Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?

My husband is a very good guy. He is responsible, cares deeply for me and my daughter. However, I seem to only feel, think, and act very negatively of him or I am just mean to him. I do love him and I want to feel that love. What can I do?

Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

Sounds like you have a case of the “I don’t really love myself enough” syndrome. That is my non-medical diagnosis for the condition you have. I have often heard your question phrased this way, “Why do we hurt the ones we love the most?” Since you are trying to figure that one out, I first and foremost recommend taking inventory of how you treat yourself.

How do you feel about yourself? Are you wishing you were more, better, faster, and are frustrated because you’re not? Are you happy with your work, the way you’re raising your children and the example you are setting? Do you feel joyous and grateful to be alive?

If you don’t feel very good about yourself and you are not taking responsibility for that, then it can wind up coming out in relationships in several different forms which include (and are not limited to):

  1. You want him to change and be different; primarily so you can feel better. The truth is, even if he did change, he still wouldn’t be good enough because you are not feeling good enough and you’ll continue to project it out on him.
  2. You get upset at little things he does or that happen to you in your life. Your reaction is your soul trying to tell you I’m hurting and I need to express it.
  3. You say mean things. This is another way of your feelings trying to express themselves.
  4. You feel powerless because you have no idea what to do to deal with the feelings of fear, anger, grief, sadness, loneliness, worthiness, etc.

As you can see low self-esteem and poor self-image can be dangerous to both you and your loved ones. The first step is to acknowledge you’re hurting and let yourself know that is ok. Feelings, all feelings, are valid. What you do with those feelings is the way you make or break your results. Even if you have a high IQ your intelligence will not help you solve the problem. The logic of the brain needs to make way for the wisdom of the heart. Many people today have lost the connection to their heart wisdom. You will not be able to think your way to a healed and authentically joyous place.

You must face the darkness in your soul. Before you do this though, begin to practice saying nice things to yourself. You must become more compassionate (with yourself). There is no room for self-abuse. Then, be with your feelings. Know that they are real and they are not who you are, rather they are messages from your heart.  Feel it and channel it in positive healing ways. A great way to get on the road to healing is through a good psychotherapist who encourages you to get into your feelings. Make sure that your internal heart work does not stop there. Acknowledging and accepting your feelings is the first part. Channeling the energy of these emotions to serve you for the better is the next step.

Like the Feminine Power Card displayed on the right says on the pink side, “Anger is a
Pink-Anger-web message to understand your fears and take care of yourself.” And it encourages you to contemplate on the blue side, “How can I channel my anger such that the result is positive for myself and others?”

Take the energy and do good things. Take on the commitment to see this feeling through until it transforms. To be there for it like a good friend.

Here’s a simple story of how I did this. One day a friend visiting me talked me into seeing a movie that I knew was scary and would be hard to take, but I gave in trusting her that it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought. Well, it was really scary and hard and boy was I angry afterwards. I realized that taking it out on her or myself would not serve any purpose, so I was very quiet until we reached home. I didn’t know what else to do but I knew I was committed to not harming anyone. So I kept asking myself over and over on the way home the question, “What can I do with this energy?” I knew it had to be something that was not harmful and useful for dealing with the feeling. Then I proceeded to go into my bedroom and cry and get some of this pent up energy out. Crying was good but it wasn’t enough. Then I ripped out my journal and frantically started writing everything this feeling was feeling, thinking and upset about and wanted. That was good but it wasn’t enough. I took a really hot bath because that is something nurturing I love. That was helpful, but it still wasn’t enough. Then I cried some more and journaled some more. And then I was flooded with peace and a whole new perspective. This movie was a gift. It gave me the gift of addressing the pent up fears, anxieties and stressors that I had. They released all because my friend wanted to see this movie and I went. There was no more anger. I received the gift of the events of the day and the feelings inside me. I continued to enjoy a deeper appreciation and connection with my friend.

So I cannot tell you how to channel the energy. Rather I encourage you to explore it, honor it and do what you can that feels appropriate and you know is a positive step for you.

