Public vs Private

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Public vs Private

The launch of Sheri Winston’s book was successful. My visit with the father of my grown children also went well at beautiful Pipe Lake near Seattle. A weekend like this pushes my public vs private conflict big time. I have always been open with my kids, there is very little they do not know about me and my life including my sexuality. It is one of the reasons my marriage ended.

I believe”sex” and intimacy issues are a normal part of life. Honesty and openness are my highest values in every relationship.

Because of this I am honest about my attraction to women as well as men. In many circles this is a no-no. You are supposed to choose. Make one commitment to last the rest of your life. It used to be like that for heterosexuals, however today they have more freedom than when I was growing up.  Homosexuality is also more acceptable. But the stigma around loving more than one remains, although this too is changing.

Polyamory is becoming a choice for many. What is your honest choice?

 

 

The Fine Line

Lately, I have been exploring the intersection of pain and pleasure. Not feeling well brings pain that I try to experience as pleasure by telling myself that I am perfect, whole and complete. I love myself, just the way I am – even if I am in pain. But it is not that easy. Saying I accept the pain, doesn’t make it go away. When my whole body aches, it is difficult to pretend that it doesn’t. When I have no energy, it is hard to do anything.

When I am in Yoga class, the pain is excruciating.

On the other hand, when I am making love, there is no pain. Pleasure takes over my body in a way that escapes me when I am standing or sitting or even trying to go to sleep. My pain is often worse when I am lying still attempting to relax. But it doesn’t hurt when I am having energetic sex. Why? My guess is that when my lover and I are being sexual, I am out of my mind and out of my body as well. I drift to a place of pure pleasure. It is like floating on a sea of tranquility and I want to stay there forever. I want to move there permanently and never come back to this body that is causing me so much trouble, and certainly I don’t want to go back to my negative mind, which blames me for all of the discomfort as if “I” didn’t think the right thoughts or say the right words.

It is hard being uncomfortable in my body after working for so many years on loving myself and accepting everything as perfect. Affirming that everything is in divine order,    perfectly unfolding just as it is, doesn’t work anymore The pain is NOT perfect, it hurts, and then some days, unexpectedly, it goes away. I am OK for a while, I get a few things accomplished, and then it returns again. I try to rest but that doesn’t work when my body is uncomfortable.

And then the opportunity to make love comes again, and suddenly nothing hurts. I am in bliss when I am being stroked and caressed, kissed and nuzzled (I could get more graphic here, but my love life is not the point of this blog). The point is: where does the pain go? When it is not with me, does it haunt someone else? Can pain be shared like  pleasure? Why does it seem to own me when it steals my days and/or nights? Do we own our pain? Can we control it? Is everyone’s pain the same?

I don’t know the answer to these questions; I only know my own experiences of pain and of pleasure. I’d love to hear your comments. What is your experience of pain? Of pleasure? Do you also have a fine line that can be easily crossed simply by stopping your thoughts and moving from one idea to another. Is the relief of pain really simple?

If it is, then why is it so hard to shift sometimes and not others? And why does it return so easily? I don’t want to be in pain. I want to be in pleasure and stay there all of the time. But then, how do I get anything else done?

Keys to Healthy Relationships

I found this article interesting and had to share it with you:

Everyone in the world is in a kind of relationship. Whether it is with a significant other, friend or family, relationships will always be a part of an individual. As stated in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, love and belongingness or being in a relationship with other people is vital in a person’s life. Needless to say, it is essential to keep healthy relationships.

But how does an individual keep his relationship healthy? There are definitely many ways to make one’s associations with his fellow men beneficial.

When it comes to family, it is important to spend time together. Little gatherings such as dinner meals will make the members closer. They can get to share stories, talk about various topics, and probably even deal with misunderstandings too. If the children already have their own families, regular get-togethers could still be done to keep the bonds as tight as possible. Besides, these will present opportunities for the different generations to know more about one another.

Relatives, especially the immediate ones, need to maintain healthy connections as well. Although gathering more people in one place at the same is harder, it will certainly be worth it. Just imagine the fun and laughter everybody will have, particularly with the ‘big’ clans.

