Relationships

Moving on From Childhood Trauma to Live Your Best Life

Moving on From Childhood Trauma to Live Your Best Life

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If you suffered childhood trauma or have been through a lot, you may have, or still are, experiencing depression, anxiety, and stress. You may focus on habitual thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that literally take control of your brain and way of life. While these may start out as a way of survival in childhood, your mind and body develop and continue protective tactics, especially when going through something challenging.

The problem is they tend to stay around long after the trauma has occurred and can be crippling, leaving a dark cloud that hovers over our lives. After experiencing childhood trauma, whether it is physically, mentally, or emotionally, your ‘fight or flight’ system can be activated all the time. 

For some, this never gets turned off, and we live with a chronic stress response, haunted by a constant sense of fear that restricts our thoughts, emotions, reactions, and behaviors that were conditioned by that childhood trauma long after it is gone. 

We can heal our brains by making a shift in our mindset. We do not have to remain stuck in what happened and can choose to think differently, interpret our world differently, see a brighter future, and embrace hope and joy, intentionally. Our brain is capable of healing and change so you can find your way back to yourself again. Here are some steps to take to retrain your brain:

  • Take care of your body because that will help improve your mental health.
  • Treat yourself with kindness, respect, and avoid negative self-talk. 
  • Take the time to meditate to quiet your mind – close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  • Create a mantra to repeat to yourself, “I am happy” or “Today is beautiful.”
  • Write down what you are grateful for to focus on the positive in your life.

You can move on from childhood trauma and live your best life by transforming a negative into a positive. We all have thoughts that might dominate our minds. 

Whatever it is, take that main issue or troubling memory and turn it into an affirmation. I have found Katie Byron’s The Work to be very helpful in reframing your destructive thinking patterns.

Toxic Relationships Affect your Health

Toxic Relationships Affect your Health

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We have all been around someone who might be in a bad mood, is having a hard time, or perhaps is a ‘negative nelly.’ However, for some people, this becomes more prevalent, insidious, and all-encompassing. We all have our good and bad days, but you really need to ask yourself if your relationship is toxic. Why? Because it can affect your health. Ask yourself:

  • Does this person make you feel bad about yourself?
  • Do you feel physically or emotionally drained?
  • Are you always giving without receiving anything back?
  • Does this person isolate you from family and friends?
  • Do you ever feel unsafe? Fearful?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions and have negative feelings about or around your significant other, spouse, or friend a majority of the time, then you may be in a toxic relationship. Is it time to ‘detox’ this person from your life? If this relationship is not serving you mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically, then it can be very difficult to stay healthy and thrive in your life. 

A toxic relationship can affect your health, but there are 3 things you can do about it right now:

  1. Recognize the relationship for what it is and be at peace because it is not up to you to change the other person.
  2. Create personal boundaries for yourself 
  3. If you find the relationship intolerable or feel miserable all the time, it may be time to leave. Otherwise, the circle of stress will continue to harm your health.

Deciding on the best course of action may take time, and you can help yourself make that decision by practicing meditation. As you become more ‘present’ and less stressed about possible future events, you can anchor yourself in the present and foster a positive change. 

Another great way to help release negative energy and clarify your mind and body from the inside is through regular yoga practice.  

Talk about it with someone who can give you an objective point of view, share your perspective, and help you gain more clarity. The toxic person may be willing to engage in counseling with you. Set boundaries, cultivate an inner circle of people who love and support you, and trust your intuition. 

Recommended Reading: 10 Tips for a Happier Relationship
10 Tips for a Happier Relationship

10 Tips for a Happier Relationship

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No matter how good your relationship is, there is always room for improvement. In fact, making the effort to keep things fresh is probably the best tip I have to create a happier relationship. But that can be broken down into more specific actions that will strengthen your relationship, whether you already think it’s perfect or if you feel like it needs a little help.

1. Focus on the positive.

Every day, think of one thing you really appreciate about your partner. But don’t just think about it. Tell him what it is you appreciate. “I really love how you make me a cup of coffee every morning.” “I really appreciate how you always pick up after yourself.” “It makes me happy that you always remember to say thank you when I do something, no matter how small it is.” When someone feels appreciated, they will do more things for you to appreciate!

2. Kiss and tell.

Make it a point, every time you leave or greet your partner, to kiss him and tell him you love him. And I’m not talking about a little peck on the cheek. I’m talking about a real kiss. Kissing triggers the production of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is known as “the love hormone” because it works to strengthen the bond between two people.

3. Keep learning.

You may think you know everything about the person you married, but I bet there’s still a lot you don’t know. Deepen your relationship by asking open-ended questions. Ask his opinion, not something that can just be answered with a yes or no. Who knows? He may even learn a thing or two about himself.

4. Don’t stop dreaming.

Everyone has dreams. Don’t forget them when you get caught up in the everyday routine of making ends meet. Spend some time relaxing and ask, “If you could do/have/make/experience anything, what would it be?” Spend some time day dreaming about things you both would like to do or accomplish and maybe even brain storm ways to make those things happen. Then offer your support because when you support each other’s dreams, you become closer and stronger as a couple.

5. Never stop dating.

Set aside one night a week to just dress up and have a good time. Do the things you used to do before you got married. Remember what made you fall in love and re-live those things. There is only one rule: You can’t talk about bills, kids, work or anything else that is part of your mundane day-to-day life. If you struggle with this, it’s a sign that you need to work on it more. Don’t give up! Your relationship is worth the effort.

6. Use the power of touch.

Touch connects us physically, but looking for opportunities to touch will create a stronger emotional bond as well. Hold his hand, rub his shoulders or let your thigh rest against his while you sit next to each other. Just like kissing, touch releases hormones in the brain that build your emotional bond.

7. Find a common ground.

We can’t always agree on everything, but at least make the effort to meet in the middle. In many relationships, one person is always the one to give in. But in strong relationships, partners care about each other enough to not always have to get their own way. Keep it fair for both of you.

8. Seek out the positive.

If you need to bring up something negative, make sure to wrap it in plenty of positives. “I love watching movies with you but I have a hard time with the volume being so loud. If you turn it down just a bit, I can still enjoy the funny comments you make during the movie.”

9. Live in the moment.

When you focus on now, you’re less likely to obsess about the past or stress over the future. Certainly it’s important to make future plans, but focusing on the now will bring more joy to your relationship.

10. Keep it real.

Don’t exaggerate faults or use terms like “You always…” and “You never…” when you have disagreements. Don’t bring up issues that don’t relate to the situation you are discussing. Focus on what’s really happening and discuss your feelings instead of blaming him for how you feel. After all, no one can make you feel something. Your feelings and how you respond to them are your choice, so own them.
These are just a few tips that will strengthen your relationship and make it more solid every day. When you keep these tips in mind, you’ll find yourself falling more and more in love. Your man will feel that growing love and his love for you will grow more, too. You’ll have a relationship that most people only dream about!
Want to learn more? My Relationship Bundle has a much more in-depth look on how to meet and land a real catch, how to keep him interested, as well as a unique perspective about how men perceive us.

Make This New Year Different

Make This New Year Different

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Many people use the New Year to think about goals for the future. Losing weight, working out, giving up bad habits… All of these things are common goals but so often people making these goals meet with failure in short order. In fact, you’ve probably had a similar experience. Why is it so hard to set positive goals and make them happen? Why does it seem so difficult to make improvements to ourselves? And what can I do to make this year different?

The Experts Advice

Well, there are several theories on this. Dr. Wayne Dyer said the reason we fail with our resolutions is because, “any resolution that involves you making decisions about long-range upcoming behavior reinforces the self-defeating notion of living in the future rather than in the present moment.” He suggests that, instead of setting big goals for the new year, we should set small goals for each new day.

So instead of saying, “I’m going to lose 40 pounds this year” and then feeling like a failure when you have a hard time resisting that chocolate cake three months from now, wake up each morning and ask yourself, “What healthy choices will I make today?” Then you can easily follow through on your goals, one day at a time, just by living in the moment.

Dr. Mercola offers further suggestions. Instead of making resolutions that are easy to break, focus on making lifestyle changes. Instead of making the resolution to work out for 45 minutes every day, decide each day that you will get in as much movement as possible. That way you aren’t telling yourself at the end of the day, “Ugh! I still have to get on the treadmill.” Much more satisfying is to end your day by recalling that you took the stairs instead of the elevator, walked in the park on your lunch break instead of playing Candy Crush on your computer, and walked the dog instead of letting him into the back yard while you veg in front of the TV. All those little things add up! You can learn lots more tips and tricks for creating a healthy lifestyle by reading my ebook, “The Secrets of Weight Loss, Diet, and Staying Lean Forever“.

