Our Psychic Abilities Have Increased – Creating A Healing Friendship With Trees

onnenby Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
just a month ago, when we passed the powerful Pisces New Moon and Total Solar Eclipse, we collectively had the chance to open our physical channels and develop a deep inner connection with the elemental forces of nature. Just about a week ago, I talked about the fact that our psychic abilities have collectively increased, and that brings strength to this inner relationships. One of the realms we can exchange with, is the Kindom of the weeds, flowers, bushes and trees that are surrounding us. A conscious interaction between the Nature Kingdom and the human race, is as old as human life itself! Our pagan ancestors worshiped trees. In many traditions in Europe, trees are admired for their magical, healing and grounding powers.

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)!

It is known, that Plato and Aristotle received their deepest insights in the olive groves around Athens. Buddha found enlightenment beneath a bo tree, and Isaac Newton received his “gravity theory” while watching an apple fall from the tree, under which he was sitting.
Scientific research confirmed that simple being in a green environment reduces the human stress level and blood pressure, has a positive effect on mental illnesses, on depression, helps with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration problems, increases your reaction time – as well as deeply nurtures body and soul. The sounds, smells, sights, the texture and the taste of the air tickle our senses, which leads to improved health and well-being.
So tree Hugging is not only for Hippies to the contrary, “let’s make it a fashion trend”!! Hugging a tree can boost our health and the happiness we feel about being alive, so don’t be shy!!
In order to create a new relationship with trees, the first step is to make sure you feel worthy to be their co-creative partner. Relax your mind and body, breath deeply and allow the subtle energies – that are their natural language of all existence – to create an energetic field for connection between you.
Trust and the trees will assist you to open your energy channels and come to inner calmness. This space of presence allows you to feel the energetic exchange. Just play with it! Confidence comes with practice!!m;kllHere is a short list of trees that are especially helpful to the human race, for our collective evolution process!

The excess to new dimensions from the BIRCH TREE:
Birch trees support us in our forgiveness process and awaken the energy of new beginnings inside of us. It helps us cleans from the impact of our past. Shamans, Druids and Celtics used the Birch wood tree to enter altered states of consciousness. It reminds us to live our life with purpose and master our personal energy field.

The energies of trust and faith from the CHERRY TREE:
Cherry trees whisper to us about the chance for a new awakening. They support us to remove all obstacles that are preventing our spiritual growth. It is the burning fire of the inner Phoenix, the rising from the ashes of the past. It stands for the cycles of re-birth, the self-creation of a new life after every mental death.

Access to universal energies from the ELM TREE:
Elm trees are channels for the higher vibrations of the divine. They help us get in touch with the invisible world behind the veil of human perception. For our personal soul path, they assist us in hearing our inner voice and to have faith in our intuition. On an energetic level the family collective of the Elm trees is stronger connected to each other, than any other tree species. A brotherhood of trees!

Harmony between heaven and earth from the HONEYSUCKLE TREE:
Honeysuckle is the perfect plant partner to empower the work of healer, light-worker and energy-worker. It awakens confidence for our creations, the use of psychic energies and the magnetic attraction required for manifestation on the material plane. It reminds us of our authentic personal power, our highest potential, the awakening to psychic abilities and the courage to follow our own beliefs.

A gateway between the worlds from the WISTERIA:
Wisteria provides us with a gateway between the human species and the divine realm. It is known as “the ecstasy of the poet”, as it helps us to awaken and draw in inspiration and good vibrations for divinely channeled creative process. The Wisteria flower serves us in the manifestation of our true self, as it activates the heart chakra and the throat chakra. On our path of illumination, it provides the needed spiritual influence to reach a higher state of consciousness.shaPower for your prayers from the BEECH TREE:
There is a legend reporting that Sanskrit, the most ancient language of prayer, has first been carved on a Beech bark. Therefor the power of the written word, spiritual wisdom, knowledge of the past and a love for literature are associated with this tree. It awakens tolerance and respect for all existence and helps with the alignment to the guidance of your higher self.

Balance between the female and the male forces from the MAPLE TREE:
Maple trees help strengthen our connection between Yin & Yang, the dance of the polarities, the electrical and the magnetic powers. They ground our psychic abilities and spiritual energies. Maple trees help women illuminate their inner fire, and supports men in the awakening of their feminine nurturing nature, their intuition and creativity.

Protection during inner transitions form the ALDER TREE:
The raven, a bird of great knowledge and perception, is associated with the Alder tree. The related element is water. The Alder reminds us by divine law, that everything is constantly in movement. So even when it seams like we are not moving forward at all, we do – only a bit slow. Patients is required now!

Alignment for your chakra centers from the LILAC:
The Lilac is the best partner to use in your meditating practice as it has the potential to connect us with our spirit guides. It attracts the help of protective spirits into our work and its healing power reminds us of the divine beauty within the individuality of all things. When used for aromatherapy, Lilac awakens mental clarity and freedom.

Regeneration and rejuvenation from the OLIVE TREE:
The Olive tree increases our sensitivity, our hope, our joy for life and our deepest longing for peace and harmonious relationships. It helps us develop the courage and honor of a spiritual warrior and is therefor associated with gods and goddesses like Pallas Athena, Poseidon and Zeus. Olive trees support our physical self-healing abilities and spiritual growth.jDear Ones, I wish you nurturing, healing experiences when you are getting in touch with your higher sensory abilities and the frequencies of the tree spirits!!! Remember the strongest connections can be achieved with the joyful, relaxed and lighthearted approach of a child!!! Have fun playing with our brothers and sisters from the Nature Kingdom!
Blessings and Nature Love!!
Edith

If you enjoy my posts, please sign up for my daily newsletter, JUST CLICK HERE & enter your e-mail. Please also like New Beginnings Guatemala on Facebook, and keep up the good work spreading the word ;-)! Feel INVITED to share this post also on your website or social media, just keep the links and credit active PLEASE! THANKS!

 

The Four Types of Friends According to the Buddha

50Dear Friends,
maybe some of you remember an article from August, which told us about the positive impact that being exposed to Buddhist Concepts has on us. But have you ever heard that in Buddhist Tradition there is the idea, that we have four different types of friends. I definitely never before thought of my relations from this perspective, but found it quite interesting to think it thru. Especially considering this amazing time of change, while our relationship paradigms are changing so profoundly.
Buddhists tell the following story,
Ananda approached the Buddha once and remarked that “half of the dispensation is based on friendship, companionship and association with the good.” to which the Buddha replied “Ananda, do not say so. Not half, but man’s entire life is established on friendship, companionship and association with the good.”
So it might be worth to think about the relations we had so far, how much our close friends fit the picture of Buddha’s characterization and if we have to make some adjustments to our friendship circle. I wish you blessed relations, deep insights and that you enjoy the read!
Love and Blessings!! Edith
anYoung man, be aware of these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend who endures in good times and bad, the mentor, and the compassionate friend.
The helper can be identified by four things: by protecting you when you are vulnerable, and likewise your wealth, being a refuge when you are afraid, and in various tasks providing double what is requested.

The enduring friend can be identified by four things: by telling you secrets, guarding your own secrets closely, not abandoning you in misfortune, and even dying for you.

The mentor can be identified by four things: by restraining you from wrongdoing, guiding you towards good actions, telling you what you ought to know, and showing you the path to samsaric heavens.

The compassionate friend can be identified by four things: by not rejoicing in your misfortune, delighting in your good fortune, preventing others from speaking ill of you, and encouraging others who praise your good qualities.

 ~ Excerpted from the Sigalovada Sutta

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact. Source: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/12/28/four-types-friends-according-buddha/

New Relationships Are Emerging – In Friendship With A Tree!!

jby Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
last week I talked about the amazing ability human beings have to connect and be in relationship with other dimensional realms. One of this realms is the Kingdom of Nature, the weeds, flowers, bushes and trees surrounding us. The conscious interaction between the Nature Kingdom and the human race, is as old as human life itself! Our pagan ancestors worshiped trees. In many traditions in Europe, trees are admired for their magical, healing and grounding powers.

It is known, that Plato and Aristotle received their deepest insights in the olive groves around Athens. Buddha found enlightenment beneath a bo tree, and Isaac Newton realized his “gravity theory” while watching an apple fall from the tree, under which he was sitting.
Scientific research confirmed that simple being in a green environment reduces the human stress level and blood pressure, has a positive effect on mental illnesses, on depression, helps with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration problems, increases your reaction time – as well as deeply nurtures body and soul. The sounds, smells, sights, the texture and the taste of the air tickle our senses, which leads to improved health and well-being.
So tree Hugging is not only for Hippies to the contrary, “let’s make it a fashion trend”!! Hugging a tree can boost our health and the happiness we feel about being alive, so don’t be shy!!
In order to create a new relationship with trees, the first step is to make sure you feel worthy to be their co-creative partner. Relax your mind and body, breath deeply and allow the subtle energies – that are their natural language of all existence – to create an energetic field for connection between you.
Trust and the trees will assist you to open your energy channels and come to inner calmness. This space of presence allows you to feel the energetic exchange. Just play with it! Confidence comes with practice!!mHere is a short list of trees that are especially important for the human race, at this very important point of our collective evolution!

