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This was a post circulating on Facebook a few months ago (not mine, as I was trying to find the original author with no success so far). I thought this post was timely as Valentines Day is coming to a close. When I read it initially, it had my mind stirring thinking about love across the spectrum. Would love to know your thoughts on this…

 

ARE YOU WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER?

During a seminar, a woman asked,”How do I know if I am with the right person?”

The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?”

In all seriousness, she answered “How do you know?”

“Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind,” replied the author.

Here’s the answer.

Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love.

People in love sometimes say, “I was swept of my feet.” Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown.

The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found.

People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes.

Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it.

I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later.

Because (listen carefully to this):

The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.

Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner).  Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.

Love is therefore a “decision.” Not just a feeling.

 

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It’s okay to be scared.

Just show up.

It’s okay to doubt yourself.

Trust your inner knowing.

It’s okay to stumble.

In your mistakes truth is revealed.

It is okay to feel vulnerable.

Vulnerability breeds connection.

It is okay to ask questions.

The answers will come.

 

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“Because doing is always a tensing up against and a resisting of what is, because it refuses to take more than minimal satisfaction from the process itself and is overwhelmingly attached to achieving specific results, because it can not easily stop or change direction when new information – internal or external is available. New energy, new resolve, motivation, and enticement must be found to continue. Some things can be achieved by doing, but the cost is very high, and the achievements fortify our belief that we must keep doing, taking us further and further from the essential stillness we long to find, luring us into exclusively identifying with and relying upon our egos ability to do. Doing wears us out.”

-Oriah Mountain Dreamer “The Call”

 

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To Read:

We are buying a fish tomorrow. Maybe it was because of this beautiful essay, or because I bartered it down from a cat with my negotiating son who (just like me at his age) really wants a dog (and like my mom promised me), I told him,”You can have one when you’re 9.” Only I will really get him a dog (or two) at 9, and not a Casio keyboard with a barking dog recorded, because I know how much that hurts. Or maybe he will win the dog jackpot, which is why it’s still hard to think about getting another dog right now…

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I loved this post, and it put me in check with the kinds of questions I ask. I hate being asked: “How was your day?” because no good conversation ever comes from it. So why do I ask my 3-year old that same awful question every day? I’ve started asking him more feeling questions and getting answers I never would have heard before.

As a mother of a daughter, I  wonder what’s going to happen when she enters those pre-teen years of hormonal turbulence. This was another great post giving me faith that kindness conquers all, and it starts with us.

And when I try to wish these needy baby-toddler-preschool years away, (like with babies having ear infections, and crying in pain throughout the night) this post reminds me not to wish it away too quickly and take this season of life for what it is.

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I so love Lisa Jo Baker’s blog, and I can’t wait to get my hands on her book soon.

 

To See:

His art truly inspires loving art for the process versus the product. How magical!

And loved this video, shifting my perspective through selfies.

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To Do:

I am so not a princess, but if I were – can you guess who I’d be? How about you?

I LOVED my strategy session with Kelsie Pallanack to help me get my ducks in a row for an upcoming podcast and tele-summit. And speaking of podcasts, I’m so inspired by what my friend Suzanne Hanna has created. I have gotten hooked on her podcast, her interviews, and compelling conversations about living an inspired life.

My other podcast love? Bliss Beyond Naptime of course! Come and see what my friend and mentor Kathy Stowell has created.  I’m in the middle of Mama Bliss Coaching School and loving this program. It is true soul-work and I’ll be sharing more here in the coming weeks.

 

So what good recommendations do you have for me this week? To read? To See? To Do? Another 48 hours to have it happen~

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Growing up, I liked sick days. Being busy, it was the only time there was nothing “to do” but watch TV, drink tea, eat toast, and rest. (I confess – there were times I was slightly sick, but easily gave myself permission to take the day to get better.)

Now I’m feeling the pressure to be immune to sickness. I’m worried everything will fall apart if I’m knocked off my feet. How will I take care of these little people? There is no time to be sick.

Today was supposed to be a childcare day, but I had a feeling when we woke up my plans were a-changing. After wiping Charlie’s nose ten times in ten minutes and hearing Evan’s cough, I knew a sick day was upon us. It was the first day in a long time we had rain so I wasn’t rushing out for a walk, or to leave the house.

I could feel myself resisting the day already, wanting to be anywhere but here. I had plans and appointments which didn’t involve my children. I didn’t want to be frustrated, knowing writing wouldn’t happen as I’d hoped, as my plans were being erased with every cry for me.

