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Seize the Moment, Life Is Full of Surprises

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Empowerment
Seize the Moment, Life Is Full of Surprises

Seize the Moment, Life Is Full of Surprises

An excerpt from Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment

Being Here...TooAs I raced to the hospital to see my wife Holly, all I could think was, Please don’t die. When Holly and I started dating, neither of us thought we would ever get married. We were both in our 50s and had no idea that we would end up in a passionate and enlivening love affair. Now happily married for more than five years, we are on a great adventure together.

This past January, Holly went to California to handle some family business. I was very surprised when she called me from the hospital.

“Hi Honey, I’m in the emergency room. You know those headaches I’ve been getting? Well, I have a really bad one and now I can’t see out of my left eye.”

I’ve heard the expression, “It was like a bucket of ice water poured over my head.” But in that moment I actually experienced the sensation. It’s an understatement to say I was terrified by the news.

“The doctors say that I have a brain bleed.”

A brain bleed – Oh my God!

My mind went into hyper-drive, filling in with largely inaccurate details from television shows and movies.

I immediately thought, A brain bleed must mean a stroke! Will she be paralyzed? Will she die?

Reflexively, I panicked. But, even in the midst of receiving this horrifying news, I knew that panicking wasn’t going to help Holly. So I listened. I told her I loved her and I would get there as soon as I could.

What happened next was a whirlwind of all the things that needed to be handled to get me from one coast to the other so I could be with her; schedules, airline tickets, calling friends for support, a hastily packed bag.

Later that day, in the car to the airport, when I was no longer distracted by things that needed to be done, my mind automatically started to run its list of worst-case scenarios of what was going to happen. But fortunately for me (and for Holly) I’ve been practicing being here. It has been such a simple practice that I had no idea how well the “muscle” of being present would withstand the stress of potentially losing my beloved wife.

I took a breath and looked out the window. I noticed a light green Prius, a dark grey Mercedes and the clouds in the sky. I watched a motorist’s face as he drove past and noticed the street signs.

From time-to-time my eyes would lose focus and I would be seeing the beginnings of a horror movie in my mind, one where I had lost Holly, one where she died before I got there. But whenever that happened, I simply drew my attention outward to see the world outside my window.

It’s a six-hour flight from New York to San Francisco. The airline offered “private viewing” services where I could use my iPad to stream a movie they provided. I soon realized that the alternative was torturing myself with a different kind of private viewing – watching my mind’s repetitive, increasingly disturbing films about what might happen to Holly and what would happen to me if I lost her. So I put on my headset, fired up my iPad and chose an action film. A comedy was next and I welcomed the distraction.

When I arrived in San Francisco, I was met by Holly’s cousins and immediately rushed to the hospital. As I entered her room in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit, I was shocked to see Holly looking so gravely ill. It seemed to me that she was hooked up to every conceivable medical machine and device possible and I started to cry. We locked eyes and I went to her and hugged her as tightly as I dared. She looked happy to see me and surprisingly calm. Standing by the bed I held her hand. I was so grateful she was still alive, her hand warm in mine.

“Honey, I’ve gotten back more results.” She said. “The bleeding in my brain has been caused by something else. I have a brain tumor.”

I did my best to keep the room from spinning and to keep myself there with her. Her hand in mine anchored me as I digested the news that no one wants to hear. I pulled up a chair and sat. We had a brief discussion and decided that, whatever happened, we were going to live as fully as possible in this moment and, despite all temptations, would not travel down a black hole to a tragic future that hadn’t happened yet.

It’s one thing to make that decision. It’s quite another to live it. Luckily, Holly and I had tools. We’d learned skills for being present and honed them over the many years of attending seminars on Instantaneous Transformation. In fact, throughout her month-long stay in the hospital, I was repeatedly surprised that “scary” things were actually delightful moments when seen through a different lens.

For example, after Holly’s first brain surgery (she’s had three) they brought her back into the Intensive Care Unit where I was with her as the anesthesia wore off. As she awoke, her eyes fluttered open and she looked at me. Then Holly mumbled, “kiss me” in French. Oh how sweet she was. I kissed her face and then she spoke even more French to me.

While Holly is American and English is her first language, she lived in France for a time, and speaks French fluently. But the nurse nearby didn’t realize that Holly was talking to me in a foreign language and thought her speech was badly garbled. I could tell the nurse was alarmed, afraid that this new disability was an unwanted result of the surgery.

“Oh, no, it’s not garbled.” I said. “It’s French!”

I turned back to my wife and did my best to reply in my terrible, broken version of that language.

Suddenly, I was afraid. I thought that the surgery had somehow broken her ability to speak English. As I was smiling at her and kissing her face, I was also frantically trying to figure out how quickly I could learn French so we could communicate.

Then the nurse did something brilliant. She said, “Holly, I don’t speak French. Speak English.” Holly said, “Okay.” And to my great relief, my French studies were put off indefinitely.

