Relationship Failure - the Art of Living Retreat Center

The One Major Cause of Relationship Failure

By Margaret Paul
December 12, 2018

Relationship Failure - the Art of Living Retreat Center


What if there really is ONE major cause of relationship problems, one issue that if you address, would change everything? The good news and the bad news is – there is!

The good news is that it makes it easier to understand why you might be having problems in your relationship, or why your relationship has failed.

The bad news is that to resolve the issue takes a deep personal commitment to heal.


The one cause is: self-abandonment

Let’s take a look at what self-abandonment is and why it causes almost all the problems in relationships.

There are many areas in which we can abandon ourselves: emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, relational, and organizational. One or more of these areas may be affecting your relationship, or may have caused your relationship to fail. The area of self-abandonment that often causes the most problems is emotional self-abandonment.


Emotional self-abandonment

The Encarta(r) World English Dictionary defines ‘abandon’ as: “to leave somebody or something behind for others to look after, especially somebody or something meant to be a personal responsibility.”

As adults, our own wellbeing is our personal responsibility.

Do you abandon yourself, making your partner responsible for you, and then feel abandoned by your partner or others when they leave you or don’t take responsibility for you?

As an adult, another person cannot abandon you, since they are not responsible for you. We can abandon a child, an ill person or an old person – someone who cannot take care of themselves. But if you are a physically healthy adult, you can be left, but you cannot be abandoned by others. Only you can abandon yourself.

What are the ways you might be abandoning yourself?


Judging yourself

How often do you judge yourself with comments to yourself such as:
“You are not good enough.” “You are inadequate.”
“You are stupid.” “You are an idiot.”
“You are ugly.” “You are not attractive enough.”
“If you fail, you are not okay.”
“If someone rejects you, you are not okay.”
“It’s all your fault that….”
“You will never amount to anything. You are a failure. You are not reaching your potential.”
…and so on.

Just as a small child feels alone and abandoned when a parent is harsh and judgmental, so your own inner child – your inner feeling self – feels alone and abandoned when you judge yourself. Self-judgment not only creates inner feelings of aloneness and emptiness, but it also creates feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, hurt, fear, guilt, shame, aloneness and emptiness. Then what do you do when you have judged yourself and created all these painful feelings?


Making others responsible for you

Once you judge yourself and then ignore the pain you have caused, it is quite likely that you then turn to your partner for the love and approval that you are not giving to yourself. Your inner child needs love, approval and attention. We all need the love and comfort of others, but when you abandon yourself with your self-judgments and ignore your feelings, the wounded child part of you turns to your partner in needy, controlling ways that may actually push your partner away. Because the child part of you is desperately needy for love, you likely become manipulative to get that love – getting angry and blaming, or becoming overly nice or compliant and trying to do everything right. You have handed your inner child away to your partner, hoping he or she will give you the love you are not giving to yourself and that you so desperately need.

The more you make your partner responsible for giving you the love, attention and approval you need, the more your inner child feels abandoned by you, leading to more addictive and controlling behavior to fill the emptiness and avoid the pain of your self-abandonment.
People tend to treat us the way we treat ourselves, so the more you abandon yourself, the more you might feel rejected by your partner.


Financial self-abandonment

When we refuse to take care of ourselves financially, instead expecting our partner to take financial responsibility for us, this can create problems. This is not a problem if your partner agrees to take financial responsibility for you and you fully accept how he or she takes this responsibility, but if you choose to be financially irresponsible, much conflict can occur over your financial self-abandonment.


Organizational self-abandonment

If you refuse to take responsibility for your own time and space, instead being consistently late or being a clutterer, and your partner is an on-time and/or neat person, this can create huge power struggles. In fact, some relationships actually break up over these issues. While these issues might not have seemed so major at the beginning of the relationship, over time they can erode the love between you.


Physical self-abandonment

If you refuse to take care of yourself physically, instead eating badly and not exercising and possibly causing yourself health problems, your partner may feel resentful at having to take care of you. Your physical self-abandonment not only has negative consequences for you regarding your health and well being, but it also has unwanted consequences for your partner, which can lead to much conflict and power struggles.

