Tag Archives: Center for Successful Relationships

Is More Money Really Going to Make You Happy?

iStock_000006667499XSmall“Everything else in my life is great. If only I was making an extra $1200 a month, I’d be the happiest woman on the planet.”

I said that. I really did. Fortunately I said it to my really great friend and co-author Darren Weissman in one of our Skype calls. He let the words sit and steam a bit (fresh manure does that when it hits cooler air temperatures). Then, without a hint of incredulity, he asked, “You really believe that?”

In that moment I did. It was true! If I had just that little bit of extra cash on a steady basis I wouldn’t have to keep dipping into my diminishing savings to pay all the bills. I wouldn’t be afraid anymore. I’d feel secure. I’d be secure!

Yeah, right.

In the face of his quiet question, the bubble of delusion popped. My vision of a safe, predictable future based on a little extra cash evaporated. I laughed as I admitted I’d let the lie of “security comes from externally-based tangible assets” seduce me yet one more time.

But Darren didn’t let me off the hook. Instead he guided me through his LifeLine Technique—a process designed to reveal and transform subconscious emotions, memories and programs and just as swiftly rewire the brain into new, more intentional patterns.

In that hour I processed buried memories of the harrowing life and death drama that had been my birth experience: mother in a coma, premature caesarian delivery, baby me shoved in an incubator… a full-on drama with residual fears and trauma that hadn’t been dealt with in 62 years.

We finished the LifeLine and Darren left me with an intention I’d set during the process: I am absolute connection feeling beautiful. But more than anything else I was left with a stunning reminder that personal transformation and developing inner security is a process that doesn’t happen overnight.

Peace comes and goes. One minute I’m happy and gloriously confident for no reason at all. I know that life works—that whatever I’m doing is fine and that I’m exactly where I need to be.  The next moment an unexpected expense, a casual comment or a memory trigger a typhoon of emotions and fears that in turn stir up old beliefs and a desire to race back to old solutions (like a steady paycheck!).

Now I’m up, now I’m down. It’s like I’m riding an old, wooden, splintery seesaw in my underpants. OUCH! Worse, my whipsawing emotions stir up judgment. I shouldn’t feel this way.

I should radiate happiness at all times. I should feel assured that following my heart means success. I shouldn’t fret over bills or snap at a friend telling me how poor the room service was at the last fabulous resort she visited in Spain. An inner spiritual glow of peace should follow me everywhere, gracing all others in my path.

Right. And I should sign my charge slips Mother Theresa.

Where did I pick up all this “sweetness and light” crap? Apparently there’s a tell-all biography revealing that even our iconic Sister Mary Mother to the World wasn’t nice all the time—or even very happy. And JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame whose personal net worth is now somewhere in the vicinity of $1 billion confesses to having fear and feelings of financial insecurity.

“I still worry about money,” she said in a recent interview. “Funnily enough it bears no relation to what is in your bank account, it is purely emotional.”

No kidding.

So, if taking a vow of chastity and poverty and serving the world’s poor for a lifetime isn’t enough to generate constant joy, and being a fabulously wealthy, beautiful, more-famous-than-God author isn’t enough to generate constant security and happiness… what the hell am I beating myself up for?

Maybe I’m just human. Maybe, like Mother Theresa and Rowling, I have emotions and hidden programs and subconscious fears and issues driving me. How not? I was forced to draw my very first breath of air on this planet by being slapped on my very wet, very naked ass. We all were. And it just got tougher from there—and a lot more beautiful.

Accept it all. Let it all in. Breathe. Embrace the pain and joy. See it. Feel it. Hear it. Embrace the fear and the wonder. Don’t try to change any of it or glue on a smiley face. It’s all okay. And if it’s all okay, I’m okay.

I tell myself this a thousand times a day. And it’s okay that I need to.

This Is What Real Love Looks Like

Burning Love -- Spring Botanical Red Tulip Flower“Real love is something so deep, so energizing, that you will not know it unless you experience it. Love is an expression of energy, not something that is transacted. Tell me one thing: can you love people when you meet them for the first time?”

(From the audience: No Swamiji! We don’t even know them, then how can we love them?)

Exactly! This is what you think. Let me tell you, with a little bit of intellectual understanding and meditation, you will realize that you can love anyone without a reason! You can love the trees on the road, you can caress them and feel the energy flow from you. You can love people whom you pass by on the road without even knowing them. Love is actually your very being, not a distilled quality that you possess.

Nothing is as misconstrued as love is today. Today, love is more of a transaction. If someone says something nice to you, you love him; tomorrow if the same person falls short of it, you don’t love him that much or you probably hate him.

Even your lifelong friend, with whom you chat everyday on the computer, will seem suddenly not-so-close if he says something that goes against your approval. Where is your love at this time? It has suffered temporarily!

It is just games that you play; a game in which love and hate surface alternately and interchangeably. And this love-hate relationship is not love at all. Be very clear. It is simply your reaction to a person or a situation, that’s all. This is what we call love. This is not real love. It is subjective love, that’s all.

Real love knows no object. It is simply there whether there is an object or not. Real love is the subject itself. It does not know any object. You are the subject and you have become love, that’s all. Any object that comes in touch with it, feels it. Just like a river flows naturally and people enjoy it at the different places that they encounter it, real love exudes from a person and the people around him will be able to feel it.

There is absolutely no room for conditioning in real love. The energy in you should overflow and express itself as love. It is then that you can break through the highly knotted boundaries of relationships and express yourself beautifully, as a loving being!

In order to discover the quality of your being, that is love, two things can be done. The first thing: repeatedly listen to words like these so that they create a conviction in you about real love; so that a space is created in you for the process of transformation. Second thing: meditate so that the transformation can actually happen.

In practical life, when you go deeper and deeper into relationships, you will understand that all that you feel is not real love, but just some form of give and take. It is all just adjustment, some compromise, some duty-bound feelings, some fear, some guilt. It is all there in the name of love.

Meditation will take you beyond these mis-understandings of love. Meditation will work at the being level. That is why it is a shortcut! When you have to go through life and know it by yourself, it will take you a lifetime. But with meditation, a space opens inside you to experience these things clearly for yourself, whatever your age may be.

Just understand this one thing: when you are able to love without a reason, you will expand like anything. Your world will suddenly seem larger than life. It will be so ecstatic. You will become an energy source to yourself and to others. You will be so overflowing that the energy in you has to touch others. There is no other way. Others will be naturally drawn to you.”

 

Originally posted September 2011

Spiritual Sex: The Benefits of Praying Together

As a spiritual teacher in private practice, I always encourage my clients to pray (to voice their requests into The Universe) together and to make their prayer time meaningful. 
 
As a leader in practical spirituality, I also make sure that my suggestions are easy to integrate and require only a minimal amount of time.
 
Just as sex is important to keep a couple connected on a physical level, prayer is important to keep a couple connected on a spiritual level. That is why I call a couple’s prayer time ‘spiritual sex.’
 
Here are just a few of the benefits spiritual sex provides:
  • By understanding more of what your partner wants for themselves and in the relationship, you can be more supportive.
  • Two people focusing their attention on a thought or vision is always more powerful than just one person. Praying together strengthens the prayer and the couple’s bond.
  • Spiritual sex results in miraculous problem solving. Instead of just focusing on the problems they have, praying together opens both partners to possible solutions for these issues.
  • Praying together welcomes outside help (The Divine), adds hope to any situation, and demonstrates a willingness to work together and to move through something.
  • Praying together develops both people’s communication skill sets. It creates a space for open communication about those things that most people feel alone with.
  • Praying together improves self-awareness. Most people do not really think about what they want. They also believe they will be judged for wanting what they want, or that they will not achieve what they want. The practice of praying together provides both people with the opportunity to truly clarify that which they want, to make these wants a priority, and to have the support of their partner.
  • Praying together allows for the perfect feminine-masculine balance. The feminine aspect of prayer is the reflection — and the masculine aspect of prayer is the action. Answered prayers require the request and inspired action. Here, the feminine energy can help the masculine put thoughts into words, and the masculine can help the feminine by suggesting subsequent actions.
  • Praying together also adds an element of joy, excitement and anticipation into the relationship. It is fun to keep track of the amazing ways in which our prayers are answered. 
 
Here are some easy-to-integrate suggestions for couples who wish to start praying together:
  • All prayers start with a thank you; start each day with gratitude. Before you get out of bed, look into each other’s eyes and tell each other at least one thing for which you are grateful (this can range from the roof over your heads to the person who created vanilla ice cream).
  • After your moment of gratitude, take another moment to think silently about what you want for the day, the week, the month, the year, for yourself, for your partner and for the planet, etc.
  • When you decide upon what you want, take turns with each person saying it out loud (both people should still be lying down with their eyes closed). Speak your prayer with as much sensory detail as possible, letting the speaker and the listener visualize it and experience it.
  • After both people are done speaking their prayer, write it down. Writing your prayer down brings it closer to the experience. (Keep a journal or blank notebook next to the bed with pens).   
  • After the prayers are recorded, you are ready to get up and enjoy the day.
  • At the end of the day, go back to your prayers and talk about the experiences you had during the course of your day. This will begin to create a connection between the prayer and the answered prayer.
  • Adding this prayer time to your day can take as little as twenty minutes. It is worth waking up ten minutes earlier and turning off that television show to experience this as a couple. 

“The Long, Hot Marriage” author Todd Creager, founder of the Todd Creager Center for Successful Relationships, has been helping couples, individuals and corporations achieve their goals by bringing out the best in themselves and others. Mr. Creager is educated & trained as a Marriage & Sex Therapist and spends much of his time helping partners in long-term relationships learn how to create passionate, alive and nourishing interactions. He provides unique and powerful insights that lead to powerful breakthroughs which result in his clients getting closer to realizing their full potential. He founded his practice in 1982 in Tustin CA, and has since helped thousands of individuals (in both the home and the work-place) learn how to bring the best out of others to achieve their goals. The biggest joy in his career is witnessing clients increase their capacity to receive more from life as well as others. Listen to the full interview at: http://www.bradleyquick.com/relationship-and-sex-therapy

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