Get What You Want In Your Relationship with Alexandra Stockwell
“Learn not to be so objective and separated from the content.” - Alexandra Stockwell
We all enter a relationship with a certain amount of expectations. When those expectations are not met, disappointment occurs. When disappointment occurs, so does an increase in the number of failed relationships. Today, Shirley and Alexandra talk about how to get what you want in your relationship. They discuss how to have a conscious partnership as opposed to a passive-aggressive or contemptuous one. These two women are in sync with each other as they share a powerful message! Whether you are currently in a relationship or contemplating being in one in the future, this podcast is for you.
03:13 Attraction With One Another
09:15 Feminine Qualities In A Masculine Context
12:52 How To Get What You Want
15:50 What Is Conscious Partnership
19:18 Passive Aggressive Relationship
26:06 Cultural Awareness
33:44 Blueprint For Conscious Partnership
41:01 How To Push In A Positive Direction
05:33 “Learn not to be so objective and separated from the content.” - Alexandra Stockwell
07:43 “Live and breathe and emit this beautiful feminine radiance, without really asking anybody else to be like that too.” - Alexandra Stockwell
17:38 “Conscious partnership is one where both people learn to bring all of who they are to the relationship...learning to love all of yourself and all of your partner. To love and receive all of that.” - Alexandra Stockwell
41:16 “Take some time on a regular basis and consider what... do you really desire.”- Alexandra Stockwell
42:50 “To ask open-ended questions is one of the most amazing simplest ways to build more connection.” - Alexandra Stockwell
Connect With Alexandra:
Alexandra Stockwell is a Physician turned Relationship and Intimacy Expert, known as the Relationship Catalyst for over two decades, first as a doctor and then as a Relationship Coach. She's been guiding men and women to bring pleasure and purpose back into all aspects of life from the daily grind of running a household to successfully growing a business to creating ecstatic experiences in the bedroom. As a wife of 24 years and a mother of four, she believes the key to passion, fulfillment, intimacy, and success in a relationship isn't compromised, it's being unwilling to compromise. Because when people feel free to be themselves and know how to love and be loved for exactly who they are, relationships become juicy, nourishing and deeply satisfying. Alexandra helps build, connected and happy families are facilitating healing and transformation for couples.
Shirley Owens: My guest today is Alexandra Stockwell. She is a Physician turned Relationship and Intimacy Expert, known as The Relationship Catalyst. For over two decades, first as a doctor and then as a relationship coach, she has been guiding men and women to bring pleasure and purpose back into all aspects of life from the daily grind of running a household to successfully growing a business, to creating ecstatic experiences in the bedroom. As a wife of 24 years and a mother of four, she believes the key to passion, fulfillment, intimacy, and success in a relationship isn't compromised, it's being unwilling to compromise. Because when people feel free to be themselves and know how to love and be loved for exactly who they are, relationships become juicy, nourishing, and deeply satisfying. Alexandra helps build, connected and happy families through facilitating healing and transformation for couples. Welcome, Alexandra.
Alexandra Stockwell: Thank you so much, Shirley. I'm so excited for our conversation.
Shirley Owens: I am so excited. We met at a podcasting seminar, and I feel like we just like immediately connected, and I'm so excited for this conversation today. I didn't really prepare for it because I thought wherever it takes us, it's going to be beautiful.
Alexandra Stockwell: Okay. I really love that. And yeah, in terms of meeting, I felt like we were kindred spirits. Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables? Do you remember that expression?
Shirley Owens: Yeah, I am Shirley Ann and she's Anne Shirley, so of course.
Alexandra Stockwell: Of course you know. Okay, that's so great. Well, yeah, because the thing that just stuck out for me so much with kind of awe, and admiration, and intrigue, and curiosity is that you and I have such radically different stories and yet, even though our phrasing differs a little bit, I feel like you really came to the same conclusions and have the same message as I do, did and do, so it's really fun to talk directly.
Shirley Owens: Oh, my gosh, that's so true. I know we were like, I agree. Yes, I agree. Yes, I do that too. I do that too. And then getting to know the backgrounds were for sure, so different, yet so like, so this is going to be good. Like I don't even know where to start except we could talk about when we met and what attracted us to each other, and why we even decided we were going to have this conversation in the first place.
