Vulnerability Makes The Difference!

Vulnerability

Vulnerability Is Key

Quite often in our lives, we may find ourselves stuck, whether it be in our romantic life, at work / business, or in life in general, and yet not realize that a solution is at hand: Vulnerability.

But it may not be what we are looking for, so we discard it.

We may want something that will make us more:

  • knowledgeable
  • powerful
  • looked up to / respected
  • on top of things
  • in control

What Lies Hidden

One surprising strategy or technique that we rarely resort to, is to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

And it is not so much a “strategy” or a “technique”, as it is a deepening / a movement towards greater authenticity.

Or as Brene Brown would say in her book Rising Strong:

People who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories are the real badasses.

It takes great courage to allow oneself to be vulnerable in a moment of not-knowing or uncertainty.  I can’t help but wonder how many moments and powerful breakthroughs are lost, because of our inability to stay in a place of not-knowing, and to collectively express our vulnerability.

But if it is “certainty” that we seek, perhaps we are looking in the wrong place.

As the Buddhists are fond of saying:

The only thing that is permanent is impermanence.

Openness And Vulnerability Guide The Way

Perhaps it is in our very admitting of “not-knowing”, that we finally find a touchstone that is solid, that will help us guide the way?

Few of us consider it in our day to day lives, but the history of our world and species is populated by theories and systems that have become outdated, and have been replaced by brand new paradigms and ways of seeing and explaining the world.

And yet, nearly every day we are inundated by new theories or books that are definitely THE last word on the subject.

Until the next last word on the subject that is.

But what never ceases to amaze me is how easily we are seduced into believing: Yes! This is it! This pulls it all together and makes sense of everything!

Perhaps it is just me. But I think not, as there was a time that there were a lot of “Flat Earthers” out there, and psychoanalysts, and behaviorists, and laissez-faire economists, that is until the great bailout of 2008. Not to worry though, they are still out there preaching how “efficient” the invisible hand of the market is.

Just remember that though, the next time they come cap in hand, looking for billions if not trillions in government “stimulus”.

Vulnerability Just May Be The Thing

Perhaps we don’t know how it all works all the time?

Perhaps?  Maybe “humility” is what this post ought to be about?

The next time you are looking for some certainty in this uncertain world, perhaps the idea might be to jot down your assumptions and to present them as such for all to see, and then to invite comment and participation and come together in resolving a common problem.

But… that may mean letting go of the credit for “solving” the big problem. But that may be a much more comfortable and more powerful place in the long run, than going out on a limb and pretending that we “know”.

Vulnerability In Relationships

This is where “vulnerability” shines. In relationships vulnerability becomes a great source of courage and a strong connection and intimacy builder.

The next time your partner or someone you are speaking with says something that seems a bit “out there” or different from what you are expecting, take a moment to be open, to consider what they are saying. Resist that knee-jerk reaction to make a funny face, or to say “what?”

And what you will get… is that you just might find yourself entering new and uncharted territory, and entering a place with your partner that you have never visited before because you were searching for “certainty”.

Vulnerability tends to beget more vulnerability and openness.

I can almost assure you, but I don’t know for sure… that vulnerability is the place of connection.

Try it. You may be surprised at the results you get.

Has pretending to be super-human gotten us that far? Has it been a place of comfort and rest?

  • Show up
  • Be real
  • Be vulnerable
  • Connect

And watch things happen….

 

If you think that you would like some help in becoming more open and vulnerable in your life, I think that I may be able to help you.  :)

Stress Busters #2 Relationships

Relationships

Relationships Make The World Go Around

Relationships can be highly important in our day to day lives.

We may not realize the impact of them upon our quality of life until they start to go sour.

It is at that point that we really come to identify how important getting along can be to our overall state of happiness and harmony in our lives.

We Are Inter-connected

In our modern world we tend to think of ourselves as fairly independent at times. But the reality of it all, is that we are incredibly dependent upon one another for things like goods and services.

Our success is highly related to marketing ourselves, and having people buy and recommend our goods and services. It is a vast world of mutual exchange.

But not just exchanging goods and services, but also cooperating and making our lives not only easier, but more enjoyable.

Being able to get along and interact smoothly is key!

