This morning I hopped on Facebook to chat about my early explorations in polyamory. As always, I want your questions on sex, relationships, and heart space. You can send them to me here.
I’m on a quest to do more for myself than I’ve ever done before. More healing, more growth, more knowledge and power. I’m tackling each day with as much mindfulness as I can muster, now that the crushing sadness of last year’s heartbreak has shifted.
Today, I’m struck by how deeply ingrained certain patterns are when it comes to romantic relationships. I’ve committed to trying out this polyamory business. This idea of finding meaningful physical and emotional connection outside the parameters of monogamy.
Polyamory (n.) — The practice of participating simultaneously in more than one serious romantic or sexual relationship with the knowledge and consent of all partners
But there are certain parts of me that seem deeply conditioned for monogamy, and I wonder if there can be space for both. If any of you poly types are reading this, I’d love your thoughts in the comments section below.
Here are a few things that I’m noticing:
I fall for the idea/fantasy I’ve created of someone before really knowing them. I’ve got such an active imagination, and I live for characters. So many times in my life, I’ve fallen into that ‘head over heels’ narrative, only to be devastated when the person I’ve placed on a pedestal reveals their less desirable human frailties. How about I take some time to see if all that surface attraction can be supported by some excellent values and qualities?
I’ve believed that I need a partner in order to be fulfilled romantically. I’ve moved on from thinking that I need a partner to complete me in any way, or to have a richer life. I don’t think that there is one great soulmate that I am destined to be with in this lifetime. However, I seem to be holding on to this notion that if I’m going to share heart and bed space, there needs to be one lover who rises above the rest. I’ve created this idea that I’d like a primary partner.
What if my life could be just as rich without a primary? For those of you who don’t know, a primary partner is the romantic relationship that takes top billing in a polyamorous lifestyle. Not all poly people have a primary, but those who do tend to treat that relationship more like a traditional partnership. Primaries set their own ground rules and boundaries that are mutually adhered to. I’m not anti-primary, but I think I need to shift from feeling that this is an end goal.
I want to fill up all of my brain space and physical space with a new lover who I happen to be excited about. I realize this is largely a chemical response that is driving me to procreate, but still, I’d like to think I’ve evolved past this. Sure, I can feel like I need a cold shower anytime a certain someone blips on my radar (every hour, by my last count), but I don’t have to act on that. Instead of texting incessantly, I can pour that frenzy into my art. Or into self-pleasure. Or a good work out. I love that feeling of delicious passion and attraction, but I’m growing to love my solitude and self-reflection just as much. Sometimes more because I can ugly cry to Netflix shows and fart in bed.
I confuse incredible chemistry with anything other than the chemical reaction that it is. I believe sex is sacred and holy. When I’m in that space with someone, I feel like I’m deep in prayer. I feel the essence of life, and my connection to the universe in that space. This is one of my superpowers. So, I suppose it’s easy to see why, in the very rare moments when I match with someone in a balanced, sober level of attraction, I can get confused.
There’s always the possibility that this delicious chemistry can produce something lasting and precious, but that only happens with time, and careful tending. And seeing people clearly when the fuck fog has dissipated. Amazing sex goggles can be real bastards. What’s more, it is my right to appreciate and enjoy this kind of sizzling sexuality without having to define it or label it to make it more palatable to anyone. Sometimes, people are going to enter my life only to rattle my headboard. That’s totally okay.
I start to set aside my desire to explore other people when I find someone I really click with. I’ve dated people who have basically said ‘if you give your partner permission to be with other people, sometimes that’s all they need in order to be able to walk away from that temptation.’ Testing the boundaries of monogamy to continue to exist in monogamy isn’t really the point. I see how polyamory might be a form of self-protection for me. I haven’t had this much therapy to be blind to that, but I’ve earned the right to protect myself and see how this particular shield serves me.
I believed that I was polyamorous before, and therefore know what I’m doing. Though my last relationship started as a valiant attempt at polyamory, it ended up a lot more like polygamy. The reality is that I did not feel like I had the freedom to explore my own desires in an authentic way, and the lines of communication were not the clear and open channels people need to succeed in the polyamory experience.
I am more interested in a scenario where I get to articulate my own needs and wants, and then realize them. If I end up with a primary, we would both ideally be self-aware and articulate about our needs and desires, and hopefully those would line up well. Meanwhile, I have so much to learn about how to be careful with other people’s pride, their hearts, their fragile egos, their valued needs, while still making sure mama gets the love she wants.
Lovers who feel they can’t be enough for me. If I have chosen to share space with you, it is because I want to share my own space with you. I don’t need you to fulfill me, or to fill in any of my cracks. Oh wow, I walked into so many crude jokes there, didn’t I?
I want to walk with you, but I don’t need you to hold me up. I’m not comparing you. I’m enjoying your unique skills, insights, dreams, desires. I like the way your energy swirls with mine. The space we share is ours and ours alone. I enjoy what is unique about you.
Polyamory allows people to show up exactly as they are, and offer only what they have. This is only possible when you let go of the notion of one person being everything you need in one partner for the rest of your life. Maybe we’ll keep choosing to walk with each other until we’re done with walking, but I’m not out to find that. I’m out to find me and that’s the lifelong union I’m committed to.
Is this a selfish quest I’m on? Possibly. Could I get a few months into this and decide it isn’t for me? Sure. I’m giving myself that space for authenticity. I will say though, the more I resist my old monogamous patterns – the old ideas that there is another ‘half’ to me in someone else, the more of my own power I see.
I’m not out to break hearts. I think any of my lovers, or potential lovers, will vouch for how clear I’ve been about my journey through polyamory. Our needs and desires aren’t always lining up, but that’s life. I value each of them and the space they have shared with me. I feel a thrill when I think of the new companions I will meet and experience. This feels like an adventure instead of a minefield, and I absolutely love that dating is fascinating, and strange, and fun.
It’s a whole new ballgame when you become your own special someone.
I’m going live on Facebook on January 30th at 9 pm EST to discuss polyamory and to answer your dating, relationship and sex questions. Send me your questions, or suggestions for topics you’d like to discuss below. I promise to protect your anonymity.
What does love look like when you’ve exhausted every convention, and tried everything you knew how to do to make it last? Does one resign oneself to the notion that they ‘aren’t the marrying kind’? Do they give up on any type of domesticity with a person to share that with?
I see a path where I’m a lone wolf, only keeping company when mood and opportunity align. There’s something deeply alluring about that path. And yet…I just can’t stop chasing this notion that somewhere out there, a true Pegasus awaits. Some mythical, winged beast of a man who can land in my unicorn pasture and slay convention by my side.
Here’s what I know about love and partnership. Here’s how I’m working to define what love could look like again:
Truth and transparency is more important than monogamy.
Truth can only come from self-awareness. I need a partner committed to realizing their higher self and understanding and articulating their own needs.
All we have is the present moment. I want someone who can occupy the present with me and who will strive to remain there.
My sexuality is sacred. My passion runs deep. In the rare instances where I’ve been met with chemistry and connection that seem equally balanced, my heart and soul get involved faster than I want them to. I need to learn to be the master of that powerful energy.
I want to cook with someone, nurture them and care for them. Help them articulate and realize their dreams while feeding my own fire and realizing my own dreams. I want to lavish them with love, and I want that kind of willingness to reciprocate.
My children deserve someone who will adore them and bring something beautiful into their lives. I want someone who will love my children as their own, while understanding that their role isn’t entirely parental.
My place of pain limits me just as anyone else’s does. I don’t want to be on a pedestal. I want someone who will navigate the dark waters with me.
Family and my family of friends are deep and powerful connections in my life. I need someone who also knows what this means. I want to merge our tribes and have a house full of memory-making.
I want to see someone as they truly are and still love what I see.
I want a lifetime of playful, adventurous, sacred sexuality. I want to feed and nurture that with my partner with as much loving attention as we give to all of the other important facets of our life. I want to honor that space by showing up in my honesty and vulnerability, by exploring and experimenting, by challenging boundaries, and I want to do this as a unit.
I want a horned god that I can worship, who will fall to his knees before the goddess in me.
I want an intense and visceral physical attraction that is reciprocated. I want to know how much my partner loves the way I look, feel, smell and taste.
I need someone with true alpha energy, not that bullshit toxic masculinity, to create space for me to enjoy my alpha female tendencies. I want that primal shit, but back when they worshiped voluptuous goddesses. (Does anyone else feel like this is an entire blog post right here?)
