Being Intentional

Intentional is defined as: a thing intended; an aim or plan. This word has been coming up for me in both my personal and professional life recently. Hence, the subject of this weeks blog post!
I have found that exploring your intentions can be very helpful with being mindful of how you react to things in your life. We all have “triggers” from past experiences that we have had in our lifetime. These triggers can cause us to be very reactive allowing our sympathetic nervous system to “take over” and put us into a fight or flight state of mind. This “flooding” of our system often leads us to do and say things that can often be hurtful to our relationships with others. It can also cause us to make choices that may be against our core beliefs and values

Often our intentions grow from our beliefs and values that we have developed through our life experiences. How do we really want to be moving through our life? How can we fine tune these things to move toward being more intentional?  I have found that crafting a personal mission statement is a great way to start the tuning process. I have included an article Personal Mission Statement that gives you some prompts for developing your statement. This statement will grow and change with you as you move through your journey. I often compare it to a guiding star in how you intend to be when interacting with others and how you move through life.

Another exercise, that I recently found, in The Bullet Journal Method is doing a mental inventory. Ask yourself the following questions in 3 separate columns: What are you presently working on?, What should you be working on?, and What do you WANT to be working on? This can help you focus on being more intentional in how you navigate throughout your days.
How does being intentional help you in your relationships? How can it stop you from being reactive? Through the above tasks you will explore how you want to be in life and with others. These exercises can help you be more mindful of your true intentions.  So, when you do get triggered, you will stop and ask yourself how do I choose to be in this moment. Do you want to be reactive or do you want to stay true to your intentions? My hope is that you will utilize your intentions as a guiding light to allow you to stay on the path of your true intent.
How can you keep your intentions in the forefront of your mind? Intentions may present as a word, a value, or an affirmation that starts with “I am.” I recommend that you start your day with re stating your intention to yourself in some manner (meditation, journaling, etc.) Remind yourself daily of your intentions and review your mission statement on a regular basis. You may make changes to your mission statement as you move through your journey of being intentional. Think about what your “I am” statement will be and share in the comments.

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Living with Intention

Enjoy your journey,
Faith

Friendship

It is so easy to get caught up in our busy lives that we often neglect the smaller things that often add up to being very big things.  One of the things we neglect the most are unfortunately our relationship with others.  We often do not take the time to sit and “catch up” with people and update our knowledge about what the may be dealing with on a regular basis.  It may be that we neglect to share what we really appreciate about that person or that we often think of them.  Sometimes, we forget to respond to others when they reach out to us in some way.  This may take many forms such as:  a phone call not returned, an invitation that we turn down, or a distracted response.  This neglect can happen in relationships with friends, families and even our partner.

The above mentioned things all play an important role in what is called the “friendship” base of our relationship with others.  Even though all relationships are important, I want to focus on the relationship we have with our partner.  Dr. John Gottman spent endless hours observing and interviewing couples to find out what successful couples were doing consistently in their relationship.  His research showed that what separates the “masters” from the “disasters” is that they make time to nurture the friendship base of their relationship.  This friendship base gives relationships a solid foundation and allows us to have a more positive perspective of our partner overall.  When we are able to maintain a more positive perspective with our partner we are able to move through life’s challenges with more ease.

The hard thing about maintaining this friendship base is making sure that we make it a priority.  We can not get in the habit of “getting around to” our relationship.  This type of attitude will lead to you being disconnected with your partner and having a negative point of reference about your relationship.  You will find it more difficult to move through challenges and often find you are “stuck” when trying to reach a compromise.  Taking steps to nurture your friendship is one way of preventing this situation from occurring.

My “challenges” are a great way to get in the habit of making the time necessary to maintain that friendship base of your relationship.  One of the topics of your newsletter will begin to build a knowledge base of how to nurture the friendship base of your relationship.  The corresponding challenge for the week will give you an activity to increase your friendship and get you in the habit of making time for your relationship on a regular basis.  I challenge you to not put your relationship on the “back burner” and keep the friendship base of your relationship strong.  Make sure to check Upcoming Events to see if there is a challenge that meets your needs for where you are in your relationship journey.

Enjoy the journey,

Faith

Making Your Relationship a Priority

I often see couples in my office that are feeling disconnected from each other.  We explore and celebrate the good things in their relationship starting from when they first met to where they are today.  During this process, couples begin to identify when they started to drift apart from each other.  Some even are surprised by how long it really has been since they spent time together as a couple with no distractions.  These distractions can come in many forms: children, work obligations, activities, social media, etc.  I often find myself saying things to normalize this type of story so that the couple feels that they are not alone in their struggle.  We all get off track in our relationships and sometimes this can cause a disconnect.  This story is true for many couples and one that I hear way too often.

I often ask myself “what is missing” that we continue to make the same missteps that cause our relationships to become disconnected? What can couples be doing that could help them not make that misstep a big accident. I am not saying that anytime we take a misstep that our relationship is doomed.  Many couples are able to recognize that they are drifting apart but it is what they do after this recognition that counts.  There are many options for couples to turn that misstep into a positive.  It means taking the time to invest in the relationship and recognizing the importance of the relationship over other things.  I think that may be what is missing…the fact that we often do not make our relationship a PRIORITY.

