"Striking the right balance between our physical and spiritual beings is one of the most challenging aspects of existence. We are dualistic by nature, spiritual entities bound to earth by physical bodies. In our lifetimes, we are charged with the duty of nurturing and tending both with equal devotion and love. Yet while both aspects of the self are deserving of honor and respect, there is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely ensconced in the carnal realm and pay no attention to the needs of the soul. In both cases, an adjustment is in order. We are whole only to the degree that we embrace both sides of our beings.
If the soul is the inward manifestation of our consciousness, the body is the living, breathing expression of that consciousness. The physical self provides the home in which the spiritual self takes root and flourishes. Just as we must tend to the seed of the soul to ensure that it grows strong, so, too, must we care for the protective shell that is the body. Though there will no doubt be times in our lives when we feel more comfortable focusing on the spiritual self or the physical self, denying the fundamental importance of one or the other can lead to ill health, emotional distress, and a sense of incompleteness. Both facets of the human experience play a vital role in our well-being.
The body and the soul are the yin and yang of our current reality. They are, at this point of human evolution, irreparably bound together, and many spiritual teachers agree that the body is one of the greatest vehicles through which to access the soul. In fact, many believe that our spirit has chosen to be embodied as an essential part of our spiritual development. Consequently, it is the responsibility of each person on the planet to forge a marriage between the two, so that these disparate aspects bring out the best in each other, creating a vibrant, dynamic, and workable whole."
~ Madisyn Taylor
YOU are invited to share an afternoon with renowned astrologer:
September 6, 2014
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Traveling Through the Light and the Dark
Astrology studies nature's rhythms in time: as it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time for every purpose under heaven.
In this workshop, we will look at nature's simplest rhythm: how the journey of the Sun and Moon create light and dark, the cycles of growth and rest.
In order to better understand these potent seasonal rhythms, we will explore the impact on each individual horoscope.
Those confirmed for the workshop will receive a copy of their personal horoscope and lifetime lunation cycle.
11:30 - 12:30
full day of renewal
Filling Fast through word of mouth
(text or vm)
To Explain Her Broad Appeal:
"It's a function of her mind-set, Helen has an innate sense of who she is, and a confidence and directness. She doesn't play it safe. What's sexy is how she is in the world even more than how she looks, though she certainly looks beautiful."
The Break-Up Letter I Never Wrote
I don’t hate you. That might make it easier for us both, to splinter apart, forever shattering each other into separate pieces of what once was whole.
No, I still find you as wonderful as the day I fell in love with you. You are not other — I know this spiritually. But you are different — I know this viscerally.
You may not understand or accept when I say I’m not angry that we are no longer on the same path. I’ve shown my fiery side, so my regret is in confusing this result with that reaction.
Yes I know, love, there is a molten core in me that usually flows as quietly and calmly as a lava field and you and I always agreed it was my passion-filled heart that steamed and bubbled and kept our love alive.
It was as enticing to you as the heat was strong.
But, at times, it erupted and this is what you never seemed to understand: it was only because that passion was sanctioned with the harshest of penalties. It was ignored. You took my heart for granted.
You, in your day-to-day practical way, unconsciously tossed your dirty laundry on my heart, smothering it. It would go for days, weeks, unnoticed and smoldering, and rather than flowing freely as you yourself once so lovingly appreciated, it finally erupted.
A fire demands reverence and attention.
You thought I had changed; I hated to hear that.
And now, my love, I say to you, you were right. You see, I simply returned to me — the one you fell in love with and were drawn to like a moth to the flame.
I embody the idea that it’s all an illusion and so I flex into something new and different at times, vacillating perhaps, but always looking with an empathetic eye to what is other than me.
How many parts of you have I seen and tried on as my own?
I regret that you didn't try on parts of me.
Remember how I tried to describe myself when we first met?
You were pleased with how easy I made it for you to get to know me because, as you soon discovered and also derived pleasure from, I am a bit enigmatic. Anyway, remember, I told you: I am a Pisces woman born in the Year of the Pig.
Not because I necessarily believe the star signs make my life unfold, or my personality is categorical, it’s just that when you Googled those descriptions, it effectively, concisely, told you about mercurial me.
I knew you would love having a map, and admit it, you did.
And then I told you a bit of my life story; just enough to explain the ugliness in me that I knew you would discover. It was my way of marking a nice big X on your map Here is an obstacle!