I am an artist. I need someone who has their own passions that they are compelled to explore, just as I am compelled to lose myself in my writing. I need my partner to have tremendous respect for my artistic space and my talent.
I want a kind of hedonism that is tempered by consciousness, financial responsibility, healthy living, and self-care. Is that a thing? Can we start a movement?
As I type these words I find myself laughing. How could any one person tick off these boxes? Have I become so jaded that I’ve raised the bar to Olympian heights because I’m too afraid to be hurt again?
Some of you will read this and say, “Why not be all of those things to yourself?” I am. I strive to be, every damn day. I’m really nailing this, as a matter of fact. It’s a good exercise; list everything you dream of in a partner, and then be all of those things.
I’m not lonely, and I’m okay alone, but to allow myself to imagine the kind of life I could live, with my flanks cooled by the powerful wings of a Pegasus? Now that’s the kind of magic that I want.
Meanwhile, the grass is tasting pretty sweet in this unicorn pasture of mine.
“All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” – Peter Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life
I’ve been thinking a lot about the year that’s about to begin. One of my great lessons from 2018 is that I can do very little to control how things will unfold in life, so it seems a bit silly to think of what kind of year I’d like to have in 2019.
The other most powerful lesson from 2018 is how much I can influence the way I feel about whatever life throws. I can consciously choose where to focus my emotion and intent. And so, as far as resolutions go, this is my plan. I’ll focus on where to put my energy.
Saturday was a perfect day. It began in the waters at Body Blitz, surrounded by beautiful, powerful women. I was in heaven; so calm and so glorious in my body. Then we shared a meal with some of our babies and some of our men. There was love and sweetness all around me, and I carried all of that glow into what turned out to be a completely magical evening.
The holidays surprised me. I’ve done enough repair with my exes that we could share time over the course of three whole days, to be with our kids. It was bittersweet, but I was so grateful for that restored sense of family and connection. I knew that it wasn’t home, but it was a place I could visit and feel loved and welcome.
I had a difficult conversation with someone who I love about my ability to occupy space that resembles a traditional relationship. About where my heart is, and what it needs. About really looking at where our own connection was headed. With truth and love, I honored my own boundaries when my gut told me loud and clear that I needed to pay attention and make a change. Transparency is the only way for me. Listening to my gut is everything.
Recently, I asked myself to stay present and witness the depth of my own ability to connect, instead of numbing myself in the ways that I sometimes do. I reached into the places in someone that call for my ministrations and I filled that space with my pure and loving intention. I am blessed with a deep capacity to give and receive love; a well that cannot run dry as long as I am the water bearer. That goodness must be doled out in a way that feels clear and true.
I’m percolating ideas for welcoming 2019. There is so much in my life already. I think of all the things I could wish for, what I truly want is passion. I can humble myself before the universe, in the face of all of the pain and loss I lived through in 2018 and ask for this year to be different. I am brave enough to ask for more.
In 2019 I will be the queen of my own domain. The home that I return to. The safety I have created. I will be the keeper of my heart; this enormous love-soaked heart that wants to give and give and give of my fire.
I will pour my passion into writing, into mothering, into my tribe of fierce women who bolster and inspire me, into my exploration of the sacred feminine, into my love of nature, into my education, into my businesses, into the lovers I select to share intimacy with. I will pour out that passion and take it in all of the forms that it may return to me.
As I allow myself to be this vessel, I will articulate and define exactly what this life of mine will be. This sweet and wondrous life that lives in the few short breaths remaining between now and the twilight of my days.
Will you walk with me in passion? Will you taste my fire? Will you conjure with me sighs of satisfaction so deep that they will serve us like blankets against the cold and darker days? Will you join my tribe, and live in my heart, and stay in this light for a while?
Happy New Year to you all. May your dear hearts be light and ready to receive a bounty of love in 2019.
The Burning Bowl – A Ritual of Release & Attraction
Create space that feels still and sacred. Light a candle, burn some incense, purify the air with essential oil or sage. Whatever it means to you to have sacred space.
Select two sheets of paper.
Close your eyes and reflect on the year that has passed. Consider the milestones and passages. The pain and the pleasure. The lessons learned and the knowledge yet to be gained. When you are ready, list six things that you would like to leave behind in the year to come. They can be actual objects, or experiences, or emotional states, or personality traits that no longer serve you.
