All posts tagged: relationships

invest in your wellness

Why Invest in Your Wellness? 

by: Erica Kaufman  Let’s take a peek at our inner experiences & how we can contribute to our well-being. First tool…before anything, a deep, slow, comfortable breath. This is one of the foundations of yoga—it calms us, signals to the brain that we are safe, and actually changes our hormonal balance. Stress can not co-exist at the same time as an intentional caring slow breath. This is a breath that creates space for joy and peace. When we experience density in our body and mind, and an internal pressure is felt, it’s a signal that we are not in a sustainable state, but rather a reactive state, and a disproportionate amount of energy is stagnant within us. This can manifest in dissonance—the opposite of harmony. Trauma, violence, fear, and everything else that squeezes the space around our heart is called ‘Duhkha’. It’s the Sanskrit word for suffering. ‘Kha’ means space and Duhkha literally means the squeezing of space. Collectively there is traumatic energy going around. It’s hard to make sense of it all. And unhealthy …

slow down

If You’re Tired or Confused, Slow Down and Focus on Feeling Alive & Well*

*Excerpt from the international bestseller You Were Not Born To Suffer, by Blake D. Bauer Each day we are faced with decisions in our personal and professional lives that end up shaping the course of our destiny and the quality of our health, happiness and relationships. If we want to enjoy our life, be well and respect ourselves, it is crucial we each master making choices that are aligned with who we truly are, why we’re really here and how we genuinely feel. A simple but powerful way to achieve this is to look at each moment as a fork in the road on the path to our most joyful and authentic life. In any given scenario, at least one direction will always represent a decision that does not feel good in our heart or in our body. In this same situation, at least one other direction or path will eventually reveal itself, which represents a decision that undoubtedly feels good or necessary. Quite often it can be confusing as to which path is best or …

Feeding your Demons: Revealing the Hidden Treasure Within Difficulty

by Charlotte Z. Rotterdam I was first drawn to the Feeding your Demons process and the teachings of Machig Labdrön – the great 11th century Tibetan yogini from whose teachings the process was developed – for the radical invitation to turn towards that which we find most repulsive or frightening. This view seemed so counter-intuitive, so clearly different from the human default response of avoiding or rejecting the ugly and threatening aspects of life. Perhaps it reminded me of my early childhood, when I spent time in the autopsy lab with my mother, a pathologist. There was an odd peacefulness in the autopsy room where the intensely eerie became quite ordinary and sometimes even sacred.  Beyond transforming the morbid into the mundane, however, lies a profound teaching on compassion. Ultimately, these teachings suggest that it is only by meeting and even nurturing whatever we consider threatening or “other” that we can live a fully integrated life, radiant with our own wisdom. Holding our inner and outer demons at bay draws us into a never-ending cycle …

Meditation Instruction: tips.

by: Katharine Kaufman I thought to offer a small thing to you, to assist you with your meditation practice—a tip. Then I thought of another, and another. They are yours to evolve as you wish. After I’ve found a quiet place where I want to sit down, an upright posture, figured out how high or low I should sit, how hard or soft the cushion, what kind of support I need under my knees, then I can rest. I feel the movement of my breath. I let my mind/heart be a filter. I let myself have thoughts. I feel things in my body. I cry a little, usually.  I met a teacher who said, “That’s extra.” It’s not right, all the crying. I can see her point. My father cried sometimes in a way that he couldn’t stop it. Like the time he tried to read to my brother and me, Hemmingway’s, The Old Man and the Sea. The first evening he read this sentence:  “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff …

Becoming Our Own Best Friend

by:  Loden Nyima, Resident Teacher at DMC All of us long for connection.  It’s just part of what we are.  From a Buddhist point of view, it’s actually a form of our innate compassion, even if it’s all tangled up into loneliness or grasping at others to make us feel at ease.  The irony is, we’re connected already…but more on that in a bit.   We all want friends to talk to, people to share life with, to enjoy the ups and support the downs, people to understand us, to love us, etc.  To a greater or lesser extent, we want to offer that to others, in one big cycle.  And that’s a wonderful thing!   And, we’re actually the only ones who can give that to ourselves completely.  The more we offer unconditional love to ourselves, the more loving and healthy our relationships with others will be.  The more we have to give, the more our innate compassion unfolds and embraces others. The more that happens, the more we feel how much of that also comes …

