My Understanding of “the Relational Space” – and How to Celebrate Hedy’s Birthday

August 4th was my birthday.  As with each year prior, Hedy and Yumi invited me and my partner, and the office staff, to a birthday dinner celebration.  What was immensely different this year is that my mother was invited as well.

One of Hedy and Yumi’s teaching principles, attributed to Martin Buber, is “our relationships live in the space between” and “the space” is sacred.  As human beings, we often automatically pollute the space by putting in it a snide look, a criticism, a complaint…  Being on the path towards Relational Maturity, means constantly being conscious of what we put into the space of our relationships, and choosing to put positivity into the “space” with a smile, a compliment, an appreciation…

 A ritual during our company’s birthday dinners is for everyone at the table to say what they appreciate about the person whose birthday it is.  Knowing that my father passed away this past October, Hedy and Yumi recognized the importance for my mom to be present on this birthday of mine.  For the first time, my mom got to hear all the appreciations of some of the important people in my life, and also my appreciations of myself.  And for the first time, my mom was there to tell everyone, including me, what she appreciated about me.  The “space between” us all was full of appreciation.

Within this space, my mom became a bright, energetic, involved, alive woman.  Or rather, we discovered so many facets of her life that have been evolving over the last eight months.  You see, where the space is clean and sacred, your true essence and passion naturally bubble up and electrify the conversations and the people around you.  My mom talked about everything she has been doing and living; what a powerful, amazing life she is living today, in the service of other people in many arenas.  I am clear that she would not have been able to say all that she said, and I would not have been able to hear all that I needed to hear, if the relational space between us had been polluted.  Knowing about, and understanding “the space” is a very important concept in assisting all of us in our relationships, whether they be personal or professional, local or global.

During her TEDtalk, in her unique fashion, Hedy shares a story about her and her mother which illustrates “the space” and the importance of keeping it sacred.  Please watch Hedy’s TEDtalk, in Our Videos, to gain a new understanding of the relational space that lives between us all.


The gift of having my mother present during my birthday dinner has inspired me to give Hedy a gift in return for her 67th birthday.  Hedy’s burning desire is to see the number of views of her TEDtalk grow and grow, furthering our mission of 90 million couples who are “crossing the bridge”, in order to create a tipping point in consciousness about the power of connection. Our vision is a relationally mature planet where all couples, organizations and nations cross the bridge to each other and honor the relational space as sacred.

Join me in celebrating Hedy’s birthday with the gift of her TEDtalk reaching at least 50,000 views by her 67th birthday, Friday, August 19th 2011.  Please share the TEDtalk with at least 2 people.

I look forward to having Hedy jump with excitement and feel deeply nourished on her birthday!

With Warm Regards,


Geoffrey Swetz
Operations Manager
Office of Hedy + Yumi Schleifer
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