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TMHS 397: 10 Tips For Deeper Love And More Connection

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” – Sophocles

There’s no bigger influence on your well-being and success than the health of your relationships. This time of year is all about showing affection through chocolate and flowers, but if you actually want to create a deeper connection in your relationship, it’s going to require more effort and growth.

On this Masterclass episode, you’re going to hear 10 specific strategies you can utilize to help deepen your relationships and create stronger connections. This episode contains tips on how to make your relationship a study, the importance of prioritizing apologies and forgiveness, and what it takes to build a lasting relationship.

You’re also going to learn about different types of love, how to strike the perfect balance of helping your partner grow, and how to encourage a deeper connection. I hope you’ll take these strategies to heart and implement them year-round. So click play, listen intently, and enjoy! 

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The 7 types of love according to the Ancient Greeks.
  • How to support your partner’s mental and physical health.
  • Why sleep deprivation and hunger can make it harder for us to connect.
  • How love is like a Venn diagram.
  • The importance of showing your partner love and appreciation even when you disagree.
  • Why you should schedule one-on-one time with your significant other.
  • The one question you should ask yourself during a conflict. 
  • Why forgiveness is a holistic process.
  • The two main definitions of authenticity. 
  • How a romantic relationship is like a basketball team.
  • Why you should set goals together in your relationship.
  • The significance of cultivating a feeling of safety in your relationships.
  • Why you should study your partner.
  • How to please your partner (in more than just a sexual way!)
  • Why friendship should be a key component of a romantic relationship.


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Transcript:

Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for your tuning in with me today. It is that time of year again, it's Valentine's Day, it's that time where there's more love in the air, and I know you might be like, "Well, I'm not a part of that system, I'm not a conformist. I'm not buying into this socially constructed holiday to buy chocolate for somebody that I love and flowers and all that stuff." But the reality is this is a nice uptick and a focus on our significant other. So we're just going to run with it today. But instead of giving our partners some of those chalky candy hearts that can also sub as antacids, we're going to focus on delivering more love, deeper connection. And also for ourselves because we benefit from that, too. And so today we're providing a real powerful master class with 10 tips, 10 specific strategies to create deeper love and more connection. Now to kick things off, I really think it's important to understand that in our culture we have a very interesting perspective about love. When we think about love, we tend to think about the romantic version of that love, we tend to think about the Jerry Maguire version of love, that "You complete me," love.

 

 

Or we think about the Notebook love. When he said, "All I want is you forever, you and me every day." Or Love Jones, alright? I don't know if you're familiar with Love Jones, that kind of romantic love, when he said, "Let me tell you something, this here right now at this very moment is all that matters to me. I love you and that's urgent like a mother... "Whatever kind of love we think about, we tend to think about that romantic love. The thing that we see in the movies, the thing that we see in these romantic novels, the Fabio on the horseback, alright? But love is far more complex than that. And in fact, if you look at the ancient Greek definition of love, there's actually at least seven different types of love that they defined very accurately, because love is not just one thing. So let's go through a few of those really quickly. And again the ancient Greeks denoted that there are different types of love. And the first one that they talk about is called Philia. It was a love that was determined to be called Philia.

Now, philia is the type of love that's fostered in friendship. It's connected to friendship and goodwill. And this is one version of love. It's different from the romantic love which we'll get to what they define that as in just a moment. So that's one type is philia. Philia, which is friendship, shared goodwill. Another type of love they denoted was called Storge, alright, Storge. And this is the familial love, the love that you would share within this construct of a family. So it's based on familiarity, it's based on dependency, it's that construct of family. This might be seen with... Is between a father and son or an aunt and a nephew. So that's Storge. So that's a different type of love. And then to take it further, they defined Eros. So eros is the passionate, even erotic love, which is most akin to our modern definition of romantic love, and what we, again, what we kind of strive for, and the thing that we focus on when we think about love. And in fact, the Greek mythology, this type of love was actually a form of madness that was brought about by Cupid's arrows hitting you, alright, so it's like you're going insane with this passionate love for this person. Cupid got you. Cupid doesn't lie.

 

 

So that's another type of love. So, that's eros. It's what we tend to think about when we think about love, we think about a romantic love. Then we have Agape. Agape is more of an overriding, unconditional, expansive type of love. It's akin to a universal type of love, a love for humanity, a love for the world around us. It's also largely linked to altruism. Altruism, which is being able to love somebody and to have compassion even though you might not know them, to do good for other people. And this is considered to be in the Greek construct a real... The highest form of love potentially, is agape. Then we have a Philautia, alright, Philautia, this is a self-love. So this is a love directed inward. And this can be, just like when we think about self-love, this can be healthy or this can be unhealthy. This can be a healthy sense of self-confidence and self-respect and self-appreciation, or it can be a form of deep conceit and a focus on oneself exclusively or narcissism, or what we tend to think about when we see somebody and we think they're full of themselves, right? 

