Monday, September 12, 2016

GETTING REAL                                                                                                   Summer 2016                                                              
     Living an "authentic life" has been getting more and more press and attention as the New Millennium moves forward. But just what does it mean to lead a life of authenticity? Aren't we all doing our best to be who we think we are? Possibly not. As one of the women interviewed for my "Quality of Life Workbook" stated: " I never felt I was doing MY work---the work for which I was born. I always felt that I was fulfilling someone else's agenda. Getting real is following your OWN path and not allowing anyone else's agenda to get in your way! There is a fine line between fear and truth....when you are living your truth, you have NOTHING to fear."
     One of the more eloquent and deep thinkers on the topic of authenticity and "getting real" is author Charlene Stretnak. She is author of the acclaimed book "Resurgence Of The Real."
Her assessment of our modern life is insightful: "We are told that the world is shrinking, that vast distance has been conquered by computer and fax, and that the earth is now a "global village" in which all of us are connected as never before. It feels, however, quite the opposite. It feels as if distancing and disconnection are shaping modern life. If anything is shrinking, it is the fullness of being now experienced by the modern self." This is a sad but realistic commentary on what many of us have accepted as "how it should be."
     In survey after survey, we are shown that Americans are working more but enjoying it less --- even those at the top of the financial ladder. Current political and economic policy seem to be taking note of this. Achieving some kind of improvement in working conditions and wages is on the agenda of both parties in 2016. Being allowed to work less, as it appears most people would like to do,  would give us more time for quality of life (qol) pursuits. Many people across the globe are saying that top of this list is more time with friends and family and more depth in these relationships gives a much higher life quality!
     In the best book I've found on how to achieve more depth in relationships and LIFE is Susan Campbell, Ph.D.'s "Getting Real." She goes through 10 truth skills you need to live an authentic life.
Chief among them are:

1. Experiencing "what is."
Being in the moment. Feeling what is going on in BOTH body and mind to make up an emotion and then expressing it honestly so that you and the other person have a clear understanding of what makes us tick.

2. Being transparent.
Self-disclosure. Telling the truth about who you are. Campbell states: "When you share your thoughts, sensations, feelings, even your judgements "in the interest of transparency," you are less apt to get caught up in the illusion of control." Trying to control the conversation or anothers' actions is one of the big downfalls in relationships. Transparency can be scary, but ultimately rewarding in added depth.

3. Noticing your intention.
Do you REALLY want to communicate or control? Generally intention should be to get clearer, get closer, and be more effective. Unfortunately there are often hidden agendas. Clarity of purpose and honesty are essential.

4. Welcoming feedback.
Getting feedback keeps the two way flow of communication going. Feedback should be given in as kind a manner as possible. Unfortunately most feedback seems to be negative. Try hard to add in some positive feedback with the negative. Let people regularly know what you LIKED about what they did or said!

These are the top 4 of Dr. Campbell's skills to get real. Start with these and get a copy of her book to go deeper into these important life skills.

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