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“You are a flower,” he said in a breathy voice. We were dating and this was part of his seduction. Um-hm, a flower? We didn’t last as a couple, but he did make a great point.

We are all flowers in a metaphorical sense. We are meant to bloom.

“When you stop growing you start dying,” stated William S. Burroughs.

I have never enjoyed this sentiment. It feels like an absolute… but is it true?

Life pushes us to grow. Every loss, every win, every death, every birth is a push. And it’s not only major life experiences. Day-to-day events like standing on a long line at the grocery store, dealing with a customer service representative on the phone after you’ve been holding for some time or simply planning a joyous vacation - all push us to grow and bloom into our best selves… or not. Challenges are peppered between all of the good and bad that life has to offer. We utilize our own qualities and core values to meet these moments. Discipline. Kindness. Hard work. Efficiency. Organization. These are just a few of the values that propel us forward on the path of life.

But what if we’re not exuding our core values because we’re distracted, we've had a hard day and not at our best? What do we do when our worst is shared with the world?

I don’t think we die, metaphorically, because we’re not growing in the moment. This is when we forgive ourselves, and accept that something needs to die off within us in order to transform and ultimately, keep growing.

Plants work this way. We prune the stems that seem to have no purpose and prevent the plant from flourishing. Once this is done, the plant can bloom again.

This can work for us, as well. For example, if we need to create more health and wellness, but insist on having Moons Over My Hammy every weekend, that must die off. If we’re searching for a relationship but don’t connect much to others with care and love, start reaching out, because what goes around comes around. And if we’re concerned about finances but insist on ordering food from a restaurant every week instead of cooking at home, let go of that habit too. These are simple examples, but the idea of releasing what no longer serves us can be applied in most areas where we’re not growing.

It’s springtime and I want you to bloom and have what you desire. I want you to have the very best that you can achieve. So what is it that can be released within you? It may very well be a quality or habit that you hold closest to you. Check in with yourself. And in the meantime, subscribe to our newsletter above ⬆️ for 3 tips on what's holding you back so you can start pruning in order to bloom. After all, you are a flower.

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I jumped in the ride share on the way to my girlfriend’s house for lunch. It was an activity I did often so I didn’t expect anything other than a mundane 16 minute ride. As I entered the vehicle, the man driving confirmed my name and proceeded with the usual pleasantries. Are you having a good day so far? Where are you headed? What do you do?

That last one was a little personal, but my driver was charming so I answered anyway.

Upon hearing that I was a relationship coach and reiki master, he shared, “I help my friends with advice on their relationships. People have all kinds of relationship problems. I don’t know what it is, but they just seem to approach me all the time!” I responded, “That’s nice.” He continued, “It’s so interesting, but most problems people have in relationships are caused by OCD. Isn’t that something?” “I don’t think that that’s true.” I said. “Oh yes, it is!” he replied and smiled.

By the way, for the purpose of this blog, let’s call our driver, John.

John continued, “When couples have issues it’s because one of them is OCD.” I said nothing. He briefly turned around, “It’s true! Just think about when you’re having an issue. You’re thinking about it over and over again. That’s OCD.” I replied, “If that were true, then there would be no need for therapists. The diagnosis would be the same every time. All of the mental health care workers would be out of their jobs.” John replied, “I’m telling you the problems in relationships are cause by OCD.” He went on and on. I said nothing. “There are over 30 different kinds of OCD.” He turned around again and smiled to make sure I was listening, “Over 30!” “Really?” I replied. I didn’t want us to crash. “Yes.” He turned back around and kept talking about friends needing him for advice and how OCD was the cause of all of it. He was very nice, though.

16 minutes never went by so slowly.

“You also help people with anxiety, right? I’ve heard of reiki. My girlfriend has anxiety. Are you on social? What’s your name on there?” He shot me a smile. I told him, and we pulled up to my destination. “Nice meeting you, take care!” I said, as I hopped out of the car.

It was as if a butterfly flew right by my ear. A slight alert, easy to ignore. But the intuition was clear, fluttering on by. I paid attention.

There are 4 general types of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), not 30. For all I knew, this young man had OCD himself, anxiety, and no girlfriend. Actually, it’s irrelevant. What is more pertinent is that I paid attention to my intuition that warned me he was lying.

We all have intuition. However, sometimes we don’t follow it regarding our relationships and when meeting new people. How many times have you exited a challenging or traumatic situation with someone, only to contemplate that if you had listened to your intuition you could have avoided it?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary: intuition is an ability to understand or know something without needing to think about it or use reason to discover it…

Intuition isn’t usually a strong feeling like the one you get when you think someone is following you. That feeling sparks the fight-or-flight response of danger. Intuition, on the other hand, is much more subtle which is why we sometimes don’t follow it. John was charming and personable. And, I think if he were talking to someone who didn’t know a thing about mental health or OCD, they might believe him. The same thing can happen on a date with someone like a John. They start telling you something about their life and because they’re charming and kind, you believe them. You want to believe them more than listening to your own intuition.

Pay attention to the butterfly wings fluttering by your ear. The flutter is subtle but impactful if you heed it. Subscribe to my newsletter ⬆️ for 3 ways to sharpen your intuition.

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Is the world going nuts or is it just me? Another mass shooting. Heartbreaking. So much to do and not enough time. Exhausted. Inflation. It’s an election year and it feels like chaos already. I could use a break.

These are things that can create stress across the board. General tensions - let’s call them. They are the common tensions of life that many of us experience. But, then there are those challenging personal experiences that are far more intense, simply because of their nature. We can call those - acute tensions, like divorce, learning that a friend has cancer or losing a job when you’re the breadwinner. These types of experiences hit in a tougher way like a fall from the air without a parachute.

“Life is a jewel to fight,” my Grandmums once said. She would know, as a woman raising 4 children on her own.

As I dealt more with aging parents and my husband became more stressed with his demanding job, I started to lose my natural perkiness. Apparently, I was joyful from the beginning. My dad called me perky, ready to laugh and play. But these days, I was less perky, more like… peh.

General and acute tensions became my unwanted friends… and my husband’s. What’s a couple to do?

We cannot change the circumstances of life. But, we can change our responses to them.

When things become wound tight like a rubber band in relationships often no one does anything about it because the stress comes on slowly. And, when it does come on quickly, each person is busy running around trying to fix what caused the stress. Therefore, the actual stress is not addressed.

But, once you start to feel that something is amiss between you and your partner, you can handle it.

As a Reiki Master Teacher and meditation expert, I reached into my bag of tricks. Stress was affecting my jewel of a relationship and I was determined to fight it.

My husband didn’t know much about meditation but he was willing… and a willing heart is all you need to move forward.

Meditation relieves stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, creates self-awareness and helps to make us more mindful, and therefore, more kind. We need all of this in our relationships in order for them to thrive. When there is consistent tension, we may become short-tempered and as a result, unkind to our significant others. Couples need meditation especially these days.

There are several positions you can do to achieve couples meditation aside from the one shown. You can sit back to back or forward facing, holding hands. See our lovely couple, Beth and Mike in the attached video. Each person is grounding their energy with one hand on their own leg (root chakra). The other hands are on the partner’s upper back or chest (heart chakra). Breathe slowly and mindfully. Stay connected to how you’re feeling. Create an intention of peace and love for yourself and your partner. Focus on your well-being and theirs. Take your time with this process.

We cannot erase the obstacles that interrupt our perky, joyful relationships, but we can transform our reactions to them and each other, one breath at a time.

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