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#5A. Women Are the Spiritual Leaders.

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In the last installment, I described the flirty, quippy conversation between myself and Robert. I asked as series of questions raised in the conversation. The answers are below:

1. Robert said he wanted “a woman who makes me want to be a better man." What does this mean?


A great relationship is when two people together are greater than the sum of their parts. A healthy person inspires their partner to be better than s/he is on their own. 
 
In a good relationship, you may:

  • Eat healthier & exercise regularly.

  • Laugh, relax and enjoy sex frequently.

  • Make goals and fulfill personal ambitions.

  • Quit addictions and address other long-standing dysfunctional behaviors (i.e. codependency).

  • Practice relational skills like empathy, forgiveness, and conflict and resolution.

 Be wary of any relationship that turns down your wattage, instead of lighting you up.

2. What is the difference between “masculine and feminine” versus “man and woman”? 

All humans embody varying degrees of masculine and feminine energy. “Polarity” is similar to the notion that “opposites attract.” Sexual attraction and chemistry are the result of two people with opposite energy who are naturally drawn to one another.
 
Masculine and feminine energy is not tied to gender. In a gay relationship between two men, one man may have more masculine-energy, while the other embodies more feminine-energy. Similarly, in a relationship between a man and a woman, the woman may have the dominant masculine energy, while the man is the one with more feminine energy.

As you develop higher consciousness, you develop both energies within yourself. As best said by Susan Sontag, "What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women in something masculine."
 
 3. What is emotional regulation? What is empathy? Why do they matter?

Have you ever had a fight with a romantic partner, but later regretted the things you said or did? Or have you been accused of lacking an understanding of your partner's position?

Emotional regulation is the process by which you learn to develop healthy coping strategies to manage and respond to an emotionally-charged experience. Examples of healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress include: asking for a time-out, talking with friends, writing in a journal, exercising, meditating, attending therapy or 12-step groups, and praying. As you develop mindfulness--you're less prone to be reactive.

Similarly, empathy can be developed. Empathy is about seeing with another's eyes, listening with another's ears, and feeling another's heart. As you begin to relate to others on a deeper level, you realize that everyone's needs matter--and can be met with peaceful conflict resolution.

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#5. Women Are Spiritual Leaders.

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“Do you want to get married?” I ask Rob.

Rob is an extremely attractive bachelor in his late 40s. My European counterpart—he owns a business that teaches men the emotional skills to succeed in relationships.

“What do you think?” he replies with a sly grin.
 
I begin to laugh. “Lemme guess--you’ll marry, but you’re not going to settle.”
 
“Bingo.” 
 
“What are you looking for?” I ask.
 
“A woman who makes me want to be a better man.”
 
“Why don’t you just admit it?” I tease.
 
“Admit what?” Rob laughs.
 
Ever since our first “hello" in Amsterdam, he and I have been playing a game of cat-and-mouse.
 
“You need us. Without women, men are bored and lonely.”
 
“You mean ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine,’ as opposed to man and woman. Right?”
 
Drats. Rob is right again. I must never let him know.
 
“You always have to have the last word?” I tease.
 
“Hahaha. I knew you’d say that,” he replies. “Ok, I will admit it--you’re the more powerful species. We all know it. But, if you write this in one of your little stories, I’ll deny we ever had this conversation.”

(Sorry, Rob. I just had to share your wisdom. Wink.
 
“So, that’s it? You want someone to inspire you to greatness?”
 
“That’s not the only thing,” he replies. “I want a woman who is truly happy. I think women underestimate how much they can decimate a man. We’re actually just as sensitive as you.”
 
“Tell me.”
 
“My last serious relationship was three years ago. She was amazing. But, I couldn't make her happy and it decimated me.”
 
“My courses teach emotional regulation and empathy. Relationships would prosper if people knew the importance of mindfulness and self-care to stay on even keel.” 
 
“That reminds me of a joke I heard the other day. Want to hear it?” 
 
“Of course. You know I love to laugh,” I wink.

We're sitting in a beautiful garden, taking in the fall foliage around us.
 
“Every man thinks his woman is borderline. Every woman thinks her man is a narcissist.”
 
I burst out laughing. Despite cultural differences, the joke still works.
 
"It's time to raise collective consciousness. Don't you agree? Too many labels and too little time and energy growing our emotional intelligence. Children need to see us adults set a foundation grounded in peace and love."
 

1. What does Rob mean by “a woman who makes me want to be a better man”?

2. What is the difference between “masculine and feminine” versus “man and woman”?

3. What is emotional regulation? What is empathy? Why are both traits important?

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#4A. Tune Into Your Feelings. (Answers)

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In the earlier installment, I described how my client Tara was struggling in the wake of her breakup with Matt. Social media, especially, filled her with feelings of loneliness, melancholy and inadequacy.

At the end of the story, I asked questions to deepen your understanding. The answers are below:

1. What is the connection between feelings and thoughts?

The secret to life is happiness.