There are many occasions, such as during the Christmas season, which the family could celebrate together.

Another crucial type of relationship a person has to keep healthy is the ones with friends. An individual will meet countless of people in his lifetime, and many of these would be long-time or close friends. Just like family, friends ought to spend time together.

As most would come from different backgrounds or walks of life, it really would be nice to relate with unique personalities who have distinct life stories.

In addition to the stories (and gossip) to be shared, friends are great to have in times of need. Since a lot of folks live away from home and their families, they usually would have friends as their nearest of kin. Friends are the ones whom people can cry on or communicate their problems with. Of course, a person has to associate himself with genuine individuals.

The last key relationship to strengthen is with a significant other. This is probably the relationship that most people work on in their lives.

Two of the most indispensable values individuals in a romantic relationship must have are love and respect. For this kind of union to work, it has to breathe on true love. It cannot simply operate on things such as money and lust. People need to have sincere affection towards each another.

Respect is the other quality they should have. Each of the party involved ought to have respect to the other individual as a person.

It is also vital to have an open communication with each other. If there are problems or disagreements, these should be talked about as soon as possible.

As the saying “no man is an island” goes, it denotes that every individual is compelled to have relationships to live. And to make everyday living a whole lot better, people simply need to keep healthy relationships.

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Watery Rainbows

Our bodies consist of mostly water, as hard as that is to comprehend. Although it appears to be different, this is not a solid universe. Everything is fluid. Babies enter this world from a watery sack, and my idea of a “good” death is to float away in a warm body of water.

Water is interesting because the same cup can be liquid, solid (ice) or gas (steam), in just a matter of several minutes. Sometimes all of life seems to be as fluid. Within minutes, our lives can change.

When my oldest son, Joe, was 10 years old, we moved from a small, quiet community in West Virginia to a large, busy suburb of Los Angles. Within the first month after we arrived, he was in a serious accident. In the minutes that followed, many lives changed. The older couple driving the van that ran over him were in shock. They drove down their same street every Thursday afternoon at the same time, but that day was different. Suddenly a young boy was under their front tire.

I was painting a kitchen cupboard in the old house we had moved into earlier that week. Joe’s younger brothers and sister were playing in the side yard. We all heard the screech of the tires and ran to see the disaster. All of our lives changed in that moment. When the ambulance arrived, they actually jacked the van off his right arm. Joe had tire tracks up his chest, but no broken bones except in his wrist. He was unconscious and remained in a coma for the next several weeks. We were all stunned and basically unable to function. The following months of intensive care and surgical procedures were a night mare, and none of us awoke from the shock until he regained consciousness. When he spoke it was a miracle!

And our lives changed again. Years of rehabilitation followed. I was now the young mother of a handicapped child, and his siblings suffered from the lack of my attention. I did my best to make certain they were included in future planning when we moved from that house, and then moved again and again due to circumstances that were far beyond our control. Thirty plus years later, we seldom talk about this day. But it is in the air, a part of our shared history.

All family relationships share history. Some are happy memories and others more complicated like the scene described above. Like water, some are fluid and difficult to recall, some are frozen like ice in our memory, others drift away like steam, never be remembered. But the trauma or residue of difficult memories remains in our tissues. As we get older, the pain of living shows up in our bodies. It often appears as anger or resentment in new relationships when words or actions trigger old hurts. This has been true throughout history and is a natural part of the aging process.

Many different therapies and interventions have evolved to facilitate the relief of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual pain that is part of being human. Some take the form of religious beliefs, others take a more rational, scientific or logical approach. They provide release mechanisms that are opportunities to take action, and consciously let go of past hurts. Smoking, prescription and non-prescription drugs and alcohol, mindlessly watching TV, and shopping are other ways people choose to avoid feeling the hurts. There is nothing wrong with any of these as long as they are done in moderation, including moderate religious beliefs and scientific explanations. The point is to live remembering that life is fluid, and that like water it can also be solid or elusive. As we move from day to day and month to month, from one state of consciousness to another, the best thing to do is let go of the past and LIVE to fullest extent. Find joy and pleasure where we can and Focus on the positive rather than negative outcomes of each situation.