I've been reflecting on the word Committment lately, and digging a bit deeper into what this means for both Couples and Singles. It's a topic that comes up alot with my clients......
It's a word with a broad meaning and is often used rather casually. At first glance, Committment can seem to mean just attentiveness to another person or devotion to a goal. However Committment is a whole lot more than this and it's an important aspect of Tantra. Tantra helps to build a lifetime of healthy habits and it is a wholistic approach to Life and intimacy so let's dive into the idea of Committment and how it underpins a healthy relationship for both Couples & Singles...
Committment for Singles
Tantra for Singles means Committment to Self first
1. Dedication to Self. The basis of all things Tantra is Dedication to Yourself. It is difficult to function in a healthy relationship if you don't take care of yourself first. This means taking responsibility for what your needs are and communicating clearly to have these needs met - in any situation. Prioritising yourself needs to happen first before anybody else can prioritise you. This might mean saying no to things that you don't really want to do, allowing yourself to sleep in rather than rushing to work earlier than required, finishing your tax return rather than helping a neighbour with a task or leaving work on time rather than doing overtime so that you can take that girl out on that date you have been putting off. You are important too - not just everything else around you. This sounds very basic but in reality, is harder said than done. When life becomes hectic, it's very easy to lose ourselves and put everything else and everyone else first before ourselves. This pattern will inevitably lead to our own unhappiness. So how do we prioritise ourselves?
2. Awareness. Prioritising yourself starts with being aware of what your needs are in the first place. Take some time to write these down and reflect on what is really important to you. Make it a visual exercise and write your needs onto sticky notes and pin onto a cork-board. Speak to a counsellor or with a trusted friend if you need help with this but you could start with the areas of your life that are most in need of some attention. For example, if exercise has been low on your list lately, take the time to think about what exercise you can fit in and what exercise you really enjoy. Start that yoga class or join that hiking group. You will feel fantastic having done it, exercise is great for brain function, as well as your physical and energetic body. If you need some calm in your life, there are lots of meditation apps available as well as groups. Joining a new activity is also a great way to meet new friends. Look up that art or pottery class... dust off your watercolours. Starting a new activity triggers feel-good brain chemicals which means that even starting a new activity is just as good as doing it. If you need help to declutter your house, unpack from your house move, clean or do backyard work, ask a friend or a professional to help. Whatever it is that needs most attention in your life, priortise it first. You will feel so much better having done it - having self loved.
3. Routine. Devotion to yourself is also about having a routine that fits you. There is no point running around after everybody else and becoming unhappy if the things that you like to do are not front and centre in your life. Once you have taken the time to work out what your needs are, the next step is to setup a routine around your needs and wants. This is a great way to support yourself and a fantastic way to channel some attention towards valuing yourself. If exercise is hard to fit in, then prioritise doing some stretches as soon as you wake up or going for a walk after dinner. HOT TIP: Connect a new ritual to an existing habit as it's easier to piggy back one off the other.
Make these small rituals "your thing" - it gives you something to look forward to and helps to break up your day. Life as a single person can feel bleak sometimes, so having some rituals in your life gives you something else to look forward to when you don't have a partner to do things with. Routines make sure that the things you love are included in your every day life even if it's just making the space to take a bath before bed to help you relax into a deeper sleep.
4. Mojo. And by Mojo I mean Energy. As you are reflecting on your needs and wants, and working out how to add these into your life, also think about what brings you energy versus what saps your energy. Do more of what brings you energy and what tops up your "Happiness Quotient", and less of what brings you down. We all have to do chores to ensure that our lives are in reasonable order, so I don't mean not doing the jobs you don't like to do. But if having contact with a particular person brings you down, then work on seeing them less. If doing certain activities reminds you of your ex-partner and triggers waves of grief, then try a new activity! Open up your life to activities and people that bring you joy and take the time to notice how this changes the feeling in your heart to something softer and more gentle. Mojo is one of those elusive qualities that if you feel depleted in one area of your life, eg at work, then it will also affect you at home. And vice versa, so it is worth engaging in activities that bring you more joy to elevate your overall Happiness Level across your whole life. After all, another person can not make us happy - we essentially can only make ourselves happy and the best way to do this is to do the things that make us happy. What makes your soul sing? It may be time to dust off that bike, join that class or sign up for that course? Learning something new is always a great way to boost your energy! The focus here is on changing what you are doing now - if your life is too hectic - then focus on slower activities. And vice versa. Change is vital for growth. Put steps into place to change what isn't working and do more of what is working and what brings you joy.
