Fulfilling Relationships by Stephanie
Are relationships suppose to make us feel fulfilled?
In my experience, relationships make up the foundation of our life. That said, many of us strive to be in relationships that are "fulfilling", especially when it comes to our life partner. Why wouldn't we, right? Well....
Years ago, while still somewhat "asleep" on the spiritual path, the word fulfillment had a vastly different meaning than it does today as it relates to relationship. Without boring you with the details, in the past fulfillment focused primarily on topics related to "I, me, my, mine, myself". Meaning, my view of how things ought to be, how I saw it, what I needed, etc. Get the drift?
Over the past few years, as I've deepened my commitment to raising my own consciousness and embracing the work of Eckhart Tolle, seeking “fulfillment” in relationship feels elusive and ego driven. Perhaps it even sets us up for “disappointment”... you know, riddled with all that expectation...
Upon reflection, my experience has been that relationships are here to make us grow... not necessarily to make us happy or fulfilled. In fact, it seems that looking to relationships to be fulfilling is not the point at all.
Often our life partners are the exact ones who "provoke" us the most. Sometimes we are provoked and feel love, other times, not so much. And yet, if we are the type of person who finds "growth" and the provocation fulfilling, then where does that leave us? Maybe it's how we are looking at our relationships that cause the suffering and lack of fulfillment?
Having said this, we are human and have needs. And there is nothing wrong with having needs and wanting to be fulfilled. Perhaps what we need to look at is the "expectation" of who is the one responsible for fulfilling those needs...and what is realistic? A rich topic with many perspectives to be sure!!!
I continue to explore this topic.
At this moment, my sense is that if we can feel fulfilled by ourselves, meaning, we enjoy who we are and have a relationship with our self, the neediness of a relationship will disappear. When we are no longer "needy", perhaps all those expectations fall away and the suffering disappears. We remain present and perhaps realize that if the current relationship isn't working, it simply isn't. Because we are fulfilled by our self, our actions are motivated by love instead of fear.
In this way we enter a relationship whole, complete, full -- needing nothing from anyone and thereby being able to enjoy a relationship without the fear of "being alone". Powerful!!!
What are your feelings? I would love to hear. EMail me here.
Note: This blog also appears on Steph's Bronxville Wellness Sanctuary website.
As I speak about in my book Reclaiming Joy, Your 4-Step Guide to Happy, Healthy & Free good health goes beyond just nutrition and exercise. It comes from achieving balance in every area in our lives. That includes the emotional and social parts of our lives, too! For me this is the area of Relationship.
If there’s someone in your life who’s draining your energy or causing you stress, you could be dealing with a toxic relationship.
What is a toxic relationship?
Toxic relationships can take many forms, including draining energy, causing drama, or even violating the boundaries of other people in order to get the emotional benefits they need.
Toxic people often don’t realize the destruction they cause. Interactions with these types of people can lower our self-esteem and captivate our energy in a negative way. Many people see a toxic person and feel the need to take care of them, often leading to the depletion of their own wellness. This is just as destructive as the pain of confronting or withdrawing from the behavior of a toxic person.
So, how do you navigate a relationship with a toxic person?
Ideally, we would cut off contact with anyone who doesn’t benefit our emotional well being. We would simply never talk to the people who drag us down. However, there are some people that we just can’t avoid, such as parents, siblings, and bosses.
Thankfully, there are middle grounds between engaging with destructive people and completely cutting them off. You can learn and practice different communication techniques, Conscious Communication. If you must interact with a person on a personal level, you can look up support groups in your area for support and love from other people.
Take care of yourself first.
For some people, this is the hardest lesson they ever have to learn. In order to serve others and be of service, you have to take care of yourself first, otherwise you won’t have the resources to share of your time and energy with others.
If avoiding a toxic person entirely is what’s necessary for you to take care of yourself, do what you need to do for your own stress levels. Stress wears upon your body, from your sleep all the way to your blood pressure.
How have you managed to deal with toxic people in your life?
What relationships stress you out most in your life?
If you want my support and/or want to know when my next conscious communication workshop will be, contact me here.
Last week invited you to play with another concept: do what makes you feel good!
How is it going? Do you know what makes you feel good?
This week I encourage exploration into YOU, also known as self-discovery with the question: do you know who you are?
In my coaching practice, this question is one of the first things I ask clients. Do you know what I usually hear as the reply? Prolonged silence. Then, " I don't know" which leads to, "I am a parent, spouse, worker", etc.
These replies lead to my next series of questions that do not include our roles and responsibilities. Those questions lead to replies such as, "I am a lover, peace maker..." See where I am going? It's beyond what we do in the world.
