Positive Sentiment Override – Easier to Preach than to Practice

Positive Sentiment Override – Easier to Preach than to Practice

It’s Day 299 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m finding that it’s sometimes easier to preach/coach on positive sentiment override than it is to practice it. I was first introduced to this principle when another couple gave my hubby and me the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman, PhD, when we embarked on our marriage to each other after very difficult divorces from our ex-spouses. In describing positive sentiment override at work in a marriage Gottman states “This means their positive thoughts about each other and their marriage are so pervasive that they tend to supersede negative feelings. It takes a much more significant conflict for them to lose their equilibrium as a couple than it would otherwise. Their positivity causes them to fell optimistic about each other and their marriage, to assume positive things about their lives together, and to give each other the benefit of the doubt.” (pg.20-21). Heading toward our 12th anniversary as a couple, we’ve both done a fairly good job at adhering to this excellent advice, but to be completely honest, sometimes we fall short. Especially considering we both brought a lot of baggage from those previous relationships into the marriage. Coaching others is easy; putting it into practice myself – not so much.

Angry Couple

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose blogger, I feel like Julie (played by Rachel Adams) in Julie and Julia, the 2009 film about Julie, an aspiring author who starts a blog about cooking her way through every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child  (played by Meryl Streep). Julie and her husband have a massive fight and his last words as he leaves their apartment for the night are, “Do NOT blog about this!” She starts to but doesn’t…That movie inspired me to blog and NOT to when I shouldn’t. So I won’t share what has my hubby and I at odds other than it’s a D – or a challenge we Pink Collar Swans face – a disagreement…I will say that he has so many wonderful qualities and that God really did bless the broken road that led us to one another. That being the case, I’ll just request prayers as I try to practice the positive sentiment override that I preach – I mean coach – on with my coaching clients.

How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about using positive sentiment override in your marriage or relationship? How can this principle be applied to other relationships on the home-front or in the workplace?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Time to Talk About It

Time to Talk About It

It’s Day 290 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and today I experienced one of those God-things regarding a stressful situation – It’s finally time to talk about it! I’ve been praying for wisdom and seeking guidance from trusted advisors concerning some difficult conversations I believe need to take place in order for the situation to improve. While God doesn’t speak to me audibly, He speaks loud and clearly through His Word, the Bible. There it’s apparent that truth – spoken in love – is always the right response. Seldom does sweeping things under the carpet or ignoring the elephant in the room ever resolve an issue. Contemplating thus, I drove to a meeting and heard the lyrics, We can’t see for the elephant in the room; we’ve got to talk about it! piping over the airwaves. Confirmation! Later the other parties involved in the situation made it clear that they feel it’s time to talk about it, too. Total confirmation!

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Two Pink Collar Swans – Taking Time To Talk About It.

Coming from a dysfunctional family (one of the Ds or barriers women face) where issues were dealt with using extreme avoidance or extreme aggression, I’ll admit I struggle with conversations that are fraught with conflict. God designed me to be an Abigail, or a peacemaker, but because I’ve often had to engage in fight or flight to protect myself, conflict tempts me to default to my old coping mechanisms – retreating completely or defending my position to the death (not literally though)! Through the grace of God, lots of work on myself, and eleven years with a man who models Christ’s unconditional love for me, I’ve learned new coping skills. My heart’s desire has always been to be the one to break the generational cycle of dysfunction in my family. It runs deep and wide. In and of myself, I know it’s impossible. “But with God, all things are possible!” – Matthew 19:26. These conversations will be hard, but we’re not getting anywhere ignoring the issues. It’s gotten to the point where it’s hard to see the love for the elephant in the room.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Christ follower, I read a devotional every day. Today it was about being a risk-taker. It discussed facing things that feel terrifying because we see the potential benefit. Even if that means a enduring a difficult transition to get there…Taking the risk requires courage and weighing the positives and negatives in order experience peace before we move forward. I did this recently with a dear friend, instead of avoiding the conversation, and thankfully it turned out well. That interaction gives me hope for this situation. I ask for your prayers as I take next steps because it’s far past time to talk about it.

Have you ever treated a difficult situation at home or work like the elephant in the room and ignored it? How were you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose when you finally decided to address it?

Be savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Playing a Round with Love

Playing a Round with Love

It’s Day 283 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and after a productive work day, I spent this evening “Playing a Round with Love”. There’s a short story with this title by one of my all-time favorite authors, Rosamunde Pilcher, and though I read it the first time twenty years ago, its lesson is one I still apply today. In the story, a new young bride sits sulking at a resort because her groom has left her alone to play a round of golf. An older woman joins her and ends up sharing some sage wisdom about the benefits of couples having their own individual interests and pursuits. Then she demonstrates how she’s lived a long, healthy marriage doing just that when she lovingly greets her husband – who’s accompanied by the groom – when they come off the green. You see, he’d left her to go play as well – and she’d occupied herself with other things she enjoyed – as they’d been been doing their entire marriage. The couple had learned that their time apart made coming together that much sweeter. Tonight, I followed this example by going to the bookstore then heading over to join my hubby and company at an indoor virtual golf course. As much as I enjoyed the time alone, reuniting with him was even better. I’m grateful that Ms. Pilcher taught me about playing a round with love.

