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Our Blog

An ongoing series of informative entries

Codependency and Distorted Thinking Fact Sheet

Below is a list of distorted thinking errors and ways to overcome them.

Filtering: Focus to the negative to the exclusion of the positive.

Solution: When you are thinking/feeling bad, try to do the opposite.

Black & White Thinking: Things are good or bad – it’s all or nothing with no middle ground

Solution: Look for the exception to your point of view – yes, but. . .

Overgeneralization: Exaggerate or take things to the extreme.

Solution: Avoid words like always, never, every, all, none, everybody, and nobody. Question the extremes – is there any time that is not true?

Mind Reading: Making assumptions about an outcome or someone’s motivation

Solution: Can you really know what’s going to happen or why something happens? How can you know for sure? What are other possibilities?

Catastrophizing: AKA awfulizing – expecting and projecting the worst

Solution: Remember that there is usually more than one possible outcome and the worst catastrophe usually does not happen.

Personalization: It’s all about me – my fault – I did it wrong – they hate me – I am the only one who can do this

Solution: How do you know? Prove it, or consider other possibilities.

Control Fallacies: Either you have no control or you can control everything

Solution: Let go of what you can’t control and be realistic about what you really can control.

Fallacy of Fairness: You think everything should be fair.

Solution: Life is not fair. Accepting this will help you have more realistic expectations.

Blaming: You don’t take responsibility for your choices and project fault onto others.

Solution: Take responsibility for your choices, including your feelings. Nobody else can make you feel or do anything. How you feel or react is up to you.

Shoulds: Words like should, ought and must foster impossible expectations and result in disappointment, resentment and failure.

Solution: Flexibility is the key here – give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt.

Emotional Reasoning: A belief that your emotions are based in truth.

Solution: Challenge emotions with logic – look for exceptions that are reasonable and possible.

Want to learn more about overcoming self defeating thoughts? Contact me:



One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil.

It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good.

It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

“Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied,

“The one you feed.”

Does Your Ex Deserve Another Chance?

30 July 2021

When a relationship ends, the desire for the breakup is often one-sided. Mutual breakups happen, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. Regardless of who ended the relationship, at some point, you or your ex might want to try again.

If you find yourself wanting to get back together with a former love, it might be a good time to do a little soul searching.  Ask yourself these questions before you consider getting back together:

1. Why did the relationship end? There was a reason why things ended. What was it? If you didn’t understand the issue back then, you probably won’t be able to assess whether things have a better chance of working the second time around. Reflect on the old relationship.

2. Has anything changed? If nothing has changed, the outcome will likely be the same. Remember that you can only change yourself.

3. Is this really the right relationship for you? Sometimes, we choose to be with someone rather than be alone.   Being open and honest with yourself is a must in this situation.   Avoid settling for someone you are incompatible with and move on.  When relationships break and it isn't what we wanted to happen, it ca knock our sense of purpose and self-esteem.   If you were confident you could find someone else, would this person still interest you?  Are you glossing over the red flags?

If you’re still convinced that you’d like to rekindle your broken romance, there are several steps you can take.  Keep these suggestions in mind if you’re trying to get your ex back:

1. Refrain from begging or appearing desperate. Desperation is unattractive. It’s also a bad precedent to set in your relationship. Instead, be patient and wait for things to happen naturally. The likelihood of success is greater when the other person meets you halfway.

2. Avoid playing games. Your ex is likely to see through any of your schemes or games. Keep everything above board. You probably won’t be able to fool them anyway.

3. Show rather than tell. Avoid telling your ex how much you’ve changed. Show them. Talk is cheap, and it’s difficult to fake it for long.   For example, if you’re planning to be friendly to their friends this time around, go out with the group and be pleasant.   Actions speak louder than words. Show them just how much you’ve grown.

4. Say you’re sorry when the situation calls for it. You know when the other person deserves an apology. Be the kind of person who can admit fault and apologise. It can help your relationship more than you realise.  And it's also a good habit to keep for the future.

5. Try some romance. A heartfelt gesture can go a long way toward mending broken fences and rekindling romantic feelings. A long letter can be a great way to get started.

6. Let go of and forgive the past. It’s important to keep in mind that your old relationship doesn’t exist anymore. It’s necessary to create a new connection. Move forward with a relationship that’s free of any negatives from the past.

7. Try something new. Go to new places and try some different activities. If you’re in a new environment, you’ll likely be viewed in a fresh way. Keep the good and ditch the bad.

8. Remember the good things. Bring up positive memories from the past. Remind each other of the good times and you’ll both start to remember your connection. A shared past isn’t easily forgotten.

Figuring out if you want to give your ex another chance is a big decision. Getting back together with an ex can be challenging, but sometimes it can be a great idea. Just ensure it’s in everyone’s best interest. Some breakups might be best left in the past, but others could be worth revisiting. Just have a plan and take things slowly. In this case, the second time could be the charm.

9 Ways You Sabotage Yourself

9 June 2021

Many people are worried that either the Universe or other people are out to get them. Interestingly, the greatest enemy you’ll ever face is staring back at you in the mirror. It knows all your tricks and how to push your buttons. You sabotage yourself in ways you’ve never imagined.

Consider these ways you might be keeping yourself from the successful life you deserve:

1. Your standards are too low. You get what you tolerate. You, of all people, should consider your life to be a sacred thing. Yet, you’re willing to get into relationships with others that aren’t worthy of you. You’re willing to stay at a job you don’t like. You tolerate friends that are anything but.

● Treat yourself like you are someone you care deeply for.

2. You’re too concerned with the opinions of others. Be brave enough to do your thing without concern for what others will think.

3. You lack assertiveness. You can be “nice” and still be assertive. Be willing to let others know what you think, want, and need. You’ll be more likely to achieve what you want and garner respect from others.

4. You spend money you don’t have. Consumer debt is incredibly toxic to your life and sense of well-being. If you can’t pay cash for it, it’s better to wait.

5. You think too much about the short-term and too little about the long-term. Potato chips now versus a bikini next summer. A vanilla latte every day versus a family vacation next year. People that struggle are too influenced by their emotions in the present instead of thinking long-term.

● You often have to give up something today to get something better in the future.

6. You believe that tomorrow will be different. It’s easy to feel motivated for a moment and swear to yourself that things will be different, starting tomorrow.

● You’re going to stick to your diet, go to the gym every day, start saving 10% of your pay and meditate for 30 minutes each day. But, how many times have you thought that? Has it ever been true?

● Unless you change, the actions you take are likely to stay the same. The older you are, the more likely this is to be true. Start small and build from there.

7. You listen to your heart when you should listen to your head, and vice-versa. There’s a time for each. Figuring out which is best is a personal journey. When it comes to dealing with day-to-day decisions, your intellect is usually the best choice. Far-reaching decisions are often best left to the heart.

● For example, choosing a career or a spouse might be best left to the heart. Deciding whether to spend £100 in the sales versus paying your electric bill on time should be made with your head.

8. You fail to commit. Without commitment, you’re just wishing, hoping, and wasting your time. Once you commit to something, it’s as good as done. It’s only a question of how long it will take. If you’re willing to change your mind, you eventually will.

9. You give fear too much power in your decision-making process. We are inclined to avoid fear in the short-term rather than override that fear with intellect. Unless your life or finances are in danger, fear should be left out of the picture.

Self-sabotage is frustrating, and often challenging to notice. We all sabotage ourselves in a variety of ways. The biggest obstacle to your success is yourself. Notice how you get in your own way and begin changing those habits. Mastering yourself is the biggest step to mastering life.

The Secret to Maintaining Emotional Balance When You're Unemployed.

24 February 2021

Being unemployed can stir up strong emotions even during ordinary times. When you add on the uncertainty of living through a pandemic, you may feel overwhelmed. How can you maintain emotional balance if you’re looking for a new position under these conditions?

Chances are you’re dealing with the usual hardships related to being laid off, but you may have fewer available solutions. You’re receiving rejection letters and worrying about your finances. Yet, it’s more difficult to go to job fairs or invite a contact out for coffee.

Paying extra attention to your overall wellbeing will help you to navigate this difficult time and keep your job hunt on track.  Try these tips for protecting your peace of mind while you’re jobless.

Tips for Managing Stress:

1. Set realistic goals. When the outcomes are beyond your control, you can still set process goals, such as submitting at least 3 applications each week. You may also want to extend your timeline, so you’ll feel less pressured if job offers take a while to come through.

2. Maintain routines. Structuring your days will make you feel more secure. Enjoy regular mealtimes and keep up with your hobbies.

3. Take time to relax. You’ll accomplish more if you take refreshing breaks. Go for a walk around the block or in your local park.

4. Avoid multitasking. Studies show that trying to do too many things at once makes you more anxious and less productive. Figure out your top priorities and give them your full attention.

5. Ask for help. If you drink or overeat to reduce tension, you may wind up with more troubles than when you started. Talk things over with a trusted friend or call a hotline to find resources in your community.

Tips for Practicing Self-Care:

1. Sleep well. Are you binge watching past your usual bedtime? Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, so you’ll wake up ready to handle your responsibilities.

2. Eat healthy. Get most of your calories from whole foods rich in fiber and nutrients. Load up on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Choose healthy fats and lean proteins. Limit highly processed items like snack cakes and sugary drinks.

3. Exercise regularly. Shoot for at least half an hour of aerobic activity each day as well as strength training and heavier activity twice a week. Find a variety of activities you can enjoy doing at home or go outdoors to get some fresh air.

4. Look sharp. Change out of your pajamas each morning and comb your hair, so you’ll be ready for any last-minute Zoom interviews. If you want a makeover, browse online for free hair and beauty apps.

Tips for Cheering Yourself Up:

1. Laugh it up. Lighten your mood by adding a little humour to your day. Watch baby animal videos or an episode of your favourite comedy show. Play with your kids and pets. Spend time with family and friends who appreciate your jokes.

2. Cultivate gratitude. Count your blessings. Start a gratitude journal and read it over when you’re feeling down. Thank others and let them know how they make a positive difference in your life.

3. Give generously. It can be difficult to notice others’ struggles when you’re caught up in your own situation. However, giving will make you feel happier and increase your self-esteem. Offer to go grocery shopping for an elderly neighbour or volunteer online for a worthy cause.

It will be easier to cope if you take care of yourself while you look for your next career opportunity. Treat yourself with compassion and follow a daily plan that will help you to manage stress and target your efforts.


Valentine's Day in Lockdown

Valentine's Day this month is going to be a very different affair for many couples this year.  We're still in lockdown, relationships have become strained  as a result of working from home/furlough/home-schooling responsibilities and on top of all of that, there seems to be no end in sight.

It may be easier to just say "sod-it!", but now is as good a time as any to self-reflect on your relationship.  Are there things you could do differently to enhance your relationship?

Below are 7 questions for you to ponder before you choose not to buy that Valentine's Card.....

1. How can I strengthen my effective listening skills and devote my full attention to my partner when he/she is talking to me?

2. Do I make it a point to be open and honest with my partner?

3. Do we share our hopes and dreams together?  What is our action plan of how we're going to make them happen?  How can we work toward these dreams together? 

4. When we disagree, how do we handle our differing opinions?  How can we turn our disagreements into loving communication?

5. Do I sweat the small stuff?  How can I develop more patience and understanding towards my partner?

6. How do I communicate my love to my spouse?  Do I show my love numerous times each day?  What else can I do to show my love and fulfil my partner's needs and desires?

7. Do we laugh together about something every day?  What can I do o bring more humour and fun into our life?

Within this small 7 item list, there may be things you can commit to straight away that will have a more lasting and positive effect on your relationship than a Valentine's Card.

You have the strength to walk away from unhealthy relationships.


Your personal wellbeing is one of your top priorities. If someone threatens your peace and happiness by being mentally abusive or by constantly being negative towards you, you have the strength to walk away.

You owe it to yourself to ensure that the relationship you're in is healthy. You deserve to be treated well and you also deserve to be adored by your significant other. This is how relationships should be!

When you are feeling down, your significant other should be able comfort you and endeavour to make you smile. If you are hurt, you should feel able to be comforted by your your partner.  When you need to talk, you want a partner who is willing to listen to understand.  And you want to be in a relationship where you are able to reciprocate all of that, because those actions point towards a healthy relationship that is built upon love, trust, and friendship. Without those three vital components, a relationship is lost and loveless.

You have the strength to walk away from any  relationship that makes you  feel uneasy.   Though you may feel love for the person, it is impossible to be in love with someone who treats you like a lesser partner.   You may be in love with their company, but not their harmful actions.


1. Do you often stay in doomed relationships because you're scared of being alone?

2. Is your family supportive of your relationship?

3. Why or why not?

How To Cope If You’ve Been Ghosted

3 September 2020

Do you wonder if your last date was a magician because they disappeared into thin air?

As more singles look for potential partners online, the risk of being ghosted increases.

Ghosting has become the term for describing a certain kind of dating behaviour. It usually happens when you go out on a few dates that seem promising. Then, your new love interest stops returning your calls. They may even block you from their social media sites or erase the account where you met them.

It’s natural for you to feel upset or angry. Learn how to deal with ghosting while you’re looking for a healthy, loving relationship.

1. Clarify the situation. If you’ve been living with someone for a year and want to cut ties, you probably owe them an explanation. If you had coffee a couple of times, there’s no real  relationship to break up although you may feel a little hurt and rejected.  Your "date's" behaviour is on them, though.  Not on you.

2. Lighten up.   As  bad as you may feel, you have just had a lucky escape.   Why would you want to waste precious energy on someone who hasn't got your level of behavioural intelligence?

3. Acknowledge your feelings. Your emotions may be intense regardless of how brief the relationship was. Give yourself time to recover from any doubts or regrets. Especially regrets!

4.  Build your self-worth. Ghosting can take a toll on your self-esteem. Boost your confidence by reflecting on by setting new goals.

5. Move on. Ultimately, the most important thing is to learn from the experience so you can look for a happier and healthier relationship. Figure out what you want in a potential partner and return to dating when you’re ready to try again.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Being Ghosted:

1. Pace yourself. How well did you really know your last date? It’s easy to feel close to someone when you’re caught up in romantic fantasies or enjoying an infatuation. On the other hand, your relationships will be more stable if you take things gradually.

2. Observe closely. If you’re paying attention, you may notice signs that your date could be unreliable. Do they sound bitter when they’re describing past relationships? Are they reluctant to share personal information? How do they interact with others in your presence?

3. Be direct. There’s no guarantee against ghosting, but skilllful communication helps. Let your date know what you expect in a friendly and nonjudgmental way. They may feel more comfortable being honest with you too.

4. Set an example. When it’s your turn to initiate a break up, be gracious about it. You may help others to see that there are kinder alternatives to ghosting.

Remember that ghosting says more about your date than it does about you. Take care of yourself and stay positive, so you’ll be ready to find love with a partner who values and respects you.

Improving Your Relationships Through Emotional Validation Pt 3- How To Validate

26 August 2020

How to Validate

1.  Listen fully.  Start by giving the other person your full attention. Remove all distractions like cell phones and televisions and listen carefully with an open mind. Let people continue talking until they finish their story and provide all the facts.

2.  Summarise what you hear. Reflect back to the person what you think they said. That way they can clarify whether you understood the message correctly.

3. Label the emotions. Help the other person to sort out what they’re feeling. If emotions have been suppressed for a long time, it can be difficult to make sense out of them. Someone may discover they’re still distressed by an incident that took place many years ago.

4. Consider the person’s history.  Different individuals react differently to the same situations depending on their personality, life history and other factors.  A child who grows up in poverty may view money differently from one who had a wealthier background.

5. Recognise the valid aspects of any experience. Ultimately, we all try to avoid suffering and make ourselves happy. Even if you think a particular action shows poor judgement, you can probably find some aspect of the situation that you can relate to if you keep an open mind.

6. Show empathy. Let the other person know that you acknowledge their feelings on the deepest level that is genuine for you. If you’re both struggling to lose weight, you may feel a natural empathy. Even if they’re disappointed by something that seems odd to you, you can still be sensitive to their pain.

Improve your relationships by getting better at providing genuine emotional validation. You’ll learn to manage your emotions better and help those around you to feel more connected and loved.

Improving Your Relationships Through Emotional Validation Pt 2 - The Benefits of Validation

24 August 2020

The Benefits of Validation

1. Validation helps people to feel like they belong. The need to fit in is fundamental to human nature. Validating each other’s feelings helps us all to feel more respected and appreciated. We’re reminded that we all have value just for being who we are.

2. Reduces conflicts and let people know that you care about them and that their feelings matter.  Fewer disagreements arise when people trust each other and demonstrate good will.

3. Improves communications.  In the absence of judging or casting blame, many people will be eager to open up immediately. Open-ended questions and supportive comments can also help promote more constructive dialogue.

4. Validation empowers others.  Authenticating someone’s feelings strengthens their capacity to resolve their own dilemmas. They may get insights into underlying motivations and recurring patterns of behaviour that will help them adopt more constructive approaches and become more confident.

Improving Your Relationships Through Emotional Validation Pt 1 - The Basics of Validation

26 August 2020

Emotional validation is an important social skill that anyone can learn. Help yourself and others to feel more respected and accepted. You can practice with your loved ones and with people you barely know.

Basics of Validation

1. Define validation. Validation refers to acknowledging someone’s feelings. That’s distinct from saying you agree with them or condoning their behaviour. You can talk with your child about how feeling afraid led them to hide their failing grades without suggesting that was the right thing to do.

2. Offer validation to yourself. Learn to validate yourself as well as others. Similar techniques work in both cases. Recognising your true feelings is the first step in being able to manage them constructively.

