We’re cringing at the cliche, but if there’s anything to take away from Neuehouse’s Creative Couples series in Los Angeles, it’s that opposites attract. Plant-based power couple Rich Roll and Julie Piatt launched this new series at Neuehouse, a communal creative workspace located in the heart of Hollywood. Rich and Julie (she's also known as SriMati) have collaborated on a number of successful projects, including cookbooks, international retreats, and a weekly meal planner. But how do this lawyer-turned-ultra-endurance athlete and free-spirited yoga instructor get along? Each shared their secrets to a thriving, co-creative relationship and personal happiness.
Understanding the Different Energies
Julie is a multitasker. Her workspace, in Rich’s words, is “a disaster.” She is a creative, an experimenter, a go-with-the-flow kind of gal. By comparison, Rich is meticulously strategic in his work. His desk is organized, his focus singular. Julie explained that the female energy is eternally creating; it responds to the natural way of being and is constantly shifting. Masculine energy is presence in the moment; it is stillness, according to Julie. It took years for the couple to come to terms with each other’s energies, but once they did, they realized “We don’t have to prove each other wrong,” said Rich, “Each process is equally valid.” When collaborating on a project, they split the responsibilities and only consult each other at the very end, when the pieces come together to create that new cookbook or inspiring presentation.
No One Exists to ‘Complete’ You
“We are all spiritual beings having a human experience,” Julie informed the audience, “We are each on our own spiritual journey and must find wholeness on our own.” This belief is essential in the long-term health of any relationship. Neither person should rely on the other to complete them. Yes, it is nice to have someone to support you, to be with, to hold, but true love and happiness come from within. The couple would know, they’ve been together for eighteen loving years. Suffering from a breakup? Both Julie and Rich have been there. Julie consoled, “The love you feel is your love reflected off another person. Nobody can take your love from you - it’s your love.”
On Financial Security
“When your heart is aligned with your greater purpose, the Universe will provide,” advised Julie. She described in detail how treacherously close the couple had been to filing for bankruptcy. With a full house, children and a nephew included, the couple struggled for years. There was no ten-year plan, no aspirations to be best selling authors or to develop the behemoth that is now The Plant Power Way. They simply pursued their passions, and ever so slowly, their dedicated work brought attention and, eventually, substantial funding. However, they are constantly creating, not for money’s sake, but because it is what they love to do. Julie assured the audience, “Money is a bi-product of your journey pursuing what is in your heart.”
Communication and Freedom Are the Keys to a Solid Relationship
The couple has no barriers in regard to communication. To fall back on the cliche (and taking a line from "The Bachelor"), each person is completely open and honest with the other, “perhaps to a fault,” added Rich. They have no filter; they don’t hold back. Further, they do not need to communicate all the time; personal space is a daily practice. They are both content to do their own thing, which makes the time they spend together more intimate and intentional. To prove their point, Julie mentioned that neither wear a wedding band. “There is freedom in commitment,” the couple affirmed. With an open line of communication and true devotion, couples can lead vibrant and purposeful individual lives while enriching their relationship.
The session concluded with the couple’s final tip to creative success, lasting love, and happiness: Rich sleeps in a tent. They offered this somewhat in jest, but the truth is, he really does sleep in a tent on the roof. With the furnace-like body of Rich in bed next to her, Julie was constantly burning up through the night. To find a solution, Rich pitched the tent, and he has voluntarily slept there for years. He swears he gets a great night’s sleep when surrounded by the cool Malibu air. So, when all else, fails, perhaps a trip to REI is all you need to reignite that spark!
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