About Suzann Robins

I am an expert relationship coach and professional speaker on the topic of personality dynamics and the effect that have on relationships at home and at work. As a tai chi and yoga instructor, and a social science professor I have written a book that synthesizes Eastern Philosophy with Western Psychology.

“Social Media” Anti-Social and Anti-Intimacy

Strengthening long-distance communication at the expense of near-by interaction

Guest Blog by Paul Glassco

Ten years ago, I was working at a giant CAD software company. At the beginning of annual employee meeting, a short video was run. First, the camera focused on a guy sitting at a kitchen table, texting away on his cell phone, and we can see his text stream and the responses. The camera catches another guy sitting across from him at the same table, also texting on his phone, but we cannot see his screen. They are both texting up a storm, with some grimacing and one hand gestures. Suddenly the camera switches so we can see the second guy’s screen—and it’s the same text stream as the first guy’s!

Everyone got a good chuckle; even I laughed at the hilarity of two guys sitting across the table from one another but using modern telecommunications instead of just talking. But it left me with a sad feeling—what is happening to the human part of human communications?

Our modern technology – the internet, cell phones and laptop computers with cameras, and applications like Skype and ooVo – strengthen our abilities for tele-Vision and tele-Hearing, making fantastic revolutions in human communications. People all over the global can talk, view each other and ‘stay in touch.’ However, that last phrase is a clear misnomer. We are strengthening telecommunications at the expense of the more human-scale and near-by communications. Vision and hearing have been extremely amplified, but at the expense of touch, smell, taste and warmth.

Thirty years ago, a friend and I visited an Indian reservation and archeological site. It was extremely quiet—no planes or jets, no cars, no radios, no nothing in the way of man-made artifacts other than the ruins themselves, which were of course quiet. Suddenly, I heard a terrific noise in sharp contrast to the quiet, looked up and saw about a mile away a single truck motoring down a seldom-used road.

Seeing and hearing are long-range as well as short-range forms of human senses, covering miles as well as inches. Touch, smell, taste and feeling others’ body heat are only short-range forms of sensing, requiring proximity of just inches to be at all useful.

It turns out that, through some perverse synergy, we have been able to amplify the already-long-distance senses. However, our technology has done little or nothing to amplify short-distance senses. As technology has ‘progressed’ it has helped those distal senses, as the low-hanging fruit of human ingenuity. But what has human ingenuity done to help the proximal senses? These are much harder to capture, digitize, transmit, receive and replay.

Have we made the best choices for furthering human intimacy? It would seem not, and this saddens me. We are taking the easy-to-mechanize senses, already overdeveloped in people, and further strengthening them. In my opinion, we need to focus much, much less on virtual reality and more on real reality—our everyday, close, intimate, sometimes inconvenient experiences. So-called ‘social media’ are actually making us more anti-social!

Every Day Tantra

denae photoEvery Day Tantra

The first association with Tantra is often an experience or practice of sacred sexuality between two people. That is an understanding that brings an air of delight to some, fear to others, and curiosity to the rest.

Tantra is also a way of life. Those who live in a tantric inspired way dance with what life brings energetically. Cycles of energy provide a give and take, a dance, a rest, a fire, a creation, a recharging. Within these cycles are more immediate cycles of presence, unconsciousness, numbing out, tuning in, running from and embracing all. These represent intimate, self-knowledge relationships with a tantric expression focused within oneself.

How vulnerable we are with ourselves, how intimate and interested we are in our own nature makes a difference. We will sculpt more of a conscious relationship with our self or create more distance from ourselves. It is interesting to note that our relationship with ourself is always mirrored in partnerships. Always; the more mirrored, the deeper we go. Can we dance tantrically with this?

Indeed, the sacred sexual practice of Tantra generates the energetic Temple where the God and Goddess come home to Love’s greatest fire and purest ocean. A lot of energy is processed in this kind of love making, and therefore less mental processing is needed between partners.

The Holy connection has been made and feeling safe is in the air. When partners feel safe, the Presence of Love breathes more deeply through the body. That deeper breath literally and metaphorically is exactly what we need to replenish our health, brighten our minds and raise the roof with our extraordinary, primal, cosmic and sacred sexual energy. Who said a Holy Connection couldn’t be an outrageously hot, steamy encounter?

The Tantric way of life teaches us to relax and ride more smoothly. We learn to co-create. We learn our rhythms and this benefits us. We are greatly blessed when we live with-in our own skin, turn toward our self first and then practice this internal relationship with Life itself. All of life becomes a deepening and a nourishment when we practice being in conscious relationship with it.

This includes relationships with others like lovers, partners, children and families. This ultimately includes the world because where we come from, where we generate our creations from, is what we’ll encounter in the dance of life.

All Blessings~ Danae Shanti


Guest post by Scot Hannon

Masterful, highly competent, loving coaches understand how precious relationships are  to people and that interpersonal issues can be socially or emotionally difficult, often painful. These coaches help their clients understand that interpersonal issues, *just like career and job issues*, can be made into *concrete goals*.A masterful and loving coach could ask the following self-reflective questions: How are you with the people in your life? How can you improve your relationships? Is there a particular relationship about which you feel anxious or sad? How can you improve your relationship with that person? Is there a particular behavior you could change to help improve that relationship? How might you go about initiating a dialogue with them about improving your relationship with them and eliciting more love?
The coach would hold the space for the coachee to contemplate.

A masterful and loving coach hears that a particular relationship is difficult and gently probes to make sure that the interpersonal frustrations and emotions get articulated as *specific issues* that can be converted into goals, not left as amorphous complaints. These goals, when acted upon, can then transform the relationship, which brings more relatedness, love and happiness, not only to both people in that relationship, but indirectly to their wider community of friends and family.

WELL SAID!

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5 tips for parents to help their teens overcome learning difficulties

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Teenagers who experience serious and ongoing difficulties with the different areas of learning are said to be suffering from a learning disability. In addition to struggling in school, they may also be undergoing social and emotional pressure. Most adolescents who have this problem are often unwilling or hesitant to approach their parents as dealing with this difficulty can be frustrating to both of them. But avoiding it does NOT solve the problem.

Parents who see signs of learning disabilities in their kids should not panic. They should understand that this is not uncommon and there are ways to overcome these difficulties. When teenagers start to show signs of learning difficulties, parents should keep the lines of communication open. Talking about the problem can be challenging, but it is the first and most effective way of arriving at a solution. It is up to the parent to address the problem.

Understanding the Cause

The first step in helping your child is to accept that s/he may be suffering from a learning disability. Denying the possibility that they may be going through a tough time will not help ease the burden. Ask questions about what is going on, in what ways are they struggling? Once you have acknowledged the problem, explore resources to find out how you can help.

Talk to Your Teen about the Disability

Talking to your child during this time may be both tricky and taxing. However, it is the only way you can both agree on how to come up with a solution to the problem. Keep the communication lines between you and your child open at all times. Make your child feel that you can be a confidant willing to listen and understand, and to find solutions.

Identify Your Teen’s Strengths and Weaknesses

As a parent, you should be aware of what your teen is good at and what areas they need to work on. This way, you can come up with activities to highlight strengths and improve  weaknesses. A great website to discover Multiple Intelligences is www.literacyworks.org. Do not forget to make your child feel accepted and not to focus what s/he can and cannot do.

 Seek Help from Experts

It is perfectly acceptable when parents do not immediately know what they can do to assist their child. Extra help is offered by health professionals and experts who understand the problem better than anyone. These people are trained to identify learning disabilities, and they studied ways to treat them. Consult with your child’s teacher or a psychologist. They can recommend professional assessment tests for your child.

 Choose the Right School for Your Teen

Addressing a learning disability is not limited to the home. Parents should choose a school that has an effective program for teens having difficult time learning. These children should be kept in an environment where they can work on their weaknesses while developing their strengths. Find more information at www.helpyourteennow.com.

Help your teens remember they are loved for who they are, not for their accomplishments or failures. We are all different in how we learn and process information. Keep looking for the best fit in a school setting.

Creating Change

Shifting From  Me to We

Andrea Costantine (http://andreacostantine.com/) gives a great presentation on being inspired to make a difference in the world by getting involved and creating community through compassion, contribution, and connection. Andrea believes that when people come together, change can be made.

She says,”When we gain a sense of community, separation dissipates, leading to happier, healthier, more compassionate human beings.” When this happens then we are more interested and willing to contribute to the well-being of others.

Some of us touch other people’s lives in our daily interactions by doing our best at what ever it is that we do. If we work in a profession where we do not have direct contact with people, we still make a difference in their lives with the products we create or services we offer. Some of us make time to volunteer in various ways where we connect with children or animals, or help others learn to read, or participate in a community garden. Multiple opportunities exist to be of service and make connections with each other.

