Tag Archives: trust

Intent of the Day: Trust the Timing

If we’re anything alike, most days you can wake up feeling like the weight of the world just might be on your shoulders. If something is going to move, if something is going to happen, it’s going to be because you pushed it with all your strength. There are in fact moments where all your strength will be required, but it is not every moment.

It is not and should not be within your power to make everything happen.
Some people weren’t meant to stay in your inner circle forever.
Not every job should last forever.
Every situation is going to give way to the next situation and before you take on the burden of responsibility for how everything plays out, it’s important to remember: TIMING.

The old adage says that if you love something, you should let it go. Having it return to you means that it was always yours. There is plenty of truth to that. Just because you move away from home, doesn’t mean you can’t come back. Just because you were passed up for a dream position today doesn’t mean an even bigger opportunity won’t come knocking tomorrow. Today we intend to let the pressure and the anxiety go. Our intent of the day is to trust the timing.

You too? Here are 3 things to encourage you to trust the timing: Continue reading

Daring to Trust Again


You were brave. You let yourself love fully. You were vulnerable and open. And you were crushed when the person you gave your heart to abused your love. Now, even though you want a healthy new relationship, it’s hard to trust that you won’t be hurt again.

Does this sound familiar? It’s not just you. I’m a therapist as well as a dating coach, and as such I’m well aware that many people re-entering the dating field after a bad experience are understandably cautious. They have seen the darkness and felt the risk of loving.

More most this isn’t just an intellectual decision, it’s a feeling. You might genuinely want to date, but find it hard to feel excited about anyone you meet. Or you lose any emerging feelings of attraction for them over the slightest thing. Our you just feel flat, and exhausted when you think about dating.

On some level, you know you’re protecting yourself from being hurt again, but you can’t control the way you feel. It’s like knowing you should eat a healthy meal, but having absolutely no appetite. What to do? Continue reading

How to Get Back Your Personal Power


by Deepak Chopra, MD

There are many ways in modern life to feel powerless, as the world seems increasingly dangerous. None of us can change the evening news, but we can regain the personal power that is undermined by stress, a sense of threat, and loss of control. In fact, without being in control, a person is more susceptible to depression and anxiety, two disorders that exist in epidemic numbers in this society. Unfortunately, the social trends that drain away personal power only grow stronger.  Therefore, it’s crucial to find a way to limit that feeling in your day-to-day life.

As a start, let’s clarify what power isn’t. It isn’t a force that you use like a weapon to get your own way. It isn’t suppressing what you don’t like about yourself and achieving a perfect ideal that doesn’t exist in the first place.  It isn’t money, status, possessions, or any other material surrogate. There are countless people sitting in the lap of luxury who feel even more powerless than the average person. This is so because the issues of power are all “in here,” where you relate to yourself.

Now we can address the five things that do limit—or even undo—that feeling of powerlessness. Continue reading

5 Things to Consider Before Taking Your Relationship to the Next Step

By Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.

love addictionThe beginning stages of love are phenomenal and exciting on all levels, but these stages can make us almost delusional as to who our partner is in reality. The truth is that all people, in time, become real people who are not perfect and have flaws. That is part of being divinely human. We are all perfectly imperfect. When things get real in a relationship is when we have the opportunity to get the best view and understanding of our partner.

5 things to look for before becoming more serious

1) Does your partner have self-love?: All positive relationships are born out of the love we feel and have for ourselves. We can tell if someone is self-loving by if they are happy, if they take care of themselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and if they have compassion for themselves and others.

2) Are they responsible?: Does your partner have an organized life with their own passions which they are responsible for? Responsibility is synonymous with maturity. If you partner is responsible their life will be clean and there will be less chaos to argue over. It also eliminates your need to help them pick up and/or run their lives. We each have a life to lead and we will want a partner that is successfully leading their own life. This makes them interesting, attractive, dependable and exciting.

3) Is there a basis of friendship?: Friendship is at the core of love. Romance alone is not sustaining but if there is a genuine friendship underlying the romance it renews itself forever. Those who play together have a greater chance of staying together. Friendships are based in communication, experiencing life together and equitable sharing.  If this is there with your prospective partner, then you have a keeper.

4) Can and do they communicate with you openly and honestly?: Things change, people change and all relationships will face this kind of chaos. The most essential glue to keeping love alive is a firm foundation of honesty and communication. If you and your prospective partner can maintain honesty in your communication then resentments will not build and an open quality of flexibility can help you stay connected during more challenging times.

5) You both must want the other to be happy: Wanting each other’s happiness is of the upmost importance in the relationship and in life.  Happiness is sacred because it is an expression of love. When two people are genuinely happy they only stand to love each other more. A genuinely loving partner, one who is serious in their love and commitment, would love you enough (and vise/versa) not to stand in the way of your personal needs for happiness, even if they were not perfectly matched up with their own.

