Personal Freedom VS Emotional Connection

A reader asks, “How do I create an emotionally intimate relationship without sacrificing freedom?”

This is such a great question!

First, I want to ask you to define freedom? What do you mean when you speak of “sacrificing freedom?”

Because your own personal freedom is something that should never have to be “sacrificed” for any relationship.

The dictionary defines freedom as “being at liberty as opposed to being in bondage, being able to determine action without restraint, the absence of obligations, frankness of manner or speech, the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint.”

The first thing here is to be authentic, in your relationships, and in all areas of your life.

The biggest loss of personal freedom I see (in regards to relationships) is when someone participates in actions and behaviors that are not authentic to them in the interest of pleasing someone else.

Nothing will activate the loss of your freedom faster than the decision to become someone you are not just to be accepted. This is not freedom.

Certainly there are times when because of our desire to be of service to someone that we love, we choose to put our partner first because seeing them happy gives us joy.

We choose to give to them in spite of our own desires. In a healthy relationship both parties are willing to occasionally compromise because they know it will bring benefit to the other person, and in this kind of decision it often does not feel like compromise at all because it is a choice made without constraint and in the service of love. We choose it freely, this is freedom.

When we are open and honest about our own needs, wants, desires, preferences (authenticity) we can create emotional connection without losing our sense of self. We retain our own personal power.

Real power is power with others, not power over others.  If one has power over the other, one of you is not free.

As for emotional connection, the fastest way to build it is to be sure that your words and actions are congruent with how you really feel, and what you really want and need.

That is authenticity in a nutshell, and that is freedom.

It’s also sexy, and very attractive.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

P.S. If you are ready to totally transform your relationship, check out my new eBook: The Peaceful Power Process – Resolve Conflicts, Improve Communication, and Be Empowered! … and be sure to enter the code MAGIC to get it at a special price for readers of my blog!

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Posted in Chemistry, Coaching, relationships | 1 Comment

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

If you can’t say something nice…

Can you finish the sentence?

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

I’m sure that most of us would have a nice wad of cash if we had a dollar for every time we heard that while we were growing up.  At least I know I would.

I received this message from my family, and from society (i.e. my ballet teacher, I hate to admit it but I got kicked out of ballet class for talking too much at the ripe old age of 4, even though I am positive I must have been being “nice”.)

In my memory it seems that being nice was the only option allowed and approved.  Anger was NOT nice.  Grumpiness – NOT nice.  Complaining – NOT nice.  Whining – DEFINITELY NOT nice.

My Sweetheart’s brother likes to joke, “If you can’t say something nice, say something mean.”

And even though that was said as a joke, I think it is the thing that most people are trying to avoid by “not saying anything at all.”   Most of us don’t want to “be mean”.

I will agree that there are times that just “not saying anything at all” can be the best choice.  No sense in starting a melee over a small slight from a stranger in the grocery store line.

But what about the times we keep quiet with our loved ones, with those that are closest to us, with our colleagues we have to collaborate with every day, with co-workers, neighbors, friends, family?

When we avoid addressing something, we usually end up tolerating it.  And when we find ourselves tolerating something we begin to foster resentment and anger and that can lead to depression (especially if we are keeping it all inside because we want to be “nice”), not to mention all sorts of other stress.

The key here is being able to address a situation without being mean, and without being injudiciously nice.

This really is possible, and it begins with being observant and aware, choosing to be nonjudgmental and relaxed, and acting from a motivation of Love (as opposed to Fear).

Remember, your success greatly depends on two things, your ability to have a difficult conversation, and your willingness to take imperfect action.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

If you’re ready to address that issue that you’ve been avoiding, end the conflicts and connect on a deeper level with the people in your life click here.  And remember to use the code MAGIC to get a special limited time only discount.

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Two Ears and One Mouth

In this final segment of my 5-part series on Conscious Communication I’d like to address a couple of things that are imperative to good communication. Silence and listening.

1. Silence. Such a vast topic, and yet something we don’t experience often enough. In this post, I just want to ask you how much time you spend in silence?

Think for a moment about how you feel when there is silence within a conversation.

To most of us, silence in a conversation feels awkward. You know, that awkward silence we all dread. 🙂

Choosing to get more comfortable with silence in general is a good idea, and here’s why…

2. Listening. To be a good listener takes practice. Being a good listener requires the ability to be “with” someone while they are the speaker, and you are the listener.

