Saying Im Sorry Is Hard#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Gracefully confronting someone with a wrong, and navigating an apology can be very tricky, and very painful. Recognizing the difficulty of the action while at the same time honoring our own need to hear it, is the trick.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 1:29:08 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [1]  | 
The real purpose of the Holiday Season#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Christmas vacations and skiing with the entire crew is a fantastic adventure as well as as healing crucible.
Monday, January 04, 2010 5:41:52 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [1]  | 
Compassion for Tiger#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Why is it we are so upset with Tiger for being what he was well known to be? Mostly because of our own fantasies...
Thursday, December 10, 2009 1:34:30 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Men are Pigs and Other Lies#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
There is a growing belief in the generality that men are somehow less than women... more vulgar, stupid and incapable...
Monday, December 07, 2009 10:07:48 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Emily Post and I Disagree#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Is it rude for men to leave the toilet seat up? Emily Post thinks so, but I disagree...
Wednesday, December 02, 2009 1:05:24 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [2]  | 
Tiger Woods Brain#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Wow, Tiger lost it. We have come to expect him to be able to soothe his primitive brain... but he hasn't made the connection between what happens with his wife and he and golfing.
Monday, November 30, 2009 12:14:56 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
The Case Against Selfless Love?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
What is "selfless love"? Why do we convince ourselves that it's a nobel, altruistic thing to do for someone else. What is the price of that?
Thursday, October 29, 2009 9:17:04 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Women Perpetrators? Is it a far fetched Idea?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Why do we have such a hard time imagining women as perverted sexual offenders? In our culture we are set up not to believe that women are capable of such horrors, but I think we are just as capable and just as frequent perpetrators as men.
Thursday, April 16, 2009 2:24:08 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [4]  | 
The Case for Speaking Truths#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Speaking hard truths is difficult, but even more difficult if we dont' do it in a compassionate way.
Monday, March 30, 2009 11:29:08 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [3]  | 
Domestic Abuse Myths#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend, Rihanna. The article on Newsweek's website today would have us believe that Chris is some kind of a monster. But is he?
Monday, March 09, 2009 10:15:24 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [2]  | 
Medical Excuses for Not Being Sexual#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Medical conditions often make sex seem impossible. Why do we accept this death sentence? Many people accept the idea that they sex is too hard and just give up on it altogether.
Sunday, March 08, 2009 4:24:01 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Women and Mid-Life Affairs#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Women are said to rediscover sex in our 40's. Does this mean we have to have affairs? What's the alternative?
Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:27:21 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
The Case for Lasting True Love#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
The New York Times report that scientists now say that "true love" can last decades. What makes "true love" last? Why don't most of us experience that?
Sunday, January 04, 2009 11:55:44 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [2]  | 
The Seven Day a Week Church Challenge Begins!#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Fellowship Church's Ed Young's challenge to have sex every day for one week begins today. Married couples are up in arms not under sheets... well, they should be under the sheets (or on top) having the time of their lives... if not something is wrong.
Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:14:33 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Seven Days of SEX, in a row!!!#
by Mike Henricks - Melody's husband, partner, and Co-Author of "Oh Wow, this is Great Sex"

It is splashed all over the media, Fellowship Church’s Grapevine, TX pastor, Ed Young, is challenging his married parishioners to have sex for the next seven days. Why is this news? Most religions encourage and honor sex in the sanctity of marriage. Even a stodgy group like North American Mission Board, an arm of the ultra conservative Southern Baptist Convention emphasizes the importance of good sex in marriage (see Sexual Response in Marriage).

What I find really surprising is the public, or at least some of the media figurehead’s reaction. Sex. For SEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT! They don’t think its possible and they sure don’t seem to think its really desirable. One CNN anchor even suggested that pastor Young would be an accomplice to rape since the women would have to be having sex against their will.

Based on the short video segment I saw, I think Young was trying to do two things: Expose the obstacles to a good, intimate relationship that included joyful sex AND suggest that sex every night is a reasonable and attainable goal.

