From the day I saw this message hanging above the counter in my Credit Union Bank in Canada, " Fail to Plan - Plan to Fail" has stuck with me. That saying carries a very important message. If you want to get somewhere you have to say where it is you will go or what you want and make a plan on how to get there.
In Part One I talked about the food you eat and how you need to develop trusted information sources to help you sort out the truth from the lies.
As said before, everything you take into your life ends up as part of you, forming who you are. The music you listen to, the books you read, the air you breath, the water you drink, the friends and colleagues you have, the food you eat, the movies and TV you see, the radio stations you listen to, your family, your school or university, your beliefs and values, the thoughts you think. All these things create who you are and how you behave.
Today I will talk about thoughts. Your thoughts become things so choose the good ones, says Mike Dooley. And choosing means learning to be conscious, to live mindfully.
The Merriam Webster Online dictionary says that a thought is an idea, plan, opinion, picture,etc., that is formed in your mind: something you think of. Most of us, most of the time are not aware of the information we take in and how it becomes anchored through repetition and reinforced by pain and pleasure. Our experiences filtered by our previous conditioning,learning, values and habits come from all these different input sources.
To get right to the point, our habits, beliefs, values and behaviors are just there and we are not generally aware of them, how they were formed and how we automatically react to various stimuli in our life. The good news is you don't really have to understand how your thoughts and behaviours were formed or come from to make changes. Changes are made through mindfulness of our lives, how we think and behave.
Developing a mindfullness practice teaches us how to see who we are and how we think and behave, especially automatically or habitually. When I watch myself and how I use my day, such as waking with loud music, watching the Late News of Murder Mayhem and Deception just before attempting to sleep, hanging out with negative and critical people, reading very judgemental newspapers I can begin to see that these inputs create a certain state in me. In this case quite negative, critical and unpeaceful view of life. This of course influences in turn all my other experiences.
So if I want to change something negative and critical and fear producing to positive, open minded and peaceful then I must change the inputs. Get rid of the fear, the criticism, judgementalism and deception and replace it with the truth.
Lets take another example. The people you spend your time with. Do they have an influence on how you experience and live your life? On your successes and happiness? The answer is a big Yes. If you hang out with folks who are often critical and know everything there is to know about life then you become affected by these people.
If you want a more successful, happy and interesting life one thing you can do is change certain elements such as people who you spend your time with. Replace these inputs with those type of people that lift you up not put you and the world down. Now you have begun to change your thoughts and your beliefs and consequently behaviours.
Change your thoughts and beliefs and you will change your behaviors. When your behaviors are changed your life changes. If you do this mindfully life will swing in the direction you want not the wants and desires of others.
Some references to seriously consider are the following. Eckhardt Tolle, "A New Earth". Probably his clearest and best book. Thich Nhat Hanh, a world renowned Vietnamise buddhist monk, wrote "The Miracle of Mindfullness". Byron Katie: "Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life. Also known as the work." Jon Kabat-Zinn, " Mindfullness for Beginners".
SO take control of your thoughts and beliefs and have a great year.
“Two people may suffer the same disappointment, one might be saddened, the other understanding.
Two people may receive the same insult, one might be hurt, and the other compassionate.
Two people may have the same disagreement, one might be angered, the other feel love.
How you react to circumstances, people and things, IS A CHOICE, YOUR CHOICE... based on YOUR use of understanding yourself and living mindfully."
Live, Love and Laugh, Bob and Marianne,
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So many choices so little time. Too much indecision leads to fewer possibilities as time goes by. What does it all mean? What is the key to making changes in your life?
There are three key things we all can do to change to the lives we want and value. Simply stated,there are three steps. First you must mindfully accept where you are at. Second, you must decide where you want to go and visualize it. Third, you must act. Starting has amazing power and leads to the next step, and the next and so on. That is called Success!
Now, let´s take a closer look at each of the three steps.
To accept where you are at mentally, physically, socially and financially is the true starting point for all successful journeys of change. You must do this. For example, if I argue with my partner every day, I must see the situation for what it is. I won't make any progress if I deny it. This is not about judging or criticizing myself. It is about having the right information to make a decision from. To be mindfull and accept your reality is power information not weakness.
Once you accept where you are you have the information you need to decide where you want to be. So when I say to myself that I often argue with my partner; that is where I am. Where do I want to be? I decide that I want a life where my partner and I are happy, we communicate peacefully and have found the love again. That is my goal.
How can I get that happier and better relationship with my partner? I see that I can get help from a life coach or marriage counselor, I can read a book, speak with a friend or take a Relationship Skills course. Maybe I will do all four; where will I start. "I know! I will speak with Paul and read that marriage book. Then I will speak with my partner and we can take that Relationship/Marriage Skills course. Afterwards we can get some coaching."
Last step. Take action, start moving. So I will phone Paul and go over and speak with him. On the way over to Paul´s house I will buy the book. Before I go over to Paul´s I will make an appoinment with my wife to talk about things, us. I will ask her to enroll in the course with me.
Best of luck to all of you who want to make life changes. The process is the same no matter what you want to change.®
Get started now, and take action. Live, Love and be Happy, Marianne and Bob
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If you want to do a job you need the right tools and knowledge to do it. If I wish to build a house, paint a room, make a dress, cook a great meal, I will, in each case, need the right tools and knowledge about how to do it. Obviously the quality of tools/knowledge is very important too.
The same goes for a relationship. If you want to have and keep a good relationship then you need some tools and knowledge of how to do it. The better the tools and knowledge you can get, the better chance you have of building a good and happy relationship. When I speak of tools here, I do not mean "hammer and saw" tools, but tools such as courses, training and coaching. Click here to see our 1 day PREP course. In our opinion, PREP is the best relationship course available. It is the only course backed up by solid research!
How do you know when a course is good, training is good or coaches are competent? Good question, yes?
The answer is look at the history. How was the course or training developed? Are the people qualified or experienced? Are there references or research about the course? Are the teachers trained? When in doubt ask. And don't be shy about asking them. Who are you and why should I take this course from you?
So how do you maintain your relationship and find the love again? You develop Real Love in your relationship by investing some time and money in yourselves and the skills you must have. How much do we spend on a new blouse, a new car or an evening out for two? How long does that keep us happy? Are you willing to invest some time and money to get the Tools and Knowledge you must have to have a loving and happier relationship? Click here to read more about Real Love.
Have a great week and live, love and laugh. Marianne and Bob
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So what happens to the love after those first wonderful two years together? Is it still there hiding someplace? How do we coax it to come out again?
There are many who say that the period of euphoria we experience when we fall in love is not really love. Rather it is intense infatuation which draws us together. In this time our lover is absolutely wonderful, fulfills us, does no wrong and makes us feel like a king or queen. Then, of course there is the intensity, uniqueness and frequency of our sexual relationship. Everything gets blended in together. It must be love and that rush, that great feeling is mistaken for love.
But Real Love starts when falling in love ends. When things have cooled down and criticism, our own desires and the reality of life creeps in we have a choice to make. Will we choose Real Love or a romantic idea of love based on infatuation? Those who choose Real Love will have some work to do and will be rewarded deeply for that choice. But it isn't free. There is no free lunch in marriage. You must do the work to learn the tools and techniques of solid self affirming love.
So bring it on friends. What are those tools? And can anybody learn to practice and have real love?
The answer to the second question is; anybody who wants Real Love can learn how to have it. Anybody! And it means re-focusing and doing some work to learn and then ongoing practice.
What are the skills you can learn to have Real Love and a fulfilling relationship? The core skills you need to have a loving relationship are good communication skills, problem solving techniques and to understand the language of love. You must put all of these into practice and the relationship will go well.
Here is a very hard fact. If you do not learn and use these skills then you are likely doomed to a journey into disappointment, frustration and feeling out of love. That is where the love has gone. Maybe you will then join the ranks of the divorced or you will tough it out regardless of the pain. The learning and practicing of proven relationship skills will likely give you a better and more loving relationship. You will be rewarded for your work, rewarded with Real Love.
In the next three posts we shall talk about good communication skills, problem solving techniques and learning to speak the language of love and how to find your partners and your language of love.
Another reminder that we shall be holding a one days course at the end of October, max six couples, on how to have Real Love in your relationship. Be fufilled in your relationship, be happy, be in love again.®
Have a great weekend, Marianne and Bob.
This is number 2 of a 5 part series on Love and Relationships.
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Divorce rates in countries are measured in different ways. An often used measure is how many divorces there are per 1000 citizens. This statistic doesn't tell you very much other than the trends over a period of time. What does 8 divorces per 1000 people per year really mean? Not much. It conceals more than it reveals.
