Self-love

5 Tips To Build Intimacy

There’s nothing I hate more than intimacy.

Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true.

There’s nothing that scares me more than intimacy.

Don’t get me wrong. I can tell you every detail about everything I’ve ever done without breaking a sweat. And for a long time, I assumed that I meant I was open, available, and willing to be loved.

Well, I was wrong. <cue obnoxious buzzer sound>

So it came as a surprise that the more my partner would love me, the more I would retreat. “How could this be?” I wondered. “Why is it that I’m finally getting what I want in a relationship and yet I’ve never been more freaked out?”

Sometimes getting what you want means giving up what you don’t want. Sounds simple enough in theory, but in reality, it sucks. After all, embracing intimacy means more than sex, a shared history, or a mutual dislike of olives.  For me, it meant giving up my protective walls that had kept me safe for so long.

So how did I navigate this painful transition in order to truly be open to love?

I followed these 5 Tips:

1. Accept the assignment.

People show up in our life for a reason. Maybe they teach us how to love, maybe they teach us how to set boundaries, or maybe they simply teach us how to build Ikea furniture. Whatever the reason may be, it’s your job to accept the assignment that’s coming your way. Ask yourself, “What is this person teaching me about myself that I wouldn’t have learned without them?” When you view others as spiritual assignments for growth rather than as answers to your problems, you’re able to let go of the idea that they will “complete you.” This fosters intimacy and manages expectations.

2. See the present rather than the potential.

Intimacy involves both people being present to what’s actually happening, not what they’d like to happen. It involves accepting that you’re dating a human with flaws and not a house that’s a “fixer upper.” Sure, it’s nice to pretend that he doesn’t have a weird obsession with his cat or that his unemployment for the last 5 years is “temporary,” but at the end of the day, you need to be able to ask yourself if you love this person or you love the person you want them to be. Intimacy requires that both people live in reality (and like it).

3. Learn to love alone time.

When I was a codependent mess, being alone felt like failure. I preferred the constant validation of someone else’s company, even if I didn’t enjoy his company. But spending more time alone and developing hobbies helped me to feel complete without another person. Instead of defining intimacy like a kid watching a Disney movie, define it as a self-sufficient adult. True intimacy is “needing” someone because you love them, rather than loving them because you need them. Feeling safe, secure, and sane on your own will make it easier to give and receive love.

4. Own. Your. Shit.

Intimacy with another requires you to get intimate with yourself first. That means, learning to honor your strengths and accept your flaws. Do the work, quit running away, and stop blaming others. Intimacy requires courage. And courage is a decision, not a feeling. Cleaning up your side of the street paves the way to true honesty and intimacy with yourself and others.

5. Give to give (not to get).

True intimacy is fostered by those who give out of compassion, empathy, and mutual respect. In an unhealthy relationship, giving is used as a tool to get something in return. Avoid the quid pro quo mentality by giving from a place of presence and abundance, (not just so he’ll take out the trash). This simple shift not only helps you to identify what you want in a partnership, but the gifts you have to offer.

Achieving intimacy isn’t solely about attracting the right partner, it’s about creating the space for one in your life. To make anything work, you have to start with you.

The Takeaway:

Know yourself, trust yourself, and love yourself.

And from that place of wholeness, you’re better prepared to cultivate true intimacy.

What helps you connect to yourself and others?
Share your tips with the Community in the Comments section below!

How to Reconnect With Yourself

Every now and then, I feel a little trapped.

Not by people, not by places, and not by things.

When I catch myself with this feeling, I start to question it. “What changed to make me feel this way?”

Nothing in the outside world looks different. 
No massive event.
No huge transition I can’t handle.

But I feel a little stuck.
A little unhappy.
And a little confused. 

I look around and recognize that I have everything I need. And despite feeling grateful, I think “What gives? Why do I feel this way?"

After a few cycles of doing this and a healthy dose of obsessive self-analysis, I noticed that in moments where I feel mysteriously off for no good reason, I’ve unplugged.

I’ve disconnected from myself and started going on autopilot.

I’ve prioritized doing all the things that “need to get done” and skimped on the things that connect me to myself.

Suddenly, my must-haves (healthy foods, adequate sleep, movement & meditation) have become nice-to-haves.
And, not so surprisingly, nice-to-haves become don’t-haves pretty freakin’ fast.

I can come up with a dozen or so ways to add that back in, become more accountable to myself, and feel like the real me again. If you’ve been following the Blog for a while, you know that I’ve already written about that:

Despite all that, I've never written about the first and most important step to reconnecting with yourself. Let's use my inner crazy as an example, shall we? As a coach, I’m great at coming up with creative strategies. As a normal human being, there are times I get stuck in judgment or can’t get out of my own head.

I start to wonder, “what if I can’t connect to myself again? Will I always feel like this?”

“What if this spirals into what those pedantic spiritual gurus call ‘being asleep?’”

I’d like to consider this thought pattern adorably neurotic, but in reality, it’s just annoyingly neurotic. I overthink it until I imagine that I’m so far gone that I’ll need a massive shift involving a shaman, a cave made of crystals, and a week without wifi.

I think that I need some sort of overhaul or cleanse to fix me.

And that exact thinking is why I’m off in the first place. Because I forget that I’m not broken. I can access my intuition, higher self, and inner awesome whenever I want.

How?

It doesn’t require candles, crystals, or a third thing that begins with a “c” that I can’t think of.

All it takes is willingness.

You’re probably rolling your eyes right now. I don’t blame you. It seems too simple, too stupid, and too “spiritual” to create real change. Humor me on this one and:

Imagine if you had the willingness to see your situation differently.

Imagine if you were willing to reconnect simply as is.

What would that feel like in your body? 

There, you did it.

Sometimes all you need is the willingness to reconnect.

So here’s my challenge to you:

Before you sign up for some uber-expensive meditation retreat. Simply state the following “I am willing to see this differently. I am willing to connect to myself.”

Then, stand back and watch the miracles flow in.

What do you do to reconnect with yourself?
Share your tips in the Comments Section below!