How to Find Yourself Through Your Perceptions of Others

by Nikki Sapp –

If we take any random person then pick five people in their life and interview them about said person we are bound to hear five different perceptions about them. One person may perceive them as funny, kind and warm-hearted while another person may see them as irresponsible, immature and unintelligent.
So whose perception is the correct one?
One of the biggest key in the path of self-awareness is the knowledge that our perception of others has nothing to do with them and everything to do with us. We literally concoct our own perception about people that we meet based on our own relationship with ourselves and our own personality traits.

“We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.” –Carl Jung 

The ego, fearing attention being brought to it, tends to always look outside of itself for someone or something to “blame”, when in fact, it is only recognizing its own traits in other people.
For example, let’s say a person has never experienced the feeling of envy, how could they recognize this trait in another person if they have never experienced it? We can only recognize traits in other people that we also possess or at least have possessed, which means turning our attention outward and blaming or judging others is a pointless endeavor.
When we come to realize that our opinions and judgments of other people have nothing to do with them and everything to do with our own ego, we are then able to use every reaction we have towards others as an opportunity to bring light to an aspect of ourselves that needs healing.

“What angers us in another person is more often than not an unhealed aspect of ourselves. If we had already resolved that particular issue, we would not be irritated by its reflection back to us.” –Simon Fuller

Our reactions to other people are the keys that unlock the forming of an integral and authentic relationship with our self.
If we pay close attention to who or what brings about a strong emotional reaction from us we are able to utilize this to our advantage.
Negative reactions indicate either one of two things.
  • One being that either we are attached to an idea or belief about the way things SHOULD be or the way someone SHOULD behave which means we are trying to force our own agenda on to other people, when in fact, no one HAS to behave the way we think they should. Anytime we hold people to OUR expectations of them instead of accepting them as they are, we are sitting in resistance of the present moment.
  • The other thing a negative emotional reaction can indicate is [social locker] that there is an aspect of our self that we are not wanting to look at, so we are literally finding it in other people as a clue to us that we need to bring awareness to this trait in ourselves.
We may think that we are victims of circumstances or that life is just randomly happening to us, when in actuality, our own unconscious is trying to make itself known to us through our external circumstances and through people that we meet.

“When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.” –Carl Jung

When we start seeing our own self as the “problem” in every circumstance, we are then able to shed the light of awareness on all parts of our “shadow” self (or the part of our psyche that our ego tries to hide from others and sometimes even our self) which will consequently heal these traits in ourselves.

In order to truly heal a part of our self that we have become conditioned to hide from the world we must start to practice 100% honesty with ourselves.
If we are experiencing anger, we admit and allow our self to experience anger, when we experience fear, we identify the fear and only become aware of it. 
It doesn’t mean we have to judge ourselves as good or bad because of the emotions it only means that we are aware of it, and are then able to send unconditional love to these parts of ourselves.
Although, it may sound terrible to always see ourselves as the “problem” and always have to turn our hand and point the finger back at ourselves when we so badly want to point it at another person, it actually is the most empowering move we can make. When we see our self as the “problem” we automatically become our own solution.
If it is our own perception of the world and our relationship with ourselves that is causing us to see shortcomings in others, we become completely empowered to change the situation by merely healing the parts of ourselves that is identifying and resonating with the same “problem” in them.
When we start to see our self in everyone we meet we automatically start forming an honest and authentic relationship with ourselves. In this honesty we are able to cultivate our own awareness and consequently we become calmer, more confident and more accepting of every aspect of ourselves.
When our relationship with ourselves is loving and accepting, we start not only seeing these same traits in other people but we realize that things or people that used to bring about a strong negative reaction from us are now met with forgiveness and compassion.

We quite literally change and heal our relationships with others by changing and healing our relationship with ourselves.

About Author: Nikki Sapp – Inspirational writer/blogger and lightworker, focused on self awareness and personal development. She is dedicated to helping others raise their vibration, discover their true selves and encouraging them to live a life that they truly love.

The Great Rescue in Relationships

by Teal Swan –
Inside all of us, is a little bit o’ rescuer!