A more interesting number is the percent of marriages which end in divorce. It is commonly accepted by researchers that in the USA and Norway, for example, the rate lies between 41 to 51% in first time marriages and around 60% in second marriages.
One thing is certain. Divorce rates are very high and the personal and societal costs and pain involved is enormous. It is for me, doubly sad when you think that most of us start off in marriage "in love." We have fallen in love. What a rush. What a wonderful thing, being in love. But what is love? And what is falling in love?
Take a minute now and answer those two questions for yourself. Go ahead do it, nobody has to see your answers, right? Oh, by the way, why do we fall out of love? What happens?
Well, here is what researchers and marriage and relationship counsellors have found out. Falling in love is a state of heightened arousal and euphoria created by the relationship you have with another person. Research shows that this period usually does not last longer than between nine months and two years.
During this period we are not always as practical and logical as we could be. Our feet are often not touching the ground. We live in this fantastic dream world. We see our partners as perfect and wonderful. Nothing could go wrong. But it does. Why? And how can we keep the love in a relationship?
After two years or less we start to see our feet touch the ground. We become more realistic, critical and demanding. Usually falling out of love is not the same lightning strike experience as falling in love was. In fact it takes some years before that seemingly perfect relationship you had is not at all perfect. It has become stressful, unsatisfying and unhappy.
At this point, people often ask, "What happened to the love?"
In the past there were two ways of dealing with this. To stay or to leave the relationship. Fifty years and more back in time people toughed it out. It was a commitment and they stayed to the bitter end. Looking at some of the results of this approach we see it wasn't always positive. The other way was to walk away, to get divorced. People did not divorce so easily back then. That has changed as todays statistics show.
This does not mean that those who stuck it out and stayed with it until the end were better or smarter than you. But researchers and experienced marriage counsellors have found there is a third way. That third way is to learn some relationship skills and techniques and do the work to put them in practice. This builds Real Love.
Next post we will talk about Real Love. What happened to the love? What are the skills and techniques you need to learn and practice to personally grow and create a wonderful and lasting relationship? Also, a heads up. We will be holding a super one day course with lunch for max 5 couples on October 26th. Details to be forthcoming.
Hey, please remember to comment, Like Us or Tweet us below. Thanks and have a wonderful week, Bob and Marianne. ®
Good communication is the result of a number of things happening together. Communication is:
How to listen so that others will talk;
How to talk so that others will listen;
How to understand so love can win.
Communication requires honesty, truth and understanding coming together so there is love and compassion present.
Without honesty there is no truth;
Without truth no understanding;
Without understanding no love or
Without love and compassion there is
Communication means having an open relationship to the past, present and future. This means you must be open to people by:
Absolutely everything begins and is carried along by communication. It is the heart and soul of man's relationship to man and to the planet.
We are back from summer vacation and visitors and all those wonderful things and are back to work. We hope you too had a good summer.We are looking forward to speaking with all of you again, Marianne Lütcherath and Bob Tewsley, Life Coaches and trainers in communications, relationships and mindfullness.®
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First, a little ramble about gratefullness. Gratefullness saved my life once when I was a long way down and needed a helping hand up again. Gratefullness can attract more of what you are truly grateful for. Gratefullness makes you feel good. Gratefullness contributes to a very positive attitude. And gratefullness can be learned and works best when practised every day.
So here is a great tip about gratefullness, start a regular daily gratefullness practice now. Use only 5 minutes per day. Buy a little lined book and write it down. Writing involves mental and physical activities so it works better than just thinking about being grateful. Start small and increase the numbers after you have built the habit. Read it after a month or two. Sweet. In the beginning you may find it difficult or artificial, but persist and feel the magic. Fake it until you become it.
Here are a number of things that I am grateful for today. There may be more or less tomorrow, but there are always many things if I just take the time to look. Anyway, some things I am grateful for today.
Today I am grateful for:
1) my intelligent, strong and kind wife.
2) my children just the way they are.
3) love and loving kindness.
4) the food I eat each day.
5) the peaceful land I live in.
6) the privelege of saying and thinking what I believe.
7) the daylight and the darkness.
8) enough money.
9) friends and family.
10) my good health.
11) the experience of being alive.
12) living mindfully.
13) what I learn.
14) the morning.
15) the light on the leaves blowing in the wind.
16) clean water.
17) the privilege of giving and receiving.
