Key To Successful Relationships: Being Present and Letting Go

May 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Yesterday, I had a long talk with a close friend of mine.  He is in his 50s and his life is in disarray.  He lost his job a couple of months ago and hasn’t been able to figure out what to do next.  So, he decided to stay in the not knowing.    He told me he has spent his entire life chasing after things and being a go-getter.  Maybe this is the time to release and let life take the course that it needs.

Now, my friend doesn’t have a lot of financial pressure.  Not because he is well off, but because his daughter is grown up and he is now single.

I don’t know if what he is doing is wise or not, but he got me thinking about the concept of releasing control.

I have never blinked at charging ahead or inventing and then re-inventing myself.  But, what would it be like to sometimes step aside, breathe, and let life unfold? As I think about the question, I realize the answer lies in being present and letting go of expectations.  A wise attitude for a relationship.

So often, as we embark in a journey with someone else, we want to know for sure where it will lead us.  Is this a relationship that will have a “happily ever after” stamp on? Or is this a relationship that will end? Or even, is this a relationship that will end in disappointment?  Questions like; is this worth my time and effort quickly follow.

The truth is; nobody knows.  Being in a relationship means living in the moment and letting go of expectations.  Simply because relationships are always evolving because the two people involved are constantly changing.

A successful connection is based on the ability of the two people to live in the web and flow of their interactions.  So, rather than ask questions like “where this will go?” one should ask “am I happy now?”  As long as the answer is yes, then this is a relationship worth staying in.

While I don’t know about my friend’s current posture, I do know when it comes to relationships, letting life take its course is the only wise attitude. And if we are to be successful, we must learn to be present and let go of expectations.

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How To Feel More Connected, Centered And Purposeful

May 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

I really like this post by Terry Tillman because it talks about stopping long enough to recognize the existence of others. I see you.

I often thought a lot of the violence in Rio de Janeiro (my birth town) came from the fact the middle and upper middle class in fear and/or desperation of not knowing what to do, chose to ignore the poor living on the streets.  I’m talking about not even look at the street people. The result of that group behavior is that the homeless and the poor became non-people.  But people can’t be non-people for too long, so they steal and kill.  I’m here.  Can you see me now?  Of course this is the extreme of ignoring others.  But think about how we would all profit if we actually were present when we came in contact with others?

Terry Tillman

Recovering Businessman, Seminar Leader, Speaker, Author, Coach, Scout

Remember those scenes in Avatar, when the people of Pandora would look each other in the eye and say, “I see you?” Well, these three little words may have a much deeper meaning–they are part of a time-tested tradition and greeting that we can use today to feel more connected, centered and purposeful.

About 20 years ago I was on a safari in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda). As we traveled through the villages and Serengeti savanna I noticed a recurring event. When one of the indigenous people would approach another, they would pause, face each other, look directly in each others eyes for five to15 seconds, say something and then continue on their way. This would happen in populated villages and in very remote areas where there may be only one human every 20 square miles.

After a couple weeks of noticing this I asked one of our guides from the Samburu tribe what the natives were doing. He said they were greeting each other. “How are they doing that? What are they saying?” I asked.

“One of them says, ‘I see you.’ Connecting through the eyes, the other replies, ‘I am here.’”

This touched me. I’ve traveled to and worked in 94 countries so far and have seen many different customary greetings–hand shakes, bowing, kissing on cheeks one, two or three times, hugging, touching foreheads … but none quite like this. I have a file I call “Fancy Stuff” for things that tickle my fancy, and that illustrate or demonstrate a truth or useful principle. This goes in that file…Continued

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Working Hard At Being My Own Best Friend

January 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Why and what are the most thought of words in my brain these days.  Why do we struggle?  Why all the effort? What is it all for?  And just plainly why and what.

To try to come up with any kind of possible answer I have been spending more time than usual hanging with myself.  Checking in and finding out more about this person I live with.  It’s a bit of an odd concept, get to know oneself, as if we are two separate individuals; one that just is and the other who works at getting to know the first one.

But how many of us really know ourselves?  And how many of us spend enough time with ourselves?  I’m not talking about time in front of our computers or TV.  I’m talking about time to listen to our thoughts, frustrations, hurts and pleasures.

We drive, we work, we eat, we are on our iPods, cell phones, chat-rooms but do we ever sit quietly and ask ourselves: how are we?  What’s bugging us?  What’s making us happy?

As philosophy is the cousin of existentialism and self reflection, I went digging through the Greek philosophers and found an interesting answer Antisthenes gave when asked what philosophy meant to him; he said the ability to hold converse with myself.

Now philosophy’s cousin – meditation – aims at giving ourselves time to be quiet and reflect.  It also works at making us present.  We are so often thinking of the past and of the future, that the present is almost never truly experienced.

Living requires us being in touch with ours senses and not just locked up in our heads.  Try washing your hands in water but truly being present in the moment.  Try making love and really feeling all the sensations.  Try eating an apple and getting lost in its crunches. Being present makes life be a completely different experience.

Being my own best friend also requires that I do something fulfilling for myself on a daily basis.  For me it means; a nice meal, a glass of outstanding wine, playing with my dogs or just sitting outside in the yard.

The bottom line is: in this world where we are bombarded with information and are asked to run and make decisions every minute of our lives, so it becomes easy to lose our sense of self.  And the only way of having any balance is by checking in.  So I for one want to be my friend.  No, I actually want to be my best friend.  Because I am the only one that knows every place and every person I ever met.  And I am the only one who no matter what will always be with me.  So I better be my own best friend.

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