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8 Steps to Happier Relationships


Relationship Revolution-
8 Steps to Happier Relationships by Mheyah Bailey
Also published on Metro LivingZine 

I am reminded everyday of the importance of what we choose to say, who we choose to be and how we choose to share what we think, how we feel and what is important to us.
Everything is a message to the world, the people we care about and how we share that message determines the quality of our relationships and the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.
I can guarantee you that if you are experiencing conflict, feeling upset with people and the world around you, your relationships are rocky, you feel alone, disrespected and misunderstood. The opposite can be worse, if you feel apathy, numb and disconnected.

There is a solution and the solution is Radical Responsibility.
The good news: there is no other solution and the bad news: there is no other solution.

The only solution is to look within and discover yourself. Relationships are an open invitation to learn and grow, an opportunity to unearth the truth and find the deeper meaning of what you think and how you feel so you can share the real you.
I believe it is a privileged opportunity to be in relationships that struggle, because those challenges give you the opportunity to look at your part in it and teach you how to be responsible for what you are contributing to the way the relationship is at the moment.

I believe initially we all look outside of ourselves to find the cause of our unhappiness, but the best and worst news is, happiness isn’t outside ourselves; it is all to be found inside. The majority of my clients arrive for a first session complaining about their partners and what they are doing wrong to make them unhappy. It can be a hard concept to grasp that relationships are really individual inside work and to create truly happy successful relationships each person in the partnership will have to be radically responsible for themselves.

8 Steps you can take today to create a Happier Relationship:

Show Up
Although our culture has framed dependency as a bad thing, a weakness, it is not. Being attached to someone provides our greatest sense of security and safety. It means depending on a partner to respond when you call, to know that you matter to him or her, that you are cherished, and that they will respond to your emotional needs” And of course this is where being COMMITTED is of the utmost importance as other people need to know that you aren’t going anywhere, that you will do what you say you will do, that you are committed to the process, even through the challenging conversations that aren’t easy to have, that you won’t go far when you need space and that you can be relied on to come back, that you are reliable to follow through, that you are committed to the values that are important to you both, like honesty or integrity, that you have an agreement of acceptable behaviour between you, are loyal, collaborative, caring, compassionate, are on the same team, that you show up like you say you will, that you accept responsibility for yourself, that you are consistent, that you can depend on one another……………this all builds TRUST. Partners need to know that you choose them everyday over everyone else.
This is showing up.
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Take Time Out
Just like a wayward child we all need a time out sometimes and we all need to take responsibility for when we need that time out. If we are tired, stressed, upset, not emotionally available, physically drained, on overload or flooded it is our responsibility to look after ourselves. Take a time out and do what you need to do to regroup. It is important to manage stress and process what we are stressed or upset about. Some people watch TV, listen to music, read, meditate, exercise, walk in nature, get away for the weekend or spend time with friends etc. I am sure you have your own list. There are two caveats to taking a timeout that are most important.

1. Let your partner, friend or colleague know that you need to regroup and assure them that you will be back and state when you will be able to that. This builds trust and safety.
2. We all have our exits in life and I would like to suggest that there are positive ways to manage stress and negative ones. Some activities will damage your relationships and cause harm to you and everyone around you, so choose wisely what you do to manage stress and upset. Everyday you get to choose what you want more of in your life.
So ask yourself “ Will this bring me more connection, love and success or less connection, love and success” Your choice 

TimeOut

Have Compassion
For any successful healthy relationship both parties need to feel heard, understood, appreciated and accepted. To achieve that we all need to have an endless well of compassion. If we are to improve our connections with others we need to suspend judgment, our own self-talk and reactivity. Empathy and compassion are the underlying premise of all positive connections and conversations and is the cord between hearts. Compassion is different than sympathy and is simply the ability to remain in an open loving heart and be with someone else’s pain and upset even when it is sometimes directed at you. This often is difficult to actually achieve, however it is vitally important to any relationship personally or professionally.

Compassion is a Verb

Be Vulnerable- Have Courage
Suffice to say that relationships need a lot of courage. To be in a healthy relationship one needs to be vulnerable, which of course is the proverbial double edged sword or catch 22, because to be vulnerable means to be open to hurt and pain. So if you have to be vulnerable to have a healthy working relationship it will definitely take a lot of courage to come from that open vulnerable place. When our hearts or reputation or ego’s are involved it takes monumental courage to face ones fear of potential abandonment, criticism, feeling rejected or unlovable.

BRENE BROWN says: “Vulnerability is scary, but it’s also a powerful and authentic way to live. Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences. She defines vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure”
Think about the vulnerability it takes to love someone – whether it’s your parents, siblings, spouse or close friends. Love is filled with uncertainties and risks.
As Brown notes, the person you love might or might not love you back. They might be in your life for a long time or they might not. They might be terrifically loyal or they might stab you in the back. Think about the vulnerability it takes to share your ideas with the world, not knowing how your work will be perceived. You might be appreciated, laughed at or downright skewered. Vulnerability is hard. But what can make it even harder — needlessly so — are the inaccurate assumptions we hold about it, like vulnerability is being weak, some of us don’t experience vulnerability or that to be vulnerable you must spill all your secrets. Vulnerability embraces boundaries and trust. Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them. Being vulnerable takes courage. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it to be ourselves, to connect to others”
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Be Creative-Learn-Imagine-Play
Pick a hobby or recreation that you enjoy as it will balance out daily stress. This is one of the most important aspects to happiness in my mind and is also one of the most important aspects for healthy relationships. It is vitally important to continue or find your creative centre for your relationships to thrive. When you feel fulfilled and expressing yourself creatively it will keep your relationship sparkling with enthusiasm and inspiration too.
Learn something new every day-Whenever we learn something new, including new attitudes, perspectives, or behaviors, we are changing the physical structure of the brain. Educate yourself, your mind and your spirit and you will feel happier and your relationships more fun and fulfilling.

 

"respond to every call"

Be Curious
We are all born curious, it is a natural quality we all possess. Curiousity is what makes us humans learn to crawl, seek, taste, see, experience, create, philosophize, dream, explore, change. Curiousity is foundational to all creativity and is an essential principle to creating successful relationships.
Why you might ask? Well if you aren’t curious in life and love then you limit yourself to only what you know already. That will be the limit of your experience and understanding. To seek to understand more is an exceedingly important quality in your relationships because we can never truly understand another persons experience without delving deeper. It is important to not believe we actually know what anyone else is experiencing and to be ever so gently open and non-judgmentally curious.

I believe it is invaluable to be deeply interested in what another person is trying to express with no agenda other than to understand, and in turn being deeply curious about yourself, what you are feeling and what you need to express as well.

Being curious shows that you care, that you are interested; that how the other person feels is important to you and that they are important to you.

While being curious you need to be able to listen without judgment or interrupting. Listening means to be silent and that your brain is entirely engaged with the other person’s experience and how they are feeling as they struggle to express what is going on for them, while also being mindful of your own feelings and responses. Being curious means you ask questions that show your interest in learning more such as:
What is that like? What happened? How do you feel about that? What happened? How do you feel? What is important about that to you? What do you need? Can you help me understand? How can I help?

curious

Be Truthful
As Don Miguel Ruiz says “be impeccable with your word” Tell the truth, don’t tell people what they want to hear or what you think you should say, be honest about what you think, how you feel and what you need however choose your words carefully and follow the golden rules of Connection Point communication.
1. Choose your intention (what you hope will happen)
2. State what happened without criticism or judgment
3. Share how you feel (anger is not a feeling)
4. Explain what you need and value
5. Ask for what you would like to see happen

truth

Be Appreciative
In my experience in life, personally and professionally, it seems to be such an important ingredient to feel APPRECIATED and to have HOPE of that eventuality, which to most of us equates to feeling LOVED.

I am convinced that one of the main reasons relationships break down is because of this lack of feeling APPRECIATED, whether it is a couple, family, friend or professional relationship.

Our level of satisfaction and fulfillment will undoubtedly suffer because of a lack of appreciation. The majority of people who look outside their relationships, look for new jobs or a change in circumstances, generally are looking for appreciation, wanting to feel valued, understood and a connection for which they feel is lacking in their current relationships or situations.
It really doesn’t take a lot to show APPRECIATION, which is a close cousin to good old-fashioned manners. Psychology teaches us that people are motivated to contribute to the greater good and feeling appreciated and valued for what we contribute is the currency for feeling fulfillment and happiness. It doesn’t mean that we need to have appreciation to contribute; it just means that it can be more fulfilling, meaningful and ensure our continued interest in contributing if we do.
I really value knowing I made a difference in someone’s life and am far more motivated by APPRECIATION than money 🙂
I believe APPRECIATION is a very important human need and I think we can all forget to show our appreciation for others and fall into the trap of taking our relationships for granted.
So if LOVE is an ACTION word and APPRECIATION is the currency for fulfillment, how are you going to show your appreciation to others today.
I will show

Let have an appreciation-day
Here are some suggestions.

  1. Notice and acknowledge a job completed
  2. Say thank you to someone for the difference they make in your life, even the little things, because the little things are really important. (I think I may not have thanked my husband for bringing me tea in bed every morning)
  3. Doing the APPRECIATION exercise. Three things I really appreciate about you today is……….and this works great with your children (or employees) and helps build their confidence, self esteem and their trust in their value to their community or family in the case of ones children
  4. Do something for someone without expectation of anything in return
  5. Give positive feedback ie: Wow the dinner is amazing. Thank you for making it for us or thank you for ensuring those emails got out or….
  6. Send a card to thank someone for something you really value they do or did for you
  7. Hug people you care about, hug people just because…..
  8. Say I love you and WHY you love them, not just the 3 words but add what it is about them that you value, admire and respect.
  9. Call, text or email just because you want to positively connect
  10. Notice all the jobs that get done and mention that you noticed
  11. Leave a note of appreciation for someone to find. It’s called A NICE NOTE!
  12. Use reflective listening so others know you really heard them

Go be happy and create positive connections and change your relationships one conversation at a time.

loveLove Mheyah ♥
Please connect with me at
www.connectionpointcentre.com
or by email at mheyah@gmail.com

facebook@connectionpointcentre
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Do you know how TRUTH builds TRUST?

A Real Conversation in Successful Communication Made Simple by Mheyah Bailey
Also published on Metro LivingZine

This is not a blog about my Dad and I, but is about the value for all relationships if we know and understand ourselves enough to express what we need and want, and to trust ourselves to express it in ways that will create positive connection instead of disharmony.
It is also about being honest over believing you need to be responsible for protecting others from the truth. I have always maintained that even a challenging truth is better than any other kind of conversation.

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My wonderful Dad & I

What has compelled me to write this was a most interesting conversation I had with my Dad the other day. During the conversation it became glaringly obvious that I wasn’t trusting him.
Wow was I shocked when it hit me right in the middle of the conversation that I didn’t trust him. I mean gobsmacked, couldn’t speak, heart in mouth, as this awareness went profoundly against my belief about our relationship. I thought I could trust my Dad implicitly and of course I can in so many ways. I do trust my Dad to be there for me always, I trust him to protect me in the usual ways a Dad looks after his girl, I trust him to listen to me, to have compassion for me, he is really great when I cry because all he says is “there there and I love you” or “wish I was there to give you a hug” and he is still reliable to support me whenever I need help. Let me be really clear that my father is the kindest, most loving, caring, special man and I am honoured and proud to be his daughter.
I love him with all my heart.
Having said that I also don’t trust him. I don’t trust him when it comes to telling me the truth. Let me explain before you are shocked. He doesn’t overtly lie, no no no, he would never ever lie, he is a man of honour but he doesn’t tell me the truth in a few ways; by omission, by deflection or by being nice.

He is so nice and accommodating that I can’t trust him to tell me the truth about what he really wants and needs. He won’t tell me the truth because he loves me, is afraid and doesn’t trust me.
From long experience I know that he will not be honest if he thinks telling me the truth will hurt my feelings, he will not tell me something if it may upset me or if he is worried I may disapprove or disagree or any myriad of things that he perceives might compromise the balance of our relationship. He will always acquiesce to what I want instead of telling me what he wants. He doesn’t TRUST me to hear his TRUTH.
One standard conversation we always have is around getting together and when I ask him what he would like to do or where he would like to go, his standard response is “whatever you would like sweetheart”
This is my Dad’s standard response to most things and with most people. Like I said he is the nicest man you could meet, except if I ask him if he will look after the cat. He is clear about that. NO cat……. 🙂 I could tell he was being truthful then.

