It’s been said that love transforms us, remakes us. But I believe that while that first rush of euphoric “in love” intoxication transports us, what transforms us is what happens thereafter… LONG after… and EVER after.
And a good thing, too, because it’s also hard as hell to keep love alive in the long term, as we grow more familiar with one another’s faults, as the novelty of new infatuation evaporates, as our shared responsibilities and memory bank of tiny and not-so-tiny hurts stack up.
IT’S NOT THAT I OPPOSE DIVORCE
With a divorce rate in the United States hovering around 50% for first marriages and higher for subsequent ones, I have deep empathy for why people rewrite the terms of their relationships. I’ve suffered and seen my husband suffer in our relationship enough that if we hadn’t had faith that we had the power to make it better, we'd have ended this marriage, too. I don’t judge the choice to divorce; I think it’s sometimes the best thing for everyone.
I am honored to accompany people through the harrowing process, when necessary, of choosing whether to stick with a marriage or create a new chapter in their relationship and lives, and then through year or two the divorce often takes. The divorce process often leaves one feeling grief-riddled, humbled, and vulnerable, and those - and the change in relationship - are sometimes exactly what the soul is calling for. My own parents remarried after marrying under parental pressure, then divorcing one another seven years later, and both their lives and mine were better for it.
WHEN THE PERSON IS BELOVED BUT THE RELATIONSHIP DOESN’T WORK
Even though relationships ending is all right with me, what’s not all right with me is the heartache I’ve seen so many times when people come to me; the pain of people who love each other deeply, want to be happy together, and simply get stuck in patterns of distance or dullness or hurt or anger that they don’t want to be in and don’t know how to change.
“Right person, wrong relationship” and “our relationship is happy; why isn’t our loveMAKING as great as our love?” are two key challenges I’m devoted to helping conscious couples address.
In both cases, I help couples go deeper.
- Deeper in the open-hearted love that gives them access to not only tenderness for the humanity of their partner and themselves, but awe for the divinity in both as well.
- Deeper in the pleasure that creates alchemy in their bodies and stills their-too-busy minds.
- Deeper in the sheer warrior power to persevere when discouraged, to express anger with grace and kindness, to ask for and believe in desires we don’t know how we’ll ever receive, and meet the other excruciating, exhilarating demands of awakened love.
HOW DO WE GO DEEPER THAN WE'VE GONE BEFORE?
Experience tells us all that inertia, fear, and sheer habit keep our minds, hearts, and actions arrayed in familiar constellations, bound with a gravity that can feel inescapable.
Well-known ways of being can be familiar in a comfortable way:
- bestowing the kiss on the forehead that brings reassurance and calm
- drinking the cup of coffee, cream just right, always ready when the later sleeper wakes
- tracing the well-known contours of the beloved’s hand, arm, jaw
Habits can also become, unwittingly, the means by which we push away the very love we desire…
The instruments by which we break our own and our partner’s hearts - and libidos - day by day:
- staying at work… or glued to the screen… telling ourselves “I’m busy” and telling our partners “don’t bother trying to connect”
- missing, or not bothering to respond to, our partner's little bids for attention and affection and intimacy… or worse yet, reacting negatively when such overtures are made
- neglecting our sleep, our movement, our sense of our own magic, or our desires in a way that, realize it or not, reduces our capacity to receive love and pleasure as well as the stores from which we would give either
LOVE IS A HABIT.
Long-term, lukewarm love is the product of a particular set of habits.
Sweet but frustrating love is made from different habits of action, belief, and energy.
And the love of which you dream?
Experiencing that love, right where you are, is a matter of adjusting your day-in-and-day-out habits, little by little, till the love you imagine in your heart is present in your life, with the partner you already have.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. That new reality may seem infinitely far away right now, but it will come within your reach in ways you cannot imagine today. These non-linear leaps of potential come from expanding your skills and your identity. You start where you are and gradually adjust your capacities for giving, receiving, and containing the experiences you desire.
Just like blowing up a balloon, we can gently, gradually expand the bounds of our present capacities. As our capacities change, options open to us… New paths of action. New possibilities for responding to familiar stimuli. New emotional territory that might’ve been intolerable just weeks ago. New flavors of sensation that might’ve been inconceivable given our past experiences.
Little changes in our habits, repeated over time, expand our capacities. New capacities give us access to entire new worlds.
To expand your capacity for the kind of love you crave, build in new habits. I’ll show you how with my favorite five habits to add more love and turn-on to your busy day.