Archive for the 'Sustainable Love' Category

Aspiring to Change

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

laughingcouple6resized“I believe that if you’re healthy, you’re capable of doing everything. There’s no one else who can give you health but God, and by being healthy I believe that God is listening to me.” -Pedro Martinez

 

We all want to be better than we are.  I think this is the basic truth that drives the annual New Year’s resolutions, which more often than not barely last until February and too often leaves us feeling failed instead of renewed. I think our resolutions fail because we come at them believing we need to change ourselves, and often in ways that are so unrealistic that the discomfort of trying makes it impossible to act on or even hold onto. At the same time, we resist the changes that are happening all around us almost all the time. Consequently, our relationship to life is skewed- we long for change we can’t quite manifest while fearing change we can’t stop.   Resolving to shift our relationship to change may be the one resolution we can keep, not only for the sanity it brings to our efforts to change, but even more for the clarity it brings to the world around us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Harvest Time

Friday, October 25th, 2013

beachwomanresized“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”  -William Penn

 

Early this morning when my 15–year-old daughter who shares the daily morning makeup and hair routine with me, turned towards me, straightening iron in hand, to do my hair; for a few minutes time stood still. I like to think of myself as close to my teens, but honestly, we don’t talk much during those morning makeup sessions, except to ask to switch sides of the sink. But today as I felt her fingers and the weight of the iron as she pulled it through my hair, there was only that moment. The rush of the morning routine stopped with her spontaneous attention. Her unsolicited touch lingered long enough for her to prompt me to do my makeup. It lingered longer still, as I hurried out of the house with a short wave to my husband and then reversed the car back down the driveway to run back inside and give him a real hug goodbye. These brief interludes where we feel seen or have the generosity to extend that seeing to someone else slow time down.

Read the rest of this entry »

Three Easy Ways to a Harvest of the Heart

Friday, October 18th, 2013

sunsetresized“Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.”  -Jack Kornfield

 

I remain convinced that at the end of the day, at the end of our life, the only thing we are going to count is the people we loved and those who loved us back.   I have heard that the final moments of consciousness are a rush of memories, images that have been indelibly etched in our heart where we connected, where we had let go and opened to love, where we had been received and loved just as we are.    Our days are full of opportunities to cultivate more of these moments of true intimacy if we would only become attentive and available to them.   Here are three simple attitude adjustments that will fundamentally alter our perspectives and allow us to get closer to our lives and the people that inhabit them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fairness As Love’s Currency

Friday, September 6th, 2013

senegal-children“Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need.”  -Rick Riordan

 

Fairness is a value construct that is inborn into all of us. Even the smallest of children recognize and bear witness to experiences of injustice among their peers. This very human urge towards making things fair is one of the fundamental ways that love acts as a currency in life. All of our sporting events that occupy so much of our attention are a reflection of the drive we have towards fairness, whether in little leagues or professional sports, we are content that there are a set of rules that make the game fair for everyone; without them, it is not a game. In fact, in some tight contests, a bad call that throws the fairness in the game is rehashed passionately for days after the event. In intimate relationships we rely on each other’s capacity for honesty and authenticity as the shared set of ground rules that make growing our vulnerability possible. And yet, most of the world’s most urgent crises can be traced back to unfairness both in the distribution of natural resources and the capital that serves as the accepted currency to make things happen. Many of life’s most challenging moral dilemmas stem from the cognitive dissonance created by our inherent tendency towards fairness and the many realities that support life’s inherent unfairness.

Read the rest of this entry »

Three Questions to Awaken Our Capacity for Life

Friday, August 30th, 2013

rainwomanresized“We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.”  -The Buddha

 

Here is one of the great truths of life that many of us are missing in the constant search for something new- is that experience alone too often leaves us empty. Instead, it is our attention, curiosity and opening that we bring to our life experiences that make them the powerful source of transformation that they are. This truth also explains why so many of us live such ridiculously distracted lives that often only detract from our immediate experience, keeping us at arm’s length from the insight and depth that our experience can offer us. We are born with the tools to cultivate and wake up our capacity for experience, which shifts our perspective on ourselves, our relationships and brings meaning to our life. Like most things in life, it is all about the questions we ask- here are the three simple questions to grow your capacity.

