The Birth of Real Love (Guest Blog: Harville & Helen Hendrix)


The Birth of Real Love 

[As a certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and as a wife of nearly 20 years, I vow to create conscious partnerships in my life and my work. I owe a debt of gratitude to Harville & Helen and invite you to check out their work below and find an Imago Professional near you. Reach out to me for in-person retreats in Hawaii and/or if you are comfortable doing Zoom sessions. Relational health is an extraordinarily wise investment. Aloha, Amy]

Guest blog: Harville & Helen Hendrix:

The Birth of Real Love 

When we fall in love, suddenly we see life in technicolor.  We nibble each other’s ears and tell each other everything; our limitations and rigidities melt away.  We’re sexier, smarter, funnier, more giving.  Now we feel whole, we feel like ourselves, we are connected.

But inevitably–whether we marry or move in together– things just start to go wrong.  The veil of illusion falls away, and it seems that our partners are different than we thought they were. It turns out they have qualities that we can’t bear.  Even qualities we once admired grate on us.  Old hurts are reactivated as we realize that our partners cannot or will not love and care for us as they promised.  Our dream shatters and we feel disconnected

Disillusionment turns to anger.

Since our partner no longer willingly give us what we need, we change tactics, trying to coerce our partners into caring–through anger, crying, withdrawal, shame, intimidation, criticism–whatever works. The power struggle has begun, and may go on for many years, until we split, or we settle into an uneasy truce living often parallel lives, or until we seek help, desperate to feel alive again, to have our dream back and feel reconnected.

What we need to understand and accept is that conflict is supposed to happen.  This is as nature intended it:  everything in nature has a polarity and is in tension.  The hard truth is that the grounds for marriage is really incompatibility; it is the norm for relationships.  Conflict needs to be understood as a given, a sign that the psyche is trying to survive, to get its needs met, and paradoxically, to restore feeling connected.  It’s only without this knowledge that conflict is destructive. 

Romantic love is supposed to end

It is the glue that initially bonds two incompatible people together to do what needs to be done to heal each other, and in the process, heal the rifts in nature caused by our earlier experiences. The good news is that the power struggle is also supposed to end.  The emotional bond that is created by romantic love to keep partners together through the hard times evolves into a powerful organic bond through the process of resolving conflict. This is our opportunity to move from an Unconscious Relationship to a Conscious Relationship.

A Conscious Relationship is not for the faint-hearted, for it requires learning more effective coping mechanisms than the crying or anger or withdrawal which have become so habitual for us. It means reconnecting through Dialogue, stretching to give our partners what they need to heal.

This is not easy, but it works.       

Regardless of what we may believe, relationships are not born of love, but of need; real love is born in relationships. You are already with your dream partner, but at the moment, he or she is in disguise.  A Conscious Relationship itself is the therapy you need to restore your sense of aliveness and connectivity and set you on the path of real love. 

[As a certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and as a wife of nearly 20 years, I vow to create conscious partnerships in my life and my work. I owe a debt of gratitude to Harville & Helen and invite you to check out their work below and find an Imago Professional near you. Reach out to me for in-person retreats in Hawaii and/or if you are comfortable doing Zoom sessions. Relational health is an extraordinarily wise investment. Aloha, Amy]

About Harville and Helen

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph. D are partners in life and work. Together, they have written over 10 books, including three New York Times bestsellers.  Harville and Helen co-created Imago Relationship Therapy to promote the transformation of couples and families by creating relational cultures that support universal equality. 

Imago Relationships Worldwide

Talk. Listen. Connect

Getting the love you want, keeping the love you find and connecting securely and deeply with your partner, these are the goals of Imago Relationship Therapy. We can help you to resolve conflict while staying connected. Deepening intimacy in a safe space invites vulnerability. Communicating effectively with your partner is key to maintaining a long and rewarding relationship. Sharing a life together means meeting and conquering obstacles as a couple while expressing uncertainties and frustrations constructively. Imago professionals offer therapy and educational workshops for individuals and couples throughout the world. 
For more information on Imago therapists, workshops or trainings worldwide, please visit

3 minutes of calm

Aloha Dear One,  

3 minutes of calm  

Take a seat. 

Feel gravity supporting you. Feeling yourself present in the moment with everything that’s going on swirling around you.

Take a moment to lower your gaze or close your eyes and just breathe in deeply, sweetly, allowing the belly to expand on the inhale. 

Pausing… thinking of all that has already transpired today, just let it settle. On the exhale releasing what’s no longer needed.

Take a deep sweet inhale in through the nose, resetting the nervous system pausing, thinking about all that remains in the day and settling, releasing, exhaling completely. And finally, breathing in sweetly, this moment right here right now.

Pausing, being here, noticing your noticing and releasing as you take this moment to pause, to breathe, and to reset. 

You are doing your future self a favor. You are doing everyone around you a favor. You are reconnecting to that place of stillness in the space between the thoughts. The gap between the actions and that moment of infinite possibility. This is the calm in the eye of the storm. The sweet spot in the middle of yesterday and tomorrow. That brings you into the eternal Now. Today, right here right now.

You sitting here, head over heart over hara: open-minded, open-hearted and willing to reset your own nervous system to pivot back toward calm and to shift the drift of all that swirling around. Even for a moment, even for a moment.

Right here. Right now.

Take a deep breath in
And a deep breath out.
Releasing the pinch within;
Releasing the grip. 