 

Now, again, a healthy sense of self-confidence might even emit or radiate that experience for some people that might be repelled or even feeling threatened by somebody loving themselves. So it's still going to be based on somebody's perception but it's your awareness within yourself that, I have a healthy sense of self-love and it doesn't mean that I'm more important than other people, but I matter and I have to take care of me. And being aware that we're not teetering into the place where we become self-consumed, if that makes sense. Alright, so that's another category of love that they defined. Another one is Ludus, alright, Ludus, and this is more of a playful, flirtatious, non-committed love, an uncommitted type of love that can be displayed again kind of to a lot of people. This isn't a kind of focus love, this is a playful type of love. And another one that they defined is Pragma, Pragma. And this is a kind of practical love.

This is practical love based on reason or duty and it's in the long-term interest of a person. So this is being reasonable. Now when you get hit with the madness from Cupid's arrow, the reason is on the other end of the spectrum. And the beautiful part is this passionate beautiful love that we tend to think about, the romantic love, can also have the pragmatic construct using reason, using a belief system constructed to keep this love supported and having a sense of duty and purpose within that relationship in a long-term investment, a long-term experience of happiness. Romance, but also service to another person. And so love is complex. That's the point that I really want to get across.

And we're talking about deeper love, we're moving beyond just that facade of a passionate love because that passion can run out, if we're not paying attention to these other forms of love. And so today, I wanted to really do a master class on what are some specific things that we can do, implement in our relationships, whether you're in a relationship right now, or you envision yourself having a wonderful relationship or you want to take your relationship to another level. Or you want to ensure, create an insurance against the storms that come within a relationship. These tools and strategies, these insights are going to help to deepen your relationship and create more connection. So I'm really, really excited about this. And I also want to share with you something really sweet, truly sweet that I have fallen in love with. Actually, I've been in love for quite some time, but it's been renewed because of some of this new data and this new experience that I've had the opportunity to have. And listen to this, it was a study published in BioMed Research International, found that raw honey, specifically raw honey, has the ability to protect the heart from oxidative stress.

 

When we think about love, we attribute it to being something that's admitted from our heart. And protecting our heart is obviously critical today with heart disease being still the number one cause of death in our modern culture. And so raw honey has been found to have the ability to protect the heart from oxidative stress kind of accelerated aging of your heart. Another study published in evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine demonstrated that raw honey can support serotonin activity in the body. So serotonin is kind of a feel good neurotransmitter. Life is pretty sweet when serotonin is able to do it's thing appropriately in our body. So raw honey helps support that system, that activity in the body. Also raw honey is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and also has immunomodulating properties. So oftentimes, we talk about how medicinal mushrooms are so powerful being natural immunomodulators where they're not pushing your immune system in one direction like pharmaceutical drugs tend to do when we're dealing with something.

 

If your immune system needs to get pushed up, if you're dealing with an infection or trying to fight off, fend off a pathogen or a cold or something like that, we want our immune system to come up, but we don't want it running too hot and creating autoimmunity when it's not appropriate. So honey is one of those other things, very, very few things that we know about that we ever discovered that has the ability to help to modulate your immune system. And so just with that in mind, I also wanted to share this, if you're feeling under the weather, there is a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. This is the gold standard of studies that found that raw honey, the consumption of raw honey was able to outperform a placebo and significantly reduce cough frequency and severity at night and improve overall sleep quality. It's kind of this traditional treatment when we're talking about honey, but the science has shown, wow, it does have some really interesting impacts on helping to support our immune system.

Now let's be clear, I've said this several times, raw honey, not the heavily processed honey bear, whatever that we grew up with. I'm talking about raw honey. Now just to be clear, when we're talking about raw honey, a big important thing because it's not processed so we want to make sure that we're getting honey that's curated in a way that's avoiding a lot of the contaminants that so many different products out there are exposed to. And the honey that I use now, that has rekindled my passion, my love of honey is one of my favorite things. And the first thing is that this company is focused on sustainable beekeeping. You're probably well aware that bees are important for so many other crops, so many of their foods that we would actually lose the ability to cultivate like almonds for example, if we don't have the support of these amazing bees. So sustainable beekeeping, number one. Also they're committed to third-party testing, they test for over 70 different pesticides, herbicides that find their way into conventional bee products.

These include some of the most pervasive offenders like DDT. And they also test for a wide variety of toxins in the bee products like arsenic, lead, mercury, bacteria like E. Coli and salmonella. So they're making sure that these things are not finding their way into your high quality raw honey. And also things like yeast and molds, things that should not be there in your medicine because honey, as Hippocrates said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Honey is one of those foods that truly is a medicine. It's one of the most nutritious foods, it's loaded with antioxidants and enzymes. We mentioned the antioxidant capacity a little bit earlier, but the polyphenols that are found in honey have a really powerful impact on helping to reduce reactive oxygen species that create accelerated aging of ourselves. And so the honey that I'm talking about, the bee products that I'm talking about comes from Beekeeper's Naturals. This is the very best honey and bee products I've ever had. I'm a huge fan also of bee pollen and I haven't had it for years because of my concern about contaminants and now I've rekindled that experience because bee pollen, I don't know if you know this but this has just about every nutrient we can name.

