Tenets of Relationship
We replace all contracts and agreements with real time relating.
There isn’t one “right” form of relating.
We shift the purpose of relating from seeking comfort, solace, and peace to awakening, connecting, and experiencing.
We come to find that when we are fully connected there is a much deeper comfort that comes from having developed a skill and navigating a terrain, rather than simply staying trapped in one aspect of being. We learn to become skilled on both land and sea, such that anywhere becomes home for us and we no longer require that we and others connect only in these limited areas.
We recognize that the highest and lowest form of relationship is that of friend with greater and lesser intimacy.
We recognize that friendship is a stronger and more accurate foundation of relationship. It is the highest subset that includes all others; mother, lover, even enemy. Friendship is the stroke that we return to.
At the foundation of friendship is the understanding that we are connected and that active connection tends to be healthier than inactive connection.
Inactive connection tends to collect static energy that shows up in the form of doubt and resentments. As we connect, the static energy dissolves. There is no such thing as a real time resentment.
The purpose of this relating to know the other person and to have them know us.
This differs from conventional relating where the idea is to mold myself into the template of "good wife", which has a certain subset of behaviors and hold back anything that does not fit into this picture. Or to draw out in you my idea of what a good partner is and turn a blind eye to the rest. If one does this, what tends to happen is that the aspects that have been held back finally collect and explode and we blow out of relationship. It is because most people want to be good that relationships end. Life does not want to be repressed. When we repress, we kill the very magnetism that brought us together. We base our practice on the idea that each of us is real, valid, true, and important. We are willing to shift our positions to find how that is so, rather than discount others and their reality. In friendship, there is inquiry, rather than prescription.
We come to know who another person is by witnessing their response to experiences of high and low sensation.
These experiences in and of themselves are value neutral, but are interpreted differently by each of us according to our conditioning. By witnessing another in their response we can come to know their particular patterns of conditioning.
We come to understand that our attention shifts another more than any other thing.
We do not try to control or shift others, because being in connection with others is not contingent on anything. As we maintain attention and awareness, we find that like a fractal, another continues to shift and change. In fact, our attention animates change and our withdrawal of attention tends to cause it to fix.
Our areas of locked energy (i.e. i'm not good enough, no one will ever love me) are like black holes that will drain a relationship.
Our practice is to focus our attention on blocked areas and discharge the energy, which can then be used to feed the relationship rather than feeding the black hole.
At the foundation of friendship is the agreement to stay connected no matter what.
We recognize that some aspects of self will come out in distorted ways. Only by allowing our attention and awareness to flow through these shriveled and mangled aspects can we hydrate them and bring them back to their natural healthy state. Our fear of abandonment has had us abandon ourselves. It is a serious commitment to agree to see someone through the process of exercising their turned on self with grace or their shy self with strength. We can create the greatness that we seek simply by receiving another in their becoming.
We are and have access to all aspects of being at any given point.
When we open to them, behavior and sensations are decoupled from gender, age, race, religion and that which exists in all of us is given expression. We begin to live our relationships as a form of improvisation, never knowing which aspects of self will arise, agreeing to play with whatever does. I agree to play the pole of whichever aspect arises in you, moving in connection across from you in the sphere. We call this “spherical relating”.
We learn to play the positions of both lead and response, shifting at times from second to second.
We often assume that power is in being the agent and view the receiver as weaker. These concepts can only occur with an artificial boundary where there is an idea that we are separate. The challenge is to not fall into fixed positions, but to allow the natural movement to go between us.
We make the relationship the priority over our individual needs, having our individual needs naturally fold into the relationship.
The point of contact, the verb that the relationship is, is what we are interested in. Our guiding question is how to serve the relationship so it can serve all.
We no longer blame others for being who they are or calculate what we are owed; we simply see what needs to be done and become an agent of that action.
With the relationship as the locus of attention, something higher is asked of us with respect to responsibility. In other words, there is no excuse for withdrawal. We look for the "payoff" not from the other person, but from the expanded awareness that comes from staying conscious and connected through every stroke (behavior) as they arise.
One of the most challenging aspects of relating is shifting to another's time domain: for the faster to not rush past the deeper, slower waves of the other and for the slower to allow themselves to be moved by the more rapid force of the other.
Real time communication is the best method to maintain connection.
The terrains that we learn to navigate through communication include jealousy, anger, retraction, vengeance and shame. We all have these emotions, but can we know another and allow ourselves to be known in them? Can we step by step walk another through the nuances of our jealousy? Can we take the sensation that feels like a hot potato that we want to throw at you or lock down and smother, and instead allow the heat to be fuel for our connection, leaving us at the end of our communication with a melted heart? It is only by experiencing something of this intensity in a stroke-by-stroke manner that we can communicate it to others; only by remaining open as we feel it, not shutting down and trapping it inside of ourselves or throwing it on another.
Desire arises in unison. Our conditioning is what determines how it will be translated by each body.
The circumstances of how it is expressed may be different for each of us, but desire is a by-product of our relating. A sexual impulse, for example, may cause me to pull back and you to move forward. If we keep our attention on the sensation, instead of the story about it, there will be no rejecting. We often believe that another’s response has to do with us rather than the sensation that has arisen and their interpretation of it. We then respond to their response which will likely reinforce it, creating a rejection cycle. We have become so afraid of being rejected that we reject others, not realizing that they have the same fear.
A challenge in relationship is to remain our right size; recognizing that what we do deeply affects others, and by the same token, not tipping to the other side and using that to hold another hostage.
We learn how to "set boundaries" so that we can release setting boundaries.
You can only say yes once you have learned to say no and life begins at yes. Individuation is a very young, but necessary part of relationship; otherwise the yes is acquiescence or collapse.
Signs of a healthy relationship are that each individual is expanding out, connecting with more people, sensation, ideas and parts of self.
A relationship becomes depressed much like an economy. Just like economies, relationships go through exciting expansive growth and boon times followed by recessions and depressions with the moderating factor of economic stimulus. Caution in relationship is like a recession in an economy. When things are good, with low interest rates, the interest penalty for risky investment is low. But when things are difficult, people are afraid to take risks to invest in a transaction for fear of accumulating additional resentment debt. Stimulating a relationship is similar to stimulating an economy by reducing interest rates on debts. In relationships, reducing fear of resentment accumulations and payments is the practice. To evaluate the health of your finances you need a summary accounting of both assets and liabilities and of income expenses. In relationship assets are memories of good experiences, liabilities are memories of bad experience. By full disclosure of all resentments and positive memory assets, an objective evaluation of a relationship can be made clear.
We recognize that relationships have cycles within them; peaks that have a beginning, middle and end.
Our ability to negotiate these experiences with grace, moving through cycles both of beginning and grieving within the same relationship as we grow, determines the health of the relationship. Our ability to drop the roles and ideas of our last peak, and stand in the new shifting ground of this one, is really what determines whether or not a relationship with two dynamic beings will continue.
Copyright 2008 Nicole Daedone and OneTaste