• Emotional Bank Accounts

    Monday, July 16, 2018 No tags Permalink

    An Emotional Bank Account is a metaphor that describes the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship.  It’s the feeling of safeness you have with another human being.

    – Stephen Covey



    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change has given me the best insight on relationships.  I never thought about it this way.  If we look at a financial bank account, we regularly make deposits into it and make withdrawals when we need to.  If we look at it from an emotional standpoint, this could be the most life-changing chapters I’ve read in any book in my entire life.

    Each person has an Emotional Bank Account; couples also have Emotional Bank Accounts. The accounts link but they are three independent accounts; you can even transfer deposits between the three, and sometimes this is necessary, but you must be careful not to deplete one to fill the other.

    In order to make a withdrawal, you must have something in your account to take out. Otherwise, you have an overdraft and applicable fees will apply. Those fees come in different forms: stress, anxiety, depression, anger, volatility, exhaustion, disorientation, loneliness, insomnia, overeating, over-drinking, over-smoking, and general feelings of dis-ease.

    When you over-draft your Couples Emotional Bank Account additional fees may apply: low libido, snarkiness, irritability, disconnection, and a general lack of luster.

    “If I make deposits into an Emotional Bank Account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a reserve. Your trust toward me becomes higher, and I can call upon that trust many times if I need to. I can even make mistakes and that trust level, that emotional reserve, will compensate for it. My communication may not be clear, but you’ll get my meaning anyway. You won’t make me “an offender for a word.” When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”

    -Stephen Covey

    Both accounts (Personal and Couples) need to be monitored to be sure that you don’t go into overdraft mode. The best bet is to try to always keep both accounts at least half-full; sometimes this is not possible and in those times it’s even more important that your partner is helping by adding to your accounts.

    Both people in the relationship need to make deposits into the Couples Emotional Bank Account, and BOTH people need to make sure that they are monitoring their own Personal Bank Account.

    You all know how it feels when your emotional bank account is depleted; I don’t need to explain that feeling of being completely drained.

    Continue Reading…

  • Synchronicity

    Friday, April 27, 2018 No tags Permalink

    I’m having way too much fun with my letter board.  Apparently, I am easily amused, but I don’t see that as a bad thing.  🙂

    The universe is a funny thing.  Lately, I’ve been doing a better job of paying attention to what the universe is trying to teach me.  Sometimes things come together in such an interesting way.  Synchronicity at work.  Years ago I had record album by The Police called Synchronicity.  I loved that album.  Ironically, it contains the song Every Breath You Take, which I later came to hate, but the album is still great.  Especially the song Synchronicity II.  It refers to Carl Jung’s theory of synchronicity and tells the story of an emasculated husband and harried father whose home, work life, and environment are dispiriting and depressing.

    Another suburban family morning
    Grandmother screaming at the wall
    We have to shout above the din of our rice crispies
    We can’t hear anything at all
    Mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration
    But we know all her suicides are fake
    Daddy only stares into the distance
    There’s only so much more that he can take
    Many miles away something crawls from the slime
    At the bottom of a dark Scottish lake
    Another industrial ugly morning
    The factory belches filth into the sky
    He walks unhindered through the picket lines today,
    He doesn’t think to wonder why
    The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street,
    But all he ever thinks to do is watch,
    And every single meeting with his so-called superior
    Is a humiliating kick in the crotch
    Many miles away something crawls to the surface
    Of a dark Scottish loch
    Another working day has ended
    Only the rush hour hell to face
    Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes
    Contestants in a suicidal race
    Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance
    He knows that something somewhere has to break
    He sees the family home now, looming in his headlights
    The pain upstairs that makes his eyeballs ache
    Many miles away there’s a shadow on the door
    Of a cottage on the shore
    Of a dark Scottish lake

    Many miles away…

    Anyhow, back to what the universe is telling me.  Several months ago, I requested that the library purchase the book Gift of injury: the strength athlete’s guide to recovering from back injury and winning again by Stuart McGill.  I just got the notification that it has arrived and I can pick it up.  That very night, my back went out, and for the past few days, I’ve had the worst and most painful back spasms of my life.  Non-stop.  If you are reading this,  you know me well, and you know that I don’t tolerate weakness in myself very well.  And by very well, I mean not at all.  😉 I am not good at needing help. I am not good at being dependent on anyone for anything.  But in the past few days, I’ve had times where I couldn’t get up off the floor on my own.  Talk about humbling. I am trying to practice more lovingkindness toward myself, more patience with myself, and more acceptance of myself.

