Monday, August 17, 2009

My Top 10 Cherished Relationships

While conversing after dinner with Mark, Iris, and Dodge, I was asked by Mark who I considered to be my Top 10 most valued relationships. With two edits (I added one I didn't think of last night and we later decided we could include dead people, so I added one of those as well), this is my list along with my reasons why.

1. Mary V: I've never been more madly in love with someone who so perfectly fits what I look for in a life partner! Not only does she have the things at the top of my list: authenticity, fearlessness, intelligence, physical beauty, and a deep love of herself, but I'm also constantly delighted and amazed at all the EXTRA goodies I keep finding in our relationship. She lovingly pushes me to excel and we are constantly exploring new ideas and ways of being that bring about an ever-increasing sense of joy in our lives...and she's so much fun! Can't wait for us to meet in person!

2. Karen H: The best friend I've ever had, male or female. We absolutely never worry about what to say or not say to each other because we know we can't hurt us. I love her smiles and our deep conversations on Sunday mornings about where we are at this moment in our lives and how much we genuinely and actively want each other to be happy in our lives.

3. Mark & Iris: They are a total inspiration to me in the way they do their romantic love relationship! Watching them interact with such joy and unbridled love is just a delight for me. With all the intellectual interplay last night, the sweetest moment for me was them saying goodnight to each other with lit up smiles and gentle kisses.

4. The founder of the developmental program in the Berkshires I love so much: The writer and teacher of the most empowered philosophy I've ever found and the tools I used to alter my life from one of a frightened people-pleaser to one of a joyful, passionate, playful dude! My life is FAR beyond what I ever dreamed it could be, and that simply would not be the case without this life approach. Also, flat out the best classroom teacher ever.

5. Lynne V: My other best friend in the world, and, at least up until Mary, the one who accepted me in just the biggest possible way, including all the things about me that are my biggest challenges, especially my drinking ish. She was the first to show me how really deep a friendship could go.

6. Gary L: Founder of the Integrity Project to radically increase the amount of happiness in the world, starting with redesigning the corporate structure around the happiness of the individuals within it. My involvement with this project is what initially led me to the place that taught classes in how to be happier. Also, I just love him. Also, he is hilarious.

7. John Johnson: My best friend before I knew how deep friendships could really go if I stopped censoring myself. He modeled love and fearlessness on a level that still stands at the top of the hill to this day. He dragged me onto the dance floor, both literally and figuratively, which started a long, slow climb for me out of my intense shyness. I initially did a lot of grief at his death, but now I only feel a deep sense of gratitude for him as a friend and as a guide who never gave up on me, no matter how many times I refused to take his offered path.

8. Sara/Sally/Mom: I love her for her love of her kids and grandkids, even if she sometimes shows it in a way that tends to motivate though unhappiness--that is, to use unhappiness to try and get them to do what she wants. I've had a great deal of joy in not only watching her move towards a life of more awareness, authenticity, and love, but also in building a deeper relationship between us. She is by far the only one in my birth family who has the type of relationship with me that I have with other friends in my life.

9. Rachel J: Although she claims I don't know her deeply, she also says she doesn't know herself deeply, so let's face it, how would she know? LOL! I SO love our time together to talk about the deepest corners of our lives! She asks me the most wonderful and offbeat questions and delights in the answers I come up with. Of everyone on this planet, she knows the song in my heart and joyfully sings it back to me when I've forgotten (or when I've pushed it down the list on the I-Pod in my heart to where it's no longer on the front screen).

10. Jeannene C: Surprise! A relationship I deeply cherish with someone that I, in fact, don't really have a relationship with. Even though we rarely see or talk to each other, and even when we were in the same geographic location never really had a friendship, Jeannene is a constant source of inspiration for me. She's someone who decided that everything in her life was up for discussion and change and she creating this amazing, leaping, loving, and joyful version of herself on the fly. Whenever I start to think there's something in my life that I can't change, I think of her and I drop that limitation.

As you can imagine, this list will evolve over time, but since I'm a huge believer that this moment is all I get, this be it for this moment!

How about you? Who is someone in your life who's friendship/love you cherish and why? I love you and I'm deeply grateful to have you in my life. To be continued...



  1. Wow! I am honored Brian...your words are touching and very special to me. Thank you. And yes it is mostly a surprise but also not really because I have definitely noticed how even though we are not close, we still have a special and meaningful connection. I respect how you do life--using every opportunity to grow, and be open with others and love deeper. Many blessings to you Brian :)

  2. When I read this blog I was smiling thinking of Jeannene - and when I returned to it, she was the one responding. How amazing.

    Jeannene is one of my greatest inspirations, and me to I don't know her very well, but just seing a picture of her brings a smile on my face.

    After reading this post I have started to redesign myself, I have to practice my new self - the self prioritising happiness, fun and being present - but whenever I find myself complaining, I remind myself of Jeannenes smile and I get back on track.

    Thank you Jeannene


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