How do I get my needs met when my partner wants something different?
I often find myself asking the question: How do I get my needs met when my partner wants something different?
Option A: I fight for what I want to make sure it happens.
Option B: I abandon what I want for what they want.
Sound familiar? I’d grown up with option A & B as my models, and it typically led to steam rolling and disappointment.
A zero-sum game means I’m stuck in a fear response, and I can’t see the world of win-win’s available for exploration.
I’d dreamed of building a heart centered business that scales organically, while raising kids in tribal communities, being surrounded by regenerative farms and eating locally grown organic food.
While my husband Edmond dreams of traveling the world, going on the most epic hikes, building an institute, and he wasn’t sure if he wanted kids when we first started dating.
And yet, we’re discovering how to build alignment across seemingly conflicting desires.
We’re going on an adventure! I told Edmond as we got into the car.
I love initiating surprise excursions, and he enjoys coming along for the ride.
We arrived at our destination along a long gravel road leading us to a luscious jungle hillside in Tinamaste, Costa Rica.
We drove to the Fairy Farm - founded by Jean Pullen and Alan Cacao. She’d left a career in corporate finance in Seattle to travel all over the the country, and completely redesign her life to be in harmony with nature.
Alan Cacao, Jean Pullen, Candace Sauvé, Edmond Lau
It's not about sustainability anymore. It's about regeneration — Alan says to us as we explore the “food forrest” picking different varieties of greens, herbs, plantains and tomatoes.
A regenerative farm like this makes choices so that crops replenish the soil as they grow. They simulate patterns from nature to create a self-sustaining ecosystem with much healthier soil. Healthier soil means more nutrient rich foods and healthier humans.
They design holistic systems with a goal of creating “food sovereignty” — so they’re not dependent on the mainstream food supply chain / grocery stores.
And food sovereignty equals freedom (freedom is my #1 motivator).
I learned that I can increase my food sovereignty regardless of whether I become a farmer / grower through:
Buying from local farmers markets.
Shopping at co-op grocery stores.
Asking for locally sourced dishes at restaurants.
This lifestyle seemed like everything I cared about combined!
But I feared that it wasn’t realistic for me since it wasn’t what Edmond was focused on.
As we shared a homemade farm-to-table lunch, I shared one of my dreams.
I imagined living in a community surrounded by regenerative farms, raising kids who are in tune with the cycles of nature. We’d live in close proximity with people we consider family, who have a shared set of values we align on. We’d support each other emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. We’d show up for each other in times of need, heartache, struggle, pain, sickness. We’d amplify joy and celebrate wins.
As Edmond and I reflected on our adventure the next day, I felt my body tense as I shared how excited I felt. What if Edmond doesn’t want any of this? What if I have to give it all up?
I voiced my fear to him, and he leaned in with compassion.
Neither of us want each other to abandon our dreams.
So, we set a timer for each of us to share, and reflected what we heard until we both felt understood.
Our discovery conversation included asking each other:
What would you like?
What’s important to you about that?
What would having that do for you?
And what would having that do?
(inspired by NLP Marin)
As we co-design our lives like this we add a new strategy to my world view:
Option C: We explore the need beneath each of our desires, to design a win-win so both of our needs get met.
And using this approach, I can see where our dreams have intersection points.
It’s clear that we both want:
Teaching about intimacy, relationships and emotional intelligence — to remind people how important and loved they are.
Living multi-nationally, and traveling as our kids grow up with online holistic schooling.
Teaching our kids at a young age how to be in tune with themselves, nature, and people they meet.
Supporting local healthy organic food while contributing to a community that has a similar vision.
We’re building towards something exciting! And I’d love your help gathering others who have similar dreams by sharing this story.
P.S. Jean’s new book, Regenerate Your Reality (link) is launching March 11 2022, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the planting of three trees with each book sold. My order will be shipped to North Carolina waiting form me when I return home!
“The first step of regeneration begins with ourselves, and then it ripples out to our communities and circles—and beyond.” - Quote from Regenerate your reality