Monday, March 31, 2014

Wish-wants and the Intention Ascention


I wonder what would happen if we stopped wanting and wishing and instead started living our lives with intention. Have you ever noticed how much you want what you don't have and how often you wish things were different? It wouldn't be a big deal if it didn't feel so awful and create lack in your life. How often do you do this?
Have you ever noticed how infrequently you have an intention? To have an intention is to have an outcome that you're certain you'll achieve because you put your energy into having it. Intention feels like acting with purpose toward something, wish/wants feel like victimization. Intending requires self responsibility. How often do you do that?
For the past week or two I've really been noticing how much time I spend focused on some kind of want/wish and I have to tell you, it's a LOT. It's so much time actually, that I wonder if I'd have any thoughts at all if not for the wish/wants.
On the flip side, I noticed that very little of what I do is intentional. I very rarely have a clear idea of what I want the outcome to be and then think, speak and act accordingly.
When I speak of victimization, I don't mean that others are harming you. I mean that you're allowing the outside world to effect your feelings and actions. You're a victim every time you blame. When you say, "I don't have it because...", you're blaming. By the way, blaming also includes blaming yourself.
I believe that this wish-want, blaming cycle is more damaging than just about any other mental pattern you have. Our culture feeds this. It tells us that there's not enough and that the outside world can make us happy or unhappy. We only need things to be a certain way, and to keep getting more and better to be happy. Have you ever noticed that having things this certain way and getting more and better has not made you any happier?
We have this illusion that we will be happy when and if. This will chase happiness  away from the only place it can ever be found, within you in this present moment.
In relationships in particular, we do this all the time. We complain that we don't get enough love/affection/attention/sex/help around the house and that our mate is not good enough and that we wish they were different. Man, if only they'd give us more and behave the way we wanted to, everything would be perfect. Why can't they see how bad they are?
If you ever want to have a happy relationship (and a happy life) the blaming victim act needs to go. I don't know a single
successful person who blames the outside world and makes up excuses for why they can't be successful. If they did, they wouldn't be successful. I don't know one partner who's half of a truly happy couple, who wishes that the other would change. Maybe they get annoyed and even angry sometimes, but they don't blame and they don't seek to change them. They love the other as they are.
You are not a victim; you are only ever victimizing yourself. The only reason you don't have exactly the life you want, is because you're getting in your own way.
Take inventory of your life, your relationships and ask yourself, "How did I create this?" What were you thinking, doing or not doing?
Now, ask a much more important question, "What would I like to create?". Do you want more trust, more respect, more love? What can you think, do or stop doing to get it?
No one is going to save you, nothing is going to fall into your lap. Anything and everything that you want will only happen if you make it happen. You've got to be intentional. Decide what you want, get super clear about it, decide that you will have it and decide that you will do what it takes to have it. Then deliberately take action and keep taking action, changing your approach if needed, until you get what you want. Or just continue complaining and blaming and see if that gets you where you want to be. The choice is yours and yours alone. 

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Moment Of Enlightenment


There are little sayings that I've come across in my life that have shifted my paradigm. "Follow your bliss", Joseph Campbell, "The only true wisdom, is knowing that you know nothing", Socrates, "Wherever you are, there you are", Alice in Wonderland, "Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you're usually right" Henry Ford, are really good ones.
But my favorite quote, the one that has, by far, changed my life the most, is: "Be thankful for everything", Shannon O'Bryan. Shannon isn't a philosopher, author or a book character. She's my closest friend, like a twin sister, for about 7 years now.
We have marathon talks. Hours of just talking about everything from our hair and nails to the way we think energy creates the worlds around us. I love our conversations.
The conversation about gratitude that happened on March 22, 2013 was the most life altering conversation I've ever had. It was perhaps, the most life altering moment of my life.  I know the date because it was the same day we had our aura pictures (mine is above) taken.
I've never had such an "aha" moment. She told me to be grateful for everything. I told her that I know how important it is to be thankful, and that I am. "There's a lot in my life that I have to grateful for. I recite them in the morning." She told me that she meant to be grateful for all things. Like a caveman, I insisted, "I am". She knows me incredibly well, and she could see that I wasn't getting it, and I know she somehow knew that I needed to hear this. So she very patiently said, "I mean everything, the good the bad, your thoughts, your moods, mean people, all of it".
It was like a bolt of lightening through my body, I'll never forget it. There was literally a physical sensation of electricity running through my body. It was as if I had been asleep and just woke up; my body came fully to life. It was amazing. I had this incredible new understanding and I knew in that moment that my life would never be the same. My world was a new color.
I think what I was feeling was a moment of  enlightenment. My entire outlook had changed. It now seems like everything, "good" and "bad",  has a divine purpose. From my new awareness of my very limited perspective, I now know that I could never possibly have a clue what that is, but I do know that everything is part of a grand design. Who would have ever thought that becoming aware of how limited your perspective is would be so thrilling? But it was, it helped me to sense an invisible connection with a sense that i didn't know i had before. There's this peaceful knowing within me (when I remember) that everything serves the universe and helps it to expand and grow.
Now, when I witness violence and injustice, it's with new eyes. I have compassion for suffering, and wish all being's could be free of it, but I no longer feel like there's no meaning to it. Where I once saw victims and felt pity and disgust at events that shouldn't have occurred, I now see divinity at work for a higher purpose that I can't possibly understand.
After we talked we went to get our monthly aura photo taken, and mine was filled with pink and white. I'd never had these colors appear. The lady interpreting it said that white meant enlightenment and that hue of pink was unconditional love. It was on my left side which meant I was receiving enlightenment and unconditional love. I wasn't surprised.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Romance

Ah, romance. Flowers, candles, soft music and just the right words, the right touch. It's all so Disney Princess fabulous.
I'm not anti-romance, there are very few things that I'm anti. The idea of romance in our culture, however, is so over-inflated and well, romanticized. Romantic comedies, sappy novels, fairy tale weddings complete with a bridezilla, ideas of a rescuer, kisses in the rain and long gazes are what we are taught to want and expect.
We're certainly not short of romantic ideals in our culture, it's everywhere you look. We're inundated with unrealistic fluff.
But are we lacking love? Flowers and candles are nice, but will the person who gave them to you be there for you to lean on when you're having a difficult time? Will you want to be there for them? Soft music is lovely too, but I'd rather have someone that wants to sit with me when I'm at my ugliest. I want to feel like taking time to soothe them when they feel unlovable. We can whisper sweet, but only if they're truth; otherwise, it's meaningless.
It feels amazing to be touched, but not by someone who's not interested in who I really am. Do you know me and love me as I am? Can I say that I know and love you as you are? Under our desire to wear a mask of perfect, there's a deeper desire to be uncovered, to have our true self seen. After all, if this doesn't happen, others can only love our mask.
Romance is pretty and all, but real "no matter what" love, is not fluffy. As my good friend Rebecca so eloquently put it, "That shit is fierce". For all the songs, movies, books and pink wedding albums, one in a million stories are about that real, fierce shit.
Tell me another story about guy meets girl and I can show you a million carbon copies. I'm dying to hear a story about something real, people who were there for each other through extremely difficult times without feeling like they were owed anything. Tell me a story about how someone gave to another and was a rock for them, without expecting any acknowledgment or appreciation. Tell me about some unconditional, no matter what love. That's the rare and the real; I'll take that over romance any day.
In my life, I intend to know my truth. Untruths feel like static messing up my favorite song. I'm not interested in anything that isn't genuine. I find it really crazy that in our culture we seek out romance, which is really just a set of the right conditions. That's the opposite of genuine love, which couldn't care less about conditions or atmosphere.
Perhaps that's why I feel that I have genuine love in my life. My family and friends are people I truly, deeply love and feel loved by. I also consider myself very fortunate to be with a partner who's also the real deal. He's seen me at pretty close to my worst and he still hugged and kissed me. I'm very fortunate to be with a man who really knows me, cares about my life and wants me to be happy. And I am happy, even though there's very little romance in my life.
If you're out there and you desire romance, your desires are always valid and should be honored. However, dig deeper for truth. Is the fluffy stuff truly more important than the fierce shit? Only you know your truth, seek the real. 





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Fake It 'Till You Make It


I was inspired to write this by my daughter. At the end of her class cookie dough sale, there would be a wheel of fortune style contest with a few different prizes. Only a handful of students would win and my daughter really wanted to be one of them. I told her to pretend that she had already won. She told everyone that she came in contact with how excited she was that she won. She got really into it and truly did feel excited. Less than a week later she won $20 in the contest.
Pretending is usually dismissed as invalid. In my own experience however, pretending has been an essential, miraculously effective step in manifesting. What do you think would happen if you regularly pretended that your desires were already met?
The miraculous would happen. You would manifest people, circumstances, feelings and events like crazy. You could act as if you were anything you wanted to be and with just a little bit of time, you would be that.
For this article, I want to concentrate on feelings instead of conditions because relationships involve mostly feeling states. After all, good feelings are what we really desire. When we think we want something physical, it's only because we believe that the attainment of that thing will bring us the good feelings we desire.
In relationships things are not always wonderful, but in general most people strongly desire them to be and stay wonderful simply because wonderful feels really good. The problem isn't this desire, but the belief that this wonderful feeling can only come from the outside, when something wonderful happens in the outside world. This is backwards thinking. The wonderful feelings come first, from inside yourself, and then the outside world follows suit.
In particular, close, in love feelings are essential to the well being and "wonderfulness" of your relationship. After a fight, when you're in an awful mood, or after a time of cold indifference in a relationship, it's hard to feel this. If you want to have love and closeness  however, even in tough times, you must feel it first. Sometimes this means being very deliberate and intentional in spite of all that's going on around you. It can be mean ignoring the outside world and focusing instead what's going on in your inner world.
When you feel bad, instead of waiting for the other to make you feel better, you can pretend to feel love first and the loving feeling will return within minutes. I know this is true because I put it into practice in my own life and watch others put it into practice and I've never seen it not work. I've noticed that when my partner and I get into a fight or when one of us is feeling awful, if I pretend to feel close, happy and in love it gets me back to where I want to be much quicker than if I let it happen on its own. I do love him very much, why not love him all the time rather than waiting for things to be a certain way for me to feel love? Feeling resentful, bored, hurt, angry etc has never served me or my relationship. Its never brought me the happiness, love and closeness that I desire. I try my best to be proactive, so as soon as I'm aware that I feel badly, I do what I can to change it.
My theory on pretending, is that when you act a certain way, your body sends a message to your brain that makes you feel this certain way. You then respond to this accordingly. This is called neuro science.
You're empowered to choose to feel good or to not feel good moment by moment. If you choose better feelings then this will lead to better actions and others will respond accordingly. This will create your entire life.
The dynamics of your relationship will change dramatically when you change your state. Your relationship is especially changeable, because it's based on feelings and feelings are fluid, everchanging and highly malleable.
What do you think would happen right now if you acted as if you were totally in love with your partner? What do you think would happen if you saw only the best in them? How do you think things would be different if  you treated them the way you did when you first met them?
In this moment, no matter what you're feeling, you absolutely could feel happy. You can change your thinking and the way that you move your body and go through happy motions and you will feel happy. In the next moment you could deliberately feel angry and then sad. If you're sensitive enough you'll notice the feelings in your body even as you just read those words. The words alone cause a subtle response in your body.
If feelings are a choice, it makes sense to choose empowering, loving, good feeling feelings rather than those that bring you  and others down. First, figure out what it is that you want to feel. Then act like you feel that way, even if you don't feel very good at all, and in a very short time it will be your reality.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Presence and Intimacy

