With the exception of impersonators, most people believe that they only have one voice. That voice is used to express one’s feelings and needs. It can be vocalized either loudly or softly; it’s tone can change from one of sarcasm to that of compassion; one’s voice can be used to express happiness, anger, sadness, silliness, compliments or criticisms. We have our “baby” voice, (typically reserved for newborns), our disciplinary voice (used for our children), our boisterous voice (most commonly found at ballgames, amusement parks or hurled at obnoxious drivers), and our multi-purpose whisper. Words are powerful energies that can encourage, degrade, incite fear, convey love, and so much more. What few people realize is that we have not a single voice but actually two: we have our inner voice – our thoughts – which may then be expressed verbally in our outer voice. Let’s examine the role of both and how they impact our relationships.

In Chapter 4 of my book, The Secret Side of Anger, I speak about a formula that drives the course of our life which I refer to as T~E~C~O Magic: Thoughts, Emotions, Choice, Outcome. The most powerful tool we have are our thoughts, our internal voice that speaks to us throughout the course of every day. From forming opinions about the weather, to determining what items of clothing we’ll wear, to what we think about our children, spouse, friends, coworkers, and even strangers, what we say to ourselves impacts how we feel and ultimately how we treat others in our life.

Consider this: People often believe that when they meet the right person they magically fall in love with them. In most circumstances, at some point the magic fades and they fall out of love. This is a common misconception. What actually takes place is that initially our internal voice repeatedly reminds us of the wonderful attributes the other person possesses. “She’s beautiful!” “He’s so smart!” “I love the way he’s so laid back and easy going.” Our internal voice reminds us of everything wonderful about our significant other. Thoughts, the words and opinions we form in our mind, create Emotions. All feelings are generated by our internal voice. And it’s the feelings that we eventually act out in the subsequent Choices we make – how we choose to speak to and/or treat our partner. We may share compliments or express our gratitude at having such a wonderful person to share our life with. In this case, the Outcome, or result, is a relationship that flourishes.

However, at some point our thoughts typically begin to change. The positive, loving reminders are exchanged for harsh criticism. “She’s beautiful” is replaced with “She conceited.” The quality once referred to as “smart” now is defined as “arrogant”. “Laid back and easy going” is relabeled “lazy and a wimp.” Regardless of the individual’s character or actually behaviors, it is our internal voice, how we label them, that ultimately determines how we feel about them. Feelings change over the course of any relationship not necessarily based on the changes that occur within each party but rather how each person chooses to see their partner. People will choose to see what they want to see and feel what they want to feel about one another. The truth about who that person actually is has little, if anything, to do with it.

How we feel about our partner dictates how we treat them. Those who are treated well remain in relationships and work together to foster a healthy, satisfying, lifetime partnership. Those who allow their inner voice to poison their emotions will ultimately sabotage any love and commitment the two originally shared. One can secure the well-being of their marriage, or any other significant relationship, by utilizing this one secret weapon: monitor and carefully choose your internal voice for it determines how you feel and treat your spouse and ultimately directs the course of your relationship.

Thought ~ Emotion ~ Choice ~ Outcome: TECO Magic: it really works. I should know: this is what’s kept my 20-year marriage alive and happy.

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Love or Fear?

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I believe that no matter what challenges we face in life we come from a place of love or fear. We can approach a situation with compassion, kindness or empathy or we can go to anger, jealousy, or hate. Regardless which of these reactions that we experience they are rooted in love or fear.
I will give you a scenario to consider. Say that John has a sibling that is needy and full of drama with a train wreck of a life. His parents always seem to cater to his needs and there are times John feels slighted.  John feels that his sibling is preferred over him. He gets angry and resentful believing that his parents love his sibling more than him. John begins to act out at work becoming surly and difficult to work with. Every time he thinks about his sibling he gets mad. In this example, John is coming from a place of fear and believes that love is being taken from him. That there is not enough love for him and his sibling.
On the flip side John could approach this situation coming from a place of love.  He looks at his own life and realizes all the blessings he has. A wife who loves him, a good job, and two lovely children. John understands his sibling does not have this and feels compassion for his sibling. Having children of his own he can understand why his parents behave the way they do. John may not agree with their actions but with empathy he can understand them. It takes nothing away from him. John realizes there is plenty of love to go around and believing this he sees the world in a much more loving way and approaches the people in his life from that vantage point.
Einstein said that The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”  In essence saying it is all about love or fear. The next time you are in a situation and feel a reaction coming up ask yourself this question? “Am I coming from a place of love or fear.” It can really help your make a conscious next step and when you choose love as your go to reaction your life will be more of the life you would like to live. 

Tonight on The Night Shift we will discuss this topic along with the card of the evening and your questions in the chat room.

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The Spirits Guru of Gardiner, NY

Ralph Erenzo worked to help change legislation in New York State which launched the crafts spirits movement. (Photo:

For 25 years “on the rocks” meant climbing the ‘Gunks in New York’s Hudson Valley and managing rock climbing gyms in New York City for native New Yorker  Ralph Erenzo. These days it has a new meaning  for him as Co-Founder of Tuthilltown Distillery,  located on a former gristmill in the verdant Gardiner countryside just a short drive from where we live. Ralph and business partner, Brian Lee,established the distillery in 2003 and two years later produced their first small batches of vodka. We remember our first visit to the small distillery; today the compound has grown to several buildings and Tuthilltown Restaurant.

Tuthilltown’s a game changer in the Hudson Valley, credited with helping to bring back small batch production to the region. Last weekend we attended the Straight Up New York Crafts Spirits Festival at Black Dirt Distillery in Orange County. Many of the newer distillers we met at Straight Up New York credit Ralph for their move into the business. His work at the State level resulted in the passage of the Farm Distillery Act which permits New York farms to establish distilleries on site and sell their agricultural spirits at the farm.

Ralph Erenzo at the Straight Up New York Craft Distilling Festival in New York's Hudson Valley

Ralph Erenzo at the Straight Up New York Craft Distilling Festival in New York’s Hudson Valley


Melanie Young and David Ransom are the insatiably curious culinary couple. Connected on Twitter@connectedtable Facebook/connectedtable. Learn more at

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