Creating Intentional Dialogue Structure

The Intentional Dialogue

A great way to start using the dialogue is to share something that you appreciate about your friend/partner. It creates safety and connection, and it reminds you and your friend of the things you love and appreciate about each other.

The Sender’s role, simply, is to speak from their own experience focusing on how they feel and using “I” statements. No shaming or blaming their partner or focusing on what their partner did or did not do.

The Sender begins by asking for agreement to start the dialogue:

I would like to dialogue about . . . Is now okay?

Once agreement is reached, the Sender focuses on his or her feelings and emotions using “I” statements:
I feel . . .
I love . . .
I need . . .
What’s bothering me is . . .

After the Sender completes their thoughts, the Receiver steps in.

The Receiver’s role is to listen attentively to the Sender and repeat back exactly what the Sender has said. Note that the Receiver does not have to agree with the statement, merely repeat it.

Step One: Mirroring
At the Mirroring Stage, the Receiver focuses on repeating what the Sender has said, completing the following sentence stems:
Let me see if I’ve got you.
I heard you say . . . or You said . . .
Am I getting you? or Did I get that?
Is there more about that?
When the Sender feels there is nothing further to say, it is time for the Receiver to summarize the essence of what the sender has said:
Let me see if I got it all . . .?
Am I getting you? Did I get all of that? or
Is that a good summary?

Step Two: Validation
At the Validation Stage, the Receiver steps into the Sender’s world and identifies the ways in which Sender’s actions make sense from their perspective.
The Receiver completes the following sentence stem:
You make sense to me, and what makes sense is . . .
I can understand that . . .given that . . .
I can see how you would see it that way because sometimes I do . . .

Step Three: Over and Over

After the sender feels validated, then make sure they have shared all that there is to share by asking:

Is there more? 

Offer time for the sender to finish/empty their feelings/thoughts/comments. If they offer new information, then mirror and validate again. Repeat this step as long as there is time available for you two to keep diving deeper. 

Step Four: Empathy
At the Empathy Stage, the Receiver again steps into the Sender’s world in order to identify the feelings behind Sender’s experience.
The Receiver completes the following sentence stem:
I imagine you might be feeling . . .
Is that what you’re feeling?


Intentional Love

The practice of intentional love brings gifts that are deep and healing to lovers. Intentional love gives birth to mature relationships that are emotionally grounded and accountable and soulfully enriching. According to the teachings of Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D., the authors of New York Times bestsellers of Getting the Love You Want, romantic relationships can move through three basic phases. The first phase is the Romantic phase; the second is the Power Struggle phase, and the third is Real Love.

Check out the newly 2019 released edition.

The first phase, the Romantic phase, is usually classified and driven by a cornucopia of biochemicals like dopamine,oxytocin, serotonin, and others. This is what feels so incredible and magical when we first begin to feel drawn to, connect emotionally with, and build a romantic bond with that special someone. This is the stage where lovers feel euphoric and “in love.”

Over time, misunderstandings, miscommunications, discord, fears, and disconnection can occur which can slip the lovers into the second phase, the Power Struggle phase. Unfortunately, most people who are unaware of these natural phases and dynamics of romantic relationships often mistake the discord and fears as wrong and problematic, instead of seeing it as an opportunity for growth, call for better relational skills, and deeper connection. As a result, the lovers get caught up in the “struggle.” This stage can feel more challenging if they are not equipped with “intentional love” and relational skills such as the Imago Dialogue or Safe Conversations methods. In fact, if they are not deeply self-aware, what attracted the lovers into each other’s lives in the beginning will become exactly what they criticize each other about eventually in this second phase. After the exhilaration of the Romantic phase dwindles and the lovers slip into the treacherous territory of the Power Struggle phase, the lovers can heal and restore the connection in the relationship by becoming dialogical through the Imago Dialogue and Safe Conversations. Continuously and skillfully engaging in these practices can usher the partners into the third phase, the Real Love phase. If lovers are to continue their relationship successfully, they will find that it takes intentionality to love with integrity. They will find that it also takes deep awareness and accountability of their own emotional tendencies and past programming.

In order for the relationship to mature, the lovers must discover how to intentionally love the other person the way their lover wants to be loved so they may actually feel loved. Until the love they give feels loving to their partner, their partner will not feel loved. Consequently, the daily offering of the words “I love you” may feel sweet but will lack substance to the receiver. Intentional love is dedicated to being an empathic lover. Intentional lovers are emotionally generous lovers. Intentional lovers know how to ensure the effective expression and reception of their love.

