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Why Love Pushes Some People Away

Have you ever experienced getting close to someone and suddenly, without warning, they create some sort of drama and fall out of your life? This happens with dates, friendships and even clients. You beat yourself up wishing you could have done something different and you blame yourself for their leaving. It isn’t your fault; you just experienced their “Intimacy Defense.”

When people are hurt at a young age by someone they trusted to keep them safe, they build a powerful defense from allowing anyone to get that close again. They desperately want connection, but when they bump up against the breaking point when they really start to care about you, something triggers in them to remind them of their old hurt and they run.

When they experience unconditional love and acceptance, instead of feeling good, they unconsciously interpret it as a threat to their survival. They find excuses to quit or run away by rationalizing with silly stories and making it your fault. They associate closeness with pain. Putting up the protective barriers not only cushions them from reliving the old pain but also closes them off to love.

The person who leaves has to project the problem onto you to avoid facing their own fears and preserving their ego. They justify their escape by making up exaggerated claims of mistakes you made or promises you didn’t keep. In a desperate attempt to justify their abandonment, they are forced to bend the truth to fit to their own agenda.

What is sad is that they will burn through friends, family and colleagues and never really get close to anyone. They play the victim but they are acting through their own self-punishment. The defense is so unconscious that they don’t even realize what they are doing.

To try to rationalize with a person like this is futile because their ego is so clever they are so convinced the problem is with you, not them. Instead of getting angry, see them as scared people. They must have gone through some tough hurts to be so defensive and afraid of love. Have compassion for them.

If you understand WHY it is happening you can stop beating yourself up about it. Don’t close down like them. Continue to open your heart knowing you did nothing wrong but present a loving opportunity to go deeper intimately in a relationship.

If you find yourself doing this to others, examine your fears of intimacy and the unconscious assumptions that have been made around relationships. If this is a pattern, you can change it by going toward the fear and seeing that there is no real threat to love.

In dating and coach/client relationships, there is always a level of intimacy that gets created. You are not responsible for the other person’s fears or projections. Some people are evolved enough to accept responsibility and transcend their fears. Your openness can be a catalyst for a breakthrough that will change all relationships in their life.

Unfortunately not everyone is ready to move past the Intimacy Defense, but that doesn’t mean you should shut down your heart and stop sharing all of who you are. As you continue to stay open, people who are ready to receive the exchange of love will flow into your life.

 

Have you experienced this? Write a comment below and share what you think!

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.

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.

 

How to go from being the Pleaser to the Prize in Dating

There is a persona that some of us possess that I call the “Pleaser.” On the surface, you may believe being the Pleaser is a good quality. Master Love - Because love is about more than just your ideal partnerThey are easy-going, nice to be around and never complain…to your face. The pleaser has plenty of friends who always know they can count on her whenever a crisis arises. She makes a great employee and will put in extra time and effort because she thrives on accolades from her boss and co-workers.

This persona of being a pleaser is not your true self, it is merely a mask that your ego created to protect you from other people. The pleaser persona makes you put other people above yourself because you fear judgment, abandonment or even anger from others. You reject the part of you who wants to speak the truth about how you really feel because that is just too dangerous to let out.

This pleaser persona puts you into a lose-lose situation. If you please others, you don’t get what you want and resent them. If you speak your truth, you fear they will judge you as angry, selfish and feel guilty about being a “bad” person. You please everyone except the one person who really needs that love…and that is yourself.

A pleaser will attract romantic relationships that always leave her feeling unappreciated, abandoned and not good enough. Potential partners will seem to be selfish, uncaring and other things in their life (job, family, other women) will seem to have higher priority that her.

I am a recovering pleaser. I didn’t realize that the pleaser in me is what kept me from finding true love. After years of trying to find the “right” person out there who appreciates me, I realized that the solution was in me.

When I first started to break my pleaser-pattern, I faced rejection head on. I let go of my “easy-going, fun Debi” persona and spoke vulnerably and honestly with the men I dated. I asked them directly, “where is this going?” or “what are you looking for in this relationship?” I know, I broke those silly dating rules that typically scare men away as they say, but the experience of speaking up was very empowering.