 

I mean, talking from vitamins and minerals, just about all known amino acids are in there as well, and it's a great source of B vitamins, the list goes on and on, it truly is a real superfood. And so they've got a wonderful curated high quality bee pollen as well. Their propolis product that's incredible for supporting your immune system, the royal jelly, the high quality royal jelly that's in there. Bee Elixir is something you're going to want to check out as well for the cognitive benefits. But again, I'm just in love with Beekeeper's Naturals right now, and you, right now can get a special discount, 15% off all of their products if you go to beekeepersnaturals.com/model, beekeepersnaturals.com/model, you get 15% off everything they carry. I highly recommend getting their superfood honey. So it's not just the raw honey, it also has propolis in there, some bee pollen in there, it's just really awesome. Again, rekindled my love of honey, and it's just bringing some sweetness into your life, this is a great adjunct. You need to have this in your superhero utility belt, wonderful, wonderful products, wonderful benefits, and they do stuff the right way. So beekeepersnaturals.com/model for 15% off, and now let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.

 

iTunes Review: Another five-star review titled “Congrats on the Evolving Success” by bmssmith15: “Since 2017 the Model Health Show has been evolving its content and platform to further evolve their listeners! I feel so privileged to have known about this show over the last 4 years. Thank you Shawn & your team for pouring into this show and keeping the momentum in giving us challenging, inspiring, and knowledge-filled episodes. The amount of discipline that's been added to my life is partially due to this show & I am forever grateful. Please continue this great work for as long as you possibly can and we will do our part in sharing it all over the world!”

Shawn Stevenson: Wow! That makes me so happy, thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcast. That, wow! That's really really powerful. And listen, if you've yet to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast and leave a review for the show, I appreciate it so very much. And if you're hanging out in the studio with me on YouTube, make sure to leave a comment, let me know what you thought about the episode. So on that note, let's get to our topic of the day. Today we're diving into 10 tips for deeper love and more connection. Now these aren't in any specific order, but we're going to start right at the top here, and the number one tip for creating a deeper love and more connection with the special person in your life, or that soon to be special person, is number one, to support their mental and physical health. Now a lot of us don't tend to realize that our ability to actually connect is largely dependent upon our biology, meaning when we don't feel good, it's a natural side effect to reduce our ability to have compassion, connection, to have interests in other things, not that we can't, it's just harder.

 

And so when we feel good, it naturally provides an opportunity to connect at a deeper level. So focusing on improving the physical, and mental, and emotional health of our significant other naturally creates the opportunity for us to have deeper connection. And so I want to highlight a few things that you might have been exposed to in your relationship thus far. Now I got a question, have you ever met your significant other, your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, have you met their hangry representative? Have you actually come in contact with that person? I have and that person can be a little bit hard to deal with. And the same thing for ourselves and we talked about this on a recent episode with Sarah Fragoso and talking about this concept of hanger that is actually now noted in the science. How our blood sugar dysregulation and this concept of being hangry with the increase in cortisol, it just basically puts our brain and our biology in a place where we are more likely to be irritable, where we're hypersensitive to stress.

And so this is a natural thing when we're malnutritioned, when our blood sugar is off, for us to be a little bit more irritated, which that little irritation can lead into bigger irritations. So that's one of the things to be aware of with your significant other. Do you make sure that they get their snackies? Are you're making sure that they're well-nourished, because this is something that you can help to assist with. This isn't something that is totally dependent on them because life happens, people get distracted, and if you want to connect, make sure that they feel good, make sure that they're getting some nourishing food in their bodies, present it to them, encourage them, take them places, do things, small things... If my wife is sitting there working, I'll just bring her water, I'll bring her our special coffee that I make for her, I'll bring her things to snack on, because my wife tends to start working, and she does not eat when she's focused on... And she has that mindset of like, "I'll eat when I get finished," And so I do my part, I'll bring her supplements that she might need.

 

She hasn't historically been that great about doing those type of things, so I know that and I'm well aware of that, and I want her to feel good. So I do a little bit extra to make sure that she's nourished, and she does the same thing for me as well. Funny enough, and this is one of interesting things about relationships is that, sometimes we can do things for other people that we don't do for ourselves. And so that's one thing to keep in mind. Also, sleep quality, making sure that your partner is well-rested. A study published in social psychology and personality science revealed two interesting things about people in relationships. Number one, they found that couples... And they did this within the construct of actually being in a controlled environment where they can actually monitor them, and couples having the ability to work through issues.

They found that there was a radical increase in their irritation and a decrease in their ability to problem-solve conflicts when one are both of the people in the relationship are sleep-deprived. This isn't just imaginary. When you're tired, it's harder to work through things, it's more difficult. What they found in the study was that it was more difficult to take the other person's perspective, to perspective take to, "put yourself in somebody else's shoes." It's a natural thing that's a result of our biology suffering. Because we move from the executive function, our more evolved prefrontal cortex, that part of the brain after even a short sleep debt, glucose reaching that part of the brain can drop by about 14%. So that part of your brain is starving. It's starting to "go cold", go to sleep, literally sleep mode, because we're sleepy. And other parts of the brain start to take over. You can get what we call an amygdala hijack, more reactionary, more hypersensitive to stress part of the brain can take over and it makes you a different version of yourself.

