Deepening Your Love

Supporting Aliveness and Growth in Intimate Relationships

Tending the Garden of Your Relationship

Posted By on January 22, 2014

You can spend so much time finding out

what each and every plant in your garden needs to grow;

how much water, how much sun,

what specific nutrients will help it to thrive

Or your car, cycle or bike

The best lubricants and oils

Proper handling procedures

and optimal maintenance schedules

Imagine if you spent a similar amount of time and attention

thinking about what would make your beloved thrive.

They usually know what they need

and carry all those unmet needs around with them

Some folks even communicate their needs to their partner

But often as a frustration or demand

Sadly, others just expect that,

“If you loved me you’d know what I need”(and give it)

But what about your beloved?

What does she or he want/need/crave?

Read the Love Languages book

And have a great talk afterwards

Reflect together, without blame,

What’s been working and what hasn’t

Talk about desires and wishes

Clarify what is actually most wanted

Then, consider what you can commit to

And give each other that gift, for 21 days

It’s almost Valentine’s day anyway

Add some flowers or chocolates in for good measure

Holiday Wishes & News from The Conscious Relationships Institute

Posted By on December 10, 2013

 

News, Events, Inspiration and Good Cheer in our Holiday Newsletter. Enjoy!

Photo Divine

More Sex-Greater Pleasure-Deeper Intimacy

Posted By on December 6, 2013

We were recently interviewed for an internet radio show by the name of Higher Ground. The topic was how couples can find greater intimacy and pleasure through their sexual relating. Portland Helmich was our host and we hope you enjoy it!

http://w4tsr.com/podcasts/W4CY_Radio/Higher_Ground/Higher_Ground_11-11-2013.mp3

A New Year’s Relationship Blessing

Posted By on January 26, 2013

May your intention be clear and your patience ever-present.

May you criticize less and forgive more.

May you be strong & address the tough stuff.

May you make more requests and fewer demands.

May you have compassion for the challenges of your beloved.

May you communicate your needs more and expect less mindreading.

May you look for more of what your beloved is doing right than wrong.

May you choose to listen, even when it’s tough (& you think you’re right).

May your appreciation for each other flow from your lips many times a day.

When your partner tells you something you’re doing bothers or hurts them,

may you look for what makes sense and work at changing yourself.

May you become even more skillful at resolving your disagreements.

May you make more time to generate loving feelings together.

May you shut your computer and open your heart.

May you laugh and play together more.

May you touch more.

May you Do less

and Be more

in Love.

Conscious Relationships Can Be Sexy!

Posted By on July 26, 2011

During our work this week with a couple trying to improve their sexual relating, I found myself thinking about some of what goes into creating a more fulfilling sexual experience. After a little while, I had the thought that these elements are not just what’s needed for a better sexual experience, but are necessary for a better relationship and even a better life!

• Breathe…

• Relax your body

• Slow wayyyyyyy down

• Get more present to your moment-to-moment experience

• Enjoy every pleasant sensation and try not to resist any unpleasant ones

• If something’s not working, stop and talk about it

• Stay in the moment and do your best to let go of future expectations or outcomes

• Become more aware of your own needs and fears

• Communicate your wishes clearly and lovingly

• Maintain a loving connection with your partner; look, laugh, share

• Let the experience unfold-delicious moment by delicious moment

(more…)

LOVE, The Magical Change Agent

Posted By on April 22, 2010

You may be very good at seeing the faults of your partner. I’m sure you wish that he or she would be different, and don’t understand why they cannot or will not change.

In fact, you have spent so much time contemplating this, that you have made yourself miserable. Not coincidentally, and possibly unknowingly, you have also contributed to your partner feeling miserable about themselves, not to mention you and your relationship.

Of course you wish to change some annoying or painful behavior about your partner that you imagine contributes to your unhappiness. This is normal. And most likely you are unsuccessful in getting them to change. Even if you are justified in your belief that your partner SHOULD change, they would probably find changing difficult. They might possibly, even secretly, wish they could change as well. They might even feel ashamed about it,  even if they tell you differently.

