I was 17 the first time someone told me I might be addicted to love. In my defense, I think I’m one of the many suffering from such an affliction, it’s just that I happened to become aware of it at a relatively young age. Also, I’m sorry, but if you seriously managed to survive listening to ‘90s pop radio in your car every day and not get “addicted to love”, allow me to copy your notes after class. I seriously have no idea how you did it. (Seriously though. No idea.)
Needless to say, at 17 years old, I really didn’t appreciate hearing this … nor did I have any real willingness to admit it might be true. I took my friend’s observation as a sort of death sentence, a prophecy that I was doomed to romantic failure for my entire foreseeable future. Still I continued repeating the same self-defeating patterns in relationships, over and over, until one day I got tired of it and decided it was time for something new.
While I wish I were writing this as someone who woke up one day and said “today is the day I will stop being attracted to misogynistic assholes”, that’s not exactly how it all happened. Instead, I’ve woken up many times with that same commitment, it’s just manifesting gradually (gradually: AKA not exactly the way a control freak such as myself would have preferred).
If you can’t tell already, this wasn’t (isn’t) my favorite quality about myself, this fate of being attracted to the “wrong kind of guy” and dating different versions of him over and over again. I hated that I found myself reduced to such a fate and was committed to reversing it. When I realized a commitment like this would expand over a lifetime, and not be part of some kind of overnight transformation, it was the sad start of what has been a bitter and painful war with myself.
For whatever reason, I tend to be more interested in dead-end romance than cheesecake and too much Chardonnay. Regardless of my drug of choice, I’ve somehow failed to realize that the truth of my lingering and perpetual feelings of incompleteness without the presence of another half doesn’t make me only half a person. As I once believed at 17, I am not broken. I am not eternally damned.
I guess I’m writing this because there was a time when I really didn’t believe that (okay fine: it was last night.) There are still many times when I don’t believe that, when I believe that my distant past or even my recent choices are a reflection of how worthy I am. But that’s not true. It isn’t true. And it never will be.
Whether it’s donuts or carbohydrates or unavailable men or unavailable women (most of us have something we run to, I’m just listing the usual suspects…) we don’t have to be perfect to be, well … perfect. We don’t have to have it all figured out (I certainly don’t) and however many chocolates or escapades must come between us and whatever it is we’re looking for, we can trust we’re not missing something we should have been born with. Some essential piece was not left out of the box when we arrived. I like to think I’m just picking up the pieces I already have and putting them back together: it may take a while, but heck, hopefully I have a while.
And yes, even though Celine Dion and Savage Garden might have tried to convince me otherwise (little buggers), I really need not worry. I’ve had all the pieces this whole time.
I started studying astrology in 1985. I quickly found out that astrology is unsurpassed in its ability to help a person understand himself or herself. Most people who read the simple horoscope columns have no idea just how detailed and complicated it is. The subject is so vast you could spend your whole lifetime studying it, and there is so much to it that although I needed an understanding of the basics, I eventually developed a passion for learning specifically about relationships.
The 7th house is the house that shows us who we are and what we can expect when we are in relationships. And here is where the trouble begins, because it is a very misunderstood house (area) within the psyches of all of us. Most of us are used to finding our partners out there somewhere instead of looking inside ourselves.
A couple came to me for a reading recently, and they wanted to know “What is our compatibility?” These two people were in their mid-to-late 30s and had both been married before, and I asked them each this question: “Are you the person for you?” Yes, I know it sounded strange, but this is the real question at the bottom of our relationship struggles that we need to ask ourselves.
The people we are extremely attracted to are mirroring the parts of ourselves that we are missing. The curious thing is we can be repulsed and attracted to the very same person. When we have a feeling that we are “in love,” when we have that kind of fascination or compulsion toward anyone, it’s a real clue that it is a projection of our own unconscious contents. There will be an erotic, magnetic feeling within us when we meet someone who can carry the projection of our Shadow, our Anima or Animus as described in the analytical psychology of Dr. Carl G. Jung.
The Shadow is in us all.
This is why the ancients believed this house was also the house of open enemies, because the partner becomes the enemy that we will polarize with. At first all is wonderful. You feel you have met your true “soul mate.” But eventually (and this has to occur for our own psychological growth), the couple will begin to polarize, find fault with each other and a crisis (which is also a turning point in the relationship) will occur. The relationship will start to deteriorate so that they can differentiate, as John Sanford explains in the book The Kingdom Within. Unknowingly, they are BOTH carrying unconscious psychological contents for each other.
