Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Yoga of Relating

I recently spent 8 days in a Conscious Loving training with Kathlyn Hendricks of the Hendricks Institute. It was so cool to read their books and then meet her and husband, Gay, after having been introduced to their work and books at least 21 years ago in my Heartwood days.   The training was a wonderful blending of the paths I've been exploring for the last many years:  yoga, somatic movement, conscious communication, and more recently, coaching.  For me, it was the yoga of relationships and I found it incredibly enriching.

The main emphasis for me was to take l00 percent responsibility for myself, which includes not blaming or complaining.  This practice showed me places I still wasn't fully taking responsibility even though I'd been practicing it in many areas and had the awareness and intention to do so for many years now.  My awareness of my patterns shot up to a whole new level!  I found it quite fascinating to see that if I'm upset with somebody and wanting to cast blame, for example when somebody doesn't do something they say they're going to do, then instead of blaming or judging, I can choose to look at how my words or actions may have contributed to the situation.  I can inquire about what I can learn from it and how I can communicate more clearly, change my attitude and even the nature of my relationship with them.  So instead of "out-sourcing" my issue to them, I can look at myself and see where I'm responsible.  As they say, we're each 100% responsible for what happens in each of our relationships.

The other big "aha" for me was the awareness and use of commitments, both conscious and unconscious.  The Hendricks say that if we want to find out what we're most committed to, we can simply look at the results we're having in our lives. This may show us some unconscious commitments that we didn't know we had.  For example, I may say that I want to hire a helper, but yet I keep finding reasons or excuses for why I can't do that right now.  So my unconscious commitment is not to have help, to overwork, or to stay in control because that's what's actually happening.  For some, it's around quitting smoking, getting a job, leaving a relationship, losing weight, being late, keeping the house clean, not fighting, etc.  So the idea is that whatever we're committed to energetically, we will produce.  We may be more committed (unconsciously) to staying safe, staying in control, or holding up a certain persona than to making a big change.   So when we realize we're not getting the results we think we want, we then have the opportunity to make a new (and conscious) commitment, ideally supported by concrete action steps, to follow through on our new intentions.

So this is a start to what I'm now exploring, as there are numerous layers to what I learned there.  I'm pretty psyched about seeing how this will unfold for me.  But for now, I'm focusing on my intimate relationships and playing with how I can take more responsibility for my words, actions and thoughts than I ever have before.  This is the yoga of awareness, presence and mindfulness for me. 

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