Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You Are Who You Are Looking For

Are you seeking a relationship that will make you feel complete? Have you been searching for love but all of your experiences seem to fall short? Do you get excited, thinking you found "the one," only to feel dissatisfied again shortly after the high wears off? If so, you are reading the right article. 

This is a very common experience. It's easy to feel jaded about love if you've had enough experiences that haven't turned out the way you want. Luckily, there is a reason this keeps happening. Believe it or not, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. 

The relationship you are really looking for is one with YOURSELF.

I know. You may not believe me at first. You may think that you already have the best possible relationship you can have with yourself. But let me tell you, if you are constantly up against feelings such as "something is missing," or "this isn't good enough," or "I'm not satisfied," then it means that it's time to really start tending to the most important relationship in your life--the one you have with you.

When we don't feel satisfied within, we project the feeling of inadequacy onto our partners and other aspects of our life. The real truth is, if it feels like something is missing in your life, it's probably you (thank you Robert Holden for this life-changing lesson). 

Here is what is going on in this oh-so common pattern: When you seek completion (meaning you are looking to feel good about yourself--to feel at peace, in love, and whole) outside of yourself, it implies that you feel incomplete to begin with. Unfortunately this feeling of incompletion (that lives in you) is going to follow you into whatever situation you make your way into. Sure, when you fall in love you are going to get a glimpse of completion and love that is so divine. But, if what drove you into the relationship in the first place was to overcome a sense of feeling incomplete, you will find that soon enough you will begin to feel incomplete within the relationship too. 

Other people don't complete us. Only You complete You. 

I know many of us have heard this before and that, in theory, we believe that it is true. But the trouble is we don't do anything about this truth! We keep repeating the same pattern over and over again--looking for love, for completion, for a sense of inner peace by acquiring things (especially people) outside of us. Unfortunately nothing on the outside can ultimately change the way you feel on the inside. 

This isn't to say that relationships don't serve a purpose. That is not true. They serve the ultimate purpose--for us to feel love. But there are very different qualities in the type of love you feel if you are trying to complete yourself with someone else versus the type of love you feel when you are showing up to join, share, and co-create with another. In the first relationship you are going feel preoccupied with everything that is missing--with all that you are not getting from the other person. In the second, you are going to feel much more freedom to just relax and freely give your love away. 

You can feel deeply satisfied in relationships with other people. In fact, you are supposed to. But (and this is a big BUT) YOU have to get right with YOU first. 

I came across this quote the other day by Suzanne Falter-Barnes, and she sums it up perfectly. Here is what she said: 

"There is no relationship pure enough, pristine enough, sublime enough, romantic enough, beautiful enough, fulfilling enough, spiritually attuned enough to overcome the despair you will feel when you are not connected to who you are--when you are not connected to your own heart and soul." 

For your life to feel full, YOU must feel full. For your relationships to feel satisfying, YOU must feel satisfied. Soul, depth, heart, and love all come from within. And when you tap into these parts of yourself, you start to feel them all around you. When you feel disconnected from you, you feel disconnected from everyone around you too. This is just how it works. 

So what can you do? Stop looking for the answer outside of yourself--it's not there. 

You can't control other people. You can't expect someone to behave in a way that feels good to you all the time. You can't get another person's attention 100% of the time. You can't get a stream of pure positive love from another person all the time. You can't. 

But, you can give yourself those things. You can connect into your own heart. You can live out your desires. You can be true to who you really are, and feel fullness from within. You can live your life with depth, purpose, meaning and soul. All these things you can do. And you must, if you really want to live a life filled with joy and love. 

You are who you are looking for. It's You. Just you. 

If your life doesn't feel satisfying enough--if your relationships are falling short--stop looking for the answer on the outside and go within. Connect into yourself. Find yourself. Be true to yourself. And when you do, you will find that the love you have been looking for has been with you all along.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Head and The Heart

Have you ever wondered why you get a little goofy around that person you're crushing on? Why is it that you act normal and keep your cool everywhere except around people you really like? In this article I'm going to talk about why your head gets so activated when you fall in love, and how to try to keep your cool the best you can. 

Falling in love is one of the most potent spiritual experiences many of us have ever had. Feelings of oneness, of completion, of timelessness, and of ecstasy fall upon us. Yeah, it's some good s#*t! And because those feelings are so desirable--because we want love so badly--it can easily take us over. 

And herein lies the problem--when we believe that another person holds the key to feeling this good, they become all-powerful. Immediately, we are tricked into believing that love exists outside of us--in them! And if only we do and say all the right things, then we will get to hold onto to this amazing feeling of love. This is your ego talking to you, and it's a tricky little sucker. 

First thing to remember about the ego is that it is always going to tell you that what you want is outside of you. And this, although it seems believable, is a lie. 

Actually, what you want--that feeling of love that you want--is occurring within you. And the best way to make it last is to allow yourself to FEEL it. 

