Happy New Year

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HappyNewYearHappy New Year!

I hope you are having a wonderful time with your friends, loved ones and anyone else that is special to you.  This is a time to get started on a spectacular 2013.  It doesn’t matter if it’s with your partner or your career everything stems from YOU taking action.  So go make something happen and leave your mark on 2013.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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The Comfort of Avoidance

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We have a tendency in our society to point the finger at a particular issue and demand that it be corrected. In many cases this is through legislation whereby the elected politicians are made to create a law in order to correct the problem. I find it interesting when people demand a change in behavior and yet are not willing to do anything about it. In other words they take comfort in avoidance.

I’ve heard it said that secrets are the poison of any relationship. I have watched as families have torn themselves apart in order to keep their secrets. And in the end the poison kills the relationship. All involved become tainted and the infection rages out of control. More over the secret becomes public knowledge. So why bother?

We are programmed to be peace keepers. We like things to be calm and well maintained. Everyone should follow the rules and if the rules don’t fit, well let’s just change them. But never approach someone and open a dialogue. Why, they may be offended! Oh the shame of such a confrontation.

The comfort of avoidance is a short lived comfort. Just as a secret eventually poisons the relationship, so does avoidance. If you are willing to allow bad behavior because you wish to keep the peace, then make that choice and expect the same behavior from this point forward. If you are unhappy with your relationship but don’t want to rock the boat, then get used to the relationship the way it is.

Avoiding the confrontation (which should be a conversation) does nothing to solve the issue. It sweeps it under a metaphorical rug and allows it to fester becoming more poisonous than before. When dealt with directly the benefits far outweigh the initial discomfort.

The bottom line is taking responsibility for initiating the conversation. This includes having the integrity to say something, doing it with respect and creating a space for open dialogue. And done correctly, the relationship can be advanced rather than comfortable.

Don’t be afraid to say, “I want to discuss something with you. It is part of what is going on inside me and because I care about us. I want to have a conversation with you.”

Keep in mind that what ever happened is done and over with. He did this or she did that, it’s done. The point is to ask for a difference in the behavior based on what was left you you and the relationship. And that’s how you move forward, by looking to the future and creating a new outcome based on mutual agreement.

So why are we scared?

Don’t get comfortable, get results. Talk to each other and share.

I dare you.

As always,

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Are You in a Toxic Relationship?

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iStock_000020028014XSmallHave you ever been in a relationship and just felt like something was wrong but you could not quite put your finger on it? It may be because the following actions, which in my opinion are toxic to a relationship, could be getting filtered as normal.  Here are five things to look for in a toxic relationship…

  • Verbal Putdowns – When your partner verbally belittles you, especially around other people you may have something to discuss.
  • Mismatched Actions – When your mate says one thing and does another. For example, they say they are in love with you and then act like they do not care, you may have an issue that needs to be handled.
  • No Trust – When your partner does not trust you, a conversation between you must be top priority.
  • Dependency – When your mate tries to have you be completely dependent by limiting your activities or circle of friends, another red flag is flown.
  • Compromise – When your partner demands that you change things to please them, and you seem to be the one compromising, maybe it’s time to talk.

All five of these things are big, red warning flags that should warn you that it’s time for a conversation about your relationship or it could become toxic very quick.

It is so easy to see the problem when someone else falls into a toxic relationship. Why is it so hard to tell when you are in one?

It’s because that relationship has become normal.  It’s just the way things are.   And now, being aware of those actions is what it will take to help you get it straight.

You should know that you always have choices. So if you choose this type of relationship, then fine, you get what you get.  But you shouldn’t choose it then complain about it.  If you choose it, you choose it the way it is and the way it isn’t.  However, before you choose it, there’s nothing that stops you from talking about it with your partner first.

Why not get on the same page first.  Before you sit down, identify what you want and what you don’t want in a relationship.  Identify your don’t want’s that are show stoppers, for instance, does he beat you?  That might be a show stopper.  In other words, identify the behavior you are not willing to tolerate or compromise on.  Set those down and if they are violated then it’s time to get out.  Everything else is negotiable.

Also realize that your relationships are what you make them.  You do get some control in the relationship.  You get to say how it goes and what you do with it.

If you’re in that type of situation, look at what you want.  Get clear on what you don’t want. Then have a conversation with your partner.  It’s that simple.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Holiday Advice

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Listen First

With the holidays upon us there are going to more people in our lives who we may have not seen much during the last year. This can be problematic because we don’t have an ongoing dialogue with them. Instead we are expected to jump right in as if there has been a solid amount of interactions from the last time we met each other. Not a chance. So take some time to get reacquainted and talk to each other without any expectations. Here is a recap of some older articles designed to give you a better holiday experience…

Talking is the beginning of sharing our thoughts and ideas. But without a willing partner you will get nowhere. If you’re doing it by yourself, the results can sometimes be less than spectacular. So when talking to each other, make certain that you have an active partner.

With that said, it is equally important that you be a good listener and not just hear the spoken words. Listening can be a great way to pick up on subtle things that are conveyed through voice inflection and body language. In a relationship discussion what is not said can be more important than what is said. Keep focused on the person you are having a conversation with, and show some interest.

