“The New I Do Book:” How to Create the Marriage You Want

the new i do book create the marriage you want

Dear Modern Married Readers,

One of our main themes in this community is the idea that we all have the opportunity to re-define marriage every day. Each of our marriages is custom made, and like a beautiful wedding dress or delicious latte – fits our taste and lifestyle perfectly. There is never just one way, there is always the way that works for us.

It is my pleasure to share the wise words of the authors of the brand new book, “The New I Do. Reshaping marriage for skeptics, realists and rebels” with you today. And we have a free copy of the book to give way! See details at the end of the post.

“The New I Do:” How to Create the Marriage You Want by

Susan Pease Gadoua and Vicki Larson

Every New Year we have an opportunity to start over. If you’re like most of us, you may have promised yourself that this year you’ll work harder on your relationship, be a better spouse and finally make the improvements you haven’t made before.

Or maybe this is the year you decide to end your marriage.

But what if there was another alternative to working harder or letting go? Something you’d never thought of, something you didn’t know existed?

What if you could redefine your marriage, which perhaps has become unfulfilling, unhappy or stale, and create a marriage that better suits your needs?

The truth is, you can.

We become disgruntled in a marriage when our partner or the relationship doesn’t meet our expectations.

  • Diana wishes her husband were more social; she feels like a part of her is dying because they don’t go out like “normal” people do.
  • Frank is upset that his wife is rarely interested in sex.
  • Gabriela realizes she is happiest when she travels for work and is away from her spouse and kids for a few days every week.

Could Diana, Frank and Gabriela get their needs met in their marriage?

Yes, but not by working harder. By doing something different.

Take a moment to read the following sentence. Then write down the first thing that comes to your mind.

Marriage is ________________________________.

Strip away romance and the idea of love, soul mates and the fairy tale of “happily-ever-after,” and what you’ll discover is that at its core, marriage is a legal contract. That’s what a marriage license is.

And it’s a pretty simple legal contract at that, if not necessarily a simple emotional contract. It doesn’t require that the couple live together, be monogamous, share household chores, socialize together, have children or stay together forever.

The couple gets to decide that for themselves.You are free to create the marriage you want.Their unions aren’t what we expect marriage to look like. But while you may not want those kinds of arrangements, they appear to be working for those couples nonetheless because they meet their needs.

Let’s face it, there are two things that occur simultaneously in a marriage — the way we think it should be and the way it actually is. We would like you to consider transforming your marriage into one that gives you what you need from it.

In researching for our book, “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” we were fortunate to interview a number of couples that decided to do just that.

Now that you’ve been married for a while, is your marriage working for you? Is it meeting your needs?

Yet we are stuck believing that marriage must look a certain way. Many of us doubt that couples with a huge age difference, like Hugh Hefner, 88, and wife Crystal, 28, have a “real” marriage; she must have married him for money, right? Some get upset over reports that Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband, Will Smith, have an open marriage; isn’t sexual fidelity an essential part of marriage?

Others believe it makes no sense that Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton live apart, in side-by-side townhouses in London; why even bother to tie the knot if you’re not going to live together?

How couples set up their marriage is an individual arrangement.

And while the contract entitles those who have it to some 1,100 government benefits, there’s one thing the contract doesn’t do — it doesn’t instruct a couple on what their marriage should look like.

Some opened up their marriage for a bit. Yes, it felt scary at times and yes, they had bouts of jealousy, but they also believe there was something incredibly brave and empowering about their decision — a “badge of courage” is how one couple described it. They learned that they could make up their own rules and take risks in their relationship, and, frankly, doing something together that was different than the mainstream — without any deception — was not only exciting, but it also brought them closer together.

Others who were on the brink of divorce chose a radical new approach. Although separated, they quickly discovered that living on their own proved to be expensive. Plus, their children were still minors and they didn’t like not being around them for days at a time. So, they moved back in together but instead of being romantic partners, they just focused on being good co-parents.

The upside was that they could see the kids whenever they wanted in their family home (and the kids didn’t have to shuffle back and forth between parents); they were able to maintain their old social connections while also free to have separate social lives; removing romantic love and its expectations, resentments and frustrations from their union allowed them to communicate better; and they were able to focus on taking care of their own needs.

There are many other ways to transform a marriage that’s not working well; our book offers a road map for couples who seek to do that.

So here are a few of questions to ask yourself about your own marriage.

There aren’t any right or wrong answers; all we hope they do is illuminate whatever concerns you about your union, and spark an open, honest and respectful dialog between you and your spouse.

  1. What were my reasons for marrying?
  2. What did I think I knew about marriage that turned out as expected?
  3. What did I think I knew about marriage that turned out different than I expected?
  4. What’s working well in my marriage?
  5. What isn’t?
  6. What needs do I have that aren’t being met?
  7. Can those needs be met outside the marriage?
  8. If I could create marriage from scratch, what would I want that I don’t already have?
  9. What do I have that I don’t want?

Susan Pease Gadoua and Vicki Larson are co-authors of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels” (Seal Press, 2014). Follow them on their website, http://thenewidobook.com/, on Twitter at @TheNewIDo and on Facebook at TheNewIDo.

the new I do book - create the marriage you want

BOOK GIVEWAY:  To win a free copy of the book: Name one word to describe your marriage. For example, in the book they mention a “parenting marriage” a “companionship” marriage, a “safety” marriage, etc. Choose a word to describe your marriage and enter it in the comments. We will accept entries until midnight eastern time February 27th 2015. The lucky winner will be notified by email. US entries only. Now go love and be loved. XO


Diving into Grace. Creating Your Year with a Word and a Theme.

diving into grace creating your year with a word and a theme modernmarried.com

Every year for the last few years, I have chosen a word to guide my year instead of making resolutions. I was never really into resolutions, they just didn’t work for me. Ever since I heard of the idea of choosing the energy of a word to “live into” through the year, I was fascinated by the idea.

Last year I chose Grace. There are so many beautiful definitions of grace. Divine favor, elegance, ease. For me, the idea of grace was connecting with the divine in a deeper way and letting that higher light lead.

One of my dearest friends, Fawn from Happy Wives Club, reminded me early last year that grace was not just something to accept, but something to give to others.

Her wisdom stayed with me all year long. I hope in some small measure I have been able to extend a portion of the grace that has been showered upon me. I am still working on that.

So grace. That was my word. It came upon me like an avalanche:

  • A beautiful wedding that became a family reunion with all my half- sisters and my dad in one room. I didn’t grow up with my dad so at 41, this was the first time we were all in one room together.
  • Attending Oprah’s Life You Want Weekend and being moved at the last minute – TO THE FRONT ROW. I swear the beautiful Miss O looked straight at me and said, “The life you want is possible.” There is a whole series of blog posts that needs to be written about that one. (on my list for 2015!)
  • The infinite amount of small, happy moments with the hubs – cuddling while watching our favorite shows, laughing with our friends, planning vacations, going to Home Depot or just checking in after a long day.
  • Getting quoted in Brides, re-designing this website, writing my very first e-book (in final edits as I write this).
  • The blessing of sharing life and love with all of you here on the blog or on Facebook every day.

