We are not creatures of habit. We are creatures of environment.

I, like many of my clients learnt the hard way that your primary relationship is with your Self. That is the one that needs to be mastered. That is the one that needs the most attention and resepct and adoration. Your internal relationship with your self is reflected by your external relationships with others. That ...
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The leopard who changed its spots

I watched with awe the final episode and words of Oprah in her farewell show last night. She has interviewed 33 000 people in the 25 years she has been doing her show. It’s fair to say that her experience qualifies her as a credible witness to what it means to be human. She spoke ...
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Selflessness. Noble or Nonsensical?

I have become very aware recently of a very dangerous virtue. Dangerous because this quality is practically branded into our minds as noble, even heroic. Being selfless is regarded by the majority as ‘the right thing to do’. But this admirable quality is causing havoc. It is destroying people’s lives. When we are taught /trained/brainwashed ...
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Moving on from Adultery

Are you feeling broken hearted? Has your partner broken the trust between you? Can you get over this mistake?  Can you believe/ accept the apology? Is the apology sincere? Of all the mistakes I have experienced in life, my own have been the worst. I have lied, cheated and betrayed another. Those were the days ...
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Get Rich. Quick.

WTF! In one week I have been exposed to more personal catastrophes than the whole of last year. Regardless of whether it is bad luck, the alignment of the planets or a sign of the times, catastrophic change is upon us. I am talking divorce, financial collapse, joblessness, moving cities to escape from a deranged ...
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EMOTIONAL anorexia

What am I actually talking about? I have had over the years several clients who have so little regard for themselves that they subject themselves daily to emotional and verbal abuse. They require so little in a relationship that the word ‘low maintenance’ doesn’t even apply to them. No maintenance. They have very little by ...
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Signs of Real Love

THE SIGNS THAT SHOW INFATUATION HAS TURNED INTO LOVE.   My opinion is that when we are infatuated with someone we place them on a pedestal and believe that in some way they are gods/goddesses  which of course is short-lived. At some point we come to terms with the reality that this person is human and ...
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Approval Addiction

It’s not for me to prescribe what to do or how best to move forward, my clients need to draw their own conclusions, but it is interesting to me to witness how many people remain in chronically unhappy marriages. There are a number of reasons for that; some might even see it as a noble ...
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Dreams and Goal Setting

What stops people from trying to realise/achieve their dreams? The dream killers. We buy into the belief, imposed on us by others, that we will never achieve our dreams because they are unrealistic, inappropriate, idealistic etc. And, because those ‘others’ didn’t have the commitment, passion and discipline to pursue their own dreams, they feel disillusioned ...
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Befriend Yourself First

It’s so true. “When you get married you’re not just signing up for one marriage, you’re signing up for many marriages. It’s going to change from romantic infatuation to intimate bonding, to living together, to having children. It’ll change through family, through aging bodies and changing endocrine systems. Each one of those changes is associated ...
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What we Don’t know CAN hurt us.

On Sunday I gave a talk at the Celebrate Life Festival on ‘The Architecture of Love Relationships’ (AoR). It was cold and it was Fathers day so I was pleasantly surprised to have a full lecture room. My experience so far has been that we live like ostriches with our heads in the sand thinking ...
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Go & See Someone!

You need help! Let’s be honest, someone, at some point in your life has told you that. And when they said those words, they meant in the kindest possible way that you would benefit from a professional person who would give you a kick up the backside, shake you by your shoulders and get your ...
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Love is a Collaborative Work of Art

One of my favourite ways to spend my spare time is to watch TED talks- videos of 20 minutes or less – the place where thought leaders are invited to deliver ideas worth sharing. If you haven’t browsed the TED library yet, you really are missing out on a phenomenal source of inspiration. So, I ...
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In celebration of LOVE and re-designing marriage

As commercial and contrived as Valentine’s Day can be, it is also a day carved out as one in 365 with a focus on ‘love’. Be that romantic, friendship or familial – it can’t be all that bad right? And so, on this Valentines Day, in celebration of love, I thought I would discuss how ...
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Living Life INSIDE-OUT, instead of OUTSIDE-IN

A disastrous patch in your marriage? A hideous boss who makes your life a nightmare? An unstable and financially insecure future? A potentially disappointing and unwanted diagnosis from the doctor?  Whatever challenging circumstances you face in your life right now, these incidents that induce anxiety/fear/depression/overwhelm can make us feel helpless. And, it is from this ...
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The Academy Award of Coaching

Beauty queens win titles. Brilliant actors receive awards. Gifted singers sign record deals. Talented sports professionals win trophies. Great chefs own busy restaurants. Skilled businesspeople earn promotions, a raise or climb the corporate ladder.  Original artists have exhibitions and eloquent authors get book deals. Most industries have ways to acknowledge and validate work well done. ...
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Inspiring Transformation

In an age where so many people are hurting and searching for the key to their happiness, keys and tools for transformation are a gift. This month I had the privilege of watching a movie that shows how simple transformation can be. (Simple but not necessarily easy). This docudrama titled \”People v. The State of ...
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Sometimes, Divorce=Love

Some people are just not good for each other. And sadly, some people realize that soon after the wedding ceremony is over. Henry Ford said, “My best friend is the person who brings out the best in me”. I never met him personally but he seems a wise enough man from whom to take some ...
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Are you having an Emotional Affair?

I had a call this week from a journalist hoping to unpack this thing called an ‘Emotional Affair’. It is an intricate ordeal to identify and therefore more difficult to confidently diagnose in your relationship. Before I ‘go there’, I think it is important to mention and educate first about ‘Emotional Intimacy’. When our partner ...
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A Young Couples Crystal Ball

1.       What is a good sign that you will be together for a long time? My opinion is that when we are infatuated with someone we place them on a pedestal and believe that in some way they are gods/goddesses – which of course is short-lived. At some point we come to terms with the ...
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Absence. Does it make the heart grow fonder?

I returned yesterday from a trip overseas.  It wasn’t a shopping trip to New York or a beach holiday in Maldives. It was a family visit to my folks in ‘sunny’ England. Summer – not. There are two seasons there. Winter and a little less winter.  Change is as good as a holiday I thought ...
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Heartbreak Academy

My favourite author, writer and coach Martha Beck, shares her wisdom this week in a powerful piece on learning from heartbreak, love and loss. I am sharing this from the Oprah.com site and hope you enjoy it as much as I did:   It’s a heartache / Nothing but a… Oh, be quiet, we know ...
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Before you say “I do”, be sure you say “We did”

“Why isn’t this stuff taught to us at school?” said loads of my ‘Dating Deliberately’ and ‘Pre-Commitment’ coaching clients. (I have officially lost count now). “Why don’t we spend more time understanding the difference between insects and arachnids?” said no one ever. And yet, understanding insects and arachnids are right up there in the school ...
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The best Couple therapy is Individual therapy

We all carry baggage. Some of us are so adept at carrying the load that our legs and back don’t buckle under the weight of it.  The problem with baggage and relationships is that the baggage (regardless of how comfortable you are with it) bumps against your partners and eventually you start blaming each other ...
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From Lonely to Loved

In a world filled with billions of people it’s always astonishing to learn of the many lonely people out there. We interact daily with hundreds of people as we busy ourselves at work and at play. So why then, do so few of us have a network of friends/or a community with whom we feel ...
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5 Dating Tips for Inter-racial Couples

I am deep in neuroscience research and training at the moment. As part of my continuous growth and development I chose to increase my knowledge about ‘brain-body optimization’.  It’s a thing. It’s how our neurological and biological systems can work together to get us to reach a point of high-performance and thriving in life. (For ...
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Keeping the spark

A few conversations recently about keeping the romance alive and well in long term relationships generated some interesting results. How can we do it? Is it realistic to expect eons of rapture or will all relationships eventually become more of a business partnership with a shared objective of raising children? Not so. If our marriages ...
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TV Show Interview

The following is a transcript between  Shelley and Liezel van der Westhuinen on eXpresso TV Show SABC3 7, Feb 2011. Why would someone see a life or relationship coach? I am so pleased you asked, there are many misperceptions out there – the biggest myth being that a life coach teaches life skills. The most ...
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Re-Invent your Self

“You have got to force rock bottom”, this was the professional (and personal) advice from an ex-addict running a recovery and rehab programme on how not to enable your loved ones to continue along a path of self destruction. The tough love approach is the only way to go apparently and although it is quite ...
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Picking Up The Pieces after a Break-Up

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross determined the ‘Five stages of grief’, which are relevant after the loss of a relationship. It is helpful to be aware of what to expect so you recognize your ‘rollercoaster of emotions’ to be normal. We do not move through these stages in a linear way, sometimes taking one step forward only ...
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When your Strengths are also your Achilles Heel

Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.  Exquisite. At 80 decibels, beautiful.  Increase the volume on that same classical piece to 140 decibels – the volume of a jet engine – it can quickly shift from a pleasant experience to one that is excruciatingly painful. In the same way, some of our most admirable and enjoyable qualities ...
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Holding a place for you in my heart

It has been a while since I felt loss in every cell in my body. I had forgotten how heavy it feels. And it is always nearby. Just beneath the surface, waiting to burst out like septic flesh. A smell, a song, a place, a memory plunges me quickly and uncontrollably into a sad place. ...
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How can Coaching help anyone?

I was taken aback recently. Pretty astounded actually. A senior executive in a large organization thought my job was to teach presentation skills to her lesser skilled staff member. I was a bit confused at first because I thought she had me confused with someone else- hopefully a presentations skills expert that looked like me. ...
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Baby baby, Where did our live go?

As we approach Valentines Day , which is celebrated across the world, there are many people in loveless relationships and marriages. Published data on divorces indicate that the number of granted cases has been fluctuating between 37 098 and 28 924 per annum in the past decade (1999-2008). The distribution of couples divorcing by population ...
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Shopping for a partner?

Relationship oriented dating (as opposed to booty call/ recreational/ casual/ short-term dating) is essentially the same process as interviewing candidates for a job placement. Executive Job Placements: If you owned a successful business and the position for managing director/CEO became available, you would be very careful and clear about the criteria required for a suitable ...
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Is monogamy a realistic concept?

I was so pleased the subject of monogamy has come up. It is one of those things we take for granted and assume is a requirement or non-negotiable for everyone in a romantic partnership. Actually, it’s not. Anthropology has shown that humans are ‘designed’ to have more than one partner in order to protect the ...
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Living Alone (and loving it)

I teach an approach, a way of understanding relationship called ‘The Architecture of Relationship’ (my own model). The premise of this model is that a generic formula exists -like property- that all architects follow regardless of the final product. Similarly, a relationship requires certain ‘procedures’ to be followed in order to be sustainable, healthy and ...
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Growing nowhere?

Today I am talking about ‘personal growth’, well Kirsty Wilkins the author of this article for Balanced Life Magazine is doing the talking and I am contributing toward the conversation. For some, personal growth is a ridiculous concept because we are growing all the time – aren’t we? For others, it is a crucial part ...
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When You Marry the Wrong Person

We all know someone a little bonkers. At school, they were the kids we avoided because even at a young age we knew they were a little inappropriate and strange. These kids seemed to live by another set of rules or standards. They didn’t seem to understand how life works on planet earth and had ...
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When Inspiration hits

After 12 years of learning and growing in private practice and 15 years of navigating long-term commitment with my husband, inspiration has hit. ‘It’ occurred to me. The ‘it’ I am referring to is inspiration.  All the research and blogging, all my hours as a workshop junkie, the thousands of hours in private practice and ...
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Anyone for more Intimacy, Sensuality & Sexuality?

Lady Rose Launch Party When Tammy Rose aka Lady Rose decided to launch a new business in the middle of this tough economic crisis I thought – Hari Kari in these hard times! Thank Goodness Lady Rose ignored doubting Thomases like me and followed her gut because last night, The Glamour Studio hosted this frenetic ...
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Brain freeze and broken hearts

We know the heart loves and feels, but did you know the heart also communicates with other hearts, helps regulate immunity and contains stored information that continually pulses through your body?The heart is more than just a pump, it contains the cellular symphony that is the very essence of our being. The hearts energy is ...
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Happy Holidays?

Happy holidays require joyful relationships. This festive season give a gift of joy in your relationships. In my marketing I refer to myself as ‘The Relationship Architect’ because I help individuals and couples create stable foundations and secure relationships. Essentially, as a relationship coach I understand how change happens within the dynamics and context of ...
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When The Love Of Your Life Doesn’t Love You

You might notice that when I find a teacher/author/blogger whose message is extra-ordinary, I like  to share it with as many people as possible. We are increasing in consciousness as a species and one of the ways we do that is by sharing information that opens our thinking to a new level. Providing a different and enlightening perspective on things ...
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10 Dating Tips for Single Mothers

As if you didn’t know already, dating as a single mom can be difficult, so I thought I’d provide some support on the do’s and dont’s: If you are dating recreationally (for pure companionship and pleasure), being a parent is irrelevant to your date so dont bore him with the details of how tough parenthood ...
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People are complicated. Relationships are Not

Do you find romantic relationships a struggle? Are you someone who describes your relationship as ‘complicated’? My work with couples over the last decade and more has given me the opportunity to codify healthy, connected relationships. I have represented the ‘Us’ between the Me and You; been the voice of the relationship and come to ...
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Born to …?

Wealth Dynamics, the World’s leading entrepreneur profiling test, was created by Roger James Hamilton . Roger is also one of my favourite gurus because he is a communication wizard who has the ability to explain difficult financial concepts in inspiring simple ways. This week he inspired me  in his newsletter by asking me what was I born to do: Felix Baumgartner ...
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When people show you who they are, believe them the first time

1400 words=7 minutes  If I had a dollar every time the subject of ‘distrust’ came up, I would be interviewed on ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’. When we meet someone and fall in love, we tend not to notice their foibles. Until its too late. Love is blind. Until it hurts so much it ...
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Relationship Solutions

“There is an art and science to pairing people. I am a relationship specialist who creates, constructs, restores and renovates connection. I simplify dating, marriage and commitment obstacles by changing perspectives. I design relationship maps for your journey, in a territory where there are none. If you are single and looking to meet your ideal ...
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Relationshipping

I am not sure about other languages but we are definitely short of a word which describes the actions, behaviours and competencies involved in achieving a healthy relationship (noun). ‘Relationshipping’- my word- is a verb used to describe the ‘doing’ part of relationship.  All the actions, words and behaviours that generate a climate for love ...
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Couples who make it work

‘Follow your bliss’. I see it, hear it, read it constantly in my never-ending research on what it means to live and work well.  One man, whose passion it was to get a date and have a girlfriend, began researching and studying ‘what makes couples work’ over those who couldn’t seem to get it right. ...
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The Architecture of Relationships

How to create intimacy with another by building a fulfilling relationship with yourself first. ‘The Architecture of Relationship’ is a framework to decode any problem keeping you from creating a healthy love relationship. Sustainable architecture relies on a generic formula to outlast any environmental conditions. It requires the site- to hold potential for construction, a ...
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Boundaries- How and why to say “NO!” part 1

My opinion on things I believed, were not valid. I took that learning into my life as we all do ( learning’s and beliefs that are unconscious to us show up in our behaviour) and it showed up in my inability to say No! In my lack of ‘standing up for myself’. In my desire to keep the peace, ...
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The Happy Barometer

1400 words = 5 minutes Have you ever wondered how it’s possible that we can reach a place where we threaten to kill ourselves if our partner leaves? Maybe you have been there too. I have a little hypothesis about why we reach this pit and how to avoid it in future. I refer to ...
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Single on Valentines day? Perfect.

It has arrived. Love it or hate it, the next 24hours is all about love. Glorious nurturing love, unrequited heart aching love, electric steaming hot love.  All kinds of love. Very different experiences and all defined by the same little word ‘LOVE’. If there was ever an understatement of the century, it is that love ...
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What stops us from achieving?

‘Goals’. I hate that word. For me it represents a target that you either miss or hit. Relationships aren’t like that. Life isn’t like that. We need to celebrate small successes and be kinder to ourselves. Outcome is a more appropriate term. It represents a description of what you are hoping to achieve. A direction ...
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Will you ever meet Mr/Mrs Right?

What if I were to tell you there is more than one Mr/Mrs Right for you. Would you believe that to be true? Allow me to use a food analogy here. Stick with me on this…. Any good chef will tell you food combining or even food pairing (with wine) requires deep knowledge about the ...
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A Fresh Chapter

The heat, the Christmas decorations, the tourists and the fact that my alarm clock is not waking me at 06h30 is a sign to me that we are close to the end of the year. Again. It seems only a couple of months ago I was saying good bye to 2012. Drawing to a close ...
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Does love ever hurt?

I have really had to look at this thing we call love recently. It really is a word that is thrown around and overused to such a degree, that ‘love’ is hardly recognizable anymore. It has become so diluted that we can (and do) use the same word to describe how we feel about a ...
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Valentine who? A celebration or a commercial cash cow?

February 14 induces a smorgasbord of emotions. Frustration that we are forced- along with everyone else- to buy a gift to endorse our partner’s as ‘loved’, irritation that we as a society have been convinced by retailers that prehistoric myth has any relevance to us in the 21st century, excitement at the possibility of a ...
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Deepak on Being a leader

Words of inspiration. Guidelines for life. Deepak Chopra’s commencement speech, The Future of Leadership, which he delivered at Hartwick College’s 2013 Graduation ceremony. The following has been extracted from The Future of Leadership (San Francisco Chronicle, June 3, 2013)By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP …Today, I ask you my young friends, you who are the future ...
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Destiny Magazine Mentorship Programme

For the month of August I was invited to participate in Destiny Magazine’s Online Mentorship Programme on Love and Relationships. See: www.destinyconnect.com Part of my involvement was a live chat on Commitment Phobia, members also had the opportunity to fire away questions about love, romance and commitment. I have picked a few questions that were ...
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Converting issues into intimacy in 5 steps

1 400 words = 5 minutes to read A relationship is live and organic like a living organism/plant. Every interaction we get to choose whether what we do is going to make the relationship better (like nurturing and watering) or worse (like neglect and intense heat). It is an ongoing choice to either help it ...
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Long distance love

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who is there for you emotionally and spiritually but not physically? It’s a whole new level of pain to love someone who is not in the same city or country as you. The pining and heart ache is too much for some to bare. I have ...
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Crush Control

It is January 2012! The silly season is over and most of us have returned back to work, although our brains might only follow suit later on in the month. I have adored spending time with my family and start the year feeling blessed and with gratitude for all the love I have in my life ...
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When sh1t happens

  If you are couple and have experienced together a sick child, moving home/city/country, financial losses, death or endured some kind of chaos or trauma, you will know the relentless strain external circumstances can place on a relationship. Two people experiencing turmoil simultaneously can be the nail in the coffin for any relationship. That kind ...
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An Unusual Talent

A few years ago I was lucky enough to see Doreen Virtue on her Cape Town visit. For those not familiar with her work Doreen is a best-selling author and metaphysician who works within the angelic realms and communicates directly with the angels. (If your eyes just rolled- hang in there for a bit longer). ...
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On loss

Writing this was really hard. Of all the things we know so well, one of them is our parent’s faces. I have been looking at my ‘ol dad’ for forty years. His mannerisms, expressions and the tone of voice, I know them so well. I can’t believe I won’t get to see him again in ...
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Is it OK to choose me?

A reader from Canada wrote to me with a question she was struggling to find an answer to: “Is it ok to choose me?”   After an affair with another man led to the realization that her marriage was not as fulfilling as she hoped, she wondered, does it make sense to leave a husband who ...
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Why am I still single?

If you are asking yourSelf this question and are unhappily single after years of searching for ‘the one’ I have this advice to share. You are probably focusing on the wrong thing! Stop looking for a date, start looking for a connection. Stop looking for a person, start looking for a relationship. Stop looking for ...
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Principles of a Powerful Partnership

I love learning. It is a thrill when I find a book/blog/author that provides a different perspective. It’s even more exciting when the information is backed with empirical research. No one does better research than ‘Gallup Press’. ‘Gallup has studied human nature and behaviour for more than 75 years. Gallup’s reputation for delivering relevant, timely, ...
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For all the skeptics- a true love story

“My life changed at the click of a button.” This, from two of the biggest online dating cynics- separated by 9300miles- recounting the details of their incredible love story. Steve (43) and single mother of two kids, Heather (39) sat down with me today to share their unbelievable journey – literally- of the past 6 ...
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The myth of the ‘right’ decision.

Inertia. Analysis paralysis. Procrastination. These are often the symptoms of clients stuck at a crossroads needing to make a big, calculated decision. And then there are the additional problems they accumulate when the deadline for the final decision comes and goes and still the decision has not been made. Tips on how to make your ...
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Technology for Achieving Anything You Want

Can you imagine finding out that we all have incredible technologies available to us, to achieve anything we want but because it is widely misunderstood it is vastly underused by the majority?  It has potential to be, with practice, the most powerful skill you could ever possess in crafting a life that excites and inspires ...
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The downside to Harmonious People.

I have the privilege of meeting a broad spectrum of personality types in my work. I am often asked “Are some personalities better suited for relationships than others?” and I would say that no one ‘type’ is better or worse. Of course, some people are better suited for partnering than others, better at being a team player ...
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When talking about problems Doesn’t Help

1600 words = 7minutes “I feel better about my problems when I don’t have to talk about them”, this from a child who was sent into therapy after experiencing some trauma. Boy, did she challenge the one thing that we in the helping profession assumed as ‘the truth’ i.e. talking about our problems makes us ...
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