Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Days

Today is a snow day. I didn't really want it to be a snow day, I actually wanted to go to work. When I have done other jobs in the past I have always wanted snow days so I can stay home and play. Now that I am a life coach I love my work days, they feel like play to me.

Sometimes the universe has other ideas for me! I am doing some work from home, but I am also enjoying the snow day, and I think there are some relationship lessons I can learn from this. Here they are:
  1. Most of us don't get enough time to play as adults. I bet some of you think that play is for kids. How wrong you are! The first thing everyone should do on a snow day is play. This morning when I went for my walk with my dog, I asked my husband to go along so that we could play in the snow. We enjoyed walking in six inches of glorious powder where no one else except for a rabbit had gone before. We watched my dog who is a Husky/German shepherd mix enjoy the excitement of fresh snow. We threw a few snowballs, and of course we made a few snow angels!
  2. The second thing to do is relax. This is the time to come in sit beside a fire if you have one, and drink hot liquids. Get out the hot chocolate, the marshmallows, the brandy, whatever works for you and enjoy. Is there a movie you have been putting off watching or a book you haven't read because of lack of time, NOW is the time
  3. If you and your partner are stuck at home together, and you haven't had time to talk recently or to relax together, to make love, to snuggle on the couch, a snow day is the perfect time to catch up with each other.
  4. If you are single or alone you can use a snow day to stay in your pajamas all day long, read trashy magazines or novels, take a hot bath, make yourself a nice pot of soup, and catch up on friends and relatives by phone or email.

Whatever you choose to do on a snow day, make sure you take time to treat yourself to some relaxation and pleasure and make it an enjoyable day! That's exactly what I plan to do.


Monday, January 21, 2008

If You Build It, They Will Come

What do you do when you are waiting for romance in your life? What do you do when you are single and trying to love yourself first? The answer is simple you build the life you have always dreamed of! Doesn't sound simple, well it is easier than you think.

What I do is spend some time visualizing that life every day. My coach told me to start pretending I was the Ideal Marquita, and then as I went through my day, to ask myself "Would the Ideal Marquita be doing this right now?" If the answer was yes, than I should keep doing more of that. If the answer was no, then I should ask myself how much longer I would keep doing something that is not part of my most authentic life. Let me give you an example. When I picture the Ideal Me, she is athletic, trim, enjoys hiking, rafting, golfing, snorkeling, traveling, hanging out with grandchildren (yes, I have grandchildren!), being married to her husband, and she absolutely loves adventure, and she works for herself and is a great writer and coach. Boy, that was a mouthful! The truth is some days I spend a lot of time being the Ideal Me, and some days she doesn't even come into the picture!

What happens when I consider what is ideal for me is that I look a lot closer at how I spend my time, and as in the last post, I consider what story I am telling. What I try to do is spend a little more time each day doing things that will lead me closer to who I want to be. This might mean that if I want to be trim and athletic, I need to add more movement to my life. This might mean that if I want to be a good coach, that I continue to learn and grow and be open to new ways of coaching.

If you will take a few minutes each morning and visual your ideal life and who the Ideal You is, you will find ways to move closer to being that person. I promise you that if you do this, people will be drawn to the amazing person you have become and will be ecstatic to spend time with you!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Am NOT a Victim!

One of the issues I had in learning to be different in my relationships was the story I was telling. We all have stories we tell about our lives, and sometimes we are the hero or heroine in the story, sometimes we are the clown, and sometimes we are the victim.

In my stories about my relationships, I was usually the victim. They would go something like this: Girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, boy misbehaves (and this might be by being abusive, having an addiction, being unfaithful, or any combination), and then girl finally gets fed up and leaves. In each story, I was cast as the good intentioned one who just happened to find people who would need fixing in some way. What I didn't realize until I began doing work in a twelve step program which suggested I take a thorough inventory of myself, was that in each and every relationship I had been in, I had at least some of the responsibility for how it turned out. When I did this work, I was no longer able to see myself as a victim. What an eye opener!! My whole world began to change as I realized that "I" was responsible for how my relationships turned out. After this, my stories began to change, and although I still occasionally begin to cast myself as a victim, I usually end up the heroine, or else I laugh at myself and I become the clown.

Recently, while reading a daily meditation book the Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie, I came across an entry about this very thing, and it included a formal waiver of responsibility. I am going to share it with you here, because it is very powerful.


I understand that during the course of my life I will be required to make many decisions, such as where I want to live, whom I want to live with, where I work, how much fun I have, and how I spend my money and time, including how much time I spend waiting for things to get better and people to change, and whom I choose to love.

I understand that many events that occur will be out of my hands and that there are inherent dangers and risks in all decisions I make. Life and people have no obligation whatsoever to live up to my expectations; I have no obligation to live up to the expectations of anybody else. Life is a high-risk sport, and I may become injured along the way.