    Earlier this week I was scanning through the documentaries on Netflix. I  love a good documentary. I stumbled upon Ram Dass: Going Home.  It was a really interesting film. Since suffering a life-changing stroke twenty years ago, he has been living at his home on Maui and deepening his spiritual practice — which is centered on love and his idea of merging with his surroundings and all living things.

    Some of my favorite lines :

    I am loving awareness.

    We are souls.  As souls, we are not under time or space. We are infinite.
    In this culture, dependency is a no-no. The stroke showed me dependency.  And that I have people who are dependable.

    I don’t wish you the stroke, I wish you the grace from the stroke.

    While having my back go out is nothing like a stroke, it’s minor and temporary.  But it did make me see that I have people who are dependable and that I can practice grace quite well.  I am learning.

  • Real

    Friday, April 6, 2018 No tags Permalink

    Find someone who can handle your darkest truths, who don’t change the subject when you share your pain, or try to make you feel bad for feeling bad.

    Find someone who understands we all struggle, some of us more than others, and that there’s no weakness in admitting it. In fact, few things take as much strength.

    Find someone who wants to be real, however that looks and feels, and who wants you to be real, too.

    Find someone who gets that life is hard, and who gets that life is also beautiful, and who aren’t afraid to honor both those realities.

    Find someone who helps you feel more at home in your heart, mind, and body, and who take joy in your joy. Find someone who loves you, for real, and who accepts you, for real, just as you are.

    Continue Reading…

  • You Decide

    Thursday, March 29, 2018 No tags Permalink

    One day Buddha was walking through a village.

    A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake.”

    Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead, he asked the young man “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

    The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me because I bought the gift.”

    The Buddha smiled and said, ”That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

    If you want to stop hurting yourself, you must get rid of your anger and become loving instead. When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy.

  • Truth

    Friday, March 2, 2018 No tags Permalink


    If you fall in love with your best friend, that love has an excellent chance of withstanding the test of time.  Not just lasting, but growing exponentially.

    “Chemistry is you touching my arm and it setting fire to my mind.” nayyirah waheed


    Lots of more thoughts, but my brain is mush tonight so it will have to wait.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.  🙂

  • Contemplating Softness

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 No tags Permalink

    It’s the hard things that break; soft things don’t break. You can waste so many years of your life trying to become something hard in order not to break, but it’s the soft things that can’t break. The hard things are the ones that shatter into a million pieces.

    We want to be “strong” and “tough,” to be able to handle all of life’s trials and tribulations without cracking. When we are strong, we hunker down, grit our teeth, and bear it. When we are tough, we “power through” the bad times. The short-term result of this is often satisfying. The hard person bounces back quickly from a failed marriage or an illness or losing a job.However, the trouble is often found beneath the surface and in the long-term. What happens when someone spends a lifetime hunkering down and powering through. The tree that doesn’t bend, breaks. A hard tree can endure a lot, but when a strong wind blows, it cracks and falls over.

    Brené Brown talks of armor. We put on armor to avoid the hurt. That used to be a way of life for me. I endured a lot of trauma as a young adult and one survival mechanism I developed through these experiences was to not go too deep with people and not open up. But what does it mean when you don’t let people in and open yourself up to them? You avoid the hurt, but you also miss the intimacy, the connection, and the depth of an open, honest relationship.As Brené explains, you can cut off feelings—the good and the bad—but you can’t isolate and block out specific types of feelings. In order to feel joy and intimacy, you need to allow yourself the vulnerability that will also inevitably lead at times to pain.

    <The more you hurt, the more you fear. The more you fear, the thicker the armor you wear. The thicker your armor, the more it weighs you down. When my armor finally cracked and fell off, it led to a  breakdown. It was during the recovery from that breakdown that I learned what true strength was. When the pain became too much, I fell apart, and at that point, I had no choice but to go right. At that moment, all my hardness couldn’t see me through. And that’s what suffering is: it’s the great teacher that tells keeps telling you where to go, and the more you try to power through, the more painful and prolonged it will be. Then you soften up and go right, and everything changes.

