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Out of the Closet: Into the Light of Expanded Love

poly post“As our minds are illumined, we become better at romance because we become better at being human. We become better at forgiveness and support and love. The enlightened world will not be one in which no one ever falls in love. The enlightened world will be one in which everyone is in love with everyone all the time. There will be no judgment, therefore no blocks to the awareness of love. We will see each other as God created us: as the perfect, loving and lovable people we really are at our core. The purpose of romantic love is to jump start our enlightenment.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Some of my former blog posts have focused on transitions in our collective relationship paradigms. I truly honor all paths and paradigms as valuable and cherished. I love that we have so many choices in creating consciousness in every aspect of our lives, and what could be more yummy than bringing that consciousness into relationships? I have explored a bit on the skinny branches the ways that love can show up even bigger, and I’ve learned some hard lessons around all that. I will share a little, in the interest of transparency and trust. Even poorly-kept secrets create barriers to intimacy. I share too because I know it takes courage to be authentic sometimes, and I want to model that courage, even if my knees quiver a bit. I want you to know that I am willing to encourage and support your own authentic light, as unique and distinct from mine, in all the inspired ways you BE.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

First: an apology. For those whom I confused with my public displays of affection for more than one Beloved on Facebook and in community, I sincerely apologize. I get a little carried away at times, a consequence of my own creativity. Many clients and students felt safe enough to ask me about it so I could share openly, and I’m grateful for that.

For years I have identified as polyamorous. Polyamory means, literally, many loves, as in being open to more than one love at a time in a completely open and honest way (not lying, not cheating). In the broadest interpretation of polyamory, we open to expressions of love that include mental, emotional, sexual and/or spiritual intimacy, as reflections of the unique dynamic of each relationship. I haven’t talked about it in an open venue like this before, because I am much more than poly. It doesn’t define me. Plus there is much confusion within and about poly-identified people. Many people have been hurt in the context of unconscious poly-relationships gone bad. The same is true for monogamous relationships, of course. There’s much healing of our hearts to be done within the collective, that’s for sure.

Perhaps, rather, I choose to be the spokesperson for wildest authenticity, of accepting responsibility for my choices and actions, and for living life fully. Poly is a part of that for me, as a significant part of my spiritual and creative expressions and explorations. In these years I have tasted the most delicious intimacy with my Love, Dana, that I live with and share a full-time life with. I have also had amazing love-dances and friendships with others who identify as poly. Can you imagine a more free-thinking, creative bunch? I can’t. And I would know. Imagine my life… I love others. They love others. Who also love others. And I love them too, even if from a distance, but sometimes, even sweeter, we share in expanded family. There’s the potential to create a beautiful web of love, joy, and bliss when we love in this way. As wonder-filled and utopic as this many sound, it’s definitely not the path for everyone. And it’s definitely not a prescription for an ailing relationship. Not at all.

Conscious evolution through relating provides the greatest challenges and the greatest bliss. Follow your heart, and know that all is well. ~ Socha

For nine years, I have enjoyed an amazing partnership, beyond any borders I knew in my former monogamous life. Dana and I have learned Reiki and shamanism together, explored past lives, assisted two family members (and others) in transitioning beyond the physical realm, and created this amazing home, OdaBe, a sacred sanctuary where we teach and play, create, connect deeply with nature – where we enjoy life.

Soul-full relationships are not the easy ones. ~ Socha

Expansive energies can create unintended ripples in our relationships. No matter how conscious we may be in our relating and no matter what relationship paradigm we choose, we are still subject to jealousy, hurt, and fears of abandonment, all as part of the human condition. I am not evolved. I know nothing of perfection in relating. I don’t think any of us really signed on for that. I wish to acknowledge my past, present, and future Beloveds, family and friends for riding the waves of change with me, for showing up so beautifully, sometimes tragically, and always authentically. I am so honored by the love I feel and the love that we create. Day by day, I embrace even deeper expressions of how love shows up.

As I surrender to love, allowing love to guide my life, I experience more and more joy, amazement and miracles. I also witness deeper shifts in consciousness for myself and for those who bless me by being in my life.

During all these transitions, I challenged myself to show up as love each and every day, to the best of my ability. Some days proved more fruitful and harmonious than others. It’s true that my thoughts and actions have created negative ripples in the fabric of the Universe. In other words, I’ve caused pain. And I felt pain too. Still, I always begin my day by asking, “What would love have me do?” As I’ve grown in wisdom and created more harmony within, more harmony comes into being in my life and in my relationships. And that often means allowing relationships to transform on their own evolutionary path, without trying to control their destinies.

Our evolutionary path is about following our deepest heart-knowing rather than following a map created or held by others. I am eternally blessed to know and follow my heart-wisdom. As coach, I am honored to help others to discover and follow their voices of wisdom, to live their dreams and to unleash their wildest gifts into the world.

Regardless of the relationship paradigm of choice, there are some great reminders woven into my experience that can apply to any conscious relationship paradigm. In poly, there’s a greater need for consciousness and communication because there are many paradigms and fewer cultural norms to guide the way. When matching with partners, it’s important to share similar expectations, dreams, aspirations, lifestyle choices and more. Structures and boundaries serve to create a safe container for expansion. These may include guidelines for dating others while honoring existing relationships. You may imagine the limitless potential here. As one poly-friend says, “Poly would be great if it weren’t for all the rules.” Still, as we evolve, structures, boundaries, self-awareness and communication are keys to creating safe space for riding the waves of expansion, love, and bliss. Jealousy is part of the human condition, and acknowledging the intensity of feelings that can come up and working through them in a conscious way can be so honoring, rewarding, and ultimately freeing.

A soulmate is the person who makes your soul grow the most. ~ Caroline Myss

I feel blessed by all I’ve experienced and by those who came to me as amazing teachers. I am grateful for the magic, the deepest expressions of love, and even for the sleepless nights of angst and discovery. Amazingly, I feel more empowered and more in love than ever before in my life. I am willing to embrace even more magic, love and expansion in my existing relationships. I consciously align my choices to make it so, and I fully accept responsibility for the essence of my creations in relationship and in all areas of life.

Affirmation: I make my own way in the world, feeling confident, competent and autonomous, at the same time that I enjoy loving, supportive relationships.

Perhaps you may want to revisit this re-blogged post by Robert JR Graham once more, “Fourth-Density Relationships,” , just to see what concepts may resonate with you as you create your unique path of consciousness in relating. This is your life. You get to choose and to create what works best for you. If you’re curious or want to know more about anything I’ve shared, I welcome you to ask me anything.

What deepest Truth within you desires bigger expression?

How would you articulate your relationship paradigm?

What outside-the box expressions of love might you desire to explore?

Who are you becoming in the context of your own relationships?

How might you express deeper consciousness in your relating?

How will you honor your relationship with your higher-self today?

What would love have you do today?

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18 Responses to Out of the Closet: Into the Light of Expanded Love

  1. Dana Meister says:

    Denise Love, I admire your “bring it” attitude and your “I’m not perfect but this is me” approach. I love that you strive to be as authentic as you can be as you learn, grow and expand. Life in general has plenty of challenges, then we add an unconventional relationship paradigm and no doubt hit a few obstacles on our way.

    Living on the skinny branches of the tree of life.

    Allow me to add some context from my side of the partnership.

    Many many years ago I did my best to live the monogamous paradigm. Married at nineteen and doing my best to follow what I thought was the “only way to be”.

    We did pretty good but eventually drifted in different directions that lead to divorce. I figured I was one of those who had commitment issues. It took years and lots of serial monogamous relationships with amazing women before I figured out it was what I was trying to commit to that was the problem. I discovered the terminology around Polyamory through the folks at Loving More and started attending workshops with them.

    Fast forward to nine years ago when I got reacquainted with Denise (we knew each other long before we became partners). We shared many conversations about just about everything. When I shared my dream / desire to share committed partnership in a “more than one” setting I was surprised that she didn’t recoil at the thought and that she asked, “tell me more”. We talked and shared a lot over the next few months. Nine years later here we are….

    Now a days I’m more reluctant to use the word Poly. So many people have had negative experiences within the poly world. It’s my belief much of that is caused by there being as many different ways to do poly relating as there are people doing it. Sure there are some basic configurations of how people come together ( mfm, fmf, ffm, mff etc use your imagination). I believe that many of the disfunction stems from people being unsure of what “flavor” they are and they partner with those who don’t share similar long term goals. There is also a huge percentage of folk who identify as polyamorous when they are more polysexual than polyamorous but that’s another story. There are no straightforward road maps to define “how to do it”. And heck, even in the mono world they’re no guarantees.

    Where I’m going is that whichever relationship paradigm one chooses it’s critical that all involved are of a similar mind / heart set with clear communication. Knowing oneself as we grow and expand is daunting. Being in partnership where both (or more) parties are growing and expanding often at different rates or different directions is harder yet. Why do we choose that?

    I think there are some of us who would rather dare the “impossible” rather than settle for what we don’t want. In the realm of “we create our own reality” why not reach for our hearts desires?

    As a comment this is rather long. Those with a genuine interest who wish to talk are welcome to inquire. I’m open to discussions. I’m not here to change anyone’s beliefs (about anything). I am willing to share of myself and all I’ve learned along my path.

    What were Denise’s questions?
    How would you articulate your relationship paradigm?- now I use the descriptor “responsible non-monogamy”.

    What outside-the box expressions of love might you desire to explore?- Those which respect and honor our existing partnership and add value to “our” lives.

    Who are you becoming in the context of your own relationships?- Ummm, more of my expanded authentic self.

    I’ll skip to the last question…What would love have you do today?

    Be myself, not so much the egoic self but more of the vulnerable authentic self I came here to be…. Learning to “be” of service while loving myself while I’m doing it.

    Simple Yes?

    With Love & Light, DanaMeister

    • Denise says:

      Thank you, Dana, for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. Indeed, we’ve learned A LOT as we’ve gone along this winding path, and no doubt we have much, much more to learn. What a blessing to grow on congruent paths (most days) and to bless ourselves and one another with the common thread of love we’ve carried each day, even the darker ones. Thank you for being a catalyst for my own expansion, in terms of love and also around my evolutionary self and all she consciously creates. What a journey. What a wild ride. What a joyful container. What a love. xoxoxoxox

      • Dana Meister says:

        Something of great importance also needs to be added.

        In the beginning of our partnership the potential for (yet undefined) expanded loving was paramount for me to be able to commit fully and whole heartedly to the partnership.

        Knowing that I wasn’t going to be a “prisoner” of love, locked away from any other physical interactions for as long as we’d be together (which is intended to be a very long time) was instrumental for me to open my heart. We didn’t have a plan other than being open to the possibilities.

        We don’t have it figured out but we’re learning to be better communicators while doing our “own” personal work along with honoring each others sovereignty and supporting each other’s growth / path.

        Isn’t that what real friends do?
        Much Love, DanaMeister

        • Indeed, holding space for expansion in the face of uncertainty can feel wildly risky. Always there are the waves of love and caring that support the flow of the journey, and the trust that grows as a result of the stepping onto the skinny branches, learning to fall, to land, and to soar into the sky.

          • Laura Bruno says:

            I love you two! Thanks for sharing in such a vulnerable way here. It’s the most conscious, mature discussion I’ve witnessed regarding polyamory. So often those involved are not as “evolved” as they want to believe they are — whatever that means, and it’s so often left undefined. In a monogamous relationship, these issues can arise, too, but exponentially so when you involve more people and thereby more issues, plus social stigma that tends to push shadow issues front and center.

            I suspect the reason this has worked for you is that you both bring such inquisitive minds and loving hearts, along with a willingness to explore possibly uncomfortable shadow areas.

            Much love!

          • Denise says:

            We love you too, Laura! Our own evolutionary leaps in consciousness surely accelerated when we came upon you and felt guided to learn Reiki from you. The blessings have flowed so beautifully ever since! And it’s true, we too have a long way to grow, and we’ve learned as much or more from our “mistakes” as our successes. What I know is we are stronger and “smarter” than ever before! You are so right on about the shadow work. It’s been exponential for us the more we’ve explored expansion, and digging into that willingly has certainly amplified and accelerated the journey… to wherever. We don’t know. But in this moment, everything is so perfect and beautiful, even our shadows. Oceans of love, Denise & Dana

  2. Wow! I’ve always loved people who are out-there with their truth and the more I know and love you, the more you do it. Yippee! So let me reciprocate a bit. I love you and am way hit for you. This is a wonderful state of being from afar watching you be and grow and stumble and get up so elegantly and reveal all. And it’s great too in person especially when my beloved wife is present.

    And while we’re on the subject, so much of this applies to you to Dana. What’s happened to the semi-shy guy I fell in love with who now seems to profound in his love and wisdom? Whatever, I honor and embrace whatever you’re being in every moment.

    I too have compassion for those all who this public portrayal of affection and connection freak out. I know the ups and downs of love relationships have scarred us all. I believe that in the end we all make the best choice we can in every moment that bests serve us. So if your benevolent disclosure of who you are triggers anyone else, let me just say two things. One, I trust my beloved Denise doesn’t want to hurt anyone or advocate who anyone else should be, do or have. And, two, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. Life is one you know. Too many of us take this all so seriously. Boo! The older and I get (and despite all my efforts it keeps happening), the more humor I find it most everything. Especially myself.

    • Ah, Somraj… beautifully eloquent as always! You and your Beloved Wife offer such a beautiful presence in our lives, through all the forms our relationdances have taken. You are so right in that life tastes best with humor and lightness. I am the greatest offender at taking it all too seriously at times, and it’s great for me to remember that it’s about fun ~ that I am allowed to want and to create that! And love is always “the answer.” I believe that with all my heart. I invite whatever experiences further open my heart, even if I sometimes feel “broken” by that. No one is really “broken” and no one needs fixing. We are all perfect expressions of the divine, and therefore worthy of infinite love and joy.

      • Denise says:

        Oh, I just want to add that I’ve received the most remarkable caring and support in sharing my path and views with others. I’ve been truly blessed with the most remarkable relationships where authenticity shines forth with full accepting and embracing by all. I think that’s the beauty way! I wouldn’t want us all to be the same. How boring!

  3. tania says:

    thank you denise and dana for sharing so beautifully, authentically, and with vulnerable integrity from your hearts. i so appreciate you both and honor the journey you are on. much love!!

  4. Kristen Montgomery says:

    Well my darlings! What exciting revelations! I am SO proud of you guys!! There is so much vulnerability that comes with revealing intimate truths, and I am in awe of your ability to do it with grace and openness. I was struck with two thoughts when I was reading this post. The first is that, as I have known the both of you for all of these years, you seem to do this dance with such grace. It has always appeared to me that it is a very “pressure-less” dance for the two of you. I would say effortless, but we all know that is not accurate. There is no pressure placed on each of you by the other to create a forced existence. This is difficult to do in any relationship and I applaud you for being a shining example for all of us. I have watched your dance stumble and be awkward, but you are meant to dance together forever, and there are no two partners ever, who have not stumbled a time or two.
    The other thought I was struck with is that it’s the term “poly” that bothers me. What an ugly, scientific word for something so NOT ugly and scientific…. I am at a loss for how to solve this problem… I look forward to a day without labels!

    I love you both more than I can articulate here. You are beautiful creatures and I feel so blessed to be here with you in this life, and part of your family no less!!

    Onward and upward! Aho!

    • Sweet Kristen, You are and always have been such an amazing blessing to us, with your sensitivity to our experiences and your complete faith and support in us during the rough patches in the road. The way you held space for us, with such an open and expansive heart, allowing us to see your vulnerability through that… well, I can only say that your sharing has been life-changing for me in the most beautiful and profound ways.

      I love the thoughts that you share. Indeed, Love can only be expressed in a pressure-less way. Effortless wouldn’t serve our spirit-paths anyway, though it sure sounds nice now and then 🙂 Yes, the “poly” terminology is so deficient in expressing the essence. I too would love to transcend labels, as our language influences our experience so much, yet it falls so short of reflecting the infinite nature of the heart. Poets have struggled with this always, though some have come close to kissing the essence of Love with metaphor.

      Sooooo happy, blessed and honored to share the dance of given-family and chosen-family with you. Dana and I just ever-so-much love-love-love you.

  5. Lori Bellis says:

    Love knows no boundaries..

    Thank you for sharing your deep and authentic exploration of this universal truth.

    Opening our minds and our hearts to Love’s infinite expressions is the greatest joy of being alive. Allowance, care, understanding, and acceptance are the keys that open the doors to Being Love.

    Namaste… The light in me, honors the light in you.


    • Ah, Lori, You honor me, us, and Love with your blessings and wisdom. Your response here means so much to me, and I feel such joy and freedom in the space. Thank you for all you BE. Oceans of love, Denise

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  8. Randy says:

    Read this a long time ago. I’m in a new relationship and re-read this to her. Hugs and thanks for your courage.

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