Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Relationship Postmortem | How to Decide When It's Time To Leave

dalmation-time-to-end-it-relationship-postmortem

#RelationshipPostmortem

While most of this section is going to deal with what to do after the breakup - how to process the grief, how to use that period of deep pain for your own development, transformation, and personal evolution, and how to set yourself up for success in the next relationship so you don’t repeat the same mistakes, we’ve all wondered at some point … 

When is it time to leave?

This may be the most difficult question for us to answer for ourselves and there are so many variables - if there are children involved it makes it even more complicated even if the end result is the same.

But one thing we want to be sure of is that we do not stay in the relationship for the wrong reasons.

What are some of the “wrong” reasons?

Let’s start with a few mindsets or orientations to the process before we answer that question. For me personally, these aren’t just mindsets or beliefs, they are convictions; I am willing to assert them as self-evident truths.

First: every human is worthy of a loving and of a fulfilling romantic relationship and/or partnership.  What does fulfilling mean? For me, it means that you're lit up in every way: sexually, lovingly, intellectually, and spiritually. That they are an incredible lover and your best friend. Most important of all:  that you can express yourself - just be you - without being judged or shut down. That you are appreciated, encouraged, loved, and feel a deep connection to this person. That you can communicate through anything.

At the very least, your values need to be aligned enough - and your preferred forms of those values - how they would show up in your relationship need to have enough overlap that the little things don’t matter.

But whatever “fulfilling” means to you, every human is worthy of a loving and of a fulfilling romantic relationship and/or partnership. 

If you are reading this and you are single, you can use the Values and Forms exercise we laid out earlier in the book as a way of determining a greater degree of likelihood for success in your relationship. Values are a far greater determinant of compatibility than any typing system [zodiac, Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, etc] as your level or stage of ego development will have a far greater influence - for instance at a certain stage you may experience differences as problematic, at yet another stage you may begin to see them as more of a benefit - complementary rather than conflicting - and so on. 

If you are reading this and you are in a relationship, you can use the same exercise to gain an understanding and deeper insight into why you are in conflict and … ultimately … whether you are a functional fit or not.

Second:  while it takes two to tango, it only takes one to transform [the relationship].

This is another fundamental truth. If you alter your internal relationship to the person and behave differently - and come at the whole situation fresh and open to possibility, they will respond to that. It may take longer than you desire - but I firmly believe [and this part may not be true but it is still the powerful way to relate to it]  any relationship can be transformed if one person is lovingly but unwaveringly committed to transforming it. You can infuse new life into it at any point. 

The question is not can it be transformed or not, the question is how.  

Not all relationships should be, but I believe all relationships can be transformed.

Lastly - and this makes a good segue to the “wrong” reasons to stay in a relationship:  

Longevity is not an effective gauge for success. You can be in a relationship that feels dead 20 years and people will congratulate you just based on the amount of time you have been together. Here’s the problem with that:  most humans aren't in a relationship. They're just in a habit.

Having said that, there are a few “wrong” reasons to stay in a relationship:

1. You are afraid to be single or alone. 


If you are afraid to be alone you are very likely in some form of co-dependent relationship and are having to sacrifice your happiness and - at times - your mental or emotional well-being. 

In this case, if you are in a relationship you consider “dysfunctional”, leaving may be the bravest and most powerful and empowering thing you can do - despite (or maybe even because) of how scary it is at first.

2. You don’t think you are good enough to have a more fulfilling relationship.

In my research, I was surprised at how often this came up - that some people didn’t think they were worthy of a more fulfilling relationship - or a higher quality partner.

Continue reading
1
  1145 Hits

Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 1)

god_post_image

[Note to the reader: "God" is used throughout as a signifier to point to wherever you put your worship. It could be conventional religions as I will mainly address, but you could just as easily replace it with Gaia if you "put your worship" there--if the environment is your ultimate concern. or you could replace it with polytheistic beliefs such as Hinduism. Or maybe you put your worship in the Universe, Consciousness, or Community. Consider that whatever your ultimate concern is, the concepts in this article can apply to that thing as "God" for you. Doing this will allow you to get the most from this article. -Jason D McClain]

Is Your Relationship to God Wrecking Your Relationship With God?

It’s a provocative question, isn’t it?

Why even ask it? It is fraught with predicable emotional triggers and will produce reactions that may blur the importance and the point of the topic at hand.

We could use your relationship to your "self" or your relationship to others or even your relationship to money. The fact remains that we could use any of those concepts--any of those signifiers--to get to what we are pointing at and we will use a couple of them as lead-in examples because of their familiarity--but it would not be as effective to stop there for our larger conversation; not as effective as getting to the very root of our relationship to and with our deepest and highest stages. But even more to the practical: we will use God for the simple fact that there is no concept or question more galvanizing—making us sit up in our chair and pay attention--than questioning our very relationship to and with the Divine.

So we use “God”.

Before we begin to explore the question, we need to lay the ground on which we will stand: stages of egoic and emotional development. Stages that we interpret the world through and react emotionally from.  Stages through which we will interpret every aspect of our lives--events occurring around us, the actions of others as they relate to us, the world we navigate through politically, economically, romantically, and, yes, our spirituality and the nature of the Divine.

So if we are to examine our relationship to God (or “the Divine) then we must begin with an understanding of the lens we gaze through.

"God is like a mirror. The mirror never changes, but everybody who looks at it sees something different."  --Rabbi Harold Kushner

From pre-personal to personal to trans-personal. From vengeance to justice to grace. From pre-rational to rational to trans-rational. From ego-centric to enthno-centric or gender-centric or nationalistic to world-centric. From unconscious to conscious to super-conscious. These are just some of the ways we can label the grossest stages of development of the Self—and they are stages of increasing wholeness and increasing embrace. Each stage transcends, yet also include the benefits of the former. Each is noted for its increase in capacities and increase in the ability to hold an ever-increasing number of perspectives. We could also think about these stages as an expansion of what an individual can identify with or as. From ego-centric to ethno-centric / gender-centric / nationalistic to world-centric; identifying as just an individual to identifying as a member of a community or collective of individuals to identifying as a member of a global community—a citizen of the planet and a member of its ecosystem. Plainly put: our stage of self-development will determine our world-view—and that world-view will evolve over time. And that evolution will have a directionality.

Human development can be divided into three major phases: pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional, or pre-personal, personal and transpersonal (Wilber, et.al., 1986). This applies to the development of cognition, morality, faith, motivation and the selfsense. The infant enters the world unsocialized, at a pre-conventional stage, and is gradually acculturated into a conventional world-view, whether it be religious or secular. A few individuals develop further into post-conventional stages of post-formal operational cognition (Pfaffenberger, et.al., 2009), post-conventional morality (Sinnott, 1994;), universalizing faith (Fowler, 1995), self-actualizing and self-transcending motives (Maslow, 1971), and a transpersonal self-sense (Cook-Greuter, 1994; Wilber, 1980, 1983, 20001).

-Frances Vaughn, Journal of Transpersonal Research, 2010

We could say that one of the primary practices (as well as one of the primary indicators of personal evolution) is the ability to take on an ever-increasing number of perspectives; the ability to understand—even if not agreeing with—an ever-increasing number of perspectives or “views” of or “from” a given place.

And that lens—or lenses—is the filter through which we view the world as well as being the platform we will likely react from. This is not a box we can put ourselves or others in. It is not a classification as rigid as a “type”. Think of it more as a probability: a weather forecast, or a general orientation within high odds. Think of it more as a lump or a wave. But even still, the fact that we will likely interpret through and react from our “stage” of development of the “self” is hard-wired as a probability can get.

And, the endeavor we call “personal evolution” is the process of activating movement and moving through those stages.

Why is this important?

In the process of personal evolution we have both the mechanisms to create, and the path to enjoy, true peace within--and to reduce conflict without. An ever-expanding ability to hold an ever-increasing number of perspectives leads to a life that experiences greater ease, reduced fear and reduced anger, greater empathetic capacities, increased self-acceptance, increased capacities to handle whatever life may throw at you—and respond more resourcefully, and ultimately, leads to an aligned, purpose-filled and full-filled life.

As within, so without.

In recent history, it has become commonplace in personal development circles and communities for us to realize that our relationship to ourselves is very important—it is an accepted fact that it will determine a great deal of our experience materially, inter-personally, and emotionally. It may be thought of as self-concept, or self-esteem and self-acceptance, self-care, and self-love. This shows up in particularly high-relief/ particularly sharp in contrast in work with relationships where it is clear to more and more people (whether we like it or not) that our relationship with our self will determine our relationship dynamics with others: how well do we honor boundaries both for ourselves and for others? Do we feel we deserve to be happy and deserve to have a relationship in which we are treated well—with kindness and respect and love? How easily and openly do we communicate?

In essense: the degree of health we enjoy in our relationship with ourselves (and to our “self”) will have a great deal of influence on the degree of heath an vitality we enjoy in relationships with others—and life in general.

Continue reading
0
  19496 Hits

The Problem With [Most] Male Polarity Coaches [Part 3]

Part 2 of The Problem With Most Male Polarity Coaches is back »HERE«.

Part 3 is below.

 
Yet another one of the things I have noticed is the male echo chamber in these groups and with polarity coaches: rather than teaching men how to be more effective with women which would require discovering what kind of experience they want to have and then providing that - from a place of an authentic desire and deep appreciation of the feminine - they teach men things - from strategies to mindsets - that simply have them garner approval from other men.
 
And often, there is a thinly veiled resentment or outright misogynistic flavor to it.
 
I understand some of it: they are wounded in a way. And perhaps still not over the last woman or series of women. Or maybe they have yet to evolve beyond the subject-object level of sex and relating. Still others are afraid to lose their center around an extraordinary woman and feel if they open to her and provide the experience she desires he’ll lose himself or become emasculated in some way.
 
I have to wonder if this kind of man ever had his masculine core well-established to begin with.
If you are clear who you are and what your boundaries are, and you honor them, resentment never occurs - the structure of resentment is crossing your own boundaries repetitively - extending yourself beyond your range - or allowing someone to cross them continually without saying anything or expressing those boundaries and then blaming the other person for it.
 
It’s a kind of co-dependent behavior mixed with a victim/blame orientation.
 
There’s no power there.
 
It tells me that these men are still acting from their wounds - around mother or lovers or ex-wives - and/or have distortions around relating in general and perhaps fear true intimacy. There is a certain surrender in true and full intimacy - a letting go - that requires a solid - and simultaneously fluid - core. So one can fully let go into full abandon and love - and still find your way back.
 
So there is a way in which all those fears are bundled together and serve as a kind of false masculinity.
 
Everyone is on their own path and at their own stage of development in every context, and this is no different. But there is a place one can arrive at beyond the fear, free from convention, a place where intimacy is no longer avoided or fear, but is simply a place of authenticity where two souls meet - and if you visit that place often enough you will find that full authenticity and full intimacy in every way - mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual is the place of fulfillment.
 
But first, you have to know who you are, and have full acceptance around who you are, your desires, be fully comfortable being alone … and have a deep appreciation for the other - for the feminine - but also be so solid in yourself that you don’t fear full, wild, abandon.
 
You no longer fear … love.

0
  261 Hits

The Problem With [Most] Male Polarity Coaches [Introduction]

Polarity coaching | Love Coaching

One of the things I have noticed about the current conversation around masculine/feminine dynamics and masculinity, in general, is just how threatened some men teaching polarity seem to be by certain things.

Notice I did not call them leaders - just people teaching these dynamics. There is a flavor to the way they teach it that reminds me of a born-again Christian who was recently baptized, or someone in a 12-Step program in their first few months of sobriety. Or a recent convert from one religion to another, or like somebody engaged in partisan politics who feels that the other side is evil even when they agree with their proposal. Or somebody who has recently found a transformational path - be it meditation or a community or a weekend workshop - and find it to quench a thirst that they've had for decades - and can’t stop talking about it and are hounding you to go.

This is understandable. As humans when we find a solution to a problem that we suffered from that may not have even been articulated previously we engage in it with a certain zeal.

The problem is there is an even greater need for clear, powerful, centered, principled men and the masculine these days. Feminine women are craving it - and the world is crying out for principled leadership, a commitment to truth, and is longing for depth.

And that last part is the real challenge here.

Make no mistake: men who are two-dimensional in their approach to masculine-feminine dynamics [meaning they lack depth, understanding of context, and when to powerfully lead and when to be more in flow, and the ability to calibrate to what is needed when and with whom] are the loudest voices in this domain. But you can engage in polarity without being polarizing.

You can be clear without being a dogmatic fundamentalist. We are all evolving all the time. What is the nature of personal evolution? The increasing capacity to take on an ever-increasing number of perspectives. To understand. To be able to argue from the other side and only then to show why you disagree with it. To honor it and then offer a better approach. It’s clear that these dogmatic, fundamentalists are in reaction. They are in fear. You can tell by their reactivity and their deflection. You can tell by their lack of tolerance for dissent.

You can tell by the things they are triggered by: Prince, conversations around gender identification, and their assertion that the trappings - the costume - of masculinity [beard and boots] are the answer. If they were really certain of their own internal masculine core - what I am calling a Column of Iron and Light - they would not be threatened by any of these things.

They would know it does not matter what someone wears. Don’t mistake reactivity and contraction for clarity and warriorship.

They are not offering a new, emergent path. Rather they are offering a 50s style approach because it makes them feel safer in chaotic times. That is also intrinsic to the nature of evolution: when we are under pressure, we contract and regress. We go back to stable structures that give us comfort. But that is not what we need right now. What we need is a new path that provides a better option that addresses the current chaos, and provides clarity in the face of it without denying or deflecting the realities of our current, complex times.

What we need are more Evolutionary Gentlemen.