When we are “in love“, no amount of logical reasoning can talk us out of it either. We have to go through it in order to develop an awareness of our whole Self. Jung explained that deep within us, the Self is guiding us to our own wholeness, which he called the process of individuation. The alchemists called this meeting, the divine marriage or the coniunctio. Because it can wake us up and help us see many things differently, falling in love can be a very transformative and wonderful experience.
Then why is it so scary?
Because it can just as easily turn around and become our worst nightmare. Just as quickly as a relationship begins, it can end. The original love can turn to hate. When relationships end that violently, you know that neither partner was able to get past his or her projections. Unless they are both willing to do some inner work, they will just go on to find other partners and it will repeat and a pattern of victim consciousness continues.
As Paul McCartney sings in the song that he and John Lennon wrote:
I’m looking through you.
What did I know?
I thought I knew you.
What did I know?
You don’t look different, but you have changed.
I’m looking through you.
You’re not the same.
Why, tell me why, did you not treat me right?
Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.
This experience in this song is archetypal because the Shadow side of us is unconscious. What’s interesting is that everyone else can see these parts of us and we can’t.
Inside us or outside of us, it is all the same — a reflection par excellence.
Whatever sign is on 7th-house cusp, whatever planets reside therein are a detailed picture of what we will develop in this lifetime with or without our intention or consent. So we might as well learn about this part of us and choose to develop it because then we can experience the more productive aspects of that energy.
I hear people with Mars (planet of action, male principle, directedness) in the 7th or ruler of the 7th telling me how violent their ex-husbands were, how they have attracted aggressive or angry partners. People with the Moon there tell me how needy and emotional their partners are, how dependent. Uranus … how unpredictable and detached, aloof. Saturn … how cold, unresponsive, limiting and critical. Jupiter … how opinionated, inflated, self-indulgent. These are simplistic descriptions, but an astrologer, knowing your 7th house, the aspects to your Venus and the ruler, has a very clear understanding of what your own specific needs are in relationships. We are all unique. Don’t feel something is wrong with you if you cannot live the cultural model of the white picket fence and the two-car garage. That may not be what your soul is requiring in this lifetime. So stop feeling guilty if you aren’t creating it.
Learn about yourself through your astrological chart so that you can make the conscious effort to be this part of you and learn to meet people — but only halfway. And that is the dance called Libra. So as Lee Ann Womack says in her song, “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance — I hope you’ll dance!”
* * *
Rebeca Eigen, an astrologer for 25+ years and author of The Shadow Dance & the Astrological 7th House Workbook, specializes in relationships. Using your time, date, and place of birth, she uses the astrological birth chart to evoke the symbolic and help you become more aware of your total Self. Her study of the Shadow using Astrological tools has given her an invaluable awareness of the unconscious and the role it plays in the relationships that we attract into our lives. For more information, visit her Web site: www.shadowdance.com.
The notion of ‘beauty’ in our culture tends to be more limiting and shame-inducing than cathartic. What should be a soul-expanding experience of aesthetic pleasure gets confined to a manufactured pill box, forced down our throats by television, magazines, advertisements, the porn industry – you name it. We all suffer from this together as a society, but women, most of all, bear the brunt of the abuse.
In preparing to make the 1982 film Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman was determined to look as much like a woman as possible. If the audience had to suspend disbelief to follow the story, Hoffman explains in an interview with AFI, then it wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t until he looked at himself in the mirror, fully costumed as a female, that he realized the reality women live with every day. If Hoffman saw his female self at a party, he confesses, he wouldn’t give her the time of day. The realization brings him to tears. Take a look:
This might seem overly tidy. “Hey, Dustin Hoffman, try being a real woman for even a day and you’ll experience some truly gnarly things. And before you whine about not making an attractive woman, let’s think about what beauty really is.”
But his emotional response is more nuanced than that. Hoffman bemoans the socialized notions of beauty that kept him from approaching women who might have otherwise added to his life with wit, intellect, and grace. How many women, he wonders, did he miss the opportunity of knowing, just out of prejudice?
The question we would add to that is: Why do we as a society continue to let anything but our own hearts dictate what we find beautiful?
What do you think? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
The desire and pursuit of meaningful loving relationships is something many people have experienced in their lives. How do we attract friends and partners?
In this episode of “Ask Deepak” on The Chopra Well, Deepak addresses this issue by discussing what can make us irresistible to people we might want to attract into our lives:
Three ingredients of an irresistible, magnetic, charming person:
1. Presence: You are present in the moment, attentive to what is. Everything about you reflects that. You do not have the luxury to be distracted. This all reflects life-centered, present moment awareness. Experience life, relationships and environment as they unfold in your awareness in that moment.
2. Self-esteem: You feel beneath no one. You are fearless, immune to criticism, and responsive to feedback. You are centered in yourself beyond your self-image. You know who you are, what you want, what your skills are and how you can use them. You are clear about your values and true to yourself.
