Lifestyle Action Plan – part 3

outofbalancewheelRebalancing priorities

Write down the steps you intend to take to get your life into balance.

It’s not uncommon for people focused on productivity in the workplace to find, when they look at the way they are allocating their time, that their lives are out of balance. Usually the problem is too great a focus on work at the expense of other areas in their lives.

If you picture the aspects of your life as making up the components of a wheel, the aim is to get all things into alignment so that your wheel will turn smoothly. Interestingly, getting things into balance actually makes it easier to be more productive at work.

Relationships

Think about this as you consider how you’re going to rebalance things in your life.

Significant other

Write down the steps you intend to take to maintain or improve the quality of your relationship with your significant other.

If you’re at the point where ending the relationship is your best option, then research the steps you need to take to do that and seek appropriate legal advice, especially if you’re ending a long term relationship or there are children involved.

If you’re looking to attract a significant other into your life, remember to consider Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas.

Children

If applicable, write down the steps you intend to take to maintain or improve the quality of your relationship with your children.

Family responsibilities

Write down your plan of action for dealing with any family responsibilities that need to be balanced with working.


Now that you’ve drawn up your Lifestyle Action Plan make a commitment to act on it. Go to your calendar and set up a monthly review date, just like you would for any other project, and regularly review your progress and update your plan.


I hope you have enjoyed reading and working with of the content planned for the opening chapters of Everyday Productivity.

Subscribe to Everyday Business Skills to download a FREE copy of the Lifestyle Self-Audit and Lifestyle Action Plan worksheets from the Everyday Productivity Workbook, and be the first to know when Everyday Productivity is available for purchase.

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Lifestyle self-audit part 3

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Relationships:

Relationship with your significant other.

We all want to be loved but sometimes we mess up our relationships with the people we love the most. We get our priorities out of alignment. We take each other for granted and wake up to a different reality than the one we thought we were living.

How’s your relationship going with your significant other?

  • Are you spending quality time together?
  • Are you fighting or arguing?
  • Are you on good speaking terms or giving each other the silent treatment?
  • Are you being abused physically, emotionally or mentally? Are you the one doing the abusing?
  • If you’re away from home a lot, how are you keeping the flame alive?
  • Do you know what’s going on in your partner’s life?

They might be tough questions but it’s tough trying to be productive at work when you’re living with relationship stress.

What overall rating would you give the relationship with your current significant other:

  • Good
  • Bad, or
  • Indifferent?

Only you know the answer to that question but you need to be honest with yourself. It’s easy to delude yourself that things are better than they are.

If you identify issues, remember that there is plenty of professional help available if you want it. If it’s really bad, maybe you need to consider whether you want to stay in the relationship.

Relationships with your children.

  • How much time are you spending with your children?
  • Do you know what’s going on in their lives?

This is not an area you can afford to let slide. Don’t kid yourself that you’re doing it all for them if they never see you. They won’t thank you. They want your presence more than anything else you can provide.

Analysing your data.

Are there things you could work on with your partner to improve your relationship? Are there behaviours you need to change? Do you need to ask for help or can work it out with your partner? What about with your children?

Living AloneNo significant other.

If your relationship stress comes from not having a significant other in your life, take a look at your time log.

  • What’s your current focus?
  • Is there room in your life for a partner at the moment?
  • Do you want to make room?
  • What stories are you telling yourself about relationships?

Analysing your data.

If you’re blocking what you tell yourself you want, by not being available for a relationship to develop, consider making time in your life for a partner.

If you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough or that you’ll never find someone to love you, it might be time to change your story.

If you want to do something about attracting someone into your life, I suggest you start by reading Calling in the One by Katherine Woodward Thomas.

Family responsibilities.

Do you have any specific family responsibilities that impact on your workplace productivity?

For example:

  • If you have young children, do you look after them when they’re sick or on school holidays?
  • Do you have a partner with a chronic illness or other health issues?
  • Do you have a role in caring for elderly parents?

Analysing your data.

The point in identifying your responsibilities is to consider whether you have a plan in place to deal with things like medical emergencies or carer responsibilities, or not. For example; do you share the responsibilities with your partner? Or your siblings? Have you looked at working from home as a viable option when you can’t make it into to work?


