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.

Four Worlds Part 2: Exploring the Emotional Landscape

This post is the second in a four-part series. The first installment looked at the life and health of a relationship through the lens of the Physical Realm, focusing on the concrete, practical, and specific aspects of our body, home, car, work, money, etc. Today, we’re approaching relationships through the lens of emotion.

After facilitating our Growing in Love couples retreat this weekend in Denver, CO, I realized that many couples are asking for guidance with the Emotional Realm. We all have a great capacity for feeling and understanding emotions, and learning to honor and work with our own and our partner’s emotional process is a very rewarding aspect of being in relationship. Throughout my years of coaching, I’ve found that there are a few practical skills and concepts that can be tremendously helpful when it comes to navigating the sometimes mysterious-seeming territory of the Emotional Realm.

Here are a simple recipe for developing more emotional intelligence, which I call HeartSmarts™. You may want to print this out and hang it in a spot where you’ll see it often!

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Meet Your Emotions

  1. Be aware of your body. Emotions express themselves in the physical body, so scan your body regularly to get to know yourself in the emotional realm. “Body scanning” simply means bringing your attention to what’s going on in your body. Start by noticing your breathing. As you slow down, you can become aware of any discomfort or compelling/intense energy that you feel. Accept what you notice, not as a problem, but as a gift in self-awareness.

  2. Name the feeling. Measure the intensity on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is most intense. Experience the feeling—let yourself feel it; explore it; interact with what is going on inside; learn to listen to your inner voice, concerns, and knowing.

  3. Ask yourself: What do I need to gain closure to what is being experienced? Take action to resolve the issue that is bothering you in ways that build your relationship (with yourself or others). Ask for support if you desire, from your partner or another skilled person.

  4. Learn to clean out your lifelong storehouse of unresolved emotions. Often, this is best done with the help of a counselor, coach or mentor. Schedule a consultation with Jim or Ruth Sharon to find out how coaching can help with you with this process.

  5. Keep your inner world clean, clear, sacred and whole, with daily practices (ask Ruth or Jim Sharon for practices specifically tailored for your situation and needs).

Basic Emotions in Relationships

As a relationship coach, I often see couples who are seeking help with working together to  process the emotions that arise in day to day life. The good news is, with practice, anyone can develop their understanding and skill in the Emotional Realm.

Think of a crayon box or paint palette with the primary colors alongside the rainbow of hues that come from different combinations of a few basics. Emotions are much like that. Each main, primary feeling can have many variations and combinations, which can make decoding quite challenging. Start with the Primary Feelings to gain access to your secret inner world.

Primary Feelings are observable through our body language, tension and health patterns, words, tone, and behaviors. Did you know you have a storehouse of old feelings and unresolved situations? All your history is stored in your body and brain. So when something similar happens, your old feelings are usually triggered.

Getting to know yourself and your partner in the Emotional Realm helps you feel so connected, close, and motivated to build trust and safety. Listen to the feeling tone of yourself and your partner. Pay attention to the breathing, posture, tone and words. Practice accessing your inner wisdom and sensing system so you can detect your and your partner’s feelings.

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Primary colors of feelings can be measured on a 1 to 10 scale. Let’s learn about MAD, SAD, SCARED, and GLAD.

MAD is the most obvious and most threatening of all the feelings, because it can be loud, scary, out of control, like a fire. You know that you can use fire to simmer food, build a campfire, or burn down the house or village. Anger can also be helpful, because it shows you what is bothering you. You can make efforts to correct the problem or injustice when you harness the fire of anger and use it for positive change and effective communication.

A little MAD (1-3) may pop up when you are annoyed, frustrated, dismissed. You may have more MAD (4-7) when you have a repeated situation that is unresolved and keeps appearing. You may get aggravated by others’ poor behavior, by injustices, etc. When you can’t take it anymore and you are at maximum saturation of MAD, you explode (8-10). This can relieve you temporarily (until you load up again and blow). The problem is, you may have left a trail of messes behind you to clean up or put in the pile of other unresolved old or current stuff. MAD can be cumulative and reflects as annoyance, irritation, sharp comments, physical energy that can help or harm, resentment, resignation, and depression.

SAD is a watery emotion, as you notice in tears and feeling welled up (a lump in your throat or fullness in your heart like the dam may burst). It can be heavy, as in feeling weighed down. SAD shows you what is missing, what hurts, what needs aren’t getting met, as well as grieving a real or perceived loss. You can feel sad about specific events or very general sweeps of your life. When you have an ideal of what you want and you see what is actually happening, your sadness may be triggered. The gap between ideal and real can be heartbreaking. Many of you have experienced difficult or traumatic situations and have much deep sadness stored in your nervous system. Give expression to what is going on. Speak, write, draw, dance, walk, sing, pray so the energy of sadness can be healed and transformed into healing compassion for others.

FEAR is a shaky feeling, where you feel insecure, scared, worried, anxious. Your gut may be tight, your jaw clenched or your brow furrowed. The fear may be hidden deep inside or can be experienced as unshakeable worry, guilt, or shame.

Panic attacks, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors can be so debilitating. But fear also show you your cutting edge. When you take on something new (in your relationship, work, life circumstances), resistance often will show up. What obstacles are in your way of manifesting what you want? Engage with your fear to find out what is going on. Be curious. Ask open ended questions of yourself and your partner.

Be the CUP to support yourself or partner. When you are scared, give extra compassion and comfort. Create as much safety as you can so your nervous system can calm down. Stress reactions of FIght-Flight-Freeze-Faint can block thinking clearly and planning for what is calling you to take action. Fear and excitement are related, so try to harvest the titillation of something new happening to spur you into expressing your fears, building safety under you, then taking action with support.

