Category: Relationships

Movie Monday: Letters To Juliet

It’s cold and rainy and windy in Wellington. The temperature inches barely into the two digits. So it makes perfect sense–to me–to watch a movie set in one of my favourite regions: Tuscany/Italy. Seeing the red Fiat with Claire, Sophie, and Charley drive along country roads studded with slender cypress trees… ahh. Is there anything more beautiful?

Maybe the scene almost at the end, when the whole family sits around a large rustique dining table in the lush Tuscan garden beats the car scene. It’s hard to pick because the views of Tuscany, Siena, and Verona are simply stunning. Trust me on this: the movie is worth seeing for the scenery alone. Continue reading “Movie Monday: Letters To Juliet”

Romance Writer? Seriously?

 

origin_630008218Just the other day a friend asked me what I am doing now, being retired, and having moved to Wellington. When I told her I’m writing romance novels, she said, “Romance Writer? Seriously? You? The Mills & Boons kind of stuff?”

Yip, I suppose, the Mills & Boons kind of stuff, if it means writing stories where it’s pretty obvious on page number two who’ll end up in their own Happy Ever After on page number 289. And even though it’s predictable, I love going for the ride and rejoice with the heroine and fall in love with the hero.

I used to be a psychotherapist—though on second thought, ‘used to be’ may not be quite right. Thirty years of identifying people’s behaviors, actions, thought patterns, language expressions, and body language, don’t stop because I’ve turned sixty-five and received a Gold Card.

My friend’s surprise said loud and clear, in her eyes I sank from the lofty heights of psychology into the mud-filled gutter of rubbish scribblers, who are unable to write real literary pieces worth reading, like Shakespeare or Dostojewski—did I miss one?

I know romance writers are looked down upon in general, and my friend affirmed that for me. But it got me thinking. Why is that? Why is writing about people starving for love, longing for the one person who understands them on a soul-level so frowned upon? I’ve got an idea! Bear with me for a brief psychology rendition. I promise to make it a short one.

I have a Ph.D. in Mental Health and Environmental Sciences. For my thesis design and analysis, I used recognition theory (RT), a critical social theory formulated by Axel Honneth. If you are interested in sociology, go and read up on it. It’s cool!

RT says human beings need recognition to be ‘healthy’ and function adequately in society. We get recognition through LOVE, RIGHTS, and SOLIDARITY. If any of these forms are absent, we struggle. We fight for recognition. Have been in the past, and will in the future. It’s in our nature.

LOVE provided by parents, partners, and other important persons. If we are not affirmed by love that our existence is important, we struggle.

RIGHTS granted through legal systems and structures in society. If legal systems don’t grant us rights to vote, equality, freedom, to name a few, we struggle.

SOLIDARITY through acknowledgment by our peers and community as someone who contributes something valuable. If our lifestyle or our work, are not appreciated, we struggle.

How does that relate to romance writing? Because recognition through Love is the most important one for all human functioning.

We romance writers provide that in spades. Romance stories guarantee a happy ending, the fulfilling of a dream, of a need we all have. The hero and heroines show us the way of overcoming obstacles to the magnificent outcome of everlasting love. We read the last line and know they will make it. It gives us hope – we might make it too, there could be love for us too.

That explains why romance is the most read genre currently. Why do other’s (critics) put it down? Maybe because they can’t do it. It might surprise you, but it’s damn hard to get a contract with Mills&Bohns. You have to be a really good writer!

Are romances realistic? Yes and No.

The latest count from 2016 showed there exist 1810 billionaires in the world. If we take our beloved romance writers by the word, they lurk at every corner. But please, don’t be so harsh and take that literally. It’s not meant to be. IT’S FICTION, PEOPLE!

Even though the stories, characters, and settings are idealized and rarely possible for the average Jill and Joe to reach, we all search for love, recognition, and a warm body to cuddle up to when we go to bed. We might even learn real valuable life skills we can use in our real life relationships. For example, Headboards are for handcuffs! Thank you, E.L. James.

