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

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.

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


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.

Putting the Holy in Holiday

I’m old enough to have sadly witnessed decades of increasing commercialization of Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas in our country. Holiday advertising has started earlier and is more prolific than ever. In recent years, Thanksgiving celebrations are often interrupted by Black Friday shopping, which actually begins on Thanksgiving itself, to be followed by Cyber Monday. Most stores keep longer hours for weeks leading to Christmas.

Furthermore, as much as I enjoy sports, I shake my head at the preponderance of ever-longer games attended and televised on days set aside for prayer, reflection, and family connection.

I’m fine with enjoying special holiday meals and gift exchange. Yet, I’m obviously concerned with what appears to me as a cultural decline of intention to highlight the sacredness of the season’s prominent holidays, and a resulting decreased attention to observing the holiness of these days. Frankly, I believe that our preoccupation with shopping, poring over material items, and being entertained (including via Thanksgiving parades) on the seasonal holy days reflects the cultural values we’ve come to adopt throughout the year. Many of us publicly lament the insidious undermining of our moral fabric and mounting daily stress that pervade our nation.

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I implore us, one by one, to restore the intended significance of our major holidays for the sake of our own hearts, health, intimacy, and sense of spirit, let alone for the betterment of our society. May each of us personally consider how we might enhance our:

  • Contemplation of the meaning or significance of the holidays

  • Expression of deep gratitude, joy, and spirit on these occasions

  • Closeness with family and friends on these most special days.

Toward genuine fulfillment,

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.

Making Space, Taking Time

I often hear from clients how they need more time and space in their lives. Burnout is a real thing. Stress can erode our health, our joy and our relationships. By draining our energy and exhausting ourselves, we are not being our best selves. We struggle on so many levels.

Jim and I have found retreats to be essential in achieving more life-work balance and inner harmony. By allowing rest, receptivity and fresh perspectives to be priority, we can release the effects of tensions and stress, and then harness more energy.

Inhale more live energy; exhale stress and worry. The stress reactions diminish, and then fresh, live energy can flow into our minds, bodies, and souls. With this energy comes clarity of intention and purpose so we are more able to manifest our dreams and goals.

When Jim and I return from retreating, we can function in more efficient, effective, and caring ways. This retreat I speak about can be a 10-minute meditation in your bed in the morning or night, a refreshing walk in nature, a Sabbath day of rest, a weekend at the spa, or even a guided retreat in your own home. Starting in January 2019, Jim and I are available to guide you in your own home-retreat, alone or with your partner. Set up a free call with one of us to discuss the possibilities for your sacred time of renewal…

I received this poem in an email recently and it really touches me. Take a moment to breathe and read this, as you de-stress and align with what serves you. Take a mini-retreat now!

Fire
By Judy Brown


What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.
So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.
A fire grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

When I take time to retreat, whether it is a few moments of meditation or a weekend at the hot springs, I give space for my inner fire, my inner light, to burn brighter. Do you take time and space for yourself? A misconception that plagues us is that taking time for self care is selfish. Not true. My truth is that I fill myself first and give from the overflow!

Enjoy this holiday season with yourself and those dear to you and in service to those in need. Many volunteer opportunities are available in our community. Jim and I are serving food to the people in the Family Promise homeless program. My chiropractor, Dr. Matt Pennetti, just asked for gifts to be brought to his office to support a Somalian family in need. What will you do?

Please add your comments here or on our Facebook page, and spread the good news by reviewing Energy for Life and Soulful Couples.

If you have read Jim and Ruth Sharon’s book Secrets of a Soulful Marriage, please leave us a review on Amazon!

Let us know how we can support you in fulfilling your life dreams and goals and having the relationship that nourishes your soul. Set up your free consultation now.

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


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.

Turkey Time Talk

Everyone realizes that Thanksgiving Day is an annual holiday set aside for family and friends to gather, play games, watch football, and feast together. I suggest that optimally, Thanksgiving also offers a special opportunity to reflect on and express what we’re deeply grateful for in our lives.

No surprise, couples feel more nurtured, supported, empowered, and closer with their partners when they regularly express gratitude and appreciation for each other. Marking out certain occasions for such substantive sharing tends to especially enhance your love relationship.

Here are some specific questions to share with your partner, family or friends, that I trust will enrich your Thanksgiving together and strengthen each of you individually, as a couple and as a family.

