Apprenticeship to Love: Meditations on this Path to Authentic Relationship, March 1, 2024

  • Today’s questions: What happens when the conversation goes silent? What feelings come up? Are you afraid? Do you feel rejected? Angry? Curious? Grateful?
  • Today's suggested practice: Day 1 of this month's practice, to pause (see my "Short Practice,” below)
  • My practice today: 5:30am: 60 minutes: gentle yoga, Ganesha mantra for grounding and the Muladhara (root chakra)
  • Did I do my vulnerability practice today? Yes (How about you? Y/N?)
  • Coming up on March 6 (free for Apprenticeship to Love subscribers), the third in my conversations with men's coach Leroy Gordon about the four archetypes of men's work. We'll be talking about "the Lover." Please register at


It's been a few days since I've made the time write here. I've written elsewhere, peparing for the couples retreat, preparing to "change the world" with the Leap Day wedding ceremony. I've been high. And this morning, finally, writing as a way to come to ground.
There is a pause here, after this being high. A silence. I'm struggling with it. I want break it.

Here's what I want: to hear her voice. Her tenderness. Softness. But, instead, in the darkness of this silence, I breathe and feel into this silence. To feel it as a kind of intimacy. Because it is only here, in this silence, that I seem to meet myself.

Breathe. Practice. Be what it is I desire. Be the lover this silence demands. Be the "I am he" this moment invites me to be.
It is the beginning of March. The month of my mother's birthday.

When I think of wehre and how this apprenticeship to love began it's with this woman, my mother. I'm still learning. There is so much to learn here, with her.

I know there are many who struggle with their mother relationship. I am lucky. For most of my time in this life time with my mother has been easy and rewarding. I didn't always pay attention. But now I am, I think, a little better at allowing her to —as Stephen Jenkinson suggests our mothers do, for good reason— "break my momentum." Pause. Become aware of this moment.

She won't be here with me in this life forever. We talk about this a little. I've started to have similar conversations with my children. These are ways to "break the momentum" of the too busy, always-on-the-run habits of my life, habits I see in all of my children.

What is the hurry, anyway?
In the weeks leading up to yesterday’s Leap Day wedding everything seemed to point to questions about matrimony. The invitation to host a conversation with Stephen Jenkinson and Kimberly Ann Johnson about their current “Forgotten Pillars” project, the cente of which seems to be Jenkinson's book about "matrimony." Then, my own persistent and occasional thoughts and writings about this beautiful yet strange “marriage” I’ve created with my beloved. Preparing for the retreat with my colleague Sarah Anderson was also a meditation on marriage as we assembled practices and exercises in the arts of the sacred intimacy. To pause was one of these practices, a ritual to stir within ourselves and between ourselves, an intimacy that —I hope, I pray, I sometimes mistakenly assume— is the heart of marriage.…
One of my recent wedding clients chose me, she said, because of my relationship with my mother. Or, what she'd observed and interpreted via the fishbowl of my life on social media. She didn't elaborate. Hungry for detail, for an explanation, I instead let her words stand. (I am learning —one of the reasons I love the woman I call my beloved— that the seeming treasures of explanation and interogation, of "digging deeper," are rarely worth the cost of excavation.)

We are, all of us, in the dark with each other, and with ourselves. Words only approximate the truth of the mystery here. Better, I'm finding, to pause. To settle into this moment in the darkness and let myself be nourished by the mystery. To have reverance for this mystery. Allow Her, the source of all that flows and all that brings richness to my life, to reveal Herself in Her time, Her way. Better to deepen into my awareness and my breath. To be the "He who must be trusted," the presence that is patient enough and still enough to be experienced and known as trustworthy. Then, perhaps, the momentum broken, the urgency to know dissolved in stillness, She becomes known.
We began the retreat with reference to consciously pausing as a way to become intimate.

We returned to this pause over the following days. Our mantra: Only in the pause —in our stillness— can we begin to experience intimacy, the strange and beautiful knowing of ourselves, of the other, and especially of the one we love.

It is in the pauses, I said before the wedding guests and the wedding party, that we may begin to know the sacred. The sacred within. The sacred between. And so we paused, often. Together. Allowing the ceremony be an occasion of world-changing rather than a turnstile on the way to the party.
It's the first day of March. In a few days we'll celebrate my mother's birthday, and I will remember some of the ways she has taught me to pause, to attend to the sacred in life, to love.

But today, this morning, the snow is falling on the still-winter garden. A reminder to me that we are still in this betwixt and between season. Still dark, but drawn to the light. Yearning for the fast fashion of Spring, my roots deep in the earth, needing this nourishment. There is no hurry.


🌀…flexibility in one body will contribute to the same in all of the others, and then ensure this with a holistic approach to your life. Become the solutions you want to use in this world, to master the mysteries and dissolve the inflexible… (Guru Singh & Guruperkarma Kaur)

🌀 It’s the emptiness of Shiva that ‘holds’ space for the creation that happens through the power of Shakti. The word Shiva, besides meaning ‘The Auspicious One’ also translates into ‘that which is not’. (Kundalini Yoga School, Shakti sadhana, Day 23)

🌀We are manifested through the vehicle of the mother. The entire Universe is manifest or given birth through the vehicle of Mother. The Mother is the instrument for converting spirit into matter. To understand that all form is spirit made matter is to see that at the source within the world of matter lies the Mother. (Ram Dass)

🌀You are beautiful. (My beloved, my Oracle and Siren)


Day 1 of this month's practice, to pause, and notice...
Please read through first, then ...

  • Set two alarms, for times of the day when you have a five-10 minutes to become conscious of who and how you are in this day.
  • When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take a few moments and:
    • Ask yourself: What happens when the conversation goes silent? What feelings come up? Are you afraid? Do you feel rejected? Angry? Curious? Grateful??
    • Then, follow the short practice here:
      • Stand, or sit, and bring your attention to your posture.
      • Feel the ground beneath your feet or sit bones, tilt your chin slightly to lift your chest open and straighten your neck.
      • Take a deep breath, through your nose, and hold it gently for the count of six. Relax the breath for the count of eight. Repeat three times.
  • When you’re done, sit or stand for another minute or two, breathing gently, slowly filling and emptying your belly. Here, as you breathe into your fullness, ask yourself, Do I feel right? Am I in alignment with the man or woman I am? Do I even have an inkling what that might feel like? Do I even have an inkling of what it feels like to be out of alignment with myself?
  • Notice if your body-mind feels somehow changed. And whether you notice a change or not, be content with yourself, exactly as you are in this moment.
  • Continue with your day until the next alarm sounds, and repeat.


★ The "For Your Love, Valentine's Offer" is now over — watch for a special Premium+ subscription offer in honour of my mother and her birthday month :)