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Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Relationship Postmortem | How to Decide When It's Time To Leave

dalmation-time-to-end-it-relationship-postmortem

#RelationshipPostmortem

While most of this section is going to deal with what to do after the breakup - how to process the grief, how to use that period of deep pain for your own development, transformation, and personal evolution, and how to set yourself up for success in the next relationship so you don’t repeat the same mistakes, we’ve all wondered at some point … 

When is it time to leave?

This may be the most difficult question for us to answer for ourselves and there are so many variables - if there are children involved it makes it even more complicated even if the end result is the same.

But one thing we want to be sure of is that we do not stay in the relationship for the wrong reasons.

What are some of the “wrong” reasons?

Let’s start with a few mindsets or orientations to the process before we answer that question. For me personally, these aren’t just mindsets or beliefs, they are convictions; I am willing to assert them as self-evident truths.

First: every human is worthy of a loving and of a fulfilling romantic relationship and/or partnership.  What does fulfilling mean? For me, it means that you're lit up in every way: sexually, lovingly, intellectually, and spiritually. That they are an incredible lover and your best friend. Most important of all:  that you can express yourself - just be you - without being judged or shut down. That you are appreciated, encouraged, loved, and feel a deep connection to this person. That you can communicate through anything.

At the very least, your values need to be aligned enough - and your preferred forms of those values - how they would show up in your relationship need to have enough overlap that the little things don’t matter.

But whatever “fulfilling” means to you, every human is worthy of a loving and of a fulfilling romantic relationship and/or partnership. 

If you are reading this and you are single, you can use the Values and Forms exercise we laid out earlier in the book as a way of determining a greater degree of likelihood for success in your relationship. Values are a far greater determinant of compatibility than any typing system [zodiac, Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, etc] as your level or stage of ego development will have a far greater influence - for instance at a certain stage you may experience differences as problematic, at yet another stage you may begin to see them as more of a benefit - complementary rather than conflicting - and so on. 

If you are reading this and you are in a relationship, you can use the same exercise to gain an understanding and deeper insight into why you are in conflict and … ultimately … whether you are a functional fit or not.

Second:  while it takes two to tango, it only takes one to transform [the relationship].

This is another fundamental truth. If you alter your internal relationship to the person and behave differently - and come at the whole situation fresh and open to possibility, they will respond to that. It may take longer than you desire - but I firmly believe [and this part may not be true but it is still the powerful way to relate to it]  any relationship can be transformed if one person is lovingly but unwaveringly committed to transforming it. You can infuse new life into it at any point. 

The question is not can it be transformed or not, the question is how.  

Not all relationships should be, but I believe all relationships can be transformed.

Lastly - and this makes a good segue to the “wrong” reasons to stay in a relationship:  

Longevity is not an effective gauge for success. You can be in a relationship that feels dead 20 years and people will congratulate you just based on the amount of time you have been together. Here’s the problem with that:  most humans aren't in a relationship. They're just in a habit.

Having said that, there are a few “wrong” reasons to stay in a relationship:

1. You are afraid to be single or alone. 


If you are afraid to be alone you are very likely in some form of co-dependent relationship and are having to sacrifice your happiness and - at times - your mental or emotional well-being. 

In this case, if you are in a relationship you consider “dysfunctional”, leaving may be the bravest and most powerful and empowering thing you can do - despite (or maybe even because) of how scary it is at first.

2. You don’t think you are good enough to have a more fulfilling relationship.

In my research, I was surprised at how often this came up - that some people didn’t think they were worthy of a more fulfilling relationship - or a higher quality partner.

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An Unconventional Approach to Suicide Prevention

suicide-prevention An Unconventional Approach to Suicide Prevention by Jason McClain

Everything (everything? Yes everything) is hypnosis.

That is not a meta-model violation*. That is a Universal Truth. Every thought you think. Every song you sing. Everything you do in your mind is self-hypnosis.

You are doing it already. And some of you are even doing it consciously. At times. Most times, you are not. Most times the inmates (negative thoughts/negative self-talk, therefore, negative trances) are running the prison.

It is so easy to make a difference in someone’s life with words of encouragement or an acknowledgment of something we appreciate about them.

Strangers are even more positively impacted. They probably go home and tell their spouse or sibling or friend about the random stranger who said the thing to them that day that had them laugh or feel appreciated or … and all we did was use their name from their name tag and ask them if everyone was treating them kindly today. We treated them like a human rather than an extension of the scanner attached to the checkout counter.

There are many ways to disrupt negative states (or say what it is: a self-imposed negative hypnotic trance) in others. Humor is one. Authentic kindness that shows a depth of seeing another is one. Tickling someone is one. Making a funny face at a crying child when you can see it and their parent’s back is to you (one of my personal favorites for public transportation) [pro tip: only lasts until mom or dad wonder why the toddler is suddenly giggling and they start to look around. I always pretend to be looking out the window. Never been caught yet. Then do it again. Build rapport with the toddler as it is just the two of you connected].

There are many others.

Sometimes just being more enthusiastic about someone’s negative trance will have them snap out of it.

Let me give an example by way of a recent and true personal story.

I have a friend who is suicidal - has truly given up on life. I recited for him (accurately hallucinated) all of his reasons he may be thinking this was the best option and he would say, “that’s right!” “How did you know?” or “That’s exactly right” each time (building rapport deeply by accurately projecting his motivations which were not known to anyone but himself).

He’s 80, and he has much he wanted to accomplish that he has not, but he has become a bitter, anxious, cynical old man and is really just waiting out his days. He thinks he is worth more to his wife dead (insurance) than alive. And that may be true even to her. They divorced 40 years ago and I don’t think you do that again - at this point, you just say screw it. But to her, he is nothing but unfulfilled promises and wasted potential. They live separately and only see each other for the grandchildren on the weekends and she treats him poorly.

And he can be an ass. But ... **shrug**

The truth is he just does not have it in him to rally for a Third Act.

Anyway, he has brought up the idea of assisted suicide enough times to me that this last time, I said: “you are really asking if I will help you”.

Yes, he said.

So I went at it with full gusto and in 15 minutes came up with a foolproof plan that would be painless, look like an accident, and require only things that he already had in his possession.

And then I said, with a chipper tone in my voice, “Awesome! You always said I could have this apartment when you died" and looking around the room ... "I’ll be sure the artwork goes to the appropriate art galleries or donate them wherever you want them (he said his some and his grandchildren had no interest in them). But I would like to keep this one (pointing to one piece) Let’s set a date! How much time do you need to get your affairs in order?” He looked at me curiously and settled on December 15th.

We chatted for a bit more and then I left.

I returned the next day around noon time.

And I came into his office. He offered me coffee. And I said, again with cheer in my voice: “So! December 15th, huh!? We get to end all this suffering for you once and for all. I hope you are ion action around your will and such.” and then I said (tapping my watch on my wrist ) “we’re on a clock mister. Count down has begun! “Let's get this ball rollin’.”

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3 Levels of Leadership, Part 3: Hacking Your Own Mind

Charisma can be faked. True presence can not. True presence comes from internal alignment - free from nagging self-doubts or internal conflicts. It comes from self-acceptance. That internal dialogue you experience - that negative self-talk? Those can be resolved. Imagining negative outcomes and feeling anxious about your future - that can also be r...

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Relationships: Elegant Navigation, Effective Communication Part 1

Relationships: Effective Communication | Elegant Navigation

Part 1: The Problem (1346 words. Average reading time: 6 minutes)

In the global marketplace of cultures, ideas, relationships, and business strategies, we can no longer say that there is one way to “do relationships” or that there is an “is-ness” to what form they should take.

 There simply is no global—or even local—consensus around relationships—if there ever was.

Whether we are speaking about arranged marriages still common on the other side of the globe in India, gay marriages—legal in some countries and some U.S. States or other alternative forms of relating from polyamory, or other non-traditional, non-monogamous relationship forms, we can certainly say that what is considered an acceptable form of relating is massively expanding in scope.

Whether you agree or disagree with those life-style choices, it is undeniable that the very idea of relationship is in evolution both morally and culturally.  Not to mention in practicality—in form.

And yet … 

And yet, most people still cannot seem to even navigate the waters of traditional relationships with facility and elegance.  Even many friendships are not always fulfilling and conflicts are rarely navigated effectively—if at all. Sadly, many marriages and intimate romantic relationships often hobble along until people are just in a habit, not a relationship. They’re still “together” on the surface, but the reality, truth, intimacy, and dynamism faded—or died—long ago.

They are in a habit, not an actual relationship.

There are certainly exceptions to this.  Both in relationships and in society as a whole. We have individuals and small “intentional” communities who have it as one of their stated values to become facile at navigating the waters of relationships—including  conflicts and misunderstandings that arise, as well as their internal, individual, personal emotional upset or “charge” that comes along with it—with skill, ease, and a good degree of elegance.

But even after more than 40 years of the rise and expansion of the human potential movement, these are exceptions, not rules.  Heck, they are often not even expected standards, let alone the rule.

But it could be so.  

We can all have fulfilling, harmonious relationships. Even in conflict, there are philosophical approaches as well effective communication models that, if take on, can fulfill on this possibility—and make it a reality.

So…what are they?

 First, let’s look at some of the common problems that arise. And then, together, we will examine some simple solutions.

 

The Problems

 

Many of dynamics within inter-personal problems and/or conflicts can be summed up thusly:

  • A belief that relationships are “supposed to take work” or “supposed to be hard”
  • Dishonesty. Dishonesty in at least two ways
    • Deceit—actual lying
    • Hiding the truth—not just of facts, which we will lump in with the above, but of our internal, subjective experience. Our process. And what is going on for us.
  • Blaming others for our circumstances or the situation AND
  • Failing to take responsibility for our part in a conflict or misunderstanding
  • Simply meaning two different things—or interpreting something in two different ways—that are in conflict unknowingly until the it causes a conflict explicitly and openly
  • An egoic need to “be right” put before a search for truth and accuracy
  • A lack of emotional choice or facility [being run by our anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, resentments etc.]
  • A lack of knowledge around how to effectively communicate through a conflict—a lack of a positive, effective, workable model
  • A lack of skillful means with those models
  • A collision of values/world-views that are in conflict

 

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From Chance to Wisdom | From Conflict to Connection | Video Summary

Recently, I offered a free evening workshop on relationships. Both dating as well as conflict resolution. But the truth is, these distinctions are useful tools in any kind of relationship--be it professional, romantic, personal, or ... well, any relationship. I could have really recorded several versions of this -- or even broke this one out into three and flesh the ideas, tools, and concepts even further, but consider this a dense yet brief overview of a 2-hour workshop.

Watch the video below for more. And rememer to imagine other applications in addition to the situations I mention.

Want an iPad version?  Your video is »here« . Want to watch it on the iPhone?  Click »here«. On most other devices, the HTML5 video below should do just fine.

Approximate run-time is 31 minutes.

 

 

 

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