So, why do I ask you this question? In my experience, knowing who we are beyond what we do gives us peace when our roles change and shift. Who are we when our children grow up and no longer "need" us the way they use to? Are we able to let them go or do we hold them too tight because of our neediness? This can also happen in intimate relationships when one person is growing and healing and the other is seemingly "not". What then? Do we stay? Or go? Or learn new ways of being? Hmmm....
And, who are we when we retire, change jobs, move, get divorced, experience loss of any kind?
These are deeply powerful life transitions that naturally shape the foundation of who we "think" we are. It's not a bad thing. It's simply something to be aware of so when we find ourselves lost in the fog of doing life, we are able to return being life.
How do we return to being life? By asking "Who Am I" without all the labels.
And by taking the class, reading the book, getting the support we need to navigate the new territory.
In exploring who we are, and perhaps more importantly, who we are becoming, we must allow our defenses to ease a bit. We must stop fighting with our self!!!
Fighting our way back to who we have been is depressing, dis-empowering and won't work. Instead, the empowering path forward is the one where we accept who we are.
The past several months have been a time of major transition for me on all levels so I am having lots of practice at this!! When I accept who I am, and who I am becoming: a change maker, instigator, provoker of truth, passionate lover, peace maker, risk taker, intellect, inspired action oriented person, then peace prevails. And yes, I also accept the challenging/shadow parts of my personality which also make me who I am: impatient, controlling, complicated, judging, highly sensitive. These shadow parts create the polarity that makes me be me. I can't "delete" them. I can only be aware of them and balance them out. Many of you are nodding :)
When I resist who I am because I am afraid to be myself or I am afraid of making someone else uncomfortable, I feel depressed and dis-empowered. Trying to fit into someone else's idea of me, quite frankly, has not ever worked. Yet at times I have lapsed and fallen into that dance since I am human too. Sometimes reality bites and yes, loss hurts. Bad. And yet...
In the dizziness that comes with big change, having the courage to be who we are ultimately puts us exactly where we need to "be" in order to "do" that which we were born for. It's freeing my friends!!
We step into the fog and eventually move through it...until the next phase of self-discovery returns and the fog rolls in yet again. It's a cycle we experience often when we accept.
A final note in case my writing isn't (yet) clear enough. A movie, "The Last Word" with Shirley MacLaine speaks so beautifully to this idea of how much of our life we spend fighting who we are to realize at the end, it is exactly who we are that was the most blessed gift to those around us and to our selves.
Perhaps the key is to realize this before "the end", you know? Or perhaps not? Some of us, perhaps myself at times, thrive on the polarity and the dance of dark and light. Meaning, my challenging traits of wanting to be in control enable me create massive movement in the direction I desire. Not good or bad. Simply is...and I am aware of it.
Know thyself. Be true to you.
Upcoming Events to Explore YOU!
Em-Path Workshop, Bronxville, NY on THIS Saturday, Sept 16th 2017
Sweet Retreat: Tulum, Mexico, October 31st-November 5th, 2017
Last week I shared a poem, It Stops Today, to encourage you to harness the powerful energy of the universe we are experiencing in order to manifest your life.
Today I want to share a simple and practical paradigm for understanding what it takes to move from thinking about something to taking inspired action toward that something.
The paradigm: Rest Root Rise
Rest = Most of us are plain exhausted, on all levels. Even the idea of going on retreat or planning a vacation breeds feelings of anxiety...it's another thing "to do" or spend money on. This is not how we are meant to live. If this is you, time to revisit where you are directing your energy.
In Chapter One of my book, Reclaiming Joy I speak of Rest as Vitamin R. We need it, like we need food, water, and air. Often when we are in need of deep rest, like a retreat or even a sabbatical, it's because we are at a major transitional point in our life. In the rest, we gather our energy to let go old ways of being and create new paths for our life. In effect, the rest supports our ability to root, or become grounded.
As such, unless we make rest a priority, we will simply be too tired to co-create and live the life we deserve. I won't go into the many reasons we exhaust ourselves. You know them. What to do? Focus on taking time off to rest, if that's what you need. At the same time work toward getting 8 hours of sleep each night.
Seem impossible? Great. Learning opportunity! Reflect on how you are currently spending your time and redirect to invest it wisely on getting rest and enough sleep. When you are rested... you will become rooted.
Root = By rooted I mean grounded, calm, present, connected, aware, awake...nourished. All of us have been at points in our life when we feel anything but the above. Living life from a place of feeling like we are "floating/reacting" whether its because we are anxious, unclear or simply don't feel grounded will not serve us in the long run. Meaning, we will not be able to rise above the drama of life in order to manifest (aka co-create) the life we want.
