Dr Kacie Crisp is a chiropractor, licensed marriage, family, and child counselor and an Access Consciousness Facilitator. She has worked as a family therapist and now combines these skills with the tools of Access Consciousness to facilitate others in creating relationships that are easy and fun. She has been married to her husband, David, for 30 years and written a book called The Little Black Book on Relationships. For more information on Right Voice For You visit www.rightvoiceforyou.com
Question: How important is effort as a relationship ages?
Dr. Kacie Crisp: If a relationship should be easy and fun, as my husband of 30 years and I believe, then how much effort should it require?
For me, effort is a sure sign that the universe is trying to get me to change tracks and find an easier way to get where I'm going"or change my destination altogether. I'm lazy. I don't like to put a lot of effort into anything. If something becomes a lot of effort, I start to ask questions like, 'What's right about this I'm not getting?" and 'What am I missing here?'
What a relationship requires instead of effort is awareness. If you don't enjoy being aware of who your partner is, why are you with him or her? For me, one of the gifts of being in a relationship is to enjoy the gift that another set of eyes, another set of experiences, another point of view can add to my life.
Question: What are the signs of effort?
Dr. Kacie Crisp: When I first met my husband, I assumed that the things I thought were wonderful"anything from the taste of mangoes to the joys of walking down London's Oxford St."he thought were wonderful also. Over time I learned that this was far from the case. My husband hates mangoes, and as an ex-pat Brit, he finds no allure in London whatsoever.
As we get older, what's required to be aware of our partner naturally changes. When you have been together for sometime, in some ways it's easier to know what your partner requires. My husband is never going to choose a chick flick"he calls them all 'period pieces." I similarly fail to understand what is the least bit entertaining about an action movie in which people get shot up at high volume. Neither of us expects the other to love"or even attend"a movie that we don't enjoy.
Being together with awareness and harmony can also include NOT being together when it's an honoring of both of you. Headphones during a shoot--em-up can be a marriage saver, and when a movie that appeals to both of you is discovered, it's a time to celebrate and watch it together. Togetherness doesn't even mean you like it for the same reasons"I might like the setting, while my husband enjoys the plot.
Awareness of the person you're with can become a flow, in which your energies merge and flow together, without having to define separation between you. While this may seem an unachievable state, I assure you it is possible.
It's where my husband and I live, whether we're together or whether I'm travelling to present workshops abroad, as often happens. We thought this natural state of being together was how everyone lives, until it was pointed out to us that this was not the case.
Question: What inspired The Little Black Book Of Relationships?
Dr. Kacie Crisp: It was this realization that we are very different in how we do and be our relationship that inspired me to write The Little Black Book on Relationships.
It just didn't seem like it should be rocket science. I did and really do think it should be easy. I created the book, and especially the 6 Dos and 6 Don'ts, to try to make explicit what the differences are that I observe in relationships that work and those that don't.
Everyone wants one, it seems, but for so many people it's a goal that's so far over the rainbow it doesn't seem achievable. The 6 Dos and 6 Don'ts are my attempt to allow people to be aware of what most people do in relationships that doesn't work, and to introduce what they could do that would work better.
Question: What are your top six do's and don'ts in every relationship?
Dr. Kacie Crisp: Relationships Do #1: Remember everything your partner says and does is just an interesting point of view
Relationship Do #2: Be grateful
Relationship Do #3: Receive their helpfulness and contribution to your life
Relationship Do #4: Choose someone you like
Relationship Do #5: Live in the present
Relationship Do #6: Look at who you're with, not who you wish you were with
Relationship Don't #1: Don't demand that the other person change
Relationship Don't #2: Don't criticize, say they're wrong, or argue
Relationship Don't #3: Don't share your feelings
Relationship Don't #4: Don't blame
Relationship Don't #5: Don't give up yourself
Relationship Don't #6: Don't try to control your partner
Question: What can couples learn from The Little Black Book Of Relationships?
Dr. Kacie Crisp: Some of these require more explanation than others. Here are some highlights in areas where I often get questions.
The number one for most women is 'Why can't I find a man who will share my feelings? That's what I want!" What's ironic is that most of the time it's women without a man who have this point of view.
Neurologically and endocrinologically, men are not wired to talk about feelings; women are. Asking a man to do so is akin to asking him to be 'just like you but with a penis," as a friend of mine put it. It's not kind.
If talking for hours about your emotions is a valuable pastime for you, then do it on girls' night out, or some other time with your girlfriends. Then your man can be the stallion you'd like him to be when you come home.
Remembering that everything your partner says and does is just an interesting point of view puts a stop to even thinking, 'How could they do that to me?" What if everything your partner did was an expression of who they are, their 'themness" so to speak, rather than anything that had anything to do with you? How much freedom could that create?
I once saw a play publicized with the title, 'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!" How much does that describe so many relationships? It's so easy to fall into the trap of finding that Mr. Perfect or Miss Right, and deciding they're the one to play the role in the script you've already written"without looking at whether that suit fits them at all.
Yet when you expect someone to be anything other than who they truly are, it's profoundly dishonoring of them. Who wants to be in a relationship where what and who they are is not valued?
When asked what he adored most about me, my husband's first answer was that I never asked him to change or be anything other than who he is. And that's in more than 30 years together…
The temptation to give up oneself to keep a relationship in existence seems to be a common trap that people fall into. Each of us has something unique and valuable to contribute to the planet, a gift the world will be poorer for it we do not make our gifts known. Yet how often do we ignore our own voice, assuming that either our spouse is more right or knowing that we are, or that they won't hear what we have to say, or that what we say has no value?
Question: What is the Right Voice For You program?
Dr. Kacie Crisp: It is this tendency to give up the most valuable part of ourselves that the Right Voice for You classes are designed to overcome. Although using the stage is a valuable aspect of the Right Voice for You classes, it's not about the stage at all. The real stage is your own life! Are you showing up for your own production?
Of course, public speaking is the #1 fear for most people, ranking greater than death. No one is required to go on stage, or even speak during class. However, in the accepting, non-judgmental attitude that is created by using the tools of Access Consciousness, participants can make the most surprising discoveries about themselves"in a light, playful, and non-threatening way.
The use of the stage, for those that choose it, can be magically transforming. The real issues holding you back tend to come up in this safe environment, where they can be resolved and create change in the most unexpected and wonderfully surprising areas of your life.
One of the biggest contributors to the breakdown of relationships is the past issues that pile up, like dust bunnies in the corners and under the bed. How valuable could it be to make these vanish without blame or criticism? What if your relationship could be new and fresh every single day? The tools presented in Right Voice for You provide an invitation for you to create this in your relationship.
Right Voice for You classes can be tailored for all kinds of audiences and time frames, from an evening Breakthrough Intro to the intensive 3 day Master Class. These are available worldwide and can be found at www.rightvoiceforyou.com
Interview by Brooke Hunter