Wednesday, April 8

1. Be Real

If you score a woman’s number at a club and you want to call her but you don’t know if it’s too soon or too often. Call her. Let her know. “I don’t know if this is too soon, but I wanted to call...” And before you get off the phone be sure to ask her how often she’d like to talk.

If you’re on a first date with a man and you have the impulse to touch him but you hold back because you don’t want them to get the wrong idea, go ahead and say, “I’m a tactile person, is it OK if I touch you while we’re talking?”

If you’re in a committed relationship and you find yourself daydreaming and fantasizing about other people. Ask your partner, is it OK for us to talk about our feelings towards others?

These are a few simple examples of what it means to “be real.” In each case you are making clear requests for what you want and not playing games. Of course, the other person has choice in the situation, and you stand the chance of being rejected, but it’s worth the risk if you want to live a full life with no regrets. It’s also the most direct path to creating and sustaining non traditional relationships.

We all know how shitty it feels to ‘stuff’ our feelings. Or to have a secret desire which never gets expressed. There are all kinds of people living in closets who masquerade around life behind masks and veils. We can become so accustomed to pretending that we even forget who we are. Usually the impetus for lying and pretending is to please others. All humans (unless they are psychopaths) have an innate drive to be liked. We all want to look good and fit in sooo much that we’re willing to wear costumes that don’t even fit us…especially if that’s what everyone else is wearing.

Unfortunately if we are not real in relationship, our partner or partners can’t truly fall in love with us, but with who they think we are based on the pretenses we present. They may fall in love with an illusion that we project and that leaves us unsatisfied and hungry for true love. At core we all want to be loved for who we are, and secretly we fear that if someone were to find out the real truth they would recoil in horror.

There are many marriages that are based on this false love, where both parties are dissatisfied because they don’t feel they know their partners and in turn want to be loved for who they are and they are. To prove this point, in relationship workshops, we have fun getting the participants to sing that Neil Sedaka song that Jimmy Buffet sings:

I was tired of my lady,
We'd been together to long,
Like a warn out recording,
Of a favorite song.
So while she lay there sleeping,
I read the paper in bed,
And in the personal columns,
There was this letter I read.

If you like Pina Colada's,
And getting caught in the rain,
If your not into yoga,
If you have half a brain,
If you like making love at midnight,
In the dunes on the cape,
Then I'm the love that you've looked for,
Write to me and escape.

I didn't think about my lady,
I know that sounds kinda mean,
But me and my old lady,
Had fallen into the same dull routine,
So I wrote to the paper,
Took out a personal ad,
And though I'm nobody's poet,
I thought it wasn't half bad.

Yes I like Pina Colada's,
And getting caught in the rain,
I'm not much into health food,
I am into champagne,
I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon,
And cut through all this red tape,
At a bar called O'Malley's,
Where we'll plan our escape.

So I waited with high hopes,
And she walked in the place,
I knew her smile in an instant,
I knew the curve of her face,
It was my own lovely lady,
And she said "Oh its you",
Then we laughed for a moment,
And I said "I never knew".

That you like Pina Coladas,
And getting caught in the rain,
And the feel of the ocean,
And the taste of champagne,
If you like making love at midnight,
In the dunes on the cape,
Your the lady I've looked for,
Come with me and escape.

If you like Pina Colada,
And getting caught in the rain,
If your not into yoga,
If you have half a brain,
If you like making love at midnight,
In the dunes on the cape,
Then I'm the love that you've looked for,
Write to me and escape.

The moral of the song of course is that the truth is exciting. And when people are honest with each other about their likes and dislikes they can avoid falling into a relationship rut. When we stay connected to our truth we will have juicier relationships.

It’s like dear old Polonius says to his son before he dies:
“And this above all, unto thine own self be true and it shall follow as the day the night - thou can'st not then be false to any man.” Which is a profound truth, but then again, in Midsummer’s nights dream Shakespeare also said: The course of true love never did run smooth. So granted, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

One of the many reasons it is so hard to be real all the time is that many of us don’t actually know who we are. Or even what we want. We’ve grown so accustom to subtle layers of deception, for so long, that we’ve forgotten how to listen to the deep true impulse. The pre-requisite to being real is to know thine self. Self inquiry can be a deep spiritual practice. It could involve mediation, contemplation, journaling, dream work and other advanced yogic practices. Or it could simply look like an intention to be real. The important thing in your quest to becoming more authentic is that you do it authentically. If yoga’s not your thing then don’t do it. Some people find themselves in a spontaneous instant when they decide to be real and some people spend years in pilgrimage traveling the world looking for themselves. Ultimately, it’s up to you. And regardless what path you chose, the inquiry is always the same: Who am I? In any situation, just tell the truth. This is the formula for authenticity, transparency and ultimately self realization.

To Be Continued...

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