A Quick Idea for Improving the Quality of Your Life and Relationships

Uncategorized Sep 13, 2019

So, here is a thought for you. I want you to ask yourself a question.
What percentage of the time are you being yourself, expressing yourself and totally present vs. evaluating yourself? You know what I mean … that inner dialogue of, "How and I doing? What are they thinking? Is this going to work?

How is it coming across? Will this fail? Are they mad at me for saying this? Will someone not like this? Is what I am saying lame?" Etc., etc., etc. There is literally no end to how many versions there are of the exact same thing: not being in our experience, and being all of who we are because we are too busy evaluating ourselves.

Self-evaluation is good. We need it. It is what distinguishes us from, say, German Shepherds, who never ask, "I wonder if I am barking too loud and keeping people awake?" (Wouldn't that be something?) But, self-evaluation should be in service of doing better, a time set aside to get feedback and self-correct, and yes, sometimes that is while we are doing...

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You Still Have Control When Your Child Throws a Tantrum

Uncategorized Sep 11, 2019

When a child is not on their best behavior, or perhaps having a melt-down, it’s easy to feel powerless. The first thing to get clear about, however, is that you are the one who is truly in charge. You do have control of the situation. If your child is refusing to do something, don’t let it be an option. Tell him that in the beginning and add these ingredients to the mix:

First, warn him about his behavior before he goes, such as, "Johhny, if you do that again, you have to go to time out for two minutes." This is important to build a cause and effect related to his behavior. Sometimes, kids get put in time out and have no idea why or did not have a chance to get in control of their choices. They just misbehave and find themselves there, which does not build self-control. I say “two minutes” in this instance as you have an initial problem to address that would be good to get a victory with, so make it short enough to win.

Second, when he misbehaves, tell him he...

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How to Experience the Forgiveness You Deserve to Have

Uncategorized Sep 07, 2019

“I know that when I do something wrong, I’ve been taught that I’ll be forgiven,” said Erik. “I believe it in my head, but I just can’t feel it in my heart. I still feel ‘bad.’ “

[RELATED: REJECT THE SAME PROJECTED FROM OTHERS.]

Knowing something in our heads does not always translate to feeling it in our hearts, where our emotions live and breathe. This is because we know things in two different ways. One way is conceptual and informational. We know that we are forgiven.

The other way of knowing is experiential. It comes from what we have experienced in relationships. If, for example, a lot of our significant relationships have not been very forgiving and have left us feeling bad or fearful of losing love and acceptance, then that is what our hearts know, even if our heads know differently. The gap between the head and the heart renders us unable to feel what we know to be true.

To close the gap, you have to talk to your heart in...

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Your Anger Isn't a Sin

Uncategorized Sep 06, 2019

In the last 30 years or so, we have seen a big swing in the way that Christians look at anger. Back then, it was almost all seen as sin. And, there are a lot of verses that tell us about the danger of anger, for it can be a very destructive emotion. As Proverbs 27:4 says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming.” We all know what it feels like to be on the wrong end of someone’s rage attack. Because of this teaching, many people were very out of touch with what they were feeling, and a lot of anger went hidden and suppressed. It did not mean that people were not angry, it just meant that the church often did not give them very helpful ways to work it out, especially people who had been really hurt in life and were sitting on a lot of pain and anger. They were often times just stuck with it.

About the same time, the world of psychiatry was getting into the understanding that hidden anger could cause sickness, and play a major role in a lot of psychiatric problems,...

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How to Stop Feeling so Exhausted

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2019

Talk to enough people and you will find that exhaustion is widespread, especially during this time of year. Managing a fulfilling life at home, a successful career, maintaining friendships, staying on top of your health and physical fitness, and getting enough sleep — it can seem as though there simply isn’t enough time for all of these things. Trying and failing to find balance leads to feelings of exhaustion.

[RELATED: THE HABITS CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR EXHAUSTION.]

Humans have always combatted exhaustion. Previous generations had much more demanding, physical labor-oriented jobs. Earlier still, humans had to hunt and gather to survive. Of course these strenuous physical demands have been attenuated by modern conveniences that allow us to live in comparative luxury. And yet, exhaustion persists. In fact, it may be more widespread than ever before.

Exhaustion is the result of a confluence of factors, some that originate within you and your developed capacities, physically...