I agree that all decisions I make are mine and mine alone, including how I choose to handle the events that are beyond my control. I hereby forfeit my right to recourse as a victim, including my rights to blame, complain, and whine or hold someone else responsible for the path I choose to take. I am responsible for my participation-or lack of it-in life. And I take complete responsibility for the outcomes and consequences of all the decisions I make, understanding that ultimately it is my choice whether I become happy, joyous, and free or stay miserable and trapped.

Although people may voluntarily nurture and love me, I and I alone am responsible for taking care of and loving myself.



I love this, I have my signed copy! What stories are you telling today? Where do you want to take responsibility?


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

THE Most Important Relationship!

This blog originated to help women in their relationships with men. The idea was to use my expertise, in particular my experience of failing in relationships, to assist others in working through their difficulties and finding lasting love. There are still many issues to talk about and many questions to answer for this topic.

The tools I have used and outlined here can be used for any relationship in our lives, most of all the relationship we have with ourselves. This being a new year I'd like to take this relationship off the back burner and bring it front and center. One of the tools we used in looking at romantic relationships was figuring out what we wanted from our partners. Today we are going to figure out what we want in our relationship with ourselves. To do this may take a little digging, and may even require a little self care along the way!

  • Use a journal or notebook and write down how you want to be treated on a daily basis. We did this when we were writing about the qualities we want in a good partner. Write down what your needs are for sleep, nutrition, exercise, time to yourself, fun, relaxation, spirituality, time with others, sex, creativity, and any other items necessary for your healthy well being.
  • Many of you have already done some of this on the way to loving yourself first. Now is a good time to really expand this into areas you may not have considered. If you are in a romantic relationship, are there any areas where you have slid backwards in your own self care.
  • Now under each area you have identified, check off which ones you are doing well at. For me, I have gotten good at getting eight hours of sleep each night, so I would check off that area. Don't forget to give yourself credit for all the progress you have made since you began this work!
  • Now take another sheet of paper and write down the areas where you need more self care. Under each area list at least three ways you can add self care in this particular area to your daily routine. One way I have added more exercise is too allow an extra half hour every morning to walk with my dog.
  • Now this is one of the most important steps. Take your time adding these to your routine! Pick only one item from the whole list to add this week. It could be eating breakfast everyday or going to the gym twice a week, or initiating sex once a week, just make sure it is only one thing this week.
  • Once you have incorporated your self care item into your routine and it feels like a normal part of your week, then and only then add the next item.
  • Keep doing this until you have the kind of daily self care built into your life that works for you. Don't forget that nobody is perfect and be kind to yourself along the way.

Take care, and take care of yourself,


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I don't know about you, but I love a new year. Over time I have welcomed New Years Day for many reasons. Sometimes I was so sick of the year that had just passed and so unhappy in my life and relationships, that I couldn't wait for January 1st to come. Sometimes the year was an exciting adventure where I learned a lot, spent time with people I loved, and enjoyed my life. Occasionally the year was just okay, a year where life was mixed, and I was just moving along without a lot of big changes.
This year has been wonderful for me. This is partly due to all of you. Yes, you! I'd like to let you know how grateful I am that there are others out there who struggle with relationships and want to know how to make them better. This tells me that everything I have gone through in my life to got me here today, was worth it. Thank you for that!
One thing I do every year, whether the year sucked, or the year rocked, is take an inventory of what I have accomplished. I feel a large groan from some of you, so I want to emphasize that this is an inventory of accomplishments, not failures. What I'd like you to do is write down at least 10 things that you accomplished this year. If you feel you haven't accomplished a lot this year begin with things like, "I managed to stay alive the whole year." Feel free to be as facetious as you want. Another might be, "I fed my cat every day this year." These are accomplishments. If you start with the small or silly, and keep thinking, I know you can come up with at least 10 things you did.
After I finish this inventory, I set goals for the next year. Now, I am not talking about things like organizing your house or losing weight. What I am talking about are Wildly Improbable Goals or WIGS. If you have read Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck, PhD. you will know what these are. These are your absolute wildest, craziest, most seemingly impossible, dreams for your future. Take the same journal or notebook you wrote your accomplishments in, and write down at least 5 Wildly Improbable Goals for 2008. These can be anything you want. One word of caution about these, BE CAREFUL THEY MIGHT HAPPEN!
The reason I know this, is about a year ago, I jokingly made a WIG about owning a retreat center. Now I didn't think this out, or even really check with myself to see if this was really what I wanted. About a month later, I was directly on the path of buying the place, and I had to really sit down with myself and figure out that I had other goals that were much more authentic for me. So if your WIG is that Prince Charming will show up and you will live happily ever after, make sure you have done your own work, so that you will recognize him when he shows up!
One of my WIGS is that you get what your heart desires in 2008.