Forgiveness Frees!

by Jami KellerThe first and most subtle realization when you choose to forgive is the awareness that you are the creator of your own prison and have locked yourself in a cage all the while holding the key. The overarching result of forgiveness is complete power over what you feel by your free choice, being released.

Forgiveness is for the forgiver first, those they love second and lastly for the forgiven. Everyone around the forgiver feels the heartwave of love and empathy at a subconscious level. This gives you the best chance for excellent communication with your partner and everyone else around you. Communication is based on the feeling/s in the atmosphere, and your words can conflict with your heartwave, making communication much more difficult. Forgiveness heals and allows congruence between your words (the story you are telling yourself and others) and your heart’s intention.

This is why couples often have big fights over insignificant situations. There is a power and control conflict, and it is about something unforgiven in both partners’ pasts, mostly before they met. Marla and I experienced this in the fight we keep having over and over again, particularly over the past four years. Our hearts conflicted our old shame, and we triggered each other. We both had a “story” to back our position and would rather be “right than in relationship.” So the underlying conflict did not go away, and these regular arguments sometimes ended in yelling and doors slamming until we forgave our core shame.

Here are the three bullets that have made all the difference in the last eighteen of our nearly 30+ year marriage.

  1. Tracking your feelings as we talked about in the previous blog, Forgiveness Loves;
  2. Find your three core Northside feelings on the Feeling Wheel 4.0,
  3. And by allowing these feelings to be real and felt, choose to forgive them and their source. You will be lighter, more focused and begin to see more solutions, ending fights before they even get started.

​You’ve got this!

FORGIVENESS LOVES…

by Jami Keller The big benefit to those who practice forgiveness is that they can feel accurately and shift from hurt and betrayal to freedom and this is always a surprise to those that are forgiven. Recently, this was illustrated to me so poignantly by my wife, Marla. I was triggered (fairly rare when you practice forgiveness regularly, but sometimes things slip past and hit us at our core) and hurt her deeply. For many relationships this would have been the end.

First, she received the hurt I gave her and then through tears she replied, “How could you??? This hurts so deeply and I feel betrayed. This hits me in my old wound of not being enough.”

So powerfully communicated; not an attack but a statement of her feelings. I was remorseful and realized my error in a new light. I was blinded by my own issues and it hurt us both.  After some short dialog, we were at a bit of an impasse. And then she chose to do the forgiveness work that we have been teaching for twenty-three years and I felt her heart shift in a big way. It does not take this long to master this skill, and yes, it does take practice.

She shared with me the specifics of her forgiveness and gave me her clear boundary. I agreed and wholeheartedly committed to keep it, as it was fair and easy for us both to know when it was kept or broken, and because there was no longer hurt surrounding her request.

In the space of a few hours she shifted from the pain of heartbreak, defeat, and hopelessness to a new level of empathy for what I was going though. I was clearly moved from the penalty box to the winners circle of her heart. I cannot express in words the power of this “SHIFT.” It inspired me to dig deeper and to do my own painful yet freeing work.

Forgiveness allows the hurt to be real and for a new boundary to form clearly in the heart of the forgiver. This allows the pain to be shared in a way that is empathetic and inspiring. It heals the relationship to the level of safety needed. Not all relationships are emotionally safe, and forgiveness helps you know the truth about the safety.

Today is Valentines Day. Hurt is often swept under the rug on occasions like this. If you want more love, choose to feel the pain, let it be real and be specific (use the Feeling Wheel 4.0), and choose to forgive (remembering that it is always a choice before it is a feeling). Then be very clear about what you need and what you want to see. Boundaries are not the words you say but the will in your heart to keep yourself safe.

As a result of all this pain and transformation our love, intimacy, and honesty has grown by leaps and bounds! And I can’t even tell you how phenomenal our lovemaking has become just in the past week (Sex: The Other “S” Word book coming soon so keep posted)!!! It’s all worth it!

Forgiveness Loves and heals relationships, and we all need this healing. It is not easy nor is it for the faint of heart, but it is always worth it! Here are a few things you can do to begin the process:

  • Track your feelings a couple times a day for a week, stop, breathe and be honest!
  • Find your top three most felt feelings from the Northside feelings from the Feeling Wheel 4.0.
  • Think of when you first felt those three feelings. Ask yourself, “Are these new feelings or hanging onto the old?” (Look for the next blog for further steps…)

Author: Jami Keller is co-founder of Passion Provokers LLC with Marla Keller, and lives a charmed life!

Life Vision Worksheet

Created by Jami and Marla Keller

Have you made time to assess your life and/or relationship already in 2018? Jami and I sat down last night and wrote our goals for the year with specific objectives to meet those goals. Maybe today is the day for you! Go for it, and have fun planning your amazing future!

LIFE VISION WORKSHEET DIRECTIONS:

INDIVIDUALS: Write out goals for each area of life listed below. When writing a broader goal, i.e. “I will be debt-free in ________ years”, make sure you put in objectives to meet that goal such as “I will have my credit cards paid off by ____________” and “I will pay $100 a month more on my house payment a month to have my home paid off by __________.” A good example for an Emotional goal would be: “I will journal daily.” Have fun planning your amazing future!

COUPLES: Follow the directions above but make sure you are writing the goals for your relationship. Do this separately, then come back together with your lists and merge them. For the goals that are similar, simply write them down on separate piece of paper. For the goals that are different, decide which ones are important enough to include in your coupleship vision, and re-work those that don’t so that they do.

EMOTIONAL

PHYSICAL

SEXUAL

FINANCIAL

SPIRITUAL

TRAVEL

And here’s our outline in case you’d like an example:

EMOTIONAL

  • Speak no ill, and speak the truth in love every day, multiple times a day.

PHYSICAL

  • Exercise up to six days a week, with HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) three days a week and hiking or walking along the Greenbelt three times a week.

SEXUAL

  • Continue making love at least twelve times a month.
  • Connected touch multiple times a day
  • Quarterly fantasies explored.

FINANCIAL

  • Net two million dollars by December 31, 2018 (one million residual income created from our weekly Webinars).
  • Pay off debt by December 31, 2018.

SPIRITUAL

  • Pub and Spiritual Grub to begin by April 2018, growing into 100 members by December 31, 2018.
  • Continue growing, learning, seeking together an individually daily, weekly and monthly through journaling, weekly community connection, and monthly rest and rejuvenation.
  • Celebrate!

TRAVEL

  • Spring in Scottsdale for Couple’s retreat and sunshine.
  • Paris by the end of summer.
  • Cuba in the fall.
  • Monthly get aways at home or away.

Love…

by Jami Keller I choose Love. Love is real. Love is the only reason to live. Love. Love. Love.  Love wins. Love heals with forgiveness, and with full, fully forgiven love, we find hope and meaning.

Love is often clumsily learned from mother and father, siblings, would be lovers, and has hurt, pain and trauma attached to it. Still the sadness, because of love, is the doorway to joy. Love stretches each scar and turns it into beauty. Because love is a teacher, it patiently waits even when violence is the result of its misuse. Love heals. Love never stops.

Love, love, love. I choose love, for the many facets of love bring many other gifts. First, the spirit is love for all; all are loved to life, to live is to be in love, for love makes life possible.

Love is limitless. It is never spent but is always in flow, between friends the bond that can be stretched over years of pain, and still grow. Love endures.

Passionate love while often reckless is also the bond of family. Protective and hot, it is love that brings us to what is most important in this life, and that is to live, to breath, to let our hearts sore in this wondrous life-giving love. When we let it, love transforms our hearts and minds, unfolding limitless potential for peace, empowerment, and joy beyond measure.

Trumping Trauma with Empathy

Trumping Trauma with Empathy
by Jami Keller
Mentor, Coach and Consultant

Marla and have been tracking the trauma that our culture is experiencing over the past couple of years. We see a significant increase in behavior associated with being overwhelmed. Frustration, anger, irritation and depression are the call words of the day. It does not have to be this way. You can experience joy no matter what’s happening around you! 

There is more to hope for and live into because the same powerful flow of information that brings us the stress of the world can also bring the healing. We have more people on the planet than ever before, and it’s frickin’ stressful. Resources are getting tight. In the last eighty years the world has undergone a significant cultural change. We simply have not had much experience as a species processing so much information. And especially the hurt of so many people.

You probably can feel what I am talking about, or you know someone who is making your life more stressful because they are wrapped up in the drama of it all. Marla and I rarely argue or experience pain between us anymore, but the last couple of weeks have been rough. We’ve had to take a step back, breathe, journal, forgive, and come back together ready for a better conversation. And that’s okay… Resilience.

There really is a lot to be positive about. The fact that there are more angry people making noise and hurting others, is giving us the signal that we need to band together and support each other, not tear each other down. Developing empathy is the first step to making a difference in the world. To have more empathy for others without becoming too overwhelmed requires a new level of resilience; new because our parents and grandparents did not experience what we are experiencing. Here are four steps to releasing your fear and stress today:

  1. Feel. Take stock of what it is that you are feeling. When you are processing so many emotions it’s easy to simply shut down. Marla and I realized that we are literally checking out of our emotions because things are so overwhelming around us. This checking out contributes to the chaos for all of us because when we are not aware of our feelings and we are not able to get what we need before we are overwhelmed. By tracking your feelings with the Feeling Wheel 4.0 you will start to realize how many feelings you are having, and you can give those feelings the names that you and others can relate to easily.
  2. Forgive. Remember to be kind to yourself, do this by forgiving the people, situations and circumstances that are bringing you what we call “Northside” feelings on the Feeling Wheel. Read our other blogs on forgiveness if you need to learn more about forgiveness. And please know that we all can learn more about it, there is never enough of it and we often forget to follow through with reminding ourselves that it is not a one time one day thing. Sometimes it takes fifteen times of forgiving something before we really start to feel the difference it makes. And remember to forgive yourself as well (yes, you need it).
  3. Empathize. Take a look at those closest to you, and realize that they are probably overwhelmed as well. And take a look at those that are not so close to you, those whom you believe are causing the problems. I can guarantee that they are overwhelmed and hurting as well. Allow their feelings to be real even if you disagree with what they are saying or doing. They are people doing the best they can (HERE’s more on this). By spending time attempting to understand what the other people on this planet are going through you will begin to see the problems of the world more clearly and be able to see where we can band together for the best solutions. The best hope of the world is that we each can point our feelings of anger and overwhelm of injustice and pain into productive activities, being a part of a community that supports and energizes the good tools that we have never had before in the world’s history.
  4. Serve. Get involved in a positive way. It does not have to be difficult or overwhelming to help your neighbor, even if that neighbor is half the world away. When you have true empathy you are drawn to work from your strengths and passion to help others where you feel energized to help. If you have no idea where to start, do some journaling on this to discover what those passions may be.

Empathy will change the world on person at a time, one community at a time… Just do it! 

P.S. If you want some help with fostering and growing empathy, contact us for your Free Discovery Call!

Love is fixable, and YOU are worth it!

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by Jami and Marla Keller
Certified Executive Relationship and Forgiveness Coaches
 
“The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness—even our wholeheartedness—actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”
~Brene Brown,
 Rising Strong

It really is fixable! We know because we’ve been in the deep darkness of struggle, pain, and betrayal. (You can read more about our story HERE.) 
 
The day I discovered that he had betrayed me in my most deep-seated pain, crashing through my very clearly stated boundary, I again heard loud and clear, “See you’re not enough. You’re never enough. You will always be betrayed.” And I let him back in because his sincere words assured me that I was safe. Broken boundary, broken heart, broken life with no good way to healing. So it was pull myself up with my bootstraps and put my trust in him.  I had poor, cracked, uncertain boundaries because I didn’t trust myself. My shame had kept me from seeing clearly, and from being able to love myself and find myself worthy of being loyal to.” ~Marla

Whether you feel isolated, unloved, or deeply hurt it does not have to be the source of lasting disatisfaction. You do not need to keep repeating this scenario over and over again, nor does it need to impair your ability to live into the life and the love you desire in all of your relationships. 

Life and relationships are not easy; there are multiple bumps along the road as well as pain. Pain, like all feelings, is a signal that something is wrong and in need of fixing. At Passion Provokers, we believe that EVERYTHING IS FIXABLE. Some solutions are more desirable than others, and our job for the last 22 years is to help people get the outcome they desire whether it is to find love, grow love, or heal love. What we know is that there is the best possible outcome when you engage in the work, and anyone can get that outcome when they do it. 

This is why we have come up with our Passion Provokers’ Rules for Love.

First Rule: Love is FIXABLE!

So, about those hurt feelings that linger and are difficult:

  • First, remember that love is FIXABLE! You can make changes and get the love you truly desire if you are willing to do the work to first and foremost love and value yourself. Sounds simple, but most of us have blind spots that trick us.

The first thing you need to engage in is feel and track your emotions. While we are fully aware that feelings do not rule all of our decisions, they provide very important information that helps us make good decisions. We developed the Feeling Wheel 4.0 for this very reason. Simply take a minute a couple times a day and identify three feelings that you have at the time and write them down. It’s that easy!

Most relationships, even horribly damaged ones, can be saved and become a source of love and safety. And those relationships that are not fixable are easily identified with the tools we have for you HERE.

If you are asking, “Can this relationship be fixed?” the good news is that we have found that long term relationships are almost always worth doing the work for, even if they end. What the what??? Yep, and this is because when you resolve the issues that tripped you up in your past relationships they won’t follow you into your next relationship. So when you choose to work on your stuff there’s good news either way!

It is never too late to learn how to feel your feelings, trace them to the core values that drive you in life, and leverage your experience towards a much better future. 

This leads us to the second Passion Provokers’ Rule of Love…

Second Rule: Your feelings are real and only you are responsible to take care of them. Hmmmmm. What does that mean? You’ll have to wait and find out in our next blog on this very subject.

Action Steps:

  1. Track your feelings and look for our next blog on the second rule which will be all about how taking care of your feelings helps you succeed in getting the love you want.
  2. Contact us for your FREE Discovery Call and let us teach you “how to fish,” so to speak. You don’t need us to hand-feed you, you need us to demonstrate to you what a whole and healed relationship looks like. Isn’t it time?

Make 2017 Your Summer of Love!

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 by Jami and Marla Keller

Summer is when all the fun of life happens. Even if you have to work all summer, the evenings are longer and there are opportunities to be more connected than ever.​ Think bbq’s, water sports, theme park visits, picnics on the grass listening to your favorite band, and so much more.

All too often we see the lost opportunities people have to build the life they really want. So much hurt, frustration, and feelings of abandonment and control overwhelm the peace, power, and joy that is available right now. For over twenty-two years we have been practicing Forgiveness Coaching, and guess what? It turns out that there are several fundamental, easy-to-learn tools that will blow your mind in how easy and powerful they are to use to put the FUN back into this summer.

We are offering our Seven Day Feeling Wheel 4.0 Challenge for FREE because we know it will help get you get want you want most: PEACE, POWER, and JOY. For those that send us their top three Northside feelings we are giving you a customized audio Contemplation tool to kickstart your summer like never before.

Don’t miss out on another summer of peace, empowerment, joy, and love. Last summer I (Marla) lost an entire summer due to a little brain surgery. It. Was. A. Huge. Bummer. And I don’t want you to miss out on an incredible summer season because you are frustrated, miserable, lonely, confused, and/or heartbroken. Let us help you get what you deserve and desire through the magic of our coaching and mentorship. And may the summer of 2017 be your/our very best! I can’t wait to adventure with you this summer.

These amazing tools are just too good to keep to ourselves, so we are challenging you to get more of what you want this summer! Join us and see what it is that is so wonderful about Finding, Building, and Healing love today.

P.S. Each week this summer we will be profiling the most common frustrations we see, and how to address them, we all have most of them and we have the shortest short-cuts to better living.Next week we will address feeling lonely or abandoned. Often in the midst of things going “fairly” well we all need and deserve to be heard, welcomed, and loved. Start your Challenge today and find more of what you want. 


The Oldest Story Is All About Shame

Picture(Art: Cycle Gladiator Winery, Santa Rosa, CA)

by Jami and Marla Keller

Body shaming is getting some front page press…again. This time it’s a little Kim Kardashian drama about cellulite and disgust and a lot of “How dare she mislead us???” Friends, do you realize that the pic of her on the beach lost her one hundred THOUSAND followers on Instagram??? What the what? But don’t worry too much about her dynasty; she still have 98.8 million followers on Insta… But please do worry about the fact that she was shamed in the most vicious way.

We see it in our coaching practice all the time. One client who has done much work to get past body shame recently said, “I was not a wanted baby. My mom couldn’t handle another child and I always felt like my body was not welcome, and I was ashamed, especially of my female parts.”  And don’t make the mistake that guys are immune to it. They get it, too, now more than ever.

We were recently reminded that body shaming is one of the oldest stories. Adam and Eve, “felt ashamed and covered their nakedness.” No matter what you believe about the bible, it is interesting that the first story recorded has body shame in it. And so from body shame there is sex shame (slut-shaming comes to mind), and from sex shame there are secrets and lies that have built a cloud of fear, loneliness and being either controlled by the shame or feeling desperately out of control. Our deepest hurts can be about how we look. Our culture desperately needs new language and skills to drain the shame out of our beliefs about our bodies!

Marla recently posted an abbreviated version of this on Facebook right after we finished binge-watching a very powerful Netflix show:


13 Reasons Why…I can’t even imagine being in high school right now. The bullying was bad enough (devastating really) in the mid 80’s where there were no cell phones and social media platforms to accentuate and broadcast our/my shame. I remember clearly the day that five or so other Freshman followed me from a distance from PE to English class and yelled things like, “You’re as ugly as a mutt, you’ve got freckles on your butt,” and “Too bad your butt’s so big. You’d be cute if you were skinner.” Wow. Really? I was 5 foot 4 inches tall and weighed a whopping 110!

​The body and slut-shaming in 13… hit way too close to home, in a still very hidden place in my heart that I’ve realized needs another layer of exposure, forgiveness and healing. I was in a Christian boarding school and was categorized as a “slut” because I dated a lot of guys and made out with them. Did I make stupid decisions because of my deep desire to be approved of and loved? Of course. But that’s NEVER. An. Excuse. For. Shaming. My anorexia and bulimia raged an internal war against me, striving for control, perfection and some kind of absolution for that shameful 5 year old little girl, me, that had been sexually abused. I teared up at some point in almost every episode, my heart aching for Hannah’s devastating journey. Really for all of their heartbreaking journeys…

What’s probably the most heartbreaking is that we girls/women don’t build up and support each other. Is it our “not enoughness” that compels us to make each other small so that we can feel “enough”? In a crazy twist in my adulthood (over the past 16 years), when I was a pastor in three different churches in three different states, it was women who shunned me the most for being a female in a “male’s role,” for wearing a blouse too low, or pants too tight, or too much make up, and the list goes on and on and on. Sadly they were so absorbed in what I was wearing that they missed out on what I was saying. But actually the very worst of it was the shaming those ladies cast out onto our teen daughters. No wonder they don’t want anything to do with organized religion.

Let’s get it together, ladies! WE NEED EACH OTHER. Let’s stop this madness and create a tsunami of love, connection, empathy, and compassion and change this story and change this world. And it starts with me. I love and support you, ALL of you, ladies in my life!

Turns out, there is good news. For over twenty-two years we have been streamlining and teaching a process that drains that shame out of the dark places and gives power back the those that have difficulty loving themselves and, yes, that is everyone… It is simple, and profound and it begins with writing your feelings down a few times a day. Here’s our small Feeling Wheel to get you started:
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Click here for our wheel with more feelings.

It is like being human is a crime. We’re here to tell you that it does not have to be. The awareness of your beauty (male or female), and the power to be beautiful, is inside of you. Know that you can make a difference, and the path to feeling empowered is right here.

After a few visits with one of our eighteen-year-old clients, an absolutely beautiful cheerleader, she said to us, “I feel like I get to choose how I feel instead of how shameful [the mean girls] try to make me feel.” These were girls who had shamed her for no reason other than the fact that they could. What is the point anyway of gossiping about someone’s flaws or their decisions, right or wrong. (By the way, it is the beautiful that get the worst of this. One clinician we know works with pro-basketball player’s wives and she says it is the most body-shamed group she has ever seen; think Eva Longoria, and of course today Kim Kardashian is in the news, so no one is immune, no matter how good looking or secure they are.)

Let’s all take a stand and not tolerate any body shaming, for yourself and anyone else. For us, it is absolutely not okay to hear someone say any disparaging thing about what someone is wearing, or any body issue, or how they are behaving sexually according to another person’s judgmental position. And we say it out loud when it happens in our hearing. It is fixable, we just all need to do the work to be fully present and express our feelings healthfully, all the while draining the shame out of the dark places.

We’d love to hear your experiences. You are not alone. Let’s help others realize that they are not alone either.

Are you ready to be free of shame? We’d love to help you move beyond your shame into love and peace and empowerment and joy! Contact us today at [email protected] and give us your three difficult feelings about your experience and we’ll email you a free gift.

Authors

​Jami and Marla Keller founded Passion Provokers in 2011 after they had spent the previous 21 years working in the coaching field. Many patterns emerged in this field, and they soon realized they needed to rebrand what it meant to have and to be in relationships. Jami and Marla Keller became Relationship Coaches and Licensed Facilitators with Life Skills International in 1995. From personal trials to professional success, they resolved to give everyone outstanding success in their relationship goals.
 
Their coaching is short-term (a maximum of 12 months) for a lifetime of results. With their unique way of coaching together, Jami and Marla have created simple teachings and processes that empower their clients to discover their passions and begin living into them. Since their job is to empower people’s lives and evoke a passion to thrive, they realized “provoking passion” was their job; hence, the name evolved into Passion Provokers.
 
Specializing in couples, they also teach this process to individuals and groups. Working with such a broad demographic has allowed them to enrich people’s lives in every facet. Together, they flourish in teaching people these simple and effective techniques and tools that, when followed, transform lives 100% of the time. They have traveled nationally presenting workshops and seminars to couples and individuals. They are the co-authors of the book Our Real Journey, a 13-week recovery program for teens entitled Journey to Nai, a 13-week recovery program for control and abandonment entitled Forever After, a follow up 13-week recovery program for Forever After entitled Passionate Tranquility, there new book with the current working title 3 Weeks to a Compassionate, Connected Coupleship, and Jami​’s newest book Silhouette of a Man: Becoming Conscious. ​
 
Jami and Marla have been married for 28 years, they live in Boise Idaho, have two beautiful grown daughters and a son-in- law. They love adventuring together, which involves things like hiking, tandem bicycle riding, traveling around the globe, Bikram yoga, road trips, presenting experiential workshops or simply sitting quietly and reading together.