I hope you’ve had a good week. With the storms and flooding all along the East Coast this week we certainly can’t complain about the weather in Melbourne at the moment. I can’t imagine how devastating it would be to lose a loved one or lose your home or your business under those circumstances. When disaster strikes close to home it certainly puts things into perspective and makes you reassess what’s really important in life.
Clearly life can turn on a sixpence, as my mum used to say, and there is nothing about our lives that we should take for granted. The biggest life changing issues are health, relationship and money and the sudden loss of any of those things can turn life upside down in a heartbeat. Most of us of course think “it would never happen to me” and we do take our health, our relationships and material possessions for granted.
Today I want to talk about relationships. On the weekend Harry and I went to a performance by an amazing group of women who were all survivors of domestic violence. It was confronting and certainly not one of my typical Sunday afternoon activities. These women all told different aspects of their story in different ways. It was powerful, moving and thought-provoking.
This performance gave me a new sense of appreciation for my relationship with my husband. A feeling of gratitude that he respects me, he listens to me, he supports and encourages me and he trusts me. We’ve been married for 35 years in October this year. He reminded recently that when we got married one of my “terms and conditions” was that if he ever hit me I would leave.
I sometimes tell clients this story about a turning point in my relationship with Harry. I remember the moment clearly. We’d been married for about 10 years and the kids were young. One day I was painting windows in our bedroom. They were big colonial windows, with doors leading out to a balcony. You know the ones with lots of little panes of glass. They needed three coats of paint so it was a big job. I had lots of time to think.
I was studying Hypnosis at the time and I was just starting to understand how the mind worked. How our thoughts create our reality and how we attract more of what we focus on. So I was painting away looking out into the backyard and thinking all sorts of negative thoughts about Harry. He still hadn’t mowed the lawn even though I’d asked three times. The garden needed attention, the garage was a mess, and why was I the one doing the painting? Why wasn’t he more help the kids? Why do men never clean toilets? Blah, Blah. I could go on and on. Sound familiar?
Anyway I distinctly remember the moment when I actually stepped back and became aware of my thoughts. I became the observer of the thoughts rather than the thinker of those thoughts. It was a very Zen moment but I was shocked that my thoughts were so negative. I remember saying to myself, “Wow, listen to me! If I keep thinking all those bad things I could easily destroy my marriage within a very short time.”
If it’s true that we get more of what we focus on I suddenly realized that I was playing a very powerful role in the future of my marriage. I realized how dangerous and destructive my thinking was. I made a decision, then and there, to never slip into the “poor me” victim mentality again. I decided to not to blame him for my unhappiness. Instead I chose to look for the good in this man from that moment on. Once I made that decision I found plenty of good to focus on.
So, no matter what your circumstances, once you begin to observe your thoughts and take conscious control of them magic can happen. Of course it may not be appropriate to only see the good in an abusive relationship but you may just find the good in yourself and the power to create change. I recently read that Oprah says that starting a gratitude journal and writing 5 things a day for which she’s grateful has been the single most powerful decision she’s ever made.
That same article said that gratitude can be a natural antidepressant. Looking for what we’re grateful for triggers specific neural circuits and brain chemistry that targets the bliss centre of the brain. The more often you practice gratitude the stronger this response becomes. Regular practice creates a new habit. That sounds like a good plan to me. Why not try it for a month and have zero tolerance on negative thoughts and conversations?
If you can’t find much to be grateful for then make it really basic. Think about those people who have lost everything in the floods and take a look around your current situation. I’m grateful right now for electricity, a dry house and a warm bed. I’m grateful for my health and my lovely husband, even if he doesn’t clean the toilet he is quite a whizz in the kitchen.
My 10 Tops Relationship Tips are:
- Look for the good in your partner
- Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Be clear in your communication
- Don’t read your partners mind. If he forgets to mow the lawn don’t assume its because he doesn’t love you
- Take 100% responsibility for your own emotional state. Don’t blame or be a victim
- Spend 5 minutes each night talking about something other than kids, money or work
- Hug often
- Have a date at least once a month, preferable once a week. Sunday breakfast works for us
- Take care of your partners self esteem. Be respectful. Never insult them or be condescending
- If you have a habit of arguing about a specific issue do it in a different room in the house, put on a silly hat etc. Do one thing different to interrupt the old pattern
- Don’t try to change your partner. If you do all of the above and its still not working sometimes we need to change partners
On a totally different note, last Friday I had coffee with Dr Chris Corcos. Chris is a psychiatrist with a keen interest in holistic mental health. That’s quite a rare find so I’m very excited that he agreed to do a talk for us in a couple of weeks called “Re-thinking Anxiety and Depression.” You can find out more and register HERE.
The other event I really want to encourage you to attend is Golden Age Living with Geraldine Teggelove this Thursday at 10.30am. I attended this workshop a couple of weeks ago and it has had a huge influence on me. Geraldine is a brilliant teacher and I’m thrilled that she is offering it again. Take a look at the right hand column for details.
And last but not least we still have a couple of places available at our EAT PRAY LOVE RETREAT this weekend. I would love you to join us.
Now take a look at the Right Hand column for more of our upcoming classes, events and special offers. As always we have some awesome events coming up. >>>>
Have a great week,
Health and Happiness GuruSimply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
03 9842 7033
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alison Burton is one of Melbourne’s leading Hypnotherapists and owner of Simply Natural Therapies. Alison is a sought after public speaker and has appeared on ABC National Radio, SBS Radio and is a regular guest on 3WBC Radio. She has also featured in The Age, Herald Sun, Insight Magazine and local news media. Alison has a keen interest in all aspects of natural health and wellbeing, energy medicine, human consciousness and bringing more common sense and kindness to the planet.
Alison’s interest in energy healing is often incorporated in her work through the use of Reiki, Kinergetics and acupressure techniques including Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
She has three adult children and 2 adorable grandchildren.
Alison lives Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs and runs a Natural Health Centre with 15 practitioners, an extensive range of classes including HypnoBirthing, and a retail shop.