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Can you pick up the pieces

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Empowerment
Can you pick up the pieces

 

The story is too familiar. You are involved in a long term relationship or marriage. It usually starts out wonderful, full of joy and excitement as you pursue your hopes and dreams. You are ready to take on the world together. Then life happens. Stress at work; money issues; children’s needs; losing a job; issues with in-laws; health concerns. The list goes on and on. The feelings of joy starts to fade. You didn’t sign up for this! You stop communicating with each other, I mean really communicating and connecting, not just talking at each other. The relationship and your life become a grind. You start going through the motions.

You start to think, there has to be a better way. Chances are your partner feels the same. One of you finds a kindred spirit, a friend, an associate, someone with whom you can share your frustrations. You tell yourself, it is nothing serious we’re just talking. The more you talk and share with your kindred spirit, the less you share with your partner. Sooner or later you cross the line. You are hoping to make things better, but they are about to become worse. Heart break, separation, betrayal, divorce.

Since my book When the Wife Cheats was released, I have spoken to dozens of men and women whose resolution is simply to “move on” from betrayal. This one is not so easy. Betrayal comes in many forms. We have all been betrayed by a friend or co-worker or a trusted employee. Although these betrayals hurt, we are able to move on fairly quickly. However, it is not so easy when the betrayal is your spouse or life partner. I wish I had the answer—I don’t. I can only share what has helped me.

Whether you want to or not, you cannot escape the grief process (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, guilt, depression, and acceptance). I know because I tried. Unfortunately, these stages don’t always go in order. I still find myself going back and forth between them. It’s OK. This process is not an exact science. Spousal betrayal is made more difficult because your heart isn’t just broken, often it is shattered. There is usually a set time to fix a break. A broken bone may heal in six to eight weeks. A shattered bone or heart has no fixed time to heal. It is going to take far more time than you expect. Give yourself time.

Before you can pick up the pieces and start moving forward you have to forgive yourself. Let me say that again; forgive yourself. You weren’t the worst husband or wife ever. While you may have done the best you could to make your marriage work, it didn’t work. You cannot make someone else happy or make them love you if they don’t. You may never forgive your spouse—that’s OK—but forgive yourself.

I used this quote in When the Wife Cheats. It helped me. I hope it helps you.

“There comes a point in your life when you realize: who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore and who always will…so don’t worry about people from your past; there is a reason they didn’t make it to your future.”

Now I know this is far easier said that done. You are going to find yourself in the depths of depression and sorrow; when you don’t believe you have the strength to even get out of bed; when you have no idea how you are going to survive the next hour—let alone raise your children. Believe me, you will have ALL of these feelings. When you feel completely overwhelmed, remember this: Look up… Get up… And never ever give up.

You will recover in time. When you are ready, pick up the pieces and start moving forward. There is nothing new to see in the past, so don’t look behind you; you’re not going that way. Even in your hardest day move forward. Better times and better people will come into your life.

Pink Rain

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Empowerment
Pink Rain

Pink Rain

Did anyone ever say something to you that you found offensive? What did you do: walk away in a huff … talk back to him or her … “stand up” for yourself and then feel lousy later? Take the “high road” and feel crummy later? How about lying awake at night, rehearsing all of the better things you could have said … smarter things you should have said … or plotting the really good comebacks that you will lay on the offensive party next time you get the chance?

But have you ever simply let it go? Really let it go? Not just turn the other cheek yet seethe inside at the injustice of it all? Let us tell you how it happened for us:

In the late 90s, we were leading a series of winter retreats in Costa Rica. These particular seminars took place near the beach in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific side of the country. There we made the passing acquaintance of a couple, Rena and Sven. These two people radiated their judgmental nature and we felt uncomfortable just being around them.

One morning the two of us took a taxi to the beach. As we exited the cab we arranged with our driver to come back in an hour to pick us up. As we walked down to the ocean, we ran into Rena and Sven. By way of greeting, Rena said something very catty — not just the words, but also the unspoken subtext of the comment.

We bet you are familiar with loaded comments. Just think of a teenager, stomping to his or her room saying, “Fine!” or some such thing and flinging the door closed. In this case the word “fine” actually means anything but. Teens in particular are good at adding the eye rolling and they are great at dripping sarcasm from a single syllable. You get the idea.

