it’s important to step back and get a different perspective. When you’re unable to regulate your emotions your best option in the heat of the moment is to have taken care of yourself beforehand by coming up with a signal to pause. It could be a time-out signal, a hands in the air, a phrase, maybe something funny to break the tension a bit, maybe have a conversation with your partner, not during a conflict, and come up with a joint signal together. Maybe even a six-second kiss! Then have a plan for both of you to take time to self-soothe and then you can together decide if and when you want to revisit what originally created the conflict.
  • When you are able to break away take time to first center yourself by focusing on your breath. Don’t know how to do that? Go to Insight timer and search “breath”. Then take time to process your emotions by listening to Episode 23: How To Process Emotions and then write about what is going on for you. When you write make sure you are focusing on yourself not on your partner.
  • Start creating a safe place in your mind, a place where you feel safe, calm and open-minded. It may be somewhere out in nature, a comfortable spot from sometime in your life or a made up location that you imagine to be safe. Envision yourself in this place and how you feel when you are there, what does the air smell like, what noises do you hear, what does it look like, how does the air feel on your skin. Think of these things to help you get out of your logical thinking mind and as thoughts seep through notice them and let them float on through.
  • Go for a walk or a run and use your senses. Tune into what you see, what you hear, your feet landing on the ground, your breath, the smells, the sun or rain on your face and let yourself soften. When you notice ruminating thoughts let them go and refocus on the beauty around you.
  • Place both hands on your heart to calm yourself and activate the feeling of self-love.
  • Journal, write it all out and then finish the statement: “I am…”
  • Listen to some calming music, again, Insight timer is a great resource.

The six-second kiss might not be something you implement in a time of conflict, but when you are implementing it into your daily routine, you establish new habits that help you feel good and bring you together with your spouse. It is you telling yourself that everything will be ok and that you can do things that scare you and that you have the power to bring the love you long for back into your marriage.

If you are interested in doing the work of re-building your marital relationship, then I want to encourage you to join my six-week marital magic course that is starting November 13th, through this Friday, November 5th, the price is only $159, and it goes up to $999 at midnight. Go to my website to get details and get yourself registered. Join a small group of people who struggle with some of the same things you struggle within your marriage, find support and a whole lot of encouragement as I share steps to create the relationship that you love, and start believing that you have the power to turn around how you feel about your marriage.

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.

Love Maps: Getting To Know Your Spouse Ep 37

Love Maps: Getting To Know Your Spouse | Relationship Coach

Welcome back and I am super excited about how last week’s episode, Six-Second Kiss Paralysis, has opened up a whole grouping of discussions around the process of rebuilding not only our marriage relationship but as always, our relationship with ourselves. Last week I mentioned twelve different ways the six-second kiss can help rebuild our marriages and create that connection we are craving so badly. In that list, I mentioned terms that might be unfamiliar, terms like love maps, self-soothing actions, emotional bank account, turning towards your partner, and bids for connection. Through different conversations I have had since last week’s episode release I have decided that digging into these topics will be useful for all of us as we do the work of believing that our relationship dream is possible and that we have the power to change its dynamic. Over the next several weeks I am going to take a closer look at each of these terms and I believe these episodes will help you build some relational resources that will help you get comfortable doing new things in your relationship and give you a new perspective around those things that you are already doing to strengthen your relationship but maybe not aware of. Today I am going to dig into what Dr. John Gottman calls Love Maps which is his term for getting to know your partner intimately, Love Maps are simply detailed knowledge of your partner’s inner self, I like to call these our partner’s storybook. As you get to know them you fill in the details of the pencil sketch of a map you started to create when you first met them, or possibly even before you officially met them.

If you think back to the beginning of your relationship there was a lot of “getting to know” each other, you were sharing time together and creating connection by being curious about the one that was attracting you and sharing information about yourself. It was fun learning new things about this person you were attracted to but over time we often let life consume our days and we forget to continue the learning process. Initially, getting to know each other is also pretty low-risk because we aren’t getting deep, we’re able to share in a way that doesn’t expose those things that we hide from and feel shame around, and then as we move through the relationship and commit our lives to each other, sweeping over those stories we hold close becomes easy.

When you start to discover that your relationship has gotten to a place that is different from what you expected and as you begin to see that you want something different in your relationship, it can feel so far from where you want to be that re-creating that intimacy can feel very challenging, almost insurmountable. It’s as though we are so far away from knowing our partners that we feel embarrassed when we realize how little we may really know about them, but if you can look at it like a fun new adventure then this getting to know each other can be fun, almost like starting over.

