Are Your Parents and Ancestors Living With You?

relationship coachThe old saying “You don’t marry a wife, you marry her whole family” was conceived by someone with a very observant mind.  It’s true:  Parents, as well as your whole line of Ancestors, affect how you relate to each other in a marriage, how you react to problems, and how you resolve them.

Take any problem – diet, career, the number of kids you want, exercise, sleep or lovemaking schedule . . . anything you used to do alone now has an added factor – a spouse.  Add other elements to this equation – like kids or elderly parents living with you – then the problems become exponentially more complex!

But lets assume for the moment that there is just the two of you.  You still have the whole parent-ancestor influence surrounding you and probably don’t even know it.  I didn’t either until I became aware of it recently.

I was very mean to my husband a few days ago.  I accused him of laziness, rudeness, not wanting to help around the house, and not willing to take our son to a play date.  The fact that he has a full-time job and often works late is besides the point!

It was soon thereafter, when I was able to get a break and settle down, that my husband actually said something about it.  Arnold pointed out – calmly and lovingly I might add, that while he loves me, he was feeling overwhelmed himself, and didn’t know how to respond to me in a way that I perceived as supporting.  He then actually apologized for being insensitive at that time!

Wow.  What a husband!

Because he was able to do this, however, I was suddenly able to see MY role in this whole fiasco . . . namely that I often blame him for things I’m feeling, rather than for actually things he fails to do.  Although I don’t consider myself stupid, this was actually a breakthrough for me.  I was also able to remember that I acted the same way that my mother reacted to my father . . . and the same way my mother told me her mother reacted!!

After a bit of research I found out there is actually a science called epigenetics that explains this whole thing.  Apparently, some or all behaviors can be inherited, and that I was living out some unresolved anger or frustration felt by my mother, grandmother, and who knows who else up the ladder!

Needless to say, I’ve been paying closer attention to my son’s inherited behavior since this incident.  Obviously he got the temper tantrums from his dad and his amazing ability to keep his room neat from me.  But hey, it’s only science, right?

 

 

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Toxic Relationships: A Fixable Addiction

toxic relationshipsGuess what?  Relationships can be bad for your health.

As a woman, I understand that loving relationships are like food and air to our gender.  Relationships are important for men too, but not nearly so much as for us females.  The fact is, relationships are SO important to some women that we’d rather die than be without one!

As a coach for women and couples, I also have a theory:   women take on toxic relationships and marriages – not because they have low self-esteem and want to make their lives more miserable.  Women take on toxic relationships because, in their minds, a relationship – ANY relationship – is more important than life itself!!  The low self-esteem comes in later – after they discover they have no choice in the matter and feel they can’t get out of it.

Not only does the woman feel trapped in such a relationship, so does the man!  the fact is:  the woman is a man’s mirror for his abuse, and he feels helpless to change his addiction to suffering as much as his woman or wife.  Each of them are actually suffering from a problem one coach calls “taking on Other People’s Stuff.”

Other People’s Stuff is something we all take on, although women seem to be the experts at it.  It works like this:  Remember the last time you were at the beach and playing with a beach ball.  Did you ever try to push the ball under the water?  If so, you’ll notice that it doesn’t stay there, but pops back up as soon as you let go, often a short distance away in front of someone else standing around.  The natural condition of a beach ball, in fact, is to quickly rise above the surface and resist all attempts to push it down.

Like that, “OPS” is some kind of negative or unwanted energy from another person who tried to push it away or “push it down” and out of sight.  The problem with OPS is that it doesn’t STAY down. It wants to arise as soon as possible, and does so whenever someone comes along who invites the “stuff” to attach itself to his or her mind or emotions.  then – voila! – the person starts feeling suffering or shame, thinks it is HER suffering or shame, then expresses that shame to the one who pushed it away.

“Women are crazy” according to men because THEY are the ones not willing to face their stuff!    It’s the woman who has to feel it!

Without knowing this, women will always be “crazy” and men – bless their blind little selves – will always be a bit on the dense side, not quite understanding that they are facing their own “stuff” in the form of someone who didn’t really want to take it on in the first place, but who feels BOUND to take it on because of her Love Addiction to the man and his Stuff!!

Whew!  That’s a mouthful!

I guess my advice to women is this:  know that when you love a man, you are also taking on the responsibility to feel his stuff.  And, because men don’t understand what’s happening (at least not without some enlightened relationship coaching), you will be in charge of knowing this, and learning how to “let off steam” without giving it to someone else.  As women, our natural tendency is to give it back to the one who gave it to us – the man – but all this does is create more of the same.

Couples need to learn how to release OPS together.  This is the recipe for a long – and happy – marriage!

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Coaching Tip: Publish a Book

publish a bookWant to be a well-known coach in your niche?  You can!

Whether your focus is on relationships, health, business or just general life coaching, you can get better known and attract more clients when you publish a book.  While publishing fiction is still a challenge, publishing a non-fiction book is easier than ever to do.  Sites like Amazon’s CreateSpace, in fact, can help you set up and publish your book in record time!

Unfortunately, most people think writing a book is difficult and takes a lot of time.  This is not entirely true.  while some – like a lawyer friend of mine – is taking years to write a massive tome about something obscure like “natural law,” he could have made it some much easier on himself (and his readers) if he would just get some guidance about how to write a book.  Writing a “how to” book is fairly easy; the main challenge is having a grasp of you subject matter.  You don’t even have to be an expert.  Just be sure you know more about the subject than, say, 80% of your audience.

One of my favorite methods to write anything is to first speak it into an audio recorder.  You could also speak in front of a video camera or iPhone and separate out the audio, but with either method make sure you get a digital audio file like an MP3.  Before your recording session, make notes on your subject and divide your notes into ten or more categories – each one will make up a chapter in your book.  Make sure also that your topic has some pizazz and a large enough audience.  Writing about “the secret life of darning sweaters” may be sexy to a limited audience, whereas “the art and science of making your own killer sweaters to look great on the job” would appeal to a much larger segment of society.

Vanity sells; hard work usually doesn’t.  Pick a topic that people actually want to read about and take action on!

Once you’ve recorded your book audio, send off to one of the online services to get a transcript done.  This should not cost very much and you can find transcribers at www.Fiverr.com or other outsourcing websites.  When your transcripts come back, take the time to edit them to your satisfaction (you can also outsource this as well!).  Take the edited version, turn it into a PDF document and upload to CreateSpace.

Don’t forget the cover, however.  You will want the artwork done by a graphic or cover artist that you can also find on Fiverr.

That’s it, really.  Although I could go into great detail for each step, CreateSpace and many how-to videos on YouTube can also walk you through each step.

The main thing is to get started, enjoy the process, and get your work out there!  Once you are a published author of one book, you will want to write more and more.  Success in this process feeds on itself, and soon you will be well-known in your field or niche.

Happy publishing!

 

 

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How To Get Couples Coached

One of the biggest questions that come up for both coaches and couples alike is “My spouse just doesn’t want to come to counseling, no matter what I say!”  Here is a video I found recently that answers this question in a very very interesting way:

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Why Do Couples Lie To Each Other?

couples coachingGirls, ever wonder why you husband can lie to you so often, yet come across as a dear sweetheart when the chips are down?  For men, have you wondered why women can be so cagey and downright secretive?

Here’s the answer:  Men and women lie to each other because it has been bred into us genetically!

I didn’t make this up.  There’s a large body of research on the subject.  While this blog post cannot obviously cover them all, here is the excerpt of an article I found on www.mycoachtraining.com that sums it up nicely:

Evolutionary biologist Robert Trivers, in his book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life, constructed an interesting theory: We often deceive ourselves because it then becomes easier to deceive others.

And deceiving others, according to Trivers, allows us to gain an evolutionary advantage when it comes to survival and mating. Women, for example, will often choose their mate based on status, resources, attractiveness (a sign of “good genes”), and a willingness to commit. Males who therefore have “reproductive success” over time have inherited the ability to deceive their mates – and themselves – that they have these traits. In turn, the offspring of these couples inherit this tendency. And so on and so on . . .

Trivers cites many more examples, as well as the research behind his findings. He also shows why the adaptation to self-deception in one area of life can sabotage other areas. So what does that mean for you and your coaching clients? Simply this: find a way to allow your client to get some instant feedback (such as through the Logical Soul® technique) that allows them to become aware of the hidden decisions and deceptive patterns that sabotage their success (beyond survival and mating, that is).

Here’s another thought:  if you are a couples coach trying to get some kind of resolution out of their dysfunction, you may decide at some point to give it up because they don’t seem to be able to tell the truth to each other.  While this may sound strange coming from a woman, I often let the proverbial chips fall where they may.  Some couples will never stop lying to each other, constantly argue, and never seem to want to work together.

You can’t save every relationship, so there’s no use in creating multiple problems for yourself by trying too hard. Learn to accept each couple as an ongoing process that they themselves chose to embrace.  By seeing it this way, you do both yourself and them a big favor.

Alternately, if you try to do too much, the whole coaching or counseling process can become personal – with you as the bad guy!  Most couples are afraid of intimacy; that’s whey they come to you.  When you add your personal mission to the mix, this fear of intimacy gets heated up.  Eventually the fear will come to a head, convert to anger, and be directed at you.

As a couples coach, don’t get involved.  You can show them communication and other skills they need, but leave it up to them to embrace these new approaches.  If they do, great!  Your job is simply to act as a facilitator.  If they refuse the tools, however, its a strong indication they’ve each made an inner decision to split.

All you can do at this point is help them be honest with each other – probably for the first time in their relationship!

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First Rule in Coaching Couples: Listen

coaching couplesThere’s an old joke about the therapist who was counseling a middle-aged woman who sought his help because of her ongoing marital problems.  The wife complained that her husband was losing his mind: “He thinks he’s a chicken.  He walks around all day clucking and strutting.  He never pays any attention to me, and can’t even speak except to make chicken noises…”

The couples therapist suggested she bring him in with her for the next session, and that he could probably get to the root of the problem and cure the poor fellow.

“I don’t think I want that,” said the wife.

“But why not?” queried the therapist with a growing concern.

“Because we don’t have money for food and I need the eggs!” 

Listen Up

If you are a marriage or relationship life coach or counselor, you have no doubt run across couples like this.  The wife complains to the therapist about a problem the wife also has, or vice-versa.

The main advice to any coach or counselor is to simply listen.  Couples – starting with the wife – just need to be heard to sort through the problem and get better.  Even most husbands report that having someone really listen to them helps them feel the respect they often miss from their wives.

If you can listen without taking sides, you have allowed more than 80% of the problem to be resolved on its own.  The remaining steps would simply be to give each partner something to do in order to clarify his and her goals for the marriage, and to give them a bit more understanding, and teach them listening skills they can use to resolve their own issues.

How to Teach Listening

the trick to teaching couples how to listen is to help them understand what brought them together in the first place.  By cultivating the mutual love and respect they once felt, you have a chance to “NLP them” into a different state where they can feel that same love and respect again.  Once done, the advice for them to listen to each other becomes an easy task.

If there are hidden agendas or resentments that won’t go away, however, you may need to resort to other measures.  Sometimes this could be as simple as having one partner sit mute while the other unloads on him or her.  Then that partner also gets a chance to do the same.  The risk you run here, however, is that resentments might actually build instead of lessen.  This is a judgement call you will need to make, based on how you perceive their relationship, and how deep the resentments might be.

Shrinks

At times, there will be couples whose resentments run so deep you won’t be able to help.  In cases such as these, having the phone number of a colleague – a psychotherapist or psychologist who can help – is important.  In rare cases, couples will simply need to divorce each other to get peace.  At other times, they may need medication to keep them from harming themselves or each other.  As a coach, you shouldn’t have to deal with these cases . . . and in many states, you would be required to refer them to another professional!

The bottom line is:  to be a good relationship coach, learn how to listen . . . not with an eye towards “fixing” your clients, but mainly to allow them to vent and communicate with each other.  If you can do this, you will be a great coach!

 

 

 

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Holidays And Festivities Are Over – Thank God!

How in the world did we survive these holiday festivities!  I haven’t a clue.  I DO know, however, why most people jump on the new years resolution bandwagon as soon as they are over . . . to get back a bit of self-respect and stability after all those Carbohydrates!!

carbsI gained 12 pounds, my husband gained 10 (he’s always better than me about these things), and our son – well he gained a few pounds (but he’s FOUR, and its to be expected)!  This weekend after all the Christmas and New Years moments spent with family, in-laws and friends, all we want to do is SIT and VEG OUT!!

Then we want to WORK OUT!!

If you are a relationship coach and want to share with your clients a bit of great news, its this:  It’s OK to feel this way after the holidays!  Everyone I know has these moments of “splurge and purge,” and it seems to be a universally human trait that doesn’t need “fixing.”

Part of life coaching is to simply find out what you client wants, then help him or her achieve it.  If they start running a guilt trip on themselves, however, help them to stop it!  “I’m a bad person,”  “I’m too fat,” or “I can’t make my husband happy” are NOT goals and sympathizing with these statements has no place in your life coaching arsenal.

Help your coaching clients realize they are HUMAN . . . and that its perfectly OK to feel the way they feel, but that your “future oriented” life coaching can help them get beyond these feelings much faster than they ever realized.

That, and avoiding Carbs! 

 

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I’m Right, He’s Wrong

arguing coupleI had an argument with my husband Arnold the other day.  He was heading out the door to drive off somewhere he said was “important.”  I needed him to take our son Durbin to his parent’s house so they could watch him while we went on a “Christmas Shopping Date” that night.

