by Carol & Jeff England

Several years ago, we were going through some times of upsets and frustrations with each other. Most of our attention was on trying to avoid what we were afraid might happen to our relationship and to each of us.

A few years ago in one of the Exploring Extraordinary Relationships workshops we became clear that making promises to each other in order to avoid the repetition of past breakdowns does not produce an exciting life together. When we discovered that the true purpose of making promises is to turn possibilities into reality, we dedicated ourselves to making up projects that we could accomplish together that would enhance our home and our relationship.

One project we created was to get trees and other plants around our home trimmed, with each of us taking on different tasks. It was a big job, and best done by two people, one on the ladder up in the tree and one on the ground. Of course Jeff went up the ladder. He tied ropes around the large branches, and after sawing those branches, he lowered them to the ground. I dragged them to the driveway, where we worked together to cut them to fit in the yard waste bin.

We took on Jeff’s health as another project. We set up his physicals, altered our diet, exercised together, and relaxed together. Within 6 months, we saw the improvements, and now we are maintaining them. Jeff has had to buy new slacks because his waist is now a few sizes smaller.

Most recently we completed a project to pay off our business loan by the end of the 2017. We talked, sought advice, created a plan, and got to work. We paid off the loan last month!

Our current project is a vacation with our children and grandchildren in Kauai, Hawaii. We came up with the idea two years ago in the Relationships and Dreaming workshop, and we’re making the dream come true in June.  We’ve had a great time including our whole family in the planning and in the making and keeping of promises to fulfill all of our plans.

The benefits that dreaming together, conceiving projects, and making and fulfilling the promises to complete those projects have provided for our relationship have been immeasurable. So we’re not going to stop “projecting” and promising.

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