It doesn’t really matter what Rena said that morning. We quickly ended the conversation and moved on down the beach. At first it was a bit of a challenge not to rehash the moment and reinforce the agitation that usually comes along with getting a verbal and energetic bump. Yet we purposefully disengaged from what had happened and got involved in what was happening: our walk. As we strolled along the shore, the sand sifting between our toes, we got engaged in what was in sight: the pelicans flying in formation, their wings practically skimming the waves, the sun, the surf, the birds, our conversation, OUR life. We simply invested in what was actually happening in that moment rather than resist Rena or Sven, and as we continued down the beach the upset fell away. In fact we forgot about the couple altogether.

This is a perfect example of the 3 Principles of Instantaneous Transformation in action:

1st Principle of Instantaneous Transformation – What you resist persists, grows stronger and in this case, accompanies you down the beach as it dominates your life and your current experience. If we had resisted Rena, disagreed with her comment, if we had taken exception to how she and Sven were being and chewed it over between us, then we would no longer have been on the beach. When you are in a fight in your thoughts, that’s where you are locked — in your thoughts.

2nd Principle of Instantaneous Transformation – That couple could only be exactly as they were, with their reality. Rena could only have commented as she did, and we could have only had a spontaneous visceral reaction and been taken aback.

3rd Principle of Instantaneous Transformation – Anything you allow to be exactly as it is completes itself. We just let them alone in our thoughts and the situation and our initial reaction just drifted away. But of course, as frequently happens when something of this nature occurs, life gives you the opportunity to see if you really have let the upset go – and if not, you get another chance to dissolve it! Soon our beach hour was almost up and it was time to meet our taxi and go back to work. But when we walked up to the road to the rendezvous spot, who should be standing there but Rena and Sven. We didn’t want to be rude, but we didn’t want to invite more conversation either. So we simply ambled up the sidewalk and put some distance between us. It was at this point something very sweet and special happened.

In Costa Rica there are many flowering trees. You can see entire hillsides populated with purple, orange, yellow or pink blossoms. Up at the curve of the road was a big old tree laden with pink flowers. Just as we approached, a gentle breeze ruffled our hair and combed through the tree’s branches. And suddenly the tree rained pink petals. We stood there in awe, awash in a soft pink rain.

It was as if the circumstances of our lives were guiding us forward so that we could be witness to such a magical moment. We weren’t walking away from them – we simply kept moving in concert with the wind, and the sun, and our lives. We were in sync. We were appropriate to ourselves and our hearts. When you are in the moment you are a part of the symphony of life and the music isn’t discordant, the melody is pure and simple. On that particular day the theme was a soft pink rain.

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

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

More Love, More Intimacy and Less Conflict for Couples – With Jonathan Robinson

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Empowerment
More Love, More Intimacy and Less Conflict for Couples – With Jonathan Robinson

 

In a recent episode of my radio show, Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit, Jonathan told us the key to having a happy marriage is in becoming a great communicator, not just a good one. He pointed out that we all want to be appreciated, loved and understood. The best way to get someone to hear you is to first make sure they feel heard and understood. Then they are open to listening to your perspective. He showed us that the word intimacy translates to “into me see.” In other words, be vulnerable, allow your partner to see into you. With 30% of couples being from different political parties, the techniques that Jonathan teaches are more needed now than ever. These techniques are also effective for social justice and communication, leadership and team building within businesses. They are so powerful that Jonathan visits jails and within 10 minutes he is able to change the minds of people who identify as Nazis and have killed because of it. He said it works every time. Jonathan learned some of his strategies by talking with people like the Dali Lama and Oprah. He generously shared with us some techniques that he uses every day with his wife to keep the love alive and prevent conflict. To listen to this show, I encourage you to click here.

Dr. Paula’s Tip of the Week

My Tip from my e-book, 33 Tips for Self-Empowerment is: Bring in Positive Energy: The color pink is emotionally healing and will lift your spirits. When you feel fear, you can shift your energy. Ask God/Goddess/The Universe to fill you with pink light. See pink light coming from the heavens, through the top of your head and moving through your whole body. Enjoy the feeling of peace. You can use pink in other ways as well. Pink flowers on the table, especially roses, create a positive mood. Use pink touches around your home, including the bedroom. Depending on your tastes, this can be subtle or more pronounced. Other possibilities are to burn pink candles or wear pink clothing or jewelry. Rose quartz attracts love and can be placed around the house, in your bedroom, worn as a piece of jewelry or put in your pocket or purse. If you don’t have access to a store carrying rose quartz in your area, it’s easy to purchase on the internet.

