Do you have a child, or do you RAISE one?

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childpicParenting has two parts. The two parts are two different things. There’s the first part of parenting; the act of ‘becoming’ a parent, where you actually created a child, the child was born, and now you are either a Mother or Father in name only. The second part of parenting, the more committed part, is where parenting isn’t about the simpleness of claiming the title of such a privilege, but the act of loving and caring for the child day in and day out. Even a parent who doesn’t live with their child should know and understand that an emotionally connected parent is the one engaged in their child’s life enough to promote the child earning respect for them. An absent parent = absent respect. A child learns more about their parent’s values by being around the parent.  A parent who is actively engaged in their child’s life, learns about their child’s intentions, and is in a position to guide, support, and mentor the child with the end goal being raising and developing a responsible, kind, confident, and stable adult that strives to succeed in life to their fullest potential. The responsibility for this development shouldn’t be left to only one parent; but all too often, it unfortunately is. Some divorced parents use the excuse that their child never calls them, or reaches out to them. It is not the responsibility of a child (a young, sensitive, undeveloped mind, with an undeveloped level of people skills and maturity) to reach out to a parent; quite the contrary. It is the responsibility of each parent, regardless of a living situation, to reach out to their child, on a regular basis to create and build a strong relationship. It is not the child’s responsibility to be the only initiator for staying in contact or to plan to spend time together.

According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2009, a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau every two years (and most recently in December 2011), there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 22 million children.

Single parenting doesn’t always mean that only one parent is raising a child. Many cases of divorced or unmarried parents are co-parenting together, meaning that they both share in the responsibility of teaching, mentoring, disciplining, supporting, encouraging, and paying for the child’s needs. Some of the co-parenting arrangements still involve one parent paying support to the primary custodial parent, while some parents choose to have no child support, but split the child’s costs. There are some children who actually live in two homes; they split their time between both parent’s houses. There are judges in the US that are beginning to award the child support be directly deposited into a child’s bank account, versus being paid directly to the primary custodial parents account when a child is a certain age, and the parent’s income is substantial for this scenario to be beneficial for the child (usually a teenager). But, while money is necessary for raising a child, emotional connections from BOTH parents are more important. If a child grows up feeling loved and supported by both parents, it creates strong trust in their own relationships. A child may not remember the tennis shoes a parent bought them on their 9th birthday, but they will definitely remember if one parent didn’t come to their party to celebrate. A child may not be affected by who pays for their car insurance while they are in high school or college; but you can be rest assured, they will remember if their parent supported them by spending time with them teaching them how to drive. A child may not recall how parents split the cost or didn’t share in paying for braces, but they will surely remember who dives them to their monthly appointments and takes them to the drug store for the supplies, and talks with them about dental care, and idea’s to implement for relieving pain. In all of these common scenarios, it is ‘time’, ‘attention’, and ‘helpfulness’ to a child that instills a strong relationship between a parent and a child.

There is a saying that has been posted about parenting that hits a home run in my opinion, on conveying the difficult task of preparing a child for their future. This quote sums up almost all of what a parents job really is, beyond making a child feel loved, of course.

theroad~Our job as parents is to prepare our children for the road…

not prepare the road for our children.~

It is a difficult task to be in the constant care of a child which involves maintaining organization, scheduling, food preparation, medical attention, discipline, schooling issues, social intervention, teaching, mentoring, hygiene, extracurricular activities, and spiritual guidance. If only one parent is handling these tasks, it means that a child is only getting influenced by that one parent’s perspectives. Even if two people are no longer living together as parents, the child still deserves to know and be encouraged about all of their life’s many twists and turns from both parents.

In many cases, a parent who is ‘not’ the primary custodial parent (the parent the child lives with full-time) feels that sending a child support check, and calling occasionally, is being a parent. News Flash!! Money isn’t what a child needs emotionally. Money is not where a child learns kindness, or patience, or how to talk to an adult with respect. Money doesn’t instill confidence, nor does it reinforce certain values and principles that often get pushed aside because parents are too busy. Values, like loving your neighbor as you love yourself; or the golden rule, treating others the way you would want to be treated are reinforced when a child has both parents guiding them on a regular basis. And if only one parent is trying desperately to persuade a child towards loving and honoring God, but another parent doesn’t engage in the child’s life enough to demonstrate their spiritual walk, how will a child learn the importance of the most important relationship in all of life, connecting to their heavenly Father? And here’s an amazing point: How will a child learn- that maybe, the primary parents perspective may be a little ‘off’ if they don’t have a differing perspective from their own blood-line to compare it to?

Too many non-custodial parents are viewing their young child’s life as they would a friend; they believe the relationship is a 50/50 exchange. If the 50/50 exchange was what marriage counted on; everyone would be divorced. If the 50/50 belief (you give this relationship 50%, and I’ll give this relationship 50%) were what all friendships counted on, there would be far fewer friendships in this world! The truth is, young children didn’t ask to be part of split families. They did not ‘choose’ to have both parents living in two different places. They are not thinking of their family relationships as something they have to invest in. Children and teens are naturally focused on themselves. All children are consumed with playing, school, friendships, and extracurricular (sports, gaming, clubs, social media, etc) It isn’t psychologically in a child’s mind to think like an adult with a thought that might be like this: “Oh yeah, haven’t made plans with Grandma & Grandpa in a while, I should call them and get on their calendar.”…..

The most important thing a parent can ever do for their child, (regardless of ANY living arrangement, regardless of geographical locations, regardless of income, regardless of the support payments or non-payments, regardless of any issue between the non-married parental figures) is to show love, show up, show support, show encouragement, show that you are engaged in their life, show that you’re interested in their life by being there with them. Show them you will be there IN PERSON to guide them along their journey as they develop their own values, their own passions.

~Our children are learning how to be the future parents by our actions; which will be developing our grandchildren.~

In the case of Parental Alienation…

Wikipedia: Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a term coined by child psychiatrist Richard Gardner, and introduced in his 1985 paper,[1] to describe a suite of distinctive behaviors he argued were shown by children who have been psychologically manipulated into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members – typically, by the other parent and during child custody disputes.[1][2]

…it is VITAL divorcing parents research the after-effects of this tragedy) the targeted, alienated parent must continue to pray, reach out with love, and be patient, allowing God to embrace the children with truth and the courage around the child to reunite with the lost parent. In no way, should a parent lose hope, or be angry; children can not be held responsible for estranging themselves, when they were led (either passively or deliberately) to shun a parent in their life; especially when no abuse, neglect, nor abandonment was present.

Parents shouldn’t just be a distant figure the child hears from every now and then; a real parent shows up LIVE, and IN PERSON, next to their child on a regular basis, talking to them, looking them in the eye, spending quality TIME with them, demonstrating their perspectives about life.  An engaged parent is the one a child can depend on in happy times of celebration and in sad times of defeat. Our children need both parents. Children don’t deserve to be deprived of the two people in their life that are the sole responsible parties for their development, the support, the encouragement, the love, and the installation of life’s important lessons. The most important life lesson being…..learning how YOU connect to God and how you live out YOUR life in Faith and not fear. Children learn what they see, not what they hear. 

For more relationship or parenting advice, follow this blog! Visit annalisaotoole.com for more info on Life Coaching. For ordering audio downloads, or to learn about an upcoming debuting PODCAST, The Ask Annalisa Show, available beginning June 1st: visit: www.askannalisa.com. 

 

 

 

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Is my partner happy in our #relationship?

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Wondering if the person you’re dating is happy in the relationship? This is a common concern among many people. A person in a relationship will usually have concerns about this at the beginning of the relationship, because they may have feelings they have not expressed; or, the person their dating hasn’t expressed their feelings.  To ease dater’s minds about how to know for sure, if the person your seeing is totally into you, I completed a list of common signs to look for. This list is made up of things that your partner will do, so you know for sure…they are experiencing happiness and contentment in the relationship.

First, they reach out! THEY CALL, TEXT, EMAIL, FACETIME, SKYPE, or send SNAIL MAIL….and they initiate contact consistently. Someone into you will want to reach out often and keep in touch. The amount of someone’s correspondence, or how many times a day they reach out, will vary. The thing to recognize here, though, is that they WILL reach out, and do it with some consistency. Here is an example of a warning sign with this particular action: If you hear from them on Monday, and you are the only reaching out for say, the next 3-5 days, they just might not be that into you.

Next, If the person you’re dating is happy, they will listen to you.  If someone is listening, they will respond with great feedback, great idea’s, and you feel as though they ‘get’ you, and understand, and enjoy conversations. Couples probably won’t run out of things to talk about and share if both people are happy in the relationship. It’s when there is the awkward silence, or arguments happen a lot, or neither partner seems to be able to get on the same page of understanding, that trouble can begin on the horizon. Someone who is not that into you will not be as attentive, may not remember important things you say, and seem distant much of the time. Someone who seems easily distracted by you most of the time, may be a sign, they are losing interest or they are no longer emotionally connected. If they demonstrate these behaviors, it doesn’t always mean they are tired, stressed, or worried (they often will use these as reasons) but truthfully, they could possibly be getting bored, or have lost interest in you.

