Relationships: Our Greatest Mystery, Challenge and Gift Giver
As a (W)hole Life Coach, specializing in “pairs” or couples, it is an honor to be invited into the mysterious depths of the encounters between two people. The two may be mother – daughter, father -son, brother-brother or most commonly spouses/partners.
The first secret I will tell you, it truly does not matter the roles.
The skills to interact in a way that the space between is a true Sanctuary are the same! SSHHHH this is a “secret” till it is not!
What are these skills?
Underneath and embedded in all relationship work are some very simple yet profound tools.
In this blog, let me offer what I call the top 3!
First, as simple as it is to say and write: Slow down and either be the “speaker/sender” or the “listener/receiver”.
Even as I write this I can image the reader saying “yeah, yeah, yeah…”. However, this is a very challenging practice. All of us, yes all of us, have a rich wondrous unique world to share and from which we view each event and in which we experience each moment. To be given an invitation to speak of this awesome “one of a kind” space place, is rare and eagerly grabbed for or avoided.
However, the one who may be extending the invitation also has such an awesome one of a kind space-place or world also may wish for such an audience.
Whether we are the ones who eagerly grab ahold of such a moment to share our world or if we are the ones who actively dodge those spotlight moments – the challenge is the same.
There is no communication when two worlds are simultaneously on the docket.
Rather ONE at a TIME, just as we are taught in kindergarten, is key to success. Only one world at a time can be heard. Only one world at a time can be receiving the precious gifts of sharing.
Typically, PAIRs of all sorts, believe they can speak and listen at the same time! Frankly, it is always a mess of mis-takes, a mess of ‘leaping therefores, a mess of hearts hurting and hurt.
Slow Down, One at a time, enjoy the show either as the audience of one, or the one in the spot light. Both are precious and both are necessary for authentic relating.
Second, always there is in all folks a secret or not so secret place that says “I know what!”
However, when you are intending to be actively engaged in an intimate interaction of discovery, one must instead choose to “Not Know”.
Sometimes I say to my apprentices and students: “ How dumb can you dare to be?” What I mean by this tongue in cheek phrase, is how blank can the white board of your self be so that what folks are saying is taken in without addendum or assumptions or inadvertent corrections.
Again, a rare and challenging practice to make no assumptions, or at least to recognize when you are and pause to correct this ‘social habit’.
Dare to NOT KNOW. Then discover the wild fascinating world of another in which you are the eager student beginning with nothing between you and understanding. This is experienced often by folks as feeling “naked” or we might say “very very vulnerable”. The secret is that it takes a bold hearted kind of courage to stand naked in this way as you receive the world of the other OR stand naked as you share your own world free of the social clothing of “shoulds, ought tos, musts, or have-tos”. Either way, courage is the name of the relationship game.
So…know nothing on purpose…even if you have been in some sort of relationship or another for years!
Lastly, celebrate and elevate that person and yourself. Relating authentically, is a radical act of wild beings!
Rarely in this world, are we met with elevating actions or responses. More commonly, we are criticized or corrected or fixed or helped! Within us all is a profound longing to be recognized as valuable and unique and special. The simple and profound truth is that we are all this and more. Yet, it is not validated in our intimate connections. What a missed opportunity.
This third secret: Celebrate and elevate anyone and everyone you encounter for they truly have something rare to give you, if you are awake and ready to receive it. Celebrate and elevate yourself as a walking gift independent of any one moment.
I am not speaking of empty complements or false bravado. Rather sincere particular appreciations of self and other. To articulate such celebrations, it requires awareness of the other or oneself in this moment, the next and the next.
I am not speaking of global recognitions (i.e. “You are so capable.”). Instead I am challenging us all to particularize our elevations asked on what we are experiencing in that moment with this person. (I.e. “Your dedication to doing a job well, shows in the project you just gave me.”). To offer particularized celebrations requires our awareness in that moment of that person.
How awake are you?
SO: the three top secrets:
- Slow Down
- Know Nothing
- Celebrate and elevate
There you have it.
If you dare to practice these three for three weeks, even three days, you will find a new world opens up for you!
Relating from the inside out is a way of life I invite us all to.
From my heart to yours.
For more information about PAIRing (People Activating Intimate Relating) and Couples Coaching, I invite you to click the highlighted links above.