It’s become quite common to categorize ourselves as “single” or “in a relationship,” “married,” or “in school” etc.  It’s like society will understand us or know us better based on if we are partnered, in school or not. They know us by understanding us in relationship to other people, places or things. And, fortuitously, we are becoming conscious of this bad habit, reminding ourselves of our need for strong relationships  to ourselves first and foremost

If you have begun to dip your toes into spirituality, or start the trek into personal development and self-growth, you’ve probably begun to hear the notion of ‘your relationship with yourself” often.

In my single days back in 2015 when I was dating myself as much as I was dating the world, and when I was trying to figure out who I was, based on where I wanted to live, people said “just work on yourself” to me like a broken record. As if whoever said it should get a gold medal for self-help advice. But hey, at least they were trying!

“Work on your relationship with YOU,” they said.

“Be in relationship with yourself first, that will help you find a partner,” they said. “Love yourself,” they said.

But out of fear of sounding schizophrenic and/or becoming too self-concerned, I treaded lightly on this subject of being in relationship with myself and resolved to simply spend quality time focusing on things that made me happy, and doing less dating, until I began dating more lol

As an executive and mindset coach now, five years later, I get it. This blog is for former me, the girl who inherently understood the value of being in a healthy relationship with herself and secretly sought after “self-love;” yet, that girl also kind of hated the idea of it, and had no clue where to start.

One thing that came to me, during quarantine was that there are a LOT of things we’re constantly in relationship with, and to the extent that we can work on these 4-5 relationships, which we’ll forever we engaged with, we can get a better understanding of ourselves.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this blog!

The 4-5 things you will always be in relationship with, whether you are single, widowed, married, or dating the world, and whether you’re stuck inside, traveling the world, or living in a close-knit, social community are:

-body

-money

-food

-nature

-family*

Body

Let’s start with Body:

Your  body is your home. It’s where you live. A few weeks ago, contemplating this notion whilst riding a horse, I felt this so deeply that I laughed out loud thinking about the question “where do you live?” (It could have been partially because I am hung up on that question these days as I have permanently left Boston; I “dwell” in New Hampshire and yet I am “from” Indiana). I giggled, thinking, “I live here, in this body!” 

Perhaps instead of “where do you live?” we should ask, “how are you living?” But I digress.

As I rest easy in my own skin, become more deeper aware of who I am and experience what I call “spiritual weight loss,”  my body expands on the inside. It’s like my soul can can stretch out my arms and legs with a deep sigh, exhaling into comfort. But, it wasn’t always this way.

Back to you: you will always be in relationship with your body, because you live there!

Thus, whether you’re in a distracted stage of your life, traveling and socializing with a body as a vehicle to do ALL the things, or you’re in the midst of fervently changing your waistline, you will never NOT be in a relationship with your body.

So, how is that going? Are you guys doing well? Are you at odds with each other?  Are you talking daily but in denial that you’re totally “a thing?”

Any relationship with another human, at some point or another, will directly mirror your relationship with your body. Why? Because what you repress, you express. What you resist, persists. Thus, if you are unhappy but unwilling to change something, it will persist and show up in other areas of your life. 

My favorite exercise to work on this relationship is imagine three aspects: your mind, your body and your soul. Your soul is going to be a silent, empathetic counselor between the mind and the body (remember, you are NOT your mind). In a journal exercise, you will start with the mind, imagine it sitting on a couch next to body, telling the counselor all of its frustrations with body, what it needs more of from body, what it will do to work on itself, etc. Then, the body gets a chance to share its grievances, or apologies, frustrations, or revelations. After each journal entry is done. Your soul gets to give the “couple” homework.. what should each party work on? How can they best work together?

Lean into the discovery of your relationship with body, and see how it transforms your life and thus, your relationship to yourself!

Money

Here’s a book on money that will change your life and educate on wealth consciousness.

Moving onto, MONEY.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, as far as we can predict, in this lifetime, you will be in relationship with money.

But before we dive in: from now on, think of money as energy.

Somebody I admire once said, “To the extent that you are conscious, you will be wealthy.” I loved that mainly because it’s just another motivator for people to work on their consciousness. But even more because so many of us (myself formerly included) fail to see all of the wealth around us, and live in lack mentality.