Dr. Paula’s Silver Lining Story

Relationships are far more complicated since the last presidential election. After some of the experiences I’ve had recently, I’m beginning to believe that online dating sites need to add the question: who did you vote for in the last presidential election and would you vote for them again given what you know today? I think it would save people a lot of time and unpleasant experiences. If this is the case with dating, what must it be like in a marriage that existed before 2016?

I know one woman who doesn’t ever voice her opinion to her husband or his family on topics like gun control or President Trump’s actions. She made that choice in order to avoid arguments or a divorce. But is the price too high? Have we forgotten how to disagree in a civil way? Can we even have a healthy, supportive relationship with someone who doesn’t share our values or would you want to be married to someone who doesn’t share your values? It’s true we can’t agree on everything, but on some matters the divide is too great to look the other way. Just like friendships and family relationships are being affected by our current administration, so are marriages and dating.

Recently I had two challenging experiences with men I met online. Both men were spiritual with shared interests and everything sounded great until the topic of guns came up. Suddenly men who had been talking about how we are all one and sharing deep spiritual experiences and beliefs became people who were totally out of sync with those beliefs. One man has three bird feeders and lives on the water so he can commune with nature. That same man told me how automatic weapons should be legal and they aren’t the reason so many people have been killed in recent mass shootings. I felt like he became a different person. My silver lining was in the way I handled the conversation. Since we were on the phone, I tried having a logical and respectful discussion. By the third attempt, it became clear to me that such a conversation with him was not possible. Since he was lecturing me and didn’t want to hear my opinion, I finally talked over him and said that I was going to hang up since we weren’t having a real conversation. I then wished him success in finding someone who shared his values. I was pleased that I didn’t allow myself to be drawn into a shouting match or to be intimidated. At one point, I remember asking myself if this was a deal breaker. After all, I do live in Texas and guns are a way of life for a lot of people. I needed to be conscious about where I draw the line. And yes, it was a deal breaker. So I don’t have to ask myself that question again. I can’t and won’t disregard my values for any reason, including, or maybe, especially for a relationship.

The second man also challenged me to examine my values and to understand more deeply the complexity of another human being. Again, all was going well until he started telling me how happy he is that our President is a bully because he can stand up to his North Korean counterpart. Again, my opinion was irrelevant. In fact, he was fully engaged in our conversation until I disagreed with him. He tried to change the topic. I said I had listened to his opinion and I would like him to listen to mine. At that point, he picked up his smart phone and  started reading email while I spoke. As with the previous man, I was getting clear signals that his opinion was the only one that mattered. I’m not willing to be in a relationship with that level of disrespect. As I was saying good-bye, he started talking about his mother who had died of cancer. He couldn’t finish the sentence because he was overcome with tears. I wasn’t able to bring closure in that moment because he left abruptly. To my surprise, he wanted to go out again and contacted me several times even after I said that our values were too different for a relationship to work. My silver lining was witnessing the complexity of a person who is steeped in spiritual learning, has a tenderness that led to sobbing over the death of his mother and also thinks that guns and President Trump are good for the USA. Again my values and boundaries were tested. I know who I am and where I draw the line and I also have more compassion for people whose own values are contradictory and they don’t even realize it.

After a lifetime of abuse, the main silver lining for me was that I consistently chose to end relationships with men who are not willing to listen to me. I have been saying that we must speak up and voice our opinions. That’s true in our personal relationships as well as in the public arena of social justice, the environment, civil rights, and respectful treatment of all living beings.

For Previous Shows Like This:

FREE CHAPTER, THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS, FROM MY BEST-SELLING BOOK, NOTHING BUT NET

To learn more about my unique process that removes hidden blockages, helps you solve your most challenging problems, and achieve success with ease and speed, sign up for my newsletter and receive the chapter as my gift: sign up here

CONTACT DR. PAULA TO SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLEMENTARY 10 MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION

Dr. Paula, The Life Doctor, has helped hundreds of thousands of people improve their health, wealth and relationships through her writing, coaching, and speaking. Contact her today to get started on your personal journey. Recently Dr. Paula Joyce, PhD was chosen by Expertise as one of the 16 Best Life Coaches in Dallas.

