July 2009 Archives
If you read the common definition of vulnerability in the dictionary, which is
"capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon,"
it's no wonder most of us skitter around vulnerability. No one in their right mind wants to be open to attack. And with a definition like this it's no wonder that we don't have the intimacy we really want in our relationships or with ourselves for that matter. We say we want intimacy with our mates, but most of us are totally unequipped to give it in return. Most people are not that great at vulnerability and for good reason. They have spent their lives learning they have to protect themselves. But the fact is, that if we really want to experience love, we have to be able and willing to be totally vulnerable. But not in the way our current dictionaries define it. We need to be vulnerable in the real meaning of the word, which actually exudes great strength and fortitude.
If you're like me and most of the women I've met in my journey of teaching and reading the principles of Choosing ME before WE, we could all use a redefined version of vulnerability. Here's my take on vulnerability. A new definition for today's 21st century woman, a woman who can be totally in love with herself and be totally available to share love with another. She is a woman who dares to be loved, because she can:
A woman who owns the power of her vulnerability...
understands that to be vulnerable is not weak, but instead is one of the strongest powers she possesses.
can open herself to be seen so deeply at her most truest and innocent self, that she has the ability to fully receive love from another.
has the capacity to accept and give love freely, unafraid that anything can or will be taken away from her.
is unafraid to show the raw, real feelings that live inside her soul.
knows her expression of vulnerability can open the heart of another, inviting them to show their raw & real self.
always steps forward in love. Even if she knows she may get hurt, it's worth the risk. And with sovereignty on her side, she knows she will never give herself away.
is unafraid to cry, tell the truth, appear weak, or be wrong.
understands that she can't expect what she can't give.
understands that vulnerability is the key to intimacy.
is unafraid to ask for or show the way to her partner to create this vulnerability.
There are sources of pure love all over this planet - babies, animals, flowers, trees, stars - that you can use to let love into your heart, and experience the high that comes with feeling pure love. Taking in a hit of pure love is an instant way to expand your love quotient.
Love Fact: Experiencing pure love goes right through your protection layers to open up your heart, which ultimately lets more love in
What you need:
1. a list of pure love sources
2. a heightened awareness of the love sources that are right in front of your face every day
3. a willingness to take a pause during your 'busy' day to feel the love from the pure love source
1. Make a list of 10 sources of pure love. These are the most innocent, non-threatening things on the planet to you, which make you smile or warm your heart. See the list below for some starter ideas.
2. Carry the list with you and every day make it a point to notice when one of these pure love sources appears.
3. When a pure love source appears, literally stop what you are doing and connect with it by:
4. Imagine letting the love into your heart.
5. Actually feel your heart expand.
7. Feel your love quotient expand.
8. Say thank you.
9. Go forward into your day with gratitude for experiencing that pure love.
Pure Love Sources
2. Puppies and Dogs
3. Kittens and Cats
4. Okay, any animal other than those that scare you
5. Flowers and plants - seriously, look at how beautiful and perfect a flower is sometime
7. A hug
8. A person skipping
9. The ocean
11. The moon
12. Blowing bubbles
13. Dark chocolate savored while eating (who could argue?)
When I first did this dare about six years ago at one of the first spiritual-pooloza-like conventions I attended - five days in the Palm Springs desert with some of the most influential and masterful spiritual teachers of the 21st century - I admit that I was VERY uncomfortable. "You want me to hold hands with a stranger, touch my knees to their knees and stare into their eyes for 5 minutes? Have you lost your mind? Have I????" That was indeed the inner dialogue going on inside my head. My heart was having her own internal conversation too, sweating bullets, scared to death of the kind of emotional intensity she could feel coming. Luckily, my spiritual warrior, the one who has continually had the courage to face growth experience after growth experience, had the strongest voice this day. I call this part of me Arylo, she is my most enlightened, courageous self and although she may feel fear she never lets it stop us.
So on this day, as the facilitator of the workshop said, "Find a partner, someone you don't
know, and then turn your chairs towards each other," Arylo spoke loudly to me saying, "Let's try this. The worst thing that could happen is that we will die, and they usually don't kill people off at these spiritual-pooloza-like conventions, bad press!" So we found a partner, held hands and touched knees with her, and began the staring process.
As the first few seconds clicked away, I found myself wanting to let this person in. I started letting go of some of layers of armor around my heart - not all of them mind you, but more than had ever been let down to a stranger before. I also found myself wanting to see her, and to have her feel me seeing her. As the minutes ticked, I could feel her letting me in. For five minutes we did this dance, and when the bell rang to let go, I found that I could have stayed there for a much longer time. I felt exhilarated and free. I became a Love Stare junkie, repeating the exercise time and time again with anyone who would let me. And now here I am, daring you to do the same. I dare you to do the Love Stare and let more love in to your heart and soul!
THE DAREthe LOVE STARE SEQUENCE:
Do the Love Stare & Let The Love In
the LOVE STARE NO NOs
- Get a partner. Find a person who's older than a baby and has less than four limbs to do this with. Babies, toddlers and doggies don't count. No risk there.
- Set the purpose. Explain to them what the Love Stare is and why you are doing it.
- Set the time. Agree to a time period to try it out. Set timer. Minimum 4 minutes the first time.
- Assume the Love Stare Position. Sit facing each other, knees touching, hands holding, staring into each other's eyes.
- Do the Love Stare. Your job is to both see the other person and let yourself be seen.
- Stay & Feel It. When the timer goes off, don't immediately let go. Actually stay connected and feel what happened.
- Thank You. Say "Thank You" to each other. Hug even!
- Share. Talk about what you both experienced, both in giving and receiving during the 4 minutes.
- Repeat Often.
avoid these no nos so that you keep the love in that you just spent 4 minutes generating.
- Smiling okay, laughing not. Don't use the giggles to dissipate the energy between the two of you. Laughing can be a way to keep the love from coming in.
- Don't apologize or say anything negative about yourself post stare. Just say thank you and talk about what you experienced. Negative thoughts are also a way to shove love out.
- Don't stand up and disconnect right after the four minutes is up. It will cause a break in the energy. Stay connected and challenge yourself to stay with the vulnerability.
- Don't worry about what the other person is thinking while you are doing the love stare. Just stay focused on giving and receiving love. They're experience is not your responsibility.
Now get going and get that Love Stare started! Maybe you can even have a Love Stare party ☺ To get more love dares, download a free copy of the Madly in Love with ME Kit at http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com
Two months ago I had a moment. You know one of those moments when you have just had enough. Frustration. Exasperation. A realization that enough is enough and it's time to make a change. After 38 years of walking around this earth with negative thoughts in my head or spewing out of my mouth I decided that I had had it. I was over this negative crud and what it was doing to me. In that moment I knew there was only one thing to do, give it up. And within 10 seconds I had uttered eight words that completely changed my life. Those words were: "I give up ALL negative thinking and talking."
I can still remember the moment, dressed in my Lululemon yoga clothes, I had this visceral experience that felt like waves echoing around me, sending out the sonar that shift was afoot and a new sheriff was in town.
Moments before I had just finished a very harsh mental workout, the kind that used to take
place in my head, and that consisted of me beating myself with dumbbells for how much I sucked... or kept me spinning in my head like in a spin class to nowhere, unable to gain any traction. Beaten down, I was just about ready to strip myself down completely and throw myself into what I call 'the muddy, all-consuming pool of suffering' aka the black hole of self-love, void of all self-love. But then something stopped me from flailing my body and soul into that nasty and all too familiar pool. Maybe it was the books I had been reading by authors like Napoleon Hill or Jack Canfield. Or the zillion interviews I had listened over the weeks prior given by successful people (really successful, which to me means spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially). Whatever finally clicked I stopped myself from a pattern that I had repeated over and over again in various ways my whole life... and said NO MORE! I give up ALL negative thinking and talking.
It's been two months, and I have to say giving up the negative thinking and talking addiction has changed my life. I am happier. I have more energy. Fantastic opportunities are coming my way that I could never have imagined. My life feels full, not busy. I am enjoying my life more, the one I am having right now. Situations that before would have caused me to spin, judge myself, over analyze, paralyze, whatever unproductive waste of energy I was engaged in, have become ways for me to love myself vs. hurt myself. If that sounds like something you could use too, I dare you to say those same 8 words and stick to it. You CAN change your entire life... in just 8 words.
I give up ALL negative thinking and talking
WHAT IT LOOKS & FEELS LIKE
- I only say nice things about myself. If there is something I don't like, I love myself through it. I admit I don't like it and then ask myself, "How can I change it. I focus on making ME the person I want to become.
- If I say something mean about me, I don't criticize myself for saying something mean (that's double negative thinking!). I notice it, realize that I am learning, and I choose different words.
- I make everything in my life as an opportunity to learn, realizing that no one but me asked me to be perfect and that is just plain ridiculous. I smile at being ridiculous.
- I don't compare myself to anyone else.
- I don't judge other people. If there is something in them I don't like, I ask "What is it about me that I don't really?" Then love that part of you.
- I don't gossip.
- If I don't have something nice to say about someone, I say nothing.
- I abstain from taking in any negative energy. I avoid negative news, conversations and people.
- I am not a pie in the sky Pollyanna. I am realistically optimistic woman who understands that my thoughts, words and actions create my reality (and I'd prefer a great one)
GIVING UP ADDICTION: ACTION THAT HELPS
- Get A Freedom Buddy. Take the vow to be free from negative talk and thought with a friend, your partner, your daughter, your dog... someone that can be there to be a lifeline for you when you stumble and who can laugh with you along the way.
- Be Super Aware. Notice your energy every time you have a negative thought. What does your body feel like? Notice the energy coming out of your mouth when you have negative talk. What does it feel like, smell like, look like? Words and thoughts are energy. I guarantee once you start tapping into the toxicity of negative ones and their affect on you, you'll want to stop.
- Start and Do a Daily Practice. Mediate, chant, go for walks in nature, anything that boosts your energy fields up, that gets you out of just your head and into your heart and body. Any spiritual teacher will tell you, a daily practice is a must have. You can't afford not to take the time to have one. Your life depends on it.
- Be Super Aware of Success & Get Witnessed. Notice the changes that start to occur, because they will. Talk about your insights, successes, and shifts with your freedom buddy. Find others who have freed themselves or are in process and share with them. Being witnessed in this shift is hugely important.
Inspiring Resources... we were never meant to take this journey alone, so give yourself some self-love and check out there inspiring books and teachers who can really help you give up that negative talk and thought for good.
Napoleon Hill - Think and Grow Rich, 21st Century
Jack Canfield - The Secrets of Success
And for more ideas and dares on how to fall more in love with yourself, get your Free Madly in Love with ME Kit at http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com
Zany, yet proven,
Love Tip #21:
Some people say they date or marry their best friend. What if that person was best friend #2, and you were best friend #1?
Love Fact: The fastest way to becoming your own best friend is to spend time with her, lots of it. You'll learn more about yourself than you ever knew.
What you need:
1. ideas for dates, things that you would really love to do
2. a willingness to do them alone, even if that means people stare at you, feel sorry for you or put their weirdo judgments on you
3. a force field against such people (listen if you are eating alone at a spendy romantic restaurant out of choice, who cares what they think!)
1. Make a list of 10 places you want to go, activities you want to try, events you want to attend over the next 6 months.
2. Pick three to start with - one that's easy, one that's exciting, and one that seems a little scary or weird to do on your own.
3. Schedule the actual dates with yourself and put them on the calendar.
4. Take any action required to make the date happen, just like a good date would.
Day of Dates:
5. Prepare for the date like you would if someone was picking you up. Look your best. Feel your best. Dance around your living room.
6. Be with yourself completely. Not on the blackberry, cell phone or computer. Treat yourself like you would expect a date to treat you. How would you feel if they started texting during dinner?
7. Talk to yourself, out loud or silently. Notice what you like, dislike. Smile at your quirks.
8. Do the little things that are going to make you happy. Buy dessert and share it with yourself. Pay extra for a better seat.
9. Come home, put your favorite jammies on, make some tea and turn on some soul happy music. (recommended India Arie
10. Journal about your date. What did you love? What did you learn?
11. Go to sleep happy knowing that you really are a fantastic woman!
I actually went out on a date with myself today like you
suggested in your book. It did feel awkward but I will get the hang of
it the more I do it... it is the best therapy I have ever received! -- Val
For more great ideas on how to fall even more in love with yourself, get a free Madly in Love with ME Kit at http://madlyinlovewithme.com
It all came to me at a café on Friday when I decided to sit down with my notebook and journal my own journey of falling in love with Christine. I wanted to know, How did I do it? At what point did I know? And where am I at on this journey?
I totally expected to start the documentation of my self-love journey at the age of 30. After al
l that was the age at which I realized, due to the life changing events that followed my broken engagement, that I didn't really love me at all. But instead when I put pen to paper, I found myself traveling back in time to when I was a really little girl, like being five, then being 7, and then 10. It was like seeing myself through a looking glass, observing me, this little girl.
