118 Transcript: Creating a 5-Star Marriage (with Maggie Reyes)

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J: You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast, episode number 118. We'll be talking today about creating a 5-star marriage, stay tuned.

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, but your host, Jen Riday.

J: Thank you so much for joining us today. I'm Dr. Jen Riday, host of the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, and I'm here to help you find you again. Sometimes you've got to get your sparkle back and that requires, not just putting yourself and your dreams on the back burner, but putting yourself at the forefront. And when you do that, you'll be shocked: Taking time for yourself actually creates more time and more energy for everything else you want to do. Welcome to the show. On our last episode, I talked to Maria Paz, all about finding her way out of that pit of despair and the depression using the will of happiness. That is a fantastic episode. If you are not sure what to focus on to get out of a dark place or a spiral downward, go back and listen to that at jenriday.com/117. Today, I'll be talking with Maggie Reyes, all about creating a 5-star marriage. How do we do that rather than just settling for that cheap roadside Motel? How do we shift and go to the Ritz-Carlton of marriages? You're going to love this interview and let's go ahead and jump right In

My guest today is Maggie Reyes, and she is a master certified life coach and modern marriage mentor who helps high-achieving women have happier marriages. Her romantic, yet practical approach to love, has appeared in numerous publications, including Brides, Lifehacker, and Martha Stewart Weddings, and she is the founder of modernmarried.com. When Maggie isn't coaching, writing, or studying more about how to make relationships awesome, you can find her on Facebook or reading Arrow FanFiction while cuddling with her hubby. Welcome to vibrant happy woman, Maggie.

M: Thank you so much, Jen, I'm so excited to be here today.

J: I'm excited to have you. And we're going to be talking about relationships, and specifically, the five love languages and how we need to watch out with that. I can't wait, you know, like a disclaimer. I talk a lot about that on the show. But before we get to that, let's dive in with your favorite quote.

M: Oh, sure, my pleasure. So my favorite quote is from a book called ‘Simple Abundance’, and it's, “To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition’.

J: Yes ma'am! (Laughs). How does that apply for you in your life?

M: Well, here's the deal. When I read that, that book came out when I was 22, so I'm 44 now; so I had that quote in my life for quite a while. And when I read that, it really shocked me, like, “Why am I doing everything? What is the purpose of all the things we do?” And it's really to be happy at home, and it really led to me this inquiry of, “Well, what do I need to be happy at home? What's that about for me?”

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And back then, I thought, “You know, one day, I want to get married.” I am the child of divorce, I never really knew what like a healthy family life look like from the inside. And that was one of my biggest dreams was to have that and it wasn't easy to make that dream come true, let me just to say.

J: Okay. Okay, well, let's jump right there. So you got married and then what was it like right after you started that relationship? You know, you’re dreaming of the ideal, not the divorce that your parents went through; just painted the picture for us.

M: Right. So let me tell you a little bit before I paint that picture is how it happened that I got married in the first place.

J: Ooh, okay, okay.

M: Because I went… I went through a lot of angst. And I was thinking about that. I was talking with my husband about this because it was our 11th anniversary coming up, and we were just talking about how we met and how we felt before and all those things. And we are both introverts. I'm very enthusiastic so I'm an enthusiastic introvert, but I'm an introvert nonetheless.

J: (Laughs)

M: And so we were talking about, you know, I felt very much like the third wheel with all my other friends were married. And I had this point where I didn't know if it was ever going to happen for me. Like, I really didn't know if I was ever going to find that person who really got me. And it's kind of dramatic, but one guy actually dumped me for being too efficient, Jen.


M: These were his exact words.


J: That's funny.

M: Right after, “It's not you, it's me.” (Laughs). It's like, “You’re just too efficient.” And I had that moment of, “I tried my whole life to be a good person and to help people and, you know, just to not do bad things, and this is the thanks I get? Like, I'm too efficient, are you serious?”


J: Yeah, right. That's so funny. Oh my goodness. He was trying to find a reason and that's all he could find?

M: Yeah!

J: That means you're amazing. (Laughs)

M: Thank you. God bless you, thank you. So that happened, and immediately when that happened, I just had one of those moments where you had to that dark night of the soul and you’re just talking to God as if God was your friend next to you. And I just said, “God, I either want my soul mate or no one. If it's no one, I'm at the peace with that, I'll make a good life with my friends and the people that I love. Like I had this… this moment of just like, “I am done if it's not my soul mate, whatever,” you know, kind of thing.

J: Yeah!

M: And it was right after that. So about a month later on Christmas Day, because God has a sense of humor, I met my husband on Christmas Day. (Laughs)

J: Ah! Where did you meet?

M: We… on that particular Christmas was on a Sunday and I went to church service on Sunday and I went to this really progressive church in Miami called Unity, which is great; it’s called Unity on the Bay. And one of my friends… I had just broken up with this whole efficiently situation, and one of my friends said, “You cannot swallow. You must get out. You must do things.” (Laughs)

J: Yes.

M: “I will not leave you at home wallowing.”

J: (Laughs)

M: So I just said yes to every invitation. You know, before Shonda Rhimes wrote her book, I was on that saying yes to everything that people have asked me to do.

J: Yes.

M: And I had already eaten, Jen; I had already had breakfast that day. But my friend said, “A bunch of us are getting together after church service. Do you want to come with us?” and I said yes because I was saying yes to everything.

J: Yeah.

M: And sitting across from me at that table in this little… little Latin Cafe in the middle of downtown Miami was this guy who had a spiritual discussion list. So he used to read books; true story. He used to read books and analyze them and share his thoughts with his friends; so of course he’s (unclear) [06:50].

J: Aww! Wow! (Laughs)

M: (unclear) [06:53]. (Laughs)

J: That's an introvert’s dream; deep discussions. Oh my goodness!

M: So I was like, “Tell me more about this list. What are you talking about right now?” And this was also… I feel like it's like the plot of a Hallmark movie, but it really happen to me. He was reading a book called ‘Why Women Like Bad Boys’, something like that.

J: (Laughs)

M: And I was like, “Okay, interesting. Uh-huh, tell me more.” And it was all of these different types of bad boys and why women were attracted to them. And of course, I asked to join his list and he sent me his notes. And I wrote back to him and I said, “It's my opinion that there is nothing sexier than a reliable man.”

J: Mmm!

M: And he read that and he said, “I’m a reliable man.”


M: And we exchanged a few emails back and forth and then he asked me out. And that's how… that’s how it…

J: That's so good!

M: (Laughs)

J: Oh, man, that's so good! Okay, so he is a spiritual, amazing, intuitive type of guy. And did he turn out reliable?

M: He is 100% reliable.

J: Ooh, good.

M: He is, yeah; absolutely, yeah.

J: Okay. Well, tell me it's not all roses. Are there any struggles at all or are we at the end? (Laughs)

M: No, no. Here's what's interesting, it's not all unicorns and roses, people. What's interesting is recently, like a couple months ago, I don't remember what it was, but we have this… like a misunderstanding where we were both sort of like we had hurt each other's feelings and we were trying to recover from that. And I remember that we did and we sat down and we were talking about, you know, how… whatever it was. And he said, “You know, you are an expert at this and I'm like all in.” Like, he basically studies all the stuff I study by osmosis, so he knows more than average about all these things.

J: Yeah.

M: And he said, “You know, you and I really work at this and it's still hard sometimes.”

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And he said… so his thing was like, “Imagine us who really know, you know, how to deescalate an argument and how to consider empathy and compassion and all of these things,” right, he said, “It's still hard for us, imagine people who don't have all the training and all the tools and all the knowledge, like it's hard.” So I thought that was just a very interesting insight and it really inspired me to like teach simple ways that people can connect better.

J: Yeah! So as a modern marriage Mentor, what do you teach?

M: So I teach a few things. One of my core teachings is, “You do not have to change your husband to have a happier relationship. You can start with you and make quite a lot of progress just starting with your side of the fence.” And my other core teaching is that, “No one wants a motel marriage, so why don't we go for 5 stars? Why don't we go for a Ritz-Carlton fabulousness instead of a motel?” (Laughs)

J: Ah! Okay.

M: So I used to work in hospitality and I used to work in luxury hospitality and they have a lot of service standards. Like the things that define how they're going to act and be and do are not by accident, they’re all engineered. So that experience that you’re having that you feel so warmly welcomed and you feel so fabulous, there is intention behind that. And so one of the things that they teach, which is how to create a vision for your relationship is purely, purely inspired by saying… you know why they answer the phone in 3 rings? Because they want you to feel taken care of. So every decision is based on this vision of how they want you to feel when you visit their hotel, right?

