How To Change Your Destructive Relationship

  • February 10, 2019

All of us whether we are aware of it or not have or have had destructive relationship patterns that we keep repeating. Many of my clients when they first come to me are unaware of their “destructive choice patterns’ and all are surprised when they finally recognize that they’ve done the same things to get the same results.

I am sure, I’ve mentioned this somewhere else, my “destructive choice pattern” despite my education, experience and intense desire to be happy and fulfilled in love, was choosing guys who were in serious emotional, physical of financial problems. I’d sit there listening to how he felt confused, overwhelmed, helpless and victimized and before I knew it, we were in a relationship and this person was accusing me of “smothering” him or treating him like a “stray dog”. If a family member, friend or co-worker pointed out that something was wrong with the relationship, I would quickly become very protective because I believed “no one understood him” like I did. It was hard for me to break away from these relationships because deep inside I was convinced that they would never find someone else who would understand and love them like I did and will end up unloved and alone. Until I figured out why I was always confusing sympathy for love, I always ended up with the same relationship dramas.

Your “destructive choice patterns’ are patterns that have hurt you in the past that should stop you dead in your tracks. This exercise will help you recognize your patterns. I recommend that you do lots of writing because this is a tool that will not only help you recognize your choice patterns but will be very helpful for you later when those old defensive reactions, fears and insecurities crop up in your relationship.

Exercise:

Try to remember at least “six” qualities that were missing from your past relationships that caused conflicts and write down what you NOW want. Make sure you do not use negative statements. For example if your ex cheated on you, rather than saying “I don’t want someone who cheats” write “I want a mate who is monogamous”. Be as specific as possible. If you want someone who is gentle don’t just put gentle, include what gentle means to you.

If you are already in a relationship do not think of what the other person should do or not do, focus on you. You have to face the “truth” about your past that surfaces when you are not focused on someone else. It means looking hard at your life in the PRESENT, both the things you feel good about and what makes you feel uncomfortable or unhappy.

For each of the six statement do the following – start with one statement that you’ve written down and do 1, 2 and 3 and then go on to the next.

1. Read each statement out loud enough for you to hear your own voice. Then ask yourself, where is this coming from? Is it coming from a long ago past (your parents’ relationship, what you experienced as a child, what your peers projected on you by how they treated you etc) or from a recent past (break-up, divorce etc). Allow yourself to feel the pain and the emptiness. You need to face the pain and the emptiness with courage, knowing that they are less powerful than your true self. Feelings, positive and negative, can be the guiding light to our true selves. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed if you find yourself crying. Tears may just well be the therapy you need. Very often the mere act of acknowledging that you feel a certain way allows you to move gently from being stuck in that state into a more peaceful and pure state.

Some past issues are difficult to deal with. There are very many self-help books, workshops and professionals that can help you. However, avoid books that just go on and on about a particular issue but do not tell you how to move past it. Do not become an “expert” in your particular “problem” – the idea is to MOVE PAST (that is why it is called past) not make it your present or get a doctorate in it. If you decide to or are already seeing a counselor or therapist you should be able to see a change in your life within the third/fourth visit (you are much happier, more relaxed and feel that you are truly leaving your past behind and stepping into the present). If after 5 sessions you don’t see a change, even a slight one, then change your counselor or therapist.

2. Ask yourself what you are doing to recreate your past. Take responsibility for what is happening to you. When you start to be aware of what you are doing to create your experiences, then you are also starting to be aware of what you can do to change future outcomes. This may be hard for most people as we do it on an unconscious level and we are not even consciously aware of what we do. There is a reason why you keep attracting the same kind of men or women (different faces but same dramas). And if you are in a relationship, there is reason why you and your partner keep having the same arguments, the same fights, the same dramas. The other person may have his or her own “issues” but you did not just stumble into this person and relationship, your unconscious radar carefully searched for a partner with specific characteristics. Recognize the “issues” and make a conscious decision to change how you react. This applies to all your relationships (family, friends, co-workers etc).

3. Ask yourself “what have I done to prepare myself for someone who is…say, monogamous, financially responsible, organized, health conscious, fun and interesting, sexually fulfilling, spiritually conscious etc, if that is what you have written down. If you are in a relationship, ask yourself “what am I doing or not doing that I am blaming him or her for not doing for me?

