How to do Forever

Forever can be a daunting proposition.

 

Nine years ago I got divorced. Although severing a forever commitment is heart-wrenching and stressful under any circumstances, it was a very happy decision for me. And I was convinced at that point that marriage was a completely useless institution. If you can be married without actually being committed to your partner and the health of your relationship, then what’s the point of getting married? The important part is the commitment level, not the marriage status.

 

Nine years later, I still believe it’s true that the commitment level is more important than the marriage status. Yet, I no longer feel that marriage is useless. It serves a meaningful purpose on on many levels: practically, symbolically, emotionally, and for some spiritually. And, even given the staggering divorce rate, people are still doing it!

 

So for the grand finale of this relationship series, I felt it was important to talk about how to do forever. And what better way than to speak to someone who’s been married for almost 40 years?!

 

It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you Barbara Gillen, woman extraordinaire, happily married after 38 years, and…my Aunt 🙂

 

We cover a lot of ground in this interview. It’s a long one, and I highly encourage you to stick with it all the way through. Whether you’re married or in a long term relationship, or simply want to be at some point in your life, you will walk away with a lot of value and ideas you can come back to again and again…

 

 

In the comments below, please share your BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS. What a-ha moments did you have? What changes or new approach are you going to take in your current relationship moving forward?

 

And remember to share this video! As Barbara says, happy marriages make for happy people which enriches everybody’s lives.

 

How to fall in love daily

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about my ex-boyfriend. What if I hadn’t broken up with him? What if we were still together? How might my life and relationship be different?

 

These were questions that came up in a coaching conversation recently. Not out of loneliness, but out of restlessness and questioning in her current relationship. A relationship she considers a very good one, and with a great guy, but…what if?

 

This is not uncommon. Distracting ourselves with thoughts of another or alternative life scenarios is another sneaky way that our mind/ego can pull us out of the present and rob us of the opportunity to really relish in the beauty of what’s right in front of us.

 

And then…

 

Why am I having these thoughts? What does it mean?

 

Well, it means whatever you want it to mean. We give meaning to whatever thought we choose to latch onto and obsess over. A countless number of thoughts pass through our mind every moment of every day, and always will. What we have control over is which ones we choose to entertain, to indulge in, to explore.

 

This includes criticisms of your partner. Latching onto what he doesn’t do for you instead of what he does do. Latching onto his weaknesses instead of his strengths. Latching onto what’s not fun instead of what is.

 

What would happen if you completely flipped that around?

 

The guidance I gave the client above…Every time you find your mind wandering over to your ex and indulging in the what-ifs, I want you to go over to your man, give him a kiss, look into his eyes and say, “I love you.”

 

Revolutionary!

 

Just considering this made her giggle and gave her butterflies of excitement. When we spoke a week later she said so much had already transformed! Why? Because she was choosing different thoughts and different actions, which of course yield different results!

 

I invite you to play with this over the course of this next week. Next time you feel ready to lash out at your partner in anger, choose not to. Instead, think of something you love and appreciate about him. Notice your internal energy (emotions) change. Then say it to him! Imagine if instead of letting criticism fly out of your mouth, you let loose with a bunch of gratitude instead?

 

It’s Thanksgiving season here in the U.S. I challenge you to show gratitude to your partner every single day and see how it opens the space for you to fall in love daily.

 

You can compliment him too. Let him know how handsome he looks, how good he smells, how much you love watching basketball with him.

 

Be the change!

 

Love is not to be taken for granted, and it doesn’t continue to blossom on its own. If you want to be in love with your partner, constantly be on the lookout for everything you adore and appreciate about him (rather than everything that drives you crazy). I promise, if you do this, your life will change for the better.

 

Now it’s your turn. Do something RIGHT NOW to show love and appreciation for your partner (it can be as simple as a spontaneous kiss on the cheek), then in the comments below share how it felt and how it was received.

 

Wishing you a happy, peaceful, and loving Thanksgiving. I’m grateful for you!

