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As I’ve written about in other articles this year, I’m making a SHIFT in my own life. For years my focus has been on defining and building my creative niche and getting my business and finances into shape. As a single woman (I left an unpleasant relationship back in 2002) it’s been really important to me to create a solid professional and financial life through my unique interest areas. To do what I really love, be of service and have pr0sperity flow in a sustainable and spiritual way. Happily this process has gone very well and I now coach others on how to define and m0netize their interests and talents.
With my right livelihood in a satisfying place, I am now turning my attention to the other areas of life that have been a bit neglected — body/health, relationship and fun & recreation.
In this article, I’d like to share some of the relationship resources that I like and regularly recommend to my clients, depending on what is up for them:
Clean Up Work:
For clients who have problematic patterns in their relationships like not being able to sustain a relationship (if they want to) or attracting unavailable or abusive partners … I generally recommend a bout of therapy or counseling with a qualified professional to help unlock what is going on at a root level. As a Law of Attraction practitioner, it’s been my experience that some old dynamic is being played out (generally from their early environment and upbringing) and an intervention of some sort is needed to zap their vibration into a healthier place … people mimic what is familiar or known to them.
While the emotional work can be intense for a time, it’s very gratifying to see my client’s ahhas, insights and shifts when they work with a good therapist in conjunction with our coaching work. Most often they were raised in dysfunctional families that stunted their ability to be and express themselves and healthy ways of interacting with loved ones were not modeled well if at all.
First up is identifying and understanding the unhealthy behaviors (so you recognize what you were raised with). Second off is learning what healthy behaviors are and how to start being and attracting them in your relationships.
Some great reading materials (again, best if done in partnership with a counseling professional) are Susan Forward’s Toxic Parents, Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them, Alice Miller’s classic Drama of the Gifted Child
and Karyl McBride’s Will I Ever Be Good Enough.
Clarify What You Want:
When you’ve got a good handle on those problematic family-of-origin issues (or you didn’t have a rough go of it in your early environment to begin with) … another common relationship issue is being unclear about what you next want.
If you are single, given the contrast of your previous relationships, what rockets of desire are being launched now? What kind of relationship do you now want? What kind of person are you most interested in? What role would you most like to play in your relationship? What qualities or attributes do you need to develop in yourself (remember, Law of Attraction tells us that ‘like attracts like’)?
My client Lauren recently recommended a relationship book to me, knowing I’m a big fan of Jerry & Esther Hicks and The Teachings of Abraham. The book is Be Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger.
If you’ve watched Patti’s Millionaire Matchmaker show you might not see the connection with Abraham’s teachings as her tone isn’t exactly touchy feely (she does mention Esther in a couple of places but that is about it). However it was an ‘interesting’ read overall and has some good exercises to help you clarify your ‘man type’ and your relationship values (sorry guys, this one is written for the ladies).
Next Generation / Conscious Relationships:
Part of the difficulty in finding and sustaining happy and healthy relationships in this day and age is the sea change that marriage and gender roles is going through – if you don’t want relationships like the ones that were modeled to you in your youth then you need to ‘find the feeling place’ of something different. Not always an easy task to get the feel for something that you’ve never personally experienced.
One of my favorite, more progressive relationship therapists is Terry Real and his Relational Life Institute. Terry and his colleagues research, write, train and coach on the dilemmas and emerging solutions for current day relationships (including singles, couples, families and organizational leaders). They explain modern relationship dynamics to the layperson and therapist alike, and build language and examples of what relationship, marriage and parenting are evolving into. Great for the person who is interested in conscious parenting and/or conscious partnership rather than just replicating more traditional models.
Obviously the topic area of ‘relationships’ is a massive one, and not to be covered in one short article. My intent here was to share some of the relationship issues that are coming up in my coaching practice at this time and recommended resources. If, like me, this is an area that you are shifting, I hope I’ve given you some good leads. As always, follow what resonates with you – your own emotional guidance system will know what is personally right for you.