Clive and Abigail come from very different backgrounds.
Clive’s parents were an engineer and a school-teacher. He was raised Catholic in Hereford, England; went to the local private boys school and then to Cambridge University to study engineering. A conservative and male dominated upbringing.
Abigail's father was a Berkeley college professor, a Quaker, and Vietnam war protester. Her mother was a hippy who left her husband when Abigail was 4 years old. She moved to Bolinas, CA to live in a school bus, then a tipi. When Abigail was 6 they moved to Lopez Island where she built a log cabin from trees on her land and raised her children alone.
This gave us very different experiences of what partnership looked like as well as very different spiritual contexts.
In her early adulthood, Abigail immersed herself in Ester Hicks and the Law of Attraction, earth based spirituality and the beauty way. Clive’s spiritual path involved a long period of atheism, then a spiritual awakening with an Indian guru, yoga and meditation and a 5 year spell living and serving in an ashram.
When we met in 2004 we were married to other people, and we had very different understandings of what a spiritual path was. We lacked the shared vocabulary and context that a shared spiritual path can offer. As a result, we had different interpretations of the intense attraction we felt for each other when we met.
Ab had been praying for a spiritual teacher, and immediately recognized Clive and the space between them as the teacher she had been searching for.
Clive initially only recognized the spiritual (not the romantic) aspects of the attraction. He thought Ab was having a spiritual awakening (shaktipat), and that he was simply a catalyst for that.
What we did share was our training in Co-Active coaching and leadership. We saw connection between that and each of our spiritual paths. co-activity is the authentic, intimate leadership that nurtures life-affirming relationships.
Soon after we met, while we were still living on opposite sides of the country, we began working on Soul Partnership, as a way of understanding our relationship. As we explored the combination of attraction and shared purpose, we became closer. On a walk together in Muir Woods, we passed through a portal together, entering a mythic realm where the Kingdom of Soul-Partnership already existed. We realized we had to leave our marriages to be together, and to create that kingdom in consensus reality. We chose the path of our hearts, causing massive destruction of our existing marriages, communities and lives.
For the past 10 years we have been busy recreating integrity. We have built a new home, part of an eco-friendly community on Lopez Island. We have had a family - two girls, Nonie (8) and Sophie (6). We have built our careers, both as professional coaches and trainers for CTI.
We have helped each other grow, supporting one another professionally and as parents. And we have helped each other clean up our relationships with our families of origin. All the way building on and extending our understanding of Soul-Partnership
We have seen how essential the context for our relationship is. When we lose touch with the framework of Soul-Partnership, we lose touch with our commitment to one another and start questioning whether we should stay together. We get into a “you vs. me” frame where we are not on the same side any more. We feel disconnected and alone.
Then, when we reconnect with the Soul-Partnership context, the bridge is rebuilt. We remember why we are together. We become grateful for the contribution we are to one another at a deeper level. We are back on the same side. Soul-Partnership is our relationship. It is what we recommit to when we recommit to our relationship.
With practice, this recommitment has become easier and quicker. We are now closer and more aligned than we have ever been. Our relationship is solid and growing. Sharing Soul-Partnership with the world is it’s next adventure.
Authenticity, Romance, Creativity, Evolution, Spirituality, Play
Marriage is a sacred contract
Sacred means considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion. A contract is an agreement entered freely by two or more parties, which binds them in mutual obligation. By entering marriage we create a spiritual duty to one another. We become bound to seek one another’s spiritual fulfillment, to become jointly responsible for our spiritual evolution.
Reality is co-created
We live in a consensus reality. Phenomena are not considered real solely based on personal opinion or experience (which is sometimes illusory). When two or more people hold something as true it assumes a new dimension of reality. It becomes the truth within the context of their relationship.
Differences fuel transformation
Transformation occurs when we become something we were not previously. This type of change is difficult (impossible?) without some form of external stimulus. A close committed interdependent relationship with a person who is different from us in significant ways is one the most reliable drivers of transformation. This is the driver behind any form of student/teacher relationship.
Be the change
We experience the desire for change as discomfort (often frustration or anger). When this happens, we have an opportunity for leadership, for taking responsibility, for growth. When we take responsibility for “being the change”, we get to grow, to evolve, to progress along our spiritual journey. This means being the one to change, rather than being the victim to our partner’s unwillingness/inability to change.
We are guided by a shared dream
We are drawn together by a dream of a future we want to live out together. That dream evolves with us and continues to guide our direction. By using our shared dream as a guide, we are more likely to be aligned with a higher intention than if we rely on our individual dreams (which are more likely to be expressions of our individual egos).
Everything happens for the best
The overall direction of evolution is guiding the universe towards greater complexity, greater consciousness and greater compassion - more love. This path towards greater love and awareness, the path of ongoing evolution is a continuous movement towards the greater good. Every single event along that path is a part of it, not separable in the same way that each and every organism is a part of the life that inhabits this planet.