“Toughen up”

“Pull your socks up”

“Get your act together”

These sayings are heard often but what do people mean when they tell you to dig deep?

Others may want you to find your internal resources, improve your relationships, cope with whatever struggle or obstacle is in front of you. Just do it!!

The problem is that many people don’t know how…

Here are three amazing tools to dig deep and find your own inner resources to cope with your daily relationship struggles.

Tool #1 Mindfulness.

Right now, “mindfulness” is probably the most overused word in health and wellbeing literature. It’s the flavor of the month and it’s used in many different contexts and means different things to different people. It’s meditation, peace, sitting rigid spine up, daydreaming, chanting OM time out….Sometimes we over-complicate the word.

It’s simple

Well, it’s not that complex and you don’t even have to practice.

It isn’t a concept with specific instructions on how you breathe or sit or how to do it , because there is no IT.

Mindfulness is about just being present, just being here. Fully present in this moment and in this moment only, using all your senses, using all your internal resources to be present in NOW.

Being with this moment is such a simple concept that it seems too simple to be true. Have you fallen into the trap of adding layers of complexity to make it more tangible? Then stop.

It’s powerful

It’s not only simple but also a powerful experience.

It’s the ability to sustain witnessing on what’s happening for you and that witnessing provides magical, sustainable benefits to wellbeing and health.

Being OK with whatever is here

Mindfulness is not just about being aware of what’s happening but it’s also about being okay with whatever shows up, whether it’s anger, whether it’s an annoyance, whether it’s some other sort of internal turbulence. Being okay and accepting that THIS is what is showing up in this moment. Just witnessing it and watching it as it unfolds without any judgment of good or bad or I shouldn’t be feeling this or I shouldn’t be thinking this. It’s just being the witness of all that is inside of you like your thoughts and your feelings and your urges and what is experienced outside of you  through your 5 senses- sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

We can focus inwards and we focus outwards

It’s the actual focus, the doing of the focus that is the practice of mindfulness.

Now there’s lots of literature on mindfulness and my blog #8: How does Breathing help you tune IN before you tune OUT   gives you lots of tools and outlines the benefits focused breathing that will enable you to find calm and that peaceful place … to gain mastery of this practice of being present.

Tool #2 Self-compassion and self-care

The amazing thing with this practice of mindfulness is that it promotes a deep knowing of yourself, a very deep sense of knowing and with that comes self-compassion

When you know yourself in a deep and intimate way, you can give heart to yourself and that’s what self-compassion is.

The practice of self-care and self-compassion is internal resources and a strength that can bring you health…a health – full way of being.

Self-knowledge, self-care, self-compassion

Being your best friend, being on your own side. Very often when things go wrong in your world… and they stress you or annoy you, when circumstances don’t go the way you want,  do you take out that big stick and we figuratively speaking, beat yourself up ??

Many of us aren’t so kind to ourselves

Yet if it was a friend, it would be different. We would be compassionate. We would be supportive. Sometimes we forget how to do that for ourselves.

Self-caring, self-compassion is a tremendously important skill that allows you to be at peace with who you are. It allows you to be at peace with whatever unfolds and enables you to gain a deeper knowing of what your truth is. It’s the gentleness towards your own experience. It’s like holding a child tenderly. It’s tenderness and care, and it’s about awareness of your needs in the moment and the ability to step forward towards yourself and to be able to provide yourself with whatever is deepest inside of you, whatever that yearning and that need is, in a compassionate understanding way. Just like you would a child if a child was in your care.

Compassionate self-understanding is the most fundamental resource because if we don’t have that, it’s very hard to give to others. That is one of the secrets of relationships.


Sometimes in relationships you may come from a place of emptiness, of needing somebody to fill your cup, somebody to make you feel better, to make you feel okay, and when they don’t, you may get annoyed, or angry… and over time, the relationship may break down.

And when that relationship is over, do you question, and wonder what went wrong? In some cases, it could be true that that special person was just overloaded with your needs?

You see the peace, the knowing, the care comes from you to you because only you know what you need.

You give to yourself and, and you choose when to call on others in life to meet you in your growth and your development.

Meeting your needs comes from being mindful and allowing self-care to flourish. It comes first from a place of knowing. Then from a place where your cup is full and you’re able to fill it yourself and you know when to call others to add to your cup so it overflows… then it’s a request but it’s not a mandatory one.


Unfortunately sometimes in marriage relationships, people sign a contract and they think it means that that the special other must meet their needs…that kind of marriage doesn’t work.

I spend many hours, many days talking to people about how they meet their own needs and meet their partner in that place of growth and development where each person is actualizing individually in a way that they can. When two people meet in this way where they are fully grown and fully able to look after themselves, their relationship becomes so powerful, so good…and that’s actually what we call bliss.

You’ll know people who have achieved this blissful, high level functioning relationship because they usually do amazing things in the world and in the community. Hands together, they go off with a goal and contribute to society and the community or even to their own dreams. They create whatever it is they want to create.

They do it because they are complete themselves. Hand in hand they become two complete powerful people who are contributing to the world with their own completeness. It’s not a needy type of relationship. It’s an “I am full and I will meet you with my fullness.”

Tool # 3 Patterning

Your evolution is about your growth. Every day you grow hair and nails and your body sheds cells. Similarly, on the inside, there are billions of neurons that are continually making shifts and adjustments to make your chosen behaviour patterns easier for you to execute.

We are all growing every day. This is something we cannot stop, and if we practice healthy behaviors, we grow more towards our completeness and fullness. We evolve towards being a better version of ourselves. So our growth is unstoppable.

Mindfulness is known as a practice. You may have heard people talk about the practice of mindfulness… and that means it’s the repeated doing of this basic skill that will enable you to do it better. I equate it with the ability to grow the focus muscle, the ability to grow pathways in the brain that wasn’t there before. By rewiring the pathways and being able to tap into the positive benefits of mindfulness and self-compassion, we grow and develop.

Repeating useful patterns of relating

When you repeat these health-full ways of living, these wonderful patterns of behavior where you’re mindful, where you’re self-compassionate, then you’re are able to grow and develop. It’s based on your experiences of this that you can reprogram your mind and develop new neural pathways that enable you to have beneficial patterns and resources inside of you.

This is inner strength. These are inner resources. This is growth.

There is more for us, and when we have more for us, we can also give more to others. The hard wiring and the patterning is something you often do without conscious awareness… it happens unconsciously just because you’re repeating healthy ways of being.

Skillful relationships

Now you might be thinking what does all this have to do with relationships? I guess your relationships are a reflection of what is inside of you. If you’re a mindful caring person who is charged on that pathway of growth, then you’re a person that is more capable of being fully present in a healthy relationship.

If things are not working in the outside world, sometimes it’s tempting to point that finger of blame and say it’s another person’s fault. Very often we need to look inside of ourselves first to see what it is that we’re contributing to the stuff that’s happening in the outside world.

Whether you get along with your special person or not, perhaps they’re touching something about you that needs to be looked at. Perhaps it’s how you Do conflict.

 Your style of conflict is a feature of who you are.

You need to know who you are and your style of behaving and interacting and how you do conflict so you can explain it to your partner. They then can learn about you and accept you and love you as you are. When you know yourself, you can tell others about who you are. When you bring love and compassion to yourself, you can accept yourself and not need acceptance from others…  you are already full. You’re then free to be a partner and to experience your full authentic self

Ask me about the waitlist for a half-day workshop on Relationships.

You will gain insights, tools, and skills for healthier, happier relationships and more skillful interactions.