The Secret Weapon in Relationships: Kindness

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As you may know, I have written a little book about relationships and how to make them work. Over about 60 pages I have-in one way or other-emphasized the importance of kindness. Basically pointing out that if you bring kindness to your relationships, be they intimate ones, work relationships, friendships, or those with family members, you have a great recipe for lasting, loving, relationships.

A friend gave me her feedback the other day, which made me stop and think. Besides some very well-meant comments about grammar and flow issues that could benefit from improvements, she said it offers “surface insight into solutions to very complex problems”. That puzzled me. As if loving kindness is a ‘too simple’ solution for complex relationship problems.

Whoever says that ‘kindness’ is simple hasn’t grasp the depth of insight and high level of awareness it takes to practice kindness. If it were easy to be kind, if kindness were the main driving emotion/attitude people have with each other, we would not have criticism, judgment, hate, wars, violence. It requires humility, love, and seeing the good in the other person rather than looking for shortcomings. “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt (painting above) symbolizes this point perfectly!

I know for myself how often I am unkind, when my ego gets in the way, when I am thoughtless, when I can’t be bothered with other people’s needs, when the inside voice in me won’t be silenced and shouts “What about me!!!!”, and lastly, when I am unkind with myself!

No, being kind is not easy. We all admire Mandela, Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama as they show us the meaning of non-violence, of kindness. Very few people master that level of kindness and love. You can test it for yourself by being highly focused for one day to be kind to yourself and others…and notice when you are not! I would love to hear from you how that experiment went!

So if you want to spruce up your valentines day with a simple, easy solution to relationship problems, go and buy my book Delicious Love Forever: Recipes for lasting, loving relationships  either on kindle or a hard copy, or read it for free on ‘kindle unlimited’. It gives you simple concepts – but don’t be fooled, they take a lot to put into practice!

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/oilpainting-gallery/4187152134/

Interview: Relationships and the 3 Principles

When you feel passionate about something you probably like to talk about it. Well, I certainly do. So it was a great day for me when Donna K. Fitch, author of ‘Second Death’ interviewed me about writing the book ‘Delicious Love Forever’, what made me write about relationships and combine my understanding of the 3 Principles and recipes.

We had lots of fun – You can listen to the 2-part interview (each about 15 minutes) by clicking on the links below!

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Photo by Beverly & Pack

Part 1

Part 2

Resonance sets the tone in your relationships

origin_6985104241The interesting part of a virtual book tour is that the reader is presented with a wide range of topics and ideas, sometimes viewed from a different angle than they are used to from. To learn something new we need to be able to view a situation from all sorts of different angles. Today I have the pleasure to introduce my colleague and author Linda Easthouse. Linda has an interesting background as Natural Health Therapist and her post about relationships is based on her rich background in a variety of holistic disciplines.

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Relationships can be stressful. Whether the relationship is with your spouse, partner or children where intensity can spiral rapidly, or whether it is at work with colleagues, the boss, and clients, where stress keeps you tied in knots for hours at a time, relationships wear on us. Our relationships can be a wonderful reservoir of encouragement and strength when they are healthy but in our modern world it seems that many relationships turn toxic and strain our inner resources to manage them.

It does take two to tango and relationships always have two, or often more, sides to them, but you can only be responsible for your side of the equation. That is not to say that you are at “fault” when a relationship breaks down or is very stressful; however you have more power than you know. It is within you to change the character of the relationship by changing yourself.  Please don’t misinterpret what I am saying to mean that you should be a doormat and just give in to appease the others or put up with bad behavior with a smile on your face and pretend it doesn’t matter. It does matter. However, you have the resources to change the relationship using the concept of resonance.

Resonance is like the ripples in a pool of water. If you drop a stone in one end and someone else drops a stone in the other, the ripples eventually meet and become something different.  Where they meet is your relationship. When you change the size or shape of the rock or the angle at which you drop it in, the ripple changes so that when it meets the ripple from the other end, the meeting creates a different wave. Your job, your child, your finances may not have changed, but if you do, your rock changes and what you send out to meet those other things creates a different response. When the response is different, it allows the other rock space to initiate changes too. When you send out a different vibe, you get a different response. If you can stop dropping in rocks of fear and anger or frustration, then the other side will have the wiggle room to try a different stone. Your change affects them and causes changes in response. Be the change. The responses may be slow and almost imperceptible at the beginning, but others will respond differently and you will start to receive back a wave more in tune with your own.