These five qualities are undeniably about each person being individually embraced and committed to their own happiness. When your partner is self-loving then they have love to give, they have love to share and they will possess the flexibility to bend around change and differences in desires, opinions and habits.  If your partner provides these five qualities then you can be assured that you have found a love that will stand the test of time.

Little life message:  Bring your individual passion and happiness to the table of love, this way you have something to share.


Dr. Sherrie Campbell is the author of Loving Yourself and is a licensed Psychologist with more than nineteen years of clinical training and experience. She provides practical tools to help people overcome obstacles to self-love and truly achieve an empowered life. Click here to get her free article on Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication.   She is a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in Southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and to be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationship. For more information visit http://www.sherriecampbellphd.com.



7 Steps to Revive Intimacy in Your Relationship

39f6cccfad35d69d_shutterstock_56179150.previewBy Colette Davenport

Working as a Relationship and Intimacy Coach, I often encounter male clients who report concerns about not doing the “right things” to stimulate and arouse their partner during sex. On the flip side, I also hear from women sharing versions of “we pretty much do the same thing every time” or “I’m not really into it” or “I don’t get turned on like I used to”.  These patterns have the ability to disconnect two people.

Since sex is often a touchy subject and in general, we are not in the practice of verbalizing our authentic sensual desires, I sense this challenge probably rings true for many couples at some point in their relationship. When this type of intimacy and communication start to break down, other aspects of the partnership may soon follow. However, sexual intimacy doesn’t necessarily have to wane as life gets more demanding. It can be easy to attribute the lack of energy or creativity to time constraints, kids, or exhaustion from work/life, etc. but the benefits of cultivating and maintaining a healthy sex life are too important to dismiss.

The 7-Step Sensual Sampler can help relieve some of the anxiety, frustration, or apathy in a relationship by reinstating fun, connection, and satisfaction. Imagine for a moment being curious about your lover’s turn-ons. What might it be like to have him/her lovingly explore your body? What would be possible if you were both in a playful, uninhibited state and were communicating exactly what you wanted to one another? Now imagine those same qualities of curiosity, loving exploration, playfulness, and clear communication carrying over into other aspects of your relationship. How could that strengthen the partnership?

Inspired by a Sex Nerd Sandra podcast, I recently created a the following intimate exercise to help both partners (re)discover what gets the motor running. I call it The Sensual Sampler. Think about it. When you’re uncertain what appetizer you want to eat, you order the sampler platter so you can explore and enjoy different flavors, textures, and so on. Maybe you really like some while other items on the plate don’t do it for you.  Do you ever find you’re fond of something you hadn’t tried before? Well this pleasure play exercise is just like that!

The Sensual Sampler works like this:

Step 1. Choose a time that works for both of you to just PLAY. You may have to schedule this and plan ahead if you’re very busy. Anticipation can be exciting!

Step 2. Begin playtime agreeing to just “see what feels good”. No expectations. No judgments or criticisms. No need to be serious. Really let your hair down.

Step 3. Decide who samples whom first. One of you gets to relax, breathe and feel. The other samples an area on your body no bigger than the space his/her hand (with fingers spread wide) covers.

Step 4. Kiss, lick, nibble, caress, massage, etc. that small area of your lover’s body while inviting them to respond.

Step 5. As the recipient of the sampling, share your experience with your partner. You might say things like: “good”, “not so good”, “harder”, “softer”, “more of that”, “move on”, etc. Essentially, you want to let them know what you like, what you don’t care for, and to what degree (really turns you on, feels okay, uncomfortable, etc.).

Step 6. Continue the Sensual Sampling until you’ve covered feet to knees, belly to buttocks, breasts and full back, hands, neck, ears…and ALL areas in between! Leave nothing unattended.

Step 7. Switch. Of course if you’re both so turned on and connected that the desire for passionate lovemaking is too much to ignore – go for it! Keep the fire stoked by carrying over the stimulating and arousing pleasure play techniques into intercourse.

You can always repeat steps 1-7 with the other partner sampling another time.

Based on my experience as well as the feedback I receive, if a couple is able to communicate openly in bed, they are more apt to speak freely and lovingly elsewhere.  The bonus here is you may encounter areas of your body that you did not know were pleasurable. More pleasure equals more ease. One thing’s for sure: this fun little exercise will shake up the routine. Plus, letting your hair down, communicating what feels good, and inviting your partner to playfully explore with you can really increase intimacy in a relationship. You never know, you just might learn something about your lover you have yet to discover.


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professional portraitColette Davenport is a health, relationship, and intimacy coach with 20+ years of training, formal education, and life experiences culminating in a truly integrated and holistic body of work. Colette’s private practice, THRIVE [mind+body+energy], is a Tantra inspired coaching and training platform shaped by her personal philosophy, which is rooted in self-awareness, compassion, service, mindfulness, personal growth, communication, gratitude, and love. Miss Davenport studied at Texas Healing Arts Institute in Austin, TX and received a holistic health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. To connect with Colette visit her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Letting Go of Over-Planning (VLOG)

We’ve all been told it’s best to get present and live in the “now”, but often I find myself living in the 500-years-from-now. If life is a journey and not a destination, how do we get into the moment and out of our obsession with that golden nugget in the future we think will solve all of our problems? Here are a few of my thoughts on the plight of the over-planner (me.)

Many thanks, as always, to Stefani Twyford of Legacy Multimedia for filming my vlogs and for her continued support as I trudge the road of “putting myself out there.” For more, check out my website, The Light Files, and follow me on Facebook or Twitter.


More from Laura Max Nelson:

Change is Good, and It Happens Faster Than We Think

How to Find Balance by Losing It

How to Deal When You’re Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Want to be a Better Communicator? Hold up a Mirror

frameI recently took a couple’s workshop to learn some new skills, and to refresh the ones that I have let get rusty. Brushing up on new tools to deepen my connections and nurture my relationships is an ongoing practice for me because I know that if I don’t my well-being will suffer. My relationships are the most important aspect of my life. Without connection I become untethered, and feel lost in the world.

I specifically wanted to learn more about communication, and how to diffuse power struggles and stand offs in my relationship. I couldn’t seem to get my partner to see things from my perspective, and it always seemed like someone had to win or be right for things to get resolved.

As a therapist I consider myself to be pretty savvy when it comes to relating and communicating. I pride myself on reading, learning and practicing everything I preach, and I am relentlessly hard on myself when I “lose it” or become “triggered” by my unconscious. Choosing to attend a couple’s workshop as a participant, and not as a clinician, forced me to shed my knowledge to be open to the experiential teaching being offered.

I’m trained to listen to other people’s struggles, to interpret the underlying meaning of communication, and to reflect back my interpretation of what is being said based on my education and personal experience. I sit daily with my clients analyzing their words, actions and affect; I’m careful not to bring my own judgments or reactions into the picture.

I hadn’t realized how much my clinical training and experience effected the way I relate in my relationships until I was asked to practice a well-known couple’s therapy technique called Mirroring.

I had to let go of what I thought I knew to make space for what I could learn.

Mirroring is a form of communication that allows each partner to speak openly about any feelings while their partner actively listens without reacting. The listening partner is asked to “mirror” or reflect back what was heard…verbatim. The idea is that the speaking partner’s experience is being mirrored exactly as they see it for themselves. The listening partner’s feelings, judgments, interpretations, and reactions are completely put on hold until it’s their turn to respond.

This is extremely hard to do because the instinct is to defend, counter, argue or be right. Listening to another person’s experience, and honoring it as being completely valid and true (for them) is one of the greatest relationship gifts to be given. The only other time we have the chance to experience this kind of resonance is with a primary caregiver, and the likelihood of that for anyone is slim to none.

If you think about looking in a real mirror, you will realize that what you see being reflected back is your own interpretation and version of yourself. When you practice this technique it’s as if you are holding up a mirror for the other person. It’s not your version of their version, it’s an uncontaminated, pure and organic reflection of what they are feeling and experiencing.

It’s complete resonance with their authentic self.

Mirroring works in any situation. You can use it with your children, family, friends, and even in your job. It’s a diffuser of agitation because at the core of every human being is the deep need and desire to be heard and understood. Almost all arguing and fighting stems from the feeling of being unseen or misunderstood; when we feel like our own experience of things is being challenged or questioned our defenses get heightened and we want to “fight” to be right. When we experience someone else as valuing our feelings and beliefs of what is true, we can feel safe and calm.

Mirroring builds incredible trust, and it immediately turns the space between two people from scary to sacred.

If you set an intention to be a mirroring listener, you will see your relationships improve. Walk through the world this week as a mirror for others. Let go of your need to be right, and of what you think you know to be true. You will see how habitually you relate to others, and how quick you are to bring in your own ideas of how things “should be”.

Elephant in the Room: I’m Allergic to Being in a Realtionship

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 1.17.10 PMDear Cora,

I have been dating for a while but have never managed to commit to a serious relationship. I have friends who have found long time partners and it is something I really want. There have been several guys who I have really liked and put a lot of energy into pursuing something with them, but as soon as it starts to get off the ground I am suddenly turned off. It’s as if I’m allergic to getting what I want and run away. How am I supposed to get serious with anyone if I bail every time it looks like it’s about to happen?


The Runner


Dear The Runner,

You have a fear of the thing you want most? Welcome to adulthood! Someone gave us the idea that this would be easy, but I’ve found as I’ve gotten older that you only become more and more aware of what’s out there of which to be afraid. Don’t worry though, I’ve also found that the fear leads to the things that are most worth it in life. The trick is to not let it control you, which as you know, is easier said than done.

I used to be in love with my best friend (we’ll call him Olly). In fact, we only became friends because I tried to go after him before finding out he had a girlfriend. He liked me though and we somehow managed to create one of the closest bonds I’ve ever had with a member of the opposite sex. We talked every day, about everything. He was a writer too, and we used to compete between ourselves to find out who was better. We pushed each other to be better, built a safe-haven together. I never made an open move when he was with his girlfriend, but I guiltily couldn’t stop myself from imagining what it’d be like if we could be together romantically. Okay, I straight-up pined for him for over a year.

By the time he and his girlfriend broke up I was talking to another guy. He was nice enough, but if I’m being honest I knew even then that dating this guy was really a distraction from being head over heels for my best friend. So I was not prepared when Olly showed up on my doorstep saying he was finally ready to give us a shot. Here it was, over a year of desperately wanting and fantasizing and building up this bigger-than-everything-epic-romance, and he was just offering it to me. Someone call Hollywood because my life was officially the most cliché romantic comedy yet to be written.

But I turned him down. At the time I told him it was too soon after his break-up and I wasn’t in the mood to be his rebound. Not to mention I was seeing someone, a really nice guy who didn’t need a year to figure out I was worth it! Maybe we were better off as just friends – it seemed to be working just fine. I had all the excuses, but I never told him the truth, that I was terrified. What if we tried and failed causing us to lose everything? What if we got involved and it was nothing like I imagined? What if he hurt me? Would I be able to survive us not working? I didn’t think so.

We stopped talking shortly after that because it was too hard. I had to hear from mutual friends that he got back together with his ex some weeks later. To top it off, it never went anywhere with Nice Guy because my heart was obviously elsewhere. I thought I was protecting myself from my fears and inevitably caused them all to come true anyway. I am an avid fan of the mantra “everything happens for a reason,” but to this day I still wonder how things would be different if I had just given Olly the chance. I wonder what would happen if I had given myself a chance to have what I really wanted.

From my experience I can tell you Runner that the regret is far worse than the fear. I don’t want to see you have to carry that around. There is no way to make the fear go away, but you can train yourself to breathe instead of running. The key is not to rush, take it one step at a time until you can get comfortable and the desire to bolt lessens. The main thing I want you to take from my story though is be honest. If it is a person that you’re meant to be with in the long term, tell them you’re scared. Most likely, they’ll reveal the same feelings and it’s a lot less scary when you have someone to be afraid with.

There will be bumps and bruises, my dear. I can’t promise you that you won’t get your heart broken – no one can. The thing is that the best things in life come with their fair share of risk and you have to put yourself out there to reach them. Don’t feel ashamed that you have fear, that only means you understand how important something is. Don’t let the fear make your decisions though, because you are worth the risk, what you want is worth taking the chance. Give yourself the chance to run in the right direction.

Best wishes,


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coraelephantSubmit your questions, troubles, and predicaments to Cora via editor [at] intent [dot] com or in the comments section below. The Elephant in the Room advice column will be published every Friday – a blend of humor, compassion, and wisdom specially tailored for our Intent audience.

Message in a Bottle Makes Its Way to Mom Two Years After Her Daughter’s Death

Superstorm Message in a BottleStories like this are so amazing and unlikely it seems strange we’d ever have any need for fiction.

Sidonie Fery was 10 years old when she wrote a brief note to her mother, sealed it in a green bottle, and cast it into the ocean about an hour east of Manhattan. That was over ten years ago.

Three years ago, at age 18, Sidonie fell to her death at her boarding school in Switzerland, leaving her family shocked and distraught. But the story doesn’t end there. And this is the part where we start to wonder if there really is a higher power looking out for us…

We all know the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy last fall: The second costliest hurricane in U.S. history, at least 286 people killed across seven countries. It was a horrible event none of us would want to relive, and it’s hard to imagine anything remotely positive could have come out it. But if it hadn’t been for the storm, a beach clean-up worker would have never come across Sidonie’s forgotten message amid piles of garbage washed to shore.

And so the bottle finally made it to Mimi Fery, Sidonie’s grieving mother, two years after her daughter’s death and over a decade after the day it was written. The message inside quoted a line from Sidonie’s favorite film, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”: “Be excellent to yourself, dude.”

The girl most likely had no inkling that these words would essentially constitute her last communication to the world ever. And that makes the sentiment that much more poignant. It would be difficult and perhaps unsettling to go around thinking every day could be our last, every word our final utterance, every hug our last sensation. But Sidonie’s story makes this possibility seem all the more real, and thus our time here all the more precious. And we have to trust that everything, somehow, will be alright in the end.

Are you inspired by Sidonie’s story? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!


Photo credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

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