Tag Archives: love is all that matters

three simple things

It’s no secret that relationships require maintenance. Heck, even the best romance hits a rough patch now and then. When a dull or even sharp crisis arises, our primitive brain kicks in and we (predictably) revert back to cave girl fight or flee behavior. Our primitive brain equates conflict with a sabertooth tiger and then we say and do things that we later come to regret. Does it have to be this hard?

In a word, no. In his relationship bible called Getting the Love You Want, Harville Hendrix has  an exercise he uses with troubled couples and it works so well he uses it in his own marriage as a daily practice. I read about this little drill last night before I went to sleep, and I dreamed about it all night. It is, quite simply, brilliant. Hendrix calls the exercise ‘three things.’

When a pair of anguished lovers come to Hendrix to help resolve their disputes, they agree on the “boundaries” of the therapy, and then they begin with the ‘three things.’  Each partner in the relationship writes down a list of ten things that they would like the other to do for them. These are pleasant things that make them feel safe, loved, secure in the lovingkindess of the other. These could be  things like ‘bring me flowers,’ or ‘rub my neck for five minutes,’  or ‘make me toast in the morning.’ Small things, elegant gestures of affection.

Once the lists are made, each partner agrees to do three things each day from the other’s list, as a gift with no strings attached. They perform the tasks as an act of love, not of negotiation or a barter for something else. Often, these are behaviors that each may have performed when they were still in the rosy courtship phase of their relationship, thoughtful things they did when their only intention was to please the other. Sometimes these are gestures that as a child made the person feel totally safe and loved in the world. Hendrix found that as the partners performed these behaviors, their attitudes and feelings began to soften, that love is able to overpower the jealousy or insecurity or anxiety that the ego had become fixated upon, and love became to most dominant feeling once again.

Sounds so simple, right? Instead of digging in, it only takes one to enter choose grace for the other to put his or her guard down long enough to feel those yummy feelings we only want to feel anyway, right? I think that in a healthy, robust relationship we tend to do things to please our partner naturally. But it’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get caught up in kids and cars and careers and yaddah. The best relationships I know are ones where two people consciously make an effort to make the other a priority. But just in case, it’s good to make three simple things a habit. Love, C

My two cents: good habits trump bad habits every time!

♥♥♥

I love this post C, and I so get it.  Abraham says, if there are nine things you like about your partner and one thing you don’t, if you focus on the one thing, the relationship won’t work, but the opposite is also true, if there are nine thing you dislike about your partner and one thing you adore and you focus on that one thing your relationship will flourish.

Sometimes when I have a new client and after I am clear about what we are doing with their hair, I try to get to know them, their life, what is important to them. Hey, I spend a lot of time with my clients and I really develop a relationship with them.  Some people are a little harder to get to know than others.  A great way to really get someone to talk and open up is to ask them about  how they met their spouse or about their  wedding.  You can’t even imagine the glow of someone who is almost time traveling back to a time when they were young and in love, and probably haven’t felt that kind of love for their significant other in I don’t even know how long.

Forget about how much their husband of 25 years just made them crazy out of their minds just this morning at breakfast, ask them about the way that man asked for their hand and he turns into price charming in the here and now.  I have done this on more than one occasion and I have to say it is quite lovely to see the change in the face of someone who just minutes before was tired, feeling old, possibly unappreciated, and not very hopeful, turn into a beautiful girl, so hopeful and full of promise before your very eyes.

I’m not talking about making someone out to be something they are not, what I am suggesting is that you look for the best in your partner, or business associate, or friend.  Focus on the best parts of them. The reasons why they are in your life in the first place.  And by the way you are not doing this for them, you are doing this for you.  When you focus on all the wonderful things about someone you love, someone you chose to spend your whole life with or someone who you pick to be your best friend or maybe your child, it just plain feels good.  Revisit why you decided to love that person in the first place. xo-K

My two cents:  Focus on what is great about the people you love, not for their benefit but just because it feels so good.


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family matters

I had a great bonding session with my brother last weekend.  Our “big” sister has moved Mom and Pop in with her so she can take better care of them. After a lifetime of independent living, they’re finally reaching a stage where they need a little assistance, and we are grateful our sister is there for them.

In the meantime, said sister has put the parent’s house on the market. For the past 20 years, they’ve lived in a small resort community in a modest little waterfront home. Last Friday, my brother called me and said that he was driving up the coast to paint the parental unit’s home, a long-0verdue task. Being no stranger to home improvements, and having volunteered for the assignment in a generous moment, my brother phoned and called my bluff.

“B” and I are the youngest two of five children and even though we had the shared experience of growing up in the same family, we haven’t been close for years. This weekend was a rare chance for us to spend time together as grown up people.

I love my brother. That said, we could not be more different. He’s a good husband, a great dad to two amazing boys, and is a rigidly conservative Christian. On the other hand, I am divorced, the closest I’ve come to mothering is owning pets, and have been known to dance naked under a pagan moon. The thing is, we’re family. No matter how different we are, there’s a sameness that there’s no escaping. We have a shared past, a genetic bond that counts.

So this weekend, we painted. We told jokes, shared insights, drank good coffee and avoided the really touchy subjects of God, religion, politics, because that’s just asking for trouble. We were on a mission of peace, and worked under the flag of detente.

At one point however, we had a disagreement. We both shared our differing opinions like adults, and then he went ahead and did it his way, anyway. FOOM!  I went from zero to bitch in about six seconds. But, what did I do? I stuffed it (I know, I know, I’m learnin’ here!). But he wasn’t fooled for a minute. “Are you mad at me?” he asked. And then Hurricane C let loose. Oh, hells yeah, I was mad. And being the darling man he is, B listened while I vented. He didn’t fight back, he just listened until I felt heard and ran out of steam, and then we moved on to another topic. Before long, we were laughing and joking, working side by side again.

He doesn’t know it, but B gave me a huge gift. By letting me use him for communication practice, I got a little better with feeling safe about sharing my feelings. Big deal? Huge. Love ya, B! Love, C

My two cents: good relationships take practice. Appreciate the people who let you use your training wheels!

♥♥♥

See, it just goes to show you that just because we are  writing this stuff doesn’t mean we have it all figured out.  Far from it.  The practice of writing this blog is helping us grow and learn in such  a huge way it is absolutely amazing.  I have become so hyper-aware of stuff when it comes up, if I am talking to C on the phone –and in case you didn’t know, C and I are rarely in the same place at the same time.  We live a state apart sharing these lovely thoughts with y’all, so most of our interaction is on speaker phone, with one of us taking notes. If  she starts going out (ie. unconscious, or as Abraham calls it  out of the Vortex), I stop her in her tracks and tell her, “You gotta blog about this, NOW, while it is still fresh.”  And she does, and she works her stuff out and is on to the next thing.  How did we live before we started this?

Even doing this on a daily basis, we still can get caught up in stuff as it is going on.  I think we have all been doing it so long, it’s just what we do.  Stuff it down, justify, get our panties in a bunch, pretty much anything but just deal with whatever is going on right when it’s going on.  Seems kinda silly when you look at it that way, but everyone seems to do the same thing when it comes to conflict.  Even minor conflict.

I don’t have a huge family. I am an only child and we didn’t have a lot of religion growing up, but I think my dad still thinks I am kind of odd with my positive spin to life. . . like it’s a bad thing.  I’ve spent most of my life just not speaking up to my parents if they upset me.  I just stayed away from them until I was over it.  Yea,   that is what I used to do. Now, I speak up when I’m upset  and I think it really has brought us closer.

Anyway, it can be challenging to break old patterns, especially ones you’ve been practicing all your life. But seriously? You can do it, and right now is a great time to start! xo-K

My two cents:  Practice with the people who are close to you, especially family, where there’s a bit of a built in safety net, but you probably won’t need one.

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let me be your angel

I have a dear client, Celia, a single mom, special ed teacher, who among other things traveled to Africa to build homes for the Bead for Life Foundation. She made her transition last week, and she was an angel.

