Five Losing Strategies in Relationships

“All relationships are an endless dance of harmony, disharmony and repair. Closeness, disruption and return to closeness.”

– Terry Real

Harmony, disharmony and repair are the essential cycle of all relationship experiences. Closeness, disruption, and return to closeness, happen in many smaller and bigger ways in all our relationships every day. This can already be observed when you watch mothers or fathers and small babies.

I was fortunate enough to visit a beautiful young friend the other day who just had a baby daughter two months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the slow pace and rhythm of the baby’s needs. I was also able to observe how, from the first day on, we learn this dance that Terry Real describes.

The baby is all relaxed and everything is in perfect harmony. The intimacy and peace is palpable. Caregiver and baby can just look at each other forever, connected through perfect closeness, and eventually the baby falls asleep peacefully. Then the harmony gets disrupted by a feeling of hunger, or the wet diaper, or a gassy tummy, or a sudden loud noise. The mother or father responds by soothing the baby, fixing the issue, and restoring harmony, whether that is with the breast, or the soother, or a dry diaper.

The parent does not argue with the baby if they are right to cry, or punishes the baby for being upset, and hopefully does not let them cry themselves to sleep. Yet, in our love relationships, we employ such useless and damaging strategies. Here are five strategies which are futile and harmful to your relationships.

1 Being Right

I often see couples having a discussion about who was right or what is true. That usually means they argue about who remembers something correctly, or who has the correct perspective on an issue. As Terry Real says so poignantly, “Objective reality has no place in personal relationships”. Or in other words, it does not matter who is right and who is wrong!

If you ever took a workshop with me, you will recall the story of the five blind men and the elephant, which I often share. In doubt, you both have only part of the truth in a given situation. If you asked a third person about the event, they might have a third perspective. There is no such thing as objective truth when it comes to our experiences. Our memory tends to be faulty and betray us because we will remember very selectively, depending on how something impacted us emotionally.

What wanting to be right leads us into is what Terry Real calls “perception battles” or “objectivity battles”. Trying to sort out our relationship issues by wanting to figure out who is right and who is wrong, is an endless losing strategy that has us running around in circles. In fact, if we argue about who is right, nobody wins! As Stan Tatkin likes to point out, if one partner wins and the other loses, you both lose. However, the relationship wins when you create a win-win situation for both of you. What matters is not who did what and who is right, but how you are going to solve a situation or issue in a way that your needs and your partner’s needs are met.

 

2. Control

Trying to control your partner and make them do something can show up in two ways: direct control or indirect control by manipulation. We all have those protective parts inside, that want to come up and control a situation either openly or more subversively. Traditional feminine expectations want women to be indirect instead of openly speaking up for their feelings, needs and wants. Therefore, women might often have a stronger manipulative part which helps them to get what they need.

My grandmother was a master of manipulating others around her, either subtly or less subtly, because she felt she had no other way to have her needs met. 70 years ago, or even 40 years ago, that might have been true. However, in order to be in an equal intimate relationship, we need to find the way out of stereotypical gender roles.

Even though the conventional male and female roles are slowly changing, women still tend to lose their voice. Or as Terry Real says, women “learn to close their voices and men still learn to close their hearts” and disconnect from more vulnerable feelings.

Manipulation is a way to play or manage your partner, which is detrimental in a relationship, because it fosters resentment. Nobody likes being controlled. Even when it looks like your partner is relenting and not objecting to giving in and doing what you want, the likelihood that he or she will grow resentful over time is great.

 

3. Unbridled Self-expression

The third strategy that Terry Real discusses is “unbridled self-expression”. This refers to venting and vomiting up not just the present issue, but all past situations when your partner did something similar.

Why does it not work to bring up past offenses that tie into the present issue? Functional moves in a relationship, whether that is with your partner or anybody else, are moves that empower and motivate the other person to come through for you.

If you are a parent, you know that if you “flatten” your son or daughter and make them feel not good enough and incapable, you are not inviting them to change. If you tell them what they aren’t doing right now in the present, they can do something about it. If you tell them all the things they didn’t do in the past, perhaps throwing in some general accusations starting like “You always…” and “You never…”, the only effect this has is that the other person feels helpless and insufficient. This trend talk then often leads to criticizing somebody’s character, rather than staying with the present issue that can be resolved. You end up with a partner who feels helpless and paralyzed.

When expressing our feelings and needs, “short and sweet” is the winning strategy, while keeping in mind what actually encourages and empowers our partner to meet our requests.

 

4. Retaliation

Revenge and getting even are another losing strategy. This strategy can show up overtly or covertly. The latter occurs when we get stuck in a victim story of “He/she hurt me, so I will hurt them back”. Terry Real calls this offending from the victim position. This makes your partner the perpetrator while featuring yourself as the victim. Every perpetrator thinks they are the victim and have no choice but to fight back with self-righteous indignation. The faulty idea behind revenge is to want to make the other person experience the pain we have experienced. Punishing somebody will never bring them into increased understanding or accountability for their own actions. That’s how legal battles or wars between countries are started. Whenever has the losing party in a court case or in a war said, “Now I understand that I shouldn’t have done this and how my enemy felt. In fact, I am going to love my enemy now that they have won”?

There are two forms of retaliation. Direct open retaliation, or the even more destructive indirect retaliation which is passive-aggressiveness by withholding something, most often love and affection. Both does enormous damage in the relationship.

 

5. Withdrawal

Passive aggressive retaliation can look like withdrawal but is really about revenge. Actual withdrawal is were one person leaves the field. That can be the refusal to engage about an issue, for example trouble with other family members, financial challenges, or the addiction issues which are going on, or opting out of a particular aspect of the relationship, for example the sexual part of the relationship. This can even mean checking out of the relationship entirely. When the latter happens, the end of the relationship is often near.

When withdrawal happens, you might mistakenly think that the withdrawing partner is moving into acceptance. They might say, for example, “I just accept that I cannot talk to my partner about this topic”. However, is the withdrawing partner somewhat resentful in this situation? Resentment is not acceptance.

girl-sea-white-shirt

Withdrawal is also different from having a healthy detachment from what is going on. Withdrawal is unilateral and a rapture. Sweeping things under the carpet and not dealing with them might work as a temporary strategy when we are very overwhelmed, but ultimately backfires.

Withdrawal often looks like provocative or stubborn distance taking. When you can see that a protective part comes up and says “Let’s get out of here. The only way to handle this pain is by distancing yourself.” This is totally different from taking a needed and conscious time out when there is an escalating conflict, or what Terry Real calls “responsible distance taking”. Conscious distance taking means letting your partner know that you need some distance and why. You are also letting them know when you will be back to continue this conversation. If you do this responsibly, you help your partner not to feel abandoned or spin into anxiety. Then they do not need to react from their own protectors like anger or control, or their own inner child, which might respond with fear.

None of these five strategies—or any combination thereof—are in any way helpful or beneficial for a relationship. We need to remember that our partner is not our enemy, but our ally. Instead of controlling, venting, retaliating, withdrawing or wanting to be right, realize that all these strategies are us operating from a protective part and not really connecting from heart to heart. Instead, it is our job to take care of our inner child parts so that we can refrain from using any of these detrimental strategies in our relationships.

