How to be a Love Magnet

Have you noticed that some people seem naturally magnetic where others are prickly?  What are some of the elements that make some people love magnets?  In a recent speaking engagement I pointed out that most babies are love magnets without having to do anything: they are magnetic just by being themselves.  What happens over time to interfere with our natural birthright of being love magnets?  I think a lot has to do with others telling us we have been bad or wrong – or that we’ve disappointed them.  We start to doubt ourselves and question whether or not we’re lovable.  How can we shed ourselves of those negative messages and return to loving beings?  Here are three ways:

1) Fall madly in love with yourself! Celebrate your triumphs and be compassionate toward yourself when you make mistakes or believe that you have fallen short
2) Be friendly to others and create connections even if it’s just in a supermarket lineup! A friendly smile could be the highlight of someone’s day and it’s going to make you feel good, too!
3) Recognize the value of community. Get out there and participate! Make a difference in the world and shine that light of yours!

How might your life be different if you intentionally gave and received love with an open heart?  Why not give it a try?

With Valentine’s Day coming up very soon why wait for someone else to express love to you?  When you make a conscious choice to be a more loving person you can treat everyone you meet with kindness and compassion.  Many people save themselves and their love for a romantic partner but my belief is that if you don’t use it you lose it so why not practise love every day?

I have a friend who teases me about shining white light at people!  Actually when I walk down the street I smile at strangers.  Sometimes I get a smile back but often the person averts his or her eyes.  I hope someday everyone will feel safe to smile at a stranger.  I know it makes me feel good!

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Dating as a Spiritual Practice

What is the goal of a spiritual practice?  For me, the goal is wholeness.

How can dating be seen as a spiritual practice?  Is it about finding “the one” so you can be whole?

That’s not how I see it.

In fact, it’s the opposite.  It’s using the trials and tribulations (as well as the triumphs!) of dating toward becoming whole and deepening your relationship with the Divine, God, the Universe or whatever term you choose to use.

Without a spiritual component, dating can be overwhelmingly daunting and frustrating.  If we come from a place of being lonely and desperately seeking someone to complete us or to make us feel good about ourselves, it’s pretty hard.  We often encounter disappointment, rejection and self-doubt…. how can we see the big picture?  How can we put dating into a larger context so the focus is as much on the journey as on the destination (of finding a partner)?

I believe that there are certain key elements.

Be aware of your resistance to being single:  I talk to many singles who are desperate to find someone.  They are terribly unhappy and think that if they could just find the right person, all would be well.  Because of their resistance to what “is”, they suffer.  How would it be to see being single as an opportunity, not as a curse?  How can you take advantage of this time to get to know yourself better and to explore what’s meaningful to you?  You can embrace being single and hold the vision of great love with a partner.

Practise compassion toward yourself and others: When dating it’s easy to be hard on yourself and to listen to your inner critic.  You’re not enough of this; you’re too much of that. etc. etc.  How would it be different if you were actually gentle toward yourself and if you chose to embrace your value?  And how would it be different if you saw other singles with compassion, knowing that they face many of the challenges that you do?

How can you get out of your own way in dating?  We often create obstacles to love with our limiting beliefs and attitudes.  When you hear yourself saying “all men…”  or “you never” or “you always” that’s a sign that there’s a part of you that is making generalizations that probably aren’t true.  Are you caught up in believing that all the good ones are taken?  That if people really knew you they wouldn’t love you?  These limiting beliefs and attitudes often run in the background and negatively impact our choices and how we are in the world.  When we have a spiritual practice we become more aware of these thoughts and we can make a conscious choice not to be led by them.

Gratitude: how can you be grateful for what you have – despite being single?  It’s easy when you’ve been disappointed in dating to focus on what you don’t have, rather than what you do have.  Making regular gratitude lists will help you see the big picture.

Trust: how would dating be different if we had radical trust that we are being supported and that we are given what we need?  I believe that trust gives us peace of mind.  My clients often wonder why it’s taking so long for their soulmate to arrive.  I think it’s about divine timing and true readiness on both people’s parts.  Joyfully anticipating being with our true love, and trusting that all is unfolding as it should, allows us to live happily and gratefully in the present moment… and to become truly ready to be in the relationship we desire.

We have a choice.  We can see dating as a necessary evil to find our beloved partner, or we can choose to see it as a spiritual practice.  What can you learn from the experience of dating?  How can you use dating to become more whole?

 

 

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Someone Out There is Praying for You to Show Up

Do you ever feel discouraged as a single?  Do you wonder if you’ll ever meet your ideal partner?  Does that inner critical voice nag you about all your perceived shortcomings?

How would things be different if you really believed that someone out there is PRAYING for you to come along?  Someone who celebrates you for who you are.  Someone who really “gets” you and who loves your authentic self.  Take a moment and just sit with that thought: that someone out there is praying for YOU.  How does it feel?

Can you relax and surrender into it?  Can you allow that belief to permeate your consciousness?  Think about all you have to offer: maybe it’s your kind and generous nature, or your skill and knowledge in an area you’re passionate about; maybe it’s how conscientious and responsible you are; or how you can see the silver lining in every cloud.  You do have a lot to offer!

Do you feel the excitement and anticipation of having your ideal partner in your life?  This is what will carry you through the times of doubt and despair.   Get to know yourself, celebrate who you are, and live your best life authentically, and get ready to meet the one whose prayers will be answered when you are in their life!

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Feeling the dating fear, honouring the feelings, being curious … and doing it anyway!

I’m passionate about my vision, my mission, my calling – to help people to date more consciously and to have more loving relationships with others and themselves.  I’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes.  I’ve been keeping journals since I was 16 years old so I have all the ups and downs of my love life documented (and have made a mutual agreement with a close friend to burn our journals upon our passing!).  I’ve taken lots of courses, read lots of books, done lots of blogging, helped close friends… but playing it safe and being invisible really wasn’t serving anybody.  It wasn’t getting my message out into the world and it wasn’t stretching me.  I was happily in my comfort zone, but quite stuck.

Public speaking is a strategy for getting out there: so that people could get great information and get a sense of who I am and where I come from but, frankly, the thought of standing up in front of a group was terrifying for me.  I had lots of “but what if’s???” and I imagined feeling so exposed!  Yikes!  I felt the fear.  I honoured the fear.  I started getting curious about the fear.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?  How old was that part of me that was so scared of getting up in front of people?  Is it really true that people would be there to judge me – or were they there to learn?

I joined Toastmasters so I could get some experience in front of a group.  I could feel my heart pounding before giving even a short toast (about 1 minute!)  but I survived!  In preparing for my first public presentation  last month I had sleepless nights punctuated by feelings of dread and overwhelm.

Interestingly, after I’d prepared my talk and all the handouts (and some small prizes) I wasn’t nervous!  Interestingly, after all the dread I had about how badly it might go… I actually enjoyed it!  I’m looking forward to the next one!  I focus on how I can connect with my audience and how I can be of service.  I took the risk and got in touch with a gift I hadn’t realized that I had!

How does this story apply to you and dating?  For many people, dating is very nerve-wracking.  Feel the dating fear.  Where do you notice it in your body?  If you are observing safe dating practices like meeting in public, what’s the worst thing that could happen?  If you’ve allotted 20-30 minutes for a coffee date it’s not forever and you can always end things sooner if your date is rude or unpleasant.  How old is the part of you that is dreading the date?  Maybe feeling like a 5 or 6 year old on the first day of school?  You’re an adult now and you have a lot more resources and coping mechanisms than you did back then.

You can stay home and be invisible – but how are you going to share your gifts with a beloved partner if you never get out and meet people?   Yes, it can feel risky to put yourself out like that, but you never know what magic can happen when you take that first step!

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Opening to Love

What does it mean to “open to love” and how is this different from how most people live their lives?

I think it would be safe to say that most of us have felt hurt, disappointment and perhaps even betrayal around love.  Our families may not have given us the love we craved.  We may have experienced painful breakups.  As a result, some people view love with fear and suspicion.  We may go through life with our hearts carefully guarded, waiting for one person to earn our trust so we can give him the key.  Although this strategy may work for some, I believe that living in this way limits the flow of love and results in isolation and unhappiness.

How would things be different if you saw love not as a feeling but as an action?  As a choice?  Gary Chapman in his book called “Love as a Way of Life” gives us seven qualities of loving people: forgiveness, tolerance, generosity, kindness, humility, courtesy and patience.  To be able to be truly loving toward others, we must be loving toward ourselves.  How do we need to forgive ourselves?  How can we be more patient and tolerant toward our imperfections?  When we hear the inner critic can we stop the voice and be kinder?

I invite you to take the risk of opening to love today and treating all you meet with love whether it’s a family member or a clerk in your local store – and especially yourself!

One of my favourite poems by Hafiz, a 14th Century Persian poet concerns a rose:

HOW DID THE ROSE?

How

did the rose

ever open its heart

and give to the world all of its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light against its being,

otherwise we all remain too

frightened.*

Becoming a more loving person with a open heart isn’t going to happen overnight, of course.  However, every great journey starts with a single step.  What step could you take today to become a more loving and open-hearted person?

* from “Love Poems from God” by Daniel Ladinsky page 161

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The 3 Magic Words of Listening

I did a Dating Tele-clinic last night on communication and one of the highlights for the participants was the “3 magic words of listening”. They are… “Is there more?” How different would it be if you could listen to another’s issues with curiosity and interest instead of getting constricted and defensive? How would you feel if you had an issue and were asked, “is there more?” rather than being given advice or being told to calm down? One of the greatest gifts you can give to a loved one is to listen and offering these simple words “is there more?” is a great first step!

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Finding Balance

I’m heading off to a fitness class now and I’ve been thinking about finding, or should I say “creating” balance in life. I was super busy over the summer taking online courses and doing homework. It was challenging intellectually and I loved the classwork, but it meant that I was in front of my computer for two-hour stretches several times a week. I always felt rushed and didn’t make time for exercise. My spiritual practice also suffered as I was so focused on “doing” that I lost sight of “being.”

I am now intentionally trying to balance mind, body and spirit as well as trying to balance my head and my heart. I invite you to look at your life and see how you’re doing. Are you taking time for self-care? Are you allowing yourself to receive as well as to give? Are you taking quiet time? Time for play? How would it be different for you to live from a place of consciousness or awareness? Something to consider…

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Conscious Dating® coaching now available!

Are you looking for a step-by-step program that will help you find lasting love? The Relationship Coaching Institute has developed a wonderful program called Conscious Dating® to help you gain the awareness you need to make better choices in love. In the Self-Discovery and Readiness section I help you to identify your areas for growth and to learn more about yourself and what you need for lasting love. One-on-one coaching is ideal for this work but I will also offer 6-week introductory group sessions, starting in mid-September 2011. More information is coming so stay tuned!

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