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: Your Daily Authenticity Inventory
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 (Feb 2)
3. New 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.
Your Daily Authenticity Inventory
A few days ago, I was a guest on Sheri Hauser’s “Pink Noise Radio Show.” Sheri, who is also an Authentic Relating facilitator, is a delightful host. One of the many topics we discussed was how to skillfully communicate your boundaries in various situations. I suggested in the interview that the practice I have used, and still use, is what I call, the Daily Authenticity Inventory. This got me thinking that I ought to remind people about this practice—because I think it is one of the easiest tools for becoming a more authentic communicator. So, I am publishing it here, in this month’s blog. I hope you will try it. And please listen to the whole conversation between Sheri and me. Scroll down to see details about how to access the downloadable podcast—under “Hear Susan’s Interview on Pink Noise.”
Now, Here is the Exercise….
You have probably had the experience of being in a situation where you were not very present to your own feelings, needs, or boundaries. Perhaps you were distracted, caught by surprise, were triggered, were in a control pattern, or didn’t know what you were really feeling. Or maybe you simply said nothing, instead of expressing your needs, ideas, or feelings.
This practice is based on the Truth Skill, Revising, in my book, Getting Real. It is called the Daily Authenticity Inventory.
1. Think of a situation at work or at home where you did not speak up, did not express your truth, or went temporarily “unconscious.” Maybe you were wanting something you were afraid to ask for directly or feeling something you didn’t feel comfortable admitting. Maybe you said yes when your authentic answer would have been no; or perhaps you pretended something didn’t bother you when it really did. Identify the specific situation, and ask yourself, “What reason did I give myself (then or now) for not speaking more authentically?” Perhaps you were afraid of upsetting or hurting the person. Or maybe you’ve tried to speak about this before, and things have not gone well.
2. Now, ask yourself this question, “If I had felt completely safe or confident that I could handle an unwanted or unexpected outcome, what would I have said?” Say the exact words you would say to this other person if you had been more authentic. Imagine yourself saying these words to that person as you speak. Notice what you feel. Notice your self-talk. Make sure that what you say in your revision is something you actually feel or felt, want or wanted, can know to be true (because it is about yourself/on your own side of the net). This might be things like…..your wants, feelings, your thoughts, your self-talk, your assessments (based on data), and your observations with your five senses (what you saw, read, heard, smelled, sensed, etc.). In other words, you are not coming back to this matter to explain, justify, defend, come across as more polished, etc.
There is another situation where this exercise is useful also. It sometimes occurs that you will say something one day, and then later, maybe the next day, realize you were “under the influence” of one of your automatic personality patterns—in other words, you were behaving unconsciously. So, in this case, you were not withholding your truth intentionally. You were just on automatic and not aware of this fact until later. So, in this case, your reason for not being authentic would be you were in a pattern or something of this sort. So, you can use the exercise in this situation also.
Here’s an example: My boss and I were scheduled to have lunch at a local restaurant. She got there before I did. As I walked over to the table where she was sitting, she said, “You’re late.” I felt defensive, went on automatic, and said, “Nobody’s perfect.” That was my automatic, inauthentic reply. If I had been more self-aware, what I would have said is, “When I hear you say that I’m late, I notice a defensive reaction coming up. I feel the urge to explain myself. But for now, I think I’d just like to tell you how sorry I am to make you wait.”
3. Then, ask yourself: Would it be appropriate, and could I now go to this person, and say this? And if the answer is yes, are you willing to create an opportunity to have this conversation soon?
Steps to Take When Revising
Here are some additional tips (not part of the exercise):
When dealing with any situation needing revision:
(1) First, let the other person know that you have had some second thoughts, and make sure you have their attention; invite them into conversation, stating that you’d like to revise what you said or did, and you want to see if they are available for this.
(2) Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility for your words or deeds.
(3) Then, report what has changed for you–what you are aware of now that you were not aware of at the time, e.g. “I had the realization that…” “I want to let you know what was really going on with me….” “I want to make amends…” etc. Use I-messages to help you stay in your own experience.
(4) Inquire about how your words or actions impacted the other person.
(5) And finally, listen to what the other person has say, and aim to be more present this time.
Benefits You Can Expect
Here is a summation of the benefits you will gain by continuing to use this practice:
• Sharing your afterthoughts is a way of clearing up unfinished business.
•Sometimes after you state what you wish you’d had the presence to do differently, the other person joins you and offers a revision of her own.
•Often, after you have heard about how your actions affected the other person, you feel sincere regret or empathy; or you see more of the whole picture and realize that you were reacting automatically.
•When this practice is used by people in a conflict situation, it fosters a softer, more open-hearted, attitude between conflicting parties.
•After you use this practice for a while, you will probably notice that the gap gets smaller between when you could have said your true feelings and when you actually do express these. By going out and coming in again, you train yourself to be more present the next time. This practice will you become increasingly more self-aware at the very moment you are communicating rather than having to wait until later to recognize that you need to revise something.
Getting 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 days
“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.
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: email@example.com
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 www.susancampbell.com
Coach Training Webinar: Helping Clients Work with Trigger Reactions and Communicate Authentically (via Zoom)
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 Wednesdays, beginning Wednesday, March 10, 2021, noon-1:30 pm Pacific time (3-4:30 pm Eastern time), and ending April 14.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 change
You 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
Beginning March 18, I will offer a six-session Honesty Salon in webinar format (zoom). It is scheduled for 6 consecutive Thursdays, beginning March 18, 2021, noon-1:15 pm Pacific time and ending April 22.
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 email@example.com 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, February 2
I will be hosting my free Getting Real group coaching call Tuesday, February 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 problems. 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 www.freeconferencecallHD.com
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.