Dad left. Mom died. Everything else is rather inconsequential, and you comforted me, acknowledging — and don’t you dare deny it, my love — you had fallen in love with the tragedy of it all.
You fancied yourself my hero.
Just for fun I related the remarkable nature of my name and how I have come to love it like I love my long tresses and green eyes because they suit me so well. I’m named for angels — mom said I looked like one when I was born and remember how you said I was one?
And my middle name, I’m sure she had no idea is derived from Dionysus. What a perfect accidental name for me, and a delicious contradiction. You also loved this tiny detail, found it provocative, even.
I was your devilish little angel.
Do you remember? You once marveled at my gentle giving nature in love, at my desire to talk deep into the night about the meaning of life, while softly stroking your tired body. You thought my thrift-shop style and messy mane of hair was charming.
You were exhilarated by my preference to be outside, under the stars, with dirt under my nails and sweat dried on my skin after a long day of work. You found me to be authentic, a wildly sexy woman because of these unconventional ways that I evoked your wonder.
So once we ended up on the couch, in front of the TV, staring blindly at a box side by side, was it really that surprising that I grew restless?
You stopped seeing me.
Or, did you just think I was cool with coasting since I wasn’t overly demanding or clingy or controlling? The snapshot of love was safely tucked away in the scrapbook; you had proven yourself capable of catching this silvery, slippery little fish. Was that all you required?
My love, I am not a souvenir.
This is why I’m writing. I am and always have been a kaleidoscopic dance of shifting color and rhythm. We both know that’s how I caught your eye. I am ethereal. Yes, hard to understand at times, ambiguous for sure, maybe overwhelming or even contradictory.
But I told you all this way back at the beginning. Rather sheepishly, even, because I knew then what you now have realized: I am hard to comprehend. And you, my love, loved me for it then.
Now, though, you gesticulate at me, the mess, as if I crept up on you, as If I made this happen!
My love, I say this: I am not a mess. I am merely a vision of what you yourself claim to want so badly to attain. I am a reflection of the world, and of you, and sometimes that makes me confusing.
Most people want to find the brightest sun or the most exquisite shooting star because those breathtaking heavenly bodies definitively illuminate them, as well.
I am awesome like the moon.
I have learned to embrace the ambiguity of me and I wish you had too. But, you couldn’t figure me out or solve me or capture the essence of waxing and waning me. With my intuition — that you once revered — I refused to accept that this mess was just mine.
So, you sat on the couch and waited. You waited for me to explode at the silent neglect of our love, and then you pointed your finger at me, pontificating, dripping with such self-loathing that you couldn’t even accept your role in this tumultuous thing we called us.
So I’m sorry, my love. You did not honor me by reciprocating or even communicating with any vulnerability or honesty. You simply sat in silent indignation, glorified by your own clever justification. Thus I swim away. As gravely wonderful as you are, I must go.
Perhaps you thought loving me would require work: it requires action of course, my love, but not work, at least no more than waking and breathing is work. Respect for the other that you keep cradled in your heart is never work. It just is.
That is how I loved you."
~ Angela Bowen
~ Angela Bowen
NO Stretch Appeal Dance practice this Tuesday, 8/12/14
YES Stretch Appeal Dance practice this Thursday, 8/14/14
YES Stretch Appeal Soft practice this Saturday, 8/16/14
photo taken @ our soft practice on saturday
How to stay connected:
I had grasped God's garment in the
but my hand slipped on the rich silk of it.
The "everlasting arms" my sister
loved to remember
must have upheld my leaden weight from falling, even so,
for though I claw at empty air and
nothing, no embrace,
I have not plummeted.
~ Denise Levertov
"Bodhichitta exists on two levels. First there is unconditional bodhichitta, an immediate experience that is refreshingly free of concept, opinion, and our usual all-caught-upness. It’s something hugely good that we are not able to pin down even slightly, like knowing at gut level that there’s absolutely nothing to lose. Second there is relative bodhichitta, our ability to keep our hearts and minds open to suffering without shutting down.
Those who train wholeheartedly in awakening unconditional and relative bodhichitta are called bodhisattvas or warriors—not warriors who kill and harm but warriors of nonaggression who hear the cries of the world. These are men and women who are willing to train in the middle of the fire. Training in the middle of the fire can mean that warrior-bodhisattvas enter challenging situations in order to alleviate suffering. It also refers to their willingness to cut through personal reactivity and self-deception, to their dedication to uncovering the basic undistorted energy of bodhichitta. We have many examples of master warriors—people like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King—who recognized that the greatest harm comes from our own aggressive minds. They devoted their lives to helping others understand this truth. There are also many ordinary people who spend their lives training in opening their hearts and minds in order to help others do the same. Like them, we could learn to relate to ourselves and our world as warriors. We could train in awakening our courage and love."
~ Pema Chodron
Where do you find your inspiration? From travelling around the country, particularly the south-west United States. I love Native American and Mexican design.
Describe your aesthetic.A mix of masculine and feminine. I think a lot of people assume I am a goth, but I actually really love florals.
Who wears your pieces?Someone who appreciates design, detail and is looking for something that they can wear for the rest of their lives.
What's your background?
I studied film at NYU and spent a while working with [the painter] Francesco Clemente. I was also doing a lot of styling, which is how I started to get more involved in creating my own jewellery.
When we take control of our thoughts by focusing on the breath, we are able to stay present. Our thoughts are products of the mind. When we bring our focus to our breath, we engage our mind in the present and free ourselves of extraneous thoughts that may not be serving us. When we become rooted in our bodies, all that matters is what’s in front of us rather than worries over what might or might not happen. We are able to be fully present and engaged with whatever we are doing. Calm any worries by paying close attention to your breath and you can effectively and successfully meet your obligations.
If you can live with the sadness of human life (often called the tender heart or genuine heart of sadness), if you can be willing to feel fully and acknowledge continually your own sadness and the sadness of life, but at the same time not be drowned in it, because you also remember the vision and power of the Great Eastern Sun, you experience balance and completeness, joining heaven and earth, joining vision and practicality.
~ Pema Chodron
"If you are feeling stuck in your life and are ready for change, take time to declare to the Universe that you are ready.
There comes a point in most of our lives when we feel ready to experience a change we’ve had trouble carrying out. Maybe we’ve been stuck in a home, a relationship, job, or a town that hasn’t felt right for a long time, but we’ve been unable to shift our circumstances in the direction we want to go. At times like this, it can help to declare to the universe that we are ready for a change. Think of it as informing a helpful friend that you need her assistance to move to the next level in your life. If the time is right, the universe will respond with opportunities and offers designed to help you create the change you wish to see.
You can begin the process of making your declaration by getting clear within yourself about what exactly you want to change. Whenever we ask anyone for help, they can assist us that much better if we are specific. The universe also appreciates our clarity and has an easier time answering a direct communication than a vague yearning. When you are clear on what you want, write your declaration on a piece of paper and place it on your altar, if you have one. If you don’t, you can also place it under your pillow or in a box on your nightstand. Set aside a period of time every day to be silent with your wishes for change, repeating your declaration like a mantra. This lets the universe know that you are ready to change and will be receptive to its efforts.
Feel free to continue to refine and redefine your declaration, and remember to be open to the many different ways in which the change you seek might come to be. Remember also to be active in your own efforts, taking opportunities that come your way, watching for signs, and always taking responsibility for your intentions. If things don’t happen quickly, try not to be discouraged; it might take time to free up energy that has been blocked and possibly serving a purpose beyond what we can understand. If you continue your conversation with the universe, declaring yourself clearly and openly, you cannot help but experience the magic of changing and being changed."
~ Madisyn Taylor
"Assessing the people we spend the most time with allows us to see if they add something constructive to, or subtract from, our lives. Should a friend sap our strength, for example, we can simply set the intention to tell them how we feel or simply spend less time with them. We will find that the moment we are honest with ourselves about our own feelings, the more candid we can be with others about how they make us feel. While this may involve some drastic changes to our social life it can bring about a personal transformation that will truly empower us, since ! the decision to live our truth will infuse our lives with greater happiness.
When we surround ourselves with positive people, we clear away the negativity that exists around us and create more room to welcome nurturing energy. Doing this not only enriches our lives but also envelopes us in a supportive and healing space that fosters greater growth, understanding, and love of ourselves as well as those we care about."
~ Madisyn Taylor
1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind. Cultivate that capacity for "negative capability." We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone. As Paul Graham observed “prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.” Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the moment, but they ultimately don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night — and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.
3. Be generous. Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.
4. Build pockets of stillness into your life. Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken. Most importantly, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking moment, dictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?
