Why & How to Create a Conscious Relationship


I’ve written before about the concept of conscious uncoupling, and the powerful and positive effects having the right mindset can have during the dissolution of a relationship. What I want to focus on today, however, are the ways in which you can create a conscious relationship with your new or existing partner. No matter the stage of your relationship, whether it is new or familiar, you will be amazed at the positive impact committing to growing a relationship filled with mindfulness, mutual respect and authenticity can have. Ready to shift your mindset and bring true consciousness to your relationship? Let’s dig in. 1. Commit to Total Union & Kick Judgment to the Curb

I encourage my clients to view a relationship as the union of two separate, complete and fulfilled beings. You are not a half and your partner is not a half. Rather, you have joined to create something bigger than the sum of its parts. In order for such a partnership to reach its full potential, it’s important that you see yourselves as full beings outside of the relationship.

You are joined with your partner on a journey to find, grow and sustain happiness. Of course, judgment will arise. You will both make mistakes, but just as you would forgive yourself, it’s critical that you develop the ability to communicate first instead of jumping to judgment. A powerful question I share with my clients when they are feeling disappointed with their partner is "WHY do I think that I did that action/said that comment?" By doing this first, it opens up different parts of your brain and you are more easily able to enter into discussion.

2. Actively Look for Ways to Grow the Relationship

The best and most mutually rewarding relationships never stop growing. Both partners continuously look for ways to grow themselves and the relationship as a whole, recognizing when they’ve fallen into routine and committing to approach each experience with a learner mentality. There will always be something new to learn about your self, your partner and your relationship together.

Make the conscious choice to treat every situation as an opportunity to learn something new about your partner and foster a stronger sense of connectedness and understanding. Support each other in following your passions, make time for one another and never stop finding new ways to develop. Remind yourself to stay curious, playful and invested; and encourage your significant other to do the same. Within relationships, you both change over the years and so be open to adaption and shifting with your partner rather than focusing solely on how things once were. 

3. Practice Self-Awareness & Choose to Be in the Relationship

It can be easy to fall into routine and develop a sense of expectation or entitlement when in a long-term relationship. You’ve been together for so long that you’ve come to expect them to be there at the end of the day, to listen to your problems and support you at every turn. However, it’s so important to practice self-awareness and remind yourself that being in a relationship is a conscious choice on the parts of both individuals.

You don’t owe your partner love or support, you choose to love them and support them. They don’t owe you a comforting shoulder or understanding gaze; they choose to offer them to you. Shifting from expectation to awareness and appreciation will have amazing impact on your relationship and your life. Developing the ability to deeply appreciate and acknowledge the words and actions of others will allow you to feel a greater sense of love, happiness and will make you more present when speaking and acting yourself.

4. Sustain Your Self as an Individual & Recognize Your Partner as the Same

As I mentioned, the most rewarding unions happen when two equal and full individuals come together. While you work to foster your relationship, don’t forget to take time and put forth the effort to grow and sustain yourself as a unique, expressive individual. Your passions, present and future goals are just as important now as they were before. Your relationship will only grow stronger the more self-assured and fulfilled you become as an individual. Make this a priority, my friend.

And, in the same vein, remember to recognize your partner as a unique individual as well. He or she must also make the time to grow their passions, focus on their own development and become the best version of themselves that they can be. Support your partner on their journey, but still remain balanced with your own dreams and desires.

5. Do All Things With Love and Focus On Who They Are

Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or achievement, or find yourself in an argument about something trivial or otherwise, try your best to approach the situation with love in your heart. Remember that everything you say and do has the power to impact. Your words can build your partner up or tear your partner down, both having lasting effect. Do all things with love – even when it feels challenging. Pause and really consider your words before they exit your mouth. I know, there's the heat of the moment stuff, but at the end of the day everyone (including yourself) is looking to be seen and appreciated for what they have done and contributed to the relationship rather than feeling like the focus is on all the things they haven't. Take time to focus who they are vs. who they aren't.

You, your partner and your union will thank you.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

5 Things Mindful People Do Differently Every Single Day


In a world filled with increasingly long work hours, constant high stress situations and feelings of disconnection, it’s really no wonder the concept of practicing mindfulness has shed its “new age” skin and become a mainstream phenomenon. The thing about mindful living, however, is that it’s anything but new. If you look at how your parents have lived their lives, or better yet, how your grandparents lived, it’s obvious that society’s loss of mindfulness is quite recent. If you’re seeking a natural, easy-to-follow, rewarding and effective way to combat anxiety and feel more connected to both yourself and the world, read on. This post is all about five things that mindful people do different every single day… and that you should start doing too.

5. Mindful people allow themselves to disconnect from the digital world.

In between texting and blogging and checking emails and surfing the web, all that we see and experience online gets logged in our brains. The amount of time we spend watching TV and online does impact our quality of life, mental health and overall mood. Mindful people know that it’s important to break away from the digital world; to go offline for periods of time.

