3 Things Power Couples Do Differently

Brooke & Wilhelm | Power Couple | 3 Things

You’re a solid couple, happy and in love… you even like each other most of the time - you’re on a roll! You have jobs you like, a space you lovingly call “home,” and a life you’re proud of.

Looking around, you’re grateful not to be experiencing the same lulls and lows as many relationships… yet, the plateau of contentment you’ve found with your partner makes you both a little uneasy.

The good news: What might seem like an issue, is really an opportunity for massive growth. If you’re in a good place in life and love but want to be great, it’s time to start focusing on an untapped superpower: Your relationship!

You’re just three habits away from being a true Power Couple

Tap into the power that’s held within your own partnership, and up-level your lifestyle and your mindset with these three power couple habits.

- - - - - - -

1. Express Your Feelings (Power Couples go beyond business talk)

It’s easy to imagine power couples communicating what they think, but what may sneak by is the fact that they also excel at sharing how they feel! 

This isn’t something to practice only in times of stress or bliss, but in your day to day life. Expressing feelings about trivial things, such as how the sunny weather delights you or how clutter building up on your dresser makes you tense, helps carve space for true understanding and trust. Having room set aside for communication with compassion leads to extra energy for idea generation, productivity and happiness!

Dr. John Gottman, world-renowned psychological researcher and clinician, found that a healthy relationship is built on a series of components that all revolve around a commitment to fostering loving communication. A relationship built on steady and open communication will be highly-functioning, respectful and supportive.

True communication within your relationship involves the expression not only thoughts, but of feelings to create a foundation for a future without limits.

- - - - - - -

2. Envision Success (Power Couples are on that visualization train)

Power couples are more than just doers, they’re dreamers! Couples who excel know the power not only of setting, but of taking the time to visualize their goals. 

Research shows imagining highly specific goals impacts our brain patterns and aids in achieving them nearly as strongly as the physical actions we take toward them. When you create shared dreams and goals with your partner, and then actively visualize them, you’re priming your brain for the successful outcome you’ve pictured!

A study on the effect of goal setting in group environments, co-written by Kleingeld, van Mierlo, and Arends for the Journal of Applied Psychology found that groups that established specific goals were able to reach a higher level of success than those who had more simple, non-specific goals. As a couple, you are your own unique, empowered group that will succeed together when you decide together precisely what you want to accomplish!

How you visualize your objectives matters just as much as setting them in the first place. A study at Dominican University by psychologist Gail Matthews tested different ways to envision your goals including thinking about your goals, writing your goals, planning actions, planning actions with mild accountability, and planning actions with detailed accountability. The study found that writing your goals down, announcing your goals publicly, and accountability were key to achieving success. Part of envisioning your goals and actually reaching them is envisioning how you are going to get there. You can dream of grandeur or you can envision a life together where your actions match your ambitions.

- - - - - - -

3. Execute Daily (Power Couples create habits for success)

This one’s a no-brainer, but when you’ve got big goals (and we know you two do) this step can trip you up. Power couples take action on their goals, daily!

This doesn’t mean every day is a playoff game, but you should be stretching, studying or practicing, even on your “off days”. These actions can be shared or solo. In fact, it’s important to identify your individual strengths and delegate positions accordingly. Work backward from your goal, set milestones you want to hit, and plan daily actions you can take to make them happen!

If you’re ready to take the leap from good to great in life and love, harnessing the power of your partnership is key!

Stephen Covey, educator, author, businessman and keynote speaker, talks about the daily rituals utilized by successful individuals in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey shows that effective and successful individuals are proactive not reactive. Most of us have heard that, “to achieve goals you’ve never achieved before you need to start doing things you’ve never done before,” it was Covey who gave you that piece of wisdom.

Taking action is just putting into practice the vision you have created for yourselves. You’ve communicated and grown. You’ve envisioned your goals. Now you get to put in the work!

Actions To Take

Carve regular space and time to express your feelings, this will empower you with the skill of compassionate communication. You’ll start hearing your partner more fully, and being fully heard in return. This open line of communication is vital for fresh ideas to flourish, and new dreams to be born! As you define shared goals, don’t forget to envision them, prepping your minds for success. Along with visualizing, you’ll need a plan of action made up of daily steps that will lead you to your ultimate goal.

