You may have heard about the groundbreaking work that Katherine Woodward Thomas has been doing with her revolutionary breakup program Conscious Uncoupling, but did you know that the principles of Conscious Uncoupling can be applied to areas outside of romance?
It’s true! Conscious Uncoupling can help you “breakup” with any toxic dynamic that is holding you back from living your best life… whether that be with a friend, an entire community, your family of origin or your job…
Over this summer I’d like to share some inspiring and true stories of clients that I took through the Conscious Uncoupling process to improve areas of their lives outside of romantic unions. I hope these examples will give you great ideas about how to get back in the driver’s seat in any area of your life where you need to extricate yourself from an unhealthy dynamic or person.
We’ll start off by exploring how the principles of Conscious Uncoupling can help you in your work life. First let’s do a quick recap of what Conscious Uncoupling is.
What is Conscious Uncoupling?
Conscious Uncoupling is a breakup that is characterized by a tremendous amount of goodwill, generosity, and respect. In short, it’s a breakup that manages to surmount, defy and even triumph over the unconscious, primitive, and biologically based impulses we may have to lash out, punish, get revenge, and/or otherwise hurt the one by whom we feel hurt.
What are the 5 Steps of Conscious Uncoupling?
Step 1: Find Emotional Freedom
The first step is to learn to harness the intensity of the emotions you are feeling (such as rage, hatred, fear and despair) and transform them from destructive impulses to do harm into constructive energies of lasting, positive change.
Step 2: Reclaim Your Power and Your Life
The second step helps you reclaim your power by understanding how things happened “through you” and not just “to you.” Even if it was 97% the other person’s fault and only 3% of it was yours. This self-awareness is how you can trust yourself to never ever repeat this same painful dynamic.
Step 3: Break the Pattern, Heal Your Heart
In this step you must begin to identify your source-fracture story and understand how it has been the underlying cause of your disappointing patterns in life. You learn how to graduate from this painful pattern of belief and recognize the past does not determine what is possible for your future.
Step 4: Become a Love Alchemist
You learn to see yourself as an indomitable force of nature, capable of generating a positive future for yourself and others no matter how hurtful or hard things have been. You begin making choices that graduate you from the past and you clear the air of any festering resentments that remain inside of you.
Step 5: Create Your Happy Even After Life
The final step is to make wise, healthy and life-affirming decisions as you take on the essential task of reinventing your life. Your goal is not to try to create a better version of what you once had, but to expand what’s now possible to include fresh new horizons, friends and interests.
So how we can successfully use this 5-Step process in the area of work or career? So many of us TOUGH IT OUT in toxic or dead-end environments for far longer than we should. We may feel we have limited options, or fear a competitive job marketplace.
My client Gretje and I began going through the Conscious Uncoupling process to help her breakup with her “employer” and ensure that she would make healthy employment decisions in the future.
Gretje felt under-appreciated and stifled. Her contributions were not being recognized and she felt discouraged. She felt she would have to find another job if she was ever to be happy at work.
When she located her Source Fracture Story (Step Three), she realized this pattern of being under-valued started at the age of five when her mom freaked out about her grades and report card. Her younger sister always got amazing grades seemingly with little or no effort. The Vice Principal of her school even told Gretje that her sister had more natural intelligence than she did.
Over time she developed a deep identity of “I’m not good enough” and she showed up in ways throughout her life (unconsciously of course!) that gave evidence that this was a true “fact.”
In our work together, Gretje began to uncover all the ways (habits, patterns, behaviors) that kept her locked in this disheartening dynamic. Then she set about to change it.
- She began to see how she had been unconsciously creating evidence that this identity was true.
- With my guidance, she began disrupting the pattern by adopting new behaviors that gave her profound, new experiences, that contradicted and broke up her old beliefs.
- She learned how to “toot” her own horn in generative ways; and
- She stopped allowing narcissistic people to take credit for the work that she was doing.
She began to exude a calm confidence that was energetically felt by her boss and her co-workers.
Here’s the funny thing; as she begin inhabiting this new identity, she realized that she did NOT want to quit her job. (Later she got a great promotion at the very same firm that had continually passed her over.)
RECAP: Here’s What the 5 Steps of Conscious Uncoupling looked like in Gretje’s Case
Step One: Instead of feeling sorry for herself or lashing out at others, she resolved to take positive action. She choose not to impulsively quit her job, and used the practices of Conscious Uncoupling to de-escalate the intensity of her emotions, self-sooth the younger parts of her that were getting triggered, and think clearly about her next steps.
Step Two: Although it was TRUE that she was getting passed over for promotions by people less qualified than her, she reclaimed her power by becoming less interested in the “unfairness” of the situation, and looked at how she might be the source of the experience.
She realized that she was assuming her good work would “speak for itself,” when in fact she had to be more direct about wanting to be on the fast track to advancement.
Step Three: The origin of her source fracture story began at age 5 when her mother freaked out about her report card. Getting clear about this helped her push back against the disempowering – and frankly untrue – meaning frames silently running in the background of her unconscious.
Step Four: Part of Gretje’s Love Alchemist process was learning how to graciously self-promote and communicate her desires so when the next opportunity for advancement came around, she was top of mind. (Initially, she felt a bit uncomfortable “tooting her own horn” but I noticed that eventually she became quite good at it. LOL)
Step Five: Surprisingly to both of us, Gretje’s “Happy Even After Life” was not at a new job, it was with the same company.
Even if it turned out that she DID need to seek employment elsewhere, her new identity, skills and capacities would have ensured success.
Bringing it Home to You
So how about you? Is there an area of your life that is not in alignment with your desires or your true value? Do you need to “breakup” with something (or someone) – in a conscious way – so that you are empowered to move forward healthier and happier?
If so, stay tuned for the next installment of How to Consciously Uncouple from Anything, where I will give you more tips on how to apply this 5 Step Process to a different area of your life.
Here’s to you,
P.S. If you would like to book a FREE 30 minute Conscious Uncoupling Discovery session, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a few spots open!