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8 posts from June 2006

June 28, 2006

BOUNDARIES IN RELATIONSHIPS (Part I)

BOUNDARIES IN RELATIONSHIPS (Part I)
I believe the two most pivotal skills for being in healthy relationships are boundaries and self-esteem. They are the foundation from which everything else flourishes. This post is going to address boundaries. Because boundaries are complex and so pivotal, beware that this is a longer-than-usual post…

Okay, so what are boundaries? Boundaries are a system of protection. They are meant to protect us as well as those around us. I like to see them as an imaginary bubble we encapsulate ourselves in. This bubble is strong enough to keep harmful comments, energies, insults, etc., out, yet permeable enough to allow constructive criticism, authentic feedback, and kind comments in.

We are the controllers of our boundaries. We decide what we allow in and what we keep out. The way we determine what comes in, is if it’s true or not. We ask ourselves, “Is this true for me? Is this something I need to take in and look at?” If the answer is yes, then we let it in. If the answer is no, then we simply let the comment bounce off our bubble (boundary) and move on.


Continue reading "BOUNDARIES IN RELATIONSHIPS (Part I)" »

June 25, 2006

RAISING HEALTHY CHILDREN…(Changing me, Changes my children)

I never realized how much my emotional health would impact my children--until I had them. I used to think that setting good limits and providing guidance, love, and nurturance would be enough. I’m realizing that it’s a good start but it’s not enough.

You see, I can’t raise healthy children unless I’m healthy. I can say all the right things, read the right books, watch the right shows, etc.; however, I can’t bring my children farther along than I am myself.

I’ve become aware of this after watching my children’s behavior around the issue of competition. You see, I’ve been competitive my whole life. My husband and I laugh at this because I can be competitive about the silliest things…like who touches the other person last or who gets home faster. I can also be competitive about more typical things, such as who wins the tennis, soccer, or board game.

When I was younger I had to be everybody’s “best” friend. As I got older, I had to be every client’s “best” therapist. I wanted to be every boyfriend’s most special girlfriend and my husband’s only “true love." Ick…I’m not proud of it, just aware of it.

Continue reading "RAISING HEALTHY CHILDREN…(Changing me, Changes my children)" »

June 20, 2006

TENDER RELATIONSHIPS

Just like hot fudge turns good ice cream into great ice cream, tender sprinkles turn good relationships into great relationships. Tender sprinkles are little acts of kindness meant to touch another’s heart. These acts bring a smile to your face when you think of them and joy to your partner’s heart. They are the extra topping on an already good relationship; they can be the healing balm on struggling relationships.

Tender Sprinkles Ideas List:
1. At a random time during the day pause and tell your partner one thing you love about her or him.
2. Go up to your partner and rub her/his neck and shoulders for 3-5 minutes. When you’re done, gently kiss her/him on the neck and go about your day.
3. Write your partner a note or poem and put it somewhere s/he will find it during the day. It can be funny, cute or mushy.
4. Do a random act of kindness that your partner is sure to notice.

Continue reading "TENDER RELATIONSHIPS" »

June 15, 2006

RELATIONSHIPS AND WORK STRESS...NO BLACK CLOUDS PLEASE

Daily stresses can pull us out of relationship with our family in an instant. Before we know it we’re snapping at the kids, being short with our partners and bringing a black cloud into our home.
Read this story as a reminder to leave your work problems at the door…or the “Trouble Tree”.

Trouble Tree
Author Unknown
I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit, his ancient one ton truck refused to start. As I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.
On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. Upon opening the door he had undergone an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do at the little tree.
"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again."
"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Challenge: Incorporate a ritual every day that will help you transition from work to home in a loving, relational way (i.e., sit in the car for 2 minutes before entering your home to get centered; say a quiet meditation; enter the house with a kind word, gesture or hug).
Commit to not bring your negative energy from work into your home. Note what you notice.

June 13, 2006

RELATIONSHIPS: CAN YOU FIND THE LOVE AGAIN?

I work with couples all the time grappling with what to do with their relationship. They wonder if they should stay together or if the love is gone and it’s time to end it. One of the partners will often say s/he needs some time and space to figure it out. In my opinion, this is not the best way to decide if you can find the love again. In fact it is the exact opposite of what you want to do.

For those of you who have lost the passion and want to know if you can get it back, I believe that the best way to answer that is to step into the relationship and work it--not step out of it and think it.

Stepping into the relationship requires that both of you do things differently. You both must be fully present with one another, have an open heart and be actively taking steps towards closeness (i.e. increasing affection, spending more one-on-one time together, listening as though you care what your partner is saying etc.).

Continue reading "RELATIONSHIPS: CAN YOU FIND THE LOVE AGAIN?" »

June 10, 2006

RELATIONSHIP AND LIFE OVERLOAD

My computer's at the shop, I had to go to jury duty, and my schedule is going crazy due to this rain soaked state and endless soccer make up games! Can anyone else relate?

I promise to be back on the blog within the next couple days.

Ah, keeping relationships strong even when you are drowning in life's little bumps...what a feat! Here's hoping your lives and relationships are going strong and surviving life's curve balls.

June 06, 2006

DEAR CURIOUS

On my last post Curious made the following comment:
Here it is - I am a pretty decent guy, well educated (over educated if you like) very respectful and soft spoken with people in general. A friend of mine started dating recently after getting out of a relationship where he was abusive of his gf, she would take advantage of him too. That is over, but now that he is dating he is jumping from woman to woman, kind of having a personal contest of sleeping with as many women as he can. I am not assuming this from his behaviour, it is what he told me. He recently met a young woman who I thought was very conservative and I sort of liked. If I were in the dating scenario, that is the kind of woman I would pursue or seek, atleast so I thought.
To my disgust my friend repeatedly insulted the womans character, boasting how he could bed her and that she was a slut. Guess what, the woman hardly knowing my friend, slept with him. Now, I have to rethink my choice and I am having trouble with myself and my choice. I know it is kind of inappropriate to get into other people's business, but believe me the info was bombarded on me and I cant help it. Now, I wish I was in Alaska and never had faced this situation.
Here is my response:

Dear Curious,
I’m wondering why it is you’re questioning yourself rather than your friend? My guess is although this girl may have slept with your friend, he’s not quite telling you the whole story. Anyone who is “in a personal contest to sleep with as many women as possible” obviously struggles with integrity. That said, chances are he is willing to go to any length to get a woman into bed including behaving quite interested, charming, and “nice.”

Continue reading "DEAR CURIOUS" »

June 02, 2006

YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS PRIMARY…PROTECT IT

Are your in-laws driving you crazy? Is your partner complaining about your parents or siblings? Are you both struggling to find a healthy balance with your families of origin? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions then you’re not alone. Many couples find themselves in a loyalty bind between their family of origin and their nuclear family.

So what do you do? Who comes first, your parents or your spouse? The answer to this question is--your spouse. Every time. Be very protective of your relationship. Imagine putting a protective “bubble” over the couple-ship. If you have children, then include them in this bubble. All other people are outside this bubble and come after your current family. All decisions are made from this place.

If you get stuck in the middle of your spouse and outside family members then follow these tips:

Continue reading "YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS PRIMARY…PROTECT IT" »

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