5 Things People do Wrong in Relationships.

16 Aug
Resolving Conflict

Illustrated by Clementine Sourdais.

1. We focus on what’s wrong rather than acknowledging and growing what’s right.

Ruminating on annoyances never makes them magically disappear. Instead we need to consciously manage our own reactions, responses and behaviours by curiously wondering what gets triggered within us when we feel wronged or annoyed. Or we could choose to just step away and skip merrily on our way, sidestepping obstacles. The more we involve ourselves in tasks that propel us forward and make us feel good, the better. See if you can stop, breath, count to five and remind yourself of the value your loved ones add to your life.

2. We criticise rather than praise behaviours or affirm competence.

Think about how it feels when you have your less than fabulous traits pointed out to you in a way that doesn’t invite healthy discussion or kind creative solutions. Generally speaking people are more ready to give negative feedback than positive, and are likely to tell all who will listen about bad service rather than yell thanks from the rooftops about great service. Let’s all aim to spread more kindness around. Acknowledge. Affirm. Praise. Give thanks. Write a 5 star review.

3. Negative emotions are so much easier to grab at when we feel threatened. 

It’s important to stay resourced, rested and care for ourselves in ways that don’t run us ragged or make us righteous, stubborn or argumentative. Being tired and run down seemingly “allows” anger to spill over. Flowing lava burns people. Choose how, when and if you use it. Think about the consequences. If someone crosses your boundary, it’s really ok to just state something simple such as “I’m not ok with that.” Or “It’s not ok to talk to me like that.” Or invite the other person to communicate respectfully by asking “Could you please say that in a way that makes me want to listen.” Be encouraging and hopeful of change. If change doesn’t occur, reassess what you are doing and be brave enough to sidestep situations or people who don’t enrich your being.

4. We don’t always behave in respectful ways or treat others the way we would like to be treated.

Disrespect can sneak in a number of ways from how we talk to each other, to how we listen, right down to emotional or sexual betrayal. The rule of thumb is this. If you wouldn’t like it done to you, don’t say it or do it. Reach into the magic hat and pull out new ways of communicating. If you don’t want your words or actions viewed by people you care about, it’s a sure sign to stop and find an alternative. If you truly feel you don’t want to be around someone, reassess how much time you spend together,  or walk away and consider how or if it serves either of you to stay connected.

5. We don’t take self-responsibility and explore what gets activated in us when we feel hurt and angry.

If you consistently use anger as a first response, see if hurt lies underneath it. Be aware of what is likely to trigger you. Are you hungry, lonely, tired or unresourced? Did you step over your own boundary and seek engagement when you would’ve fared better taking time out? Do you need more solitude and self-care? Was it the right time or place? Did you filter your responses? Did you focus on the issue at hand rather than personally attack another? Did you think “If I say this, in this way, what is the likely consequence?”

In summary, 5 ways to do it right? Stay centered, calm, curious, compassionate and look for creative solutions.

7 Ways to Begin to Renovate Your Life

14 Mar



Circling Horses by Cassia Beck

If life feels stale around the edges, a lot of stuff is going wrong, others are being critical and competitive, friendships seem to be falling to the curb like flies, and normal activities begin to feel like swimming through thick fog, it could to time to change things up.

Often people will grin and bear it, grit their teeth, grind their teeth at night, and push on regardless, which is fine for a short time, just not a long time as it can compound the difficulties. Sometimes what we resist persists. When negativity outweighs positivity and it’s closing in on you from the outside and you have taken personal responsibility, searched deep within and tried many things that just aren’t working, or no one is listening or supporting you, or worse still blaming you, close the door and open another. Sometimes it’s actually not your fault. Sometimes you wake up and realise that you aren’t surrounded by your tribe. Or you realise that your shine and sparkle is being dulled in order to make someone else feel more adequate. Step away from determination and move closer to joy.

  1. Face up to the discomfort. Is the negativity in your situation beginning to change who you are or how you sound? Are you getting tired of not having your feelings and experience validated? Chances are you aren’t around the right people or you aren’t where you need to be, to shine.
  2. Don’t wait for permission. You always know deep down what is best for you. What other people think about you, is of no concern. Everyone has their own agenda. People may want to keep you close for many reasons that have no positive outcome for you.
  3. Look to nature for inspiration. Stop and breathe and know that there are dark times. Those times nurture new beginnings and allow inspiration to rise.
  4. Trust that something better is around the corner. Adventure is exciting. It’s good for your brain. Opportunity exists. Destiny calls.
  5. Celebrate all your victories. Remember all the good stuff you have done, the fabulous connections you made and the lives you changed for the better.
  6. Concentrate on gains rather than losses. Try not to fret or regret. If for example you have to sell a property you love, pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you put in and know that’s why you are reaping the rewards.
  7. Feel the fear, have faith and do it anyway. Make plans to get on a new merry go round and have faith that everything will turn out fabulously.



