Anxiety: A Doorway to the Underworld

We live in a culture that chases the light. We worship the happy face and plaster on smiles when we venture into the world. Smiley babies statistically receive more praise than fussy babies, and bubbly teens garner the attention. In a culture that upholds the extrovert ideal as the pinnacle of personality types, we absorb the message early in life that if we’re prone to more of a melancholic temperament there must be something wrong. Keep it light, we learn. Keep it peppy, we hear. Sweep away the messy, unraveled, chaotic, loud, dirty parts of life and of ourselves. Sweep them into the dark.

We sweep it away and try to move on with life as planned, but our unconscious desire for wholeness has other plans. Just when we think we have everything together, we find ourselves bolting awake at the 3 or 4am witching hour – that time when … Click here to continue reading...

Eight Touchstones for a Loving Sexual Relationship

Sex is a common source of anxiety for many couples. Plagued by the world of “shoulds” that permeates our mindsets regarding love and relationships, most people carry a host of unrealistic expectations into their sex lives.When sex fails to live up to the impossible ideal, you may assume that there’s something wrong with your relationship or that you’re with the wrong partner. “Sex should be effortless,” the media says. “You should have wild chemistry right from the start,” Hollywood espouses. These are among the many lies that seep into our consciousness and can have a deleterious effect on our sex lives.

The truth is that sex is complicated. It touches on our most vulnerable places in every area of self: emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual. Few people begin their relationships with a clean slate but arrive with negative experiences around sex, early trauma, and/or erroneous beliefs that color their sexuality. … Click here to continue reading...

Falling Out of Love

It’s a natural and inevitable stage of every relationship, whether with a friend, a partner, a child, or a pet: the zest and sparkle that characterize the early stages fade away; the ease and lightness narrow into more distance or tension; the openheartedness that elevates the two of you to a state close to divinity settles into the everydayness of real life. Sometimes it happens when fear pricks the heart. Other times it happens because conflict enters the relationship. Mostly it happens because of time and the hard reality that we’re not meant to live in the first stage of a relationship forever.

There’s no problem with falling out of love except for one thing: when it comes to partners and even children, we expect the bliss or ease of the first stage to last forever. As with so many areas of relationship, it’s the expectation more than the reality … Click here to continue reading...