The MarriageEnvy.com 20/20/20 GIVEAWAY!!!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST and/or LINK http://MarriageEnvy.com/giveaway! Thank you! :-)

Kara and I have been celebrating 20 years this year (read all about it here: http://marriageenvy.com/20years) and there's only a couple months of this anniversary year left for us. To end this 20th Anniversary Year-Long Celebration and to start off the New Year between now and the end of our 20th Anniversary year (which ends February 13, 2013) we will be giving away 20 of each of the following prizes worth over $6,000!

20 FREE MarriageEnvy.com FULL 90-MINUTE ASSESSMENT SESSIONS

  • A $225 ($150/h0ur) value each.
  • Conducted by Jonathan Sherman, LMFT locally at one of his offices or via Skype if you live elsewhere.
  • Total value for this giveaway: $4,500

20 FREE MarriageEnvy.com GREAT RELATIONSHIP BOOK PACKAGES

  • Three of my fav books in the MarriageEnvy.com trifecta. These are the three books I recommend most often:
  1. Marriage Mastery: "The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work," by John M. Gottman
  2. Parent Training: "Parenting with Love and Logic," by Jim Fay and Foster Cline
  3. Self-Mastery: "The Bonds that Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves," by C. Terry Warner
  • Total value for this giveaway: $1,500

20 FREE MarriageEnvy.com WORKSHOP COUPLES TICKETS 

  • Good for any workshop in The Relationship Mastery Series (http://marriageenvy.com/RMS)
  • Each Couple Tickets comes with two tickets for you and your partner or you and a friend.
  • You can attend locally or via webinar anywhere in the world.
  • A $30 value for each couples ticket
  • Total value for this giveaway: $600

TO ENTER JUST FILL OUT THE FORM AT http://MarriageEnvy.com/giveaway This giveaway ends February 13, 2013 and winners will be selected randomly from all submissions on February 14, 2013. Winners will be notified by phone and email.

Good luck! Hope you win! :-)

PLEASE SHARE THIS POST and/or LINK! Thank you! :-)

Hard or Easy?

"Train hard, fight easy. Train easy, fight hard."—Military saying.

This military saying is also true in relationship work: Do the hard work of getting trained in relationship skills and then practice, practice, practice. Conflicts then become much easier to manage and resolve, and the results are easy to live with. Don't learn the skills and don't practice then the conflicts are not only hard they are hard to live with the aftermath.

RELATED POST: "Easier Said Than Done.” Well, No Duh!

Let YOUR Light So Shine...

20111227-042458.jpg I remember when I started to realize that others aren't the expert in my life. That I had something unique and powerful to contribute. That I could "let my light so shine." It's very empowering. It's very true. It's also very YOU.

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.

"That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

"Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again." —Steve Jobs

Sponsor Our Ragnar Team!

20110831-102755.jpg Sponsor our running relay team of 12 "Angels & Demons" for the Las Vegas Ragnar this October 21-22. Sponsors get their logo on the back of our team shirts (see above). The 6 female runners will be wearing the white Angel shirts and the 6 male runners will wear the orange Demon shirts. Both styles will have the "Angels and Demon" logo on the back with all sponsors below that.

Any amount is GREATLY appreciated and will help greatly to cover equipment, food and drink supplies, medical supplies, lodging, travel and registration costs for the team.

. .

Sponsors

Logo or donor name on all shirts for the following amounts: $50 $100 $250 $500

Premium Sponsors

$1,000 = Logo BIG on all shirts $ 5,000 = Logo BIG on all shirts and on back of 2 vans $10,000 = Logo BIG on all shirts and logo wrap on 2 vans

THANK YOU!!!

Current Sponsors

-Worthen Design -MarriageEnvy.com -Anonymous

Team Members

-Jonathan & Kara Sherman -Ryan (team captain) & Gina Rappleyea -Eric & Haley Barkle -Luke & Katrina Ashton -Dave & Rachelle Upwall -Morgan Carlson -Anne Marie Utley

"Everything but the problem"

"Everything but the problem" is a phrase I came up with several years ago for when people are so in denial that they can only see everything/everyone else as the problem (and spend so much time on those things) instead of addressing the real problem. Funny thing is is that when (if) they start addressing the actual problem all or most of the other perceived problems quickly dissipate. Yet instead so much time and energy is spent and wasted instead on solving every problem except the actual problem.

So simple. So obvious. So often missed.


Jonathan D. Sherman, LMFT
Relationship Strategist • Speaker
801.787.8014

100's of free articles and posts to help you create GREATness in your relationships at: http://rel8gr8.com.
Exclusive tips on 1. Self-Mastery, 2. Marriage Transformation, and 3. Parent Training available only through Facebook and Twitter. Sign up at http://rel8gr8.com

"Create GREATness in Your Relationships"
Liked it? Want more? Get the Great Relationships eBook.

Why compassion for other's weaknesses, shortcomings and faults?

Why compassion for other's weaknesses, shortcomings and faults? I just read a simple and good answer in Catching Fire (2nd book in The Hunger Games trilogy, p.32):

"Because sometimes things happen to people and they're not equipped to deal with them."

