Category Archives: Love + Connection

How to Keep Your Fights Clean in Relationship

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Hey guys!

My partner, Tony, and I were recently featured on Raj and Gabrielle Sundra’s Relationship TV.

A snippet from our bio, for some backstory:

“Amy and Tony knew right away that the 1,800 miles between them from Brooklyn, NY and Boulder, CO wouldn’t be able to keep them apart. Like most of us, they hit some bumps along the way, but chose to study, learn and practice building the foundation of their relationship from a place of trust, inquiry and reverence for themselves and each other.”

The theme of our show is, “Keep the Fights Clean: DURING.”

We shared some of our tried-and-true practices for stopping a fight in its tracks and shifting back into a space of wonder, openness and receptivity. My Argument Diffuser box features prominently in this!

Check it out below.

And if you’re wanting any personal direction, perhaps my Conscious Partnership Development coaching is right for you.

Enjoy. :)

How to Make an Argument Diffuser Box for Your Relationship

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Good news, guys! Since my video I published last week, I’ve learned some bare-bones basic techniques in Final Cut Pro, so this video has way less “ums” than it originally did.

If you don’t really believe me since there are still enough “ums” in it to make a drinking game, that’s fine. (I recommend Spanish cider, since it’s 4% ABV. Have fun!)

But really, this post is very meaningful to me.

In this video, I show how I made an Argument Diffuser Box for my relationship—and how you can easily make one too from materials you probably have lying around the house (and if you don’t, I’ve included where you can find some pretty ones below).

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The Argument Diffuser Box is filled with decorated mini-exercises, all rolled up and tied with twine, designed to be plucked from their home when in the midst of a fight or heated discussion.

I authored all of the cards and exercises myself, but a lot of them were inspired from some of my favorite books (listed below the video) on intentional partnership.

The cards are fun and light-hearted, and inspire you to get out of your lizard brain and back into love, play and affection.

I explain much more about them in the video. Enjoy!

Now: Make Your Own!

For the box:

I used a mini-suitcase from a teddy bear my boyfriend gave me a long time ago that I saved because I had a feeling it could be re-used. :) But here are some great ones if you want to go ahead and make it look extra pretty and intentional:

For the notes (cards + writing):

I had some blank business cards from Muji that I hadn’t used, so I stuck with a brown, rustic, natural motif for the entire thing and drew some colorful designs inside the cards. If you want to make things more colorful or cute:

For the wrapping:

At first I thought about just folding the cards up, and then realized that was the most boring thought I’d ever had. Tie them up in style!

Show Notes

Books I Mention (Also My Top 5 Relationship Books):
Also:
  • Sorry my apartment is messy! Tony and I just moved in together and we’re working out storage issues. :)
  • By “epitaph” I meant “epigraph,” and that’s why I’m a writer, not a pronouncer.
  • I’d love to have a Conscious Partnership Development chat with you, anytime.
  • What do you think of my box? Want one? Let me know in a comment!

Year in Review: My 7 Most Popular & Beloved Posts of 2015

I love flowing with the energy of people around me.

I love the static charge of Mondays, the crisp walk into the start of September, using both to nudge me into my work day/s.

In May, I follow the energy of play bubbling up, going on solo road trips to festivals before doing 100-Day workout challenges in the summer.

And this time of year—I’ll admit it—I adore the energy of the end-of-the-year transition into the new year.

Resolution-haters be damned, I love reviewing the past year and making intentions in the clean landscape of a blank slate. So, I took a look at Live All of You’s 2015 stats and decided to share with you what I found.

Google Analytics, thank you for helping me figure out my most popular 7 posts!

Here are Live All of You’s Top 7 of 2015:

Continue reading Year in Review: My 7 Most Popular & Beloved Posts of 2015

The Holidays With Loved Ones: 15 More Questions Worth Asking at The Table

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Since my last post, Thanksgiving and Gratitude: Four Real Questions Worth Asking at The Table, turned out to be wildly popular, I decided to post more questions to help you go deeper with your loved ones during the holidays (or any time!).

