2019, February

How Self Improvement Efforts Kill Relationships

Our planet is shifting to a space of higher awareness. More and more individuals are taking the time and effort to look within themselves in an effort to be more, love more, and expand more.

Yoga studios are springing up quicker than the rate of fast food joints. Meditation training outshines cooking classes. Mindful, healthy eating supersedes how to prepare meals in under 30-minutes. This is awesome… but there is a pitfall.

This movement toward the inner self is disrupting relationships.

As humanity goes internal to become more aware, the attention is removed from others who are on the outside. In this process, people abstain from intimate committed relationships. More than ever, people are choosing the path of personal growth and at the same time, choosing to stay single.

Some common declarations we hear are:

“I value my independence.”

“I’m waiting for my soulmate.”

“I’m happier being single.”

“I refuse to settle.”

“My self love sustains me.”

Could it be that acute self-awareness leads to being unconscious with others?

As individuals experience their conscious awakening, there is an unintentional neglect of another and the relationship between them. Conscious partnership is a commitment to the needs of the relationship rather than the needs of self.

Now before getting your feathers ruffled, it is not being suggested that you neglect yourself (ever). Simply notice where the attention is when engaging with the other person.

This ineffective, traditional idea of “couple” is based on two independent, autonomous persons sharing responsibilities equally. Should conflict arise, each one uses his/her cognitive skills to resolve their dissimilarities. They mentally and emotionally disconnect from one another to deal with their issues with the assumption that when they come back together, they can then meet each other’s needs (current and past) to create a fulfilling relationship.

With this outdated model, the focus is on the individual and a goal of meeting only personal needs. The relationship solely exists to satisfy those requirements. Unmet needs become the complaint that leads to dissatisfaction.

The illusion is that you are in a relationship that does not satisfy your needs, therefore you are with the wrong person, and every empowered person knows it is their divine right to experience peace. If that doesn’t happen, change partners and try again to get those same needs met with a different person.

Your relationship is about you and your requirements and if it does not provide you with empowerment, its dissolution is justifiable no matter the consequences for others.

This focus on self is feeding an already-damaged society filled with conflict. These huge social issues cannot be changed until the perspective changes on what it is to be in an intimate relationship. It is time for humanity to be educated and understand relationships, and for couples to be empowered to flourish.

Avoiding being in a relationship creates disruption in the evolution of humanity because couples are the foundation of our species, giving rise to larger structures of family, community and society. What happens in the home determines what happens in society. Flourishing couples are essential to a healthy society.

Your couple is not about you; your couple is about itself. Only by honoring that responsibility will you get your needs met. When you make your relationship primary and your needs secondary, there is a paradoxical effect of getting your needs met in ways they can never be met if you make them primary. Fears are released and empowerment flows freely, then extend to the evolution of society. By transforming couple-hood, we transform every social structure. And that is what Mother Earth desires.

2019, January

5 Keys to Creating Conscious & Intentional Relationships

What do you know about being in relationship? How did you come by that knowledge? Much like swimming, chances are, you were thrown into the deep end of a pool and survival instinct took over.

Unless you desire an Olympic medal in the 200-meter freestyle, instinctual swim techniques can get you by in life. Yet everyone knows that to master just about any subject, a level of learning is required. So why is it assumed that being in relationship is as (unconsciously) natural as breathing?

Throughout traditional primary school, children are taught the basics: reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. Where in that curriculum is the fourth “R”… for relationships?

Merriam-Webster defines relationship (noun): the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward and deal with each other

b: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people

c: the way in which two or more people or things are connected

Oftentimes folks identify with the second definition and because of their single status will decline being in relationships. Not true! At any given moment, you are in relationship with your mother, sister, co-worker, barista, dog and planet. Mindful connection with non-romantic people and groups gets neglected, as well as dealings with unfamiliar people. It is time for humanity to wake up to their existence on this planet and be conscious of the effects their speaking and behavior has on the collective.

Imagine a soap bubble floating about the atmosphere. Put yourself in that bubble. In the instant that you engage with another human being, your bubbles merge into one. The membrane that surrounds you is fragile and at risk of being damaged by harsh words and actions. Co-existing in the bubble requires being aware and intentional of who or what shares that space with you.

Moving beyond pairs, families and groups who come together for a meal or meeting share one large bubble. If two individuals of the entity are at odds with each other, that energy is felt in the group. The shared space can become filled with a sense of heaviness to the extent that it is toxic to others, affecting the communal experience.

Individual leaders of countries at war seem to make choices from a desire for personal satisfaction without considering the consequences to the community whom he shares the land with. And the land that endures the destruction is part of a planet. Mother Earth is one large bubble orbiting in the Universe to sustain humanity’s existence. We are all in relationship with Her, therefore a balanced harmonious planet is dependent on healthy relationships.

How do we exist in healthy relationship with others?

As with all goals in life, we know a level of consciousness and intention is required to achieve the necessary growth. Here are five vital practices that can bring forth ease and peace of mind to your most important relationships.

1. Get Present

Self-awareness. Notice the sensations in your body and the thoughts in your mind. Are you anxious? Are you blaming? Once dialed in, you have the opportunity to choose a conscious response, as opposed to a knee jerk reaction.

Habits form in the brain as neuronal patterns. This grooved in process allows for someone to easily perform actions on autopilot. When dealing with misunderstandings and conflict with another person, this is not a good thing. Being fully present to the situation can make a big difference in moving through or preventing upsets.

2. Stop Making Up Stories

Be curious, not judgmental. Deal with the what’s so. Hear the purity of the words and see the true actions. It is easy to color a situation with personal experiences and beliefs that likely do not match the person you are engaging with.

Inaccurate interpretations muddy up the experience. When in those uncomfortable places, look at the problems or conflict from a different perspective, keep them distinct and separate from the person.

3. Straight Talk

Communicate with transparency. Ask questions to get clarity. Be authentic. Devoting energy in an attempt to control how another will respond or feel only brings additional clutter to the interaction. Your vulnerability can free up another to reciprocate.

4. Integrity

Follow the Golden Rule: treat others the way you desire to be treated. Honor your word. Your higher self is talking… are you listening?

5. Compassion

We’re all human for Pete’s sake! Practice forgiveness of others and yourself. Having gratitude for the goodness in your life rather than focusing on what’s not working is the experience of forgiveness. View the situation and engage with another from a place of love.

Now you have an idea—beyond survival mode—of what it truly means to be in relationship.

These practices in acute self-awareness lead to a new level of being with others. As individuals experience this awakening, through these simple practices, there is no longer the need to abstain from being in relationships. Fears are released and empowerment flows freely that then extends to the evolution of society. By creating flourishing relationships, we positively transform every social structure on the planet.