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Author: Carl Studna
Category: Family & Relationships
We live in a culture where romantic illusions about love abound. From movies and ballads and fairy tales, we learn the idea that somewhere out there exists that one special person who will fulfill all of our desires and make our hearts - and our lives - complete. And we''re taught that once we find the "right" person, we will simply live Happily Ever After without any conscious effort on our part. By the time we''re young adults, most of us have had the experience of falling in love, but very few of us are equipped with the skills and insights needed to sustain that love, or to create a healthy, lasting, and evolving partnership. In truth, love is a verb: a regular practice, and a moment-by-moment, deliberate choice. It''s not an experience that just happens to us, but an environment that we create and then nourish with our ongoing commitment and attention. Few of us are skilled in the practice of love, but approaching it as a practice is precisely what is required, both for the longevity of our relationships and for our ability to evolve as individuals within them. The Evolution of Loving provides an intimate glimpse into eight remarkable partnerships that have been consciously built - and in many cases, rebuilt - on a foundation of authenticity, personal responsibility, and trust. As a photography book and a written essay, It is both a beautiful celebration of, and a concise synthesis of, the principles and practices - including meditations, communication exercises, daily and monthly rituals, and more - that have helped each couple fulfill the highest promise of partnership. The experiences conveyed in both words and images inspire us as to what becomes possible when we have the courage to fully open up to and grow in partnership alongside another human being. The book has a very warm and inviting layout and design, like that of one''s personal diary that invites you to snuggle up next to a loved one or a fire and travel deep into the devotional love shared by each couple. On it pages, you will discover the inspiring real-life stories of sixteen men and women who have learned to listen generously, to communicate authentically, and to take complete responsibility for our own happiness - and whose relationships reflect the depth of this commitment. And while these couples all display an exceptional degree of devotion, it''s vital to understand that this did not happen by chance. The level of intimacy between them was created in direct proportion to how much each was willing to give of themselves for the sake of their relationship - not only in happy times when giving comes easy, but at times when old wounds are triggered and our every survival instinct is screaming for us to build defensive walls and guard our hearts. The commitment to return to the practices that foster, maintain and restore connection, even in the midst of heartbreak, disillusionment or uncertainty, is what ultimately guided each couple to the other side. In this book, you will learn the fundamental principles for deepening physical and emotional intimacy over time, and for allowing your partnership to foster both your individual and collective evolution. You will learn how to intentionally view your partner - flaws and all - from the broadest and most empowered perspective. You''ll learn how to balance togetherness with autonomy, and to appreciate the ways your individual differences can contribute to the expansion of your partnership. Finally, the book closes with a comprehensive array of rituals and practices that will support you in strengthening the foundation of shared values between you and your partner, even when times are tough or communication has broken down. The promise of evolving love is to use whatever comes up as an opportunity to heal past wounds, to understand our partners more intimately, and to remove any obstacles within ourselves to experiencing love''s full depth. Each couple featured throughout this book has provided a piece of what is now a precise roadmap for nurturing the ongoing evolution of loving. The insights, tools, practices and examples offered here will light the way to an experience of love that grows ever deeper, transparent, and trusting over time.