Alexandra Stockwell: That sounds really great. And I think it's important to consider why we were attracted to one another because there are appearances which matter, but mostly it's like what's the energy, what's the way you and I move through the world, and what's the energetic wake belief. Because I know for me, that was very relevant in my feeling drawn to you.
Shirley Owens: Awesome. And I would probably say who are we being in that situation that would have another person want to come and meet with us. So we met across a crowded room, we started talking, and I believe we even started talking before we pitched, because I know I didn't pitch until the very last day, and we had met the first day.
Alexandra Stockwell: Right.
Shirley Owens: So what I saw in you was this very well educated doctor, business woman, but then I saw this softness, and I really love feminine, I love women, I love that whole thing, but usually you don't put a powerful business woman, scientist, doctor in the same category as super sweet, feminine, willing, amazing relationship, that type of thing. So that's what really attracted me to you at first.
Alexandra Stockwell: I really love hearing that because I've been rewarded in my life for being direct, clear, and efficient. I mean, these are the qualities that are necessary as a physician. In fact, the other day, I was saying to someone something about how, except when we're with patients, it's really important to be quick, direct, efficient, no nonsense, and just keep going in order to be respected and get things done. So I really did learn how to do all that. And when I transitioned from being a physician to being a coach, one of the most important things for me was to learn not to be so objective and separated from the content I was speaking, and it was actually confronting and also kind of like it went really deep for me. It was one of the first coaching sessions I ever did, it was in my training program and someone gave me feedback like you just seem kind of aloof, and I was just shocked because I was always loved by my patients in the context of practicing medicine. I was very warm, and relatable, and connected, but I just feel so grateful for that because it really started a whole journey of integration that was healing for me that then has this result that you experienced.
“Learn not to be so objective and separated from the content.” - Alexandra Stockwell
Shirley Owens: Yeah, well, I'm married to a physician, and I would say that I have a lot of things that are different than him as far as like efficiency, and logistics, and that type of thing where I on the other hand are more like free to be you and me, fill your way through the world, that type of thing. So what would you want to have a conversation with me?
Alexandra Stockwell: Well, it's interesting because in some ways it's the exact opposite of what I described. First of all, well, it's not the exact opposite, and yeah, free to be you and me, but there's a way in which that can go all the way in the direction of somewhat chaotic, and unreliable, and I'm around it, and I didn't experience that with you at all. I experienced in a way that really is unique that you, I figured it was partly intentional and partly accidental, honestly, that you have learned to really nourish your feminine in a way that still feels, I want to say contained. By contained, I mean, instead of just oozing all over the place, it's like you live, and breathe, and emit this beautiful feminine radiance without really asking anybody else to be like that too, in order to communicate with you. And that's the thing that I really love that you didn't in any way dial down the truth of who you are without needing everyone else to communicate and be that way too in order for connection to happen. And I watched you with a lot of different people, none of whom have that quality that I've just described in you, and the conversations still worked because I think sometimes as women and feminine people, when we're in that energy, we need other people to talk that way to where we don't really understand them. And you're not like that at all. You're able to meet people where they are while being fully in your feminine radiance.
“Live and breathe and emit this beautiful feminine radiance, without really asking anybody else to be like that too.” - Alexandra Stockwell
Shirley Owens: That is so nice. I'm going to try not to cry on my podcast. I really appreciate that because a lot of what I teach, I didn't know how to put it into words, but I feel like everything is a relationship, and I really love like, I do love you, I am for me. But I also love accepting, and enjoying, and observing others in just being themselves. I really do love that, and so I appreciate that you said that. Thank you.
Alexandra Stockwell: Well, one of the things that intrigued me on hearing your story, particularly given the observation I just shared, I think in general that women tend to develop their feminine qualities with other women. And it sounds like maybe that's partly true, but from hearing your story and reading your book that you really developed your feminine qualities in a very masculine context. And that's something that I think is really powerful. It's obviously very effective. And I attribute that a little bit to your meeting people where they are while being in your soft and flowing feminine.
Shirley Owens: Wow. I really appreciate that. It is kind of interesting because I do think that masculinity has played a part in my life almost. I almost developed femininity in spite of other women in a weird way. And because listening to men, it's like I became something that they told me to become, but I was molded like a river molds, the mountain or whatever, just because of the path that I went through. I don't even know how to explain who I am. And that's kind of a funny thing because a lot of people are like you are just different than anything that I've ever met. So I don't even know what molded me. But I'm here and it's been a really crazy but awesome journey.
Alexandra Stockwell: I want to say that I think one quality that hasn't been named, but as part of what I find unique about you is that you have the feminine qualities, and a softness, and responsiveness, and your eyes are bright when you listen to someone, and you're not, I don't smell anything manipulative. And I think when people are deliberate in learning these skills or ways of being, there often is either intentional manipulation of other people like in order to be that way to accomplish something, like to get a date, or get a guy, or make a negotiation, or even if there isn't that kind of intention of using it to manipulate somebody else, it can feel manipulated if it doesn't quite feel authentic. And in your kind of just landing on being this way as the consequences of nature and nurture and how you've integrated your experiences, it really, I mean, you and I haven't interacted that much, but I observed very deeply, and I never had the sense that you were motivated in order to get something from someone. It's more like you're this way because that's who you are.
Shirley Owens: Isn't that crazy, since my podcast is Get What You Want?
Alexandra Stockwell: Tell me what you're thinking?
Shirley Owens: Well, this is what I'm thinking because when I wrote my book, and you and I, we just talked about how we wrote through the same book coach. When I wrote my book, my title, Get What You Want from Your Man is completely opposite of who I am. And so I kept saying, no, I don't want this to be my title. I don't want it to sound manipulative. I wanted to come from a place of loving and caring, and she just kept saying like, no, nobody's going to listen to somebody saying don't get what, get what you, whatever. How are you going to get what you want by being super nice and whatever. She just kept saying, no one's gonna listen to you. You have to be bold and you have to like put it out there like that. And so it's funny, you're like saying things that are just bringing up stuff with me, and now I've kind of owned this Get What You Want Guru title that I have, and Get What You Want with Shirley Podcast. And I think that on the outside, if people were to actually just judge a book by its cover, if you will, it isn't really anything about like I'll tell you how to get what you want. You do this, and this, and this, and this. You know what it's really about, and I learned this word after meeting you because it's what you're about, and this is like going to be the most perfect segue that I've ever done because it just actually is the best segue, and that is it's about Conscious Partnership.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yes.
Shirley Owens: That's how I get what I want, and I don't go into anything ever like, what do I want? And how am I going to get it? I've never gone into any relationship like that. It's like, how can I love? How can I serve? How am I showing up? Who am I being? Oh, yeah, I guess I just got something that I wanted, and I didn't even intentionally set out for that. Now there are things like I really would like to have that front parking space every time I drive up to a store. But honestly, who am I being? I'm waving and kind to the person who's fighting me for that parking space and they just submit and give it to me. And also it's who am I being? Who are we in the world? And when I read about Conscious Partnership, and what you're up to, and what we've talked about, I'm like, okay, so you have all these words that you put to who I am being, I should have you just explain me to the world, which I think you just did. I'd think this is the only podcast I've ever done where we just talked about me for the first 10 minutes, but I really appreciate it because you have this way of putting a perspective on me that actually really is what you are all about. So now I want to learn about you and your story, which is so different than mine, and how Conscious Partnership plays a part in that.
Alexandra Stockwell: Okay, I'll definitely be glad to share that. But let's go ahead if you don't mind, Shirley, and define Conscious Partnership.
Shirley Owens: Yeah, that's what I want.
Alexandra Stockwell: Okay. Because it's a little bit of a buzzword, and I think some people are more familiar with Conscious Uncoupling, I guess it was Gwyneth Paltrow and other people who did that. So they associate, okay, well, conscious partnership would be the opposite, but that's really not at all how I come to it. And I love the term conscious partnership because the conscious part is pointing to all the things that you already spoke about. Like how am I being? Who am I being? How do I show up in the world? And then what kind of actions do I take? Like that's what the conscious part points to. But I have a few ways of defining conscious partnership. The first one is a conscious partnership. A conscious partnership is a relationship where both people use the relationship as a vehicle for personal transformation.
Shirley Owens: Hmm. Oh, I love that so much.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yeah. Where the relationship really is, it's not the place where you get taken care of. Sure, you get taken care of, of course, but that's fundamental. The relationship really serves as the thing which sometimes invites and sometimes pushes you to grow and become more of who you are, become more conscious, so that's one definition. And then the other definition is that, I think of a conscious partnership as one where both people learn to bring all of who they are to the relationship, which means learning to love all of yourself, and all of your partner to love and receive all of that. And the consequence is that whatever arises is then used to build more connection. And I love to say because people don't take me quite at face value, and I mean, everything so sure. An amazing romantic weekend away, it contributes to building more connections. But your spouse leaving wet laundry in the washing machine also can be used to create more connection or have conflict, like literally socks, 30 socks left on the bathroom floor and the most exquisitely chosen gift. I mean, when I say everything, like literally everything, when you relate as conscious partners can be used to deepen connection.
“Conscious partnership is one where both people learn to bring all of who they are to the relationship...learning to love all of yourself and all of your partner. To love and receive all of that.” - Alexandra Stockwell
Shirley Owens: That is literally what I believe. I tell people, you can find evidence in whatever you want, right? You can find evidence that those dirty wet socks are the worst possible thing that that person could do, or you could just smile at them and shake your head and be like, Oh, my gosh, I love him so much.
Alexandra Stockwell: Well actually, yeah. We'll get to my story, but the way those dirty socks on the floor can lead to deeper connection. It can definitely be like, Oh, my gosh, I love him so much. That is so classic, my guy that he would, after all of this, he's just going to throw those dirty socks on the floor, and I just adore him for who he is. That's one way it can deepen connection for sure, but that's an easier way. I think a more difficult way is when my husband doesn't leave dirty socks on the floor, but I'm going to go with that, he does other things. But we'll use that example, if I say to him, when you leave your socks on the floor, and I want to just emphasize this has to be said vulnerably rather than critically, that's the key. That when you leave your socks on the floor, I feel unimportant and taken for granted because you know me, I love things to be orderly, especially in our bedroom. And when you do that, I just feel like I don't really matter to you. I know I do, but that's what happens when you put your socks on the floor like that.
Shirley Owens: Love it.
Alexandra Stockwell: And then he can say, Oh, I had no idea. Or Oh, really super advanced move is like, well, is that what you want it to mean for you? There are a lot that this really just opens up a whole world and in the end I can just feel so grateful that he left those darn socks on the floor because it absolutely led to deeper connection.
Shirley Owens: And sometimes they can do it for another. So this sounds like conversations that we have, like he doesn't leave his socks on before either, but there are other things. And I remember early on, we were just learning how to communicate, and we've always communicated because we both came up from a place where we were like, I was awake and he was becoming awake, where like, we started our relationship off like that. But I remember a time in the shower when there was like this ball of my hair rolled up and stuck to the side of the shower, so I go and sit on the toilet, I see this ball of my hair there and I kinda thought it was weird, but I didn't really think of anything of it. And then later he's like, did you not notice that I put all your hair on the side of the glass? That was my passive aggressive way of telling you that your hair was all over the shower. And it's kind of funny because, yeah, I may have said that day, Hey, why would you have done that when you like, could've you just put it in the toilet, but he was just learning how to communicate at that time and he was just like, I put it there so that you would see it. So they would say something, so I could tell you that your hair is all over the shower and it bugs me.
Alexandra Stockwell: I think my favorite part in that whole story is that he said, didn't you see it? Because it was my passive aggressive -- that is the hottest thing.
Shirley Owens: Right.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yes. Because we're always going to have various, I'll just say underdeveloped tendencies, we will always have that. But to own it--
Shirley Owens: Oh, yeah.
Alexandra Stockwell: --and actually say that was my, not in a mean way, but just like a straight forward or vulnerable way like that was my passive aggressive way of communicating, that instantly creates more connection because what's being said is the truth, and no one's trying to be something they're not.
Shirley Owens: And I'm just like, babe, that is so hot that you just own that. I just didn't know how to tell you without hurting your feelings so I thought like you would see that and be like, Oh, wow, that's a lot of hair. Maybe I should get out of the shower and then it would just be done. And of course now he would be like, Hey, babe, I've just noticed, is everything okay with your hair? It's just all over the shower or something. But I mean, we actually have these conversations, but what's so funny is that has created in me this, I know that it bothers him. So I consciously, if I take a shower, kind of look around and wash it down and make sure there's no hair there because I know that that would bother him.
Alexandra Stockwell: Totally, and again, because it's you and me talking, a super advanced play also is not to clean it up with that awareness. That's the arena that I just find really rich and fun to explore, not where you leave the hair in order to bug him, that's not what I'm talking about.
Shirley Owens: But in order to be like, Hey, so tell me more about why this bugs you.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yeah, I know not that you would necessarily say this, you might say it to yourself, I know that really bugs him, but that's his thing, he needs to work it through.
Shirley Owens: We have a lot of other situations where we've just been, I know this is just you so I'm just going to stand back and let you work it through.
Alexandra Stockwell: And there's no one way and the different issues, one can clean up the hair, or leave it, or say, Oh, I tend to clean it up, but I didn't get to, maybe that's a nicer thing for him. But with different issues, you can do it in different ways or the same issue, try different ways and that really is what makes a conscious partnership such a wonderful playground for adults.
Shirley Owens: I love this. This is the funnest conversation because you and I, this is our way of life, right?
Alexandra Stockwell: It is.
Shirley Owens: And I was driving kids to school this morning and they said to me, and these are my littles, which are Jeff's kids from a previous marriage, and she's definitely different than I am. And on the way to school today, we were in this deep conversation for our whole two miles, and they were asking me, or they were telling me it's weird because at one house we'll just not ask that many questions, but at our house asked so many questions, and so it's really makes us have to think about, why we're doing things, and how we're doing things. And what our reasons are for doing things. And she's just like, you guys just ask so many questions, but we're getting used to it, you know? And I feel like we are building consciousness with them where they are thinking about why am I doing this? Why am I saying this? Why am I angry? Why am I, what is behind that? And also learning that loving and accepting people where they're at, even though they're different than you can be really beautiful.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yes, exactly. And maybe that's a little bit of a segue to just give a very basic description of my story, which is that, when I was an intern, so during the orientation of becoming a resident, after I had finished medical schools, already an MD, and I was getting trained on the computer systems in the hospital and things like that, I did this training, which was a cultural sensitivity training. This was in 1999 so it wasn't, I mean, people had some awareness, but not as much awareness as people now have, being culturally considerate. And I did my residency training at a hospital where we had people from, Oh, I don't know, like 60 different countries who came for their healthcare. So it was really important to be an effective physician to have some understanding of other cultural norms. So I learned things like if you show the bottom of your shoe to people from certain Asian countries, it's equivalent to giving them the middle finger and things like that that I just wouldn't have known about.
And as part of the training, we needed to identify our own culture, our own tribe, because that creates a lens through which everything else would be experienced. And my family lineage is well-educated, spunky, fun, I don't know about fun, but like innovative, fiery New York Jews. And I expected that is where I would go in this training and learning about identifying characteristics of my own culture, but that's not what happened at all. When I went through the exercises, what I found is that actually my tribe, the people where when I hear, Oh, this is happened to you too, there's kinship, is children of divorce, and that I looked back at my life and at my relationships, and if someone's parents divorced when they were between the ages, let's say like five, and 12, or 15 that I immediately feel this heart connection and this common understanding in the way that I thought I would if I were to connect with the New York Jew, which I do, but this was much deeper in determining who I am. So having that awareness, I was already married, but I then understood, Oh, this is why in the first years of my marriage, and when my first and second children were born, I constantly had a running commentary in my head thinking, Oh, I really need to make a mental note so that when my daughter is older I can tell her what an involved father she had and how well we got along because there was a part of me that just knew this wasn't going to last forever. Even though there was another part of me that thought we would stay together because we loved one another and everything was going great. So that really is the most basic fundamental background context for why I now do the work that I do because I really needed, I was totally motivated to figure out how to have a fantastic nourishing, passionate relationship for the long haul. Not even because I think people should be married forever, but because I love my husband so much, and yet all of my conditioning told me that was impossible. So I really did my work to crack the code, and find the tools, and the ways of being so that I really trust what my husband and I have in terms of long term companionship and ever delightful passion. And then once I did that for myself, I of course was glad to share it with other people.
