“We are as sick as our secrets”. –AA
It’s in every yoga studio, in every eyelash extension salon, 6:30pm at the liquor store, and tucked away in the phrase, “Let’s have a girls night.” Cities like Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Denver, and New York all house these beautiful women who are holding onto a secret. Some of these women have some things in common and proudly belong to the division known as “Boss-ass Babes”. A group of them are top executives and a few are artists turned savvy business women who, on the surface, seem to “have it all”.
She has an Instagram account full of pictures of tropical vacations, afternoon rose wine, curated meals that some hipster dreamed up, and fashion. There’s a lot of networking and late nights that show up on her Instagram stories. And, it’s just that, it’s a story.
The door closes on the yoga studio and the heat is turned up to 109 degrees. “Andrea” has on her lululemon hot yoga shorts and a bondage inspired sports bra. Her 5’4 frame looks elongated as she stands tall in tree pose. She convinced her friend “Vanessa” to join her for this early morning class, “To burn off last night and because the teacher–Keegan–is so hot.” “It will be great and then we can get a green detox drink after!” she promises her sluggish friend.
Vanessa doesn’t make nearly as much money as Andrea does and she has had to fall back on her parents several times since her breakup had such an impact on her online clothing business. Andrea came up from the middle, got a scholarship to an Ivy-league school, and landed a top tech firm job that flies her all across the world. These two women met through mutual friends who were into fashion and they became “besties”.
As sweat runs down Vanessa’s back, she is quietly questioning her life choices while simultaneously trying to keep her focus on when to transition from one pose to another. Half way through the class, she gives up and walks out. “Fuck this!” Andrea feels embarrassed but finishes the class, and then after she puts herself together for work, texts “Megan”: Vanessa is such a train-wreck! I can’t believe she bailed on yoga this morning!
Megan is in the middle of a meeting and shoots back a poop emoji and a LOL face. If there were a pack leader, Megan would be it. She was engaged, running a seven-figure fitness business, lives in Los Angeles but has a condo in New York that had been in the family for generations, and she defers big decisions to her spiritual guru shaman. She is sleek with perfect hair (extensions), a designer wardrobe, and a beautiful Mercedes.
These women and those like them drive commerce in the Western World. Their hearts are in a pretty good place, and despite knowing about the Law of Attraction, their minds are in turmoil. What Andrea doesn’t know about Vanessa is that Vanessa is on antidepressants she washes down with a bottle of Malbec, most nights of the week. On the nights she’s not chasing her pills with booze, she is on a date with another “rando”. And she’s chasing her booze with cheep sex. But, this isn’t the big secret because when all the girls are together–the tigers and the ringleader–they laugh and joke about dating, sex, butt-plugs, and do their best to one-up each other’s ability to be salacious.
Megan feels like she has dirt on both Andrea and Vanessa since they both complain to her about the other one. She also feels better than them because she is engaged. For Megan, life is going “according to plan”. But, she didn’t plan on her sex-life being so dry and flat. She didn’t plan on feeling envious of Vanessa’s ability to hook up and move on.
Both Megan and Vanessa think Andrea is totally put together. But, what Andrea doesn’t share is that she spends way to much money on Amazon.com around 3am in the morning because she can’t sleep; her anxiety keeps her up.
Hints of these secrets show up when they get together and “get four bottles deep”. It’s not that they are bad. It’s not that therapy hasn’t worked. It’s that in yoga class, in the eyelash salon, in the liquor store, and after “girls night”; the ache of living with broken hearts, guilt, shame and emptiness is there.
Love is packaged and sold as a drug in these circles. We binge watch shows like The Bachelor and Say Yes to the Dress. No one is keeping up with the Kardashians; although some of us are still trying to emulate them. None of us feel really great about our bodies. We all have had a version of childhood that left holes in our psychology. A handful of us drifted into the “plant medicine” world. And using catch phrases like, “I’m enough” is just enough to get us to the next day.
But, the medicine isn’t in the stack of self-help books we buy but don’t actually read. It’s circulating through podcasts but only as information. The medicine isn’t in a “mindset” coaching formula, singular church service, or twelve-step gatherings. Broken hearts and empty spaces are healed through the conversations that happen in Breakup Rehab.
