Four P's

Pedestal: More than occasionally, my wife Ruth and I receive comments regarding us having nearly-perfect lives. Both of us are appalled by such remarks, as we certainly haven’t transcended humanness. Granted, we are relatively high-powered people who lead and enjoy overall high-quality lives. But, being close to “perfect,” whatever that means, anyway--NO! And as far as being enlightened (which we don’t often hear), I believe that everyone can continually receive and exude more light. So, let me be crystal clear, neither of us deserves nor wants to be placed on a pedestal!

Pain: Coinciding with the Jewish Passover (actually another P) holiday week, which I celebrate annually, I experienced a lot of burning pain from a urinary tract infection--my first UTI-- alongside of a frequent sense of urgency to pee. These symptoms were accompanied by two nights of fever, sporadic coughing, and several days of low energy. I felt deep empathy for a long-time acquaintance who recently incurred bladder cancer. Adding to the intensity, guilt over a recent incident (not involving Ruth in any way) came to a head that week.

Pride: The physical and emotional pain that I encountered during Passover rendered me more vulnerable and humble than usual, as that holiday can often serve to do. However, I was proud of myself for taking the opportunity to “dive deep” in myself to address the bodymind issues that were presented. I am proud of my introspective nature and of being resilient, although I’d like to be more of the latter. Anyway, I have always been an advocate of pride, which is akin to ego strength, as us psychologists call it. I greatly admire genuine humility, but dislike false humility, or a show of that trait. And I’m not talking about an inflated, egotistical, or narcissistic kind of pride, but more like a sense of dignity and self-respect.

Praise: This is the final word beginning with the letter “P” that I’d like to address. I have the utmost gratitude to Ruth for the compassion and support she offered me during my Passover ordeal. She was consistently available to provide TLC, meals, deep listening and feedback.

I have repeatedly thanked Ruth for her patience and her open-hearted physical and emotional support. I view my wife as a very caring, warm, nurturing and empathic person to most people in her life.

I hope that you can relate to some of what I’ve shared and that you will derive some value or benefit from at least part of this blog.

Sincerely,

Your Relationship Coach,

Jim Sharon
(303) 796-7004
jim@energyforlife.us

Jim Sharon Headshot.jpg

Jim Sharon, EdD is a licensed psychologist and couples' coach who has over four decades of professional experience serving thousands as a counselor, as a life and relationship coach, and as a seminar and retreat facilitator. Dr. Sharon has authored two books and many professional publications, most recently, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship (with Ruth Sharon, MS), published by SkyLight Paths, 2014. Jim and Ruth have been married since 1970, have raised three adult children, and have three young granddaughters.

Tuning Myself

I watched my son Michael tune his guitar as he prepared to play one of his favorite songs for us during our recent visit. What a joy to hear him sing to his own accompaniment and engage us in his music. We had a little singalong. Don’t you love those precious moments of harmonizing and connecting?!

I thought about how I get out of tune, just as a guitar can. When I am off center, triggered, stressed, or tired, I may sound and feel off-key. Fortunately, I have learned countless ways to attune myself. When I am balanced and in tune, I affectionately say, “I am Home.”

When I am out of balance, ”I am Away from Home.” I love to cultivate lots of “Bridges to Come Back Home.” My Intention is to stay at Home as long as possible and return Home quickly if I am Away. My Bridges have been varied and colorful, as I am sure yours are. I go for breathing and meditating, tapping/EFT, writing, practicing yoga, dancing, exercising, walking, doing art work, calling a friend or relative, connecting with Jim, resting, crying, throwing a “conscious temper tantrum,” planning a trip, counting my blessings, saying prayers, making soup, applying healing techniques, cleaning, helping someone, etc. etc.

What is Home for you? How do you feel when you are Away from Home? What are your Bridges Back Home?

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I am deeply grateful for my spiritual life, which offers me perspective and tools to handle life’s challenges and opportunities. Ideally, my inner world can be attuned with my outer life so I can be at peace. Being connected with the Oneness of Life is a beautifully sweet nectar.

Lately I have been remembering a quote I read years ago: “I have to do it myself and I can’t do it alone.” I know I need guidance, connection, and community to enliven my path.

