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Speaking Responsibly

How to Speak Responsibly to Ourselves and To Others 

It’s October already… what?!? As the leaves are continuing to fall and change colors, and we say our official goodbyes to all things summer, I wanted to let you in on some behind-the-scenes real-talk regarding listening, communication, social media, and… brace yourself… the present political scene.  Time to get real (no pun intended).

But first, some back story: I’ve been training in a therapy model called Relational Life Therapy (RLT) with internationally-recognized family therapist, speaker, and author, Terry Real. This blog post is a direct reflection of  information gained through Terry’s work and even more specifically, a communication tool he teaches and refers to as The Feedback Wheel. This remarkably effective tool and therapy method have not only transformed my relationships and how I show up, I have also seen it profoundly shift my clients’ relationships. I’m sharing this tool with you today because it works!

So, how do we listen and speak responsibly? Listening is quite literally my ‘work,’ but it’s also work for anyone who is in relationship – which is everyone, last time I checked! For today’s blog we will focus on the speaker more than the listener. Stay tuned for the listening part in the next blog!

At this present moment in time, from where I live in the United States, I’m seeing a massive outpour of pain and confusion. My wish and desire is for the work that I do to help heal – even if only the slightest bit –  something that I’ve heard described as  “emotional patriarchy.”  A few examples of emotional patriarchy are the behavior of needing to be right, feeling like you are better than, more important than, smarter/wiser than. Hopefully you get the idea. On the other side of that equation is the person who won’t stand up for themselves, who feels less than, who thinks there is something wrong with them.

Both ways of being in relationship contribute to emotional patriarchy. 

Patriarchy as defined by as a present day unjust social system that subordinates, discriminates or is oppressive to women. My opinion and experience has me wanting to share that I do want to say that both men and women uphold this way of being in the world.  Until we learn to communicate and stand in our truth – emotional patriarchy will live on.

But okay – time to get into the real-talk already. I’m just gonna say it: There is a direct correlation between how we show up for ourselves and the systemic hatred that is seeping its way through all platforms based on:

  • Differing views
  • The need to be right
  • The need to make others wrong

This starts – and stops – with us. It starts and stops with our own experience of ourselves and what we put out into the world with our words, thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

Let me explain with an example from my own life. It’s come to my attention (from others and my own awareness) that I sometimes use self-deprecating language to keep myself safe from judgment. I can see why I might do this and that is because I don’t want to be rejected and I am trying to maintain a sense of belonging. Actually, I have a tendency to avoid the feeling of not belonging at all costs! Dang-ouch-yikes. Not how I want to show up for sure! And yes, this is me owning my s***.

Can you relate? Do you feel like you avoid rejection and in so doing, silence yourself or choose a negative attitude toward yourself?

In doing some inward digging (soul work), I decided to unpack my tendencies and ask myself why I feel this way… so I’m straight-up sharing something from my personal journal! The following journal entry is a great example of how I can hold myself back from showing up fully. I’m sharing here because I have a feeling I’m not the only one holding my true self back!

First, I’ll share my journal entry, and then go in and rewrite it in a way that I could share with someone who opposes my view on any level as well as on social media if I wanted to (nervous grin).  The rewrite will be spoken from a place of holding myself in warm regard while also expressing my truth. As I do this, I’m going to let myself off the hook of needing anything from anyone. My intention here is to give you an example of what it looks like to practice expressing your truth and own your story and feelings – while also standing in the courage that it takes to ask for what you want. Because, damn it! You really do deserve to have what you want!

Journal Entry (On Politics & Communication) Version 1
“I have posted very few political opinions, grievances, etc.  I thought I was doing this to not be part
of the ‘cancel culture’ and as a result, I have let my voice hide in the background as I colluded to
keep myself on higher ground – which is really arrogant! All the while, I sift through my Facebook
feed where there are enormous amounts of posts exhibiting hate, greed, nasty accusations, and
black-and-white childish thinking, which all feel to me like a personal attack at my libertarian spirit.
I wonder: Is there something wrong with me?
I don’t understand the constant hatred being aired day in and day out!”

Okay. Now, here’s how the above journal entry can shift when I show up with the perspective of being intentional, responsible, and relational:

Journal Entry (On Politics & Communication) Version 2
Holding warm regard for myself and my feelings…

  1. When I see black-and-white-blanketed statements on social media saying things like: “Your opinion does not hold weight or matter if you do not speak it, post it, stand up for it and for what’s right!…” also, when I see name-calling, memes that are unkind and uncompassionate, or shaming expletives directed at a group or person,
  2. When I see these things, I make up a story that I am being personally attacked.
  3. When I believe that I am being personally attacked, I feel sad, frustrated, and deeply misunderstood.
  4. What I would like, and what I am asking for, is responsible sharing.

Responsible sharing, to me, is sharing an opinion responsibly by owning that it is an opinion. It also means sharing detailed information as fact – should be kept to things that one has first-hand knowledge of (state your source)!

How did I do? Are you getting me here? If you would like help with any miscommunications that you might be in the middle of right now, let me know!

One more detail to mention here: It’s okay if I don’t get what I want. Why? Because I’m not in control of what others say and do.

The healing happens when I speak my truth from a place of care for myself and others … I can move forward making choices for myself that are in alignment with what I want. So, maybe I stop following people on social media, or I end a relationship that is not in my highest good any longer.

Get the idea?


Seasons: A Metaphor for Life, Love, and Relationship

As fall is fast approaching, I can’t help but wonder what this season is going to bring. My heart and mind glimmer with hope and desire more ease. I yearn to settle into grounded power, wise stillness, and peaceful rest in letting go of what no longer serves as the next season arrives.

What Is Fall?

I look at the fall season as a metaphor for letting go. As the leaves turn their colors and get depleted of their nutrients, they naturally fall away, leaving the roots and trunk of the tree vulnerable and exposed to the elements.

Isn’t this what happens to us as we are learning to let go of what doesn’t serve us?My experience of letting go is feeling the contraction and pain of knowing that I am no longer being served, and because of that, I am being deprived of the nourishment I once felt.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

My humanness has me not wanting to be left out in the cold – exposed, unveiled, bare. My human habitual thinking, and need to be comfortable, has my mind running rampant with stories. In turn, my body responds with a sensation that invokes such discomfort that suddenly, I can’t ignore it anymore.

When I finally get the courage to let go of whatever it is that isn’t working for me, there is this feeling of vulnerability. Like I’ve exposed myself. A shedding of sorts. I have done this the hard way many times, and I’m sure you can guess what being unkind to myself might bring. I’ll give you a hint: it is not pretty!

Yep, that’s me: ugly-crying, not breathing, wailing uncontrollably and holding on for dear life… ouch, it’s even painful to think about!

However, when I choose kindness toward myself the exposure is held with such tenderness that the exposure can feel exquisite. 

We All Have to Start Somewhere

We all have to start somewhere and this is what helped me learn how kindness toward myself was a way for me to self-partner and get the relief I needed.

It first came in small, easily digestible bites until I trusted myself enough to open the floodgates with kindness. What is it that you’re being nudged to slowly and kindly let go of? What – or who – is it time to say goodbye to?

A romantic relationship or a friendship? An idea, concept or belief? Even if a construct has nourished you once, it doesn’t mean it does anymore. Maybe it’s letting go of a limiting pattern that awareness has allowed you to see. There is an unexpected and delightful gift in your awareness!

The gift and truth of letting go in the here and now is acknowledging your ability to see, become aware and affect change in your life through your choices.

We can not change or make a different choice without first noticing what isn’t working.

But wait! Please let yourself off the hook here! There is no perfection. Do you think the trees that lose their leaves every fall season look perfect? Symmetrical? Beautiful even?

No! It’s a windy, swirly, messy process, right? But in the messiness of the trees and your heart, there is wisdom and beauty. It’s waiting for you to acknowledge it, see it and believe it. It’s called life – and it’s the awareness of your life that begins the process of setting you free.

The Cycle of Life

I see the seasons as being representative to the cycle of life and the cycle of love and relationships as we grow and develop. There’s birth, there’s the time in between, and then eventually there is death.

Gone will be the days of sitting on the porch basking in the summer sun. Then just as summer ends and the fall and winter seasons come, so too will spring and summer – when we’ll find ourselves dancing in the magic of our creations, renewed. As you watch the leaves on the trees coming alive, the buds and flowers promising fruit or bloom, you have the choice to sit in the seat of your awareness and experience what’s alive in you and for you.

To me, that is an indescribable gift of our divine essence.

Over To You

Are you willing to step into the uncertain process of shedding what isn’t serving you as we move into the next season that will be here to support you? 

What does the fall season mean to you? What’s happened for you in the past or what new things have come to light for you regarding the fall season? 

What is it that you’re being nudged to slowly and kindly let go of? What – or who – is it time to say goodbye to?

There is no right or wrong answer.

What happens between the fall season and the freeing blossoms of spring is where some of life’s most challenging complexities, but the most rewarding works, unfold. If it wasn’t for the cooled air and approaching frost, maybe we’d never be forced to stop and consider the things we’re being called to rid ourselves of.

Know that I’m here rooting for you in your letting-go process.

Blessings always,

Gettin’ Real with Karen

The Truth about should I stay or should I go?