(key tip here: don’t get angry if someone is showing signs of not being into you. No one ever stays in love or falls ‘back into’ love because their partner gets angry. People have their preferences; if your personality or lifestyle isn’t their model number; you don’t want them anyway! You want someone to ADORE how you are! Be transparently you! 

When someone’s really happy in their relationship, they will always initiate wanting to spend time with their partner. But, here’s the clue: it isn’t time that you request -(sure, if they are into you, they will try to accommodate that too) but the real test is when they are initiating the request to be with you, often, say at least once a week or so. If they are suggesting a plan or asking for you both to spend time together, this is a definite sign they are happy and want to be with you!

Whenever someone is really happy in a relationship, they will ‘edify’ this relationship with others. This means, they are proud to be with you, and they do not hesitate at all to have you around their friends or family (with a new relationship, this may take a little time before occurring, that is normal, reasonable, and should be expected. ) If they are talking positively about you to others, they are possibly posting pics of events you are at together, pics of the two of you, ect…this is a sure bet, they are into you.  Now, don’t judge a person being happy or unhappy by posts, certainly don’t do that; some people are private, and they may just not be the ‘social media-I post-everything-type’. But, there are other ways in which they can ‘share’ their joy of being with you. Taking pictures for their own personal phone or use is a good indicator they are happy. Speaking highly of you in front of others when you are standing there, that’s awesome. Or, if you hear back from someone on how highly they spoke of you when you weren’t around…that’s even more awesome!

If someone is happy with you, really happy with you, they won’t always seek their own agenda. For example, if they call you often, but it’s because you always foot the bill.. (say for example, that maybe they have been without a job for quite some time, and they need something each time they call; that is a serious red flag.) Always be sharp enough to know the difference between them wanting to be ‘with’ you, verses, them ‘needing’ you. Another example of this would be if they only call late at night, and want to come over without pre-planning, often. They most definitely could have a romantic agenda, but don’t you feel you are worth some notice, and your time should be respected? Do they just want some lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ time, or do they actually want to spend time doing other activities through the week with you? Did someone else cancel the plan, so maybe you are plan B? Are you OK with being the spur of the moment type of partner?  I always preferred a partner who valued my time and requested it ahead of time. I deserve that, do you?

~You will always be treated in a relationship, in the manner in which you feel deserving of.~

I’m not saying never to be spontaneous; that is fun! But, if a guy or gal isn’t requesting your presence ahead of time, (asking you out) you might just be being used for a good time at their discretion, not because they are really into you. Beware of the self-seekers!

Last but not least, a wonderful example of someone who is totally happy with you is the partner who TELLS YOU and SHOWS YOU that they are!! This can be verbalized and demonstrated in many ways. Love notes, meaningful conversations, gifts, (big or small), special acts of kindness are all examples of loving gestures. If they remember your meet date, or birthday, if they get you a little gift for no reason, these are all acts of kindness that really show appreciation for not just you, but for the relationship. Consider yourself lucky if you have a thoughtful partner who doesn’t take you for granted, and does the little things, because really…those are the BIG THINGS that show happiness.

Here is one last tip: Some people SAY they are happy, they offer gifts, offer time, do most of the things on this list, however, one partner may be a nag or have constant unmet expectations. One of the biggest relationship mistakes a partner makes is trying to ‘change’ someone. If a lover is truly happy with their partner, they wouldn’t need to change them. Trying to make someone live up to a set of expectations is only hurting themselves.  If someone continues to try and change their partner;  there’s a highly likely chance, the two are not true soul mates. ~

For more #realtionshipadvice, follow this blog. Remember, you can always email a question to possibly be featured on this blog (no names used, of course!) Email your question to:     lifecoachannalisa@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Empowerment

