Today as I was heading back to Seattle on the ferry from Bainbridge Island, I witnessed the following: I was standing with my friend who has been visiting from Maine for the weekend on the top deck looking at the Seattle City Skyline and I just happened to glance down at the bottom deck where the cars and bikes were anxiously awaiting to disembark the ferry as soon as we arrived. The skyline was beautiful as it always is as you come in from the islands and see the skyscrapers and city life awaiting you. Then I saw a middle aged couple below on the car deck hand-off their camera to a bystander and ask to get their picture taken while the ferry sped to the terminal. The wind was blowing the woman's hair and the man took her in his arms and kissed her while the bystander took the photo. The woman was smiling and I knew that under her sunglasses, her eyes were that of a puppy adoring its best friend.
In my head, I thought to myself, "Wow. That is love at work." Then I started thinking about this a little bit more. It got me thinking, "How do we make love work?"
The man and I are co-reading Dr. John Gray's book, "When Mars & Venus Collide: How Men & Women Cope Differently with Stress and its Effects on Relationships."
I just finished the book tonight and I must admit, I learned a TON! So getting back to the question at hand, "How Do We Make Love Work?" I started delving into some deep thoughts about how we do make it work and how we also don't make it work, for both ourselves and our partners. See my "4 Revelations" below.
I have turned the corner in my revelations that things don't happen overnight. Well, some things do, but most things that are important to us don't happen overnight. Also, we must be careful not to rush our partners or rush to a solution around a conflict. I know that continuing down a dangerous path of saying mean things and being a jerk and then making a quick but sarcastic apology DOESN'T work.
We must also give ourselves permission to take time for ourselves to nourish our souls and spirits. This is also true with our livelihood. If you know me personally, you know that I am a huge proponent of following your bliss and creating work that is purposeful, meaningful, and work that lights you up everyday. It takes some patience. I promise.
#2. The Little Things
After spending some quality time with Dr. John Gray, I now see the importance of the little things that we do for ourselves and our partners that add up and make a big difference. For instance, the man totally scheduled an impromptu date night at my favorite pizza joint in Seattle the other night, then after we got home, totally cleaned the inside of my windshield with window cleaner while I grabbed some stuff to go to a staff meeting. YES! A little thing that made a HUGE difference! The man is constantly going above and beyond in the little things: Oil Changes, fresh orange juice, opening the door at the grocery store, giving me $20 for gas, just being a great man.
In terms of doing things for ourselves, it can be anything. Taking a break and playing an online game of solitaire and beating the computer, buying flowers for yourself at the farmers market every Saturday (my new favorite thing to do), or breathing for five minutes a day. It is sooooo important that we make the little things a priority in this hectic, speed crazed life we are living.
#3. The Thank You
The man and I have been together for almost 6 months and we have been privileged to experience being best friends first, then lovers totally immersed in the honeymoon period, and now partners and teammates that don't always play so well together at times :) First of all, it's okay that its not perfect all the time. It never will be, but that is why it is imperative that we don't get too comfortable with the people in our lives and take them for granted. At the end of the day, the only thing we got is our people. We have to stick together because connection and compassion will get us through. Boo Yeah! Soooo, when was the last time you sent a thank you note for a gift you received? What about thanking your partner? What about thanking your boss & organization for the opportunity to work for them? GIVE THANKS...NOW!
Book Recommendation: "Living Life as a Thank You"
#4. If Your Not In Communication, Then Your Doomed
We hear it in every self-help book, every transformational seminar, every therapist, mediator, coach, etc. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE. I know that personally, I expect everyone, including my man to be able to read my mind. Yep, I do know he doesn't have the superpower to do so, yet I expect it. Ha! Well, the joke is on me. I am slowly learning that if I need something, I have to speak up and that goes for every damn area in my life. Finances, job, relationship, family, spiritual development, my business, etc. I get to choose what I want and how I communicate it.
So, with all of that said, my "4 Revelations" aren't rocket science and they are not only for relationships. I started this post with the question about how we make love work. It is totally and ultimately up to us how we love our lives, every area of our lives. We have to step out on a limb, pull that someone or something into our arms when its windy, kiss it on the cheek, await to disembark and love it.