3. Monitor your nonverbal expressions. Body language is part of the process. If you feel patient and attentive, you’re likely to look relaxed and welcoming. On the other hand, rolling your eyes at a person can feel just as dismissive as any verbal ridicule.

4. Take advantage of daily opportunities. It’s easier to master a skill when you use it frequently. Every social interaction can be a training opportunity, whether you’re talking with your mother or the cashier at your grocery store.

Ask for help if you need it.

28 July 2020

Before the unhappy trinity of Trauma, Self-Medication and Addiction makes it difficult for you to accept the help.

Toxic Partners

23 July 2020

Toxic partners can always find explanations for why they "couldn't" or "didn't" behave decently towards you.

Loving partners just don't do that.


22 JULY 2020

Just for today : I will let go of worry.

Just for today : I will let go of anger.

Just for today : I will do my work honestly.

Just for today : I will be kind to all living things.

Just for today : I will give thanks for my many blessings.

What a wonderful world we would live in if we all followed these precepts.  

If you wait until you see it to believe it, that's not belief!

20 July 2020

If you wait until you see it, to believe it, you may have a very long wait. if you opt to believe it right now, your life will start to fall into place - and you'll feel a lot happier too.  And then you'll see, feel and experience the changes you opted to believe were possible.

You're Not Broken

17 July 2020

You don't go to therapy to be fixed.  You're not broken.  A small reminder that the words we use to describe ourselves and our circumstances can be the catalyst for healing.

Sometimes all we need is someone to point us in a different direction.  Or help us see another option.

And if something is a sign of strength, it's knowing when to ask for help.

How to Resolve Conflict with Open Communication

1 July 2020

Whether you’re looking to manage a team or create better relationships between your friends and family, communication is something you have to give a lot of attention to. When you sit down with someone and make sure you’re on the same page, you’ll be able to work well together and get more done.

What Is Open Communication? 

Open communication is exactly what it sounds like: tackling an issue head on and openly discussing ways to resolve it. Nothing is accomplished by letting an issue fester because neither party wants to discuss it.  You’d be surprised how many conflicts can be resolved simply by sitting down with someone and engaging in some open and friendly communication. The discussion shouldn’t be accusatory, threatening, or argumentative, rather, it should be an opportunity for all people involved to calmly voice their opinions and be heard.

Tips For Resolving Conflicts

• A face-to-face confrontation may not always be best. For instance, some people are most comfortable talking on the phone or chatting online. Whichever method makes you feel most comfortable is how you should approach the conflict, so long as you are able to openly voice your concerns.

• Do not make the person involved feel cornered or nervous. This is an extremely important thing to remember if you are in a position of authority over them. You want to make sure that you’re looking to fix the problem and not to attack them.

• Remember to focus on the problem and not the person. Take a moment and really consider what you need to do to make sure that you’re not accusing the person or putting them down. That’ll only close them off to everything you’re saying, so make sure to focus on the behaviour the problem without raising your voice.

• Consider adopting an open door policy, both at home and at work. You’ll be able to effectively communicate with others if you show them that you’re willing to engage with them at any time. This is an important conflict resolution strategy because it will give you a lot more face-to-face time with them in general. The more you foster an open door policy, the fewer conflicts you will have.

• When mediating a conflict, remember that you need to be firm and fair. Listen to all sides and give each person a chance to speak uninterrupted.

Personal Relationships Can Benefit from Conflict Resolution Too!

These tips can also help resolve family conflicts. No family member should be made to feel like his or her feelings don’t matter. You’ll have a much closer-knit relationship with your children and spouse if you have a mutual understanding that you can discuss any topic at any time, without having to wait for “the right time” or for a commercial break on television.  If you want your family to hear and respect your opinions, then treat them with the same level of respect. This is an important life lesson for people of all ages to learn.

Being Patient With Change

Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s entirely possible that some people involved in the discussion will leave with hurt feelings. So long as everyone involved was treated respectfully and the issue is out in the open, you can now begin working toward a satisfactory resolution as a team.

The more frequently you use these conflict resolution approaches, the easier it will become. Rather than stepping around a sore subject, it will become second nature to have an open discussion and find a resolution. It’s worth the effort to take some time and really consider what you can bring to the table when it comes to open communication and conflict resolution.

Getting Your Partner to Join You in Therapy

10 June 2020

It takes two to make a relationship work so therapy may be more effective if both you and your partner engage in the process. These are some actions you can take on your own and with your significant other to make the most of professional help in building a more loving and intimate connection.

Steps to Take on Your Own

1. Hold yourself accountable. We all contribute for better or worse to the well-being of our relationships. Recognise your own role in any areas of conflict.

2. Make a long term commitment. It's typical for couples to need a dozen sessions or more to work through their issues. Even if you encounter initial reluctance, your mate may eventually want to join in.

3. Do your homework. You and your therapist will probably develop a game plan with practical assignments you can work on in between sessions. As always, actions speak louder than words, so your good performance can inspire your partner.

4. Consider your budget. Rates vary widely, but £75-100 or more per session is common. Many practitioners have administrative staff that can help you verify what your insurance will cover.

5. Rule out violence. Take immediate action if you or your children are at risk for physical danger due to domestic violence. Community hotlines or your local police department can help you find a safe place to stay while you assess your options.

Steps to Take With Your Partner

1. Adopt a positive tone. Reassure your partner of your love and devotion. Let them know that you want to make positive changes to dispel any fears that this is just a prelude to separation or divorce.

2. Pick a good time. Introduce the subject at a neutral time when you have the privacy to talk it over. Give your partner time to reflect and get back to you if needed.

3. Offer a test drive. Your partner may feel more comfortable attending an initial consultation or sitting in on a single session if you've already starting seeing a counsellor. They can always come back for more if they like the experience.

4. Select your therapist together. Team up on finding a professional whom both of you can talk with. Establish your criteria, make a short list, and vote on a final decision.

5. Be sensitive to gender issues. Some people prefer male or female therapists. You may need some private sessions to supplement the appointments you attend together.

6. Become aware of any sense of stigma. Unfortunately, there's a long history of misunderstanding about mental health services. Help your partner to overcome any misplaced feelings of shame and recognise the true nature and benefits of counselling.

7. Brainstorm all your alternatives. Some people find it more acceptable to talk with their pastor than with a psychologist. Self-help books or classes and lectures may also be an intermediate step that can create more openness to entering therapy.

8. Evaluate your progress. Stay on track by clarifying your goals and assessing your results. You might want to keep a journal to record your impressions. Talking on the drive home after each session will help you communicate while events are still fresh in your mind.

Seeking help through therapy is a sign of strength that you believe in the value of your relationship and your ability to learn the skills and techniques that will improve your life together.

Talk with your partner about participating in counselling together while focusing on the improvements you can make under any conditions.

10 loving words and phrases to incorporate into your relationship

2 June 2020

One of the main relationship struggles is communication.  When we forget how to talk to our partner, and how to let them know that we are still there for them, the relationship starts to lose it's spark.

And we all know what can happen then.....

To keep the fire alive, there are certain words and phrases that work.  They let your partner know that you care and that you are still there for them emotionally, as well as physically.  Make a note of the ones that resonate with you personally, and try them out.

1. Thank you. Thanks for all you do for me and all the ways in which you add value to my life.

2. I made a mistake and I’m sorry. I sincerely apologise. Please forgive me.

3. I respect your decisions even though they’re different from mine or what I’ve recommended. You’re free to make your own choices.

4. I'll support you in any and every way that I can.

5. What would you like from me or from our relationship?

6. I acknowledge my areas of needed improvement including ABC, and am working on them by doing XYZ.

7. I love you fully, completely, and exactly as you are.

8. I trust you. I trust in our relationship.

9. I believe in you.

10. What can I do to support you?

Theresa x

How to Deal With Breaking Up When You’re Still in Love

11 May 2020

Breaking up is even sadder when you’re still in love with your soon-to-be ex. However, parting ways may sometimes be a sound decision.

The harsh truth is that a healthy relationship requires more than love. You need to be compatible and respectful toward each other.  Even if you seem like a great match, you may be at different stages of life and pursuing conflicting goals. Maybe you want to settle down and start a family, but your partner wants to buy a boat and sail the world.

You can hold on to fond memories of each other even when your lives are heading in opposite directions.

Try these ideas for helping you to deal with your breakup and build a brighter future.

Short-Term Steps:

1. Seek support. Ask your family and friends for the help you need. Talk with them in advance about your plans so they can be there for you. Let them know when you’re looking for a shoulder to cry on or a pep talk to get you moving.

2. Limit contact. You may eventually decide to be friends with your ex, but you’ll both benefit from keeping your distance for now. That includes offline and online communications.

3. Lighten your load. Give yourself an opportunity to vent your feelings and start recovering. Try to reschedule any demanding projects for later. You may even want to leave town for a few days.

4. Clear away reminders. There will probably come a day when you’ll enjoy going through your mementos but put them aside for now. Box up holiday photos and love letters. Give back any clothing or personal items or donate them to charity.

