Are you a coconut? How we push people away without even knowing it.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a coconut. It was warm, secure and she was comfortable. She had plenty of food and she felt safe . But as time went on, she started to feel lonely and a little bored. she longed for a more exciting and fulfilling life.  So, she would say a prayer that someday, someone would come along and crack her shell open. And then, she waited on the beach.

At first, she as really hopeful! “Oh! I can’t wait until the right person comes along! Then, everything will be so different! I will breathe in the fresh air and get to go to exciting places! I will finally get out of this shell and see the world! I can’t wait to have someone to be happy with! I will be so happy when that happens!”

After some time, she could hear people walking by. But no one came. She was angry. “What’s wrong with people?!?” She would yell. “Don’t they know I’m in here? Doesn’t anyone care?” She became quite the victim inside of that shell.”I can’t believe that dummy didn’t know I was in here! What? Is HE BLIND? Is he dumb? What’s his problem? Maybe the next guy will be stronger and better and have more sense about him!”

But still, no one came. And she started to get bitter. “Well. I suppose I’m better off in this coconut! It’s lonely, but at least I know what to expect. Who wants to be out there anyway? With all of those selfish and stupid people.. Yea, it’s better in here. Alone.” She lied to herself.

Eventually, she died.

Weeks later, there were people walking on the beach kicking shells and someone kicked her shell. Out popped the shriveled up old lady she had become. And the people panicked! “Oh my! There are people living inside of these coconuts! Let’s get them out!” They searched and searched for more people inside of the coconuts but they never found another one. Why?

Because that kind of a nut is one in a million.
(Ba da da goes the drum.)

It’s an old story taken from one of my first formal teachers on Love,  Leo Busgaglia. And the first time I heard it, I said, “YES! I too am a coconu!” I was in my twenties, waiting to be rescued.
And then, over the years, I have met several more coconuts.

How might you be showing up as a coconut?

I know in my work, as a Relationship Expert, I see it all of the time. I’ve actually narrowed it down to 10 personality types. (More about that in my 8 week coaching program!)

I see a coconut every time a woman says something like: “I have walls. I don’t trust a lot of people. So, it’s going to take some effort to break me open.”

Or a Man says, “I don’t know how to be emotionally available. It’s going to take the right woman to motivate me to open up.”

“I’ve been hurt! Men need to work harder to earn my attention and respect now.”

And it doesn’t always sound so abrasive. Sometimes, it sounds like, “I have a list of expectations”. Not that expectations are a bad thing, but checklists  keep us lonely for sure.

Or, she is single and alone and lonely. She wants to have a relationship but  pretends it’s about not meeting the right people. Or she pretends she is OK being alone when she is born for love and feels the best when she is with people. .

In a relationship, a coconut expecst her partner to meet all of her needs.
She  come to a relationship asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Or she is in a miserable relationship, and she knows she should leave, but convenience and commitment keeps her in it. She wants things to change (and by things, I mean HIM.) She wants HIM to change because HE is the problem.

There are three steps out of this behavior:

#1 Know your type of nut
What type of coconut are you? Are you an Emotional Distancer? Do you keep people at an arms length and try not to get too close?
Are you a Controlling Coconut? Do you attempt to control every situation?
Are you a Tester? Do you intentionally push buttons to see what happens? And by that I mean see if he will leave you.
Like I said, there are 10 types of coconuts.

#2 Make the decision to change by taking 100% responsibility
No one is born a nut! You can absolutely change. But only if you are willing to take 100% responsibility for how you are loving and being loved. Remember the young coconut above? She blamed every man she heard walking by. But at the end of the day, we are the common demonstrator.

#3 Seek out a qualified mentor or a coach
Who has walked the path before you? How can she illuminate your way? When we are seeking help with relationships, who do we usually go to? Yup! Our friends. And usually, they are as troubled as we are.
When you are seeking relationship advice, always ask yourself, “This person I am asking for help right now, do they have what I want?” That question is so important. Because, a leader can only take a follower as far as she has gone herself.
So, seek someone who walks the talk!

