From April, 2016

Four Research-Based Tools for a Healthy Marriage: Tool 4, Building Trust

Trust in a relationship isn’t just about answering the question “will this person cheat on me?” Trust is also about whether a person believes that his or her partner will provide experiences that reflect back a sense of self worth and interpersonal value.

As stated previously, each interaction is an opportunity to show concern and love or to express apathy or resentment.  Whether we know it or not, we are in constant communication with our partners, continually reflecting back messages that may remain only subconscious to us but are entirely felt by the person to whom we are communicating.

Trust, in this context, is a daily, conscious act.

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Beautiful Moments: Color Explosion, Best Ever Birthday Party, and Mindful Play

This past weekend, I attended Sawyer’s best friend Sarah’s birthday party.  Her parents are super-cool, fun people who turned the party into a science themed adventure complete with a balloon pit, Easter egg/scavenger hunt, and color-explosion science lab.

I snapped some photos, and gained some inspiration.  (I had a request from a workshop yesterday to host a Mindful Play Learning Lab that consists of a children’s birthday party sans kids… Yes. I shall do this.)



Kids created this colored foam in a water bottle and then squirted in everywhere. (Please note the awesome lab coat and goggles.)

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Doing My Own Work: Racism and Creating Beloved Community

I have often quoted Mary Karr’s sentiment, “Tell your story and your story will be revealed.”

I would like to add to that sentiment, “Live your own story, lean into the hard edges, and it will set you free.  It will liberate you so that you can in turn liberate others.”

I live to let my own story- with all its sorrow, joy and resilience- be the point through which I further embrace my own humanity and connect meaningfully with others, and I do this with great gratitude and joy.  This last Friday, I was reminded, in a beautiful way through community and teaching, what it means to do this work of both telling and living my own story in the beloved community of others who are doing the same work in their own unique ways.

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Four Research-Based Tools for a Healthy Marriage- Part II: Scanning for Positives and Affirming Successes

What does it mean to “see” another person?  I would propose that for me one characteristic of “being seen” would include another person noticing the good in me.  According to research, this can be accomplished through scanning for positives and affirming successes.  These two tools from the work of John Gottman and other marriage researchers deal with the topic of recognizing the positive in one’s partner.

The first research-based tool, functional conflict style, dealt specifically with moments of change, growth, or disagreement.  These two research-based tools, however, deal with the every day interactions in which every couple engages.

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