The Getting Real practices help us free ourselves from the fears and limited thinking of the ego-mind, so we can meet each new moment with our open, authentic, loving presence.

In This Issue…

1. Blog: Anxiety as the Entry Point for Compassionate Self-Inquiry

2. Upcoming Events: Getting Real Weekend in Northern CA  April 17-18, 2021, Coach Training Webinar, Honesty Salon via zoom webinar format; free group coaching call (March 2)

3. Recent Podcasts Featuring Susan: “Pink Noise” and “Rebel Love”

4. The 10 Getting Real Truth Skills:  Let’s make the 10 Truth Skills a household word, helping to create a beneficial human presence on Planet Earth.

Anxiety as the Entry Point for Compassionate Self-Inquiry
Many of us suffer from a subtle, or not so subtle, sense of anxiety or restlessness. This prompts us to seek constant stimulation, keep constantly busy, or keep our minds busy with constant worrying or thinking. It’s almost as if we are afraid that if we stopped to rest or relax, if we let go of the sense of control that thinking offers, we might become aware of something we can’t deal with. What is this thing we fear we cannot deal with? Have you ever paused to ask yourself that question? Let’s do that now.

What Do I Fear I Cannot Deal With?
In my Honesty Salons and workshops I guide people to slow down and pay attention to their inner state—to their feelings, body sensations, and breathing, and to their impulses to move toward, away from, or against an experience—as they communicate and listen to others. When people do this, they often discover that their anxiety is a form of “resistance to what is.

Pause to Look Inward
Anytime you encounter inner resistance to something, I will guide you to create an inner pause where you become open and curious. You accomplish this by putting your attention on your breathing—on the sensations of breathing in and out—and withdrawing attention from thoughts and worries. This creates an inner sense of safety and a spacious presence that can hold space for whatever arises next. It’s very important to know how to regulate your nervous system in a way that provides this inner calmness and safety. Without this ability to self-regulate, you really cannot do much meaningful inner work—you’re just too anxious about the outcome, afraid you cannot handle something.

The Crucial Discovery
And, when people do inner work like this, here is the discovery they make about what they’re afraid they can’t handle: They are afraid something will happen that brings up a particular type of emotional pain or distress that they really were too small or inexperienced to cope with at an earlier stage of life. As a child, they may have been left to fend for themselves in a violent family situation. As an infant, they may have been left to “cry themselves out,” instead of being picked up and held or fed. If we consider situations like this, it is easy to imagine what a small person might feel—they would understandably fear they were “not enough” or “not up to the task” of adequately protecting themselves or getting their needs met (like the need for food).

Unfinished Situations Seek Completion
Early traumatic experiences like these leave imprints. If we are not supported in expressing and being held with our childhood fears and traumas, we are left with a kind of emotional unfinished business that continues to seek completion all our lives. The way this emotional unfinished business shows up is via our anxiety, our fears, our trigger reactions, and our self-protective communication habits (like “going along to get along”).

Activate Your Self-Healing Capacities 
So, if we want to feel truly safe in this world, it is important to complete this old business—to make it a practice to notice our inner signals of anxiety, fear, and interpersonal triggering, and to pause to connect with ourselves. This activates our inner self-healing capacities. “The noticer” recognizes that a vulnerable part of ourselves needs tender loving care. As we learn to hold space for this part, our inner good mother archetype is activated—the good mother who instinctively know what this needy or hurting child needs: “I am with you. I see you and love you just as you are—even if you are upset or confused about what to do. Your pain or distress does not make you unlovable.”There are a few more steps to this inner self-healing practice (which are detailed in Chapter 15 of the book, Five-Minute Relationship Repair). So, if you want to deeply engage with and heal childhood wounds, you might want to read about and practice the Compassionate Self-Inquiry practice in that chapter. But, even having the intention to pause frequently throughout your day to check in with your inner state….even this, will get you started on the journey of taking responsibility for your own inner safety.If you want to live your most authentic life, knowing how to restore your own sense of safety is an important step. If you don’t feel safe, you’ll be living from fear and anxiety. Your words and actions will come from the motivation to protect yourself. But when you can use your fear or anxiety as a starting point for checking in to see what your inner insecure child really needs, then you are beginning to activate your own self-healing.

Upcoming EventsGetting Real: The Power of Conscious Communication
A covid-safe in-person weekend workshop outdoors with Susan Campbell [Everyone will be screened with an interview; we will be seated 6 feet or more apart, wearing (personalized!) masks; group limited in size to assure safe distancing.] The outdoor space will have heaters available.

April 17-18, 2021  10am-5pm both daysCost:


“You can only be as honest as you are self-aware.”GETTING REAL teaches 10 truth skills that make you a more present, aware, spontaneous, authentic communicator. Most people have fears and insecurities which interfere with being fully present and honest. These insecurities can be healed. If you learn to put your attention on your here-now experience, rather than trying to control the outcome of your communications, you discover the real source of personal power, love, and inner security.

In this workshop, you will learn 

how to:•   communicate with presence, authenticity, and spontaneity (even when you feel fear about it)•   be aware of how you impact others•   clear the air and keep it clear•   repair rifts in trust and connection after a misunderstanding•   keep your present relationships free of accumulated unfinished business•   come back to being present after your fear-buttons have gotten pushed•   communicate from the deepest parts of yourself—so you can be truly heard and accepted•   notice and free yourself of all the ways you “go on automatic” as you communicate or listen•   replace these “control patterns” with honest, spontaneous self-expression•   recognize all the various disguises that mask the “need to control”•   ask for what you want without being controlling•   say “no” or mark your boundaries with compassion and sensitivity•   embrace and value the silences in human communication•   heal past trauma and unprocessed pain•   communicate about difficult topics in ways that foster deep intimacy and trustThe workshop is intended for people who want to join with like-minded others to explore honesty as a spiritual awareness practice, getting to the essential self that is beyond conditioned fears, beliefs, and control patterns. Emphasis will be on developing communication skills and relationship practices that you can take home and integrate into your daily life.

Cost: $350

Time/date: April 17-18, 2021 (Sat-Sun), 10am-5pm both days

Location: Sebastopol, CA, one hour north of San Francisco (directions to follow registration)

REGISTER NOW: Call Susan’s landline, (707) 829-3646 or email:

Led by: Psychologist Susan Campbell has worked as a relationship coach for over 50 years. A former professor at the University of Massachusetts, she is author of 11 books on relationships and communication. Her website is

Coach Training Webinar: Helping Clients  Work with Trigger Reactions and Control Patterns (DATE CHANGED TO THURS)A 6-week webinar for new and experienced coaches with Susan Campbell, Ph.D. author of GETTING REAL and other titles, using Zoom

Time: 6  consecutive Thursdays, beginning March 11, 2021, noon-1:30 pm Pacific time (3-4:30 pm Eastern time), and ending April 15.

Cost: $300 (visa, paypal, transferwise, and mastercard accepted)

To register or get more info, call or email Susan’s landline at (707) 829-3646 or

You will learn and practice how to help clients learn to use Susan’s getting real truth skills and trigger work skills. Specifically, you will learn how to:-create a safe container that welcomes emotional pain as a portal to discovering one’s lost or disowned parts;-help clients develop their ability to be with emotional discomfort in a way that fosters healing trigger sensitivities and trauma-work skillfully with resistance-work skillfully with your most challenging clients-teach exercises that stretch clients’ capacity for self-compassion–teach practices that help clients heal unfinished emotional business–teach practices that help clients develop their capacity for inner witnessing-use your own authentic feelings and responses in helpful ways—thus, refining yourself as an instrument for positive changeYou will be given homework assignments to practice with a homework partner on a separate call during the week.  This will require an additional hour per week of your time.All calls will be recorded and archived on the web, so you can re-listen to calls or hear a call if you have to miss a session.

Honesty Salon in Webinar Format [DATE CHANGED TO WEDNESDAY]
Beginning March 17, I will offer a six-session Honesty Salon in webinar format (zoom). It is scheduled for 6 consecutive Wednesdays, noon-1:15 pm Pacific time, skipping March 24, and ending April 21.Cost is $200 for the 6 sessions. An Honesty Salon is a small group experience where we practice the 10 Truth Skills with one another, sharing whatever arises in the present moment. We use a set of simple communication guidelines that assist us in un-hooking from identification with mind chatter and being innocently open to whatever arises.Between sessions, participants will have the option of meeting in dyads or triads to de-brief and do practice exercises. All sessions will be recorded and archived on a private page, so if you miss a session, the recording will be available to you.To register or get more information, email me at  If you are interested in this offering, and the announced  time is not convenient, I may be able to change the time.  So please contact me about that at the email address above.