Now that you’ve completed a Lifestyle Self-Audit, it’s time to consider an action plan to address the issues you identified.


This is a draft of material that will eventually appear in Everyday Productivity, the next title in my Everyday Business Skills books.  Please feel free to offer feedback in the comments.


Peter Mulraney has forty years experience working in schools, banking, and government. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

Lifestyle impacts on productivity

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By lifestyle, I mean how you’re living your life. In this chapter we’re focusing on what you do when you’re not at work. One of the reasons I chose to start with lifestyle is that it’s something you can address without drawing attention to yourself at work. It’s also an easy way to show you that you can do something about your behaviours – once you become aware of them and their potential consequences beyond your front door.

Sleep deprivation

If you’re still wondering what influence your lifestyle choices could possibly have on your productivity, type ‘sleep deprivation’ into your search engine of choice and hit ‘enter’.

Here’s a list of some of the effects of sleep deprivation* you’ll find that relate directly to work performance.

  • Reduced alertness
  • Shortened attention span
  • Slower than normal reaction time
  • Poor judgement
  • Reduced awareness of the environment and situation
  • Reduced decision-making skills
  • Poor memory
  • Reduced concentration
  • Increased likelihood of mentally ‘stalling’ or fixating on one thought
  • Increased likelihood of moodiness and bad temper
  • Reduced work efficiency
  • Loss of motivation
  • Errors of omission – making a mistake by forgetting to do something
  • Errors of commission – making a mistake by doing something, but choosing the wrong option
  • Micro-sleep – brief periods of involuntary sleeping that range from a few seconds to a few minutes in duration.

*Source: Better Health Victoria

Living in separate boxes

separateboxes

We tend to divide our work and home lives into separate boxes and ignore the impacts each has on the other. You’re no doubt familiar with stories about workaholics, people who destroy their family lives by spending too much time at work. Those stories actually illustrate the interconnectedness of the different parts of your life, so it’s really not all that surprising, when you think about it, that your home life can impact your work life, and, therefore, your productivity. And, it’s not just your sleeping pattern. It’s all those things, like the following, that can cause you stress.

Relationships

If things are going well in your relationship with your significant other, chances are you’re feeling good about going to work and the state of your relationship is not distracting you from the task at hand. If, on the other hand, you’re experiencing some relationship issues, you’ll probably be finding it difficult to concentrate on the job. You may even be having some trouble sleeping, and we’ve already seen what that can do. This is one aspect of your life you can do something about if it’s causing you stress and impacting on your productivity. You might only need to talk to your partner. You might need to make some behavioural changes or get help to sort out your issues. You may need to end the relationship. Point is, you can either do something about it or simply hope it will go away. The choice is yours.

Money

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Most money problems are self-inflicted. Sure, there will be times when something comes out of left field that you weren’t expecting but, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know that your money problems are the result of spending more than you earn. Take a look at your credit cards. They exist to allow you to do just that.

If you’re worrying about how you’re going to pay this month’s bills when you’re supposed to be working, you will not be as productive as you could be. The good news is money problems are fixable, if you’re prepared to exercise some self-control when it comes to spending. But, again, the choice is yours to make.

Health and fitness

Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy, especially when it comes to how you look after your body. You eat fast food. You settle for being a couch potato. You mess with your brain chemistry by drinking too much alcohol or using so called recreational drugs and narcotics, or overusing medical opiates. You reduce your lung capacity by smoking cigarettes or weed, despite all the health warnings on the packet. If you’re a ‘party animal’, you might want to go back and read that list of effects of sleep deprivation, and ask yourself why they do blood tests and impose sleep restrictions on pilots and people operating machinery in underground mines. You might only be operating a computer but you’ll face the same problems.

When you think about it, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out that if you’re overweight, unfit, and mess with your brain chemistry and lung capacity, you probably won’t be at your best when you turn up for work.

But there’s more to wellbeing than physical fitness and healthy eating habits. There’s also how you look after yourself from a mental or spiritual perspective. If you want to operate optimally in the workplace, you need to give yourself some downtime and have some fun. You’re not going to be productive if you’re running on empty most of the time. Fortunately, there are ways of addressing these issues but they all require one thing: self-discipline.

