Living Yoga through our Relationships
For me, and most of my close friends and clients, our relationship with our partner is the most important relationship in our life, after the one we have with ourselves. Who our partner is plays a major influence on most parts of our lives; our children, where we live, who we spend time with, our conversations, our vacations etc... This is not to say we are not independent woman who play a part in these decisions, however would I/we be with anyone else, all of the above would all be different. I have been with my wonderful husband for 8 years. It is an amazingly strong relationship that I treasure with all my heart and soul and like everything in our life it is never stagnant, always growing, changing and evolving. After 8 years together, 2 children, trips around the world, careers changes, amazing highs, epic challenges and the constant continuing journey of self-discovery, I am recently in a new place in my perception of relationship. As whenever we peel back layers, go deeper and have new experiences, I am finding gems of beauty I didn't know existed and on the flip side, personal resistance, that shows up like road blocks designed to test, challenge and eventually strengthen me.
When I first started dating I was in my early 20's and in what David Deida, the author of Dear Lover and Way of Superior Man, relates to as 1st stage of Loving. It is a lust filled stage of life, when women yearn to be physically adorned. Then in my late 20's as a young mother and making moves in my direction of my life's work, I felt I moved into 2nd stage of Loving, where you still care about your physical but you become more concerned with wanting your careers and opinions to be valued and listened to as a whole, independent woman.
Now in my 30's I find myself in a new space. The 3rd stage, described by David Deida, is when you are ready to be worshipped as you are, as the light of love that lives as all life's power.
"You are not just a body to be entered or a mind to be shared. You are the very light of life, alive as the love that yearns to open at the heart of all beings."
Our relationships fluctuate throughout days and weeks, sometimes connecting and other times becoming more closed and separate. If we feel the yearning to, we can move into a deeper space, we can begin to view our relationships as a spiritual "practise" and consciously devote to opening into it. They can bring us love and support but they can also serve us to show us what needs to be seen, even when this is "ugly", so it can be worked through and let go of.
The domestic daily existence can bring a certain amount of comfortable "autopilot" but my new focus is to hone in on the space of truly seeing and to be truly seen amongst it all...the kids, the washing, the work, the recycling. It requires constant awareness, as it can be all too easy to drop back into conditional patterns or to overlook the complete divine amazingness in our partner simply because of the "over" familiarity.
I dedicate time every single day to my spiritual practice of yoga and meditation, for my personal evolution and to feed my soul. To see the results of this, I have to do the work and do it consciously. Growth in relationship is no different. While love naturally evolves, we cannot expect it to flourish to new higher places without dedication, focus and time. We must bend, twist and breathe into where we feel stiff, or have weakness to bring flexibility and strength. With practise we can peel back layers to become connected to energies that are always available, if we choose to be present and do the work.
These are some of my little mantras for taking relationships a step further;
Make connection with your partner the priority.
Share what is most difficult to communicate
Do what ever it takes to de-numb
Treat your relationship as a sacred adventure
Do not take your partner for granted
Communicate with respect even when you are angry at him/her.
Allow your relationship with your partner to deepen your relationship with all that is.