Retreat Into Self Worth – A Conversation with Barb Churchill

barb burns churchill, interview, retreat in minnesota, spiritual retreat, learning to breathe, marriage, love inspiration

Have you ever met someone and just instantly hit it off? Friendship at first sight? That’s what happened to me when I met my friend Barb.

I am eternally grateful to my podcast co-host CJ Blaquera  (brilliant weight loss coach by the way) for introducing us. The three of us met at a retreat hosted by one of my mentors, Christine Kane.

I mention that we met at a retreat because Barb is really passionate about why it’s important to take time to breathe, step away, and literally go away, to re-connect with your inner self. Sitting down and writing this I realized, I wouldn’t have met her in the first place if I hadn’t done just that!

Today, Barb is taking us on a mental retreat into self worth with a few marriage tips on the side. My favorite? Flexting! Which is a combination of flirting and texting. Love it!

I hope you find our conversation as inspiring as I did.

MM: Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences…

BARB: I am a wife and mother of 3 fabulous kids (I can say that, I’m their mom!) and have always known one of my purposes in life was to get married and raise a family.

I am a Productivity Coach for 4 Keller Williams Real Estate offices and run my own life coaching practice that focuses on helping women realize their worthiness.  I am a yoga enthusiast – so much so I became certified to teach – enjoy communing with nature, love to travel and anything to do with chocolate!

One of my favorite ways to spend time is in my screen porch, reading a good book with a lovely cup of tea.

MM: Why do you do what you do?

BARB: I grew up in a dysfunctional family where alcoholism wreaked havoc during my teenage years and the amount of shame was palpable.  It took me years to discover my self-worth and through my own recovery from addiction, to embrace the fact that I have value just as I am.

No matter how you slice it, it all comes down to “Am I enough?”  Helping my clients learn to love themselves and grasp their inherent worth is more than rewarding – it’s magical.

positive marriage quote, love, marriage tips and advice, relationships

MM: 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

BARB: Stop: Criticizing your spouse.  Whether or not you verbalize it, criticizing keeps you focused on what your spouse isn’t doing or saying, rather than valuing what he/she is contributing to the relationship.

It can really damage the intimacy and trust that is crucial to marriages. We stay tuned in to our favorite radio station, WIMY – Why I Married You. It’s the station of long-term love.

Start: Noticing.  We all seem to be so darn busy all the time so many things can get over looked.  Notice when you spouse does little things like putting the dishes in the dishwasher or taking out the trash.

Notice when he shaves on the weekend (that’s a big one at our house!) or how good she looks when you go out for the night.  Notice when he looks like he could use a hug or she needs some “couch time”.  

Noticing requires us to be truly present with our spouse, and that’s a great place to be.

Keep: Laughing.  Oh my gosh, we laugh all the time! Having a great sense of humor is what attracted us to each other.

My husband makes me laugh and I love that! And he laughs at all my jokes.  All this laughing helps us avoid taking things and ourselves too seriously. We love to have fun and those little inside jokes – the ones that keep you chuckling – are priceless.

MM: How do you stay connected to your hubby?

We talk on the phone at least once a day during the week and “flext” (that’s a combo of texting and flirting – I just made that up!) several times a day.   It’s a way to let each other know we’re thinking about us and make the effort to reach out.  We set aside time just for us – no kids. Even if it’s just ½ hour-we make sure to sit together and talk so we both feel connected.

marriage tips and advice, why flirting is good for your marriage, love, romance

MM: Tell us about your latest project…

BARB: I think it’s so important to schedule time for ourselves -away from all our “shoulds” – to relax, reflect and refresh.  I’m currently creating a retreat for women in early June 2014, which will help them do just that.

MM:  Why are you hosting a retreat?

BARB: I’ve always thought it would be so fun to lead a small group of women on an overnight retreat – so much connection, learning and reflection – what’s not to love!  I’ve also noticed so many of my clients struggling with the same issues – What is enough? What does success really look like? How does it feel inside?  – that I thought it was the perfect time to create a retreat that would shine a light on the struggle we women face with these topics as well as give each woman an opportunity to create her own definition of success. But you can’t take a step back and decide what success is until you pause and breathe. That’s how the Exhale Retreat was born. I can’t wait to dive in!

MM: Why is it called “The Exhale Retreat”?

We are all so busy with work, family, kids, friends – life!  Think about it for a minute. When someone asks you how you’re doing, what’s your first response?  “I’ve been really busy!” and when we’re in our busyness, our breath is shallow and comes from the chest.  Not real calming. The Exhale Retreat is all about slowing down, pausing and exhaling into the experience.  We need to take time and lean in – just be. That’s where we find our answers.

MM: What can we do in our daily lives to grab a little sanity and peace?

You don’t have to wait until the retreat in June to start living a calmer existence.

There are many things you can do right now that don’t take much time at all. One of the easiest and most effective is to learn how to breathe – deep, long belly breath. 

I first learned how powerful the breath is when I started practicing yoga several years ago. I would enter the class all hurried and rushed and an hour later, I looked like a zen master.

It was all about the breath!

So, the next time you’re at your desk or stuck in traffic and you feel yourself starting to hyperventilate, just try taking a deep breath through your nose, expanding your belly out, holding it for a second and them exhaling through your mouth, while your belly contracts.

