Maintaining Self-Love in a Relationship

“Self-love is not selfish; you cannot truly love another until you know how to love yourself.”  

Self love is the foundation to any successful relationship. When you’re in love it is easy to put your partner’s needs ahead of yours. Ignite Your Potential professionals have curate tips to help you maintain and grow your self-love while loving others.

Maintain Mental and Physical Health

Keeping your mind and body healthy exemplifies your love for yourself. In order to keep your mind healthy, avoid ignoring or dismissing your feelings. If you support others, when you are not mentally balanced, you will become drained, mentally and physically. Consider seeing a therapist or coach to cultivate mental wellness. Smart people see therapists and coaches in order to review what is going on in their minds and with their emotions. It’s a space to process all the things you experience day to day. 

“Mind and body are not separate, what affects one, affects the other.”

Alone Time

Alone time gives you space to self-reflect, track your goals, and grow as an individual. It’s hard to dedicate attention to your own needs if you are often preoccupied with someone else or with your work life. Include “me” time in your schedule to do something you genuinely enjoy. Your quality of life will thrive.

“When we can be alone, we can enjoy time with others without using them as a means to escape.”

Know Your Worth

Develop a relationship with yourself first, in other words, be your own best friend. Once you recognize your value, others will too. Then, when the right person comes along, it’s a great addition instead of a dependency for self-worth. 

“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”

Ignite Your Potential coaches, suggest entering relationships as a “whole person” looking for another whole person to blend and share a beautiful life with. As opposed to a “half” looking for another “half” to complete you. This will make a difference in the quality of your relationships. 

“A healthy relationship is when two individuals come together and agree to help make the other person the best version of themselves.” 

Need support on your journey to self-love? Ignite Your Potential Center coaches can be by your side every step of the way. We are #1 in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise. Remember, all of the award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help you meet your life goals and career goals.

How to Be a Good Partner

There’s a paradox regarding intimacy. You would think that healthy intimacy is centered on what happens between two people. Yet relationship experts (such as David Schnarch and John Gottman) know that to have sustainable, nourishing relationships, you have to have a strong and deep alliance with yourself. This isn’t just a simple idea to breeze by without contemplation. Think of it this way: you are a ship on the sea of life and self knowledge is your anchor. If your anchor is substantial then there is no risk of losing yourself. It is your job to develop and cultivate that anchor.

Part of this relationship with yourself is the ability to focus inward to observe your own inner terrain. In this way you can discover what you need, adjust your self care accordingly, and rediscover your ever changing balance. One way of doing this is through various meditations or other check-in techniques such as the body scan. These practices allow us the time and space to be with ourselves and strengthen our ability to quiet the mind, look inward, and observe ourselves.

Another aspect of this “self-relationship” is delving into the idea of knowing yourself. Although this is a bit like a fish knowing water…who you are is all around you, yet somehow challenging to actually view. Still, one way you can explore the bigger picture of who you are is through personality profiles such as the Myers & Briggs and the Enneagram, or using a well-normed strengths assessment such as the Gallup StrengthsFinder.

Exploring who you are is not linear. It’s not something you accomplish and then you’re done. It’s not even a solo effort. It’s an ever-changing creative dance of learning and becoming.

The Secret of Windsurfing

A few years ago we were in Hawaii watching a group of young men windsurfing. It was wonderful to see how they attacked the huge waves, jumping or crashing through them for a thrilling ride.

They seemed to fly, hitting the waves, apparently without ever falling down. This amazed us. Most of the windsurfers we had ever seen spent the majority of the their time falling down, struggling to get back onto their boards, then fighting to stay upright.

It seemed impossible that these young men never fell, so we watched them more closely. What we saw at first seemed like magic, because their movements were so swift and smooth. They did, indeed, fall. In fact, because they weren’t afraid of falling they moved freely, ventured more risk, and fell a lot. Their falls, we saw, were a graceful part of the ride. As they hit the water they swung their big sails toward the sky, and their bodies and boards lifted as if by magic onto the next big wave without missing a beat.

So it seems, the secret in windsurfing is not how to stay up, but mastering the art of getting back up when you are down.

What a great metaphor for mental health! In windsurfing, as in good mental health, no one can stay up all the time. We all have times when we get fragmented or knocked into the water, so to speak.

But the secret in mental health, as in windsurfing, is in knowing how to get up again rapidly. Many people expend most of their energy trying to stay up and that is impossible. Relationships are the same way. Working on them constantly is exhausting; learning how to get back up is much more exciting. With a little practice you can learn to “surf” your own well-being and that of your relationship.

From Jack Rosenberg and Beverly Kitaen-Morse authors of The Intimate Couple

Vulnerability Is Beautiful

Vulnerability is how we connect with one another and go deeper. Vulnerability can be counterintuitive sometimes but it’s the way the wise and self-accepting communicate. May you have the courage to be vulnerable and may your vulnerability set you free.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/6933041 w=760&h=510]

Vulnerable Is Beautiful from Rachael Maddox on Vimeo.

How to Be Alone

Enjoy this wonderful video by filmmaker, Andrea Dorfman, and poet/singer/songwriter, Tanya Davis. Let me know what you think of it…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7X7sZzSXYs&rel=0&showinfo=0&theme=light&w=760&h=340]

How to Have Deeper Connections: How to Feel Like You Belong

Brene Brown spent six years doing extensive research on vulnerability, connection, and shame. She found that people could be divided into two groups, those who have a strong sense of love and belonging, a sense of connection with others, and those who struggle for this sense of love and belonging, wondering if they are good enough.

One of the amazing things she found was that people who have a strong sense of belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging. Conversely, those that don’t have a sense of love and belonging, believe they are not worthy. Can you believe that?! What keeps us from feeling loved is the belief or sense that we are not worthy.

But wait there’s more…She goes on to say that those who feel worthy have certain things in common. For one, they have courage, and people, she is using the original definition of the word as it first came into the English language. Courage: to tell the story of who you are, with your whole heart.

“So these folks had the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves, first, and then to others, because as it turns out, we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat our selves kindly. They had connection (and this is the hard part) as a result of authenticity. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be, in order to fully be who they are, and you absolutely have to do that in order to have connection.

The other thing they had in common was this: they fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they talk about it being excruciating, they just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say ‘I love you’ first, the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees, the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after you’ve had your mammogram, the willingness to invest in a relationship that might not work out, they thought this was fundamental.”

The biggest problem is that “you cannot selectively numb emotions. You can’t numb hard feelings without numbing joy, gratitude, happiness. Once we begin numbing, suddenly we feel empty and then we are looking for purpose and meaning, and we feel vulnerable, and then we numb again. We need to look at how and why we numb ourselves.” The challenge is to move away from these habits toward full range feeling, toward vulnerability. And the pay off? Deeper connection with others and a sense of love and belonging.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4Qm9cGRub0&feature=player_embedded]