Good boundaries and clear communication are fundamental building blocks in a healthy marriage. The two of you will get constant practice navigating decision-making with your distinct ways of thinking, feeling, and moving in the world. You learn how to say No clearly and yet lovingly, and so too you learn to receive each other’s No. You learn how to move forward when you disagree. It is vital for your marriage that you maintain your distinct identities and respect one another’s boundaries: “Good fences make good neighbors.”

However, being able to say No, and to communicate your needs, does not cultivate love and magnify your divinity. In fact, while it is essential to establish boundaries and respect for one another’s individual needs, an awakened marriage needs to cultivate Yes. This is not a sarcastic, defeated, or dismissive “Yes, dear”, the kind of shallow trope so often parroted at wedding parties when advice is given to the newlyweds. That remains rooted in the ego, magnifying your sense of separateness. There are many marriages based on selfishness, where roles are prescribed, and a couple essentially has a business arrangement that works well. That is not what an illumined marriage settles for.

As a man, saying “Yes Dear” in this way also implies suppressing your own wisdom and strength. The masculine needs to be firmly guided by its deepest sense of purpose, it mission, direction. If you are a man who compromises your deepest commitments, your sense of direction, to be swayed by your wife’s demands, you undercut your whole being. In the fundamental matters of your life, while you may consider what your wife says, you must choose for yourself. But once you are firmly rooted in your purpose, you will have the power to enter the paradox of saying Yes to your woman without compromising the truth of who you are.

This is Yes rooted in reverence. This is Yes, giving wisdom room to reverberate. In one way, this is Yes that addresses not your partner’s ego but rather her creative, knowing, dynamic consciousness that expresses through her. But it does not stop there: by saying Yes, recognize the wisdom that dwells not just in your partner but rather in the sacred and powerful space created by the two of you. You are more than two people navigating life together; you are cultivating a transcendent identity that is deeper than the dimensions of your egos and individual souls. The hidden gift of working through conflicts is that the two of you are often expressing opposite sides of the same coin; you are each expressing one half of a paradoxical whole. As long as you cling to your side, you cannot see that larger truth. Your wisdom can be discovered in the space of a conflict or a difference, and to do this you must first be willing to say Yes. In practicing Yes, you are performing something that applies to all your life. It means standing within your Shiva nature and uttering an unqualified, fully willing Yes to what the world throws at you. This Yes is imbued with your power of consciousness. Like a graceful and deft Aikido movement, it is a power that dances with the world, not to conquer it but to align it with your presence. Whatever arises in your life, you can access your own power and wisdom more directly if you first greet it with a Yes. In doing so, you are opening yourself to the possibility of greater wisdom within yourself. The same thing works in your marriage: in saying Yes, you are magnifying the positive space that you share. Make it a regular practice. Just Say Yes.

Next Section: Advanced Practices I

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