5 Ways to be in Truth with your family this Holiday season

Yule tide greetings,

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts- Janice Maeditere

1.   Within Each Person lies an Inner Battlefield

Don’t let outer appearances fool you. Each person is going through their unique challenges as we move more and more into the Aquarian Age. Become present with people and feel them and you will begin to see (with the 3rd eye)  their pain.  Don’t look to them to validate your findings. The ego views this kind of vulnerability as death.  Beam love from your heart and bless them  as you listen. This is what it means to have compassion for others.

2.   Don’t be Nice – Be Real ! And Turn off the TV too !

Stop doing things just for the approval of others.  If you don’t want the food or the booze  just say “no thank you” with no explanation required. Let mother’s ego feel hurt if you don’t like her white-poison-dessert or some other foods she has prepared. Usually people just want to bond. Say to dad “no I don’t want to drink but I do want to spend time with you.” Families will often have the TV blaring in the middle of the room – a handy distraction from reality. Suggest to turn off the TV, go for a walk, talk, play games or cook together.

3.   Deliver your Soul’s Gift this Holiday Season

Before we incarnated to this life, we chose our family of origin. It is important to remember that we came here to deliver our soul gifts to help our families to heal. Start by taking note of what you complain about. What do you feel your family never gave you?  This is exactly what you are to give to them.  If you feel they never fully accepted you practice accepting them. Bring true forgiveness and acceptance to everyone involved. Be open to members of your family changing and healing.

4.   Let Go of the Past by Healing the Present

When families gather, stories from the past will inevitably come up.  “Remember the time Uncle John was so drunk he fell on the Christmas tree.”  “Remember when black sheep sister ruined Christmas by burning the turkey ha,ha, ha.” Share your perspective and experience of the past from an authentic place.  Own your experience and do not feel threatened by the judgment of others. Speak your Truth even if your voice trembles. When you are aligned with Truth you are aligned with the power of the Universe.  Also honor others’ perspectives of their experience. Perhaps ask the question, “Why do we tell this story over and over? Is there something unfinished in this story? How can we let it go?”

5.   Resist the Urge to Escape

If family dynamics or thoughts from the past are overwhelming you  the mind will want to escape. Resist the urge to self-medicate through eating and drinking too much. Remove yourself from the situation and meditate  wherever you are. There will be a bathroom to escape to. Lock the door and breathe deeply.

Try this simple 3 min meditation to get yourself together:

——–
Exercise: Inhale a deep breath into your Heart Chakra. See your Heart Door Open Wide while you hold this intention in your mind:

I ask to receive the greater knowledge of my soul and to be open to receive all I need to grow.
Hold Breath for 10 seconds while focused on your Heart center.

Exhale slowly ¼ (or so) of your held breath and inhale another deep breath into your solar plexus center.

Hold breath for 10 seconds within your solar plexus center.

Exhale slowly ¼ (or so) of your breath and then inhale another deep breath.

As you inhale bring the energy of your breath from your solar plexus upward past your heart and releasing out of the top of your crown.

Rest with 3 breaths and start the process again.

As you progress with this simple technique as a daily practice, it is suggested to ask inwardly these simple questions:

• Who am I?

• Where did I come from?

• Why am I here?

• What am I supposed to be doing with my life?

Remember there is no way to do this exercise incorrectly. Let go, feel inside and follow your intuition along with your breath. You may want to journal your impressions for review at a later time.”

Written in 2012 by my girl, Denise, from Seed of the Soul

holly

December 25: A day of service

More than 200 families are expected to attend the third annual Christmas Day luncheon hosted by Bermuda CableVision in partnership with the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The luncheon for families in need and other residents who “may not otherwise be able to enjoy such a meal” on Christmas Day will be held at the church on King Street on December 25 from 1pm to 3pm.

A spokesperson confirmed: “Up to 200 families will be able to attend, and it is expected that the church hall will be filled to capacity.

