How to Love

by Alan Waugh, Sacred Valley Spiritual Retreat

This powerful sculpture entitled ‘LOVE’ and otherwise known as ‘Inner Child’ evokes the innocent child within us wanting to reach out and connect with the innocent, inner child within our partner.

It is symbolic of the deep yearning within us to connect with the core essence of our mate, despite the challenges and conflict that are so prevalent in miscommunication through projection or unrealized expectations.

It is a beautiful homage to that which lies within our own divine essence that is at its core our innate nature, wishing to touch the innate nature of our partner and ultimately all beings.

How many times have you had conflict with your partner, felt hurt, not seen nor heard, validated nor acknowledged? In those moments, have you wished to make it all right, forgive and let go of what appears to be so inconsequential or petty and yet has triggered you so strongly? In those times have you then turned away from your partner in anger and fear where you are pushed into a place of distrust or of not feeling safe?

How many times in those painful moments have you accepted responsibility for the miscommunication or even non- communication of your feelings or reactions before you quickly moved into the fight or flight mode, just wanting to get away, hide or even smash something? Probably not too many!

The sculpture ‘LOVE’ could also have been presented in a different way, in that it is really the Inner Child that is turning away, with the ‘parenting couple’ facing each other. Appropriately rigid and tense in their metallic form, they put an energetic guard, not just around their outer body but ultimately around their hearts, like a suit of armor to protect from all the perceived energetic and emotional arrows being shot at them via ill-placed words, actions or even critical looks.

It is the child within our sub-conscious self that that holds all the woundings and conditioning manifesting in our adult self that gets triggered and sends the message that we are in a place of conflict/ fear/un-safety.

Why would you respond with such a strong reaction with something that could be as petty as your partner saying that they are going out for a drink with their friends? Ultimately your partner just wants to go out with friends. But maybe your inner child is tapping into deep feelings of abandonment that happened as you were taken straight from birth to an incubator?

Or maybe because your Father left the family house when you were two? It is the deeply held unresolved memory of past experiences that hold most of the emotional/ mental or physical triggers for you that caused the present day reaction and not the fact that your partner was planning on abandoning you? Or maybe it is a past memory that somehow you believed that you are not good enough? So your partner going out without inviting you, triggers this inner belief or conditioned response that sends a wave of deep cellular patterning to create the re-action that your body/mind still believes?

Another term for this inner child within each of this is the Shadow Self. The very fact that they are referred to as ‘Shadows’ invokes the belief that they somehow are to be feared because they lie in wait for us hidden in the dark: unseen, unacknowledged nor cared for.

How can we be in Sacred/Conscious relationship unless we take care of all that is held within our sub-conscious experience that holds the limiting beliefs about ourselves, that we project onto the world outside ourselves?

Maybe you have more or less managed to create a safe container within your epidermal layer, that as long as you can live the life you believe to be authentically you, you can live a life of a form of inner peace. But what happens if one or some of those past traumatic or limiting beliefs get triggered by something that someone outside of yourself says or does, that seems like a hurtful gesture or action?

Guess what, that wounding that holds a personality with an associated inner voice kicks you and says “See, you’re not good enough! You will never be able to do that! You’re not pretty enough, they are going to leave you!”

So then what you do is push the responsibility for your pain or neurotic response onto the person that you feel caused that inner feeling of discomfort. “It’s their fault I feel that way!”

So in relationship work with another, the only way to release projections or blame on the ‘other’ is to accept accountability for the source of that blame. Yes, its good to learn communication processes through couples counseling and to better understand what hurts or displease your partner. But unless you learn to develop a better more loving, supportive and nurturing relationship with yourself, to yourself, nothing ultimately will change at the core.

Here at The Sacred Valley Spiritual Retreat, our skill-full facilitators help you gain incite into the originating cause of your triggers and conditioning and through a variety of powerful and transformative techniques, help you love that wounded child within you, that is the source of all love and help bring it out from the shadows.

This is the path of self mastery that the sages and gurus from ancient times teach as the path to inner peace. Maybe now, see the illuminated child in the above photo as an illumination of your heart center.

Look at it.

It is only through shining light into yourself that you can illuminate your capacity to fully love.

Big Love.

Sculpture By Ukrainian Artist Alexander Milov for 2015 Burning Ma Installation

Photo by Claude Piché on Unsplash

Bring courage, connection + intimacy back to your family

Is it hard for you to let go of your children as they leave for college?

Do you have fear or trust issues when it comes to them making their own decisions and being independent?

Would you like to re-connect to your children now that they are away from home?

Feel a sense of loss or nostalgia about your newly adult children?


This is a story of how we guided courage, connection and intimacy back into a family relationship in just one weekend at our center, Sacred Valley Spiritual Retreat in Mount Shasta.

We had a mother and daughter couples retreat recently, and their main objective was re-connection after the daughter left for college and mom was feeling the empty nest.

The mother was feeling disconnected to her daughter. The mom was very active in her daughter’s education and social life all through school as an educator and teacher.

The two were very close, but the daughter was feeling like she really needed the space to be on her own to make her own choices without mom’s influence. She felt her mom was overbearing and was pressuring her to make certain decisions she was not ready to make.

It’s hard as a mother to see your child break away, disconnect and let go. As a mother you may have fear that something will happen to them, that they may make painful choices and for this mom, she didn’t fully trust life to take care of them because she felt that was her job.

What happened for this mom that as her daughter left home, her own issues began to surface. She spent a lifetime avoiding her own pain and living to protect her children from the pain she experienced. We call that the rescuer ego addiction – feeling you need to ‘save or fix’ everyone and everything, which is a result of your own fear and needing to control life. Not only does it overstep personal boundaries and responsibility, but it enables others and takes their power away. And for the person rescuing it creates resentments and a disconnection to their own being.

This mom was now at a crossroads to figure out why she was so unhappy in her life and was looking to fill the void with rescuing and co-dependency with her daughter.

Her daughter felt her mom as a person who was very unsafe in her own body and subsequently felt very unsafe as well in the world. Not only did the mom not trust life, people or herself as a result of a traumatizing childhood, her daughter made every effort to find safety in being strong and doing activities like Karate for example to feel safe. In the end, she took on mom’s patterns and is also mistrusting of life.

This pattern does not help the daughter feel independent and confident in college. It is hard for her to trust her own choices, which she knows she needs to do.

Our work with this relationship was to identify for each of them why they felt unsafe in the world, where in the body this resides and what emotions were present.

We were able to identify the originating events in wherein lay the belief systems and emotional hooks that were causing them to have their current stories and the subsequent behaviors that they are operating from in their lives.

We created a very safe and loving container to begin the process of releasing these past traumas and shifting their perspective through powerful coaching dyad processes, honest communication and powerful modalities such as breathwork, guided imagery, meditation, yoga, hypnotherapy, Shamanic Reiki healing, and sound therapy.

The shift in perspective in hearing the “full story”, speaking their true feelings and needs was so powerful for both of them. Some of the most poignant was the guided imagery that helped them to “see” things differently in their own minds.

They felt so much lighter, connected and empowered as they left the center. They expressed that they felt they had really positive tools that they could implement in their lives and emotional honesty and intelligence that will help them to stay connected and grow.

If you are needing ways to re-connect or see yourself in this example, please reach out and set up a phone consultation with us, we’d love to help you reach success in your personal development and business endeavors.

Bringing you home to your heart!

Nicole + Alan