Why Hire a Relationship Coach?

If you are doing good work but not moving up the ladder at the office, it is about your relationships.
If you are not selling at the rate you need and want to be selling, it is about your relationships.
If you are not making choices that truly make you happy, it is about your relationships.
If you are not satisfied at the end of each day and fulfilled by what you are doing, it is about your relationships.
If you don’t feel comfortable with yourself, it is about your relationships.
If you are not getting what you want, it is about your relationships.

I’ll show you.

How we relate to others, to ourselves, to everything in our lives, creates our experience of life.  In relationship coaching, we create new perspectives and let go of old ones, conditioned ones, default ones that do not serve us.  All of this freshens up our lives and we become free in so many ways. Free to take action, free to decide who we really want to be, free to love ourselves again, free to stop pushing ourselves towards inauthentic lives.  Free to succeed on our own terms.

That’s why relationship coaching makes such a difference in my clients’ lives.  I’ll show you, just be in touch.

Selfie Nation

Why we don’t solve problems in the United States:

A man commits a heinous act of violence against his fiance and our energy is focused almost exclusively on blame, of the man and the institutions that have clearly failed. We want heads on sticks and it basically ends there.

We ignore that we have a societal illness, where we take little to no responsibility for all of the ingredients and circumstances that foster widespread dehumanization of women and men who cannot control themselves, their urges and their emotions.

The same for racism.
The same for xenophobia.
The same for misuse of our planet and her resources.
The same for our animosity towards each other and lack of empathy for those less fortunate.
And on and on…

Looking for villains is a spectator sport, nothing more. Whether you like sports or not, too many of us are metaphorically just watching football.

Things like this do not happen out of the blue, they exist in an environment that fosters them. We are all a part of it and we can put an end to it, too.

Counterintuitively, it starts with empathy and understanding, slowly helping each other undo the impact of living in a very violent and oppositional world and prioritizing understanding ourselves and why we are the way we are. Not just some of us, the ones who are examples after committing terrible acts, but every single one of us. We must look more deeply.

Let’s CREATE Our Relationships!

For most relationships outside of child/parent, there is absolutely nothing inherent about these relationships. We fall into norms of society, sure, but relationships are full of assumptions and expectations that do us no good.

This is why it’s incumbent upon us to CREATE our relationships, to decide what they are and what they are not and I believe this is the new and very exciting frontier in relationships. This goes for all areas of relationships, from what our shared goals are to fidelity to sexuality, to whom we will be for each other.

We’ve outgrown our roles, we live in a new world of gender equality (it’s here, even if it’s not complete by a long shot), of sexual relations being completely chosen by the participants, of all kinds of alternatives to what used to be that are increasingly out and in the open every day.

Empower yourself to create your relationships. Do not settle for old roles, old assumptions. We’re not built for them any longer. What we’re built for is exploration, finding what we truly want, respecting each others’ journey, growing and being grateful that we are living in this time of great opportunity.

Robin Williams and Depression’s Beacon For Us

Robin

I’ve been vacillating between crying and on the verge of tears since I heard Robin Williams died.  Things happen in life and you run these things through your own particular filters. They take on a life intertwined with yours, because once they happen, the rest of their existence is completely subjective, completely in how they occur to you.

How his death has occurred to me is as such a sad reminder of how hard we are all trying. Trying to be loved, trying to surround ourselves with happiness so we don’t face our own demons all of the time, trying so hard not to get hurt.

We’re never more safe to be with than when we are laughing, but it’s as if laughter has died for a few days, as if I’m learning that laughter will never be enough, no matter how wonderful it is, no matter how much I admire and love people who make me laugh and think and feel. My uncle Joel comes to mind, my very own Judd Hirsch character from Ordinary People or Sean Maguire from Good Will Hunting complete with sweater, beard, pipe and tweed jacket, great wisdom and a fantastic sense of humor. He has no idea how much I love and admire him, how him just being alive comforts me!

We’re really all trying. We seem so dangerous to each other and so vulnerable, that our facades, our acts seem so necessary, but we’re all so much the same beneath them, all trying. When someone yells at me, argues with me or looks at me funny, they’re really not trying to hurt me, that’s not their primary goal. They are trying to stave off their own pain and anticipation of pain.  I see it in my sons’ anger so clearly (their tool of choice for staving off pain). They’re beautiful little souls trying to protect themselves and I’m so sorry that they know from pain, that their life of trying has begun.

Accomplishment, laughter, success are sometimes just what they are, but so often they are what we are using to stave off the pain and the fear of the next hurt that’s coming, which is why their effect never lasts. We are still fooled by each others facades, because we are primarily operating as evaluators, on guard, protecting our vulnerable hearts.

I can get very frustrated with the impact of depression on relationships, but when more clear-headed, it occurs like a beacon. We are missing the point. It is truly the blind leading the blind, as we lead each other into these lives of trying, when all we really need to do, all we are and we are in denial of, is love. I think everyone I’ve ever known with depression or biploar disorder has known this so much better than I have, buried in the necessity of my own protection. All it takes is for us to see that it is here, everywhere and stop putting so much stock in each others facades. Imagine living in a world where the illusion that we are not surrounded by love went away.