If you struggle with jealousy, find it hard to trust, are controlling or have very low-self esteem, then you need to work on that to attract someone monogamous. If you are too stingy, too relaxed or a bit irresponsible about finances, get some advice and restructure your savings and investment program. If you are overly serious and ‘boring”, then cultivate your playful side to attract someone interesting who will bring more excitement into your life. If you want to find someone with healthy habits, then attend to your own your apartment or house, clean out the closets, fill up fridge with healthier foods and start a fitness regime you can live with. If you desire a spiritual man or woman but your spiritual life is all in your head, do the arduous work of finding a group of like-minded seekers and join them. Your spiritual life grows best in the company of others. If you want more sex in your relationships than you’ve had in the past, then enhance your bedroom skills – find a book, attend a tantra sex seminar, work individually with a sex therapist or intimacy coach etc..

The most important thing to remember is that if you commit to your self-enhancement you will constantly evolve into a better you. And a better you will attract a better partner and create a better relationship. And if you find somebody who is committed to his or her own personal growth, you will have already avoided many of the problems many couples face. If you are in a relationship, not only will your relationships improve but your partner will find him or herself forced to step up to your level of emotional and spiritual development. On a cautionary note, if one partner grows and enhances him/herself and the other partner does not, they will both become uncomfortable in the relationship and eventually become attracted to partners closer to their own space. This applies to romantic relationships as well as close friends .

Whenever you catch yourself reacting to someone or something someone says or does, ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Because you’ve made a conscious decision or intension to centre yourself, your feelings will guide you to where your “discomfort” is coming from. Then make a conscious decision to change the outcome by changing how you react.

Take action NOW. Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Your dreams are your soul’s desires and have genius, power and magic in them. So begin your dream relationship now…

Family Therapy for Happy Families

  • February 9, 2019

What is family therapy?

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that aims at solving family issues through family counseling. In a family therapy treatment multiple or all family members are involved as this technique considers family as one unit. The emphasis is on the members who are directly related to the problem. Issues like marriage, divorce, children-parent relationships, family conflicts, depression, addictions and similar family issues are generally handled by family therapists. The focus of family therapy is on family relationships and family interaction. Instead of pin pointing the cause family therapists work on solving the issue by emphasizing on the strengths of the family unit.

What does a family therapist do?

Family therapy sessions have helped hundreds of families live together happily and peacefully. A family therapist informs the family members about the family as a unit and the importance of each member performing his/her roles effectively. A family therapist helps the family members to resolve conflicts through effective communication minimizing the gaps. Family members are made to realize the significance of family as a unit. Their behaviors are analyzed and if they need to change their conduct they are explained why and how. Family therapy is a very effective technique to create happy families.

To resolve issues family therapists conduct regular sessions after intervals. They ask the family members to do certain activities or behave in a particular way to resolve issues and to attain the objectives of family therapy sessions. Family therapy works best when people involved understand its importance, are convinced, and willing to participate to resolve issues.

In what areas does family therapy help?

Family therapy for parent-child conflict: Parent-child relational problems are very common and can arise due to indifferent attitude of parents or child, bad company, less time for children, disagreement on various issues, etc. Family therapists work towards achieving a better understanding to resolve conflicts. Family therapy can also help family members solve on-going issues in family life, like problems at work, raising children, social relationships and relationships between family members.

Family therapy for Learning Disabilities: Family therapy can treat children with learning disability (USA) or development disability (UK). Learning disability refers to low general intelligence of the person in comparison to others. Family therapy can develop cognitive-social-emotional competencies in young minds and guide children to control their emotions and enhance their performance.

Family therapy for Marital Issues and Divorce: Family therapy can transform relationships gone sour into happy relationship through therapy session for couples. Family therapists educate both members about handling conflicting situations tactfully. They also try to resolve issues that can lead to happy relationship through in-depth discussions and change in attitude. They encourage the couple to make a new start.

Family therapy for Chronic Medical Illness: Family therapy also works well in case a family member is suffering from chronic illnesses like AIDS, which can cause mental trauma to the whole family. Family therapy discussion sessions enable families to handle this difficult situation and help the patient overcome illness with a positive attitude.

Apart from the above listed issues, one can also contact a licensed and qualified family therapist to resolve issues related to family violence, child abuse and incest, death in the family, traumatic incidents, etc.

How to Attract Positive Relationships

  • January 7, 2019

As I have discussed, life can be like a puzzle, with the four corner pieces in place, the rest is easier to put together. This is a deeper look into the fourth corner, your relationship health. The first corner being your physical health, second is mental health and third is spiritual health.

