Wedding officiant–that’s what I was this past weekend as I celebrated the marriage of two of my wonderful clients.
They chose a gorgeous setting in Sonoma County, near the ocean and in the magnificent rural landscape of northern California. The whole affair was elegant and warm, with family from all over the country and Europe in attendance.
I coached this couple for four months and was able to bring to the ceremony the depth and intensity of their love and the challenges they have overcome to joyfully, and with open hearts, merge their lives together.
I think one of my favorite moments of the weekend was hearing them express their vows, hearing them express their love and the clarity with which they see one another.
This was also very meaningful to me because my mother officiated many weddings and I used to eavesdrop in on her conversations about practical matters, and the purpose and meaning in the ceremony.
This is me, at the beginning of the ceremony, watching in awe as the groom and his father walked down the aisle together.
I felt close to her as I performed that role, drawing on her energy which continues to be available 17 years after she took her last breath.
It meant that giving generously to this couple fed me deeply in ways they couldn’t have known…
In preparing for the ceremony I thought a lot about this wonderful couple, and also about marriage in general. Here is an excerpt from the ceremony.
“Marriage is like a garden. It requires ongoing tending, or the beauty is lost. With consistent attention, there are exquisite blossoms…marvelous scents, incredible colors, and breathtaking shapes. In every flower, there are mysteries to discover, new patterns to see and more delight to be had.
The key is remembering to put in the time, and attention, for the garden to thrive, to remove the inevitable and often persistent weeds in order to keep everything vibrant…
Marriage is not for the faint of heart, even as the rewards are among the best that life offers.”
Does this ring true for you?
What analogy would you use, to describe the experience of being in a committed relationship for a very long time?
I hope you are enjoying the transition from summer to fall, with the equinox between them.
Alexandra talks with successful CEO and business coach Dan Kuschell about Conscious Partnership, sharing three steps to create juicy, nourishing, deeply satisfying relationships.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!
Do you want a hot, deeply satisfying passionate relationship with your Beloved?
Ever wonder why you don’t have one?
It’s not because you don’t deserve it—you do!
You, and your partner, and everyone else one earth deserves to live a meaningful and happy life, so the real question is what’s blocking you from having that.
There are at least two main reasons why committed relationships often eventually lack passion.
The first reason is a lack of role models; people have no idea where to turn for inspiration and education. As mammals, we learn through imitation.
Even though we yearn to be cherished and deeply loved body, soul and spirit, without any role models it’s very challenging to know how to create it. (It’s for this reason that I tend to share generously from my own life and relationship.)
The second reason and the main reason passion fades is something I learned years ago while participating in a transformational workshop…
It is RESENTMENT.
In that workshop, many participants identified as addicts to alcohol, addicts to approval from others or feeling a victim. I too wanted to find my addiction, meaning the thing that would take me under if I wasn’t careful in managing it.
And then I realized, I was addicted to resentment.
Resentment kept me feeling superior, clear about what others did that wasn’t good for them and/or good for me, knowing I deserved something better while stewing in that knowing without changing anything.
Once my proclivity or “addiction” to resentment revealed itself, I saw when things were challenging my first response was to fall into resentment. Once I realized that I began to see my marriage in a whole other light.
I saw when I wasn’t satisfied, rather than sharing my truth or shifting my mindset, I instead went quickly towards resentment.
Indeed, I had become intimate with many flavors of resentment—dramatic resentment that felt like fire coming out of my ears even when I said I was “fine”, and super mild resentment that felt much like oxygen to my system since I didn’t even notice I was feeling it. And there was a whole range of different flavors in between.
I saw that I had co-created an energetic straight jacket made up of my resentment towards my husband and others in my life.
When I talk with people who feel unhappy or dissatisfied with the quality of their relationship, they do not typically realize that resentment is coloring their experience of their partner and the relationship they share.
But every single time, once we are deep in the work of transformation and accessing passion in exquisite ways, then the truth of how resentment has guided their experience is readily appreciated.
Given the prevalence and power of resentment, a natural next question to ask is how to get rid of it.
There are many options and the real answer is whichever one seems most appealing to you!
Here are a few options, by category:
- There are physical ways to resolve resentment: exercise, yoga, taking a walk in nature.
- There are emotional ways such as identifying and allowing your feelings to arise, writing letters where you express without censoring anything (don’t send them—it’s just for you) and role-play.
These are mental ways which include any change in your thinking. Byron Katie’s: The Work is a well known, outstanding option, as is journaling.
- Spiritual methods include prayer and meditation.
If you already have a practice doing one of the activities listed above, or something similar, use it deliberately to transform your resentment towards your partner and the state of your relationship.
If you don’t already have a practice, try one of the activities that seems most interesting and workable for you.
If you are interested in both working through your resentment and learning how to share your truth with your partner, let me know.
I have an intimate group of couples doing this work together—if you are interested to hear more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to send you information about it.
And please, email me at email@example.com and let me know your experience.
Do you feel a backlog of dissatisfaction and resentment?
Do you feel comfortable sharing your truth with your partner?
What do you do to feel joyful and openhearted in the face of dissatisfaction in your relationship?
In Service to Your Transformation,
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I was recently coaching a couple, and we were talking about feeling depleted and worn out by life and intimate relating.
I told them it is so important to identify what replenishes you, and to make sure to spend time doing whatever that is. It’s essential to consider the difference between activities which are distracting, versus those which are replenishing.
If you are having a tough time in your relationship and you distract yourself for a little while, when you return to your partner everything will be just as you left it.
But if you do something which replenishes you, you will return to your partner with more energy, patience, curiosity, and an expanded bandwidth for whatever arises.
This is true during tough times in relationships.
It is also true during life in general.
This is one of the main purposes of vacations. However, for parents taking a family vacation, very often we come home feeling like we need a vacation from our vacation, before getting back into the routine of things!
This week I am going with two of my children to a family science camp. We will be in northern California in a redwood forest near Mendocino. We will have no electricity and no wifi. We will be staying in cabins with battery-operated lanterns, hearing the sounds of wildlife in the night.
During the day we will be with other families, learning from naturalists about the land, what grows there, the creatures that live there, and I am not sure what else but it is sure to be fascinating.
I am expecting that this time of learning, and simplicity away from the pace of day to day life, will allow me to think new thoughts and feel feelings, mostly dormant.
I expect to return with an abundance of curiosity and huge enthusiasm for all of my projects.
We don’t always have the opportunity to get away like this—in fact, it’s rare.
But there are ways to do this while at home.
Here are a few for you to try:
1. Sit outside in your backyard, or on a park bench, or somewhere with nature around you. Sit there, with no agenda. Put your phone away and pay attention to what you hear, what you see, what you smell, and how your body feels exactly where you are. Then let your mind wander.
2. Take a warm bath. Have some music, or quiet, depending on which feels more indulgent and luxurious to you. And really let yourself be lost in the sensations there.
3. Invite your partner to be with you, softly gazing in one another’s eyes for 15-30 seconds. Don’t speak. Don’t look away. Let yourself be present with your partner and let your mind go wherever it takes you. Put your attention on BEing with one another, without any need to DO anything.
Do you have another way to “go on vacation” for a few minutes each day?
What do you experience when you do something like this? Do you notice you have more energy for yourself and your relationship?
I would love to hear your experience. Please email me at email@example.com.
Wishing you a beautiful mid-September, with summer clearly passed and the autumn not quite established yet.
In Service to Your Transformation,