Opening the Doors of Communication

Neil and Barbara’s Difficult End-of-Life Conversation

Four weeks ago his world had been upended when his wife of 35 years, Barbara, had complained about feeling fatigued.  

“I just can’t seem to find the energy to do anything anymore Neil,” She told him one night after dinner.

A few days and a couple doctor’s visit later they got the worst news they could imagine.  Lymphocyte Leukemia, a life ending prognosis. From the moment they’d received the news each had handled it differently; his way was to put up a strong, stoic front while silently tormenting himself, hers was to go about her business as usual.

The string of uncontrolled thoughts occupied every waking moment of his day, “How do I do this? How do I bring up what is going on in my mind? What is going to happen to her? What is she thinking about? What is she feeling?” After four weeks of mulling these questions over he was in a space where he was able to have the conversation without losing composure.

He chose his words and his demeanor wisely, dedicating himself to the present moment, with a sense of open kindness. He wouldn’t have guessed at the time the yoga classes Barbara had suggested they take together would have help in dealing with her passing. “Today was the day,” he told himself as he got out of bed that morning.

Neil’s wife lay in a hospice bed located in the center of the living room overlooking the Boise Foothills.  After pacing for a few moments outside of the room he walked in and initiated the difficult conversation.

“Barbara, Are you feeling up to going over your after-life plan today?” Neil asked, apparent discomfort washing over his face as he pursued his own emotional strength for the task. “I’d like to finish my coffee and have a little breakfast first, then we can begin that process, okay?”. “Of course” He replied. Each of them knowing and communicating their needs with relative ease.

As the hospice nurse moved her frail and diminishing body from the bed to a wheelchair, she moaned. The pain from the spreading cancer and overtaking of her body was great. Although in pain, she was also ready for the conversation to be ensued.

With a list of questions given to him by their home health nurse, he began the questioning, “How would you like your body to be handled after death?”. “I want to be cremated. Half of my ashes thrown along the Atlantic Coast of Florida, the other half along the Salmon River near Big Casino Creek in Idaho”. He nodded his head and smiled as he wrote her wishes down so as remember them with accuracy, recalling the wonderful times they’d shared at each of those locations. Questions continued such as their financial state, funeral arrangements, and notifying friends and family of the current state and progress of the disease.

After the business of death has been addressed other, more personal, questions began to arise, “What are you most worried about in leaving this earth?” “You, of course, and Macie (the cat)”, she replied. “What can I do to help? What do you want for us?”, he stated trying not to dismiss her wants and desires, trying to stay open and truly hear what she had to say. This was their practice, ask and listen deeply. “When I die, I need you to take care of Macie (the cat). Remember to leave the door open during the day so she can come and go as she pleases”  “What else?” he asked. “What I want most of all is for you to find someone else to love and share your life with” Barbara said.

Saddened by this thought, his brow furrowed, but he kept her gaze. By doing this he was about to show her his presence, knowing that he would soon not be able to partake in these moments. They were few in number now.

When is the last time you discussed your needs, wants, and desires with the people in your life? Learn to do this and much more by joining us for our workshop, Creating and Maintaining Healthy Relationships, beginning this Thursday October 4th from 5:30-7:00 PM at the Flourish Foundation in Hailey.

Register HERE for the Relationships Workshop


WANT TO WORK ON THESE SKILLS IN MORE DEPTH?

JOIN CODY LEE AND CAITLIN HEGWOOD

OCTOBER 4TH, 11TH, 18TH, AND 25TH

5:30-7:00 PM IN KETCHUM

This workshop teaches skills to create healthy relationships in every context of life, whether seeking support and information to develop your relationship with your partner, family members or co-workers. There is something for everyone! We will focus on communication as a foundation for everything, mindful listening/ speaking skills, sexual communication, addressing charged issues, and developing a plan to co-create life.

