Resolve an argument with an iceberg
”If I can’t feel good, I might as well look good,” I said to Edmond as I smirked. I’d put on a little black dress and mascara for the first time in a long time, and sashayed my hips to playfully seduce him. And I have to admit, the beauty rituals did help my mood.
It was a welcome relief to feel playful again after the 24 hours we’d had.
Yesterday as we landed in Stockholm, Sweden for the Angsbäcka Tantra Festival, I felt things falling apart within me.
It’d been fifteen months since packing our bags to leave San Francisco. Throughout the journey we’d logged thousands of hours learning the art of alignment as romantic partners, business partners, and travel partners.
As we talked about yet another complex logistical thing, in a tired and low-resourced state, all the relational tools we’d learned went out the window. Emotions were high, and our communication was wobbly.
One of us halted the conversation by calling an “iceberg” — a hack we used to pause the conversation and step away for some solo time when things got too heated. The process goes like this:
Say “iceberg” to pause the conversation.
Set a timer (5-10 min).
Communicate that you’ll return to the conversation when the timer is up.
Close your eyes while the timer is on, and feel the sensations on the inside of your body.
Start the conversation with a blank slate.
They say breakthrough comes after breakdown — and during my time alone, I began to see more clearly.
None of the content mattered.
None of the stories mattered.
All that mattered was that I needed to feel the pain underneath.
I let go of trying to understand why I felt upset, and instead just felt what was happening inside of me.
I laid my head on Edmond’s chest, crying as we repaired the next morning.
I shared the pain while looking into his eyes.
As the tears came out, so did the realizations.
I missed having a place to call home.
I was grieving this chapter of nomad life ending, knowing that we'd look back with appreciation when we're older.
I felt exhausted from pouring 90% of my energy into what country to go to, how long to be there, how to get there, what to prioritize, where to eat, how to sleep, and the list went on.
I felt heartbroken that my creative energy had been drained by travel logistics and organizing the basic necessities for life.
By sharing the raw pain, I could come back into connection with myself and with him again.
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