Cultivating C.H.I. : Renewing Loving Relationships

 BR loves RR

CULTIVATING C.H.I. comes from a desire to live a more heart-centered life.  An understanding that we are beings of INTEGRITY, meaning whole and not segmented.  To live a healthy whole life we must nurture not only our PHYSICAL bodies, but also our RELATIONSHIPS, our PROFESSIONS, and our SPIRITUAL lives.  CULTIVATING C.H.I. is not based on quick fixes but rather taking small sustainable steps to create alignment, balance, and values to live by.

RENEWAL is the way we continually refresh, regenerate, and repair each part of our lives to keep them in good working order and to maintain C.H.I.

July 5th, 2013 was a night that I will always remember.  My friend of 27 years had lost her battle with breast cancer and passed in late June on my husband’s birthday.  We were gathered together to memorialize her amazing life.

pink rose

What are the consequences of living out of  C.H.I.?


My husband and I were in our 27th year of marriage.  We weren’t communicating.  We were having a tough year.  He was quick to anger.  I was quick to be wounded.  He was stressed and miserable at work.  I was struggling to recover after a life altering surgery.  He was shut down.  I was feeling the victim.  We were both miserable and stuck in our roles.  Something had to give.

As I walked up to my friend’s husband, also my friend of 27 years, I wrapped my arms around him and offered words of comfort.  His words to me, however, changed my life forever.  He said, “Barb, we’re going to be OK, we are OK.  We left nothing undone.  We left nothing unsaid.” I felt his words in my heart strike with the CLARITY of a bell.


“Never put off repairing a relationship you value.  If sorry needs to be said say it now.  Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us.”

-T. Sorenson




“Love does not just fall from the sky, perfect and intact.  It has to be renewed, reaffirmed, and remembered in every moment.”



I awoke the next day and I sat down and began to write a LOVE NOTE to my husband.  I wrote of my love for him, my deep gratitude for all he does for us, and about the things that I admire about him.  I left it on his desk.


Love me heart

I woke up the next day and I wrote another NOTE.

I woke up the next day and I wrote another NOTE.

And so on and so on and so on for six months or so…every day.


“Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.  To love somebody isn’t just a strong feeling.  It is a decision, a judgement and a promise.”



What are the benefits of creating  C.H.I.?


He never said a word about it but his attitude rapidly shifted.  By this simple act of humbling my pride and honestly thinking about and sharing my appreciation, I began to recognize and create balance, harmony, and alignment with what I knew to be true about him and our relationship.  This created space for him to do the same toward me.


“You have a choice.  You can either focus on what’s tearing you apart or what’s holding you together.”



        became kinder.

        became less judgmental.

        were more generous in thought and deed.

        laughed and smiled more.

        assumed the best about each other.

        became best friends again.

        took the initiative to do projects that needed to be done.

        began to enjoy spending time together.


The whole atmosphere in our home shifted almost over night.

You see, we never stopped loving each other, we just stopped communicating that love to each other.  We allowed everyday life to overshadow our relationship and we lost our way for a while.


love candy


 “Trust in the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved.”



My dear friend reminded me of this lesson that night and I am forever grateful.  His words woke me up and RENEWED in me a desire to take that first small step.  To reach out my hand.  I am so thankful.

“Don’t talk, just act.  Don’t say, just show.  Don’t promise, just prove.”



This is why RENEWAL is so important.  We can never become complacent and take our RELATIONSHIPS for granted.  They are treasures and should be treated accordingly.  We can also become stuck and uncertain of how to move forward.  We get stuck in what I call the MESSY MIDDLE.  The place of uncertainty where we don’t know how things are going to turn out.

There is no shame in being in the MESSY MIDDLE.  Every relationship has one from time to time.  It is an opportunity for growth, deeper love, and communication.  Use it as an opportunity to get curious and to gather information needed to create a life of greater ease and flow.  It’s the process by which we become “unstuck” and CULTIVATE resilient C.H.I.

“People who are meant to be together find their way back, they may take a few detours, but they’re never lost.”



love blocks



  1. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Absence creates distance.  Distance is the enemy of intimacy.  Relationships need intimacy to thrive.  When you feel distance between you, find a way to close the gap.

  1. Anger is simply frustration that doesn’t know how to express itself properly. Be an adult.  If you can’t speak without hurting, than pause and come back after you’ve cooled down.  Words matter.

  1. Pride really does go before the fall.  Never let pride get in your way of making things right.  What does being right matter if you are alone and miserable?

  1. Be loyal. Keep your arguments in-house.  All relationships will go through rocky times.  Try to keep it between the two of you and keep outside involvement of others to a bare minimum.  You will get over your bumps along the way and forgive each other but it’s hard for those outside the relationship to forgive and forget.

  1. Create a home that is peaceful and relaxing. A drama- free zone.  This should be your oasis.

  1. Everyone needs affirmation. Tell them what you sincerely admire about them and watch them bloom.

  1. Long suffering silence doesn’t make you a saint. It just makes you resentful.  If you can’t talk with your loved one find a trusted neutral party to listen and create a safe space.

  1. Pray daily for your relationship. God loves you and always wants your highest good.

  1. Encourage change and evolution. Resist the need to control the other person by pigeon -holing them according to perceived past behavior.  Let go of phrases like “you always…” or “I know you…”.  This is demeaning and has no place in a loving relationship.

  1. Be each other’s most faithful loving friend. The world is full of people who thoughtlessly tear down.  Be that consistent positive presence.


So you may be wondering how my guy and I are doing? I’m so blessed to say that we are stronger than ever, very much in love, and will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in August.  

B & R red shirt


You may be asking yourself…Now what?  I would love to implement these recommendations but I really want or need some help.


If this is you, you can contact me for a complimentary 15 minute Cultivating Clarity Session.  Here’s how…


Send your message below, and I will reply shortly.


Or you can email me at or call (904) 502-8936 and leave a message.



8 thoughts on “Cultivating C.H.I. : Renewing Loving Relationships

  1. Thank you for sharing such a personal and inspirational story with your followers. I love the concept of writing love notes daily…what a gentle and beautiful way to bring about a shift. Well done!

  2. Thanks for your generosity in sharing your story. It is thought provoking and inspirational and your renewal points give all of us somewhere to start to make our relationships stronger. You are doing an amazing job of brightening your corner of the world and helping the rest of us to do the same.

  3. What a great way of saying your heart, Barbara. You have such a wonderful way with words and express yourself so well. You are amazing.

  4. Excellent article, Barb. No marriage relationship is without its hiccups. You are both an inspiration in your 30 years.

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