So let’s explore Resonance a little more. This is just a basic sketch of the core principles of resonance but it will give a step onto a new path the leads to healthy relationships.

What you send out is what you get back.

People that we end up living and working with are people that we have drawn into our circle by our subconscious vibrations. It is very much like the animal response of when a wolf smells fear in the prey, they attack. If they don’t smell fear in the prey they are much more wary and keep their distance.  If you generate fear from your subconscious level you are inviting predator type people to attack you. Most often that leads to verbal attacks, over burdening you at work, expecting you to do everything while they sit back and criticize, and it spirals down from there. As you deal with your own fears of value and self-worth, as you become a person who sees your own worth and knows how to set boundaries, you will be perceived differently. It may mean that you change jobs or let go of some friends and social circles. You will draw to you and be attracted to places and people that resonate or vibrate at the level that you do. As you clean up the garbage in your own life, you will naturally gravitate to people who have a cleaner emotional environment as well. You will also allow those around you to make similar changes and let go of their need to be controlling or nasty. Be the person that brings out the best in others by being the best in yourself.

Dont take personally what others do.

I know from very personal experience that when one of my children is going through a tough time and acting out, I used to take it personally. I would blame myself for not being a good enough parent, for not providing what they needed, for whatever excuse appeared. That is a recipe for disastrous relationships and it doesn’t help my child. I can only live my life and provide unconditional love and compassion along with good training in thinking skills, social manners, and personal growth. Beyond that he is responsible for himself. As long as I let him put the blame on me and not take his own responsibility for his actions, I am preventing us both from growing. It works in the home, the sports team, the office, and anywhere else. Don’t let others suck you into the feeling that you are to blame for their behavior or short falls. If someone is having a bad day and reacting poorly, don’t try to rescue them. Give them compassion, refrain from judgment, and recognize that their bad day doesn’t have to wreck yours. Don’t get sucked into their vortex of pain and dysfunction just because they are physically present around you.  Keep your resonance up at a level that serves you.

Find your center point and keep the grounding wire plugged in.

Have you ever been in an old house or somewhere in a less developed part of the world where houses and electric plugs aren’t grounded? You probably discovered that it is pretty easy to get a shock off of nearly anything and you have to be very careful plugging and unplugging things. The grounding wire dissipates the static electricity down into the ground so that it doesn’t build up and shock someone. The same applies to your emotions. There is friction and electric fields that build up in personal relationships. When one or both of you are grounded and balanced that friction drains off and is dissipated so that it doesn’t create shocks and sparks between you. We do actually have an electric circuit with the earth’s electric circuit and literally need to be grounded, especially in our world of electronic soup that we live it. But just as important, we have an emotional and spiritual circuit with creation and the creator. It also needs to be grounded. When we maintain a centered, plugged in relationship between ourselves and the source of all light and power, we are able to ground out and dissipate the static in the relationships around us. Things just don’t flare and spark the same way. Your resonance will be smooth and gentle with shielded wires and good grounding.

Relationships don’t have to be stressful even when others around you are stressed and reactive. As you create the person you want to be by releasing your own fears and self-sabotaging behaviors, facing the underlying panic buttons, and pushing the reset button on your own life, you will surround yourself with people and situations that nurture and regenerate you.

Watch from my forthcoming book, Pushing the reset button: a guide to creating a life you love, to be released in Oct.  In the meantime, to learn more about turning off the panic button, establishing resonance, and generally removing stress from your life please check out my blog at Easthouse Natural Health Centre.

To thank Gudrun from hosting me today please download my gift to you, 3 Common Problems all Professionals Face that keep them Struggling with Exhaustion, Feeling Sick all the time & Constantly Popping Pills or Vitamins (and what to do about them).

About Linda Easthouse

Linda has been a trainer, educator, and health advocate all her life. With 10 years of experience as a Natural Health Therapist, she helps people regain wellness. As a certified Practitioner of Health Kinesiology, and Matrix Energetics, using hands-on therapies that restore the body, mind, and spirit, she assists people to take control of their health, establish healthy patterns, and gain control over their stresses. Linda founded East House Natural Health and sees clients in both Calgary and Abbotsford and teaches in western Canada. She has a Master’s degree and many years of apprenticeship in the healing arts under a variety of teachers. Linda loves to share the Road to Health with people of all ages.

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Gudrun is a therapist, author, and life-long explorer of the mysteries of the human mind. She is retiring from mental health and trauma work and has published now her first book Delicious Love Forever.  She is passionate about applying the Principles of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness, as formulated by the late Sydney Banks, not only to her books but also to everyday living situations.
 

The Art of Listening

woman-listening“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  This quote from Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change) describes succinctly the problem most people have when communicating. Most courses and trainings refer to ‘active listening’ as a desirable practice, yet it teaches people to listen to the words, the content, and then repeat it back to the speaker.

In contrast, deep listening as I understand it is listening for the meaning behind the words, is listening for the feeling that the words are pointing it. In a way, it is listening with a sense or curiosity WITHOUT checking with our own mind whether it makes sense to us, we can relate to it, whether it is stupid/reckless/naive to name just a few examples. If we would listen that way (checking with our own mind) we would only listen to our own thoughts about something and not to the other person. Continue reading “The Art of Listening”

#3 Mistake That Kills The Love In Relationships: Ignoring the Weather Forecast

stormy weatherMost people have enough common sense to mind the weather forecast. You can see that on the motorway when all the cars are slowing down as soon as it starts raining heavily. I remember back when we had a sailing boat, we wouldn’t go out when the winds were so high that the risk factor out-weight the pleasure that could be gained. Of course, there are most likely some exceptions, some people are dare devils who zoomed along the motorway with high-speed totally ignoring the conditions.

Most people however ‘drive to the conditions’. If the weather is particularly nasty, they might even elect to stay at home. It makes perfect sense considering that driving in stormy weather is not pleasurable, it’s dangerous, one’s field of vision is impaired, and you might not get very far. Continue reading “#3 Mistake That Kills The Love In Relationships: Ignoring the Weather Forecast”

5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 2) I am right and you are wrong

wrong rightNumber two of the mistakes that kill the love in relationships is the conviction that MY view of things is right and YOUR views of things is wrong. I don’t think there has ever been a couple that presented for relationship counselling, coaching, or therapy that was not caught in that erroneous assumption.

To be fair, it is not only an affliction couples suffer from, but human kind in general follows that strict line of thinking. Hence the fights, wars, and conflicts we observe throughout history and present day circumstances. How much suffering happened because people thought they were right and hence their actions were justified: from human sacrifice, to slavery, to witch hunt, to wars, oppression, human rights …. the list is endless.  Continue reading “5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 2) I am right and you are wrong”

5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 1)

broken heart 2Most people want to be happy, or at least content. For most people that involves a caring family, partner, or friends. When we have found someone with whom to share our life, dreams, or difficulties.

More and more people understand that there is no such thing as a soul mate, THE ONE that makes me happy. Any relationship can work out as long as people want to make it work. That leaves the onus squarely in the court of each individual. There are 5 mistakes which – if you can avoid them – will almost guarantee you a sustainable, loving relationship.  Continue reading “5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 1)”

The Secret to Harmony in Relationships

swansSometimes our relationships are nothing like we’ve imagined it. Sometimes we come to a dead-end and find that we don’t have a clear idea where to go from here.
What is the secret of people who have great relationships, who have loving intimate partners, get along well with their kids, have friends who are fun to be around, and colleagues who are supportive and co-operative?
A common misunderstanding is that you have to find the ‘right’ partner, the ‘right’ boss to work for, the ‘right’ friends. And if that is not helping, you have learn how to communicate better, how to listen actively, how to challenge effectively – in summary  how to do things right.