<![CDATA[Healing Relationships Centre                        counselling for couples - Articles & Blog ]]>Sun, 15 Apr 2018 10:47:44 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Intimacy Matters]]>Sat, 15 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/intimacy-matters6748150Allowing yourself to be honest, open and receptive is the key to intimacy.
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Intimacy is the most natural effortless experience two people can have and yet it is also very difficult for many people to experience and to maintain in long-term relationships and marriage.

Intimacy can be experienced in different ways including through touch, verbally, sexually and eye contact. However, touching, talking, lovemaking and eye contact is necessarily intimate. We have all had conversations that weren’t intimate or been touched in ways that weren’t intimate. Who hasn’t had sex that wasn’t very intimate? The degree of intimacy experienced in any situation is determined by the degree of openness and engagement each person brings to the interaction.

The essence of intimacy between lovers is the experience of really being with one another. The keyword being being. The more we can really let ourselves be, the more we can really let ourselves be with another person. Our sense of being is our sense of presence. Our ability to be aware in the here and now to our inner experience and to our immediate experience of our partner determines how intimate we feel.

Intimacy depends on honesty. And the honesty begins within oneself. You can only be as honest with someone else as you are with yourself. We feel closest to the people we have secrets with and most distant from the people we keep secrets from.

People have a hard time being honest with themselves and others when they fear the ramifications of their actions, feelings and desires. Or the think what they are experiencing is wrong, or they fear the other person will judge them negatively. To allow ourselves to experience greater intimacy often feels like an risk. It means admitting things to ourselves that we may have learned to deny. Then opening up to another person, knowing they may not respond in kind or like what we share with them.

There can be intimacy at different levels of experience.

  • Intimacy can come with the sharing of ideas. This occurs when people are openly sharing their ideas and are open-minded to hearing the others ideas.
  • Intimacy can come with the sharing of emotions. This occurs when people are openly sharing their emotions and are open-hearted to hearing their partner’s emotions.
  • Intimacy can happen in sharing a hug. This occurs when each person allows t their heart to open and body awareness to enjoy the warmth and human presence of their partner.
  • Intimacy can happen with any sort of touch, but the touch is only as intimate as the presence in the touch and the presence the touch is received. This is also true for sexual touching and intercourse.

Routine is a great dampener to intimacy. Intimacy is always fresh and in the moment. Intimacy is lost when we are going through the motions of what we shared before. Intimacy occurs when we are open to the uniqueness of this moment and what is arising within us in relation to the other.

It is common for couples to become less intimate over time. This generally occurs when the idea of being together has become more important than the quality of their being together. For fear of upsetting their partner they are less honest with things that might be bothering them or asking them for something that is out of the ordinary. Everyone has limits on how comfortable they are with intimacy.

Overtime we exhaust the novel ways we can easily share with our partners. For intimacy to continue it must deepen. What was an intimate sharing at one time eventually becomes just an old story, or a broken record emotion or a worn out sexual routine. However the degree of intimacy is not determined necessarily by what we say or do, but the degree of presence we do it with. Saying I love you, gazing into your partner’s eyes or sharing a hug are simple activities that can feel dead or really come alive depending how much of ourselves we bring to those moments.

To become more intimate with our partners we must become more intimate with ourselves. We must be willing to find out who were are when we are not caught in the social conditioning we have adopted to adapt to living in a world that has not always been receptive to us speaking, expressing and acting what is true for us. People who grow up with parents that are more concerned with obedient behaviour and keeping up with appearances will have more difficulty being intimate than people whose parents were genuinely concerned about their children’s uniqueness and emotional well being.

The desire for intimacy is the desire to know and experience ourselves deeply and to be known and experienced deeply by another. This is simple because it requires us simply being ourselves in the close proximity to another, but it is one of the most difficult things for us to do because it requires us to face all the shame, fear, hurt and resentment that get in our way of open and undefended with ourselves and others.