Here is a glossary of words to help you feel EMPOWERED to design the life you ‘really’ want….
ANXIETY….thinking on the past or future. Remedy: Be grateful in this present moment, enjoy the moment you are in, put away the electronics at times when you need to take in what is around you; engage in building relationships (not online, but real-face-to-face time) and simply, let go…allow…flow….in the ‘now’.
DEPRESSION…allowing your mind to default to the doubt, fear, worry, past hardships, future anxiety, sadness of something in the past. Remedy:
SHIFT… shift your mindset to your blessings. What do you have in your life right now that you are so appreciative of? WHO do you have in your life right now that you are so thankful for? Think on things that you desire so much, you can almost taste them showing up!!
BELIEVE…in yourself…in your gifts and talents….in your dreams…in your abilities to serve others and make a positive difference. YOU can, but if you think you can’t, your right.
RELATIONSHIPS….think on what IS working. What is DYNAMIC, not on what is not working, not going right. ONLY entertain the thoughts of positive outcomes, what you want, as if those things are already happening. When you do this, it’s like magic. Opportunities and change in others starts to happen. What we focus on; we bring on. Bring on flowing energy of love! Bring on your soul mate. Bring on the things that make you smile!!!!
MANIFESTING…. is awesome. Just remember, you can not think yourself thin by continuing thoughts of how fat you are! Contrasting thoughts are confusing GOD!!! Get clarity and vision for what exactly what you desire, think on that– as if it IS happening, it IS taking place, it IS developing…and you will recognize amazing results, fast, too!! But, as long as you have thoughts of what you don’t want, those will keep showing up.
Ever started liking a certain car, and then all of a sudden, you seem to see it everywhere? AH…..interesting.
SELF-TALK…the words we say to ourselves are powerful. Are you speaking life into yourself? Or, do I hear doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, disbelief, unworthiness, undeservedness whispering over there between your ears? Every great endeavor, every great relationship, every great entrepreneur started with someone putting value in him or herself first, otherwise, how could they get others on board for their mission, idea, or service? We will only receive in life, that which is aligned and equal or above to how we think of ourselves and what we deserve. Are you receiving what you deserve? No? Let’s raise our deserve levels, by acknowledging and believing we are unique, wonderful, and have gifts and talents that serve a greater purpose that can make a difference in this world. YOU ARE DIVINE!!!! No less than an amazingly talented, spiritual being who has work to do. First, in loving and forgiving yourself, and next, recognizing your great qualities, and then lastly; discovering a need in the world that your creativity can go and make a difference !!!! It can be with family, with a spiritual mission, with a business, or a career, or even within something part-time; but we are all called to do something; we must discover that calling, and begin with positive, loving, kind self-talk to accomplish our dreams. Remember Mohammad Ali? When I recall him being filmed, his famous words were: “I AM the greatest, I’ll show you how great I AM.” God worked through him, he was a champion in his field. In the movie, “Facing the Giants”, a teen was doubting his ability to kick for the football team because of his small size. His father said, “God can use you, David”. The boy said, “How can God use me, I’m so small, and the other kicker is the best at it”. His dad looked at him and said, “David, God works through the last, lost and least, to show how mighty He is. You go out there and do your best, let God do the rest!” In the cliff-hanger ending,Image result for champion pic David needed to make a 50 yard field goal to win the State Championship, and the coach asked him, “David, do you believe you can do it?” David said “I’ve never kicked that far before, coach” Coach asked again, “But David, DO YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT? I NEED YOU TO BELIEVE YOU CAN!”…..
……..YOU ARE A CHAMPION, but not until you believe it!!……

Relationship Struggles? Tips for re-connecting…

Emotional Connection is the secret to Flowing Relationships...

Emotional Connection is the secret to Flowing Relationships.

INSPIRED LIFE COACHING….. December 2014 Newsletter

by Life Coach, Relationship Specialist & Inspirational Speaker,

Annalisa O’Toole

Emotionally Connecting is the root foundation for relationships to flourish…

If your Relationship is in need of repair, it is most likely, because your EMOTIONAL CONNECTION has been compromised. It is in jeopardy, it is not strong, and it is creating havoc in your life. Here are the BEST ways to reconnect emotionally. It requires at least ONE person, constantly working to show love, support, and admiration, and trustworthiness. It takes two forgiving, honest, and willing people to move forward. If you are the one trying to repair, mend, or save a relationship, you will know the advice below that is specific for you. If you are the one who thinks everything is fine, but your partner is having trouble –look again at the following things. You need to absorb some emotional-connecting tips- and fast!!  Stop arguing about the little things, and realize it is your EMOTIONAL CONNECTION that has been broken. Let’s repair it!!! Hope these tips help you through this season. We are in a season of giving, so try to focus more on what you can GIVE to the relationship, verses WHAT you get or don’t get out of it.

