Dr. Harville Hendrix is arguably the nation’s foremost author, teacher and thinker on love and relationships. He is a Clinical Pastoral Counselor who is known internationally for his work with couples. He, and his wife, Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, co-created Imago Relationship Therapy, a therapy for couples now practiced by over 2000 certified therapists in 30 countries. Their partnership and collaboration has resulted in 10 books in 57 languages, including his groundbreaking, seminal New York Times bestseller, Getting the Love You Want, and, most recently, Making Marriage Simple: 10 Truths for Changing the Relationship You Have into the One You Want. Dr. Hendrix has appeared on many national television shows including 18 guest appearances on Oprah, one of which won her an Emmy award for the “most socially redemptive” daytime talk show and was included by Oprah in her top twenty shows.
In this, one of our favorite conversations, Dr. Margaret Paul asserts that the essence of relationship conflict is a byproduct of self-abandonment.
Dr. Margaret Paul is the author of a number of best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, and Healing Your Aloneness. Her books have been translated into eleven languages and are distributed around the world.
She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including Oprah. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and continues to work with individuals and couples — mostly via phone.
Her passion is helping people heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships.
This is my favorite song and video from last year. Beyond the stunning production and incredible performances, what I love most about it is the message. “Would you let me see beneath your beautiful.”
In Pathwork, we talk a lot about the defenses we put up that keep us from our people, and, more importantly, ourselves. To the extent we can embrace our “creatureliness,” our human imperfection, we can allow that which is divine in us to presence itself.
This song says it as beautifully as one could hope for.
After I stopped laughing, not only because this is so clever, but from recognition, I started to think about this. What we settle for in communication, both at work and at home… we could do better. And to such a large extent it’s the quality of communication that determines our mood, outlook, even sense of self. We can do better.
Thanks for Pittsburgh therapist, David Prybock for suggesting this.
Based on their own program of recovery, mentoring experience and commitment to “passing it on,” Bill and Sandy Fifield have spoken to over 200 groups, in speaking engagements and workshops. Their recent book, “Dig Deep in One Place: A Couple’s Journey to a Spiritual Life.” encompasses all phases of the spiritual disease of fear, which afflicts all of us. Their story is an epic journey of 45 years through addiction, alcoholism, and co-dependence to come to a life of happy, joyous freedom. Learn more at: www.digdeepinoneplace.com. This program was recorded on July 31, 2013. Sadly, Bill, who had been struggling with cancer, died the following week. Along with sadness, I feel privileged to have gotten to know Bill for this brief period before he left us. -BW
Allan Hardman is an author and expert on personal and spiritual transformation, relationships, emotional healing– and a Toltec Master in the lineage of don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements.™ Allan teaches in Sonoma County, CA, and from “The House of the Eagles,” his winter home in Chacala, Nayarít, Mexico. He guides Journeys of the Spirit to sacred sites in Mexico, and hosts wellness vacations in Chacala. He is the author of The Everything Toltec Wisdom Book, and co-author of two books with Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Dr. Andrew Weil, Prince Charles, and others. Visit Allan’s extensive website at www.joydancer.com, where you can also learn about his online spiritual membership community.
Peter Strong, Ph. D., is a mindfulness therapist, meditation teacher and the author of The Path of Mindfulness Meditation. He treats anxiety, depression and all forms of emotional stress both in-person and online via Skype. In this podcast, Dr. Strong talks about mindfulness and how can it be applied to working with emotions. We’ll learn how mindfulness manifests in relationships and in transforming our experience of ourselves.
Pathwork teaches the profound distinction between sadness and depression. (For this essay, we exclude clinical depression, which is another animal.)
Depression is a self-generated, stuck state. In depression there is no movement.
Depression includes the attitude, “this shouldn’t be,” which is incompatible with flow, with life. It’s a feeling that we’re alone in the universe. A feeling that there’s absolutely nothing I can do. It includes the notion that there’s something outside of me that can be blamed for my depression.
However, depression can be a powerful teacher. It alerts us to tap into our sadness, so that healing can begin.
Nothing external can harm our spirit. People who have enlightened us on this notion include Viktor Frankl, whose spirit was not adulterated by the holocaust, and Nelson Mandela, who endured unconscionable imprisonment for 27 years without losing an iota of grace.
Unlike depression, sadness is a highly enabling state. Sadness in the present is a trigger of childhood wounding. We can’t always name the wounds, because at an early age we didn’t have sufficient ways of processing the experience. Rather than vivid memories, what are stored are the feelings.
There are many painful realities in our current life to stir our sadness. When we get hurt, misunderstood, rejected, dismissed, when our longings are unfulfilled, when we become present to the painful conditions in the world,sometimes a current sadness triggers our “ancient” pain and we grieve both at the same time.
Healing comes from feeling the sadness and from re-experiencing childhood wounds. While we can’t necessarily recreate the childhood events, we can recreate the feelings. Rather than resist the sadness, we can drop into it. We can feel those feelings. We can map our current feelings to those childhood feelings. We can alternate from just totally immersing ourselves like a child, crying, screaming, punching pillows, kicking our feet, rocking, etc. to engaging our adult conscious ego, who can soothe our child. Our adult can help our child distinguish that what’s happening in the present is just a trigger. Our adult can remind us that we are whole and complete and ultimately in control – that our true self will still be there when everything else goes. And that by opening ourselves to sadness and vulnerability, we are ultimately making ourselves more available to life.
Oh break my heart,
Oh break my heart,
Oh break my heart again…
So I can love even more.
Depression is unidentified sadness gone underground. Said another way, it’s an unhealthy attitude to the way we respond to sadness.
There is such a warm, wonderful richness in feeling our sadness. And there is catharsis. Not only do we wind up feeling better in the present, we also begin to heal our child consciousness. That child sadness may never fully go away; but, if we continue to re-experience it in healthy ways, its power over us diminishes over time.
When the heart weeps for what it has lost,
the spirit rejoices for what it has found.
(Adapted with liberties from a lecture by Sue Van Doeren on October 3, 2013.)
In the winter of 1964, Nelson Mandela arrived on Robben Island where he would spend 18 of his 27 prison years. Confined to a small cell, the floor his bed, a bucket for a toilet, he was forced to do hard labor in a quarry. He was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months. But Robben Island became the crucible which transformed him. Through his intelligence, charm and dignified defiance, Mandela eventually bent even the most brutal prison officials to his will, assumed leadership over his jailed comrades and became the master of his own prison. He emerged from it the mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa. (source)