If you are thinking of what your reply will be while they are talking you are “in your head” and not “with them”, and at that point you are not fully listening.

Here is where silence comes in, 1.) you listen, fully; get “over there” with them, 2.) you determine your reply AFTER they are finished speaking. <–This requires being comfortable with a bit of silence, and this is where we so often refuse the path of the GREAT LISTENER and take the mediocre listener path instead.

We get uncomfortable with the idea that there might be silence and we make sure to jump in as soon as possible and start talking. (Oops!…wrong path!)

But a really great listener is the person that can really HEAR you.

Something magical happens when people feel heard. The energy shifts, the air clears, the tension lessons, and relief is often felt.

So, a couple of tips for being a GREAT listener:

1. Breathe, and relax.
2. Choose the idea that silence is a good thing.
3. Metaphorically put yourself “over there” with your speaker and focus on what they are saying.
4. Realize that sometimes you hearing them is more powerful than you having something to say.

In this series we have determined that it is important to your success to: have difficult conversations, decide to be authentic, learn the right way to make the conversation about you, choose to be happy instead of being right, take the path of being a great listener.

Now I’d like to help you completely transform your relationships with my proprietary Peaceful Power Process™ eBook.  This is the tool my private clients rave about and I’m happy I can now offer it to you!

Until next time…

Love & Magic,

Cindie

P.S. All of these posts in this series have been the starting blocks, the beginning, the foundation of great communication. Now you’re ready for a transformation in the way you communicate.

Posted in Communication, Conscious Communication, General, Personal Growth, relationships | Leave a comment

Why you must NEVER be Right.

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”

I’ve heard it explained that there are two houses you can choose to live in, the one where you are experiencing Life and the one where you are Right.  You can’t live in both places at once.

The issue here is that so often we enter into a difficult conversation with the goal of being “right”.

And so often to prove that we are right, we engage in something called “wrong-making”.

That is, to prove that I am right, I have to prove that you are wrong.  This elicits resistance in the hearer as she then begins to defend her own “rightness”.

Here we go round the mulberry bush.  You are wrong.  No, I’m not, you are wrong.  And the moment we start down this road we are both competing for victim status.  You wronged me.  No, you wronged ME.

My guess is that if someone came right out and asked you if you wanted to be a victim, you would unequivocally say “NO!” Maybe even, “Hell No!”  And yet, as soon as we begin to defend our own state of “being right” by “proving” the other party is wrong, we’ve begun to claim victim status.

This whole circus can be avoided by choosing to see the situation from a non-judgmental perspective, as if there is no right, no wrong.  It just is what it is.

And once you choose this perspective, the energy around the discussion will completely change.

Here are a few practical tips:

1. Suspend judgment, just for the moment.  Realize that you don’t have all of the facts, and if you are certain that you do, pretend that you might not.

2. Say “no” to wrong-making.  Let go of the attachment to being right.

3. Let go of being attached to any specific outcome.

4. Breathe.

If you’ve read this far in my Conscious Communication series you have

  • become willing to have a difficult conversation (Part I),
  • began to be aware and present (Part II)
  • learned how to make the conversation about you (Part III)
  • have chosen to be happy instead of being right (Part IV)

Next time we’ll finish up the series with Part V, The Power of Silence

Until next time, I wish you Love & Magic,

Cindie

P.S. If you are ready to totally transform your relationship, check out my new eBook: The Peaceful Power Process – Resolve Conflicts, Improve Communication, and Be Empowered!

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Why this must be about You!

That difficult conversation I’ve been helping you get ready for… you must make it about you.

Because… It is about YOU.

You may be hesitant to make the conversation about you, because of the popular insult, “she makes everything about her” (implying narcissism), but I am not speaking of narcissistic behaviour, I am speaking about being able to connect honestly with another person.

And the only thing YOU can really be honest and authentic about is YOU, and how YOU feel, and what YOU think, and what YOU want.

A couple of tips on how to do this:

1. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements.  Saying, “I felt sad when this happened” will be met with much less resistance than saying, “You make me sad when you do such and such.”  Remember, no one can “make you” sad (or any other emotion), you get to be responsible for that part.

2. Expand your “feeling word” vocabulary.  Having a small vocabulary of feeling words limits our expression.  There are many more ways to feel besides happy, sad, angry…and please choose more expressive examples than “okay”, or “fine”.  Saying that you are “okay” or “fine” just doesn’t give enough information.

These two tips alone will greatly improve your communication!

And if you’re ready to completely transform your relationships, check out my new eBook, The Peaceful Power Process

In Part IV we’ll address Why You Must Never Be Right.

Until then…

Love & Magic,

Cindie

P.S. If you missed the beginning of the series, here’s Part I.

Posted in Communication, Conscious Communication, General, Personal Growth, relationships | 3 Comments

Why You Must Be Willing to Get Real

“Be yourself.”  “Be true to yourself.”

We hear it so much, it almost seems cliche, but what does it mean?

Ancient wisdom advises us to, “know thyself”.

Let’s face it, if we aren’t being authentic in our conversation we are not dealing with things in an honest, real, way.

So, we need some self-knowledge, some self-awareness.

“Know Thyself.” But how?

We pay attention.  To our feeings, to our environment, to our wishes and desires, to our thoughts, our words, our inner life as well as our outer actions and reactions.

Paying attention begins in the present moment.  Here are a few tips to stay present:

1. Bring yourself into the present moment by recognizing how your body feels, are you hungry? tired? inspired? excited? warm? chilly? thirsty? achy? energized?

2. Bring yourself into the present moment by recognizing what’s going on in your environment, what is the temperature like in the room or outside where you are? Is it sunny, rainy, windy? What sounds can you hear, scents can you smell?

3. Notice your breath, take a few slow conscious breaths, breathing in to the count of five, and exhaling to a count of five.  Notice the sound, the temperature of the air as it enters your body cool and exits warmed.

The connection of awareness to self knowledge is made moment by moment as we are willing to be present.

Acknowledge your feelings, moods, thoughts, without judging them as good or bad, positive or negative.  Just notice them.

Notice your reactions to the things going on around you.  Step outside of yourself for a moment and just observe, as if you were watching from a distance.

You might wonder what this has to do with having a difficult conversation, and that is certainly a valid question, and next week we’ll answer that with Part III – Why You Must Make the Conversation About You.

Until next time, be present, be aware, and get to know yourself a little better.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

P.S. If you missed it, here’s Part I – Why You Must Be Willing to Have A Difficult Conversation.

 

 

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Posted in Coaching, Communication, Conscious Communication, General | 3 Comments

Why You MUST Be Willing to Have a Difficult Conversation

How do you feel about having a difficult conversation?

You might feel like running and jumping off a cliff just reading that question.

Very few people enjoy the thought of being involved in a difficult discussion.  Here is why you MUST be willing to have difficult conversations: Your success depends on it.  So, let’s talk about that conversation you’ve been avoiding.

I admit it does seem a hell of a lot easier to just avoid the damn thing most of the time.

However, here is why you don’t want to avoid it; because if you are avoiding it that probably means you are tolerating something. When we tolerate anything it causes stress.

I want to address something here…niceness.  Specifically, injudicious niceness.  One of my favorite quotes is, “injudicious niceness is a socialized disease.” What does that mean exactly?  It means that we are brought up to “be nice.”  To everyone.  Always. And that just doesn’t make sense.  Niceness just isn’t always appropriate.

Most often, thinking (or believing) that we should be nice all of the time is what keeps us from being willing to have a difficult conversation.

If having a difficult conversation is necessary to your success (from being a successful parent to having a successful marriage or relationship, or being successful in your career, etc.) and you believing that you have to avoid those conversations because it’s more important to be nice, then you are making a choice between being nice and being successful.  Isn’t that silly?

I want to help you. This post begins a 5-part series on Conscious Communication. This series will contain insight and practical tips to help you communicate in a deeper, more conscious, and more productive way.  Being able to do this will lead to more wins and less stress!

Today in Part One we’ve addressed the topic of difficult conversations and why you must be willing to have them.

In Part II, we’ll continue with why you must be willing to be authentic, and where to begin.

For now, just take the small step of willingness.  Be willing to entertain the idea that with the right tools you could easily have that conversation you’ve been avoiding.

Until next time…

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

Posted in Communication, Conscious Creation, General, Personal Growth, relationships | 7 Comments

How to Find Relief in 3 Agonizing Steps

Relief.

You know the feeling, when that thing you were dreading ended, or got canceled, or turned out to be nothing serious.

I remember being all the way across the country and seeing a friend’s post on Facebook asking, “Does anyone know the name of the cyclist that was hit by a car on River Road this morning?”

