Cultivating Happy Relationships . . .and finding dishsoap

I was interviewed by a very sweet man and woman who are in the process of a launching a six week tele-class. If you’ve read some of my earlier writings, you may know that I have somewhat of an aversion to the proliferation of tele-classes.

And while I respect anyone that gets it together to sincerely put their message in the world, there’s just, well, so much out there. It’s like going to the grocery store in the U.S. Case in point. I went to get dishwashing liquid a few weeks ago and the number of choices amid the different types of soap were staggering. Not wanting to linger, I grabbed one that had the key phrase ‘eco’ on it. So now my whole household had been complaining ‘this smells like bleach! No, really, it smells like bleach!’. Finally, I look at the label and it does indeed contain bleach, AND it is for the dishwasher, AND it will fuck up your hands if you use it for handwashing, which we all have been doing and I’m wondering why my hands are so fucked up. Now I realize I have culpability. I should have read the label. But I was quite frankly inundated. I just wanted the darn dishsoap.

happy relationships
Happy relationships

Which is my way of saying, in the world of dish soap and telec-lasses, there is soooooo much out there, how does one choose? What criteria exists? And tele-classes aren’t cheap. For men and women who feel some sort of desperation or frustration around their personal and sexual issues, dropping $400 to way, way more cash in the hopes of – pick one:

  • better sex
  • more connection
  • more sex
  • a girlfriend, finally
  • any sex at all
  • understanding women
  • understanding men
  • understanding yourself

Well, this could go on. You get my drift.

Don’t get me wrong. These people are quite sincere. And I wish them great success. And I will contribute my own little piece towards that end. At this moment, I am reminded of a lesson my teacher gave.. It references a state of being that embodies competition, jealousy, proving oneself. The shadow side of this orientation sees goals, but is afraid of failure so she doesn’t compete. Hmmmmm. I sense a vulnerability here. Could this be why I don’t – write, market, produce a video, do workshops, update my website? Ouch. And am always on the ready to provide feedback to others who are producing material? Double ouch.

What all of this is leading me to is taking their questions, which they emailed to me prior to the interview, maybe one at a time, to practice taking action on my blog. Or a video blog. Or a book. (settle down) Or some activity to discover how I might share myself in a relaxed way.

Here goes.

3 Elements of Happy Relationshipshappy relationship

What are the three most important elements in a happy and fulfilling relationship? This begs the question, what kind of relationship? The United States holds a peculiar type of fantasy, not held in many parts of the world, that fantasy of romance portrayed in movies, literature and most talk shows. The fantasy that some special person exists, and upon meeting, we will be sexually, emotionally, and mentally congruent. We will share values and daily habits. We will never, ever feel attracted to another person again. And that there is something inherently wrong with me, or you, if any of these criteria slip away. If they were ever there to begin with, given that our projection is so powerful when we are physically attracted to someone that we rarely see another as they are, naked, vulnerable, flawed.

So here are mine…..

  1. A willingness, followed by activity, for self inquiry. Commit to seeing yourself, your patterns, your tensions. Commit to a practice to relax those tensions. Meditation, therapy, a church or spiritual program. Become lovingly ruthless in observing yourself. By all means, avoid dropping into shame. Remember we are human. All of us.
  2. Practice relaxing those tensions with your partner(s). Your family. The person behind the counter. This is a physical practice, I’ll speak more of later. It is the capacity to experience the patterns in your body when those tensions arise. When we want to share something we believe our partner will judge or be uncomfortable with. When we ourselves feel judged or uncomfortable. The practice of dropping into our hearts and breath in those uncomfortable moments.
  3. Traveling in developing countries, where, unlike the U.S., life and death is more in your face, daily, I am reminded of a irrefutable truth. There is not a website or news service that does not confirm daily, that this could be my last day. If I keep this in the forefront of my consciousness, each interaction, whether it be with a partner, a family member, a stranger, an opening emerges. A tender seeing. Listening. Savoring. Appreciating. A gratitude that takes nothing for granted

So that’s my 3. Throw in a sense of humor, a respect of how each one of us shows up, and a commitment to move away from holding to the past or projecting to the future.

Let me know how it goes….