 

So this isn't that the person or that we are broken, it's simply we just don't have our biological needs met. So that's one thing they found. And they also discovered that... And this is a part of the romance aspect, the Eros, passionate aspect of love that specifically women in relationships, when they are sleep-deprived, even one night of sleep deprivation, there was a significant decrease in their sexual desires. That goes down. So me being aware of this data, guess what I'm doing? Babe, let me help you get your sleep, whatever it takes. I make sure that she is well-rested. And so this is something to keep in the back of our minds when we're in conflict or we're wanting to have important conversations, maybe work through issues. Are we nourished, are we well-rested? And just on a daily basis, as much as we can, we want to create a deeper love and more connection helping our partners to have their biological needs met, so emotionally, mentally, physically.

And with that said, there was a great example recently in the interview we did with Super Bowl Champion, Steve Weatherford. Steve has five children and he has a loving relationship, and he knows that the responsibility can weigh heavy on his wife, with taking care of those five amazing kids. He has four girls and one boy. And so, what he is put into strategy and structure is giving his wife time off, where literally like, "Go check yourself into a hotel, pamper yourself. I'm going to hold the fort down." I thought that was a fantastic idea. And it's something that's mirrored in many of the great relationships that I see in the people in my life, when they have children. Because even though you might have your routine and get in bed, kids can throw those curve balls. So if you're literally checked out, and you're having some time to recover, to rest and recover, and there's a statement that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and so for me, I love my wife and I just love being around her, and so I would be selfish, I wouldn't want her to go. "No, don't go with your friends, I'm your friend."

 

But now I'm like very vigilant and like, "Please, go get that time." And women do oxytocin very well. When they're with each other producing that oxytocin, which just creates this feeling of love that invites more of that agape, like that expanded love, that doesn't just... Is not just nurture from there, but expanded over to me as well. So keep that in mind, if you can implement that somewhere in your relationship to help your partner to have some time off, to just disconnect. And that's going to help to rejuvenate things and create deeper connection in relationships. Also this can be put in this category as well, which is helping them to grow. So when I talked about this particular one of supporting their mental and physical health, helping them to grow by creating conditions or even a culture within your household or within your relationship of growth. And so this could be having your own little book club together or listening to podcasts together, you could be separate but together, watching certain things together, taking courses together, this could be simply having conversations about growth and coming together.

 

And we'll talk more about this as we go on, but what I want you to be aware of is not forcing this upon your partner. Because oftentimes we're going to have outside influences that can spark ideas and change an inspiration with us and our partner might not be present, and so it's just like, "You going to read this book," or "You going to come to this event," and she's just like, "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, what? I'm good." We can present things in a way that our partners can take offense, like, there's something that they're not doing. So we need to do this in an elegant way, a patient way, a kind way, and you know what that... Well, you have to learn what that is within your relationship. Oh , if you feel like you are on a mission of growth and expansion, and you're growing, determining is this relationship that you're in, is this the person that you want to be with? 

And just being very clear on that answer. If so, then we need to have patience and compassion and understanding to invite them along with us. Or also to understand that people can grow in different domains in their life, but still be moving together on that same path, if that makes sense. You're going together on the same path, the same mission as a family or a couple, but you could branch out and have different experiences, and that's okay. And you can bring those things back in different versions. It might not be the person getting that specific thing that you had, but this could be something that creates more health and wellness that you then are able to devote more time and energy into them.

So, this is a complex thing, this is something that would take an entire episode or more just to detail how to approach these things of growth. But I just want to plant this seed. Helping your significant other to grow because sometimes we put that on the back burner, and then we get mad later, when the person isn't growing or you feel like they're stuck and you're trying to grow. This is something we need to consciously proactively implement in our relationships. So that's number one here. 10 tips for deeper love and more connection. We're going to move on to number two. Now, this one was sparked and put on my list due to a recent conversation with Dr. Daniel Amen. And he said this, and it was like, yes, it really hit me. He said if you want to encourage more love and connection in your relationship, do something for someone that your significant other loves.

Do something for someone that they love. Now, the reason that this is so powerful. So this could be doing something for their father or their mother or maybe they have children, prior to you meeting or maybe there's somebody that's a special person at their job, their best friend, doing things for someone they love leads to more love, and deeper connection in your relationship. If you want to think about love, like a Venn diagram, the Venn diagram has these different circles that have an intersection, so your partner might have a circle of love for their mother and a circle of love for you. Maybe it's the big circle, it's a bigger circle, Venn diagram doesn't have to be equal and it doesn't have to have an equal intersection by the way, just a heads up.

Maybe there's a circle for their brother and maybe there's a circle for their pet, maybe they're... Prior to meeting you, they were a cat lady and this is just their jam. So you got Puss in Boots is in a circle over here. And so, doing things for people or animals that they love, that intersection of love, it grows, it makes that color more radiant where those intersections meet and it bleeds over into your circle, if that makes sense, it helps your circle to expand in that intersection, makes everything stronger. It's kind of like a connective tissue.

