Think of Your Relationship Like a Bank Account by Dr. John Gottman

Dr. John Gottman is at it again with a fantastic angle on relationships.
Think about your relationship like a bank account — a kind of trust, that, if consistently funded with deposits of positivity, will keep your marriage in the “black” your whole life through.

Couples can fight a little, or a lot, and still be happy.
A couple can be bad at communication/conflict resolution and still be happy (arguments can get heated and violate at least half of the rules of “clean communication). Learning the ins and outs of “clean” communication and how to effectively make your needs known in a relationship can indeed be beneficial.

Gottman’s research shows that couples lose their tempers, don’t practice “active listening,” don’t couch their complaints in “I” statements — but are still happy.

High expectations – good for your marriage.
Donald Baucom of the University of North Carolina has found that people with the greatest expectations for their marriage usually wind up with the highest-quality marriages. You are far more likely to achieve the kind of marriage you want.

Nearly 70% of marital conflicts are perpetual and unresolvable — they’re ongoing and last the couple’s entire lifetime. Spouses tend to butt heads over the same things year, after year, after year. Gottman’s research says that friction is a natural part of the ying and yang of life in general and that some negativity in a marriage is actually healthy.

As long as it’s balanced by positive aspects.
Gottman formulated a ratio for stability and happiness: 5:1. A couple that has at least five times more positive interactions than negative ones will ultimately succeed. Gottman calls this dynamic “positive sentiment override”.

If a couple’s relationship bank account is running low on “funds” (there’s been more negative interactions for a while than positive ones), then each “withdrawal” (conflict) brings the balance on the account closer and closer to zero, or even towards an “overdraft.” Thus each argument feels weighty and fraught with peril — like it’s moving the relationship towards the brink of “bankruptcy” — a break-up or divorce.

If a couple’s account is overflowing with positivity, on the other hand, then they can afford to make occasional “withdrawals” without any danger of the funds going into deficit. Since there’s an ample safety cushion in place, when a withdrawal is made, it doesn’t feel like the stakes are all that serious. An argument is just a dumb argument, and nothing more.

The difference between couples in “positive sentiment override” as opposed to “negative sentiment override,” is that while the former “communicate to each other every emotion in the spectrum, including anger, irritability, disappointment, and hurt, they also communicate their fundamental fondness and respect. Whatever issue they are discussing, they give each other the message that they are loved and accepted, ‘warts and all.’”

Gottman reports that one of the ways an ample relationship bank account most crucially strengthens a marriage is in the way it leads to the quicker and more frequent use of “repair attempts.” Repair attempts are little signals in the form of gestures or words — a smile, a laugh, an apology — by which one partner tries to break the tension of a conflict and keep it from spiralling out of control. In turn, when a couple’s relationship bank account is flush, the partner on the receiving end of a repair attempt is more likely to recognise it as such, and respond in kind. If you’ve ever had a heated argument with your significant other in which she smiled, then you smiled, and then you both laughed and were able to calm down and talk things out normally, then you’ve experienced how a repair attempt operates.

Couples with well-funded accounts can squabble and yet have so much positivity left over, they retain their love, admiration, and fondness for each other; they can fight and still like one another plenty.

As long as you keep a reserve of positivity in place, you can fight “poorly” and still remain thoroughly committed and smitten with one another. How “good” you fight simply isn’t as important as the overall goodness in your marriage. This is quite advantageous, and a real relief, because, let’s face it, it’s hard to remember to make “I” statements when you’re about to blow your top.

You don’t have to divide up and work on each of your conflicts/issues separately. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to try to resolve your sticky conflicts at all — another relief when the vast majority would never have been solvable in the first place! People rarely change; they can get a little better in managing their flaws, and together you can learn strategies for coping with them, but an issue that’s there at the start of marriage will probably be there until your golden years.

When your relationship bank account is in the black, your disappointment with your partner not living up to this or that expectation will largely be overridden by your admiration, respect, and fondness for the things they do well and that you cherish. While you do lower your expectations in some areas, you raise them in others, so that you still have an elevated, grateful, optimistic view of your marriage.

Though the bank account approach to marriage makes it possible to live with conflict instead of fixing it, it does sometimes resolve issues outright. And it does so indirectly, without spouses having to work on the problem directly.

A good example of this is sex. If there are problems in the bedroom — say, one spouse feels like sex isn’t happening enough — simply talking about its lack of frequency is often a less effective approach to addressing the issue than what Gottman recommends: “Instead of isolating sex from the rest of your relationship, try a change in attitude. Stop thinking that sex is about orgasm and consider everything positive that happens between you as part of sex.” A reserve of positivity can go a long way towards enhancing what goes on the bedroom — and do so naturally and indirectly; as the slogan Gottman puts on t-shirts and mugs at his clinic declares:

“Every Positive Thing You Do in Your Relationship Is Foreplay.”

When you view your relationship like a bank account, instead of working on what’s wrong with it, you strengthen what’s right, so that the positives overwhelm the negatives, diminishing their significance and impact on your love and happiness.

“The key to reviving or divorce-proofing a relationship is not simply how you handle your disagreements but how you engage with each other when you’re not fighting.” By setting up a kind of insurance policy during the good times, you can weather the bad ones, and even prevent some storms from arising in the first place.

The real beauty of the “bank account” approach to a sustaining a healthy, happy, stable marriage, is that it doesn’t require working directly “on” the relationship. Instead, you set up a trust fund that you and she each contribute to, which in turn produces dividends that flow back into your relationship. And as we’ll see, making deposits to this fund is more enjoyment than work.

2 Basic Traits of Lasting Relationships – Dr. John Gottman


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Southern Weeds & their control by John Moore & Judy Wheeler 2nd Edition

So the book is not necessarily something I would follow because my eyes have been opened about weeds. Please see this link for more info – 3 Important Things I Have Learned About Weeds

The book is really well organised into 4 parts – Grasses, Herbs, Vines and Trees & Shrubs. As you flip the ring binded book the top page includes Botanical names, Lifeform, Photographs of distinguishing characters and stages and finally a description. The bottom includes Controls, Common name and Group.

It has so many chemicals listed in there and so many plants that I can’t believe can be classified as weeds. I guess they are invasive. Anyway, it was very educational so big up Landcare SJ for sending this to me as a birthday gift for carrying on the tree planting birthday tradition.

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Why Osho Rajneesh Did Not Allow Non-Vegetarian Food in the Commune

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I don’t allow non-vegetarian food in the ashram has nothing to do with religion, it is just pure aesthetics. I am not one who thinks that if you take non-vegetarian food you will not become enlightened. Jesus became enlightened, Mohammed became enlightened, Ramakrishna became enlightened — there has been no problem about it. You can take non-vegetarian food and you can become enlightened, so there is no religious problem about it. (Paras note: I know people who don’t eat meat that have tried to make themselves out as being more spiritual than meat eaters. To me that already shows ignorance on the path and their ‘level of enlightened-ness’.) To me the problem is that of aesthetics. Because Jesus continued to eat meat, I have a feeling that he did not have a great aesthetic sense. Not that he is not religious — he is perfectly religious, as religious as Buddha, but something is missing in him. Ramakrishna continued to eat fish; just nonaesthetic, it looks a little ugly. Enlightenment is not at stake, but your poetry is at stake, your sense of beauty is at stake. Your humanity is at stake, not your super-humanity. That’s why it is not allowed in my ashram — and it will not be allowed. It is a question of beauty. If you understand this many things will be clear to you. Alcohol can be allowed in this ashram but not meat, because alcohol is vegetarian — fruit juice…. fermented, but it is fruit juice. And sometimes to be a little drunk gives rise to great poetry. That is possible, that has to be allowed. In the new commune we are going to have a bar — Omar Khayyam. Omar Khayyam is a Sufi saint, one of the enlightened Sufis. But meat cannot be allowed, that is just ugly. Just to think that you are killing an animal to eat, just the very idea, is unaesthetic. I am not against it because the animal is killed… because that which is essential in the animal will live, it cannot be killed, and that which is nonessential, whether you kill it or not, is going to die. So that is irrelevant, that is not a point for me to consider. The question is not that you have killed the animal and killing is not good, no. The question is that you have killed the animal — you. Just to eat? While beautiful vegetarian food is available? If vegetarian food is not available, that’s one thing. But the food IS available. Then why? Then why destroy a body? And if you can kill an animal, then why not be a cannibal? What is wrong with killing a man? The meat derived from a human body will be more in tune with you. Why not start eating human beings? That too is a question of aesthetics. And the animals are brothers and sisters, because man has come from them. They are our family. To kill a man is only to kill an evolved animal, or to kill an animal is just to kill somebody who is not yet evolved but is on the way. It is the same. Whether you kill the child when he is in the first grade or whether you kill the young man when he has come to his last grade in the university, it does not make much difference. The animals are moving towards human beings, and human beings had once been animals. It is only a question of aesthetics. Why not kill your wife and eat her? She is so beautiful and so sweet…. Why can’t you eat your mother? Why can’t you eat your husband or your child? — so delicious. The question is not religious, I would like to remind you again, it is a question of aesthetics. An aesthetic man will see that life remains beautiful it does not become ugly and nightmarish. (Paras note: In this Kardashian world where people are so focused on physical beauty and booty I found a lovely quote – If only your eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.) But the question has arisen in Chinmaya’s mind, that shows something. In India people who are vegetarian are not really vegetarian; it is just because they are born in a vegetarian family, so from the very beginning the vegetarianism has been imposed on them. And naturally they are curious, naturally they want to taste other things also, and naturally the idea arises, “The whole world is nonvegetarian; people must be enjoying.” The vegetarian feels that somehow he is missing much. That’s why the question has arisen. It has nothing to do with meditation. You can eat meat and you can meditate. You can eat meat and you can love. It has nothing to do with love either. But you will be showing one thing about yourself — that you are very crude, that you are very primitive, uncultured, uncivilized; that you don’t have any sense of how life should be. It was out of an aesthetic sense that vegetarianism was born. It became entangled in religion and got lost. It has been taken out from the religious context. People come to see me and they ask, a Jaina asked me, “How can you say that Jesus was enlightened? — because he was a meat-eater….” His question is relevant because he thinks that meat-eaters cannot become enlightened. Meat-eaters can become enlightened, just as people who are not poets can become enlightened. That is not a barrier. People who don’t have any sense of beauty, who will not see any beauty in a rose, can become enlightened… who will not see any beauty in the moon, can become enlightened… who will not have any taste for Beethoven’s music, can become enlightened. But Jesus shows something crude. Maybe it was not possible, maybe he lived amongst people who were all meat-eaters. It would have been difficult for him to be a vegetarian. It would have been almost impossible for him. But still, that trouble has to be taken. But remember that here my whole approach is an integrated approach. Meditation is needed, so is poetry, so is aesthetics, so is religion, so is music, so is art. Man should evolve in many dimensions in an integrated way. Then comes the ultimate flowering when all your petals have opened. And you will have greater joy and greater benediction in life. (Paras question: Why can’t we all just live in peace with each other. Why can’t we keep our noses out of each others plates and beliefs to ourselves? Do we need more reasons for separation? What school one goes to, what God one follows, what phone one has? Is it so hard to just let me eat my bacon and egg sandwich without the hysterics?)

Bonus – Osho on Intelligence (Veg food and Circumcision)

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20 Year Anniversary and Parasuniversal presents reSource on YouTube

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 20 years consistently. The below screenshot should give you the history. I think I’ve been blogging before blogging was even a word. Anyway, this post is mostly about introducing reSource on YouTube. As I’ve changed so much from the time I started this, it’s time to change again to something I think needs attention in the time we’re living.

Mission statement that will change over time too:
Welcome to a channel aimed at going on a journey to find a different source from the one we’re used to. To re-connect with what matters … from going back to basics with nature to seeing waste as a resource that needs to be honoured. We’ll be looking at gardening for newbies, looking at aspects of our life in different angles. I have more plans but for now I promise to upload a video a week starting with what I’m growing, converting waste to black gold, victories and losses. Lets learn and grow together and may reSource be with you.

Introduction to reSource

History screenshot:

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What is Diwali

Really from the Sanskrit word Deepavali. Deepa – Light, Avali – Row. So row of lights. Celebrated over 5 days and each day gots myths, legends, beliefs and more importantly significance.

Day 1 – Called Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi (Dhan means wealth). Houses are cleaned and lights are lit and stuff to welcome the Goddess of Wealth aka Lakshmi. It says the ladies buy gold, silver or one two new utensils… I’m loving it! Puja performed, more lights lit to drive away bad things.
Some farmers worship the cattle coz that’s their source of income while in the South they worship the cattle coz its supposed to be an incarnation of Lakshmi.

Day 2 – Called Nakra-Chaturdashi or Choti Diwal. This day is mainly dedicated to lights and prayers heralding a future full of joy and laughter.
And there’s oil massages and bathing stuff.

Day 3 – Called Lakshimi Puja or Chopada Puja. This is the day the sun enters his second course and passes Libra which is represented by the scale/balance and the day itself is considered most auspicious. Its believed to have suggested balancing of account books and their closing. Food for blessing or blessed food is offered to Lakshimi, feasts are arranged, gifts exchanged and everyone gets suited and booted to link at temples, fairs to meet friend and fam. It says everything is gay, gold and glitter. This is the day gambling is indulged in coz Goddess Parvati played Lord Shiv and basically whoever plays on this day will win. So much happened man.
On this day 1 – Lord Krishna discarded his body, 2 – Mahavir Bhagvan attained
Nirvan, 3 – Swami Ramtirth was born, took Sanyas and took Samadhi too. Say what? 4 – Swami Dayanand Saraswati ‘greed’ his soul from his body and mingled with divinity. I don’t know what this is man, lets just say more lights and celebrations.

Day 4 – Padwa or Varshapratipada. Something to do with King Vikramaditya and VikramSamvat. Deities are given milk baths and dressed in enough bling we’re talking gold, diamonds, pearls… LOTS OF PRECIOUS STONES. After prayers and traditional worship innumerable varieties of sweets are ceremoniously raised in the form of a mountain. (Ok I skipped the mountain story so just figure it out). Lol so this is the day the wife has to do lots of rituals on the hubby and in appreciation of all the tender care he be getting dude gives her a costly gift. Brothers went and ‘fetched’ sisters from the in-laws… because of Day 5 procedures.

Day 5 – Bhayya-Duj or Bhav-Bij or Yama-Dwitiya (Bhai-Tika in Nepal).
Something about sibling love. This day has its own importance in continuing to maintain the love between brothers and sisters for it is the day of food-sharing, gift-giving and reaching out to the inner most depths of the hearts.

Summary – It’s a festival of light, beauty, encourages artistic expressions through home decorations, stage plays, elocution competitions, singing, dancing, gift making, making sweets thereby discovering new talents of younger people. Its been more social than religious connotations (with all them prayers you’d think different). It is a personal, people-oriented festival when enmities are forgotten, families and friends meet, enjoy and establish a world of closeness. Sorry it was 5 pages long.


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