In this podcast I’m doing something different than I’ve done before — I’m taking you behind the curtain to my process in creating a new class that’s evolved from my journey of exploring choices. My vision for Finding Our Way Back: Healing the Rift, is to give you the tools to listen without judgment and speak without anger to those you’re in relationship with, who matter to you, whether it be a child, sibling, romantic partner or friend. It’s for you if you care about the relationship you’re in, but it’s not where you want it to be, and you crave a way to get there.
In this episode I invite you to listen to a conversation I had with my writing coach, Elise, who supported me to pull the brilliance from me (which is usually something I do for others) by asking intuitive questions and allowing me space to answer. If you’ve considered creating your own class or product, this process will hopefully be helpful to you.
A little back story on how this class came to be. It’s evolved out of my journey of writing my upcoming book, The Alchemy of Choice.
As I’ve been doing in-depth explorations about my key choices and taking responsibility for my actions, I’ve had incredible healings with both my mother and my daughter. I now feel so much more peaceful and at ease with each of them that I’m able to speak much more honestly and lovingly.
With my mother, we ended our relationship years ago after being so at odds and disconnected. Through an extraordinary healing experience, that opened my eyes to how special she is, (which I shared in this Facebook Live book reading), we found our way back to each other. Fortunately for both of us, we’re now connected, aligned and able to provide a united front in caring for my father, during his degeneration from Alzheimer’s, without the added burden of our previous detachment.
With my daughter, after a rocky fall semester, where I dreaded her coming home for winter break, and also felt guilty for that dread, we went through a process that allowed us to find our way back to each other. As I got to the airport to pick her up for her spring break, I realized the difference in a few months, and how excited I was for her return. Here’s an excerpt about our experience from my upcoming book:
During my daughter Tasha’s first semester of her sophomore year in college we went through a challenge in our personal connection. She wanted a level of independence that was likely normal for a 19-year old and I was finding my way with how to give it to her while also wanting to stay involved as her parent. It seemed no matter what I did or said we clashed, and our communication was stilted and tenuous. I could feel her eye rolling through the wifi of our phones. When she returned home for her winter break, we spoke of the pain of our growing disconnect and I suggested we do a map together so we could explore our choice to find our way back to each other.
“I’d love that,” she said, “I’ve missed you. How should we begin?”
“Let’s start with you sharing what caused you to lose your way, and then I’ll share what happened for me.”
As we sat in the quiet of the kitchen, and she shared details of what caused her to pull away from me, I captured her words in the branches of a new map. She described how she’d changed a lot during sophomore year and had begun making decisions on her own. She explained how she’d developed a deeper understanding of her pain from our divorce and that she was making sense of how it affected her behaviors. The specific details she shared were uncomfortable to hear. I refrained from getting defensive, kept listening, and continued asking probing questions to better comprehend the nuances of her experience. Capturing her words in a map allowed me to see, plainly, the parts of our conversation that required expansion. I noticed where I needed to ask more questions to fill in blank spaces, and just listen. No judgment.
After an hour of what felt like an incredibly deep therapy session, listening to her speak with great candor and incredible wisdom, she asked, “Will you tell me about you? I want to understand why you pulled away from me.”
“I definitely want to share my experience with you but let’s wait for another day. Let’s sit with what you’ve shared. You’re home for a few weeks and we’ve got time to address our experience in stages so we can come back to me later on.”
The following day I noticed that the heavy energy, which had existed between us for months, had dissipated, and there was a playfulness in our communication. “Do you feel a shift in us today?” I asked.
“Yes, I do, it feels so much easier to be with you.”
“What do you think caused this?” I inquired.
With great insight she said, “You listened to me without judgment and didn’t try to fix me, and that felt really good.”
Listen without judgment. So simple, so textbook, yet so hard to actually do, but such an incredible gift to both of us when done. Giving her the space to share her fears and upsets, no matter how dark, without providing my typical parental solution for how to make them go away, was what she needed. Wanting to ease her pain, and fix her problems, I was inadvertently taking away her ability to find her way and develop her own process.
During Finding Our Way Back, my goal is to share with you how to put a voice to issues and experiences you might not have in the past, as well as how to put the pieces together of what the other’s been experiencing so you can have greater compassion and empathy. I’ll share the tools I discovered, and support you to use them in your key relationships. I’ve always believed I teach best what I’m currently living and learning, so now’s the time for me to teach this work. If what I’ve shared resonates with you, please reach out to me privately so we can speak further.
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