 Perfection Is Being Fully Engaged In The Present Moment

Most people desire intimacy strongly, even if it scares them. Connection to others is a basic human need. We are all capable of deeply connecting with another, but life sometimes gets in the way of maintaining a close connection.  Why? Because we are off thinking and we can't connect if we aren't in the Here and now.
Intimacy requires presence. If you aren't there with someone you can't possibly have intimacy. This seems like common sense, but what does it truly mean to be present?
To be truly present is to be engaging with life in the now moment. That means you aren't distracted by thoughts of how things happened in the past or how you want them to turn out in the future. While being present is the only way that we're fully alive and connected to others, it is our biggest challenge to remain grounded in the moment.
There are so many benefits to being present and grounded. People love to be around you. You're fully listening to another speak, focused on their words, their body language and their tone when you're present. This enables you to follow along, feel what they are feeling and see things from their position. This feels infinitely better than being focused on what you're going to say when they pause, you're present. The other person feels unheard and they complain that, "you don't listen". You're feeling the pleasure of someone's touch, smelling the sweetness of their skin and tasting their lips. The full awareness of these pleasures makes sex great. Thinking of what you're going to make for dinner during the act doesn't really add much to the experience.
I could go on and on and the moral of every example would be the same, you're engaging and connecting with others and with life itself when you're present and you're not really alive or connected to anything when you're not.
We've all had moments when we feel fully alive. These are the moments that we're present. In my life, I would like to be fully present, connected and engaged 100% of the time. To get there however, is a moment by moment practice. Here are some things that I do (whenever i remember) to be present.

  • When another is speaking, I listen as if it's the most important thing that I could ever know. I hear every word, even if that means repeating it in my head and asking questions to clarify. 
  • I maintain eye contact. I look people in the eyes, not only when we're talking, but also just to smile at them or even just to make a quick non-verbal connection. 
  • I enjoy my sensory world. I gaze at the beautiful sunset, smell flowers I walk by, squeeze my children for more than just a second, play with my man's hair and feel how soft it is in my hands and listen deeply to music. Whatever is going on right now, what does it feel/taste/smell/sound/look like? Enjoy the pleasure of your body's connection to the physical world. 
  • I allow emotions to be whatever they are and I simply experience them. There's this misconception out there that being present is always pleasant and that just isn't so.  Sometimes things in the present moment really suck, but escape only delays the inevitable. It squishes the feelings down for now, but they need to be acknowledged, so they'll only intensify until you pay attention. 
  • I notice my hands.  This was actually a technique I learned to become more lucid during a dream, but it works wonders for being more lucid in waking life as well. Simply party attention to what your hands are doing and what they feel like and it will bring you into the moment. 
  • Notice what you like and appreciate about what's around you. What's most pleasant?
  • Tell yourself that you intend to be present. If I feel like I'm off thinking, I'll say to myself, "I am right here, right now".
  • Meditate. Give yourself 10-15 minutes a day to just silently observe your breath, your thoughts, your body and anything else that's going on within you or around you.  This is time at aside to intentionally just notice the present. 
  • Affirm to yourself that you live in the present. Pretend to be present, tell others that you're very good at being present most of the time and tell yourself that you're present, even if you don't believe it yet.
  • Set aside 20 minutes a day to daydream. This time is kind of like a reward for myself for being present. I allow myself this specific time to indulge in thoughts of regret over past events, hopes for the future and how I wish things were different. I tell myself that this is the only time i allow myself to be off thinking.  Interestingly enough, when I'm actually trying to do this, not many thoughts come and sometimes I even have to quit before the 20 minutes is done.  Guess it's true, what you embrace, you erase. 
So, those are a few of my methods for bringing myself to the present moment. Do you have any that work well for you?




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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Truth Beauty

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.' John Keats
There is something about truth that is cleansing and feels infinitely better than lying or covering the truth. 
My friend Shannon and I have super deep, soulful conversations. One of our most recent ones was an attempt to answer the question, "What would happen if we were always truthful?"
I've asked a few people this and I've gotten many different answers. Some people seem to think that sometimes lying is best and that it's in our nature to lie. 
I, for one, only know that I've yet to feel good about lying to someone. It feels awful, and above all things I'm certain that feelings are guides. If something feels bad, it's a message that it isn't right for you and should be avoided. 
Lying feels terrible for me. Maybe it feels good for others, but I'd be very surprised if I found out that someone felt good while they were lying. 
Nope, I am definitely of the thought that truth is the better choice, always. I don't just mean that sharing the truth verbally is the best choice, but also that living in accordance with your truth is the only way to truly live. If you're not living in accordance to your truth, then whose life are you living? 
It's my challenge to you and to myself to live in truth as much as possible. This means to speak truth, live the way that you feel is truly right for you and to acknowledge the truth of your own inner thoughts and feelings. 
What is your truth? You'll know when something is true for you, you'll feel it. When you live in truth, you can trust yourself, but for now, trust the feeling of truth. 


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Friday, March 21, 2014

Moods

The impact your moods have on your life is underestimated. The truth is, your mood has a profound effect on the quality of your life. Moods effect your decisions and the mood you're in colors your entire world.
If you examine how your mood effects your relationships, you'll see that the mood you're in is the mood that the relationship is in. Whether you are happy, sad, indifferent, angry or warm and fuzzy makes all the difference in the world.
Of course it would be nice if you could just be in a great mood all the time. However, humans aren't built that way. Part of being a human on this planet is having fluctuating, ever changing emotions and there's nothing wrong with your good or bad moods.
If you sit quietly and just observe your emotions you will notice that they flow constantly. One moment you're content and peaceful, the next moment you might be angry; and then suddenly you feel like you want to laugh.
This goes on and on, all day everyday; that is, unless you're resisting them. A mood only sticks when you try to deny, escape, suffocate it or otherwise force it away. You know when you do this because it feels awful. Residence only intensifies the bad feelings.
If this is true, what does one do when in a terrible mood?

  • Acknowledge what you're truly feeling. Denial will only make things worse. Not only are you in a bad mood, you're invalidating your own feelings. Whatever it is that you're feeling, give it a label. Saying, "I am feeling           " acknowledges the feeling and this alone is enough to let it go. 
  • Know that "This too shall pass". When you're in a bad mood, it can seem like it's going to last forever. All life conditions as well as as emotions are transient. When you're in a very bad mood the difficulty becomes that you almost don't want to feel better. The key when you get like that is to acknowledge your mood and tell yourself that it will pass, even if you don't feel it at the time. 
  • Embrace it. "What you resist, persists and what you embrace you erase". It's human to escape pain and move toward pleasure. How do we make it so a bad mood is pleasurable, or at least good? You can use your bad mood as a signal that you need to give to yourself. You could even ask yourself what you would need to have to be happy and then find a way to give it to yourself. 
  • Allow feelings to be a guide. Emotions are your guidance system toward deeper joy. We have ears to hear, eyes to see, a nose to smell and these are guiding us to avoid painful sensations and move toward sensual pleasures. Emotions work in much the same way, only the are steering away from more painful feelings and toward more pleasurable ones. Ask what the feelings you are having want you to know. They have a message for you that at could be tremendously helpful. 
  • Breathe deeply and feel the emotions in your body. Sit still in a quiet place, breathe deeply and slowly, and feel what the mood feels like in your body. Simply notice it. If it feels right, assign it a color, a number between 1 - 10 (depending on how intense the feeling is), and a shape. This  acknowledges the feelings, and they won't have to get "loud" so that you pay attention; as they do when you ignore them. 
  • Ask to be in a better mood. This is something that I feel very few people do, but the results are miraculous. You can even ask to feel happy by a certain time. I give myself a few minutes to feel awful, but I'll say something like: "By 6:14 I'll feel great and I won't even remember why I was in a bad mood". Do this and you will be amazed at how well it works. 
  • Remember the ultimate intention of having a happy, close and loving relationship. Treating people poorly because you're in a negative state will take you further away from this goal. 
We all have moods. Eliminating them simply isn't possible. It's about not acting out of a bad mood. A negative state is not an empowering or resourceful state. You will not get where you want to be when you react from negative emotions.  Instead honor the bad moods, use them as a guide and then allow yourself to spiral back up to joy. 

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What It Means To Be In Love

When someone is "in love" it seems as if the other person is perfect. The person that's in love can only see the good. The beloved is wonderful in every way. Judgment is suspended and all that's good is highlighted.
For a long time I thought that this was simply hormones. Doctors would back this up. I used to believe that when someone was in love they needed to wait until that fuzzy warm feeling faded in order to see the other more accurately.
I've come to understand that the state of being in love is not something that is strictly hormonal. Actually, the in love state is when we see another most accurately,   our filters are off and we are completely open. We see the other's true self: a perfect being in spite of all imperfections, and worthy of all good things. I wish we could all see each other that way.
The way that we feel about and treat our beloved in the very beginning does not need to change. In the first few months when we accept and love everything about them it's easy to treat them wonderfully. The real test of love comes when that feeling of butterflies fades. This is when it becomes a choice to give love and be loving.
We lose our inspiration to love and be loving over time because it seems as if our partners have changed. Suddenly they are very flawed and we blame them for issues in the relationship instead of looking at ourselves. The truth is, they are who they are, the way that we chose to see them in the beginning was different than the way we choose to see them years later.
Sometimes our acceptance, admiration and warm affection turns into judgement, criticism and indifference. This happens because we allow judging, criticizing and cold, indifferent thinking to replace the loving thinking we once had. Can you intentionally choose to see your partner with brand new eyes? Can you see the good in him/her?
Choosing is not forcing, it is about whet you place your focus. The good and the bad are both always equally available, it's about which you choose to focus on, give your attention and respond to.
I am not suggesting that others be allowed to abuse you in any way; your love for yourself must always come first. What I am suggesting is that if you are in a relationship that is filled with negativity, intentionally changing your perception can make a work of difference.
Tomorrow I will write a list of ways that you can change your perception to a much more positive, loving one.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Meditation and Visualizion As Tools To Improve Your Relationship

