There are times in all our relationships, personal and professional, where things build up. Unmet needs or overbearing demands congeal into resentments, and we can get overwhelmed. I have noticed that the first indication that things are building up, is that I start to complain a lot to my friends and beloved. I complain about how other people are not doing what I think they should, or are deliberately thwarting my happiness! If I don’t attend to what is bugging me, in a way that it can be resolved, then I can get very stuck. I start to shut down, and withdraw from the person I am upset with. I may then aggressively push back when other innocent people ask me to do things, or collapse into tears at the end of the day and feeling like I am ‘failing’ at life.
A complaint often masks a desire or need, one we don’t feel we can directly ask for. Some part of us feels unsafe to ask, so we create a barrier and don’t fully express ourselves. The physical and...
Over the last month, power dynamics in relationships has been a hot topic for my clients. In particular, women have been describing what I call ‘the command’, where a man instructs a woman about what she should be doing. I know for myself, this immediately shuts down my body and my heart. And it is difficult to transition from these interactions into more sensual and sexual spaces. So, what is going on here between men and women in romantic relationships?
Often the command is not so much about the words but the tone. “Could you move please” is not a polite request, but instead has an insistent and aggressive tone. In my own relationship, I find this dynamic can come up around a physical task.
Recently my beloved and I hired bicycles. As we started to mount up, I felt he was instructing me about what I should be doing, rather than sharing helpful information. He was definitely in his command tone. Let’s talk about my...
On Monday, my beloved and I held a Soul Love Ritual where we consciously committed to go deeper with each other in our relationship and we symbolised this by the ‘traditional’ wearing of rings. It was beautiful, raw, real and we both glowed as the new energy swirled in.
I want to share with you how we consciously closed out the old patterns, hurts and assumptions about each other before we moved into the new commitment.
You can use the process we designed for anything you want to consciously release in your own life (including the whole of 2020 if you like:)
For the last couple of months, I have driven myself crazy creating relentless promotion and event deadlines (not to mention cash outlays). My daily demands (laments) were that I needed to promote my Finding Freedom with Chronic Illness course for women living from serious illness. I also needed to promote my Relationship Workshop. I needed to get along to some networking events. I needed to get some new branding, and I absolutely had to hire a graphic designer! My business was going to flail and fail without one. Why? Well one of my big assumptions was that I could not promote my course to a breast cancer organisations without an engaging flyer.
Under the weight of these “must do’s” I became anxious, overwhelmed, edgy and to be honest I wasn’t a lot of fun to be around. Does this sound familiar? OK, you may not need a graphic designer, but I am sure you have a list of things you just have to do before you can...
Over the last couple of months I have fallen in love with a generous, intelligent man who knows his own emotional depth. Some of the fabulous aspects of romantic relationships are the opportunities to be seen and held in all your moods, wisdom, vulnerability and let’s face it at times – crazy. And that’s a good thing right?
Most of us did not have great relationship role models growing up. My first romantic relationships were probably a lot like yours, filled with excitement or more accurately what I would now call high drama! I showed up to relationships with a whole lot of unmet childhood needs, masquerading as high expectations of how romantic love could fill me up. I wanted the other person to embrace and love all the parts of myself I found difficult to bear. And they wanted me to do the same.
In the end life teaches us all, that our stuff… is actually OUR stuff!
Over the last decade I have learned to...
I like to think of myself as a mature adult. However, I know I make decisions and have reactions that are shall we say, are not the most mature option available.
I have come to understand how all too frequently it is either my inner child or inner teenager actually ‘running’ parts of my life like my dating and relating, or my finances.
Of course the smaller voices, the vulnerable as well as joyous, playful parts of the child are present within all of us. There is great beauty in the innocence and even some of the scheming of the inner teenager who really just wants to have fun!
I don’t want to stifle these parts of myself, but I do want to know they are not making critical decisions in my life. Therefore, it is useful to have some awareness and discernment of when they have the ‘wheel’ steering my life at any moment. Otherwise, a crash is usually just around the corner no matter how much hooning along my child or teenage parts think...
We often think about where we want to be – the next career move, next apartment, next loving romantic partner or the next time we fit into a size 10 dress. Once we get there, then things will be fine, ‘I will be less anxious, less stressed and much more relaxed!’
Once we achieve what we feel we are so desperately lacking, then like magic all this anxiety will fall away. However, sadly, this approach can create an abiding anxiety that seems to haunt us in our daily lives.
We try to cope with this daily anxiety as best we can. We may numb it out with shopping, alcohol, staying busy socially and over-working. When we do this, we are often numbing a range of deeper emotions as well. Sadness, grief, longing for love, security and even joy can go get buried in our tense stomach or aching shoulders.
In the face of all of this, we might even collapse under the emotional and physical pressure and then we have permission to turn the world off for a day or a week. Often our...
In our culture women are not encouraged to be in their authentic, mature feminine self. Most of us don’t even know what that would feel like. Yet it is possible stand in your natural power, and be the adult in your own life.
Being a mature feminine woman is heady stuff, and not for the faint-hearted. It takes some growing up, and being accountable. The upside is, it brings you more freedom in your relationships, more choices, and the capacity to feel a lot more joy. So how do you get there?
The first thing you need to do is admit you do shut down and lose your voice. It’s hard to admit this, and much more difficult to accept. And yet, when you take this step, you are on the way back to your natural power. This is the first thread you start to pull and follow, and it will lead you back to when your voice shut down, and ultimately how to speak up for yourself.
In my own family I felt like the only people...
It’s time to talk about it.
I rolled out of bed one Sunday morning and made it as far as the hallway before my whole world started to swirl and I was falling. Logic tells you that once you reach the floor the falling should stop. Even though I knew I was lying on the floor, my stomach kept lurching. I frantically tried to grasp at something, anything to stop the sensation. It didn’t work.
And so began the last five years of my life living with Migraine Associated Vertigo – basically instead of getting the pounding headache we normally associate with migraines, you get – I get – vertigo. The problem is that lying in the dark, going to sleep and waking up the next morning doesn’t fix this type of migraine. I spent months lying in bed 24/7 feeling like I was falling. Every sound, every movement, every turning on of the light – made it worse.
There was no alternative.
I had to take serious medication and begin the ascent back up to...
It has taken me years to come to terms with one of the most obvious truths about intimate relationships: that there is labour in love.
We have all heard that you can’t change a person, and that loving someone is accepting them as they are. These ideals sound great in theory, but let’s face it, none of us actually practices this with others or even ourselves.
Perhaps like me, you added some fine print:
“I accept you wholeheartedly, except when you do precisely the thing that annoys me the most, after I have very patiently explained a hundred times how you should do it differently”.
And therein lies the rub: it’s easy to love others when your loved one is being adorable and reasonable, tenderly loving you back. But there is grit to intimacy, the constant dance of ease and challenge, of opening and closing your heart, of feeling generous of spirit sometimes and at others downright miserly towards them.
Despite the idealism of romantic love, this is exactly...