In working with hundreds of people over the years, and of course being human myself, the issue of assumptions has come up again and again as a great source of disconnection and suffering. We have explored some key assumptions that seem to be particularly troublesome.
Seems like a simple question. With two obvious answers.
Loving ourselves is so deeply mixed in our history of not receiving love (or being seen and celebrated) for who we actually were. Many of us got messages growing up about how unlovable we were (often unintentionally) in a variety of ways. Add in years and years of trying to get our love needs from outside —wanting others to love us —most often unsuccessfully, the idea of loving ourselves is like gibberish, we don’t have a reference point.
Here’s the funny (not funny) thing.
When I saw this title on a blog post I read, delivered to me from one of my favorite websites – Food 52, I immediately thought - oh yes, this is what I say to people over and over about relationships.
Has this ever happened to you?
You are having an important conversation with your partner (or friend, or co-worker or parent) and it is crystal clear that they (consistently) aren’t understanding what you are saying? You believe they aren’t listening, or they are taking what you say too personally. They get upset when you think they shouldn’t. You are feeling frustrated. You are certain that you are communicating clearly. How could they be misunderstanding you again? Possibly you have tried to have a particular conversation before and run into similar situation. Possibly it happens regularly.
It’s all too annoying.
Every New Year you think about making resolutions. You are going to be the new, better you?
I don’t know, doesn’t that imply that there is something wrong with the old you? Which is the you, you are right now.
It is so easy to think there is something wrong with us.
Love and Compost. What do they have in common?
Well, likely not everything. Let’s just see.
There are a wide variety of what could be considered awkward conversations that couples and soon-to-be couples can have. In my opinion the sooner you have them, the more likelihood the relationship will work out. What makes them awkward, of course, is complicated. It depends on the people in the relationship, what they want, their individual communication skills, and communication compatibility as a couple.
Let’s start with this one.
We all know what this means. Ab work.
And, if you have a trainer, you might learn quickly that having a strong core is not just ab work. It is strengthening all the muscles, including the abdominals so that we are strong in all our movements. Our entire body benefits and becomes sturdy, durable and protected so it will function optimally throughout the day.
I talk with a great deal of people some of whom share with me that they are ‘so ready for a relationship!’ These are words I understand and remember saying myself.
And, I wonder. Are you really ready?
I went to dinner last night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. There were 11 of us.
We bought plates for the middle of the table and shared whatever came out. The food was delicious. The conversation lively. The evening was enjoyed by all.
When it came time to pay for the meal...
What are people really saying to you? You can use these barometers to help you understand what is important to the person you are speaking with --and also for yourself, when you might be confused.
How did you contribute to the situation you are unhappy about?
In my opinion it is one of the most empowering questions we can ask of ourselves. When we are in a situation that we aren’t so happy about, depending what it is, then I encourage you to consider this first.
Are you telling people what you think using language that masquerades your story as truth?
I believe the quality of your life depends on a few things, one being the language you use and the words you say. For that reason I offered you this question. I think with a few tweaks here and there in what you say, you will feel more free, more open, more empowered in your life.
To the disappointment of my trainer, I often read magazines while on the elliptical machine at the gym. A favorite is Real Simple Magazine. I like the pictures, quotes, suggestions and some articles, though I often find myself disagreeing with the advice given in the Life Lessons section. Here’s an example:
If you are on Facebook, you probably see many of the same quotes I do. They are meant to inspire us or make us laugh or cause us to see something in a different light. I’ve read this one a few times as it’s made the rounds, and each time I’ve felt a thud in my stomach.
My intuition tells me that this quote is more likely to keep people stuck than set them free. So I’d like to tease out what troubles me about it.
A patient that I’ve known for many years has been coming in for the past weeks complaining about a plumbing problem in his home. Each visit I got an update. The cast of characters in this story are: 1. Ed (my patient) 2. Sam (Ed’s plumber) 3. Ralph (Ed’s handyman) and 4. Joe (my plumber).
The last time I was in a meeting with a group of people, one person (emphatically) offered an opinion of what next steps we should take on a project. Almost instantly, the energy in the room changed. An awkward quiet descended and the air whooshed out of the room. Why? It turns out that others in the room had quite a different opinion. So what?
We all go through stages of emotional experience. In Nonviolent Communication we identify three primary stages of emotional maturity, the last of which is emotional liberation