Habit #1 – Knowing that my partner has ZERO responsibility for my happiness.
I never expect my husband to be any certain way so that I can be happy. If I want to feel a certain way or if I want to have a particular experience, I take 100% responsibility for creating that feeling or experience for myself. Most of the time, I want to feel happy, confident and sexy. I’ve done the inner-work to know myself, and to know exactly what I need to experience these things. We can call it my “super-sexy, confident, happy recipe” and I am in charge of this recipe every single day.
This might include making requests of my husband. However making a request is different than making demands, ultimatums, or (most common) having unspoken expectations and needs. My requests can sound something like this, “Hey babe, when you get home today will you kiss me all over my face and lift me off my feet?” Perfect. He knows what to do and I get exactly what I want.
What is great about living this way is First, I’m happy a lot of the time because I’m not waiting for anything or anyone to make me happy. Second, everything my sweetie does for me is a gift of joy and sweetness, because I have no expectations that he is responsible for happiness. He is not filling an empty container that desperately needs love and affection to be happy. My container is full. It’s like I’m responsible for my own cake, and he just piles on the frosting!
Habit #2 – Always assuming my partner adores me and is acting with my best interest in mind
This one habit of mine makes all the difference in the world. When I always assume these things about my husband, it becomes clear that anything that I experience as something different than love is just a miscommunication. When a miscommunication occurs, I can go to him and ‘check out reality’ by telling him what my “story” is, how I feel, and finding out what I don’t understand.
The best thing about always assuming that my partner adores me and is acting in my best interest, is that I feel like a completely loved and cherished goddess all the time.
Why this habit is possible: This habit is possible because my mate always operates with integrity. He doesn’t do or say things that are out-of-alignment with his true self. Therefore, I can trust him. I never have to wonder about his intentions or honesty, so I know I can safely make these positive assumptions and not listen to the little negative “gremlin” voice in my head that causes doubt and insecurity.
*Please note: This kind of trust is possible when you have a history with a partner where their words and action always align and where you always feel safe. If you have a partner who often lies to you, cultivating this habit will just cause more harm.
Habit #3 – I am a teammate with my partner, not with my thoughts.
You’ve seen the bumper sticker, “Don’t believe everything you think” right? Well, guess what? It’s true. The mind comes up with all sorts of crazy thoughts all the time. You don’t have to believe them. You don’t even have to believe them when you have strong emotions attached to them. You get to choose what emotions and thoughts you want to align yourself with.
Sometimes on days I am sensitive my husband can say something and I can get a rush of emotion and my thoughts will tell me to ‘take it personally’. Each of us has an inner protector (also known as your ego) that can get activated at times like this. If we don’t control that inner protector it can cause us to lash out at people we love. When this happens to me, and just give voice to it. I will say to my husband something like,
“Oh my gosh, when you said that (thing you just said) my thoughts told me that you were putting me down. My thoughts are causing this crazy defensive emotion in me right now, and I’m really struggling to stay open and loving to you”
Then, usually we will both laugh together, and my husband will come give me a hug, kiss my nose and proceed to explain what he actually meant. Sometimes, we even investigate together what triggered me to feel defensive. This is cool because I get to learn more about me, he gets to learn more about me, and we get to grow together.
Why this habit is possible: This habit is possible because I know that my partner is at his core a kind person. He doesn’t treat me badly, he isn’t rude to waiters, he is kind to his friends and enemies alike. Therefore, because I know his ‘base level’ is kindness, it creates a safe space for me to choose the thoughts that create the most love and joy in my life.
*Please note: ALWAYS trust yourself and your intuition. Always. Every single. time. Just make sure you have discernment on what is your intuition and what is a thought. Thoughts cannot always be trusted. Knowing the difference is called wisdom, and luckily, we can all cultivate more of that!
Healing from trauma is hard work. Regardless of what the trauma has been in your life – big or little – It takes intention and attention to heal. It takes grace, curiosity and bravery to till the fertile ground of your heart and soul after a trauma or a big change in life.
