Tools for Positive & Lasting Change in all of your Relationshiops
Tools for Positive and Lasting Change in Personal, Professional and Romantic Relationships
WHOLE HEART MARRIAGE BLOG                                                            
By Diana Concoff Morgan, M.A., Holistic Health Educator                                             

What is a Successful Marriage?

What is a successful marriage?  I believe that a successful marriage is one in which both people are growing towards their full potential.  The relationship is balanced physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially.  This doesn't necessarily mean balanced every day and all the time, but over the course of the lifetime of the marriage, with the ebb and flow of life, that things are balanced. 

Both people feel free to explore who they are in a successful marriage. There is a true friendship between the two people, a feeling of trust that allows each person to explore their path without feeling hindered by the other.  The other person is not an obstacle or a threat, but a support, a bridge to their highest potential.  Each person inspires the other to be the best that each can be. 

Both people choose each other and the marriage in a successful marriage, understanding that it is a choice to be made each day, and not to be taken for granted.  Just because you are married doesn’t mean you stay together if it isn’t working for both of you.   But it does mean that you are equally committed to doing whatever it takes to make the marriage the best that it can be for both of you, including working on yourself and on the relationship. 

A successful marriage happens as a result of conscious choices…not by good luck or coincidence!   The Whole Heart Path is the path to a successful marriage, where you learn positive and lasting tools for healthy interaction and a deeper, more authentic connection with your partner in your marriage and all other relationships in your life.

Upcoming  blog topics

I invite you to share comments and experiences


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Is It Really Personal? 

Tools for Whole Heart Relationships

In my last article, “The Art of Saying No”, I talked about how difficult it is to say, “NO” to people so we say, “YES” when we really want to say, “NO”.  In this article, I will talk about the number one reason why it is so hard to say, “NO”.  The number one reason is because it’s hard for most people to hear, “NO”.  If you don’t like to hear it, you are not going to want to say it!  Why is it so hard to hear, “NO”?  I think it is largely because we take it personally.  We think they are saying much more with their, “NO”, than they really are. We feel personally rejected.  The truth is that “NO” is just “NO”.  It’s not, “NO and you’re not good enough.”  It’s not, “NO and I don’t like you.”  It’s not “NO, never.”  It’s just, “NO” to the current request.  “NO, it’s not a fit for me at this time.”  “No, but feel free to ask me again at another time or down the road.”  It’s not personal!  It’s not about you!  And when you say, “NO”, it’s not personal, and it’s not about them.  “NO” is about the person who says it, not the person who receives the “NO”. Even if the person doesn’t like you, it’s not about you!  Wow, what freedom that gave me when I realized that.  

Let’s talk about some other ways that we make things personal when they are not personal.  Are you one of those people who goes to a party or gathering and maybe there are 50 people with whom you had really good interactions but you will focus on that one person who wasn’t so “warm and fuzzy”.  Maybe that person didn’t say, “Hello”. Or maybe they gave you some look that you decided to interpret as negative in some way.  Whatever did or didn’t happen, you decided to focus on that one person because you felt that they didn’t like you or were somehow slighting you.  The truth is that unless you actually asked the person what they were thinking or feeling about you, you have no idea what was going on.

I have a policy which is that I don’t participate in “third party communication”.  In other words, until someone actually says the words to my face, I don’t make assumptions about how they feel about me.  Third party communication is communication that comes to me indirectly, not from the actual messenger. Making assumptions about how someone thinks about me without knowing for sure is in truth third party communication because it is indirect, it is an assumption.  It’s really not that much different from gossip in the sense that you are participating in third party communication and you don’t know if it’s true or not and it can be as destructive as gossip.

One challenge in relationships that I hear often has to do with taking things personally.  When two people are in a relationship, married or not, romantic or not, they must be able to be honest without the other person taking it personally.  If you are the person who takes it personally, I would like to offer you some tools to begin to change your body/mind.  

1.     The first step is to make a decision to stop. 
2.    The next step is to start to notice your body/mind when you are interacting with people.  Notice how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally when you are taking something personally.  Notice your breathing, your heart rate.  Notice what you do when you are in the middle of taking something personally.  Do you lash out?  Withdraw and then come back?  Leave?  Or do you dig your heals in?  Notice what you do.
3.    Now that you notice what you do, you are some suggestions of ways to change yourself:  

Soften your belly.
Take a deep breath.
Relax your face, neck and shoulders.
Soften your knees.
Take a step back.
4.    Do something to shift the energy in your entire body/mind.   Every time you see yourself doing whatever that thing is that you do when you are taking something personally, make a decision to change your body/mind, change your thinking and stop believing that it is about you.  It is really just a habit that doesn’t serve you; a habit that you can change.  It’s simple but not necessarily easy.

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The Art of Saying No 

Tools For Whole Heart Relationships

The art of saying No can be found in the Five Rings system that I use.  

People who come from a predominantly water perspective are very feeling and emotional.  They come from their heart.  They usually talk a lot about feelings, theirs and others.  They are sensitive. When expressing their opinions, they say, “I feel…”  They want to feel heard. 

Here’s how you say NO to a water person.   Make sure to let them know you have heard their proposal, taken it to HEART and are going to say NO.  A water person will come back a few times with different versions of the same request, like the tide keeps washing up onto the shore.
When they are clear that your NO is a NO, they will retreat.

People who come from a predominantly wind perspective are thinkers and analyzers.  They come from their head.  They talk a lot about thinking.  When expressing their opinions, they say, “I think…”  They want a more systematic NO.  They want to hear that you made a list of pros and cons, a logic list, and considered all perspectives before saying NO.  Once they feel that you have come to your decision logically and that your NO is a solid NO they will not challenge you.

People who come from a predominantly ground perspective are very solid in their approach.  When expressing their opinions, you will hear them say things like, “I know this in my gut”.    They come from their gut.  They want to know that you are solid in your decision.  Try using terminology like, “On my rock I stand”, or “I know in my gut that my answer is NO.  They won’t push you. 

People who come from a predominantly fire perspective are to the point.  They come from a dynamic, very big picture perspective.  When expressing their opinions, they will express them as if they are facts.  They don’t even care why you are saying NO!  They just want to know and want to feel that you are clear in your response.  The just want you to make up your mind.

The recurring theme in all of these examples is that when a person is clear that your NO is solid they will accept it.  People usually push until there is no where left to push.  

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