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Filtering by Tag: balance

The Balanced Mind

Emily Porta

Have you ever had the experience of driving your car, ending up at work, and not really remembering how you got there. People call it "autopilot." It is a strange feeling to stop being aware and in tune with what is around us. But this is often how we treat our lives. Imagine driving a car, only looking forward, never turning from side to side or to check your rear view mirror. Now imagine driving a car, only looking behind you. (Don't try that by the way) Proper driving is about keeping your eye up ahead and checking back often to see who is behind you or to the side of you. It takes balance and intention to remember all the things involved in driving your car to work. 

Some therapists will tell you to look towards the future and have a vision. This is what will motivate you in the present. Others say, learning to be in the present is all that you need. While other therapists heavily emphasize the past. I would say you need all three. There is a living in the present moment, a moment informed by your experiences of the past and your hope for the future. Awareness of these three things is much like driving your car, being present with what is going on around you, what is behind you and what is in front of you.

Some clients will try to meditate. After 10 minutes of breathing they become frustrated, as if it should be so easy to balance their mind. The complexity of our minds is nothing that can be fully understood in brief efforts of meditation. It is something that requires compassion, time, and understanding. If you have a relationship that is struggling. You can't just push through to the future without understanding how you got where you are today. Having compassion for your struggle reduces the anxiety and stress and allows your mind to be more balanced in understanding the relationship as a whole.

So before you get in the car again, set an intention to be just a little more aware and balanced. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself and the world around you.

Preparations - Finding the balance

Emily Porta

Getting ready for the holidays and to me, I feel like there is still so much to do. And in reality, some of it I love and some of it I dread. I love spending time with my family. I hate wrapping gifts! I know, I know...what a grinch, but I just have no skills with taping and making bows. It stresses me out. YES, I get stressed too :) So it got me thinking about how often in preparing for the good stuff, we can have bumps in the road and not enjoy the whole ride. So I find myself asking...how important is it that the gifts are perfectly wrapped? Um, not really important. What is most important - the act of kindness in giving - the action, the thought, and the love. The gift isn't even important. It is what I am saying in the gift - "I love you, you mean something to me, you are special" (even though the paper doesn't line up and the bow is all wonky) I won't even get into why we don't even need to give a "thing" for the  holidays to people...that is a whole other blog for another day. 

Just take a moment and if something really is annoying, stressful or robbing you of your joy in the preparation for the holiday - BREATHE and evaluate if it is all that important. Balanced thinking and balanced living is important to finding your inner joy. PEACE to YOU!

Is your holiday not so merry?

Emily Porta

The turkey has been gobbled and the shops have had their busiest day of the year. The air feels crisp and there are fanciful decorations all around. This should put you in the holiday spirit, right? Actually for a lot of us, the holidays are difficult, emotionally overwhelming, and something we just try to get through. Being around family can bring up old wounds and conflicts. We also might reminisce and grief further the losses of those that are not with us to celebrate any longer. Here are some tips to do more than just survive the season.

1. Give yourself some space - It is ok to be alone sometimes. Plan it and do something nice for yourself. Read that book that you have been meaning to get to, take a long bath, get in the kitchen an bake something, or rent your favorite DVD.

2. Give back - When we serve and show compassion to others, it draws us out of our pain and helps us to not feel so alone. There are lots of opportunities this time of year to donate your time and resources to those in need.

3. Surround yourself with goodness - There might be someone in your life that it is hard to be around. This is the time to set a boundary and surround yourself with people that are supportive instead. If you feel like you don't have someone to lean on, find other goodness in your life. This can be time for meditation, eating a favorite meal, watching something funny, or going for a beautiful hike. Practicing the art of appreciation can lift your mood and brighten your perspective.

4. Balance your mind - Yep, somedays are going to be better than others. But remember, this is not the movies, life isn't perfect and that is ok because the pain is temporary and isn't all encompassing. There is some good, some bad, and some neutral. When you start to despair, balance the thought with something that is positive and acknowledge that they both can exist in the same space. The more you fight to not feel the more tension arises in your body and mind. This can be exhausted. Work to find the lightness in your heart.

These are just a few quick ways to cope with the holidays. Call me if you want to talk more about ways you can cope 714.390.1652

May you find meaning in this season- meaning in the pain and the joy.