This newsletter is
designed especially for YOU
if you are single and ready to
"Find the Love of Your Life
AND the Life That You Love!"
Conscious Dating Success Story
of the Year
the one year anniversary of the publication of Conscious
Dating: Finding the Love of your Life in Today's World
on February 14, 2007 (Valentine's Day) we'll announce the results of
our first annual-
Dating Success Story of the Year Contest
awarding an iPod loaded with 20 of our best Conscious Relationship
Audio Programs ($369.00 value) to-
- Best male success story
- Best female success story
- Referrer of best male success story
- Referrer of best female success story
means that if you know someone who could benefit from reading Conscious
Dating, or someone who has read it and has a great success story, YOU
can also get an iPod by referring them!
will be judged by the staff of Relationship Coaching Institute. To be
eligible entrants must certify that they have read the Conscious Dating
book. Current and past members and staff of Relationship Coaching
Institute are not eligible to enter this contest. All submissions
become property of Relationship Coaching Institute and by entering this
contest entrants grant us permission to publish their story online and
Do you have a success story to share?
Go immediately to www.consciousdating.com/contest.htm
Know anyone with a success story to share? Please
forward this announcement to them!
Know a single who hasn't read Conscious Dating and is a success story
in the making? With 6
months to go there is plenty of time to learn and apply the principles
of Conscious Dating. Please send them to www.consciousdating.com
the contest begin!
Baggage in Relationships
seems that the older you get, the more people you meet with a lot of
baggage from prior relationships...
This column answers
questions submitted by our readers. Submit your questions to Tara@relationshipcoachinginstitute.com.
She will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each issue,
we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
for August: Baggage
It seems that the older
you get, the more people you meet with a lot of baggage from prior
relationships. I have several questions for the coaches:
- How do you minimize
the impact of your own baggage in a new relationship?
- What do you do when
you meet someone who has great potential, but a lot of his or her own
- Is it possible to
have a great relationship given this scenario?
Relationship baggage: "Is
it a set you don’t mind traveling with?"
The term "baggage" in
relationships is a great analogy for baggage you take on a trip. Life
partnership is a circuitous journey. Is your partner (or you) traveling
with a steamer trunk or an overnight bag? How hard or easy is it to
travel with both sets?
The first step is sorting
out who has what baggage, and does it clash or compliment? Bow out of
the “blame game.” Since you can't change another
person (although we try), try to honor what is yours. What are you
willing to do about your baggage? What actions can you take? Can you
strengthen your communication skills? Can you clarify your vision?
Roll your baggage on to
your side of the street and claim it. Then and only then is there room
for your partner to come forth and claim theirs. In terms of meeting
someone with “great potential” but a lot of baggage
of his or her own, you need to ask yourself how both of these things
impact the relationship. How do these relate to your own relationship
requirements, needs and wants?
Have a sense of humor and
curiosity! If you're both willing to put in the work, there will be
extraordinary gifts waiting for you. In you're not willing, give
yourself the gift of moving on. Better to be in relationship, than in
Barth | www.1Dreamatatime.com
Isn’t it annoying that this sort of baggage always comes
around and around on the baggage carousel and it never seems to get
lost! Our baggage is the very stuff that has formed each one of us;
perhaps, we need to look at it afresh, and with respect and compassion.
Minimizing the impact of
our own baggage is the easy part. The moment we take responsibility for
something, we can start to do something about it. Often we do not
realize the baggage we are holding on to, the weight we toil under, yet
we are quick to spot it in others.
One good idea is to start
taking inventory and to work with a relationship coach to identify what
is useful, what is best to keep and what should be discarded. If we say
to ourselves that all of this is from another time and place in our
life, then we can see if the “dress” fits, or if it
is, in fact, utterly dated, that it needs to go.
If we see someone has
great potential, it may be that we are mature enough to see their value
beyond their baggage. We might be able to help them to offload it.