Today I’m going to talk about what love maps are, why we want to keep filling the details in on our maps and then I’m going to talk about how to pick this process back up from where you are now in your relationship. Keep listening because you may be surprised to hear how I suggest you start this knowing process.

What love maps are

The Gottman Institute created a theory called The Sound Relationship House, and Building Love Maps is the first floor, the foundation, of that sound relationship house. That first floor is all about how well you know your partner. Do you know their worries, their stresses, what makes them feel joy or what their dreams are, as well as knowing what city they were born in, what they thought of kindergarten, and who their favorite grandparent was? Many spouses tend to think this job is already done when they are years into the marriage but continuing to explore the soul with an interested person builds an emotional bond that many couples never experience – makes sense as to why affairs feel so rewarding. The concept of building love maps is that knowing little things about your partner and their life builds a strong foundation for your friendship and intimacy. It’s knowing each other’s world from their past to what is going on with them right now and what their dreams are for the future.

The research that Dr. Gottman discovered was that couples who were emotionally intelligent were intimately familiar with their partner and their world. This means that each partner had a beautifully detailed Love Map of themselves and their partner. These couples created plenty of space in their mind for their partner, instead of just a short, few page story of who their partner is, they had a richly detailed storybook with detailed photos and text. They remember major events from their partner’s past and they continue to edit the information as things change in their partner’s lives.

Why knowing our partners is so important

When we know more about our partner’s deep, innermost feelings it makes us love them more. This wisdom and knowledge helps us to better understand our partners when they face mountains in their lives or when together as a couple you face stressful circumstances. When we better understand our partners, and ourselves, it’s easier to navigate the difficult times and encourage each other through them, we have a better connection with them, we like them for who they are. When we don’t know our partners intimately it is much easier for us to lose our way when things change in our lives, when challenges occur creating more distance between us because we haven’t created that loving connection.

This knowing and willingness to continue to know is the glue that will keep the foundation of your relationship strong. Think about it, our lives change, and for sure, if you are doing the work of growing and changing and becoming more of your true self, if you are AwakeningYou, then it’s important to share your new discoveries with your partner. As you start shedding the habits of people-pleasing, avoiding, hiding you will evolve and be revealing your work to your partner which will help them do the same.

How to pick this process back up

One of the ways we do this is by going back to what we did in the beginning, we start to pick up the process of learning who they are which to some might seem odd because we think we should already know our partner but instead what we shared what felt comfortable to share, we didn’t share our inner selves. And actually, our partner has hopefully grown and changed quite a bit since the time we dropped the getting to know them routine so it’s sort of like starting over. The thought of starting over might sound exhausting but if it does, let me share this thought: it can also be exciting, sort of like reigniting that spark again!

Where I suggest you start in this process is starting with yourself, yes, start building your own storybook, your own love map, you start with knowing yourself more intimately. You can begin with an outline and the filling-in details. What was easy sailing in your life? When were you climbing mountains or crawling through arid deserts? Keep building it through the practice of journaling or with a professional, you don’t want your partner to be the one who is the answer to all of the things you’ve been concerned with or questioned in your life.

While you are writing your storybook you can share with your partner what you have been doing and what you are discovering and ask them some of the same questions you asked yourself letting them know that you want to get to know them better. They can be simple and fun questions like where they were born, what the first day of school was like for them, have them describe the first place they lived when they moved out of their parents house. Start a list, refer to it often and start filling in your love map right along with your partner’s love map. You can pull it out when you are on a car ride, on a hike, at dinner, or on a lazy night by the fire.

I know some of you might be thinking that your partner will never participate in such an activity, it’s ok, I understand. There are ways for you to ask these questions without them sounding like a quiz or a card game AND, what does it matter how they react? You want to get to know them, share that with them, and then share your response to the question to get the conversation started. The more you share about yourself, the more both of you will know about you and eventually, your partner will open up to the game, trust me, take your time, be consistent and you will bear fruit.

If you are interested in doing the work of re-building your marital relationship then I want to encourage you to come join my six-week marital magic course that is starting November 13th, through this Friday the price is only $59 and it goes up $100 at midnight. Go to my website to get details and get yourself registered. Join a small group of people who struggle with some of the same things you struggle within your marriage, find support and a whole lot of encouragement as I share steps to create the relationship that you love and start believing that you have the power to turn around how you feel about your marriage.

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.

