Expanding Our Capacity to Conduct Love

connection consciousness love and power love ceremony rites of passage Sep 06, 2023
Wedding Ceremony Love Tsunami of powerful magic people, Michael Armstrong and Larissa Conte

As a ceremony designer, long-time rites of passage guide, and wedding officiant for many other couples, I knew our wedding would initiate both of us in the process of creating it.

I also knew I wanted our wedding to be a transformational experience for all who attended (ideally healing their relationship with love in some way) — rather than just focusing on us — and to be an altar of gratitude to Love itself. As I constantly do in business and life, I spent a lot of time distinguishing the status quo beliefs and “best practices” around weddings sourced from Disconnection Consciousness that fuel misalignment or Shadow Power versus those sourced from the expansive Connection Consciousness possibilities of this momentous life ceremony all about love. We were also devoted to being true to our whole selves as magic people in each thread we wove in the design and in how we shared ourselves with our beloved family and community who could join us.

 

But I had no idea that this ceremony would require each of us to let go of EVERYTHING that blocks or misaligns with love prior to our ceremony. 

This is no small task, my friend! Because of who I am, who Michael is, and the fact that the Power Landscape is integral to how we live, our relationship is founded on the commitment to continually (1) expand into all our types of Power that Serve the Whole and (2) take responsibility for and put down all of our Shadow Power patterns. Yes, all. We do not hold each other to timelines for our growth, but this is a foundational commitment to ourselves and each other. 

 

As we approached the wedding date, all the main blockages of Shadow Power came to the fore to be released and we were invited to step more fully into the bigness of our capacity to conduct love — the greatest Power that Serves the Whole.

Sometimes this looked and felt intensely charged (yay, being human!) while other times that which no longer serves could pass easily. And at key moments we had to breathe our way through the magnitude of love pouring through and to us, as can be the case whenever we expand to a new level of power. Of course, it was only possible to engage in this volume of inner work individually and together because of: 

  • Our love for each other (*more than anything, the bigness of our love repeatedly called us forward)
  • Our personal commitments to the path of Love & Power that Serves the Whole
  • Our shared power literacy and language, 
  • Our awareness of our personal power patterns, 
  • Our years of practicing power transformation individually & in our shared culture,
  • Invaluable guidance and wisdom from another power practitioner — our dear friend, officiant, and fellow magic person, Laura Griffiths, who (amongst other things) guides people on the transformative path of love and eros, and
  • The loving support of our families and friends. 

 

Photo by Anthony Tomassi

 

The work of refining our hearts and beings to be capable of such alchemical love — the capacity to transmute our Shadow Power Patterns into Power that Serves the Whole — is what being human and being in relationships is all about.

Yet, all too often in relationships of any sort, from romantic partners and family to friends and co-workers, people can feel unconsciously and necessarily at the mercy of another’s Shadow Power because they’ve chosen committed interdependence. Aka “Does choosing you mean that your Shadow gets a hall pass forever more?” The answer is sadly often Yes when we don’t know what power is and when we don’t have power literacy skills, power patterns awareness, the cultural capacity to engage in power transformation work together, or mentorship to grow our skills. But the tools and support exist. We just need to choose them.

 

As for the wedding, it was a love tsunami.

Many friends have shared they are still buzzing a month later seeing tangible effects of the love field we all created together unfolding in their lives. Others shared that this 3-day, 85-person event had them feeling the same electricity, inspiration, and love as going to Burning Man, a weeklong event with 60,000+ people. And, our wonderful photographer repeatedly(!) thanked us for “inviting him” and said, “Now when I do other weddings, I’ll hear the groom say some reason that he likes her and it will be fine, but you guys COSMICALLY love each other!!!” We sure do. And it turns out that a cosmic love ocean is a pretty amazing place to live, connect, and create from.

Wishing you a wonderful time with loved ones this weekend! And as a priority in life.

 

P.S. If you’re curious about what Love Power as Power that Serves the Whole can look like at work, here’s a glimpse from our Power Assessment:

“I practice love for myself and love for others in an ever-widening scope in my life and leadership. I easily access and express my heart’s knowing to foster connection with others and form strong, genuine bonds that can fuel great joy and transcend great turbulence. I practice devotion and discipline to continually choose love over fear. My capacity to love fuels my ability to express appreciation, fondness, vulnerability, courage, being seen and known, reciprocity, and our collective interdependence to further collective wellbeing.”

We get to aim for so much more as people and leaders. If you’re ready, step in here.

 

P.P.S. The Power Assessment is a wildly helpful tool in romantic relationships even though it's primarily framed as how we show up in work 😉

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