Consciously-Constructed Relationships

Spirituality is a confusing and loaded concept these days. Many of us had parents who taught us that spirituality can only be cultivated within the archetypes and restrictions of organized religion -- and there are lots of reasons why that just doesn’t feel right in the context of a modern life.

But it’s still really beautiful to hold certain things sacred. And we know that there’s something important that happens in the human brain when we pray, or practice mindfulness, or honor symbols together as a community.

We started this company to offer services & guidance for spirituality and ceremony in the modern world. For us, a strong spiritual practice simply means making a commitment to doing whatever it takes to becoming a better human being, and to acknowledging that you cannot do that work alone.

In order to learn and grow, and to experience rather than frantically & endlessly pursue happiness in our lives, we need each other’s help. We rely on our partner(s), our friends, our colleagues, and our community at large. Through our relationships and resonance with each other, we amplify the higher power that we each carry inside or pray to in times of need.

The truth is, we have some degree of relationship with every human being we encounter, from the cashier at the grocery store to the woman in your office who chats with you about the weather every morning. Some relationships are brief and transactional, some are collegiate and socially-courteous, while others become the defining elements of our lives: family relations, business partnerships, close friendships, sexual connections and romantic relationships.

If we are very lucky, we might meet someone with whom we choose to build a lifelong partnership: a romantic, economic, familial, and/or sexual relationship that will be present in every waking moment and a part of every decision that we make.

"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." ‐ Charles de Lint

But even when we find that magic with someone, it doesn’t mean our other relationships disappear. Outside our partnerships and marriages, we continue to have relationships with other human beings that bring us happiness. Our friends and relatives, and in some cases other partners, fulfill us in ways that our life partner can’t or won’t.

A truly happy lifelong partnership recognizes this truth, and is consciously constructed to make sure that both people have all their needs met in the context of the community that they share. It is one that makes room for friendships and new connections which enrich the lives of both individuals so that they can continuously grow in their ability to love each other better. It is one that prioritizes communication about each other’s real needs and feelings above fairytale dreams and unspoken expectations. Conflicts arise when we create an expectation in a relationship that we haven’t taken the time to feel out or discuss with the other person. Relationships suffer when we seek or expect something that the other person cannot give, does not desire to give, or wasn’t expecting to give.

The kind of proactive communication it takes to overcome false expectation-setting isn’t easy. It requires commitment, practice, and a willingness to embrace the idea of loving without attachment. As the Buddha once said:

"You only lose what you cling to."

We want to love, honor, and cherish our loved ones. But we should aspire to do so with a sense of independence and clarity that allows us to stay grounded in our own sense of self. We don't need to cling to each other to achieve happiness and self-fulfillment because we are whole on our own. Our happiness can be enhanced by our bonds with each other, but it will be degraded the moment we start to blur the line between a healthy bond and an attachment rooted in needing someone else. Attachment in love may at first appear romantic and feel very desirable, but it ultimately breeds co-dependency. We are our best selves in a relationship when we know how to be our best self outside of it, too.

There is peace possible between the two extremes offered by pop culture: between co-dependent, all-consuming "I-am-nothing-without-you love" and independent, fierce "single life." Instead, we seek the balance of interdependent living where we partner with others to consciously construct relationships where everyone's needs are met.

Whatever your sexual or romantic orientation is, the possibilities abound when you make a decision to consciously construct every relationship in your life: to proactively think about and then directly communicate your expectations from each of the people with whom you share time and space.

Whether you’re interested in exploring non-monogamy, have a counseling need in an already established non-monogamous lifestyle, are trying to bring more awareness to your monogamous relationship, or are just interested in growing your personal spiritual practice outside the restrictions and dogmas of a religious tradition, we’re here to help.