Discovering the Power of Conscious Relating
Heartbreak and self-discovery – it's a journey we've all been on at some point in our lives. But what if I told you that, through my own experiences and learning, I've created a roadmap to help you transition from unconscious to conscious relating, leading to more fulfilling relationships and personal growth? In this episode, I share my personal journey and the seven practical steps I've developed to help you embrace the power of conscious relationships.
Together, we'll explore these seven transformative steps, starting with acknowledging your path of self-growth and taking radical responsibility for your own healing. We'll go inward, discussing the importance of self-compassion, self-love, and uncovering the lessons in our experiences. Join in to reimagine the possibilities for your most intimate relationships and step into a more conscious and empowered way of connecting with yourself and others.
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Please note: I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, or social worker. I am not attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical, mental, or emotional issue, disease, or condition. The information provided in or through my podcast is not intended to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by your own Medical Provider or Mental Health Provider. Always seek the advice of your own Medical Provider and/or Mental Health Provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your specific circumstance.
Carrie Jeroslow: Welcome to the Relationship Diversity Podcast, where we celebrate, question, and explore all aspects of relationship structure diversity, from soloamory to monogamy to polyamory and everything in between, because every relationship is as unique as you are. We'll bust through societal programming to break open and dissect everything we thought we knew about relationships, to ask the challenging but transformational questions who am I and what do I really want in my relationships? I'm your guide, Keri Jarislow, bestselling author, speaker, intuitive and coach. Join me as we reimagine all that our most intimate relationships can become.
Carrie Jeroslow: I met my first serious boyfriend in my freshman year of college. I was a few months into this brand new experience aka college in a brand new small southern town in Florida which was drastically different from the Washington DC suburb I grew up in. I first saw David at a club and I was instantly drawn to him. His crystal-clear blue eyes magnetized me. He had a gentle nature to him, yet was incredibly engaging and charismatic. We spent our first date running around campus, laughing and connecting. He gave me flowers and a sweet card on Valentine's Day, a first for me. He had captured my heart and I began to trust him. Another first in my life I started to surrender to the feelings I was having for him. Then, seemingly, out of nowhere, he disappeared. I couldn't find him. This was before cell phones and we were living in dorms, so I couldn't even reach him directly by phone. I didn't see him at the clubs. I began to wonder if he was even real. I was heartbroken. It was a shock to my system. I spent the next two months without any answers, dazed and confused about the entire five months we had spent together. Another eight weeks later, i saw him at a party and he was tripping on LSD. When he saw me, he told me that he was having a bad trip and left the party. I made up this story that he had gotten into drugs, and that was what pulled him away from me. I felt like the victim in this situation. There was nothing I could do about it but suffering pain. I was left feeling helpless, blaming him and the drugs for the abrupt ending.
Carrie Jeroslow: This kind of experience repeated itself over and over again for the next five years. It followed me through college and into my new post-schooling life in New York City until I learned about how my beliefs and past can play out in my present moment. This was the beginning of my shift from unconscious living to conscious living, i began to put my attention and intention into understanding why this pattern kept playing out. Looking back, it was so clear but in the moment I was still deeply wounded from my parent's divorce that I couldn't see how that foundational time in my childhood embedded into my subconscious, creating my present experiences. Once I had this life-changing realization, i read books, took courses, learned mind-bending ideologies that helped me see that if I came into my relationships consciously which meant with more awareness of what the relationships were bringing to the surface, to my conscious surface took radical responsibility which is terrifying at first, but eventually empowering and chose healing, then my relationships could be a catalyst for my growth, healing and evolution and, in turn, bring more fulfillment that I could ever imagine. And that's what I'm going to talk about in this episode What conscious relationships and relating are and how they differ from unconscious relationships.
Carrie Jeroslow: I'm also going to give you seven steps to begin your own journey so that you can shift from feeling powerless in your relationships and life to feeling empowered and inspired by them. Conscious relating takes courage and strength in choosing to see relationships in a very different way than most of us have been taught. To understand what conscious relating is. I'd love to first take a look at what unconscious relating is.
Carrie Jeroslow: So unconscious relationships involve, at the core, the idea that I'm separate from you, you're separate from me, you have power over me, you are responsible for my happiness and fulfillment. It involves being in a relationship with little to no awareness of myself, my wounds, my triggers, my needs or desires. I actually heard someone a few weeks ago say this to me about his relationship. I have three daughters and a wife and I just do what they tell me to do. Once in a while I get to go off somewhere and be myself, but otherwise I just do what they tell me to do. This is a clear example of an unconscious relationship, mindlessly being in action or reaction mode.
Carrie Jeroslow: Now, conscious relating brings mindfulness, attention, and awareness into your relationships. These kinds of relationships are built with a foundational desire of personal growth and evolution. In the best moments, triggers and discomforts are looked at as growth opportunities, openings to look deeply within, to discover what wound is under the surface, ready to be looked at. People who desire conscious connections see their relationships as reflections of themselves, as information to explore or understand, and that through that exploration comes healing. Conscious relating sees the connection between all living things and requires radical responsibility to stop blaming another and instead to have the courage to look at what it's bringing up within. Conscious relating takes perseverance, self-love, compassion, grace and acceptance with yourself and your partners.
