BLOG: Rigor, Rest and Relationship
Rigor AND Rest
Living and loving by DESIGN rather than drifting into a dangerous DEFAULT mode is the secret to a playful, peaceful and passionate marriage.
Creating and pursuing meaningful relationship goals together is a habit that brings you more of what you BOTH want AND saves you soooooo much time and energy by minimizing conflict and blame and maximizing connection and creativity.
Failing to invest in intimacy in your marriage inevitably results in drifting apart or into unnecessary arguments so bringing a playful level of RIGOR to improving your relationship is wise.
Yet it’s a key skill and practice to ALSO embrace and invest in REST. It’s actually an essential part of the goal-setting cycle.
Doing nothing is ironically a foundation to productivity.
Restorative periods are not only enjoyable, they can be the foundational fuel for your next steps.
The Underbelly of Ambitious Intimacy
Being ambitious and engaged with creating more of what you both want in your marriage is awesome, yet we know that all work and no play makes a mess of a marriage.
That’s the underbelly of the most awesome habit. It CAN be too much of a good thing!
Going for it in love and life is good, still, there WILL be a price to pay if you do not relent with your forward-focused efforts and just take time to take a beat.
Endless Effort Is Exhausting
If we drive and drive and strive and strive without pausing to REST and rejuvenate, it’s not only exhausting, it can even be life-threatening.
Stress kills, especially if it’s endless. And it certainly kills off intimacy and connection.
A little intentional stress, especially in the form of stretching to pursue meaningful goals is a good thing. But if you’re relentless about improving, you’ll burn out.
Burnout to Blow Ups
Burnout in a marriage can devolve into frustration, crankiness, blame, projection, short fuses or even big blow ups.
When we’re stretched and stressed, we often take it out on our beloved. Little things become big deals. Big deals turn into blow outs. Sometimes blow outs can turn into breakups.
Next thing you know, something like not taking out the trash turns into a terrible fight.
We often think we don’t have time to REST, yet we somehow make time to fight. Or the fight MAKES time for us.
An Environment to Thrive In
When you gift yourself, your beloved, and your relationship a REST you’re creating an environment to THRIVE in together.
It may be counterintuitive, but sometimes, especially if you’ve been pushing hard, taking a rest and doing nothing can be a path to everything.
Doing nothing can be the path to everything!
Taking the time to take a REST has been shown to have a wide variety of benefits that apply to a thriving marriage.
- Stirs inspiration and CREATIVITY - invest your energy in what you DO want. Come up with multiple options and find synergy in even your seemingly opposite ideas.
- Allows time to gain PERSPECTIVE - Seeing things from many angles, especially your beloved’s perspective is wise.
- Increases PRODUCTIVITY - Stop wasting time working against each other with blaming and defending dynamics. Imagine all you can do a dynamic duo on the same team aiming in the same direction!
- Heightens sensitivity and EMPATHY - Build connection and trust by honoring each other’s experience just because it is their experience and that matters.
- RESTORES and recharges your battery - When you’re drained, you’re often dreary. Crankiness and complaint creep in easily. When you rest, you have more resilience and the ability to navigate hurdles with purpose and ease.
- BOOSTS your immune system - Doing too much for too long and being too stressed WILL get you sick. Giving your body a rest and your pursuit of relationship improvement helps you stay healthy!
- Improves your MEMORY - Forgetting what you agreed to do can be disastrous so avoid that default and massage your memory skills by giving yourself, your beloved, and your relationship a REST.
- SLOWS reactivity - Being rested saves you from saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Building a habit of taking a PAUSE and crafting a creative, considerate, and compassionate RESPONSE is a Game Change in relationships.
- Helps you think more CLEARLY - Regrets suck! And you can’t take it back. You said it, you own it. So think before you speak - which is much easier to do when you and your beloved create rest for yourselves and your relationship pursuits.
Just reading the definitions of REST can be soothing and restorative.
- A brief pause used for support
- Free of anxieties
- Bodily state characterized by minimal activities
- Freedom from activity or labor
- A state of motionlessness or inactivity
- Peace of mind or spirit
- A rhythmic silence in music
90 Day Games and the Proactive Period
All of these benefits are why in between the 90 Day Games, (where my husband and I, as well as all my coaching clients, lean into our relationship goals), we take a month “off” for the Proactive Period.
There are four weeks to this time and each has a specific opportunity.
- CELEBRATE - The fact that you bring intentional action to your relationship is impressive. No matter if you set goals or not, just reading this email proves you're leaning into love so take a moment to celebrate your efforts.
- REST - especially if you're an ongoing goal setter, it's important to take a week to NOT pursue goals in any way. As much as possible just rest.
- REFLECT - Before you set your sights on what's next, take a moment to look back at the last three months to see what worked and what could be even better.
- TAKE AIM - A new season brings an opportunity to set goals so take aim for the next level in love.
The second week of the Proactive Period month is all about REST.
As empowering as it is to get clear on what you want and to practice habits to get there, you will actually go farther and be happier if you take the time to STOP striving too.
Think of your relationship like a muscle. When you work out, you have to rest so the muscle can repair. That’s how it builds.
What you put under stress, you must also give time to recover.
Goals are inspiring and empowering. But to become more than we currently are, we have to stretch ourselves. Goals can also be stressful.
Any athlete knows that if you’re going to perform again, you need to have a recovery period. And no matter how great an orgasm was, we all need a rest before we can go again!
A Constructive Break
Even machines need maintenance so give yourself and your relationship a REST.
Put your productivity on pause and take an intentional and constructive break.
This week, release any seeking of accomplishment and allow yourselves to just enjoy the emerging experience.
Sometimes doing nothing can be the path to everything.
Read more about the 4 Steps/Weeks to the ProActive Period/Partnership HERE!
Ready for personalized support coaching to shift out of blame and into bliss? It IS possible and faster than you might think.
1. Stop striving.
2. Turn off the reminders (and all screens while you’re at it!)
3. Go do nothing (maybe lay in the grass and look at clouds together?)
Let me know how it goes!
Your Ally in Aiming for Awesome,
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