During Holly’s recovery from each brain surgery, it was crucial that she have as little sensory input as possible. This meant the room she was in needed to be dark and quiet.

As I was determined to spend every waking moment with her, that meant I was not provided with any of the usual distractions from my mind’s machinations. Television and conversation were not options. Fortunately, I had my laptop computer with me and, as an attorney with my own law firm, I could work remotely.

As Holly slept, I dove into my work. Emails were read and responded to. Legal research was done and briefs were drafted and filed. I was able to serve my clients and give my mind constructive work to do to keep it from going down painful fantasy paths. I was able to respond via text and email in a timely way to all of the wonderful caring friends and family who were, figuratively speaking, there at our side. Of course I’m human and occasionally I would get side tracked and start to despair, but when this happened, I realized that being upset wasn’t helpful – not to me and certainly not to Holly. So it wasn’t too difficult to come back to the moment and get back to work.

Our mutual decision to get interested in what was happening around us, especially the people we were meeting, was incredibly valuable. We engaged with everyone we met: doctors, nurses, and cleaning staff. Because it was the Neuro Intensive Care Unit, Holly was frequently examined, questioned, medicated, and having blood drawn. Each interaction was an opportunity to not just exchange meaningless pleasantries but a chance to be with someone and really listen to him or her. Each moment was a chance to operate as if we were exactly where we wanted to be rather than dream of the day when we could get out of there.

As a result, Holly and I could hear the experts tell us how things were without editing in our heads to make it better or worse than it was. This allowed us to make fully informed choices based on facts, not decisions driven by our fears. This was crucial when Holly’s surgeon told us that the first surgery, while helpful in removing fluid that was causing pressure on her brain, was not completely successful.

“I was not able to get enough material in the biopsy for the pathology lab. I need to go back in. Without the material, we won’t know the genetic makeup of the tumor and won’t be able to properly treat it. I understand if you want to go back to New York to have this done.”

Holly didn’t want to wait. She also intuitively trusted this man.

“You’re part of my team. I trust you to go back in and get it done,” she said with a smile. And within a week the second surgery resulted in a successful biopsy, and the material was sent to the lab.

As a result of our training in being here, Holly and I actually enjoyed engaging with people. Whether they were changing a bedpan or part of the surgical team, they were all highly qualified professionals and fascinating beings. We got interested in their lives and included them in ours. We didn’t let the circumstances of Holly’s illness narrowly define us as only a patient and the patient’s husband. We were still whole beings with many interests and unlimited possibilities.

After Holly underwent numerous tests, scans and two brain surgeries, she was cleared for travel, and we returned to New York where we met with a new team of doctors. They hoped Holly could start treatment for her tumor right away. Unfortunately, due to complications, she required yet another surgery. They told us we could do it soon or wait a short time. Holly turned to me and said, “Carpe diem, baby.” (That’s Latin for “seize the day”.)

Holly is currently recovering and doing very well. The experts now believe that Holly’s tumor is something she can live with over time, a chronic condition rather than a life threatening one. Our relationship remains strong and we remain committed to seizing the day. For fun, we even got matching “carpe diem” tattoos, and have planned several trips together. I’m not certain what will come next but then, none of us are. In this moment, there is love, happiness, and the adventure continues as we seize the moment and encounter our next series of life’s surprises.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Life Derailed

Posted by presspass on
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Empowerment
Life Derailed

I host a radio weekly internet radio show on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel called Life Altering Events (https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3902/life-altering-events). People often ask me what exactly is a life altering event? I tell them this – It can be something we choose or something that is thrust upon us that dramatically alters the trajectory of our life.

On August 20, 2019 my guest was Latachia Morrissette Harper who is a truly remarkable and inspirational women. You can hear the conversation at https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/116498/life-derailed.

Latachia is the author of the book Life Derailed, A Divorced Mom’s Survival Guide. Her inspiration to write this book was to recover from a very traumatic divorce and let other women and men know they are not alone. Latachia addresses that your emotions, feelings, grief, sense of loss, how will I pay my bills, fear of the future are not unique. If you have not read this book – do it today!

Latachia is also a public speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. Her passion is to motivate and inspire women, especially women with children impacted by divorce. Being in an abusive relationship is a life altering and divorce can be terrifying and debilitating but which is worse? She equips women to find their independence and strength, learning how to find their voice and love themselves first.

Now men, don’t see this title and think “This is a chick book.” It’s not. Latachia provides a common sense approach at time when common sense is often absent. This common sense applies equally to both men and women.

One powerful piece of advice from her book is:

In dealing with the sorrow of divorce or a major loss in your life/family, take one breath at a time, make one decision at a time, and focus on just the current day and what you can achieve. The saddest thing for a child is to be in your presence and you not really being there. Be in the moment, embrace them. You control more in life when you don’t let the issues, things control you.

Another statement she wrote that I loved and wish I had followed is “Stop Saying you are OK.”