“A scrumptuous meal is being planned, to include the full traditional Christmas menu of turkey and all the trimmings, an array of savoury vegetarian dishes, and an assortment of holiday desserts.

“Bermuda CableVision purchases and prepares the food and its employees will be on hand to help the church members serve the meals,” she added.

Company CEO Terry Roberson said: “Recognising the growing need in our community, and having launched the ‘Open Hands, Loving Hearts’ Food Drive this year, we naturally wanted to participate in this event once again.

“We thank the Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Church for their steadfast commitment to helping the less fortunate in our community. This is the true spirit of Christmas and we look forward to sharing it with all who join us.”

Church Pastor Kenneth Manders, said: “As Pastor of the Hamilton Seventh-day Church, I would like to express our joy in partnering with CableVision for the third edition of this special Christmas event.

“To share God’s joy on Christmas Day is a privilege, and we are blessed to be able to invite these guests to our table. Thank you CableVision, for responding to the needs of our community as we share the joy of Christmas.”

 

ujimapic

P.S.- These types of initiatives are held all over the world on Dec.25. Get involved if you feel to! 

Black dolls show off natural looks in new, custom collection

“My goal is to have a doll line that is available to young girls all over the world – anywhere from California to Africa – anywhere that young girls need to have dolls that look like them,” says Karen Byrd, creator of Natural Girls United.

The new ethnic doll collection features a vast array of customized black dolls with natural hair done as an Afro, braided, kinky, curly, twisted, highlighted, wrapped, and crowned.

The dolls’ shades of skin similarly reflect the manifold tones of people of color, something Barbie never could grasp throughout her over 50-year existence.

“When I was growing up, I had dolls that were African-American, but they didn’t have features that looked like mine,” Byrd tells theGrio. “They didn’t have hair that looked like mine. Even though they were beautiful, they didn’t represent my beauty. It sends me mixed signals. You’re not really sure. If my doll is gorgeous, why don’t I look like my dolls?”

Not only does Byrd’s assortment of toys embrace the look and sensibilities of a diversity of women, the names denote originality, tradition and legacy, as well as the influence of modern life on etymology.

Choose from dolls named Mandisa, Shah, Jeanette and Theresa, or Naya, Badia, Angela and Stephanie J. Their skin ranges from chocolate brown to honey, their style formal to beachwear.

There’s even a mermaid thrown into the mix, complete with red chunky locks.

“In most cultures, there’s always going to be a different range of skin tones, and it’s really important that every single skin tone is represented so that when a child goes to a store, goes to their mom to ask for a doll, they can find something that looks like them,” Byrd remarks.

The root of the problem

Part of Byrd’s inspiration for her toy collection stems from studies and reports demonstrating that black children often see black dolls as negative, and will accordingly choose to play with white dolls instead.

In the 1940s, sociologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark conducted a now-famous experiment where they asked black children about two dolls, one white and one black, and the majority said they’d rather play with the white doll. They felt the white doll was “nicer” than the black doll, and looked more like them.

Decades later, in 2009, Good Morning America recreated the test with a handful of children and found improved results among African-American youth in terms of self-image, though not ideal.

Forty-two percent of the children wanted to play with the black doll compared to 32 percent for the white doll, however one 7-year-old commented that the black doll was bad because, “It talks back and don’t follow directions.”

Similarly, CNN partnered with a researcher in 2010 to interview both white and black children, and found prejudiced viewpoints on all accounts. The tests showed white children generally identified the color of their own skin with positive attributes and darker skin with negative attributes, and black children also showed a bias toward whiteness.

Capturing it firsthand, high school student Kiri Davis conducted a video experiment to recreate the doll test in 2007, and found that 15 of the 21 black children she interviewed preferred a white doll to a black one.

Asked why the black doll was the “bad” option, a young girl replied, “She’s black.”

Byrd explains, “There’s so many images in the media, and also in our own communities where we’re told to be beautiful you have to have fair skin, long hair and light eyes. So when a child sees a doll that’s dark, they don’t necessarily connect that with something that’s good.”

Redefining beauty, one doll at a time

Countering popular culture, Byrd’s Natural Girls United collection expands the image of female beauty to embrace distinctions women embody in their dress and identity.

“The toy industry really markets towards what cool is and what is acceptable, and unfortunately ethnic people are not quite a part of standard yet,” she points out.

To produce her dolls, Byrd buys the original molds from stores, then hand-makes each figure with unique hair, clothing and visage. She works out of a home office in Northern California.

Price-wise, the toys are expensive. The “Big Afro Doll” sold for $80, and a curly-locked cheerleader is listed at $139.99.

Others range around $40-50, which is comparable to a Barbie doll.

Byrd says the cost comes from customization, high demand, and the fact she doesn’t have a manufacturer yet.

It’s a one-woman shop undertaking the hope of girls around the globe.

“I actually have a huge inventory of every race of doll,” Byrd comments. “I just haven’t had a chance to incorporate them into my collection because I’ve had such a huge demand for ethnic dolls. But I have the dolls waiting. I have Caucasian dolls, I have Latino dolls, I have Asian dolls – they’re all waiting.”

A new model for a diverse culture

As requested, Byrd also intends to pursue more dimensions of hair, cornrows being one style in the works.

She feels the possibilities are limitless, as can be the impact. Even for white children, incorporating ethnic dolls into their home inventory could foster a broader understanding of social groups.

“With families that have multi-cultural children, [the dolls] have been really popular,” Byrd says. “They explain how it’s so difficult for them to find dolls in stores that look like their kids because they’re mixed race and they’re so happy to be able to step out of the boundaries and have something like this. I’m happy in the future to work on every culture of dolls because I know that every culture embraces textures like dreadlocks, and curly hair and it’s not just one race. It’s really an international thing.”

P.S.- Check  out http://www.kenyasworld.com too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_ueWB323yA    Natural girls united dolls

 http://www.naturalgirlsunited.com                                       Same as above

duafe

“wooden comb”

Symbol of beauty and cleanliness

The meaning of this symbol is characterized slightly differently in “The Adinkra Dictionary” and “The Values of Adinkra Symbols.” The former emphasizes more abstract qualities of feminine goodness, love and care, while the latter has a more literal interpretation, looking one’s best and good hygiene. In any case, the duafe is a prized possession of the Akan woman, used to comb and plait her hair.

More of our dolls: http://theculture.forharriet.com/2015/02/barbie-who-5-black-doll-lines-taking.html

Reflections of an ordinary African woman

Being Proudly African

The problem with African society today is the right to choose. In reality this should not be a problem, but it seems all the people’s choices are about not being African anymore.

 reports

Being Proudly African

I recently engaged a group of people in a conversation in which I was lamenting the loss of our culture in Ghana. I made a comment that today fried rice is considered a national meal in Ghana, to which a young lady replied that if people wanted to eat fried rice, that was their business. In as much as I agree with that sentiment, I also think that we need to look at this at a deeper level. I have no problem with people eating fried rice. The problem arises when traditional meals, such as plantain and kontomire (a type of spinach) stew, are downgraded in favour of fried rice. Why should this bother me? I will tell you.

The rice we consume in Ghana is imported from America and Thailand. For as long as we promote fried rice over plantain, it means our plantain farmers (if we have any more left in Ghana) will have less of a market. And this will lead to unemployment, which can lead to crime. And in the long run, this can affect me when I am mugged by a young boy who should be on a farm.

The problem with the world is that we are all becoming so me, me, me that we forget how some of our actions can affect society as a whole. Each time a woman in Africa buys Brazilian hair, she empowers the Asian economy because it is not Africans who are producing these products. Rather than buy local Shea butter and black soap, which is suitable for the maintenance of our natural hair, our women in Ghana will wear Brazilian hair and buy all the products needed to make the Brazilian hair look nice!

The main problem for me is that under the guise of an individual’s freedom to be what they want to be, everything Ghanaian is being demonised. So if you eat traditional foods, which are healthier, you are considered as “colo” (old-fashioned). If you prefer or encourage women to wear their natural hair, you are considered radical or controversial. If you want to do only the traditional customary marriage, you are made to feel that you are indeed not properly married. You have to do a “white” wedding in church. Yet legally, customary marriage is the accepted norm of the land.

So, the freedom to choose to have a white wedding in church has devalued the essence of the traditional customary wedding. By all means, people should have the right and freedom to do what they want to do and what they want to be. However, in doing so, they need to look at the long-term effect on society.

I just don’t understand why the right to choose means those of us who choose to respect our cultures and traditions are made to feel as if we are rather in the wrong. When I talk about young boys walking around the streets of Ghana with their saggy jeans and underwear showing, I am told the world is moving, or has moved, forward. So I have to ask, forward to what?

In the days of yore, men went about in loincloth and women went about with their breasts exposed. If I choose to go out like that today, I would be branded old-fashioned. Maybe even crazy. Yet because saggy jeans came from America, that is accepted as okay! There is a very popular artiste in Ghana called Wanlov the Kubolor. He wears clothes and walks around barefoot. People think he is mad. Yet nobody questions the sanity of the young boys who wear saggy jeans, Timberlands and hooded tops in the Ghanaian heat!

Today the way some Ghanaian women dress leaves very little to the imagination. In fact I feel these women have devalued womanhood. Most of these women are walking around looking like hookers. But because they dress like Rihanna and Beyoncé, this makes it acceptable. If I were to dress as my ancestors did and go out with my breasts hanging out, I would be considered a mad woman. Yet to dress like Nicky Minaj and have my breasts hanging out over a tight top is perceived as fashionable. You see the double standards? If it’s African, it’s crazy. If it’s from America or Europe, it’s fashionable and the right of the individual to choose it.

Today in Ghana, the majority of women wear Brazilian, Peruvian or Indian hair. This is not all. They top the fake hair with Taiwanese nails and China-made eyelashes. If I wear my natural African hair, I am made to feel like a fool, like I don’t know what time it is. So once again the freedom to choose means those of us who choose the African way are stupid!

I remember the joy I had growing up as a child in Ghana, whenever we went to the village and went to the farm with my grandmother. It was exciting coming back with food and firewood. I also remember the countless number of trees that yielded fruit that we could just pick and eat. Today, where are all the traditional fruits of Ghana? The norm in our shops and on the streets is now apples and grapes. Apples and grapes that are imported into the country. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have the option of eating a variety of foods, fruits and vegetables. However, each time we mock our local foods in favour of the imported ones, we kill the life of the local farmer. I would love a situation where, alongside the imported apples and grapes, we also promote and accept our local fruits as normal.

Currently, doctors are saying that soursoup is a great preventer of cancer. Soursoup used to grow all over Ghana. Where is it today? Our ancestors in their wisdom ate soursoup. However, today, unless America says so, we don’t believe anything we grow in our lands is good!

I remember serving sorrel to my guests on my 40th birthday. My Ghanaian family were horrified. What was I thinking? A “big madam” like me serving sorrel? Everybody would think I was tight-fisted or crazy. Nobody served sorrel at the time because it was something schoolchildren drank. Despite their horror, I stuck to my guns. Today, Ghanaians are seeing the health benefits of sorrel and now serve it at social functions.

Again my issue is this: if Ghanaians want to drink all the chemically enhanced fizzy drinks, that is their choice. But why demonise those of us who prefer what grows on our land? The same way they have the freedom to choose everything that is American or European, is the same way I also have the freedom to choose everything Ghanaian or African. Yet society will frown on me for my choice. I will be made to feel like I am an inferior being. And if I’m not strong-willed, I will end up conforming to what is actually not our culture or way of life.

