Monday, October 20, 2014


If your relationship is lacking in intimacy lately, here's a great example of how to get out of your rut. My friend Jon Bradbury wrote this post *on his own, of his own accord* to his lovely new wife today.

I bought the ring one year after our first date. An October wedding was plan C. The country club was plan B and plan A was marrying her a long time ago. Pretty much from the first moments of our first date!
—  with Allison Uhl

This guy gets it in a way that, sadly, I think too many people don't. "It" is the act of creating romance. Sunsets are nice, but the sun ain't setting to make your special someone feel love and connection. That part is up to you.

This isn't about flirting or trying to get "business time" started. It's about keeping the butterflies, that spark when you touch hands unexpectedly, it's about tending that relationship garden.

Don't give me some lame "but I don't know how" - there's a lot you didn't know how to do until you learned it. And forget "I don't do stuff like that" - that crap ain't gonna fly. Fact is, you want this kind of heartwarming affection from your special someone too!

But I know this won't be the last time my friend makes this kind of romantic gesture because he understands that she's worth it and their relationship is worth it. Can't start a fire without a spark, y'all.

It doesn't have to be a facebook post, though we do live in modern times and use modern methods of communication, so it's definitely not a bad option.

One idea I suggest is that you watch The Notebook and write down all of the words that come bursting from your heart. Then later, when you feel like expressing some genuine feelings, grab your notes and pick one to share. Write it on plain old lined paper, fold it up like you used to in school and discretely pass it under the dinner table. Send flowers to the office but make sure the note was hand written by you. Send a postcard to your own house if they get the mail. Pick some random date of the year and make it your "Just because I love you" day and organize a day of doing their favorite things and make sure you keep doing it annually.

Thank you Jon for helping me with a point I've been trying to make. And anyone who takes this guidance and applies it, you're sincerely welcome :)

I mean, let's stop allowing the long held fantasy that marriage should be basically wonderful if you're with the right person. The truth is that those marriages that look so perfect and easy probably actually fall into one of these categories:
The couple can put on a really good show.
The couple happens to fall into the micro-fraction sized group of people whose marriage actually is somehow, magically easy.
They have worked their butts off to keep the love alive, often more than once throughout the course of their relationship.

Look at how hard it is for you (any "you") just to have a healthy and positive relationship WITH YOURSELF. Or with your coworkers. Or parents. Etc, etc.

Then add another equally complex human being to the mix, with whom you now have to navigate all of the same wonderful, crazy-making, crappy, awesome stuff that is life.

Isn't the whole point of being in a committed relationship so neither of you have to go through all that alone?

The ol' standard marriage vows are too easily set aside as cliche. Old words that sound biblical but don't really apply anymore.

But take another look (yes, take the gender specific aspects out) and who doesn't deeply desire to be honored and cherished? To be held and know kept safe within another person's heart?

Those things don't happen all on their own from nothing. If you want to feel loved, you can't just sit there and sulk. You can take some initiative and change the way you see your special someone, change how you perceive their actions, change your own actions and how you perceive yourself.

"Love" as a feeling is fleeting. But to choose to love as an action, as something you DO, that is when the real magic happens.

That love feeling is wonderful but it's purely chemical. It has little value in the long run. You nor your special someone did anything to make that love feeling happen. You didn't earn it, create it. And neither of you made or let it die. That love feeling is just the matchstick getting lit but you've (each of you) got to chop the wood, fan the flames and sit downwind of smoke sometimes if you want the fire to keep going.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A gentle nudge

My response to a woman who was very anxious about possibly sending her previously homeschooled son with SPD to a charter Waldorf.

I completely understand your apprehension. I mean, who wants to see their child feel rejected by an entire school? It would be heartbreaking to say the least!
However, if i may be a bit forward with you, I'd like to gently point to the equally possible outcome of your son finding a wonderful home away from home where he might just grow and develop and adapt in ways that astonish you. (Btw, I'm not anti-homeschooling in the slightest and while I wholeheartedly love the Waldorf way, my child isn't in one nor am I saying the school or his experience will definitely be perfect.?
In fact, the transition might be very bumpy for him (and you!), but I bet he's a resilient kid and also, life is bumpy, and there's no time like the present to learn that. You can take comfort in knowing that he will learn that you (and hopefully the school) support, cheer and soothe him. When we are able to let them learn to trust themselves, they also learn to trust us more deeply.
It's hard for me to do it, but I have to remind myself that we all learn best by trial and error. 
Not to mention the potential for a great community for you to find likeminded individuals who can support you!

I hope my comment comes across as kind as that is how it's meant.

Deep breath, onwards and upwards!


An important reminder to myself and my friends:
Reality is a million times easier to handle and even enjoy when you choose to live with a spirit of acceptance of what *is.*

Even if a situation itself isn't okay, you can choose to be okay with it. But just wishing your life were different or getting stuck on blaming the who or why it sucks changes nothing; it only creates useless feelings of discontent and suffering.

Dreams are nice and the cam be useful as a point to work towards, but real life can be so much more than something to escape if we instead choose live into the here and now instead of working so hard to avoid, reject or wish it away.

In order to move towards the life you of your dreams (and feel content and grateful with what you have now), it's important to understand how and why you got to here and now (not to blame but to learn from history and forgive).
None of this are possible without  dedicated time and action to take a gentle, honest look at your life. This is not to find fault or judge anyone or anything (including/especially yourself!). The goal is to assess and acknowledge your complete current state, inwards and outwards, mentally, physically, emotionally, situationally, financially and relationally.

You can't get anywhere if you don't know where you're starting from. You can't get what you want/need if you don't know what you have.

Life is hard, unfair and sometimes heartbreaking, but that doesn't have to ruin everything. When you spend your time and energy avoiding, rejecting and assigning blame and judgement for the bad, you're probably also missing all of the wonderful gifts and miracles.

Don't rob yourself of joy, wonder and delight! Instead, do what you can when you can to spread those gifts! And when you're suffering, you don't have to sulk all alone, go ask for what you need. Trust that you're not alone and that your humble openness is the best way to see and receive the abundant love and support you seek.

"Vita Abundantior!" School motto of my alma mater, Randolph Macon Woman's College

Monday, October 06, 2014

Good stuff

Jon and I recently had one of those awesome conversations that was full of deep wonder, big questions and open hearts. (It's hard to find the space for those moments as an adult, isn't it?)

Anyway, our final conclusion, which we reached independently but at the same time, was that the biggest challenge and highest goal to have in life is strike that balance between being content but not complacent.