Why falling in love is overrated

I used to think falling in love was all about that overwhelming feeling of passion and joy where Mr. Right would sweep me off my feet and we’d live happily ever after. He’s the guy that would light up my life, the man I would find true companionship with and who’d bring me the peace I was searching for. Thankfully however, I realised how flawed that that vision was.

Hollywood makes us believe that romance should be intense; it’s all about the butterflies, the drama, the heightened emotions and finding ‘the one’ who you’ll marry and spend the rest of your life with. Until they come along, life is just ‘meh.’ Many of us are on a constant search to find a relationship which will fill the voids we have and where we can finally be ourselves with someone. Why must we wait until that ‘special’ relationship comes along? Why can’t we feel the compassion and joy we think that relationship will give us now? Is our own self-love and the love from our friends and family not enough? Why do we put our emotions on hold, waiting for that moment of attraction towards someone where there’s a sudden rush? We have confused lust with love, passion with intimacy, and infatuation with connection. 

The idyllic notions of romance and the fiery feeling of passion used to be what I was searching for when dating yet those relationships were fleeting and insubstantial. Now I’m not saying romance is dead or ingenuine, romance is a beautiful expression of love yet it is often used as a tool to validate a relationship wherein many feel the need to show off the displays of romance they receive as if there’s something to prove. Instagram pictures of a bouquet of roses with captions that practically brag, “My man buys me roses, omg he loves me so much, I’ve done so well!” have become the gauge of true love as opposed to the warm feeling of content it provides. Since when does a romantic relationship need to be paraded in order to make it true?

“Thinking that there is some special person out there who is going to save us is a barrier to true love.” – Marianne Williamson, ‘A Return To Love’

We all crave love and attention however instead of giving those qualities to ourselves, we seek it externally. That rush of emotion which we think is love acts as a stimulant which fools us into thinking the intense feelings are something special when in fact they are feelings of attachment caused by our separation from our own Self.

Real love evolves naturally, is nurtured consistently, and takes time. The best, healthiest romantic relationships are between two people who not only complete themselves but have come together because they love each other, not because they need each other to heal wounds. There are no rules or regulations which have to be followed in order to feel loved, instead there’s an understanding and deep care for one another where two lovers are also two best friends. Therefore since both people are the best versions of themselves, they naturally bring out the best in the each other.

“A relationship is not meant to be the joining at the hip of two emotional invalids. The purpose of a relationship is not for two incomplete people to become one, but rather, for two complete people to join together for the greater glory of God.” – Marianne Williamson, ‘A Return To Love’

The right relationship is something you embrace and nurture every day, and if that relationship is right, it will go on, and on, and on, until before you know it it’s been 5 years since you’ve been together, then 10 years and so on.

“When love is true and real, it feels warm and sweet in your soul the way oatmeal feel warms and nourishing in your belly. It just feel good. It’s not over-the-top, heart-stopping romance — the stuff Hollywood is made of. It just works. It’s nice. It’s solid.” Sheryl Paul, ‘Love is a Bowl of Oatmeal’

The pressure of the relationship lasting for the rest of your life is another notion that needs to be let go of as this harbours attachment and fear. Change is inevitable and while I believe it is possible to spend the whole of your life in a wonderful relationship with one person, I also believe that by holding onto that idea you can prevent the relationship from becoming whatever it needs to be. Sometimes relationships aren’t meant to last forever however that relationship ending does not mean it was a waste of time or that there’s no room for love again! As long as you’re alive and there are plenty of wonderful people on this planet, you never need to feel a lack of love.

In conclusion, I have learned and realised that a romantic relationship isn’t something you search for, grab and try to keep. It’s something you open yourself up to, allow to graciously unfold, and embrace without attachment or fear of what might or might not happen.

“When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.” – Buddha

How stress will harm you and why worrying is useless

For the past week I had a toothache on the left side of my mouth and I was not getting a decent night’s sleep. I wondered if my wisdom teeth were perhaps surfacing again, however I knew that couldn’t be the case as they had fully surfaced about eight years ago. I then had a painful mouth ulcer since I’d been tensing my jaw at night and bit the side of my mouth. “Is the mouth ulcer the cause of the pain or the effect?” I asked myself. I then even considered that the issue may be tooth decay, even though I knew that my teeth are in pristine condition! I was adamant that there was something physically wrong yet I couldn’t figure it out and so to the Dentist’s I went.