Do this a few times and notice how your shoulders melt down your back, your heart rate slows and your mind stops racing.  If you’d like more tips on how to avoid being overwhelmed and stay centered, I’ve got a free guide on my website, 

yoga breathing, yogic breathing, breathe, meditate, exhale, love, marriage

A sought-after workshop leader and inspirational speaker, Barb Churchill has been mentoring working women for over twenty years. Having built and run several successful businesses herself, she has learned what it takes to create the kind of work/life balance that is meaningful and sustainable. Barb believes every woman should have permission to be themselves and writes regularly about embracing imperfection, tuning out the noisy world and trusting intuition. She also leads retreats that help women unplug from the frenzy of daily life and reconnect with their worthiness and inner wisdom.  She invites you to take a moment to breathe and meet her at

Breathing, retreating, flexting and love! So grateful to Barb for such an inspiring interview! If you are near the Twin Cities or have always wanted to go on a Retreat but weren’t sure how to find one – check out all the details for Barb’s Exhale Retreat here.

This week’s LOVE WORK – Notice 5 things your spouse does that you LOVE. Celebrate them with a thank you! And if you are feeling inspired, share them in the comments on the blog. Also, flext. ;-)

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO




The 4 Pillars of Trust – And How They Keep Your Marriage Strong

 trust in marriage, how to regain trust, gottman trust metric

We all know that a marriage without trust is like a car without gas, it just won’t run. Knowing how to regain trust and even better yet, maintain it in the first place is essential to creating a thriving marriage relationship.

But did you ever consider that there are different kinds of trust and we need all 4 of them to make our relationship work?

This great article on Your Tango talks about the different kinds of trust your marriage needs and was the inspiration for this week’s post.

Even though we are all familiar with wedding vows, to love honor and cherish, there are promises that we might never say out loud that are the foundation for a marriage to last and, more importantly, be happy.

Safety, Faithfulness, Commitment and Reliability are 4 pillars of trust every marriage needs.  If any one of these is missing, the roof starts caving in and the relationship starts to deteriorate.

Here is why they are so important:


Marriages thrive when both partners feel safe and secure.

You have to trust that your partner isn’t going to hurt you, to be able to reach out to them when you need help, to be vulnerable and share your life with them as well as your hopes and dreams.

Whether it’s physical or verbal – any kind of rejection chips away at trust.

One form of rejection that you may not be aware of, is the all too common “nagging.” If you nag, you are saying, “I don’t trust you will do your part.”

A loving reminder is okay. “Nagging” is a sign that there is a trust issue that hasn’t been addressed and a deeper conversation is called for. The next time you hear it or feel tempted to do it – pause and ask, “What is really needed here?”

That goes two ways – we also have to keep our commitments once we make them. More on reliability later in this post.


Another kind of trust that marriages need is faithfulness. That goes without saying right?

Without sexual fidelity we just can’t develop any of the other types of trust.

Physical fidelity and emotional fidelity go hand in hand, so sharing your secrets with your spouse is actually a way to build emotional faithfulness in your marriage.

Marriage researcher John Gottman says, “Trust is built in very small moments in which one person turns toward their partner when they’re in need. When our partner responds positively, by “being there” for us, that builds trust.”

Once we are “there” for each other over and over again, we can also begin to trust each other in the face of anger or upset.

Going back to that feeling of safety – we all want to know that person will be there even when something is going wrong.

Having a ground rule that says, “its okay to be angry, I am not going anywhere,” is a very important building block to trust and like emotional cement in your relationship.


It’s also critical that both partners declare their marriage as a top priority both in spending time together and in carrying out the commitments of daily life.

First, by investing time in your relationship, that shows the other person they matter to you. You are putting them above other things. It also helps build trust because you are creating evidence that you are reliable, that you can be counted on and trusted. The ability to rely on each other as a team is essential to sustain trust over time.


As you can see, each pillar builds and supports the other. Reliability is the glue that holds all the pillars together as – trusting you will do what you say you will do is essential for safety, faithfulness and commitment.

Knowing the ingredients of what creates trust can also help you see if there is an area in your marriage where you are not feeling or expressing trust. This way you can re-build that pillar before it breaks down.

The Gottman Institute has a great quiz that helps you calculate “The Trust Metric” in your relationship. You can use this as a tool to determine where you might need to learn how to regain trust in any of the critical areas of your marriage.

This week’s LoveWork? Take the Gottman Trust Metric Quiz by clicking here.

how to regain trust, trust in marriage, building trust in relationships

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

Marriage Vows That Speak from the Heart – An interview with Reverend Hannah Grace

marriage vows, wedding vows, write your own vows 

Dear Modern Married Family,

One of the unexpected blessings of starting this blog has been getting to meet amazing, inspiring people (like you!) and today’s featured guest, Reverend Hannah Grace from

She has such a deeply heart-felt approach to helping couples celebrate their wedding, I thought she was the perfect guide to teach us what to do if we are writing marriage vows for a wedding, vow renewal or just want to recommit to each other with a sacred ceremony of two.

In this interview, she shares her approach to helping couples discover what their hearts want to say and how our wedding vows can establish the foundation for the choices we make as a couple for years to come.