But, my favorite thing we do in my coaching work is “wealth consciousness.” Wealth consciousness is just like “health consciousness.” It’s when you stop ignoring things, and open your eyes to what’s really there.

Here are two podcasts I recorded on Wealth Consciousness

Wealth Consciousness #1

Wealth Consciousness #2

For example: health consciousness, put simply, is that moment when you realize that blueberries have sugar in them, but they’re better for you than jellybeans. Or, another example: that moment you realize that your favorite Starbucks drink has 550 calories, and you shouldn’t consume that like water if you want to maintain a healthy body and weight.

Wealth consciousness is similar. Money is energy, thus, wealth consciousness is the awareness around money, (energy) in your life.

Wealth consciousness will improve what you charge for your services, your bottom line, the way in which you compensate others and an  augmentation in the understanding and gratitude for the abundance in your life. The more conscious you are of what you have, and hold gratitude for that, the more of a magnet you will be for more of it to come into your life.

If your grandparents take you on a trip and foot the bill, you are wealthy.That money/energy is flowing through you – even if you didn’t “earn” the dollars to take/plan the trip. 

Back to the relationship status and you, no matter if you are stuck inside with your family or all alone, or if you are traveling for business, or starting a business, asking for a raise, or buying things for your kids you will be in relationship with money.

Right now, think of three things you think about money, or three feelings money gives you.

So, how is your relationship with money?

Well, if you think money is taboo, frustrating, annoying, or maybe complicated…imagine money was a person… would it be a good relationship if your “partner” was annoying, taboo, or frustrating? Probably not.

Talk about money and think of money like someone you wish to have a beautiful r’ship with.

Wealth consciousness will help your receiving energy too. Not sure if you have receiving issues? Ask yourself this: how would it feel to be handed $50,000 for doing nothing? Would it feel sticky or weird, like you didn’t earn it? Or, would you feel worthy of accepting that?

Any relationship with another human, at some point or another, will directly mirror your relationship with money. Can’t receive money? May not be able to handle a new partner doing something nice for you! But! The good news is, to the extent that you feel abundant, so you will be!

Further, money mindset is intricately linked to your nutrition mindset*, so let’s move onto the next lifelong relationship of yours!

(* The bulk of my work outside of executive business coaching is on nutrition mindset and embodiment. If you are now aware that your money mindset needs work, and you already knew you needed nutrition help, please contact me: gwcrof@gmail.com)

Enter: food.

Food

A podcast I recorded called “How to Eat 101” with Bridgitte Carroll here.

Since 2014 I’ve politely reminded my clients (especially the ones who think they should give up/quit) that no matter what your fat loss goals are or are not, to be a human, you have to eat, it’s part of the gig.

So, whether or not you are eating to gain or lose fat, or simply to sustain your lifestyle, losing consciousness over food/ this relationship with food is anything but helpful.

This r’ship, in my opinion, is as obvious as “body” – because we literally have to eat to live. Thus, let’s jump ahead to the intricate connection food has to money.

Let’s say you live in scarcity with money….  Are you also a part of the clean-plate club? Do you also chronically think about food? Have you suffered from anorexia or bulimia?

Adding a layer: self-trust. Do you trust yourself with money? OK. What about food, like, desserts? 

Regardless of a global pandemic, a breakup with a boyfriend, an asteroid hitting the earth or falling ill, you will still be in relationship with food, until perhaps someday we invent a way to live without it.

So, how is your relationship with food? Is it always top of mind, or do you find yourself forgetting to eat?

Is it one of the main things that is holding you back? I hate to interrupt the message, but, if you are nodding your head yes right now, please read no further and click here and scroll to learn about my Dare To Eat 2.0 Expanded program, that is essentially life coaching for food. I am here for you. This is my life’s work. Email me if you need help gwcrof@gmail.com

Any relationship with another human, at some point or another, will directly mirror your relationship with food. So, how are you feeling with food? If you were going on a date with food, how would the conversation be? How would it make you feel?