What does it take to be an angel?  Well, my dear friend was a good role model who led by example,  but it can be easier to make a difference than you think.  It is so easy to make eye contact and give someone a smile, allow someone to merge into traffic in front of you with a wave, just letting someone know, I see you. Some people never feel that they are really seen.  Do that little extra, give a compliment, a bit of encouragement to a friend. Even sending good thoughts to someone, a little blessing.  Tell your kids or your partner how much you love and appreciate them every day. Never miss an opportunity to spread the love.

Even being happy yourself can really rub off on someone and make them feel a little bit better.

A few years ago my sweet grandma made her transition.  I was there with her when she went, and I cried my eyes out.  After she was gone, I realized that I would never be able to talk to her, laugh with her, see her beautiful face, again.  I saw her pretty regularly, as she lived with my parents and my daughter spent time there while I was at work. As much as I saw her though, I did have some regret that I was always in such a hurry and didn’t just slow down, maybe stop and put my freaking purse down for a minute and sit to visit a bit with my Grandma. Why was I always in such a hurry, anyway?

So, I guess what I am trying to say is be kind to the people around you, give a smile to a stranger. It takes so little effort and feels so good.  Tell the people in your life that you love them. Spend time and enjoy your life, because you never know. . . .

I dedicate this little post to Celia, I always looked forward to seeing your smiling face.  xo-K

My two cents:  Open your heart and just love!

♥♥♥

One of my favorite movies is City of Angels. I love so much about it, but especially the idea that there are Angels. Everywhere.  I was introduced to the idea of Angels as a fact of life by a friend who entered my life about 20 years ago, stayed around for a while and then like an Angel, left when her assignment was complete.  Angels bring me comfort, and they bring me joy, and they remind me that I too, can be an emissary of the Divine. A couple of years ago, I had a friend who after a heroic battle with cancer, made her transition. She was an Angel in every way and when I think of her now, I recall the photo of her displayed at her memorial. In it, she is hiking a mountain trail, looking into the camera with a big grin and a splay-fingered wave. So full of joy, so full of love. I can recall another Angel in action: a couple of years ago, when K’s grandma was still here, I spent the night at K’s house, and so too, had her grandma because K’s parents were out of town. In the morning, I watched the sweet interaction between K and and Grandma A as K made her breakfast. The connection between them was a thing of beauty. Angels. They’re everywhere. Love, C

My two cents: each act of love is the act of a generous heart. Try as you might, you can’t give it all away.

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losing yourself in love

Relationships are all about balance, you know? Give too little, and they wither on the vine. Give too much, and you run the risk of losing your sense of self. Oh, yeah. . .been there, done that, bought the whole truckload of tee shirts!

Why do we give ourselves away so easily after we’ve worked so hard to become the bright, radiant, sassy, sexy, capable goddesses that we are? I don’t think it’s because we’re flawed. I think it’s because we are so amazing, that we care so completely. Our well of compassion is so full and so deep, it feels like we have an endless supply to give to those we love. We have so much love to give that it seems impossible to give too much. Unfortunately, we’re also conditioned to put ourselves at the end of that people-to-love, list so that after we’re done doing for others and doing for others and doing for others, our well runs dry and we snap like on old dry twig. It’s easy to get lost in love. Thank goodness, we have our girlfriends, our sisters,  our daughters, to remind us to ‘put our own oxygen mask on first.’

Here’s the thing about goals: they have a way to completing themselves when you write them down. Like magic! I suggest that you make three goals for self care and that you share them with your best friend, who will monitor your progress and help you celebrate when you achieve them.

1. Take time for yourself each day. Even if it’s only five minutes locked in the bathroom, listening to your favorite music on your iPod. Do it.

2. Do one nice thing for yourself each month. Get a pedi. Take a bubblebath. Go for high tea at the Four Seasons. Do it.

3. Once a year, get away. Plan a girls weekend. Go on a retreat. Take a seminar. Do it.

This isn’t about indulgence. Okay, maybe it is. But the point is this: make you the focus of you once in a while. Give yourself some of that sweet lovin’ you rain on everyone around you. Nurture yourself. Love yourself. You’ll be a better person for it. Love, C

My two cents: remember, you are a goddess! Treat yourself like one.

