In the British Navy, there has long been a rule that sailors can only serve clean-shaven or with a full beard. To move from clean-shaven to bearded required seeking “permission to grow” from the ship’s captain. After a reasonable time, if your beard had not fully grown, you could be told to shave it off again. It was somebody else’s decision.
When I started going to Tantra workshops, I was a novice, not only in relation to Tantra but also in relation to personal development. I thought that turning up was enough – that somehow by osmosis or magic, I would develop and grow as a person.
How do you know when you’re in the perfect relationship? What ticks the boxes? Would you recognise the perfect relationship if you had it?
Psychologist Robert Sternberg did. For a relationship to skyrocket in the best way possible, he believed that it needed to include three elements, in pretty much equal measures: Intimacy, Commitment and Passion, the points of the perfect love triangle.
This Christmas, how lovely it would be to give and receive the gift of presence.
At this time of year, many of us spend time with family or friends. And if not we have time with ourselves.
It is easy to allow ourselves to spend that time worrying about the future or musing over the past. This means that we are not paying attention to ourselves or to others in the moment.
We can all fall into bad habits in our communication with others, especially with those we are close to. I do it myself. I have a bad habit of finishing others’ sentences, which I am conscious of and guard against, not always successfully. We tailor the way that we speak to try to second-guess what the other wants.
Why? We fear their misunderstanding, their rejection if we get it wrong, that they will pull away.
This is an example of acting in ways that put a priority on the other’s experience rather than our own. It is our head getting in the way and telling us the old stories of how we should be if we want others to like us, rather than living our truth.
So, how do we change our patterns?
In order to receive the things that you want in sex, you need to be clear about your desires, express them and be ready to allow your partner to respond.
Many of us struggle to ask for what we want in our lives. This includes our sexual desires.
But sitting with unmet needs can be frustrating and stops you fulfilling your potential.
You can learn to ask for what you want.
As I grew up and into my thirties I sang in choirs where I learned to breathe for a specific purpose. Using my breath, controlling it, being conscious of it, became part of the action of singing.
Yet in all other parts of my life, I ignored my breathing. It just came and went as it would, without me being consciously aware of the magical process which keeps me alive.
It was easy to breathe and live in this way, without awareness that I was breathing. Easy because it happened automatically and easy because our breath and our emotions are connected. My habit of shallow breathing allowed me to live my life avoiding feeling anything too deeply.
Have you ever been in a relationship when something isn’t quite right?
At times, my lover and I would be strongly connected. Other days felt a little routine or that the well had run dry on things to talk about. Perhaps we were both generally uninspired with how and where the relationship was going.
If you’ve been there and know that feeling, all is not lost with your relationship.
But it is time to focus energy onto the relationship. Let’s take a look at the ten lasting habits of people who experience fulfilling intimate relationships.
In my relationships, I’ve learned that the quality of communication between myself and my beloved is crucial.
Sometimes those lessons have been more painful than I want to remember – the things I have got wrong and the things I have not challenged. But that pain taught me something about communication. It taught me the power of intimate communication.