Your ego doesn't want you to feel love because it doesn't exist when you do. So it fights for it's life by pulling you back into your mind when your heart gets full. It feeds you all kinds of messages about what you should and shouldn't do to make that feeling of love last. And these messages do their job well--they distract you, taking you right out of the moment in which that beautiful feeling of love is existing. 

When your heart gets really activated, your ego gets activated to the same extent. This is why you get a little cuckoo.

So what should you do when your head starts to trip about love? Remember this: Love doesn't live in the mind. It lives in the heart. 

All you really have to do is recognize the ego's crazy voice inside your head and politely say, "No, thank you." Make an effort to drop back into your heart. Take some deep breaths. Allow yourself to feel into the love, rather than analyzing it. Your mind can really do a number on love; seriously, just put it in the back seat for awhile and enjoy your heart's ride. 

People are afraid to let their hearts lead the way. But my experience has been that it is not the heart that gets us into trouble; it's the head. You can easily overanalyze the goodness out of love; you can think yourself into a frenzy. You can list out all the pros and cons, the whats and whys and hows. But nothing, nothing is going to give more potent, more accurate information than how you feel. 

When you fall in love, trust it. Is your heart saying "yes?" Then listen. 

There is a level of wisdom that occurs beyond the mind. This is called intuition. When we let our heads get in the way and distract us from our the more intuitive messages, then we can miss out on the good stuff. Relax into love. Melt into it. Consciously allow yourself to feel your way through it. And don't be afraid. Love is supposed to feel really good--let it! The more you get out of your head and drop back into your heart, the better it's going to be. 

What You Should Know About Soul Mates

Many of us have pondered the concept of Soul Mates before. What is a Soul Mate? Do I have one? And if so, where is mine? The idea that there is one special person created just for you is too juicy not to consider. 

I definitely believe in Soul Mates, but my definition extends beyond the traditional idea of The One. What I personally believe is that a Soul Mate is a person that you are unexplainably drawn to be in relationship with; I believe they are brought into your life so that you can grow and expand into the best version of yourself. 

Let's think about attraction for a second. We come into contact with many, many people throughout our lives. And we are attracted to some of them. But there are only a few that we are so attracted to that we make a decision to partner-up with them. Why is it that we are pulled to get into relationships with just a few people? 

It is because our unconscious is leading the way when it comes to attraction. Love is not logical; it is of the Soul. And the Soul knows a thing or two; it's pretty damn smart. It will match you up with the very people you are supposed to be with--and it does this through attraction. When you feel a strong urge to enter a relationship with another person, rest assured, you have found a Soul Mate. 

Now, of course this does not mean that this relationship will last forever. Nor does it mean it's going to be a walk in the park. In fact, you can assume that you are going to come up against some challenges with your Soul Mate. Where there is potential for the greatest love there is also the potential for the greatest pain. Soul Mate relationships include both. 

I know, I know, you don't want this to be true. None of us do. We all want the love without the pain. We want bliss without breakdown. But, it isn't possible. 


Because both love and pain exist WITHIN US. What is within us is going to show up in front of us, especially in our relationships. This means that the unresolved issues that are residing within you are going to come to the surface; this happens in our most inmate relationships. Many of us are quick to right off our relationships when the going gets tough, but I'm here to assure you that challenges aren't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's supposed to happen this way. Because what does not come to the surface cannot be healed. We have to look our demons in the eye if we want them to go away. 

People spend a lot of time questioning whether or not they are with the right partner. And usually this question arises when we feel pain or discomfort. But what if we shifted our perception a bit--what if we understood and accepted that discomfort is part of the deal? And this doesn't mean that we act carelessly with our partners to evoke more pain. Nor does it mean that we stick around in relationships that are abusive or too awful to tolerate. 

But what I am proposing is this: What if we recognized that discomfort comes from within us (no, it's not their fault) and that it is telling us that we need to change? What if we actually took responsibility for our uncomfortable feelings and approached them as a call to become conscious--to learn where we struggle the most and try to grow beyond these setbacks? 

Jung said, "Seldom or never does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly without crisis. There is no birth of consciousness without pain." Pain is the opportunity; it literally is the call to wake-up and change. 

To personally evolve means to grow through the things that challenge us the most. Our Souls long to do this--we inherently want to become greater people. Deep within us we are driven to make our way through struggles and emerge victorious. Our Soul Mates are the people that give us the opportunity to do so by triggering our issues so we can become conscious of them and create a different reality.

And how do we move beyond the issues that get triggered in relationships? By choosing love instead. 

You can say that all feelings are categorized as either love or fear. To state the obvious, love feels good; fear does not. To grow simply means we transform experiences of fear into experiences of love. There are many simple and difficult opportunities to do this within a relationship. 

Choosing love means we see people (including ourselves) beyond their mistakes. It means we see the potential in our partners, even when they cannot see it within themselves. It means we are kind, compassionate, understanding, and forgiving, even when it's hard to do. It means focusing on the good in somebody else, rather than the bad. It means consciously committing to work through our stuff; to clean up our side of the street.

Your Soul Mate is someone to grow with. This doesn't come easy. They are going to challenge you in many ways, and that's ok. Don't write-off your relationship because it's difficult at times--understand that the difficultly is an opportunity for you grow.

The next time you start to question whether or not you have a Soul Mate, take a look at the person or people you are closest too. They are your Soul Mates. Quoting Jung once again, know that "in all disorder [there is] a secret order." The people who are in your life are here to help you become a better person, to expand and grow in love. 

All you have to do is accept the challenge. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Get What You Want in Relationships

There is something you can do to guarantee getting what you want in your relationships. And it's probably not what you think. In fact, its probably the opposite of what you think. No, it's not by getting him to commit or by getting a guarantee from her. You've tried all those things--they don't work. Trying to GET someone to GIVE something to you is always a dead-end street. But there is something else you can do--it's something that you probably haven't thought of. This something is called GIVING. 

Yes, turns out the old saying is true, "You get what you give." Problem is, most of us think we are giving; in fact, we think we are giving and giving and giving--too much! If you give and give and give (more than you feel comfortable with) then, I hate to break it to you, but you aren't really giving. Over-giving is a sure sign of  GIVING TO GET. And the truth is, it's not going to GET you anything (except resentful). No this isn't giving at all--it's called sacrifice. 

When you are not in contact with your own fullness then you will try to get from your partner the exact thing that you are not 1) giving to yourself or 2) giving to them. It is very hard to give--to genuinely give, without the motive of getting in return--if you are running on less-than-full yourself. This less-than-full is actually is the feeling that causes you to try and GET from someone else in the first place. You think they are the key. You think they have what you're seeking. So, ironically, what you usually do to try to GET from them is you… sacrifice yourself more? Can you see the irony in that?! Stop over-giving! It doesn't work!

You see, the only way to GET what you want is to stop trying to GET it--you have to start GIVING it, like, for free. And how are you supposed to so that? You give it to yourself first, of course. 

Anything that you feel like you need from your partner--anything you feel like you are not getting from him or her--is a sure sign of something that you are not giving to yourself. You don't feel like you have it, which is what makes you seek it from them in the first place! I'll show you. 

Let's say you are you seeking security from him. You want him to commit, you want a guarantee! Then sweetie, if it's security you are looking for, it's time to boost up your inner-security chops! Lack in the department of inner-security is what leads you to try and GET security from him in the first place! And, unfortunately, there is nothing he can actually do to make you feel--once and for all--secure. Only you can do that for yourself. The good news is, you can. Easy. Start contacting your own fullness. Start contacting your own solidity and abundance and strength. And once you do--VoilĂ !--your relationship begins to feel more secure. Let's do another one…

Let's say you are looking to get more freedom in your relationship. Well, if it's freedom you are seeking then this means you are not giving enough freedom to yourself--you have start there. Many people don't feel free in a relationship because they do things like censoring themselves, hiding the truth, not saying what they really feel--all of these modes of "hiding" are going to make you feel trapped. Often what happens when you're stuck in a mode of censoring yourself for so long is you start to project that freedom is "out there." Reality check: there is no freedom anywhere unless you give it to yourself. This means you have to start being REAL. Give yourself the freedom to say what you are thinking, be who you really are, and then, then, you will feel free. 

You see, we project exactly what is not happening within us onto our partners--and then try to make them give it to us! Here is the truth that I want you to remember: YOU PARTNER CANNOT GIVE TO YOU WHAT YOU DO NOT GIVE TO YOURSELF. Period. So whatever you are looking for--whatever you are desperately trying to get from them--you must, must, must learn to give it first. TO YOURSELF! Continue to come back to your own fullness, your own completeness--continue to remember that you have everything you need, that you don't need to GET anything from anyone else. Everything you think you need from your partner you can actually give to yourself. You take care of you. And it is in this knowing--when you stop demanding to GET from him or her and when you start showing up to GIVE--that you really start to receive everything you want. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recovering from a Broken Heart

Heartbreak. Is there anything worse? I believe love lost is one of the most painful experiences that a person can have in a lifetime. Luckily, there are ways to move through this hurt and loss. Here are some tips on how to navigate with a broken heart. 

(1) Know that you are not alone

I know that you've heard this before. I know that you know that you aren't the first or last person to experience heartbreak. And I know in the midst of a broken heart, you don't really care. But it's not that kind-of alone that I'm talking about here. What I am talking about is: your ex-partner is hurting too.

How can I be so sure? Because pain is exchanged; it is not a one way street. If you are feeling pain within your relationship or during the split, then it is safe to assume that your partner is too. In fact, he is probably feeling pain to the same degree that you are. How do I know? Because our partners mirror us. We don't always realize how closely linked our emotional experiences are with the people we are closest to. Your pain is very similar. How he manages that pain, well that is up to him. But regardless of what he does with it, know that the pain is there. 