“What do you mean ‘important’!? You said you would take the boy to Grammy’s house!”  I yelled, a bit peeved that he could be so insensitive.

He refused to give me the details, so I finally figured out it had something to do with getting me a gift.  But I was still angry since I was covered from top to bottom with holiday chores.  I wanted nothing to do with his excuses.

Eventually I won.  He stayed and took Durbin to Grammy’s.

That night we had a very nice trip to the local mall to look at Christmas lights and pick our more gifts for relatives and friends.  Then he sprung the surprise on me at a local coffee shop . . . a beautiful 14 carat gold necklace to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary!  I had forgotten . . . !!

I felt both ashamed and embarrassed.  The look in his eyes told me everything I needed to know . . . that it didn’t matter what I said or did.  He still loves me, no matter what!  He had, in fact, driven Durbin over to his parents’ house, then sped to the store to pick up my necklace.  It was out of his way, but he was determined to surprise me . . . and he did!

With a growing family, and holidays being so hectic, remembering our wedding date in early December has become more and more difficult.  This year I forgot.  He didn’t.  The best anniversary gift I ever received – more than the gold necklace – was his commitment to remembering.  And I love him now more than ever.

It’s not about being right or wrong.  Men (at least as far as women are concerned) are ALWAYS wrong!  It takes a special man to understand that, and to go with the punches . . . to love his wife or girlfriend no matter what she is feeling.

When that happens, guess what . . . the man ALSO gets to win!

Arnold found that out later ;-)

 

 

 

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A Simple Communication Tool

Want a spicier marriage?  A happier home?  Try muscle testing!

I learned of this technique from a friend of mine whose chiropractor uses it to determine all sorts of hidden problems, imbalances and, yes, even subconscious beliefs and psychological or mental blocks.  Muscle testing is simple to learn, easy to use, and can be done anywhere . . . except in public while driving or banking.  ;-)

As I understand it, the body and subconscious work together to either give you a “Yes” or a “No,” depending on the beliefs you bring to the table and the nature of the statements you make.  This method works like a simple lie-detector test built into the body.  For example, a simple “yes” test would be to say something true – or have your partner say something true – while pushing down on the outstretched arm.  It the answer is “yes” the arm will stay outstretched.  If the answer is “no” the arm will get a bit weaker and fail to stay strong against the small push downward.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, but not by much.  The main help it can bring to your marriage or relationship is that you can both use muscle testing to get past the blame and anger that usually goes along with an argument or disagreement.  Once you know how to test each other, both the man and the woman get something out of it.  Men like it because it makes sense and is measurable, while women appreciate the fact that he is doing something together with her that can bring them closer together!

Below is video that will help you understand the process a bit more. Heck, if I can do it, I know you can! My husband and I actually look forward to our regular “muscle testing time” before dinner . .  a time when we can get clear on the hidden blocks that keep us from being happy!

 

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Relationship Coaching At It’s Best

Mars and Venus:  The Serpent Tries to Eat Its Own Tail

coaching couplesYes, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.  Men are physically stronger and more mental, and women are physically weaker and more emotional . . .

We hear this stuff all the time . . . mainly because, since the dawn of mankind, we have been trying to figure this stuff out!  Why?  Because each generation has to revisit the same old questions of sexual duality, and how it all works.  Women think that men think like them, then are disappointed when they act stupid.  Men think women have brains like theirs, and are suddenly shocked when women act crazy!

This blog is about stories from both men and women.  Its about the maddening gyrations that two creatures go through when they are faced with an impossible misunderstanding mixed with a strong desire to merge.  Without the desire, no merging would, in fact, take place . . . the sexes are so far apart!

At some point in each article, we will also try to provide some kind of coaching lesson or exercise you can do with your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other to assess your current head spaces.  Hopefully you will walk away with some useful methods you can use to dispel fear, increase love, and get rid of the “Greeblies” . . . those terrible emotional things that stick to your aura and make you want to run away and hide!

Relationship Coaching

Coaching couples is a lot like acting as a referee for a a dog-cat fight.  Both you and the couple know what is happening, see it unfold, and fear the rising tide of anger, fear and wildness, but feel totally helpless to do anything about it.  The main thing a coach or counselor is there for is to listen and provide a safe space for couples to hash it out on their own (with a few timed suggestions in between).

If you are a couples coach or marriage counselor, you know quite well what I’m saying.  so I’m not going to preach to the choir.

I can, however, suggest certain tools and resources you may find helpful in your quest for a smoother session and faster resolution of the relationship “issues.”

Thanks for coming on board.  I hope you will find it helpful . . . and be sure to share each blog post if you do!

 

 

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