These are all things that I could have never anticipated, except for the hubby parts, which we intentionally create, all the rest had the sprinkle of Divine Grace and mountains of gratitude and thanksgiving from my side.

Yes, I also had the flu, had to see a hand doctor for possible carpal tunnel (thankfully not), had to see a specialist about a root canal gone wrong (yes it was as painful as it sounds) and had many days when napping was not just a priority, but a necessity because my body was tired to the point of clinical exhaustion from so much work.

I then had multiple internal struggles on how to balance wifehood, career life, and sanity. Still working on that one too.

Grace is not just something to accept but  something to give to others. Fawn Weaver Happy Wives Club

My experience is that once you live with a word for a whole year, it never leaves you. The first word I ever chose was courage. It’s still the foundation of so many decisions I make every day. And grace, I think was always with me, but now I know what it looks like and will never take it for granted again.

When it came time to choose this year’s word, it came to me in a moment.

Embody – to represent (something) in a clear and obvious way : to be a symbol or example of (something) / to make concrete and perceptible (Merriam Webster)

If last year was connecting with the divine in a bigger, clearer, more intimate way, this year is all about making the divine concrete, holdable, touchable, measurable.

I want to learn how to move my body consistently and lovingly.

I want to take all the principles I believe in and claim to know and live them. Prove them. Embody them.

This experience has been so powerful for me, that my hubby has started choosing a word too.

Last year, his word was “ass-kickery.” I will save you a great debate on whether this is a word or not and let you know that much marital peace can be achieved when you let each other create words as needed.

Also, per the urban dictionary it is in fact, “the art of kicking ass.”

And that he did. He slayed his move to a new data center. He crushed his audits. He kicked mega booty.

Which is good.

Then he was exhausted. Which is, not as good.

This year, he chose “flow.” He is trying another way.

I love that about him. And about life and marriage. Do overs are just the best invention since the shellac manicure.

We added something this year. We each have a word and we chose a theme together. A theme for us as a couple.

Our theme? Do it with fun.

The hubby came up with it. Of course. Add that to the 574 reasons why I love that man.

Do it with fun. It sang to me.

One of my favorite movies is Arthur Christmas. Yes, as I write this I am 41 years old. Don’t judge. Or if you judge, then immediately rinse please. Like a thought-washing-machine.

As I was saying…

In Arthur Christmas, Arthur is very worried about a child being missed on Christmas. He doesn’t want her to think Santa forgot her. See why I love this movie? Aren’t you glad you rinsed? 😉

He struggles throughout the movie with a long list of worries until in a moment of total revelation and glee, he realizes he can do what needs to be done while worrying.

He can “do it with worry.” When I first saw that scene it was so liberating. Like I don’t have to have the mysteries of life figured out, I can just do the whole damn thing with worry.

Insert massive weight just lifted off shoulders right here.

Ever since then the hubs and I have a whole “do it with worry” thing where we just, you know, get it done as best we can, Arthur Christmas style.

What happens after you do that for a while is you realize, you could do it, whatever “it” may be, a whole variety of ways –

With worry

With fear

With confidence

With trust

With fun

And there we were having breakfast at Denny’s talking about our words for the year when I was about to spring on the hubster this wild idea I had that our words should be individual but we should add a twist with a united “theme.”

I had read on someone’s Facebook that her theme was “I am ready.” Whatever came at her all year long, she just said, Okay, “I am ready,” here we go.

Sounded like a great idea to me.

The Hubs meanwhile, being the love of my life and all, spontaneously said, you know what? This year I am going to “do it with fun.” Just like that. Out of the blue.

Hello Theme.


Insert googlie-lovey-dovey-wifey-smile-here.

We have a lot on our plate this year. Some if it is very routine and number-crunchery and some of it is awesome without even trying.

We have decided, whether its groceries, tax returns, date nights or vacations, we are going to “do it with fun.”

We started with a very vigorous body-shaking dance in the car to Taylor Swift on the way to Home Depot.

maggie reyes quote modernmarried.com

So, your LoveWork this week is #1 Choose a word. And if you are feeling really adventurous, share it in the comments or tweet it to me here: https://twitter.com/modernmarried!

#2 for total bonus, extra credit points – choose a theme. One sentence. Something easy that you can whip out any time, any day of the year and hold onto like a lucky charm all year through.

To read about my experiences with previous words and get my personal recipe for how to choose one, click here: http://modernmarried.com/word-of-the-year-how-to-choose-one-word-to-turbo-charge-your-year/

My coach and mentor Christine Kane taught me how to choose a word, you can download the Word of the Year Discovery Tool by Christine Kane for free by clicking here.

*This post contains affiliate links. What that means is if you click the link and buy something from Christine someday, I will get a thank-you-for-referring-someone-fabulous commission with a side of really good karma and some dark, delicious chocolate. Actually, I try to have dark, delicious chocolate as often as possible, so that would happen anyway.

Were you inspired by this post? Do you know one person who would love it too? Please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it!

Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours.

Now go love and be loved. And do it with fun. XO

Escape Holiday Stress: 8 Questions to Help You Create a Happier Holiday Season

Paula Onysko on how to create a happier holiday season - modernmarried.com

No matter how much I love the Holiday Season, there comes at least one point that I feel completely overwhelmed by holiday stress or feel everything is just too much and need to take several deep breaths and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie to re-boot and remember why I love it so much and enjoy all the little things (like Christmas carols and sappy movies with holiday romance) and let go of all the other things happening around me.

When my wise friend Paula wrote this inspiring approach to managing the experience of the holiday season I knew that I knew that I absolutely, positively had to share it with all of you!

If you have been reading this blog for a while you know I love the power of a great question. Questions are so awesome because I believe we find ourselves in the answering of them. And as we change and grow our answers change and evolve as well.

I know this is a set of questions I will come back to year after year to help me set powerful intentions for the holiday season and I hope you will find them as inspiring and useful as I did.

I have a hot tip for this week’s post – grab a blank sheet of paper or your favorite journal and pen and answer these as you read.

Yes now. We’ll wait.

Got that pen? Ready?

I proudly and gleefully introduce you to my friend, and brilliant success coach Paula Onysko who will guide us through creating a happier holiday season with 8 simple questions.

Here we go…..

Escape Holiday Stress: 8 Questions to Help You Create a Happier Holiday Season

The way you spend Christmas is more important than how much. Thoreau quote

Do you feel rushed heading into the holiday season, not having the time for what matters most to you?  Do you ever come out the other side feeling exhausted or stretched financially? Do you long for a different way to celebrate that honours your health, happiness and wallet?

You might be wondering why I’m talking about holidays already. Well, they are right around the corner, and because I want to do them differently this year – which means looking at them ahead of time. I’m planting this seed in your heart too so you can decide for yourself how they will unfold in your world.

In the past few years, I’ve worked right up to Christmas, had my accounting books to do right before New Year’s, and just felt rushed. Baking (which is something I love) has been last minute. And what always gets shortchanged for me are more things that bring deeper meaning to the holidays.

We live in a truly abundant world – and yet, we need to call forth abundant experiences, or else they slip on by.