Since my son frequently trains on that stretch of highway I was instantly overtaken with panic.

Within a few seconds, a million terrible, bloody thoughts raced through my mind. “No, No, No”, my mind was screaming.  I dialed his cellphone; no answer.  I dialed the house; no answer.  I dialed my other son, who answered to say that his brother had ridden that morning but was home, safe, and in the shower.

Relief! He was okay.

Then the panic was replaced by another uncomfortable emotion…anger.  Anger directed towards the hit-and-run driver that left a cyclist for dead on the side of the road.  Thankfully,  the injured cyclist was alive and taken to the hospital by some good Samaritans who saw him in time.  Relief.  He was going to be okay.

We all need to recognize the feeling of relief, and then learn how to produce it.  Here though, is the caveat – feeling relief from the pain or uncomfortable emotion is quicker and easier when we allow our self to feel the pain or uncomfortable emotion.

We rarely do this.  Instead we resist the pain or emotion by pushing it down (“I’m not going to cry”), distracting our self (Ice cream!! Pie!! Ice cream AND Pie!!), denying that it exists (“I’m fine”), numbing ourselves (“Make mine a double.”)

That painful feeling.  That uncomfortable emotion. We run from it.  We bolt.

Pema Chodron, author and Buddhist nun, once said, “Never underestimate the inclination to bolt.”

When I hear a client tell me they feel relief, I know that whatever action produced the relief was more than likely the perfect choice for them at that moment.

So I want to give you these 3 steps.  Yes, those 3 agonizing steps. (They’re agonizing because you really just want to bolt!)

  1. Recognize the feeling of relief – start becoming aware of that feeling when you experience it
  2. Recognize the feeling of resistance – again, awareness (without judgment)
  3. Choose to Feel that feeling you’ve been resisting ( or denying, numbing, pushing down, bolting from)

Remember  a time when you felt that amazing feeling of relief?  I want to ask you to relive it right now.

Just for a few seconds, remember first whatever it was you were resisting, and then, relief.

Can you feel that resistance and constriction being replaced by nonresistance and relaxation?

In some situations this progression happens naturally. Like in the situation above where I was concerned freaked out that my son might have been hit by a car, and then felt relief when I found out he was safe.

But what about emotions and feelings that are unrelenting and unable to be resolved by hearing a positive outcome?  The sadness of a broken heart, the grief of losing someone we love, the fear of what could happen next?

This is where we find a gift in being able to feel our feelings fully:  When we sit with them, when we are able to be curious and non-judgmental about them, when we let them expand, when we give them space to exist, and when we acknowledge them.

Do you know what happens then?

Most often, they dissipate rather quickly.  This is because what we resist persists.

And then we realize that that thing, that monstrous feeling we’ve worked so hard to resist, is really not as bad as we’ve imagined it would be.  It is often more of a shadow than a real monster.

Once we stop resisting we make space for metamorphosis.  That ugly caterpillar of sadness, or grief, or fear can be replaced with that beautiful butterfly of relief.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

photo credit

 

Posted in Coaching, Conscious Creation, Personal Growth | 2 Comments

What Women Want

In order to be a member of my email community, I request that you ask me a question, specifically “Your #1 burning question about loving happily ever after”  (and if you aren’t a member, why NOT?? Join NOW!!—-> )

I get A LOT of questions.

I get A LOT of the SAME questions.

A question that comes in often (or a variation of it) is “How can we keep our love alive?”

“How can I keep her interested?”

“How do I keep from getting bored?”  “How do we keep the fireworks going?”

You get the picture, and even though my email community is mostly women, the above questions were submitted by men.  So, Guys, this one is for you, and Ladies…please read and if this message resonates with you please leave a comment below!

My question to anyone that is asking this (and yes, my Dad told me it was sneaky and not very diplomatic to answer questions with questions but Hey, I’m a coach, I ask questions), is this:

What did you do to attract her in the first place?

Recently I heard someone say, “Back when I was wooing her…”  As if it was a phase that had ended.  I quickly interjected that when a man stops wooing a woman he will begin the process of losing her.

Harsh words.  I know.  But here is the thing, wooing a woman is like an internship.

My son’s first job began as a bar back in a sushi restaurant.  That’s really dirty work, first to get to work, last to leave, hauling heavy boxes of bottles and cleaning nasty floors.  He dreamed of being a sushi chef.

The managers laughed, until he offered to work for free.  Then the negotiations began.