How We Handle Differences

Dealing with a myriad of different people, inevitably comes with a mixture of different opinions and perspectives.

What we do when we encounter perspectives different from our own will make all the difference.

Here are some helpful tips and things that we can do when we encounter different opinions:

  • Make sure we are listening
  • Ask to repeat if necessary
  • Acknowledge the other’s opinion
  • Ask them to explain or elaborate more on why they feel that way
  • Not tell them they are wrong, but perhaps say that we had heard or read otherwise
  • Accept that they hold a different opinion and perspective
  • Learn something from them by hearing what they have to say
  • Come away from the conversation with a broader perspective
  • Feel good about ourselves because we were able to avoid a conflict and allowed the person to hold their opinion at the same time.
  • Perhaps we will be able to make a new friend or acquaintance instead of alienating them.

Relating Well = Feeling Well

This isn’t a specifically defined formula in scientific terms.

But I would hazard a guess, that those persons who were able to relate well and harmoniously with others, would very likely experience far lower levels of stress in their daily lives.

And what better “stress buster” can there be than getting along?

When we get along, life just seems to flow that much smoother.

People may go out of their way to help us, and we may find ourselves helping them in return.

If you are having difficulty with the relationships in your life, it can make for a lot of stressful moments. If you would like some help in getting better at working through relationship problems, then I’d be very happy to help you.

Better relationships are waiting, and less stress as a result.

Call now and get started today!

Ron

 

 

 

 

 

Cooperation In Relationships

Cooperation

The Importance Of Cooperation

Most of us get into relationships because we believe that it will lead to greater happiness and fulfillment in our lives.

For a lot of us, this is true.

For a lot of us, this is also true, but it seems to come at the cost of a LOT of struggle and sometimes strife.

There must be a better way???

What Is It Like When Things Are Going Well?

Well for one, both partners seem happy.

There seems to be a lot less arguing, and more getting along.

And more getting along, if we examine what is going at a closer level, probably involves a lot more COOPERATION with each other.

There is a reason for such sayings as:

You scratch my back, I scratch yours!

If you think about it, it is a pretty blunt and highly unromantic way of looking at relationships, but it hints at an undeniable element of MUTUALITY.

That there is something in the relationship, in relating together, that will benefit both people involved.

In essence, in our relationships, hopefully what we are creating are these MUTUAL COOPERATION GROUPS. And if we can turn those into consistent MUTUAL ADMIRATION GROUPS, then we have the makings of something special and spectacular, that almost anyone would want to be involved in.

So What’s The Problem?

Why can’t we consistently cooperate, let alone admire each other for the long duration of a romantic relationship?

There are probably a lot of reasons. I’d like to suggest some of them here:

  • lack of respect for one another (Major relationship killer!)
  • lack of empathy and concern for other
  • inability to let go of our agenda and listen to the other
  • having to have things OUR way (Big one here!)
  • lack of a long term vision for the couple
  • too much stress taking away from the quality of the relationship
  • losing sight of the importance of the relationship in our lives
  • lack of conflict resolution skills

These and possibly several other problem areas can contribute to and erode the level of COOPERATION in your relationships, be they romantic, work, friendship or family.

What can help turn things around might be:

  • a willingness to cooperate
  • to see things from our partner’s perspective
  • let go of our own agenda
  • listening! really truly listening
  • a feeling of being in it together
  • wanting to help our partner achieve their dreams and resolve their problems
  • and in turn feeling like our partner has our best interests at heart as well

The benefits of being in a successful long term relationship are many, including enhanced health and well-being, and a greater enjoyment of life.

But getting to that place can be a challenge.

If you are needing help in getting back to that place of COOPERATION in your relationships, I may be able to help you get back to a life that is not just about getting by from day to day, but excelling and truly finding your happy place!

I offer services in PERSON, as well as over the PHONE, and SKYPE for your convenience worldwide.

 

 

Relationship Post-Valentine’s Now What?

Relationship Post Valentines

The Relationship Goes On, Or It Doesn’t!

Relationship recovery, relationship growth, or relationship endings!

These are likely to be the results that a lot of us are faced with after going through Valentine’s Day as a couple.

