Wednesday, August 26, 2009

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Authentic? Or Acting Authentic?

Authentic or Acting Authentic (More on authenticity)

I happened to be talking to someone recently about a TV show I had watched and I referred to it as the medical show with that doctor everyone loves. I couldn’t remember the name of the show or the doctor. She responded, “House?” I said, “No”. I said, “You know, it’s on Wednesday nights, ABC.” “Grey’s Anatomy?” “Yes, that’s the one.” She then said, “Right, only the hottest medical show on TV.” “Really; how interesting,” I said. And then I began to ponder that thought.
I thought about Patrick Dempsey, how authentic his character is on that show. But that’s just it; he’s playing a role, acting authentic. Who knows what he’s really like in his own life?

Have you ever thought about the fact that some of the highest paid people in this country are paid that well because they are really good at ACTING authentic. They are not being authentic in their roles in movies and television. They are acting authentic. We love the actors, the authentic roles they play. Have you ever had the experience of hearing them being interviewed on TV, when they don’t have a script memorized?

For years, I didn’t watch much TV. I thought I was above that. I didn’t want to waste my time and there wasn’t really anything on TV that would have held my full attention. Once in awhile, I would have the TV on while doing some other more important task, watching the TV with about 20% of my attention. I was one of those people who surrounded myself with people who were pretty much like me and we lived in our own little world, happy as clams with our similar belief systems.

As I mentioned in my last entry, everything was going along just fine in my illusion of reality when suddenly it hit me that the 2 top TV shows in the nation were Roseanne and Married with Children. I had seen a few bits and pieces of these shows. I had also seen Roseanne Barr interviewed on TV. I scratched my head as my curiosity was peaked. How fascinating! And there began my sociological study. With whom was I really sharing the planet? Wow! What an eye opener. I still watch TV today, as a sociological study. I want and need to know what is going on in the world. I’m not talking about the news; I’m talking about the TV shows. Reading the TV guide can really reveal some amazing truths about the world in which we live. Now the top shows include Survivor and Amazing Race. (Haven’t seen more than 5 minutes of either of those, but I pretty much know what they’re about).

So here is my conclusion about Roseanne and Married with Children, as well as the “reality” shows. (I put reality in quotes because I question whether these shows represent reality or not).
These shows have people acting like they are authentic. They act like real people. They get mad. Things get messy. The question I have for you is: “authentic or acting authentic?”

What do you love or hate about the “reality” shows?

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Authenticity; My Journey Toward My Whole Heart

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the word “authentic”. It has become one of those really popular, overused words that are used in so many different ways that unless you define the word, it can mean way too many things. I want to talk about what it means to me because I use it in my work. The dictionary defines “authentic” as, “not false or copied, real.” To me, authentic means “being real.” When I am being authentic, I am being present to the moment and whatever is happening. I am present with the person with whom I am interacting. I am coming from my whole heart. I am being real in the sense that I am not censoring my thoughts and actions. My actions are in integrity with my beliefs. These are the ways of being that define me “being me”.

I would like to talk about my history and how I came to even care about authenticity and how it has evolved into a passionate quest for me. For years, I tried to avoid knowing what was going on in the world. I didn’t watch the news because it was violent and negative. I didn’t watch much TV because I was above that. I didn’t want to waste my time and there wasn’t really anything on TV that could have ever held my full attention. Once in awhile, I would have the TV on while doing some other more important task, watching the TV with about 20% of my attention. I was one of those people who surrounded myself with people who were pretty much like me and we lived in our own little world, with our similar belief systems, pretending like we were the majority.

Everything was going along just fine in my illusion of reality when suddenly I popped my head out of the sand for a minute and started to notice the world. Maybe it was hearing that the top two TV shows in America were “Roseanne” and “Married with Children”. Maybe it was becoming pregnant. Maybe it was moving to Antioch, California where two thirds of the cars had the little “born again” fish on their car. Maybe it was the small group of parents at the school my son attended who fought having a yoga class and celebrating Halloween because it offended their religious beliefs; or maybe it was also the fact that they won! Maybe it was watching the downfall of Clinton and the Democratic Party and the return of the Bush dynasty, the dictatorship where, we as a country, abandoned our authenticity, and actually gave up our right to vote for president. We actually let a group of people hijack our government and hold it hostage for 8 years. Maybe it was the combination of all of those events that caused me to wake up and start to look AUTHENTICALLY at my own actions and beliefs. How could I complain? What was I really doing? I was copying everyone else, being one of the herd? Oh, sure, I voted. I spoke up, sometimes, signed a few petitions, donated a few dollars, when it was convenient and easy. But was that really enough? Today, I say, “No”. Had I been true to myself, authentic, I would have fought back, whatever the price. Instead, with a huff and a puff, I let it happen. I abandoned myself, my beliefs, and my authenticity.