J: Oh, yeah!

M: What if we did that with our marriages? Like, so what if we wanted to…? Like, one of my values is connection. So I don't do like teaching or coaching in the evening because that’s my time to be with my husband, to give you an example. One of my private coaching clients I took to do this visioning process and her core thing was to be a loving wife. That's one of her for intentions, right? But she is a busy business woman, she's a mom, she has a lot on her plate. So that vision of being a loving wife helps her decide what projects to work on, what things to say yes to, what things to say no to. It makes it so easy to make decisions when you have this vision that you were working towards.

J: Mmm. So how do you create that vision? I mean, especially you grew up with the divorce, so where do you get that vision if it wasn't the modeled for you or you want to do better than your parents did or whatever?

M: There's a few things that you can do. So first of all, it's not complicated. I always like to make things simple. So I would say, if you did nothing else, just say, “How do I want it to feel? What kind of wife do I want to be?” or, “What kind of X do I want to be (professional do I want to be)? What kind of podcast host do I want to be?” right?

J: Mm-hmm.

M: You can make it the simplest thing. And then, like for example, if I said, “Jen, you’re a vibrant happy podcast host,” right?

J: (Laughs). Yes.

M: What goes into that, right; every decision that you make, the way that you interview your guests, the way that you talk to your community, the way that you share, all the lessons that you teach, the way that you do you're happy bits, it's all to contribute to this vibrant happy experience.

J: You’re right! Yeah, it is. I never thought of it that way. Huh!

M: Yeah. See, I love that! That's my favorite! Yay! (Laughs)

J: Well, yeah. Okay, so you have me excited and also a little freaked out. So now…

M: Okay.

J: I (Laughs)… I'm already seeing this idea of, “How do I create this 5-star hotel experience for my spouse?” or in other words, “How do I create a feeling that I would like for him to have when he’s with me?” And then I analyze, “I'm not doing it!” (Laughs). “I'm not.” I’m… I'm creating a dive motel experience, at least lately.


M: So here you go. So here is where I want to give you some comfort and love. And this is my philosophy is, when we're traveling, if I'm in Miami and I want to go… where are you based?

J: Madison, Wisconsin.

M: Okay. So if I'm in Miami and I want to go to Wisconsin, I have to know where I am. Like, the GPS cannot plot the course to Wisconsin until I tell it that I'm in Miami. It's impossible, you can’t do it. So if we know we're like a dive motel moment right now…

J: (Laughs). Right.

M: That is the best news you could possibly get. Even if you’re a little freaked out, it's alright. We’re going to…


M: We are going to set you on course. Because once you know that, then you can start saying, “Well, what would be different? How would I react to this? What would I do in this situation? How could I upgrade?” And one of the things that I talk about is making small tweaks overtime, which I call love upgrades because, right, the whole hotel thing. So it's not like you have to leap from the dive motel to Ritz or Four Seasons or whatever.

J: Yeah.

M: You can just make a small upgrade; a small Improvement.

J: Yeah, you’re right. And I'm going to take it back. I don't think I'm providing a dive motel marriage. (Laughs)

M: Right.

J: I think I'm at least at, you know, maybe a Hilton. I'm not in the Ritz-Carlton yet. I’m Hilton.

M: No…

J: I'm Hilton, yep. (Laughs)

M: See, that is (unclear) [13:56]… this analogy is, whenever I talk about like 1-tar versus 5-star, people kind of immediately say, “Oh yeah, I'm at Hilton,” or, “I'm this.” It's like so easy to notice where you are and to say, “That's not so bad. Like actually, let me look around. I'm actually doing a few things quite well right now. That's great!” right?

J: It's true, it's true. And I love what you said earlier about one of your core teachings is, “You don't have to change your spouse to have a happier relationship, you just have to start with yourself,” I find that's true. You know, you said your husband learns through osmosis as you learned all these things.

M: Mm-hmm.

J: My husband is totally upping his game, just by virtue of being in my presence or is it just an energy things or I say things and he watches and models. But I really do feel like, as I heal my own heart, I’m healing his heart too, and it's healing the whole relationship. So it's crazy how that works.

