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: Reflections on the Worldwide Pandemic

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. Reflections on the Worldwide Pandemic

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, I am pretty much doing voluntary self-quarantine at home right now—although I do have clients coming to my home-office, where I practice very careful cleaning of surfaces (including chairs) and anything else anyone touches.  I stay in touch with friends through phone and zoom. And I am being more diligent with my diet, exercise, and other self-care practices. My own inner world is calm and peaceful–even as I read everything I can to stay up-to-date. So, while my outer habits have changed quite a bit (I used to go to the grocery store every day for entertainment), my inner world is pretty much unchanged.

I imagine all of us are being affected in some way by the coronavirus epidemic. So how are you relating to this? For some of us some of us, the impact is big. As I write this, I am moved to pause to feel empathy and caring for those who are ….worried, sick, caring for someone who is sick, have compromised immune systems, have their livelihood threatened, are losing their savings, whose jobs are stressful because their employees fear coming to work, and who are forced by circumstances to be cooped up with people they do not get along with.

But for many of us, the impact so far is not much at all.  We may be staying home more, but that’s about it. As we go through this time, we will all be impacted, but we will have very different styles of coping with this. These are uncertain times. Some of us worry. Some pray. Some get more diligent with our self-care practices. Some scour the internet for information so we can stay on top of things. Some stockpile food and supplies. Some visualize positive outcomes. Some write informative or inspiring posts or articles.

Whatever your path through this may be, I hope you are also using this as a time for self-reflection and self-study. I invite you to reflect on things like:

How am I relating to the new developments I read about, hear about, or experience first-hand?  Am I approaching this as a somewhat scary crisis, an opportunity, a novelty, an interesting challenge, a time for humans to become aware of our collective destiny, a phenomenon that separates us and puts us into competition for scarce resources, or as something that could unite us? Is my nervous system able to remain calm, even while handling distressing information and real-life problems?

 How am I relating to others who approach things differently than I do? Do I judge them, try to influence them, ignore them, fear them, or try to see their behavior and choices in the context of their particular frame of reference? When I see certain types of posts or articles on social media, do I get triggered? Am I getting triggered more often by the people closest to me? How can I tell that I am triggered?

How am I relating to myself? Have I developed a conscious relationship with myself? Have I cultivated my inner witness or noticer? Do I notice my feelings and stories or get enmeshed  in them? Do I have a harsh relationship with my fears, failings, and foibles….or a softer, more compassionate relationship to these things? Do I have inner resources that I can call on to help me stay calm and grounded when facing a rapidly changing situation or information overload?

For me, the questions, “How do I experience…….?” And “How do I related to………?” are important. The “How” questions are often more important than the “What.”  When I can notice that I feel fear, for example, that’s the What.  But when I pay attention to How  I experience my fear, I am in a more intimate and direct relationship with my actual present-time experience. I am in closer touch with how my life energy is moving, and at the same time, my inner witness is activated: Is my life energy vibrating fast or slow? Is it flowing or stuck? How harmonious or connected do I feel in relation to other people or other life forms? How do I experience my body and my breath? Attending to these sorts of things brings me into a more present and grounded state. These sorts of questions help me slow things down and become more spacious. I am able to see more of what is really going on. Time seems to slow down a bit.

As I write these words now, I am having the thought, “Each one of us probably approaches life (and the unexpected changes we encounter) in our own unique way. This is both the challenge and the gift of living in a world populated by so many different versions of what is.” There is so much to learn from people who view things differently than I do, or people who have different life experiences. But our differences seem to make it hard for humanity as a whole to arrive at enough agreement to achieve united action toward the collective good.

In these times of uncertainty and crisis, there are forces that tend to unite us as well as forces that threaten to tear us apart. When separate interests and polarized worldviews collide, there is no easy answer. I think we are being called to recognize how interconnected we are and how interdependent we are with everyone else on this planet. To most of us this is old news. But this pandemic is certainly highlighting the fact that when something affects your health and well-being, it affects mine as well. We are all in this together, and it’s a good thing when people take seriously the idea of “the good of the whole,” or “the common good.”

I believe we are going to see many dramatic examples of how interconnected our world has become in the weeks and months to come. Some examples will probably be scary or upsetting.

As all this is going on, I hope we will discover news forms of social support and connection. We need to express our concerns and be heard. We need to hear what’s happening in other parts of the world—so we can learn from others’ experiences. Many of us have begun meeting virtually for mutual support on digital platforms like Face Time and Zoom. I am happy to see this. In my mind, this is an act of citizen empowerment—ordinary people taking the initiative to call meetings together for mutual support and collective action.

In my free monthly group coaching call, scheduled for 4-5 pm PDT, on April 7, I will invite an exchange of ideas and information on how to set up your own community support networks. We will also listen deeply to one another’s experiences with all of this. And I hope this will be a forum where we can feel the how as well as the what of this thing.

Further Resources
If you happen to be cooped up with someone you don’t get along with, my latest book (co-authored with John Grey) offers a number of self-healing and co-healing practices. The book  is full of practical tools for how we can use the ‘normal pains and frustrations of adult relationships’ to foster harmony and increase self-knowledge and emotional resiliency. The title of the book is: Five-Minute Relationship Repair: Quickly Heal Upsets, Deepen Intimacy, and Use Differences to Strengthen Love,  and it is available at or

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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