Relationship Resource Center
RELATIONSHIP REFLECTIONS

Our Evolutionary Journey: A Sacred Space Necessary for Fostering Conscious Community

I am grateful to Harville and Helen Hendrix for their guidance over many years, and their reflections on our evolutionary journey as we wake up and grow up in our lives.

They were focusing on couples in relationship when they stated that the unconscious agenda of each person in a committed adult relationship was to finish childhood and attain full aliveness. The more each one began to consciously cooperate with this unconscious evolutionary agenda, the more they could have the relationship of their dreams rather than their nightmares. Wow! That’s quite a mouthful!

we spaceIn the Salon of the Happy Misfits, we move beyond the committed couple evolutionary journey and look more broadly at what can evolve when adults come together intentionally in larger groups in what we are calling, following Ken Wilbur, an “integral we space.” The Integral Living Room gatherings, which I have helped co-create in Boulder, have been pioneering this investigation for several years now. I would like to re-frame Harville’s statement above with respect to an “integral we space.”

First of all, we are not talking about intimate couples. We are talking about a group space where seekers who have done a lot of their own work and have healed most of their childhood wounds come together to support one another in their ongoing conscious evolution and participate, in some almost infinitesimal way, in the ongoing evolution of the universe. Second, couples can participate in this larger space. They may add their perspectives to the gathering, especially as they are evolving toward an integral relationship among themselves and are open to an expanding evolutionary setting and process in the larger “we space” being co-created by all of the participants.

In our culture, committed couple hood is often considered, consciously or not, to be THE realm of the sacred. In reality, it is only ONE realm of the sacred, the one probably best suited for growing an intimate couple relationship and raising children. An “integral we space” is also a sacred space necessary for fostering conscious community and evolving structures of consciousness that will be the underpinnings, and the foundation of a better future for humanity and all sentient beings. We invite you to join us in the Salon of the Happy Misfits as we continue to evolve together.

By John Mariner,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

When My Heart and My Head Agree: A Small “Angel” Investor

Among other hats that I sometimes wear, I am a small angel investor (emphasis on small).

I read about the so-called “Angels” who invest in start-ups in Silicon Valley, and I decided that instead of investing for profit, I would invest in people and small neighborhood start-ups for the purpose of supporting others, community building and sharing the modest wealth that I enjoy.

head and heartWhat I do is very simple. I always carry a $100.00 dollar bill in my wallet, and when my heart and my head say yes, I give this away and replace it with another one as soon as possible, so the new bill is available for giving away when my heart and my head agree again.

Sometimes weeks may pass and sometimes months between conjunctions, and in the meantime, I feel rich carrying this bill that I am free to give away at any time.

Several times over the past years, I have given it to myself, feeling very grateful to be able to do so.

I love wearing my angel hat and investing in worthy causes!

By John Mariner,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

The Duality of Intimacy – Separateness and Closeness

I wear two wedding rings. No, I am not a bigamist, and I don’t practice Big Love. They snuggle up nicely together on my ring finger. The inner ring is a plain gold band, and the one next to it is more ornate, Black Hills gold with a leafy design. The first ring represents me and the second Suzanne, my lovely wife. They signify our togetherness and our separateness. They remind me that in this world of forms we are two, not one, even when we are deeply connected.

duality of intimacy

Intimacy is a dance of separateness and closeness. My rings remind me that both are necessary for a loving relationship to work well. Even though one partner is usually comfortable with more closeness and the other with more distance, each person needs what the other prefers. You may not choose to wear two wedding rings. I like how they fit – together and separately!

By John Mariner,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Holding on for Dear Life: Responsibility for the Heart Connection

There are times when men in particular need to hold on to their partners for dear life.

holding your partner's heartWhat I mean is that men need to step out of their programming and hold the heart connection with their partner, and let them know by word and deed that they are doing this.

Most women learn from the time they are young girls that they are the ones who are responsible for the relationship connection, even sometimes to their detriment. Look at how many more books they read about relationships then most men do! They need to be able to let some of this responsibility go, and know that the men they love will hold the heart strings as well as them.

And guys, not only hold these lines, these connections, but let your partner KNOW that you are doing this consciously. Tell her: “I want you to know that I am always holding you and our relationship in my heart, and that I will hold us no matter what.” Then, follow through, like with your golf swing.

You are on target for a hole-in-one!

By John Mariner,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker