Hey you guuuuuuuyss!!! Writing for you, to you, in that magical place in the middle of the night while it’s storming, no less. Sitting outside in my Zen Pad (my screened-in patio haven of relaxation), rain splattering my screen, as I tap into the Universal Consciousness (™). Thinking hard tonight about a lot of things, so bear with me as I utilize my writing to sort through it all. First and foremost, I AM HAPPY. As happy as I’ve ever been—the strongest, most unfuckwithable (thank you, Vishen Lakhiani for that term!) version of LINDSEY that has ever been. I’m on fire with passion because I’ve found my life’s purpose, and that is to help as many people as I can, with what I now know. I’ve known for a long time that I was meant to be a Healer, but I wasn’t sure what kind, or how. I thought my role as therapist and life coach was fulfilling enough. I was, in fact, reading Vishen’s book, Code of the Extraordinary Mind, when I happened upon Marisa Peer’s name in his gratitude to those who helped and contributed. Consequently, I looked her up during the when Vishen posted talks from Mindvalley’s A-Fest this past year. I also discovered Dan Savage, from the notorious Savage Love podcast, as well as many other healers and thought leaders. But folks, mainly there’s Marisa. Never have I watched a TED talk and felt my life was changed. It’s usually the same recycled shit, but this woman offered something entirely different. This was a woman Vishen clearly respected and wanted to share with the Universe. I listened. During her hour, I was completely captivated. I listened to the casual way she told stories of her clients’ transformations, and I thought this could be me. This is a woman speaking my language; in fact, speaking directly to me. I heard her tell me that as a therapist I could touch so many more lives than I currently was, with her innovative method. I listened to stories about transformation of all types and I envied Marisa’s power to enlighten these people. I must have replayed that video several times, all the while knowing I have to do this. I spoke with my mom, who encouraged me to pursue Marisa’s training. Right away, I signed up to learn how to practice Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT). No doubt existed in my mind that I was embarking on a career path to light up the lives of as many clients as I could handle. To be perfectly honest, my life was good, but it was also in a bit of a rut. I had a family and friends support system (a tribe) that was satisfying, an education behind me (PhD), and a business that was building slowly but steadily. I felt I lacked nothing, yet I knew there was something blocking my progress, and that if I were ever going to attain my deepest aspirations, I had to break those blocks and push through outside of my comfort zone. Here’s where Marisa Peer changed my life: The more live hypnosis I witnessed from my mentor, the more aflame I became, all the more inspired to help people, no matter their issue. The rules of the mind I learned from Marisa were more valuable than anything I learned in college, even grad school. She opened my mind to the TRUTH: ALL clients present varying symptoms of issues, yet they all stem from one of a few core reasons: *I AM NOT ENOUGH* or *THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE TO ME* or *I DON”T DESERVE THAT*. No, I recoil. Hell no. That’s a harsh reality. But so true, reader! What is a person truly presenting when he comes to me for alcoholism? For addiction to drugs? For depression or anxiety? Ultimately, it always goes back to that feeling of not being enough; not deserving what is present, or not believing something is available to you. Once Marisa pointed this out, my whole outlook was transformed. I began to go over and replay in my head, all the presenting problems my current clients face. Can I attribute that core source to one of those three above-mentioned factors? ABSOLUTELY. It made perfect sense. And Marisa decries traditional therapy for the simple fact that therapists are often found constantly asking their clients “and how does that make you feel?” which is useless and prolonging treatment. Those therapists either don’t know how to fix their clients’ problems or they aim to keep the client in therapy for as long as they can. With RTT, we practitioners expect a client to be cured in 1-3 sessions. If we can give a client a remarkable outcome, to grant him the wish he dreamed of, in potentially one single session, why on Earth would we ever draw out therapy? I know as a therapist, mental health doctor, and life coach, that I don’t expect a client to have an active relationship with me for more than a few months, generally. After a few months of talking out issues weekly or bi-weekly, I’m eager to send a client off with training wheels on. If that client feels like checking in every so often, I make myself available to them. I care about their progress. But I also have faith in my ability to help them; therefore, there’s no reason to ask them to sit in my office and talk about their feelings every week. It’s useless and I knew it before MP pointed it out so clearly. Now, I’m all about taking a different, unique approach to therapy. Any person can see a traditional therapist for marriage, family, and personal problems. If they’re “lucky”, that therapist may even accept their insurance. (I don’t in my own practice, simply because the insurance companies are scammers out to fuck everyone, but to each his own. I digress.) I love my job, don’t get me wrong. I love seeing how I make an impact on a client’s life. I know I’m doing exactly what I was called by the Universe to do. However; I’m meant for more impact than I’ve grown used to. The Universe has a bigger intention for me. That’s why it led me to Vishen’s Mindvalley Academy, then to Marisa Peer, so to RTT, then to transitioning my business toward RTT over traditional therapy. So that leads me to today, and my own personal transformation story. I'll share that with you all in the next post! STAY TUNED! #RTTWorks @marisa.peer.therapy