Carrie Jeroslow: Conscious relating can and oftentimes is sticky, meaning that it feels clunky as you venture into the unknown of your own inner workings. We aren't taught how to do this. Many times we aren't even taught that we have a choice in the matter. But after 20 years of being as conscious as possible because, let's be real, sometimes I'm completely unconscious I have found that it's like riding a wave Sometimes great, sometimes choppy, sometimes smooth, and sometimes you get clobbered by the wave. But one thing is for sure in living with the intention of being as conscious as possible, my relationships to myself and others have been so much more fulfilling than I ever thought possible. Just as the name suggests, it takes conscious decisions and self-awareness moment to moment, and we need to relearn how to be in relationships differently. So to help you if you're just beginning the journey, or even if you're somewhere in the middle and need a refresher, I've come up with seven practical steps to help you shift from unconscious to conscious relating, and a side note before I begin, even though I talk about these in succession, one step after the previous one. When you get into a practice, i find that it becomes a dance in and out of each idea and that it's rarely as linear as how I'm going to go through them.
Carrie Jeroslow: Okay, step one is acknowledgment. Many people think that they're in their life to get an education, get a job, meet a partner, get married, have kids, retire, and die. This step acknowledgment reframed why you are here. It's the acknowledgment that you are on a path of self-growth and self-evolution, and if this is a new way of seeing yourself, it may send you into a re-identification process. This was challenging for me at first but then freed me. I found that it didn't matter what I did or who I was with, as long as I was learning, growing and becoming more of my true self. In the beginning of my healing journey, I constantly felt broken, more than not. So I shifted from the belief of I'm so broken and I have so far to go to the belief that I'm whole and I'm just uncovering my truth, my wholeness and my light. When we lean into this acknowledgment with curiosity, we can begin to observe the experiences and people that come into our lives as opportunities for growth. This puts you in the driver's seat, empowering you instead of disempowering you.
Carrie Jerolsow: Step two is to choose differently. This step involves replacing the tendency to blame another person for our experiences, thoughts or feelings with choosing a different path, even if you don't know what that path is. Choosing differently may look like asking for a pause in an argument to give you space to ask yourself what's really going on for you. It may look like disengaging in a conversation where you find yourself in opposition to giving yourself space for introspection. Choosing differently takes attention and focus. It takes knowing and getting to know yourself so well that you know what your own unique signs and symptoms of getting triggered may be. And when you realize or observe those behaviors, you instantly stop what you're doing and choose a different action or thought. The interesting thing about this step is that we are inundated with programming from every aspect of society that we would feel better if something on the outside of us changed or went away. Like I said before, we've never been taught how to refrain from blaming the outside world for our current experience, and this is the exact reason why many times, we're never able to fully release, forgive and heal and have a different experience. The answers are never outside of us. They exist within. Our freedom lies in choosing differently.
Carrie Jeroslow: Once you've made that important choice, it's time for step three, which is going inward. This is about reflection, curiosity, questioning and unraveling. This step takes so much courage because, like I said before, it will seem easier to just blame another person or experience, but this takes all the power away from you making real changes in your life. Going inward can come to you through many activities like exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling, walking, dancing, taking a bath all which are just about quieting your mind and creating the space to listen to yourself deeply. In this step, you want to be careful to not shift the blame from the other person to yourself.
Carrie Jeroslow: What's happened to me? This step requires the ultimate compassion and love pointed inward, and remember this you always did the best you could do in any given moment. Most of the time, you were just trying to survive, the best you could. Remembering this will give you more space to explore and ask yourself the following questions What feelings did this experience bring up for me? Have I felt these feelings before? How is this experience serving me? Is it keeping me safe? Is it showing me a limiting belief or block? What can I learn from this? How have I reacted or dealt with this in the past and how can I choose differently? This leads to step number four acceptance.
Carrie Jeroslow: After going inward and asking yourself these questions, a lot of thoughts and feelings usually surface. You may feel angry at the other person for bringing the feeling up. You may really want to blame the other person because it can help distract you from your own stuff. You may feel angry at yourself for not figuring it out or ending up in the same scenario yet again. You may feel scared to face the darker, scarier aspects of yourself. There are countless other emotions that might come up. When we resist feeling what we feel, the feeling actually will get stronger and louder. This is why acceptance is so important. Giving yourself the space to feel and have it be okay through an acceptance practice will help everything start to move so that you can uncover the gifts underneath. Many people have been told directly or indirectly that their thoughts and feelings are not okay to feel. Giving yourself the gift of listening, acknowledging and accepting yourself just the way you are will set you free. I use this statement all the time in my acceptance practice, even though I feel angry and terrified. It's okay. I love myself anyway, and it's okay to feel this feeling When I'm working on something really big within myself. This sentence becomes a mantra that I put on repeat. This will create a teeny tiny opening that can become a portal to move on to Step Five: Finding the Lesson.
