It Feels SO Good

Foreheads TouchMy husband and I have just entered into couple’s therapy.

What thoughts did that trigger in you? Something like, “Uh oh…they must be in trouble” or “Hmmm, they seemed so happy”?   In the past, that might have been my line of thinking. In fact in my past relationships, that would have been absolutely true.  Heading into a therapist or coach’s office meant we were too late and it was time to negotiate a breakup.

Not this time.

My beloved and I have been in relationship for 11 years.  For 9 of those years we’ve lived together and 6 years ago we married. For both of us this is the longest partnership we’ve had.  We consider our relationship to be rock solid and our co-created commitment is to go the distance.

In order for that commitment to be more than a myth, we employ a number of practices that have us actively engage in the care and feeding of our relationship. We take annual “Relationship Retreats”, a day and a night during which we focus exclusively on the state of our union.  We’ve enrolled the support of our community by participating in “couple’s circles” during which we reveal ourselves and bare witness to inner workings of other couples.  Individually, we are each on our own journeys of self-discovery and we bring our learnings back to the other, injecting new tools and possibilities into our union.

Yet even with all that…we hit a plateau.  Our evidence?  You could say it was a staleness…a tendency to be in trance and habit and generally pretty lazy about our connection.  Sort of taking it all for granted and being on auto-pilot.  Our passions were flat and moments of deep vulnerability were becoming rare.  Issues that challenged us intensified.  Yet we were comfortable.  Still rock solid…still happy…still enjoying each other.  But we lacked energized focus and true undefended intimacy.  Sounds a lot like long-term monogamy huh?

Of course we’ve experienced expansions and contractions, ease and hard labor. That’s the way of relationship.  But I find that the closings of the heart can be subtle and there is often a build up, a kind of residue that we can become asleep to. When that happens, my heart hurts and longing becomes my way of life.  No fun.  We needed to wake up.

My man has always said it takes a village to raise a relationship and so, calling in the help of an experienced villager, we engaged with a somatic couples therapist and WOW what a brilliant move!  I cannot say enough about the power of slowing down to really be face-to-face, heart-to-heart, sharing ourselves in the company of one who can see what we sometimes cannot. To have our love and health reflected back to us even as we navigate tender territories.  To name dynamics that have until now, been unready to be seen.

It feels so good and right to ask for help as we navigate into the next, new level of our loving and to do so when there is no crisis, no real problem…simply the readiness and the desire to keep going, keep loving, keep learning.  When I’m sitting in the coach’s seat, I trust that growth is never-ending and that deeper connection and awareness is always available.  Now, sitting in the client’s seat I’m reminded of this truth in my own heart.  It feels so good.

I’m doing the best I can (AND I can do better)

Today was money meeting day.  We (my husband Simon and I) regularly hold these pow-wows to “get real” about our finances. This particular meeting resulted in feelings of disappointment & frustration over the fact that our income barely covers our expenses and, as it turns out, lately we’re literally spending more than we make. In spite of hard work and reasonably high earnings, apparently we’re not “getting ahead”, whatever that means.

That’s one perspective.  Another, equally valid perspective is that we have a rich life full of incredible flow…. we enjoy substantial income, money to spend on continued learning & growth (our passions) and we have always paid our bills on time. Plus, we are abundant in the realm of non-monetary wealth: community, family and health.  It’s a paradox.  Both are true. Finances can become too tight for comfort AND we’re doing just fine.  We experience a sense scarcity AND we feel fabulously abundant. [Read more…]

Nurtured Intimacy

Sacred Marriage“To see and feel one’s beloved naked for the first time is one of life’s pure, irreducible epiphanies. If there is a true religion in the universe, it must include that truth of contact or be forever hollow. To make love to the one true person who deserves that love is one of the few absolute rewards of being a human being, balancing all of the pain, loss, awkwardness, loneliness, idiocy, compromise, and clumsiness that go with the human condition. To make love to the right person makes up for a lot of mistakes.”  ― Dan Simmons [Read more…]

Faith & Surrender

946966_646615692023295_1646255646_nThere are only two essential ingredients to undertaking deep, transformative work when accessing altered states of consciousness. Faith & Surrender.

When we embrace FAITH, we are trusting that whatever occurs is exactly what is needed. It matters not whether the experience we have is difficult or joyful, whether we become terrified or melt into formless bliss. Everything that occurs is perfect and offers us the very next step on our own unfolding path. [Read more…]

The Big (and not so big) Questions Game

question_mark_4I have a friend in Oregon Greg Gerding who has the delightful habit of posting questions to facebook and by virtue of their unusual or playful nature, they elicit tons of response. For example:

People grossly underestimate the power of ____________________.
A good cup of coffee
Common sense
A woman with an open heart
Pheromones [Read more…]

The Beauty of Completion

Print 1Each year, as the New Year approaches, I do a Best Year Yet Process to create my intentions and determine areas of focus for the coming year. It all starts very organically.  Sometime in the last quarter as fall settles in, I find myself starting to get excited about something I want to do or something I’ve recently learned about myself. I start to get a sense of what my new learning edge is and I get curious about how I can best lean into that edge. [Read more…]

Being with Emptiness

Print 4A few days before Christmas, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go on a mini retreat here in town and enjoy some silence and spaciousness at a friend’s beautiful home while she traveled.

I like quiet. I like to be alone. I like to be un-plugged. But….do I really? I’d been paying attention recently to my ever-present propensity to fill. To fill myself up with connection, information, electronic media, to-do lists, food, sensation, flavors, ideas… What was this hunger about? Was I ever just quiet, still, doing & wanting nothing – just being with only myself? [Read more…]

Inner Life Explorations Comes Out

InnerLife_logo_vertical_white[2]Drum roll please….the Inner Life Explorations website is born, today January 22, 2012.  And, I’d love it if you took a look…read the blog, leave a comment, enjoy the quotes, participate in the Big Questions Game and just give it some of your good juju.

Back in May 2010, when I first had the inspiration to create a website to better reflect who I’d become as a coach, a guide, a woman and a passionate inner explorer, I figured it’d be done by the end of June.  Yeah…pretty silly right? [Read more…]