3. Divine emotions: You exude loving kindness, joy, compassion and equanimity. This connects you to the eco-system, the web of relationships of which you are an expression.
Subscribe to The Chopra Well and always stay inspired!
I don’t go get the dental floss. There is no dental floss and there is no me. I make the image of me make the image of the dental floss come to the mind of the image of me and then make the image of me go to the image of the dental floss that I create. My body is a Dynamic Attractor Locus inside an image generation and interaction matrix, aka The Physical Universe. I create the desired image and navigate it through the interactions of the matrix through the instruments of awareness, intuition, consciousness, need, desire, intent, attraction, vibration, love. These are among the tools available to me in the tool bar of the image generation and interaction matrix’s software. The result of my DAL’s interaction with the matrix depends on the degree of right mindfulness with which I manipulate it. The more rightly I manipulate it, the more positive, creative and lasting the effect. With these tools I can not only know the Universe . . . I can create one. But right now, I’ll concentrate on going and getting the dental floss. The Universe I’m creating is an infinite work in eternal progress.
I’m going to teach you a key technique that will transform your relationship with your dog. Even if you did nothing else, this technique would make a measurable difference in your connection. It’s called "pushing".
In our last article, we talked about how to use Tug-of-War to help your dog get more comfortable interacting with you at higher and higher levels of energy. You want to become "The Moose" in your dog’s life – so that whenever something in the world energizes your dog, they know that YOU are the one uniquely capable of helping them resolve that energy.
What you need is a way (or ways) to teach your dog that they can safely interact with YOU at higher and higher levels of energy. When you think about it, it’s easy to have an obedient, happy dog when things are calm and there’s nothing distracting going on. But it’s much more difficult when things get "exciting". In those moments, when your dog is responding EMOTIONALLY to their environment, you need to have the kind of emotional connection with your dog that attracts your dog with even greater force the more charged up they get. Enter pushing.
Also, since most dogs living in a human world have little-to-no opportunity to release the emotional stress stored within, you need a way to get deep into your dog’s emotional battery, to help your dog learn how to relax and let the energy of life flow through them. The technique of pushing also allows your dog to resolve that stress, with you. Since stored stress and an inability to physically relax in highly energized moments is at the root of most problem behavior in dogs, you will be able to directly affect any undesirable behaviors that you’re experiencing with your dog by giving them a reliable outlet for that stress.
How to push with your dog
The concept of pushing is pretty simple, but it requires two hands, so you’ll have to put down the crackberry. You call your dog’s name, feed your dog a handful of food with one hand, and use your other hand to push against your dog’s chest to create some resistance. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A Hungry Dog. Often when I start teaching a dog how to push, I’ll skip dinner the night before, and then use a dog’s breakfast the next morning to do the pushing. Your dog’s hunger will help them overcome the resistance that they naturally feel towards interacting with you so directly as the energy level increases. That and…
- VERY tasty food. A good strategy is to take a meal-sized portion of your dog’s kibble and add some hot water – not to turn it into a mush, but to soften it and make it more flavorful. Then I’ll add some diced-up all-natural hot dog, or chicken, or essentially whatever it takes to make the food as delectable as possible.
- A food pouch – something really easy to get your hand into and out of with handfuls of food. I use a single-pocket nail pouch from the hardware store – a large fanny pack will work well too.
Be prepared to get dirty, from dog paws and food residue, so wear play clothes. You want your dog to be as uninhibited as possible, so wear something that will allow you to be uninhibited as well. It takes a while to get the hang of it, so be patient with yourself and your dog, and advance very gradually in this exercise. Head outdoors, and hook your dog up on a long leash (which you can let drag on the ground, but which you can also grab if your dog decides to head for the hills).
Start by simply feeding your dog by hand. You might need to get your dog used to being fed by hand, so first offer the treat without providing any resistance, and add some praise in a relaxing tone of voice. Then back away a step or two and use the food to encourage your dog to come to you. Never, and I mean never, move towards your dog during the pushing exercise. Again, this is perhaps contrary to everything you’ve ever read and heard about dogs, but it is a critical element of becoming more attractive and prey-like in your dog’s eyes. It also makes it easier for your dog to approach you in a state of high-energy and drive. Encouraging your dog to chase you is fine – but don’t chase your dog.
Next, start calling your dog’s name in an eager, excited tone as you offer the food to them.
Once your dog is reliably taking steps toward you for food, it’s time to incorporate your pushing hand. Keep it very gentle at first, just to get them used to the sensation of your hand, adding a little massage while your dog gets the treat from your food hand. Your initial goal should simply be to soften the muscles of your dog’s face, neck, and chest with your massaging. You want to do the massaging at the same time that you’re feeding.