    Let hurt soften you; don’t let it harden you. Let that time someone hurt you open your heart up to compassion for all of those who are hurting. Let it be a reminder at the moment to be more forgiving.

    When an experience is difficult, you can fight with it. But if you surrender to it, let down your walls, and be open to the experience, and you will grow from the pain. Give up the hard walls and soften yourself up to what comes your way.

    When floating down the river of life, you’re totally right to swim in the direction you’d like to go. But paddle too hard against the current, and you’ll drown. Try going soft and floating, seeing where the river will take you—it’s not like you have that much of a choice anyway. 😉

    Bravely learn to relax with life and see what happens, and you will make decisions with more wisdom and take actions with more power than if you were fighting.

    As Pema Chödrön says, “stop protecting your soft spot…stop armoring your heart.” Likewise, “wretchedness humbles us and softens us…Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us.”

  • Alchemy

    Saturday, February 24, 2018 No tags Permalink

    Note to self:


    Cut yourself some slack today.

    Whatever you didn’t get to today, extend yourself some grace. Give yourself some credit for just showing up.

    That’s half of the battle and it’s admirable.

    I see you and I celebrate that you showed up.

    It’s a New Day.

    Like most people, I am harder on myself than on anyone else.  I don’t cut myself much slack. I have high demands and push myself until I push myself too far.  That’s probably not the best idea.  But I am learning.  🙂 It’s a new day.

  • Three Things

    Friday, September 8, 2017 No tags Permalink

    I tend to agree with this. Love is a verb. As the expression goes, put your money where your mouth is. Kind and lovely words are nice, but they have no meaning if there’s not an action behind them.

    Let’s face it, everyone lives a busy life in today’s world. But we all make time for things we value.  We choose what is important to us and how we spend our most precious asset: our time.

    This quote by Maya Angelou rings so true:

    “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

    I tend to give people a lot of chances, some say too many chances. But I’m not afraid to cut out people who always take and never give.  I’ve done it before, and while it’s difficult at first, it’s what’s best. Life is too short to be surrounded by the wrong people.

  • Be Your Someone

    Monday, August 28, 2017 No tags Permalink

    Find someone who pays attention. Who runs their fingers over your every scar; and asks where each one came from. Find someone who knows how you like your coffee; what song makes you want to roll the windows down and slam on the gas pedal. Find someone who takes in your smallest details; who notices the things you thought no one ever would.

    And then…when you find him, be his someone too.

  • Express

    Friday, August 11, 2017 No tags Permalink

    Sometimes it was hard to express how much you loved someone. You said the words, but you could never quite capture the depth of it. You could never quite hold someone tightly enough.
    — Diane Chamberlain, The Midwife’s Confession

  • ❤️

    Saturday, August 5, 2017 No tags Permalink

    Attraction is common. What is rare is having someone who wants to grow and build with you. A partner in every sense of the word, a true confidante, a soul mate. ❤️

  • Johnny & June

    Sunday, July 9, 2017 No tags Permalink

    “I want a love like Johnny and June
    Rings of fire burning with you
    I wanna walk the line, walk the line, ‘til the end of time”

    I grew up listening to Johnny Cash.  Let me rephrase that: I grew up hanging around my dad all the time, and my dad listens to Johnny Cash. Johnny’s version of Nine Inch Nails “Hurt” was on the radio this morning and I started thinking about his older music.

    In a 1981 Mike Douglas interview, June Carter Cash explained, “He asked me to marry him in front of 7,000 people, but I would have liked it if he had gotten down on his knees and proposed to me, you know, but that wasn’t the way it was. It was a great big production…” Johnny continued the story, “We had just sung a song called ‘Jackson’, and I stopped the show and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ on the microphone. She said, ‘Go, sing another, sing another, sing another!’ I said, ‘I’m not gonna sing until you answer me. Will you marry me?’ And she says, ‘Sing a song. Sing a song.’ She turned her back, you know, trying to get somebody in the band to play some music or something. [It] kept going until she finally said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Okay, next song.’ So, we set it up. We got married March 1, 1968.”

    “There’s unconditional love there. You hear that phrase a lor but it’s real with me and her. She loves me in spite of everything, in spite of myself. She has saved my life more than once. She’s always been there with her love, and it has certainly made me forget the pain for a long time, many times. When it gets dark and everybody’s gone home and the lights are turned off, it’s just me and her.” (Johnny Cash, Rolling Stone)

    Continue Reading…

  • Strong

    Saturday, July 1, 2017 No tags Permalink

    A strong woman doesn’t just simply fall.

    She tumbles, she collapses, she plummets, she slips, and she does a complete nose-dive off of her sturdy cliff that she has been clinging onto for so long.

    This does not make her weak. Falling for you is the exact opposite of weak. When a strong woman falls, she may fully give herself away, but she is in full knowledge of what she is doing and she embraces it.

    See, a strong woman doesn’t fall often. But when a strong woman falls, she completely lets go.

    When a strong woman is falling for you, she will give everything of herself to you. This isn’t because she does not know how to handle her emotions. This is because she cares so much for you beyond herself that she is willing to give up pieces of her just to bring comfort to you. She knows that in order to be comfortable with you, she is going to have to learn to become comfortable with emotions that she wasn’t so close with before.

    Continue Reading…

  • The Shape

    Wednesday, June 28, 2017 No tags Permalink

    I stumbled upon this wonderful writing by Morgan Wade last night. I was so sleepy that I saved it to come back and read again this morning, and I’m so glad I did. It”s beautiful and it hits so close to home for me.  it reiterates what I’ve been telling myself for some time now- get out of your own way and open yourself to all the good things in your life . ❤️

    We were parked in front of a P.F. Chang’s, lit by the pale blue lights of the dash. He squeezed my hand while I let it wash over me: “It’s like there’s a hole in your cup,” he said, “Like I’m pouring and pouring all I have into it, but it’s never going to be enough.”

    He said the thing that was so true it burned clear down to the raw pink insides of me. I don’t think I would have let anyone else say anything so face-punchingly true. But him? Eyes big and longing, wet with hope. He’d named something so true it rang out, like striking a tuning fork, and everything in and around me started to sing in that same pitch of deep, unquenchable need. So what could I do?

    I heaved deep sobs, hot tears streaming down my face like electric eels. “I’m sorry,” I wept. “I’m so sorry.” And he pet my head, and kissed at my tears. “No sorry,” he said. “Just let me love you. Believe it.”

    I love relationships because they’re so close to the meat; they bleed you, show you the color of your rich, human blood. In a relationship, the longing for love and acceptance is so primal that it brings us face to face to the tangled wall of crossed wires that keeps us from interpreting Love’s signals and signs in the way we really hope will feel good.

    Sometimes it means we’re speaking such a deeply confused language that recognizing vital, healthy love is virtually impossible — and we instead invite losers, parasites and / or expert manipulators into our beds. Other times, it means recognizing the true love that’s sleeping beside us every night is hard; we’re constantly messing with the switchboard to see if we heard it right, tweaking things a little and then wondering why our lover sounds like Morpheus down a dark alley.

    It’s hard work to figure out which is true: Am I missing the signs that this person is a walking red flag — or am I sleep-walking while sticking red flags in the path and calling them warning signs?

    I really believe the only way to know where you stand and if you’re in real danger — or just making it up — is to know the shape of the hole you want filled, and to know when YOU’RE the one tugging at the makeshift plug at the bottom of your cup.

    If the shape of your longing is familiar enough, you’ll know it. Pay attention; the feeling will be familiar across multiple facets of your life, and it will have the same tinge, same taste: that metallic something that leaves us thirsty, never quite soothed.

    If you’re never satisfied with your partnership — if he or she is always guilty of not loving you quite enough — then it’s likely you’re also feeling that way about your work, money, family, and any other vital relationships in your life.

    The feeling of “Not Enough” might be real; it can be a genius indicator that you need to get bigger, ask for more, or tolerate more bliss in your life. And it can also be true that you haven’t asked one of the most important questions:

    What would it be like to feel deserving of the love, attention, prosperity and worthiness you’re trying to elicit from these vital areas of your life?

    I believe in common denominators, and I believe that WE are the most reliable, consistent common denominator in our lives; wherever there is a pattern in our relationships, there is also us, helping to re-live and create it, so that we might heal from it.

    We don’t all have the same patterns. I have a client who truly believes she’s constantly being taken advantage of, and that the people who love her most are actually TRYING to hurt her — her pattern means she’s constantly finding (because she’s constantly looking for) proof that this is the case. Hidden behind that protective fire wall of blame is a woman with impossibly high standards who doesn’t recognize her own pattern of freezing out / pushing away her partner and the people who are trying to love her, be honest with her and invite her into her extraordinary capacity to feel.

    I have another client whose pattern is to date utterly loserly men who are often younger than her, with their proverbial shit all over the place. Her pattern is getting herself all woo’d by the excitement and electricity of these connections early on, but then ultimately becoming their mother, trying to teach them how to adult and be grown ass people. She (like a lot of women trying to call their men into their best selves) is occupying the space she wishes her man would take up, but HE CAN’T, because she’s there, babysitting it and trying to burp it out of him. Behind this pattern is deep roots in a fear that A) not being in control will kill her, B) she’s not worthy of someone who doesn’t need her to save them; C) she’d have to grow up, too, D) she’d have to give herself permission to want what she really wants: the love and steadiness of a man who sees through her initial aloofness, and will take up the masculine space she’s used to trying to control.

    My point is: your pattern is not my pattern or her pattern or theirs — it’s yours. It’s the shape of the hole YOU want filled. It’s the drama you will recreate over and over again until you steady yourself and stop trying to chase shiny surface-level issues to keep yourself (and your partner) busy and not looking at the really deep stuff: there is a need you never got met, and you don’t know how to meet it for yourself (yet), so you can’t possibly know how to ask for what you REALLY need, and your partner will be chasing shiny things with you until one of you cuts to the chase, points at the hole in the bottom of your cup and, with compassion, agrees to begin there, tenderly molding earth into the shape of absence until it holds, and both are filled.

  • The Walls You Build

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017 No tags Permalink

    This is probably far truer than we want to believe. Isn’t it easier to tell yourself that you can’t do this or that because you’re married (or not married). Or you have kids. Or a house. Or blah, blah, blah. Insert excuse here.

    Many people believe they are trapped in situations and they cannot get out. (Hey, I’ve been there.) And they truly believe it was not their fault. The truth is, every situation you get yourself into is to some degree is your own fault. Yes there are some exceptions, but most things that happen in our lives happen because of what we do. It’s all about personal responsibility. The beauty of it is, you also have the power to get yourself out of anything you get yourself into.

    You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.

    Continue Reading…

  • Beautiful

    Friday, March 17, 2017 No tags Permalink

    Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
    -Khalil Gibran

    How do you explain this thing where love comes one day and takes your life back, and suddenly you can’t remember what you found so interesting about before, because you are here and I am here and have you ever seen a world so beautiful as this?

  • Sixteen Going on Seventeen

    Saturday, December 31, 2016 No tags Permalink

    I just couldn’t resist this! So perfect, and also one of my favorite movies. 😊

    It appears that my site, just like 2016, was experiencing some technical difficulties.  My site wasn’t too hard to fix, and I wish I could say the same about 2016 and this country electing Trump as the President. It still doesn’t sound right when I hear someone say “President-elect Trump”. How can this be real?

    But I digress. It’s New Year’s Eve, but that’s never been a huge thing for me. I not much of a late night person, I don’t want to be out on the road on a night when there’s the potential for a lot of drunk drivers, and I figured out a long time ago that you do not want to be a single woman at a New Year’s party. Every single (and some of the not so single) guys will hit on you. No thanks!

    I love to cuddle up with good snacks and a blanket and watch my traditional New Year’s Eve movies. When Harry Met Sally is one of my top favorite movies and I always watch it with n New Year’s. One of the local TV stations here used to play it every New Year’s Eve and I’ve continued that tradition. What can I say, I’m a girl-y girl sometimes. 😉

    Nora Ephron had a way with words. They just don’t write dialogue like this anymore. It’s a romantic comedy but it’s actually witty.

    I wish I still had my telescope! 2016 ends with fireworks as three planets line up as if ejected from a Roman candle. Mercury, Venus and Mars are visible above the sunset horizon all month long. As Venus climbs higher in the sky, it looks brighter and larger than it appeared last month.

    On New Year’s Eve, Mars and Neptune appear very close to each other. Through telescopes, rusty red Mars and blue-green Neptune’s colors contrast beautifully. Plus, there’s supposed to be a beautiful crescent moon tonight.

    Have a safe and festive New Year’s Eve! 🎉🎊💥