My son offered to work for free until he learned how to make sushi that passed the owner’s inspection, however long that took.  He was wooing them.  He worked hard.  On his day off he would come home from the grocery with what seemed like a hundred cucumbers and he would practice peeling them paper thin over and over.  He worked nearly a year for free. He made sure his sushi was not only delicious but beautiful.   And now…

Now he makes some of the best sushi in the city and he gets paid to do it. He won them over.  He still works for them, he still works hard.  He still makes delicious and beautiful sushi.

But what do you think would have happened if he would have worked hard during that internship, impressed the owners, got the paid position, and then became a sub-par sushi chef, only showing up some of the time, or making sushi that was sloppy or unappetizing?

Do you see the parallel?  When a man is wooing a woman he shows up, he works hard, he treats her with respect and honor, he compliments her, he sends her sweet messages when they are apart, he buys her romantic gifts, he dresses nice, he smells nice, he sends her flowers, he makes her laugh, he opens doors for her, he really listens to her, he is polite and charming because he is making a serious effort to win her.

And it works.

Why does this work?

Because she is thinking OH MY GOD this is the kind of guy I want to be with forever!

She is then willing to do just about anything for him.  She wants to give him her heart, her body, her mind, her gifts, her love, her truth, her devotion, her whole self.

And she will, because she has been “sold” on him.  She is “buying” what he’s “selling”.

And when he stops delivering it is painful.

So, how do you keep her interested?  How do you rekindle the fire? How do you keep from getting bored?  Just do what you did in the first place.  She’ll thank you for it.

 

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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More Magic, Less Stress

Stress

Since the dawn of humanity, stress is something we have dealt with on a constant daily basis.

All of the things we want, like love, romance, success, abundance, money, health, friends, happiness, and peace all come to us more easily when our stress levels are managed.

Stress is the leading cause of disease and precursor to death. There are many books, programs, and websites dedicated to helping us all be “stress-free”.

Articles about ways to eliminate stress from your life come up readily in any Google search about stress.

I’m not completely convinced that I will ever get to the point where I can say my life is “stress-free”, but I do believe that there are many tools available to help us manage stress successfully if we will just use them.

Many of us, maybe most of us, live very high stress lives and often we expect to relieve ourselves from months or even years worth of stress in a weekend at the beach.

But our attempts to manage stress will be much more successful if they happen on a daily (or at least weekly) basis.

Because money, and time, (or the perceived lack of it) are two big stressors, these are the two biggest excuses people use for not doing something:

  • “I don’t have the money” and
  • “I don’t have time”

Choosing an inexpensive and relatively quick stress relieving activity is important here.

Likewise, doing something you enjoy will be much easier to habitualize than something you don’t. (Thank you, Captain Obvious).

Don’t we all want to push the easy button?

So, I’m going to suggest…(drumroll please)… drawing. For several reasons. Here are 5 of them:

1. It’s cheap. Cheap as in inexpensive. You can pick up a decent pen and a small sketchbook for less than $10. Even if you were to draw on a page or two every single day it should still last you for several weeks, possibly months. (So, no big money stress going on here.)

2. It’s quick, and portable. You can take your sketchbook with you and spend as much or as little time as you like. Sketch on the subway, in the waiting room, whenever, wherever.

3. Anyone can do it. Often when people find out that I am a visual artist the first thing they say is “I can’t draw.” Well, I want to let you know that anyone can draw. It is a learned skill, and once you fill up the first sketchbook you will realize that you too, can draw. And besides that, who cares!? This is one place where process trumps product. We are practicing relieving stress, not creating something to sell or show. There is no “right” way to do it here.

4. It could save your life. Danny Gregory attributes life saving properties to it. His book Everyday Matters is one of my all time favorites.

5. My personal endorsement! I have personal experience with sketching and can vouch for it’s stress reducing ability. (and if you are interested you can view my catalogued sketchbook in the Brooklyn Art Library here).

Less stress equals better health, and more magic in your life.

If you recognize that you want more magic, more love, more money, more abundance, more success, more peace, more happiness, more joy, and LESS STRESS in your life, show some love and comment below! Tell me how YOU reduce stress (or how you plan on reducing stress levels starting now!!)

And if you decide to take up sketching, I’d love to know..!

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

 

photo credit

 

 

 

Posted in Coaching, Conscious Creation, General, Personal Growth | 2 Comments