HOW DO I HANDLE MY BOYFRIEND ASKING ME FOR HALF MY PAYCHECK?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I have a new boyfriend and as soon as I get my paycheck, he always asks what I made and asks me for half of it. I don’t feel good about this. How do I handle this?

—Feeling Weird (United States)

DEAR FEELING WEIRD:

Run!

You are feeling weird because your knowingness is aware that this behavior is not right. You deserve much better. It is none of his business at this point how much you make and you don’t need to share your paycheck with him.

HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND TO SOMEONE THAT CONSISTENTLY MAKES QUESTIONABLE CHOICES?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My friend is a bombshell and is smart and talented and employed and also goes for the worst kinds of guys. Plural on both counts. Many wonderful men ask her out and she always ignores them. I am sick and tired of listening to her cry and complain about her own self-created drama but what kind of friend would I be if I ignore her in her times of crises (plural)? I have tried to warn her about some of the men but she never listens. What do you advise someone who is trying to be a good friend to her friend who makes questionable choices?

—Bewildered in Brazil

DEAR BEWILDERED:

She’s lucky to have you as a friend. As she obviously doesn’t listen to what you tell her, I would simply ask her various questions along the process of her picking out unsuitable men. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t go out with that guy. He has a reputation for using women,” ask a series of questions.

For example, the dialogue might go something like this:

Friend: “I really like [User Guy].”

You: “I heard he tends to use women. What is it about him that attracts you?”

Friend: “He’s so sexy [or cute or funny or whatever].”

You: “What about him do you feel is sexy [or cute or funny or whatever] as opposed to [Guy That Treats Women Well]?” or “Why do you think you are interested in him even though we’ve both heard a lot about how he hasn’t treated his past girlfriends well, do you think?”

I suggest asking her questions that make her think rather than trying to tell her what to do or how to think or whom to love. Ultimately, recognize you have no real say or control over what she does.

It can be very difficult for us when we see people we love making bad choices and then living the consequences, even more so when we know we will be helping pick up the pieces. However, recognize that she is creating the situation out of her soul’s desire to learn things such as discernment and what the consequences of one’s choices can look like.

It is up to you to set boundaries on what you can do to help and support her. When you see her continually making poor choices, it is not your responsibility to stay up with her on the phone comforting her every night till 3 a.m., for example. Decide what you can do without hurting yourself or draining you and stick to those boundaries while doing what you can.

Bless you. May all your kindness and support come back to you a millionfold.

SHOULD I TRY TO GET MY BOYFRIEND BACK?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My boyfriend of seven years just broke up with me. He says he loves me but not that way. Should I try to change his mind? Is it possible to and if so, how do I make him come back to me? I really thought we’d get married someday. I still love him and he is my best friend too.

—Hurting (United States)

DEAR H.:

As painful as this time must be for you, do not try to change his mind. You love him and so let him go to pursue the kind of relationship he wants. As he loves you too, perhaps walking away at this point is the kindest thing he could have possibly done for you—rather than to let things drag on knowing he does not love you in the way you deserve and that he is making space for you to meet someone who wants to marry you since that seems to be something you want. He can still be your good friend but perhaps it would be best for both of you to take time apart to establish new routines for yourselves and to make space for new relationships down the road.

Use this time to practice being your own best friends and loving yourself and rediscovering who you are now outside of the context of this relationship. You may be quite delighted at what you find and it will serve you well in building a future that fits the person that you are now.

Much love.

OUR CHILD STILL SLEEPS IN OUR BED AND OUR SEX LIFE IS NONEXISTENT

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My wife and I have been married for five years and we have a four-year-old whom we love beyond words. What I don’t love is that our beautiful son has been sleeping in between us for four years. He will start kindergarten next year and I don’t think he should be sleeping in our bed any longer but my wife does not agree. Obviously, this does nothing for our sex life. We haven’t had sex since a month before he was born. While I wouldn’t trade my family for the world, this is not the life I envisioned when I proposed to my wife. I feel like a monk and a father but not a husband. Lately I have been thinking more and more of just going but I don’t know what this would to do my son or to my wife or if I would even get partial custody as I’ve heard that custody decisions tend to favor the mother. I’m 46 and is this the rest of my life stretching out ahead of me? Will he be sleeping between us when he is in high school? I am joking of course and yet I don’t even really know any more.

—Monk Man (Canada)

DEAR MONK MAN:

There are a couple issues here.

First, is there a particular reason your son is still sleeping with you? Are you doing attachment parenting or is there perhaps a medical reason? Do you know why you haven’t had sex since before your child was born?

As I’m guessing you’ve probably had occasional opportunity, even with your son in your bed, for the two of you to slip into another room and enjoy some alone time so it is quite possible that there is some reason for this married celibacy. I know some women who, upon having pushed a head the size of a bowing ball, they said they never want anything to go in there again. Sometimes too they are issues such as post-partum depression or certain medications or hormonal imbalances that can affect a woman’s libido. Sometimes too they may be issues within the marriage or for one or both partners that need to be addressed with a therapist or counselor as sometimes one of both partners may subconsciously or consciously use their child in their bed as an excuse to not be sexually intimate.

Ask your wife in a neutral and curious way about why you haven’t had sex. If she doesn’t answer or offers excuses, it is time for both of you to see a marriage counselor. Many couples’ sex lives fall by the wayside for a while after having a baby, what the difficulty juggling work and sleep and the needs of a child. It is important however for the couples’ relationship to be solid in order to create a solid foundation for the family as a whole. Even physiologically, sex is important hormonally with oxytocin, etc.,  for couples to retain that chemical bond that will keep them strong as a unit.

Your counselor can also help you figure out ways to gently transition your child to his own bed. Perhaps a doggie friend to cuddle with at night might be a nice segue.

Even once you begin couples’ counseling, it is up to both of you to address the issues and do the inner work to make the changes. This may be challenging and could take quite some time but the benefits will be worth every ounce of effort if you both do the work.

If she is unwilling to look at the issues and make changes, you will need to decide for yourself what you need to live and be happy and how to create that in a way that honors all of you.

I wish you and your family the best, my friend.

SUNDAY SHARE: ARTIST JULIE MAREN

I love artist Julie Maren’s work. It is full of whimsy, spirit, color, light, and form. Her work ranges from large-scale installations made from recycled and repurposed paintings to sculpture and carvings to large-scale ceramics to paintings and much more. Please check out her website at https://www.juliemaren.com to see for yourself.

HOW DO I GET MY HUSBAND TO LISTEN TO ME?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My husband of 29 years always decides what he thinks is right and doesn’t listen to me. It drives me crazy. What do I do, short of divorcing him?

—Had It (United States)

DEAR H.I.:

Is this a recent change in behavior or something he’s always done to some extent? If it’s a recent change in behavior and his behavior or attitudes seem erratic, have him see his doctor to see if there aren’t physiological factors going on.

Barring any mental or other imbalances, if he has always done that to some extent or has done it but it’s gradually worsened, I suggest talking to a couples counselor. Also, keep in mind if he has been doing this for about three decades and you’re fed up with it now, you’re going to have to train him to listen to you in a different way. If he’s been doing it for a while, it will take him a while to learn a new way of relating to you and also of listening to you.

For many men in the United States, they’ve been raised to be the leader of the household or of “their women,” including believing that they know best and better than anyone else in the household, and this training is embedded in their consciousness to such an extent that it takes a real effort and choice on their part to extricate themselves from old programming. A good couples counselor will hopefully be able to help you both learn new ways of relating—your husband, to truly listen to you and understand the value of your opinions and ability to co-create the life you have together, and you, to learn new ways of communicating that commands respect and demands that you are heard and listened to.

This transformation has the potential to make your marriage something much more amazing than it has ever been. My best to you both on your journey.

HOW DO I GET MY MOJO RUNNING?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

What are some practical tips for getting my mojo running? I’ve been single for years and not feeling very sensual or desirable. I don’t even feel like masturbating but I’d like to awaken my sexual energy. Do you have a few tips for a single woman?

—Feeling Nonsexual (Canada)

Dear F.N.:

Congratulations on taking responsibility for your mojo!

