The Fireside Chats 2011 with Hal and Sidra Stone
Dialogues in Relationship

"The Fireside Chats with Hal and Sidra Stone" 

Excerpts from the book about the 2009 Fireside Chats. 
(Coming early in 2011)
editing and reflections by Dianne Braden 

Sidra talks about negotiating the dangers of a positive bonding pattern.

If Hal shares his vulnerability with me about something, the way I can keep it from turning into a positive bonding pattern is that I don’t try  to take care of it right away. I’m really just there with it, almost as though he was a client at that moment. There’s a certain amount of  impersonal energy in this; where this isn’t my problem, but not in that sort of defensive, overdone boundary way: ‘Well, this is his issue!’  because, of course, it’s an issue for both of us if we’re together. But, and this is important, it’s not mine to fix. As soon as I find myself  thinking I have to do something about it, I’m on the wrong track. It’s really about being able to sit back and see him for all he is, for all of his  capabilities, and then maybe giving him suggestions. But the problem’s not mine to solve.

Later, she explores the theme of aging and how they manage it.
I was going to pick up on something that connects the dream process and aging; about how following this process as you get older, becomes  very, very rich. As we get older, the tendency is to close down. Things are more challenging. Things are more frightening. You don’t have  the exuberance or the omnipotence of youth, where all you need is a good night’s sleep  and it will all go away, whatever it is.

The real pull as you age, the natural gravitational pull, is to cut down to a nice sensible, Primary Self System that handles the world. You  simply make the world small enough so that whatever Primary Self System is in place, will work to handle you up to the edges of itself. One  can keep a comfort level like that. There’s no conflict. There’s no problem. There’s only one way  to do things.

Now, this makes life easier, but it doesn’t make it very exciting. The growing edge gets lost. It just isn’t there anymore. But I think there’s a  time when we really have to go against gravity. I have a sense that it keeps us alive. What we’re doing is holding on to everything we’ve  done, been, and learned. We’re not losing the journey. We’re not losing all the Selves...

Hal and Sidra touch on many themes. One of the days, Hal shared some personal reflection about his experience of the Aware Ego Process.
I realize how far I’ve come. I think the Aware Ego Process is much more interesting and I’d like to help you understand more deeply what the  difference is. People, lots of people, yearn for spirituality. The Aware Ego, among its many energy systems, has to embrace the spiritual side,  which is a big job. There’s a lot going on there and it has to be embraced. But if you start to appreciate opposites and honor them, something  very different happens. If the focus of your process is really taking any conflict in life and stepping up to the plate to deal with it, then you  put out your arms and say to any situation, ‘What are the opposites?...

Later, he continues, sharing an expanded understanding of their process.

When you embrace opposites, when that becomes a way of life, you don’t have to chase God anymore. Whatever is necessary comes to you  and you really get into a new and different kind of process. The rules change because we are constantly learning not to be identified with one  side or other....

...In the Aware Ego Process, what’s clear to me as I’ve watched hundreds and hundreds of dreams of our own and other people, is that the  unconscious doesn’t want us to be spiritual. It wants us to be total. It wants us to embrace everything. It wants us to be able to live in  harmony and balance. It wants us to live simply. It’s always balancing what isn’t balanced. So the moment I go too strongly in any direction,  something comes up restore the balance. Good friends do this for us all of the  time. So do our enemies if we know how to use our  judgments and anger...

Please contact me when the book is available!