I had a brief chat with my dentist and explained what I had been experiencing. I mentioned that I had been taking painkillers to take the edge off and that the pain wasn’t going. He checked my teeth and noticed right away that I hadn’t been sleeping properly since the lack of REM sleep left ridges on my tongue. After seeing that there was nothing wrong with my teeth, he even did an x-ray for extra precaution. Again, there was nothing wrong. I was then told that all of the pain I was feeling was due to stress.

I can never clearly identify when I’m stressed out until my body tells me, whether it be with a flu or tight jaw. We are taught to internalise our worries and so we neglect that they’re there by sugar-coating them or numbing them through external stimulants. While stress and worry are unpleasant emotions, they’re something we need for survival but they become destructive when we let them consume us and our health.

If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. – Kris Carr

On one hand I was relieved that there was nothing wrong with my teeth. I now knew what the issue was and I could deal with it myself. Yet on the other hand, I couldn’t believe that I had stressed myself out so much that it took me practically chewing off the side of mouth to realise that I was neglecting my emotional health. It’s in these moments that we must go within and check where we’re at in our mind and heart.

While I love helping my close ones out, I had been helping them with their finances and putting myself out there all to the detriment of myself. I was tight for money myself yet I helped my friends and family without seeing that in reality, I was then stressing about how I was going to manage my own finances. I was also overthinking about everything I needed to do before the end of the year and so the pressure of time constraint was adding to my worries. After I listened to my worries, I then focused on the solution and said,

“Who cares?! If something doesn’t work out as ‘planned’ or get resolved by a certain time, the world isn’t going to end!”

Now I’m not saying don’t help others, but take a look at yourself and think about whether you’re in a position to help or not. You may be at a point where you need to focus on filling yourself up first. Focusing on your needs doesn’t make you a bad person or selfish, remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup! Make sure you’re prioritising yourself otherwise you’ll run yourself into the ground. Don’t pressure yourself into anything you’re uncomfortable with. Let yourself have down-time, we don’t always have to have the energy for others and we don’t always have to be ‘doing’ something… many times we just need to be present.

Everything works out in the end and it’s when we feel peace and let go of all worry that the Universe can help us. It’s not our job to have everything figured out – it’s quite funny how we try to control everything and force the river when really we need to be happy and stress-free in order to receive what we want.

Since I’ve made the decision to fill myself up with positivity and self-care, I’ve been sleeping well again and the ‘toothache’ has gone. I’ve let go of all worry, and lo and behold everything seems to be falling into place in my life! We are told that the Universe has our back and that when we feel good, we are on the frequency of receiving everything good. Not only does it feel liberating to focus on myself and make my happiness a priority, I also feel empowered now that I’m putting my needs first as opposed to neglecting how I truly feel. I feel at one with my life again and there’s no pressure to ‘get everything done’ in order to stay on top of everything.

Key things to remember when you’re stressed or worried: 

Listen to yourself – What’s really going on in your head and heart? It’s OK to be worried about something but then ask yourself how you can remove that worrisome feeling and let it go.

Your body is your home – If you’re letting in destructive thoughts and feelings, numbing the pain won’t help and your body WILL make it very clear to you through pain or illness that you’re not 100% at ease.

Disease cannot live in a body that’s in a healthy emotional state. – Bob Proctor

Honour your needs – Have a healthy attitude towards your emotional wellbeing and care for yourself. You are an important being and a child of the Universe.

Time goes on – These issues you’re facing wont last forever, unless you let them consume you. Change is a constant in life, look back to other times where you were stressed and how those situations dissipated to now mean nothing.

If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. E. Joseph Cossman

Finally, stress really is only a thought – This quote from Wayne Dyer sums it up perfectly,

The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it’s your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can’t package stress, touch it, or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking. – Wayne Dyer

There will always be problems we need to face but we have the power to alter our mindset and reactions. Today and every day, make the decision to let go of all worries and stress. Watch how the Universe helps you when you do and how much better life is!