Take a moment to honestly assess what your top one or two default strategies might be when the going gets tough. Be compassionate with yourself as you make that self assessment. These are protective parts that step up to protect your vulnerability. Meanwhile, they are keeping you from what you most long for, but might be afraid of: true intimacy and closeness with your partner.

 

Stay tuned for the next two blog articles “Five Winning Strategies in Relationships” and “How to Do a Time Out Right”. If you have subscribed to my blog, you will be notified by email when the next article is posted.

 

For individual sessions or couples sessions please contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Check out my discount packages for couples.

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Conflicts in Relationships

“How can you be so heartless and cold?” Sandra asks with anger in her voice, “Why don’t you have any sympathy for my brother? You are so cruel!”

Kyle is looking at his wife and is wondering how they ended up in this escalated conflict, one of many fights about her brother. He is silently reminding himself that she has simply been taken over by not just an angry but also a judgmental protector right now. And underneath those protectors are feelings of fear and responsibility for a younger sibling who has always relied on Sandra. She feels helpless, guilty and frustrated.

She continues defiantly, “I will not turn him away if he needs my help! I am giving him the money, no matter what you think! You always support your ex-wife when she needs extra money, supposedly for the kids…”

Now Kyle can feel how his own protector is coming up. There is a part of him that just wants to reply sharply, “No you will not. I am the main provider in this family and I make our financial decisions.” But thankfully, he still has enough awareness that his controlling protector is gearing up for a fight in response to Sandra’s anger. He remembers to use their code word, ”Fire.”

The protectors are like Firefighters. They don’t care about the damage they cause; they only care about “putting out the fire”. In our inner world, that “fire” equates to our vulnerability and our emotional pain. That code-word “fire” for Kyle and Sandra means, “Stop. Let’s take a break right now to calm ourselves.” When we are triggered by our partner we need a time out of at least 20-30 minutes. During that time, we need to allow our sympathetic nervous system to calm down again. The time out is probably one of the most important agreements to make when couples struggle with escalating conflicts.

When our partner shows up in one of their protectors, rather than connecting from a more loving, calm or even vulnerable place, we often wonder what we are doing with this awful person. We might think, “How could I not see from the start how horrible he/she is?” While we are in this emotionally activated state, we perceive the situation and especially each other as a threat. We are unable to see clearly, problem solve or make rational decisions. Any conversation that we continue in this state can only become more destructive.

Terrence Real mentions in his book “The New Rules of Marriage” that we all have two competing images of our partner. We have one image of them at their best and one of them at their worst. You could perhaps say that when we hold the first image we see them for who they really are at a core level, or for who they are capable of being. That positive image might be identical with what we fell in love with when we first met. When our partner is being taken over by one of their protectors, we can hold that positive image as a beacon to remind us that he or she is more than this angry, controlling, judgmental, negative, complaining, or defensive person across from us.

In some cases, this core positive image can of course be problematic as well. If one person is holding the potential of who their partner can be so insistently that they ignore detrimental aspects of the relationship instead of acknowledging them, the image is creating an issue.

However, in most cases we need and want to cultivate the positive image to get through tough times. We can cultivate this picture by focusing on everything we love and like about our partner. A practice of appreciation of each other allows us to keep this image alive.

According to Terry Real, we also harbour a “core negative image” of our partner. That’s the combination of all the things they do that trigger us into judgements and challenge us in our relationship. It includes all the pain we have experienced with or through this partner. When we are emotionally activated, we are unable to see anything but the negative. We are seeing the other person through the glasses of the fight and flight response. Or Terry Real would say through “fight, flight or fix”. By that he means, we want to fight back, or stone wall/retreat/run away in some way, or quickly fix the tension in the room without addressing the problems and individual needs. Backing away from the issue just to fix the disharmony won’t help us. It breads resentment.

“The difference between real acceptance and just backing away from an issue, or away from the whole relationship, is resentment.”

Terrence Real, “How Can I Get Through to You?”

Why do we want to fight, run or fix? The reason is instinctual. We don’t see the other person accurately when we have been taken over by our protectors. In that moment in time, we also often assume that our partner has the worst intentions instead of being able to consider that they might have good intentions or reasons underneath their behaviour which seems so outrageous to us.

This goes both ways. Just as you might be triggered into seeing your partner from the core negative image when your vulnerabilities are triggered, your partner also experiences you from their perspective of the negative core image. What we really are seeing are our protective parts responding to what the other person activates deep inside of us, or in other words, what that person reflects back to us.

 

Take a moment to ask yourself what characteristics trigger you in your partner, and write them down. Because the people close to us always mirror to us what we have disowned, you will create a list of traits that will mostly be excellent shadow traits to work with in your next session with your relationship coach.

Now write down what you think your partner gets triggered by in you. What does his or her negative core image of you probably look like?

The work in individual sessions or in couple sessions is to understand our protectors—and those that our partner tends to go into—and to learn to speak “for” them rather than “from” them. It is also our responsibility as an individual to notice and work on the triggers or shadows that the relationship with our partner activates for us.

For individual sessions or couples sessions please contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Check out discount packages for couples here.

You can also work on your relationship by subscribing to my Patreon. The package “Relationship Tips and Partner Exercises” provides you with my ongoing support to improve your relationships beyond sessions with me. Please click here for more information and samples.

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Whether you think you can…

You probably know the famous quote by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” In the belief change technique PSYCH-K®, the belief “I can” is named as one of 13 core beliefs, next to such core beliefs as “I want to live”, or “I love myself”, or beliefs around the world being a friendly place.

Our subconscious mind agreeing with the fact that we are capable of doing what we set our mind to as opposed to the belief “I can’t” is one of the main factors for success. Believing “I can” goes beyond self-confidence. It is a necessary subconscious belief which needs to be in place to learn or accomplish anything new.

When I am not working in my main profession as a belief change coach, I teach German to adults through an online school. Most students are really motivated and I am always in awe of how they embrace the new language and complicated German grammatical rules. Without curiosity and an open mind, they wouldn’t get very far.

A couple of days ago, I was paired up for a private lesson with a lovely gentleman from Scotland. He had a profession for which he needed a university degree and which required him to be intelligent and organized. This was only his third German lesson and within the first five minutes, he shared with me the following: “My company is paying for these lessons because they want me to learn German, but I don’t think I can get to the level they want me to get to.” He also said, “Learning a language this complicated feels like a big commitment”, “I feel stupid” and “I can’t do it”.

The lesson was about learning new vocabulary in regards to furniture pieces and going over the basic sentence structure, subject-verb-object. Of course the grammar is different than in English, for example German nouns have three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine or neuter) which you simply need to memorize with each noun. Each time we got to a new presentation slide and something wasn’t quite the way it is in English, he would literally roll back in his office chair and throw his hands up in the air, and ask “Why is this so difficult?” or declare “I will never be able to learn this!”

I had to take my German Teacher Hat off for a bit and put my Coach Hat on and be very candid that the only thing keeping him from learning was his insistence that he couldn’t ever do this. His pronunciation was good and clearly he was a smart man. What was however providing a huge roadblock for him was the belief “I cannot learn another language” and “German is too hard for me to learn”.

