“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” And yet, this is often the most challenging part of our development, coming to believe in our own lovability. Yet, when it comes down to it there is no other single more powerful fix to our relationships and even life in general than coming to a practice of loving ourselves.
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?
Recently, I decided to try out a new yoga teacher and was forced to notice just how much resistance I had to changing my routine. In fact it took me weeks to actually finally get to that new studio. The first time was the hardest, but every week afterwards, required a little inner cajoling to go back. Adding something new to our routine is harder than it seems on first glance, and getting ourselves to change how we do our days takes concerted effort. In part, interrupting our routine requires that we literally change how we think and considering that for most of us, 95% of our thoughts are the same ones we had yesterday and the day before that, this is no small thing.
Celebrating the joys and successes of people we love is a more powerful glue of connection than providing support or consolation for life’s challenges and disappointments. Equally powerful are the small ways that we intentionally communicate to our partners how they hold a special place in our life and hearts. Ironically, this is where many relationships fall short. It was a Love Agent’s feedback that made me think about this simple, yet often overlooked aspect of loving someone else.
It takes a lot of courage to get what we want. It seems counterintuitive, but I witness how many people refuse the goodness coming towards them, the goodness that they created themselves. It’s like there is some default setting on our hearts that clicks off right when we get to the edge of what we have been striving for. In retrospect, we could go back to those moments and realize it would have been just one change of mind that would have altered the course of events. Getting to that different way of seeing and lifting the veils from our perspective is the most challenging, yet gratifying work in which we can engage. It is the way we change the fundamental feel of our life and it starts by saying yes.
For years now I have been writing in the hopes of inspiring people to love each other more, better and with greater passion. Often, my posts have been about how to get through the tough times, how to listen for the answer behind the words, and how to take responsibility for our own erotic selves. But reading words on a page and bringing those into action in one’s life is a big leap that many just don’t know how to take. Finally after months of planning we have launched the interactive platform to bring these ideas to life called the Love Agent Headquarters. Anyone can become a Love Agent, and so far we have close to 100 people signed up. My goal is multiply that by 100, because I know that the world will be a different place when there are 100,000 people actively working to love people that matter to them.
“The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” -Pope John Paul II
We are the country of grand experiments and the only constant is change. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the ways we are witnessing the disintegration of the traditional family unit. I inherited my father’s AARP subscription and the cover story of this month’s issue featured a special report on the New American Family and detailed how we live now. The trends cited are important not only because they reflect how families are formed now, but even more because they provide important implications for what is to come. While the Baby Boomer generation has created a wave of cultural changes, the most impactful may be the close to 50% divorce rate statistic, which makes them the generation with the highest divorce rate in the 20th century. Indeed, their influence is clear as families consisting of married couples with kids are now less than half of what they were in 1970 and children born to unmarried women has jumped from 5% to 41%.
Of all the sciences, the one that is most compelling to me is Quantum Physics. A year ago I went to this remarkable Science and Non-Duality conference, where leading PhD quantum physicists convened with spiritual teachers, confirming the scientific theories, which support the ancient teachings that we are indeed all one. Accepting and understanding how we are all connected in this vast, ever expanding universe of benign energy is the context which makes the idea of a love centered revolution possible. A movement of Love Agents creating a stream of intentional loving acts will subtly, yet definitively shift the collective consciousness to the truth of our interconnectedness. And the idea that a relatively small group of people can become a catalyst for change and impact the larger whole has been proven time and again. Arguably, in the name of love, there may not be a more opportune moment to intervene than right now.
One of my favorite teachings in the Buddhist tradition is how love is transmitted between a teacher and a student. It is often described as a seed of loving intention that is planted in the heart and mind of the initiate, which, with attention, will grow into a life of the dharma. In truth, this is probably what sparked the idea of creating love missions. I don’t think it is a stretch to consider most of the missions that Love Agents will carry out as teachings in kindness. Bringing a gentle willingness to the ways we think, communicate and show up for our relationships doesn’t take much more time or effort than our usual interactions, yet it is often something easily overlooked. Deliberate acts of kindness teach both the giver and receiver by helping them to recognize how love feels in the moment. Love Agent missions are designed to create a heightened level of intentional attention to these moments so we can become cognizant of the visceral shift that occurs in the moments we experience love.
“In the last minutes of your life, it won’t matter what you have collected, where you have travelled, how much you have in the bank. The only thing that will matter to you is who you loved and who loved you back…”
If you have ever met me in person, it is likely that by the end of our conversation I may have said these words to you. I live my life by them and am convinced that the purpose of our lives is to learn how to love. And yet, on the face of it, we often are so consumed with the daily activities of earning our living, dealing with difficulty, and self-medicating our unnamed and unexpressed emotional injuries that paying attention to our loving relationships ends up last on the list. This might be in part because loving people is hard work, and often work for which we are unprepared, both in experience and education. Put simply, we often don’t recognize the opportunities for the applied practice that love demands.
“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.” –Barbara de Angelis
Becoming more intentional in your life, especially when it comes to matters that engage our emotional intelligence and heart opening is the only path to a meaningful evolution and aging process. In human social systems, the idea of agency or becoming an agent has to do with our ability to make choices, as opposed to some predetermined destiny. It embraces the idea that we have the capacity, and some might argue the responsibility to make decisions and enact them on the world.