To support intimacy in your relationship

  • Make time to be together.
  • Commit to being honest.
  • See your relationship as a vehicle for getting to know yourself and heal old emotional wounds.
  • Practice bringing your full attention to your heart and hands when you touch or hug.
  • Take time on your own to meditate or write in a journal, and then share what you get in touch with, with your partner.
  • Play and have fun together.
  • Make gentle eye contact, let your mind settle and allow for silence.
  • Show your vulnerability.
  • Ask for what you want and ask your partner what you can do for them.
  • Hug until relaxed and keep relaxing until you enjoy the hug.
  • If you don’t feel close, let your partner know that you want to be more intimate, and share what is getting in your way. Or ask them what is getting in their way.
  • Commit random acts of kindness.
  • Get help from a good relationship counsellor who communicates with you and your partner in away that promotes intimacy.
  • Ask your loving heart to show you the way.

Please contact Eric if you have any questions.


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<![CDATA[Help yourself give up smoking for life]]>Mon, 28 Apr 2014 06:32:02 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/help-yourself-give-up-smoking-for-lifePicture
For more than 25 years Eric Lyleson, MA, psychologist has been helping people give up smoking using and integration of CBT, Hypnotherapy and Mindfulness with remarkable results.

Standard treatment for most patients is 2 – 4 fifty-minute sessions. Most people who have difficulty giving up cigarettes are using cigarettes to manage psychological problems such as anxiety, stress and anger. This is also reflected in the reports of why people go back to smoking during stressful or emotional times.

Lyleson’s approach addresses these problems as part of an integrative approach, which makes it easier for people to give up smoking and stay a non-smoker for life. Many people can give up after one session, but it is important to have at least one session to deal with the triggers that could cause a person to start up again.

Over 95 percent of patients using this method do so without the use of nicotine patches or Zyban or Champix.

SELF-ASSESSMENT

To know if you are appropriate for this program it can be useful to ask:

·      Do you smoke as a way of managing anxiety, anger or stress?
·      Do you feel anxious or stressed even at the thought of giving up smoking?
·      Have you had difficulty managing anxiety, sadness, stress or anger when you have tried to stop smoking?

Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy (CBH) is an integrated psychological therapy employing clinical hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy. The use of CBT in conjunction with hypnotherapy may result in greater treatment effectiveness. A meta-analysis of eight different researches revealed "a 70% greater improvement" for patients undergoing an integrated treatment to those using CBT only.

Kirsch, I.; Montgomery, G.; Sapperstein, G. "Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy: A meta analysis". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 63: 214–220.



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<![CDATA[Intimacy Matters]]>Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:55:04 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/intimacy-mattersPicture
Intimacy is the most natural effortless experience two people can have and yet it is also very difficult for many people to experience and to maintain in long-term relationships and marriage.

Intimacy can be experienced in different ways including through touch, verbally, sexually and eye contact. However, touching, talking, lovemaking and eye contact is necessarily intimate. We have all had conversations that weren’t intimate or been touched in ways that weren’t intimate. Who hasn’t had sex that wasn’t very intimate? The degree of intimacy experienced in any situation is determined by the degree of openness and engagement each person brings to the interaction.

The essence of intimacy between lovers is the experience of really being with one another. The keyword being being. The more we can really let ourselves be, the more we can really let ourselves be with another person. Our sense of being is our sense of presence. Our ability to be aware in the here and now to our inner experience and to our immediate experience of our partner determines how intimate we feel.

Intimacy depends on honesty. And the honesty begins within oneself. You can only be as honest with someone else as you are with yourself. We feel closest to the people we have secrets with and most distant from the people we keep secrets from.

People have a hard time being honest with themselves and others when they fear the ramifications of their actions, feelings and desires. Or the think what they are experiencing is wrong, or they fear the other person will judge them negatively. To allow ourselves to experience greater intimacy often feels like an risk. It means admitting things to ourselves that we may have learned to deny. Then opening up to another person, knowing they may not respond in kind or like what we share with them.

There can be intimacy at different levels of experience.
  • Intimacy can come with the sharing of ideas. This occurs when people are openly sharing their ideas and are open-minded to hearing the others ideas.
  • Intimacy can come with the sharing of emotions. This occurs when people are openly sharing their emotions and are open-hearted to hearing their partner’s emotions.
  • Intimacy can happen in sharing a hug. This occurs when each person allows t their heart to open and body awareness to enjoy the warmth and human presence of their partner.
  • Intimacy can happen with any sort of touch, but the touch is only as intimate as the presence in the touch and the presence the touch is received. This is also true for sexual touching and intercourse.