If, due to physical self-abandonment, you have put on a lot of weight, this might be a turn off to your partner. It might not just be your weight that is the turn off, but also the fact that you don’t care enough about yourself to take care of your physical wellbeing. Again, not caring about yourself might be reflected back to you in your partner also not caring about you.


Relational self-abandonment

If you refuse to speak up for yourself in your relationship, instead giving yourself up and allowing your partner to control you, you are eroding the love in the relationship. When you abandon yourself to your partner, you create a lack of trust that leads to conflict and resentment, because if your partner knows that he or she can manipulate you into giving yourself up, how can he or she trust that you are not going to allow yourself to be manipulated by others?


Spiritual self-abandonment

When you make your partner your dependable source of love rather than learning to turn to a spiritual source for your dependable source of love, you place a very unfair burden on your partner. When your intent in the relationship is to get love rather than to share love, then you will pull on your partner for attention, approval, time, or sex. When you do not take responsibility for learning how to connect with a spiritual source of sustenance and comfort, your neediness can create much conflict in the relationship.


Controlling behavior pushes your partner away

Trying to get love, rather than learning to fill yourself up with love to be shared with your partner, is a major result of self-abandonment. The more you abandon yourself in these ways, the more you will try to control your partner, and the more you try to control your partner, the more he or she will likely pull away.

What are the ways you try to control your partner?
Do you:

  • Explain and defend yourself?
  • Shame and judge your partner?
  • Comply, giving yourself up?
  • Withdraw, shut down, ignore, resist?
  • Yell, blame, and attack?
  • Complain?
  • Cry as a victim?

How does your partner respond when you attempt to control in these ways? Does this lead to closeness or to distance? These are some of the ways you might be trying to get love from your partner when you are abandoning yourself.


The way out: learning to love yourself rather than abandon yourself

When you decide to learn to love yourself rather than continue to abandon yourself, you will discover how to create a loving relationship with your partner. Practicing the 6-Step self-healing Inner Bonding® process is a very powerful way of learning to love yourself!


A brief overview of the Six Steps of Inner Bonding

Step 1: Willingness to Feel Pain and Take Responsibility for Your Feelings
In Step 1, you move into the present moment and focus within, tuning into your feelings and emotions – moving toward your feelings rather than away from them. You make the choice to be mindful of all your feelings, including your pain, rather than protect against them with various addictions. You make a conscious decision that you want to take responsibility for your feelings, which means that you want responsibility for learning how you might be causing your own anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and shame with your own thoughts and actions, and that you want responsibility for learning how to nurture the painful existential feelings of life – the loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness concerning others that are so challenging.

Step 2: Move into the Intent to Learn
In Step 2, you focus in your heart and invite the compassionate presence of your higher self into your heart, by simply saying, “I invite love and compassion into my heart.”
Now you’re ready to focus on “intent” – your deepest desire, your primary motivation. There are only two possible intents you can have in any given moment:

  • The intent to protect yourself from pain with various forms of controlling, self-abandoning behavior, or
  • The intent to learn about loving yourself and others

When your intent is to learn, you are operating as a loving adult. When your intent to avoid your pain with some form of self-abandoning behavior, you are operating from your programmed ego self – what we call in Inner Bonding your ‘wounded self’.

Step 3: Dialogue with Your Wounded self and Your Inner Child
With kindness, gentleness and compassion toward yourself, you discover the thoughts and false beliefs from your wounded self that may be causing your shame, fear, anxiety, depression, aloneness, emptiness or anger, and you learn how to release anger in appropriate ways. You uncover the false beliefs that were created in the past and have led to the self-abandonment that is causing much of your current pain. You explore what may be happening with a person or event that is causing the existential painful feelings of life – loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, helplessness concerning others, or grief. You explore your core self – your essence, your inner child, which is your feeling self – and discover what brings you joy.

Only when the unconscious false beliefs that have limited you for so long are understood and identified, can they be replaced by new and healthier truths that will nurture and heal you.