Driving around Ghana, you will notice a number of billboards advertising skin-bleaching products. Again, it is the right of any individual to choose to bleach their skin. However, their choice affects me because if I don’t conform and bleach my skin too, I will be considered ugly. It’s not uncommon to hear of our actresses bleaching their skin to get roles. But why should I have to bleach my skin to get a job? Why can’t I keep the black skin my God created me with and still have an equal chance when it comes to competing with others?

I agree that the world is moving forward and we need to move with the times. However, it’s not everything that we as Africans have to copy blindly. Of course, we can copy the good things from somewhere, for example, the rules and regulations governing driving?  But drive around Accra and indeed you will think that common sense is not common. Rather than copy how the Americans, for example, take people through driving lessons, a theory test and a practical test, before getting their licences to drive, we go around aping their accents and call this progress!

As a Krobo woman, I have done my dipo (a rite of passage for women). Traditionally, when doing the dipo, women are barechested. Once when I visited my village during the time of dipo, I was disgusted at the number of German men taking pictures of the young girls, with their breasts exposed. Leering as they clicked away with their cameras, these men looked like paedophiles.

So I talked to some of the queenmothers about modernising dipo by allowing the young girls to cover their breasts. That is moving forward. Cancelling dipo altogether in the name of progress is not moving forward, but rather, losing an essential part of being a Krobo woman.

No doubt there are certain cultural practices across Africa that need to be abolished, for example, female circumcision and the widowhood rites. I’m not for one moment saying we need to hold on to all our cultural practices, no matter how negative they are. But we need to appreciate what is ours and beneficial to our society. In the past, children would come home from school and greet their parents with a curtsey and a polite “Good afternoon, Ma”. Today our young children can greet an adult with ‘”Woz op?’”, not even the correct “what’s up”, but their version of what they hear!

That is the problem with the African of today. The right to choose – but it seems all their choices are about choosing not to be African any more. As another year comes to an end, and people across Africa buy into the Christmas myth that we need to eat turkey, buy plastic trees and put fake snow all over our homes, I think we need to take some time out and really ask ourselves, what are the choices we are making. And more importantly, how do these choices affect African society as a whole? But hey, these are just the reflections of an ordinary African woman.

What it Means to Love a Libra!!!

“We love the things we love for what they are.” ~ Robert Frost

A Libra longs for partnership, it is her heart’s forever-wish; but to love a Libra, you must love her completely.

A Libra will need space; she’ll need freedom to be who she is in any given moment. She wants to suffer, celebrate, hate and adore who she is. These things are always changing and often conflicting, because she’s constantly discovering new pieces of who she is.

She’ll never tell you something critical straightaway, instead she’ll sit with it until the perfect words ring true in her heart and ever-so-carefully move into her mouth. Even then, she might write you a letter. Because the intensity of her feelings can make the speaking of words such a task.

She loves words. She loves the magic they hold, the way they can free her (and so few things can).

So to love a Libra, understand that the words always matter—they are the brush strokes of her heart. She won’t lie, she’s no good at it. She won’t brag, for she holds words in too high esteem. Your words must never be cheapened through unfulfilled promises or patronization. If your speech is unkind, she’ll remember and the words will never hurt less.

She’s an artist, through and through. But a Libra, to survive in the world, must find her medium. The words, or paints, the delicate, mindful crease of a freshly-made bed—it’s all art to her. Beautiful pieces of anything. She needs objects and sounds and smells and textures to resonate with that place deep inside that says, “Yes. That’s it, now it is exactlyright.” To love a Libra, you must know this.

She’ll need her art like you need your breath—without it, she will lose track of who she is.

You must watch the curve of her mouth; her lips will purse (ever-so-slightly) and when they do, you can rest assured that her mind wanders because her heart is not still. You’ll notice her eyes are far away; in that moment, you must let her go there—to the place where the words find their way to the air—but not for too long. She’s always in danger of escaping for too long.

She seeks stillness.