Love requires that people learn to both discern and communicate their various emotions with each other. This means they share and hold space for their various fears, insecurities, pleasures, dreams, and a host of other vulnerable feelings. The purpose of this kind of communication is to grow and deepen the connection. This requires fierce vulnerability. Intentional loving is choosing to be deeply open which naturally leads to allowing love and intimacy. Intentional love paves the way for the natural progression to Real Love.

The lovers who choose to journey through the courageous trajectory of loving each other intentionally will be rewarded with growing and learning together. Even if it feels challenging, they will know that opening up to such a growth process is ultimately deepening their bond and connection to each other as lovers. As a result, they will enjoy their own expansion and learning from each other with authenticity, humility, compassion, accountability, and a sense of adventure. They will communicate with curiosity before making judgments, projections, assumptions, or conclusions. They will celebrate their commitment to this intimate process daily and wholeheartedly.

Intentional lovers will turn criticism into curiosity and insecurities into requests before making judgements and conclusions about each other. They will invite their partner to support them with their inner struggles. Intentional lovers will know that messy and unpleasant emotions can be a powerful healing force for relationships if held and facilitated. They will support each other with turning their wounds into wisdom for a deepened connection.These are a few of the gifts of practicing love intentionally with each other.

Intentional lovers know that holding space for each other with love and care is how they can create a lasting soulful relationship. When we make the intention to love people with all our heart, soul, mind, and body, it means we care enough to concern ourselves with the way we impact them and their heart. We intend to learn, grow, and serve the relationship and our partners for as long as we agree to be in the relationship.

Intentional love requires that we choose to communicate wisely. We have to say what we mean and be clear about our emotions, intentions, and motivations. In intentionally loving relationships, we are deliberate every step of the way with our partners and take accountability for being co-pilots and stewards of this sacred and intimate connection we call… love. Ultimately, intentional love allows you to get the love you and your partner want in your relationship.

Intentional love is mature love. It is quality love. It is soulful love.

Intentional love is... sexy love.

To learn how to cultivate intentional love in your life, contact Sonali Sadequee, Certified Imago Facilitator.

Proactive, Preventive, and Powerful

Happy 2019!

We are delighted to wrap up yet another soulful year with you at the Sustainable Wellness soul sanctuary. We uplift all who have experienced breakthroughs and improvements this year and want to share one such story here.

We thank you for allowing us to guide you in your transformative journey! The preventive lifestyle journey is more fun with a guide by your side, isn't it?!

Speaking of prevention, a key cause of chronic disease is unaddressed historical emotional stress and trauma stored in the body, mind, and heart. ACE's study reveals how developmental childhood trauma is correlated with an increased occurrence of physical and psychological conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, depression, and addictions, and anxiety just to name a few in adulthood. Read more about the study here.

Thanks to all the different trauma research and the work of Harville Hendrix PhD and Helen Hunt PhD, the authors of Getting the Love You Want, a NY best seller, we now know that an effective way to heal and reduce the impact of developmental trauma is by consciously creating healing relationships in adulthood through relationship and trust building skills such as the Imago Dialogue.

Conscious communication skills help us to create healthy, wholesome, and empowering relationships. Through conscious communication, we can regulate our nervous systems better during hard moments, recognize and reduce breakdowns while restoring trust and respect with others. As a result, we feel more connected with each other and therefore more supported, empathetic, open, and heard with each other. As we communicate more effectively, our professional and personal relationships heal and improve. As our relationships improve, our overall quality of life improves.

A preventive approach to health and a conscious approach to relationships is truly where the future of collective wellness is headed because it is easier and more powerful to take proactive action than to take action after a breakdown. More of us are recognizing that when we take proactive action in taking charge of our joy and well being, we feel greater vitality and inspiration in our lives.

To become a part of this proactive and powerful journey, join us in 2019!  

Conscious Cooking Class for the Holiday Season

Are you seeking more creative, convenient, and healthy ways to cook and feed yourself/friends/family/community during the holiday season?

Then join us for our cooking class on November 11th.

In this class you will learn:

- How to correctly transition to a more plant-based diet

-Maintain a boosted immune system

- Nutritious cooking principles that promote the regeneration of your body

- Spice/flavor profiles across the globe that you can use in your daily cooking

- Proper knife and other utensil techniques to ensure you feel confident in the kitchen

Attendees will learn all of this and more while enjoying a cooking demonstration and tasting your favorite holiday dishes in a supportive group setting for $55 a person.

Conscious Cooking

I believe that when we treat the food we consume with love and respect, we allow the love and respect to translate into every cell of our bodies...nourishing our bodies and igniting our spirits, we create a wholesome conscious experience of the way we love and care for ourselves.

