The Energies Of Love: Invisible Keys To A Fulfilling Partnership by Donna EdenThe Energies Of Love: Invisible Keys To A Fulfilling Partnership by Donna Eden

The Energies Of Love: Invisible Keys To A Fulfilling Partnership

byDonna Eden, David FeinsteinForeword byJean Houston

Paperback | January 19, 2016

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The bestselling authors of Energy Medicine and Energy Medicine for Women present a complete program for using energy medicine to heal and strengthen romantic relationships.

A relationship begins with the meeting of two unique energies. This union of energies, though invisible, determines the way you communicate, fight, love, and want to be loved. In this groundbreaking book, the bestselling authors of Energy Medicine draw on the real-life experiences of couples who have attended their popular “Energies of Love” workshops, as well as their own experience as husband and wife, to show how an understanding of your energy system and that of your partner can help you build a more harmonious and loving bond.

We all have different ways of making sense of the world around us, but when faced with conflict, especially with those we care most about, we tend to revert to one of four “Energetic Stress Styles”:

- Visuals are extremely passionate and inspire others to care about the things they care about, but in moments of conflict, their take on the situation can overshadow what is actually occurring, undermining their ability to empathize with their partner.
- Kinesthetics are generous, compassionate, and accepting of other people, but their caring nature pulls them in too many directions. They try to meet others’ needs at the expense of their own, which can cause mounting resentment.
- Digitals are rational and principled and have a gift for quickly understanding complex situations, but they can become closed to others’ perspectives and feelings.
- Tonals have a gift for understanding others and their dilemmas, but during moments of conflict, their ability to read between the lines can morph into hearing what was never said, felt, or thought.

According to the authors, the strongest relationships are those in which the two parties feel that they are partners on a shared spiritual journey. By helping you better understand your own unique energy system, as well as that of your partner, you will be able to recognize your strengths as a couple-¬and avoid the pitfalls. The Energies of Love serves as a powerful resource for anyone who wishes to build a rich partnership while maintaining  the spark that keeps a relationship exciting.

Donna Eden is among the world’s most sought-after, authoritative, and joyous spokespersons for energy medicine. Her abilities as a healer are legendary. She has taught some eighty thousand people worldwide how to understand the body as an energy system.David Feinstein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, has served on the faculty of The Jo...
Title:The Energies Of Love: Invisible Keys To A Fulfilling PartnershipFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.11 × 7.35 × 1.04 inPublished:January 19, 2016Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0399174923

ISBN - 13:9780399174926


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—PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDINAcknowledgmentsWhile teaching our Energies of Love classes in recent years, Donna has become fond of saying, “Thank God I didn’t leave David when I should have!” In thinking about our gratitudes and acknowledgments for this book, David’s first and foremost appreciation is that Donna didn’t leave him when she should have and Donna’s is that David came around so it was worth the wait. Given the uncertainties and struggles we have gone through, we are as amazed as we are gratified by how many people who have watched us teach or work together in recent years have told us that our relationship is an inspiration that gives them hope. Their comments have helped push us over the line into being bold enough to write this book.The Energies of Love, which in a true sense has been in gestation for the entire thirty-seven years of our relationship, is indebted to so many people that we aren’t even going to risk naming names. Not only would that fill many pages, we would still inevitably leave out too many who have lent a guiding hand along the way. Instead, we will list categories. Guilty parties will know where they fit. First are our parents and families of origin, who inaugurated us into all that was to follow. Next, our daughters and extended family provide the foundation on which we stand. Then our closest friends, from childhood to present day. Our lovers and intimates from the past provided us with the most personal and profound instruction about what works . . . and what doesn’t. Our teachers, our many magnificent teachers, formal and informal, helped shape who we are. And our therapists—we know we were tough cookies, and we thank you for giving your all to meet the challenges. Our clients and students have taught us so much by allowing us to participate in their journeys.The actual writing, putting words on paper, was facilitated in so many ways by the support of our magnificent staff at Innersource and the hundreds of energy medicine and energy psychology practitioners who orbit around them. Our editor at Tarcher/Penguin as well as the publisher’s founder, its current chief, and its staff have been gifts that few authors today can even hope for. Finally, we have sought counsel for specific sections of the book from friends and colleagues, and they have contributed generously and masterfully.We are deeply grateful to every one of you.ForewordWhen you first meet them, they seem an unlikely couple. Donna is exuberant, spontaneous, intuitive. David is quietly reflective, studious, and always looking for deeper meanings. She is champagne; he is still water. She is of a tropical nature; he is most definitely northern. And yet, with all their contrasts, they have, through dint of unstinting effort and rich affection, cultivated a loving, creative, and exemplary marriage. He puts her feelings and intuition into words. She sees and orchestrates energies that enable him to enter a different universe of understanding. Together, they have done the hard work of relationship, and we are their beneficiaries.Which is to say that The Energies of Love heralds a revolution in our understanding of relationships. I believe it to be one of the most important books of our time, the “Open Sesame” to new ways of being. Drawing upon their many years of work in energy medicine and energy psychology, the authors have given us a deeply original and eminently practical art and science for crossing the great divide of otherness. Theirs is the state-of-the-art understanding and utilization of the emerging science of consciously orchestrating the energies of brain and heart, body, mind, and spirit, a technology of human transformation and social evolution. They offer tools and techniques, stories, and examples that enhance ways of lifting relationships to higher bands of energy and harmony. They explore the reality of how different brains come with different energies and how to understand the structures, stages, and styles of love and romance. And their take on the traditional battle of the sexes is both unique and startling. They have found the way to end the ancient war! As they say:You are living in perhaps the most exciting yet challenging time in history for being on a journey inspired by love. Never before have people been beckoned so strongly to create relationships where the forces that have been traditionally thought of as masculine and the forces that have been traditionally thought of as feminine can join within each person and between two partners to form the richest relationships since the dawn of time!The implications here are enormous. Shifting the ways we relate to one another, male and female, is an indispensable step toward the discovery of new styles of interpersonal connection, new ways of being in community, and the emergence of a global society. The movement seems to be from the egocentric to the ethnocentric to the worldcentric—a fundamental change in the nature of civilization, compelling a passage beyond the mind-set and institutions of millennia.Critical to this reformation is a true partnership society in which women join men in the full social agenda. Since women tend to emphasize process over product, to understand the power of being as well as doing, deepening rather than end-goaling, it is inevitable that as a result of this partnership, linear, sequential solutions will evolve to the knowing that comes from seeing things in whole constellations rather than as discrete facts. The consciousness engendered by this comprehensive vision raises hope for forgiveness and healing among individuals, ethnic groups, and nations. Essential to this matured consciousness is moral and ethical growth toward the golden rule of human interchange, about which Donna Eden and David Feinstein know so much and give so rich a palette of information and training.Ultimately it is about a new kind of education, of which this book is a primary text. In the places where our world truly operates interdependently and with this kind of education, old barriers can dissolve, along with the ancient fears that sustained them. What Donna and David offer in their work are the necessary tools and practices, the empathic understandings and the science that can support so great a whole-system transition. We have to learn the dynamics of getting along with each other, of coming to love and appreciate each other. They remind us that when the world is trying to coalesce into a new and higher unity for which we are seemingly unprepared, the only preparatory force that is emotionally powerful enough to prompt us to fully heed this call is found in the energies of love.Love transforms the way we see, think, dream, act, engage the world, serve others, and even transcend our local selves. It is the source of much creative endeavor—songs, poetry, writing, dreaming, human folly, and human glory. It awakens us and keeps us going. As we love more, we honor more. We see and accept more. We honor pain, beauty, and one another’s path. With love we become more intelligent and creative, for we are open to the patterns of intelligence from the whole network of life. We come to glimpse the wonder of life in its infinite forms, and the wonder that is within us. Quite simply, with love we are able to exceed our local conditions and to evolve.The teaching of this book is to bring ourselves to a loving resonance, discovering strategies and practices of loving that then can become daily practice, constant application. This may be the most important learning of them all, the one that may hold the greatest good for life on this planet—learning how to commit to the choice of loving. As you do, you will discover that the universe is also alive and loving: as you move toward it, it moves toward you. The universe grows by its connections and its attractions: atoms to atoms, molecules to molecules, bodies to bodies, groups to groups, nations to nations, and finally the world as lover.We are asked, in this epoch of cultural rebirth, to grow into the people willing and able to face, solve, and succeed in the enormous challenges that have arisen. In so huge a transitional moment of history, we require new skills and capacities as well as nurturing relationships in which our evolving selves are supported and given training that dissolves the barriers between our ordinary and our extraordinary selves.This is all here in this remarkable work. The transformative power of the energies of love can and does evoke in us a Divine response: deep acceptance and forgiveness, profound spoken and unspoken communion and communication, the ecstasies of eros and the fires of union, a wave-tide of giving and receiving so abundant that it seems drawn from the very ocean of abundance itself, weaving together in love all of life’s dramas. —Jean Houston, Ph.D.Ashland, OregonMay 2014IntroductionLove is the pinnacle of evolution, the most compelling survival mechanism of the human species.—SUE JOHNSON, PH.D.1We often joke, or half joke, that if we can make it, any couple can make it. While our basic values, mercifully, complement one another’s effortlessly, our personalities, temperaments, and lifestyle inclinations don’t. David thrives in dry hot weather, Donna withers. Donna’s interests and attention jump like fire in a dozen different directions; David can become irritated when his plodding, intense focus is jerked from its course by one of her eruptions of enthusiasm. David organizes his life around endeavors that make him feel well utilized and worthy; Donna functions best moment by moment. Donna works most effectively within an unhurried, unscheduled, organic pace; David has been compared to a freight train when he is engaged in a project. Donna’s disposition is to yield to the other person’s ways, so even though David is attracted to her for her joyful nature, his more somber style sets their tone. She then feels invisible and discounted; he wonders why her friends bring out the person he wants to be with while he so often doesn’t.Having experimented with the basics of this program for more than thirty years, we went to Alex’s, a restaurant in our hometown of Ashland, Oregon, with the commitment that we were not going to leave the lounge until we had completed the first sentence of this book. We finished our tempura shrimp and many refills of club soda; considered a dozen ways to begin the book; settled on the highly personal; wrote the “if we can make it” sentence; watched a young couple kissing on the restaurant’s balcony overlooking Ashland’s famous plaza; thanked them later for adding to the spirit of our project; joked with the restaurant’s manager, who told us that she had announced to her husband that they were expecting their first child at the same table where we were birthing this project; and, finally satisfied with our sixteen-word writing spree, went on our way.The next morning, David filled in the remainder of the first paragraph, writing as he often does in the early hours. When Donna awoke, he read it to her. She liked it very well until the last line. She said, “Do you mean to tell me you still feel that way? I thought you were over that twenty years ago.” Her tone had hurt and shock. David felt discounted and unfairly attacked. Donna couldn’t believe that he was accusing her of attacking him, when it was she whose feelings had been hurt. We were off to the who-was-wronged-worse races, both also feeling, “What an inauspicious beginning for a book on the energies of love!”As our discouragement escalated, and after a brief period of separation as Donna bathed and David stewed, Donna said, “If we are really going to do this book and present these techniques, let’s see if they can get us out of this one.” David used a technique for countering the energies that can trigger his defensiveness when Donna is hurt by something he has done. Donna used a technique to counter her energetic freeze and inability to think when David reacts defensively. Why we’d never tackled this particular long-standing pattern before using these tools, we cannot say; perhaps we were saving it for demonstration purposes. The ten minutes of retrieval work not only “got us out of this one,” it helped shift the pattern.This book shows you how to work your way out of such entanglements with your partner, along with ways to turn your differences into strengths and areas of stagnation into renewal. What is most unusual in our approach is that it does not focus only on psychological differences, communication styles, and positive intentions. It also shows you how to focus directly and effectively on your energies, your partner’s energies, and how they interact.What Is This Thing Called Love?You are reading a book whose title includes two terms—love and energies—that have baffled scientists, philosophers, and theologians for as long as their disciplines have existed. We are not arrogant enough to promise to resolve the historical ambiguities, contradictions, and mysteries surrounding either term (much as we’d like to), but we will try to give you a working feel for each that will be useful in reading this book.Ancient Greek philosophers described four types of love: agape (spiritual, selfless, unconditional love), eros (passionate love, with sensual desire and longing), philia (affectionate regard or friendship), and storge (the natural affection of kinship, such as that felt by parents for their children). The Old Testament enumerates love’s qualities: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. . . . It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8). The New Testament identifies three sources of human love (heart, soul, and mind) and suggests that we can willfully direct our love: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Luke 10:27). It also goes beyond the human dimension of love, equating love with God: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). The idea of two loves—one earthly, one heavenly—can be found throughout recorded history.For the scientist, one of the fundamental principles of the universe is the proclivity to bond. Within moments after the Big Bang, elementary particles began forming stable relationships of increasing complexity.2 Brian Swimme and Mary Tucker note that “[a]ttraction between a proton and an electron is a way in which the universe gives rise to ever greater levels of complexity which, after some fourteen billion years, includes us.”3 Bonding at the subatomic level is necessary for your body to exist, and nature extended the principle so you must jump the spatial gap between you and another to create the next generation. A magnetic energy compels you to take the leap; love at its many levels, from earthly to heavenly, makes that biological leap distinctly human. Writing as a research scientist whose lab at the University of North Carolina investigates positive human emotion, psychologist Barbara Fredrickson reports that love literally changes the cell structures that affect physical health, vitality, and ultimately, “whether you’ll thrive or just get by.”4 She provocatively suggests that while love is composed of many moments of biochemical, emotional, and behavioral connection, from the body’s perspective, these are, “fleeting,” “not lasting,” just “forever renewable.”5The energies of love are a dynamic force between two people that transcend their personalities, their beliefs, and their backgrounds. These energies are channeled from deep in your being, meet, and merge into an alchemical fuel that transforms you. You are their container, yet you cannot contain them. As you evolve, as you expand the container, the energies of love expand along with you. This is a book about the energies of love as well as the human containers through which they flow.The Energies within Us; the Energies between UsJust as each of us is born with a completely unique physical structure, we are also born with a completely unique “energy structure.” Electrical impulses move through our bodies. Electrical fields surround our organs. These impulses and fields control our physical growth. This was first demonstrated scientifically in the 1930s when Harold Burr, a neuroanatomist at Yale, designed equipment that could measure the electromagnetic field around an unfertilized salamander egg.6 Burr stumbled on the extraordinary finding that the electromagnetic field of the egg was shaped like a mature salamander. The electrical axis that would later align with the brain and spinal cord was already present, as if the blueprint for the adult were there in the egg’s energy field. The embryo would grow to take the shape of the electromagnetic field. The physiology patterned itself after the field! Burr went on to find electromagnetic fields surrounding all manner of organisms, from molds to plants to frogs to humans, and he was able to distinguish electrical