Six-Second Kiss Paralysis Ep 36

Six-Second Kiss Paralysis | Relationship Coach

Welcome to another week on the podcast, it is a beautiful week here in the upper midwest, fall and its beautiful earthy tones are on point. This week’s episode is one I have been pondering to myself because I was a bit uncomfortable with how to present what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it so what I decided was to just do it and see what comes out. If you are here it is most likely because you are struggling with how you are feeling in and about your marital relationship, you are wanting more than what you have and are unsure about how to go about the undoing of where you’re at.

First I want to say, welcome. Second, I want to share that all things are on the table for discussion here because if we don’t talk about what we are struggling with it is going to be quite difficult to come up with solutions because all we’re doing is burying it. Avoiding. Hoping something different will happen to make this discomfort go away. Something different for sure can happen, but only if you make that something different happen. You want something different, so you have to go after it.

With that said, this week I am going to talk about the six-second kiss that you may have heard about as an action to help create a more loving, connected dynamic in your marriage, then I’ll talk about feeling stuck with this suggestion and the steps to being able to implement the six-second kiss in your marriage.

Let’s dig into what I’m calling the six-second kiss paralysis.

What is the six-second kiss?

I don’t think I have to go into what the six-second kiss is except that it is something many relationship experts suggest a couple implement to help create an intimate connection. Dr. John Gottman from the Gottman Institute discovered that kissing can improve the health of a relationship and I don’t think any of us would disagree with that discovery.

Here are some things a six-second kiss can do:

  • It can build a ritual of connection.
  • It can create physical touch.
  • It can be a bid for connection.
  • If your partner has initiated, then it’s turning towards your partner.
  • It boosts fondness and admiration.
  • It builds appreciation between you.
  • It can increase your love maps of your partner’s kissing style.
  • It adds to your emotional bank account.
  • It can boost your positives for the 5:1 ratio.
  • It can lead to sex.
  • It can be self-soothing.
  • It can reduce cortisol (the “stress” hormone) and boost oxytocin (the “love” hormone).

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what the meaning is of “bids for connection” or “love maps” or “emotional bank account” or “5:1 ratio” because over the next several weeks I will take each one of these a bit deeper so you can start exploring them while building connection in your relationship.

Six-second kiss paralysis

Six-second kiss paralysis is being stuck in a place of inaction around something you’d love to implement but the implementation seems so disconnected from where you are in your relationship.

You’re here because you want to create a different dynamic in your marital relationship and because you care, because you are tired of what you have been creating, you have probably heard how magical the six-second kiss can be to bringing you and your partner to a new level of closeness. Here’s the problem though, you are so far away from a six-second kiss that you are frozen into non-action. You might be thinking something along the lines of “I would love to have a six-second kiss but we barely have a daily peck and hugs? Hugs are few and far between if not non-existent.” or maybe it’s this, “A six-second kiss? Yeah, sure, he should be giving me that but he ain’t and until he does, you’re crazy if you think I’m going to give in to that!” or maybe this, “He doesn’t seem one bit attracted to me. I’m afraid of the reaction I’ll get if I try to give him the big hug I dream of giving much less a six-second kiss.”

Ok, friends, I get it, trust me, I get it better than you might think. I myself felt shame around what I thought should be simple to implement if I was in a loving relationship, but after analyzing my shame and discomfort I decided to expose myself. I decided to open up to the love I wanted and embrace myself for the love I wanted to create in my marriage knowing full well that I had no control over how my husband would react to my invitation.

While I had heard over and over the magic of the six-second kiss, it felt so uncomfortable because what did it mean? I myself was working on making sure I was showing up authentically and not as my old people-pleasing self. I wanted to do what I wanted to do for myself first and I wanted to be unattached to my interpretation of his reaction. This took time for me, I had work to do on myself and my reasons for my actions and how I wanted to feel if my actions weren’t received the way I thought they should be received, a way that would make me feel loved. I had to get to the place where I would be able to feel love because of my actions, not because of how Jeff showed up.

How to remedy the six-second paralysis

The first thing you have to do is start unraveling what is going on inside of you. It’s the process of looking at how you have gotten to where you are at now in your intimate relationship and why. How are you feeling about where you are at and what is the thought process getting you there? Looking at how you are showing up in your relationship, especially when we get to the place where we see that we’re not particularly happy with how we are showing up, and seeing what result these actions are getting us, instead of turning outward and blaming them for how we are feeling. As we do this unraveling we start to see how we are the creator of how we feel in our relationship and we start to let go of the death grip we have on our partner. We start to let go of the blame and resentment while learning how to show up for ourselves.

The second thing to do is to decide what change you feel only a little vulnerable making, maybe 10% more uncomfortable than what that big step of the six-second kiss would mean for you. I’ve talked about this before but let me say it again, in our relationships we often get stuck at a place of comfort, where each person in the relationship isn’t exposing themselves to anything vulnerable. When we get to this place our desire for each other fades and in order to bring some flame back into the relationship one of the two has to open up a bit in vulnerability. Because you are the one seeking information about how to create a relationship you love, you are the one who gets to do the leading in the vulnerability. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you step out boldly in vulnerability, like maybe 90%, you are most likely going to get an unexpected reaction, a reaction that might push the relationship further away rather than bring it together.

How this opening up begins is by looking at your current routine and asking for something more, from a place of love, desire, not blame. Maybe it would be in the morning when you and your partner say goodbye for the day and maybe give each other a peck. A deliberate step of courage would be to tell your partner you would love a longer hug, maybe a six-second hug. It might feel awkward, pay attention to what comes up for you during that hug, what happens in your body and then write about it. Once you’ve implemeted this baby step of vulnerability, keep doing it until it becomes comfortable for you to ask for a little bit more. After some time with the six-second hug maybe you squeeze him a bit harder and thank him for his time. The next day maybe you ask for a three-second kiss along with the six-second hug and so on.

As you do the work of opening up to a better understanding of yourself and why you are doing the things that you might not want to do in your relationship you begin to have a clearer sight of the things you want. As you do this work and start visualizing that which you want, you start to own it for yourself and begin to create it.

The six-second kiss was something I was originally afraid of, I was afraid of possible rejection until I realized that when I open up to the love I want no one can reject me, they can only reject themselves and the love I choose to pour all over them.

If you are in a place where you want to start implementing new ways of being in your marital relationship then I want to encourage you to come to check out AwakenYou, it is my one-on-one coaching program where I give you the courage and permission to achieve what it is you want in your marital relationship, starting with you. Come join me!

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.

Emotional Regulation In Your Marriage Ep 35

Six-Second Kiss Paralysis | Relationship Coach

Welcome back to the podcast! So much of what I talk about distills out to looking at our emotions, how we are feeling in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. If you search the word “emotions,” or “feelings” in my blogs and podcasts you won’t find one or two articles or episodes but over nine pages of different articles. In my AwakenYou program we spend several weeks talking specifically about emotions while every week the underlying work is all about emotions because any action you take is driven by how you feel and every thought you think makes you feel some sort of emotion. In order to move forward from being stuck, you have to look at what emotions are causing you to stay there, whether you know what they are or not, and you will only move so far when you are suppressing, ruminating, and avoiding your emotions. Today let’s talk about why emotions are a big deal.

With that, I’m going to talk mostly about emotional regulation, what it is and why it is so important to understand and practice in your life and in relationship with others, in particular here we look at that relationship with your partner. There are several articles and podcasts where I talk about emotions, including How To Feel Your Emotions, Your Top Three Emotions And How They Reveal The Results In Your Life, and an episode on How To Process Your Emotions, Ep 23, check out each of these resources as a follow-up to what we talk about here today.

Emotional Regulation

I’m going to start off with a definition of emotional regulation from Susan Johnson’s book Attachment Theory In Practice. When I talk about the regulation of emotion it is this: “the ability to ACCESS and attend to a range of emotions, clearly IDENTIFY those emotions, MODIFY them by either reducing or amplifying them in oneself and another, and then USE them to ascertain meaning, as well as to guide our thinking and actions in a way that suits our priorities in different situations.

This definition helps us to clearly see why emotions are so important, first within ourselves because as we learn how to recognize them happening within us we can start to decide if they are working for or against us. If we can see they are working for us, we can amp them up and create more of those positive results and if we see they are not working for us we can work on dampening them so that we can reset our path with our thinking while being able to take different actions that do suit our goals and dreams.

As a coach, I help my clients and you, my listeners, look at how they are feeling because this gives us so much information. We often think that we are at the effect of our emotions but we are not. When we start to actually become aware of how we are feeling and why, that is when we can start looking for other options but until then, we have to do the work of figuring out what we are actually feeling in the moment to moment of our days.

Why emotions are a big deal

Lisa Feldmen Barrett suggests that “those who can put emotions into words, are less likely to use negative self-regulatory strategies such as…” acting out with aggression, harmful actions to self, and excessive buffering activities like over-eating and drinking. She also states that “they also demonstrate less neural reactivity to rejection situations and generally suffer from less-severe anxiety and depression.” That my friends is why understanding and learning how to regulate your emotions is such a big deal.

