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June 2016
S M T W T F S
     
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5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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Syndication

It's not "The Most Wonderful Time of The Year" when your heart is broken.

Even if the holiday season usually delights you, it's hard to be cheerful when you're consumed by painful memories of holidays past. The first year post-breakup, or post-divorce, can be especially traumatic. Everything reminds you of your Ex, and the fact that you are not together anymore. Thinking about the ice skating rink that you held hands at last year, how you're going to explain this to your anxious Grandma, or even the sight of sparkling lights is enough to throw you into a heavy state of sadness.

The holiday season can also feel particularly lonely if you're nursing a broken heart. Emotional pain feels isolating and difficult to share when it seems like everyone else is happy and having a good time. And of course the last thing you want to do is go to a party when 1) you need to fake cheerful "okay-ness" and / or 2) you're worried about running into your Ex or their friends. That's not even taking into consideration how challenging it is for the newly single to to negotiate high impact social situations without their usual "plus 1."

In short: this time of year makes a hard situation feel even harder. 

If you're like most people in this position you probably have lots of questions: "How should I handle myself in certain situations?" "Should I even try to go to parties this year, or should I lay low?" "How do I take care of myself?" and "Will this loneliness and pain ever end?"

Truthfully, the answers to those questions are not always easy or simple. The answers really depend on where you are in the breakup recovery process. On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm going to walk you through the stages of healing after a breakup, and show you how to actually use the opportunity of this challenging time of year to move your "heartbreak healing process" forward more quickly.

Not only will your "what to do" questions be answered, but you'll also get a good roadmap for the recovery process ahead. I hope that this information will help you invest in yourself, and make the coming year a fresh, positive new chapter of your life.

All the best to you,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: How_To_Survive_a_Breakup_Over_the_Holidays_-_12716_7.59_AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm MDT

How to Cope With Disappointment

Having your dream crushed can leave you sitting in emotional rubble, feeling disempowered and confused.

Our disappointments have many faces: Causes, or candidates, you believe in get creamed. The most interesting first date you've had in a long time ghosts out. You realize that your partner is never actually going to change. The pink lines of the pregnancy test fade away, and the bleeding begins. Bad things happen to good people. People fail you.

If you get in the ring of life, sooner or later, you're going to take a gut punch.

So how do you keep going? We know that grit — the ability to get back up and continue plodding forward despite adversity —  is the ultimate key to success. But It’s hard to maintain your hope and motivation when reality slams the door in your face.

If you've suffered with disappointment lately, here are three ideas that can help, plus the one thing you should definitely avoid doing. 

I hope it helps you find peace, strengthen your resolve, and turn your face towards future. 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Coping_With_Disappointment_-_111516_8.14_PM.mp3
Category:Self Help -- posted at: 8:17pm MDT

Overthinking: The Curse of the Most Creative and Intelligent

Really smart, creative, and thoughtful people have many strengths. They can plan things in advance, avoid potential pitfalls, and envision their future reality. Vividly. However one thing I have learned from my years of experience as a therapist and life coach is that all these positive attributes, when left unsupervised, can also create boatloads of anxiety.

Overthinking and Indecision = Disempowerment

When you anticipate possible problems you feel constricted. When you plan every step you often encounter roadblocks. When you want to make the "right" decision before taking action, you invest more time and energy in to thinking than into doing. At these times it's easy to become riddled with uncertainty, and decide before you even try that things aren't even worth doing.

Slam! Analysis paralysis has clamped down on your life, and stopped you from living courageously.

The result? A safe life... But a smaller life.

Authentic Happiness Requires Risk

One of the core skills of authentically happy people that I discuss at length in my online Happiness Class is the ability to take measured risks. Why is the ability to try new things related to happiness? Because when you take action to bring your life into alignment with your core values, it gets better. Another component of fearless living is being able to handle uncertainty or adversity with confidence and competence. That means your happiness is still intact, even when things go differently than you'd hoped. That's true resilience.

Being resilient and trusting yourself means that it's safe to take chances. When you're able to fearlessly try new things, your world expands. When you give yourself permission to take action, you get to learn and grow no matter what. Not knowing exactly what is going to happen next adds sparkle and excitement to your life. When your life gets bigger and more interesting, so do you.

Fearless Living Nourishes Your Relationship

Furthermore, novelty and learning new things are core ingredients to having a fresh, fun long term relationship. When your life atrophies, so does your partnership. If you want to have an interesting relationship, you need to have an interesting life. Plus, there is nothing sexier than a passionate person who is enthusiastic and confident. When you set aside anxieties and allow yourself to live fearlessly, you nourish both yourself and your relationship.

5 Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Living Fearlessly

On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, I'm giving you the scoop on how to release worry from your life, feel more confident in your decisions, strengthen your sense of competence and resilience, and cultivate fearlessness in your own life. Listen now, and learn all about the care and feeding of your inner tiger.

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Stop_Worrying_and_Start_Living_Fearlessly_-_11216_7.15_AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23am MDT

Just because you don't feel good doesn't mean you are depressed.

"Dark emotions" are not just normal and healthy parts of life, they are also essential to personal growth. Feeling unhappy is often the catalyst for making positive changes in your life. There is light and dark in all things. Experiencing grief, sadness, disappointment, hurt, and regret - unpleasant though they may be - are part of being a whole person.