Often times it’s easy to find your thoughts going around and around thinking things like, “Why is this happening?”, “What is the purpose of this?”, “Did I cause or create this?”, “Am I at fault?”, and of course, “How can I keep this from happening again?” It is very normal and natural for all of these thoughts to occur. In fact, each of them is a doorway for you to learn more about you and the world around you.
If you have gone through a trauma in your life or if you have unhealed wounds in your mind and heart – you have a HUGE opportunity. It can be a scary road, but the rewards are more than you could ever imagine.
In my past I went out with a guy for several years who constantly told me that I wasn’t good enough and that everything was my fault. He would explain to me how I could be different so that things could be better. Every argument, every misunderstanding was my fault. Any time we started to feel the huge lack in our relationship – he would blame me. I should be better. If only I was different, I would be able to recognize how great he was, how much he loved me and how our relationship would be perfect if I stopped being the way I was.
At this time I desired spiritual growth in my life. I wanted to grow and change, evolve. He told me that he was a spiritual guy and he proved it by hanging out at all the right places, with the right people and saying all the right things when we were in public spaces.
In our private spaces, he would rip me down. He constantly told me how much my body disappointed him. He told me how much my lack of spirituality disappointed him. He was very clear that I never did a good enough job understanding him. He held back love until I proved I was good enough to deserve it.
I stayed. I stayed because somewhere inside of me, I believed the things he said. I believed that I wasn’t enough. I believed that I didn’t deserve love ‘just because’.
Then, one day it changed for me. I realized that he didn’t even like me – and what was I doing wasting my time on someone who didn’t like me? I don’t know what brought this change about. Maybe it was just finally too painful to keep believing that I wasn’t enough. I decided that day that I would never give my heart and soul to anyone who didn’t cherish it. I walked away.
This was honestly one of the wisest choices I’ve ever made in my life. If this resonates with you, If you are in a relationship where someone does not value you, where they make you prove yourself to get their love, where they blame you instead of taking accountability for their own actions, I want you to know that you are enough.
You deserve love without having to change anything about you. You deserve love ‘just because’. You deserve to be honored, cherished, respected, heard and adored. I’ve recently come to see how short life is, and I urge you to not waste any more time with people who don’t support you in being you. The world needs your light, and you need those people around you who are going to feed your light.
I love you.
Today I work at being present in the moment. Present at my doctors appointment, present with the grocery clerk. Eye contact. Deep breathing. Consciously being aware of my body. Consciously aware of the other human beings I encounter. Aware of energy; mine, other people's, and the energy of the world around me.
It's easy to 'hide-out' in your life even when you are running errands or going to work. For some of us, we can even 'hide-out' when we are at home with our families.
Here are a few symptoms of 'hiding-out' in your day-to-day life.
Hiding out feels icky, it's bad for the soul, and disconnects you from your personal power. Oftentimes when we are healing, it is easy to find ourselves hiding out. If you can relate to the things on this list, practice being present and see what happens next.
While I was getting scar massage a few days ago, I was talking to my physical therapist, and she said, “In the world we live in that is defined by change and evolution, that is often in a stage of chaos by nature, why do we expect not to encounter tragedy/trauma in our lives?” I found this to be a very interesting idea, and I went home and sat in silence with it for a while. What did I believe? That a human should go through life without encountering trauma, and it was surprising and shocking when they did? Or, did I believe that trauma was part and par for the course of being human and should be expected? Or, was there an in-between to those two ideas?
One of the things I encounter with unending fascination is the belief systems of individuals and how those beliefs impact their existence. I know for a fact that what you believe shapes the world you live in and how you experience it. For example, if you think that it takes hard work to make money, it will take hard work. If you think that money can be made easily, you’ll make easily. If you believe relationships are hard work, you’ll attract a relationship that is hard work. If you think relationships are easy and fun, you will find yourself in one that is easy and fun. If you don’t believe me, do a little test in your life that will allow you to see a little ‘peek’ at how what you focus on and believe in changes what you see and experience. Think about yellow jeeps. Put a picture of a yellow jeep or a post it that says “yellow jeep” on your bathroom mirror so you think about it day and night. Guess what you’ll start seeing in your life? Yellow jeeps. I am a huge fan of doing practical experiments in your life, like this one described above. For more information on trying on new belief systems, visit this blog.
If I believe trauma is expected, how would this effect my perception of the world, how I experience it, and what I am attracting? I spoke with a trauma specialist about this, and he informed me that 200 years ago most people lost a child – or several children. It was the way of the world. Now days (in modern America) is very rare for someone to loose a child. Research shows that the trauma recovery is more now than it was when the situation was more commonplace. This would lead me to believe that expecting – or accepting – trauma as part of life would be in my best interest.
As I sat in meditation with this idea even longer, another question arose. “What if instead of focusing on avoiding trauma, I focused on my amazing resiliency?”
This question felt good in my body, and I knew it would open the next door to my healing.
Then, I remembered a belief system that I used to have in regards to risking emotional trauma. I used to believe something like, “If this person leaves me or stops loving me, I won’t survive. I have to avoid this break-up at all costs.” Then I changed my belief system to something more like, “I love this person, and if they leave me it will hurt, but I am okay with that and I know I can survive that pain and the subsequent rebuilding of myself.” It was only after I changed that belief system that I was able to attract true love – a relationship that wasn’t there to cover up my fears but was there to enhance my life and my being. It was a HUGE difference.
So, it wasn’t about expecting pain or trauma, it was about being okay with pain or trauma. It was about my expansion of self, and release of the good/bad judgement game. It sounds so big. Can I KNOW THAT I AM OKAY even in the mist of physical pain? Or in the throes of emotional pain? In the face of extreme loss? Is it possible to trust and believe in myself this much?
To be continued…..
I’ve been through three major traumas in my life (my mother abandoning me as a child, breaking away from my domestic violence marriage, and a head on car collision where I nearly died). In the aftermath of each trauma, I was left with the same question: Who am I, Now? All month I’ve struggled to find my new “normal”, and it still eludes me physically, mentally and emotionally.
I find myself constantly thinking that I can physically do more then I actually can. I find myself constantly thinking I can emotionally or mentally handle more then I actually can. I am misaligned. My soul, body, core, thoughts, feelings, all the pieces of me are no longer aligned. They are no longer in harmony. The result of this is a feeling of being scattered, a feeling of being unsafe and unstable. It also means that I have less intentional creation-power in my life, which leaves me feeling out-of-control.
However, it is even more than this misalignment. It is a new me that I don’t know. Who am I, NOW? When we (as humans) experience trauma, we transform. Yeah, it’s not always pretty, it’s not always what we want, and it is rarely painless. However, IT IS.
Getting to know this new person is a multifaceted process. First, there is the grief process. This is when you say goodbye to the person that you were before the trauma. Next, there is the courting process of the new you. This can be scary and exciting. This stage of the process is full of curiosity and discovery. Then, there is the integration process. This process is where you fit all the old and new pieces together and they begin to work in harmony. Then there is the strengthening process. This is where you build a vast understanding of who you are, what you need to feel alive and thriving, and what your mission of contribution is in the world. Lastly, there is the show-off process. This is when you get to show off how your trauma strengthened you and made you into a work of art.
These processes can overlap, and they take TIME. Lots and lots of time. I am choosing to remember that life is about discovery. It is about getting to know myself better, and therefore understanding how to connect to the world more. So, in essence, I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing and I can stop 'shoulding' on myself.
Mindy Amita Aisling
ICF Life Coach,
NFPT Fitness Trainer,
OMA Certified Mediator
Mindy Aisling is a certified life and business coach in Bend, OR, exceeding all of the educational requirements & training set forth by the ICF.
She has worked with such organizations as St. Charles Hospital, Soroptimists, The Dispute Resolution Center, Olympic Medical Center, Americorps, and Juvenile and Family Services.
Mindy has been featured in the New York Times, The Seattle Times, The Bend Bulletin, The Peninsula Daily News, KOMO 4 TV, The Oregonian and many more. You can learn more about Mindy here.
Mindy offers professional, affordable online coaching to clients around the world, and local coaching to clients in Bend, Oregon.
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