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?

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.