With this precious offline time, reconnect with an old friend over coffee (and don't document it online, haha!), read a paperback book or take your furry friend for a longer walk then a quick jaunt around the block.

4. Mindful people allow themselves to experience nature.

Nature is a remarkable thing. It has the ability to calm, nurture and re-energize us like very few other things are capable of doing. Mindful people understand the need to reconnect with Mother Nature and often go on morning walks, evening jogs or weekend hikes. Allowing yourself to feel small in comparison to nature’s sprawling wildlife can do wonders to repair your mind, body and soul. Reconsider replacing the treadmill with a park in the warmer months!

3. Mindful people pay attention to, and care about, what they put into their bodies.

Your parents probably told you, at some point or another, “You are what you eat.” Science is proving, more and more, that this statement is truer than we probably thought. Mindful people are conscious of what it is that they eat and how they fuel their bodies. When you fill your body with junk food, for example, you can’t expect to feel a “lasts all day” energy. When you take time to plan meals, incorporate “feel good” foods that are packed with nutrients, however, you can literally feel the difference.

2. Mindful people understand the value of not multi-tasking.

As society pushes people to do more and more for less and less, multi-tasking has become a seemingly holy grail of skills. But, is it really? Studies have proven that those who allow themselves to “unitask” and focus their energy on a single task at once actually get far more complete in a day. Multi-tasking can lead to distraction; poor time management skills and, ultimately, lessened productivity. Though it definitely has it's place, we just need to watch it's not always present.

Instead of focusing on juggling a million things at once, make an effort to boost your time-management and prioritization skills. This will allow you to tackle tasks in order of their importance and get more done, rather than juggle double the tasks for twice as long.

1. Mindful people allow themselves to feel their feelings before reacting.

Our world is full of distractions. It’s like the saying goes, “If you want something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” It’s not difficult to find a distraction when you feel sad, angry, lonely or anxious. In fact, it’s incredibly easy to avoid a particular thought or stop yourself from experiencing a certain emotion. But, mindful people don’t do that. Instead, they allow themselves to truly feel their feelings.

If you don’t allow yourself to experience your anger, upset or confusion you won’t enjoy happiness near as much as is possible. You also won’t push yourself to solve the problem that’s causing you to have the negative feelings. You need to acknowledge and feel your feelings before you can properly react.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

How to Be More Authentic in Every Aspect of Life


A well-known poet, E.E. Cummings, once wrote, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” To truly live as your truest, most honest and most authentic self does take courage. It’s easy to fall in line with the pack, to just go with the flow and compromise to satisfy others. To stand behind each and every one of your thoughts and actions can feel more difficult. Living an inauthentic life, however, rarely leads to happiness. If you feel that you are ready (and needing) to make a change in the way you interact with others as well as yourself, please keep reading. Once you have made the decision to stop molding your thoughts and actions after those of the people around you, and to allow your authentic self to shine, nothing is more important than consistency and repetition. It will take practice to avoid exchanging your true feelings for the feeling you think you should feel based on others’ opinions, so you must be ready to fully commit for this to work. If you do, I promise that you will feel a level of happiness, self-assuredness and purposefulness that you never imagined was possible.

Now that you’ve committed to making this important (and rewarding!) change, it’s time to take action. The top six steps to living more authentically in every aspect of life are:

1. Practice Self-Awareness and Forgiveness

Gaiam Life blog describes so well the value of self-awareness in living an authentic life. It says, “Authenticity starts when you set the intention to be genuine. Then, there must be an awareness of what that looks and feels like, and a willingness to act in accordance with your genuine nature even when it feels vulnerable.” Having the ability to recognize inauthenticity in yourself, and to acknowledge that the way you life your life directly impacts your happiness with that life, requires a level of self-awareness that many people refuse to allow themselves to experience.

Forgiveness, in my opinion, comes hand-in-hand with self-awareness. Recognizing fault in yourself, or even just a need for change, can leave you feeling crummy. You may feel that you’ve lived an inauthentic life for too many years and regret not having put in effort to change earlier. It’s okay to feel that way. Forgive yourself and move forward. Many, if not most, people go their entire lives playing different roles in different situations – never actually allowing their true selves shine. The fact that you’re seeking greater authenticity, at any point in life, should be celebrated. :)

2. Re-Evaluate (and Redefine) Your Values

In order to live more authentically and to ensure that every action you take works towards celebrating your true inner self, and achieving happiness, you need to take a serious look at your values. What did, or does, your “inauthentic” self value? Maybe it’s money. Perhaps it’s brand name clothing or the envy of friends. Is it your name on the door of a corner office? Or, is it the love and affection of people you’ve never even met? Ask yourself why these things matter. Challenge yourself to re-evaluate your former values and decide which, if any, belong in your new authentic life.

Once you’ve done this, ask yourself what you truly value. Is it the love of your significant other? A feeling of self-fulfillment?  The ability and means to travel? Chances are, your “new” values may very well be connected to your former values. The difference you’ll likely find, however, is in the way you describe the values and the aspect of the value that now matters most to you. What financial success would enable you to do, for example, will likely become more important than financial success in and of itself.

