Build-up of resentment is extremely common in any relationship. The problem is that it will never go away unless you bring your attention to it. You need to get rid of it before it creates a wall between you and your partner. If years go by with built-up resentment, the wall becomes more like a fortress.

Holding on to resentment towards your partner is like ingesting poison but expecting your partner to suffer. It doesn’t make sense. Why would anyone want to ingest negative emotions and embody this low-energy state? Have worry and low mood ever helped you in life?

Many women tell me they have difficulty refocusing their thoughts when they have been wronged, misunderstood, unappreciated or betrayed. The hurt is deep within.

What I feel is most helpful is reminding my client that they have the power to choose different thoughts. We need to remind ourselves that we have developed a patterned way of thinking from a young age, and those patterns do not always serve us well.

I was recently counselling a couple in which the man used a method of communicating to his wife that involved a lot of shaming, contempt, and judgement. This of course caused his wife a lot of emotional turmoil. I suggested to her that she should first remove herself from the discussion and ask him to continue it when he can use a different pattern of communication. I advised the woman that once she had removed herself and was alone with her thoughts, she shouldn’t ignore the hurt.

Instead, I advised her to really investigate her emotions.. Example: I feel _____ because I interpreted his words as truth. Are they true? If they are true, then I told her to ask herself,‘ What could I do to change my behaviour?’ but if they are not true then she needs to recognize there is no truth in that story. Once she has established that the story isn’t true, she can go on with her day. Choose different thoughts. Choose thoughts that bring her joy and elevate her. Perseverating on the disagreement brings no value.

When you find yourself in a similar situation, you are either deciding that you want to change your behaviour to become a better version of yourself, or that your partner’s words were full of untruths, and you can let it go. Finally, if your partner is hurting inside and struggling within himself, see this for what it is and show him compassion. Send him loving energy. You have now elevated yourself and overflowed with peace and harmony within, so why not share?

Also, remind yourself of what your shared meaning is together as a couple. This is a mere bump in the road. Remind yourself what you are holding in your mind’s eye as a long-term vision of you and your partner. What are you doing to honour that vision right now? Are your thoughts coming from a place of abundance? Or a place of lack? What can you do right now to change your vision of yourself in a way that honours your personal identity and brings you joy? Can you see your partner being part of that long-term shared meaning? If not – what feelings and thoughts can you choose that help to support the shared meaning for yourselves?

Upon changing your way of thinking, you then need to practice this over and over until it is automated, and you can find joy in all moments of your life. Creating a habit of thought through repetition makes life effortless.

Helping individuals find joy in their own personal life and seeing it transfer into relationships is what gives me joy. Let me know if you need help doing this for yourself by sending me an email.

Why You Cannot Push Past Perpetual Problems in Relationships

Why You Cannot Push Past Perpetual Problems in Relationships

Most couples in a long-term relationship will be able to list at least one perpetual problem to which they seem to never find a solution. There is usually an ‘underlying current’ streaming below the relationship that is the basis for the conflicts.

For example, one partner feels that there is an inherent personality trait in their partner that is beyond repair. Each partner has a very narrow view of both themselves and their partner. Each one is focused on ‘how they made me feel’ when they did ‘this’ and how they are so wrong – usually because of this ‘personality trait’, whether that be some kind of personal failing or a poor communication pattern or something else.

Rather than immediately pointing the finger at your partner, it would be more productive if you stepped in front of a mirror and started looking at your own quirky ‘personality trait’, your poor communication patterns and perspectives.

Perhaps your view of the perpetual problem has narrowed over the course of your relationship. After so many years spent with this other person, all that you do now is focus your energy and thoughts on how wrong you think your partner is.

The advantage of hiring a professional to assist in your relationship is that the professional can take the 30,000-foot view from above. In my experience as a relationship coach, focusing on the individual rather than the couple brings one another a sense of peace and calmness. with an individual approach, I get to see how they think, and thus how they behave with these patterned thoughts. I see what they can’t see. I had a call with a woman today who kept forecasting what she was sure her partner was going to do: how he will think and how he will behave. I needed to remind her that if you continue to perceive your partner as this mean, defensive, unreasonable person, then he will be exactly that person. I tell my clients that they must look deeper inside their partners to see that there is a more loving aspect to that person. I remind them that this is the person they saw the first time they met their partner. He or she is still there.

When you find yourself entrenched in these patterns of conflict, try looking at your partner through the lens of who you fell in love with, and then check in with your belief system. Stay in your lane. By perseverating on negativity, your life will reflect negativity. In the case that I mentioned above, I was able to use guidance and course correction to help her do the self-check into her negative thought loops. I also reminded her that none of what those thought loops contained was true. This expanded her view of the entire situation.

Creating a romantic and deeply connecting relationship helps shine the light on one’s individual patterns of thought so that each can take the focus off their partner’s flaws. By growing inwardly, your relationship will grow outwardly.

You are welcome to contact me if this type of transformation is what you are looking for within your relationship.

What Body Shaming Does for You

What Body Shaming Does for You

I took a photo of the tree in this post this past weekend at our lakeside cottage. While looking at the tree’s curvature, I couldn’t help to notice it was different. But what really struck me was how a tree can grow as it did on the rock. How beautiful nature really is…and it reminded me of how women often view their own bodies and most importantly, what this does to their relationship with the people who care for them.

Hating your body or even parts of your body is a recipe for a joyless life for both you and your life partner. Therefore, men have the running joke “Never tell your wife you look fat in that dress” or “Never tell her why you prefer she not wear that outfit” because she will never stop asking you WHY? Most women are simply too hard on themselves when it comes to accepting their body shape. There is nothing wrong with bettering yourself but using self-deprecating words while on your health journey will not get you there quicker, in fact, it will halt your progress. What most do not understand is that this negative energy you hold within you changes your whole energy state which has downward negative effects not only on your physical body but on all those around you. Holding yourself ‘hostage’ in this imagined ‘perfection’ is as realistic as a Pixel production.

An informal survey in Glamour magazine in 2011 found that 97% of women dislike their bodies. They were either too fat, too skinny, too giggly, too pear, too apple, too butch, too weak, and the list goes on. Every woman has a vision in their mind of what a perfect body should look like… Note: SHOULD is the keyword. Where did you get the Should from? Societal norms. Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important. Similar studies document that students, especially women, who consume more mainstream media, place greater importance on sexiness and their image.

When paired with positive self-talk, visualization techniques are a powerful tool used in the program. The incorporation of these tools has proved to be effective means to shift my clients’ beliefs surrounding their bodies. The conscious mind projecting images on the subconscious mind combined with encouraging words will allow you to break out of the negative thought loops and see your body differently. When you calm your mind to see your body differently, that image will become your reality.

I was coaching a couple through their hardships when in an individual session with the woman, she revealed a life-long hatred of her body. She was an elite rower at University. Strong thighs and upper body were a must. Ever since she stopped the sport, she resented the fact that her body was built to be ‘strong’. She felt less feminine. To move away from body shame, I asked her to envision her body being strong and feminine right now. I asked her to buy special lingerie now, instead of wearing the old sports bras she had for years. From that place of self-love, we built future images, but all while using self-love. This loving energy carried through with her partner and her family. We did this all while taking a closer look at her diet and lifestyle. With more tweaks and persistent practice in building new thought patterns surrounding self-image, it was easy for her to create new behavioural patterns in order to lose weight.

If your emotional energy is low; if it is being sapped from you due to low self-worth of any kind, whether that be body image or any other failure, it will affect your relationships. If you can shift the thought habit loop to one of appreciating your body as it is right now, then this gives us a great foundation to build on towards self-improvement. If you believe you are someone that might benefit from moving through my 3-step transformation toward living in a body you love, please contact me for more information.