One of my dearest spiritual mentors was a musician in India in the late 1800s. Hazrat Inayat Khan played music that attuned his audiences and students to their truest nature. When he migrated west to Europe and America, he continued with his music and then attracted many with his teaching words. His vibration and atmosphere could activate the spiritual awakening of those whom he touched.

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His lineage and teachings are now transmitted by many teachers, including his grandson, Pir Zia, in Richmond, VA. Simple inner practices for wellbeing center around attuning to Love, Harmony and Beauty as attributes of the Divine. By incorporating meditation, breathing patterns, words, visualization and dialogue, I experience deep healing. Through this Universal path of spiritual realization, I feel connected to my Higher Self, my Soul, my Divine nature. Life seems filled with more grace, ease, wisdom, bounty, compassion and joy.

One of my dearest friends, Devi Tide, has been my guide on this Sufi path. She is coming to Colorado to collaborate with another amazing teacher, Sára Rain. I would love to share these women with you in a weekend gathering on May 17-18, entitled, “When Wisdom Leads and Power Follows.” For more information or to register for this retreat, click here.

With grace for the journey Home,

Your Relationship Coach,
Ruth Sharon, M.S.
Coach for Soulful Couples
www.soulfulcouples.com
ruth@soulfulcouples.com

P.S. Have you experienced coaching with us, read one of our books, or attended a workshop we facilitated? We’d love to hear your feedback on our Yelp! page.


Ruth_headshot_2017-203x300.png

Ruth Sharon is a relationship coach, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Her passion is facilitating couples to enhance the vitality of their relationship and make healthy lifestyle choices. Ruth shares her wisdom, compassion and humor with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Ruth and her husband, who have been married since 1970, co-authored Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2014. They are delighted to offer coaching for couples and singles, in person and virtually, as well as transformative couples’ retreats, seminars and online courses.

From Work to Home

Ruth and I have supported many clients struggling with the transition between work life and home life. Increasingly, more couples complain that they are overstressed by their jobs and long work hours; they have little left in the tank upon returning home. Also, they often report that they have difficulty letting go of their experiences of the day. Hence, connection and quality time with their partners and families is substantially diminished. Furthermore, women especially have lamented that their mates disappoint, frustrate, or anger them by relating to them similarly to how they speak or behave at work.

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Here are some suggestions for ways to make the work-to-home transition smoother and more mutually satisfying:

  • Bolster your self-care, e.g. exercise, nutrition, sleep routine, to increase your stamina.

  • Request or arrange some remote work or perhaps flextime.

  • Upon returning from work, allow sufficient downtime to de-stress before connecting with your partner and other family members. Engage in a relaxing or energy-building activity.

  • Be mindful and intentional about leaving work behind and shifting gears.

  • Accept and respect each other’s individual differences.

  • Prioritize time to talk and broaden your conversation topics, especially beyond household management and job discussion. Also focus on active listening.

  • Gently and patiently inform your mate as to how you want them to be with and respond to you. Rather than criticizing or blaming, offer specific requests and encouragement for favorable communication and behavior (which you also model). Men often require some primers regarding sustaining attention and emotional expression.

  • Develop a few mutual interests and activities.

  • Arrange regularly-scheduled dates--at least three monthly, preferably more often.

What else do you already do to spark your relationship? Can you add something brand new for yourselves to this list? I’d love to hear from you at www.info@soulfulcouples.com.

I recommend discussing the above list with your partner and together considering additional ways of enhancing your connection and intimacy during your limited time together.

Toward love in action,

Your Relationship Coach,

Jim Sharon
(303) 796-7004
jim@energyforlife.us

Jim Sharon Headshot.jpg

Jim Sharon, EdD is a licensed psychologist and couples' coach who has over four decades of professional experience serving thousands as a counselor, as a life and relationship coach, and as a seminar and retreat facilitator. Dr. Sharon has authored two books and many professional publications, most recently, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship (with Ruth Sharon, MS), published by SkyLight Paths, 2014. Jim and Ruth have been married since 1970, have raised three adult children, and have three young granddaughters.

What Is a Soulful Couple?

The other day in my office, a couple was in distress. She began to yell and attack her husband of 20 years, dumping out bitterness, resentments, and disappointments that had stockpiled inside of her. I had to shout above her voice to ask her to calm down. “Let’s use this opportunity to acknowledge your upset AND see how to rebuild the relationship you want,” I suggested. She was shaking and could not calm down. When they left, her husband looked into my eyes with a pleading for help. I emailed her later and suggested we have an individual appointment to let her vent and clear out some of the upsetting memories and unmet needs. She agreed, fortunately. Sometimes the SH*T has to hit the fan before changes can be made.

Relationships are messy.

Pushing each other’s buttons can cause blowups or avoiding each other (classic Fight-Flight). The challenge is to be aware of the upset, own it as your own (your buttons were there before your partner came along, most likely), then advocate for yourself to meet your needs. Healthy communication and shared desire are essential.

Many people in dysfunctional relationships—where conversations explode or break down so the distance between the couple widens—continue to do harm to each other. Quiet periods are interspersed with attacks of blaming and shaming. This can lead to inner turmoil, sickness, injury, abuse, divorce, legal messes, substance abuse, infidelity, and hostility that ripples out to the greater family and community. Oh, so difficult and painful.

Jim and I guide people who are locked in that state to have at least a functional relationship, where the couple may say, ”we get along ok.” They are able to manage the household and finances, raise the kids. They are often hardworking people who are caught up in their busy daily routines. They often don’t see the possibility to be able to relax, let loose, have fun, and dream big.

We have identified stages of development for couples. So we described above, the dysfunctional, chaotic, destructive types of relationship.

Then we have more functional types of relationships. This involves taking responsibility for one’s feelings, needs, wants, desires. (Have you heard of being emotionally intelligent? Take a quick quiz online—just search for EQ or emotional intelligence.)

Building skills to constructively resolve conflicts and developing attitudes to collaborate with their beloved allows for more soulful, vibrant partnerships. This stage of development describes the more high-functioning couple, with a greater likelihood that they will positively impact their children, families, communities, and the world. They are influencers in positive, proactive and important ways. The ripple effect is potent!

We like to depict this development toward being healthy Soulful Couples with the metaphor of a Mansion of Love. Picture a large sprawling palace with glorious landscaping, filled with all you desire, infused with LOVE.

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Now imagine...

The dysfunctional, reactive, victimized couple lives in the basement, minimally getting by. They need to come out and see the light of day! They can practice skills to deactivate their old patterns and learn new ways of relating. Many we have worked with have moved up to being more functional.

The functional couple lives on the main level of the Mansion, as productive, busy people. They are vacillating between being anxiously in a hurry to get stuff done, or so exhausted, they’re crashed out on the couch for the weekend. The Soulful Couples are expanding their consciousness and awakening to who they truly are, beyond the programming of their past.

They view the Mansion of Love as their birthright. They expand to occupy more rooms of their Being. The Soulful Couples long to actualize their potentials—to really go for Life!

The Soulful Couples carve out time, space, and energy to honor their natural rhythms, with fulfilling work; restorative relaxation; hobbies and interests; romantic, sexual, and sensual engagements; and quality connection with others. They set intentions for goals and visions, and are proactive in building the life of their dreams. Connecting spiritually is essential—they express gratitude, humility, a desire to awaken and use their lives fully. They support each other’s life purposes and being of service to others.

What would you add? Let us know in the comments below.

Where are you in this Mansion of Love?

Chat with your partner or a friend about this, and see how you can move along on your path to being more soulful.

Let us know how we can support you. We can engage with you in person and online for coaching, events, and programs.

And for a lively conversation that’s full of inspiring ideas for helping your relationships thrive, check out our podcast, “Give Your Love Life Some Love,” on www.soulfulcouples.com.

Your Relationship Coach,
Ruth Sharon, M.S.
Coach for Soulful Couples
www.soulfulcouples.com
ruth@soulfulcouples.com

P.S. Have you experienced coaching with us, read one of our books, or attended a workshop we facilitated? We’d love to hear your feedback on our Yelp! page.