At the start of every new year, thousands, if not millions, of people form resolutions. To put these simply, they are generic goals or promises to one's self that people "resolve" to complete or stick to throughout the calendar year. While the idea of a resolution is good, and positive in theory, how one formulates these resolutions oftentimes creates or breaks the resolution. Remember that old adage "Fail to plan, plan to fail"? I see this occur with resolutions everywhere I look. There are several problems with resolution-keeping people tend to make, and I will address them while teaching you how to remedy them, and create your own lasting resolutions. RESOLUTION PROBLEM: *Generic, open-ended statements* - As the graphic on this blog shows, usually people will choose resolutions like "lose weight," "quit smoking," and "become debt-free." All well and good, but what these resolutions fail to address are the details, the specifics, which are crucial to goal-setting and eventual success in completion. You see, it's not enough to openly state an intention and just expect it to manifest without action or any cooperation on your part to see it through. The reason goals fail is usually because they fail to specify these details. When you fail to plan the follow-through, what you will normally see as a result is, "hey, it's November, and instead of losing weight, I've gained 5 pounds at Thanksgiving Break, and my gym membership has seen a month's worth of log-ins." Then you cram to get those 5 pounds shed, and adding 1 extra pound of loss, you will have technically completed your goal. But where are you, really? Now you've paid for a gym membership that has been virtually wasted, and you're looking at another year of yet another vague resolution.
RESOLUTION SOLUTION TIP #1: *Define resolution using specific details - how, when, why, where?* - It's fine to want to prioritize losing weight this year, but here is what you need to define: *how* will I lose this weight? *what* will I change in my life to be successful at this endeavor? *how much* weight will I plan to lose? *when* will I have completed this weight loss? Fix this now, while the resolution is still fresh in your mind. A more reasonable resolution along this vein would be: "I will take 30-minute walks at night, 3 times a week, and use a calorie-counter app on my phone to manage my caloric intake (goal: 1800 cals per day), with the intention to lose 15 pounds this year. By December 31st, 2013, I will weigh 135 lbs. or less, and will have made walking a regular part of my schedule." Do you see the difference? In this goal-related statement, you have addressed the how, the how much, the when, and the what. This statement can be easily modified to fit your lifestyle preferences and goal you want to accomplish. It is up to YOU (yes: you - the responsible one) to do the research needed to fill in the blanks of *HOW* you will accomplish this goal.
RESOLUTION SOLUTION TIP #2: *Create reminders, bug yourself* - No, I'm not encouraging you to nag yourself; chances are you have a mother gung ho to do that for you already. I'm asking you to hold yourself accountable by prioritizing your resolution by having it constantly on your mind. How do we do that? Any way that works for you! Something that works for a lot of women is to tape mantras or encouraging messages in places they will see it constantly - the bathroom mirror, the fridge, the answering machine, the dashboard, etc. Men tend to dip into their wallets throughout the day - so why not give yourself a reminder on your debit card, checkbook, or taped to cash? This trick won't work for everybody, but for those who are finding themselves consistently using the "I forgot" excuse, this may be one to try. It's easy to go through your day and get caught up in everything, so by the time it's 10 PM and you're ready to relax or hit the sack, you can easily excuse yourself for not working out - you'll do it tomorrow, right? But if, throughout your day, no matter how much activity you have going on, you see reminders to yourself "have you run today?" posted on your keyboard, "did you drink your protein shake today?" posted on your cabinet, then you're more likely to trigger the habit. Use reminders until whatever you want to accomplish becomes so ingrained in your daily schedule you no longer need them. Eventually, with enough work, this will occur naturally. If taking a 2-mile run is your goal, then you will find yourself making excuses for another priority, with time; maybe finishing the Sports section in the newspaper isn't as important anymore, because you're too busy going for a run. Now, you've got the hang of it.