 MM:  Tell us about yourself and Grace Ceremonies in 5 sentences.

REV. HANNAH: After 10 years working in retail (specifically handcrafts and fine jewelry) I experienced a very unexpected calling to become a minister.  I listened to the call and decided to attend an Interfaith Seminary, even though I had no idea where this new path would lead!  During my training it became clear that I wanted to minister (literally, to serve) people during major life transitions like birth, death and marriage.  It’s an amazing honor to be with people during these times…every day I’m grateful I heeded the call to do such meaningful and fulfilling work.


MM: You perform wedding ceremonies all the time.  What advice do you find yourself giving to couples over and over again?

REV. HANNAH:  I’m consistently reminding couples to be themselves.

For instance, almost every couple I meet with starts by saying they have no idea what kind of wedding ceremony they want.  But, without fail, within an hour of conversation we have the whole ceremony sketched out.

They thank me for figuring it out when all I’ve done is make space for them to tell me who they are…and from that place their desires and preferences, their visions and hopes become clear.

It comes up again and again and again, especially when it comes to writing their wedding vows.  I remind couples, “This is your wedding.  This is your life partner.  Don’t worry about what other people think.  What do you need to say?”

I feel like sometimes people just need permission; to be told that who they are is perfect.

wedding ceremony, spiritual bride, vows, wedding blessing

MM: Why are ceremonies so powerful? 

REV. HANNAH: We’re all here on the journey of a lifetime, passing through various milestones that change and shape our identities.

Ceremonies help define and sanctify the chapters of our life, providing an important opportunity to nurture our connection to each other, our families, communities and ourselves.

Sadly, many people think ceremonies only belong to religions, but that’s not true at all!  I’m consistently amazed to see how ceremonies, even something as customary as a wedding ceremony, create a potent container within which the meaning of life passages can be experienced, witnessed and honored.

MM: Tell us about modern wedding vows.  How are they different?  The same? Are there some popular ones you use over and over again?

REV. HANNAH: As modern weddings have gotten more unique and personal, so have the vows.

Couples no longer feel like they “have” to do it a certain way, or that they must use the same vows.

Many of my couples don’t even share their vows with one another until the actual wedding.  (And then there’s my husband, who spoke his from the heart, on the spot!!)

I’ve had a few couples that initially said they wanted to use traditional wedding vows (“For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health…”) but once I provide them with samples of alternative vows, they all have chosen to either write their own or personalize one of the samples.

I have yet to have two couples use the same vows.

One thing that’s stayed the same, I think, is that the vows are the most intimate part of the wedding.  Looking into your partner’s eyes, pledging yourself to them for life…it doesn’t get much better than that!

MM:  Most of our readers are already married and might want to renew their vows – what is your advice for them?

REV. HANNAH: If a couple had a traditional ceremony, they likely used standard wedding vows.

Renewing your vows is the perfect time to speak from the heart, from knowing each other so deeply, and from staying together through good times and bad.  It’s easier to allow for honesty (Yeah, there were some hard times in there!) and for humor.

Sometimes couples can be challenged by how to encapsulate their feelings about their partner in wedding vows.  I’ve found this simple, 5-minute exercise is a great way to help them get started:

For the first minute of the five, find a spot – preferably outside or somewhere you feel relaxed, undistracted and grounded – and simply breathe.

For the second minute, ask yourself,

 “What 10 things do I appreciate and admire most about this incredible human being I am about to marry/I am married to”? 

 Breathe some more.

For the third minute, write them down, smiling with a full heart.

For the fourth minute, look at that list and see if there’s anything else that comes to mind.  Offer gratitude.  You’re both so lucky!

For the fifth minute, let go of the list and surrender to the moment.  Breathe.

Okay, you’re done!

MM: Why do you think the vows we declare are so important?

REV. HANNAH: The wedding vows are truly the heart of the ceremony.  Sure, everyone the couple loves is there and I get to say important things about marriage and there are beautiful poems and music and great clothes and flowers and hair…  But if you take all that away and leave only the vows, it’s still a wedding.  Even with my formal blessing and their family and friends as witnesses, it’s really about the exchange between those two people.

I tell couples that when they take their wedding vows, they actually marry each other.

It’s where they take ownership of the marriage they will create together.

The vows are the foundation of the choices the couple will make, every day for the rest of their lives, to stay married.

write your own wedding vows, marriage vows, appreciate your spouse
Reverend Hannah Grace received her ordination from the International Seminary for Interfaith Studies in New York, NY.  She is also trained in Psychosynthesis counseling and is a Level II Reiki practitioner as well as a Hospice volunteer. One of her favorite quotes is from Anne Lamott – “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”  

 To learn more about how she helps couples through the journey of life time please visit her online:


Wasn’t that inspiring? A deeply heartfelt thanks to Reverend Hannah for such beautiful insights into how we can make our marriage vows more meaningful no matter how long we have been married.

This week’s LOVE WORK comes from Reverend Hannah. Follow her instructions above and take a moment to name 10 things you respect and admire about your spouse. Feel free to share a few of them in the comments, but most important, tell them to each other!

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

Vulnerability 101 – Why It Matters in Your Life + Marriage

vulnerability, marriage quote

I always want ModernMarried to be a place of inspiration and love. That is my ultimate goal in everything I do. I don’t particularly want it to be the home of tissues and chicken soup, but that is what it happens to be this weekend.

The Hubs is sleeping in the middle of the day. (That’s when you know he is well and truly sick.) And I have been quietly roaming around Facebook, watching House Hunters International, and well, puttering with absolutely no sense of direction or focus. (That’s how you know there must be cold medicine in my system.)

Soooooo, there I am in my pajama jeans. (Yes, I wear pajama jeans, my mother in law gave them to me and at first I thought, what? And then I thought, cool!) Anyway, there I was, clicking around, when I came across an old episode of Super Soul Sunday with Oprah and Brene Brown.

If you read this blog for any length of time you will know that all roads lead to Oprah (well the main road leads to The Hubs, all other roads, go straight to Ms. O). Watching her show has influenced how I practice gratitude, the way I love my bestie, what I believe, and in a long and winding story for another day, had tons to do with why I became a Life Coach.

So, there we are, Oprah, Brene and your friendly neighborhood marriage blogger, together on a Saturday, pondering vulnerability.

And it hit me.

I have to write about this. I need to tell people about vulnerability in marriage and why it’s so important.

I need to add to this conversation because while they talked about A LOT, that was the one space they missed. I believe a willingness to be vulnerable is essential to a happy, thriving marriage.

What is vulnerability? Why does it matter?

Brene says that the definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

Uhm, uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure?!?

These are like the 3 holy grails of entering a relationship. Whether it’s with a husband, a friend, a new job, or a blog, starting something new is entering the vulnerability zone.

Then, when you try it, date it, and figure out you love it, you suddenly drop deeper into the vulnerability zone, with more uncertainty, higher risk and the fear and avoidance of emotional exposure at all costs.

Anyone who wants to deny that, tell me if your co-workers have seen you cry.

I will say this, my boss has seen me cry. My husband has seen my cry and someday I will make a video and you will see my cry. But this is Maggie2.0 – the vulnerable, life coachy one.

The whole first half of my life, the 1.0 version was all about being strong and never would I ever have let people see me in my pajama jeans, uhm, I mean in tears. You know what I mean.

So now that we have determined that opportunities to embrace or deny vulnerability are just about everywhere, why is it such a big deal?

Well according to Brene, vulnerability is the birthplace of everything we hunger for.

Closeness. Intimacy. Being heard. Loving. Being Loved.

It all begins with the risk of opening our hearts.

vulnerability definition

Oprah says that vulnerability is the cornerstone of confidence.

The larger your ability to become comfortable with your own vulnerability, the greater your confidence that you can handle the aftermath.


So that question is – how do you do it? How do you do Vulnerablity?

Here is my Vulnerability 101 – Cheat Sheet

You are vulnerable when you speak your truth. To your husband, to your co-workers, to your friends.

Is there a place in your life where you don’t feel like you can be authentic? That’s a place where vulnerablity is missing.

How do we add it? By speaking and sharing our honest experience, one conversation at a time.

You are vulnerable when you open your heart – to a new experience, to your husband, to your kids.

Every time you give love you open your heart to risk. And to joy.

You are vulnerable whenever you take a chance. When there is no guarantee. The higher the degree of uncertainty, the greater your vulnerability muscle expands.

super soul sunday vulnerablity quote

So the question of course is how can you be vulnerable in marriage if you are not being vulnerable in other areas of your life?

Start a blog? Create a scrapbook? Tell a joke? Play with your kids? Apply for your dream job? Order something different for dinner?

Vulnerability comes in all shapes in sizes – and you can start building that muscle with the small things before you jump into a larger arena.

In your marriage – you can start by sharing the experiences of your day; you can acknowledge when there is pain and pour love into it.

Why does vulnerability matter in your marriage? Because ultimately it is the one act of daily love that will make it last.

positive marriage quote, brene brown, vulnerability,

This week’s LOVEWORK – Identify one thing that feels like vulnerability to you and do it.

Please share in the comments: How do you define vulnerability?

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO



Decorating from the Inside Out: How Silk Flowers Taught Me to Listen to My Heart

silk flowers, marriage blog

Have you ever had a religious experience in Marshalls? Like one of those moments when the angels sang, the violins played and you knew all was right with the world?

Yeah, me neither. Until last week.

I went to Marshalls to buy some picture frames.

blue wood weathered frame, shabby chic decor


As I was hunting for my looks-like-home frame, I stumbled upon the most beautiful bouquet of spring flowers.

They looked like something out of a magazine. Or a celebrity wedding. Or the backyard at Oprah’s house.

It was love at first glance.

I looked at these stunning flowers both in love and doubtful at the same time.

Then I remembered, I had once seen Nate Berkus on Oprah say that never should you ever have silk flowers in your home. It was a rule.

It is simply not done.

So there I was in Marshall’s torn between a moment of beauty and a rule.

And I had to choose.

Beauty or Nate.

Beauty or following a rule that someone I have never met has declared as a law of home design.

Someone I love, admire and think is super cool was saying no in my head.

While someone else I love (me!) was screaming yes! at the same time.

Expert or soul.

Beauty or Nate.

Flowers or Rules.