In Step 3, you ask yourself questions, such as, “What am I telling myself and how am I treating myself that is causing my pain?” “What am I trying to control or avoid with my controlling behavior?”

Step 4: Dialogue with Your Inner or Higher Guidance
In Step 4, you ask a source of inner or higher wisdom – whatever that is for you: “What is the truth about the false beliefs I may have uncovered in Step 3?” And, “What is the loving behavior toward my inner child in this situation? What is in my highest good? What is kind to myself?” You open and allow the answers to come through you in words, pictures or feelings. The answers may not come immediately, but if you have a sincere desire to learn, they will come.

By staying open to learning, you will begin to experience that you are never alone. This is where fears start to fall away and you begin to receive all the love and wisdom you need to take loving actions for yourself and with others.


Step 5: Take Loving Action
Step 5 is about telling yourself the truth and taking the loving action based on the information that came through from your inner or higher guidance in Step 4.


You have opened to your pain, moved into learning, started a dialogue with your wounded self and inner child, and tapped into your higher wisdom. In step 5 you take the ‘loving action’ that, over time, heals the painful feelings that have been the result of your self-abandonment.

Step 6: Evaluate Your Action
Once you take the loving action, you check in to see if your anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness or emptiness is getting healed. If not, go back through the steps until you discover the truth and actions that bring you relief, peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.

Turning this daily practice into a way of life is what will protect you from going back into self-abandoning behaviors. Much like attending to – say – a child’s feelings, you learn to keep a loving relationship with yourself throughout your life, no matter the challenges that come at you. This loving relationship with yourself and your higher guidance fills you and empowers you to handle life’s challenges with strength and equanimity. This is what then leads to being able to share love with your partner, rather than always trying to get love.

Even if just one of you in a relationship starts to learn to love yourself rather than abandon yourself, your relationship can begin to heal. Try it! You will be truly amazed at the results!


Learn more about the Inner Bonding Process and heal your relationships, your emotions, and your spirit. Dr. Margaret Paul hosts the Inner Bonding workshop at the Art of Living Retreat Center from May 17th-19th, 2019.


Dr. Margaret Paul is a bestselling author and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® self-healing process, and the related SelfQuest® self-healing online program – recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including Oprah. Margaret holds a PhD in psychology, is a relationship expert, public speaker, consultant and artist. She has successfully worked with thousands and taught classes and seminars for over 50 years.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!


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TAGS: abandonment , Love , margaret paul , relationships , resilience , wellness
How to Deal with Challenging Relationships - Art of Living Retreat Center

How to Deal With Challenging Relationships

By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
November 8, 2018

How to Deal with Challenging Relationships - Art of Living Retreat Center


Life is not a sheep yard or a cowshed, but a zoo. You find all types of people in life, not just others who are like you. The most intelligent, the most creative, and the most dull, hyperactive, or lazy ones are all here — whatever their behavior is, don’t worry about them. It is an exercise for you to enjoy all types of people. Everyone does their job.


If you sit and talk to people, they are beautiful human beings. Everyone is a nice person. To change someone’s perception or behavior, even your own, takes its own sweet time, so we shouldn’t worry about these things.


Some are here to test your patience, so how patient could you be? Some are there to show you where your buttons are. All of life is like this exercise.


December 21-30, Sri Sri will guide a series of transformational workshops in Boone, NC. These workshops include the Holistic Health Retreat, offered for the first time in the United States, and Unveiling Infinity, an amazing journey into different forms of meditation that bring peace and clarity to the mind. Learn more here: Winter Programs with Sri Sri


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a humanitarian and spiritual leader, an ambassador of peace and human values. Through his life and work, Sri Sri has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free, violence-free world.  He has founded courses that provide techniques and tools to live a deeper, more joyous life and he has established nonprofit organizations that recognize a common human identity above the boundaries of race, nationality, and religion.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: mindfulness , relationships , sri sri ravi shankar
Balancing Relationships - Art of Living Retreat Center

Exploring Wisdom: Finding Balance in Relationships

By Wah! & Dr. James Leary
October 10, 2018

Balancing Relationships - Art of Living Retreat Center


In this series, regular Art of Living Retreat Center presenters Wah! and Dr. James Leary answer your questions about life, love, and spirituality.

