Are You A Fuck Yes to Your Full Potential?

“The ONLY place you need to be – is in your magic zone. We all have a magic zone. We all use our zone. All the time. The trick is being conscious to what we are creating and making sure that our magic zone is being used for all the bliss, joy, play and abundance it was intended instead of the suffering, fear, destruction and chaos so many of us choose to use it for. — What are you creating?” – KW

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Be Your Full Potential This Coming Year!

Here we sit yet once again at the end of one year and the ushering into another. You would think that the whole world would be truly celebrating that we as a world society get to move forward into the next arena of life on this planet. You would think that each and every soul on this planet including yourself would be ecstatic with joy and hope for the new year and all it has to offer. After all new years is all about getting a fresh start. Having learned what we needed from the past year we can now move forward with an excitement and expectation of greatness. However it is more common for for us to be experiencing pain, suffering, fear, anger, remorse and almost a desire for this time to not move forward but to somehow reset to the beginning of the current year so that we can travel through it with 20/20 vision and make different choices, see things differently, and act differently.

For more than 80%of the population we may have a desire to make this new year one of all our dreams coming true, or at very least sticking to most of our goals and making some positive life changes so that we can feel accomplished at the end of the day and year. We desire that the feelings we are having and trying to ignore through too much alcohol, food, partying and random excessive entertainment with games and television, we desire not to ignore these feelings but to simply NOT have them to begin with. Therefore we desire CHANGE. Transformation.

There are so many people in my life that I know are experiencing these sensations. I have seen people go through divorce this years end, have been served papers for it or finished a long process with it. Many uncertain as to the standings of their relationship status. I have seen many people loose their jobs, their homes, cars. Not have enough food on their tables for nightly dinner. There are many who I know who are dealing with death this season in one way or another and even some that have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and find themselves feeling like they NOW don’t have the time to give and share all that they thought they were going to be able too. I have seen people question their purpose all year long. I have seen people try and make their purpose their relationship. I have seen people dig and get mad to the point of quitting because they have no clue what to do with what is surfacing and they have no idea how the things coming up serve them healing what they had originally set out to work on.

I have also seen many people discover love. Purpose. Direction.

Everything that I have seen has NOTHING to do with what we choose to typically focus on at this time of the year. That being how many presents we got or gave, or the deal we got or even the president of the USA. None of the things that truly matter are the things that our media or lifestyles has us focusing on.

The things that matter are REALLY SIMPLE.

The bottom line for every human being is the same.

We ALL WANT HAPPINESS.

Everything that we do is an attempt to achieve this sensation.

We change or stay in a relationship because we hope it will make us happy.

We keep a job or strive for a new one because we hope it will lead to happiness.

We exercise and change what our diets are to loose weight or firm up our bodies, not because we truly care what we look like, but because we are hoping that the look and feeling of our bodies will make us happy in some way.

We learn new things to bring more joy into our lives. Weather that is through experience or money.

We offer our helping hand not because we truly believe that it is needed, wanted or should happen (although we convince ourselves of this) but because we hope that in our pursuit to be a “good person” that we will be happier.

EVERYTHING – everything, that we do is about OUR happiness.

So why is it so damn fucking hard to actually do the things that will truly make us happy and give us ever lasting change and the creation of our FUCK YES LIFE?

Why do we choose to find excuses as to not do the things and get the help that we need in life to make the life that we desire?

You know it is said that if you desire something, that the thing desires you as well. In other words, the things we crave at our soul level are calling to us and asking us to do the things that we need to do to grow ourselves and create the consciousness required to connect to our desires.

Each and everyone of us has a the same ability to make the choices that we need to make for ourselves to create the life that we want for this coming New Year.

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The only real question’s you need to ask yourself are these:

What are your top 1-3 areas of change/transformation that you know you need or want to work on in this new year?
What is the long term impact of not making these changes?
If things stay the same what does it mean to you and what does it look like?
What is different NOW compared to 6 months, a year ago, five years ago?
What is your commitment level to yourself to make these changes?

What is the ONE thing you need to do in life to die happy?

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Make this year a year of your full potential.

You deserve your greatness to be revealed.

It is truly fucking time to STOP playing small!

Our world needs YOU!

I can tell you that the world needs more men, women, couple’s turned on, vibrant, living on purpose and by their desires.

The world needs people who are transforming the world through their passion for life. This is ONLY done through opening up NOT to more work – but more PLAY.

More PLEASURE.

The ONLY secret you ever need learn to have the life that you know you deserve and desire is the lesson to ALLOW YOUR OWN PLEASURE.

We have had our ability to receive pleasure in all forms taught right out of us. Our world is so focused on living by scarcity and taunt economics. No great thing every happened without allowing for some deliberate slack. In the slack we prevent the hyperactivity of our minds, energy and drive. In hyperactivity we loose fun, pleasure and joy. Everything becomes work and we cannot breathe or flow.

When we embrace that “slack” equals room to change. Room to grow. To create. We then open the doorway to the creation of our desires.

We gain compassion, understanding, direction.

There most certainly is an art to living in your bliss. But it is a most delicious process. And for those of us who choose to transform our lives and therefore the lives of all on this planet through pleasure, play and happiness we KNOW that it is a venture well worth moving into.

But it requires Your ALL.

Are you ready to make this a year of your full potential?
Are your ready t o have the Fuck YES Life you deserve?
Are you ready to live out the year having the relationships, the sex, the money, the career, the travel, the health that you want?

This and MORE is possible.

Take my hand and take the plunge into your GREATNESS!

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Email me about being in the Pre-launch group for my New Fuck Yes to Life Coaching – and discover the top 10 focuses you need to play with to have the life you desire in 2017!!! DON’T Wait. The Pre- launch pricing will only be offered to the first 50 people who si

Sexuality & Tantra (AKA – The Art of Living Fully)

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Often I am asked “What is Tantra?” my answer to this question is – “Tantra is everything!”

But that answer is often to simple yet complex for many people to truly grasp what I am saying. So I have decided to take a moment and share what I mean in this statement of “tantra is everything.”

Tantra is about weaving together all parts of our life. That is why when we teachers/practitioners speak about improving our sexuality and sex lives that we also say that this will affect all other areas of our lives such as our relationships with our parents, siblings, children, co-workers and anyone who walks into our lives. Yet Tantra is NOT about sex alone. Matter a fact if you truly studied tantra and the teachings of the Dali Lama on the matter you would discover that sex is only about 5% to 10% at best of Tantra.

Why does sex get focused on then when we speak about Tantra?

There are a few reasons for this.

1. Sex sells! – Now I know that many of my fellow teachers out there just cringed at me saying this, but I am a realist in many ways and the facts are the facts. Sex is sexy. Sex is captivating and interesting. Sex is something we all desire more of and we are all under educated in. Sex is something that we know at our core is good for us for more reasons then procreation. Sex sells because it turns us on at our deepest levels. It always has and it always will.
2. Sex is normally the final frontier to tackle for even the most spiritual, self-growth focused, courageous, driven soul out there. And it is the one that is most interconnected to every aspect of our lives and to the world in general. Our sexing affects everything. That is why we focus on sexuality when we speak Tantra. Tantra in this area is about making our sex conscious.

Now this may seem different then what you were expecting. Hopefully it is comforting to know that Tantra and sex are NOT about prostitution (although those in this line of work who understand certain groundwork, certainly are sexual healers and not just working to make a quick buck so someone else can relieve some stress). Tantra does not make use of our sexuality so that one can experience a hot “body to body rub” either. Tantra makes use of our sexuality because through our sexing we create or lives. We create the structures of our futures. We manifest our desires, dreams and goals. We learn to face our shadows as well as our light and we learn how to fully love, accept and live in gratitude. Through our sexing we learn the importance of Living Fully, and this is Tantra.

This is why you will hear me speak about Gourmet Sexing verses Fast Food Sexing.

Gourmet sexing is a spiritual practice of deep love and acceptance. Not only of our partner but of ourselves and of all of life.

Gourmet sexing is healing. It can help us to release past programs, trauma and suffering. It can be the creative spark that changes everything and helps us to transform our very existence. Through gourmet sexing we find peace and bliss. This is Conscious Sex!