I look forward to teaching this gentleman again because I know for certain that all he needs to do is shift his belief system and put a bit of memorizing time in to be very successful. Shifting from “I can’t” to “I can” opens up so many new doors and exciting experiences for us, whether in our career or in our private life.

In a client session, we can change a core belief like “I can”—or any other belief for that matter—by using an energy psychology technique like PSYCH-K® or the belief change process from Shadow Energetics. These changes are quick and effective and don’t usually take longer than 10-20 minutes, but have lasting results that can shift your life around.

For more information on PSYCH-K® or Shadow Energetics contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

If you would like to read more about how beliefs shape our life and how we can change them, the following books are available on Amazon. Thank you for using my amazon associate links below.

The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton

“PSYCH-K®… The Missing Piece” by Rob Williams

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I’ve Got You

Ten days ago, I had an unusual anniversary. Three years ago, I slipped and fell down the last couple of steps on a staircase. I fractured both my ankles. My legs were both in casts for six weeks and afterwards I was working from a wheelchair until my ankles were strong enough and I had learned to walk again. You could say the experience was a bit of a trauma, even though it was of course also a gift. It included experiencing dependency, vulnerability, and held a lot of learning and growth, which I have written about repeatedly. What was left over from that accident was a fear of walking down a slippery slope. I experienced that I would literally freeze and would be unable to walk down if there was any danger of potentially falling. Consequently, I did my uttermost to avoid situations that could trigger that fear.

However, the Universe in its wisdom can be absolutely marvelous. It knows exactly when and how to bring us opportunities to step out of our comfort zones. Last week, coincidentally the day before the three year return of the accident, I joined a group of 10 other people on a nature walk of the Bruce Trail, without knowing what I was getting myself into. It was rainy and muddy, and the trail was steep all the way through.

I had a moment of doubt when the rain started and when I realized what I had committed to. However, I had the most empowering experience on this hike. Every single person in that group had my back. There was always somebody next to me offering to hold my hand, or somebody saying, “I am right behind you, Angelika, I’ve got you”, or “let me go ahead and find the least slippery route, so you can just follow in my footsteps.”

I felt incredibly held and safe and loved. Nobody treated me with impatience or looked at me strangely; they all got it. They were the most loving and supportive group I could have gone on this slippery trail with. In fact, they did not just make sure I was okay at all times, but they watched out for each other. At some points during the walk, we were all holding hands helping each other back down the trail.

That experience of being able to be vulnerable and held in whatever trauma each of us is working through, is exactly why I do what I do. A world in which we are gentle and supportive with each other is exactly the kind of world I want to live in! I am passionate about creating a world of love, acceptance and total support. That’s why I teach workshops like the upcoming Shadow Energetics Workshop, in which we do deep inner work, while everybody is held in complete love and trust within the group.

That is also why I love individual sessions with clients who are ready to be curious about their raw and vulnerable experiences and to heal what holds them back from health, happiness and fulfilling mutually supportive relationships. And nothing brings me greater joy than when a couple comes in together, ready to hold each other in their vulnerability and keep each other feeling safe, as they work through things.

After all, the purpose of our intimate relationships is to create a sacred space in which we can be vulnerable, authentic and reveal our fears and weaknesses. Are you and your partner able to create this sacred space together? Or are you stuck in disillusionment, hurt or pain because your old emotional wounds are resurfacing?

This simply means that the honeymoon stage of the relationship is over. This honeymoon phase was not supposed to last forever. It was supposed to bring you together. Stage 2 of the relationship is about learning how to deal with disagreements, vulnerabilities and challenges, so that we can advance to stage 3, the mature love stage.

The challenges in stage 3 don’t stop, but we have learned how to deal with our triggers in a conscious way so that we can have each others’ backs, like the participants on the nature hike had each others’ backs. This requires that both partners put in the necessary effort to understand themselves and each other so that the relationship can get stronger. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help to achieve this. In fact, it is the smart thing to do. Working on the relationship with a therapist or coach ensures that your relationship progresses to the next stage.

If you would like to do a meditation on feeling supported and being supportive, or do a partner exercise to experience support, go to my Patreon.

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

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Listening to Our Gut Feelings

Con Artists and Other Untrustworthy People

Did a liar, manipulator or otherwise untrustworthy person cross your path lately? Sadly lying, manipulating or taking advantage of others is part of human nature. Everybody shows up in their shadows at times and that could mean lying, manipulating or acting in a way that is a betrayal. Why do our friends, family members or colleagues do this?

Usually, they act out of their own fear and neediness. It might be the need for love, attention, admiration, recognition, an addictive substance, money, or sex. That doesn’t make them a “bad person”. In another situation, this person might show up loving and kind, perhaps they are nursing a loved one through old age or an illness, or they are a wonderful caring mother or father, or they help the driver whose car broke down in the snow storm by the side of the road, even though it makes them late. Nobody is just good or just bad. However, we have the capability to choose in each given moment whether we show up with integrity, or out of integrity. And if somebody around us shows up in a shadow, let’s be very clear with what we observe and what it means to stand firmly in our own integrity. Having discernment is not judgment. It is taking good care of ourselves.

How often have I seen with others, and I include myself in this group, that we do not always listen to our gut feeling regarding other people, certain situations, or at least regarding a certain area in our life. Often the intuition is present but we then choose to ignore it, in favour of a left brain analysis of the facts. We do this even though we know that the left brain is less powerful than our right brain or intuitive mind. Why do we choose to disregard our gut? What happens inside of us that we ignore this powerful sense that we all have to guide us?

There is Jessica, who wanted to believe that the man she met online was truly looking for a committed long-term relationship and that he was not seeing anybody else, as he had repeatedly declared. Through a series of coincidences, she found out that he was simultaneously dating other women, just looking for a variety of sexual encounters. You could say that he was a talented actor. It took synchronicities for her to have her eyes opened to the manipulation and true character of this person. Yet, her gut feeling had told her in different instances that something was not right.

There is Mike, who repeatedly fell for the “damsel in distress” act of a much younger female friend who, as it turns out, just wanted his money. It took him being repeatedly taken advantage of financially for him to have his eyes opened. Having a very strong sense for other people in business, he completely disregarded his intuition when it came to this friend.

There is Ashley, who wanted to believe her boyfriend had stopped taking drugs and was loyal to her, when her gut told her otherwise each time he lied in her face.

And there is Jacob, who didn’t want to believe that his partner in business was dishonest, until he took off with their money and the business went bankrupt.

What happened in each of these situations?

Trust is the natural default setting of our human brain. As social beings, we need others and we tend to be trusting rather than mistrusting. Certain factors contribute to us trusting.

 

Familiarity Breeds Trust

The man Jessica dated quickly and purposefully created the illusion of familiarity by using loving tender nicknames, like “sweetie” and “darling”,  sending her love poems, telling her he loves her, and that he wants a future with her. That, as well as her own hope to have found someone to love, allowed him to deceive her for a while.

In Mike’s case, the younger female friend had helped him through a very traumatic and painful personal loss in the past and that created the illusion of familiarity between them. This made him more likely to help and trust her than as if this had not been the case.

Just like in Jessica’s and Mike’s cases, the familiarity factor was also present for Ashley and Jacob. Ashley’s boyfriend had just proposed to her. She was envisioning him as the future father of her children. She was also deeply enmeshed with his family, who saw her as his future wife and his saviour from addictions.