Nature

This summer I traveled to Lost Valley Ranch where I spent more hours outside than inside each day, for a week

The fourth major thing we are in relationship with, always, is nature.

As humans, we’ve never lived anywhere else, but here, on Earth.

This relationship with nature would not have been so obvious to me five years ago. Even though I was raised on 40 acres and attribute most of my biggest revelations and mystical moments to times spent in nature, there was a major part of  myself that forgot about nature in my 20s,  whilst living in cities. 

I spent a year in Chicago and six years in Boston. Nature was relegated to some grass between the sidewalk and the street, the running routes along water, and perhaps a tree here and there, for most of the year.

However in 2017, in the midst of the depth of my gut health struggles, my boyfriend at the time (who is now my fiancé), bought a cabin in the woods of New Hampshire. He got a bird feeder so we could gaze at birds on the weekends, we planted plants and trees together, and we often sat on the front porch staring at the forest. Something changed. My inflammation went down, my healing began. My body responded.

We come from nature. We can come home to nature. We belong to this planet. Like the plants, we need sunshine, we exist off of water, we are made from the elements of the earth… so how could be have forgotten?

It seems crazy but we have! At least, I sure had.

So, how is your relationship with your nature? Do you make time for it like a dear friend? Do you bask in the sun, or walk barefoot in the grass? Do you notice the birds, or the leaves?

For me, getting back into a stronger relationship with nature helped me remember– myself, my goals, my imagination, my purpose…. My humanness!

Many spiritual teachers contend that our time spend in highly electric spaces like cities is what can/will trigger our autoimmune issues. My own case in point? This summer, in the middle of a valley int he middle of nowhere Colorado, I accidentally ate gluten. I  had zero side effects.

Any relationship with another human, at some point or another, will directly mirror your relationship with nature.

Before I briefly touch on  a potential fifth innate relationship with have as humans, I want to note that these 4 our the most indisputable. The 5th one, Family, is much more complex, and truly the heart of what I unravel with each of my clients, regardless of  their career, life goals,  or revenue goals. For more on family complexities with relationships, please do check back here, for other topics.

Family

My dad’s side of the family in Colorado on a horseback adventure.

In the quest to know ourselves, we often look at our lineage. This is normal. But not all of us have even spent time with parents, siblings or grandparents. So, to put this one the most simply, because it is the most complex, the question to ask yourself (whether you know your family, have lived with them or live near them now) is how do I feel about family?

The power you have is to develop a relationship with yourself via the other 4  relationships, and create the framework for how you wish to feel in your own created family– which could be you + your dog, or you + a fiancé and future children, or you with yourself in nature! It may take some contemplating your past relationship or lack thereof with family, before envisioning your created family, but, if you take anything away from this section, please know that it within your soul’s power to design and yet, your lineage will always be with you, running through your body. Thus, if you are curious about your lineage, it may be empowering to look into!

Any relationship with another human, at some point or another, will directly mirror your relationship with family, bringing up feelings and emotions you perhaps weren’t conscious of. Doing this work will help you become aware of yourself and your perspective on your lineage and the notion of family

Wrapping Up

During quarantine many of my clients (and all of us!) went through the existential question of “who am I?” Because the things off of which we tend to base our ideas of ourselves were stripped away.

No longer could Sally Jo identify as “the girl who does Wednesday night spin classes, frequents south end boutiques and bars in the Seaport.”

No longer could John Smith be the social, unofficial mayor of his town, bopping around being engulfed in. everyone else’s life.

No longer could we all hide from the complex relationships aforementioned. In fact, Covid sort of held up a flashlight to these five relationships — each impacting your connection with yourself. And, they will 100% impact how you show up in the world. How your soul is expressed will depend on these relationships.

If you are struggling with something in your life right now, consider doing a check in on each of these relationships, with body, money, nature, food, and family. Perhaps and issue or theme in your r’ship with one of them will give you insight into your issue at hand.

Feeling like you need help with any of these? I am here for you. Please book  a free Clarity Call with me, and check out my embodiment program, “Match Your Soul” if you don’t feel like who you are is expressed in your way of being, showing up, or your physical nature.

xo

G