Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right

It isn’t too much to ask is it? Just one other person who gets you. Just one. Just someone who accepts you for who you are and who’s into the same things you are. There’s seven billion of us. Surely they’re out there. Right?

817 Relax and Succeed - Expectation is the root of heartacheThe reason people always feel they’ve made the wrong choice is because eventually some things don’t work out. But by “don’t work out,” I mean they fight, or argue, or they cry or get confused when communicating. Everyone figures if they could just find someone who’s truly compatible then that wouldn’t happen.

But what does compatible mean?  Because if you think it means no arguing, no hurt or upset feelings, or no pain or confusion then you don’t understand the journey that is your life.

People always ask me questions like this: how much do you compromise for your partner before you stop being yourself? The real question should be: how do I grow closer to my partner?

817 Relax and Succeed - The fool doth thinkIn these exchanges compromise is always seen as a loss. It’s you giving up a bit of yourself for them or they’re giving something up for you. Yeah, you could choose to look at it that way. But in the best relationships that is not what they’re doing.

People in the best relationships are not saying, Stop yelling at me! You know I’m always late! If you loved me you would accept me for who I am! The healthy couples look at each and the always-late-person remembers that one of the many reasons they were attracted to their partner was because they demonstrated themselves to be better at respecting other people’s time.

The healthy couples realize that they can develop the strengths their partner has if they simply emulate some of their healthy behaviours. In the case of being late, the person could simply start with the simple goal of genuinely trying to be on time more often. But healthy people aren’t doing that for their partner. They do it out of respect and appreciation for how they feel their partner is more successful than them. The changes we make are not a loss. They’re an improvement. The problem comes when we don’t tackle these issues in the order someone else thinks we should. After all, these things ultimately take us all a lifetime. But since they’re putting up with us learning it’s not unreasonable that we would put up with their learning too.

817 Relax and Succeed - Go and love someoneIf you’re constantly focused on how your partner is better than you then you’re often in a state of appreciation, which is the healthiest state to be in. It’s a everyday kind of steady love. Then, from that healthy place, the times where you are really late–your partner is more patient and understanding because they’ve been fully aware that you’re trying–because they were watching and appreciating you just as much as you were of them. When you both do this it all points upward.

Explaining yourself ad nauseum points directly downward. The more people talk about how they see it, the worse they do. The more they try to understand the other position, the better they do.

The two people in a relationship are in a state of growth throughout their lives. The unaware, ungrateful couples grow apart and more rigid. The conscious, appreciative couples grow ever closer as they both become stronger and more capable thanks to lessons learned–but not taughtby each other.

817 Relax and Succeed - It is better to bendYou can see your partner suggesting a different approach to things as them being incompatible to you. Or you can see it as an invitation to expand yourself. But if you have a list of things that your partner needs to change for you to be happy then you’re sunk. If you have a list of changes you want to make for yourself that were inspired by your partner, then you’re in a healthy state of mind where you’re not trying to direct the world to suit your worldview, you’re expanding your worldview to include more of life.

Which course you take your relationship on is always open to change, so if right now you think you’ve maybe chosen the wrong person, just ask yourself this one question: what are the ways in which I have grown by being with my partner? Because if you can’t find any then that’s not their fault. If they were good enough to attract you then they should be good enough to have at least one thing to emulate. If you don’t know what it is then the problem in the relationship is likely not them.

You were never supposed to crack the code of finding the perfect person for you. There’s no secret formula. The formula is awareness and appreciation. You are only supposed to find people that inspired you and then you voluntarily choose to try to grow to be more like them because you recognize that it would expand and improve you as a person in your own eyes. That act adds to your relationship’s cycle of gratitude and appreciation and it is those couples that have by far the fewest issues. Here’s to you joining them on that path.

peace, s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Recoupling

A lot of my student/clients are struggling marriages. If I’m given enough time and they are both genuine and earnest enough to allow me to take them through a process, then only one of two outcomes takes place. Either they fall back in love, or things end shortly thereafter.

??????????????????????????????????????????I consider myself successful either way because I don’t save marriages, I show people the way to have enjoyable, rewarding lives. If the relationship actually makes it unnecessarily difficult for the participants—including kids—to enjoy life, then the raised awareness of either one or both partners leads them to take action. They will be less interested in preserving their legal status and more invested in circumstances that are more conducive to healthier, happier living for both partners, be that together, alone or with different partners.

Even if you’re going to stay together and have a fun, successful relationship, you still need to know how to get through rough times. Those are inevitable. You need to know what they feel like, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to recognize the fact that you’re usually happy. Fun times are easy, but when you’re experiencing them actually take some time to pay real attention to how your mind is processing events.

You’ll see that your optimistic view has you noting many opportunities for you to be happy. By contrast a person creating negative feelings will be able to sit in the same context and notice nothing but what’s lacking or wrong. So the most important starting place for any couple is for it to be made up of two people who are genuinely dedicated to their own happiness. Not structureless, self-indulgent pleasures, but a rather a 627 Relax and Succeed - We're all entitledgenuine appreciation for the value of rest, recouperation and the space for creativity to take place in—be that time, space or both.

Sure, if someone’s got cancer or whatever then they get to be a bit needy and surivival is good enough, we don’t need to add to their struggles by holding them to some super-high standard for happiness. We all have tough times like that. That’s when love kicks in and carries the most weight. But other than those times where you simply need love and support, a central relationship responsibility is to your own happiness. If you can’t do that then there’s no point in complaining to a partner. People don’t make other people happy. People can ultimately only make themselves happy.

If you know how to be happy then you will have many go-to thoughts to jump toward that can be far more pleasant than the ones that go with a bad marriage. To escape to higher-frequency busy thoughts you need to be able to recognize that you are lost. Fortunately our emotions do a great job of signalling us because the angier we get the louder we get. And once we’re angry we’re not fighting the point anymore because making a point doesn’t require hurling insults. Wanting to win against someone—that can quickly degrade into name-calling and cheap shots. 

So if you hear your voice raised, then it’s a virtual guarantee that you are locked in ego and doing things that are likely to run contrary to your larger objectives. You are far better to take your chemical-filled blood and yell back, “I can tell by the fact that I’m ?????????????????????????????????????????????????yelling that I’m saying things I may not mean and so I’m going to take this anger, go outside for a walk to calm down so that I can talk to you about this more constructively because we both deserve that…!” That’s actually helpful; to just announce that you’re lost and then try to create a delay until your consciousness can settle a bit. As angry as they may be, the other person will recognize you’re attempting to be genuinely helpful to the situation. If both parties are on board then that’s the best possible scenario.

Once people have calmed down they generally don’t need any help. They fell in love without help. They just need assistance seeing each other. So know that angry temporary blindness or fears will cause us to miss important details and react in counterproductive ways. So as much as possible just delay your relations with others until both parties are more able to be genuinely constructive. Do that and you will reduce the amount of resentment moving forward, and that is what will keep your relationship healthy: leaving the past in the past and searching for the best possible present. It’s always there to do.

Enjoy your day.

peace. s

Other Perspectives #53

611 Relax and Succeed Rebuttal - I like to believe that love

This is one of those quotes that’s really beautiful, and yet it runs the risk of being misunderstood in a painful way. This doesn’t mean that if you choose—or didn’t choose—to be single, that you’re bound to live without love. That’s seeing love to narrowly. Don’t look at it through a wrapping paper tube. Look at it in the whole of the world. Love accomplishes most of the truly great things in life. The best artists, athletes, scientists and business people all excel at things they truly love doing. And the love we feel for our pets is real love. Which is no different than the love we can feel for someone on TV who we witness suffering. We obviously love our family members and it’s even possible to love some people without even liking them. So love isn’t something you need find or get or earn. Love is the natural bond between the parts of the universe that feel separate. So we think separateness into being—we create an us and them and an us and it or us and there, and then we act like we’re not all part of the giant oneness of the universe. So love is that glue. That magnetic bond. That beautiful, warm and enveloping force that is both comforting and powerful. And you can feel that any time any where, but it’s true that you will find it by looking for the bonds been you and any other aspect of this incredible universe. So go climb a mountain, or make a career change you’ve dreamed of for years, or even fall in love with someone. Whatever it is, it’ll be great as long as you’re paying attention to the love you feel. Have an awesome day.