patterns that corresponded with health and with illness.Energy fields not only govern our health and biological growth but also impact our relationships. The heart and brain are each surrounded by an electromagnetic field, with the heart’s field, you may be surprised to hear, having some sixty times the amplitude of the brain’s field.7 The electromagnetic field produced by your heart can be detected anywhere on the surface of your body using an electrocardiogram, and it also extends a number of feet beyond you, radiating in all directions, which can be detected by other instruments. The electromagnetic signals produced by your heart are registered by the brains of people around you. If two people are within conversational distance, fluctuations in the heart signal of one correspond with fluctuations in the brain waves of the other.8Not only do your physiological responses sync up energetically with your partner’s during intimate interactions, but also the field radiated by your heart can transmit emotions. Researchers at the HeartMath Institute in California have described this in measurable terms: “The rhythmic beating patterns of the heart change significantly as we experience different emotions. Difficult emotions, such as anger or frustration, are associated with an erratic, disordered, incoherent pattern in the heart’s rhythms. In contrast, pleasurable emotions, such as love or appreciation, are associated with a smooth, ordered, coherent pattern in the heart’s rhythmic activity. [These changes] create corresponding changes in the structure of the electromagnetic field radiated by the heart.”9 Your heart carries emotional information that physically impacts your partner.Meanwhile, even with its smaller electromagnetic field, the brain contains some one hundred billion neurons that each connects electrochemically with up to ten thousand other neurons. The brain’s electrical impulses constitute an incomprehensibly complex energy system that maintains your habits of perceiving, thinking, and responding to your world. Beyond these measurable electrical energies are more subtle energies carried by your body’s meridians, chakras, and aura—concepts familiar in healing traditions across time and cultures, even if not acknowledged by Western science because they have (until recently10) eluded its ability to detect them. Change the energies that travel through your body and you can change your mood, your mind, and your relationships.When David went into meltdown, the changes in his electrical system occurred in his heart as well as his brain, and measurable electrical changes in Donna’s heart and brain occurred in response. Altering this electrical dissonance was our first focus in beginning to make things better. Not empathy, not analysis, not insight, not love. We turned to simple energy techniques.We have often been painfully moved as we’ve watched clients and friends, as well as ourselves, ineffectually struggle to improve their relationships, using every ounce of smarts and goodwill at their disposal. Sometimes the way the energy is moving through your body keeps you trapped in a particular pattern of thought and behavior. Often the quickest way to free yourself from the pattern is to shift the underlying energy rather than to target the feelings, thoughts, or behavior.The Tools: Something Old, Something NewSigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and other pioneers of psychodynamic approaches to emotional healing showed how our childhood experiences—echoes from the recesses of our past—can still be affecting us today. Many of the therapies that arose from their revolutionary work have given us maps to help free ourselves from the effects of emotional injury or trauma in childhood. This resulted in a quantum leap in humanity’s self-concept: Deeply embedded psychological patterns can be transformed, and tools for initiating that transformation are available.We are now standing at another momentous threshold, one that translates these insights into practices that are more rapid and effective than ever before. Methods are available that can shift the energies that are not only at the core of your thoughts, mood, and behavior, but also of your health and happiness. The disciplines of energy medicine and energy psychology, new to Western culture yet drawing on ancient healing and spiritual traditions, are rapidly ascending in the popular as well as professional eye. We have borrowed heavily from both disciplines in writing this book.Our own personal and professional lives have been deeply committed to advancing these methods. That commitment and the experiences that have emerged from it are our primary credentials for offering this volume. Other background about us that you may find relevant for framing our ideas:Donna has since childhood seen energies, surrounding and moving through the body, as clearly as you see the print on this page, and she has learned that, like the print, these energies have distinct meanings and can be informative about health and healing. She is, in fact, internationally known for her clairvoyant abilities to perceive and work with the body’s energies. The way people like Donna can see energies that other people can’t see has been compared to the way dogs can hear frequencies that humans can’t hear. The energies are there and operating, but beyond most people’s awareness. More significant, Donna has taught tens of thousands of people around the world who don’t see energy to nonetheless assess and shift energy flows in ways that enhance their health and vitality.David has been a clinical psychologist for nearly four decades. In recent years his focus has, with Donna’s influence, turned to the application of energy methods for working with psychological issues. Our combined six books and numerous papers and articles on these topics have attempted to bring energy medicine and energy psychology to both professional and popular audiences. With these backgrounds, we come together to present you with this practical guide for optimizing the energies that affect your relationships.The Context: A New Age for PartnershipsWhile your relationship is a unique creation between you and your partner, it is not only between you and your partner. It builds on the customs and relationship patterns established by your parents and their parents and the generations before them, and it is being shaped by changes in your culture that are unfolding at a pace that could not have been imagined just a few decades ago. These changes penetrate to the ways we think of ourselves as men and women and are reflected in how we relate to one another.Coming into BalanceIn most societies, extending back to the dawn of recorded history, men have controlled property, held the central positions of political power, and retained the primary authority within the family and the community. Within this patriarchal structure, men have dominated women not only through force but more covertly through mass indoctrination into what was officially depicted as the natural order of things. Modern Western societies, for instance, assign worth to people, to a large extent, by their ability to produce wealth. Women, saddled with the tasks of child-rearing and tending the home, were, by these terms, second-class citizens. They were less valued and many of their natural ways of operating in the world were curtailed, ridiculed, or even condemned. As Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wryly observed, “well-behaved women seldom make history.”11 These constraints have, however, been imploding in recent decades.A new valuing and empowering of women is emerging in modern societies, reflected in part by the rapid changes in women’s economic status. In 1970, less than 6 percent of a U.S. family’s income was brought in by women. Now it is more than 40 percent and increasing.12 More than half of all managerial and professional jobs are also held by women, up from 26 percent in 1980.13 Of the fifteen job categories projected to have the greatest growth in the next decade, thirteen are occupied primarily by women.14Hanna Rosin explains that the inherent advantages of a man’s biology no longer matter: “thinking and communicating have come to eclipse physical strength and stamina as the keys to economic success.” Since “cultural and economic changes always reinforce each other . . . the global economy is evolving in a way that is eroding the historical preference for male children, worldwide.”15 In the 1980s, as sperm banks were making it possible for couples seeking artificial insemination to choose the gender of their child, it was widely assumed that there would be a universal preference for sons. Now the preference is for daughters, by as much as 2 to 1 in some clinics.16While fierce backlash is still tearing at the rights and progress of women, Rosin reflects that “given the power of the forces pushing at the economy, this setup feels like the last gasp of a dying age.”17 Women have greater power, are creating new social forms and management styles, and are exercising their capacity to challenge an old order that has brought us to the brink of extinction. While that old order is characterized by patriarchal, “masculine” beliefs and values, this does not mean that masculine is wrong while “feminine” is right. What is so wrong is that we are in many ways veering even further out of balance.Humanity’s survival may depend on personal and cultural forces that have been rising to counter this trend toward the masculine principle run amok: increased domination of nature, inequitable distribution of wealth, runaway corporate power, hijacking of democratic processes, use of violence to settle disputes, and other destructive arrangements. Meanwhile, the feminine reveres nature, trusts emotion, listens to intuition, nurtures relationships, cares for every child, is embracing rather than divisive, and affirms the often messy spontaneous expressions of the soul. However much bringing balance to these qualities might lead to a better world, established orders do not yield easily. This struggle is playing out within a world where the quickening pace is dizzying, cultural beliefs and traditions are leaping social and national boundaries in an orgy of creative as well as strained cross-fertilization, and our sense of where we are collectively headed is a tapestry of unprecedented possibilities and life-threatening hazards.The Changing Landscape of MarriageHow do these shifts in society, behavior, and consciousness impact your relationship? In a word, profoundly. Historians and sociologists have identified three eras in American history in relation to marriage. From the country’s founding until about 1850, affection and emotional intimacy were secondary to the basics of physical survival such as food, shelter, and protection. From around 1850 through the mid-1960s, love, intimacy, and a fulfilling sex life rose in importance within the dominant model of marriage. In the current era, while love and a practical partnership are of course still vital considerations, the ability of a marriage to support each partner’s personal evolution has emerged as a pivotal dimension of marital satisfaction.18When women were asked, back in 1939, to rank eighteen qualities they want in a future husband, love was ranked fifth.19 Economic support was still considered more important than love. By the 1950s, surveys revealed love to be climbing up the list until a U.S. poll in 2001 showed that “80 percent of women in their twenties said that having a man who could talk about his feelings was more important than having one who could make a good living.”20 At the heart of this new era of relationship, explains sociologist Robert Bellah, is that love has, to a great degree, become “the mutual exploration of infinitely rich, complex and exciting selves.”21Gallant as this may sound, the pressure has grown intense for marriage partners to be all things for one another—lovers, parents, family, friends, business partners, and now évocateurs of one another’s “infinitely rich and exciting selves.” Expectations about the needs a marriage should fulfill are at an unprecedented high, and many marriages do not come close to meeting them.22 Studies of marital satisfaction present an inescapable fact: The gap between marriages that are disappointing (the larger grouping) and marriages that are gratifying (the smaller grouping) is increasing. On the one side, the average marriage today is weaker, in terms of both satisfaction and greater likelihood of divorce than ever before. Increased demands make us vulnerable to greater disappointment. Dissatisfaction, even in marriages that last, has become endemic.23 On the other side, the best marriages today are stronger than perhaps at any previous time in history.24As marriages are required to meet more of our needs, these “best” partnerships are realistic about dedicating the time and energy that is required for the new vision of marriage to flourish, and they find ways to do so.25 You will learn in these pages some of the most effective ways for using the time and energy you do commit to your partnership. For instance, findings about the happiest marriages do not mean you are required to dote on one another during all your waking hours. Spouses who reported intense positive engagement with one another at least once each week were three and a half times more likely to be “very happy” in their marriage than those who rarely engaged one another deeply.26For most of history, the models for love and family provided by the parents’ generation were rarely questioned. Today they are increasingly irrelevant. Within our personal memories, and before that, throughout the history of Western civilization, the husband was ultimately responsible for the family, expected to be strong and dominant, treating his wife and children as his possessions. The hero’s quest was the domain of the male. The woman’s role was to set him on that quest, inspire him, support him, and be there to shower him with love when he returned.27So it was for thousands of years. But within one generation, all of this has turned on its side for much of Western culture. Even the most basic function of marriage—producing offspring—meets the opposing force of overpopulation, opening the way for a cultural valuing of LGBT marriages and other intimate partnerships where birthing children is not a cardinal purpose. Marriages are no longer forged within a clear guiding image of how they should unfold. The roles and relative power of men and women in relationship are no longer predefined. Social arrangements that embrace characteristically female ways of being are appearing. Rising forces revaluing intuition, emotion, relationship, nature, and human welfare over the status quo shake up society as well as intimate partnerships.Disruptive as any other fundamental change, these shifts may nonetheless be essential for cultural survival. A marriage today is more than ever a creative arrangement harboring extreme challenges and unanticipated possibilities as the maps from the past have lost their currency and the terrain itself is in continual flux. This book is designed to help you navigate your way through these perils and opportunities. You are living in perhaps the most exciting yet challenging time in history for being on a journey inspired by love. Never before have people been beckoned so strongly to create relationships where the forces that have been traditionally thought of as masculine and the forces that have been traditionally thought of as feminine can join within each person and between two partners to form the richest relationships since the dawn of time!A Brief Overview of The Energies of LoveThe Energies of Love shows how your energies play a palpable role in your psyche and your relationships, and it offers clear, practical guidance for working with these energies to enhance your partnership. Three Aspects of LoveThe book is organized around three broad themes:   • The inherited aspects of love   • The learned aspects of love   • The mutually created aspects of loveEach of these has a different dynamic, has specific requirements for effectively engaging its challenges, and has an energetic counterpart. The inherited aspects of love, for example, are fixed. While you cannot change them, you can influence how they express themselves and develop ways of fielding them more skillfully. The learned aspects of love were first acquired early in life and can be modified to enhance your ability to love more fully and relate more effectively. The mutually created aspects of love are an ongoing masterwork between you and your partner. This book shows you how to better understand and journey your way through each.Part 1, “The Inherited Aspects of Love,” teaches you new navigational skills for your relationship without particularly trying to change either of you. The inherited aspects of your partnership dictate that any relationship involves a coming together of the distinct energies carried by two different bodies and souls. This energetic meeting is the foundation of everything else that will unfold. From it emerges the way two people will perceive, experience, and behave toward one another. The energies that influence the way you and your partner process information and handle disagreements get special attention in Part 1. Powerful tools from energy medicine are provided for bridging your energies with your partner’s and finding your way through territory where they mesh, as well as where they do not mesh.Whereas Part 1 shows you how to flow with each other as you are, Part 2, “The Learned Aspects of Love,” shows you how to make changes in learned emotional responses. Your experiences with your parents and other early intimates left imprints that impact your subsequent relationships, and since no one’s childhood or parents were perfect, these imprints can be limiting and self-defeating. While the imprints that shape our relationships tend to evolve as we mature, they can become quite set in our brains, our energies, and our behavior patterns. In fact, for many people, these fundamental patterns never change. Drawing from the field of energy psychology, Part 2 shows you how to identify and transform deep learnings that no longer serve. You will be introduced to powerful self-help procedures that can heal old emotional wounds, literally rewiring the neural pathways driving outdated patterns and opening the way to more fulfilling relationships.Part 3, “The Mutually Created Aspects of Love,” is about the couple’s voyage in forward motion. You take what you’ve inherited and what you have learned, then come together, and the rest is up to the two of you. Part 3 opens by showing how sex is “nature’s energy medicine for couples” (chapter 8). Sex comes naturally, but sexual fulfillment in a long-term relationship is neither a biological imperative nor even a guaranteed outcome of deep and lasting love. The actions that keep your sexual energies engaged over the span of a lasting partnership occur outside as well as within the bedroom, and they are entwined with nature’s beckoning that you keep growing as individuals and as a couple. In fact, as a relationship matures, you increasingly become “conscious partners” (chapter 9) cultivating the shared “spiritual journey” you find yourselves traversing (chapter 10).The individuals portrayed in the case histories have granted permission to have their stories told, or their identities have been thoroughly disguised, or, in some instances, they are composites. Although we use the language of male and female partnerships throughout the book, the basic principles apply to all committed, loving relationships.How to Use This BookOur goal with The Energies of Love is to offer maps you can use to improve your partnership in relation to the inherited, learned, and mutually created aspects of love just discussed. From the explosion of scientific breakthroughs about the nature of attachment, brain development, and interpersonal dynamics, we have attempted to (1) synthesize the “best of” from all these significant developments, (2) integrate them with our own personal and professional experiences and perspectives, and (3) present them laced with our insights about the fundamental influences of the energies of love. Each chapter includes boxes labeled “The Energy Dimension” describing how Donna sees the energies underlying the principles being described. Meanwhile, the book invites you to use it as no less than a “surrogate couples coach.”You can approach the book in a number of ways. You can read it alone, read it simultaneously but separately, or read it aloud to one another and discuss as you go along. While the chapters are designed to be read from the first to the last, if you are particularly drawn to one of the sections, you can start there. After reviewing a draft of the manuscript, one of our colleagues suggested that we publish this as three books. Though we feel the three sections are too intertwined to separate, we recognize that, like the territory it explores, this is a more complex read than many self-help books. The good news is that new understanding about the invisible choreographies of the energies, hormones, and brain chemistries of love are synthesized here in a way that makes it possible to create a stronger foundation for taking your partnership to new heights of intimacy. Your parents and all the generations before them were, on the other hand, required to rely primarily on intuitive acumen or blind luck when deviating from the dictates of tradition. Any book about couples written by a couple reflects their relationship as well as whatever it intends to present. Ours has not been a particularly easy partnership. A couples therapist we once worked with, trying to reassure us in a discouraging moment, told us that she thinks our relationship is a crucible in which the interpersonal challenges of the “collective” are being played out so we can address them ourselves and teach others what we have learned. Whether or not that is the case, we have certainly experienced some large challenges. We developed, or adapted from others, many of the techniques we present here partially because we have needed them. We have been our own laboratory. And we have been gratified when ideas and techniques that have helped us have also been valuable for our clients and students.The twenty-first century has ushered in a brave new world for couples. Just as the challenges are unprecedented, unimagined tools for meeting those challenges are emerging. This book presents, in our experience, many of the best of those tools. We close our writing of this introduction by facing one another and, with hands clasped and eyes meeting, affirm our intention that every person reading this book be empowered on a path toward greater love and a more fulfilling partnership.PART1The Inherited Aspects of Love1You and Your Partner See through Different EyesUnfamiliar Energies AttractAlthough it is nice to discover that we are liked by a person who holds views similar to ours, it is much more exciting to discover that we are liked by a person whose views are different.—AYALA PINES, PH.D.1Early in our relationship, Donna attended, as David’s guest, a hypnosis class he was teaching. The evening’s session focused on the various ways people code experience. A good hypnotist works one way with individuals who organize their inner world in a manner that corresponds with how they see and will work another way with those who organize their inner world in a manner that corresponds with how they feel. Four distinct types trace to basic ways of processing information: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and abstract reasoning.2 At the break, David stole a private moment with Donna, hoping to hear how impressed his new sweetie was with how well he had kept the interest of this group of professional psychotherapists who were generally older and more seasoned than himself. Donna instead said, “Well, that was interesting, to learn the characteristics of each of the four types, but I can see a way to determine a person’s style using a simple physical test. After all, each of the types carries a different kind of energy.”Besides the little ego twinge that she had not been dazzled enough to even comment on his teaching prowess, David was incredulous. How could a physical test pick up on these psychological differences? This was preposterous, and he was happy to share that revelation with her. Undaunted, Donna immediately turned her idea into an experiment, using the class members during the break. Sure enough, those whom David had identified as visuals tested differently from those who had been identified as kinesthetics (feelings), tonals (auditory), or digitals (abstract reasoning). By the time the class reconvened, this had become the buzz and was the only thing people wanted to talk about. So Donna wound up taking the rest of the evening, teaching a technique she calls energy testing and showing how it can be applied to determining people’s style of processing information. It was an exciting evening for all involved, though the remainder of the planned agenda had to be put on the shelf. If David could have heard his guardian angels at this early point in our relationship, they would have been saying, “Get used to it, David.”That evening was our first experience in the bridging of our disciplines, and Donna’s insight has held up through the decades. Identifying a person’s fundamental way of internally representing the world has proven enormously useful for helping people understand themselves and for helping couples understand one another. While everyone combines all four modalities, only one of the four will dominate during the kinds of stress that evoke a survival response. And this hardly requires that a life-threatening situation has been encountered. Because humans have so strongly depended on the support of one another throughout evolution, any disturbance in our closest relationships is biologically coded as a threat to our survival. Such moments of threat are almost always found in a relationship’s history, and they occur frequently in many relationships. While we each use all four modalities, it is our primary style that we viscerally trust and rely on when an intimate bond is disrupted.Your primary way of processing information during threat is more than a mere psychological difference between you and others. It is built into your energy structure—a physical, measurable form—and our impression is that it is coded in your genes. Many times Donna has been present when one of her clients was giving birth, or shortly thereafter, in order to provide an energy balancing to mother and baby following the trials of childbirth. Donna, who has literally been able to “see” energy since her own childhood, can tell the parents, based on the way the infant’s energy looks to her, whether they have a visual, a tonal, a kinesthetic, or a digital on their hands. This has been going on long enough now that she has substantial confirmation that by the time the newborn has reached the teen years, the primary style has not changed from the initial assessment. So a person’s core way of processing information—one of the most significant differences among people and critical for partners to understand about one another—is either built in genetically or determined by prenatal experiences.You can imagine how this might happen. Prenatal life is initially a kinesthetic journey. Everything that occurs is experienced in the moment with no sense of past or future, no sense of near or far, inner or outer, and no sensations such as sight or sound to inform the moment. All of life is a unified, undifferentiated now. If Mom is happy and the supporting chemistry is good, it could not be better. If Mom is sad or scared or if the nutrients are in short supply, the entire universe is a bad trip. Then Mom laughs, and it is a good trip again. The eternal moment is all there is.By the sixteenth week of gestation, the ear has become functional and the fetus can hear and will respond to a sound pulse. Active listening begins by the twenty-fourth week. The mother’s heartbeat, respiration, and intestinal gurgling form a “sound carpet.”3 The mother’s voice is given special attention in relation to the “carpet” because it is so different from the amniotic sounds, and her voice establishes the first patterns of communication and bonding. No longer is the experience of the moment the sole source of information. This is a gargantuan shift in consciousness! The moment is now informed by a second way of knowing. Mom can be having indigestion. The world is a bad place. But Mom can also be singing a lullaby. The world is a good place. Which one do you trust? How do you reconcile these two sources of opposing information? Welcome to the world of interpersonal relationships, little one.The next major shift in the sensory coding of the world occurs after birth. A responsiveness to light shining through the mother’s abdomen has been developing during the last trimester of pregnancy. The newborn can see eight to fourteen inches, though at first everything is quite blurry. But vision rapidly improves and becomes a third and distinctly different way of directly experiencing the environment. While they are not the only physical senses that tell us about the world, these three—feeling, hearing, and seeing—are the ones most developed and emphasized in modern Western societies.A fourth way of knowing your environment soon began to take form, and that was to know it by the symbols and then the words that could allow you to mentally represent your sensory experiences, form abstractions, and manipulate ideas so you could make plans and envision possibilities. For some people, this abstract reasoning becomes a more trusted way of understanding the world than their sensations. So four fundamental ways of representing experience are based on feeling (kinesthetic), sound (tonal), sight (visual), and logic (digital). Vision and logical thought are not in place at birth, yet the energies Donna sees at birth predict whether the infant will, when under relationship distress, grow up wired to rely on a kinesthetic, tonal, visual, or digital representational style. This suggests that a person’s primal way of processing information is determined by genetics rather than even prenatal experiences.We use the term Energetic Stress Style to describe the sensory mode you instinctively trust and favor when experiencing threat or stress, particularly when it involves your partner. This favored sensory mode is patterned after one of the primary ways you experience the world (seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking), and it determines how you process information when under stress. Besides influencing how you make sense of things during stressful moments, your Energetic Stress Style is an energetic state that your body enters when distressed. Donna sees each style as corresponding with a distinct type of palpable living energies.Corresponding with our energy perspective are findings from modern neuroscience. As described by Dan Siegel, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who is among the leading voices today in the application to psychotherapy of new breakthroughs in brain science:Brain imaging studies examine the metabolic, energy-consuming processes in specific neural regions . . . These assessments of “energy flow” are not popularized, unscientific views of the flow of some mysterious energy through the universe. Neuroscience studies the way in which the brain functions through the energy-consuming activation of neurons. The degree and localization of this arousal and activation within the brain—this flow of energy—directly shape our mental processes. . . .4Within the circuits linked directly to the outside world and to the body, sensory representations are created [the “kinesthetic” mode in our system]. Perceptual representations established by these sensory inputs are then processed and transformed into more complex representations [our “tonal” and “visual” styles]. . . . More complex and abstract symbols are thought to emanate from the activity of the neocortex [our “digital” style].5Of the distinct modes of processing information (kinesthetic, tonal, visual, digital), you instinctively count on one more than the others when distress enters your relationship.• THE ENERGY DIMENSION •Your Biofield Determines Your Energetic Stress StyleHere is what Donna sees when she focuses on a person’s energies, including those of a newborn. Surrounding the person is a region of energy referred to in many traditions as the aura. Scientists who have detected it using electrical instruments call it the biofield.6 Along with many other intuitive healers, Donna sees it as having several layers, each with distinct colors, textures, and other properties.The Emotional/Mental Layer of Your BiofieldOne of the layers is referred to as the emotional/mental layer. This layer is distinguished by four distinct “bands” of energy: a feeling band, an emotional band (emotions are defined as feelings interacting with thoughts), and two mental bands, one that is outward-focused and one that is inward-focused. The feeling band corresponds with the kinesthetic style of processing information; the emotional band with the tonal style; the outward-focused mental band with the visual style; and the inward-focused mental band with the digital style.The Order of the Bands in the Emotional/Mental Layer of Your BiofieldThe order of these four bands (from closest to farthest from the body) varies from one individual to the next. The band that is closest to the body determines the sensory representational mode the person will viscerally trust and rely on during times of distress. So, if the feeling band is closest to your body, you will instinctively rely on the kinesthetic mode under stress; if the emotional band is closest, then the tonal mode will dominate under stress; if the outward-focused mental band is closest, then the visual mode will dominate; if the inward-focused mental band is closest, then the digital mode will dominate.How Your Energetic Stress Style Distorts the One You LoveIn an old parable, a group of blind men are brought to an elephant. Each has his hands placed on one part of the great creature and is asked to identify what he is touching. The one given the trunk determines that it is a hose. The one at the elephant’s side thinks he has come to a wall. The one whose arms are wrapped around the leg knows it to be a tree. The one at the tail certifies that it is a snake. Although the parable does not account for these men’s apparent olfactory limitations, it does illustrate that by focusing on only one part of a larger story you may come to conclusions that are comical at best and disastrous at worst.This is what happens to you when you are under relationship stress. Because you are wired to treat your closest relationships and your own survival in a similar manner, such distortions are particularly strong when the stress is caused by difficulties with your partner (to paraphrase the popular song “You Always Distort the One You Love”). The closer the person is to you, the harder it is to keep the person in perspective when the relationship is having difficulties. And the way you distort the one you love has everything to do with your Energetic Stress Style. You represent the world when feeling distress according to the bias of the sensory mode that dominates when you feel threatened.Your Energetic Stress Style is not the act of seeing, hearing, or feeling. Rather, your inner world is organized according to principles that most closely correspond with seeing, hearing, feeling, or the fourth mode, abstract logic. Human thought is extraordinarily flexible, and each of us normally combines all four modes. But we viscerally tend to depend and put more emphasis on one of them, and when we feel distress in our primary relationship, the other modes fade into the background. The entire elephant becomes just a wall or snake or hose or tree. We distort the one we love according to the principles of the sensory mode we trust the most. The other three modes simply shut down. It is not a choice but a physiological energetic response. And when this occurs, we cannot help but create mental distortions and then act accordingly (and inappropriately). It’s the natural thing to do!Energetically, You Become a Different Animal during Relationship StressWhen Donna carefully watches a couple in a stressful encounter, she will see one of four distinct energetic modes emerge in each partner. This shift in energy corresponds with the visual, kinesthetic, digital, and tonal sensory channels we’ve been discussing. It occurs quite consistently and is independent of intelligence, height, or political party. Yet the energy that dominates for you during relationship stress is as tangible a difference to those who see energy as is the color of your eyes, the breadth of your shoulders, or whether you have an “innie” or an “outie” belly button.Distortions of the Visual StyleWithout the other modes to round out the picture, visuals lose perspective, normally their greatest strength. Their internal take or “view” of the situation overshadows whatever actually occurred. Not only does this tunnel vision compellingly distort understanding and undermine empathy, but visuals can quickly assemble a vision of how things should be, or more specifically, of how you should be and what you should do. They tend to embrace this vision wholeheartedly. You, meanwhile, are feeling unseen and are experiencing your visual partner’s “helpful” analysis as judgment and blame. With the energy radiating outward from your visual partner during a stressful encounter, the focus moves to you, with emphasis on how you are the cause of the problem and need to do things differently.• THE ENERGY DIMENSION •Visual Stress StyleDuring times of relationship stress, for people whose Energetic Stress Style is visual, the body’s energies tend to:   • Concentrate in the head and the upper chest.   • Then move outward, particularly through the eyes and chest area.   • Appear to tunnel toward the other person.Distortions of the Kinesthetic StyleWhen disagreement or upset occurs, kinesthetics are more attuned to their partner’s hurt than to their own needs. Whatever energies the partner is emanating are absorbed like a sponge into the kinesthetic’s body. As thick painful energy accumulates in their heart and chest, kinesthetics feel like they are about to burst or drown. Their desperate impulse is to turn off the source of their anguish by soothing the partner! Clear thinking is not supported, as the most vital energies have left the brain and gone into the body. These energies blend with the crisis that is unfolding until the distinction between self and other is long gone. From this constellation, with their needs unrecognized by themselves or their partner, kinesthetics are thrust into the interactions that will shape their relationships.• THE ENERGY DIMENSION •Kinesthetic Stress StyleDuring times of relationship stress, for people whose Energetic Stress Style is kinesthetic, the body’s energies tend to:   • Become slow and heavy, like sludge.   • Connect with the outer world and then move inward in an overpowering way.   • Concentrate at the Heart Chakra at the center of the chest (chakras, from Sanskrit, are energy centers).   • Move out of the hips, legs, and feet, compromising grounding and stability.Distortions of the Digital StyleThe voice of the heart is muted, yet a rich choreography of energy is unfolding within the brain. The verbal reasoning and logic of the front brain overshadow the primitive needs of the back brain, giving the digital the appearance of clarity and calmness. This seems to the digital to be the paragon of rational, civilized thought. The system is closed and encapsulated. Not only do the energies of the heart and gut have no pathways to consciousness, the energy of the partner bounces off like rubber bands shot at a granite wall. The partner’s explanations, feelings, and desperate pleas do not upset the digital, who is not consciously trying to dismiss the loved one. The partner’s concerns are just not relevant and will be put to rest when he or she grasps the logic of the digital’s superior understanding.• THE ENERGY DIMENSION •Digital Stress StyleDuring times of relationship stress, for people whose Energetic Stress Style is digital, the body’s energies tend to:   • Rush up into the brain.   • Move from the back brain to the cerebral cortex, the front brain, with a primal force.   • Accumulate there in the forebrain.   • Be so cut off from the body that the heart and the gut have little influence on the person’s experience.Distortions of the Tonal StyleThe tonal’s energies get focused in the organs involved with emotion. The vibratory rate of the outside world is also sensitively registered and reverberates in those organs as well. Under stress, the partner’s comments may activate a torrent of inner emotion that is not particularly related to the actual words or intended meaning. The tonal’s acute sensitivity, which under peaceful conditions lends itself to exquisite aesthetic sensibilities, leads to a roar of painful and contradictory emotions under stress. Everything begins to scream at the tonal, sound becomes extraordinarily personal, and the distinction between the sounds generated by the partner and those generated by the internal organs is lost. A rich drama of incompatible emotions may be enacted until the tonal has little choice but to escape from the bombardment.• THE ENERGY DIMENSION •Tonal Stress StyleDuring times of relationship stress, for people whose Energetic Stress Style is tonal, the body’s energies tend to:   • Concentrate in two locations: the solar plexus and the area between and including the ears.   • Then move into the organs that govern intense emotion—such as the heart, stomach, liver, lungs, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen, and pancreas—as well as the adrenal glands.   • Become painfully acute.Assessing Your Energetic Stress StyleRecognize yourself yet? You may or may not at this point, but your partner probably does. It is much harder to recognize our own distortions than those of our partner. Particularly when we are in the middle of relationship stress, our inner experiences can become quite confusing. Another complication to identifying your own style is that when not under stress, you combine all four modes, and you may have even cultivated one of the other styles so strongly that you consciously identify more closely with it than you do with your primary inborn stress response mode. But when relationship stress hits, your Energetic Stress Style returns center stage for both you and your partner to encounter. This section of the book will show you what to do when life has drawn you into such a fine mess. As you work with your own and your partner’s stress response styles, the dynamics of each will become clearer and it will be easier to bridge your differences.You can gain at least a tentative idea of your own and your partner’s Energetic Stress Style by taking the following quiz. A limitation is that when you are under relationship stress, your self-understanding is at a low ebb, so your experiences of who you are at such times, as well as your memory of those experiences, may be less than reliable. That is a reason we will be asking you to rate both yourself and your partner. The ensuing discussion of differences in your perceptions may be surprising and enlightening. Expect them. Be kind to one another as you try to reconcile them. If you find that you pretty much agree from the start, do not be discouraged; you will likely stumble into areas of disagreement later in the program!Energetic Stress Style Assessment7Permission is granted to photocopy this assessment for personal use. Make two copies for yourself and two copies for your partner. First complete each item for yourself; then for your partner. Circle the letter of the response that BEST describes your experiences. If you cannot decide between two items, mark “1/2” next to each of them. The opening line, “When in major conflict with my partner,” is the same for each item. 1. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. I can focus clearly on precisely what my partner is doing wrong.b. I become logical, rational, and reasonable.c. I become exasperated at not feeling heard.d. My primal feelings can take over completely. 2. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. My partner tells me that I can’t see my own part in it.b. I know what I think more than what I feel.c. I “hear” between the lines.d. Feelings are facts and logic is suspect. 3. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. I can see what my partner needs to do to solve the problem.b. I want to escape until my partner calms down.c. I hear my inner dialogue louder than my partner’s voice.d. I feel very lonely when my partner won’t show feelings. 4. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. I get more irritated than I should when my partner doesn’t live up to my expectations.b. My partner sometimes accuses me of being too calm, cool, and collected.c. I carefully analyze my partner’s behavior and have strong emotions about it.d. I tend to be nonconfrontational and overly cautious about not hurting my partner. 5. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. I tend to judge and criticize my partner.b. My logic is one of my greatest strengths.c. Even though my partner claims I’m not being rejected in any way, I still feel rejected.d. I try to make my partner feel good, but eventually I may fall apart or explode. 6. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. I blame my partner.b. I am surprised because I had no clue that there was a problem.c. I can be hurt more by my partner’s tone of voice than the actual words.d. I am more attuned to my partner’s feelings than I am to my own. 7. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. My partner is usually wrong.b. I become orderly, structured, and programmed.c. I judge myself.d. I lose my own truth. 8. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. I want to say “Look at me!” if my partner is avoiding eye contact.b. My partner’s strong emotions are a turn-off.c. I withdraw in hurt and frustration.d. I often just give in if my partner seems to be in too much pain. 9. When in Major Conflict with My Partner:a. It sometimes feels like a contest that I must win.b. My superior logic gives me comfort.c. I am very hard on myself.d. I lose my truth and scramble for words. 10. When in Major Conflict with My Partner, My Unspoken Position Is:a. “You’re Wrong!”b. “I’m Right!”c. “I’m Angry at You for Making Me Feel Wrong!”d. “I Don’t Want You to Feel Wrong!”Although the Energetic Stress Style Assessment may lack scientific rigor or validation, it is at least easy to score. Count your total number of a, b, c, and d scores. The more a’s, the more you experience yourself as a visual, the more b’s = digital, c’s = tonal, and d’s = kinesthetic. Once you’ve scored it for yourself, take the test again rating your partner. Then, if your partner also took the test, compare your scores with your partner’s scores on both versions.Most people score highest in one area, somewhat less on a second, and substantially less on the other two. The top two scores reflect your primary and secondary styles. The primary is inborn, primal. It is what you instinctively rely on during primal threat. Your secondary style has been nurtured by experience and preference, is often more valued consciously, and may be how you view yourself. This will often account for the difference between the way you scored yourself and the way your partner scored you. Recognizing these differences of perception is a start for bridging them and should, for now, at least lead to some interesting discussion.When Two Energies DanceOne of the most important insights about sex and intimacy to come from the behavioral sciences is deceptively simple. For sex to stay hot within a long-term relationship, you not only must be able to deeply bond with your partner, you must also be able to preserve a separate identity.8 You must be able to act autonomously and sustain your own center even while deeply registering your partner’s needs, expectations, and desires. This delicate interplay between bonding and differentiating is the underlying issue around which many marriages succeed or fail, and it is as much a dance of two energy fields as it is a dance of two personalities.No matter how much you love one another, if you can’t get your energies into harmony and accord, it is going to be a rough road. All people have strategies for shifting the energy when a relationship becomes tense. Yelling is very popular. So are withdrawing, crying, or having an affair. These all work; each generates a change in the energy. But they are something like symptom-suppressing medications. They may make you feel better for a while, but they don’t resolve a thing, and they often have side effects that are much worse than the original problem. The way you and your partner maintain and mediate the energies between you, moment by moment, day by day, month by month, defines your relationship.• THE ENERGY DIMENSION •The Merging of Two Energy FieldsWhile physical bodies are relatively fixed and stable, energy fields are fluid and ever-shifting. A relationship begins with the meeting of two energy fields. Over time, the interactions between your energy field and your partner’s grow ever more intricate and complex. Some parts of your energy fields may merge, some may repel; one field may overwhelm the other, or the two may blend into a new field that surrounds both bodies with comfort and joy . . . or tension and acrimony. The way your energy field and your partner’s interact forms the framework for everything else about your relationship. It is the invisible force that supports your intimacy one moment but may place clouds of tension between you the next.A simple technique to get the energies of two people dancing is to actually dance. This can be as easy as placing your hands palm against palm and creating free-flowing figure-eight motions with one another. As your hips and bodies follow, you are weaving your energies together. Doing it to music you love brings your rhythms into an easier sync and makes it more fun. A technique to deepen your connection is for each partner to put one hand around the back of the other’s neck and the other at the side of the waist. Do this standing while looking in one another’s eyes. Let your breathing synchronize. Feel your energies connecting.When Your Styles Get Out of SyncWhenever your energy field and your partner’s come into dissonance, primal parts of your brain perceive a threat. Something is wrong on the home front, and you find yourself experiencing the world according to your Energetic Stress Style—visual, kinesthetic, tonal, or digital. The purpose of the following discussion about this inevitable, unpleasant dynamic is not to make you less hopeful about the relationship. It is just the opposite. It is to show you just where the problem lies and to allow you to more effectively address relationship difficulties at their energetic core.Because you handle relationship stress according to your particular Energetic Stress Style and your partner doesn’t (people with the same sensory style usually don’t choose one another), it is almost inevitable that you have hurt one another and will hurt one another again. There is, however, a positive twist in this seemingly absurd design. Because of the differences in your sensory styles—if you don’t leave one another—you will very likely expand one another and open one another to unimagined realms of experience. Maybe that is what nature had in mind when creating the dangerous arrangement of having essentially acrimonious styles attract one another. To attain one of the most sublime states available to the human species—deep and lasting love—you are forced to expand yourself, to know a style that, without intimate contact, you might hardly have imagined.You are required to learn that style so well that you discover, from the inside, the enormous differences in the ways two people—you and your partner—can experience the same world. Seeing through another’s eyes and hearing through another’s ears deepens your understanding of life, and it particularly deepens your comprehension and compassion for how and why others walk their walk and talk their talk. Two realities are better than one. Intimate contact with another’s reality also helps in preventing you from the characteristically human pitfall of taking your own reality too seriously.But before we get too cosmic and idealistic about the Grand Plan, we want to address the fact that differences in sensory style are irreconcilable differences. You cannot make your partner think like you think, want what you want, feel as you feel, or perceive as you perceive. And the differences in how you represent your world are not just psychological differences or mere tricks of perception. They are based in core energies that reflect your biological essence. These irreconcilable differences need not, however, be the grounds for divorce. The blocks they place between you can be used to build bridges. Your differences can be the foundation of a strong and juicy partnership. When the wounds they have caused are healed, and skills have been established for moving through the hazards they present, they can deepen your soul connection and maintain the spark that keeps a relationship fresh and exciting.The differences in your energy systems and stress coping styles cannot and should not be disguised, merged, or blended. They are to be respected. Once they are deeply understood, they will be appreciated and even cherished. Some people gain this understanding through misunderstandings, skirmishes, disappointments, and shattered expectations. Others learn the essential principles by reading about them. Your call.Sensory Style Highs and LowsThe Visual Style (For Better and for Worse)Have you ever had the experience of being so powerfully met by another person, eye to eye, that you were swept into a vision or plan of action that was new or foreign to you, but that suddenly became compelling? Perhaps you had heard other people express similar ideas, but this person’s arguments carried an energy that moved into you and took you over. You became enthralled in a different way of seeing as this fresh perspective put the world together for you in a new way. The person’s strength of communication was also magnetic. If your friend was excited about a possibility, you were excited about it; if angry about an issue, you became angry; if committed to a movement, you found yourself committed to that movement. The vision became your vision. You were witnessing a force of nature in this person’s persuasiveness and strength of conviction. And you were grateful somebody helped you see the underlying truth in an important but elusive issue.This is the visual sensory style in its power and glory. However, when such a person is your life partner, particularly if the two of you are out of sync, the dynamic shifts a bit. All the energy that had been directed into a magnificent vision for humanity now becomes laser-focused onto a vision of how you should be and how you are not measuring up. Many people find this much less thrilling. But not your partner. Your partner is eagerly trying to help you “get the picture.” This is your partner’s gift to you, filled with the promise of wonderful improvements in your life and for the relationship. You are expected to appreciate every breath your partner expels in bringing these pearls your way. Meanwhile, you are drowning in the fervor of the passion that is rushing toward you. Your partner becomes exasperated, wondering how you could possibly fail to grasp the wisdom and elegance of the insights being so freely offered. And when you still do not see the light, your partner’s passion has fully transformed into anger, judgment, and disgust.The Kinesthetic Style (For Better and for Worse)Your kinesthetic partner believes in you. Knows how you feel. Understands completely. The willingness to sacrifice in order to help you is striking. The generosity abundant. The compassion almost telepathic. You are recognized for who you are, not judged for what you do. It is your essence, more than your actions, that seems important in this relationship. And through this, you come to appreciate your own essence in a larger, clearer, purer way than you ever had before. Neither past nor future is bemoaned; each moment is lived with a presence that beckons you too into the fullness of life. Sound good? But wait, there’s more.

Editorial Reviews

“The Energies of Love heralds a revolution in our understanding of relationships. I believe it to be one of the most important books of our time.”—from the foreword by Jean Houston, Ph.D."Donna Eden and David Feinstein empower readers with knowledge and techniques from ancient energy healing and spiritual practices that will forever change the way you understand relationship. These are revolutionary ideas! I highly recommend The Energies of Love."—John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are From Mars, Women are from Venus“The Energies of Love is a fresh, potent, practical approach to relationships. It addresses the vital topic of how to keep the energy of relationship positive and growing, a key to conscious evolution for both people and the planet.”—Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind“The Energies of Love is an inspiring application of energy concepts and techniques for illuminating and nurturing the love that all couples seek. Combining insights from science and clinical practice with a wide array of revealing stories and a toolbox of practical techniques, the authors demonstrate the power of energy methods for helping relationships thrive.”—Eric Leskowitz, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School"Donna Eden and David Feinstein explore the 'energy dimension' (what we call the 'Space Between') and provide wonderful practices for experimenting, understanding, and opening to the awareness of that shared space."—Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., co-authors, Making Marriage Simple“Plunge into The Energies of Love and let Donna Eden and David Feinstein reveal how love means going beyond the individual, local self to that nonlocal, infinite, boundless domain where true love actually resides. This is an important book for all those who want to take their relationship to the next level.”—Larry Dossey, M.D., author of One Mind and Healing Words“Is there anything new that can be said about love? Yes there is, and you can find it in this remarkable book. If this tattered world of ours is going to survive, it will be through the energies of love. Donna Eden and David Feinstein bring a fresh understanding to that timeless yet urgent pursuit.”—Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., co-author of The Realms of Healing "If you want more love and joy in your life, you've found the road map! The Energies of Love provides potent tools and guidance to improve your relationships at the most fundamental, rapid, and enduring level."—Ellen Eatough, The Soulful Sex Coach, Extatica.comPraise for Donna Eden:"Donna Eden is one of the most joyous and effective pioneers in the rapidly expanding and vitally important frontier called energy medicine. This book, the classic in hands-on energy medicine, is an enormously practical guide that sings with compassion, integrity, and wisdom." —Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times-bestselling author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause"Donna Eden's body-energy work is perhaps the most brilliant, comprehensive, and effective system in the genre that I have ever seen."—Jean Houston, Ph.D., author of The Possible Human"Even the most hard-nosed doctor will admit that some people have a healing presence that makes us—and our immune systems—better than before. Donna Eden is one of those rare healers."—Gloria Steinem