Couplespeak™ Blog

Being Nice To Your Body

As you may be aware from my last post, “Zippy Goes Down,” I had an accident several weeks ago, resulting in a broken ankle. It’s required me to be hobbling around on an aircast when I have to move about, and to be mindful of each step, mindful of how much I rest, and to pay attention to the effects of all of this on, not only my foot, but my whole body. Aside from the lessons I’ve been learning about letting go, relaxing, and resilience, the experience has been teaching me something unexpected – to be more compassionate toward my body as it heals. This is something almost foreign for many women in America, who chronically complain about the size of their thighs, breasts, hips, etc., and compulsively beat their bodies into submission through crazy diets and brutal exercise regimens.

As I’ve watched my ankle grow stronger and seen the x-rays showing the healing bone, I’ve been amazed at the capacity of the human body, my body to bounce back with some TLC. It’s made me think back to the amazement and respect I felt for my body after giving birth to our son without incident. (I did that?!) It’s also made me much more appreciative of all the other things my loyal body does for me, usually without complaint every single day. So, I’ve made it my mission to befriend my body, as I think we all should, by being mindful of treating it with respect every day, appreciating it the way I would a trusted friend, and listening to it and the messages it gives me daily.

For a terrific little exercise about how to do this well, get Rick Hanson’s book “Just One Thing” for all the details. You can find it through the “Store” page of my website, then go to “My Amazon Store” and click on the link to Amazon. You don’t have to wait to break an ankle or an arm to do it. Cultivate compassion for your body (and yourself!) and your body will thank you back for a lifetime.

Tell Someone You Care

As is often the case, I got to bed late last night, all excited about some new developments in my work as a therapist and coach. Of course, I couldn’t fall asleep, so as I lay awake, instead of counting sheep, I began to think about all the people I care deeply about. I pictured each of them with fondness, pulling up memories of sweet times we’d had together, reflecting upon the things about each of them that I loved.

Then a big, (not so fun) thought came to me: how often or recently had I told any of them how much I valued their presence in my life? When was the last time I’d sent them a card or given them a call “just because”? I realized that if I got hit by a truck tomorrow, many of these people wouldn’t have a clue about how much I had cared for them, how deeply I had held them in my heart! (This part is not a good prescription for easy sleep – I wouldn’t recommend it.) So, after a fitful night, I decided that it’s probably a good idea to live one’s life as though each day might truly be your last – to not just embrace that familiar idea, but really DO IT. To me, that means telling and showing the people in my life whom I care about, how I feel about them and why – making time each day, even just a few moments, to honor relationships in this way.

I invite you to think about this as well. I know I’m not alone in this challenge. I wonder how the world might be different if more of us truly honored our relationships in this way, each day taking time to tell someone that we care about them?

Now, to sleep…..

BlogTalk Radio 2/26/14 8 PM EST Show: “Marriage and Money: A Love Story?”

As we all get ready to pay our taxes, this is a particularly relevant show now!

In this 40 minute episode, I will co-host with Meredith Richardson, a talented and feisty lawyer, mediator, and conflict coach. Together we’ll focus on the central issues and some common pattterns couples play out related to finances during their marriages, or in their divorces.

* Learn about some key behaviors which are often indicators of marital strength and collaboration, or not.

* Find out about 4 new behaviors which can help you and your spouse to do better in this area.

* Learn about some critical legal issues you need to know about filing taxes jointly.

To listen in, or to join us live on the air with questions or comments,  call toll-free 877-497-9046. 

If you can’t make the live show, catch the recording at: The Couplespeak Relationship Forum

Whatever you do, don’t miss this episode!

Take It Easy! Life Is Short!

Everyone, including myself, is running around getting ready for the rest of the holidays, and I mean “running around,” and now in more than a foot of fresh snow! We’re in the home stretch now for getting our homes sufficiently decorated, getting those gifts bought and in the mail, making sure all our cards are written and sent out, choosing our menus, and finalizing our holiday plans so we don’t feel left out of all “the fun” socially. Then there’s the usual busyness of housework, making meals, working jobs so we can pay the bills, raising our children, getting some sleep, and of course, finding some time for self care, like indulging in a measly workout here and there. Not to mention the little detail of having an occasional conversation with our partner, or loved ones!

As I participate in, and observe the race all around, I’ve decided that three things are important to keep in mind to preserve one’s sanity, and to actually derive some fun and meaning around the holidays:

  1. Check your perfectionism. Even Martha Stewart, the maven of style, class, and coziness, has legions of “elves” all around to create the illusion of perfection. So don’t buy into the invention. Instead, establish a “good enough” standard which allows for the realities of your time and energy constraints, allows you to enjoy yourself, and to stay focused on your goals for the season. At this juncture, less is more. Keep those expectations in check.
  2. Let others help. Don’t over-function your way into martyrdom. You’ll be a more pleasant companion if you let other people share in the labor of making holiday traditions happen. The people around you will feel more invested in activities they have helped to create. You’ll also be more rested if you don’t view the holidays as a “one man/woman show”.
  3. Practice the fine art of saying “no” if you are feeling maneuvered into doing more than your fair share of holiday activity. If you have a partner or sibling who seems to be bailing out on you, and expecting you to compensate for their inactivity, then draw a line in the sand, and let consequences happen. You’ll then avoid some resentment around feeling exploited.

Stay conscious and have happier holidays!
Susan Lager

Next BlogTalk Radio Show: 6 Cures For A Really Bad Mood 7/31/13 8:30 PM EDT

We all suffer a bad mood from time to time. It’s never fun, but can be a more lasting, contagious experience, or a briefer, more benign annoyance, depending on how you manage it.

Tune into my next BlogTalk Radio show Wednesday, July 31st at 8:30 PM EDT for a half hour discussion about tools to contain and transform a bad mood.

Call toll-free 877-497-9046 to just listen in, or to join me on the air with questions, comments or ideas of your own. Hope you can be there!

Susan Lager

Blog Talk Radio Host

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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