Relationship Tip #7: Discipline. No, I’m NOT talking about bondage and spanking. Think the way a Buddhist has the discipline of meditation or the body builder has the discipline of building her/his body. It’s self-discipline. We take our values, boundaries, and aspirations and turn them into the meditation of lives. We make them into a workout that we do everyday whether we like it or not. It’s about owning my values and walking the talk. I’m learning this all the time and deeper and deeper. It starts with getting really clear and then following that clarity. When I have a discipline I am steady and grounded in the moment. I am solid and connected as an Oak and it makes me someone that others can count on, and I can count of myself, because I know myself.
One time, I went to a customer service department to get help in resolving an issue. The woman at the counter came around the counter and walked with me down the hall, making nice chit chat. Then, once we were down the hall, she told me that the company appreciated me, yet they weren’t going to do anything to help me or resolve the problem in any way. She wished me all the best and walked back to her customer service counter. This is a strategy and frankly it didn’t work. It left me feeling angry and manipulated. I walked right back to the counter and asked for her manager, who also tried to walk me down the hall. And now my complaint was more about the manipulative way that I was treated. In the end, the company gave me what I had originally asked for, yet, I was left with this yucky feeling about being manipulated. Despite years of customer loyalty to that company, I’ve never gone back. This is the problem with having a strategy.
I’ve noticed that many of my clients call me in times of confusion and stress in their relationship and they’re looking for strategies. They want to know how to change the situation, change the other person, change themselves. All this instead of just having a relationship. Instead of saying, doing or feeling what’s right in front of them. I understand this completely. It’s hard to rock the boat. We get scared and mostly we are scared of these three things. 1. The other person will be hurt. 2. The other person will hurt us. 3. It will cause damage that will never be undone. So people do things like, have the conversation in their head and come up with the worst possible scenario. Tell the person indirectly or passively aggressively. Blame themselves. Or, don’t take responsibility for themselves.
It means doing something most of don’t want to do, ever. And that is lose control. Or at least not be in control. And that’s ultimately what a strategy is. It’s controlling the situation for our own benefit and comfort. And that is a relationship for one.
My very best advice is to rock the boat. Say what you need to say, do what you need to do and especially feel what you need to feel. Because when you operate from a strategy instead of being in relationship, you in a strategy. It feels weird to be in a strategy. It feels better to connect and get through things.
Relationship Tip #13: If you loved them, love them enough to wish them true love forever. Do yourself a favour, wish all your former loves true love in their lives. Be joyful and celebrate when they meet the “one”. By doing that you love yourself. I dedicate this little song to all the men I’ve loved before (and all the crushes and infatuations too):
Relationship Tip #6: How to be a powerful communicator. Three very important rules. 1. Notice how you feel and make sure that what you say matches what you feel. Example: When you’re disappointed and you say “that’s ok”, when in fact, you feel disappointed. So the truthful answer is “I feel disappointed”. Don’t make a production of it. Just say the truth.
2. When someone says something that gives you the ickies, call the ickie out. This means, when someone says something that leaves you feeling guilty, embarrassed, discredited, angry.., instead of staying silent (which is what most of us do) or going into a big defence, or , say “That didn’t feel good” or event just “yuck”, or “ouch”
3. When you say something leave out any agenda, hinting, strategizing and drama. This means that if you want someone to do something, know something, be something to you or you’re simply pissed off…, you say it in a very clear way. And always from an “I” statement. As soon as you make someone else responsible for your feelings and desires you’re in drama territory.
Remember to talk responsibly, and as always, if you’ve bungled your way through it, let yourself off the hook and forgive yourself.
Relationship Tip #5: If you find yourself complaining about someone, or trying to figure out what they’re thinking or how to deal with someone to everyone but the actual person. This is you experiencing an intimacy wall. There are 3 really big reasons to push through this wall.
1. Complaining to others is detrimental to your relationship. If your person knew… they would feel betrayed. And they would be right. You are actively betraying that person. And further to that, you are actively betraying your relationship. There are 3 parties in each group of 2. You, them and the relationship. So, yes, this means you are also betraying yourself.
2. Unless you’re talking to a relationship guru, coach or a full-on psychic your complaint-mates really don’t have a clue. And neither do you. How often have you thought I can’t say this or that because it will they will say that or this… only to discover that you were wrong.
3. No one grows from this kind of experience. You may feel a little better, because you feel right or justafied. These are the times that you get to learn about your self and become a bigger person and go deeper into intimacy. You get to take responsibility. And everytime we get through these things, the relationship becomes deeper. EVERYTIME.
As always, if you have been doing this… forgive yourself.
Relationship Tip #3: Forgive people when they’re up against their intimacy wall. When your person (husband, wife, child, co-worker) has withdrawn in a variety of ways (on the computer, in a project, watching tv, just being silent or spending tonnes of time outside the house), it suggests that they’ve hit an intimacy wall. First rule don’t take it personally. It means they have gone as far as they can before they have to make a really big push to get through it. Second, acknowledge and encourage them in a loving way. “I miss you and I want you back.” Third, invite them back in: “It would feel good to go for a drive [or cuddle or prepare a meal together, whatever it is you had fun times doing]. Fourth, let go of expectations. It will often take awhile for the message to get through. Leave it with them and keep your heart open. You can’t push them through it, they have to go through on their own. This means letting go of being right and needing to control. And leads to the fifth point: take care of yourself. You have your own walls and limits. Make life good for you. Notice where you’re blocked and take care of it. It will change your energy and open people up around you.