Monday, February 25, 2008

Star Signs

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 - Feb 18)

You have an inventive mind and are inclined to be progressive. You lie a great deal. On the other hand, you are inclined to be careless to be careless and impractical, causing you to make the same mistakes repeatedly. Everyone thinks you can be very annoying.

PISCES (Feb 19 - Mar 20)

You have a vivid imagination and often think you are being followed by the FBI or CIA. You have minor influence over your friends and people resent you for flaunting your power. You lack confidence and are kind of a wimp.

ARIES (Mar 21 - Apr 19)

You are the pioneer type and hold most people in contempt. You are quick tempered, impatient, and scornful of advice. You can be a real meany.

TAURUS (Apr 20 - May 20)

You are practical and persistent. You have dogged determination and work like crazy. Most people think you are stubborn and bullheaded. You are secretly a Communist.

GEMINI (May 21 - Jun 20)

You are quick and intelligent and a thinker. People like you because you like to test the waters before you dive in. However, you are inclined to expect too much for too little. You tend to withhold your emotions and your money.

CANCER (Jun 21 - Jul 22)

You are sympathetic and understanding to other people's problems. They think you are spineless. You are an excellent procrastinator. That is why you will always need a better job and still won't have money in the bank.

LEO (Jul 23 - Aug 22)

You consider yourself a born leader. Others think you are pushy. Most Leo people tend to steal from others and kiss mirrors a lot.

VIRGO (Aug 23 - Sep 22)

You are the logical type and hate disorder. This is sickening to your friends. You are cold and unemotional and often fall asleep while being romanced. Virgos make good professional closet organisers.

LIBRA (Sep 23 - Oct 22)

You are the artistic type and have a difficult time with reality. Chances for employment and monetary gain are excellent. Both Libra men and women make good interior designers and marry often.

SCORPIO (Oct 23 - Nov 21)

You are shrewd in business and cannot be trusted. You shall achieve the pinnacle of success because of your total lack of ethics. Most Scorpio people are plagued by lawsuits or jail sentences when the people they took advantage of vow revenge.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 - Dec 21)

You are optimistic and enthusiastic. You have a reckless tendency to rely on luck since you have little talent. The majority of Sagittarians enjoy escapism. People laugh at you a lot because you're always getting burned.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 - Jan 19)

You are conservative and afraid of taking risks. You are basically chicken. There has never been a Capricorn of any importance. You may as well bury your head in the sand.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Zimbabwe Inflation

Zimbabwe bank issues $10million bill - but it won't even buy you a hamburger in Harare.

Forget the glitzy restaurants of New York and London: only in Zimbabwe would a hamburger actually cost millions of dollars.

The central bank of the southern African country has a issued a 10million Zimbabwe dollar note. The move increases the denomination of the nation's highest bank note more than tenfold.
Even so, a hamburger in an ordinary cafe in Zimbabwe costs 15 million Zimbabwe dollars.

The hope is that such a move will help end chronic cash shortages and disperse long, chaotic lines at banks and automated teller machines.

Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono said in a statement the 10 million Zimbabwe dollars notes will be issued along with 1 million and 5 million Zimbabwe dollars bills.

Previously, the highest existing note, introduced last month, was for 750,000 Zimbabwe dollars.
The new 10 million note is the equivalent of about £2 at the dominant black market exchange rate. A hamburger at an ordinary cafe costs about 15 million Zimbabwe dollars (£3). That hamburger has trebled in price this month amid shortages of bread, meat and most basic goods.

Zimbabwe faces the world's highest official inflation of an estimated 25,000 per cent. Independent financial institutions say real inflation is closer to 150,000 per cent.

Acknowledging the inflation crisis, Gono said individuals would be allowed to withdraw an increased limit of 500 million Zimbabwe dollars (£100) in a single daily withdrawal, up from 50 million (£10).