 

Sasha

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Trust that he can take care of himself

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

 

One of the most precious gifts of partnership is being able to care for one another, daily and in times of need. I do the cooking, he does the washing up. He’s got the flu, I put cool washcloths on his forehead and make him soup. I’ve got cramps, he fills my hot water bottle and brings me advil.

 

It’s a pretty awesome exchange of love. I believe humans thrive in togetherness.

 

So when I say trust that he can take care of himself, I’m not referring to the sweet exchanges of love I describe above. I’m talking about trusting that he knows what’s best for him and how to be a productive, successful, and happy human.

 

Relationships tend to be all butterflies and bliss in the beginning, but if you’re in it for keeps, you have to expect fluctuations. Think about all the different phases, challenges, and shifts you’ve gone through in your life. Wouldn’t it make sense that you will continue to go through those, as will your partner? And as a result, you may not always be in sync, and that’s OK!

 

The long term game requires compassion, patience, and a huge amount of allowing for each individual to experience their own growth, setbacks, slumps, and waves.

 

Key words: Compassion. Patience. Allowing.

 

A lifetime of romantic relationship bliss seems to be what most people desire. Yet I hear my ladies getting overly stressed about timelines and fretting over whether or not he’s dealing with his traumas, healing his relationship with money, expanding his mind, or making peace with his mother.

 

The misunderstanding is that you know what’s best for him and he doesn’t. For the bliss to be there, your life has to look a certain way, be a certain way, and on your own timeline. If not, then he’s somehow sabotaging your chance at happiness.

 

I know because I’ve been through it many times. And believe me, it’s such a relief to let that sh*t go and actually allow for joy to happen, right now, no matter what your present situation.

 

The key is to allow your man to have his own process. Allow your life to play out differently than you imagined. Because only then is it possible for life to be far better than you ever imagined.

 

Your partner is a unique individual with his own likes, dislikes, and approach to life. That’s why you love him. So why would you insist that you know what’s best for him? You don’t. Only he does.

 

And straight up, criticism, judgment, and anger are huge turn offs. They lead to shutting down, not love and receptivity.

 

When you find yourself being hyper-judgmental or critical, you’ve moved into the space of fear. This can be a way of avoiding something that you don’t want to see. It can also be a way of avoiding your own potential for bliss.

 

Here are a couple areas where I used to be super judgmental, switched to allowing, and feel so much better as a result…

 

Sports watching. When I moved to LA 14 years ago as a massively pretentious snob (very Toronto), I couldn’t wrap my head around sports fanaticism. What a waste of time! I thought. Fast forward a decade, I shacked up with a serious Lakers fan and chose to let go of the judgment and instead be curious about why he was so devoted to this team. Well, guess who’s cheering and clapping every time Kuzma makes a shot this season? Me! Haha! So much fun.

 

Spiritual and Emotional Wellbeing. A decade of studying yoga and meditation, doing deep personal transformational work, being a life coach…I thought I really had a legup on what my boyfriend needs in order to feel happy. Wrong again! What works for me is unique to me. And what works for him is unique to him. We might have suggestions and ideas to offer each other, but ultimately, I need to trust that he’s finding his path with the same respect he gives me to find mine. So much better this way.

 

Of course there are times you might see your partner struggling or in crisis, and it’s appropriate and helpful to offer a reflection of what they perhaps can’t see themselves. Yet again, it’s essential that this come from a place of love, compassion, and respect rather than judgment, anger, and fear.

 

And always ask permission to give these heartfelt reflections, rather than the dreaded unsolicited advice (My boyfriend lives with a life coach. Imagine how much fun that is?!?!).

 

Learning to allow takes practice, yet the more you can learn to let go of your need for control, the better everyone is able to thrive.

 

Now it’s your turn. In the comments below, share one area of life where you feel that you’re in judgment/criticism/fear/anger toward your partner, and what you’re willing to do to let go and trust that they know what’s best for them.

