Episode 3: Authentic Communication with Jerry Candelaria, Relationship Expert, and the co-founder of the Arete Center for Excellence
Authentic Communication with Jerry Candelaria, Relationship Expert, and the co-founder of the Arete Center for Excellence.
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Announcer: Welcome to ‘Coaching the Life Coach’ - Strategies to Grow Your Transformational Practice. I’m Jason McClain, and I'm here with Jerry Candelaria, the cofounder for the Arete Center For Excellence.
Jerry is known for his honesty, his depth and the caring relationships he develops with his clients.
Jerry Candelaria: For me, as a coach, I always look at my own experience. I tap my own experience in what I give and offer to others. And I have found that when I feel in touch with some sense of purpose, my life just gets better. I have more of what I want. And I have less of what I don't want.
Intimacy, the way I look at it, is essentially a very simple model. You take two doors, one that opens in and one that opens out. You put those in front of your heart.
What are you serving, moment by moment by moment? What are you moving towards? What are you moving away from? What is the purpose of that? By inquiring into that, what that reveals to me each moment is where my attention is and where my focus is. Wherever I am focused, I am more there.
Jason McClain: Thanks for joining us Jerry. I am glad to have you here.
Jerry Candelaria: Thanks, Jason. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Jason McClain: Today we are going to talk about intimacy in relationships, living purposefully, and authenticity. I think certainly, pretty much everyone out there is in some sort of relationship so I'm sure that they are interested in what you have to say given that you are an expert in relationship coaching.
Today we will be discussing intimacy in relationships, living purposefully, and authenticity. So thanks again for joining us Jerry. It's an honor to have you here.
I just want to start off with the few questions about intimacy in relationships, because that's a vague phrase. And I'm curious what you mean by intimacy in relationships.
Jerry Candelaria: You're right Jason. It is a vague thing to say - intimacy in relationships - because it's vague. For most people intimacy is this big field that they are very interested in and really really want to have more of and actually go deeper with. Yet, it's vague.
Some people want to love more and be loved more. But when they get into a relationship with somebody, they sometimes find they bump up against barriers or blocks. Something that gets in the way between them and the other person shows up sort of like arguing, nagging, fighting, and complaining.
Those types of things just keep building over time. Then the relationships tend to get into crisis in trouble, and people start looking at all the problems. Then they go to people like me, and other people to try to solve the problems, because –
Jason McClain: Because they are suffering from a lack of intimacy.
Jerry Candelaria: And they don't know it.
Jason McClain: Gotcha. Well, why is intimacy important? You spoke a little bit, and kind of inferred some of the challenges with a lack of intimacy. But why is intimacy important?
Jerry Candelaria: Well, I would just ask that you and anyone listening look into your own experience with that question. Why is intimacy important? When I stop and look at myself, why intimacy is important to me, it's because I have this natural desire to connect with people. I have this natural desire to share myself with people. And a natural desire to be heard and to be seen and to be felt and to be loved.
I have found that in my experience, it's kind of hard to be heard, seen, felt and loved without an intimate connection.
Jason McClain: I think that's clear. Thank you. Thank you Jerry. So, what I am curious about next, is how specifically do you assist people in the removing those blocks or increasing the connection and intimacy within their relationships?
Jerry Candelaria: Well, it's interesting. The first thing I do is when I work with couples, particularly with couples around that; what I found when I'm working with couples is often times the couple comes to me and there is a problem. Something is wrong in their relationship from their point of view.
So they come to me hoping that I'm going to remove the problem.
Jason McClain: [laughs] And is that what you do?
Jerry Candelaria: No. I don't remove problems.
Jason McClain: [laughs] OK.
Jerry Candelaria: I'm like you Jason. I like to create bigger and bigger challenges, bigger and bigger problems.
Jason McClain: I like to refer to it more as an increased level of complexity and depth.
Jerry Candelaria: I think that's a great way to reframe what I said.
Jason McClain: So, what is it that you do do then? How do you assist them with achieving their outcomes with intimacy in relationships?
Jerry Candelaria: Well, one thing I do is I help them see the place in which they are standing right then. Where they are standing, oftentimes, is that there is a problem.
And when I work with couples around problems - there is an old adage that my friend Mark Lewis came up with; he says problems are the solution. How I've taken that to mean in my work with couples is that problems are a doorway to greater intimacy.
Jason McClain: That's a very interesting way to think about it Jerry. For most people problems are simply problems. So how do you get them to shift their thinking so that problems are the doorway or an opportunity? And how specifically does that improve their intimacy?
Jerry Candelaria: Well, just really quickly, try it out right now. Think of a problem that you have in your life. Any problem, it can be big, small, whatever the problem is. And then as you're thinking about it, think of all the things that it makes you feel when you think about that problem - what kinds of feelings, what kinds of thoughts, notice the sensations your body.
Jason McClain: OK. Got it.
Jerry Candelaria: OK. Now, stop. And if you could just imagine a big white board and that problem was there and you just wipe it off. It's gone.
Now, on the white board put the same set of circumstances that you were previously looking at as a problem, and now look at them as an opportunity. Just try that on.
Now, what kind of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations do you have looking at this opportunity?
Jason McClain: It feels very different.
Jerry Candelaria: Exactly. Oftentimes, just a way to stop the ‘crisis’ in the relationship, as people have sometimes when they come to people like me, is to actually have them stop and take a quick look at what's going on as an opportunity.
The moment they do that, the doors open. Which doors? The doors to their heart.
Jason McClain: I know that recently in my own relationship I did something similar. I was talking to my girlfriend. We had a conflict, or it seemed like it could be going into a conflict.
I pointed out that what we had here was an opportunity to either polarize, or we had an opportunity to actually increase our love and commitment to one another by discussing through what specifically was going on and what we wanted out of it and to actually get into partnership around it.
So you speak the truth.
Jerry Candelaria: I'm not accused of that that often.
Jason McClain: So, what I'm curious about is - so if people have a greater intimacy in the relationship and they look at situations as an opportunity, and that opens up the gateway to their heart, what does that allow for in the relationships? What does it open up?
Jerry Candelaria: Well, it's the fundamental access to intimacy. It opens up their hearts. Intimacy, the way I look at it, is essentially a very simple model. You take two doors, one that opens in and one that opens out. And you put those in front of your heart.
Intimacy is those doors. They either open in or they open out. Sometimes people get really good at opening the door outward, and they can give a lot. But the door that goes in is sometimes shut. So they think they are being close with somebody because they give a lot.
But they end up feeling resentful and resigned and they feel like they're not getting what they want. That's because the door to their heart is closed.
Jason McClain: And there is a tremendous imbalance that develops, I can imagine.
Jerry Candelaria: That imbalance, when it develops for people, is sort of like a tweak. It's like part of them wants to go one way. But another part of them is holding them back and taking them in a different way. That's a torque, a sort of a torque and a constriction that occurs painfully for each person.
It occurs so painfully for each person that they don't see that it's something going on in them. It looks like it's something going on in the other person. Thus, they call that the problem.
Jason McClain: Thank you. That's very clear. We are going to take a short break to support our sponsors. This is your host Jason McClain. And I'm with Jerry Candelaria. And we'll be right back.
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Jason McClain: Welcome back to Coaching the Coach. I'm here with Jerry Candelaria, the cofounder for the Arete Center for Excellence.
I'm Jason McClain, your host.
Before the break we were talking about intimacy in relationships. Right now I'd like to ask you a few questions about living purposefully. I know that one of the things you do is you coach coaches, which is one of the reasons we have you on today.
So I'm curious, for you, what does living purposefully mean?
Jerry Candelaria: Living purposefully, for me - the statement is actually sort of a truism. What I mean by that is that on one level, one could say that there is a purpose that they might want to live. And it's like something that is outside of them and they have to climb a ladder to get to or go through some trials and tribulations to discover what that is.
My view is quite different than that. I look at life and say, “Wow, whatever I'm doing right now, there is purpose in.”
Jason McClain: So you don't necessarily mean having some sort of spiritual epiphany where you go up on a mountain and you go, “Oh my God! God has given me this purpose!” You don't mean that. You mean just daily, living purposefully. Is that what you're saying?
Jerry Candelaria: Yeah. And I'm saying more so that we are, in my experience; I am always living my purpose. And the time frame in which I am living it is right now. So for me, it's not just living purposefully, it's living my purpose now and now and now and now. I am always inside of my purpose.
