By: Erin Spark | October 05, 2017

Photo: Alice Donovan Rouse

Psychology Today has said that one of the true challenges in relationships is that to be in love with someone, they will have power over you and when someone loves you, you have power over them. The challenge is that power corrupts. There is a natural power struggle in relationships. How can you and your partner work at balancing that struggle between the two of you?

As the article states, empathy becomes extremely important. We must work to keep contempt out of our relationships and invite more empathy. I recently attended a talk by the Chalmers Brothers about how important our language is (both internally and externally), as well as in our relationships, the words we use could either be stemming from a place of contempt or a place of e...

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By: Erin Spark | September 08, 2017

Photo: Frank McKenna

Are you under the impression that love should be easy? or that it sustains itself naturally? At the beginning of relationships, we share so many euphoric feelings with our partner that we often do feel that "being in love" is an easy feeling to hold on to. Unfortunately, only 10-15% of couples feel that dopamine feeling of love throughout the life of their relationship. 


Despite the odds, we believe that it is certainly worth working on your relationship to keep that spark going!


The percentage of couples feeling in love is definitely slim yet it makes us wonder, don't we have the power to change this? Here are a few tips on how to keep the dopamine levels of your relationships up: 


1.  Stare at each other 

When...

By: Dr. Heather Browne | August 19, 2017

It's all in the sauce

A great or not so great sauce can change everything. For example, making a great marinara can make any veggie taste good. It could also ruin a dish - if you don’t like pesto and your noodles are smothered in it, you'll have a less enjoyable meal to look forward to. 


We grow up in a family sauce. We come into this world and are thrown into our family’s special vat. Naturally, we interact and look at the world out of what we know, out of our family’s flavors and temperature. If our family is loud and boisterous, this is what we know. If our family is huge on hugging and “I love you”, then this is what feels like home. We don’t know that life can be any different until we taste another sauce. Only then we can decide if ours still is ...

Category: Communication 

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By: Dr. Heather Browne | August 18, 2017

I Want to Strangle Your Little Neck
Photo by CloudVisual

Do you know that feeling?

Are you grasping that rope between your hands right now?

Or rubbing your fists together so you don’t grab their sweaty little neck?

I mean, how can they be so stupid? 

How can they be so foolish?

You have gone over this a 100 times.

How could they NOT KNOW? 

 

Breathe.

Breathe.

And breathe in deep again, really long and slow.

Now drop those shoulders of yours about two inches.

And unclench your teeth, yes, I know they are.

And breathe, once again.

 

There. Keep breathing deeply and take this in.

They don’t mean to be so stupid.  I know, I know, they are, but they don’t MEAN to be.  They don’t mean to be so thoughtless either. They aren’t trying to be difficult or wanting to hurt ...

By: Erin Spark | August 18, 2017

Recovering from a Bad Fight
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz

You just got in a big fight, now what?

You disagree with something that seems important. You both maybe said things that shouldn’t be said, and maybe you have hurt each other.

How do you recover from a big fight in a way that brings more closeness than separateness?

The first step is to give it some distance. Our anxiety level contributes to how we react and act when faced with a stressful situation or a disagreement. Our ability to engage badly or act calm all depends on where we are on the stress level.

One of my favorite movies, The Story of Us with Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer demonstrates this successfully. Bruce Willis calls his wife in the movie, Michelle Pfeiffer. He is standing in front of their first apartment building whi...

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