Fast food sexing is all about using ourselves or another for stress release or power. It is about controlling another. It is about quick fixes, disconnectedness, limited to no intimacy and remaining unconscious to all our levels of being. Fast food sexing is a short circuit to living fully. It prevents us from ever achieving the beauty, connection and authentic loving that we so desire. It disenables us from our true power and thus from bliss.

Perhaps these terms will help you to understand a bit better the significant role that sex plays on our lives and that through the art of Tantra we can achieve what we all desire. A live lived well and full. A life of appreciation, love, acceptance, honor and conscious bliss.

So what is Tantra?

Tantra is the Art of Living Life Fully!

Now the only question is. “Will you accept the journey of conscious living?”

I sure hope so because you my friend ARE WORTH IT!!!!

–KW

Your Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge or Beliefs

“Everything  you can imagine is real.”-Picasso

AzteckendalYesterday I was once again blessed to work with my creative, beautiful daughter Rebekah who is following her passion and soul by developing her own brand in photography , Photography In Wonderland. In working with her yesterday for a spontaneous shoot I realized a few things about life, love and the pursuit of happiness. These things we value so dearly and all consistently strive for or find ourselves trapped in a morbid abyss of suffering, shame and hatred if we choose to hide from our souls desire, all come back to allowing the creative transformation of our inner realms to dance and merge with those of our outer worlds.  We are the artists of our lives. Picasso, had it right when he said that everything you can imagine is real, because it is. The hidden world that lies within each of us longs to have the light of life, love and happiness shine upon it. Yet trapped in societal conditioning the majority of people have a tough time finding the courage and stamina it requires to open the door to this blossoming of self. The reason it is so scary to allow our authentic selves to be seen in the world is because over the course of time it has been expected and even demanded that we hide these very aspects of self. We have been sheltered in our thinking and told that a strong foundation for life was built on logic and normalcy, not on imagination and unique authenticity. Yet all people over the course of time that have made an impact on our world were far from logical or average in attitude, thinking or actions. Leaders, visionaries, and game changers all fall under a different label. These men and women , are average people with extraordinary courage and desire. Do they posses something unique? Do they have more skill set or knowledge then you or I? Are they a better person therefore deserving of more from life? The answer is no across the board. The only thing that they have that over 80% of the rest of society does not have is a desire to transform. They understand that they are the only ones who can change themselves and they know that life is about growth. These same 20% of “Special People” understand that in order for growth to happen and for them to succeed in fulfilling their inner calling that they MUST overcome the self imposed fears and muster up just a drop of courage to take that first step into greatness. They know that getting into the flow of creative transformation is the life blood of opening up to god, the universe or whatever other name you choose to call the creator of all and letting this source breathe love, life and happiness into their very existence.

A creative transformation is about just this, opening our rusty gates that we have on our hearts and souls and allowing for imagination to flow freely. When we embrace our imagination we lock arms with our true power.  As Einstein stated, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

edit7It is time to dig into our pockets and pull out the diamonds that are carried there. These treasures that we have been hiding from society, our friends, family and even ourselves. It is time for each of us to stop cheating ourselves and discover that life was not meant to be endured and suffered through. Life is meant to be embraced in love and passion. When we open ourselves to creative transformation and the journey it takes us on we say to life that we desire to be fucked wide open, we desire to dance with the angels and hear our hearts music. We say to the great creator of all that we know that life is a privilege and a mission. It is a mission of letting go of what we think we know and opening up to all that can be. We spread our legs to the universe and we allow it to penetrate our cores like a lover that we will never see again. We say to hell with fear, structure, bondage and rules and thus say YES to ourselves and the art of our lives.

One of the most imaginative teachers of time you could say was Jesus. He taught through stories, he taught through love and he taught through authentic uniqueness. He still remained part of the culture that he was born into, but he was not afraid to throw some tables and show that the universe will bend to your will when you have the desire, courage and faith. His message was one that we all too could do this and so much more (John 14:12) but it is a message of creative transformation that so many are still not ready to hear.

edit9Easter weekend is upon us yet again and many will join in the process of what we call tradition. The painting of the Easter eggs, the hiding of these eggs so that a our young imaginative children can discover them along with trinkets and sweets. We will congregate in churches and holy sanctuaries around the world, celebrating the transformation process of Jesus. We will place this teacher on a pedestal and miss all the messages of the annual opportunity that has been passed down like a torch of great light and universal understanding. The traditions that we celebrate this coming Sunday are not primarily focused on Jesus even, but have been around for many years prior to his teaching. The traditions of Easter  have roots in Pagan beliefs and even go back into world history to the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus who all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a symbol of new life has been around for eons. Easter’s true meaning is about rebirth and fertility. Both are things that a creative transformation process blesses us with, but in order for us to experience this process one has to be like a small child  where in the heart, mind and soul their is fertile ground for imagination to bloom and flourish thus bringing the ascension process of the life mission.

Part of my realization in working with Rebekah on photo-shoots was that life and creative energy are things that you must be ready to embrace when the muse of art is dancing with them. The best experiences are often not planned, expected or even considered. Sometimes we can find ourselves on one path and not even see the crossing path that will make all the difference to our journey. Looking back over the course of my own history and transformation I can see now the impact of imagination and how playing on this road that so many choose not to travel on as actually being the essential tool of a successful life. It is the pulse of life itself and with every beat we open our ears to love and happiness, purpose and flow, we open ourselves to being the Messiah of our own life path.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”

 -Georgia O’Keeffe

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The Art of Being F**ked Wide Open

edit1“My pussy ached from desire. Throbbing sensations quaked through my muscles and into my joints. I could feel heat in my womb as my chest grew tighter. It had been far to long since I felt open, passionate, clear, confident and orgasmic. Every part of my body and soul longed for him or any one of my lovers to just take me. It seemed as though I was meeting resistance from the universe through each man and through myself. The more I hungered for the transformative waves to force me into orgasmic surrender the farther they seemed out of my grasp. The more I became determined to speak of my hunger, to send signals that I was wet with anticipation and desire, the more the men in my life seemed to turn away.

Lost in the illusions of depression, ego was at reign. There were far more important things to deal with then my physical neediness and hunger for bliss. After all, there were bills to pay, children to care for, and duties to tend to. This is what was needed. This is what I had to focus on. The masculine mind was ever present and with it came a discontent, disconnected vibration to life, to love, family, finance and any amount of abundance or joy. How could my desire for sex and the lack of filling it prevent me from experiencing happiness and abundance in other areas  as well?

Feeling as though there was possibly no hope and that these sensations that I had approached and waded through at other low times of my life journey were only raising their head yet again because of some lesson that I had thought I had learned but obviously had not, I decided that my pleasure, my surrender was in no ones hands but my own. A deep dedication to self pleasuring began to happen. At the sight of any form of sexual tension I found myself whisked off to the shower or taking a fifteen minute time out in the bedroom or closet, trying to simply alleviate some of the pinned up energy. Each time I dove into a quick self pleasuring act I felt as though my clit and entire pussy were on fire, as though I had an active ready to blow any minute volcano between my legs. Finding it hard to remain present with myself, facing old programs of shame for touching myself, fear of getting caught I could not even bring myself to relish in a fantasy to increase my pleasure. I was simply jacking off as quickly as I could. Not surrendering to my desire and certainly not allowing myself to fully be penetrated by love or life.  Each 5 to 10 minute masturbation excursion left me even more lost, distant, depressed and hungry for connection and ravishing.

The thing I knew but was ignoring was the simple fact that I was not only malnourished in the act of sexing, but I was depleted from the energy of the deep connection that a gourmet session of sex would give. I was lacking in the life giving nutrients of the positive mood enhancers that orgasm would provide. In my inability to surrender even to myself I had also slammed shut the door  to my lovers, making it physically impossible for me to go deep enough in any sex act offered. The need to be taken was me wanting to give credit or push blame on someone else instead of being proactive and realizing that even in the physical connection process of making love it was up to ONLY me to be open, expansive and happy. My being taken started by my releasing into the now. By  making my sex conscious and staying present with my body and with my partner I could then accept the pleasure and the release that would come from it. Only through this consciousness could I embrace life so strongly that it would use my lovers body to fuck me wide open.

edit6It was with this realization that opportunity was given for me to open up to trust and to orgasm. My desire was not for sex, it was not for release or climax it was only for penetration. To me to be taken meant that I surrendered to life through my lover. There we were snuggled in bed as though it were any other winter night. All these thoughts dancing through my mind wanting  to be vocalized, my heart wanting to be penetrated, to be circumcised.  I could hear the call of my pussy begging my hands to reach out and touch him, to encourage the game to begin. My mouth watered and even though we had been lovers for some time and he knew me passionately and intimately to my core I felt a tremble of fear that he would deny me my desire.  The unspoken words must have been heavy in the air because without hesitation his hand slipped over my naked hip and across my stomach. His fingers danced on the seat of my clit, slowly pulling its hood back so that he could access “the spot.” His hand warm to the touch washed over my vulva, a finger plowing deep into my wetness. I could feel butterflies fluttering from pussy to heart as I leaned into him and gasped for a breath before allowing his tongue to plunge deep into my mouth.