It is a common pattern for some of us in relationships to be rescuers. It is as if we are on the look out for someone who we can save or rehabilitate. A rescuer often feels a duty or obligation to maintain a relationship as it is even when we are feeling used. A rescuer often makes excuses for someone else’s behavior even when it is self destructive or harmful to us. 
The rescuer, like everyone else, has needs. 
But rescuers don’t feel worthy enough to ask for what they want. Instead, they convince themselves that if they give enough to others the recipient of their giving will clearly appreciate the rescuer so much that the taker will begin to give back to the rescuer, which is what the rescuer secretly wants all along. They want to be loved, nurtured and cared for. 
That is the hope and fantasy of the rescuer. But, because the rescuer has chosen someone who needs rescuing, someone who by definition takes and does not give, the rescuer never gets what he or she really wants, which is to be rescued. There is no such thing as a rescuer that doesn’t want to be rescued.
If we are a classic rescuer, we need to learn to expose our needs and wants to others in a straightforward way. 
As rescuers, we have a difficult time receiving and so it benefits us to examine the resistance we have to receiving and asserting our needs and wants. We can then begin to learn how to receive. Now if you are thinking, “Thank God that isn’t me, I’m definitely not a rescuer”, think again. I’m going to take you a little deeper and show you how most people are rescuers and they don’t even know it.
Attraction is simple. 
It is either there or it is not there and yet it is a much more complicated thing than you have been led to believe. Many things that draw us to a specific person are savory and many are unsavory. But it is to be understood that when we are searching for a mate, we are looking for a match, an equal. We are in fact looking for ourselves in another.
In the big picture, opposites do not actually attract. One could say that the fact that males attract females is evidence that opposites attract. But the male and the female are both human. Humans attract humans, so same attracts same. In many ways it could be argued that duality and non-duality is just a matter of perspective. 
However, as it applies to humans, the way people usually deal with pain is to swing to one extreme style of coping or the other. But the baseline vibration beneath the surface expression is exactly the same.
For example, take two people, both of which have social anxiety. They both want to hide. One hides by becoming a wallflower; the other hides by creating a persona and becoming the class clown. If they fell in love with each other, we could say “opposites attract” but it wouldn’t be accurate because if we look deeper, the vibration inspiring their personalities is exactly the same. It is social anxiety.
Most of the process of attraction is happening on a subconscious level. 
We are looking for the person who mirrors us the very best. This is the way that the universe or collective consciousness ensures the most expansion. Self-actualization is facilitated by our relationships. 
Because of the law of attraction, the universe draws us to the person who mirrors us the best. It feels great when our partner mirrors good feeling things within us, like our caring or our depth or our intellect. But that is not the only vibration that is resident within us. We also have bad feeling things within us as well, like our inability to receive or our self-centeredness or our closed mindedness.
I have yet to meet a person who has not experienced some kind of trauma in their lifetime. 
Even if parents were capable of providing a perfectly loving experience for their children, the very experience of being born into a self that is separate from the whole is traumatizing. So, we have all experienced varying degrees of good feeling things and varying degrees of traumatizing things. These traumatizing experiences cause wounds in us emotionally and mentally and even physically. And sometimes these wounds go unhealed. 
Your number one desire (whether you are conscious of it or not) is to become fully healed. Rather than healed, lets say whole and fully integrated. 
If you are not conscious and aware of these wounds because they happened so long ago, you attract partners who make you aware of those wounds because they mirror them. And by mirroring them, they exacerbate them.
In other words, the people we are inexplicably drawn to have the same wound that we do. And because they have the same wound that we do, it causes a flare up in the wound we both share.
Here’s where the rescuer dynamic comes in. 
On a subconscious level, you have always wanted to heal your wound. But you are unconscious of that wound. And so the only way to see it is to step in front of a mirror. The mirror is your partner. And when you step in front of your partner and recognize the wound, you then start to try to heal the wound in the reflection. 
Thinking subconsciously, “If I can just heal that wound in this other person, I’ll have healed it in myself.” You are insatiably attracted to people who provide you with the opportunity to become aware of and heal that wound, thus becoming a rescuer to that hurt aspect of them and you.
Those of you who have recognized painful patterns in your relationships would benefit by becoming especially aware of this dynamic. 
Chronic painful patterns in relationships suggest that a deep unhealed wound is resident that you keep trying to unconsciously remedy through your relationships. You are trying to love yourself through them.
Take a very objective look at the patterns inherent in what you are attracted to about the people you have been in a relationship with or are in a relationship with. What are you drawn to again and again? Rather than get lost in how any of them were different, begin to look for what they had in common with each other. 
Then ask yourself, “What am I drawn to that keeps causing me problems?”
For example, a woman might have dated a great many men, all of whom were very different at face value. But when she asks herself “What am I drawn to that is common among all of the men I’ve been with?” she might realize that she is attracted to athletes who are loners. She notices that is insatiably attracted to outcasts who are lost with nowhere to belong.
She recognizes that the fact that they are athletes does not cause her pain. But the thing that she is attracted to that is causing her problems is that they are loners. The reason it is causing her pain is because she has found out the hard way that loners are often loners for a reason. They keep people at arms length and are emotionally unavailable. As a result, they make her lonely.
You see, the reality (if this woman was to look deep enough) is that she, herself is lonely. 
Her wound is that she feels like a loner who is lost with nowhere to belong. She is attracting men with her exact same wound. She is subconsciously convinced that if she can get a loner who is lost and doesn’t belong to feel lovingly connected to her and feel like they belong with her, she has solved her own loneliness problem. 
When this woman thinks about the prospect of being with a man who is not lonely and who is not lost and who feels as if he belongs in the life he is living, she feels as if there will be no space for her in his life. She fears that he will only make her feel like she does not fit in and thus feel lonelier and more outcast than she already does. This woman is trying to rescue herself through the men she is with. She is trying to rescue and heal the parts of herself that need healing through him.
We look for others who have the same wound that we have so that we can heal our own wound externally. We are rescuers. But we are trying to vicariously rescue ourselves.
Here’s another example, a man might discover that all the women in his past, though different in many ways, were all very beautiful and were unstable and dark and negative. Also, every one of them wanted desperately to be famous. Which means that they all lacked a sense of significance. He is not caused pain by the fact that they are beautiful. 
The problems arise for him as a result of the fact that they are unstable, dark, negative and attention seeking. The reason it keeps causing him pain is that these common personality traits in the women he has been with always end up making him feel emotionally unstable, hopeless and like he is sinking into a dark space.
You see, the reality (if this man was to look deep enough) is that he, himself is emotionally unstable, dark, negative and lacks a sense of significance. That is his wound. He is attracting women with his exact same wound. He is subconsciously convinced that if he can get an unstable, dark, negative woman who lacks a sense of significance to feel stable, light, happy and self confident, he has healed his own problem. 
When this man thinks about the prospect of being with a woman who is stable, light, happy and self confident, he feels a sense of panic. He feels as if he will be exposed and cannot hide his dysfunction. He also feels like he is ultimately not good enough for her. This man is trying to rescue himself through the women he is with. 
He is trying to rescue and heal the parts of himself that need healing through her.
If your relationships are chronically painful, chances are that what you have in common with your significant other is your wounds. You are trying to save yourselves through each other. And as the other person exacerbates your wounds, you will beg them to solve the problem and make you feel better. But the pain just gets worse. 
The more time you are with them, the bigger the mirror becomes.
I will give you a hint that the thing we most often try to rescue in others is the very deepest pain within ourselves. 
I made a YouTube video a while back called “Find your Negative Imprint, Find your Life Purpose”. We usually try to rescue ourselves by finding people who mirror our negative imprint. So watch that video to get deeper awareness of what you might be trying to rescue in yourself through others.
Once we become aware of this pattern, we can go to work on the real issue… the wound within ourselves. 
For example, the woman in the previous scenario can take steps to feel less lonely and begin to let love in. She can also choose different partners who do not up the chances of her ending up lonely within a relationship.
The man in the previous scenario can change his life in ways that cause him to feel stable. He can work on cultivating positivity and building his self-confidence to the degree that he feels his own significance.
Awareness
Awareness causes integration and healing to occur spontaneously so sometimes awareness of the wound within you is all it takes to stop being attracted to people who mirror that wound. 
So now, all that’s left to do is to ask you a question… 

What is within you that is in need of rescue?

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How Resentments Hinder Us from Letting Love In


by Jane Straus –

We hold onto resentments in an attempt to protect ourselves from future hurt; however these resentments impact our ability to let love in now. We tend to try to make up for our past “mistakes” by avoiding people who look or sound similar to our exes. Instead of opening up, we work hard at weeding out. 

For example, if you were hurt in a relationship with someone who was controlling in nature, you may think that the solution is to find a new person who is passive. If someone was a “taker,” you may try to home in on “givers.”

Discernment, learning from experience and having criteria are certainly part of the cure but if we don’t address our past resentment and the underlying fear, we will find ourselves in Groundhog Day.*

Why? 

Because our spirits will not let us avoid whatever our lessons are. 

Have you ever said, “I thought s/he was so different from my ex, but s/he turned out to be just the same.” Of course! Our spirits wouldn’t have it any other way even if our minds would. We will attract the same issue in different disguises to give our spirits another opportunity to heal.

Therefore instead of thinking of dating or love as a game of “dodge ball,” we can examine what our part was in the past that made us unhappy and resentful. Did you mute yourself instead of speaking up? Did you allow someone to undermine your confidence? Did you let yourself be manipulated?

Give yourself compassion and forgive yourself for anything you did that was damaging to your spirit. You now have the power to choose not only the type of person you wish to be with but also the type of person you wish to become.

*Reference is to the film ‘GroundHog Day’ with Bill Murray. In my book, Enough Is Enough!, I talk about the movie or what I call “enlightenment wrapped in the guise of a comedy.”
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Dealing With Confrontational People

by Ni Marco –

I don’t know about you but I’m not very fond of confrontation. It always feels awkward and uncomfortable, and in most occasions leads to undesirable outcomes. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer of standing up to my values and beliefs, remaining truthful to my principles without the pretension, however, to foist them on others. I am not a fan of charades, tip toeing or being socially polite regarding my view of the world. For one I don’t tolerate injustice and I am not afraid to stand for what I feel and think is right and fair.
As the famous author, James Redfield, mentions in his book ‘The Twelfth Insight’, “we must uphold the truth in every circumstance in life because only then will be able to establish honest and uplifting interactions with others.”
So, you can understand how sometimes people will not agree with your truth and feel threatened by it. However, what most of us lack to understand is that the way we respond to the world has its fundament on our own limited way of perceiving it, which turns our behaviors into mere reflections of our own internal representations.

By disagreeing aggressively people are demonstrating the reaction of their threatened ego and a disruption of their own identities. Aggressiveness is then part of their internal representation of the world. This is an unresourceful state or reaction, that demonstrates a lack of adaptability and flexility, which firms people even more into their own beliefs systems.

All in all, it’s important to keep an opened mind and have flexibility of thought because we can only broaden our own view of the world if we decide consciously to maintain such perspective. This is how we grow and evolve, by experimentation and critical judgement.
The trap of confrontation
When we are being confronted our first immediate reaction (internal or external) is to be swept away by our ego’s eagerness to fight back and level our response to the other person’s menace. This is our defensive mechanism that is turned on when the alarm bells in our heads go off, when we feel our sense of identity being threatened.
At this stage we might be tempted to engage in an argument, being conniving with the other person’s illusion of reality. But we must restrain ourselves from this trap. If you argue back you are strengthening the other person’s way to view and experience the world, you are entering the trap in which he will feed of the energy you give him, and as commonly put: you are adding fuel to the fire.
At this point just:
  • take a breath
  • bring yourself into awareness
  • keep calm, focused and centered in your truth
When we are genuinely consciously aware of our true essence, sure of our pure intentions and are able to stay truthful to ourselves, our beliefs and values, then we realize a deep shift in behavior. We need to be able to do this well for our own sake.
Most importantly we should make an active effort to maintain high energy levels as a way of protecting ourselves from the energy frequencies that the other person is emanating. 
Be aware so you:
  • do not take the other person’s energy
  • do not grant them power over you
  • do not allow them to manipulate your emotions, thoughts or words
Remember that people are a reflection of their internal representations, so what they are externalizing is nothing more than their own inner reality, it has nothing to do with you!
Keep in mind the principle of cause and effect: we mustn’t let other people’s actions or words dictate our own way of experiencing the world. Taking responsibility for our own internal states is a form of taking control over our behaviors, thoughts and ultimately lives.

If you want the other person to express the opposite behavior than the one they’re showing you will have to try to reason with the person:
Give him back the truth of your view from where you stand, meaning give back to the person the reality of his behavior by acknowledging his altered state: “You seem to be very angry about …” or “Why are you behaving so aggressively?” or “Are you aware of how aggressive your behavior is right now?”
Sometimes people overreact in situations and are not aware of how irrational their behavior becomes and the above could suffice to bring them into awareness.
By describing the facts of the situation you are taking the negative energy charge that is being directed towards you and redirecting it back to the other person. This could either go one of two ways: either the person realizes and acknowledges their overreaction or becomes even more infuriated.
If by then you are in the middle of the second hypothetical situation and no matter how you plea with reason the person other is not responsive to that, my advice would be: just leave it! Abandon the conversation and let the other person come to their senses at their own terms (if ever). There is no gain in sustaining a situation where your energy is being threatened of depletion!

Wish them all the best from the bottom of your heart, hope that they’ll find their way into assertiveness and awareness and then simply let them go in their own path while you distance yourself from them.

Don’t feel bad about leaving a discussion that is no longer fruitful or in which the other person is blinded by their reason. Protecting yourself is the best thing you can do for you and them! In short, when in confrontational situations, the best rule of thumb is not to get suck into the other person’s arguments or illusions. As the very wise polish proverb announces: “Not my circus, not my monkeys!”

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Qualities in Evolved Relating

by Chris Bourne – 
 The Consciousness Shift is Causing Untold Pressure. People are unwinding, unfolding and breaking free from eons of constraint. It’s a truly wonderful movement to behold but it’s a double edged sword too. 

In many cases it’s generating untold pressure within families and relationships: it’s causing great friction and sometimes even tearing them apart. What can we do about this? I feel strongly in my heart we need to redefine the very nature of relationship:

Redefining Relationships


Classic Archetypal Relationships

Consider for a moment some of the classic archetypal relationships like marriages, partnerships, parent-child, friends and work colleagues. These are classic stereotypes that have been fixed quite rigidly in our collective consciousness, cemented by eons of conditioning.
What do these relationship archetypes do to our soul?
To me, the soul arises from the inner void of pure presence. In enlightened states – which we’re all moving towards – the soul is highly spontaneous. It flows like the wind through the trees and although has consistency, is never completely predictable. It flows according to the myriad of possibility within our consciousness landscape.
Prior to this state of course, there is the conditioning of the ego to overcome. The ego builds loops of conditioned programming based on our upbringing and the dogmatic beliefs within society. We take on either controller or victim type mentality (or a mixture of both). Each behaviourism is like a computer program, it has a purpose and a need to run. All it requires is someone else to press the button. We end up living in co-dependant emotional and psychological states.

Working with the Law of Attraction

We’ve formed internally fixed ideas and notions about how our relationships with people should be. These are not just conscious thoughts however. I’m speaking of an inner consciousness landscape that impacts our lives but for many, cannot even be seen or touched. They’re not looking in the right place.
That’s why embracing The Law of Attraction is so beneficial to us. We draw to ourselves the mirror: one which not only reflects how we are, but also how we could be. The mirror activates all kinds of inner buttons – like that of blame for example: “why are you doing this to me?” is the classic cry.
The problem is that soul’s are working towards enlightenment- total freedom of expression and liberation. They don’t want to be put on show like some bird of paradise and simply admired, they yearn to escape the cage and fly freely.

Opening Pandora’s Box

What I’ve frequently noticed in marriages and partnerships for example, is the challenge of one partner accelerating or having a breakthrough, whilst the other remains temporarily constant. It can place inordinate amounts of stress within a fixed ‘relationship’.

If we get up one morning expecting our partner to be exactly how they were yesterday, speaking to them and treating them as some kind of fixed identity that we rotate around, then in effect, a prison of consciousness is being created to either stifle the unfolding soul or causing it to rebel.

You can’t close the Pandoras box once it is opened!

It’s very similar in parent child relationships. My own parents struggled greatly to come to terms with my awakening and evolution. However, by being profoundly honest about how I was now feeling, and working to be as compassionate as possible, but without compromising my soul, they did eventually come to at least accept me, as I am, even if they don’t fully understand.
And of course in being totally authentic, we provide the possibility for others to see their truth too. If we’re always living according to their expectations, then the mirror we’re supposed to provide is tainted and so we’re actually disempowering them, because we remove the possibility of an accurate reflection…
“Mirror mirror on the wall, aren’t I the fairest of them all?”
Well actually, you probably need to peel away a few layers first!
I’ve also experienced the dynamic from the other side. Where I’ve allowed myself to be seen and defined simply as “Dad”, it’s come with all kind of limiting expectations within the child that I simply couldn’t live up to. Yes I feel compassionately responsible, but I find my soul naturally challenges situations where another would become dependent upon me. Not that I don’t support them, but love does not smother, it empowers and liberates.

If you love someone, set them free!

In one of my three paternal/child ‘relationships’, which was at the time was struggling for true empathy and understanding, we jointly ditched the word “Dad”. I encouraged my son to call me Chris and to embrace me exactly as he found me, without expectation.

Likewise, I allowed myself to see him less of a son and to address him as I found him. I can tell you it had a deeply profound effect, like switching from night to day. Any expectations (including karma on his part) wonderfully floated away like a helium balloon with the “Dad” label attached.

Although we are both very different – in many ways like chalk and cheese – we have come to totally accept each other the way we are. It’s taken all of the stress out of our relationship and now we have a fantastic mutual ‘relating’ situation that honours both.

By ditching the labels, it means we are coming closer together. It melts my heart!

The new relating

My first marriage ended because we grew quickly apart. I don’t see this as a ‘bad’ thing. I don’t see relationships in the ’till death us do part’ manner. I believe we have sacred contracts to work out with one another. Once the lessons have been learned, either the relationship will evolve and grow or the path of the souls will part and each go separate ways to pastures new.
When I came into relationship the second time, with my soul mate, I can openly say it was with some trepidation. I had discovered blissful freedom. I didn’t want to be constrained again. I simply knew all souls were meant to be free. I remember taking myself off into nature one day, having had a challenging time, pondering my new relationship, when the following realisation popped into my heart…

“Rigid relationships are as redundant as building structures on shifting sand. The sand has no relationship with the sea, rather it relates to the ebb and flow of the waves as and when they choose to kiss the shoreline.” –Openhand

Wow! It was like a bolt from the blue. Instantly I could comprehend how to be in this relationship: that it should be fluid and flowing; there should be no expectation; there should be space and openness; there should be total acceptance and embracing of where the other person is at. It means you can truly connect with the other, at a deep soul level. It means you can love them unconditionally. It means you can love them more!
Furthermore, such openness in our relating, is a powerful catalyst for your own evolution. No longer can you rely upon the tired excuses of yesterday, you have to be alive to the moment, vibrant, attentive, empathic and above all, open to change.

Essential qualities in evolved relating

So how might we attain such openness within our ‘relationships’?

Seven key qualities spring to mind…

  • Core splitting honesty: make no mistake, if we’re truly going to commit to the spiritual path, then we will be tested within relationships. Desperately holding things together by belts and braces is just not going to hold. We have to be core splittingly honest with each other. If you truly love someone, don’t they deserve to hear the truth from you?
  • Compassion: speaking our truth is fundamentally essential. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do so gently and with compassion – especially if ‘today’s news’ is challenging. It is in the crucible of such inner fire, we can truly burn away the dross, such that compassion naturally unfolds its wings.
  • Openness: we must learn to be open to the fluid truth of the moment. Being in evolving, close relationships is sometimes just like being caught between the polarity of two magnets. If you hold a rigid position and you’re not in profound truth, it can tear you apart. So we must be open to the tidal flows of feeling and emotion, always looking for the mast of centred openness.
  • Unconditionality: the soul is integral and whole. How can it be otherwise when it is an experiential reflection of the One Life? So freedom and space must be given to each. We must learn to adapt to ever changing moods, intuit the relating that is being called for and unconditionally give ourselves to that expression.
  • Courage and bravery: to be this way is going to take a lot of courage and bravery. Your soul will call you to say and do things the effects of which, the ego will greatly fear – “what impact is that going to have?” The ego will be playing the chess game, frequently wondering what the outcome will be. We must have the courage and conviction to confront the ego, always coming from our highest truth.
  • Self completeness: you’re in relationship – a relating situation – but it’s only truly going to work if you are being whole and complete within the engagement. Yes we’re giving of ourselves, but we must first be ourselves in order to give! It’s about finding love in the mirror, but not loosing ourselves within it. We must walk the blade edge of self completeness but fully expressed.
  • Empathy, acceptance and understanding: and here’s the other side of the self completeness coin. We’re not going to have meaningful and fulfilling relationships if we’re not fully present in them! An evolved relating experience invites us to unveil ever deeper levels of feeling empathy. The more we can feel the other, the more we feel ourselves and the more a mutually fulfilling energetic feedback loop is created. Both parties are lifted into a state that is so much more than the separate parts. Empathy, acceptance and understanding is the golden chalice from which both can drink.