Fold this piece of paper up. Place the paper into the fireproof vessel.
Light the paper on fire as you set an intention to let these six things leave your life.
On the second sheet of paper, repeat this process, but this time consider six things you would like to draw into your life for the new year. Write those things down. Allow yourself a moment to imagine how your life will be enriched by these things.
Now fold this paper, and place it into the vessel. Repeat step 5, while silently calling forth the things you’ve written on this list.
Release the space you’ve created with gratitude and love.
Scatter any remaining ashes outdoors. You can bury these in the ground, let the wind take them, or empty them into a body of water.
I’m toasting these shadows, those ghosts of Christmas past, with almond eggnog and spiced rum, and I’m doing the best that I can. This holiday is bittersweet, but I’m pleased to tell you there is greater emphasis on the sweet.
2018 was a year of surprises, the greatest of which is how I have surprised myself. With my strength. With the depth of my love. With my fierce dedication to reaching for the beauty that exists in every frame.
I want to turn all of this pain and transformation into something beautiful.
I’ve had a week of self-imposed solitude and it’s been exquisite. I love my friends who have been filling my days with warmth and goodness. I love those undefined people in my life who send me hope and light in a variety of ways. However, I’ve come to realize that I need to fall deeply into a time of reflection and creativity. Repair and rebuilding. I need to take everything I’ve learned and shape it into a way forward for anyone who arrives at this place of grief and change.
My ex and I have been able to sit down and begin some difficult conversations. I’ll talk more about that later on, but the outcome has been the decision to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day together with the kids.
‘You’ll make new traditions’. This is a mantra that I hear over and over again. Here are some of the traditions I’ve tasted, or will taste this holiday season. I’d like to embrace these and add to them for years to come:
Decorating my home and my altar with boughs of fresh evergreen.
Putting up a real tree.
Crafting decorations for my tree with my children, so there are pieces of them to keep me warm when they are at their other home.
Giving my time to charitable organizations.
Baking gingerbread cookies and eating too many of them with good coffee.
Thoughtful gift-giving. Next year I’m making gifts.
Honoring the Solstice with ritual and celebration, and teaching my children about the meaning of this special time.
Finding the perfect nativity set and stable.
Giving books on Christmas Eve.
Spending Christmas Day in my pajamas.
Feasting with family.
Watching my favorite holiday movies.
Holiday parties with wonderful friends.
Kissing someone on New Year’s Eve.
Spending a whole day/week dreaming and goal-setting during the first week of January. Someday I’m going to do this from a winterized cabin or a resort. All.By.Myself.
Here’s how I want to feel this holiday:
Full of light. Deeply illuminated with the knowledge that I am good, and that I have a lot to offer the people in my life.
Rich with love. Aware of my ability to love deeply and profoundly. Comforted by the knowledge that I am loved deeply and profoundly.
Strong. Able to sit with difficult emotion and listen to the teachings therein. Aware of my power to transcend that which doesn’t serve me, and to reach for that which makes me whole. Proud of how I have survived. Clear on what I need to thrive.
Joyful. I believe in the magic of the season. I want to see that reflected in my son, and my own child-like heart. I want space to play and dream and laugh.
Cherished. I want to be with the people I belong to. Who love me despite my faults. Who see the value in me and feel proud of me.
Beautiful. I’ve struggled here, especially through this time of change. I want to attach more beauty to my inner light. I want to be loving and kind to my body. I want to believe that the change and the sorrow that now seems etched on my face makes me seem wise and sacred rather than tired. I want to feel like none of this matters.
Grateful. For my healthy children. For the many people who have lifted me up in the darkest moments I’ve known. For my own health. For having my parents and my brother so close. For the universe continuing to provide me with what I truly need. For everything I see now that I couldn’t see before.
For all of you who are reading; I wish you profound peace during this sacred time of light and love. May your hearts be full of the knowledge that you are important, and valued, and needed. May you take comfort in food prepared by people who matter to you. May music and laughter surround you. May the people who you consider family be blessed with good health and prosperity. May you truly feel that your presence has made a difference.
It’s made a difference to me; to know that you are listening, and feeling many of these things that I have felt, had made me realize that no matter how my love may shift, I will never truly be alone.
Peace and Light