Why Is This Important?

Regardless of the situation, by listening first you put yourself in a very powerful position. As the listener you will get all of the information being offered. It gives you the ability to think about the message and create a reasonable, informed answer. This will help in advancing the conversation and give you the opportunity to learn about them. You may be surprised by what is actually conveyed.

What is the Benefit?

In relationships we are emotionally invested. Our feelings are exposed for anyone to nurture or damage. And this leaves us feeling vulnerable to the next attack. In reality it is each of us who has the opportunity to choose to listen and engage in the conversation. There is nothing to fear when we are listening, because all of the information is coming to us. We are not hurting each other, merely listening to what is being imparted.

Engage by asking probing questions;

  • Does that interest you?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • Is there more there that we should discuss?
  • Tell me more…
  • What can I do in that regard?

Any additional question or comment to keep the dialog moving can only help. Try not to use the word “No” until you’ve listened to everything said. He or she may be nervous and not get the words right at first. Give them room to expand and listen while they relax and get comfortable with the exchange.

I suggest never getting angry during times of conversation especially during the holiday season.  By remaining calm we have a better chance of getting our thoughts out clearly. And as the listener, anger dulls the senses and makes really understanding much more difficult.

With anything, this takes practice and it takes two people. If one is angry, neither is ready for a conversation. If one is distracted neither can communicate. And if one is incapable, neither have a chance to properly share.

So, give it a try and let me know what comes of it. You may get a surprise, you may find something you didn’t know or you may just connect better than ever before. In any case, let me know how it goes. Your story may be what helps the next reader have a holiday to remember.

As always,

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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A Successful Marriage Requires

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SuccessfulMarriage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you ever wonder how to do this just leave a message in the comments below.

Love… To infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Our Latest Release and more…

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We recently released The Meaning Making Machine. It is a book designed to provide you and your loved ones an insight into why we are programmed they way we are. Yes, that’s right – Programmed. Our brains work the same way when we are growing up. We face challenges and we either overcome them or insist that they are immoveable. This information is used to build up a knowledge base that can be quite false. Further, our brains give us indications that we are right about thing we have no idea of. It is astounding that we limit our love for each other and the experiences we can have because our brains tell us not to venture into areas we don’t quite understand.

Jay wrote a great piece about the book last week Blow Through Your Persistent Problems and this week I wanted to give you a little more.

I have included a small section of the book to pique your interest:

 

The Human Computer

“Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind.”
Jeffrey Eugenides

One of the most interesting and yet misunderstood tools we have as human beings is our brain. It is a three pound computer that can store, access and analyze information. It takes in everything we see, feel, touch, taste and smell. It’s a magnet for information and sensory stimulation. A sponge soaking up anything it comes into contact with.

The weirdest part about it is that it’s dropped into us with nothing at all. No programming, no start up apps, no manuals, nothing. It programs itself from the moment we are born. We have no control over what it takes in, and it takes in everything. It gathers information at blazing speeds and stores every experience away as a memory or useful learning. The amount of information it can store has been calculated based upon what we know of existing computers. However the debate continues as to what the real number could possibly be. In addition, the human computer can process many items at the same time while also storing them into the memory banks.

It truly is a wonderful machine, and it is extremely useful. The brain is responsible for all of our conscious and unconscious thoughts. It is believed that we have 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts each day and we are powerless to stop them from happening. Our brain is taking in and processing everything as it occurs and it does it without permission.

Consider that not all of the information being processed in our mushy, little, super computer is collected and stored as it truly is. Teaching and experience provide us knowledge that we don’t currently have or we find desirable to gain. And as we acquire this new information our brain files it away. But the storing of data is not always easy and straight forward. The brain can’t just assume that we have the material and we need nothing else. Oh no, it has to interpret the data, choose the right place to store it and look through other files to find any supporting data for the new wisdom.

And this is where it gets ugly. If a new piece a data is received and the brain misinterprets it, what happens then? Can we reassign the wisdom to a different location more to our liking? Is it stuck there forever? Can we stop the brain from doing the same thing with future items? What if we have no power at all to stop the freewheeling information flow? Our brain could turn into a memory garbage dump. One misinterpreted piece of data piled upon another. The mass of information gets deeper and deeper. And as with any computer; “Garbage in, garbage out”.

Anne Lamott wrote, “My mind is like a bad neighborhood – I try not to go there alone.” It seems apparent that we are not always in control of our brain and what it chooses to do with the knowledge and experiences we amass. Rather, the brain is in control and we have to learn to live with what it does. Or do we?

Interested? Would you like to gain control of your Meaning Making Machine? If so, I strongly suggest you get the book today and begin the process of taking back your life.

Here’s the link to purchase your copy through Amazon.com: The Meaning Making Machine

And while you’re there you might want to check out the other offering from Jay and me.

Let me know what you think and tell us about your relationship successes.

Also, we are hoping to get the first look at our new fiction authors next month. They have been working hard to finish a few new items and they look amazing so far. Stay tuned for the announcement in the next few weeks of several fiction series that we intend to offer. You will not be disappointed.

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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