February Guest Editor Q+ A: Introducing Michele Lisenbury Christensen (Part 1)

It’s always a good time to deepen the connection with your significant other.  I’m excited to introduce our guest editor for the month of February who is a professional at helping couples unite successfully, spiritually and intimately. Michele Lisenbury Christensen is a wife, mother, blogger, and trusted advisor to couples, singles, and corporate leaders around the world.  She recognizes that a happy relationship leads to success in so many other areas of life. As our guest editor, Michele will be sharing her expertise and experiences throughout the month on 20 Minute Renewal, the Caldera Spas blog. I hope we all get to experience the transformation a happy relationship can bring.

You specialize in relationship coaching now but you were an executive coach to Fortune 500 leaders.  How did that shift happen?

I realized the sessions I secretly cherished were the ones when my executive client would say, “I know we usually talk about my leadership, but I need to talk about my marriage.”  Or they’d need to talk about their parenting.  It was such a joy to help these busy, highly effective people with their most heart-felt challenges and their most tender desires.  So that’s what I do all the time, now.  It’s actually the same people; they’ve got great big careers and kids they love and lots of things going on, and they don’t want their love to get lost in the fray.

What is the link between relationships and renewal?

Our relationship practices either drain us or feed us.  Our daily habits – how we communicate, how we start and end our day, how we eat together or don’t how we clear resentments or hold onto them – shape not only the flavor of that connection, but the flavor of our whole lives.  Vibrant relationships become a source of renewal for us, and difficult or neglected relationships tax us and push us to seek renewal elsewhere, which further deteriorates the relationship. I love to help people turn toward one another and seek renewal together, even when they’re both stressed or drained or struggling.

What are your favorite practices for self-renewal and relationship renewal?

Yoga, silent meditation, and walks through my beautiful Seattle neighborhood help me reconnect to my body, slow down my mind, and recharge my energy.  Also, I often get clarity by journaling or doodling my thoughts and feelings.

When it comes to relationship renewal, my husband and I lean into each other as our “nest’.  Since we’ve had kids, we have less time alone together, but we still carve out time every night – often in our hot tub..  Something about the water, the quiet, and each other just seems to smooth out my feathers.

Additionally, “Best Parts, Hard Parts” is a game my family plays at dinner.  Everyone (except the baby, since she can’t talk yet – but we speculate on her behalf) shares the high point and low point of their day. This helps us have detailed maps of one another’s emotional world.

Be sure to come back to 20-Minute Renewal on Monday for Part 2 of our Q&A with Michele to learn more about how to nurture the relationships in your life.

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