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Don’t Be Afraid to Let Someone Struggle

Uncategorized Aug 22, 2019

I want to share a story with you on how NOT to be ruled by fear.  
 
"I know that I hold on to people too long, way past when I know I have to make a change," a CEO told me. "I have always done that, and it costs me." 
 
"What are you afraid of?" I asked. 
 
"I don't think I'm afraid," he said. "I just don't want to hurt them, and I always try to protect them." 
 
"What's the fear?" I asked again. 
 
It took him a while to get to it, but underneath it all, he was afraid for others to have to go through a struggle. 

[RELATED: Get 3 FREE Tools to Stop Enabling and Codependent Cycles] 

The problem is that the brain is wired to avoid pain and anxiety. Over time, when you continue to avoid things that cause you fear or anxiety, such as this CEO's fear of letting someone struggle, a pattern builds up, causing you to respond almost automatically to any situations that would cause you anxiety. But you cannot allow a pattern of fear...

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Fewer Fights and Better Boundaries: 3 Steps to Seeing Improved Behavior in Your Child

Uncategorized Aug 11, 2019

Children need more than a parent who will talk about boundaries. They need a parent who will be boundaries. This means that in whatever situation arises, you respond to your child with empathy, firmness, freedom, and consequences. But, sometimes parents contribute to the problem by trying to justify their kid’s behavior, rather than addressing the issue.

Setting boundaries with kids isn’t about “making” your child do anything. It is much more about structuring your child’s existence so that he experiences the consequences of his behavior, thus leading him to be more responsible and caring. Use the following three key steps to help begin the process with your kids:

Step 1: Acknowledge that your child is not perfect.
All kids are immature sinners; this is our human condition. Some parents have difficulty with this first step. They deny their child’s behavior. They rationalize genuine problems. For example, smarting off becomes a cute sense of humor....

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How to Get Rid of Toxic Relationships and Codependent Behaviors

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2019

You’ve heard it said many times before that people are “stuck in their ways,” and maybe you’ve said it as well. Depending on the person and the situation, it’s often said with confidence and satisfaction. That’s because there is a comfort to being resistant to change because it puts a stop to pain or helps you avoid it.

So getting the brain to create an ending, and getting the people around you to do the same, is going to take both the fear of the negative and the draw of the positive. Your brain really needs to get that if you don’t move, something bad is going to happen, and also that if you do, you will get what you desire. You have to break through the comfort level that you’re in because you were not designed to cope, but thrive.

So, what needs to happen to create the urgency needed to pursue what needs to happen for progress?

Your brain will get you moving toward anything that it agrees with, and avoiding pain is on top of its...

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Making Someone Happy Can Hurt Your Marriage

Uncategorized Jul 31, 2019

I was talking to a young man one day about his girlfriend. He was thinking about getting married, and he had questions about their relationship. Several times during the conversation, he said that something she did or something about the relationship did not “make him happy.” It was clear that this was a theme for him. She was not “making him happy.”

When I asked, he said that she wanted him to deal with some things in the relationship. He needed to do some work that took effort. It was not a “happy” time. When he had to work on the relationship, he no longer liked it.

At first, I was trying to understand what the difficulties were, but the more I listened, the more I saw that he was the difficulty. His attitude was, “If I’m not happy, something bad must be happening.” And his immediate conclusion was always that the “bad” was in someone else, not him. From his perspective, he was not part of any problem, much less...

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3 Steps to Reaping the Rewards of Setting Boundaries

Uncategorized Jul 30, 2019

Brianna used to believe that she would never learn how to say no and make it stick. But, as she sat at her kitchen table with a coffee cup in hand, she felt amazed. It was an unfamiliar sensation, but a pleasant one. Her mind wandered back to the events of the morning. Her eight-year-old son, Bryson, had begun the day with his usual waking-up shenanigans. He sulked and pouted his way to the breakfast table, announcing, “I’m not going to school — and no one’s going to make me!”

Normally Brianna would have either tried to talk Bryson into attending school, or blown up at him in frustration. However, this morning was different. Brianna simply said, “You’re right, Honey. No one can make you go to school. That has to be something you choose to do. However, if you don’t choose to go to school, you are choosing to stay in your room all day with no TV. But that’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself, like you did last...

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