A Commitment to a Conscious Marriage
My husband and I recently retreated to Bali to celebrate our wonderful first year together as husband and wife. On the eve of our anniversary, we found ourselves laying together, reflecting on a memory from our honeymoon, that feels like a lifetime ago and yet is still so rich in colour, smell and emotion it could have all taken place only yesterday - I am looking over at my hubby during breakfast, shiny new rings on our fingers, both rapidly adjusting to the thick humidity of Bali air, and tucking into a delicious breakfast of fresh coffee, tropical fruit and a healthy serving of scrambled eggs. We're happy…. like really happy.
I realised that although we have returned to the reality of everyday life and our rings aren’t as shiny, this bliss wasn’t exclusive to our honeymoon….we’ve still got it. So it felt like a perfect opportunity to share with you some lessons I have learnt - the ways my husband and I actively contribute to our marriage, how we keep our vibration high, our intimacy alive and our lives full of love. It is important to emphasise here, that we are not perfect. Some days we do not act in alignment with our highest selves, sometimes we forget the way altogether and other times we are just plain stubborn. But overall, this message is one of sharing and celebrating ways we keep our love, conscious, real and incredibly fulfilling.
A little background (and loving recommendation): whilst planning our wedding, we intimately focused on the feeling we wanted to create for ourselves and our guests. This was our opportunity to share our love and lives with the people we care about most, and it is was essential that each part of our day reflected and celebrated us. During the preparation stages it’s very easy to get so swept away in thoughts about flowers, cakes and wedding dresses that you can very quickly lose sight of the very reason all this planning is taking place. The love, bond and uniqueness of your relationship is overshadowed by to do lists and guest lists. Yet, we were committed to ensuring the lead up to our wedding day was full of ease, love and grace (wherever possible).
It was with the assistance of our lovely celebrant, Michelle, that this process was magnified. In planning our wedding ceremony, Michelle wanted to get to know us, our journey and what marriage meant to us. Now while I was very consciously entering into our marriage, this question – ‘what does marriage mean to you?’ - leapt off the screen as if highlighted in bright pink.
Have you ever really pondered this question?
From there, both individually and collectively, my husband and I spent time journaling questions like “how do I want to show up to my marriage?” and “how will I practice unconditional love every day?” It was this exercise that instantly dissolved all worries and concerns for our wedding day itself and channelled our focus, love and intention into the kind of marriage we were consciously creating.
This process helped create - the guiding foundations of my marriage today and is something I highly recommend to any brides and grooms to be.
What marriage means to us :: (we shared this with our wedding guests during our wedding ceremony)
‘Marriage is a devotion to be continually enveloped in the fullest of one another’s love. To keep our faith, values and beliefs the foundation of life together. To practice presence, compassion and honesty. To be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Marriage is a commitment to continually grow individually and together both spiritually and mentally, and a promise to never stop striving for a higher vibration. To always deeply care, to put one another above all others, to laugh together & never take life to seriously and to always invent ways to nourish each other souls.
Marriage is heart centred living, a sacred promise and a divine opportunity to experience the bliss of unconditional love.’
And with that here are my thoughts, lessons and love notes from our first year of marriage to my divine husband.
Drop the expectations.
When we release the grip on our expectations we invite in joy, spontaneity and aliveness. It allows presence, flow and ease. But who are we kidding – it ain’t all that easy! I know I am not alone in falling victim to creating a wild, colourful version of a situation in my head, or dreaming up just how perfectly a loved one is going to act or respond. It is easy to do, but when we are able to learn the art of releasing these expectations, we create room for a relationship to breathe and take form in ways far, far beyond our wildest expectations.
I find a sweet antidote to avoid expectations is by just asking for what you want. If you need your husband to be available for you, then just ask. Be clear, specific and honest. Don’t fluff around it, sugar coat it or play mind games with your desires. Trust me, your partner will thank you for it. When we communicate in this way we take our communications from our head to our heart – and this is the sweet spot for authentic and honest expression.
Be responsible for your energy.
It is awareness that is key to understanding the energy dynamics within our relationships. Truth is, men and women are not equal (ground breaking, I know). We are not the same, and yet, we spend so much time trying to be. When we can identify that it is our differences that make us whole as a union, we are each able to empower our individual essence.
Our energies are unique and require a real commitment to ourselves. For me, I know to show up within my marriage with any kind of softness, vulnerability and gracefulness, I need to go inward first. Personally, I need time in nature, meditation, long showers, and a good blow dry and regular connection with my kindred girlfriends (all of the above instantly reconnect me to my feminine essence). I also know when I feel well, rested and nourished my energy, particularity my feminine energy, is balanced, calm and soft. It is in identifying these things we create softness and sustainability within our relationships.
Commit to intimacy.
Let’s be clear here, I am not suggesting you must have sweet love making sessions each night (but hey, if the mood strikes….). What I am suggesting is to commit to making intimacy apart of your relationship not just something that happens every now and again. Just as you would commit to an exercise program because you honour your body and value your health and wellbeing, honouring an intimate relationship is something that requires your commitment and on-going action.
Intimacy is beyond sex – I encourage you to look for ways you can be intimate with your beloved more often, each day. Take a bath together, spend an extra 10 minutes in bed just to ‘spoon’, or kiss your partner passionately in the kitchen. By adding little sparks of intimacy into your daily lives, you will find yourself feeling more connected and passionate within your partnership, igniting the desire for more sweet love making (and that is always a win!). Connecting in this space daily will increase your energy, create joy and playfulness and will open you both up to opportunities for a deeper connection.
I am very blessed to be married to a man that truly lives the full spectrum of himself. Whilst he is incredibly kind and utterly soulful, he is also the funniest, and on occasion the most inappropriate, man I know. It is hard for life to be dull.
However, we are human and there have certainly been times of overwhelming, hard hitting ‘adultness’. But one thing this man has taught me is to loosen the grip. We are silly, light hearted and no doubt to others flat out crazy – but it is soo FUN! Balance out the responsibilities of life with feel good in your bones fun. Be adventurous on the weekend, try new food, new cafes, be with friends, be together – whatever you identify as your happy place. Be there, more! Trust me when I say the pile of dishes and overflowing washing basket will all be there when you return. This stuff, this ‘fun stuff’ is way more important.
Like anything important in your life, a relationship requires your time, commitment and your whole heart. This post was designed to share what works for me in my marriage and to speak to those of you who are looking for a few experiments to play with to enhance your experience within your own relationships.
I trust you have the discernment to know what is right for you.
Thank you for being here and celebrating my first blog post. There is so much more to come.
P.S If you would like to see how it all when down, you can take a sneak peek at our amazing Byron Bay wedding. Still gives me goose bumps!