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I was just having three hour coffee with my dear friend discussing this very subject.  I have been dealing with resistance and working through that.  I feel as if I have made some headway, and this was a big one for me.  When I am single, I have no problem filling myself up, and taking time for me.  I have my weekly massage, and a pedi once a month, got that down no problem.  Even being a mom, I make time for me.  I think that is being a good role model for my daughter, take care of you, then give to others.  Makes sense, right?  I was just  having a little anxiety around still taking care of me, doing the things I like to do and not putting myself last when I have a man in my life.  I have lost myself before, but you know what?  I know now, that I will consciously care for myself.  Between chatting with my friend for hours around this and now reading C’s post, I know that I can stay me even when I become a we.

Maybe, just to be safe I will print this out and post it on my bathroom mirror as a reminder.  xo-K

My two cents:  Be true to you!

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I am willing to love

“All you need is Love.” — The Beatles

Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here. I’m willing to bet that you don’t love yourself enough. Yes, you, my darling. You don’t love yourself enough. Do you want to change that? Are you willing to change that? Repeat after me: I AM willing to allow myself, to love myself, fully and unconditionally, just as I AM.

Wow. Doesn’t that feel good? Go to your quiet place and repeat that for about five minute and see how you feel. You can change. Start today. Start by being willing to love yourself more, and before you know it, you will. Love you! C

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match got your tongue?

Not long ago, I joined an online dating service. I recently moved to a new city, am working and networking, and after a year, finally feel ready to start auditioning candidates for the starring role in my next great love story. It’s actually quite an interesting process, if you’ve never done it. It’s a little like catalog shopping, where you’re both the catalog and the shopper. Anyway.

One of my all-time favorite movies is The Fifth Element. In this sci-fi film, Bruce Willis plays Corben Dallas, a retired cop/cab driver in the year 2214. Dallas is motoring along, minding his own business one day, when Leeloo (Milla Jojovich) falls out of the sky and into the back seat of his cab. He doesn’t know it, but she’s the fifth element (love). All he knows, is the minute he lays eyes on her, he’s smitten. Wouldn’t it be nice if finding your match was that easy?

Last week I received an email from a guy who seemed to fit some of my more compelling requirements. Has a job. Posts a nice series of photos. Loves his labrador retriever. He’s not Corben Dallas, but cute enough. We exchange a couple of exploratory emails. I’m witty and charming, he’s funny and down to earth. We have some things in common. I start to feel a little tingly.  This is probably my favorite phase of cyber dating. You trade puns, share flattering secrets about yourself, you cyber flirt. It’s safe, it’s fun, it’s fraught with possibility.

After a couple of friendly emails, he suggests we meet. Actually, he says he’d like to treat me to dinner at a local restaurant. So retro, I think. So sweet! We exchange a few more emails pending our Date, and I share them with K. He’s funny! I tell her. Isn’t that cute? I have a feeling about this, she says. I know, I say, right?

And then a quirky thing happened. The evening of our Date, he called to adjust our meeting time and I was at a loss for words. This never happens to me. . . ask K! I have a word for every occasion. Talking to people is a major part of my job, and I’m sort of good at it. Cocktail parties, fundraisers, seminars, you name it, I can talk it. Oh, well, I thought, and glossed over my little social hiccup. You can’t always be a sparkling conversationalist, right? And then we met at the assigned time and it happened again, this weird, stumbling, foot-in-the-mouth feeling. What the heck? Again, I blew it off. We had a nice enough time, two strangers eating food at the same table.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a match. Nice guy, nice girl, no sweeping sunset finale. Although we did see a coyote outside the restaurant window, which was surreal and magical. But I digress. This is what I think happened. Two people seemingly a fair match, meet up. But in this case, the two people are slightly out of phase, like a three-D movie without the glasses. Sort of fuzzy. Not quite in focus, like a movie where the picture and the dialogue are out of sync. He’s not my guy. I’m not his girl. Do I feel defeated? Not in the least! Say tuned — the adventure continues.  Love, C

My two cents: Sometimes dessert comes first. Enjoy the tingly, flirty phase of infinite possibility.

