Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Crises are opportunities for coming together

I am always looking for good news. Not easy when the front pages of the two newspapers I read daily are covered with mostly alarming news. What I've noticed with some of the couples I coach, however, is an increase in creative problem solving, a new commitment to an old idea - 'we can do this,' and a resulting intimacy that comes with sharing challenges.

One of the newly appointed people in the new administration (sorry I can't remember who) said it this way: 'never waste the opportunity in a crisis.' That's good and it's a healthy balancer. We who might have been seduced by a generation of advertisers offering us the perpetual good life are now being reminded that life is ... well, life. Inflations and deflations, recessions and depressions are not new. They have occurred throughout time. So has greed, so has stupidity.

Relationally you might want to take the gift in being challenged economically as an opportunity for moving closer. One couple I know recently started walking to the supermarket which is about a mile from their home instead of driving. They decided to a) save gas, b) enjoy a little family time, c) gain some exercise and d) escape their tv addiction. They also cut down some of their coaching time with me because, they said, "we are now talking more on our walks and trying our hand at some of the issues we brought to you in the first place."

We teach a marriage paradigm that takes advantage of the three journeys within marriage. That first journey is living in this world as "roommates." What they are doing is beginning to use the current economic challenges to 'drive' a deeper friendship (the third journey is the journey into deep friendship or intimacy) within their family.

And, 'we can do this' is really about inviting all family members into shared vision. Once you begin to back away from the drum beat of a marketing culture that shortcuts human activity and promotes spectator living you also begin to rediscover the enormous potential of the individuals within your family for living creatively.

Turn off the tv, walk to the store, make dinners together, plant a miniature herb garden in your kitchen, wash your own cars together, create your own 'fast food' meals, spend some time 'brainstorming' around money - enjoy the people you are connected with, whether you're a couple or a family. See what happens.

As I headed off for bed last night, my honey was sorting through coupons with my ten year old daughter. "We can save hundreds of dollars a month," I heard her say. I slept like a baby.

Coaching: email or phone: Stephen@WithTheseRings.com 805 527 2600