intimacy

The Invitation

This is one of my favorite poems of all times. 

And I want to share it with you. 

dreamer

 

The Invitation

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer


It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

 

__________

Briana L. Cavion, MA, MAnlp

Briana is a Coach Practitioner for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com). She and her clients get real about what is working (and not) in their careers and relationships. Together they walk the journey to discover personal power, soulful leadership and authentic communication. She works from the premise that life is not about one goal achieved after another, or one relationship onto the next, but an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact, and deepest gifts.  

 

 

The Power of Apology

I set out to share with a deep love of mine the importance of an apology, especially in any type of intimate relationship (romantic, business partner, family member etc). 

An apology is a tool to create a safe space to begin a dialogue between you and the other person. Especially when there has been a disagreement, misunderstanding, miscommunication, or an outright outburst! It is a place to "lay down your sword" and an invitation to the other person to do the same. It is a rest, rather than a battle. A place of intentional peace making, rather than antagonizing.  

An apology is a place where all parties involved have an opportunity to take responsibility for their piece in the interaction. Nobody's perfect and both of you have something wonderful to LEARN from the interaction. 

When you apologize, you also acknowledge that you engaged in behavior that was other than what you would like to express, or in behavior that hurt the other person. Even if what you did was perfectly okay for you, acknowledging that you may have caused harm to the other person allows the dialogue to begin, and for you to take a moment and step into empathy - really "getting their world." 

Taking responsibility for your actions is one of the most empowering acts we can do as a human being. It allows us to claim our position and also understand what we are going to look at, learn from, and attempt to do differently in the future. 

Why is it so difficult?

Apologies take vulnerability, and vulnerability takes courage. You are putting down your sword first. This does not guarantee that the other(s) involved will do the same. There is a risk. 

Oftentimes shame and embarrassment from the actions can come up. And, we live in a culture where saying "sorry" can be seen as weak. But it is just the opposite. It is a powerful tool for you to learn from the interaction, and invite the person you are relating to, to do the same. 

So HOW DO YOU APOLOGIZE? 

Always state that you would like to apologize. I usually ask for the other person to hear my fully before sharing their side. 

1. Acknowledge what you did. 

State exactly what you did  without justifying anything. Honoring the lack of commitment you were able to meet, or the falling short of what you would have liked to have done. Be specific. Be concise. No need to beat yourself up, just state the facts as clearly as you can. Breathe and speak slowly.  

Eg: "This morning I spoke loudly and stormed out of the room without listening to the rest of what you had to say." 

2. Empathize with the person about what you did. 

Why are you apologizing? No need to make assumptions, just do you best to step into the other person's experience and share from your heart. 

For example, "I imagine when I yelled at you this morning you might have felt sad and distanced." 

This will help the other person feel like you are on their team. That you sword is now down, and out of reach. That you are willing to reach outside of your own experience and "get their world." And when done simply, and from the heart, it will feel really good for you, and for them. 

3. Commit to a solution with yourself and with the other person. 

This is a way to show that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions BEYOND just this event. This is really where the learning can come in most powerfully from our intimate relationships 

"I am committing to myself to explore why I express myself with so much anger towards you. I am also committing to work on being gentler with you, especially in the morning." 

I have heard that a step here would be to promise to not do this behavior again. However I find that problematic. We are human, and it is very likely that you WILL do this again. Especially if you are working in a pattern in an intimate relationship. Commit to doing your best, and do it. I invite you to never commit to something that you cannot complete. 

4. Apologize & Ask for Forgiveness

Yes. There are TWO steps in one here.
One, to say I am sorry, and repeat the behavior that you are apologizing for. And second, is to invite them to participate in this process of making amends. 

"I am sorry for _______"
"Would you please forgive me?"

This gives the other person(s) a moment to respond and also allows them to find the place in their heart to ACCEPT your apology. 

So there it is. 
Clean.
Simple. 
Apology 101.

Try it out, and let me know how it works for you. 

To the journey, 

Briana 

 

-----

Briana Cavion, MA, MAnlp

Briana is a Communication and Relationship Coach for WholeLife Neuro-Linguistic Programing (wholelifenlp.com). She and her clients get real about what is working (and not) in their careers and relationships. She has been described as having a "magical" way of helping her clients identify and release what has been slowing them down, stopping them and sabotaging their communication and relationships. Together they journey to discover personal power, soulful leadership and authentic communication. She works from the premise that life is not about one goal achieved after another, or one relationship onto the next, but an incredible opportunity to create the truest expression of your highest purpose, greatest impact and deepest gifts.