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Relationship Skills May Offer A Way Forward

Written by: Ailsa Keppie, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

The World is going through some pretty tense times, especially in my country of Canada, which has historically been pretty quiet on the International scene. Many people are feeling the effects of two years of lockdowns and isolation. We have forgotten what it’s like to come together and share ideas over a coffee, and to me, that is troubling.

What happens to a society where people have forgotten how to relate to each other? So much of our social lives are now carried out online, in curated groups decided by algorithms. The idea that we might have a dinner party and discuss views on politics, religion or morality, or any other important topic, makes people cringe and roll their eyes.


How could we sit across from someone who is racist? Supports Trudeau? Thinks the pandemic is a hoax? Feels that everyone should be vaccinated against covid… multiple times?


These are taboo topics now and that makes me sad. I am disappointed that as educated, cultured humans, we cannot sit down and discuss how we feel and think about important topics with each other.


I have thought a lot about this and about what I can do. I am a relationship and somatic coach. I work with people and how they interact on a daily basis. Perhaps looking to what I know about relating, in my own body experience, can help me find a way forward.


Three things I know are true:


1. If I stay present, grounded and in my body, I am more able to hear other’s point of view. If I feel myself getting anxious or triggered I am aware that my nervous system is in a state of fight or flight or going into survival mode where everything is black and white and it is a matter of life or death that I am right. With some deep breaths or sometimes a walk outside in nature, I can bring myself back to being present and grounded and responsive. From this place, I can listen and communicate with much more power and wisdom.


2. Everyone has a truth that is borne of their own personal experiences. I can’t prove someone else’s truth is wrong anymore than I can walk in someone else’s shoes. I can attempt to understand where they are coming from given their unique perspective and this may help me to be compassionate with them. It may not be possible for us to agree on a similar truth because our perspectives may be so different. If we can both find respect and caring for each other, we may be able to find a way to co-exist peacefully with our own versions of truth.


3. No-one has the right to hurt someone else, but I understand that we all hurt each other, often without knowing that we are doing it. If I feel hurt by someone else, or they feel hurt by me, it can help to speak up and try to repair the hurt. Sometimes repair is possible and sometimes we just have to move on. Forgiveness is possible only within ourselves and is not a pre-requisite for moving on. Sometimes the hurt happens in a bigger way, with more people involved, and this can be difficult. The attempt to make repair, one human being at a time, is a way to move forward and keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. The larger the group, the more we need to sit down with each other one on one and work to repair each relationship.


I know that being a relationship coach might not be seen as a very grand profession, but these skills of working with each other are vitally important at this time. Never in my lifetime have I seen so many lonely and isolated people. Never have we been so aware of collective trauma and abuse. And never before have I dug so deep to find hope for humanity.


Every day we have a choice, to choose love and understanding, or hatred and division. Good relationships take work and never more so than in the current social climate. Join me in valuing each other for the opportunities we offer to be in a relationship together.


Connection is a basic human need and relationships are necessary to our survival. Let’s start prioritizing relating to each other instead of creating more separation.


With love,

Ailsa Keppie


Want to learn more from Ailsa? Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and visit her website.


 

Ailsa Keppie, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Ailsa is a trained intimacy Educator and Somatic Therapist and has been working in hands-on bodywork, somatic coaching, and healing for over a decade. Ailsa Keppie brings aspects from her background in circus arts, physical theatre, music, dance, myofascial release, bioenergetic processes, archetypes, and spirituality to her work with clients. She is a published author of her compelling memoir entitled "By the Light of the Crescent Moon," which describes her incredible journey into Islam and polygamy and how it lead to her awakening and reclamation of her own Eros and power. Ailsa works with individuals, couples, and groups both online and in-person at her retreat center, Our Celtic Hearth, in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she resides with her current life partner.

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