His fingers knew exactly how to play me and with each kiss I felt my body soften. Spreading my legs for him as though I was opening the gates to a great coliseum and he was the gladiator. His fingers stroking not only my clit anymore but now curving upward with each internal stroke, I could feel my G-spot expand  as well as my sponge fill. The time had come, he pressed his hard throbbing cock deep into me. He did not stop to ask, he did not pause at my velvet gates, he just lovingly and forcefully took us both to the next level. His clear direction and focus lead his cock to my outer walls. I desperately wanted to feel him yet deeper in me. I wanted him to fuck my heart. Consciously I lay there beneath him, our bodies swaying in harmony, my pussy tightening and sucking on him with each focused muscle spasm. My desire growing to be fucked wide open in this moment, I knew there was only one way to achieve my desire and pull him deeper. My consciousness became focused on opening the door he was knocking on. With each gentle nudge of his penis head on my cervix I breathed and relaxed, I visualized embracing him like I had not done before. Slowly I felt the pressure release into emotion and heart pounding bliss. It was as if there were a penetration happening within a penetration. The surrender was expansive and I could feel him penetrate my core, my heart, my soul. Tears welled up in my eyes as my heart shook in orgasm.

Life was knocking at my womb.”

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The experience of craving sexual release and to be penetrated like this is nothing new or even unique for most women. It is a well documented fact that women in all actuality are the more sexual half of humankind. Women have the drive and are built for long interludes of sexing. Our bodies are a designer highway that rely on the transport of orgasm to keep our psychological, physiological, spiritual and emotional bodies in an optimum state. An underf**ked woman is a woman who is a fragile shell of herself. She is a woman who is full of emotion, and desire but cannot communicate these things in a strong feminine way without appearing hormonal and out of balance, depressed, co-dependent, fearful, hateful, stressed, caught in her mind and simple dreary. The other aspect of a woman who is not properly f**ked is that she is not allowing for her divine state of being a woman to guide her, her intuition is out of harmony and she distrusts almost everything. Feeling the entire time that she HAS to control her environment and that she will not be cared for in life.

There are many things that can contribute to a woman closing herself to the raptures of orgasm and some of them are things that need medical attention may that be chiropractic or actual surgery to help repair tears or nerves that have been damaged due to a multitude of things such as rape, child birth, or other physically impacting issues and/or accidents. As Naomi Wolf states in her new book Vagina, ” … recent science has found that the vagina’s experiences can – on the level of biology – boost women’s self-confidence, or else can lead to failures of self-confidence; can help unleash female creativity or present blocks to female creativity. These experiences can contribute to a woman’s sense of the joyful interconnectedness of the material and spiritual world – or else to her grieving awareness of the loss of the sense of interconectedness… the latter can lead not only to a decrease in her desire for sex, but also risk a tincture in the rest of her life of what can only be called “existential depression” or “despair.”

How can the vagina and orgasm play such a BIG role in all areas of a woman’s life and well-being? And if this is fact then how can we as a society remain in a prehistoric viewpoint of the vagina with limited terms? The autonomic nervous system prepares the way for the neural impulses that travel from a woman’s vagina, clitoris and labia to her brain and it is this intricate system that regulates her responses creating stimulation and relaxation. Yet we treat the pussy as though it were a cock. We view it in pornographic light and expect that a woman will and should respond in similar fashion as a man does. Only through the focused, slow opening can a woman become comfortable with surrendering in the fashion we are speaking of here. We are told that there are skills that lovers can learn so that they can play a woman’s body like a fine musical instrument, we are taught to focus not on “real orgasm” but on climax, and how many climaxes the lover “CAN GIVE” her. These are all misinformed notions of female sexuality and orgasm. Because we are not taught the art of truly touching a woman deeply, the majority of women’s activation centers are ignored and even when she has sex with her partner or herself she may experience climax, but often will not reap the rewards of real orgasm and certainly not experience the rapture and release necessary to be transported into the heavens where interconnectedness with God happens. She will not be able to be fulfilled and truly be f**ked open by life and love thus only experiencing a superficial aspect of herself, orgasm and connectedness. Leaving her vessel depleted and her heart and pussy locked away in devastation and hope. When a woman is f**ked wide open to the levels that are possible for ALL women and is our  birth right and divine design, then she becomes an expression of beauty, joy, grace, strength, creativity and confidence.

The last word: He said he was leaving. She ignored him.

When Laura Munson’s husband asked for a divorce, she ducked instead of fighting. He needed to learn, she says, that his unhappiness wasn’t really about her.

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Let’s say you have what you believe to be a healthy marriage. You’re still friends and lovers after spending more than half of your lives together. The dreams you set out to achieve in your 20s—gazing into each other’s eyes in candlelit city bistros, when you were single and skinny—have for the most part come true.

Two decades later you have the 20 acres of land, the farmhouse, the children, the dogs and horses. You’re the parents you said you would be, full of love and guidance. You’ve done it all: Disneyland, camping, Hawaii, Mexico, city living, stargazing.

Sure, you have your marital issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest nightmares, think you would hear these words from your husband one fine summer day: “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m moving out. The kids will understand. They’ll want me to be happy.”

But wait. This isn’t the divorce story you think it is. Neither is it a begging-him-to-stay story. It’s a story about hearing your husband say, “I don’t love you anymore” and deciding not to believe him. And what can happen as a result.

Here’s a visual: Child throws a temper tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn’t hit back, lecture or punish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her business as if the tantrum isn’t happening. She doesn’t “reward” the tantrum. She simply doesn’t take the tantrum personally because, after all, it’s not about her.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying my husband was throwing a child’s tantrum. No. He was in the grip of something else—a profound and far more troubling meltdown that comes not in childhood but in midlife, when we perceive that our personal trajectory is no longer arcing reliably upward as it once did. But I decided to respond the same way I’d responded to my children’s tantrums. And I kept responding to it that way. For four months.

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.

So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.

Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “the End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

My husband hadn’t yet come to this understanding with himself. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had supported our family of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his ability to be the breadwinner was in rapid decline. He’d been miserable about this, felt useless, was losing himself emotionally and letting himself go physically. And now he wanted out of our marriage; to be done with our family.

But I wasn’t buying it.

I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy. There are times in every relationship when the parties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?” he said.

“Go trekking in Nepal. Build a yurt in the back meadow. Turn the garage studio into a man-cave. Get that drum set you’ve always wanted. Anything but hurting the children and me with a reckless move like the one you’re talking about.”

Then I repeated my line, “What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?”

“How can we have a responsible distance?”

“I don’t want distance,” he said. “I want to move out.”

My mind raced. Was it another woman? Drugs? Unconscionable secrets? But I stopped myself. I would not suffer.

Instead, I went to my desk, Googled “responsible separation,” and came up with a list. It included things like: Who’s allowed to use what credit cards? Who are the children allowed to see you with in town? Who’s allowed keys to what?

I looked through the list and passed it on to him.

His response: “Keys? We don’t even have keys to our house.”

I remained stoic. I could see pain in his eyes. Pain I recognized.

“Oh, I see what you’re doing,” he said. “You’re going to make me go into therapy. You’re not going to let me move out. You’re going to use the kids against me.”

“I never said that. I just asked: What can we do to give you the distance you need … ”

“Stop saying that!”

Well, he didn’t move out.

Instead, he spent the summer being unreliable. He stopped coming home at his usual 6 o’clock. He would stay out late and not call. He blew off our entire Fourth of July—the parade, the barbecue, the fireworks—to go to someone else’s party. When he was at home, he was distant. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He didn’t even wish me “Happy Birthday.”

But I didn’t play into it. I walked my line. I told the kids: “Daddy’s having a hard time, as adults often do. But we’re a family, no matter what.” I was not going to suffer. And neither were they.

My trusted friends were irate on my behalf. “How can you just stand by and accept this behavior? Kick him out! Get a lawyer!”

I walked my line with them, too. This man was hurting, yet his problem wasn’t mine to solve. In fact, I needed to get out of his way so he could solve it.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m a pushover. I’m weak and scared and would put up with anything to keep the family together. I’m probably one of those women who would endure physical abuse. But I can assure you, I’m not. I load 1,500-pound horses into trailers and gallop through the high country of Montana all summer. I went through Pitocin-induced natural childbirth. And a Caesarean section without follow-up drugs. I am handy with a chain saw.

I simply had come to understand that I was not at the root of my husband’s problem. He was. If he could turn his problem into a marital fight, he could make it about us. I needed to get out of the way so that wouldn’t happen.

Privately, I decided to give him time. Six months.

I had good days and I had bad days. On the good days, I took the high road. I ignored his lashing out, his merciless jabs. On bad days, I would fester in the August sun while the kids ran through sprinklers, raging at him in my mind. But I never wavered. Although it may sound ridiculous to say, “Don’t take it personally” when your husband tells you he no longer loves you, sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.

Instead of issuing ultimatums, yelling, crying, or begging, I presented him with options. I created a summer of fun for our family and welcomed him to share in it, or not—it was up to him. If he chose not to come along, we would miss him, but we would be just fine, thank you very much. And we were.

And, yeah, you can bet I wanted to sit him down and persuade him to stay. To love me. To fight for what we’ve created. You can bet I wanted to.

But I didn’t.

I barbecued. Made lemonade. Set the table for four. Loved him from afar.

And one day, there he was, home from work early, mowing the lawn. A man doesn’t mow his lawn if he’s going to leave it. Not this man. Then he fixed a door that had been broken for eight years. He made a comment about our front porch needing paint. Our front porch. He mentioned needing wood for next winter. The future. Little by little, he started talking about the future.

It was Thanksgiving dinner that sealed it. My husband bowed his head humbly and said, “I’m thankful for my family.”

He was back.

And I saw what had been missing: pride. He’d lost pride in himself. Maybe that’s what happens when our egos take a hit in midlife and we realize we’re not as young and golden anymore.

When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: It’s not a spouse, or land, or a job, or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within. Relying on any other equation can be lethal.

My husband had become lost in the myth. But he found his way out. We’ve since had the hard conversations. In fact, he encouraged me to write about our ordeal. To help other couples who arrive at this juncture in life. People who feel scared and stuck. Who believe their temporary feelings are permanent. Who see an easy out and think they can escape.

My husband tried to strike a deal. Blame me for his pain. Unload his feelings of personal disgrace onto me.

But I ducked. And I waited. And it worked.

This essay originally appeared in The New York Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

This post comes from Theweek.com August 13, 2009

 

Are you stuck in story?

are-you-stuck-on-story

Why do you need stories? Stories give shape to experience and allow you to go through life with clarity. Without stories, life events and experiences would float around in some nebulous cloud and none of it would mean anything. When you have a particular viewpoint of what happened, the wonderful aspects of being human can come into play. You can laugh, feel inspired, be compassionate, become outraged, and become motivated to change things. They help you connect and feel less alone. They are your guidepost, your prayers, your history and the vehicle to discovering and expressing your soul. There are stories that celebrate and others that offer you a challenge.

Stories reflect your perception of events, experiences and the world. They influence your interactions with others, the quality of your relationships, your sense of emotional well-being, and even your physical health. They shape your expectations, who you believe you can become, or can achieve in life. Your story affects how easily you steer through change, and it can keep you stuck in cycles of stress, worry, and fear. It is your interpretation of what you believe to be true. This rendition is based on your beliefs and weave together to create a story about who you are and how the world works.

If these perceptions and interpretations are reinforced by your environment, the more real they appear and the truer the story seems. The story becomes so engrained that you believe it is the only one that could exist. Your perspective then becomes your truth. The question is, does it support you?

Why do you stay in the stories you create? Story helps you understand the world and assimilate your experience of it, providing you with a view point. Sometimes that becomes contorted. Your unconscious beliefs are like an invisible story line that you carry around all the time. For example, if you adopted the belief that you are not significant, you carry the “I’m insignificant” story. Everywhere you go you are projecting, “This is the story of who I am and how the world works for me. You are requesting others to assume the illusion is true, and help sustain it.” There are plenty of people who are willing to cooperate with you.

How do you change the story? Einstein said that you can’t solve a problem at the same level of consciousness that created it. To change the story you need to look at reality in an entirely new way. Transformation comes when you change the question from “what is this person doing to create this feeling I am experiencing?” This inquiry does not claim ownership of your perception which might be flawed. A more self-aware question might be, “If this reaction is occurring, what story line am I carrying?” Doing this you become aware of the story line, and it gives you the opportunity to change it. You can choose to let go of a limiting belief and respond differently. When you look at your “reality” in a new way. You get less stuck in reacting, and you learn how to clear the beliefs that make up the story. Your awareness grows and you learn to participate in the story you are creating. As a result, the story no longer rules you and your experience of reality changes. I encourage those wanting to explore this further to read Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is.

Lynn Zambrano R.N. is an energy intuitive, healer and life coach. Her sessions are filled with compassion and designed to reveal your personalized, heart-centered guidance. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook, or email Lynn at Lightminded1@yahoo.com. You can also visit her website at www.Light-Minded.com Lynn is co-host with TrustClaire on her BTR show on Mondays at 5:30 EST, and is also highlighted on Top American Healers .

References:

http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/101486/Why-We-Need-St…

http://www.powerctr.com/

ORIGINAL POST on OM Times

The Hidden Issues of Marriage- How Care, Respect, Interest, Play, Attention, and Power Determine Success and Failure in Our Relationships

Money, sex, in-laws, vacations, communication, children–these head the list of explicit concerns couples struggle with in their marriage. But there are deeper and more significant issues. Often these are hidden from direct discussion or awareness. Care, respect, interest, play, attention, and power are the real issues couples have. These are the themes that make for happiness or misery, that fulfill or destroy dreams. Couples who have harmony in these realms have relationships that hold together, breed vitality, and foster creativity. We are creatures driven by invisible currents, often imperceptible to the casual or the inattentive observer. A case-in-point: What may seem to be a couple’s routine argument about which movie to see may be a hidden power struggle. One partner feels that she has been capitulated too many times to her husband’s preferences, even though in a less competitive moment his first choice would also have been hers.

In this article I will define and illustrate what I consider to be six below-the-surface issues in marriage and offer observations on how we might approach consciously living-out these themes in less destructive and more positive ways.

Care

John and Sarah (All names and identifying data have been changed.) are starved for caring. John grew up in a love-deprived home without a mothering mother. His mother, in and out of mental hospitals during his childhood, looked to her elder son to take care of his three brothers. After doing his own school work, he would make sure his siblings did theirs, clean house, and make dinner for his depressed mother and his exhausted and overburdened father. His parents were so absorbed in their mental and financial survival, respectively, that they did not even thank him. His sole comfort was managing to keep a semblance of sanity in the family and save his mother some visits to the hospital. When he met Sarah, a lovely young woman with a soft voice and an appreciation for his good efforts, he was joyfully overwhelmed. Here at last was one who understood, here at last was one who wanted to create a family in which thought and feeling and aspiration could be shared and executed together. He felt cared for.

For Sarah their meeting was equally promising. She had also been brought up in a family devoid of emotion–an austere mid-western family, in which mother never hugged and father sat remotely over ceremonial occasions, but had little else to offer. Sarah suffered from diabetes and John’s sense of order promised to help her maintain a regimen for optimal health. She believed she had found the man who would warm her heart and take care of her temporal needs. They, of course, fell in love with each other–for what is “falling in love” but finding another whom we believe meets–and will continue to meet–our needs. They married and, alas, a failure of “caring” soon began.