GLAD is the feeling of relief, release, resolve. It can experienced as delight, calm, peace, freedom, celebration, gratitude, accomplishment and humility. Going on vacation, getting a raise, starting a new business, buying a new home, having a baby, having a party, giving or receiving a gift, making love, enjoying a delicious meal, having a touching moment with someone dear or a stranger can all evoke the feeling of happiness and joy.

What is on your list?

I have noticed that when you connect with yourself and with your partner, the opening to Love is palpable. When the Love Field is established and growing, much joy can erupt!

Notice what happens when you focus on the Emotional realm daily. Journal your observations and findings, talk to your partner, your friends, or your family members about your learnings.

We’d also love to hear what you discover! Please leave us your comments here or on our Facebook page.

Stay tuned for #3 in this four-part series, which will address the MENTAL REALM. Then, #4 will be on the SPIRITUAL REALM as it connects to the relationship journey

All the best,

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 1: Want More Space for Love?

Perhaps we are living as if we occupy a small efficiency apartment in an imaginary luxurious, lush Mansion of Love. Do you want to explore more rooms and find out what else may be possible?

Tune in for this four-part series on the various dimensions that you can connect with to bring more Love to your life as a Soulful Couple!

The Four Worlds Outlook on Life is a mystical and practical teaching in many traditions. In this series, we will explore the Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spiritual Realms and how to receive and give more Love in each and in the interaction. This week’s post is dedicated to the Physical World.

The Physical World is visible, known, obvious, dominated by our five senses. Look around your life. Be an observer. Look with innocent eyes at your physical life. Notice what is right in front of you, the concrete objects and how they are arranged. Take a moment to experience what you see, smell, taste, feel, hold, touch.  What do notice in your body as you observe your home, your car, your own body, your medicine cabinet, and your bank accounts?

Difficulty:

When something seems out of order in this realm, or worse yet, out of control, we may be prone to diving into blame, guilt, shame, judgment, annoyance, and resentment. Fighting ensues and walls are built.

Remedy:

Do something to make your physical world better! Take action, even something very small, like making your bed or clearing the kitchen table or walking around the block.

The Soulful Couple's Response:

Ask your partner to join you in making your physical world even better. Create a plan, check in regularly, and celebrate your successes. If you get off track, simply draw your attention back to your intention. Be a team working together.

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Our Story

Early on, Jim and I could tell we related well on the physical level. We loved setting up our small apartment with new stuff. We would come home from work and play, be fit, be sexy, eat well, clean the house, do chores together. The beginning of our married life featured stable jobs and stable income. We even put my whole teacher's paycheck in the bank and we lived on Jim’s salary. Our physical world was in order and oh so satisfying.

Now fast forward to decades later: we can truly say our physical realm works very well. We have owned our own home and cars, raised three kids into terrific adults, and run our counseling, coaching, and consulting business for 42 years. As we age, we continue to care for our bodies, homes, yards, cars, and money in responsible and joyful ways. We need more help than when we were younger, but outsourcing work to others feels good.

Of course, there were times when we struggled to have the energy to care for ourselves and our stuff; we had dark and difficult times with illness, injury, messiness, disarray, and problems with money. But by working together, we have been able to find the flow that works best for us as a couple.

Your Turn

Alone or with your partner, write or speak your observations about your physical world. What is your story?

Will you take time and space to love your physical world? Alone and with your partner, try giving loving attention to what is needed to bring about more health, balance, order, and a calm environment. What will be your intention and focus of attention in this realm?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! You can leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and let us know how you see these themes appearing in your own life.

All the best,

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


Couples Retreat: Growing in Love

August 24-25, 2018

Join us for two days of learning, sharing, and growing together with your beloved! This retreat will be a powerful opportunity to explore new depths in your relationship. There are still a few spots left - just go here to learn more and register!


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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.

Re-Connecting During the Dance of Distance

Conflicts with your partner so often occur when the two of you are not in sync. The dance of distance or disconnection happens in a variety of circumstances and for a number of reasons. Some examples are:

  • Each person has a different set of needs in the moment, e.g. one is eager to engage in conversation while the other just wants to complete a project or read a book
  • Energies aren't aligned at the time, e.g. one is in high gear and the other is moving slowly or simply wanting to relax
  • The two of you are operating in different realms, e.g. one wants emotional support while the other feels like exercising or meditating
  • You're encountering a clash of perceptions, beliefs, or values
  • You each are communicating on a different wavelength, e.g. one is expressing feelings while the other is attending to specific content
  • Your love languages don't jibe, particularly during times of strong need, e.g. desiring words of affirmation versus requesting physical contact

When you and your partner are out of step together, consider the following basic, yet effective ways to reconnect:

  • Be aware of when you feel disconnected from your partner, noticing accompanying emotions, bodily reactions, thoughts, attitudes, and behavior. It will be helpful to identify any of these that represent patterns for you.
  • Make an effort to be present, understanding, and compassionate with yourself and your partner amidst your differences.
  • Discuss the current situation with your mate as clearly and cleanly as possible, using I statements to express your feelings, desires, needs, values, and/or requests. Refrain from labeling, blaming/shaming, discounting or demeaning your partner.
  • Ask your beloved questions to clarify his/her intentions, needs, emotions, etc. Paraphrase some of what you hear to show (attempted) understanding.
  • If necessary, decide to handle the next similar situation with less reactivity and more skill.

Life presents numerous opportunities and challenges to tolerate, accept, and sometimes even appreciate individual differences. Intimate relationships can often provoke our egos and serve as viable tests of our willingness and ability to accommodate one another - to graciously, constructively resolve conflicts.

Toward graceful dancing,

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.