The start of a New Year is great time to gather fresh energy and go after what you want in life. It’s a perfect occasion to reflect on your values, your dreams, and how you want your life and your relationships to be.
A 3-step process is outlined below to help you write goals specifically designed to energize the optimal emotional states that create the focus and momentum you need to make them a reality. Read all 3 steps through before beginning.
STEP 1. Schedule a Mini-Retreat to Reflect on Life Aspirations
The first step is to schedule a time away from distractions, a 10 to 15 minute retreat, where you may relax and contemplate on your life, aspirations, what you want and need in your life and relationships.
Why a relaxed reflective, relaxing retreat?
Awareness is key when it comes to living – and loving – authentically. A key aspect of awareness is getting to know, and understand your self and life around you, and one thing that involves is being aware of what triggers you. In Part 1, being authentic was described as a gift, and in a previous post, the secret to being authentic as a conscious way of relating to yourself and life around you.
To live in balance and harmony in your relationships, you need to know how to calm your mind and body, to feel safe enough to set judicious limits in your interactions with others, for example, to say or hear the words ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without getting triggered.
The first step in setting limits is identifying the specific situations that challenge or trigger you when it comes to either standing up for yourself with courage and, or doing so in a way that treats the other (thus also your self) with dignity.
What does it mean to be courageously and authentically you, and why is this a precious gift?
Authenticity is the permission you give yourself to be real, to be who you are, aware of warts and graces. This permission frees you to give and to live in relation to your self and others, especially key others, from a place of love, and not fear.
It’s precious because how you relate – give and receive – directly impacts the balance of your life and relationships.
And, speaking of fears, our deepest fears are not about spiders, snakes or bridges, which are surface fears in comparison. Our deepest fears have to do with intimacy and our deepest yearnings for meaningful connection, contribution, and relationships; they are matters of the heart.
To choose to live authentically is conscious choice to love authentically, a conscious way of feeling safe enough to love – give – with your whole heart.
And that means safe enough to set judicious limits, say or accept ‘no’ and ‘yes’ as viable options. Loving authentically with your whole heart means taking essential steps to consciously:
When a relationship becomes toxic it reflects the habitual ways partners manage their emotions, in particular, the emotions that human beings find most challenging, such as anger and fear.
In Part 1, we explored five toxic interaction patterns in which partners collude in scripted roles with one another, and get stuck activating one another’s protective-response patterns. In Part 2, we looked at the neuroscience beneath these emotional command circuits, in ready position to activate, and how they destabilize each partner’s inner sense of emotional safety in the relationship, setting them up to be at their worst, when they most need to be at their best to effectively handle challenging situations.
In this post we explore key factors that affect the balance of relationships, and the first step partners can take to break free of the toxic patterns and restore balance in their relationship and, or personal life.
What would it take to restore balance?
Restoring balance in a couple relationship is primarily about each partner establishing their own inner sense of emotional safety in relation to the other.
Perhaps no experience in the course of our lifetime, whether conscious or subconscious, consumes more energy, or produces more intense emotions, and up and down extremes in thinking or behaving, than the drive to secure the heart of that special person we seek, and to make a difference in some way – to matter and bring value to the relationship.
A growing body of scientific evidence shows that the way we express love and care for one another, from the time we are infants and throughout our lives, directly affects the health and physical structure of our brains and nervous systems.