Sarah, it turned out, notwithstanding her gentleness and eagerness to be helpful, had only a rudimentary sense of empathy for emotional nuance. She knew how to do what she believed were “caring’ behaviors, but lacked a heart that matched John’s sensibilities. In their first year of marriage John’s brother was made paraplegic in a car accident. As he lived in the same city as John, he balanced his own families needs with attending to his brother, returning to his bedside and taking on his care much as he had looked after him when he was a little boy. Sarah attempted to be supportive, but John’s absence from the home, his drives across town twice a week to fill in for the nurses, his continually being on the phone to doctors, began to sink Sarah’s heart, as she wondered what happened to the man she married. She no longer felt John’s caring.

Caring is the constant and tender ministrations that we all look for in our partners. In many couples the most fundamental question is: Does she or he care enough? How precious is the statement that “He really does care.” How poignant the transparent defensive posturing, “I really don’t care what she does.” We need for persons to intend the best for us and to have us in their minds and to carry out acts of caring. The absence of caring breeds shame and worthlessness. Explicit issues of being home for dinner when expected, taking out the garbage, driving slowly when one’s partner is anxious about speed, or speedily when one’s partner is anxious about dawdling, are not “little things” but significant carriers of caring feelings. These are as intensely important, as urgent as the deepest demands of the human heart. In fact, that’s what they are.

“I care for you.” “He doesn’t care for me.” These are among the tenderest, most sought, and most feared sentiments persons express to one another. When caring behaviors become sparse, couples are fading in their vital attachment to one another. Caring behaviors are those acts subtle or blunt by which we convey to the other that we wish his or her happiness, safety, fulfillment. It is caring to feel deeply for our partner’s most searing fears and griefs; it is also caring to listen to her talk about her high school reunion. Caring is wishing the person well and acting to back up that wish. When we care we go the proverbial extra mile. Caring also conveys, implicitly, commitment, for caring is being present to the other as long as we are needed. We “are needed” a long, long time. Few in-love couples pre-arrange their breaking-up.

Take a look at your relationship. Do your feel cared for? Do you care deeply about your mate? Talk with your partner and let him tell you how he feels. Summon the courage to hear that she may not feel nearly so cared about as your have imagined. In fact, you may have forgotten actually to care, and you may have become so used to being in an uncaring marriage that you aren’t even paying attention to the state of caring between you. Examine what has happened to your caring. Did it evaporate? Was it ever there?. How does your caring interweave with other themes of your relationship–with power and respect, for example? What do you need to do, to have your partner do, before caring can be revived? Do you need the help of a guide or therapist? Is it worth your investment of energy? Are you really serious about trying? And if so, how will you begin? How much energy will you give to realizing this possibility?

Respect

After their first idyllic months together, Ellen and Newton composed a gradual crescendo of disrespect which climaxed in a bitter divorce. What began as a story-book romance–a chance meeting in Key West where each had, uncharacteristically, taken solo vacations for introspection and R&R– she seeking refuge from an abusive marriage and he solace from a series of failed relationships. Newton was present and comforting to Ellen as she recounted the emotional and physical abuse she had suffered for years in an attempt to keep the marriage together for the sake of her children and in deference to her family’s pressure to avoid, at-all-cost, divorce.

Ellen, at first enamored of Newton’s vast intellect, and proud of his talent at engaging any person in fluent conversation, came to despise “his narrow academic interests” and his “pompous colleagues.” She deplored his long work hours and his extended field trips. She panicked about his regularly having several drinks before dinner. He showed no desire for children of their own. Fundamentally, Ellen did not respect his interests, his style, his friendships. Though she “tried” to persuade herself that she could learn to admire him, that he had a “right” to do what he did without her standing in judgment. Yet, in her soul she was negative to and threatened by many of the ways he lived.

Newton, at first attracted to Ellen because of her needfulness, after a few months of marriage began to see her less as loveably vulnerable than as one whose unhappiness was a drag on his contentment. He began to realize that he who had begun the relationship as the “white knight” for helping her escape from her unhappy and entrapped marriage had now become the oppressor. Her vulnerability became, to him, a contemptible craziness and instead of being with her in sympathy for the way the world was treating her, he became part of the world that was tormenting and abusing her.

The relationship, having made an 180 degree turn from affirmation of each other–their styles, looks, habits, values, commitments–to denigrating practically everything about one another, found itself on a steady course of decline and, eventually, divorce. To be trapped on a path where each partner judges the other as not living an admirable life is fatally demoralizing. Ellen “tried” to see Newton differently and the more she tried the more it was evident that underneath her posturing sweetness and positivity, there was repulsion. Many times Newton resolved not to attack her with “crazy-making” accusations, but when she would get upset at one of his absences or pretensions, he would forget his resolutions and “go for the gut.” Newton and Ellen had neither power, nor awareness, nor will to face straight-out that they did not admire one another. They repeatedly fought over mundane differences, ignoring the deeper angers and judgments that made them crash-bound. Hardly a marriage survives in this atmosphere; none happily. Theirs did not.

Respect means liking and affirming your partner for who he or she is in the world. Of course, being separate creatures with our own prejudices and definitions, some things about others we like, some we do not. But loving relationships that are truly satisfying are founded on mutual respect. We need to feel that others believe the attitudes we have, the professions we pursue, the charities we support, the jokes we tell are, for the most part, pleasing to them. If this is not happening, then there is a major problem brewing. People kill each other when they feel disrespected, and couples kill their marriage when disrespect prevails.

If you feel that respect in your relationship is becoming thin, take a long look at yourself and attempt to understand just how deep this disrespect goes. Have you, for some time, been feeling negative about how you partner leads her life, and have you been less than direct about it? Or perhaps you can look within yourself, at your own values. If you are failing to respect your partner, you may want to examine your behavior and see if you are emphasizing negative things to the detriment of the positive. Sometimes things are correctable, but you must address problems before the toxins of disrespect have ravaged your connection. If you want to develop respect, there is no better way to begin than frankly talking with your partner about your failings in this arena and beginning to construct a new basis for respect. If you can’t find it, then you are indeed in trouble.

Interest

A common way of describing a relationship is when persons acknowledge being “interested” in each other. “Interesting” covers a lot of territory. Though nature may have first created interest to assure replication of life, sex, recasts as interest, extends far into realms as diverse as intellectual complexity, athletic skills, winsome personality, and playing a mean game of chess. One of our strongest drives is the compulsion away from boredom. Losing interest defines depression.

Mitchell and Lori had only been married a couple of years when Mitchell lost interest. In the beginning their fascination for each other never cooled. He was strong and quiet, she, shy socially, but super-active athletically. She led him out of himself into a new world of sports and outdoors. He offered her a quiet refuge and protection from the many times she over-extended herself with activities. All went well until her job began to keep her into the evenings and weekends. He depended on her for stimulation, for keeping things going that were fun and engaging. Only a few months after Lori’s absence-making schedule began, Mitchell initiated afternoon dalliances with a coworker that quickly blossomed into a passionate affair. When Lori discovered his infidelities, the ensuing struggles, the threat of loss, and the reminder of their strong early attraction to one another reignited their desire to make a satisfying marriage.

Research indicates that affairs are seldom primarily sexually motivated. Most often they are persons’ attempts either to stimulate their life, or having lost a feeling of being desired in their relationship, discover if one can still be attractive to other partners. Nothing flattens a couples energy more than to have lost interest in one another–if the trend continues downward, persons can lose interest in being alive.

How can you make the uninteresting interesting? By paying acute attention. Anything looked at up close and personal is interesting. If something is interesting it sparks our creativity, it brings out our most primitive organismic sense of pleasure in relating to reality outside of ourselves. Interest brings us into heart and mind augmenting connection with the world. And persons are infinitely interesting for they are in continual ferment, discarding old and taking on new forms in a cacophony of novelty and growth.

Love is continually renewing interest. How many good films do you see where there is no “love interest.” (Note, “love-interest”–it’s almost a single word.) Interest is the life of relationships. Lose interest, death of the relationship. How do you retain and engender interest? By being willing to be open for it. By not expecting the other person to carry the full responsibility of being “interesting” to us. It is just as true–and perhaps a truth of more import–to say that you are responsible for your own ability to be interested. The lazy brain is the uninterested brain. Further if you are not interested you hardly accept the other as he is, for you are always looking for “something else” to carry you out of your stupor of disinterest.

