Men, Are You Allowed to be Vulnerable in your Relationship?

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Men, Are You Allowed to be Vulnerable in your Relationship? What Men and Women Can Do To Bring More Vulnerability and Depth Into Their Relationship

More and more men are being asked to soften, and to let down their defenses. And more and more men are doing the emotional healing to heal the wounds of the past. And yet, as men start to become more vulnerable, how is this received, especially in intimate relationships?

Today I will be exploring this idea that men are being asked to be more gentle, loving and open-hearted. I will be sharing what I feel about how men are being directed into their wounds and vulnerability but this openness is not always received.

What can you do as a man to deal with being open and vulnerable in relationships even if your partner struggles with this? And what can your partner do to help facilitate this healing and growth and receive your softness and your vulnerable side?

Men stepping up

Last week I was talking with a male friend about vulnerability. He was sharing how he was learning to be present more and more for his woman. He said that she was going through a lot of anger, upset and struggles and yet he was learning to really be there for her. He was learning to be present for her in her vulnerability.

But the question arises for men – what about me? Does she allow me, as a man, to soften and be vulnerable. Does she allow me to share my tears and hurts, my struggles and my pain? Does she listen and hold space? Or does she run away or aggravate my fears of being exposed and humiliated?

So I thought that this would be a good topic for today. If you are a man reading this – what is the solution? Your woman asks you to be more emotional but when you are – you get humiliated or laughed at.

And if you are a woman reading this – what can you do to hold space? Is it right to hold space for your man or do you need him to step out of his little boy and grow up?

For Men

How do you become more vulnerable in relationships?

So as man, it would seem that you are being asked more and more to soften. It can be seen from The Gilette Advert through to your woman asking you to say what you feel. But if you have not learned the language of feelings, as most of us as men did not growing up, then where do we go? What do we do and how do we learn to be vulnerable and share our feelings?

Well, it is a skill. And like any skill it can be learned. Just because we were taught as boys that feelings were bad, dangerous or wrong, in relationships they are needed: to share where you are at, to be able to empathize with your woman and love her deeply, to be more open-hearted.

To connect more with your feelings requires practice and discipline. The following practice will help. Please do this exercise on your own to start off with:

  1. What does your body feel now? Really focus on the bodily sensations of the body breathing.

  2. Draw your awareness, like an anchor, to the sensations in your body.

  3. What do they feel like? Be specific in your analysis. “It feels hot/ tight/ or relaxed, I feel pain/ discomfort/ ease in my hips or belly and so on...”

  4. Start to deepen your breathing.

  5. Notice what is beneath the sensations of the body breathing? Are there any emotions here? Are there tears which need to fall?

  6. Keep focusing on the physical sensations and allow the tears to fall if they need to. There doesn't need to be a story or a reason for the tears or the release. Just allow it to be.

  7. Once you have practiced this for a while on your own, you will feel more comfortable sharing your emotions with your partner.

Communicating with your partner

An important part for men, which is sometimes missed, is to communicate with your woman about your vulnerability.

What I suggest with men is that before you share your vulnerability is to speak to your partner and share why it is important for you to show your vulnerability. Also it is important to let her know what would be useful for you.

Some of the words that you could use are:

“I am doing a lot of process work and healing work at the moment and I would love to feel safe to be able to share my emotions and feelings with you. What I would love for you if this happens is just to hold me, not try to fix me, but allow me to be with my feelings.”

If you can then go on and explain, what it was like growing up so she gets some form of context for why you are frightened of opening up to her that will really help her – being told as a boy that only girls cry, or that there's something wrong with you if you show emotion, or laughed at if you cried, and so on. If you can share from your heart your experiences, she will feel you and understand why it is important for her to hold the space for you.

Why this is powerful is that if you can see what it is like as a man to be held by your woman, you will be able to see why and feel why it is so important that you do the same for her. You will realise that it is so important to drop your thoughts from the day and love her fully, not half-heartedly.

This will give you an insight into how it feels when you are feeling vulnerable and your woman is not listening to you or paying any attention? This will therefore help you to see how painful it is for women when their men aren't present either.

Be aware of overindulging

Once you start to open the floodgates and connect to your woman on this level it can be easy to start to indulge in this. I really recommend that you don't take advantage of this. Your woman has held you and loved you without judgement, but in this place she does not become your therapist or your mother. If you allow that to happen then your partner will probably get upset.

Some men want their women to hold them but there needs to be a balance and a man needs a support network around him so that he is not burdening his woman. I recommend to all men to get involved in a men's group. I have been part of men's groups for the past 13 years, have spent 3 years living in a all male community and have received so much from being able to share my struggles and journey with other men rather than relying just on my wife.

The other important part of a man's network is to have a therapist or coach if he uncovers difficult or challenging emotions or memories. Remember, your woman is not your therapist. Yes, she is there to support you but not there to prop you up and heal you. If you are always expecting your woman to prop you up she will start to resent you. You have to be able to give back to her as well. You have to support her.