My Ziggy
My Ziggy

My Dad always tries to avoid any potential conflict or upset so his strategy for that is to be nice, accommodating, compromising, easy going and that is not always what he wants or needs, but will do it anyway.
Do you know anyone like that?
So the other day when we were talking, I was trying to understand what he really wanted about a very important issue and all of a sudden I could feel how I was not trusting what he was saying to me, I mean I could really feel it in the centre of my being that I did not trust him to tell me the truth. I realized in that moment how “being nice” is not always honest and that in itself can be compromising to any relationship. My Dad’s lifelong fear of any negative responses from anyone led us down this path that was a less than authentic or honest dialogue with distrust on both sides. To be fair most of us have a little bit of this fear leftover from our childhoods and is an operating strategy many use in relationships.
On my Dad’s side he was being overly responsible for my feelings and not trusting I could cope with the truth and there was me, intuitively knowing he wasn’t telling me the truth and not trusting what he was saying. I have to admit to feeling really sad, but only for a minute, when I realized how liberating this new awareness was for both my Dad and myself.
trustThis may sound simple to you, however for me, it was very profound as it explained my lifelong distrust that people do not tell the truth, that we hide behind being nice, politeness, compromising, pretending to be easy going when we aren’t, keeping the peace at all costs, going along because we are afraid of rejection, upset or judgement, hence my path to coaching and counselling. I have always felt the need to understand and to learn the deeper truth of peoples feelings and experiences and through my own life mistakes and disasters the importance of effective, authentic communication and how expressing ourselves in positive ways will create healthier and more successful relationships personally, professionally and globally.

Not only that but it explains my rather tenacious need to be curious and dig deep to find what the truth is, because for me knowing the truth means I can relax and trust someone, it means I won’t go into feeling responsible for others feelings, it means I can feel safe with that person.  Don’t ever say anything slightly ambiguous, sarcastic, incongruent or passive aggressive because I am like a Jack Russell with a bone to get to the deeper meaning of those words.
For me when anyone whether family, friends or colleagues gift me with the simple truth it means I can just relax and be with them, I can be compassionate and not worry because the truth is just simple and they are being responsible for themselves. The truth might be challenging and we might need to sort it out but at least we know what we are dealing with.
Most people don’t set out to be dishonest, usually there is fear at the root and their intention is to either protect themselves or others, but it is a destructive and unfortunate strategy for relationships because it doesn’t get you what you really want and for most of us what we really want is love, to feel understood and appreciated. What we need to find is a positive path to authentic and intimate connection with others through knowing ourselves intimately and having the ability to communicate what we need and want effectively.

One thing for sure going forward, no more Miss Nice Girl for me 🙂
I will be asking for what I need and want, being honest about who I am and communicating with love and compassion because for me I believe that is the only way to successfully create positive relationships with anyone. It has taken me a lifetime to learn how to communicate effectively and my whole purpose in life is to support others to learn the skills more easily so you can put them to use right away and create more success in all areas of your life.

Now for my Dad and I, he is really lucky to have me LOL because through my lifetime of mistakes and bad communicating, I am afterall my fathers daughter, I have now learned the importance of patiently and compassionately asking questions. When I shared my AHA moment with him we ended up having a deep and meaningful conversation and finally discovered the truth.

I did follow my best
5 STEP FORMULA for CREATING SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS

INTENTION, OBSERVATION, FEELINGS, VALUES, REQUEST

For example and hope this is clear. Let me know if it isn’t!!!!!!!!! and I will explain further.

1. INTENTION-Explained that my intention was to understand better what he was trying to say because I was most interested in him being happy and doing what he really wanted because I loved him.

2. OBSERVATION-Told him that when he was not specific and clear about his opinion, talking about others needs and wants instead of his own.  No judgement, just an observation of behaviour and my experience.
3. FEELINGS-How I felt about that and why, the whole distrust part…………
4. VALUES-Explained that I have values for honesty and authenticity because of how it adds to my ability to trust him and the quality of our relationship
5. REQUEST-Asked if he would be willing to tell me more about his reasons and what he really wanted, not what he believed others wanted or needed.

It all worked out very well and I can say in all TRUTH that I feel a deeper level of love and connection with my Dad now and hope he feels the same.

There is an interesting thing about TRUST and TRUTH. If you look at those two words they have the same root, TRU.. so if you want to build TRUST everywhere in your life then you must speak the TRUTH.
One of my favourite quotes, and I love many, but I really love this one
“THE TRUTH IS SIMPLE” but you must TRUST yourself and others to speak the TRUTH and that you build TRUST by being TRUTHFUL.
If you want to learn more about successful effective communication and how it can improve your life and relationships sign up for my blog HERE or below or to the side
My SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION MADE SIMPLE online course is almost complete and I will be sending out more news next week. Don’t miss out.
Communication really is simple…………..

loveLove Mheyah ♥ 
Please connect with me at 

www.connectionpointcentre.com
or by email at mheyah@gmail.com
facebook@connectionpointcentre
twitter@mheyahbailey
instagram@mheyahbailey
pinterest@mheyahbailey

Find out more about Mheyah 

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We are all Committed to Something


Successful Communication Made Simple by Mheyah Bailey
Also published on Metro LivingZine

So this week we have the wonderful C- Word COMMITMENT.
When I started thinking of writing this weeks blog and after getting some great feedback from lots of people,  I realized that really what we have been talking about so far are qualities and principles. I have been calling them steps, which they aren’t really. Total AHA moment.
What I have now created is a SUPER SIMPLE STEP X STEP SYSTEM that has evolved out of all our conversations about the PRINCIPLES and QUALITIES it takes to be a STELLAR COMMUNICATOR.

It is one thing to talk about the principles one needs to positively communicate but entirely another to see what those steps actually look like and have a guide to learn from.
I realized that a Step by Step System could be really helpful for most people.

I know for myself it would be and thought you might appreciate one as well.

For now, I am going to continue with the 5 PRINCIPLES and QUALITIES.  We have already talked about the importance of CONSCIOUSNESS (fancy word for awareness of oneself) COMPASSION (fancy word for caring) and CURIOUSITY (fancy word for seeking to understand) and for today we are going to look at COMMITMENT
Map

So what does it really mean to be COMMITTED
COM-MIT-MENT [kuh-mit-muhnt] noun
1. the act of committing: dedicating, pledging, or engaging oneself.

