34 posts categorized "HOLIDAYS"

May 08, 2011

A Mother’s Day Thanks

IStock_0motherdaughterll To all the loving mothers in the world,

Thank you for the countless baths, 2 a.m. feedings and seemingly endless diaper changes. Thank you for your loving pats on our backs, strokes of our hair and words of encouragement.  Thank you for holding us, singing to us and rocking us to sleep when we were just too young to do it ourselves.

As we got older, thank you for hanging in there with us when every fiber of your being wanted to give up, lie down or go away.  Thank you for your words of wisdom in the toughest of times and for your patience when we threw those words right back at you. Thank you for loving us enough to go on.  Thank you for the times when you set limits, knowing there would be hell to pay from our reactions.  Thank you for staying true to your values when we seemed to have none. 

Thank you for loving us even when we screamed that we didn’t love you.  Thank you for being wise enough to know we didn’t mean it.  Thank you especially for not saying those words back to us; we were too fragile to hear them.  Thank you for those times when you kept your cool even when we couldn’t keep ours.

Thank you for the endless housework, meals and loads of laundry you’ve done for us throughout our lifetimes.  You’ve taught us tenacity, unconditional love and modeled an inner strength we seldom acknowledged.  Your ability to give to us when it seemed as though all we did was take, was powerful.  We’re sorry for all those thankless moments.

Most of all, thank you for being there in ways few others were.  You are our calm in the storm, our go to person when things get hard and a key person we knew we could always count on.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Happy Mother’s Day!

With much love…

January 03, 2011

A New Year: An Inner Life Makeover

IStock_0New Year2011ll Every year at this time millions of people make countless New Year’s resolutions regarding appearance, work, family and relationships.  One person’s going to lose weight, another’s going to work harder and yet another is going to spend more time with their family.  All of these can be great ideas, yet somehow few actually get followed through with. 

What if this year people focused on making changes on the inside of themselves rather than the outside?  What if we decided to look at why we emotionally eat rather than go on a diet that will lead to more weight gain in the future anyway?  What if we looked at our propensity to hide in our careers rather than enjoy our families?  How about exploring the relationship squashing patterns that have haunted us for a lifetime?  Hmmm, what if…?

For those of you who are courageous enough to take a look at yourself with a loving and critical eye, here are some ideas of what to look at.  Change some of your internal patterns and watch your life change on a whole new level.
1.    Look at your past several romantic relationships and write down what each partner’s main complaint was about you.  Don’t defend against the complaint—just take it in and look at it.  Imagine the complaint is true.  How has this quality hurt your relationships/life?  What step can you take to change it?
2.    Pay attention to the messages your children say to you when they’re angry, hurt or upset at you.  Do they say you’re always working, never listen, mean or…?  Take in their feedback and examine it for truth.  Don’t defend—just own your piece and decide if and how you need to change it.

Continue reading "A New Year: An Inner Life Makeover" »

November 18, 2010

Holiday Season Tip Sheet


As the holidays get closer and closer I can almost feel the tension, stress and angst in the air with many clients.  Many are anxious because they want everything to go well. Others are resentful that the bulk of the holiday work lands on them.  Some are tense due to past negative experiences either as a child or in their current family.  Regardless of where you land on this issue, below are basic steps all of us can take to help this holiday season be a pleasurable experience.  I hope these tips serve you all well this holiday season.
1.    Don’t spend money you don’t have.  This tip is even more important today in our economy than perhaps ever before.  Don’t invite too many guests if you can’t afford it.  Don’t pay for the entire celebration if you can’t.  Don’t try to max out credit cards so you don’t disappoint your children, family members, co-workers etc. Overspending leads to greater stress, fear, anxiety and it is putting the wants of others above the needs of you.  If you don’t have it, don’t spend it.
2.    Learn to delegate rather than being a martyr.  The holidays cannot be a positive experience if you are slaving away 90% of the time in an effort to make sure everyone else is happy.  Trust me, if you’re not happy, they will feel it and it will take away from their experience as well.  Discuss with your loved ones what needs to be done and divide the list.  If you prefer to take the lead, then make the list and delegate what projects you’d like others to take on.