Rise = The place of growth, evolution, wisdom that supports living our authentic self. We arrive here only by being rested and rooted. We cannot rise when we are exhausted and unclear. It simply doesn't work that way.
When we are rested and rooted we experience the positive energies of life: love, laughter, joy, compassion. In a specific sense, we: enjoy positive and loving relationships, work in a field or vocation that inspires us to be our best, have abundant health and vitality, and our bank account $upport$ the vi$ion we have for our life.
All cups overflow. We attract partners in prosperity on all levels. We are at home in our self. We are peace. We are fully alive. We do not fear death because we know we are truly living. #Noregrets
And yes, this cycle of rest, root, rise comes along many times in our life until we arrive back home to our self and look upon all areas of our life with gratitude, grace...peace...joy. It's the feeling that all is well and we want for nothing.
Breathe that in. And believe it is possible for yourself, cause it is.
Rested, Rooted, Risen...Yet Again :)
Last week I invited you to explore creating your council, an on-going practice I use to keep me on the positive, play filled, purpose full and prosperous path. Say that 5x fast!
Have you started considering who may already be this for you and what kind of support you receive / want more of? I'd love to know here.
This week I want to talk about the "criteria" for creating your council. Before I do, keep in mind your council will likely be between 5-10 people. Some of these people may be friends, acquaintances, or even paid mentors, coaches, etc. Usually it is not a family member.
You may also decide to be available for someone else's council to offer whatever it is you are gifted at. Usually this is what winds up happening as we commit to the process.
These are the 3 criteria for ALL people on your council:
1. Proven Success:
People who are already having success in the area you want to create/improve. For example, one of the areas I mentioned was physical. If you are looking to improve your physical health, find the person who is already radiating extraordinary physical health. If you are looking to start / improve a business, find the person who has done / is doing it.
People who will help you find your truth: what you want/what gets in the way, no matter how hard, without holding judgment. They are able to do this because presumably they have gone through what you are going through and are now successful. They have been able to reach success because they have overcome similar obstacles and therefore understand, value and appreciate the absolute requirement for non-judgment. This doesn't mean the person will condone negative behavior. They will call you out. That is the point!! However, they will hold up the mirror with compassion, loving-kindness, support and wisdom to empower you.
This is why I don't suggest a family member for your council. It's usually very hard for family to be completely objective. Note this doesn't mean you can't talk to family! It simply means you have people in addition to your family who you reach out and listen to. Maybe you learn to filter what you tell family if it doesn't always serve to divulge all.
You want people on your council who have the time & energy to support you, when you need it. In addition, here's where books and paid mentors/coaches come in handy by giving you the extra boost. For example, maybe you want to develop your spirituality and deepen the connection you have with yourself. Perhaps the person who would be on your council isn't accessible right now for whatever reason, or you don't "yet" have this type of person in your life. Reading a book (see my reading list here) or perhaps hiring a mentor/coach who specializes in this area would be of service to you and keep you moving forward.
Based on the criteria above, start making and/or tweaking your council list. If you have questions, let me know here.
Next week I will share more about how to engage with your council.
Last week I invited you to revisit the garden of your life and prune it. By pruning your inner garden, you begin to simplify your life and amplify your energy so you are able to focus on that which brings you JOY.
Are you pruning? What are you noticing? Tell me here.
This week I invite you to think about a practice I have found essential over the years to help keep me on the positive, prosperous path.
What's the practice?
I call it create your council...otherwise known as the practice of putting together your network of support.
These are people who help you be and become your best self--they amplify your energy by being who they are and allowing you to be who you are. They hold up the loving and truthful mirror for you without judgment.
Why is it important to have a council?
Three main reasons.
1. We are not meant to go it alone.
2. It is in relationship with others where we grow the most.
3. We all have blind spots we aren't aware of that keep us...stuck.
What kind of support does a council give?
All kinds- physical, mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual.
How do we choose these people?
Great question. I will outline criteria next week.
In the meantime, start considering who may already be this for you and what kind of support you receive / want more of.
If this is new to you, begin to think about the type of support you desire.
What is it?
Shamanism is considered to be one of the most ancient forms of healing practiced by humans worldwide.
Why try it?
When greeted with clear intention and motivation for shift, shamanism is a powerful approach to self-discovery and deep transformation that will leave you feeling empowered.
Who will benefit from it?
Shamanic energy sessions are powerful for assisting clients with big life changes such as: job transition, marriage & divorce, finding love, death & grief, finding & manifesting one’s passion and life calling, developing spiritually, improving health.
How is this different from other modes of healing?
