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December 2006

In this issue:

Conscious Dating book

Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World

Order a copy today for your single friends and family members at

Exclusively For Our Subscribers!

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

Conscious Relationship Podcast

Conscious Relationship Article Bank

Copyright 2006 by
All rights reserved.

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!"

Special Announcement

Click here to enter!Conscious Dating Success Story of the Year Contest

For 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-

Conscious Dating Success Story of the Year Contest

We're 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

This 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!

Submissions 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 in print.

- Do you have a success story to share? Go immediately to

- 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

Let the contest begin!

Ask Our Coaches:
Baggage in Relationships

It 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 She will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.

Question for August:  Baggage in Relationships

Dear Coaches,

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 baggage?
  • Is it possible to have a great relationship given this scenario?

Sandy in Toronto

Lois responds …

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 reaction.

Lois Barth | |

Caroline responds …

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 together.

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 moment.

Caroline Minto

Tara responds...

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 questions.

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.

Tara Kachaturoff |


Relationship Readiness Quiz

Did you know you can take the Relationship Readiness Quiz at  Simply sign up for a free membership to enjoy the quiz as well as other resources developed by RCI Founder and CEO, David Steele.

Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff  |  Editor

Feature Article:
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 future.

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 behind us

• 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?

Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT | 850.580.5333

Bonus Article:
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.

Raya 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 another woman."

How did Raya miss that one? Why did she go forward anyway? What was she thinking? What did her friends tell her?

We 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.

Could Raya and others have prevented these types of break-ups? Yes, and by taking some very simple proactive steps:

First, 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.

Then, 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" and "deal-breakers."

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!

Get this book- we highly recommend it!

Ken Donaldson is the author of Marry YourSelf First!

Recommended Reading for Singles

How to Get Married After 35 Revised Edition: A User's Guide to Getting to the Altar by Helena Rosenberg

Recommended by Sandra Rohr

Definitely the real thing--none of that "act this way," "act that way." In fact, no acting at all, just great.

Finding True Love: The Four Essential Keys to Discovering the Love of Your Life by Daphne Rose Kingma

Recommended by Shirley Vollett

An antidote to hopelessness, this beautifully written book can help you develop the attitudes that lead to love.

If 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.

Nonviolent 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.

Winning 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.

The Truth About Love: The Highs, the Lows, and How You Can Make it Last Forever
by Pat Love

Recommended by Linda Marshall

Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World
by David Steele

Recommended by Tara Kachaturoff

Learn how to take a proactive role in finding your ideal life partner and create the life you love.

Conscious Dating Resources

Visit our website at and join (no charge) for cutting-edge information and tools for finding the love of your life, including:

  • Register for our 5-Day e-Program for Singles, "How To Find Your Life Partner"

  • Take our proprietary Relationship Readiness Quiz

  • Listen to outstanding audio programs such as "Find the Love of Your Life AND The Life That You Love" and "Conscious Dating for Relationship Success"

  • Access our Knowledge Bank for innovative relationship tools, strategies and concepts

  • Check out our talented RCI-trained Relationship Coaches at

For More Information, a resource for singles offered by Relationship Coaching Institute, is a worldwide relationship coaching organization dedicated to helping you 'find the love of your life AND the life that you love'. For more information about us, please visit our web site at

Exclusively For Our Subscribers

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

December 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

February 8, 2007: How to Improve Your Relationship Without Talking About It

Conscious Relationship Podcast and Audio Programs

Conscious Relationship Article Bank

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Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff | Editor, Newsletter for Singles

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