Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

Whew! A long-term relationship today with my sweetheart/ best friend reached a crossroads and took a detour. What I know:

• He loves me.

• I love him.

• Our lifestyles differ. A lot at times.

So how do people do it these days? With change happening at neck breaking speed around the globe, how do we stay true to our own path; copilot and cocreate with friends and lovers; and navigate modern-day spiritual, financial, technological, environmental, and relational roadblocks with finesse?

Common daisy

Decades of practicing and teaching the martial arts have ingrained some practices that generally sustain me through chaos into calm. My wish is that they help you as well. For example:

1. Stand up for yourself. Modeling healthy boundaries and behaviors is sometimes the best thing we can teach others.

2. When chaos seems to be all around you, be still. Pivot 360˚ to observe your surroundings. Breathe deeply to calm yourself down and conserve energy.

3. After you’ve weighed your options and it’s time to for action, just do the next best thing.

4. Handle the biggest bully (or issue) first. When we summon the courage to deal with our weightiest problem head on, the smaller ones tend to fall away.

5. Trust your gut.

6. Aim for the highest possible good and least amount of damage for all involved.

7. Return to a place of centeredness and alignment within yourself. Align your values, thoughts, words and behaviors.

Love should not be a battlefield, but sometimes we end up in battle with our loved ones. Returning over and over again to the calm place within our own core allows us to move beyond fear and ego into wisdom. From this place of compassion and love for ourselves and others, we are guided to move in a healthy direction. We may not know where the detour will take us, but it’s there for a reason. Might as well enjoy the ride.

Detour north and south

Detour north and south (Photo credit: rawmustard)

Suggestions:

Think:  Are you in a relationship that has taken a new direction or needs to? What are your core values? Are they supported by this relationship?

Say:  Calmly, clearly speak your needs to the other person. Listen to their needs (spoken and perceived). Respectfully discuss the differences in your lifestyles and expectations. Seek common ground or ways to redefine the relationship.

Do:  Some breakups are tougher to get over than others. Seek the help of a therapist, counselor or mentor if needed. An excellent book based on Buddhist insights is The Wisdom of a Broken Heart by Susan Piver.

Can you relate? Please share...

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