5. Practice self-care. You may be tempted to binge on chocolate cake and cable TV, but you need your strength. Eat a balanced diet, go to bed early, and exercise each day.

Long-Term Steps:

1. Be realistic. It’s common to idealise your old flame, but that can create a false image of your relationship. More importantly, it can set up an impossibly high standard that will keep you from being open to new possibilities.

2. Let go of regrets. If you’re blaming yourself, remember that you and your ex both played a role in how your relationship ended. Accept the facts and forgive both of you so you can move on.

3. Enjoy your freedom. Learn how to be comfortable on your own. Spend more time with family and friends. Pursue your favourite interests or discover new ones.

4. Meet and mingle. When you’re ready to date, explore your options. Think about what you’re really looking for in a partner. Go to places where you can meet singles who share your interests. Ask your friends for introductions and feedback.

5. Disclose your feelings. If a serious relationship starts to develop while you’re still missing your ex, let your new partner know. Being honest will give them a chance to make informed decisions and build a stronger foundation for your relationship if you stay together.

6. Address root issues. Even if your ex remains out of the picture, you may need to deal with the matters that drove you apart. When the initial hurt has passed, evaluate your relationship to see what you can learn. You may want to talk with a professional counsellor if you need another point of view.

7. Think positive. Keep in mind that you are worthy of love and happiness just the way you are. Projecting confidence will make you more attractive and make it easier to keep moving forward.

Saying goodbye to someone you love can break your heart, but it will mend. Treasure the positive aspects of your relationship and use them to inspire you to find a new love that will last.

Eliminate Money Arguments From Your Marriage

11 May 2020

Check out this blog on my Wordpress page. 

The Make Up Miracle for Couples Who Argue

7 May 2020

Conflict is a natural part of every relationship. As much as you love each other, you sometimes find yourself at odds over how to raise your children, pay off your mortgage, or do the laundry. Try these tips for resolving and preventing arguments so you can weather the rocky times and enjoy more harmony.

Steps to Take After an Argument

1. Cool off. If tempers are flaring, you may be better off stepping away until you calm down. Take a walk or clean out a closet. Let your partner know that you’re willing to talk later when you’re less likely to say something that you’ll regret.

2. Look at the big picture. Remind yourself about your partner’s good qualities. List the positive aspects of your relationship. It will help you to keep things in perspective.

3. Apologise when appropriate. Hold yourself accountable for your contribution to the conflict. Ask for forgiveness when you’ve made a mistake.

4. Respect each other’s feelings. You and your partner will be happier if you consider how your actions affect each other. Be willing to spend Valentine’s Day at an overcrowded restaurant if it makes your partner feel special.

5. Reach out. A little reassurance can keep tensions from interfering with intimacy. Offer a hug or a friendly smile.

6. Follow up. Some differences require more than one conversation. Congratulate yourselves for agreeing to cut back on spending on cable TV and new shoes. Agree to weekly sessions for tackling the rest of your household budget.

Steps to Take Before an Argument Begins

1. Communicate openly. Being direct and transparent will help prevent misunderstandings from piling up. Share your inner thoughts and emotions. Ask your partner what they’re thinking instead of making assumptions.

2. Work together as a team. Pull your weight around the house. Divide responsibilities fairly. Take turns leading major projects, such as supervising home renovations or planning family vacations. This is even more important if they’re becoming a burden for one person.

3. Spend time apart. Give each other some space. Your relationship will be more stable if you build a support network rather than counting on your partner for everything.

4. Establish priorities. Distinguish between deal breakers and minor irritations. There’s a big difference between losing an entire monthly salary on online gambling and buying a few too many boxes of toilet paper.

5. Acknowledge your weaknesses. It’s easier to accept imperfections in your loved ones when you realise that you can be difficult to live with too. Maybe you snore or have trouble remembering anniversaries.

6. Laugh together. Humour is good for relationships. You’ll enjoy each other’s company and feel more connected. That closeness can help prepare you for dealing with serious challenges.

7. Socialise with other couples. Role models come in handy for relationship skills that you may have missed growing up. Spend time with your next door neighbours if they seem to have a strong marriage. Observe how they interact.

8. Seek expert help. Self-help materials and therapists can provide valuable advice. Encourage your partner to join you. Let them know that you want to build a more meaningful life for both of you.

9. Assess your relationship. In some cases, you may discover that it’s time to move on. That can be true if a relationship is undermining your self-esteem or you have different goals. If you need to go your separate ways, an amicable break up will minimise resentments and speed up healing.

Loving relationships require work. Remember how much you care about your partner and let them know it, especially when you disagree with each other.

1  May 2020

When anxiety hits you, it can be terrifying. The panic and frightening thoughts coupled with physical symptoms may lead you to believe that you're having a heart attack or suffering from a terrible disease, when in reality, you're perfectly healthy!

Anxiety can often cause you to have an exaggerated nervous system reaction to common stressors that others are able to ignore.   If you're one of the millions who struggle with anxiety, the good news is that you can feel better, even without medication. You can take positive action on your own to get a handle on your anxiety and feel more in control. Of course, especially if your symptoms are debilitating, please consult your doctor or other health professional for their advice.  Both your mind and body are involved in anxiety. It's a vicious circle: the constant worrying and negative thoughts can produce physical symptoms, which can cause more anxious thoughts. It becomes a pattern that can be challenging to break free of.  But when you're able to overcome this challenge, it's well worth the effort! Tackle your anxiety on both the physical and mental levels TODAY by practising these 10 strategies.

Physical Ways to Lower Anxiety

Try these tips to physically lower your anxiety levels:

1. Breathe. If you're breathing from the top of your chest and not from your abdomen, you might be making yourself more nervous. Breathe from your diaphragm and take full, deep, slow breaths.

2. Get moving. Use up that extra energy and adrenaline that your body produces. If you don't, it can build up and make you more nervous. By getting frequent exercise, you'll prevent your body from storing excess adrenaline.

3. Sit still. It's important to exercise, but sometimes it's more effective to be still. If you usually run from a panic attack or anxiety episode, force yourself to stay where you are and focus on your relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, to help prevent your impending anxiety.

• The anxiety might get worse for a moment, but you'll be calmer after a few minutes and you'll be more prepared the next time you face anxiety.

4. Distract yourself. It's hard to think about feeling nervous when you're actively engaged in other activities. Help others, play a game, or do something else that requires your total concentration as soon as you start to feel anxious.

5. Get in shape. Being physically fit can help you feel better about your health and reduce anxiety. It's not a quick fix, but more of a long-term goal that you can actively pursue. Staying in good physical condition goes a long way in preventing anxiety.

Mental Ways to Lower Anxiety

A positive mental attitude is just as important as using physical techniques to help overcome your anxiety. There are many ways you can use your mental resources to find peace and calm amidst the chaos of anxiety.

Follow these techniques to tackle your anxiety on a mental level:

1. Educate yourself. It's hard to battle something you don't understand. Learn about your condition so you have a better understanding of what you're facing.

2. Use the stop sign. Imagine a big stop sign in your head when you start to have anxious thoughts. The stop sign technique is a great place to start.

3. Network. Talking to others with anxiety can help you feel more "normal" and bring you additional strategies that have worked for others in your same situation.  Reach out to others!

4. Set aside a worry time. If you allot a few minutes each day at a set time and give yourself permission to worry only at that time, you'll soon find that it becomes a chore - making you worry less. By only allowing yourself to worry for a short period, you can program your mind to actually worry less.

5. Offer yourself affirmations. Say positive statements to yourself each day to help you stay strong and brave. For example: "I am a valuable and worthy person, and I have much to offer to the world."

No matter how long you've had anxiety, you can do something about it. When you apply both mental and physical techniques to getting better, you'll soon find that you - not your anxiety - are the one in control!


30 April 2020

Q:  Something is going on in my life right now that I never expected to happen—I’ve married a person who says mean and insulting comments to me.   When Patrick is upset about something, he seems to direct all his negative feelings at me. I can’t figure out why he’s behaving like this.

Sometimes, Patrick calls me ugly names.  He says the most hurtful comments. I just don’t know what to do! I used to think I don’t deserve to be treated this way. But now,  I find myself trying to be perfect so he won’t have any reason to get mad. That doesn’t work because even if someone else annoys him, it’s me he explodes at.  I don’t want a divorce but my situation is getting harder and harder to handle. My life feels so out of control!  What should I do?

A:  The situation you’re in is quite complex and admittedly, not easy to manage. Whether Patrick realises it or not, his tirades toward you should be considered as verbal and emotional abuse.  It’s recommended you make a firm decision to take steps to protect yourself emotionally from Patrick’s verbal abuse.

If you do, you’ll be well on your way to managing this difficult set of events.  Although you can’t change another person’s behaviour, you can decide honestly what you will and will not tolerate and conduct yourself accordingly.

Q:  I see. So, I have to decide for myself how I’m going to react whenever Patrick starts his verbal abuse, right?

