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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

how to show your love & why it matters...


After taking a 2 month “sabbatical”, I am glad to be back on Sweet Vanilla Bean! So, let’s get right to it. My last four posts came from something I wrote entitled "5 Ground Rules For a Better Marriage." Those 5 marital ground rules that can reinforce your marriage today include:

1)   Never go to bed angry.
2)   Say “I’m sorry.” always!
3)   Go on a date at least twice a month. 
4)   Say “I love you” often!
5)   Hold hands in public.

In my last post entitled how to make your words mean something, I shared the importance of positive words towards your spouse. Life giving words such as saying “I love you” often will cause you and your spouse to appreciate each other rather than tear each other down. Your marriage benefits from positive words and will change the course of your relationship every time.  

One of the most important points from this post was, I believe you won’t even get to the showing love if you never do the saying of love. Ironically, the glaring difference between husband and wife is the husband says, “Tell me you love me.” The wife says, “Show me you love me.” This difference poses a conflict at times. On the other hand, if handled carefully and intentionally you can use this difference for you and not against you. This leads us to today’s post entitled, “How to Show Your Love Matters.”  
      
One of the practical ways you can show your love matters is to hold hands in public. Now, I understand that there might be some out there that say, “Our marriage relationship is private so I don’t like to flaunt it publicly to others.” I respect anyone who holds to this conviction. Conversely, to be clear, holding hands in public for example is much different than making out in public. 

They say a simple touch goes a long ways. In a marriage relationship, a simple touch goes far beyond any projected distance. In fact, something like holding hands in public solidifies your relationship and has the potential of breaking out of the marriage mundane.    

Here are 3 quick tips on the importance of showing your love matters:

Love is a workout. This is not an endorsement for Olivia Newton John’s classic, Let’s get physical. Rather, similar to working out in a gym or jogging a few laps around the park 3 times a week, whenever you work hard and consistently at something, eventually you will see results. Demonstrating love is not a one-time thing. It is an on-going workout. When you show your love towards your spouse beyond February 14th for example, you will see the results you have always longed for.

Don’t give up in well doing. If your marriage relationship is on the rocks right now, something like holding hands in public may be a monumental task. Maybe for you, something like smiling at each other may be a first step towards forgiveness and reconciliation. Either way, showing love to each other is something that never ends. With this said, don’t give up even if it’s a “small thing.”

The small things matter. Showing your love can take on all kinds of forms. I suggest that whenever you do the small things, your marriage relationship takes on a strong shelter. They say, “Dogs are not man’s best friend; flowers are.” Try showing you love your wife by giving her flowers without being in the doghouse and see the surprise on her face that will go a long way!     

Try out these 3 tips this week and see your marriage relationship grow stronger than ever before. Showing your love is an on-going priority. Work it into your everyday and see your marriage blossom into an enjoyable relationship.   

Cheers,  
Rob Lane 
Marriage Mechanic
 

Rob is proud that his wife Cara plays an instrumental part of what he does. They have a combined 20+ years helping individuals and couples with their relationships and marriages. Rob has a BA in Christian Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is an Online Psychology Professor for Grand Canyon University. Rob is also certified marriage counselors in the PREPARE/ENRICH program. He is a non-denominational ordained minister and officiates wedding ceremonies. Rob combines his experience and education along with his unique approach that is sincerely relational, empowering, hopeful, honest and compassionate. To learn more about Rob, The Marriage Lane and his approach read here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

are you a "divergent" strengths finder...?

Like many of you, I read the book the Divergent and then saw the movie. It seems like a fictional portrayal of the future OR could it be a reality of our present day? I have to question if we are already living in factions?

It all came together for me while I was traveling for my job in Australia. I was actually reading the book, Divergent, while walking in an airport. I quickly realized that I was bumping into people and getting annoying looks.


In American culture, we drive forward on the right hand side of the street. Subsequently, people walk on the same side as they drive. I looked up and realized the frustration on the faces of some Aussie's when I walked on the wrong side of the hall. I felt like Tris when she tried to become "dauntless" by changing her behaviors. So, I quickly moved to the other side acting like that was my norm.


My foreign exchange student from China is raised with the cultural expectation to study and appreciate knowledge. She is devastated with any grade less than an A. She confessed to me that she loves American education because her Chinese culture is too much pressure for many teens her age.


See, we are conditioned to act and communicate within our cultural norms. Factions could be considered like different stereotypes, personality labels or underling expectations.


