My Relationship, My Practice
When life is stripped back to the bare fundamentals, the key to a life well lived is in our relationships. Relationships are the glue that hold life together. It was relationship that created us, we entered the world dependant on relationship, and as adults our relationships are the difference between merely surviving or thriving.
All relationships are important to us but today I want to talk about intimate relationships, those we most desire and those that cause us the most angst.
Unfortunately we’re not taught how to do relationships well. It’s a skill we have to develop on the job, working it out as we go. While we’re going along in life relationships just sort of happen to us; we meet someone, we jump on the merry-go-round, sometimes we enjoy the ride, sometimes we can’t wait to get off, sometimes we just go through the motions waiting for….. Hopefully we learn something along the way.
There are many styles of relationship, from a casual hook up, to dating, to open relationships, to marriage. All are perfectly valid and provide us with great experiences of the rich tapestry of relational life. They also provide us with the perfect path direct to the core of ourselves, if we’re willing to go there.
Relationship is our most effective arena for personal growth. We are guaranteed to have our stuff show up, and there is no better mirror, teacher, mentor and accountability buddy than an intimate partner.
If you consciously engage in relationship as a practice it is a supremely powerful investment which pays huge dividends, but it’s not for the faint hearted. If you want to experience a deep, fulfilling and passionate relationship that also catapults your personal evolution there is much to learn. But before we go there I’ll share the raw, bare bones truth that I’ve discovered. Ignore it at your peril:
Relationship is an art form;
- Every relationship is a new, unique piece of art that comes to life in its own mysterious way.
- Each new piece challenges the artist to stretch, listen, respond and apply their skill set in new and exciting ways.
- Often the art can be wild, messy and chaotic, sometimes serene and peaceful, and once in a while it takes you to a place one could only call heaven.
- For an artist to be true to their craft is to be its humble servant, to surrender to the art, let it be the guide, be open to learn and expand, and accept that you will never perfect your craft.
- But as with all art, it is in the creation process itself where the gold is found.
Relationships have played a major part in my life and my relationship biography is diverse. I have explored wide and far, I have made many mistakes, I have broken many hearts, I have loved too much, and of course I’ve had my own share of pain. But when I look back at every single relationship I am deeply grateful for them all. They have each brought me that bit closer to myself, none more so than my 14 year marriage.
I got married and had a family quite young. We were madly in love but we had so much growing up still to do. I made plenty of screw ups, some real doozies! We had some great times but we also caused each other much pain. Ultimately this was a marriage of two wounded children, playing out their childhood fears, resentments and mummy/daddy issues, until we eventually tired of that merry-go-round 7 years ago.
I could see this as a “failed marriage”, but, even though we didn’t accomplish our “till death do we part”, I see it as a great success. There was so much for me to learn and I chose to take the lessons. I now know what to strive for in relationship, and what I will not accept, either from my partner or from myself.
Since then I chose to dive deep into the world of intimacy, relationships and sexuality, both theoretically and practically. I had a lot of work to do. I had to be ripped open, laid bare and vulnerable. I had to be willing to see, acknowledge and address my wounding so it no longer ran the show. This has and will always be an arduous work in progress, but the payoffs are well worth it.
By choosing to engage in this work, not only do I get to help amazing couples revolutionise their relationships, I get to be with a partner who is willing and able to meet me where I desire to be. We have our stuff come up of course, that doesn’t go away. But we are committed to co-creating a relationship that serves us as an incubator for our individual growth, serves the relationship as a powerful creative and passionate force of love, and serves the world through our individual and collective missions.
There is so much I can share with you about the practice of relationship, but here are the four pillars we use to hold ours up, and which form the framework for my (R)Evolutionary Relationship coaching program. I hope they can also help you co-create the relationship you desire:
Be your true, vulnerable and magnificent self as all that you are, warts and all.
Take full responsibility for your self-care, your mistakes and your personal growth.
Be each other’s greatest fan, cheerleader and champion.
Love is in infinite supply and I have constant access to it.