We are designed to build relationships. Family can be used as an example of a relationship. Although, family is a relative term, it can be used to describe numerous kinds of relationships in your life.

There could be people you care about, and who you are in relationship with, that are not blood relatives. However, because of time spent together building and growing, you are a “family” of sorts. You may also have blood-relatives who have not spent time in your life and although you are related, they may not feel like family.

Family comes from a close nurturing relationship. There is a family you come from, and families you build. Many are lucky enough to have other groups that are considered “family” to nurture them. These kinds of non-traditional relationships are very valuable, but often overlooked.

Research has shown that people who engage in regular social interaction or who have close friendships live longer and are happier. What a surprise! That is what we were designed for. The result of nurturing friendships and family will result in fulfillment and satisfaction.

It is important to be open and sensitive to the needs of others. When feeling low or discouraged, you need only to look outside yourself and find someone else to lift up. Give, Give, Give! Your money, your talent, your time, your encouragement and your love. Whatever you give away in good will, you will receive more in return.

Do more than people ask of you. Look for ways you can be helpful and don’t wait to be asked. Practice asking people about their life, their ideas and their family and listen, listen, listen. Make eye contact and put to memory what people tell you.

Focus only on the event you have at hand and decrease multitasking. Be aware of being too wired to technology. Sometimes it is valuable to turn off the cell phone or computer and engage fully in the task at hand.

Give your time to the things you believe in. Even when the tasks seem mundane, give your full attention to it. Consider that you will reap what you sow, when it comes to your attitude about this.

We are often unable to fix our own problems. But we can be used to help others fix theirs. In this way you fulfill the relationship circle. If you could always fix your own problems you would not need to lean on or build relationships with other people. Zig Zigler said, “You can have anything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

This kind of thinking will help you develop depth of character. By doing so, your future will become more prosperous and fulfilling. During this process, be cautious not to dwell on the past or anticipate the future at the expense of the present.

You need to value the journey and see the rewards that come from building a strong foundation. Much of your direction is determined from your attitude. A good attitude is a product of good thinking. “Where the mind goes, the man follows.”

Watch what you are thinking. Don’t just think any thought that falls into your head. Use discipline to keep your mind positive and pure. Whether conscious or not, what you have on your mind will manifest itself in your words and actions.

Just as they say “garbage in, garbage out” it is also “goodness in, and goodness out”. So what does this mean in regards to building your foundation of wellness? It means everything. Your attitude will affect the opportunities that will shape your future. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right!”

Building a strong network of relationships is just one piece of the puzzle. Embrace each piece in your journey with enthusiasm and an outlook of optimism. Believe that when the four corner pieces are firmly in place, you will have created a healthy frame for a lifetime of wellness.

“Wellness Matters” Article Series by Lisa Schilling RN, CPT

Speaker, Writer, Wellness Coach & Consultant

Lisa Schilling is the author of “The Get REAL Guide to Health and Fitness-FIVE STEPS to Create Your Own Personal Wellness Plan” She is juggles life as a doting wife and the mother of three boys, who keep her feet firmly planted on the ground!

Lisa is a Registered Nurse, author and recovering pageant queen, who spreads hope with her Get REAL approach to wellness. She empowers women, caregivers and groups to unleash their fullest potential by helping them to see their true beauty and discover their REAL value.

She feels passionate about spreading this message of hope and acceptance to help others be PROactive about their health and not simply REactive. Lisa uses her enthusiasm to inspire people to value and appreciate who they are. She helps people build a bridge from where they are, to where they want to be.

How to Attain Your Dreams Without Losing Your Relationship

  • January 6, 2019

When I decided to pursue my goal of becoming a full-time published author I knew that I would need the financial, emotional and spiritual support of my fiancé and children. During this time I had given up a successful and profitable Insurance business that I formed in the Fall of 2008. Doing so took all there was within me to muster the courage to walk away from what was comfortable for us all, in order to have a lifestyle that would supersede any of our expectations. Although all the odds seemed against me, and everything in my life (personally and professionally) suggested that the timing wasn’t right… everything in my soul screamed that the timing could not be better. After much debate within myself, I decided to draft a plan that would be achievable for me and my family. Having formed two successful businesses in the past I knew that I would have to draft a plan that would make sense personally and professionally.

The plan would include 3 parts: 1) How would I support myself and any expenses associated with pursuing my dream? 2) How will I divide my time between pursuing my dream and spending time with my family? 3) And how would I get my fiancé and family to approve of this plan also?

