Spiritual Health, Alignment and Purpose

Rumi


Three keys to attaining inner peace and well-being as you live life at work, at home, at play and in relationship. Moving from the ego to higher consciousness.

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com


You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Thinking about Your Negative Thoughts

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Your negative thoughts not only affect your body, but the environment as well.

https://tnp43.wordpress.com/

(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Beyond Judgment

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The Indian philosopher Krishnamurti remarked that “the highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe without evaluating.”

So, a few questions:
Are some of the people around you lazy, or do they just do lazy things?
Are some kids you see stupid, or do they just do things differently from you?
Are some of your co-workers uncreative or do they just approach tasks in a way you wouldn’t?
Are some bosses cold and calculating or do they just manage in ways you might not?
Is your spouse or partner too independent or do they just have a different way of viewing a relationship?

Judging as the cause of disconnects
One of the major causes of disconnects between people – at work, at home, at play and in relationship – is our tendency to not only make observations about their behavior, but to use these observations as the basis to make snap judgments about their character.

When we observe someone and instantly label them on the basis of some behavior or other, we move away from seeing the wholeness and totality of that person.

Many of us engage in knee-jerk, judgmental reactions of others who, in some way, appear “different from me.” We are quick not only to point out the “bad-ness” or “wrong-ness” of another but to evaluate who they are based on our observations of their behavior.

So, Mary’s lazy; John’s a procrastinator; Julia’s unhealthy; Susan’s angry; Mario’s a narcissist, Jane’s aggressive; Art’s a complainer.

None of these judgments is an observation. None of these criticisms points to a simple, objective behavior. All of these are judgments we feel we need to make about a person based on what we have observed.

The next time you find yourself making a knee-jerk reactive judgment, perhaps ask first, “What is that person doing or saying that makes me feel some sense of discomfort?” And then ask yourself, “Why can’t I seem to just notice their behavior without needing to make a judgment or offer an evaluation?”

In fact, it would be interesting if during your day you could actually discern between your observations and your evaluations. Many can’t, because the habit of observing and judging is so ingrained.

Why we judge rather than observe
When our ego, rather than our heart and soul, is left to do the driving, our GPS is based on looking at the landscape from a like/dislike, right/wrong, or good/bad perspective. Built into this dynamic is an evaluative process based on ego-based emotions, feelings, character, qualities, and styles, etc.

So the more someone is “not like me,” the more we feel a tendency to push away from them. All of this is based on our need, often unconscious, to “be right.” When someone behaves – in thought, word or deed – in a way that does not sync up with what we feel is right, we feel challenged (or threatened). And when we feel challenged (or threatened), we feel the need to defend our beliefs, our “rightness.” In doing so, we’re looking to support our psycho-emotional safety and security with “who I am.”

Making judgments about others is how we defend our self. If we can make them “bad” or “wrong,” then we’re right or good. This dynamic is also the underlying foundation of bias and prejudice (conscious ad unconscious). And for many, it is characteristic of living in a world of duality – good vs. bad; right vs. wrong; intelligent vs. stupid, etc.

Moving beyond duality
The way we move beyond this dualistic tendency is to suspend judgment – to observe without evaluating. When we transcend our ego and come from a place of presence – simply observing – we can start to see the essence of another individual.

From this place we can suspend what we like and dislike and allow our soul to look at the truth (not ego-based subjective truth) – a deeper and intuitive sense of another person based on respect, tolerance and understanding, rather than judgement.

And when we’re open and accepting of others, we start to find that we are similar; we are able to accept their personalities without discomfort, resistance, resentment, or difficulty – as we’re relating on a level where love and understanding fill the space between us. Rather than making judgements, we acknowledge other points of view and respond with a “hmmm, that’s interesting” and move on without reacting.

Not by 9:00 tomorrow morning
Being able to accept and understand like this isn’t something that happens overnight, especially for those of us who have a deeply-ingrained tendency towards making judgements about others.

But there are behaviors we can focus on and develop to help us to accept others who push our buttons: patience, understanding, appreciating differences, recognizing the essential nature of others, and being open to, valuing and allowing the uniqueness of others.

When we focus on these behaviors, like and dislike stop being part of the relationship equation. Gradually, they will be replaced by compassion, empathy, acceptance and understanding.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you know the difference between an observation and a judgment?
  • Are you quick to judge? What would your friends, co-workers, or spouse/partner say? How so?
  • What do you “get” by being judgmental? Honestly.
  • Do you blame others for much of your discomfort? How so?
  • Do you become defensive in some way when you encounter people who push your buttons?
  • When you were growing up, were your parents, primary caregivers or others judgmental?
  • Can you envision a world where people can observe one another without evaluating or judging?
  • What is your most recent experience of being judgmental?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Blogging, Negativity and Incivility

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Social scientists, socio economists, and social psychologists are increasingly pointing to the fact that the social mood and mental health in the United States, and across the world’s culture and civilization is turning bad and that overall social mood is going to get a lot worse before improving. Research graphs and diagrams, such as the Elliot Wave Principle, underscore the finding that there is a natural ebb and flow of social mood (positive vs. negative) and that darker times, socially and politically, lie ahead of us, creating increased tension and negativity. Nowhere is this negative mood more evident than in the blogosphere where incivility, disrespect, meanness, bullying, and demeaning behavior rule the day, and the posts. What is it that accounts for this negativity among bloggers and what can be done to perhaps soothe and diminish their high degree of vitriol, rancor, meanness, incivility and disrespect? 

I’ve followed the negativity of blog discussions mainly from the perspective of being curious about the nature of the interactions where the behaviors are as interesting, if not more so, than the content.

There’s no question passion drives many a blogger’s interactions. Unfortunately, passion is often used as an “excuse” (it’s never a “reason”) to treat another blogger disrespectfully or in an uncivil manner. 

Curiously enough, research also points to increases in the number of heart attacks, cancer incidents, obesity rates, diabetes, suicides, spousal abuse incidents, etc. What’s the connection? 

Whether it’s an increase in incivility or in life-threatening illness and disease, these statistics do not mean that I have to engage in anti-social or self-destructive behavior.

I can choose what behaviors support me to live a healthy lifestyle and which don’t. The  same reasoning is true for whether I choose to be civil or uncivil, respectful or disrespectful, hurtful and harmful or compassionate and understanding in my  relationships and interactions, on blogs, that is, in how I choose to show up in the world.

Shakespeare said, “An event is neither good nor bad, only thinking makes it so.” So, why is one’s “thinking” so negative? What belief systems, mental models of the world and people in the world, assumptions, misconceptions, misperceptions does one have hard-wired into their brain that bring one to reactivity, to negativity in the face of just, well, “words”?

So, with respect to how I show up in the blogosphere, the bottom line is the degree to which I am “conscious” — whether I am consciously aware of “how I am” and “who I am” while blogging, and relating to others in a blog community, or am I “unconscious”, being reactive, with no conscious thought of how I am behaving. 

In our current culture in the U.S. where most folks are obsessed with ego needs for control, recognition and security, it’s no wonder that most folks’ thoughts are “killing thoughts” as opposed to “healing thoughts.” The mantra underlying most of our interactions and interrelationships is: “It’s all about me! Out of my way!”

Moreover, in a culture where many folks gain their sense of identity (“who I am”) from a direct association with their “knowledge and information” (the database in their brain), it’s no surprise that much of the incivility and reactivity on blogs comes from the perspective that: “When you disagree with my information, well, you disagree with me”, and because such disagreement is just too much of a hit to many folks’ egos, they react (fight, as opposed to flee or freeze). Agreeing to disagree and engaging in constructive dialogue are fast becoming a lost art forms in Western culture.

When folks are “unconscious” of “how they are” and “who they are”, when folks are unable or unwilling to engage in self-reflection, their tendency is to associate and behave with a herd mentality — witness the vitriol, the high-pitch ever-escalating level of disrespect, sarcasm (in the guise of “humor”), mocking, bullying, that is taking the place on blogs.

Much of the negative and disrespectful exchanges in blogs has to do with how one relates to another human being. Life is relationship — the manner in which one chooses to, consciously or unconsciously, relate to, “meet,” “see” and accept another person. What’s happening in the blogosphere is a manifestation of a blogger’s internal conflict that manifests as a failure to relate to another individual in an accepting, compassionate, respectful manner that transcends simple “exchange of knowledge and information.” 

So, while the research is what it is, that does not mean one cannot consciously choose how one wants to be in relationship, is dialogue, in conversation when blogging.

So, how does one become more conscious of one’s blogging behaviors? How does one become conscious of what’s driving one’s negative blogging behavior? By consciously considering what’s underneath one’s need to be uncivil, mean, disrespectful, and demeaning.

There are two underlying drivers for much of the negative interactions on blogs. These two drivers are characterized as: (1) “It’s not about the information or content”, and (2) “It’s all about the information or content.” 

1. It’s not about the content

From this perspective, what is occurring is the need for an individual blogger to resort to a verbally abusive and bullying approach in an effort to make a “connection” with another person. For other bloggers, the need is to first engage, and then disengage, then engage and disengage, as in a “love-hate” relationship, in order to stay in the game.

In the arena of psychodynamics or ego psychology, both of these behaviors are referred to as “negative merging.” In some relationships, the only way two people can “merge” or have any semblance of “connectivity” (e.g., mental, emotional, psychological, social, etc.) is by fighting or arguing. Without the fighting or arguing, there would be no connectivity, no relating. Thus, the need to bully, argue, demean, find fault, nit-pick, etc., supports a blogger to feel engaged and “merged.” It gives the blogger a sense of “belonging”, being psychologically and emotionally connected. It really has nothing to do with the “information” being discussed or exchanged.

Rather, the negative and uncivil behavior is about connecting and needing to feel “seen” and “heard.” In other words, to feel that the blogger is actually “somebody” as opposed to being a “nobody.” Unless the blogger feels they are somebody, they feel they have no sense of value or worth. The only downside is that playing out of this need to be “seen” comes from a deeper place of anger, fear and negativity.

In “negatively merged” relationships, real and true, mature, heartfelt acceptance, approval, and satisfaction are lacking. So, the only way the two or more bloggers can experience any “faux” connection at all is from this place of negative engagement. Often it’s in the form of poking, being disrespectful, being uncivil, nit-picking, finding fault, etc.

In “negative-merged” relationships, such back-and-forth behavior, and childish emotional acting out, becomes the sole source of contact between bloggers. The bottom line is that in negative-merged relationships, negative contact is better than no contact at all.