RESOLUTION SOLUTION TIP #3: *Visualize your accomplishments* - My personal favorite trick of manifestation is to use visualization. I accomplish this in two major ways: my vision board and my visualization meditations. Do you have a vision board? If so, you may not need to be reminded of the many ways a vision board helps to create. But you may want to review this anyway. If not, why not have some fun with the rest of us? If you're not having fun with your imagination, chances are you won't generate enough good energy to manifest, so it really does pay to daydream! There are many sources on the Internet to teach you how to create your vision board or look at others for ideas, but it's important that this be your own. You're not trying to make a carbon copy of someone else's dreams. This is all about you. My own personal vision board is in sight when I work, as it hangs just at eye level above my computer at my desk. Half of it is a write-on board, and half is a corkboard. The write-on half is something I write my yearly goals on (very specific ones!) every December 31 before midnight. It's become a ritual of mine. Throughout the year, as I accomplish my goals, I cross them off and give verbal and written thanks for my dreams coming true. I can't tell you how fulfilling it is, come December, to see everything ticked off, even if the board looks a mess! It's a personal message to myself saying look at how much I made happen this year. The corkboard is filled with pinned-up photos and mantras that are somehow important to me in my goals. There are photos of places I wish to travel to soon, inspiring images, and quotes or statements that I have found particularly useful to me. It doesn't take long to put a vision board together, but it can really make the difference in your manifesting. Visualizing through meditation is equally important, if not moreso. I make sure to take the time nearly every day to really imagine my goals as accomplished, to feel what it (would) feel like to have something in particular, and to give thanks in advance. Again, the process of visualizing effectively can be researched to your heart's content, but I'd suggest reading a book like _Wishes Fulfilled_ by Dr. Wayne Dyer, or an Abraham-Hicks publication, perhaps _Ask and It Is Given_ as a starter. Both go into great detail about using visualization practices to manifest your dreams. (Side note: this is something that my clients and I go over on a personal basis, through counseling!)
RESOLUTION SOLUTION TIP #4: *Schedule it in - make time for your dreams!* - Buy yourself a daily planner, invest in a big write-in desk calendar, an app on your phone, or anything else that is most useful to you to schedule your appointments. Dole out mini-goals monthly, weekly, and daily, if need be. One thing I like to do is make a generalized "I'd like to be here ____" statement for the month, then parcel out tasks by week or day during that month to get me where I want to be. For instance, my personal February goal statement is to get started on a new fitness endeavor - Wing Chung. But I know it's not good enough to say to myself, I want to have started my Wing Chung practice this coming month. No, I need to task it out in pieces. So, in my personal planner, I have carved out time in my schedule 3 time per week to practice. Because it's important to me, I have *made* the time for it, and since I look at my calendar(s) on a daily basis, I am constantly aware of what's ahead for me that day, that week. To me, this is enough of a reminder (I don't need to nag myself, but I am practiced - it's OK not to be yet). I have chosen days to practice martial arts that aren't bogged down with 100 other activities - in other words, they are days that my toddler is at school, days my Insanity fitness workouts are more laid-back or on break, and I don't have outside appointments to crowd my time. I have planned for this goal to be accomplished so I know I will not fail myself. It really is that easy!
RESOLUTION SOLUTION TIP #5: *Reward yourself when accomplishment has been met* - Whether it be incremental accomplishments or the finalization of the bigger goal, you need to provide yourself with motivating rewards. Gratitude is enough for some people - to me, I am happy crossing things off my "bucket list" - I get intense satisfaction from a checkmark, a strikethrough, and a "thank you - done!" statement. Others need treats, and that is great! Whatever works. So if your goal is to stop smoking, and you have done the legwork listed above, and you have gone say, 10 days, without a cigarette, then by all means, treat yourself. Have you saved $20 in that 10-day period by not buying packs of cigarettes? Consider using that $20 to buy something on your "want" list (not "need") that shows off your accomplishment. A new shirt you've been admiring, a 30-minute massage, a dinner out at your favorite restaurant. Whatever is good for you that makes you happy and marks the occasion will work. So that next time you hit a milestone, you know you can look forward to another reward. You can plan for these, too. (With the money I would have spent on cigarettes, I am putting it aside in this envelope, and when it reaches $200, I am booking that hotel in Kansas City and spending the weekend away from home). It's up to you to figure out what motivates you to keep going.