 

Love,

Sasha

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Take responsibility for your own joy

Part 1 of How to Love Your Relationship NOW (even if you think it sucks)

 

Women thrive on pleasure. It’s like fuel to our souls. When a woman is happy, when a woman is in her joy, everyone around her feels it. The air around her feels lighter and brighter, and she brings everyone along for the ride.

 

The opposite is true too. When a woman is angry, worn out, or depressed, the air around her is heavy. Rather than the freedom and magnetism of her joy, people around her walk on eggshells or shut down in order not to fan the flames. Her energy becomes cold and repellent.

 

It is for this reason that it’s a great idea for your partner to do their best to nurture your pleasure. Everyone benefits! Yet, how receptive are you to receiving joy and pleasure in your life?

 

Here’s the thing…if you don’t take responsibility for your own joy, no-one else will! When you prioritize your pleasure, those around you will gladly contribute. When you’re prickly and miserable, everyone will gladly stay away.

 

Common complaints go something like this…

 

“I do all the work around the house on the weekend while he’s out golfing with his friends. I wish he’d go dancing with me sometime!”

 

“I’m exhausted, then I see him lying around taking a nap. Must be nice!”

 

“I feel so bored sometimes. People are out being adventurous, enjoying the city and we’re at home watching Netflix.”

 

There’s a couple problems here…

1) Female perfectionism (this one will show up repeatedly throughout the series). You’re trying to make everything around you look perfect, putting a ton of pressure on yourself to excel in all categories of life, while your partner is off doing something he/she enjoys with friends.

 

My suggestion: Follow their lead! If there’s something fun you’d rather be doing, then make plans to do it. Call up some friends, put it on the calendar, let your partner know he’s on babysitting duty, and off you go. And, take a nap once in awhile.

 

Or…if you’re someone that takes pleasure in a pristine environment, then drop the resentment around spending your time maintaining it. Instead, take joy in that. Put on your favorite music while you’re cleaning and dance while you scrub. Listen to a fascinating podcast (there are so many). When you’re complete, sit down with a cup of tea and savor the peace and tranquility of your clean space. Take pleasure from the things you enjoy rather than letting them become a source of stress.

 

2) Expecting your partner to take charge of the fun. When you spend a lot of time with someone, it’s easy to get drawn into their energy. I find this particularly true with women getting drawn into their man’s energy, even if it’s the opposite of her operating system. This is why you might be watching Netflix instead of going to the outdoor festival or going out to a bar instead of staying home painting. You’re flowing with your partner’s desires rather than connecting with your own.

 

My suggestion: Make your own fun plans. Take inventory of the things you like to do. How present are they on your calendar? Make a plan for yourself to do something that you find fun, then invite your partner if you feel like it. And if they don’t want to come, so what? Do it anyway. You don’t need to have your partner by your side every minute in order to enjoy life.

 

Go have some fun ladies!

 

Now it’s your turn: In the comments below, share your biggest takeaway. How does this topic resonate with your personal experience and what’s one thing you’re going to do to take responsibility for your own joy?

 

Be on the lookout for Part 2: Trust him to take care of himself.

 

Love,

Sasha

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How to Love Your Relationship NOW: Intro

Photo by Isaac Benhesed on Unsplash

 

Welcome to How to Love Your Relationship NOW (even if you think it sucks). This is for you if you’re in a relationship and find yourself feeling restless, unsatisfied, annoyed, or regularly pondering jumping ship. Yet, there’s something keeping you in place and you’re not ready to give up just yet.

 

If this is you, I promise, there’s sunshine above those clouds! But I’m not gonna lie, some of this might be hard to hear. If you’re feeling unsettled, chances are you’re looking at all the things wrong with your partner and all the evidence that they’re not measuring up to your vision of a dream mate.

 

What I’m going to ask you to do is shift your focus and look inward. It’s an opportunity to take responsibility for your joy and make some changes to how YOU operate, which will ultimately make you feel better and no doubt have a ripple effect on your relationship (romantic and otherwise).  

