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


Three Easy Ways to a Harvest of the Heart

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 »

Foreplay’s Harvest

October 11th, 2013

passionhands“We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.”  -Orison Swett Marden

 

It is not uncommon for me to get a random text from my kids’ teenaged friends inquiring about sexual issues. They are important questions that even with as few characters as these mini communications provide, are laced with anxiety and edged with a bit of desperation. They don’t know the terms for problems like premature ejaculation or inability to orgasm, and they think they are the only ones that have these problems. These text conversations sometimes fall off as abruptly as they begin, so I always try to leave each message with a reassuring tone- of how normal it is to have these questions and how brave it is to want to look for answers. One text that made me laugh out loud recently asked, “Does fingering even work???”

Read the rest of this entry »

Receiving in Love

October 4th, 2013

huggingcouple“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” -William Blake

Falling in love is easy; our biological imperative to mate kicks in naturally opening our hearts and flooding our nervous system with the euphoric experience of idealized connection. In these early moments of love’s embrace, we receive love viscerally. Every exchange is charged with the energy of passionate recognition and the deep cellular relief of being embraced just as we are. And yet, often this early abundant receiving of love doesn’t stick. As the hormonal magic wears off and we are required to mature into the endurance sport of love over time, we lose the ability to feel the love that has accumulated inside of us. We allow small differences to evolve into heartbreak.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Basic Skills to Make You Sexier

September 27th, 2013

sweetcouplecloseupresized“Experiencing one’s self in a conscious manner–that is, gaining self-knowledge–is an integral part of learning.” -Karen Stone McCown

 

People who are emotionally intelligent are seriously sexy. Fluency with one’s emotional life defines our ability to master most other life experiences. Being constantly caught between fight or flight is not flattering, and sadly our sex appeal bears its weight. Although many of us are not well trained in emotional cognition, our own or someone else’s, there are two basic skill sets that are both easily accessible and developmental, which means you can get better at them. The first skill is developing the capacity and the curiosity to feel a wide range of emotions, the second is increasing our emotional language to identify and express what we feel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Propelled by Discomfort

September 20th, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”  -M Scott Peck

 

We resist change.  We prefer our known discomfort to the fear of what we don’t know. We stay in jobs we don’t like, we stay in relationships that are toxic, we stay in mindsets that keep us trapped in familiar ways of perceiving the world even and often in spite of the regular messages our body is giving us about how uncomfortable we are. Often, without our own witness, we fabricate stories that spin our discomfort into choices that we wouldn’t actually be making if we had the courage and insight to squarely look at our fear of the unknown. I keep thinking about the classic tale of the frog that is placed in a pot of cool water and is slowly boiled to death. We all have some of that amphibian brain that chooses the slow boil over the leap into the unknown.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »