“Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near,
Let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps,
Wasting their sweetness.
Yesterday I found a new role mode, in an Elephant Journal article by Robert Sturman about The Guiness Book of Records reigning oldest living yoga teacher, 93 year old Tao Porchon Lynch. As impressive as her strength and flexibility are for someone of any age, let alone a nonagenarian, it is much more than her physical prowess that enchants me about this radiant being.
For not only does she love yoga, but also wine and dancing the tango.
In a interview with Tara Stiles-Parker, she credits her longevity and zest for living to proper breathing and making a concerted effort to think positive thoughts, along with a nightly shoulder stand before bed each night. She eschews fear and procrastination, simply doing the next right thing without delay.
She beams and twinkles with a light that simply dazzles me.
“Smile at everyone”
She advises as she illustrates the phenomenal magnetism of her charismatic charm.
This is how I want to live my life.
Waking up grateful for each new day,
thrilled by the prospect of all that I can learn,
all the wonderful places and beautiful people to be met,
making the most of the great gift of life
and blessing all I see with a smile.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Today I’d like to talk to you about getting unstuck from unhealthy situations in important relationships. I have heard it said that 99% of the solution to any problem is to become conscious of your behavior first. So I’d like to start by sharing a little exercise with you, for which you are going to need a pen and paper, I’ll pause a minute while you go find one…
Welcome back! To begin, on your piece of paper, write the numbers 1. 2. and 3. underneath each other.
First, what I would like you to do is to think of an important yet frustrating relationship in your life, could be a romantic one, or it could be with a parent or sibling or friend. Got it? Good. Now write the name of that person next to the number one.
Next, think about what it is that you most need and don’t get from that person – could be something like acceptance, affection, consideration, passion, commitment, sensitivity – you get the idea. When you have chosen that thing, write it next to the number two.
Finally, calculate how long you have been in this situation of not getting this important need met in your relationship – could be days, weeks, months or years. Write this answer next to number 3.
Now write this sentence on your piece of paper
I have to stop going to the hardware store for milk. I have been doing this for ten years now.
Crazy or what? You know how Albert Einstein defined insanity? See the top of this post again if you need a reminder.
Now, I am going to have you write the sentence again with some substutions for certain words. You see where this is going? OK, but no chickening out now.
It’s important that you see this written down.
Here we go,
I have to stop going to __(your answer to number 1)_ for __(insert your answer to number 2) I have been doing this for __(answer to number 3)__
Take a look at this sentence without guilt, shame or judgment. Just notice – with curiosity about what might be motivating you to keep up this – shall we say – level of optimism about this particular relationship. There has to be a reason that some part of your brain is telling you to keep showing up at the hardware store for milk. It’s probably not a rational part. It’s likely to be part of you that is totally stuck on the idea of How Things Ought To Be. It might well be a younger part of you that says with sad confusion,
But this person is my fill in the blank they are SUPPOSED to fill in the blank.
You might respond to this younger part of yourself kindly ’Yes they are sweetie. And they ought to and you deserve to have them do that. But… I’m a little worried about how much it hurts you to keep getting your feelings so hurt when you are disappointed.’
Always remember that the only person you have any hope of changing is you.
Take this piece of paper and stick it on your bathroom mirror for a month. Each time you brush your teeth, take a look at it and try to come up with some ideas of how you might try to do this differently. It doesn’t necessarily mean ending a relationship. But it might mean working on laying down the expectations you have of how things ought to be, so that you can have a little more peace about how they are.
Think about it. Ask yourself this question
If I could give up the belief that ******* should be ******** how would that change how I feel about the way things are?
Chances are if you didn’t have the expectation that this person should behave in a certain way – you wouldn’t be suffering when they don’t. Try this on for size. And let me know how it works for you. I’m going to be working on it right alongside you.
I had an amazing weekend facilitating the Vive La Différence Weekend for Couples with Bruce Gold. I am awed and humbled by the transformational power of love. It truly is the strongest medicine. This morning, one of the participants forwarded me an email she had received today which I would like to share with you along with a song – MC YOGI Give Love.
Daily Inspiration for Monday, February 27, 2012 from Renaissance Unity
“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”
My passion is freedom and my purpose is love.
Your presence in my life is like a burning fire and a cool breeze.
Your truth pushes and cradles me.
I intend to be a better person today than I was yesterday.
With Your help, I passionately live my purpose.
With my help, You transform the world.
And so it is.
Today I hope that you feel connected to and inspired by your life’s purpose.
Unless you live in a cave, you are probably aware that it was Valentine’s Day yesterday. All things romantic are foremost in my mind not just because it’s THAT month again, but also because I’m majorly excited that next weekend I’ll be offering the Vive La Différence Couples Workshop in Collegeville, PA. Last week I wrote a post for Lifehack on how to make Valentine’s Day last all year and I thought it would be fitting to share one of the tips I shared on how to re-kindle the spark.
This hot date idea is entitled Strangers in the Night and it is quite the fire-starter, especially when you have been together for a long time and/or are married.
For the purposes of this exercise you will need to select a time and date to meet in a bar that neither of you have visited before. An hotel bar is ideal for the purpose of this exercise for reasons that will become apparent.
Without discussing any details beforehand, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to invent an alter-ego for the night, complete with name, age, personal history etc. Venture outside the box a little and experiment playing the role of someone who has a little different lifestyle to your own. For example, you might pretend to be a traveling pharmaceutical sales executive and power dress in heels and a business suit – perhaps with racy lingerie underneath (-of course, if you’re the guy and you try this role you will need to be prepared for quite a bit of extra attention.) Get creative and play against type – if you’re a dentist by day, how about going as a contractor complete with tool belt? Or a secret agent on a dark ops mission? You get the idea. Whatever you come up with, invest a little time in creating your character as fully as possible. Where do you live? How old are you? Kids? Not?
When you arrive at the bar, if you get there first pull up a stool with your back to the door, order a drink and enjoy the thrill of anticipation as you await the arrival of a mysterious stranger. Play hard to get or flirt like mad, the choice is yours. One of the most fun and unexpected benefits of this game is the reaction of the bartender or guy next door who is eavesdropping on the conversation and just can’t believe what he’s hearing. Especially when one of you proposes that you should leave together (or better still slips a room key to the other).
Whether you head off home or head upstairs to a room together, try to keep up the act as long as possible. This game is a sure fire cure for date nights that have fallen into a rut. Especially when you make a conscious effort to see, hear and touch each other with the curiosity of never having done it before. While you’re at it, you might want to try new foods or -ahem- activities that you perhaps might not usually explore. You get all the adventure with none of the risks and the best part is, you can pretend to be a totally different set of people as often as you want.