Jacob’s partner wasn’t just a business partner, but a close friend from primary school. Jacob felt that he knew him like his own brother. They had always dreamt of having a business together.

 

Oxytocin Is Involved

The bonding hormone oxytocin is responsible for how much trust we have when responding to others. When we are in a romantic love relationship with another person, oxytocin is produced. Most of us have probably experienced that the moment we engage sexually with another person, our critical faculties are reduced. Through physical touch and intimacy, oxytocin is increased, giving us the feeling of being bonded into the other person. The same applies for close friendships in which we bond with each other. Oxytocin increases our trust in the other person. We feel safe with them and are not on guard for a possible betrayal.

So, is there a way not to fall for con-artists, or lying, dishonest or manipulative people who take advantage of us?

There must be a healthy balance. We cannot go through life mistrusting everybody and assuming the worst. What we can all probably tune into more though, is our gut feeling. The more we learn to trust our intuition, the less likely it is that we are repeatedly conned or fall for people who do not deserve our trust.

There are different levels of utilizing our intuition, from simply sitting with and exploring a gut feeling to communicating with your Higher Self (the Superconscious Mind) through meditation or muscle testing. You can use self muscle testing or muscle test with and for others.

In general, when you feel peaceful, calm and confident, or you feel inspired and excited, or when the same opportunities seem to keep coming around, you are most likely in line with your inner guidance. If you feel pulled in different directions, anxious or experience some sense of heaviness in your gut that is not going away, you might be receiving a message that you are not on the right path.

If you would like to do a meditation on trusting your intuition and receiving guidance from your Higher Self, and/or an intuitive exercise to explore with a partner how to dial other people’s energy out, please join me on my Patreon.

In order to trust our intuition and to act on it, we need to have certain beliefs in place, for example:

  1. I am aware of my gut feelings and I listen to them.
  2. I easily and effortlessly communicate with my Higher Self / the Divine guidance.
  3. I take my time to assess others accurately, using my intuition.
  4. I make sound decisions when I enter into a business partnership and when I invest in a romantic relationship.
  5. It is okay for me to assess relationships when a gut feeling comes up and to act on that feeling.
  6. Even though somebody else might be acting out of integrity, I stand firmly in my own integrity.
  7. I live with integrity and I am honest with others.
  8. I deserve to take clear actions regarding people who act out of integrity.
  9. I let go of the need for revenge and I trust Karma to take care of it.
  10. I am clear about my deal breakers in a relationship.
  11. I completely forgive myself for falling for a dishonest person.
  12. Breaking up with a dishonest friend or partner frees me up to attract an honest person.

To clear out limiting beliefs and to learn to trust our intuitive mind more, we can use belief change techniques like PSYCH-K®. For a free phone consultation or to book an appointment, please contact me

Angelika
905-286-9466
greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Infertility – Issues, Fears and Emotions That Prevent Conception

Diane and Paul have been wanting to conceive for eight years. After trying to conceive naturally, they have done two rounds of IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) and two rounds of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) without success.

“I am a go-getter, a type A personality”, says Diane. “I am good at managing and I like things to be “just so”. Paul sometimes thinks I am too controlling and rigid. But I have achieved a lot in my life. I had athletic accomplishments, I have a masters degree and a very successful career. I have my diet under control. I eat very healthy, I barely drink, and I work out. I do everything to achieve this goal but the one thing I keep failing at is becoming a mother.”

What Diane says in her intake session is fairly typical for women who struggle with fertility issues. We are so used to being able to control everything, to plan our entire future, set our goals and then work hard at reaching them, that we expect it will be the same with conception, pregnancy and birth.

As Lynsi Eastburn, author of “It’s Conceivable!” and “The 3 Keys to Conception” and one of my mentors and teachers, likes to point out, “you can not left-brain a baby.” Conception is one of those areas that are exactly the opposite of doing. It is all about letting go of control, surrendering and allowing.

So if our main personality parts, like in Diane’s case, are a Driver/Pusher, a Perfectionist and a Rational/Analytical Self, it is going to be harder to let go and to relax. If you come to see me, we will work on achieving more separation from those parts. We want them to “step back” and to allow you to relax into this experience of conception and birth happening in its own time and its own way.

It is easy to see how stress at work or in our family would cause overwhelm, tiredness and anxiety, and how that can affect our fertility. Having personality parts that push us to be perfect at work and in our relationships causes us to override feelings of exhaustion, anxiety and overwhelm. That contributes greatly to stress and therefore to infertility.

However, conception goes beyond “stress”. Infertility is not simply a biological process of a tired body but it is a more complicated culmination of our deeper mind and body working together.

In his book “The Body-Mind Fertility Connection” James Schwartz documents studies that indicate that psychological and emotional blocks appear to be the root of many fertility issues. I have sited some of those scientific studies on this website. To read more click here. 

“For many women, the process of healing the emotional issues that are blocking pregnancy is a key component in unlocking fertility and opening the door to conception. The body and mind work as a synchronistic team.” (James Schwartz, The Body-Mind Fertility Connection)

When it comes to the very painful experience of infertility, we have to remember that our subconscious is always trying to protect us, not trying to hinder us and prevent us from reaching our goals. Our deeper mind is operating on the fears and beliefs which exist in the inner system. Here are some examples of what that can be:

– Feeling stressed or overwhelmed with life

For example, feeling overburdened with work, family or other situations. Our subconscious will respond to that by not allowing us to take on another burden (having a child)

– Fears around pregnancy or birth

For example, fears of doctors, hospitals, medical treatments, labour, giving birth, or our body changing

– Fears around parenthood

For example, beliefs that we or our partner won’t be a good parent; the idea that parenthood means a lot of sacrifice and a loss of independence; worries around balancing parenthood and career

– Fears around the marriage/relationship

For example, worries about the longevity of the relationship with our partner, or about the changes in the relationship, or about a lack of resilience due to the new challenges as parents

– Guilt and limiting beliefs around deserving

For example, due to an abortion in the past, or not having been a perfect parent to other children, or in regards to sexual abuse, rape or other traumas

– Fears of loss

For example, due to past miscarriages or stillbirths

– Rejection of physical functions

For example, beliefs that the female period is disgusting, that sex is dirty, or that giving birth is awful and messy

– Fears based on other people’s experiences

For example, our mother/sister/aunt etc. had difficulty conceiving or had challenging pregnancies/births, therefore we expect the same experiences

– Other limiting belief

For example, in regards to our age, “old eggs”, general health, body image issues etc.

If you read the points above, you might recognize some concerns, or you might consciously feel that there are no problems. However, subconsciously, certain programs might be running based on past experiences and learned beliefs which are stored deep in your mind, often completely without conscious awareness. Our subconscious mind can work for us. It can also work against us, if it is trying to protect us in a way that causes us to experience blocks like infertility.

“…the subconscious mind holds our habits, beliefs, behavioural patterns, anxieties, and fears that we have been accumulating since birth. Then, as adults, when we experience emotions like anxiety, sadness, fear, or anger, we are responding to the cumulative effect of the information and programming that has collected throughout our entire lifetime.” (James Schwartz, The Body-Mind Fertility Connection)

Conflicts, unresolved issues, fears and limiting beliefs send a message to the body at a cellular level. The very diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” means that the presenting infertility is psychosomatic.

Fortunately, any and all of those emotions and fears mentioned above can be healed. As the emotions, fears and issues are processed, conception rates increase dramatically.

To clear out limiting beliefs and fears that keep you from getting pregnant, and to shift into surrendering and allowing rather than trying to control the process of conceiving, I use hypnosis and belief change techniques like PSYCH-K®. The first session is 3 hours long due to an intensive intake, subsequent sessions are between 2 and 2 ½ hours.

For a free phone consultation or to book an appointment, please contact me

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

If you would like to do regular meditations to destress or use exercises to improve the relationship with your partner go to

My Patreon

I offer different packages starting at 4USD/month.

To read any of the books mentioned above, my amazon associate links take you directly to your country’s amazon page by clicking on an image. Thank you for supporting me by ordering through my links. You can also get a copy of “The 3 Keys to Conception” directly from me.

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Why Do Men Always Change?

Sarah sits in front of me, confused, hurt and anxious. “I don’t understand why men always change? At first, they are all over me, they can’t wait to see me, they call and text a lot, they bring me flowers and buy me cards, and they want to do all these other things for me like repair my leaking faucet. And then they change. They don’t call anymore and don’t bring flowers anymore, and I have to mention the leaky faucet three times. Once men have ‘caught me,’ they change. They become lazy and they stop caring about me.”

My client Sarah is, according to Alison Armstrong, not the only one stuck in this pattern and confused about it. She meets a man, they hit if off, have a fabulous first date and a second and a third, he pursues her, texts and calls a lot, listens and communicates, wants to spend lots of time with her. Then a few weeks or months in, he does something that is the beginning of a downward spiral.

He doesn’t text all day or doesn’t call; he doesn’t respond to the hints of what she needs, wants or likes; he comments on the looks of another woman; he retreats and appears distant; he forgets something that is important to her; he says no to an activity suggestion from her without offering an alternative; he says he is busy and doesn’t share what he is doing; he makes a joke that she is hurt by; he sides with another person in an argument she has; he doesn’t notice the new haircut or how good she looks in the new dress and so on. All these things usually happen because men are men; they are human. They simply are busy or tired or forgetful or insensitive at times.

But Sarah thinks, “I would never do this to him or anybody else I love. Why did he do this? It must be because he doesn’t respect me, or care about me or really love me, or he wouldn’t have done this. I am not important to him anymore. Maybe I never was and he just pretended at the beginning. Why does he not love me (anymore)? It must be me. I must be too much or too little of something. Haven’t I always been told I am too much / too needy / too fat / too emotional / too…” and the list goes on. And she either starts to feel depressed, or she ponders ways of improving and changing herself until she realizes that she has completely lost herself.

I am convinced that a lot of misunderstandings between the sexes are due to the fact that we do not understand the ways in which men’s brains work differently from women’s and how men’s motivations are usually also different from ours. We expect men to be like us and are disappointed if they are not. Or as Alison Armstrong says it, we look at men as “hairy misbehaving women” because they do things a woman would never do. And just as we would judge ourselves or another woman for doing those things, we judge them.

A man’s brain usually has a single focus while a woman’s brain has a more diffuse awareness. We do and think a million things at the same time while they usually only concentrate on one thing and are able to tune everything else out. That’s why they don’t notice that the floor needs to be vacuumed or that the garbage needs to be taken out or that another person in the room is needing some attention or that it’s time to buy the birthday gift for their mother today so she will get it on time. They are focused on a specific task they are completing right now and everything else gets filtered out.

Our motivation is often different as well. Women are more externally motivated. We are often highly susceptible to other people’s opinions. If our girlfriend makes a comment that the grey colour of our top does not bring the best out in us but a blue top would, or if our aunt mentions that she misses hearing from us, we will stop wearing grey and we will wear blue, and we will make sure we call our aunt more often. That’s why we criticize men and think that this should motivate them, but in reality it just demotivates them and makes them feel not good enough. “We are shocked that men don’t spring into action when we criticize them. We think it means they don’t love us or respect us.” (Alison Armstong, Making Sense of Men)

Men are more internally focused. They do something because they are internally compelled or inspired to do it. And, this might surprise you, but they are actually motivated by seeing the woman in their life happy. There is no greater motivation for a man than when he has provided something for her with his actions that makes her life easier or better. When we can express to the man in our life how he is providing us with something or helping us with something, in short actually making a difference by doing something for us, his willingness to help is usually high. Most men actually want to help if they are able to, and if they are being recognized for it by their partner.

What attracts a man to a woman and why do they change? Contrary to what we might believe, it is not the shininess of our hair, or the perkiness of our breasts or the shape of our figure. A male colleague of mine spells it out for his female clients who are worried about their body, “All he thinks about when he is getting physically close to you is ‘boobs’ and perhaps ‘I wonder if I may touch them’. He does not see that one breast is bigger than the other, or thinks they are too small or too big. That is female thinking!” His single focus screens every imperfection out.

So if it’s not the perfection of our body that attracts men and the imperfections of the body that drives them away, what is it? Alison Armstrong names four qualities that, according to research, attract a man to a woman.

  1. Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is irresistible in any person, male or female. What keeps us from being self-confident? Our Inner Critic that judges everything we do and feels it needs to point out that we are “too this or too that” or “not enough this or that”.

Men are actually not even close to as critical with us as our Inner Critic wants us to believe. They adore us exactly the way we are. They are able to see our beauty and adore our shape and imperfections.

So on those days when the Inner Critic gets too loud, how do you boost your self-confidence? Does Yoga, working out, going for a walk, singing or dancing do it? Or cooking and eating healthy food? Or having a pep talk with your girlfriend? Getting a hair cut, manicure or eyebrows done? Or dressing in clothes that you love and in shoes that make you feel confident? The key is to do these things, not because our Inner Critic says we need to but because they make us feel good and boost our self-confidence.

  1. Authenticity

Nothing is more charming than authenticity. And the more confidence we have, the more authentic we can be. One of the highest compliments a man can give a woman is that she is “real, sincere and warm”.

  1. Passion

What are you passionate about? Your career? A hobby or your volunteer work? People or animals? Dancing or painting or writing or meditating? Or your crystal collection and your native drum circle? When a woman talks about her passions, scientists have measured (using magnetic resonance imaging) an increase of well-being hormones in a man’s brain. So instead of holding back and just listening to his interests, express your own passions.

  1. Receptivity

Over the last thirty years, women have learned to value themselves for masculine traits like being independent and productive. The focus has become, especially at work but also in our personal lives, how much we can make happen, organize, control, manage and provide for others. What gets lost in that productivity is being receptive to help and support.

“The first kind of receptivity men need is women being open and responsive to all the ways they express caring for us. Allowing their unique expressions of that big feeling in how they take care of us, protect us, contribute to us and make us happy.” (Alison Armstrong, Making Sense of Men)

Are you aware of the ways in which the man in your life cares for you? What is his love language and how does he provide something for you, practically, emotionally, financially or otherwise?

