couple

What's Next?

As July 4 comes upon us once again, I ask myself these questions: 

What are my freedoms?

Oh, so many. What a glorious life! I reflect with my dear precious husband, each of my dear children, their spouses, and my three awesome grandkids. I connect with some friends, and of course, with my clients and social network. My spiritual life and my work are in a dance, shifting focus from one to another, until hopefully, they merge and become one in the same.

Visiting South Carolina recently, we toured a plantation and learned about the Gullah African culture and slavery. Being Jewish, I continually recount being slaves in Egypt.

Remembering my freedom is a gift I give myself often.

This is my time to pause, breathe, give thanks, enliven my grateful heart even more, settle my belly and allow the calm feeling to saturate my being. Ahh, this feels so good. And yet…

Another question that arises…

What is still bogging me down?

I have been doing a major life review after my 71 birthday this spring. What is light, what is calling to me and what is mine on my path to fulfillment, and what is weighing me down? I am preparing to let go of lots of what is over for me. Dear friends just moved into a new home together. Watching them rearrange their lives with each other and in a new space triggered my fear of moving out of our precious home of 34 years (and the possibility of having a new partner if Jim precedes me in death). Lots of emotions are surfacing. I am dedicating attention and time this week/weekend to clear away the old, and make room for the new. I love that I have so many tools to clear out what is no longer important or needed! Cleaning “house” inside and outside are ways to move the energy!

A whole series of questions comes in on the heels of the first two:

  • How can I free myself even more?

  • What is left to heal?

  • What relationships need my attention?

  • Who shall I pray for?

  • Who wants to play with me?

  • Who is in my community?

  • Am I fulfilling my purpose?

  • Am I living a balanced life?

  • What brings about healthy vitality and wellbeing?

Asking questions and opening the space to discover what is happening within me and in my world is so freeing! I trust this process and value time alone.

The most burning question in my gut is, “What’s next?”

What questions burn in you?

Let’s talk!

Set up a time to connect soon.

Toward the One, 
Ruth Sharon
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.

Beware the Wrong Button!

I’ve been watching couples’ dynamics since I was four years old. I noticed my parents and other relatives and how they interacted. My parents fought when they disagreed. They would defend their own position and make the other person feel like they were wrong. Nothing got resolved. They would fight, then avoid each other for days until they cooled off. I truly don’t remember witnessing a conversation in which they would hear each other’s point of view, find understanding, and create a solution. Maybe they did it behind closed doors. I know their style helped shape me, my marriage to Jim Sharon, and my career.

Now as a couples counselor and coach, I facilitate conversations that lead to listening, compassion, and empowering approaches that uplift both people.

I warn us to beware of the “wrong button”. It is the trigger that brings most couples to my office. Being “wrong” is a source of shame that many bring from their childhood. I witness the most heartache, struggles, and disconnection when the button is pushed. Being afraid of the button being pushed creates a defensive way of life, in which true intimacy is rare.

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You know that button—the one that sets your nerves on edge. What do you notice when you feel judged as wrong? Do you attack first, curl up defensively, close your heart or act hard and cruel?

Do you build a case against your partner and have lots of evidence of his/her wrongdoings? Do you persist in telling friends and family about what your beloved has done wrong? Do you feel stuck in this paradigm of defending yourself, attacking, withdrawing, feeling helpless and lost?

Pointing fingers and blaming each other is a collusion to activate the wrong button and not resolve the issue or heal the wound. It is a primitive defense to try to be safe. Not functional at all.

Trying to prove the other person is at fault brings about power struggles that no one wins. I have witnessed more couples break up or threaten to end their relationship over power struggles. They regularly, unconsciously demean each other and accuse each other of being wrong. Exhausting, right?

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Here are some suggestions:

When you sense the button has been pushed, stop yourself. Step back. I encourage you to be aware of your body reactions, tone of voice, words, energy level, posturing, behaviors, breath. Scan your body and see where the tension or pain is. Own your reactions and behaviors.

The “wrong” button was installed when you were little. Can you remember being told this when you were a child? Let memories surface. Feel the feelings that hurt then and now. This can lead you to heal. A counselor or coach can help you move through these debilitating patterns and free your energy. This freedom from the past can help you create a healthier relationship.

Tell the truth that the “wrong button” has been activated. Tell your partner you need some time to collect your thoughts and feelings. Go off by yourself. Breathe. Try some journaling to empty out what is in the storehouse. Calm down. Be sure not to engage with your partner when you are reactive.

Take time to clarify what’s on your mind, feel what is in your heart, and see what is happening in your guts. What are you feeling? What do you want to tell your partner? What do you need? Try practicing what you want to say. Prepare your main points to convey. Be brave and bold. Speak your truth!

Being intimate with your beloved by being honest, vulnerable, and willing to heal brings you closer. Call a moratorium on being “wrong.” Be safe for each other. Help each other heal from past shame and hurt. Listen, understand, and hold each other.

Let me know how I can be of service to you and your partner. Call for a free consultation!

Toward deactivating your “wrong button,”
Ruth Sharon
Coach for Soulful Couples
www.soulfulcouples.com
ruth@soulfulcouples.com

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


Ruth_headshot_2017-203x300.png

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

Tuning Myself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With grace for the journey Home,

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

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


Ruth_headshot_2017-203x300.png

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

What Is a Soulful Couple?

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

Relationships are messy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Now imagine...

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

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

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

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

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

Where are you in this Mansion of Love?

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

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

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

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

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


Ruth_headshot_2017-203x300.png

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

Whose Is Whose?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____ I frequently blame or shame my partner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ruth_headshot_2017-203x300.png

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

I 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_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.

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.

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


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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.

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.

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.