RESOLUTION SOLUTION TIP #6: *Repeat: A slip-up does not mean give up!* - It's human nature; sometimes we just fall short of our own expectations. It's nothing to beat yourself up over. And if you fall off the horse, the only thing that's unacceptable is to continue to lie there on the ground and be consumed. Trite as it sounds, you have to pick yourself back up and get back on that horse. OK, so you were cigarette-free for a month, had an extremely trying day, and reverted back to old habits. Three cigarettes later, you're feeling like a failure, and your throat burns. You're sure your family can smell the defeat from you. Luckily for you, that smell goes away with a good mouthwash and a laundry day. And your failure is only made up by your willingness to persist in your progress. Throw the pack away and start afresh, not tomorrow - right now. You can't take back the mistake; it's in the past. The only thing to do is move forward with increased resolve. So your counter has been reset, but you still have the same chance of success. If it's been four days since you've last run on the treadmill and you're sitting on the couch eating Doritos watching The Biggest Loser - hey, join the club. :) We've been there, too. Those of us who have become workout fanatics know that you never finish a workout by saying "I wish I hadn't done that." Doesn't happen. You always (always!) feel better for having done it, no matter if it was a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood, or a 90-minute weight-training session with Tony Horton. It's difficult to get started, but just like everything else, once it becomes a habit, it makes you feel better all over. So, no matter what your goal is, no matter what you've done to sabotage yourself, it's never too late to turn it around and get back to work. Come December, you'll thank yourself for staying committed.
The best part of completing your resolutions is looking forward to your next one, knowing you made a promise to yourself, you stuck through it, and you've seen the end result. That sort of power manipulates itself into a desire for more proof that you can do whatever your mind is set on, and more goals emerge. It seems the more we accomplish, the more we desire to accomplish; it is addictive, and a healthy addiction at that! So go have fun with your resolutions, and take control of your life. You'll be so glad you did.
Relationship counseling can be an effective tool in learning to heal what ails one's partnership. Unfortunately, a lot of couples are choosing to attend counseling as a last resort to "save" a disastrous relationship that, more times than not, is truly not worth salvaging. The question, then, is how does one know when a relationship is healthy and worthwhile, or its inverse: unhealthy and better left behind? Let's explore the facets of both.
A healthy relationship has these characteristics which center around EQUALITY: (1) Sexual Safety, (2) Financial/Economic Sufficiency, (3) Negotiation and Fairness, (4) Responsible Parenting, (5) Non-Threatening Behavior, (6) Trust and Support, (7) Connections With Others, and (8) Honesty and Accountability.
In this article, we will discuss the inclusion (= healthy relationship) as well as the exclusion (= unhealthy relationship) of these characteristics.
Sexual Safety - This one's pretty obvious. It means your partner (male or female) is not attempting sexual behavior by force, or by guilt. A healthy sexual relationship implies that you both are willing and able to attend to each other's needs, and (hopefully) are excited to do so. If sex is the only thing holding your fragile relationship together, perhaps it's best to reevaluate your role in each other's life. And doesn't it go without saying that if someone is manipulating sexual favors from you, they're not worthy of any of your favors?
Financial/Economic Sufficiency - It doesn't matter if one of you is the "breadwinner" or how much income one or both of you bring home. What does matter is that financial responsibilities are shared in a way that is pleasing to both parties. Maybe your partner works full-time outside of the house while you stay home with the kids. That's perfectly fine. But there needs to be a give and take. Perhaps you could have the responsibility of actually "paying" the bills, or setting up the accounts to do so, balancing the checkbook, managing the household economics, etc., and your partner does his share of work raising the children. If that means he or she takes the kids to school, arranges babysitting, attends their extracurricular activities, or helps them pick up their toys at night, whatever you as a family provider need is up for consideration. The point is that a fair balance is maintained and each partner feels they are doing their share of work and contribution for the betterment of the family unit. If both partners work, this could simply mean that you have found a division of income to utilize for household economics that works for you both. If you aren't domestic partners, this could mean that you both are paying for dates, or financially maintaining the relationship in equitable ways. For the more old-fashioned couples who believe that the man should pay for all the dates, ask yourself as a woman, what are you doing for him that balances that load? Consider making him dinner at your house once in a while, surprising him with small gifts that show you appreciate him, or alleviate some of his decision-making by suggesting dates rather than forcing him to manage everything.
