We’ve talked a lot on this show about the stages of relationship – I’m thinking in particular of the John Gottman episode, and the Terry Real episode – how almost unavoidably the “honeymoon” ends and then the real relationship begins. Would you like to know some ways to get that spark back – in a way that’s sustainable? Do you know what you REALLY want in your relationship, and I’m talking about how to get below the surface-level to the desires that will actually satisfy something deep within you? In this episode, we’re going to cover how to connect with your partner in a way that promotes passion – and we’re also going to take the experience of attunement (like we talked about in our episode with Keith Witt) to an even deeper level that you can use in ALL of your interactions with other people.
Today’s guest is Shana James, a coach for the Authentic Man Program and co-creator of the Authentic Woman Experience, and whose site “ready2dateagain.com” helps men who are looking to have more satisfying relationships after experiencing divorce or painful breakups. I’m a huge fan of her work, and her ability to help men find their presence, women find their radiance, and to help everyone to connect powerfully in the kinds of relationships that they’re looking for. She’s currently hosting a telesummit for men to help them have more conscious, healthy, and satisfying sex lives – which you can find out more about at sexualsatisfactionsummit.com.
In this episode, Shana James and I talk about:
- How do you figure out what you REALLY want? On the surface it seems like you might want one thing – an example that we talk about is wanting your partner to wear sexy lingerie – but what is the desire UNDERNEATH the want? The closer you can get to asking for what you really want – making yourself vulnerable in that way – then you might actually get your real desires met instead of surface-level desires.
- What’s wrong with surface-level desires? Nothing is wrong with them, per se. It’s just that when you get a surface-level desire met you might find that it doesn’t actually satisfy the itch that you thought you were scratching. When you get to what’s beneath your desires (like a desire for connection, or vitality, or curiosity, or adventure) then you actually have a chance to feel satisfied…AND get what you’re really looking for.
- What’s one thing that kills spark in relationship? Partners who have become unwilling to be vulnerable. If you can cultivate your courage in relationship to BE who you are, then your vulnerability can be an incredible spark enhancer!
- How do you generate change and connection? When you choose to be generous in your relationship, you are adding energy in a way that invites your partner to come forward and meet you. It also helps you ignite your curiosity – which is the antidote to boredom and disconnection in a relationship.
- What if you’re always the one being generous? How do you know if you’re just stuck with someone who’s a perpetual victim, or a narcissist, who just takes takes takes? One thing to ask yourself here is, are you being “generous” truly? Or are you being generous to a point, and then blowing up or shutting down when it doesn’t turn into getting what you want? How do you stay vulnerable, even in those moments?
- How do you stick a fork in the windmill of a repetitive relationship pattern? Shana James shares a powerful question that could help you change the direction – and also some other ways that generosity and vulnerability become powerful agents for change in a relationship.
- The power of true listening. Your ego might have a REAL problem with just simply listening to your partner. It could even feel like you’re “dying” in a way. And yet figuring out how to truly receive your partner is an amazing act of generosity that can keep your connection going strong.
- Shana James talks about Authentic World, Authentic Man Program, Authentic Woman Experience and…what is authenticity anyway? Does what you have inside match what people see on the outside? Do you know your internal landscape, and are you healing negative images of other people that might be “authentic” to who you are right now, but might actually be getting in the way of connecting in a powerful way.
- What are the different ways of being present? Are you being present in a spiritual way? In a physical way? In a sexual way? Can you be present with yourself AND be present with the other person, and their experience?
- Learn how to engage your connection from different places within you. Shana and I talk about how to reach into a connection with another person and diagnose where you feel the life and vitality within them, and within yourself in relation to them – and how to use that to fuel conversation and curiosity.
- Why is it important for your partner (or prospective partner to know the real you)? One of the biggest source of pain for people in relationships is the inability to truly be themselves, to feel like who they really are is going to be rejected by their partner. Wouldn’t you want to know if a prospective partner could truly accept you BEFORE you’re in a committed relationship? Wouldn’t you want to know that about your existing partner before you let another 3, 5, 10, 20 years go by?
- How do you know how another person is making you feel in your body? Step one is to have an actual awareness of your body at “baseline” – how do you feel when you’re just you – alone? Then you can begin to notice how your internal sensation changes when you’re in proximity to (or even just thinking about) another person. Shana James also shares some amazing ways to use this information to create more connection and play in your interactions with other people.
- The power of questions. We’ve talked about this a lot here on the Relationship Alive podcast – the quality of the answers you get and the experience that you have is determined chiefly by the kinds of questions that you’re asking. Want a better experience? Ask a better question.
- How can you experience more pleasure? We talk about how your ability to tune into your own sensual and sexual energy – without turning that into an agenda, but just experiencing it – tuning into your own vitality, how that starts to resonate with the other people in your life. Can you be comfortable with that part of yourself and bring it into your interactions with your partner? Can you do it in a way that doesn’t have an agenda attached to it?
http://www.neilsattin.com/shana Visit to download the show guide, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the show guide. If you download the guide within the first week of this episode’s airing, you are automatically qualified for a chance to win a free copy of Gary Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages”.
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