Cell: (214) 208-3533

Email:  paula@paulajoyce.com

To learn more about Dr. Paula, please visit her website at www.paulajoyce.com.

To hear more shows from Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit, please click here.

 

Using Adversity To Strengthen Relationships – With Charlie and Linda Bloom

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Empowerment
Using Adversity To Strengthen Relationships – With Charlie and Linda Bloom

tumblr_mq0x9ndqix1rataypo1_400.jpg

Marriage counselors and best-selling authors, Charlie and Linda Bloom recently joined me on Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit to talk about their new book, That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. This was Linda’s second visit and what a delight to now know Charlie, too. They are in a unique position to help couples heal in a profound way because they understand the challenges in a relationship from the perspective of counselors as well as from the perspective of a couple who had to face the pain in their own relationship. They shared much hard-earned wisdom with us. At base, their story is one of two people finding the courage to be vulnerable, to look deeply at their own behavior, and to truly change within themselves to become whole and a worthy partner while also healing their life as a couple. It is much easier to point a finger and assess blame than it is to acknowledge our own role in the conflict and grow where we need to. They say it isn’t about finding the perfect, right person. It’s about working through the differences and accepting who the other person is, especially in the ways they are not like us. Healing takes skills, courage, time, patience, forgiveness, non-attachment, empathy, compassion, and commitment. For more helpful information, listen to this show by clicking here.

Dr. Paula’s Tip of the Week

My Tip from my e-book, 33 Tips for Self-Empowerment is: Walk the Labyrinth. Find a Labyrinth in your area, indoors or out, and walk it. Before you enter it, say a prayer asking for what you want to release and receive. As you walk into the center, you will release what you no longer need. In the center, you will hear answers from your Higher Self, from God, from the spiritual realm. As you walk out, you will be lighter and move more into your true self. The Labyrinth is created through sacred geometry and as such, it holds energy of a very high and positive spiritual nature. No negative energies are allowed to enter. You can get answers to questions and solutions to problems that are causing you pain—emotionally, mentally or physically. When you walk the Labyrinth with others, the sacred space helps you heal relationships, find mutually acceptable solutions, and create closer bonds. Couples, families, friends, or any team or group can choose to walk the Labyrinth together with a specific purpose in mind. When I was with a group of life coaches who were trying to build a business together, I led our group on a Labyrinth walk to help create a team. Although the business partnership didn’t work out for several practical reasons, the friendships we developed did. Twenty years later, I can still call any of them, and I’ll get a call back within the day.

Dr. Paula’s Silver Lining Story

My silver lining story for today is about a small writing group I was in a number of years ago. One member left the group to move to a new city. When she moved back several months later, the relationships within the group had changed. She, however, was expecting to assume her old role. She was very angry when her expectations weren’t met and started disrupting the meetings. We walked the Labyrinth in an attempt to solve the problem and redevelop the group closeness. We then wrote about our experience in the Labyrinth, which was followed by an open group discussion. Not all problems can be solved to everyone’s satisfaction, and she chose to leave the group permanently. My silver lining was allowing myself to let go of my fear of speaking my truth in what had become an extremely tense and unpleasant relationship.

This is what I wrote after walking the Labyrinth:

What’s the boundary between the self and the group? Does responsibility for individual growth have to be subsumed into the will of the group? What does it mean to be part of a group and still an individual? Do I not speak because it might hurt someone else? What about survival of the self? And what about projection? What is reality and what is in my head or a dragon from the past breathing revenge, competition or hurt? Learnings and re-entry are painful. Everything changes. So the cards are thrown up in the air and they land in some new configuration. Are we not all entitled to continued growth and development? How do we work it out? It’s rarely pretty and easy and harmonious. All groups go through discord to reach true intimacy. Are we willing to risk that? Am I willing to risk that? Life is too precious. Learning is too sweet to do it any other way. So the words must be spoken and hurt gone through to reach the other side. 

