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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Being Single: An Opportunity not a Liability!

How do you feel about being single?  Many singles would much rather be in a relationship and feel like they are putting in time until their ideal partner comes along.  Other singles are relieved to be out of a dysfunctional partnership or an unhappy marriage and are afraid of choosing someone just like their ex.

How can you make the best of being single?

The way I see it is to use this time to learn more about yourself: who you are, what you want, and to acknowledge your part in past breakups.  What would you need to do differently next time?  Maybe it’s being more cautious about who you get involved with. Maybe it’s learning some new relationship skills like being able to communicate calmly instead of yelling.  Perhaps you need to cultivate the skill of seeing someone else’s point of view even it’s not the same as yours.

Over the years have you lost yourself?  I see this very often, in both men and women, because they have focused so much on their partner and kids that they don’t really know who they are.  Who are you?  What are your dreams?  What are your deepest-held values?  What is your vision of the relationship you want?  These are all important questions to answer before getting involved with someone new.  This is how you approach dating “consciously” instead of repeating old patterns or getting swayed by chemistry.

Being single is an opportunity not only to learn more about yourself, but also to appreciate your own company.  When you can enjoy time alone, then you can approach dating from a place of contentment and abundance, rather than desperation.  It is then possible to have a significant other in your life because you want someone, not because you need them to make your lonely and miserable life better!

Need some help in becoming your own best friend?  Seeing a counselor, therapist or relationship coach can be very helpful.   There is no substitute for the soul-to-soul connection and perspective of working with a trained professional.   Is this the next step for you?  I encourage you to see how being single is actually a wonderful opportunity for growth and evolution – and to see the value of reaching out so you can get there!

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Choosing the Wise, not the Easy, Path

Falling in love is so compelling.  We appreciate the companionship, the touch, the sense of belonging, the chemistry and the euphoria when we first meet someone and we think we’ve found “the One” at last!  A cocktail of feel-good hormones is rushing through our bloodstream… but what if one person really isn’t ready to be in a relationship?

I have a client who has done a lot of personal work and she believes she is ready for a relationship.  We’ve gone through my Relationship Readiness Quiz and she has given herself a high score.  We’ve talked about areas where she might need a little work, but she’s at a place in her life where she is really ready to date.

She met a man recently who is not ready for a relationship.  He recognizes that he has some things he needs to attend to before he can be the partner he truly wants to be.  They love spending time together.  They communicate well.  They have fun… but they are both aware of the red flags.

So… what should they do?  Should they proceed hoping that the red flags won’t interfere with the co-creation of a healthy relationship?  Should they be “just friends” for a while and see how it goes?  Should they go their separate ways?  What they have decided to do is to take a 6-month break, then re-assess after that period of time.  Does it feel risky?  Yes.  Neither knows what will happen in that 6-month period but he knows he needs to do some work.  Might she meet someone else?  It’s a definite possibility but they have made this decision because they agree this is the only way to have a strong foundation for a healthy relationship… whether or not it’s with each other.

This seems to me to be the wise path.  It’s not the easy path.  They enjoy their time together and bring out the best in one another.  As a relationship coach I have supported her in taking this step so they can both come from a place of health and stability.

Have you ever made a conscious decision to part from someone because that’s the wisest choice?  What has been your experience in trying to have a healthy relationship when one person really isn’t ready?  Please leave your comments below!

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Intimacy and Autonomy

I was preparing for a presentation recently on “self care in relationships.”  I came across a wonderful quote by John Welwood  in a book called “Love and Relationships: Inspirations for Meditation and Spiritual Growth” by Eileen Campbell.

One of the biggest challenges in relationships is the push/pull dynamic of intimacy vs. autonomy.  We want to be close to someone… yet we fear losing ourselves.  We pull away to establish more autonomy and then we long for the closeness.  This is what John Welwood says:

At the core of our existence, we all experience the basic ache of feeling separate.  We long to be united with someone or something outside of ourselves, so that we do not have to feel this ache so sharply.  So when we finally find someone we feel close to, it may seem like a kind of salvation – no longer must we wander this lonely world all by ourselves.  Yet in satisfying our urge to merge, it is all too easy to become submerged in a relationship, waking up one day to realize that we have lost something essential – ourself!

Relationships always involve this kind of fluctuation between bonding with another and maintaining our integrity as individuals, yielding to our partner and asserting ourselves, reaching out and going deep within.

How do we achieve this delicate balance?  How do we not lose ourselves in relationship?  This is a huge issue and one that is ideal to work on with a coach, a therapist or a counsellor.  All too often we repeat old patterns completely unaware of them until we are deeply mired in unhealthy behaviour.   Having someone with perspective can help us see when we are either losing ourselves or withdrawing too much.

To me, a healthy relationship is about having self-awareness and being able to communicate clearly what is going on with your partner.  This is how true intimacy is created – intimacy that thrives on healthy autonomy, not on losing yourself.

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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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Don't want to be another divorce statistic?

I was speaking to one of the participants in a recent workshop.  He told he that he’s not going to get married again (3rd time) because he doesn’t want to be yet another divorce statistic.  He thought the answer was not to get married.  Well, that’s one strategy… but another far healthier one, in my opinion, is to do the work needed to be able to co-create a lasting relationship!

What are the biggest issues I see with singles?  For women, lack of self-esteem is a big one.  Another is not really knowing themselves.  Many have been married for a decade or more and have focused all their energy on their husband’s or their kids’ needs.  Who are they, themselves?

The biggest issue with single men is a lack of confidence in knowing how to ask for a date and how to carry on a conversation.  I see some low self-esteem issues but they seem more challenged by the mechanics of dating itself.  How can you tell if a woman is interested in you?  How can you ask her out without seeming creepy?

