My husband Chris and I are approaching 5 months of wedded bliss. This morning as I was lying in his arms, I said, “I’m not seeing your flaws. I must still be in the honeymoon phase.”
He said, “Good. Stay there.”
I added, “How about we stay here for another 50 years? Let’s stay here forever.”
He thought that was a good idea.
Most people think the longer you’re married, the more boring and ordinary it becomes. My friend Paula Scardamalia says it’s the complete opposite.
By the way, Bob and Paula are one of the three couples who modeled to me what a great marriage could be. So I highly prize her wisdom. She told me this:
“The longer you’re married to somebody, the more of a delight and adventure it is. There is so much within the sexual relationship, within the emotional relationship, within the mental and the physical and even within the spiritual.
They are all journeys that if you can stay with it, if you’re willing to work within the relationship, become so much richer, so much deeper, so much more color and texture. It’s such a journey worth taking.”
Listen in as Paula expounds on why this is…
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Courtney Beardall wrapped up her interview with me by sharing this sage advice:
“If you’re going to be happy in your marriage, you have to decide to be happy. You have to decide and make that choice every day. You have to not just “be happy.” You have to enjoy your spouse. Find genuine joy in them. A lot of times that’s deciding to find absolute delight in their quirks and shortcomings and silly things. Choose to find delight in your spouse.
A lot of times they need someone to take the lead. They need us to find them attractive and funny and handsome and invaluable. We need to be complimenting each other. They respond to that. If you’re treating your spouse badly and you expect them to treat you wonderful, you’re dreamin’! Be brave. Be kind first.”
Listen to this short audio with Courtney
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About Courtney Beardall
Courtney Beardall lives with her family in Northern Wyoming. If you don’t find her in her healing room, you will find her on a mountain top with her kids or exploring something new. Learning is a life long process and she is always looking for new and better ways to incorporate science, biology and spiritual laws. She is the creator of Investigating health, an energy modality that incorporates all aspects of the human body, including hormones, chemicals, structure, physiology and behavioral disorders. She teaches online courses in energy healing. Visit her online at www.CourtneyBeardall.com
When I interviewed Debra Brown Gordy of TheSophiaWomensInstitute.com , she shared with me this important mind-shift about marriage that can completely change the way we view it and the results we get.
“In the conventional mainstream world, marriage is viewed as a contract like a business contract or arrangement. If a person and their spouse are married in a civil ceremony, and in many cases in a religious ceremony, it’s an exchange. I do this, and you do that. That’s a contract idea.
To get into what marriage really is, we need to go beyond the idea of a “contract” to marriage being a sacred bond, grounded in a sacred lasting promise.
This kind of promise was anciently referred to as a covenant. That is what a marriage really is. When we remember and realize that, that we’re not creating just another ordinary relationship or friendship, it implies respecting, nurturing and protecting the bond.
The bond must come first.
The mistakes and wounds that hurt a marriage the most and that are the most injurious and difficult to overcome are injuries to the bond. That’s why, for instance, infidelity is such an injurious wound. It’s an injury and violation of the bond.
When we remember that marriage is a sacred bond, we invoke an entirely new level of connection and commitment between us. It’s in this new level of connection and commitment that we have access to sacred power for good that we can access no other way.
This is a mind-shift and a deepening of our understanding especially in the era we’re living in now when we are creating generations of people where divorce is increasingly common place. We have third generations of families that have an immediate history of divorce. This makes marriage sacred again.
You’ll have access to the full audio clip on this subject — her “3 Secrets to Soul-Satisfying Love” through our virtual summit. Be sure to sign up for it in the box on the right side of this page.
Debra Brown Gordy is The Women’s Spiritual Empowerment Mentor TM & president of The Sophia Women’s Institute. For over thirty years, she has been guiding accomplished women who hunger for more love and personal fulfillment to create deeply loving marriages and fulfilling lives along with their professional success. As a relationship therapist, speaker, teacher, author and musician, Debra is known for connecting with audiences with her warmth, wit and real-life wisdom. She is the author of the forth-coming book, Cinderella Wisdom: A Woman’s Quest for Freedom, Happiness & Lasting Love, & creator of many deeply transformative programs for women including “Freeing the Heroine Within You to Flourish!” Visit her at http://www.TheSophiaWomensInstitute.com
One day in November of 2015, I was sitting over at my sister’s house for a bit. My 4-year-old nephew Joel (her grandson) got in trouble for something and had a toy taken away. He was not happy. He started to cry and got very upset.
