Caring for the Baby Parts of Ourselves During our Romantic Relationships

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

By Carly Sackellares, MSW


In Resmaa Menekam's Rock the Boat, he dedicates an entire chapter to how romantic dances often trigger our unfinished dances with our parent/caregivers. He highlights modern couples' tendencies towards seeking a partner to meet their needs, and how this can be problematic. Aptly, he named the chapter You Are Not Each Other's Baby. Naked Online teaches the same message, but it is fun to read Menekam who offers the same perspective in different words.


Menekam asserts that "growing up" occurs through self-confrontation. Self-confrontation is how adults can learn to hold onto themselves during difficult times rather than their partners. In the chapter The Integrity of Confronting Yourself, he shares five anchors to aid with this self-confrontation:

  • Soothe yourself.

  • Notice the sensations, vibrations, and emotions in your body.

  • Accept the discomfort.

  • Stay present and in your body.

  • Safely discharge any energy.

While Menekam provides the framework for self-confrontation, Chi for Two® provides tangible practices for self-confronting. In other words, Menekam tells us what to do, and Chi for Two tells us how to do it.


1. Soothe Yourself.


The Chi for Two practice Self Hug helps us provide soothing for ourselves when we are yearning for someone else to soothe us. Can we notice the place in our bodies that we feel the most yearning? As you notice this place, does a hand go there? Might one or more of your hands go to that part of your body, offering warmth? When we practice Self Hug, we are less likely to look to our partner for soothing.


2. Notice the sensations, vibrations, and emotions in your body.


The Chi for Two practice Deep Nourishment Core Awareness invites you to feel into your core. Are you aware of any vibrations in your belly, perhaps those sometimes called butterflies? Does your core expand with your breath?


3. Accept the discomfort.


The Chi for Two practice Snuggle Pose allows you to embrace the uncomfortable feelings stirred by romantic relationships. Can you snuggle your body into the corner of a sofa? As you squirm and push, can you hold yourself, imagining you are a larva in a cocoon? The Snuggle Pose practice helps us feel into uncomfortable sensations.


4. Stay present and in your body.


The Chi for Two practice Push helps you stay present. This practice invites you to notice your body as you Push into various surfaces. As you Push, do you feel your forearms? If you Push harder, do you feel your upper arms? Perhaps even your whole body?


5. Safely discharge any energy.


Finally, the Chi for Two practice Bite/Snap—caught by The Mother provides a safe space for you to throw anything else that may be left as you explore this powerful work of self-confronting. Your Chi for Two embodiment coach is there to catch this discharged energy and help you process it. With time and support from your coach, you can learn to discharge and process this energy yourself.


If you want to experience Chi for Two embodiment coaching, I offer a one-time 50 minute session for $55. I hope you will reach out to me at carly@carlysackellares.com or (678) 242-9519.

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