In Joy,

Laura

How To Get Over Your Fear of Relationship

Dear Coach Laura,

I am in my mid-50s and really would like to meet a special man and develop a joyful loving lasting relationship with him. The trouble is I don’t seem to put myself out there and though I think I’m ready, there may be some fear in investing myself in that process. What advice can you give me for attracting my soul mate?

Sincerely,

Love Minded

Dear Love Minded,

Most women (and men) long for the intimate soul connected relationship that they can enjoy for years to come. That is why I started WomenInJoy.com. Moreover, I know firsthand that it is possible no matter how much fear you have especially if you are the personal improvement type. Fear is a tricky emotion and we often misinterpret the message it has for us. The key is to honor this desire and feel your fear at the same time.

If fear is not coming up, it means you are comfortable and you are going to stay exactly where you are. So fear is GOOD. Fear can be your reminder of how important bringing in a wonderful man to share your life is to you. Plus fear is merely Forgetting Everything’s All Right. Thus, fear is an illusion. Think about it… if your worst fear came true, you would essentially be okay. Right? In fact, you may even be better because you are resilient and would to come through whatever happened. Also, you have resources (your personal development training), you have friends, family and there are always new people who show up as little angels in your life when you need it most. In other words, it’s time to empower yourself and stop buying into your fear and start accessing the power-full woman you are. The fact that you know there is fear is a good clue to take a look at the underlying beliefs you have about men and relationships.

You may want to ask yourself the following:

What belief(s) is your fear reflecting about who men are to you?

Do some work around uncovering your beliefs. Then, you can test them and alter them. Hypnosis can be a helpful tool at eliminating limiting beliefs and replacing them with ones that are in alignment with your truth and authentic power.

When you face your fear head on, it can transform and even disappear. So dust off your courageous nature and center yourself in your power. Be clear on your intention and hold on for a great ride. Trust the process and your innate feminine wisdom.

Wishing you every JOY,

Coach Laura

How To Get Confidence

Powerful Women Take Responsibility and Get Confidence

how to get confidenceAs a woman, who you are naturally is full of power so it is amazingly simple to get confidence. Let me call attention to who you are and why you can be confident… We have the ability to bring life into the world. I would call that magical.  Did you know that you can make someone’s day with a smile or a caring gesture? Of course you do.  

Women have been the guiding consciousness of society for centuries. The thing is, however, many of us forget how power-full we are and slip into feeling less than, taken advantage of, or never seem to get the respect we deserve. What if the reason these things are happening is because we simply forgot who we are.  

Remembering that you are powerful means taking responsibility for having what you want in life. Whoops, I said it… the R word. Yes, imagine living from this paradigm: You can have anything you say you want if you’re willing to make the decisions that will ensure you get it. Sounds easy right? With enough practice it will become a habit. 

Three Steps to Gaining Confidence and Personal Power

Step 1: Be honest. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” Name a feeling that doesn’t involve another causing it. For example, are you feeling tired, lonely, sad, upset, angry, guilty, ashamed, frustrated, etc. It is best to use words do not imply blame. When you blame someone else you don’t feel powerful. In fact, blame gives your power away to someone else and leaves you stuck. Instead, own your feelings and acknowledge them to yourself.

Step 2: Ask yourself, “What do I really want to feel?” Typically it is to feel loved, to have friends who celebrate you, etc. Answer it with the underlying essence of the feeling you want to experience. 

Step 3: Ask yourself, “How can I provide that for myself? It may mean ending a friendship, speaking less to a family member, asking for a hug, taking a bath, doing something special for yourself, or simply giving yourself some time off. Whatever is authentically in your highest good for you to do, go for it. 

 

If you go through this process over and over, you will begin to notice something happening over time. People don’t upset you as much. Those who used to take advantage of you disappear or change their attitude. Most of all you feel great. You generate joy because you decide to!