Then he said something like, “I’m not happy. I want to be happy.”
On a dime, Joel started jumping up and down as if something wonderful happened. I watched him closely and from that point forward he was happy as a lark and moved on to doing something else.
This caused me to ask myself, “How much power do we have to control our Happy?
That same day was a rough one for me. It was spiraling downward fast. Then I thought of Joel and said, “I’m not happy. I want to be happy.” I put on a smile, jumped up and down and I felt amazingly better throughout the rest of the day. Thank you Joel!
Choosing A Theme for 2016
People have been telling me what their word or theme is for 2016. One friend is “prosperity,” another is “ease and flow.” I like both of those. I really hadn’t given much thought to selecting a word this year. I’ve been dealing with some health issues, and it’s a challenge some days to concentrate on my work. I have been more frustrated than happy. I feel like I’m not me. I’m a do-er and my ability to “do” has diminished.
There are really good things in my life, but it seems I can’t fully enjoy them because I’m spending what little energy I have trying to keep up with everything or stressing over the things I can’t fix or can’t accomplish.
Perhaps you know the feeling. Have you ever felt like life is forcing you to rest, but there are so many demands on you, you can’t? Sometimes I’d like to go live on a tiny island with my husband, eat fruit from trees, and have no one to answer to. Sigh…
My priorities have changed significantly of late. I used to want “abundance,” but now I have decided simplicity is my abundance. Give me a simple life, with the fewest things to be responsible for. Give me an abundance of peace of mind, happiness, time to enjoy my husband and family, and freedom to visit my children and grandbabies.
Simplicity. This morning I almost chose that word for 2016.
That didn’t feel quite right.
Then I decided “Happiness” would be a better word. As I learned from Joel, happiness is a choice. I can choose happiness anytime I want, IF I have the courage to do so.
Then again, I have a sneaking suspicion that for me the road to happiness has a lot to do with Simplicity. Happiness is found in the simple things. If I look for it there, I’m bound to find it.
Want to Join Me?
So my theme for 2016 is Simply Happy Now. I’ve decided I’m going to post my Simply Happy moments to my Facebook wall using the hashtag #SimplyHappyNow. You’re welcome to follow me on Facebook and see what I discover. I hope you’ll join me in choosing simple happiness in the NOW. If you’d like, share your moments with the #SimplyHappyNow hashtag on social media and let’s see how much happiness we can create together in 2016.
I’ll blog the highlights here.
My 14-year-old son Elijah and I had been to the store and were on our way back. I’m not sure how the subject came up, but I took a moment to plant a few seeds with my son about the kind of man he might like to be. He’s a very kind and thoughtful young man — very helpful and has a genuine love for people.
When I spot that kind of person, I can’t resist giving him the inside secrets to getting even better results in life. I suggested to Elijah that he take the opportunity to learn as much as he could about home repairs from Chris (his stepfather). I explained that if he knows how to fix things, it’ll give him the edge when he’s ready to find a wife. Women find a man who can fix things incredibly attractive.
We walked in the house and Chris was sweeping the floor (without being asked).
I pointed to Chris and said, “Now that, that’s just hot!”
Countess of Grantham: “You’ve been talking to Isabel….”
Earl of Grantham: “I have been talking to Cora”
Countess of Grantham: “That is a mistake.”
Lord Grantham: “You can’t expect me to avoid talking to my own wife.”
Countess of Grantham: “Why not? I know several couples who are very happy who haven’t spoken in years.”
Okay, so not the best marriage advice in the world, but you have to admit, she lets loose some zingers!
I found this song by Meghan Trainor yesterday and really love it. It's about loving someone like there's no tomorrow. It made me think of how I feel about my husband. Every day I have with him is precious.
