Alanis and the E-Course: Lesson 7 (Incomplete)

“I’m redefining for myself what a marriage is.” – Alanis from The Interview

Lesson Seven of The Conscious Weddings E-Course is “What Does Marriage Mean Today?” The short answer, as Alanis states above, is that marriage today is whatever you want it to be. There are no blueprints or formulas to follow for a marriage to thrive. But most people enter marriage with a set of unconscious expectations – based on what they witnessed growing up and an old, historically-imprinted model of marriage – of what they think marriage is “supposed” so look like. They ask, “Am I supposed to cook dinner for my husband every night because that’s what my mother did?” I rarely encounter women who cook dinner for their husband every night, and when they do it’s because they want to, not because their partner expects it. But still the unconscious expectation runs deep and on the … Click here to continue reading...

Alanis and the E-Course: Lesson 6 (Ironic)

“It was a huge existential crisis and there was no way to slither out of it.” – Alanis in the Interview on her engagement transition

Embedded in every transition is the opportunity to practice letting go. When we become adolescents, we let go of being children. When we leave home for the first time, we let go of the security of living under our parents’ roof (or the illusion of security). When we move, we let go of memories and attachments connected to the old dwelling. When we become parents, we let go of the identity of being a non-parent (as well freedom, consistent sleep, the old body and the old lifestyle, and dozens of other things). With each letting go there’s an opportunity for rebirth, for just as spring cannot occur without the death and fallow stages of autumn and winter, so the new aspects of ourselves cannot … Click here to continue reading...

Alanis and the E-Course: Lesson 4 (You Learn)

“Perfectionism came in as well [during the engagement]. But if my number one priority is to evolve then there are no mistakes.” – Alanis from the Interview

Lesson Four of the Conscious Weddings E-Course is “What if These Feelings Mean I’m Making a Mistake?” or “Accepting Uncertainty”. It’s a scary question to ask during an engagement, but a natural outgrowth of the fear, grief, and confusion that accompany the transition in a culture that doesn’t understand transitions. In other words, if you expected to feel scared during your engagement, you wouldn’t mistakenly interpret the fear as a sign that you’re making a mistake.

But what is a mistake? As Alanis speaks to in her quote above, in the context of growth there are no mistakes, only opportunities to learn. Astonishingly, she seemed to know this at the age of 19 when she released “You Learn”:

You Learn

I … Click here to continue reading...

Alanis and the E-Course: Lesson 3 (In Praise of the Vulnerable Man)

Lesson Three of the Conscious Weddings E-Course is “What If I Don’t Love My Partner Enough?” or “Real Love versus Infatuation“. I’ll say it bluntly: Our culture is dangerously deluded when it comes to ideas of real love. From the time we’re old enough to absorb information, we’re inundated with a fantasy that says that you’re supposed to feel head-over-heels, stomach-churning, butterfly-inducing “love” from “yes” to “I do.”

painting by Daev Finn

Once the spark of infatuation fades (which it always does, if it was ever there to begin with), the once dewy-eyed couple wonders, “Is this love? Is this it?”

We’re addicted to that feeling, which is really nothing more than a chemically-induced hormonal reaction which points to a window of possibility of what it can feel like to connect with an open heart. It is not, in itself, love.

We’re also conditioned to associate love Click here to continue reading...

Alanis and the E-Course: Lesson 2 (Madness)

Lesson Two of The Conscious Weddings E-Course is “Why Is My Partner Driving Me Crazy?” or “Understanding Projection”. One of the scariest experiences to have during an engagement – or any time in a relationship – is feeling angry, annoyed, disconnected, or irritated with your partner. It juts up against one of the most faulty precepts that we all hold before entering marriage which says that during your engagement you’re supposed to feel more in love than ever. We may consciously know better; after all, we’re aware that couples fight during their engagement about the wedding planning. But when it’s happening to you, you simply cannot believe that this is normal. Is it really okay to feel a million miles away from your partner? Surely it’s a sign that I’m not supposed to get married, right?

Yes, it is okay and no, it’s not a sign that you’re not supposed … Click here to continue reading...