Relating not dating – re-written and updated

Relating not dating

So I have given up dating for Lent.  I feel quite feisty when I say this.  I have deleted Tinder off my phone, deleted my account on the one web-based site that I still had a presence on.

I am giving myself a break from the land of “I want to be in a relationship”.  Instead I am exploring the terrain of “I enjoy relating”.  These are two very different landscapes, althought the latter profoundly benefits the former, more than I realised.  Like a river that runs through vastly differing topography, and nourishes all that is passes.

The land of relating is vast, open, without limit.  For me, relating is primarily about my relationship with my self in the presence of another.  Giving my self a big space to have all my feelings, doubts, fears, anxieties.  Being able to hold the more difficult feelings and experiences with  compassion and respect.  Not worrying about what the other person is thinking of me.  Not over editing what I say.

This is a big one in the dating world.  How much of who we really are can we show the other?  I guess time and space is (again) a prerequisite to really knowing someone.  Slowly slowly.  Except the whole dating scene has a frenetic quality to it.  Even the website where I had my profile alerted me with an almost desperate, exclamation mark ending”You have a new fan!” and “He’s sent you a message!”.

And in the strange land of dating, like the opening credits of a Bond film, smoke, mirrors, veiled faces, nude women dancing in flames … err maybe not. In the strange land where things are not what they seem, people can be what they like.  Claim to be younger than they are, chuck their less savoury baggage overboard, make themselves sound like hapless victims of their ex-partner’s madness (I have experienced all three frequently).

So using the analogy of landscape, the land of relating is more open, undulating, softer in its demands of us.  It provides a space to turn up, relaxed without expectations.  Which in turn means (from my experience) if someone is spouting untruths, these will rise to the surface like oil in a hotpot.  If I am thinking less about me, how do I look, come across, “what do they think of me, me, me” and focusing more on the other person, with a genuine curiosity, the whole experience becomes something entirely different.

Rather than an interview that dates can often feel like, relating feels like a chance meeting.  Like it was in the old days before the internet, when we still met partners in our daily lives.  When we might look across a pub bar and see someone and then move over the say hello. We had to make the effort in real time, with a real person.  Scary wasn’t it?  But so delightful when it worked.  I miss those days.

So dating is over.  Relating is where it is at.  Let’s see what happens next, shall we?


Update:  Still single a year and a half later, and went back on line after after about a month of cold turkey.  Relating experiment still on-going.

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The power of not speaking

I have just experienced my first “non verbal” trauma constellation.

For those who don’t know what a trauma constellation is, I will explain.

The dialoguing trauma constellation (in a group*)

The facilitator invites the client to think about what they would like to achieve in the time and space of the session.  From this the client forms their “sentence of their intention” which they then write on the board or paper.  This forms the focus for the session. Sometimes clients come with a fully formed sentence so there is little preamble.  This too is absolutely fine.  One of the main qualities of the trauma constellation work is inclusivity.

Once the client has written their intention up, for the group, themselves and the facilitator to see, they read it out aloud.

Now when working in a group, the client chooses one person to represent one word of the sentence.   This person is then invited to join the client into the space formed by the group’s circle of chairs.  Now the client and representative are free to do/say/move as they like.  (A note here:  no self harm or violence towards another is allowed.  If strong violent impulses arise, they are vocalised but never acted upon.)

One by one the client chooses people from the group to represent another word in the sentence.   Each “representative” can then do/say/move as they feel to.

This form of constellation provides rich information about the client’s psyche.  What forms is literally a map of the inner world, in relation to the sentence of intention.  Some people show clear representation of survival parts (parts of the psyche that have developed to keep trauma feelings at bay), some exhibit healthy behaviour, some traumatized parts.   Often one representative can carry a mix of all these parts, that will show themselves during the session.

Once the client has experienced “enough” they will often draw the session to a close themselves “it’s enough”.  Perhaps the facilitator might ask “Is this enough?”.

The facilitator then gives the client space to talk through what they have just experienced, and will also ask if they would like to hear feedback from the representatives.  Often the client has no need to talk much at this point, as they reflect on what just took place.

* The one to one session follows a similar format, except the client might ask the facilitator to represent the words, and floor markers (either round female or square male, in a variety of colours) are placed on the ground by the client as they move through their sentence.

The non-verbal trauma constellation

This is a recent development coming from Franz Ruppert’s experimentation with the method.

The client forms their “sentence of the intention” for their piece of work in the same way.   He/she writes it up on the board and reads it aloud.  Now the client chooses people from the group to represent each of the words at the same time.  Markers are also chosen at this point and put down by the client.  The representatives and the client find their own place in the space and now, without words, a 15-20 minute period of no words follows.  The client and representatives are free to move around the space and do as they feel moved.  Sounds are allowed but no formed words.

After 15-20 minutes the client sits down with the facilitator and can speak about their experience, ask for feedback from the facilitator and the representatives.