Ruth_headshot_2017-203x300.png

Ruth Sharon is a relationship coach, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Her passion is facilitating couples to enhance the vitality of their relationship and make healthy lifestyle choices. Ruth shares her wisdom, compassion and humor with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Ruth and her husband, who have been married since 1970, co-authored Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2014. They are delighted to offer coaching for couples and singles, in person and virtually, as well as transformative couples’ retreats, seminars and online courses.

Sparking!

Remember the excitement of courting, when you felt flutters in your heart and butterflies in your belly in anticipation of seeing each other—or sometimes merely thinking about each other?....Your romantic feelings may have gradually begun to fade….Eventually you may become resigned, believing that initial feeling of romance could not be rekindled. You may think, “I am just not in love anymore, or certainly not the way I was.”  

Excerpted from Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating & Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship. Jim Sharon, EdD and Ruth Sharon, MS, Skylight Paths Publishing, 2014.

It’s so easy and so very common for the grind of daily routines and tasks to detract from quality, enjoyable connection in your love relationship. This is likely to be particularly true for those of you who have been together for a long time. Often we relegate special moments together to special occasions, such as vacations or passionate lovemaking.

The good news is that many kinds of ordinary gestures and activities can serve to revitalize or refresh your connection. The advent of spring is especially timely and fortuitous for such a mutual rebirth.

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Here are some simple examples of ways to regularly enhance and energize your relating, any of which will increase your intimacy together:

  • Offer sincere, unqualified compliments, best done face-to-face.

  • Write sweet love notes and vary where you place them, e.g. on your partner’s pillow, in a cabinet, or in a dresser drawer.

  • Greet and offer goodbyes to one another with notable presence and perhaps in a spontaneous manner, via words, kisses, hugs, and/or touches.

  • Have an extended conversation about a topic that you rarely, if ever, engage in.

  • Demonstrate genuine curiosity about some aspect of your mate’s past or current life, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, or dreams through questions and deep listening. You may also decide to disclose related items about yourself.

  • Wear some type of stand-out outfit that grabs your mate’s attention, ranging from something cool or funky to beautiful to seductive.

  • Flirt unabashedly with your lover in enticing (not off-putting) ways.

  • Initiate doing and completing a chore or project that is beyond what you usually do.

  • Prepare a special meal or snack for your belovedusually enhanced by creating atmosphere with candlelight and music, or eaten in a different setting, such as the bedroom or outdoors.

  • Surprise your partner with an unexpected gift, activity, or experience. These need not be fancy or expensive.

  • Give your lover a bubble bath (perhaps with wine or champagne) and/or a partial or full-body massage.

  • Suggest something different on an in-home or on-the-town date night.

  • Plan a unique outing or excursion together. Three-day weekends interspersed between longer (or more exotic) vacations can be very meaningful and satisfying!

  • Think outside the box together in a creative problem-solving attempt.

What else do you already do to spark your relationship? Can you add something brand new for yourselves to this list? I’d love to hear from you at www.info@soulfulcouples.com.

Happy Sparking!

Your Relationship Coach,

Jim Sharon
(303) 796-7004
jim@energyforlife.us

Jim Sharon Headshot.jpg

Jim Sharon, EdD is a licensed psychologist and couples' coach who has over four decades of professional experience serving thousands as a counselor, as a life and relationship coach, and as a seminar and retreat facilitator. Dr. Sharon has authored two books and many professional publications, most recently, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship (with Ruth Sharon, MS), published by SkyLight Paths, 2014. Jim and Ruth have been married since 1970, have raised three adult children, and have two young granddaughters.

Whose Is Whose?

When I asked my client today how she was, she shared what was going on with her husband. This is always my tip-off that she is entangling her sense of self into other people. When the distinction of whose stuff is whose is blurry, you can feel confused, helpless, powerless and drained. Maybe you have heard the term codependency? This refers to the stage of development that involves wrapping yourself around others, merging into others, gaining self-worth from others’ approval. Our brains and nervous systems seems to be wired this way, just as primitive tribes and clans who had to band together for survival.

As a counselor and coach for many decades, I have witnessed the developmental stages of children, teens, and adults. Yes, adults go through stages too! I have named these Dependency, Codependency, Independence, and Interdependence.

If you notice that others’ problems may become yours, others’ moods and feelings blur with yours, you get triggered when someone else gets triggered, or you worry about how to help others… this could point to codependency.