2. a pledge or promise; obligation
3. engagement; involvement; allegiance; dedicated;
4. an act of committing to a charge or trust
5. the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled
6. being honour bound

There are 3 really important foundational parts to commitment: RESPONSIBILITY, TRUST and super important FOLLOW THROUGH. The really important value about commitment is for the very simple fact as humans one of our core needs is for security and safety, and in our significant LOVE relationships we need safety and security most of all. They have discovered that the relationship we have with our partner is as important a relationship as between a parent and child. Feeling insecure or in doubt about the stability of the connection can leave most people in a fragile state indeed, and this is when communication becomes vital to create the safety that is required for a collaborative loving relationship.

Dr. Sue Johnson creator of Emotional Focused Therapy and the author of a brilliant book Hold Me Tight about attachment theory and emotional connection says:
“We have a wired-in need for emotional contact and responsiveness from significant others. It’s a survival response, the driving force of the bond of security a baby seeks with its mother. This observation is at the heart of attachment theory. A great deal of evidence indicates that the need for secure attachment never disappears; it evolves into the adult need for a secure emotional bond with a partner. Think of how a mother lovingly gazes at her baby, just as two lovers stare into each other’s eyes. Although our culture has framed dependency as a bad thing, a weakness, it is not. Being attached to someone provides our greatest sense of security and safety. It means depending on a partner to respond when you call, to know that you matter to him or her, that you are cherished, and that he will respond to your emotional needs”
And of course this is where being COMMITTED is of the utmost importance as other people need to know that you aren’t going anywhere, that you will do what you say you will do, that you are committed to the process, even through the challenging conversations that aren’t easy to have, that you won’t go far when you need space and that you can be relied on to come back, that you are reliable to follow through, that you are committed to the values that are important to you both, like honesty or integrity, that you have an agreement of acceptable behaviour between you, are loyal, collaborative, caring, compassionate, are on the same team, that you show up like you say you will, that you accept responsibility for yourself, that you are consistant, that you can depend on one another……………this all builds TRUST.
trustThere is a lot more to say on the TRUST topic but suffice to say if you aren’t committed in the ways I have mentioned then TRUST is challenging to earn. I will get into more trust later however the essence is that being committed is essential to building strong relationships , which leads me to RESPONSIBILITY  (great article on Personal Responsibility) which is really the foundation of COMMITMENT and I do have to admit is one of my favourite topics because Personal Responsibility can be the one thing that is the hardest concept to grasp.

We are all 100% responsible for the choices we make everyday, for how we act and behave in any relationship personally or professionally. Being responsible for oneself is a commitment in itself. Hold up your right hand and say “I am 100% responsible for myself, how I act and behave, what I say and do and how I say and do it”
To be reliable and trustworthy takes commitment and what you are committed to shows in your life. Another way to say that, is your life and your relationships are a direct reflection of what you are committed to. We all live in a place of choice and our lives reflect our choices.
If you have a lot of drama in your life then you are committed to drama, if you are committed to love you have loving relationships, I am imagine you get the idea.
I am saying this with the caveat that there are lots of events in our lives we aren’t in control of and that “stuff happens” to all of us that is out of our realm of influence and power.
It can be a challenge to accept a 100% level of responsibility for ourselves, as it is human nature to look outside ourselves for the causes of our challenges, but when we learn to take responsibility and really choose who we want to be, then we have found an important piece to happiness and success.

FOLLOW THROUGH means you will do as you say you will: that is COMMITMENT, and when you follow through consistently you build TRUST, whether it is your special LOVE, KIDS, FRIENDS, PARENTS or CO-WORKERS. So COMMITMENT and RESPONSIBILITY are actions towards improving communication and connection with others.
It may sound like we are only talking about significant LOVE relationships but at the heart of the matter we all need COMMITMENT, TRUST and RESPONSIBILITY in all our relationships personally and professionally.

PLEASE SHARE IF YOU WISH AND TELL ME :  

Change

WHAT ARE YOU CHOOSING TO BE COMMITTED TO?

DO YOU NEED TO TAKE MORE RESPONSIBILITY SOMEWHERE IN YOUR LIFE?

Or please just add your comments and feedback as I am always happy to connect with you

loveLove Mheyah ♥ 
Please connect with me at 

www.connectionpointcentre.com
or by email at mheyah@gmail.com
facebook@connectionpointcentre
twitter@mheyahbailey
instagram@mheyahbailey
pinterest@mheyahbailey

Find out more about Mheyah 

 

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Compassion, Conflict & Courage


Compassion is the antidote to all suffering
Also published on MetroLivingZine

Well this article has taken me a lifetime to write. It really amazes me as I said in an earlier article that as soon as I have an idea of what I am going to share with you it shows up in my life, and this time I don’t mean it showed up lightly, but showed up more like a bull in a china shop, so to speak.

I have used every skill in my toolbox to manage myself in hopes of influencing the situation towards a positive outcome and not create a train wreck.
In fact you might even say I really learned what it means to be “Fiercely Accountable”

It is one thing to learn cognitively what one values, believes and understands about the principles that are important to achieve success, or create happy relationships and a harmonious balanced life, but to actually apply those principles when faced with adversity or conflict is the real test, and does require some real ‘Radical Responsibility” At least it did on my part and also required some integrity to stay in the fire when I actually wanted to run away and hide.

I learned a lot in the past few weeks about myself and feel very humbled and full of gratitude. I don’t feel I would have any right to coach anyone if I had not experienced real human challenges and experienced first hand the huge benefits that can be achieved in life by integrating the 5 Communication Principles that come from connecting with ones own heart, integrity and authenticity. As humans our prime motivator is to love and be loved, and when that is threatened in any way it can seriously test our resolve to remain compassionate, curious and conscious and not dissolve into emotional chaos and fear.
We have been discussing over the past months the 5 Principles for Effective Communication that create successful relationships and we have been delving deeper into each principle and how to develop those abilities and the actions it takes to use them in ones life.
So far we have whittled away at Consciousness and are still learning about Compassion. This week I learned how to use every possible skill I have been taught and integrated into my life over the years and really understood one of the most important aspects of CompassionCompassion really is the antidote to all suffering
Compassion is a Verb

How so, you might ask? Well let me share how so………………
We all want to feel loved, liked, appreciated, valued by our partners, families, colleagues, however as humans we also experience conflict and upset at times.
It is part of the human condition after all, but it is how we manage those challenges that define us to ourselves and to others. My idea of being Radically Responsible means that for me, I show up with heart, authenticity, honesty, integrity, humility, grace and dignity. I do my best, fall down a lot and pick myself up to do my best another day.

This is a story about the process of reaching a compassionate place in the face of conflict. I think it is fair to say that most of our suffering can be linked to our:

  1. THINKING-We shouldn’t believe everything we think because our minds create stories about the meaning of events based on our own histories, learning, judgments, social values, assessments, upbringing, attachments and pre-conceived ideas that have become ingrained neural networks that are hardwired in our brains and are what causes our automatic responses. The interesting part about that is; what you believe is true, is not necessarily true. We create stories by filtering external events through our own experiences and we come up with a conclusion we believe to be true. If we believe that conclusion, whether it is positive or negative, that becomes our truth and is where a lot of our joy comes from, but also a lot of our suffering. We only create feelings based on what we think. Hear that again if you will
    “we only create feelings based on what we think”
    Your feelings are never wrong but your thinking might be less than optimal. Use your feelings like clues to discover what you are thinking. Pretend you are a detective on a hunt to solve the mystery of what you really think. I have learned over many years to let my feelings guide me to clarity about what I am really thinking and then I can assess if it is really accurate or if I am misguided in some way. The other part of our thinking that can get us in deep ‘do-do’ is believing that anything means anything about us, or in other words taking it personally. Nothing anyone says or does really means anything about you and is only their interpretation, through their own filters and life experiences.
    I love this quote “don’t believe everything you think” so am learning to really look at what I think so I can decide for myself if there is any truth in what is happening around me.
  1. FEAR. Fear shows up in conflict by upsetting our emotional balance, disturbing our peace of mind, causing us to go into fight or flight mode, our hearts to race, insecurities to show up, childhood wounds to activate, hearts to hurt, defenses and walls to go up. When this happens it is nearly impossible to respond rationally because our brains are telling us there is danger to our wellbeing and safety. Ultimately safety is one of nine of our most primal needs in life.
    When we feel hurt and upset, wounded and defensive, and are suffering, we are usually afraid of one thing. We are afraid of not being loveable, liked or accepted.
    Conflict usually shows up as criticism, blame, rejection, accusations, name-calling, projections and the FEAR that shows up is that we aren’t safe and that some of it might be true. This again comes down again to what we are thinking and what we believe.
    “If you have a sincere and open heart, you naturally feel self- worth and confidence, and there is no need to be fearful of others-Dalai Lama”

This is where my story starts, and it is important to know that usually, I am a happy, “wear my heart on my sleeve” kind of gal, however occasionally when faced with someone else’s upset randomly projected my way I can became quite unhinged, feel hurt, compassion flies out the door and it can be a while before I get around to some rational thinking and feel more grounded again. I can be “so not” Dalai Lama-ish and am human after all.

I sometimes still filter events through my own challenging experiences from childhood, can become easily shocked, wounded and scared out of my mind.
When I feel accused, judged or criticized I can usually remain grounded and not pulled off centre but sometimes, only sometimes, I am vulnerable to emotional invaders and from my childhood self I wonder if what they say is true and I almost believe it as the universal truth, and on and on my mind goes pulling all the evidence through the lens of all my life experiences from childhood with an abusive alcoholic parent, through my challenging teen years and my experiences with critical parents and partners and I can become completely unhinged me, take it personally and feel hurt. Our brains become hardwired to respond in the way we did when trauma first happens and is why it is so hard to manage ourselves once we are re-triggered. It is essentially the same neuro-wiring as PTSD.

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Luckily the unhinging only lasted for a day or so, because I did one really important thing, something I have never done before, something even after all the years of counseling training I still did not understand, after years of thinking about others first, always trying to resolve things immediately because I was afraid if I didn’t work things out my world would not be safe, I would lose love and connection with those that were important to me and that includes people personally and professionally.
I care about those in my life, I want people to like me and there in is where I sometimes get myself into trouble by being over-responsible and driven to have peace and harmony.
This time I knew I needed to do something radically different than I have done in the past, because this was some serious shit going on. This is not a story about what happened but is about how I managed in the midst of trauma and hope that you too will see the wisdom and benefit I am sharing with you when you feel triggered and upset. This is about the principles one needs to action for more peaceful loving relationships.

So instead of how I would normally manage things, for the first time I gave “myself the gift of compassion” and with giving myself compassion first I gave myself time to work it out for me and not try to fix. I think in that moment I realized that the words Radical Responsibility and Fierce Accountability (still really loving those phrases) really mean honouring ones own truth and experience, owning what is, being deeply honest with oneself and others, rather than denying what is real and compromising oneself in the misguided need to be liked and approved by anyone.

I also realized that not everyone is going to like me and when I gave myself compassion for being human I allowed myself some room to process, how I felt, what I was thinking and what was true for me. I didn’t rush from my ‘fear to fix’ which would not have helped the situation.
Compassion is something I always give away to others. I am a Coach, Counsellor and Consultant after all and compassion is the foundation for my connection with everyone, personally and professionally. Compassion is my religion but what I never understood, never integrated, was I needed to have compassion for myself as much as I do for others. I needed to liberally bathe myself in compassion so I could heal my wounds, create some rational thinking and be able to be my best most authentic heart centered self, so I am ‘able and willing’ to resolve differences in the future.

When I had time to sit with how I was feeling and discern what I was thinking I could then ask myself some good questions:

truth

  1. Was it true?
    I realized what others believe is what is true for them, based on their own perceptions and experiences, and their reaction or beliefs have nothing to do with me. I am only a catalyst for someone’s experience as they are for me, and so on that note I chose not to take anything personally or project my history on that moment.
    Really understanding that anyone’s opinion actually says more about them than me caused me be able to move slowly back into rational thought rather than emotional reactivity.
    I do sometimes wish I had the ability to process faster LOL but that is where some more compassion came in and I told myself I am only human and can only do the best I can at any given time. I can’t fight the truth and pretend I am not upset, I have to “be with” being upset. So hard but I do believe that is why counselors and coaches are so invaluable as support. Most people have a real challenge with ‘being with’ how they feel and it can be invaluable to have someone to support you in some of those challenging processes.
  1. Did I believe their version of me?
    I know cognitively that someone only has the power to hurt me if I believe what they say, and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t believe their version of me. They might, but I didn’t. When I realized that I could really only feel hurt and upset if I believed their version of me, and that I unequivocally did not agree with those assessments, I felt completely different and I returned to balance and contentment almost immediately.

Returning to our normal state of balance allows us to then be able to move into resolution with someone more effectively. For me it meant as I moved through a new level of Consciousness, I started again to feel Compassion, Curiousity, Courage and Commitment in the hope and intention of creating a more successful relationship going forward. It does take two people with the same intention and hope but that is my intention anyway.
“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively-Dalai Lama”

I am learning to trust myself more and hope that some of what I have written over the past months will support you  to trust yourself, learn more about what it takes to Create Amazing Wonderful Relationships and help you in creating more Love, Happiness & Success in your life. Please read the other articles in the series from the links below if you are interested and do let me know what you think about my ideas, if you have tried implementing any of the principles or if you ever want to connect, ask questions or ask for support.
Next time we are going to look at how to be curious. Hint: it does NOT include the word Why.

Love Mheyah 
Please connect with me
About Mheyah
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The Act of Compassion

What does it take to be Compassionate?
Also published on Metro LivingZine

Over the past months we have been learning about the 5 Principles for Successful Communication and are delving deeper into what it takes and who we need to be to develop the qualities it takes to embody the 5 Principles which are:
ConsciousnessCompassionCuriousityCourage and Commitment

We are now going to look more deeply at what it means to be Compassionate and how to actually embody Compassion

Firstly what is the definition of Compassion? What does it mean?

COMPASSION: (kuhm-pash-uhn) NOUN: a feeling of deep empathy, care and understanding for another who is upset, hurting, in pain or stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to care for and alleviate the suffering. It means to have heart.

Compassion is a Verb

We all need to learn to have an endless well of compassion if we are to improve our connections with others, which in a lot of cases means we need to suspend judgment, our own self talk and reactivity. Empathy and compassion are the underlying premise of all positive connections and conversations and is the cord between hearts. Compassion is different than sympathy and is simply the ability to remain in an open loving heart and be with someone else’s pain even when it is sometimes directed at you. This can often times be difficult to actually achieve, however it is vitally important to any relationship.

For any successful healthy relationship both parties need to feel heard, understood, appreciated and accepted, however resolution when there are differences or conflict is a process that sometimes cannot happen immediately, but happens over some time, hours, days or weeks even. We sometimes have to be patient with the process. When someone is experiencing upset they may not have the capacity for compassion in that moment and that is why it is so important for any of us to have an endless well of compassion for the person who is experiencing some strong feelings, whatever the cause, even if you are the cause. In our family we call our upsets “big feelings” and we all know when there are some “big feelings” happening that it is our time to bring on the compassion, attentive listening and care for the person having the ‘big feelings”
It is usually in a moment of conflict or upset that our ability to be compassionate flies out the window, which is entirely human, however is where we need to grow as individuals.

There are a few qualities we need to embrace and embody to be able to be compassionate for others in times of stress.

  1. Don’t take anything personally.
    I imagine you may have heard that expression before as it has been widely publicized in the Toltec book; The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, but how do you manage to not take anything personally? Don Miguel says:
    “Nothing others do is because of you.       What others say and do is a projection of their own story. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. We take things personally when we agree with what others have said. If we didn’t agree, the things that others say would not affect us emotionally. If we did not care about what others think about us, their words or behavior could not affect us. Even if someone yells at you, gossips about you, harms you or yours, it still is not about you! Their actions and words are based on what they believe in their personal story”
    To not take what others say personally is a skill for sure, one that takes time to cultivate but can be managed, and is about really integrating deep down this idea that anyone’s reaction has nothing to do with you and is only about them, what they are thinking, the story they have made up about what an event means, that their response is through the lens and perspective they see the world, from all their experiences, upbringing and education. We are shaped from the moment we are born until the day we die. We have the ability to change our perspectives at any given time, however we can only respond and react with the information we have accumulated at any given moment.
    It is a radical gift to allow someone the space to be in his or her own reality and not take responsibility for their experience or by trying to fix them. When we take things personally we are in essence taking responsibility away from someone and it is a true gift of growth to allow someone to take responsibility for their own experience, feelings and needs.
    It isn’t about you, it is about them, it is never about you and only ever about the other person.
    For me being able to have that perspective helps me not take anything personally. I have come to understand that it is never about me and that there is a lovely freedom in not feeling responsible for others reactions, feelings and responses. This allows us to be open in our hearts and offer compassion and curiousity instead of being caught up in the story, which I believe is foundational for loving connection.

    Compassion is the antidote to upset, pain, hurt and conflict. It may sound easy but can be a real challenge. If you also start to react or if you find yourself taking something personally and making it about you, STOP, LOOK & LISTEN which leads us to # 2.
    It is not you
  2. Listening: Manage your reactivity and listen with heart.
    Listening to understand is one of the most important skills to cultivate if you want to have compassion and excel at communication. Authentically listening means you are in your heart and not in your head rebutting, defending, arguing, stonewalling etc or any other myriad of negative reactions that cuts off connection. When you listen, are curious, reflective and responsive then you are able to have compassion. Listening is ultimately respect in one of its highest forms.
    There is no room for compassion if you are not listening with your heart and I believe that the pursuit of love, appreciation and acknowledgement is probably one of our most fundamental human needs and motivators. To authentically listen, it is important to suspend judgment, don’t assume you know, resist fixing, telling, scolding, sharing your advice or opinions. Just LOOK and HEAR with compassion. I can’t say enough about COMPASSION as it is my belief that it is the foundation for all positive human interactions and is what really connects us all heart to heart.
  1. Being in our heart which to me means, just standing in front of someone BEING THERE with no judgment, our body language open and soft, our brains devoid of chatter but full of love and empathy. Encompassing this quality reminds me of a coaching program I attend and support. One of the first things we are told our only job for the week is “just love the people when they walk in the room” which meant so much to me as a concept and went straight to my heart. An AHA moment one might say.Heart in Hand

Just love people where they are; It is the essence of compassion
Our leader from Choices, Thelma Box is a wise woman, and what she meant was no matter what anyone is bringing to the table, your relationship, your workplace, just love them when they come in the room. That is compassion at work.

So as you learn to cultivate compassion, I would like to ask you, what do you need to do, or NOT do, to be more compassionate?

What do you need to say No to? In my case I needed to learn to say NO to fixing people. What do you need to say YES to? I needed to say YES to embracing vulnerability.
What about you, what do you need to say NO to and what do you need to say YES to?

I also would like to suggest that who you choose to be in any given moment will either give you more of what you want or less, so ask yourself:

Are you choosing more connection or disconnection? Am I creating more connection or disconnection? We are all responsible for our reactions and responses and the outcome is up to us.

