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: Do You Surf Life or Try to Control Life?

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 CallFree Relationship Summit, Susan’s card games available on Amazon

3. 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. Do You Surf Life or Try to Control Life?

Do you surf life or try to control life? Saying this another way…do you aim to relate to life as it is, or do you frequently find yourself wishing things were different than they are? Surfing life requires the ability to stay present to ‘what is.’ And ‘what is’ changes moment-to-moment, so you need to keep on updating your reality.

Of course, we all get taken out of the present when unconscious fears eclipse our ability to see our options and choose our responses. To the degree that your attention is focused on wanting reality to be different than it is (as in: ‘more comfortable’), you won’t be able to stay present. Your ability to receive input accurately from your world will be clogged up by wishes, fears, complaints, or ideas about how things should be. And your ability to navigate the ever-changing Now will suffer.

How to Surf More and Control Less

Here are some things you can do to learn to be more present in situations where you used to go on automatic:

(1) The first thing is to become aware and accepting of the fact that you do sometimes react automatically. We all do that sometimes when unprocessed emotional pain from our past gets re-stimulated (aka getting triggered).
(2) The next thing you can do is to discover the fear or limiting belief that motivates you (unconsciously) to shield yourself from the full impact of ‘what is’ (fears like the fear of failure, the fear of disapproval). What’s your ‘favorite fear?’ What’s the default story your mind inserts about your adequacy or lovability? (e.g. “I’m not enough,” “My needs don’t matter”)
(3) And finally, you can learn to love that fearful, vulnerable part of you. You can learn how to coach yourself through difficult situations, and to reassure yourself that you are actually safe. When you do this, you’ll find that the simple act of befriending yourself in this way actually helps you feel safe. You bring presence to your pain, and this simple act transforms your experience of that pain.

Further resources

To learn the practices you need to bring a more compassionate presence to emotional pain and recurring fears, attend my upcoming Getting Real Workshop (September 12-13, 2020) and read the book, Five-Minute Relationship Repair. In this book, and also in my seminars, you learn to spot the early warning signs that you or someone close to you is triggered. Then you learn how to hold space for your own and the other’s pain in a way that brings healing and transformation at the deepest level. And when I say healing, I don’t mean that you will no longer get triggered. What will happen is: now you have a new relationship to your pain, your fear-stories, and to the normal frustrations of an adult relationship. You learn that your essential nature shines forth more when you are present to what is. And with this realization comes the confidence that you don’t really need to control the outcome so much because whatever happens, you can handle it.

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 Thursdays, beginning March 26, 2020, 1-2 pm Pacific time (4-5 pm Eastern time), and ending April 30.

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 between their real needs and their pseudo needs or addictions
-help clients distinguish core feelings from reactive feelings
-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 in practicing the daily authenticity inventory
-guide clients in practicing compassionate self-inquiry

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 

In May and June, 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 7. This time slot  is aimed to make it possible for people in Europe to attend.

Cost is $150 for the 6 sessions, if you register before March 25. If you register after that, the cost goes to $200. 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,  April 7

I will be hosting my free Getting Real group coaching call Tuesday, April 7, 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 facilitate sharing re how we are each dealing with the changes brought about in our lives with regard to the coronavirus epidemic, and how we can support one another using various digital communication media. 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?

My friend and colleague, Barbara Santen, has gathered over 21 top experts in the love and relationship field and created an online show called Attract Your SoulmateTop Experts Share Their Secrets on How to Find and Sustain True Love
Join me and Barbara along with other experts on love, relationships, marriage, communication, sex, self-care, self-love and much more!
I have a complimentary ticket for you to attend.

You can register using this link

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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