From around the web

Alysha Jeney, LMFT, looks at a lack of sex in relationships, the layered cake metaphor and what sex positivity looks like. 
A lack of sex in relationships can vary from trust issues to health related dysfunction. Sometimes circumstances such as having a new baby or struggling with infertility can throw everything off.  Or maybe you just not know what you like or are struggling with feeling sexually confident. There are moments, however, when the “reasons” for the lulls are not as easy to identify and often couples will enter therapy seeking the answers.
Imagine a romantic relationship is like a layered cake. Each layer builds off of each other and without one, the entire cake feels incomplete.
The answer to “Why aren’t we having sex?” can often involve a missing ingredient(s) somewhere within the layered cake.  Here are the layers:

The first layer is the foundation, which is friendship. This could entail respect, kindness, fun, commonalities, trust and appreciation.
The second layer is emotional connectedness that is more intimate than with a friendship. Maybe this entails emotional vulnerability, compassion and understanding. It can include feel seen, validated and reassured by your partner.
The third layer is nonsexual physical intimacy. This can include flirtatious love taps, long

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Linda Graham, MFT looks at the benefit of recalling missed opportunities for kindness.  Active imagination revisioning can rewire the brain when an opportunity to be kind was missed.
Most of us want to be kind, to ourselves and others, most of the time. Most of us try to be kind, much of the time.
And then there are the many, many times when we “wake up” hours or days or years later.  “I could’ve…!” “I should’ve…!” But the person we now want to be kind to is miles or years away.  Possibility gone forever.
The good news of neuroplasticity: that moment isn’t gone forever in the brain.  Because what the brain can imagine or visualize is real to the brain, we can re-create the scenario in our mind’s eye, and re-wire the brain’s circuity holding the memory of that event (or didn’t-happen event).
When we recall something that happened (or didn’t happen) into conscious awareness, we are activating or “lighting up” the neural circuity that constellates that memory.  It is open to revision. (The brain revises our memories on its own over time all the time anyway.)  The technical name in neuroscience for this revision process is memory deconsolidation-reconsolidation.
When we “light up” a memory in our conscious awareness, we create the opportunity to

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Therapy is not magic nor is it a process where a therapist is able to “fix” you.  I  sometimes joke with clients that if I had a magic wand under my chair (or on my desk in times of tele-therapy), I could wave it and all would be better.  This certainly would make therapy go faster, wouldn’t it?  Alas, this is not the case. But it’s true that many come to therapy with some preconceived notions of what the process entails and one of the most common fantasies is that their therapist will give them advice.
“Just tell me what to do!”
It’s not to say that there are not therapists out there regularly dispensing advice as I believe there are.  But for those who see themselves as a guide for growth and personal empowerment for their clients,  they will refrain.  There are plenty of good reasons why your therapist will likely not give you advice.
Your therapist is not you.
As much as your therapist delves into the intricacies, characters and emotional waves of your life, they are not in that life.  You share a sacred space together to do your work but he or she is not walking in the footsteps of

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Most people know what it feels like in the beginning of a relationship when both of your brains are busy bringing you together, as in the “honeymoon phase.”  Romantic love produces high levels of dopamine, creating euphoric feelings and the resulting behaviors for each other.  You are at the beginning of building emotional safety, putting energy into prioritizing, listening and validating each other.  Your best face is forward in your kindness and attentiveness as you slowly build important trust between you.  You spend a lot of time thinking about each other, and you may feel the warm and fuzzies of a love buzz.
Much have been said about the fact that this phase typically fades. Couples are hopefully left with the aspects of each other that they fell in love with to flow with the ups and downs of life together.  It can be fairly seamless but often not.  If there was an over-focus on the high of early love and not enough insight into the realities of each other, including the less desirable parts, the transition may be a challenge.  As vulnerabilities or “warts” start to reveal themselves, how well do couples adapt?
Back to emotional safety.  With the glow of

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and pause around gratitude, sharing this with the people closest to you.  Families come together from near and far to share meals, games, conversation, walks and other activities.  Many have the tradition of going around the table to express the things they are grateful for, which can include health, the food on the table and each other.
These practices are a wonderful way to slow down and be in the moment.  All of the usual things to honor on this day never get old but rather serve as important reminders before everyone slips back into their flurried lives.  And it feels like this Thanksgiving is particularly poignant after all that we as a society have gone through together.  Covid impact and the emotional drain of the political landscape over the last several years has been enormous.  Things have improved in so many wonderful ways, albeit concerns remain.
I’m a therapist who has worked with individuals and couples throughout the last almost two years, practically non-stop.  Much of the work, especially in the first year, was around themes related to the emotional and relational impact of Covid and political divisions.  Recently, the therapy topics are less directly

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

I was struck by an opinion piece by CNN’s Chris Cillizza about his Covid anxiety and why it’s spiking now.  He talked about how his personal battles with health anxiety and compulsive behavior predating this pandemic are now exacerbated as he tries to navigate himself and his family through the complex intricacies of the moving target of Covid.
“I’m exhausted from the constant not knowing,” he says.  “Each new day feels like it brings a darkening prediction of what the future holds, and I’m tired. I am a creature of habit. I love knowing what the next day will bring. With the pandemic, it feels like the situation is changing by the hour.”
As a psychotherapist and human being with my own leanings towards anxiety, this resonates with me and know for many others too.  Everyone can relate to Covid “fatigue” but what Chris is talking about is different.   If you don’t have mental health vulnerability across the anxiety spectrum or a history of threats to your physical, emotional or psychological safety, you possibly don’t understand those who find themselves activated again now as we slog our way through Covid’s murky waters, this time with Omicron.
I’ve noticed that there can be a

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

How many times have you made New Year resolutions? How many times have you actually seen them through? At the start of a new year, “resolution” is the word of the day, yet many of us struggle with giving a resolution meaning, much less making it stick. We seek out New Year resolution ideas, but […]
The post 20 New Year goal ideas appeared first on tonyrobbins.com.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Have you ever been to a nice restaurant, had a delicious dinner in a beautiful environment with great service, then received a bill that nearly made you fall out of your seat? How did that change your mood? Did you walk out of the restaurant raving about the experience or lamenting over the bill? Instead […]
The post What is an abundance mindset? appeared first on tonyrobbins.com.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

Office culture has undergone some major changes in the past two decades. Gone are cubicles, rigid 9-to-5 schedules and “climbing the ladder” of corporate structures. Open office layouts, flex hours, working from home and diplomatic corporate structures are the new normal in the white collar workplace. But there is one part of office culture that […]
The post What is your work style? appeared first on tonyrobbins.com.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com

With time-honored traditions, festive lights and delicious food, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also be one of the most stressful. Family encounters may bring up challenging memories of the past. Gift-giving gets expensive. And sometimes, it feels like you’re running from one activity to the next […]
The post How to thrive this holiday season appeared first on tonyrobbins.com.

Originally published at http://loveandlifetoolbox.com