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Do you have Self-Help Shame?

I started reading self-help books in my twenties. I would spend hours in the bookstore in the relationships and self-help sections looking for new books on making my life better. I was very self-conscious standing there wondering what people thought about me. I hid the titles as I went to the check-out counter so no one would know what I was buying. I had self-help shame.

Back in those days I also hid my spiritual life. When I was down the Jersey shore with my friends, I would wake up early on Sundays to go to church before everyone got up. When I walked back to the house after church everyone was convinced that I was doing the “walk of shame,” not believing I was coming from church. I built a persona around fun Debbie and it wasn’t cool to talk about God.

I didn’t share my inner life with anyone. I was afraid people would think something was wrong with me; that I was screwed up psychologically and unfit for a relationship. I kept my up my carefree surface persona trying to keep my spiritual cat in the bag. I hoped that my “self-improvement project” would be done soon because I wanted to move on and become a normal person like everyone else

Anytime I would try to let a little of my deeper side out, I was often met with mockery or people looking at my strange as if I said aliens had landed. Friends and dates would challenge my beliefs and point out condescendingly that if all this self-help stuff worked I would have a relationship by now.

What I didn’t realize is that what I was seeing was my own judgment of self-help reflected back to me in the world. I was using personal development and spirituality as a way to fix myself with the assumption that only broken people do this type of thing. So the people I saw judging me were just a mirror of what I felt about myself.

The “healing” culture.

It wasn’t my fault really. The idea of healing is so pervasive in our culture that people assume that any inner reflection is about fixing something dysfunctional. I assumed that most people had life figured out. Everyone else got married at 23, had a solid career and stable life in a real house not a bachelorette apartment. I felt that there must be something wrong with me if I didn’t have all of those things.

The reality is that so-called “normal” people are afraid to be caught doing personal development are living a powerless existence. They are driven by the herd mentality of grasping for external validation and security and are constantly unsatisfied. It is almost a curse when they get what they want because then they never do the inner searching to take their life from good to great.

The reason the average Joe judges and fears self-helpers is because they secretly know there is something more to life but are afraid to look inside. They want to brush their discomfort aside and pretend everything is okay, terrified of being labeled as having any problems. They change the subject or run from any intimate conversation and keep themselves in a prison of ignorance.

The Mastery v. Fixing Approach

Everything shifted when I stopped trying to fix myself and started to see personal development as a way to master my mind and express my creative potential. Personal and spiritual growth wasn’t intended to be about healing with a diagnosis and cure. Positive psychology assumes everyone is already at the normal functioning level and wants to take you to your higher levels of consciousness.

When I realized that understanding my true nature is the most interesting subject in the world and I should be proud of my knowledge and wisdom, I started sharing what I learned with co-workers, bosses, friends and dates. When I saw myself more as a master of life rather than a broken person, people responded differently to me. Most people were surprisingly open and it brought me closer to people. Even though there are always some who were not ready to hear it, I kept sharing anyway.

My final test of my self-help shame was with someone I dated before I met Dr. Rob. We went on about 4 dates and on our last date he told me solemnly, “I am attracted to you, BUT all that spiritual stuff is not for me. I just can’t relate.” For the first time in my life I didn’t feel rejected at all because he was rejecting the part about me I loved the most. If he only liked my surface, then he wasn’t the one for me.

This change of self-expression led me to finally connecting with the love of my life who, from our very first conversation, would go to places no one else previously would talk about with me. I am glad I didn’t change who I was for the other guy because I really wanted a deeper connection. I get to have these conversations every single day with my true love!

Many people that do personal development work are private about it. They wouldn’t want to admit they hired a life coach or took a workshop as if that was a mark of madness. Some never reach out for help because they feel ashamed of investing in their personal life. They look at hiring a coach as a flaw rather than a demonstration of commitment to a bigger life. They believe that if they spend more money that must mean they need more “help” instead of viewing it as getting the best higher education in mastering their inner life.