To help you, here are 8 questions to contemplate as you design your ideal Holiday Season.

  1. What are the qualities you want to experience?

It’s easy to get caught up in plans or activities.

Start first with the feeling.

How do you want to feel as you flow through the holidays?

What are the qualities you want to embrace?

Peace? Fun? Connection? Purpose? Abundance? Wellness? Magic?

  1. What are the most important elements of the holiday season for you?

Once you know how you want to feel, then it’s easier to decide the most important elements.

For example, if peace is a quality you want to experience, then avoid jamming your calendar with activities.

If fun is your desire, make sure you plan activities that are fun for you. If connections are important, brainstorm who you want to connect with and how you can do so in meaningful ways.

  1. What’s a tradition that you long for?

Perhaps this is something new to you, or one from your childhood.

This year, I want to bring more music into my world. Christmas concerts were such an important part of my childhood that I want to reconnect with the magic of music.

What about you? What tradition do you long for? And think outside the box. Is there a tradition from another family or religion you’d like to adopt?

  1. What do you feel pressure to have or do during the holidays that you’d rather not?

Remember, this is your life. If the office Christmas party doesn’t resonate, don’t go.

If you’d rather not bake all of sweet treats and then be tempted to eat them when you’ve been working so diligently to stay healthy and lean, then say no or experiment with a healthier treat.

If exchanging gifts with a friend isn’t something you feel drawn to anymore, consider offering a different suggestion – like skipping the gift and arranging a fun get-together or volunteering somewhere.

  1. What feels like a manageable and peaceful amount of money to spend during the holidays?

Consider gifts, food, decorations, entertainment and events, etc.

Deciding in advance how much you want to spend and then sticking to it brings peace and self-honour (not to mention teaching your children how to be financially responsible).

I’ve noticed that many children are disconnected from what things cost. They just see what they want on TV and aren’t learning the other side of the equation. So be honest first with yourself about what amount feels do-able and then honour that.

You may need to have a loving conversation with family members to let them know the beautiful boundary you are establishing around spending. That’s okay!

  1. How do you want to feel after the holidays and going into 2015?

When we start with the end in mind, the path to take becomes clearer. The truth is many people get sick during the holidays and on average gain 5 to 8 lbs between Halloween and New Year’s. Yikes! What do you choose for yourself? Personally I want to begin 2015 feeling alive, rested, lean, energized and deeply happy and fulfilled. How about you?

  1. What are the nourishing daily habits that will keep you healthy and happy?

To support your desire in #6, what are the nourishing daily habits to put in place now and honour as you move through the holidays?

It’s a total disservice to your life to wait until the New Year, when health and happiness can be yours today.

Pick 1 to 3 habits to focus on. Here are some suggestions:

  • Set a morning intention.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Up your green veggies.
  • Get proper sleep.
  • Watch your sugar intake.
  • Move your beautiful body.
  • Take downtime to relax, centre and reflect.
  • Start a gratitude journal to capture what you are grateful for.


  1. What support do you need?

When you ask for help, you invite others to fulfill divine roles. What a gift that is.

For some of you, the holidays may be a difficult time. All the more reason to ask for support in the ways you need it most.

Asking for help is a sign of self-love and strength, not weakness. Do you need someone to help with a meal? Do you need emotional support in dealing with a loss? Do you want a friend to accompany you to an event you long to go to?

As you consider what you need to create a peaceful, loving, happy holiday experience, remember that the above questions are great to ask family members and have them contribute ideas to your shared holiday experience.

Surround yourself with exactly what you need and desire this holiday. A thousand angels are ready and willing to help make it magical for you.

Holiday Hugs and Mistletoe Kisses - Christmas Quote

Paula Onysko is a success coach and business strategist with 11 years of experience as a corporate consultant and thriving entrepreneur. She helps soulful women in business master the mindset, communications and daily habits to make great money in harmony with their health and personal happiness.  Paula incorporates practical tools including the Sacred Money Archetypes®, energy alignment and EFT tapping to help women shed emotional blocks that prevent them from creating the amazing lives they are meant to live.

Paula’s wisdom has been featured in the business section of the Calgary Herald, in corporate boardrooms, with online women’s groups and local workshops in Canada. She works privately with women business leaders all over the world via phone and Skype to ensure they are well-supported and aligned as they make their impact in their business, bank account and the world. Visit www.paulaonysko.com to learn more.   

If you were inspired by this post, please share it. Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

What is one quality you want to bring more of into your holiday season? Please share in the comments.


Create Your Own Luck: True Love + Double Decade Marriage Wisdom from Susan Hyatt

marriage advice from Susan Hyatt on ModernMarried.com

I am very lucky to count Susan Hyatt as one of my coaches and mentors.

Her life philosophy is that if you can crave it, you can create it and when she wrote her book, “Create Your Own Luck,” she defined luck as “where consistency of a good attitude, diligent work and clear vision collide.”

She is a shining sparkplug of life, love and wisdom. One of her signature phrases is “less self-helpery and more badassery” and it totally sums her up in an nutshell. She is all about being soulful and loving – and taking lots of positive action to create the life (and love!) you crave in your life.

When she celebrated her 22nd wedding anniversary last year, she wrote a post about marriage that inspired me so much, I asked her if I could share it with all of you and she gave a resounding yes – with a happy surprise coming at the end of this post. (Hint – you know I love a great book giveaway!)

And now for some of my favorite marriage advice from one of my favorite people, I present you:

Susan Hyatt’s Double Decade Marriage Wisdom….


Anyone who says that true love shouldn’t be hard is either lying or an asshole. Or both. Those kinds of messages cause great people to walk away from one other. Which we almost did…once upon a time. But after 22 years together, and 20 of those married, I’m proud of what we’ve built. It’s the kind of love that makes me grateful and weepy and indulgent.

If you find yourself craving connection, romance and intimacy, it’s a good idea to bring that to that table instead of waiting for someone to bring it to you.

I’ve learned how to show others the kind of love that I want to receive. I’m not perfect at it, and I still act like MADEA sometimes when I don’t get my way. But overall, here’s some goodness for you that I am proud to share:


  • Believe that you ARE love. There’s no getting it from someone or something else.
  • The shit will hit the fan. You can handle it.
  • You are not a character from Wuthering Heights, Friends or even 50 Shades. That’s a great thing. You get to be you.
  • Ask yourself if you are building connection or destroying it. Stay aware.
  • Don’t hide money. But do have your own.
  • You are responsible for yourself and how you feel. Yes. You.
  • There is always another chance and another way. Love loves resourcefulness.
  • Share who you really are. Don’t let someone love only part of you. Or a false you. You deserve to be seen as you magnificently are. Cellulite and all.
  • I’m sorry. I love you. How can I make this right? Those words never get old. Say them.
  • Here’s what I love about you: ________ Also never gets old.

Real love takes a loving mindset, the strength of an honest to goodness vulnerable human being, and some divine elbow grease. You are it. Spread it.