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start by doing things you’re passionate about—whatever you do that makes the time go by instantly! That might be writing or painting or being in nature—whatever floats your boat!
  • Get your sexy on. Dress sexy even if you’re hanging out at home—wear soft cloth in silky colors and something that makes you feel beautiful and nurtured.
  • Eat sexy. See if there are any ways you can clean up your diet—a healthy diet supports a stronger sex drive. You might also want to try incorporating some aphrodisiac foods such as chocolate or oysters and chili peppers.
  • Turn on your mind. Do things that stimulate your mind—learning a new class, joining a Meetup group targeted to one of your interests. They have Meetup groups on everything from speaking Portuguese to films groups to nature walks, and everything else. In addition, you could read erotic literature or watch a sexy movie such as The Piano or Bull Durham or Kama Sutra: A Tale or Love or something that features an actor or actress you find particularly sexy.
  • Take a workshop on orgasmic meditation (https://onetaste.us) and go to their weekly circles or play on your own. You might not feel like you’re in the mood at first, especially if you’ve taken a break from sexual activity for a while, but once you prime your body to get your sexual energy running and you get in the habit, it will be much easier for your body to get into that turned-on state.
  • Ask your doctor or naturopath to look at your blood chemistry. Ask them to check your hormones and other numbers and factors that might be affecting your libido and see what they suggest.

Have fun, my friend!

HOW DO I HANDLE MY FRIEND THAT DOESN’T GIVE ME GIFTS AS NICE AS I GIVE HER?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I have one friend whom I have always treated extremely well. I always give her really expensive gifts to—Gucci purses, designer scarves, hand-blown vases, antiques, and the best organic truffles, monthly gelato subscriptions, or other delectables. She, on the other hand, gives me brownies she made and one time gave me a waffle iron that I believe she re-gifted. I feel like I spend much more than she does and am getting tired of it. Should I talk to her about this? Or drop her as a friend? Or take her off my gift list?

—Fed Up (United States)

DEAR FED UP:

First of all, keep in mind that gift giving is not necessarily a quid pro quo exchange. Give your gifts out of love or, at the very least, as a token of gratitude and appreciation. If you can’t give the gifts without expectations of financially equitable reciprocation, don’t give them. Or give less expensive gifts so you do not feel resentful.

How is your friend’s financial situation? Perhaps she simply doesn’t have the money to buy you gifts that are as expensive as the gifts you give her. Does she bake you brownies because you like chocolate? Does she try to make your life better in other ways than the gifts she gives you? For example, does she always offer an ear to hear your concerns or your good news? Does she try to do things for you to bring a smile to your face or your days just a little easier?

If so, consider the value of those things she does that adds to your life rather than running a tally of how much she is spending on you. Good friends are worth more than all the gold in the world.

HOW DO I GET BETTER AT GETTING SLEEP?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I know that I should try to get 8 hours of sleep per night but I don’t want to go to sleep. Instead, I stay awake till odd hours and only get 5 to 6 hours of sleep per night and then I’m tired all day. I’ll do anything but fall asleep even though I’m sleepy.

—Sleepless in the States on Purpose (United States)

DEAR SLEEPLESS:

Validate all the benefits that sleep has to offer you—a healthy body, support for improved memory, decreased inflammation in the body, support in maintaining a healthy weight, and much more.

Notice too if you have any worries that by sleeping you will be missing out—missing out on fun things, life, or even missing out on noticing what you might consider potential threats or dangers.

By simply being conscious of what you stand to gain by sleeping more and what you may be subconsciously worried about related to sleeping, perhaps you can start to make healthier choices around sleep.

It may also help you to start to train your body to sleep and wake at the same time. You can set your alarm or your phone to alert you when it’s time to start getting ready for bed and then get in bed at a designated time the same night every night and lay there with your eyes closed even if you can’t sleep easily at first. Do this over time and it may become much easier.

Happy snoozing and happy health!

HELP! MY HUSBAND FARTS ALL THE TIME

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My husband farts incessantly. It’s not woefully odorific (usually) but annoying nevertheless. What say you, Dali Mama?

—Yucked Out (United States)

DEAR Y.O.:

Well, perhaps it’d be more fun for you to be amused rather than to be yucked out. Haha. And thank your lucky stars that his gas isn’t usually too noxious.

Now, as far as dealing with the cause of his flatulence, could he perhaps have food allergies? He might want to keep a log of what he eats and what causes his gas, and then to go consult his doctor with this record in hand. His doctor might want to do an allergy test. Many people are unknowingly allergic to common foods such as wheat or dairy or a combination thereof. These allergies can often cause gas and other symptoms.

You might also want to google causes of flatulence and the two of you could try to avoid gas-causing foods, which may help as well.

Perhaps you could also thank him and thank God that that’s his annoying thing he does versus gambling away your joint savings or cheating and lying about it or any number of alternative transgressions he could have.

Also, as strange as it sounds, that’s the beauty of intimacy between two perfect souls in very human bodies—appreciate the close but sometimes messy intimacy of humans who love and trust each when they are close to each other and living together. If he were gone, you might even miss his inconvenient noises. Cherish even this because this is a part of your current life together.

That being said, I hope you both can enjoy a lot of laughs about this and I hope that perhaps his doctor can help him eliminate the cause of excess gas for his health and comfort and, even then, then it can become a long-distant, funny memory for you two to laugh at together.

P.S. If he is embarrassed about his constant farting, maybe you could be silently amused while having compassion. We’ve all been “betrayed” by our bodies doing their jobs at some point (whether it is gas or a tampon leaking) and we know how it feels to be embarrassed. If he doesn’t want to make a joke of it together, just keep going about your business and don’t let his farting bother you too much. Just enjoy the other gifts of your life together. xoxo

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

What is the meaning of life?

—Wondering (Brazil)

DEAR WONDERING:

That is an excellent question, my friend. The fact that you are thinking about this means you are living in a way that will embrace the meaning in your life because it requires thinking about this question to ensure you live a life of deeper meaning than those who don’t stop to wonder about the meaning of life.

I could write the rest of my life on what the meaning of life is (and some have) but here are some basic highlights:

Personally, I believe that part of the meaning of life in general is our eternal quest as humans to understand and live our connection to the Divine and to the oneness of all while appreciating and loving our uniqueness as individuals. I believe it also includes the journey of discovering that we are made of love and that we can create so much when we act from the spirit of divine love–peace, harmony, prosperity, great works of art and technology used to better humankind and all living beings, and much more.

I believe that part of this journey entails different smaller lessons for each of us as individuals or as part of larger groups (cultures, governments, countries, organizations, etc.) that we’re studying and practicing in each lifetime. The wisdom and learning we garner in one lifetime create foundations we can build upon in another lifetime once we have mastered those earlier lessons. For example, this lifetime, I am studying how to express myself as an individual while contributing to the greater whole of society, which includes many specific lessons, including how to get along with large groups of people and how to work together with many.

I wish you peace and joy on your journey of exploring and embracing the meaning of your life.

SUNDAY SHARE: ARIEL WARNER, HEALER OF LAND, BUILDINGS, PEOPLE, ANIMALS, AND MORE

For this week’s Sunday Share, I want to introduce you to a wonderful healer, Ariel Warner, who clears land, buildings, and people. She worked on our home and property and the house and the surrounding property (way beyond our plot of land) felt significantly different. My friends who are also sensitive to energy would come in and comment on how light the energy felt after she had cleared the house.

Warner also does incredibly powerful clears on people, including The Loving Oneself Clear, The Self-Worth Clear, Self-Destructive Behavior Clear, The “I Can’t” Clear, The Compassion Clear, The Change Clear, The Creativity Clear, Balanced Receiving Clear, The Capacity for Self-Healing Clear, Addictive Behaviour Clear, Balanced Giving Clear, The Sexual Wholeness clear, and The Capacity for Joy & Positive Thought Clear.

I’ve experienced many of her clears and released a great deal of energy, noticing an absence of those energies once they had released from my body and my auric fields. Once I had finished each clear, I had much more space in my body to allow my own energies to come in and flow much more freely.

If you’re interested, check out her website at http://energyartsservices.com for further information.

 

HOW DO I STOP BEING A WORKAHOLIC?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a workaholic and every area of my life is suffering because of it (my health, my relationships, etc.), but I can’t seem to stop this vicious cycle. How do I stop this?

–Corporate Drone (United States)

DEAR C.D.:

Congratulations on thinking about how to halt this cycle and make a change. That is the first and most important step towards a new kind of life.

Often, people are workaholics (or alcoholics or drug or sex addicts or hoarders or addicted to video games or movies or any number of things) because they’re trying to fill the void they feel inside themselves when there is any space in their lives—whether that’s a spare moment to really feel their emotions or whether it’s an empty space in their home. Think about if this is the case with you.

What thoughts and emotions start to come up in you when you’re not working? These are the thoughts and emotions it’s important to say hello to and feel and process so you can find another way of living—a life full of the things that truly satisfy you—friendships and love, good health, and time to nurture yourself through rest and relaxation and healthy habits such as exercise.