Speaking of Silence

by:  Loden Nyima, Resident Teacher at DMC Healing in Space and Stillness When I lead silent meditation retreats, I often begin with a somewhat cynical joke.  I ask, “OK, let’s have a show of hands, how many people here feel like we can keep up with everything in our lives, process all the information we receive in a day completely, give as much time and care to all of our interactions and relationships as they need, thoughtfully attend to all of our work and tasks with no rush whatsoever, take as much time as we need for self-care and health, relax at the end of the day with not a care in our minds, sleep as much as we need, then wake up the next day refreshed and ready to go?”…at this point usually we’re all chuckling and shaking our heads in empathetic commiseration and the kind of relief that comes from being able to laugh in authentic connection with others. That said, it’s no joke.  From a meditative point of view, our spiritual energy …

relationship tips

5 Tips for Relationships in the Midst of Coronavirus Times

by:  Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D As couples find themselves at home now more than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many relationships are feeling the strain. Work-related stress, childcare difficulties, interrupted routines and lack of social connections compound the difficulty of these uncertain times, leading overwhelmed partners to interacting from a place of frustration. Struggling for a way to make this time one of triumph rather than tragedy? You are not alone, and there is hope. Relationship experts Harville and Helen have shared their top tips for improving your interactions during this time: Honor your partner’s time by making an appointment. Ask, “Is now a good time to talk about…?” We are all facing life circumstances that fall outside of the “norm” right now. By choosing to make an appointment with your partner before engaging in conversation, you show them respect and care. While this system may feel formal, structure creates safety which in turn invites spontaneity. By honoring boundaries in this way, you prevent negative interactions with your partner. Allow for boundaries by …

How To Stop Your Marriage From Falling Apart

by  Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D. Four provocative truths every married couple needs to know Falling in love is amazing! The excitement of meeting someone new brings out the best in all of us; the journey ahead feels like an open road full of possibility … but, then something happens: Either the relationship starts to feel stale, or perhaps money issues, kids, or trying to figure out a comfortable work-life balance comes into play. Whatever the cause, the initial spark dims or goes out altogether, and the future of your relationship becomes a long and winding road, full of pit stops and flat tires. Well, don’t worry because this happens to everyone. All it means is that it’s time for a tune-up. You see, we spend a lot of time and energy finding our perfect mates. By the time we say “I do,” we assume (and fervently hope) that the work is over. The idea of having to spend time working on your marriage may seem strange or even depressing, but it’s …

canoe couple

Stay In The Canoe And Paddle

by Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D The question we are asked most often is: “what do you do if your partner doesn’t…..(do any imaginable thing!) or “what if you are married to someone who is…..(any imaginable bad trait or behavior).” In the past we have responded to these questions with answers addressed to the specifics. As we have listened to my answers, we found that whatever specifics we responded to, the pattern was always the same. The answer was “stay in the process.” So what is the process? It is IMAGO DIALOGUE. There are no enlightened answers to any question or clever solutions to any problem. Questions and problems are all functions of “process breakdown.” Partners stop listening and become defensive. Polarization occurs and the impasse is strengthened. The only way out of this quagmire is the Imago Dialogue process with its three parts: mirroring, validating and empathy. The process of Imago Dialogue is something like a canoe on a lake. Two people are paddling, one in the back and one in the front. …

work with senses

Working with our Senses and our State of Mind 

by Steve Vosper So, life can be challenging. We all know this. The question arises, what can we do about it? In my October SMC Newsletter posting, Challenges are the Path, I suggested that perhaps those challenges can be a way forward, rather than obstacles in our lives. In September I had also suggested that Mindfulness is the Key, and that’s where this particular rubber meets the road.  With our own basic mindfulness, we can work with our senses, work with our state of mind. We can begin to understand ourselves better, begin to transform ourselves for the better and begin to engage in our lives more fully.  That said, this doesn’t involve taking on some kind of dreadful project or big addition to our seemingly endless to-do lists. Nor does it require special skills and experience that only the select few can access or accomplish. It just involves a slight shift in attitude, a slight turning toward ourselves right now. It simply involves being with ourselves, being kind to ourselves in our present situation, …