Marriage Manifesto from Susan Hyatt on ModernMarried.com

Susan Hyatt is Master Certified in an elite coaching style, developed by Dr. Martha Beck. Susan was recently named by O, The Oprah Magazine and IKEA as a member of the “Life Improvement Squad” for the next year, to be featured in the magazine, on Oprah.com, and on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Susan is the author of “Create Your Own Luck: Seven Steps to get Your Lucky On” and “Jacked Up on Greens.” 

Susan is passionate about helping clients through individual and group coaching, retreats and her writing, to create a life that they love. She lives in Evansville, Indiana, with her husband, two children, and their crazy mob of pets. To find out why she says “life is delicious,” visit her website at http://shyatt.com/.

Susan Hyatt quotes. love and marriage.

My deepest gratitude and love to Susan for sharing her no-nonsense marriage advice with us and for her friendship and mentoring over the last few years. One of the reasons I so deeply believe in life coaching is the way my life has transformed from working with amazing coaches like Susan.

Susan generously autographed a copy of her book, “Create Your Own Luck,” and one lucky ModernMarried reader will win it!

Susan Hyatt Create Your Own Luck, Lucky 7 Manifesto

You all know I love easy giveaways – to enter hop over to the comments and tell us how many years you have been married and your favorite piece of marriage wisdom – in 5 sentences or less.

Entries close on midnight eastern time on October 18th, 2014 and the winner will be notified via email.

The book is available on Amazon, here: Susan Hyatt’s Create Your Own Luck, 7 Steps to Get your lucky on!

If you were inspired by this post, please Share it. Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO


#Rethinking Relationships – A @ModernMarried Interview with @SasPetherick

Dear ModernMarried Readers,

I get so excited when I get to share the love and wisdom of Life Coaches and friends who have inspired me with all of you. Today I am supremely thrilled to bring you another great interview all the way from the UK with the lovely Sas Petherick.

She is bright and bold and funny and I totally have an internet-crush on her beautiful writing and sassy personality. Today she shares intimate details behind the scenes of her modern married life – I hope you find her perspective and journey as inspiring as I do.

Read on!

Sas Petherick Interview on ModernMarried.com

Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences…

I believe in real, messy, kind and imperfect love. I’m about to turn 41 and getting older is such a riot (now that I have a handle on the bonus facial hair). I’m utterly fascinated by how we think – my work in the world is devoted to helping you create a healthy relationship with your thinking mind. I’m a kiwi (but not a fruit or a bird). I believe we are all just walking each other home.

A Kiwi is a person from New Zealand? Does everyone know that? Because I had to learn ;-). – M

Tell us about your latest project…

I’m so excited – like a-little-bit-of-wee-came-out excited – about my new group coaching programme. Rethink Your Relationships is where you get free from worrying about what anyone else thinks. Ever. Again. It’s a combination of my Phd research into cognitive coaching, and thirtyish years experience of being a people pleaser. When I learned how to cultivate a solid core of peace so that I don’t require anyone else to change, to be okay – every single relationship in my life changed for the better. I want to show you how to do this. Registration opens on the 23rd of September and we start on the 6th of October. Its going to be awesome!

Why do you do what you do?

I’ve spent my entire life helping people navigate through change. During 20 years in corporate world that never felt like a great fit for me, I was always happiest connecting with other people. I worked with engineers and scientists and technologists and for some reason my colleagues trusted me with their secrets and fears, their dreams and ideas; hearing their stories was an honour. Coaching has felt like coming home – there is nothing like connecting with another person and helping them see something in their life with a new perspective. It’s magic.

 I have to say, I totally agree. Coaching is just as inspiring for the Coach as the Client. It’s like when a team wins the World Series – the coach is just as happy as the players. – M

One of my favorite management principles is “Stop, Start, Keep” the idea is that there are things we should stop doing, start doing and keep doing that will make us successful. What should we “stop, start, and keep” to make our relationships stronger?

Stop making your happiness anyone else’s responsibility. Start asking for what you want. Keep going (in tiny, doable steps).

Complete these sentences:

The secret to a happy marriage is… two whole people choosing every day, to be in a relationship that awesomeizes both of them.

What I know is true about love is its messy and imperfect. And best with someone who makes you belly laugh on the regular.

The single most important thing we can do for the person we love is… to take care of our own needs.

The biggest myth about marriage is… that there is someone on this planet capable of completing anyone else. Jerry Macguire has a lot to answer for.

I can create a life I love by… actively participating in a lifelong quest for the ideas and experiences that bring me joy and fulfillment: Ian McEwan’s novels, Yo Ma’s cello and Friday Night Lights; my graduate research, writing and hanging out with my favourite humans.

myth about marriage - Jerry Macguire "you complete me" - Sas Petherick read more on ModernMarried.com


What is your favorite inspirational quote about love or marriage? ‘Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free’ ~ Tom Robbins

What is the best piece of advice you ever got? How did you use it? ‘Nothing good gets away’. It was something that John Steinbeck wrote in a letter to his son and those words just hit me right in the heart. This belief helps me to let go of my tendency for impatience and the crazypants pursuit of perfectionism. Its like a big old sigh!

What’s the best advice you like to give? How do you apply it (for yourself)? Don’t delegate your happiness to other people.’ When I really really got this I realised that there is nothing anyone could do, that would cause me not to love me. I’ve totally got my back. Its SO freeing.

What do you know is true about love? It’s the best! My marriage is the thing I am most proud of. It nourishes me in so many ways. I was so afraid of opening my heart up after going through a divorce, I couldn’t imagine that I would ever trust anyone again; it seemed easier to just not risk my heart. Being alone and learning to have a true love with myself first made all the difference – it took so much pressure off our relationship because I wasn’t looking for someone to fill up the holes in me; I just wanted to share my life.

What is your favorite thing about being married? Sunday mornings, in bed with coffee, covered in cats and newspapers, reading things out to each other. This love is jam packed with simple easy joy.

What has surprised you the most about marriage? That I will never really know my husband – he surprises me all the time. We went out for dinner the other night and I found out that he had been a radio DJ when he was a university student.

How do you stay connected to your spouse? We go for walks in the woods behind our house. And we’ve never had a tv in the bedroom.

Because I have had serious insomnia, my sleep doctor strongly recommended no TV in the bedroom so we don’t have a TV in the bedroom either. We do like to cuddle and watch on a big screen in the family room. – M

We talk a lot on this blog about re-defining marriage – can you share something you and your spouse do that makes sense for you (but may not make sense to someone else). We decided not to have children. I have always been ambivalent about becoming a parent and it felt respectful and important to have this conversation early in our relationship (from memory I blurted this out in the first few weeks!)  This began a three year conversation of weighing up the reasons for and against children; by the time we got married we were both pretty certain that choosing a child-free life was right for us. The grief and glee of making this choice together has definitely brought us closer.

What is the most surprising thing you have discovered through your work? That everything changes when your work feels like a calling. When I was a “coporateer,” I guarded my outside-of-work self so closely, I wrote online anonymously for years and I didn’t like to really talk about work. But now my life and my work is so closely integrated I don’t feel that two-selves anymore. I get to show up as completely me in every context. This feels like such a gift.

