Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

P. Niss asks for a raise

I got this from one of my readers today, and burst out LOL, so thought i would share.

LadderThe Request:

I, the Penis, hereby request a raise in salary for the following reasons:

I do physical labor.
I work at great depths.
I plunge headfirst into everything I do.
I do not get weekends or public holidays off.
I work in a damp environment.
I work in a dark workplace that has poor ventilation.
I work in high temperatures.
My work exposes me to contagious diseases.

Sincerely,  P. Niss

The Response

Dear P. Niss:

After assessing your request, and considering the arguments you have raised, the administration rejects your request for the following reasons:

You do not work 8 hours straight.
You fall asleep and often lie down after brief work periods.
You do not always follow the orders of the management team.
You do not stay in your designated area and are often seen visiting other locations.
You do not take initiative – you need to be pressured and stimulated in order to start working.
You leave the workplace rather messy at the end of your shift.
You don't always observe necessary safety regulations, such as wearing the correct protective clothing.
You will retire well before you are 65.
You are unable to work double shifts.
You sometimes leave your designated work area before you have completed the assigned task..
And if that were not all, you have been seen constantly entering and exiting the workplace carrying one or two suspicious-looking bags.

Sincerely,  Va Gina


After a good laugh, I do have to add that couples who work with me write entirely different love letters to each other.  Check out my "Heavy PETing" upcoming course where you'll learn how P. Niss and Va Gina can get along quite nicely, thank you.

Saturday-Sunday, April 10-11, 2010

Heavy PETting

An introduction to the Pleasure Expansion Technique: a hands-on (yours, not mine!), experiential course designed to introduce you to the practices of conscious touch, communication, and non-penetrative sensual energy cultivation. By application only.
Live workshop intensive, San Francisco

Click here for more information and to register (and scroll down the page to Heavy PETting, or use this link: http://www.redefiningmonogamy.com/relationship-courses/relationship-workshop

Share this page with your friends!
Posted by LiYana at 5:54 pm  Comments Off on P. Niss asks for a raise

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Tell-It-Like-It-Is Video Contest

Tell-It-Like-It-Is Video Contest:

Picture 2It's still a bit top-secret, but … I'll be launching a sister website next month, and as part of it, I'll be creating a video compiled of your stories, challenges and ways you've put ReDefining Monogamy into your life, love and relationships. If a picture's worth a thousand words, I figure a moving picture is worth a million. So the best way to capture (in under 3 minutes), what my work is about, why and how people use it, and what is possible to create as a result, is to get it straight from you!

The prizes:

** For every video submitted, I'll send you my self-study course, Communication Made Easy: In & Out of the Bedroom.

Learn how to express your needs, ask for what you want, get practical how-to’s for deactivating reactivity, dealing with jealousy & resolving conflicts, all with humour and enjoyment. This is a sweet little bundle of three in-depth audio classes, workbook, at-home exercises and resource guide, valued at $97.

** For the top three videos (rated on impactful story, quality of video, and overall open-hearted coolness), you'll also get a fr*ee session with me, 2 hrs, valued at $197. Dude.

So, to join the contest:

1. Submit a video clip of you (and your partner/s), about 1 minute long. Use good lighting, if possible, and make sure it's honest and from your heart. The final file you send me must be smaller than 2GB. No editing necessary.

2. Upload it and send it to me:

* Use this link: www.yousendit.com
* Login email: liyana.silver@gmail.com
* Login password: videocontest
* Fill in the "To" form: liyana@redefiningmonogamy.com
* Fill in "Subject" form: Video Contest and your name
* Fill in the "Message" form: Your name(s), geographical
location, and occupation. (Or if you do NOT want this
information used, please specify).
* Upload your video file! (no larger than 2GB)
* Click "Send it!"

3. Your video must reach me before FEBRUARY 1, 2010


Feel free to answer each of these questions, or use them as a starting point and improvise. Just be real, share from your heart, and use concrete examples, when you can.

* What issues/challenges/problems/pains were you experiencing when you found my work?
* How did those challenges affect other aspects of your life?
* How did you find my work?

* What has shifted (results, outcomes, realizations) from knowing about and/or using my work?
* How has my work re-defined what's possible for you with love, sex, relationships and commitment?
* What would things be like for you if you hadn't come across my work?