I was shocked at how the men were very respectful and honest. Even if they didn’t want to pursue a serious relationship with me, they respected me and put me in high regard for even posing the questions. Their non-committal behaviors weren’t because I wasn’t good enough or unlovable after all.

The key in my communication was that I wasn’t needy about it or pushing my agenda on them. I didn’t, of course, do this on the first few dates either, just when I felt there should be a next step. I was firm and confident. I wasn’t asking for a proposal, I was just asking for clarity and more information. I wanted to know if I should clear the field of other contenders or move on to give someone else a chance to be with wonderful me.

You see, when you are clear on YOUR WORTH and VALUE and what you want, you can sift out the ones who aren’t on the same page. Of course, the transformation wasn’t made solely with external conversations, I did my inner work as well to free my mind of the fear of being my best self. I stopped putting men on pedestals to please and searched for an equal partner where we honored each other’s worth. Thankfully, I only asked two people this question before I met Robert so the weeding process was fast and effective.

About a month after Robert and I were dating, he said, “Can we talk?” I was a little scared at first that this was the shoe-dropping conversation that we all dread when we like someone. Surprisingly, though, he asked me, “So what are your intentions?” and “Do you want to be exclusive?” He beat me to the question before I even had the chance.

When I stopped being such a pleaser and faced the shadow of the part of me that was afraid to make a stand for my worth and value and what I wanted, I found someone who fit my new piece of the puzzle! I expressed my true nature (a woman of worth and value) so I could find my true love.

Each time I asked for what I wanted, I was sending a powerful message to the creative unconscious, “YES, I am worth it and I know what I want.” As I shifted my self-perception on a deep level, I became ready to receive someone who was ready to receive love too.

The people in your life will always reflect how you feel about yourself. To change the reflection, you must face the source within.

[VIDEO] Handling the question from relatives “Why are you single?” during the holidays

You know how it feels. You sit down for a holiday dinner and you already feel awkward without having someone in your life. You look at your cousins or siblings with their spouses and babies and wonder why it hasn’t happened for you yet. Then, to make matters worse, your pesky Aunt asks the question in front of the entire family, “Why are you still single?” “Are there any nice men left for you?” The whole family can sometimes chime in a give their “dating advice” and you just want to crawl away.

Here’s a tip that will help you use this annoying experience to grow and learn so you can make this your LAST holiday alone.

 

Commit to finding love in 2015 – Make it a Creative Love®!

Book your ticket to Creative Love SPARK – January in Las Vegas!

Feelings and commitment don’t mix

When you think of marriage or other committed relationships it is natural to also think that the commitment is bound by feelings. Sure you want to have loving feelings for the person you spend your life with, but the commitment piece should not be driven by feelings. This main reason for divorce or breakups is that people “fall out of love” and abandon the commitment when the relationship has challenges.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-buddha-image25538829Just like any goal you have in life – personal development, your career or building a business, if you let your feelings dictate your commitment level you will always lose. Your feelings will tell you to stay in your comfort zone, avoid pain and struggle. Being committed means I am going to stick to this goal regardless of discomfort.

When you begin the journey to find love, change your life or career, first you have to make a conscious decision and commitment. You start off excited and hopeful until the first setback…and then your level of commitment reaches its first big test.

Most people fall into the lowest level of commitment. They will stop at the first sign of struggle because it is too hard, and they are too depressed or angry to keep moving. These are people who never change their life and blame external circumstances on their failure to get what they want. They are a slave to outer influences and feel victimized. They think it should be easier and stay in the path of least resistance.

When I was single, I always went for the lowest-hanging fruit in dating. I let my feelings of loneliness override my commitment to being honored by someone who wanted a long-term commitment. I settled for less because it felt too scary to be alone and hold out for what I really wanted. I also did this with work. I fell into a marketing career by default and disregarded my dreams of becoming an author. It was too scary to quit my job and start something new. It wasn’t until I was ready to face some uncomfortable choices that I was able to find a great relationship and amazing business.