Anything else you would like to add? Just that I adore your work Maggie! I love being part of this conversation about marriage – which can so often be scrutinized into one of political or religious ideals, or divorce statistics! That you are talking about love and joy and being supported by someone you like to see naked, is just a breath of fresh air!

That made me blush! I do feel we can have a different conversation about modern married life and that we can grow through joy and love instead of through pain. I think we need to recognize and accept pain, but we can also learn to make choices differently and seeing examples of couples creating relationships that work for them is so important. It gives us permission to say, I am going to do what works for me, and not what “society” says marriage should be. And that’s how I feel about that!  – M

Tom Robbins Quote About Love, I love you for free.


Sas Petherick shows you how to get more love, money and joy by changing how you think. Sas is an in-demand Certified Coach and is the creator of Rethink Group Coaching Programmes. She’s been described as ‘equal parts laughing buddha and fiery femme, salty sailor and foxy minx’. Sas’ energy, smarts, humour and intuition guide every transformational coaching session and sold-out retreat. Find out how to amplify your life with curiosity and kindness at  www.saspetherick.com

Deepest love and thanks to Sas for a truly heartfelt interview!

Sas’ “Rethink Your Relationships” Class is currently open for enrollment. If you are fed up with feeling like you have to twist yourself into a compromised version of you, to fit in or never feel like you have the confidence to say no when you really want to – this class might be perfect for you! Check out all the details here: http://www.saspetherick.com/work-with-me/rethink-your-relationships/

If you were inspired by this post, please Share it. Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO


What are you dreaming about? One Question That Will Awesomize Your Marriage.

Share your dreams - marriage tips and advice, modernmarried.com

We are keeping the blog super short and sweet and simple this week.

First the brilliant John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute tells us how to improve our marriage in 30 seconds – well actually 1 minute and 34 seconds, but you get the idea.

In this video he says, one of the greatest keys to a happy marriage is to honor our spouse’s dreams.

Which of course got me to thinking. Always dangerous of course.

When was the last time we shared our dreams with each other?

For the hubs and I it was a couple of weeks ago on the Oasis of the Seas – we took some time to play my favorite game. I call it “The Lottery Game.”

It works like this – you each answer what you would want to do if you won if you won the lottery. BUT instead of keeping it vague, we picked a random number like 10 million dollars. Now my hubby is the numbers whiz in the family and computed the following:

If we won 10 million dollars and lived 50 more years of life, that would be $200k a year.

Tons of money. But not like private jets or anything.

It made the exercise so much more fun for me, because it was somehow more realistic, and because it was more realistic, we really got into it.

And the fascinating thing we found it is, if we suddenly had tons of money, half the things we wanted to do, weren’t really all that expensive.

At least a fourth of the things we “dreamt” about, we could probably afford right now or with a little extra planning and budgeting.

So the key to honoring each other’s dreams is to ASK. That’s step number one.

Can you set aside some time this week to have fun dreaming about experiences and adventures you would love to have together?

I know it sounds so simple, but when is the last time you did?


I know my people. Pick your favorite snack item – chips, veggies, ice cream, smoothies, or an exotic cocktail, whatever floats your boat, and just sit and dream together.

That’s how you get an Awesomized marriage – one dreamy conversation at a time.


Want to create a super soulful plan to make those dreams come true? Join me for a Dream Deeper Session where we zero in on what matters most and make the plan to get there. You can find all the details on the Coaching Page.

If you were inspired by this post, please Share it. Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

Motivational Quotes: Nothing is too good to be true and other thoughts that will make your day.

motivational quotes and positive thoughts

This is a story about motivational quotes, new thoughts to think and how soft and delicious a new thought can be. It’s a bit of a long post, but I hope you will find it’s worth the read.

You know how you never see a yellow car and then someone says, “yellow car!” and then you see them everywhere? That’s what happened to me last week with this sentence: “Nothing is too good to be true.”

One of my coaches and mentors, Susan Hyatt, has that on her twitter bio. To be more precise, she says, “Lucky on purpose. Nothing is too good to be true.”

It totally blew my mind when I read it. Then it kept dancing in my head all week.

Nothing is too good to be true.

Nothing. Is TOO GOOD to be TRUE.

Like really?

Then I remembered when I was single and lonely and wandering.

You know meandering through life wondering if anyone would ever “get me?”

That kind of wandering.

And I thought of the hubs and how he laughs at my totally nerdy jokes. Or smiles when I write about him in blog posts. (Yes like this one. Yes he is smiling right now.)

And I thought, I never would have imagined this was possible. Feeling loved, connected, and understood.

Sounds too good to be true to my old wandering self.

If Old Me met Future Me – she wouldn’t have believed it.

But there it is. Life might be crazy. The news might be scary. But some things can be so good you wouldn’t believe them unless you were there.

Anyway, all that pondering got me thinking about my goals and dreams and things I don’t currently believe are 100% do-able.

And yet. I feel the whisper of Future Me dancing through the wind saying, “nothing is too good to be true.”
And I wonder what else might be possible for me if I keep going, keep dreaming and keep walking the path – even when I meander and go in different directions from time to time.

Then of course, I wonder what’s possible for you, Dear Reader, Beautiful Blog Lover, if you think for a moment, that you could be lucky on purpose and wonder, “what if nothing is too good to be true? What would I dream then?”

It’s just a thought. An idea. But thoughts and ideas gave us language, airplanes, hospitals, laptops, shellac nail polish and British Kit Kats.

Thoughts, repeated, acted upon, embraced, loved, nurtured and watered, give us life.

The thing is, we often think thoughts that don’t serve us, that aren’t inspiring to us and that keep us down.

The idea that nothing is too good to be true just lights me up every time I think about it.

So I asked a few of my wise Life Coaching friends – (I am so blessed to have several!) what their favorite inspiring thought was and today

I want you to look at these as if you are trying on a cashmere sweater.

Try it on, see if it fits, if it doesn’t put it back, if it does, use it, keep it, and wear it out.

Take it out on bad days and let it feel good on your skin and in your heart.

Dance with it on happy days and celebrate how good it feels.

And if you have a favorite inspiring thought that’s not on this list, please add it to comments.

Here we go – Some of my favorite motivational quotes and thoughts that can make your day!

positive motivational thoughts by life coaches

“I’m figuring this out” – the brilliant Sarah Yost says. Along with “I love you so much.”  Which she recommends whenever a relationship is difficult. Love that!

Sarah is a Master Coach and writer who blogs about things like, “For when you are so scared you could pee your pants” or “How to Deal When You Want to Skip the Whole Learning How To Part.”

“Everything happens FOR me.” TaVona Boggs says this shifts her into peace, gratitude or problem solving instead of remaining in “victim-mode.”

“Let go, let God!” says Maureen Jordan Kaelbein followed by “What is the lesson in this situation?”

Karen Anderson is on a mission to teach the world about profound self-trust and has a beautiful list of Go-To thoughts:

“I have all the time in the world.”

Great to remember when you feel rushed!

“Miracles reside in the midst of doubt and confusion.”

I need to sit with that one for a while, let that sink in.

“I have everything I need.”

Another gem. If you are reading this, you have technology, electricity and heart – let me say it again with Karen, you have everything you need. Ponder that.

