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.


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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.

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

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

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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.

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


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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.