Stop saying you’re OK. Seriously, it’s OK to not be OK. Wait till the kids are away and SCREAM, cry and then get out a piece of paper and write it all down, random thoughts, fears and ideas. Get it out, it’s OK, you have a right to be in this place.

Remember divorce is a legal process. It is a legal process to become married and a legal process to end the marriage. It is a huge mistake to rush through the process or say to your ex “Just get the papers and I’ll sign so we can get this over.” Don’t ignore this step. There are too many important issues regarding finances, property and most importantly the needs of your children. Get it in writing up front because promises made prior to divorce often change afterwards. The children certainly don’t need to re-live these battles over and over.

Another major issue you will likely face is “the call” from your ex, suggesting you try again. Stop! Proceed with caution. Think about why things will be better or different if you jump back in. Really stop and think about it or you may find yourself in a worse situation in the next year or two. Why is your ex asking to get back together when they were so eager to leave?

Picking up the pieces is not easy. It will be the most difficult thing you will ever do, but keep this in mind, stop looking behind you, you’re not going that way. There is nothing new to see in the past so keep moving forward. Believe it or not, better times and better people will come into your life.

Starting Over

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Empowerment
Starting Over

Starting Over

An excerpt from How to Create a Magical Relationship, The Three Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Love Life

Click here for more information or to purchase this book

Have you ever found yourself in one of those moods where no matter what your partner says or does, it is all fodder for the fight? Where you are angry, disturbed, and nothing he or she says or does is right or good enough to relieve your sense of aggravation?

We recently met a couple, Hal and Mary, in one of these altered states of consciousness. They came to speak to us about their relationship and how, no matter what they did, it always ended in an upset and distress, and their fight never seemed to completely resolve. Oh sure, it abated from time to time, but the embers of disagreement were always just below a thin skin, ready to erupt at any time.

The funny thing was they were both right—from their individual points of view. From his point of view, “She would always . . . ,” and from her point of view, he was wrong and all of her friends agreed with her. This couple had a list of grievances dating back to early in their relationship, past events over which the two of them continued to disagree.

Hal and Mary had fundamental behavior patterns in their relationship that we have seen in other intimate relationships where nothing seems to resolve. No matter how much they tried to change or fix the situation, it stayed the same or became worse. So they came to us, looking at whether or not they should remain together. Their situation was further complicated by the fact that they had a sixteen-month-old child together. By now, the sense of intimacy between them had completely eroded, and while they were very devoted to their daughter, she had become the focal point for many of their fights.

The real problem was that Mary and Hal, for all of their strife, were obviously still in love. They just couldn’t find a way to sidestep the old grievances that kept resurfacing, incendiary mechanical behaviors that set them battling against their will.

Our usual approach is to find out where it all started and what happened that initiated the fight, but when we asked what had caused this pattern of behavior in the first place, Hal and Mary each had their reasons for what the other did or didn’t do that created the situation, and both of them were “right” from their points of view. Apparently, we had a stalemate. No matter what we came up with, each person felt certain that the other was the cause of their stress, upset, and dissatisfaction. This is normal for most relationships that are in trouble.

In situations like this, where the partners have been together for several years, the starting point of the disagreement is obscured forever. So what do you do to alleviate the pain when you are locked in a habituated way of relating that seems to have no beginning and no end—a way of relating that keeps accelerating in its frequency, intensity, and duration?

At some point, the reasons why you are upset become irrelevant because everything becomes grounds for the disturbance. It has been unresolved for so long that there is no way to go back and fix all of the grievances and transgressions.

So what do you do then? You can leave each other, which is the end result that a lot of loving relationships devolve into — it’s called divorce. You can punish each other perpetually and live a life of complaint and pain. Or you can start over.

There have been times in our relationship when we found ourselves fighting and could not find a way out of the disagreement in which we were locked. Finally, we came up with a device that allowed us to stop fighting. One day, we were driving into New York City, and for whatever reason, we were deeply engaged in disagreeing with each other. It escalated and was like a sore tooth that you worry with your tongue; we couldn’t seem to leave it alone. Our silences were noisy — very noisy. And each of us was certain that we were right in our own perspective and that the other was simply wrong. We each felt picked on and misunderstood. It didn’t feel good, but there didn’t seem to be a way to resolve the conflict. Finally, we came up with the idea of starting over. We picked out an overpass ahead on the highway and said, “When we go under that overpass, the fight is over.” This meant that as soon as our car passed that spot, we were going to operate as if this disagreeable conversation had never taken place. Onward we drove. It took discipline at first to resist thinking about the altercation that had just happened, but we kept bringing our thoughts and conversation back to current things, such as what we could see out the window and our plans for the day, rather than rehashing the past.

We can’t remember now what our fight was about. It seemed so important at the time, but now the details have faded into obscurity. We knew that the fight could fade away for Hal and Mary too, if given a chance, and so we suggested that they try starting over. We warned them it would be challenging not to keep going back to past gripes, but they grew excited and intrigued at the idea.

