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Entries in life coach (3)


What Is Your Ultimate Dream as a Parent?

If you are a parent, what is your ultimate dream? I posed this question to myself recently and answered it in the form of a letter my daughter would write to me when she is an adult:
Dear Dad,
     I am so grateful for the father you have been to me. You allowed me to be myself and forge my own path in life, all the while supporting and loving me. I always knew you believed in me, even when I struggled or made mistakes. This helped me believe in myself and develop the inner strength needed to overcome challenges in my life. You were so easy to talk to because you listened intently to what I had to say, without forcing your opinion on me. I felt comfortable sharing things with you because I knew I wasn't being judged. When you made a mistake or got frustrated with me, you admitted it and were willing to apologize. When you had to say "no" you did it with kindness, and although I may have been outwardly frustrated I knew it was coming from love. Throughout your life I noticed how you took great care of yourself--physically, emotionally, and spiritually--so now I do the same.
      Your love and care for Mom showed me that relationships with significant others are meant to be supportive and nurturing, because I saw it firsthand. I remember you two expressing appreciation for each other often and quickly resolving your differences with respect when they arose. And most of all, through your example, I learned how to live an extraordinary life filled with love, joy, and success-unafraid to FOLLOW MY DREAMS. Thank you for being my father and for all you have instilled in me. 
Your Loving Daughter


Yes this vision is lofty, and I am certainly not on target all of the time, but I will continue to strive to make this dream my reality. This exercise was powerful because it has helped me to consider more often whether I am being the parent that would receive this letter. I will stop and ask myself, "Am I modeling these values? Am I being this type of parent?" If you are a parent, I encourage you to do the same exercise and see what arises. What is your dream letter that your child would write to you as an adult (or some point in the future if they are already an adult)? 




Re-Purpose Your Relationship

Have you considered the following question lately? What is the purpose of being in a relationship? Many of us who have been in a relationship for a while tend to lose sight of our purpose. And when we don’t have a purpose, we often wander aimlessly without a true sense of fulfillment. Regardless of how long you have been together it is never too late to re-purpose your relationship.

As individuals we are here to create, pursue our passions, and express our gifts in the world. Therefore at some level, the relationship must be a vehicle to support the expression and fulfillment of these individual desires as well as provide an opportunity for the couple to joyfully co-create together. This is important no matter what the individual desires may be. Whether the desire is to be a stay at home parent, to create a thriving business, to be an artist, to be a volunteer at school, etc, the relationship should foster the best in the individual. In any endeavor there are countless ways to be creative and use our gifts, and we will be better able to do that if the relationship supports it.

In the ideal situation, there is a harmonious balance of these individual pursuits and the shared goals of the couple. When the couple is working together on their shared goals they will be more powerful and successful. The energy of two moving in the same direction is much stronger than splitting the energy and going in different, sometimes competing directions. Because our desires change over time, it is important to clarify and address them on a continual basis with our partners. If you have not done so in a while it is time to re-purpose your relationship and become the best you can be as a couple.



The Truth About Communicating

We communicate with our partners much more than we think. Verbal communication is just a small part.

Couples often come to me for help with their communication. In fact, virtually every couple that I have ever seen has stated in one form or another that they have trouble communicating. They are usually referring to the way in which they verbally communicate with each other. However, there is another form of communication that is even more important and largely misunderstood, and that is the way the partners are thinking about each other.

Our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions create energetic signals that are being transmitted to the world around us (including our partners) and influence our experience. The quality of our thoughts determines the quality of our lives, and the way we think about our partners plays a significant role in what we receive back from them. Our partners can 'hear' (mostly unconsciously) what we are thinking about them even if we never speak the words.

Let's say that I am habitually thinking thoughts such as, "He never listens to me, He doesn't care what I think." The more I repeat these thoughts, the greater the probability I will experience my partner not listening to me or not caring about what I think. He is receiving these signals and more than likely will reflect back to me the essence of my thoughts. If I make a habit of thinking genuine thoughts of appreciation and looking for the best in my partner, then I will experience more of that from them as well. 

This is, of course, an oversimplified version of the way relationship dynamics work. However, the principle is clear: I receive in my experience what I give out (in the form of thoughts and emotions). 

The question to ask ourselves is, "Do my current thoughts about my partner serve me?" Since our thoughts and feelings are a form of communication and have creative power, what kind of thoughts will you choose to think about your partner?