Sean and I have been making trips up and down Alaska’s Haul Road recently, bringing building materials to hand-build off-grid cabins for Arctic Hive guests up here in Wiseman, 63 miles north of the arctic circle. Driving 7 hours (each way!) away from civilization into the heart of the Brooks Range means I have to stock up on podcasts each time we make the trip.
Enter ZigZag, with Manoush Zomorodi. I love this podcast and earlier this week, I listened to an older episode where she interviewed Jennifer Petriglieri, author of Couples That Work. Although Jennifer was speaking primarily to marriage with two people who are both working, I believe her research supports all relationships concerned — business, friendship, family, etc. Her research proves that couples go through three distinct transitions together. And not just some couples — ALL COUPLES, across the board. If they don’t make it through one of three transitions, the relationship doesn’t work out.
It really struck me to the core because I feel like the last few months have had me on relationship overload. Not just my marriage — although anytime Sean and I build something together, we learn new things about one another. Recently, all sorts of my relationships have come up, shown up, and have required a thorough evaluation. I’ve asked myself so many times: What am I here to learn?
And while this was a cathartic podcast for me on many levels, I’m going to tell you just about Jennifer’s first transition because THIS is what has been coming up for me so often:
After the honeymoon phase of any relationship, some transition for a pair triggers the end of parallel beliefs — meaning the end of “it’s all good.” Something big happens, and you ask yourselves, “How are we going to make this work?”
Turns out: Pairs who just focused on the practicalities couldn’t make it work. Like, EVER. And compromise — as nice as it sounds — didn’t bode well either. Compromise puts an emphasis on tit-for-tat and scorekeeping, which only led to resentment. Couples focusing on practicalities never got back to the basic question: “Why are we doing this? What do we want together, and how can our time together facilitate this?”
It’s like figuring out the core values of your business… What means the most to you, why are you doing it, and from that place, everything else falls together. Once you forget your why, you fall off track. It’s like losing your North Star.
Because here’s the thing: Any relationship takes work, time and a willingness to grow. That willingness is crucial — on the part of both parties — and if it’s not there on one or both sides, the relationship may come to an end.
… and THAT’S OK.
Sure, there can be massive emotional hurdles and agony to move through as anything comes to an end (I don’t mean to belittle the process), but generally speaking, this is so often what we’re most scared of: Failing. Losing. Dying. We live in a society where we don’t discuss death because it’s scary. Death of anything is somewhat taboo and leaves us at a loss for words. And I’m here to tell you — it doesn’t matter if it’s a business, a pet, a friendship, or a human being… I’ve moved through all four of those in the past few months. Death on all levels is intense, but when you're through to the other side, it has its own liberating quality, too.
So at the end, regardless of where you end up, there will be people with whom you do the work. You won’t remember the business that succeeded or failed, the number of followers we gained, or the superficial connections made at a networking event. What we remember most is true connection to the other souls — placed inside human bodies — that we connect with on a deep level, and the lengths we went through to learn new things together.
And speaking of OUR relationship (yes, you!), we’re going to be sending more emails than normal in the coming weeks painting a picture of yoga and why it’s so important for us during these times (including a sweet deal for you on getting started for next to nothing)… because when it comes to Yoga Hive, this is a relationship I’m invested in, as is every single teacher on our team.
We are willing! Are you?
Sending lots of love,
PS — If you’re reallllly willing to dive a little deeper into yoga, be sure to check out our upcoming online teacher trainings! If you’re interested or want to start a convo, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email.
PPS — Thank you to the yogi who requested via email that I speak on this topic this week. If you’ve got something going on in your life that you want me to speak to, chances are the entire mailing list shares your plight (seriously), and I do, too! Reply here and I’ll take topic requests as often as I can!
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.