“How do I maintain balanced self-care time and together time within my relationship?”


James: Relationships are a lot of fun. People always say, “Wow! You guys have this dynamic thing that happens all the time!” People see all the good stuff, and none of the hard work. In any relationship, in order to have balance, you have to create it. There’s always a give and take. When we disagree or have something to work through, we’ll see one another and just exhale, just let it out, and breathe into it.


The balance comes from letting that other person have that moment, and not trying to control it, and getting to the point where you can breathe together. You have to allow yourself the ability to just exhale, and to disagree, and to say to yourself that it’s okay. And then have the intention to go further. To work through it, not away from it.


The spiritual part of the relationship is a must in my own personal belief. Having something like a common goal of spirituality is one of the best ways to balance your self-care with your relationship. It’s a beautiful thing.


Wah!: I like all of that. I would say that self-care is that time when you connect to yourself and to Source. It’s a process of regeneration, so when you’re taking care of yourself, you’re also in service to someone else. The time together should be celebratory. It should be fun. You should try new things together, and make plans that you can look forward to.


Sometimes when you spend too much time together there can be a sense of drag, and you feel like you can’t get any more out of your interaction. So spend time together and time apart! We’ll do our own thing and then we’ll come together for a meal, for instance. There should be a flow, a back-and-forth. There should be a rhythm of coming together and building something together, and then being apart and rejuvenating yourself, restoring so that when you come back together, you have more to bring to the table as an individual.


Wah! Wah! blends a seductive, Eastern-tinged spiritual sound with a unique mix of pop, world music, ambient electronica, hip hop, and reggae. She teaches women’s leadership trainings, sound healing workshops, yoga teacher trainings, and performs healing concerts in planetariums and theaters throughout the United States.


Dr. James Leary, DOM, DMQ, PhD, has been treating people successfully for 30 years. His Life Qi Renewal is a protocol for life activation which draws from many teachers and healing methods. Dr. Leary’s expertise has been utilized by healing therapists, professional athletes, and corporate executives all over the world.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: balance , Love , relationships , self love , self-care
What Kind of Messenger Are You

What Kind of Messenger are You?

By don Miguel & don Jose Ruiz
September 6, 2018

What Kind of Messenger Are You


We are all messengers

Have you ever noticed that we are all messengers? Every one of us uses the word to form our opinions, to express our point of view. We are constantly using the word to deliver and receive messages to those around us and to ourselves. The question is: What kind of messages do we deliver? Do we deliver the truth, or do we deliver lies?


The world is populated by billions of messengers, but what kind of messengers are they? The answer is obvious. You see the consequences in the world. Delivering lies is the core of the problem, because all conflict ­­– whether it’s inner conflict or conflict between humans – is the result of believing in lies and delivering lies.


The majority of the humans on earth have no idea that words have the power of creation. They have no idea where the power of their word comes from, which means that words have power over them.


What kind of messenger are you?

What kind of messenger are you? Just allow this question to go directly into your heart, where you can feel the meaning and intent behind the words. What kind of message do you deliver to your children, to your beloved, to your siblings, to your parents, to everyone around you? Are you a messenger of gossip and lies? Do you feel comfortable with all the drama that comes as a result of believing in lies? Is that what you share with everyone around you? Is that what you teach your children?


You are always delivering a message to everyone around you, but mainly you are always delivering a message to yourself. What is the message? That message is the most important one, because it affects your whole life. How do you treat yourself? Are you kind to yourself? Do you respect yourself? Do you even like yourself? What kind of life are you creating for yourself? Are you happy or are you suffering? If you’re suffering, if there’s drama and injustice in your life, then you’re not being impeccable with your word. All those voices in your head are distorting your message. What kind of message will you deliver to the people you love the most if the messages you deliver to yourself are guiding you into suffering?


Whose messages are you delivering?

Now use your imagination to see the kind of messages other people delivered to you in your entire life. People were always delivering messages to you, and you were always perceiving their messages. How did all those messages affect you? Out of all the messages that you received, how many of those messages did you agree with and take as your own? How many of those messages are you still delivering now? If you’re delivering somebody else’s messages, whose messages are you delivering?


What will make a difference in the messages you deliver? The answer is awareness. Just have the awareness of the kind of messages that you’ve delivered and received your entire life. Once you’re aware of the messages you’re delivering, and the messages other people are delivering to you, your point of view will shift completely. The moment will come when you clearly see the effect of your words, the effect of your actions, the effect of your presence on other people. You will see exactly what kind of messenger you are, and you will clearly see what kind of messengers the other people are. After that, the importance of being impeccable with your word will be obvious.


The power of your word

Once you become aware of the power of your word, you can change the way you communicate with yourself and with other people. Perhaps you’ve misused the word because you were innocent, because you didn’t have awareness. But once you have awareness, you cannot claim innocence anymore. You know exactly what you’re doing, and whatever you’re doing is perfect, but now it’s your choice.


Now the question becomes: What kind of message do you choose to deliver? Is it truth or is it lies? Is it love or is it fear? When you are impeccable with your word, you deliver a message of truth and love.


Get in tune with your authentic self, release the fear of what you are without your beliefs, and embrace unconditional love with the Ruiz brothers at the Art of Living Retreat Center. The Agreements of Love takes place October 12th-14th.


This article is excerpted from The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery by Shakta Khalsa. © 2010 by Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D., Jose Luis Ruiz, and Janet Mills, and is used with permission from Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc., and reposted with permission from the authors.


Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. is a Nagual, a Toltec Master of Transformation. He is a direct descendant of the Toltecs of the Eagle Knight lineage and is the son of don Miguel Ruiz. By combining the wisdom of his family’s traditions with the knowledge gained from his own personal journey, he now helps others realize their own path to personal freedom.


Don Jose Ruiz is a Toltec Master of Transformation and modern day Shaman. He is a direct descendant of the Toltecs of the Eagle Night lineage, and is the son of don Miguel Ruiz, author of New York Times bestseller The Four Agreements. He is the author of The Fifth Agreement, Ripples of Wisdom, and My Good Friend The Rattlesnake. Along with his family, he teaches workshops and offers transformational journeys around the world.


Interested in learning more about Ayurveda and the programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: authenticity , communication , relationships , self-actualization , The Ruiz Brothers , truth

In House: Dian Killian on Living in Full Authenticity

By Paige Reist
June 20, 2017

Living Authentically - Art of Living Retreat Center


Most people value authenticity in their lives—being honest, genuine and real—true to their values and their vision. If we want love and depth of connection in our lives—and most people want this too— we want that love and connection based on who we “really” are–our authentic selves.


Authenticity in the Workplace

We may see authenticity as important in intimate relationships at home but it also plays a key role in the workplace. Often, when coaching executives, I am coaching them on being more authentic—turning up more fully in their work lives and encouraging their reports to do the same. Why?


…”the more authentic you are, the more effective you are. …Authenticity is really nothing more than making sure that people are fully expressing what they think and feel. … if people are not expressing themselves fully in what they think and feel within the context of the work they are accountable to produce then the enterprise or organization is editing out data. This impairs good decision making and follow-through…and ultimately undermines success. … When you have a group that is authentic and rigorous in their dialogues, you will have a high performing team.” –from The Yoga of Leadership, Kripalu Magazine, 2009


Authenticity in Relationships

What is interesting to me is how that last line also applies to couples and families. When you have a couple that is authentic– or a family that is authentic-and rigorous in their dialogues–you will find the greatest trust, connection, and intimacy: a “high performing” relationship or family.


The practice of Nonviolent Communication is all about authenticity. What is my genuine experience-what I am seeing or hearing (rather than my story or interpretation about what’s happening)? What is my genuine response–my feelings and needs? This is our true aliveness.


And authenticity is key within ourselves. We all long for our essence— to know who we truly are, and to live true to that being. When we are triggered or acting habitually we have, in effect, in that moment, lost our authenticity.



In effect, NVC gives us practical tools to be authentic—and to live with rigor around our authenticity.

Bring Your Full Power into the World

I have three questions I’d love for you to consider:


How are you connecting authentically with yourself?


How are you connecting authentically with others?


And how are you bringing your full power and authenticity into the world?


In asking the last question, I think of that old Bible verse—about not putting your light under a bushel. Each of us is an authentic being. That authenticity can be shrouded or lost via fear. By being true to our authenticity, we can illuminate situations that otherwise can be clouded or disconnecting. By being our authentic ourselves—discovering– who am I really? What do I value? What brings me most alive? What matters to me? —we bring our full power into the world.


I hope you will sit with the questions above and if you value greater authenticity in your life see what do-able request you can make. What will support greater authenticity with yourself—and with others? What does greater authenticity look like for you, in the world? What is one step you can take this week, this month?


Join Dian for Nonviolent Communication for Better Living from August 11 – August 13.


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here!


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TAGS: art of living , art of living retreat center , mindfulness , nonviolent communication , relationships , wisdom
Art of Living - Why Spirituality matters

Walking the Path: 10 Reasons Why Spirituality Matters

By Lucia Whalen
June 12, 2017

Art of Living - Why Spirituality matters


The word “spirituality” means different things for different people. For some, spirituality is associated with religion and is tied to concrete rites and rituals. For others, meaningful activities like swimming, making art, and walking through the woods brings on a spiritual experience. For the most part, though, the word spirituality has become as ambiguous and vague as the word “the,” and is often stigmatized by associations to “hippy-dippy” new-age philosophies, patchouli, dreadlocks, and yoga pants.


Spirituality seems to have become confused with religion, as it is common to now associate as “spiritual” or “not spiritual”. However, at its core, spirituality is a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and is not an ideology to believe or not believe in. Spirituality is, in fact, what gives life a sense of meaning and purpose.


TAGS: anxiety , art of living , art of living retreat center , creativity , forgiveness , mindfulness , relationships , silence , solitude , spirituality , stress , wellness

Building Successful Relationships with Wisdom

By Caroline & Wally Zeman
April 10, 2015

Silent retreat leaders Caroline and Wally share some of the insights they’ve discovered about building a happy, long lasting relationship.  Based on their years of experience teaching with the Art of Living, here are some ideas about the art of acceptance and living with one another.

Happily teaching together decades later

The Night of Acceptance


Wally: I’m not allowed to tell the whole story, but this was in 1995. We had just moved to Colorado from Fairfield and we were having a fight. I mean, we weren’t hitting each other or anything like that (Caroline laughs), but we were having a strong argument and our vocal chords got some exercise that night.


We agreed that the only way out of the fight was to look at the knowledge points from The Happiness Course:

• Accept people and situations as they are

• Live in the present moment

• Don’t see intention behind other people’s mistakes and all the others.


Then we sat down to see how we were doing. We just kept going down the list and said to ourselves, “Man, every single one we messed up on.”


That was the turning point right there.


Caroline: It really was the turning point. And we did call Guruji that night (it happened to be that we had set up a call earlier). And Wally shared with him what happened. And he said, “Yeah, it works.”


Wally: These points really work. It’s just a matter of applying them in all the situations that you come across.


How to Deal with Issues

Andrew: What advice would you give new couples?


Wally: Always look at yourself first. There are some issues or problems that come up as a couple. Always look at yourself. And if there’s some advice you want to give to your spouse, don’t give it immediately, wait at least for 24 hours if not 48 hours before you offer your advice. Then just offer it and whatever happens with it, just let that go. If your spouse takes it, fine; if he or she doesn’t, then drop it.


Caroline: Just respect and love. Put the points from the Happiness Program up on the refrigerator and use them everyday.


Wally: Yeah, definitely put them on the refrigerator because it’s easy to forget. In the heat of the moment you just forget, but it can be useful to go over to the fridge and say, “Oh let’s see did I get this one?”

Always look at yourself. And if there’s some advice you want to give to your spouse, don’t give it immediately, wait at least for 24 hours.

Finding Harmony

Andrew: When you teach a course together, did that harmony in teaching together come about naturally or was it something you worked on and developed?

Caroline: You have to communicate with each other but it’s pretty much a reflection of how we flow together in our life. We can complete each other’s sentences and we know what the other is thinking before he says it (laughs).

Wally: We don’t know who’s controlling who (Caroline laughs). It’s a fifty fifty guess on what’s happening. Either I’m cognizing what she’s saying or vice versa, or I’m doing exactly what she wants or vice versa.

Caroline: But it’s just a reflection of how your relationship is. When you’re teaching together it will show.

Wally: Of course it’s really easy with Caroline. She’s a special women.


Andrew: How do you complement each other?


Wally: Everyday I say, “Honey you’re wonderful!” (laughter)

Caroline: We feel like we’re two halves of one person. Whatever he’s lacking I’ve got and whatever I’m lacking he’s got. When we teach I’ve got the points down and then he brings the silence and the magic and humor.


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


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TAGS: knowledge , marriage , relationships , wisdom

Forging a Successful Relationship with the Wisdom of Yoga

By Caroline & Wally Zeman
April 5, 2015

 Have you ever wondered…

about the keys to a happy, long lasting, successful relationship? Well, senior Art of Living teachers Wally and Caroline Zeman have been happy and growing together for over 40 years.   In this candid interview with Andrew Keaveney, Wally and Caroline share their secrets.

Happily teaching together decades later

Andrew:  What’s the key to a happy marriage?

Caroline:  You know the very first thing is accepting people as they are and accepting the situation as it is.  That doesn’t mean letting people abuse you, but you let a person be who they are.  That first step is huge because what you’re doing is you’re giving them freedom.  They don’t feel bound by the marriage.


Wally:  And they don’t feel too restricted by your judgement of them.  They feel at home with you.  Same thing with us.  We just feel at home with each other because I let her be who she is.  I don’t try to control her in any way and vice versa.


Caroline:  And there’s no division.  The Self is everywhere.  So what that person wants you also want for them because that also uplifts you, and brings you fulfillment because something that they want is happening.  You feel it in yourself.  So there’s that unity.  It’s like the baby of a marriage is Brahman being born between the two.  You know, it’s that wholeness that comes.

It’s a gift.  It’s not always easy.  Just like being on this earth isn’t always easy, but we’re here to move forward and learn something.

Wally:  (to Andrew) So are you asking all these points so that you can get some pointers for when we set you up with a life partner? (laughs)


Andrew:  (laughing) Okay, I’ll bite – What keys for a successful relationship do I need to know?

Wally:  All the ones we just mentioned.  If you can just do one of them you’re ahead of most people on the planet.  Way ahead of most people.

Caroline:  It’s a technique, you know?  People want to get married because they think, I want someone to love and be with and spend my life with.  Being single is a technique and being married you’re stepping into a new technique.  And that technique is presenting to you what you need to see about yourself, so you will ask yourself, Oh what is it I’m missing here?  What do I need to look at?  And so it’s a gift.  It’s not always easy.  Just like being on this earth isn’t always easy, but we’re here to move forward and learn something.  So it’s a blessing.


Andrew:  So being single is a technique and being married is another technique?

Wally:  Marriage is the advanced course (laughs).


Andrew:  And why choose one over the other?

Wally:  Because this gets you home much faster.  If you can overcome this one you’re home free.


Caroline:  I think it’s all a matter of preference.  It depends on your nature.  If your nature is to be single than nature itself presents you with your lessons through your environment. Everyone you interact with will push those buttons for you.  You can use that as your marriage technique also.  You’re not going to get away from anything just because you stay single, but people often think it’s the other way around.  They think, “Oh life would be so easy if I could have somebody.”  It’s not.  You’re going to get your lessons whether you’re single or married so that you can move forward.


Wally:  And you can remain free and totally happy by employing some of this beautiful knowledge from the Happiness Program,  whether in a relationship or not.


May 3, Caroline & Wally will facilitate a match-making event at the Art of Living Retreat Center. The event is hosted to provide singles looking for spiritual partners with an opportunity to get to know each other in a fun, informal setting.  Learn More


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: knowledge , marriage , relationships , wisdom

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