Who do you need to be today to get more of what you want in your life?
Love Mheyah

Please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
Email: mheyah@gmail.com

love

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Be Benevolent by Rick Hanson

What are your intentions toward others?
The Practice

Be benevolent.

Why?
Benevolence is a fancy word that means something simple: good intentions toward living beings, including oneself.

This goodwill is present in warmth, friendliness, compassion, ordinary decency, fair play, kindness, altruism, generosity, and love. The benevolent heart leans toward others; it is not neutral or indifferent. Benevolence is the opposite of ill will, coldness, prejudice, cruelty, and aggression. We’ve all been benevolent, we all know what it’s like to wish someone well.

Benevolence is widely praised – from parents telling children to share their toys to saints preaching the Golden Rule – because it has so many benefits:

* Benevolence toward oneself is needed to fulfill our three fundamental needs: to avoid harms, approach rewards, and attach to others. When these needs are met, your brain shifts into its Responsive mode, in which the body repairs and refuels itself, you feel peaceful, happy, and loving.

* Benevolence toward others reduces quarrels, builds trust, and is the best-odds strategy to get good treatment in return.

* Benevolence within and between nations promotes the rule of law, educates children, feeds the hungry, supports human rights, offers humanitarian aid, and works for peace. Benevolence toward our planet tries to protect endangered species and reduce global warming.

Of course, this is just a partial list of benefits. Bottom-line, benevolence is good for individuals, relationships, nations, and the world as a whole.

The fact that benevolence is often enlightened self-interest makes it no less warm-hearted and virtuous. And at this time in history when individuals feel increasingly stressed and isolated, when relationships often stand on shaky ground, when international conflicts are fueled by dwindling resources and increasingly lethal weapons, and when humanity is dumping over nine billions tons of carbon each year into the atmosphere (like throwing 5 billion cars a year up into the sky, most of which stay there) – benevolence is not just moral, it’s essential.

But easier said than done.

How can we sustain benevolence in ourselves and in our relationships, nations, and world?

How?
* Know what benevolence feels like in your body, heart, and mind – Bring to mind a sense of warmth and good wishes toward someone. How does this feel? Try on other kinds of benevolence, and toward other beings, to sense what these are like as well.

* Realize that benevolence is natural and normal – In the media, we are so bombarded with words and images of anti-benevolence that you can start to think that ordinary decency and kindness are somehow exotic. But in fact, as we evolved, our ancestors stayed alive and passed on their genes by caring about themselves and others. And given the gratitude and reverence for nature commonly found in hunter-gatherer bands today, they likely also cared about the world upon which they depended.

* Take care of yourself – When your core needs are met – when you’re not stressed by threat, loss, or rejection – the brain defaults to its resting state, its home base. From this home base, most people are fair-minded, empathic, cooperative, compassionate, and kind: in a word, benevolent. While it’s possible to sustain goodwill in a state of fear, frustration, or loneliness, it is sure a lot harder. An undisturbed, healthy brain is a benevolent one.

* Take a stand for benevolence – Establish your intentions formally – perhaps at the start of the day, or during a contemplative practice, or at a meal – to wish yourself and all other beings well. In challenging situations, take care of your needs while also asking yourself, “How could I be benevolent here? How could I restrain any destructive thoughts, words, or deeds? Can I wish for the welfare of others? Can I express compassion and kindness?”

* Step out of your comfort zone – Not doing anything foolish, consider how you could stretch a bit (or more) in your good intentions toward others. For example, seeing people you don’t know, try wishing them well. Or with someone who’s irritating, try looking past the surface to sense this person’s own stress and worries; without waiving your rights, can you find more patience, can you let go of recrimination or payback? Or could you extend yourself with friends or family, maybe doing more dishes or giving someone a ride? In the larger world, consider volunteering some time or giving more to a charity.

* Last, appreciate some of the benevolence that buoys you along – We’ve all been nurtured and protected by friends and family, humanity altogether, and the biosphere. In some sense, there’s an exuberant benevolence in the physical universe itself; consider that most of the atoms in your body – any that are heavier than helium – were born inside an exploding star. Afloat in these gifts, who could not be benevolent?!

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Truth

Communication is the single most important part of creating a healthy relationship. A relationship without communication is like a beautiful flower without water and sunlight, it will quickly wither and die. I don’t care if you think what you have to say is hurtful or you are afraid of expressing yourself, speak your Truth. Be kind, but speak up and be honest. It’s easy to communicate when it’s good news and happy times, but it takes a truly authentic and courageous person to communicate openly and honestly when darkness falls on a relationship.”
 
– Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath.
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Boundaries- What are they?

Bonus Tip of the Week:
“Boundaries are limits that you establish within yourself and express to your partner about what’s acceptable to you and what’s not acceptable-what you’ll tolerate, what you’ll put up with and what the consequences are if your boundaries are crossed.
Boundaries have to do with your own self-respect, your self-esteem, your beliefs, your preferences and what you need and value in relationships.
A partner with healthy, established boundaries, for example, can say, ‘No.’
So, if you have healthy, established boundaries you’re comfortable saying, ‘No.’ You don’t sweat it out, or have anxiety, you don’t worry about it. If something’s not right for you, you can say ‘No.’ A partner with healthy, established boundaries can take responsibility for their own feelings and behavior. They don’t blame their partner for how they feel and don’t take on the role of victim.
It is essential for any successful relationship that both partners are able to clearly and compassionately communicate their boundaries to get their own needs met.  The ability to do this creates a healthy strong foundation for both partners where they can trust each other to speak honestly and truthfully taking any guess work out of the equation.
So if you are unable to speak up and set healthy boundaries from a loving place, learn how. Speaking your truth is a loving act to oneself and another and could save your partnership”
Contact me if you want to learn how to set boundaries
Love Mheyah
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings”. Anais Nin

“To nourish LOVE, learn, grow, heal and replenish it’s source through honest connection”

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What is Communication really? by Mheyah Bailey

“It has been said that the quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives”

People tend to say communication is key” or “you have to communicate to have a good relationship” but honestly, what is good communication?

How is it going to help you create a more loving, peaceful and passionate relationship with your partner?

