People ask me if I’m surprised to have developed a mid-life specialty in sexuality. The answer is “Only somewhat.”
More surprising is discovering that my “bliss” is helping couples stay intimately connected over the long haul. That’s because I was reluctant to open up to the inherent challenges of long-term erotic coupling, even though I was blessed with an easy relationship to my sexuality. I had meaningful and long-standing relationships, but all the while defended myself against deep intimacy. Intuitively, though, I also knew that putting my full self into an intimate partnership would call me to growth of a kind that both scared and excited me.
Like many people, I felt I had to change myself before I could have a lasting relationship. I saw my ways of defending myself against hurt as a problem and personal flaw. Yet, slowly (very slowly), I began to see that if I mindfully lived into my relationship challenges, as opposed to simply trying to fix them or make them go away, that they ushered me towards the healing my heart had long been seeking. And so it was when I fell in love with my partner Halko, a Psychologist and Hakomi Trainer.
Halko and I were on the same journey toward mindful love relationships, but from opposite shores. We literally had to cross an ocean to be together. As we sailed into open waters, like all couples, we sometimes hit storms, got stuck on sandbanks, and drifted into the irons. We regularly navigated complexities that challenged our capacities as sailors, and lovers. Yet, because we had committed to practice mindfulness with ourselves and each other, these challenges only united us and made us more willing to go into deeper waters together.