Furthermore, listening to those hard feelings and taking guidance from them can help you understand yourself, your core needs, and your values more clearly. Even though they don't feel good in the moment, dark emotions are not just healthy... they are valuable. When you listen to those feelings instead of dismissing them as "bad," you have the chance to heal and grow.

What is Depression?

Depression is different from the pain of a "growth moment." Depression is not motivating, instructive or valuable. It's an illness.

Depression is a mood state that impacts the way you think, feel, and behave. Unlike the dark emotions that are connected to growth opportunities, depression is not productive or constructive. In fact, depression can be a serious illness that needs to be treated and relieved before meaningful personal growth is possible.

On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm taking you inside depression, so you can understand what it is -- and what it is not. I'll help you identify the symptoms of depression in yourself or your loved one.

Depression Management Strategies

We'll also talk about what to do if you think you have depression so that you can create a practical strategy for conquering it. We'll talk about natural remedies for depressioncognitive behavioral therapy, and when medication for depression is the best idea. I'll also discuss what to do if you suspect that your partner or loved one is depressed, and how you can help them recover.

Depression exists on a spectrum from mild to serious. One thing I discuss on the podcast is that when depression becomes very serious, it can become life threatening. Here are links to get emergency help if you or your loved one are in real trouble and need help immediately:

Colorado Crisis Hotline: 1-844-493-8255

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

I hope this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast helps you identify what's going on in your life, and whether you're dealing with depression or a "growth opportunity." If you do believe that depression is gaining power in your life, I hope this discussion provides you with both hope (as depression is very treatable) as well as actionable steps you can start taking today.

Lisa Marie Bobby

Direct download: Is_it_Depression_-_101916_11.11_AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16am MDT

Do you have hundreds of "friends," yet still feel disconnected?

As a therapist, people share their deepest feelings and fears with me. What I've been hearing a lot lately is about is how disconnected and alone many of my clients feel, even though they may have contact with dozens upon dozens of people a day. Ironic, right?

But there is such a difference between knowing people, and truly being known. Having contacts is not the same as having authentic connection. Many people with dozens of "friends" are still craving actual friendships where they feel known, valued, and understood.

I'm a marriage counselor first, so my podcast and blog often does skew on the side of discussing your relationship with your "primary attachment" (that's shrink-speak for "significant other."). However having meaningful friendships and close connections in your life is just as important to your over all happiness and well being as the state of your marriage. In fact, having close friends that you trust and who you can be emotionally intimate with can buffer you from the rest of life's ups and downs.

But, creating and maintaining authentic connection and friendship can be challenging. This is especially true as people move out of their twenties, and into their thirties and beyond. For one thing, it's harder to meet people when you're not going out all the time. Secondly, it's challenging to spend time with the friends you have when everyone is stretched so thin between their careerstheir families, making time for their spouse, and just keeping their lives in order. It's about the best we can do to comment on each other's posts once in a while.

How to Have More Friendship in Your Life

To discuss this issue that affects so many people, and get some practical tips on how to cultivate authentic friendship in your life, I have enlisted the support of an expert: one of MY oldest and dearest friends, Amy Rocen. Amy is not a therapist or a life coach, but of all the people I have ever met - personally or professionally - she is truly an authority on making and keeping good friends.

She's graciously agreed to discuss her "friendship super power with me" on this edition of the Love, Happiness & Success podcast. We're going to be talking about the things that she and I have done to keep our friendship strong and emotionally intimate for over twenty years.

Amy is also going to be sharing her tips for how to connect with new people, as well as her perspective on how to keep a rich and full life of meaningful relationships through the ups and downs of time.

Direct download: Cultivating_Connection-_The_Art_of_Friendship_-_10316_2.51_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 3:00pm MDT

Am I in the "right" relationship? How do I find my soulmate? Are we truly compatible?

Many people show up for dating coachinglife coaching or even marriage counseling with a lot of angst around these unanswered questions. People who are dating can wonder if they've found "the one." Premarital couples sometimes worry whether they're compatible enough to get married. And even married or long time partnered people can wonder if their relationship issues are due to their being too different. (Or having "perpetual problems" as marriage and family researcher Dr. John Gottman likes to call it).

I'm simply glad that people are asking these kinds of relationship questions. After all, who you choose to marry is going to have a greater impact on the quality of your life and your long term happiness than just about anything else.

And it's also true that everyone is a mixed bag, with aspects to them that are both delightful and frustrating as all get out. So how do you determine what is a relationship red flag, or sign that you're fundamentally incompatible? How to you figure out what differences are okay? When do opposites not just attract, but actually strengthen a partnership? When can you have big differences, and yet still be highly compatible soul mates?

The answers might surprise you! On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm going to talk through all these questions with you. To do this though, I need to wear three hats.

Relationship Compatibility in Marriage

First, I'm going to put on my marriage counselor cape hat and talk about the most common culprits that make married couples wonder if they are compatible or not. Listen and learn what (frustrating!) differences might actually be strengths for your relationship, and what differences are harder to overcome. I'll also give you tips for how to build bridges to the center, and appreciate each other for who you are. Want to see an example of this in action? Check out my recent post: "How Jenny and Greg Fixed Their Relationship." 

