Marriage is one of the few lifetime decisions we make. You meet that special someone -- the person you magically, deeply connect with. It's a high. You're ecstatic. You can barely think of anything else. The love chemical kicks in. You want your marriage to be the experience of bliss in partnership. An attainment sublime, yet not without challenges. Marital bliss is a lot easier than you think -- when you give up the idea that it happens on its own.
RELATIONSHIP - A-DRIFT OR A CREATION
Like everything else, a marriage can drift with the circumstances, flotsam and jetsam on the sea of life -- or with awareness, we can create our marriage consciously with intent.
WHEN YOU WED, YOU WED MORE THAN ONE ANOTHER'S LOVE.
When you finally connect with the love of your life and decide to marry, you wed more than one another's love. The wedding of hearts, souls and minds is also the wedding of families and friends, finances and careers, lifestyles and values, habits and idiosyncrasies.
Without realizing it you bring your "pictures" and expectations of the way you imagine marriage should be, and of what you expect from your partner, often unexpressed. The culture surrounding you instills even more demands.
You each have your personal growth and evolution that you bring into the relationship. In everyday terms we call this your "stuff." When something comes up and you're stuck, both partners suffer -- and you can't seem to move beyond it. How do you return to the sublime music and keep it playing?
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW -
THE 5 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
There are no "how-to steps" to a blissful marriage. Nature doesn't work that way and neither do we. There are, however, essential elements in Nature that have everything work in harmony and beauty.
Riffing off the brilliance of our dear Mother Nature, I have discovered and distinguish here for all who would courageously engage, 5 Essential Elements for A Blissful Marriage That Lasts. When we become aware of the natural elements of marriage, they become our way of life. It's all about creating consciously.
Earth Element - The Foundation of Relationship
Commitment is paradoxical in relationships. We want a 100 percent commitment from the other person, yet we want a back door in case things don't go the way we want them. You get married. You think, of course I am committed. Yet, it is in the shaky moments when that strong foundation of your commitment is most needed.
You know how it is. You are with your partner. Everything is going fine, great. Then you come into a snag in the conversation. Automatic reactions kick in. You feel yourself burning. You think, I don't need this. I don't like it and I don't want it. Furthermore, I don't have to put up with it. I don't have to stay in this relationship. Isn't that the scenario that plays out in our heads?
Even though we know the right thing to say or do, the actual practice of it can get bogged down because of automatic patterns and habits that are outside the field of our awareness. Think as these habits "Least-action pathways" -- the way the energy or the thought goes simply because it has been that route before. Least-action pathways have little awareness to them. The good news is we can interrupt those Least-action pathways -- and create our commitment consciously.
Awareness Practice #1
In any moment of reaction, ask yourself: What is my commitment here?
In that very moment when you catch yourself, you realize, oh, here is that Least-action Pathway popping up. You can ask yourself, What is my commitment here? In the moment of awareness you realize: I want this to work. In the moment of awareness you transcend your reaction and you know your intent is for the relationship to work, for both of you. And the force of your intent shifts everything.
When you view these occurrences from the element of commitment, it grounds you. Generating your commitment consciously in the moment creates a powerful, strong foundation that withstands anything, even an emotional hurricane. This awareness enables you to connect with compassion and love. It enables you to communicate.
Air - The Life Force of Relationship
You hear people say what they want more than anything else in their relationship is communication. More than just words, we seek connection, a state of being related. We desire a sense of being known, of being heard, that the other person actually gets who we are in the moment of communication.
I took salsa lessons a few years ago. In the beginning I was taking the right steps and adapting to my partner's lead, yet I cannot say that was dancing. The quantum leap occurred when I could no longer discern who was leading and who was following -- the dance itself took over. This was the essence of Communication -- being in one conversation where each partner is fully present with the other. The feeling is ecstatic, pure joy, actually blissful.
We have the opportunity for bliss in Communication with our partner in every moment -- when we are listening with our whole being. Listening as a conscious creation is more than hearing the words or being able to parrot them back. Listening with your whole being means you are fully present with your partner. He or she experiences this presence and it literally has the power to unfold magic in your relationship. This requires a present-moment act of consciousness. When you find your mind drifting or free-associating, bring yourself back to what is being said. The dialogue unfolds itself naturally. You experience connection and this is bliss.
Listening with your whole being is a conscious act of caring.
Awareness Practice #2
Listen with your whole being.
Fire Element - The Passion of Relationship
What is a marriage without caring? Impossible! Yet, even caring can be taken for granted or become "circumstantial." Perhaps it's your partner's birthday, or maybe you're just in the mood to be caring that day. When you are confronted with negative outbursts, how caring are you going to be? Will you bring forth compassion, kindness, unconditional love in those challenging circumstances?
Awareness Practice #3
Express caring multi-dimensionally -- with body, mind, spirit and soul.
Caring is one of the most exquisite aspects of a marriage or relationship. On a physical level we express caring through sharing life activities, a home, intimate affection. Energetically, we connect with the full range of emotional experience and expression, tuning in to one another in that special connectedness. We express caring through mind -- caring about what the other thinks and exploring ideas together.
Spiritually, we can see the relationship connecting beyond the ego or personality in the domain of heart. Caring becomes profound when we view our relationship as an opportunity to work on our own spiritual advancement and appreciate our partner for being that opportunity. Esoterically, caring becomes the recognition of our soul connection.
The act of caring, consciously brought forth, is one of the highest ways to stoke the fire of love. It is blissful. Consciousness is key.
Water Element -- The Infinite Possibility of Relationship
Like Water, consciousness takes the shape of whatever contains it.
Your consciousness becomes filled with whatever you choose to focus on. And what you focus on expands. The more you energize something with your attention, the more mass you add to it; the more you make it "real."
To live a conscious life of creation in your marriage, focus on what you do want -- not on what you don't want. You'll find that you won't have to work on the "problems" at all. Focusing on problems keeps them in place. Fill your consciousness with what you want, and it naturally displaces what you don't want. This is so simple.
Stay focused on what you both want.
For example, people grow at different rates. You may be going through a rough life-change period, a career transition, or a confusing time. Perhaps you're experiencing a dramatic spiritual connection or awakening. Whatever is going on for you may be driving your partner crazy. Or vice versa. What will you focus on? In every moment you can choose to hold in consciousness how exasperated you are--or you can create loving space for your partner to go through his/her evolutionary process. Choose the latter and your relationship remains strong and whole and yes, blissful! Creation is essential.
Ether Element - The Creative Essence of Relationship
We've been stating all along that marriage is either created consciously, or it will tend to drift according to whatever circumstances arise. There is no "fixed" way that anything is. Life is totally a Creation. So is marriage a Creation. Your Creation.
One of the most amazing principles we can apply for a blissful marriage is knowledge of "the observer effect." The observer effect means that whatever we are observing is always shaped by how we choose to observe it. This is different than "perception." The observer effect is a conscious Creation, or as I have written about it: What you bring is what you get. The assumptions and conclusions you bring to your observation of your partner and your relationship shape your experience and your outcomes.
This is great news! Every one of us has every human trait potentially within us. Which trait manifests is dependent upon our intent. The element of Creation enables you to "observe" your partner exactly as you would like him or her to be. Create your intent: "Our marriage is forever blissful." Watch the unfolding, and be pleasantly surprised.
Awareness Practice #5
Create and relate to your partner and your marriage in your highest vision.
IS IT EVERY RELATIONSHIP'S DESTINY TO LAST FOREVER?
Who knows for sure? I do know this: When you consciously create your marriage from these five elements, you can have it be blissful while it lasts. "Bliss" is defined as a state of ecstasy or spiritual joy. According to mastery traditions, bliss is our natural state. Why not have our relationships be the source of such divine ecstasy?
Our relationships have a far-reaching effect in the world. When we create peaceful, loving, blissful relationships, our emanation affects the whole planet. As my husband, Alan, said to me, If it's good while it lasts, it tends to last longer.