Resolve

ResolveRESOLVE is so valuable. Resolve means that when you know, you just know. Resolve means you do, because not doing is impossible.

Partnering with anyone who is not resolved is a crapshoot. Settling for less than your own resolve and saying yes to things you think or hope will be good is a recipe for patterns of breakdown and preoccupation with distraction, indecision, fear…

Resolve is formidable. Resolve creates the love of the journey. Resolve quiets the mind. Resolve is beyond the judgment of others. Resolve turns down the fear. Resolve makes you bring your best game. Resolve brings admiration, but is never for admiration.

It’s not that you should have resolve, it’s that if you don’t, you can find where it is, what it really wants. I’m talking about the noun, resolve as a thing, not something you do, which can be spiritually unreliable. Resolve is already within you. Helping each other find our resolve can be the most rewarding way to be with each other. Finding our resolve is finding ourselves. Keeping it, remembering it and honoring its voice is a remarkable way to live.

I’m practicing cultivating my resolve, feeding it, connecting ever more deeply with it, surrendering to it. Want to join me?

Coaching Group for Professional Women

I’m looking for two professional women who are interested in being part of a four person coaching group (two have already committed).

Here’s the concept: I want to create a group of women who are committed to creating big things in their lives (you get to say what’s big to you) and each other’s. Your goals could be entrepreneurial, about breaking through to a powerful professional result, they could be relationship-oriented. Everyone will be working on their well-being as a foundational element as well. It’s hard to create breakthroughs without it.

What I’m looking to do is create power in sisterhood and really leverage it, with each woman pulling for the results of the other three and growing from each other’s processes. In addition, there will be a relationship with a man providing support for your goals who is committed to you winning, a platonic but intimate relationship with you based in trust and not power other than the power of our coaching relationship, which is yours to create. I want this to be a laboratory for how we can be together professionally and personally, empowering each other beyond the normal wasteful versions of competitiveness and gender issues in the workplace and our lives.

I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from my network about this concept, so I’m sharing it more widely. If you’re interested in hearing more about it or think it would be good for someone else in your life, email me directly here. Time and financial commitments will be discussed offline.  If you like the idea, please share it along with a note about why you’d recommend this for someone in your life.

Thanks for reading this!

Best,

Gregg DeMammos

 

Stuck In Our Own Creations

billboard-stuck_1116867iThis is an amazing part of life. We create something, a relationship, an organization, a partnership, a commitment and eventually it can start looking like a trap, a situation we don’t know how to get out of or something we see is taking over our lives.

This usually comes down to one thing, or two related things, bad planning and the gift of learning.

Bad planning usually comes down to naivete. It’s not on purpose. Learning is usually a good thing, but not so much when we’re unwilling to make the changes our learning asks of us or to see the learning available in the first place.

When the picture changes, when our marriage or our business requires more than we thought it would, more time, more resources, more attention, a more evolved version of ourselves, this is GOOD NEWS. The key is making sure we don’t respond by increasing our own suffering. There is always a win, we just may need more help than we think, there may be more foundation-building to do, we may need to grow or let go of our grip, our image of what it’s supposed to be.

If we can do this humbly and let go of our ego and get to work of learning and incorporating that learning, then we can really start to make life and our commitments work, and everyone has a chance to win.

This is something coaches and other people we empower to put a mirror up to us can help us make a huge difference around. They support us creating the humility to see what our traps are teaching us and the courage, conversations and accountability to grow into who we need to be to take necessary action and succeed.

My 5 Year Old Has it Right

After my son Marcus told me I hated him when I told him he needed to stop playing video games this morning, I asked him if I loved him, what would I be doing differently.

He said I would be racing him and playing soccer and games with him.

I get it.

Love lives in a world of full agreement, or a lack of dwelling on the disconnect of disagreement.

When we’re young, before the disappointment of human beings disagreeing with our idea of Eden, our hearts don’t even fathom the possibility of disagreement with our own consciousness. It comes as a shock and HURTS. It feels like love is gone when we encounter disagreement. I still remember feeling like that when I was his age.

The thing is that this is a grave and understandable error and the correction of this error, that disagreement threatens love, is our life’s opportunity. Not just to get it intellectually, but to transcend through it. To really get it. This is our cross to bear, to do the work to return to love, as Marianne Williamson puts it.

Marcus is at the beginning. The unfortunate period where the disagreement rocks us, where it informs our personalities and unconscious beliefs about life. I empathize with him deeply.

And he’s getting the return, too. When he asked me to pick him up in my arms at drop off and gave me 17 kisses and told me he knows I love him, he took courageous action. He inspired me.

The idea that disagreement threatens love (threatens us, really, as we are made of love) – from loved ones dying too soon to not getting the job to not feeling heard to being rejected romantically or even abused – is false, but it hurts.

Love is always here, waiting for you. Getting back to it is the work of our lives. Be courageous.

Obedience Can Be Dangerous

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I was at a potluck dinner for the parents of kids in Marcus’ class this Friday night. I met the father of this very intelligent girl who is a bit of a chatterbox and doesn’t sit still well, but who is so lovely, so curious, so wonderful, so clearly well-equipped to succeed as well. Her father mainly wanted to talk about how disobedient she was, how her teachers in language school kept telling him how disobedient she was. He seemed shameful and wasn’t too interested in how great I thought she was. I was sure to give her a big smile Monday morning, happy to see her and now seeing the growing impact on her of being told she was wrong more clearly, the confusion building in her. She’s in kindergarten.

When the desire for obedience crosses with another person’e true expression of themselves, you’ve got trouble. This is where darkness occurs.

A facebook friend of mine and fellow coach, Mike Hrostoski recently shared a letter he wrote when he was a teenager that was truly saddening. A young man writing about suicide. The conflict between who he was and who his community wanted him to be was so clear. He then detailed his drug use, his confusion and his pain that lasted for years. He posted it here – http://hrostoski.com/2014/11/everybody-hates-you-and-you-want-to-die/ (his site is currently down, maybe find it on his FB page)

No one could want Mike to go through this, to even have a memory of this and what’s even more gut wrenching is how many people we know are right where he was when he wrote that letter, who have gone through that, who are still wrestling with it and unfortunately, who may never truly try to free themselves, who get eaten alive by the ways they try to cope – power games, passive aggressiveness, controlling behavior, numbing out, withdrawal, acting like everything is ok.

Living in a society, a family, a culture is hard. These entities condition you. They ultimately mean well, but that doesn’t mean they are well-suited for the human condition. We need to teach each other how to cross the street without getting hit by cars. We don’t need to teach each other how to forsake our own self-expression, our lives. The results are heartbreaking and they lead us to transformation or unfortunate ends or both. As a father, this really hits home for me.

Mike is transforming his life with a fervor. Sometimes I can resonate with where he’s at, what he’s wrestling with today, sometimes not, but what I can always relate to is how vital his freedom is to him, how painful it is to be at the moments where it feels like life is in total disagreement with you. How desperate we are to get out.

Go on, Mike. Get OUT.

Me, too. You, too. We all have some of this in us.

Love,
Gregg

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.

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

Respect Relationships

holdinghandsMarriage and intimate relationships are extraordinarily challenging.
We are given few tools, if any.
We have few extraordinary examples of success.
We have almost no culture of feedback, evaluation and improvement like most institutions have.
We have love, we have attraction, we have expectations and we have hope and that’s about 5% of what you need to be successful.
Forgive yourself.
Forgive them.
Respect the nature of this endeavor.
You can give yourself and others the understanding that you have a lot to learn, that we’ve barely scratched the surface, whether we’ve been practicing for a year or 20.
You deserve a lot of credit for even trying.

Feelings (woah, woah, woah)

indexThe greatest tyrants of this world are not people.

They are feelings.

Feelings always win. Feelings are relentless.

If the feelings we relate to as negative don’t attach themselves to some action of destruction that you actually execute – of the competition, of your rival, of those we perceive that have hurt, disappointed or threatened us – they wage a war inside and win, because you are now the one trying to hold them back.

They steal your health, your vitality, your joy, your freedom, your life. Can you feel it right now as you read this?

This even happens with “positive” feelings. Joy and love not felt fully fight with us inside as well. We cut off those feelings all the time, fearful of feeling too good. Our fear of being hurt (again) comes up and often cuts them off. They want to happen, too. Can you feel the cut short love, joy and happiness inside of you?

You must be a worthy companion of your feelings and the feelings of others. They just want to be felt fully. They have a purpose, to flow freely and you can master them, you just need to be aware of their primary purpose and facilitate it. You absolutely do not need to attach any actions that hurt others to facilitate feelings. You just need to let them express themselves all the way to their end.

This is worth spending as much time and practice on as possible. Journal, put it into your workouts, vent to a trusted partner, scream into the pillow, break something you can afford to break, have a good cry, doodle the feelings, purposely put yourself in front of art that has you feel things. And understand that this is what other people need too and just let them have their feelings more often without correction. Try to keep from making agreements and taking words too seriously that are coming from emotion. Try to keep from fixing the person because you are uncomfortable with the feeling they are having. Try to keep from judging the person by the feeling. Their tyrants are running the show and will not be stopped! If they finish, the person will probably come back pretty soon