There I was  having a divine turning point right in the middle of the home goods section in Marshall’s.

Before I could decide, I needed to visualize what the flowers could potentially look like on my dinner table at home. I grabbed the flowers, took them all the way to the furniture section and plopped them on a wood side table. A lovely shopper walked by and said, “beautiful!”

That lovely shopper was my sign!

The flowers were mine!

I took them home, put them on my dinner table and every day since I brought them home, they have made me smile. Every single time I look at them, I feel an infusion of beauty and joy that makes my soul smile.

maggie reyes quote, decorate quote,

So I have been thinking about these flowers and about the decisions we make in our lives and our marriages and wondering – how often are we listening to an “expert” in our head and ignoring the real expert in our heart that knows what’s right for us, what will make our heart sing and the absolute best choice for us to make.

I have been wondering what I may have said no to because someone said I should.

And I have decided that whenever faced with a choice between expert and soul, soul wins.

Beauty wins. The feeling that makes my heart sing wins. Even if everyone says no way, not ever.

Even if superstar home design guru Nate Berkus says no. It’s okay.

Because my heart says yes.

lara casey, maggie reyes, inspirational quote

This week’s LoveWork –

IN THE COMMENTS: Name one thing in your home that always makes you smile.

AT HOME: Listen for when your heart is singing (or screaming) yes! Just listen and be on the look out for magical moments – even in Marshalls.

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO



Love and Marriage – An Interview with Law of Attraction and Conscious Creation Expert Boni Lonnsburry


Boni Lonnsburry Interview, law of attraction, love, marriage, The Map Book, creating a life you love

Love and marriage can be beautiful when we know how to consciously create positive experiences in our lives. Boni Lonnsburry, author of the book, The Map: To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True is our super special and ultra-inspiring guest today and I could not be more thrilled to share her positive energy and wise words with you!

You know how Amazon suggests books you might like based on books you have already read? Well by some cosmic algorithm, Amazon suggested the book The Map and I read it on my Kindle. (It’s a Paper White and my favorite reading device ever, in case you were wondering.)

I loved reading this book because it wasn’t just about consciously creating your life, Boni shared so many of her personal stories that it’s almost like a memoir mixed with a self-help book. For everything she suggests that we try, do and experiment, she shares her own journey with ups and downs and then gives us “the map” she used to turn her life around.

It just doesn’t get better than that!

If you have ever wondered whether you can use the law of attraction to make your marriage soar – the answer from Boni is a resounding yes!

Read all about it in this great interview that focuses on consciously creating the love and marriage relationships that will nurture us most.

MM: Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences…

Boni: I am an expert in “conscious creation” and I am wildly passionate about the truth that “we create our own reality.”

I went from being jobless, in foreclosure, on the verge of bankruptcy to owning a $5 million a year company in just a few years (and with only a $50 investment) by applying these principles.

I consciously created the love of my life and a beautiful marriage (despite many challenges along the way).

I love that our universe will deliver us anything we desire.

And I absolutely adore teaching others how to apply these principles to their own lives.

MM: Tell us about your latest project…
Boni: My latest project is my best-selling book, which was published last year, “The Map – To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True.

When people saw the transformation in my life, they wanted to know how to do it too.  Many asked me to recommend a book about conscious creation, and although had read many books that espoused the principles and gave anecdotal evidence, none really provided a step-by-step “map” to follow. So I wrote “The Map”.

And its readers have been creating amazing successes working with it.

MM: Why do you do what you do?


Boni: I believe there is ultimately only one reason to do anything: because you love it.

I can think of nothing more exciting than teaching people how to create their dreams coming true.

And when they tell me how their lives have changed because of my teachings, I am filled with even more gratitude that I get to do this work.

MM: 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 – Stop pretending your relationship is something outside of your control.

You are creating everything in your life, including your most significant relationship—either consciously or unconsciously.

And you can learn how to create it consciously.

StartStart giving the lion’s share of your attention to what your partner does right.

What you focus on expands, so if you focus on what your partner does wrong then the problems will expand.

Make a gratitude list daily about what you love about your partner, and watch those things grow.

Keep – Keep your own growth your highest priority.

The more you grow, heal and change, the better your relationship (and everything else) will be.  

MM: Complete these sentences:

The secret to a happy marriage is… Taking 100% responsibility for it.

You create it all—the good, the bad and the ugly—and when the buck always stops with you, there is always something you can do (inside of you) to make it better (and it’s scarily amazing how others shift when we do.)

What I know is true about love is…It is transformative, it is miraculous, and it is the most powerful force there is. And we—not others—are the ones who create it (and allow it) in our lives.

The single most important thing we can do for the person we love is… To learn to love ourselves. We can only love others to the extent we can truly love ourselves.

The biggest myth about marriage is… That love is all you need. You also need wisdom, and the willingness to heal the reasons why you won’t let deeper love in. Everyone can create a deeply fulfilling love life, but it seldom just happens and it does take work.

marriage quote Boni Lonnsburry

I can create a life I love by… Owning the fact that you do create your entire reality. And then, make the commitment to learn how to create consciously. It is possible for everyone—no exceptions.

What is your favorite thing about being married?

My favorite thing about being married is feeling deeply and truly loved. I never quite felt that way in my first marriage. What changed besides my choice of husband? Me.

