Journey into Wholeness: Traveling in Connection Week One Materials

Traveling in Connection

Week One Materials

Welcome to The Journey into Wholeness Webinar Series: Traveling in Connection

Each section will help you explore the concepts presented in the Journey into Wholeness Webinar:

Questions to Ponder & Journaling Exercises: The questions presented in this section are meant to help you connect and reflect on the concepts presented. You may choose to journal on one or more of the questions, or you may choose to discuss them with fellow participants. No answers need to be submitted to Sacred Art of Living Center – these are for your personal study.

Best Practices: We encourage all participants to choose one best practice to incorporate into their daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.

Article Suggestions: Excellent resources for further study.

Websites: Places to visit for a wealth of information.

Book Recommendations: Books that would make an excellent addition to your personal library or could be a strong choice for group study.

Videos/Films: Ted Talks, Meditations, Movies, and more.

Poems: Links to poems that can be a starting point for journaling or inspiration for your own poetry writing.

Songs: Links to songs that inspire.

Questions to Ponder & Journaling Exercises

1. How easily do you go to a place of acceptance when facing difficult situations? Use a 1-5 Scale. 1- I have great difficulty moving into acceptance if I don’t like the circumstances or others’ behaviors / 5 – I find it easy to stay in a place of peaceful acceptance in the face of difficult circumstances and behaviors.

With Great Difficulty                                      With Great Ease

What most often stands in the way of finding acceptance in your current circumstances? What behaviors in friends and family are most challenging to accept? In what areas do you need to find a greater sense of acceptance?

2. “The vulnerability inherent in loving and in being loved can be quite daunting. We want love to happen on our own terms. We want to show love only in the exact way that feels safe to us. We want full control of the love we parcel out: how much, how long, how deep. To be loved requires vulnerability in three forms of willingness: To show we love someone before he shows he loves us, to be seen at our best and worst, and to show our needs. . .” – David Richo, PhD

Which of the three areas (to show we love someone before he shows he loves us, to be seen at our best and worst, and to show our needs) is most difficult for you? What thoughts or practices help you with this particular area?

3. “The more invested I am in my own ideas about reality, the more those experiences will feel like victimizations rather than the ups and downs of relating. Actually, I believe that the less I conceptualize things that way, the more likely it is that people will want to stay by me, because they will not feel burdened, consciously or unconsciously, by my projections, judgments, entitlements, or unrealistic expectations.”David Richo

What ways can you release your own “ideas about reality”? How do these set ideas of reality lead to a feeling of victimhood? How can you move beyond your “projections, judgments, entitlements, or unrealistic expectations”?

Best Practices

1. “The more we can accept our own limitations the less likely we are to search for our partners’ shortcomings as the source of our problems. This, in turn, makes it easier to accept their limitations.” – Robert Solley

Look at a difficult relationship or situation and ask “How are my own limitations playing out in this circumstance?” and “What shortcomings in my own life do I need to recognize and accept?” Reflect on how this shift in focus changes your emotions and approach to the problem.

2. “Love your partner because, not in spite, of those quirks and traits that make each one of us unique. . . research has demonstrated that what matters most in relationship satisfaction is not how often you experience conflict, but rather the ratio of negative interaction to positive interaction. Specifically, couples who experience 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction tend to feel more satisfied in their relationship. All that being said, solving differences can be helped immensely when partners feel accepted by one another.” – John Thoburn Ph.D.

This week try to be aware of your ratio of negative interactions to positive interactions with friends and family. Reflect on whether your positive interactions are in balance, and how you can add to those positive contacts.

Article Suggestions

1. Margalis Fjelstad Ph.D., LMFT “The Five Keys to Mindful Loving” Psychology Today. May 13, 20142

2. David Richo, PhD “Are You Afraid of Love?: How To Work Through the Fear of Love” Omega. Jul 18, 2013

3. David Richo “To Be Myself and Love You Too” Watkin’s Mind Body Spirit. February 14, 2013

4. John Thoburn Ph.D., ABPP “Acceptance: The Foundation of Lasting Relationships” Psychology Today. Posted Dec 10, 2012

5. Robert Solley “Deep Acceptance In Relationships” Aug 24, 2017


David Richo Website

David Richo, PhD, MFT, is a psychotherapist, teacher, workshop leader, and writer who works in Santa Barbara and San Francisco California. He combines Jungian, poetic, and mythic perspectives in his work with the intention of integrating the psychological and the spiritual. His books and workshops include attention to Buddhist and Christian spiritual practices.

Book Recommendations

How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving – David Richo , 2002

“Most people think of love as a feeling,” says David Richo, “but love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present.” In this book, Richo offers a fresh perspective on love and relationships—one that focuses not on finding an ideal mate, but on becoming a more loving and realistic person. Drawing on the Buddhist concept of mindfulness, How to Be an Adult in Relationships explores five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play a key role in our relationships throughout life:

1.  Attention to the present moment; observing, listening, and noticing all the feelings at play in our relationships.
2.  Acceptance of ourselves and others just as we are.
3.  Appreciation of all our gifts, our limits, our longings, and our poignant human predicament.
4.  Affection shown through holding and touching in respectful ways.
5.  Allowing life and love to be just as they are, with all their ecstasy and ache, without trying to take control.

When deeply understood and applied, these five simple concepts—what Richo calls the five A’s—form the basis of mature love. They help us to move away from judgment, fear, and blame to a position of openness, compassion, and realism about life and relationships. By giving and receiving these five A’s, relationships become deeper and more meaningful, and they become a ground for personal transformation.


Letting go of expectations: Heather Marshall at TEDxGreenville 2014

Published on Jun 15, 2014

In a search for her biological parents, this writer/teacher discovers a serenity in releasing the world around her from her own behavioral presumptions. Heather Marshall begins by telling us a story of her Scottish birth parents — they were young, too young for the age, and without options other than to give her up for adoption. Later, as an adult, as she was waiting to meet her birth mother, she had time to consider what her reaction would be if her mother was dying, obese, an ex-prostitute. How would she react to each of these situations? She dug deep and learned that expectations are like a third party in a relationship, constantly bouncing around in your head. Instead of dwelling on our expectations for others, we should allow ourselves to fully rest in the reality of the moment. “Whatever expectations you have should be kept away from your relationships,” she says. Only in this way can you engage in a truly loving relationship with others.

The Easiest Way to Improve Your Relationship | The Gottman Institute

The Gottman Institute

Published on Aug 8, 2018

The easiest way to improve your relationship is to pay attention to your partner during life’s small, everyday moments. This video shows you how.



“You Are a Part of Everything” by Josh Kelley

“All of Me” by John Legend