For more information or questions, email Caitlin at Caitlin4wellness@gmail.com or call her at 208-30-1948. Reach out to Cody by emailing mannavprocess@gmail.com.

Register HERE for the Relationships Workshop

Creating and Sustaining Healthy Relationships Workshop 2018

Register HERE for the Relationships Workshop

September and October Schedule 2018 (4).jpg

The Communication Process

Week 1 of our upcoming Relationship Workshop

Communication as a Basis for Everything

Wouldn’t you agree?!

For instance: If you have a headache, communicating that to your significant other, co-workers, or children is important. If they don’t know what is going on with you, they might take it personally. Rubbing your temples and sighing audibly doesn’t exactly communicate to them you care!man-with-migraine-headache-massaging-his-temples-and-frowning

Or maybe you are walking in the door, coming home from a long day at work, and your partner immediately begins sharing important details about their day but you are still processing the events and conversations from your own? Telling them you need a few moments to wind down so you are able to listening fully can mean the difference of them feeling valued and heard vs ignored and discredited. This interaction sets the tone for the rest of the evening; Will it be loving or contentious?

I know which interaction I’d rather have!

Effectively communicating with those around us creates a healthy emotional climate which we share with those around us. Inevitably there will be less frustration, irritation, hurt feelings, and unplanned hiccups. 

Communicating well is a process. Although the below listed process is easily read, putting it into practice can be a challenge. Our old, and often ineffective patterns for communicating can get in the way, but we know the brain is flexible. With deliberate action toward incorporating these into your communication process, the healthier your relationships will be and the more quality time you will be able to spend with yourself and the others in your life, whether that be at work, at home, or in your community.

Process1. Know yourself: Your thoughts, emotions, feelings.
2. Use your words wisely: Practice deliberate and mindful speech.
3. Ask: “Is this a good time to discuss….”.
4. Use “I” statements – Stick to the unarguables: Sensations, Emotions, and Wants.

5. Look and Listen: Open and receptive body language and mental space is required when communicating effectively.


Want to Work on These Skills in More Depth?

JOIN CODY LEE AND CAITLIN HEGWOOD

OCTOBER 4TH, 11TH, 18TH, AND 25TH

5:30-7:00 PM IN KETCHUM

This workshop teaches skills to create healthy relationships in every context of life, whether seeking support and information to develop your relationship with your partner, family members or co-workers. There is something for everyone! We will focus on communication as a foundation for everything, mindful listening/ speaking skills, sexual communication, addressing charged issues, and developing a plan to co-create life.

For more information or questions, email Caitlin at Caitlin4wellness@gmail.com or call her at 208-30-1948. Reach out to Cody by emailing mannavprocess@gmail.com.

Register HERE for the Relationships Workshop

Creating and Sustaining Healthy Relationships Workshop 2018

Register HERE for the Relationships Workshop


September and October Movement and Meditation Updated Schedule

No Wednesday class in Ketchum until we can solidify a space.

September and October Schedule 2018 (4).jpg

Communication 101: Addressing Charged Issues

A quick google search on the topic will connect you with a long list of strategies on how to work with angry clients, civil rights disputes, workplace disagreements, student problem behavior, and more. What the list doesn’t provide are insightful and useful strategies for identifying and communicating our most intimate and/or valued thoughts, feelings, and emotions with the people closest to us.

What is a charged issue?

charged

We define it as any emotional reaction stemming from communicating needs, wants, desires, or opinions. In essence, it is touching into what we believe and sharing that with others. When we do this we are vulnerable and risk rejection. Being vulnerable goes against our evolutionary instinct. But this instinct also holds us back from communing and creating relationships with others. We must move past this instinct in order to live happy, healthy, rich lives in communion with others.

Situations a charged issue might occur:

  • Asking an employer for a raise, time off, or to change positions.
  • Asking someone on a date.
  • Communicating the feeling of rejection from a friend, partner, or parent.
  • Explaining an important opinion or decision which one perceives as negative to another.

The sensation related to addressing and communicating charged issues:

  • Tightness or tension in the shoulders or hands
  • Clenched jaw
  • Butterflies in the stomach
  • Sweat
  • Shortness of breath

Ineffective, yet common, strategies for communicating charged and emotional includes:

  • Avoidance or distraction
  • Indirect communication in the form of complaints and/or gossip.
  • Emotional reactions in the form of yelling, shouting
  • Righteousness – “I am right and good” “You are wrong and bad”

Applicable and effective strategies  for communicating charged, emotional issues.

Decoding and understanding problem, face to face explanation concept

  • Pay attention to your thoughts, feelings, and emotions as well as how they influence your actions. Having a contemplative meditation practice, journaling routine or close friend or counselor with whom you discuss and process your thoughts, feelings, and emotions supports the ability to pay attention and respond accordingly and with care.
  • Take a tactical pause. Communicate with the other individual that you need some time to think before responding. Setting this boundary tells the other you are choosing not to react in the moment, but rather you value what they are saying and want to fully process before responding. A 5 minute “break” or walk around the block can be all you need for a smaller decision. Use the 24 – 48 hour rule for bigger, more charged issues.
  • Consciously decide how to respond to a conflict or charged situation. After having recognized your thoughts, feelings, and emotions and how they are influencing your actions and taking a tactical pause, you can consciously decide how best to respond. Keep in mind the impact of what is being communicated by asking yourself the following questions: Is it in your best interest? The other persons? It is coming from a place of fear, anger, regret? A place of love and care for yourself or the other person involved? Simply put: it is going to benefit your own personal growth or that or the other person?
  • After complementing thoughts, feelings, and emotions, taking the tactical pause, and deciding how to respond, remember to use “I” statements during the conversation. Talking from your own individual experience is safe, and makes no assumptions. Experiment with the sentence frame “When ___________ happens, I feel ____________”.

Want to Work on These Skills in More Depth?

JOIN CODY LEE AND CAITLIN HEGWOOD

OCTOBER 4TH, 11TH, 18TH, AND 25TH

5:30-7:00 PM IN KETCHUM

This workshop teaches skills to create healthy relationships in every context of life, whether seeking support and information to develop your relationship with your partner, family members or co-workers. There is something for everyone! We will focus on communication as a foundation for everything, mindful listening/ speaking skills, sexual communication, addressing charged issues, and developing a plan to co-create life.

For more information or questions, email Caitlin at Caitlin4wellness@gmail.com or call her at 208-30-1948. Reach out to Cody by emailing mannavprocess@gmail.com.

Register HERE for the Relationships Workshop

Creating and Sustaining Healthy Relationships Workshop 2018

Register HERE for the Relationships Workshop


September and October Movement and Meditation Updated Schedule

September and October Schedule 2018 (4).jpg

Relax and Recharge: A 25 Minute Sitting Meditation

Studies show the more we practice meditation, the easier it is to access a relaxed, aware state of being throughout the day. Take a minute (or 25!) to sit down and meditate using my guided sitting meditation practice focused on the breath and body sensations. This meditation was recorded at the Yoga and Mindfulness Workshop August 25th, 2018. 

Rest, Relax, Recharge, Repeat. 

Be Well,

Caitlin


Don’t Forget!

Movement and Mindfulness 

Mondays at Flourish 1030 Aiport Way Hailey

6:00 – 7:00 PM

30 Minutes Slow Flow Yoga

30 Minutes Meditation

Call me at 208-309-1948 or email me at Caitlin4Wellness@gmail.com for more information

September and October Schedule 2018 (1)

 


Join Cody Lee and I in October for a 4 Week Focused Workshop on Creating and Sustaining Healthy Relationships

Week 1:Communication as a foundation for everything

Week 2: Mindful Listening/ Speaking Skills and Communication Pitfalls 

Week 3: Fostering Connections, Sexual Communication, and Addressing Charged Issues

Week 4: Developing a Plan to Co-Create Life

Go to www.Incorporate-Wellness.com/Relationships-Workshop/ for more information and to register

Creating and Sustaining Healthy Relationships Workshop 2018


Resources

Mayo Clinic – Meditation Benefits

Thank you + Fall Class and Workshop Schedule … Be Well with Me!