l hear a lot about meditation as a tool to reduce stress, but I almost never hear about it as a tool to help improve relationships. The same goes for visualization. There's a lot of talk about using visualization to become wealthy or to lose weight, and even how to attract a soul mate, but there isn't much out there about increasing love and good feelings in existing relationships.
It's unfortunate that the use of meditation and visualization as tools for transformation in relationships isn't more widespread because they are both so valuable in keeping a calm and peaceful center, lowering stress and improving mood.
Visualization has been used by  athletes and businessmen, with incredible results. It improves performance significantly, helps maintain focus and activates the very powerful subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is millions of times more effective at getting you where you want to be than the conscious mind is. To discover how it does this, and the many ways b it can be "programmed" other than visualization,  a simple Google search will get you more information on the subject than you can handle.
Here are some tips for using meditation to increase good feelings in your relationships:

  • Set aside 5 minutes at the same time everyday.  It's suggested to meditate about 15 minutes, but starting with 5 minutes will get you in the habit and then you can increase the time as you go on. 
  • Remember that although the point of meditation is to quiet your mind, you will still have thoughts and your mind will wonder. Even seasoned masters experience this.  It can be frustrating, but it's easier if you simply notice the thoughts and let them float away rather than try to suppress them. When you notice that you are talking off, take the next step. 
  •  As much as you can, return to just noticing your breath or a mantra. A mantra is a word or short phrase that is repeated over and over again to help you remain focused while meditating. Some great mantas for relationship improvement are: "I am love", "Peace", "Love" or "I choose love and joy now and always".
  • Practice everyday. The stress reducing, calming, mood enhancing benefits of meditation are cumulative. 
  • Keep your meditation heart centered. You could begin by stating that it's your intention to increase the love, closeness and good feelings in your relationship. Then while you're meditating, imagine that you are being permeated by love and good feelings and really feel what that feels like in your body. With each breath imagine that you are breathing in more and more love until it radiates from you like the sun.  To end, bless your relationship with love, closeness and good feelings or ask for it to be blessed with these things from a higher power.  Actually state to yourself that you bless your relationship and send your partner love. 
Visualization tips:

  • Visualize in the morning before you get out of bed and in the evenings as you're falling asleep.  This is when you're conscious mind is the most relaxed and will allow you to "speak" most directly to your subconscious. 
  • Engage as many of your senses as possible.  What does the air around you feel like? Is there a specific smell? Do you hear anything? Smell your partner's scent and hear his/her voice. Make sure it feels wonderful and loving. 
  • Add as much detail as you can. What,  exactly does the scene around you look like? What is your mate wearing?  What are the two of you doing? What, exactly, does that look and feel like? Are you holding hands?  Does the he/she touch you? What does that feel like on your skin? 
  • Add emotion. The more intensely you feel positive emotions during your visualizations the more effective they will be. Create the scene around what will trigger the most intense positive emotions in you. 
  • Make it exactly what you truly want,  no matter what that is. If you want more passionate sex, more romance and affection, more help around the house, a deeper friendship or an exciting adventure, nothing is "right" or "wrong".
  • Don't be realistic. As a matter of fact, exaggerate greatly. If you want to go on a second honeymoon, don't just picture going some place warm worth your beloved and lounging on the beach, imagine the bluest waters, the whitest sand, having the best secx of your life on a deserted shore, drinking the finest wine and talking and laughing all night in each other's arms.  Add rainbows and dolphins and kind, helpful people. This is your world, make it unbearably beautiful.
  • Imagine the outcome. Skip all the details of how you got there, just imagine yourself in exactly where you desire to be, doing exactly what you want to do, with exactly who you want to be with. 
  • Keep it short.  I would say keep it under ten minutes for two reasons: doubt will creep in and you will start asking how if you go any longer and you will be unlikely to visualize daily if it takes to long. 
  • Make sure you visualize daily. Just like meditation, the effects are cumulative and irregular visualization will yield irregular results. 
The whole point of meditation and visualization is to feel good; if it doesn't feel good, don't do it. Follow what resonates with your heart always.