I so look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Picture 1

Posted by LiYana at 9:23 pm  Comments Off on Tell-It-Like-It-Is Video Contest

Monday, January 11th, 2010

What I wish someone had told Tiger

By LiYana Silver

Are you really surprised Tiger Woods was cheating on his wife? Were you surprised Bill Clinton, Jude Law, Leann Rimes, David Letterman, Jon Gosselin, Mark Sanford and Hugh Grant were? We shake our once-again disappointed heads over yet another public figure or leader who has proven to be a cheater, liar or hypocrite, but why exactly are we so surprised and disappointed? Of course it can feel like a betrayal when someone you look up to, a mentor, leader or teacher, turns out to have cracks in their morals. I’m not saying that all public figures, celebrities and leaders are cheaters, liars and hypocrites – I’m saying MOST OF US are cheaters, liars and hypocrites.

Hear me out. A large majority of us consider monogamy and sexual exclusivity to be the ideal structure for relationships and marriages, and a reported 90% of us believe that adultery is wrong, However, between 25-50% of married women and 50-65% of married men admit to having affairs. And since not all of those cheaters are married to each other, the numbers of those engaged in infidelities increases dramatically. Picture a room of 10 people; between 2-6 (or more) of those people are or have been cheaters. You might have to count yourself.

We cry for monogamy in morals, but our actions say something very different.

As hard on everyone as infidelity is, cheating deserves a closer examination. Cheating is defined by the context it is set in and the rules it breaks, not by the action itself. In one context, having a knife plunged into your abdomen in the middle of the night by a strange masked man could be a very bad thing; yet in another context, if you are suffering a burst appendix, you are wildly thankful for that surgeon’s scalpel. By one set of rules, copying out of the textbook in an exam is blatant cheating; in an open-book test, it is accepted and encouraged. It’s not the act of having sex, intimacies or emotional connections with people other than our partners that is inherently the problem, it’s the secrecy and dishonesty as well as the unexamined rules so many of us strive to live and love by.

We take for granted that monogamy is gold standard, and when we can’t manage it, we blame ourselves – or our partner. But we could stop and consider a third option; that perhaps there’s something outdated or ill-fitting for some of us, about the structure, confines and pressures of monogamy itself.

I’m not letting Tiger, Bill, Jude – or those fictional 2-6 of 10 folks in the room – off the hook for cheating, lying, deception and infidelity. Dishonesty is a tragedy for everyone. But does everyone who has an affair do it for the sole purpose of breaking up a family or betraying the trust of their loved ones? Are all cheaters callous cads, letting wanton selfish desires take precedence over the sacrifice and self-discipline that is often necessary in loving relationship? Are a majority of us simply just rotten, bad people?

With deep respect to his wife and family, let’s also look at what Tiger (our token cheater) was going FOR, not just what he managed to mess up. It’s a powerful force; call it freedom, lust, limerance, infatuation, love, difference, otherness, intimacy, desire, or thrilling newness. For as long as there have been partners to cheat on, we humans have risked loved ones, jobs, careers, nations, our lives – and endorsements – for this force. It’s powerful, enlivening stuff, of which it seems we’d jeopardize just about anything for a taste, and which is as much a part of our humanity as is our integrity and honesty. It deserves to be dealt with head-on, with a healthy dose of respect.

Has monogamy outstayed its evolutionary welcome? Is the solution for long-term, committed partnerships and marriages to open up? Is the solution to keep doing the sexing-with-others we seem to be doing, but to stop lying about it? For some, certainly, but polyamory (the practice of having honest, consensual, loving, intimate and/or sexual relationships with more than one person) isn’t a panacea. Some monogamous relationships become stronger after infidelity exposes the cracks to be worked on. A few of us who cheat are of the narcissistic or pathologically disordered sort. And some people are stuffed into monogamy that shouldn’t be, whose perfect expression of love and commitment is to many, not just one. The lifestyle and love-style of non-monogamy may or may not be suited to Tiger and his wife, but the questions and considerations that must go into creating an honest, responsible, consensual open relationship most certainly would have helped them. There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer; but there are some important questions to keep asking.

Tammy Nelson, author of Getting the Sex You Want, states that nearly 80% of partners are complicit in their partner’s infidelity, whether they explicitly knew about it or not. Maybe they don’t expect their partner to betray their trust or have explicit knowledge of the affair, but on some level, they know. We don’t get pneumonia out of thin air – we have to first ignore our sniffles, our sore throat, our cough that won’t go away, our fatigue and the pain in our chests. Likewise, most of the time, we do know when our relationships are faltering, dulling, and closing to intimacy. We ignore the worsening symptoms and are ill equipped to do much to restore connection, passion, honesty and life to our relationships. Most of us have little or no means to deal pragmatically, intelligently, carefully, consciously – and even joyfully! – with the massive contradictions that make up any relationship.

It was only until relatively recently that marriage became about chosen love, soul mates, joint happiness and mutual sexual fulfillment. For most of its history, marriage was a political or survival strategy. You got your love, happiness and great sex where you could, if you could. Never before has marriage – or long-term partnership – looked like we want it to look now. Never before have we lived as long as we do now: the average span of “until-death-do-us-part” used to be about 10 years, and now our unions could last upwards of 60. Never before have we expected daily domesticity, child-rearing, financial decision-making, social and familial compatibility to merge seamlessly with erotic, sexual, intellectual, intimate, religious and spiritual fulfillment. Never before have we placed such pressures on one person to satisfy all of our needs, a burden too big for most of us to hold.

We are hard-wired biologically to be attracted to multiple people, as long as we have a pulse and hormones flow in our endocrine systems, and this doesn’t magically go away when couple up with just one. Often the closer, more comfortable, familiar and cozy the long-term relationship gets, the less the sexual spark, attraction and erotic fire. Desire, longing and arousal are fueled by newness, otherness, and a even bit of the unknown. It’s hard to find newness in a partner you know completely and it can become harder and harder to want something you already have.

Ever a realist, I’m not excusing infidelity. Ever a free-thinker, I’m not saying open relationship are always the answer. And ever a romantic, I’m not convinced that enough love, enough effort, enough faith – or the vows of marriage – can inoculate us from the very real contradictions of all relationships, let alone those facing the specific pressures of the 21st Century. We grow and change, and our world grows and changes, at alarmingly fast rates. The question becomes how can our relationships grow and change with us? Like buildings in earthquake zones, the structures of our relationships desperately need to be retro-fit for flexibility, pliancy and pragmatism – and right quick.

What sits before us all, and what I wish had shown up on Tiger’s agenda, is that now more than ever we have the opportunity to embrace the paradoxes of partnership – and they are many. The alternative to asking the hard questions of ourselves and our lovers is to bury our heads in the sand, and wonder, outraged, when cheating, lying or infidelity – or the general decline of our relationship – rears its head and makes a statistic out of us.

Albeit not for the faint of heart, there is absolutely a path for the survival and thrival of loving, committed, honest, fulfilling and sustainable relationships. What it takes is indeed humanly possible: a commitment to loving, openly and honesty, to having freedom and commitment under one roof, to care and feeding of the partnership, and to seeking a third option when there appears to be none. Rather than defaulting to sexual exclusivity, it takes choosing powerfully monogamy or non-monogamy. It takes welcoming the enigma of relationships in the 21st Century. There’s no one right way to do it, except to choose YOUR way with open eyes and heart. What will your right way be?

LiYana Silver is a relationship counselor, author, teacher and speaker, living in San Francisco with her extraordinary fiancée, Nathan and their cat Mishka. For more about LiYana and her work, visit her at www.redefiningmonogamy.com.

Posted by LiYana at 9:50 pm  Comments Off on What I wish someone had told Tiger

Friday, January 1st, 2010

2010 Re-Solutions

Mary Oliver reminds:

blackcat"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves …"

After a year of what has felt like, in retrospect, walking through the desert on my hands and knees, I'm standing up, checking for lost limbs (none), dusting off myself, rubbing my sore knees and resolving (read: re-solving) in 2010 to:

Gulp deeply of half-full glasses, so I can swirl across my tongue and drink into my belly all that IS, rather than all that has not or is not yet come.

Embrace my inner feline: to hang out in my furry pyjamas all day long, to bat impossible things out of the air with a flash of paw and claw, and to expose my throat and belly for those adoring hands worthy of stroking me.  And to purr loudly.

Channel Mexican Chocolate:  Strong, spicy, hot.  Bold, with the bite of bitter-dark that brings us, sip after sip, to the whole point: sweetness.

Heed the Ghosts of Women Past, so that when I speak in tongues, I quote Mae West.
"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."
"I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far."
“It's not the men in my life that counts–it's the life in my men.”
"To err is human, but it feels divine."
“When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before.”

Learn from caterpillars.  Eventually, caterpillars tire of munching, crawling and inching. They cocoon into a tight, dark, exceedingly uncomfortable place they've never been before – nor know if they'll make it out from.  They sew themselves in with instinct and spit.  They wait.  And wait.  And then they emerge able to fly.

"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things."

~ Mary Oliver

This year begins like all western new years do, with dark, short days, cold and dormant.  Sew your seeds, set them in the to-be fertile earth with your tenderest heart and greatest loving.  And Remember when the blossoms of your blessings begin to fall upon and grace your head, that You put them there, You began their lives.

To your beautiful 2010, LiYana


Posted by LiYana at 4:40 pm  Comments Off on 2010 Re-Solutions

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