You must ask yourself how your negative contemplation of their “faulty behavior” is affecting you. The more you think about it, the more outraged you feel, and the more disconnected from your loved one. Your chronic outrage is like a poison to your mind and emotions. You are left with an attitude that hurts them as well as yourself.  As you can see, the chances of them changing that “faulty behavior” decreases with this approach. You also become more and more miserable, and the warmth and connection between you diminishes dramatically. (more…)

Letters, We Get Letters(about Relationships…)

Posted By on March 1, 2010

Hi Joel,

I was wondering if you could give me any advice on dealing with jealousy in a relationship? I love my partner and for a lot of the same reasons that I love him I tend to get insanely jealous over stupid things. I’m working with myself on a lot of things in particular that seem to come completely naturally to him, but I have a hard time not getting bitter about it. I know my bitterness is misplaced, so I try to repress it and then it ends up coming out some other time, causing some completely ridiculous argument. I know that I could sit down and list all my good traits or have him point out what he admires about me, but I wish I could just get my mind to stop comparing us all together.

Hiya Dear,

Thanks for writing so honestly on a topic we can all relate to. Here are some thoughts about your situation. Feel free to ask more if needed.

Most of us partner with someone who has different skills and qualities than we do.  What they can naturally and easily do well, we may have to work really hard to accomplish, if we even want to put our energy into those endeavors. Even then we may not ever reach their skill level. Usually, we too, have areas of natural expertise that our partners may find difficult for themselves. Hopefully we don’t downplay those too much!

Sometimes, in a couple, one person is more of a “glass half empty” type (like me) and looks more at what’s missing. The other is often more a “glass half full” person, and seems to pay more attention to their wholeness. When our focus is more on “where we’re not” it’s easier to feel bad in comparison to another. “Glass half fullers” (like Kate) don’t tend to go there, at least not in the light of day. (more…)

Grow Your Love

Posted By on February 19, 2010

We wanted to give you a head’s up, in case you missed it in the magazine, on a real good article from Yoga Journal entitled Grow Your Love. Lots of wisdom from a solid handful of couples (yours truly included) who share the similarities and useful awarenesses between the practice of Yoga and the journey of Relationship.

Here is a little snippet to whet your appetite:

“It’s no secret that relationships require work, but, as in yoga, you can find a happy balance between effort and ease when you apply your awareness. “A lot of people feel like, ‘If you loved me, we wouldn’t have to work at this,’” Feldman says, but he thinks that’s an unrealistic attitude. The trick,when it feels like too much effort, is to find more ease. To help couples with this, Feldman and his wife help their clients discover “love rituals”—small gestures practiced up to three times a day for two to three minutes at a time—so they can reconnect with the partner as a source of pleasure rather than pain.”

Hope you enjoy!

YOUR LOVING RELATIONSHIP IS GIVING YOU LIFE! or The Neurobiology of Secure Love

Posted By on February 2, 2010

We humans need safe, loving relationships where we receive support, a deep sense of security and emotional nourishment. The research on attachment and bonding tells us that we feel braver, happier, more confident, and our immune systems are stronger, as a result of secure interdependent connections.

Hardwired into our brain throughout our evolution is the need for warmth, affection, and emotional responsiveness. In a word: LOVE.  This loving between humans is an enormous key to our survival. We respond to abandonment and isolation as danger. In practical terms this translates into some very basic questions that we, in the western world especially, carry deep inside: “Are you there for me”, “Do I matter to you?” “Do you know how much I love and need you?” “Will you be able to respond to me?”

When the answers to these questions are mostly “I am here; I love you”  or “We are in this together” or  “I want to hear your needs, and will be here with you”, we respond with a sense of emotional safety. We feel as if we “belong”, we are connected.  Our flight and fight response relaxes, and we open our hearts.  When we consistently receive a negative or threatening response to our vulnerable questions, we shut down and feel endangered.

Danger and safety are primitive mammalian responses. They are not logical and they are not optional.  We can, however, understand them logically and learn to behave in ways that engender more safety and connection in our relationships.

The research on attachment between mothers and infants has a correlation with how lovers behave. When we love someone, and are loved in return, we emotionally tune into one another. When this attunement is satisfying, we help regulate each others’ emotional and physiological lives. We help each other balance, and this supports each of us to function happily and confidently in the world. (more…)

The Miracle of Personal Development by Jim Rohn

Posted By on January 20, 2010

I came across this in my in-box today, and it touched me so deeply that I wanted to share it with all of my friends. Gotta love Jim Rohn! What I believe is that it is also true of relationships, in fact you could just substitute the word “relationship” for either “job” or “income” and it would  fit perfectly. I’m interested in your thoughts about this…..what’s your experience?

One day my mentor Mr. Shoaff said, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Since that time I’ve been working on my own personal development. And I must admit that this has been the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting?” Instead, you should ask, “What am I becoming?” Getting and becoming are like Siamese twins: What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle. If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development.

So here’s the great axiom of life:  To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are. This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:  Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.

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