Family responsibilities

The extent of your family responsibilities changes with time. If you have young children they get sick, they have trouble sleeping, and they’re involved in all sorts of things. If you have elderly parents you may end up with carer responsibilities. Point is, if you have family responsibilities there will be times when they impact on your work commitments. If they’re regular and ongoing, it’s probably a good idea to discuss them with your employer and plan around them. There is no point in trying to hide them. That’s a stress you don’t need. Sometimes you have family emergencies and you either can’t go in or you need to leave work early. You need a plan for how you’re going to handle those emergencies that includes how you’re going to meet any critical deadlines.

If your employer is unsympathetic to supporting you meet your family responsibilities, it may be time to find a new job or to seek help from your wider family or the community. Sometimes people only need to be asked.


The next step is to conduct a self-audit of your lifestyle choices. A self-audit can help you become aware of behaviours that may be impacting on your productivity – if you’re honest with yourself. Your findings will either confirm that you have no issues or that you have a few things to attend to in your own time that may help you increase your productivity.


This is a draft of material that will eventually appear in Everyday Productivity, the next title in my Everyday Business Skills books. Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing a series of Everyday Productivity posts, and providing you with an opportunity to download a free copy of the workbook to complete the exercises designed to help you get the most out of the content. Please feel free to offer feedback in the comments.


Peter Mulraney has forty years experience working in schools, banking, and government. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.

Who? Me?

When you’re aware of your behaviour – you can do something about it.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a criminal or a politician, if you have no awareness of how your behaviour impacts on your outcomes, you will continue blindly on your way to prison or losing your seat.

If you’re in a relationship, continuing to ignore that your behaviour is impacting the quality of that relationship is an almost certain guarantee that relationship will fail – particularly if the other party is acutely aware of your behavioural imperfections. By the way, it doesn’t matter whether the relationship is a romantic or a business partnership.

Self-absorption.

Most of us are self-absorbed, which I suspect is the default human position. Self-absorption allows you to look after your own interests, to push your own wheelbarrow regardless of the obstacles on your path. A little self-absorption is, no doubt, good for you. Total self-absorption is a recipe for disaster in a world based on relationships.

Who, me?

Image by rafael H. | unsplash.com

Slow down and observe yourself.

One way to become more self-aware is to slow down and pay attention to the way people respond to you.

Do people ignore you? Are they afraid of you? Do they resent your intrusions? These are not good signs if you notice them. On the other hand, if people welcome your participation, willingly work with you and want to be around you, it’s probably a good idea to continue doing what you’re doing.

It’s also a good idea to reflect on what it is that you are doing that elicits whatever response you get from others. A little reflective downtime can help you identify behaviours that work, and others that may need some work.

Ask questions.

Another way to get an idea of how your behaviour impacts others is to ask them.

If you manage other people, you know how easy it is to be critical of their behavioural shortcomings. Well, guess what? Other people have been making their own assessments of your behaviour. Asking them how they see you is one way of finding out if you need to consider making a few changes. This one requires a little emotional maturity and a willingness to be vulnerable.

You might get a shock or a surprise. But, it won’t kill you unless you choose to die of embarrassment.

In my opinion, it’s better to risk a moment of embarrassment than to continue blindly on being an embarrassment to everybody around you.


IMG_0156Peter Mulraney is a creative writer from Australia. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, and Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic. He has also published colouring books and journals under the Sharing the Journey banner.

How well do you know the person you live with?

After_Cover_for_KindleMost of us in living in long-term relationships assume a lot things about our partner based on trust.

It’s only when something unexpected happens that we start to doubt that trust – which is one of the themes explored in After.

Consider this moment in Paul Ford’s life, just after Inspector West has told him something Paul was not expecting.

“What the hell had Josie been up to? Why on earth would she be getting into a limo when she was meant to be going to school on the bus? She had turned up at school on time on Monday, so maybe Anna had picked her up. So what went wrong on Tuesday that led to her being shot dead? No, Anna picking her up didn’t make sense. Anna certainly wouldn’t have shot her. Not Anna. She didn’t even like killing bugs. Besides, she had her own kids to get to school.

Did he really know her? Shit. How much other stuff didn’t he know about her? They’d been married for nearly twenty years but he was starting to doubt whether he knew her at all. How often had he assumed she had left the house to catch the bus to work and she had done something else? What really happened on those weekends when she was away with Anna and he was home looking after the boys? Was she really working back after school or meeting someone with a stretch limo to do who knew what before coming home?