Routine is a great dampener to intimacy. Intimacy is always fresh and in the moment. Intimacy is lost when we are going through the motions of what we shared before. Intimacy occurs when we are open to the uniqueness of this moment and what is arising within us in relation to the other.

It is common for couples to become less intimate over time. This generally occurs when the idea of being together has become more important than the quality of their being together. For fear of upsetting their partner they are less honest with things that might be bothering them or asking them for something that is out of the ordinary. Everyone has limits on how comfortable they are with intimacy.

Overtime we exhaust the novel ways we can easily share with our partners. For intimacy to continue it must deepen. What was an intimate sharing at one time eventually becomes just an old story, or a broken record emotion or a worn out sexual routine. However the degree of intimacy is not determined necessarily by what we say or do, but the degree of presence we do it with. Saying I love you, gazing into your partner’s eyes or sharing a hug are simple activities that can feel dead or really come alive depending how much of ourselves we bring to those moments.

To become more intimate with our partners we must become more intimate with ourselves. We must be willing to find out who were are when we are not caught in the social conditioning we have adopted to adapt to living in a world that has not always been receptive to us speaking, expressing and acting what is true for us. People who grow up with parents that are more concerned with obedient behaviour and keeping up with appearances will have more difficulty being intimate than people whose parents were genuinely concerned about their children’s uniqueness and emotional well being.

The desire for intimacy is the desire to know and experience ourselves deeply and to be known and experienced deeply by another. This is simple because it requires us simply being ourselves in the close proximity to another, but it is one of the most difficult things for us to do because it requires us to face all the shame, fear, hurt and resentment that get in our way of open and undefended with ourselves and others.

To support intimacy in your relationship
  • Make time to be together.
  • Commit to being honest.
  • See your relationship as a vehicle for getting to know yourself and heal old emotional wounds.
  • Practice bringing your full attention to your heart and hands when you touch or hug.
  • Take time on your own to meditate or write in a journal, and then share what you get in touch with, with your partner.
  • Play and have fun together.
  • Make gentle eye contact, let your mind settle and allow for silence.
  • Show your vulnerability.
  • Ask for what you want and ask your partner what you can do for them.
  • Hug until relaxed and keep relaxing until you enjoy the hug.
  • If you don’t feel close, let your partner know that you want to be more intimate, and share what is getting in your way. Or ask them what is getting in their way.
  • Commit random acts of kindness.
  • Get help from a good relationship counsellor who communicates with you and your partner in away that promotes intimacy.
  • Ask your loving heart to show you the way.

What tips can you suggest?

for more information or to book an appointment
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<![CDATA[Why Successful People Meditate]]>Sat, 28 Sep 2013 20:56:22 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/-lt-font-definitions-font-face-font-familycalibri-panose-12-15-5-2-2-2-4-3-2-4-font-face-font-familycambria-panose-12-4-5-3-5-4-6-3-2-4-style-definitions-pmsonormal-limsonormal-divmsonormal-margin-topPicture
The Dalai Lama encouraged research on the brain and meditation at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior at the University of Wisconsin. The primary types of meditation studied were Focused Attention (FA) meditation, which entails voluntary focusing attention on a chosen object in a sustained fashion, and Open Monitoring (OM) meditation, which involves non-reactively monitoring the content of experience from moment-to-moment. These styles are found with some variation in several meditation systems, including the Buddhist Vipassanā and Mahāmudrā.

Lutz and Davidson (2010) found the electroencephalograms (EEG) of meditators showed higher gamma activity levels than the control group, leading to the conclusion that meditation, when practiced over time can alter the structure and function of the brain.

Expert meditators also showed less activation than novices in the amygdala in response to emotional sounds. This supports the idea that meditation can lead to a decrease in emotionally reactive behavior.

Another study found that meditators are able to better attend moment-to-moment to the stream of sensory phenomena and are less likely to “get stuck” in any one pattern of thinking (worrying, regretting, etc.).

Richard Davidson and John Kabat-Zinn (2003), found out that those practicing mindfulness meditation acquired an increased frontal lobe activity, more specifically in the left anterior portion of the frontal lobes, which is associated with positive attitude and positive emotions.

Research also suggests that meditation increase the level of serotonin production (Walton, 1995). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood and behaviour and more specifically, the feeling of wellbeing. Low levels of serotonin are associated with various psychological disorders, such as depression, obesity, insomnia, migraine headaches, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, premenstrual syndrome, and fibromyalgia.

Meditation has also been shown to affect the level of melatonin (Tooley et al., 2000). This neurotransmitter controls body's circadian rhythm and helps regulate hormones. And some other research shows mediation can have anti-carcinogen and immune system enhancing effects (Grin, Grünberger, 1998).

In other words, science is now validating what meditators have been benefitting from for thousands of years. You can change your brain and your life simply by practicing meditation.


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<![CDATA[Ten Reasons to not Meditate]]>Mon, 15 Jul 2013 11:14:32 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/ten-reasons-to-not-meditate Picture
Ten Reasons to Not Meditate

What’s your excuse?

1. I’m too busy keeping myself busy to stop and meditate. Whenever I slow down I feel anxious or depressed so I keep myself constantly busy.

One of the major reasons people feel stressed anxious and depressed is they don’t have enough time to relax and get in touch with a sense of inner peace and freedom. When we first start to meditate we often get in touch with the underlying fears and unhappiness that has been driving us. With meditation you can learn to be more effortless with your activities and more comfortable relaxing when it is time to slow down.

2. I don’t know how to meditate. I feel like I have to know how to meditate before I could go to a meditation class, because everyone there will probably already know how to meditate.

The most important attitude to cultivate in meditation is called ‘beginners mind’. Beginners mind is the quality of being open and curious about what is happening in the present moment. Having less knowledge about meditation can be of an advantage. Most people who come to my classes have never meditated before, but even the ones that have need to unlearn some of the concepts that get in the way of really getting in-tune with themselves.

3. I tried meditating, but I could not stop my mind from thinking so I gave up.

Trying to stop our minds is just the thinking mind thinking more about how to stop itself. This tends to lead to an even busier mind. The purpose of meditation is not to stop thinking; rather it is to not be continually caught up in thinking. With meditation you learn to sit in the inner silence and stillness that allows thoughts to come and go, but remains untouched by the thoughts.

4. I tried meditating a couple of times and it did nothing for me.

You wouldn’t expect to go to the gym and expect to get fit after a couple of visits, or strum a guitar a couple times and be able to play music. The real benefits of meditation become more apparent over time.

5. I’m not flexible enough to sit on the floor cross-legged.

Meditation can be done in any position. Most people in my classes sit in comfortable chairs. Cushions are provided if you want to sit on the floor.

6. Only hippies and spiritual types meditate.

Many athletes meditate before a competition. More and more executives and people in high-pressure jobs take time for meditation. One successful businessman told me meditation helped him hone his intuition about generating business and dealing effectively with people.

7. I think it is a waste of time.

People who meditate because they are calm and clearheaded don’t waste as much time over-thinking and worrying. Meditation helps you become more aware of what matters most so you waste less time in activities like watching television.

8. I’m in too much physical pain or discomfort to meditate.

In some cases meditation can help people get more in touch with what their body needs and then take better care of it so that it doesn’t feel so uncomfortable. Although meditation may not change chronic pain studies show that meditation can change your attitude and perception of pain. So although it may still be there, it is not as much of a problem.

9. It’s boring.

Many of us are addicted to the seeking of happiness and the more possessions or pleasurable experiences we accumulate the more we want. With meditation we learn to appreciate the richness of being alive and enjoy what is happening in each moment. With mindfulness food tastes better, music sounds richer, sex is more pleasurable nature looks more beautiful, etc.

10. I always fall asleep when I try to meditate

Many people fall asleep when they first start to meditate because the only time they slow down and close their eyes is when they sleep. Meditation helps you learn how be relaxed and alert. Many people are too stressed to sleep well so they are sleep deprived and when they stop long enough to relax their tiredness catches up with them. Meditators sleep better, and tend to need less sleep.

I would love to hear your excuses.  The more the better and the more logical the better.

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<![CDATA[Mindfulness and Meditation]]>Mon, 14 Jan 2013 02:26:06 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/mindfulness-and-meditationPicture
What is Mindfulness?

Allowing yourself to be consciously aware of your immediate experience in an open-minded, curious and unguarded way.




Why Develop Mindfulness?

  • Gain freedom from boredom and engage in life more fully.
  • Escape your thoughts and enjoy heightened sensory awareness.
  • Lessen the suffering caused by physical pain and discover how to live more comfortably in your own skin.
  • Less troubled by difficulties and greater appreciation for the simple pleasures of life.
  • Less troubled by disturbing emotions, and opening to deep inner peace and acceptance.
  • Get out of your head and become more in tune with your body. 
  • Step out of the frantic busyness of life and realize the joy of letting yourself be.
  • Relax out of bad habits and become more open to creative solutions arising spontaneously.

                                                   The Basics of Mindfulness Meditation

  1. Set aside time in which you will not be disturbed. Give yourself enough time to really settle in, but not so long that it feels too demanding. 
  2. Choose a comfortable place that is relatively free from distractions, and inspiring and calming if possible.
  3. Take a moment to remember how you can benefit yourself from meditating.  And how you will have more to offer others as a consequence.
  4. Assume a balanced upright posture with a feeling of stability and strength.  Letting your skeleton support you with your musculature relaxed.
  5. Allow your body to make ongoing adjustments in order to discover the greatest sense of comfort and
  6. Let your eyes be closed or half open and softly focussed and resting about 45 degrees in front of you.
  7. Allow yourself to be wide-awake, alert and relaxed and comfortable all at the same time.
  8. Notice the subtle movements of your body while you breathe. Allow yourself to become more relaxed and alert with the coming and going of each breath.
  9. Allow thoughts to come and go, but rest as the field of awareness in which they come and go within.
  10. Allow body sensations to come and go, but rest as the field of awareness in which they come and go within.
  11. Allow emotions to come and go, but rest as the field of awareness in which they come and go within.
  12. Allow sounds to come and go, but rest as the field of awareness in which they come and go within.
  13. When you notice that the mind has become caught up in stories, planning, analysing, worrying, hoping, despairing or any mental preoccupation allow your awareness to come back to the breath and the field of awareness that allows everything to come and go.
  14. Give up all hope of figuring out in your mind how to meditate; that is just another mental preoccupation.
  15. The field of awareness can also be experienced as blue-ocean of awareness and all mental and sensory awareness are like waves on the ocean.  When caught up in a wave, dissolve back into the ocean and just notice the rise all fall of the breath.
  16. Surrender all positive feelings and insights to the field as well. Mindfulness meditation is not about trying to maintain any sort of state.  Rest as that which allows everything to come and go.


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<![CDATA[Finding Your Inner Hero]]>Tue, 02 Oct 2012 04:55:42 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/finding-your-inner-hero Questions for Guiding your Current Heroic Journey Through Life

By Eric Lyleson


Joseph Campbell described various stages of a hero’s journey.  All of us can learn to be more fearless and heroic in the ways we address the opportunities and challenges that present themselves in our lives. 

By answering a question or two from each of the categories below you can help yourself be mentally and emotionally prepared to achieve your potential while responding creatively and wisely to difficulties. 

You may find it useful to go through the entire list in one sitting, contemplate on question for a day.  Or work through the different phases over a few weeks or even several months time. The questions that are most useful are either the ones that you are intuitively drawn to and those that seem to be out of your usual frame of reference and expand your awareness out of your comfort zone.

The Ordinary World - How to maintain stability?

1.     Describe your ordinary world.

2.     What are your routines? 

3.     What helps you maintain a sense of security and/or stability? 

4.     How do you try to cope with stress and difficulties?

5.     Who and what helps you feel stable and/or comfortable?

6.     What do you avoid because it feels too stressful, difficult or unusual for yourself or your family or friends?

7.     What do you appreciate?

8.     What is working?

9.     What don’t you want to change yet? Why?

10.  What do you want to come back to?

The Call to Adventure - What’s not right? What's the ideal?

1.     What are signs (calls to adventure) that tell you something needs to change?

2.     What is frustrating or unfair about your circumstances? 

3.     How do you try to cope with those frustrations or injustices? 

4.     What’s not working for you in your life? 

5.     What do you wish would just go away?

6.     What have you done to try to fix things?

7.     If a miracle could happen, what would you ideally hope for?

8.     How is your life at the time not matching up to how you ideally would like it to be? 

9.     What are you most critical of about yourself? About others?

10.  What problems or mistakes are most difficult for you to admit to yourself?

11.  What concerns are important for you to take more seriously?

12.  What happens when you try to do the ‘right thing’?

13.  What do you need to focus on in order to get you out of your rut?

14.  Who is it easiest to express your anger, frustration or disappointment to?

Refusal of the Call - What’s needed?

1.     What is Life trying to get you to embrace that you have been trying to avoid?

2.     What would help you to deal with your frustrations and begin moving towards your ideals?

3.     What self-limiting patterns are you reluctant to change? 

4.     Who is it easy to ask for help?  Who is it hardest?

5.     How has pride or fear of embarrassment stopped you from admitting you need help?

6.     Whose permission do you think you need before you can do what you want to do with your life?

7.     How do you balance what you need in relation to what parents and friends expect of you? 

8.     Whose have you tried to change, rather than your own? Has it been benficial?

9.     How does your dependence on others help or hinder you taking the necessary steps to making the most of your situation?

10.  How did others’ dependence on you, help or hinder you taking the necessary steps?

11.  What are three reasons why you shouldn’t begin attending to the difficulties in your life with more care and effort?

12.  Who wants to support you in making the changes you want to make?

13.  How would you like to be more independent and what responsibilities come with that?

Meeting with the Mentor & Crossing the First Threshold - How to begin?

1.     Who are your mentors? What do they help you learn?

2.     Who are your tor-mentors? What do they help you learn?

3.     If you were guaranteed success what would you do?

4.     What is the first step you will take (or have taken) to in order move toward your goal? 

5.     How willing are you to let others show you the way or do you need to figure it out all yourself?

6.     What talent or ability of yours would like to have a chance to prove itself? 

7.     What life experiences remind you that you have the inner strength to make the most of any opportunities or challenges? 

8.     How would you like to be living in five years time?  What is that future self doing? How does he feel about himself? If that future self could talk to you now what advice or encouragement would he have for you now?

9.     Who inspires you the most?  Why?

10.  Who would you like to emulate? In what way?

11.  What can you tell yourself to help motivate you out of your comfort zone? 

12.  Who, if anyone, do you hope would notice and appreciate your efforts? 

13.  What will you need to ignore or disregard to get the ball rolling? 

14.  What sort of promises or oaths do you need to make to yourself and/or others?

Tests, Allies and Enemies - What gets in the way?  What do I really want?

1.     What difficulties, flaws, inadequacies or insecurities have, or could, tempt you to give up on your aspirations?

2.     What is lacking in your life that if only you had it, then you could follow your deepest desire?  What difference would it make to have it?

3.     Who tries to lead you astray from what is most important for you to do? 

4.     Who or what helps you to remain true to your deeper calling?

5.     How do you attend to your weaknesses?  How could you improve on this?

6.     What past grievances haven’t you forgiven yourself or others for yet?

7.     What deeper longings or desires do you become aware of in difficult times? 

8.     What dreams help to propel you forward in spite of the difficulties? 

9.     What do you envy about aspects of other people’s lives that remind you of what you value? 

10.  How are you unique? How does that inspire you to make the most of your life?

11.  How are your feelings about mundane day-to-day activities changing?

12.  How does feeling sad or disappointed help you do the soul searching needed to tune into your deeper calling?

Approach to the Inmost Cave - Why I am going through this? What do I need to learn?

1.     What mistakes have you made? What are they teaching you?

2.     What keeps you going through difficult times?

3.     What is important to have space from in order to put things in perspective? 

4.     Where can you retreat to when you need time to make sense of things? 

5.     How would a scientist viewing you from a detached perspective describe this transition you’re going through? 

6.     What you believe that keeps you going, or helps you make sense of the challenges in your life? 

7.     What is most essential and what is expendable in your life? 

8.     What do you need to know more about or know how to do better that would help you face your fears?

9.     Who or what is it important to emotionally detach yourself from? 

10.  How does not taking things personally help to put things into perspective?

11.  How can you maintain some sense of predictability in this time of change? 

12.  How could getting clearer boundaries between the various domains of your life help you feel more organized or in control?

13.  When you observe your thoughts rationally, which ones support you and which ones weaken you?

Ordeal - What do I remain faithful to and what do I need to let go of?

1.     What from your old lifestyle is most frightening to face or let go of?

2.     What is difficult for you to accept about yourself and the world we live?

3.     What have been your greatest fears and doubts?

4.     What could help you to face your fears or to find the courage to follow your heart? 

5.     How about listing your worries and then brainstorm ideas for what could help you avoid or prepare for those possible challenges? 

6.     What authorities, institutions, or rules have you tended to be in conflict with or questioning? 

7.     Which of your loyalties support your being true to yourself and which seemed to hold you back? 

8.     Who do you need to reach out to and whom do you need to walk away from at this time? 

9.     Whose approval or friendship did you feel you might risk losing in order to be true to yourself? 

10.  What beliefs are you questioning or feel confused about? 

11.  Who else is going through similar challenges in their life?  How might this be part of some bigger trend?

12.  Who is having (or could have) less control over you as you find more faith in yourself?

Reward (Seizing the Sword) - What’s next? How do I enjoy what I have realized?

1.     Can you give yourself permission to act more spontaneously or seize a promising opportunity?

2.     What new possibilities are you becoming are of and how can you begin exploring them? 

3.     What new ideas and insights are expanding your perception of what was possible for you?

4.     Where could you go, who would you like to meet or what could you read that might help open up more new possibilities for you? 

5.     What are you ready to free yourself from?  So you can be freer to do what?

6.     What sort of options are you considering before committing to a new path? 

7.     How might keeping your options open assist you at this time? 

8.     What sorts of plans or fantasies boost your optimism? 

9.     What can help you avoid being pulled back into old habits? 

10.  What responsibilities could take a break from in order to make space for some new discoveries? 

11.  Are you willing to take a leap of faith and let luck or grace help you follow your bliss? 

12.  What sorts of things that you previously judged negatively are you seeing in a more positive light? 

13.  How does feeling you deserve something better influence your choices?

The Road Back & Resurrection - What do I want to master or manifest?

1.     Of all the new things you have been exploring what are you ready to commit yourself to? 

2.     What are you ready to claim as your own, even if it means fighting for it? 

3.     What new rules are you making for yourself in order to reach your objectives?

4.     What are you choosing in order to make the most of your life?

5.     What in you drives you to really go for it? 

6.     How will you need to discipline yourself in order to accomplish your objectives? 

7.     How might you need to guard your time and space in order to get to where you want to go? 

8.     In what way is your self-concept changing? 

9.     What sort of person are you beginning to think of yourself as? 

10.  How is the way you identify yourself changing?  What sort of a difference is it making taking on a new title (mother, father, student, job title, husband, wife, adult, spiritual seeker, etc)?

11.  Whose opinions or feelings might you need to dismiss (at least for a period of time) so that you can have a chance at manifesting your dream or desire? 

12.  How might your willpower and determination help you override some personal needs or weaknesses in order to rise to the challenge? 

13.  How will you protect your gains?

Return with the Elixir - How do I consolidate my efforts and maintain the changes in my life?

1.     Who else will benefit from what you’re putting into practice?

2.     Who supports you in this new way of life? 

3.     What adjustments could they make to support you? 

4.     What new habits or routines are you establishing in order to consolidate your efforts? 

5.     What is taking less conscious effort, as it becomes more part of your routine? 

6.     How is your environment changing in response to, or to support this new way of life? 

7.     What adjustments are you making in order to fit in with people who are important to you? 

8.     How do you help things keep rolling along harmoniously? 

9.     What conflicts of interest do you need to mediate in order to maintain stability?

10.  In what direction is the momentum of what you have started taking you? 

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<![CDATA[Co-creating and Maintaining a Healthy Relationship By Eric Lyleson, M.A. psychologist]]>Sun, 04 Dec 2011 08:38:10 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/co-creating-and-maintaining-a-healthy-relationship-by-eric-lyleson-ma-psychologistIn healthy relationships people commit do their best to love and respect themselves and their partner till death do they part.  They make love and respect unconditional and whether or not they have sex, share finances, live together or stay married is decided based on they can find a good enough (and usually getting better) ways of negotiating how to do these things.

In unhealthy relationships people feel they must stay together no matter what.  Like most people they start off well, but start lowering their standards over time.  The more they lower their standards the more dependent they feel on one another, but the less love and respect they have for themselves and the other. The less love and respect they have for themselves the more rubbish they are willing to put up with; and the less love and respect they have for their partner the more justified they feel in treating them poorly.

Healthy relationships get better over time because couples have reasonable expectations of one another to which they hold one another.  They stay together, because it is good enough and getting better.  Each partner knows that allow although their partner is forgiving to a point they will not tolerate too much disrespectful or unloving behaviour.

Keys to co-creating a healthy relationship
  1. Make time for one another.  Your most valuable gift is your time and attention.  Little frequent checkins are as important as dates, weekends away and shared activities.
  2. Demonstrate your love, and warmth through words, actions, affection, gifts and favours.  Respond in kind when your partner does. Build virtuous cycles of love and generosity, rather than vicious cycles of fear and anger.
  3. Be curious about your partner.  Never assume you know them as they are always changing and getting to know themselves.  Ask questions as a way of showing your interest in getting to know them more intimately. 
  4. Share your internal world and life experiences.  Find out if they like who you are, rather than trying to present an image you think they will like.
  5. Create and maintain simple rituals that remind each of you of your love for one another.
  6. Do your best to treat your partner with love and respect, request the same from them.  Have good manners (please, thank you, etc).Notice what is good and express your gratitude and appreciation.    
  7. Embrace change. Accept that people and relationships change over time.  Let your partner influence your for the better and help you become a more well-rounded person.
  8. Offer and ask for support and help.  Don’t assume they want your help (that can seem demeaning) or will automatically help you.
  9. Communicate regularly what you want and expect from one another and be willing to negotiate and compromise.  Be clear about what is not negotiable.
  10. Stay aware of what you both want and find ways of creating these experiences. Have a mutual agreement about the reasons you are together. 
  11. Be responsible for your own wellbeing.  Live a life that is fulfilling so you aren’t dependent on your partner for your happiness.
  12. Have realistic expectations. Realise no one will ever live up to your ideals.  Discover if the relationship is good enough and getting better or if your just not suited.
  13. Make requests not demands. Relating is a choice, not a requirement. Offer invitations that are difficult to refuse.
  14. Learn to be empathetic and be willing to see things from your partner’s perspective.  Listen and speak with your head and your heart.
  15. Take responsibility for your emotions, words and actions no matter what your partner does.  Learn to soothe yourself.  No blame and no excuses.
  16. Learn to be flexible and willing to adapt.  There has always got to be a better way.
  17. Keep your promises and commitments.  Don’t make promises you can’t keep.  Be honest.
  18. Remember that relationships are a learning process and they get better over time when we are willing to learn from mistakes and coach one another on what we prefer.
  19. Be honest and accepting about who you are and what you want and encourage your partner to be honest about who they are and what they want.  You can’t fake love and respect.
  20. Learn to resolve conflicts
  • Negotiate when it is a good time to talk about concerns or unresolved conflicts.
  • Be willing to have time out when either partner feels the conversation isn’t progressing.
  • Communicate your love and respect for your partner even while letting them now there are things they are saying or doing that you don’t like.
  • Really listen and give them your undivided attention.  Listen for the love and vulnerability behind their words.
  • Let your partner speak for themselves. Don’t put words in their mouths.
  • Start your sentences with ‘I’ rather than ‘you’.
  • Keep focussed with the agreed upon topic.  Allow yourself to be brought back when you have strayed.
  • Be willing to admit when you have made a mistake and apologise.
  • Be aware of your assumptions and remember to check them out.  Many conflicts are caused from faulty assumptions.
  • Ask for help if you need it. Healthy relationships aren’t afraid to ask for help.
  • Be willing to compromise in order find a win/win solution. Always look for what is best for you and your partner over the greatest period of time.
  • Be willing to agree to disagree about the small stuff, and temporarily about the ‘bottom lines’.
  • Be willing to forgive and let go of resentments. Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past.
  • Remind yourself and your partner if you can’t find mutually satisfying solutions that you don’t have to be together.
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<![CDATA[First Post!]]>Sun, 04 Dec 2011 08:09:45 GMThttp://healingrelationshipscentre.com/articles--blog/first-post