It is possible that we
can have a great relationship even when our baggage and that of our
partner is stored in the hold. We can choose to live in the
“here and now” with bright eyes for our future
I truly believe that
baggage has been labeled as an issue for new relationships, but, in
fact, it is the very thing that undoes the old ones. It’s all
a matter of our perspective, how we perceive ourselves
vis-à-vis our baggage, and how we choose to live in the
Baggage. It's a curious
term to apply to the things we carry with us in our lives. The word,
itself, sounds big and awkward, and reminds me of the many times I've
had much too much to carry back from a wonderful vacation.
I don't particularly like to use that term as it relates to
relationships because it carries such negative overtones. We are the
sum of all of our thoughts and actions, plain and simple. There is
nothing wrong with that. Whether we choose to carry the full emotional
impact of all of this “stuff” is another matter.
How you minimize the impact of your own baggage is a never-ending
process. It's all about acknowledging your thoughts and actions of the
past and recognizing the good, the bad, and, indeed, the ugly as to who
you are. However, the past is the past. You can choose to fret over
these things and keep them alive by setting your attention on them, or
you can simply recognize them for what they are and know they are
complete and in the past.
You can then choose to
live in the present and be open to new possibilities, new
opportunities, and new experiences with your partner. It sounds easy,
but in reality, it is a continual life process. Once you acknowledge
your "stuff," it's infinitely easier to let it go.
When you meet someone with a lot of baggage, all you can do is accept
it for what it is. He or she, just like you, is the sum of all their
prior thoughts and actions. What you should look for is their level of
maturity with regard to it.
Can he or she acknowledge
what is from the past? Can he or she choose to act or be different if
that is, in fact, what the moment calls for? Or, are these things
simply unconscious patterns he or she may never want to bring to the
fore in order to deal with them? You must ask yourself these same
You can have a great relationship, even if you and/or your partner have
a lot of baggage. The key is in acknowledging it, being able to work
with it when it arises.
The best way to see if
this will turn out well for both of you is to take your time in getting
to know each other. Don't rush into anything. Over time, you'll be able
to see when these issues arise and how they are dealt with when they
do. Then you will know if you can have a great relationship together.
you know you can take the Relationship
Readiness Quiz at www.consciousdating.org?
Simply sign up for a free membership to enjoy the quiz as well as other
resources developed by RCI Founder and CEO, David Steele.
Alexandra Kachaturoff | Editor
Your Past: Baggage, History or Springboard?
by Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT
I usually don't get
hooked on a television show, but I must admit I am hooked on
ABC’s Wednesday night program, “Lost.”
It’s about a group of people whose plane has crashed on a
tropical island. Through frequent flashbacks, we have the opportunity
to see who these people were before the crash, and to learn a little
bit about their history.
Just like in life, each person brings his or her history to the
situation. One of the implications of the show is that each of these
people was brought to the island to work out their "baggage." Maybe so.
What occurred to me when watching the show recently is that each of us
has a choice about what to do with our history – to allow it
to weigh us down as baggage or to use it as a springboard for our
Our history can become baggage when we allow ourselves to …
• Get stuck in lamenting the past
• Believe that the past always equals the future
• Resent the unfairness of our past
• Let our past define us
The good news is that things don’t have to be this way. We
can look at our history from a completely different perspective.
Our history can become a springboard when we …
• Learn from our past
• Make a place for it and then put it in its place - which is
• Understand the past does not need to equal the future
• Use our past to refine us, instead of to define us
Your history, good or bad, can be baggage or a springboard.
It’s all about how you choose to look at things. Which will
it be for you?
Herring, MS, LMFT
Tired of Relationship Break-Ups?
Then Marry YourSelf First
by Ken Donaldson
The New York Times
printed an interesting article about relationship break-ups in a Sunday
edition, about a year ago (11/27/05). The author, Raya Kuzyk, was quite
proud of how she assertively handled a break-up earlier that year. How
did she do this? Raya spent much time in introspection, thoughtfully
writing out her reasons and the justifications thereof, and she even
created graphs and used pictures all to prove her point.
A job well done, Raya.sort of.
could have saved herself much time, energy and, especially, grief and
heartache, had she made
some guidelines for herself before the relationship got started. Of
course, she would also need to commit and follow-through with these
guidelines and use a support system if she was having trouble following
through. Raya wrote,
"Though I had postponed
the inevitable long enough to be certain that I was doing the right
thing, I had also drawn it out to the point where human decency (and
dating etiquette) called for a sensitively handled breakup. A breakup
of a higher standard than the one to which I would have been held had I
ended our relationship when I first realized we had no future.