There also has to be joy in a relationship. If you are both just working on emotional issues all the time, the joy disappears from the relationship. This is why it is important to have the support of a men's group and a therapist or coach. If baggage comes up with your partner then you have someone to turn to, to help you out. I still to this day have a therapist and coach that I work with – I see that this is an ongoing journey.

Use “I” Centred Language

When you are communicating with your partner it is important that you share from the “I” perspective. What does this mean? It means that rather than saying, “You really hurt me or you shouldn't have done or said that,” you state, “I feel hurt at the moment,” “I feel scared that you will mock me for being vulnerable.”

By using using “I” statements you are stating where you are at. You can make this clear that your dialogue is about you. This is how you feel – it is not about them.

As soon as you move into “You” statements the other person can become defensive or hurt. They can shut down and not be able to hear you or support you in your vulnerability. Be aware of what language you use.

For Women

Some mothering is okay

I hear from women often that they don't want to mother their men. They say that their men need to be men and not boys.

And while I agree, I have found that my wife has shared a beautiful perspective. She found that when she first met me when I was in my early 30s that she needed to mother me from time to time due to the wounds that I had. By doing that she enabled me to heal some really deep wounds I had around my mother.

The important point about this is if my wife feels that I am starting to indulge then she will tell me so. She will point out – enough. This is important to know. From time to time your man will need to be vulnerable and by you stepping into the mother energy – you allow him to heal some of his deep wounds. But it is not to let him get lost in that space. If you sense your man is treating you like a therapist or constantly coming to you with problems, send him out to his men's group or his band of brothers.

And yet if he doesn't have that space of unconditional mothering love from you from time to time then he will never truly be able to release the barriers he has in front of his heart. He won't trust you enough and keep his heart shut.

Again, it is not to mother him all the time, but when he is down or needs your support, to really hold and love him as you would your child.


See him as a warrior coming back from battle


Sometimes when I have been off working away or doing some men's work without my wife I come home very tired.

My wife over the years has often pointed out that she feels like I am a warrior returning from a battle and she is tending my wounds. This feels from my perspective very healing. To be held, to be loved, and to be nurtured.

Again, this is not an everyday occurrence – the man needs to find other resources to deal with his challenges – his coach, his men's group, but he does need his woman to hold him from time to time.

And when you do that fully, the next day he will be back to his mature masculine self. If not then you speak what you feel.


Be tough if he wants to stay in the little boy

There are quite a few men that I meet who overindulge in staying in their little boy. They blame others, and they complain about their lot in life. This was certainly one of my patterns.

If your man is doing this then you need to tell him. You have held him and given him the space to heal, you have washed his wounds but now he needs to go back to battle. It is uncomfortable for him as a man but it is what he needs to do and he will appreciate it in the long run.

Be firm, you have held him and now it is time to him to connect to his mature masculine self – the King, the Warrior, the Magician and the Lover.



So it is imperative in relationships that the man is allowed and allows himself to be vulnerable. When this happens the relationship deepens and a trust and love starts to bloom in the partnership. If it is suppressed or overindulged then the relationship can run in to struggles.

Please do leave any feedback or questions below.

Many blessings,

Piers

Spiritual Development 101 – When You Judge Others Who Are Not Spiritual

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Many people begin a spiritual practice with a sense of enthusiasm and vibrancy. It can be very inspiring and uplifting to begin to have insights and 'awaken'. And yet the flip side of this can be that we start to judge others. We start to judge others who are not doing the same practices as us. And we judge others who are doing the things that we used to do, “If only they knew!”

Or it can be that you have been on a spiritual journey for a while and yet judgements have started to creep into your life.

So in this article we will be looking at spiritual development and how judgements can arise in our practice. I am also going to be sharing 3 ways of starting to release these judgements and start to become more open to others on different journeys.

Beginning of Spiritual Development

Spiritual development in the beginning can be a wonderful time. The Buddha often talked in his discourses about how people either have a lot of dust in their eyes or a little. His analogy spoke of those that had a lot of dust – the people who are very stuck in their ways and are not interested in change. And then he spoke of those that had a little dust – the people who saw that they had baggage but they were interested in change or saw that they could change and were willing to do the work needed.

In the beginning when the dust starts to be taken out of your eyes and you start to see clearly – life, your patterns, the joy that life has to bring, the stillness and beauty of the internal world, then it feels wonderful.

And in that wonderful space, in that enthusiasm you could well believe that everyone needs to be doing what you are doing. You want to tell the world. You want to let them know that they need to know this and be doing this – yes, they really do!

But as you have found out if you have already tried to do this – most people are not interested. Remember there are those who have a little dust and those who have a lot of dust. There are those who can hear you and there are those who cannot.

So in this space of inspiration but also disbelief that others aren't doing what you are doing, then judgements can arise. “Well, they drink alcohol – don't they know how that affects them...” “They use vulgar language – that's not spiritual!” “They eat meat, well do they not understand that eating meat is bad for you...” And so it can become a habit to judge people in our minds.