That night, Hal and Mary had a date. They had not been on a real, live date since before their child was born. The point where they started over was the opportunity for a new beginning. They grabbed this chance with both hands, and intimacy resulted. However, the next time an upsetting event happened between them or a similar type of disagreement cropped up over their child, it took discipline to resist the temptation to revisit old events. With practice, the habit of going back to touch on old events in your thoughts or in your actions can fade away.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Truth Bomb Mom

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Empowerment
Truth Bomb Mom

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are thrilled to bring on Kristina Kuzmic as our Special guest to discuss keeping our sanity while navigating the years of parenthood.

Kristina is energetic, funny, and obsessed with creativity, Kristina has an in-your-face perspective on issues of parenting and life in general.

She has become an internet sensation with her “mom-centric” videos about raising children and juggling all of life’s challenges. With over 600 million views across media outlets and websites worldwide, and over 2 million Facebook followers.

Kristina has quickly made a name for herself as a creative, yet unpretentious parent, as well as a world-renowned motivational speaker/comedian. In 2011, Kristina was chosen from over 15,000 applicants and crowned the winner of Mark Burnett’s reality TV competition: “Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.” Kristina’s first reality show titled “The Ambush Cook,” aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Kristina’s blog posts have been published on various websites, including Oprah.com and The Huffington Post.

Do you have a question for Kristina? Please submit them up until Monday the 14th at 1:00 MST to empoweredwithdesandjen@gmail.com OR call in live at 2:00 MST for a chance to ask her directly!!

20 tips to be an (even more) awesome parent

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Empowerment
20 tips to be an (even more) awesome parent

25558447.jpgIn this edition of LIFEadvice, life coaches Kim Giles and Nicole Cunningham share their top 20 tips for being a better parent.

Before we get into our top 20 tips, we want to caution you to not get overwhelmed by the long list. You don’t have to master them all this week. You might want to just work on one thing each week, or go through the list and pick two to practice this week. We are going for small steps of progress at a time.

The truth is, parenting is one of the hardest, most guilt-producing challenges on the planet. No matter how hard you try, you may always feel like it wasn’t good enough. So, don’t even try to shoot for perfection, just shoot for a little growth every day. Also, remember some children are a lot more challenging than others, and cut yourself some slack if you have a challenging child.

Here are our 20 tips to be a more awesome parent:

1. Teach your kids that all human beings have the same value and our value can’t change.

Make this the everyday language in your home. This will help all of you to be bulletproof, avoid judgment and have more confidence and self-esteem.

2. Trust yourself.

You are the only one entitled to know what is right for your child. Listen to your gut daily and follow your instincts.

3. Trust them and let them be different from you.

They will choose their perfect journey and it may mean making choices you wouldn’t make or approve of. When this happens, honor their right to be different from you and still have your love and admiration for the good soul they are.

4. Give lots of validation and praise on the right things.

Don’t praise their appearance, performance or property as much as you praise their kindness, honesty, love and other admirable qualities. Help them see those as who they are.

5. Do not compare yourself or your kids to others.

Teach them we are all incomparable and on a totally unique journey, so it makes no sense to compare.

6. Help your child learn to problem-solve.

Instead of solving their problems, ask questions like “Well what could you do? What options do you have?” until they figure out how to solve things on their own. Teach them to brain storm and to trust themselves that the answers will come, if we just keep looking.

7. Take care of yourself.

A happy parent is an awesome parent, so have a life and activities outside of being a parent (if you need them) and don’t feel guilty about that. The more fulfilled you are in life, the more balanced your parenting will be. Don’t make the kids your entire existence or you will lose yourself when they grow up.

8. Let most stuff go.

Choose your battles carefully, ignore garden variety annoying kid behavior, don’t create drama by getting involved in every little thing. Work on having thicker skin and more patience by trusting that things will work out.

9. Practice what you preach.

Kids lose respect for adults fast when we don’t do the very things we tell them they should do. Don’t yell at them for yelling, for instance. Watch the things you say and make sure you are teaching by example.

10. Let them fall, fail and be disappointed.

Your job is to prepare them for life in the real world and protecting them from all sadness does not prepare them. Let them make mistakes, forget things, lose things or fail now, while you can use the experience to teach them how to deal with emotions and the tough stuff of life.

11. Ask questions and listen more than you speak.

What your child needs from you most is to know he/she is important, valued and good enough. Spend time asking lots of questions about what they think, feel, see and experience. Help them have a place to process emotions and experiences, without advice or lectures. Just let them think things through and figure things out on their own. It takes more time, but it prepares them to be capable adults.

12. Treat them with respect and get respect back.

If you disrespect your children and what they think and feel, they won’t respect you either. Respect must be earned by modeling mature, kind, respectful behavior yourself.

13. Have one-on-one dates with each child regularly.

And do #12.

14. Work on being happier, more fulfilled and content yourself.

The single greatest thing you can do for your family is work on your own self-esteem and fulfillment in life. A happy parent is more patient, loving and wise.