What’s the best advice you like to give? How do you apply it (for yourself)?

The best advice I like to give is: You are a spark of divine consciousness. You are divine by your very nature. And in that divinity, comes a gift—the ability to create your entire reality. No fine print. No asterisks. You create it all.

I apply this to my life every single day—by remembering who I am, by dreaming what I desire and by making sure my beliefs (energy and actions) are in alignment with that desire. And my life has transformed from a living nightmare to an amazing dream-come-true. I am not special or any different from you. Anyone can do this. And, believe me, it is well worth the effort!

What is your favorite inspirational quote about love or marriage?

Actually it’s not a quote but a poem. I wrote this when I was in the midst of creating my future (now current) husband. I still aspire to its wisdom:

Two hearts
drawn to ignite
two souls—

Bringing passion,
offering love,
empowering each,
lessening none

Walk together
creating more
than where one
had walked before.

love poem, wedding vow, wedding blessing, marriage, love

Boni Lonnsburry is an expert on conscious creation and the author of the bestselling book, “The Map: To Our Responsive Universe, Where Dreams Really Do Come True.” By applying the Universal Law of Attraction to her own life she transformed poverty, loneliness and despair to abundance, love and joy. And now she teaches others to do the same. Learn more at

This week’s LoveWork – per Boni’s wise instructions: Make a gratitude list about what you love about your partner, and watch those things grow.


The Map Book Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a copy of The Map Book, A Creation Journal and a set of 52 Conscious Creation Inspiration Cards! Another lucky reader will win a copy of The Map book! I like to make these easy, so let’s get a head start on our love work – To enter, name one thing you are grateful for about your partner in the comments.

Contest is open in the US only and ends on Saturday, March 15th at midnight Eastern Time.  Winners will be notified via email. Positive Vibes will be sent to all who enter.

(As you can see, I like to have fun with these!) [Can’t wait for the Contest to end and want your own Creation Kit? You can grab one here:

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO


The Faces of Modern Marriage – An Interview with Brooke Castillo, Founder of The Life Coach School

Brooke Castillo Interview

Brooke Castillo, the founder and leader of The Life Coach School is one of my personal heroes.  I am deeply honored to consider her a mentor and teacher in my life and so excited to share her thoughts and work with you today!

She is a Master Life + Weight Loss Coach and the author of If I’m So Smart Why Can’t I Lose Weight as well as Self-Coaching 101.

Brooke and her husband Chris run The Life Coach School together and balance marriage with entrepreneurship and parenthood.

They have such a fascinating perspective on love and marriage; I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

MM: Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences.

Brooke: We are a husband and wife team who run The Life Coach School.

Chris manages all the business details, finances and customer service, while Brooke handles the marketing, strategic planning, product creation and coaching.

We are very happily married and have two beautiful boys, Christian and Connor.  We have a wonderful marriage and partnership due to open communication and commitment to having fun.

MM: Tell us about your latest project.

Brooke: Our latest project is the expansion of the school.  We are very excited about the additional teachers we have added to the staff because it opens up the opportunities to take on new students as well as grow our product offerings. It is challenging because it offers us so many opportunities to work through our self-doubt and mental challenges that seem to appear with each expansion.

MM: Why do you do what you do?

Brooke: We love what we do.  Chris is dedicated to serving our customers and loves offering unending to support to all of our students.  We are both committed to the tools we teach because we have seen thousands of lives changed for the better through the work we offer.

[This is Maggie chiming in to say, my life is one of them! This blog would not exist as it does today without the training and tools I learned during life coach training.]

Brooke Castillo Interview

 MM: 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?

Brooke: I think in order to make our relationships stronger, we need to stop expecting other people to make us happy in any way.  Our feelings are our responsibility.  We need to start consistently looking for reasons to love each other-especially when those reasons seem hard to find. And finally, we need to keep focusing and developing our own strengths so we can constantly improve.

MM: Complete these sentences…

Brooke:  The secret to a happy marriage is honesty and self-responsibility. It’s not your spouse’s job to make you feel love-it’s your job and your opportunity. Love is a gift you give yourself and therefore give to your marriage.

What I know about true love is…True love has to start with loving yourself.  Period.

The single most important thing we can do for the person we love is be an emotional adult in the relationship.

The biggest myth about marriage is that falling out of love isn’t a choice we make.

I can create a life I love by taking responsibility for my desires and then committing to working through my self-imposed obstacles to attain them.

Brooke Castillo Quote

MM: 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)?

Brooke: My husband and I both agree that we want each other to be happy more than we want to stay together.

If either one of us ever wanted to leave the relationship, we have committed to keep loving each other regardless and to support each other in our choices.

MM: What is your favorite thing about being married?

Brooke: My favorite thing about being married is watching my husband with our children.

MM: What is your favorite inspirational quote about love or marriage?

The best gift you have to give is your own happiness.

Brooke Castillo Quote

Brooke Castillo is the Founder and Leader of The Life Coach School. The curriculum at the school is focused on treating the root cause of people’s problems, not the symptoms.  They have studied the best cognitive tools on the planet and created a streamlined system for helping coaching clients change their lives.  Fast. The school teaches the “Self Coaching” methodology which includes mastery in problem solving, emotion management, action motivation, and thought creation. To learn more about the Life Coach School, click here. To visit Brooke’s personal blog, visit

Extending my endless gratitude and love to Brooke for all of the blessings her teachings have brought into my life and for such a great interview! XO Maggie

This week’s Love Work? Tell each other your favorite thing about being married.

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

Happy Wives Club Book Author Fawn Weaver: Interview + Book Giveaway!

Happy Wives Club Book Author Fawn Weaver

This interview with Happy Wives Club Book Author Fawn Weaver is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, click here!

Beautiful Modern Married Readers, I have a confession to make.

I love my own blog.

Sometimes I forget things I wrote and then read them again and think, “well that was a delightfully smart day”.

Or I’ll read an interview we had, like this one or this one and think, “Wow, thanks to this blog, I get to talk to the coolest people on earth and share their stories with the best readers ever.” [Yes, that’s you of course.]

Speaking of you, I love you – yes you, for taking time out of your crazy busy Twitter-Booked Pinteresting life to read a few words about life, love and marriage and I get uber-excited when I have something fabulous to share that I think you will love.

Well this is one of those times when I could not possibly be more excited. Imagine a Mariachi band playing to exploding fireworks in my brain right now.

Today Super-Star-Blogger-Turned-Best-Selling-Author, Fawn Weaver is electronically here with us to chat about the Happy Wives Club book, the power of love and the beauty of marriage.

Fawn’s fabulously inspiring book, is now a New York Times *and* USA Today best seller and figuratively flying off shelves all over the country (and the world!).

I get exponentially excited the more I even think about it. I hope you find this interview as inspiring as I do because really, Mariachi bands and fireworks in your brain are totally fun times.

Here we goooooooooooooooooooooooooo

MM: Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences.

Fawn Weaver: I am a lover of life. I am a lover of people. I am my husband’s only lover (and he, of course, is mine). I love God and all things that live, breathe and grow. And although I’ve traveled the world, my favorite place to be, is still at home in the arms of my husband.

MM: Tell us about your latest project.

Fawn Weaver: My debut book, Happy Wives Club, hit stores January 7, 2014 and it chronicles my journey through 12 countries and 18 cities in search of the universal secrets to a happy marriage.

Interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more I discovered something fascinating. There were twelve things each of the couples did consistently. Completely different cultures, spanning across 6 continents, and yet the secrets to their marriages were the same.

It’s not like any other marriage book to ever hit the market. It’s like Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages and I am so excited to share it with the world.

MM: Why do you do what you do?

Fawn Weaver: Love and hope. I want people to believe in love again. And not just a lover for this moment, but a deep, passionate love that lasts a lifetime. This world needs hope and no matter the question, love is the answer.

MM: 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 marriages stronger?

Fawn Weaver:

Stop any negative thoughts about marriage or your spouse before they have time to take root.
Start praising your spouse for all the things they do well, encouraging them to do that even more.
Keep the faith until the very end.

Fawn Weaver Marriage Quote

MM: What is your favorite inspirational quote about love or marriage?

Fawn Weaver: Seems completely narcissistic to quote myself but this is the first thing that came to mind when you asked the question:

“Happiness in marriage is a moment by moment choice. A decision to love, forgive, grow and grow old together.”

MM: Complete these sentences:

The secret to a happy marriage is…not a secret. It is a mutual respect that leads to trust that culminates in a daily choice to be happy no matter what may be going on externally.

What I know is true about love is…it is real, it is lasting, it is God’s greatest gift to us all.

The single most important thing we can do for the person we love is…love them as they most desire to be loved.

The biggest myth about marriage is…it can’t last.

I can create a life I love by…loving the life I’ve created.

Happy Wives Club Founder, Fawn Weaver marriage quote

Wasn’t that just deliciously inspiring? Now here’s where it gets even juicier!

I love this book so much that I bought a few extra copies, just so I could give them away to you!

This is like the easiest give away ever, to enter, comment and complete this sentence: What I know about true love is…..

Entries close on midnight eastern time on January 30th. I’ll pick the winners totally randomly on January 31st ‘cause it’s my BFF’s birthday and giving way stuff on her birthday seems like a totally fun idea!

Want to read my review of the book on Amazon? Click here! Or, if you absolutely, positively know that you must have the book immediately, click here to order now.

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it! Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

Manifesto for a Happy Marriage – 12 Ways to Make Your Love Last

happy marriage, love, romance, honeymoon, wedding, inspiration

This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, click here!  


I believe you can have a happy marriage. It’s why I do what I do every day. It’s why I am a proud member of the Happy Wives Club and encourage you to join us if you haven’t already. It’s why I love the Happy Wives Club Book and hope millions of people read it. Because there was a time I thought I would be single forever. Then there was a time I thought I didn’t know how to be a wife. Now, almost 7 years after getting married, I can honestly say that happy marriages are possible and all around us. And I want you to have one.