The excess to new dimensions from the BIRCH TREE:
Birch trees support us in our forgiveness process and awaken the energy of new beginnings inside of us. It helps us cleans from the impact of our past. Shamans, Druids and Celtics used the Birch wood tree to enter altered states of consciousness. It reminds us to live our life with purpose and master our personal energy field.

The energies of trust and faith from the CHERRY TREE:
Cherry trees whisper to us about the chance for a new awakening. They support us to remove all obstacles that are preventing our spiritual growth. It is the burning fire of the inner Phoenix, the rising from the ashes of the past. It stands for the cycles of re-birth, the self-creation of a new life after every mental death.

Access to universal energies from the ELM TREE:
Elm trees are channels for the higher vibrations of the divine. They help us get in touch with the invisible world behind the veil of human perception. For our personal soul path, they assist us in hearing our inner voice and to have faith in our intuition. On an energetic level the family collective of the Elm trees is stronger connected to each other, than any other tree species. A brotherhood of trees!

Harmony between heaven and earth from the HONEYSUCKLE TREE:
Honeysuckle is the perfect plant partner to empower the work of healer, light-worker and energy-worker. It awakens confidence for our creations, the use of psychic energies and the magnetic attraction required for manifestation on the material plane. It reminds us of our authentic personal power, our highest potential, the awakening to psychic abilities and the courage to follow our own beliefs.

A gateway between the worlds from the WISTERIA:
Wisteria provides us with a gateway between the human species and the divine realm. It is known as “the ecstasy of the poet”, as it helps us to awaken and draw in inspiration and good vibrations for divinely channeled creative process. The Wisteria flower serves us in the manifestation of our true self, as it activates the heart chakra and the throat chakra. On our path of illumination, it provides the needed spiritual influence to reach a higher state of consciousness.bodhitreegalleryPower for your prayers from the BEECH TREE:
There is a legend reporting that Sanskrit, the most ancient language of prayer, has first been carved on a Beech bark. Therefor the power of the written word, spiritual wisdom, knowledge of the past and a love for literature are associated with this tree. It awakens tolerance and respect for all existence and helps with the alignment to the guidance of your higher self.

Balance between the female and the male forces from the MAPLE TREE:
Maple trees help strengthen our connection between Yin & Yang, the dance of the polarities, the electrical and the magnetic powers. They ground our psychic abilities and spiritual energies. Maple trees help women illuminate their inner fire, and supports men in the awakening of their feminine nurturing nature, their intuition and creativity.

Protection during inner transitions form the ALDER TREE:
The raven, a bird of great knowledge and perception, is associated with the Alder tree. The related element is water. The Alder reminds us by divine law, that everything is constantly in movement. So even when it seams like we are not moving forward at all, we do – only a bit slow. Patients is required now!

Alignment for your chakra centers from the LILAC:
The Lilac is the best partner to use in your meditating practice as it has the potential to connect us with our spirit guides. It attracts the help of protective spirits into our work and its healing power reminds us of the divine beauty within the individuality of all things. When used for aromatherapy, Lilac awakens mental clarity and freedom.

Regeneration and rejuvenation from the OLIVE TREE:
The Olive tree increases our sensitivity, our hope, our joy for life and our deepest longing for peace and harmonious relationships. It helps us develop the courage and honor of a spiritual warrior and is therefor associated with gods and goddesses like Pallas Athena, Poseidon and Zeus. Olive trees support our physical self-healing abilities and spiritual growth.

I wish you nurturing, healing experiences when you are getting in touch with your higher sensory abilities and the frequencies of the tree spirits!!! Note: The strongest connection can be achieved with the joyful, relaxed and lighthearted approach of a child!!!
Have fun playing with our brothers and sisters from the Nature realm!
Blessings and Oneness-feelings!!
Edith

Please feel INVITED to share this post on your website or social media, just always keep the credit and links active!! THANK YOU!!