 

Why would you want to do this? Because in a time when it’s so easy to drop a relationship like a hot potato, I believe in doing so, you’re missing out on key opportunities to personally evolve and ultimately transcend, with your partner, to new levels of closeness, freedom, and intimacy. Because, as much work as you can do on your own, nothing can touch the education you receive through relationships.

 

I’ll be speaking primarily to women, as this series is inspired by my own journey and by the conversations I’ve been having with my female coaching clients and friends.

 

If you know someone in your life that could benefit from this series, they can sign up to receive these emails right HERE.

 

And without further ado, let’s begin…Part 1: Take responsibility for your joy

When the pain is real

Photo by Lua Valentia on Unsplash

 

Last week, I was in A LOT of pain. Physical pain, emotional upheaval, mental turmoil. It was rough. And as hard as it is to admit, I made it so much worse than necessary. Let me explain…

 

A couple weeks ago, I was having a FaceTime conversation with a friend who lives in New York, during which she mentioned she was on her period. I was shocked! There she was, sitting upright in a public space, with lipstick and jewelry on, looking fabulous, having a serious 2-hour conversation with me…and during all of that she had her period?!?!

 

This might not sound like a big deal to you, but I don’t remember what it’s like to be remotely functional while bleeding. You see, I have a condition called Adenomyosis. Look it up and you’ll read all the gory details of what it’s like. But basically, for the past four years my periods have been debilitating, with intense pain and super heavy bleeding that make it almost impossible for me to leave the house during that time.

 

Through a strict diet and serious lifestyle changes, I’ve made vast strides. I have it down to 2 pajama days per month (sometimes just one!), and during that time, I can get by on one dose of advil to manage the pain. This is fairly monumental as advil used to do absolutely nothing. I can work with my clients over the phone when I can’t see them in person, and also have great energy during the rest of month, where I used to feel wiped out for much of the time. So, pretty major.

 

But last week was hellish. The pain was excruciating, and it lasted for 4 days straight. My energy was nonexistent for 6 days. I was sobbing in despair, feeling trapped, feeling like an invalid, feeling like a burden, feeling like a failure, feeling hopeless and exhausted.

 

And here’s the thing, the physical pain was enough to contend with on its own. Yet, I made it so much more intense with my RESISTANCE. I’m not talking the good kind of resistance, as in #resist the patriarchy, racism, sexism, greed, etc. I’m talking about when you’re fighting tooth and nail with what’s being asked of you. This is what generally creates the misery that goes along with pain.

 

This condition has made certain special requirements of me. It has made my body extremely sensitive to inflammation and hormone disruption. Therefore I’m being asked to avoid dairy, gluten, red meat, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. So, I do, most of the time.

 

Yet, I find ways to break the rules. Such as traveling, and that’s what I did at the beginning of September. I was away for two weeks and I told myself: you can do whatever you want! Just let loose and have fun.

 

Letting loose for me meant having a few cups of black tea, some hefty Trinidadian rotis, sandwiches, cheap Chinese food and dessert here and there over the course of my two weeks away. Yet this was enough to send my body into turmoil. Because, like it or not, I have special requirements.

 

So, that was the first layer of resistance. Resisting the special needs of my body. And why? Well, partially because I wanted to enjoy some yummy things. But also, because I don’t want to be an inconvenience. I don’t want to be “that person.”

 

Oh, here comes LA girl, get rid of the gluten and dairy! If people feel that way though, it’s not my problem! I’m the one that has to deal with the consequences of trying not to ruffle any feathers or roll any eyes, and it’s just not worth it.

 

Side note: Being a nondrinker in a society where SO MUCH socializing is centered around drinking is fascinating. But that’s a topic for another article.

 

The second layer of resistance came when the pain hit. Actually, it came even before that when my energy started to drop and I felt like my brain was made of fog and I was lost in a swamp. Then the pain started, and I was doubled over and tormented. Why is this happening?? Why is it still so bad after all this time? Why me???