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Take this quick quiz to score yourself, from p.32-33 in our book Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship, Chapter 2: Breaking Loose.

Rate yourself on scale of 1-5 for each statement, where 1 does not seem like you, and 5 is very typical of you:

______ I am afraid of being rejected or abandoned. This fear makes it difficult for me to end a relationship, even when I feel very misunderstood or mistreated. As a result, I end up feeling trapped.

_____ I too often try to take care of my loved ones, neglecting my own needs, feelings, and interests.

_____ I tend to feel overly responsible for my partner’s feelings and problems.

_____ I tend to either dominate my loved ones or to behave submissively.

_____ I frequently blame or shame my partner.

_____ I am told that I am too controlling or manipulative.

_____ I feel so entangled with my partner that I often take on his/her moods.

_____ I lack clear boundaries and the confidence to assert myself.

The higher the score, the more likely you are to be stuck in restrictive patterns of thinking and behavior that reflect your codependency. If you have a score of 24 or more, be gentle and compassionate with yourself. By becoming more aware and proactive, you can move toward being more independent.

See page 33 in our Secrets of a Soulful Marriage book to take the 21-day challenge toward shifting to new, healthier patterns of thinking and feeling for yourself.

Individuating can be scary and evoke vulnerable feelings, challenging your primitive brain into fearing extinction if you separate from the others. Meeting with a coach or counselor can help guide your way on the path from codependency to independence. Crossing the threshold of being more self-confident, mindful, and self-aware is a freeing process! As you become more clear on your boundaries and who you are, you can engage with others in interdependent ways that serve your evolving sense of Self.

Let me know how I may serve you in your journey.

Feel free to comment here about your quiz results or any questions you may have.

Please LIKE our Facebook page and join in the conversation there!

Your Relationship Coach,
Ruth Sharon, M.S.
Coach for Soulful Couples
www.soulfulcouples.com
ruth@soulfulcouples.com

P.S. Have you experienced coaching with us, read one of our books, or attended a workshop we facilitated? We’d love to hear your feedback on our Yelp! page.


Ruth_headshot_2017-203x300.png

Ruth Sharon is a relationship coach, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Her passion is facilitating couples to enhance the vitality of their relationship and make healthy lifestyle choices. Ruth shares her wisdom, compassion and humor with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Ruth and her husband, who have been married since 1970, co-authored Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2014. They are delighted to offer coaching for couples and singles, in person and virtually, as well as transformative couples’ retreats, seminars and online courses.

I Really Need Your Love!

In this month dedicated to celebrating love, especially romantic love, I’d like to discuss the influence of much of the music written for lovers and for broken-hearted people.

A preponderance of love songs over the decades have included flagrant codependent messages reflecting obsession, desperation, and excessive reliance on a partner for stability, strength, or validation of one’s self-worth. Some songs speak of giving one’s entire self to the other, supposedly as a noble expression of devotion, while others refer to continually matched emotions--enmeshment. I will offer numerous examples of these romantic songs, many of which have been top hits, and I’ll also provide several examples of songs with healthy relationship motifs. Unfortunately, the latter are less common.

Over a hundred years ago (1913) Al Jolson sang You Made Me Love You that included these lyrics: “You made me love you; I didn’t want to do it...You made me happy sometimes...but there were times you made me feel so bad...You know you’ve got the brand of kisses that I’d die for.”

Tears on My Pillow, The Imperials, 1958: “(I have) pain in my heart caused by you.”

I Will Follow Him, Connie Francis, 1958:  “I must follow him, wherever he may go.”

Can’t Help Falling in Love, Elvis Presley, 1961: “Take my hand, take my whole life, too...for I can’t help falling in love with you.”

Hurt So Bad, Little Anthony and the Imperials, 1964: “Please don’t go, please don’t go...come back it hurts so bad, don’t make it hurt so bad, I’m begging you, please!”

Wives and Lovers, Jack Jones, 1964: “Hey, little girl, comb your hair, fix your make-up, soon he will open the door...Hey, little girl, better wear something pretty...Wives should always be lovers, too; run to his arms the moment he comes home to you.” (Notice the diminutive, little girl, while later in the song, the lyrics read, “Men will always be men.”)

