November 7, 2012

The Seven Stages of Deepening Connection

Hi all,

This week, we continue with guest blogger, Tahil Gesyuk. Enjoy!


There are seasons in relating. You could be doing everything right at the wrong time and things will not be going so well. The more we understand the seasons of relating the better we can transition with grace and compassion! 

There are five fundamental transitions (Innocence, Curiosity, Confidence, Peace, and Transcendence) and seven stages of deepening relating: passion, sympathetic, turbulence, molding, contentment, reservations, and maturated passion.

First Transition: INNOCENCE
Stage 1: The Passion (and Infatuation) Stage of Relating
We all start connection through innocence as it is our ultimate vulnerable state, preconditioning, and assumption. It is our kinetic potential where truly anything is possible! This is innocence’s calling card: if you see possibility you are in a state of innocence. If a couple honors the innocence in each other, they enter into “infatuation and passion.” This is a very vulnerable and delicate stage that is very exciting if innocence is preserved.

The greatest challenge in this stage of passion is cynicism, it is where our trauma locks and inner wounds of hurt from life experiences prevent a natural expression of innocence.  Our innocence, numb in expression, often comes out in cynicism is the exposing our wounds to the world! Cynicism stands guard for our broken trust until the cynicism can be honored, seen and felt to the deep vulnerability underneath. 

If we did not have modeling on how to maintain innocence with discernment, to develop our own wisdom, we find the “ouch” of our naivete. Without healthy modeling we often numb our innocence as a natural trial and error of that “ouch” we feel. Not realizing the cost of resilience in possibility and the cost of not being nurtured and expressed in our authenticity! This flux inside us between innocence and cynicism is our alchemy in setting our foundation in our stage of passion.

Second Transition: CURIOSITY
Stage 2 & 3: Sympathetic & Turbulence Stages of Relating

Our next transitory function that needs to be paid attention to is curiosity. Our innocence naturally peeks into curiosity and investigating the unknown by physical cues such as butterflies in our stomach. These cues are where our innocence is caught in a spell of wonder and awe (awesomeness). These enchantments are like bread crumbs leading our innocence to express itself to the world around itself.

This natural inquiry doesn’t get sidetracked by assumptive qualities but rather keeps going until Innocence meets Confidence. So in a way curiosity is the bridge of innocence to confidence. Think of curiosity as the alchemical process of bringing our vulnerability and strength into harmony!  Our curiosity is essential in our day to day challenges as a function to curb jadedness. It is holistic in nature, meaning it has a tendency to synergize, bringing all findings in inquiry under the scrutiny of innocence coming back to itself.  

Our greatest challenge in this transition is judgment. Our judgment is viewing the world through right or wrong based on our polarized set of ideals of how things should or should not be. Our curiosity gets replaced by judgment to protect our most tender vulnerable parts and its perk of streamlined efficiency. 

There is this search for absolutes whose sole pursuit is for security and safety. Not realizing the cost of those butterflies in our stomach. Our gut truths get replaced by judgment! Our wounds in curiosity get exposed to the world through our judgments.  If we had healthy modeling, “judgment” would be used as setting a container for curiosity to flourish and blossom rather than a replacement. (It is like a young sapling needing support from the elements in the beginning of its life.) The good in good judgment is the maintained curiosity in it! By honoring judgments in others and ourselves we give spaciousness for curiosity to come out and see another point of view. This alchemy between our curiosity and judgment is where our pacing and boundaries come from.

In the stages of sympathy and turbulence, we sympathize with one another as we get to know each other better while going over each others' histories and how they relate and connect us. The stage of turbulence enters when we find where we don’t relate or understand one another.  It is a time of the proverbial honeymoon coming to an end. Things get messy and real. As you start seeing each other behind the masks, how curiosity is maintained and honored in coupling can set the course to a rocky end or smoother sailing.

Third Transition: CONFIDENCE 
Stage 4: Molding Stage of Relating

The next transition occurs as curiosity peeks into confidence. As innocence finds itself through curiosity there is this thrill in discovery that meets the thrill in the inquiry. In this harmonic convergence of butterflies meeting butterflies, confidence is birthed. 

Confidence gives room to make mistakes. It has this sense about it that even if you lose you win. The calling card of confidence is our dignity! Not the dignity where you have to do or be something to be dignified but rather a dignity that comes from a simple awareness that we exist and that there is nothing quite like us.

Our greatest challenge in this transition is arrogance. It is a puffed up sense of self that masks the vulnerability we carry and hides the strength we truly have. Our confidence gets numbed in our re-fabrication of it in acting stronger than we are and not revealing our vulnerability as well our own authority. We don’t realize that when we fake it till we make it, our own authority gets replaced by others. And worse yet when we do make it (whatever that is) we want to have authority over others. Our power gets thwarted in us in saying “yes” when we mean “no” and “no” when we mean “yes”. The most detrimental cost is lacking the courage to stand up for our unique expression in the world. Our wounds in confidence get revealed to the world in our arrogance.

The flux between confidence and arrogance is the dance one needs to dance if they want to find their own path in life. The healing balm for arrogance in us and others is acknowledging the strength for what it truly is, no more or less, and being a welcoming for the vulnerability to make room for mistakes. 

In the molding stage we seek to make each other in our own image! There is this tug of war conscious or/and unconscious of what image each person has of an ideal partner. In some places our ideals get exceeded and we find happy surprises, in others we are challenged because they are not showing up the way our ideal would have it. If both partners honor confidence in each other and their happy surprises exceed the challenges, a synthesis occurs where an ideal is established on the behalf of both of them as well as maintaining the sanctity of the individual.  

Fourth Transition: PEACE
Stage 5: Contentment Stage of Relating

In this transition of peace there is this joyous ease after the adventure that authentic confidence brings. It is as if you caught a wave of a pause in life. As this natural ease meets responsibility of adults, many things happen that act deeply in our bellies around ease. 

If we had healthy modeling, our easeful peace would be honored in healthy pace of life. We would be shown how our natural rhythm would be harmonized with the rhythm of others to give spaciousness for us and the people around us to be in a healthy state of rest. Yet often because of the modeling of arrogance rather than confidence, our rhythms around ease and peace were often numbed to almost nonexistent.  When confidence meets confidence, it evokes peace. When arrogance meets arrogance, violence is inevitable. The greatest challenge in this transition is angst.

Angst is a sense of anxiety in constantly covering up or catching up to how you really feel about the world around you. When we lose our trust in the natural rhythm of our ease and peace, the scar we replace it with is angst. Angst brings out this looming sense that we always have to be running to or from someone or somewhere in the moment we want to rest. 

You know angst dominates your life if you feel overwhelmed and that you have two speeds: full speed ahead or drop dead tired. Rest and ease has been lost in our vocabulary of function. This flux around peace and angst is how we find our rhythm and flow in life. Angst exposes the wounds of peace to the world.  As we notice angst in ourselves and others, healing is to harmonize with authentic yes's and no’s to model how healthy rhythm of ease can be. Also strengthening and reclaiming the functions of innocence, curiosity, and confidence. In the contentment stage we commit. This is typically when we pop the “Question” or “Feel” settled.

Fifth Transition: Transcendence
Stage 6 & 7: Reservations & Maturated Passion Stages

In this peek of transition we transcend. Transcendence is just that, a transcended state of being that has one be aware of something greater. If you ever just stood back and let yourself be absorbed in watching a playground filled with children at play, at some point you feel transcendence because that is what you’re witnessing. As the children hit this harmonic note of pure glee the whole meets the individual and something other than just both happens. 

If we maintain our ability to have full function in our innocence, curiosity, confidence, and peace into adulthood our spirituality is not a concept we borrow from others, but rather it becomes a living embodiment of our transcendence.  As children our innocence peeks into curiosity and curiosity into confidence and confidence into peace then there is this opportunity of transcendence and we are born anew. It is this whole cycle of transcendence that revitalizes youth and brings fresh innocent eyes to life.

The greatest challenge in this transition is chaos, it is a sense of your life whirling out of control into oblivion. When we embody more of the destructive cycle of cynicism, judgment, arrogance, and angst, chaos tends to happen. There is this general destructive nature around it. Things blow up, get dramatic, and we get caught in the web of our own unconscious and collusive delusion with others. When our transcendence gets numbed, chaos takes its place. Chaos exposes the overall cycle that we embody is one of destruction.  

It is hardwired defeat in nature of chaos that gives the opportunity to find our innocence again and find our play cycle back into transcendence.  When we notice chaotic tendencies in us or others, it is healing to honor the chaos and invite innocence in defeat. It is in the nature of chaos to destroy everything in its path including the very thing that created it (cynicism.)  And in that, empathy of nature is exposed.

When we realize that we are back where we started, having an opportunity to reclaim our innocence, an authentic humility arises in empathy for the chaotic nature. In the reservation stage, doubts creep in after we have been with one another for a while, things get complacent, we might start thinking about past partners or what might be somewhere else. If transcendence is honored there is a partnership in transcending reservation together which leads to maturated passion. A deeper more transcendent passion takes root not like a fever of a young passion of infatuation but rather a slow cooking flame of knowing there is no place you would rather be than to simmer in your lover arms.

Tahil has a passion for bringing love, connection,and health into people’s lives. With over 15 solid years of coaching experience, he is committed to bringing forth the radiance in each human being. As the director of the Intimacy Forum, Tahil Gesyuk is dedicated to teaching you the language of creating extraordinary relationships that impact the world in a loving and effective way.

The Intimacy Forum produces events and trainings around affection and connection, bringing a unique synthesis of full sensory and full body learning around *Heart-intimacy*, connection and affection.

For more info, please visit our website: 

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