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Relationship Alive!

Neil Sattin interviews John Gottman, Sue Johnson, Harville Hendrix, Peter Levine, Stan Tatkin, Dick Schwartz, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Diana Richardson, Terry Real, Wendy Maltz - and many others - in his quest to dig deep into all the factors that keep a Relationship Alive and Thriving! Each week Neil brings you an in-depth interview with a relationship expert. Neil is an author and relationship coach who is enthusiastic and passionate about relationships and the nuts and bolts of what makes them last. You can find out more about Neil Sattin and the Relationship Alive podcast at http://www.neilsattin.com
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Now displaying: June, 2017
Jun 27, 2017

There’s nothing quite as powerful to help you on your journey as the community of friends that surround you. However, our friends aren’t always clear on how to do that - particularly when it comes to your relationship. How do you enlist your friends to support you in your partnership? In today’s episode, you’ll discover a sweet way to create a moment of deep connection with your partner and to show your friends exactly how they can help you and your partner nurture your connection. If you’re single, this practice will show you how you can harness the energy of your community to keep you on track in life - and in your quest for the right relationship (if you’re looking for that).

Along with strengthening your relationship, this practice will also help you strengthen your connection to your friends!

Jun 20, 2017

How do you stop repeating the old beliefs and actions that are holding you back? How do you ensure that the core part of your inner guidance is sending you in a positive direction? If you find yourself doing the same old dance again and again - either with your current partner or in relationship after relationship, then this is the episode for you. Joining us is Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of the NYT Bestseller Conscious Uncoupling, as well as the bestseller Calling in the One, as a guide through a powerful process of self-discovery. We dive deep into a core part of her work, the “secret sauce” that has helped Katherine transform the lives of so many people worldwide.

Katherine Woodward Thomas has been on Relationship Alive a couple times previously. If you’re interested in hearing our other episodes together, they are:

Ep 21: Healing Pain from Past or Present Breakups

Ep 3: Overcoming Your Barriers to Love and Connection

Repeating the story: So often we get into relationships that allow us to recreate old and often painful patterns developed in our childhoods. While this duplication process may partly be in search of healing, it is more due to the fact that we lack the skills to do relationship any differently. Luckily this can shift. We can learn the skills and repair the developmental needs in order to navigate our relationships to the highest potential they hold for our happiness and wellbeing.

Getting to the center of it all: We generate our lives from what lives at our center. What core belief about love are you carrying at your center? It is from this belief, often formed in childhood, that we generate our entire experience in the world and in relationship. If your core belief is broken (No one will ever love me, I am unworthy of love, I don’t deserve love), no amount of skills will help remedy. Instead an entirely new center must be found - one that is truer and has more room for positive possibility and growth. It is this excavating of old beliefs that allows us to move from post traumatic stress towards post traumatic growth.

Beliefs are relational: Our core beliefs were created in relation to another, and are, thus, also able to be healed through relationship. Remember however, that no one can show up for us in a way that we are not showing up for ourselves. We must teach those around us how to love us by the ways in which we love ourselves.

Source fracture wounds: Source fracture wounds are the result of our original experiences of being hurt in love. These experiences, often long forgotten by explicit memory, become so entwined with our entire identity that it may take some time and support to be able to unblend enough to identify them.

The body holds beliefs: Our implicit beliefs are held more in our bodies than in our brains. Try closing your eyes for a moment and connecting with your painful pattern in love. How does this experience show up in your body? Is it a heaviness in your heart? A tightness in the stomach? An ache in the solar plexus? Stay connected with it and welcome in the feelings while letting this part of your body tell the story “I am...or I am no...or other people…” Listen. Then ask yourself - how old is this part of me? Allow this dialogue to continue between yourself and this young self. Once you feel like you have really listened in, you can begin to update this young belief with a more mature and validating voice: for example, share with it that you are, in fact, deeply loved by all of life and there is evidence around for how all of life loves you. Once we have discovered the old stories we created long ago, we have the opportunity to mentor and usher in a new perspective.

Stay in relationship between yourself and your tender parts: The places in our bodies that hold these beliefs often cause us both emotional and physical pain. This tends to make us want to ignore and shun these areas of our bodies, however it is actually these areas that need the most TLC. Continue to build a relationship between yourself and these tender areas. Place a hand on these parts of yourself and let them know you are there. These parts of ourselves are often lonely, stuck, and waiting for us to liberate them from the story they are trapped in. Talk to yourself! You will likely have a sense of immediate relief. Let your parts know “I am enough, I am a treasure”. This dialogue and honoring allows you to course correct the consciousness of long stagnant and painful thought/feeling networks.

Start within. Are you ready and desiring of a new love experience? It may be time to wake up from old trance. In order to step into a more authentic, fulfilling, and growth oriented relationship you must 1) be willing to go deeper, 2) stop being a victim, and 3) begin to reflect on yourself as the source of your own experience with your partner.

