I knew I had come into my relational peak state the day I could stop my partner in the middle of foreplay and say, “Hey, I feel like I’m performing right now. What I really want is for you to hold me in stillness,” and be fully received.
I had come to the point where I was in tune with my truest desires, moment-to-moment, and could connect my feelings to desires and express them to anyone. I was clear with myself, so I could be clear with someone else.
That’s the foundation for a rock-solid, mature relationship that’s based on a full cup to full cup formula. Be so full within yourself that you overflow into your partner’s full cup that also overflows instead of each of you trying to fill each other’s half-empty cup up.
Here are eight ways to get into your relational peak state according to my perspective on self-mastery.
1. Start by mapping out your needs. It’s something you unconsciously know but probably have never written down.
Some of mine include: clean and private living space, regular quiet time, daily exchange of love with my partner, healthy vegetarian food, two to three hours of alone time per day, creative expression, connection with loved ones, acknowledgment from my community, a steady income, and clean clothes.
Start paying attention to your needs in the moment-to-moment unfolding of daily life, as well: “I need a break from this conversation,” “I need a nap,” “I need to drink more water,” or “I need to express this thought.”
2. Follow the FDR formula: Feeling. Desire. Request. Once you start placing your awareness on your overarching needs in life as well as your moment-to-moment needs, you can translate your observations into direct requests that express your needs to others.
Don’t live a life frustrated because other people aren’t mind readers and aren’t giving you what you want. Learn to express yourself and ask for what you need! “I’m going to call you right back,” “Let’s meet in half an hour, I need a nap,” “I need to pause and refill my glass,” “I want to tell you this or else I’ll feel a bit agitated for the rest of the day,” or “I love you and I need space.”
3. Identify your masks. If you feel depleted from being around others, you’re probably wearing a mask and bending yourself to meet the needs you’re assuming about others—and that’s exhausting!
Take time to write out all the different masks you put on in life. The funny girl. The easy-going guy. The hard worker. The sexy playful partner. The strong manager. The subordinate child. Then ask yourself: what purpose does each of these masks serve? What need does this help me get met? For example: the sexy playful partner mask pleases my partner and gets my need for love met. My subordinate child mask pleases my elder parents and gets my need for approval met and avoids confrontation in a sensitive dynamic.
Over time, you can teach yourself to drop the masks so you can be your authentic self all the time and feel more energized throughout your day because you’re not busy pretending to be someone you’re not.
4. Turn judgement into presence and curiosity. Start noticing when and how you’re judging others.
Who do you judge most harshly? And what would it feel like inside of you if you could turn off the critic voice and start looking at people for who they are, imperfections and all, and be curious about how they got to be the way they are today? Can you try to understand them better? What would make you feel softer and more peaceful? What would help you have better relationships?
The next four tips are specifically for romantic relationships.
1. Establish a vision for your relationship. As a couple, sit together and decide how you want your relationship to look.
How do you want to support each other and spend time together? How do you want to communicate? Do you have practices you want to share? Rituals you want to have? What kind of lifestyle and goals do you have? If you’re single, think about what the relationship you want will bring to your life. Why do you want to be in a relationship?
2. Flip the manifestation list on its head. So many people who want to “manifest” a partner spend time writing long lists of everything they want to find in someone else and then hold high standards for the other person.
If you really want to create a beautiful relationship, write that list for yourself. What kind of qualities do you have that make you a good partner? What do you bring to a relationship? How do you want to show up for someone else? Think of framing your relationship desires from a “give” versus “take” perspective.
3. Create a needs, desires, and fears list. Individually, take time to write down your needs/non-negotiables, your desires with your partner, and what you’re secretly scared of happening. Set up a special intimate space and share it with your partner. It’s amazing the bond this creates and the conversations it can start in relationships new and old!
4. Know the difference between source and subject. It can be tempting to find an amazing person and cling to him or her or to hold this person up on a pedestal.
Instead of clinging to the subject, trust that this person is, like all things, a temporary aspect of source coming to life in one particular form. The river of source flows through all things and will continue to bring beautiful experiences and people into your life if you stay connected to it. Trust that if one form disappears, a new one will appear and it’s all coming from the same divine place.