Spaces in the togetherness

So redefining our relationships into “evolved relating” offers enormous potential for evolutionary growth. The expansion causes continual confrontation of society’s dogma. It’s like being in a crucible, where diamonds are forged.
Now, I greatly value and cherish the relating experiences in my life. And I find that by committing to my truth and allowing the other to honour their’s, means that I feel more committed within these engagements rather than less. Paradoxically, the new openness generates greater respect, unconditionality and commitment to one another.
Just as a wheel is defined by the space between the spokes, it’s the space within relationships that forges the togetherness:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” –Khalil Gibran, The Prophet

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The Art of Relating


by Keith Varnum – 

I cringed at every loaded word in the title of Dale Carnegie’s celebrated book, How to Win Friends and Influence People! My mother—God bless her!—made me take the Dale Carnegie Training forty years ago when I was in junior high school. The idea that I had to change myself to “win” friends and “influence” people felt manipulative and distasteful to an idealistic teenager. But once I absorbed the authentic attitude of Carnegie’s way of connecting with people, I heartily embraced his approach. He encourages us to “learn to love, respect and enjoy other people.” He emphasizes methods for interacting with people without making them feel manipulated.
The essence of the Dale Carnegie can be captured in this revealing statement: “Wouldn’t you like to have a magic phrase that would stop argument, eliminate ill feeling, create good will and make the other person listen attentively? Yes? All right. Here it is. Begin by saying: ‘I don’t blame you one iota for feeling as you do. If I were you, I should undoubtedly feel just as you do.’”
I only now realize how profoundly my life has been molded by those evenings spent with Carnegie’s spirit. I see now that I did assimilate his wisdom on a deep level and have since used his insights every step of my path to success and happiness.
Carnegie’s book might be more accurately entitled “The Art of Relating.” Awareness of self and awareness of others are his two guiding principles. His sense of “influence” is not about getting our own way. Influence to him is an art. Influence is about seeing a mutually harmoniously way to achieve a desired outcome. 

The heart of Carnegie’s work is about getting excited about others. Carnegie encourages us to see other people as wonderful tapestries adorned with luxurious threads of experiences. At this point techniques cease to be techniques and begin to become a genuine, natural aspect of how we relate to each other.

Dale Carnegie was a pioneer in public speaking and personality development.  He was born in 1888 in Missouri and educated at a small state teachers college. As a salesman and aspiring actor, he traveled to New York and began teaching communications classes to adults at the YMCA. In 1912, the world-famous Dale Carnegie Course was born. He wrote his now-renowned book How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936. 

His work was an overnight hit and has sold more than 15 million copies. Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Carnegie’s tome to people skills is every bit as relevant today as it was when he first wrote this gem. Currently, there are over 2,700 professional instructors that offer the Dale Carnegie Training in more than 75 countries in 25 languages. 


