This Is Water

Have you heard the commencement speech given several years ago by novelist David Foster Wallace to Kenyon College?

There’s a great Youtube video that uses excerpts from it, called This is Water. It is a brilliant speech that encourages us all to stop presuming we know what everyone’s motives are, to stop putting ourselves and our own outrage in the middle of everything so that we can maybe understand someone else’s story.

A Guardian Of Your Spouse’s Solitude


One of my clients sent me this quote.

It’s a great way to frame what growing up in marriage can look like.

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky. ~ Rainer Marie Rilke

Above The Line Or Below It

This is a popular coaching tool to use when looking at your mindset.


It also works with relationships.

Above the line: Ownership, Accept and Responsibility.

Taking ownership, accepting and taking responsibility for your attitude and actions.

Below the line: Blame, Excuses and Denial.

Not taking responsibility, not accepting your responsibilities and actions, and blaming others.

Above the line is the mindset of champions – Row your boat where YOU want it to go. This is growing up in marriage!

Below the line is the victim mentality – Make your bed and lie in it.

Where are you?

Above the line or below it?

The importance of laughter in marriage

The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. ~ Voltaire

We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh. ~ Agnes Repplier

Have you and your spouse ever found something to be funny and you reach a point where you feed off each other?

Most often this happens when you’re watching a somber play, or in the middle of church, or even during dinner at a quiet restaurant. But your giggles feed the other’s and off you go.

Laughter is contagious.

It’s also beneficial to life and marriage.

Benefits of Laughter

  • Reduction of stress and tension
  • Stimulation of the immune system
  • An increase of natural painkillers in the blood
  • A decrease in systemic inflammation
  • Reduction of blood pressure
  • Lifts your spirits
  • Brings couples closer together
  • Can help keep a relationship fresh.

There are other medical benefits than the ones listed above.Our cardiovascular and respiratory systems, for example, benefit more from twenty seconds of robust laughter than from three minutes of exercise on a rowing machine. Through laughter, muscles release tension and neurochemicals are released into the bloodstream, creating the same feelings the long-distance joggers experience as “runner’s high.”

It has also been discovered that for some hospital patients, ten minutes of genuine belly laughter would have an anesthetic effect that could give a couple hours of pain-free sleep.

Humor brings more than just physiological benefits to a husband and wife. Humor helps us cope.

Humor relieves the tension that can build up between people. It also will bond you with those you laugh with. Research has found that laughter produces Oxytocin, a chemical in the brain also referred to as the bonding chemical.

Learning to laugh a little more just may save your life, not to mention your marriage. To paraphrase Henry Ward Beecher, “A marriage without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs – jolted by every pebble in the road.”

Still not convinced?

Take it from these professionals: Legendary comedian Bob Hope said laughter is an “instant vacation.” Jay Leno says, “You can’t stay mad at somebody who makes you laugh.” And Bill Cosby says, “If you can find humor in anything, you can survive it.”

Studies reveal that individuals who have a strong sense of humor are less likely to experience burnout and depression and they are more likely to enjoy life in general – including their marriage.

So lighten up. Stop taking yourself so seriously.

And while we’re on the subject, stop taking life so seriously; we aren’t getting out of it alive anyway!

(photo source)

How much money makes you happy?

happyDo you earn enough money to be happy?

According to a study from Gallup, earning $75,000 a year is a magic income level in America.

As salaries increased for the 450,000 people surveyed, the day-to-day level of happiness rose as well – until it reached a plateau at $75,000.

Does this mean a person earning $150,000 isn’t any happier than a person earning $75,000?

In both cases, the general day-to-day happiness or contentment was similar – but those who made more than $75,000 were more satisfied with their general position or status in the world.

“Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood . . . but it is going to make them feel they have a better life.” ~ Angus Deaton, researcher

Working hard and earning a great salary is fine. The challenge comes in learning how to be content with what you have in every situation.

Contentment doesn’t mean being lazy or complacent.

It means finding the value in the things you have without feeling like you need to upgrade to make yourself feel better.

Remember, happiness is fleeting at best.

No matter what salary situation you find yourself in, be careful not to rely on happiness more than you rely on the joy that can be found in the moment.

In other words … remember the strawberries.

(photo source)

10 Ways To Be More Attractive

self2Attraction is a funny thing.

Many people believe physical appearance is the driving force behind attractiveness. If you hold that belief, you’d be wrong.

While physical appearance plays a role, your thoughts and how you carry yourself are the dominant power behind attractiveness. You don’t have to be dressed in the latest trends or wear the right label to be attractive. You also don’t have to lose the pounds to attain your ideal body weight. Or spend enough time at the gym to get the right definition.

With the right mindset you can unveil your natural beauty.

How? [Read more…]