Judging Those That Are Closest To You

Often times it can be those that are closest to us that receive our judgements the hardest. Here we are 'waking up' but those that are closest to us, like our families, our children, or our partners seem to be fast asleep.

And again in this space of disbelief that they are doing the things that they are doing, judgements can arise. Due to the fact that those closest to us are exactly that - close, these judgements are often verbalized. “Don't you know, what that's doing to you!” “You just sit and watch TV – you need to be meditating!” “You're always on Facebook – you need to get out and exercise!”

While we feel justified in our judgements, those that are receiving our judgements or watching us make these judgements don't like it at all. In fact, rather than being inspired by your spiritual practice your loved ones and those closest to you, can look at you and think to themselves, “If that is what being spiritual is like then I am not interested at all!” And they become more adamant that they are not going to change – and so our judgements can increase!

To the onlooker we can come across as judgemental or arrogant – as if we know better than everyone else. But do we really know better than the next person?

What Do We Really Know About Spiritual Development?

In the beginning of a spiritual practice it can seem like we have received the keys to the kingdom. It can seem like we know everything. But how much do we really know and how much do we really understand?

In the beginning it can feel that we know everything. And comparing to what we used to know with what we know now this is true. But compared with all the knowledge in the world we know very little. But in the beginning of a spiritual practice this is not so obvious to us. And so we judge others who are not doing 'spiritual things'.

A key in spiritual practice is the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge can be gained quite easily and quickly. In the beginning of a practice we gain a lot of knowledge.

But wisdom takes time. Wisdom takes experience. Wisdom comes from years of making mistakes and being able to step back and admit – maybe I don't know it all...

So our practice is to become aware that maybe, just maybe we don't know it all. And maybe we have not had the discernment yet which of the teachings we have received will benefit others. If we judge others that they need to change, maybe we don't know that either...

Being Judgemental Affects Us

Being judgemental of others not only affects what others can think of us but also affects our practice. So you have got really inspired and enthusiastic about your practice. But the judgements you might have start to weigh you down. The momentum of your spiritual practice starts to falter.

Rather than being uplifted and inspired your practice can become heavy and intense. Others might look at you and not feel inspired by your example. You seem tense and in your mind you are often criticizing others and yourself.

This can be seen in those who have been on a spiritual journey for a long time as well. Those that become teachers can start to become judgemental of their students or those not on the spiritual path – to somehow see that they are better than others.

I have often heard it said that a teacher wants their student to become better than them. They want them to thrive so much that they excel the level they are at. But how many teachers are truly like that? How many teachers want their students to do well but not better than themselves?

So if this is you, the below practices will also help you to start to release your judgements and start to help you remember the happiness and joy that teaching others to thrive really brings.


3 Practices For Releasing Judgments

  1. Where Can I See Myself In That Other Person?

    So when you start to notice your judgements arising ask yourself the question, “Where can I see myself in that other person? Where can I see myself in that other person's actions?”
    So I will give an example from my own life. Sometimes I can have the judgement that others are lazy. I look at their external actions and I can judge that they are lazy. And yet I have learned over the years to do the above practice. I ask myself, “Where am I lazy?”

    To start off with I can look and say, “Well, I'm not like them. I'm not physically lazy.” But as I investigate I can see that actually, I can be lazy mentally. I can judge others and rather than find the good in them I can get lost in judgements and be lazy mentally.

    So when you see this you can see the gift in what the other person is offering you. A door opens. A light turns on. The person you have been judging has been offering you a gift. They have offered you some insights into your own behaviours that you have not be conscious of.

    And rather than give your energy to judging others, you can turn the light of attention onto your own behaviours and start to change.

  2. This Being That You Are Judging Is A Spiritual Being

    When you get lost in your judgements the person in front of you can be a source of annoyance. But what if you were to see this being as a spiritual being. Rather than seeing them as broken or needing fixing, what about seeing them as perfect?

    Pierre de Chardin is quoted as saying, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a human experience.” Having this reflection opens the heart and sees beyond the action being perpetrated and leads you into love, compassion and wonder.

    Sure the action hasn't changed but no longer are you judging.

    You can say, “In front of me is a spiritual being. They are as much connected to source as I am. I send them love, joy and peace and wish that they be well.”

  3. Ho'oponopono

    Ho'oponopono is a Hawaiian technique for healing. It is very useful for combatting judgements.

    The practice is very simple.

    1. You notice someone with whom you feel annoyed and you have judgements towards.

    2. You start to see them as spiritual beings as in part 2.
    3. You start to say the words in your mind's eye, “I love you, thank you, please forgive me, I'm sorry.”
    4. You keep repeating these words until you feel the charge or annoyance or judgement start to soften.

    Ho'oponopono is a very simple yet powerful practice. And you can do the practice with the person with whom you are judging in front of you or later on when you are on your own.