See yourself as the source:  In what ways are you creating situations that provide more evidence for your source fracture story? We so often covertly pull on others to validate our old stories. This is subtle, subconscious, and because we can’t see how we are manipulating our experiences we are left feeling like others are doing it to us. The truth is that most of the things that we do that lead to toxicity and disappointment are old strategies we developed in childhood to protect ourselves. Predictability, even if negative, is safer than the unknown and so we create situations that give us more evidence for our aloneness/lack of safety/unworthiness or whatever else we believed in order to make sense of the world. Can you reflect with humility and curiosity on the ways that you yourself may be the source of breakdowns in your relationship?

Sit in your truth: Given that we create our lives from our center, we must tend this center with care and clarity. Depending on our core belief we are either going to navigate our way into the higher potentials of a relationship or we are going to spiral the potentials downwards into the old story. When we function from our source fracture story we end up choosing people who will predictably play out our old patterns, however when we are able to live from a deeper truth we lose interest in old dramas and become increasingly more attracted to healthy people.

Ask empowering questions. Ask the questions that will lead to truth and growth. How am I giving away my power to my partner? How am I treating myself in ways that have trained my partner to treat me this way? By taking responsibility you can enter into a completely new (and likely more honest and productive) conversation with your partner.

Enlist your partner: Become evolutionary partners by helping each other grow and wake up to a deeper truth. Ask your partner to give you feedback and insight into ways you might be impacting the dynamic without realizing it. Through honest and humble conversations such as these we begin to turn our relationships into places of safety (rather than needing to tap dance around each other’s wounds).

Getting from limbic to cortex: It is inevitable that you and your partner will trigger each other and cause each other to “go limbic”. Once you have gone limbic - all bets are off! Be sure to give yourself timeouts so that your nervous system and brain can come back online. By giving yourself the time necessary to shift back to a regulated state you will be better prepared to engage from your wise adult self. One way to help shift this is through affect labelling. Try taking a deep breath and ask yourself ‘what am I feeling right now?’. Notice and then name the specific emotions. Through mirroring back to yourself your own internal experience you begin to de-escalate the intensity and bring yourself back to center. From here you are better able to choose curiosity and compassion in the face of challenge and imperfections. Both affect labelling and choosing compassion are key skills and relationship muscles needed for growth and repair.

Graduate from old patterns: Are you ready for a paradigm shift that will leave you more ready, more open, and more capable of big love? Change starts from setting an intention to have happiness and love. The biggest obstacle to this that many of us face is being blended with the identity of someone who is unworthy of it. Through lovingly and patiently working with the parts of yourself that hold wounded beliefs you are able more accurately fill needs that were unmet when you were younger. As we look more at our own development we are able to recreate the experiences we missed and unravel the old story by replacing it with invalidating experiences that are at once empowering and so needed. This requires vulnerability. As you learn your own true needs and begin to practice communicating this to safe people in your life, you will in turn be welcoming in the evidence of what’s true about you. These are all learnable skills! Practice identifying what was missing, asking for what you need, and allowing yourself to receive. Remember, vulnerability is often the doorway into a place of growth, restoration, and true healing.

 

Resources:

 Interested in Katherine Woodward Thomas’ coaching training? Check it out here!

 Read Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life

 Also read Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After

 Find out more about Katherine Woodward Thomas’ work on her website

www.neilsattin.com/kwt3 Visit to download the show guide, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the show guide to this episode with Katherine Woodward Thomas

 Our Relationship Alive Community on Facebook

 Amazing intro/outro music graciously provided courtesy of:

The Railsplitters - Check them Out

Jun 13, 2017

How do you clear away the energy of your past to help you be present in your life, and relationship? In today’s episode, we talk about a specific process to tie up loose ends, so that they don’t drain your energy here and now. Why let all of those old connections get in the way? After you go through this process, you’ll feel so much lighter, and have more mental and emotional capacity for the current things that matter most.

In this week’s episode, I’m building a bridge for you between last week’s episode, with David and Lila Sophia Tresemer - where we talked about Conscious Weddings and the power of making commitments, and next week’s episode, which will feature Katherine Woodward Thomas and a deep dive into transforming your core love identity. Enjoy - and please let me know how it goes for you!

Jun 6, 2017

How do you bring magic and consciousness to the way that you commit to your partner? And, if you’re getting married, how do you create a wedding that truly represents YOU - not simply what society expects a wedding to be? Plus - is there a way to imbue your commitment with dynamic energy - instead of feeling confined, and stagnant? It today’s episode, our guests are Lila Sophia and David Tresemer, the authors of Conscious Wedding Handbook, and producers of the DVD Couples Illumination: Creating a Conscious Partnership. Along with answering these questions, we chat about how to develop deep, sacred alignment with our partners - and how to create space for the “Sacred Moment” to occur - in your weddings and rituals, as well as life in general!