  1. What are three qualities that you very much appreciate or admire about that person?

  2. What really lights you up about him or her?

  3. What are several ways that you feel particularly grateful about your relationship?

Hopefully, these questions will stimulate you and your mate (or others) to engage in further mutually-affirming conversation.

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And personally speaking, Ruth and I would be very grateful if you would write a brief Facebook review of your experience of us and/or of our work: https://www.facebook.com/SoulfulCouples/

If you’ve read our book, Secrets of a Soulful Marriage, we’d also really appreciate your posting a 1 to 2 sentence review of the book on Amazon. Just go here to leave a review.

If you write a review by December 15, 2018, we will enter you in a drawing to receive a $50 gift card toward dinner at your choice of several fine restaurants. Just send us a quick email to inform us that you participated.

Toward gratitude overflowing!

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.

Leaving the Familiar

My Traveling on our sacred pilgrimage to the Holy Land was a life-changing experience! The impact of becoming a Bat Mitzvah in Israel is still unfolding. I hope you will come along with me on the journey…

After traversing much of Israel, we headed to the most northern area, to the first-century temple ruins of the Jewish People at Bar’am National Park.

I breathed in the energy of the bright blue sky, pleasant breeze, and bird songs. My calm presence was ready to enter into a covenant with the Eternal.

Jim and I met the amazing Rabbi Amy Klein in the parking lot with hugs and wows! Then we carried the supplies, table, chairs, and Torah up the stairs to the ancient site of the Holy Temple (the northern version of the one in Jerusalem in the first century).

After we were set up, we exhaled deeply, and became very present as we sanctified and blessed the space; we graciously called in the angels, prophets, ancestors, and guides. The place was full of life!

The wrapping of the prayer shawl felt like a nourishing embrace from the Divine.

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Briefly, I will recount the story of Abraham being called out of his familiar home and his father’s idol shop. He heard the Divine guidance to journey to an unknown land, to a promised land, where he would be the father of the multitudes, as numerous as the stars in the sky. His wife Sarah could not conceive children and was quite elderly. Sarah generously surrendered to Abraham’s calling and offered her hand-servant Hagar to be with Abraham. Ishmael was conceived. The difficulty in the family led to Hagar and Ishmael parting ways with Abraham and Sarah after Sarah birthed Isaac.

My heart was broken. Reading this passage every year in synagogue, I wanted peace in the family. The lineage from Abraham became the Jewish people through Isaac (later Christians), and the Muslim people through Ishmael.

I long for the family of Abraham to recognize each other as brothers and sisters. My pilgrimage to the Holy Land held the prayer of connecting with people of all faiths and being witness to the peace among the residents of Israel. I am happy to report that this was my experience!

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At my Bat Mitzvah ceremony I renewed my pledge to honor the covenant with the Eternal One,  to continue to build bridges of peace, to reach out to strangers, to be a lamp to shine the Everpresent Light of God into this world.

We ended the service with this poem that I wrote:

Radiant Light

I am held in beauty as the light weaves a garment around me to honor and give homage to this life on Earth. I am completing my journey here.

As I am passing through light-filled space, the radiant light-woven garment transforms into a wedding chuppah to bless the sacred marriage of my soul, my Neshama, with my Beloved One.

My soul enters the holy marriage of Divine Unity with Love, surrendering in humility and joy. I let go. The light envelops and suffuses my fading identity. I let go even more.

The mystery is unfolding, beyond my worldly senses or understanding.

My soul is embraced—safe, at Home. My diffuse being flows on to other realms with higher energy vibration than is manifest on Earth.

The radiant garment becomes my wings to guide my journey gracefully… and silently.

Amen

Ruth Sharon
Written 10/8/13 in Tirzah Firestone's Kabbalah class

Please let me know how I may support your spiritual journey.

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


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.

A Vital Journey

While you read my blog, I invite you to reminisce about one of your really special vacations, or visualize a trip you dream about taking and what doing so would mean to you.

As Jews from birth, my wife Ruth and I have aspired for decades to visit our homeland Israel. As Sufi mystics and peacemakers, we have worked for years to unite the Abrahamic traditions and have envisioned engaging in unifying dialogues in Israel. Finally, at the respective ages of nearly 72 and 70, we were blessed to spend two full weeks in Israel (following five days enjoying Greece), traveling through many Israeli cities and towns.