It doesn’t matter what her name is–she is lost. I’ve been her. I am her. And what I know to be true is that rehabilitation brings us back home again.
Allen Ginsberg elucidates this by saying, “And while I’m here, I’ll do the work. And what is the work? To ease the pain of living–everything else is a drunken dumbshow.”
We are fallible humans that pass down the lineage of guilt to one another like it was an explanation for existence. It’s not. Life cannot be explained nor can it be lived fully with misunderstanding. Access to unconditional love and the peace that coincides with it requires a commitment few can integrate but in retrospect. Love is nothing and everything.
And it’s there, in the quiet moments, in our prayers, at all hours of the day, in our asking and in Breakup Rehab.
Being married doesn’t make you more legit than being single anywhere else in the world besides government.
The ceremony of a white dress,exchanging vows, and family gathered around will endure as a capstone in the evolution of our lives. However, some of us who have not yet had the experience of getting and being married feel like we are failing at life.
I’m going to out myself on this one and say that having made it to 38 years old without children, student loan debt, or a husband feels like both an accomplishment and like a failure. I’m like a virgin in the dating market, but I’ve been touched many, many times. Yet, no one has ever stuck around long enough to take the long walk down the aisle.
And I know I’m not alone. In fact, I’m guessing that there are a few other relationship therapists out there giving advice to couples about how to have a healthy relationship who have also never been married. We teach what we need to learn; each with our unique perspective.
So, to the point of married people getting tax breaks and access in hospitals, legislation is slow moving and oftentimes antiquated. Thanks to “The Gays” some structures have changed when it comes to permissions partners are given. But, I’m not a lawmaker and I don’t know much about that world. But, what I do know is the often devastating impact mental isolation can have on individuals who buy into the notion that they are less-than because they are single.
Don’t get me wrong, being single is isolating. The lone-wolves of this world have found a way to diminish feelings of discomfort by being hyper-independent. And as a recovering lone-wolf I will say, the hurt is still there.
Sleeping alone is great when it’s a rare occasion. But, when a whole decade goes by of sporadically sharing a bed with quasi-boyfriends and poor excuses for a lay, you just want to lay down and die. Eating out because it’s easier than cooking for yourself can be parlayed into the whimsical hobbie of being a “Foodie”. But, when you can’t work of the extra pounds or pay off the credit card bill from always going out as not just a source of sustenance but to curb loneliness, it can feel like living in an abyss. Interacting with artificial intelligence on dating sights to try to match you with someone with actual intelligence can make masturbation seem like the only smart thing to do.
There a lot of things we can do to distract ourselves from the terror “Dying alone.” Some people even beat death to the punch and become nihilists, goths, or republicans. Even democrats band together to try and make meaning of this life. But, government and political parties aside, what is it about being single that feel like shit?
Let’s just take a moment and have a collective sigh around the fact that even though there are good things about being single, it still feels like shit. I don’t want to be single. I want to have a partner that helps me grow our dreams. I want to give up the hunt for sex and just have sex with the person I like a lot. I want to go do things with someone who I trust and who makes me laugh. And while all directions point to self-love and being the person you want to be with, I have spent years cultivating better versions with me only to end up with me. It feels like shit.
You know why? Because every day we wake up to a rejecting world that delivers the message, you are special but not that special. Just think about the name of the industry that has supplanted organized religion as the bastion of salvation–self-help. It is organized around entropy. We are trained to reject ourselves and save ourselves at the same time.
We need relationships and we need to know, in a world of 8-billion people, how to have a successful and sustainable life-long relationship with a partner. In my years on this earth, I have learned a simple truth: When you ask for an outcome you get a process first. For the majority of inhabitants on this earth participating in a peaceful and healthy relationship is possible. But, it won’t happen for everyone in the same decade, at the same stage of life, contingent on the same socioeconomic status or geographic placement.
Some people will find the love of their life at 50 after three divorces and recovering from a drug addiction. Other people will get married out of high-school and die together never knowing what sex with another human felt like. A lot of us will have two or three significant relationships but spend most of our life being single. Those of us with pets may find that relationship more gratifying than with humans. Then there are the deviants whose function on this earth is to murder, rape, and terrorize. There are all different dimensions of relationship ranging from the emotionally sound to the pathologically mentally ill.