Nepal Chooses Kindness — ENDING The World’s Largest Animal Sacrifice Event

images
Dear Friends,
I feel happy, excited and inspired to  share this article with you!! Beautiful things happen on the planet!! What an amazing first step for humanity and our friends from the animal kingdom – the Gadhimai slaughter festival will never be a festival of slaughter again!!!
Remember, just last month I shared two article about the waves of energy we currently receive from heavens, and how they carry the potential for healing with the animal world,  https://edithboyertelmer.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/the-june-2015-solstice/https://edithboyertelmer.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/sacred-circle-for-calling-the-animals-into-the-diamond-vortex-by-celia-fenn/. And here it is! First chance given – first chance taken – for humanity, a big step on its way into the creation of a world in balance and harmony. And a loud statement that cruelty in the name of tradition is no longer tolerateable!!  We need to be brave and embrace changing our actions on all levels of life!
Go home – hug your dog, watch a bird on your way to work or enjoy the sound of bees in the air!! Remember the peace that comes from understanding, how we are naturally one with nature!!
Blessings Edith
images (2)
Gadhimai Slaughter was blamed for the massive earthquake that hit in April and killed nearly 10,000 lives. People called it the nature’s way of punishment to humanity. Irrespective of the truth, it has influenced this decision in many ways.
In a glorious tribute to the power of compassion, the Gadhimai slaughter festival will now be a ‘momentous celebration of life.’
For centuries the Gadhimai festival in Nepal has seen temple grounds awash with the blood of animals slaughtered in the name of ‘tradition’.
This sacrifice has occurred every five years for the last 300 years.
And it stopped — today.

The Gadhimai Temple Trust hereby declares our formal decision to end animal sacrifice. With your help, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is free from bloodshed. Moreover, we can ensure Gadhimai 2019 is a momentous celebration of life … For every life taken, our heart is heavy. The time has come to transform an old tradition.

Hundreds of thousands of water buffalo, goats, chickens and other animals will now be saved from a brutal death by bludgeoning or decapitation.animal sacrifice event in nepal
This achievement is no small feat. We take our hats off to the extraordinary efforts of the Humane Society International/IndiaAnimal Welfare Network Nepal, and countless animal protection groups and individuals around the world who have helped inspire this victory of kindness over cruelty.
And, of course, greatest credit must go to the members of The Gadhimai Temple Trust itself, who recognized that the power to change the trajectory of our common humanity is in our hands.

The Gadhimai Temple Trust has shown that tradition is no excuse for cruelty with its landmark decision.

 

The incredible news exploded on social media, where a long running campaign has been waged on behalf of the victims of the festival. It is yet another signpost that the pathway our species is paving for itself is slowly but surely bending towards a more compassionate future, championed by caring people in every country of the world.
That is to say, we are getting kinder.
Worldwide, never before has there been such a rate of positive change — in public policy; in commerce; in public awareness and advocacyAnd never before have the animals of this world needed it so much. We have, after all, inherited an age where the majority of animals in human ‘care’ are valued not as living, thinking beings, but as commodities — spending their entire lives confined in factory farms. Nothing short of a profound global shift in thought is needed to awaken our shared responsibility toward our fellow species and break this global cycle of suffering.The Gadhimai Temple Trust has shown that tradition is no excuse for cruelty with its landmark decision.
Could the previously un-thought of Gadhimai ‘celebration of life’ festival be a sign that a kinder world is possible?
Some of the most entrenched cruelty in this world has long been defended in the name of ‘tradition’.
The Festival of Sacrifice is responsible for untold suffering of cattle, sheep and goats — millions of whom have been sold for profit through Australia’s live export trade; closer to home, in the name of Christmas, highly intelligent pigs and turkeys not only experience the terror of slaughter, but entire lifetimes of suffering in factory farms; and sporting events such as bull fights and rodeos still present cruelty as ‘entertainment’…
When kind people seek to transform cruel traditions, they don’t risk losing their identity. They strengthen it by demonstrating that culture cannot be measured by the repetition of practices frozen in time by values of the past. For this, the tradition of the Gadhimai festival will become all the stronger.
In another Nepalese tradition, there is an entire calendar day called ‘Kukur Tihar’ dedicated entirely to thanking dogs for their friendship and loyalty.
It takes compassion and courage to rise above cruelty and recognize that the ways of doing things we inherit from the past do not define us; to recognize that those we share this world with, also share our desire to avoid suffering. Whether in our temples, or in our homes, we can all choose to live without killing.

The roots of cruelty are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come. Albert SchweitzerIn another Nepalese tradition, there is an entire calendar day called 'Kukur Tihar' dedicated entirely to thanking dogs for their friendship and loyalty.Compassion is fundamental to all human cultures — and when it shines through, traditions steeped in cruelty can be transformed. On scales grand and small, if we want to live in a kinder world, we all have a role to play.

And if the world’s largest animal sacrifice event can be transformed into a ‘celebration of life’, then there is reason to be infinitely hopeful about the future.

Learn to be “Masters of Love”

kindnessDear Friends,
the other day I was send this article, which I absolutely fell in love with. I do not know the source of the piece and therefore have to apologize to the author -as I can not post the reference and give credit where it belongs!! Never less the work is to beautiful not to be shared!!
I am familiar with the studies John Gottman started in the 70th and therefore found it interesting to see the authors approach. Personally I believe that we are growing up as spiritual beings and, that this includes taking full responsibility for our feelings. I think that everybody has the responsibility to heal the pain of the inner child, the pain body or lower self, how ever you want to call it, to become a productive part of a oneness society. And I think that kindness and presence with the other, are crucial for every relationship, if you are aiming for a long-term engagement.
Very interested to hear what you are thinking!!!
Enjoy the read! Love and Kindness!
Edith

shoe-Act-of-kindness-600x404

According to science, lasting relationships come down to – kindness and generosity.
Every year in June, the most popular wedding month of all, thousands of couples say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love. Feelings that will carry them forward to their final days of life on planet earth. Except, of course, it doesn’t work out that way for most people. The majority of marriages fail, either ending in divorce and separation or devolving into bitterness and dysfunction. The statistics state, that of all the people who get married, only three in ten remain in healthy, happy marriages.
In the 1970s, social scientists first started studying marriages by observing them in action. This happened as there response to a crisis, triggered by a constantly ingresing divorce rate. Worried about the impact these divorces would have on the children of the ended marriages, psychologists decided to determine what the ingredients of a healthy, lasting relationship are. Is each unhappy family unhappy in its own or did the miserable marriages share something in common? Is there a  toxic similarity?

Download

John Gottman began gathering his most critical findings in 1986, when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson at the University of Washington. Gottman and Levenson brought newlyweds into the lab and watched them interact with each other. With a team of researchers, they hooked the couples up to electrodes and asked the couples to speak about their relationship, like how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory they had. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects’ blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together.
From the data they gathered, Gottman separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages. When the researchers analyzed the data they gathered on the couples, they saw clear differences between the masters and disasters. The disasters looked calm during the interviews, but their physiology, measured by the electrodes, told a different story. Their heart rates were quick, their sweat glands were active, and their blood flow was fast. Following thousands of couples longitudinally, Gottman found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.

But what does physiology have to do with anything? The problem was that the disasters showed all the signs of arousal—of being in fight-or-flight mode—in their relationships. Having a conversation sitting next to their spouse was, to their bodies, like facing off with a saber-toothed tiger. Even when they were talking about pleasant or mundane facets of their relationships, they were prepared to attack and be attacked. This sent their heart rates soaring and made them more aggressive toward each other. For example, each member of a couple could be talking about how their days had gone, and a highly aroused husband might say to his wife, “Why don’t you start talking about your day. It won’t take you very long.”
The masters, by contrast, showed low physiological arousal. They felt calm and connected together, which translated into warm and affectionate behavior, even when they fought. It’s not that the masters had, by default, a better physiological make-up than the disasters; it’s that masters had created a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally and thus physically comfortable.

imagesRELATED STORY
Stressful Relationships vs. Isolation: The Battle for Our Lives
Gottman wanted to know more about how the masters created that culture of love and intimacy, and how the disasters squashed it. In a follow-up study in 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus to look like a beautiful bed and breakfast retreat. He invited 130 newlywed couples to spend the day at this retreat and watched them as they did what couples normally do on vacation: cook, clean, listen to music, eat, chat, and hang out. And Gottman made a critical discovery in this study—one that gets at the heart of why some relationships thrive while others languish.
Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, what Gottman calls “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a goldfinch fly across the yard. He might say to his wife, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting a response from his wife—a sign of interest or support—hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the bird.
The wife now has a choice. She can respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” from her husband, as Gottman puts it. Though the bird-bid might seem minor and silly, it can actually reveal a lot about the health of the relationship. The husband thought the bird was important enough to bring it up in conversation and the question is whether his wife recognizes and respects that.
People who turned toward their partners in the study responded by engaging the bidder, showing interest and support in the bid. Those who didn’t—those who turned away—would not respond or respond minimally and continue doing whatever they were doing, like watching TV or reading the paper. Sometimes they would respond with overt hostility, saying something like, “Stop interrupting me, I’m reading.”
These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.