Relationship lessons I’ve learned in 2016

This year has been one of major transformation as I have been on a journey with my inner self and uncovered many beliefs on romantic relationships which have been holding me back from love. I’m used to being single and have never been one to rush into a relationship but there was a yearning inside which I didn’t want to admit I had and that was to be in a loving, fulfilling, romantic relationship.

It all started in Spring this year when I was dating a friend of mine and things didn’t evolve into the committed relationship I was hoping for. I was left feeling hurt and with questions such as,

  • “If I’m so perfect, why am I still single?”
  • “If he really likes me, why are those feelings not enough for him to want to be with me?”
  • “Why does everything feel so right yet two-three months later the guy doesn’t want to commit?”
  • “I was so caring and understanding, what more does a guy want from a girl?”

The transition from dating into being in a relationship just never seemed to happen for me and it was an ongoing pattern. This time I decided to go within and figure out what was wrong. Not because I felt I wasn’t good enough, but because I knew that there must be some unhealed wounds which I needed to confront and work through in order to stop the same situation from manifesting into my life again.

I had always heard and read quotes such as, “You won’t find love unless you love yourself first” and so this was the time I had to finally learn what that meant. I started reading and listening to Wayne Dyer, Marni Battista, Marie Forleo, and Katherine Woodward Thomas. From those authors I learned many things which I will share.

Firstly, I finally admitted that my biggest fear was rejection which was painful to admit for an alpha female, such as myself. I assumed that because I’m such a catch and I know what I want in a man that I couldn’t fail at attracting the right relationship; there was lesson number two which was that my fear of rejection came from believing that rejection = failure.

I was sure that I loved myself but after listening to Wayne Dyer’s “Your Erroneous Zones” I realised that I had been rejecting myself all along. This was in the form of self criticism which many of us do without even realising. I assumed that my inner dialogue with myself was fine. I thought that saying, “I’m beautiful” to myself and liking what I saw in the mirror meant that I loved myself. However that love was so conditional; I only felt good enough when I looked good enough. If my hair wasn’t blonde enough or my abs didn’t stand out, I needed to correct those things first and then I’d love me.

I started reading, “Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life” by Katherine Woodward Thomas and from that book I have gained so much knowledge and understanding on how and why I’ve been holding back on love. As a single female, everything in my life would feel fine but as soon as a man made me feel special and listened to, I would latch onto that. Unbeknown to myself at the time, that reaction was because I was craving love and had voids I was trying to fill. Voids such as feeling appreciated, valued and cared for. I wanted someone to give me their time yet I always had doubts that the man had other priorities other than myself. Fair enough I always said I’d put my career first and so I expected that off the man, but that was the mistake I was making; I was undervaluing myself and didn’t believe that I deserved to be a priority enough for him to make time for me.

Those doubts came from my childhood wherein I never felt like a priority to my parents. Their jobs were the priority and so that’s how I grew up to be so independent and spent a lot of time with myself. I have no hard feelings towards my parents or my childhood, I absolutely love the woman I’ve become and I know that everything unfolds as it’s meant to however that realisation allowed me to then decide that,

  • It’s OK to want to be a priority.
  • It’s OK to ask for someone’s time. If they can’t give it to you, they’re either not interested enough or not the right person for you.
  • I’m going to make more time for myself so that I can learn to enjoy solitude.

Delving back into my childhood allowed me to unearth beliefs I had towards men which I didn’t realise were holding me back from falling in love. I’m not a man-hater as I love and respect the men in my life but the old beliefs I had which prevented me from entering a romantic relationship were,

  • “I dont need a man, I’m independent and can do everything by myself.”
  • “Men haven’t helped me to achieve what I have nor have they had a significant contribution to the success in my life. I’ve had to do everything myself and so I don’t need anyone.”
  • “As a young girl, the men in my life were cold and emotionless therefore I will never let my guard down and I must show them that they have no emotional power over me.”
  • “I am a strong female who is ambitious – being in a relationship may hinder me achieving my full potential and so possibly serve as a distraction.”