I woke up around 4 am this morning, unable to sleep. Chris was lying on his back, so I didn't want to disturb him. I laid there wanting to put my arms around him and feel his body next to mine. As I lay there in the stillness, I realized how much I need this man. He is such an incredible comfort to me.
He eventually turned over on his side, and I snuggled up behind him, putting my arm around his waist. I could feel him lean into me and everything was right in my world again.
I haven't allowed myself to need a man in decades. But I do need this man -- his kindness, his warmth, his touch, his love, his provision, his wisdom.
When I first told one of my friends that I had decided to divorce my first husband, she said, "I could see that coming." I was surprised because I'd never complained about him to her. I'd never said I was unhappy in my marriage.
She said, "Sometimes it's what you don't say that says the most." She continued, "You know how your friends are so important to you? That was an indicator to me that your core relationship was missing something important."
For my entire adult life I've been a people collector. I love people. I love their diversity, their viewpoints, their wisdom. But it never occurred to me that I was really searching for something I was missing in my core marital relationship.
I love my friends and always will. I have needed them and still do. But with this man, I don't feel that insatiable need to roam the world collecting people to fill a void. Some would say I shouldn't need anyone. I should be okay being alone. I can be alone. But, I am at the core a connector, a collaborator, a co-creator. I was born to be part of something synergistic.
While this marriage is beautiful, and exactly what I've longed for, it's also a bit frightening because I realize nothing, in this life, lasts forever. So I will continue to love him each and every moment as if it is our last.
Have you ever had a talent that grew until it defined you? For example: a doctor, a lawyer, a therapist, a concert pianist. I never defined myself as any one career role because I’ve done so many things throughout 26 years in business.
Yet, there is one role that has defined me — an Entrepreneur — someone with a talent for making money by her wits.
Lately, I’ve gone through so many major life changes that keeping up with all the hats required of an entrepreneur has left me overwhelmed and burnt out.
Because I’m tired of it all, my “energetic stance is off” (as my mentor Carolyn Cooper would say). I need to make money. But I am exhausted with all the processes involved. Unless an entrepreneur is well established and has delegated thoroughly, she rarely gets to focus only on the things she loves or does best.
I’ll be honest, my energetic stance is self-sabotaging to say the least. On one end my bank accounts demand filling and on the other side I’m ready to go on strike. As James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” That comes across to people whether you want it to or not.
As a result, I’ve seriously considered taking a long sabbatical and letting my information products sell what they sell. Perhaps I need a radical change. Thus, I’ve been applying for jobs where I can either do something completely different or focus entirely on one area of expertise. It could be quite liberating to pack all those hats away in a box.
Even considering such a move is an emotional process. There’s the loss of dreams and plans for the future. There’s also the legitimate concern that if I step out of this fast-paced world for even 6 months, my skills will become obsolete.
Sitting Down with Yoda
Over breakfast Saturday morning my wise husband (whom I lovingly refer to as Yoda) said, “So what if you never make six figures again? Will that make you less of a person?”
I found myself answering, “Yes!”
He gave me an incredulous look, and I explained, “It would mean I gave up; I quit; I let my fears keep me from using my talents to their fullest. I’d be an ‘unprofitable servant’ even in God’s eyes, because I wouldn’t be all I could be with my talents.”
Chris lifted a single eyebrow, “You honestly believe the amount of money you make defines your value?”
“I didn’t marry you for your ability to make money. You have intrinsic value no matter what you do or don’t do for a living,” he said.
Holding Oneself By a Higher Standard
I know he spoke the truth. After a bit of thought I realized that I do NOT value or define others by their job, salary or ability to make money. I’m the only one I hold to that impractical standard.
I’ve seen my ability to make money as a major talent like a concert pianist’s ability to tickle the ivories. I’ve done it so long that it defines me. Yet, lately I’ve lost my Midas Touch and can’t seem to regain it.