peace. s

Note: Everyone who posts or shares a quote does so with the very best of intentions. That said, I have created the series of Other Perspectives blog posts in an effort to prevent some of these ideas from entering into people’s consciousness unchallenged. These quotes range from silly to dangerous and—while I intend no offense to their creators—I do use these rebuttals to help define and delineate the larger message I’m attempting to convey in my own work. I do hope you find them helpful in your pursuit of both psychological and spiritual health.

2014’s Blog of the Year!

588 Relax and Succeed - No suffering befalls the man*

Last year you to chose Fly Like an Eagle as Blog of the Year. It’s uplifting and inspiring—it’s a story about some birds. But this year I give you guys six months to ask questions, and now all of a sudden this year’s winner is about sex! 🙂 I’m kidding. Sex is part of life. There’s no reason it shouldn’t win. The taboo approach to serious conversations about sex mean that any frank discussion of the subject is usually welcome. This post has basically been read every day steadily since the very first day it was posted. And even if you’re not into the specific things it discusses, you still might find it opens your mind a bit regarding whatever it is you are interested in. It’s not dirty, but it’s about sex and it has a video, so I don’t see its popularity waning anytime soon. So without further ado I am pleased to present my readers with your choice for 2014’s Blog of the Year!

CLICK BELOW TO READ:

2014’s Blog of the Year!

peace. s

The Friday Dose #46

557 Relax and Succeed - The greatest work that kindness does

Do you remember what the Friday Dose is for? Remember: every Friday I’m posting things that are designed to delight and distract you and occasionally inform you. Save them up for when you’re mentally struggling—for when you need to prove to yourself that you can change the course of your thoughts. Then come here, check out a few entries and get your mind on to something different and then don’t choose to go back to your original thought stream. Remember, either there is a solution you can take action on, or there is nothing you can do. Either take the action or stop thinking about it. Today I have a mixed bag for you. We’ll start off with an excellent Business Insider article on lasting relationships:

Lasting Relationships Rely on Two Traits

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Next we’ll shift to a video on photography. Now you don’t have to be interested in photography to benefit from Mike Brown’s talk. What he’s saying applies to anything you do in life—especially if it’s creative, but it applies as much to child-rearing and sports. It’s worth your five minutes:

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And finally we’ll end on some music. Regular readers will know that occasionally I like to showcase musical or dramatic talent and I do hope that you enjoy this song as much as I have. I encourage you to support this Joshua Hyslop’s music career so that he can afford to continue to write and record and perform many more beautiful songs. Enjoy:

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Joshua Hyslop Homepage

Have yourself a wonderful weekend everyone.

peace. s

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The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Focus on these and change your mind. Enjoy.

The Slow-Motion Divorce

Whether it’s the woman leaving the man or the man leaving the woman, the deciding-to-get-divorced process happens over months, years, or even decades. We’re all human and we all largely process the world using the same basic societal patterns. This means that, while there are certainly many exceptions, most breakups are entirely predictable.

513 Relax and Succeed - The best thing you can doBoth genders have their own dominant patterns that each stem from the common source of ego. So a man tries to build his ego with achievements, or success or external markers of his advancement relative to other men. The ego believes everything is about it, so the men can get so focused on their personal/financial success that they will sacrifice the success of the relationship.

Women on the other hand are seeking connection, and sharing and support. So they’ll get focused on their needs and the needs of the family and they will often forget that their partner has needs that are just as valid that also need addressing. They’ll tend to scold any behaviour they see as not in alignment with their personal goals for the family, relationship or household.

Some men are left because they’re not active enough, some of the men get left because they’re too busy worrying about building businesses, or advancing careers, or paying off houses. Either way, their selfish focus causes them to fail to notice that they might be leaving too much of the household management to their spouse. They also forget to approach her as a woman with physical needs, and when they do engage it’s usually as a fixer and less as a listener or supporter.

Most of the women get left because they’ve pre-imagined the relationship in such a way that anything the partner does that’s outside of that invisible plan is seen as misbehaving. They are subsequently scolded in much the same way kids are, and they eventually leave over being belittled right out of the relationship.

513 Relax and Succeed - No reason to stayOf course there are many exceptions and there’s also violence and addictions and differing life directions etc. etc., but a large percentage of the people that come to see me because their marriages are in those first two groups. Neglecters and Scolders.

So how is this information useful to you? Well, neither of those primary reasons to split are really reasons to split. Again if there’s violence or addictions or other serious challenges, or even just a clear indication that you’re going in two different directions, then those are good reasons to divorce and reorient your life. But if you just aren’t paying enough attention to your actions, then that’s divorce by lack of awareness.

If you want to avoid the pain and expense and the huge and somewhat complex start-over that divorce entails, then stop telling your spouse how to improve your life or relationship and start focusing on becoming self-aware. Then you can actually contribute to the relationship improving rather than just itemizing how your partner could do that. Two people repeatedly passing the same to-do lists back and forth is hardly a recipe for a happy relationship.

513 Relax and Succeed - Love has come to ruleAnd should you do this to save the relationship? No. The relationship exists in your head. You should do it because you feel loving feelings for your partner and you truly want to make their life better. Be nice to them, note their qualities, and compliment them. It’s not hard. It’s what you want too. Stop asking for it with words and start asking for it with loving deeds, whether that’s helping out with something you know they find difficult, or something like excusing some behaviour you might otherwise negatively comment on. Bottom line, you don’t create great relationships by changing your partners into someone great, you create realise a great relationship by noting on a day to day basis that your partner is already great.

If your relationship is truly dangerous or unhealthy then end it as soon as possible or make firm arrangements to do so. And if it isn’t bad enough to end, then it’s good enough for you to invest yourself in sincerely. So rather than asking for love, give some instead. Because it doesn’t matter who puts the love in, both parties benefit equally.

Here’s to a great life. Enjoy.

peace and hugs. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Sex Fact vs. Sex Fantasy

This one’s a bit mature in its themes, so please be warned that it does get very explicit at times. And I mean very explicit. Because lots of you are living explicit lives, so there’s no point in pretending that’s not happening to be polite. We’re here to help people stay mentally and emotionally and spiritually healthy. So I’m not going to worry about offending anyone. So let’s be clearthis post will be very sexually graphic in nature. It began after a woman came to me with what her and I both believe is 472 Relax and Succeed - Nemesisma common problem that goes unaddressed because it’s linked to sex. She urged me to blog about the change she made, as well as the reasons why she would encourage everyone else to change in a similar fashion.

We’ll call her Stella. Stella felt guilty about the way she masturbated. I don’t mean the physical part—she sat in front of huge wall-mounted mirror with her back to her bed and a vibrator between her legs. I mean the mental part. Stella is quite an attractive woman, mid 30’s, and she carries herself with a certain sexual confidence that seems to exude from her when she interacts with men or women. She was comfortable with her body and she very much enjoyed sex. It was often kinky, with her and her multiple partners dressing up and role playing etc. She actually loved that part of her life. But afterwards there would be tremendous guilt.