Continue reading "Holiday Season Tip Sheet" »

June 17, 2010

Father’s Day: What A Great Dad Does

 Over the years I’ve met, worked with and seen all kinds of dads.  Some dads were great and some left a lot to be desired in the fathering department.  I’ve also seen the effects of great versus not-so-great dads on their young children as well on as their adult children.

This post is to all the great dads out there who are changing lives, family legacies and, if I may be so bold,—our world.  I have nothing but enormous gratitude for men who dare to be in the world differently from many men and fathers of old.  Hats off to your courage to say no to tradition, your willingness to be more than just a provider and your determination to make your children a priority in your words and actions.  

What a great dad does:
1.    A great father plays with his children, listens to his children and laughs with his children.  He builds them up rather than tears them down.  He tries to pull out the greatness in them instead of squashing them by highlighting their human flaws.  When he makes these efforts imperfectly, he has the strength and courage to apologize and repair.
2.    A great dad shows his children in his words and actions that they are important to him and to this world.  He gives them his undivided attention when they need it, affection when they could use it and love day in and day out.  
3.    A great dad is responsible out in the world, at home and with his children.  He neither works endlessly nor skirts his responsibilities.  He leads by example and doesn’t ask anymore from his family than he does of himself.  

Continue reading "Father’s Day: What A Great Dad Does" »

April 02, 2010


Easter is in a couple days and many families will use this day as an opportunity to come together and celebrate.  As many people know, however, family gatherings are not always positive events.  Below are a few tips on how to make these get-togethers a positive experience for those families who tend to struggle with one another at gatherings and otherwise.
When having a celebration:

1.  Celebrate.  Celebrations are NOT the time to bring up old upsets, angry feelings or serious disagreements.  Put all your ill feelings aside for the time being and just enjoy the moment.  There will be plenty of time, on a different day, to discuss hard feelings.  Today is not that day.

2.  Monitor your alcohol consumption.  Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, if you don’t like a family member normally, you will like them even less when under the influence.  Be a grown up not a teenager and stay sober, respectful and keep your wits about you.

3.  Talk more with the family members you enjoy.  Whenever possible, keep interactions with those you struggle with, to brief, pleasant interactions and have larger conversations with those you like.  Don’t ignore or avoid—that’s rude and obvious.

4.  Use your boundaries.  Stop looking for things that annoy you and use a psychic boundary.  Don’t assume a person’s intentions, make up what they really “meant” when they said…(fill in the blank) or read into their behavior/body language/look etc.  Stay centered.  If you’re reactive, you’re not practicing good boundaries.


February 12, 2010


I don’t know about you, but sometimes Valentine’s Day feels more like a pressure to buy a gift than it does a day to honor your relationship.  Is it just me who feels this way?  It seems like year after year, people run out at the last minute to get something to show their partner they remembered.  If one partner forgets, there’s hell to pay.

Unfortunately, too many people are missing the point.  The point is not to remember Valentine’s Day; the point is to honor your partner and your relationship.  If you’re relationship is great, tell your partner you love having them in your life.  Show them in your every day actions that you cherish them.  Valentine’s Day itself should just be another extension of that—not a duty.  It’s a time to reflect on what you all have together and to show your appreciation for what they add to your life. 

If you don’t have a great relationship, then throwing a gift at your partner doesn’t make up for that. Take the time to talk to your partner about where you’re at regarding this relationship and what you’re willing to do about it.  If you’re miserable and unhappy with your partner—please don’t go buy them a gift because you feel you have to.  Buy them a gift only if you feel you want to…and you’re willing to work your side to change this relationship.  Be honest with them that you’re not happy yet you wanted them to know that you’re committed to making it work.  Ask your partner if s/he would be willing to discuss the relationship with an open heart and a calm spirit.  


December 31, 2009


The New Year is typically a time for people to make plans, set goals and assess where they’ve been and where they want to be.  This process most often entails looking at all the places where we have fallen short.  We look at the weight we’ve gained (or failed to lose), the money we didn’t bring in, the projects we never completed, the exercise we didn’t do or the countless business goals we didn’t reach.  And if we were successful in some of these areas, January 1st becomes the time to set new goals to surpass those from the year before.  We’re constantly trying for better, more, faster, thinner. 

This year, however, I’ve decided to pause. 

This year I’m committed to slowing down and appreciating how far I’ve come, the people I’ve met along the way and, yes, even the places where I got stuck.  The start of 2010 will be a tribute to 2009.  I want to take the time to enjoy my accomplishments, examine my mistakes and be thankful for my struggles -- which have taught me as much, if not more, than my successes.  The start of 2010 will be about total acceptance of where I am and how I got here—the good, the bad and the ugly--as they say.


December 18, 2009


1.    Take time out.  During the stress of the holiday rush, many people forget to take time to just relax.  Slow down for a moment or two, connect with your loved ones and chill.  Sit down together and decompress about your days.  Stop the rat race and give yourself a break—trust me, the world is not going to fall apart because you took some time to have a peaceful moment.
2.    Relationships before tasks.  Remember to be relational during the holidays.  With all the stress, many of us are so busy getting things done that we make that our number one priority.  The priority should always be relationships first, tasks second.  Having a messy table will not end your relationship with your in-laws—not speaking to them because you’re too busy cleaning up the table might .
3.    Offer a helping hand or ask for a helping hand.  Do not try to be wonder woman or superman.  Share the gift buying, party planning, dinner cooking/cleaning, etc.  Ask your partner for help if you need it and/or offer to help if you see they need it.  Getting through the holidays is a much more enjoyable experience when we partner with one another.  If one partner is buying the gifts, the other partner could wrap them.  Minimally, both partners should be brainstorming about gifts for the kids or parents.  Don’t assume the other person is responsible—that’s a cop out. 


November 18, 2009


Regardless of whether you love the holidays or dread them, they can be very stressful.  Many people are trying to manage work, home, holidays, in-laws, traditions and finances all at once.  Under the best of circumstances this can be somewhat daunting.  If you’re also the one entertaining, it can be that much harder.

You can make it, however, with minimal damage if you pay attention to the following holiday and entertaining tips:
1.    Be yourself—not who you think everyone else wants you to be.  If you’re not into the finest china and most beautiful décor, then don’t try to force it.  Don’t try to put on a show for others.  Play to your strengths and don’t sign up for guilt.  If you tend to be more laid back, then have a laid back dinner.
2.    Relax and use your boundaries.  Remember that other people’s upsets are not always about you. Don’t try so hard to make everyone happy; instead just provide a calm environment in which people can be themselves.  Remember that some people love family gatherings while others hate them.  If someone in your family’s off by themselves, don’t take it personally.  Let them take care of themselves and you take care of yourself.


February 14, 2009


Talk about mistakes...yikes here I have a relationship blog and I almost forget to post on Valentine's Day!  I suppose I was so caught up with my own relationships with my husband and children that I forgot to post.  Hopefully you all are doing the same and just enjoying some special time with your loved ones too.

This Valentine's remember to treat those closest to you best, and take the time to let them know you care.  Get a card, write a note, sprinkle some tenderness, and be thankful for all that you have.  Also remember that the most precious gift--your presence, love and attention--is free.  Make sure you're fully present this Valentine's Day sharing the very best part of yourself with the person you care about.

If you're not in a romantic relationship, don't focus on who you don't have and instead be thankful for who you do.  Enjoy the night with some friends or family and be thankful you have others to share it with.  Do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself or on any single friends you have.  Just enjoy the sweets and relax.

CHALLENGE: Be kind, loving, and warm-hearted for this entire weekend and extend Valentine's Day to beyond a box of candy or bouquet of flowers.  Your partner will love your relational gift and you'll feel better for it.  

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