Are Your Relationships Shipshape?

Top Ten Practices of Enlightened Relationships

Relationships are in many ways like real, seagoing ships. Just like a sailing vessel needs regular, constant care and upkeep, your relationships need regular care and upkeep. The crew of a sailing ship is knowledgeable in the standard practices of seamanship, which is absolutely required to maintain a ship’s seaworthiness. Unfortunately, most people are not knowledgeable in the standard practices of maintaining their relation-ships.

Yet, most people in relationships of any kind are usually focused on the goals of the relationship, whether building a life or a business or a community center. There is very little attention paid to the relation-ship itself. And often, somewhere along the voyage of life, the relation-ship is unable to withstand the inevitable and predictable storms of life that can damage both the individuals in the relationship and the relation-ship itself. Maintaining a strong, stable, satisfying relation-ship requires knowledge and skill – neither of which is commonly taught in our culture.

Enlightened relationships are distinguished both by the shared vision that guides the relationship as well as the standard practices of its partners. Enlightened relationships are created and maintained through specific standard practices. Unfortunately, these practices are uncommon in a popular culture gripped by fear and ignorance. But, through the commitment to learn and use these practices, the individuals and the relationship are elevated to new heights that uplift and evolve the soul.

Below we offer for your consideration the Top Ten Practices of Enlightened Relationships to help you in building and maintaining strong, durable and enlightened relationships.

  1. Write down the purpose and desired results for your relationship. A relationship without a stated purpose and intended results is like a ship setting sail without a chart or plotted course. The purpose should be stated in a way that lifts the spirit of all partners.
  2. Make choices grounded in love rather than fear. Become aware of your automatic reactions that are based in fear and look for the love choice instead. Ask yourself, what would love do or say in this situation?
  3. Mutually agree upon strategies for dealing with predictable break-downs, i.e., miscommunications, upsets or disagreements and use them when needed. It is important to have these strategies in place before the breakdowns occur. It is difficult, if not impossible, to create and implement them in the middle of a breakdown.
  4. Commit to win/win outcomes; don’t settle for anyone being the loser. For the relationship to win, all participants in the relationship need to win. If anyone in the relationship loses, the entire relationship loses. Keep asking questions that lead you to the win/win outcome.
  5. Practice “high performance” communication from the heart. People respond positively to the expression of heart-felt truth because it builds trust, even if they don’t agree with it. High performance communication involves four specific skills, plus the ability to listen without judgment for the concerns of the other person that may be hidden behind their words.
  6. Assume personal responsibility for your emotional reality and refrain from blame. Blame and projection will pollute the emotional climate of a partnership faster than anything.
  7. Take the initiative for the satisfaction of your own needs and wants and make clear requests of others that inspire their cooperation. Don’t wait for people to guess what will make you happy. Nobody likes to endure demands or covert manipulation.
  8. Share power rather than struggle for it. Let go of the need to be right all the time. Value others ideas and perceptions as being as valid as your own. Heal your unresolved power/authority issues from the past.
  9. See problems as opportunities. Every problem contains the gift of spiritual development within it. Learn to unwrap the package.
  10. Nurture a conscious relationship with your Soul. The more spiritually attuned you are, the more enlightened you and your relationships will be.

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