Negotiation and Fairness - This can compromise many components in a relationship, but it is general in its meaning. Every partnership comes with its own set of challenges, as we are each our own person, different in tastes, styles, likes, dislikes, hobbies, emotional maturity, and experiences. We all deserve a basic level of respect, and all else is a matter of compromise and justice. We can keep fairness in our relationships by not demanding anything of our partner we are unwilling to adhere to ourselves. In that spirit, we can compromise on most things as long as there are boundaries to what we will and will not accept. To begin to know our own personal boundaries, we must first know what it is we want. Knowing what we want defines what we absolutely do not want, and those things cannot, and should not, be compromised on.
Responsible Parenting - Obviously this only applies if one or both of the people in a relationship have children. When that occurs, there are two main areas of concern. The first: if you are in a relationship with a single parent, your responsibility as a third party is to ensure that your partner is able to focus on his or her child first and foremost. You must be able to cope with the child as more of a priority than your relationship. Whatever the situation is with the child, you should be looking at your partner as a responsible provider and parent. If you notice signs of abuse, neglect, or trouble of any sort, this is a huge warning sign. Also, a parent who tells you that they no longer have, or never did have, a relationship with their biological child, is someone who should be avoided at all costs. Children are our responsibility from the time we create them and must be treated as such. If a parent can simply walk away from the blessings of biology, that speaks volumes for their character. Someone willing to damage a child's emotional health by their negligence and outright abuse is no one to allow near your children. Also, if your child is abused, emotionally, or physically, by your partner, you have the responsibility to take charge and ensure that your partner is never given another chance to do so again. This is your #1 job until your children are adults. Take it seriously, please. The second: if the two of you share children, you both have roles and responsibilities in the parenting realm. Are these responsibilities shared? The answer to this should be easily answered by your children. Ask them if they see and do things with your partner as often as they'd like to. Answer it yourself. Do you feel that your partner gives your children the attention they deserve, or are you constantly having to question why x, y, or z was more important than taking the kids to the park or reading them a book?
Non-Threatening Behavior - A healthy relationship is completely free of threats. One should not be afraid of their partner, have to walk on eggshells to prevent an emotional flare-up, or live in fear of emotional retaliation (someone who uses guilt as a basis for controlling and manipulating another person). A healthy person asks for what they need, recognizes others' limitations and abilities, and knows when to rely on his or herself to provide those needs, rather than look to another. A healthy person does not use guilt-trips, hold someone on emotional hostage, or use threats as a way to provoke action.
Trust and Support - This can entail any situation within the ramifications of a relationship, but most importantly, we look to our romantic partners for a safe haven, an emotional and physical respite from the rest of the world. This is not an "Us Against the World" mentality (anyone who has to use that attitude is already in a failing relationship - there shouldn't be a reason to be stacked against the rest of the world). It is simply a recognition that you are able to come to your partner and share things with him or her in safety. You should know your partner isn't abusing your trust, that they treat your trust with integrity. You should know that you have a support system there when needed. If your partner is seeking you out for constant support but is incapable or unwilling to be there when you, in turn, need support, then you are with a partner who is looking for an enabler, not an equal. A relationship of the romantic nature is not like signing up to adopt a pet from the shelter. If you find yourself needing to constantly care for an unstable person, then you are better off finding someone more self-sufficient. A relationship shouldn't be a full-time job without benefits. Unhealthy people (and Qi Vampires - see previous blog post) rob us of our energy and drain the joy right out of our lives. It's up to you to get rid of these people and elevate yourself to a higher plane. Others are not your responsibility - they have the power to get professional help and change their lives around. You can't do it for them. Best not to waste your precious time trying and blaming yourself when you fail.