 

Not helpful.

 

And in the midst of that, still deluding myself into thinking I could be productive. And then feeling bad when I wasn’t! And feeling guilty for taking so much Advil! Ugh! I just couldn’t win.

 

The kind thing to do, if I listened to what was being asked of me, was to totally surrender. Allow the pain, rest, nurture myself, do whatever I needed to soothe and comfort. Instead I chose torture on top of torture, and the suffering was real.

 

Why am I sharing all this with you? Because I think resistance to pain is so common. We make life’s challenges so much worse by battling against them, questioning them, avoiding them, or pretending they’re not really happening. These forms of resistance are detrimental to your wellbeing, to your progress, to your ability to fully embrace and experience life!

 

If you’re in pain right now, I send you blessings, I’m with you, I know it sucks. And, I invite you to take a moment to ask yourself where are you fighting what wants to be seen and heard? How can you lay down your arms against yourself, against life, and allow for what needs to happen, or shift, or be overcome? Release your attachment to what you think your life is supposed to look like, or what you think life owes you. Instead, try acceptance of what is, and then ask, “What is the gift here? How can I make this better?”

 

The answer might not be immediate or obvious. But the search for it is far more loving and uplifting than “Why me?”

 

The good news is, I accepted the torment. I accepted my own struggle and I had some HUGELY massive insights over the course of last week as a result. And I did something that is so hard for me. I reached out to a friend and said, “I’m having a really hard time.” Like an angel, she made space for me and listened, and soothed me with her voice while I cried. It was such a beautiful and loving experience.

 

Remember, love is all around you. And even in your darkest hour, there is beauty and grace available…if you allow it. 

 

Wishing You Peace & Blessings,

Sasha

 

P.S. I so appreciate your concern and desire to help. I kindly ask that you refrain from making suggestions on how to treat my condition unless you’ve had personal direct experience with healing this or a similar menstrual disease (such as endometriosis).

 

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What to do when someone drives you crazy

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Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

 

As adults we have the privilege of choosing our relationships. Yet, there are certain people that we’re a little more “stuck with” than others, such as parents, in-laws, ex-spouses (if you have children together), siblings, the love of your best friend’s life, and co-workers.

 

So, what do you do when there’s something about that person that drives you mad. There’s something that you just can’t stand, that makes your blood boil, that feels intolerable! What do you do??

 

There’s bad news and there’s good news. Watch the video to find out…

 

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What to do next…

 

In the comments below, share your biggest takeaway from this video.

 

Be generous and share this video with at least one person you know will benefit from it.

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Become a subscriber to receive the link to join in live for these coaching calls.

 

Email me a question for my next live coaching call: sasha@sashamariestone.com

 

Curious about coaching? Click HERE.

 

Curious about essential oils and natural wellness? Click HERE.

 

See you soon!

Love,

Sasha

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Emotional Boundaries: Feeling Responsible vs. Caring for Someone Else’s Emotions

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Feeling responsible for someone else’s feelings can be extremely draining – it leads you to a lot of analyses, game playing, coddling, and avoidance. It’s been coming up a lot lately in my coaching sessions…

 

One of my clients was feeling so ready to quit one of her jobs. Yet she’d been with this family for some time and was afraid of hurting their feelings and putting them into crises/distress.

 

Another was afraid that he’d messed up his chances at a relationship by “not saying the right thing” and “causing” someone to shut off communication, even though, he was expressing his honest feelings.

 

When you try to be responsible for someone else’s feelings

  • you’re not giving them the credit of being an adult.
  • You’re not giving them the right to have their own emotional experience
  • You’re making assumptions that might be completely untrue
  • You’re holding yourself back from connecting to or understanding your truth
  • No one is served in these scenarios

 

So the question becomes, how do I be a nice person and not care about someone’s feelings?

Find out in this video…

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In the comments below share your biggest takeaway from this video. How can these insights help you in your relationships? 