Finding Your Soulmate

Next I'm putting on my dating coach  wizard hat to talk about the serious business of finding your soul mate. Dating is all about "auditioning" people and getting to know them over time. I'll share the down low on the biggest mistake I see dating people make, and how it can impair their ability to find a true soul mate. If you are on the dating market, I'll help you understand what's important to look for in a potential partner, and what is NOT as important when you're looking for love. I'm also sharing some practical steps you can take to make sure that you're finding a good match in terms of both character and chemistry.

For Premarital Couples

Lastly, I'm sharing my advice as a premarital counselor. If you're planning a wedding with some lingering questions on your mind, you'll want to check out the case example I shared about what it looks like when someone is NOT asking the right questions leading up to marriage. The best time to prevent potential pitfalls is before the wedding. It's essential to have serious conversations about your personalities, hopes and dreams, and expectations prior to the "I Do's." Why? First of all, it's enormously helpful to get on the same page and identify potential problems before you're married. But an even bigger reason? Because the one of the most serious red flags for a relationship is not being able to talk through important things respectfully. If you are literally not able to have "Who are we, what do we each want, and how are we going to get on the same page?" conversations together, you might want to slow down.

Relationship Compatibility Test

One of the resources I talked through on the show is Dr. Helen Fisher's personality test. If you would like to take it for yourself (and / or ask your partner to) you can find it here: http://bit.ly/2cOmEX6. For more information about the ideas behind Dr. Fisher's compatibility quiz and how they impact people in relationships, I highly recommend her book, "Why Him, Why Her."

With love, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Relationship_Compatibility-__Finding_Your_Soulmate.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 4:15pm MDT

Healing From Infidelity, Emotional Affairs, and Betrayal

As a Denver marriage counselor for over a decade, I've had an up close, front-row seat to all aspects of the tragedy of infidelity. I know with certainty that being involved in an affair is one of the most traumatic and damaging things that someone can live through.

When feelings of lust and romantic infatuation overwhelm someone's core values, commitment and good judgment, families can be shattered, and lives are often ruined. In the aftermath of infidelity, everyone involved is left feeling emotionally bankrupt and broken, and with unanswered questions blaring in their heads.

This podcast is my attempt to answer some of them:

  • Why do affairs happen?
  • Why does infidelity happen in even happy marriages?
  • Why is everyone in a love triangle profoundly damaged by the experience?
  • What are the early signs that an affair is simmering?
  • Most importantly: How do you even begin to recover, not just your relationship, but yourself in the aftermath of an affair?

Protecting Your Marriage From an Affair

Affairs, like any other type of cancer or addiction, throw off lots of red flags and warning signs in the early stages. If you know what to look for you can check yourself, and / or protect your marriage. Early intervention is key, and I'll show you what to watch out for to prevent the nightmare of an affair from unfolding in your life.

Rebuilding a Marriage After the Affair

If you are in a marriage that has been shattered by an affair, I want you to know that hope, healing and forgiveness are possible. An affair does not necessarily mean that divorce is around the corner. While it is hard work to rebuild trust in the aftermath of an affair under the guidance of a competent marriage counselor many couples are able to not just heal from infidelity, but create a stronger and more satisfying relationship than ever before. I'll share the key ingredient to help you start growing back together again.

Healing After Betrayal

Being cheated on, lied to, and betrayed by your number-one person cuts deeply into soft places that are hard to heal. Recovery involves repairing your self esteem, working through grief and anger, and learning how to trust again -- both other people, and often yourself. I'll give you some tips for how to understand what happened, and protect yourself from future betrayals.

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Furthermore, hope and recovery is also possible for The Other and The Occupied -- the people who did terrible things over the course of an affair that they now feel ashamed about. No one gets out of a love triangle unscathed. When betrayals happen in the context of a toxic relationship, everyone involved is emotionally wounded in the process. Abandoning your values, and feeling that you've allowed yourself to be degraded by an affair can leave your self-respect mangled, and damage your trust in yourself -- not to mention your trust in others. The silver lining: We'll be talking about how such unique pain brings with it an equally unique opportunity to learn, grow, and become a better, healthier, more powerful person because of it.

Recovering From Infidelity

On this episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast we are descending into the darkness of infidelity together, so that you can understand how and why affairs start, how to prevent affairs from happening, and how to rebuild your life if you have been through any aspect of this experience.

I sincerely hope it helps you on your journey of growth and healing.

With love,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

Music Credits of this episode: PJ Harvey: Dry and To Bring You My Love (Albums)


Restore Your Sexual Connection

Feeling disconnected sexually is one of the first signs that a relationship may be heading for trouble. But it can be a difficult topic for couples to address openly, even in marriage counseling. Despite feeling sadness, rejection, pressure, or frustration around sexuality, many couples feel inhibited from discussing it with each other: It just feels too vulnerable.

So they avoid the conversation. Over time, unfortunately, they often become increasingly disconnected -- both sexually and emotionally -- as a result. Don't let this happen to your relationship. It's time to fearlessly face your sexual relationship, and start having the open conversations that will help not just restore your sex life, but restore the emotional intimacy and positivity to your relationship again.

Be honest: Is your sex life withering? Has it been weeks, months or even years since you and your partner had a meaningful, let alone erotic, sexual experience together? Does sex feel more like another obligation as opposed to a pleasurable point of connection? Are you starting to feel more like room-mates or buddies than lovers?

If so, you're not alone. Many busy, high achieving couples start to lose their sexual connection over time as the "stuff of life" starts taking priority over sexual intimacy. Keeping eroticism and passion alive in long term relationships requires effort and intention, but unfortunately it's one of the easiest things to put off. Many couples let it go for too long, and over time start to experience negative consequences in many different areas of their relationship as a result.

The good news is that intimacy and desire can be restored.

You can have a vibrant, enjoyable sexual connection again. The first step on this journey is educating yourself and learning new ideas that will help you address the core issues affecting most dissatisfying sexual relationships.

On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm offering my best advice on how to:

  • Stop neglecting your sexual relationship
  • Have time and energy to invest in your erotic connection
  • Increase your (and / or your partner's) sexual desire
  • Use your sexual relationship as a vehicle for personal growth

Listen, and learn how to banish "sexual apathy" from taking over your marriage, and what new research on sexuality and desire shows about how to bring sexual energy back to life -- both in yourself, and in your partnership.

I hope this information helps you start to find your way back together again.

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Sexless_Marriage_Revive_Sexual_Intimacy_-_81016_10.20_AM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 8:56am MDT

Getting Married is a Big Deal. Do it Right.

Are you ready for fancy dresses, impromptu family reunions, teary toasts, and inebriated aunts doing embarrassing things on the dance floor? Yes, it's wedding season, y'all. While most of the time on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast we talk about how to have a great relationship, today, in honor of wedding season, we're talking about the art and craft of weddings themselves.

Why? For the last few months we've had droves of young couples at Growing Self preparing themselves to have fantastic marriages, through either our "I Do!" premarital counseling program, or our Denver premarital counseling class, "A Lifetime of Love." It's inspiring to see so many smart couples who are heading off potential problems by doing premarital counseling so I decided to make you all a little wedding present.

If you're not getting married yourself this year, it's highly likely that you'll be a guest at a wedding. And that comes with it's own set of challenges. Anytime far-flung extended family and friends come together for an alcohol infused weekend, drama can ensue. How do you support your loved one who is getting married while setting healthy boundaries, and still have a good time in the process?

Whether you are gearing up for a large scale traditional wedding, an intimate gathering to formalize your partnership, weddings are a big deal. A marriage is an incredibly meaningful and important day, and it can be uniquely stressful to plan and prepare for. On this episode of the podcast I've invited Laura Pearson, founder of L Elizabeth Events, to share some of the things she's learned from her 10 years of experience as a Denver wedding planner. Some of the questions I've asked her on your behalf:

  • What are some of the biggest mistakes engaged couples make?
  • What's the secret to enjoying your wedding, instead of being a stress-case?
  • How do you handle intrusive parents?
  • What can you do to make your wedding more enjoyable and meaningful for your guests?
  • As a guest, what do you need to do to support your friend or family member on their big day?

Listen Now!

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: How_to_Have_a_Happy_Wedding.m4a
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 10:00am MDT

Becoming a Family: The Greatest Adventure of All

Nothing can quite prepare you for the realities of parenthood. Life with babies and small children is, for most couples, a total shock to the system. As joyful and meaningful as this stage of life is, it can be very difficult. If you aren't thoughtful and intentional about what you're doing, parenthood can quickly become a chaotic, frustrating experience -- and take a huge toll on your marriage.

As a marriage counselor, I'm always thrilled when smart, proactive couples show up for premarital counseling. My only wish is that more would show up for "pre-baby counseling." Because having a baby is a much bigger deal, emotionally and relationally, than getting hitched. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. Do a quick google search and about the only thing you find about "preparing for a baby" has to do with fitness, nutrition, and the ocean of baby-gear that you could acquire. 

Having kids changes everything, but it's hard to imagine what those changes will be until you actually do it. Most couples experience challenges that never occurred to them were even possible, while they were spending leisurely days shopping for baby furniture and talking about how much fun family fishing trips will be. (Or were consumed with riding the rollercoaster of protracted infertility). 

From the first day that little bundle is home, they are both faced with needing to make major changes around everything from they way they communicate, to expectations about what should be happening, to a higher need for teamwork, to establishing new systems so everything runs smoothly, to what role they each take with each other and as parents. Sprinkle in some anxiety, post part depression, sleep deprivation, no game plan, and a screaming baby and it can get tense pretty fast.

It's a major life transition, and a lot to deal with. And if you just let it go, and hope for the best it's quite possible to become a statistical average and not enjoy the experience that that much. Research on marital satisfaction over the family life cycle has shown that there is a trend towards lower enjoyment of married life after having kids. 

Here's the depressing graph: www.growingself.com/parenting-without-losing-your-mind-yourself-or-your-marriage 

Parenting Together CAN Be Joyful

That graph does not have to be YOUR reality. You are not a statistical average. You are a person with free will, choices, and you're already taking control over the situation by educating yourself. You get to be in charge of your life, and your family experience. 

I'm here as a wife, mom, and marriage and family therapist to tell you that life with kids doesn't have to be difficult, and it does not need to negatively impact your marriage. In fact, if you put even half as much time into figuring out your post-baby game plan (and your own personal growth opportunities) as you do into childbirth preparation classes you can avoid many of the most common pitfalls of new parents. 

