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Chapter 5

Intimacy Being close but separate, giving and receiving love

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About Intimacy Love is a survival need. We are social animals and loving connection eases stress and ramps up oxytocin, providing a deep sense of well-being. External solutions block intimacy. In that moment of stress, we can connect even more deeply with our sanctuary, then open the emotional pipeline and emotionally connect with another. That deepens the bond with ourselves and with them. However, if we reach for an external solution to quiet that stress, the brain comes unhinged (thinking brain and emotional brain split) and the connection with ourselves and others is lost. We lose the opportunity for intimacy, but far worse, we lose our opportunity to rewire the circuits that block our joy. Other people activate our Stress Circuits and wanting that love gives us the perfect motivation to use the Cycle Tool to rewire them. By staying locked into using external solutions we take what feels like a “short cut� to feeling great, whereas, in reality, we block our own healing and our experience of true joy.

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In this chapter you will find powerful tools that rewire the way you connect with yourself, and at the same time open the emotional pipeline between your brain and another person’s brain. All of them are grounded in taking a moment to get to Brain State 1 yourself, really anchoring yourself in the Sanctuary within.

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Emotional Evolution: Love The fifth core circuit of emotional evolution is based on love. In that moment of stress, the false generalization that is encoded in the brain is: I cannot love. To rewire it, you can do another Grind In. First state the reasonable expectation, then the essential pain, and finally the earned reward you will receive for accepting it. Core Expectation: I can love. Essential Pain: Some people may reject me. Earned Reward: Intimacy

I watch television and shut down emotionally when I’m stressed. My wife is used to it, but then we drift apart and lovemaking becomes less frequent. I use this Grind In: I can love. She may reject me, but I won’t reject myself. The reward? Maybe a little more intimacy? I know that I get my love from within, but when I’m stressed I merge and get so needy. I hate that! I start my Grind In with the first core circuit and go from there. I use the core expectations: I do exist. I am not bad. I do have power. I can do good. I can love. My body relaxed. I can stop merging. 198


The Connect Tool The pleasure of emotional connection comes when the emotional brains of two people resonate with one another. When we are intimate, we are aware of our own feelings and needs and the feelings and needs of another person. You are aware of yourself: how you feel and what you need. You are aware of the other person: how they might feel and what they might need. It is like the synchronization of a bicycle. When both of these “cycles� are spinning, we feel a loving connection to ourselves and to another person. We call that The Connect Tool. The Connect Tool

How do I feel?

How do you feel?

What do I need?

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What do you need?


This tool comes in handy in interactions with many people in life. When you are around someone, ask yourself, “How do I feel?” and “What do I need?” Then ask yourself, “How do they feel?” and “What do they need?” If either one of these two cycles shuts down, intimacy stops. We merge with them and lose ourselves or we distance from them and lose the connection. As you play with this tool, notice that you can do your part to create a moment of intimacy, even if another person does not. You are going through your day and you see a friend. You check in with yourself and ground yourself in your own feelings and needs. Then you open the emotional pipeline by thinking about how they might be feeling and what they might need. You can’t see into their brain, but you can give it a good guess. We all have mirror neurons that read the emotional state of other people. Imagine you open the emotional pipeline and feel warmth toward them, and awareness of them on an emotional level. You say a few things and they are rude to you. Or they are distracted and don’t open their emotional pipeline.

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That’s fine. You know you have done your part. You have opened the emotional pipeline. Sometimes people open up back and sometimes they don’t. When we are stressed, all of us tend to have our intimacy shut down. We may connect with others in ineffective ways… or not connect at all.

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Compassionate Love When people don’t connect with us, it’s probably because of their brain state. It’s just a brain state, and it will pass. Knowing this is very important, because although relationships can soothe us, our closest relationships not only can also bring us the most joy but also the most stress. Those who are close to us arouse the wiring of our early hurts. This includes our spouse, our close relatives, even our boss … anyone whose relationship we depend upon. The same is true for them. We bring up their wiring of early hurts, too, so they are more likely to be in stress. They are more likely to distance from us in stressful times or to do hurtful things. They are apt to be very needy, controlling, reactive and difficult at times. That’s stress for you!

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Distancing and Merging When the brain is in stress, its priority is survival and we go to extremes in relationships. That’s true for all of us. Stress triggers us to be too close or too distant. Too Close (Merged) – Our boundaries get very thin. We only know how they feel and what they need. We lose track of how we feel and what we need. We’re too stressed! We only know what we want — which is for the other person to give us love, safety, comfort. We try to fix, manipulate or control them. We can’t find our own Sanctuary, so we are demanding to use theirs. Too Distant (Disengaged) – Our boundaries get very thick. We only know how we feel and what we need. We don’t care how they feel and what they need. We’re too stressed! We only know what we want — for the other person to leave us alone. We judge them! We get as far away from them as we can. When we can’t find our own Sanctuary, we try to find it from anything or anyone else . . . but them!

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What are your tendencies when you are stressed? I distance. I merge. I do both. I’m not sure. What are the tendencies of other people who are close to you? They distance. They merge. They do both. I’m not sure.

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Fighting Fair In normal healthy relationships, people fight. They can fight at Brain State 5 or with at least one cell of their bodies in Brain State 1. If they choose the latter, the relationship can turn around or deepen. At the very least they know they have done all they can do. In that moment of intense conflict, if we stay connected to ourselves and feel LOVE for them (even a little bit of it), the relationship grows. That state of stress done “brain-state smart” can rewire the brain to favor loving connection. It all takes knowing what to do when things are going badly. 1. Separate Effectively If you’re both at 5, it is a reasonable expectation that nothing good is going to happen. Reptiles do not make good love objects. Don’t judge yourself for the urge to be right, to hate them, to manipulate them. That’s what all good reptiles do. To minimize harm to the relationship, lovingly separate. Say to yourself, I know they seem like the enemy, and I feel trapped, smothered, panicked or hostile, but I really do love them, and this is really harmful. So I’ll lovingly separate or even postpone the conversation. 205


Oh, I’m at 5. My partner is at 5. Nothing good is going to happen now. I’m going to lovingly separate. I am stressed. It’s not about you. I will return but I need some time alone now. I love you. 2. Moment of Opportunity When the emotional bombs are flying and stress hits, this is the best moment for rewiring. The key is to recognize the conflict as a moment of opportunity. If you can just stay connected to yourself, be loyal to your own need for integrity, yet feel love for that person, then you break the old circuit of those endless fights that go nowhere.

Every cell of me wants to blame her. Do I want to secrete cortisol and become a lonely lion or do I want to secrete dopamine and feel love? I’m going to get to 1, and see if I can feel compassion for her — and for myself. 3. The Effective Repair When it goes badly, take time to get to a brain state in which you can speak from your heart, and have figured out your part of it. Tell them what that was and that you regret it. Don’t do that as a way to get them to apologize, too. The point is your integrity, and you doing your part of maintaining an intimate relationship. They have to make their own decisions about what they will do. 206


I feel guilty that I treated you badly. I am sorry. Next time when I am that angry, I will go for a walk rather than get into a fight with you. I feel sad you said that, but I know my part. I blamed you for what I did. I am sorry. I love you. I hope you will forgive me. I love you. I don’t want to fight with you. I’m sorry for my part in it. Let’s start again. You are important to me.

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Moment of Opportunity Relationships trigger us, and the intimacy shuts down. This is a gift to you, as an early hurt or mis-wiring is being activated. The synapses are fluid and the wire is HOT. Let’s rewire it! If you are at Brain State 5, use Damage Control, and get to Brain State 4. Then do a Cycle. Use the Instant Connection on the website, pick up the phone and call a Connection Buddy or schedule coaching with your EBT Coach or do your Cycle in your EBT Group.

Connie’s Cycle Step 1. Just the Facts Max is driving me wild. He is so selfish. The situation is that he is such a bad father, and he hurts our son, and he lies through his teeth . . . Step 2. Nab the Stress Circuit I can’t stand that man. I am furious that he is such a horrible father. I hate it that I chose him. I can’t stand it that he hurts my son . . . I feel sad that he is such a loser. I feel sad that I ever met him. I feel afraid that he will ruin my life. I feel afraid that he will ruin my son’s life. I feel guilty that I hate him so much.

My unreasonable expectation?

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If I just hate him enough, he will stop hurting my son and me. He will change. My unreasonable expectation: Hating him will set me free. That’s NOT reasonable. I sound just like my mother. Oh, that’s revolting. It must be an inter-generational wire . . . Step 3. Create A New Circuit What is my reasonable expectation?

Hating him will not set me free. Step 4. Strengthen the Circuit Hating him will not set me free . . .

Hating him will not set me free. The magic of the Cycle Tool. Loving him will set me free . . . YES, that’s it! Loving him will set me free . . .

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The Sandwich: Making an Effective Request Another technique for staying separate but close, not merging or distancing is the Sandwich. This is a way of making an effective request of another person. Before making it, use the tools to get to Brain State 1, then feel empathy for the other person. If you can’t empathize with them, the request will be all about you, and who wants to talk with someone who is all about them? Express empathy, then state your request, launching it with saying how you feel and what you need. Last, finish up with feeling and expressing your empathy. Bread (Honest empathy): I appreciate that . . . I care that . . . Meat (Effective Request): I feel . . . I need . . . Would you please. . .? Bread (Honest empathy – again!): I appreciate . . . I love . . .

Maria, I appreciate that you are tired. I feel sad because I have no ride to the doctor. I need a ride. Would you please give me one? I know you are busy, too. Kevin, I appreciate that you are stressed. I feel angry when you say those things to me. I need you to know 210


how I feel. Would you please tell me how that is for you to hear? I love you very much. Dave, I know you are really busy. I feel . . . worried that I’m not exercising. I need you to support me in getting my exercise. Would you please take care of our daughter for 30 minutes so that I can exercise? I know that won’t be easy for you. I would be very grateful for your help.

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The Intimacy Connection Tool Many couples wake up in the morning or re-connect in the evening by taking 10 minutes to listen to one another do Emotional Housecleaning. They use the pocket reminder to remember the 8 feelings. Many friends use it, too. They sit face to face, with connection body language, knee to knee, leaning toward one another and looking eye to eye. First one person completes the 8 sentences, then the other does the same thing. No interrupting. No unasked for advice. It opens the emotional pipeline and it only takes 10 minutes! The strategy I found most helpful: _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________

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I tried the Connect Tool and felt more compassion for my teenage daughter.

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My Progress Create My Day: “I am creating JOY in my life.”

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Joy Foods (90%: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) Balancing Sleep (8 or more hours) Awaken Hungry (Body in Balance) _____ Total Points Today

Today’s Connection was with: _______________________________________ Biggest Accomplishment Today: _______________________________________ 215


My Check Ins My State

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I’m enjoying my exercise more. It’s becoming a habit.

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My Progress Create My Day: “I am creating JOY in my life.”

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My Check Ins My State

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Even if I filled the whole room with food and ate it, it would not give me the intimacy I need.

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My Progress Create My Day: “I am creating JOY in my life.”

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My Check Ins My State

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I zapped a craving. WOW!!

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My Progress Create My Day: “I am creating JOY in my life.”

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My Check Ins My State

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Three Joy Points from my day? A hot shower. My morning walk. Thinking of my daughter. 222


My Progress Create My Day: “I am creating JOY in my life.”

Check-Ins

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Joy Foods (90%: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) Balancing Sleep (8 or more hours) Awaken Hungry (Body in Balance) _____ Total Points Today

Today’s Connection was with: _______________________________________ Biggest Accomplishment Today: _______________________________________ 223


Week 5 Progress Daily Points Average daily points this week? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Progress: Needs Work Good

8 Great

Freedom Assume your drive for excess is a 10 to start. What was it this week? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Progress: Needs Work Good Great

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Emotional Housecleaning I feel angry that ___________________________. I feel sad that ____________________________. I feel afraid that ___________________________. I feel guilty that ___________________________. I feel grateful that _________________________. I feel happy that __________________________. I feel secure that __________________________. I feel proud that __________________________. Collect a Joy Point! 224


WFF Chapter 5: Intimacy