    In my own personal experience I find that my heart starts to melt when I do this practice and so the do the judgements too.

Developing a spiritual practice does take time and patience. A spiritual journey of releasing judgements takes practice. See earth as your school and that you are constantly learning and growing. Releasing judgements brings great peace and love.




What are your Core Patterns & Beliefs?

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What are your Core Patterns & Beliefs? 3 Ways To Find Out What They are So You Can Work on Them

What are your core patterns and beliefs in life? What are the ways of being that stop you from truly living your life to its fullest? And what are your gifts that help you to shine?

Most of us live our lives through our unconscious patterns. It is said that 95% of our thoughts are the same as we thought the day before. Therefore from one day to the next if we are not aware we will keep running the same patterns as we have from the day before, from the week before and so on.

And yet it doesn't have to be this way. It doesn't have to be fate that we keep running the same old patterns. It is possible to change. It does take work and support and yet change is not as difficult as we would have ourselves believe.


Do you know your core patterns and beliefs?

For most of us we have no idea what our core patterns are – both negative and positive. Often times when something is pointed out to us in the positive we push it away – I was certainly like that (or we immediately return the compliment rather than receiving it). Or if something negative is pointed out we retreat, we get angry, or we blame the other person.

And yet when you find out your core patterns – you then can bring mindfulness, awareness and presence to this pattern. Say, for example, you get stressed driving. Instead of reacting you can start to work on this – do some breathing techniques before you set off/ find out what is beneath the stress about driving so that it no longer becomes a problem.

Although it is not always pleasant to hear, I much prefer that someone points out where I am stuck so that I can bring mindfulness, awareness and the reflection – I need to do work here. And as I said above 95% of our thoughts are the same as the day before so it would make sense that if we are not careful then we can potentially start to run our old patterns without noticing it.


Finding Your Inner Gold
Once you find out what your core patterns you then have some gold. Really, you have found your gold. Working with this gold will help you to grow as a person. For the positive patterns – you can reflect on them and constantly remind yourself of your good qualities. And for your negative patterns you can bring more consciousness to them so they stop running you and you start to run them.

I recently heard a quote from a Tibetan monk who said something along the lines of how he preferred to receive criticism than praise. He said that the wise teachers saw criticism as gold dust because here was an opportunity to see something that they weren't aware of, that they couldn't see in themselves. Here was an opportunity to grow.

So how do you find out what your core patterns are?


3 Ways To Find Your Core Patterns

  1. Ask A Friend

    Okay, so this is not Who Wants To Be a Millionnaire, but on the otherhand you are searching for your gold.

    So the first way of finding out what your core patterns are is by asking a close friend or your partner.

    I would suggest that you ask them what 2-3 of your core patterns are (both positive and negative). And then write them down.

    It is important that you don't take it personally. If you get offended then know that they are offering you gold – it might not feel like that to you, so give space to the feeling and know that you are on the cusp of great change and growth.

    It is also important that you are in a centred and balanced space when you ask this question and know that you have support in the form of a coach or a therapist or a men's group.

    It is not recommended that you ask your family. We often pick up patterns and habits from our family. Therefore the chances are that they will not see clearly what patterns you are running because they might well have the same ones as you...

  2. Look At Your Life

    The second way of working out your core patterns is to be honest and truthful about your life. What is your life like in the core areas - physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually and relationally? You might think that this is obvious and yet most of us will deny we have an issue even though everyone else can see it.


    Again know that everyone has patterns and we will always be working on patterns and beliefs until we reach enlightenment. Therefore be gentle with yourself. Come at it from the perspective of the Buddhist monk above – see it as gold dust.

    And look at both sides – positive and negative. Look at all areas – are you excelling in certain places – well celebrate that. And if you are not doing so well in other areas, celebrate that too – here is an opportunity to grow.

  3. Watch What Arises In The Difficult Times

    When life is good and everything is flowing smoothly it can feel that we never have problems and that we are sorted.

    But when things turn south and life is not flowing so smoothly how do you react? What behaviours come to the surface? Do you snap at people, especially your partner, do you get worried about money, do you start to binge eat or your addictions surface?

    Again do some reflection – what do I still struggle with when the shit hits the fan so to speak? When I've not slept, the children are sick or work is not going well how do I respond?

    Robert Moore, who is the author of King, Magician, Warrior, Lover, spoke in one of his talks about our inner life being like the Grail cup. He said that as we grow up we are sculpting this cup. And we need benevolent men and women to help us with this. And yet most of us don't have this so cracks are formed in this cup.

    Robert goes on to say that when we are tired, sick and life is not going well, this is when the cracks start to show up in our lives. If you want to find out your shadow, that which is hidden, then he says you will find this when your life is not going your way.

    Your work now is to remember how do you respond? What behaviours do you present? These again are your gold. When you work through them now, you start to mend these cracks so that the next time you are struggling the cracks no longer appear..

How To Heal The Cracks?