The session is then brought to a close after the feedback has finished.

The underlying theory behind the “non-verbal” constellation is that we experience the earliest and most profound trauma of our lives in our pre-verbal state, in utero and before we develop the ability to communicate with words.  So it is possible that pre-verbal trauma can only truly be resolved by a non-verbal process.  By the time we have developed to the use of language our survival mechanisms are already well-established in our psychneuroimmunoendocrinal pathways, and we have already formed our adaptive behaviours towards our primary caregivers, in order to be safe, be seen and stay alive.  Language becomes one of these survival strategies.

So to experience a non-verbal trauma constellation allows a unique space to feel into the impact of the trauma, to feel the power of our survival behaviours, to connect with the healthy parts.  The work is more subtle, allows for deeper connection.  My experience in a dialoguing constellation is that the words can be confusing, disorienting, overwhelming.  As we were flooded by trauma feelings in our pre-verbal state, we can too be flooded by words as an adult.


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this longing

falls like rain

down the window

of my heart

and darkens my

brown leather boots

this longing

puddles at

my feet

and reflects the


as they pass over

this longing

will not last

forever it will

evaporate with

the sun

and then become

a deeper

love than I

have ever known

this longing

will deepen

and soften

and open

like a seed

full of


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Understanding trauma and how it impacts us

I write this partly as an exercise for my own benefit.  Does it make sense to me?

  1. We may “think” that trauma is in the past. The reality is we carry the impact of it in our cells. Every day. Every moment. It may seem historical but it affects us in the present.
  2. We experienced the original trauma, the trauma of identity, before we were able to use our cognitive minds. It is pre-cognitive, often in utero. Trauma of identity occurs when we cannot be who we are, in our simple and pure state. We adapt ourselves in order to fit with our mother’s atmosphere. This happens without conscious awareness. But impacts the rest of our lives, particularly how we relate to ourselves, others and the world around us.
  3. The definition of trauma in this work refers to something that happens to us when we are utterly helpless, and cannot flee or fight our way out. So in order to survive the experience, as it feels that we might die, we have to split from the trauma feelings.Babies (and research is telling us, foetuses too) experience atmospheres as “feeling storms” (Daniel Stern). If the mother is traumatised herself, she may well be very unaware of how she feels about herself, her baby, giving birth etc.  Just because she is disassociated does not mean that her emotions are not impacting the foetus.  So a trauma for a baby can be something like a mother feeling depressed, or trapped, or scared.
  4. The splitting that occurs, when we have experienced a trauma, is forged from a resolve to never feel that helpless, that terrified again. We develop survival behaviours to manage our feelings, to steer ourselves away from the trauma feelings. And we compromise our true feelings whilst losing our sense of “who we are”.
  5. These survival behaviours become a false “who we are” so as we grow and develop, we lose touch with valuable aspects of our essential self.   It is this aspect of their becoming unconsciously part of us that causes the most harm. For example, we might have an “addictive personality” which we battle against throughout adult life. This behaviour may well have developed to distract from overwhelmingly painful feelings. In order to recover ourselves (literally) from addictive behaviour, we need to look beyond the behaviour and explore the unconscious places where the origin of the splitting occurred/is occurring.
  6. In order to do this, we need to strengthen our healthy self. Using the Intention Method we can explore our survival behaviours, see how they impact on us and our relationships, and begin to approach those split “traumatised” parts.
  7. As we nurture the relationship with ourselves, through the acceptance of all these aspects, there is no need “to do anything”. It is really about being present to all that we are. In the same way that a young child needs your presence, your attention.   It is within this focus of attention that trust grows.
  8. As trust grows within the self-relationship, so the ability to be make healthy choices and discernment with others also develops.
  9. The Intention Method encourages the client to think and feel for themselves. Make their own decisions and choices. Become aware of their responses (take responsibility) and what happens when they “make a mistake”. The facilitator practices an atmosphere of generous space and gentle containment. He/she has no agenda with each piece of work, other than supporting the client to explore.
  10. An example. Understanding the dynamic of our own inner perpetrator and victim. When we experience abuse when we are young, and we were victims of this, in order to deal with these helpless feelings we vow never to feel so helpless again, and so develops an inner perpetrator. This may be a survival behaviour that manifests as an aggressive personality externally, a bully for instance, or it may manifest internally as self-harm, anorexia, self-loathing. We become “our own worst enemy”. The most powerful thing we can do with this inner perpetrator initially is to fully acknowledge its existence, on a palpable and visceral (bodily) level. Using the Intention Method we can encounter this part of ourselves and begin to form a relationship with it, find out what drives it, where it originates.
  11. Trauma is part of the human experience. It is not something that happens “to someone else”. The more fully we can embrace this notion, the more freedom we have to become the fullness of who we are.