The #1 challenge of those seeking to pursue a dream/goal is getting their spouse to support their endeavors. The 2nd issue is that most of us have children and household expenses that need the support of the income from our jobs/career. And finally, we’re also faced with the difficulty of allocating the time and energy needed to pursue our dream (which could be classified as another “job” to your spouse and children). So how do we overcome these obstacles?

First, find the intent behind your need for accomplishing this goal. And how does your family benefit from your pursuit, and the fulfillment of this dream? Share these reasons with your family… and be completely honest with them about it. Integrity is a MUST! Is this a passion… or just a pipedream? Were you already fulfilling your purpose and decided to put it on hold to start a family, and now you’re looking to return to it? Allow your family to ask you the really tough questions so that they can fully comprehend your need for pursuing this goal. If for any reason your family doesn’t believe in the “why” behind your passion, getting them to support it will be nil to none.

Secondly, ask your family to help you draft a plan of action. Getting your family to participate in the fulfillment of your dreams makes them feel that it’s their dream also. People love to be a part of a winning team. Statistics have proven that people will do more for others than they will do for themselves. And if your spouse/family feels that the game plan they helped to draft, is a believable one that they will benefit from also, they each will do everything necessary to help you accomplish this endeavor.

And thirdly, celebrate along the way! Ensure your family that the sacrifice of time or financial resources will be rewarded greatly. Draft a plan that allows for breaks to relax and spend time with your family. If you’re working a full-time job and use the time you’re at home to work a small business, then schedule 10-15 minute breaks every hour to spend with them ONLY. If possible, turn off all electronics devices during break time. If you use the weekends to work towards the fulfillment of your dream, I suggest working 3 weekends and taking the last weekend off. If you’re using the additional money that was once allocated for family entertainment to help finance your goal, then find other things to do with your family that doesn’t require a lot of money (i.e picnics at the park, roller skating, bowling, a movie matinee/rental, window shopping, family game nights of UNO, Monopoly, Scrabble, etc). Your family needs and loves you… and it is IMPERATIVE that you convey these same emotions by ensuring that you don’t get so caught up in the pursuit that you arrive at the finish line all alone!

Boundaries in Relationships

  • January 6, 2019

Today’s teenagers are generally considered as being egoistic, uncaring, and insolent spoilt brats who do not own any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Contrary to the sceptics amongst us, this perception of teenagers is completely wrong in the majority of instances. Talk to your teen, on his or her level, about sensitive issues or family feud questions that need to be talked about within the family, and you will see that your son or daughter does rely on you, as a parent for guidance, and to ensure domestic tranquility. It is never too soon to start talking about sensitive topics, however, it can regrettably be far too late.

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that your teen really wants you to establish boundaries within the family. They may chew at the bit for a short time, but they’re really just trying you out to see how serious you really are about the boundaries you’ve set to ensure domestic tranquility. So whatever you do, stick to your guns!

Our children need to know, and they deserve to know where their parents stand on matters such as sex, drugs, alcohol, dating, and other topics. At the same time, they also need to know that you care about their concerns and thoughts. You ought to talk about matters with your teenagers, not just give them a list of rules they must follow to the letter, because we say so! Kids of all ages need some freedom to explore and grow, and all the while parents need to make sure that their teenage children can approach them to discuss anything whatsoever. If you cannot do that, there are enough outside influences just waiting to take your place.

* Tell your kids what you require of them both at home and in public.

* Respect them as the independent, young adults that they are and they will be a lot more respectful of you.

* If they need to unload on you or confide in you, be positive when they do approach you with problems or concerns.

It’s natural your teen will have queries about topics that they are interested in, and it is important that you never make your teen feel like their comments are stupid or their thoughts immature and don’t ignore these matters. Always be up front and be completely honest with them and express your concerns and share your experience with the subjects at hand. This is parent and teenager bonding at its best.

A great way to address your teenager’s problems, even before they rise to the surface is to practice with your partner asking questions your teen might ask you. Then discuss and find the answers that will cover their fears or concerns. By doing this, you will be prepared and will be better equipped to enter into a dialogue with your teenager when the situation arises. For obvious reasons, you don’t want your child to think his, or her, parents are making fun of them, so only indulge in role play when you are alone with your partner.