Briefly, there are many ways to mend and heal the cracks on your Grail cup. It is a process and can take time.

The ways that I have healed some of my cracks and am still working on these core patterns is through Jungian analysis, therapy, healing, EFT, Matrix Reimprinting, mindfulness and Buddhist practice.

I have always found it much easier to change with the help of someone else. Please reach out if you would like support to change.


When You Feel Stuck In Life - 4 Ways To Get Unstuck

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When You Feel Stuck in Life – 4 Ways of Getting Unstuck

There are times in life when everything is flowing smoothly. And then there are times when you feel stuck in life. Projects falter, relationships seem stale and jobs feel boring. What can you do when you feel stuck in life? What are 4 ways of getting unstuck?

There is a quote which has been attributed to Albert Einstein which says, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Although this has now been proved to not belong to Einstein, it does show us how we can act when we are stuck.

Often times when we you feel stuck in life you keep perpetuating the same habit or behaviour. You want to change yes, but you keep going back to doing the same thing over and over again. You feel more frustrated or angry the more you keep practising this same habit.

Habits Learned As A Child

So where do these habits come from that keep us stuck? Certain psychologists refer back to the early years to work out where our habits come from. It is said by researchers that most of our behaviours are rooted in what we learned from when we were born until we were 6.

Research has shown that the developing brain stays in theta and delta brainwave patterns until the age of 7. At this point the child starts to move into alpha and beta. What does this mean? It means that essentially for the first 6 years of our life we are in a hypnotic trance. We are downloading and learning our beliefs and core patterns. We do not question what we are learning – it just goes straight in.

How Do We Change These Unconscious Patterns?

So if we feel stuck and we feel that we have learned behaviours as children that we no longer want to carry on (as most of us have) what can we do?

What can you do to change these unconscious patterns? How do you move out of feeling stuck? We can either use a process like hypnotherapy or Matrix Reimprinting with a therapist or the following 4 ways to help you get unstuck.

4 Ways of Getting Unstuck?

  1. Mindfulness
    The first practice when you feel stuck in life is to bring mindfulness into what you are feeling. Often times we lead with the mind when faced with unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings. We stay in the head and focus on trying to fix things with our minds. The reality is that this can make things worse. Our mind gets busier and we get more upset.

    The practice of mindfulness helps you to bring an awareness into the body. What does the body feel in this moment? How does feeling stuck really physically feel?

    What's the point of doing this? Well, when you fully feel into the sensations then it can start to shift. The feelings shift and new light is born.

  2. Movement
    If you were to imagine what feeling stuck in your mind or in your emotions would look like in an image or picture what would you see? Could it be something frozen/ stuck, or rigid and unable to move?

    So the second key to getting unstuck in your life is to start to move physically. Recent research from Harvard University showed that even by changing your body posture can change your mood.

    My invitation to you is to go outside, go to the gym, put some music on and move. Maybe it is dance, to go for a run, go for a bike ride or go for a swim. Movement which gets the heart beating and the pulse racing helps to shift this feeling.

    When you start to feel physically unstuck then like magic the mind and the emotions also start to feel unstuck.

    The trick here though is regularity and irregularity. What does that mean? It means to go and do exercise every day, but to do different exercises so that the mind doesn't get stuck in doing the same thing every day. When we do the same thing every day we can start to get stuck in that. Yes, do exercise and move everyday but move in different ways so that your mind and emotions become free.

  3. Freeing Your Emotions...

    The third thing to do when you feel stuck in life is to change how you feel. When you are feeling down, stuck, and don't know what to do sometimes it can not always be that easy to change how you feel.

    The trick though is to lead with your feelings. What does that mean? It means that although you feel stuck, you find something uplifting, or inspiring to focus on. This can mean to focus on what you can be grateful for in your life. You can look around you in this moment and find something to be grateful for. Whatever that may be. It might be that you have a roof over your head, or that you have food in your cupboard. And feel it.

    Another way of changing and freeing your emotions is to remember a really positive memory. It could be a holiday or memory from childhood where you felt wonderful.

    When you start to feel different then you start to look upon your life in a different way. And as you do that you will find that you are no longer stuck.


  4. The Timeline Exercise

    The final way of getting unstuck is to practise the exercise in the video. It is a simple practice where you imagine a timeline from where you are to where you want to get to, eg from being stuck to feeling free, happy, contented and your problem is now solved. You then move from one place to the other physically and then you physically get into the feeling and body posture of what it feels like to have solved your problem and be unstuck.


    Please watch the video and it will give you some ideas for how to use this technique for getting unstuck.

Please do comment below if you found any of these practises helped to get you unstuck. Maybe there are other practises you use when you feel stuck – please share them below.


For those who are still feeling stuck and feel like they need some outside assistance - please do get in touch. I have found in my own life working with and clearing the unconscious patterns to be very powerful and healing. A technique like Matrix Reimprinting can help to release these unconscious blocks.

Many blessings,

Piers


New Year Blues

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3 Ways of Shifting Your New Year Blues

New Year can be both an exciting time – new beginnings/ parties and celebrations and yet can also bring up what many term as New Year Blues.

You felt rested over the holiday period but then the thought of going back to work or re-engaging with life again brings up resistance. Maybe you have disconnected from your spouse too and you are starting to feel annoyed with each other.

What can you do when you feel these New Year Blues and sensations? Today I will be talking about 3 ways of shifting these feelings.

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I was talking with my step son last night. He was speaking about how many of his friends were feeling pretty down. I asked him what about in particular. And he mentioned that after Xmas they were either feeling the pinch financially, physically after over indulging or emotionally after a relationship struggle.

And as I look around the world on the news networks – it can seem that others too are feeling the same new year blues. Troubles abroad, governments in conflict, suicide rates rising...

I also noticed myself that this morning there was an aspect of my life that was causing concern...

So the question arose how do we shift out of this funk? Do we embrace this part of ourselves but then move through this? Or do we do all we can to shift ourselves out of it?

A Natural Inward Time

Winter time has for thousands of years been a time for going within, both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Our ancestors would have huddled up in their caves or dwellings around a fire and told stories and kept warm. The harsh winters would have kept most people inside – only venturing out to collect stores or food.

Winter time would have also been a period for people to reflect inward on themselves. The slowing rhythm of life would enable an inner reflection and a chance for inner stillness. This inner stillness would have offered their bodies a chance to rest and recuperate ready for the return of the light.

And so the holiday period can feel like that for many. Most activities are drawn to a close and people go in (most spending time in their houses or with friends). People have a chance to stop and be still and rest (if they choose to).

The Return To Work in the New Year

When we then have to return to work and activities 'try' to get back to normal, we can struggle. Many feel like they could do with more time. Others feel resistance to going back to work or school or whatever activities they were engaged in before.

In some respects it can seem natural that there is resistance to going back to the normal routine. Our ancestors would have followed the seasons. The cold dark nights would have meant retreating inwards not going back out to work. Maybe this urge to stay indoors and not go out is a natural routine that we have learned over thousands of years. Maybe this resistance is natural...

But the reality is that we do feel this resistance and we still have to go back to work. So what can we do?

Learning To Embrace This Feeling

The foundation of changing what we feel and shifting our perspective is to embrace this feeling. If we believe that this is a natural feeling – this wanting to go within – then surely it is okay to feel it.

What I see many people do is that they give themselves a hard time or create stories about how it's not okay to feel these New Year Blues, or blame someone else for what they feel. But what if you gave yourself permission to feel this? What if you said to yourself – it's okay to feel this, this is a natural feeling?

As soon as you drop the battle with this feeling then something magical happens – a release of tension and the feeling drops away. When we smile and embrace something rather than pushing it away or resisting it then it softens and it melts like the snow in spring.

How do you embrace this feeling? By fully giving yourself that space to say, “This is what I feel. Welcome. You are welcome here.” And when you do you will find that it starts to shift.

3 Ways of Shifting What You Feel

  1. Physical movement

    Once you have embraced the feeling as suggested above you will notice a softening of the feeling. The New Year Blues will start to lift. From there the first practice you can do to start to get the energy in your body moving again is through physical exercise.

    You might well feel rusty after a week or two off resting. But start moving. And then continue. Whether that be going for a walk or starting to run, going to the gym or going to a dance class – make the effort and then continue with it.

    I personally find that regularity is key. Doing 30 minutes 6 days a week is better than 2 hours once a week. Or even 10 minutes twice a day 6 days a week.

    Physical movement immediately starts to shift the mind and the emotions so start moving..

  2. Embracing Your Breath
    Your breath is one of the most powerful ways to shift what you feel in any given situation. While you might not be able to shift your mental states by thought alone – just think of a time you felt stressed and your lover said “just calm down” to see what you felt then. When someone tries to talk you out of stress you can see that it doesn't work. And the same is true for you – talking yourself out of New Year blues just doesn't work.

    What does work is breath-work. If you have followed my work for a while you will know that I love breath-work and in particular pranayama – the yogic breathing techniques.

    A practice that I have been doing now for a couple of years is the box breath. This practice is simple to visualize and easy to do. Imagine a square – each side equal. Well, the box breath requires that you breathe in, hold your breath, breathe out and hold your breath for the same count. I like to use 4, but you might like to use less or more depending what feels comfortable to you.

    So you breathe in for 4 – Hold your breath for 4 – Breathe out for 4 – Hold your breath for 4

    and then repeat. I like to do repetitions of 5. I imagine myself breathing around the sides of a square. And I can count them on my fingers.

    Feel how you feel at the beginning and the end? See how just a few breaths can shift your mood.

  3. Changing Your Emotions
    By now after moving and breathing your New Year Blues will be starting to shift. One of the keys here as I have said earlier is repetition. Do these practices daily. Let it become a body knowing.