This is exactly what Cuddle Party (http://CuddleParty.com) is all about. People come together, at first thinking about getting their own needs met for safe, affectionate touch. But they soon realize it is about giving as well as receiving. Whether they are being touched or doing the touching, it is reciprocal, and nurturing for everyone involved. After a few minutes, there is no difference between giving and receiving; it feels just as good to touch as to be touched. And this is the way all of life should feel when the barriers between YOU and ME dissipate, and we recognize that “We are One.”

What does this phrase “We are One” mean? We seem to be hearing and seeing it more and more often. It is what community is all about – coming together in UNITY. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us. Whether it is a fatal shooting, or a simply wounding with words, we are all victims to the violence that we are surrounded by. Sometimes it seems no matter which way we turn, we are being violated by GMO products or some other pesticide in our food source, or bombarded by political or religious actions that seem totally out of our control. We shield ourselves from this by shutting down to the good and the possibility of change in the world when we succumb to helplessness. We learn to be helpless when we make it all about ME and do not feel there is anything that I have to give to YOU.

A simple gesture of caring, a smile, or a kind word can make a huge difference in someone’s life. When we open to the idea that “everyone matters” and that everyone is important no matter what they are doing. When we accept each other without judgment about who’s way of thinking or acting is Good or Bad, we are able to open our hearts as well as our minds to this concept of “We are One.”

What ways have you found to make a difference in the world?

Desire is Natural

Sexual Desire is Natural and Beautiful

Guest Post by Fred Burks

The drive towards sexual connection between two people who are strongly attracted to each other is a natural and beautiful part of our biology and of being human. The urge to merge is what keeps the human race going, as that is where we all came from when our parents surrendered to it. Sexual desire is a divine gift which inspires us to seek out deep connection.

Yet the carnal power behind this intense drive all too often causes some to go unconscious and to do things they later regret. Particularly for some men, once sexual desire kicks in fully, trying to stop or control it can feel like not scratching an intense itch or trying to stop a sneeze about to happen. They feel powerless to control it.

For both sexes, this powerful drive can shut down the conscious, thinking mind and the sensitive, loving heart. It can and sadly has led to acts as intense as sexual abuse and rape around the world. Herein lies the root of much psychological and emotional wounding on both individual and collective levels. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

As I’m fortunate to have learned to keep my heart open and stay conscious and considerate even when these powerful sexual urges arise, I’m thrilled to have found ways to dance with and channel this powerful energy that are honoring and supportive not just to me and the person with whom I’m feeling attraction, but to all in my life. Primarily by holding a strong intention to be ever more conscious and by studying practices like tantra and sacred sexuality, which give ideas on this, my life and relationships have changed in awesome ways.

The ability to stay conscious even in the midst of intense sexual connection has left me feeling more free and alive than ever. I trust myself now that I won’t do something I will later regret. Yet I also know I can still experience the full richness of the powerful sexual connection. This has brought a deep peace, joy, and excitement about life that I doubt I could have experienced otherwise without spending years in an ashram or meditating in a cave.

Great book review with interesting twist

 

BOOKCultivating Healthy Relationships offers an interesting series of meanderings and explorations through diverse wholistic healing discussions. Many interesting ideas are proposed for understanding and appreciating the body (physical and energetic)-emotions-mind-relationships-spirit connections.

In reading this book, I am reminded of when I first struggled to learn the game of bridge. It was difficult to understand bidding when I had not yet understood the values of suits and the hints that are implied in responses of partners to previous bids.

Suzann Panek Robins has much of value to share, and brings to the table a wide variety of sources to explain aspects of the holistic spectrum. Her basic focus is Freudian and Jungian, but her wide-ranging explorations cover numerous other psychological systems of psychology – both from conventional and complementary/alternative sources.

This rich feast will be best appreciated by those who have a fairly good basic understanding of what I call the wholistic spectrum of healing.

Review by Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM
Internatiional Journal of Healing andCaring, Editor-in-Chief

 

We are at the beginning of a new His and Her story

Gender roles are changing? Anyone agree or Disagree with that statement. What does it mean “gender roles” you ask — the tasks assigned to you simply because you are male or female. What defines a male or female? Biological markers, length of hair, sexual preference or orientation? All those were true in the past, but many seem meaningless in today’s economy of openness and fluidity. I would love to hear your comments on what it means to you?

