2 Questions to Transform Conflict into Empowerment

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2 Questions to Transform Conflict into Empowerment

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” ~ Barbara De Angelis In any relationship system (romance, family, friends, teams, communities), it is inevitable that buttons are pushed, and conflicts arise. Perhaps we are triggered by how someone speaks to us, or we withhold from sharing our feelings and ideas due to fear of rejection. Relationship systems are bound to make us feel unsettled. But that is exactly their purpose. They serve to rattle […]

Remembering Joy ~ Touching the Immeasurable Essence of Life

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Remembering Joy ~ Touching the Immeasurable Essence of Life

The more you teach the measurable, the more children will feel like they can never measure up. Since our early years, we have been inculcated with that which is measurable. We have not been fully supported to gaze in wonder at a butterfly, and explore the feelings and insights it gives us. Instead, increasingly we’ve had to know about it – to understand what kind of butterfly it is, how/where it flies, and what it eats. Rational thought and knowledge has indeed surpassed the purity of wonder. Knowing about has usurped our ability and desire to just be with—to commune with our surroundings, to be present with life. With pressures from parents and schools, and influences from society as a whole, we have become gatherers of the information age, conquers of time and […]

When You Slow Down Enough

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When You Slow Down Enough

by Vince Gowmon From Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart   When you slow down enough you no longer fear the silence of space and all it holds. In embracing stillness you discover that which you never knew existed or was possible, and you meet your Self and life perhaps for the very first time. When you slow down enough you finally feel the feelings and hear the words you have been avoiding all these many years. Those knocks on the door, those peering eyes that have been trying to capture your attention from the shadows, the long lost dream that once carried you away, far away, many moons ago. When you slow down enough you no longer fear your aloneness. You […]

Play is Training for the Real World

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Play is Training for the Real World

What skills and attitudes are needed to live in the real world? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” ~ Woody Allen When you look at the two paths expressed in the image above, what would you say are the skills needed to travel the path above versus below? How do we need to be? What attitudes are necessary? In considering the path below, I would guess one of the first skills or attitudes you thought of was flexibility. (I say this because when I ask my playshop participants the same question it seems to always be the first answer shared, not just by one person, but many, which I find personally interesting!). I would also guess that you might […]

It’s Time to Be the Leader You Are Waiting For ~ Step into Your Self, Dreams and Life!

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It’s Time to Be the Leader You Are Waiting For ~ Step into Your Self, Dreams and Life!

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”  ~Alan Cohen There comes a point when the life we are living is no longer enough. It is no longer feeding our soul, or representative of who we are and the values we hold. While this recognition can feel daunting, it is a moment in life that is ripe with opportunity. Because by recognizing and accepting it, we begin the process of opening to something greater. By traversing these crossroads, we start to truly live our life, […]

20 Questions to Enhance Conversations ~ Moving from Yes to Yes And

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20 Questions to Enhance Conversations ~ Moving from Yes to Yes And

There are some people who Yes, and some who Yes And. When we share something about ourselves with others, some people respond just by saying, “Cool”, or “Great”, or “That’s interesting.” They offer some form of acknowledgement. That’s the Yes of Yes And. And then there are those who offer an acknowledgment, AND then ask a question that further explores what we shared. They say, for instance, “Wow, that’s fascinating (Yes). What was that like for you? (And)” We love it when people show genuine interest in us. Whether it is simply a check in to see how our doctor’s appointment went, or a series of questions, it feels good when people are genuinely interested in us. It feels like the person cares about us and our […]

Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

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Liberating Yourself and Others from the Need to Agree ~ Entering the Dance of Connection

One of the most beautiful things we can experience is a connection with another person. Being able to connect is a gift in that it gives each person the opportunity to safely open and share their authentic feelings, desires and concerns. However, often when one person meets another with an agenda, the connection is broken because he is no longer open to what the other has to say. He is not meeting her in her reality, but rather attempting to align her with his own. To align without agreement is to communicate, “I don’t agree with you, and I am still with you.” I am here for you and with you, and I am willing to open to your world even if I am not […]

Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

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Your Presence is Enough ~ Giving the Gift of Your Self in Conversation

When I teach listening skills, my participants struggle with simply being still and present when someone else is sharing something personal with them. It is not enough, in their mind, just to be with them. They must at least nod, or verbally acknowledge the other person in some way, and make them feel that they are being attended to. We must do in conversation, not just be in conversation! This need stems from a deep and old belief that who we are being is not enough. Our presence, and the gift of our spirit, is simply not enough! When we realize how powerful we are, we don’t doubt the gift of our presence. By resting more fully into our deeper Self, we can rest more fully in the conversation. Spaciousness is created […]

4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

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4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

We are well conditioned to believe that it is our job to fix others and solve their problems for them. If we see someone struggling or uncertain, we are quick to race in and save them from their challenges. We have been trained to see this as an act of care, a gift to another. But is it really?  What is it that we may be assuming and impeding by jumping in and acting as the savior? Perhaps it is more about our thoughts, needs and feelings than theirs. Reason #1: People are more capable and resourceful than you think We are born with much more inherent capacity and resourcefulness than we know. Unfortunately, we don’t realize this because we have been treated otherwise our […]

Embracing the Space Between ~ Falling Into a Sea of Possibilities

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Embracing the Space Between ~ Falling Into a Sea of Possibilities

Everything you want is in the space between. When you embrace the emptiness of space, you fall into the fullness of space, and all it holds for you. It is often without our choosing that we are forced into the space between. Maybe we have lost a job, or a relationship, or the dream we have held so long. But in what appears to be nothing but an empty space, when embraced, lies a universe of possibilities greater than the plans we’ve conjured up. What if emptiness was productive? Opportunistic? It doesn’t sound so, and certainly it goes against all our upbringing and the values of our society to believe so. But what if by allowing things to sit, to simmer, we discover what we […]