How to ride the waves when they get rough
with Mark + Amanda Testa
It's easy to be in love when things are smooth sailing, but how do you keep the compassion and kindness alive when things get rough?
Tune into this episode as Mark and I share some tools that support us to reconnect and choose love in our relationship even during the challenging times.
Complete Transcript available below.
In this episode you'll discover
Mark and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary, and it certainly didn't look like we expected it too. We have however had a powerful year of growth and challenges, that has made us closer.
Recording this episode was a little slice of real life, and some of the tools that have helped us navigate the waves.
If you feel like you could use some extra support in your relationship, you can book a support call HERE.
JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION ON THIS EPISODE AND MORE IN MY FREE FACEBOOK GROUP, FIND YOUR FEMININE FIRE HERE.
If you liked this episode, please consider giving me a 5 Star Review on Apple Podcasts! It truly does help the podcast grow.
Amanda Testa (00:02):
Hello, and welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. This is your host, Amanda Testa. And today I have my special guests, my lovely, awesome, amazing husband, Mark Testa. Welcome back to the show Mark.
Mark Testa (00:16):
Hello, Amanda. It's always good to see you again. Thanks for having me back.
Amanda Testa (00:24):
So I thought it would be fun to bring Mark back because we actually just recently celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary and it wasn't quite the celebration we had hoped, but it just made me think about our wedding intention. And so I was going to read it cause I really think it's beautiful to remember, and this is our wedding intention, and this is Mark's idea by the way, this is why he's such an awesome person. Cause he's always got some depth. He does his own work. I'm so grateful. But our wedding intention is this. We ask that you help us build our marriage with a powerful sense of love, purpose and gratitude. May we maintain open minds and open hearts towards one another. May we always be grateful for each other, And the many blessings we have may we love honor and respect each other. May we work to maintain and support our integrity and values.
Amanda Testa (01:19):
May we always have open and honest communication, may we laugh, have fun and keep a light happy spirit alive and well, may we live fully and be present in the moment. May we continue to explore the world and expand our minds, maybe support each other and always see the strengths in one another. May we ride the waves together, holding on tight When they get rough, may we live a healthy, active lifestyle and support each other and help may we love fully our family and friends and keep them a priority. May we continue to believe in create a beautiful, abundant, prosperous future full of possibility.
Mark Testa (01:57):
Right? That was great. That is great. We share that with everyone at our wedding as well and ask them to help us help hold us accountable.
Amanda Testa (02:06):
Yeah, we have it on our fridge. And I think this season has been one of holding on tight when the waves get rough. We've had some waves and thankfully in the big picture, you know, we're fine and we're healthy and everything's good, but those little bumps they add up, you know, and so, and I recently we were on a hike. It was 4th of July weekend. It was so beautiful walking along, enjoying the scenery. I was literally talking to my dog. We have a puppy who's an 11 month old golden retriever puppy. Wild is the wind and he's very sweet, but I was like, oh, Aspen, isn't hiking the best. I just love hiking. Then I didn't look where I was going for one second, stepped in a hole, broke my ankle. So sadly I'm still, you know, not able to walk or drive.
Amanda Testa (02:52):
And thankfully sweet Mark has been doing double duty around here. And obviously I know our able, bodies are quite the privilege. And so in the big picture, this is a small thing, but for me in my life, it's been kind of a challenge because it's hard to get around on crutches and not be able to put weight down. And anyways, especially not being able to drive, I felt very isolated and the first few days were rough. I'm not going to lie painful, but you know, I think we eventually surrendered into it, but it's been hard. But I was, I was going to ask mark to his perspective. That's why I thought this would be a good topic to talk about how you hold on tight when the waves get rough and how you support each other and what you do when you, when the wheels fall off because they have too as well.
Mark Testa (03:39):
I'll be, you know, you know, you've lived with me. I was pissed. I was a pissed lot at first because just like, you know, I get up at 5:30am and I literally did not stop till I went to bed and was really about all the non-stop motion, least of which any of that went towards me.
Amanda Testa (04:05):
Welcome to be being a woman in this world. I think all the invisible labor. It became quite visible,
Mark Testa (04:11):
Very visible, right. You know, I mean, I tease you like my mom always used to say I'm nothing but a maid wash iron cook and clean. And I mean, I get it now. I totally get it. And I have been really right, doing dishes, cooking meals, doing laundry, folding laundry, well you've helped with the folding driving everyone around, pulling the weeds, mowing the lawn, taking care of the dog, taking the dog out 8,000 times a day, the dog 8,000 walks a day. Cause we live in the city. And so that's not just can't open the door and let em run. Yeah. It's been really literally five 30 till, till I go to bed. And I noticed, and you pointed this out. I do what I always complain about you doing is going through every thing in your mind. And I did this the other night at dinner.
Speaker 3 (05:04):
I still have to clean the dishes, do take the dog out, take care of the pool.
Mark Testa (05:10):
I've got all this. I've still got my own work to do.
Amanda Testa (05:16):
He's always like, don't give me a list of all the things you have to do. I don't want to hear it. I was like, literally, that's how my mind thinks. I mean, I think, I don't know and not to generalize, right? Because this is stereotypical. I know. But I remember reading something once about the difference in men and women when they are like walking through a room and obviously this, you know, could be, could range on the gender spectrum where I know this is very like gendered language, but it's you know, like a man will walk across the room to get a glass of water. He goes and gets the water. A woman will walk across the room to go get a glass of water. And she's like picking up the laundry on the way, cleaning up everything in the way, realizing the kitchen's a mess has to clean up the dishes, load the dishwasher, do like 15 things before the water and it's and it, but it's just like, I think the difference in looking at all the needs to be done versus like being direct focused, but sometimes, and I know mark is a good partner.
Amanda Testa (06:08):
I feel like we do share a lot of the household responsibilities around here and we're working on getting our daughter to do more as well. That's always a challenge. If anyone has kids, you probably can relate. But I think that's the thing is like when you step up, because earlier this year, you know, I stepped up when Mark was going through some stuff. And so we're just really in that period of sickness and health, like supporting each other in the hard times. And and I think that's one of the things that we're trying to work on getting better at because we're, we're, everyone's great when everything's easy. Right, right. When things are easy and everything's good, it's easy to get along. It's easy to communicate well, but when the wheels are falling off and everyone's and everyone's stressed, that's when it's really hard to use
Mark Testa (06:48):
Your tools. Right. Exactly. It seems like, yeah. You know, in the sickness and health, when you're getting married and all your friends are there and it's a party, it's easy to say, but it's, you know, and that actually ran through my mind when you fell and broke your ankle, I was like looking at you laying there and I'm like, I'm going to have to carry you out of here literally. Right. That is the sickness and health. Like you got to carry your partner sometimes. And I carried you out as far as I could.
Amanda Testa (07:16):
And it was it was quite the humorous experience. And thankfully, thankfully we were at the end of our hike and we didn't have too much further to go, but it was you know, it was rough. And you were also trying to not get your heart rate up too high because you recently had that ablation. And it was just, it was it was comedy and we almost at the end and thankfully this nice ex firefighter walked by and like, they had to do that fireman hold for the last little bit there. So we got out and thankfully, you know, it just makes you appreciate helping each other. Cause we pass a lot of people that like, didn't even look twice. Right. I think in this day and age people, I dunno, some people are helpful, some people aren't, but I want to be that helpful person. Right. And I think the more you go through shit, the more you realize you people need help in these times. Yeah.
Mark Testa (08:02):
Right. We do. I mean like, like you said, just take the mobility of your body. I mean, if you can't be mobile, you are relying on other people, you really do need other people's help. And you know, that's just a simple thing that, you know, you just gotta help each other. There's just no other way around it. I mean, that's what we do.
Amanda Testa (08:22):
Right. And I think that's just one of the, one of the things I'll share too, you know, maybe even in this moment, tthink of someone, you know, who might be having a hard time or might be struggling in some way. And could you like send him a card or send him a text or take them a meal. I mean, those things are so amazing and so appreciated. And I think sometimes it's easy to forget and get busy. And then of course you don't want to do something out of obligation, but just from a place of, you know, who might want some love today, if you have extra to give and if you don't maybe ask for what you need.
