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Exploring and discussing a variety of relationship topics and issues for people in all kinds of relationships; including partnerships, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, roommates and more.

Oct 6, 2020

Adley Gartenstein is the former president and co-owner of Film Movement, a distributor of independent, award-winning films from around the world. Over the last two decades, Adley has been a counselor, trainer, and workshop leader in the co-counseling community. My friendship with Adley goes back to 25 years ago when we met at the Esalen Institute. Since then, we’ve formed a friendship so profound that he has become the godfather of my son, Zander.

In this episode, Adley and I discuss his journey with healing as he took care of his dying mother. We explore how he had assumed the role of caretaker for his mother since he was a child and describe how that impacted his sense of self-worth. We illustrate how Adley committed to becoming a great son, regardless of his mother’s shortcomings as a parent. We also discuss my experience with my father’s death and underscore the honor that comes with being present in a person’s final moments on Earth.


“Being around a dying person is, in a way, a transition into adulthood; to play that role of caretaker, to make it about somebody else, and to care about that person.” - Adley Gartenstein


This week on Relationships! Let’s Talk About It:

  • Assuming the role of caretaker for his mother from childhood
  • How feeling responsibility for his mother’s well being affected Adley’s self-compass
  • Claiming Adley’s right to be a great son, regardless of childhood experiences
  • Understanding how trauma gets passed down through generations
  • The beginnings of Adley’s journey into healing
  • My experience with the death of my father
  • Deciding not to be the victim of one’s circumstances and breaking the cycle of darkness and trauma
  • The power of spending time with a dying person and the lessons it can teach us
  • Feeling liberation from trauma and fulfillment of duty



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Theme music “These Streets” provided by Adi the Monk