Reasons why, for Dry July.

4 Jul

Reposting from http://www.womansday.co.nz/health-diet/health/2015/6/the-benefits-of-taking-a-break-from-alcohol/


Here’s how Dry July could benefit your own health as well as those you’re fundraising for

Dry July encourages participants to go alcohol-free for a month to raise funds for adults living with cancer, but the benefits of doing the challenge don’t stop there.

Leanne French, a relationship therapist and addictions counsellor, says taking a break from the booze could have a positive impact on your health and mental wellbeing.

“Drinking even small amounts of alcohol often can make you feel tired and depressed,” says Ms French, who has been a counsellor for over 25 years.

“One of the biggest benefits from taking a break is that people feel healthier and better in the morning, and have more energy, which naturally leads on to doing other healthy things, like eating better food and exercising.”

There’s also the ‘feel-good factor’ associated with setting yourself a goal and achieving it, and that can help improve your self-esteem. Not only that, going alcohol-free for a month could give you the opportunity to improve your relationships with the loved ones in your life.

“Drinking and recovering from drinking can be selfish. It can shut other people out and make you less physically and emotionally available to your partner,” Ms French says.

“Taking a break means you can assess whether this is happening, and may change your attitude to alcohol if it’s something that is having an impact on your relationship with a loved one.”

For more information on Dry July, visit their website.

Image: Getty

Other media releases http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/health-home/health/reaping-the-benefits-of-dry-july/


Friday the 13th. Lucky or Unlucky?

13 Mar

Friday13th Hundreds of thousands of people apparently don’t even get out of bed if a Friday falls on the 13th of the month, lest a black cat cross their path or misfortune reigns upon them. What creates such fear and superstition?

For those who believe it’s unlucky, I usually invite them to consider whether the fear of a black cat crossing their path may have in fact stemmed from olden times when a bunch of woman herbalists and healers (probably in black, who may or may not have been wearing matching pointy hats) met, usually on a Friday, to do things like have fun, pass on their knowledge and Continue reading

5 Things You Should Never Do on Valentines Day

14 Feb


1. Be a sour cynic.

But it’s so commercial, so American, so expensive, so stressful, so lame, so overdone you might say? People, it’s just for one day. Grinches don’t like Christmas, Cinderella might not like Mother’s Day but you know what? At the stroke of midnight whatever day it is, it’s over with a poof of magic dust and then it’s another calendar day. Or the same day on the other side of the world!

2. Think it’s only a day for loved-up couples.

Love is universal. Love is for singles, pets, children, the environment and couples. If you are looking for love and you feel it overly highlights your singledom, then read unique love stories to renew your hope, then go out and kick up your heels and be open to sinful desserts and guilty pleasures.

If you are single and happy, Valentine’s Day is an awesome excuse to treat and spoil yourself.

  • Book yourself in for a massage.
  • Eat your favourite food.
  • Unwrap your best, high cacao content chocolate.
  • Order a book you’ve had on your wish list for ages.
  • Catch a movie.
  • Or implement a random act of kindness like giving muesli bars to a homeless person.

Continue reading

Why Fairytales are Good for Grown Ups.

7 Nov

“To be attracted to or repelled by a fairy tale indicates that the story contains something that resonates with an unconscious process in the reader or listener, for one cannot be attracted or repelled unless one recognizes something that is personally meaningful.” -Meredith B Mitchell.

Fairytales parallel common human conditions. They resonate deep within us in emotionally creative ways and invite us into illogical, impractical, unrealistic, wonderful and terrifying worlds where good opposes evil, magic exists, and animals transform into people.

Because a fairytale is a story with a simple plot, stereotypical characters, universal themes, with elements of ideas and imagery from a vast array of human experiences that we can identify with, they are a perfect and safe playground for us to explore our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

Fairytales tell us all about all kinds of relationships. Just look at Continue reading

10 Things You Should Never Do on a Blood Moon.

8 Oct

1. Hide under your bedclothes. 2. Over-think. 3. Run yourself ragged. 4. Ignore your superpower. 5. Resist change. 6. Stagnate. 7. Allow fear to rule. 8. Please everyone except yourself. 9. Forget to shed your skin. 10.Ignore your spiritual journey.

Blood Moon-002

Why not take some time this evening to ponder this question: How does what I am doing right now, serve the agenda of my soul?