The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!


#70: The Cup-of-Tea Approach to Sexual Self-Coaching

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, March 05, 2013

 

The good old-fashioned cuppa. What a wonderful space it creates for sharing and openness. People have been bonding over cups of tea for millennia.

A cup of tea gives you a time-frame, something warm to hold, and a shared activity which creates your own ‘cone of silence’ in which to talk and share.

That’s exactly the kind of space you need regularly in your relationship. A space where the two of you can relax and just ‘be’ together, with no agenda, no external pressures, just you and me, having a chat over a cup of tea.

In that space you can open your hearts to each other. You can express your thoughts and ideas, feelings and emotions, and you can hear what your partner has to say.

It’s a slow space, a gentle space, hopefully a judgement-free space. You can talk about nothing much at all, or you can talk about more deep and meaningful issues.

You can share the small positives and negatives of the day; you can share the small kindnesses and the small neglects from your partner (remembering the 4:1 rule that communication in a healthy relationship has four positives to one negative); you can share the things that make you go ‘mmm’... read more


#69: Trust Means Being OK with Not Knowing

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

 Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

"How can I ever trust him/her again?”
 

Client after client pleads this after discovering hurtful deceits by their beloveds. 
What they are really asking is: "How can I ever be 100% sure that my partner won't ever do this again?"

The honest answer is: you can't. In fact, you never could.

You can never be absolutely sure that your partner will never ever be deceitful or hurt you in some way.

The very definition of ‘trust’ is ‘not knowing’.

Trust is being OK with the not knowing. If you were 100% sure of something you wouldn’t need to ‘trust’. You don’t need to ‘trust’ that the sun will rise each morning; you just know it will. It’s only when you can't be absolutely sure that trust comes in, that trust has to come in.

We trust our partners to be honest and not deceive us due to the actual fact that we can’t be 100% sure that they won’t. Of course that doesn't make it any easier when our partner is deceitful in some way. It hurts! But does that mean... read more


#68: Renegotiate Your Contract

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, January 29, 2013

 Photo by Jopwell from Pexels

When things get tough, couples tend to either:

  • Separate, generally accompanied by bitter and twisted feelings or
  • Put up with it and flat-line, living lives of quiet desperation.
It’s far better to go with option three:
  • Renegotiate your relationship.

Often when the relationship is not going smoothly, it’s because you’re trying to live by an out-dated ‘contract’. When you got together you had certain beliefs and expectations around your relationship. Chances are you didn’t even fully share those beliefs and expectations; you just assumed your partner would share them.

Whether your beliefs and expectations at that time were mutual or not, over time your circumstances inevitably change, you change, and therefore the relationship needs to change: that original ‘contract’ needs to be updated.

So often I see that people are trying to live by values and norms that simply don’t suit them any more (and possibly never did): people getting married for the wrong reasons, people absorbing the norms of the society around them without ever questioning whether they really agree with them or not, people assuming that marriage or a relationship means X-Y-Z.

There’s nothing wrong with this, we generally... read more


#62: Observing Love

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, October 01, 2012



One of the great blessings of my work is that I observe love. Whether it’s couples in private sessions or couples in workshops, I observe, and feel, the expression of their love and desire for each other. It’s not something we see often in this society and it is a very beautiful, inspiring thing.

I’ve written about two small case studies in my blogs this past month: You Can Make Love With A Kiss and Be Nice - It Works. Small, beautiful, examples of how when a couple come together with openness, honesty and respect, that is, with love, they can connect deeply and express their love physically, emotionally, even spiritually, with deep feeling and with gorgeous eroticism.

I saw this over the past weekend in my women’s only retreat, Luscious Woman, in the Blue Mountains. It was the first retreat I’ve ever run, and it exceeded my expectations. It was, quite simply, beautiful. The beauty of the nature, the slowness of the pace, the space for personal reflection, allowed everyone to sink in to themselves, to find the peace and strength as women to trust and open to their partners (which I hear they did on their return home...)

In five weeks I’ll be running my first ever LoveLife... read more


#60: You Can't Find Balance, You Have To Craft It

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, September 03, 2012



I’m a working mother of three, so life gets pretty busy! When you live a life like mine, you have to focus on balance. I'm constantly struggling with my mad innate urges to completely over-commit and take on too much (well, it is all so interesting and so necessary!). I, like many women out there, may be a super woman, but I am not Superwoman, and I have limits. There has to be a balance. And that balance has to be crafted.

We often say we need to 'find a balance'. But you can't find a balance, where do you suppose you'll find it, in the kitchen cupboard, back behind the Tupperware? No, you can't find balance, you have to craft it. You have to constantly be aware of the ebb and flow of life, stay in tune with your energies, and consciously craft an on-going state of balance.

It's pretty hard in our society which itself is so out of balance. The yang outweighs the yin; the masculine outweighs the feminine; the head outweighs the heart; the fiscal outweighs the ethical; work outweighs pleasure. The imbalances are everywhere.

So first we need to find the balance within, to become centered. This develops through presence, mindfulness and correct breathing. Not to mention... read more


#38: The Beauty of Conflict

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, August 29, 2011



There are three important points to understand about conflict:

  1. Conflict is a perfectly normal part of a relationship. It’s impossible for two people to be so alike that they share exactly the same views and values and feelings as their partner. In fact, if there isn’t any conflict in your relationship, there’s something fishy going on: it could be that there’s a strong power play where one person’s view has precedence over the other’s, or maybe you’re simply avoiding issues so as to avoid ‘conflict’.
  2. Not all apparent conflict is actually a conflict. Sometimes it’s just like a drunk shadow-boxing in a bar - you don’t have to get involved. Just because your partner is flustered or even angry, it doesn’t mean you have to engage in a fight. So if your partner says or does something that makes you feel you’ve got a conflict on your hands, check in with yourself first to determine whether you really do need to get involved.
  3. If it really is a conflict, a point of disagreement or misunderstanding between the two of you, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Difference is good, it can be a source of creative energy that can make your relationship better and more interesting.... read more


#33: Unconditional Love Requires Self-validation

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, June 06, 2011



Do you love unconditionally, or are there conditions to your love? You might have some romantic illusion that your love is pure, but really, it probably comes with a lot of strings attached. “I will love you if you love me” is the most obvious. There there is: “I will love you if you are nice to me”, “I will love you if you share my values and beliefs”, “I will love you if you agree with me”, “I will love you if you validate me”.

You might think you love the other person, but are there these requirements that come along with it? Do you really love the other person for who they are and who they’ve become over your time together? Or do you love your version of who you’d like them to be, or who you’ve convinced yourself they are? Do they need to fit some image of who you think or want your partner to be?

What are these conditions based on? Generally fear. The inability to validate yourself creates a need to have the other validate you, to make you feel ok about yourself and your own values, beliefs and world view.

This conditional loving commonly goes both ways. Both partners have entered into an unwritten agreement... read more


#28: Communicate - Human's Can't Read Minds!

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, February 22, 2011



There is nothing more fundamental to a good relationship, and therefore to a good sex life, than communication.

It is absolutely, categorically, completely and utterly vital.

It would be nice to think that after years together you might have developed an “unspoken understanding” but don’t count on it. The number of times I’ve heard clients complain about their partners, and when I ask: “Have you told them?”, the answer is along the lines of: “No/There’s no point/They should know” and so forth.

Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact but true - humans are not mind readers. You do actually have to speak to each other. And that also means listening to each other. And clarifying that this speaking and listening has in fact resulted in mutual understanding.

Communication is an art.

So practice.


Speak

Because humans aren’t mind readers, we do actually have to speak to each other to communicate what we feel and want. Of course body language and gesture are elements of communication too. But it’s actually the faculty of speech that has enabled us to come down out of the trees and become such a successful species. It was speech that enabled early humans to cooperate and progress. It’s... read more


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