    Another way to shift the new year depression is to change your emotions. And one of the easiest ways is to change your body posture.

    1. Stand up now.
    2. Really, stand up now.
    3. Put your hands on your hips and push your shoulders back.
    4. Lift your head up and smile. A really big heart felt smile. And think of a really beautiful memory – maybe a beautiful holiday or a wonderful childhood memory.
    5. Take some really deep breaths and continue smiling. Laugh if it feels appropriate.
    6. Hold this for a minute.
    7. And release.

    The above exercise will help you to shift your emotions and only takes a couple of minutes to do. Do it regularly throughout the day to shift your New Year Blues.


As you can see there are several ways that you can shift what you feel in any given moment. And when you do then the New Year blues start to lift. Having the support of others can also help you to change more quickly and to help the depression or the blues to lift

The key is practice and repetition. Keep going, day after day and you will notice how quickly this feeling starts to shift.

To keep doing the work and to receive a 3 video series helping you to transform your relationship please click here.



Relationship Problems - Turning Hatred Into Love

Relationship problems - transform hate into love.jpeg

In today’s blog we are going to be exploring about how hate plays out in relationship problems. You will learn how to bring mindfulness to powerful emotions like hatred and how to become more heart-centred and loving.

Last weekend I visited London. It was the first time I had been back for over 11 years.

As I came into London I had a deep insight. I realized that I used to hate the city. And yet what I realized is that it wasn't London that I hated. Actually what I hated was myself.

What the city of London was showing me in the 1990s was that I needed to learn to love myself. I didn't see it at the time but that was the journey I went on – learning to love myself.

And being in the city this weekend I realized that I had learned to love again and I had learned to love myself.

This idea can be translated for relationships issues too. Are there aspects of your partner that you dislike, feel annoyed by or hate? Are there times when you feel that you can't handle the relationship problems any more and strong emotions are filling you? You want out. You've had enough.

And yet could your partner be guiding you, as London did with me? Could it be that the hatred that you feel is not in your partner, but in you?

These are powerful questions to ask and yet most do not ask these question for fear of what they might find.

But if we do not do this work now, then in the next relationship and the one after that we will manifest exactly the same scenarios – the same feelings of hatred.

Bringing Mindfulness To Hatred

This is why it is so important to do the work and transform these feelings. My relationship advice is that it is so important to do the inner work. To acknowledge this is what I feel – not deny it. Feel it – this is what hatred feels like. Where can you feel it in your body? What are the physical sensations of hate. And with judgement free awareness you feel.

Soften the body. Relax your shoulders. Feel the hate. Give to space to it rather than dumping onto others.

What you will notice as you start to embody and feel these feelings is that you will see that they change.

You will also see that this is not the first time that you have felt these feelings. This is not the first person for whom you have felt hatred.

And when you see that – the tension and the stress starts to dissolve. And so the feeling of hatred dissolves too.

Nothing Wrong With The Feeling

There is nothing wrong with feeling hate. When you truly feel this feeling then it transforms.

What is unfortunate is that most people project their hatred onto others and say that it is due to external circumstances or people.

But as you look throughout your life at all the times you have felt hatred then the common denominator is 1 person. And that is you. It might be hard to hear but this truth can be transformative and exceptionally healing.

You have been carrying this feeling all these years. And you can let this go by really feeling into it and doing the above mindfulness practice as soon as these feelings arise.


Transforming Hatred Into Love

How do you transform hatred into love? For me it is an ongoing process. Inner work is a journey and one that I feel I will be constantly on. I always want to grow and I always want to go deeper.

An exercise you can use to start to change hate into love is the following which comes from the Heart Math institute:

The Quick Coherence Technique

  1. Place your hand over your heart and start to feel the sensations of the hand resting there. You can close your eyes.

  2. Keep your focus on these sensations for at least a minute

  3. Then start to imagine that you have a mouth in your heart and that you are breathing in and out through your heart.

  4. Do this for another minute. If you get distracted then gently bring your awareness back to your breath.

  5. Then start to remember a really positive and uplifting memory. That could be on holiday, or when you were a child, and a time when you felt amazing. Feel this feeling in your heart and let it grow. Do this for at least a minute.

  6. Drop your hand and open your eyes when you are ready.


The above practice is a really powerful way to transforming hatred into love and resolving your relationship problems. Do this everyday to help transform your relationship.




To keep doing the work and to receive a 3 video series helping you to transform your relationship please click here.

Why Being Vulnerable In Relationship is Important

Being Vulnerable As A Man

Is Being Vulnerable A Bad Thing For A Man?


In relationships and in life men are often frightened of being vulnerable. We try to hide our feelings away and this not only effects us in our relationships but also in life in general. We can seem shut down and distant from others. And yet is being vulnerable a bad thing for a man? Could it be that vulnerability is actually a strength?

Vulnerability Growing Up

As a boy it can certainly seem that vulnerability is a bad thing. We are bullied or laughed at if we show weakness or vulnerability. We are told to be strong, to have a stiff upper lip and “to keep a lid on it.” And so we learn to shut down and not share our deepest feelings and emotions.