The mechanics of relationship most often displayed on in our culture are a mix of mental disorders and sensationalized drama. “Cut a bitch” is an actual phrase people use to express themselves when they feel their needs are going unmet.
There will be a level of life we settle in at and occupy for the majority of our lives. We can continue to change and grow if doing so is a priority. The only advice I can give to anyone is to take care of what is in front of you. If you reach a point in your life where you feel unsatisfied or even just disgusted by how things have been, then invest your time into making thing how you wish them to be. But, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. It won’t get you anywhere but upset, angry, and depressed.
Being single and being married both have their moments of bliss. But, if you compare one to the other both can feel like shit. So, as the saying goes, “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” Assess where you are, examine the choices that got you there, and if you want something different then find the person or system that can help create that for you by education on how. Learning soothes the ache of comparison and that’s legit!
These and other labels are often used as descriptors for relationships we engage in where one person is more attached than the other, one person is fixated on fixing the other, and one person feels a deep sense of remorse when the relationship ends while the other person remains unmoved. In fact, these type of relationships seem like they are a dime a dozen–easy to come by but difficult to let go of.
Why is this the case?
It’s because many of us equate intensity with love. In our stupor we choose people who are projects and not partners. What is the difference between the two? The process.
So, what is a partner?
No matter how spectacular they were or how horrible they seem, our parents are not our partners. They were our initial care givers. And here is where all of us mess up. We think that a partner is someone who will take care of us. Nope. A partner is someone who can fully support themselves, be emotionally articulate, and in addition to running their life can also include you in it as well.
A partner is someone you can depend upon who communicates clearly. They work with you in a way that improves both of your lives. In fact, partnership is an active state that both parties in the relationship contribute to. Each person has a vested interest in the other person’s well being. This often means non-interference in one another’s lives as a deep trust has been fostered between the two. Each person is an invitation to the other into expanded awareness.
While it’s true that a partner can demonstrate caring by performing remedial tasks such as laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, and generating a steady income, that is not where his or her worth lies. When basic needs are attended to it does promote stability. But, the real treasure of having a partner is in the growth it inspires.
When we get married or join our lives with someone who is a partner, we often trade how we were raised for who we want to be in this lifetime. We are able to be reborn inside the relationship time and time again because we can trust that growth promotes the well-being of the couple. This brings us to the second huge mistake we all make when trying to “find” our partner.
We think, “I can’t be needy.”
The denial of our needs is the very thing that turns companionship into a competition. Denial of needs fosters anxiety that shows up as urgency.
When you find a partner it will feel peaceful. The urgency of “figuring it out” or “locking it down” will be replaced with a time of discovery. However, in the mad dash for resources and to come out ahead, we often approach relationships like a race. The less “needy” we pretend to be is supposed to promote efficiency. But it does the opposite. It actually complicates things.
When urgency is applied to partnership it becomes a project. In fact, most people default to their childhood upbringing as a measure of their potential mate. Project relationships begin with empty promises. A lot of them begin in the online dating market & we package ourselves as something we are not.
We price ourselves like items at a grocery store. Isle one–whores. Isle two–playboys. Isle three–intellectuals. Isle four–romantics. Isle five–pragmatists. Isle six–spiritually evolved. It’s a marketplace predicated on lies.
The primary lie is that “If I get a partner, it will make my life better.” And by “better” we mean more certain. In fact, studies have shown that only 15% of of the population is truly invested in personal growth. So, that means, for the other 85% relationships are where they go to die and fight about it on the way to their grave.
Women are often faulted with wanting to change their men. However, it could be said that men wanting women to be simple is also a gross amendment. People who get into project relationships come with a list of fixed needs and a fanciful idea of what a relationship is supposed to supply. It has plenty of sex to satisfy at least one person in the party. It has enough joy and happiness to last a lifetime. It takes little effort and should “just feel easy.” And above all else, each person will “just know they found the one.”