3. Catch Yourself and Grow

Just like quitting smoking, cutting back on salt or sticking to an exercise regime – living a more authentic life is nearly impossible to do “cold turkey.” Rather, it takes time and plenty of practice. When you feel yourself doing or saying something inauthentic, note the situation and circumstances. This will allow you to better catch yourself the next time and may even show you a pattern you were unaware of before. For example, do you feel the need to play a certain role with a certain person? If so, there’s likely a reason that particular individual brings out your inauthentic self. You may find the need to work out differences with family or friends or to seek new friendships in your life altogether.

4. Seek Genuine Company

It’s often said that you are the sum of those with which you surround yourself – or at least the average. Once you’ve made the conscious decision to seek authenticity in all aspects of your life, it’s important to surround yourself with people who genuinely want to see you succeed. If your friends or coworkers leave you feeling jealous, down or tempted to shift to inauthenticity, you may no longer feel that those people serve your mission of genuine, authentic happiness. It can be incredibly difficult to evaluate your current relationships and make a decision to seek new company, but sometimes it’s necessary to move forward in your “new” version of life.

When seeking new friendships and relationships, look to people who have similar values to those that you set in Step 2. Seek self-aware, caring and authentic people. Finding truly exceptional relationships can take time, and it may feel that there are a limited number of people who share your values, but I assure you that the effort will be worth it.

5. Create a Daily Practice

Living authentically, in and of itself, is a daily practice. In all honesty, it’s a moment-by-moment movement. To rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, it can be helpful to establish a daily practice or ritual. The condition of your body affects that of your mind. Your ability to get a good night’s sleep affects your mind. Living authentically takes strength. It takes a clear conscious and refreshed state of being. Consider taking up yoga, meditation or another activity you feel calms and refreshes you. Having a ritual or practice to look forward to, each and every day, allows you to check in with yourself and evaluate your progress. After all, authentic living is a process and movement with no finite finish.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?


6 Ways to Practice Gratitude and Authenticity That Can Change Your Life


Adopting a grateful and authentic mentality has become an incredibly hot topic over the last few years. While I’m thrilled that the benefits of authentic, grateful living have been so widely communicated as of late, I do want to drive home that the benefits of practicing gratitude are not a passing fad. The benefits are real and I want to help you discover them for yourself. :) The art of practicing gratitude needs to take place in your everyday life, towards others as well as towards yourself. To help you explore ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis, I’m sharing my top six ways to incorporate the practice, starting today:

1. Pencil It In

There’s a lot to be said for putting something onto paper, whether it be pencil or ink. To help you begin practicing gratitude every single day, I encourage you to purchase a wall calendar (or print one) and commit to writing three reasons you are grateful every single day. Write your reasons directly onto the calendar, whether it be in the morning before you begin your day or before you go to sleep at night.

2. Picture Everything as a Present

Instead of seeing your morning cup of coffee as your cup of coffee, picture it as a gift. You are so lucky to be in your home filled with warmth enjoying a delicious drink to start the day. Instead of criticizing your clothes dryer for taking so long, see the fact that you are even able to dry your clothes at your leisure as a gift! More people go without the daily luxuries than the many people who enjoy them, yet we forget to be grateful for them.

3. Praise Others in an Authentic, Meaningful Way

When’s the last time you took a moment to truly appreciate the actions of someone else? Taking time, even a minute, out of your day to look to someone in your life and praise him or her will make you a happier person. Committing to identifying the strengths in others and praising those individuals will strengthen your relationships and allow you to appreciate yourself on a stronger, higher level as well.

4. Set (Attainable) Goals and Achieve Them

When you feel like you’re pushing forward in an endless cycle, life can get discouraging. Goals and benchmarks are hugely important in living a well-balanced, fulfilling life. Set attainable goals for yourself and work towards them in everything you do. Perhaps your goal is to visit with your mother at least twice a month. Maybe your goal is to provide thanks to at least one co-worker daily. Whatever you decide, ensure that everything you do throughout your day or week or month is helping to fulfill your goal. When you accomplish your goal, allow yourself to be grateful for the work you’ve put in and for the commitment you were able to keep.

5. Spend Five Minutes in Silence

Spend five minutes in total silence and give yourself a moment to experience being alive. Give thanks to your lungs for giving you the gift of breath. Give thanks to your heart for giving you the gift of life. Give thanks to your brain for giving you the gift of memories, imagination and dreams. When you take time to look inside of yourself and allow yourself to be grateful for what you have on the most basic of levels, your outlook on life can drastically improve.

6. Donate Your Time (or Money) to a Cause You Believe In

We don’t have to be the rich to give back. If you have an afternoon to spare, consider donating your time to a cause you believe in and that is in need of your help. If you love animals, consider calling your local animal shelter and asking how you can help. If you live near a senior’s center, consider donating your time to read to residents who go long stretches without family visits. You have the ability to not only change your life, but to change the lives of others for better too.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?