It is my belief that through self-inquiry and self-expression—in both solitude and community—we can learn to thrive as our whole selves in the world.

Here are 15 questions to help you do that.

Of them, some are sourced from the If: Gathering and spiced with my own flavor, and some are purely from my own inspiration.

Enjoy!

1) If we could pull up one more chair at the table, who would you invite? Why?
2) What is one thing we don’t know about you that you hold sacred?
3) What is trying to be born through you?
4) What are you learning about yourself right now?
5) What are some words that you want to describe this season of your life?
6) Tell a story about an answered prayer or desire that felt magical to you.
7) What makes it easier for you to connect to the Divine?
8) What is one thing that keeps you from being truly authentic with others?
9) What are you believing right now that you know isn’t true?
10) What is one area of your life where you need more strength and support?
11) Share a time when someone else’s honesty gave you permission to be honest.
12) What are you avoiding right now that is important to you?
13) What one thing in your life do you feel like quitting?
14) How have you loved someone in the details of their life lately?
15) What’s one thing you sense the Divine is asking you to do?

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Thanksgiving and Gratitude: Four Real Questions Worth Asking at The Table

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The most savored Thanksgiving experience I ever had was in Boulder, completely unexpected.

My friends Julie and Chanel took me up into the mountains to a friend’s house. It had sweeping windows, vistas of snow caps from every angle. A very long table was set up on the ground, and we were all invited to sit around it on cushions.

And what I remember most about it was the intention.

There was plenty of food, but there wasn’t this rush to eat it. It was there on our plates, and we were all invited—all 20+ of us—to give thanks before we ate. There was live music, a beautiful singer and guitarist, who played a tune I had stuck in my head for months afterward.

Mainly, there was a softness, a quiet reverence that I loved about it. And after we ate, we stayed talking and drinking, sharing and making new friends.

This one Thanksgiving gave me a greater appreciation for what the holidays can be—if we let them.

This year, I’ll be at 2-3 different Thanksgiving celebrations on the East Coast. And what I desire most right now is connecting to others on a deeper level. This means more than going around the table and half-heartedly blurting out something I’m thankful for.

I want space for honesty. I want space for someone to be so honest that they might say: “You know, I’m really not feeling a lot of gratitude in my life right now” and for that to be welcomed, felt and loved. And then, if they like, explored in a group setting.

And so I have some questions for you that you might like to ask in your own gathering. These questions are sourced with 100% gratitude from the If: Gathering, touched with a dash of my own flavor.

These can be asked all at once at a dinner gathering, or perhaps if you’re with loved ones for a few days this holiday season, you can ask the first one or two at lighter-feeling times and the other two at more intimate times.

1) What are the easy, uncomplicated things that you’re thankful for this season?
2) What are some of the more unexpected or surprising gifts you’ve received this past year?
3) Even in the midst of gratitude, is there something you’re longing for?
4) What might the Divine be inviting you to learn through this longing?

Please, if you use any of these and would like to share with me the results—I’d always love to hear it.

How Lara Catone Lives All of Her: Revitalizing Sex Education Through Embodiment

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This is part of the Live All of You Interview Series! For more on what this is all about, head over to the intro post and make sure to sign up to find out who I’ll be interviewing next.

When I first heard of Lara Catone, I was about to head out on a road trip to connect with my gravity-bound self again. I had been traveling by plane way too much, and I’d been feeling a deep need to commune with the earth.

I wanted to root, not route. I wanted to flow, not fly. I wanted to be humbled by gravity, not scanned for metal, put in metal and spit out in a different time zone.

And I wanted to touch in to my divine feminine—my creative force, my inner Shakti, my innate wisdom. And so, I headed to Shakti Fest, a festival that honors the divine feminine.

