Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lessons From My Divorce, Part 2 - Success

Success is often judged by comparing what was real to what was possible. Give that up and you've got an opportunity to have learned something!

At the notice of a divorce or break-up, it's common to hear that someone's relationship has failed. It certainly
feels true enough... My marriage ended, and I'm sad, and disappointed. So I ask myself, "Did my marriage fail?" Somehow, the answer I keep returning to is, No. Here's why...

At the core of this feeling of failure is my expectation for how I
thought my relationship would progress. I thought that my marriage would last "forever." I wouldn't have gotten married if I'd thought otherwise! My intention to create a mutually loving and satisfying relationship has been thwarted. In comparison to what I believed was possible for my marriage, this divorce is a failure.

But is an empowering life built on comparison?

When I remove the comparison of what was real to what was dreamt and imagined, I am left with only the facts of what WAS. The facts are that (despite our best intentions and significant efforts) neither of us was able to be whom the other needed us to be; we both behaved in ways that weren't productive; and the end result of our day to day interaction was largely stressful, painful, and destructive.

Those are the facts, and that is a relationship that I am happier and healthier for being without.

From that place of clarity, I can get curious about the lessons available to me out of the experience of my marriage. One of these lessons is that I am NOT reliable to know whether or not my significant, intimate relationships have the possibility of longevity! I
always think they're going to last forever! I almost always believe that we will surmount any challenge... until we don't. I am a true believer in the power of love and partnership, and a hard-working optimist at heart. I love that about me, and I get to be responsible for the consequences... like a lack of healthy cynicism. Sigh!

Sad and disappointed vs. happy, healthy and curious. Where would you rather dwell?

Now, I'm not saying that my sadness is invalid. By all means, my sadness is real, and I will allow myself the time and space to mourn the loss of what we had envisioned together. But, through my tears, I know that I'm mourning something imagined. The experiences that had us fall in love and commit ourselves to a marriage were real, and they still exist in my memory, and in my heart. They have not been lost.

And that, in itself, is a blessing. I would not give those memories back... We loved, and laughed, and wondered at the world, relished our surroundings and each other's company, and experienced both joy and magic. How could I declare that a failure?

M. Makael Newby, 2011 - All Rights Reserved - http://www.mmakaelnewby.com

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New NATIONAL Tele-Class on Boundaries & Needs!

Are you frustrated? Upset? Resentful? You may have a violated boundary or an un-met need!

A boundary is defined as a line that marks the limits of an area, a division point, if you will, between one thing and whatever is not that. When applied to our interpersonal relationships, a boundary might be drawn between acceptable behavior and what's not acceptable, between what we will tolerate and what we won't. And yet, few of us are ever directly challenged to examine and clearly identify our boundaries, which creates an opening for all kinds of unconscious mischief with ourselves and others.

Undistinguished boundaries are often discovered when they get crossed.
Everything's moving along smoothly and all of a sudden we're upset! What now? Or, if a boundary is regularly disrespected, we might find ourselves feeling resentful without a clear understanding of why. Is it me? It is them? Am I being unreasonable? Why can't I just get over this?

We train our partners and friends how to behave around us.
With each interaction, we show them how to interact with us, what will be accepted and what will not, how we'll let them speak to us, etc. So if it's a major problem for you that your partner yells at you when he or she is angry, but you stick around and let it happen over and over again, the one disrespecting your boundary is YOU, and no one else can honor your boundary if you do not.

The solution is to take the time to examine our boundaries and needs, and do our personal work to honor them in the future, which includes effectively communicating them to our potential and/or existing partners.

This three part tele-class consists of:

  • 3.75 hours of group coaching (regularly over $150)
  • The E-Harmony Must Haves and Can't Stands List
  • The Relātive Creātive Boundary Worksheet
  • The Relātive Creātive Need Worksheet
  • Additional limited email coaching support as needed between classes.
At the end of the process you will have created ten Personal Agreements in a go-to document that will help you stay honest with yourself. When you're upset, this is the first place to look!

During this class you will learn to:

  • Recognize the Red Flags when a boundary is in jeopardy.
  • Identify and honor the consequences for another of crossing your boundaries.
  • Compassionately communicate your boundaries and needs.
  • Know when your needs are being met, and show appreciation!
  • Create a mutually satisfying partnership!
It all starts with YOU!

Class times are on Wednesdays at 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST. Soon after you register, you'll receive the conference call details and your Prep Work documents. The class begins as soon as you're ready!

Session #1: November 16th
Session #2: November 30th
Session #3: December 7th

Since this is the maiden voyage of this fully-formed tele-class, I'm offering a one-time reduced rate of only $45/person, payable by check or through Paypal, with a limited class-size of twelve participants. To register, click the following

Your partners cannot read your mind, and your boundaries and needs remain invisible until you make the effort to distinguish them. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor, and make this class a priority!

M. Makael Newby, 2011 - All Rights Reserved - http://mmakaelnewby.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lessons From My Divorce, Part 1

It's alright, I understand. Go ahead and say it... "A relationship coach who's getting a divorce? Isn't that a contradiction?"

The answer is no. It's always easier to see what's going on in someone else's relationship than in our own - our eyes
do point outward, after all - and a coach has no personal investment or attachment to the details of your life. But I sure do have emotional attachments to my own life, which clutters up the view screen and then some! The best we can do is respond as authentically and responsibly as possible when new information comes to light. This may be a sudden occurrence or realization, or something that has been building for months or years. We do the best we can with the data we have in each moment.

Well, I have new data to share!

My relationship with my husband, Q, has always had some challenges. Being people who do not subscribe to the "one partner should meet ALL of my needs" point of view, we made every effort to outsource the needs that weren't getting met by our partnership. The surprising truth is that our adventures in polyamory - engaging in multiple sexual and romantic engagements - had nothing to do with the breakdown of our marriage! In fact, it allowed us to stay together longer by allowing us to Choose the key issues in our relationship. Of our top issues, communication was in a race for the lead.

If you've read past newsletter or blogs, you know that we've struggled with very different styles of communication. I process out loud, Q thinks before he speaks. My processing drives him mad, his method has felt like an unbearable restriction to me. He's come from a win/lose paradigm, while I've been trained to seek the win/win. He told me how he needed me to speak to him, and how to listen to him, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to master it. Does anyone else relate to this?

If I believed in luck, I'd say that I was lucky to have the opportunity to put myself into a course called
Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women only three weeks after we decided to divorce. This course is only for women, and I knew that this work was about empowering men and women in their relationships with one another. So I settled into my seat hopeful about what I'd get, and certain that MY soon-to-be-ex was a strange enough bird that most of their concepts wouldn't apply to him. What I learned blew me away.

Q is a man. Now, of course, I already knew this, right? I was not a virgin bride, and yes, clearly, he's a man. But what I mean is that he's also NOT a woman in that Men do not speak, hear, act, process their thoughts and feelings, prioritize or receive stimuli like Women. The physiological differences are apparent, but the sociological, mental and emotional ones are less so, and I was surprised to discover that my ideas of what a man
was bore a striking resemblance to how I know myself to be, as a woman. I mean - we're all People, right? Well, yes, but also no...

I was further shocked to learn that I had been engaging in all kinds of emasculating and undermining thoughts and actions with Q. I thought I was being helpful by offering to help him keep his word, meet his deadlines, remember the details he needed to manage, and generally act in the world like the person I thought he'd said he wanted to become, etc. But I was often busy being "the better man" in our relationship. Have you ever heard yourself say, "I need a wife?" Yep, that's something to look at. And sure enough, everything they told me about how to communicate with a man was how Q had asked me to communicate with him.

Now - I did NOT want to admit that he was right about ANYthing, so to see clearly how I had contributed to the anger, frustration and tension between us really pissed me off! But there it was - undeniable. When one can appreciate the natural design of Men, the possibility of allowing oneself to be a Woman arises, as well as the dance of partnership that can result. Embracing that possibility was much more appealing than being Right.

So I apologized to Q, and acknowledged my mistakes. I also started practicing speaking to him in the way that they taught me, and I'll tell you this... It is the only way that he can hear me clearly. I do it my way and I get annoyance, anger, and blame. I do it their way and I get understanding, patience, and agreement. Forgive my language, but HOLY SHIT! You cannot imagine my surprise, quickly followed by my own piss off that I've taken over 700 hours of personal development work and never yet been taught this information. Grrrrr...

Accordingly, I'm taking ALL of the PAX (Latin for 'peace') coursework, or which CMSW is a part, and will continue to share with you as I learn more about how to create exceptional relationships that allow men to be Men and women to be Women. NOTE: These lessons may not fit every man and woman 100%. I've discovered that Q needs this kind of communication style at a level that I'm not willing to master. I am WAY too high energy for him, and I bring too much intensity to my interactions. It fries his receivers. To moderate myself down to the level that would work for him on a daily basis would feel crippling to me, and it's not something I'm willing to take on any longer. I tried, I failed, and it's not my path. However, I now have a tool that works when it's really important that he be able to hear me, and that's priceless. I also have a new understanding of who I can be in a relationship, and THAT is inspiring!

To learn more about Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women, visit www.understandmen.com. There's also a course for woman and men entitled Understanding Women!
I always thought there was something wrong with me that I was so exhausted after spending a full day at the office focusing on one task at a time, or that my mind wanders occasionally when I'm with my partner, even during sex. Am I broken? No, I'm a Woman! You have no idea how different we can be, and when you can appreciate the natural design of a Woman, more peace becomes available.

I am so enthusiastic about the PAX coursework that I'm considering studying to teach their workshops. I really want to expand the sphere of influence that this work has.
If I had taken this course before we married, things would have gone VERY differently. Accordingly, if YOU decide to take one of their classes or purchase one of their CDs, books, etc., please provide my affiliate number, which is 554149.

Lastly, I want to apologize to all of my gender-queer peeps. This post has largely been based on traditional Man/Woman stereotypes. Would this support you in your relationships? I don't know, and I'm going to have this conversation with other participants and keep listening for the difference it might make for you.

Lessons From My Divorce, Part 2
will discuss the importance of holding and honoring one's boundaries.

M. Makael Newby, 2011 - All Rights Reserved - http://mmakaelnewby.blogspot.com