Love, wisdom and inspiration

I’ve been a student of relationships – and what makes them tick – for most of my life. As the youngest of four children, I grew up avidly observing my older siblings – studying the most effective strategies for navigating the teen years with my parents. My goal was to achieve the optimum freedom with the minimum of conflict. That was the start of honing my negotiation skills!

Shirley Vollett certified relationship and life coachAt the tender age of 17, I lived in a developing country, in a different language, with three very different host families. This experience was another form of education in relationships and communication. So much of what I thought were universally shared understandings were actually my own unconscious family and culture-bound assumptions. I realized the mischief these unconscious assumptions we all carry around can create.

Through my twenties, a multi-year entanglement with my first love (that was rife with issues and problems) provided more “grist for the mill” of my growth in self-awareness. I had difficult and humbling learning around what does and DOESN’T contribute to a healthy, happy relationship.

On the professional front, I interviewed, counselled and advocated for all ages and income levels of clients through my varied jobs in the social services and my education and practice in social work. From parent-teen conflict to marital troubles to dealing with the elderly, I have witnessed and supported many individuals in their struggle to give love and get love from the significant people in their lives.

Working now as a Life & Relationship Coach (since 1998) I’ve had the opportunity to continue training and expanding my tool box, as I work with my clients to transform relationship “problems” into opportunities for emotional and spiritual growth. Together we work to increase their skill in creating relationships – and in having their relationships not only “work” for them, but also deepen in fulfillment and intimacy.

My own personal journey has included a marriage of 25 years now and an evolving relationship with my husband and children which brings me deep joy. Like most married couples, my husband and I have weathered some storms. Our faith in the fruits of this growth process that we share has been central to staying afloat through the stormy times. We continue to road-test the contents of my tool-box as we go.

So for all who are similarly engaged in the grand adventure of loving relationships – and who seek to be increasingly conscious, skilled and loving – I am delighted to have this forum to share wisdom, resources and inspiration for your journey. Whether you are single or partnered, you swim in a sea of relationships – each of which has the potential to contribute to your evolution and growth. I am thrilled that our paths have crossed and I look forward to sharing the journey with you!

I welcome your comments, invite you to follow this blog and also to sign up for my newsletter Fulfilling Relationships (see the Article section for past issues).

7 comments to Love, wisdom and inspiration

  • Deb Gyug

    Congratulations on the new website Shirley – I’m one of your best fans! – Deb

  • Congrats Shirley on your new look…and your last newsletter article. It totally resonated with me (although some would say I’m not shy about asserting my boundaries; lol)

    It made me think of a recent situation where I said to someone (not very eloquently) that I barely knew, “please stop yelling at me,” at which point he stopped dead and said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was yelling.” And he truly didn’t. I think that was just his pattern for so long that he didn’t mean anything by it. That really taught me how we all perceive things differently and many times the person is unaware of their behaviour and didn’t actually mean to be offensive.

    Great insights you shared…thank you!

    • Shirley

      I appreciate this example, Karen. When someone steps over one of our boundaries, it’s so easy to take offense and assume that the behavior was intentionally hurtful or rude. When in reality that person is simply in THEIR own reality, often unaware of their own behavior and its impact on others. Your story shows the power of a simple request to stop — whether it was eloquent or not! Thanks for your enthusiasm!

      If others would like to read the article Karen is referring click to see Identify & Communicate Your Boundaries Part 2. My past newsletter articles are archived on the Articles page of this website.

  • Hey Shirley, Congratulations on the new web site. I love it!!! I’m sure it was a big job getting it launched (they always are!). Love the fresh new look!

    • Shirley

      Thanks Alexandra! I had wonderful training from Word Press Academy ( and particularly from Pamela Bey, who helped me with the final change-over. I love being able to manage my own content now.

  • Hi there Shirley ,

    What a great opportunity to be able to let you know how much I have always appreciated
    your e-letters over the years. Always so clear and full of wisdom. The recent article about Love as a commitment to live life from two perspectives is a wonderful concept: right on! Rob and I are working on managing conflicts arising from our personal issues and our aging process!! Rob is working on an acting /voice career. I am retired from my position in Child/Youth Mental health, now embarking on a Private Counseling Practice part-time – excited and terrified. When you are back after your holidays may I contact you for a consultation? Your web-site looks lovely.
    Enjoy your reunion with old friends and family.

    an old friend