01 April 2006

Welcome to the first issue of Fundamentals*, a regular newsletter to remind you how to create profound fundamental shifts in your communication and relationships. I say remind because somewhere inside you, you already know. My intention is to provoke your thinking, stimulate your awareness and help you remember what you already know so you can make whatever fundamental shifts you choose. And when you make a fundamental shift - it sticks.

You Are A Liar

Calm down, I am not attacking you, I am merely stating a truth … well … that’s not entirely accurate. It would be more precise to say: You lie. In fact, everybody lies. Not necessarily with malice and a conscious desire to deceive but rather you lie unconsciously and sometimes unintentionally. You probably think you are honest and you probably accept that others are honest too. Yet what I know about human beings (myself included) is that we all lie, sometimes. And mostly what we lie about is how we are feeling.

Not communicating your feelings causes more problems in relationships than any other single thing. Think about it. Not acknowledging your feelings is a form of lying called withholding. If you do not acknowledge the whole truth when you are communicating ie: what you are thinking, what’s going on (the stuff) AND what you are feeling, then the other person cannot give you a whole and satisfying response. You can transform your relationships by including what you are feeling when you communicate.

How are you feeling right now? Chances are you will answer in one of three ways:

  1. You will tell me what you are thinking - eg: “I’m wondering what’s the right answer?”
  2. You will tell me the stuff that’s going on - eg: “I am really busy and having a few problems with my staff …”
  3. You will tell me what you have concluded about what you are feeling - eg: “I feel great/good/fine/ok/not bad/flat/down/upbeat/positive/negative … etc”

All of these responses come from the chatter in your head and they are not feelings. Feelings occur in your body. That’s where you feel things. So check in with your body. Right now, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself: “So what am I feeling right now?” Answer the question with a feeling/emotional word - eg “I am feeling happy/sad/anxious/ frustrated/calm/excited etc.” The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

So the next time someone asks: “How are you?” or “What’s going on?” included the truth of how you are feeling in your response - you’ll be glad you did.

*Explicit Concepts was called Fundamentals for Issue 1

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