A: That’s correct. If you have a plan for what you’ll do when he behaves this way, you’ll at least regain some control over your own life.

An effective first step you could take is to inform Patrick right away when you’re feeling uncomfortable with his comments.

Simply saying something as non-threatening as, “I don’t like it when you say that to me” can inform him of your feelings of discomfort about his verbalisations.

When you make this statement, keep your voice tone calm. Speak softly and make eye contact with him as you say it.

If he responds with an apology, thank him and say you’re glad he understands. However, if Patrick only escalates his verbal abuse when you state your feelings, it’s time to take another path.

If appropriately stated feelings on your part trigger him to kick it up a notch, it’s time for you to disengage from the conversation. This means you should leave the room to remove yourself from the unhealthy exchange. Doing so should send the clear message to Patrick you’re unwilling to remain present for his inappropriate behaviour toward you.

As you exit the room, if Patrick follows you while escalating his verbal abusiveness, those behaviours signal Patrick’s propensity for intimidating behaviours.   In the event he makes physical threats, the situation could actually become dangerous for you.   Leave the house without delay should he follow you in an intimidating fashion when you’re removing yourself from a troubling situation. The same goes if he threatens you.

Never attempt to discuss the behaviour with Patrick at a time you feel physically threatened by him.  Basically, if it looks like he can’t stop his verbal abuse and his words have progressed to verbal threats, he probably isn’t in a place emotionally to have a calm, helpful conversation with you.

Q: I think I understand. As soon as Patrick starts verbalising in his cruel, unhelpful ways, I should calmly tell him that I don’t like it or how it makes me feel.  If that stops his comments, then the situation is resolved. But if it only agitates him and he escalates, follows, or threatens me then I need to leave the house promptly before the situation worsens.

I guess I’ve never really considered he would get physical with me, but now, I’m not so sure.

A: Even though it’s our hope that Patrick’s emotional abuse doesn’t progress to the point of physical abuse, the fact is that it could. Verbal and emotional abuse is often a precursor to physical abuse. That being said, if Patrick has shown no physical abuse toward you so far, that’s a positive sign.

Q: This is all so scary.

A: Your feelings about this situation are normal. Also, you’re to be complimented for seeking assistance in efforts to resolve the difficult situation. Speaking of seeking assistance, you can also contact your local domestic violence program for more info about abusive behaviour and to seek ongoing support for your current challenges.  

If you prefer, seek out counselling with a local mental health professional to gain the consistent emotional support you need to confront and hopefully resolve the issue.  In the meantime, it’s important to educate yourself about being barraged with negativity from the person you love. The very nature of being emotionally abused is that you become confused and unsure of yourself. You begin to question, “Is this all my fault” or “What am I doing wrong?”

This type of verbal abuse can do a real number on your self-esteem and self-confidence. Because of the put-downs, the positive feelings you have about yourself are worn away, little by little. Before you realise it, you’re feeling pretty down and might even believe you deserve the poor treatment you’re getting.

The key is to recognise what’s happening and refuse to allow the hurtful comments to affect how you feel about yourself.

Q: Maybe I’m already worn down a bit. Right now, I find myself thinking Patrick won’t pay any attention to how I feel no matter how much I tell him so. Maybe he doesn’t even want to stop his horrible comments. Is there a solution to all of this chaos?

A: You’re struggling now with the confusion and indecision that often accompanies emotional abuse. These are normal feelings for victims of verbal abuse. Of course, you always have options about what to do in such situations. It sounds like you’re hoping Patrick will stop the abuse and come to his senses. But until then, there are some things you can do.

Find a good time, such as when Patrick is in a particularly receptive mood to share your concerns with him. Make statements like, “I’m concerned about how you talk to me sometimes” or “I feel disappointed and hurt whenever you speak to me in insulting and angry ways.”  Another way to approach the situation is to ask Patrick if something is bothering him. It’s smart to start out with an “I

statement. “I’ve noticed lately that you seem on edge. Is something going on at work or at home that’s upsetting you?” When your talk concludes, thank Patrick for discussing the matter with you. “I really appreciate you talking to me about this.”

If you and Patrick are able to talk through an issue and resolve it together, that’s a positive sign that you can communicate effectively together.

Q: Should I file for divorce if he doesn’t stop? I still very much want our relationship to work.

A: Although you may not want to rush in to a divorce, it is a good idea to meet with a solicitor to discuss the choices you have. In advance of your meeting, think about and prepare a list of your questions. This way, you’ll know exactly what you want to talk about when you get there.  Some couples have found it helpful to have a trial separation to allow some time and space between them. Were you to opt for a trial separation, Patrick would have time to think about his difficulties and you could get some relief from the ongoing abuse and reflect on your future goals. Plus, you’d be able to examine your situation with a clearer head.

Q: I see. I could explore all my legal options with a solicitor. Then, if the abuse continues, I could actually file for a legal separation to give us time apart to work things out.

A: Right. Taking such steps will help you stay focused on your own needs. Plus, when you arm yourself with the proper legal information in advance, you’ll be ready to take necessary steps, should the abuse worsen. It’s important to keep in mind that, although you can’t control Patrick’s behaviour, you can certainly make decisions about what you want for your own life.

To review, decide to protect yourself from the emotional abuse. Talk to Patrick about your concerns when you’re both calm and receptive. Seek support from a local domestic violence program or professional. Obtain legal counsel to go over your options, if necessary.

Most importantly, remind yourself you don’t deserve the emotional abuse and that you aren’t trapped. You have the power to change your own existence and live a life free from ongoing emotional abuse.

Pluto is in Retrograde

26 April 2020

Pluto went into retrograde yesterday - 25 April 2020.

When planets go into retrograde, we usually fear the worst.  The term "retrograde" normally conjures up negative feelings about what's in store for the future.  Can we learn to look at retrogrades in a different way?

I read a post which likened retrogrades to software updates for our soul and personal development.  And I liked that.  Retrogrades are a time to turn within, to look at our lives and external world and resolve to make the deep changes within that we need to reclaim who we are and who we were born to be.  Pluto Retrograde is no exception.

Pluto is the planet of rebirth, transformation and deep healing and this retrograde invites us to make changes on a soul level.  Since Pluto is in retrograde until 4 October 2020, we have plenty of time to become honest with ourselves and free ourselves from unhealthy dependencies on the natural world, obsessions, negative behaviours and the harmful hang-ups of our past.  It's the perfect time to let go of things that no longer serve or support us.

Don't be scared of things, previously hidden in the dark, coming into the light.  Pluto wants to uncover the negative so we have a chance to make positive changes.  Old patterns which have been holding you back may be revealed. Pay attention.   Take action to free yourself from past chains.  Declutter, get into a healthy routine, learn forgiveness, meditate.  Find out who you were before life made you who you are.  Every bit of internal darkness is trying to manifest - not to punish you, but to free you.  Heal and release.

Do You Recognise the Warning Signs of Pursuer-Distancer Relationship Patterns?

January 15, 2020

Many relationships run into trouble because one partner seeks more closeness while the other seeks more distance. It's a cycle that psychologists call a pursuer-distancer dynamic.

Typically, during the initial infatuation stage, you both want to spend as much as time as possible together. Then, reality sets in. One partner feels like they're not getting enough attention, and the other feels suffocated. The more the pursuer clings and nags, the more the distancer criticises and pulls away.  To make things more complicated, the roles can sometimes change during the course of the relationship. For example, when the pursuer decides to move on, the distancer may suddenly start trying to win them back.

Minor fluctuations are natural in any relationship, but this cycle can become destructive if it becomes too intense or persistent. If you see such warning signs in your relationship, try these more effective methods for staying close.

Steps to Take When You're the Pursuer:

1. Meet your own needs. Be honest with yourself about how much you’re expecting from your partner. You may be exhausting them if you’re placing excessive demands on the relationship. Try making new friends, cultivating outside interests, and fixing your own dilemmas.

2. Ask for what you want. Your partner is more likely to respond to polite and reasonable requests than nagging and vague hints. Make it clear that you’re asking for something, rather than putting them down.

3. Level the field. Who texts more in your relationship? A slight disparity may be insignificant, but if you’re reaching out too much, you may need to exercise some restraint. Resist the impulse to leave repetitive messages just because you want assurance. Try to match each other’s communication frequencies.

4. Back off. It’s essential to talk things over, but you also want to choose the appropriate time. If your partner seems overwhelmed, encourage them to take a break. Schedule your sensitive discussions for a time when you both feel up to the task.

Steps to Take When You're the Distancer:

1. Build trust. You’ll miss out on love if you try to protect yourself by holding back. Instead, learn to trust by remembering that you’re strong enough to deal with disappointments. Notice how your partner shows their concern and good intentions, and treat them with compassion when they make a mistake.

2. Share your feelings. Risk being vulnerable. Start small and work your way up to the deeper issues.

3. Show affection. Let your partner know you appreciate them and find them attractive. Hold hands at the movies or give them a hug when they come home. Make eye contact when they’re talking and ask questions that prove you’re listening.