5. When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as importantly, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living — for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
7.“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.” This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman, for it’s hard to better capture something so fundamental yet so impatiently overlooked in our culture of immediacy. The myth of the overnight success is just that — a myth — as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning. As I’ve reflected elsewhere, the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.
What is transmitted from a spiritual teacher to a student? The possibilities of love and freedom, of living in a joyful heart. Extraordinary spiritual teachers empower us, pointing us towards our own awakening. In their presence, we can feel the qualities of enlightenment rather than just hearing about them, and we are inspired to see in a new way.
The summer solstice is a time to celebrate the light of consciousness within ourselves and within each and every person, and to reflect upon the potential for consciousness to achieve its own awakening.
The progress of the sun throughout the year symbolizes the process of attaining enlightenment, and the summer solstice is the apex of this journey as the day of most light in the year. It symbolizes the ascension found in many great spiritual teachings – the return to the Great Father Spirit, the triumph of light over darkness in the individual, and the return to wholeness in which the Son, Mother Goddess and Father God become one great consciousness.
The Druids, ancient Egyptians, Mayans, Essenes, Romans and many others have aligned their sacred sites to the summer solstice and conducted ceremonies on this day. At the Great Pyramids of Egypt the summer solstice sun crowns the head of the Sphinx; the Druids celebrated the marriage of heaven and earth and the defeat of the dark god of the year just as the Egyptians celebrated the defeat of the dark god Seth by Horus, the sun; and in Rome the festival of Vestalia continued a Druid tradition of guarding the sacred fire.
~ Mark & Angela Pritchard
Not Biting The Hook
In Tibetan there is a word that points to the root cause of aggression, the root cause also of craving. It points to a familiar experience that is at the root of all conflict, all cruelty, oppression, and greed. This word is shenpa. The usual translation is “attachment,” but this doesn’t adequately express the full meaning. I think of shenpa as “getting hooked.” Another definition, used by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, is the “charge”—the charge behind our thoughts and words and actions, the charge behind “like” and “don’t like.” Here’s an everyday example: Someone criticizes you. She criticizes your work or your appearance or your child. In moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste, a familiar smell. Once you begin to notice it, you feel like this experience has been happening forever. That sticky feeling is shenpa. And it comes along with a very seductive urge to do something. Somebody says a harsh word and immediately you can feel a shift. There’s a tightening that rapidly spirals into mentally blaming this person, or wanting revenge or blaming yourself. Then you speak or act. The charge behind the tightening, behind the urge, behind the story line or action is shenpa.
You can actually feel shenpa happening. It’s a sensation that you can easily recognize. Even a spot on your new sweater can take you there. Someone looks at us in a certain way, or we hear a certain song, or walk into a certain room and boom. We’re hooked. It’s a quality of experience that’s not easy to describe but that everyone knows well.
Now, if you catch shenpa early enough, it’s very workable. You can acknowledge that it’s happening and abide with the experience of being triggered, the experience of urge, the experience of wanting to move. It’s like experiencing the yearning to scratch an itch, and generally we find it irresistible. Nevertheless, we can practice patience with that fidgety feeling and hold our seat.
~ Pema Chodrin
1. What advice would you give your graduating self?
In college, just before I embarked on a career as a writer, I wish I had known that there would be no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and my ability to do good work. I wish I could go back and tell myself, “Arianna, your performance will actually improve if you can commit to not only working hard, but also unplugging, recharging and renewing yourself.” That would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion.
2. What advice do you have for this year's graduating class about holding on to your passion when you are met with the real world reality of having to find a job?
Remember that your first job may not be directly linked to whatever it is you’re most passionate about -- and that’s ok. Happiness in its full sense -- what the Greeks call eudaimonia -- is thriving and flourishing. This full definition of happiness includes moving beyond our own personal passions and pleasures and being part of something larger than ourselves.
3. Because of this generation’s deep relationship with technology and the instant gratification that comes with it - what advice would you give to those who are seeking the same instant gratification with their passion?
There are benefits -- not only for our careers but for our lives -- to experimenting, taking risks and failing. I failed many times in my life. I watched HuffPost come alive to mixed reviews, including some very negative ones, like the reviewer who called the site “the movie equivalent of Gigli, Ishtar, and Heaven’s Gate.” But my mother used to tell me, “failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a stepping stone to success.” So at some point, I learned not to dread failure. I strongly believe that we are not put on this earth just to accumulate victories and trophies and avoid failures; but rather to be whittled and sandpapered down until what’s left is who we truly are.
