Whole Life Magazine

December 2012/January 2013

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SEXtalk whole living Mining Holiday Romance By Wendy Strgar "Never Give Up" Necklace No longer just for military men, dog tags are one of today's hottest accessories. Much more than just beautiful, this inspirational jewelry can hold special meaning for the wearer. Sterling silver on silver EP chain with Swarowski crystal. $59 GoghJewelryDesign.com Relaxing & Therapeutic Bodywork Certified Female Massage Therapist Healing, soothing hands using skill & intuition to create a unique, blissful experience. Specializing in circulatory/Swedish Massage, therapeutic bodywork—great for strength, vitality and general well-being. Guaranteed to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Gift certiicates available. 323.202.6569 Earth Prayer music CD Give a gift that lasts a lifetime! Share the gift of forgiveness and love through the nourishing vocals and healing musical landscapes of Earth Prayer, and help heal the earth with your gift. 50% of proceeds supports non-proits protecting water sources around the globe. $5 at www.enavie.com T The most deeply desired gift "The highest ecstasy is attention at its fullest."—Simone Weil he winter holidays are often so full of disappointment and frustration over all the ways we feel neglected and misunderstood that instead of bringing us closer to the intimacy we long for, they crystallize the ways in which we feel invisible or taken for granted. There are ways to avoid this critical logjam that have nothing to do with inding the perfect card or gift. Even well-meaning gifts can feel shallow and sometimes even exacerbate the distance and unspoken conlict. A lack of attention and emotional connection in a relationship never occurs in a single day; it is usually a quiet neglect that eats away at the conidence and trust we build in each other over time. When you consider reigniting the romance in your relationship as the holidays approach, or really any time, start with your attention. All early romance shares this secret space, where two people are so deeply interested in the other that every gaze feels like being held in a warm embrace. Janet Fitch, author of the novel White Oleander, captured this experience perfectly when she wrote: "Whenever she turned her steep focus to me, I felt the warmth that lowers must feel when they bloom through the snow, under the irst concentrated rays of the sun." Indeed, there may be no more warming and healing balm than the soft and steady gaze of loving eyes resting on our face, or the sweet peace of feeling deeply heard by someone who loves you. I have come to believe that this is really what we want most, the full presence and attention of love. Sadly, inattention can morph into many kinds of hurtful distraction. We cease to be paying attention to someone when we hold them in judgment. We are not paying attention when we are doing three other things simultaneously, or have parallel gazes outward, for example at the TV. We are unable to attend to someone else lovingly when we are struggling with our own pain, fear and insecurities. We have to be full enough of our selves to give our full attention to our beloved. This is the tragic decline of too many relationships, where neither person is full enough to offer the attention that the other needs. I personally spent years in this debilitating cycle in my own marriage and what I learned is what most people miss when the door is shutting behind them: attention begets attention. When you give it, it is like a boomerang coming back to you. Taking this concept of attention one step further into the bedroom can be profoundly healing. Not surprisingly, when we feel invisible to each other in daily life, we are disinclined to bare ourselves. Yet one of the sexiest ways to practice paying attention to the loving presence of your partner is to try "smoking" them. This is a term my husband coined for when we come together under the powerful spell of some exotic love oils. Our sense of smell is our most powerful attention grabber because our olfactory bulb lives in the center of our limbic brain where we store memories, process emotions and ignite our arousal mechanism. Knowing someone through scent cuts through the noise and chatter that often block us from truly connecting. Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets said this: "To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work." You will be amazed by this resource that already lives in you, ready for use. Reigniting the romance, feeding your love, is as easy as paying attention. WL_02.indd 17 December2012/January201317 11/27/12 2:59 PM

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