Easy to say, challenging to do when the tide of this is in the early days of turning and there is so much in the world telling us that fear and hate and danger are everywhere, but if we choose it, it is ours.

Happy Anniversary

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I have been in awe of my 13th anniversary with my wife Rosanna all day. Blown away by what it takes for two people to create a marriage that I am so proud of. Not because it looks perfect, because it doesn’t, but because it’s been such a challenge despite both of us loving each other so much.

(My) Marriage has not been easy. We throw ourselves into it knowing so little about what it’s going to be like and what it will take to incorporate all of the changes in life. Kids, mortgage, finances, being close or near to your family, the growing stakes in your careers, simply just trying not to be an a#@h&%* all of the time because this life isn’t easy. It is such a daunting endeavor.

But all of these things fashioned me into a new person, a version of myself that I needed to become, that I am proud to be. If it wasn’t for the challenges and for being with Rosanna, someone I respect, love and admire as much as I do, someone who has always made me want to learn how to be a better man, whose heart has always been so perfect to me, if it wasn’t for our vows and our commitment to not just stay together, but to figure out how to keep our hearts open to each other despite life happening, despite being changing people, despite it being hard sometimes even in the midst of so many blessings and sometimes despite ourselves, I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. I credit my marriage, above all else, as being the structure for me to really grow up (and I’m still doing it).

When my wife tells the world that she loves me more than ever, after 13 years – and for those of you who saw us at the beginning, you know that first act was tough to follow because we were so in love – you could never know just how much that means to me, how grateful I am for what it takes and what we’ve been willing to do to make that so. I’m proud of us.

I love you Rosie, more than ever. Happy Anniversary.

The Outrage Cycle

outrageOutrage is a byproduct of being diseased with fear, anger and pain. It permeates our minds and bodies and looks to infect others, exacting the same cost to them that we are suffering with. This disease creates delusions, judgments, gross generalizations and a rabid hunt for evidence that proves the outrage right. No matter what, whether we are offending others or recruiting others with our outrage, we are serving the disease more than the cause we are championing. We are spreading outrage. We are infecting with fear. Sadly, we are creating more sadness, pain and violence. It is a terrible cycle. Look and you will see this. It is likely how we became outraged in the first place, being infected by the outrage of others.

I hope I’ve been through enough outrages in my life and paid enough of a price to not be fooled by them any longer. All of my outrage did little but put me in the middle of more outrage, often much more than I could handle.

To all those outraged, I send love and understanding for the pain you are going through. It’s terrible to be as upset as you are. I trust you that your outrage is for a good reason and I understand that sometimes it seems like there is no other way.

I promise, outrage is optional and it’s just not very effective for anything other than creating more outrage. It couldn’t be more effective at doing that.

The only thing we can do with outrage that is in line with our hearts and intentions for a world of peace and understanding is to feel it. To feel the pain of tragedy, of injustice, of unfair dealing. You are exquisitely human. Love, however difficult it seems, that you are sensitive to the pain of knowing something that you see happening is not in line with our better selves, that we function in this miraculous way. Then, if you are still called to a cause, go do something, take committed action for your cause and leave the against and the outrage behind.

Think, for a second, what if those we were “against” could do this too?

Be the first one. Spread that.

Last Night’s Relationship Circle – 7/22/14 Arlington, VA

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We had a fun and social evening at Piola. It was great to see some regulars and a bunch of new people. I keep forgetting, people want to meet people!

When we got to talking about reactions we have to each other’s behavior on dates (applicable to all situations), it got lively and very interesting. We looked at interpretations and frustrations that are very common and get in the way. But when we started looking at ways we can dissolve the effects of these reactions, by asking questions and finding out if we upset each other, by taking responsibility for the upset (which does not mean we were “wrong”), we create a safe and vulnerable environment for acceptance and for really allowing each other to get to know the real us behind the interpretation they (and we) may have created.

As human beings, we’re going to be challenging to figure out, to understand each other’s reactions and interpretations and if we can’t help but make a big deal out of them when they show up, be ready for some emotions and feelings that might make the person seem unsafe to us, or might make us feel like we messed up the experience or that we won’t get along. If we allow each other to just be human, perfectly imperfect, fashioned from a unique set of experiences and how we related to them, we see that just about everything we do makes sense.

Speaking of trying to make sense of things. A new member, Sam (our Buddha of the evening last night), suggested that we talk about expectations in relationships. First, I think it’s awesome that Sam took the initiative to suggest the meetup on the page and emailed me personally about it (YOU can do that, too)! Secondly, this is a great topic and I’m looking forward to the session. Right now, Sam and I are working out a date that works for him, but if you RSVP early, before we even have a date and time, it will indicate interest in the topic and of course I hope the date will eventually work for you, too.

RSVP HERE: http://www.meetup.com/The-Relationship-Circle/events/196592672/

Lastly, I just want to say thank you for becoming a part of a growing community of people interested in creating extraordinary relationships and learning about ourselves and growing in the process.