Also take time to say hello to the fears that goad you into continuing your workaholic lifestyle even when you know it is affecting you negatively. Are you afraid you’ll lose your job if you don’t work all the time? Are you afraid of having the time to really explore who you are and your own unique passions without the barrier to yourself formed by your busy work schedule?

I suggest meeting with a counselor regularly to help you grapple with these complicated issues. Start, too, by making even a short appointment with yourself every day of quality quiet time with yourself when you sit with yourself—no tv, no smartphone, no work. Just you and your spirit. Communicating with your higher self will give you some valuable guidance as well.

I congratulate you on having the courage to address these issues and create the life you want. May you have good health, love, and all the rest that comes with making time for yourself.

Much love.

MY WIFE WANTS AN OPEN MARRIAGE BUT I DON’T.

DEAR DALI MAMA:

My wife wants our marriage to be open but I don’t want that. What do you think of polyamory? I may be old-fashioned but I don’t get it. If I wanted for us to sleep with other people, why would I have even proposed? I don’t want my wife having sex with anyone else. I don’t even want to have sex with anyone else but her. And what can I do if I don’t want our marriage to be open? I might lose her if I say no.

—Caught Between a Rock (United States)

DEAR CAUGHT:

If you don’t want an open marriage, you must communicate that honestly to your wife. Yes, you might lose her if you say no but the other alternative is to be in an unhappy marriage since you don’t want an open marriage and she does. I would start with couples counseling to see if there is some way you both can make changes to your relationship that would make both of you happy.

It is up to each couple to define and create the kind of marriage they want. As long as they are open and honest with each other, it is their right to set the parameters of what is acceptable and what is not for their marriage. Unfortunately, often married people in supposedly traditional, monogamous marriages cheat on the side and lie about it even though they don’t have an “open” marriage. In my opinion, an honest and open poly relationship beats a relationship that pretends to be monogamous but is not.

I know some who embrace polyamory in an effort to love without possessiveness and ownership and with permission for the partners to explore outside of the relationship. I think that ideal of honesty is admirable when the parties are truly honest and open with each other.

Some of the challenges of poly life, however, are that it can perhaps be difficult to go deeper into a relationship and to stick with a partner when things get difficult when there are easier options (and potential distractions). That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done—it just takes work, even more work perhaps than with just two people in a marriage, which in itself can be a heck of a lot of work. Also, I feel that some live the poly lifestyle with an undercurrent of a kind of sexual materialism or acquisitiveness, which doesn’t resonate for me personally although I admire poly couples that live with complete honesty and openness. I’m friends with a couple who also say their goal is to love without borders or limits defined by society.

If any polyamorists have anything to add to this discussion, please share your opinions and suggestions as people who actually live or have lived this lifestyle as far as the benefits or challenges of this lifestyle as well as your philosophy of relationship.

DEAR DALI MAMA:

How to associate financial health and spiritual health? It seems that there is a trouble or difficulties to have both at the same time.

—J.B. (Haiti)

DEAR J.B.:

Are you referring to how some people who are very spiritual sometimes don’t seem to be very rich and sometimes people who are extremely rich don’t always seem to pay attention to their spirituality? I will write the answer accordingly and you can write me again if I am not understanding your question correctly.

It is possibly to be both extremely spiritually and financially healthy. Sometimes, however, people who are focused only a spiritual matters may not be paying attention to financial or other practical matters. Also, sometimes when people pay attention to spiritual matters, they may have a lot of their energy outside of their bodies and thus it is important to ground your energy to keep things balanced. (Email holdinglightproductions@yahoo.com to request a free recording of how to ground your energy if you want more information about this.) Even when you are spiritual, it is important to be balanced and grounded in order to handle both the administrative and financial matters of living as well as attending to your spiritual interests.

In some cases, you may also see people who are very spiritual be carrying around old spirit agreements from past lives. For example, someone who works very hard but can’t seem to make much money may have old vows of poverty they’ve been carrying around from past lives, including lives as nuns or priests.

In the case of people who are extremely wealthy and in great financial health, sometimes the spiritual work they’ve done in this or previous lifetimes has helped them achieve financial health. However, if they haven’t done the work and ignore their spiritual health, you may see them in situations where they eventually lose their money as a way to push themselves to attend to their spiritual health and other important matters.

In all things, balance is important. Thank you for this excellent question, my friend.

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