Over the last month, power dynamics in relationships has been a hot topic for my clients. In particular, women have been describing what I call ‘the command’, where a man instructs a woman about what she should be doing. I know for myself, this immediately shuts down my body and my heart. And it is difficult to transition from these interactions into more sensual and sexual spaces. So, what is going on here between men and women in romantic relationships?
Often the command is not so much about the words but the tone. “Could you move please” is not a polite request, but instead has an insistent and aggressive tone. In my own relationship, I find this dynamic can come up around a physical task.
Recently my beloved and I hired bicycles. As we started to mount up, I felt he was instructing me about what I should be doing, rather than sharing helpful information. He was definitely in his command tone. Let’s talk about my...
For the last couple of months, I have driven myself crazy creating relentless promotion and event deadlines (not to mention cash outlays). My daily demands (laments) were that I needed to promote my Finding Freedom with Chronic Illness course for women living from serious illness. I also needed to promote my Relationship Workshop. I needed to get along to some networking events. I needed to get some new branding, and I absolutely had to hire a graphic designer! My business was going to flail and fail without one. Why? Well one of my big assumptions was that I could not promote my course to a breast cancer organisations without an engaging flyer.
Under the weight of these “must do’s” I became anxious, overwhelmed, edgy and to be honest I wasn’t a lot of fun to be around. Does this sound familiar? OK, you may not need a graphic designer, but I am sure you have a list of things you just have to do before you can...
Over the last couple of months I have fallen in love with a generous, intelligent man who knows his own emotional depth. Some of the fabulous aspects of romantic relationships are the opportunities to be seen and held in all your moods, wisdom, vulnerability and let’s face it at times – crazy. And that’s a good thing right?
Most of us did not have great relationship role models growing up. My first romantic relationships were probably a lot like yours, filled with excitement or more accurately what I would now call high drama! I showed up to relationships with a whole lot of unmet childhood needs, masquerading as high expectations of how romantic love could fill me up. I wanted the other person to embrace and love all the parts of myself I found difficult to bear. And they wanted me to do the same.
In the end life teaches us all, that our stuff… is actually OUR stuff!
Over the last decade I have learned to...
In our culture women are not encouraged to be in their authentic, mature feminine self. Most of us don’t even know what that would feel like. Yet it is possible stand in your natural power, and be the adult in your own life.
Being a mature feminine woman is heady stuff, and not for the faint-hearted. It takes some growing up, and being accountable. The upside is, it brings you more freedom in your relationships, more choices, and the capacity to feel a lot more joy. So how do you get there?
The first thing you need to do is admit you do shut down and lose your voice. It’s hard to admit this, and much more difficult to accept. And yet, when you take this step, you are on the way back to your natural power. This is the first thread you start to pull and follow, and it will lead you back to when your voice shut down, and ultimately how to speak up for yourself.
In my own family I felt like the only people...
From Lover to Co-worker - how to stay sane working from home together
If your Lover is now your coworker, this episode gives you insights on how you can make agreements that will make home life more harmonious.
One of the podcast's most popular guests Authentic Relationships expert returns to The CC Podcast Covid 19 Series to discuss all things working from home with your partner.
Learn to be your Mature Self
Alice Agenello, podcast host of Kids Are Grown, Now What? interviews Michelle about intimate relationships.
How do you have mature, healthy relationships and stop the spiral of having the same fight over and over? Your complaints often mask your desires. So one of the strategies is to say what you need and ask for what you want.
It has taken me years to come to terms with one of the most obvious truths about intimate relationships: that there is labour in love.
We have all heard that you can’t change a person, and that loving someone is accepting them as they are. These ideals sound great in theory, but let’s face it, none of us actually practices this with others or even ourselves.
Perhaps like me, you added some fine print:
“I accept you wholeheartedly, except when you do precisely the thing that annoys me the most, after I have very patiently explained a hundred times how you should do it differently”.
And therein lies the rub: it’s easy to love others when your loved one is being adorable and reasonable, tenderly loving you back. But there is grit to intimacy, the constant dance of ease and challenge, of opening and closing your heart, of feeling generous of spirit sometimes and at others downright miserly towards them.
Despite the idealism of romantic love, this is exactly...
Sometimes the biggest issue I think I have is ‘managing’ everyone else’s feelings. Somehow I ended up with this life-long feeling I am not only responsible for how everyone around me feels, but also for ‘fixing’ it and getting them back to feeling happy. And let’s make no mistake about it, society and in turn plenty of people in my life encouraged this belief and pattern.
So how does this change??
Well, what this all comes down to is my relationship to power. My relationship with my own power.
We have been taught that if a woman has power, it comes at the expense of another person’s feelings and/or diminishing another woman’s power. There is no such thing as two women in a room having equal, beautiful power. Of course this is not actually true. But this is what we have been taught.
How did I learn this? Well, I simply watched my mother and my grandmother interact. Or my...