Thank you!!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who came to the workshop Saturday at Pure Body Bliss is Hailey! It was a truly wonderful morning filled with intention setting, mindfulness tools, yoga, and relaxing the mind and body through meditation.

I also want to thank all of you who were unable to be present in a physical sense but support me (family, friends, the Wood River Valley and beyond) on this path toward conscious living, radical acceptance, and love. I continue to feel amazed by each individual I meet along this path. I learn so much from each one of you! I am forever grateful.


Some Exciting Opportunities Coming Your Way!

September – I am super jazzed to be bringing the Movement and Mindfulness Donation Based Class taught in Hailey Monday nights to Ketchum on Wednesday nights beginning September 5th. The space is located near Lizzy’s Coffee on N. Main St. in Ketchum in Unit 991-13 (more information below).

October – 4 Week Relationship Workshop October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th from 5:30-7:00 PM. with Cody Lee and Me! Cody Lee is the co-creator of ManQuest and founder of the ManNav process Helping Men Create A Life Worth Living (TEDX Talk below). Together we will discuss communication, provide tools and skills for developing and maintaining healthy relationships, and a process on how to co-create life. This workshop is geared toward supporting you in every relationship; intimate relationships, family, co-workers, and friends. Find out more by scrolling down or clicking here.

YOGA AND MINDFULNESS SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER

September and October Schedule 2018


CREATING AND SUSTAINING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WORKSHOP

JOIN CODY LEE AND CAITLIN HEGWOOD

OCTOBER 4TH, 11TH, 18TH, AND 25TH

5:30-7:00 PM IN KETCHUM

This workshop teaches skills to create healthy relationships in every context of life, whether seeking support and information to develop your relationship with your partner, family members or co-workers. There is something for everyone! We will focus on communication as a foundation for everything, mindful listening/ speaking skills, sexual communication, addressing charged issues, and developing a plan to co-create life.

For more information or questions, email Caitlin at Caitlin4wellness@gmail.com or call her at 208-30-1948. Reach out to Cody by emailing mannavprocess@gmail.com.

Creating and Sustaining Healthy Relationships Workshop 2018

TO SIGN UP FILL OUT THE REGISTRATION FORM BELOW!


The beautiful photo of the Boulder Mountains belongs to Mr. Steve Dondero.

A Meditation: Moving from Shame to Compassion

Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. It is something that feels unforgivable. In Buddhism it’s called the second arrow; the arrow first being the event, the second being the judgement.

When we can recognize the shaming thoughts, allow the sensations to be there, and investigate the cause of the action non-judgmentally, the entire narrative surrounding the event shifts. We can see the behavior and hold it with compassion, leading us the the N of RAIN, nourish.

Register for my Yoga and Mindfulness Workshop August 25th from 9:00 AM to Noon!

Yoga and Mindfulness Workshop 2018


The Practice

Observing the arrows


Creating a Mindful, Compassionate Community

Flourish Revival – A Celebration of Virtue

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Flourish’s Mission

SINCE 2010, FLOURISH FOUNDATION HAS INNOVATED AND FACILITATED PROGRAMS THAT TEACH LIFE SKILLS AND TRANSFORMATIVE TOOLS THROUGH ETHICS AND VALUES, MEDITATION AND EMOTIONAL AWARENESS.

The heart of our work focuses on the human potential to be morally and ethically responsible world citizens. Through our tenure as a social-profit we have seen that nurturing this potential individually and collectively empowers us all to care deeply for ourselves, each other and the planet.


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Recovery Coach Post Card Updated 514