5.acts-without-thinking-kindness-picture-quotesBy observing these types of interactions, Gottman can predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether couples—straight or gay, rich or poor, childless or not—will be broken up, together and unhappy, or together and happy several years later. Much of it comes down to the spirit couples bring to the relationship. Do they bring kindness and generosity; or contempt, criticism, and hostility?
“There’s a habit of mind that the masters have,” Gottman explained in an interview, “which is this: they are scanning social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.” Contempt is the number one factor that tears couples apart. “It’s not just scanning environment,” chimed in Julie Gottman. “It’s scanning the partner for what the partner is doing right or scanning him for what he’s doing wrong and criticizing versus respecting him and expressing appreciation.”
Contempt, they have found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there. People who give their partner the cold shoulder—deliberately ignoring the partner or responding minimally—damage the relationship by making their partner feel worthless and invisible, as if they’re not there, not valued. And people who treat their partners with contempt and criticize them not only kill the love in the relationship, but they also kill their partner’s ability to fight off viruses and cancers. Being mean is the death knell of relationships.
Kindness, on the other hand, glues couples together. Research independent from theirs has shown that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved. “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,” says Shakespeare’s Juliet. “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, / The more I have, for both are infinite.” That’s how kindness works too: there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.

 

kibnThere are two ways to think about kindness. You can think about it as a fixed trait: either you have it or you don’t. Or you could think of kindness as a muscle. In some people, that muscle is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise. Masters tend to think about kindness as a muscle. They know that they have to exercise it to keep it in shape. They know, in other words, that a good relationship requires sustained hard work.
The hardest time to practice kindness is, of course, during a fight—but this is also the most important time to be kind. Letting contempt and aggression spiral out of control during a conflict can inflict irrevocable damage on a relationship.
“Kindness doesn’t mean that we don’t express our anger,” Julie Gottman explained, “but the kindness informs how we choose to express the anger. You can throw spears at your partner. Or you can explain why you’re hurt and angry, and that’s the kinder path.” John Gottman elaborated on those spears: “Disasters will say things differently in a fight. Disasters will say ‘You’re late. What’s wrong with you? You’re just like your mom.’ Masters will say ‘I feel bad for picking on you about your lateness, and I know it’s not your fault, but it’s really annoying that you’re late again.’”
“If your partner expresses a need,” explained Julie Gottman, “and you are tired, stressed, or distracted, then the generous spirit comes in when a partner makes a bid, and you still turn toward your partner.” In that moment, the easy response may be to turn away from your partner and focus on your iPad or your book or the television, to mumble “Uh huh” and move on with your life, but neglecting small moments of emotional connection will slowly wear away at your relationship. Neglect creates distance between partners and breeds resentment in the one who is being ignored.

 

loving-kindnessFor the hundreds of thousands of couples getting married this month—and for the millions of couples currently together, married or not—the lesson from the research is clear: If you want to have a stable, healthy relationship, exercise kindness early and often. Active constructive responding is critical for healthy relationships. In the 2006 study, Gable and her colleagues followed up with the couples two months later to see if they were still together. The psychologists found that the only difference between the couples who were together and those who broke up was active constructive responding. Those who showed genuine interest in their partner’s joys were more likely to be together. In an earlier study, Gable found that active constructive responding was also associated with higher relationship quality and more intimacy between partners.
There are many reasons why relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness. As the normal stresses of a life together pile up—with children, career, friend, in-laws, and other distractions crowding out the time for romance and intimacy—couples may put less effort into their relationship and let the petty grievances they hold against one another tear them apart. In most marriages, levels of satisfaction drop dramatically within the first few years together. But among couples who not only endure, but live happily together for years and years, the spirit of kindness and generosity guides them forward.