Dr. Josh Axe believes it’s important that we understand why we are setting certain goals. For instance, instead of deciding you need to lose weight because “I’m fat”, think a little deeper. Do you want to lose weight because you want more energy? Do you want your clothes to fit better? Do you want to feel younger as you continue to get older? Take a moment to really dig deep and figure out your “why”. Dr Axe suggests writing these things down and posting them someplace where you can see it every day so you always remember your true motivation.

Success Tips

To sum things up, there are ways that you can be successful in meeting your goals:

  1. Live in the moment. Set goals for each day instead of for the entire year.
  2. Make lifestyle changes towards a healthier life instead of setting difficult goals like losing a certain number of pounds within a certain time frame.
  3. Understand why you have the goals you have. Write down your why and read it every day.

Keep in mind, goals don’t just have to be about diet and fitness. Think about how you’d like to improve your relationships with friends, family and your significant other. If your marriage or relationship is struggling, I can help with my book, “How to Keep Your Man Interested“.

Live for the moment and enjoy every moment of the New Year! Together, we can make it your most successful year ever.

Meet and Marry the Perfect Guy

Meet and Marry the Perfect Guy

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Ladies are you single and frustrated with the dating scene? Are you losing any hope on meeting and marrying the perfect guy? Well let me assure you there are plenty of great guys out there just waiting to meet their perfect woman! (PS- Is he married already? If so, RUN AWAY!) And when I say perfect I don’t mean a guy with simply a perfect face, a chiseled body, and zero personality! I’m talking about meeting a guy who is perfect for YOU. Men are looking to meet a woman who is comfortable with her self. A woman who is self assured, sexy and has confidence. Have you ever looked at a woman and wondered, “How did she land such a perfect guy?” I know I did! I married my husband 7 years ago and he is 14 years younger than me. He chased me for a solid year straight before I even said yes to a date. He knew I was divorced and had 3 children but none of that mattered because of the way I carried myself.

My Story

I was convinced from the moment I divorced that I would meet and marry the perfect guy. I actually kept a piece of paper in my pocket every day that had the attributes that I expected to attract when looking for that perfect guy to meet and date.
I must admit, when I was going through my divorce I dated a lot of really great guys. Everyone used to ask how come I could meet so many nice men and they were having trouble doing so. I think one of the things I noticed that my other separated or divorce girlfriends were doing was that they were acting very cynical. It was almost like they hated all men. They wanted to meet this great guy but were putting out an attitude each and every time they were out and about or even on their dates.
When I met my husband Joe, he seemed like a nice guy and we became friends. I have to admit he wanted to date me from the start but I didn’t see a love connection since he was so much younger than me. However, I saw a really nice person and we connected and allowed our friendship to grow. After a whole year of Joe asking me out on dates (he asked me out every single Monday for a year!) I finally agreed and said yes. We met that week and had our first kiss, and we were pretty much inseparable after that! I’ll be honest, I probably didn’t actively follow every piece of advice I’ve outlined in my previous blog posts, but keep reading! Even if you only apply 25% of my advice, you are guaranteed to see results!

How YOU can Meet and Marry the Perfect Guy!

One of the first things you need to do before meeting the perfect guy is to work on yourself. Look your best! The better you feel and look, the more you will attract the perfect guy. You can find numerous tips on eating healthy in my eBooks. When you eat healthy and work out you will feel better.
You truly need to carry yourself like you are a prize. A prize that any man would want to pursue, date and marry. In order to do that you don’t need to be a beauty queen. It’s the way you carry yourself. You smile, you are self-assured, your hair and makeup are on point, you keep up with current events, you don’t settle and most of all you never chase a guy. Any guy you need to chase, is not worth having, trust me.
Once you are out on a date you never show that getting married and making babies are foremost on your mind. You need to show up on your date as your most charming self, not cynical or jaded. You need to know that the only thing that matters is that you are relaxed and self-assured. He will either love your or not. It’s never your fault if he doesn’t call. You shake it off. It’s his loss.
Men like a challenge. They like to be left with wanting some more. Keep your date short and sweet and end the date before he does no matter how good it is going.
If you begin to date the same great guy steadily remember to keep your cool. Allow him to text or call you first always. Be sure he is always trying harder than you are to make plans and get together. Learn his love languages, and teach him yours. If you remain a challenge to him until the very end he will know the only way to “have” you, to “have” all of you is to propose.
All of this, and much, much more is outlined in my eBook How to Meet & Marry a Great Man, which gives you a ton of practical, no-BS advice for less than the cost of two Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes!
Keeping your engagement and marriage spicy comes next!

Divorce Survival Tips

8 Divorce Survival Tips

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Women need to be careful when they are hit with a divorce, because they can easily let themselves be taken advantage of without even realizing it. These 8 divorce survival tips can help you make it easier on yourself.

Make Copies

Be sure to have copies of everything, because if you don’t, they will probably be gone when you realize you need them. Put these things in a safe deposit box that only you can access.
Things you need copies of include:

  • Tax returns (last 3 years)
  • Account statements from banks and investment firms
  • Pay stubs
  • Insurance information
  • 401K information
  • Stocks
  • Receipts
  • Mortgage statements
  • Loan agreements
  • Credit applications (which typically lists assets that you may need to know as the divorce progresses)

Check Your Credit Report

Make sure you know what your credit report looks like and have any errors fixed. Then make a list of any debts that are joint accounts, because no matter what the divorce decree says, if both names are on the debt, both of you are responsible for it. If he decides not to pay it, it will affect your credit.

Open Accounts in Your Own Name

You will need to build credit independent of your husband (and his income). At the very least, you will want to open bank accounts in your name only. If you don’t have much of a credit history because thins are in his name, open a credit card or two in your name.

Know Your Social Security Benefits

Did you know that if you’ve been married for at least 10 years, you may be entitled to half of your spouse’s social security benefits? This can be the case even if he remarries. There are some conditions that need to be met, andyou can more by visiting the Social Security website.

Get a P.O. Box

If you are still living in the same home, or if there is any possibility that he can access your mail box, you will want to ensure your correspondence is safe. You will likely be getting mail from your attorney as well as other private things relating to your divorce. This is information he should not have access to, so get yourself a post office box, just to be safe.

Change Your Passwords

Even though experts warn against it, most of us use the same password over and over, or choose passwords based on things in our lives. Since you have been sharing your lives up to this point, your passwords may be very easy to figure out, allowing him access to your email, social media, shopping sites and anything else accessible via computer.

Secure Irreplaceable Items

Photos, jewelry and other special items that can’t be replaced should be moved to a secure place where they can’t disappear. Keep in mind, your memories are often memories shared by him. If possible, consider making copies so you both have the mementos that are important to you.

Join a Support Group

You might think this isn’t needed, but when your emotions get the best of you, you will need someone to talk to. Mutual friends may not always be the best choice, and it’s never a good idea to badmouth your spouse in front of your kids when you’re upset. A support group, or even a therapist, will allow you a safe place to express your feelings without causing problems for anyone else.
A group can also help keep you level-headed when you have important decisions to make that will affect your future. In addition to these 8 divorce survival tips, you may also be able to learn other strategies to help you during this difficult time in your life.

Marriage Worth Fighting For

Is your marriage worth fighting for?

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Only you can really answer that, but I want you to consider some important facts. Most divorced couples do not anticipate the great pain suffered from a divorce that many times affects the rest of their life. Many think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, but the truth is that your grass is just as green, but may have some dandelions and mole holes. These are fixable just as many of the problems in a marriage can be fixed. It just takes some work and commitment.

What if only one of you want to work on the marriage? Then that’s what you have to do. If one is working on the marriage, it can still be much better than it’s ever been. You don’t want the same marriage back. It wasn’t working. You want a brand new marriage with the same man that will be better than ever because of the work going into it in developing yourself and being confident with who you are. Imagine what you want your marriage to be like. Then set goals for yourself to get to what you imagined. Do not allow yourself to backslide, but keep moving forward.

Another thing you really need to consider for your marriage is the children. They are affected greatly by both of your choices of staying together and working on the marriage or divorcing. Kids really want their parents to stay together, except if there a huge amount of fighting or abuse involved. If you both decide to divorce, it takes away the security of being part of a family. Also, letting the kids witness how you work on your relationship will teach them to do likewise when they get older. It’s a legacy that you can leave them to live successful lives in meaningful relationships.

