What I learned from dating a narcissist: the body never lies.

Crazymakers. We’ve seen them in sitcoms, and if you’ve dated one, you know how passionate it can be, dating a narcissist. There’s a rush of aliveness, like hanging on the wing of an airplane with a parachute on your back. The maelstrom of emotions brings the thought “wow, this is so intense, I guess it’s love“.

For those who have any existential malaise or some sense of internal lack, the intensity is a powerful allure. That rush feels alive. That’s what the first few months of dating a narcissist felt like.

January 30th, 2018|authenticity, relationships|0 Comments

Feelings are always right

Intense feelings can literally be an intense pain in your gut. They’re hard to sit through on your own, and they’re often a cause of conflict and stress with others.  And even when they’re not intense, they can often be socially inappropriate, leading people to lie either verbally or with our body language.  So it’s easy to think of them as problems, pushing them away and trying to be ‘rational’.

But pushing them away causes even more buildup and problems.  And in the aftermath of #metoo, with the public acknowledgement of decades of hurt and resentment laying there for many, it is vitally important we find ways to actually work with the quagmire of built up feelings. This means going beyond venting and online shaming – many groups perhaps have a deep need for their own version of Truth and Reconciliation. This by necessity means working with what’s going on, deep in our brains and bodies, in a way that promotes actual transformation and doesn’t see them in a negative light.

December 14th, 2017|emotions, Intimacy, non-monogamy, relationships|1 Comment

Yoga and Meditation Instruction is now a Performance Art

This is my second week based in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.  I’m writing this in my home-stay overlooking a rice field, slightly sweating in shorts and a t-shirt while it’s a cold and damp winter back home in Canada.  Thousands upon thousands of westerners come here for the “tropical paradise”, yoga classes, and spiritual teachers, hoping to provoke a meaningful life change.

Quite frankly, I’ve found this “paradise” depressing.  The capitalism and endless shops and services are convenient, but a huge chasm in terms of seeing the Balinese way of life.  And the capitalistic mentality infests yoga in a big way.

Yoga is a huge business here – most of the people I’ve met staying here are doing a yoga teacher training.  And it is a true business – centres maximising profit by having large classes, layers of marketing,  clothing lines, continually selling you not just on a particular technique, but a lifestyle, an experience, a way of being.  An identity.  In the class I attended a couple days ago, the teacher was a walking advertisement for yoga – young, beautiful, graceful, with a voice that belonged in a Club Med advertisement.  In other words, the tone and pacing were very controlled and slow, saccharine sweet, conveying “trust me” in all the overtones – but I had no idea who she was as a person.  She was a yoga performance artist.

November 9th, 2017|authenticity, meditation, transformation, Travel and Places, yoga|0 Comments

Detaching from attachment styles

In one of my last posts about bonding, I briefly mentioned Attachment Theory, which is one way of looking at patterns in how people form deep and lasting connections.  I’ve heard growing talk about it from non-psychologist friends, often wondering why their relationships don’t last.  Like it or not, the attachment styles established in childhood deeply affect how we connect now in every type of relationships, from friendships to romance.   If there, how can we work through deep insecurity to find intimacy and lasting bonds?

May 19th, 2016|non-monogamy, relationships|2 Comments

Meditation without control – lessons from India

For the last two months, I’ve been in India on a sort of meditative retreat.  I say “sort of” because it’s not a true retreat – I am dealing with all the chaos of India, roads, and people – and much of the meditation is informal, unlike almost all retreats in the West.

It’s a funny thing how people get into meditation.  We read articles about the wonderful brain states it can coax forth, even inner peace.  People get sold into the lifestyle – mindfulness is promoted even in the corporate world now.  According to promotional writings, regular meditation can bring incredible benefits, including physical health, creativity, relaxation, energy, confidence, and a sense of oneness.  So we strive for that.

But meditation is not about doing something.  It’s not about getting anywhere or getting results.  Trying to do meditation, to get somewhere else, is in my opinion a mental masturbation.  A mindfuck.  That’s one thing I’ve had plenty of in my life.  Not any more.

April 24th, 2016|transformation|6 Comments