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


How Sex Cures Us

February 28th, 2014

sexy13resized“The way you make love is the way God will be with you.”  -Rumi

 

Everyone knows the power of makeup sex to sand down the remaining rough edges and offer a soothing balm of acceptance after painful breaks in relationships. Yet, rarely do we consider sexual intimacy as the transformative healing force in dealing with the overwhelming grief that comes with death. It hadn’t really occurred to me until recently when I was lost in the grievous regrets upon my father’s death and found myself reticent to tap into my own libido. Many of us are not skilled in the grieving process, and it can seem incompatible with sexual desire, even disrespectful of the loss itself. And yet, there is something deeply primeval in the connection between making love and death, as though all the procreative forces that have ever been contained in the act come together as a shield, protecting us from death’s promise while holding us firmly to the ground of life.

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My Love Cure

February 21st, 2014

sunriseresized“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

 

My father died last weekend, peacefully in his sleep. He was sick and unhappy for a very long time, so while his death was anticipated, the reality of it still surprised me. Even as I worked with hospice and caregivers daily over the last few weeks anticipating the moment, when death arrives, it turns things over on its head in ways you can’t anticipate. Finally, at the moment of his departure, all the years of trying to forgive him came clear. During all the efforts to forgive him and his persistent disrespectful and abusive ways, I never once looked at forgiving myself for not being able to love him. Going through his wallet now and finding photos of him on his driver’s license and one he had just gotten to carry a concealed weapon, I was at last able to see him beyond the anger, which was his primary interactive mode to keep people away. I could see into the grief and isolation that his photos showed. I wept for my own inability to love him more.   My 17-year-old son, ever wise, said, “You loved him as much as he let you.”

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Three Valentine’s Day Cures

February 14th, 2014

coupledoor“The art of love… is largely the art of persistence.”  ~Albert Ellis

 

If we could learn just two things about love that might just cure us of our broken relationships and dissatisfying sex it is this- that love does not come made to order and that we must be willing to ask for what we want. These two misunderstandings about the limits of relationships wreak havoc in the development and maturity of many long-term partnerships. Maybe it is all the romantic comedies or being brought up in a Disney culture of happily ever after, but the sad and happy truth of real and lasting loving relationships is that we don’t have control over how other people love us. Combined with the other persistent and unhelpful belief that other people should know what we feel or want from love without our telling them, and suddenly, the brokenness of our collective love lives comes clear. So here are three fixes for this useless cycle of love breakdowns that will cure your Valentine’s Day blues and carry you into a fertile new cycle of love this spring.

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Using Our Differences to Make Love

February 7th, 2014

gaykiss“To set up what you like against what you dislike, this is the disease of the mind.” -Sengcan

 

What we most love about someone, given enough time, we usually come to find repulsive. It is an odd but insistent phenomenon that moves through most all intimate relationships, usually at regular intervals. One useful way to think about this swinging attraction- rejection response is as an energy wave that can spark intrigue and curiosity, keeping your relationship alive and new.   Moving beyond the black and white reactions that both sides of the wave create and looking for ways to hold these opposing forces side by side not only leads to cultivating a mature, evolving capacity for love but also contains the seed of passionate intimacy.

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Curing the Valentine’s Effect

January 31st, 2014

rosepetalfeet“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” -Thomas Merton

 

Ashley Madison founder, Noel Biderman once told me that the biggest  day of his year is the day after Valentines day. More women sign up to cheat on their marriages on this day than any other, which is no small thing coming from a guy whose website generates $25K every hour of  every average day. The Valentines effect is so potent and inspires so many break ups because the holiday shines a light of authentic, genuine connection that makes our disappointment and frustration in our lovers inescapable. Mind you, those feelings are often percolating for months, or even years, but it is not uncommon for cultural celebrations of love (Christmas and Mother’s Day are not far behind) to clarify and maybe even exaggerate what is broken between us. Many might argue that the Hallmarked and arguably unrealistic expectations for a single day to capture what needs to be done all the time doesn’t help. But the truth is that we all long for a gesture- a perfect gift or carefully penned card to heal the rifts that live between us; for all the many ways our acts of love go unappreciated, unrecognized or worse still unreciprocated day after day.

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A Sexual Resolution: Becoming An Animal

January 24th, 2014

sexymarriedresized“Be no longer tender. Cover me with frenzied kisses, – even as I would drench my body in the cruel torrents of the rain. Envelop me from throat to ankle in delirium intolerable….” ~Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff

 

The most unique and universal expressions of our humanity occur in the moments when we are most keyed in to our animal nature. Whether curled up in our sleep beside our lover or child, or ravaging a perfectly prepared meal, our most basic human needs show us as the animals we are.   This is most true in our fully embodied sexual moments; in fact I have found no other reasonable explanation for the human I become when I am utterly consumed in my sex drive. In all of these instances, the truth of our animal nature becomes clear- we don’t think our way into a nap, and trying to reason our way into our sexual selves is equally impossible. Whether it is sexual hunger or a rumbling belly, there is an abandoning of our cerebral selves, which our animal nature demands.

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3 Ways to Become More Human

January 17th, 2014

bedcouple7resized“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.” -Mary Oliver

 

A good friend of mine recently told me that her resolution for this year was to become more human. She laughed as she shared the story with me, of how some of her friends from Silicon Valley didn’t quite understand the meaning of her pronouncement. “I am serious,” she said. “I want to feel more.” We all need to feel more, to become more human.  As our lives are becoming increasingly dominated by digital gadgets that offer a superficial connectivity at best, we lose the face to face and heart to heart contact that in fact makes us human. Science bears this out, as more and more research is confirming how the combination of voyeurism and narcissism through Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are drastically reducing the amount of real relating time we engage in. Worse still, we are losing the primary skills required to do the messy and gratifying work of truly showing up, communicating and committing to the loving relationships that give life its purpose and meaning.

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Resolving to Feel

January 10th, 2014

thinkinggirl2resized“Often we cling to our feelings as if they were signs from God- signs of either anointment or of being sent from the Garden. This superstitious relationship is the cause of many kinds of suffering.” -Gangagi

 

Many of us simply never learned the language and truth of our feeling self. We misinterpret our feelings as absolute signs of right and wrong, good and bad rather than the passing experience of discomfort or happiness they might bring. Coming into a more true relationship to our feeling self and building the confidence to embody the full range of our emotions is a resolution worth considering. Our feelings provide us the most real and grounded information about our experience we can get. Our resistance to the discomfort that feelings can and do generate creates the erroneous belief that feelings are a solid reality rather than the most ethereal aspect of what it is to be human.

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Aspiring to Change

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.

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Celebrating Your Senses For the New Year

December 27th, 2013

beachwomanresized“Lose your mind and come to your senses.”  -Fritz Perls

I was blessed to find myself soaking in the tropical waters in Hawaii this month and remembering again how simple life can be when we live through our senses rather than through our mind. My most magical moments were floating, fully immersed in the gentle surf with only my face exposed to the warmth of the sun.  There were no thoughts that could hold me here with my senses fully  captivated and charged by the most basic elements of the world.  I am home now, and as I prepare to move  Good Clean Love out of the small home it has occupied for 7 years into our new professional warehouse and colorful office space,  I am reaching back to the magical moments immersed in feeling to guide me. So I offer here as we celebrate letting go of the old and moving into a new year some of the ocean’s abiding lessons.

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