Free Monthly Group Coaching Call, Tuesday, March 2
I will be hosting my free Getting Real group coaching call Tuesday, March 2, 4-5pm Pacific time.  We use a telephone conference line. To get on the conference line  from the US or Canada call (712) 770-4010 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).On this month’s call, I will respond to everyone’s questions re problems you encounter in your interpersonal, family, or peer group relationships. I will also encourage dialogue about how to relate more and control less in your daily communications. As I address your questions, I will invite sharing from the group regarding your best practices for dealing with relationship issues. These calls always involve lively discussion and deep sharing. I hope you will join in.To call in from the UK, dial: 44-330-998-1227 (local access number)To call in from Germany, dial: 49-209-8829-4402 (local access number)From France: 33-1-7890-0674From Australia: 61-2-8077-0511To find other local access numbers outside the US, contact

Replay Available
If you miss the call and would like to access the recording, call (712) 770-4019 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).

Hear Susan’s Interview on “Pink Noise”
I was recently interviewed by the beautiful and talented Sheri Hauser for her “Pink Noise” radio show and podcast. We spent a little over an hour digging into how to live an authentic life. Topics ranged from asking for what you want to noticing your listening patterns to sexual vulnerability. We covered a lot and had a lot of fun. Here’s what Sheri wrote to me afterwards:“I listened (to the podcast) in the car with my friends while driving in the mountains, and they were blown away by the amount of actionable insights into communication techniques.”You can listen on SoundCloud at

Hear Susan on Rebel Love Podcast
If you want to learn to catch and calm your emotional triggers, and heal childhood wounds in the process, listen to my recent interview with Talia on her Rebel Love Podcast. In our interview, I describe how I help my clients distinguish between when they are communicating from their triggered brain vs their higher brain centers. I then describe how to use self-compassion and mindful presence to heal emotional sensitivities and childhood wounds. Trigger reactions don’t have to disrupt loving connections. They can be a portal to deeper intimacy between two people. Tune in here to listen:

The 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live Authentically

Here is a summary of the 10 truth skills detailed in the book, Getting Real. For those of you familiar with my latest book,

Five-Minute Relationship Repair, you may see that that entire book is about truth skill #6,

Taking Back Projections. This is such a complex and often difficult-to-master truth skill. So I thought it deserved a whole book. Now here’s the list:

1. Experiencing what is  You have a felt body-based sense of your present feelings and sensations. You can notice and not identify with your judgments, projections, and interpretations.

2. Being transparent  You can disclose to others what you are feeling, sensing, imagining, or saying to yourself—with the simple aim of “knowing and being known,” free of the need to explain or defend.

3. Knowing your intent  You can consciously reflect on the intent of your communication. Is it to relate or to control? Are you revealing yourself in the interest of transparency or are you managing and strategizing in order to avoid discomfort?

4. Asserting what you want and don’t want  You can express a desire clearly and impactfully, without expecting to get everything you ask for. You mark boundaries when you need to.

5. Thriving on feedback  You are open and curious about others’ impressions and reactions to you.  This is different from being dependent on others’ reactions.

6. Taking back projections  You know how to learn from situations where your buttons or “favorite fears” get triggered. You can differentiate your fear-stories from what really happened.

7. Revising an earlier statement  You can re-visit an interaction if your feelings change or if you discover later that you have mis-spoken or were on automatic. You can say, “If I had it to do over….”

8. Holding differences  You can hear and empathize with someone else’s feeling or viewpoint while at the same time holding a different feeling or viewpoint. You can “be with” the tension of holding both in your awareness at once.

9. Sharing mixed emotions  You can communicate your multiple feelings about an issue or situation, e.g. You may wish to clear the air with someone while also fearing that your words might feel hurtful to the other.

10. Embracing silence  You can allow some space after you have spoken. You do not fill in the space with explanation or justification. You can experience the nonverbal emanations in the silences during a conversation.  You can tolerate uncertainty, ambiguity, not knowing.Practicing these skills brings you to a deep and abiding sense of serenity, presence, and compassion. These three words that describe the qualities that we begin to embody when we practice Getting Real.

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