The lack of trust and emotional openness in those beliefs contradict the trust and emotional connection needed in a romantic relationship. Now that I was aware of why I would never let a man in, I had the ability to transcend that attitude into a more loving and trusting one.

The journey I’ve been on this year has been an eye opener which has resulted in a huge increase of self-love, self-worth and fulfilment. I am now unafraid to communicate what I want and know I deserve in a romantic relationship. I also feel no lack within, so when the next guy comes along I will be able to enjoy the relationship for whatever it is without the cloud of fear or doubt getting in the way. To conclude this post, I will share the key learnings I’ve made along with the new perspectives I’ve chosen,

  • Relationships are about being authentic, not perfect – I was obsessed with being the perfect girl in order to avoid rejection however perfection is boring. Being authentic means you love yourself regardless of what others think or feel towards you.
  • I am enough – I thought I loved myself but boy was I undervaluing myself as I tried so hard to be ‘perfect’.
  • Being perfect or ‘the nice girl’ won’t get you the person you want – You need to know who you are and always make yourself the priority. Not in a selfish way but in a way where the other person loves you and wants you for yourself, not who you think you should be.
  • I didn’t know it but I was hungry for love because I wasn’t giving it to myself (even though I thought I was through vanity) – I wanted commitment but rushed into passionate dating which then never progressed.
  • Stop accepting crumbs when you want the whole cake – This is something I learned from “Dating With Dignity” by Marni Battista. Declare what you want and be unapologetic about it. If they can’t give it to you, move on and let someone who will come along!
  • When you’re truly in love with yourself, it doesn’t matter if others love you or hate you – You become indifferent to others’ reactions and feelings towards you as they hold no status in defining you or how you feel about yourself.
  • Life is now! – This is something I learned from “Make Every Man Want You” by Marie Forleo. Stop waiting for the right person to show up or for next month’s holiday to feel good. Feel good now as life is full of opportunities and happy moments which will make themselves apparent when you choose to step into your happy place and feel peace.
  • Romance and passion every day is possible but sometimes they need to take a backseat – Relying on those feelings to determine who you fall in love with and when aren’t the best tools to predict how successful a relationship will be.
  • Friendship is key – This is first and foremost important as it’s through friendship that the building blocks of a strong relationship such as mutual trust and respect are found.
  • We all want our romantic relationships to last our lifetime but that can hinder taking risks – Entering a relationship can be risky since you’ll be devoting a lot of your time and feelings to that person…and after that it may not even last! However the obsession of finding ‘the right one’ or fear of falling for ‘the wrong one’ prevents us from taking risks and enjoying the beauty of whatever will manifest. Release the need to be right as life is and always be ever-changing.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with me, I hope you found this post insightful and helpful. Lots of love…

“…each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.”

“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” – H. G. Wells

Whether life is too busy or too boring, it’s easy to get caught up in constantly trying to achieve ‘the perfect moment’ but therein lies the problem; trying to achieve something that’s already ever present.

Our minds are dominated by this time-space reality and so instead of letting each moment be, the limited ego-mind often tries to define or capture the moment. This can be seen in situations wherein we find ourselves looking back or forward and wishing we were experiencing ‘that moment’ and so completely depreciating the here and now. This can also happen whilst experiencing a moment of bliss and then letting worrisome thoughts such as, “This moment isn’t going to last forever” tarnish what was so pure and beautiful.

Clocks and calendars are great tools for organisation, staying on schedule and for planning fun events. However where’s the line between being organised and being too rigid? If we’re too busy living every day on a schedule or too bored to appreciate the moment, there’s no room in our minds to let life’s magic and mystery in.

There’s also an assumption that only happy moments are worth appreciating or chasing however without the variety of emotions and feelings we have, life would be mundane. There would be no room for growth or nothing to trigger change. Our happy days give us fond memories, and our sad days can be our biggest teachers.

Next time you find yourself stressing over time or yearning for tomorrow, remember that the Universe is limitless and there will always be magical moments to experience. Let go of trying to make ‘the perfect moment’ happen and choose to let today be.

Perfectionism is fear of failure… 

Feeling loved and enjoying life comes from being authentic, not perfect. That’s the lesson I’ve learned this Summer.

