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Mature Behavior in 10 Easy (okay…actually pretty difficult) Steps

Though I strive to be sensible and balance reason with carefully considered emotions, I have had to put myself in time-out several times recently. My kids drive me nuts because they are children and we are inside together a lot because it’s winter in Maine, and I want to lose my mind. “Those people” on the internet drive me nuts because, in case you have not observed, things are tense out there. It seems like no matter who you are, every emotional button is being pushed in the current climate. Keeping myself under control is not always easy. Perhaps you can relate. I find it facinating how we work so hard to teach our kids to behave appropriately, meanwhile often misbehaving ourselves. My daughter’s school is amazing. They have beautifully explained expectations for how people treat each other- in the classroom,     . . . read more

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Bond (And Make a Good Relationship Even Better)

It’s a new year, and there is likely a resolution you have forgotten: investing in your relationship. As a culture, the new year tends to signify a time for reflection and for commitment to betterment in some sense.  We make resolutions to improve ourselves individually. Sometimes we commit to taking action to improve the world or our community. We consider seeing friends more or spending more time with family.  Life gets busy, and it’s important to reflect on our priorities so we don’t lose sight of them in the flurry of day to day living. However, one area that tends to get overlooked, unless there is a glaring problem or a new and exciting milestone (like marriage, a new baby, a special anniversary), is our commitment to bettering, or strengthening, our long term romantic partnerships.  In the chaos of life,     . . . read more

3 Ways to Repair a Relationship Rut

Feeling a disconnect between you and your partner? Perhaps even seething with anger and frustration toward him/her? You’ve been hurt or misunderstood. Or perhaps you’ve done the hurting or been misunderstanding. Relationships are full of ruptures – moments or experiences of missing each other on an emotional level. Often we feel wounded by the fracture.  “It’s like he doesn’t even know me!”  “She has no idea how much thought I put into this, and all I get is criticism!”   Get the Right Perspective When a rift occurs, the instinct is to fight, dwell, vent and stew- sometimes to friends and sometimes to our partners directly. Often the more we dig in, the more we prolong and deepen the pain. When emotions run high, it can feel that there is no way out. We decide we can only budge if     . . . read more

The Surprising Thing Authentic People Do (That You Probably Don’t)

Amongst people at dinner parties, networking events, and behind the closed door of my office, I hear, “I don’t want drama. I want honesty. I dislike fakey-fake.” Then invariably I hear this declaration from one of the people I just described, in response to some interpersonal issue they are having: “You know what the problem is? I’m just too nice!”  My response to this statement depends on the audience. If you have the misfortune of being my friend, I drop a (loving) truth bomb on you. Otherwise, I make my point a little more gently and in time. If you’re my blog reader, I’ll tell you like this: No, you are definitely not too nice. You can’t be too nice. What you are actually talking about is being dishonest, cowardly, and part of the problem you say you want to avoid.      . . . read more

Love, Process, and Letting Go: What I Learned as My Daughter Made Valentines

“It will take one hundred years!” I said a bit (okay, a lot) immaturely to my 5 year-old daughter mimicking her usual phrase. She wanted to trace, cut out, decorate, and write names on 19 homemade heart-shaped valentines for her nursery school classmates. Wanting to avoid the time, imagined tears of frustration (hers and mine!), and perceived stress, I proposed I at least cut them out. I pictured hearts made with nice smooth scissor edges. That proposal was shot down. I hung out cleaning the kitchen instead, until it was painfully obvious I was not needed at all. Sometime later that afternoon, I was proven totally wrong. Those 19 valentines were done. My heart felt so full seeing them on the table after watching her plug away undaunted by the task at hand. These pieces of paper, which I doubt     . . . read more

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