New Read: The Spirit of Intimacy

The Spirit of Intimacy: Ancient African Teachings in the Ways of Relationship by Sobonfu Somé

images (461×648)

Following @ALifeBalanced on IG, I came across their post for this book and immediately I had to get it. It just felt right to me. Reading through it (currently on chapter 6 cause another book caught my eye) I realize the importance of the teachings within it so far.

The “spirit” in the book speaks not only of the way we connect to nature but also of the way we ‘speak’ to our ancestors for help in our troubles, for answers, or showing the way, the way we connect to the family and friends within out community, the way we connect with our partners. It’s all about using those resources to have a great functioning relationship, which can be hard with some family members or friends that go against what you are trying to build with your partner. They are not invested in seeing your relationship thrive. This is about not just minimizing your circle but enlarging it as well. Giving yourself your inner circle of close girlfriends/guy-friends who can offer the support and guidance, that your partners male/female friends will offer him without the stint of jealousy lurking behind their words.

It also touches on getting back to communication without technology (kind of hard these days but doable on occasion), falling back to some of the teachings your grandmother, great grandmother put on you when you were younger, realizing the masculine and feminine in us all (that we have strong and weak sides to ourselves and it is NATURAL), that as much as we think we are in this relationship on our own, we’re not, we have a full circle behind us rooting for it to work our in its entirety, we just have to be open and willing to let them help, not just when needed (as in don’t go seeking advice in the aftermath, acknowledge that things could be better and SAY SOMETHING.. read glows and grows if you need an idea on how to start that).

What books do you suggest for relationship advice?

Advertisements

Balancing Money Matters

 

Being in a relationship with a mindset that you have to do everything on your own and not depend on others to do it for you can take a while to break. Trust me I know. It took a while for me to get used to hubby paying for our nights out most of the time since I was in the mindset that I could pay for myself or he doesn’t have to pay for everything. It took me some time to understand that it was what he saw himself doing for me, for us. He wanted to show that he can provide for us. That he was able to do it. That he was the ‘man’. He KNEW that I could do it but wanted me to not have to.

Money-and-relationships-550x370.jpg (550×370)
Photo Credit: Your Money Matters

 

With society wanting us to be ‘independent women’ relying on no one for anything its hard to take that step back and let someone take care of us. For men with society telling them they need to be the ‘providers’ in the relationship in all aspects, again its hard for them to take that step back from time-to-time and let the women take the lead without feeling like they’re losing their masculinity.

Being in a relationship means that there need to be a balance communicated between the two of you whether it’s with money or anything else that you feel needs to be taken care of. Talking to each other helps. Don’t let frustrations build up to the last minute and then there is a huge rift formed between you too by keeping things at bay for a long time.

84c91d01cb1f46503804323f42e5ba42.jpg (394×388)

While I may get frustrated with my lack of money to put towards the goals we have together (buying a home), I have to understand my limitations as well. Always recognize your limitations as well as you can, it gives you room to accept and grow beyond them within your means.

My coworker and her Beau had a similar occurrence where MONEY MATTERS disturbed their peace. Again the mindset that he had to provide and pay for everything was overwhelming for HIM, but its not what she was ASKING for. As complicated as people like to think women are, its only because they are not paying attention or really listening. Like most established women she CAN TAKE CARE OF HERSELF, all she wanted was a bit of his time, his company. She DID NOT ASK for his money, she did not say they needed to go out and do anything, all she wanted was his TIME.
8401fd1f56fee5c7476668f2cf314535.jpg (236×236)           3f91bf257ec51a04d0339a7ce4cdbd38.jpg (564×564)

For someone whose love language is QUALITY TIME, I understand that feeling. I don’t need to go out and spend time with you, I can stay in and spend time with you.

Every moment does not need to be spent in the company of others but there need to be more moments in the company of each other.

Again COMMUNICATE to each other about MONEY MATTERS when they arise, there is nothing shameful about it. It shows a growth and a degree of trust for both of you. You’re making yourselves vulnerable to each other and willing to put it aside to upfront with each other to discuss something important to you. While he conversation may not always turn out the way you want it to, at least it’s out in the open now.

Communicate.Support.Share.Balance.Create.Love

Intellectual, Financial, & Recreational Intimacy

These are pretty much self explanatory but i’ll delve into each for a bit.

00c2a1fdd4683afccb2cccf905d6133d.jpg (564×559)

Intellectual Intimacy speaks of how your minds connect. Do your conversations hold weight? Are you taking in each others opinions? Are you making yourself aware of where you both stand on certain topics? First and foremost….

  • Are you listening to each other?
  • Are you leaving yourselves open to discussion?
  • Are you making your relationship a safe space to talk?

I can honestly say that this is not an issue for hubby and I, like I’ve said before we speak about anything ad everything. Our relationship os founded on communication before anything else. If we cannot speak about it now then we’ll wait until the other is ready. No one is forced or coerced into speaking before they are ready.You should never feel like you have to talk about something before you’re ready. you should want and feel the need to get it off your chest ad then do so.

Financial Intimacy can be anything but money, right? Nope. It’s all about the money. As much as we may try to be rich in other things, money is still needed. Speak with your partner about your financial goals, See what has to be handled individually and what can be handled together. Speak about any debt that needs to be handled at the beginning of your relationship or when it arises when you speak about your financial goals.

Save together. Do money challenges together. Be one another’s accountability partners.

As much as I hate relying on others in terms of money, I’ve learned with hubby, that one of the traits as a PROVIDER that he sees for himself is being able to support us financially. Now I don’t always agree and have to remind him of one of our promises/vows to “share the load” but I can’t always do so due to my own bills and debt I’m handling on my own at home. So he understands but I’ll still argue from time to time when I see its stressing him, especially when we’re saving to buy our future home wherever in the NYC that may be for now.

financial-intimacy.jpg (500×388)
Photo Credit: RomanoWealth

 

Recreational Intimacy is a different from of Physical Intimacy. In that it’s how you play together. Its the date nights. Its the walks you talk. Its game nights. Its working out together.

Pretty much how you have fun and spend time together.

So we can all say that recreational intimacy is not much of a problem for any of us. LOL

But if you get stuck into a routine… don’t fret, there are always things you can do to spice things up.. Take a coking class together, take dance classes, do a Paint-n-Sip, go wine tasting, head to a bookstore, go to a new museum exhibit, take a spa day, take a few sex education workshops (trust me they’re fun!), or visit one of the stores and examine new toys, outfits, games.

I did this with hubby, we didn’t walk out with anything more than a few ideas for when we really want to spice things up. Which is always.

Try some things out or examine what you already do with your other have and see what areas can be worked on. Trust me no relationship is perfect and as okay as you may think things are your partner can feel differently.

So again, COMMUNICATE!!!

All the advice, tips, or whatever you get means nothing if you don’t talk to your partner. Before you go spreading your problems to the world, respect your partner enough to speak to them first.

Love. Respect. Trust. Care. Support. Communicate

 

 

 

Spiritual Intimacy

I’ve searched all through the internet and came across different types of intimacy. Spiritual Intimacy spoke to me in that,out of just talking about building a religion based relationship with your partner it gave a completely different look at the spiritual aspect.

Here spiritual intimacy was describe as “the awe-inspiring moments that you experience with your partner”, with the examples of worshipping as a couple” or “walking hand-in-hand in nature”.

While being intimate through religion is fine for some it is not for those who don’t regularly practice. But for those of you that do, take time to pray together, and for each other. Speak to your higher being together. Relinquish your fears and anxieties, breathe life into your dreams and goals… together.

Spiritual-Intimacy-How-To.jpg (603×448)
Image via ACT

Do not force your spiritual beliefs on your partner. Nor your practices. Share but do not make it a requirement. Do not make them uncomfortable but some of your stricter values that they are more lenient towards. Find a balance that you can both be happy with.

Spiritual intimacy is also taking the time to meditate together of finding your zen moments in silence. It’s focusing on your breathing. It’s letting your incense burn around you. It’s cleansing each other with frankincense and myrrh, it’s smudging with your sage sticks, it’s going through full moon rituals.

how-to-meditate-couples-500-375.jpg (500×375)
Image via Couples Guided Meditation

It is also walking through a park, finding a bench and enjoying the breeze on your kin, it’s sitting back and watching the waves on the shore, it’s standing on a bridge and taking in the scenery before you, it’s laying on the grass and looking at the sky.

Hubby and I share the latter as our form of spiritual intimacy. We enjoy nature. We recharge in beautiful scenery and each other’s company.