Subconscious Programming To Have The Best Relationship Possible

Yesterday I wrote about meditation and visualization, both of which are pieces of what I would like to talk about today: programming the subconscious mind. Specifically,  I'd like to talk about programming your subconscious mind to increase love, closeness and all good feelings in your relationship.
For a lot of background information about what the subconscious mind is and what it does, visit this post. This article is about the various methods to use it's incredible powers to help you to have the feelings of love, closeness, joy, passion etc that you want to have.
Today's post is about using the subconscious mind as a tool to improve relationships.  The following are some of the best ways that I know and use:

    1. Affirmations. An affirmation is a statement that you make over and over about who you want to be our what you want to happen. I'm truth, every thought is an affirmation. When you affirm something you declare it the way you want it to be as of it were presently that way.
Always state your affirmations in the present and in the positive (what you want, not what you don't want).
Affirmations should also feel good for you and they're much more effective if they feel true for you. 
You can come up with as many affirmations as you like, but they're effective only if you say them to yourself again and again,  as often as you can remember throughout your day.
Examples of good affirmations to improve relationships:
"Everyday I am becoming a better partner"
"Everyday my relationship feels better and better"
"I am deeply lovable and loved."
"Everyday I trust and respect my mate more"
"I know exactly how to give love to my partner in ways that feel amazing to him/ her"
"Sex with my mate gets better every time"
"My mate and I get closer each day"
"My mate and I fall deeper in love each day"
"I am a wonderful partner"
    2. Prayer. This is possibly the best way that I know to connect to something higher than yourself. Whether you call this the subconscious mind or God, the results are the same. Prayer is an act of surrender and faith, both of which speak to the deeper mind. 
When you pray, it's helpful to appeal to something that you feel is the highest possible form of energy. Then after you have asked for whatever it is that you need,  leave it up to the will of this divine being to decide how to best resolve the issue or bring it to you.

    3. Visualize. This is a wonderful pastime as well as a very useful tool to speak to the c deeper mind.  Check out this post for more information about how to make visualization effective in improving your relationship.

    4. Ask yourself questions. Your brain is a question answering machine. When you ask a question, your brain will search until it finds an answer.
This means that if you are asking questions like: "Why do I always mess things up?" Your brain will search until it finds an answer that satisfies you. The key is to ask yourself empowering questions, like: "Why does everything work out so perfectly for me?" Or in the context of increasing good feelings in relationships, it could be: "How is it possible that I love him/her more each day?" or something similar.
 
    5. Put on a  performance. Almost all of the world's religions perform rituals of some kind. When you put a prayer or request into action and use props like a statue or a necklace, you are performing a ritual. To me this is really not a religious act but a spiritual one.
Start simple. Find a necklace or other piece of jewelry that you really like. Light a candle next to it and let it burn out over night. Know that the candle represents wisdom and it will infuse the jewelry and that whenever you wear it, you,ll know just what to do and say to bring you and your partner closer.

    6. Be grateful for whatever it is that you want as if it's already in your life. Say to  yourself that you're grateful for it and feel the feelings of gratitude.

    7. Act as if it's true. Of it's a best friend kind of relationship you want with your mate, how would you behave if you already had this, if the two of you were already best friends? How would you treat him/her if he/she was your beat friend?

    8. Intend. This is the most powerful and effective way to speak to both the conscious and subconscious mind. It incorporates all of the other ways I've mentioned.
Whether you are aware of it or not, you are always intending something. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad, you always have an idea of an outcome.
When you have this idea of a preferred outcome, you are thinking of it often,  daydreaming of it even. This could be called visualization.  
When you intend, you ask yourself questions about what it is that you intend.
You say affirmations in the form of self talk. If it is something you feel strongly that you either want or don't want, you add strong emotions to the affirmations and is likely that you say them almost constantly.
Intending is a feeling of desire and a feeling of knowing that you  deserve what it is that you want and that you can have it. When you intend it isn't just a wish, it's the center of a target that you focus on intensely. Then you take action, you pull back your arrow and aim precisely, and then you let it go.
Knowing what the center is is the first step, you must know exactly what it is that you intend the outcome to be. Then your focus must be on that, all your thoughts and actions must be made deliberately in the positive direction of that intention. This is the sure fire way to getting what it is that you intend.

In relationships, there aren't always clear cut actions to take and sometimes you don't know what the best thing to do is. Relax your little self and let your higher, deeper mind do the work. 

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Feel Good Now and Increase Good Feelings In Your Relationship

The most important thing that you can do to make your relationship the best that it can be is to feel good about yourself and your life. When you feel bad, you don't treat others with the same love and respect that you do when you're feeling good.
When you're feeling bad, this is when you expect others to give to you and get angry when they don't. This is when you see all the faults in others and think of all the "bad" things they do. Reacting out of bad feelings causes problems.
When you are feeling good, however, you see the best in people and you want to give love to them. This is when you think of all the good things a person has done and you want to be with them. Good relationships are built on good feelings and good feelings always start within you.
Having said all of this, we all have moods, and sometimes these moods are awful. What can you do when u you're in an awful mood to raise yourself up to feeling good?


  • Listen to happy music. Music has the amazing ability to lift even the worst mood. 
  • Exercise. Exercise had been proven to lift spirits.  Don't push yourself like crazy if you're just starting out, just get moving. 
  • Dance.  It kind of combines the first two suggestions and is number one on my last.  If I'm feeling down, I know dancing is absolutely the way to uplift myself. 
  • Pay it forward. When you give to another it seems a message to yourself that you have plenty to give. Find something that inspires you.  You may not be interested in serving food at a soup kitchen and that's okay. Cook for a friend who needs a stress free night. Doing a good deed  anonymously is also awesome.
  • Get outside of yourself.  Instead of focusing on what to say while somebody else is talking, listen to every word.  Instead of thinking of what others could do to make to you feel good, think of what you could do to make them feel good.  Get interested in them instead of wondering of you're interesting. 
  • Get outside.  There is something wonderful about being in nature.  Very few people can feel bad when they are in a naturally beautiful place. 
  • Pray and talk with whatever you believe to be your creator. Ask for help. I do this every time I'm in a bad mood.  I say, "Spiral me up". It kind of reminds me of:"Beam me up, Scottie", and that lightens things up. 
  • Mediate. Take 10 minutes to just close your eyes and breathe. It's amazing the difference just doing this can make. 
  • Hold yourself the way you would if you were happy. Walk with a bounce on your step, keep your head up, smile at people and breathe fully.  Even if you don't feel like it, doing this will send a signal to your brain that you're happy and you'll soon start to feel it. 
  • Spend some time doing something you love. This seems obvious, but when you're feeling bad it's not something many of us think to do. What's your favorite hobby? Spend an hour or two doing it. 
  • Take a bath or a long shower.  Baths are so cleansing.  Combine this with music and candles or meditation for an even better effect. 
  • Get grateful. This has been emphasized so much in the last few years, but I feel that it can't be stated enough. You can't be thankful and sad at the same time.
Ask yourself what you need to do to be happy right now and come up with your own list.  You know yourself best and you know what will work to make you feel good. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

When Things F@$%ing Suck

Sometimes things just really f@$%ing suck. It's just an inevitable part of life. The problem is not the way things are; the problem is that when things suck,  we try to get away from it any way that we can.
In truth, although we would call it something different, we avoid life. We might do this by sinking into our addictions (or escapes), or by adamantly trying to control others and the external world. We have methods of pushing the shit down. 
My personal favorite method for drowning out these emotions, was to deny that I wanted anything at all. I labeled it "non-attachment"to sound more sophisticatedly spiritual. I beat myself up for having these feelings of desire and disappointment for not having what I desire. 
There's this one thing that I don't have that I yearn for with hrying to force yourself not to want what you truly want is much more painful than experiencing the uncomfortable emotions that come when you notice that you don't yet have what you want. You end up not only feeling bad that you have this problem, but then you feel bad for feeling bad that you have any problem in the first place.
All human beings have desire, just as all humans have the experience of discomfort when they don't have those desires. No one can tell you that you don't have a right to feel whatever it is that you're feeling or that you shouldn't want what you are wanting. You need no justification or validation. It's only a problem when you pretend that you don't want something that you want or when you stuff discomfort down and paste on a smile to please others. It's only an issue when you pour sugar on shit and call it ice cream.
You can only deny uncomfortable feelings and desires for so long. "What you resist, persists", and "What you embrace, you erase". This makes perfect sense to me right after the calmness of a long, peaceful meditation or bath, but when I'm pissed and I actually need to remember it, it makes me want to scream. I certainly don't want to embrace anything when I'm upset. Screw going with the flow, I want to paddle upstream like a madwoman.  
But, I've noticed this crazy phenomenon. These sayings are true. Who would've thunk that some wise saying said by some dude or dudette a billion years ago actually had any value? Amazingly, embracing what it is that you are wanting to resist is exactly what to do when things f@$%ing suck.
The definition of embrace is: to accept and support willingly and enthusiastically. In order to embrace something fully, you have to move toward it with love. So freaking frustrating, how is anyone supposed to do that? Ya'll know I love lists and step-by-steps, so here's my to-do list for "embracing to erase":

Step 1: Know that "This too shall pass", probably very quickly. 
Sometimes life gives you a doozy, someone special in your life dies, you lose everything in a fire or you are diagnosed with a terminal disease. However, most things in life are not really all that important. A traffic jam, an unruly child, or an unresponsive spouse all seem like they are big deal important in the moment, but give it a day or even an hour and you won't even remember what it is that you were upset about. All things, good and bad, pass away with time.  

Step 2: Know that challenges are your greatest gifts. 
EVERY invention ever made, EVERY animal that has ever evolved, EVERY sport, EVERY product you own and EVERY job/career exists because it solves a problem or overcomes a challenge. Challenges are incredibly useful in training you to be resourceful. 
In your lifetime, your spiritual and emotional muscles have grown through "resistance training". You have grown into who you are because you have learned to handle turmoil calmly, turn within and soothe yourself, give love and extend kindness even when the other was "misbehaving". If you live to be 100 years old and you had a new challenge everyday, you would be infinitely emotionally stronger, wiser, more patient, loving and in short: much more resourceful than the pampered, spoiled 1000 year old (if people could live that long of course). Ask yourself: what is the opportunity here? What am I learning? Do I need to shift my thinking? How can I use this? 

Step 3:  Find the fear. 
At the core of all resistance/uncomfortable feelings is fear. You can uncover this very simply by asking yourself, "What am I afraid of?" Let's say the situation is that your coworker just got a raise and you didn't. You are feeling a cocktail of uncomfortable feelings we could label "jealousy, rejection and resentment".
Let's say the answer that came was: "Getting let go". You can dig even further and ask yourself: "Why am I afraid of getting let go?" Answer: "I will have no money and I will become homeless". 

Step 4:  Use the contrast to get clear.
Pinpointing what it is that you are afraid of can be called "the contrast that gives clarity". If you know that you are afraid of having no money and becoming homeless, then you gain insight into what you do want: money and a place to live. There are no guarantees in life and of course you can never be 100% certain of anything, but knowing that you want "enough money to live comfortably" will point you in a totally different direction than "don't get fired and avoid homelessness". When you find out what you fear, you'll know what you don't want and from there you can get clear about what you do want and you can take action to get there. You can look for a better paying job, open up a savings account or find a more affordable place to live.

Step 5: Accept. 
This is counter intuitive, but think of what you fear. What would really happen if it became a reality? Would it truly be that bad? What we fear seems big and scary, then, if it comes, once it passes, it's never as bad as we thought it would be. 
Look at it honestly and find thoughts that truly comfort you until you get comfortable with this fear. Would it be that bad if you became homeless? I've actually been homeless and I can tell you that for me, it was an experience that I am most grateful for because that is what I decided. It was not fun while it was was going on, but once I allowed it to be a learning experience, I learned and was truly transformed. I wouldn't trade that experience for all the money in the world, and it was something that I greatly feared before it happened. 

Step 6: Give and act in ways that willingly and enthusiastically accept, appreciate and support that which you are tempted to resist. 
This is by far the most difficult and most important step. It is where transformation and enlightenment will occur. After completing steps 1-4, chances are great that you'll be in a much better state than when you first encountered the challenge. Then you can put it all into action by offering support in some way to whatever it is you want to resist. Ask yourself: how can I give and act in ways that willingly and enthusiastically accept, appreciate and support (fill in the blank)? Your brain is an incredible problem solving machine and it will search for the answer to any question that you give it. You will get an answer, whether it is a knowing, or something that you suddenly feel inspired to do or some other form. Whatever it is, act on it immediately. Don't hesitate, change only occurs in the present moment.  

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Create More Love and Closeness in Your Relationship

Class Description

Whether you are struggling in your current relationship or very happily partnered or single, this class can help you become a better partner. When you are a better partner, your relationship naturally improves. You can create more joyful moments, more love and more connection in your relationship right away.

Class ID: 19046
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Wednesday, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm; 1 session starting April 23, 2014, ending April 23, 2014
Non-member Fee: $39.00   Member Fee: $29.00   Materials Fee: $10.00
Instructor: Rhiannon Strobel
Location: Providence
Registration Closes On: April 23, 2014 11:59 PM

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Relationship Goals

When most people think of goals, they are thinking of a specific outcome that they have to push themselves to achieve by a specific date and time. This is very effective for many, if not most people. Most people will get what they set out to achieve. If they can measure it, they can make it happen. Depending on how grateful and connected they are able to feel, they may feel some fulfilment as well as satisfaction when the goal is met.
When it comes to relationships however, there is problem. How can you tell if you've reached a goal in a relationship? There are goals such as: "I'd like to be married" or "I'd like to meet someone wonderful" that are very tangible. You could even put a date on it, "I'd like to meet someone wonderful by March 13th, 2014". 
However, getting married or meeting someone wonderful are not really relationship goals in my opinion because they don't really have much to do with actual relating. A relationship goal is one that is made to improve the way that you and another relate with each other. 
One example of a relationship goal is: "I'd like to have a happy, close and loving relationship with (fill in the blank)".  This is a worthy goal, and it was the exact wording of my personal goal, except of course the blank was full. 
How does one know when one has a happy, close and loving relationship? There is not a way to measure this. When I examined why I never felt like I was making progress toward this goal, I realized that the reason is because there is no way to tell if I am making progress.  
My approach in goal setting for relationships specifically, is very different than setting goals in other areas of life. I suppose that what I am calling a goal you could more of an intention. The following four step process may help you to develop some relationship intentions?
          
         1.If you don't know what you want in your relationship, it can help to look at what you don't want first. In this example, we'll say that your relationship is very functional and business-like.You don't like the coldness of it. It's become very routine and the two of you are more like roomates.
         2. Use the contrast of this to figure out what it is that you do want. If your relationship is distant, cold, boring and seems like it only exists for the purpose of maintaining a household, then it's likely that you want the opposite of these (or something close to the opposite). You want closeness, warmth, fun and excitement. You want to enjoy a home and family together.
         3. Once you've figured out what it is that you want, it's time to dig deeper. What do you think that this thing that you think you want help you to feel? You want closeness because you want to feel connection. You want warmth because you want to feel love. You want fun and excitement because you want to feel joy. These are your "feeling intentions", connection, love and joy. 
         4. Ask yourself, "How can I feel connection, love and/or joy right now in this relationship?" or even just, "How can I feel connection, love and/or joy right now?" The answer will always come, you need only listen. It may bean action that you need to take, like touching that person or surprising them by doing something completely unexpected. 

Emphasize the I in: "How can I...?" Take complete responsibility for the feelings in your relationship. You can say to yourself, "I intend to be the presense of love in this relationship right now". Adding right now is important because it's the only time you can have any effect on anything. Putting anything off until "another time" doesn't serve you and it will always be put off.
Also know that your thoughts, intentions and behaviors enormously effect the relationship. Instead of saying to yourself or others that you aren't happy because your partner does or doesn't do something, know that you won't feel happy (or loved, or passion, or joy, or closeness etc) unless you bring it to the relationship.