I recently returned from a trip to Big Sur, CA with my husband to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary (read more and view our photos here).
The topic of relationships and self-care is always a heated one in our Personal Renewal Groups.
Most of us know that scheduling regular dates with our partner, working on enhancing our communication and planning occasional trips away together sans kids can have a big impact on our relationship (read more on Staying Connected to Your Partner from this chapter in The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal), but have you ever really thought about the impact your own self-care has on your ability to connect as a couple?
Here are a few not-so-typical ways some of our Personal Renewal Group Facilitators stay connected to their partners:
Schedule time for your needs: Schedule time for self-renewal just like you would schedule a dentist’s appointment (we each pick one night of the week for a “solo date”). Then you’ll be able to fully enjoy and feel more generous and loving during your time alone together.
Kisses each day keep the therapist away: Hugs and kisses in the morning and at the end of the day, quick neck or shoulder massages, gentle arm touches and holding hands are all thoughtful and easy ways to stay physically and emotionally connected to your partner. We make a habit of doing this every night when we see each other after work, before we sit down for dinner.
Develop some ground rules and strategies for communicating with your partner. We often resort to “quiet breaks” when we feel like we’ve reached our limit and are about to blow. It’s always better to go this route than to say things you may later regret. I also know that my partner shuts down and withdraws when my voice escalates, so I try to be mindful of that. One of our PRG members sits down with her partner every Sunday night and they have family planning meetings for the upcoming week to ensure they’re on the same page. They find it helpful to give one another a heads-up if one of them has a particularly challenging week ahead and may need some extra support and TLC.
What does your bedroom say about your marriage? A feng shui consultant once asked me, “Why do you have all these pictures of single women up in your bedroom? Where are the pictures of you and your husband?” Great point. Hang up pictures and place mementos of your partnership in your bedroom: special photos, candles, your intention statement or anything else that celebrates your union (we actually created a small “marriage altar” in our bedroom for our special mementos). Try to have your bedroom be a “toy-free” zone; make it a space for relaxation and connection.
Take five minutes to take turns stating your needs. “Three things I need from our relationship are ... (fill in the blank).” Simple but powerful. Your needs will change depending on the time of the year, your life stage and kids’ ages. We love the book Love Tune-Ups to help prompt this level of sharing on date nights.
Write an intention statement for your partnership. This can be a powerful way to communicate what you want your relationship to represent. Frame your statement and place it in your bedroom in a visible spot. See the sample statement here.
Connect every day for at least ten minutes. At the end of each day, share your high and low moment of the day. (See the great exercise from The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal around this.) This is a quick but really effective way for us to re-connect. One Facilitator shares: we like to take a long, hot bubble bath together after the kids are in bed—try staying mad when you’re covered in bubbles!
How do you stay connected to your partner? We’d love to hear your favorite recommendations for books, resources, tips, strategies and more on our Live Inside Out Community (check out the great tips posted on here last week).
And, if you need some support to get clear on your needs and desires so you can be more present in your relationship, join us at one of our upcoming events, including my June 11th The Empowered Entrepreneur Workshop, the FREE June 17th Staying Connected to Your Partner teleclass for couples, the very affordable Aug. 13-15 Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu or one of our fall Self-Renewal Retreats at The Crossings.
Also, if you’re interested in being a part of our global community and leading women’s self-renewal groups as part of your business, our introductory price for a Personal Renewal Group training membership goes from $399 to $499 on June 5th. Learn more here. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
My team and I look forward to connecting with you soon!
Upcoming Training, Retreats and Events
June 11 9:00-Noon The Empowered Entrepreneur, Austin, TX. Are you an entrepreneur who desires to work less, make more and be the master–not the slave-to your business? Join us for the popular, highly interactive small group coaching experience. Cost: $175 (bring a friend and you each get $25 off). Register and learn more.
June 17 7:00-8:00 p.m., CST.
FREE Live Inside Out class via telephone with Renee Trudeau. Theme: Staying Connected to Your Partner. Join author/life coach Renee Trudeau and couples from around the world in a "virtual living room" as we explore how to live life from the inside-out. Register and receive details here.
- August 13-15 Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Woman’s Self-Renewal Retreat with Renee Trudeau at
Kripalu Retreat Center - Lennox, MA. Come reconnect with who you are and nourish your body, mind and soul in the cool Berkshire Mountains of MA at this world-renowned holistic retreat and yoga center. Packages with lodging/meals/classes start at just $440. Click here for details and to register.
- August 27 9:30 a.m. - noon
The Career Strategy Workshop: Find a Fit, Create a Plan, Love Your Work
A small, dynamic group-coaching workshop focused on helping you strategically map out your next steps and find work that is a “fit” for you. You will also receive support via Renee’s online Career Center and a subscription to the Career Strategist’s job leads service. **BONUS** register by Aug. 10 and receive a free DIY Job Search Toolkit (a $99 value). Class size is limited. CLICK HERE to register online. Contact email@example.com with questions.
- Are you a coach, parent educator, birthing professional, counselor or women's empowerment advocate who wants to grow their business and loves helping women nurture their emotional well-being? Learn more about becoming a PRG Facilitator and join an international community of leaders who are changing women's lives through powerful life coaching groups centered around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal. Special introductory pricing ends June 5th!
- Did you know Renee travels around the world speaking to corporations, organizations and at national conferences on life balance, self-renewal (and other related topics)? Learn more about having Renee speak at your next event, workshops or conference. We're scheduling 2010 events now.
- Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.