Since I popped my head out of the sand, I have never been able to put it back. I admit, I have tried, unsuccessfully. I have been living life, eyes wide open ever since, passionately seeking to know and act from my authentic self. I can’t honestly say that my actions have been 100% in integrity with my beliefs. It’s a process. But at least I know when I am out of integrity, or I have friends, true friends that will gently and ever so lovingly guide me back to my conscience. One of the most important things I can do is stay aware and informed. I watch the news occasionally, knowing that much of it isn’t true; much of it is distorted, exaggerated or diminished. I watch it also knowing that the majority of people think that what they hear on the news is the truth. I listen to the radio. I talk to people and I listen. And I watch TV as a sociological study. In my next article I would like to share some ideas about America, TV and authenticity.

Diana Concoff Morgan, M.A., Holistic Health Educator, Five Rings Coach and Stress Response Trainer helps you break through personal barriers, open your whole heart to create authentic connections in your relationships and in your life. She had been working with couples and individuals for over 20 years. The techniques and tools that she utilizes incorporate Holistic Health, Five Rings Movement Psychology and Stress Response Training, Intuitive/Spiritual Counseling, Martial Science,and Certified Yoga Heart Meditative Movement. In addition, she performs spiritual, personal wedding and other types of ceremonies. She helps you to create a ceremony that is your expression of spirituality.
Please call for a free caring consultation.

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's NOT Personal

Is It Really Personal?

In my last article, “The Art of Saying No”, I talked about how difficult it is to say, “NO” to people so we say, “YES” when we really want to say, “NO”. In this article, I will talk about the number one reason why it is so hard to say, “NO”. The number one reason is because it’s hard for most people to hear, “NO”. If you don’t like to hear it, you are not going to want to say it! Why is it so hard to hear, “NO”? I think it is largely because we take it personally. We think they are saying much more with their, “NO”, than they really are. We feel personally rejected. The truth is that “NO” is just “NO”. It’s not, “NO and you’re not good enough.” It’s not, “NO and I don’t like you.” It’s not “NO, never.” It’s just, “NO” to the current request. “NO, it’s not a fit for me at this time.” “No, but feel free to ask me again at another time or down the road.” It’s not personal! It’s not about you! And when you say, “NO”, it’s not personal, and it’s not about them. “NO” is about the person who says it, not the person who receives the “NO”. Even if the person doesn’t like you, it’s not about you! Wow, what freedom that gave me when I realized that.

Let’s talk about some other ways that we make things personal when they are not personal. Are you one of those people who goes to a party or gathering and maybe there are 50 people with whom you had really good interactions but you will focus on that one person who wasn’t so “warm and fuzzy”. Maybe that person didn’t say, “Hello”. Or maybe they gave you some look that you decided to interpret as negative in some way. Whatever did or didn’t happen, you decided to focus on that one person because you felt that they didn’t like you or were somehow slighting you. The truth is that unless you actually asked the person what they were thinking or feeling about you, you have no idea what was going on.

I have a policy which is that I don’t participate in “third party communication”. In other words, until someone actually says the words to my face, I don’t make assumptions about how they feel about me. Third party communication is communication that comes to me indirectly, not from the actual messenger. Making assumptions about how someone thinks about me without knowing for sure is in truth third party communication because it is indirect, it is an assumption. It’s really not that much different from gossip in the sense that you are participating in third party communication and you don’t know if it’s true or not and it can be as destructive as gossip.

One challenge in relationships that I hear often has to do with taking things personally. When two people are in a relationship, married or not, romantic or not, they must be able to be honest without the other person taking it personally. If you are the person who takes it personally, or if you know someone who does, I would like to offer you some tools to begin to change your body/mind.

Click here

I would love to know what your favorite technique for not taking things personally is.

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The ART of saying NO

The Art of Saying NO
Say YES when you mean YES, NO when you mean NO, OH when you mean OH

I am starting a new column for 2009 called: What’s your greatest challenge in relationships? This can be personal, professional and romantic. Currently I am offering a 15 minute telephone coaching session to anyone who responds to brainstorm solutions to your greatest challenges in relationships.

January’s newsletter is about how to say NO. I find myself having the conversation about how hard it is to say NO so often that I have decided to write an article about it. This seems to be a real challenge. It’s not that difficult to say YES but NO seems to be a challenge for a lot of people…and what about OH, yes, just OH.

We’ll begin with OH. Sometimes our friends and loved ones want to share a problem with us and we think we have to do something to resolve it. That’s where OH comes in. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these people aren’t begging for us to get involved in their dramas and traumas. They are. Even if they don’t say it, they would love for us to take their problems off their hands. So that’s where OH comes in. When someone tells you their woes, and you’re clear that you don’t want to get involved, or even if you’re not sure if you want to get involved or not, try this: the response is just OH. It’s not OH? OR OH! Just OH. Uncharged. Simple. You will be amazed at how powerful and freeing this response can be. Many of us are just too ready and willing to jump in and attempt to solve problems that we can’t, shouldn’t be involved in, and don’t even want to be involved in but we don’t know how to stay uninvolved. OH.

NO is a whole different story. Why is it so hard to say NO? Here are some of the responses I get to that question: The other person will get mad at me. They won’t like me. I feel guilty after I say NO. The truth is that sometimes people do get mad when we say NO. They sometimes don’t like us after that. And sometimes, some people do expect us to feel guilty if we say NO. So the key is to remember who you are, and hold onto your own truth around your choices. “You can’t please all the people all the time…”

The art of saying NO is really a two part process. First you need to become clear about your response. I would like you try this practice. Next time someone asks you a favor and you want to say NO, take a moment to focus inside. Relax your belly, open your palms, take a deep breath into the belly and listen to your heart, your voice of truth. Now that you have decided on your response and for this example, let’s say it’s a solid NO, part 2 of the process is about how you say NO.

Did you know there are many different ways to say NO? Different personality types hear things differently. Have you ever noticed that people use different words and phrases to express themselves? We all see the world through different lenses, so to speak. So it would make sense that there are many different ways to say NO. Saying NO is not just about NO, it’s about how you say NO.

The art of saying No can be found in the Five Rings system that I use.

People who come from a predominantly water perspective are very feeling and emotional. They come from their heart. They usually talk a lot about feelings, theirs and others. They are sensitive. When expressing their opinions, they say, “I feel…” They want to feel heard.

Here’s how you say NO to a water person. Make sure to let them know you have heard their proposal, taken it to HEART and are going to say NO. A water person will come back a few times with different versions of the same request, like the tide keeps washing up onto the shore.
When they are clear that your NO is a NO, they will retreat.

People who come from a predominantly wind perspective are thinkers and analyzers. They come from their head. They talk a lot about thinking. When expressing their opinions, they say, “I think…” They want a more systematic NO. They want to hear that you made a list of pros and cons, a logic list, and considered all perspectives before saying NO. Once they feel that you have come to your decision logically and that your NO is a solid NO they will not challenge you.

People who come from a predominantly ground perspective are very solid in their approach. When expressing their opinions, you will hear them say things like, “I know this in my gut”. They come from their gut. They want to know that you are solid in your decision. Try using terminology like, “On my rock I stand”, or “I know in my gut that my answer is NO. They won’t push you.

People who come from a predominantly fire perspective are to the point. They come from a dynamic, very big picture perspective. When expressing their opinions, they will express them as if they are facts. They don’t even care why you are saying NO! They just want to know and want to feel that you are clear in your response. The just want you to make up your mind.

The recurring theme in all of these examples is that when a person is clear that your NO is solid they will accept it. People usually push until there is no where left to push.

If you know how to say NO and you know how to say OH, you can choose to say YES when you want to from a place of freedom and choice.

I would love to hear your stories of how these techniques worked for you. Please comment on my blog or drop me an email.

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052

For information about performing ceremonies: Blessings To You
For information about relationship workshops, coaching and marriage prep: Whole Heart Path

The #1 reason marriages break up is because they lose site of the love that brought them together. I help couples break through their personal barriers, opening their whole heart to experience their authentic connection. The Whole Heart Path awaits you...