M: Isn't it amazing? So people often don't believe me, shock; I know you're shocked, but it's so many people.

J: (Laughs)

M: I will say this to people and they're highly skeptical, they're like, “It takes 2 to make a marriage,” and all those things, right? And here's the deal. If you ever doubt whether one person can, you know, really have an effect in a relationship, think about your crankiest day and think about how you snapped at the… your best friend and your husband and the person in front of you at a kitchen counter, and whether you had an effect on that person's day or not, right?

J: Oh, for sure, because mood is very contagious.

M: For sure.

J: And I'm thinking of one child in particular who has sometimes more bad days than the other kids. (Laughs)

M: Right?

J: And it does affect everyone. (Laughs)

M: It will affect everyone, right? So think about it in reverse. If you walk in the door and you're like, “Life is beautiful! The sun is shining. Wisconsin is the best place to be.”

J: Mm-hmm.

M: “I'm so happy to be here,” it's inevitable, right, it's going to have an effect.

J: It's true. Wow, that's good.

M: Yeah, yeah.

J: So you teach to start with yourself and make as much progress as you can and it will affect your partner and then going for that a 5-star marriage. So tell us a success story, if you can think of one, so we can see this in action.

M: Sure, absolutely. So I'll give you an example. So I teach these simple things so that people don't get to the dire situations where the marriage is in crisis. But often in my private coaching practice, the clients that I am working with more deeply are in some type of crisis, which is why they need help.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: So I had a situation that was so beautiful and I was so touched by it. Because one of my clients emailed me like midnight or something and I got it the next morning and she said, “You know, I've been doing that thing.”

J: Hmm.

M: “I've been pausing before reacting to my husband. And usually what happens is, he'll say something scandalous and I'll get defensive and that will be the end of that!” right?

J: Yeah, right, right.

M: And we had been talking about just pausing before you respond. It's something that sounds so, so simple, and yet we all struggle with it from time to time. We've all have that moment that we were just were like triggered off we went to the races, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

M: So she said, “I was practicing this pausing and we were in a situation where we were like about to hug and then he said something that really triggered me. And I just took a deep breath right there in the middle of the hug, and I didn't respond. And I was able to understand what he was saying without freaking out and we had the most beautiful night and then we ended up kissing.” And this was a couple of hadn't kissed in a while, sad to say.

J: Aww! Oh, that's so good! That's definitely an upgrade. (Laughs)

M: Yeah!

J: A love upgrade. (Laughs)

M: Exactly; a love upgrade. So she wrote to me saying like she didn't believe me that it was going to work, this whole like pausing, “Really, Maggie, that's what I'm going to do? That's going to change my life?” And so she wrote to me with this like, “Oh my gosh, it really does work!” So that's one of my sort of small moments that I like to share.

J: Aww, that's a good one.

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(Interview resumes) [21:48]

J: Well, tell us more about your thoughts on ‘The Five Love Languages’. Well, let's preface it. Well, explain ‘The Five Love Languages’ first for those who might not know about it and then we can go deeper.

M: So first, I just want to say, I have a somewhat controversial opinion on ‘The Five Love Languages’, so that's what we're going to discuss now. And ‘The Five Love Languages’ is a book; it's one of the best-selling relationship books of all time. And the five languages, just for… if anyone has not heard of it, are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. And you can take a quiz on the books website; so if you Google ‘Five Love Languages’, you can take their quiz and find out what your love language is. And I do think that this is useful. So I'm not like down on ‘Five Love Languages’, I think it's totally, totally useful. However, I have seen women (and I haven't seen men do it because I work mostly with women; so I'm not dissing on the ladies, I’m just… that's who I talked to the most) take ‘The Five Love Languages’ and turn them into a weapon.

J: Ooh!

M: And say… and say, “Well, what do I do to get him to speak my love language?”


M: “What do I…? If I’m speaking it, he’s… he’s doing it wrong.” (Laughs). Right?

J: Yeah, right.