So, now let’s hear from you. Do you know any coconuts?
Leave a comment below. Don’t forget to hit the like button too! And as always, please share if you believe this will enlighten another sister on the path!
With Love and Laughs,

And then, she bit me: 3 things breastfeeding taught me about relationships

When I first started breastfeeding, all I wanted to do was to make it through the night without crying in pain. It H.U.R.T!  I was in the hospital balling hysterically (thank you hormones) to the La Leche League Lady about how I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. Just days before I was contemplating if I even wanted to really do it. But after I thought I might not be able, I suddenly felt like a giant failure and I got truly sad.
We made it through those first few months (not days…MONTHS of pain) and then it became pure bliss.
The boob truly does cure everything, you know?
Crying for no reason? Boob.
Hurt herself exploring? Boob.
Bored? Boob
Tired and cranky? Boob
I particularly loved the end of the night nursing session and the early morning.
Those times were truly sacred. Just me and her, all snuggled up, staring into each others eyes.
And then…just like that, one day, she clamped down. And she didn’t stop there. She kind of thrashed from side to side with my nipple stuck in her teeth, and then she did a pull away maneuver while she was still clamping down. It looked like a cartoon. It was expanding flesh taffy between two “titty bitty” teeth.
“YEEEOUCH!” Insert “For the love of God and all that is Holy…make it stop” face.
Nothing hurts quite as bad as that. It’s a white hot pain that shoots to your toes.
I became super fearful to feed her.
She would act hungry and I would burst into a riveting rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus”.
I started to become a stealth observer when she did feed..not enjoying the moment, but looking for clues that she was about to chomp.
I was so anxious.
It was miserable.
One night, I tried to feed her and she did her clamp and pull routine and I sat up in bed and lost it.
I ugly cried for a half an hour. All I could think was, “I’m not ready for this relationship to end!”
But I had to do something. I offered a pacifier (something she had always refused in the past) as an alternative when she was just wanted to play. I was consistent in my trying. I looked up an article by Dr. Sears that said animals show affection by biting. Some animals even bite do hard they take a hunk of flesh and leave scars. So, there you go, she was being affectionate! I changed my perspective and assumed the best about about all of it. And when she bit, I calmly removed her and gave her something to chew on.
Feed. Bite. Repeat.
I did that until the biting became extremely infrequent. And as a result, she started to feed less. We survived. And the relationship changed.
After my boobs healed, I had a chance to put things into perspective and I realized that this experience relates a lot to relationships in general.
It actually teaches 3 things.
# 1. It’s hard so you need to assume the best
I know this sounds simple. But I think we expect our relationships to be easy. we even hear people say things like,  “If it’s hard, it’s not right.” I think two people coming together to get to know each other is hard. Even with a flood of feel good chemicals to help. We each have ways of doing things that may hurt each other. I’m not talking about purposeful hurt. I mean accidental hurt. My Daughter did not set out to hurt me. And that’s what happens with people. We hurt each other. Even when we don’t mean to. Sometimes we need to back up and assume the best about each other. Odds are, we are just trying to get our needs met, although the methods are unfavorable. When we assume the best about each other (‘you’re not doing X behavior to hurt me on purpose), you get the fuel you need to drive on and find a solution. It’s hard to find a solution when you’re mad.
#2. When something is amazing enjoy it.
Relationships experience Seasons. Sometimes things are amazing. It’s like Spring, things are blooming. Sometimes, it’s like summer. It’s hot and steamy. Sometimes it’s like Fall, you reap the harvest form all of the seeds of love you planted and other times, it’s like a barren Winter. COLD. COLD. COLD.
Enjoy the bliss when you can get it. While I was feeding her, I wasn’t waiting around anxiously for her to chomp down. If I had been, I would have missed the wonderful teeth free moments.
Relationships are a series of moments that make up a life. Are you savoring the moments?
#3. Things change
The only constant in life is change. That’s the truth. What we do is fight it. We say things like, “I want things to be the way they used to be.” Or “I can’t wait until things are different.” Or worse, when something shifts in our relationship (and it always does) we take it as a sign that it’s OVER. What if it wasn’t OVER? What if it was just changing?
Since I have accepted things changing with my Daughter,  I have made way for a new type of relationship.
And so it is in our own relationships. Things change. When we don’t resist, we can see the good in the new normal.
How about you? Can you relate? Did you have a chomper? How did you survive? What did you learn?
With Love and Laughs,