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I feel very vulnerable sharing this video… and I continue to sense the rightness in sharing it as well.
A few things to add: after shooting this video on Sunday, Justin and I took a deep breath and had a big ole’ cry on the mountain. We sobbed. Creating this video offered us a deeper layer of feeling the full completion of our relationship. We also felt the deeper completion of our 5-year-nutty-brave-crazy-ass-project: Daily Relationship. As I am about to post this, I have a fear that people will watch this video and judge us for giving up too early on our marriage. I have a fear that sharing this video is just too vulnerable right now, and that I am not ready/grounded enough to navigate other people’s thoughts, opinions or projections. I have a fear that our video doesn’t adequately show how challenging this whole process was (yes, there was lots of hurt, pain, therapy, blame and lots of second-guessing). I am feeling many fears, breathing through them, letting go of the reins… and I continue to feel that it is time. Time to share. Time to reveal all that has been brewing for the last year of our marriage.
I have learned so much from being in relationship with this amazing man for over 5 years. I have learned to love fully. I learned what it is to choose someone wholeheartedly. I have learned what it is to fully see another human– all parts of them. I have learned about my own shadow parts, how to own them, as well as hold them with care and love. I have learned that, despite all my clever control strategies, there are no guarantees in life– and there is something startlingly liberating about this truth. I have learned that a successful relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that it lasts “forever”– that instead, a successful relationship perhaps means that it has lasted as long it needed to–in order for us each to mine the gems, open and transform in all the ways we most needed to. I am sure I will continue to digest and learn from this potent experience… but one thing I am certain of, Justin Milano is a phenomenal man and I am so fortunate to have been his partner for 5-beautiful-transformational-challenging-as-all-hell-incredible-unforgettable-hilarious-years.
So grateful to all of you– friends, family, Daily Relationship followers– who so fully supported our love. Thank you.
Justin and I have taken a little break from shooting videos. It has felt nourishing to take this time to explore our relationship offline. We want to wish you all a happy New Year. Sending our love from Sedona, AZ!
~ Juna & Justin
When your core unconscious patterns emerge, do you greet them with harsh judgement or kindness? How do you engage with your partner’s shadow?
Often, the relationship you have with your own shadow is reflected in how you interact with your partner’s shadow. What we are learning is that a solid foundation of kindness is essential for seeing and healing the tuff stuff that emerges as we excavate the shadow.
What is Shadow? Shadow is anything that we consistently turn away from within ourselves – and anything we don’t want others to see in us. Shadow is our undigested emotions, our maladaptive coping strategies (many that we developed as children), our reactivity, and our deep hurt and pain.
Last January, our shadows emerged big time — almost ending our new marriage. Now, 8 months later our relationship is in the best place it has EVER been, and we are asking ourselves WHY?
As we wonder about this question, 3 main pieces arise:
1. We are facing our shadow. Prior to this, my control issues and Justin’s “peacekeeper” were consistently and unconsciously playing off each other (like a bad game of table tennis). It was not fun. Now we see our patterns and we have the skills to name them when they arise.
2. We are getting regular support to begin to understand and transform these patterns. Will they ever be 100% gone? Not likely, given that they have been around for 30 + years, but we are taking baby steps everyday to be more “at choice” around our behaviors, and less reactive.
3. We are practicing daily kindness and compassion with our own shadow. Instead of harshly judging or rejecting these parts of ourselves, we are empathizing with these very young parts, and as a result we have greater capacity to be kind with each other’s shadow.
We would love to hear what practices you use with your own shadow? For more free videos or to submit a topic, visit: www.DailyRelationship.com.
Lots of love,
Juna & Justin
What happens when you have an epic day planned with your partner, and instead of things going as planned, your partner is in a bad mood or feeling stuck with some uncomfortable stuff?
What do you do?
Do you take a deep breath while surrendering your romanticized picture of the day, and offer them your compassionate attention? Or do you pull out every trick in the book to fix their mood (which may include making them wrong for their experience)?
Welcome to beauty and challenge of relationship: Things don’t always go as planned and we can either surrender or fight it. In addition, no matter how many tools we may have, our partner’s mood can often influence and affect our mood.
