For most of my life I’ve been really good at loving what I wanted things to be like and kind of ignoring what actually was until it hit me in the face and I had to deal with it. This applied to life, love and my business.
Last year I finally started getting really good at loving what is. Not surprisingly, one of my greatest teachers is a relationship.
I’ve been seeing this man for the last several months. He travels a lot, weeks go by in between visits. Days go by without even talking. And it’s totally perfect.
He had a layover from a flight in LA a while back so we got to spend a few hours together. There was a moment, in my treehouse, where I was laying on his chest, my right arm was draped over him and there was my tattoo, resting on his belly – reminding me that only love is real. And that was how I felt in that moment, and that was all that mattered.
I find myself sometimes wanting to judge, me, him, “us”, because by comparison to every relationship I’ve ever known before, ours is kind of weird (and even in all my growth and expansion, I can’t figure out how to stop making comparisons, so I just treat them more lovingly now when I do).
Weird that we’re constantly communicating about boundaries and agreements instead of making assumptions, holding back our feelings and secretly hoping to change each other.
Weird that we’re waiting a while to have sex but still sharing some of the deepest intimacy we’ve ever experienced in partnership.
And weird that for the first time in my life I feel connected to a man, but not attached to any outcomes, and I don’t need anything from him.
…This might be my favorite part, because I get to keep so much powerful energy by not being so plugged into him. I’ve done this a lot in relationships past – given away far too much of my energy and not kept enough for myself or my work. I know a lot of women do this.
I think that’s actually the birthplace of the primary limiting belief I still navigate regularly, that I can’t have a successful business and a successful relationship at the same time.
This goes back to laying in bed and seeing my tattoo rest on his belly. Instead of getting lost in the old kind of thoughts I would have like, “What does this mean? Where is this going? blah blah blah” I got to choose to love what was and soak up the moment of listening to his heart beat, letting him play with my hair, and actually not having to say anything at all.
Quick shout out -I don’t think I would be able to do this if I hadn’t listened to “I Need Your Love, Is It True?” by Byron Katie back in September. “Loving What Is” is another great one of hers (and where I got that phrase). BK knows how to call you on your shit and snap you out of it.
This is the first relationship I’ve ever been in that feels like it’s always happening in real time. No future tripping. In fact most of the time when we see each other, there’s no discussion of the next time we’ll see each other.
And let me be clear when I say “no future tripping” I mean it doesn’t ever last for more than a few seconds. Of course every once in a while I’ll imagine what it would be like if we lived in the same town, or even together, but that isn’t real right now, so I let it go.
Instead of clinging and holding on like I’ve always done in relationships, I am constantly releasing him.
It’s easy with him because he’s not around most of the time – but it makes me wonder how I can do this same thing in the other relationships in my life.
With my family.
With my friends.
With my clients and my community.
How can I love you all exactly as you are, be there for you in the moments we share and let you go when we hang up the phone, close out emails, and log off Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?
Here are some practices I came up with that could probably work for all of us:
1. Stop judging how we feel by first allowing ourselves to feel it instead of pretending we don’t. There is no should or should not when it comes to feeling – it’s all valid.
2. Notice the difference between OUR FEELINGS and the way other people’s reactions to our business make us feel. Meaning, if you feel something that isn’t “normal” or “common” by societal or cultural standards – don’t let the reaction of others make you feel wrong. Again, there is no right or wrong when it comes to feeling.
This begs a subpoint- be choosy about who you share what with. I wrote about that here.
3. Communicate openly and freely, remembering that the true connections in our lives will make it through honesty and openness, in fact they will thrive in this kind of environment. The people who can’t handle our truth should and will find their way out of our circles.
In other words, say the things you are most afraid to say to the people who matter most to you. They will love you anyway and it will strengthen your relationships.
I’ve practiced this with my family a lot over the last year. Crazy how often we’re making assumptions, thinking we’re protecting people’s feelings, and really, we’re so far off the mark it’s actually damaging.
Just speak up and tell the truth.
4. Spend more time enjoying what’s happening RIGHT NOW and less time comparing to the past or worrying about the future.
Engaging with your senses is a great way to do this.
How does your skin feel? What do you smell? Can you feel the energy buzzing in your body? Is there a taste involved? Can you feel the air or some kind of light on your face? Can you listen and really see the people you’re with, can you feel their energy? Our senses are what keep us in the moment.
There’s way more joy available than most of us are letting in on a regular basis when we’re tapped in sensually. (Click to tweet)
Relationships are always a hot topic, I’d love to know in the comments how this post made you feel. Any thoughts? Aha’s? Or something you vehemently disagree with? I want to hear it all.
Liz DiAlto is a speaker, writer and creator of Wild Soul Movement, a sensual practice in self-discovery that combines movement, mantra and meditation. Coming mid-May 2014.
P.S. If your share is super personal, come join us in The Soul Movement Salon – a private and free group where women gather to talk about all things body, mind, and soul in a safe and sacred space.