So here we are on the other side of Valentine’s Day. Hopefully most of us made it through.

Some of us will have made it through with our romantic relationships in tact.

Some will have even grown closer through celebrating Valentine’s Day with their sweetheart. A lot of you will have.

And some… unfortunately not so lucky.

But perhaps for those whose relationships did not survive Valentine’s Day, it may be a good thing, perhaps in time you may consider it a blessing as time does its healing work.

But for now…. things just may feel terrible… awful… and you may find yourself consumed with such thoughts as:

  • How could he / she have left me, or dumped me like that?
  • How could they have beat me to it?!
  • How could I have been so blind as to not see… X, Y, or Z, or XY and Z!!!
  • What was I thinking when I thought this could actually work?
  • Will this pain ever end?
  • And… will I ever love again?

Post Valentine’s Day breakups can be difficult.

Heck, breakups are difficult at any time of the year!

But they seem to be that much more difficult around Valentine’s Day, because of all of the romantic symbolism and high expectations that surround this holiday.

As in my previous post, Valentine’s: A Semi-Annual Call To Consciousness, I alluded to Valentine’s Day’s allure, and its great possibility for waking up previously slumbering relationships, and how unmet relationship difficulties can often come to a head.

Well, here we are on the other side… hopefully your relationship has survived and you were able to show that special loved one just how important they are to you, and hopefully you got a chance to see how important you are to them.

What If Your Relationship Ended?

But if that wasn’t the case, and your relationship was one of those that didn’t make it through, please don’t despair, take the time to grieve the loss of your love relationship.

Some of the following steps may come in handy to help you through this difficult time:

  • Take it easy with alcohol and other substances. You likely feel bad enough as it is. A clouded consciousness could make you do something you will regret. Substances like alcohol tend to give a short boost, but in the long term are depressants.
  • Treat yourself well. Feeling like you have just been dumped doesn’t mean that you also have to treat yourself badly. This is a time for self-love and acceptance. Just because someone didn’t find you to be a compatible match to them, doesn’t mean that you are flawed. You just weren’t for them. And when you find somebody you click with, you will be more than happy you took good care of yourself in this difficult time. Try things like eating well, getting enough sleep, exercise, being in the company of friends, family and supportive people.
  • Take the time to grieve your lost love relationship. Often not taking the time to properly grieve a recent breakup, and tumbling into another new relationship, can lead to problems as these unprocessed feelings start to crop up in your new relationship. You may think that just because your ex-partner has moved on really quickly into a new relationship, that they are fully healed and over your relationship, and that it meant nothing to them. But love is more of a marathon, and while it may look like they have dashed out of the gates, they may stumble and fall. Take the time to heal and be fully ready for when love comes knocking upon your door again. And it will. Just like it has in the past.
  • Learn from your past relationship. This may be difficult when we are so filled with hurt, and anger, and are caught up in blaming our ex-partner for what happened. The problem with blame, is that if we do succeed in making it ALL our ex-partner’s fault, then we have no other option but to assume the role of “victim”, and that things just happened to us. There can be no empowerment or long term good feelings in making oneself a victim. Chances are that the end of our relationships were more than about what one person did. It is usually a multi-causal chain of events that led to the end of the relationship. As the saying goes… “there is usually more than one side to a story.”
  • If you were the victim of abuse however, then please by all means seek professional help or guidance to help you heal from the traumatic experience that you have been through. With professional help you can reclaim your life and get stronger, and heal yourself from the toxic effects of abuse. Please bear in mind, abuse is not just physical, it can also be emotional.

In conclusion, if you’ve made it this far beyond Valentine’s Day, that’s a good sign. It shows your resilience and your willingness to go on, and to heal from your heartache. But remember, there is no need to go it alone.

Help is available to you from friends, family and professional support. Every one around you has likely gone through one heartbreak or another, or likely will in the future. Let people help you. There is no shame in feeling pain. And besides, you can always return the favour and be there for them later on, should they need a compassionate ear, or a shoulder to lean on.

If you are in need of help getting through a post-Valentine’s breakup, please do not hesitate to contact me or give me a call. It would be my pleasure to help you find yourself again, and to make a new start.

