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our day to day lives, but the history of our world and species is populated by theories and systems that have become outdated, and have been replaced by brand new paradigms and ways of seeing and explaining the world.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

 

 

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

Communication Tip #2: Taking Turns Talking AND Listening!

 Taking Turns: Talking AND Listening

Communication
geralt / Pixabay

Communication tips may come in many forms and varieties, but one thing is sure:

If one person isn’t really listening while the other person is talking, there are bound to be all kinds of miscommunication problems!

What does it mean to really listen?

Really listening would mean:

  • Paying attention
  • Looking at the speaker
  • Not being distracted by devices or other things
  • Giving feedback, verbally or non-verbally
  • Asking pertinent and relevant questions
  • Not interrupting
  • Letting go of our agenda, and not just waiting for our turn to speak
  • Trying to really understand what the speaker is saying

Phew! That sounds like a lot of hard work!!!

And it is! Anyone whose day or work involves a lot of listening will tell you that it can be quite draining and require a lot of work!

But the benefits of offering your speaking partner your full attention and developing good listening skills are many:

  • Better understanding
  • Less potential arguments
  • Improved relationships
  • Greater knowledge
  • Good listening may be returned when it is our turn to speak

The benefits of good listening skills are many, and this list is not meant to be exhaustive. One of the most important things we can give to somebody is our time and attention. Why not give it in a way that also maximizes “our time” by trying to get better at really giving our full attention and concentration when somebody is wanting and needing our attention.

As alluded to in previous posts on communication, making sure that we have the listener’s attention before we start to talk, and making sure that both parties are in a good space, both physically, mentally and emotionally may greatly enhance our chances of having a good rewarding conversation.

The good news is that we can start getting better at this today!

It just takes an earnest desire to really listen to what our partner or friend is saying, and not to assume that we know what they mean. When we are in doubt, maybe that is the time to ask for clarification? And when it is our turn to talk, then we make as much effort as we are able to, to speak in terms that we hope our conversation partner will understand.

Message well chosen, delivered and received, and responded to!

If you are enjoying these communication tips, then I’ve got good news for you! Click HERE to find out how to communciate better in your relationship!

 

 

Why COOPERATION Could Be MORE Important Than LOVE!

Cooperation: More Important Than Love?

Could cooperation, be the highest attainment that a couple could strive for in a romantic relationship?

Cooperation, Couple, love
takazart / Pixabay

In fact, love is often considered almost a synonym for relationship! And I too thought that to attain the state of love was the highest attainment in a couple.

I had never considered the ultimate importance of cooperation.

That is …. until I read Ken Keyes Jr’s A Conscious Person’s Guide To Relationships. 

What New Could Keyes Possibly Add?

In this book, Keyes suggests that we ought to have lots of love for lots of people. That ideally we would be coming from a place of love in our interactions with people and the world.

I know, kind of sounded “Hippie-ish” to me too. But then again, if being “Hippie-ish”

Heart, Hippie, Love
OpenClips / Pixabay

means favouring “love” over say “power”, or “control”, or “hate”, then I’d rather count myself amongst the Hippies.

But given my propensity to wear sandals once or twice a year, this probably won’t happen!

Cooperation Greater Than Love?

Keyes talks about “the lift I get by looking at my relationship as a way of cooperating in the great adventure of life. It sets up an energy of fun and enjoyment.”

Fun and enjoyment ?! 

Hey! Just a second there Mr. Keyes! What are you talking about there? That one can be in relationship, love your partner AND the world, AND have fun and enjoyment!!!

Keyes goes on to suggest that in relationships, cooperation is a better basis then love!

He is not saying that love is not important.

He is saying that it may be better if one is coming from a position of love in general, and that one considers “cooperation” as the basis for the foundation of a relationship.

I was struck by the notion that anything could be considered higher than love! But when I sat down and thought about it. A lot of people seem to profess that they love each other, but don’t seem to be able to stand each other!

There seem to be an awful lot of people who “love” each other, but can’t seem to get along with each other to save their lives, much less be happy together!

But I may be assuming a lot to suggest that the purpose of people coming together in relationships is to be happy! Many seem to be terrified of being alone, or don’t think that they can do well for themselves in love, so they settle, or so it seems.

When Cooperation Is Of Importance

But when couples put a desire to cooperate with each other as a priority: then this is where the magic happens!

I believe that when one wants to succeed, and wants to find a way, then the magic of cooperation is unleashed.

Magic
OpenClips / Pixabay

 

  • when one wants to cooperate
  • when one wants to find a way that works for both partners
  • when one decides to place happiness above being self-centered
  • when one considers the happiness of their partner to be of higher value than winning
  • when one can see the value of and benefit of two people’s perspective vs. one

Would You Be Willing To?

 While pondering Keyes’ perspective on cooperation, it suddenly hit me one day, and it was like a thunderbolt out of the sky!

The only reason that anybody ever really does anything is because they want to

We may kid ourselves and say that they have to do it, or think that we can force somebody to do something. But the reality I think is, that anything that our beautiful partners ever do for us is  because they want to. Think about it:  If you didn’t want to do something, would anybody be able to force you to do it? Consider that the next time your partner is going out of their way to spend some of their precious time or energy doing something for you.

And then we may feel a deep sense of gratitude…. but that is another topic!

Big Thanks
geralt / Pixabay

 

But for now, just know that your partner has decided to cooperate with you. And why not cooperate with them?

You may be surprised what you get back!

If you found this post helpful, please pass it along to somebody that you think might be able to benefit from it.

Namaste