How to Create A Magical Relationship
An Interview with
Ariel and Shya Kane
By Randy Peyser

Are you and your partner more like roommates instead of lovers? Or have the two of you morphed into “The Bickersons?” Read on, because hope is on the horizon! For twenty-five years, Ariel and Shya Kane, who have been called, “masters of transformation” have shared a love that continues to become evermore joyful. The Kanes are authors of How to Create a Magical Relationship, winner of a prestigious Nautilus Award for spiritual books, as well as a #1 Amazon best seller called, Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work.

In this world of high drama on the relationship seas, I just couldn’t wait to hear what Ariel and Shya had to say that would help those of us who would like our relationships to become more fulfilling than anything we ever could have imagined.

Randy Peyser: What is a magical relationship?

Ariel Kane: One where you are not working on yourself or each other.

Randy: Is that humanly possible? Wasn’t the whole point of the personal growth movement to keep improving ourselves?

Shya Kane: While that may be the aim of the personal growth movement, it doesn’t seem to work, does it? I see my relationship with Ariel as being quite magical in that we don’t pick on ourselves or each other. We are not trying to change or fix the other person to get them to be a better ‘something’ than they are.

Ariel: Our first book, Working on Yourselves Doesn’t Work, A Book About Instantaneous Transformation®, sets the groundwork for how to have a magical relationship. There came a point about 24 years ago when Shya had an epiphany: he told me he was done working on himself. He told me that this was it and that this is what self-realization looked like. It made me a little nervous. I thought people would hate him if he said that. He said he didn’t care because it was true. He told me that I had to see that working on yourself doesn’t work.

Shya: The idea of working on yourself comes from the idea that there is something flawed or damaged in you that needs to be fixed. What if there is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone?

Randy: How was the quality of your relationship before you had this grand epiphany and started living in this way?

Ariel: Happy, with an undertone of bickering ready to flare up whenever we crossed paths with something mechanical in ourselves. We were totally capable of fighting over things like who got the mail or whether to cross the street on the diagonal or at the crosswalk. Minutia. That was normal for us twenty-four years ago.

Shya: When I stopped working on myself, I stopped working on Ariel by extension. There was no need to work on her because I became okay with the way I was, and therefore, she was okay with the way she was. We started relating in a much more genuine, gentle, kind and supportive way.

Randy: So, it begins by looking at yourself first.

Ariel: Absolutely. One of our premises is that in a magical relationship each person takes 100% responsibility for the health of the relationship. It’s not a 50-50 deal. Magical relationships happen when you discover how to be okay with being yourself.

Randy: Do you promote certain processes to get to that place?

Shya: No. But we’ve discovered that listening will pull you into the current moment of now. We are not talking about the kind of listening to see whether you agree or disagree with someone, but actually listening to hear what the speaker is saying from his or her point of view. That pulls you into the moment.

Ariel: And the moment is this magical place that creates the basis for well-being within yourself, and subsequently, a magical relationship.

Shya: When you are well in yourself, you bring that well-being to a relationship. If you think you are deficient and need a relationship to be whole, then you will bring your deficiencies to the relationship.

Ariel: Awareness is truly the key. Awareness is not a process. It is a non-judgmental seeing of anything.

Shya: If you see any mechanical behavior and don’t judge it, it completes itself in the instant you see it. This is Instantaneous Transformation.

Randy: What do you mean by “mechanical behavior”?

Shya: Those things you do over and over again even though you know better. For example, a person says something and you feel compelled to respond aggressively, or take it personally. There’s no neutrality about it.

Randy: Recently, I had an expectation for my partner to act a certain way and she didn’t comply in the way I expected. I judged her and felt a lot of charge around it.

Shya: What if this charge is an always existent possibility in you? What if it wasn’t caused by that particular situation? There is the always present potential to have an explosive, mechanical response to the environment not showing up the way you prefer. That is mechanical.

People keep their explosive charges intact by misidentifying the cause of their upset. They get upset and think it had to do with how their partner acted. But the reality is that they have an ongoing ever-present charge and are looking for something to discharge on. If you discover that and see it, it loses its power. If you blame your partner, then you have just empowered the mechanical way of relating to life. Every mechanical behavior needs energy to survive. If you feed it positive or negative energy, it continues.

: There are three principles to Instantaneous Transformation. The first is a law of physics: “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Another way of saying that is “anything you resist will persist, grow stronger, and dominate your life. If you resist your anger, for instance, it will persist and grow stronger. Anger, upset, fear and sadness are things we have a tendency to judge and resist.

Shya: If you judge it, you are resisting it. If you find fault with having it, you are resisting it, and anything you resist persists. Second principle: “You can only be exactly as you are in any moment of now.” That means you could only have gotten angry in that situation because you did. Our lives unfold as moments of now. They are complete moments of now, which include body posture, emotions, thoughts, feelings, and where you exist in time and space. Each moment can only be the way that it is.

Randy: How does this contribute to a magical relationship?

Shya: Could you be standing right now?

Randy: Not when I am sitting.
Shya: Right. Now, three minutes ago, could you have been standing?

Randy: I could have, but I wasn’t.

Shya: So you couldn’t have.

Ariel: Our approach is not psychological; it is not about “what ifs” and hypotheticals. It is about dealing with reality, with what is.

Shya: If you couldn’t be different than you were three minutes ago, and you could not be different than you are in this moment of now, then you could never have been different in any moment of your life. Your life has unfolded as a series of moments of now, a continuum of moments of now up until this point.

Ariel: That means you had the right parents, the perfect ones, to create a magical relationship, too.

Shya: It was necessary for you to go through everything you’ve gone through in your life to bring you to this moment. Everything has brought you to this moment. That is the second principle. You didn’t do anything wrong because you could not have done it any differently than you did.

Ariel: How does this support you in having a magical relationship, you might ask? This second principle is so simple, people often miss how profound it is. If you really see that things can only be exactly as they are, your past could only be exactly as it was.

Shya: That relieves resentment, regret, blame, shame and guilt.

Ariel: This also includes your partner showing up in any given way that they show up. Whether they come home late or act in ways you don’t prefer, they can only be exactly as they are. This starts the process of unraveling unrealistic expectations.

Shya: This also allows for compassion, for a kindness toward yourself and the other.

Randy: It sounds like to have a magical relationship, you have to have a deep sense of acceptance and let go of judging yourself and others.

Shya: It’s not about acceptance. Acceptance implies denial first.

Ariel: Acceptance implies that someone is displaying a quality that you do not like that you must “get over.” Our approach is not about acceptance; it’s about awareness. Awareness is a non-judgmental seeing of something.

This brings us to the third principle of Instantaneous Transformation, which is that “anything you allow to be exactly as it is without judging it will complete itself.” It will cease to dominate your life. It’s not about accepting; it’s about allowing. There are times when you’ll be aware of something you don’t like about yourself. Notice that you don’t like this thing about yourself without judging yourself for judging yourself.

Randy: How does intimacy work in a magical relationship? Many people I know talk about how they feel more like roommates, rather than lovers, in their relationships.

Shya: Intimacy requires “being” with another. It doesn’t require “doing”; it requires “being there.” Most of us are very uncomfortable being with other people even though we may consider ourselves gregarious.

Ariel: People underestimate the early enculturation process, particularly if they had a number of partners or quite a bit of sex in their teens or twenties. As people age, their hormonal push dies down. In the teens and early 20’s, the body supports the reproduction of the species. If a person is angry with their partner and they’re 22, the hormonal push is likely to support him or her in overriding the things that went down during the day. But when one is older, he or she has to volitionally bypass, not only anything that went down during the day, but also, one’s early inhibitors.

Shya: If you’ve been raised in a religious background you are going to be prudish. Most religions are sexually suppressive.

Ariel: One of the games we play with our clients is to have them notice all the ways they can see how they are prudish, rather then have them defend the ways in which they are not prudish.

Shya: So, if you start to see things about sex that you considered to be disgusting, dirty, bad or wrong which had been programmed into you at an early age, and you don’t judge what you see, but just see it, it completes itself. Then you become freer.

Ariel: Couples also hold secrets from each other. We can pick up on these secrets tactilely. There is a physiological rippling effect when electricity passes through the skin and you lie. That is how a lie detector can tell if you are telling the truth. Shya and I have a challenge around holidays. We are so unused to keeping secrets or telling lies of any kind that even keeping a secret about what we are getting one another for a holiday gift is something that gets between us tactilely.

Anything that you see and allow to be exactly as it is loses its power over you. For example, when Shya and I were first dating back when I was in my twenties, I was very enamored with riding around on his motorcycle. I had a thought that caught hold, which was that I was using him for his motorcycle. I finally told him. We were in bed at the time and he started laughing. He said, “I don’t see you in bed with my bike.” That popped it. People have thoughts that are as silly as that juvenile version of me, and they hold onto them, and it creates a distance between them and their partners.

Shya: People hold onto resentments. Resentments happen because life shows up the way it does; not the way we prefer. In a relationship you are close to somebody. If somebody blew their horn at you and you got upset, that’s just some stranger on the street, but when you are around somebody a lot and an upset takes place, you are going to find fault with them as though they are “doing it.”

Randy: Do you have some final thoughts you would like to share?

Shya: Be kind to yourself. If you are kind to yourself, you will be kind to your partner.

Ariel: Also, no matter how great your relationship is, there will come a point when you think you have blown it, or you weren’t attentive to your partner. Remember the three golden words: “I am sorry.” Really mean it when you say it. It can make a huge impact and bring you back to center.

Shya: Apologizing is not saying, “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings;” it’s saying, “I’m sorry for hurting your feelings.” You did something that was unkind enough that they upset themselves. It may have been unintentional, but that doesn’t matter.

Ariel: You have to wholeheartedly apologize because they felt hurt. If you cannot be responsible for it (we’re not talking about blame), you will keep on having little or big injustices that will keep on building until pretty soon you are roommates.

Often people are afraid that in a relationship, there will be one who dominates and one who loses their way or their independence. One of the things that makes our relationship so magical is that we are not afraid of ourselves and each other. In general, if one of us really wants something, the other person is there to say, “yes,” and to back them up.

Shya: The other thing is that you can either be right or you can be alive. Being right means you are right and the other is wrong. Being alive means you are experiencing love and being loved; you are experiencing satisfaction, well-being, self-expression or relationship. You are either right or you are alive. Most people, when they are bickering, they’re right. When they are fighting, they’re right. When they are roommates, they’re right. When they are lovers, they’ve given up being right, and that’s all it takes.

Ariel: We romance each other all the time. How fun is that? It’s the best and it just gets better!

Shya: Normally, I’m a “yes” to whatever Ariel wants, and she is a “yes” to whatever I want.

Ariel: We dominate each other all the time.

Shya: But it’s fun.

For more information about Magical Relationship workshops, events, podcasts, articles and a radio show, please visit:

Randy Peyser is the author of the newly-released book, “The Power of Miracle Thinking.” Visit:

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