Thinking about what makes a happy wife, a happy life and a happy marriage, I finally realized it was time to write my own manifesto. This is my verbal declaration of intentions and views on what makes love last:

  1. Check in EVERYDAY. Asking “how was your day?” is the key to being part of your honey’s life. Don’t take that question for granted. Don’t grunt and say okay and move on to what’s for dinner. You married the love of your life so you could be with them every day right? Remember that.
  2. There is no auto-pilot for love. Flirt. Kiss. Hug. Remember that you create your relationship with every text, every wink, every “good morning” and every “can’t wait to see you tonight after work.” Never stop creating and you will never stop loving.
  3. Dream Deeper instead of bigger. Dreaming deeper is asking how you would like to spend your time, not your money, and then finding ways to do more and more of that every day. What makes your heart sing? Do that. Trust me on this, it’s not the car you drive, it’s how you drive it.
  4. Forget “the institution of marriage” and remember “the family of us.” We are all making it up as we go along. And that’s okay. life coaching, relationship coaching, marriage blog
  5. Pour love into pain as often as needed. Forgive. Forget. Let go. Move on. Love more. Open your heart to receive love when you need it too. If you aren’t sure how to receive, say so. Use your words. Listen with compassion. Believe that it will all work out in the end. It will.
  6. Remember that feeling you had on your honeymoon? So much joy and laughter and love. Feel that now. Yes, right now. If your honey did something hyper-annoying right before you read this, then just close your eyes and remember the feeling you had back then. Take a deep breath and remember that feeling. How can you bring it forward to today? Take turtle steps if you need to.
  7. Say no to negativity. No criticizing, complaining or eye rolling. Ever. Make requests not complaints. Remember at the end of a request you may get what you asked for. At the end of a complaint all you get is an argument.
  8. Keep the sexy going. Studies show married people have better sex. You are married. The odds are in your favor. Practice. marriage advice for newlyweds
  9. Make deposits into your emotional bank account every day. Run little errands, bring coffee, take the dry cleaning. Be kind. Act like a team. Remember you are on the same one.
  10. 10. Make space for friends. Your husband does not want to know that your favorite color of lipstick was discontinued. And he definitely does not want to know which star of Downton Abbey you think is the cutest. Even if your husband is your best friend, make time for girlfriends. They can help you keep your marriage stronger.
  11. Let go of the idea of perfection. Expect marriage to be crooked and chipped and weathered. Expect it to grow and change and surprise you. Expect to be disappointed every once in a while. It happens. Nothing is wrong. That is life. Expecting perfection is the root of so much pain. Expect largely imperfect love instead. You can write your own love story and it can be beautiful, even if the curtains are dusty and the plates are chipped.
  12. Believe in love and the power of that force to get you through tough times. Love is the highest power of all. Use it.

Manifesto For A Happy Marriage, love quote, positive marriage quote

I am so proud to be a regular contributor on the Happy Wives Club – voted the #1 Marriage Blog by two years in a row. I recently wrote about “The 7 Habits of Highly Happy Marriages” and that post went all over the world over 85 thousand times, you can read it here.

Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. They say the book is like “Eat, Pray, Love meets The 5 Love Languages.” I say the book is inspiring. You can grab a copy here.

Happy Wives Club Blog Tour


If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

The Definition of Modern Marriage

modern marriage, maggie reyes

Let’s start with a scandalous declaration shall we? The definition of a modern marriage is, there is none.

There isn’t one way to fold sheets, or climb mountains, or be a wife. There is only your way. And my way way, and his way and her way. There is no wrong way either.

What’s absolutely perfect for meblogging, making travel plans with the hubs, having an alarm that says “kiss your wife” on his phone that makes us laugh every night – has nothing to do with what is perfect for you.

And that’s okay.

We cause ourselves so much pain by thinking and believing that we have to live up to our (divorced) Auntie’s idea of marriage or my great grandmother’s ideal relationship.

We really don’t.

What we need to do is find what integrity means to us. And then do that.

Define what love means to us. And then be that.

Brenè Brown says vulnerability is your greatest strength.


I say marriage makes you vulnerable and strong. It brings out the best and worst in you and then it changes you in ways you could have never expected. For the better.



brene brown, marriage makes you vulnerable and strong, marriage quote

I tell everyone I know we need to re-define marriage. Together as a society. Individually as couples. Every day.

The totally adorable Nate Bagley asked me recently if I could only give one piece of advice and never write another blog ever again, what would I say. That man is crafty with a question!

My answer?

Question your assumptions.

Leave yourself open to interpretation. Let life surprise you. Question your assumptions. So you can learn. And teach. So your mind can be broken open and your heart can overflow with awe.

Question your assumptions about what your honey should or should not do.

Listen with love.

Question your idea of who you should be. What is a wife?

It’s whoever we say she is. We make her up every day as we go along.

Savor the freedom of knowing that if you didn’t like the wife you were yesterday, you can start again today.

And tomorrow.

And the next day.

You can make your marriage sacred. And soulful. And funny. And kind.

You can choose every day to look for the love. And find it.

Marriage is a choice we make every day.

Choose to make it your own.

Whatever that means.

And declare it wonderful.

Or at the very least – custom-made. Just for you. Everyday.

Like a Love-Latte.

The definition of a modern marriage is, there is none.

 love latte, wedding quote, marriage quote

If you enjoyed this article please Like it! Pin It! or Tweet it! If you are feeling really adventurous, +1 it! Google likes that. Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO

This week’s LoveWork? Question your assumptions.

What is your definition of marriage? Please share in the comments.