The great thing about working with a relationship expert is that you will have these issues, and more, addressed so you actually CAN have a healthy relationship.  I have a Relationship Readiness Quiz for singles with ten questions to assess your readiness today for dating.  For example, you might be very happy with your career, but do you actually have the time to put into dating?  If your career is all-consuming you won’t have the time or the energy to put into meeting people and getting to know them.  I think it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking we are ready to date when we aren’t.  If you’d like to take the test, send me an email and I’ll send one to you.  I’d be happy to do a follow-up phone call to discuss your results.

In summary, you can bypass being another divorce statistic – not by avoiding marriage but by becoming more conscious in your dating!  This is what I can help you with,  so please reach out and contact me!

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Is it OK to Lie on My Online Dating Profile – just a little bit?

Lie on My Online Dating Profile?

This morning I saw a new online profile of a man who is separated and, therefore, legally still married.   He chose to say he was single on his profile.  His little white lie could be a big deal for a lot of women who want a man who is truly available, not who still has a wife!

I imagine he thought that since they split up two years ago he “feels” single so that’s more relevant than telling the truth.  I disagree.  Since relationships are based on honesty and trust, why would you advertise yourself as being single when you aren’t?  Similarly, why would you say that you’re a non-smoker when you are? (but only when you bum them from friends – you don’t buy them!).  Why would you post a photo of when you were 20 years younger (“well, I “feel” 2o years younger!) and why would you lie about your occupation: that you are a businessman when, actually, you are on welfare?

I know that we are in the business of marketing ourselves when we create an online profile.  However, you WILL be found out and do you really want to present yourself to the world from a place of dishonesty?  I suggest that you don’t.  If you’re separated, get that divorce so you really are ready to date.  If you’re a smoker and you think that being honest about that will decrease the number of people that are interested in you, you are probably right, but maybe you’ll find a fellow smoker and you’ll be a match!  Have the courage to post a current photo.  Yes, ladies, we know that men are visual and you may not appeal to everyone, but your beloved will be attracted to you for who you are.  And if your financial affairs aren’t in order, do what you can to be more stable before you consider yourself to be available for dating and a relationship!  If you’re retired and on a limited income, fine, but don’t pretend that you have lots of disposable income for exotic travel and expensive gifts.

Is it OK to lie on your online profile?  You might say yes because “everyone else does”.  I invite you to live from a place of integrity and to be willing to be honest right from the beginning.  This is the only foundation from which a lasting, healthy relationship can be built.

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The Importance of Being Prepared Before Dating

I meet many singles who just want to get out there and date and forget the importance of being prepared before dat.  “How do I meet people for dating?” is their primary question.  What I’d like to see as being the primary question is “What do I need to do to be prepared to date?”

I came up with an analogy recently.  What if you and someone you had just met decided that you wanted to start a garden together.  Each of you had done a little gardening in the past but with mixed results.  You figure there’s nothing to it: just put some seeds in the soil and in time you have a nice garden!

You may discover that your seeds don’t actually thrive.  You needed to prepare the soil first, but you didn’t know that.  You’ve planted sun-loving crops in shady areas.  You didn’t know that.  You just assumed that the other person would take responsibility for watering… but you didn’t discuss it.  Your plants aren’t doing so well.  And it turns out that your partner can’t stand zucchini but you planted lots of it because everyone else does.

This is what I see in a lot of relationships these days.  People dive right in figuring that no preparation is required and if their partner is “the One” then it should all be easy.  Many people want the crops without the work, and it doesn’t work that way (unless you buy your produce at the store and I haven’t figured out how that works with long-term relationships!)

The divorce rates are sobering and the percentages of marriages that end in divorce gets higher with second and third marriages.  People who don’t get prepared by being clear on who they are and what they want, who don’t recognize their patterns, who don’t learn how to communicate effectively and how to resolve conflict… they don’t have much hope for a healthy, lasting, loving relationship, in my opinion.

What can you do to increase your chances of lasting love?  Do the inner work!  Get the help you need!

I offer programs that help you to discover who you are and to get ready for dating… before you ask “How can I meet people for dating?”  I want you to be successful, and I can help you.

Let’s talk!  Here’s how you can contact me: http://lovecoachlynn.com/contact/

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Expressing Appreciation

What role does appreciation play in your life?  Sometimes life can be very challenging and we can feel so stretched that we forget to take the time to appreciate our blessings and our gifts.

If this is a new practice to you, you can start with appreciating yourself.  Which qualities to you admire in yourself?  Are you courageous?  Kind?  Generous?  Do you stick with commitments even when they’re hard?  Do you appreciate your body for getting you around?  Your sense of taste, your ability to smell beautiful fragrances?

How often do you express appreciation to others?  I remember Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication) saying that if a student tells him that he’s a “great teacher” it really doesn’t mean that much to him because it’s not very specific.  However, if a student were to tell him that Nonviolent Communication has allowed him or her to engage in more authentic relationships with more honesty – that would be much more meaningful.  How can you specifically tell people that you appreciate them?  I recently told an old friend how much I enjoy his company because I feel like I can truly be myself.  A friend who works in a store shared with me that a customer called her manager recently to commend her for providing such excellent service.  It made her day!

You have a choice.  You can go through life with a glass half empty or you can choose to see your glass as half full.  One of the most powerful ways for me to live with an open heart is to look for ways to appreciate myself and celebrate them, and to be aware of my appreciation for others and to express it to them.  This is a gift that benefits both people!  Give it a try!

 

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