Connections With Others - Many star-gazed romantics would love to believe that it only takes two to make a relationship work. Unfortunately, that's not really accurate in our practical world. No one should be expected to immediately take on a partner's friends and family as their own, nor spend a ton of time with either faction, but there eventually comes a time when reality sets it. Your partner's family especially, and friends definitely, have an influence of some kind over your partner. He or she respects and loves these people, and has looked to them for advice, support, and nurturing in the past - in most accounts, way before he or she met you. It is important that your partner's "others" like you and approve, and likewise, that your "others" like and approve of your partner. When they do, your partner is held accountable with these people to maintain good behavior to keep up the relationship. The Others are supporting and rooting for your coupledom. The Others are there to help, should you need them. And The Others will be, no matter your attitude on the matter, be spending time with you as a couple, and with your partner on his or her own. Isn't it vastly preferable to have connections with these people, too, rather than live on your side of the dividing line in contempt? Think about your Others. How many times have we had them say your partner was a "great" person, good luck to you both, I'm so happy for you? How many times, alternately, have you watched your Others attempt to warn you of red flags they have noticed, have given you the benefit of their wisdom because they sense trouble in your partnership, or have given up on talking sense into you and have therefore alienated you to figure things out on your own? Have you lost relationships with people close to you because you have chosen to stand beside a bad egg? Before you jump to rash judgments as a knee-jerk reaction to hitting sensitive spots, consider that your Others show their concern in different ways, but the root of it is always out of their love for you. When we don't care about someone, we likely don't care who they're wasting their time with, or who is damaging their life. Yet, when someone close to us is taking punches (literally and figuratively) we feel their pain, and we want it to stop. So ask yourself if your partner is someone your Others are proud of you for choosing, are happy to call a friend and family member as well, or are they patiently waiting for you to come to your senses and find that perfect partner they can feel good about including? Food for thought. A second consideration: the people your partner surrounds him or herself with, likewise, the people you surround yourself with, are a great indication of the person one is. If you think all of your partners buddies are jerks, chances are he shares a lot of those qualities, otherwise he wouldn't find camaraderie with those guys. If all of your friends are superficial and inconsistent, what do you think that says about you to outsiders? On the other hand, if you find that your friends are all people you trust and love to uplift you, then chances are you are an infectious person to be around. This is great news, no matter who your partner is. Likewise, if you believe all your partner's friends are good people who support him, who engage him in positive activities, then it sounds like you have nothing to worry about in that department. Unfortunately, if your partner is the anti-social type without friends, be prepared for a lot of unnecessary trouble. A friendless person raises a lot of red flags - why can this person not find connections with anybody but you? What does that tell you about his or her ability to maintain relationships? Also, that will likely entail a relationship where your partner is almost completely dependent on you, needing and wanting you to do every activity with him or her, and begrudging you your own private time or time with other people. Are you prepared to take on a remora-type relationship (unhealthy)? Or are you going to maintain your sense of freedom by choosing, instead, a partner who encourages your relationships with other people (healthy)?
Honesty and Accountability - We all owe it to ourselves to live a life of integrity, and our partners should be the first to be blessed by our honest living. We deserve a partner who will be honest with us in our dealings, both when we ask for the truth, and when we don't but they respect you enough to give it to you anyway. Honesty in words is nothing, though, without supplemental accountability. This entails that your partner is willing to prove his or her words are true and that he or she is worthy of the trust you have placed in them. When your partner screws up, he or she tells you so, immediately, and tries to rectify the situation. Apologies mean nothing without an action to correlate repentance and commitment to turning things around. Someone who is truly sorry for the mistakes they have made, hurts they have caused, will be motivated to take action to heal wounds, make things right, and show a trail of behavior that evidences their commitment to growth. Everyone makes mistakes, and nobody is perfect. One huge setback should not, in itself, be the severing of an otherwise healthy relationship, but we need to consider what our partner has learned from their mistake, which is how they hold themselves accountable for their actions. If the same cycles keep playing themselves out, how is this showing growth? Example: man lies, gets caught lying, and cries that he is sorry, so you forgive him. He does it again. Again, you forgive him and hope this time will bring a true change. But he's not showing you change. Does this sound familiar? It is easy to say you're sorry, and it is pleasant to hear from another that they are in the wrong. It even feels good, sometimes, to bestow forgiveness on someone and deliver them a second (or third, or fourth...) chance that another person has denied them. But this doesn't make you a saint; it makes you an enabler and a person who clearly doesn't respect his or herself. As I said before, it is important to establish boundaries, and when that person has tiptoed over your boundaries multiple times, you have only yourself to blame for continuing to spin your wheels with someone who has not shown the same commitment to you, or basic respect. In another vein, consider your own grasp of honesty and accountability. Are you honest about your dealings with your partner? Or do you hide things from certain people (or all) because you're afraid of being judged, afraid of admitting your weaknesses, or afraid that you might hear a negative criticism that you are trying to hide from? Are you holding yourself accountable for your own responsibilities and actions in the relationship? If you cannot be honest to yourself about the reality of your situation, it's natural that you won't be honest with others.