Shirley Owens: Wow. So we really do have such different stories, and it's like they've just brought us to this same place, because my parents were married for 49 and a half years, and then my mom passed, and in my mind I resonated with the kids who had parents that were married.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yes.
Shirley Owens: And never in my mind I was never going to have a divorce, it was the opposite. And I'm listening to you tell your story. I'm like, Oh, wait. Yeah, so completely opposite. Completely opposite. I woke up one day and realize that my parents were together that whole time, but they weren't necessarily happy, and they stayed together because they thought it was what they had to do, and I had to completely rock my family and the world of you stay married forever, and the church background of you stay married forever, and all the different conditioning that I had, I had to do it the opposite.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yes, I know. That's why I think it's so fun to add my, yeah.
Shirley Owens: Like we're a team, and then listeners beware, we may just be creating the most amazing retreat one of these days together. So you'd just be waiting for that because I know that we've talked about it, and wow, we have so much the same, and so much different.
Alexandra Stockwell: It means that there's such a spectrum to draw on and anybody who might be in the room when we do an in-person retreat together, one of us will have had an experience that relates.
Shirley Owens: Yeah, that's exciting to me.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yeah.
Shirley Owens: That just opens up a larger demographic and a bigger tribe, and I love that. Okay, so tell me, I know that, well, we heard what you thought about me, which I love, thank you so much for that. We've heard about you and how amazing you are, and your background, and your intelligence, and what you've done, what you've created. It sounds like you have an amazing partnership, coupleship, and marriage, and family, which I love. I know that the results of that shows up in our kids because I know that my kids are thriving even as adults in their own marriages, thriving from what I've been able to create, and I know that your kids are thriving from what you guys have created. So we've covered a bunch of different things, but I want to know what exactly you do. What all this expertise, and knowledge, and the relationship catalysts, what do you do? What is your program? How do you help couples? What is your approach to that?
Alexandra Stockwell: Yes, thank you. Well, what I really consider my contribution is the blueprint for Conscious Partnership, which includes both really individual's stories and also using a lot of very specific tools. And I guess the main thing that I want to say first in response to your question is that I absolutely think that being in a conscious partnership and having emotional intimacy and sexual passion, they are learnable skills. People often think they are totally learnable skills. So that's at the foundation of all of my work, and I assume yours as well. So I work with individuals and couples privately in very customized, deep, profound coaching. And I also have the Conscious Partnership Program where I work through learning how to have a really dynamic, juicy relationship, and it consists of online work, modules, and exercises that couples can do on their own. And there's also a group coaching component. And when I started doing this work, I wondered how that would be for couples to be in a group with other couples when it's pretty intimate private work. But I have found it to be so amazing because these are things you and I are talking about but most people are not talking about. And so it's really wonderful for couples to hear about other couples, and what they're learning, and what their struggles are. And every couple in there ends up at some point feeling really grateful to learn from others, and also really pleased that they don't have to deal with what other people deal with. And I really love the way the community is built there through having multiple couples doing both private work and coming together on a regular basis. And I'll add, because I'm really very proud of it, that I've written my first book, which is called Uncompromising Intimacy. And you and I spoke about the titles of the book so I took the marketing advice that you took for the subtitle, which is turn your unfulfilling marriage into a deeply satisfying, passionate partnership. But the main title is Uncompromising Intimacy because that's really what I'm devoted to.
Shirley Owens: Wow, I love it. It's such a huge part. It's such a huge part. And yeah, I think it's beautiful what you're doing. This is so fun. And I used to also think that group coaching would not be as effective as private coaching, but it's such a great way to go. I am in the middle right now of developing an online curriculum also, and I think that group coaching is a really integral part of that because we don't always think of everything either. We don't always think of what our problem is or how to put words to that. So when you hear other people going through it, you're not only feeling validated, but you also feel like, Oh, yeah, I get that. That is something that I didn't even think of. Do you feel like your clients do that?
Alexandra Stockwell: Absolutely. And I used to feel that one of my best qualities was being able to learn from other people's experiences. And in fact, I don't actually think that's so unique. So there's so much that can be learned and benefits. Also things are avoided by hearing what other couples are going through. It always brings perspective to your own relationship.
Shirley Owens: You're right. Well, there's two things that I talk about in all of my episodes and one is, do you have any regrets or something that you would do differently? I know those are kind of two different questions, but sometimes people will resonate with one more than the other. So one or the other, is there something that you would have done differently or that you regret if you were going back?
Alexandra Stockwell: It's a nice combination of questions. I don't have regrets, regret that feels heavy, and I don't really focus on this much, but I do sometimes wish that I had either inside myself or with a mentor found sooner how to honor myself above all else. Not to the detriment of anybody else, but, and I'm really not talking about having dishonored myself, but there are times when I did things because of how it would look to other people, or the should in my head about what one was supposed to do in this situation or that. And I feel so much more free in terms of, what kind of relationship we build? And how I parent? Whether my kids leave the house with rips in their clothes or not. And I mean, I guess that's trendy now, but there's a way in which I think I was a little bit, I was never a people pleaser in an obvious way, but in my head, I wanted people to be okay with what I was doing in a way that I wish I had learned to shed a little sooner.
Shirley Owens: Yeah, I think that's a super common thing that we have that we experience. And then the other thing is, what is one thing that you can leave our listeners with today that they can start today, and maybe it's unconscious partnership, whatever, or not being an unconscious partner, whatever, but from you, with everything that you know, what is one step that someone could take today that would push them in a positive direction?
Alexandra Stockwell: I want to do two, can I do two?
Shirley Owens: Oh, you can do five.
Alexandra Stockwell: One, if you're listening, one is for you and your relationship with yourself, and that is to take some time on a regular basis and consider what you desire, not what you should want, not what you need in order to have peace of mind, those are both like important to know, but I mean, what do you really desire? Because it takes courage to accept desires. And I'm talking about anything that just comes off the top of your head, I'm probably not talking about that. Something deeper because often, we are not an approval of our desires, and we don't get to choose what we desire. So to learn to make friends with your desire, it doesn't mean you need to go out and make it happen, but just to get to know yourself through knowing what your authentic desires are, that's one thing. And then the other in terms of partnership is that I actually outline six essential qualities for Conscious Partnership, and the first one, the starting point is to cultivate curiosity because especially if you've been with your partner for a while, it is very tempting to feel certain that you know who they are and you know what they would say if you ask them any particular question. And it is true that you know your partner well, but there is always more. We are evolving developing people. So to ask open ended questions is one of the most amazing, simplest ways to build more connections. And in fact, I dunno if you're familiar with the statistics, Shirley, but the majority of couples with children spend less than four minutes a day discussing anything besides logistics and kids. So cultivate curiosity it's like, ask your partner what they daydream about? Or when was the last time they told a white lie? Or if one thing in your life could be different, what would it be? Or what did you want to be when you were in kindergarten? If you already know, ask something else and be open to be surprised even when you know the person really well.
“Take some time on a regular basis and consider what... do you really desire.”- Alexandra Stockwell
“To ask open-ended questions is one of the most amazing simplest ways to build more connection.” - Alexandra Stockwell
Shirley Owens: I love that. Well, I have to say we could probably talk for six more hours.
Alexandra Stockwell: Yes, I agree.
Shirley Owens: I love everything that you're doing and saying, it makes me so happy to just know that there is someone else out there in the world that's fighting for couples, and fighting against the norm, and looking inward, and I do that, and I'm so glad that we finally connected or reconnected again.
Alexandra Stockwell: Me too, Shirley, and my favorite expression for that, 'we're sisters in the past.'
Shirley Owens: Oh, I love that. Okay, well, can you leave us with, I'd love for you to just, I know that there are listeners that resonated with you and would like to get in touch with you, so if you could tell us how to do that, that would be amazing.
Alexandra Stockwell: Okay, sure. So my website is alexandrastockwell.com, and if you're interested in my book, it's alexandrastockwell.com/book, and if there's anything that you heard that really resonated, I'd love for you to go to the contact page on my website and let's be in dialogue, I'm always interested in other people's experiences.
Shirley Owens: Awesome. I'm sure you'll get some feedback. Okay, well I'm so excited, I just can't wait to talk to you again. This was so fun, and I love that there are possibilities of us creating something together, and I'm so grateful that you've joined me.
Alexandra Stockwell: Thank you, Shirley, what a magnificent host you are.
Shirley Owens: Oh, what a magnificent guest you are. You are the best. Thanks so much, and thank you listeners. We love you all.