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May 23, 2023

Seven years ago, our dog Phoenix started showing signs of fear aggression.

We took her to a dog trainer that taught us this valuable practice to calm her down — which we later discovered also helped us create deeper connection, intimacy, and playfulness with one another!

Hostility and irritability are usually rooted in being ungrounded in some way. 

With this simple practice of closing the gap, you can help your partner (and yourself!) relax and settle down, coming into greater connection again instead of spinning out into a fight.

Tune in to this episode: Closing The Gap

Key points covered in this episode:

✔️ Your presence is enough. When your partner seems ungrounded, just sit near them in silence. Allow your calm nervous system to support their energy in settling.

✔️ Get playful when closing the gap. With each other’s consent, of course! It can look like a bear hug, or gradually inching closer to your partner when they’re raging, or speaking in a playful tone.

✔️ It takes courage to go first. Be the bigger person, not to gain power over them, but because you’re more interested in contributing to having a connected relationship than you are in winning a war.

✔️ Apply this practice anywhere! In a more professional setting, you could breathe with a team member or client, or sit near them without saying anything. Contribute your relaxed energy to support them in settling down.


★★★ About Marie-Elizabeth Mali ★★★

Marie-Elizabeth is the founder of Relationship Alchemy, where she helps growth-oriented women develop clarity and alignment with themselves and their vision, so they can attract or deepen their relationship with their ideal partner and create a fulfilling life without compromising who they are. 


For passionate women having a “Now what?” moment who are ready to turn on their unapologetic power.

As a Relationship Alchemist, two-time TEDx Speaker, and host of the Relationship Alchemy podcast, Marie-Elizabeth Mali helps women communicate more effectively and transform patterns of thinking and behavior that get in the way of love, connection, and success in relationships and business. Drawing on her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and over 20 years of working with clients, she teaches women how to show up as authentic leaders in their relationships and work instead of twisting themselves to fit in. Marie-Elizabeth’s work has been featured in Thrive Global, SWAAY, and Forbes. She is also a published author with an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and an underwater photographer who has a thing for sharks. Learn more at