Sustainability is the catch phrase of this generation… it means learning how to use current resources in a way that does not harm the future. Yet the wisdom of sustainability is rarely applied to love, which, I believe is the source of life energy from which all else springs. Love is an action verb and a developmental skill set which evolves with time and practice.

As we begin to appreciate that being in relationship, having a family and history with someone is a precious resource we begin the journey of creating a thriving ecology of love. The huge amounts of trust, time and loving intention that we invest in our early relationships are actually renewable resources and the currency of our future health and wellbeing. Sustaining your relationship with loving words and actions not only keeps your own intimacy vibrant, it becomes a living education of what love is for future generations.

Join us, as we learn together about the art of love through the skill based practice of creating a thriving Ecology of Love by addressing all of the aspects of intimacy that make love grow. Each post helps you to honestly address all the areas of your relationship that need attention in order to create the passionate connection that makes love thrive.

Ask yourself: How does the opening in your communication with your partner increase your ability to share passion? What does it feel like when your partner shows up for you and does it make you want them more? How do your good thoughts about loving your partner invite you into a kiss?

Recent Posts


Enlightened Self-Consciousness: A Warm Homecoming

September 13th, 2013

fatherandson5resized“Self consciousness is the indispensible means to enlightenment; at the same time it is the greatest obstacle in the way.”  -Aldous Huxley

 

I live among teenagers, which brings me into intimate contact with the often crippling kind of self consciousness that awakens in the human mind during adolescence. The experience of being seen in these years swings between a primal desire and a punishing shame. Constantly conscious of what others think of what they look like, what they are doing or saying, we parents watch in dismay as our child’s once natural ability to be fully one’s self in the present moment erodes into habitual judgment of self and others. Gone is the playful innocence of being one’s goofy and changing self; it is replaced by a lingering defensiveness that colors almost every interaction. Relationships large and small become matters of dissection and the opening to new and different people begins to shut down. It becomes increasingly challenging to separate the internal filter of how we think we are being seen with the simple reality of being.

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Fairness As Love’s Currency

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.

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Three Questions to Awaken Our Capacity for Life

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.

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Awakening to the Unloved

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.

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Waking Up Our Sexual Dialogue

August 16th, 2013

ku-xlarge“Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean that the explanation doesn’t exist.”  -Madeleine L’engle

 

My favorite thing to do is teach and last weekend I was lucky to have the chance to give a presentation to 50 physicians about working with their patients’ sexual dysfunction issues. I thought it would be easy- like falling off a log as I spend so much of my days thinking, researching and talking about ways to become more sexually healthy, but in fact I was surprised how much I still had to learn as I was obliged to organize my rambling knowledge into a cohesive 90 minute talk. It is daunting to cover the vast swaths of dysfunction that make up the landscape of so many people’s experience with their sexuality. Pain with sex is almost more common than not in a lifetime and the silence that overwhelms the symptoms makes healing through education all the more difficult.

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Five Ways to Wake Up

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.

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A Thousand Years

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.

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Uncovering the Unknown

July 26th, 2013

goldenpathresized“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” -Aldous Huxley 

I am not proud of the moments when something cracks in me and I become someone I hardly recognize. The times when a powerful storm lets loose inside me without warning, remain stubbornly unpredictable. The triggers are complex; rarely can I trace them to some direct input. Rather they are reflections of the internal conflicts, which more often than not go unnamed and unattended. They are the invisible cracks in our own heart that control us in ways that are potentially damaging precisely because they are invisible. These emotional prisons define our relationships in our intimate lives as well as our careers, and they are strengthened by our ignorance. Not knowing what we want, how we feel, or where our boundaries lay makes it impossible to align our ideas of life with reality itself. Getting stuck in these deep places in ourselves turns internal conflict into a smoldering ash that can be ignited by seemingly innocent events.

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Freedom from Hookups

July 19th, 2013

sexycouple3resized“Romantic goals change from finding boyfriends to finding hook up buddies…a guy we don’t actually really like, but we think he is really attractive and hot and good in bed.”  -Student at U of Penn

I was in the liquor store yesterday, choosing between flavors of my favorite  Clear Creek brandies  when I went on to share my excitement about my purchase with the two 20 something guys behind the counter.  I said “this stuff  can really bring fire to a kiss and heat up your intimate life…”  To which he responded  “ I don’t have an intimate life.”   His co-worker joined in the conversation adding  “yeah being in love is so ten minutes ago.”    “But this is the time of your life for falling in love, I argued  this is what the 20s are for.”   Apparently not for this generation.

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Freeing our Fantasies

July 12th, 2013

remodel“Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting. The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.”  -Andy Warhol

It all started with a leak under my refrigerator. Then it became clear that the entire wood floor needed replacing. After my contractor arrived it was agreed that that the cabinets would look even worse than they did next to a new floor, so that was going to be my part in the kitchen rehab. Before long, the kitchen was gutted and I am working alongside my contractor sanding and refinishing. What makes guys who can fix things so sexy? Contractors have always been one of my weak points. I can’t help but fall for guys who can turn my ideas into reality so easily. It seems like the power tools are part of their hands.

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