Technically that would have been from the get-go: Nick was engaged to
did Raya miss that one? Why
did she go forward anyway? What was she thinking? What did her friends
are living in the day and age of the "microwave" relationship. Meet
the person, fall in love quickly, move in together, and THEN get to
really know each other. Of course, the inevitable usually happens --
the painful break-up.
Raya and others have prevented these types of break-ups? Yes,
and by taking some very simple proactive steps:
you should spend some time figuring out who you are and why you are here,
which is commonly referred to as defining your "life purpose." In
addition, you should define your values, the things that are most
important to you. I know these aren't small or even easy processes to
undertake, but you might notice that one of today's best-selling books,
A Purpose Driven Life, is all about finding one's purpose. Even
relationship coaches like Dr. Phil, and TV talk-show hosts like Oprah,
are beginning to have "deeper" conversations about these things.
one of the most important steps is to make a "relationship template." Raya
could have made a list of desirable qualities and traits she was
seeking in a romantic partner, along with her absolute "deal-makers"
Deal-makers are those
things one must have in a relationship and are not subject to
compromise or negotiation. Deal-breakers, on the other hand, are those
things that one will not tolerate under any circumstances - ever. When
you have such a list, it's easy to check-in with yourself to see if you
are on course.
Nevertheless, let's not
fault Raya too much. After all, she's like most of us. She didn't have
the opportunity to take Relationship Skills 101 in junior high, high
school or college. When you don't know how to do something, then you
experiment - right?
We hope that Raya learned
from this experiment and that she'll take action to prevent similar
situations from arising in the future. However, if Raya doesn't figure
out her purpose, values and relationship boundaries, there's a high
likelihood she won't find the relationship she truly desires. As with
most people, she is likely to settle, and then at some future point,
discover what doesn't work, and then follow that with getting divorced.
It's easy to see why we
have a divorce rate that hovers around 50%. Perhaps we can learn
valuable lessons from Raya. First, get to know yourself. Where you are
going in your life? What is truly important to you? Spend some time
redefining your relationship parameters and the things you must have in
a relationship. Yes, you could marry yourself first - a novel concept!
Ken Donaldson is the author of Marry
Reading for Singles
to Get Married After 35 Revised Edition: A User's Guide to Getting to
the Altar by
Recommended by Sandra
Definitely the real
thing--none of that "act this way," "act that way." In fact, no acting
at all, just great.
True Love: The Four Essential Keys to Discovering the Love of Your Life by
Daphne Rose Kingma
Recommended by Shirley
An antidote to
hopelessness, this beautifully written book can help you develop the
attitudes that lead to love.
I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?
by Susan Page
Recommended by Brenda Strausz
This is an encouraging book, one that has practical and wise advice on
how to follow through with your goal of finding the right person with
whom you'd like to be in a relationship.
Communication: A Language of Life: Create Your Life, Your
Relationships, and Your World in Harmony with Your Values
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Recommended by Ralph Thomas
This easy-to-read book
offers a powerful and practical approach for communicating that
enriches your life while it improves the way you connect with others.
Points with the Woman in Your Life One Touchdown at a Time
by Jaci Rae
Recommended by Brenda Zeller
Fun and humorous football-themed book geared towards men who are
looking to better their relationships with the woman in their life -
includes relationship tips from prized NFL Players as well as personal
stories about their lives.
Truth About Love: The
Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make it Last Forever
by Pat Love
Recommended by Linda
Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World
by David Steele
Recommended by Tara
Learn how to take a
proactive role in finding your ideal life partner and create the life
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Exclusively For Our Subscribers
14: Overcoming the Three
Core Beliefs That Guarantee Relationship Failure
January 11, 2007:
The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work
8, 2007: How to Improve
Your Relationship Without Talking About It
Conscious Relationship Podcast and Audio
Conscious Relationship Article Bank
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Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff | Editor, ConsciousDating.org
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