How To Make a Love Sandwich

CHK - pic5When we want to let someone know about an issue that is really important to us, or about a strong preference that we have, how do we bring it across? Our manner can make the crucial difference in the way that we are heard, and it can determine if that someone will get on board with our concern, or not.

Hence, the “Love Sandwich” recipe:

1. Begin with a positive statement which recognizes at least one of the person’s strengths and expresses appreciation for it (ie the first piece of bread)

2. Next, the meat of the sandwich – briefly describe the situation that requires change or improvement, in other words, the constructive criticism.

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That Fine Line: Interested Versus Desperate

DreamdancerIt hit me on the first day of a recent vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico with my husband (Steve). We found ourselves signing up for an expensive snorkeling excursion as well as a horseback riding trip before we had even hit the beach. Why? We were planning to relax and consider discussing some activity possibilities later on in the trip. What was it that won us over so quickly and definitely? Simple, it was the Tour Representative’s skilled vibe – he had mastered that fine line between “interested and desperate.” Therein lies the dating lesson for all to experience.

As Steve and I rushed through the airport upon arrival, we were approached by several vulture- like tour company representatives who stopped us in our tracks with desperation in their eyes and brightly colored brochures. They were already enthusiastically pitching their raps before they even stood before us. They offered amazing deals and the adventures of a lifetime. What did we want to do? You guessed it, get as far away as possible. With polite no thank yous that deteriorated into emphatic no responses, we hurried past them as quickly as we possibly could.

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New Year: Plan for Love

clipboard with checklistI’m always amazed by how we meticulously formulate carefully thought-out plans for every aspect of our lives; including our careers, our education, our parenting, even our vacations. But when it comes to our love lives, certainly an enormously important aspect of our existence, we sort of get carried along randomly with the current of the ocean, with no plan at all. We get pushed toward physical attraction, pushed toward availability, pushed toward whoever happens to be pursuing us, or pushed toward any number of other potential loves that involve no forethought. Then, after a while, we come up for air and wonder how we ever landed in this bad relationship. Well, here’s a compelling answer: We didn’t start out with a well thought-out plan, and that’s exactly what we need to do. Here’s how to begin…

For the New Year, construct a list of approximately five well thought-out traits that are your “must have” qualities in a partner. This inventory should not be a long laundry list with every possible detail included; just the traits which are “deal breakers” if they are not in place. This is your own personal list of what is truly important to you, not what “should be” important to you. Define each quality very specifically. Try to include enduring character traits that would still be in place 10 years from now. Write out your list, taking advantage of the power of the written word, and reread it often.

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Courage? The Second Time Around

Sexy happy mature woman isolated ocean backgroundThe courage of my clients and workshop participants inspires me so profoundly, that each day, I renew and strengthen my belief that we can do whatever we set our minds to. Individuals whose marriages have ended after 20, 30, and even 40 years turn to coaching because they know that with the extra push and support, they can search for love, intimacy, and companionship again. Whether it was their choice or not to leave the marriage, they are often feeling as though they have been beaten up emotionally; they have suffered feelings of rejection, anger, confusion, fear, and despair. Through it all, as they work tenaciously to heal, they venture bravely out of their comfort zones and into the unknown world of internet dating.

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The Parts Of Us That Hold Us Back From…

Coach Heidi - Pic- parts hold backInspired by an incredible recent conference that I attended, “The Internal Family Systems Model,” I’ve been thinking a lot about the parts of each of us that holds us back from whatever it is we really want to achieve. If we allow ourselves to get to know these parts, as the model suggests, in a curious and compassionate way, we may just find our ticket out of the swamp and onto the fast lane of the highway toward our goals.

So, how do we get to know our “parts” and has this Life Coach gone completely mad? The first answer is actually quite simple, and then, you can assess the second one. Here’s the step by step breakdown, when you have privacy and are in a comfortable and private environment:

1. Identify a goal you would like to achieve but are feeling held back from. For example, beginning internet dating.

2. Ask yourself, “What is the part of me that is holding me back?” For example, “My shy part is holding me back.”

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