20150408_071448-edited
First vacation together in Myrtle Beach

 

Date Night: Explore

So I was wracking my brain on a good follow through for the last post, intimacy through touch, and I figured some date night ideas on exploring with you partner would be good.

Fun, right!

Get some candles, dim the lights, play your soundtrack that gives you that mellow feel….

Keep in mind:

this kind of intimacy is not sex

it does not have to lead up to sex

you go as far you are comfortable with

also touch can include accessories

exfoliatinggloves.jpg (600×405)Accessories???? Well let’s just say I bought those exfoliating gloves with me on our anniversary getaway and used them during a shower with hubby, it was an experience in itself. I mean being in the shower with one another is awesome. The feel of his soapy hands gliding across my skin, kneading a few muscles here and there, the kisses. The gloves just added a heightened awareness of sensitivities.

Can you say foreplay!

Scarves are a great accessory1eae8d3f3d-flowers-erotic-sensual-sensuel-wow-gotico-PMac2-Rose-daniels-for-me-aaa_large-300x195.jpg (300×195) as well, and you know you have plenty of scarves in the house that would go perfect for a time of exploration. I don’t really need to explain much here, basically your partner is blindfolded either sitting across from you or laying down in front of you. You have the option to straddle or lie/sit next to them. Using fingers, feathers, a rose, or anything you have in mind to use that is soft trace the lines of your partner.

Watch as their breath hitches. Watch as they tremble.

Talk to them. Ask them how they feel.

Take turns.

Sometimes, I like to straddle hubby and look at his face. I trace his eyebrows, his hairline, his jaw, his nose, his lips. I circle his ears and go down to his neck. I caress his cheeks and kiss his eyelids. For me this is relaxing. For me this is an intimate moment for us.

Physical touch can also be a moment of giving your partner a head massage, or playing in their hair in general. Even scratching their beard (I do this often for hubby) and I tell you it’s fun for both.

In that moment of relaxing your partner, you are relaxing as well, you’re both reaching a state of connectivity that will bring you closer to each other than before. Each of these acts are you worshipping in each other, and showing an appreciating in learning each other over and over again.

Trust me, every time I touch hubby it feels like I’m discovering something new and I love it.

Explore. Touch. Caress. Communicate. Love

Intimacy Through Touch

After Saturday’s A-MA-ZIIIIING!!!! orgasmic rounds with hubby and i could finally get my breathing under control (after laying there for a bit and practically falling sleep), we cuddled.

Cuddling is and will always be a great time to be affectionate with your partner.

It doesn’t have to lead into anything, nothing has to be said, it simply is a time to enjoy each others presence, enjoying the act that they are there with you.

For us cuddling comes with trailing fingers and soft kisses, our sweet, sensual caresses.

He started at my shoulder and trailed his finger every so slowly and gently down my arm. there was this one spot near the crease in my elbow that was super sensitive and he made sure to pay attention to my trembling body, how my breath hitched, my body clenched, the ways  my back arched to every other place his fingers seemed to draw these response in my really sensitive or shall i say (erogenous zones)

For Example:

run your hands along her back gif
run your and along her/his curves
caress his/her arms 
A massage is always a good way to explore and learn each others bodies
let you moth discover their lines also
dont forget to taste as you go

Bring a new level of sensuality to your relationship.

Try to touch each other every chance you get, even if it’s just holding hands and exploring your partner’s fingers. Thing about how your hands fit with each other. how strong, delicate, rough, smooth, gentle, or firm they are.

I find it therapeutic to caress my partner. Depending on where we are, take home for example, I’ll sit on his lap, on his back, or behind him with his shirt off and simply explore the softness of his skin, the firmness of his muscles, the strength in his arms. I’ll trace the lines of the tattoos on his chest and arms. I’ll place kisses on his soft spots.

I’ll take a bite from time to time because touching him excites me. It empowers me to know that I can have this strong, beautiful man trembling in front of me, I can bring him moments of peace and relaxation all with a simple touch or kiss.

Take time to explore your partner. Take time to look at them, I mean really look at them. Take time to appreciate what you have right next to you all the time.

Take the time to show your affections.

Touch. Caress. Soothe. Appreciate. Communicate. Support. Care. Love

 

**This is a good site that helps describe in more detail how to increase intimacy through touch with your partner: click here