Feminine Energy Defined and Beyond

Feminine Energy Defined and Beyond

Feminine energy is our heart energy! Learn why Laura helps women explore their feminine and understand the magnanimous power they innately have. Listen to this recent interview with Inez Bracey about the Feminine Power Cards and how women can have juicier relationships and more joy in their lives. If you want your dreams to come true,  tap into the power of the feminine and learn who you are authentically. 

Listen tointernet radio with Inez Bracy Living Smart Well on Blog Talk Radio

 

How to Recover from a Big Fight.

Dear Coach Laura,

My significant other and I had a really big fight recently. I didn’t like the way I behaved and I know that triggered him. I am afraid this may happen again. Can you give me some advice on how to prevent reacting so badly?

Emotional One

Dear Emotional One,

You have summarized the classic behavior that indicates, “What you are fighting about is not what you are fighting about.” Check in with yourself. What is the issue at hand? If you were arguing about something small (that you know can come up again) chances are there is a deeper issue. The key to changing the pattern is identifying what is really going on. In order to identify what is really going on, you must stay engaged in the issue without being entrenched in it. Here are the basic steps. I recommend getting professional help with them if your issue comes up repeatedly.

Step 1: Avoid making your point over and over. Let go of having to be right. Focus on what you really want. That is, to understand what is the underlying emotional triggers and create harmony within. You may want to look to what is frustrating to you about your OWN life. Are you projecting it on the relationship? If so, take ownership of that fact. That is the gift of surrendering being right.

Step 2: Be willing to be uncomfortable. Start asking yourself questions. What am I feeling? What do I want to be feeling? What do I need to really feel better?

Step 3: Allow yourself to be open to other possibilities you otherwise wouldn’t see about the situation. Think about his point of view. Contemplate it as a possibility instead of rigidly defending your own point of view.

Step 4: Commit to a win-win solution. It can only be a solution for you if it’s a solution for him too. You need to play on the same side. That is, inside your loving relationship.

In his book, Passionate Marriage, Dr. David Schnarch encourages readers to create inter-dependent relationships. If you are getting stuck in a pattern, chances are you are in a codependent pattern. Look to take more responsibility for your stuff.

Yours In Joy.

Coach Laura

Women Living Consciously

Inspiring Women Living Consciously

Conscious living is something to which you can aspire, awaken, and put into practice–no matter whether you’ve chosen it or it has chosen you; it can become a powerful way of life!

Read impassioned stories in this book by forty-seven women who’ve enriched and re-directed their lives to transform into a new way of being. Each author has experienced a major shift in consciousness either through outside-inflicted circumstances or by being inwardly called toward self-realized transformation. No matter the cause, the actions and practices they followed led each of them to a more integrated sense of wholeness and joyfulness of spirit which continues as they move through life.

Women Living Consciously  –  True Stories of Women<br />
Living on Purpose, with Passion, Empowered

In this book, You’ll Discover these Timeless Truths and Valuable Lessons:

  •  Rid yourself of the “disease to please” once and for all
  •  Recognize the diamond in the rough and polish it
  •  Know that your dreams have no limits–empower yourself
  •  Build your business to match your vision, no matter the economy
  •  Survivor and victim are two sides of the same coin–you choose
  •  Childhood trauma doesn’t equal a traumatized adult
  •  Labels are not death sentences, they’re just words
  •  How to live an authentic life in alignment with your highest values
  •  Spirit exists in every experience, sometimes you just need faith
  •  Release the darkness of the past and open up to your bright future
  •  Living in the moment is all you really have
  •  Love is the greatest elixir for all ills–physical, emotional and spiritual
  •  Fear is all in your head; living from your heart is the only way to eliminate it
  •  Maintain eternal connections with loved ones for greater peace

This anthology book celebrates the strength and beauty that all women possess. It provides a resource, a sounding board and a path for you to follow. And mostly, it speaks the truth about surviving and thriving through uncertainty, growth and sometimes seemingly impossible circumstances.

Buy the book Women Living Consciously and receive more than 50 bonus gifts from like-minded joint venture partners.

To purchase the book and receive your special bonus gifts go to: http://wlcbook.com

How does one know if they are on the right life path?

How do you know if you are on the right life path?

 

Well, I believe the evidence is in what someone is experiencing. If your experiencing what you want… joy, love, passion, connection, flow, peace, inner strength, etc. Then you’re on the right path. If you’re not experiencing what you want, I suggest a journey inward. Changing outward circumstances won’t do any good until you understand what message your soul has for you.

Try this exercise:

  1. Close your eyes and take a few slow and full breaths.
  2. Once you feel a sense of calm, imagine yourself in your favorite most inspiring place
  3. Simply ask your mind to take you on the right path for you
  4. Imagine yourself moving along the path, feeling energized, excited and aware
  5. Let yourself know you are on the right path, and the right people, right opportunities are here for you.
  6. Ask yourself: “Are you willing to be open and move forward on this perfect path for your highest good?” If the answer is yes, breath in and acknowledge your willingness. If the answer is no, ask yourself, “What do I need to be open to moving forward on the path for my highest good?”
  7. Simply let yourself feel the energy of the perfect path for you. You don’t need details. You simply open your eyes. Trust that you’ve set in motion the perfect positive path for you.

 To receive more guidance check out these tools: http://www.womeninjoy.com/wisdom-tools/

 

Peacefully Resolve Conflicts in Relationships

Peacefully Resolve Conflicts in Relationships

My husband said for the first couple of years we were together that things were going so well in our relationship that he was waiting for “the other shoe to drop” when we would have a big fight. I wasn’t surprised that it never happened. Mind you, we have areas of disagreement but they never become big issues.

As a student and coach of communications and relationship development, I am continually learning and practicing skills to enhance relationships. At one point my husband had an aha moment. He said, “I now understand why we are not going to have that big fight.” Below are some points he mentioned that I also believe are the some key elements of peacefully resolving conflicts in relationships.

1. Each partner takes responsibility for his/her feelings and his/her part in the situation. It is imperative that each partner acknowledge and reflect upon his/her own feelings and reactions to things.

2. Have a commitment/intention to put love in the space of your relationship. I will often ask myself something like, “How can I be loving to myself and my partner?” It is especially important to ask this question when you don’t feel like it.

3. Refrain from holding onto expectations of your partner behaving a certain way in order to “make” you happy. The minute you expect him/her to behave a certain way so you can feel better, you’re trapped in a no-win situation. You must make yourself happy and then be in relationship. Expectations will trap your partner into “having” to be a certain way and will lead to resentment on his/her part or disappointment on yours.

4. No assumptions. Whatever you do, don’t assume he/she did something on purpose to hurt you. Instead, give him/her the benefit of the doubt and then seek to verify what the case is. Negative assumptions is like poison to a relationship.

5. Speak the truth about yourself. Use “I feel…” and stick to feelings (not words that imply he/she did something to cause this feeling). For example, feeling words include: sad, angry, depressed, insecure, confused, afraid, jealous, sick, frisky, elated. Words that implicate your partner (that you won’t want to use) include: rejected, pushed, conned, judged. Avoid using the word “you” when expressing your feelings. Stick to “I.”

6. Never lash out. Say nothing instead. And contemplate what you are feeling. Lashing out is merely avoiding facing the truth about what you are feeling.

These take practice. I will admit I am not perfect. What is key for me is staying conscious to these principles and apologizing quickly if I’ve stepped over the line. Thus, I highly recommend keeping them present in your life and practicing them. It will make all the difference.

These principles and many more are incorporated into the Feminine Power Cards which are daily reminders and practices for living in feminine energy and creating juicy harmonious soul-connected relationships.

Wishing you joy-filled connections.

Coach Laura

Planet Success Strategies – What Are Yours?

There are so many things we have taken for granted with the many conveniences of our modern life. Running water, plastic wrappings and containers, our clothing, electronics and fast food. We have come accustomed to throwing away many of these items. We have become a disposable society. The problem is, our landfills are filling up, we are running out of clean potable water and the animals we cohabitate the earth with are dying because of our habits. What can we do?

