Part III - What do Healthy & Conscious Relationships Look Like?
"It's not just the number of friends you have, and it's not whether or not you're in a committed relationship, it's the quality of your close relationships that matters."
In the Part One of this trilogy, we explored what are relationships and to whom or what you are relating? Then in Part Two we ventured into dysfunctional relationships and now, we want to immerse ourselves into what is a fully functional relationship?
This would be a good opportunity to split our relationships into two distinct areas, personal and business. Let’s take business or work relationships first, because let’s face it this is where we spend a huge amount of our time.
Building More Conscious Work Relationships
We have found that businesses, which are steeped in high values, are inevitably more stable, enjoy greater sustainable expansion, operate in harmony, have higher morale, safety, quality, productivity and profitability.
1) Therefore conscious work relationships must be based
on the following core values:
· Mutual respect – what we say and do should be respectful to one another
· Integrity (honesty, trustworthiness, openness to new ideas and doing
what you say you will do).
· Compassion and sensitivity – we are all journeying through life,
without a “How To” manual. See that sometimes we struggle with
what life has to offer and see this in others.
· Clear, non-threatening communication, and the willingness to
· Honouring each individual (and yourself) as a vital component of the
organisation and equally important.
· Authenticity – being yourself, facing your fears, being vulnerable,
acceptance of your strong points and those that can be enhanced.
· Contribution – each member must be willing to contribute their time,
energy and passion in the spirit of cooperation.
2) Any and all those who are leaders, ideally should:
· Model their personal and collective shared values,
· Exhibit functional behaviours on and off the job
· Be encouraging towards others through – positive reinforcement,
acknowledgement, motivation and inspiration
· Consistently lead by example with the right attitude
· Have a high level of Emotional Intelligence
· Know your industry and willing to share your wisdom
· Be fully accountable and responsible for your decisions and actions
· Be willing to delegate fairly and responsibly
3) Employees – if you are an employee, your optimum performance
would look something like this:
· Be reliable, punctual and loyal, you are an employee by choice
(unless you have been forced against your will to work)
· Be 100% trustworthy and avoid the temptation to take something
that is not rightfully yours, by justifying the intention or action along
the lines of “Well they can afford it” or “They have plenty more where
this came from.”
· Be willing to embrace challenging circumstances, which may be a
little fearful or leave you feeling vulnerable. Step up and see this
as an opportunity to grow and overcome your fears.
· Don’t contribute to the “Rumour Mill.” One of the most destructive
influences in the workplace is the spreading of rumours, which
· Be committed to your work, the business or organisation you
belong to, give your best and be willing to serve. After all, we are all
volunteers, who chose to work in our field of expertise.
· Be responsible and accountable for your decisions and actions.
This is the mark of a mature and conscious person.
· Deliver what is expected of you and if capable beyond others
expectations of your results. Not driven by the ego-mind, but by
giving you best in all that you do.
The above represent a few examples of how you, in whatever capacity, can create meaningful and quality relationships in your workplace. I invite you to explore more as you progress along this path.
Building More Conscious Personal Relationships
Many of the previously mentioned workplace strategies apply equally to personal relationships, so adopt these and watch them grow.
Apart from love, which is an obvious and important component in any truly functional, close or intimate relationship, here are some tips on how to strengthen your bond with your partner;
Values- make sure you can identify and define you personal core values and those of your partner, because when in alignment, this is the glue that keeps you together. When there is a mismatch of values, you will be challenged. Revisit the lists above for some tips on shared values and together figure out which are important to you individually and together. Trust should be at the top of your list.
Support – without adopting the “Rescuer/Victim,” syndrome (A highly dysfunctional approach, I might add), one of the best values you can offer your partner is your support. Not doing it for them, or compromising your own integrity, but supporting their journey, vocation, interests, etc. That does not mean you have to give up your own desires in order to please your partner, but it does mean you allow them to pursue their interests unabated or within economic bounds. Note: This is where shared values come in to play and many couples clash at this point.
Equality – while for sure inequality has been present in the days-of -old relationships, the emerging modern approach is one steeped in equality. The idea that someone is better than another, more deserving or more superior, stems from the ego-mind and is simply not true. We may be different, but no one is better than another. So celebrate your differences within your relationship, contribute evenly wherever possible, share and be kind and enjoy the results of your equality.
Non-Judgmental – once again, the ego-mind comes into play here. Remember when your relationship was brand new and very exciting. Nothing your partner could do was disturbing, we put each other up on the pedestal, only to find when the “Honeymoon Period” has passed and judgement creeps in, it quickly erodes away our relationship. If you find yourself judging the one you love, replace that judgement with gratitude or appreciation. Find somethings you are grateful or appreciative about your partner and watch that judgement disappear in around 15 seconds!!
Accept that your partner cannot fulfill 100% of your needs, 100% of the time – unless they are superhuman! There will be times when you need to seek the company of your family or others to satisfy some of your needs (Without compromising your values or integrity of course). This is normal, functional and when kept in balance through shared agreement, can uplift a relationship no end.
Maintenance – just like our motorcars, homes and physical belonging need a little TLC and maintenance sometimes so do our relationships. Agree to be adventurous, without violating each other’s boundaries, go to places beyond your comfort zone, seek new experiences, hobbies, interests, cultures, food, clothing furniture, ad infinitum. In short, do something different together.
Love –What is this thing called love? We pine when it is not there, we float in it when it is, we get upset and longing when it is taken away and we rise to the heights of euphoria when it appears in our lives. Songs, poetry, novels, self-help books, tapes and movies have given us a hint of this delicious thing called love, but it eludes most of us to define, or find it and make it last. I am going to throw a spanner in the works here by quoting a definition that resonates deeply within me –
“Love is the highest form of intelligence”
How love is expressed is manifold, but there are six definitive values emanating from the heart, which when practiced and applied, equal to acts of love for oneself and others, in fact for everything:
Appreciation - being grateful of appreciative about everything in your life, whether it is so-called “good” or “bad” is an act of love, which tells us, you are or have enough
Compassion - Seeing the other person (or yourself) and their/your struggles, while having empathy for them or yourself
Understanding – Learning the anatomy of understanding and the three primary aspects that lead to understanding yourself and others, along with a subject or physical equipment that we may be learning to use.
Forgiveness – One of the major routes into the heart is through the path of forgiveness, the process of letting go and freeing yourself of any resentment, judgement or upset
Humility – out with bravado, egocentricity and loudness, and in with quietly and purposefully getting on with your life. Practicing the quality of being humble can lead us deeper into our hearts
Valour – Loosely defined as courageousness or bravery, is the practice of seeking the warrior within. Not the warrior of aggression or war, but the spiritual warrior of the heart.
We could go on and mention literally thousands of ideas to keep a relationship alive, but do you know what? You are best equipped know your partner, yours and their needs, what you value, what makes you happy and what makes them happy.
I wish you well in your pursuit of meaningful and quality relationships, in all that you do.
Just remember to practice!
A Bit about Rick
Rick’s passion and purpose in life is clear, and everything he does supports this. His journey in life has been hardly a straight line. Returning from the battles of combat in the Vietnam War at just 22-years old, he was a self-described - “broken man”. Rising up from this, he undertook both a corporate business path in the energy sector, as well as a spiritual one, studying with masters across India, China and SE Asia. Rick is a TEDx speaker and author, but above all, he is a master at intuitively listening, understanding and helping others see what they cannot see in themselves.
Rick was born in England, and then spent over 30-years in Australia and has called Ubud, Bali home for the past 10-years with his wife and family.