Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lessons from Spinning Class: How You can get to 42+ Years of Marriage

The other day in spinning class our instructor mentioned it was Senior Ditch Day for her daughter at school. That brought the memories flooding back for all of us -- including the married couple on my right.

I overheard the wife say, "We had senior ditch day, too!"

Her husband of 42 years said, "You did? No way!" He was genuinely surprised.

How cool is it that?! Right there in an everyday, ordinary spinning class this married couple learned something new about each other? I love that!

If we want to get to 42+ years of marriage it will be important for us to keep the conversations flowing and interesting, too. We all know good communication in marriage helps us stay connected, and we have to make an effort at it in this busy, busy world of ours.

You know me, I'm all about the tools -- so here is a handy little resource to help you get some conversations started if you are interested: 101 Conversation Starters for Couples by Gary Chapman and Ramon Presson. It is packed with fun conversation ideas for you and your spouse!

But there was something even more powerful than a conversation going on there in the spinning room -- it is how they got to the conversation -- by taking the spinning class together. Had one of them not been there, this cool conversation would never have happened.

This, my friends, is significant, according to Willard Harley, author of His Needs, Her Needs: Building and Affair Proof Marriage.

Harley says one of the top 10 needs of a man is to have a recreational partner in his wife – someone to do something with. He explains that men prefer to bond by interacting side-by-side with their spouse. That is different than how women prefer to interact -- we prefer face-to-face interactions.

For example, in my marriage I have sometimes found myself camping without indoor plumbing, fishing with yucky bait, or sporting some sexy eye and ear protection at the shooting range when I would really rather be curled up reading a good book or relaxing at the spa.

I have learned to do these things with my spouse because it makes him feel loved and it helps us bond through a shared activity. I can literally see the joy on his face when he is doing things that he loves! Sometimes we have to put our own comfort aside because it is in the best interest of the relationship.

If you need a little inspiration in your marriage, contact me at 239.292.2882 or I can guide you through a personalized marriage tune-up that will create lasting change in just a few weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Is There Always Something to be Grateful for?

Saturday night Alyssa got a fortune cookie that said, "You will be showered with good luck tomorrow."

Come Monday morning she proclaims her fortune didn't come true.

"Oh," I said. "Really?"

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / demarcomedia

"Really," she said.

"Well, what about the fact that you have been begging me to watch that certain TV show for the past few weeks and we finally watched it together yesterday?"

"Oh," she says with a smile.

"And speaking of TV, what about the RDMA's? You've been looking forward to them for weeks, and they were on yesterday."

"Oh, yeah," she says with a bigger smile.

"And what about that sleepover you've been begging me to schedule -- remember, I scheduled it yesterday morning?"

"Oh, yeahhhhh!"

"I rest my case. I do believe you were showered with good luck yesterday!"

"I guess so!" she says.

Sometimes we might have to reflect a little bit to see the good things that come our way -- even if they are small, they are there! Be on the lookout for all that is good!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

When an Eggshell Cracks from the Outside

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / mhatzapa
Here's some food for thought! (Tee! Hee! Hee!)

"When an eggshell cracks from the outside it's crushed. When it cracks from the inside, a being is born." -- Amma

I read this quote in Gabrielle Bernstein's book, Miracles Now, and it really resonated with me.

So often in life when things go wrong we go looking outside of ourselves for the answers. But this is a fruitless effort. The answers we seek we already know. They are inside of us.

Sometimes people are afraid to look inside, because it seems like it might be scary in there, but that is not what my clients find. They find beauty, peace, strength, courage, compassion, love, joy and happiness.

Oh sure, they find those areas where they have been judgmental, negative, dishonest and lacking in compassion. But once the egg is cracked open and the light can shine in, it starts to heal the negative virtues, and it feels like such freedom! Don't be afraid to do the work! It is so worth it!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Look Up to Find a New Perspective

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Tolchik
Sometimes when life gets busy we plow full steam ahead without slowing down. 

What would it be like if we took the opportunity to slow down and look up more often? Maybe today is a good day for you to try it. 

As you are walking or driving – look up. Look around. Take a deep breath. Notice the clouds and trees and sun. Notice your old familiar surroundings in a new way. See if you can find something beautiful. 

Look up! Who knows, you might just notice a rainbow!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Judgment Separates Us. Understanding Grows Us Closer Together.

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / kavita

I love this quote about judgment from Doe Zantamata:

"It's easy to judge. It's more difficult to understand. Understanding requires compassion, patience, and a willingness to believe that good hearts sometimes choose poor methods. Through judging, we separate. Through understanding, we grow."

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Butterfly and How Struggle Makes Us Stronger

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / ryanking999
I heard a great story yesterday that I would like to share with you ...

One day a woman found the chrysalis of a butterfly. A few days later, a small opening appeared that indicated the butterfly was going to start emerging from it. The woman was excited, so she sat down to watch.

After several hours, she noticed the butterfly was really struggling to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop trying all together. It appeared as if the butterfly had gotten as far as it could on its own.

So the woman decided to help the butterfly by snipping the chrysalis open. The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The woman continued to watch the butterfly because she expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and the body would contract and the butterfly would fly! But neither happened. The butterfly could not fly with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

What the woman did not understand in her effort to help the butterfly is that the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening is God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so it can fly. The butterfly needs the struggle in order to be set free.

This is something to remember when we go through struggles in our lives. If we will let him, God will use the struggle to make us stronger and more beautiful.

The same goes for our loved ones. Sometimes when we see other people struggle we think, “Oh that poor little butterfly,” and we naturally want to help. However, if we step in during that struggle and try to fix it for them, we interfere with God’s process. It is during the struggle when the butterfly becomes strong and more beautiful and ready to fly!