M: And that's where I really sort of caution people to say, “This is a tool and so you can… like, any tool, if you think of an axe, you can use it to build, you can use it to destroy; like, any tool can be used for either purpose.” And if you can use love languages as a moment, an opportunity to spark a conversation, an opportunity to create more closeness by understanding each other better, then I'm all for them. If you're going to use them as a weapon, then you and I need to have a talk, which is great because we're having this whole a new podcast moment with all of your fabulous listeners. And there's three very specific things that I think can be used to sabotage your relationship with ‘The Five Love Languages’ and I'd love to just share them with you and get your thoughts…

J: Yes!

M: … on those things.

J: Fun! This is great.

M: Okay. So my first concern is to expect immediate fluency. So what do I mean by that? You take the quiz, you're all excited, and you say, “My love language is receiving gifts; I love receiving gifts. Here, honey, I love receiving gifts. Please give me some gifts now.”


M: And maybe he's the worst gift chooser on earth and just picks crappy stuff, right?

J: Right.

M: And so now, we turn around and we say, “Oh, he doesn't love me. He's not even making an effort because he gave me this gift and it's like ridiculous. Why would he give me this?” right? So that's just that type of example. I'll give you my example from my real life. So my husband (reliable man, 100% awesome), “I love words of affirmation. Like, you tell me that I'm smart or lovely or whatever, I will be gleaning all day long,” right?

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

M: I mean, he is he quiet, reserved engineer; like; let's be clear. (Laughs)

J: Ah!

M: Some stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. So he's this quiet reserved person, the last thing he will ever do on earth is wake up in the morning and say, “You're so beautiful. You're the smartest woman I've ever known.” He's just not going to launch into a soliloquy at that moment, right? Now, he will stop at the store and get milk. He will, you know, bend over backwards to make sure that everything is taken care of or whatever that I need is done, right? So he does acts of service; like he breathes, right.


M: So imagine if I went through my whole relationship saying, “Oh, yeah, he did another act of service,” I'm just not going to receive that. I'm not going to receive what he's giving me because it's not a compliment, so I'm just going to pretend like…

J: Ooh!

M: … he did nothing.

J: Yeah. Ooh, that's nasty (Laughs)! That's so tit for tat. (Laughs)

M: Right? So that can happen. I have seen that happen, and that's why I got all riled up one day and I said, “No! This is not the way to use these tools!”

J: Yeah, really, really.

M: So that's one thing is expecting immediate fluency. So it's like if I told you, “Jen, do you want to learn Chinese or you want to learn Greek or German?” or some equally difficult language for someone whose first language is English, right?

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And you say, “Yeah, I want to learn it! Sure, that'd be awesome!” And they expect you to write paragraphs in that language tomorrow.

J: Right; not happening.

M: Not happening. And then we get frustrated and angry and all the things because you couldn't write me this paragraph when you're like trying; you'd like sounded out a sentence, you did what you could, right?

J: Right, right.

M: So that’s the first one is expecting immediate fluency. The second one is very closely related which is, when we make it mean that our partner doesn't love us if they can never speak that language very well.

J: Ah.

M: And that’s that whole example that I gave you with my husband. Like, he does affirm me for sure, but it's not my most ideal thing; I would much prefer, you know, speeches every morning, right? (Laughs)

J: Right.

M: But if I made that mean that he doesn't love me, I'd miss out all the other ways that he’s showing me that he loves me every day.

J: Right, right, that's true.

M: Yeah.

J: And what's… what's the third one?

M: So the third one is to try to use the love languages to solve unsolvable problems.

J: Oh!

M: And what I mean by that is, there's some great research from The Gottman Institute that specializes in marriage research, and they have some number like, 64% of couples have unsolvable problems; which means, there will be things in your life that you would need to learn to manage, you're never going to 100% solve it. And if you try to use the love languages, for example, to get my husband to be more… a person who speaks more when that's just not his nature, that's just never going to happen, no matter how much he loves me. So if I tried to use that tool to solve an unsolvable problem, I will always be frustrated; I will never come back with success with that.

J: Ah, yeah, that makes sense.

M: Yeah, and so some people say, “Okay, I read this. This is what I need to do now.” Okay, but then it didn't work, “Oh, now we're doomed,” right?

J: Ah, right, right. Just knowing it's a tool among many tools in the tool belt. (Laughs)

M: So what do you think about that? Now that I've given you my 3 sort of concerns, I know that you, you know, love the love languages and I love them too, I just want to make sure people use them the right way. What do you think about that?

