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 thrivingyouthrivinglife website.
Why Yoga Class?
There are so many benefits of yoga, really.
Here are a few:
*Increase Strength, Agility and Flexibility
*Normalize Body Weight
*Improve Mood, Mental Health
New to yoga?
Want to dive deeper into your yoga practice?
Check out Bronxville Wellness Sanctuary, Co-Founder Peter's Yoga Classes Here! You will be SO happy you did! OM.
“Daily Rituals...Making Everyday Sacred”
In life I have found it helpful to have beliefs. I have also found it helpful to be willing to allow those beliefs to evolve as I grow in wisdom.
Having said this, some beliefs are long standing, life sustaining and act as pillars for me. One of those beliefs is this: everyday is sacred.
Knowing everyday is sacred, I try not to focus my energy on making anything happen. Rather, my intention is to focus my energy on daily rituals and practices that celebrate the sacred. Doing so helps me remember it throughout my day. It’s so easy to forget with all the noise of the world!!
My belief that everything is sacred energizes my commitment to having daily rituals/practices. While daily meditation is my anchor, many days I also find myself writing, drumming, chanting, and engaging in various other uplifting practices that nourish my spirit (think hula hooping).
When I start my day with these nourishing practices, it reconnects me to our essential nature which is pure unconditional love. Feeling this love reminds me of my divine nature. This love washes away any doubt that there is anything more important than bringing love into the world. My spirit is nourished. Ahhh, yes! I am spirit. We are spirit.
And I am human too. As the day rolls on, perhaps I encounter someone being unkind or hateful. These are the moments my daily rituals bolster me. They remind me that everything is sacred. Yes, everything...
even the less desirable attributes of humanity. In fact, perhaps we learn the most from these moments?
My studies of the Bhagavad Gita have taught me that nothing is wasted. I take this to mean that even the pain and suffering I / we experience is useful.
How so? These experiences help us awaken. The harder moments of life teach us where our limits to love and forgiveness reside. They teach us where we are still growing. Exhale. They teach us to have compassion. They teach us that all of life is sacred.
My daily rituals help me stay on the path of awakening to life. Why is awakening important? Well, another one of my beliefs is that in order to fulfill my purpose on Earth (to joyfully serve), I must be awake. Meaning, I must be aware, alert and of the mind set that everything that happens is for me to learn and grow. I often say, “let’s burn our pain and use it as fuel for the journey”.
And so, coming back to my belief that everything is sacred, translates to everyday, every moment, every breath... is sacred. My daily rituals help me remember this sacredness so I may live into it. Living as such is a powerful and humbling practice. It’s an endless practice really. A practice, not a perfect. At this stage of my sacred Earth journey, I don’t know any other way I would want to live.
Blessings and love to you on your sacred journey,
Life Transitions by Stephanie
How do we handle change with courage and grace?
As the summer winds down, many of us experience "transitions" as we head back to school, back to work, back to life in perhaps a "new" way.
Maybe our loved ones are entering or exiting high school, college, the world of work (or are trying to). Maybe we are feeling what they are feeling in addition to what we are feeling!!! Yup, it's "a lot".
As I've written about in the past few weeks, especially as it relates to "anxious energy", at times it is hard to discern what we are feeling and where / who it is coming from!
In addition, times of transition and change often bring about this "anxious" energy. While it's not always pleasant, the discomfort that comes with newness and the unknown is normal! And yes, it's healthy. Rest assured, you are not alone. It is simply part of being human :)
During times of transition and heightened energy sometimes it feels as if we lose our way. We may be riding the roller coaster of feelings: depressed, overwhelmed, tired, confused, afraid...anything but relaxed!
What can we do?
Embrace ways of being that return us to a state of emotional balance...also known as equanimity.
As I talk about in Chapter Two of my book Reclaiming JOY, the emotional roller coaster is not sustainable and keeps us stuck. We react and often cause more turmoil.
This simple practice, called BRFWA, (that we love and use often at the Sanctuary) brings us back to a relaxed state where our emotions are in balance.
From this place of emotional balance or equanimity, we are able to ride the emotional wave without drowning in it / losing ourselves for too long. In equanimity we find our way back to peace and clarity and perhaps even a chuckle. Once clear, we are able to take clear, focused action that keeps us on the path of peace as we move toward our goals.
BRFWA Explained (Give yourself at least 3-5 minutes to experience this).
Breathe: As a wave of emotion comes over you, slow down your breath.
Allow your breath to flow freely in and out.
Relax: As you slow down your breath, your mind and body will begin to relax.
Soften your muscles, let go of mental and physical tension.
Feel: As you relax, you are able to soften into what you are feeling.
Stay open to the sensations and emotions moving through you in this moment.
Watch: While feeling, you watch your experience closely, neither grasping what is pleasant nor pushing away what is painful.
Allow: As you watch, you allow the process to unfold.
You accept yourself and your experience exactly as it is, dropping the need to change it in any way.
BRWFA is the practice of being present.
Being present is what we learn during meditation.
Looking for more support? Consider cultivating an on-going meditation practice.