What are some of the most life-changing books and resources I’ve encountered in the past 25+ years of my personal growth and exploration journey?
It was very hard to narrow it down to just a few but here’s a start!
To be in healthy relationships, I think it’s essential that we have a healthy and loving relationship with self. One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read on this is Susan Anderson’s book called “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing.” She goes through the five stages of abandonment: Shattered, Withdrawal, Internalizing the Rejection, Rage and Lifting with a description of each and special exercises for healing. I think everyone should read this book – whether or not you believe that you have experienced abandonment! Her companion book “Taming Your Outer Child” is another keeper. You will learn so much about self-sabotaging behaviour from this book.
Gary Chapman has written two very powerful books: “The 5 Love Languages” and “Love as a Way of Life.” I encourage all my coaching clients to check out his 5 love languages so they can understand what theirs is, and the language of loved ones, whether it’s a spouse or a child. When you understand your love language you can ask for what you need. When you understand the love language of loved ones you can express your love in ways that are meaningful to them. I think this is a real game-changer! In “Love as a Way of Life” he talks about the qualities of being a loving person. With descriptions and short assessments you can see if you walk the talk of being a loving person. Again, a book that is very relevant to relationships
I learned about Alison Armstrong a few years ago from a male friend. Since then, I have been to one of her “Queen’s Code” workshops, I’ve listened to audios, watched her videos and I’m a convert! She has been studying men and women for over 25 years and she sees how women often expect men to behave like an ideal woman. When they don’t women punish them and don’t honour who they are or what they are really good at. I see this around me all the time and, through Alison’s work, I have learned skills and new understandings for really appreciating and connecting with men. This is really important stuff!
Lastly, I really like a book by Daphne Rose Kingma called “Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours.” She starts out with an examination of why breakups are so hard… and the overt and covert reasons we get into relationships. The author doesn’t see ended relationships as “failures” but instead encourages readers to see them as opportunities for growth. She offers a series of exercises to help with this process and to give closure.
I do customized coaching with my clients and I incorporate a lot of these resources. It’s great to read books on relationships but it’s even more powerful working with a trained professional!
Well, February is the month of love they say (I prefer to think that every month is the month of love but I guess that doesn’t sell so many flowers, cards and chocolates!)
I was invited by my local TV company to do an interview about lasting love. I didn’t get very long to talk so I decided to record a video and to write a blog about this because I think it’s really important.
I decided to narrow it down to five points although I have a lot to say about this topic! Here are the 5 points:
- make every day romantic whether it’s the time for a prolonged hug at the end of a busy day or taking time at bedtime to exchange an appreciation of one another
- create a vision for your relationship. What is possible? Dream big because you are co-creating what YOU want!
- honor your commitment. I find that many couples don’t bring up the concept of commitment and that it’s just assumed – but this is really important! If you make a strong commitment to one another – and keep it – you are able to express yourself honestly and openly and know that you have created a safe container. This is where true intimacy comes from
- take ownership for your experience and take responsibility for your feelings. Nobody can “make” you feel a certain way. Understand that your issues are your own unmet needs and that you can be triggered by things that wouldn’t faze others. Learn how to communicate so each of you can express yourselves clearly and be a good listener
- make your relationship a priority. We all know it’s true that the more you put into something the more you get out of it! I see a relationship as a garden that needs to be nurtured. It needs to be watered and fertilized so that you both can reap the benefits. Together you can grow and accomplish things that wouldn’t be possible alone.
I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts on what keeps love alive! I love to do couples coaching so if you want a great relationship rather than a “good enough” one, let’s talk!
I thoroughly enjoyed a new series on Netflix called Master of None which focuses on the life and love of Dev, played by Aziz Ansari. His love interest is Rachel.
DEV AND RACHEL NEED ME!
Why do Dev and Rachel need a love coach? They, like many dating couples, are building the plane as they are flying it! How might things be different for them – and for you – if you really knew who you are, what you want, if you were able to communicate positive and effectively and if you could manage differences between you and your partner?
What is your vision for love? What do you think is possible in marriage? At one end of the spectrum is unrealistic fantasy of bliss that requires no work… and on the other end is the cynical belief that marriage is an outdated institution that clips one’s wings and that sucks the life out of people.
How can you have a partnership that enhances your life? First you need to know who you are and choose a partner who shares your key values and vision. Get to know him or her over time and determine whether you are both ready to make a commitment. I believe the key here is not to rush. It takes time to get to know someone. As you get to know the other person, you get to know yourself.
I believe that commitment is the key to a successful relationship. In this world of instant gratification and disposable everything, commitment might be a foreign concept to many of us. Think of what you’ve been committed to – whether it’s learning to play an instrument, learning a language or playing video games! Commitment takes dedication and focus. It’s also the key to getting results.
How might things have turned out if Dev and Rachel had me in their lives? How might things be different for you? Contact me!
Arielle Ford of the Soulmate Secret and Claire Zammit of Calling in “the One” are currently hosting a 10-day summit called The Art of Love. They have 21 experts in the field talking on various aspects of relationships and the talks are free for the first 24 hours. With an upgrade, you can get access to the digital version and/or the CDs. If you haven’t already checked it out, go to www.lovesummit.com where you’ll get the information you need. Happy listening!