Read the rest of this entry »

Awakening to the Unloved

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

sadhugresized “We must love one another or die.”  -W. H. Auden

 

A near tragedy was averted by love this week in a Georgia elementary school when the school’s bookkeeper was able to connect with love to a troubled, angry, lonely young man who could no longer bear the weight of being unloved. He arrived with a loaded gun and enough additional ammunition to kill everyone in his path. He was accustomed to being rejected, even by his family and no doubt was surprised that someone would react with something other than fear upon seeing him. Antoinette Tuff’s calm presence engaged him with personal stories of her own loss and disarmed him by including him. The shooter, a young man of 20, was ready to die and wanted to take as many people as possible with him. When he admitted “no one loved him “she replied earnestly that “she loved him and was proud of him…”  Afterwards, when she was asked how she was able to respond with love, she said, “That wasn’t me; that was God.” Certainly meeting fear with love and acceptance is at the foundation of all spiritual teaching.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five Ways to Wake Up

Friday, August 9th, 2013

poppysunriseresized“When one realises one is asleep, at that moment one is already half-awake.” ― P.D. Ouspensky

 

Asleep at the wheel is an expression that can too easily become an accurate description of how we move through our days and show up in our relationships. Our senses become dulled and we don’t smell or taste what we consume, we hurry through the simple practices of hygiene never feeling our hands running across our own bodies in washing. It’s no wonder that so many sex lives turn into a rut of repetitive actions enclosed with ever narrowing boundaries of acceptable.   Breaking out of our own internal prisons is a bold act of revolution and whether it applies most to your work, your relationships or your sex life the following list of tips practiced consistently will shake your internal chains free and wake you up to a life that will surprise you.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Thousand Years

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Life behind the fence“While we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.” –Audre Lorde

 

Yesterday, a judge gave Ariel Castro, the Ohio man guilty of abducting, raping and abusing 3 young women for more than ten years, life in prison plus a thousand years.   Given that he only has one life to pay for his heinous crimes I was thinking maybe that the justice system might want to spread the other 1000 years around for the other hundreds of thousands of offenders who make a business out of abducting, raping, selling and torturing millions of young girls around the world. As horrible as Castro’s crimes were, they are far from unique. Sex trafficking includes all of the crimes that he committed against these girls and worse.  It is big business in the organized crime world. There are literally millions of Ariel Castros out there abducting, abusing and raping young girls all over the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Angels in Disguise

Friday, June 28th, 2013

northernlights4“Nobody’s perfect. We’re all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels.”-   Jeannette Walls

 

Years ago at one of the last adult shows I attended my Good Clean Love booth was next to the Angels, Buck the Transman porn star and his wife Elaine  author of the Piercing Bible.  At first glance, this couple who was literally covered from head to toe in tattoos and piercings selling huge glass pieces and giant posters of Buck: Man with a Pussy was as foreign to me as I could imagine.   I was stunned.  My judgments about who they were came upon me so fast that there was not enough time to recognize them as judgments, let alone question them.   I was pretty certain that I would not have much in common to connect to my neighbors.  That was the beginning of my summer of gratitude project when I was learning how to access gratitude and I was asking fellow vendors for prizes for the best gratitude entries. Asking Buck and Elaine about gratitude changed everything.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Infidelity Preventative

Friday, June 21st, 2013

comfortguyresized “Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.” -Sophocles

Yesterday, I interviewed Neil Biderman, the founder and CEO of Ashley Madison, the online affair portal that boasts 19 million profiles in 26 countries.  Every day, the business of cheating generates 26,000 new users and over $91,000.  His empire, built on what isn’t working in human intimacy, is booming. Our conversation was lively; he was accustomed to the push back and articulate about the challenges of making a fortune on the devastating betrayals that his website generates. Initially, he argued that it wasn’t the desire for sex as much as a longing for passion and attention that motivated so many of his female customers to initiating affairs. Only moments later he claimed that his website was actually helpful to marriage longevity because it allowed people to stay together and have their sexual needs taken care of elsewhere.

Read the rest of this entry »