If you find yourself questioning where your relationship stacks up in one or two of these identifiers, it might be a good option to enroll in relationship counseling. A qualified counselor will be able to determine the overall health of your partnership and make suggestions as to improving communication and action in both parties, for the greater good of the relationship. If you find yourself nodding along with the healthy traits listed here, congratulate yourself (and your partner)! You should be the model your Others are using as a litmus test for their own partnerships. If, on the other hand, you find yourself going through stages of denial, anger, justification, and dismay over reading the negative traits, or noticing the lack of positive characteristics in your relationship, no amount of relationship counseling is going to salvage your relationship. Don't bother wasting your time, your money, or your energy on a partnership with a crumbling foundation. You owe it to yourself to find somebody who ADDS to your life, not takes away anything from it. A person you "love" should be bringing joy to your life, not causing drama and strife. And if you find yourself constantly going from relationship to relationship making excuses for yourself and your partner, it is worth considering taking some much-needed time to be alone - no dating, no sex, no relationship status whatsoever. Sometimes the greatest common denominator in a string of bad relationships is YOU. In that case, please take the time away to identify your levels of self-esteem, insecurity, and the baggage you're holding onto from previous experiences. You have to deal with these yourself before you can ever expect to have a happy and healthy relationship with somebody worthwhile.
For more in-depth analysis of your own personal situation, please feel free to contact me through the website, and I would be happy to set up a complimentary consultation and suggest options for your situation. Whether you choose relationship counseling, personal counseling, or to forego a nasty relationship altogether, I wish you the best of luck and the energy of positive love force in your life, forevermore!
The subject of Qi Vampires has come up so much lately that I thought I'd take the time to write about them and share some relevant advice and comforting words with you, my cherished readers.
First of all, what IS a Qi Vampire? Well, to put it simply, "Qi" (pronounced: Chi) is Chinese for "life force," and we're all well aware of what vampires are, right? So a Qi Vampire is someone who causes you to feel like they have sucked that life force right out of you, leaving you drained after you've been in their presence. This is the "friend" that calls you with a new drama every week, and keeps you on the phone talking about all her problems, inviting them to be your problems by default. This is the person who is so down on life that they seem to be stuck in a constant rut, perhaps unaware that their limitations are self-imposed. This may even be someone you love dearly but just can't seem to get it together, and rather than respectfully walk out of your life, he or she chooses to be a victim and desires you to cater to them. They make you feel sorry for them, they guilt you, they may even abuse you. I'm betting a mental image of someone specific just popped in your mind! We have all known them. But it is our personal choice whether to continue to keep them in our lives.
And why do we want these Qi Vampires out of our lives? Because they really do more harm than good, no matter what excuses you provide for them to continue to suck you dry. Someone else's problems are NOTyour problems, and you shouldn't make them so. Qi Vampires are notorious for wanting to unload on other people, for someone to share the burden they carry. While this may seem like a natural form of relief, it does nothing beneficial for your own energy, and will lower your energy vibration, bringing you down a level (or more), and inviting the same tensions, anxieties, stresses, and problems into your own life.
The first step in ridding yourself of a Qi Vampire is to FORGIVE them. They may not know what they do to you, but regardless, it is your responsibility to clear your own vibration of that negative energy. The great part is that they don't even have to know you are forgiving them; this can be a private matter. One of my own favorite ways of practicing forgiveness is to write a letter to that person, describing all of the emotions I am feeling about a situation the person has put me in. The idea is to let it all out in this letter, and not to censor yourself, because the person will never be reading it anyway. When the letter is finished, you sign it at the bottom, "Forgiven and Released!" and then you burn it. Watching it burn and turn to ash is a physical manifestation of your emotional processing. You should feel good as it burns, because you are releasing that energy into the Universe and getting it off your back. It's done now, and you are declaring to the Universe that you refuse to let this person/situation harm you any longer.
