MINDFUL COLLABORATIONS FOR AUTHENTIC RELATIONSHIPS
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within.” your host Sheryl Glick
author of Life Is No Coincidence and also The Living Spirit Answers for
Healing and Infinite Love which shares stories of awakening, spiritual
communication, healing energies and ways to know your intuitive self for
greater well being and happiness is delighted to welcome Karen Aberle
author of Love’s Invisible Dance which offers insights for developing a
satisfying life through improved communication and an understanding of
the philosophy of language and interaction using thoughts words and
energy as a means for improved relationships.
As listeners of “Healing From Within” are well aware Sheryl and her
guests share intimate insights into the nature of our dual nature as
physical and energetic entities in the hopes of realizing we have
everything we need to develop greater self-investigative techniques,
master our emotions, improve our relationships and find happiness peace
and well being by simply learning more about ourselves and how life
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” Karen Aberle whose studies
in the philosophy of language and her eighteen-year apprenticeship with
the Huichoi Indians of Mexico and her own thirty-year marriage after two
other marriages have helped her develop her leadership program “Mindful
Collaboration” sharing skills that show us how to learn love partner
fight and seek more love ultimately in the dance of life. We will
discover just as you must learn the fine moves to do the Tango you must
have the skills to interact successfully with all people you deal with.
Karen shares more about the term The Invisible Dance and the role that
energy or an understanding of our true nature leads to accepting
allowing and surrendering ultimately to what is good in your life and how
to work towards the goals you seek in all areas of your life.
Let’s first look at what seems to be the norm for many people trying to
understand how to achieve and sustain a good relationship. Today,
greater than 50% of marriages end in separation, and an uncountable
number limp along out of convenience.
With two divorces, Karen figures she contributed more than her fair
share to that statistic. Karen would say that betrayal was the basic
reason in both cases, significant deceits that came as the result of
being unprepared to deal with our difficult truths and thwarted
expectations. We simply couldn’t make it through the rough parts. The
man Karen married at 19 decided he was gay right around our seventh
anniversary and left me and our two daughters with no financial support.
The truth was that he had always struggled with his homosexuality,
hoping it would go away. Even as she fell victim to his lies, she didn’t
give up on love. Three years later he appeared – surely the prince this
time – a successful executive, who rescued her from poverty and gave her
a good life Karen was able to stay home with her girls, drove carpool,
played tennis, and did a little portrait sculpting on the side. However
we couldn’t make it through our quarrels, the boredom, and the
seven-year challenge of discovering what a jerk the other is. His affair
with my best friend was undoubtedly part of the mix. Again Karen was
betrayed. Being victimized was harder this time. Dena lost both love and
her lifeline. And she began to doubt that men could be trusted.
Karen tells us how getting burned a couple of times, makes it harder to
keep trying. Many who have failed in relationships sound like her friend
Jane, a 70ish NYC psychologist who, after two marriages and one
long-term relationship all ended with a betrayal, had just given up not
having the strength or inclination to fail again. She says, “I’m just
not good at it. I don’t have the strength to go through it again.”
Karen felt she was headed in Jane’s direction when, at a critical
moment, she shared my tale of woe with a teacher who asked me one
crucial question that would change the course of my life: Did I hold
these betrayals as burdens or gifts? I’d never considered the
possibility of a choice. Either, he said, was a valid interpretation.
But burdens are those things we have to put up with in life. Their
nature is to wound and weaken us. Gifts, on the other hand, are
treasures that strengthen us. To answer that question Karen would have
to choose between being an innocent victim to their bad behavior or
recognizing that they showed me that there was something important for
me to learn. The gifts appeared when she stopped blaming them, took
responsibility for her failures, and set about to learn. Thus, good
began. At the time, I didn’t realize that my commitment to learning was
the first step on a path that would lead me to achieve a new identity, a
career, a vibrant 30-year marriage, and perhaps the greatest gift – a
new perspective on love.
Karen discovered that love is not something that you find but something
you create in an invisible dance of relationship that we’ve been doing
all our lives, unconsciously. The dance is not a metaphor. There is an
actual dance going on and once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Learning
to perform the moves of the dance skillfully – there are only six –
enables you to produce alignment, invent the future, establish trust,
deepen intimacy, create passion, and generate more satisfaction than you
ever dreamed possible
Looking at herself critically, she accepted that her first major failure
was never having established an “autonomous identity.” Karen had allowed
herself to be entirely dependent upon her husbands. Lack of autonomy was
particularly problematic. I needed to produce income and develop
Sheryl writes in her book The Living Spirit as she directs us to look at
relationships not for how they hold us back from becoming what we wish,
but as a way to self-investigate and find our deepest interests and
strengths and not to allow ourselves to be a victim:
The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we
Quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
“Since I receive intuitive messages for my clients, many people have
asked me, “How can I find peace and happiness in my life?” This is the
answer I give them: Before there can be peace and happiness in a
person’s life and in the world, every person must be responsible to do
their own work about acknowledging what needs to change within their
attitudes or actions so that they better relate to the outer world.
Finding true happiness and joy is the natural outcome of
self-investigation. There are no shortcuts. No one can make you happy or
unhappy unless you give them the power to do that by surrendering or
giving your personal power away.’
SO In order to develop better interactions and relationships and improve
the quality of your life you need to develop good communication skills.
Karen goes on to tell us that she took a course based in the philosophy
of language – how we use words to understand the world, create
relationship, coordinate with others to produce results, and invent new
things. This workshop gave her an introduction to the mechanics of the
dance of relationship. Like any other dance – there is a leader,
follower, and a unique set of basic moves. The only difference is – this
dance doesn’t happen with your feet; it takes place in your
communication, both verbal and non-verbal. We are always dancing –
creating space for one another and moving together – with our
colleagues, kids, and the supermarket checker. We dance with people we
don’t even know – on the bus or on the freeway – with the spider, the
rain, and basically, everyone and everything we encounter in life.
Amazingly, there are only six basic linguistic moves, ways that express
our intentions. With them we create satisfaction, suffering, gratitude,
and optimism. Every time we think, speak or listen, we are making a
move, either harmoniously or in dissonance. Just like learning the
tango, harmony in the dance comes by mastering the moves.
The dance takes place in language. Every time you speak, you are
performing a move. To begin to see the dance, focus on your interactions
with others, at home and at work, to get things done and plan the
future. Some interactions are short and simple, like ordering a latte at
Starbucks. Some are extended and complex, like building a house or
organizing a party. Every dance presents an opportunity to be satisfied.
Or not. When you pay attention to how you enroll others to coordinate
with you, you’ll see that when you’re enrolling, you’re leading the
dance. When you are asked for something – you’re following.
You, as well as everyone you know, are performing the same dance moves,
over and over. To be graceful and connected you must learn how to
execute them intentionally.
The good news is there are only six basic moves to learn to create a
career, relationship, intimacy, and community. When you and your dance
partners know the moves and can execute them competently, you glide
They showed that with only a few basic moves, we are able to understand
our environment and each other, define what we want and need, and take
action with others to manifest our visions.
With these same six moves, we intend to:
Declare – establish new entities, policies, or set direction,
Assert– determine the truth, state verifiable facts,
Assess – present our opinions, feelings, and values,
Request – ask someone to take action,
Offer – propose to take action for others, and
Promise – commit to do or deliver something in the future.
Karen tells us of her shamanic quest to find herself…On a mountain left
there by her spiritual Mexican shaman teacher Karen had an awakening
experience to herself and nature.
She wrote, “All of my senses became more acute. I could feel the clouds
moving the trees and saw the trees dancing with the rain and all of the
insects, birds, and animals who lived there, and they with me. I felt
the inhalation and exhalation of the mountain breathing and the
heartbeat of an alive Earth. I saw the essential balance and perfection
of life, as it was, with no need for change. I was completely in peace,
tapped into the universal frequency of joy. The interconnected nature of
life is not new news. Philosophers, religion, and science have long
supported the view that we are all related, to each other biologically,
and to the earth, chemically. While that had made sense to me
intellectually, on the mountain, I actually experienced the workings of
the giant web of inter-reliance, inter-being in which I live. And it was
perfect. Seeing myself as a part of the web, I could not make a single
move without care and reverence for the whole. I understood that while I
had learned the mechanics of human communication, they were only half of
the dance. On their own, this knowledge was insufficient to live
harmoniously with another. What I had been missing was the reverence for
others as myself. I descended the mountain elated that I had gotten what
I came for. My problem was that I’d held myself as separate. I had
operated from the perspective that the world was outside of me, like
some backdrop that I could access when I wanted and how I wanted. The
source of my schism with Cristián was my incapacity to honor him as he
was, as a whole and complete being, doing the best he could to navigate
life’s unfolding, without needing him to change. I could see that we
lost our treasure for one another and our ability to merge in union when
we began disdaining each other’s frailties and imperfections.”
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within
it. What we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound
together. All things connect. We are part of the earth and it is part of
us.” – Chief Seattle
Graceful dances begin and end with a bow, a way of honoring your
partner. Honor is an attracting energy in the web of life and the
foundation of a loving relationship. While it’s a commonly used word,
honor’s meaning is often unclear and not necessarily shared.
“Honor is the acceptance of the other as a legitimate other in
coexistence with oneself,” exactly the way he or she is. Accepting the
legitimacy of another means, “I’m not going to try to change you.”
Life and relationships are more than a marriage contract and a romantic
sexual involvement. I shared my vision with Cristián, so he could easily
see that our dance had fallen apart when we stopped honoring one
another. We’d lasted as long as we had by honoring our marriage vows
rather than each other. I declared that he was no longer bound by his
long-ago commitment. If we were to continue together we’d have to choose
each other anew. He chose to be my partner. And we both committed to
learn how to honor one another amidst the selfishness, fantasies, fear,
stupidity, disagreements, conflicts, disappointments, and general
messiness of life. Like most people when the novelty of love fades there
needs to be a commitment to friendship and trust that you can count on
your partner to support you.
Our grounding in the philosophy of language had given us a way to put
words and share the heart teachings of the sacred, the way of creating
real union – ‘the way of we’ – mastery in the dance of relationship.
That is Universal Unconditional love that encompasses friendship
romantic love parental love as love is simply not quantifiable just
Karen tells us that when you reflect on life as an endless stream of
encounters, or dances, with others, in each encounter you can see an
instantaneous reflex to move – either towards or away from the other, as
if in a magnetic field. An invisible energy draws you together or repels
“Put aside the beauty mirror for a moment and check out the inner
treasure mirror. This mirror reflects your attractiveness from the
inside out. It shows your appreciation of life. Gazing into this mirror,
you can see yourself within an enormous, continuously unfolding,
mysterious world, full of hidden gifts. How you feel about yourself and
this world radiates your aliveness. Your openness to discovery, your
desire to contribute, your gratitude, and self-confidence glows from
your core and draws people to your light. The bad news about this mirror
is that it can be harsh when it reveals our human beingness – our
resentment, doubt, and stubbornness. The good news is – this mirror
reveals both our abilities and limitations. If you can dream of a
different image than the one you see, if you can say, “I want to be…” or
“I want to have…” and are committed to make it so, the mirror will
reveal the learning you must take on in order to be satisfied with your
To get an authentic reflection of your attractiveness, take a balanced
look at your satisfaction with where you are in your life.
Each of these domains is critical to well-rounded adulthood:
Body – Am I in as good a shape as I would like to be?
Work – Am I doing fulfilling work for which I am rewarded appropriately?
Finance – Am I comfortable with my money and am I prepared for the
Play – Do I have a decent work/life balance?
Family – Do I have functional family relationships in which love trumps
Friends – Do I feel loved and supported by a strong network of friends?
Community – Do I participate in activities of caring for the people
amongst whom I live?
Emotion – Am I strong enough to handle breakdowns and disappointments
and can I empathize with other’s challenges?
Spirituality – Am I at peace with the fact that life is beyond my
control and that I will die?
Gratitude – Do I give thanks for the life I’ve been given?
Karen shares with us her thoughts on intimacy called Dancing Naked.
“Intimacy like any good communication requires “Listening generously”
which is further complicated by the erroneous belief that people who
speak the same language should understand one another. They frequently
It’s not just words we need to listen to, we also must listen to body
language. Without ensuring that there’s alignment between what the
speaker intends and what we hear we could easily misinterpret that a man
who is sitting with crossed arms is angry when, in fact, he is cold.
Listening is filtered by past experiences, biases, and personal
concerns. Sometimes people say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no’ because they
are raised that way. It’s up to us to listen more deeply than the words.
Still, the greatest barrier to our listening of others might well be our
own internal chatter. While another person is speaking, we are busy
talking to ourselves about the usefulness of, or interest in, what they
are saying. We try to figure out how quickly we can shut them up. As
soon as we believe we have the full picture, we cut them off, and say
things like, “Get to the point,” or “Land the plane.” Would we do this
to a god?
You think you want intimacy?
Ask yourself this question: “Do I want to be known and loved for who I
truly am, in all my humanity, or do I want to be loved as the person I
pretend to be?” Putting it that way makes it a no-brainer. Intimacy –
mutual openness to being known – is much more than sex because we are so
much more than our sexuality. We dance in intimacy to experience the
ecstasy of union – to lose the boundaries of our individuality and merge
with the other. It’s in this space that the “we” is created – that
unique energetic being, born of conjoined individuals. Intimacy is a
constantly unfolding dance of self-discovery, requiring profound
authenticity, some courage or wildness of heart to go where you’ve never
gone before, and trust – in yourself and your partners – that you are
honored. The depth of your union is entirely dependent upon having a
close personal relationship with the truth. Telling the truth – aligning
what I think with what I say – has been a major learning focus in my
life. I was born into lying.
Many people would prefer to avoid conflict and live in peace but
conflict is important. Conflict shows us that because no one is perfect
we must accepting that we all make mistakes, means you can attribute
your failures to incompetence rather than insufficiency. If you’ve
produced some damage, you can apologize with dignity, commit to
learning, ask forgiveness, and move on, without shame or regret. With a
serious commitment to learn from your mistakes, when “I should have…”
crosses your mind or your lips, you might say instead, “Alas, I wish I
could have, but I was a bozo then and have learned a strong lesson
since.” Compassion comes easily for those who accept their
“beginnerhood.” Conflict leads to evaluation and self-investigation and
allows us to see change is necessary and makes us make better choices
for personal growth.
Karen shares with us the truth that you can’t really get good at
anything simply by reading a book. o master Love’s Invisible Dance you
must discover your Identity, dreams and goals while pursuing the
improvement and development of yourself: develop confidence and a love
of self and others, We begin there.
Over the years, Karen discovered that “who I am” is not simply a matter
of self-perceived qualities. Identity lives in the stories that go on
around us. People talk about you in terms of:
How you are seen in the world.
Who you love and are connected to.
Your ethics – what you value and stand for and how consistently you live
How you have dealt with the bad things that have happened in your life –
how well you have restored dignity and appreciation in your life.
When there is coherence between what you think about yourself and the
way the world sees you, there’s no pretense and you have greater
resonance with others.
Karen would like readers of the book to take away with them the thought
that with practice you can achieve a level of honesty “radical
authenticity.” To live radically authentic with another human being is
not an issue of morality nor a commandment. It’s a requirement for
letting myself go, with nothing to hide – to dance naked – with others
who want to dance naked with me. It’s not necessarily for everyone.
The best way to learn to dance naked is in partnership, with someone
who’s committed to master the dance of intimacy. Cristián was the
perfect partner. He preferred to stand on the solid ground of truth
rather than on a stage of spun sugar, even in the face of
disappointment. We created ‘radical authenticity’ in our relationship by
declaring to each other, “I will tell you everything I don’t want to
tell you.” And then the fun began.
In summarizing today’s episode of Healing From Within we have shared a
view of the need for communication that honors nourishes and sustains
our own life force energy and moves us towards self-awareness,
self-actualization and to find ways to listen to, honor, support and
improve all interactions with family friends and colleagues as we deal
beautifully with all the people in our lives. We discover partnership
and love have a basic language and that anything worthwhile achieving in
life and certainly there is nothing more valuable or treasured than how
we love ourselves and others, so we must be consistent in being open to
all possibilities for self-improvement so we can enjoy life rather than
lament over what we are unable to do..Gratitude and appreciation for all
of life is essential for feeling connected.
Karen gave a quote which I also used in my book the Living Spirit which
holds for me the essence of love in its unconditional form:
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward
together in the same direction.”
Karen wrote, “The story is all too familiar – falling in love, life is
light and breezy. The only thing you hunger for is each other. But
endorphins only last so long. Eventually the breeze turns to tempest and
good times are harder to find. Partnering “because we love each other”
is an insufficient platform for moving from single independence to
coupled interdependence. So, if love alone cannot sustain a long-term
relationship, why do it?
Because we dream about the future and challenge ourselves to create it.
Good partnerships make us stronger. If you want to build a building,
join forces with others you trust to bring something of value to the
table. For success in whatever you’re building with others, you have to
be working off the same blueprint. In building a life, it’s the same
thing – choose a partner you can count on to bring joy to the table and
lighten the load of the daily existence.’
Karen and I would ask you to choose love always over less lasting
emotions, and to be fully present aware conscious and ever changing as
Love is an eternal force of Creation and is always offering us a new
vision of Ourselves Life and the Universe.