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Righteous Brothers, 1965: “Baby, baby, I'd get down on my knees for you, if you would only love me like you used to do...Baby, baby, baby, baby, I beg you please, please, please, please, I need your love, need your love, I need your love, I need your love.”

My World is Empty Without You, The Supremes, 1966: “My world is empty without you, babe...I find it hard for me to carry on...I need your strength, I need your tender touch...I need your love more than before; I can hardly carry on anymore.”

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Can’t Smile Without You, Barry Manilow, 1977: “I can’t smile without you...I feel sad when you’re sad; I feel glad when you’re glad.”

It’s Been Awhile, Staind, 2001: “It’s been awhile since I can say I was not addicted and it’s been awhile since I can say I love myself as well.”

Breakeven, The Script: 2008: “What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you and what am I supposed to say when I’m all choked up and you’re OK?...I’m falling to pieces.”

Waiting for Love, Avicii, 2015: “Monday left me broken; Tuesday I was through with hoping;

Wednesday my empty arms were open; Thursday waiting for love, waiting for love; Thank the stars it's Friday; I'm burning like a fire gone wild on Saturday; Guess I won't be coming to church on Sunday. I'll be waiting for love, waiting for love to come around.”

Here are several songs that have messages consistent with healthy relationships:

For All We Know, The Carpenters, 1971:  “Let’s take a lot of time to say, I knew you well, but only time will tell us so, and love may grow, for all we know.”

The Rose, Bette Midler, 1979: a potent, poetic song of encouragement (one of my favorites): “I say love it is a flower and you its only seed...It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.  It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance. It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give...You think that love is only for the lucky and the strong. Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose.”

I’ll Stand by You, The Pretenders, 1994: promotes honest, vulnerable conversation. The singer professes loyalty and commitment to a man in pain during his darkest hour. “Nothing you confess can make me love you less...I’ll never desert you; I’ll stand by you.”

Love and Some Verses, Sam Beam of Iron and Wine, 2004: a whimsical and compassionate song that depicts a committed deep and meaningful romance.

You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban, 2009: an upbeat song expressing strong gratitude: “You raise me up to more than I can be.”

See You Again, Carrie Underwood, 2013: “I won’t cry cause I know I’ll never be lonely...I’ll see you again...Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking, but I’ll stay strong.”

Unconditionally, Katy Perry, 2013: a beautiful ballad professing to love her partner without fear or reservations and inviting him to, “Let go and just be free.”

I would welcome your comments and additional contributions to these contrasting lists.

Toward positive influences,

Your Relationship Coach,

Jim Sharon
(303) 796-7004
jim@energyforlife.us

Jim Sharon Headshot.jpg

Jim Sharon, EdD is a licensed psychologist and couples' coach who has over four decades of professional experience serving thousands as a counselor, as a life and relationship coach, and as a seminar and retreat facilitator. Dr. Sharon has authored two books and many professional publications, most recently, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship (with Ruth Sharon, MS), published by SkyLight Paths, 2014. Jim and Ruth have been married since 1970, have raised three adult children, and have two young granddaughters.

I Am No Longer As I Was

My Mother died, and I am no longer as I was. 

Memories are rolling through my consciousness like a fast moving train, with snippets of my mom, dad, sisters, and extended families traveling speedily through my mind...

  • Rolling down the hill after Fourth of July fireworks, twirling into a fantasy land off the ledge of a lush green grassy knoll

  • Seeing my junior high best friend perched on my doorstep, as I walk around the corner from my school, with her overnight bag and giddy anticipation of our weekend fun.

  • Coming into my bedroom from the bathroom and gasping with delight, “Oh how beautiful,” witnessing the light dancing around my little sister’s wavy honey-colored hair. I had to snap a photo!

  • Making rich chocolatey fudge with my big sister, then packing it into baggies to take to the matinee.

  • Traveling with my mom and sisters  to Brooklyn in the cab of our friend’s freight truck at 4 am, to arrive in time for my grandparents’ coffee smell to fill the hallway leading to their warm apartment.

  • Sitting on my daddy’s lap in the cozy overstuffed chair, watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV.