Love,
Gregg

How Death Can Be Inspiring

Today, The Relationship Circle is proud to introduce you to fellow life coach Brett Avelin. Brett is a warrior for love and healing and we are glad to have his voice here to share with you. You can learn more about Brett and his coaching practice here.

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Death is inspiring. There, I said it.
What, you say!?! Inspiring? Yes, inspiring.

Is there emotion in it? Yes.
Is there pain or grief or sense of loss in it? You bet.
So what does it inspire then?
A deep look at life and how we are living.

Death of someone close to us makes us reflect on what is truly valuable in our relationship to people, time and things.
It also inspires us to make changes that we would not have been moved to do otherwise.
Death inspires us to prioritize what really matters to us.

One of the reasons death inspires me is that it is such a great reminder of the impermanence of all things and relative unimportance of most things.

When I was a young boy riding reluctantly on a schoolbus and feeling scared and alone I was suddenly calmed and soothed by the idea that all this in front of me will pass sooner or later. I was able to accept my current circumstance better because of that thought.

Death is a face smacker.
It’s a wake up call in the highest order.
It allows very little pansy footing around what we actually dealing with here on planet delusion where we spend a lot of our time.

Planet delusion is absorbed in the day to day doings.
It keeps us on the surface talking about bubble gum things.

Inspiration arises naturally after the crap we have downloaded into our mind that clogs the central operating system has been cleared, deleted, or set aside.

To further expand on the possibilities that death can have us ponder I have listed below the five most common regrets from the book The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, by Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse in Australia who routinely asked her patients about their regrets.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

How often have we all made choices that were based on someone else’s expectation or idea versus listening and trusting our own? Look at your relationship, your work, where you live and see if those are your actual choices or are you there because of someone else’s ideas about what’s best for you. Some will quickly defend this idea and say we would all be selfish clods if we lived how we actually wanted. Are we all really that afraid of our natural self and how it expresses? The closer we can come to living the life that is true for us, the happier we will be.

In watching my father in his last phase of life he was clearly living a life based on choice versus should or have to. Did everybody cheer for him and love that? Not necessarily. Was he living from what was true for him and happier for it? Absolutely as I see it.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

Ware reported that she heard this from almost every single one of her male patients. All of the striving men out there for the big kill. All the hours, all the years putting in overtime for the hope of a better life or the golden retirement concept. Does it ever really pay off? Do you ever really get ‘there’?
I have made the choice since I was young to value time more than money. Some of this was born out of fear, but most of it comes from what is actually true for me.
Our time is precious here. How are you spending it?
With a few conscious changes your relationship to time can be a much more enjoyable one.
Are you spending your years toiling, striving, and grinding away?
Is it hard to you to figure out another way?
This area is something I wrote about a few weeks ago and is so pervasive today.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Feelings are what we live for, period.
Everything we want and everything we look to avoid is secretly driven by how we anticipate we will feel by doing so.
Expressing our feelings does not mean we are a hot mess walking around on two legs. It means having the courage to access and express how we are feeling. Living in a culture that lacks an emotional vocabulary let alone fluency makes us all feel like crazy people inside as we try to navigate a hidden world on the inside while appearing ‘ok’ on the outside.
What feelings do you have bottled up that are wanted to be expressed or simply felt?
This is an area where it is especially helpful to have a trusted ally because we can be so blind and disconnected from our bodies.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Staying in touch with the people we FEEL (there’s that word again) connected to in life is a primary way of support that aspect that we are all going for. The trap in this is that we all tend to rely on these connections too much and lose the chance to claim our life on our own terms.
Is staying in touch with friends important to you? If so are you doing it? The years they do pass.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Notice the work ‘let’ here.
Happiness and inspiration are here for the allowing.
We don’t create happiness, it is here naturally when we let ourselves settle in to the situation that is in front of us.
There is ALWAYS something for our mind to be upset, worried, or treating as a problem. Even on all inclusive vacations you will see families squabbling away. You will always find something wrong, even in paradise.
I am allowing myself to be happy in regards to my dad’s passing because there are so many reasons that it was the right time for him to go.
Can you let yourself be happier?
Where could you allow yourself to be happier?

Live Large, this is your life.
Brett

Introvert-Friendly Happy Hour (DC-Area)

This seems like an awesome idea. How many people do you know that have some challenges in meeting new people, dating, but you know are AWESOME? Maybe you’re one of those people? If you’re in the DC area, are free July 22nd and you’re an introvert, shy or frustrated with social events or you know some people who are that you want to help create more social opportunities for, click the link in this listing for more information on the event.

Introvert-Friendly Happy Hour 🙂

Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014, 6:30 PM

Piola
1550 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA

20 Members Went

Do you know or think you are an introvert? Many people experience some discomfort with crowds and just getting along with people, feeling comfortable in groups.I wanted to create a meetup mainly designed to give you a safe night out and a chance to meet people. This will be a more social get together, like a facilitated happy hour. We’ll meet, I’l…

Check out this Meetup →