Marian Stephens’ Story

I was so moved by what Linda and Charlie Bloom offered that I immediately read their book. They give guidance on how to prevent having a breakdown or a breakup in a relationship, and instead, having a breakthrough. I just got married six months ago, and we are nowhere near having a breakup. I have been struggling, however, with how to handle conflict and the overwhelming emotional response I am experiencing with working on healing my mind, body, and spirit. After listening, I realize that if I cannot change some of my behaviors, I will cause more and more damage to the relationship with my husband that I cherish with all my heart.

Linda Bloom found herself feeling that she was the victim of her relationship and circumstances, and I find myself identifying with her in so many ways. I truly was never in the wrong in my last relationship with an abusive man – he instigated fight after fight that ended in physical and verbal violence until I walked away. The problem is that I have been unknowingly positioning myself as the victim every time I have conflict with my husband; using words such as “you should, could, always, never, only…” It’s true that I very rarely start an argument, but I find myself quick to anger and unwilling to take a moment to walk away, catch my breath, and look at my own behavior when an argument arises. It is so much easier to blame and seek an apology from my husband, which he is all too willing to give me because he does not want to hurt me. If I feel vindicated, I never have to deal with the pain of looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for my actions. But, I know in my heart this is untenable and unfair to both of us. Part of my work in healing must be meditation to learn to quiet the storm of anger that rages in my mind when conflict arises–actual conflict with others and the conflict I feel internally when reconciling and working through the past.

In this episode, Dr. Paula asks what relationship you want to heal. I want to repair my relationship with my oldest son. Our entire family is giving so much effort to facilitating this, and he is not responding. We were on vacation at the beach this week, and he got so angry with me that he exploded and told me he will not come back to live with me until I choose between him and my husband. So, this is my new relationship challenge, and I am somewhat at a loss. I am going to continue to learn and grow and apply all of that to my parenting challenges, and, impart what I am learning to my children so they can navigate the hurt and anger they are feeling, too.

Dr. Paula’s Coaching Response

I recognize how much you want to heal your relationship with your son. You must remember, however, that there are two people in this relationship and both people must want to have a healthy relationship for that to happen. No one can create a healthy relationship with another person by themselves. That your 18-year-old son wants you to choose between him and your husband is not an appropriate request, or in this case, ultimatum. Some things you can fix and some you can’t. This is very hard for a mother to acknowledge, but as you noted in the last blog, you have to be selfish and take care of yourself first. Your son should not be allowed to destroy your relationship with your husband or your other children. He needs to learn his place in the family and you need to have the strength to let him know he is not in charge. We all have challenges and disappointments in life. Learning what we can and cannot change is part of being human. Your challenge here is to keep strong boundaries with your son, recognize the legacy of abuse that he learned from his father, and heal the emotional pain that this relationship is causing you. You may not have control over creating a healthy relationship with your son, but you do have control over your response to him and his demands. That’s how you take back your power, heal and create a healthy relationship with yourself.

For more shows on Healthy Relationships:

FREE CHAPTER, THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS, FROM MY BEST-SELLING BOOK, NOTHING BUT NET

To learn more about my unique process that removes hidden blockages, helps you solve your most challenging problems, and achieve success with ease and speed, sign up for my newsletter and receive the chapter as my gift: sign up here

CONTACT DR. PAULA TO SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLEMENTARY 10 MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION

Dr. Paula, The Life Doctor, has helped thousands of people improve their health, wealth and relationships through writing, coaching and speaking. Contact her today to get started on your personal journey. Recently Dr. Paula Joyce, PhD was honored as one of the 16 Best Life Coaches in Dallas.

Cell: (214) 208-3533

Email:  paula@paulajoyce.com

To learn more about Dr. Paula, please visit her website at www.paulajoyce.com.

To hear more shows from Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit, please click here.

Susan’s First Date

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Empowerment
Susan’s First Date

Susan’s First Date

an excerpt from How to Have A Match Made in Heaven

by Ariel & Shya Kane

mmih-3-awards-trans.jpgIt was still cool at 6:30 in the morning as we strolled barefoot with Susan down Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio beach. We were in the midst of one of our Costa Rican Self Discovery Adventures that we hold each winter. People come from all over the world to join us and use it as a time to get away from the normal routine of one’s life and relax. It is opportunity to look at the mechanics of your life in a gentle, lush environment without judging what you discover; a time to play and let your life unfold.