The second kind of receptivity is, “men need us to be receptive to who they are. The way one man said it was, ‘there is nothing like looking in a woman’s yes and seeing that she accepts you.’” (Alison Armstrong, Making Sense of Men)

That means not to judge them for all the ways they are not like us but to accept that they think differently and are motivated differently but the more we accept them the way they are, the more they want to provide, help and make us happy.

So it is perhaps true that men change, but it is also true that we change. We tend to go into the spiral, like Sarah does, when he does something that we would never do, and we interpret it as “he does not care enough or love me enough”. We take what is simply thoughtlessness or forgetfulness very personally and we think that his behaviour must mean something about us. We conclude that what he did or didn’t do must be the result of something being wrong with us. And as we strive to figure out how to be enough, we lose our self-confidence, authenticity, passion and receptivity, which are the four qualities which attracted a man into our life to begin with.
When we lose sight of our passions and we forget to be receptive to what men want to do for us, we change. Instead of receiving their gifts of caring, we focus on what they are not doing and how what they are giving us is not really what we need and want. And men respond to that lack of receptivity. They stop giving.

If you would like to do a meditation on embracing your confidence, authenticity, passions and receptivity, go to my Patreon. I also offer journal prompts and a partner exercise called “When I look at you, I see…”

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.
Angelika
905-286-9466
greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

If you enjoy my articles, please subscribe to receive an e-mail notification when I post a new blog. Just enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

What is PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics©?

Listen to the blog article as an extended interview version on my podcast, or read it below.

When people look at my list of services, I often get the question, “What is this psyche thing you do?” Even though PSYCH-K®, originated by Rob Williams in early 1989, has been around for 30 years now, it is still is a bit of an “insider tip” when you want to change your subconscious mind.

Bruce Lipton calls PSYCH-K “an energy-based psychological treatment system” (The Biology of Belief) and recommend it as one way of changing your belief system. In fact both PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics, developed by my friend Darryl Gurney, are energy psychology techniques which allow us to effectively shift our beliefs at a subconscious level.

When I first learned PSYCH-K® in the spring of 2006, my background at that point was hypnosis to help my coaching clients reach their conscious goals. I hypnotized them, and taught them self-hypnosis in addition, to be able to continue certain suggestions at home, but wondered, what if there was a faster and more efficient way of changing our beliefs and seeing the results right away? There is! PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics both allow us to change a particular belief in just a few minutes.

“PSYCH” stands for “Psyche” and the “K” for Kinesiology. Applied Kinesiology, also referred to as “muscle testing” or “energy testing”, allows us, whether we use PSYCH-K® or the belief change process from Shadow Energetics, to communicate with our Subconscious Mind and our Higher Self (called the Superconscious Mind by Rob Williams).

We cannot say something that our subconscious believes to be a lie without experiencing a weaker muscle response—compared to when we are expressing something our subconscious deems to be true. That is extremely fortunate for us, because it allows us to determine what our subconscious really agrees with. Once we have detected that a certain beneficial belief is not held at a subconscious level, we can ask permission (through the muscle testing) to make a change and to program or establish this more supportive belief. Both, PSYCH-K® and Shadow Energetics have strict permission protocols. We always check if it is in the “highest wisdom and benefit” (Shadow Energetics) or “safe and appropriate” (PSYCH-K®) to make a shift at a given point in time.

In addition to giving us a technique to change our beliefs at a subconscious level, Shadow Energetics recognizes the importance of muscle testing emotional charges in our body and releasing them, as these stuck emotions causes interference patterns. Just like our limiting beliefs, our emotions also create our experience of reality below our level of conscious awareness. 90% of physical issues have an emotional root. Emotions are normal; in fact, all feelings and emotions are good. They provide us with feedback that we need to address something. However, some emotions do not resolve themselves completely; they can cause an obstruction in the physical body, sending out a continuous interference resonance. As a result, we perceive and respond to reality from our emotional pain.

The key piece of the Shadow Energetics system is the integration of our shadows with the goal of becoming whole and more heart-centred, by being able to accept ourselves and others unconditionally.

The term “shadow”, coined by Carl Jung and made popular by the late Debbie Ford, refers to the fact that other people mirror to us what we had to disown growing up. As we develop our personality, we learn to identify with certain personality traits, usually those which were deemed good by others and brought us attention and love in our environment. Yet, all energy outside in the world exists inside of us. Because we have learned to disown certain ways of being, we can only perceive the unwanted traits in projection in others. We carry them inside of us as “shadows”.

A shadow can either be a “dark shadow” or “light shadow”. Dark shadows, contrary to what I occasionally hear, have absolutely nothing to do with evil or with an Ego that we need to get rid off, but simply with the fact that we are human and flawed. That which we do not like or that which we hate about ourselves—and think that we are not—is a dark shadow. We also all carry light shadows, which are the qualities we admire in others, but again, which we think we are not. The truth is, we are everything: Good and bad.

Debbie Ford compares our traits, the ones we like and the ones we don’t like, to a pack of wolves. Her quote from her book “Why Good People Do Bad Things” says it best:

“Truth be told, there is a whole pack of wolves running around inside us – the loving wolf, the kind-hearted wolf, the smart wolf, the sensitive wolf, the strong wolf, the selfless wolf, the open-hearted wolf, and the creative wolf. Along with these positive aspects exists the dissatisfied wolf, the ungrateful wolf, the entitled wolf, the nasty wolf, the selfish wolf, the shameful wolf, the lying wolf, and the destructive wolf. Each day we have the opportunity to acknowledge all of these wolves. All these parts of ourselves, and we get to choose how we will relate to each of them. Will we stand in judgement on some and pretend some don’t exist or are we going to take ownership of the entire pack?” (Debbie Ford, Why Good People Do Bad Things)

Should we only feed the white wolves and ignore the black ones? If we only feed what we were told is “good”, and try to starve the other impulses and energies inside of us, the latter will wait for an opportunity to attack when we least expect it. ALL energy USED WITH CONSCIOUSNESS is good, beneficial or useful in some way. However, the key is that we are consciously aware of our shadows and have learned to love ourselves with them. Loving ourselves including our darkness allows us to truly love and accept others with all their imperfections and flaws as well.

Join us for the next SHADOW ENERGETICS WORKSHOP at the end of May. You will learn all the processes to do your own healing work and/or to use them with your clients. To find out more about what is included in this four day training please click here or read testimonials of past students.

If you would like to read more on the topic of beliefs and shadows, or watch Debbie Ford’s movie, the following products are available on amazon by clicking the image links.

(DVD)

 

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Spring Equinox & Super Moon

The spring equinox is one of the four solar festivals of the year. Day and night are equally long today on March 20. Right now, light and dark are balanced, but about to tip over on the side of the light as the days are getting longer. This year, the beginning of spring also coincides with a full moon, in fact a super moon. A super moon happens only when a full moon aligns with the point closest to the earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit. The moon appears brighter and bigger than normal. It is the third and final of three super moons in 2019 and perfect for manifesting what we want to bring into our lives.

The longer days of spring symbolize the time of a new life. Spring stands for new beginnings, new birth, and new growth. Spring is the season of change, of awakening, renewal and outward movement. It is a time to focus on clearing out the old and creating the new. Just as we might feel the urge to do a spring cleaning of our house, we need to clean and clear out our body, heart and mind as well.