It's like they really love me, because they don't just love me, they love the people that I love. So I hope that makes sense. So there's so many different examples but it's going to be situation-dependent, it's going to be person-dependent on who you should open yourself up to extend that love in their lives, and reach out to maybe it's a parent, maybe it's a sibling, maybe it's children, maybe it's co-worker's best friend, but do something for somebody that they love. Whether they realize it or not, that just strengthens that connection, it deepens your love, because they know that your love for them is extended and it's bigger than just that hyper focus on the individual, it's loving who they love.

Very, very powerful stuff. So let's just move on to number three here, on our 10 tips for deeper love and more connection. Number three is to show them that you love them even when you're not getting along, even when you're not getting along, this is difficult. This takes some Jedi-level training for this one. So this isn't something that I expect you to just be able to do because it's very difficult for me, but it's easy to love someone, when things are going good, it's easy to love someone when they're doing the things that you want them to do, but the reality is people are not always going to do the things that you want them to do and you're going to have ebbs and flows, you're going to have conflicts because if you're close to somebody by the very nature of them having their own brain, their own physiology, their own goals and mission in life, their own driving forces, there's going to be conflicts, but it's how willing are you to love them even when you're not getting along? 

It's like there's memes for this like, I'm sorry for what I said to you when I was hangry, I mentioned Puss in Boots earlier but the little cat eyes, when maybe you're in a conflict with your significant other, but you still bring her food. And she might be trying to pout, but just that little extension of love can help to diffuse the situation and also just creates that feeling that even when things are not going great, or we're in a conflict, I still love you. It's so important, and we have... This goes back to the love languages. So you going to keep that in mind, too, The Five Love Languages. If you haven't read that book, it's a mandatory read if you're in a relationship, but what is their love language? So maybe even though you're in a conflict, you actually say the words, no matter what's going on right now, I still love you.

But that might not land if their love language isn't words of affirmation, maybe their love language is acts of service. So even though we're in a conflict, I still... I'm taking care of you, making your meal. I gave that example as well, maybe it's their love language is gifts. So even though I'm mad, that was really helpful one time, my wife doesn't believe... Her list as far as the love languages, gifts are a little bit lower maybe it's a second or third. But I remember being in conflict and then I brought her some flowers, it really threw her off, like wow. And it helped to diffuse, it's just like I thought about you and I went and bought a representation. But for some people, that might not be, it might be like whatever, stupid flowers, whatever.

So it's just keeping in mind what is their love language, and in conflict, still letting them know you love them through their love language. So I hope that makes sense. Super important. This creates a much deeper relationship, much deeper connection, more love. When in conflict still letting them know that you are on the same team, you're not trying to get traded. Okay, let's move on to number four. And more important than any other time in human history is number four, as relevant, and this is to schedule one-on-one time. We've got so many different things going on, so many responsibilities, so many distractions. Everybody has to be all things, FOMO is an all-time high, fear of missing out.

You have to schedule it, you have to put it on the calendar if it's two weeks out from now, a month from now, but I recommend doing it each month, having that date scheduled. At least, especially if you're in the construct of a family, because if you're, you're just kind of easy breezy in the beginning parts of relationship, you're just going to want to be with each other all the time before life intersects. And you're going to proactively, unconsciously figure out ways to be with the person. But as life starts to take hold and responsibilities, we can get pulled in a different direction. The most important time is you being together in that one-on-one context. Not one on family, one on many because that matters too, but that one-on-one time because you're the nucleus of the family. You two matter most. And so this is something that I've gotten away from several times and it always ends up biting me on the derriere. So please learn from my mistakes, schedule it, get that time together one-on-one. It is the most important investment in your relationship.

So again with all that's going on, this one today schedule something. Put it on the calendar, let them know, "Hey, this particular date we are going here." Or, "We're doing this thing." Get something scheduled because it's important. Moving on to number five on our list of 10 tips for deeper love and more connection. Number five is to be quick to apologize and quick to forgive. Again, this is not for the weak of heart. This is not for the weak-hearted. This takes work especially if you grew up in an environment where folks were not typically apologizing or folks weren't generally working to make things right or you also see people tending to hold grudges. We are, in fact, the product of our environment and we tend to replicate those behaviors. But those same behaviors can be the very things that break apart households, that create resentment, that take away happiness from all parties involved. If you think about the statement from Nelson Mandela when he talked about resentment, being like drinking poison and expecting it to kill your enemy.

If we're carrying around that resentment, that unforgiveness, and harboring ill feelings towards somebody, it's affecting us. It's not just affecting our relationship with them, it's affecting us. Because each of those thoughts that we carry, those feelings that we carry has correlating chemistry that goes along with it. If you're carrying hatred or resentment or those negative feelings, you feel it in your body because the chemistry that's released as a result of that. And so if anything forgive for yourself. All forgiveness, you've probably heard this statement, is truly self-forgiveness. So having the audacity to forgive, even if you don't, if you're not in contact with that person. Even if they're not here anymore. 'Cause a lot of times people might pass away and we still haven't resolved relationship issues. You have to learn to forgive, you have to learn to forgive. And I know that people have done you wrong, sometimes you might have done atrocious things in your life.