Too often we hold people to the standard of our own preparation and abilities, when the truth is not all are equipped the same. Compassion creates space to learn and become equipped. Judgment creates no space, only demands immediate compliance.

— For more tips, strategies and resources for creating truly GREAT relationships with self and others visit http://JonathanSherman.net —

Why compassion for other's weaknesses, shortcomings and faults?

Why compassion for other's weaknesses, shortcomings and faults? I just read a simple and good answer in Catching Fire (2nd book in The Hunger Games trilogy, p.32):

"Because sometimes things happen to people and they're not equipped to deal with them."

Too often we hold people to the standard of our own preparation and abilities, when the truth is not all are equipped the same. Compassion creates space to learn and become equipped. Judgment creates no space, only demands immediate compliance.


— For more tips, strategies and resources for creating truly GREAT relationships with self and others visit http://JonathanSherman.net —

Liked it? Want more? Get the Great Relationships eBook.

To the Critics and Naysayers of World:

image.jpg

My Open Letter to the Critics and Naysayers of World:

Besides your criticisms, Monday morning quarterbacking, and fault-finding of those who actually DO take action, what have you actually DONE yourself? If the answer is nothing, keep your mouth shut.

Thank you,
The Doers of the World

I get weary of all the know-it-alls who are quick to problem-talk, reject solutions, discourage rather than encourage, dash dreams, be loudly pessimistic, give reason after reason why it "can't be done", etc. I've come to the point where I'm done listening to those who don't or won't contribute to improving life. Critics contribute nothing. To paraphrase Yoda, "DO or do not" and if you are a "do not" then keep quiet.

 

Quick Appreciation




Here's. Quick and simple way to flood your family with appreciation.

1. Take a sheet of paper and write at the top: "Write as Many Nice Things as You Can About..."

2. List each person's name with plenty of space between.

3. Pass this sheet around to each family member and have them write as many nice things about each person.

4. Read the responses aloud as a family.

5. Discuss as a family and share how it feels to hear nice things said about you.

(the picture above is the one we just did today).


— For more tips, strategies and resources for creating truly GREAT relationships with self and others visit http://JonathanSherman.net —
Liked it? Want more? Get the Great Relationships eBook.

Supportive Example




I told my wife last night that our tax guy left message saying we were owing taxes and needed more info from me. In short, we were expecting a refund and this didn't bode well for certain plans. Our guy didn't leave details on how much, so I was left to worry through the night. While I practiced basic stress-busting calming and soothing skills (since there was nothing I could do about the problem anyway) I still as the primary privider for our family still had considerable worry about the possible ramifications of this situation.

Kara came to me first thing this morning and said very kindly, "Now listen. I've thought about this and I don't want you to worry about the taxes and this is why: We're no longer newlyweds, we've learned a lot about money over the years and will learn more from this. I don't want you to worry. You're an amazing provider. You always pull things together for us." At the end she said, "I'm more worried about you than I am the money."

The problem is still there and we still have to deal with it. The difference is with a just few words and a lot of compassion she diffused all my worry in a single moment.

I am skilled in stress management. My skills were holding it at bay, but that was about it. However, a few well placed compassionate words from my partner did so much more than my individual skills could alone. That, my friends, is the power of a GREAT Relationship. There is a reason why successfully married couples have less stress and as a result live an average of seven years longer than their divorced, unhappily marred or single counterparts.

Kara could've got stressed herself, she could've been critical and she could've found fault. She didn't. Not only did she ease my concern, she made me feel great, made the problem easier to approach, and left me only loving her more.

This is a perfect example of being supportive, of fighting FOR your partner instead of WITH them, of taking your PARTner's PART.


— For more tips, strategies and resources for creating truly GREAT relationships with self and others visit http://JonathanSherman.net —
Liked it? Want more? Get the Great Relationships eBook.

Morning Mindfulness Moment

I walked out of my office this morning to wait for my client in the cool air and sunshine. I was reading a passage from The Wisdom of Forgiveness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Victor Chan on compassion, emptiness, interconnectedness and interdependence.

At that moment, I heard the chirping of birds and through the barren trees saw the striking beauty of Mount Timpanogos to the east. I was overcome by a sense of peaceful happiness as I considered how interconnected all things are. I heard the bird, felt the chill in the air, felt the warm sun, smelled the cold of the air, and squinted at the brightness of the sun. My five senses took it all in—in a single moment—and my spirit thrilled. It was so apparant how connected all my senses were to that around me and how dependent they were on these things to have sense in the first place.

Mindfulness is not a constant state of being for me. It is a state of being I enter as often as I am mindful to do so. These mindfulness moments are all around me every day for me to experience (i.e., bardos moments). All I need to do is pause, breath and see the vastness of all that is interconnected that I am interdependent with.  "He that has ears to hear, let him hear."

Mindfulness is a great gift for creating and recreating that key relationship with self that is the great influencer of how I then relate with those around me.

Peace,

Jonathan

"The Marriage Ref" Reviewed

Just watched the pilot of Jerry Seinfeld's new show The Marriage Ref. Fun example of healthy conflict mediated with a twist. Closely bonded couples who had true affection for each other and could argue openly with passion and respect but without anger.

The host Tom Papas ended with: "It's worth fighting for! Now, kiss and make up." Nice message.

What do you think of it?

PS: Watch the clips of the behind the scenes interviews of the couples—real imperfect people in love and with GREAT relationships. Bravo! Sweet, touching, funny, inspiring.

Greatest Accomplishment?

Speaker, author and great humanitarian Tiffany Berg Painter (that's her to the right), whom I am happy to know, asked on Facebook today:

"What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in life so far?"

My response:

Great question. Tough to answer with just one thing but I'll list a progression of the greatest accomplishments so far in my life:
  1. Accepting Christ into my life as a teenager--opened up the door to SO, SO, SO many good things most especially:
  2. Meeting my best friend and marrying her--who gave me:
  3. My four greatest treasures. So proud of the fine young people they are and so grateful to be their father. Eternally grateful for my wife for them. Amen and amen!
  4. My education, training, profession and successful independent practice as a relationship strategist (marriage and family therapist). So proud and impressed by my amazing clients who take on the tough challenges of life and overcome!
  5. I can trace all of these accomplishments (or rather gifts) to the first on the list. Hallelujah!

Greatest Accomplishment?

Speaker, author and great humanitarian Tiffany Berg Painter (that's her to the right), whom I am happy to know, asked on Facebook today:

"What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment in life so far?"

My response:

Great question. Tough to answer with just one thing but I'll list a progression of the greatest accomplishments so far in my life:
  1. Accepting Christ into my life as a teenager--opened up the door to SO, SO, SO many good things most especially:
  2. Meeting my best friend and marrying her--who gave me:
  3. My four greatest treasures. So proud of the fine young people they are and so grateful to be their father. Eternally grateful for my wife for them. Amen and amen!
  4. My education, training, profession and successful independent practice as a relationship strategist (marriage and family therapist). So proud and impressed by my amazing clients who take on the tough challenges of life and overcome!
  5. I can trace all of these accomplishments (or rather gifts) to the first on the list. Hallelujah!

GREAT Relationships don't 'just happen'... They are created!

by: Jonathan Sherman

Okay gang. Here's the low down. Everyone WANTS a great relationship—a happy marriage, a loving and profound connection with their children, an enjoyable workplace—but the reality is most people are doing just that: Wanting. And from that wanting their relationships are left wanting (e.g., lacking).

Instead of actually engaging in the work of creation, most people are hoping, wishing, and waiting for the great relationship they want. Then when it doesn't come or "just happen" they turn that wanting into criticism, complaints, contempt and resentment which guarantees that GREATness in their relationships will continue to elude them.

Wake up: Relationships will no longer tolerate sloppiness. The supports just aren't there anymore for poor relationships to be held together regardless of whether they "should" or not.

So how do we create GREATness in our relationships? The same way we create anything else in this life: Study the masters; learn the best practices; practice, practice, practice; integrate; take action; and maintain a willingness to change course, modify strategies, and dump approaches that just aren't working.

In all of this creation of GREATness the only part that "wanting" plays is the initial creation of the vision and the ongoing motivation to do the requisite work towards that vision's goals. In other words, the work of GREATness is summed up as follows:

"Knowing is not enough, you must apply;
willing is not enough, you must do."
—Bruce Lee

So where do we go to study the masters and learn the best practices? Start here: At rel8gr8.com you will find:

  • Relationship strategist Jonathan Sherman's services, workshops, resources and free articles all designed towards GREATness creation;
  • The GREAT Relationships eZine Blog
  • The GREAT Relationship Masters Project which gives models of GREAT relationships that we can study and learn from. Too many people have no clue what a GREAT relationship actually looks like up close and personal. Well here they are. Study and emulate those who've mastered the path of GREATness.
  • Valentine's All Year (VAY) is "A glimpse into one man's ongoing love affair with his wife." Every entry contains personal examples as well as a corresponding and specific GREAT Relationship Principle applicable to all relationships who aspire to GREATness. VAY includes these two daily and weekly blogs:

The good news is that "not knowing" how to create a GREAT relationship is no longer an excuse. The hackneyed excuse of "my marriage/child didn't come with an owner's manual" no longer flies. The knowledge and practices are available. The coaching and support exists to integrate the learning.

Now is the time for GREATness. GREATness does not come to those who wait. It never "comes." It is created and re-created daily. Create it!

Kahlil Gibran on Marriage, from The Prophet

The wisdom in these few words on marriage are profound, sublime and deep. Consider them well as you continue to craft a lasting and powerful relationship based in such mature and respectful love.

I put together this video using the text from Kahlil Gibran's most famous work, and timeless classic, The Prophet. He is one of my favorite authors and I love the depth, soul, sweetness and pathos of his writings. The music is a classical guitar version of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major.

You may view it on YouTube directly if you want to view it full screen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF-HLwwX5P8