Therefore, whatever I am doing, it is done purposely. It's full of purpose.
Jason McClain: Gotcha. And so, for our listeners, why is it important? Why should they even care about living purposefully?
Jerry Candelaria: That's a great question. Why should anyone care about living purposefully? For me as a coach, I always look at my own experience. I tap my own experience in what I give and offer to others.
And I found that when I feel in touch with some sense of purpose, my life just gets better. I have more of what I want. And I have less of what I don't want.
Jason McClain: That's very clear. Thank you. And so how would one discover, unearth or engage in the mindful practice of living purposefully? How would someone do that? Or if you do it in your business when you coaching coaches, how do you assist them in doing that?
Jerry Candelaria: Great question. I think that one of the things you said was, how would they practice living purposefully? I think that's actually the statement right there. It is a practice. It's a practice in recognizing the purpose that you have moment by moment by moment.
What are you serving moment by moment by moment? Towards what are you moving? What are you moving away from? What is the purpose of that? By inquiring into that, what that reveals to me, each moment is where my attention is and where my focus is.
Wherever I am focused, I am more there.
Jason McClain: I love the mindfulness that's required in that. That's really, really great.
Jerry Candelaria: It impacts everything, for instance, in my relationships. If I'm not really focused, right here and right now because my mind is on other things then I'm really not that present with the person that I'm with or the people that I with. So they don't get the fullness of me.
In that experience, I always say that I'm not very on track with my purpose. In that moment, I'm sort of not even here.
Jason McClain: Understood. So Jerry, if you were to live purposefully every day or every moment or as you said, right now, right now, right now, for what does that allow? What does it make possible in the different contexts of your life? And for our listeners, what does it open up? For what does it expand or allow?
Jerry Candelaria: Well, for one, my experience is richer and more full. It's like everything is a little bit more alive. I can feel what I feel even more. I can see what I see even brighter and more clearly. I can hear what I hear even more clearly. And of the things that I want actually appear to be closer and closer to me. And I can experience them and enjoy them even more - my family, every thing there is that's important to me is more present and more alive.
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Jason McClain: Welcome back to Coaching the Life Coach. I'm Jason McClain, here with Jerry Candelaria.
Jerry, before the break we were talking about living purposefully. And now I would like to ask you a few questions just about what your success as a coach could be attributed to. So for the coaches who are listening out there, what would be the single most important concept for you?
Maybe it's a certain type of marketing or maybe it's a referral system or maybe it's the depth of the relationships you have with your clients. What is it for you that's the single most important concept or principle that you feel you can attribute your success as a coach to?
Jerry Candelaria: Thanks for asking that. That's a really, really good question. As I look, I find that I keep getting feedback around from all of my clients and the people that I've worked with and the people that I've trained and facilitated to work with for the last 20 years.
The pivotal thing for Jerry Candelaria is my authenticity.
Jason McClain: When you say authenticity, what do you mean?
Jerry Candelaria: Thanks, Jason. What do I mean? I mean that when I am true to myself and I'm in touch with what's real for me, and I have the courage to face that and the courage to confront what is real for me, and then articulate that - either it's a request or a question or something that I see or that I say - in that moment I am truly myself.
Jason McClain: Why is authenticity important?
Jerry Candelaria: Authenticity is important to me because when I have lived my life in a pretense that what's happening is what I want to have happen, when it's not. When I have been interested in things that I'm not really interested in. Working jobs that I didn't really want to work. Relating with people that I didn't really want to relate with. Doing things, and saying things and being with people that it wasn't really true for me to do, say and be, I suffered.
When I suffered, the people in my life suffered. My environment reflected back my own suffering. So for me, my life's work is to ongoingly practice being authentic.
Jason McClain: Fantastic. When you say ongoingly practice, give our listeners, whether they are coaches or whether they are somebody trying to develop their own transformational practice, what to do you suggest, in terms of practices for them to take on to develop greater and greater alignment with their own authenticity?
Jerry Candelaria: OK, the first thing I would say is to look at what you're doing, what you're saying and how you're being. Look at your speaking, your acting, and your doing. And look at what the example is that that's leaving.