Mark Testa (08:50):
Yeah. I know you've thanked me a lot. And like I look at you, I'm appreciative that you thank me because inside, I don't feel, I feel a little irritated, a little put out a little, put off a little, you know, but you, you, you just have to overcome all that. You know, you know, when you have to support your family and your, your spouse and your partner and you know, it can't just be about you at all anymore. And I think, you know thankfully you noticed some improvement this week in my behavior and I mean, it's, you kind of give into it. Gotta just like surrender. There's just no fighting. It. There's just no fighting it. I mean, this dish is still needed to be done and the dog still has to take a shit.
Amanda Testa (09:36):
I mean, I think that's the thing too. It's like so much of life. Well, not so much, but a lot of it is, especially if you have a family and kids, it's like doing things you don't want to do, but you have to figure out a way to be able to do it from a place of love, which can be a challenging thing. I know that one of the things that we also talk about a lot is how often it feels like you're just on a treadmill of getting through the day and like taking care of all the things and working and doing all the things. And there's just like, it's a never ending treadmill and I, and that feeling of overwhelm. And I know this is one of the things that I talk with my clients a lot around is that feeling of being overwhelmed and there's not joy and it's just like constant doing.
Amanda Testa (10:13):
And you're so depleted. And I think that is when you have to really look at things and figure out how you can make time to take care of yourself. And this is what I was telling Mark. I was like, we just got to get some help. We had, I think if anyone has been reading my emails, you know, the other week I was talking about on my birthday, it was a birthday. I woke up sick. We didn't know, we were planning on going out to dinner, having a nice much needed date. We haven't had one in so long. And and then we both weren't feeling well and I had 102 fever and Mark was at the breaking point because he wasn't feeling well either. And we got into a huge blowout and it was just not good. And I remember just going in this downward spiral of like, woe is me.
Amanda Testa (10:54):
No one cares. And that's, you know, I was just being in my little pity party. I had a very big pity party for myself on my birthday, but then I realized, you know, I remember some of my practices and I think that's the thing it's like when you are in a hard time, it's really hard to remember the things that support you. That's why you have to practice them all the time so that it becomes second nature. And then without realizing it, I just found myself into a practice that I do, placing one hand onto my heart and one hand on my pussy just breathing and just like letting the emotion flow and then connecting to that part of me that is spacious, that has capacity because there's always more, even when we think there's not, there's a way to tap into that within us. And then from that space, I'm able to have more empathy and have you just kind of be with what is, and there's more space for it.
Mark Testa (11:38):
Yeah. Right. Exactly. You gotta, you know, you gotta use the things that we know. And you know, I was talking to my therapist about this this week. Like there is, I realized, and I've known this. I mean, but you can know it, but until you own it and realize it internally, like there's no pill, there's no meditation, there's no psychedelic. There's just no shortcut. You just got to do the work. And like, you know, like he used the analogy of an athlete, you know, like they don't want to get up and work out every day if they're trying to strive and achieve for something. But you just got to kind of force yourself to do it. And I think this week I did do some good journaling. I got to start doing about 20 minutes of breath work in the morning. Which was good.
Mark Testa (12:21):
You know, I need to work out, I know these, I know these things. And when I do these things, it just does make a big difference. And I think that's maybe why, you know, you notice some improvement, you know, I want to talk about the overwhelm as well for a second because you, you know that you brought that up and you know, now I get it right. I get the partner's perspective of not wanting to have sex. Like at the end of the day, like I was literally, I couldn't wait to go to sleep. I didn't want to lay in bed and talk. I didn't necessarily want to touch all the things you talk about. And I know right after you broke your ankle, you wanted to have sex. And I didn't, and I never not want to. I mean, I'd literally, you will never hear me say no.
Mark Testa (13:10):
But I had zero desire. I really did. I just, I totally get it now from the other perspective that, you know, when you're tired and you're overwhelmed and you got a million things on your plate and you're little really go from the minute you wake up till the minute you go to bed. Sometimes there's just not any room for making love with your partner. And it's an important connection. It's not just a physical thing. It's just an important relationship connection. And, you know, we can tell we haven't been connected that way in the last few weeks. And we need to get back to that. But yeah, that was a big eye opener for me.