“We usually don’t realize the thing that is defining our identity until that thing is taken away.” – Tim Hiller, Strive: Life is Short, Pursue What Matters
Saturday, with Yoda’s help, I identified an underlying belief that’s running the show. I believed that if I don’t somehow adapt and figure this money thing out, I’ve somehow failed as a human being.
But if the pianist had a brain tumor that eliminated his ability to play, would he hold less value as a person? Certainly not! He would most definitely mourn the loss though!
I began to think of other talents I have. These several abilities are every bit as important as my ability to earn money. More so, really, in the grand scheme of things
It’s as if entrepreneurship has gobbled up my identity. Without it I feel worthless, even hopeless. So many dreams have been tied to it that without it, would I lose my future along with everything else I’ve lost? An infinite number of possibilities would die. Yet as an entrepreneur, I’ve been frustrated, burnt out, and feeling more worthless by the day.
A World Without Measurements Can Be Scary
As I’ve entertained the idea of completely walking away from entrepreneurship, I’ve realized something else about myself. Entrepreneurship is a results-driven, measurable world. And I’m all about results. Making money has always been a sign that I’m doing it right. I’m reaching my market, I’m offering something people need and value, I’m being of service to others. What I’m doing matters….. I matter!
Yet, with my double-minded energetic stance, I’ve made less money. Then, I feel worthless.
Finally, I asked myself, “What really brings me joy? What if money was NOT an object?”
What Brings You Joy?
Here’s what brings me joy:
- Being with those I love.
- Receiving inspiration and sharing it with others.
- Helping people feel safe, hopeful and able to move forward with their heart’s desires.
So I’m pondering these questions:
- Do the things that bring me joy have to be tied to my career?
- What if I set aside my talent to make money for a season like I’ve done at other times with piano talents? Or sketching? Or basketball?
- What makes “making money” a talent that deserves to gobble up my joy and identity?
- Who am I at the core — no matter what I’m doing or being?
The closest I’ve come to articulating my core is “A woman who loves people and offers a safe, nurturing and inspiring space for them to thrive.” I can do that whether I choose to be an entrepreneur or work for someone else or retire completely.
What about you? Who are you? Has your identity been tied to something you do well?
Disclaimer: This blog is what’s on my mind at the moment. They’re ideas I’m entertaining, but not necessarily plans I will follow through on. I’m just trying on things for size to get to the root of my identity as a person. So if you’re one of my clients, don’t wig out. I don’t plan on disappearing on you.
In 2012, Google changes decimated my business overnight. At the time, the bulk of my multi-six-figure-revenue came from an article marketing directory I’d created back in 1998 (IdeaMarketers). Literally from one day to the next, my business was destroyed. But I wasn’t the only one. Other people were affected by this change. One of them was Karon Thackston of Marketing Words. The loss of article marketing, affected 50% of her business revenues.
As I interviewed Karon for my upcoming book on “Having It All,” I asked her how she handles bouncing back from setbacks — whether those setbacks are in your marriage or in your business.
I loved her perspective and wisdom. I think anyone who is dealing with a major setback would find her insights helpful.
You may listen to this segment of my interview with Karon here:
To summarize, here’s what Karon did:
- Got an assurance she was supposed to continue her business.
- Remained determined – “Failure was not an option,” she said.
- Consulted specialized experts to fill knowledge-gaps in her business.
- Trusted there is an answer and looked for opportunities to open.
- Pursued opportunities and relationships that would enhance her business.
- Made a plan to develop X number of new products in a year – going from inception to launch.
- Worked her plan.
- Delegated as her business started growing again.
“It always works better if I decide not to act out of fear but wait and listen.” – Karon Thackston
I was browsing through our wedding photos and was particular drawn to one of me giving my husband a hug. So much of the bliss I experience in marriage comes from my husband's hugs. Whether it's lying in his arms at night or the hug he gives me when he leaves for work in the morning, there's something downright addicting about having his arms around me and being close to him.
As I thought about this, I realized that I love hugs ... period. A blissful life is one filled with hugs. Hugs from friends, from children, from grandbabies, from parents... almost every precious moment in my life is punctuated with a hug. So, just for fun, I put together this little montage video of some of my favorite hugs. Hug someone today!