One of the things that make Shamanic Energy healing unique is that it gets to the “root” of the issue and allows healing to happen faster and often without all the “drama”.
Take this example: A client comes to me expressing she wants to find a loving partnership. She explains that her history of relationships has led her to be with partners who aren’t emotionally available and don’t treat her well. She has had her heart broken many times, and is beginning to feel like there is nobody “out there” who will love and respect her in the way her heart desires. She also shares with me that she is afraid to put herself out there and has issues trusting. And yet, her desire to find companionship and love is strong enough to have a shamanic session with me. She is making a last ditch effort to uncover what else might be getting in the way of manifesting her heart’s desire.
During our shamanic session together, we uncover there is an energetic block that relates back to her childhood. She recalls many instances as a young child when she felt abandoned by her parents. She was often put in situations that were simply “too much” for any child to handle. The situations ranged from being left alone while her parents went out partying for long periods of time to not feeling safe/being allowed to express her feelings. Over time, these experiences of abandonment chipped away at her self-esteem, sense of self- worth and also affected her ability to trust. We discovered that as an adult, this pattern of abandonment played out in her relationships. She attracted partners into her life who weren’t emotionally available and didn’t respect her. She was simply re-enacting her childhood. While it was unhealthy, it was familiar. And often, familiar, even if unhealthy, feels “safe”.
Once we started to clear the energetic blocks and shed light on old patterns, energy and space freed up to charter a new path and heal. She started to let go of the past and view her experiences as opportunities for learning and growth. She made the choice and commitment to do the inner work required for her to start trusting herself. We worked together on helping her create her own sense of safety and self -worth. As we continued our work together, she began to feel better about herself, and her energetic vibration increased. As her vibration increased, she began attracting people into her life who were vibrating at that same level of energy. It’s the law of the universe my friends — like attracts like. Our outer world is simply a mirror- a reflection – of what we have going on inside. This is one reason why shamanic energy healing is so powerful.
If you are ready for an empowered transformation and to welcome your heart’s desire, contact me about a shamanic session. I offer in person and phone sessions.
You have one precious life and YOU DESERVE THE BEST.
And yes, you can have what you want — when you choose to wake up, get support, and do the work.
It’s my privilege to support and love you through it, as my teachers have done for me over the years.
Last week I shared 3 ways to deal with the drama that often comes when we are in discomfort/struggle.
In honor of Valentine's Day, this week I want to share with you a simple reminder I have learned and continue to re-learn about LOVE.
Truth: sometimes love hurts!! Love hurts when the people we love are dealing with their own struggles and we want to fix them, rescue them, wish it were different for them...make it better for them. When we behave this way, we end up taking on their pain and we bear their burden. In the end, we get tired and even resentful. The result is we act like anything but love. At the extreme, the relationship takes on death of some sort by becoming a drain on our life force energy or ending completely.
What to do?
Consider all of your love relationships- family, friends, lovers...
Where are you bearing the burden for a loved one?
If this is true for you, consider how instead of bearing the burden you may share the burden.
By sharing I mean you are there for them by listening with non-judgment, compassion and unconditional love. You support them. Yet you recognize the person must accept their "stuff" as their own. They must take responsibility and "do their inner work".
When you bear the burden for a loved one, you are preventing them from taking their own journey to healing. And you are also diverting precious energy away from your own healing. When you share the burden, space and energy is freed up to be in true partnership with the other thus allowing for mutual support = healthy, fulfilling, conscious relationships.
As you practice shrugging off bearing the burdens of loved ones, you will realize the only types of relationships that truly feed your soul are those in which the burden is shared. Be gentle with yourself in this process. I support you!!
"To love someone gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu
Last week I invited you to carve out one hour to connect, reflect and redirect.
What did you come up with?
This week the process continues. Perhaps you have gained clarity about what areas you want to focus on. Perhaps not, and you need more time. Awesome!!
In addition to giving you the next steps, I want to share with you that committing to clarity requires courage. Often when we start to "see" what needs to change, it's scary. Let's face it, staying with the familiar is easy. Yet for many of us, not sustainable. There comes a time when we need to face the music and make change.
So, here are the next steps.
1. Review your notes from the reflection exercise.
2. Decide on which area you want to focus on...health, relationship, career/life purpose, money...
3. Commit to taking action to create what you desire. For example, let's say you want to improve your health and well-being by managing your stress. Begin exploring ways you want to do this - yoga class, meditation, exercise, more fun! Whatever you choose, commit to taking one of these actions consistently over the next 30 days. Feel free to be flexible. Maybe you try yoga and it's not for you. Stay open, explore and have fun!!
If you want to share or need support, please email me.
Share the love-- forward this blog to a friend, thank you!