Toni Provins is a senior faculty member in the Training Power Academy, and has decades of experience in social work, executive coaching and as a real estate entrepreneur. Among the many courses she teaches, Toni teaches both Relationship 1 and Relationship 2. We sat down with her to discuss the importance of Relationships and how we can find new ways to connect after the last few years of social isolation.
What is the most common obstacle you see people facing in maintaining healthy relationships?
Communication is one of the biggest obstacles in relationships.
“Observing and interpreting someone’s behaviour is not communication” Faye Fitzgerald, Author of the Relationship Course
How many people listen with an open heart to hear the other? Can you allow another to speak their truth? Can you hear the truth? Can you speak your truth?
The most important reason why people break up any relationship is Communication. Do you really want a relationship of any kind if it does not include the truth?
The challenge is to tell the truth. Both with yourself and with others. I believe that the amount of truth being shared in a relationship is usually equivalent to how well one trusts themselves internally. The relationship with yourself is always mirrored in your relationship with others.
In the relationship course we explore various key developmental stages that occur in life. We then examine how expressing ourselves from one developmental stage can trigger the person we are communicating with into their counter developmental stage. This results in an interesting dance of communication that most people have no idea is happening.
Are the strategies for better relationships different between intimate relationships and friendships?
Research has shown that the more intimate the relationship the bigger the risk it feels to tell the truth. We have an easier time telling strangers what we think and feel than those we are intimate friendships and relationships with. But, the strategies are the same.
Do you think we have extra challenges forming and maintaining healthy relationships coming out of two years of social isolation?
We have a lot of people hurting from the experience of social isolation. Imposed isolation can create a trauma. Trauma always involves one or both of the following:
The loss of individual identity and or the loss of one’s community.
This has been an experience for many over the last two years with the imposed social isolation. With imposed isolation the exposure on where one is stuck in their developmental stages is shown. Trauma can disturb any childhood developmental stages that may not have been healed.
Also, forced social or familial isolation can lead to unhealthy aggression. Unhealthy aggression doesn’t necessarily mean with others. It is often turned inward which leads to addictions, which can include substances, food, sex, spending etc. If someone is in an active addictive state there is an absence of truth with oneself, which is hard on relationships.
We are seeing a huge increase in mental health dynamics including addictions across the spectrum since the pandemic isolation started. This has a tremendous impact on all relationships.
Tell us about the Relationship Course and why you love teaching it.
Relationships have to do with Love. A consciousness of Love. Love = Truth. How well that love is, or how ill that love is – with ourselves first and then with others.
This course is designed to provoke a depth of thought and knowing on a level that one can no longer avoid the truth. All of Training in Power courses are set in energy, pushing on a wavelength that can impact the consciousness in the area of focus of that class. This class pushes on the wavelengths of relationships. In particular the Spiritual, Sexual Adult.
I love teaching such a provocative course that has us examine the developmental stages where most of us function from in our relationships. This class brings into awareness the dynamics and patterns of those developmental stages. With a shift in awareness and focus comes freedom of choice.
What would you like to see more of in the world and in communities when it comes to relationships
We have to develop an openness in the arena of healthy emotional, sexual, mental, and spiritual relationships with each other. We can learn, comprehend and then clear the imposition of social constructs and therefore have more permissiveness in society. Particularly in the area of sexuality. The ability to allow all individuals to be, express, and live as they are leads to less aggression, abuse and war.
Toni will be teaching Relationship 2 (pre-requisite Relationship 1) online with founder Faye Fitzgerald in November.