These and other rhetorical fallacies lead to a battle for power. The toilet seat being left up isn’t about the toilet seat–it is about “disrespect”. Dinner not being cooked is not about dinner–it is about not being seen. Lack of sex isn’t about lack of sex–it’s that pleasure has become a burden. Coming home from work on time isn’t about coming home from on work on time–it is about trusting in the fidelity of the relationship. Getting tested for STI’s isn’t just about the health of the body—it is about loyalty. But, in a relationship that is a project, people don’t talk about the underlying issues.
Women become bitches and men become distant. Or men become possessive assholes and women become manipulative seducers. Each person just picks away at surface issues. “Why are you wearing that?” “You are getting fat.” “How much money do you make?” Since what is being felt isn’t being spoken both people in the relationship are totally unsatisfied. Some people deal with this by jumping from one short term fling to the next. Others grit it out over twenty years until “the kids are grown” and then get divorced. Both parties become jaded with no escape from their insatiable lust. It’s hell on earth.
So how do you pick a partner and not a project?
In a word–Aliveness.
Anyone or anything that sucks your energy is a fucking waste of time. I can’t be any more clear than this. If you are spending more than five minutes wondering “Why didn’t he text?” If you are on the phone with your girlfriends saying things like, “If he would just do this one thing, then things would be great.” If your mind is on overdrive on “how to fix this” then you are not with a partner. The marker of partnership is clear and open communication from day-fucking-one!
You say what you mean and mean what you say. You are responsive to one another. You check in and fill each other in on your day. You give each other space to be individuals. You grow together through your diversity. And you actively let go of the past.
A project relationship is like dating the walking dead. We all have fetishes and dating emotional zombies might be one of yours. But, if you want to knock that shit off and actually inhabit your life, you must be invested in your personal growth. You must be willing to give all you are to your relationships: your calling, your career, your passions, your sex life, your love life, your spiritual practice, and to your partnership. This requires expanding beyond the edges of “how life should be.”
So, if you feel more alive, expansive, supported, and awake in a relationship chances are it is a partnership. But, if you feel drained, confused, angry, or frustrated chances are you picked a project. The choice is yours.
There is a secret men are keeping from women.
In fact, this privileged information often lingers at the edge of awareness and can only be truly understood once actions devolve into consequences.
It’s not that men are keeping something from us women as we so often think they are when we prompt them to “Tell us what you are thinking.” The answer is binary. It’s either “nothing” or some mitigated overwhelm of racing thoughts jumbled up with ubiquitous emotions.
Simply, at his core, a man is not as complicated as women make them out to be. However, add heartbreak to the mix and even the most conscious evolved man becomes lost.
In fact, I think it is fair to say, there is one energy that can change a man–and it is that of a woman who knows her worth. Hear me. When a man loves a woman he has a purpose. As the lyric says, “He would trade the world for the good thing he found.” In the Bible–the book of books–Proverbs 18:22 says that, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the LORD.”
The journey begins here–between the love of a man and a woman. Of course there are different configurations and for the sake of brevity, we will peer into this man’s journey.
The Search is Over:
Each person wakes to promises made and promises kept. The day unfolds and vows are renewed with each chore completed. He might even call this “family life.” Sure, he longs for the great adventure that lives inside of us all–the whale and the Captan. But, in some strange way, remaining content is the adventure. He feels steady and certain of his choices. It mostly goes unspoken, yet he feels respected. There is a cadence to the disagreements that happen. But, he does not feel alarmed. It’s smooth sailing. Sex is good. Work is paying the bills. Friends meet at the gym. Everything is okay, until it’s not.
Everything is Okay:
Sure, there were some arguments that didn’t get finished. Yes, there were those few days where he didn’t feel physically good but didn’t think anything of it. Yes, work was taking more and more of his time. But, he didn’t notice. He just showed up and did what he needed to do. Of course, he complained to his drinking buddies and by daylight, all was forgotten. Then, sex didn’t feel quite the same. It’s not that there was less of it, but there was something missing. She noticed more than he did. She didn’t say anything. Then she did say something. Then she wouldn’t stop saying things. Then she suggested therapy. He felt defensive. He felt insufficient. He felt like therapy was making things worse, like he was being ganged up on by the therapist. A indescribable but visceral dissatisfaction set in. He pushed through it by remembering the days when everything was calm and steady. Sure, drinking and jerking off had increased but it seemed justified given the pressure he was under. His watching porn was easy and it wasn’t hurting anyone anyway.