It is helpful to know that your ex is also experiencing a loss not because you want him to suffer, but because it eases the root cause of all pain: separation. Separations induce a sense a being alone, disconnected, and incomplete. These feelings can be intolerable at times. We can take feeling separated to really dark places: I'm unlovable, I'm unwanted, I'm not worthy. Why is it so painful? Because separations trigger your first wounds; the ones that happened to you (to all of us) when you were really, really young. This is the why the pain felt during a breakup can be so primal--it is your first wound, essentially, that is getting reactivated. 

We often can get caught in thinking that we are the only ones experiencing the pain of a separation. It is the mere experience of separation that causes us to believe this; we project the disconnection we feel within ourselves onto our exs. "He doesn't even care. He isn't even hurting. He doesn't feel alone." Know this: on some level, he is. It may not be obvious to you, and it may not even be obvious to him, but we don't go through major separations without feeling torn apart. You are not alone. 

(2) Don't bypass feelings

Feelings can be tricky. There are three specific ways to handle them--repressing, overindulging, and just plain feeling them--and you are most likely doing some version of all three. Navigate them the best you can (and reach out for help if you need too--a good therapist can be of great service when it comes to getting through feelings). 

Repressing feelings means you block them out or pretend they aren't there. When you don't feel your authentic feelings, they go into your unconscious to be played back at another time. For the sake of your future relationship, try not to do this. In order to heal and move on (meaning, move into a more evolved way of being in a relationship), then you have to feel you feelings. Sadness, anger, despair, loneliness, hurt…they are all part of the breakup process. Don't be afraid of them; if you let yourself feel them, they will move through you so you can move on. 

On the other hand, overindulging your feelings during a breakup can be tempting as well, but it just leaves you in a state of more pain. When you overindulge your feelings (meaning you feel consumed by your feelings) you remain in a holding pattern of despair and separation. This keeps you stuck. You can't actually move on until you internally move on, and this means moving away from the uncomfortable feelings. 

If you find yourself overindulging, set boundaries to keep your mind and heart in check (and on another subject). You have to pull yourself out of this space--meet with friends, do things you enjoy, remember the good times. It is easier said than done, but then again, you actually have more control over your internal world than you think. Putting yourself in a position to feel good is the only way for you to actually feel good again. 

(3) Remember the good

The pain of love lost comes from the loss of something good. Yes, you had good times with your ex, a lot of them probably. And it is ok for you to think about the good times. In fact, when you think about the good times you shared from a sense of fullness rather than lack, then it will speed up the process of bringing love to you again. 

Let yourself muse and remember the sweet times you had in your relationship. The times you listened to music and cooked dinner together, memories of travel or adventures, the way it felt to touch each other. You may be thinking "Is she crazy?! Why would I want to think about that stuff when I don't have it anymore?" You want to remember what you loved so you have it again, in the next relationship.

This also can be delicate territory to navigate. If you find that when you are doing this you just end up longing for your ex, then stop, it's not helping. But if you can remember what you had from a place of genuine happiness and love, then it is a good thing--it keeps your heart light, happy, and loving. This is what you want. The more you can get back to feeling a sense of love within, the more quickly you will heal. 

(4) Forgiveness

When you feel like a victim, heartbreak is incredibly painful. Why? Because being a victim means feeling powerless. No control, no choices, no options. There is so much fear that comes from feeling like you have been wronged and victimized--it is really scary. And you don't have to stay there. 

The way to rise out of victimhood is by forgiving. You have to remember that your  relationship was a two-way street. Just as our partners mirror our feelings back to us, they also mirror our experiences. When we go back and take an inventory of what happened in the relationship, it can be surprising to see how often we were actually doing the things we blamed our partners for. Did you feel betrayed in your relationship? Well how did you also betray him? Did you feel that he was dishonest? What were the ways that you were dishonest too? 

When we begin to get really honest about what happened within our relationships, we can usually see that we have done what was done to us. And this, hopefully, can induce a sense of compassion for your ex. Again, if you feel hurt, then he is hurting too. What happened between the two of you was created by the two of you--no one person is the victim. Taking personal responsibility for your part empowers you so you can move on.

Breakups aren't easy. There is no way around it. Gather your support, feel your feelings, reconnect with your heart, and know that you are going to be ok. You will make it through this. You are here to love; it is what life is all about. Do everything you can to take care of yourself and know that you will find love again. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Who Are You (Really)?

What masks are you wearing? What I mean by this is, what are the ways you're hiding from the world? How do you veer away from your authentic self? How do you change or alter yourself in relationships? The answers to these questions can be very telling as to why you aren't feeling happy, complete, or fully embodied in your life.

Your mask has a lot of different names: the "false self," the "conditioned self," the "learned self," the "ego." Basically what it is is the version of you that is not authentic. We all have this version of ourselves (and some of us have many versions, one for every occasion). The fact that you have a false self is nothing to feel ashamed of. It is, however, a part of yourself that you might want to get to know; especially because happiness comes from learning how to take your mask off.

Here's a short history of where your false self came from. We all received messages (overtly or covertly) when we were young about how to be in the world: "you should or shouldn't be, act, feel, think" a certain way. Naturally we internalized these messages to mean that we needed to be different than who we really are to be accepted. Hence the birth of the false self (good girls, bad boys, etc etc).

Unfortunately many of us have never taken those masks off--we are still walking around as an altered version of our real selves. This causes us to feel like something is "off;" either our relationships don't feel fulfilling or we feel a little fraudulent or incomplete. If you feel "off" in a general way it's a good  indication that your false self has taken over. It's time to take back the reins.

One of the most common places for a false self to appear is in romantic relationships. Why? Because romance makes us vulnerable, vulnerability makes us scared, and when we are scared we want to put our masks on! We do this for two reasons:  #1 we think that altering ourselves is a way to get people to approve of us (like when we were young) and #2 we believe that hiding behind a mask keeps us safe. Neither are actually true. Really all your mask does is make you feel distant from others. It is a protective measure that backfires in a big way; rather than helping you, it just keeps your authentic greatness hidden from the world.

Your mask is not the real you! The real you is behind all that altering and changing.  The real you is your essence, your authentic self, your SOUL. Your Soul may be hidden behind a bunch of stuff, behind the masks, but it's there. And it's waiting for you to make contact. Ask yourself these questions to realign with your true self:

Who am I really? (really, really)
What do I stand for?
What is my purpose?
What is my message?
What am I here to do? (like, on this planet type-of here!)
What is important to me?
What is my gift? What do I want to create?
What inspires me?
What do I really love?

Now live your life according to your answers! Is it always easy? No! It's vulnerable as hell! But it's worth it. Trust me. The fact is you are going to feel limited in your connections if you are mainly operating with a mask on. Your mask hides you--it keeps you at a distance. So in order to really start living your life, you have to start showing up in a more authentic way.

Let yourself out! Greatness does not come from hiding. You have greatness within you and it's dying to be set free. So show the world who you are. We're all waiting to see...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Love, Just Because

There are different ways that we experience love, but there is one love that trumps them all and that is Unconditional Love. Unconditional love is the biggest of the loves. It is the most pervasive. It is the love that radiates out and takes over everything in sight.

Unconditional love comes with a sense of oneness. Whether it’s people, places or things—when you are in a state of unconditional love you feel as though you are a part of something much bigger than yourself. It is a big, big love. Overwhelming yet soft, all-encompassing. Unconditional love is often wordless and timeless—it just is.

All love is good, right? I mean, who is going to bag on love? Not me. But let’s talk about conditional love for a second, because it definitely poses some problems for us, especially in relationships. Conditional love is: “I love you because ______.” And sure, we all love people, places, and things for certain reasons. Great. Especially if those reasons stay constant. But what if the reasons change? Or what if you do? Then what happens to the love?

Conditional love covertly occurs within a “get-mentality”—“I get blank from you and therefore I love you.” But when I stop getting blank from you, or during moments where I’m not getting blank from you, then we have a big problem on our hands. When the conditions of love change, then the love seeps away and other, not-so-loving feelings come into play. This type of love can create a real rollercoaster within a relationship. One minute your partner is doing all the things you like and you are in love with him or her; but the minute they mess up, ooohhhh, watch out! The love is gone.

Love can’t last alone on conditional love because we change! Often. Luckily, there is a kind of love that occurs regardless of the conditions and this is called unconditional love. Does feeling unconditional love mean you never feel angry or disappointed or other uncomfortable feelings? No. But what it is is a sturdier type of love that is made to last because it extends beyond getting something from someone else—it is about loving, just because.

The only place you can “get” unconditional love is within yourself—it is born, cultivated, circulated and donated by YOU! It is a love that radiates within you and out of you. Unconditional love is the highest form of self-love. It is about contacting (on a very regular basis) your heart, your Soul, your purpose, your joy, your deepest pleasures and meanings in this life. It is about knowing who you really are. It is about staying true to yourself and doing what you love. When you live your life in this fashion, you feel love. It is a love that just exists. Not based on conditions. Not based on outside sources. YOU ARE THE SOURCE.

When we begin to recognize that the greatest form of love we need exists within us (and not outside of us!) then we are in a position providing more for ourselves and others. The more we take care of ourselves, the more we meet our own needs, the less we are “asking” others to meet our needs for us. So much anguish is caused in relationships by this misstep—asking another to meet your unmet needs for you. It doesn’t work that way! What you don’t do for yourself, you partner cannot do for you. Love included. If we use someone else’s love to feel the love that is missing within ourselves then eventually we are going to hit the same block. No one can make us feel love if we don’t feel love within ourselves, for ourselves. The absolute key to cultivating a love that lasts is loving yourself.

Unconditional love is about loving yourself and letting that love shine out onto others. It is an act of giving—“I have so I share with you.” It is about knowing that you are made of love and that you are here to love. It is the love of all loves. This is the one that lasts. This is the one that makes you feel alive and purposeful and joyful. It is one that you should start working on feeling more of today. Contact your heart. Contact your Soul. Listen to them. They will show you the way.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Feelings are Meant to be Felt

Feelings end up in your unconscious when you don’t feel them. You stuff them deep down so they are mostly or completely hidden and walk around as if everything is ok. But it’s not ok. What shows up around you will prove that. Pretending your true feelings don’t exist won’t solve anything. You actually have to feel your feelings if you want to move on.

If you cover-up or hide your feelings, they get bigger. Hidden feelings gain more power in your unconscious and they begin showing up in all areas of your external life. They are trying to get your attention so will do something about them! The more we hide from our feelings, the more massive they get.  

Now, the truth about feelings is we cannot technically change them on our own. Feelings change when we let them take their natural course. And their natural course is being felt. But what we can do to hurry the process along is to actually take some time to get to know our feelings—what are they all about, why are they here, and what are they trying to teach you? When we start to get to know our feelings better, they start moving through us pretty quickly.

One thing that is important to know about feelings is that fear is the root of all feelings that we don’t like to feel. Worry, anxiety, fright, panic, despair, uncertainty, hopelessness—of course no one wants to feel these things. Fear is what happens when we stop believing in the truth about ourselves. Fear is what happens when we start believing that we are separate, that we are alone, that we aren’t completely worthy, and that we are missing something. Fear is the indulgence of the ego—it stems from the felt sense that we are incomplete.

The ego is not your truth. The real truth about you is that you are completely worthy. The real truth about you is that you are a loving person, filled with grace, joy, and peace. And this truth—the truth of your Soul—stays with you no matter what feeling arrives! This means that you are always whole. No matter how bad you feel, no matter how hard of a time you are having, underneath it all, even when you can’t feel it, love remains strong. Your capacity for well-being and love never leaves you. This is a big deal! You can always make your way back to feeling love and loved. Always. And you will. To do so, you must look your feelings in the eye.

There are two big mistakes we make when it comes to feeling feelings: we either repress them (oh hell no you don’t exist) or we indulge them (you exist in a big, big way—in fact, you’ve taken over my life!). Let’s talk about both.

Indulging uncomfortable feelings means letting them define who you are. It means surrendering your power over to fear. It means buying into the illusion that you are anything short of magnificent. Here is the truth—you are not your feelings. You are not your depression. You are not your anxiety. You are not your hopelessness. And you are not your fear. What you are is pretty f-ing magnificent. The truth about you is you are a stream of well-being who gets hooked into the ego’s delusion from time to time. Remember that. You are fantastic. And your feelings are just feelings.

On the other hand, repressing your feelings means you essentially turn a blind eye to them. You put your hand up and look the other direction. You pretend they aren’t there. But you know that they’re there! Resisting your feelings just makes them worse—basically, they get pissed off that you’re ignoring them and they start to riot. Resistance equals persistence. We use a ton of psychic energy and force to make our feelings go away, but we end up feeding them ammo instead. Bad move.

Instead of completely indulging your feelings, or completely resisting them, turn around and look at them in the eye. Figure out what they are all about. Figure out if they are even based in reality or not. Many feelings that occur within the present have very little to do with what is actually going on for us now; they are usually from our past. Again, most feelings of discomfort stem from the illusion of separation. They come from the very-false belief that you are alone, that you have always been alone, and that you will always be alone. This is a lie that your ego likes to tell you.

Here are questions that will help you stay present to a feeling when it comes up:

- What does the feeling feel like in my body? Where do I feel it?
- Where does the feeling come from? Can I determine the root? (Sometimes, we cannot)
- What am I really scared of? Is this the truth about me, or is this one of the ego’s illusions?

Now all this looking your feelings in the eye is definitely easier said than done. It’s not fun. But it's really the only way through. You have to be brave; but don’t worry, you are. You’re courageous, you’re strong, and you can do this. If you do, your feelings are going to move right through you, and you can get back to being the fabulous person that you really are.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Little Lies about LOVE

There’s a lot you should know about love if you want it get more of it. For example, you should know what it really is. And you should definitely know what it is not. There are tons of little lies floating around out there about love so I am here to set the record straight.

Truth #1: LOVE IS LIMITLESS! There is an ever-abundant supply of love. It never runs out; it only grows. This means, the more love you give, the more love you get! Period. End of story. Happily ever after.

Limits are a thing of the ego, and the ego is not where love resides. Here are some of the ego’s not-so-smart instructions on what to do with love when you feel it. You might recognize some of these:
Hold back
Not so fast
Shut down
Back up
Close up shop
If you give too much, you are going to run out!

Now let’s use our intelligent minds to think about these statements, shall we? Does it really seem like a good idea to put limits on the thing that we all want; the thing that makes the world go round? Shut it down? Come-on! The ego is way out of it’s league on this subject. Flat out, it's lying.

When you limit love, then it limits you. When you withhold love with the intention of getting more, it backfires—love gets withheld from you. The only way to get more love is giving it out. It's like a muscle—the more you work it, the bigger it gets.

Switch your mindset from a get-mentality to a give-mentality (real giving, not sacrifice—check out my blog Giving vs. Sacrifice to find out the difference), you are going to receive a TON MORE LOVE! Comprende?

Truth #2: LOVE FEELS AMAZING. This may seem obvious, however many of us walk around believing that the opposite is true. The ego is a mastermind in convincing us that love hurts.

Again, let’s think about this. Love hurts? Really? No it doesn’t! Not loving is what hurts! Denying love is what hurts! Withholding love is what hurts!

Everything that hurts is an act of shutting out love (everything!!! Bold statement, I know). The actual act of loving should feel nothing short of fantastic! If you think you're loving but it doesn't feel good, then you’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere. That’s ok. We all make mistakes. Try again. The truth is: we all know how to love. Love is our purest instinct. All we have to do is reach into our hearts and make the decision to love, and we will.

Truth #3: LOVE LIVES IN YOU. Love lives in your Soul—your authentic self, your unconditioned self, the real you—whatever you want to call that part of you that is deeply connected to your heart. And your heart is open and ready to do business with you 24-7, 365. No appointment needed. Love is hanging out, waiting for you to show up.

You can tap into the good feeling of love anytime! There is so much out there to love! You can love anything. Seriously, anything! Your man. Yes, of course. You dog. Yes! Chocolate. Yes!! The trees, the flowers, the city, the country, your home, delicious food, good friends….(catch my drift!?) 

Love is about appreciating the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty that lives within us. You don't have to wait for love because the capacity to love lives inside of you! Love it all. Love the way the wind moves through the trees. Love the sound of the fog horn. Love looking into your lovers eyes. Love whatever you can. The more you make a conscious decision to love, the more love you are going to feel.
Here is the bottom line about love: It is impossible to be in a state of loving and not feel loved yourself. When your heart is filled with love, then love is what you feel. And that means, you have control over it! When you start loving more, you start feeling more love. Honestly, don't you think this world could use a lot more love? I do. Let’s start a movement of love by opening our own hearts and letting it pour forth. If you do so, you’ll be amazed at the gifts of love that will return to you.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Giving vs. Sacrifice (There's a big difference)

Did you know there is a difference between giving and sacrifice? Many of us don’t. Our intention is to be in the world as a giving person, but when we are sacrificing ourselves, giving is left out of the equation! To truly give is to receive; and to sacrifice is to, well, sacrifice. Let me explain what I am talking about.

To give comes from a place deep within us that wants to share what we have with another person. The quality of giving is not, “I’ll go without so you can have,” but is more like, “I have something I’d like to share with you.” The act of real giving evokes a sense of receiving at the same time—it is very enjoyable to share what we have with others, especially with the intention of helping another person out. There is always a felt sense of abundance for both people during the act of true giving.

And why is it that we feel like we receive when we give? Because essentially we cannot separate the experience we feel within ourselves from the experience felt within others. We believe that we are way more separate than we actually are—our eyes tell us we are separated by bodies and distance; but the truth is what is felt within people we interact with mirrors what is also within ourselves. Therefore when you give and the other person receives, this, in turn, creates an experience of receiving within you.

I am sure you have felt this experience before. Perhaps you’ve had the opportunity to be of service to another—to offer something to someone who is in need, and you leave the experience feeling so full. This is giving. You receive. Always. You can’t have one without the other. Giving always makes you feel really, really good.

Many of us get giving confused with sacrifice, which is something entirely different. If you are “giving” without the sense of simultaneously receiving, then this is actually called sacrifice. Again, because what we do for ourselves is also what we are doing for others—when we self-sacrifice, the other person always ends up getting sacrificed too! I’ll explain.

Many of us give and give and give, thinking we are doing the “right” thing—thinking, not only, that we are being of “service,” but also secretly hoping that we will receive for our acts of “service” sometime in the future. Unfortunately when we “give” this way, the sense of receiving doesn’t come; instead, we burn out. I know that the intention behind this I-thought-I-was-giving is good—that you really wanted to be offering yourself for another. But here is the truth, flat out: when you sacrifice yourself, you sacrifice the other. That’s it. There is no such thing as you sacrificing yourself for the good of the other; they always get sacrificed too.  

Why does the other person gets sacrificed when you sacrifice yourself? Because when we sacrifice ourselves it always leads to resentment and inevitably selfishness. When we sacrifice, then we eventually grow angry—the feeling is: “Who is looking out for me? I give and give and give and drain out! I’m left with nothing!” And yes, that’s true—but you did that to yourself. You end up getting angry at the other person for something that you, in actuality, have done to yourself. When we sacrifice ourselves, then we feel sacrificed—and then we blame the other person for “making us feel” that way! Unfortunately, no one can make us feel a certain way. If you sacrifice yourself, then there is no escaping feeling sacrificed, and eventually resentful. It’s not a pretty sight for anyone involved!

Well, why are we sacrificing instead of giving? Because sacrifice is a thing of the ego and giving is a thing of the Soul. The ego is the part of you that interprets the world through separation—it does not believe that what we do to ourselves we also do to others. The ego interprets the world through lack, not-enough, and fear. And it is from the ego-mind that we sacrifice. When we believe that we are not enough to begin with, then we give more than we feel comfortable with. It’s like saying, “here’s a little extra, to make up for what I lack,” or “here’s a little extra, I hope you like me.” The part of us that feels incomplete then feels like it needs to give more. This is your ego.

On the flip side, giving is an act of the Soul. Giving, generosity and being of service come from our own sense of fullness—“I have, therefore I give” (not “I don’t have enough, therefore I give more”). When we are in more consistent contact with our own fullness, then we are able to give to others in a much more beneficial and profound way. Giving from your own greatness is what it really means to be of service. Make sure you are in contact with your “enoughness” before you start giving away. Catch yourself when you are “giving” but it doesn’t feel good—and call it out for what it is: sacrifice! And stop doing it. You and your relationships will benefit greatly from this simple shift.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dating with Soul

I have some secrets to tell you. They are about how to attract a partner you really want. They are fool-proof—they work every time and under any circumstance. Integrate these truths into your dating life and your matches will be showing up on your door step. 

Before we begin, let’s set some things straight about the dating world. A lot of dating advice will tell you to play games in order to attract a partner—pull him in, string her out. Don’t call for 72 hours and never give it up on the first date. Holy smokes, no wonder we are all untrusting and heartbroken! 

Listen, you can do all this game-playing stuff, but it’s never going to lead you where you really want to go. If you are actually looking for something real—a relationship that feels really good and that has the potential to last—then here are a few pointers on how to make it happen: 

      1) Be who you want to be with. That’s it. Like attracts like. If you are manipulating, playing games, not being honest, or trying to uphold power over someone else, guess what? They are going to do the same things to you! If you want to feel manipulated, then by all means, manipulate away! But if you are looking for an honest relationship, then be honest. If you want a generous partner, then you have to be generous. If you want love, then you have be loving. It’s a simple equation! Make your list of what you want, and embody those qualities.  

2) Authenticity! The real you is the most attractive you. We often put a ton of effort towards altering and changing ourselves to try and be what we think others want us to be. Actually, what other people want you to be is YOU. Covering yourself up (changing, altering) ALWAYS weakens attraction. Keep this in mind—the hottest you is the real you. Plus, if you start out dating someone as an altered-version of yourself, then it’s a set-up for a bad match (because they aren’t really dating YOU!). To find your true match, you have to be the true you.
      3)   You complete yourself. It feels really good to be in partnership and to experience love with another human being. Don’t get me wrong, I know the truth in that. But, you really have to recognize that no other person has the power to complete you—that is something you do for yourself by having a deeper connection to your Soul. When we enter relationships under the premise that we need another person, not only does it put a ton of pressure on your partner (it might be unspoken, but it will be felt), but it also sets you up for failure (because he or she will never complete you). YOU ARE ENOUGH. You have to really embody this truth in order to also feel it within your relationships.  

 4)  Be happy. Is this obvious? I hope so. But if not, let’s talk about it. I’m not talking about fake-happy; I'm talking about the real-deal. If you aren’t happy, then again, no man or woman is going to make you happy. You have to cultivate happiness from within. When you are happy everyone wants to be around you! Why? Because it feels good to be around happy people! Happiness = magnetism. Think about it. Do you want to hang out with sad people? No. Not fun. Do you want to hang out with people who are alive and interested and excited and joyful? Of course you do! So embody your joyful self and watch people swarm to you!

5)  Everybody is a Big Deal. This is actually true. We all have potential for greatness within us. It is important that you are connected to your own greatness, but it is also important that you are connected to your potential-partner’s greatness too. See the things that are great about this person. What are their strengths? Who are they? What are they all about? The more you can tap into the unique greatness that is within all of us (instead of judging people for what they lack), the more great people are going to be in your life. It's an automatic win, win!

I could go on and on for days, but I wrap it up with this, which is the essence of the whole thing: THE FOUNDATION OF ALL RELATIONSHIPS IS THE RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF. How you treat yourself, how you feel about yourself, and how you act yourself are all going to be reflected back to you by your potential partners. So, the real secret is: cultivate a ton of love from within and you are going to feel and find love sprout up all around you. Enjoy the process of dating; feel grateful that you get to meet new people and that they get to meet you. It's true--you all are a big deal.