Communication ♥Toolbox/Treasure Chest & the Tool of ‘Crossing the Bridge’

LOVE NOTE – Monday 14th March 2011

Imagine a world where everyone knows how to communicate and connect with each other…..
– where people both respectfully listen and talk
– and truly hear each other…..
– and both feel heard…and know their opinion is valued and validated…and welcome…

Note: This does not mean that we all agree with each other!

Such a world is our Vision and that Everyone is taught the best Communication TOOLS and Skills. We consider learning the Skills of how to effectively be in relationships as 

The 4th “R” of EDUCATION

              “My hope and wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call ‘education of the heart.’
Just as we take for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when we can take it for granted that children will learn, as part of the curriculum, the indispensability of inner values: love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness.” ~ The Dalai Lama♡

Dalai Lama & children

Everyone needs to learn Communication TOOLS and Skills – as we are not born knowing them! And we need to regularly update our learning throughout our life.


Our Communication & Relationship TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST

The TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST is where all the TOOLS are stored. Having a heart at the base of the box is to remind us that using the TOOLS from the heart gives us a much greater chance that the TOOLS will work most effectively.

We chose to use the idea of combining the concepts of a TOOLBOX and a TREASURE CHEST as it is important that when you use the TOOLS you experience them as TREASURES and GIFTS……and definitely not with any sense of them being ‘weapons’ which at times we hear them being referred to…

In using the TOOLS it is important to be connected to both our hearts and our creative right side of the brain, as well as our logical left side of the brain that is the part of our brain we normally use when we use any sort of equipment/tools……

Our TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST is different than most Toolboxes in that it contains many specific TOOLS that we need to use in particular instances, yet it is best to choose the TOOL by first connecting to our heart and always having in mind that our job is to CONNECT to the heart and mind of ‘the Other’ from a place of mutual respect..

CONNECTION is always our MOST important goal.

We DO NOT use the TOOLS with the primary goal being to get ‘the Other’ to behave or act in the way we want them to…

We use them so that WE can behave in a way that is respecting, LOVE-ing and caring of ourselves, ‘the Other’ and the relationship between us.

In the Workshops, Retreats and counselling that we do one of our goals is that participants take home solid user-friendly TOOLS. These TOOLS support you to work on building and nourishing your relationships.

We believe everyone needs a MANUAL or a SET of INSTRUCTIONS to understand what is going on in relationships as well as TOOLS you can pull out from your TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST that you can use in a wide range of situations – especially when there is high triggering, reactivity or conflict.

We use pictures/symbols to express each of these TOOLS as our brain remembers them easier than just describing them with words.

Please note that these TOOLS are adaptable to any relationship and not just meant for primary relationships. In fact if you learn them prior to committing to a ♡LOVE relationship the nature of your connection with that person will be entirely different.

One of the most important TOOLS in our TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST is

crossing the bridge

Crossing the Bridge

We Cross the Bridge to visit the “world” of ‘the Other’.

To do so we need to leave our own world behind and go and explore the environment of the other and really listen to them and their story or interpretation of what is going on; which is what they / we are talking about…..

This is especially important when we are telling ourselves that what ‘the Other’ is saying is:
– NOT true,
– that’s NOT the way it is, OR
– should be.

People often think that
– what they are experiencing, or
– their reality, or
– their opinion, or
– the meaning they are making of what is going on
is ‘The Truth’ when often times it is simply that –

their reality or their opinion or their interpretation

This happens 99% of the time when there is conflict happening and two people have different opinions as to what is going on and are clashing about it.

There is NOT a right or a wrong way – just different perspectives.

crossing the bridge

To truly “cross the bridge” it means leaving behind, on our side of the bridge:
– our thinking and our assumptions and theories about how things should be and how ‘the Other’ should be/think/feel/act/express themselves,
– our opinions,
– our beliefs,
– our ideas,
– our feelings and our impulses, and

my SIMU - "Story I Make Up"

SIMU – Story I Make Up

– our ‘Story’ about whatever it is ‘the other’ is talking about – we call these our SIMUs –  Story I Make Up.

This is another TOOL in our TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST – see HERE for a full post on SIMU.

Other words to describe our SIMUs are:

  • my interpretations
  • my assumptions
  • my opinions…..
  • what I presume….

SIMUs show up when we are trying to make meaning or sense of things.

We “cross the bridge” with the intention to visit the world of ‘the Other’ with:
– open heartedness
– curiosity
– giving our full undivided attention
– respect

When there is conflict and reactivity in a relationship it most often means there is a difference in opinion between those involved.
It is only when we suspend judgment and criticism and superiority that we know 
– how things should be and
– how ‘the Other’ should be,
that ‘the Other’ will feel safe enough to show and be their true self and authentically share – in other words, tell the truth.

If we don’t ‘the Other’ will usually do one of following:-
1) argue and criticize and attack back
2) shut up and not say anything, be ‘a pleaser’:-
i) to keep the peace, give in, submit,
ii) to avoid conflict
iii) ‘on the surface’ look like they are doing what you are telling them they should do, but underneath are rebelling from a passive- aggressive place of F*uck You!

