Tag Archives: relationships

The key to healthy relationships

I stayed at a hotel recently and the key to the room was an electronic gizmo that looked like a key. It inserted into the lock like a key and turned like a key.

I wondered, “why the trouble to make this new technology look like old tech?

Comfort to the guests. We all know what a key looks like. We are all creatures of habit and want to feel secure, so holding a key in our hand is a familiar feeling.

This key was different. It was embedded with the code to get into a particular room. Room 1167 would not be able to work on the lock for room 1624.

Makes perfect sense.

All the keys, however, were able to access the elevators that took each guest to any floor they wanted to visit. I have been in hotels where your room key only allowed you to access your floor, and if you had a friend on another floor they had to let you in.

This got me thinking about the symbolism and metaphors we have for keys:

The keys to our hearts.

The key to success.

The 5 or 10 or 100 keys to ______

The ONE key to happiness

Happiness is key to ________

Food is the key to a man’s heart

I am sure you can come up with other sayings.

When we allow people to enter into our lives, we give them a symbolic key of trust. We welcome them into our private spaces. We don’t say, “you are only allowed to use the kitchen but not the bathroom.We ASSUME that they will respect the trust we have given.

However, when the people we trust take the key we have offered and turn it against us, we feel violated. We may say things like,

I trusted you to not steal my money when we opened our joint account.
I trusted you to not have sex with my best friend when we went out last night.
I trusted you to not bash my face in when you are angry and blame all your failures on me.

Each one of the above sentences represents a situation where we GAVE the key to our hearts and lives to another and they use that key to wreck our lives.

When this happens, we must find the courage to “lock” them out of our hearts. That, often feels quite impossible.

We feel like they know us too well for us to set any real boundaries. Often, they know us better than we feel we know ourselves, but that is not true.

We must find the courage to block the codes they have used to enter our private heart spaces. If we have values of love and bravery and courage, they know our strengths and may say “Well you say you have love as a value, but you can’t find a way to love me as I am. You must be a liar!

When this happens, we may try to prove them wrong by showing them how much love we have and we may stay in unhealthy situations longer than we should.

What to do?

Turn those values of Love and Bravery and Courage back on yourself and show your own self that you have the only key to emotional freedom. Freedom to choose a healthy relationship over one that causes pain.

Love and light


Caring for the Caregivers: Dealing With a Lack of Appreciation and Gratitude Part One – Episode #5

You put a lot of passion, love, and effort into supporting your clients at work, and your family at home. It can be challenging (and very emotional) when the people you are helping don’t say “thank you” or show any gratitude for the support and energy you give them. In this episode learn three tools you can use to change your perspective when someone doesn’t show you appreciation.

[powerpress channel=”caregiverpodcast”]

Episode Time Codes

00:58 Introduction
02:42 Scenario
03:32 Indrani – Use the “Going to the Movies Tool” to reflect on your actions and reactions when someone shows no gratitude.
08:08 Discussion of the “Going to the Movies Tool”
12:00 Amy – Use the “How do you want to be perceived” exercise to identify your triggers in this situation.
16:46 Discussion of the “How do you want to be perceived” exercise.
21:54 Jeremie – Use PERMA to focus on your side of the relationship and don’t depend on the other person showing gratitude.
27:30 Discussion of the PERMA tool
31:00 Conclusion and summary of the three tools

Links and Resources mentioned in this episode

LINK: Find your strengths using the VIA Strengths Survey
BOOK: Flourish by Martin Seligman

What good is WORRY?

**Psst.. Did you know you can highlight any sentence in this post to automatically share it via Twitter or Facebook? Go ahead, give it a try!**


Can worrying about something actually help to prevent it?

One of my very favorite books is The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker.

Simply put, it is brilliant and instructive and intuitive.

The book starts with a horrendous story….PLEASE don’t stop reading there. Keep on reading, I promise it will be worth it.

de Becker talks about why real FEAR is good for us and explains that most people mistake worry for fear.

Worry is, in his words, “A way to avoid change, when we worry we feel justified to NOT take action, a way to avoid feeling powerless over something, when we worry we feel like we are doing something, a cloying way to have connection with others, it is a poor substitute for love or taking loving action, a protection against future action.”

He goes on to say that Daniel Goleman in Emotional Intelligence says that “worrying is a sort of magical amulet that some people feel wards off danger. People believe that worrying about something will cause it to not happen.”

Further, de Becker says, “The relationship between fear and worry is analogous to the relationship between pain and suffering. Pain and fear are necessary components of life. Suffering and worry are destructive and unnecessary components of life.”

What do these words mean to you?

Is there a thing or a person that you worry about a lot?

I hear people voicing worry that their child is divorced or not married or with the wrong partner or not having a partner at all.

How does this worry help the child?

Is it not more stressful for the child to have to hear the parents worry?

I urge you to buy the book, The Gift of Fear and give yourself the gift of never choosing worry again.

Choose instead to take a certain action that will help the challenging situation.

Choosing to constantly worry makes your life miserable and dumps all kinds of stress hormones in your blood stream. You are in effect simply poisoning yourself.

If you are being abused, what positive action can you take today instead of worrying when the next time is that the abuser will strike?

My wish for you is that you throw out worry with the garbage and begin to implement a system of positive actions in response to your life challenges.

Don’t worry, take action.
Love and light,


Transactional or relational…what kind of relationship do you want?

downloadA while ago, while listening to Barack Obama, I heard him describe a relationship (not with Michelle) as one that was solidly transactional and polite.

He knew and understood exactly what kind of relationship that was. The way I understood it was that when things were discussed he did not say things like ” that FEELS great, or that MAKES me HAPPY.”

Emotions were OUT of this equation and both parties understood that.

To put the transactional relationship out into the light, think Pretty Women. It started out as a transaction and then she wants a relationship. It took him a while but eventually the arrangement changed.

I have read that successful pimps prey on young women and start off with the lure of a relationship, then when the young girls think they have a real boyfriend…..the pimps beat them, rape them and turn the arrangement into the transaction it was always meant to be.

I have been thinking about marriage and have been wondering if perhaps the high rates of divorce might be due to the fact that we do not know the difference between transaction and relation based relationships.

A wife who complains that her husband is always at work, travels too much and is never available is complaining that the relationship is suffering. The man may be very confused as he is providing a house and cars and lifestyle and does not understand what she wants from him. He is seeing the transactional side of the arrangement.

How can people on two different sides move towards the center?

I think a good place to start is with shared filling in the blanks of “What’s missing here?”

If the wife says her piece and says that time with husband is missing and intimacy and friendship it is a start.

If the husband says nothing is missing and he is happy at work and just wants to be the provider, there is an insight into the size of the divide.

I knew of a couple who went on vacation once, and while he played golf everyday she drank and sat by the pool.

She did NOT want to spend more time with him and HE was happy with that arrangement. They saw each other the same amount of time while on vacation as they did at home.

The only difference is that they slept in a hotel room.

This transactional vacation worked for them, he bought the vacation package and she used it.

We don’t get to complain about the type of arrangement we have if we are not courageous enough to open it up and ask questions.
If you are in a relationship that feels like it needs to be changed, ask “What’s missing for me here?”

Journal about this question as many times as you need to. Look at your answers.

Make a list of the things that are missing.

Then begin to see what YOU can provide for yourself.

This may not be the answer you want, but when you can provide the elements of life you want for yourself than you can begin to fill in the other elements with your partner.

Love and light,

A Chameleon of the first order…


Do you have to be a different person to appease certain people? Have you ever experienced anxiety when visiting certain folks or when certain folks visit you? Have you chameleon via kaibara87 on Flickrever had to pretend to be something you are not?

Do you like who you are? Are you surrounded by people who truly appreciate who you are?

Make a short of list of people that you can be yourself around.
Over the course of the next few weeks, keep note of how often you see those people or how often you speak to them. (And I’m not talking on Facebook.)

Make another list of people with whom you feel squeezed and anxious and make note of how much time you spend with them.

The first list needs to be the people with whom you are hanging out with….and I mean investing time with them.
If people on the second list are at work and you feel stuck then ask yourself how you can create or craft different relationships with some of them or even one of them.
Often times, we think we know a person, but we really have no idea of whom or what they really are.
Can you find a way to go deeper into curiosity about someone on the second list?

There was a time in my life when the first list was almost non-existent and I longed for such people in my life. I longed for people with whom I could cry and laugh out loud and not be judged. I created intentions to attract such people into my life. I imagined what it would be like to feel supported and unconditionally loved and I sat in meditation and sent energy to those who wanted to find me. It took a while longer than I hoped but now I look at my first list of supportive friends and I break into a huge grin.

Just the other day, I had a day of deep sadness and grief. I called two people, not to come running, but just to listen to me….AND they came running!
I offer thanks to KW and JC for all their love and support. I needed you and you were there!
I am a lucky woman.

Dear reader,

You can have support as well. All you have to do is envision the type of people you want to be surrounded by and then become to others what you want to attract to yourself.

Love and light,

He said, she said…

This age old story gets us nowhere fast!

Want to hear about another story that’s just like a dog trying to
catch his tail?

It goes like this:
Person A says, “You said you hated me!”
Person B says “I meant when you make fun of me. You make me feel stupid!”
Person A “If you say you hate me, you must mean it or you are stupid!”
Person B “God, if only you would just listen, but you always jump down my throat!”

Get it?

I am sure you have been here at some time or another.
This fight is not going anywhere good. Someone will get hurt…either
emotionally, physically or both.

What is this fight about?
It could be about frustration or desperation or lack of any emotion.

I know people who never speak when things are “good” so the only time
they communicate is when they are angry.

If this is you…
You are going nowhere fast.
Someone is looking to place blame and someone is looking to be rescued.
Both brains are in screech mode and what’s more, both adults have left the room.
The people screaming at each other are two tantrum-throwing 5 year olds.
You need to find a way to “tap out” like wrestlers.

If this is a diagnosis of your relationship, get some help. Get some
clarity for yourself.
Go to a minister or a therapist or a VERY trusted friend.
You need a neutral person.

BTW, when you do decide to get help, remember to work on YOU!
You are the only person you can change.
Yep, that sucks, but that’s a fact.

Change the face in the mirror.