If one is tired, offer a massage —

If one is crying, hold them.

If one is bitchin, say, “I understand what can I do or help you with?”

If one is frustrated, let them vent without getting mad – one person at a time with the elevated emotions!! Your job is to Just listen, empathize, support, offer assistance.

If one is nagging, say, “What can I do to help you?”

If one is demanding, say, “Let me write these things down, so I don’t forget, I know they are important to you, I’ll do my best at these”

If one is distant — give them space.

If one is short—say, “I know it feels as if your world is falling apart, but I still love you.”

If one is quick tempered, say, “How can I make things easier, or relieve your load?”

If one is late home from work, have dinner ready, offer a beverage, sit with them and talk.

If the house is messy, clean it.

If it’s trash day, take it out.

If its grocery day and you’re buying them, bring home flowers guys. Girls: Bring home his favorite item, or beer.

Leave notes of appreciation saying “have a great day” in their car, or by their mirror in the bathroom.

Guys: Buy a spa day certificate, take the kids all day, and tell her she’s off-duty!!!

Girls: Buy an admission ticket to a sports event, or the shooting range (hopefully you haven’t made him too mad! HA!)

Love Languages:

Most people feel loved if their partner does one or more of the following:

TIME      GIFTS      SERVICES        WORDS OF AFFIRMATION       AFFECTION/TOUCH

Figure out which one is their HOT button, do things around that love language as often as possible.

Social Media & Friends of opposite sex:

Clean up your friendships outside the marriage. It is not good to have ‘female’ or ‘male’ friends you talk to daily or often. Even if you speak to this person about getting their gender perspective on your relationship – which seems innocent, it creates a sense of disloyalty within your partner. Phone records can be checked. Although you may not be in a sexual relationship —-an emotional connection starts by talking often — and even if talking often is not leading to an emotional connection, it would never be perceived as ‘platonic’ if there are multiple texts and calls throughout day to day. OR, long patterns of texting or talking on and off throughout the month. Chatting on games, snap chat, vines, and other forms of communication are all the same. They are not healthy to participate in with friends of the opposite sex if you are in a committed, exclusive relationship. Even if you both trust each other impeccably – it sends the wrong message to the other chatter – the message being –I have a need to talk to you, and have fun conversations with you- because my partner isn’t available to. Even though this isn’t the message you INTENDED – it is what ‘can’ be perceived. So  to stay in the safe zone: REFRAIN.

WORDS & COMMUNICATION:

  1. No interrupting
  2. No threats to leave house or relationship.
  3. No name calling.
  4. Stay on topic, no bringing up the past
  5. No going to bed mad

If someone is upset, ask more questions verses making more statements. Always repeat what you thought your partner said, here’s an example: “So, what I heard you say was”: then repeat that outloud. This way, your partner can feel they were ‘heard’ with their perspective, or ‘not understood’. The goal in any conversation is for one person to feel understood.

The MINUTE your emotions start elevating (heart rate increases, sweating, or feelings of panic, or feelings of anger) due to frustration or anger, it is best to TAKE A BREAK rather than yell, or get aggressive, or begin hitting walls.

If, or when- one partner see’s their partner is getting worked up in anger, it is best to begin soothing them with things like:

Let’s talk about this later.

Maybe I should go, and we can talk it out later.

Maybe we should just stop talking now, hold each other, and come back to a discussion later.

Always speak life. Never let your words have a frustrating tone- no matter your mood, their words, their accusation, etc…If they are upset, YOU REMAIN CALM! If they need correcting, do it lovingly. If one is upset, the other could use phrases like:

  • I hear you, I understand.
  • I am so sorry that upset you. What can I do to make you feel better?
  • Come over here, let me hold you.
  • Let’s go do something very, very special together.
  • I love when you ______________
  • I think it’s so cool that you ______________
  • You make me feel so good, and special when you ________________
  • You’re leaving home in THAT shirt? You look so good in that, I worry someone will steal you away! (playful, not jealous tones…easy does it on this one)
  • I am so sorry that is happening to you, how can I help you?

If you are the one upset, be careful to use the I FEEL______I FELT_____, I FOUND______ method, it makes your partner feel less accused, less criticized, and it makes it more about ‘your feelings’ than their wrong doing.