5. Buddies. Change is not easy when we are feeling stuck. Inertia is a tough place to shift from. Ask a friend to be your buddy to join that yoga class, dance event or sports group so that you don't feel so alone in doing new things. Arriving at a new place with a few nerves is perfectly natural and we humans are designed to pair bond so reaching out to a friend to help co-regulate us is perfectly healthy - ask a friend to join you today :) Loneliness is a big thing and it's not a topic often talked about - there's a stigma around mental health. So asking a friend to be your buddy for a new activity helps not just with social anxiety but also to minimise that lonely feeling. We are social creatures - reaching out for support is better than not doing the activity at all. I have bought many tickets in the past to dance events and then sat at home with crippling social anxiety - essentially my ticket became a " donation" to these events because I couldn't muster the courage to go alone. Until I started to ask friends to join me and I got alot better at walking into a large crowd.
Committment for Singles starts with dedication to your own self, going quietly into your core, becoming aware of your own needs, prioritising your needs into a private routine of activities that are "your thing", doing the things that help to elevate your mojo and asking a friend to be your buddy to help you get there.
Committment for Couples
So what does Committment mean for a Couple?
1. Devotion. And by this I don't mean falling at someone's feet. I mean, prioritising your relationship so that your partner feels special. This might look like calling your partner back as quickly as you can and not leaving them waiting for too long, or ensuring that quality time is scheduled so that your relationship can flourish. Time together allows you to discover more about your partner and yourself, and to learn how to show up more fully. If your relationship is lacking Quality Time, it might be high time to take some time out together on a trip, weekend or night away.
2. Willingness. This is willingness to resolve issues. Whether you resolve them as they arise or you make sure that upsets are sorted out sooner than later, committment as a couple involves a readiness to ensure that your partner feels seen and heard, and that means not letting issues be swept under the rug. Willingness to make your partner important in your life will only lead to a closer relationship, and the closer you are, the more Yummy the Connection feels. HOT TIP: Try chatting about an issue over a hot cuppa when you are both feeling relaxed. Or take a walk together - the endorphins released whilst walking also helps to achieve a more positive outcome.
3. Openeness. There needs to also be a willingness to be open and vulnerable with your partner. If your partner has to guess how you feel then this will only lead to confusion. Open your heart and share how you feel - vulnerability is sexy and will only lead to a deeper connection. If you are feelng shy about your inner feelings, start your sentence with "I am feeling shy to talk about this, but I want to share how I feel about.... ". This ensures that your partner is aware that this is a sensitive topic and to tread more carefully.
4. Connection. Committment as a couple in Tantra also means allowing space and time for your connection to grow. Spending time together alone, with friends and family, indoors and also out-and-about - take a dance class together, go camping, sit on a mountain together, go to yoga together, have a couple's side-by-side massage - spending some down-time together is an important way to create a healthy balanced bond. This gives you the opportunity to learn your partner and be better equipped to show up for them and to hold their space when they need you most.
5. Intimacy. A couple that grows closer sexually is a couple that is also deepening their relationship emotionally. The aim of Tantra is to bring you closer together as a couple on every level, and this starts with allowing space and time for intimacy to deepen between between you. Tantra is a great way to help you grow your connection so that you feel closer with your partner on every level. If you are time-poor, then schedule some time together to ensure that you are both enjoying some intimate moments and not just cruising through life, feeling frustrated with your sex lives.
At Sparkle Tantra, we offer the trusted wisdom of Tantra two ways...
- At Home... try our “Tantra for Couples Webinar” which is suitable for both Couples and Singles and no prior experience is necessary. This step-by-step online course allows you to discover skills and a pathway for more intimacy in the privacy of your own home. This webinar is a series of pre-recorded videos that you can stop and start at any time and watch on your phone, TV or laptop.
- 1-on-1... if you would prefer your own private sessions, work with Francesca one-on-one as either a Couple or a Single and she will guide you with customised sessions to suit your own personal needs. These one-on-one sessions are available over Skype, over the phone or in person. Reach out to Francesca for a chat about how she can help you at [email protected]
We look forward to connecting with you at Sparkle Tantra soon