What Unlearning About Parenting Taught Me About Being A Better Partner
In 2008, three of the most impactful and empowering philosophies landed in my world.. one from a sex therapist one from a channelled entity, and one from an unschooler.
One introduced the idea of differentiation in relationships, one how we create and are responsible for our world, and the other how we cannot control anyone but ourselves and how to honour the wholeness in each other from this understanding.
spoiler alert: all three philosophies actually taught all of those in wildly different ways and all of those sentences ☝️ could be taken from any of those three sources!
Within months, everything I knew about who I was, about the choices I had, about loving another human being and being in relationship with them, had been turned on its head and replaced with a completely new, liberating, empowering lens on life.
Unlearning everything we think we know..
I’ve really struggled to find a way that felt authentic to me to weave all of these things into what I share about my work. They seemed fundamental to me as a person, yet separate and compartmentalised out in the world – conscious parenting.. conscious sexuality.. conscious romance and relationship.. and embodied, practical spirituality.
But finally(!!), I feel I’ve understood the way that they’ve formed the basis for my methodology as a relationship coach, educator and mentor (and how it’s supported my clients to have such powerful results so quickly, with not only cascades of breakthroughs in record time, but also safe and deeply sustainable shifts in their life and relationships).
Although my work rests in the realm of quite conventional concepts.. a woman in an exclusive, committed relationship with a man.. the way I fundamentally experience relationships, love, sex, healing, communication.. and even parenting and education.. is all founded in a deeply unconventional, compassionate understanding of unlearning everything we think we know, and approaching it in a completely fresh way that is ultimately liberating and results in a relationship that is connected and deeply fulfilling *and* also honours Who You Really Are.
One of the tools I got along the way was a little deck of cards, called the “Unschooling Toolbox“, designed to remind me of the everyday small and simple things I can think about, or do, to keep me on track with unschooling as a whole life philosophy and lifestyle. A way to deprogramme all the unhelpful ways we’re taught to see other people, especially children, that get in the way of meaningful connection with the people we love the most.
it’s always the small and simple acts in every moment where the lasting change happens.
peak experiences are important to shift us out of our stories and unconscious patterns, but it’s what we do after these breakthroughs that determines the course of our life, our love, and our legacy.
This little card from the pack is so simple (as the wisest messages often are), but it’s one I’ve had up behind my kettle for the longest time so that I can see it every time I go make myself a cup of tea.
Truly. What if this next moment became a permanent memory for my child?
* Is this how I want to be remembered?
* Is this how I want them to treat their own child?
* Is this the voice I want them to internalise and repeat to themselves many, many times a day for days, weeks, or years of their life?
i have the power to choose.
To be conscious and intentional with how I share myself.
- How I communicate about my own annoyances, inconveniences, and frustrations.
- Whether or not I lead with empathy and a true desire to connect.
- To engage this other person with curiosity rather than through a lens of projection, blame, or shaming.
? I also have the power to choose how I look for the opportunities to reflect admiration, appreciation, acknowledgement, and affection.
?❤️?? And share them in detail with the other person that is about letting them know that we really ‘see’ them.
? And to let them know why I feel that about them, the positive impact that it has on my world, which is always better than generalised or meaningless ‘praise’ which has the unintentional effect to harm more than lifts up.
umm.. How does this relate to my relationship?
You know what?
This is exactly how to love your partner too!
Of course, as another adult, they are responsible for themselves in a way your child isn’t.
However, if we are able, for a moment, to put aside the stories that ‘we know’ about them and wonder instead ‘who is this person in front of me?‘ what could be different?
Some ideas to take home and think about, and maybe journal about or talk through with a trusted friend:
* How do you communicate your needs and wants?
* How do you communicate about what’s not working for you?
* How do you choose to see him?
* What do you share with him about the many ways you see him?
* Do you tell him what you appreciate about him – specific qualities he has as a man, as well as for specific things he’s done?
If you were to ask yourself the next time you’re interacting with your man.. what if this next moment between us becomes a permanent memory, would you do or say anything differently?
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If you're ready to have fundamental emotional, energetic, and mindset shifts about your relationship with the man you love, that can open the door to a way of relating that is refreshingly honest, deeply intimate, and incredibly fulfilling, and you'd like to have a real and deep conversation with me about how I can help you to do that, then let's talk.
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