We live in a world ruled by busyness, “doing”, consuming, being stimulated by images and ideals and hopes and dreams and other people’s successes and failures.   What if these were all an enormous distraction from the truth of our hearts and bodies.  And a distraction from experiencing the depth of who we are, in all its pain and joy.  And this truth is different for each and every one of us.



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The simple things are the best

Am I repeating myself.  Probably because I need to hear it again and again.  The simplest things in life are the best.  Take walking.  It costs nothing to go for a walk.  One step in front of the other.  Eyes open, breathing, feet one in front of the other.  Walking on the earth, different terrains, different textures.  The sky is always changing. The wind changes as well.

12 miles of bliss.

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Manifesting your life partner

Many years ago I undertook a year long course on esoteric awareness with William Bloom, author and meditation teacher.  It was called the Open Mystery School.  We touched on many things over the year and one was the art of manifestation.  I have developed this mediation out of his teaching.  This meditation practice is about anchoring the atmosphere of the connection in your body.  You can use it to begin the process of manifesting what you most want into your life, be it a life partner, a job, an opportunity.  I have specifically used the life partner example as that has been “in my field” for a little while.   Enjoy and I trust that you will manifest for the highest good what you truly desire into your life.

One thing to note.  When you carry out this practice, you may find that you manifest “stuff” that feels utterly contrary to your desire and want.  This is completely natural and part of the process.  Do not panic.  It is as important to recognise what is in the way of having what you desire as it is to have what you desire in your life.

How to manifest your life partner.

Step One

Get really comfortable.  Lying, sitting or standing, whatever is best for you.  Breathe generously.  Allow the body to really let go.  Feel your body deeply relax from the tips of your toes, up your legs, into your hips, groin and tummy, chest, shoulders, arms, fingers, neck, head, face.

Allow the breath to move through your body. Any knots or tension, let the breath move into those areas freely and easily.  Soften and relax deeply into your self.

Here you are, right now. Just being at home in your body.


Step Two

Right here, right now, imagine your life partner comes and lies, sits or stands next to you. Feel the atmosphere in your body now.

Don’t focus on physical attributes, more the way you feel in your body, in the presence of your life partner.

How would you describe this feeling? Excitement?  Peaceful?  Relaxed? Content?  Deeply satisfied?

Allow it to fill you entirely.

Feel yourself totally immersed in the experience of being with your life partner. Look into each other’s eyes.  How does that feel in your body?  Where do you feel that feeling?


Step Three

Taking each other’s hands now move into a landscape that unfolds, somewhere beautiful for you.

Walk around this landscape with your life partner. Feel your bodies moving together through the air.

You may stop and hold each other. Or kiss.  Whatever feels natural and real for you both.  You might be surprised. Check in on your body now.


Step Four

Ahead of you, see a large feast table, festooned with flowers and all things celebratory.   The table is covered in delicious food, ready for many people to join you.

You sit down at the table with your Beloved. Look into their eyes.  There is absolute knowing between you.

Spend time enjoying the sight of this beautiful abundance. The experience of sitting together with your Beloved life partner.

Step Five

Now one by one the most important people in your life join you at the table. Your children, your siblings, your parents, family, friends. Now your life partner’s family and friends join the table. Dead or alive, they all come to sit at the table with you to celebrate your coming together with your life partner.

Allow yourself to receive their joy at your union. Allow your heart to open to all their good wishes and blessings.

Feel your feet grounded on the earth, receiving all the goodwill and support from your loved ones.

Once again turn to your life partner and look deeply into their eyes. Breathe this experience into your body, every single last atom, every molecule is full of this feeling.


Step Six

Now it is time to leave the table so you both get up and thank everyone for joining you. Take a moment to look around the table at the wealth of love and support that is available for you both.

Take the hand of your beloved life partner and walk away from the table so you can say goodbye for now.

Feel your body pressing the length of their body. Kiss or whatever feels right.  You are saying goodbye for now.  You will see each other soon.

Say whatever you need to say. Listen to their words to you.

Look into their eyes.

Now turn around and walk slowly back to here, into the now with your self in the room.


Step Seven

Take some time now (however long) to just stay with the experience. Breathe generously.  How does your body feel?  Allow it to speak to you if it needs to say anything.

You can say to yourself “I have this now. I have this in my body.  May this or something greater manifest for the highest in my life”.

Release the experience. You can imagine it (the whole experience) in a bubble of pure love that now floats away into the sky.  You are letting go to allow the space for whatever needs to emerge as a result of this manifestation.


Step Eight

Slowly and gently move your body and breath generously. Enjoy the peace and sense of fulfilment.


© Joanna Frangos 2016 J

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And so it begins….

Every day

Every single day

It begins like this and I do not even see it.

How can I see it when I am so busy

Too busy to be quiet

I may as well turn in circles all day

or run on the spot

as it gets me nowhere

just dizzy

and deeper my body is saying

“Slow down.  Slow down.

Unclench your fingers.

Let your tongue relax.

Close your eyes and come here.”

Every single day

Every day.



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