A Libra will love her body. She’ll hate her body too. But you must love it, you must always love it. You must look into her eyes and smile. Move her hair from her face so you can get a better look. You must touch the places that hardly get touched: her neck as she does the dishes, her collar bone as she types at her desk, her hip as you stand in line at the grocery store. You must weave the ordinary with the erotic. Slide your hands firmly over every inch of her skin as if it were the first time you’ve ever touched her. You must touch her. She’ll crave your embrace and wither without it.

She needs romance. And so many kisses.

She needs to be whisked away to see the world and she needs a comfortable home to return to.

She’ll cry. A lot. She’ll cry and you won’t know what’s wrong. She won’t tell you what’s wrong, not at first, because she might not know. There will be times when she simply needs to feel sadness, she needs to feel the struggle of being alive, even when you both don’t understand.

Whatever it is, she feels it more.

The weight of her fears, her curiosities, everything: of being human, of responsibility, of hate and violence and injustice, of beauty and lightness and breath, all of it. It frighteners her, but amazes her too. So she’ll need time and space to explore, to dance and to fall apart, because there is nothing more lovely than a Libra experiencing the world. She sees magic where others do not. She needs to believe in magic. Ferociously.

And when she finally turns 30—when the leaves are changing and she feels most herself—you’ll be mindful of her feelings; because, even if it isn’t a big deal, it is a big deal and the tears that stream for no particular reason come from a place of shame in her heart.

To love a Libra, you must celebrate; you must celebrate her, life, the amazing, the plain, everything and anything.

To love a Libra is to love the very essence of love, warts and all.

There’s a delicate balance—a perpetual tug-of-war—between feeling fierce and complete against feeling soft and frail. Always trying to reach that impossible balance, she never quite knows who she is.

To compensate for the not-knowing she’ll please everyone around her. She’ll accommodate others and fix situations until you resent her for it; but, to love a Libra is to see that her self-sacrifice, no matter how destructive, is how she loves. Her bleeding heart is how she finds her place in a world that can be unkind; it’s the way she can claim some shred of control—she believes that kindness is what matters most.

A Libra needs you to push her toward self-care. She’ll never choose her needs first, so you’ll have to teach her this craft. You’ll need to teach her that putting her needs before others is not the same as selfishness, because she sees selfishness as ugly.

Ugliness scares her.

Loneliness too.

Her heart will break often. Her heart will feel lonely and sad about many things, but you must never be the one to break it completely.

To capture a Libra’s heart is to capture her heart forever. There are no partners more committed, more attentive than your Libra. You mustn’t ever take her for granted though; for a Libra’s heart will grow uneasy when neglected, her heart will close and you risk never finding your way in again.

Her heart knows the secret to everything. Protect it.

Sometimes she’ll feel lost. She’ll need hot tea and blankets, black-and-white movies, and no conversation. Other times, she’ll need people. Parties and midnight walks and deep, frenzied conversation—she likes literature and science and philosophy best. She likes whiskey too. To love her, you’ll need to know that.

She’ll need constant reminders that she’s a lovely being, that she’s loved—better yet, adored. She needs mindful smothering, she needs adventure. A Libra wants autonomy, but can’t stand the thought of being left alone. You must learn to accept her, even as a contradiction.

She’ll require decisiveness, as she has none of her own. She’ll surprise you with spontaneity and you’ll admire the commitment she shows to her heart’s content. But if she has time to think, any decision will be painful—be it where to eat, what to wear or who to love. This will frustrate you, but you must try understand. For her, there is no such thing as an obvious choice.

Loving a Libra means loving love itself. She loves everything about love: the connection, the discovery, the heartache, the ecstasy, the very idea of love—it’s all the same. She yearns for the safety of partnership, but she thrives on the excitement of love’s uncertainty.

She wants passion.

She can see the good in almost any person, but in a lover she requires intelligence and humor. There is nothing sexier than wit.