The second step in ridding yourself of Qi Vampires is to walk away from them. So you really have two choices: the first is to explain to that Qi Vampire that you are focusing on improving your life and cannot afford to be involved in negative situations, even if that means only listening to negative things. This might cause you to feel like you're abandoning this person, but what you're really doing is forcing them to feed on someone else, or take the high road and fix their issues rather than spread the energy to innocent bystanders. Either way, it's again, not your problem. The second choice is just to simply distance yourself from the Qi Vampire, becoming unavailable for meetings or chats on the phone, and eventually they'll get the hint that you are no longer available as a feeding post. It's natural to feel guilty about walking away from somebody you care about. You are conditioned to feel guilty about leaving someone you feel you can help. Here's the kicker, though: you are actually helping them more by walking away from them, because there's a greater chance they will work on their issues rather than despair in them. What's more important, though, is that you recognize the priority of cherishing your own well being over theirs. Qi Vampires have no clear sense of how their problems affect other people. They don't care how their feedings take away your vital energy, your time and attention away from yourself and your family. So why should you regard their needs as greater than your own? There is a huge difference between people truly in need of your assistance and people who take advantage of their host as a constant feeding source (coming to you to get their "fix").
Forgiveness is essential to growth, for it is only harming the person who holds that negative energy within, but forgiveness is not attached to obligation. You are not obligated to continue a relationship with those who harm your well being. Those who lower your vibration by stripping you of your energy. Those who wear the mask of friend but who do not hold themselves accountable to any laws of integrity. Therefore, it is better for your growth, health, mental ease, and peace of mind, to sever ties with those offenders without giving excuses. In contrast, when you allow Qi Vampires to remain in your life, however casually, you are telling the Universe, "I want more of this. I'm surrounding myself with this, so this must feel good to me." You unwittingly cheat yourself out of happiness. The Universe provides only more of what you place importance on, and when you think about bad things because they are continually making themselves known (by your permission, I might add) then the Universe gives you more of what you allow. Conversely, when you surround yourself and place attention only upon those who serve your growth and raise you up vibrationally, more helpful, loving, joy-filled people come into your life, and there simply isn't room for Qi Vampires.
Friends, I would never pass along any wisdom I wasn't confident in from tried and true experience. Not all that long ago I was an unfortunate victim of Qi Vampires, and they had infiltrated my closest circle of "friends." It took years of compounded experiences that left me wondering "why me?" to realize that those I counted as my confidantes were no longer serving me. Every day with these Qi Vampires was some new drama, some crisis, some reason to constantly moan about their "bad luck" and complain rather than help themselves out of problems. They weren't happy at their jobs, but they weren't motivated to look for new ones or go to school to acquire the education necessary to obtain better jobs. They never seemed to have enough money to pay their bills, but they had plenty of money to throw away on things detrimental to their health and peace of mind (unhealthy food, cigarettes, alcohol, mindless "entertainment"). They were plagued with health problems, bratty children, relationships that went nowhere, etc. Its effect on my energy levels can be felt even as I simply think back to those times. I made a pledge never to feel exhausted by relationships again. If you are feeling depleted and don't have a well from which to fill back up, then what is the point of having that person in your life? I no longer have Qi Vampires plaguing me and for over a year now, I've never felt better. I want the same for you. You are cared for. You are loved. You deserve to feel at peace and reap the benefits of being connected with Beings of higher vibrations. When you witness this transformation, you'll never want to go back to the way things used to be. Now, isn't that a comforting thought? :)
Namaste and the best of the Universe's blessings to you all!
"I've been to counseling before but I never connected with my therapists. Until Dr. Lindsey. I feel like I'm chatting to a friend, that I could cry and laugh and yell all in the same session and she's right there guiding me through it. She really understands me and what I'm going through." - MN "Everything you said (in my reading) was very true! I was just reading it lately and...wow. I understand now what you were saying about it not being a charm or a curse it was just a revelation...that's so crazy. Can I get another one?" - JB