Oftentimes when I work with my clients, sometimes I get caught up thinking that it's the brilliant, wonderful things that I'm saying that's making this impact. And often times it has nothing to do with what I'm saying and it has everything to do with the example that I am currently in that moment living, that they are experiencing on levels that have nothing to do with words.
Unconsciously they are picking up everything going on with me. That's the example I'm leaving. Therefore, to me, the more authentic I am which means of the more what's on the outside of me is transparent to what's at the core of me, the more they are getting the example of how to have what's on the outside of them be more transparent to what's on the core of them. That goes beyond words.
Jason McClain: Let me ask you, I imagine a lot of people will take the concept of authenticity and use it responsibly and others maybe not so. I've actually seen people that use the ‘excuse’ of authenticity to be mean, to tell the truth in a way that hurts others.
So can you speak a little bit to the line between responsible communication and authenticity?
Jerry Candelaria: Yeah, when one is being authentic, the only motivation there is to express and further authenticity, which is whatever is real for it to be more real. If there is a complaint I have about somebody that I haven't said to them and I realize that it's caused suffering for me to hold that back from them and I no longer want to have that suffering, I no longer want to hold that back anymore, I might want to communicate to them.
To me, responsible communication is not coming up to somebody and blaming them for the thing I feel a complaint about. For me, if I have a complaint about somebody it means something happened that I didn't necessarily agree with at one point in time. And I held it back. Which means that I was not authentic with myself. I wasn't being true to myself in that moment.
So there's nothing for me to blame somebody for. The responsible communication is for me to go, “Hey, Jason, there's something I held back from you that I want to clear up with you. When I held it back I actually violated my own integrity. Are you willing to hear what I have to say?”
Right? That's a different model than, “Jason, I don't like the way you blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Which is about 99 % of the time the way most people communicate.
Jason McClain: Jerry, you love everything that I do, so –
Jason McClain: He was just using me as a hypothetical example.
Jerry Candelaria: That's true. Hypothetically.
Jason McClain: So, what does it make possible in people's lives when they live more authentically Jerry? What does it open up for? What does it allow for? What arises when people are being fully authentic, and in alignment with their inner selves whether they are a coach or whether they are somebody looking for a coach?
Jerry Candelaria: You know, the thing that arises is oftentimes the very thing that the people want the most. But sometimes the thing they want the most, they didn't even know they wanted the most. And that is a real experience that's genuine and that isn't caught up in any pretense or any drama. It's sort of like when I'm authentic, and if you're authentic, and we are relating authentically, the great mystery of life occurs in that moment.
We don't know what is going to happen next. But we are really there for the ride.
Jason McClain: Thank you Jerry. Thank You. We just have a few more minutes and
there is one more question I would like to ask you.
First, people can reach me, your host Jason McClain, at email@example.com and personal life media has two ‘l’s in it.
Jerry, I'm curious, if people were to walk away with one principle or one concept that you would think would make the biggest difference in their lives, what would that be Jerry?
Jerry Candelaria: Well actually, the concept is the one that fits the thread between all the topics today. And that is authenticity. Authenticity is the access point to greater intimacy in all relationships. It's the path to living purposefully. It's the source of all of that.
Living authentically, and being authentic is really about knowing who you are, and then practicing being who you are. So you can express who you are. That is what provides the opportunity to have the life of your dreams.
Jason McClain: Jerry, how can people reach you if maybe they are looking for a relationship coach, or maybe there is a coach who wants coaching? How can people reach you? I assume you do one-on-one coaching on telephone or in person, or both? Do you do both?
Jerry Candelaria: Yes. I coach people over the phone. I coach people in person. I coach individuals. I coach couples, people who are in a relationship. I coach executives. I coach companies, all of the above.
Jason MacLean: And how can people reach you most effectively?
Jerry Candelaria: The best place to reach me is through the Arete Center website. It is www.aretecenter.com. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Two c’s.
Jason McClain: That's the letter ‘j’ and the letter ‘c’?
Jerry Candelaria: Thank you again for joining us.
Jason McClain: That brings us to the end of our show. Join us next week on Coaching the Life Coach, when we'll have Brian Baer discussing accountability.
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This is your host Jason McClain, your guide to your personal evolution. You can also reach me through evolutionaryawareness.com.
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