So, content aside, two or more such bloggers are no different than a couple who, lacking any real heartfelt, mature, adult-level connectivity, resort to arguing and fighting over how to stack the dishes in the dishwasher, fold the laundry, or vacuum the car, or slice the turkey.

At the end of the day, for negatively merged bloggers, it’s never really about the “content”.

It’s about the need to be “seen” and connect when there’s no true feeling of connectedness. 

Until and unless a “negative-merged” inclined blogger expands their awareness and explores what’s really “underneath” their need to be negative, uncivil and disrespectful, (i.e., by consciously exploring their limiting self-images, beliefs, preconceptions, “hard wiring” about how they view their self-vis-à-vis being in the world and relating to others), there’s probably never going to be any change or transformation of that blogger’s behavior. So, they’ll fight, lick their wounds, go away and come back to fight another day on another blog, always at another’s throat, always argumentative, bickering, poking, criticizing. Why? It’s the only way they know how to “connect.”

2. Content is everything.

The ego-personality is often driven by one’s Inner Judge and Critic, the inner voice that continually creates drama and upset in our lives, that never allows us to truly feel at peace with ourselves. The inner judge and critic is driven by three major ego needs: control, security and recognition.

Driven consistently and relentlessly by these three needs, many of us derive our identity, that is, “who I think I am,” and “who I take myself to be” from external things, as opposed to experiencing ourselves with integrity and authenticity that arises from being in touch with our Inner Nature, our True and Real Self, from what’s “inside.”

One of the externals from which people gain a sense of their identity is their “information.” For these folks, their mantra is “I am my information.” In other words, my identity, who I am, is defined on what I have in my brain, my database. I live in my mind, and my mind defines me as a person. 

Coming from this mental place, then, in a blogging environment, what happens when someone disagrees with an “information identity” blogger, is that the “information identity” blogger is unable and unwilling to see the other’s response as a simple perspective, or point of view, or as just “different from me.” Rather, the “information identity” blogger has a need to react, to become defensive and critical and take the other’s information as a personal affront and as a personal and “attack on me.”

In our culture of right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, win vs. lose, me vs. you, for many bloggers there is little to no room for acceptance of differences, i.e., “different information.” Rather, there’s more of a need for many bloggers to engage in some type of escalating “ad hominem” attack so that the “information identity” blogger can survive, live, and not lose their identity. The “information identity” blogger survives by meeting their need to “be right” in some way, shape or form.

And so when these “information identity” bloggers feel attacked because another blogger

has presented “different information,” or disagreed with them, they emotionally feel out of control, insecure, and unrecognized, unseen. Their internal, unconscious reaction is: “My

God, I have no identity if my information is “wrong. I need to fight back and save my self”.

In this state of (often unconscious) reactivity characterized by anger, fear, worry, resentment, defensiveness, feeling “small”, unseen, invisible, unrecognized, unappreciated, being resistant, defensive and agitated, and feeling a loss of control, recognition or emotional security, some bloggers act out so they can feel and see themselves as big, large, as “somebody” with an identity. 

“Information identity” bloggers might be surprised if they were to explore why they need to act out and sting, poke, demean and bully others, why they need to attack, defend against and counter-attack, why they are so caught up in identifying with “my information.”

What happens in the blogosphere is really no different from what happens between and among individuals and couples every day, at work, at home and at play, i.e., occurrences of the same behaviors that manifest when folks allow their ego-personalities and “comparative-judgmental minds” to get in the way of a healthy relationship, a healthy dialogue, a healthy interaction. The dynamic here with the “information identity” blogger, is that they are being driven by their need for control, recognition and security as opposed to allowing their self to come from one’s inner plane where one can be perfectly comfortable with who one is and where one is without needing to be right and without depending on one’s information as the source of who they are. 

The poking, the disrespect, the vitriol and incivility are all about resistance, denial and projecting. It’s all about not being “consciously conscious of “Who I am” and “How I am” in relationship; so the negativity comes from one’s locking on to cruise control, being “unconscious” and simply reacting to everything happening “outside.” It’s about needing to look “outside” for what’s lacking “inside.”

While some may view ad hominem attacks, rudeness, disrespect, poking, bullying and negative behaviors as “common” in today’s discussions and relationships, they are not, either for children or for adults, and sometimes, in the blogosphere, it’s hard to tell the difference. Reactive elements cause mental, emotional and even physical pain and discomfort as well as for the actual and lurking “ringside” participants and observers, even though they may not even be aware of it. The discord does take a toll, one way or another.

Where some lurkers would honestly and sincerely like to offer their perspectives in a safe environment, they are often wary of doing so as they don’t want to come up against bloggers whose need is to “take it personally” and who react to “different” takes and information in a negative, poking, rejecting manner. It’s the “information identity” bloggers who make many blogs unsafe for so many others who have worthy contributions to make. 

So, the negativity is an attempt to fill this hole of deficiency, thinking that spending time and energy being critical, judgmental, demeaning and disrespectful of others will somehow make me feel “better” at the expense of those who I am stepping on and over in my attempts to get to the top of some ladder (financial, social,  professional, etc.) that will make me feel like “somebody.”

So, what can bloggers do to ensure a more inclusive, safe, mutually-respective container for adult-adult dialogue and reduce the intense degree of negativity that permeates so much of the blogosphere?

Perhaps bloggers can envision and then act to create an environment where one can notice, accept and appreciate the uniqueness of another blogger’s perspective without automatically jumping on the “me vs. you,” “right vs. wrong,” “good vs. bad,” “expert vs. novice,” or “intelligent vs. stupid” continuum.

Perhaps bloggers can take some time to move out of their intellectual zip code of “It’s all about what I know” and explore the perhaps, more foreign, landscape of nonviolent communication to enhance the quality of some of their interactions, even approaching discussions with the curiosity of a “beginner’s mind,” a neutral mind.

Perhaps bloggers can take a deep breath, sense into their bodies and experience their feelings and emotions, before responding to a post and consciously ask themselves, “Why would a reasonable, rational, decent person like me consciously choose to be disrespectful, uncivil and harm another person simply because their “information” is different from my “information?”

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see.” So, if you are engaging in uncivil, disrespectful, demeaning behaviors as a blogger, don’t wait for others to change their tone and tenor. It starts with you.

As Rumi says, “Out beyond right doing and wrong doing, there is a field; I’ll meet you there.” Come from that place in your blogs and interact from that part of yourself that is respectful, accepting, compassionate, empathic, and inclusive.

Bloggers can choose to play in that field with their colleagues; or they can choose to create and fight in a battlefield of words, of ego, hostility and lost identity. One brings happiness, collegiality, contentment and well-being; the other brings pain and suffering, mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually.

Incivility and negativity are all about “resistance” to someone or something “out there” with which one feels uncomfortable, or threatened. Incivility and negativity are all about being “unconscious” of how one is in relationship. Incivility and negativity are all about the ego’s need for control, recognition and security and being unwilling to go “inside” and explore why one needs to hurt, be verbally abusive, and disrespect another. Incivility and negativity are largely about the mantras: “I’d rather be right than happy.” Or, “I have to be somebody at the expense of being seen as a nobody.” 

Life, after all, is choices. Do I choose to be reactive, hurtful, negative and uncivil? Why? Really, really, really, why? 

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

What is a conscious relationship?

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If you ask some couples, as I have, if they’re in a “conscious” relationship, some of the partners will respond, “Sure,” “You bet!” “Of course!” and the like. Then, I might ask, “Are you in a relationship where you’re both completely transparent and honest with each other?” Being transparent means that you honestly, openly directly and consistently tell the truth to your partner – about your feelings, desires, fantasies, thoughts, actions, and all other important aspects of your experience.

This is usually when one or the other, or both, become a little uncomfortable. They may shift their bodies, squirm a bit, fidget a little or look down at the floor.

So, let’s explore what we mean by a “conscious” relationship. And, remember, nobody is bad or wrong. We are who we are, right here, right now. Our intention is to become more self-aware, more “conscious,” of who we are, and how we are, in this dance called relationship..To achieve greater peace of mind, body and spirit, alone and together.

 Friendship

Probably the most important ingredient of a conscious relationship is friendship. Friendship means that you actually “like” the other person. In fact, in many relationships one or the other partner might often remark, or think, that while they “love” their partner, they don’t really “like” him or her. John Gottman, relationship expert, and author of the best-selling, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” says friendship is the “secret sauce” of happy and successful relationships. Specifically, friendship is “…a mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company.” Friends know each other intimately…they are well-versed in each other’s likes, dislikes, personality quirks, hopes and dreams.”

The importance of friendship cannot be overstated. Many relationships fail because, at the outset, they were created based on the “packaging” rather than on a deeper, more substantial connection, such as true friendship.

Problem Solving

A second element contributing to a conscious relationship is how the partners deal with conflict. Partners in a conscious relationship are able, and willing, to meet conflict head-on, explore their own and the other’s goals and move towards solutions that are mutually beneficial. 

The most important element in conflict resolution between partners is that each partner openly communicates they accept the other’s personality. Successful conflict resolution depends on “knowing and believing” your partner understands you. And, friendship supports this understanding. 

In relationships where friendship is nonexistent or waning, one and/or the other partner often feels misunderstood, judged or even rejected by the other. Successful conflict resolution is all about telling the truth  – truth-telling from the perspective of a friend, not an adversary. 

Conscious relationships approach conflict resolution from a place of “I don’t have to be right,” rather than “I need to be right, so you need to be wrong.” Mutual respect and win-win are the operating principles. “We,” not you vs. me.

Communication

Open and honest communication is one of the most fundamental foundations upon which a conscious relationship rests. Open and honest communication keeps the relationship alive and growing. Open and honest communication forces one to be a truth-seeker and a truth-teller – no blaming, no pointing fingers, no denial, no one-upping, no deception and no defensiveness. Emotions, feelings, fears – it’s all good.

Clarity

A third characteristic of a conscious relationship is that each partner is clear about their own life purpose, goals, visions, and dreams. In addition, each is proactively curious about these same aspects of their partner. Further, in conscious relationships, each partner is supportive of (rather than be threatened by) the other’s purpose, visions, and goals, and contributes to their partner’s journey. Moreover both partners are absolutely clear about their own and their partner’s requirements,needs and wants when it comes to such factors as: monogamy, drug-taking, open communication, money, shared responsibilities, religion, children, parenting, in-laws, etc.

Quallity Time

Another characteristic of a conscious relationship – and this is a very critical point especially in this age of social networking – is that both partners actively choose to spend quality time together, even though at times it may seem uncomfortable or even irritating. This is especially true when one of the other partner is caught up in social networking or electronic gadgetry or personal hobbies. Conscious relationships are first and foremost about the partners’ both finding and making time for each other even when it is inconvenient. In essence, this means that one views one’s partner as a priority in their life.