The next level of commitment is the wishy-washy approach. First they commit, get through the first stumbling blocks and but are inconsistent. They haven’t mastered their mind and are led more by their emotions. After a few setbacks they lose patience – “where’s my man, my breakthrough, my stuff?” and then give up. They think that the resistance is the universe telling them they are on the wrong track instead of the truth that the setbacks are helping them to break free of their old conditioning.

They strive for a quick-fix or need to be rescued, rather than grow themselves into receiving what they want through the obstacles that arise along the way. Their goal is about feeling better but it is based on the foundation of escaping a perceived pain.

The top level of commitment for a person is one who has a no excuses, do-whatever-it-takes attitude. This person reaches her or his goals. The difference between Top-Committers and the other levels are these five things:

  1. They believe in their goal and it is their divine right to have it;
  2. They master their feelings so they aren’t pulled down with every setback;
  3. They use obstacles as opportunities to see their shadow mind and escape conditioning of the past that kept them from their goal before;
  4. They invest in themselves and get support from a trainer, coach or a mentor that holds the vision for them and keeps them accountable;
  5. The passion for their goal is greater than any fear they encounter or how long it takes to get there!

The biggest difference with someone who is truly committed is that they see the attempt to attain their goal as a path to grow and become a higher conscious human being. They see that the real “gold” is in the journey and that the personal growth they experience through setbacks are actually building mental muscle and preparing them for being able to receive and appreciate the goal.

The only feeling that a commitment-minded person allows to influence them is pure love, even in the face of adversity. The set backs become gifts to light the way and open the heart and mind to receive great life experiences.

If your goal is to find love this year, lose weight, make more money or change careers, you must first start by making a commitment. Prepare to be uncomfortable because that is what it truly means to leave your comfort zone. Your feelings will panic and want you to retreat. Notice how your mind and feelings will try to stop you with every obstacle, but continue to hold the vision of what you want. Find a mentor or guide to help you stay focused and not give up when things feel uncertain or scary.

There is a reason why most people do not reach their dreams. It isn’t because of bad luck, but it is a lack of commitment.

What is your level of commitment? What do you want to create in 2015?  Write your comments below!

Vulnerability of Hope for Love

If you have been single for more than a year and find that love seems to be nowhere in sight, it will probably be pretty hard to have faith that you can find a partner. You may be afraid to believe that a true partner is out there for you and to open up to the vulnerability of hope.

You may think you are being strong and rational in your stand that maybe love isn’t going to happen for you. You wear a mask telling people that you don’t need a relationship or that you aren’t ready for one yet. But, this mask is only covering up the shadow of fear of being alone forever. Even if others don’t see your deeper desire for love, you know the truth. The yearning is still there.

You attend family gatherings, baby showers and weddings with a brave face, getting triggered every time someone asked if there is someone special in your life. The holidays are torture and anger increases with every sorrowful look from relatives about your single status.

You may have had hope at one time and believed in love, but multiple disappointments have dissolved any hope inside that something will change. With each let-down, the wall builds around you as a protection from hope until it is almost extinguished.

You build up the evidence for your hopelessly single case as a barrier around your heart. You defend your lack of results with the “facts” that it is hard to meet someone at your age, at your size, at your income level, in your city, in your profession, and so on. The defenses of love keep you safe inside your cocoon so no one can hurt you.

Most people think vulnerability is a weakness, but it takes strength and courage to let down the masks that hide your deepest self. You deny the part that wants to be romantic, that wants to hope and really believe because you are afraid that if you don’t find it, you will look like a fool.

Opening up to the vulnerability of hope requires dropping the mask of “I don’t care” or “The odds are against me” and really standing for what you want to believe. This will not only change your state of mind but will also affect the quality of your dating life. You will be happier and approaching love with joyful anticipation and your dates will feel your open heart.

The key has always been inside of you. Look at the places where you do not allow yourself to be vulnerable and be brave enough to open them up. Your deeper self will no longer be shoved aside by your surface doubts and your true essence will begin to shine brightly in the direction of lasting love.