The Essence of Conscious Relationship (Infographic)

Conscious Relationship starts with a foundation of self-acceptance. As we embark on the journey of healing through Conscious Relationship, we must remember that it all starts within.

Our relationship to ourselves and a desire to explore our inner-world is the essence of all the Work we do in a relationship with others. As long as we disregard our internal world, we will always see our relationship challenges and irritations as outside of us. Thus, healing in relationship will feel nearly impossible because the responsibility piece has yet to be integrated.

Going deep into Conscious Relationship work doesn’t require us to be in a romantic partnership. As long as we have a commitment to know ourselves, we can begin “doing the work”. This is wonderful news for many of us! It means that we have the power to shift our patterns and how our relationships look, without having to convince anyone outside of us to change or be different!

What exactly does it look like to do Conscious Relationship work?

  • Developing a deep relationship to self – getting to know your shadow.
  • Learning to self-soothe and feel safe in your own body.
  • Gaining tools and awareness to develop emotional intelligence and practice healthy communication.
  • Building healthy boundaries and listening to your body.
  • Making self-love and care a priority. All of our relationships flourish when we’re giving and receiving from a cup that overflows.
  • Learning to communicate our needs and wants with love.
  • Seeing conflict as an opportunity for growth. Taking time to look at our relationship patterns and our wiring around love.
  • A commitment to understanding our own mind. This means we practice taking ownership for our experiences, making self-inquiry our first response to any discomfort in our lives.
  • And most importantly, we bring radical self-compassion and acceptance to our healing process.

Doing the work does not mean beating ourselves up for having a shadow, judging ourselves for where we’re at in our process, or coming from a belief that we’re broken and need to be fixed.

Doing the work is about truly learning to love and accept ourselves in all of our darkness and all of our light. We are full spectrum beings, and it’s all beautiful.

As we step into “The Work”, it’s vital to remember that perfection is not the goal. No relationship is perfect. Even the most “Conscious” relationships will present conflict. In fact, sometimes, the most “Conscious” relationships also have the most conflict in the beginning.

It’s a funny thing when we commit to seeing our patterns and understanding our minds, we often find the perfect people to bring it all to the surface. Relationships can be our most profound teachers if we choose partners who are willing to be allies in our healing.

What makes a relationship truly “Conscious”? It isn’t spiritual lingo, a meditation practice, a fashion statement or a label.

A Conscious Relationship is a way of being. A commitment to understanding ourselves, our minds, our shadows, our thoughts, and our patterns.

A Conscious Relationship is a commitment to coming back to love in every moment.

To choose compassion over holding a position. To let go instead of holding on to righteousness.

When two people choose to go deep in relationship, it’s inevitable the shadow will rear its head. And when it does, we get to choose how we show up.

We are invited to be vulnerable when confronted by our fears and triggers.

 We are asked to drop our walls and show our hearts even when it feels scary. We are invited to show up as whole and complete and see the same in our partner. To see the relationship itself as a living, breathing entity.

It is a garden that needs watering and tending before it nourishes the two who tend it. When two people are truly committed to building a sacred, holy or Conscious Relationship, what they’re really committing to is an honest, self-loving, and radically authentic relationship to self.

Conscious Relationship is always about our relationship to ourselves. It cannot be any other way. Our intimate relationships are the ultimate invitation to deepen in self-love.

A co-committed relationship may look like magic, but it really is composed of tiny moments of choice. Choosing to tell the truth. Noticing that you are projecting, and finding the courage to take responsibility. Choosing to feel rather than go numb. Choosing to communicate about a broken agreement. Choosing to support your partner as he or she goes through deep feeling. Ultimately, once these skills are practiced and internalized, the relationship flows effortlessly. Once your nervous system learns to stay at a high level of aliveness and does not need to numb itself by lying, breaking agreements, and hiding feelings, the creativity starts to flow. – Gay & Katie Hendricks

Our most difficult relationships have the capacity to become our greatest teachers.

With humility and willingness to look deeper, all of the hurt we experience can act as a gateway for our own healing.
 Looking in the mirror may be painful, but it’s the only way to shift the pattern and move towards authentic and Conscious connection.

Healing our relationships is hard work. We must be courageous and compassionate with ourselves along the way.

 Taking responsibility doesn’t mean we are responsible for someone else’s actions. It simply means we are willing to see the ways in which we played a part in where we are today. It means we no longer choose to operate from a place of blissful ignorance. That we’re finally ready to own our power and integrate our shadow.

One of the first things we can do when we’re embarking on this journey is tune inward and connect to our true feelings. What’s really behind the defensiveness, avoidance, anxiety, control, jealousy, or anger?

Hold space for the sadness, grief, insecurity, vulnerability and unprocessed pain.
 Sometimes we get stuck on the healing path because it all feels like too much. Guilt and shame kick in and we’d prefer to go back to being blissfully unaware than carry the burden of feeling like a failure.

But we’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all hurt and been hurt. We’ve all fallen flat on our faces, lost love, and behaved in ways we’re not proud of. It’s what we do now that counts, and healing… it takes time.

Don’t beat yourself up for your past mistakes. That’s just another mechanism of the ego to keep you stuck. 
True healing is about bringing curiosity and kindness to all of your past selves and seeking to understand what you were protecting yourself from.

Underneath all of our shields is a deep innocence and vulnerability. This is an invitation for you to go there.

Sheleana is the Founder and Visionary of Rising Woman. She is a Conscious Relationship and Spiritual Psychology writer and Creator of an online program called Becoming the One. Sheleana spent 4 years as an apprentice in transpersonal group-work containers, depth psychology, and shadow work with a Spiritual teacher and went on to Co-Facilitate women's groups and Conscious Relationship workshops. She has trained in imago couples facilitation, tantra, couples work, somatic healing and is also a full-spectrum birth doula.
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