Become a Better Lover Part 3: Telling Your Love Story

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss

We’ve spent this last quarter thinking/speaking about self-love and I think Dr. Kristen Neff’s quiz on self-compassion and her research is great. She says: “With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.” How are you caring for yourself these days? For me I know that I need to schedule in my self-care or it gets scheduled out by the demands associated with leading a full life. When this happens I’m not operating as my best self. Take her quiz with this link below and see how you are doing: http://self-compassion.org/test-how-self-compassionate-you-are/ I am high on self-compassion 3.91 with my highest score being in common humanity, mindfulness and self-kindness.

“Love leaves legacy. How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.” – Rick Warren

One way our Mind Body Balance Team Members share the Mind Body Balance Transformation of Love is through our invite cards that we offer our community members. We give you these cards with free services on them so that you can have a tool to share your health journey with others. The Mind Body Balance Team Members work hard to team up and put on our best presentations. We soften our hearts even more for potential new clients and roll out our best welcome mat. Why, because Crazy Good Love encompasses the softer side of love. It is all the warm and fuzzy things about love that make us feel good. This is what drives people to do generous and wondrous things for others. You should act lovingly toward all people, even the people who drive us a little nuts! Who are you going to tell your love of your health story to? Please be uncensored and share the highs and lows because being real, truthful, authentic and vulnerable is what inspires others and it is a language they can understand.

“Storms draw something out of us that calm seas don’t.” – Bill Hybels

Trauma’s happen to all of us and we put up walls where we don’t trust others or ourselves. Research reveals that parents act as genetic engineers for their children in the months before conception. In the final stages of egg and sperm maturation in a process called genomic imprinting the activity of specific groups of genes that will shape the character of the child yet to be conceived this research was done by Reik and Walter in 2001. What they are suggesting is that what is going on in the lives of parents during this process of genomic imprinting has a profound influence on the mind and body of their child. Kind of scary since most people aren’t prepared to have a baby, so it makes a difference if you were conceived in love, haste or hate and whether the mother wants to be pregnant, or whether the parents want to have a baby and live in a calm, stable environment free of addictions and supported by family and friends. In fact there has been so much research in the last decade that they are revaluating the mental and emotional abilities of unborn children. Mothers and fathers are in the conception of pregnancy business together the father has a profound affect as does the mother. Dr. Bruce Lipton uses this example: If the father leaves and the mother starts questioning her own ability to survive; his leaving profoundly changes the interaction between the mother and the unborn baby thus affecting the developing child. So conscious parenting is important for fostering healthy, intelligent, productive and joy-filled children from both parents. We are personally responsible for everything in our lives. We cannot be guilty or blamed for being a poor parent unless we already were aware of this information and disregarded it. But once you are aware it is your responsibility to begin to apply it and reprogram your behavior. If we physically hold children and love children and don’t repress sexuality our culture would be more peaceful. A child needs love, touching and physical contact, however when put in stressful environments and deprived of love, touch, etc. the child suffers from somatosensory affective disorders (an impairment of the somatosensory system which is your sensory systems) and is a precursor to violent episodes. Everything always leads back to love, vulnerability, connection, empathy, joy and peace. Simply knowing this knowledge and then waiting on the couch for it to take hold doesn’t work. It is the equivalent of accepting the latest miracle pharmaceutical pill thinking that it will fix everything. No one is fixed until you make an effort to grow and change from your new knowledge.

“A lifetime without love is of no account, love is the water of life, drink it down with heart and soul” Rumi

When storms come our first question is usually “How can I be in so much loss and trial – haven’t I suffered enough already?” Everyone has different definitions of spirituality so we probably have to agree to disagree on this one. In my belief system I think of all religion as one God. I know that there is something higher than myself that governs the universe. How we go about worshiping that God is different for everyone and I respect everyone’s views. In my belief system I think of spirituality as listening… becoming quiet enough with our “self” to find that quietest voice inside to guide us through our life. There is so much anger and hatred in this world and my belief system is that there is a lack of respect, values, education and love. I could go off on a soap box on how I think we are even eating these emotions of fear, anger, etc. from our food supply chain but I’ll save that for another blog. We need connection, vulnerability and love to be healthy. So many people fail at their health and fitness programs because they don’t do the thinking part to exercise, they don’t heal because they don’t get to the emotional body and find the emotional root cause to the disease. We must start talking about this and making it safe to talk about it because it is literally killing our health care system and our cultures.

“When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story; we can write a brave new ending.” Brene Brown

Things are placed on our path for a reason. They are part of us. Find the positive take away. There are steps to loss and recovery:
• Shock/denial/numbness
• Fear/anger/depression
• Understanding/acceptance/moving on

Each stage of recovery is necessary, natural, and part of the healing process. When we are going through a loss we need grace, peace and to find the ability “to ask” for what we need from those around us because feeling loss is:
• Feeling helpless, fearful, empty, despairing, pessimistic, irritable, angry, guilty restless
• Experiencing a loss of concentration, hope, motivation, energy
• Changes in appetite, sleep patterns or sexual drive
• A tendency to be more fatigued, error-prone and slower in speech and movement

My favorite books so far in times of storms are How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Harold H. Bloomfield and 10 Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart by Daphne Rose Kingma. You have to dig deep and find something that will carry you when you don’t know how to move forward you have to be able to access your higher self, god, universe, Mother Nature.

