Public vs Private

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Public vs Private

The launch of Sheri Winston’s book was successful. My visit with the father of my grown children also went well at beautiful Pipe Lake near Seattle. A weekend like this pushes my public vs private conflict big time. I have always been open with my kids, there is very little they do not know about me and my life including my sexuality. It is one of the reasons my marriage ended.

I believe”sex” and intimacy issues are a normal part of life. Honesty and openness are my highest values in every relationship.

Because of this I am honest about my attraction to women as well as men. In many circles this is a no-no. You are supposed to choose. Make one commitment to last the rest of your life. It used to be like that for heterosexuals, however today they have more freedom than when I was growing up.  Homosexuality is also more acceptable. But the stigma around loving more than one remains, although this too is changing.

Polyamory is becoming a choice for many. What is your honest choice?

 

 

Affectionate Touch

We can live our whole lives without sex, but we have a need for touch and affection.

Many think the only way to get touched is through sex. Cuddle Party provides an opportunity for safe, affectionate, nurturing touch.  People attend these part-workshop, part social event in order to meet new people, have comfortable conversation and to get their touch quota met. Cuddle Party is held about once per month in Denver, CO and many other cities around the world. Check out www.cuddleparty.com for more info and to RSVP this Sunday, Sept. 4th @ 3 pm.

SEE videos and lots of testimonials.

Watery Rainbows

Our bodies consist of mostly water, as hard as that is to comprehend. Although it appears to be different, this is not a solid universe. Everything is fluid. Babies enter this world from a watery sack, and my idea of a “good” death is to float away in a warm body of water.

Water is interesting because the same cup can be liquid, solid (ice) or gas (steam), in just a matter of several minutes. Sometimes all of life seems to be as fluid. Within minutes, our lives can change.

When my oldest son, Joe, was 10 years old, we moved from a small, quiet community in West Virginia to a large, busy suburb of Los Angles. Within the first month after we arrived, he was in a serious accident. In the minutes that followed, many lives changed. The older couple driving the van that ran over him were in shock. They drove down their same street every Thursday afternoon at the same time, but that day was different. Suddenly a young boy was under their front tire.

I was painting a kitchen cupboard in the old house we had moved into earlier that week. Joe’s younger brothers and sister were playing in the side yard. We all heard the screech of the tires and ran to see the disaster. All of our lives changed in that moment. When the ambulance arrived, they actually jacked the van off his right arm. Joe had tire tracks up his chest, but no broken bones except in his wrist. He was unconscious and remained in a coma for the next several weeks. We were all stunned and basically unable to function. The following months of intensive care and surgical procedures were a night mare, and none of us awoke from the shock until he regained consciousness. When he spoke it was a miracle!

And our lives changed again. Years of rehabilitation followed. I was now the young mother of a handicapped child, and his siblings suffered from the lack of my attention. I did my best to make certain they were included in future planning when we moved from that house, and then moved again and again due to circumstances that were far beyond our control. Thirty plus years later, we seldom talk about this day. But it is in the air, a part of our shared history.

All family relationships share history. Some are happy memories and others more complicated like the scene described above. Like water, some are fluid and difficult to recall, some are frozen like ice in our memory, others drift away like steam, never be remembered. But the trauma or residue of difficult memories remains in our tissues. As we get older, the pain of living shows up in our bodies. It often appears as anger or resentment in new relationships when words or actions trigger old hurts. This has been true throughout history and is a natural part of the aging process.

Many different therapies and interventions have evolved to facilitate the relief of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual pain that is part of being human. Some take the form of religious beliefs, others take a more rational, scientific or logical approach. They provide release mechanisms that are opportunities to take action, and consciously let go of past hurts. Smoking, prescription and non-prescription drugs and alcohol, mindlessly watching TV, and shopping are other ways people choose to avoid feeling the hurts. There is nothing wrong with any of these as long as they are done in moderation, including moderate religious beliefs and scientific explanations. The point is to live remembering that life is fluid, and that like water it can also be solid or elusive. As we move from day to day and month to month, from one state of consciousness to another, the best thing to do is let go of the past and LIVE to fullest extent. Find joy and pleasure where we can and Focus on the positive rather than negative outcomes of each situation.

Radical Conversations in Relationships

When we truly want to learn more about another person, there is unlimited value in the process of deep communication.  Good business team building and satisfying romantic partnerships both require communication that results in radical conversations.

Radical conversation involves full sharing and disclosure of information pertinent to the task or issues. Making time to discern what is important to each situation results in greater success on current projects and greater personal health. Each radical conversation leads to the self-discovery of what it is like to be me, while hearing what it is like to be you. When each one desires to continuously discover more about both our self AND the other person, this kind of exchange can fulfill  the promise of learning more about the core of our being.

When we are able to understand the other people we work with, or live with, the result is healthier relationships on every level. This does not require a tremendous amount of time once common language regarding personality traits and temperament is established. The next step is the self-awareness to take responsibility as we speak.  And lastly a willingness to withstand a genuine encounter with the truly Other.

This level of communication requires that:

1} The people involved commit to sustaining the conversation over time. Not everything can be disclosed without previous thought and reflection.

2) Each person agrees to talk openly about their values and assumes responsibility for their own psychological well-being. This means thinking before speaking and knowing your personal boundaries regarding what is important to expose at work and a willingness toward full exposure at home.

3) Each must commit to sharing their own experience without reproaching the others about past hurts or future expectations. Similarly, each one listens to the others without feeling defensive about what is being said. Know that a person’s sharing is always more about them, even if it seems to be directed toward you. Quit taking it personally.

The joy of Exploring Into-me-see at this level requires some effort, but the results can be so rewarding, that it is worth the effort. Learn more in Exploring Intimacy: Cultivating Healthy Relationships through Insight and Intuition, published by Rowman and Littlefield, 2010.

Available at www.amazon.com,  www.SuzannRobins.com or www.wild iris market

Relationships @work

Team building is essential to form a healthy network among individuals who work TOGETHER toward common interests and objectives. Practical steps can be taken to build and stabilize what is known as “social coherence.” Social coherence occurs when a harmonious alignment of various relationships allows for the efficient flow of physical and psychic energy. Adequate communication skills must be utilized for optimal collective cohesion, which then results in a working group taking positive action toward an end goal rather than becoming entangled in negative emotions.

Cultivating Healthy Relationships through Insight and Intuition

Suzann addresses relationship issues both at home and at work

Contemporary scientists have determined that every emotion results in a physiological response called “stress.” Mentally, we label the quality of our response as positive or negative. During a perceived positive response the internal process is efficient, free-flowing and easy. Negative responses result in anger and resentment that is hard on the body and undermine social cohesion. These negative responses can actually cause the body physical harm, which later results in sickness or ill-health. This leads to the breakdown of the team.

One of the main sources of stress and incoherence, also known as lack of cooperation, stems from communication problems among teammates, almost as if they speak different languages. Co-workers are basically civil and cooperative. However, when a new team comes together, many people have anxieties, judgments, frustrations, and preconceptions that remain under the surface. When these unexpressed feelings remain unspoken, they are unconsciously communicated. This creates energetic separations that result in miscommunication and other relational problems.Task performance suffers. Problem solving, decision making, and activities that require focus and coordination are compromised.

An ongoing practice of communication-building techniques can establish coherence. A new base-line can be established for effectively dealing with stress. This involves learning to recognize and to consciously shift the ongoing emotional undercurrents. Judgments, negative projections, insecurity, and worry that creates incoherence and wastes energy need to be eliminated.

Team coherence can be achieved once individuals are engaged in a simple and fun process of learning communication skills mixed with relaxation techniques that have been shown to increase mental and emotional flexibility. This process can also promote resilience and the capacity for team mates to be in charge of their emotions and in turn their physical and mental health. Flexibility and resilience can dramatically reduce stress-related energy drains during day-to-day activities and interactions, even in the midst of challenging situations.

Stress reduction and relaxation training systems that establish common definitions for emotions, and also utilize the breath and creative visualization, have been used with individuals in health care, education, law enforcement, corporate and military settings with significantly improved outcomes. Contact Suzann Robins at 303-428-0968 for individual or group coaching on these simple to learn techniques.