“Love is an energy that seeks and confronts anything within you that is standing in its path,” write authors Donna Eden and David Feinstein. Their new book, The Energies of Love: Invisible Keys to a Fulfilling Partnership, argues that love is an energy that uniquely compels us to connect, then shows us just how to connect on a profound level.
Eden an energy worker, and Feinstein, a clinical psychologist, draw upon their many years’ experience in energy medicine and energy psychology to offer a new paradigm in the world of relating to others — a way to consciously orchestrate the energies of our hearts, bodies, and minds for the transformation of ourselves and our relationships.
The authors begin by citing the work of psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, who reports that love “literally changes the cell structures that affect physical health, vitality, and ultimately whether you’ll thrive or just get by.” Organized in three parts, Eden and Feinstein’s book first shows us how to recognize and work with our “inherited aspects of love,” the physiological impression that is coded in our genes. Next, the authors discuss the “learned aspects of love,” which are embodied in the attachment style learned in early (and many other) relationships. The last part of the book, on the “mutually created aspects of love,” dives into the shared journey that we take with our partners, and the many ways in which we can evolve and reach even deeper levels of intimacy.
The profound physiological, behavioral, and emotional connective moments of love are not inherently long lasting, the authors write, yet are “forever renewable” due to our ability to channel our energies of love.
And how we channel love depends on our unique energetic style. For example, we can be visual, kinesthetic, tonal, or digital. And while Eden and Feinstein assert that energy styles are not learned, but rather a signature of our very being, they write that we can learn how to make the best of them, as well as how to make the best of our partner’s style.
Here, the authors offer several helpful techniques, such as the “Do you mean?” question, responding with appreciation, and scheduling a weekly meeting for giving appreciation. They also address how energy styles affect attachment, and discuss what they see as the difference between male and female bonding.
Eden and Feinstein share their own journey of a thirty-two year marriage, too, showing how skills such as emotional self-management, self-soothing, and the ability to repair ruptures have helped their relationship evolve.
One method the authors focus on quite extensively is tapping, which is an energy technique designed to reduce emotional reactivity to charged events. Here, Feinstein describes how he used tapping to contain the emotions around a particularly upsetting childhood experience that were interfering with his marriage. As the book reminds us, “Your partnership provides not only a context in which old wounds play out, but also a container for healing them.”
For each strategy they offer to couples, Eden and Feinstein demonstrate how to use tapping to reinforce and strengthen the response. Still, some old wounds have deep roots. “Personal development, in fact, has sometimes been likened to an upward spiral,” they write, “where you revisit the same old issues, again and again.” But because of the nature of an upward spiral, the explain, you meet these issues “from a higher vantage point, a new level of personal evolution.”
We can learn to shift the way we respond to behaviors in our partners, Eden and Feinstein write — behaviors that have been triggers for hurt, anger, or resentment. For example, Eden describes her own early experiences of feeling betrayed and dismissed, and the energy technique she used to learn to speak her truth — and speak it even if it causes trouble.
The authors also discuss the aspects of love that we create mutually with our partner. This, they write, includes the sexual relationship we share. While Eden and Feinstein describe sex as “nature’s energy medicine,” they acknowledge that for most couples it has a short shelf-life. To keep a healthy sexual relationship going, Eden and Feinstein suggest several strategies, such as creating the wanting, releasing distractions, playing in rhythm, conscious kissing, asking for what you want, and knowing your partner intimately.
The key to our success, the authors write, lies in our flexibility and ability to learn. For example, we can learn how to cultivate a “conscious relationship” with our partner. Eden and Feinstein demonstrate what they mean by a conscious partnership through an interview with a couple that embodies it. Through Paul and Ann, both noted musicians, we learn that the real purpose of (their) marriage is to help one another evolve to their fullest potential.
To do that, Eden and Feinstein write, we have to share separate paths as allies, not enemies; embrace opportunities to evolve; take full responsibility for ourselves; and cultivate our virtues. With clear writing and captivating stories, they show that building this kind of conscious partnership is a process we can engage in each day.
The Energies of Love: Invisible Keys to a Fulfilling Partnership
Tarcher, September 2014
Hardcover, 400 pages