Intimacy

Intimacy is another element that supports a conscious relationship. Intimacy is the container in which partners can talk with each other, and be and feel vulnerable, in a place that is safe and secure. In this space, partners can openly speak about their deepest secrets, and their deepest fears in a way that allows one’s partner to see inside them. With respect to sex, intimacy means requesting what you want and responding in kind to your partner’s requests. As John Gottman says, partners in conscious relationships, “see lovemaking as an expression of intimacy but they don’t take any differences in their needs or desires personally.”

Trust

Conscious relationships create, from the very outset, a container of trust. Partners in a conscious relationship continually build on this mutual trust. It is this solid foundation of trust that supports one or the other partner to muster courage, strength, will, and steadfastness to move away from anyone or anything that might threaten their relationship. 

Equality

In a conscious relationship, no one is “better” than the other. Each brings to the relationship their own, personal biography and biology – their fears, their worries, their challenges, their weaknesses and strengths.

Partners in a conscious relationship are not obsessed with power, control or influence. Each partner in a conscious relationship has his or her own boundaries which the other both understands and respects (because they have discussed these fully  openly and honestly),.

Consciousness

Partners in a conscious relationship are continually moving toward increased awareness and consciousness with respect to “who I am” and “how I am” in their relationship. If either or both partners are lacking in some area of interpersonal, interactive skills, they’re open to learning what they need to know -knowledge or skills.  Especially, being open to having a  conversation about “how to have a conversation.”

 In essence, a conscious relationship means that one partner relates to himself or herself through the other. Each partner acts as a mirror for the other. Each becomes, and this is critical, a source of feedback for the other. Not judgmental, not critical, but from an open, loving, heart – felt place, each partner mirrors back the other. It’s this mirroring that fosters self-awareness and growth.

Everyone is wounded in childhood. And we heal in relationship. But only if we choose to. Those in a conscious relationship have made this choice to heal and grow through their relationship.

When two conscious individuals work in harmonious fashion, growth and change result. Much of this change revolves around dealing with old, self-destructive and self-sabotaging patterns of behavior, fueled by emotional baggage that each of the partners has brought with them from childhood.

Being in a conscious relationship is not easy. Being in any relationship is not easy. The difference? In a
conscious relationship old wounds and hurts don’t simply surface over and over again but are worked on, massaged, metabolized and understood and in the process of understanding and forgiveness of self and other, both partners change.

In a conscious relationship, where true Love (and like) exist from moment to moment, each partner supports the other, without judgment, and from a place of compassion, understanding and empathy. This is the ground for emotional and spiritual growth and healing. It’s not always an easy experience. It takes a great deal of strength, courage, caring and commitment to become conscious.

Conscious relationships are the answer to serial monogamy, continued failed relationships, and to dysfunctional and co-dependent relationships.

Heart- and soul-centered, conscious relationships are a journey, never a destination, but a journey well worth taking. 

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Would you describe your relationship as conscious? If, not, what’s standing in the way? How so?
  • If you’re not in a conscious relationship, how does that make you feel? How so?
  • Were your parents in a conscious relationship when you were growing up?  If they were, if they weren’t, what was that like for you?
  • If you are not in a conscious relationship, what would it look like and feel like to be in one?  What would it take?

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Does Self-Help, Help?

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Just launched – three exciting new products

Who among us has not been on some type of self-help journey at one point or another? Who among us bemoans the fact we’re not experiencing inner peace, balance or harmony in our lives – or that we can’t seem to bring about the change and transformation we’re seeking?

Why self-help doesn’t help.
Many of us will be familiar with the nagging feeling which says, “Heck, the more I read, attend lectures, seminars and workshops, meditate and chant, pray and say affirmations, the less I seem to be getting anywhere.”? What’s operating here?

The problem is that much of what is considered to be “self-help” doesn’t result in any real change or transformation. By transformation I mean the type of change that sees the “old you” die and a “new you” born. A “change” that means you’re not the person you used to be, that people you used to know wouldn’t recognize who you are now in some new or different way.

Positive thinking, affirmations, willpower, chants, praying, meditating and reading, etc.,  seldom leads to this sort of profound change. That’s because most of what passes for self-help goes no deeper than engaging your mind and, in this case, your spiritual ego. Real transformation requires a conscious connection with your higher self, not just your intellect – true transformation can’t be realized by thinking and doing alone. It requires work on a deeper level – a level you experience when engaging with your unconscious and with the darker forces within you.

Self-awareness is the key.
Self-awareness is the key building block of real change and transformation. Self-awareness – and a conscious understanding of who and how you are – forms the basis of becoming “conscious'”

Critically, becoming conscious is not about rationally exploring who you are. Rather, it’s about “not knowing” who you are. It’s about turning inward and exploring yourself from the deeper recesses and dimensions of your being, from the perspective of your unconscious self.

Paradoxically, self-awareness can only arise from an exploration of what you don’t know about yourself.

The truth is, you’re more often influenced by what you are unaware of (in yourself) than what you are aware of. True change and transformation cannot evolve from “playing it safe” – dealing only with the parts of yourself that you know, or feel safe or comfortable with.

