Monthly Archives: April 2011

Why Relationship Advice Won’t Improve Your Love Life

The other day I was browsing through Barnes & Noble, and as I passed by the rows of books about love and sex I felt annoyed. Seeing those volumes brought to mind the biggest open secret in today’s culture: Most relationship advice doesn’t really help you and your partner improve — or sustain — your love life.

Most people know this to be true. And ironically, the never-ending stream — books, magazine articles, workshops and now, websites and e-zines — confirms it, because If any of them really did help, there wouldn’t be so many of them. In fact, substantial research confirms that these programs and advice aren’t very effective at all.

I think the reason this: Most of the prescriptions for restoring emotional and sexual vitality focus on the wrong things. Most teach techniques – actions and strategies for having better sex, for improving listening and communication, or for successful negotiating around conflict. But if you want to deepen intimacy and build greater vitality in your whole relationship, you have to nourish its spiritual core. Acquiring new techniques won’t do it. However, there are some practices that help you nourish your relationship’s spiritual connection, as I describe below.

What Handicaps Most Relationships

Let me explain. By “spiritual,” I’m referring to a less visible, less behavioral realm than most relationship advice and strategies deal with. Your relationship’s spiritual core includes, for example, your sense of purpose and life goals as a couple; how your values and ideals may change and evolve over the years, as separate individuals and as a couple. The relationship challenge is whether these and other spiritual dimensions are in synch. Continue reading

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Why The Tea Party/Republicans Fear A Transforming America

In the aftermath of the interim budget agreement, it’s clear that a new reactionary ideology has taken root in Tea Party/GOP policies. Psychological drivers are always present in political or personal ideologies and policies. I think it’s useful to expose and understand those within the positions of this new incarnation of the Republican Party, in order to order to counter them with constructive, positive alternatives.

In brief, the Tea Party/GOP is pushing for economic and social policies based on fears: Fears of massive transformation, turmoil and chaos underway in our society. And, fears about how those transformations will impact lives largely defined by self-interest, power and money. Some fear-generated policies are consciously created; others, unconscious. That is, some reflect a yearning for restoration of a way of life that no longer works in today’s changing society and globalized world. Other policy positions reflect conscious manipulation of those fears; But all driving the positions the Tea Party/GOP demands and is determined to enact.

I call their ideology and policies “reactionary” because they are a retreat away from creating positive, resilient responses to large-scale upheaval and change; and towards objectives that fail to address the sources of problems they aim to fix. Worse, their view of the impact their policies would have upon society doesn’t correspond to factual reality – as a broad range of commentators, both conservative and liberal, have pointed out.

For both reasons, one may describe the policies and ideology of the current Republicans as, psychologically speaking, delusional.

Understanding What The New Reactionaries Fear

We’re living through Continue reading

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