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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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Many people want relationships, but often don’t know what to do in order to maintain them in a healthy way. I’ve been in my relationship for over 17 years and I will admit it hasn’t always been an easy win but I’ve stayed in the game. And, I can honestly say that I’m a happily married woman.

As a relationship coach, I’ve found that some couples don’t have the patience for the work that is needed to grow a successful marriage. It is a commitment of the highest order because who you’re actually committing to is yourself.

That’s right. When you get married, you are committing to yourself.

Being committed to you takes understanding and being honest with yourself. It takes honoring and valuing yourself enough to have the compassion and patience required to do the transformational work. The same is true when committing to marriage with another.

Now, before I go any further, I want to share that this blog is not about committing to abusive relationships. If your partner has no regard for your well-being, you need not be committed to them. Period. Take care of you.

The nature of life is transformational. The only things we can guarantee in this beautiful existence is change and taxes. We cannot avoid either without consequences. That said, we must change also, in order to be in alignment with the flux of life.

If you’re the type of person who would like to marry, make sure you and your partner  are interested in working on transforming issues that arise throughout the entire marriage, not just at the beginning. I’ve had clients in the past say: “I’ve done work on myself already.” Like the work is over or something. Yet, issues in their marriage continue. The work continues! Don’t give up. The game is still in play.

Sometimes the work and change needed is just a slight adjustment. However, sometimes you’re working on your relationship for years, pulling much of the weight and wondering if things will ever get better. Don’t let this be a deterrent. Remember Tom Brady? Arguably, he pulled a great deal of the weight for his team(s). No one complained. And, all the players rose to the occasion to be a champion team. I know it’s hard when you’ve been plugging away for a long time. But life is long too and isn’t it worth it? You want your championship ring, believe me. It’s far better than giving up and succumbing to the “D” word.

So, do your training, get in the game and commit to it. 100%. Human beings have the ability to be champions.

I spoke to a friend of mine, who had been married for over 30 years. She told me that for 10 years and maybe more, she and her husband were at odds. She did not like him at all. They did not divorce. They worked on their relationship. It took therapy, much patience and a whole lotta love. They respected and honored their marriage vows. I asked her right before writing this blog: Would you say that after all of that, you’re a happily married woman right now? She replied, yes. Yes? You read that right. The two of them honored the team. After 10 years of struggling, they made it work. That’s 3,650 days. Mull that over for a sec.

When my husband and I first met, I remember someone telling me that if you’ve been with someone longer than three years and they don’t marry you, you should leave them. That was the advice going around at the time. After we had been in relationship for three years, we were not married and I thought I was going to have a panic attack. The short of it is, the timeline really doesn’t matter. Relationships take the time they take to mature and get to the win, especially if your partner was once married like my husband, you may have to go into overtime. OT doesn’t matter, the win does.

You need to huddle in relationships. There’s a lot of talk, a few flags will be thrown, and everyone will not agree with the calls that are made. But the game carries on because you are committed to the team.

Many of us have bad habits in relationships that we don’t even realize. These are habits that we developed when we were younger. Maybe we came from great parents like my husband and I, but still developed bad habits in relationships as adults based on heartbreak, misguided information or what have you. But you can still win the game. Many football players have had bad habits. But the ones that get back to the gym, listen to the coach and have the burning desire to win, often make the transformation to return to the game, making a comeback. I’ve done it. My friend did it. And you can, too.

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Passion: (noun) strong and barely controllable emotion, according to Oxford Languages.

We’re often told to follow our passion. Passion is that burning desire which fuels us to attain our dreams and goals. It is often looked at as a positive motivator.

However, sometimes that fuel of passion can cause a raging fire in our relationships when we feel we’re in the right concerning a certain topic.

I’ve experienced this before.

Years ago, I shared a story of alleged child sexual abuse committed by a celebrity with my friend at her home. My friend did not agree with my assessment. She, too, was passionate. That fire of passion which burned between us caused us to lose track of the fact that neither one of us actually knew the real story. Our passion could have burned down the house.

Passion can make a person say and do things that are beyond their peaceful nature. Usually this occurs when we’re outraged by a particular topic.

But let’s look at this more closely. The only reason we’re ever really outraged or offended by something that creates a burning passion within us is because of love.

Passionate about food? It’s because you love it.

Passionate about those that are disenfranchised? It’s because you have love for those that are disenfranchised.

Passionate about children that have suffered? It’s because you love and have compassion for innocent ones that have been hurt.

Love is what unites us.

Right now, many people are passionate about who is more right in a particular war. Who has suffered more in this war?

Everyone suffers in war. Period.

So this is my hero move around the dinner table this holiday and beyond. When the prickly conversation begins and you know which conversation it will be… use the secret sauce.

The Secret Sauce


  1. love

  2. a bridge for connection

  3. salt and pepper to taste

The foodie in me had to add that last one.

We can all acknowledge that there is suffering on both sides of war. That is the bridge for connection. We don’t need to compare struggles. What is the point of the passionate goings on that “my suffering is worse than your suffering”? Share your love for all concerned. And if anything, share how we can reduce suffering for all. This is the secret sauce.

Love is our first learning and everything stems from it, including pain. We can only feel pain because we have loved. If you can unite from this baseline concept that love is what unites us, you can actually get somewhere during that dinner table conversation. Otherwise, you’re simply adding fuel to an already raging fire of war.

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