18) my 7 grandchildren, soon 8.
19) those seemingly small miracles such as breathing.
20) the green grass and wildflowers.
21) my dog.
22) my oldest son's recent visit.
23) experiencing happiness and sadness which makes them both visible.
24) the sunrise and sunset.
25) my dead mother and step-father.
26) you dear reader.
Have a grateful day and a grateful life forward. Gratefully Bob.
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Bad habits, what are they?
Picking your nose, chewing fingernails, not writing things down, using your mobile phone while driving, drinking coffee close to bedtime. Smoking. Automatically criticising and judging yourself and others. Focusing on the negative. Promising and not delivering. Acting like a victim. Working unsafely, drinking and driving, talking and not listening, paying your bills late. Living unconciously. Speeding, eating prepared foods with lots of salt and fat. Maxing out your credit card. Making faces!
I am certain that you could contribute more to this list, perhaps many more! But what are bad habits? How do they get to be bad habits? Why are they bad?
Bad habits are those things we often do and say (or don't say) that cause a negative reaction or result. In other words a bad habit controls and effects our lives in automatic ways that limits us. We end up calling them bad habits because of the negative or limiting effect on ourselves and others. They are "bad" because they restrict us and the way we live our life and they do it "under our radar." In other words, we do not notice that we do use them or what impact they have.
How do you get rid of bad habits, disruptive habits? You get rid of them by learning to live mindfully, by becoming aware of how you think and behave. You can only change that which you are aware of. Where are you right now with your thoughts, behaviours and beliefs?
How do you learn to live mindfully? TTT; Things Take Time. But here is a short list:
Learn to live mindfully by getting some life coaching.
Then practice, practice, practice until mindfullness becomes automatic. A new habit.
Live long, live happily and live mindfully, Marianne and Bob.
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Enhancement is, as my old aunt would say, a very fancy word for a simple idea; to make something better or to improve something. I am going to talk about an important dynamic in relationships which can save your relationship and quickly improve the quality of your relationship.
Have you ever had your partner or a past partner say to you, "Give me some space." Or "I need some space in this relationship please."? Sometimes we haven't been paying attention to what our parner has tried to say to us and it ends up being too late. They can be announcing their coming departure or announcing the beginning of a trial separation.
Why do you often not hear what the other person is saying when they state their needs and feelings about how they want the relationship to be? Two basic reasons.
First, they are not very clear about what it is they want or expect and you do not get the point. At least you do not understand enough to invite a conversation about the topic of personal space in a relationship. Always ask for an explanation when somebody is not clear! Always!
Second, you choose not to hear it. And when they ask you what you think about that statement, "I need more space in this relationship. I feel choked", you avoid engaging in a discussion about it, perhaps.
Why does one do that? Why sometimes choose not to hear it or discuss it? Fear!
You, I, all of us, are afraid at some level.
Perhaps our partner has really said it is over. Finito! Major fear! Or there is the fear of not knowing how to talk about it with our partner, to engage in a meaningful discussion about giving each other enough space. There is also the fear of failure. You think; "Oh my god, I haven't done this right. It is my fault and my partner is unhappy with me." Panic and sweat.
Attack and defend. The opportunity to learn is drowned in a rush of overcharged emotion.
We lose our focus and are full of those shitty feelings of being out of control and misunderstood. Maybe we choose instead to counter attack and blame our partner.
Wonderful. I am going to pull my blanket over my head and not come out for two weeks!
Stop! Put on the brakes and take a deep slow breath, and then another and so on until you have chilled out. Ask for a "Time out" with a promise to come back to the issue and discuss it in a few minutes, for example.
While you are chilling I want to share something with you. Wanting enough personal space is totally natural and very important. When somebody says I need more space, you have not failed. Since you haven't even discussed the issue of "wanting more space" you do not really understand what is being said. Perhaps this is a wonderful opportunity for the two of you to grow into a bigger, more spacious and better relationship.
When you go back to your partner, talk about the issue of creating enough space. Ask for an explanation of what they mean and want? Summarize that back to them so that you know and they know you have understood. Explain how you feel and ask if it is possible that the two of you find a solution. Allow yourselves to grow. Get some life coaching.
Relax, you can do this together.
Breathing in, I create more space for us. Breathing out, I relax into that space.
Be mindful and have a communicating week, Bob and Marianne®
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Bob and Marianne own SteppingStoneLifeCoaching.