While on the coast of Italy, Justin and I had an incredible day planned in Cinque Terre. We were going to hike through 5 picturesque villages. I was looking forward to this hike for months.
As the hike began, Justin started moving through some uncomfortable stuff. At first I was supportive – asking him questions, listening with compassion, and offering him my presence. But after an hour I could feel my Hero starting to engage. I wanted to fix him, so that he would no longer feel uncomfortable, and as a result I would no longer feel uncomfortable. I felt that I knew what he needed (more so than him) in order to get through this. I also felt irritated with him and wanted him to speed through this so we could get back to our romantic day in Cinque Terre.
Heroing our partner doesn’t work for several reasons. When we hero someone we are seeing them as less than Whole and viewing their experience (no matter how uncomfortable it may be) as less than perfect. Being a hero means we are seeing ourselves as the savior – more than whole and capable. Heroing doesn’t work because it robs our partner of a valuable learning/growing opportunity.
I know I have been in Hero when on the other side of it I feel a familiar backlash of irritation, exhaustion, resentment and grumpiness.
So the big question is this: Without going into Hero, how do we support our partner when they are moving through some challenges? Well, to be honest, we are still discovering how to do this. But what we are learning is that it starts with being willing to surrender our plan, vision, or idea for how it “should” go (the date, the hike, the romantic evening together). Not being a Hero means being willing to see that your partner is having the perfect experience. Just because something is hard and uncomfortable, does not mean it is necessarily bad or wrong. Often our greatest challenges are ripe growth opportunities. Not being a Hero means being hugely compassionate and empathetic without losing ourselves in our partner’s stuff. Sometimes that means taking a solo walk or spending some time apart. Other times it means that just our ability to listen is the most supportive thing we could do.
If you want to learn more about the Hero Archetype, we created a free 10 Video E-Course. You can sign up HERE to receive it. To check out more of our free videos or to submit a topic for us to explore on camera, go to http://www.dailyrelationship.com/
Thank you all for your love and support,
Juna & Justin
What do you do when your partner is in overwhelm? (Yes, I had to choose this goofy video image of myself)
Do you support them by trying to talk them out of overwhelm — attempting to rationalize them out of their current train of thoughts? Do you attentively listen to them while offering empathy and kindness? Do you snap at them with frustration and annoyance? Do you quickly try to fix them, so that you can alleviate the discomfort within yourself?
We have tried all of the above… many times, with little success. What we have learned is that each of us has very specific ways that we like to be supported when we are in overwhelm. The key is to have a conversation about overwhelm in order to better support your partner.
Overwhelm occurs when the “stress response system” has gotten activated. Meaning, something happens in our environment and we feel afraid, stressed, or anxious and our brain sends us into fight or flight. Having lost contact with our wise pre-frontal cortex, we are quite literally 4 years old — reactive, vulnerable, highly emotional, and easily triggered.
The funny thing is, when one partner is in overwhelm, the other partner forgets that they are dealing with a tantruming 4 year old. Instead, we attempt to rationalize with them and support them like we would any adult. But this doesn’t always work. In many ways, our tactics end up backfiring.
Justin and I have found great value in asking each other the following questions (please note, we highly recommend having this conversation when you and your partner are NOT in overwhelm, instead try having it when you are in a pretty good place):
1. When you are in overwhelm, what have I done that DOES NOT feel supportive? What kinds of things do not feel helpful when you are in overwhelm?
2. What have I done that DOES feel supportive? What would you like to see more of when you are in overwhelm?
I felt a huge sense of relief after Justin and I had this conversation. It helped illuminate for me that I need physical space when I am in overwhelm. I do not like it when someone tries to grab onto me or touch me. I also crave genuine compassion and kindness. For Justin, the conversation helped him see that he does not want advice, harshness, or to be fixed. Instead, he wants an empathetic space so he can communicate freely.
To check out more of our free videos or to submit a topic for us to explore on camera, go to www.DailyRelationship.com.
Thank you all for your love and support,
Juna & Justin
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