Happy 2019, Good People! Our first interview of the year is with relationship and intimacy expert, Marla Mattenson. Marla’s work focuses on entrepreneurial couples, having worked with Academy Award winning actors, professional athletes and Grammy winning singers. A former doula and high school teacher, Marla’s background in math and neuroscience helps her to apply pattern recognition when coaching her clients on how to choose new and creative ways to view each other and their relationship. It’s what she calls a very logical approach to emotional material.
Host: Dr. Seku Gathers
Guest: Marla Mattenson
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Background: Marla went to UCLA, studying mathematics with applied sciences. She had plans to be an OBGYN and take the world of Western Medicine by storm, wanting to better incorporate her expertise as a doula. She eventually realized that she had a deep love of neuroscience and an even deeper love for running calculations. Over time, it dawned on her that she could use pattern recognition to identify how individuals show up in their relationships and how each parties’ patterns fit together in an unhealthy way. With that knowledge, those unhealthy patterns can be undone to identify how each partner comes to that pattern, to then shift it at the root - which is the family lineage. Marla explains that we are gifted our family lineage and we have the power to shift, change or perpetuate these negative patterns and cycles.
Personal Truth: It’s OK to Be Happy and Shine. Despite usually being a happy person, Marla realized that she was waking up every morning in a bad mood. Knowing that at her core she is and exudes love, she discovered that somewhere along the way she onboarded a message to not be too happy and, if she was, to not let anyone know it. That message was manifesting in her mornings and she realized that it was rooted in her family lineage; she grew up in a space where it wasn’t OK to shine very bright. Marla started to let her happiness out and started shining as bright as she could, the world kept spinning and she made people happier along the way.
Activate v. Trigger: “Trigger” is often the word used to describe situations or events that ignite certain emotions or reactions within us. Marla used the word “activate” during our conversation and what I liked about that was it offers a stronger reference to personal responsibility. The word “trigger” sort of connotes more control from outside sources. “Activate,” to me, has a stronger sense of self control and personal power
Professional Truth: “I was capable of earning a whole lot more money and I was willing to do the work and put in the effort to have my greatness really shine out.” Marla was a doula, high school math teacher and currently sits on the Board of Directors at a Hollywood Charter school. She shared a vulnerable moment when she discussed hitting the realization that she was capable of earning a lot more money than she was in her previous roles. She knew that she was capable of earning significantly more and just didn’t know how to go about it. She worked with a coach and former Truth Prescription Guest, David Neagle, who helped her break through her money mindset. As she claimed it for herself, she did the work and pushed herself to have those challenging conversations with clients to see if they wanted to work with on the level that she wanted to have the investment.
The Relationship Redo: Marla describes an exercise of hers called the “Relationship Redo,” where, when you’re in conflict with someone and you realize that you showed up as less than your amazing self. While time is not a factor for when you can have this moment of awareness, it’s best for rewiring if you have it in the moment, Once that moment occurs, ask the person for a redo because you didn’t show up so great and you would like another chance. If they agree, give them time to receive it and then redo the exact same scenario with your best self. You both will then reenact the same scenario to create a better outcome together.
The “Relationship Redo” rewires your brain because you’re making a new choice and you’re able to create a new, loving and playful experience. It’s important to not make the original scenario wrong; acknowledge that it needed to happen to have the redo occur, for you both to step into your personal power in an honest, authentic and truthful space.
Technology and Intimacy: Marla talks about the impact that technology has had on relationships. “We get to claim in power how we want to use anything.” She discusses how we can use technology and social media to either harm and/or to inspire and empower ourselves, the choice is ours. A negative use of technology is that during our downtimes, what used to be a time for connection, we are now filling with technology.
Yes or BS
Freedom and connection are impossible to achieve simultaneously?
An entrepreneur is the best kind of lover?
Frozen foods can heat up your sex life?
Non verbal communication is more important than verbal?
Mature reactions in relationships are difficult before age 35?
Discussing emotion is important when coaching couples?