He said special arrangements were being made to pay soldiers, police and other uniformed services "because it is not desirable to see them queuing for cash".
Gono said with higher denomination bills businesses might be tempted to again raise prices of scarce goods.

"If this happens the whole objective of solving the cash shortages and to bring convenience to the people will be defeated," he said.

In August 2006, the central bank slashed three zeros from the nation's old currency

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sleep Disorders

In spite of the fact that we spend around 1/3 of our life asleep, until recently there has been relatively little attention paid to disorders of sleep. Some 40 million Americans suffer from chronic disorders of sleep and wakefulness. Unfortunately, these often remain unidentified and undiagnosed by patients and physicians alike.

Consider:miserable nights

  • Six out of every 10 adults say they have sleep problems a few nights a week or more.

  • Daytime sleepiness is severe enough in four out of 10 adults to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month.

  • For 20 percent of adults, that interference occurs a few days a week or more.

  • The annual direct cost of sleep-related problems in this country is R16 billion, with an additional R50-R100 billion in indirect costs (accidents, litigation, property destruction, hospitalization, and death).

  • In this country, over 100,000 motor vehicle accidents annually are sleep-related.

  • Disasters such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Challenger, Bhopal, and Exxon Valdez were officially attributed to errors in judgement induced by sleepiness or fatigue.

Sleep DisordersDisordered or abnormal sleep is often the cause of major medical problems such as heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure. Failure to achieve a normal restful night of sleep is often the cause of a great deal of misery for patients and their loved ones.

In addition to direct health risks, disordered or abnormal sleep may rob people of the joy of life, making each waking day a chore and a task. Sufferers may feel old before their time, and have a great deal of difficulty in just performing the usual tasks of daily living.

There are, in fact, more than 80 different sleep-related disorders recognized by the medical profession. These can cause symptoms ranging from excessive sleepiness during the day, to abnormal or even violent behaviours at night.

Relaxation TechniquesIt is with this in mind that the University of Maryland has created a multidisciplinary, comprehensive sleep disorders centre for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques often can help people with sleep problems
get a good night's sleep. Several relaxation techniques are listed below.

Progressive Relaxation

This technique is often most useful when you tape the instructions beforehand. You can tape these instructions, reading them slowly and leaving a short pause after each one.

  • Lie on your back, close your eyes.

  • Feel your feet. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and sink into the bed. Start with your toes and progress to your ankles.

  • Feel your knees. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.

  • Feel you upper legs and thighs. Feel their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.

  • Feel your abdomen and chest. Sense your breathing. Consciously will them to relax. Deepen your breathing slightly and feel your abdomen and chest sink into the bed.

  • Feel your buttocks. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.

  • Feel your hands. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.

  • Feel your upper arms. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.

  • Feel your shoulders. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.

  • Feel your neck. Sense its weight. Consciously relax it and feel it sink into the bed.

  • Feel your head and skull. Sense its weight. Consciously relax it and feel it sink into the bed.

  • Feel your mouth and jaw. Consciously relax them. Pay particular attention to your jaw muscles and unclench them if you need to. Feel your mouth and jaw relax and sink into the bed.

  • Feel your eyes. Sense if there is tension in your eyes. Sense if you are forcibly closing your eyelids. Consciously relax your eyelids and feel the tension slide off the eyes.

  • Feel your face and cheeks. Consciously relax them and feel the tension slide off into the bed.

  • Mentally scan your body. If you find any place that is still tense, then consciously relax that place and let it sink into the bed.

Toe Tensing

This one may seem like a bit of a contradiction to the previous one, but by alternately tensing and relaxing your toes, you actually draw tension from the rest of the body. Try it!

  1. Lie on your back, close your eyes.
  2. Sense your toes.
  3. Now pull all 10 toes back toward your face. Count to 10 slowly.
  4. Now relax your toes.
  5. Count to 10 slowly.
  6. Now repeat the above cycle 10 times.

Deep Breathing

By concentrating on our breathing, deep breathing allows the rest of our body to relax itself. Deep breathing is a great way to relax the body and get everything into synchrony. Relaxation breathing is an important part of yoga and martial arts for this reason.

  1. Lie on your back.

  2. Slowly relax your body. You can use the progressive relaxation technique we described above.

  3. Begin to inhale slowly through your nose if possible. Fill the lower part of your chest first, then the middle and top part of your chest and lungs. Be sure to do this slowly, over 8–10 seconds.

  4. Hold your breath for a second or two.

  5. Then quietly and easily relax and let the air out.

  6. Wait a few seconds and repeat this cycle.

  7. If you find yourself getting dizzy, then you are overdoing it. Slow down.

  8. You can also imagine yourself in a peaceful situation such as on a warm, gentle ocean. Imagine that you rise on the gentle swells of the water as you inhale and sink down into the waves as you exhale.

  9. You can continue this breathing technique for as long as you like until you fall asleep.

Guided Imagery

In this technique, the goal is to visualize yourself in a peaceful setting.

  1. Lie on your back with your eyes closed.

  2. Imagine yourself in a favorite, peaceful place. The place may be on a sunny beach with the ocean breezes caressing you, swinging in a hammock in the mountains or in your own backyard. Any place that you find peaceful and relaxing is OK.

  3. Imagine you are there. See and feel your surroundings, hear the peaceful sounds, smell the flowers or the barbecue, fell the warmth of the sun and any other sensations that you find. Relax and enjoy it.

  4. You can return to this place any night you need to. As you use this place more and more you will find it easier to fall asleep as this imagery becomes a sleep conditioner.

  5. Some patients find it useful to visualize something boring. This may be a particularly boring teacher or lecturer, co-worker or friend.

Quiet Ears

  1. Lie on your back with your eyes closed.
  2. Place your hands behind your head. Make sure they are relaxed.
  3. Place your thumbs in your ears so that you close the ear canal.
  4. You will hear a high-pitched rushing sound. This is normal.
  5. Listen to this sound for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Then put your arms at your sides, actively relax them and go to sleep.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Time Management

Time Management: Remembering …
Three keys to time management are: remembering, setting priorities, and motivation.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking "I won't forget that." But the important thing is not just to remember it, but to remember it at the right time -- a time when you can take the first step in doing it.
Your thoughts are valuable. Write them down, whether they're ideas on how to save the world or reminders to wash the frying pan. Then figure out some way for the messages to get to you at a time when you can do the things.
Use calendars and lists. I have lists of things that can be done at home, lists of things that can be done when the stores are open, lists of things to do before going to work in the morning, etc. By looking at the appropriate list, I can forget about everything else and concentrate on the work appropriate for that moment.
Time Management: Setting Priorities ...
If you write a list of things to do this evening, it probably contains way more things than you can actually accomplish. That's fine. The list is valuable. By looking over it, you can choose the most important things and do them first. The rest can be transferred to other lists.
Some people say they don't need to spend time planning. That may be true. If you have a list of things to do that are all about equally important, and if you're sure that the most important things are on the list, then you don't need to spend any time comparing them. Just start doing one of them, it doesn't matter which one.
But for most people most of the time, some of the things are more important than others, so it's worthwhile taking a few minutes to read over the list and choose the most important to do first.
It's good to have a pen handy all the time to write down ideas. That way you can catch thoughts about important things that you might have forgotten to add to your lists.
Time Management: Motivation ...
You've set goals, written lists, chosen priorities, and identified what's important to do right now, but you don't feel like doing it.
Here are some ideas to help with motivation.
In the book "Feeling Good," David Burns points out that it's not necessary to "feel like" doing something in order to do it. You can just start. Usually, once you've started, you begin feeling more motivated to continue doing it.
I started feeling more in control when I started giving myself permission to cross things off lists. Deciding not to do something and putting an "X" next to it gives a feeling of relief, almost as satisfying as checking it off as done.
Sometimes I graph the total number of check marks per day. This feels good and gives me motivation to finish lots of things on my to-do lists.
Plan rewards and celebrations for yourself, such as special snacks after getting certain things done. Just taking a few seconds to admire the finished work, such as a tidy table or pile of clean laundry, is an excellent reward. Smile and tell yourself what a good job you did.
Even if you're in a hurry, you can plan rewards that take a few seconds, like standing up and stretching, looking out the window for 10 seconds, or tossing a pen in the air and catching it. If you plan them as rewards, they feel like rewards, and give you time to congratulate yourself on getting something done.
Time Management: Chronos and Kairos ...
In Greek there are two words for time. Chronos means amounts of time, like "20 minutes" or "two days". Kairos means the time when something occurs, like "at two o'clock" or "next Sunday".
We can think of time like money and budget it. We can decide to "spend" an hour on one thing or another. This is valid, but there's a big difference between time and money.
With money, you don't usually ask "should I spend this dollar, or that dollar?" All the dollars are the same. But two different hours are never the same. Different stuff is happening. You're at a different level of tiredness and hunger, and the level of daylight is different. Certain people or businesses are available by phone during one hour but not during another.
So if you're going to do something, it does matter which bit of time you select to do it in.
It can be confusing to try to figure out what's the most important thing to do at a given time. It works out better if you think more in terms of kairos time. Rather than "which of these things will I do now?", look at one of them and ask "What's a good time to do that?" and then schedule it.
Examples: A good time to phone someone is on their birthday. A good time to play with the children is when it's daylight outside. The best time to pay the phone bill is the first time you see it.
The idea of thinking in terms of kairos time is from "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.
Myths of Time Management ...
Myth #1: There's too much to do; I can't handle it all.
This can't be the real reason why I have a messy house. After all, other people manage. It's encouraging to hear that there are others who also have trouble with the "little" things in life. That means that it isn't just that there are too many things for one person to handle: rather, it's possible, theoretically at least, for me to organize my time in a way that gets it all done.
Myth #2: There's plenty of time; I can do that later.
Funny. This is the exact opposite of myth #1. Yet both myths contribute to procrastinating. Rather than switch from one myth to the other, I need a consistent, realistic view of how much my time is worth and how much of it there is.
Myth #3: I'm busier than usual right now, so it makes sense to shift some tasks off to another time.
A tricky one. Occasionally it's really true, of course. But usually, I'm about equally busy all the time, really. My time is worth the same all the time, with a few exceptions like if I'm trying to be on time for a job interview or something.
It SEEMS that I'm unusually busy at any given moment, because at that moment, I'm AWARE of the things impinging one my time right then. A person can only be aware of so many things at once. The detail of the moment seems complex; the future seems simple, free and clear. But really life is always that complex.
I may think, "This is an unusually busy day because I have library books due." It seems reasonable; I know I only have books due on a small percentage of all days. But really, there are so many other aspects to life: dentist appointments, parties, holiday celebrations, bike repairs, etc etc etc that taking all into consideration, the other days are really just as busy.
I also tend to think I'll "have plenty of time" later the same day, too. And of course I don't.
Myth #4: Re-scheduling something to a later time is procrastinating.
No, re-scheduling is taking control and responding to new information about priorities and time available.
It's only procrastinating if you don't schedule it at all, or if you re-schedule for the wrong reasons -- which will become apparent when you find yourself re-scheduling the same thing more than about 3 times. In that case, stop and think about whether you really want to do the thing. If it's important, go ahead and start.
Myth #5: This little task is not important.
Example: I cut open a package of food and leave the little bit of plastic I cut off on the kitchen counter. Question: Shall I put the bit of plastic in the garbage right now? It seems that doing so is not important. The plastic isn't doing any harm where it is. It won't hurt me if I leave it there. I can always put it in the garbage later.
But actually it is important to put it in the garbage. I ask myself, "Is it important not to have it sitting there on the counter all year?" Yes. I don't want it there that long. OK, then I have to put it in the garbage -- now or some time in the next few days. Next question: Is my time more valuable now than it will be, say, tomorrow? I seem in a hurry now, but I will tomorrow, too. (See myth #3.) Really it's best to put it in the garbage right now. It's important enough to be worth the few seconds of my time.
The myth really means, "It's not important to do it RIGHT NOW." However, it is important. Either it's important or it isn't. When it's done doesn't affect that. It's important to wash the dishes before eating on them again; therefore it's important to wash the dishes. If it's important, it's probably worth doing now.

Friday, February 1, 2008

10 Steps to Build Trust in a Relationship

1. Be predictable. When do seeds of suspicion emerge? When one begins to think, What's up? Why is he doing that? He's never done that before. That is so unlike him. He loses 30 pounds, buys a new wardrobe and comes home late from work. He changes his patterns. His behaviour becomes unpredictable. You get the picture? Any movement away from predictable behaviour can become suspect and trust can deteriorate. Focus on acting predictably if you need to build trust. Be consistent in what you do. This doesn't mean you must be boring. If there is a twinkle in your eye and a dose of spontaneity every so often, for goodness sakes be spontaneous and fun loving. But, be spontaneous consistently! Be true to who you have always been and be that consistently, whoever you tend to be!

2. Inform your significant other when you become "unpredictable." No one goes through life the same person. We all make shifts and changes. Frankly sometimes we may be fairly clueless about what is happening and where we are going. Those times may be very intense and we do some silly things or make some downright dumb decisions. Life can get very squirrelly and unpredictable. (I have a favourite phrase: Gold is refined through intense heat.) Growth in an individual, marriage or family often is accompanied by a little chaos. Welcome these shifts, for there is a part of you searching for something better/different/richer/deeper, but for heaven's sake, inform your partner of what you are experiencing. Say, "I really don't know what is going on in me right now, but I'm moving in a different direction. Be a little patient with me while I figure this out. I might do some silly things, but my intent is not to harm you or scare you. Accept some of my wondering and wandering and please be there for me? I may need to run some of this by you every so often!"

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3. Make sure your words match the message. Mean what you say and say what you mean. When your partner hears one thing in your words but your tone of voice, body language and facial expressions are really saying something else, you open the relationship to some crazy making days. Which message is she to believe? This can waste a tremendous amount of energy and she learns not to trust part of what you are saying. Here's a very simple but common example. You are getting ready to go to a formal dinner. Your wife comes to you and says, "How do I look?" (And she's wearing a dress you don't particularly like and her hair is pulled back in a way that turns you off.) Not to spoil the evening you enthusiastically say, "You look great." You don't really mean it and a part of her knows you really don't mean it. But, you leave it at that. This might not seem like a big deal - we all have done something similar - but if trust is shaky to begin with, it is even shakier now. Here's how to match the words with the non-verbal: "I think you are a beautiful person. I want you to know that. I love you dearly and it will be wonderful to have you by my side tonight. Others will see your beauty. (As you say this, you look into her eyes as you put your hands around her waist.) She's not concerned so much with how she looks but is expressing a need for affirmation. She's not talking about her dress or hair, but about wanting to know the evening is going to go just fine. You respond to the real message. You can take this one step further, if you like. At some point you might bring up her need for affirmation and talk about that. Ask her is there is anything you can say or do so that need is met. Trust is awareness of the intent beneath the obvious message and responding to that!

4. Believe the other person is competent. I hear this phrase very often: "But, I don't want to hurt him." A couple things are at play here. First, she may not have the skill of confronting the other with the truth in a way that brings reconciliation and understanding. She believes truth telling is destructive or entails some sort of drama. Neither is true. The truth is never destructive and can be conveyed in loving ways. (With that said, what we believe to be the truth may indeed be a distorted perception that fits our personal needs.) Or, she may see the other person as a wimp; someone she believes cannot handle rigorous personal confrontation. She doesn't trust that the other person has the internal strength or stamina or skills to be in a relationship of mutual respect and equality. The other person picks up on this mistrust and does what he does (feigns inadequacy and incompetence) to avoid the personal confrontation as well. A dance is acted out. Believe and know in your heart that the other person, somewhere and somehow, beneath the games, has the internal strength and capacity to handle anything. Such trust builds trust in the other person and begins to pervade the relationship. "Hey, she thinks I can handle this! Hmmmm, this is mighty good! I CAN engage her and be truly intimate!"

5. Be very very careful of keeping secrets. If he knows there is an elephant in the room and doesn't talk about it, the elephant takes up tremendous space in the relationship. It takes energy for him to walk around it. She may not see the elephant but knows he is bending his neck to look around something. She will be curious, mildly disturbed, have feelings but no words to wrap around them, might wonder if something is wrong with her or struggle with trusting her intuition (her intuition KNOWS an elephant is there.) And, when we can't trust the messages that come from within us, we find it very difficult to trust the messages of the other person. Secrets demand tremendous energy and erode trust. The relationship is doomed never to experience wall-banging intimacy. This is why extramarital affairs are so damaging. She is not so much concerned about him having sex with someone else as she is about the betrayal, lack of trust, the secrets and deception that are crazy making and energy draining. Now, please. I'm not saying that you sit your partner down and divulge the 23 secrets of your illicit past behaviours. If you have resolved those, i.e. forgiven yourself, understand those behaviours, learned from them and were able to use them to make the internal shifts necessary for your personal development, they do not qualify as an elephant. Hopefully, in the course of growing intimacy in your relationship you may want to share some of those events as you disclose to your partner where you were and where you are now. You do so without emotional charge. However, if a secret takes up room, i.e. still has an emotional charge and holds you back from disclosing more and more of yourself in the growing stages of intimacy, you have a problem that needs to be addressed with your partner.

6. Let YOUR needs be known - loudly. Be a little - no, be a lot - self-centered. (Be self-centered, but not selfish!) Here's a problem I run into almost every day. He is backing away (perhaps attached to work, another person, etc.). She feels the trust and intimacy eroding, is scared and wants to "win him back." So she begins an all out effort to "work on the marriage." She invites him to do so as well. He may reluctantly agree. She blasts full throttle ahead trying to "be nice" and meet every need he ever said he had. She's going to "fill his tank with goodies." Doesn't work. Her eyes are riveted on him. He feels "smothered" or maybe even resentful: "Why is she doing this NOW!" She's hopeful, but eventually that turns to resentment. Her underlying motive - if I meet his needs, he will feel good and meet mine - just doesn't work. It's perceived as manipulation, which it is. Of course, he doesn't say anything. After all, how do you get angry with someone who is so "nice and caring?" Trust disintegrates under a blanket of quiet niceties. Start with your eyes focused on YOU. What do YOU need? Explore your personal need system. Dig beneath the surface. And then say to him: "I need…x, y and z. I would like to talk to you about them. I would like us to work out a way so my needs are met. Are you open to that?" He is empowered to say yes or no. Or, he may say, "What about my needs?" You respond, "I am very interested in hearing what is important to you, certainly." Have you ever been around someone who stated clearly what they needed/wanted? Didn't you respect that person? Because you knew where he stood, and therefore where you stood, didn't that interaction move toward a trusting relationship?

7. State who YOU are - loudly. It is very sad to see those in relationships of emotional investment hold back from letting the other person know who they really are. You build trust in a relationship by entrusting your SELF to the other person. This sounds easy but I find it difficult for most to pull off. Most of us have a difficult time declaring our SELF. For one thing, if you're like most of us, you haven't given much thought to what it is that makes YOU truly YOU. Don't you feel like you glide through life on autopilot, focusing on tasks, goals, accomplishments, problems and the external realities? Don't you tend to focus on those things out there or that person out there? You're concerned about what he is thinking, how he is responding to you, whether he likes you, whether he will be an obstacle and where he will fit in your life? Your conversations may be pleasant but fairly superficial and bluntly, boringly inane. You converse about things/relationships/events out there. You are reluctant to share your thoughts, values, and impressions or take a stand. This doesn't destroy trust. But it doesn't create it either. And, if you do take a stand it may serve the purpose of protecting you or entrenching you as you react against someone. This more often than not creates trust barriers. Take some time to reflect on your standards. What are your standards for a relationship? What standards do you hold for yourself? What do you order your life around? What are the 4 top values in your life? What are some themes that you live by? What are you known for? And then…begin letting significant people in your life know. They will respect you. They will know you more deeply. They will thank you for the opportunity to know you. They will see you as a person of character. They will trust you. They can count on you. They know exactly what is behind and within you.

8. Learn to say NO! Sometimes you need to say NO! Often it is crucial to say NO! Saying NO sets boundaries around you that protects you from being hurt or venturing into territory that will be destructive to your heart and soul. You draw a line. You stop tolerating that which drains energy and makes you less than YOU. You refuse to allow the destructive behaviours of others to destroy you. You build a moat around the core of your life. You do this by informing the other person of what they are doing. You request they stop. If they don't stop, you demand they stop. If they don't stop you walk away without a snide remark, eye-roll or comment. To some this seems harsh, but saying NO is RESPECTED. Fear is the basis of mistrust. If you fear that someone will hurt you and believe you have no recourse but to endure that hurt, fear will prevail. How can you trust when you are in fear? Saying NO, protecting yourself, sends a message to the other person that you will not live in fear. This usually triggers a response of respect from the other person. After all, if you can protect yourself and refuse subjugation to that which is destructive, will not the other person come to trust you and see you as a person who just might protect him/her from harm as well?

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9. Charge Neutral. When your significant other expresses something powerfully, charge neutral. Most of us are afraid of strong feelings or points of contention in a relationship. I commonly hear people respond by defending themselves (to a perceived attack), explaining themselves, counter-attacking, shutting down, or walking away. Of course, the relationship remains stuck in this quagmire of mistrust and fear. Rather than reacting and having your feelings flowing all over the place or shutting down, practice charging neutral. Communicate calmness, not only in your tone of voice but also in how you carry your body. Don't speak with a charge to your voice. Control your voice! Say what you must say, state the truth and do it directly and calmly. You can do this, once you master your fears. It will dramatically change the flow of the relationship. You will be able to point out something big, without making a big deal out of it. You will be in control of you. This not only feels great, but your partner trusts that you won't fly or fall apart. You will experience your personal power. This makes you very attractive. Don't people really trust someone who knows their personal power and how to use it for the welfare of themselves and others? Your partner will love the fact that she can trust you consistently to operate from your "quiet center," remain engaged, not back down and speak the truth with conviction and calmness.

10. Dig into the dirt. Relationships of emotional investment, by their nature, bring trials, tribulations, fears, chaos, turmoil, change, stretching and growth. They become the grist from which your life is shaped and formed. Be fearless when faced with turmoil, upset, crisis, questions, and fears. When the time is right, seek them out. Move toward the frightening unknown. Dig into the dirt of your relationship and uncover the treasures. Do you really TRUST that this can happen? The purpose of your relationship is not to make you happy. Do you realize this? Happiness may be an outcome, but your other is given to you to move you to where you really want to be. Obstacles, trials and moments of pain are given as lessons on which you intentionally write the script of your life individually and together. Embrace the difficult. Trust that in this embracing you will find more of your true self. Trust that you are given the resources and capacity to face what you and your significant other are to face. Once you are able to believe and trust these ultimate purposes, trusting your significant other will be that much more easy.