Tag Archives: relationships

Our Book is Getting Real – So Am I

There are so many exciting things happening in my world.
This past week we got the author copies of our book, The Beauty of Conflict for Couples.
Loved opening the boxes.
Pretty cool experience.

I noticed a big exhale when there were no spelling errors on the cover. Of course there weren’t – we had editors and people watching our back.
However, I noticed until the book was in my hand I was anxious.

The book looks great and feels great.

Our days have been filled with podcast interviews. Only a couple have aired at this point. I am enjoying the process and I notice as the launch week approaches, I am feeling a touch exposed.

It’s funny I didn’t feel quite like this with our first book. Not sure why. Maybe because this one is about relationships, including our relationship! The last did tell some parts of my story and our story but it focused on our work with leaders and teams.

This one is closer to home – to me – to us.
Plus we are reaching further. We have a publisher. We have PR and marketing team.

Next week we’ll be on TV show in Houston!
We’re getting media training.
I’m saying I’m an expert in the area of relationships.

Here’s the deal.
I totally believe in what we have put out into the world.
I know this relational work as transformed my health, my relating, my world.

I know and have witnessed that same transformation happen in our programs and with couples and individuals I have worked with and I don’t doubt the work.

Still I am very uncomfortable calling myself an expert. My friend, Sherrie, tells me to redefine expert.

She ask me, “Are you confident in the work.”


“Well – own it.”

She reminds me I am confident and clear that what I am saying is grounded in experience, knowledge and years of both living it and work and training.

What I am noticing is that I am standing forward. AND, on the inside I am aware of the tremble, the doubts, the dyslexic in me looking for the mis-spelled words.

Maybe I am not suppose to expose the insides as an expert.

However, for me without sharing the inside this feels incongruent.

Relating isn’t about being right or an expert. It’s about being real, sometimes raw and stepping forward.

Yes I hope people will buy our book, read it and try things out for themselves.
I want people to discover the beauty I have found in conflict.
Facing and wrestling with my own inner conflict
Learning and growing through relating with CrisMarie
Finding the beauty in our conflict.
The mess, the cleaning up and the transforming of ourselves – as individuals and as a couple.
Taking that same vulnerability and curiosity into the world around me.

I wish I could say it gets easier and maybe it does.
I don’t think I can sell that – because I am not sure it does get easier

Fuller and more alive
But not easier.

Living and loving takes courage and isn’t a pill a formula or a sure thing.

That much I do know for sure!
However – I won’t take the pill or certainty even if it was offered!
I hope you don’t either.

Relationship Math: 1 x 1=1

I live in a community where there is lots of talk about oneness and unity.  Often, I feel at odds listening to the discussions because there has been a quality to the conversation that I interpret as a transcending of the human experience to a higher order, which I don’t agree with.  However, when some Haven friends presented me with the Relationship Equation: 1 x 1=1, I had an “ah ha” moment!

Let’s just review some basic math: 1 x 1=1, and 0.5 x 1=0.5, and 0.5 x 0.5=0.25.  By applying this equation to any relationship, you can see that if I show up in a relationship as only half of myself, then the outcome, even if the other person fully shows up, is still only 0.5.  Not oneness!  Worse still, if we both show up only half way then the return is a mere 0.25.  This means that if I want to get to oneness, I must bring all of me to the equation: the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful! There is no transcending, cutting out parts, bypassing the ugly ego, or really any part of myself.  This totally changed my view on oneness.  I am all for it now.

From a relationship context, this makes complete sense.  Sure, I wish only the best of me showed up day-to-day in my interactions with CrisMarie.  However, when you live and breath, travel and work side-by-side all of the time, that is just not real.  We have amazing moments of closeness, and we have horrible clashes.  We also have lots of boring day-to-day experiences.  This is life. It’s easy to disengage or try to hide parts of myself that show up at the wrong moment.  However, if I go back to the math, I understand that when I take a part of me out of the equation, I miss the opportunity to experience oneness.

I listen to people trying to shed parts of themselves.  I am sure we have all tried to stop crying or wish we could rid ourselves of rage, pain, sorrow, or hate.  It doesn’t work.  Somehow, if we want to be one or whole, we have to feel everything deeply, and then and only then, do we get to know fully who we are and maybe get better at choosing how we show up.

This same equation applies to teams, groups, families, even countries.  1 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 1=1.  There is no other way to get to oneness.  My imagining that I could do more, say like 1.5, does not help anyone else I am in a relationship with get to oneness.  1.5 x 0.5=0.75.   Wow!  The math makes it clear. Each of us can only work on showing up fully ourselves.  That is the only way to ONE!

If oneness is our destiny, as some have said, then it means our path on this planet is to embrace everything, the good the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Then, and only then, do we have a chance to experience wholeness, unity or oneness together.

So what do we do about the pain, the suffering, the meanness and the cruelty that exists in the world, and within ourselves?  First, we don’t deny it;  We embrace it;  We own it; We show up fully and invite all of the those standing there with us to show up fully as well.  In that moment of intimacy, we may indeed kill each other, however, we may also see God. Does that possibility scare me?  Sure.  I know I have yet to show up fully moment to moment for very long.  But if I do the math – it is the best option.