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: Are We Doomed? Reflections on an Unknown Future

2. Upcoming Events: Getting Real Weekend in Northern CA  September 12-13, 2020, Coach Training Webinar, Honesty Salon via zoom webinar format, Free Monthly Group Coaching CallScience and Non Duality Conference, Free Relationship Summit

3. Susan’s card games available on Amazon

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. Are We Doomed? Reflections on An Unknown Future

As this pandemic wears on, we are seeing and hearing many conversations about “getting back to normal,” alongside such questions as: “Will anything change after this collective experience? Have we learned anything? Will we re-think our highly industrialized, centralized, ecologically destructive habits? Will we in the US address how we might re-structure our healthcare systems, our social welfare programs, our voting system, our systems of food production and distribution?”

The Ecological Crisis
Michael Moore’s new film, Planet of the Humans, is receiving a lot of press—much of it critical. The film is drawing fire mostly from people who think Moore has made unnecessary, unfair, or inaccurate attacks on the many good advances that have occurred in alternative energy systems, such as solar, wind, etc.

My takeaway from this rather flawed film is not whether or not we should support the many good ecological solutions that exist, but rather whether current trends of industrialization and progress are sustainable under any circumstances. This is not a new conversation.

The Point of No Return
But there is a new conversation emerging, which is: “Are humans a doomed species? Have we already reached the point of no return—the point where no amount of mending our profligate ways can happen in time to reverse the trend toward eventual extinction of the human race?”

I am not making any predictions here. My intent here is to open up some new conversations.

Facing Impermanence, Uncertainty, Death
These days I am intrigued by the subject of death—my own, and the possible death of human life on Earth. Among humans there seems (to me) to be a general tendency to avoid facing death or discussing death until we have to. My life’s work (the work I call Getting Real) focuses on helping people develop the inner resources to face reality as it is—which often means facing painful realities.  I believe Pain Phobia (and the Addiction to Control that this fosters) is one of the biggest dysfunctions of our time. So, Getting Real is about learning to ‘be with’ painful realities in a way that brings about healing of one’s pain phobia—so the person is no longer run by his/her/their fear of emotional pain. Feeling whatever it is that we have avoided feeling….this is a big step toward discerning what we can and cannot control. And when we fully grasp how little control we have to alter ‘what is,’ we are then empowered to take appropriate action in those domains where we do have control.

The Survival Value of Noticing Pain
Relaxing our resistance to pain also allows us to sense and feel actual painful realities quicker—to see the handwriting on the wall sooner, instead of remaining too long in a state of denial. Humans have not been rather slow to notice when “something needs to change.” Our habit is to wait for a crisis. I still believe we can change that. The inner work of pausing to really feel the pain of our current circumstances — this is what prompts us to make needed changes.

Death As Our Teacher
I believe we (the human collective) have a lot of power—especially if we can ever learn to manage our separative (ego-based) differences, attune to the actual situation at hand, and take united action. How long it takes us to evolve to that point remains to be seen.  Meanwhile our collective death must be considered. And, in my experience, death generally comes before our work is finished. As I often joke to my groups, “You’ll die with unfinished business!”

How does a (possibly) dying species prepare for its own death? As I begin to contemplate and prepare for my own death, a few thoughts arise: I do not believe my death will come anytime soon, but I can feel it coming……which is causing me to think in some different ways about my life. As death gets closer due to advancing age, I find it is natural to start to simplify, to buy less stuff, and to realize I did not need a lot of this stuff in the first place. But more important than these external things, as I enter this last phase of life in a human body, I find myself naturally reflecting on my life:
What have I done and left undone?
What karma have I burned and what karma have I created?
Did my actions and my being foster joy, love, wisdom, compassion, sobriety, critical thinking, responsibility, forgiveness?
Who was hurt by my selfish actions?

We’re Not Dead Yet
And I feel some grief when I look at what I have left undone—promises I made to myself (and to Life) that I failed to deliver on. Facing such things squarely helps me respect myself for my efforts……and forgive myself. As I allow myself to feel sadness and grief over past failings, I find I can let go of worrying about some of these things. Other things, though, I still have time to correct. So even though I, myself, and maybe the human race also, are in the winter of our years, there is still plenty of life still in us. Right now, regardless of whether my death will come in 2 years or 20 years, I am alive. Humanity may be dying, but we’re not dead yet. There are things to take care of, things that have been ignored or neglected. Whether humanity’s demise will come in 200 years or 2000, it is still a good time to wake up to what we have done, to take responsibility for it, to grieve, to forgive, to seek forgiveness, and to see if any constructive actions or amends are called for.

Reflecting on and preparing for our eventual death can help us come to terms with how we have lived. We may have a very long life ahead of us—who knows? But I still believe it’s a good time for us to collectively consider the questions listed in bold type above……and perhaps to grieve. Or perhaps to let ourselves experience the kind of pain that prompts us to soberly take responsibility for the consequences of how we have lived, and to make amends….now.  Maybe if more of us lived in the conscious realization of our intimate connection with death, we could actually be more present. We could better relax as we face the unknown (instead of trying to control it). And then we might feel our intimate connection with everything alive, and make all of our decisions from a more unified place.

Upcoming Events

Getting Real: The Power of Conscious Communication  

A weekend residential workshop with Susan Campbell

September 12-13, 2020  10am-5pm both days

Cost: $350 (includes lunches; and lodging, if needed)

“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 trust

The 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 (includes lunches and lodging, if needed. All deposits are fully refundable at any time–due to our shared uncertain future!)

Time/date: September 12-13, 2020 (Sat-Sun), 10am-5pm both days

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

REGISTER NOW: Call (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: Using the 10 Getting Real Truth Skills in Coaching

 A 6-week webinar for new and experienced coaches with Susan Campbell, Ph.D., author of GETTING REAL and other titles
Time: 6  consecutive Wednesdays, beginning May 20, 2020, noon-1 pm Pacific time (3-5 pm Eastern time), and ending June 24.

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

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

You will learn and practice how to use the 10 Getting Real Truth Skills to:
-help clients develop a plan for getting from where they are to where they’d like to be
-work with clients’ resistances to change
-help clients distinguish observations from interpretations
-use your perceptions and feelings as useful data in a coaching relationship
-use your feelings and responses to a client to further your own inner development and self-awareness—thus, refining yourself as an instrument for positive change
-help clients heal unfinished emotional business and past traumas
-guide clients using coaching tools like parts work, empty chair work, embodiment and other somatic practices
-work with clients who are particularly challenging for you

You will also learn how to integrate these tools into your existing coaching style and repertoire.

You will be given homework assignments to practice with a homework buddy on a separate phone 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.

Some people take this training simply for their own personal development, even if they do not plan to do coaching as a profession. These people are welcome to join.

Honesty Salon in Webinar Format 

Beginning May 14, I will offer a six-session Honesty Salon in webinar format for people who cannot attend my in-person sessions. It is scheduled for 6 consecutive Thursdays, 1-2 pm Pacific time, beginning May 14. This time slot  is aimed to make it possible for people in Europe to attend.

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,  May 5

I will be hosting my free Getting Real group coaching call Tuesday, May 5, 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 participants’ questions regarding relationship issues that are ‘up’ for you. 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: 33-1-7890-0674

From Australia: 61-2-8077-0511

To 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 #).

Free Relationship Advice

Do you want to learn how to learn to create and sustain loving relationships?

A 40-minute interview with me will soon be available as part of an online web series Called “From Fizzle to Sizzle: How to get your Sex Drive Back, After Having Kids, for More Satisfaction, Intimacy and Joy in your Life” (created by my friend Brittany Jones) And it’s not just for people who have small kids—it’s got great information for anyone seeking a more fulfilling love life.

Click HERE to get your complimentary ticket

Brittany has interviewed me and 20 other top experts in the field of sex and relationships to help you fall in LOVE and LUST with your partner again!

Wisdom in Times of Crisis

The folks at Science And Non Duality are offering a major, 7-day, online event entitled “Wisdom in Times of Crisis” from May 17-23.

More than thirty leading visionaries, spiritual teachers, therapists, and scientists will share their wisdom and explore some of the challenges and opportunities this global crisis provides.

Presenters include Deepak Chopra, Charles Eisenstein, Rupert Spira, Peter Levine, Bayo Akomlafe, Vandana Shive, Cynthia Bourgeault, and myself.

This is going to be an exciting event–an opportunity to hear and dialog with key teachers in the field, and to reflect on and integrate the wisdom gained through this unique time of uncertainty and change. Learn how we can nourish ourselves in uncertain times, and discover new ways of being and relating.

More Information and Registration

Getting Real Card Games Available at Amazon

I am happy to announce that both the Getting Real Card Game and the Truth in Dating Card Game are now available to buy at

The link for Truth in Dating is:

And the link for Getting Real is:

Please help me out by going to these links and either ordering a game or posting a review. Amazon reviews really help.

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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