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Love Intentionally: 6 Essential Steps to Your BEST Relationship | Female Mind UnleashedI will not waste our time together today by reminding you that relationships are work. We all know this. I’m working on mine, that’s for sure – minute by minute, day in and day out. Some days are so damn easy! Some days I feel like we’re trapped in a maze with no map and no idea what’s waiting for us if we even make it out. Most days, though, our relationship feels like a true working partnership: challenging, sweaty, uncomfortable, vulnerable, and rewarding. The work, more often than not, keeps paying off. So, I wanted to design a recurring, monthly checklist of steps that will help us create our best relationships. Ultimately, these steps will connect us more to ourselves so that we can fully step out into loving others – whoever they are in our lives. We know by now that we give our best selves when we’re thoughtful, intentional, and actionable. These six guide points will help us be all of those things; not at all once, but in practical, achievable steps. Before you start, download the free workbook “Love Intentionally: 6 Essential Steps to Your BEST Relationship” to accompany this blog! Alright… ready? Let’s go! Step 1 Review Set aside about thirty minutes toward the beginning of each month to thoroughly review the course of your relationship (whichever one you choose to define). I have to put this on my calendar; this is not something that comes naturally to me. During this time I look back on the past month’s growth, highs, lows, and every adventure in between. The purpose of this reflection is to… Reconnect with gratitude and appreciation for the journeys we’re on Honor our progress (even if it was a hard month) Think more objectively about the lows Take pride in the highs Step 2 Inventory This might be my favorite part of the process because it’s when I get to take inventory of my needs and my needs only. Sometimes it’s hard for us to put our needs first, let alone sit down and try to articulately express them. It’s often just a feeling that something is missing. Taking time to really understand those feelings so we can pinpoint exactly what we need more of is so important. We’re able to ask for whatever it is that we need to feel fulfilled, but it’s much easier to do when we understand it well ourselves. Step 3 Empathy Society often labels women as naturally empathetic “creatures” who seem to just have a knack for understanding the needs of others. Well, I can tell you I can empathize with things all day long but the second my partner and I are in a heated disagreement it’s suddenly not so easy. True empathy requires a lot of energy. It can feel especially hard to access when we’re in pain or discomfort. But, it’s necessary for meaningful connection. Thinking objectively about our relationships can help us see things from our partner’s perspective. Where could we have been more supportive? When could we have been less harsh? What situation left us feeling disappointed in our behavior? Step 4 Intention Once I have a solid understanding of my needs and how I can better serve my partner, I’ll start thinking about my intentions for the next month. I’m kind of an intention-wh*re… but like goals, setting intentions works. I’ll try to focus on one or two positive changes I’d like to see happen. Then I’ll come up with some small actions I can take, whether randomly or in specific situations, to get us moving toward these changes. This means we have to get serious about our agency and take ownership of what we can change. Ex: I’d like to fight with my partner less. To help us achieve this, I’m going to try to ask my partner for more information in moments when I’d like to just say “no”. (It’s not fun. But it works!) Step 5 Priority We’re busy women! We have a lot going on! Long gone are those days when relationships took full stock in our lives. However, the importance of the protein stays the same no matter how high we stack our plates. Taking time to prioritize our relationships so that we’re having quality, fulfilling experiences with our partner is crucial. Hey, I am not above scheduling time for dates or Netflix binges. Even taking quick mental stock of how you want your relationship to move through the week is a step forward. This keeps us mindful of our intentions and prevents us from turning into an auto-pilot participant. Step 6 Abundance Abundance is the keyword of my household these days. “Abundance flows easily in me.” Say it with me, because it flows through you, too! The last step is for us to take our review, our inventory, our empathy, and our intentions and Put. Them. to. Work. I like this step Abundance because anything we do here will be out of an abundance of love and faith. We’re just gonna work in this realm of serving the greater good of our relationships. We can spend time, money, energy, creativity… you name it. Cook a meal. Share affirmations. Plan a surprise. I can’t recommend what abundance looks like to you and you shouldn’t have to justify it to anyone else. You’ll just know because it feels like you’re on the right track. Progress Adds Up By using abundance, which we all have within us, we can make really meaningful steps toward achieving the goals we have for our personal relationships. Relationships require work. Work requires accountability and a certain degree of expected progress. These six steps, if practiced routinely, will help to remind us of our innate ability to create the life we want to live. There are no tricks, we can actually create the lives we want. Why not start here? How do you check in with your relationship and your needs? I’d love to hear where you’re at! Until next time, Erin 3 #ReleaseBlitz : Brick by Jen DavisTitle: Brick Series: Cooper Construction #1 Author: Jen Davis Genre: Dark MC Romantic Suspense Release Date: February 5, 2019 I’m used to getting my hands dirty. During the day it’s mud and grime on the construction site. At night…it’s the blood I spill. A drug lord’s enforcer does what needs to be done. It’s my obedience, my loyalty to the boss that keeps my family alive. I know I’m teetering on the edge. I’m losing my humanity, I can feel it. It’s changing me, and it’s only a matter of time before the darkness takes over. Then I meet her. Liv. The only person who sees past my busted knuckles and brutal exterior. She sees…me. But being with me will get her killed. The only way I can keep her safe is by staying away. Until her own actions catapult her into the center of my world—a world which will swallow her whole. Now I’m forced to be the ruthless bastard I’ve been for so long. Only this time it’s not to destroy…but to defend. PREORDER - RELEASING FEBRUARY 26, 2019 Jen started her love affair with romance novels, first as a reader, then as a reviewer and blogger. She launched the Red Hot Books blog in 2010 and jumped into Book Twitter shortly after. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Together, they’re raising two kids, a cat, and a dog who is afraid of his own shadow. Jen spends her days working as television journalist and her nights curled up with a good book. HOSTED BY:10