What I saw through the piles of stuffed animals, love of drawing and penchant for collecting everything, was her innocence, her happiness and her wonder of the magic of the world. I could literally see and feel what she felt and saw in her, in my, experience of the world. That's when the revelation hit me. OMG, I was born in love with myself, and in love with the world. I had it, I felt it, I was it. It was totally something that I came in with... but then something shifted. I began to see myself somewhere around the age of 11 when that beautiful love was cracked and shattered... it began to be stolen away by people and situations that hurt me, chunks of love taken away, leaving these gaping holes inside me that I wouldn't go back to fill until the age of 30.
So first, I was mad!
I had it, the self-love, totally and 100%. I really did love me. I really did love the world and everything in it. And then people hurt me... and with their actions, they stole my love. And if that was true for me, it was true for every person. We were all stealing each others self-love!
And then I was sad!
Wow, 19 years of living without that complete love of ME. I still was hugely successful without it - college, career, material stuff, so I lived totally oblivious to the fact that I was missing anything. It was like my own personal version of the Dark Ages. I saw clearly the events that had taken place, which had caused me to start building a force field around my heart... that layer upon layer had created an armor that not even I could penetrate. I saw how because I had felt unprotected, I had learned to protect myself. And I saw clearly that protection had kept me from having the unconditional love I craved... for myself, and with someone else for a long, long time. And then I was excited!
If this was all true, which I knew it to be, than what this all really meant was... I didn't have to learn to be in love with myself, I had to remember how to be in love with ME. And I started to see that how the choice at the age of 30 to put massive amounts of time and energy into healing those holes created by the love stealers and into taking down the armor and learning to let myself be loved, had in fact been the exact path that had gotten me to the first time in my life in which I could honestly say, I do really love me, and I did.
And if it was possible for me... it is possible for everyone. If you want to fall even more in love with YOU, you can visit the self-love site I started called Madly in Love with ME. You can download for free the Madly in Love with ME Guide, full of zany, yet proven, Love Tips, Love Adventures and Love Inspirations. www.madlyinlovewithme.com
Love Dare #3:
Make A ME-Love Map
know your personal journey of self-love
Did you know that you were born totally and 100% in love with yourself? That's right, love was oozing out of you, everywhere. You were walking, talking love. And you lived this way for some period of time - how long differs for all of us. But the thing that is the same for all of us unfortunately, is that at some point that love time ended. And it ended because a love stealer found you and put a crack in your self-love. That initial crack opened the space for more love stealers to come in and before you knew it, the spaces inside you that used to be pure love were full of gaping holes.
Love stealers come in all forms - parents, siblings, kids on the playground, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends - and unfortunately they attack every one of us. Which means that the love stealers who caused your wounds had wounds of their own caused by other love stealers - and it's those wounds that cause them to hurt us. It's a crazy love stealing circle!
The only way out of this circle is to go back and fill in all those holes with love, your love for you. Most of us don't figure this out until we are older - fortunately it's never too late to fill yourself back up with love. DARE: Make A ME-Love Map. Take a trip back through your entire life and map out your real self-love journey.
To make a ME-Love Map take an adventure back throughout your entire life - from when you were the littlest person full of innocence and love... to the moments when the love stealers showed up... to the protection and armor you built in response... to the journeys you've taken to heal and fill up your wounds with love... to the person you are today. Journal that adventure - write it, draw it, paint it, do a combination of any of this just make sure you document it. And then go back and find your own personal revelations. What do you see? ME LOVE MAP starter tips:
Once you've finished your ME Love Map, ask yourself these questions?
- Set some time aside to take this journey. Bring supplies with you like pens, pencils, computers, paper, notebook. Make it only you time. Give yourself at least 1-2 hours.
- The Beginning. Start with who you were as a little ME. Write or draw who you were, what you loved, what you saw. Tap into the magic that was you when you could still feel the innocence.
- The Love Stealers. Start to let the love stealers back in, remembering the events that caused the holes to form. Actually draw these events as holes on your map.
- Building the armor. How did those events make you feel - write down those emotions. What did you do in response to these love stealers and holes? Sketch out the armor that you built around yourself and your heart.
- The Dark Ages. How long of a period did you spend between the time your armor was in tact and before you started letting real love in again?
- The Awakening. When did you start to crack open the armor to let love it? What did you do to crack it open.
- The Healing. What did you do to heal the holes? Pour love in?
- Today. Where are you today?
1. What parts of you are you remembering to love again?
2. What parts of the little ME do I want to bring forward into the now ME?
3. What is the AHA for me here? If you are ready to fall even more in love with YOU, then visit the #1 self-love site this side of the internet and get your free Madly in Love with ME Guide, full of zany, yet proven, Love Tips, Love Adventures and Love Inspirations. http://www.madlyinlovewithme.com
Zany, yet proven
Love Tip #18: The Self-Love Serenade
Inspired by Amy from California
"On the way home from work, I started
discussing (with myself) all the reasons I love Amy. It was not
exactly the same as the repetition, but saying all the reasons out loud
felt great. By the end of my drive I was in tears. I realized that no
other person I encounter in this life will ever be able to know or love
all of me, not all of my years or stories or scars. Not one other
person will be able to appreciate everything it's taken to become
exactly who I am right now. I found hundreds of reasons to love myself,
and the only person who really could know them all or even NEEDS to
know them all - is me. It was a very powerful and pivotal moment,
completely shifting my beliefs about loving myself - I realized I was
just scratching the surface." -- Amy
The Self-Love Serenade:
It may sound a little crazy, but it's guaranteed to bring you love...
Love Fact: You've gotta know and own what you love about you!
What you need:
1. 30 minutes free from all other distractions
2. 30 minutes alone
1. Turn off all electronic devices - that means for real off.
2. Tell everyone else to go away - so take a walk, a drive, a bath, just do it alone
3. Start a conversation with yourself by saying, "Hi <insert name>. I am dying to know what you love about me. Can we talk?"
4. Begin saying out loud all the reasons you love you. "I love me because..." or "What I love about me is..." Say it, proclaim it, even sing it.
5. Keep saying what you love about you until you feel some kind of breakthrough - you cry, your heart opens up, you laugh, something that indicates you are letting the love in.
6. Stop and let the love in. Feel how much you really do love you, and feel how much that love has to start with you.
If you are ready to fall even more in love with YOU, then visit the #1 self-love site this side of the internet and get your free Madly in Love with ME Guide, full of zany, yet proven, Love Tips, Love Adventures and Love Inspirations. www.madlyinlovewithme.com
Okay, let's face it ladies, we have all lied to ourselves at one time or another... to hang on to a relationship way longer than we should have... to avoid having to admit our weaknesses and failures and insecurities... to avoid being present with the truth of our reality so we wouldn't have to admit to our part in creating a mess or a stress out of our lives.
I'll admit it... I am a former Queen of Illusion. If there was a lie to be told about relationships and love, I told it to myself just so I could stay in a 15-year relationship 14 years too long. I have on ocassion, let myself feel like a victim to what was happening around me, and I have at times so wanted to make something the other person's fault, completely. But about 5 years ago I took a vow that changed my life ... that I would be 100% honest with myself always, uncompromising, unwavering self-honestly. I took that promise because I learned one really important LIFE TRUTH...
How honest we choose - and it is a choice - to be with ME
affects everything in our lives
If we want the lives we say we really want... then we have no choice but to be honest - all the time.
What Stops Us from Being Honest... Why Do We Want to Lie To ME?
What I learned was that it wasn't the truth that I was afraid of, it was the consequences to admitting or sharing that truth that scared the daylights out of me. I lied to myself about my relationship because if I was honest, that meant I would have to leave him. And the hard truth was, I was afraid to be alone. The woman from Oregon who said she never ever wanted to get married, told herself that lie, because she was afraid of being vulnerable and being hurt again. I listen to my clients tell themselves lies like "I'm not good enough to be a published author. I don't have this degree so I will never be successful."
Those are lies too! And we cannot afford to tell ourselves lies any longer! If you really want the life you say you do then you MUST get downright real with yourself about everything in your life! And that is my challenge to us all this week on our adventure to self-love.
DARE: Find at least one lie that you are telling yourself about who you are, about your life situation, or about your current life choices and CHANGE IT from a lie to the TRUTH!
Now since you are lying to yourself it might be hard to discover this lie, so be bold and ask someone who knows you really well, "In what ways do you think I am lying to myself - about me, about my relationships, my career, my finances, etc." Pick someone you trust and give them permission to be 100% honest with you, promising them that you won't get mad at them and that you really do want to know. When you have convinced them that it is safe (and if you aren't doing any promising here, you probably aren't going to get a very deep answer), shut up and listen. Take in what they say, don't make excuses, don't defend yourself, just listen. After they finish simply say "Thank You for being so honest." And then if you can share from your heart about how their insight is affecting what you see in yourself, share. Like "Wow, you know, I am feeling really scared, vulnerable, etc. because .... " If you can't share from your heart, just stick with the THANK YOU and mull over what they had to say on your own, using it to find your truth.