When we are able to specify our emotions we create awareness, the first step in creating change in our lives, the first step to opening up to receiving the love we want. Once we have this awareness we can start interrupting our current habitual cycle and pause to decide on purpose what we may want to do with this emotion as we also start to understand why it is there. Being able to interrupt our current autopilot cycle and consciously decide what we want to do with the said emotion allows us to start the process of effective problem-solving. This problem solving comes first from awareness, then reappraisal of the circumstance and what may have occurred in a previous situation so you can decide what forward steps best serve the life you are creating for yourself.

When we don’t know how to regulate our emotions, or when we disengage from our emotions, we will often blame others for how we feel and for what we are perceiving as rejection. We will ruminate on the circumstance, catastrophize and blow it out of proportion, make ourselves feel inadequate and unworthy while thinking we are a failure. Poor emotional regulation will often have us feeling overwhelmed when interacting with our partner and overwhelm is an emotion that typically doesn’t have us making decisions that move us forward. Poor emotional regulation also keeps us from knowing how to produce the results we want and will often have us withdrawing without solving the problem that created the emotion, storing it in our subconscious as another unresolved conflict, further embedding that old pattern making it more familiar.

How to start regulating your emotions

It starts with the desire to do so, to change how you are currently dealing with your life and your intimate relationship. It starts with believing that creating this change will help you start feeling better and bring awareness to your life, your circumstances, and your marriage. It requires that you become curious about what emotions you might be feeling in the different moments throughout your day, as I describe in the first article I linked above “How To Feel Your Emotions.” Then there is the podcast episode 23 linked above titled “How To Process Your Emotions” which will help you even if you don’t know what emotion you are feeling by learning how to go into your body and starting to get in touch with what that emotion is doing inside of your body. In that episode, I teach you how to describe what the emotion feels like in your body, that alone will give you an incredible amount of knowledge to create some awareness.

Another practice that I love is to journal about circumstances in your life, describing what happened, what was and is still going on in your mind, and making sure to write about both those that bring positive and negative emotions. It has been proven that simply putting those feelings into words, usually the thoughts that created how you felt or are still feeling, helps you learn how to regulate your emotions through awareness.

Tapping is also a technique that I use with my clients to help them move through the emotions they are feeling, often helping them to lessen the strength of the emotion in their body and helping them discover where this emotion may have originally manifested itself.

Meditation is a technique that helps you get out of your thoughts and into the present moment which helps alleviate ruminating thoughts and get a clearer perspective on the circumstance allowing you to better problem solve. When you are able to get out of your thinking mind, the mind that is using logic to desperately figure out the solution you can let go of old thinking and open up to new possibilities by allowing your creative mind to engage and offer new solutions that you might never have come up with from a logical perspective.

In AwakenYou we utilize all of the above techniques along with several others based solely on what is happening for my client and how I think the different practices might complement and help the client to get a different perspective in the circumstance they are navigating. All of this work gives them different angles and tools to chip away at stubborn habitual thinking that keeps you from being able to regulate emotion and move on with problem-solving.

If you’d like to experience any of the modalities that I shared today please book a free session where I will take you through one of the techniques to help bring you some emotional space and clarity.

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.

Mental Health Versus Mental Illness Ep 34

Mental Health Versus Mental Illness | Relationship Coach

Last week I talked with relationship and marriage coach Jessica Farmer, you can find that episode here, who helps women navigate their partner’s mental illness. This week I thought it would be an appropriate follow-up to have a brief discussion of mental health versus mental illness, what mental health/illness awareness is along with some considerations around why we don’t like talking about it.

What is mental health?

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affecting how we think, feel, and act as well as helping us determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

What is mental illness?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking, or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities. The majority of people with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives and mental illness is treatable.

Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time, but a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.

I like to think about it as physical fitness versus physical illness, I think that they parallel each other well. When we aren’t feeling well physically we will adjust things in our life like our nutrition, sleep, and exercise; if things don’t get better we will go visit the doctor for an evaluation.

Our mental fitness is the same, there are many outside influences that can affect our mental health including our nutrition, sleep, and exercise when adjustments to these influences don’t help then we seek the counsel of a mental health professional. It doesn’t mean we are flawed, weak, or broken, it means that our mental health has been weakened and that treatment is available.

Mental health awarenss

Creating awareness of what to look for when it comes to a break in our own or someone else’s mental health. When we can recognize symptoms, know that these symptoms are a signal that something in our mental health needs attention it helps us to be proactive in getting help. A person doesn’t need to know how to treat themselves, they can recognize that something is wrong, like a spike in our body temperature signals that something is wrong with our physical health, and then we can schedule time with our doctor to discuss what is happening and start the process of healing.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults have had or currently have symptoms of a mental illness. This is no small number, if these people were suffering from a physical illness they would be more likely to seek medical attention but because mental illness is buried under a stigma of a mental flaw we ignore symptoms. Mental illness awareness helps normalize the breakdown of our mental health allowing more people to get the help that would lead them back to mental health.

We all have daily struggles and when those struggles get in the way of normal day-to-day functioning and the ability to enjoy life for some reason many of us think that there is something wrong with us. We feel shame and disgust that we can’t figure this out on our own and often it has people turning to food, drugs, and/or alcohol to numb the pain which only leads us further away from healing. If you suspect that someone close to you is struggling with a mental illness it may be best for you to schedule a visit with your own medical advisor to help you approach the subject with love and compassion while looking at how to best care for yourself.

In an effort to create awareness and help normalize mental health and mental illness my hope is to help anyone struggling with their mental health to discover hope and help, to not struggle with it by themselves. If you are feeling like you are not your normal self, finding yourself in a sleeping pattern that is unhealthy, a severe loss of appetite, turning to vices like drugs, alcohol, food, spending to avoid feeling emotions then please reach out to your health professional and schedule an evaluation. You matter.

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.

Understanding The Feminine Way Ep 32

Understanding The Feminine Way | Relationship Coach

Welcome back to the podcast and the second discussion of David Deida’s Intimate Communion. If you missed last week’s episode you must go back and take a listen because I talked about chapter 8: The Masculine Way from Deida’s book which if you are the more masculine in your relationship it will give you more insight and understanding of yourself and if you are the more feminine energy in the relationship it will give you a better understanding of your partner. In both Chapters, Deida does a beautiful job of integrating both energies into the discussion so if you only listen to one of these episodes you will find yourself missing out on a whole piece that will help you create a better understanding of how each of you are showing up in your relationship.

As we explore the feminine way I will also share some aspects of the masculine way, just as Deida does to help you grasp the difference between the two. This contrast will help you also see how you might be overusing the opposite energy to your disadvantage. By the way, if you are of the more feminine way this chapter beautifully describes who you are, possibly not who you are showing up as, but who you are at your core. I’m going to start with sharing what the feminine way looks like, then how the feminine and masculine way differ and then I will get into the three stages of the feminine way, which is the core of transformation I bring my clients through in AwakenYou.

The Feminine Way

Let’s take a closer look at the feminine way, a look that is more descriptive of who the feminine is at their core. Deida says “The feminine is the force of life itself, and you can experience it in many ways.” This sentence in of itself opened my heart up wide. In the book he goes on to describe a few different ways the feminine force might manifest itself. Here are a few examples that come to mind for me:

  • You’re out for your morning run and the sun disappears behind the clouds as rain fills the sky, you smile, you raise your hands in celebration, you run faster while jumping like a child in the puddles forming along the way
  • You’re chopping vegetables for your delightful dinner and a song comes on that makes your hips sway, your hands go in the air and the vocals bellow out from deep within.
  • You are focusing on writing that next little piece for your social media when your puppy comes prancing along the way begging you to play. You get down on the floor and pretend you too are a little one full of bursting energy and love.

At the core of the Feminine is radiance and the only way to magnify the inherent radiance of the Feminine is love. When your heart radiates love, you are radiant. This my friends is the final step and goal of my AwakenYou coaching program, for the feminine to reach radiance from within instead of from outside of herself.

The masculine looks to the feminine for completion says Deida, and so the more the feminine shines the more they will fulfill their masculine partner’s desire for completion, without doing much else.

The feminine is what we seek: the force of attraction and enchantment. Like the sunrise or the sunset, a flower or a newborn, the feminine attracts and enchants us, opening our hearts to beauty and love. Deida explains that this is what we seek when we go on a vacation, we seek the extraordinary natural beauty of the world so we can bask in Her enchantment.

The feminine desires to be noticed, it is the natural sign of a more feminine sexual essence. I hope this will bring you the liberation it brought me, though I do realize much of my desire to seek approval from the opposite sex through my appearance was early conditioning but this idea that Deida presents allows me to love the adventure of wanting to be attractive for myself first but also for my husband. Deida talks about our masculine-dominated culture seeing a desire to be attractive self-centered or petty but that sensitivity to attractiveness is actually a “natural recognition of the power, depth, and beauty of one of the qualities of the feminine force.” Deida also notes that there is also a feminine radiance in men which will have them grow from a “macho slob to a clean and attractive gentleman;” but that if he cherishes his attractiveness more than that of his chosen woman he isn’t in intimate communion, he is in the 50/50 directionality.

“The feminine lives in the world of sensation, the world of the body, the world of unseen connection to the flow of elements and natural forces.” This can be true for either the one with more of the masculine or feminine. “Any person, man or woman, who is thus connected to the world around him or her has a highly developed feminine. Whereas extreme masculine energy is focused on what is straight ahead of them, never pausing to see the beauty along one side or another without distraction, unaware of his body or the relations going on around him.

The feminine is a loving sensuality that is alive in the body and quite a delight to gaze upon yet many of us are pulled away from fully embracing our feminine full-bodied flow for a preference to our masculine relationship to the world: goal-orientated, staying mental and sharp, seriousness in it all.

Relationship is top priority to the feminine, when it is going well, she feels happy and radiant, it is central to her emotional being. The tone of her intimate relationship permeates out into her day. This is the opposite for the masculine, when he leaves the house his relationship is behind him, a disagreement in the morning does not affect his ability to carry on with what is ahead of him.

Deida talks about how the feminine will stay too long in a relationship, opening and closing depending on how things are going. When her partner is being nice and attentive she starts to open up while the opposite has her closing down but not leaving. The masculine leaves too soon, if his life is going well he is moving deeper but will pull away when things appear to not be going well.

Knowing the way of both the masculine and feminine sexual essences helps you understand how to make your relationship more magnetic as well as depolarizing. With the masculine essence being about direction, the feminine essence can support their direction which will cause sexual polarization or the feminine can mistrust the direction of the masculine which will be a source of devastating depolarization and tension. Similarly, putting a damper on a woman’s radiance will depolarize her sexual essence while letting her shine and encouraging her uniqueness will bring a magnetic polarization to the relationship. Discovering ways to be gentle and kind around inspiring the masculine towards a different direction or sharing with the feminine how you love when she is radiant will allow your opinion to come through without numbing each other’s sexual essence.

The feminine way is to hear mood and tone through the words the masculine speaks while the masculine tells the feminine how to do when the feminine speaks how she feels.

The feminine flows through her day while the masculine focuses on one thing at a time and our culture puts a higher value for the masculine go than the feminine flow. I love Deida’s analogy of how our culture pays to navigate the boat while diminishing the value of the flow of the ocean upon which the boat rides. Like the flow of the ocean, the feminine is often taken for granted and from this I can clearly see why so many women diminish their true feminine power while mistakenly taking on the masculine power to prove herself and her value in this world.

Deida talks about how the feminine can get in her own way by allowing emotion to get in the way of clear thinking and effective action but that equally, or perhaps more often, the masculine allows clear thinking to get in the way of love. We know that without love our lives are empty, that’s why my clients come to me, they are seeking love in their relationship.

“The feminine is a force of creation and destruction,” this statement helped me to embrace the “strongly wild and destructive aspect” of my feminine nature and helps me to clearly see how the masculine throughout my life has tried to calm that inner fury. I can see clearly how when cultivated that strength can be channeled into good, keeping the relationship charging forward instead of watering it down into something less than exciting.

Right along with that, our culture tends to be unappreciative of the always timely connection the feminine has with nature and their intuitive intelligence of the body and mind, with the masculine mind attempting to prove the world with science and facts that quickly become outdated and needing to be continually revised. The masculine wanting to “pin the feminine down and keep her contained, rather than allowing her to flow as she will.”

When we, the feminine essence sell out our femininity for the masculine way we disempower our core strength, similarly attracting the masculine whose sexual essence has likewise been disempowered. Deida shares that the first step to evoking more masculine energy from your current partner is to cultivate your ability to trust your own feminine core. As you learn how to relax into your “feminine essence’s inherent attractiveness, radiance, wildness, spontaneity, and intuitive connection with life, you will empower your core and you will shine. Then you will automatically evoke in your man a strong masculine sexual essence. Again, another affirmation for my AwakenYou program because this is the essence of my program, when I created it and as I continue to create the actions that are at the front of my mind is “revitalizing essence,” this is the underlying goal of everything we do in the program.

I would love to just read every delicious word in the book to you but my job here was to try to narrow down the gold mine and get you excited to discover something new for you in your life. In that discovery finding the spark to start the journey of letting go of the masculine you have understandably turned to in order to move ahead and begin to awaken the feminine within,

The three stages of the feminine way

Remember that the masculine is constantly hoping that their mission will satisfy them while the feminine is constantly hoping that her intimate relationship will satisfy her. Her deepest desire in life is to feel loved so throughout the three stages of the feminine way she lives her life in an effort to be fulfilled in love.