Before departing, many friends and clients wished us a fun trip. My typical reply was that I not only expected to have fun, but I anticipated our trip being profoundly meaningful. My desires and dreams were realized and in some ways exceeded.

Rather than depicting our journey as a travelogue, I want to highlight experiences that deeply touched my heart.

Firstly, about 90% of the residents and merchants we encountered were very kind and helpful to us. Many seemed eager to inquire about us, to provide directions, and to offer information—sometimes (much) more than we requested. More than a few people went beyond the call of duty to assist or serve us. We felt really happy to witness Jews and Arabs coexisting peacefully and seamlessly in many parts of the country. It was very special to speak with Arabs, sometimes mentioning our Sufi involvement.

During part of our time in Jerusalem and Haifa, we were very privileged to stay, as pre-arranged, in three homes of fellow Servas (a vetted international peace organization) members. Each host proved very welcoming, gracious, and delighted to serve us. In a short time, we felt like friends or family members with each person! We learned a lot about each other’s lives and countries, although a few of the hosts have visited the U.S.

Swimming in the calm turquoise green water at two Haifa beaches served as a refreshing plunge into the beauty of Israeli nature. A palette of gorgeous flowers proliferated throughout Israel (except in the Southern desert).

We thrilled to the heart-rendering music of Three Women; Three Mother Tongues, a trio of women representing Israeli and U.S. Jews and Israeli Arabs. Composers of their songs, these women blended their three languages, often singing each other’s, as they crooned and played various instruments to melodic, peace-centered tunes.

Certified Israeli tour guide Rabbi Eitan Levy fed us a smorgasbord of fascinating info about Israeli history and architecture as he led us on a day-long walk through the Old City of Jerusalem. We toured the Jewish, Christian, and a bit of the Muslim quarters and shuks (bazaars). We strolled in awe of the ancient history and sites, some dating a few thousand years!

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As expected, the supreme heart-light of our trip was the two-hour Kaballic (mystical Judaism) study period we spent in the famous mystical city Tzefat (Safed) with Kabbalist scholar and artist David Friedman. In his profound wisdom, depth, and warmth, David refreshed and embellished some of our Kaballic understanding, while providing rich gems of new knowledge in response to our crafted questions.

I choked up many times during Ruth’s Bat Mitzvah in the outdoor ancient ruins of a Bar'am synagogue (built in the first century A.D.). A Jewish girl typically becomes a Bat Mitzvah at either age 12 or 13; Ruth finally formalized becoming a Bat Mitzvah at age 70, which is Israel’s age. This was such an extraordinary experience that Ruth will write her own blog about it.

Ruth and I keep celebrating how well we travelled together, how much we consistently enjoy each other on vacations, and our ultra rich love for one another throughout our shared adventures during this glorious little country that is filled with huge spirit.

Blessings to each of you!

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.

The Joy of Soulful Travel

My morning yoga on the green lawn by the ocean is so refreshing. I feel alive, youthful and joyful!

Now, as I sit in the well-appointed white room overlooking the blue glistening Saronic Gulf off Athens, the breeze blows fresh air over all of us. Ahh, so comforting! I am Home.

Taking a holiday retreat is essential to my well-being. I hope you will plan your retreat as well. What is on your dream board or in your heart? Do you long to take a trip somewhere beautiful? Jim and I would schedule “Date Night” to search the internet, plan our trip and make reservations. The anticipation is thrilling — and now we are here in reality!

We hope you will set your intention, give it your attention, then remove the tension from your dream. Let us know how we can support you in fulfilling your passions!

We first began to imagine the possibility of going to Israel ten years ago in a dream-building seminar. Yes, it has taken ten years—so be patient with yourself! As you can see, we have added Greece to the trip, as we always wanted to come here, as well. The flight from Athens to Tel Aviv is only two hours, so we combined both places into one trip.

After this beach retreat, we will venture into the holy land of Israel to visit with other peacemakers, stay with members of Servas.org, tour the sites, and celebrate my becoming a Bat Mitzvah at seventy (this ritual is usually performed when a child turns thirteen). We will share more from Israel on our next blog.

Right now on this sunny afternoon in Vagia on the island of Aegina, Jim is lying on the bed reading a novel. Our dear friends from Victoria, British Columbia, Eileen and Eliot, are here, talking about the day’s plans. We shall take a walk to the beach, perhaps take a dip in the warm sea. Later we will drive up the road to the Temple of Aphaea, the Goddess of Feminine Wisdom and to the St. Nektarios Monastery.

Being free of daily responsibilities helps me to feel more attuned to the present moment. I witness the lively breeze activating the swaying palm trees and notice my ever-moving breath.

Breathing in sunshine and peace; breathing out hurrying and worrying. Finding balance and calm, my energy is revitalizing.

What adventures are you dreaming of? Have you taken a soulful vacation with your beloved or on your own? We’d love to hear your comments, either below or on our Facebook page.

Be good to yourself!

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


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.

Four Worlds Part 4: Spirituality in Partnership

This blog concerning spirituality with your partner is the final one of a four-part series on the Four Worlds. Spirituality is a significant or even foundational element of many people’s lives (as it is for Ruth and me). However, for many others, it is non-relatable, or an area that is lightly touched upon - or outright avoided. Some folks consider themselves both spiritual and religious; others endorse just one of those terms.

Spiritual experiences may involve any one or combination of the following:

  • Intentional expression of various virtues, e.g. kindness, forgiveness, selfless service

  • Prayer within and/or outside of a religious institution

  • Appreciation of beauty, as in nature or an art form, and/or active involvement with them

  • Gratitude for and/or awe about the workings of the universe

  • Meditation

  • Mystical or metaphysical practices, activities, or encounters

  • Ritual expression

  • Spiritual dialogue

  • Spiritual/religious study through reading

  • Other forms of inspiration

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Deepening Your Spiritual Connection With Your Partner

I invite you to arrange several times with your partner to substantively address these questions:

  1. Which, if any, of the above forms of spirituality do you most enjoy and value? How do they benefit you?

  2. What in life do you regard as especially holy or sacred?

  3. What areas or forms of spirituality would you currently want to develop?

  4. What are some ways in which you’d like your mate to support your spiritual growth, perhaps holding you accountable for certain activities or practices?

Do not assume that either you or your mate already know your answers to these questions. Rigorously engaging in a conversation with your partner is likely to create some fresh awareness or openings for both of you. Furthermore, I predict that you’ll each be enriched and feel more connected by a lively discussion about the spiritual aspects of your lives.

Please share with us your reactions to and realizations from this recommended exercise in the comments below, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Hoping and trusting you’ll value your discussions,

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.

Four Worlds Part 3: Mental, Not Judgemental

This blog, the third of a four-part series on the Four Worlds, is focused on the mental aspect. I will touch on several components of mental activity and primarily address an area that I consider especially empowering for individuals and in relationships.

One form of couple's intimacy that often gets downplayed involves intellectual, topical, philosophical, or political discussions. Sharing such information and opinions can be stimulating and educational for both partners. Many folks also enjoy mentally-broadening outings like attending lectures, thought-evoking movies or plays, going through museums, and joining book discussion groups. Some prefer board or card games or working on puzzles together, some of which can prove very mentally challenging.

Which of these activities do you most often participate in and enjoy? Which ones would you like to further develop? Are there other types of mental engagement that you and your partner find particularly satisfying or meaningful?

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As a coach and counselor, as well as in my own life, I devote a lot of attention to attitudes, beliefs and intentions. I'm especially attuned to re-examining my attitudes and beliefs and their effects on others during this annual observation of the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Each year I use this 10-day period and the weeks that precede it as a marker for self-assessment and for adjusting some of my attitudes and beliefs that lead to my actions. Furthermore, I commit myself to setting new intentions and goals that are aligned with my values and life purposes. This new year, I'm focused on being more respectful in some of my communication with my wife Ruth and on collaborating more effectively with her as we develop new Soulful Couples offerings. I'm also intending to become less judgmental and instead, more compassionate.

Periodically, I use other markers, especially the Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover), to refine my thinking, intentions, and ensuing behavior. What markers do you carve out for yourself to take inventory of your thought processes, to refine them as needed/desired, and to (re)formulate potent, purposeful goals?

One powerful practice I'd like to suggest is carefully considering your thoughts before speaking them. This practice not only helps to stave off the proverbial foot-in-mouth disease, but also serves to advance your mental acuity and communication effectiveness--noble areas for developing mastery!

As always, Ruth and I welcome your responses to questions posed in this blog and any additional reactions or comments you'd like to share. You can also join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Toward honoring and developing our mental gifts,

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.