And this is where that inner work takes place and even seeking counsel and assistance with this process. Because again, if you're carrying that resentment, it is imprisoning you. And I know this because this is a part of my patchwork quilt that made up my life as well. And so working on these things, being able to forgive because it's truly letting go and putting that baggage down so that you can continue to move on. You don't want to be a bag lady, shout-out to Erykah Badu. So apologize. So there's this really important statement that I was presented with that this is a question you want to ask yourself when you're in conflict, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? So many of us are driven to be right. And we forfeit our happiness just so that we can prove to the other person that they're wrong, they need to apologize, and then you could be happy versus the opposite of like, "Let me choose happiness and let me tell the person that I love that I'm sorry for my part in this." At least saying that like you don't have to say you did everything right, but just taking responsibility like, "I'm sorry for what happened and I love you. And I just want to figure this out."

 

And it can instantly diffuse that tension. But it's not always easy, especially when you're in the height of the irritation in the moment of conflict. So this is something that we've practiced throughout the years my wife and I, and we are very good at it now. And just apologizing because we know we got stuff to do. We don't got time to be carrying ill feelings towards each other and conflict. And we also know that life is so much better when we're together. And so we've worked to be able to apologize but also forgiveness. Now my wife is the most amazing human I've ever met, she is the prototype, she's the pinnacle for me of human potential, of beauty, of love, of everything, of intelligence. And so please keep that in mind when I say this, I'm not throwing her under le bus, but she had a little bit of issue with forgiveness. I might have apologized to make things right, I know when she actually let's it go. And many times it would not be then, it would take some time for her to actually let the thing go.

And so keep that in mind, too. You can't expect people to forgive you right away, but just even having that conversation like, listen, I apologize. Please I want to... Like just continue the conversation, have patience and hopefully, again you lead by example most times. Because I've done it a few times, where she's apologized and I'm just like, "No, no." And I don't want to forgive right away or I have the appearance that I forgave her, but then 10 minutes later I'm still irritated. So forgiveness is a holistic process where it's just like, you actually let go, you let the love in, you let the words in, and you forgive so that you could actually move on. Forgive means forget. Let it go.

There's a tendency with certain... There's two different sexes. There's a tendency for one of the sexes, I'm not going to say which one, but to bring up stuff from two weeks ago, if you get into argument today, they're bringing up, well, this... Something from last month or even last year, five years ago, still there. Because they have not actually gone through the process of forgiveness. So keep that in mind, if you actually forgive, you forget, you let it go. We're not bringing up old stuff. We address the old stuff if it needs to be addressed, but that old situation does not equate to what's happening right now. So keep that in mind, when you forgive, forget it, move on. Now something that I want to make sure you do not forget is, again, we're talking about romance, we're talking... This time of year Eros is a part of this. The romantic, the passionate, the erotic, that love. But I don't think that a lot of people realize what a kind of epidemic we're seeing today with folks in their... Even in their 30s, but 40s, 50s, 60s and this sharp decline that we haven't seen before in sexual dysfunction.

 

We tend to think about erectile dysfunction. That's the one we hear most often in major media. They got a pill for that. But also the same thing, there's the female Viagra, which was incidentally pulled off the market because it was dangerous. But understanding that both female and male libido has a lot to do with... These are emotional ties as well, but there are also physical ties, biological reasons behind a lot of this. And a lot of it has to do with circulation, a lot of it has to do with hormones. And so I want to make sure that, again, you have in your back pocket some of the natural kind of support for your cardiovascular system, for circulation. And one of those, this is a study published in medicine, in science, in sports and exercise, tested 30 healthy folks for six weeks to record the effects of Cordyceps on their performance. So Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom, thousands of years of documented use in Chinese medicine. It's like one of the top five things, well-noted for its effects on libido.

And what they discovered in this study was that the group that added Cordyceps to their daily regimen had twice the oxygen intake of the control group who didn't use Cordyceps. They were utilizing oxygen far more, far better. And what does that do? It improves circulation, the transport of nutrients throughout your entire body wherever they need to go. The elimination of by-products, of waste products that can keep the system stagnant, that's what that can do. And also there was another study done by the same group and they found that there's an overall 9% increase in cardiovascular performance when utilizing Cordyceps. So with that said, I recommend a dual-extracted Cordyceps that is an alcohol extract and hot water extract. So you get all of the compounds, when you hear a study like this, what is the extraction method? What was done traditionally? 