I can do hard things without suffering. (I had no idea that was possible for the first half of my life. Really glad I think it is possible now.)

Oh and that reminds me, if a thought seems too extreme, soften it, add something like, “It’s possible to do hard things without suffering”. Or “I could have everything I need.” Just open the tiniest window of possibility.

It’s much better to take turtle steps than to fall into a vat of negativity trying to do a quantum leap you aren’t ready for. And that’s okay. Leaps come on their own, in divine timing. All we have to do is walk. One foot in front of the other, every day, in the direction of the life and love we want to create.

“It’s a good thing I am rich!” – says Life and Leadership Coach Barb Churchill She says it’s great when you are paying bills or have an unexpected expense.

She says the awesome Mike Dooley taught her this one. If you don’t know Mike, check out his “Notes from the Universe” site here, he is one of my favorite spiritual teachers, who is as humble and funny and kind and wise as you might think he is when you read his work.

Barb is also one of my dearest friends and confidante and she gives great interview – check out her Modern Married Interview on Self Worth find out how she coined the word “flexting”. (It’s a combo of flirting and texting to keep that spark going!)

“Greatness makes a place for itself.” Creativity Coach, Song Guru and definitely the coolest coach in Nashville, Belinda Smith say it comforts and challenges her at the same time. Now that’s a deep thought!

Master Weight Loss Coach Bev Aron loves to say, “The Universe is always conspiring for me.” Which reminds me of another thought that I turn to whenever the clouds turn into mega-storms – “This is happening to bless me.” Sometimes I don’t see the blessing right away, but eventually I always do. Love how that works!

Money, Fitness and Horse Play Workshop leader, Christy Lambert says two of her favorites are

“What’s the worst that can happen? And is this one of the important things?”

Totally great to remember when you are obsessing over those tiny things that can drive us crazy.

Is this <dinner I made, presentation for work, phone call, outfit, nail color, ETC> one of the important things?

You get the idea.

She also says, “Everything you want is only the beginning of what’s possible.” Only the beginning. Meaning there is even more after that. If we want it, think it, act on it, embrace and accept it.

Health and Weight Loss Coach Robyn Spurr says, “Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” That just feels like good news to me. Take a deep breath and try again tomorrow.

dream big quote, keep dreaming quote

What are your favorite inspiring thought? Please share in the comments.

Want to learn to think better thoughts on purpose? Join me for a Dream Deeper Session where we create thoughts and mantras to guide you through the best and worst days with light and love. You can find all the details on the Coaching Page.

If you were inspired by this post, please Share it. Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

How to Give a Massage and Why It Will Help Transform Your Relationship

how to give a massage

Touch is one of my love languages.

That’s only one of the reasons I am so excited about today’s post.

First you need to know that this is a sponsored post. My very first. I have been blogging almost 2 years and been approached over and over again about featuring a sponsored post on my blog.

I always say no.

Until Emma and Denis told me about MELT, their video program that teaches couples how to massage each other.

First, who doesn’t love a husband and wife team? They practically had me at hello.

Then I read their site, watched their videos and I knew that what they teach is not only fun, simple and easy, it’s the kind of stuff that keeps relationships fresh.

Date Night? Teamwork? Relaxation? Plus a low cost that anyone can afford and a super-special discount for ModernMarried Readers?


Here is the best part, Emma and Dennis are sharing their step by step instructions on how to give a great massage right here.

Once you are done reading, click here to see their 2 minute intro video and how the pottery scene from Ghost inspired this whole project!

How to Give a Massage and Why It Will Help Transform Your Relationship

In any marriage, it’s important to show your spouse love, care, and appreciation and to pamper them every now and then.

It can be as straightforward bringing them a cup of tea in bed in the mornings, or as extravagant as buying them a special gift.

One way my husband and I have found to foster this love and appreciation is by giving each other a decadent massage.

It sounds simple, but the best things in life often are.

By treating your spouse to a massage, you’re igniting a host of different benefits to your relationship:

You’re giving selflessly to your partner.

You’re getting close to them in a very literal sense of the word.

You’re doing something different and new from your usual weeknight routine.

Massage between couples helps to build trust, increase intimacy and bond you to each other.

Doing new things together as a couple helps to re-spark the brain chemistry from when you first fell in love. Spending quality time alone together is so important for your relationship too.

So how do you go about treating your spouse to an incredible massage at home?

Here are a few easy tips to get you started:

Plan Your Night in Advance

Giving a massage will take a little preparation. Pick up some professional-grade massage oil from the drugstore ahead of time. It’s cheap to buy and effective.

You’ll also want to set the scene for the night with some candles, relaxed music and maybe even a little bit of food to nosh on – a fruit platter or some wine is a great mood enhancer.

If you can, keep the massage a secret from your sweetie until the last minute. The element of surprise makes things very special and is a crucial ingredient to a good seduction.

Prepare Your Massage Space

Before you begin your massage, have everything you’ll need ready to go. Once you start, you don’t want to have to break contact to get up and grab a towel or adjust the heat.

Dim the lights, put on your partner’s favourite music, turn up the heat if you need to. Grab your oil and some towels and have them within arm’s reach. Spread out an old sheet or blanket on the floor to stop oil staining your carpet.

We always suggest massaging on the floor, not the bed. The bed is not a stable surface and you can compromise your back by trying to give your partner a massage there.

Instead, seat your spouse cross-legged on the floor in front of you while you kneel behind them. Use a small beanbag footstool or some sturdy cushions to bolster under your butt to take pressure off your knees.

In this position, you have access to your partner’s shoulders, back, neck, head and arms – all prime massage real estate!

How to Give a Massage (That Will Make Your Partner Melt!)

massage for couples

To give a muscle-melting massage, you need to stretch the experience out a little.

The biggest problem we hear from couples about massaging is that they can’t last more than a few minutes without their hands hurting. Other common complaints are that people aren’t really sure what to do, and that they get bored easily.

Instead of trying to go deep and using your thumbs to massage your partner, switch to long, sweeping massage strokes with an open hand. The oil should help you glide over your partner’s skin easily.

Rhythm is an important element of any massage. To help you, try moving your hands in time to the background music.

Once you’ve relaxed your partner with long, rhythmical strokes, you can start to work a little deeper into their tight spots. Think about where you usually hurt on your body; we’re all built the same way.

Seek out inconsistencies in the muscle with your hands and thumbs – you’ll feel crunchy spots, for example, or a tense mass of muscle. When you’ve found them, work them deeper for a few seconds before switching back to lighter strokes.

You don’t need to go in deep for too long; even the most skilled massage therapists aren’t going deep 100% of the time! A few seconds is all you need to create a release in the muscle (keep it short and it won’t hurt your hands).

If you’re still not sure what you should be doing, you can check out our couples massage videos for simple instructions that you can stream right to your TV or smart device. Usually $99, we’re offering lifetime memberships to the program at $39 especially for Modern Married readers, for a limited time.

The Afterglow

When you’ve finished your massage, be sure to sit a little longer in an embrace with your partner to gently let them know you’re done and bask in the close connection you’ve just created.

Have you ever treated your spouse to a massage?

