Principles of REALationship

thirteen keys to satisfying relationships

Keep a green tree in your heart
and perhaps a singing bird will come.

Chinese proverb


REALationship requires true intimacy. Intimacy is the process of discovering and sharing who we are with another. It is a practice, an art, and a beautiful mystery to be savored when it happens. Like meditation, intimacy is “the breeze that comes in when you leave the window open” (Krishnamurti). Here are reminders to help you keep that window open.

    1. You are a powerful co-creator of your life and a self-healing being at all levels. You can choose to heal and grow at any moment.

    2. Your relationships can be a powerful source of healing.

    3. Every relationship we enter into — everything we do — is done to meet our own needs. But these needs are universal: we all have the same needs, including the need to contribute to others’ well-being. And our deepest need is to experience intimacy: connection with ourselves, with others, and with the world around us. We only differ in whether our needs are met and how we choose to meet them (Marshall Rosenberg).

    4. Feelings exist to tell us whether a need has been met or not. Love, for instance, the felt sense of connection, is the way we naturally feel about others unless something has gotten in the way (Harvey Jackins).
    1. The best thing you can do to foster intimacy is to slow down, relax, and be present, especially to your feelings, so you can see what is standing in the way.

    2. Your life is as good as your relationship with yourself (Cheri Huber).

    3. You are not responsible for everything that happens to you, but you are responsible for what you make it mean and how you respond.

    4. We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are (The Talmud). In other words, our internal map of reality determines what we experience.

    5. The quality of your life is determined by the focus of your attention (Cheri Huber). If you cannot focus your attention where you choose and keep it there, you are at the mercy of unconscious habit, and unconscious habits can be a source of great suffering.

    6. Criticism, especially self-criticism, is never worth dwelling on. Listen for the feelings and needs behind it.

    7. The only thing we are ever afraid of is to feel our feelings (Raven Dana).

    8. Whatever you can witness, you can transcend.

Therefore, above all:

    1. Practice empathy: stay focused on the feelings and needs of anyone you wish to truly connect with, starting with yourself.