Dual extraction, we want both. And the company that does that, that's like Head & Shoulders above any other company out there is Four Sigmatic. Their Cordyceps Elixir is incredible. But they also have the Cordyceps Coffee, too which is what I had today. It might have been probably some of the ignition behind today's episode. But just keep in mind we want to have access to things that have a long history of documented use and not jumping right into things that are synthetic, that artificially stimulate that performance. So I hope that makes sense. We're just going to leave it at that. Big fan of the Cordyceps and the Cordyceps coffee. Head over to foursigmatic.com/model. That's F-O-U-R S-I-G-M-A-T-I-C.com/model you get 15% off every single one of their mushroom elixirs, mushroom hot chocolates and mushroom coffees and so many other cool things they have as well, the skin care, so many good things. Head over there and check them out, foursigmatic.com/model, and let's jump back to our list here, our 10 tips for deeper love and more connection.

Number six on our list, this is one I talk with my wife about like, "What would it be for you? What is that thing that you feel is that connective tissue that has made us have a deeper connection and more love in our relationship?" And she said being authentic with each other. And I was kind of surprised, I had to process what does that actually mean? And so I want to share with you two definitions of authentic. First definition, authentic meaning not false or imitation, real. Are you keeping it real? Are you keeping it real with your significant other? So that's a big part of authenticity, keeping it real. Another one of the definitions is true to one's own personality, spirit or character. So that's staying true to you, being who you are, being your authentic self within the construct of the relationship. A lot of times relationships feel so good because you don't have to hide, you can be who you are. But sometimes it creates like a divide, it creates tension in a relationship when you're not opening up and being fully who you are.

And so keep that in mind. But there's a caveat here, too. Because when you're wanting somebody to accept you fully for who you are and you're a bit of a scadouche bag, I'm not saying just be a douche bag and expect them to love you and accept you, I'm saying our positive personality traits but also the things that are harder to work with, being aware of those things and communicating with your partner so that you can have an understanding that there's a benefit, 'cause a lot of times even our good qualities can have a dark side. This is what we see with the Yin and Yang, this is what we see with all these different stories that we listen to. Star Wars is the force, there's the... My wife said this the other day, we were checking out the Mandalorian, shout-out to Baby Yoda, and she was like, it's so confusing for me when I watch this, because the bad guys wear white, the storm troopers wearing white and we tend to attribute that towards the dark and the light has the good and the evil. But there's both, there's both within each structure.

And so my aggression like I grew up in an environment where I had to be very aggressive in order to survive and so... But that has enabled me to make an impact in other people's lives to do the work, to create things that aggression, and so I want to keep my aggression, my assertive nature. However, bringing that into a relationship context when there's a conflict, that can be a problem, but I don't want her to change me, I like who I am. So this is just a little internal monologue. I like who I am. I don't want this person to change me, but it's you making the decision on what works within the construct of your relationship and how to point your aggression. This doesn't mean don't be aggressive.

A great example is Eric Thomas, when he was on the show, number one motivational speaker on the planet, just absolutely incredible, and he's well-noted for that aggression that he communicates that taps into your soul, it taps into your assertive nature within you and he speaks to that. However, he would do that, he would do that and see all the impact and everybody connecting and he would come home and try to be aggressive. When there's conflict, didn't work. It took years for him to realize like I have to turn that off and speak to my wife in a way that actually lands. It doesn't mean I can't be aggressive and point that somewhere, but it has to be more intelligently used, so I hope that makes sense. So it's just a little caveat there, be authentic with each other, be yourself, allow them to be themselves in their strange, quirky, funny, whatever it might be, happy, whatever it might be, those character traits, sadness, embrace those things, accept them for who they are, and help to create conditions where they can thrive. So I hope that makes sense and also not being false or imitation. Okay, keeping it real. Are you keeping it real? Keep it real with your... I was a method man, keep it real with me, I keep it real with you, you're all I need.

 

Keep it real with me, I'll keep it real with you. Keeping it real is not just a saying, this is a mandate within the construct of a relationship or it will go up in flames. So that's number six here on our list for 10 tips for deeper love and more connection. Number seven on our list is to be a team, to be a team. You could even start with a team of two, the dynamic duo, when two or more come together, there I am in the midst of... It creates a new entity, when two people come together by being a team.

Now this doesn't necessarily mean that the players on the team have the same approach to things, that's not how teams work. If you think about the construct of a basketball team, for example, different people have different roles, they have different approaches to the game, they play the game differently, but they have the same mission which is to win, to win the game, to win the championship. So that's what it's really about. Being a team does not mean that you do things the same way, so it's complimenting each other, understanding each other's strengths and maybe softer spots, and working together because that's what it really is. And to give a specific thing here is to set goals together. If you're in a relationship, I truly believe you should set goals together, you can have your individual goals, but set goals together for your relationship, for your family. What's more important than that? Because the goals give your entire physiology, your mindset, a directive on where you're going, where you're headed. Set goals together, there's really not much more important than that. Or it's going to be a lot of random, like, "We'll get there, we're just going to make it, we'll survive," versus like, "Let's thrive, let's point this in a direction, so that our life together has a mission. So be a team, be a team. Super important.