Spring is around the corner. It is a time for starting over.

Valentine’s: A Semi-Annual Call To Consciousness

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day: Mmmmm or Yikes?

Valentine’s Day is often synonymous with romantic love. It is an opportunity to demonstrate how much our romantic partner means to us, and for them to show us how important we are to them.

That is if all is going well.

If things aren’t going well in our romantic relationships, then it may be a time that partners come to dread.

That is why I call Valentine’s Day: The Great Semi-Annual Call To Consciousness!

Because in our culture, there is almost no way to avoid all of the indications that Valentine’s Day is upon us.

It has come to be one of those retail holidays that happen almost like clockwork. You know, the day after Boxing Day, let’s haul out the red hearts and prepare people to shop for Valentine’s Day.

Okay, it is not quite that bad. But sometimes retailers tend to get a little overzealous with their advanced holiday preparations. Maybe it’s just me, but I can swear that this year I saw both Hallowe’en AND Christmas decorations in the same store at once.

But I digress… getting back to Valentine’s Day….

You Just Can’t Avoid It

And for this reason, I think this is why we tend to see a lot of relationship problems coming to the surface, if not exploding around Feb. 14th.

It seems like Christmas and Valentine’s Day are these two semi-annual calls to consciousness, that almost seem to force us to take stock of our lives, and to see where we are at, and often times consider how happy we are in our romantic relationships.

I think that a lot of romantic relationships may break up before Valentine’s Day, rather than have one or both partners pretend that the feelings are still there.

Some couples may decide to make token gestures, offering the Hallmark card and a small gift, just to avoid having to face up to long standing issues in the hopes of buying the peace. But in my opinion these gestures just cover up the problems that are there. But then again, maybe these small gestures keep the relationship together while we plan for a better time and place to address longstanding issues.

Either Consciously Or Unconsciously?

Either way, it is likely that these simmering issues are going to come to the surface one day in some way, maybe not how we would like to handle them.

For this reason, I would recommend making a plan to deliberately address those issues that are keeping you and your loved one apart, or not as close as you would like to be with each other.

Whether that plan be:

  • Asking them to sit down and talk
  • Writing them a letter or an email
  • Talking to them on the phone
  • Talking to a trusted friend or counsellor to sort out your end of things
  • Inviting your partner to see a counsellor to work on your combined issues

Whichever way you choose, I would recommend in-person if you are able to, choose other means if that is the best that you can do, but I highly recommend that you address the issues that are coming between you.

Issues don’t usually go away over time on their own. Some differences we can learn to live with. Others can be like grains of sand continuously eroding the romantic bonds of your relationship.

Amazingly, there is research that has been done that has concluded that when some couples divorced, either 20 or 30 years down the road, the issues that often led to the couple parting ways were often present in the beginning of the relationship!

Why not give each other the greatest gift that you can give and work on mending your relationship?

If you don’t like the idea of “working” on your relationship, you can call it “building” a more solid foundation for each other. Call it what you will, but maybe it is time to address those longstanding issues and get your relationship back to the place where it felt good.

Why settle for good? Maybe with some “work”, “building”, call it what you will, the two of you can get your relationship to GREAT!

I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day, and that you are able to approach each other with open hearts and minds.

This Valentine’s Day, let us:

  • Awaken more
  • Listen more
  • Speak from our hearts more
  • Laugh more
  • Feel joyful more
  • And last but not least, Love more!

If you would like some help in awakening, and addressing some of those longstanding issues in your romantic relationship, please give me a call and I will be happy to accompany you upon your journey.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

P.S. The name of the beautiful marble statue that is the picture for this post is called: Psyche Revived By Cupid’s Kiss. Maybe Valentine’s really is the time to rekindle love!

 

 

Jung On Relationships: A Mini-Primer

Relationships Jung

Relationships Have It: It’s All There

Relationships are probably one of biggest sources of problems, challenges, and opportunities that we come face to face with in our everyday lives.

Who’s bothering you?

Carl Jung

This rather amazing quote is attributed to Carl Jung. In my opinion, one of the greatest and deepest thinkers of early psychology, if not all of psychological history to date.