Feeling Joyless

Feeling Joyless

Many women enter my room describing how they hit a roadblock in their journey through life in which they feel joyless. Life has become vanilla. Day in and day out they go through their routines by switching from one hat to the other: mother, daughter, aunt, wife, sister, friend, and employee, but no longer find fulfillment in any of the roles.

This happens when a woman becomes the actor in the show rather than the director; she is the effect of her current life, rather than the cause.

Recently I had a 70+-year-old client who was acting out the same old patterns of behaviour but expecting her surroundings to change. She has been a high-performer executive throughout her career. She was highly demanding towards her teams. After retiring, she was ready to have quality time with her adult children but felt she did not get the attention she deserved. She would burst into anger when her children would not act as she expected them to, such as spending their free time with her.

Truth is her relationship problems with her children didn’t start since she retired. She like many clients, has suppressed childhood wounds which manifest as the need to control her external environment. These controlling behaviours were always present, but her children were too young to notice. Her corporate career reinforced these patterns, thoughts and behaviours from childhood, rather than forcing her to reflect on them. She had viewed her retirement being much different than what she was now experiencing, and it forced her to seek help in building a new vision of what it means to be a successful mom.

We re-engineered her thought patterns and allowed her to create small incremental, yet meaningful changes in her life. We did this by facing the reality of life as a parent: 93% of the time we spend with our kids in our lifetime will be spent by age 18.

She needed to acknowledge opportunities had passed and now it was about making the best out of the time she has left with them as a family. It was about being grateful to have any time with them; whatever time they could spare for her right now.

Instead of getting angry after each visit, she made a conscious effort to be grateful and present for those new opportunities:

  • she would celebrate their upcoming visit by cooking their favourite dishes.
  • she would go shopping some days beforehand to buy a gift for them that she knows they would enjoy and she would make sure to wrap it herself with a love note written on it.
  • when together at the dinner table, she would play some background music she knew they would like.

These changes were both incredibly empowering to her and unique to her. Once she saw the positive results, it was easy to form a thought habit loop. She does not need to control anyone or anything to find happiness and joy in her family.

Acknowledging the truth about your childhood without judging yourself or others is a necessary skill to acquire; to control your mindset is to choose happiness. Resetting your thinking patterns with a personalized approach for you is my way of bringing back your joy. We do this together through my intensive 3-month program.

You are welcome to contact me if a similar transformational journey is something you crave.

Unstable Relationships

Unstable Relationships

When asked to describe your relationship, would you be inclined to say “When we are good, we are really, really, good. When we are bad, we are really, really bad.”?

When I hear this from my clients, I know their relationship needs serious repair.

I suspect you are thinking a lot about your relationship rather than ‘being’ in your relationship. Rather than acting lovingly towards your partner, you are waiting to see evidence before showing your love for your partner. Love without evidence is what makes a partnership. Faith, trust, and belief in your partner will bring you everlasting love.

To engineer change, it needs to begin with your behaviour and mindset. Not your partner’s behaviour. Begin by becoming aware of the thoughts entering your mind throughout the day. Are they thoughts of gratitude, love and joy? Or perhaps they are anger, frustration, bitterness, etc. If you stay in the gratitude and emit your joy, happiness will come right back to you. You are now in control of your relationship.

My client constantly complained about her marriage until I pointed out some key aspects as to why she might not be happy.

By making changes in her daily routines, such as establishing a daily practice of mindfulness, self-talk, visualizations, and gratitude, both her relationship with herself and her partner improved. I guided her through these incremental changes. I taught her to become uncomfortable, and by holding that discomfort, she gave herself room to grow. The changes she made were small, but the results in her relationship were both meaningful and measurable. Her partner took notice and could not help to reciprocate her joy.

Controlling your mindset is an exercise we do in pillar 2 of my program. It is a 3-month program where we identify the thought patterns that are detrimental to your relationship and replace old patterns with thoughts that spark connectivity and life into your relationship. We do this by creating micro-goals towards the ultimate goal of relationship satisfaction.

Hope this entry helps you in someway and if it did, please let me know.