Category Archives: coaching on skype

“Take the first step” toward Real Communication

Take the first step says poet David Whyte, not the second or the third for real communication: with yourself, at work, at home . . . in all communications, in all relationships.

Learn how to LISTEN even when you are angry or convinced you are right. Learn how to say what needs to be said that’s in your head and heart.

Over and over again I find myself being moved when I hear another tell me their experience. Like yesterday, I went to a new dentist who I didn’t want to like. My beloved dentist of years had retired and sold his practice to Dr. J.

Little by little as I shared my negative thoughts with a patient in the waiting room and listened to her, and then listened to Eileen as she cleaned my teeth, I saw my closed, fixed opinion begin to soften and open. And finally I meet Dr. J. He is shockingly lovely, open and smart. He is the first dentist who will listen to me talk about my health food toothpastes that have me coming for teeth cleanings every six months instead of the typical three-month visit.

Take the first step: learn how to put your feelings into words and share. Learn how to “for real” listen.

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Here’s an exercise for you to develop your sharing and listening muscles.

An Exercise: Sharing Appreciations and Resentments

1.  A speaks her appreciations to B. B listens and doesn’t interrupt. A gives concrete examples, e.g. when I asked you to turn the computer off and you did, I really appreciated that. A gives a concrete example for every appreciation. Maximum time–3 minutes.

2.  B speaks her appreciations to A.  Again, very concrete examples. A listens, hopefully with head and heart and does not interrupt.

3.  A speaks her resentments, once again using concrete examples. B listens, no interruptions.

4.  B shares resentments while A listens.

Do this for a short period of time—3 minutes each maximum.

At first you are practicing speaking and listening. There is no responding.  When you have developed a muscle, you can respond if you want to after the other person has shared. No discussion just a simple response for no more than 1 minute.

This is a powerful exercise. In the end you do not have to agree. You may really disagree. However, if you’re listening with your head, heart and body you will most likely be affected; you and the other will find your authentic way.

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Dr. Lynda Klau

Founder and Director of

Life Unlimited: The Center for Human Possibility

www.DrLyndaKlau.com

1 212 595 7373

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Couples Counseling – Marriage

Couples Counseling: this is what the poet Rainer Maria Rilke has to say on Marriage . . .

couples counseling, couples therapyThe point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

I’m not going to say anything about this. It speaks for itself.
Lynda

Questions for you:

Does Rilke describe your relationship? Does what he says resonate for you? What is one take-away you get from this? Let me know.

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Life Coaching: Reclaiming Your Authentic Voice

Life Coaching: Reclaiming Your Authentic Voice

I keep observing how so many of us in this world have lost our true voice, or
never really had it to begin with. How, then, can we reclaim it?

Our Western culture teaches that the personal self is the center of our
universe, the place where all of our competing, conditioned voices live. In
this model, the rational mind of the personal self reigns supreme. The first
step toward reclaiming our authenticity, however, is to embrace a more
expansive model of who we think we are and of how we view the world.
In truth, the whole of who we are is more than sum total of our personal
self, our “persona” and our “shadow.” It is necessary to deconstruct the old
hierarchy that places our ego above our core self, our heart and our body.
Once we realize that all parts of us deserve to be listened to, we can begin to
refocus our intentions and our attention upon reclaiming our authentic voice.

Our ability to impartially observe any part of us has been called
our “witnessing presence.” This refers to a place within us that stands
apart from our conditioned beliefs and self-judgments. It allows us to
differentiate between, harmonize, and ultimately transcend them. To develop
our “witnessing presence” just as we would any other muscle is the key to
emerging from our obstructions into an authentic way of living. From this
perspective, we enter a space in consciousness that is separate from our
identifications with the personal self’ s thoughts and feelings, but which
also respects them. This allows us to experience these beliefs fully without
becoming lost in them. From here, the authentic adult in us surfaces, the
person who can successfully integrate all of his or her conditioned voices
and selves, as well as open to fresh inspirations.

Imagine that you have been in business for fifteen years and you’ ve just
been downsized. Your savings are minimal and your expenses have not
changed: the monthly bills keep piling up in the mailbox, and no new
business is coming in. A common response to such a situation would be to
automatically respond with negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings rooted in
fear: “I will never be able to recover financially. What am I going to live on?
I will never be able to support myself and my family.” Harsh self-judgments
and blame typically accompany these beliefs: “This is my fault! I must have
done something wrong!” It is crucial to realize that these beliefs, whether
coming from the “persona” or “the shadow,” are just that: beliefs. Rather
than representing the entire truth about us, our beliefs account for only one
way of responding to a difficult situation. In reality, our deepest wisdom
does not speak to us judgmentally. When situations challenge us, it is the
authentic adult in us, supported by the “witnessing presence,” that keeps
reminding ourselves that our negative thoughts and feelings are not based in
actual reality, but in our default, conditioned beliefs.

Here’ s an exercise for you, which will help you reclaim your “ witnessing
presence,” the key to unlocking your authentic voice:

The following exercise is designed to launch you on your journey
toward reclaiming your authentic voice by helping you to develop a
strong “witnessing presence”:

1. Think of a situation that is currently a source of stress and conflict in your
life. For example, this situation could involve a frustrated desire to move
forward professionally or personally. It could also involve difficulties in
your family or in your romantic life.

2. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. In your left
column, make a list of concrete facts describing this situation. In your right
column, list your feelings and beliefs about this situation.

3. Often, we are so entrenched in our feelings that we mistake them for facts.
Carefully examine each item on each list and ask yourself, to the best of
your ability, whether the “facts” are actually objectively true, or if they are
your subjective emotions or beliefs. Facts, for example, don’ t tell us “The
sky is falling!”— only feelings do!

4. Based on your findings, reconfigure the two lists so that you have a more
accurate reflection of what information is purely factual and what is based in
your own personal and subjective reactions.

5. Without judging, look at the column on the right, where you have listed
your feelings. Do they seem disproportionate to the facts? If so, try to
listen to them with the knowledge that these are your subjective beliefs and
feelings, not objective facts that define the situation or who you are.

6. Give yourself the space to inhabit and express these feelings on the page.
You are now beginning to witness your feelings without becoming entirely
identified with them.

7. Return to the “facts” of the situation with this new perspective. Having
developed our “witnessing presence,” and having realized that our subjective
responses to a situation are not a direct reflection of reality, we are in fact
developing our authentic voice, a tool of extraordinary power. The feelings
and beliefs rooted in our “persona” and our “shadow” suddenly become less
daunting. Their power over us is diminished profoundly because we see
them in their proper light. This offers the adult in us the ability to address
challenging situations from a more knowing, creative, and proactive place.
Life Coaching
Dr. Lynda Klau

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