What if each of us, create one new habit every so often that would care for our planet. Ask yourself, what can I reuse, recycle or regift? Over the last few years, I was encouraged by my husband to start taking canvas bags to the grocery store. Numerous times I left the bags in the trunk of the car. But I didn’t give up. There were times when I left the bags in the trunk and remembered when shopping. So I just went back out to the car and retrieved the bag or I hand carried items out. Over time, I started remembering the bags more and more. My next habit is to use less water.

Please comment here and share what you’re doing for the planet. What tips do you have for others? Why are you passionate about this?

I’m so glad we’re working together on this.
Warm Regards,
Coach Laura

Personal Success Strategies – Beyond Integrity

Last week I was sent an email from my Facebook friend Marjorie where she asked what my Personal Success strategies are. What came to mind was revealing and may be somewhat contrary to what others have recommended. Please let me know what you think as you read this.

You’ve heard that integrity is important. I think so too. I used to think that having integrity, in other words, keeping my commitments and having things in life completed, was the key to having everything I wanted in life. Indeed life works and business flows when I keep my commitments. And I do so as a matter of practice. I do regularly operate by placing integrity in every area of my life as critical. Without integrity things fall apart. In the world of construction a building must have structural integrity otherwise it will fall apart. Likewise, this principle operates the same way in our lives.

Yes, integrity is powerful in and of itself. Here’s the kicker for me. In addition to integrity, I know that to truly have a life that feeds my soul, I must know myself deeply, be willing to acknowledge and honor my feelings and most importantly be honest about it. Furthermore, I must make decisions and commitments in alignment with my authentic truth.

When I realized the significance of my authenticity to my health and happiness, my whole world shifted. I was able to ease up on the inner critic within me and start listening to the gentler voice of my true feelings and desires. Then I could have integrity serve my authenticity. For example, if I know myself and that museums are exhausting for me and someone asks me to go, I know if I allot more than 2 hours for the visit, I will be grouchy and unhappy. So now I agree to go to exhibits that I know will take less than two hours to go through and ideally my companion doesn’t want to spend more than an hour. If he/she does, then I will let them know it’s not the right event for me to attend. This may sound like a minor thing to you. You may be saying, “Why not just go and sacrifice yourself so as not to hurt the others’ feelings?” I used to do this, but truly I was bummed out by the end of the day and no one was really happy to be there as a result. I guarantee you this, if you try to hide or deny your feelings it will come out some other way that won’t be positive.  Instead, when I am true to myself, I don’t wind up being in a bad mood anymore with the people I care about. They are happy too. On top of that there would then be time to do something I might enjoy that I could suggest.

Authenticity is not an excuse for lack of integrity by any means. Rather it’s a way to enrich and enjoy your life more fully.  I recommend knowing oneself deeply and making sure your commitments are in alignment. Though it sounds easy, I invite you to examine your life and the times you get cranky or are in a joy-less state and ask yourself, “What is it that I need that I’m not getting in this moment? and What did I do that was not authentic that may have gotten me here?” Be sure not to beat yourself up. This is a learning process and takes practice.

The Feminine Power Cards have a certain number of cards dedicated to principles centered around making conscious choices. These cards remind you to become an objective observer (without judgment) of your life and give up placing judgment on yourself. It is then when you are truly open to what is really going on inside and you have an extraordinary gateway  to new awarenesses, more tolerance of others while not compromising oneself. Here are a few of the cards that invite us to make these conscious choices.

FemininePowerCards.com FemininePowerCards.comFemininePowerCards.com

Each of these cards is your invitation to explore your authentic feminine nature. The deck contains suggested practices to implement each of these principles. For now I leave you with some questions to use as you contemplate how these principles can be used in your life:

  1. Where are you inconsistencies between what you say and what you do?
  2. Are you willing to say “no” to someone who asks you to do something and put yourself first instead?
  3. What are you feeling?

Wishing you every JOY,

Coach Laura