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Chapter 5

Intimacy Being close but separate, giving and receiving love

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About Intimacy Love is a survival need. We are social animals and loving connection eases stress and ramps up oxytocin, providing a deep sense of well-being. Lust and early love cause dopamine highs, much like recreational drugs. After the initial false high, a bond may form, and then the memories of those early in-love moments nourish a lasting relationship. At that point, we settle in and find out whether or not we are compatible, and at that point we trigger each other’s early wires of attachment. Some of these wires cause power struggles, distancing and/or merging, and the loss of love. However, if we have the skills to rewire those old hurts, often the love deepens. Or we have the courage to leave the relationship because we have a sanctuary within us. We will hurt, but we will not be devastated forever. Regardless of the nature of our relationships, being at Brain State 1 favors intimacy, and that can be achieved using a few good tools.

Spotlight: The Feelings Check Tool Let’s review the three questions we answer to prepare ourselves to initiate an effective Connect Tool.

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How do I feel? Angry

Grateful

Sad

Happy

Afraid

Secure

Guilty

Proud

Tired

Rested

Tense

Relaxed

Hungry / Full

Satisfied

Lonely

Loved / Loving

Sick

Healthy

Do what you need to do to get to Brain State One or Acceptance. What do I need? Logical need: ____________________________________ Deeper need: ____________________________________ Do I need support? If you do, ask “Would you please….?” 119


The Connect Tool The feeling of emotional connection comes when the emotional brains of two people resonate with one another. When we are intimate, we are aware of our own feelings and needs and the feelings and needs of another person. You are aware of yourself: how you feel and what you need. You are aware of the other person: how they might feel and what they might need. It is like the synchronization of a bicycle. When both of these “cycles� are spinning, we feel a loving connection to ourselves and to another person. We call that the Connect Tool.

The Connect Tool

How do I feel?

How do you feel?

What do I need?

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What do you need?


This tool comes in handy in interactions with many people in life. When you are around someone, ask yourself, “How do I feel?” and “What do I need?” Then ask yourself, “How do they feel?” and “What do they need?” If either one of these two cycles shuts down, intimacy stops. We merge with them and lose ourselves or we distance from them and lose the connection. As you play with this tool, notice that you can do your part to create a moment of intimacy, even if another person does not. You are going through your day and you see a friend. You check in with yourself and ground yourself in your own feelings and needs. Then you open the emotional pipeline by thinking about how they might be feeling and what they might need. You can’t see into their brain, but you can give it a good guess. We all have mirror neurons that read the emotional state of other people. Imagine you open the emotional pipeline and feel warmth toward them, and awareness of them on an emotional level. You say a few things and they are rude to you. Or they are distracted and don’t open their emotional pipeline.

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That’s fine. You know you have done your part. You have opened the emotional pipeline. Sometimes people open up back and sometimes they don’t. When we are stressed, all of us tend to have our Connect Tool shut down. We may connect with others in ineffective ways… or not connect at all.

Compassionate Love When people don’t connect with us, it’s probably because of their brain state. It’s just a brain state, and it will pass. Knowing this is very important, because although relationships can soothe us, our closest relationships not only can also bring us the most joy but also the most stress. Those who are close to us arouse the wiring of our early hurts. This includes our spouse, our close relatives, even our boss … anyone whose relationship we depend upon. The same is true for them. We bring up their wiring of early hurts, too, so they are more likely to be in stress. They are more likely to distance from us in stressful times or to do hurtful things. They are apt to be very needy, controlling, reactive and difficult at times. That’s stress for you!

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Distancing and Merging When the brain is in stress, its priority is survival and we go to extremes in relationships. That’s true for all of us. Stress triggers us to be too close or too distant. Too Close (Merged) — Our boundaries get very thin. We only know how they feel and what they need. We lose track of how we feel and what we need. We’re too stressed! We only know what we want — which is for the other person to give us love, safety, comfort. We try to fix, manipulate or control them. We can’t find our own sanctuary, so we are demanding to use theirs. Too Distant (Disengaged) — Our boundaries get very thick. We only know how we feel and what we need. We don’t care how they feel and what they need. We’re too stressed! We only know what we want — for the other person to leave us alone. We judge them! We get as far away from them as we can. When we can’t find our own sanctuary, we try to find it from anything or anyone else … but them!

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What are your tendencies when you are stressed? I distance. I merge. I do both. I’m not sure. What are the tendencies of other people who are close to you? They distance. They merge. They do both. I’m not sure.

The Effective Repair Relationships go through growing pains over time. To stay close but separate means staying aware of your own feelings and needs. It means being aware of their feelings and needs, too. It means being close but still keeping your most important connection with yourself. That gives you a reservoir of love and strength that is the basis for healthy relationships.

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In normal, healthy, loving relationships, people have conflicts. It helps because it keeps our boundaries intact. We have feelings and needs that they don’t like. They have feelings and needs that we don’t like. We’re not just one “blob” but are separate. We don’t lose who we are just because we are in a relationship. Sometimes during conflict, we say and do things that we later regret. That is normal. Afterwards, we take our time to connect with our sanctuary, and return to Brain State 1 or 2. Then, when we are ready, we do a very important thing: We do our part to repair the rift. We approach the other person when we believe that they are in a brain state in which they can hear us. We say what we regret. We affirm our love. We don’t shame ourselves. We don’t shame them. We learn from the experience.

I feel guilty that I treated you badly. I am sorry. Next time when I am that angry, I will go for a walk rather than get into a fight with you. I feel sad you said that, but I know my part. I blamed you for what I did. I am sorry. I love you. I hope you will forgive me. I love you. I don’t want to fight with you. I’m sorry for my part in it. Let’s start again. You are important to me. 125


The Sandwich: Making an Effective Request What if you need to make a request? Just use 1-2-3 Connect, but as part of the second step, be assertive, and use this “Sandwich.” Bread (Honest empathy): I appreciate that . . . I care that . . . Meat (Effective Request): I feel . . . I need . . . Would you please. . .? Bread (Honest empathy – again!): I appreciate . . . I love . . .

Maria, I appreciate that you are tired. I feel sad because I have no ride to the doctor. I need a ride. Would you please give me one? I know you are busy, too. Kevin, I appreciate that you are stressed. I feel angry when you say those things to me. I need you to know how I feel. Would you please tell me how that is for you to hear? I love you very much. Dave, I know you are really busy. I feel . . . worried that I’m not exercising. I need you to support me in getting my exercise. Would you please take care of our daughter for 30 minutes so that I can exercise? I know that won’t be easy for you. I would be very grateful for your help.

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Requests are challenging. The key is to be assertive, not passive or aggressive. That means keeping in mind how they feel and what they need and how you feel and what you need. Also, there is no benefit to tangling with someone when they are stressed! So check their brain state as well as your own. Before making a request, be sure you’re in Brain State 1 or 2, then ask yourself: “Is it a reasonable expectation that something good will happen by making this request right now?� Only make the request if it is! The Emotional Pipeline: An Intimate Connection in 10 Minutes! Many couples wake up in the morning or re-connect in the evening by taking 10 minutes to listen to one another do Emotional Housecleaning. They use the pocket reminder to remember the 8 feelings. Many friends use it, too. They sit face to face, with connection body language, knee to knee, leaning toward one another and LOOKINGEYETOEYE&IRSTONEPERSONCOMPLETESTHE 8 sentences, then the other does the same thing. No interrupting. No unasked for advice. It opens the emotional pipeline and it only takes 10 minutes!

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Then we collect a Joy Point from having done our best to repair. We remind ourselves that relationships are sometimes difficult and that nobody has to be perfect. We remind ourselves that we will give love stopping short of allowing abuse to occur.

Collecting Intimacy Moments When you awake in the morning, say to yourself, “I am creating JOY in my life!” Then, as you go through your day, stay checked in and watch for moments of intimacy to occur! When they do, you get a Joy Point, and can feel surges of pleasure in your body. To get more Intimacy Moments, use the 1-2-3 Connect Tool.

The 1-2-3 Connect Tool Step. 1. Check In Before you connect with someone, connect with yourself. Appreciate that each moment of connection can bring rewards, but it has risks, too. So connecting with yourself creates safety from within. Check in and get to Brain State 1 or acceptance. If you find you are in a stressed state, expect less. A social “hello” may be all you can manage. If you are at 5, connecting may not be effective. You’re apt to distance or merge. Consider taking a break and connecting with this person later. 128


Step 2. Use the Connect Tool Be aware of your own feelings and needs. Open the emotional pipeline (your emotional awareness of another person) and be aware of how they feel and what they need. If their Brain State is at 1 or 2, connecting is easy. If they are in the more stressed states, it is more difficult. When they are at Brain State 4 or 5, change your expectations. Their reptilian brain is in charge.

My husband is at Brain State 5. I think I’ll wait to bring up the problem with our credit card. Oh, my son is at Brain State 5. I won’t judge him. It scares me that he is so angry, but I’ll connect with the sanctuary inside. I won’t yell at him. My friend is at Brain State 2. It’s a great time to talk about our babies and share our joy.

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Step 3. Collect a Joy Point! Intimacy is challenging. Say to yourself some kind words, such as “good try!� or “You did the best you could.� afterwards, and feel a surge of joy in your body. That helps strengthen the wiring of connection, even if they didn’t open their emotional pipeline. Your capacity for intimacy is increasing. YOU are strengthening your own intimacy skills. As you move through our day, anticipate moments of joy from intimacy. They are sparks of pleasure, the connection between the emotional brain of you and ANOTHERPERSON&EELINGLOVEFORANOTHERCREATESTHESE sparks of pleasure within your own brain, even if they do not return that love in that moment. Intimacy is one of the greatest joys in life.

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Emotional Evolution: Love The fifth core circuit of emotional evolution is based on love. In that moment of stress, the false generalization that is encoded in the brain is: I cannot love. 4OREWIREIT YOUCANDOANOTHER'RIND)N&IRSTSTATE the reasonable expectation, then the essential pain, and finally the earned reward you will receive for accepting it. Core Expectation: I can love. Essential Pain: Some people may reject me. Earned Reward: Intimacy

I watch television and shut down emotionally when I’m stressed. My wife is used to it, but then we drift apart and lovemaking becomes less frequent. I use this Grind In: I can love. She may reject me, but I won’t reject myself. The reward? Maybe a little more intimacy? I know that I get my love from within, but when I’m stressed I merge and get so needy. I hate that! I start my Grind In with the first core circuit and go from there. I use the core expectations: I do exist. I am not bad. I do have power. I can do good. I can love. My body relaxed. I can stop merging. 131


Brain Fitness Exercise Consider adding to your exercise plan some form of exercise that increases flexibility and your range of motion in your joints. EBT offers yoga as one option, with a program of Eudonic Yoga developed by EBT Provider and Director of Clinical Research, Arinn Testa, PsyD. There are many other options for increased flexibility. The point is to enjoy your body, and to use it in ways that bring you more joy. Joy Foods Consuming enough essential fatty acids is important to brain fitness, and it staves off the drive for sugary foods. Eating sugared drinks, especially juices and sodas, which are high in fructose, clogs the liver and increases risk of hypertension, diabetes and high lipids. Add small amounts of healthy fats to your food and notice that the fruits and vegetables satisfy you more, and your hunger decreases. A small handful of nuts, a tablespoon of oil on a salad or a bit of nut butter on a pear or apple add to the joy of life.

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Healthy Fats Hazelnut

Pecans

Macadamia

Pine nuts

Canola

Pistachios

Seeds

Walnuts

&LAXSEED

Olive, extra virgin

Pumpkin seeds

Peanut

Sesame seeds

Safflower

Sunflower seeds

Sunflower

Tahini/sesame butter

Salad Dressings

Oils

Natural butters made with healthy nuts

Dressings made with vinegar or lemon and healthy oils

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Sanctuary Time Everyone deserves 10 minutes of sanctuary time. This is a time to be quiet and peaceful, turning attention inside and using the tools to clear away emotional clutter. It is a time to be aware of the peace and power within. Included in this course is an audio EBT Sanctuary Time guided practice CD. Enjoy relaxing and rewiring all at once.

Connection Continue connecting daily even for 3 minutes to motivate you to practice the tools more often. Check in by telephone, email, or text and share your number of Check Ins, minutes exercised and, if you had a Joy Point, then share it.

Website Support: www.ebt.org Check In Line: 877-765-4JOY

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Chapter 6

Spirituality Aware of the grace, beauty and mystery of life

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About Spirituality When our brain is in balance, we are naturally aware of the grace, beauty and mystery of life. In EBT, spirituality is whatever you define it to be. However, when the brain is in balance, a sense of connection comes naturally. We have no needs. We are just in awe – at the sunset, at the spider web in the corner of the room, at the freedom we feel to love and be loved.

Spotlight: Emotional Housecleaning Tool The Emotional Housecleaning Tool is very effective at clearing away emotional clutter. However, most people find one of the feelings challenging to feel. Particularly when that feeling is a negative one, it can stop the natural flow of feelings that brings wisdom and healing. If emotional fitness with any of these four feelings is low, another negative feeling goes out of balance . . . or feelings may shut down altogether. Then we are left only with over-thinking or running marathons (in work, love or play). When we are not trained early in life that anger is safe and good, then often sadness turns into depression. If we can’t feel fear, then we may take unwise risks and end up feeling shame. A robust 148


“I feel guilty . . .� skill is essential to learning from our mistakes. So please take a moment and identify the one feeling that is most challenging for you to feel. Consider doing a Cycle about it to ease your stress, then practicing it daily for a week. Notice any improvements in your emotional fitness level for that feeling. Do that for one positive feeling and one negative feeling. The negative feeling that I will practice and strengthen: I feel angry that . . I feel sad that . . . I feel afraid that . . . I feel guilty that . . . The positive feeling that I will practice and strengthen: I feel grateful that . . . I feel happy that . . . I feel secure that . . . I feel proud that . . .

I’m going to pump up my I feel angry skill, and do a Cycle about having it not be OK for me to be angry.

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Cycles Strengthen “Missing Feelings” One of the basic rules of doing Cycles is that you don’t stop until you POP to Brain State 1. Only then do you know that you have rewired, for the dopamine pop means that you are locking in the new, effective wires. Plus, you are at Brain State 1 and a beacon of light. Your joy is contagious through the mirror neurons of others. Your joy is your gift to them, as they catch that optimal brain state. If you don’t pop when you state the new reasonable expectation, then just create a limit. This means finding a reasonable expectation and supporting it with positive thoughts. Next is identifying the essential pain, and finally rewarding yourself with one of the higher order rewards (eudonic rewards). These rewards pop us to Brain State 1 because the survival of the species is based on our accessing them – and the compassion and wisdom they provide. The web tools at www.ebt.org will guide you through that process. Many people turn off their feelings because they were taught it is not safe to feel negative feelings. The Cycle Tool changes that. If you express all four feelings – anger, sadness, fear and guilt – they balance one another. 150


Sue’s Cycle Step 1. Just the Facts It wasn’t OK to be angry around my house. Boys could be angry. The girls had to be nice. Sad was OK, but not angry. Step 2. Nab the Stress Circuit I feel angry . . . actually I feel sad.

I feel sad that I can’t get angry. I HATE IT that I can’t get angry. )FEEL&52)/53THATTHEYSHAMEDMEIF)WASANGRY I feel afraid I will never honor my anger. I feel guilty that I give up and just get depressed. My unreasonable expectation: My unreasonable expectation is that I could stuff my anger and be a happy person! Ha! That’s not reasonable! Step 3. Create a New Circuit It’s OK to be angry at times. Step 4. Strengthen the Circuit It’s OK to be angry at times.

I have a right to my anger. 151


I have a right to my anger. I have a right to my anger. Like all people, I can be angry at times. Like all people, I can be angry at times. Like all people I can be angry at times. Like all people, I can be ANGRY at times! It is OK to be angry at times. IT IS OK TO BE ANGRY AT TIMES! It is OK to be angry at times. That feels GREAT!

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Emotional Evolution: Desire The sixth core circuit of emotional evolution is based on desire. In that moment of stress, when our greatest desire is to feel worthy, we feel undeserving. Therefore, we push away the bounty of life that could be ours for the taking. We cannot receive ‌ it feels wrong and unsafe. The false generalization that is encoded in the brain is: I am not worthy. 4OREWIREIT YOUCANDOANOTHER'RIND)N&IRSTSTATE the reasonable expectation, then the essential pain, and finally the earned reward you will receive for accepting it. Core Expectation: I am worthy. Essential Pain: I must receive. Earned Reward: Spirituality

I give and give until I am empty, then I get depressed and feel powerless. This Grind In has been great. When I’m in Brain State 4 and feeling worthless, I start from the first circuit and build to this one: I do exist. I am not bad. I have power. I can do good. I can love. I am worthy. It’s an emotional anchor for me. 153


Brain Fitness Exercise It’s time to play! Who wants a parent, partner or best friend who has forgotten how to wiggle their toes in sand, shoot hoops, dance their #@* off or sing in the shower? Let’s play. Moments of exercise only count if you are being playful, laughing out loud, being silly or having a GREAT time! Stress Foods The rest of the foods (those not listed previously) are CONSIDERED3TRESS&OODS2ESEARCHAT5#3&CONDUCTED by stress researcher Mary Dallman, PhD revealed that these foods can quiet the amygdala, the Worry Circuit. However, they are also apt to wreak havoc on the body, ramping up inflammation, insulin, blood pressure, appetite, cravings and more when they are consumed in excess. 4HEMOSTIMPORTANTTHINGABOUT3TRESS&OODSISTO never deny yourself the right to eat them. Excessive restraint just fuels overeating. )FYOUREALLYNEED3TRESS&OODS THENBYALLMEANSHAVE them. In EBT, the advanced courses include training in how to rewire the circuits that ramp up the desire for various excesses. Once the emotional drive for Stress &OODSEASES THENTHEDRAMAISOVER4HEDESIREPASSES AND*OY&OODSSATISFYUSMOREOFTHETIME 154


Sanctuary Time Continue with EBT Sanctuary Time practice, and take solo time to use this tool ‌ take a 10 minute vacation and emotionally and spiritually connect with yourself. Setting limits so that you have this time is really important, as it is a statement not only to yourself, but to those close to you that your inner peace and power are worth supporting. Sleep As your stress eases and you experience more joy in daily life, be sure you get enough sleep. The national average for hours of sleep continues to dwindle, now down to less than seven. Sleep deprivation impacts brain function, arouses emotional shut downs and promotes getting “triggeredâ€? easily, and causes memory andconcentration problems, as well. What’s more, there is a strong link between obesity and sleep duration. Sleep deprivation decreases levels of leptin, which suppresses appetite, and increases levels of ghrelin, a chemical that ramps up hunger, especially FOR3TRESS&OODS Why are so many people sleep deprived? It may be overworking or anxiety, but often it is distractions, staying up to watch television, go online or play 155


computer games. All these things are enticing artificial rewards. Track your sleep this week, aiming for 8 hours or more.

Connection Continue connecting daily even for 3 minutes to motivate you to practice the tools more often. Check in by telephone, email, or text and share your number of Check Ins, minutes exercised and, if you had a Joy Point, then share it.

Website Support: www.ebt.org Check In Line: 877-765-4JOY

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My Check Ins My State

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Got To

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

160


My Progress Check-Ins 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

7

8

9

10

Joy Points 1

2

3

4

Grind Ins?

YES

Exercise

30

*OY&OODS

9%3

5

6

45

60

Today’s Connection was with _____________ Sanctuary Time? YES Sleep 8+?

YES

Biggest Accomplishment Today: ____________________________

161


My Check Ins My State

Tools Used

Got To

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

162


My Progress Check-Ins 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

7

8

9

10

Joy Points 1

2

3

4

Grind Ins?

YES

Exercise

30

*OY&OODS

9%3

5

6

45

60

Today’s Connection was with _____________ Sanctuary Time? YES Sleep 8+?

YES

Biggest Accomplishment Today: ____________________________

163


My Check Ins My State

Tools Used

Got To

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

164


My Progress Check-Ins 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

7

8

9

10

Joy Points 1

2

3

4

Grind Ins?

YES

Exercise

30

*OY&OODS

9%3

5

6

45

60

Today’s Connection was with _____________ Sanctuary Time? YES Sleep 8+?

YES

Biggest Accomplishment Today: ____________________________

165


My Check Ins My State

Tools Used

Got To

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

1

2

3

4

5

ST FC EH C DC

1

Ac

166


My Progress Check-Ins 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

7

8

9

10

Joy Points 1

2

3

4

Grind Ins?

YES

Exercise

30

*OY&OODS

9%3

5

6

45

60

Today’s Connection was with _____________ Sanctuary Time? YES Sleep 8+?

YES

Biggest Accomplishment Today: ____________________________

167


168


WFJ Chapter 5: Intimacy