And while this it can be helpful to be able to get on and do even when there are challenges, to be always like this can be damaging to us as men, and especially in relationship to women.

Vulnerability in relationship

A woman generally feels more comfortable being vulnerable. In general she has grown up being able to share her feelings more openly. And therefore there can be an expectation from a woman in relationship that a man will do the same, and be vulnerable.

I was at a Rotary Club meeting a few days ago where I was invited to speak to about mental health. One of the men mentioned that if you wander through our local town then it is the women gathered in the cafes talking, sharing their stories and their vulnerability. Not the men.

This same man reflected that he had always seen vulnerability as a bad thing but was learning that it was actually a real strength.

In relationship with a woman a man needs to show vulnerability from time to time. When a man is vulnerable and shares from his heart he lets a woman know where he is at. “Okay, I'm struggling today...” “I feel this...” To indulge or get lost in this vulnerable place will not help the relationship either. But letting your guard down and being honest with how you feel will deepen your relationship and let it blossom.

How To Be Vulnerable

It can be frightening to start off with for men. We don't want to share where we are at and in some cases we are not sure what we feel. This takes practice. Here are a few pointers:

  1. Start with the physical sensations – what are the sensations that you feel? eg. Butterflies, fear, a tightening of my throat...

  2. Ask yourself, “What is beneath this?” It might be tears or fears, anxieties or worries. Share those with your woman.

  3. Breath as your emotions and feelings come up.

  4. Be as honest as you can while always bringing it back to yourself and your feelings, “I am feeling this…” “It feels like…”

When a man does this the woman then knows where he is at, she doesn't have to guess. And a deep connection can start to form.


The following video explores this further...

Many blessings and please do comment below…

For a 3 video series on how to transform your relationships please put you details in here and I will send you the videos..

Piers Cross

How Do You Know When It Is Time To End a Relationship?

How do you know when it is time to end a relationship? On one level this is an exceptionally deep and profound question.

It is a profound question because if you decide to do the inner reflection, it helps you to gain clarity, “What is it that I want from relationships?” It is really important to know what you want from your relationship. And yet most people do not ask this question and therefore do not know the answer.

So my invitation to you if you are thinking of ending your relationship, and splitting up is to really ask yourself that question, “What do I want in my relationship?” Do you want a surface level, physical relationship or something deeper, more profound and life changing?


The 3 Levels of Love

What does this have to do with ending a relationship? To understand this better I will explain the 3 main levels of love and connection in relationships.

  1. The first is evolutionary love. This level is when we first meet our partner. The honey moon period. Oxytocin, dopamine… it feels great…

  2. The second level is called buddy love. This is when the chemicals of attraction have started to wear off and we connect on more of a friendship level. This generally starts to happen 3–6 months after you first meet.

  3. The third level is deep love. This is when you start to see beyond the outer shell of external beauty and start to see deeply into your partner. You love them for all that they are rather than what they look like or the external trappings of life.

If you are at the point of wanting to end your relationship I would guess that you are between stages. Maybe the 3–6 months of evolutionary love has come to an end and the attraction has gone, or maybe you have become friends but you want that sexual connection/ spark back again. And so you start to look elsewhere…


What Do You Want From Your Relationship?

So the question what do you want from a relationship is so important to know before you start to think about ending a relationship.

If you want depth, and to experience deep love then it takes commitment on both your parts. And it is not an easy journey, which is why so few take that route. But it is an amazing, heart-opening and soul expanding route, and one that I have been on myself for 10 years since my celibate days.

If you are a man in relationship then a woman really needs to know that she can trust you before she opens fully to deep love. If she feels that you are not sure, she will feel that and therefore she will not be able to go deep.

If you decide that you want deep love then fully commit to giving your all to your partner.

If you decide that you don’t want that - you are quite happy with physical attraction only, then give your all to that. Remember that relationships are challenging but they are an amazing way to grow.


When Is It Time To End A Relationship?

Once you know what you want, whether it is a deep relationship or a surface level relationship then you can make your decision.

If you decide you want depth, and heart-opening growth then know that it takes time, effort, patience and a willingness to give of your all - your presence, your love, your joy…

The chances are that you have only just begun on your journey if this is what you want…

If you decide that you are not ready for that, you’ve not got to that stage or you are unwilling to do the work required to have that depth then maybe it is time to move on (neither is right or wrong).

But know that you will have the same thing appear in the next relationship and the next, until you decide, “Yes, I want depth and I am prepared to do the work required.”

Sometimes it is right to leave, and truthfully, your heart knows the answer to that too. Follow your heart and you will be guided to the right place.


I recently recorded a 3 video series called “Transform Your Relationship” which is accessible at http://www.anevolvingman.com. This will give you some deeper insights.

Many blessings to you,

Piers

Men’s Transformational & Relationship Coach