This is why I love Gallop Strength Finders! No one is just like you! The possibility of your Top 5 Strengths having the same order as someone else are 1 in 33 million!! Here is your opportunity...You can choose to be a "divergent" communicator and thinker. We do not have to get locked into one way of seeing people in the world. Be thankful for living out your strengths where "divergent" thinking is allowed and honored.


You can appreciate the differences of others strengths. This just might be the beginning of true peace. Dare to be different and walk in your unique talents and strengths.

Strongly yours, 

Cara Lane
Communication Coach 



Cara Lane can be summed up in two words = infectious enthusiasm. Cara’s high energy, expressive style will be a joy to your learning on life. She has won the hearts of people and has become known nationally as “America’s Speaker Sweetheart.” She has also toured the world and has become an internationally known motivational speaker and trainer. Cara Lane is the award winning top trainer for the world’s leading seminar company. She's a leader an ambassador for Weight Watchers. Cara has given over 10,000 hours of instruction on communication training. Check her out at here!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

how to make your words mean something...


Several weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled, 5 Ground Rules For a Better Marriage. Those 5 marital ground rules that can reinforce your marriage today include:

1)   Never go to bed angry.

2)   Say “I’m sorry.” always!

3)   Go on a date at least twice a month. 

4)   Say “I love you” often!

5)   Hold hands in public.

Believe it or not, the words you say mean more than you may even realize. Unfortunately, in every marriage relationship and over time it’s easy to take each other for granted. To combat this subtle decline, telling each other important words such as “I love you” will always provide the strength your marriage needs.

Let’s face it, the words we hear around us are generally negative. Even the words we are guilty of saying often come out negative. The truth is it takes work and discipline to say nice, complementary words. The reality is our spouses are the ones who should be on the receiving end of good and uplifting words from us. So why should you say I love you to your spouse on a regular basis? Here are 3 tips why these words will help your marriage in the long run.

Saying I Love You creates a positive environment. We all know we don’t have to go very far and hear negative words. Sheesh, just turn on your local news! The sad reality is we don’t even have to turn on the 6:00 news to find negative words. Whether it’s at work, at school, driving down the freeway or in our neighborhood, negative words are not that hard to come by. This is why saying I Love You often is so important in your marriage. Words that matter like I Love You creates the positive environment your marriage always needs.   

Saying I Love You can provide the spark your marriage needs today. Is your marriage not exciting anymore? Do you feel the love has lost its luster? Does your relationship feel more like college roommates versus a strong married couple? Well, believe it or not, the reason is because your words for and towards each other are either completely neglected or simply lacking. You may have to begin doing something more fruitful today; that is, saying I Love You. Try telling your spouse you love her/him five times a day for one week and watch your feelings for your spouse change. Watch your relationship grow stronger, both for your spouse and you!   

Saying I Love You are words that matter. I believe what keeps us from saying I Love You is that little voice in our heads that says something like, “Does he really mean he loves me when he says I love you?” Or “Why does she always say I love you at the worst times like in the middle of a fight?” Our role in a marriage relationship is to always say I Love You, no matter what. When both spouses are saying this on a regular basis, you would be amazed the words that come out of your mouth and his or hers. Words matter and are so important to the strength of your marriage.      

Try out these 3 tips this week and see your marriage relationship grow stronger than ever before. It is true that actions speak louder than words but I believe you won’t even get to the showing if you never do the saying. Truly, you can never go wrong telling you love each other on a regular basis. Trust me, saying these words regularly is an important marital ground rule to stick by. You will not regret it! 

Cheers,

Rob Lane
Marriage Mechanic
 
Rob is proud that his wife Cara plays an instrumental part of what he does. They have a combined 20+ years helping individuals and couples with their relationships and marriages. Rob has a BA in Christian Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is an Online Psychology Professor for Grand Canyon University. Rob is also certified marriage counselors in the PREPARE/ENRICH program. He is a non-denominational ordained minister and officiates wedding ceremonies. Rob combines his experience and education along with his unique approach that is sincerely relational, empowering, hopeful, honest and compassionate. To learn more about Rob, The Marriage Lane and his approach read here.


*Lead photo created using the app A Beautiful Mess, available for sale here in the iTunes app store! Thanks ABM app for the creative tool!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

the need for "no" & how to say it...

