Archive for July, 2011

The Real Deal

A friend of mine recently got married. There are many things special about this marriage, but one of them is that she’s 50, and this is her first marriage.

How did it happen? What shifted? Well… from my seat in the bleachers, her perspective changed. She made a choice to break her pattern…. At least one part of it. She does have a tendency to fall fast and deep, which always makes me a bit queasy. But she did let go of a long-held belief.

You see, she’s in business, and always thought she should marry a business man – and they could be in business together. Yet every time she got into a relationship like that, it ended in disaster. I always said she should marry a plumber. What I meant by that was someone who has his own source of income, his own career, and is marrying her for love – period. Not a business partnership.

So it was kind of funny to find out that, in fact, he’s a plumbing foreman! And he pursued her through all her objections about how it couldn’t work…. He loves her for who she is.

The wedding was beautiful and so uniquely her. I cried of course. I’ve seen how when she loves, she loves completely. I’ve followed her through several agonizing heartbreaks.

And I’m happy to see she has been found. By someone who seems to really get her. Who is solid in who he is and is willing to support her being fully herself. I’m wishing her well and praying for the best.

It’s been a long and arduous journey, and a new one is just beginning.

So, my single friends who are longing for the real deal…. Don’t give up. There’s hope. I wonder if you would consider for a moment that love might be just around the corner and to find it, you just have to turn the corner. Shift your perspective a bit. Adjust your thinking.

Questioning our long-held beliefs can be scary. We’ve believed them for a reason. We can back them up with evidence. They may be tied to our religion or deepest convictions or to our experiences in childhood or beyond. Yet, we spin out of those things a conclusion that we’ve made up in our minds that may or may not be true and may not serve us. Questioning those conclusions is one of the healthiest and riskiest things we can do. But even more risky is to NOT question them. What do you stand to gain if you challenge your own beliefs? What do you stand to lose if you don’t?

If you’re brave, try this little exercise from Byron Katie of The Work.
Take a few minutes and center yourself. Then write down in one sentence what do you tell yourself is the reason you are still not married. It may not be the answer you give your mother or your well-meaning acquaintances. I mean the reason you tell yourself when no one else is around.

Now go to this link and follow the instructions.

The Work

Give yourself some time with this. You may want to give yourself a day or a week to consider the honest answer to these questions. Journal about your answers and talk to a friend.

I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you would like some support in going through this exercise, send me an email and we can set up a phone call.
And please feel free to share this with your friends.

The Great Birthday Massacre!

Hello Friends,

Friday was my birthday, so I thought it was about time for me to come back and post on my dusty old blog again. I can’t believe it’s been a WHOLE YEAR since my Fiftieth Birthday Journey. I’ve been reminiscing, reading the old postings, looking at the pictures, and missing my girlfriends.

I’ve taken some time away from the blog to re-tool and re-focus why I started this blog in the first place. I’m passionate about relationships – healthy ones. And I hope to challenge you and support you into creating healthy thriving relationships in your own life. And I’m challenging myself along the way.

I’m working on a project with my coaching practice that I’m very excited about. I’ll be sharing that with you in the coming weeks. But for now, let me tell you about my great birthday massacre.

It all started in March. I had decided to try growing my tomatoes from seed this year – to see what might happen. I followed the directions on the seed packets – well for the most part. I made holes in the soil about 18 inches apart and dropped a few seeds into each one and covered them up.

Now, the directions on the seed packet say to thin the tomatoes once they get to be a few inches tall.

We’ve had a strange spring with lots of cold late rain. And when it finally got nice out, I had other plans on the weekends…. So with all that rain, followed by beautiful sun, and in really good organic soil, along with some neglect on my part, my tomatoes took off. Tall and beautiful and compacted together in the bed like one giant tomato bush. Without a single tomato.

Notice the chopped off nubs of former soil-mates.

Notice the chopped off nubs.

They had become enmeshed with each other. They didn’t need structural supports like other tomatoes do, they had each other. Clinging tightly together, their leaves shaded each other, preventing the sun from reaching the lower leaves. Their roots competed for nutrients from the soil, and their top stems stretched to find whatever sun they could catch. There was no energy left to make any fruit.

Steve, bless his heart, enrolled our dear friend, and master gardener Richard, to come over and help. It was my birthday present! Richard handed me clippers and said for each of the tomato groupings, I needed to pick one to save and cut the rest off at the root. Oh the humanity! The agony. Cutting off healthy tomato stems and casting them in the compost heap! It was a tragic massacre. By the time we were done, my poor garden looked sparse and pathetic. The plants that were left were too weak to stand on their own and needed immediate support. The stems were long with scrawny spread apart leaves. Steve and Richard worked together to build supports for the plants, and I tied them up carefully. Now each one has something solid to cling too. There’s room around them so the sun shines on the lower reaches and air circulates around them. I realize now how emaciated my poor plants had become.

Each individual plant needs its own external Frame, its own access to the sun and soil, or it will never produce fruit.

Too week to stand alone.

Too weak to stand alone

Made me think about relationships in my life. I have been in relationships, heck in a whole community, that was so enmeshed together that we had each become like those emaciated plants. We looked great together from a distance, but look at us closely as individuals, and we had become too week and frail to stand on our own, and we bore very little fruit.

How healthy are your relationships? Are you so dependent on each other that if one of you moves the other will fall down? OR do you each have something that individually supports you? Your own faith, your own sense of self? Do you give each other enough space to receive the warmth of the sun and the nourishment of the earth? Not sure? Take a look at the fruit. If you are each thriving, there will be fruit. Don’t see fruit? Consider what boundaries need to be negotiated into your relationships so that each of you can begin to thrive. Healthy relationships encourage us to dig our roots deep and open to the source of our nourishment directly. They don’t make us dependent; they make us strong and fruitful.

Rebuilding Community. Let the sunshine in!