Sunday, June 10, 2007

An Individual Couple’s Journey Through Development via Spiral Dynamics

Yesterday I presented the second module of my Big Love Integral workshop. There are six modules to the workshop, as this is a very big subject: "Conscious Romantic Relationship in an Integral Context."

The second module is all about relationship as it fits into various developmental models with the biggest emphasis on Spiral Dynamics Integral. After we had finished going over the model and what relationship looked like in each of the seven vMemes (value memes, or levels of development based on values), I was asked to layout a specific relationship as it progressed through the spiral.

Because I'm certainly most familiar with my own relationship, it was an obvious choice (Anyaa and I have an agreement that we can use our relationship as teaching moments, and we pretty much let it all hang out....with much love and respect, of course!).

So here's how I see our relationship as it moved from the earliest survival moments into where I think it is today. As we progressed from a first email to today’s flex and flow of co-creation, our relationship has clearly gone through developmental stages, just as individuals and civilizations do.

Not all of the traits of each of these Value Memes (vMemes) show up, because we are, after all, happening in a modern context and from our own developmental perspectives. Still, aspects of these stages have definitely been present.

Beige, Basic Survival: We talked on the phone for two months, always deciding if we wanted to continue the long-distance conversation. Some close calls. Distance was, and still is, the hardest factor.

Purple, Tribal: Some feeling of magic around the relationship begins to develop. “The Universe brought us together.” Rituals begin forming. Recreational sex.

Red, Power, Ego: It didn’t take long for us to hit a power struggle in our relationship over keeping commitments. Because we brought later stage consciousness to it, we sailed through fairly easily.

Blue, Authoritarian, Rule of Law: We begin to set up how we do things. Who does what? What’s okay in the relationship, what’s not? Bring order and stability. A sense of responsibility toward each other.

Orange, Materialistic, Achiever: We want to have the best relationship possible. You are an amazing partner and you bring out the best in me (partner as status). The intersubjective “we” begins to develop internal values of its own.

Green, Egalitarianism, Equality: We are equals, 50/50 relationship (Deida’s Stage 2), we share some responsibilities, particularly around financial arrangements because of our long distance relationship status. Also a sense of “All We Need Is Love” tries to creep in.

Yellow, Existential, Systemic: Co-creation, we create and take responsibility for our own relationship and its evolution. We see the big picture of a shared higher purpose, and ease into chaos, change, flex and flow. Recreational sex still exists, but there's also a sense of co-creational sex (procreational sex was never really an option for us!).

I have absolutely no idea what relationship, looks like at Turquoise and beyond, but I very much hope to bring that perspective to you one day, as I think we've both got one foot in it!

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