We are asking you to share your Mind Body Balance self-love story with us this month! Whether it is in a short video or written know that in sharing your story it will have a ripple effect and change many lives. You may be doing Integrative Sustainable Movement for the first time – welcome- it is why your first visit is on us – What will it take to help you start your personal practice today? Hopefully by the Mind Body Balance Community Sharing the experience- Telling you their self-love story – and by the Mind Body Balance Team Members showing how to reach your goals you will become committed to your self-love and to your personal health in a supportive community that is a safe place physically and emotionally.
Over the years we have had incredible stories by those who had the boldness to share. The stories are unique but common. OUT OF SELF-LOVE HEALTH THRIVES! It takes hours, days, months, years to set an “intention” and be sincere about it. Forgive yourself for doing life your way without respect to your self-nurturing needs. Give up perfection. Lean into forgiveness, love and empathy. Take a step of courage and ASK! We aren’t going to give you a list of your negatives, email us through info@mindbodybalance.com and we’ll send you important next steps on how to get started on your Mind Body Balance Transformation today. STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH IN YOU AND TRUST YOUR JOURNEY!

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Become a Better Lover Part 2: Opening the Heart!

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

I need to hear someone admit a mistake was made, that they have an action plan to prevent this in a similar future situation and express regret, taking ownership of the wrong done.  So, my top three needs are genuine repentance, accepting responsibility and expressing regret.  It is a difficult situation to gauge… when a person comes to the conclusion that they feel they need to make an apology.   Everyone’s needs and expectations on how a sincere apology should be delivered are so different.  It’s likely that when we try to deliver an apology,  we are most likely going to deliver it wrong.  This creates hurt feelings on both sides of the apology; it wasn’t delivered or excepted as we had hoped it to be. An apology is a regretful acknowledgement of an offense or failure.

It took some self-reflection to determine that you needed to make an apology but an accepted apology  is also dependent on the person that you are giving the apology to.  They should express their requirements for proper delivery so you must know this about yourself as well.  Just as in our last blog… it was your job to know how you need and want to be loved, it is also your job to know how you need to be apologized to. Now, taking this a step further, you must express to those around you this information.  You can’t expect people (Friends, family, co-workers) to read your mind because that is a whole other issue.  Take a deep breath and share your new found knowledge about yourself. Here is a link to the quiz if you are sure not sure how you like to be apologized to by Dr. Gary Chapman. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/apology

This series could have been titled “How to become a nicer person” but that is kind of boring.   Having it titled “…become a better lover” raised some eyebrows.  It was a bit daring and controversial and the truth is… we didn’t get very many negative peeps about it.  We did hear messages of “Wow, that hit home, I heard the message.” So, I think, when you are ready to hear a message… it hits you square on and when you aren’t ready to hear a message you deflect it and push it aside with negativity and excuses. This is okay.  When you are ready, the message will be there.  Until then, let the seed sit inside of you with an open mind.

In order to love us, be loved by us and to love others we must do self-study, have empathy and belong to something higher than ourselves. “What you seek is seeking you.” – Rumi   In yoga the study of self is Svadhyaya. So having a practice of meditation or a quiet time to self-reflect is a process and allowing your spirit and mind to connect is a process equivalent to watching one’s body in a non-distorted mirror. To sit and contemplate your own motives, behaviors and our circumstances and environment, accessing our own life and the direction of our life.  In doing this we are leading to more desirable changes that are more fulfilling of our self. Empathy is the ability to see the other side of the coin (so to speak) the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. You can go to that person and sit in their hole with them and listen without judgment… allowing yourself to be vulnerable with them and to seek an understanding by listening to their needs. 

“Belonging” is acceptance as a member… or part of something; such a simple word for a huge concept. A sense of belonging is a human need, just like the need for food, shelter, education and health care. Feeling that you belong is an important value in life and in coping with the intensely painful emotions that life throws at us.

“Belonging is a quality of soul. You belong because you are an incarnate soul and belonging is who you are – you don’t have to do anything to belong. Fitting in, on the other hand, is where you mold yourself to conform to someone else’s shape. Fitting in takes you away from your natural self, out of belonging. It leaves you eternally the outsider, far from home. You return to belonging by trusting your own desires, by choosing your own way of being, crafting your own complex, and creative, uniquely unfolding story.” – HiroBoga

Some ways to build a sense of belonging requires active effort and practice on our part. Such as looking for ways that we are similar to others rather than different, being more accepting of our self and others knowing that differences and still accepting creates peace (acceptance doesn’t have to mean agreement), validation builds a sense of belonging and strengthens relationships (acknowledgement of someone’s internal experience is understandable), saying yes to opportunities with others… letting go of your judgment  (remember, no one is perfect and vulnerability is a language we can all understand), and lastly watch your words… be mindful of words that shame, blame, guilt or fix others  all of us have strengths and can bring our own uniqueness of contributions to the table. Think unity, community and acceptance.

