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.
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.
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
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/
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