I want all of my clients feeling happy, positive, uplifted and optimistic every day. As they stay in this "positive" vibration, they become magnets for relationships, opportunity and money.

Too many people have stopped enjoying life. They operate from a place of overwhelm, exhaustion, anger, fear and resentment. These negative feelings--if left unattended--will poison the mind, creating a host of negative and critical thoughts.

But, there is good news: you can change your feelings and your thoughts. The secret?

SELF-CARE.

First, develop awareness. How do you feel? If the feeling is “bad,” what do you need to do to take care of yourself? How can you raise your vibration?

I often advise my clients to check-in with themselves emotionally and physically throughout the day. When they are depleted, it's imperative to rest, eat, and slow down. As they take better and better care of themselves, they naturally enter in flow--where they manifest opportunities without much effort. 

2. Why is it important to make yourself happy?

Learning to be happy is a skill—one that takes time and practice. While circumstances are largely outside of your control, happiness is 100% within your hands.

As you develop happiness—from the inside out-- you will naturally attract wonderful things. More friends, better job opportunities, and higher pay (as well as more loving romantic relationships) are the by-product of living in a high vibrational state. 

3. Besides meditation and prayer, what are other ways to quiet your mind?

To quiet the mind and raise your vibrational frequency: 

  • Walk in nature.

  • Play with animals.

  • Act in service to others.

  • Take epsom salt baths, infrared saunas and yoga classes.

  • Listen to music. 

  • Create art.

  • Eat high-quality, organic, vegetarian foods.

  • Exercise.

  • Travel to new places.

  • Practice gratitude.

Until the next part of the story, I wish you much happiness and love!

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#4. Tune Into Your Feelings.

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Tara lives in New York City, so we meet at Inscape—a meditation center in Manhattan for our third session. Five minutes of meditation can profoundly alter the day’s direction.

Tara and I sit on cushions. A guide instructs us in movement, breathing and visualization exercises. 

“How do you feel?” I ask Tara as the session ends.

“Amazing. Calm. Peaceful. Centered. The chatter in my brain has quieted,” she replies.

“Wonderful,” I reply. “How have you been feeling overall?”

“I’ve been struggling,” she answers. “My Facebook and Instagram feeds are filled with pictures of weddings, anniversaries and babies. I can’t but help think, ‘What’s wrong with me? I’m never going to get married.’”

“Tara, social media portrays an inaccurate picture of life. If it’s negatively impacting you, consider taking a time out.”  

“I want delete my profile. But, I am afraid of how my friends will react,” she replies. 

Through my business, School of Love NYC (www.schooloflovenyc.com), I teach clients to make their happiness their #1 priority. Putting their needs first isn’t “selfish,” it’s an act of self-love.

“Tara, your real friends will understand,” I reply. “If people judge you, they may not have your best interests at heart.”

“I still feel so uncomfortable,” Tara says.

“Second, a wedding is not a marriage.  Focus less on the party and more on finding a partner who will do the work to sustain and grow a long-term relationship.”

“It’s important for you to notice and honor all your feelings. They will help you figure out what you need for greater happiness.”

“I have no idea what I need,” Tara replies forlornly. “I’ve been a people-pleaser my entire life. I put everyone else’s feelings ahead of mine.”

“Tara, what you’re experiencing is 100% natural. Women especially have been socialized—first in their family and then by society—to put themselves last. You’re undoing generations of social conditioning! For now, be gentle. Develop awareness. It’s time for you to step into a new era.”



1.   What is the connection between feelings and thoughts?

2.   Why is it important to make yourself happy?

3.   Besides meditation and prayer, what other ways can you quiet your mind?

 

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#3A. Faith Over Fear. (Answers)

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In the last installment, I described Tara's fear over ending relationship with Matt.

I asked several questions pertaining to faith, fear and intuition. The answers are below:

1. Why is faith so important?

God wants to support you to live your best life. At times, He brings challenges intended to grow you emotionally, mentally & spiritually. Just as steel is forged in fire, you are also strengthened through times of hardship.

Faith is hope absent evidence. When the road is dark, faith will lead you towards the right path. Everything is happening for your benefit.

2. Will your heart always know the way?

God resides within you. No one—neither a Pastor nor President—knows better than you the right path to take.

As society has gotten increasingly busy (through work, multi-tasking, technology, and social media), you’re at an increased risk of losing that connection to God’s voice within you.

Develop quiet time (through meditation or prayer) so you can heed your internal compass. The right steps will be revealed as you take time to listen.

3. Tara feels that Matt is not interested in meeting her needs. Is this dangerous? Or just typical within a romantic relationship?

You must invest in relationships with people who are interested in your feelings.

Narcissists are notorious for devaluing the feelings and needs of their partners. Matt’s reaction to Tara’s concerns (including his inability to communicate) is concerning.

Relationships only prosper when both partners commit themselves to the process of spiritual and emotional growth.

Tara’s intuition is ringing for a reason.

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