Carrie Jeroslow: When I worked for a theatrical company many, many years ago, there was one particular person who would always trigger me. She would trigger me through things she said to me, and through things she said around me, many which had nothing to do with me, with her actions and her tones. I even walked into her office one day and heard her saying petty mean things about me. All this happened during the beginning stages of my spiritual awakening. I still believed that I was separate from her, that my mood was determined by what she said and did. I believed she was a mean person. I didn't see anything that I did to deserve. That kind of behavior pointed toward me.
Carrie Jeroslow: Years passed, I left the company, she left the company. I've really never engaged with her since. However, she held a space in my mind and energetic field. This was an unresolved space that wasn't serving me anymore. In fact, it was keeping me from stepping fully into my truth. I started my release practice by going inward and looking at what she was triggering me. I saw that at the time in my life, I was incredibly insecure. And even though I had a position where I was the head of my department and a very needed role with direct relationships with the founders of the company, I felt so scared and self-conscious. But as my 12 years continued, I found myself stepping more into believing in myself, believing in my worth, getting to know who I was and learning to love myself. By the time I left the company, I'd come so far And as I continued to look into this because it still came up from time to time I surrendered and finally asked for communication about her sole role in my life. I saw that she was the beginning of the self-worth journey. She was the inspiration who helped me first stop the self-deprecating talk and open up to a new world. She was the start of this great lesson for me.
Carrie Jeroslow: So to start your own inquiry into what the experience or interaction or person is teaching you, start with what they bring up in you. Start with asking and inquiring what this great lesson might be. Look at what you're struggling with, what's feeling hard to you What's one thing that you've really been wanting to learn as far as growth and healing is going to go What is growth and healing, and how this person or experience is helping you to learn it Just like the experience with my co-worker. The awareness may trickle in slowly or may hit you over the head as a major aha moment. Be careful to refrain from making yourself wrong for not getting it or not fully understanding.
Carrie Jeroslow: Remember self-compassion is key in the step, so when you have some idea of what that lesson may be, you can move on to the next step, the sixth step in conscious relating, which is gratitude. So I'll ask you do you think it's possible to be grateful for a challenging experience? I once wondered if that was even possible and I thought that. But what I found through this work is that not only is it possible, but it's transformational. Yes, it can be challenging. We're not brought up to be grateful for people or experiences who challenge us. But if we do all the previous steps acknowledgment, choosing differently, going inward acceptance and finding the lesson then this step of gratitude will feel more natural and will come more easily, and it has the ability to shift your old patterns and limiting beliefs in ways you have always dreamed.
Carrie Jeroslow: I've seen the power of gratitude in my decades-long practice. I've seen that even the most challenging of experiences always are teaching me something and helping me to grow and evolve. But sometimes gratitude is actually my step number one. Not always, but sometimes I'm able to breathe and say thank you to a really uncomfortable, challenging experience before knowing what the lesson is because I trust and I've come to trust that life is working for me instead of against me. But if this is new to you, gratitude will most times be easier to access after you have an idea of what the lesson might be. One of the most challenging times in my life was my parents' divorce. When I got perspective in my 20s, 30s, 40s and now in my 50s, I saw the many gifts that came from that really challenging experience. I became thankful for it, for all of it, because it made me who I am today, which helped me with the final step.
Carrie Jeroslow: Step seven reclaiming your power. When you do this work, are consistent with your practice. Summon your strength and courage to persevere, even when you don't want to. You will feel empowered. Through conscious relating, your relationships become sources of personal healing and growth, whether they last one minute or a lifetime. They will become experiences of inspiration, rebirth and renewal. You will continually be in awe about who you attract into your life and what those people teach you. Life becomes a magical, mystical experience, even when there are challenges to face, and when this happens, you reclaim your power, trusting that from a bigger perspective and I'll call it a soul perspective your relationships serve you and your evolution as a human.
Carrie Jeroslow: Conscious relationships are not for the faint at heart. They are for those wanting to experience lasting fulfillment while feeling empowered. So I'll ask you what do you choose? If you want help on this journey from unconscious to conscious relating, connect with me through the link in the show notes And, as always, I'll see you in the next video. Stay curious
The more comfortable and normal it is to acknowledge the vast and varied relating we all do, the faster we'll shift to a paradigm of conscious, intentional and diverse relationships. New episodes are released every Thursday. Stay connected with me through my website, carriejeroslow.com Instagram or TikTok. Stay curious Every relationship is as unique as you are.
Speaker 1: Are you feeling stuck or unfulfilled in your intimate relationship? Do all your relationships end in the same way? Do you feel like you've lost the spark in your current relationship? Can you never even find one person who you want to explore a relationship with? If you answered yes to any of those questions, or sick and tired of feeling like a failure in your relationships and desperately desire a different experience, then my 8-week deep reprogramming intensive may be the answer for you. In this program, i work individually with you for 8 transformative weeks. We'll identify the subconscious programming that's keeping you stuck and shift it to a new, affirming belief systems. We go deep, we get real. We get results. This is healing unlike anything you've ever experienced before.
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