The world as we knew it has ended

One month has passed since I last posted and as far as I can tell most of us are still here. There has been another terrible tragedy that rocked my world, since I have lived near Newtown, CT, just as I now live near Aurora, CO. I didn’t know any of the victims in either of these shootings, but my heart aches just the same.

Each of these incidents are more horrific than the one before. Such a loss of innocence for the elementary school children who witnessed this autrocity. As a professor of childhood development and positive psychology the mornings following terrible shootings, including those at Virginia Tech and Tuscon, AZ, Columbine and Minnesota, I face a classroom full of scared and unhappy students. As a practitioner of meditation since 1972, my unique perspective on the integration of Western psychological theory and Eastern practices helped me to calm them as we discuss several issues such attacks bring up about human nature.

In April 1999, the academic community learned something about about the effects of bullying from the students who carried out the Columbine massacre. As a result many high schools initiated programs to quell this growing trend. The VA Tech shooting in April 2007 awakened educators across the country to pay more attention to early warning signals of mental illness, and put additional safety nets in place. In January 2011, we became more aware of the harm that can be caused when a young man took his political views to the extreme in the AZ shootings that killed six and wounded U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. What we as a society will learn from these two most recent violent attacks is yet to be determined. We can hardly find a place in our hearts to assimilate this level of hatred gone so out of control.

Perhaps, as a society we need to take responsibility for the violence we allow young children to witness through movies like Batman and video games that teach how to kill, such as “Angry Birds.”

A whole genre of media glorifies violent attacks by showing good overcoming evil, but unfortunately what is “good” is often in the eyes of the beholder. What is good to me, may not be what you think is good. In this era of situational ethics, groups of people define good or evil and then teach that to the next generation. As the stories around these two most recent massacres unfold, we may learn what groups influenced the actions of the young men who carried out these unbelievable crimes.

What did they endure in their childhood to plan the hurting of others in such destructive and violent ways? The Aurora shootings were the worst mass killing in US History, and now Newtown has topped that one in less than six months! And this group of victims is even younger and more vulnerable. This trend must be stopped. In the past, many of us have turned our heads and looked the other way when the questions come up, “Does violent entertainment cause violence?” or “Will gun control laws be the answer?” The usual academic argument is that billions partake in violent media and millions have permits to carry guns, yet do not go out and shoot people, so these things alone cannot be the cause.

I agree.

I alone can do nothing about the mega bucks earned by an industry that perpetuates violent media enjoyed by so many as a catharsis. However, for those of us who do not see the value in this method of relief, I offer a solution for working within our individual hearts and minds to clear the internal fear energy many of us experience after such violent attacks.

I would love to schedule a FREE Discovery Session with you to see if we are a fit to work together to ease our collective pain. Please give me a call at 303-428-0968 to schedule 30 minutes of your time with me. I look forward to serving YOU!

End of the world as we know it?

The buzz about the end of the world in Dec. 2012 reminds me of the split between mind and body. Is this a political or a metaphysical question? We never actually know what is going to happen next, no matter how much we plan and prepare.

When we take a vacation, we trace our route and say we want to be at one place on this date, and another on that date. Mostly it works, but sometimes there are unexpected turns in the road and magnificent things to see and do that were not planned. Other times mistakes are made and we have to retrace our route, or we lose “time” because we lock the keys in the car, or we sleep poorly because we picked the wrong motel.

When we go to work day after day, mostly we know what to expect and it can be exciting when something different occurs. Sometimes the phone suddenly rings and every thing we planned to do changes. Other times, it is the same ole, same old. One never knows. However, we continue to have expectations and to set our intentions about how we want something to work. If we can live in the mystery of not knowing what is around the next corner, we can always be excited and surprized by what happens. When we have expectations, we are often disappointed.

Which way would you rather live? In disappointment or surprize and excitement? I am one of those people who don’t like surprizes, but I don’t like to be disappointed either, so what is a girl to do?

I like setting my intentions and then love with my arms wide open, letting happen what ever happens and surrendering to the moment. This is not always easy, but recent health problems have left me not knowing what is going to happen next. I am learning to live in the mystery and allowing myself to be pleased with the outcome, what ever it is . This has forced me to slow down and take what comes. It is a hard lesson. My body and mind are not in agreement. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, and other times my whole self says, “Let’s go!” Yet I don’t have an ounce of energy to follow through.

How does this work for you? And what do you think is going to happen next? I’d love your comments!