There are so many benefits to staying together. As you journey through the relationship rehab, you may find as you rediscover yourself that you are a pretty awesome lady, and shouldn’t be treated like “the old wife.” You are an individual that has a lot to offer. You are a special person and anyone who tells you different is not worth your time. Do not allow others to control who you are by defining you. You will grow into the person you are meant to be. Your story is not done yet … there are plenty of chapters still being written.

Make the choice of what you will and will not tolerate in a relationship, and stand by your choice. The pride you have in yourself will speak volumes to everyone. Instead of being needy for emotional approval from your husband, give it to yourself. Don’t allow anyone to limit you. In rediscovering yourself, you will be attractive to your husband, as he also sees for himself that you are a person of great value and worthy of his respect and attention.

Never Date A Married Man

Never, ever date a married man

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What do you do when you meet some guy that you are really interested in and then find out he’s married? Short answer: RUN! (Reaffirm, Unlatch, Next) Let me break this down for you a bit.

Reaffirm your goals for a relationship. You want a prince of your very own and not have to share one with another who happens to be his wife. She has priority over you, no matter what he tries to tell you. If he has children, you go even further down the list. The promise to leave his wife for you is mute until his address has changed, but still you need to consider that he cheated on her. That probably is an indicator that he would also cheat on you. You may have heard all the awful things about her, but that is only one side of the story.

Your goals are for a happy and fulfilling relationship with someone that you can trust. You want them to love you for who you are, not as a means of escape from another relationship. You are worth having your goals met in a man.
Unlatch your claim to him for there was no real commitment from him. It is time to send him home where he belongs. Do not answer his phone calls or meet him at any time. The cord has been cut in your relationship and it is time for you to move on to better things.

Next, learn from your experience and keep an eye out for your Prince Charming. Take an active role in meeting new people and going to places that will not remind you of the married toad you just released. Soon, the pain of that transition will become a distant memory as you experience better things. Be confident in knowing that you made the right decision in letting him go. You deserve so much better, and you can have it!

The Five Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages

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One of the biggest banes of a marriage is the absence of love. Many couples have experienced terrible fallings-out because one or the other feels unloved and underappreciated.
What husbands and wives often fail to realize is that people express, interpret, and expect love in different ways. Often times, a marriage is not entirely loveless, it is just that one loves in a language that the other does not understand.
According to marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, people speak five different love languages:
Words of Affirmation. Some people need to hear the words “I love you” constantly. Unsolicited compliments are also always welcome while insults and other negative words leave them inconsolable.
Quality Time. There are people who believe that undivided attention and spending time together is the sincerest form of expressing love. It is disappointing for them when dates get postponed or their partners get easily distracted.
Receiving Gifts. For people who speak this love language, love is best expressed with thoughtful gifts that aren’t necessarily expensive. Sometimes, a simple card is enough as long as their significant other exerts effort.
Acts of Service. Those who express love through acts of service often aim to ease the burden of responsibilities for their better half. This can be as straightforward as loading the dishwasher or mowing the lawn.
Physical Touch. This isn’t confined to intimacy in the bedroom. This can include holding hands, pats on the back, hugs, and any thoughtful touches.
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Choose Happiness in your Intimate Relationships

Choose Happiness in your Intimate Relationships

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Speed bumps are common in relationships. Fights happen and expectations can’t always be met but that shouldn’t deter a couple from giving a peaceful relationship. Yes, it takes work but the effort will always be worth it.

Here are some things to remember in order to have a sound relationship with one’s significant other:
Give the Other Person the Benefit of the Doubt. Sometimes it helps to think that your significant other hadn’t really meant to hurt you. Put yourself in their shoes and try to rationalize the situation from their point of view.

Don’t Play the Blame Game. Sometimes when we feel inadequate about ourselves, we blame the other person. Look inwards and determine the root of your negative emotion. Sometimes, the problem can be found within us. The solution will be obvious thereafter.

Don’t Act when you are Emotional. Strong emotions such as hurt, frustration, and anger can lead to irrational reactions and decisions. Acting on emotion can lead to regret in the end so try to calm down first before trying to do anything.
Choose Your Battles Wisely. Not everything should be turned into a fight. Confrontations are healthy in a relationship but fighting doesn’t solve anything all the time. Don’t let everything bother you.

Take care of Yourself. Some lose themselves in a relationship so much that they forget that they are an individual that needs constant nurturing. Channel some of that TLC towards yourself. Remember that you cannot love another person fully if you do not love yourself.