As your dog gets used to this, continue to back away a few steps, call your dog’s name, tempt with the food, and praise. Provide contact with your other hand against your dog’s neck and chest. You might notice at this point that your dog provides some counter-pressure, leaning in and pushing against you as you massage. If so, give your dog an "A", because this is exactly what you want. If not, add some minor, deliberate pressure against your dog’s chest/neck, and feel for your dog’s push back. Then release the push and let your dog have the food.
(if you compare this picture with the picture of this same golden up above, you can see that he’s now leaning in towards me in response to VERY subtle pressure that I’m applying against his chest)
The push/release cycle is much like the tug/release cycle of tug-of-war. You want to encourage your dog to push against you, build up the tension of the push, and then give your dog the RELEASE of getting the food in your food hand (at which point the pushing stops). If your dog backs away or stops pushing before you’ve released the food, then you probably pushed too long (or too hard) – so use that as feedback for the next time you push. You should develop a sensitivity to how much "push" your dog is willing to give you, and "zing" them with the food just before they reach their threshold. Think of it as if your dog is lifting weights for the heart muscle – you want to give you dog just enough resistance to challenge them, but not so much that it overwhelms them.
As you push, you should constantly be feeling the situation and matching the level of push that your dog is giving you. Ultimately, you want your dog to really be driving towards you for the food, eventually even pushing so hard that the front paws come up off the ground as you move backwards, away from your dog. Practice moving backwards while you maintain the contact of the push with your dog.
After every few pushes, take a break to relax your dog with some slow, deep massage over their entire body. Massage breaks help your dog develop physical relaxation as a counterpoint to the emotional intensity of the pushing exercise.
Change things up
Call your dog’s name and then run away, encouraging your dog to chase you – then spin around for a push with your dog. Grab a tug toy and start a game of tug, let your dog win, and then go back to pushing. If you’re walking in the woods with your dog and a friend, have your friend hold your dog – then run off down the trail and hide behind a tree. Call your dog, and watch your dog "hunt" for you – rewarding your dog with enthusiastic praise and some pushing when they reach you.
A new routine
Every mealtime gives you an opportunity to work with your dog, so rather than just putting your dog’s food in their dish, make it tasty, put it in a pouch, and head outside to do some pushing. You’ll be giving your dog a great emotional workout, along with giving some structure to the new dynamic between the two of you.
Pushing, and other techniques we’ll cover in the future, help you bond with your dog as well as help them cope with their energy before it becomes stress. At all times during these games, remember to stay as relaxed as possible. Keep breathing. Have fun. Praise your dog often. Offer your dog encouragement and keep yourself open to your dog’s other cues from moment to moment – good training for life! Soon I’ll show you how to use pushing to turn your dog’s attraction to other things out in the environment into even more attraction to YOU.
If you’d like more thorough instruction on how to push, I cover it in even greater detail in this article about pushing on my website. I also give thorough step-by-step video instructions on how to push, along with many intermediate and advanced Natural Dog Training techniques on my 2-DVD set, Natural Dog Training: The Fundamentals.
Neil Sattin is the author of www.naturaldogblog.com a website devoted transforming your relationship with your dog (and yourself) with a centered, nonviolent, and radically different way of training. He released "Natural Dog Training: The Fundamentals", an instructional 2-DVD set that teaches his methods. Neil lives with his wife, two children, three cats, and, of course, his dog Nola outside of Portland, Maine.
I just found this website and this is my first post. I will use this website to keep track of the manifestation in my life. So far i’ve been posting in my blog on drafts which will be posted once my wish has been attained. I will still post there, but this website seems so nice and full of energy I want to give it a try.
My intent of the day and first and important one is: To live my life out of art and love, spreading it through the world.
Since I wa s alittle girl I love drawing, I also love writing, though choice when it comes to which to study. In the end, I did none. I only used them as hobby and tools for self-exploration. But now I want more, I want to create success with them, I want to be able to write my own book, illustrate them, and illustrate books in general. As many other things. The ambitious part is the following. I want to do it in the Netherlands, where I currently am living as Aupair. I fell in love, and I fell in love with this country. My only hope of stayingis with studying, well, so far. Who knows what else there is. But, I also wish to start giving to the world. So I cannot just pick a study because it’s easy and less costly. I need to study what I truly want. I either go for art or journalism. Art is my first option. But the money for this is a lot, so in a way at some point I felt defeated by the money I would need to make my dreams come true. But right now I am sure, that somehow, someway, I will get what I want.
I used ot just live my life. Now I want to live my life out of art, I want to make a living with art, make it my lifestyle. And so I will.