Emma Merkas is a relationship expert and the co-founder, along with her husband Denis, of the beautiful Melt: Massage for Couples online video series, which is receiving rave reviews from all corners of the globe. The pair has been teaching couples the secrets of massage for eight years now, and have just celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. 

 Emma and Denis believe every relationship deserves a little bit of massage. Lifetime memberships to Melt: Massage for Couples are available for Modern Married readers at 60% off. Get instant access for just $39. **Super Important! the discount ends August 31st, 2014 Midnight Australia time. Do not mess with the international date line! Check it out now and if you love it, get that discount people!**

 If you have ever experienced the power of a great massage, please share this post. You never know who might be blessed by having access to this super-easy to follow, wonderfully healing training. And for lifetime access to all the massage training videos for just $39 – click here: Melt: Massage for Couples.

 Disclaimer – this post was sponsored by MELT because they want everyone in the world to learn massage. It was published by ModernMarried because two people who love each other learning to touch each other with grace and ease seems like a great idea to me.



Want a happy marriage? Learn to Recognize and Process Your Negative Emotions.

emotional health and processing negative emotions by life coach maggie reyes

First of all let me start by saying this is the un-sexiest post ever. However, if you read and do the things I am about to write about, you will actually be helping to improve your sex life more than you can currently imagine.

And not only your sex life, but your Life life.

You will not only improve your marriage, but your life overall which will have the side-effect of boosting all the other areas of your life…which makes me a feel a little bit like Estee Lauder’s “free gift with purchase” at Macy’s!

Buy the perfume! Get the lipstick!

I am totally digressing but you get the idea.

Anyway, this post came about because the last couple weeks have been a bit hellish in MaggieLand.

If you have been reading the blog for a while, you know I like to keep it real.

Good things and bad things, happen all together in life. And when we pretend only good things – which happens so much online, we start thinking there is something wrong with us when bad things happen.

So we beat ourselves up EVEN MORE. When in reality life is happening just as it always does, with the good and the bad mixed up all together in a bowl of experiences for us to live through, and learn from. Sometimes we celebrate, sometimes we accept, sometimes we let go. Sometimes we take deep breaths and make it to tomorrow.

All of it is part of life and the number one point I want to get across today is that while we all know that all of what we experience in life isn’t rainbows and Kit Kat bars, we can get into major emotional pain when we think it should be.

Only rainbows.

Always chocolate.

That’s just not the way life works. But you know that already right?

I want you to know that it’s okay to be mad, sad, disappointed.

It’s totally normal for something awesome to happen and something bad to happen and something totally unimportant to happen all at the same time.

I don’t want you to think of life like one big facebook feed. What really matters in life happens IN BETWEEN. In between facebook updates and tweets. In between major milestones – as in, the wedding was awesome, but the marriage is better. In between enrollment and graduation – you get an education. In between ordering dinner and having the best meal of your life – lots of chopping and sautéing and mixing and cooking happens.


So in between the heightened moments of happy – let’s just acknowledge that there is also crappy. It happens to all of us and it’s NORMAL.

Nothing is wrong with you.

You might be feeling overwhelmed – in which case read this: 5 Things You Should Never Do When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed.

But otherwise, life is just happening – the good, the bad and the truly annoying all rolled up into one big beautiful experience with tons of highs, lows and in-betweens.

Now for my in-between, here is a little story about the last few weeks…

So for a blogger, the biggest thing that can happen in your blogging career is to have your blogs read by lots people. Just like for singers it’s to be on the radio, for bloggers, it’s to be read, shared, liked, clicked.

(Thank you by the way, for reading, sharing, liking and clicking. Totally rocks. So grateful. I would hug you if I could, but I can’t, so I write for you. LOVE.)

As I was saying – I always get excited when ONE person – yes, like YOU right now, reads anything I wrote.

Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my brain around thousands of people. I get super psyched of course, but I don’t think my brain can truly compute thousands.

Anyway, just wanted you to know how big a deal it was that one of my posts, (this one about what makes husbands happy in marriage) was top 5 on the Brides.com entire website while one of my other posts (The 7 Habits of Highly Happy Marriages) was named top 10 on the #1 marriage blog in the world. You can check out the list of top 10 marriage posts of all time at the Happy Wives Club blog here.

Big Blogging Deal. Waves of Nirvana washing over me….WHILE AT THE SAME TIME –

I sprained my ankle. (Yes I wore a brace for a week and it is fine now).

I got bursitis in my arm. (Lots of Advil and odd sleeping positions later, it’s healed).

I had the worst jet lag ever – waking up at all hours of the day and night while still having to work, sound professional, avoid yawning in the middle of meetings, etc.

And I got a cold. The kind where your nose looks like you belong in the circus because it’s so red.

So while my online life was totally unicorns, rainbows, Kits Kats and maximum clickage, my actual Life life was all runny noses, Kleenex and my biggest goal in life was for my head to meet my pillow.

While all this was happening, someone I deeply trusted did some things that freaked me out.

I got really mad. Like really really mad. Like if my blood could boil it would be a volcano mad.

Due to my natural enthusiasm and zest for life. I do not like getting mad.

That made me madder.


So what does a Life Coach do? I started using all my coaching tools on myself to help myself think more clearly and try to find another way to feel.

The thing is, I wanted to jump from being like –

Volcano levels of Anger to The Sweetest Chocolate of Mental Glee.

If you are wondering how that worked out for me – let’s just say it didn’t.

I went through a mental rollercoaster that was something like –

I don’t want to feel this way.

I want to feel something else.

This sucks.


I am not my circumstances. My circumstances will not define me.


What if this was happening to bless me?

Hmm, every other time I have been this angry in life, I have used that anger as fuel to create something awesome.

Maybe this really is happening to bless me?

In the meantime, let’s beat up a pillow.

So that’s what I did. I went to my bedroom, picked the fluffiest pillow on our very pillow-fied bed. And had a whack at it.

It was the safest way I could find to let it all out.

I realized that as many of us often do, I wanted to jump from point A (A for anger! Haha) to point Z for total bliss and joy, without actually processing how I was feeling.

It was only by pausing and practicing my life coaching tools (breathing, noticing my thoughts, etc) that I realized that I needed to let myself feel the full emotion I was feeling.

Instead of running away from it. Trying to change it. Trying to minimize it. Trying to make lemonade out of it. I just felt it. Fully. For like a minute or two.

And then it went away.

On its own. Just like that.

You know how kids are crying like banshees one minute and then smiling like they won the lottery the next?

We are born knowing how to fully feel our emotions.

Then we are “socialized” we become polite. We learn to pretend. Or stuff down or smile while we are really dying inside because someone we loved did something we think is crappy.

We collectively need to re-learn how to feel our feelings.

So they don’t overtake us. So they don’t overwhelm us. So we can feel the good ones, the bad ones and the really ugly ones and know they are all part of the recipe that makes us us.

I know this is a long post – thanks for sticking with me!

So why did I tell you this super long story?

First, in the interest of keeping it real I want to make it super clear that my life is not perfect.