Simply put, good communication is “heart to heart connection” When we speak from our heart we are being honest and authentic about ourselves creating more understanding,  enabling us to resolve conflicts and show deeper love and appreciation, developing a stronger intimate bond with our significant other.  I am imagining you may be asking  “Well, how do I do that, and what does “heart to heart communication really mean? “

It is actually a simple equation of:                                                                                                                                              Consciousness + Compassion + Collaboration + Curiousity = Connection
When you have created “heart to heart connection “ using the Four C’s , love and passion can be truly ignited and maintained, creating a more intimate and fulfilling love relationship.

There are 5 key elements to great heart centered communication.

1. Consciousness: You need to really know yourself, become aware of your own feelings, needs, vulnerabilities and values and how you become emotionally reactive in relationship with your loved one.  This can be very challenging to learn as it means we all need to become more aware of our underlying feelings, which in conflict or disagreement can be a real struggle. We are usually quite aware of our secondary emotions which show up as feeling upset, annoyed, frustrated, overwhelmed or angry and in our typical way of interacting we are unaware of our underlying primary feelings of fear, hurt, anxiety, sadness, vulnerability, insecurity, shame, feeling unloved, to name only a few.

It takes awareness and practice to notice our real feelings and takes courage to express them.  Usually these are more vulnerable feelings and ones we would prefer not to acknowledge or share with anyone. When we communicate from this more authentic place our partners can hear us differently and as a couple you can collaborate to resolve differences from understanding each other’s deeper feelings, needs and values. This in turn creates a stronger connection between you.

We all need to learn to take responsibility for our own feelings in relationship and learn that there is no room for “blaming or criticism” in any relationship. Blaming/Criticism is one bad habit of the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” which Dr. John Gottman says will doom any relationship to conflict and potential failure.                                                                                                                            The hint here is to only share how you are feeling, what is important to you, without blaming or criticizing anyone else for your experience.  When we learn that each circumstance or upset, no matter what, is our own responsibility, we are becoming emotionally intelligent. How we react to our feelings about anything or anyone says more about our own beliefs, perspectives and imaginings than it does about them or what you may believe they are doing to you.

When I am reacting and not sure of why I am having a reaction I ask myself:  what am I thinking, how am I judging, what am I resisting or attached to and I try to remember not to believe everything I think.

2. Listening: You need to be able to listen without judgment or interrupting.  SSSSHHHH. Listening does not mean that your mouth is moving or that your brain is already in rebuttal mode, it means that you are entirely engaged with your partners experience, how they are feeling as they struggle to express what is going on for them.  It means that you don’t assume that you already know and understand what your partner is trying to express, it doesn’t mean that you take any of what they are saying personally.

It means you are LISTENING INTENTLY to what is being said, what is happening for them, what has upset them, what your partner values and how they want something to be different to fulfill a need they have. A need could be as simple as tidiness or as important as respect, but all worthy of your time, compassion, cooperation and collaboration to resolve.

Then when you have managed this huge feat of listening, you need to find some more…………….

3. Compassion Again:  You need to have an endless well of compassion.         Empathy and compassion are the underlying premise of all heart to heart conversations and is the cord between your two hearts. Compassion is different than sympathy and is simply the ability to remain in your loving heart and be with your partner’s pain even when it is sometimes directed at you. This can be very difficult to actually achieve, however it is vitally important to a loving relationship. You also need to be able to reflect back what you partner is expressing and how it makes sense to you knowing your loved ones values.

Compassionate Reflection is the action required after listening, to show your partner you have heard and understood what they have communicated.

For instance, my son is (occasionally) lovely at showing compassion.  When I am upset he will ask me what I need, what is going on and then after sharing how I feel he will say something like

“Oh Mom I can hear you are feeling hurt and that makes sense to me knowing how relationships are so important to you and how much you value your friendships” Amazing young man, he acknowledged what I was feeling, reflected back compassionately and understood my feelings based on what he knows to be my values.  I feel heard, understood and accepted and to be honest for me, that equates to feeling loved.

“When you truly put your heart on the line and invest selflessly into your relationships you are putting yourself in a vulnerable place but it pays off and the rewards are endless” quote by one “heart centered compassionate wise “16 year old son.

Can you name one person who doesn’t like being understood, acknowledged and appreciated?

4. Curiousity & Collaboration: It is invaluable to be deeply interested in what your partner is expressing, reflect what you heard, check it out, make sure what you heard is what your partner intended to mean, and do your best to understand what is important to them and what they are asking for..

Have you ever listened to a child who is curious about something? They are unequalled in their persistence to get the answers so they can understand.

Curiousity shows that you care, that you are interested, that your partner is important to you and if you can stay curious even in times of conflict, then you have most likely vanquished relationship killers “Assuming and taking things Personally”

This is also where the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse – Defensiveness must not gallop into the relationship.  The opposite of curiousity is defending and if you want a deeply intimate connection with your loved one then it is important to stay present to what is happening, what is trying to happen and collaboratively decide what needs to happen going forward. Being curious about your partner’s life, how they experience it and appreciate their perspective is the key to love and connection and creates an unbreakable bond between you and your partner.

5. Body Language: You need to be open. Your body language says a lot about you and whether you are open and accepting of your partner and what they are saying to you, or whether you are being defensive or distant. We can give a whole different message if we are not conscious of how we are physically showing up.  We need to have an open body stance without crossed arms, eye to eye contact and affectionate reassuring touch so our partners can feel our availability, our love and acceptance even in conflict.

It is vitally important that we do not give in to the Third and Fourth Horseman – Distancing and Contempt and are close cousins.  Distancing or withdrawing is obvious in that nothing can be resolved if you are physically or emotionally unavailable for communication and connection and may send a message to your partner that they are unimportant. Contempt can be subtle but is an extremely negative signal that is not only physically damaging to the receiver but is the main cause of relationship failure. Contempt can be as small a gesture as an “eyeball roll” a “downturn of the lip” signifying judgment and disapproval, to the extreme of condescending comments and disdainful or disapproving put downs. If a person lives with contempt it increases their chances of ill health and depression.  So I want to encourage you all to refrain from any contemptuous behavior.  Compassion is the antidote to contempt, and body language shows love and acceptance through being in a relaxed open posture with eye to eye connection.

So now you have the basic “4 C’s of Great Communication “which if used regularly will create more love, fulfillment and passion in your relationship.

Consciousness + Compassion + Collaboration + Curiousity = Loving Connection

I hope that these insights have been helpful for creating loving connections with your partner

Some of my favourite reading suggestions are:

Non-Violent Communication by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg
The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson
Conscious Loving by Gay and Katie Hendrix
Happy Communication = Happy Loving
love Mheyah