Tap into the immense potential that’s created through your partnership, and you’ll be well on your way to Power Couple Status. Use this newly cultivated magic to build a more fulfilling, successful life and reach your business, finance, family and personal dreams faster.

No Chemistry in Paris

6.jpg

No Chemistry in Paris, France

In the name of full disclosure, I must tell you: Paris was not included on the original itinerary for our honeymoon.

Don’t hate me, but I’ve been and while I think it’s a lovely place, it has simply never spoken to me (more less whispered sweet nothings in my ear the way it surely does to nearly every other human who visits!). 

Paris gets around. She knows many lovers…but, thus far, Paris and I have had no chemistry.

My mother and father-in-law adore the city. They’ve been here a number of times and were crushed that my husband wasn’t going to experience it. So, Paris was added thanks to their loving persuasion…and, I must admit, Paris stepped up its game this time.

I love history and I’m a sucker for a great revolution story – so you’d think this glittering city would have already won my heart, but not until tonight.

Our hotel is just steps away from the famous Tuileries Gardens. Created by Catherine de Medicis, these gardens were private for a century before opening up to the public (just after the French Revolution). Now, in the 21st century: on any given day, these beautiful grounds can be enjoyed by the public for relaxation and socialization. That’s all fine and dandy…but for a few months during the summer, these peaceful gardens are turned into a wonderland that enchants the young and the old alike…

I’m like a moth to the flashing-carnival-light-flame.

I love the cheap games and the bing-bang-cling-clang noises of the rickety old rides. I think ferris wheels are charming, nostalgic and downright romantic. I dig the adrenaline rush of being scared out of my wits by a hideous clown as I get lost in the maze of mirrors in a fun house. So as we stroll out of our hotel in search of food and adventure, I squeal with delight when I spot the high-flyer spinning up above, with the Eiffel Tower twinkling behind it.

A gorgeous twist on the dirty, crowd-ridden fairs we experience each summer in the Midwest (again, not knocking them – I love them, goat auctions and all), this festival is saturated with European class - Stocked with vintage crepe carts and merry-go-rounds adorned with horses dating back to 1900! 

What was meant to be a pit stop before a fancy dinner has turned into an evening of cheap French wine sipped from plastic stemware, hotdogs smothered in spicy mustard, and an array of flavored crepes – (not the least of which is a Grand Marnier crepe that I believe may leave me with a headache tomorrow!)

We throw a few bucks away playing rigged games before we get the nerve to brave the fun house. We scramble as the floor drops from beneath us and we dizzily flop forward from a spinning trap. When our path leads us to a quiet (and, in retrospect, remarkably unstable) ledge atop the fun house, we take a break from the craziness to enjoy the City of Lights lit up in all its glory in the dark night. This vantage point is lovely, we can see the carnival below and the sparkling city all around.

The only way down is through a huge, swirling slide. When we emerge from the giant tunnel, laughing hysterically, my hubby points out that the butt of my pristine white slacks is black with fun-house-grunge. 

The absurdity of the evening was well worth the fashion sacrifice.

Paris has won a piece of my heart through this silly festival. I’ve met the low-key, goofy side of the city – and we are getting along swell.

Stark Naked In Switzerland

brookeandwilhelm.com-21.jpg

Stark Naked In Switzerland

After a brisk, (read: FREEZING), sunrise hike in the Bernese Alps we are ready to relax and be rejuvenated - Thankfully the crisp weather isn't the only refreshing thing here in Adelboden. 

The wellness spa welcomes us with warm, open arms (whilst it’s hands are filled with hot herbal tea, mmm!). 

Relatively speaking, we aren’t high maintenance – Here they offer treatments from blackberry wraps to alpine herb massages- All we want is to warm up…take a dip in the serene, outdoor hot pool all whilst gazing out upon the vast, enchanting mountain range.

Cool thing is - around here, that isn’t too much to ask!

As we head off to our respective changing rooms, it feels as though the floors, the walls, even the glowing wall sconces have been steeped in lavender and eucalyptus – as if the entire spa were created from an organic matter infused with natural, tranquil scents. 

The calm and quiet spa attendant takes us through the options available to us, recommending that we try the rain shower and the steam bath. She guides us to a beautiful wooden area enclosed by a steamy glass door adorning cautionary labels. She breezes through as if it’s completely commonplace…

“Oh and here, as in all European spas, no clothes are permitted whatsoever….” She goes on to talk about which type of mud-mask she recommends…

In the States, it’s “No shirt. No service.” Up here, we’ve got a sticker on the door of a bra, and one of a pair of men’s shorts…both of which have a “no smoking” style strike through them! Well, I’ll be darned - I think I’m Mrs. Adventurous 'til someone says the adventure must be done naked…in a public, co-ed place.

Briefly, I wonder if I’m really just a Midwestern Wallflower after all.

Today, we are proving that ‘Bashful’ is not a part of our vocabularies. I’m not even sure what the intent of a Finnish sauna is, but challenge accepted!    

Off go the robes.    

Right here in the middle of the spa. Folks in the serenity room are in athletic gear, stretching their arms out in yoga-like fashion and those in the rain shower have only left their towels outside and are surely dressed to some degree.

And here we are. Stark naked.

Now, to see your spouse naked is normal and lovely. A perk of the job, one might say. BUT, to see them naked in public is an odd experience. Not good nor bad. Just. Plain. Odd.   

I've impressed even myself with this strange (mis)adventure…and though we are admittedly hoping no one else is within the wooden box as we heedfully inch the door open, we do in fact venture in.

The coast is clear – No nude Europeans frolicking about. Just two crazy Americans.

The Story of How We Met

Brooke & Wilhelm | Power Couples | How We Met

The Story of How We Met

After a two year soul searching adventure that took me not only cross country, but around the world – it was time to return home (somewhat begrudgingly, I admit) to the Midwest. Before I gave in and headed back to my hometown, I spent every last dime of my savings on a backpacking trip. I trekked through the mountains, glaciers and volcanoes of the stunning-but-desolate country of Iceland finding adventure and maybe even a little bit of myself.

Once the voyage led me back to my childhood bedroom in Ohio, I needed to get a job! An old friend helped me land an engagement as bartender at a historic mansion (previously a speakeasy and a noted gangster hang-out) turned five-star steak house. It was my first night training and I should have been paying close attention, as I didn’t know the difference between a Mint Julep and a Screwdriver, but something else had caught my eye and held my interest.

He looked like Clark Kent and he dressed like Jay Gatsby.

As he popped a bottle of champagne, laughing jovially, he was full of life – and I, was captivated. Across the high top table sat a beautiful, petite brunette who wore a ponytail, sundress and a noticeably sparkling wedding ring.

“Lucky lady,” I thought wistfully. A refreshing thought crossed my mind, “I want to meet a man just like that.”

As fate would have it, I met a man JUST like that. 

Later the same evening the handsome stranger returned with a friend in tow. This time he took a seat where I couldn’t miss him, at the bar behind which I was working. He ordered a Kettle One martini with bleu cheese olives, but I was so distracted I served him something along the lines of a tequila and tonic (Ew, right?!) but alas, I heard no complaints.

After a bit of small talk I believed he was simply playing the role of “wingman” to his cute-but-quiet friend. When he, not the friend, asked for my phone number I finally had to say something.

“I’m sorry, but weren’t you just here…with your wife?!” I protested confidently. He replied coolly, with a smirk that seemed to say ‘so you noticed me too, eh?’,

“Well, you mean my date for dinner?”… “That, was my mother.”

Blushing, but delighted and quite relieved, I scribbled my name and number on a cocktail napkin…and the rest is history.

He recounts falling in love with my sense of adventure and open-mind. I vividly remember being drawn in by his authenticity, confidence and charisma. As we got to know one another we learned we both had led charmed lives – raised on Midwest farms each with two siblings and adoring, hardworking parents, only ten miles from one another. A shared love of the luxurious paired with an honest,  down-to-earth appreciation for life was what ultimately bewitched us both. Three days after we met he told me he was falling in love with me and within the year he asked me to be his wife.

After a brief engagement, we said “I do” in a rooftop garden on Marco Island, with waves of the Gulf crashing behind us. Our intimate celebration included our immediate family and our rowdy bridal party. We kicked our shoes off for photos on the beach, ate dinner on a terrace overlooking the water as the sun set before us, and danced the night away in the lounge surrounded by our best friends and our beloved family. To me, it was the perfect pairing of glamour and relaxed charm from the dripping chandeliers to the weathered lanterns.

In the words of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (well, sort of!)…

“Of all the steak joints, in all the towns, in all the world… He walked into mine.”