She would ask herself questions like, what kind of woman has sex with four men at once? Or she would judge herself with internal dialogues like you’re sick! What are you doing in bed with women, talking about those terrible things?! The “terrible things” were that Stella liked dressing like a Japanese school girl and she liked being faux-raped by four or more men. She wasn’t careless about this. She screened the men carefully and eventually developed a steady group where everyone knew their role. Her problem was that in her fantasy a faux-child was being sexually assaulted—something that Stella very obviously would not in any way shape or form support in real life. In reality it might incite her to deadly violence. So the fact that she had these fantasies—and that these men wanted to participate in them—often left her feeling like everyone involved was sick in the head. The guilt about it was the worst part of her life for a decade. And then she came to me.

472 Relax and Succeed - Life shrinks or expandsYou’re very likely to have heard the term Thought Police, from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. They punish thought-criminals who commit crimes in their thoughts. This is kind of like getting worked up about an angry construction worker who imagines air-hammering his boss’s head to a post. He might think it every other day. But to suggest that he would actually do such a thing is nothing short of ridiculous. If someone’s suggesting there’s no gap between what people think and what they actually do then they’ve given no time whatsoever to truly think about the subject.

Stella is actually quite a prim and proper woman in her daily life. In fact, that’s why she expresses herself more extremely in her sexual life. She’s quite a stickler for rules, and she always does just the right thing. She exercises regularly, eats well, follows rules and she knows where she’s going in life. So I explained to her that her sexual excitement can be coming from the intersection of those two identities. That the arousal isn’t based in the fantasy about her being an underage girl having sex with multiple men, it’s that Stella wouldn’t imagine herself doing anything like that precisely because that is such a bad thing and it goes so much against who she is as a person. The fact that those thoughts seem so foreign—and that they basically impact her daily self at 90 degrees—is actually the basis for her arousal. Yes, of course sometimes she is also physically acting out the fantasy, but the point is the part in her head. It’s not that she’s having sex with four men, it’s that she’s not the kind of girl who would have sex with four men.

Stella came to understand that her arousal comes from things in principle rather than specific things. So her interest in being overwhelmed has to do with the fact that she is a busy, working single mother who has big responsibilities both at home and at her office. So she’s the one making things happen. She’s busy, responsible, and in control. So she achieves an intersection within herself by playing the entirely helpless, passive and vulnerable victim, which intersects at 90 degrees with her remarkable capabilities as both an employee and a mother. It’s like a holiday from being herself.

472 Relax and Succeed - It isn't always enough to be forgivenOnce Stella could see her fantasies as having been constructed by her imagination precisely because of the reasons she was worried about, she had a better understanding of where her sexual interests were coming from and she felt less bad or kinky and more just like a person who knows what they want in a world where most people don’t even try to get that.

Of course there are countless male versions of fantasies that could be similarly dismissed as well, but they too will expose some logic. For instance, cuckolded men are often very confident, successful men who like other men to leave semen on the bodies of their wives or girlfriends because it provides hard physical proof that the woman has been violated by someone other than him, which places him in a position that is appealing precisely because it leaves him experiencing something new: helplessness. That is what triggers his arousal, not the semen. And it goes on and on.

There zillions of fantasies and I’ve heard all kinds from all kinds of people, but they all made sense. So in terms of Stella’s concerns, it’s comforting that it’s like the old axiom about being crazy; if you’ll even consider that you might be, then you aren’t. Same with these people. Their kinky fantasies are ultimately rooted in the fact that they are warm-hearted, capable people with strong ethics and they enjoy pretending they’re not like that every now and then. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Enjoy your fantasies. Maybe just masturbate to them. Maybe act them out. Always do so safely and use wisdom so no one gets hurt in any ways they don’t want to. Respect others, use safe-words and make sure everyone’s having a good time. And then don’t think guilty thoughts. Because some people like devoting an entire weekend to football and junk food. Some people like devoting an entire weekend to playing video games or canning peaches, or mountain climbing. So it’s also okay to devote an entire weekend to having orgasms if that’s what you really want to do.

Have fun.

peace. s