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A rose amongst thorns! My second oldest stepson, my hubby’s best friend from high school ,my oldest stepson, and my sweet hubby.                                                                                                              Me, Pink Collar Coach- Calvin Klein sweater, green jeggin’s and black boots w/a floral handbag. 

One of my husband’s friends, who does practically everything with his wife, once asked him how the two of us get along so well. My husband was and still is a consummate athlete, and I don’t enjoy sports at all. While he participates in and spectates at nearly every one, you’ll seldom find  me doing either. The difference between that couple and us is that we’re more than O.K. not spending every waking hour together. When we are, we talk at a deep level and really connect, and we’re secure in each other’s love – whether we’re in the same space or not. I’m not being critical of the other couple – in fact I’m happy that they’re so symbiotic. I’m also happy that we don’t have to be. We’d both suffocate!

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose wife and stepmom, I do believe it’s important for my husband and my stepsons to see that while golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, etc., etc. are not my thing, they are. Though it may not always be apparent, I love them fiercely…All of these men in my life say I’m as “fru fru” as it gets, so it’s fun to surprise them every once in a while by showing up in one of their “man” settings unexpectedly. And as much as the boys – especially the oldest – razzes me, he’s also the first to ask if his dad and I are alright if he senses we’re not. It’s good for them to see how much I adore him with a sacrificial love that makes me spend my night on a simulated golf course instead of curled up on the sofa with my new book. After all, thanks to all my reading, I may not be any good at golfing, but I’m pretty adept at “Playing a Round with Love”.

Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose with your relationships – valuing time spent together and apart?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

This Is Me – (Remembering Our True Identity)

This Is Me – (Remembering Our True Identity)

How about you? Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose with your response to harsh words? Are you who you’re meant to be? When it’s hard to bite our tongues – or temper our typing – remember that when we reflect Him – on the home-front or in the workplace – no matter what they say, we’re GLORIOUS!
~Pink Collar Coach
Pink Collar Mom – Made of More Than Many Made Her Out to Be

Pink Collar Mom – Made of More Than Many Made Her Out to Be

It’s Day 267 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m delighted to learn about a Pink Collar Mom who’s made of more than many made her out to be. On Halloween I blogged about the tragic death of our handyman, Mark, who hadn’t reached thirty. He was killed working at a landscaping company when the industrial mower he’d been using to cut grass near a pond flipped over and pinned him underwater. Raised in poverty, Mark had a rough life. Still, he was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known. And from what my husband tells me, never more so than when he learned he was to be a father. Excitedly expecting his little girl in January, Mark made it clear his child would have it better than he had. But with his death, it seemed mother and baby would have a rough go ahead. My husband, who’d become a mentor to Mark, was devastated by the loss and naturally expressed concern for the baby’s mother. We all wondered how she would manage. This afternoon my hubby paid them a visit and it appears this Pink Collar mom is made of more than many made her out to be.

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Mark’s beautiful baby girl. A Cygnet.

Since I was working on the map for the sequel to Seasons of Her Soul  – Hold On Her Heart – and was in my zone, I declined my hubby’s invite to accompany him. Even so, I was anxious to hear how the visit went and feared I’d get a gloomy report when he called on the way home. Seldom is my husband effusive but he told me, “People say all babies are beautiful. I don’t think they are. But this baby is beautiful.” We went on to discuss how mom is doing and I was elated to hear in addition to receiving a death benefit, she’s working as a veterinary assistant. She loves animals so kudos to her for operating in her strengths zone! Greg even got some advice on how to handle one of our Ds – two delinquent kitties! In addition to doing well in the workplace, she’s also a good homemaker and has created a clean, comfortable environment. Mother, baby, and their three kitties appeared to be happy and in good health. Not a gloomy report at all!

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When Greg walked in  the door I demanded to see Rory’s picture and he said it for me,                  “She sure is a cutie.” I concur. 

Though no tears were shed hearing the above, I did tear up when Greg told me: “She said she came home one day to find Mark painting in the baby’s room. There were names all over the wall. Mark said ‘Rory’ was the one he liked best, so that’s the one she picked.” That and the fact that I would have named a daughter with Greg the same thing (I did name a cat that) was enough to choke me up, but when I consider how Mark had come to view my husband as more than a mentor – he saw him as a father – it isn’t lost on me that he chose a derivative of “Gregory” as his daughter’s name. There’s no way to know for sure this side of heaven if that was his intention; I do know for sure Mark would have loved that it turned out that way… but not near as much as he would have loved her.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom, I’m so proud of Rory’s. She’s dealt with one of the biggest Ds – death, buried her baby’s father, birthed his child, is working hard in the workplace and on the home-front, and has honored the man she loved. It doesn’t get much more Pink Collar Savvy & Chic than that, proving she’s made of a Whole. Lot. More. than many made her out to be.

How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and let a young mom know she’s more than many make her out to be?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Savvy

Dressed in Red for Romantic Date Night

Dressed in Red for Romantic Date Night

It’s Day 254 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and since I planned in advance not to blog on Valentine’s Day, I still had my hubby snap a pic of me yesterday –  dressed in red for a romantic date night. Though I get lots of compliments whenever I wear it, red in not my color. Still, on Christmas and Valentine’s Day, I’ll break out the few pieces I have and apply my Maybelline “On Fire Red” lipstick to match. In this instance, the outfit was pretty but  also practical for meeting a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swan for a life coaching session. Afterward, the Valentine’s daytime look made for an easy transition to a romantic date night since I was already dressed in red.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, in romantic red. Cardigan and shell purchased on clearance from Marshall’s two or three years ago. The black ribbed sweater leggings pair well with the ribbing on the set and meet my OCD need for things to look and feel right together! Red handbag w/gold accent is also a Marshall’s clearance find. Black shooties (shoe +boot) for mild winter weather.  All Calvin Klein. Hubby knows white roses are my fave. Inexpensive large ball jar from Goodwill.

My hubby generously offered to do whatever I wanted for date night. Initially, I thought I wanted to go out for dinner, but when I realized we had plenty of good stuff for a meal, I opted to stay in. I had fun having him serve as my photographer (he’s becoming quite meticulous about making sure my clothes are smoothed!) and just hanging out. After nearly twelve years, we’re still besties and enjoyed each others’ company – talking,  rekindling the romance, eating, and watching the Olympics. He even indulged me and sat through ALL of the figure skating – an act of true love!

Today, we’ve had another great day working from home together. And amazingly, though we talked so much yesterday, we had to discipline ourselselves to be productive and not spend our time chatting away. We’re good for one another that way too, in that we push each other to be our best. I suppose that’s one of the definintions of love, romantic or otherwise – that you call for the best in the other person. How blessed I feel to have that with my Valentine – whethered I’m dressed in red for a romantic date night – or not!

With our busy personal and professional lives, changing clothes can be a dilemma (one of the Ds)! With little time to spare, how are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about transitioning from work wear to dressed for a date?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

I Heart My Hubby! (And Ideas to Show Your Significant Other You Do Too)

I Heart My Hubby! (And Ideas to Show Your Significant Other You Do Too)

It’s Day 252 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and though I had an uber productive work day, and then Zumba, I switched gears afterward to prepare for Valentine’s Day tomorrow because I heart my hubby! When I was in school for my Masters in Leadership and Coaching, one of the things that excited me most was learning  how to build a coaching toolkit. Putting that knowledge into practice today in order to customize coaching tools to fit Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, my holistic coaching agency, was such an enjoyable task that the day flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to put work away, go dance, and then shop for a few items that will show my sweet husband how much I heart him!

I Heart Woman in Pink

Pink Collar Valentine’s Day Planning – You don’t have to break the bank to get bang for your buck. All of these items and others can be found at your local grocer. Add a shopper’s discount card and you may have $ left over for a romantic dinner date! Hope you’re inspired!

A Meaningful Message

Faith is the foundation of our relationship, so I appreciate the fact that Hallmark and Dayspring offer a small selection of faith-based/Christian cards. This evening I found one with all the elements I look for: A hint of pink amidst the red (a pink envelope is a bonus!), a message that captures the essence of our life together, including the ups and downs, and gratitude that God blessed me with the one my heart adores. Tonight’s find even has a touch of humor. It features two squirrels in love, which is appropriate because my handy hubby works diligently to keep the ones that inhabit our yard (the woods basically), from eating the grass on the side of the house. Every year after he lays new sod, we watch from our kitchen window as they make short work of his hard work!

A Tasty Treat or Two

Food and drink are usually part of my husband’s gift. Because he’s very health conscious, I try to avoid giving him something super sweet and was pleased to find fruit juice/veggie drinks in red and pink that he’ll enjoy. All the pleasure, none of the guilt! Well, a little guilt because I got him a cake pop – pink of course!

Setting the Mood

Finally, creating a romantic atmosphere with decor is one of my fave parts of the holiday, so a pink glitter “LOVE” sign – set amongst the brie cheese of all places – was a serendipitous find! Apparently Kroger, our local grocery store, likes creating atmosphere too because many of the wedges wore glittery hearts…Then again, perhaps the marketers just know the way to our hearts is through our tummies – with yummy cheese!

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A Dayspring Christian card w/pink, including the pink envelope. V8 Strawberry Banana juice, a pink cake pop (from Starbucks in the store), and a pink, glittery “LOVE” sign.                                     All from the grocery store – About $20 total.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose woman for whom God blessed the broken road, I’m truly thankful to have someone special this holiday. That said, I never want to forget those who don’t. My prayer for you is that you will experience the love of friends and family in a way that it seems God is giving you a hug with skin on it. And for those of you who are in a romantic relationship, I pray you don’t take it for granted, especially because of longevity. You never know if this Valentine’s Day will be your last..That’s why I want my hubby to know how very much I heart him!

I won’t be blogging tomorrow so I can spend the evening with my sweetheart. So, on Valentine’s Day, and always, I hope you are Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and fully comprehend this this: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NIV).  Jesus did that – because He hearts you!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach