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Constant Cravings

Oct 112010

We’ve been diving deep lately, with recent Bliss blogs focusing on two of the key forces that drive your actions and behaviours – your values and your needs. This week, we’re going to travel further still, into one of the most powerful motivators, especially in the area of sex and relationships – our desires.

Desires are what make the world go round. From sexual desires to the lust for wealth and power, every one of us is driven by desire of some type, and it’s happening all the time. It’s no coincidence that advertising, one of the world’s most powerful industries has been built around this insight. TV ads, billboards, and any one of the estimated 250 advertising messages we’re exposed to every day, nearly always tap into those basic human desires built into all of us.

We construct our lives around our desires – and new desires are forever being born in us. Yet while some of us embrace them, many of us remain in the dark, or fearful of them. And with most religions condemning desire in all its forms, that’s no surprise. Desires are nearly always highly powerful, dangerous, even. They carry an ‘urge’. Unchecked, they can lead to obsession, and to unhealthy pursuits like greed, laziness, envy, and even violence.

Yet our desires, when acted upon consciously and with awareness, can allow us autonomy, individuality and creativity (which are also things organised religions might be fearful of, and wish to discourage us from). Desire motivates us to action. We actually can’t live fully without them.

Desires are elusive, they can easily hide. And because they often show up in our dreams, or our imaginations, we may not be fully hear or understand them. When we fail to realise our desires, or to even ask ourselves what we really want, life can just ‘happen to us’ – but we all have the potential to ‘co-create our lives, using our desires to motivate us into action.

So ask yourself, ‘what do I most desire’ – and if the answers don’t come easily, do this simple exercise to bring them into the light. This exercise can be applied to a particular area of your life (such as your sex life, a potential partner, or your work), or you can think of it as more of a broad gauge of some of the things that float your boat in general. All you need do is take a few minutes out with a pen and paper, and write whatever first comes into your mind when you ask yourself ‘What are my top turn-ons?’. Try not to over think it. It might be as simple as ‘enjoying a beautiful sensual massage’, or ‘digging in the garden and getting my hands dirty’, or ‘devouring a slice of chocolate cake from my favourite bakery’. Whatever it is that you really love to do, whatever makes your mouth water, your knees tremble or your heart quicken, write it down. Wait a week or two, then do it again. Compare your answers, and see if there are any patterns, any clues to the types of desires you experience over time.

Most importantly during this exercise, be aware of which desires feel ‘light’ or empowering, and which feel unhealthy or obsessional. Which do you embrace, and which are you afraid of? Which do you act on, and which do you try to ignore? Don’t judge yourself. This is about creating awareness and bringing desires in all their forms into the light, allowing you to see them, to feel them and to accept them. Realising that, we can be less enslaved by them, and we’re free to express our desires in ways that are healthy and supportive of our journey through life.

Once you combine new awareness of your desires with better understanding of your wants and needs, you’re on the way to all kinds of transformations. A bold claim, you might say – but when our wants, needs and desires reveal themselves to us, we can begin to shape our lives more in alignment with them.

Quite simply, new awareness of our wants, needs and desires creates powerful shifts in attitudes and behaviour, propelling us to new heights of success, contentment and joy in all areas of life.

In love and light,



Special Needs

Oct 112010

Last week’s blog hopefully got you thinking about your values, helping you to understand the bedrock of unique principles that guide you through life. This week, we’re going to look at another set of principles that drives our actions and behaviours, and which can lead to relationship clashes if they’re not aligned – our needs.

Of course, we all share the same basic human needs. They’re things like oxygen, food, water and sleep, the need to feel safe and secure, and to have love and belonging in our lives. Yet beyond this, there are all kinds of ‘sub-needs’ that are as individual as we are.

Our ‘sub-needs’ play a huge influence in how we connect with others, especially within intimate relationships. In figuring out what these are, we can enter into situations and relationships with greater awareness, and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls and dramas that arise when those needs aren’t met.

So, here are some broad categories designed to get you thinking about where YOU fit in. Knowing your sub-needs will help you to more clearly decide whether they’re being met, and enable you to express them to others when you need to.

Read through each list and decide which of them apply most strongly to you, within either your love relationship, or your friendship or family dynamics (where applicable!). Try and be selective and choose the top three that feel like your most important needs. It can even be useful to adapt them and make them more personal to you, writing them down as you go.

Need 1: Safety

Common sub-needs here include:

– The need to feel secure

– The need to feel connected

– The need to feel comfortable

– The need to feel peaceful

– The need to have support during hard times

– The need to feel cared for

– The need to spend time together

Need 2: Acceptance

Common sub-needs here include:

– The need to feel valued and appreciated

– The need to receive physical affection

– The need to be heard

– The need to feel understood

– The need to feel desired

– The need to feel respected

– The need to be openly vulnerable

– The need to feel strong

Need 3: Belonging

Common sub-needs here include:

– The need to enjoy shared interests

– The need to share daily life

– The need to be totally present and in the moment with another

– The need for spiritual awareness

– The need for loyalty

– The need for trust

– The need for strong communication

– The need for playfulness, laughter and joy

Need 4: Space

Common sub-needs here include:

– The need to preserve my own identity

– The need to space outside the relationship

– The need for privacy

– The need for clear boundaries

– The need to nurture individual interests

– The need for my own friendships

Need 5: Influence

Common sub-needs here include:

– The need to feel useful

– The need to feel like I matter

– The need to feel like I make a difference

– The need to help other heal

– The need to care for others

– The need to motivate others

– The need to help others change and grow

– The need to help others through hard times

– The need to create safety for others

– The need to create comfort for others

Need 6: Love

Common sub-needs here include:

– The need for touch, hugs and affection

– The need for sex, play and pleasure

– The need to give or receive unconditional love

– The need to have or surrender control

– The need to feel passionate

– The need for kindness and caring

– The need for emotional intimacy

This exercise can be a valuable tool for relationship maintenance, as you discuss with a partner, friend or family member what drives you, and work out where there’s room for improvement, compromise or greater understanding of what makes each other tick.

It’s worth spending time on, because when we have greater awareness of the needs that often subconsciously drive us, we can more clearly express and be guided by them – leading to happier, healthier, more meaningful relationships all round.

In love and light,



When Worlds Collide

Oct 112010

Last week, I talked about how the uniqueness of our individual values, and explained how if our core truths remain unrecognised or unrealised by others, we can feel frustrated, disappointed or angry. A conflict with your loved one can often be a result of the struggle to align your own set of values with theirs – so clearly, it’s vital that we obtain a clear picture of what’s most important to us, so we can communicate our needs with each other, and make sense of any situation where our values are clashing with another’s.

This week, I’m going to help you figure out your own values, and understand the bedrock of principles that guide you through life – so here’s an exercise for you to do. If it helps, you can do this with a lover or a friend.

Step 1: Write down 5-10 values that are most important in your life. For instance, they might include: partnership, freedom, love, trust, wealth, stability, family, nature etc. Think about how you like to spend your time, what you’re passionate about, what you fill your life with, what you think and talk about, and your goals. There’s a more comprehensive list at the end of this blog, if you need a few more ideas!

Step 2: List those values in order of priority. Then, when you’ve found your top five values, ask yourself what each means for you personally. For instance, when you drill down into the value of ‘partnership’, it might mean ‘stability’, and in turn that might mean ‘trust’. In another example, ‘career’ for you may mean ‘freedom’, or it could also mean ‘prosperity’ or ‘wealth’ or ‘security’. Keep exploring until you instinctively feel that you’ve made it to the core ‘truth’ behind a particular value. Be aware that if you’re struggling to drill down any further into a value’s meaning, it might already be a core value. By now you should have identified the 5 core values that are most important in your life.

Step 3: Take a moment to reflect on how closely you’re living your life in line with your newly discovered core values. Ask yourself “how closely, from 1-10 am I living in alignment with this value?” (with 1 being ‘not at all’ and 10 being ‘completely’). Make note of how closely your life is matching your values, and you’ll gain some insights into the areas of your life that need some extra work to bring you into alignment.

This exercise can be invaluable in giving you greater awareness in problematic areas of your life. For instance, you may disagree over your partner’s decision to go away on their own for a few days, until you realise that it’s not the relationship that’s under threat, but your own core value of trust… and that’s because (for whatever reason) the issue of trust is higher on your radar than it may be on your partner’s.

This insight into the key motivators that drive your actions and behaviours can help you to understand why you (or someone close to you) can sometimes react so strongly to something that can seem unimportant to others.

This kind of knowledge can help us to find new solutions that better support our values, while also helping us get to the root of a problem, instead of struggling to understand a different point of view. What’s even more exciting is the realisation that when we gain greater awareness of our key values, we can immediately recognise why we’re so ‘charged up’, and choose to react in a different way, diffusing any tension, misunderstandings and overreactions before they even begin.

Happy exploring!

In love and light,


Values list:



















Love (romantic)

Love (unconditional)






Peace of mind











Hidden Agendas

Oct 112010

Sitting around a table with friends after dinner the other night, and assisted by a couple of bottles of free-flowing Shiraz, the conversation inevitably turned to sex. Nothing new there, you might say… doesn’t it often?! Well, what most surprised me from this particular debate was the realisation that each of us is hardwired to enjoy sex for all kinds of different reasons.

Long gone are the days when sex was purely about procreation – and even in our more enlightened age, we might still believe we have sex for one basic reason; because it feels good. Yet beneath that truth lies a smorgasbord of erotic possibilities, driven by desires that are uniquely personal and individual, and always evolving.
Here are just a few of the reasons we came up with for why we have sex:

– To connect with another person.
– To give another person pleasure.
– To feel pleasure myself.
– To connect with my inner self.
– To scratch an itch.
– To blow of steam and release tension.
– To feel desired and sexy.
– To feel needed and important.
– To get out of my head and into my body.
– To surrender control.
– To experience a kind of altered state.
– To feel 100% present and in the moment.
– To build intimacy.
– To create a spiritual or mystical connection with a partner.
– To generate and circulate more ‘life-force’ energy.
– As a ‘workout’, to boost endorphins and feel good.
– To celebrate a birthday.
– To say thank you for something
– To ‘escape’ and avoid pain during times of feeling overwhelmed.
– To open up emotionally when feeling blocked.
And last but not least – When trying to have a child!

That’s a surprisingly long list of motivating factors, for such a seemingly universal act. So it’s no surprise that we can often feel that our sexual needs aren’t always being met, especially if we neglect to talk with our partners about our individual values, wants and desires.

When your sex motivators are often very different from those of the person you’re having sex with, it can be challenging to ensure you’re both getting what you need. Our values and needs are shaped by factors like our upbringing, our families, a previous relationship or a life-changing incident – and if those core truths remain unrecognised or unrealised, we can feel frustrated, disappointed or angry. In severe cases, it can even spell the end of a relationship.

So what’s the solution? We must firstly figure out the true nature of our own unique needs and desires, and then share them with our partners, so we can be more aligned and aware in our sex lives.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be offering some tips and guidance to help you discover your authentic sexual self, along with ways to share those truths with you partners. In the meantime, why not have a go at listing some of your own primary sex motivators to help raise your awareness, and shed some light on this often overlooked aspect of our sexual appetites.

In love and light,