What I find so amazing about this quote, is that usually one can expect to be asked: “What’s bothering you?”, but in the great majority of cases, things usually turn to “Who” is bothering somebody!

It may not be the person directly, but it may be our inability to get along with them, or our inability to express ourselves clearly in their company. There is just something about our interactions with this one person, or group of people that has us stymied.

One of the major points that emerges is:

Relationships and our ability to successfully navigate them are a key element of a successful life.

At this point, I’d like to take a closer look at some of Carl Jung’s famous quotes on relationship. This will by no means be an exhaustive study, but perhaps it will wet your appetite to take a closer look into some of Jung’s writings.

Making Contact

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

When we come together in close relationship over an extended period of time, it is nearly impossible not to feel the effects of the other person.

In a truly deep exchange of energies, our entire beings may become fundamentally and thoroughly transformed. So therefore, being careful whom we let close to us may have great consequences for not only our well-being, but for our inner transformation.

Projection

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.

You may have heard it said, that anything that bothers us about someone else, is likely something that we ourselves have an issue with.

But, it is often a lot easier to point out the faults in others than to recognize them in ourselves.

Which brings up another couple of interesting Jung quotes on the same topic.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.

Projecting our darkness upon the other, or judging them may only serve to keep us caught in our own darkness.

Very likely if something has captured our attention in another, it is probably because it is hitting close to home.

This may be a great opportunity for self-exploration, and clarifying some of our inner darkness, by shedding light on those areas that set us off.

Or as Jung might say:

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

But here may be where we really get tripped up in our personal relationships, and interactions with those closest to us:

There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotions.

And THIS is where relationships strike us the deepest.

They mirror back to us ALL of those places within us where we have unfinished business or work to do on ourselves.

Unfortunately, we often end up “shooting the messenger”, or getting angry at our romantic partner, or the other person for showing us what still lies dormant or unresolved within ourselves.

For this reason, I like to think that “relationships” offer us the greatest possibility for growth and self-transformation.

One could go off to the Himalayas, or Tibet and meditate in a cave for the next 10 years, only to come back and fall in love, or worse, meet up with one’s family!

Then we’d see how truly enlightened we had become!

Save the money, Save the time, the opportunities for enlightenment are right here under our noses in our relationships!

If you would like to explore some of your relationship challenges or difficulties, I would be more than happy to accompany you on your journey.

Namaste

 

Also, if you would like to dive deeper into the writings of Carl Jung. Here is a very good place to start.

The Portable Jung

 

 

The Journey of Grieving

The Journey of Grieving

One Man’s Guide To Grieving

Grieving is a subject that is difficult for most of us to deal with.

Sometimes someone captures the essence of an experience so well, that all one can do is to wish to share their message. The story below has started circulating on the internet, about an older man’s advice to a person completely shocked after the sudden death of a friend. The advice that is given on how to deal with grief and grieving is extremely heartfelt, and is only the type of advice that one can give after a long life’s experience in dealing with the matter firsthand.

The advice is from the heart and hard won, and very generously given.

Please find below, word for word, this humble generous loving soul’s tender words, to a fellow human being on how to handle grieving.

The Journey Of Grieving
The Journey Of Grieving

 

Different Types Of Grief

When we think of grief, we usually think about the passing of a loved one or someone we know.

While this is often the case when we experience grief, it is useful to remember that we will likely experience grief when we experience an ending of some sort as well.

The following events may also engender a grief response in us as well:

  • the end of a relationship
  • the change in an important relationship
  • the loss of a job
  • the end of a project, even if it is successful
  • change in general
  • the loss of a favored status or condition

We are affected by change and loss, and often our reaction is to mourn that which has ended. Seeing life and the nature of things as being ongoing and ever-flowing, can often help to mitigate our sense of loss and feeling singled out to suffer.

Change does happen in this life, and it does happen frequently.

Learning how to flow with this change, how to adapt and adjust ourselves, and also how to reach out and offer comfort to each other, may very well lessen a great extent of our common suffering.

If these words touched you in some way, or you may know of someone that may benefit from them, please pass them along.

Also, if you feel that you may be having trouble dealing with loss and are suffering, please consider calling to make an appointment. I would be more than glad to help you on your journey through this difficult part of your life.

Namaste