Stop it! You’re letting your fears run amuck! What’s that phrase you need here? Show me the evidence! That’s it. Take a few deep breaths and get a grip before you talk yourself into believing this shit! God, the girl’s only been dead a day. What on earth are you thinking? There will be a rational explanation. There has to be.

Isn’t a body with a bullet in the head evidence? Well, it says you’re dead but it doesn’t explain why, and that’s the bit I don’t know. Why would someone shoot her? She wouldn’t hurt a fly. Oh, Josie, what did you get mixed up in?”

If you haven’t read the whole story yet, get yourself a copy from:

Amazon or Kobo or iTunes or GooglePlay or Smashwords or Barnes&Noble or Flipkart 

and find out what Josie did get mixed up in.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Helping police officers keep their perspective

policemanRecently, I was conversing with the mother of a police officer. We were discussing how real-life policemen were different to the ones you read about in books, when she told me she had attended a presentation on measures being taken to help police officers keep a healthy perspective on life.

One of the dangers of working in an environment where you see the dark side of life, and witness all the depraved behaviours humanity is capable of first hand, is that you start to think everybody is like that.

I told her I was consciously writing my Inspector West character as an ordinary guy, with the intention of illustrating that policemen lead the same kind of lives as everybody else, and have to deal with the same relationship issues we all face. We agreed that, as in many professions, there are some aspects of policing that only insiders appreciate, and the narrowing of focus to seeing only the negative was probably one of those.

It reminded me of conversations I’d had with my wife when she was the behaviour management deputy-principal of a school. She was facing a similar perspective challenge because her day was filled with managing those students, who for one reason or another, were having a bad day. When you do that every day you start to think that all the kids are like that, when, in reality, they are only a small percentage of the total student population.

Police officers face a similar challenge but in much more demanding circumstances, where the potential consequences can be personally debilitating.

So it was good to hear that Police Departments around the world are addressing the issue, in an attempt to help their officers maintain a healthy perspective on life and be able to cope with the stress that come with their job. It can’t be easy. It’s often not easy for their families either.

Here are a few links to articles on the topic:

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

Radical advice from an unexpected quarter

I’m sitting in the equivalent of a cave, in New York, with a view over lower Manhattan that transforms into a colourful spectacle, as the sun slips below the horizon and the light, spilling from hundreds of apartment windows and from atop the One World Trade Center, twinkles in the darkness.

Inside it’s snug and warm. Outside it’s freezing cold. So, I often pass the time reading. This week I read a short book titled Doing Sixty & Seventy by Gloria Steinem. Americans of a certain age will know who she is. For the rest of us, suffice it to say that she was the founder of Ms magazine and is an articulate activist for gender, racial and other civil inequity issues.You can find out more at www.gloriasteinem.com

On page 31 of the book, I came across this radical advice, which she had received in the 1950s from a man who had devoted his life to Gandhian tactics of direct action:

  • If you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them.
  • If you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live.
  • If you want people to see you, you have to sit down with them eye-to-eye.

This is a reminder that we need to engage with our ‘enemies’ if we want them to become our ‘friends’. I think this is true as much for us as individuals as it is for nation states or political parties or religious groups.

 Engaging eye-to-eye
Engaging eye-to-eye

One of the great failures of our age is the us versus them mindset that appears to dominate international relations. I can only cringe when I am reminded of the ‘axis of evil’ speech of a recent US President. The long overdue normalisation of relations between the US and Cuba is slowly moving towards reality, thanks to both sides being prepared to sit down and talk to each other instead of at each other.

What could be the outcome if the warring parties in the Middle East could do the same? Or in Ukraine, or the hundreds of other places riven by conflict?

You cannot turn your enemies into your friends if you insist on labelling them terrorists and refuse to talk with them.

This advice is something we need to keep in mind when, with the best of intentions, we intervene to solve someone else’s problem, whether we are an NGO providing development aid or a friend trying to help out. Unless it’s a life or death emergency, where immediate action is required to avert the danger, it always works out better if we engage with the people we are trying to help, instead of simply imposing our solution to a problem we don’t really understand. How do you put the situation into its proper context if you don’t make the effort to find out what the real situation is?