Continue with Part 1 of The Problem With Most Male Polarity Coaches »here«

0
  257 Hits

The Problem With Most Polarity Coaches [Part 1]

yin-yang-polarity

Read the introduction to The Problem With Most Polarity Coaches »HERE«.

Part 1:

-

There are two major problems I see in the “masculine polarity coach” space.

The first is that it is not evolution - not a new stage, wave, or level that is solving the problems of the stage before. Rather it is a contraction and a regression to previous forms. Instead of moving from rigid to flexible to fluid, it moved from rigid to flexible and then back to fixed/rigid. This is not a solution that will work in our post-conventional world. It may be attractive for a while. It provides respite from what seems like chaos and the mental and emotional fatigue in those that do not have the capacity to engage with that. AND it is an answer (and direct response) to the milquetoast nature of what has become the conventional norm in our society with empowered women and emasculated and uncertain men.

Many men have become afraid, timid, and uncertain. And many women are aching for a man they can surrender to - but surrender not because of his degree of force or dominance - that will do for a while for some, but quickly turns unhealthy. While they may want to be “claimed” at first, they will often find it stifling and will long to be free from the possessiveness that can turn into.

And the second is that what some think is clarity is not - it is simply rigidity born out of the fear of the unknown and discomfort with fluidity. It is a regression - not an evolution. A contraction - not an expansion to embrace more of what is. That and/or it is a trauma response and so the unhealthy masculine experiences a contraction, regression, and that comes out a dominance with an unhealthy residue.

This is why so many people who are highly sensitive to what feels “off” know that many of these polarity coaches feel out of tune.

Let me be clear: I am not saying that one should never lead, be in control, and even be dominant, but to do it from a healthy place of creation rather than an unhealthy regression will have a palpable difference in texture; one will make her drip with desire and naturally surrender. One will frighten her into submission - with varying degrees of subtlety. Both may turn her on at first, but the clean, healthy approach will be more sustainable as it is deeply intimate. While the other will be shorter-term and has a subject-object quality to it. Cool for a single BDSM scene perhaps, but not for sustained play.

The answer to the problem of the lack of polarity in Stage 2 relating is not the regression that most of the coaches promote. It is not a return to 1950s style patriarchal households, but rather an expansion to include - and embrace - previous forms but to do so in context, and have greater fluidity.

Healthy Stage 3 relating involves - at the very least - a woman who knows she does not need a man for her life to work - she gained her autonomy at Stage 2 - and with that freedom, her authentic desire to surrender in the presence of healthy Stage 3 masculine is motiveless except for her own feminine pleasure and arising desires - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. And reciprocally, a man who is coming from a Stage 3 level of ego development does not desire a woman who is simply submissive. That may work situationally, but for a sustained, healthy partnership, he desires an empowered and autonomous woman who chooses to surrender to him for her own pleasure. In context. When she chooses.

In this scenario, it is more of a dance. It is fluid. It is contextual. And its lack of rigidity is the very element that gives it its sustain as well as its heat.

What do I mean by these stages? Movement through stages of ego, moral, and emotional development. Stages of increasing wholeness, stages of increasing degrees of freedom and acceptance, increasing choice. From fixed to flexible to fluid. From ego-centric to ethno/natio-centric to world-centric. It can be discerned what one needs to resolve or release at one stage and what they need to embrace or include in their map to move to the next stage; to evolve. It is critical to all humans because where we are on that scale/matrix/stage conception determines - by and large - how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to and interpret events around us.

When it comes to polarity and masculine/feminine (which we all have degrees of in each of us and these are not gender-bound), at each stage of development, we have even more options for expressions of those modes of being [see attached image]. This is both the beauty and wonder of it and - for some - the scary nightmare part of it.

This can make a lot of - heck most - people uncomfortable, and in the face of it, most regress and contract. Sadly, they will have more and more pressure and their position will become less and less tenable in an ever-changing and evolving world.

The choice is simple: embrace the complexities and expand our embrace of difference and expand the scope of what we can navigate, or regress to a more 2-dimensional view of man-woman relations. But here’s the thing: no matter how much they may resist it, there is a directionality to personal and cultural evolution. So go ahead and dig the heels of your boots in and grow your beard out, but the world is moving forward whether you embrace it or not.

-


Post Script: the unfortunate thing is that it seems these polarity coaches have all read "Selling to the Lizard Brain" or something as their marketing is effective at triggering the most base of fears and desires and as such will always attract more people at first. Even those who disagree with them are drawn to it. But their model is bankrupt - spiritually and emotionally - and ineffective at creating sustainable, intimate relationships - regardless of how effective their business model may be at scale.

-

Continue The Problem With Most Polarity Coaches, with Part 2 »HERE«.

Continue reading
0
  402 Hits