She hates discord, because it makes her feel vulnerable; but to love her is not to worry too much, because she believes in forgiveness and trust—enough to repair almost any injury done to her. When you fight with a Libra, she’ll be certain that every fight is the end of everything and this will destroy her a little; you must remind her that every argument is an opportunity for growth—it is the beginning of a new everything. Loving a Libra means knowing there are few things more important than make-up sex.

She loves falling in love, so to love a Libra you’ll have to fall in love time and time again. She’ll require perpetual evolution, and inspiration, and a little dose of sin.

To love a Libra you’ll need to see the good intention that she always has in her heart; to ignore this well-meaning piece of her is to deny her a personal truth. She cannot survive without this particular truth. When she’s awful, or rude, or arguing because she’s right—and she’s usually right, because she’s a Libra and it’s in her nature to be fair and just and indisputably right—you must breathe. Then trust her tears and her words to be true.

She cares too deeply to ever inflict intentional harm.

But if you witness the flash of anger in her eyes, you must let her rage. For gentle, compassionate Libra will storm fiercely in the face of injustice. You must allow her the space to be a warrior when her heart tells her it is time to fight. You must stand beside her, admire her devotion and believe in the cause—see it for what it is, a manifestation of her heart’s deepest purpose.

Believe in her and she’ll believe in you too.

She might be cast as an introvert. She might be tagged an extrovert by those who know her best. Neither matters, as long as she feels connected to what surrounds her.

When a Libra is happy, she can take over the world. She need only be equipped with the proper music, laughter and her smile.

The trick is in keeping her there; for in that moment is an ocean of contentment that only her huge heart can appreciate. If you can keep her in the moment, you can keep her forever. But the Libra mind will drift and worry. It will linger on the wrong that cut her too deeply. She will scrutinize over the words you used, or the words that went unspoken. She’ll wonder about security and what each embrace or touch or quarrel will mean in the long-term; to love a Libra, you must gently guide her back to the now again and again and again.

Libra blossoms in the joyful now.

She believes in the goodness of people, in magic and (above all else) in happily ever after.

To love a Libra, you must believe in her for everything she is.

by Sara Crolick (Oct.6, 2013)

NOTE: This article is spot ON!!!!! Yes, I’m a proud Libra.

 

hearts

 

Monogamy -vs- Polyamory

Monogamy vs. Polyamory: Different Formulas for Different Folks. ~ Alia Maiter

Dec 7, 2013

How often does anyone really sit and ask themselves what their ideal relationship is?

In the age of free love, experimentation, and consciousness-expanding growth around our sexuality, many of us have been confronted by questions such as this. Many of us had relationships come to an end because we meet an impasse, desiring different kinds of relationships, while not wishing to constrict the desires of another, or dishonor our own.

I myself just had a relationship end because I set the boundary of wanting to be monogamous —and he wanted to be polyamorous.

At the onset of my first relationship at age 15, I chose to be polyamorous and have only had one monogamous relationship in my life. Now, at the ripe age of 27, I am turning towards monogamy again.

Monogamy and polyamory are not two separate boxes which we can perfectly cram ourselves into. They are not a binary of one or the other. They are a continuum, offering a broad spectrum of multiple ways we can interact in a relationship, and rarely do we fall completely into one category.

In the case of polyamory for example, I am okay with my partners cuddling with other people, being flirtatious, even kissing another person. However, partners I’ve had in the past were not so okay with these kinds of fleeting intimacies, but rather felt more comfortable if the extended branches of our polyamorous tree cultivated deep and loving relationships with the other particular beings that we felt a connection with. These are but two possibilities in the infinite spectrum between polyamory and monogamy.

What I know to be most important if I am choosing to play in this spectrum is to know myself and know my boundaries. Being able to clearly define what we are looking for from the start can save a lot of time and hurt. Finding out six months into a relationship that the relationship formulas are incompatible can be very difficult.