My favorite quote by Benjamin Franklin is: ”A problem well-stated is a problem half solved.”
So let’s identify the problem of why we don’t say no. What are the reasons?
  • We might not want to disappoint someone – BUT then we get disappointed in ourselves.
  • We think it’s easier to go along with what the other person wants in the moment – YET in the long run we realize we just made it harder on ourselves.
  • We feel guilty saying no – BUT living with the guilt is worse.
  • We get scared that someone might not find us as valuable – BUT we have to remember our own value.
  • The other person might say no to you, since you said no to them – YET at least there would be truthfulness.
There is a simple formula to help you say no. I call it the R.U.N. technique. Run and say no! (:
Restate the Request – Say “I understand” or “I heard” or “I believe” and then simply repeat the exact same words they just used. People have a positive bias towards someone that they believe actually listened to them.
Understand my Circumstance – Ask the person to understand that your circumstance will not allow you to say yes. Be firm. Be fair. Be Real.  This is NOT a place for excuses. 
 
Notice the Positive – Tell them how much you appreciate them thinking of you to ask. Do not let them corner you into saying yes.
With that said, we must learn how to say no. Have you ever heard this? Even the best juggler will drop all the balls if there is one too many! Boundaries are needed. People respect you more when you are able to say no. There is nothing worse than someone saying yes but they don’t follow through. Saying NO is liberating. Try it on for size!
Kindly, 
Cara Lane
Communication Coach 


Cara Lane can be summed up in two words = infectious enthusiasm. Cara’s high energy, expressive style will be a joy to your learning on life. She has won the hearts of people and has become known nationally as “America’s Speaker Sweetheart.” She has also toured the world and has become an internationally known motivational speaker and trainer. Cara Lane is the award winning top trainer for the world’s leading seminar company. She's a leader an ambassador for Weight Watchers. Cara has given over 10,000 hours of instruction on communication training. Check her out at here!

Friday, January 10, 2014

it's not too late to make a resolution...


It's Not Too Late To Make A Good Resolution For 2014:
Dating your spouse never ends!

Happy New Year! Each time the New Year is about to cross over, we think, “Where the heck did the year go?” What we are really saying is, “I hope this year will be better than last year.” The beauty of this evaluation is it provides a clean slate and gives us the opportunity to do even better the next year. What a better way to kick off 2014 with resolutions that help make your marriage better than last year.  

A few weeks ago, I did a MMM post called 5 Marital Ground Rules for a Better Marriage. The 3rd ground rule I presented was, Go on a date at least twice a month. This may sound totally cliché but the truth is dating your spouse should never end. Marriages that have this marital rule (and stick to it!) are marriages that last because it keeps their relationship solid and growing.
I know for many it can be difficult to schedule even a few dates a month. It is easy to allow life to get in the way of your marriage. Work, kids, extracurricular activities, and just everyday life slowly tend to get in the way of the marriage which makes it a challenge to create time for dates. Nevertheless, the truth is dating your spouse always breaks the monotony and mundane of life. 

Since dating your spouse is vitally important to the health and longevity of your marriage, why not make it one of your resolutions this year? Here are 3 tips to help you make this resolution a reality.

1)    Schedule the date and stick to it. I suggest you put your date on the calendar and DO NOT RESCHEDULE IT. The truth is we do things in our life that we feel are worth doing. Going on dates is worthwhile and important. When you and your spouse agree that dates are important to your marriage relationship, then scheduling and sticking to it does not become burdensome.

2)    Communicate and remind. If you have children, invest in a baby sitter to help make your dates sacred. Also, your kids are never too young or too old to hear you tell them, “Monday night is our date night and we are excited about it.” Getting your kids to understand this “rule” communicates and reminds them that your marriage relationship is extremely important to you and them.

3)    You don’t have to overdo it. Your date nights can be a formal dinner or a limo drive through Napa Valley but they don’t have to be. Money should never be an issue for your date nights. If money is tight spending a few hours together at a park or on a walk can certainly qualify for a date day/night. Doing something is what is most important. 

Let’s be real… marriage takes work to make it work. Dating each other is an important aspect of marriage health and longevity. What a better way to kick off 2014- Go on a date at least twice a month. Implementing these 3 tips into your relationship today will turn this resolution into a reality.       
 
Cheers,
Rob Lane
Marriage Mechanic
 
Rob is proud that his wife Cara plays an instrumental part of what he does. They have a combined 20+ years helping individuals and couples with their relationships and marriages. Rob has a BA in Christian Education from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and is an Online Psychology Professor for Grand Canyon University. Rob is also certified marriage counselors in the PREPARE/ENRICH program. He is a non-denominational ordained minister and officiates wedding ceremonies. Rob combines his experience and education along with his unique approach that is sincerely relational, empowering, hopeful, honest and compassionate. To learn more about Rob, The Marriage Lane and his approach read here.


*Lead photo created using the app A Beautiful Mess, available for sale here in the iTunes app store! Thanks ABM app for the creative tool!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

new year, renewed motivation...

