Keep Your Relationship Hot in the Hectic Holidays

Keep Your Relationship Hot in the Hectic Holidays

The holidays are intended to be about love, connection, peace, and appreciation. What do many people experience, though? Stress, frustration, disappointment, and distraction. It's common for the couples I work with as clients to lose their focus and priorities...

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Patience - A Gift for All Times

Patience. Waiting. Anticipation.

I'm waiting right now for a client who is stuck in traffic. It's a nice opportunity to take a few deep breaths. I don't "naturally" do this when waiting. I have to remind myself to make this shift to ease, appreciation, and patience when my "this is not efficient!" buttons are pushed.

I'm reminded of the patience - and excitement - leading up to Christmas when I was 10 years old. My sister, cousin, and I snooped into my grandparents' bedroom and found our gift of super hero UNDEROOS under the bed. We were ecstatic with the find! And then we got caught. What we didn't understand at the time was that our impatience was disrespectful to our grandparents.

Recognizing and accepting that all things have a particular time path is helpful in my work with clients and students. I can't PUSH someone to do emotional or mental exploration that isn't right for them. Patience is respect for the process and respect for others. All things in due time. I don't have the "truth" or the answers. I am here to be patience during guidance, acceptance, and motivation.

Who could you offer the gift of patience to this holiday season?

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego

Thanksgiving - An Exercise for a Day of Gratitude & Appreciation

I received several emails and text messages from friends this year for Thanksgiving, referring to the holiday as a "Day of Gratitude." While this might not sound like much of a stretch from the word "Thanksgiving," I think the shift is a powerful one, especially when we shift further to appreciation.

Like most holidays in the United States, Thanksgiving has become commercialized and bastardized. The focus of the day often strays towards the overconsumption of food, meat, and alcohol, commiserating about annoying relatives, and zoning out in front of the television. Making a shift to calling it a "Day of Gratitude" opens our focus to expansive appreciation.

Stating what we're grateful for is a way to focus our thoughts on the positive in our life. I think that "appreciation" is the next step of actually feeling the gratitude - experiencing the expansion in our hearts when we cultivate appreciation. It lifts our spirits and helps us recognize how much beauty and joy is around us.

Try this short exercise: 1) Think about something you are very grateful for; 2) Place your right hand over your heart, close your eyes, and focus on the thoughts and feelings of why you appreciate that particular thing, what it provides for you, how it makes you feel, etc.; and 3) Breathe deeply into that feeling of appreciation and feel an expansion in your chest.

If you want to bring this practice to making positive shifts in your life, make a commitment to yourself to choose at least one day of each week that will be your personal day of gratitude. And...I'd like to express my appreciation by thanking you for reading this :)

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego