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Keeping Love Alive

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

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Keeping Love Alive
(click for podcast) (7:04 min.)
9 Not So Secret Secrets
As with all organic life, everything starts from the center, rippling outward. This means before we can be successful in a relationship with someone else, we need to have a great relationship with ourselves first. This starts with our own emotional state. If we’re not centered emotionally, just like uncentered clay on a pottery wheel, everything will fly apart in time. It takes two to tango, so this goes for both people; we have to be in healthy emotional states.

I’m going to present nine ideas that will sustain a relationship for years to come. There’s going to be some overlapping and redundancy, as certain activities will cover and convey multiple ideas. That only serves to strengthen their impact, so it won’t be a problem.

1. Kindness. One area we can all focus on a bit more in all our interactions is simple kindness. If we strive to always come from kindness, compassion, and love, it’s doubtful that we’ll say or do hurtful things. There’s never a reason to be unkind to our partners. Whatever our desired outcome, there’s a better way to achieve it.

2. Communication.
In my original article (5 Rules for Extraordinary Relationships) I advocated over-communicating vs. under-communicating; eliminating assumptions and projections, and being as explicit as possible. Now, what about the content, and how we say it? Talk with each other about how you feel about things and each other. Replace blaming or criticism with cooperative problem solving. The more we can be open, honest, authentic, and responsive, the more we create a “safe space” of trust and understanding. If you’re familiar with the “Love Languages,” this fits right into “Words of Affirmation” as well.

3. It’s a Friendship and Partnership.
Remember that you’re in a partnership, and hopefully a deep friendship as well. It’s the friendship that can easily hold together for 50-60 years, and help ride out rough spots. Reach out to each other, creating trust and a secure relationship. Strive to become skilled at solving everyday problems in a cooperative, open and flexible way.

4. Be
Quick to Forgive. Forgiveness is often more for us than the other person, as it lifts the weight off our hearts. Remember who they are, and as the communication is clear and open, any offense will probably show up as an accident. Remind yourselves of how you got unstuck in prior conflicts, repaired rifts, reconnected, and forgave one another in the past.

Be Thoughtful and Appreciative. Something that often happens over time, and needs to be more top-of-mind is slipping into taking each other for granted. Celebrate positive events big or small. Reflect on the impact each has had on the other. Talk about the times in your relationship when you felt your love intensify. Bring those times to top-of-mind. Again, coming from the “Love Languages,” showing our appreciation can fit in “Acts of Service.

Quality time/Making time. I often remind clients that “finding time” is passive and thus doesn’t happen. We need to make that time, and give both time spent apart and reunions their due. Really connect with affection, conversations about what happened when away, arrange to have meals together or make time for emotional and physical intimacy upon return from a business trip.

7. Be an Oasis.
This has always been a big one for me. We have enough stress out there in the world. Create and sustain a dependable refuge from life’s stresses, a safe haven and web of intimacy. Deliberately defuse arguments and create a sense of safety for each other so you can discuss difficult issues without fear of conflict.

Physical touch.
Intimacy in communication and touch (holding hands, etc.) once again fulfills one of those “Love Languages.” Physical intimacy reinforces emotional intimacy, openness, gentleness and love. It’s also been shown to be a requirement in primates, extending our lifespans. This helps ensure that the emotional connection is secure, which allows for more intimacy and bonding.

9. Introduce Novelty and Spontaneity. Long term relationships often fall into routines, and the predictability can lull us into being less conscious, present, and aware. One of the things that causes our brains to create memories is novelty. Surprise them with breaks from routine and don’t forget to communicate why. Communication helps build trust when surprises happen.

You can introduce any or all of these ideas into your relationship, and it will strengthen and lengthen depth and sustainability, making love last.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible? How your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?
Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


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The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

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Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
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Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Director Pacific Development Partners




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