I’m sure we can all come up with an example of how our best intentioned actions have only made the matter worse. If all of us husbands simply took the time to listen instead of going straight to solution mode, I’m sure our relationships would improve. Most times she wants you to listen to her, to see her, and understand how she feels about the situation. Guys, that means we need to practise the three steps listed above. And, it works the other way round, too.

Was that man talking to Gloria in India onto something? I think he was.

Leave a comment and let me know if you agree or not.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

Crime and romance together

Murder MysteryThe stories in the Inspector West series are a blending of crime and romance stories.

You might wonder why anyone would write crime stories with a romance or love story theme.

As a Science and Maths student doing the compulsory English subject, I didn’t become a serious reader of fiction until after I had left school. That’s when I discovered I liked reading – when I didn’t have to write a critical essay on the book to satisfy some English teacher. Once I was free of all those school based expectations and prescribed reading lists, I started to read for enjoyment, as well as for learning.

I’ve been a reader ever since….and in my case we’re talking around forty-five years of reading. I’m writing this in my shed (or should I say library?) surrounded by several thousand books – and that’s not counting the hundreds of ebooks on my devices. Maybe I should confess to being addicted  to reading.

Peter in his library

I read a lot of book across several genres but I like mystery stories, especially murder mysteries – that scientific bent showing up trying to solve the riddle and work who did it before all is revealed. In recent years I’ve been reading Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, Louise Penny and Michael Robotham to name a few.

As a regular reader of this blog you’d also know I’m interested in personal growth and development, and development of that inner awareness that enables the journey. I’m also interested in relationships, because each of us lives within all kinds of relationships, so there are books by Deepak Chopra, Richard Rohr, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Gregg Braden and quite a few others on my bookshelves.

Bob Baker, one of my marketing mentors, claims that we write stories to educate, to entertain and to inspire.

I’m aiming to meet those lofty goals through exploring the lives of people entangled in the events of a crime.

Basically, I use the crime story as a framework around which to weave the stories of the people involved – the people committing the crime, the police officers trying to solve the crime and apprehend the killer (usually), and the people impacted by the crime, including the victim. They’re stories about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, with a touch of suspense or mystery thrown in.

In a lot of crime stories the detective is larger than life. Think Inspector Rebus or Harry Hole.

Inspector West isn’t one of those guys. He’s an ordinary guy with the same sort of relationship issues you and I might have, and he has his own love story, which you can read more about in The Holiday – a bit later in the year.

In After , I examine the relationships of the husband of the victim. I was intrigued by what it would be like not only having to deal with your wife being killed, but also having to cope with the unravelling of the facade of your relationship. I thought going down that rabbit hole might be a little more interesting than just doing the crime story on its own.

Love Story 2

Mind you, writing the crime stories so that readers want to find out who did it, and why, is a lot of fun.

Leave a comment to let us know what you think about this blend of stories.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

The importance of context

One thing writers do a lot is read. I write crime novels but I don’t limit my reading to that genre. This week I finished the first draft of The Holiday, the second Inspector West novel, and rewarded myself by rereading The Age of the Unthinkable by Joshua Cooper Ramo.

This is one of those ‘wake up call’ books that challenges the way we look at the world, especially in the arena of foreign affairs, that the ‘High King’ and his advisors should have on their reading list – even though it was published in 2009.

An interesting experiment
Within the text there is a summary of an experiment conducted by psychologist Richard Nisbett and two graduate students, Hannah Faye Chua and Julie Boland, in 2004 at the University of Michigan (UM).

The experiment involved 50 graduate students from UM: 25 Western students, who had been raised and educated in the USA, and 25 Chinese students, who had been raised in China before coming to study in the USA.

The subjects were shown a series of pictures on a screen. While they looked at the pictures their eye movements were recorded, and then they were asked to recall what they had seen. The images were composed of a large object in a complex background; for example, a horse in a field of flowers, a tiger in a forest.

Apparently, there were some interesting results
The recorded eye movements showed that the Western students focused almost exclusively on the object (the horse or the tiger), while the Chinese students focused almost exclusively on the background (the field or the forest).

When quizzed on what they had seen, the Western students named the object (horse, tiger) and had little recall of the background, while the Chinese students could recall the backgrounds (field, forest) in detail, but not the specific object that was immersed in any of the backgrounds.

