Choose Your Words
Change Your Life!
I have been studying human interaction and communication since age 4. It was at that age I had my first awareness that life could/should be different. I grew up the youngest child of five. My father was a hard-working plumbing contractor who put in 18-hour days to support our family. He was an amazing provider and also a violent alcoholic. Though physical abuse was not part of my experience, the verbal and emotional violence in my home was what eventually fueled my desire for change.
My father quit drinking in my early teens and I was able to experience a more loving connection with him for which I am grateful. After he passed in 1987, I still had a lot of work to do clearing the difficult patterns I had developed over 21 years. My mother was a dedicated homemaker doing the best she could to raise five children under the circumstances. She relied heavily on her Catholic faith, which carried her through unimaginable difficulties. Her faith was actually the catalyst for my spiritual foundation and for that, I am grateful.
So, the men I chose were usually alcoholics, liars and cheaters, or a crafty combination of all three. In between the alcoholic cheaters however, I chose a few nice guys which ended up being good practice for meeting my husband Jeff in 1988. That is when all of the dysfunctional patterns surfaced for me, thus prompting my healing journey of hard work and dedication to improving my life.
My walk was riddled with the need to fix everything and everyone, even if that meant manipulating a situation to bring false peace. Since I was never able to fix anything, I carried a lot of rage and anger, which I often took out on my very kind and patient husband. Not being able to fix anything, along with my need to please, eventually were the burdens that brought me to my knees and fueled my determination to find a new way of being. Looking back, I realize that beneath the need to fix, was actually my deeper calling to assist in facilitating change.
Through the grace of God and my mother’s desire to seek grief counseling after my father passed in 1987, I was introduced to Hope Farr. When I first met Hope, I was in the midst of an extremely sick relationship. I was about to marry a man who I discovered was still married to his 3rd wife, lied about it, and planned on marrying me without her knowing. Even after learning of this, I convinced myself that I was still “the one” to make a difference in his life. Yikes! Till this day I remember the look on Hope’s face when I said to her “but I love him”. As I write this I am laughing to tears. Through her guidance, I was able to let the relationship go. Whew!
Jeff and I began working with Hope in 1994 shortly after our move from California to Washington. Since she lived in another state, we did a lot of phone work and considered our time with her a precious investment for our relationship and ourselves. Today it has proven to be the most profitable investment yet. We learned one of the most valuable lessons of how to take full responsibility for ourselves in thought, word and action. Over the years, I attended and hosted several of Hopes workshops, which eventually inspired “Living With Ease”. We stopped working with her as a couple in 2010, however I have continued my friendship with her to date. Now in her 90’s, she is still looking for ways to improve herself, doing workshops and traveling to assist people. Hope has gifted me with the understanding that self-responsible living is a life long commitment. It is through her example and my dedication to doing the work that I found my passion for guiding others.
It is profoundly important for me to share the most valuable factor in my desire to do this work. My once very splintered and dysfunctional family has been transformed and continues to evolve into a deeply conscious, honest, most loving community. What I experience with my family and friends today is far greater than the vision I had as a 4 year old. I have learned, that all it takes is ONE person with a new vision and the courage to change him or herself, to open the door for deeper more meaningful connections. It is with my dedication to self-responsible living that I continue my life long prayer to be used as an instrument of positive change and infinite possibilities!
With abundant gratitude,
Rita Gray, Facilitator
“Living With Ease” Communication Workshop
Above all else, I place importance on:
I have been a life coach since 2005, guiding people from all walks of life. Most of what I do with people who desire change, comes from sharing my success and failures through adversity. This workshop is my book, written as a result of 25+ years of hard work, dedication, trial and error. I acquired a life-coaching certificate in 2012. I did learn some valuable tools in this course, however mostly I am a student of life, which has been and continues to be my greatest education.