To all of the nay sayers, I have to ask “Why not plan on having sex every night (and some mornings).” Here’s the deal, if you are really taking care of your partner, taking the time to enjoy them, how can you not end up having lots of great sex?

This is a topic that is near and dear to Melody and me. In fact, you can expect to hear much more about this from us in the next couple of weeks.

Until then, are you having the kind of sex life you want? Do you think it is possible to make sex and the rest of your relationship more joyful? Please email or leave us a comment so we can include what you think is important.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 10:19:35 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
What ME a Sex Addict?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
What makes for addictive sex? Perhaps it is what some experts would say, a thing that is so pervasive it happens in the beds of millions of women refusing their husbands.... or vice versa...
Saturday, October 25, 2008 6:39:59 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [2]  | 
Clueless Men and Unsatisfied Wives#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Why is it we have such a hard time connecting with each other? We all have this urge to connect but end up clueless and lost. Askdanandjennifer.com forum questions illustrate how common this is...
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 3:42:31 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
The Struggle to Say What You Want#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Why is is so hard for us to say what it is we really want? We even fake orgasms rather than tell our partner what we want and what we like.
Thursday, September 04, 2008 2:53:17 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Trading Sex for Services is Biology??#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
A CNN article says women's history of trading sex for services is a biological thing. What is it we are doing? Why?
Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:02:58 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
The Practice of Compassion#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Talking to a group of teachers this morning made me think about some of the evolution of my teaching the Cycles of the Heart. It started with a "calling" at 13...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008 1:58:17 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [3]  | 
Why the Rush? Five Killed by Speeder#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Five people were killed as a result of "bad choices". We all make them, but why? Understanding how we get caught in the Cycle of Egocentrism can help us sort it out.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 2:02:12 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Short on Empathy? #
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Many of us experience empathy deficits. Why does empathy matter? What difference does it make if we have it or not?
Sunday, June 22, 2008 5:17:00 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
6-7-08 Kerrville New Folk Changes Forever#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
My experiences over 13 years of camping at the Kerrville New Folk Festival have shaped my life and the lives of my kids. This year had something surprising in store for us and Kerrville will never be the same.
Monday, June 09, 2008 10:26:30 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
The Dilemma of the Mormon Sect in South Texas#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Cycles of abuse continue in a hundred year old culture. Are we really so different in ours? In what ways does our culture repeat the cycles?
Sunday, April 20, 2008 2:53:42 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
What are You Projecting?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Projecting our desires and our wounds on our partners can cause all kinds of damage in our relationships. What are you projecting?
Sunday, April 06, 2008 5:23:40 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Good Girls Acting Badly#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
When women feel like a victim there is no telling how they can react these days. Actress Teri Garr is a role model for bad behavior.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 10:15:21 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Don't Hold Back Your Anger#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Wow. Its official. Expressing our anger helps us live longer. But does that mean it's okay to dump our rage on people?
Thursday, March 27, 2008 9:45:53 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [2]  | 
Barack Obama's Preacher Problem#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Barack's friend and supporter blew it. He tried to frame Obama as the poor helpless Victim and ended up betraying the person he was trying to help.
Monday, March 17, 2008 7:51:52 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Domestic Violence and Men by Melody Brooke, Conflict Coach, Counselor, Motivational Speaker#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
What is the answer to domestic violence? Is it locking up all those "evil s.o.b.s"? What if we, as women took our power back by not keeping ourselves stuck in the "victim role?
Sunday, March 02, 2008 7:02:08 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Martha Beck's article was right on but she missed some key points. Simply thinking positive is not enough to change the hurt inside that keeps us from being able to heal.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008 10:20:56 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
"Not the Steven I Knew" by Melody Brooke, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Jessica Baty, the girlfriend of NIU shooter Steven Kazmierczak says her boyfriend was not a monster and she still loves him. How can someone display such radical personality changes?
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 10:16:40 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [2]  | 
Empathy on OPRAH by Melody Brooke, MA, LPC, Conflict Coach, Speaker#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Empathy requires us to step out of our shoes to see things from another's eyes. Some of us do it too much, what happens then?
Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:22:13 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Man Stomped Baby to Death a Monster?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
When someone does something this horrific how do we respond? Do we think of them as a monster and have no empathy? What really happened to this man?
Tuesday, February 05, 2008 10:54:27 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Why Did Mark Jenson Murder his Wife?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Understanding why someone would do something so heartless as to murder his wife and "hi-5" his son afterwards is difficult. There has to be more to the story than we can really know.
Thursday, January 24, 2008 4:07:04 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 