The full moon, especially this super moon, with its intense amount of energy, is the perfect time for releasing the old and for manifesting the new. It is a time to let go, to release any attachments and resistance and to attract and embrace the new. This is the time for cleansing and clearing out the old; our fears, our limiting beliefs, the emotions we are stuck in, the relationships that we are hanging on to when they really belong into the past, and the hurts and old wounds that we identify with.

Holding on to hurt, resentment, anger and judgment is affecting every moment of our day and is ultimately robbing all joy from our life. We are giving the people we have not forgiven power over us. Trust that what goes around comes around and that the Universe has a way to take care of justice through Karma. You can make the choice to let go and forgive; you can decide that it does not matter anymore.

Spring is a call to let go of emotions, like frustration, anger or resentment. They do not serve us. Anger and resentment energetically bind us to the past and to people we do not really want to be connected to. Spring Equinox and Full Moon are the optimal time to set intentions, to make a new start, to create an image in your mind of what you actually want to see in your life. What intentions do you want to set? What are the qualities you most want to manifest in your life? What are your goals and dreams for a joyous future? What would you like to feel and experience? These are the seeds to plant in the garden of your being.

Let’s celebrate the spring equinox with a meditation to set clear intentions, so that we can harvest a more bountiful future. Join me for this

Spring Equinox Meditation and Full Moon Meditation

For more meditations please subscribe to my Patreon.

 

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

The Six Second Kiss And Other Rituals of Connection

When did you last get a really good long kiss? If you are dating or in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, you will most likely be experiencing lots of kissing. If you are in a later state of your relationship and you haven’t kept up the kissing, you might miss out on an essential connection ritual which has lots of health benefits.

Kissing releases oxytocin and dopamine. Oxytocin makes you feel a sense of comfort and belonging, and dopamine activates your brain’s reward center. Kissing can also reduce the stress hormone cortisol. It lowers your blood pressure and reduces anxiety.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman recommend to share at least one kiss every day that lasts six seconds or more. Why six seconds? Because that requires us to be present and it is long enough to feel the romantic connection and bond with your partner.

“A six-second kiss is a kiss with potential.

It’s a kiss worth coming home to.”

(John Gottman)

The six second kiss is a beautiful ritual of connection for a couple. Our relationships need rituals. We all have many rituals with children, we have family rituals, especially around holidays, we have religious rituals, for example around death. They provide guidance on how to act and interact in a given situation. They give meaning to an experience which is often still remembered many years later, like a birthday celebration, or the annual family vacation, or the lullaby that was sung to us throughout childhood.

Rituals provide a container for an experience of an emotional connection. Rituals give us predictability, something to look forward to; they are anchors in a fast moving and often unpredictable world. Even smaller rituals help us to be emotionally connected with one or more other people. They give us a sense of belonging and they make our relationships stronger.

Something done without intention is not a ritual, yet the same thing done with intention can become a ritual. Watching TV is not a ritual, yet, having a pizza and movie night every Friday with the kids and taking turns picking a movie is done with the intention to connect and have fun as a family. Taking a class to learn a new language or new skill like photography, or to improve your cooking or dancing abilities is not a ritual, but making the conscious choice to take one class a year together as a couple can be a couple ritual to create shared memories of learning and fun.

All couples, no matter at what stage their relationship is in, need rituals. Dan and Bonita are living a long distance relationship, including a significant time difference. Rituals of connection are what help them to get through this period in their life. They text, facetime or skype every day to connect. They make sure they say good night and good morning to each other. Each time they have visited each other, they make a plan for the next time they will see each other in person. Each of these rituals are intentional to provide safety and are like islands of connection as they move forward.

Stan and Jane are newly married and are developing their own rituals. They have very different schedules. He works from 9-5, she from 3-9. When she is done working, the day is over. They are making the very conscious choice to start and end the day together. Having breakfast together and talking in the morning, as well as ending the day cuddling together, are two important anchors for them. Their morning and evening routine frames their day and allows them to be focussed on work, knowing when they will touch base with each other again.

Daniel and Gabriela just had their first child. In order to stay connected, they maintain every Friday night as date night. They are also developing family rituals with their son. The family rituals create a stronger connection with their child, and the alone time allows them not to lose the sense of themselves as a couple and their romantic bond.

Walter and Fran are alone. Their kids have grown up. One of their rituals is to go to the market every Saturday morning and to then cook together. In the afternoon, they work around the house and on Saturday night they go out with friends or by themselves. Their rituals have helped them to refocus from being parents onto their special couples relationship.

What rituals do you have or would you like to create?

If you would like to do a meditation on creating new rituals of connection, go to my Patreon. The upcoming topic is rituals. In addition to the meditation I offer journal prompts and a partner exercise to create rituals together and engage in them consciously.

As a patron your receive a meditation, journal prompts, a relationship tip and partner exercises on a new topic every two weeks.

Subscribe here to get this exclusive content.

TO SAMPLE a meditation, journal prompts and partner exercises on another topic click here.

 

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

A.R.E. you there for me?

Daniel is dating Kelsey. He is incredibly attracted to her beautiful body, he loves to touch and kiss her, and cannot wait to make love to her. She has told him that she is not quite ready yet to be physically intimate with him, but that she will let him know. She has shared with him that a year prior, another man took advantage of her when she was drunk. They are in her room, where they have been studying together for the next exam, and the young couple ends up in a passionate embrace. Daniel is excited and can feel that Kelsey is getting more comfortable with him as well. He could push on and coax her into moving into the next step. He decides to do what is so much harder, which is to honour her request and go for delayed gratification. He leaves. Without fully realizing it, he has laid the basis for a trusting relationship with her.

Christina is five months pregnant with their first child. The midwife has examined her and has recommended to go for an ultrasound. She is concerned that the baby might not be putting on enough weight, especially as Christina is of what is looked at as “advanced maternal age”, at 39 years old. Christina calls her husband, Daniel. He is stressed due to an important deadline at work, but he knows that Christina has experienced three miscarriages in her first marriage and wasn’t supported by her ex-husband. He can hear the fear in her voice. He always does his best to ensure that he is accessible by phone. Despite his work deadline, he agrees to come to the hospital with her because she needs him as her anchor. Doing this, he has reassured her that he will—unlike her ex-husband—put her first when she needs his emotional support, no matter how busy he is.

John just turned 75. He wakes up in the middle of the night from a nightmare, which leaves him not feeling well. He had a heart attack ten years ago and since then, he has been secretly worried about his health. He has trouble breathing. He wonders whether he should reach over and wake Betty. What if she is annoyed with him for being such a baby? He decides to take the chance. Betty responds with understanding and care. She holds him, talks to him and soothes him. They fall asleep again together, arm in arm. She was accessible, responsive and willing to engage with him, despite it being 2:30 a.m. She was willing to be his emotional anchor.

These examples are of three couples of different ages and at different points in their lives and their relationships. Yet, in each case, one of them is asking in one way or another, “Are you there for me? Do I matter? Do my feelings and needs matter to you? Will you honour my requests, fears and needs? Can you be my anchor when I am afraid?” And the other one responds by being mindful of the partner’s requests and needs, by being accessible, responsive and willing to be present and engaged.