EDIFY your spouse even if it is not received in love. The goal is to give -without any expectation of a return. Give compliments, show appreciation, offer helpfulness, show thoughtfulness, show kindness, show consideration. Don’t have double standards. EVEN IF they aren’t showing these to you, DO IT ANYWAY!! They will eventually learn their mistakes, and your example will pay off – or things won’t change and then you can re-access the relationship or seek more coaching.

If you are estranged, separated, or working on things and sex is ‘OFF’ limits presently –NEVER make a pass, or caress, or reach to touch your partner unless THEY initiate, so you know that you know- that you know- they want to go there. If sexual relations are OK, take the time to be gentle, do something fun and different. Be about making THEM feel good for a change – it’s not all about YOU, you know. Get creative, and be spontaneous. Break the same-ole, same-ole routines. Surprise your partner with something new. Remember:

Passion is a Friendship – ON FIRE!!!

Learn to LAUGH! You must share laughter together. It is the secret ingredient that makes everything else work. If you cannot laugh daily, create pet names, make up new stuff that makes you laugh, act silly, whatever, you are missing a very important part of emotionally connecting.

BE OK if your partner needs to CRY! What someone who is crying needs most, is less talk, and more holding. PERIOD. But reminding softly, that they are loved, and you’re in this forever and, ever after that, is not a bad idea!!

Always give eye-contact….ALWAYS, even if they are not looking at you! Don’t be easily distracted if they are talking to you. FOCUS on not only looking at them, but listen intently, put the phone down. IT CAN WAIT!

INITIATE a fun activity together, plan a date, or plan a future vacation together. Plan a project, or do something charitable together. GIVING always creates peacefulness within.

RESPECT the money manager of the relationship. This person has it tough; they have to be the bad guy. They have to budget, they have to say no, they have to access the needs (that don’t always align with their partner’s idea of needs) Somebody will have to be more flexible, but ultimately, the money manager needs A LOT of understanding, and appreciation –The hardest duo’s are when the $-manager is the FEMALE. Because that is out of alignment with the MAN who needs feeling like he’s in charge, like he’s the leader, and the decision maker of the family. But, if his weakness is managing money, he needs to respect and adhere to the woman’s talent and ability to manage – the woman in this role needs to take EXTRA care when talking, and planning, and deciding things. There is a fine line between being the decision maker, and respecting your Man!

HE needs respect upmost in the relationship.

SHE needs to feel understood, loved, cherished, adored, and be reminded by her man she is number 1, he’s in for the long haul, and there’s no one else who could ever take her place and she’s amazing, and you love her cooking, and she is talented, and she makes you feel so good, and…….

NOTICE: Men –need one thing. Woman: A long-Complicated list!!!!  Men & Women who ‘get this’ will have flowing relationships.

PRAYING together is the ULTIMATE way to build back a strong emotional connection. Try it, it’s amazing. Start out with one person, build up to taking turns. It can truly shift your relationship; it somehow creates a sense of unity that is empowering.

Resources that are helpful in hurting relationships:

  • The movie FIRE PROOF.
  • Purchasing the 40 day journal they use in the movie at a local Christian book store, and do it.
  • Love & Respect book, or ANY book by Gary Chapman. He wrote the love Languages book also.
  • Briggs Meyer’s- ISDC Personality Profiles. This is great insight for determining how your partner thinks and their perspective of things. It is helpful for improving communication and connection.
  • Attend a marriage or couples retreat or seminar together.
  • Create a ‘MUST HAVE’ list and each of you ‘share’ your list of desires, and work on giving more.
  • Decide the past hurts that are still rising up, and creating problems, write them each down on an index card. On the back, write how you choose to forgive, and move past it, what you’ll do different in the future moving forward…then have a BURN date, by the fire! DISCUSS each one- STATE YOUR WRONG if you were- FORGIVE-OFFER your NEW way of resolving-PRAY-THEN TOSS them in the fire!!! Don’t go back to those situations.

If your partner is distant – YOU warm up.

If your partner is quiet, make them laugh.

If your partner is hurried, help them.

If your partner is trying to make plans with friends without you, (they are needing space, apparently) you make plans on your own, happily. Two individually independent people with their personal interests are far more intriguing and enjoyable- than two people who are together all the time- without outside interests. Make SURE you are supportive of your partner’s friends, interests, and activities that have nothing to do with you. This is healthy, and a necessity in life.

Keep in mind, if you are in a position of trying to consider: SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO in your relationship, these tips are VERY IMPORTANT as you seek God and His guidance for that decision.

  • Fruits of a loving spirit, (within someone’s character) are peace. Lack of them, is turmoil. Here they are: Gentleness, kindness, joy, humbleness, not self-seeking, doesn’t keep record of wrongs, not jealous, patient, and loving.
  • Have I maintained a loving spirit, for a long consistent amount of time, and my partner still treats me unloving?
  • Does my partner seek God, or is there something else more important: Money-Entertainment-Friends-Work-etc.? (not sure, look at where their money, time, and thoughts go)
  • Do I –or- Does my partner have purpose and passion about life outside of ‘us’? A person without this, will often times rely too heavily on their partner to feel good about themselves, and this is not only insecure, but a big load for someone to bear! It is vital that people discover their skills, talents, and creative side and serve someone or something in this world to make a difference – not just with their partner and on the home-front!!
  • Does my partner have a positive energy around them, do I feel uplifted when we are together, or is most of our time feel like one or both of us wants the other to change something?
  • Is there an unhealthy, influential person in my partner’s (or my) life that is not likely to disconnect from (them) (or me) anytime soon, and therefore; makes it extremely difficult to have and keep a strong emotional connection with my lover?
  • Are our values so different that our priorities are different, and this causes us to have constant conflict?
  • Do I –or- does my partner –stay in this relationship because they ‘fear’ something? Rejection, instability, being alone, jealous of the other moving on without them, fear of not having or making enough money, etc…
  • Do we find ways to manage our children or do we constantly have issues regarding their care?
  • Is there constant drama, other people involved in affairs that should be handled between just us?

I hope these tips are helpful. I hope they make you think, and contemplate your relationship -so you can make the positive changes that will ensure your happiness together. For some, it’s taking time to create space and work on building back the friendship, so the passion is re-ignited. For other’s, it is re-building a friendship, so the passion increases, so the mistrust issues diminish….and more trust is gained.

You attract more bees with honey!!

Coaching relationships doesn’t make progress if one or two people have a hardened heart, remain un-open to change, un-open to forgiveness, or are unteachable.

Relationship coaching however, can succeed if each person will ‘look in the mirror’ – accept their weaknesses, commit to change, and work on serving their partners deepest emotional needs.

The Holidays are only stressful if you allow them to be. I hope this Christmas season, you will commit to your relationship. The changes necessary, and work toward your mutual goals to create a wonderful and loving, romantic New YEAR!!!

Looking forward to hearing from you and learning how you’re doing!!

Coach Annalisa O’Toole~

(ph)678-431-6528 (email) lifecoachannalisa@gmail.com

Follow for More relationship advice daily on Twitter: @coachannalisa

Three Tree’s

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My daughter in college is a nanny. She watches over three very young sisters. Her hours after her classes are usually from 3pm -8pm, sometimes she stays later. She was putting the oldest child to bed, when the little one asked her to read a library book she had checked out. The story of the three tree’s goes something like this:

The Three Trees
Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: ” I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!” The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it’s way to the ocean. ” I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world! The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.

Years, passed. The rain came, the sun shone and the little trees grew tall. One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first wood cutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. “Now I shall make a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!” the first tree said.

The second wood cutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong. It’s perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. “Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. ” I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!”

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last wood cutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the wood cutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me.” He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the wood cutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, or treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the wood cutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and awed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river, instead she was taken to a little lake. The third tree was confused when the wood cutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. “What happened?” The once tall tree wondered. ” All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God…”

Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. “I wish I could make a cradle for him.” Her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. ” This manger is beautiful.” She said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She new she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awoke. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten wood pile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hand to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

Things aren’t always as they seem; in the midst of hardship, are the invisible inner workings of your dream. God is designing, creating, and working behind the visible scenes to bring you honor, happiness, and all the desires of your heart. Seek Him, and you will find him. Knock and His door shall be opened. Do unto other’s as you would have them do unto you, and your dreams will come true. The seasons of challenge and painful experiences are only that – a season; believe with all your heart, God is working and creating life to be in your favor, and your dream will be bigger and better than you could ever even imagine!

~Life Coach Annalisa

http://www.annalisaotoole.com

The Three Tree’s ref: http://www.word4life.com

http://www.annalisaotoole.com

Attachment…

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Attachment...