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Everyone likes something new! A new house. A new car. A new love. A new piece of furniture. So why not embrace a new year. This is your chance to enjoy your new life again. You can look at every new year as a reminder to put the past behind and move forward into your goals and dreams. So what if we looked at the new year as a chance to have renewed motivation!


Commitments are heightened because of the new perspective...

Remember when your love relationship was new? There was no end to your love. You truly thought you could and would be that loving way forever. I remember telling my soon-to-be husband that I would give him backrubs every night for the rest of his life. That is the kind of commitment you have when your relationship is new. The sad truth is…I stopped giving the nightly back rubs only a few months into our marriage. My husband often reminds me of my previous verbal commitment with the hopes that I will keep my word. At least, the aim was set high so now a few back-rubs a month are appreciated. Back-rubs might not have been a part of our routine without our “new perspective.” Just think, a half executed commitment is, at least, better than nothing.


You deserve something new...

Often times we apologize for having something new. When someone asks if we bought new clothes, we immediately say no. False humility only intimates others and makes them feel uncomfortable. Tell the person that it is new with a smile. Appreciate them for thinking of you. Everyone deserves to have NEW in their life. If you embrace the new part, then others will as well. You will inspire others to want a new perspective for themselves as well.


Let the “new” become your life-changer...

Many Americans have a hard time losing weight. I became a Weight Watcher leader in 2006. Today I am still a Weight Watcher leader. With commitment and hard work my “new” perspective on weight loss became my routine, my way of life. Routines become who you are!


Embracing a new year is a great truth to live by!!


Kindly, 
Cara Lane
Communication Coach 


Cara Lane can be summed up in two words = infectious enthusiasm. Cara’s high energy, expressive style will be a joy to your learning on life. She has won the hearts of people and has become known nationally as “America’s Speaker Sweetheart.” She has also toured the world and has become an internationally known motivational speaker and trainer. Cara Lane is the award winning top trainer for the world’s leading seminar company. She's a leader an ambassador for Weight Watchers. Cara has given over 10,000 hours of instruction on communication training.

Monday, January 06, 2014

friend makin' mondays...

1.  What has been your happiest moment in 2014 so far?  
The last few months have seen, for me, some of the lowest lows of my life. But last Friday we celebrated my Grandmother's 82nd birthday as a family with dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then pie and board games at my house. It was so fun playing board games with my family, everyone getting along, watching my Aunt laugh so hard during the game that tears rolled down her cheeks and celebrating my Grandma! It was certainly a rare but necessary high for me.
 
2. Share the last compliment you received.  
My husband told me I was, "Looking good!" It means the world that he thinks I'm the bees knees, especially since my self-esteem is low these days. He's the only one I want to impress, so it means the world that I still tickle his fancy!

3.  What is one thing that you plan to accomplish in the next week? 
Laundry! Laundry is just that thing I put off because I dread it... and getting so behind only begets more dread. So, I need to address that situation stat! Also, I'd like to take some afternoon walks with my pup. Over Christmas break I focused on inside projects, and my fair share of moping. It's time for a new, fresh start.

4.  What is your favorite TV show(s)? Scandal, Sister Wives, Masters of Sex, The Walking Dead and I CANNOT WAIT for Girls to be back!

5.  If you could go anywhere in the world free for the next two weeks, where you go?  
Probably somewhere I wouldn't have to think too much, like Hawaii. Sand, sun and cocktails! Hello!!!

6.  Describe a significant event in your life that caused you to change your values system. 
When I started working with high-risk youth, I came face-to-face with struggle and suffering. It made me more empathic and caring, and I am deeply grateful for those lessons in compassion. I worked through the sadness and grief I felt for them, and became a better, more caring, more passionate professional aimed on helping them succeed!

7.  What made you decide to live where you currently live?  
I had a terrible relationship in college, and refused to be reminded of it everyday. So I moved home after graduation, away from that old boyfriend (and my new, better boyfriend at the time... who eventually became my husband!), where I was safe and loved and could pursue a career. And I never left.

8.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about GOD? 
Heaven. I have a vested interest in Him and Heaven. Lots of people I'm excited to see someday...

9.  If you could have a long conversation with someone famous (and alive now) who would you choose?  
I really can't think of anyone profound... so maybe the lead singer of my husband's favorite band (I love the band too!)? Maybe my hubby could tag along? I think that'd make him happy, and that would make me happy!

10.  List three things that you’re thankful for today.  
  • My health! Precious and futile, I am so grateful to be healthy!
  • My family! I am so deeply, deeply blessed by my people!
  • My hobbies. Keeps my hands and mind busy and focused, and fills my cup!
Now you!

Love,
Lindsay
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