4. Spend time together. Share your time. Plan a romantic weekend if you’ve been working extra hours for the past month. Wake up early on weekdays so you can get together for breakfast.

Steps to Take in any Relationship:

1. Hold yourself accountable. Focus on how your behaviour contributes to the dynamics in your relationship, rather than blaming your partner. You have more control over your own choices.

2. Spot your triggers. Increase your awareness of how you may be inadvertently sabotaging your happiness. Notice when you’re trying to get your own way by checking in too often or withholding affection.

3. Work together. Remember that you’re on the same side. Support each other as you’re trying to develop healthier patterns of interaction.

A healthy relationship allows you and your partner to balance your needs for autonomy and intimacy. Replace the pursuer-distancer cycle with more open and respectful communication so you can both enjoy more love and satisfaction.

5 Ways to Keep Busy and Stop Worrying

21 April 2020

This COVID-19 crisis has radically changed our lives. Just a few months ago, we had no idea our 'world' would be confined to our homes!

This crisis is a powerful reminder of how important freedom is - and how much we need human connection!

Remember you are not alone. Because what is DIFFERENT here is that everyone is impacted! Your neighbour, mum, boss and friends as well as your counterparts around the world are all going through something similar.

So, it's important to remember:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. Viktor E. Frankl

This is the challenge each of us must rise to! If we're going to be stuck at home, we may as well make the most of it.  Here Are 5 Things You Can do to Make Your Life Better while Physically Isolated:

1) Create a Healthy, Supportive Routine

When we feel powerless or helpless (as so many of us do at the moment), one EXTREMELY easy thing to do is to create a routine or schedule.

While we're all stuck in anxiously waiting at home, it's easy to lose our sense of time. Days can begin to blend into each other. A routine can give us an anchor and greater sense of control over our lives. And if you have children, creating a routine is especially important to give them a sense of normality.

This routine or schedule can be as simple as:

• 7am - Wake-up

• 8am - Breakfast

• 10am - Exercise

• 11am - Talk to friends

• 12.00pm - Lunch

• 1-4pm - Learning or a home project

• 5pm - Make & Eat Dinner

• 7pm - Talk to close family

• 8pm - Reading, Journalling

• 10pm - Bed

Be sure to include food preparation, social time, exercise and outdoor time and some learning or creativity so you get some benefit from this challenging time.  It's also important to recognize weekends because it's too easy for weeks to blur together. So, make a looser schedule for your weekends. For example, you could include:

• Sleeping in/later bedtime

• Brunch

• "Treats"

• Movie night with popcorn

• A virtual happy hour with friends or colleagues

• A larger project, perhaps some art, craft, gardening or home redecoration.

So, create a routine for a sense of control and mastery over your environment and life circumstances. Reclaim what power you can over your own life, because with all this uncertainty it's important for you - and especially important for children - to have predictability.

2) Build Your Physical Strength, Fitness Levels or Flexibility!

Building your physical strength is powerful and health-boosting! Not only is physical strength and flexibility life-affirming and good for our health, but feeling more physically powerful actually helps us feel more empowered and less helpless in life too!

So, add some physical activity into your schedule - as little as 15 minutes daily. Maybe by the end of this you'll be fitter or even be able to do 10 (or 100!) press-ups!

There are many options to boost your physical strength and health. Here are some ideas:

• Take up a yoga practice - excellent for strength-building, flexibility - and calm! There are lots of online options. Here is one with everything from 10 minutes for beginners to an advanced practice. Sarah Beth Yoga on Youtube has more (free) yoga videos than I can count

• Learn do a press-up or push-up. Then see if you can get to 10 (or more - depending on where you start)!

• There are so many online fitness classes on Youtube - for beginners, experts - with equipment and also with no equipment whatsoever. PopSugar Fitness has many options to choose from.

REMEMBER: BEing stronger = FEELING stronger and more in control! And building your PHYSICAL strength or fitness = REDUCED feelings of helplessness!

3) Learn with Non-Fiction Books:

Use this time at home to educate yourself with non-fiction books. There is so much to be gained - like self-confidence, negotiation skills, health (sleep, nutrition), how to have difficult conversations and much more.

What keeps you up at night? There's probably a book about that! What do you wish you were better at? There's probably a book about that too!

Here are some book ideas to get you thinking:

• Be more productive or creative with Letter to my Imagination by Nicholas Cole or The Non-Obvious Guide to Being More Creative by Kathryn Haydon and Rohit Bhargava

• Get personally inspired with "Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts" and "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown, or "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl.

• Up-skill yourself with “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most" by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman or, even better, learn your child’s Love Language for smoother sailing during this lockdown period. The Five Love Languages of Children – again by Gary Chapman.

• Learn about the human mind with "Biology of Belief” by Dr Bruce Lipton or “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford.

• Get healthier with "Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams" by Matthew Walker PhD.

• Become a relationship expert with “7 Things That Can Break A Relationship” by Paul McKenna. “The 7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work” by John M Gottman Phd.

• Be more confident and discover your strengths with "The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know" by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman" or "Now, Discover Your Strengths (How to Develop Your Talents and Those of the People You Manage)" by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.

• Finally, read a memoir! Choose someone you admire, get inspired and learn how other people think - and live their lives.

Reading one book will expand your mind, reading several of these books is going to make you more interesting, help you learn new skills - and maybe even make you more employable too!

4) Gain a New Skill with Online Learning:

There are so many opportunities online to gain a new skill and they're growing by the day!  Grow your personal or creative skills or choose a new skill to learn and take back to work with online training providers like Coursera or Udemy.  There are many other providers.  If there's a skill you always wanted to learn, search for it. But be sure to read the course descriptions thoroughly, check reviews if there are any - and check money-back guarantees as you need to!  And with so many learning options ranging from FREE to pounds to the low hundreds of pounds, there will be something out there just perfect for you.

5) Explore your Life Vision:

Rather than watching endless news streams, you can choose to focus on a bigger picture - your future. What do you want from the rest of your life? What would you be disappointed you did NOT do? Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?  Having a clear vision of how you want your life to be is a powerful motivator. A vision helps us work towards our goals, take action and make change. Soon, we'll all be super-busy again - and a vision might be just what you need stay focused!

Here are 5 questions to ponder or journal around to go deeper:

• What do you desire or yearn for in your life?

• How do you want to feel?

• What do you really, really want to be different in your life?

• What would have happened in 3 years time such that your life is spectacular and you feel magnificent about yourself?

• What's your dream for this lifetime? Imagine you're 90 years old and looking back over your life; what did you do that made you proud and happy?

TIP: Remember to think possibility not probability! Don't limit yourself and your ideas because you don't believe something is likely. Instead believe it's possible - and even if you don't get all the way there, you may get close - or even find something better along the way!

So, which of the above ideas resonated with you? The areas I am focusing on are reading more and completing my PhD.

Believe you have the skills and power to tackle this situation and you will! Choose to make the best of a difficult situation and no matter what - you'll find a way.  This current and strange COVID-19 situation will end. And when it does, you'll be proud you made the effort to learn something - whether it's about yourself, fresh knowledge, a new skill - and who knows what else!

Having an affair during lockdown

16 April 2020

How anxious must you be right now, if you're having an affair with a married man (or woman)?  Do you take greater risks to see your lover?  Do you worry that the lockdown is bringing your lover and his/her spouse closer together? 

And if you are the married person, do you fear that your affair will be discovered?  Is every day like a timebomb, waiting for the inevitable to happen.  Or, are you worried that your lover may become so bored of waiting that they force your hand to do something?  

We're going through a challenging enough time, without adding more anxiety into the mix.  Chances are, you have no-one you can talk to in depth about your feelings, without the risk of judgement, blame, risk or shame.  Now is the best time to do something about it.  You are not reading this by accident.   We're in a period of global change, and that change starts with us, individually and collectively.

When this is all over, as it eventually will be, how do you want your life to look?  Do you want to still live in anxiety?  The excitement of an affair often masks a feeling of isolation, boredom, and unworthiness.  It's like being caught in a trap with the illusion of being able to free yourself, when in reality, you can't.  Otherwise, why would you still feel anxious?

You can know real freedom, if you are ready.

The Easiest Way To Stop An Argument

9 April 2020

Agree to Disagree.  That's it!

You are not going to agree on everything.  You're two different people from different walks of life.  You can either accept that fact and work on a loving way to help your partner understand your point of view.  Or you can continue arguing until you force your point home, by which time you have both said unforgivable things and have now started to emotionally check out of the relationship.

The choice is yours.

Essential Oils

2 April 2020

Essential oils are not only good for making our homes smell welcoming, they have beneficial health properties too.

Think of your sunny Caribbean holiday.  Want to avoid those pesky mosquitoes?  Buy Citronella wristbands.  Citronella is an essential oil which is used in most insect and mosquito repellents.  It doesn't kill them - it repels them!   Did you know that Citronella also has antifungal and antibacterial properties?

