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Dec 312013
 

My business partner Matt and I just spent a looong but productive weekend in a studio, filming with a couple of fantastic models for our video Masterclass series (set to launch early in the new year.) I’m so excited, and we’re looking forward to the day when www.techniquesforabetterlovelife.com finally goes live.

Following on from that theme, this week’s blog is all about love. Our love relationships are the greatest gifts, and also the biggest challenges we’ll face in our lifetimes. Yet it’s important to realise what love actually is, and what it’s not. So here are a few facts you might not know about this mysterious and unpredictable force we call love.

1: Love is not exclusive
We’re conditioned by everything from cultural influences to Hollywood movies to think that love is mostly about ‘the one’. But the reality is, you can experience moments of love with anyone, whether soulmate or stranger. Love is a wave of good feelings and mutual care that’s felt in two or more brains and bodies at the same time. Love can appear anytime, anywhere and with anyone.

2. Love is cumulative
A loving bond is the product of many micro-moments of shared experiences. Little acts of forgetfulness can add up to big problems – so don’t wait for Christmas, birthdays or Valentine’s Day. Love is something we need to keep cultivating, moment by moment, day by day if we want to keep it alive.

3. Love has four key ingredients
Kindness, gentleness, care and contentment are the four pillars that support love. Staying in love means creating an attitude that cultivates these feelings, and reflects them in all that we do.

4. Love has ‘presence’
Love goes deeper when you learn to be in the moment, to be quiet and not talk too much. We need to cultivate the space for love, and when our minds are at peace, our bodies can be more relaxed, and our hearts more open.

5. Eye contact is the gateway to love
Your body has the ability to ‘catch’ the emotions of others – but you can block this process if you fail to make regular and lingering eye contact. Meeting eyes is the catalyst for love. More on that in our Masterclass!

6. Expectations can kill love
When we don’t accept another for who they are, or try to change them to fit our idea of who they should be, love dies. So love someone without expectation. Love someone you dislike. Love someone you fear. Love someone you left behind. Love the flaws and the failings, and accept them as they are.

7. Love and compassion can be one and the same
Remember that love doesn’t require you to ignore or suppress negativity. If you can add an element of kindness, empathy or appreciation to the mix, you create compassion – the form love takes when suffering occurs.

8. Love isn’t only about a lover
Love is a state of being – it’s not always about another person. To feel real love, we must be ‘in love’, without necessarily having a person to love. Love is an attitude – whether it’s directed towards a person, an animal, nature, a movie, a book, or to life itself.

I hope that’s given you a few things to think about! Watch out for more updates on the practical video Masterclass to help you cultivate more love in your life, coming very soon.

In love and light,

Taranga

Dec 042013
 

Can a relationship survive without sex? In the wake of a friend’s recent breakup for that very reason, this week’s blog looks at whether sex is the be all and end all, and what we can do when it disappears from an otherwise loving partnership.

Not everyone wants sex all the time, granted. But one of the single biggest relationship deal-breakers is when the white heat of passionate sex at the beginning of a relationship becomes a pale shadow of its former self as time goes by. For many of us, sex is the ‘glue’ that binds a relationship, and when it falters, or fails completely, we can feel like there’s nothing left to hold it together. Once that initial ‘buzz’ of a new sexual partner wears off, it’s harder to feel excited. We want to feel seduced, we want to keep experiencing the lust that fuelled us at the beginning, and when it disappears, we instead feel frustration, and like something is missing.

For guys in particular, part of their identity as a male is in pleasing another, and when that’s taken away through sexual dysfunction, or through a clash in differing levels of libido, it can cause an identity crisis, and place further strain on relationship dynamics.

Other common problems occur when we become too comfortable in our relationship, and we perhaps stop exercising, put on weight or lose that feeling of being attractive. We feel we need to look a certain way in order to feel a certain way, and when we don’t feel comfortable in ourselves, we enjoy sex less and less.

It’s hard not to feel rejected when a loved one goes straight to sleep after getting into bed, or says they’re too tired, or wraps the sheets around themselves to keep the other out. But what’s important to remember is that it’s absolutely ok if we go through a phase of not wanting sex – and it’s often not personal, or about the ‘rejected’ other.

Intimacy can be created in many ways, and sex is just one. Unfortunately, we’re not taught how to cultivate open communication, how to connect through loving touch and affection, and how to navigate through these types of complex issues (though watch this space for our upcoming 12-week video Masterclass series, launching in the new year to teach you some of these techniques).

Within sexual dynamics (as with every other aspect of life) the only constant is change. Cooling desire, and sexual ‘phases’ aren’t necessarily the beginning of the end. Dry spells are inevitable parts of relationships. Of course, the familiar can often become mundane – but it’s important not to hold all sex up to some impossibly high standard of transcendence.

As long as there’s willingness from both sides to talk openly, to spend the time together needed to support a healthy relationship, to express any fears, needs and desires, and support each other through the peaks and troughs of sexual expression, sexual lulls can be accepted and transcended.

There’s also an opportunity in every challenge, if we’re willing to recognise it. Believe it or not, if we embrace and accept them, sexual ups-and-downs can actually be healthy, triggering new growth, and taking our relationships to never-before-experienced levels of vulnerability, intimacy and understanding.

In love and light,

Taranga