On this particular morning, Susan was talking with us about her relationships – or more accurately put, her lack of one. We have known Susan for years and she is such a lovely woman. Perhaps you know her or know someone just like her… She is a mover and shaker at work, well respected in her field, someone who people admire. Early 40’s she is pretty, slim, personable, smart, humble, and absolutely adores baseball. In short, she is a dream gal for most any man.

And yet, over the years we have known her, Susan has not had much luck in relationship. Traditionally she falls head over heals for a guy and eventually, after several months or occasionally a year or two, the relationship ends. Gradually Susan had stopped telling people when she really liked someone. It became embarrassing for her to admit when “things didn’t work out” and yet another one was over.

We asked her what was happening with dating. Grimacing, she replied, “I am taking a break. I just don’t see the point. I never have trouble attracting guys – it just never lasts. Something must be wrong with me.”

Discarding the idea that there was something “wrong” with her, we looked at her approach to dating. We encouraged her to take a transformational, anthropological approach – like a scientist, observing a culture of one – herself, looking non-judgmentally, with awareness. When you do this, the best place to start is where you are. Exactly where you are – in this moment.

“How are you approaching things right now?” we asked her. “Start to bring awareness to this moment, this instant, not someday.”

As we looked at her life in that moment, it became obvious that in her attempt to fix her “problem,” set things in order and make for a better future, Susan missed so much — The caress of the breeze as it tousled her hair, the sand between her toes, the steady lap of the surf.

As we conversed, it became apparent that Susan was rarely simply present to where she was. She was habitually driving forward for some desired result that was supposed to make her happy or fulfilled or better — in the future. It became apparent even in how she approached the conversation. For Susan it was a challenge simply to walk with us. She was so accomplished at thinking and strategizing that she kept losing sight of where she was. She missed the lovely shells, the sea foam and the way her muscles moved as she walked. She either charged ahead or got lost in thought and barely moved at all.

We asked her if she had ever dated more than one person at a time. She looked surprised by the question, as if we were suggesting that she was somehow “loose” or unwholesome. So we explained: “Do you ever meet one fellow for lunch on Tuesday and another for a movie on Friday night, etc. so that you can see who might really work for you before you jump ahead into a relationship? Sheepishly, she said “No.” That was when we suddenly realized that Susan had never actually “dated”. Instead, she automatically married: as soon as she went out with someone, she was trying to make him “the one.” Somewhere in the back of her mind he was already her mate – the perfect relationship.

We encouraged her to keep relaxing into herself and into her body for the next few days and forget about getting ahead. Let go of her plans to date or to not. Just be there and have fun.

Two days later during the course, Susan piped up with excitement about her first boogie boarding experience. As she spoke, we looked around and Ralf was beaming. Ralf is an actor who is gay and married. Due to their work schedules, he and his spouse had to come to separate courses, so he was there by himself. He is accomplished at riding waves and Susan had asked him to teach her. Here is what she said:

“I asked Ralf to teach me to boogie board because it looked like so much fun and it was obvious that he was really good at it. At lunch we went to the beach and waded out into the water. Although I was nervous, he made it OK. I hugged the board and the next thing I knew, the wave was coming. As I stood there, I realized that this was the one – the one where I could finally learn to boogie board. Much sooner than I expect Ralf said, “Jump” and I did. I made it all the way into shore! It was great.”

Ralf grinned, “Susan really listened! She timed it perfectly and caught the wave.”

Both Susan and Ralf were so happy. He felt smart, listened to and empowered and so did she. That was when the realization hit us. This was Susan’s first date. It was the first time she had ever “gone out” with a man without the mental computer casting forward to possible futures. She was simply being there enjoying the moment.

We realized that if Susan could bring that type of engagement to going on actual dates, where she was there simply to have fun and have that experience be complete in and of itself – not leading anywhere other than this moment, her life would transform. All it would take now is awareness. She habitually plans for the future. With awareness, Susan can now suspend that habit and be there. Who knows what will happen for her now – Having fun is a pretty powerful way to start any serious relationship.

Kane-player-wide.jpgSince 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.

How to Reignite Your Love and Deepen Your Intimacy

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Health & Wellness
How to Reignite Your Love and Deepen Your Intimacy

The Womb Happy Hour online radio show recently celebrated its one-year anniversary on Voice America Health & Wellness. During this celebratory episode, the lovely Emma K. Viglucci creator of  Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC joined the show, for a second time, to share ways to how to reignite your love and deepen your intimacy with your partner.

