She is the Door

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She is the Door

by Vince Gowmon From Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart   She is the door. She won’t let you in until you surrender to her, until you set down the tattered old baggage you have carried and worshipped these many years. Drop the illusions of your mind, the ideas of who you are: the bluster, the charm, the false pretense, the wild, well-versed stories you tell so well. The ones you have deceived so many others with. None will work with her, her piercing eyes see right through them. None will be the key that opens the door, that opens her heart. Leave them at the threshold, let them slip from your hand and fall crashing to the floor, leaving you naked, […]

One Simple Question to Help You Avoid Misunderstandings

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One Simple Question to Help You Avoid Misunderstandings

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci Assumptions and misunderstandings are a natural part of relationships. Communication is, after all, complex. Like relationships, it is not straightforward. There are plenty of reasons why we would mishear or misinterpret what the other person is saying, and veer off our desired course of discourse. Here are a few… 6 reasons we misunderstand “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” ~ Bob Talbert Skill deficiency – Few of us have ever received communication training. We have been taught how to spell, count to 10, and to know who shot whom in 1910; we have been trained to run a database, create a business plan and file a […]

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 […]

Give People Something to Play With ~ Enrolling Others into the Spirit of Yes And

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Give People Something to Play With ~ Enrolling Others into the Spirit of Yes And

The more you give people things to play with, the more they can give back to you, and the world! When you practice the Spirit of Yes And, you discover how easy it is to make people smile in the simplest ways. Their smile opens them up to their heart, and more fully allows them to give back. I was standing at a grocery checkout line waiting to purchase a whole pie for a potluck, when an elderly lady in front of me turned around and said, “That looks like a yummy pie!” I was happy! She was inviting me to play! “Yes it is,” I replied. “I plan to eat it all myself!” Grin! I passed the ball back to her. And then she smiled and laughed. I […]

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 […]

How to Turn a Snake into a Sword ~ From Reasoning to Playing Along

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How to Turn a Snake into a Sword ~ From Reasoning to Playing Along

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt A three-year-old girl was attempting to play with her older brothers who were messing around with swords. The mother didn’t know why she was bothering her brothers’ boyish fun, and was tempted to redirect her to something more suitable. In that moment, however, she caught herself. She went on to say, “Instead of reasoning, I met her in her world.” The daughter had a toy snake in her hand, and the mother moved next to her and suggested that maybe she could use it as a sword. She played along with her daughter’s imaginative impulses, and validated her in the process. Mom parked her […]

Speaking on Behalf of the Relationship ~ Creating Safety & Openness in Conversation

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Speaking on Behalf of the Relationship ~ Creating Safety & Openness in Conversation

Beware! Saying “You” in conversations can be dangerous! We all know what it is like when someone says to us, “You need to…”, or “Why are you always…?” It immediately puts us on the defensive. Speaking on behalf of ourselves is effective. Saying I, Me, My, and Mine helps people stay open to what we are saying. But so does speaking on behalf of the relationship. Recently I had a conversation with someone that left me feeling confused. Instead of saying, “You confused me,” I said, “Our conversation confused me.” By using the word “Our” I point to the relationship. I, of course, could also have said, “I feel confused,” and that would have been fine as well. Other examples of speaking on behalf of […]

Doing For Versus Playing With ~ Balancing Responsibilities with Joyful Connection

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Doing For Versus Playing With ~ Balancing Responsibilities with Joyful Connection

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.” ~ Richard L. Evans   An interesting question to ask yourself is, How much did your parents play with you when you were a child? If you were one of the lucky ones, your parents played with you a lot. But for so many others, their parents were focused more on the responsibilities of being a parent than on being a playful companion. This the difference between doing for and playing with.  When we do for, we are less connected to the other, and more focused on an agenda in our minds such as driving our kids somewhere or cooking dinner. We are task oriented and in doing […]

Asking for Help ~ A Wonderful Way to Give

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Asking for Help ~ A Wonderful Way to Give

What if asking for help is an act of giving? It is one of the hardest things to do it seems. In asking for help we are afraid that we might be burdening others, or that our wish will go unanswered leaving us feeling disappointed…again. Or maybe we feel that if we ask for help we will be judged as incompetent, giving our boss reason to not grant us that raise. Or perhaps we don’t want to feel vulnerable, and admit to ourselves that maybe we don’t have all the answers and can’t do it alone. It also doesn’t help when we live in a society that says giving is better than receiving, putting ourselves first is bad or selfish, and we must be strong. […]

Owning Your 50% ~ Transforming Conflict into Growth

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Owning Your 50% ~ Transforming Conflict into Growth

In the heat of conflict it is much easier to react than to stay grounded and open. We default to defending our position rather than taking responsibility for our part. We are always playing a role in conflict, whether it is on an overt or subtle level. Owning our 50% takes self-awareness and humility – we must surrender our position and explore how we have contributed to the situation. Recently a friend was upset that I didn’t get back to her sooner. I told her that from my point of view I didn’t feel a need to rush a response. However, from her point of view it only made sense that I would get back within a day. Instead of looking to strengthen my position […]