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The masters and disasters of relationships

parenting relationships Feb 02, 2017

Dr. John Gottman is the grandfather of research into what makes relationships last. He calls couples who remain happily married over the long term 'the masters of relationship' and the ones who do not make it or are unhappily married the 'disasters of relationship'.

 

Dr. Gottman has found that the number of problems or issues in happy and unhappy relationships are often the same. The masters of relationship, however, have managed to protect the good stuff in their relationship from being corroded by the bad stuff.

 

In other words, the masters of relationship manage to remain friends even while they argue or disagree or face conflict.

 

A deep friendship, Dr. Gottman explains, is at the heart of a good marriage.

 

So are you friends with your spouse?

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Do you know what it takes to make a relationship work?

Many of us grow up receiving all sorts of relationship advice.

Especially when we are getting married, well meaning aunties, uncles and married peers are ever ready to dish out their view of what we must to make our marriage work.

But how many of us go beyond this advice to explore what it takes to make a relationship work, especially in the 21st century?

Leo Buscaglia in his great book, Love writes: "If he desired to know about automobiles, he would, without question, study diligently about automobiles. If his wife desired to be a gourmet cook, she'd certainly study the art of cooking, perhaps even attending a cooking class. Yet, it never seems as obvious to him that if he wants to live in love, he must spend at least as much time as the auto mechanic or the gourmet in studying love."
Well, lucky for us, the science of relationships has grown up in the last couple of decades and we now have solid research to tell us exactly what makes or breaks a relationship. We can actually study...

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Let’s talk about love

Its that time of the year again. The time of the year when Hallmark and Facebook start talking about romantic love and force us to confront the reality of the state of our own unions.

So let's talk about love.

How do you think about love? Is love a noun or a verb for you?

The idea that we have in our heads about what love is, and what it takes to have a loving relationship greatly impacts our experience of it.

So, how do you think about love? Is love a noun? Something that happens to you, do you think people fall in and out of love?

Or is love a verb for you, it is love something that you practice, by acting in loving ways?

Through out the month of February, we will explore the idea of love in relationships and talk about simple but powerful ways to improve the relationships in our lives.

Although the focus in on romantic relationships, the principles of relationships are remarkably similar whether they be with our spouses, our children, our family of origin or our friends.

 

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A time to light candles rather than curse the darkness

family relationships Jan 30, 2017

Many of us are feeling fearful, angry, powerless and despondent in the current political climate. The world seems to be dissolving in front of our eyes and we seem unable to be able to do anything to stop it.

It is so very tempting to rail and wail about how unfair and oppressive the current world order is. This temptation is fanned and fueled by social media. Yesterday, I found myself drowning in a vortex of Facebook posts updating and commenting on unfolding events. I felt powerless, defeated and very very sad.

What are we to do?

While it is important to speak up, protest and register our dissent, there is a danger that these actions will so consume us that they will distract us from positive and proactive action.

More than ever, we need to focus on our purpose. Become a force for good and light candles in whatever way we can.

In addition to doing what we must to protest, let us not stop there. Let us show some extra kindness, befriend a neighbor, hug a child. Plant a tree.

Let...

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Give yourself permission to have a bad day

Some days no matter how hard we try we just cannot seem to get it together, live our purpose, be our best selves, be productive, get over a bad mood . . .

One option on days such as these is to simply accept it as an off day. Have some compassion for ourselves and recognize that this too shall pass.

Tomorrow is another day and another chance to get back on track. Inshallah.

I am often surprised that such phases end quicker than when I try to resist them and make myself wrong for having an off day.

So go on. Next time you are having a bad day, be kind to yourself and take it easy.

Just try and stay out of other people's way ;)

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The only thing left to do now

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about setting goals effectively so that you have the best chance of achieving these goals. (Here are the archives in case you missed one or more of the emails)

There is only thing left to do now.

Take action.

Start taking action towards your goals on a daily basis. You do NOT need to figure out all the steps necessary to achieve your goals before you start taking action.

You do NOT need to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step.

At this point, all you need to do is take the first step, the next action. That is all.

Quite simple really.

Magic starts happening when you get in motion.

The journey of a thousand miles, as they say, begins with the first step.

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The only thing left to do now

Here is your daily dose of Wisdom for Living Your Best Self!

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about setting goals effectively so that you have the best chance of achieving these goals. (Here are the archives in case you missed one or more of the emails)

There is only thing left to do now.

Take action.

Start taking action towards your goals on a daily basis. You do NOT need to figure out all the steps necessary to achieve your goals before you start taking action.

You do NOT need to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step.

At this point, all you need to do is take the first step, the next action. That is all.

Quite simple really.

Magic starts happening when you get in motion.

The journey of a thousand miles, as they say, begins with the first step.

Happy walking.

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Paint a picture

Now that we are clear that negative emotions do not need to hold us back when setting goals, let us take one key area in our life and visualize what success looks like.

Go ahead and dream.

If you achieved WILD SUCCESS in this domain in your life, what would it look like?

If you had the job or the relationship of your dreams,

What would you be seeing?
What would you be hearing?
What would you be feeling?
How would your life be different?
Who would notice?

Dream big. This is not the time to be 'realistic' or 'reasonable'.

Allow yourself to picture what wild success looks like.

Are you smiling yet? Excited?

Good.

Meaningful goals should make you smile and get you excited.

(And maybe make you more than a little bit nervous!)

 

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The most important question

self development Jan 23, 2017

Why are your goals important to you?

Sounds like an obvious question, but you will be surprised to find that it is a question which is not always that easy to answer.

Yet it is very important that we know why our goals matter and remind ourselves about this on a regular basis.

Research shows that the clearer your "WHY" is – that is why your goal is important to you - the more it will motivate you to take action despite the challenges that may show up.

Do you want to become healthier? WHY is this important to you?
Want to write a book? WHAT will it do for you to get this done? Why is it important?
Want to give up chocolate at night? To what purpose? How will it make you feel to achieve this?
If your goal is to make more friends, why is this important to you?

Don't skip this one. It is a short but powerful exercise.

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The one problem with visualization

family positive thinking Jan 23, 2017

Now that you have visualized what success looks like in your chosen area, I have to warn you about a potential pitfall.

When we use visualization effectively, it releases all sorts of feel good chemicals in our brain and makes us quite happy.

Why is this a problem?

Because the brain has such great feelings thinking about our goals that it thinks that it has ALREADY achieved success! This is why day dreaming is so very lovely (and problematic!!)

When we have all these great feelings we end up doing LESS to achieve these goals!!

This can be hard to understand but think of it this way: we set goals and strive to accomplish them to feel we are living on purpose and to feel good about ourselves.

One of the pitfalls of visualization is that it creates these good feelings without actually working or achieving these goals.

What I am saying is that visualization is great but it is NOT enough on its own.

So, what should we do?

1) Visualize success and get clear on the goal BUT then take step...

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