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I have to say I am no expert in online dating, and since I’m on sabbatical from dating at the moment, I’ll have to dig into the archives of first date/ blind dates memories. And boy, I’ve had  my share of those!

There is nothing more fun and exciting than when you have been hoping to meet someone new, someone big, and a friend, co-worker, or even a dating website tells you they think they have found the someone that you’ve been looking for.  After you get the lowdown of what he does, what he likes, and what he looks like along with a bunch of other important and trivial information that sounds good, admit it. . . don’t you start to go there?

Oh, you know what I mean:  you haven’t met him in person yet, maybe you’ve  exchanged some lengthy e-mails, maybe had a phone call or two.  You decide it’s going pretty well and decide it’s time to meet in person, just something casual you say, coffee or a quick glass of wine.  No pressure, keep it breezy, but there you go. . . maybe this is my guy, maybe he is The One.  Off you go,  into the future with someone you haven’t even met yet.  Imagination going wild, and it’s all so exciting!!!  Could it really be this easy?

Don’t get me wrong here, I am not trying to make anyone, including myself, feel silly. Oh yeah, I’ve done it too, MANY times. And guess what?  IT’S FUN! Well, you don’t want to go too overboard with the whole anticipation thing.  You have to be somewhat  realistic, but in the time before the actual meeting, have fun with it.  Play the wouldn’t-it-be-nice-game.  Life is supposed to be fun and so is dating.  So what if your blind date isn’t a match.  Sure you might feel a little or a lot disappointed but don’t be hard on yourself.  It’s good practice in getting clear about what you want,  so try not to be too  bummed out if all you got out of the evening was dinner out.  And maybe one time, maybe even next time. . .your silly fantasy will come true!  And like I have said before and will probably say many times more, it only takes one  One. xo-K

My two cents:  Enjoy ALL aspects of you life as much as you can, and that includes dating.


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haven't you loved a lot?

You may be in love right now. Maybe not. But when you think about it, over the years, throughout your life, haven’t you loved a lot? And haven’t you been loved in return? It gives me the warm fuzzies to think back on my first crush, a certain sweetheart, or even a recent flirt. All added up, you and me, we, have loved. A lot! Some believe that love never fades. You may not be feeling it this red-hot minute, but once created, love never dies.

Recently, I was sorting through boxes of memorabilia, trying to figure out what to keep, and what had passed the universal expiration date of ‘worth holding onto.’  Several times, I opened an envelope or card from a long-forgotten friend, someone I had not thought of in years, but who nevertheless in that long-ago moment had written a note expressing gladness for our friendship or love, and I was reduced to tears. Love never fades. We may forget it’s there from time to time, but it never forgets us.

Marianne Williamson says, “Love is what we were born with.” And in the end, love is all that matters. All the love you’ve ever known, will ever know, remains in your heart. It never fades and it never forgets what really matters.  Love!  love-C

My Two Cents: go tell someone you love them!

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Twas’ not my lips you kissed but my soul– Judy Garland

Thats’s how I felt, first love, age 15.  First time I fell in love with love and I’ve been hooked ever since.  Every boyfriend, romantic comedy and sappy Nicholas Sparks novel. Everything about love was and is magical to me.  How people meet, come together, the whole process has always fascinated and delighted me.  What attracts you to one person and not another?  How can you have these intense feeling for someone you barely know?  Why are you so drawn to someone like the planets or something else designed the whole thing?  I have loved a lot and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Even when there is a dry spell between relationships whether by choice or by chance you can tap into the FEELING of love through wonderful memories.  That is what people love most about love, it’s how it makes you FEEL.

I guess it has become one of my life’s missions, a life lesson or maybe just a wonderful hobby, to learn all I can about love.  xo-K

My two cents:  Think back to one of your favorite romantic memories, sit with it and savor it.


 

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