Now and again teens will ask questions at the most inappropriate time, much like a toddler will. Try not to be caught off guard too much. Be forthright with them rather than pushing the question to the side. Take the matter up at the time, rather than being forced to contradict any information they get from their friends, at a later date, or anyone else who are more than happy to talk with them about it.

Let your teenager know if you don’t feel comfortable discussing a particular topic, but emphasize that your relationship is more important than a little bit of discomfort. They may be uncomfortable bringing the subject up as well. Remember, you don’t have to spell out every single detail of your own puberty to your child, but using examples and lessons you have learned along the way should confirm that you wasn’t born the other side of the dark ages!

Teenagers may think they know everything, but they don’t. They need to learn as they develop into adulthood. Bear in mind, your responsibility as a parent doesn’t just stop when your child crosses the threshold into adulthood. On the contrary. In actual fact you graduate to a whole new level in your relationship. Take every chance to talk with your teenager about sensitive issues, puberty, boundaries in relationships, family feud questions and establish boundaries. Do it now while they are still at home, and before it’s too late to have an influence on them.

The Funny Face of Family

  • December 5, 2018

Remember the old shows Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best? In their time, these TV series defined what family was for an entire nation: a family was white, middle class, had a dad and a mom and charming children. All problems were resolved in half an hour with a few commercial breaks — no one cussed, spat or got a tattoo. But family is dynamic and the face of family is constantly morphing these days. With half a million children in foster care, 200,000 a year being adopted, over one million interracial families, many two-mommy and two-daddy households, and one in three Americans reported as being members of step-families, our sense of family is shifting dramatically.  Nontraditional families are now the norm.

Taking all this in means we may have to make some internal adjustments. Recently a dear friend observed that I didn’t have a family, because in her mind family meant someone who’s raising children. It took me so much by surprise at the time that I had to take a day or two to prepare a comeback!

Our sense of family lives deep within us. It is a necessity, a drive that most of us never question. We simply make it happen, however we can and wherever we are. It is a compelling expression of self. That doesn’t mean, by the way, that we always do it well or that we thoroughly enjoy every minute of it! And it also doesn’t mean that our definition of what makes a family is always in step with reality. In fact many times our concept is at odds with reality, causing us to miss out on some of the most comforting aspects of this unique way of belonging.

These days, with relationships often in flux and evolving in variety, we may have to work hard to claim our sense of family. The language is changing as new families lay claim to more empowering words to describe themselves. Step families are now as likely to be called “blended families.”  Before you dismiss this as window dressing or political correctness, just think about what it was like for children to hear themselves being referred to as coming from a “broken home.” Broken things don’t work, broken things are not good things, and broken things get thrown away. The language we hear and use shapes how we see ourselves; it builds our identity. Children soak up the language they hear. Parents who know this and want the best for their children must choose wisely the words they embrace for their own. And they must find experiences and books and activities that underscore for their children that they, too, belong — that their kind of family, whatever it may be, is whole and worthy, and that they have a rightful place in society.

At my last birthday party, with many friends, family and extended family members in attendance, a friend came to me in tears saying she was concerned for her oldest child. She thought he might be gay and she was in a panic for how she could help him feel good about himself. “What can I give him to read?” she pleaded. “What’s out there for his age group that is appropriate?” If she hadn’t been in such distress I would have hugged her for not blaming herself or him, and for not caring in the least what the neighbors might think. Instead I tapped a book editor friend who quickly dredged up the goods on the right books. There aren’t tons out there, but they are getting better and better all the time. And I’m proud to have a friend who cares more about her son’s happiness than his sexual orientation.

For some time I was a volunteer teacher in a state prison and witnessed firsthand that, even in the absence of blood relationships, family happens. Not surprisingly the same dysfunctional patterns that prisoners experienced in their own homes is often replayed in the prison setting. But sometimes the experience of being locked up gives a person time for insight into her own history and she ends up consciously choosing to find better ways of being in relationship to others. I saw these inmates building true and lasting, though unconventional, familial ties. Allison*, serving a life sentence along with another family member, found she had to rely more on herself to define what it meant to be a whole person. She could not just accept what her blood relatives told her she should do or should be. She gradually became her own parent, in effect, at the same time cultivating a compassionate attitude toward her kin.

We need a sense of self; we need others. Finding our “others” can be the greatest joy and carries the biggest emotional price tag of our lives. It is fundamental to our well being and deserves our utmost attention. Doing it well, whatever our particular family mix, means a happier us, healthier family members, and very likely a safer planet. So if your family has a funny face, choose good words to describe it! Laugh at that funny face and be proud that you were able to create it. Teach your children, your parents and your siblings that what they put into family is what they will get out of it. And put good things into it yourself. I invite you to notice who your family is, and don’t be surprised to find they don’t always share your last name or your DNA. They may not even live in your house! Family runs deeper than that, truer than that. One day, who knows, we may actually discover that we are all -every one of us —  part of the same global family.

Relationship: Strong Family

  • December 3, 2018

Ever since life came on earth it started with coming together in company of each other. When God created Adam he also created Eve for companionship and thus a relationship started and a family was created. It is not only humans who have relationships and family but animals too are seen to have a family. Have you ever noticed male and female animals looking after their little ones and collecting food for them? A family bond started with the very begging of life on earth. A family is very crucial for a human being. A strong family bond is what we all humans want.

To have and maintain strong family ties the seniors in the family have to make extra efforts. It is very important to know what one wants in life and what the family as a whole expects from the different members. As the couple come together to start a family they should try to figure out what they want out of their family life. They should share their goals and dreams.

The problem starts from not giving time to each other due to various reasons. Couples often do not get enough time to interact with each other and know about the problems they are undergoing. The couples are so busy in their career that they do not give quality time to each other and the children. Taking out time for each other and the family is very important to keep the family ties intact. If you spend time with your family it is only then you will understand each other well and be on familiar terms with each other. It’s only then you will understand what your family expects from you.

No one can weave a family well if no attention is given to children. Children are an essential part of the family; they are the ones who require the most attention. To bring up children with complete understanding and maturity is a difficult task. You have to work hard towards your children to not let them involve into nasty habits that would harm them. Communication is one great instrument to get close to your children and build a friendly relationship with them. Parents must work hard and converse to make children understand what their family is all about. Share incidents about your good and bad phases in life with them so that they have a better understanding of a strong family connection and life which they are to begin. Tell your young ones those stories about your parents and grand parents, about your family ties and relationship with them.

Friendship is what gets people close to each other. Always have a friendly relationship with your partner and children for a happy family. Never behave in a manner that will discourage your children to open up with you. Be frank and give your children complete information on the queries they have. To consider them to be too young to discuss on certain topics is wrong. You should help them understand sensitive subjects in the best possible way so that they get a clear picture of the subject. This will not only help your children take mature steps in life but also build a strong relationship with you as they know that you are there every moment to help and support them.

To maintain family tie is not a one side affair. Both partners have to make efforts to keep the family happy and together, it is only then that children involve completely with the family and are in relation with the family.

Relationships – Family Visits

  • December 2, 2018

It can be incredibly hard when visiting your family, as you might not have a great relationship with them. Your significant other might not get along with them either, and this is a problem that is known worldwide. How do you handle the thanksgiving dinners? Do you even have to deal with it? It really depends on how family oriented you happen to be, and whether you value your happiness or the happiness of others.

Most parents even though they said that everything that they do is for you simple lie. If you observe closely most of the things that they do, their actions, are geared toward making their own lives more enjoyable. This might be normal in a way but it is something that all children should understand, as it will make those trips more enjoyable. If your parents really do sacrifice themselves, and your visits are already excellent then that is awesome, but this is an exception to the rule and not the norm.

There are also siblings that you might have a problem sitting next too. Families are there, but it does not mean that the individuals within them have to be friends. Blood lines meant a lot in the olden days, and still do a bit if you are in a very wealthy or known family, but it means virtually nothing in the middle and lower classes. No one cares who you are based on your last name, and it is more important to try and just accomplish something on your own.

I feel that it is a choice whether you see your family, and should not sacrifice you happiness to see that if it is something that makes you feel sick to your stomach. There are things in our past that we remember which can make the process of going back home not so good. If you are forced by your family to attend, it might just be the sign that it is something you should not be doing in the first place. Unless it feels right to you, those actions will be remembered badly and cause you unneeded anxiety. Life presents us with enough problems on daily basis, and adding to them is just not smart.

If your significant other hates your family, or you do theirs do not feel bad about it. That really does not matter, and any talk about how families are much closer in other older countries is a simple joke. Each country has their own problems, and many of the traditional families are in actuality much tougher to deal with as the older members have gigantic egos and are tremendously stubbornly stuck in their ways. Unless you want to live your life according to someone else, it is up to you to take responsibility and figure out what is the right way for you.

When your family members only call you when they need something, be aware that it is in your power to completely cut them off. No one has to be spoken to just because they are your family, and you should be surrounding yourself with people that you get along with and care for each other. This is the only way to be happy and calm.

Nurturing the Gift of Relationships

  • December 1, 2018

Barbara Streisand sang, “People, people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world.” If it is true that people need people, then one should wonder:

— Why stress over maintaining relationships?

— Why the excuse that you are too busy to call or visit loved ones?

— Why the feeling of being overburdened with relationships?

— Why is your social calendar filled with one activity right after the other? Are you trying to please everyone?

— Are you constantly on the go and then complain about being too tired to finish projects or handle the paperwork?

— Could it be that you are overdosing on activities, people and things?

As valuable and important as these relational activities are, too much is stressful. An overflowing schedule of activities may appear on the surface to be abundant living, but most often, it is a means of running away from home-front problems. Be honest. Is one of these problems disorganization?

The secret of living abundantly is accepting and balancing the gift of relationships. Take some time to review the balance in your life. Do you maintain a healthy perspective on work, personal projects, and valued relationships while still making time for solitude?

Supportive Relationships

Balance means time for personal activities as well as time for family and friends. Implement some quiet time for monthly, weekly and daily planning. Do not shortchange yourself. Managing your time wisely will give you the opportunity to explore the gifts others bring into your life.

In a previous article titled, “A Journey of Success and Abundant Living,” I talked showed how ‘like attracts like’ and that you get what you focus on. Go back and review that article for a full understanding of living a rich life without overindulgence, overabundance or overdosing. Abundant living involves all aspects of life, including fostering and maintaining positive relationships. If you want to attract friends, then be a friend.

Nurturing Relationships

— Implement the art of remembering by keeping a birthday/anniversary list in your organizer or tickler file. View the tickler file Organizing Resources produces. You can find it on the Products Page of the website.

— Facilitate the art of conversation through face-to-face talks with family and friends.

— Never be too busy to call loved ones.

— Be a good listener. Pay attention to details.

— Be available whenever a friend is in need.

— Remember to say, “I’m sorry.”

— Have a gift drawer so you will always have a small token to express love and appreciation.

— Send flowers when important things happen to those you care about.

— Send special occasion cards and thank you notes.

— Value relationships for who they are, not what they do.

— Have friends from all walks of life.

— Express your feelings by using first person I statements rather than third-person you statements.

— Have a positive attitude. It is contagious.

Summary

The word nurture means to nourish. The act of nurturing promotes well-being for you and those around you. When you nourish people by what you say and do, you add value to their lives and your own. Be attentive and you will always find opportunities to nurture others every day.

Family Relationships

  • November 4, 2018

The family as a social unit has undoubtedly been on the decline in the past few decades. The increasing number of single parent households, increased divorce rates, and the growing gap between generations has led the family to move to the periphery of an individual’s social life, rather than its center. Truth is, today, you will have to actually work together and work quite hard to build strong, healthy family relationships.

Like any other relationship, families are built on trust. Children, teenagers and adolescents will often hide things from their parents for fear of punishment. This behavior, if encouraged, will eventually lead to their estrangement and lack of trust. It is the responsibility of the parents, therefore, to create an air of openness in the family. Kids in the family should never feel scared of sharing things with parents. As a parent, you will have to punish kids for straying out of line, but take care to not do so in a fashion that would make your kids not trust you with their secrets again.

Trust is directly tied to sharing – the crucial part of family relationships that just seems to be missing these days. All members are usually involved in their own lives, zoned out before TV or computer screens, or in their own social lives. There is too little of ‘family time’ and too much of ‘me time’. Group activities such as dinner, a movie night, a family vacation, therefore, have to be promoted to encourage sharing.

Respect (or the lack of it) is another reason why family relationships sometimes go sour. You should draw a firm line beyond which your kids shouldn’t go, and you should draw this line as early as possible. While a family should be open, there must be some sense of hierarchy too. Teach your kids to respect their elders, no matter their flaws, and teach the elders to love the kids likewise. A family built on trust, love, and respect will always maintain strong bonds.

Finally, parents must try and foster strong relations between siblings. Too often, siblings don’t get along with each other, largely due to the parents lack of intervention. Elder siblings must be taught to care for and love their younger brothers/sisters, and the younger siblings must be given a lesson in respecting their elder brothers/sisters. Only when the siblings get along will you build a strong family.