These self-exploration exercises will help you get to the root of your patterns and dynamics so that you can improve your current relationship or attract a more loving and empowered relationship. In other words, answer the prompts either from current situations or your most recent or relevant relationship.
Be Truly Aware
I know it sucks and it’s not easy, but we need to see how we are perpetuating our own patterns in relationships. I’m not blaming the victim here: if you were abused it is NOT your fault. What I’m saying is that as an adult you have the ability to develop discernment and recognize warning signs of a relationship that may not be a loving or fulfilling one.
How many times have you had red flags about a relationship and you ignored them and pushed forward, only to have it turn out to be just like your last unhealthy relationship?
What is the theme in your relationships?
How to Identify the Relationship Patterns that Keep You from Having a Loving Relationship
If you read my last blog post, you now know what a Toxic Relationship Merri-Go-Round looks like. Mostly. I left out the in-between parts...
The Components of a Toxic Relationship Merri-Go-Round
The Toxic Relationship: relationships where you don’t feel safe to be your true self and/or where the other person takes up all the space and you feel invisible and small and unsafe.
The Isolation Period: you are single and licking your wounds from the last toxic relationship and feel afraid of attracting someone like that again; all you want to do is be alone and recover (this can last for years and decades--I had one that lasted 10 years)
Maybe This Time Will Be Different/Try Again: you’ve felt a surge of bravery and hope either from encouragement or you’ve turned a corner and did some healing work; you are ready to try again
Loop around to putting yourself out there and...
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
My relationship roster reads like a cross between Princess Bride and Poltergeist; this is a mere smattering of the relationship milestones (the rest of the in betweens are an entire book). Hopefully, you will laugh and gasp along with me here, knowing that I have healed these deep wounds and found the love of my life. And also if this feels like it hits a nerve, I see you and offer my story as one of hope and transformation that is possible for you too.
#1 Sweet Car Thief
I had a ton of issues growing up and so it was no surprise that my very first boyfriend ever was a car thief. We were together for at least 2 years and in teenage love. My parents forbade us to see each other and I delighted in going behind their back to stay with him even longer. I remember his sense of humour and sweet personality. I could never reconcile the terrible things he became involved in and always told myself that deep down he was good, but got...
What is a True Soulmate?
If you’re anything like me you’ve followed Spiritual/New Age-ish teachers and websites where healers talked a lot about Soulmates. Back then (circa 2008), the idea of attracting your Soulmate terrified me. “Dark night of the soul” and “mirrors all your darkest stuff back to you” did not conjure up romantic walks on the beach and feelings of bliss. No one in their right mind would want to find a soulmate. That’s why as a Healer who has been around the block and suffered enough Dark Nights of the Soul to choke a horse, I am putting forward a more palatable definition of what I call a True Soulmate. And as someone who has found my True Soulmate, who lights up my life and we’re getting married in December, here is a definition you can go by. Your TRUE SOULMATE is someone who:
Hint: it has nothing to do with the other person and the work you do before you even start dating is the most important
Face Your Truth
If you think I’m going to talk about being positive and doing your affirmations you may be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised. No, this is the inner work that comes even before that. Before you get clear on who you want to be with and the type of person you want to have in your life, you need to look at what you are experiencing right now.
What is in your environment is a by-product of your beliefs about yourself, your family conditioning and past experiences. The way you live your life on a regular basis creates what you are experiencing right now.
Deep dive exercise:
Take out your journal and get real with yourself. Nothing good ever gets created from being unaware of yourself and your surroundings (emotionally, physically and spiritually). Here are examples of questions you can ask yourself to get to the reality of your life:
Were You Taught to Be a Good Girl (or Boy) Growing Up?
In the interest of keeping things simple, when I say good girl in this post it includes good boy. When I was a little girl I was very close to and looked up to my Papa, my mom’s father. He was a very positive male influence, sadly the only one, and so his approval meant the world to me. That’s why when he would say, “Be Good,” I took it on as an absolute requirement.
Good Girl Goes Sideways
Being a good girl became the fabric of how I showed up in all areas of my life: relationships, work, health, etc. The way I interpreted being good was to follow the rules, respect your elders, don’t rock the boat, don’t make people uncomfortable, make sure others are feeling good and ignore your own needs. Actually, don’t bother even knowing what your needs are because they don’t factor into the grand scheme of things, meaning, being a good girl in society.
Today, I realized that we have things all wrong. The world is a messy entanglement of opposition, conflict and cancel culture. The popular response to most things we don’t agree with is to fight it out--see who can yell the loudest about who is right. The more divisive and mean the argument style, the more victorious the arguer seems to be. Like we used to say in high school: ooooh buuuurrrrnnn. We see this mounting callousness coming towards us like a runaway train. Yet, all we can do is look on in horror and shield our eyes.
Society seems to tell us the louder and meaner we can be, the better off we are. Well, guess what? That’s a race to the bottom. That’s why I’m sending out a plea to all my fellow people pleasers (I call you Empowered People Pleasers, or EPPYS for short). We need you to save the world.
Save, not Sabotage or Self-Abandon
Let me be clear, I don’t want you to run out and do what I did for the first 30ish years of my life:...
The People Pleaser Dilemma
If you’re a self-professed people pleaser like I am, you are sensitive and have big love to share! The problem is you also have a big fear that if you reveal your True Self, you will end up alone. So you do your utmost to twist into an emotional pretzel and make everything smooth in your relationships or potential relationships. When you abandon yourself to make others happy, they know this on some level and they either a) reject you or b) make you feel alone within the relationship. You are not experiencing true love and intimacy. Nobody is being real. So how do you turn this around to finally relax, be yourself and feel loved?
Be Aware of Your Heart
Easy to talk about, I know, believe me. I ignored my body from the neck down for the first twenty-three years of my life to the detriment of my relationships (all dysfunctional and painful), my body (chronic digestive and skin issues) and mind (negative outlook and mood swings) and soul...
Why You Can’t Trust Your Heart
Society teaches you to make logical and sound decisions by using your head. You may have had family members tell you as a child: “Use Your Head!” This statement implies that if you follow your heart, you are foolish. Or at the very least, you’ll be led astray and have to come back to reality by using your head once your life goes sideways. The barometer for building a life with a good job, solid relationship and financial stability is to use your head. Is it any wonder you don’t trust your heart?!
Well, I’m here to tell you that although we most certainly need our mind to perform duties in the world and be able to function from day to day, the mind is not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Your heart is the one to bet on. Your heart is very intelligent. If you don’t believe me, follow any research being done by Heart Math or other organizations that study the heart and all it’s magnificent...
If you’ve been struggling to tune into your heart for years, you might think there is no way to learn how or worry that something is inherently wrong with you. Feeling out of touch with your own heart is isolating, sad and confusing. In the midst of my deep healing journey, I discovered a deceptively obvious and effective way to tune into your heart that has worked for me and my clients. It’s helped us feel more connected, loved and supported. This process and framework has completely changed my own life and relationships!
3 Pillar Framework to Tune Into Your Heart
True Awareness solves the problem of being in the dark about your own feelings, desires and choices. The more you allow yourself to be in denial or unable to face your truth, the less aware you will be. When you choose to see your life through rose-coloured glasses, you lose your ability to tune into the heart. It’s like saying, “I’m perfectly fine in my job, it pays the...