Thanksgiving Meditation

On this day of gratitude in the US, I'd like to offer this meditation to you. Enjoy!

The Void Left When My Kid Went To College

The house feels different, it’s not exactly a “missing him” feeling. It’s more like something feels off. It’s right in many ways. The 18 years of nurturing and preparing, the launch into the world is predictable, bittersweet. It’s developmentally spot on. It’s that time.

What it Takes to Go From Exhausted to Enlivened

Keeping up a personal is exhausting…being the real you is enlivening!

What Does Spirituality Mean to You?

When I have a chance to actually discuss the topic with clients, it is very simple to explain my view of spirituality, understand my clients’ perspective, and come to a common ground semantically (and often philosophically). I notice I regularly attract people who...

Smoothie Recipes

“Introduction to Green Smoothies” Smoothies ~ Perfect for Kids, Created by my Kids! The Bodie-O Berry Mix Yields: 18-20 oz. 1 Banana 1.5 cups of Mixed Frozen Berries (Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, and Strawberries) 1 cup of Orange or Tangerine Juice 3/4 Cup...

You Are Always In Choice ~ The Power of Paradox

We are inundated with choices. We worry that people will judge us for our choices. We fear that we will make the wrong choice and be disappointed. When we make a choice, we experience loss – loss of that which we did not choose. Every day, we have to choose which...

Time, The Great Equalizer

I suspect that almost everyone feels that there is just not enough time in the day. So much to do, so little time. We are chronically feeling pulled in too many directions and feeling that it is impossible to live in this very moment, when this moment is really all we...

Meditation…are you curious?

Meditation has been repeatedly proven to reduce stress levels, reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, strengthen your immune system, relieve chronic pain, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, improve memory and decision making, and maybe even slow aging! And there is...

Breathing Exercise

Inspiration in Action by Deb Blum Inspiration: Your breathing is your greatest friend. Return to it in all your troubles and you will find comfort and guidance. ~The Teaching of Buddhist Master Action: Breathing exercises can reduce stress, increase energy, and...

Happiness is an Inside Job

Inspiration in Action by Deb Blum Inspiration: Instead of seeking outside of ourselves, we need to go to the source and realize who we really are. ~Deepak Chopra’s 8-Week Happiness Series (Week 3, Authentic Self-Esteem) Action: Ask yourself: “What void is so big in my...

You are humanity's greatest hope.

Get Your "Be More You" Guide Here

DEAR DEB: ”My husband and I are together a lot. We have two young children. We eat together a couple times per week, we hang with our friends and watch TV. We do stuff with the kids and go on some trips together. But we don’t really feel connected. But we are so busy and can’t seem to find the time or energy do anything about it. What can we do to feel more connected without a huge burden on our time?” – R.S. in the San Francisco Bay Area

DEAR R.S. IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: You are not alone. This is a challenge for most couples with children. Young children throw lots of monkey wrenches into any efforts to be close and connected. The great news is that you are addressing this now. There is a lot of evidence that supports that it is critical that you hunker down and make time for your marriage – just the two of you. The marriages that survive challenging times and where both people report being most satisfied are the ones where TIME TOGETHER has been prioritized. Read on for a leading expert’s opinion about this subject.

Dr. John Gottman is a well-known marriage and relationship specialist. He has studied thousands of couples and as a result, over more than ten years, he has uncovered the “Magic Five Hours.” His observation was that couples that devoted only five extra hours per week to their marriages consistently improved and strengthened their marriages.

At the end of the week, the total time for these steps is about five hours and that is less than one hour per day to spend on your relationship!

These Five Magic Hours go a long way towards marital bliss!

His suggestion is that each week, partners should be sure to do the following:

1. Partings

When you part in the morning make sure you’ve learned about one thing happening in your partner’s day.
Estimated time: 2 minutes per day x 5 working days, totals 10 minutes per week

2. Reunions

Spend 20 minutes at the end of each workday to reconnect and talk about your day. Such a conversation will reduce your stress at the end of the day.
Estimated time: 20 minutes per day x 5 working days, totals 1 hour, 40 minutes per week

3. Admiration and Appreciation

Find some way every day to communicate genuine affection and appreciation toward your partner.
Estimated time: 5 minutes per day x 7 days, totals 35 minutes per week

4. Affection

Kiss, hold, grab, and touch each other while you’re together – be playful with each other. Make sure to kiss each other before going to sleep. A kiss can be a way to let go of any minor irritations that may have built up over the day.
Estimated time: 5 minutes per day x 7 days, totals 35 minutes per week

5. Weekly Date

Take at least two hours every week to stay connected in a low-pressure way. Use the time to talk to get to know each other even more, update each other about important issues, go out on a date (or stay in), and enjoy being together. You can also use the time to work through any arguments or issues that may have come up. Have fun together!
Estimated time: 2 hours per week

Can you find time this week to schedule a date to start to talk about this?

What would need to change in your life in order to make time for these five hours? Maybe your first date could be spent brainstorming some ideas for date nights or making a list of ways you could express admiration and appreciation for one another.

Personal comment: My husband and I didn’t make our marriage a priority and ended up in a crisis where we were forced to spend 4 hours per week in therapy and countless hours outside of therapy repairing our marriage. This was costly in many ways – time, money, our connection, a great deal of pain, and more. Think of these five hours as an insurance policy. Believe me, these five hours are more pleasant than spending at least that time repairing a crisis because you never made the time for one another.

Click here to read more about Relating.



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