Play

Play is the purest and fullest expression of joy–the most basic positive emotion. There are many forms of play. Sexuality may head the list, but not far behind is walking around the block, enjoying family rituals, laughing over the comics, watching a child grow up, matching rhythms and harmonies with one another. Play is pure; it is without pretense; it aspires to be nothing but itself. It is nature’s way of letting us know we are in the flow of experience. To play together is both to be in sync with the world and one another. We become couples, in large measure, because we play well together. Whether we are attending a lecture, going to the beach, or venturing into Eros, the compelling meeting between two persons can best be described as play. Persons are attracted to each other, not because they work well on projects together, but because they enjoy playing with one another.

When Rosemary and Spaulding met they were beautiful and talented young people who enjoyed parties, romance, and fanciful dreams of success. After their marriage they moved from a small town in the south to a large eastern city for Spaulding to attend law school. It turned out that he had talent for patent law and paternity, and before long his practice was successful and his home full. Rosemary bore five sons and gave herself to twenty years of active and consuming motherhood, along with making a home for her work-laminated husband.

Rosemary craved play. She didn’t know its name, but she knew she needed something. She tried tennis, encounter groups, therapy, religion, dancing. She discovered she liked all of them. Relieved of the demands of her large brood of children, she was ready for grown-up play. She learned to look people in the eye, talk about her feelings, claim her sexuality. She desperately wanted to engage her husband with her in her newly found playfulness. Rosemary urged, demanded that Spaulding join her, but his manner of play was to sit quietly with the newspaper, worry about the stock market, keep up with sports, and follow his sons’ progress. His games she could never play, and as for her parenting, it was time for a change of venue. She needed a playmate–i.e. a man to share with her in the new pleasure and creativity she had discovered in her life, and he hardly filled the (play)bill. For Rosemary play was the avenue to closeness and Spaulding’s inability to play with her caused a severe gap in their happiness together.

From the beginning we play. We virtually come into the world playing. Play is losing ourselves in unplanned pleasurable abandon of mind and body. Play feels good. Play expands the body, loosens the breathing, rushes the blood, releases endorphins and epinephrine and dopamine. When relationships form there’s a lot of playing. So many activities for couples are play activities. Dating, dancing, going to the movies and…sex are play. Sex is high and vital adult play; when it’s work it’s no fun. Play is an accepting activity for it exists for its own sake. This is perhaps why play often gets such a bum rap.

You and your partner probably don’t play nearly enough. As heirs of Puritanism, you may feel that everything should be “purposeful,” that present activity–even play–should be leading to something else that justifies your effort. But acceptance is not future oriented; it is receiving and enjoying with your partner what is in the present–and no activity is more “in-the-present” than play. If you can’t play, you are much too anxious about what is “not yet.” Play releases, it transcends a “not-now-consciousness” to enter an “experiencing-now-consciousness” that is pure enjoyment. Being able to share the play-moment makes you indeed partners in living life freely and for fun.

Attention

Jerry wants to be “heard.” He has countless stories about how Jennifer repeatedly paid no attention to what he told her. On the first thanksgiving visit to his uncle’s (the grand-old-man of his family) home when he implored Jennifer never to reveal that they had lived together before they were married. He knew that his bachelor uncle was notorious for his Victorian morality, which dwelt alongside a great mind and loads of money to distribute solely to his two nephews. Jennifer, after several of glasses of Chateau Rothchild, let the secret of their cohabitation slip. Uncle abruptly asked them to leave and seven years later has neither spoken to nor about them.

Jennifer’s story is of her futile attempts to have Jerry listen to her terror of his family. Again and again she had stressed to him that his family’s loud and condescending ways made her shrink with discomfort and fright. She told Jerry that the only thing that could help would be to medicate her anxiety with wine, and that she knew that she sometimes got out of control. Jerry paid little heed. Through their failure to listen attentively to each other, they lost family and inheritance… and gained anger and disappointment with each other.

From our beginnings, we must be attended to. Children not “heard,” neither mirrored not understood, whose sense-of-self is grossly handicapped by the indifference of others, literally do not survive their childhood. Did you ever speak to someone when you thought he was in the room with you, perhaps voicing a thought about a shared experience, and found he had walked out of the room leaving you talking to air. You felt disappointed, foolish, annoyed. That is what it is like not to be heard, not to be attended to. You begin to think that actually you don’t exist.

Like so many who do not feel heard, Jennifer and Jerry resort to aggressive and sometimes ruthless measures to gain attention. Jennifer demeans Jerry’s manhood, talks about old boy friends being more appealing to her than he is–“They listen”, and threatens further havoc on his family, aimed this time at his parents. Jerry scowls and yells, or alternately he takes a passive, withdrawn stance, hoping to invoke such guilt in Jennifer that she will pause and listen to his side of things. Both are so caught-up in trying to force the other to hear them, that they are like the United Sates attempting to save Vietnam by destroying it.

As a marriage therapist, I see an endless parade of persons who drag their partners to counseling with complaints about how they are not being attended to. The complaints come in many forms: not being heard or listened to, not being seen or sought out, not being thought about or remembered. All of which make the unattended-to person very insecure about whether she or he is truly valued by the other.

If you are to learn better to attend and be attended to, you must become aware that listening, indeed, is your deficiency. You need to check out your narcissism to see just how self-absorbed you are and how effectively you take in what is real about your partners. In many households, persons go weeks without ever so much as inquiring after their partners feelings or even their everyday experiences. Are you one of these? And if you feel you are rarely attended to, pay close attention to your experience, are you often wishing for more or different than your partner can give? If all else fails, ask your partner if he or she feels attended to and known. If you and she are not reassured by her response, then undertake a course of training–with friends, therapists, family, books–to see if you actually want learn and develop the courage and skill of empathy.

Power

Human beings abhor feeling “less-than.” We can’t bear for another to get the upper hand. We have many ways to even scores. The recent popularity of “First Wives Club” and “Waiting to Exhale,” gives strident witness to the “fun” and satisfaction we have in seeing others get their comeuppance when they become too powerful for the good of both partners. We fear that our partner may be ahead of (translate better than or superior to) us, or worse, that she or he may be “feeding-off” us. We attempt to correct this by conscious and unconscious balancing designed to make sure we do not end up on bottom. We work, all out, to stay on top. Case in point: Paul washes the dishes and points out to Anna that she should appreciate his efforts; he claims that what he does more than compensates for her vacuuming the house; she then agues that, not only did she vacuum but she shampooed as well and this puts her ahead….and on it goes.

There are several varieties of roles that are used in the power struggle. A couple of favorites are the victim and the saint (variations: nag and “Nice Guy,” wimp and the tyrant). The victim is always “down” and refuses to allow the other person to enjoy their “up” position. Victims blame; they invariable see the problem as the bad behavior of the other. Elizabeth is an assertive and demanding victim, as she approaches most of their talks with Brian, her husband, with a full agenda of grievances for his “failures” in treating her well. Brian is ever eager to please, but nothing he does ever seems to be enough, nothing ever seems to work. If his behaviors are “right” then his timing is “wrong.” Always, he is either agreeable or compromising, yet what he does is bumbling and only succeeds for Elizabeth half-way. If he comes home early one night, she reminds him that his job is less secure this year so he had better take no liberties; when he is late she speaks of the children feeling neglected.

Brian is the model “Nice Guy,” a sort of Sensitive Man version of a saint. He listens to Elizabeth; he “empathizes” (i.e. he insists he “understands what she means”); he smiles at her with sweetness and reassures her of his love. But there is a darker side in this hidden power struggle: he is “injured” that she does not appreciate his efforts more fully, for underneath he feels “put-upon” and “had-it-up-to-here” about her demands and pleadings. He neither lets himself or her know just how disgruntled and resistant he is. She tries to get him to admit it. She tells him “Don’t you resent my going-on all the time about wanting more from you?” He responds, “A bit, but I understand that you are really hurting, and I want to do the best I can.” But, from time to time his real upset is apparent even to him, when he says flat-out to her insistence that he interrupt his racquetball to be home “on time” for dinner–” Well, I just can’t do that.” Underneath this “Nice Guy” trait there resides the resentful mind of one who feels he is being more misunderstood than is his wife. His attitude is strength and availability, but beneath the surface there is determination not to be “used,” not to be made accountable for what he believes in his heart-of-hearts is more her “fault” than his. He is fighting her and she him. The explicit issues of their marriage, his time availability, his forgetting anniversaries, his financial instability are rendered trivial by the velvet war they are raging for dominance. Bit by bit they have lose confidence in mutual good will and caring. And without this assumed reciprocity of energy and love, a power struggle sets in.