Embracing the opportunities to grow that this phase of life offers will expand you. Parenthood is truly a vehicle to personal evolution. Even more importantly, when you intentionally grow skills in a few key areas you can cultivate a stronger marriage than you had pre-baby: You can have better communication, stronger agreement, more teamwork, and more fun than ever before. Except that it can be even more meaningful, important, and love drenched -- and probably messier -- that you ever imagined.

On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm going to be sharing some tips about where to where to start if you want to have a peaceful home, a strong marriage, great communication, easy kids, be on the same page with your partner, and have a shared vision for your family that is rooted in your core values.

All the best, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby


Sometimes Leaping ForwardRequires Letting Go...

As a Life Coach and Executive Coach I talk to a lot of drivengo-getters. My clients often have an insatiable appetite forconstant-and-never-ending growth, achievement, andself-improvement. They are truly amazing, talented, and incrediblysuccessful people with an unquenchable thirst for forward progressand success. Does this sound like you, too? First of all: Thankyou. The world as we know it exists because of peoplelike you. Your motivation, your drive, your vision, and youroptimism are the psychic fuel that runs the engines of ourcivilization. Thank you for being you.

And... If you are like most strong,naturally driven and forward-focused people there are also not-funtimes when your motivation leaves the building, your energyflags, your focus becomes diffuse, and your wheels spin. And spin.And spin. And for naturally focused, driven, achievement orientedpeople that "down time" can be a very anxiety provoking experience.In fact, many of my Life Coaching and Executive Coaching clients show up for help when theyhave this experience, because they feel like something is wrong.They've lost their sparkle, and their clear sense ofpurpose. 

There is a novel solution torecharge your passion, restore your creativity, and usher in a newphase of productivity and purpose. But the paradoxical remedy mightsurprise you.

What to Do When YourGet-Up-And-Go Has Got-Up-And-Went:Listen now...

 

xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Music Credits: I Live inThe Springtime, by The Lemon Drops

Direct download: How_to_Move_Forward_By_Stopping..mp3
Category:Self Help, Productivity -- posted at: 1:15pm MDT

Breakup Advice: Your Questions, Answered

I've been a marriage counselor for a long time. My experience has taught me that when both people in a relationship are committed to doing what it takes to improve it, relationships can nearly always be made whole. Even better, most couples can use their troubles as a launching pad for amazing new growth. At the end of the process, believe it or not, they often describe feeling grateful for the problems that brought them into marriage counseling because their transformation would not have been possible without them. That's the happy ending.

And. Not all relationships can be saved. Not all relationships should be saved. When one or both partners have simply stopped believing that the other person can be who they want or need them to be, and the costs of staying outweigh the benefits, relationships end. Often, in the aftermath, one partner will be left alone on my therapy-couch. Then we do the work of recovery together.

That's how I accidentally became a break up expert. (And a dating coach, incidentally).

What I learned through this work is that people can suffer for a very long time; stuck on an Ex who will never love them the way they need to be loved. I also learned that attachments don't just turn off like a switch. Breaking your bond to another person is very hard work, and it must be intentional. Time does not heal. Time + intentional effort + self awareness sure can though.

When I realized how many people are suffering, and feeling so helpless to extract themselves from unhealthy emotional attachments, I became a passionate advocate for people on the path of recovery from failed relationships. So much so that I wrote a book on the subject, "Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to An Ex Love," and I developed my online breakup recovery program, "Heal Your Broken Heart." Since then I've been getting lots of questions from readers and listeners. Today, I decided to devote a podcast to answering them.

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, we're talking all about breakups -- particularly how to deal with the hardest parts, and serious dilemmas like:

  • How do you know when a relationship is really over, or whether it's worth trying again?
  • How to handle  friends and family who may be getting frustrated with you in an on-again, off-again type situation? Or how to set boundaries with well-meaning people who have very definite ideas about how you should handle things, when you feel differently?
  • How to deal with the enormous emotional pain of a breakup?
  • How to cope with regret over the mistakes you made that may have led to the ending of your relationship?

So if you've been stuck on your Ex for too long, and wondering how to let go, listen to this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast to get some new ideas and guidance for how to let go and move on --- for good.

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

www.growingself.com

Direct download: Getting_Over_a_Breakup_2-_2617_1.19_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 1:31pm MDT

Lonely Valentine's Days aren't just for singles...

Valentine's Day can be a fun, romantic day. But it can also leave people feeling exquisitely lonely -- especially, believe it or not, if they are in long-term relationships. We've all heard the arguments that Valentine's Day is a manufactured holiday, designed to manipulate people into spending their money. But what I have found to be more true is that people love to love. They love to celebrate their love. They love to feel cherished and appreciated. And they really want to feel loved, celebrated, cherished, and appreciated on Valentine's Day -- by the person who means more to them than anyone else in the world.

Particularly when relationships have been feeling challenging, many people hope that Valentine's Day can be a day for recognition, reconnection, and reunion. That the love that launched their life together can be breathed back into a cozy fire by a little effort and specialness. (And it certainly can).

And... many married people have hopes that do not come to fruition on Valentine's Day. Instead of feeling like they day was a celebration of their love for each other:

They don't feel loved and cherished.

Or

They don't feel valued and respected.

Or

They don't feel known, or understood.

Or

They are frustrated by radically different ideas of what would be fun / meaningful to do on Valentine's Day.

Or

They try to have a good time, but old friction points, conflicts, and resentments bubble up to spoil it.

Ick.