The arguments for polyamory are many. Some say that we are autonomous beings who should be free to pursue connections that dance on our heartstrings. Others assert that they may have past-life karma to wrap up with other lovers. Many believe there is no single partner that can fulfill all needs, so it is essential to have different lovers that satisfy different needs.

For example, if one sometimes prefers to be dominant and other times prefers to be submissive, one could have another partner to play these different roles with. This benefits the relationship as lovers cannot threaten one person‘s position in the relationship if they are fulfilling different needs. It creates a greater sense of security.

The more challenging sides of polyamory are all the emotions that this relationship style can bring about, from insecurity to jealousy. In most of my polyamorous relationships both myself and my partners have made a commitment to have open and honest communication which enables a process of self-growth and self-knowing.

Learning where these triggers arise from, we seek to experience them, not shun them, allowing oneself to move through challenging emotions and potentially gain a sense of healing and personal development.

Alternatively, polyamory can become merely a means of chasing temptation and an inability to stay engaged with or fully invested in intimacy. Is it the fear of remaining in the stillness of intimacy that keeps an individual running from one situation to another without fully experiencing the depth of intimacy? Or is it an addiction to fleeting temptations, a need for excitement and instant gratification that keeps an individual looking for the newest fix?

What’s the story with monogamy then? Monogamy comes with its own pros and cons. Many people feel that the depth one gains in a solid, monogamous relationship cannot be matched by polyamory. They see it as an act of devotion, of curbing desire, sacrificing that addiction, to go to a truly deep place of intimacy with one individual. Accepting them completely, unconditionally loving all their good sides and more challenging sides, as well as learning to not have all one’s needs met. Being able to commit rather than indulge.

It is supposed by many that sexual experiences create energetic cords and when sharing partners, you may not always know whose energy you are taking in. Some would go so far as to say this act devalues the energy and it is not honored for its sacredness.

On the other hand, monogamy can be just as much of a safety net as polyamory. Having no need to confront jealousy and insecurity, individuals can often fall into the safe womb of a codependent relationship. Is it attachment, or a need to feel ownership over a partner that causes us to choose monogamy?

Ultimately, through my journeys in both polyamory and monogamy, I see the benefits of both. Both can challenge us, inspire us, and help us grow. However, both can become means of escapism, a way to ignore healing both the triggers and the challenges deeply imbedded in our persona. The key to engaging these different relationship styles is first and foremost to know oneself, honor and respect oneself, and consciously move forward without allowing fear to guide us.

If we are choosing monogamy because we fear we may become jealous, have another look at what alternative reasons to choose monogamy might be. If we are choosing polyamory because we are addicted to the excitement of NRF (new relationship feelings), we can try to pursue connections with people that might offer us more than just sexual stimulation or an exciting chase.

In either regard, abstain from passing judgement on other people’s relationship choices, knowing that neither is right or wrong. They are simply different formulas of engaging in intimacy, and different formulas work for different people at different moments in their lives.

As I started out polyamorous (and have been so in most of my relationships), I am undergoing a process now of learning to be monogamous. Actually, monogamy-ish fits me better, seeing as I don’t think I will ever naturally be a strictly monogamous character.

However, in coming to terms with this new identity I realized I find it really difficult to ask individuals that I’m involved with to commit to me and stop seeing others, as I fear that in constricting someone they are merely driven to dishonesty or will end up feeling restrained from living their lives freely. In learning to honor myself and live authentically, however, I find myself choosing a grey area on the spectrum that is closer to monogamy.

My partners still have a lot of freedom to explore with others in a non-sexual way that is still intimate. When I am completely into someone, I tend to feel satiated and not desire anything more or anyone else.

It’s been hard to turn down so many beautiful, intelligent, spiritually driven men that could be such a perfect match if not for this one impasse: our levels of poly versus monog just do not match. Stretching our boundaries to accommodate any relationship only leads to resentment, so I honor my truth.

My dreams are sprouting from the seed of courage, watered by faith.

P.S.- This is the best article I’ve read on the topic. Hands down.