When the dynamic themes of your relationship are suffering from failures of loving connection, developing “power-over” often becomes by default the mode of choice. Power is the booby prize for failure of respect, care, et al. If we can’t be with our partners, at least we can exercise power over them. So we become obsessed with being winners. There are so many ways to have power struggles: they can be well disguised as content discussions or battles over “important” things–when the deeper theme is showing who can win: we may feign willingness to give our partner what she wants, but our deeper intention is to dilute her justifiable anger for our inconsiderateness; we can bring up issues in public that have not been worked out in private in order to get help from one of our friends whom we know shares our opinions.

You probably did not fall in love with your partner because either of you demonstrated power over the other–relationships are rarely fueled by the winner enjoying being related to a loser. Should you find yourself lost in power trips, ask yourself just what are you feeling inferior about that you might go for the “win?” Know that your love and positive connection are out of kilter, and you have surrendered to a power trip disguised as a marriage. Are you willing to invest in the delicate and vulnerable reinvention of a balanced and reciprocal marriage?

How it all adds up….

In all of these hidden issues there is a common theme, whether care, or respect, or interest, or play, or attention, or power: acceptance. We are social creatures and the central question of all human existence is: Do you accept me? Am I OK with you? Do you embrace me, or do you push me away? What is my future with you? Are you a refuge, a safe harbor? Or do I have to worry about being alienated from you? At the core of the human psyche and soul is the yearning for the continuation and fulfillment of the unconditional love often provided for us as infants. We are born of parents whom nature, at its best, provides with instinct and wisdom that they may lovingly respond to our needs–simply because we are. Beginning within the womb and beyond, when things go the way nature intended, we experience ourselves as given-to as though we were a pure gift of joy to our human companions who are pleased with us and we with them. This is the imprint by which all our social life, and most centrally our marriage life, is measured.

The hidden themes of marriage are variations on acceptance. Unconditional acceptance is life’s first gift, and our lifetime task is to recover and amplify, in the specifics of our relationships, the infinite variations on this theme.Care is acceptance as we recapitulate the mother’s tender loving gaze and gentle ministrations for each others’ well being. Respect is acceptance as we honor the particularity of our partners in ways that they feel their life “as is” is highly esteemed. Interest is acceptance as we let our partners know that they draw our energy positively and vigorously. Play is acceptance as partners’ flowing, mindless, expressions connect with high pleasure with one another and all life. Attention is acceptance as we feel heard and known by one another, and by this experience confirm our entitled place in life. Power is the energy of acceptance fostered when one surrenders to being with one another, never dominating thus relieving fear, and gathering the synergy of true mutuality.

 

ORIGINAL POSTING HERE

Robert Caldwell, M. Div. has a private practice of individual, couple, and group psychotherapy in Bethesda. He is a Licensed and Certified Professional Counselor.

Does Your Face Say “Ho Ho Ho,” or “Bah Humbug?”

Time to FACE the Holidays!

By Michelle Butt

time-to-face-the-holidaysThe holidays are coming. Have you ever noticed how some people are so excited and happy as Christmas approaches, anticipating all of the family get-togethers and socializing? And then there are those who complain about the holidays, dreading all the family get-togethers and socializing.

Well, this year, take a look at the faces of these people and I can almost guarantee you’ll see a pattern. The hostess of the big Christmas dinner will most likely have a round face with full cheeks and perhaps a mouth with full lips. This face shape tells us about someone who loves to be around family and friends. She is the nurturer of the family. She is generous and giving and makes sure that everyone is always well fed, both in goodies and in spirit. Going to her house always feels like going home to a warm, inviting environment.

Think about the face of Santa. Isn’t he the ultimate example of the spirit of Christmas, the most generous man of the holidays? Santa just oozes warmth and generosity with his round, full cheeks and rosy red lips.

Then there is the person who hangs back from the rest at the holiday gatherings; the one who keeps to herself and wants to leave early; who often seems just overwhelmed by all the fuss. If you look at her face, I bet you’ll see fine bone structure, a striking nose and perhaps high arched eyebrow, strong cheekbones with concave lower cheeks. This person doesn’t hate other people per se; she is just very sensitive to the energy around her. All of the emotion and excitement hit her like a wave of energy and it can be very hard for her to adjust. She can literally feel the buzz in the air in her skin and it can be very uncomfortable. So she will hang back until she can acclimatize and unconsciously put up her energetic wall. Then she can enjoy the festivities along with everyone else.

Think about the face of Scrooge. Scrooge was depicted as thin with a fine, bony nose, and sunken cheeks, isolating himself from the world. Yet, once he acclimatized to the energy of those around him (with the help of some celestial spirits), he loved Christmas and enjoyed himself at Christmas dinner!

Then there is the face of the man whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. Have you ever thought about what Jesus’ face says? Well, the face of Jesus that is depicted in all of the churches and artwork around the world, however subtly different has one main theme that is undeniable. Jesus has the face of a Leader. His beard and strong jaw show someone whose mission in life is to be an agent of change and growth. He is the gentle guide who leads with compassion, and strength. The prominence of his chin in most depictions show a man who has the tenacity of will to stand and face fearlessly what others would have run from.

Enjoy all the faces in your holiday experiences this year. I wish you joy and happiness, but most of all love during this magical time.

Original Post on Om Times

Love & Marriage: It’s an institute you can’t disparage… or can you? by Scott Beauregard

wedding1Having been married in my past and when that marriage ended, as all too many in current society do, in divorce I was lost for a period of time.   I struggled with the concepts of what society says is the path to happiness.    I started to look deeper into my own thoughts and beliefs about marriage.   While It may seem in this piece that I’m condemning marriage that is not truly the case.   I’m not condemning marriage, but more condemning the reasons we enter into a marriage contract.  

In doing research based on this subject it quickly became apparent that there is not reliable historical information regarding marriage and rarely is the word “love” mentioned in all of the definitions and histories of marriage.   Let’s look at the current state of marriage and its role in keeping us disconnected from our true selves.   Although attitudes are starting to change slowly when it comes to the definition of marriage,  this is not going to turn into a political debate. It has been commonly held that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for quite sometime.    Look at that last statement again, specifically, “union of”.    What does that bring into your mind?    A partnership, a combining of equal parts?  If it is so that this union of, and we can even expand it out to two people, is an equal partnership then why are people so lost and looking, searching for that one connection that will “save” them.    The divorce rate is through the roof.    Domestic abuse and violence is at an all time high.    We don’t seem to be learning anything and making the same mistakes over and over.   

People both men and women, straight, gay, bi, have relationships with 6-10 different people in their lifetime.   All under the guise of finding “the one”.    The one that will allow me to be happy.   As those numbers point out there’s not “the one”, although in rare instances it does happen or at least appear on the surface.   That older couple that has been together for 50, 60, 70 years, we’ve all heard those stories about a love that endures.    It is obvious that these rare occurrences that the couple understands something about unconditional love or they hide the true nature of the relationship from even themselves.   

wedding-cows-heartlandboostMarriage is a contract not of equals, but of property.    That’s right property.    It is nothing more than a contract where the man agrees to provide security and physical property and  woman agrees to become property of the husband for the security and physical property that is or will be owned and for the purposes of procreation so the physical property is in the hands of known relations.    Men have through fear convinced women to give up their true feminine nature for stuff basically.    Women have accepted the mantle of chattel on the antiquated notion that they will be provided for.   If this is not true in this day and age why is it that more and more women have given up their feminine energetic natures and taken on more masculine natures in their lives.   

asian-couple-man-carrying-womanSo many people today still think that their happiness can come from another person.    This is a crazy notion.   One of the questions asked often in my counseling/coaching sessions is “Who can make you happy”, over 90% of the time the answer is “I can”.   Next question is can anyone else?   answer no.    This is followed up with a question creates a lot of confusion.     “Who can hurt you?” almost every person says “anybody”.    When that is questioned with “If you are the only one that can make you happy,  how is it that “anybody” can hurt you?”

If a good number of people can realize at this time that they are responsible for their own happiness why is it so difficult to accept that one is just as responsible for the hurts that come into one’s life.    They bring this perception into the marriage contract and that is a pretty good indicator of why the divorce rate is so high.    That and the fact that it is INSANE that women in this day and age would agree willingly to trade themselves for physical property and the illusion of security.  

It’s not all their fault.  The male has done a superb job of selling a bill of goods for hundreds or thousands of years that this is the only way it will work.    The old patriarchal paradigm of conquest, control, and ownership is still in full effect today.  Things are starting to change slowly.  People in general are starting to take off the blinders.    People are getting married for the first time later in life or choosing not to get married at all.    Society is growing up and women are starting to wake up to the fact that the male will not give up what they have gained easily and the woman will have to take responsibility for becoming whole again.  The male also bears responsibility in becoming whole but too many males still have that macho I need to conquer my world mentality.    Using tantra and coaching it is possible to heal individual males and females, and couples as well.

  When two people centered in the divine self, the unconditional love, the pure awareness, is it possible to create a union of equals.    This is not to be seen though as an answer to fix the marriage contract though.    It is only the understanding of what a relationship is supposed to be, for a reason, a season or on the rare occasions a lifetime.  This can be applied to any relationship, friends, lovers, parents, children, etc.  When we are centered in awareness and connected to that unconditional source, it becomes easier to love without attachment to thoughts of would, should, could.  Which puts expectations of action or inaction, on the other person which will just lead down a path of hurting the self or other person with those expectations.

While there will always be those that prefer the marriage contract to the alternative, if we can get to the point of being centered within ourselves we can more easily handle the points in time when the current relationship we are in no longer serve the highest and greatest good of either party while maintaining the unconditional love and respect of the other party.       

Healing Marilyn Monroe

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So often women face challenges that men just simply cannot understand. Many of us having grown up with some form of sexual trauma or another, lost love, low self-esteem, a lack of understanding of our own bodies, emotions and ability to stand strong in the great feminine among other things and our sexuality causes us to be scared of intimate relationships. I recently heard that an average of 60% of the population has experienced or will experience some form of sexual abuse. This is a high number!  Sad but caused by the predators fantasies, insecurities and thus egoic attempts to control, take and dominate their victims in some sexual fashion. For those who have suffered rape in some form or another, sexual abuse from someone they loved/trusted or a stranger, they find themselves sexually bullied by another. Often the violator does not realize what they have done, the damage they have caused, the roadblocks in peoples lives that they have installed. They may assume that it was theirs for the taking or owed to them for some reason, even asked for. Often this can even happen in marriages or love relationships as well. These cases are even more so taboo to speak of in our society but are causing darkness in our world.  

For women, weather they are awake spiritually or not, sex is not the same as it for a man. As women, we are the ones who have to open

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ourselves, be vulnerable, be penetrated. Sex takes place inside us. It can bring us to great heights of pleasure yes, but only when done in love, trust and willingness can the women experience a taste of heaven. Sex is VERY spiritual! It is also extremely emotional, and psychological.  Even when a women lays down with her lover or spouse and falls into the trap of “duty sex” it is far beyond skin on skin friction to her. In these instances it is emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically damaging to her. She becomes a victim of the event. She becomes a victim to her penetrator, even if she loves and trusts him. She becomes a prisoner within herself.  This sort of sexual trauma, as well as typical rape cases, molestation, physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse and the sheer fact that as a society we shun and hush any open talk about the effects this plays on the female population in a whole has caused women to shut down. To diminish their great light in this world and to trust their male counterparts wholly. The female spirit of the world consciousness is damaged from the over run abuse that the female population has carried for thousands of years if not more. As the consciousness of our plant switches, as we transcend through the cosmic storms of the universe and the astrological alignments and make way into the dawning of a new reality, one on the bright side of dooms day prophecies, we MUST heal our sex.  

In my working mainly with men, over the course of my practice so far; I have learned that the majority are longing for the intimacy lost in their relationships. Connection and touch being at the peak of what they crave. As men become more consciously aware of the damage of the female energies in this world and the role the man has played in it, they also awaken to new feelings within themselves. They can start to connect first internally to the feminine energies that they too house. The healing of the ying/yang in our internal worlds is the starting point for ALL physical, emotional, spiritual and mental healing. Quantum Core Energetix and other forms of energetic bodywork are specially designed to help attune the cellular levels of the body so that it vibrates at a new frequency and the energy centers (Chakras) can spin freely and properly move the life force energy. These types of healing touch practices also clear out the physical storage of traumas. Great emotional releases happen. Acceptance for oneself, the path we have walked and are walking, the people in our lives and forgiveness toward ourselves and others all manifest through such healing works.    

I have been blessed to work with many incredible gentlemen over the course of my practice. The honor they bring is amazing. The open and loving hearts and souls. I feel extremely blessed to be a part of so many divine gentleman’s lives. Hearing about their trials and tribulations, the birth of new events, businesses, relationships and awakenings of purpose are only the tip of the ice berg of connection that I enjoy with so many. Often I find myself feeling not just like a practitioner with these souls but like a friend or comrade. Someone that is there to lend an ear, a new chalk board of ideas, unconditional love and friendship even. I can honestly say that I love all of my clients. Even the ones who have tested my waters of patience. Even the ones that I have had the obligation to fire because they could not withstand the ego and allowed their self-limited consciousness to manifest in negative groping behaviour. I honestly hold no ill will toward anyone, but instead find myself being asked to take seat in a new quest.  

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The quest to heal the Goddess. If men are to ever experience the intimacy that they so long for, the ability to feel like “real men” again and to learn to not take but to receive, then healing of the great feminine must take place. Women need to be confident enough to make eye contact with a man in the grocery store and not feel like he will approach her for a date or make some inappropriate comment. Women must learn again how to dance in the feminine energy and allow men to open doors for them, to give an appropriate compliment and it not be perceived as sexual harassment. Women must learn to trust in themselves and to embrace their sexuality in fullness. To allow the inner goddess, the Marilyn Monroe  and the Mother Theresa of our souls out to shine unconditional love, acceptance, nurturing, sexual confidence, spiritual power and the inner child of joy and happiness on this world.

      It is sad but true, and even a blind man can see it, women in the world are buying into self-victimization of their bodies, their desires, and their souls. They are allowing the deepening of the pain and believing that they can mask it with anti-depressants, alcohol, affairs, commitments to surface level events, gossip, religion, and many OCD cover ups. As a women throws herself into bleaching the baseboards for the third time in the month, and increases her commitment to the PTA of her child’s school, changes her anti-depressant medicine because the last one was not quiet good enough and further blinds herself with the newest reality TV show and a glass of her favorite wine, she is supporting her prison. This is all masking. This is NOT the life of a goddess, it is not the life the Creator wants any of us to live. It is a hopeless attempt to survive instead of transform our pain.      

      Transformation starts with rage. Yes, I said rage. First we have to allow ourselves to feel the anger, the sadness, the barried emotions. We have to allow our inner dragons to storm the village of our fears so that they can fly us to the highest heights of heaven after. As we learn to see and even embrace our shadow lands we to will see the light. For where the greatest darkness is so is the greatest light. We are each a diamond in the rough. The pressure that has been applied to us has happened for a reason. No matter how dark our trouble may seem in the moment it is falling on us, no matter how the memories of the traumatic events bring rise to tears, a speedy heart beat, or stomach ache, even anger, it is all a gift. It is up to each “victim” to see that they are not a victim, they are not a survivor, they are a Goddess in training. Only through our own pain, our own tears and bloodshed can we learn to fully embrace another unconditionally. When we learn to support, unconditionally love and accept ourselves and all our shit with it, can we truly be able to do the same for another at a deep level. It is true you can NEVER understand another until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Life provides us with these opportunities so that we can each step forward into the light of transformation so that we can find our calling, our purpose, our “Work of Love” that will help the transition of our planet into more peaceful times.    

As women, we must realize that we are naturally more in tune to the spiritual aspects of life then men. We each have chosen to come here to help the men in our lives evolve into greater, more loving and conscious souls. It is OUR obligation to Heal Our Sex so that our men can be birthed into the Great Divine and the further Awakening of this planet can happen.  

From my Sexual Healing Soul to Yours, Namaste’

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