In case you missed the eye and heart opening show you can listen here.

It’s important to remember that the sacral chakra relates to relationships, emotions, passion and joy. If you’re shutting down  or overly sensitive to how you feel about yourself or your partner, it’s time to focus on balancing your energy.

With over twenty years of experience, Emma shared valuable insights to the qualities that attract you to your partner is often the qualities that create friction, the importance of understanding your specific love language and the 5 strategies she’s developed to create intentional relationships. Emma even suggested on the fly powerful ideas to two ladies who called in with relationship challenges. The conversation went by so fast that we couldn’t cover all the topics we wanted to talk about.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and ways to support your partnership everyday, here are some “Ask Emma” questions and her feedback:

  • Is there a critical ingredient based on your vast experience that’s needed to create intimacy? Is that different if the relationship is very strained?

The critical ingredient is showing up with our best Self at much as possible and to make amends when we don’t.

A lot of times we get in our own way. We get triggered or we are generally not very well internally resourced – we are tired, hungry, stressed, overwhelmed, and such which does not allow us to show up well.

Patience, compassion, understanding, tolerance, flexibly, energy and other characteristics needed to have wonderful, rewarding and successful interactions with our partner are readily accessible for our use.

This ingredient is even more important when the relationship is strained because in conflict we are interacting with our defenses and ego, which are not part of our best Self. Actually our worst self shows up in these instances. This is how relationships go from bad to worse.

If the partners refuse to own what they are putting in and taking ownership for changing their side, but instead keep waiting for their partner to change, they have very little chance of creating a wonderful and successful relationship.

  • Usually when couples are getting to know each other they focus on having fun. Why do you think partners forget about focusing on fun as a priority?

Initially partners want to please and get a commitment from the other. Eventually, the practical of life becomes more salient as they enter higher levels of commitment and engage in creating a joint life together.

Melding two lives into a joint life that fully honors and serves both partners is not an easy feat. This is where partners get stuck in power struggles to ensure they are OK. This where they create dissatisfying repeating patterns triggering and hurting each other over and over, where their bond starts to erode.

Tending to their own and each other’s feelings and needs is very important to break the cycle and create the relationship they desire.

Fun is an important factor that serves as a buffer to protect the bond, builds good will, and leads to connection and intimacy.

  • There’s a lot more attention to “mindfulness” “self-love / self-care” “law of attraction” etc. Do you think this trend has helped the couples you work with or do you see that these trendy catch phrases are talked about but not necessarily practiced?

I whole-heartedly believe in minding our own state to assist us to show up with our best Self. Mindfulness and Self-Care Practices are the corner stone of our wellbeing, and Knowing our Self.

Unfortunately, as simple as these practices can be, they are not always easy to implement and sustain.

Some people have more stuff to get around to be able to be open and disciplined to put these in place… I find that clients that embrace “self-care” practices the most are the clients that do the best in our work. They are able to create and sustain the changes with a lot more ease, and their transformation is just astounding.

  • You talk about goodness on paper…with social media dating apps…there’s not even a lot of anything on paper or in a profile. Do you have any suggestions for people dating or let’s say someone was married and they’re just starting to get back in the dating world. Do you help a lot of single people?

Not seeing much on paper or a profile is probably a good thing. I think that people get too hang-up on “good-on-paper” when attraction, compatibility, and relationship success have actually very little to do with these things.

Attraction is more of an energetic and unconscious process… This is why sometimes the most unlikely people partner up.

The most passionate and attracted partners the stronger their unconscious match. This can be troublesome for some if they haven’t addressed unresolved past issues and wounds. There is a pattern to what we attract and recreate.

Our job as singles is to clean up our stuff as best as we can so the attraction is to another more evolved Self, rather than someone that will help us continue to repeat patterns so we have the opportunity to crack the code (properly get our needs met and create a satisfying life).

SO, my suggestion for singles is to learn themselves and live an intentional life, and to use their gut in the dating world.

I help singles with this process so they attract and create the relationship they desire.

Remember if you’re having challenges with your partner, seek out support either together or even on your own! Connection, fun and intimacy and deep love is possible with your partner! You can reignite your love.

About Emma K. Viglucci

Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com

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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Empowerment
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.

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