J: I agree with all of those. And while you were sharing those, I… I was thinking I know you're not supposed to think while someone else is talking, but I liked…

M: (Laughs).

J: No, but it triggered a thought which is, you know, there are things we should not do. The love languages is like adding the drops to the bucket.

M: Mm-hmm.

J: But I think if you don't address the things that are emptying the bucket, like John Gottman's criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling, then it doesn't matter how well you're speaking that love language if it's followed with anything on the negatives list. So that's what I was realizing, it has to just be one tool among many tools in the tool belt because John Gottman's research is pretty strong for addressing criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness. So that's just… we can add a fourth to the list; add other tools, yeah. (Laughs)

M: Absolutely, absolutely. And when I tell people… you know, I do a lot of like interviews like this and when people will say, “Well, just tell me one thing,” you know, “Tell me one thing in 2 minutes,” right? And so I had to figure out, “What can I tell you in two minutes that would help your relationship?” if you took nothing else away right…

J: Yeah.

M: … from our conversations. And my thing, I love Facebook; I’m on Facebook all the time. I have a Facebook group it's called The Modern Married Wife.

J: Ooh, nice.

M: And I spend a lot of time in there. And I say, “Always be friending.” If you take one thing away from our talk and you weren't sure where to start and you're not sure what to do, always be friending. So what do I mean by that? On Facebook, when you would like somebody's things, when you comment on their things, when you share their things, what happens? You see more of them, right? They show up more often in your feed on Facebook. So what happens in your relationship when you comment on your spouse’s adventures, when you're interested in how their day went, when you share of time as friends together? You have a stronger relationship. So whatever friending looks like in the context of your relationship, start there. If you don't know anything else to do, that is my one place to start.

J: I'm with you. And sometimes it just works to take whatever is wrong and put it in a box on a shelf, so to speak.

M: Mm-hmm.

J: And just can come back and having fun together; “Hello, we can do that. Just forget that stuff for a while.”

M: I absolutely, 100% am with you. And some of my clients want to focus on their problems.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And we absolutely, you know, help them solve their problems, but sometimes I… I really am of the mindset of, “Don't throw more talking at the problem. Talking is not going to solve it, so stop throwing more talking at it.” (Laughs)

J: Yeah. Yeah, those repetitive conversations…

M: Yeah.

J: … where, you know, you've had this one about 50 times, but you keep trying to have it. (Laughs)

M: Yes! And then they try to justify to me that they should have it again, and I just say, “Can you go out on a date? Can you do something else? What else can you do? Let's talk about your options.” (Laughs)

J: Right, right, right; oh that's so good. And if people want to learn more about what you're doing, where can they find you.

M: So modernmarried.com, and if they go to modernmarried.com/vision, it's a blog post that lays out how to create your relationship vision, and there's a little worksheet you can download if you want that. But the whole explanation is right on the blog post; you could just read that and go to the races.

J: Oh, sweet. I love this. I'm going to create a Ritz-Carlton marriage; that's my new goal. Everyone else listening join us; this is going to rock. (Laughs)

M: Yes, yes.

J: Well, so Maggie, let's talk about a few of your favorite things. Let's start with your morning routine.

M: Okay, so I have a confession to make. I was listening to this fabulous episode you did with Erica Mandy.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And I loved her morning routine, and I was like, “That woman has it so together.”

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And my morning routine is very ‘not Erica Mandy’s’.


M: So I'm very, very basic. I practice gratitude and I love the feeling of being grateful.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: So I will just, in bed, sometimes I journal, I do journal, but not to the level where you could call it a routine. (Laughs)

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And I just wake up in the morning and I'm grateful for very, very simple things. And I've realized over the course of my life as some fabulous things that happened to me, along with some terrible things, I never want to lose sight of the miracle that I live in every day.

J: Ah, yeah.

M: Yeah. And, you know, I've traveled fortunately because I used to work in hospitality, I traveled all over the world. And for us, you know, at least for me living in the US, to be able to wake up in the morning and be on the safe street I'm not worried about what's going to happen to me, where I can walk…

J: Right.

M: … you know, walk around the block, all of these things, I really think deeply on these things. And I just, you know, I'm thankful from the sheets, I'm thankful I get to wake up next to love my life. I tell my hubby when we go on dates, I'm like, “Do you realize I get to date you for the rest of my life?”

J: Oh yeah!

M: Like, “Oh my gosh, that’s cool!” Yeah!

J: You're an optimist. You've trained yourself to be in constant gratitude. That's great.

M: Yeah. So that's really honestly the one thing that I always do is some form of gratitude, whether it's just written or just a little list that I make in my head.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: And everything else is very… sometimes I go to yoga. Sometimes (Laughs) I look at my phone first thing, even though I probably shouldn't, you know?

J: Oh yeah.

M: That’s like an area where I could improve. (Laughs)

J: Well… and I don't think you need to do it the same every day. Some people… 2 weeks ago, I interviewed Gretchen Rubin who talks about the four tendencies. And, you know, essentially there's some people out there that are a little bit rebellious and they don't like the stifling feeling that comes with structure and calendars. And so maybe that's you. (Laughs)

M: I think that’s me, Jen. I think you hit the nail on the head; that is me. Mm-hmm.

J: One… my husband and one of my kids is the exact same way. He said the thought of calendaring for himself makes him feel very angry. (Laughs)

M: So interesting; that is so fascinating. And it's so interesting because he can probably be super hyper organized in certain things but not in others; which I find fascinating.

J: Yeah.

M: Because, in some things, I'm so… like my checklist have checklists kind of thing. (Laughs)

J: Yeah.

M: But then I have that like sort of freedom with the morning routine, so I do think Gretchen is obviously onto something with that. Mm-hmm.

J: Yeah, awesome. Well, I don't know what your tendency is from her four tendencies, but definitely, just to acknowledge that some people don't want to have it the same every day. So… (Laughs)

M: Exactly, exactly, yeah.

J: What is your favorite easy meal?

M: Okay, so I got… I was thinking about this question before we hopped on the call and here's what you need to know. I am not the cook in my house; I'm very blessed that my husband, in addition to being reliable, loves to cook.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: So I thought, “What do I make?” and I make one thing and one thing only, and it is scrambled eggs. (Laughs)

J: Yeah! Very good.

M: I want you to know that I make them to 5-star fluffy perfection; I'm very proud of them. (Laughs)

J: Mmm!

M: When I was a kid, I had one of those cookbooks for teenagers and I like mastered the recipe. And then as an adult, I looked up on Epicurious like how to make the best scrambled eggs ever, and now I use this Epicurious recipe; which I'll send you the link so you can put in the show notes.

J: Ooh. Okay, yes, please do.

M: That's my thing. It's the best scrambled eggs ever is what I make, mm-hmm.

J: Okay, we're going to post that scrambled egg recipe. And all of you think you know how to make it, but we're not Maggie, we're going to learn the right way on this episode. (Laughs)

M: I love it. Yes, you will! (Laughs)

J: What's your favorite book, Maggie?

M: Oh my gosh, I have so many and I really had to narrow this down. So I'm going to recommend 2 books, is that okay?

J: Yes.

M: Okay, good. And I thought about other books that I love and there's some famous books that I love; like the Gottman books and stuff like that. So I'm going to recommend 2 more perhaps obscure books that you may not have heard of before. One of them is called ‘Soul (s o u l) Vows’.

J: Hmm.

M: It's by woman… a fabulous woman named Janet Connor. And this book is very whoo. So I just want to warn your listeners, if they're not into, that's fine; the next book will be for you. But this is a book where every chapter is connected to your chakra kind of thing.

J: Mm-hmm.

M: But it's these vows. She walks you through this process for these vows that you make to yourself, like your mission statement kind of thing.

J: Ooh!

M: And I thought… we were talking about creating a vision for your relationship, creating a envision for your life, and this is just a book that complements that's so, so well that I really want to recommend it. And teaches a class on this and I took one of the very first iterations of that class. So one of my stories is in the book, which I thought was also really cool.

J: Wow!

M: And my vows, my actual soul vows, are in the book; so you get to read those if you're curious and want to know what they are.

J: Okay.

M: That's the first. The second book I recommend is a book called ‘Self-Coaching 101’. Have you ever heard of this book?

J: No.

M: Oh, I'm so excited! Okay, I get to be the person who introduced you to this book; feel the moment. Okay, there it is.

J: (Laughs).

M: So…

J: A moment of silence.


M: Yes! So this book is based on cognitive behavioral science, but it's distilled to the simplest way to apply it. So it's called ‘Self-Coaching 101’, it's by Brooke Castillo. She is the founder of The Life Coach School, which is the school where I trained.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

M: And in this book, this idea that you can have an effect on a relationship, on your life, that you can change things just on your own, you will see how to do that in this very, very simple book. And her philosophy is that, most of the pain that we experience in our life is caused by the thoughts that we have around it…

J: Mmm-hmm.

M: … that circumstances can be interpreted in more than one way. They can be good, they can be bad; they can be interpreted in more than one way. And it's our interpretations that lead us to either pain and suffering or to satisfaction and freedom and wholeness and all those things.

J: Yes.

M: And so it’s a tiny little book, it's a quick read. It's sort of one of those things that's really simple but really deep at the same time, so I had to recommend that one.

J: Yeah. Okay, ‘Self-Coaching 101’ and ‘Soul Vows’, I like it. And I'll put a link to those on our show notes page at jenriday.com/1 1 8, for episode 118. Okay so, Maggie, what does it mean for you to be a vibrant happy woman?

M: Oh my gosh, I’m so excited by this question!

J: (Laughs).

M: Okay, so…


M: As you can tell, I am very enthusiastic, maybe; it might show a little. (Laughs)

J: Mm-hmm. (Laughs)

M: And I love enthusiasm. And when I looked up ‘vibrant’ as I was preparing to come on the show, vibrant is pulsating with life, right? How amazing is that.

J: Mm-hmm!

M: But one of the synonyms for vibrant is enthusiasm.

J: Ah!

M: So I would just say, “These are my people!” Okay, so enthusiasm, do you know the origin of that word, ‘enthusiasm’?

J: No, I don't.

M: Okay, I… oh my gosh! Okay, we're having another moment, take it, okay.

J: (Laughs).

M: So it comes from the Greek ‘entheos’, which means ‘in God’; whatever your interpretation of God may be. So whenever you are experiencing enthusiasm, you're experiencing the divine in that moment.

J: Yeah. Oh yeah, I like that.

M: I love that so, so, so much. So what does it mean for me to be a vibrant happy person? It means… like we talked about what the gratitude, is to enjoy the things that I have, to experience and delight in that enthusiasm, to be fully alive in the present moment, because we can only have vibrancy or enthusiasm or delight in the present. We can't have it in the past, we can't have it in the future, we have to have it right now. So that's what it means to me.

J: Ooh that's a good one. Enjoy the things you have, experience delight and enthusiasm, and then how… what was the last one?

M: You can only do that in the present moment, really.

J: Oh yeah.

M: You can’t do that in the past or in the future.

J: Perfect. Alright, well, let's have a challenge from you to our listeners and we'll say goodbye.

M: Awesome. So here's my challenge. I mentioned, if you recall when we started out, and I invite you to ask yourself if it's true that to be happy at home is the ultimate result of our ambition, what do I really need to be happy at home?

J: Mm-hmm.

M: Just ask yourself that question; that is my challenge. And whatever your answer is, just take a look, take out your internal GPS and ask yourself, “How far or close am I away from that?” Because if you do that, that will help you focus, it will help you prioritize, it will make your ‘yes’s and your ‘no’s so clear in your life, and it will for sure lead you to a vibrant happy life.

J: Yes! Well, this is fantastic. Everyone, check out the show notes page. We'll have links to all of the books. And, Maggie, you… you actually mentioned a lot of books, ‘Simple Abundance’, Shonda Rhimes’ book…

M: Yeah.

J: … ‘Five Love Languages’, ‘Why Women Like Bad Boys’. Yeah, you really… we have a lot of books for this show notes.

M: (Laughs).

J: So that's good. But thank…

M: Awesome.

J: (Laughs). Well, thank you so much. I love your enthusiasm, ‘entheos’, and thank you for being on the show. You are a vibrant happy woman; I feel that.

M: Thank you so much for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure.

J: Take care, Maggie.

M: Take care. Bye.

J: Thank you so much for joining me and I will be back later with a happy bit. And until then, make it a phenomenal week. Take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the vibrant happy women podcast at www.jenriday.com.