  • School, Hebrew school, youth group, fantasy play in the woods, being a good girl filled my early childhood.

  • Experiencing a visceral mystical moment in Hebrew School, having my life purpose revealed at age 10.

  • Soon after that, my family broke out into a series of  terrible flights, with chaotic anger, violence and insanity. This blew away my safety and security.

  • Healing through powerful therapy, personal development trainings, guides, teachers, coaches and mentors.

  • My purpose is clear again!

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My mom was so orderly (see Jim Sharon’s last post, Tribute to THE Balabusta) that our home ran smoothly and efficiently. She knew where everything was and regularly took inventory of what she had, designating days of the week for certain chores and managing stress through (almost compulsive) planning and taking action. Believe me, all our physical needs were generously met. The downside of living so systematically is that little time is allotted to play. I missed special playtime with my mom. Good news, though: my dad was great in filling in that gap; he loved to play, as do I.

Grieving is tiring and consuming at times. I find myself napping or resting on the couch in our sunny living room. A powerful energy surge in my spiritual and emotional healing comes from more deeply connecting with my Jewish roots and wings. Being with my community at Temple Emanuel has been a serendipitous gift that keeps opening. One of my friends once queried, “Who will bring me soup when I need it?” I found out who brings me whatever I need during this mourning period.

I extend profound and humble thanks to all of you who have held me dearly during this catalytic time.

I nourish and am nourished by my dear husband Jim Sharon, our family, friends, neighbors, clients, our vast interfaith community, yogis and Sufi travelers on the Path. I am so grateful for all the support I am receiving!

I decided to commemorate my mom and also align with my focus on the Power of Intention. I am now setting my intention to honor Shirley Goldberg’s memory by making order in my home and my life. This month I am cleaning out the linen closets, 2-3 kitchen cabinets, and getting rid of unneeded and unwanted stuff in my office. I will continue choosing areas of my home to declutter and clear.

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As a meditator and healer, I'm clearing my emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies as well, as part of my regular daily practice.

How can I support you? Are you making contact with your past, too? Are you ready to acquire powerful tools to clear away what you are completing, making room for the new that is on the horizon?

Be in touch with me, in the comments below, or on Facebook and other social media.

Leave a review if you would be so kind, to share the good news with others: we are changing, healing, evolving, becoming more of who we truly are.

Your Relationship Coach,
Ruth Sharon, M.S.
Coach for Soulful Couples
www.soulfulcouples.com
ruth@soulfulcouples.com

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Ruth Sharon is a relationship coach, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Her passion is facilitating couples to enhance the vitality of their relationship and make healthy lifestyle choices. Ruth shares her wisdom, compassion and humor with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Ruth and her husband, who have been married since 1970, co-authored Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2014. They are delighted to offer coaching for couples and singles, in person and virtually, as well as transformative couples’ retreats, seminars and online courses.

Tribute to THE Balabusta

My 98-year-old mother-in-law Shirley passed in early January, having by one month reached her long-time goal of living beyond her mother’s age. In an era of stay-at-home moms, Shirley was the quintessential balabusta—a Yiddish expression meaning “mistress of the house” or good housekeeper. She was the poster girl for a clean and organized household. All of her relatives teased Shirley about remaining within arm’s reach of her yellow sponge. To exemplify her systemized ways of doing things, she conscientiously kept the mustard to the right of the ketchup in her refrigerator. When dinner guests were due, Shirley inevitably set the table at least a day prior to their arrival.

A favorite story involves a half-smoked cigar my father in law left in an ashtray before going to bed at midnight. Shirley’s husband quizzically searched for it upon arising in the early morning. It seems Shirley had gotten up at 2:00 am, unable to sleep, and in the process of tidying up had tossed out the cigar. Due to various similar incidents, one of my sons-in-law coined the verb shirleying to depict such behavior, i.e., “Did you Shirley my glass?”

These comical incidents aside, my mother-in-law’s prominent love language was acts of service. She dutifully cooked, shopped for, and in all ways met the basic needs of her husband and three children. In addition to anchoring the household, Shirley managed to devote about ten hours weekly to cashiering at her husband’s neighborhood grocery store. Her main interests were playing piano, singing in a choir, playing a weekly mahjong game, and midday catnapping. Later in life she took painting classes and produced some skillful artwork.