I finally surrendered to the sick day, drank my tea, watched TV – and realized a sick day is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.

photo 5 (1) photo 2 (4) photo 1 (4) photo 4 (1) photo 2 (5) photo 1 (5).

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Re-Writing Motherhood

“Giving birth is little more than a set of muscular contractions granting passage of a child. Then the mother is born.” – Erma Bombeck

I have spent the day thinking of my identity before and after motherhood. Some parts are similar. Other parts fit as awkwardly as my old skinny jeans, which remain in the back of my closet – although I’m not sure I will ever want to wear them again. As mothers, how do we re-write our stories post motherhood? Who was I before becoming a mother? What did I let go of? What do I miss? What birthed inside after motherhood? Society places an emphasis on mourning the parts that are lost, (like those skinny jeans and the idea of losing oneself or one’s ambitions to motherhood) – but I think there is a different story which needs to be told. Who is the woman who is born in the process?

I needed to do my own archaeological dig for those answers, pulling out journals from the weeks after my son’s birth when I could barely form sentences. Mama-brain was in full gear with my hormones feeling more intensely than words held meaning.

There were flashes of beauty, unconditional love, and sacred nourishment, but I also read some painful thoughts from that time. The part of me which had not surrendered myself to new motherhood was at war. I was entangled in an old pattern of over-doing feeling like where I was (with a 3-week old newborn) wasn’t enough. It was a familiar story and theme which occasionally rears its ugly head, although my response post motherhood has become tender. I talk to myself the way I would talk to Evan mid-meltdown, holding the space for his big toddler emotions rather than letting myself become carried away with them.

In the weeks leading up to my son’s birth, I was interviewing women about their BRCA-gene for my book. I had a number of interviews scheduled once he arrived, and I resented these pre-scheduled times, wanting to keep my new motherhood and newborn time sacred.  I began canceling appointments once I realized it just wasn’t working, and then simultaneously beat myself up for backing out and over-committing once again.

But I noticed my inner voice made an appearance in the journal too. After a few pages of a severe self-flogging, there was a seed of self-kindness: “Maybe the ‘yes’ wasn’t your true commitment. Maybe the ‘yes’ didn’t understand your limits, always wanting to live in possibility. Honor your decision to stay home tonight (and not go into the city and talk to people about living their vision). You have a newborn, you are tired, you want to see your husband – these are all good reasons to spend the night at home. Honor your rhythms. The “yeses” were your old life. Your new life looks different. Just take on one thing a day and honor those commitments. Don’t over-schedule yourself during this precious time.”

I left lots of things behind with motherhood. I thought of how easily I would jump on the train for a writing group, coaching event, or for a Sacred Center Sunday. I loved my time alone to explore and go on creative explorations and feed my personal growth, and I’m so GRATEFUL I got that time in the two years before becoming a mother. This was the period I discovered what truly nourished my soul.

Motherhood allowed me to release over-doing. I don’t have a “world is your oyster” buffet anymore with my choices being subject to childcare, time, and energy. I’ve held tight to my interests, carving out necessary breathing room for them to grow, and finding a balance that works with my rhythms. I choose to be home most evenings. I choose to put my son to sleep while telling him stories about chupacabras and coyotes. I choose to see down-time and breathing room as gifts of motherhood rather than things which have been lost. I choose to think even though motherhood challenges me, I’m feeling my authenticity – shedding parts of the past which are time to be packed away with those skinny jeans.

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My Drug of Choice

I have long thought about giving up sugar. I have done weekly cleanses and 21 day cleanses – knowing the effects feel good for my body. Once I get the hang of this 30 day stuff, maybe I will go for it in the future, but not today.

Today I will eat cake.

My husband and I recently saw this study. It came as no surprise for someone who can easily eat a sleeve of Oreos in one sitting. Oreos are a staple in our house, although I’d love to find a way to break the habit.

Tonight this is what we will be eating to celebrate my husband’s birthday:

Oreo Ice Cream Cake

  • Oreo pie crust
  • Carton of Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream (can be substituted for cookies and cream if you desire)
  • Package of oreos crumbled
  • Hershey’s syrup (drizzled over)
  • Whip cream
  • Mint chocolate oreos (covered in chocolate for decoration)

Tomorrow I will be in an Oreo coma.

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