Amanda Testa (13:47):
Yeah. And I think that's one of the things too, when, when clients come to me and they're, you know, don't have desire or, you know, they want to want to, they just don't or their relationships in turmoil. And I mean, oftentimes it comes like that's kind of why part of when you're having a really hard time, sometimes you need a helping hand, you know, I know for Mark and I, we both have a lot of support. Like he has a therapist, I have a therapist, we have coaches, like we have a whole team of support because it's not easy. This life we lead. And especially now after this past year of COVID and everything, I think a lot of people's triggers are coming to the surface and people aren't doing well. I mean, I talk to clients all day, every day, people are struggling right now.
Amanda Testa (14:26):
So if that's, you know, you're not alone and know that there are ways to pull yourself out of it. And so I think like Mark says, there's practices, there's all these things you can do. But that doesn't matter when iota, when you're in a place where you just can't even do them or have zero desire, like, you know all the things you're just not doing them. And then that's when its good sometimes to get an extra helping hand there. Right? Yeah. Because I think too, then you have different perspectives. Like Mark was saying, one of the things that I, a lot of males, men, or people that are conditioned as men in this culture are very much not allowed to show emotion. Right. The only acceptable emotion is anger. And I've talked about this. I know a lot, because it's true.
Amanda Testa (15:05):
It's like anger is the place. And then when you kind of dive more in like understanding, however, you're acting, there's a reason for it. Like it's getting you something. Yeah. Right. And so it's like, what do you get out of it? Because I'm sure you're probably familiar with that. Like, it's a, Jungian psychology, right? Like what are you getting out of the thing that you don't want to do, but you do every day because there's something you get out of it. Like maybe it's a, you're a bitch to your kids or you're a bitch to your partner. You're angry.
Mark Testa (15:33):
Yeah. Right, exactly. Right. I had that conversation yesterday with my therapist about being angry and, and I said, I liked being angry. And he stopped me in my tracks. He said, did you say you like it? And I said, yeah, I do. I like it. I've said this before. I've said it to you. I remember we were at a Tony Robbins conference. And I said, I like, I like being angry. You know, I thought it was the energy of it, but it's really not. And you know, I'd done a lot of journaling about that. And I hit one of the three things we discovered yesterday, but discovered a couple other reasons for the, for that behavior, which I get something out of otherwise, I wouldn't keep doing it. Right.
Amanda Testa (16:17):
And the thing is, is understanding like our bodies are smart. Our beings are smart. They're always evolving to protect us and keep us safe. So usually if there's some kind of undesirable behavior, you know, in some way you ve got to thank that part of you, because it evolved to protect you to keep you safe, whatever it might be. But the key is finding these other parts of you, who you want to run the show in different situations, right? We all have these different sub-personalities and you know, you want to call in your most adult self, your most capable self when times are hard, not like your inner two year old or your inner teenager or these younger pieces that might be coming out to run the show. And that happens in the bedroom too. They are so often clients that, you know, they can't be present in sex because maybe it's their inner child showing up or whatever it might be. Right. You're angry Church lady partn is like saying, this is bad and you're going to go to hell, whatever it is. Like all these things, it's not just in one area, it's in all areas. So I just say that because just to understand, like, it's okay to be the way we are, right. We have to have give ourselves compassion, give ourselves grace where human.
Mark Testa (17:20):
And we are the way we are, but it doesn't mean that, that, you know, whatever you want to call it, dark side needs to rule the day at all. That's
Amanda Testa (17:30):
Like any kind of shadow work. Like when you see these parts of you that you've shunned or think are bad or try not to, to let come out, they come out more. It's like an, it's like a kid who wants your attention. And if you don't give it to them, then they're going to keep acting up and acting up and acting up until you give them attention. It's the same with, with ourselves, and so, you know, there are the thing is, is there are ways to improve, like that's like Mark and I we're always on a constant journey. And of course we're going to screw up, but we are committed to doing better and to being better and to being kind and to trying to come back to a place of connection for each other and also for our daughter to see, you know,
Mark Testa (18:08):
Yeah, right. You want to be the example. I think, you know, like you said, we're always trying to be better and I've really in the last maybe year or so stopped looking for new solutions because they're all the same. And I don't do them. And the bottom line, I think in this last year, it's like, I've got to do the work. You just can't keep looking for a new solution. One that you think is going to be easier or less work, or somehow magically make you, however you think you want to be, you just got to really do the work. So I've almost stopped really looking and really started focusing on, I just got to do the work, man. I just got to sit down or stand up or whatever it is and just do the damn work.
Amanda Testa (18:59):
It's true. Yeah. But the other side is so worth it. Right. There's, there's, there's, it's so worth it to do it, but it is, you know, it takes effort. You can't just it's like anything, but you want to get better at, it takes effort and time and you have to put an intention there.
Mark Testa (19:17):
Yeah, I think, yeah. Right. And I think, you know, there's just so much out there that everyone tries to make it look easy. And 30 years ago, 40 years. I mean, I remember these days, it's it, wasn't easy. It's everything takes effort, but you know, all the social media, all the stuff, you know, do these three hacks, do this two things, do these five steps and you'll be enlightened. And that's just BS, man. That's just people selling their stuff. And I think, you know, we just think that difficulty shouldn't exist in our life. And I think it's there to, you know, sharpen the edge, you know, if you let it right. It has to, that's, what's going to sharpen the edge is being able to deal with it and get through it. And, and I can even see it in the past week. I just feel less stressed, less anxious, certainly less angry. I hope. By just like, Hey, I'm busy from five 30 til 10. It's just my day now. And quit bitching about it and just step into it and do what you gotta do. And it really actually has made it easier than trying to find a way out or an escape or a shortcut or some hack that's going to make it all magically better.
Amanda Testa (20:49):
The thing you mentioned that I want to point out, like for so many busy people is making time for yourself. Like even you've been journaling, you've been doing 20 minutes of breathwork like you, you have to make time for yourself and you have to find ways of getting support. So whether that is, you know, reaching out to friends to have your kid go for a play date, whether that is, you know, creating a meal train for yourself, if you need it, whether that is whatever it is, it's like finding support with the dog . I mean, we found all kinds of solutions and it's so easy to just like, think you have to take, take care of everything yourself, but you really don't. And I mean, it's money well invested when you have more support.
Mark Testa (21:23):
You have the money, right. That's why I get up at five 30 because I can have like two hours to myself where I'm not hustling or feeling like I'm on the treadmill where I can actually, you know, recharge my battery and make sure it's ready to go for the day. And it's, you know, I wake up anyway, so I just get up and it's just, it's the best part of the day. Yeah.
Amanda Testa (21:47):
And so I would say just to recap, some things I think are important is, you know, just understanding of riding the waves and doing the work and knowing that we're human and we're, we're not meant to do it all on our own. Right. We need each other, we need each other and we need to support each other, like in all ways. And so even just, I think one of the things that I've learned to these past few years is just, and it's not always easy, but just like, you don't always have to go to these grandiose things, but like, how can you just, if you see someone needs help, just help. Right. If you're at the grocery store and someone can't reach something high, like most of us do this, but you know, it's just that reminder, like looking out for who might look like they need a little conversation or a smile,
Mark Testa (22:26):
Right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Right. I think that that recap, you know, and it's like easy to think the grass is going to be greener somewhere else. And your difficulty here is caused more inflicted upon you by your partner. And that's just not even the case either. Cause you know the saying, wherever you go, there you are. I remember leaving a relationship and the next person saying the exact same things about me as the previous person. And I'm like, oh, must be me, which was a wake up call. For sure. So yeah. I mean, you know, you just can't run away from it. You can't, you can't run away from it at all. That's not making you any stronger.
Amanda Testa (23:12):
Yeah. And I think getting help, but that's the main thing too. You just have to be brave and reach out for support when you need and it can be scary. I know, but it's so worth it. On the other side,
Mark Testa (23:24):
I've got to go mow the lawn and pull some weeds and probably do some dishes. I need to go to Costco still. I want to go get some, sorry. I'm listing out all the things.
Amanda Testa (23:38):
Oh, well I'm this, I know this episode you know, as a little slice of real life, so hopefully you enjoyed it and I'd be curious to know, you know, let me know what part of this might've spoken to you. You can always reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org And just share your feedback. I love connecting with you all and wishing you much love and a great week ahead. And even just now invite you to perhaps just slow down, take three deep breaths and just give yourself a little bit of appreciation because you're awesome. And if your partner needs
Mark Testa (24:22):
Needs to talk to someone, send them through Amanda, to me,
Amanda Testa (24:28):
Thank you so much. And we will see you next week.