I spoke with Lara briefly via email beforehand, and I felt very called to attending her workshops at the festival. She defined the divine feminine to me as pleasure incarnate, as a dancer, as holy and irreverent. She is deeply well studied and interested not only in the spiritual aspect of things, but the scientific and historic. These dual aspects of her nature resonated with me.

Having experienced her exquisitely strong, soft, wise nature in workshops multiple times now, I am so happy to introduce you to her in the Live All of You Interview Series.

Lara is a somatic sexologist and sex educator who supports women in healing and coming into wholeness. As the founder of The Artemis School, the first and only educational institution weaving sex education with embodiment and nature-based mystery traditions, Lara believes that our sexual energy is the vital life force behind everything we create.

And… I have an announcement!

Finally, after having this in my heart for months… I’m delighted to share that in 2016, I’ll be attending The Artemis School!

I feel spellbound thinking about this journey toward becoming a sex educator and practitioner of women’s holistic sexuality—and even more so, about connecting more deeply with my self and other women in this context.

And now, I present to you: Lara Catone.

Continue reading How Lara Catone Lives All of Her: Revitalizing Sex Education Through Embodiment

How Jayson Gaddis Lives All of Him: On Relationship As a Vehicle for Self-Knowledge

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This is part of the Live All of You Interview Series! For more on what this is all about, head over to the intro post and make sure to sign up to find out who I’ll be interviewing next.

As I mentioned in my last interview with Sara Avant Stover, October is Boulder, Colorado month. The Live All of You interviews featured during this month are all with people who call Boulder home—just like I do.

Jayson Gaddis is a breakthrough marriage and relationship teacher for smart, successful people. He helps get people the relationship results they want—fast—and only works with the most motivated of individuals and couples who really want to change their patterns for good. He is also the host of the Smart Couple Podcast.

Outside on his lovely balcony in Boulder, we talked about the value of moving toward our pain, how relationship can help us understand ourselves, and the real value of our stories.

Let’s hear from him.

Continue reading How Jayson Gaddis Lives All of Him: On Relationship As a Vehicle for Self-Knowledge

How Sara Avant Stover Lives All of Her: The Value of Connecting With Our Darkness

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This is part of the Live All of You Interview Series! For more on what this is all about, head over to the intro post and make sure to sign up to find out who I’ll be interviewing next.

October is Boulder, Colorado month! The Live All of You interviews featured during this month are all with people who call Boulder home.

Boulder is a wondrous place. I came to live here through a serendipitous car accident in June 2007, in which my ex and I flipped over three times going 90 mph. We were both fine, and I don’t regret it one bit.

Boulder is my soul home—I can be all of myself here, every wacky, gratuitous, painful, electrified cell of me. There is a quote I love by Stephen Elliott: “There is no new leaf; turn yourself over.” That is what Boulder did for me; it turned me over, literally, and in the most important ways a human can be.

This week, I’m proud to bring you my interview with fellow Boulderite, Sara Avant Stover.

Sara is a yoga and meditation instructor, author and founder of The Way of the Happy Woman. She teaches wellness and spirituality for women; after a cervical cancer scare in her early twenties, Sara moved to Thailand, where she lived for ten years and embarked on a decade-long healing and spiritual odyssey throughout Asia. She has since gone on to uplift tens of thousands of women worldwide.

I was attracted to Sara’s first book without even knowing she lived in Boulder. I felt enamored with her work, her insight and her way of expressing in it. It was more than an appreciation—I felt like when I read her, it was filling my soul with something it had been aching for.

Now, she’s out with a new book, The Book of SHE, and I have been deep-diving into it daily, completely enthralled.

Sara has this way of elucidating things that is spacious but also contained—a juxtaposition that allows the receiver to feel safe and expansive at the same time. She holds your hand gently, while letting you explore your own way.

Let’s hear from her now!

Continue reading How Sara Avant Stover Lives All of Her: The Value of Connecting With Our Darkness