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Seven Magic Moves


The First Principle: Relationships thrive when each partner commits to total union with the other person and total creative expression as an individual.

The First Magic Move: Make a heartfelt commitment to the other person that you're willing to go beyond all your ego-defenses to full intimate unity. At the same time, make a commitment to going all the way with your creative expression. Then, observe the emergence of your defensive barriers every day. Report them honestly, but don't take them seriously. In fact, ego-defenses disappear quickly when you turn them into play.

The Second Principle: Relationships thrive when each partner learns from every relationship interaction, especially the stressful ones, instead of running programmed defensive moves. Some popular defensive moves: Criticizing, listening-filters, lying, sulking in silence, making noisy uproars, numbing out with food, drink, smoke, TV and other habit-forming drugs.

The Second Magic Move: Make a heartfelt commitment to learning something new from every relationship interaction. Notice your defensive moves as they emerge, and gradually transplant wondering and truth-speaking in place of defensiveness.

The Third Principle: Relationships thrive in a climate of absolute honesty—no hidden feelings or withheld truths. All feelings--anger, sadness, joy, fear, sexual attraction--are okay to discuss with the other person, and each person is able to listen, free of listening-filters such as listening-to-find-fault and listening-to-fix.

The Third Magic Move: Notice your feelings and thoughts, and speak about them to your partner. If there are things you've done or feelings you're afraid to talk about, make sure to speak about those to your partner. Get familiar with your habitual listening-filters, and practice summarizing what the other person is saying, with no distortion, and acknowledging the feelings embedded in communication.

The Fourth Principle: Relationships thrive when people keep their agreements impeccably. It doesn't matter whether an agreement seems trivial ("Sorry, honey, but I forgot to take the trash
out.") or significant ("Sorry, honey, but I slept with both your twin sister and the maid of honor the night before our wedding.") There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity, according to Tom Peters, and our experience has confirmed this radical notion.

The Fourth Magic Move: Monitor each agreement you make very carefully, making sure
you want to make it in the first place. Once you make an agreement, fulfill it impeccably or change it consciously by communicating with the relevant person.

The Fifth Principle: People thrive in 100% accountability, a climate where nobody blames or claims victim-status. 100% accountability is the shift from "I was wronged" to "I take full responsibility for events occurring the way they did." From this empowered position, problems can be resolved quickly, because time and energy are not squandered in a fruitless attempt to find fault.

The Fifth Magic Move: In any situation, claim responsibility for having created it the way it occurred. Wonder about how and why you might have wanted it to occur that way. Speak in empowered language rather than victim language (e.g. "I choose to go o the dentist" rather than "I have to go to the dentist" I take responsibility for eating so that I have a healthy body" rather than "Why did you buy that huge bucket of uttered popcorn? You know I can't resist it?")

The Sixth Principle: Relationships flourish when partners appreciate each other liberally. People grow more beautiful through our appreciation of them. Relationships take a quantum leap when each partner practices appreciation of the other person as a daily art form.

The Sixth Magic Move: Invent new ways to appreciate the other person every day, and speak appreciations frequently. Live inside questions such as, "What is my partner's true essence and how can I invite it forth?" And "What could I appreciate about my partner this moment?"

The Seventh Principle: Everything can be resolved with willingness and love. Love is the ultimate healer and liberator, because only love is vast enough to embrace its opposite. In other words, you can love yourself even when you hate yourself, and the hate will melt in the larger presence of love. Whatever emerges in a close relationship is the next thing that needs to beloved.

The Seventh Magic Move: Love as much as you can from wherever you are.

©The Foundation for Conscious Living, 2001. All Rights Reserved.

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