15. Talk about uncomfortable topics often.

One conversation about sex, drinking or drugs won’t do it. Kids need to know you are a comfortable and safe place to discuss the hard stuff of life, all the time. If you aren’t comfortable, seek some professional help yourself.

16. Do one thing at a time.

Don’t try to help with homework while you cook. Do homework first and give them all your attention, then make dinner. You will not only make them feel important, but you will feel less stressed, too.

17. Limit screen time for everyone — even you.

Too many hours a day looking at a screen isn’t good for anyone. Plan outdoor activities and interact with real, live people daily.

18. Apologize and show them vulnerability.

When you make a mistake, react badly or lose your temper, own it and say you’re sorry. Kids learn great life lessons when adults are vulnerable and humble enough to apologize and then try harder. Don’t expect them to improve themselves if you aren’t, too.

19. See parenting as your classroom.

We often believe it’s our job to educated our children (which it is), but it is also their job to educate us. Your children are the teachers who will facilitate your greatest lessons in patience, forgiveness, tolerance, self-control, love and trust. See every parenting moment as your perfect classroom today, and you will be amazed how much more mature you behave.

20. Learn about your child’s core fears and values.

These are the factors that drive all their behavior. When you understand what they value most (people and connections, tasks and performance, things and money, or ideas and beliefs) you will understand their key motivator and your best leverage for discipline. Understand their core fear (either failure or loss) and you will understand their trigger and what brings their worst behavior out. While you are at it, learn about your own fears and values too, so you can understand how you are different. This level of understanding about each other is a game changer.

Also remember — you don’t have to be a perfect parent to be the perfect parent for your child. You may mess up a bit (we all do), but choose to believe it’s the exact way that they are supposed to learn, for their perfect journey to unfold. Trust that things will work out, and be patient and loving with both of you.

You can do this.

Is Your Spouse Less Interested in Sex?

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Women
Is Your Spouse Less Interested in Sex?

This is an article I wrote that KSL refused to publish – it is an answer to the question I have submitted by KSL readers more than any other. I get a few letters a week from people who are frustrated their spouse isn’t more into sex – So, I felt it was important to get it out there anyway.
Is a lack of intimacy hurting your marriage?

Question:

My spouse is having issues with me, because I don’t want to have sex. I’m not interested in sex anymore, but I really think the reason is the negative energy around the whole thing that he created early in our marriage. He has made me feel so pressured and guilty around it, that I have lost all interest. We love each other. We don’t want to separate, but I really don’t want to have sex with him. I force myself to do it every couple months, but then it’s “hurry up and get it done”. I don’t know how to get passed this.

Answer:

The answer is yes, lack of intimacy is probably having a negative effect on your marriage, but the reason you have a lack of interest could be complicated. There are so many psychological and physiological reasons a person might have low libido, we cannot possibly address them all in this article, so, we are only going to address the one you have asked about and the most simple, a spouse who has just lost interest or decided they don’t want intimacy any more.

We see a damaging dynamic in a lot of our coaching client’s relationships, where one spouse is always asking for more intimacy, and pressure to give it has made the other one (with less interest) feel obligated into it. This obligation energy around it, makes the less interested spouse, even less interested, because it feels like intimacy is only about or for the other one. The more interested partner then experiences a lot of rejection, which hurts, and makes them even more needy for validation to feel lovable and wanted, which means they want intimacy even more. If this cycle plays out for months or years, it leaves everyone feeling taken from, unloved and mistreated.

We call this a “fear trigger cycle” and if you want to have a healthy marriage, you must learn how to change this into a “love trigger cycle”. We are going to explain how to do that, but first, you must understand why intimacy is important in a marriage relationship.

Intimacy is the one thing that makes the marriage relationship different from your other relationships. Without intimacy, you are really just friends with your spouse, and if you are only interested in being friends, you should probably get divorced, and let your spouse find someone who wants to be married. Intimacy is the foundation of the special connection and bond between two married partners. It creates a special kind of connection because of the vulnerability involved. If you really do love this person and want them to stay married to you, you probably are going to need to change this and get more interested in being intimate. But, your spouse may also need to make some changes to.

Putting pressure, shame or guilt, or in any way manipulating another person to get them to be intimate with you is wrong. If you are married to a person that tries to psychologically or physically force you into intimacy you don’t want, that is not okay and you might also consider getting out. What you want is two partners that want intimacy with each other, because they both love the other person and want to feel connected to them.

If this is not the dynamic in your relationship, we strongly encourage you to get some professional help. A professional could make changing the dynamic in your marriage easier and faster, or they will help you get some clarity and decide if you need to get out.  (You also want to consult a doctor if you have low libido, because there are lots of medications, psychological or physiological causes you want to rule out.)

We also have an amazing worksheet on our website that would really help – print two copies of the Understanding your Marriage Worksheet and you and your spouse both fill one out. This will help you identify the fear triggers in each of you.