If this intrigues you or resonates with you, then join me in our cooking class from 11:00-1:00 p.m. on October 15th at our new Sustainable Wellness Ashram!

In this class you will learn:

  • How to transition to a more plant-based diet and do it right

  • Nutritious cooking principles that promote the regeneration of your body

  • Time saving tricks to reduce your time in the kitchen by 50%

  • Proper knife and other utensil techniques to ensure you feel confident in the kitchen

You will learn all of this and more while enjoying a cooking demonstration, tasting delicious, healthful dishes in a supportive group setting, and learning simple vegan and gluten free recipes you can take home with them and cook themselves on their journey to better health!

Contact Sonali promptly to RSVP!


New Space, New Beginnings

We are thrilled to announce our new Sustainable Wellness Ashram!


In today’s hectic and tense life, imagine a space where we can all feel empowered on our journeys, while maintaining a sense of groundedness and unity with the divine.  We are pleased to announce the opening of our Sustainable Wellness Ashram in Old Fourth Ward- a space for conscious community where we can all reconnect with and unleash our highest potential!

Our new space provides you with clarity in the midst of life's stress.  The center serves as a kitchen studio classroom for both private and public cooking workshops (the next one is October 16th!) as well as our in-house nutritional retail store to support your unique needs.  The expansive main area of the ashram houses our yoga classes and relaxing lounging are.  Additionally, we also have an energy, bodywork, and cupping room that is ready for appointments.  If you're looking for a session, contact us right away.

Enjoy the serenity of our new space as we nurture the whole self through:

  • Conscious cooking education and support

  • Products to support your unique nutritional needs

  • Yoga and meditation

  • A place to relax and restore with community 


We are delighted to have you join us for our Open House at the end of October.  Stay tuned for more details!


Embracing and Upgrading Community for 2017!

Dear Friends of Sustainable Wellness, 
We claim you are enjoying your holiday season and preparing for 2017! There is no denying that 2016 has been a trying year, politically, personally, and beyond. We have experienced losses, however, we have also participated in and held witness to the rise of movements that affirm our humanity and protect the very land and water that support our well being and survival. What is clear now more than ever as we close 2016 and welcome 2017 with open hearts is that we will benefit from focusing on not just our own self-care but also collective-care with authenticity and resiliency in connection with one another.  

Our world is about to change and we have courageous choices to make. Will we allow overwhelm to shut us down, to drift, resist change, and continue to "other" those things/people we do not understand, OR do we choose connection, curiosity, growth, oneness, kindness, understanding, change, and healing?

You are not alone in this journey of making challenging choices and taking courageous actions and doing it with a sense of balance and wholeness. This is not always easy, we know. However, with the proper tools and support by your side, we know it can be done in grace and wholeness rather than constant stress and overwhelm.

We at Sustainable Wellness commend you for the ongoing inner and outer work you do and we are excited to continue to support you in this life journey. 

For more support in your lifestyle journey, please do not hesitate to reach out, email, and/or connect with us on our FACEBOOK fan page and on Instagram! We are here to customize services to meet your unique needs.

Creamy Butternut Soup

Immune Boosting Winter Recipie

Stay healthy and cozy this cold season with these two delicious recipes that warm your stomach and fortify your immune system!

Makes 5 servings


1 medium butternut squash/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and 2-inch chunked
1 medium onion (cut in 4 quarters)
6 cloves garlic
2 TBS curry powder
4 TBS fresh lime juice
1 one-inch piece fresh ginger
3 cups water
1 cup/can coconut milk
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste (cayenne pepper is allowed) 


1. In a deep and heavy-bottomed pan, add squash, onion, garlic, ginger, salt, and water. 

2. Bring to boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until the squash is almost breakable with a wooden spoon on a comfortable push. Do not over-cook to mush.

3. Once everything is somewhat soft, transfer to a blender. Blend until everything is pureed. Be careful, content is hot. Make sure blender lid is on tightly. You may consider blending half the content at a time. 

4. Transfer puree into the pot again and add the black pepper and the coconut milk.  Bring to a gentle simmer for 2 minutes.

5a. Add lime juice and reduce the heat to low, stirring for 1 minute or until the everything is uniformly creamy and thick like soup.  If too thick, add more water to your desired thickness. If too watery, keep simmering to evaporate water and create thickness. 

5b. Taste for your flavor preferences. Add anything else that you may want to.

~Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley flakes or anything green like scallions.

Indonesian Cabbage Salad

Indonesian Cabbage Salad

Ingredients: Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings
•1/2 head cabbage/napa cabbage, coarsely shredded
•4 stalks bok choy or 1 head baby bok choy, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
•1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin rounds
•1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch-long thin strips