These days we live in a custom order world. We can custom order our food, houses, furniture, fabrics, phones…It's amazing to be able to desire, or envision, something and then often and easily find it!
Nowadays we don't even have to leave our house to look for it. We type a few words on a computer, or even a phone, and click(!), order placed!
But how about when it comes to relationship? Does all this custom ordering keep us from really having the love we want?
I went into Peet's coffee the other day and had a "choice moment." I was having a tough day and walked in there for something warm and comforting. (We can discuss filling emptiness or stress with addictions later ;).
What did I want? A mocha? A latte? Hot chocolate? Soy milk? Whole milk? 2%? Decaf? 1/2 caf? Whipped cream? Small? Medium? How much sugar, dairy and caffeine did I want to ingest that afternoon, in my custom order way?
I began to wonder what impact the custom order menus have on our relationships! I'd choose you, handsome man, if it weren't for your receding hairline. Or I'd choose you, intelligent man, if you were taller. Or I'd choose you, man with a great sense of humor, if you were more sporty.
We clearly can't custom order people. But does our custom order world give us a sense of power to have things our way, and set us up for disappointment in our relationships?
There’s something I (Shana) want to get off my chest.
After I share it I don’t know what you’ll think of me.
You may trust me less. You may think I shouldn’t
teach dating and relationship courses. Or you may
trust me more. I really don’t know.
I’m going to take a risk because I keep finding that if I
don’t risk, I live in fear of what might happen. I feel half
alive. I don’t know whether others like me for who I
When I risk, especially when I’m scared, I discover
whether I can be more connected with people. And
others share their vulnerable truths with me, which
makes life so much more rich and fun!
So here it is, the confession:
It's now 9 weeks into the life of our new son, Ari Thomas James. I've never been through anything so all-encompassing, so awe inspiring, so painful, beautiful & challenging.
I often wonder why mother nature hasn't made conceiving, birthing and nursing easier. The survival of our species depend on these acts!
As I passed my baby’s “due date,” I have stepped into the luxury of time – free time, time I didn’t know I’d have, that I now get to fill in any way my heart desires.
This morning I wrote a poem called “There’s Something About a Woman…”
It’s about how amazing you are! It’s about what a gift we are to ourselves and others when we love and express all parts of ourselves.
I wanted to share it with you, since you inspired it!
There’s Something About A Woman …
There’s something about a woman who embodies, expresses
Who boldly shares the fullness of who she is with the world
Her power and her softness
Her joy and her fierceness
Her longing and her appreciation
Her truth and her fears
There’s something about a woman who does not hide herself from others
Who feels free to show her idiosyncrasies, even when she might be judged
Who lets you know when she feels down, even when she’s afraid to “ruin” the mood
Who speaks up when she wants or needs more, even when she doesn’t want to be a burden
Read the rest of this entry »
My dad and I had a conversation recently that was unlike we’d had before. He was willing to talk about some of his struggles in relationship, and about his recent discovery of love languages (see Dr. Gary Chapman’s research).
I asked if he’d heard of Drs. John and Julie Gottman. I told him about the Gottmans “love lab.” In a matter of minutes, by watching how a couple fights, they predict whether that couple will stay together or not. (I may have the actual prediction wrong – it may be about whether a couple will thrive, but my possible mistake lead to my dad’s response)
My dad said, “Just because a couple stays together, doesn’t mean they should! They might fight a lot and pick on each other. So how great is it really to predict whether a couple will stay together?”
I appreciated his point. It’s something I’ve thought about since I was young. It has become my life’s passion and mission – to explore how two people can stay in a relationship together and be fulfilled and deeply connected as they continue to grow and express their truth and desires.
What do you do when a man you’re dating (or in relationship with) has a desire, but it’s not
what you want?
Maybe it’s a sexual desire. Maybe it’s a desire about how much time you spend together. It may be a desire about how whether he tells you when he finds other women attractive. Or that he wants to go on a trip, or move to another part of the country.
Read on to discover how to navigate desire. Because after all, we are human. So that means you WILL have different desires than your man has:
My husband left last week on a 5 week journey to the other side of the world. When we first started talking about this he said he needed a re-set. He wanted to resign from his job and take a sabbatical, a solo-journey!
Whoa! I thought. Right when we’re trying to create a family and get settled. This is a HUGE change! And one that makes us much less stable.
And yet as I thought about it more I thought about how important this felt. It is extremely important to me that he is feeling fulfilled in his career and loving how he spends his days. Both for his own sake and because if he’s not, I won’t really get to have him. I would get a watered down, uninspired version of him.
It’s NOT easy to send my man across the world and have him return without a job(!), for this long stretch of time. (My acupuncturist “gracefully” reminded me just before he left, “Who knows what will happen?! He might renounce worldly desires and become a wandering monk! Anything is possible!”)
During a session with a client last week I told him I didn’t trust him. Specifically I didn’t trust that if I shared the fullness of my emotions – the depth of my sadness and the intensity of my rage, that he could handle it.
When I work with men I sometimes look through the lens of “how would it feel to date him?” I notice my responses when I see and hear him, when I’m near him. I pay attention to what I feel in my body and heart.
I feel how strong his presence is, how embodied he is, how deeply he appreciates me (and all women), how clear he is about what he wants, how able he is to communicate his desires, how much he feels relaxed and clear with his sexual energy. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that part of my life journey recently has been attempting to get pregnant. It has not gone as “planned.” (Yes, sometimes I would like to think you can plan these things!)
It’s been about 7 months since we started “trying.” The lessons I have learned have been profound and they apply not only to having a baby, but to searching for love and keeping it alive.
Passing the lessons on helps me feel like my suffering is at least helping others. ;)