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Ginger Holczer, PsyD


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Thursday
Jun202013

The Relationship Tango

 

Years ago there was a spam email that made the rounds, entitled, “A Reason, A Season, Or A Lifetime.”  Although it was kind of sappy and lame, I printed it out and copied it because it had a good message–if you could get past the part that said, “Send this email to 10 friends,”…. blah blah blah!  The gist of the email was an explanation of why people come into to your life–for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  It appears that the author is unknown, but the message is a good one that I often repeat with clients who are struggling with some sort of interpersonal loss.  It speaks to the dance we do with other people, whether they are just passing through, or there for the long haul.  Here is my own spin on this poignant poem.

A reason” may be that someone came into your life to answer a need, help you through a difficulty, or perhaps to provide guidance.  The poem says that the encounter may end for any number of reasons, but not necessarily because of any wrongdoing.  It may not last long, but we learn from it if we don’t get caught up with rationalizing and self-blame.

A season” is when a person comes into the picture with the purpose of teaching something you need to know, or maybe an experience that needed to be realized.  But, only for a season.  Maybe it was a lover, someone who taught you to dance, play an instrument, or helped you to find some sort of joy in life.

Lifetime” relationships teach us lessons, helping us to build an emotional foundation.  Keep in mind that these relationships are not always parents or families of origin, as many of us know that families can sometimes hurt more than they help.  The “lifetime” people, whoever they may be, teach us to handle conflict, argue, trust, commit, and love.  It’s not always perfect, but we know they are there: we can move away and come back, always with the warm, comfortable feeling that they are still a part of our lives.

What about your life?  Who are the “reason” people that made an impression on you? What did you take away that was valuable?  Sometimes we find these answers in retrospect, after some time and distance from the situation.  What would you say to this person if you could?  How about the “season” relationships?  What did you learn?  Can you “pay it back?”  Remember to appreciate the “lifetimers” in your life.  How are you contributing to and nurturing these very important relationships?

Sappy, yes, but I like the concept.  I think there is something to the notion that others come and go for many different reasons, leaving their own unique mark, which can alter the way we maneuver through our lives.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday
May222013

look into my eyes...

With many couples, it seems that when they are having difficulty in their relationship, they stop looking at each other.  I have heard people say, "I don't know when the last time was that I actually looked at him/her."  Eye gazing is a big part of falling in love--think about when you were in the beginning of a new relationship, or looking deep into the eyes of a newborn baby.  We could barely take our eyes off the other person! When we are in a conversation or flirting situation and make eye contact, we are practicing a more subtle form of eye gazing.

Eye gazing is an ancient practice found in some Eastern traditions, usually associated with tantra--which is a "soulful" way to connect at a deeper level.  Tantra is a sanskrit word meaning "woven together," which uses sexual union to bring together the physical and spiritual.  Whether this is a notion you can buy into or not, we can't discount the power of eye gazing.

So, give it a go!  Sit cross-legged across from your partner (or mirror, if you want to try this alone).  Set some boundaries as to time, touching or not, how to pull back when your mind wanders, etc.  Start with the left eye--it should be a soft gaze, not a staring contest.  When you feel comfortable to do so, change eyes. Relax and just experience...not judging what arises, and taking in the moment with curiosity and openness.  Try it for 5 minutes or so to begin, extending the time as you get more comfortable.

Discuss the experience with your partner, or if you are eye gazing with yourself, think about what it was like--How did it feel?  Were you able to see beyond the body?  What kind of feelings came up for you?  Try keeping a journal of your eye gazing experiences.

Eye gazing is a powerful exercise  that can develop or awaken intimacy.  Try it with different people in your life, including yourself.  Practice with your partner, both before and during sex to enhance your connection to each other.  The eyes, indeed, are the "windows to the soul."

For the more adventurous, get more information about tantra here.

Friday
Apr192013

Alone...

I found this awesome video awhile ago and was reminded of it today.  Sometimes it's scary to be alone and we surround ourselves with people, things, or even chaos to keep us busy.  When we fill our lives up, we miss what it's like to just be present in our own skin.  Enjoy...

Thursday
Mar212013

Why does good intimacy not always equal good sex?

Many times, sexual desire wanes in long-term, committed relationships.  This issue is addressed in the book, Mating In Captivity, by Esther Perel.  Very eloquently, she tells us how to bridge domesticity and sexual desire.  Recently, she discussed this topic in a Ted Talk that has over a million views--and well deserved. Watch the video here:

Watch with your partner and begin a dialogue about how you can add more passion into your relationship.

Friday
Jan042013

What?! You don't like me?

We all come across people who just don't seem to like us.  Generally, we tend to take it personal and see it as a fault of ourselves, rather than considering that it could be a product of the other person's individual filter or limited perception.  What that means is that the other person has an idea based on their own experiences--and our tendency is to interpret based on that experience.  For instance, we may remind someone of their abusive father, the kid in elementary school that they fought with all the time, or the ex-spouse who never stood up for them.  The point is, it may have absolutely nothing to do with us!

We all want to be liked and if we aren't liked by someone else we can easily get bogged down in feeling bad.  What can we do instead of taking on someone else's projection of us?  Try just accepting that we all have different perspectives, opinions, and interpretations.  When we give others the freedom of acceptance, we can access it for ourselves, letting go of the idea of needing approval so we can spend more of our emotional energy in more positive directions.  This way, we can handle the situation with the spirit of integrity and honoring ourselves.