We as humans crave nothing more than deep intimate connections with at least one other person, yet, we are at the same time deeply afraid of reaching out to that other person and entrusting them with our fears and needs. The longing to be truly seen for who we are is strong, yet often the fear of rejection is stronger.

In the age of speed-dating, Tinder, and many sites for sexual encounters, we more or less live in and experience a hook-up culture. It has never been so easy to find somebody for a one-night stand, for sexting or for other erotic experiences. Those interactions often leave us temporarily distracted from our inner pain, but ultimately feeling more alone and empty inside.

We receive our wounding in relationships and we also heal in relationships. Our partner becomes a substitute for our parents or caretakers and therefore, our partner triggers our childhood wounds. As painful as this is, there is also the beautiful opportunity to heal these wounds and shift those memories, experiences and beliefs from our childhood, within the “container” of our present-day partnership.

Our partner also heals the wounds we have experienced through previous partners. If a past partner has hurt, disappointed or betrayed the person you are with, you have the honour to be their healer. That is an incredible gift you are being given. It’s a call to show up with awareness, gentleness, understanding and most of all, integrity. Ask yourself what it means to be truly intimate, available, reliable and safe.

Or as Sue Johnson phrases it: “The key question in love is not, ‘How many orgasms can I have with you?’ It is, ‘A.R.E. you there for me?’, where A.R.E. stands for emotionally Accessible, Responsive and Engaged.”

Our deepest healing happens within the boundaries of a safe, exclusive, committed and intimate relationship. In order to heal, we need to acknowledge that we all have wounds, some might be due to bigger traumas, others due to smaller traumas. We need to be ready to let go of the past and expect the best now from our current partner. And as the partner, we need a compassionate attitude and the willingness to be patient; to affirm and re-affirm, to assure and reassure.

The more you A.R.E there for your partner and your partner for you, the deeper your connection will be and the more you will be rewarded in all areas of your relationship. Emotional intimacy translates into physical intimacy and vice versa.

“This quality of emotional connectedness also seems to translate into the bedroom and erotic connection. Securely bonded lovers report more and better sex. They are more confident in bed and can deal with sexual disconnects and problems together. When you are safely connected, you can relax, let go, and give in to sensation. You can take risks and reach for erotic adventure. You can share and respond to each other’s deepest needs and desires.” (Sue Johnson)

What would it be like if, next time your partner reaches out to you, you would be Accessible, Responsive and Engaged? And what would it be like if you gathered all your courage to be vulnerable and reach out to your partner, trusting him or her to be Accessible, Responsive and Engaged?

Image by Skitterphoto on Pixabay

 

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

How Do I Accurately Assess a Potential Relationship Partner?

Listen to the blog article as an extended version on my podcast, or read it below.

Are you dating and wondering if this time around the other person is the right long-term partner for you? What is required to assess another person realistically and minimize repeating heartbreak and disappointment?

I often see people leaving their marriage or common-law relationship and within a few months, they are involved with somebody else, declaring that this time, things are different.
What has most likely happened in those cases? It is very possible that the person has skipped an important step, the one of grieving and completing the old relationship. Instead, they have simply replaced one partner with the next, because that is what we are taught to do.

If you are like most people, you will associate the word “grief” with a loved one dying. In reality, grief and loss, in one form or another, occur with most changes in our lives, including the end of a relationship.

When a relationship ends in separation or divorce, it brings huge changes to our daily routine, to our friendships and social interactions, and often to our financial situation. There may be elements of relief that the pain and suffering we experienced being in the relationship is over, but there will also be elements of grief and having to adapt to the changes.

Processing the changes can be challenging because our environment is not supportive. Often, the advice we are given when a relationship ends is along the lines of “don’t feel bad” and “there are many fish in the sea and you’ll find somebody else”, or in other words, “replace the lost relationship with another one”, as if partners are simply exchangeable.

What is required to move forward without dragging our old baggage with us is to fully process the previous relationship, understand what patterns caused the break-up, and grieve the old relationship and the loss of our dreams for the future. The choice to be with somebody else without having done the deeper work might come from fear of being alone. I know because I have experienced this myself in the past. I remember being very much in love with a man many years ago and feeling shocked and heartbroken when the relationship ended due to depression and mental health issues. Within five months, in fact by Christmas that same year, I was dating somebody else, convinced he must be “the love of my life”. What was really underneath this rash decision was that I didn’t want to be alone for Christmas. I had not vetted this man properly and the relationship did not last long.

Jumping into the next relationship without knowing the other person well will most likely cause further heartbreak when that relationship also ends. So how does one not give in to the temptation to rush into the next relationship? And how do we evaluate other people as a potential match?

Dr. Joan Borysenko likes to joke that “if your parents were alcoholics, you can go to a cocktail party, and there’s one alcoholic, and you’re going to end up talking to that one person.” We are naturally drawn to what is familiar and unresolved from childhood. Therefore, we need to be aware of our wounds and our patterns. What have I learned about myself, other people and love relationships growing up? If I am afraid to be alone or have a pervasive fear of abandonment, I might rush into the first possible relationship that shows up and recreate a vicious circle of repeating heartbreak. Or if one of my parents was emotionally distant that might be exactly what I find myself attracted to over and over again, even though I suffer greatly when my partner retreats and closes off.

When we get to know somebody, it pays off to take it slow and to not focus so much on ourselves, but to actually be really curious about the other person. If we focus internally on how someone makes us feel, for example attractive, admired, or appreciated, that focus on ourselves does not tell us anything about the other person. We cannot hear what people tell us between the lines if we are too distracted by our own feelings. We want to learn to read other people relatively quickly before we get emotionally attached to them. Once we have started to bond with somebody or have announced the new relationship to all our social contacts, we are more likely to make excuses for them and to put up with behaviours, character traits and values that will become deal breakers in the long run.

In order to assess somebody for a match, we need to know what our own values are and which ones are “must haves” or “deal breakers”. We need to learn to listen for other people’s values in what they share with us. Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • What matters to them? What values become apparent? Are these values in line with your top 10 values?
  • What is their position on taking responsibility for their own words and actions? Do they blame others, like ex-partners, for past difficulties?
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • How do they look at challenges and problem solving in regards to life situations, especially relationships? If they are conflict-avoidant, they won’t be able to work relationship issues out when they arise.
  • How great are their interpersonal skills and communication skills? Do they have a high EQ which allows them to have empathy, share their own emotions and maintain relationships beyond the initial connection?
  • Do they have a history of working through situations, or are they most likely a “fair weather friend”, who is going to be there for a good time but does not have the resilience to work through challenging life situations?

Even after a few dates, we don’t have the entire picture yet. We are likely filling in the blanks with wishful thinking. Rather than deceiving ourselves that we already know a lot, let’s continue to remain curious and open to discover what the other person is really like. Hypnotherapist Michael Yapko recommends to make a concrete list of 25 things we do not know about this person, any one of which could be a potential deal-breaker. What are the things you don’t know for sure yet, and still need to find out?

Before we commit to another person, it is also beneficial to have one or two honest friends or family members vet this potential new partner. In order for this to be helpful, we of course have to be willing to listen to their impressions and assessment. The best way to attract a more successful relationship is not to approach the search for a new partner with desperation and immediacy but with curiosity, a realistic attitude and by taking one step at a time.

Contact me for

individual coaching sessions or couples’ sessions.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

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