Like I mentioned, there are many ways to turn our missteps into positives.  When we have the tools to turn things around this can make things a lot easier.  I feel that the Bringing Baby Home offers a lot of tools to help you prevent a “big accident.”  It offers you ways to stay connected to your partner through your journey and if you happen to take a misstep you can go back to your “training” the things you learned to stay connected.  My goal is to not have to normalize the story of disconnect that I so often hear.  My goal is to give you the tools to stay connected and when you get off course you have a great road map on how to get back on track.

Enjoy your journey,

Faith

 

The Sound Relationship House

Foundation is defined as “an underlying basis or principle for something.” It is synonymous with thoughts such as: a starting point, the core, and the heart of something. We all strive to build a solid foundation when we think of building a life together.  As we move through time , we are able to recognize the importance of having a strong basis on which our relationship is built.  It helps us to move through things with more confidence and allows us to work together to get through life challenges.

The Gottman’s came up with the concept “Sound Relationship House” which describes what research has shown to be important in building a good relationship.  It provides a strong foundation with concepts that will keep you on track with your relationship. The different parts of the “house” address things such as: a strong friendship base,  how to manage conflict, and creating shared meaning.  These concepts are important to keep in the forefront when making the transition to parenthood.

The Bringing Baby Home program will allow you to take your first steps to building your own Sound Relationship House.  It will provide you with the foundation to ensure that you and your partner maintain a strong and satisfying relationship as you embark on your journey to parenthood.  The BBH challenge will provide you with more information on the SRH concepts and how to begin incorporating them into your daily routine through the “challenge” portion.  Let’s start forming some healthy habits to build the foundation that your new family deserves.  Sign up through the following link Upcoming Events to start building your own Sound Relationship House.

Enjoy Your Journey,

Faith

Challenge Accepted

I came upon this quote the other day “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”  I feel most people transitioning into parenthood could benefit from this idea.  The idea that each persons journey into parenthood is different and unique.  In all journeys we may run into a little stormy weather every once in a while.  One of the keys to getting through these storms is being prepared.  As we all know we can not be prepared for every situation that we face BUT if we have a good base of knowledge we can usually figure something out to get us through.  New parents can gain this knowledge through various means.  Some individuals buy books, talk with others, or take a class that is offered through the hospital.  The focus of a lot of these sources varies but typically focuses on how to take care of the baby and the plethora of things that come with their care.  This knowledge base is important and definitely an important part of your journey as a parent.

However, how many of these sources challenge you to take care of your relationship?  Dr. John Gottman and his associates through research have discovered that 67% of couples experienced a precipitous decline in relationship satisfaction in the first 3 years of the baby’s life.  These statistics cause me to wonder if the couple’s sources provided them with a good knowledge base on how to stay connected with their partner as they transitioned into parenthood.  Did the couple feel they had the right tools to “save the ship” through the storm?

The Bringing Baby Home program is a great resource to make sure that your sailing goes more smoothly.  It provides you with a good knowledge base to work through any “storm” you may encounter and keep connected with your partner in the process.  My hope is that participating in this program you will feel more confident in your skills to sail through any weather with your partner and embrace the storm.  I challenge you to make your relationship a priority as you begin this journey.  Sign up now for the March BBH challenge under the upcoming events tab available with this link. Upcoming Events

Enjoy Your Journey,

Faith

BBH Program

Greetings!

I am sure you at this point you are getting curious about what this program is all about.  Having a baby is an exciting time and allows families the opportunity for many new beginnings.  Families will enjoy building new relationships with others, new goals will form, and new dreams will be created.  However, in all this excitement the importance of the relationship between the parents is sometimes lost.  Research shows that within three years after the birth of a child, approximately two-thirds of couples will experience a significant drop in their relationship quality and will have an increase in conflict and hostility.  There are many great programs out there that cover how to take care of our baby BUT not how to take care of the relationship with our partners.   This is where Bringing Baby Home steps in to save the day!  It provides a research-based and research-tested psycho-educational intervention for your relationship.  Check out this short video from Dr. Gottman to see what he has to say about the benefits!  Stay tuned for more information on how BBH can help you in your own journey.

Enjoy Your Journey!

Faith

First blog post

Welcome!

Thanks for joining me in my new adventure! I am super excited to offer some great opportunities for couples to ensure their relationship stays strong throughout their journey together.

My focus for the spring is the Bringing Baby Home program https://www.gottman.com/about/research/parenting/.   Check out this link for more information about the program.  I am a trained leader in this program through the Gottman Institute.  This program is a great resource for those expecting and/or already have a child up the age of 3 years old.

As an introduction to the program, I am offering a “challenge” in the month of March to allow you a sneak preview into what this program has to offer.  For a small fee of $25.00 you will get a weekly newsletter via email that will give you some information and a “challenge” to complete for the week. Feel free to sign up with pay pal under my Upcoming Events link.  You will be invited to a private Facebook group where you can join a community of others going through similar experiences.  When you post in the group about completing your challenge your name will be entered for a chance at the prize which will be drawn at the end of the month.  The more challenges you complete the more chances you have to win!  I may even throw in a few more surprises BUT you will have to sign up to see!

I hope you will join me for this great experience and see how BBH can help you transition smoothly into this next chapter.  IF this is NOT where you are at currently in your journey have no FEAR…I have some more ideas brewing.  So stay tuned and check back often!

Enjoy your journey!

Faith