Turtlelog No. 7, www.TheGreatStory.org

Growing in Love

Commentary by Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow

Over the last year, while living on the road teaching and preaching the marriage of science and religion for personal and planetary wellbeing, we have grown very deeply in love. For this we are unspeakably grateful.

Not long after we met in the fall of 2000, we experienced ourselves as mission partners and knew that we were destined to work together. Would we co-author books or co-design evolutionary rituals? We didn't know. All we knew was that we shared a common passion: telling the great news of the Great Story and promoting the Great Work as far and wide as possible. Even after we were married in June 2001, we saw ourselves primarily as mission partners, and only secondarily as husband and wife.

Needless to say, it wasn't long before we began to realize how very different we were, and what radically different histories, personalities, understandings, and expectations we brought into our relationship. This, combined with being around each other practically 24/7, in our van or in someone else's home — often a stranger's — eventuated in some fairly serious stress and challenges in our relationship.

So last summer, while in the Pacific Northwest for four months, we took advantage of the opportunity to consciously work on strengthening our marriage and growing as a couple. We worked closely with a counselor, did 12-step work together, gathered support from family and friends, read books and listened to tapes: all designed to have the joy, ease, and solidity of our marriage be commensurate with our shared mission. Wow, what an unbelievably fruitful and valuable experience!

Thanks to this relational work, and the communication tools and practices we've maintained since, Michael has become less arrogant, more vulnerable, and more compassionate than ever. Connie (not surprisingly) has become more confident, self-expressed, and happy as a result. For nearly a year now, the two of us have been passionately in love, on purpose, and deeply fulfilled. We have grown individually, as a couple, and as a working partnership. Our Turtle Tour mission is still, of course, front and center for both of us. But now we also delight in having a solid, tender, nurturing, and mutually inspiring and empowering marriage, and a deliciously passionate love life.

Grace abounds!

Please do keep us in your heartful thoughts and prayers, that we continue to grow personally and as a couple, even as our itinerant educational ministry grows.

Thank you!

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