The world is craving depth and soul.

The dating market is filled with tips on how to act correctly to catch an alpha man or get a makeover so you’ll get more dates. The business coaching market measures dollars earned rather than someone’s fulfillment and inner mastery. The ordinary person is caught up with chasing the external carrot and more dissatisfied with life than ever.

Learning about yourself, your psychology and the mysteries of your mind is the most fascinating journey you can take. It enriches your life and helps you feel more connected to your heart and soul. In fact, it is the only way to truly live.

The famous psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested that only a very small percentage of the population reach the level of self-actualization, so that makes you special and unique. We need more creative-minded people who want to stop being run by their conditioning like the rest of the masses. It is the people like you who expand the limits of the human imagination that inspire everyone to become what is possible.

The stigma of doing personal development or spiritual work has to change so more people will be inspired to embrace it. Teachers and students both must stop making it about healing and dysfunction and stick to its original purpose of human potential.

You are here for a higher purpose, not just survival

Your human conditioning is natural and necessary to survive. This is the sign of a healthy mind. But, we are put here to do more than just survive. We are given this life to become something more, to know our true nature and to experience life in all its greatness in love, abundance and health.

I hope one day that the world will see personal growth as normal and think the people who sleepwalking through life on autopilot are the real “outliers.” Deep down everyone is searching for answers. People who are willing to share what they learn will inspire others to find their path to become their potential and change the world.

 

Are you just a Spiritual Tourist on the Journey to Love?

I have to admit that when I first began my inner journey to finding love, I was a spiritual tourist. After being raised as a Roman Catholic, I started exploring other spiritual teachings in my twenties and thirties to figure out why I was still single. The exploration is necessary, but after a while you have to stop being a tourist and find a home. I learned that the big shifts happen in your life when you commit to one path.

What is a spiritual tourist? Someone who checks in and out different places but never really settles anywhere. A tourist typically gravitates toward the popular places but these hot spots are so watered down and without real soul.

Tourists are looking for less work and more fun. They are drawn to experiences that do not require a lot of thinking or effort. They take the guided tours, follow the steps but never really get anywhere (except maybe happy hour.) They don’t stay long enough to explore and rapidly move on to the next attraction.

Being a tourist lets you experience a lot of different things but never go deep into any one of them. You hear lots of great quotes and feel motivated until you have to get something accomplished. A spiritual tourist will quickly leave a teaching when experiencing a little setback or if she is challenged in any way outside of her comfort zone. She will reason away her avoidance by just saying, “This didn’t work for me” but never gives anything enough time.

The reason the spiritual tourist doesn’t stay is that she is not really looking for growth, just obsessed with getting results – their soul-mate, more money, more attention. If you use spiritual principles to gain material success, you are already lost. You are putting the material world above your spirit, which not spiritual at all, and it will only cause you more problems and pain in your life.

A little tourism is good for a while to test things out and see where you fit in, but don’t let the vacation last too long or you will put off true happiness. Once you find a path that resonates with you stick with it. A good sign is when the path makes you uncomfortable and face things to help you grow. If you want to run, then you know you are on the right path!

Here are some signs that you are being a spiritual tourist and how it works against you:

  1. Wanting external results v. inner results

Any system that promises quick, effortless healing to get a man or instant money is not spirituality, but the lovely by-product of the placebo effect used by charlatans since the dawn of time. You have to grow into the person who has the love and the wealth you desire through spiritual practice first, or any relationship or material success will be short-lived. The spiritual growth leads to all the experiences you want in life but the growth needs to be the focus, not just getting stuff.

  1. The Kitchen Sink Approach

More is not better. Don’t mix two or more spiritual traditions together in the hopes of covering your bases. This is confusing and your ego will tend to pull you toward the easy side just when you are about to have a breakthrough on the other. You will be kept bouncing back and forth in a never-ending cycle of confusion and status quo.

  1. Focusing on Techniques without a Philosophy

A true practice should involve a solid foundation and philosophy, not just a hodgepodge of techniques. A philosophy is more than just tapping your forehead, clearing your chakras, therapy, mindfulness, meditation, visualization, hypnosis, or yoga class. If you cram too many different techniques without any philosophical foundation to support them, you are being a spiritual tourist – destination unknown. Techniques are tools, not a whole system. You need a consistent, deep and solid spiritual system for lasting change.

  1. Too Simple and Common Sense

If you catch yourself saying, “Everything happens for a reason” as your go-to spiritual insight to every obstacle, you are missing out on the real true lessons of life. A spiritual tourist gets her wisdom from Facebook posts and experts’ advice on reality or talk television. You know you are close to your spiritual home when you stop reading pop, watered-down spirituality with its feel-good, ego-soothing nonsense. You get hungry for reading the source of spiritual teachings from thousands of years ago and embrace the complexity of the teachings.

If a teaching is very easy to understand and makes common sense, then it is not deep enough. To truly grow you must stretch your mind with challenging ideas that go against the status quo and what you have been taught. Otherwise, you are just hearing a pop song and singing along without learning anything new.

 

The Benefit of Finding One Path

When you follow one path you have structure and a foundation to go to when things get tough. If you do not commit to one path, you are more likely to stray to keep your options open and never stick with anything. The ego uses your fear of change to keep you as a spiritual tourist so you never truly change.

When you enter a teaching, ask the teacher about their source before you commit into the path. If you are introduced to a new pop technique, ask the trainer about the spiritual philosophy that backs the technique. It is astounding how many self-proclaimed gurus are not able to answer these questions. In their defense, they are just spiritual tourists themselves who haven’t discovered their home. The human ego has developed many techniques disguising them as “spiritual” to get you hooked into a cycle of constant healing and clearing when your true self doesn’t need to be fixed. You end up just re-arranging the same old furniture.

In your true spiritual home you will find your true self. The real you will become distinguished from the touristy and fickle ego-mind. You will rise above the noise of duality and see the connection of your true nature to everything as perfection. From this place of oneness, you can see clearly the right partner and how to step into a career or mission that fulfills you.

If you are still a spiritual tourist, don’t worry. Trust the journey. Keep asking tough questions. Don’t believe everything you hear and be challenged by new ideas to truly understand yourself and life. A part of you already knows your spiritual home, now it is time for you to rediscover it as it calls you to return.

 

 

What happens AFTER you meet someone?

When you are searching for a partner, the only thing most people focus on is the meeting. You have an online dating strategy plan and read up on the latest tips on dating etiquette so you can act accordingly and they remain interested. You may even think you have to clear so-called “blocks” so you can meet. Have you put so much energy in meeting the person that you rarely think about the time after you find him or her?

The urgency and anxiety you put into dating will not end when you meet someone, it will only magnify.

Honestly, I used to believe that everything would fall into place when I met the right person. The angels would belt out songs of joy and doves will be released and float around us and I would somehow finally be confident and secure. Time and time again I was wrong. Everyone I met was reflecting back to me my own insecurities and fears about being not good enough and alone.

I kept looking for someone to love me, when I needed to be that someone to me first.

Here’s the deal. You may focus on the image of their right person to meet like a cardboard cutout with a nice resume. Do you ever think about what being in a relationship with that person would be like? Are you prepared for the disagreements, fears, family drama and, yes, maybe even the children involved? Do you feel comfortable communicating your needs and keeping the spark alive? What about when the sex slows down or someone gets ill?

Most people, myself included, looked for love as a happy fairy-tale ending. We’ve been hypnotized to believe in those funny romantic comedies where the struggle happens before you meet and then when you finally come together everything is perfect for the rest of your life. But that is not real life, life is not easy and relationships are a living, changing experience that needs nurturing and continued growth.

You can tell how prepared you are for a real relationship in just the first few dates. Do you get anxiety around communication? Do you gauge all of your happiness onto whether he or she calls or asks you out on a weekend date? Do you feel a lack of control over your schedule or what you like to do together? Do you find it difficult to manage your emotions because you like the person so much?

These fears in a new relationship may temporarily subside when the act the way you want and give you the attention you crave, but the fear is not gone. This same fear will arise again when another difficulty shows up. You can stuff it and feel miserable as a prisoner under his/her control or you can sabotage and end it to move on to the next one who “knows how to treat you” without you having to explain it. Good luck with that plan.

When I started my personal development path to find love, I felt like I was a slow learner. So many people would fall into relationships while years later I was still poking at my inner child telling her to stop crying. I was just focused on fixing myself to meet “him” instead of growing myself to have a relationship that lasts.

The strategy of fixing yourself, removing blocks and following dating tips still focuses on the same idea…life will be better when I meet the person. Once I realized that I didn’t have to fix myself but to uncover my true self already inside of me, I stopped thinking there was something wrong with me. I no longer wanted to find a man to finally tell me that I was okay. I didn’t need to heal myself to feel OK.

Coming from a powerful place of “I am already okay” doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens a lot faster if you drop the healing and fixing to begin with. The constant searching for defects in you or your behavior is counter-productive. You cannot feel enough if you are always looking for ways where you feel broken without a partner.

Reclaiming your power is a process of letting go of the persona you have been conditioned to be as a shield defending the soft vulnerability of your humanity. It is a scary confrontation to drop the mask and see what is behind it. You must look directly at the places you don’t want to face inside of yourself that are only negative because of the story YOU assigned to it.

The truth is there is nothing negative about you and realizing that gives you power. Embracing all of your human tendencies with love and compassion will enable you to relate to another in a deep, intimate way without needing to run or hide.

Facing yourself where you don’t dare to look and being okay with it all allows you to open your heart to love. The only real reason you don’t have love is that you don’t want someone to see all of you. You will continue to attract people who also hide behind their masks and you will continue to project fears onto each other where there is no doorway for a deeper connection.

Can you meet someone without looking inside? Sure you can. People do it every day and most people are miserable in relationships because of their projections. You still have the chance to individuate and grow with each other but both parties now must take on the process. Jung said, “The best time to work on your relationship is before you get in one.”

Instead of fixing your persona, it is time to love and embrace all of who you are. If you do that BEFORE you meet, the bliss will not end after the first few dates. You will automatically have chemistry with someone who matches your inner self-love and the relationship will last.

True love isn’t about finding the right person but bringing the right person (your true self) into the relationship.

Are you seeking a guarantee of happiness?

Have you ever asked yourself why you wanted love? It seems like a ridiculous question to ask because you assume that everyone should want love. You believe that Mr. or Ms. Right can give you happiness. If you find the person, the happiness comes as part of the package – guaranteed!

Sometimes a relationship just happens. You meet the person in college and you have a connection and decide to stick together, get married, build a family and do what other people are doing. The ones who seem to fall into marriage just follow the path of society. The people who meet randomly aren’t better off than you. They chose a relationship unconsciously and maybe they get along fine, but maybe they are just settling. If being in a relationship guarantees happiness, the divorce rate wouldn’t be almost 60%.

For most people, the search for love begins with pain – a bad break-up, divorce or reaching a milestone age (child-bearing years are ticking away). Instead of allowing the natural flow of life to pass you by, you decide to take some action to make love happen so you are not feeling the pain of being alone anymore.

You are on a mission so you relentlessly date online, go to speed dating, go to social events to get your face-time, take classes and workshops to better yourself but still you are not finding true love. You get so defeated in your quest that the search is not fun, you are tired and wonder if you were just meant to be alone and endure this pain of loneliness forever.

When you reach the point of exhaustion and want to give up, you have forgotten your WHY. Why do you want love in the first place?

True love isn’t about alleviating pain and loneliness.

Most people are searching for love as a guarantee for happiness. If I could just find that person, everything will be fine in my life. No more misery, no more lonely nights, no more long weekends without any plans, no more isolation from my married friends, no more bad dates, no more heartache.

If you try to find a mate with the mind of pain, you will only attract more pain.

The only guarantee for happiness lies within you. You are the cause of happiness, not something or someone out there. It is hard to accept because we have been conditioned to think that happiness is external.

Happiness is already inside.

Our natural state is joy. The mind creates images and stories that constantly take us out of joy. The mind that says you aren’t good enough until you meet someone or that you are flawed and no one will ever love you. The mind will lie to you about the future and constantly remind you of the regrets of the past. The mind is never satisfied, always spinning its stories of nonsense to fill the moments of your day until you finally get a break when you go into deep sleep. When you awake, the mind is there to remind you of your miserable life again and the stories continue.

If you can sit with yourself in silence and watch those thoughts float by without believing them, you will eventually have some moments of pure bliss. You can touch that deep joy that is already in you.

As you access this inner perfection, you start to see the world in its perfect reflection. When you get into a relationship, you bring your own bliss (B.Y.O.B.) and the why for wanting a relationship isn’t coming from pain but coming from a powerful desire to share this gorgeous happiness that you are swimming in. That is a guarantee that you can count on and the type of love that is deep and lasting.

Exhausted from Trying to Change Your Life?

Feeling like you aren’t getting anywhere and frustrated with your results in trying to find love or make more money? Do you wonder if anything works or if you are just not meant to change? So many people share your frustration. The harder you try, though, the more you get the opposite result. Watch this video to find a way to FREE YOUR MIND to create what you want.

Boundaries Build More Love and Intimacy in Relationships

Have you ever felt afraid to set boundaries with a friend, boss, client or lover? If you told someone that they did something you would not tolerate, do you fear they would leave? This type of fear shows up in all relationships and causes a division.

Your boss makes you work crazy hours and never promotes you. Your co-worker is the slacker who does less work than you and takes all the credit. The person you are dating Share The Love, Become a Certified Love Coachdoesn’t ask you out on weekends or want to date you exclusively. Your friend talks about you behind your back. Your mother constantly criticizes you but then asks you for a million favors.

If you don’t set boundaries and communicate them, you are actually creating more distance with someone, not keeping them close. When you put up with poor behavior and do not express yourself, you end up resenting the person. You put walls up around you to protect yourself. They may still be in your life but you aren’t really connecting. You are being superficial to them but resenting them under your breath.

Studies in child psychology show that children do best when there are clear boundaries set in the household. When there are no set boundaries, the child feels insecure and gets anxious. Imagine if you don’t keep clear boundaries, how that fear arises within you. You don’t know right from wrong or if you have the right to say something or not. Since you are now the adult in your life, a small part of you feels insecure and doesn’t trust your choices.

Anger is the result when boundaries are not set and communicated. You are angry at them for what they said or did and angry at yourself for not speaking up.

To release the anger, you complain about that person to someone else instead of the person who caused you the problem in the first place. You hide behind gossip with your co-worker and the boss is demonized as the story continues to build and stretches way out of proportion. The more you love and care about the person, the more anger arises inside of you.

Communicating boundaries is the most loving thing you can do for someone. Most people don’t realize they hurt you or that they did something out of line. The majority of people have good intentions. Everyone is trying to do their best and sometimes people act out of their own fear and can hurt you through their ignorance. The only remedy is to communicate openly.

Humans fear communication because it opens us up to share a deeper part of ourselves. The vulnerability of saying that “this isn’t right” or that “you need do stop doing that” is facing the risk of rejection. To avoid rejection, you just complain to others, avoid confrontation and stay stuck. Relationships ends abruptly, friends turn to frenemies and the pattern repeats with other relationships.

We are afraid that if we make waves that they will leave us or hate us. We fear that our voice will not be heard or, worse, we will be laughed at and disrespected. We are still putting that other person above us as more important than our feelings. We resent them and resent ourselves.

Being clear on your own boundaries and communicating them to people in your life is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and for them. Some won’t agree or like the boundaries you set in the relationship but, if they truly care about you, they will respect you and work with you through calm communication.

If they drop away because they refuse to play by your rules, let them go. It is better to have one loyal friend than one hundred that you have to bend over backward to please.

You may worry about making someone feel bad that they hurt you, but it is actually more hurtful to not tell them. You hurt them more with passive aggressive behavior without their ability to defend themselves or share their side of the story.

When you set boundaries with others, they know who you really are. You aren’t being fake-nice, you are being real and authentic. You also give them permission to set their own boundaries. If you let them walk over you, they may think it is okay to let others walk over them. Or, worse, they keep doing what they are doing not realizing they are hurting people. No one wins in that scenario.

Boundaries build intimacy. They are an expression of love and honesty. Trust those who keep their boundaries consistent. Select relationships with people who are open to communicate and don’t run at the first sign of conflict. These will be your deepest friends and trusted allies who will never leave you.

To start creating clear boundaries in your relationships, get clear with yourself first:

  1. Make a list of things you no longer wish to tolerate in a relationship in personal and professional life.
  2. Identify the people in your life with whom YOU HAVE ALLOWED to cross those boundaries.
  3. Accept the responsibility of this situation- you gave them permission because you didn’t clearly communicate with them the boundary.
  4. Set yourself free by owning your part and clearing up the communication.
  5. The person will feel closer to you than ever or will drop away. You will then know who the true people are in your life.
Setting boundaries is like saying I love you and I want to keep you in my life, but only if you act with respect. If you step over the line, I love you enough to tell you.

 

Are you an attention addict?

When you meet someone new, do you constantly check your phone to see if he texted you? Do you feel a surge of relief when you get that sweet note, “hey babe” and forget about the last two hours obsessing over how he was going to break up with you? If this sounds familiar, you may be addicted to attention.

Here’s the thing. Everyone is addicted to attention to some extent. We are social creatures and we have all been conditioned to measure our worth from the feedback of others. This addiction started with our parents. You were praised when you were good and they withdrew attention when you were bad.

In school, you are constantly receiving validation based on what social group you affiliated yourself. If you were in the cool crowd, you felt like you were worth more and the geeks were somehow less valuable. They interviewed people about their high school years. Every person, whether they were the football star, class president, or class nerd, all said they never felt like they fit in. We are all seeking that approval and attention.

Imagine this need for approval entering your dating life. You think you are in love, but you are really just looking for them to give you that reassurance that you are okay. How many times have you wanted someone to want you back just for the attention and that feeling of being wanted?

The attention addict is constantly looking externally for validation from others, which is a very insecure place to be. You cannot control other peoples’ projections and subjective opinions. You ride a roller-coaster of emotions as you perceive them giving and taking away attention along with your sense of self-worth.

Now some of you may be thinking, “I hate attention, this is not me at all. I like to hide.” Well, sorry but this is just the other side of the same coin. By avoiding attention, you are still terrified of what others will think of you. Just like the attention addict, you give them power to gauge your worth but you are too scared to come out and face the rejection.

The way to free yourself from the addiction of approval of others is to value only one person’s opinion – your own. If you believe in you, then what others say won’t matter. You can find a solid ground of love within.

A Vedanta teacher once said, “You cannot believe in God (divine/universe) unless you believe in yourself.” This is a very powerful statement. I see many so-called “spiritual” people claiming they have great connection to the higher realms but are constantly seeking attention and approval from other human beings who are fickle and, for the most part, hate themselves.

A great mantra to say to yourself is, “The only approval is need is my own.” Give yourself attention. Be compassionate to yourself when you say the wrong things, get people mad or feel like you pushed someone away with your neediness. Don’t kick yourself to the curb anymore, you need to give yourself the attention you crave.

If you only knew your true self, you would never be scared or feel insecure. You are divine. If you are going to be addicted to something, start with a little self-love crack. It’s free, it’s legal and it takes you to another way of being.

Are you waiting for your love life to change?

I used to believe that when the time was right, my true love would show up. I didn’t believe I had power to change my destiny. I waited throughout my twenties for my lucky love day and then another decade into my thirties. I kept waiting but nothing was changing until I turned 40.

I finally realized that I couldn’t wait anymore. I had to stop pretending to work on myself, do just enough reading and continue to wait for the external to change. It was around that time I learned about the unconscious mind and how the outer world was reflecting back what was inside. The change I was waiting for was in me.

For years, I avoided facing certain emotions, going deeper into a process because I was afraid of getting lost in them. I fooled myself in thinking I didn’t have to do as much as others because I didn’t have any abuse or trauma in my life to heal. I just needed a little tweaking and I’d be good. My ego did a good job of keeping me in the status quo and telling me that I didn’t need to go there and made me stop if things got a little too uncomfortable.

I found it comforting to believe that I could just ask my angels or healing practitioners to remove the so-called bad energy as I was told I had. I just had to sit back and let the healers and benevolent beings do all the heavy lifting. This helped me avoid facing anything uncomfortable, like anesthesia when you get surgery. Easy peasy, magic!

My surface spiritual practice was easy to just visualize about being in love and fun to put a vision board together. I loved the fun stuff, the rituals, lighting candles, going on spiritual weekends that were more about manifesting things but not really working on the inside. There was a lot of magical thinking without any substance.

I reached a point where I couldn’t dance around my uncomfortable emotions anymore. I had to do more than just hope and pray to my angels to bring me a man. I had to really face that hidden part that I kept from myself and others. This part was something I thought was so horrendous and unappealing that I kept it even from my own conscious self. For years, I didn’t know what it was and didn’t want to know. I just wanted to find a man so I didn’t have to deal with it.

What I was really doing to myself was unconsciously avoiding change. My fear of intimacy was so strong that it made logical sense to put off going deep. I kept attracting surface men that were comfortably distant who didn’t challenge my fear of emotional intimacy. The men I met matched my own inner dynamics.  Waiting for the right man wouldn’t change anything until I changed first.

The amazing thing that happened to me was that I was given an opportunity to face my shadow self. I was actually relieved. I saw clearly how my mind was defending my deep, soulful tenderness. I thought was going to find something horrible, but what I found was love, liberation and freedom of being my true self. It took courage, but it was totally worth it.

For years, my ego had been protecting this soft, vulnerable part of me and made me emotionally unavailable. So, I attracted men who were emotionally unavailable and projected that on them, not realizing that I was the one who couldn’t really open up and share myself. I was scared. When I realized this, I then had empathy for all those Casanova’s who ran when things got serious. I knew they were just scared like me.

The biggest piece is that I realized that I wasn’t broken or had negative energy. My issue with dating was not because I wasn’t following the rules or playing the game, but fear of letting someone into my heart. This fear is something universal that every human being shares to some extent. This is not pathological, it is normal. That is why people have a hard time finding true, lasting love.

We are all have our natural defenses and they cannot be altered by having the right person come in to save you from them. To find love, you must let down the walls you have built against love like the famous poet, Rumi says. The walls aren’t wounds or negative energy, they are just how your ego mind works to help you survive. They served a purpose earlier in your life and the point of personal development is to outgrow them so you can have new experiences.

So, if you have been doing just enough, dancing around something that you know you are avoiding, trying to skip over the uncomfortable feelings and challenges, then you are just going to be re-arranging the furniture. The surface may feel a little more positive when you visualize your ideal partner in the morning, but the unconscious hasn’t changed. You will still continue to attract the same pattern because how you are working within yourself is how all of your relationships will play out.

Of course there is power in visualizations, rituals and working with your energy, but you can’t just do the easy stuff . So, instead of waiting for things to change, look at what you have been avoiding. What are you scared of doing? Some people find it scary just to attend a workshop or hire a coach. Others take courses and hire coaches but they aren’t committed to fully engaging in the process. Are you only trying to intellectualize things without feeling? Go toward what feels uncomfortable for you and you will be given the opportunity like I had to face what you need to face in order to find love. The most important element to this transformation is to realize that YOU ARE NOT BROKEN and there is nothing to heal.

The scarier part is where you are now because you have given power to the external world to change things for you. Don’t wait twenty years like I did. Take your power back. You have the courage to face any uncomfortable emotion. You have the higher self divinely guiding you so there is no need to fear. On the other side of the fear is amazing love!

How to say “no” without feeling guilty

Have you ever wanted to say “no” but just couldn’t get the words out of your mouth? You say what you think the other person wants to hear, agree to something you would rather not do or completely lie to them to avoid saying what you really want to say? This happens in all areas of life, from dating to the homeless person on the street begging for money. Why is it so hard for people to just say, “No?”

We are social creatures and our behavior is based on people liking and accepting us. We create the persona of the nice person, the good girl or boy, the generous person,http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-happy-beautiful-woman-image20845569 the kind, sweet, responsible one, the list goes on and on to reflect the facade of likeability.

You may argue that isn’t it desirable to be a good person that people like? Sure it is, but if you are pretending to be a good person and lying, you are being manipulative which isn’t good for you or them. If you make up lies to trick someone into thinking you are nice, that is not being so nice.

Dating is an excellent opportunity to give you the chance to say “No, thank you.” You have probably been on a number of dates where they ask you out again and you aren’t interested. Instead of saying, “No.” You avoid them, say “sure” but don’t mean it or make up some crazy lie about leaving the country for a few months and you will be sure to check back when you return. Sound familiar?

How many times has someone avoided being straight with you? They led you on or made you think they were interested when they weren’t and you thought they were a jerk or a bitch. Well, maybe they weren’t bad people and just afraid of saying, “No, thank you” because they wanted to come across as a nice person.

The reason we struggle so much with the word “no” is because it makes us feel guilty. We feel terrible rejecting people in dating or telling a friend that we really don’t want to watch their dog while they are on vacation. There is a pressure that we should be what people expect of us and, above all, do not disappoint anyone.

The guilt comes from our assumption of how we feel when someone says “no” to us. Our mind makes up stories that we aren’t that important or lovable or that person would have said “yes.” We personalize the “no’s” given to us and make them mean something more than just “no.”

The guilt then turns into anger because then you project that onto the person who put you in this situation. You are mad at yourself and them. Again, not so nice and you create lots of anger in your shadow.

To make an empowered “no” without guilt, you must learn to accept the “no’s” you hear without judgment on your personal value. Applaud those who stand up for themselves and keep strong boundaries. Don’t judge them as being mean or rigid but someone who has a good backbone and willing to step out into not being liked to take care of them selves.

Being liked by everyone is exhausting. There is so much pressure to please and you turn into a wet rag that is tossed around by the external world, floppy and inconsistent. Yes, a wet rag isn’t very attractive and makes everyone feel insecure. You don’t really know who you are if you are too busy pleasing the world and turning yourself into a pretzel to avoid just saying, “No, thank you.”

You don’t have to go to the extreme of being disliked and rude, but you want to find that balance between keeping your boundaries and being way too generous and resentful. You must believe that saying “no” to requests inspires others to stand up for their values and boundaries. You demonstrate what it means to be certain of who you are and they learn from you.

You are never going to get everyone to like you, so relax. Just be yourself, be transparent and then your real friends will appreciate your honesty and authenticity. You will also find a man or woman who truly respects and loves you because you are respecting and loving yourself.

The Right Way to Visualize to Draw in Your True Love

Have you been using visualization, but still not seeing results? There is a big mistake most people make when trying to visualize being with their true love. Watch my video revealing the MOST EFFECTIVE WAY to visualize for fastest results. Discover this simple adjustment that can make ALL the difference in drawing in the love of your life.

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