 We need to be engaged: It is not quite enough to just want to be happy and ‘do life’. In order to be fulfilled in our lives and in our relationships it is critical to engage in discovering and committing to that which gives a sense of a deeper and more expansive meaning. Begin, as a couple, to ask questions such as: What are our values? What new project do we we want to undertake? What kind of social spiritual activism can we engage in? How can we deepen in ourselves and create meaning as a couple? In order to sustain vibrancy as a couple it is important to be proactive and engaged. Use the support of your sacred union to do this!

 Promote curiosity: We never want to lose sight of the magic of ourselves and our partners. One way to build curiosity is through something called repeated questioning. Repeated questions are based on a foundational belief that there is always a deeper layer to access. When you keep repeating the question you will get different responses. As the automatic answers are heard, and you continue to ask for further layers, you become capable of accessing a more mystical realm. This exercise promotes intense curiosity and deep listening.

 Repeated Questioning: Start off simply! In an attempt to practice this exercise, begin with something as innocuous as “what is your favorite dessert?”  The questioner/coach ALWAYS says “thank you”, and then repeats the question- “what is your favorite dessert?” Go for about 3 minutes, and then switch. You will begin to discover things that are below the obvious and are true discoveries. Let it flow! After the exercise, be sure to take a moment to integrate through writing. What did we learn? What surprised us?

 “What is relationship for?”: Ask this question, and then repeat. Ask again. And again. Explore. Listen. Allow innate wisdom to come through. This is especially great to do with your partner so you can discover and delight in new awarenesses together.

 Cultivate equanimity:  This exercise is not about fixing, judging, or changing your partner. It is about deeply listening in and holding space for something new to emerge. This is a nurturing exercise, rather than a manipulating or manifesting one. Stay present, stay curious, and stay open. If you find yourself taking answers personally, or becoming emotionally charged, try to come back to the basics of the exercise. If you cannot connect back with your open self, pause and recalibrate- finding regulation either with the support of your partner or by taking a break by yourself.

 1, 2, Oneness. Through a dynamic partnership with another human being love can find a home in a way that leads to very astonishing experiences. This connection can be called ‘one-ness’- that sense of being in touch with creation itself. While this togetherness is incredibly powerful and juicy, it is critical that we continue to cultivate our own one-ness. We must be able to be sovereign individuals who would be happy to live on our own, and from this sense of inner stability choose to join with another to become a 2. If this is not the case we may find that we are choosing our partner because we are looking for a cure (and we do NOT marry our doctors). We do not thrive in love when our brokenness chooses our relationships. Choose from wholeness, whatever that might mean to you in any given moment.

 Tender territory. Every couple must learn to recognize that each individual needs to be accountable to their own sense of wholeness and sovereignty. From this knowing they are far better equipped for connection versus conflict. From wholeness each person can use their tools to best help navigate difficult territory with the intention of collaborative repair instead of a place of needing to be right or prove themselves. Learn to take care of your own triggers. Learn to take responsibility for yourself when you are in reactivity. After a disruption remember to join forces again to reflect together on how to do it better next time. And of course, be sure this is a loving conversation in which you both show up with curiosity, rather than with blame and shame.

 Cultivating a sense of wholeness: Is total wholeness a prerequisite for being in a relationship? This is an important question, however there is not one right answer. Plus, to think that we can only come into relationship when we are completely whole would likely eliminate a lot of weddings!  It will always be true that we always have more of our individual work to do. And it is always true that we are always in relationship. There are cycles in personal growth that one constantly goes through, and it is not a linear path to wholeness.  What is necessary is that we are able to have enough self awareness to know how to check in with ourselves and ask what we might need in any given moment. Do I need to go into a 10 day solo retreat? Do I need to go away with my partner for a vacation?  Do I simply need to walk out of the room right now?

 Relationships are for mutual support! Magical things can happen through relationship  with another human being!  Part of this magic is the gift you receive from your significant other’s support for you to do your own work. Through supportive partnership you can stand shoulder to shoulder and assist each other in growing into your individuality in more authentic and expansive ways. The learning may be filled with light and love, or perhaps hurt and frustration. All relationships (INCLUDING those that end) offer opportunities for growth and learning. Cultivate gratitude for the supportive aspects of your partnership as this can become a resource yard to visit in challenging times.

 Twin flames. Whether you are single, dating, or prepping for marriage it is worth checking out your inherited views on how to know if someone is right for you. Do you find yourself believing in the concept of twin flames? Soul mates? Prince charming? Happily ever after? And how do these concepts affect you? Are there certain idealizations or expectations that you may need to let go of or dissolve in order to be open to that which is in front of you? Or perhaps you just need to edit/reinvent an ideal to help reinforce your faith and knowing?

 Celebrate and care-take the jitters: Almost everyone stepping into big commitment has and will experience ‘the jitters’. This phenomenon is NOT necessarily a sign that something is wrong. These jitters are simply anxiety, and anxiety is just energy that is trying to communicate something to you. Don’t suppress it- instead, work with it. Breathe into it, take it to the gym... try to help it find its shape and form because it is here to assist you in growing. Having this (often pre-wedding) anxiety can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, however it is here because you are working with the unknown. By respecting this, you get to celebrate the jitters as it means that things are happening!

 Forever: Have you been married before and wondering how to trust your sense of ‘foreverness’ as you prepare to marry again? Does the word ‘forever’ bring you comfort, or discomfort? It can be helpful to explore your sense and assumptions of the word before entering into marriage. Can you connect with foreverness as being more about a space and experience beyond time? A mythical conceptual form that helps us reach towards bliss and creative power and invokes something greater? As mortals we cannot promise foreverness, so how can we redefine this term in a way that brings bigness into the wedding, without having it become a binding or limiting paradigm?

 Reframe failure:  Not all relationships will be lifelong. Not all relationships should continue. Exploring what this might mean in your own partnership before the wedding is a mature and loving undertaking. Dealing with the possibility of future splitting up front is as real as it gets.  If we enter consciously into relationships, then there is the possibility to end consciously as well. What conversations or steps do you need to take together to not make divorce a taboo? While this can be daunting territory to bring into a pre-wedding process, couples who do discuss future possibilities report feeling much more secure, trusting, and able to navigate the challenges that do arise. NOTE: It can be very helpful to seek out the support and services of a third party, such as a mediator skilled with creating prenuptial agreements, to help you answer questions without going into a fear-based place.

 Conflict WILL occur: As soon as the possibility of divorce/separation is safely introduced into a partnership, couples are much more able to navigate conflict. Conflict WILL occur (actually we should all hope it does so that we can keep learning and growing). Unfortunately many people are terrified of conflict because they believe it might result in separation, and thus they take many harmful steps to avoid, suppress, or appease important areas of tension. What if, instead, you can recognize that you need to be able to harness the energy of conflict to help break through to the other side? Can you craft a ship for your relationship that is as watertight as possible to weather the inevitable storms? Build resiliency through having a well crafted contract, good tools, and deep love. And be sure to create a constellation of shared values and visions to help you navigate the stormy times.

 In whose name? In whose name is a question that helps identify this constellation. What is highest vibration that you associate with your relationship? The core intention? The answer may be religious, or it may be spiritual. Is it compassion? Love? Service to humanity? Awakened awareness? Truth? Find that which inspires both of you to connect with something greater. This greatness will then be there to sustain you through the challenges.

 The sacred moment:  Sacredness cannot be manufactured. Sacredness cannot be ordered, planned, or guaranteed. And yet, sacredness belongs in your wedding, just as much as it belongs in your marriage. Weddings are one of the last remaining ceremonies in modern Western cultures, and are largely defined at this point by consumerism. Look closely at ways you may be being influenced by the wedding industry’s expectations, and look closer in at your own desires for the ceremony. The wedding ceremony is truly an opportunity for a transformational experience. While we cannot force sacred moments to occur, we can set intentions and create containers and temples to allow for what is real to emerge. Work with whomever is marrying you to find ways throughout the ceremony to leave space for spontaneity. By bringing in intention and invoking that magic can happen is the key to it actually happening. It is not in the words as much as it is in the space between the words. It is less about having the most perfectly crafted wedding plan, as it is about laughing during the mistakes. Be sure to choose a celebrant who can hold the ceremony in a way that lets you let go! This will allow you, and all of your guests, to relax into the felt sense that something significant IS happening. Remember, you can’t force it- you can simply invite love in, and if you make the needed space, it will show up- and often in the oddest and funniest and most unexpectedly delicious way!

 Sweet silence: Safe silence is one of the greatest gifts we can share with someone we love. Invoke and celebrate this by allowing moments of silence in your wedding ceremony. Silence can be the pregnant moment gives just enough time for sacredness to sneak in.

 

Resources:

 Find a specialized gift for you on their website here:  http://www.illuminatedrelationships.com/neil

 Read David and Lila Sophia Tresemers’ book: Conscious Wedding Handbook

 Check out their courses on their Illuminated Relationships website

 Find out more about their work here  on their website

 Check out their DVD: Couple’s Illumination: Creating a Conscious Partnership

 www.neilsattin.com/wedding Visit to download the show guide, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the show guide to this episode with David and Lila Sophia Tresemer

 Our Relationship Alive Community on Facebook

 Amazing intro/outro music graciously provided courtesy of:

The Railsplitters - Check them Out

 

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