Yes I do have a very positive mindset and it takes earthquake levels of emotional craptitude to shake me. But I still get shaken. And I still have to actually USE the tools I teach and learn on myself.

I love using these coaching tools with my readers too – if you are curious about coaching – click here.

Second, I want you to learn from my pain.

So when it happens to you, and it will, you are prepared.

The most essential thing to remember when you are feeling anything other than your Super Fabulous Self – is that it’s normal, it’s okay and it will pass.

The second most essential thing to remember is that if you are feeling anxiety, anger or emotional pain – the worst thing you can do is pretend it’s not there and the best thing you can do is beat up a pillow.

Not literally beat up a pillow – but whatever it is that lets you completely feel that feeling – just let it wash over you completely so it can go away on its own – like the rise and tide of the ocean.

Now how does this affect your sex life? Remember five years ago when this post started I mentioned that if you learned to process your negative emotions your sex life would improve?

Well that’s easy – sex is really connecting. It’s being open to give and receive touch and joy and pleasure.

You totally cannot deeply feel all your good, happy, sexy emotions if you are not feeling your ugly, annoying bad ones.

You can’t turn the switch only one way.

So if you are feeling disconnected in any way from your spouse. That person that you truly in your heart want to love the best you can, then search for clues in your life about emotions you are not feeling, pretending aren’t there or unwilling to look at in the mirror and say, “Hey! You! I don’t like you, but I know you are here, and I want to say good bye, so come closer.”

I want to say goodbye, so come closer.

So totally and completely counterintuitive and yet so totally and completely true.

Avoiding how we feel or living in shades of camel-beige-emotion-neutral is just not emotionally healthy.

As usual, don’t believe me. Try it.

First – feel something good fully – the love for your hubby. The passion for that perfect sunset. How much the people you love fill your heart.

Close your eyes and feel that fully, let it wash over you like a wave.

Then see how even a good feeling can totally wash over you.

You don’t have to hold on to it. You can bring it back whenever you want. You can also let it go.

Hopefully this will empower you to realize you can do the same with a negative feeling.

That thing you have been avoiding FOREVER.

Take a minute, close your eyes and just feel it. Loud, ugly, pimply, totally nasty-alien-like.

Just let yourself feel it.

And let it wash over you. You can let it go. Like a wave.

Don’t jump to replace it with something nice and shiny and good.

Just be with the idea that you can experience the good and the bad – fully and completely.

You are capable.

You are strong.

You can do hard things.

You can also do easy things and the harder things get easier with practice.

If you want to go deeper into this idea of fully feeling your feelings, check out this video from one of my mentors and the founder of the Life Coach School I trained at, Brooke Castillo: http://youtu.be/gUDvKciPAYM?list=UUnjI8tPpOfTqdIXFGQI72AQ

This was a super deep dive all the way kind of post. It was partially inspired by my coach and mentor Susan Hyatt’s Deep End Manifesto – she issued a challenge for all of us to not only find our deep end but live there. So this is me. Going Deep. Did it help?

If you were inspired by this post, please Share it. Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

Blogger? Get Your Blog On with Bright Eyed and Blog Hearted

Rachel MacDonald blogging course

If you are already a blogger or want to become one, I want to help you.

I believe creating life you love with the love of your life has two parts –how you show up in your relationship and how you show up in your life.

Part of keeping our relationship strong and learning to deal with overwhelm is learning to embrace our passions.

Blogging has been a life changer for me and has helped me not only feel a sense of accomplishment and boost my confidence, it has also given me an outlet to express my creativity that has been a huge blessing for my marriage.

I am getting ready to celebrate my 2nd Blogiversary in August, I am in awe of the doors that writing this blog has opened for me and the colleagues who have become beloved friends through my journey in the blogosphere.

This is why if you have ever thought of becoming a blogger or have started a blog but aren’t sure quite to do with it, how to grow it, when to write, who to tell about etc., I am supremely excited to introduce you to my own Blog Coach, Rachel MacDonald and the opportunity to learn directly from her not only the nuts and bolts of blogging but the heart and soul of writing online and sharing your gifts.

I consider myself very lucky to have stumbled upon Rachel from a Pin on Pinterest (yes, really!) at a moment when she was about to launch her Blog Coaching business. I was in the first round of clients she worked with one on one before her online blogging course, Bright Eyed and Blog Hearted was created.

blogging e course

Among other things, she helped me understand the mechanics and energy behind guest posting, so I could find an approach to writing for other blogs that worked for me.

She also helped me through mindset hurdles, of “How do I get it all done” and the practical questions of “Where do I start?”

Rachel also guided me through the basics of Twitter, insisting I grab my name there and as a consequence of following her coaching guidance, not a month after I joined Twitter, I was invited to XM Radio to meet one of my childhood idols (Cristina Saralegui, the Latin answer to Oprah).

So Rachel is in that camp of people that when she tells me to do something, I don’t ask a lot of questions, I just do it. And something magical always happens.

When she asked me if I would share the information about her Bright Eyed and Blog Hearted program with my readers, honestly – I could not wait!

Because the blessings blogging has brought to my life are priceless. The connection, inspiration and joy I have felt as a result of becoming a blogger and embarking on this journey fuel me every day – even the hard ones.

And I want to share that blessing with you.

Instead of flailing around trying to figure out how to start (or grow) a blog all by yourself, (like I did, until I found Rach) she provides a step by step plan with checklists, tools and resources for you to create a blog that feels like a home for your soul.

One of the things I totally love about Rachel’s approach is that she mixes the uber-practical with the deliciously soulful. So you get all the answers to “How do I do this” and you also figure out “Do I really want to?” and “How will this impact the rest of my life?”

I am lovingly sharing this blogging course with you because I have worked with Rachel one on one, then took the first round of this course the minute it was offered and will be going through the second round now.

Because Rachel has set up an affiliate program where I get a “thank you” deposit in my bank account if you decide this course is right for you, I am also able to offer you 3 super special bonuses if you sign up through my link below.

–        Ask Me Anything – 1:1 Pick My Brain Session FREE! This is an hour with me on the phone to talk about anything – your blog, your social media, how to fit your cats into your editorial calendar or whatever else is on your mind that you know you will need help figuring out if you want your blog to grow. (I usually charge $100 for these. And yes, when I said, free, I meant, you don’t have to pay anything else. Your registration into #BlogHearted covers it! Woohoo!)

–        My Personal Reading List of my favorite books and blogs for the business of blogging. These are the books and resources I personally used to create what you are reading today.

–        Figuring Out Facebook Checklist – Do you really need to be on it? If you do, what should you post? And how? This is my little paint by numbers guide to make it easy-peasy.

If you felt your soul smiling inside when you read this, I would love for you to join us on this journey!

You can read all the details about Bright Eyed and Blog Hearted here.

Once you sign up, forward the electronic receipt to info [at] modernmarried dot com and I will send you your personal welcome details on how to book your session as well as when the link to download the bonuses will be available.

If you have any questions, please hop over to the contact form and just let me know!

And if you know someone who would love the chance to learn blogging the soulful, yet uberly practical way I have described, please invite them to read this – with my love and thanks!

  blogging course maggie reyes rachel macdonald