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Loved by all relatives and widely appreciated for her easy-going, unassuming demeanor, Shirley constantly welcomed her extended family and family friends into her home. Adept at making all visitors very comfortable in her home, she proved the consummate hostess in every manner. She persisted in offering food and drinks to those who initially refused her hospitality. The epitome of Shirley’s heartful service was tirelessly caring for her aged, live-in mother for seven years prior to her mother’s death.

Clearly, Ms. Balabusta humbly earned love and admiration from family, friends, and many acquaintances for her unceasing graciousness and genuinely sweet nature.

Your Relationship Coach,

Jim Sharon
(303) 796-7004
jim@energyforlife.us

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Jim Sharon, EdD is a licensed psychologist and couples' coach who has over four decades of professional experience serving thousands as a counselor, as a life and relationship coach, and as a seminar and retreat facilitator. Dr. Sharon has authored two books and many professional publications, most recently, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship (with Ruth Sharon, MS), published by SkyLight Paths, 2014. Jim and Ruth have been married since 1970, have raised three adult children, and have two young granddaughters.

Setting Intentions for 2019

Happy New Year! May 2019 be your best year ever!  

I invite you to set your intentions for 2019. Be sure to include ways to enhance your love relationship, or if single, to find your beloved and create your soulful relationship.

Life can be so magical, right? I used to teach assertiveness training for many years in a college psychology department. As part of my class handouts I wrote an Assertiveness Bill of Rights in the late 1970s, designed to support and affirm our desire and ability to advocate for ourselves. In the 2000s, someone contacted me out of the blue to ask if she could include my Bill of Rights in her book on stress management. Where did she find it?? On the internet, she told me. She devoted a whole chapter to what I wrote. Wow, how fun!

Now I feel called to write a new Bill of Rights, designed for Soulful Couples. You can help me elaborate on the Bill of Rights for Soulful Couples; just email me ruth@soulfulcouples.com with your ideas.

Soulful Couples Bill of Rights

I have the right to be cared for, listened to, cherished, and respected by my beloved partner.

I have the right to quality attention with my partner, including through dates in my home and outside of the house.

I have the right to share the household, parenting, and financial responsibilities with my mate.

I have the right to communicate clearly and assertively so we can get on the same page and understand each other.

I have the right to express my true feelings, desires, needs, and inner wounds... and to be accepted for them.

I have the right to negotiate agreements and solve conflicts peacefully and powerfully.

I have the right to learn, grow, and expand my consciousness with my partner so we can explore new thoughts, activities, and behaviors.

I have the right to experience my spiritual connection on my own and with my beloved.

I have the right to enjoy sexual and sensual pleasure with my lover.

I have the right to enjoy the simple moments as well as the grand experiences.

I have the right to fulfill my life purpose and to support my partner being fulfilled, too.

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Date Time With Your Partner:

Take a few moments to contemplate these rights. Read them to each other and discuss. Revise them or write your own additional ones. Which ones resonates with each of you the most? Set your intentions to increase the frequency and intensity of fulfilling these rights. Give attention to each other and reduce your tensions together. Talk it over regularly with your beloved and keep track of your progress as the year unfolds.

Remember we are here to guide and support you! Schedule your call or meeting with us on www.soulfulcouples.com.

And stay tuned for the launch of our brand-new podcast, “Soulful Couples: Give Your Love Life Some Love,” and our upcoming events!

Your Relationship Coach,
Ruth Sharon, M.S.
Coach for Soulful Couples
www.soulfulcouples.com
ruth@soulfulcouples.com


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Ruth Sharon is a relationship coach, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Her passion is facilitating couples to enhance the vitality of their relationship and make healthy lifestyle choices. Ruth shares her wisdom, compassion and humor with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Ruth and her husband, who have been married since 1970, co-authored Secrets of a Soulful Marriage: Creating and Sustaining a Loving, Sacred Relationship, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2014. They are delighted to offer coaching for couples and singles, in person and virtually, as well as transformative couples’ retreats, seminars and online courses.