by Elly van Laar | Oct 11, 2014 | Personal Growth
Sharing humor is a great way to build relationships. That’s what Gottman says. Laughing about each other’s jokes, building on each other’s puns, making funny faces. It doesn’t matter what you do or say, as long as it makes you both laugh. Sharing humor creates a sort of capital that you can draw from in case of emergency. It builds a resilience container that can hold you when you’re in an argument, an exit option from a heated discussion. It helps you see the human face of the person you now see as you’re enemy, because somewhere your brain tells you that this is the same guy, who makes you roll over on the ground in a giddy moment.
It is of course the easiest to build up your humor reservoir in times of happiness, trust, peace, connection, and safety. It is harder to change a habit of frowning, sulking, and chagrining at each others jokes, when you are entrenched in enemy images.
Although I think it is still worth a try. As long as you can laugh wholeheartedly, without any condescending tone, about the pun your husband makes (or your friend, sibling, or co-worker for that matter), or make a funny face back to your wife, or mimic their expression, or do whatever builds a relaxed atmosphere of joy and lightheartedness, do it. Even if just once. It is worth the try and it might relief tension.
Creating a sense of shared humor helps with sex too. That’s what I say. Often we feel embarrassed about our sexual desires, maybe even ashamed. When we introduce some playfulness into our love life, we practice hearing a ‘no’ and not taking it personally. We practice seeing ourselves and our partner as human beings, who want to connect even if they’re not willing to comply with each other’s requests. It certainly makes sex a whole lot more fun and relaxed.
Just try it out.
I’m pretty sure you’ll like it.
You want help to bring more humor in the bedroom? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary discovery session.
by Elly van Laar | Oct 8, 2014 | Compassionate Communication, Mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication, Personal Growth
Let’s talk about sex.
“Sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others”. “Sexual desire is not love”. “Running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair.”
Thich Nhat Hanh’s 5 Mindfulness Trainings. I recite them every day.
Hum, maybe let’s not talk about sex. Sex is a lot about craving, desire, and pure pleasure, so how can it be in alignment with any Buddhist teaching on freeing oneself of craving and attachment?
For the longest time I thought that Buddhist sex is loving, tender, and compassionate, sure, but none of the hot, steaming, erotic stuff that I sometimes dream of.
We read this story this Yom Kippur: Maggid of Zlotchov was asked how Abraham could have kept the laws, if they had not been given yet? His answer was: “All that is needful,” he said, “is to love G*d. If you are about to do something and you think it might lessen your love, then you will know it is sin. If you are about to do something and think it will increase your love, you will know that your will is in keeping with the will of G*d. That is what Abraham did.” I think any Buddhist practitioner would agree that that is what the Buddhist teachings our all about: to relieve suffering, and contribute to freedom, love, and peace.
So how is having hot, erotic, wall-socket sex in alignment with these teachings?
I think one of the greatest acts of courage -the word is grounded in the French words for heart and love: “coeur”- is to be willing to be vulnerable and show up with all our thoughts, feelings, and needs, even those we judge as dark, non-mindful, and despicable. When we are willing to stand our fear and shame, tremble in our vulnerability, and have the courage to risk rejection and ridicule, we are willing to create a sense of intimacy that allows our love to be based in our true self. We share our desires and longings, because we want to be close to our loved one and be known for who we are. We are willing to give ourselves in the rawness of our craving, because we know there is no true love, without true understanding. When we offer our sexual desires and fantasies as precious expressions of who we are, with no demand energy, nor aversion, just openly, freely, and maybe even playfully, they bring more love in the world. They are a vote of confidence and trust in our partner, and they deepen our intimacy.
That is certainly in alignment with Abraham’s law. I guess with Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings too. So put on your sexy outfit and get it going!
You want help to express your sexual desires more freely? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary discovery session.
Thank you Doyle Banks, for inspiring me to write about sex!
by Elly van Laar | Feb 27, 2014 | Compassion, Compassionate Communication, Mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication, Personal Growth
Gosh, I have such fantastic work. I can’t think of a better fit between my qualities and aspirations and what I do right now. My clients are a continuous source of inspiration and hope for me.
Today I talked with Frank. He is getting married. He came in last week, noticing that he was becoming more and more dependent on the approval of his fiancee, her taking the lead, and him complying with her wants and desires. He was losing some of the vulnerability that radiated through the early stages of dating.
We talk about the challenge in committed, intimate relationships of finding balance between autonomy and authentic self-expression on the one hand and togetherness and acceptance on the other. How we often give up on the one in favor of the other, because we just can’t figure out how we can have both at the same time.
Maybe we don’t trust that we matter enough. We cannot imagine anyone caring só much that they are willing to stay, while we pursue our dreams. We cannot imagine that someone will encourage us and stay connected. “Fly on your wings to your destination, I’ll hold you in my heart with unconditional love and acceptance. I’ll wait for you to return.” We think we have to give up on ourselves, hide certain aspects to get the love and acceptance we so long for.
My client is not alone in this. I have certainly thought that more than once. And you probably too.
Today he comes back. He seems tender. He tells me about a conversation he had with his fiancee. He is moved as he shares. He told her he wanted a relationship that was based on their vulnerability, that honored their independence and nurtured their togetherness. She was touched as she listened. She had tears in her eyes and a smile on her face. She wants that too. It is só important to her. She is grateful he brings it up. She feels hopeful that they have what it takes to venture into this unknown land of radical honesty and loving connection.
Today I celebrate that my client is my teacher. Thank you, Frank, for allowing me to witness how vulnerability, self-connection, and authentic expression shift relationships to new levels of intimacy, trust and tenderness. I feel honored working with you.
You want to explore how you can be vulnerable, authentic and intimate with your partner? Contact me 512-589-0482 for a complimentary, discovery session. I would be honored to talk with you.