Having had experienced another failed romance (romantic relationships just don’t seem to fully bloom into commitments for me),  I thought, “OK there’s clearly some inner work I need to do in order to dig deep and find out why I’m repeating the same experiences in my romantic relationships.”

Now I hate to admit that I have any fears or weaknesses but this time I finally faced up to the fact that my biggest fear is rejection. While I’m a confident, independent and happy woman, the belief I held was that rejection equals failure which equals ‘not good enough’.

So in order to prevent rejection, I adopted high standards which were actually perfectionism. Attaining perfection is tiresome as the idea of ‘perfect’ is an illusion, it’s subjective, and forever elusive.

I realised that I was so fixated on being “the perfect girl” in order to avoid rejection because I believed that if I ticked all of the boxes, I could never be rejected. Yet I wasn’t getting the full love and acceptance I desired in romance.

That was because I had been rejecting myself all along without even realising it. The high standards I had placed on myself were conditions; conditions I had to fulfill in order to feel good enough. This included everyday thoughts which would go unnoticed such as,  “I’ll feel 100% good about myself once I’ve had my hair done” or,  “Next week I’ll feel better once I’ve cut out the junk food.” No, the time to feel good and love yourself unconditionally is now.

I now understand how important authenticity and unconditional self approval is. Without them, we will unknowingly seek approval outside of ourselves and latch onto it once someone gives us the acceptance we’ve denied ourselves. This happens without realising as the lack of fulfilment and connectedness is masked with egoic ‘high standards’.

However when we unconditionally love and accept ourselves, other people’s opinions, whether positive or negative, become unnecessary.

Let go of the fear of failure and the need to be perfect. Instead, embrace yourself and be fearless about putting yourself and your happiness first! 

Noting your blessings

Life always has and always will provide us with blessings and everything we want however it’s easy to get caught up in the ego’s insatiable desire for ‘more.’ 

Gratitude soothes feelings of discomfort and inadequacy which often arise when thinking about what the next thing to accomplish or aquire is. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious however our present blessings can often be overlooked in our pursuits.

Remind yourself that there was a time you were praying for everything that you now have. Take a moment to feel the appreciation of where you are now, all that you have achieved and are yet to achieve.

Image source: http://pin.it/nV2N6g3

Denying The Present Moment

Our minds love to wander, imagine the future and ponder the many different possibilities of life, which can sometimes be ‘anywhere but here.’

While there are great moments in life where we’re fully present, there are also moments where dissatisfaction can creep in without us realising. However instead of facing the uncomfortable feeling, we do everything to avoid it.

We fill our schedules up ‘to be busy’, plan a holiday ‘to get away.’ Being busy and going on holiday are fantastic activities however there’s a difference between doing them from a place of genuine excitement and using them as a way of escaping life.

“Every place you don’t want to be at feels like a prison. And we have so many desires, expectations and go back to the past and think about the future so often, that I can safely say that we live in such a prison all the time.

“So each time you wish you were somewhere else right now is another solid wall you build and thus make this imaginary building even stronger.” – Lidiya K.; This Moment

Thinking about the future needn’t bring up feelings of anxiety and impatience – this usually happens when one compares their current situation with their future by highlighting what’s ‘missing’ from the Now. Such thoughts are filled with doubt and fear,

“How am I going to get there?”

“What if I don’t make it?”

“I’m too far away from that vision.”

The thing to remember is that we’re always at the right place, at the right time. We are where we’re supposed to be and everything unfolds perfectly. As hard as that can be to accept at times, it’s really not that bad.

Look back on your life to moments where you’ve felt dissatisfied or distant from your dreams and think about where you are now. What have you accomplished since then? How much have you grown as a person? What has worked out which you couldn’t see working out at the time?  In those difficult moments, you probably thought, “Oh my, how am I going to get from here to there?” Life is a journey and the path isn’t always clear-cut. Most of the time the route unfolds along the way and in ways we couldn’t have imagined ourselves.

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” — Eckhart Tolle

Instead of trying to deny the present moment, feel it and observe the thoughts and feelings which come. Remember that’s all they are; thoughts. Life is calling to teach you something and the choice of embracing it with Love or running away with Fear is up to you.

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” – Eckhart Tolle