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New Year…New You

One of my intentions for the new year is to start the day reading something inspirational.  This morning as I read Anam Cara, John O’Donohue said something I’ve often thought of. Yet, he said it much more eloquently than I ever could:  “Often people devote their primary attention to the facts of their lives, to their situation, to their work, to their status.  Most of their energy goes into doing….many people wonder where they should be and what they should do, when in fact they should be more concerned about how to be”.

 

The concept of reflecting on who you want to be is one that surfaces in my office frequently, particularly when I’m doing couples therapy.  Often, partners become experts of their partner’s imperfections.  People often don’t scrutinize their own behavior half as much as their partner.  I encourage couples to step back and observe themselves from a distance… consider how they interact with their partner.  What does their tone of voice convey to their partner?  If their body language could speak, what would it say?  What kind of language do they use when speaking to their partner?  Do they treat their partner in the way they are asking the partner to treat them…with kindness, patience, and empathy?    Those couples in which each spouse practices self-reflection and strives to be a better version of themselves, rather than focusing on their spouse, are the couples that soar toward the relationship they desire.

 

What if this year, rather than choosing a New Year’s resolution that focuses on productivity and external circumstances, you choose to focus on how you want to show up in the world, particularly in your most valued relationships?

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