Communication bridges different worlds, beginning with one person at a time!
I learned this at The Haven, and frankly, I have The Haven to thank for being able to spend a few precious hours with my dad this past weekend, knowing it may be the last conversation we’ll have.
Maybe some of you can relate to my relationship to my dad. There was a time when there was a chasm between us that seemed impossible to bridge.
We had, what seemed like, irreconcilable differences about the past. For ten years, I broke off communication with my parents.
Hopefully, the differences you may have with key people in your life have not created that level of separation. Honestly, I never thought we’d find a path back. There did not seem to be a bridge that could span that far!
It was at The Haven that courageous work, on the part of each of my family members, took place. We gathered there to meet, and gain some valuable assistance, and tools for communicating with each other. With curiosity, empathy, and a willingness to acknowledge each of our radically different realities, without shutting down, cutting off, or getting caught in right or wrong, we agreed to connect and move on together.
Since then, we’ve had some great times and some difficult ones. What’s made the difference, and sustained the bridge for me, is going back to the communication model and practices, such as breath, and owning whatever feeling I am having. Plus, developing the ability to make a choice on how I want to react, or respond, to what someone is saying, is very empowering.
Fast forward to this visit with Dad, maybe because it was possibly one of our last face-to-face conversations, I had to ask, “What’s left unsaid?” Well, my dad went right back to one of our biggest and most painful differences! Grrrr!
I caught myself before I flared too much. I paused and took a breath. I reflected on what I thought he was communicating, and checked in to see if I understood. That gave me a moment to calm down. Then, I could share how I was thinking and feeling.
Things did get a bit heated. We went back and forth, and it wasn’t pretty or comfortable. But, we finally did get to the critical sticking points, and it was a conversation we had to have. No, we didn’t resolve the difference, but we each walked on the bridge built between us, and visited the others’ unique world with compassion and heart.
I left so grateful to each of us for showing up and hanging in. I left knowing we had left nothing unsaid and were better for it.
It was a deeply spiritual and profound moment in my life.
I am grateful for my experience at The Haven, which taught me how to do something I couldn’t do before. I learned amazing tools and practices there. I now integrate all these tools, and experiences, in the transformative work that I do, yes, at the Haven, leading the Living Alive Phase I, Come Alive and Couples Alive, but also in my one-on-one coaching with individuals, and consulting work with teams.
Soon, I will be heading to The Haven to lead the Living Alive Phase I, starting October 10, 2014. There’s still space. I never totally get why this program doesn’t fill up early. It is the most affordable way to transform one’s life. It transformed mine. I am still experiencing the ROI 29 years later.
I would be upset with myself if I did not reach out and invite anyone who lives, as I did, behind walls, with broken bridges between people they care about, to check out The Haven. Come join me I’d love share with you what I have learned and help you rebuild bridges in your life. It’s totally worth it!
The conversations with my Dad….priceless.
Thank you Haven!