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One Big Idea: Authentic Relating

All the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of family thriving we focus on here at The Family Thrive–from nutrition and sleep to mindfulness and exercise–are only worthwhile as long as they support the single most important aspect of family thriving: deep, caring, honest relationships.

But such relationships don’t happen on their own in our fragmented, individualized, neurotic modern lives. We need to intentionally cultivate them by learning and practicing the right communication skills.

So, what are the “right” communication skills? They’re skills that will help us communicate more honestly and fully, listen more carefully and compassionately, connect more deeply to those around us, learn more about ourselves through relationships, and become more present and grounded in our relationships. Authentic relating helps us get here.

What does authentic relating (AR) mean?

AR is a set of ideas and practices that aim to help people build honest, caring, and meaningful relationships. It does this through promoting ideas around emotional acceptance and honesty, compassion, and self-awareness, and also practices like slowing down our communication, approaching others with open curiosity, and owning one’s own feelings.

AR is mostly practiced in 1-3 hour events, either in-person or on web video (like Zoom), with a group of up to 15-20 people. The events are typically made up of several AR games designed to help people practice slowing down, curiosity, self-awareness, active listening, and honest communication.

These games can be common ones like “Curiosity,” or they can be self-designed by the event facilitators. Many games involved breaking participants out into pairs and include a short list of instructions on how to play.

AR games can be thought of as a mix between super-boosted icebreakers and interpersonal mindful meditation. Like icebreakers, AR games give participants some guidance on what, how, when, and how much to share about oneself so that we can all minimize the small talk and maximize the interesting, good stuff.

And like mindful meditation, AR asks us to pay special attention—but unlike mindful meditation, in AR we’re paying special attention to another person and our reactions to that other person.

Where did AR come from?

According to at least two different sources, AR popped up independently around San Francisco, Boulder, CO, and Austin, TX, in progressive, personal-growth-focused, and tech-oriented communities between 2000-2010.

These communities drew inspiration from the human potential movement, T-groups, encounter groups, non-violent communication, Carl Rogers’s person-centered therapy, and rave culture.

In the mid-2010s, AR became more organized with the emergence of two AR training and event companies, ART International and Authentic Revolution. Today, these companies offer a variety of AR education, training, and event in-person and online.

Why should parents care about this idea?

There are at least two main reasons why AR is important for modern parenting. First, AR teaches us communication skills that build trust, emotional resilience, and caring connection between parents and kids and between couples.

When we learn how to become aware of our own experience and reveal it in a connected way and stay present and open to others’ experiences, we transform our family life from a task-oriented set of problems to a series of flowing, emotionally rich opportunities for deepening our relationships.

The second reason AR is great for parents is that it gives us opportunities to practice these skills in a fun, low-stakes context. When we play AR games with other adults, it’s like doing emotional CrossFit.

We work all our emotional muscles and learn how to be comfortable with being honest, how to sit with challenging feelings, and how to connect with others through their range of feelings.  

How can parents use this idea in their daily lives?

Parents can regularly use AR practices like welcoming all feelings, dropping assumptions about others, and revealing their present experience with their kids and partner to support emotional health, build deeper understanding, and grow stronger emotional connections.

However, these practices don’t come naturally for most of us. We need spaces to rehearse, repeat, and refine these communication skills. This is why we offer several AR-style events right here in the Yes Collective.


One Big Idea: Authentic Relating

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One Big Idea: Authentic Relating

Authentic Relating is a set of ideas and practices that foster honest, caring, and meaningful communication and relationships.

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All the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of family thriving we focus on here at The Family Thrive–from nutrition and sleep to mindfulness and exercise–are only worthwhile as long as they support the single most important aspect of family thriving: deep, caring, honest relationships.

But such relationships don’t happen on their own in our fragmented, individualized, neurotic modern lives. We need to intentionally cultivate them by learning and practicing the right communication skills.

So, what are the “right” communication skills? They’re skills that will help us communicate more honestly and fully, listen more carefully and compassionately, connect more deeply to those around us, learn more about ourselves through relationships, and become more present and grounded in our relationships. Authentic relating helps us get here.

What does authentic relating (AR) mean?

AR is a set of ideas and practices that aim to help people build honest, caring, and meaningful relationships. It does this through promoting ideas around emotional acceptance and honesty, compassion, and self-awareness, and also practices like slowing down our communication, approaching others with open curiosity, and owning one’s own feelings.

AR is mostly practiced in 1-3 hour events, either in-person or on web video (like Zoom), with a group of up to 15-20 people. The events are typically made up of several AR games designed to help people practice slowing down, curiosity, self-awareness, active listening, and honest communication.

These games can be common ones like “Curiosity,” or they can be self-designed by the event facilitators. Many games involved breaking participants out into pairs and include a short list of instructions on how to play.

AR games can be thought of as a mix between super-boosted icebreakers and interpersonal mindful meditation. Like icebreakers, AR games give participants some guidance on what, how, when, and how much to share about oneself so that we can all minimize the small talk and maximize the interesting, good stuff.

And like mindful meditation, AR asks us to pay special attention—but unlike mindful meditation, in AR we’re paying special attention to another person and our reactions to that other person.

Where did AR come from?

According to at least two different sources, AR popped up independently around San Francisco, Boulder, CO, and Austin, TX, in progressive, personal-growth-focused, and tech-oriented communities between 2000-2010.

These communities drew inspiration from the human potential movement, T-groups, encounter groups, non-violent communication, Carl Rogers’s person-centered therapy, and rave culture.

In the mid-2010s, AR became more organized with the emergence of two AR training and event companies, ART International and Authentic Revolution. Today, these companies offer a variety of AR education, training, and event in-person and online.

Why should parents care about this idea?

There are at least two main reasons why AR is important for modern parenting. First, AR teaches us communication skills that build trust, emotional resilience, and caring connection between parents and kids and between couples.

When we learn how to become aware of our own experience and reveal it in a connected way and stay present and open to others’ experiences, we transform our family life from a task-oriented set of problems to a series of flowing, emotionally rich opportunities for deepening our relationships.

The second reason AR is great for parents is that it gives us opportunities to practice these skills in a fun, low-stakes context. When we play AR games with other adults, it’s like doing emotional CrossFit.

We work all our emotional muscles and learn how to be comfortable with being honest, how to sit with challenging feelings, and how to connect with others through their range of feelings.  

How can parents use this idea in their daily lives?

Parents can regularly use AR practices like welcoming all feelings, dropping assumptions about others, and revealing their present experience with their kids and partner to support emotional health, build deeper understanding, and grow stronger emotional connections.

However, these practices don’t come naturally for most of us. We need spaces to rehearse, repeat, and refine these communication skills. This is why we offer several AR-style events right here in the Yes Collective.


All the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of family thriving we focus on here at The Family Thrive–from nutrition and sleep to mindfulness and exercise–are only worthwhile as long as they support the single most important aspect of family thriving: deep, caring, honest relationships.

But such relationships don’t happen on their own in our fragmented, individualized, neurotic modern lives. We need to intentionally cultivate them by learning and practicing the right communication skills.

So, what are the “right” communication skills? They’re skills that will help us communicate more honestly and fully, listen more carefully and compassionately, connect more deeply to those around us, learn more about ourselves through relationships, and become more present and grounded in our relationships. Authentic relating helps us get here.

What does authentic relating (AR) mean?

AR is a set of ideas and practices that aim to help people build honest, caring, and meaningful relationships. It does this through promoting ideas around emotional acceptance and honesty, compassion, and self-awareness, and also practices like slowing down our communication, approaching others with open curiosity, and owning one’s own feelings.

AR is mostly practiced in 1-3 hour events, either in-person or on web video (like Zoom), with a group of up to 15-20 people. The events are typically made up of several AR games designed to help people practice slowing down, curiosity, self-awareness, active listening, and honest communication.

These games can be common ones like “Curiosity,” or they can be self-designed by the event facilitators. Many games involved breaking participants out into pairs and include a short list of instructions on how to play.

AR games can be thought of as a mix between super-boosted icebreakers and interpersonal mindful meditation. Like icebreakers, AR games give participants some guidance on what, how, when, and how much to share about oneself so that we can all minimize the small talk and maximize the interesting, good stuff.

And like mindful meditation, AR asks us to pay special attention—but unlike mindful meditation, in AR we’re paying special attention to another person and our reactions to that other person.

Where did AR come from?

According to at least two different sources, AR popped up independently around San Francisco, Boulder, CO, and Austin, TX, in progressive, personal-growth-focused, and tech-oriented communities between 2000-2010.

These communities drew inspiration from the human potential movement, T-groups, encounter groups, non-violent communication, Carl Rogers’s person-centered therapy, and rave culture.

In the mid-2010s, AR became more organized with the emergence of two AR training and event companies, ART International and Authentic Revolution. Today, these companies offer a variety of AR education, training, and event in-person and online.

Why should parents care about this idea?

There are at least two main reasons why AR is important for modern parenting. First, AR teaches us communication skills that build trust, emotional resilience, and caring connection between parents and kids and between couples.

When we learn how to become aware of our own experience and reveal it in a connected way and stay present and open to others’ experiences, we transform our family life from a task-oriented set of problems to a series of flowing, emotionally rich opportunities for deepening our relationships.

The second reason AR is great for parents is that it gives us opportunities to practice these skills in a fun, low-stakes context. When we play AR games with other adults, it’s like doing emotional CrossFit.

We work all our emotional muscles and learn how to be comfortable with being honest, how to sit with challenging feelings, and how to connect with others through their range of feelings.  

How can parents use this idea in their daily lives?

Parents can regularly use AR practices like welcoming all feelings, dropping assumptions about others, and revealing their present experience with their kids and partner to support emotional health, build deeper understanding, and grow stronger emotional connections.

However, these practices don’t come naturally for most of us. We need spaces to rehearse, repeat, and refine these communication skills. This is why we offer several AR-style events right here in the Yes Collective.


All the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of family thriving we focus on here at The Family Thrive–from nutrition and sleep to mindfulness and exercise–are only worthwhile as long as they support the single most important aspect of family thriving: deep, caring, honest relationships.

But such relationships don’t happen on their own in our fragmented, individualized, neurotic modern lives. We need to intentionally cultivate them by learning and practicing the right communication skills.

So, what are the “right” communication skills? They’re skills that will help us communicate more honestly and fully, listen more carefully and compassionately, connect more deeply to those around us, learn more about ourselves through relationships, and become more present and grounded in our relationships. Authentic relating helps us get here.

What does authentic relating (AR) mean?

AR is a set of ideas and practices that aim to help people build honest, caring, and meaningful relationships. It does this through promoting ideas around emotional acceptance and honesty, compassion, and self-awareness, and also practices like slowing down our communication, approaching others with open curiosity, and owning one’s own feelings.

AR is mostly practiced in 1-3 hour events, either in-person or on web video (like Zoom), with a group of up to 15-20 people. The events are typically made up of several AR games designed to help people practice slowing down, curiosity, self-awareness, active listening, and honest communication.

These games can be common ones like “Curiosity,” or they can be self-designed by the event facilitators. Many games involved breaking participants out into pairs and include a short list of instructions on how to play.

AR games can be thought of as a mix between super-boosted icebreakers and interpersonal mindful meditation. Like icebreakers, AR games give participants some guidance on what, how, when, and how much to share about oneself so that we can all minimize the small talk and maximize the interesting, good stuff.

And like mindful meditation, AR asks us to pay special attention—but unlike mindful meditation, in AR we’re paying special attention to another person and our reactions to that other person.

Where did AR come from?

According to at least two different sources, AR popped up independently around San Francisco, Boulder, CO, and Austin, TX, in progressive, personal-growth-focused, and tech-oriented communities between 2000-2010.

These communities drew inspiration from the human potential movement, T-groups, encounter groups, non-violent communication, Carl Rogers’s person-centered therapy, and rave culture.

In the mid-2010s, AR became more organized with the emergence of two AR training and event companies, ART International and Authentic Revolution. Today, these companies offer a variety of AR education, training, and event in-person and online.

Why should parents care about this idea?

There are at least two main reasons why AR is important for modern parenting. First, AR teaches us communication skills that build trust, emotional resilience, and caring connection between parents and kids and between couples.

When we learn how to become aware of our own experience and reveal it in a connected way and stay present and open to others’ experiences, we transform our family life from a task-oriented set of problems to a series of flowing, emotionally rich opportunities for deepening our relationships.

The second reason AR is great for parents is that it gives us opportunities to practice these skills in a fun, low-stakes context. When we play AR games with other adults, it’s like doing emotional CrossFit.

We work all our emotional muscles and learn how to be comfortable with being honest, how to sit with challenging feelings, and how to connect with others through their range of feelings.  

How can parents use this idea in their daily lives?

Parents can regularly use AR practices like welcoming all feelings, dropping assumptions about others, and revealing their present experience with their kids and partner to support emotional health, build deeper understanding, and grow stronger emotional connections.

However, these practices don’t come naturally for most of us. We need spaces to rehearse, repeat, and refine these communication skills. This is why we offer several AR-style events right here in the Yes Collective.


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