First stage love

In this first stage, the one with the feminine essence will often give up her own needs and desires in an effort to “get” love from her man. This is often the beginning of all of her relationships. This goes hand in hand with the masculine first stage of directionality and a dependent relationship.

Second stage love

As time goes along in her relationship, the feminine discovers that stage one does not satisfy her, at this point she often undergoes a crisis and chooses to be strong, establishing her independence financially and emotionally. She begins to focus on herself, her creative talents and her gifts while cultivating her masculine energy to double down and create her independence often in the shape of her career. She begins to learn how to give herself love, to love herself instead of always seeking love and approval outside of herself again by using the masculine discipline to do so. This is the complement of the masculine second stage directionality which is the 50/50 relationship where she resolves to be in an intimate relationship but that she is essentially her own woman. She fulfills her own needs and is no longer dependent on the masculine to make her feel good about herself.

Third stage love

Interestingly, as time goes on in stage two the feminine discovers she is doubly in despair. Her feminine core is unsatisfied by the lack of love she receives from her man and she is also unsatisfied with the love she is getting from her own masculine. She is still desiring a man to share her love with. Her heart is still yearning for more love in her life, her heart may feel ok but it is not overwhelmed by love. Her next crisis begins when she discovers that she can’t get enough love from him and she can’t give herself enough love, she yearns for more, she feels hopeless.

Deida compares this second to third stage crisis equivalent to the masculine mid-life crisis of emptiness and inauthenticity in life. During this crisis, if the feminine is willing to cultivate, explore and allow herself to relax into this despair, Deida states that the yearning itself will reveal her divine nature. This means that if she can be “open to the darkness without attempting to fill the hole in her heart with outside distractions like food, social activity and intimate hopes, this dark hole will eventually widen to the size of the universe. If you close your eyes and envision your heart widened to infinity, this is where absolute love flows with no obstruction.

Deida states that it is rare for a woman to allow herself this degree of heart vulnerability, just as it is rare for the man to allow himself the degree of self-death required to enter stage three directionality. Instead women will keep searching for the right man or hoping their man will change, but it will never happen unless the feminine goes through the stage two crisis into a heart-opening without protection. Not until she is able to have an unguarded heart open in love with no expectation of being given love in return.

Though this third stage feminine heart may be frequently wounded because it is not protected, she is able to feel the love she allowed and never lets her heart be closed by the pain it feels. “Love and openness are the nature of the thrid-stage feminine heart, even in the midst of hurt.”

Now the heart is always open in love and the feminine heart is finally pervaded by the love it has always been searching for. The thrid stage feminine opens in the inherent love of God, in every present moment, as a practice, either alone or in the midst of relationship.

Reclaiming the feminine gift and trusting the force of life

As I wrap up I can’t leave out what Deida leaves us with, and I challenge all of us feminine powers to consider the work of reclaiming your gift and trusting its force.

We live in a masculine-dominated culture forcing most of us to not be fully free in our feminine expression, we deny her force and beauty. As you allow yourself to ease into your feminine essence notice how that tightness in your solar plexus eases, how the shallowness of your breath deepens.

I want to encourage you in this moment if you are able to close your eyes and imagine how much happier you would be if you spent more time moving with the force of life, dancing, singing, making love instead of having sex, walking in the woods or the garden instead of constantly pushing ourself along a path we think is leading us to where we want to go? What if you could soften into the truth and guidance of the feminine force of life. Remind yourself of the truth that love is not logical, there is not a planned out direction to it, it flows as it should. Our masculine mind cannot fully embrace that which is the feminine, can you surrender to its flow?

“This intelligence, this wisdom of love, this genius that is inherent in a radiantly alive, open and sensitive body, is the intelligence necessary for spontaneous and skillful means within our intimate relationship. It is one of the gifts of the feminine force.”

With that, I will leave you, my friends. This chapter on the feminine way in Deida’s Intimate Communion makes my heart swell with inspiration to continue the work within my AwakenYou program. It’s like Deida wrote this chapter for me but I know that had I read this prior to creating my program it wouldn’t have felt right. I know that I had to discover it on my own and it helps validate that I am on the right path, I am on my own path and that I know exactly how to create that path when I stay true to who I believe I am and my mission.

I’d love to hear what resonated with you throughout these two episodes reviewing the masculine and feminine ways and what you might be taking forward into your journey to Awakening your true you in your marriage.

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.