Dale Carnegie teaches that life achievement is due to “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.” His Carnegie Institute of Technology conducted investigations that found about 15 percent of a person’s financial success is due to technical knowledge; 85 percent is due to skill in human engineering—the ability to lead people. He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated.
For example, if you have employees, co-workers or family members who aren’t doing their duties responsibly, you have many options available to you. You can scold them or hound them. Those of us who have tried this approach find that it rarely works, especially in the long term. Dale explains what techniques do work reliably in these situations. The book expands your roster of options, so that when you hit life challenges, you have a variety of pragmatic, effective tools to apply.
Carnegie is also a master of communication skills. You feel a human being is talking directly to you. You know that a heartful person wrote this book. He has a crisp, lively style that keeps you involved. He initially engages you in each chapter with practical questions and relevant stories. He’ll first explain the issue, and then give real life examples of how handling the issue properly helped a real person in a real world situation. He illustrates his points with anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday folks. His suggestions are all straightforward, simple, doable tactics. Once you practice and master them, they can make a powerful difference in how others interact with you.
How to Win Friends and Influence People! covers several essential areas of everyday life such as arousing enthusiasm among your associates, learning to make friends easily, cultivating positive emotions, being tactful, solving problems, and learning to speak effectively. For over 70 years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

The book offers 3 basic techniques for building harmonious personal and professional relationships:

1. “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.” Most people don’t respond very well to condemnation or complaint. Positive reinforcement works better.
2. “Give honest and sincere appreciation.”
3. “Arouse in the other person an eager want.”

Carnegie offers 6 winning “ways to make people like you.”

1. “Become genuinely interested in other people … you’ll be welcome anywhere!”
2. “Smile. A Simple Way to Make a Good First Impression!”
3. “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest sound in any language.”
4. “Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.”
5. “Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.”
6. “Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.”

Carnegie presents 12 effective ways to promote cooperation and “win people to your way of thinking.”

1. “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.”
2. “Show respect for the other person’s opinions.”
3. “If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.”
4. “Begin in a friendly way.”
5. “Get the other person saying ‘yes, yes’ immediately.”
6. “Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.”
7. “Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.”
8. “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”
9. “Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.”
10. “Appeal to the nobler motives.”
11. “Dramatize your ideas.”
12. “Throw down a challenge.”

The book proposes 9 powerful ways to “Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment.”

1. “Begin with praise and honest appreciation.”
2. “Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.”
3. “Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.”
4. “Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.”
5. “Let the other person save face.”
6. “Praise the slightest improvement. Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.”
7. “Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.”
8. “Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.”
9. “Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.”

What is the principal message of this book?

Live the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” How do you do this? Through empathy. Take an interest in other people. Understand their concerns and motives. Give them praise, encouragement and appreciation. Understand that one of the greatest human needs is to feel important and appreciated.

 Dale Carnegie’s concept of valuing humanity works as many wonders today as it did in his day. How to Win Friends and Influence People! is a book to be contemplated and practiced. It’s a book that keeps on giving. It’s a book that makes us more compassionate and successful human beings.   

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Friends We Haven’t Met Yet

We Are All One, No One is a Stranger!
by Heather Rulton – 

There are no strangers to you here on earth, only friends in which you have not had the opportunity to meet yet, in this life. We are all brothers and sisters, we are created from the same Divine creative source, we are all on this life journey together, struggling to find the reasons for the way things are, trying to evolve ourselves into happier healthier beings.
We need not to see our brothers and sisters as stranger because this is not the truth of who they are. Any one we meet along our journey is important to who we are. Everything happens for a reason, so any stranger you meet, is no stranger. They are someone you agreed to have an experience with before you came into this life. You knew them before coming here and had a loving agreement to meet and have an experience, no matter if it feels like a positive one or negative one.
When we treat others as strangers, we treat them less than they deserve. When we treat others as long lost friends we haven’t seen in ages, we embrace them with the love and kindness everyone deserves. When we see others as friends we see the relevance of meeting them and cherish all experiences with them.
Sometimes we can feel this without understanding what we are feeling. Have you ever met any one and instantly had a connection with them, like you have met before or know you are to connect with them, not knowing why? 
This is your unconscious recognizing a soul friend even before your personality has a chance to disregard the meeting as unimportant. This is your soul knowing this is no stranger but is someone who you agreed to share an experience with while in this life.
Reverence is a true unconditional love of all things, people and experiences and when we see no strangers we are less likely to treat them as such, 
We are all one, lets treat each other as such. 
Bless you and every one you meet on your journey!!

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