Finding the tender open heart  

Sending big Aloha, 


Relational health coaching guides you to access your tender heart.
Together, we regenerate landscapes, both internally and externally. 
You matter. Your relationships matter. 
schedule a session here

Labor of Love mini-retreat


Here’s what you can expect: 

  • High-quality & skillful guidance from me, Amy, your leader, in sacred time and space. 
  • Together, we strengthen our connection, tenderize our hearts, and feed our soul. 
  • Through simple and useful practices, we will foster a sense of embodiment, empowerment and empathy. 

Here’s the plan: 

  • Writing Prompts- 15 min
  • Yoga for Disease Resistance 20 min
  • Meditation:Peace is Within Me 5 min
  • Trauma Healing Practices: 20 min
  • Building the Altar of Awareness: 20 min

Some more information:

  • Attend live.
  • No recording afterword. 
  • Prepare by taking a 20 minute walk beforehand.
  • Wear comfy clothes in order to move. Turn off your phone.
  • Bring a journal.
  • Bring a sacred object. 
  • Hydrate wildly.  

90 minute gathering on Saturday the 4th

9:30am my time in Hawaii is

12:30pm Pacific Time

1:30pm Denver

2:30pm Iowa

3:30pm Atlanta

8:30 pm London

9:30 pm France

Again, the link to sign up here for $33

If you can contribute additional funds toward this event, please do so here: If you cannot afford $33, please pay what you can at this link. 

I’m really looking forward to connecting with you in this intimate gathering.  Please invite your friend by forwarding this email. You will get a link for the Zoom Room after registering. 

Contact me with questions or concerns. 808-936-3733

focus in your own hula hoop


extraordinary definition of focus: laser love on the center of interest

If you are anything like me, you reach a familiar pain point when you allow the wave of lack of acceptance to wash over you. When we spend so much energy wanting others to be different than they are and wanting circumstances to be different than they are; we end up generating our own suffering.

When you focus in your own hula hoop, you have the opportunity to shine laser love on the center of interest–your own precious mind and tender heart. You can change the channel on your discursive thoughts.

Tell yourself, I’m exactly where I need to be. I have complete and utter love and acceptance of myself. And, I have a desire to upgrade my life completely. It is both/and.

This month let’s focus on keeping that laser love REAL.

Keep It Real: resourced, engaged, aware, loving.

When you connect with someone else, come from a place of being resourced. For example, when I’ve had ample sleep, activity, nutrition, exercise, I’m more SANE.

From this place of sanity, I feel resourced. I enter into connection with others with an abundance of sanity and energy to engage. Engagement stokes enthusiasm. Put down your phone when someone walks into the room, and feel the energy swirling in the space between.

Become aware of your influence and realize you matter.

You matter. Your relationships matter.

Keeping an intimate relationship is challenging, and many people face difficulties in doing so. In the current research, within the context of an evolutionary theoretical framework, the most important difficulty was “Fading away enthusiasm,” followed by “Long work hours” and “Lack of personal time and space.” 

How you show up in the space matters. How you respond to others matters. You matter. Your relationships matter. Stoke inner fire of enthusiasm. Eliminate long work hours (I’m going to sign off now and watch Ted Lasso with my beloved, Marc!). Commit your focus to being more loving. Set this intention as you go about your day. Set a timer on your phone.

My timer on my phone says, “Pause at the tiny voice.”

This is a gentle reminder from a couple of years ago when I began trusting my tender heart more fully. At that time, it was a tiny voice. It was God. Now, I can honestly say, that voice is more audible, more clear, more resonant, and more comforting than my previous inner mental chatter.

You can now change the channel away from discursive thoughts of woe is me or he shouldn’t have done that to a pure voice of my True Nature.

Thank you God.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

journey of transformation

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.
~Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver
The Journey

What made you decide to write and publish your first book?


Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?

Central Florida, Big Island Hawaii

If you currently reside somewhere besides where you were born, what’s the story that lead from there to here?

I escaped the tropic of torpor of Florida and journeyed to the Rocky Mountains and on to the Pacific Northwest, with my soul leading the way. I needed warmth, and Hawaii beckoned me home to myself. I resonate deeply with the notion of Kapu Aloha, sacred compassion, that fills the island consciousness with great healing and presence.

What made you decide to write and publish your first book?

To be of maximum service to God and my fellows. If I didn’t write and publish this memoir, it was going to eat me alive. It is still gnawing at me, but less aggressively.

How would you describe your books to first time readers?

A transformational memoir full of grit and grace and gratitude. The journey into dark neighborhoods of the human mind and shedding light on the shadowy corners of human experience. A poetic heart-felt perspective of the Divine Feminine that human consciousness embraces.

Who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about?

People who recognize they are addicted to substances or behaviors that are getting in the way of their extraordinary lives. People who are willing to be responsible for living an extraordinary life of resilience, compassion and service. People who want to know there is no challenge too great or no trauma too debilitating to overcome and be of service. Yoginis, Buddhists, holistic practitioners, recovering Americans.

What unexpected or surprising thing did you learn during the process of writing and publishing?

Balboa Press told me mentioning my brothers bought me booze when I was underage or mentioning the Catholic Church could raise issues of libel and they encouraged me to cut it from the manuscript or use a pseudonym.

If you could, what advice would you give to your past self before embarking on this journey?

write it earlier
people thought I was too young to write a memoir in my 40s.
this is untrue.

to read the rest of this interview visit or simply click this link

Interview with Amy Elizabeth Gordon