Merry Christmas!

There is nothing better than being with family. The memories together, the fun times when every one is laughing and joking around. But there is also nothing more stressful. My daughters and I have been talking about what it is that makes it so stressful.

Expectations

During the holidasy all of us have expectations about what it will be like when we are together. We all want it to be loving, fun and "miraculous". I know how excited I was to have my kids all together under the same roof for the first time in a long while. And it was a lot of fun. Of course, it's gotten very complicated. My oldest daughter has to spend time with her husband's family. MY twins have to spend time with their Dad and his family at their various get togethers. My step children are all obliged to be with thier other family, too. Then of course there is my parents and siblings, and my husbands family and siblings. It gets even more complex when you add in OUR step parents.

During all those get togethers the expectations is that every one will be happy and everyone will get along. Luckily, mostly they do in my family. Too much time together can make it ugly, but the amount of time we end up spending with each of the above groups tends to go smoothly.

Realities

The realities freqently end up quite different than our expectations. And, just becauase of the expectations, we tend to be on edge, trying to control everything to make sure it lives up to those expecations. Attempts at control, however generally lead to disaster since insistance on control is an addiction to a fantasy.

My kids love each other butu don't always communicate that well. I laugh at this since I am supposed to be a communicator, but I have brought up children that don't know how. Communication requires being willing to face inconvienient or unwelcome differences of opinions. My daughters tend to avoid these. Hmmmm, wonder where they got that.

Anger

So many of us are anger phobic. This tends to force us into manipulating the situations around us since being direct could incite someones anger. Then, when someone is unhappy, we are unhappy with them for not going along with the program.

Being willing to listen to another's anger is a gift few of us are capable of giving, yet the bottom line of good communication and good relationships.

Not letting ourselves listen to another's anger is one of the ways we think we are "protecting ourselves".

Jenna and Doug

Jenna was really unhappy with the way Doug was acting when he went to her parents home. Their 3 year old son had gotten in an altercation with his younger cousin, who was about 17 months old. The younger child had taken something from their son and Doug was furions. He could not understand why Jenna's parents didn't jump up and punish the 17 month old for this behavior. Doug was sure that this, like many other instances he could recall, just validated his belief that Jenna's parents favored the 17month old cousin over their 3 year old son.

Jenna could not understand why Doug was so unhappy. She continually told him that he was wrong for feeling the way he did, and expecting unreasonable behavior out of the 17month old.

Then Doug got to what was underneath. Doug had been feeling left out of Jenna's family for a long time. He felt that they had never quite accepted him and he felt hurt and alone at family get togethers.

The consequences of holding back truth

Jenna had thought that Doug was just unreasonable and irrational. She had been uncomfortable for years when they spent time with her family because he had never acted like he wanted to be there. Doug had never told her about his feelings, or the pain that lay underneath. His parents had often left him alone in his bedroom on Christmas day as they drank their way to obliviion.

Jenna gave him the best gift he could have recieved for Chrismas that year. Listening to his wounding and holding bach her reactivity long enough to listen to him allowed her to present a precious gift to him. She gave him compassion.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 4:23:32 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
What's your problem with anger?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Discussion about how anger phobia keeps people from getting close to each other and destroys any real chance for intimacy.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 3:36:07 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
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