We also recommend that you try the following to change your fear-trigger cycle into a love trigger cycle:

1.    Learn about the core fears (failure and loss) in play in yourself and your partner:

If your spouse fears failure (that he/she isn’t good enough), which is highly likely because most of us do, this will show up as getting offended or feeling insulted easily, having a hard time with feedback, clinginess or neediness, a need for attention, touch and intimacy to validate their worth.
If your spouse fears loss they might be controlling or pushy at times and easily feel mistreated or taken from. They are often be in a lack state and focused on what they don’t have.
The truth is, we all have both fears in play to some degree and you could have both equally too.  See if you can tell which are in play with you and your spouse?

2.    Understand what you each do, which triggers fear in your spouse:

Maybe he feels taken from or loss around not getting a strong marriage with great intimacy. When he tries to solve this by asking for what he wants, he triggers fear of failure in her, because she then feels broken or inadequate, because she doesn’t fulfil his needs. This fear experience around intimacy might make her withdraw from it even more, because we subconsciously pull away from fear inducing situations. Her further withdrawal may trigger even more fear of loss in him, making him even more unhappy and in need of touch and validation, but when he continues to ask for that, it triggers more failure in her, and around and around they go. We find a cycle like this in play in most relationships. See if you can identify yours.

3.    Become the cure to your spouse’s core fear:

You will do this because you love this human being and want them to be happy and feel loved, wanted and good enough. (If you don’t care about whether your spouse feels loved and wanted, then you don’t really love them.) If your spouse fears loss, you can be the cure to that, by giving them reassurance and attention, which makes them feel safe. Show them they are admired, respected, appreciated and wanted daily and this will quiet the fear and make them less needy (this means initiating intimacy).  If they fear failure, they need lots of validation about how wonderful, loving and giving they are. They need to feel and hear they are adored, appreciated, respected and wanted daily too.

If you are the more interested spouse, you must spend as much energy on giving validation and reassurance to your spouse, as you have worrying about what you aren’t getting. If you are less interested spouse, you must flip the fear cycle in your relationship by giving physical attention as a gift freely given from love. We encourage you to be the initiator of intimacy from this point on. Then, you won’t feel obligated, taken from or pressured in to intimacy, you will be choosing to give it. This will also mean your spouse doesn’t experience rejection any more, which removes a lot of fear from the relationship.

We would encourage the more interested spouse, to not ask for intimacy for a while and allow your partner the chance to offer and give it from love. Do this from a place of trust, without any feelings of lack or deprivation. Choose to trust you have everything you need and then generously give, validate and serve your spouse, without any strings attached, as a gift freely given too. This often turns the fear cycle around quick.

Because of the complicated physical and psychological nature of intimacy, we encourage (you both) to see a doctor and engage in some professional help for this issue, along with working on the fear issues involved.

If you think you might have subconscious issues around sexuality because of trauma or learning a shame mindset around sex early on – you may also want to get out Subconscious Sexuality Reprogramming Exercise – it helps change your subconscious feelings about sex from negative to positive.

You can do this.

Nicole Cunningham and Kim Giles are human behavior experts and master coaches who specialize in family and employee dynamics and have many tools to help you change your relationships. They are also the hosts of Relationship Radio on Voice America – Check it out!

Life Is A Date

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Life Is A Date

Life Is A Date

an excerpt from How to Have A Match Made in Heaven

by Ariel & Shya Kane

If you’re dating or contemplating dating again, you may be reading this with the desire to glean tips that will help you with that process. If you’ve been married for years, you may be skimming through this to get on to the information that applies to you. You may erroneously think that you’re “beyond the dating stage” and may be rushing forward to find the marriage parts. But dating itself is a key building block for any relationship or marriage. In fact, when a couple gets into trouble, they have often forgotten to woo each other. They have forgotten how to date. It’s easy to forget when there are bills to be paid and children to be fed or when you’re busy trying to make your relationship “go somewhere.”

The two of us are on a succession of dates. They have already lasted 30 years and we expect a lifetime of them. Sometimes we stop what we’re doing when one or the other of us will say, “Want to take a date with me out to the mailbox?” Then we slip on our shoes and go out our front door. The screen door makes a creaking salute, and we often hold hands as we head out into our driveway, our feet crunching on the gravel. It’s a time to feel the air and smell the greenery and see the sun slanting through the trees. Or perhaps it’s a time to slide over the snow and watch the bare branches clatter in the wind. But it’s always a time just for us. Getting the mail is an excuse to be together.

Of course we don’t actually need an excuse since we live and work together, but we make one anyway. We have dates while doing the dishes and others while making a trip to the grocery store. We have a library date when we go together to pick out books on CD to listen to during the hour-long ride to New York City where we work. And occasionally over the years, we’ve even had a date in the emergency room as one or the other of us needed medical attention. It’s all an intimate adventure if you’re there for it.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

8 ways to cope when life is impossibly hard

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8 ways to cope when life is impossibly hard

Question: I have a very serious illness that no one has ever heard of and I find it extremely devastating and lonely. What can someone like me, in my position do?  I’ve struggled with this for over 30 years and this is impossibly frustrating and miserable. You have no idea. Do you have any advice for dealing with this?

Answer: Many of life’s challenges are impossibly hard and painful. Many of these problems have no answers, solutions or remedies. They are painful and they are going to stay painful for a long time. In this situation, with no escape available, your options are limited. You have control over very little.  For the most part, all you can do, is work on choosing your attitude and mindset inside the challenge. Vivian Greene said it best, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Here are 8 suggestions to help you dance in the rain (and find joy and peace) despite an impossibly hard challenge:

  1. Buddha said, “It is your resistance to “what is” that causes your suffering.” It is your wishing and wanting things to be different than they are, that is the real cause of your pain. You have created (and attached your happiness to) expectations about how your life should look or feel. The problem is life rarely meets our expectations, and most often takes you in a direction you never saw coming. So, now that you are here, how much time and energy are you going to waste wishing you were somewhere else?  All this time and energy is wasted and painful. You will suffer less if you stop resisting and choose to accept this path as the right one for you.
  2. Trust there is order in the universe and purpose and meaning in all things. Choose to see the universe as a wise teacher, who knows what it’s doing, and whose ultimate objective is always to serve you and your growth. This would mean every experience you have is here to facilitate learning and make you smarter, stronger, wiser or more loving. This means things don’t happen to you – they happen for you.I know, during times of intense suffering, it is difficult to believe your misery is here for a positive purpose. (And I cannot prove to you this idea is truth – though you can’t prove it’s not truth either.) But I do know from personal experience, that choosing to trust there is a positive reason, a painful experience is here, does make me suffer less.

    I first learned this from reading about Viktor Frankl, who during intense suffering in the concentration camps of World War II, found if he chose to believe there was meaning in his suffering (that it was here for a reason) he not only suffered less, but also felt motivated to rise and get through the suffering in the best possible way. He said “Suffering ceases to be suffering [at the same level] the moment it finds meaning.”

    If you choose to see the universe as on your side and working for you, instead of against you, and if you choose to believe every experience is therefore the perfect classroom journey for you – you will find more peace in spite of the difficulty.

 

  1. Focus on this present moment only. If you try to process the weight of the coming years of loneliness or pain you might have coming it will crush you. It is too much, too scary and too discouraging. So set that weight down. Focus only on this present moment or hour. Get through this hour choosing to be a positive and happy as possible, What can you do at this moment for yourself to relieve pain, create joy or just distract yourself. You have great power in this moment to choose your mindset (it is actually the only time you have any power of choice). Use that power to chose loving feelings towards yourself and others. Use this moment to experience gratitude and count your blessings (no matter how bad things get there are still things to be grateful for.) Create a life of happiness, kindness, service, joy and fun, one moment at a time.

 

  1. Find a passion project. During times of trail or suffering we can often find ourselves unproductive, stuck and feeling useless. It helps a great deal if you can find a passion projects of some kind that makes you feel fulfilled, productive or accomplished. Even if it is just a journal or blog, a puzzle or a scrapbook. What could you do with your time instead of wallowing.

 

  1. Allow yourself limited pity party time. It is natural during times of suffering and challenge to feel self-pity, sadness and grief. You should feel and experience these emotions and not try to suppress them all the time. It is actually important you give yourself time to feel these feelings and have a good pity party or cry, just don’t live there. If you feel these emotions coming up today give yourself a limited amount of time (like an hour or 20 minutes) to deep dive into the negative emotions and cry if you need to. Giving yourself this time is an important part of the lesson this experience is here to teach you. You will also find you actually feel better after a good cry. I believe it gets some of the pain out so you always feel better after.

 

  1. Lower your expectations around what you can do. When you are going through an impossibly hard experience at least half your brain power and energy are being used to process the trauma of the situation. This doesn’t leave you with enough band width for all the other tasks or interests you usually do. Go easy on yourself and expect less. Give yourself permission to have a messier house or get less done. Be realistic with the energy you have and say no to things you know will wipe you out later.

 

  1. Give up envy and wishing you had someone else’s life journey. It is really easy to find yourself in a place of envy when your life is hard. It does seem unfair that other people get lives that seem easier than yours, but dwelling on this does you no good and in fact, will make you feel even worse. Remember, their journey isn’t over and all of us will face some challenges sooner or later. Remember this journey (though painful) is the right one for your soul, or you wouldn’t be here. Trust the universe knows what it’s doing and that growth is its purpose. There are amazing lessons, knowledge and strength to be gained from your journey, and though you would rather not go through this to gain them, there will be a benefit down the road.

 

  1. Use this experience and the unique knowledge (on the human condition and suffering) it is giving you, to bless the world in some way. Your misery can often become your message. If you suffer with chronic illness you can show others how to cope in a positive way. If you are a single mother, you could help newly divorced women handle their new realities with more joy. If you lose a loved one, you can be a resource to others who are suffering grief. There is always a way to use what has happened to you to make a difference in the world.At some level that is why I write this column every week. My journey has not been an easy one at all. I apparently signed up for many hard classes in the classroom of life, and have experienced suffering on almost every level. I tell you this only because trying to use my challenges to help others, helps me. Most of these articles are full of practical ideas, I have actually used, to get me through hard times. When you can make your suffering useful to someone else, it helps.

     

There is nothing I could write that would take away the pain of your suffering, but I do believe you can lessen it, at least to some degree, by using these 8 ideas.  Every day is another chance to practice choosing joy, peace, happiness and laughter in your life, and you don’t have to do it perfectly, just keep making progress.

You can do this.

5 behaviors you can spot in toxic people before their true self comes out

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5 behaviors you can spot in toxic people before their true self comes out

This was first published on familyshare.com

Hindsight is 20/20 they say, and it’s funny how often at the end of a bad relationship, we wonder why we didn’t see the red flags sooner. Were they there? Should we have seen them? How did we miss them?

The truth is, we see what we want to see most of the time. At the beginning of any relationship, we are primarily looking for the good, especially if we want it to work out. We do this at work and in our personal relationships, but there are a few early warning signs it might help to flag when you see them. This may save you from unrealistic expectations and a real disappointment. It might also mean protecting yourself and using some caution around people who could be toxic.

Here are five behaviors to watch for early in a relationship:

1. They speak ill of others and relish in gossip

If they are critical and judgmental of everyone around them, they will be critical and judgmental of you, too. People who focus on the bad in others usually suffer from a subconscious fear of failure themselves. In this state they find it temporarily makes their ego feel safer if they focus on the bad in others. If they cast others as the bad guy, it makes them feel like the better guy. Anyone who speaks ill of others on a regular basis has the potential to be trouble in a relationship. They may not have the self-worth and wisdom to be able to give the love and support you deserve.

2. Every situation is about them

If you notice that everything is about them, how they feel and how it affects them, you must label what you are hearing as “selfish focus.” Again, people who have a fear of failure and low self-esteem are selfishly focused on themselves most of the time. If that is their focus, they won’t be able to see situations from your point of view very easily. Just because someone is in this space one day, I would not write them off as toxic, but if it’s a pattern all the time, make note of it as another red flag.

3. They’re frequently upset and irrational

If someone gets triggered into an unbalanced upset state easily and often, and once their logic seems a tad off, that can be a big red flag. Mature, balanced people understand that feeling upset is a choice and nothing (or no one) can make you that way. You are in control of your choices, attitudes and behavior. You are responsible for how immature and over the top your frustration or anger gets.

We find some people tend to have over-the-top responses, drama and irrational thinking. This behavior is important to flag because one day it may be you they are upset at, and this immature behavior makes it difficult to talk things through and resolve them. If they aren’t able to see things from another person’s perspective, logically see what happened and why and talk about things without drama and emotion, they will have some unhealthy fighting behavior that could be directed at you eventually.

4. They don’t trust you

There is a universal law that says we see the world as we are. This means anyone who doesn’t trust you, accuses you of cheating, is dishonest or has ill intent might think you would act that way because they would. It’s not true 100 percent of the time, but it is worth looking into. Those who would never be dishonest rarely are suspicious of others and are often taken advantage of. If someone is constantly accusing you or others of bad behavior, that could be a warning sign they aren’t trustworthy.

5. Their moods and reactions are unpredictable

If you are never quite sure which version of this person you will get today and there is a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde feeling to the two sides of their personality, that could be a red flag. Toxic people are often moody, unstable and even may have borderline personality disorder, one of the more difficult mental illnesses to deal with. These people rarely admit they have a problem and rarely seek the help they need to have healthy relationships. If a person is normally very calm, kind and rational, but on occasion has a blow-up that is way different from their normal personality, you might not really know them as well as you think.

When dating, starting a friendship or thinking of promoting someone at work, you want to make sure you see the other person in stressful, upsetting situations and watch how they cope first. Everyone behaves fairly well when things are going great. You don’t see their unbalanced behavior until things get scary, unsettled or threatening.

Just keep your eyes open and don’t be afraid to love some people from afar.

Kimberly Giles is the president of claritypointcoaching.com and 12shapes.com. She is the author of the book “Choosing Clarity” and a popular life coach, speaker and people skills expert.

Uplift Parenting Conference By Nicole Cunningham and Kim Giles

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Empowerment
Uplift Parenting Conference By Nicole Cunningham and Kim Giles

Kim Giles is a featured speaker at this year’s Uplift Parenting Conference in Utah. Kim will be sharing the importance of parenting without fear and how to step into greater levels of trust and love with our children. Kim is a mother of 7 and has been a family and executive life coach for 15 years. Kim is an author, speaker and has over 9000 articles published on the topic of living fearlessly. She is president of upskillrelationships.com and co host of Relationship Radio on Voice America.

More Here!

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