SMF: How does telling parents and couples to Get R.E.A.L.™ help build better relationships?
Jenny: Getting R.E.A.L.™ is an acronym that stands for Respect, Encourage, Appreciate, Love (unconditionally). When I coach parents, young adults, and young couples, the relationship building tools that I teach fall under these categories. In my coaching programs I teach the basic, yet vital, foundational tools to creating healthy loving and long-lasting relationships: respect, listening, understanding, support, appreciation, responsibility, and independence. Together with my clients we explore these concepts and I teach practical and powerful ways my clients can bring these very basic, yet important, tools into their everyday lives to create better and stronger relationships. I also teach my clients how to get in touch with what is real for them and how to communicate in a real way with the people in their lives. Through coaching and awareness-building, my clients unravel where there is a breakdown in any of their relationships that they want to improve. Together we explore which of these basic foundational tools requires repair. Just as any strong physical structure, tree, or plant requires a good solid foundation, so, too, relationships require getting back to basics, getting REAL with ourselves and the people we care most about, and building the strong and necessary foundation that all healthy relationships require to thrive.
SMF: What would you advise people who are seeking more balance in life?
Jenny: I give each of my clients a “Wheel of Life” form that outlines the eight most important categories in their lives. They are asked to rate each category on a scale of 1-10. Doing this helps one clearly see which areas they want to change or improve in order to create the healthy balance they are seeking. It is important to first get in touch with what you really want and what the vision of your ideal life is. Once you have that vision and the belief that you can create that vision, the next step is to start weeding out what you want to keep IN and what you want to keep OUT. I would first ask my client: “What is your definition of a balanced life?” and start from there to help them create the balance they seek.
SMF: How is it that personal choices help “to create our own happiness and our own reality”?
Jenny: The first vital, basic and foundational tool to creating one’s own happiness and reality is to take full responsibility for one’s own life. Once we take full responsibility and recognize that we are in control of our thoughts, feelings, and actions and that nothing else and nobody else has control over how we feel, act or behave, we realize that we are actually choosing those thoughts, feelings, and actions. Once we realize that we have a choice, we can then choose to see the world and our own realities in a new way; we can choose to think differently and act differently. We become proactive “change agents,” as opposed to reactive “blame agents.” It is the difference between taking the backseat in the car of your life, or being in the driver’s seat. Which do you choose?
(This is a deep concept, and I highly recommend the work of Dr. William Glasser’s “Choice Theory” to gain a better understanding of it.)