Implications
This finding poses an interesting question about the way in which we (Westerners) see the world, as it suggests we look at the ‘object’ in front of us but we are blind to the details surrounding it. We see the object or event but not its context.

When we see an event, like the situation in Crimea, but do not see the wider picture or the context of that event, we risk reacting or responding based on what we think is going on, and not what’s actually going on.

This is not only applicable to relationships between nations. It also applies to our everyday relationships as well. For example, you see the angry young man ‘demanding’ money from passengers on the subway, but you don’t see the structurally created poverty of the circumstances of his life, and you react according to what you see.

What does this mean if you’re a law enforcement officer dealing with people in the street or a teacher dealing with a young person going ballistic in a classroom?

What does it mean if you are the angry young person on the subway looking at all those ‘rich’ people, who have a whole different set of circumstances outside your awareness impacting their lives, ignoring you?

Scary stuff.

The context is important
That’s why it’s important to slow down and consider the bigger picture before responding – whether you’re a president, a policeman or a passenger on the subway.

Seeing things out of context, or not seeing the context in which an event is unfolding, can lead to disaster. Think of the global financial crisis – created by bankers not fully understanding the context within which they were playing.

What is the context of your life? Are you aware of it?

Give yourself a break. Look around the edges of any event to appreciate its context, before you respond.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

Sex matters – another perspective

My previous post explored sex matters from OSHO’s perspective.  For another perspective I’ve turned to Paul Ford, whose thoughts on the matter open my book.

‘It says here that a bloke can expect to live until he’s ninety, maybe even older if he’s fit and healthy, and gets plenty of sex.’

‘Paul, turn out the light and go to sleep. I’m too tired.’

‘Relax. I wasn’t chatting you up. I just hadn’t thought about living that long. I thought I’d be dead way before ninety.’

‘You’ll be bloody dead before morning if you don’t shut up and let me get some sleep.’

Paul switched off the light. He lay there thinking about living for another fifty years or so and wondering how he was going to pay for twenty five to thirty years of retirement living. He would just have to get serious about financial planning, once they had passed through the private school fees paying phase of middle class living. The last time he had seriously reviewed the family budget the most obvious fact was that their expenses matched their income. There was no surplus for contingencies.

His thoughts turned to Josie. It was always a challenge being next to her in the bed. He wanted sex every time he touched her naked body. Josie, however, had a different perspective. Obviously, as far as Paul could see, God had a twisted sense of humour. How else could you explain the different arousal rates between the sexes? He sees or thinks naked woman – instant arousal, with lumping great erection advertising the state of his interior monologue. She requires hours of talking, coupled with gentle, slow foreplay, before she even thinks about having sex and, even after all that, she is just as likely to roll over and go to sleep, and leave him there with his dripping erection. At least, that had been his experience.

‘Paul, stop tossing and turning! Every time you move you pull the covers off my shoulders.’

‘Sorry. I’ll try to die as soon as possible.’

She ran her smooth hand over his belly. It felt good. His penis stirred from its frustrated slumber.

‘I’m sorry, honey. I’m just really exhausted and I’m finding it hard to go to sleep.’

She snuggled up to him. Within three minutes she was asleep.

It was no wonder prostitution was a thriving business, he thought. It was married men who required the services of prostitutes and supposedly celibate men, in the guise of clergy, who were most strident in their opposition to the profession. He wondered what it would be like having sex with a prostitute. She certainly wouldn’t engage with the client on a personal level. After all, the client was just another transaction and, to survive as a person, the prostitute would have to shut down her emotional self while she was on the job. He decided he’d stick with Josie.

He thought of those times when they did connect and the sex was indescribable. What was the point of sex anyway? It wasn’t about the physical relief, even though that was good, it was about the sacredness of intimacy and that required connection on all three levels of being: physical, emotional and spiritual. He understood why communication failure led to relationship breakdown. The blokes were too much into the physical to notice that the girls were coming from the emotional looking for the spiritual. He knew it was when he came from the emotional, and they touched the spiritual, that they had great sex in the physical.

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You can read the rest of the story at: amazon.com/author/petermulraney or, if you don’t like paying for postage on your paperbacks at: BookDepository-After by Peter Mulraney

Enjoy.