Deeper questions lead to self-awareness.
Do you ever dream about people you dislike or with whom you have a contentious relationship? Do you ever wonder why you take an immediate dislike to someone you’ve never met? Do you ever think about rash judgments you make about people, places, events or circumstances? Do you ever wonder why people trigger your control, recognition or security buttons?

The “rational” person, of course, has all the answers and reasons why. But rather than trying explain these feelings by rationalizing them, if you begin to appreciate what’s operating in your unconscious you can start to understand why you are the way you are.

Often, engaging in this exploration, in this curiosity, will reveal the uncomfortable, fearful, resistant or angry parts of yourself that exist on an unconscious level – parts that need to be explored, and worked with, (not suppressed, repressed or denied) if you choose to truly change and transform.

Curiosity
For example, if you become curious about why you need to soothe your anxieties by shopping, eating, drinking or controlling, you may discover that part of you is an insecure child within who feels abandoned, lost or ignored and is searching for safety and security in materialism.

Rationally, many will agree (based on the “self-help” stuff they’ve read or heard), that materialism represents “comfort food” when deeper love, appreciation, or acknowledgement is lacking. But many of these same folks are reluctant to go deeper to explore “why?”. They can’t or won’t tolerate exploring the unconscious addictions that drive them to behave in ways that bring them a false sense of comfort or ways that help them avoid or deny their feelings.

It’s all about the truth
Real self-help is not about dancing around the truth of who you are – with all your fears and the discordant music playing within. It’s about trusting your Innate Intelligence to deal with what’s really “up” with you. That means being open to, aware of and reflective about your subconscious self when your behaviors, thoughts, words and emotions are triggered in your daily life.

When you approach your life with curiosity, without judgment, and welcome the truth of your unconscious, you embark on the journey to wholeness and begin to discover who you are in the greater context of healing yourself. This is the real self-help journey of change and transformation.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you consider yourself a “self-help junkie?” If so, how is this working for you? Are you behaving differently? What would those around you say? Honestly.
  • Do you explore your emotions and your darker side? If not, why not?
  • To whom or what are you strongly attracted? What aspects of your subconscious might account for this?
  • Do you feel a strong prejudices or hatred towards someone or something? How so? Why do you think this is happening?
  • Do you ever explore your dreams?
  • Is your experience with self-help more about gathering “information” than authentic, deeper behavior change?
  • How much time and money do you spend on “self-help” a year? Is there a real return on your investment, over and above simply knowing more stuff? Are you honestly be-ing different?
  • How often do you engage in deep self-reflection (not thinking), exploring not “the way I am” but “why am I the way I am?”

(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Intention +Attention – The Secret Sauce of Effective Relationships

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Just launched – three exciting new products

“So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.” – Krishnamurti 

So here you are in the midst of an interaction – perhaps on the phone, on Zoom, at the water cooler, on the elevator, golf course or airplane and during any lulls in the interactions (of a second or more) you’ve been checking emails, text messaging, talking intermittently on your cell or been “otherwise engaged” with someone or something else. When the whole thing’s over, you realize, with some sense of either regret, surprise or embarrassment, you hadn’t been focusing very well. 

The pity is that, truth be told, you may likely have no complete recall of the specifics of much of what you were doing or saying during that time – details about the who, what, where, when or why. 

So, what’s happening here?

Most folks would say they’re multitasking – you know, “staying on top of things,” and the like. But if you drilled down, deep down, many of these folks, if they’re being honest and sincere, would say they “abhor a vacuum” –  that, for them, silence (even of a second, or more) is deafening, uncomfortable. Further, if pressed, many (most?) would say that in times of silence, they often turn to negative thoughts. So, they choose to keep their minds occupied – engaged in anything that will fill the void. How about you?

Consider:

Do you engage in other activities while eating, watching TV, responding to emails, talking on the phone, connecting on Zoom, etc.? If so, why? Once you come up with your usual “stock” answers, then ask yourself, “really, really, really, why?”

Contrary to what many folks believe (a belief or story that justifies their so-called multitasking behavior?), neuroscience research tells us that the pleasure center in our brains lights up when we’re fully and completely engaged in a single activity – when we’re focused used on one task. The research suggests that intention and attention (both, not either/or), when focused like a laser, are what lead us to experience fulfillment, satisfaction and pleasure – whether it be a water cooler conversation, walking the dog, cooking a meal, folding the laundry, preparing the budget or watching “the game.” 

If you’ve ever experienced a great teacher, counselor, coach, clergy person, health care professional, therapist and the like (what about your spouse/partner?), the reason you called them “great” is most likely because they treated you as the most important person in the world when you were in their presence. Their intention and attention were squarely devoted to – you. 

Dare to be great!

So, if in your own world, you want to be “great!” at relationships, invest your intention and attention on the person in your presence – even if you’re in a group – one person at a time, regarding theme as if they’re the most important person in your life in this moment.

Oh, and one more thing – that “silence” issue

The next time you experience a “lull’ in what you’re doing, don’t jump for the next gadget, activity or distraction to “save you from yourself.” Take a slow, deep, quiet and nurturing breath (or two, or three or four) into your belly and listen to your intuitive voice and inner wisdom. It’s there, below the mental hubbub going on in your mind.  

The more you take time to experience stillness and to direct your intention and attention inside, you can move below the inner din and negative thoughts and stories to a place of peace, contentment, equanimity, wisdom and well-being – the core of your essential and true self.  