My favourite Essential oil at the moment is Eucalyptus Oil.  It has so many benefits - even though it makes the house smell like a giant Olbas Oil bottle!!!  (Be careful how you use it around animals).  Eucalyptus oil has the following properties :

Analgesic – Reduces pain sensation

Antifungal – Prevents fungal growth

Antibacterial – Prevents bacterial growth

Anti-infectious – Prevents uptake of infection

Anti-inflammatory – Alleviates inflammation

Antimicrobial – Prevents microorganism growth

Antioxidant – Inhibits oxidation

Antiphlogistic – Acts against inflammation and fever

Antirheumatic – Relieves the symptoms of rheumatic conditions

Antiseptic – Destroys microbes and prevents their development

Antispasmodic – Prevents or relieves spasms, convulsions, or contractions

Antitussive – Relieves coughs

Antiviral – Prevents viral growth

Decongestant – Reduces congestion such as mucus

Expectorant – Promotes removal of mucus from the body

Febrifuge – An antifebrile (anti-fever) agent

Immunostimulant – Stimulates the action of the immune system

Pectoral – Beneficial for diseases or conditions of the chest and respiratory system

Spasmolytic – Helps in treating muscle spasms

Tonic – Refreshes, invigorates, and restores the bodily functions

Stimulant – Enhances the overall body function

Vulnerary – Heals sores and wounds

Put a couple of drops in an oil burner or diffuser and just let it to its thing.   You can click on the link above to order or if you have any of the following oils, they also have antibacterial and antiviral properties :


Tea Tree






To your good health.

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

1 April 2020

If you've got time on your hands (and, let's face it, the majority of us have), you can make no better plan for your future after Coronavirus than reading this book.

Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway

I read this over 30 years ago after a pretty bad relationship breakup and it changed my life.  I have since given away my original copy but I keep a copy on my bookshelf, and I have the book on audio.

Don't just take my word.  Here are some reviews :-

If you have trouble taking risks and need help read Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, Daily Express

Reading this book was a revelation. It's a wonderful book for life, Julie Walters, actress

The best self-help book I've read...everyone should read this, Health Plus

Like the title says, just go for it, Elle

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway will help turn your fear into confidence and action, Deidre Sanders, The Sun

If you need something to lift your spirit during this time, and give you a confidence boost, this book is for you.

5 Things You Can Do To Avoid Conflict During Lockdown

31 March 2020

It may be just the pressure of being "on lockdown" (we humans tend to react adversely when we're ordered to do something we don't want to do!).  Or it may be that this period of isolation is highlighting something in your relationship that needs to be faced or addressed fully.  If you feel conflict and relationship stress is increasing, there are a number of things you can do to minimise the damage that conflict will do.  Especially if children are involved.  It is important to find the most peaceful and amicable way through.

When you're feeling the frustration and anger rising, here are 5 things you can do immediately, so the situation doesn't escalate.


Shouting manifests nothing other than more shouting.  And that's not your aim.  If you want to be heard, validated, or understood, you will not achieve that when your partner is gearing up to be defensive.  

Conflict arises when both parties choose to fight fire with fire.  

Conflict arises when both parties feel that backing down is weak or an admittance of being wrong. 

Conflict arises when both parties are looking for the win.

Conflict arises when you forgot to see your partner as an ally, and see them as an enemy.  

That's not a relationship - that's war!

Take yourself away from the battlefield.  Call time out.  Move to a different space.  Be sensible.   No battle is entered into without a strategy, and you cannot be strategic and emotional at the same time.


Telling someone to calm down usually works as a red rag to a bull.  It can come across as patronising and instead of calming your partner down, you fuel more upset.  Can you empathise with their position?  Then do so.  They are then more likely to calm down by themselves and explain the way they are feeling, thus avoiding conflict.


In conflict, we tend to bring up all other hurts.  Thus, a minor disagreement  becomes a litany of past transgressions and hurts, rather than the matter in hand.  If that is your arguing style, and it doesn't get you the resolution you want, perhaps it is now time to learn a new way.

You can learn to master your own emotions.  Disagreements and frustrations are natural in relationships and do not have to turn into major conflict.  You can become either the victim of, or the victor over your emotions, because only you are responsible for the way you feel.  You decide.


Nearly all self-help books, gurus and programmes teach you the power of breath work.  Why?  Because it works.  By mastering your breathing, you master your emotions.  Your state of mind affects your breath and your breathing affects your state of mind.  By mastering your breathing, you can master your emotions and by mastering your emotions you can choose not to play a negative part in any conflict.

In effect, you take responsibility for you.


That's the question to ask yourself.  In the midst of your back-and-forth, ask yourself, "What am I actually arguing for?"  The chances are, you're having the same old argument, just in a different way.   What is the purpose?  Are you arguing to make a point?  Are you arguing to make the relationship stronger?  Are you arguing because you don't think your partner will ever get too fed up and leave as they know what you're like, so it's OK?   Or are you arguing so that your partner will get fed up and leave?

What are you actually arguing for?

The answer to that question will determine the next move you make.  And avoid further conflict.

Does your Root Chakra need activating or balancing?

30 March 2020

If you're not familiar with the concept of Chakras, here's a brief overview.  Chakras are the major energy centres of spiritual power in thehuman body.  There are seven main chakras :  the Root Chakra, the Sacral Chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra, the Heart Chakra, the Throat Chakra, the Third Eye Chakra, and the Crown Chakra.

Today I am focusing on the Root Chakra, which is located at the base of the spine.  Its associated colour is red.

When the Root Chakra is balanced, you feel secure and confident.  This is especially important during this period of uncertainty.  A balanced Root Chakra gives you the ability to deal with problems and handle conflicts with a calm and constructive mind. However, when blocked, you tend to feel overly cautious, insecure, angry.  A blocked Root Chakra can manifest in aggression, violent behaviour and recklessness.

The Root Chakra is related to the basic needs in life such as food, shelter, warmth and comfort. If balanced, it will keep you on track to get these needs met.  However, if the balance is lost,  you may feel fearful, unbalanced, and life appears to be more difficult than ever.  Money problems arise, you lose confidence, and more negative behaviours come into play.  Greed, selfishness, manipulation, to name a few.

If you feel that your Root Chakra is blocked, or overwhelmed with negative energy, the following suggestions can help you bring it back into balance.

Eat Red

The Root Chakra is related to the colour red so eat as many red foods as possible. Tomatoes, red meat,strawberries, raspberries, beetroot to name a few.  And because the Root Chakra is responsible for feeling grounded, feel free to eat as many root vegetables too.

Wear Red

Keep the colour close to you by wearing it.  And as most of us are indoors, who cares what it looks like - if red isn't really your colour.  The shade isn't important.  As long as it's red.

See Red

Envision a red flame glowing brightly at the base of your spine can help clear the Root Chakra. See a red flame at the base of your tailbone and picture the light extending down to your legs and feet and grounding you to the earth.

Other things you can do to help your Root Chakra include :

Dance (round your room, like no-one's watching - although the whole family probably will be!!)

Go for a walk (in nature if possible)

Hug a tree

Or just spend some time outside daily (barefoot if possible) to connect to the earth.  

And of course, you can always hold a red crystal - remember to cleanse it first.

It is important to balance your Root Chakra before tackling any of your other Chakras.   The Root Chakra is your foundation stone.  Spend time working on your Root Chakra and feel the difference.


25 March 2020

This virus has us all locked down and life is feeling unsettled and surreal for a lot of us.   Please follow the guidelines. And if being closeted at home is beginning to take it's toll, remember, looking after your physical and mental well-being is paramount.

My aim in writing this post is offer some words of comfort, amidst the fear of prolonged isolation and to remind you that we will come through this.    I know for some of you, the kids are getting testy, relationships are becoming strained, and at times it feels as though you're trapped.  Small comfort, I know, but no storm lasts forever.

I'm here to do what I can to help.  I will be posting some self-help posts on my website daily -  as well as uplifting posts on Instagram and Facebook for those of you who follow me on those sites.  In addition,  feel free to email/text me to book a 30 minute telephone or Skype call (no charge for 30 minutes).   You will be able to make bookings online shortly, as I am in the process of setting this up.

In the meantime,  Be safe. Be well. 

Don’t Forget to Declutter Your Mind

22 March 2020

One of the things you notice when you start decluttering is how so much of the clutter in your house reflects the clutter in your mind.  If you’re hanging onto to clothes that don’t fit, or the ugly vase your mother gave you for Christmas or the exercise bike you might get around to using, you don’t just have a problem with too much stuff. You have a problem letting go. Chances are you’re also hanging onto a whole bunch of bad feelings, ill-founded assumptions, old grievances and future worries.

If it feels good to declutter your house, it feels even better to declutter your mind.  Here are some useful expert tips to make some space in your mind.

1. Use some meditation techniques

You don’t have to do the full sitting on a cushion in a darkened room thing to benefit from meditation techniques. If you’re feeling bothered, some simple breathing techniques can help you calm down and focus. For a few minutes, focus only on your breathing and nothing else. If your mind wanders or gets back into the worrying groove, you must put that aside and come back to focus on your breath.

2. Write it down

It can help to write down anything that’s on your mind. Once all those worries are down on paper, you can prioritise them and work out a plan to deal with them. You can also assess them to identify what’s essential and what isn’t. When you can see what’s important, you can focus your energy and free up some of that mental space!

3. Stay in the present

Brooding over the past and worrying about the future takes up a lot of space in your mind and achieve precisely nothing. Let go of regret over past mistakes or resentment of past slights and move on. Keep your focus on what you can influence right here, right now.

4. Do one thing at a time

Multitasking is not only overrated (it’s very inefficient), it also leads to greater anxiety, and you never do any one thing properly. Focus on doing things methodically and thoroughly. As you finish one task, move onto the next.

5. Control all the incoming data

We talk about being available 24/7 and the 24-hour news cycle, but there is only one person who can control that. You. You can choose to switch off your computer, smartphone, and tv and control the amount of data your brain is trying to process.

Decluttering your mind will pay off in all sorts of ways you hadn’t imagined. You will be more productive, less stressed and more motivated. 

You have the power to heal your shame

27 January 2020

Shame is a complex human emotion that we all experience at one time or another. You might feel shame because of something about your appearance, events related to your family, or even a lack of education. You might feel you’re not worthy somehow. Shame shows itself in many forms.

Even if you struggle greatly with managing your shame, trust in the knowledge that you can heal it.

Consider the following methods to strengthen your emotional health and soothe your spirit:

1. Identify shame’s presence. Because we tend to try to cover up that which embarrasses or demeans us, you’ll probably need to do some personal confrontation of your own emotions.

• Are there particular people in whose presence you feel embarrassed? If so, why?

• Perhaps when you’re in a specific type of situation, you notice that you tend to close down emotionally or feel numb.

• Begin to take note of when your emotions are either stirred up or flat (which means you feel nothing at all).

2. Recognise you’re “only as sick as your secrets.” In the counselling profession, there is a saying: “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” This adage means that the things about ourselves that we keep to ourselves are the exact issues that we need to acknowledge and do something about.

3. Consider discussing your shame with someone you trust. Because shame can be a tough emotion to handle, it’s helpful to have someone you can talk to about it. Whether it’s a close friend, your partner, or a professional, it will free you to put words on those feelings.

• The more you talk about it, the better you’ll be able to gain some understanding about what triggers your feelings of shame. Not only that, but also talking about your shame de-mystifies it and makes it something real that you can resolve.

• A mental health or counselling professional is trained to facilitate people in identifying their troubling issues and learning to understand and manage challenging feelings. If you believe you could benefit from this type of assistance, by all means, avail yourself of it.

4. Be brave. It requires courage to share your insecurities with another person. Your bravery reveals your passion, strength, and optimism.

5. Learn to love yourself. No matter what your shortcomings, you deserve to experience the uplifting feelings you can get from self-love. Even though you think you have a lot of spiritual “blemishes,” you must allow yourself to see your real beauty within.

6. Connect with your spiritual power. Whether it’s your religion, an interest in Eastern philosophy, or a strong belief in Mother Earth, establish a connection with whatever spiritual power you believe in.

• When you have a spiritual power you can lean on, you’ll likely find solace and the strength to face and resolve your personal shame.

7. Have confidence that you’ll overcome. At some point in life, we all have our difficulties to deal with, our challenges to manage. Reach deep within yourself and you’ll find the confidence to persevere.

• Remember that you’ve resolved challenges before and know that you can conquer this one, too.

Shame is a normal human emotion that we’ve all felt. If you’re willing to do the work, you can resolve the hurt and shame you feel inside. Use the methods outlined above to move forward toward a happier, more rewarding life. You do have the power to heal your shame.

5 Reasons Why You Are Unable To Get Past Hurt


Your relationship is deteriorating and you want to repair your relationship, but you are unable to.  Every time you begin to make progress in getting the relationship back on track, you remember how much he/she hurt you in the past, and painful emotions start flooding back to you, and it all seems like one big losing game.

Memories mar my mind

Love, it is a fate resigned

Over futile odds

And laughed at by the gods

And now the final frame

Love is a losing game - Amy Winehouse

There are, however, five main reasons why you can't let go of the past and create a new, more solid relationship with your partner and the solution is a very easy one to say.  In reality, it is something  most people struggle with.

We struggle to let go of the past to mend a relationship because :-

1.  Punishment.  We are still hurting and we want our partner to still hurt too.  We blame our partners for causing us such emotional pain and we want them to see and feel our pain.  In doing so, we leave them little option but to inflict more pain because, in truth, we know there is nothing they can do to alleviate the pain.  It has already been caused.  Why should you have to live with the hurt of lies/betrayal alone?

2.Unknowingness.  We simply don't know how to let go of the pain.   How do you "do" unconditional love?  It's not something that is taught.  

3. Shame/Guilt.  In letting go of pain someone else caused you, you have to face your own contribution and it is not always easy to face our "hidden self" - the parts of ourselves that we know are problematic.  It's easier to keep the focus outside of ourselves than on our own shortcomings.

4. Secrets & Lies.  You've attached your present pain to things in the past (not necessarily within the relationship) that you can't forgive.  The relationship pain then becomes a "cover" for what lies beneath.

5. Honesty.  You're not being completely honest with yourself about the real cause of your hurt.

The antidote is forgiveness, and therein lies the problem.  Some think that to forgive you have to forget.   Forgiveness is more than that.  It is a form of self-love that has nothing to do with the other person.  Every time you have to forgive someone, there's a learning for you.  Forgiving someone doesn't make you weak or vulnerable - it frees you from being in their power.  When someone has hurt you, and you are angry or hurt they have the power to dredge up all those emotions within you, just by their presence or their voice.  The hurt feelings, the headaches, the blood boiling, the resentment.  They control you.

On the other hand, when you have forgiven someone, they no longer have the power to make you act in an emotion-filled way.  You have taken back control.

Relationship Rescue 101

9 March 2020

Instead of finding a new person to love, find new ways to love the person you're with.


view:  full / summary

When Your Partner Says "It's Over"- 7 Ways to Cope With Break-Ups

Posted on January 22, 2020 at 10:00 AM


Regardless of where you live, your social status, or your occupation, if you’re a human being you’re likely either involved in a close relationship or hoping to get into or out of one. The human condition is such that we strive to develop a close emotional connection with someone who we can spend our life with.


You’ll probably experience times when you’re with someone who wants to leave the relationship. Those words, “It’s over,” can be some of the most painful words you’ll ever hear.


These suggestions will help you cope with the loss of a love relationship:


1. Acknowledge that the relationship has ended. You might have difficulty with the idea that you won’t be seeing or spending time with the person anymore. Admit to yourself that however you feel about him or her, it’s done.


2. Process what happened. This step will be emotionally challenging, yet going through your “emotional file cabinet” of what has gone on in the relationship will ultimately help you get through the break-up. From your point of view, what happened?


3. Ponder how the two of you related. It’s especially important to be realistic whenever you’re considering the most basic thing about the relationship—how you communicated with each other.


• How did you get along? Were there times you couldn’t adequately convey your thoughts and needs? Or that he/she couldn’t convey their ideas and wants to you?


4. Be honest about what didn’t work between you. Although you might tend to get caught up in the emotional pain and angst of the ending of a relationship, it’s important to have your eyes wide open regarding the rough spots.


• Sure, maybe you both loved football and enjoyed eating Italian on Friday nights, but what didn’t you do so well together?


• It will be enlightening for you to get real about what wasn’t working between the two of you. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to draw conclusions about the relationship, which is necessary for you to move on emotionally.


5. Baby yourself a bit. After all, you’ve been through an emotionally devastating event. Because you want to get through this trauma and live out your life with serenity and happiness, it’s perfectly acceptable to take time to engage in activities that bring comfort and solace.

6. Be active even if you don’t feel like it. Whether it’s visiting friends or going for your morning jog, continue engaging in an active lifestyle to encourage your emotional healing. You’ll be invigorated by the physical regimen and it will serve to lift your mood.


7. Draw your own conclusions. As time passes, you’ll notice you’re successfully “sorting out” what happened in your past relationship. And you’ll also see that you’ve formulated your own ideas about what actually occurred between you.


• For example: “Oh, we just didn’t agree on how a good relationship works” or “He/she just couldn’t accept that I wanted to spend time with my friends” or “I guess I tried to control how he/she spent their spare time and he/she didn’t like that.”


• Whatever conclusion you arrive at will help you enjoy healthy relationships in the future.


When you hear, “It’s over,” you might be emotionally immobilised. But if you apply these strategies, you’ll skillfully work through the break-up and arrive at your own ideas about why the relationship ended. Then, use that information to aid you in moving on with your life.


You can successfully cope with the aftermath of a lost love to discover your new and improved life that’s waiting.


Theresa x