Little did he know, that the most excruciating pain of his life was about to surface. The relationship, the partnership, the companionship, the challenge of being a better man with a purpose came to an end. She left.
She is going to be okay. It’s going to hurt like hell for her with an immediacy he won’t experience. She will talk to friends, join a gym, and find herself again. On the surface, he will show signs of stress, he may even cry, he may look unaffected, but the truth is, he is falling into an abyss.
It’s not that she was everything, it’s just that all the things he had to do to get her, all the rejection he had to go through, and all the insecurities he tempered to be in that relationship are back with a vengeance. Emotions feel like a sarcophagus because a death has happened and his only chance at resurrection is another woman.
The instinct that was tamed by purpose now runs wild. It is ruthless and will even turn on him in the darkest hours of the day. Work is still work. Food, sex, porn, hobbies, and the trappings of life serve as distractions to the devastation. But, what this man doesn’t know is that he has left his body on autopilot. The lights are on but nobody’s home.
Return to the Hunt:
So, he loads an app on his phone and begins to hunt. Not quite sure what he is searching for but leaning on the believe he will know when he finds it, minutes of the day slip by one swipe at a time. He could buy sex if he needed to, but it hasn’t come to that. In this space, he is not quite sure if he is predator or prey.
The phone screen lights up. A match is made and a texting conversation begins. He doesn’t want to come off as a creep because that will hurt his odds. By some miracle, she agrees to a date. He knows he just wants to get laid. But, he is surprised by how charming and sweet she is. A familiar attraction stirs, followed by fear.
Much of this goes unacknowledged as he is focusing his energy on trying to be interesting. Then a few hours pass, and nothing happens. He feels deflated, goes home, jerks off, and goes to sleep convinced, it was her and not him.
Weeks go by with scattered matches, no real results and increasing frustration. He can’t forget about his ex but has too much pride to contact her. Even when they do talk, a numbness like London fog fills his body. Months pass, a few short relationships come and go having reached their crechendo with the phrase, “I’m just not ready for a relationship.”
The scars of being ghosted one to many times don’t even register because he is guilty of the same cowardly behavior. Motivational videos seem to have a temporary effect just as watching sports does. It feels good to have money, but worthless at the same time.
Dating becomes an exchange of lies. He pretends to be ready and she pretends to be unassuming and easy to be with. He feels afraid to let her in and she starts losing interest. He feels restless and thinks about changing his job, reads adventure magazines, and to the outside world looks well adjusted.
The secret that he is blissfully unaware of is that everything he is doing to keep it light and easy, to have a no drama relationship, and to stay detached is killing him.
Die To Yourself:
And from this women to that man, go ahead a die. You sir, are a decrepit waste of time. You are a lesson we women have learned over and over like rape at a college party. It’s not consensual. It is something we workout after the fact. The secret is that until you can reconnect to the feminine essence, the war between us will kill us all. No one will remember your journey beyond the hidden scars passed down from one generation to the next. But, legends are made from brave hearts and the lifeblood that flows in them comes from her.
Look into a woman’s eyes and realize that you won’t know who you are without her; that your very existence is meaningless without her essence. Battle the terror of being rejected until you are unaffected to the point that the treasure you gained from that fight becomes the kingdom you gift women with.
Women love men who love us. We love you for loving us. But, the liars, the infantilized fools who chace vagina for redemption can go to hell. Your disembodied corps can take your death elsewhere because it is no secret that you require a woman to come back to life.
Reverence for Life:
Show a little respect. Rather than just take from us, take your time with us. Trade the world for the good thing you have. She can be your friend. She can be your lover. She can and has been your mother.
But, if you cannot wake up to the good thing in front of you, she will be your undoing and your journey will end with nothing to show for it but wreckage.