You might find the quality of your relationships moving to a higher level – even your relationship with yourself.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Are you generally “otherwise engaged” when you’re interacting with others? What story do you tell yourself to justify dividing your attention?
  • Do you ever get upset when someone is “otherwise engaged” when you’re trying to have a conversation with them?
  • Are you easily distracted? Is it hard for you to remain focused for periods at a time? Honestly.
  • When you were growing up, did you ever feel you were being an “irritant” to your parents or primary caregivers because they did not give you their undivided attention when you wanted or needed it? How did that make you feel?
  • Do you know folks who make you feel you’re the most important person in their life when you’re speaking with them? Do you ever make an effort to treat others that way?
  • How well do you deal with silence? On a scale of 1-10, how comfortable do you feel with silence? How so?

True story: some while back my partner at the time just walked in from a lunch date with a friend. In the course of our “So, how was it?” conversation, I asked her if the restaurant were crowded. She replied, “You know what, I was so focused on (friend) I didn’t even notice.” Intention and attention.

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Author, heal thyself.

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

Other people’s behavior – be it that of a mainstream personality, an actor, politician, sports star or corporate executive, or that of someone in our personal circle – is always crossing our radar.

When this happens, many of us are quick to react with a judgment – a knee-jerk judgment that reflects our need to tell that person that not only are they bad or wrong, but also how they should or shouldn’t be behaving. Not only do we critique their values, beliefs, choices and behaviors, but we try to create for them the type of life they should be leading, according to “me”.

Most of us who try to author someone else’s life in this way find it almost impossible to observe others without reacting with observations that are replete with judgments, criticisms, evaluations or other forms of analysis. What’s more, once we have finished judging, we try to take the role of advisor, educator, parent, interferer, explainer, hypothesizer, or fixer.

Author, heal thyself
So what is it about people who seem to need to run other peoples’ lives? What is it about people who seem to want to “help” others, but can’t seem to get a handle on their own life or issues? What is it about people who aren’t happy unless they’re authoring someone else’s life?

In a word – control. Most of these folks are to some degree out of control in their own lives and so they gain a false sense of grounding and control by attempting to run others’ lives. Meddling is their fix.

Lacking close scrutiny
On 30th Street in Boulder, CO, you’ll find a sculpture of a man chiselling himself out of a block of stone. He has already carved his head, torso, arms, and thighs. Holding a hammer in his raised right hand, he’s ready to strike a chisel he grasps in his left hand. He is forming his right knee.

Most authors of others’ lives have yet to chisel their own sculpture. Feeling unsafe, insecure, fearful, overwhelmed, lost or confused, their block of granite is incomplete. And to feel some sense of value and worth, they choose to chisel another’s sculpture.

Authoring someone else’s sculpture brings a fake and phony sense of individuality, self-actualization and self-determination. The opposite is the truth. Authors of others’ lives are seldom self-made individuals. They lack self-direction and autonomy, rarely assume self-responsibility for their actions and are poor at self-management.

These authors are often withering on the vine of life, rather than growing and moving forward. Rather than being continuous learners or continual creators of their own life, they take a false sense of pleasure in attempting to tell others how to live. They never take an honest self-inventory. They prefer to judge, evaluate and tell others how to deal with their struggles of life than to know themselves.

Self-authorship
For those who are steeped in authoring others’ lives, perhaps this might be a good time to step back, leave those others alone and focus on your own self-authorship – to chisel your own sculpture.

While chiselling, consider what conscious choices you can make to enhance your personal, professional, relational, and spiritual life. Will your sculpture reflect an honest, sincere and self-responsible effort to take care of your mental, physical, emotional, psychological  and spiritual health? Will it address your financial and career health, your living environment, your relationship with your partner, friends and family, colleagues and co-workers?

Will your sculpture reflect your core values, integrity, trustworthiness and authenticity? When people come by to view your sculpture, what is the legacy they’ll see? Will it reflect a finely thought-out, creative, resonating figure, or will it be whole, flat, and untouched because you were too busy obsessed with telling other folks how to chisel their granite blocks?

Finally, remember that everyone is in chapter three of their life. Try as hard as you might, you’ll never – ever – know what transpired in another’s chapter one or two. So attempting to author their life without a grasp of those first two chapters, will never work – for you or for them – hard as you try.

That’s a good reason to close the book on other peoples’ lives and author the book, the unfolding, of your own life.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you tend to “author” others’ lives? Are you continually judging others? How so?
  • Do you feel a need to meddle in others’ lives? If so, where does that get you?
  • Is self-reflection a challenge for you? If so, why? He honest.
  • Would you prefer to evaluate other’s lives rather than your own? If so, why?
  • What one step can you take this week to chisel one small piece of your block?
  • Are you a continuous learner, a “work in progress?”
  • Has your chisel dulled? What can you do to re-sharpen it? Do you have the strength to lift your hammer?
  • Have you stopped chiseling?
  • The ultimate purpose question: Why do you think you’re on the planet?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com


You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Big Fish, Little Pond

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

Big Fish, Little Pond.
https://youtu.be/-ZVqhBZC7sU

————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Maturity?

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

It’s now widely acknowledged that Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a key skill for managers and business leaders and that getting in touch with your emotions and managing them when interacting with others plays a major part in managerial effectiveness.

But despite this awareness, old habits still die hard. Even when an individual has worked to improve their In other words, they may have learned the concepts of EI at an intellectual, cognitive level, but they still find it hard to manage their emotions or emotional reactivity and quickly revert to old, self-destructive emotional habits and reactive patterns when certain triggers are pulled.

So why is EI so hard to embrace in our day-to-day lives?

One reason is that many people who worked on their EI have (consciously or unconsciously) failed to deal with the root causes of their emotional reactivity. They haven’t explored the deeper nature of their emotional history. This history of their emotional evolution is a prerequisite to understanding how they “futurize their past” – i.e., how they interpret the present based on their history, experiences and memories.

Without this understanding, it’s often very challenging to separate our present from our past – “that was then; this is now.” So we’re not able to see the present – people, places, events, circumstance and objects – as “fresh” and unencumbered by our past emotional history. We’re unable to experience the present in a positive, neutral way and so we experience many of life’s events shrouded in a mist of negativity, judgment and fear.

In other words, very few of us actually “process” our emotions. Few of us allow our emotions to just be – watching, witnessing and observing them and asking, “What are you teaching me, about me?”.

Finally, many of us choose to bury our emotions. And we ought to know that when we bury our emotions, we bury them alive. They will return to rear their ugly heads, sooner or later.

Emotional maturity
So instead of focusing on emotional intelligence, perhaps we would be better served by focusing on emotional maturity.

The difference between the two is important. Emotional maturity is not “intellectual” but refers to a higher state of self-awareness – something that lies beyond “intelligence” – where we are guided by our senses, intuition and heart.

Emotional maturity is characterized by five principles:

  1. Every negative emotion we experience as an adult is a childhood emotion overlaid on a current person, circumstance, place, event or object.
  2. Emotionally, many adults are 3-4-5-year-old children in adult bodies wearing adult clothes.
  3. No one can make you feel a way you don’t want to feel.
  4. An adult can be emotionally mature and child-like, or immature and child-ish. Big difference.
  5. Mindfulness, focus and presence are the keys to emotional maturity

Emotional maturity focuses on our emotional history, beginning with our interactions with our parents or primary caregivers, extended family, teachers, friends, etc. We learn that around the age of seven, our psychological and emotional “programming” is set. Our emotional reactivity (anger, sadness, fear, shame, hurt, guilt, loneliness, etc.) that was triggered early on in life becomes stored in our cells and arises when “related” triggers pop up later in life.

Emotionally intelligent, but emotionally immature
Being emotionally mature means we seldom act out on, or suppress, our emotions.

Emotionally intelligent, but “immature,” adults are often unable to identify or manage their emotions. They usually avoid their emotions by intellectualizing, explaining, analyzing, disagreeing, attacking, flattering, joking, apologizing, evading, going silent, becoming aloof or suspicious, rejecting, criticizing or judging. They often come across as superior, arrogant, stubborn, defiant, hostile, people-pleasing, wishy-washy, phony, resentful, intolerant, self-pitying or victimized.

Because they haven’t explored their emotional development, many folks aren’t aware that they superimpose their childhood emotions on to their adult life. Their past is leaking out in the present.

In contrast, the emotionally mature adult understands that “my emotions are not me, but mine – I’m in control, not my emotions.” So they are more objective are less judgmental. They are better able to detach themselves from triggers that would normally provoke an emotional reaction. They experience states of equanimity, serenity and inner peace. Blaming others is no longer a strategy they use to make themselves feel safe.

That’s not to say that an emotionally mature individual isn’t chid-like. In fact, they are often lively, excited, adventurous, joyful, happy and open. But they are also nurturing, supportive, firm, fair, helpful, respectful, self-responsible, non-judgmental, honest, sincere and focused on the well-being of themselves and others.

The emotionally immature adult, however, is often childish, rather than child-like. They are reactive and throw tantrums. They are fearful, scared, needy, angry, resentful, pushy, bullying, jealous or envious. They can be quiet, withdrawn, defensive, argumentative or grandiose. They can come across as overbearing, micromanaging, controlling, disrespectful, fearful, angry, negative, judgmental, critical, abusive (mentally, emotionally, psychologically, physically), dishonest, insincere, narcissistic and focused on the self and the ego.

The most visible quality of emotional maturity is the capacity to be in the moment, to be present while being non-reactive or non-judgmental.

This “being present” supports our true and authentic self to guide us. We intuit “right knowing,” “right understanding” and “right action”. We experience our emotions without “becoming” our emotions. We grasp that the “trigger” for our reactivity may be “outside me,” but the “cause” of my emotional reactivity is within me.

So when we’re triggered, we watch, witness and observe but don’t succumb to a childish reaction. We accept our experience as it is. Practicing mindfulness, presence, focus, trust and surrender, we allow our heart and soul to push aside negativity or reactivity and bring what is needed – a considered, emotionally mature response.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you ever feel you need to change the way you respond/react emotionally to others? How so?
  • How do you feel when others challenge or disagree with you, or give you feedback?
  • Do you ever find yourself feeling fearful, angry or anxious? Do you know why?
  • Do you ever feel afraid about exploring your emotions? Why?
  • Do you consider yourself to be emotionally mature? What would others say? Would you ask them?
  • How did you learn about emotions when you were growing up?
  • Do you take responsibility for your emotional reactivity? Do you tend to blame others far making you feel a way you don’t want to feel? How so?
  • Do you know the difference between “feeling sad,” and not being sad, between “feeling angry” but not being angry,” between “feeling fear,” and not being afraid?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com


You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering