Reading Corner

Links related to the weekly posts.


In this week’s blog, we said to remember the shared purpose at the heart of your relationship. Here are a few different viewpoints on why this is so important.

A Couple Mission/A Shared Purpose “As in all of life’s opportunities, those who set goals and work toward them are most likely to succeed. Couples who are not clear about why they are together or how to reach their dreams often react to personal interests, peer or family pressure, temporary goals, or crisis events. These influences typically do not sustain affection, confidence, or meaning—and often leave couples confused, conflicted, and crippled. Since love or good looks are not enough to build a satisfying, long-term commitment, couples need a sense of purpose to guide their choices and challenges.”

Enriching Your Marriage by Creating Shared Meaning “Just because you fall in love with someone, that doesn’t mean that love will stay alive without nurturing your partnership. If you find yourself asking, “What is missing from my marriage?” your situation may be similar to Brian and Teresa’s. What might be missing is what Dr. John Gottman refers to as a sense of shared meaning. A successful marriage is about more than raising kids, paying bills, and getting chores done. It is also about building a meaningful relationship that has a spiritual dimension and is rich in rituals of connection

Goals Are a Relationship Necessity “I believe that happiness comes from moving toward what you want, not necessarily getting it. What this means to you is that in order to be happy, couples need to have goals that they are moving toward. How can couples motivate and support each other to achieve individual and relationship goals? Here are 10 steps that will enable you and your partner to create and reach your goals and keep your connection as a couple strong.”

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This week, we wrote about honesty and living your inner truth. It requires both understanding and effort. Here are some blogs to help with that process.

What Is The Cost of Withholding Your Truth? “One of the casualties of living an outer-centered reality is that we can easily lose our ability to tell our truth honestly, openly, and freely. Sadly, this doesn’t just mean being unable to tell your truth to others, it also means not being able to tell your truth to yourself. This state of affairs is part of the learned response that motivates us to give others what they want or at least what we think they want, even if it means sacrificing what we want. In the worst scenario, it means putting ourselves last.”

Speaking & Living Your Truth (Why it’s Hard & How You Can Do It) “Speaking the truth can be tricky. For those of you who have this down, bravo to you. Although, even if you’re a truth speaker, my guess is that there have been and will be situations in life where “the truth” is difficult to speak. Verbalizing the truth, first to ourself and then to others, requires vulnerability, awareness and courage. A problem arises when we get in the habit of avoiding the truth, which leads to living a life based around something other than what’s real and authentic.”

The Power Of Telling The Truth “It can be scary to tell our partner how we really feel sometimes. Out of politeness, embarrassment, shyness, avoidance, or just not wanting to hurt their feelings, we can find ourselves not sharing our innermost feelings. We may find ourselves inhibiting and censoring our truest, deepest worries and fears with the people we love the most. And, our relationships will suffer for it – from the lack of depth, from lack of real connection, and from the shear superficiality of inauthenticity. Here is a spiritual rule of thumb: the more someone matters to you, the more you owe them your Truth.”

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This week in our blog, we wrote about how mutual solutions help you to solve disagreements and avoid arguments. Since this is very much a central theme of ours, we have written extensively on it; here are three of our past blogs that cover different aspects of the topic.

How to Work Through Disagreements to Reach a Mutual Solution “You may find yourself at odds with your partner, friend or relative when discussing your wants and needs in a particular situation. It is important to peaceful relating to have a process for preventing this kind of disagreement from turning into a full-blown conflict. When the decision affects both of you, it can seem at first that there is no solution, but as long as you are both flexible, that’s rarely the case. There are ways to not only transform a potential argument but instead to actually find solutions and make decisions that create an even stronger sense of agreement and mutuality.”

How to Reach Mutual Solutions in Your Relationship “There are multiple outcomes that would satisfy us; we can’t see them at first because we are staring at our metaphorical strawberry ice cream. There are more flavors in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy. The first step is not to be stubborn, and to accept that there are always other possibilities that we haven’t seen yet. Locking onto a single solution is a kind of identity panic.”

How to Find Mutual Solutions With Your Partner “Can you avoid conflict in your relationship? Absolutely! And we don’t mean avoid as in ducking out of the room when it looms. No, we’re talking about negotiating differences without descending into recriminations, counter-attacks, hostility, hurt feelings and battle scars. We never go there, and you don’t have to, either.”

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Our blog this week was about supporting peace in the world by expanding your circle of trust. Here are some inspiring writings on manifesting peace in your relationships and in the world.

How to Strengthen Loving Relationships with Mindfulness “‘Of all the experiences we need to survive and thrive, it is the experience of relating to others that is the most meaningful and important,’ [Cozolino] writes. His thinking grows out of the relatively new field of interpersonal neurobiology, based on the recognition that humans are best understood not in isolation, but in the context of their connections with others. Our brains, Cozolino writes, are social organs, and that means that we are wired to connect with each other and to interact in groups.”

12 Simple principles to build peace in your community “Now, you may be thinking: “How can we honestly make a difference?” Well the reality is that change really does start at home folks! If we build strong united communities, we can fight hate crime, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and take a stand against divisive politics. If we fight toxic narratives, common misconceptions and negative stereotypes, the media and politicians lose their power to drive communities apart, scapegoat groups and divide people.”

Ten ways you can promote peace “1. Develop your understanding of the frames of mind that promote conflict and violence against another group
• The perception that another group threatens our well-being
• A sense of uncertainty about our safety and security
• The belief that our own group is superior to another group.”

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This week, we wrote about the importance of balancing being and doing within yourself and how it benefits all your relationships. These links discuss various aspects of that balance.

The Difference Between “Being” and “Doing” “Different mental activities, such as reading a book, painting a picture, or talking to a loved one, each involve different patterns of interaction between networks of nerve cells in the brain. If we looked long enough, we would see that a limited number of core patterns of brain activity and interaction seem to crop up as recurring features in a wide variety of different mental activities. These core patterns reflect some basic ‘modes of mind.'”

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist “McGilchrist, who is both an experienced psychiatrist and a shrewd philo–sopher, looks at the relation between our two brain-hemispheres in a new light, not just as an interesting neurological problem but as a crucial shaping factor in our culture. He questions the accepted doctrine that the left hemisphere (Left henceforward) is necessarily dominant, the practical partner, while the right more or less sits around writing poetry.”

4 Ways To Communicate Like A Buddhist “Have you ever run through a list of to-dos while a friend poured their heart out to you — or worse, noticed your pal neglect you in the same way? Or maybe you’ve cursed others under your breath because they were holding up the line for the subway ticket machine. Perhaps it could be that you wanted to say something, but didn’t know how. Constructive communication is hard, and sometimes it can feel like one roadblock after the next. However, I’ve found Buddhist teachings on mindful speech to be particularly helpful.”

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