Love,

Sasha

 

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Worth It Book Review

I talk a lot about wellness, yet probably not enough about a key area of well-being in all our lives – financial well-being. If we are not well in our financial house, that can bleed into basically every other area of our life. Because the truth is, money is an essential component of our modern existence, so rather than fight it, ignore it, resist it, or wish it into abundance, it’s extremely important to educate yourself on what will create financial wellness for you and your family today, and well into the future.

 

Enter Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms, by Amanda Steinberg, Founder and CEO of DailyWorth and WorthFM. This gem of a book not only gave me an important wake-up call (You’re turning 38! Where’s your retirement fund??), I’ve never in my life been so excited to save, so ready to say no to fleeting experiences in favor of creating super sexy savings galore!

 

Watch this video to hear my enthusiastic review…

 

 

Here are some of my big personal takeaways:

 

  • Having a clear picture of your finances means knowing your Networth. Knowing this will help guide your goals and decisions.
  • I am way past due in creating a robust retirement account. Thankfully, it’s not too late, and part of that process has already started with the creation of my doTERRA business as an additional income stream to my coaching practice. As I am the opposite of risk averse (my money type is “visionary”), a smart business is a good financial root for me to have.
  • There’s a difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt includes things like education and business investments, that increase in value over time therefore contribute to your wealth. Bad debt applies to things that decrease in value and therefore do not contribute to your wealth.
  • Save while you pay off debt, because having a $0 balance on your credit card doesn’t matter if you have no cash for your life.
  • Saving is fun fun fun!
  • You can still have shopping and playing money even while you save, sustain, pay down debt, and build wealth for the future.

 

Now it’s your turn! Share in the comments below (or on Facebook) – How do you feel about your financial well-being? And read this book!

 

Love,

Sasha

 

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You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get

Decisions, decisions…

 

They can be both overwhelming and exciting, and if they’re big enough are usually accompanied with much discussion, research, and weighing of pros and cons. That’s all good, yet most of the time what determines whether or not we pull the trigger is the strength of our desire. Because you can find reasons and justifications to do it or not to do it, yet you’ll always lean toward what you want anyway, and find the resources to make it happen.

 

The true magic comes in discovering what you couldn’t possibly anticipate. Because the truth is, you never know what you’re going to get.

 

I see evidence of this in my life all the time.

 

I didn’t know when I adopted a dog, she would bring a sense of completion to my household I didn’t even know was missing.

 

 

I didn’t know when I enrolled in Amber Krzys’s Coaching Immersion Adventure, I’d attend Helen Bradley’s Playful Art Studio, reawaken my creative spirit, and start painting every single morning!

 

I didn’t know when I bought a ticket to attend Danielle LaPorte’s book tour, I would participate in a group Ohm and remember that’s my favorite part of going to yoga class (and get back to class).

 

The key is that all these decisions were made from a place of strength and desire. I wanted to them, I felt clear and strong in my choice, and they ended up bringing far more than I expected or could have anticipated.

 

I see it happen for my coaching clients all the time too. They invest in coaching for a specific reason, and so much more comes to life. Like Katrina who did The Sacred Art of Self-Care program to reconnect to her creative passions, and ended up finding so much peace in being single, she found her love match and now has a baby. Or Stephen who started life coaching to transform his personal life and ended up honing strong leadership skills at work, allowing him to continue to expand his department.

 

My point in sharing all this is to say… listen to your desire! When you want something, and it’s coming from a place of strength (because any time I’ve done something from a place of desperation the repercussions have been far more negative than positive), that’s a clue to fulfilling something that you want consciously, and most likely something else that is unconsciously wanting fulfillment too. Yes, the practical research and consideration is of course important and you just never know the complete picture until you go for it.

 

What are your thoughts? Share in the comments below about a time you did something big and got way more than you bargained for. 

 

Love,

Sasha

Transformational Life Coach & doTERRA Essential Oil Consultant

 

P.S. Learn more about Amber Krzys HERE and Helen Bradley HERE.

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