Do you feel an ‘Attachment’ to things? THINGS are so often ‘attached’ to feelings. We may feel powerful in a particular style suit. We may ‘feel’ prestigious driving the model car we are so attached to. (Mine would so be the Jag- if money were plentiful) I feel ‘organized’ attached to my old school, paper-binder-day-planner. Some feel attached to their job, which is often their passion, so their own identity is affiliated to this career attachment, that’s what makes it so difficult sometimes for some to lose their job. It wasn’t just the loss of a pay-check; their job was where they subconsciously attached their self-worth or their sense of belonging. The most fulfilling, and yet, ironically- the most devastating attachment of course, I’m sure you could guess it, is the special RELATIONSHIP attachment. People make or break us. We receive so many fulfillments in human relationships. This is the exact reason people are so attached to pets – their need to always have a companion, a never-failing friend, one who is always wagging a tail, licking, or happy to see us, or in the case of certain pets, just always there – never mind we are keeping them captive!!
Attachment could possibly be good and bad. Attachment is bittersweet. Attachment is part of life for monetary and relational benefits. So…the big questions people ask about this subject…
WHY AM I SO ATTACHED TO THIS?
WHEN DID I BECOME SO ATTACHED?
HOW DO I UNATTATCH MYSELF?
The only people NOT asking these type questions are those people still attached to something; so they aren’t missing that person or thing they are attached to. Other’s not asking, are simply people who are not attached.
Most people do not even realize they are extremely attached to something. It just happens, day-in and day-out like the sunrise and sunset.
So…the question is this: Is attachment good or bad? Is attachment good with some things and in some areas, and not good in other area’s? Here’s what the coach says….
If the person or thing you’re attached to is YOUR WHOLE WORLD…this is unhealthy. Healthy attachments are the keys to emotionally healthy lives. If you make an attachment your world, your world will crumble. If you make your expectations or your preferences your attachment, you will experience disappointment. If your lifestyle, your career, your passions, your creativity and contribution, and your service to others doesn’t derive from a peaceful place within you, in other words, you place these vital needs in things outside yourself, or in monetary things, you will surely experience hardship, hurt, and major crisis throughout your life. There is only one way to experience and provide yourself with healthy attachments…BE ATTACHED AND ADDICTED TO GOD WITHIN YOU! When you are living a life guided by the Holy Spirit, you are living with peace, harmony and an understanding that God may only allow people and things to be in your life for a brief moment, a season, or a lifetime. The only attachment that is NOT jeopardized is your relationship attachment to our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus creates us to feel alive, feel at peace, provides us the desire to love and serve others. Here’s a list of how God can make you feel when you allow Him into your life:
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING YOUR TALENTS.
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING YOUR GIFTS.
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING YOUR PREFERRENCES, NEVER SETTLING.
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING YOUR DESIRES AND DEEPEST NEEDS.
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING YOUR IDEAL MATE, NOT SETTLING.
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING YOUR HOBBIES and INTERESTS.
He’ll help you feel great about FORGIVING YOURSELF AND TRULY LOVING YOURSELF.
He’ll help you feel great about DETERMINING YOUR PLANS YOUR DREAMS.
He’ll help you feel great about ALLOWING YOURSELF TO DREAM.
He’ll help you feel great about BEING SO FOCUSED ON YOUR ASPIRATIONS THAT NOTHING CAN DETOUR YOU.
He’ll help you UNDERSTAND AND KNOW THAT ATTACHMENT TO SOMEONE IS NOT CREATING OR DEFINING WHO YOU ARE, HE ALREADY DETERMINED THAT! IT’S UP TO US TO GO TO HIM AND DISCOVER MORE!
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING THAT ATTACHMENT TO A TITLE OR POSITION IS NOT YOUR TRUE IDENTITY.
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING THAT HE MADE YOU IN HIS LIKENESS, SO YOU ARE POWERFUL, GREAT, AND TALENTED!
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING THAT “HOW SOMEONE TREATS YOU IS ABOUT THEIR TRUE CHARACTER, NOT YOURS.”
He’ll help you feel great about KNOWING THAT NOTHING ON EARTH IS A GUARANTEE, BE HAPPY WITH WHO YOU ARE, NOT WHERE YOU ARE, OR WHO YOU’RE WITH!
REMEMBER, it’s up to you, to make it a fabulous day! BE HEALTHFULLY ATTACHED TO ALL GOD GUIDES YOU TO, AND BECOME unattached TO ALL unhealthy PEOPLE OR THINGS THAT DO NOT SERVE YOUR PURPOSE GOD HAS PLACED WITHIN YOU!!!
Coach Annalisa
http://www.annalisaotoole.com