If You Want to Transform Your
Story Around Relationships,
Here’s a Good Place to Start
In our time, a lot of ambitious women have been told to give up on the dream of a happy and committed relationship with a man. We are constantly reminded that we no longer need men to bring home the bacon, and the question posed is why brave the struggle? The search for the intimacy we so deeply yearn for is made wrong to us, to the point where we shut down part of our core feminine desires.
Negating your core desires and abandoning your feminine essence is how many women get trapped in a loop of attracting the wrong men. I’ve been there—if you read this week’s story, Truth About Men and Money, then you’ll hear all about the dating nightmare of my 20s and early 30s.
For me, the path of transforming my own love life and creating the relationship I always longed for has been paved by many Spiritual teachers. And one of the greatest sources of wisdom I’ve had to thank in the realm of romance is the work of revolutionary author and Spiritual teacher David Deida.
For several decades now Deida’s integral teachings on spirituality, sexuality, and sacred intimacy have changed the way millions of men and women worldwide approach their relationships. Widely acknowledged as one of the most insightful and provocative teachers of our time, his impressive body of work includes hundreds of essays, audiotapes, videos, articles and books, and his unique workshops attract an international crowd.
Glenn and I both have read many of Deida’s books, and they have really helped us find greater strength in who we are as individuals and as a couple. For me, Deida’s masculine perspective on the feminine essence opened up my sense of self in a whole new way. Reading his book Dear Lover gave me a beautiful new
understanding and clarity around what I actually needed and wanted from a man—rather than what I was told to want, or made afraid to want— and what he needed from me.
Diving deeper, I also read The Way of the Superior Man, which I highly recommend for women as well as men. If you’re single, get ready for a close look at the kingly partner you long for, but don’t exactly know how to articulate—it will help you get clear on what you desire. And if you’re in a relationship, you’ll definitely still want to read it and share it with your man. After reading both of these books, you’ll be totally inspired to take your relationship to the next level—plus have a new set of tools with which to do it.
To give you an introduction to some of the concepts David Deida is known for, we caught up with counselor and teacher Michaela Boehm. Michaela has been studying and co-teaching with Deida since 1997, and is today the only counselor in the world personally trained by him. Based not far from me in beautiful Ojai, California, Michaela leads renowned women’s workshops and couples’ intensives from her organic farm, and is highly sought after by global celebrities for counseling. Read on for her expert perspective on Deida’s teachings.
How does David Deida describe the masculine and the feminine?
MICHAELA: The terms masculine and feminine are referring to each human’s sexual essence. Both men and women have masculine and feminine traits within them. Where a human resides in terms of their essence determines their preferences in regards to relationships and sexuality.
It is important not to conflate women with feminine and men with masculine. To do so would confuse the issue and lead to gender stereotyping and misperception of roles in a relationship.
The masculine in all of us is the part that rests in emptiness, consciousness and purpose. The masculine aspects of us create plans, forward motions and define ourselves through our goals and the achievement thereof.
The feminine in all of us is the flow of life, the radiant expression of love and fullness of existence. This aspect is the creative force in all humans.
Our sexual essence determines our preferences sexually and relationally. No one is just feminine or just masculine, each person has both within them. In intimate relationship the sexual spark –what David Deida calls Polarity—comes from the strong arc of attraction between two distinctly different poles. One partner in the relationship takes up the masculine expression and with that becomes the “penetrator” or “ravisher,” the other partner surrenders into being “penetrated” or “ravished.”
The more distinct and clarified the expressions of the sexual essence are, the stronger the sexual spark.
Creating strong polarity is a skill and art that can be learned. It is important to feel though that each man and woman can be fully versatile in their masculine and feminine expressions, which would make them empowered human beings. From the full repertoire we can offer the gifts of our sexual essence for the sake of deep intimacy and the play of polarity.
When a woman is struggling to establish a deeper connection or level of communication with her man, what should she do or not do?
MICHAELA: In an intimate relationship, the breakdown often occurs around not understanding each other’s needs. Women with a feminine essence often desire a “fullness” of engagement and a communication style which to her partner feels overwhelming and demanding. Her heart desires deep communion, while his heart might desire space, rest and a chance to experience “nothingness.”
The acknowledgement of different needs and giving moments of spaciousness to her partner, especially after a long day at work, go a long way towards connection.
One specific example would be reconnection at the end of a workday. Giving him a moment to regroup and relax (in whatever way he desires regardless if that is watching TV, playing games, meditation, having a beer or being in nature) before engaging him with conversation and connection.
For her that could also mean coming home from work and reconnecting with her essence, by coming back into her body with movement, a bath, play with animals or sharing with girlfriends. Softening from the day of directed activities and then meeting him from that place of relaxation instead of demand and tension.
What is the number one thing that men need to know about women, and vice versa?
MICHAELA: Despite claims to the opposite, Men and Women are very different in their needs and expressions. Defining, understanding and honoring those differences and styles of relating go a long way towards intimacy and deep connection.
With so many antiquated rules and ideas about what men and woman are supposed to be like in relationships, what do you feel is trending for conscious couples in 2015?
MICHAELA: In my almost 20 years of counseling couples and working with men and women on sexual and relational issues, I have seen substantial changes in the landscape of relationships. Particularly in the last 5 years, women’s needs and attitudes have changed. There are very few aspects of her life that require the presence or help of a man. Traditional male roles have become virtually obsolete.
But, the desire to engage in deep, meaningful exchange, hot sex and intimate partnership is still as present as ever.
Now that existing roles are being redefined, there is a new freedom to create a relationship free of the old stereotypes and blueprints. This does require self-knowledge, expression and creativity though. Both partners have to have the insight and honesty to know and express what their needs and desires are. In my work the emphasis is on couples honestly defining both their needs and their gifts within the relationship while reconnecting to their bodies as a “feeling compass” to navigate the changes and requirements.