Oak Communications
December 1, 2009
In This Newsletter
Oak Communications

My Blog

C2Arts: Consultants and Coaches for the Arts

My husband and I used to have a phrase we would say to one another at certain times, "You're right, you're always right." This was earlier in our relationship when we seemed to care about being right. The scenario might go like this:

Mark: "I told you the couch would look better over here."

Sue:  "You're right, you're always right," said a bit begrudgingly.

Then we would laugh. While we felt smug satisfaction when the other person said "you're right, you're always right," we also were aware of the irony. We saw how couples would bicker over the smallest things, and we didn't want to be like that. Sometimes, one of us would say, "You're right" and not add the "you're always right." For some reason we didn't want to give this bit of pleasure to each other.

I don't remember exactly when this game went out of favor, but I suspect it was when we subconsciously realized that we didn't feel the need to "be right." Now we seem to be more open to just being with one another with less need or desire to prove that we are right.

I recall reading the phrase, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be in relationship?" (I can't seem to find where I read this phrase. If you know of a source, please let me know.) Sometimes, in order to be in relationship, whether at work or at home, we need to let go of our ego and not be concerned about who is right.

To be in relationship means to be respectful, to listen carefully, to be curious, and to learn from one another. If I am feeling the need to be right, then I am not able to listen and consider the other person's ideas or needs.

If I notice a desire in myself to want to be acknowledged for being right, it helps if I step back and examine the situation. Some questions that I ask myself are: What is going on here? Do I feel threatened or unappreciated? What emotions are surfacing for me? Am I really listening to what the other is saying? What if I am not right? What is at stake? How do I want to be in this situation?

By asking myself even one or two of these questions, I get a better handle on my thoughts and feelings in the situation. I am able to step back from the immediacy of the moment and not be as entangled in my own view of things. This is not easy. And yet, with practice I find that it helps me to have more satisfying relationships.

The holiday season can be a wonderful time to practice these ideas as we often spend more time with family and friends. This is good practice for applying these ideas in our work setting also. If you choose to practice, let me know how it goes.

Happy Holidays!

All my best,

Sue Schleifer
Writing Down Dementia: A Writing Workshop

Do you have a loved one with dementia?

Are you feeling loss?

Are you experiencing changes in family dynamics?

Would you like to investigate these questions and more through writing?

In this workshop, we will explore our thoughts and feelings about our shifting relationships with our loved ones. Through simple writing exercises, we will better understand and come to grips with our loved one's Alzheimer's disease or other form of dementia. We will create a safe environment in which to write and express our grief, our humor and our insights.

No writing experience necessary. Free.
Workshop Leaders: Sue Schleifer and Kim Fowler

Sunday, December 13, 2009,  5-7 pm
Laurel Bookstore
4100 Macarthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619
The Pie Lady and other favorites photos
Thanksgiving pies
This is a photo of the pies that I made for Thanksgiving dinner this year. 

Two of my favorite activities are baking pies and taking photographs.

To view some of my other photos taken this year, please visit Oak Communications blog or my Facebook Photo Album page. 
My Favorite Resources

A new perspective

This photo is one of my favorites of the year. I took this image of a neighbor as he demonstrates creative thinking - looking at an object from a new angle.

Here are a few favorites websites, articles and talks that I have discovered over the past few months. Let me know your thoughts on these, and please share one of your favorites too. 
A Holiday Gift

Headshot Sue
Have you been thinking about working with a coach?

Perhaps you are tired of feeling stressed and overwhelmed and want to feel a sense of calm and energy.

Do you have an idea for a project, a desire for a new career, or yearn to bring your creative side back into your life and not sure how to proceed?

Maybe you would like support in making a change or moving forward in your life to feel happier and more at peace.

I would love to talk with you about how I can be your partner in moving forward with your life and career. Call me for a complimentary half hour telephone coaching consultation.

Then, sign up for Coaching by January 15, 2010 and receive 20% off your first month of coaching.

Sue Schleifer
Oak Communications

Oakland, CA

Do you know someone who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them by clicking on Forward email below.

If you do not wish to receive future newsletters, please click the SafeUnsubscribe link below. Thank you.