New Storytellers groups now forming

August 24, 2008 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Storytelling | 1 Comment
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Storytellers – Love your story, love yourself

If you’re a woman who wants to learn to love your whole self through the sharing of your life story, then Storytellers is for you. New groups are now forming. (See my 4/17/08 post for more info on the healing power of storytelling,)

The transformational storytelling process provides you with an opportunity to:

* better understand and communicate your needs
* practice genuine self-care
* recognize and express your strengths
* be known and valued by others
* develop true community . . . and more

Each Storytellers group is comprised of 2, 3, or 4 participants. Groups meet twice a month for approximately 6 months, depending on group consensus. Sessions run for about 2 hours and are held at the Authentic Life Consulting office near 12th Street and Missouri in Phoenix. Feel free to take part as an individual or with your friend(s).

Please call or email me for more info. I’m also glad to meet on a complimentary basis with you, or you and your friends, to answer your detailed questions about Storytellers.

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Living authentically “Down to My Bones”

August 20, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Life Calling | 1 Comment
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Speaking and living one’s truth. This is something I think about a lot, try to practice faithfully, and love to discuss with others nearly every day. Speaking and living truth is my elemental life value.

As a result, I’m always impressed when I see someone daring to live authentically, and I’ll be profiling them here from time to time. Derek Turner embraces this fearless lifestyle (see my January 1, 2008 post) and so does Jenny Leigh Antill.

Jenny is a lovely singer and composer whose first CD, “Down to My Bones,” will be released September 6. In this haunting compilation of songs Jenny explores the depths of human love and loss, the hope we can share, and strips bare her own soul in the process. Her willingness to be honest about her own journey is a powerful invitation for us to do the same. You can listen to a few sample tracks here.

If you like what you hear, let Jenny know . . . and forward her website to your friends.

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How I got over my fear of conflict

August 12, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Conflict | 7 Comments
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When the mood hit him, my dad was a rager. Very loud and very scary in conflict with others. I believe that much of my difficulty expressing real anger — throughout several decades of my life — springs from often being scared out of my wits by my father’s vitriolic tirades.

When I married I had no tools to guide me in having a difference of opinion with my husband. Unfortunately, my husband lacked tools as well. We were both stuffers, avoiders par excellence, and this ostrich-method had disastrous consequences. Our marriage (the first one) ended after 13 years.

During the years that followed I intentionally sought emotional wellness by reading self-help books, participating in therapy, and practicing a new trust-based way of relating to others. That last piece — practicing — was the key for me. Consciously opening my mouth and saying how I truly felt, with others who cared for me, often felt terrifying . . . yet this was the biggest factor in my getting over my fear of conflict.

Willingly engaging in confrontation still feels slightly unnatural to me. Generally, I have to stop and think about it for a second. But I’m not afraid of it anymore.

When my husband and I remarried more than 10 years ago (that’s right, we chose to try again), I let him know up front that this time I’d be committed to being emotionally honest, that I would no longer run away from conflict. I’m sure there are some days he wishes this wasn’t true (smile), but it’s working for us.

Do you struggle with engaging with conflict? Let me know how you’re overcoming or have overcome your fear.

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I am a former “conflict-a-phobe.”

August 4, 2008 at 7:10 pm | Posted in Conflict | 3 Comments
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I admit it, I used to be scared to death to have a difference of opinion with anyone. When I sensed pending conflict in a conversation or situation, I used to clam up or lie (I was a gifted chameleon), anything to avoid engaging in an unpredictable disagreement that might mushroom into a full-scale argument.

Can you relate?

Or maybe you identify more with “powering up” in conflict, overwhelming someone else with your superior debating skills or your louder, more forceful voice.

Instead of regarding conflict as something to be feared or overcome, consider shifting your perception. What might happen if you chose to regard conflict as a straightforward opportunity for creative growth? After all, does any real change occur in life — whether it happens within yourself or in relationship with others — without a degree of discomfort or struggle?

Let’s talk about this, what are your thoughts? And, if you like, let me know your typical response to conflict.

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