What is a Conscious Relationship?
Ah, love and romance. To be "romantic" means so much more than the dance of love between partners. It means passion in all forms, and can suffuse our entire being with a heady sense of exhilaration, novelty and aliveness. And it is up to us to learn to make this part of our life experience, every single day.
And whether it's between partners or in the larger sense of community, the deepest yearning we have as humans is to love and be loved, to be understood and heard, to feel connected and appreciated for the absolute raw, gorgeous, base and broken truth of who we really are. There's a sweetness and intimacy to being in love that feeds our souls, and that can't be duplicated anywhere else ... and it's very hard to hold on to.
So why doesn't it last?
It can, but not without giving it the time and attention needed to sustain - or revitalize - a weary twosome. If you're feeling misunderstood and unappreciated, here are a few basic questions to ask yourself:
Are you supporting your partner in actualizing his/her dreams? Are you supporting your own? Are you listening with presence and actual interest? Are you communicating your needs with kindness, and without anger? Are you willing to learn to let go of past issues and resentments? Are your expectations of the marriage realistic? How much time and energy are you placing into your job, your kids, your taxes, your home renovation, in relation to your partner? When was the last time you gave your partner the gift of a complete fantasy? How predictable have you become? When was the last time you swept them off their feet, or listened to them with genuine Presence?
Does marriage even work anymore?
As more traditional forms of marriage falter, new, more workable ways of relating inevitably take their place, and we move into a more fluid approach to long-term relationship.
Let's look at the idea of a "Conscious Relationship" - marriage as a means to help support one another's psychological and spiritual growth, as well as one another's self-actualization, expression and individuality. Is this possible to do, while maintaining intimacy, trust, a family, the constant necessity of compromise? Absolutely. Is it easy? Nope.
In a more traditional sense, marriage is either a destination unto itself, which requires no more effort or concern, or there is a constant effort to balance one's needs against those of another. This can leave us all feeling like we're not the same person anymore, having suppressed our genuine nature in favor of our partner or family to the point where we feel unrecognizable.
Facilitating open, honest, heart-centered communication, acknowledging and honoring both partners' early childhood triggers and reasons for emotional over-reactivity, and a willingness to delve deeply into the true source of anger and pain can work wonders in achieving a healthy, alive, interesting and fulfilling partnership.
The demands of 21st century living and relating are so much more complex, and changing at such exponential speeds, marriages today are unrecognizable from those of even 50 years ago. At 60% divorce rate, to say nothing of the percentage of partners who regularly and secretly fantasize about it, it's certainly no surprise to anyone that the institution marriage is in deep jeopardy. We still unconsciously tend to cling to antiquated belief systems about what it's supposed to look and feel like, and it doesn't.
After working with hundreds of couples over the years, my answer to that question is a resounding YES. What I've learned is that through some (deceptively) simple explorations, we can actually re-enter relationship with a renewed sense of connection:
REVAMP our expectations and beliefs
REPAIR wounds from previous relationships and childhood
RELEARN more productive and loving communication skills
RECONNECT with ourselves first - healing our own dysfunction & lack of fulfillment. so we don't project that onto our partners!
Working Through Difficulties
Relationships are a vital part of our lives, and nurturing them requires conscious effort. We are here to support you and your partner on your journey towards a healthier, more fulfilling connection.Working with couples who are seeking to deepen their bond, enhance communication, and resolve conflicts in a conscious and mindful way is a passion of mine. I believe that every - make that "most" - relationships have the potential to thrive when both partners are willing to explore and grow together.Whether you are facing challenges such as communication breakdowns, trust issues, or the impact of past experiences on your relationship, entering a safe and non-judgmental space for you to express your concerns and work towards healing is crucial. I provide an environment where both partners feel heard, understood, and supported, and model for you the most conscious, appropriate way to communicate those feelings so that can be replicated at home.
In working to help couples find themselves and their best friends again, I think it's important to meet with each partner individually at first .. to help them discover what childhood wounds, old relationship baggage, personal issues of self, frustrations and issues in their personal or professional lives outside the marriage, are impacting their ability to be fully present for their partner. I use Imago Diaglues as well in bringing in a form of effective, more compassionate communication and enhanced understanding
Mindfulness ... Again!
There are many studies confirming what any meditator knows: Mindfulness Helps Marriage. If we can find more curiosity, acceptance and emotional stability within ourselves, we tend not to react so hastily to our or another's thoughts and emotions ... we learn to acknowledge and explore them more consciously. This practice also increases our capacity to feel and express empathy, to communicate effectively and to handle stressful situations with more equanimity, and catch fights before they escalate.