 

Number eight here on our list of 10 tips for deeper love and more connection. Number eight is to make them feel safe, make them feel safe. That's what love is, that's what a household is, it is a place of safety, it's a place of comfort, a place you could be yourself, let your hair down, take the wig off, set it down, kick your shoes off, put your feet up, relax. Create that feeling of safety and that they're safe with you. They can be themselves with you, they can share those things that they might be afraid to share with other people, or maybe they've never shared, helping to create a space of safety. And for me, my very first Valentine's Day with my wife, we were together, maybe say five, six months, but I've been in many different situations, not going to say relationships. I've been in many different situations, many different interactions with women prior to that. But I never felt like this before, and I just knew like I'm going to be with you, I'm just going to be with you, I love you. And I've been trying to put my finger on what that was, why this happened, but part of it was my readiness, and my... Because that's ultimately, what it all boils down to for anybody is you making the decision within yourself, not the other person because when cupid hits you, that insanity, that madness can hit you, it's not like... Cupid's not real.

 

It's a feeling within ourselves. Nobody's sprinkling magical fairy dust on you, making you fall in love. It's something we create within our own biology based on a perception of another person. And so I decided that I want to see that in somebody else. And so, we were together first Valentine's Day. And I gave her a key that signified that I feel safe with her and I literally gave her a key to my apartment. I'd never done anything like that like, you going to call before you come with me, you never know. I was like, "I'm open access to you anytime. I have nothing to hide and I gave her a key. It was in a little box, I think I gave her some other little trinkets or whatever, but that was huge to me. I don't think she realized how big that was because I'd never done anything like that, but I felt safe. And so helping the other person to feel safe.

So that's number eight on our list. And again this is going to be personal depending on what that looks like. Number nine here, we're pulling it to our last two stops on our list of 10 tips for deeper love and more connection. And number nine is to learn how to please them, learn how to please them. And not just sexually 'cause I know some people you jump right to that. And you're like, "I don't need to learn to please them, I put it down Shawn, you don't understand." Okay, I hear you. But do they feel the same way, really? So learning, of course, that part, yes. And you might be on it. So learning that, learning about them, but also emotionally and intellectually learning how to please them. Because you want to be a one-stop shop for fulfilling a lot of these higher order needs in their life. And so how do we do this? How do we learn how to please them is to study them? My wife is my greatest study. I study a lot of different topics but she's the most important. So study them. Ask questions.

How can you best learn something? Observation but specifically asking, asking questions and taking notes, take notes. When you ask a question take notes, whether it's a mental note or you jot that stuff down, take notes because it's valuable data and just do your homework. For me, a big part of our relationship has been... Even outside because we realize that we have the construct of what we've been exposed to. Neither one of us had a true example of like a healthy, thriving, long-lasting relationship except I had my grandparents. And outside of that though, 99% of the relationships I saw didn't work out very well. So how are we going to come together and figure this out? We had to make it a study. So we studied each other but we also... We took courses, we watched things together, we learned how can we communicate better and love each other better. And love isn't enough, it's not enough. We have to be able to communicate that love and receive that love. And all of us, the vast majority of us have some issues there, some blockages that we might not be aware of. So learn how to please them in every way. This is going to create deeper long-lasting connection and relationship.

 

And finally, number 10 on our list for creating deeper love and more connection, number 10 is cultivating friendship, cultivating friendship. Again, we started at the beginning of the show talking about how media, how our culture distorts what love looks like. We tend to just think about this romantic love but truly the greatest love stories are when people are friends as well, when they can talk to each other, when they can hang out, besides the passionate side. But just you like the person and you're friends, and you care for them on a whole different level, you care for them as a family member and you would do anything to take care of them. And you can receive that they feel the same way. So be friends, cultivate friendship. And I highly encourage, if you want to, you can look this up or go back and listen again, but just understand those different definitions of love that the ancient Greeks outlined. Love isn't just one thing.

 

And so within the construct of cultivating friendship, what's one of the biggest things? For me, my friends, my family coming up is somebody that has your back. So if you want to cultivate a deeper love or more connection, just have their back. They are first, have their back. Whatever is going on if you've got kids, other relationships with other people, work relationships, things like that, you have their back first, you have their back, they know that they can count on you. If they're not doing well, if they're struggling, if they feel wronged, if they've wronged, you have their back first, you have their back. That creates a feeling of certainty in the world that nothing else can match. When the person that you love, when you know that they have your back. So whatever that looks like in your relationship, this is something to really practice and cultivate. Let them know you have their back.

So I hope you enjoyed this, I hope you got a few nuggets that you can apply into your life to deepen your relationship, to foster more love and create more connection. And I hope you have an incredible Valentine's Day. This is coming out Valentine's Day week. Or again if you're just like, "I'm not a conformist, I'm not a part of this system." And you just want to have Valentine's Day and love to be overflowing every day, which is something I'm a big fan of. This is something to implement on a daily basis, some of these tips and insights. So again I hope you got a lot of value out of this, share this out with the people you care about, share this out with somebody you love. And of course, you could tag me I'm @ShawnModel on Instagram and Twitter and on Facebook I'm at the Model Health Show and I appreciate you so much for tuning in. We've got some epic powerhouse guests and show topics coming your way very soon so make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk to you soon.

And for more after the show make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode and if you got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome and I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
 

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