I always remember a client who had a very controlling, opinionated and invasive mother who was constantly telling her what she should do, think, need etc, etc….. who shared that when her mother told her to sit down and be still….she coped with it by telling herself –
“…..On the outside I look like I am sitting down, but inside I am standing up and moving around!!…”

Whichever they do, there will always be resentment and a failure of intimacy and connection between the two.

“Crossing the bridge” is a powerful way for people to feel truly accepted for who they are and for creating connection with those you are about.

Some examples of CROSSING THE BRIDGE are:

  • talking with a young child who doesn’t want to do something you want them to do, like for instance going to school, or to bed
  • arguing with a teenager who doesn’t want to get off the internet when you as their parent want them to
  • when a parent is talking with their teenager about sex, drugs, friends or the latest fashion they don’t approve of
  • communicating with your own parent who is on a different wave-length to you
  • with partners who want different things or see things differently,
  • communicating with an estranged ex-spouse or worse still their new partner who are parenting your children
  • a work colleague with a different work ethic
  • a person from a different culture……

There are countless examples where we need to  S-T-R-E-T-C-H out of what we know, and what is true for us, to discover that there is merit and value in different ways of experiencing the world.

Hedy Schleifer who is a very dear friend and colleague of ours talks about this idea in a 20 minute lecture at the TEDx Tel Aviv Conference.

I invite you to practice “crossing the bridge” into the world of some others….especially to some that will take you out of your ‘comfort zone’.

Questions for you:
Whose world do you find difficult to visit and understand?
Who is difficult for you to invite to “cross the bridge” to visit your world? What gets in the way…?

FUN EXERCISES: One thing ♡Shelton and I have fun doing is to take photos of us crossing bridges wherever we come across ones that stand out – like the stunning stone mosaic one above in Bali….

You could expand on this by doing a collage of your favourite photos to put somewhere special in your home, or make a photo book out of them for your coffee table….

Another idea is to have a small bridge somewhere in your garden which you could go out and walk across if you were really stuck as a reminder that the world/environment on the other side is different to yours.

A reminder that our brains learn best when we include symbols – especially when it is fun…… 🙂

The Communication TOOLBOX/TREASURE CHEST is “a work in progress”. We are continuously adding new TOOLS and we greatly appreciate and encourage you to share through posting a COMMENT about the TOOLS that you use that help you to stay ♡LOVE-ing and respectful and conscious in your interactions with others – especially when you are triggered and in times of high reactivity. Real life examples make it come alive in terms of all of our learning.

♡MIRRORING PRACTICE: I highly recommend that if you are partnered to spend some time with your partner reading the post together and then using the ♡MIRRORING format share the impact and what stands out and/or comes up for you about the post.
♡MIRROR each other for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Journaling about the impact is another excellent way to extend your learning.
For those of you who don’t know about how to ♡MIRROR or you need a review check out this post –
♡Mirroring – giving quality attention & deep heart listening

Questions for you:
– What are the results you get when you use this ☆TOOL?
– Any blocks or obstacles that get in the way…..
– Any questions about the use of the ☆TOOL?

By the way, I have been enjoying some great comments. A BIG THANK YOU!♡

When that happens I feel like I am having a conversation with ‘real’ people 🙂  …..and that energizes me. It is like you have come to visit with me….you are “crossing the bridge” into my world…….

When you leave your comments it invites me to visit your world and to connect to you…. and also the feedback I am receiving is that when people comment about what comes up for them or share their story from reading my posts it touches and inspires others….

Also checking in – have you subscribed?
It’s a good idea to subscribe as you automatically get emailed whatever is posted.

My idea is to use my blog to keep people in touch with what we are doing and for sharing about our experiences on our journeys in Seattle, in Australia or wherever we are in the world……..

This is as well as new information and teachings around relationships that impact and influence me that I think will make a difference to all our lives.

Sending wishes for a day of extraordinary discoveries, LOVE Susie


“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers
within yourself that you have built against it” ~ ♡Rumi

Rumi - love is the bridge


About susiesheartpathblog

My wish with Susies♥HeartpathBlog is to connect and relate to you from my heart and soul and mind to your heart and soul and mind …..whilst sharing information and Resources about ♡LOVE-ing and Relationships and FULL exuberant ALIVENESS★…. My intention is to provide a space where you can engage with me and with the community of those who are ‘walking’ the ♥HEART PATH of conscious relationships….. people who daily make choices and actions about becoming and being more ♡LOVE-ing…….people who care that their partners and families and friends and the wider community feel ♡LOVE-d and ♡LOVE-able… people who are curious about and respect and validate the reality of ‘the other’ and who choose to create and live in a Zero Negativity Zone [ZNZ zone].... I am committed to teaching and sharing practical user-friendly communication ♡TOOLS and Skills and processes that lead to growth and deep healing, connection, ♡LOVE and intimacy. I am a passionate net-worker and committed to connecting people to the abundance of Resources that are available – I believe much of what we need is out there, yet people don’t often know the Resources are there or if they do, where to find them. I love putting people in touch with opportunities and possibilities….
This entry was posted in ♥LOVE NOTE, ♥TOOLS, Communication ♥Toolbox-Treasure Chest, inspiring ♥VIDEOS, Question for you, TOP Posts on Relationships & LOVE♥ and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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