How many of us have tried online dating only to feel disappointment with the process? It’s not that it doesn’t work. It does. And each online relationship begins by having to sort through who wants to hookup, who doesn’t, and the basic getting to know you interview that mostly peters out after a few texts. Yet, apps are always there. Not everyone tries online dating. But, for those that do, we know how it can be used with benevolent and nefarious intent.
This is the first of a series of letters I’m sharing because I know the emotions that are coupled with not being in a couple. I know the desire to find my life partner only to come up short one swipe at at time. And I want you to know, you are not alone.
What if you could choose something different that reactive relationships? What if you could have healthy love? Would you know how to choose it?
Listen, most of us take time to arrive at a point in our lives where we feel truly free–limitless even. We have to fight through layers of old beliefs and opinions. Yet something inside of all of us knows that we are meant to have what belongs to us. We are meant to create, to love, to have friends, to travel, to have money, to have lots of money and to live free. We need more than an app for that.
We need true connection and that is what Breakup Rehab and Freedom Elite Counseling provide. If you’ve not signed up for your free consultation do so now.
Click this: http://bit.ly/BRXCO
Yoga and Breakup
“Down dog! Sit! Stay! That’s how most of us feel about our thoughts and feelings after a breakup. We’d much rather lay on the sofa and look at yoga poses much less do them. But, here’s the thing, in order to be able to eat, sleep, and function like a sane human you have to “get on the mat”.
Before we talk about exactly what poses you need to do in order to get immediate relief from you breakup, I want to talk to you about yoga.
The west got it’s grips on yoga back in the 1920’s when Paramahansa Yogananda came to the US and founded the Self-realization Center, in Encinitas, California. Yoga wasn’t about “cute butts” and lululemon pants back then. And the type of yoga you will be doing to heal isn’t about that now either. It’s a spiritual path.
Yoga means to “yoke together” mind, body, and soul. The moment that yoga stops being just exercise and starts being the sum of your parts is when you have to bring dedicated attention to the details of the practice such as how you splay your fingers, the quality of your breath, the nuance of each movement from one pose to the next.
One focused sun salutation can take up to twenty-minutes if all the parts of the movement are slowed down and connected to fully. It removes us from the hurried pace of taking the magnificent animal that is our body for granted. Just ten seconds of uninterrupted attention shifts the chemistry of our body from reactive to receptive.
And for you to get through the fucking torment of your breakup you are going to need to be receptive. In fact, if you aren’t you will make false judgments and conclusions that result in dysfunctional behavior. I know the goddamn articles online talking to you about “loving yourself” or “using your breakup to become better.”
Listen, we all suck and we all are gods. You don’t need to “become better.” What is required now is awareness. That awareness will be curated and incorporated in your life though yoga. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know about yoga because every time you practice that is a new experience that demands your full awareness.
So, the first thing I’m going to have you do is to breathe deep. This is the foundation of yoga—the breath.
Pranayama is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force.
Begin with three-part breath.
- Sit up with an erect spine (I also laugh when I read the word erect).
- Roll your shoulders down and back opening up your chest a bit.
- Now inhale feeling your belly push out (The beer belly look on purpose).
- Then feel your ribs expand while your chest rises.
- This breath will drag along the back of your throat and through your sinus passages, which makes it sound a bit like waves.
- If you are confused watch this video I googled to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwFy62iU5uE
Okay, if you did this for even 3 minutes you can be done for the day and go back to your self-loathing. Or you can dive a little deeper and practice Maitri.
Maitri is a type of loving-kindness meditation. In fact you don’t even have to practice it right away. You can just take five minutes to watch Pema Chödrön explaining it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiLH6es4_d8
That can be enough for today as long as you commit to do this every day. You commit to practice attention to your breath and Maitri. I taught yoga for 3 years. So, if you want deeper guidance into the practice one pose at a time, one principal at a time, and one moment at a time please reach out to me to set up a consultation.
Also, I’ve requested various yoga studios and teachers leave their comments below so that you can choose a studio near you and use yoga to navigate your breakup.
I love you so much dear soul. You belong here. Your continued breath is proof of that. Tend to it and it will give you gifts you never thought were possible.
I also encourage you to join my email list so that you can get tips on how to use yoga to heal your breakup and many other amazing tools that provide you with immediate relief as well as the ability to turn your pain into power.