4. If someone graduating college now wanted to start their own business - what advice would you have for them?
I would advise them to pick an idea that differentiates them from others and put their heart and soul into it--but not at the expense of their health and well-being. There was a recent piece on Forbes.com by Michael Thomsen connecting the fact that three-quarters of startups fail to the prevalent burnout culture in which sleep deprivation is a badge of honor. As Thomsen wrote, "How can any work ethic connected to such dimming of cognitive function produce anything worth having?" Don’t fall into the trap of chasing only the successes built on money, status and fame. When this happens, we miss out on the happiness, purpose and meaning that come from reaching out to others, pausing to wonder, and connecting to that place of strength and wisdom within us from which everything is possible.
5. Many times people become successful later in life because they spend their 20s and 30s distracted from what matters most to them. What advice would you give today's grads about staying focused on what matters most?
Staying focused on what matters most is ancient wisdom that has now been validated by modern science. One of the steps I recommend in my book Thrive is disconnecting from our devices in order to reconnect with our wisdom and focus. I love what Eric Barker wrote: "Those who can sit in a chair, undistracted for hours, mastering subjects and creating things will rule the world — while the rest of us frantically and futilely try to keep up with texts, tweets and other incessant interruptions."
6. What would you say to grads who are interested in personal growth and living the Thriving life, but their peers aren't? What if they feel alone and like there's no tribe for them?
The worst thing you can do is give in to peer pressure and buy into our current notion of success, in which we drive ourselves into the ground, if not the grave, and in which working to the point of exhaustion and burnout is considered a badge of honor. Before too long – hopefully before they experience a painful wakeup call -- your burned out, sleep-deprived peers will be begging to join your tribe!
7. What do you have to say to those graduating college that feel like they aren't wise enough to begin leading?
Wherever we look, we see a lot of smart leaders making terrible decisions. What they are missing is not IQ but wisdom. So it's time for each one of us to look in the mirror to find the leader within and make sure we stay connected to that place of wisdom, strength and leadership.
8. Finally, what advice would you have for today's grads to hold on to wonder?
Einstein defined wonder as a precondition for life. He wrote that whoever lacks the capacity to wonder, “who ever remains unmoved, whoever cannot contemplate or know the deep shudder of the soul in enchantment, might just as well be dead for he has already closed his eyes upon life." Remember that while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, and pause to wonder. One simple thing you can do is pick an image that ignites the joy in you. It can be of your child, a pet, the ocean, a painting you love— something that inspires a sense of wonder. And any time you feel contracted, go to it to help you expand.
Gerald Rogers shares his insightful advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage:
"I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done differently. After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had because in the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time."
1. Never stop courting. NEVER EVER take your partner for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but always keep a special place in your heart where no one enters except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
5. It’s not your job to change or fix her. Your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
6. Take full accountability for your own emotions. It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry. It is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them … when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.
9. Be silly. Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
10. Fill her soul everyday. Learn her love languages and the specific ways she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.
11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.
12. Be willing to take her sexually. To carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
13. Don’t be an idiot. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
14. Give her space. The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing ~ (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
15. Be vulnerable. You don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and be quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know if she will like what she finds. Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
17. Never stop growing together. The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strengths to win.
19. Forgive immediately. Focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices are governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.
Over time, as the thinking mind begins to settle [through the practice of meditation], we’ll start to see our patterns and habits far more clearly. This can be a painful experience. I can’t overestimate the importance of accepting ourselves exactly as we are right now, not as we wish we were or think we ought to be. By cultivating nonjudgmental openness to ourselves and to whatever arises, to our surprise and delight we will find ourselves genuinely welcoming the never-pin-downable quality of life, experiencing it as a friend, a teacher, and a support, and no longer as an enemy.
~ Pema Chodron
Your inner warrior is one source of strength you can draw upon in times of great need. When you employ your warrior spirit thoughtfully, it manifests itself as clarity, focus, determination, courage, constancy, and an unflappable zest for life. The warrior views roadblocks as evolutionary opportunities and is not afraid to pursue a purpose to its climax. There is more than enough room in the existence of the warrior for softness and benevolence. Exploring your warrior side is a means of broadening your reality so you can internalize mindfulness while meeting life's challenges with an intensity of spirit that never wavers.
~ Madisyn Taylor