When these things happen couples can feel very, very lonely on THE DAY that it seems like everyone else in the world is celebrating their love. Even if things are "good-enough" most of the time, and longing for connection is lost in the day-to-day flurry of must-do activities and chores, a lonely Valentine's Day can still feel like a real blow.

It's hard to live through this, but here is the good news: Being dissatisfied with the way things are is the definition of motivation. All couples have ups and downs. Being more aware of your feelings is the first step towards making positive changes in your life, and in your relationship.

Are YOU feeling ready to make changes? Do you want to feel connected, and in-love again? Help is here: On this edition of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm sharing my top 10 tips to help you re-establish your romantic connection.

Feeling Lonely In Your Marriage? 10 Tips To Reconnect. Listen Now.

Music Credits: "Valentine," by The Losers

Direct download: Lonely_Marriage_10_Tips_To_Reconnection_-_21516_6.10_PM.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 6:17pm MDT

Are "money issues" a problem in your relationship?

If so, you're not alone. Fights about money -- how to spend it, how to save it, and how to make it -- are common battlegrounds in a marriage. Why so much drama? Money is emotionally laden for most people. Money is ultimately a symbol that can mean security, freedom, pleasure, power, love, and more. When it means different things to two people in a relationship -- look out. The sparks fly when couples have different values around money.

"He's a cheapskate." (Translation: I don't feel loved.)
"She spends every dime." (Translation: Doesn't she care about our security? Or how hard I work?)
"All he/she does is work." (Translation: I don't feel important.)
"I can't believe you spent so much on _____." (Translation: I don't understand you.)
"Where did it all go??" (Translation: This is scary. I feel alone in this.)

When left unchecked, "money issues" can bloom into very ugly emotional dynamics: Power struggles. Hiding spending, or debt. Negative beliefs about each other's character. Increasing hostility and emotional distance. Money problems must be resolved.

Get on The Same Page About Finances

The good news is that creating agreement and teamwork around finances is a solvable problem. All couples have to work through differences around money as part of growing together. This doesn't have to be stressful or conflictual. It's just a matter of learning new skills -- together.

In fact, the most successful couples have developed a set of skills about how to manage money together. (Just like they have learned about other critical relationship skills). Learning how to talk about money, make a plan for money, and support each other's financial hopes and dreams is one of the cornerstones of a happy healthy marriage.

Financial Counseling For Couples

On today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success podcast I'm so pleased to be speaking with expert couples financial counselor Jeff Motske on this subject. Jeff is the author of Couples Guide to Financial Compatibility, and the host of the "Declare Your Financial Freedom" radio show. Listen to our interview to learn how to:

  • How to use Jeff's free online quiz: War of the Wallets to learn more about each other's "money personality"
  • Have productive conversations about money
  • How to create a workable budget
  • How to develop a "solid financial house" together
  • And how to set yourself financially free, as a couple.

Financial Counseling For Couples: Listen Now


It's Not Just You: Online Dating Can Be Brutal

Profiles that don't get any attention.
Endless texting that doesn't go anywhere.
First dates that fizzle.

It's hard to avoid all the potential pitfalls on your own. It's anxiety provoking to put yourself out there and either hear chirping crickets, or endure a series disappointing experiences. There is a reason why dating coaching has become a multi-million dollar industry in the last few years -- NOBODY knows what they are doing when it comes to online dating. That's why so many people are turning to dating coaching experts to help them figure it out.

As we've discussed on previous podcasts, for successful online dating you need to have CLARITY, INTENTION, and a darn good STRATEGY. There's no better person to take online dating advice from my guest on today's episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast: The world-famous online dating coach Julie Spira.

For over 20 years, Julie Spira has been helping singles find love online. She teaches singles how to shorten their search, so they can ride into the digital sunset together. She’s the bestselling author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Julie is a frequent guest in the media for online and mobile dating advice. She’s appeared in over 650 stories including ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, NPR, Good Morning America, Elle, Glamour, Men’s Health, New York Times, Washington Post, and USAToday. Follow her on Twitter, @JulieSpira, where she tweets about dating and love.

She’s here as our guest today to talk about the hot topic of online dating and mobile dating apps and the new audio book version of her bestseller.

Listen to our interview and hear Julie's top tips about how to make your online profile irresistible, convert first texts into first dates, and connect with the love you're looking for. Want more of Julie's tips? Links to her website are in our show notes for this episode: www.growingself.com/the-secret-to-finding-love-online-with-julie-spira

The Secret to Finding Love Online, with Julie Spira: Listen Now

Direct download: The_Secret_To_Finding_Love_Online_with_Julie_Spira.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 4:13pm MDT

Harness The Power of Your Mind

Do you ever get frustrated with yourself for not doing the things you know you should do? Of course! We all know how incredibly hard it can be to stay motivated, and stay on track for the long haul.

You only need to look at what a huge industry Life Coaching has become to see how many hundreds of thousands of people are enlisting the support of a coach to help them stay motivated, stay accountable, and make things happen. There is a reason why people reach out to life coaches: It can be tough to stay on track and follow through when you're going it alone.

However, there are things that you can do on your own to take charge of your life, and achieve your goals. In particular, when you get in control of your mind you can transcend limitations and overcome obstacles that may have seemed insurmountable before.

Your Mind + Body connection is undeniably powerful. Research consistently shows the impact that your physical health, diet, exercise and sleep habits has on your mood and on the way you think. But it works the other way too -- cognitive approaches to therapy have been found by research to be the most consistently effective way of improving your mood, feeling better, sleeping better, and getting better results.

[Tweet "When you get in control of your thoughts, you get in control of your life. "]

Learn How to Get In Control Of Your Mind

Being able to harness the power of your mind isn't about luck or magic. Just like happiness is learned you can also learn how to use simple skills and strategies to build your motivation, resist the temptations that will lure you off track, and achieve your goals.

My guest on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, Sir John Hargrave, is here to teach you how. Sir John is the author of Mindhacking: How to Change Your Mind For Good in 21 Days. I spoke with Sir John a few months ago before he released his book. In our "Mindhacking: Reprogram Your Brain" podcast he discussed tools and tips you can use to "debug" your brain and straighten out your thinking process.

Today, he's back to share his latest adventures and advice with us. To prove how powerful his mind control techniques are, Sir John just undertook a 21 day fast. He's here today to speak with us about the mental ju-jitsu he used on himself to accomplish this goal. He's sharing his insights with you, so YOU can use similar strategies to make things happen in your own life.

Listen to Sir John's great, specific advice and learn how to increase your motivation, your focus, and your sense of control. Learn more about Sir John and his book, his program, and his latest adventures in mind control at www.mindhacki.ng

Take Control of Your Life: Listen Now

(Was this helpful? If so please be sure to review the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast on iTunes. And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on upcoming episodes!)

Direct download: Mind_Control-_Take_Charge_of_Your_Life.mp3
Category:Mindfulness, Self Help, Achievement -- posted at: 4:20pm MDT

Do you know what you need to do... but then don't do it?

Here's some free advice from a Life Coach: Setting goals and making plans are necessary to achieve your dreams. But your success will ultimately hinge upon your ability to do what you know you need to do consistently. And -- here's the hard part -- even when you don't feel like it.

One of the biggest things the Life Coaches do, as a matter of fact, is help people stay motivated. Having an accountability partner, and someone expecting you to do your homework rallies your motivation. Something about doing things "just for yourself" leaves you vulnerable to the opposite of motivation -- which is being comfy, and indulging instant gratification. (Trust me, I know -- it happens to me too).

If you're like most people, it's a challenge to stay motivated for the long term. Even though we logically know what needs to happen, it's like there's this imp that pulls us off track. "The Imp" loves being comfy. It wants to do whatever feels good right now. It whispers excuses in your ears like, "Just watch one more episode" when you know you need to go to bed. It promises, "We'll exercise tomorrow!" when know you need to get your butt to the gym instead of tapping-to-snooze nine more times.

And -- as you know -- it is very, very powerful.

If you're like most people you started the new year with some firm plans in place. You were ready for a fresh start. You were hopeful about making positive changes this year. And, if you're like most people, since then you've had time to notice the war inside of you that happens when you are trying to stay motivated: Your head pulling you in one direction, and "The Imp" pulling you in another. If you're like most people, "The Imp" has had a few wins since New Year's Eve... and may even be well on it's way to throttling your motivation back into apathetic acceptance of the status quo.

In other words: You're already in the danger zone.

Developing a new kind of relationship with the forces inside of you and learning how to keep your motivation strong (and your "Imp" in it's place) is absolutely crucial if you want to make things happen in your life. It's the core of the work you do in Love, Life or Career Coaching. (Read: What's the difference between Life Coaching and Therapy?)

We started this year off by reflecting on your strengths and accomplishments, connecting with your core values, and thinking about what kinds of positive action would actually move the needle for you this year. (Missed it? Listen to the "Start 2016 Strong" podcast, and don't forget to sign up for your self-study worksheet.)

Now it's time to work on building the motivation that will actually get you there. On episode 64 of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm discussing how to get a handle on instant gratification, and how to keep your motivation firmly in charge.

How to Stay Motivated: Listen Now

While you're on iTunes listening, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast. Also, if you like the it would mean the world to me if you left a review saying so -- YOUR support is what helps this show grow!

Now, let's talk: Self awareness is key to mastering motivation. What's your first clue that Instant Gratification is taking over? How do YOU get motivation back in charge? Discussion time is in the comments! www.growingself.com/how-to-stay-motivated

(Music Credits: Ray Rude, "Transform")

Direct download: How_To_Stay_Motivated_-_11516_3.53_PM.mp3
Category:Self Help, Coaching, Motivation -- posted at: 8:29am MDT

Is social media giving you social anxiety?

You're not alone. Many people feel worse about themselves and their lives after logging into Facebook or Instagram.

Engagement rings, new babies, new houses, envious vacations, and tales of spouses doing eye-mistingly touching things scroll up endlessly. You should be happy for your friends, right? That their lives are so wonderful and amazing is a glorious thing, right? But it still makes your stomach tighten into a fist as you think of your own diamond-less, baby-less life. You can't help but comparing your house to theirs, your vacation to theirs, and... worst of all... your partner to theirs.

  • Like how he surprised her with five hundred cheerios arranged on the table to say, "I love you!" and a serenade of "You Are My Sunshine" by their three young children when she walked in for breakfast -- just because!
  • Like how she orchestrated a multi-day treasure hunt involving GPS, clues handed by anonymous "strangers" and a midnight trip on a crosstown bus cumulating in the discovery of front row concert tickets for him to see his idol live on stage, only to be met there by the two best friends she'd arranged to fly in from each coast for the event.
  • Like how your partner can't even be bothered to pick up a cheerio off the floor and couldn't pick your best friend out of a line up -- even if you could tear him away from the Xbox.

In short: More people than you'd expect feel like taking a Xanax and / or fire-bombing their lives after a ten minute Facebook session.

How do I know this? Because I am a therapist and life coach, and people tell me their secrets. My clients are some of the most poised, socially savvy, outwardly successful, wealthy, and gorgeous people you'll ever meet. But they don't feel that way when they are looking at Facebook. They feel like they are failing at life, and it makes them anxious as hell. (And that's not just my opinion: Research links the use of Facebook to increased feelings of depression).

Even worse, their social media and the assumptions they make about others because of it can actually create more distance and separation in their lives. Feeling anxious and self-conscious about their own life and achievements pressures people into image management. Increasingly careful about what they share they start to feel more isolated instead of more connected.

The net result? They feel anxious, dissatisfied with their lives, and lonely. (And like there is something terribly wrong with them because of this). As Brene Brown so beautifully outlined for the world in her TED Talk, "The Power of Vulnerability" shame leads us to hide, and disconnect in efforts to protect ourselves. The anxiety generating machine of Facebook then, ironically, becomes the antitheses of the connection it was intended to create.

How to Feel More Connected, and Less Anxious About Social Media

Today on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I'm sharing some insights with you that will help ease your anxiety over social media and restore the connection in your life. We'll be talking about a marvelous theory posed by Tim Urban in his blog "Wait But Why" about why social media makes people unhappy, as well as how the culture of curation is eroding authenticity and vulnerability. 

I'll be sharing a cautionary tale from my own life about the potential for tragedy from taking Facebook at face value. Lastly, I'll be sharing some actionable ideas that will help you stop judging your own life, and restore your bond to the people you care about.

Ready to change your relationship with social media? You might also enjoy this article from the Huffington Post : 7 Types Of People You Should Unfriend On Facebook ASAP

Listen now: Is Social Media Making You Sad? (Episode 64 of the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast)

Music Credits: Public Image, LTD, "Public Image"

(And while you're there, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast and leave a review -- your support means the world to me!)

 
Now, let's get real. In the podcast, in the spirit of "radical authenticity" I shared a story about how a close friend and I became disconnected from each other during a time that we really needed each other because of the pitfalls of social media. Has there been a time in your life that social media got in the way of your connection, or made you feel "less than?" If so please share in the comments at this link: http://www.growingself.com/is-social-media-making-you-sad/

It will help others feel less alone. xo, Lisa

http://www.growingself.com


Sad But True: January is The Most Common Time Of Year For Breakups and Divorces

Does your relationship have a holiday hangover? Memories of the holiday meals and sparkly presents are fading into the distance. The brown pine needles have been vacuumed from the rug. But the hurt feelings, resentments, and disappointments? Hoo boy! NOW is the time of year when it finally feels safe to talk about the hard things that have happened over the last few months.

Holidays are wonderful, and there is lots to love. But they are also stressful, and they put uniquely difficult stressors on relationships. The cracks in every relationship strain around things like money, in-laws, setting limits with the kids, "being thoughtful," who might be drinking too much or flirting with a certain someone at a holiday party, or all the unhelpful ways people cope with stress. Over the holidays, pressure gets put on all those cracks at the same time.

People cope the best they can. Many people, as they go through the holidays, say to themselves: "Just get through it, get through it, get through it." The holidays are supposed to be happy right? So people keep the lid on the hard stuff. They smile when they feel like screaming, they stuff the disappointments, and they endure the annoyances. Silently. With mounting bitterness.

As any marriage counselor worth their salt will tell you, stuffing things only makes them fester and grow like warty mushrooms of resentment on your heart. So by the time you arrive in January, what you've been holding on to for the past month or two may feel like a really. big. deal.

Furthermore, nobody wants to open up a bunch or hard stuff right before the holidays. Certainly nobody wants to talk about breaking up. Couples who weren't in a great place even before the holidays start to feel squeamish about dealing directly with their problems before all the family events and vacation plans. Married people "don't want to scar their kids by ruining Christmas." So they wait, stuffing their feelings and biding their time until the ball drops on a New Year. A new start. A new life.

And then they blindside their partners with talk of breaking up, or the "big D" in January.

Do Not Be Afraid of The January Relationship Crisis

Seriously. Use it to your advantage.

  • Use it as an opportunity to resolve issues, and make the changes that need to be made: This can be a "fresh start" for your relationship, just like your other goals and hopes for the new year.
  • Show your partner how much you love them by staying calm, and letting them know you're willing to work on it. Practice listening non-defensively, and responding to their requests. Let them know you're willing to do whatever it takes to work through it with them.

2016 could be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship. Facing challenges fearlessly, as a couple, is what will create a stronger, deeper connection than ever before. No one wants relationships to be over: They want them to be better. Embrace the "January Relationship Crisis." This could be your chance to take your relationship to the next level.

Happy New Year!

-- Lisa

Podcast Music Credits: Ty Segall, "So Alone"

Direct download: January_Relationship_Crisis_2016.mp3
Category:Relationships -- posted at: 8:06pm MDT

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