The proverbial question that I hear over and over in my practice.  This question is so black and white and deserves our attention and awareness to the level we are capable.  However when we are contemplating whether to leave a relationship, another question that could be asked is “Where am I not showing up as fully as I can be?” and “Is there a part of me that is unmet and triggered in this relationship which is having me want to run?”  There are many layers to these questions and at times we will see our complaints and dilemmas in black and white – (All you ambivalents out there – I’m talking to you!  I am one of you!) however it is anything but that.  Our truth is intricately and deeply woven into the fabric of who we are – all that makes us unique and different from one another; Yet, are we really that different from one another? I personally have found comfort in knowing that I really am no different from anyone else in that I experience a rainbow of emotions on any given day, I experience conflict, and I have had my share of trauma. What I find fascinating is that the complexity of the many layers for each of us is different for each of us based on our experiences to date.  We humans go through life, experiencing ourselves and bumping up against ourselves in ways that cause us pain and it is through this pain that we are able to come to our truth.  This truth will lead you to your greatest joys in life and if you compare yourself to others it will lead you to your greatest suffering.  This truth has the ability to set you free no matter which path you choose.  What are you setting yourself free from?  You may want to blame the relationship you are in, and I hate to break it to you, but the truth is that you are the one keeping yourself in misery, jailed, walled off and far from your deepest joys. Why?  Lets talk about “being enough”.

Are you good enough to have what you want? Are you good enough to be in a relationship that is undeniably fulfilling? I didn’t say easy!  What lies dormant in our relationship woes is the burning question “Am I enough” – damn!  I’m haunted by this question.  I’m guessing your next question for me is:   How will I know when I am enough?  I’m still working that one out, and I’ll do my best.

I am enough when I let myself have a voice even though it causes conflict in my relationship.  I am enough when I am angry.  I am enough when I am afraid.  I am enough when I am in love.  I am enough when I am in joy.  I am enough when I have agency over myself and how I treat myself and others in my life.  I am certainly enough when others tell me I’m not.  We are all enough – inherently enough – we were born this way.  Someone else’s judgment is their own shame of not being enough – dang!

Most importantly, in my experience,  I feel freedom and ease in my being when I let go of the strong hold of not being enough by becoming aware first and then owning my judgments, my resentments, my blame, my shame and my guilt.

Still contemplating should I stay or should I go?  Ask yourself this: “Am I in service to myself and my partner in this relationship, (in other words am I growing)?  Is this relationship growing? Am I having fun? Do I like who I am when I am with this person? Am I willing? Do I know somewhere deep down my partner is willing? I’m not talking every minute of every day – geez people!  Can you find a yes to any of these questions in the last 6 months to a year?  If you could NOT answer yes to at least one of these questions, HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF?

When you truly become aware of the power and magnificence that is your natural state of being in the world, you will set your partner free from the jail you put yourself in by staying somewhere you are not happy, which most definitely plays a factor in holding your partner back from connecting to you and knowing you fully.  When it comes to the decision to stay or to go  –  It is a matter of choosing LOVE or FEAR – A choice of Love is I choose “me” – I am leaving nothing more to do here and I love myself and my partner enough to move on.  Love can also look like this:  I am staying with the willingness to grow through my resentments and judgments and truly experience myself through the eyes of my partner.  When we choose  Fear,  I choose to stay even though I know I don’t want to be with this person, but I am afraid to hurt them or I am afraid to be alone so I don’t choose “me”, I leave myself to not hurt my partner and I end up hurting myself.

Would you like help in your relationship?  Would you like help clearing any judgments or resentments that have accumulated in your relationship? How about building so much damn self esteem that you only have one choice and that is to choose “You”.   I would be delighted to help you on this journey.  Are you willing?

CONTACT ME or SCHEDULE an appointment today.


I am enough when I let myself have a voice even though it causes conflict in my relationship. 

I am enough when I am angry. 

I am enough when I am afraid. 

I am enough when I am in love. 

I am enough when I am in joy.

I am enough when I have agency over myself and how I treat myself and others in my life. 

I am certainly enough when others tell me I’m not. 

We are all enough – inherently enough – we were born this way. 


Our soul here on earth

When the flow of love is severed because of a hurt – the soul hurts. 

Each and every time we choose to blame our wounding on another rather than move inward and accept that which we can not change about ourselves or other – the flow of love is severed.

Cutting off the flow of love in your life is like a child turning away from food offered by the mother.

Death …

Blame, denying love, decimating the character of your beloved.


When you cut the flow of love off to “another” you also cut the flow of love off to yourself.


Life without water


Life without touch


Life without love

Painful death…

Being human is painful and yet every time love is chosen especially when we are deeply hurt – we are reborn – made new.  In this process – our vibration increases and we become aware of how our perception of ourselves and other has broadened as well as becoming acutely aware of not only our own circumstances but others’ as well.  When we move into love at this depth we are then able to come into a deeper understanding of ourselves and our planet.

How can I complete my cycle here?

Choose the beloved everyday –” You are the beloved” “ The other in your life – is the beloved”.

Stop pushing love away and pray.  Ask for help and guidance from the angels and your spirit helpers.

Say a prayer for all beings: 

May all beings be at peace; May all beings feel loved; May all beings feel worthy; May all beings experience the light of who they are and choose to love unconditionally.

Blessings for a beautiful life filled with light.

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