I am soon packing my gypsy bags and setting out for another Europe tour. This time, the women’s retreats I will be leading will be on love and relationship, and the number of women who have already booked their place in the circle tells us that this is a topic that awakens the feminine.
What is it about this topic that makes more than 100 women gather, that calls us so closely in to the rawness of who we are?
Even though we don’t have many role models to learn from, most women have in their hearts a clear vision of a conscious relationship, one that becomes an expression of our deepest realizations of love. Intuitively we know what is possible, and yet relationship is still the area where we often find ourselves stuck and frustrated.
For me this split between the potential and the actual became so painful that I just had to find a way to manifest what I knew deep inside was possible.
This desire propelled me into a process that transformed my life, and my relating, in a fundamental way. It was a process of investigating my longing, of deeply feeling my commitment to the simplicity and innocence of my longing, and of facing the ways I was compromising and even sabotaging what was most important to me.
Today my marriage is my fiercest teacher and the arena where I can experience and express the deepest realm of spaciousness and love. Although each of us has to experience and learn from whatever life offers us in our unique way, many people have shared with me that the point of change for them was similar to the process I went through. Arjuna, who is now my husband, had gone through a deepening as well and had in his way prepared himself to meet a woman in a new and real way before he met me.
In the Deeper Love retreat we offer, Arjuna and I explore with both singles and couples the art of conscious relationships. Here are some basic steps we have found to be poweful in learning to relate more deeply:
- Reconnect with the longing and vision of your innocent heart.
- Through inquiry, discover what you are committed to, what is truly important to you.
- Be ruthlessly honest about what habits get in the way of honoring your commitment.
- Create a relationship that supports both of you to live a life aligned with your deepest commitments.
Longing for union
The first gate to the deeper love is right here in your own heart. It opens through the longing to meet another without masks, to experience real intimacy without having to compromise who you are.
Even if you are already in an intimate relationship, it is valuable to take time to connect with that place within you that longs just to relax all defenses and to experience unity with another. Ignored, it becomes a nagging feeling of restlessness and discontent. Honored, the longing to share real love simply and openly becomes the very fuel you need to rise to a new way of relating.
The deeper you can allow yourself to feel your longing, using your breath to stay present in the body, without creating stories or projecting your feeling onto an external image, the more you can open to a source of fulfillment that is not related to any outer event or relationship.
When you can simply feel the raw essence of your longing, you come closer to your own presence, which in some spiritual traditions is referred to as the beloved, the friend, or simply love. We are not talking about the kind of love that comes and goes, the feeling of love, but the love that you are, that all things are made of. Often what happens when we make another person the object of our longing is that we lean too far out of ourselves, and we lose connection with our own presence. Your relationship now becomes an effort to supply what you think you are missing, it is based in a feeling of lack.
It is in the source of your longing that you find your own fullness. This is the only thing that can ever truly satisfy you.
This fullness does not necessarily mean that you will always want to be alone; on the contrary, it can open the gates into a relationship of deep joy and satisfaction. Even when you rest in your own fullness, you will probably experience a pull toward relating. But this pull is different from the mere desire to get satisfaction from another. You are aligning yourself with the evolutionary force that pushes you to live your full potential, to fully blossom into your exuberant human beauty, and to share it with another. Having walked through the gate of longing, we find ourselves face-to-face with the next gate.
The key that will unlock this gate is the transformative power of commitment.
This is part one of a series of articles on love. The next article is on the Power of Commitment
Welcome to a free tele-class tomorrow Thursday
After sharing our work with thousands of people in live retreats, we have spent the last nine months developing a retreat-at-home that couples and singles can do without going out of the house. We have created CDs and DVDs, a 150 page workbook, conducted video interviews with dozens of couples who are living in this way… in fact every resource we could think of to make this secret easy to live.
Please join us to celebrate the launch of everything we have been preparing over the last 9 months! We want to warmly invite you to our virtual launch party on the phone on Thursday February 17th at 6pm PST. (register and you can listen to the recording later)
We are going to share with you about the most powerful shift you can make in your relating, and how to live it. We are going to share with you everything about this new gift we have been working on, and we are going to tell you how you can explore everything we have created at home, with no financial risk.