Before you go to bed think of 5 things that you love and value about yourself and others. For example: I strive to look good and be healthy for me and my loved ones in my life, My support system of family and friends encourage me and support me as much as I am willing to support and encourage myself, I am grounded… planted in what is important in life, I find joy in the simple things of life, I am a lover who gives unconditional love. “Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the worlds.” – Rumi

Brene Brown says: Love and belonging are irreducible needs of all women, men, and children. In the absence of love and belonging there is always suffering. May you love and know that you are deeply lovable. We are wired for love and we must first learn to love ourselves so that we allow others to love us to. Love is a choice! Are you a crazy good lover? Would you walk around someone on the ground because you can’t be bothered? Or do you have empathy and compassion… making a sacrifice to feed, clothe, offer your sofa to help others?  Seva is a Sanskrit word meaning selfless service or work performed without any thought of reward or repayment. In ancient India seva was believed to help one’s spiritual growth and at the same time contribute to the improvement of a community. Stop for a moment and truly think about it. How do we treat one another?

I recently got upset by a Facebook post where they were saying that Denmark was the happiest country in the world largely because they had the following available to all citizens:  they have $20 for minimum wage, 33 hour work week, free university, free childcare, free healthcare, short flexible work hours, committed to gender equality, 6 paid weeks of vacation, long paid parental leaves, society is designed to support a balance of work, leisure and family. Now, I’m not an expert on Denmark culture but what upset me where the comments of others that said things like none of this makes one happy, I’m tired of people wanting a hand up to be happy, etc.  I’m a republican but I can see where what Denmark is doing makes sense.  They have removed many of the struggles of basic human life needs.  I feel like this would allow for more connection and entrepreneurship. I believe also that we can only define our own happiness.  No one else can give this to us, no one thing can give this to us either – happiness is something that we gift to ourselves. With that said, I do think that every human being in this world (especially America) deserves to make a fair wage (one they don’t have to “slave over” to earn), modest housing, food, health care and education. Come on people! Where is your humanity?  Are you so full of yourself trying to be the perfect person… to succeed on your own… that you forgot that you need others to succeed?  Your success should not be on the backs of others, getting is a part of giving, we do better in collaborations, when we marshal collective forces, then we are able to gather the necessary elements to realize goals, resources, ideas, health and balance. So I ask again… How Do We Treat One Another?  I URGE YOU TO MOVE BEYOND YOURSELF AND MAKE AN IMPACT IN THIS WORLD!  Show those that you think you can’t forgive love… for they need it the most.  Mind Body Balance is seeking more sites to develop more mindful communities, to help other sites that don’t carry our name on it to develop their own mindful communities. “Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.” -Rumi It is time to do your work, to grow to find your true life purpose.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” -Rumi

In choosing my life verse: Ephesians 4:1-3  As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another and love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of the peace.

In choosing my Soul’s Dharma Code: I live creatively! I play often! My life and work are filled with love that moves people to heal; I am light in a dark world. I am centered, courageous and adventurous so joy in integrative sustainable movement can grow.

These keep me on my path so that I can be a crazy and courageous lover that forgives and seeks restoration. Please share your life verses and dharma codes with me!

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Become a better Lover Part 1

Becoming a better lover starts with your own self-love. As an integrative fitness professional I always look at the body first and then mind, however I do understand that the body, mind and spirit are all connected and each influences the others equally. My life’s work is solely focused on the body to mind connection. I’m sure we can all relate to phrases such as:

• Fall in love
• My heart flutters
• My heart beats loudly with joy
• Heartless or Cold-Hearted
• Big Hearted
• Heartfelt
• Take things to heart
• Talk heart to heart
• From the bottom of your heart
• Half-hearted
• You have touched my heart
• You have touched the deepest part of my being

The list could go on and on but you get my point. We always picture a heart in red and red roses are taken differently than peach roses when received. If we think about it, LOVE rarely flows smoothly in our lives. We have all felt abuse, childhood conflicts, hurt or loss and sometimes these traumas causes us to lock our heart away. When we do this it serves as a protection and limits our feelings around love for ourselves and others. Often we lock away our heart we start to feel things like:

• Mistrust
• Uncaring
• Shallow
• Hateful
• Prejudice
• Fearful

We become closed of our own need for love. We are all wired for love and need love to survive. Boys are often taught not to express or feel with their emotions so that they appear brave, powerful and strong. This generally leads to adulthood with the inability to express gentleness, caring or nurturing qualities. This type of ethos instills fear, pulling back, putting up walls or defenses on the external and internally all they really want is love but don’t have the tools.

“Love is letting go of fear.” – Gerald Jampolsky

All of your passion, adoration, devotion, fear, anger, hurt, desire, yearning, gratitude and joy are expressed from your heart and through your mouth. They are expressed in words, intonation, kissing and through our body like our shoulders, arms and hands like hugs, hand holding, caring or pushing away and through sexuality or by caring and sharing. Love is a choice whether it is self-love or loving others. What is stopping you for embracing self-love and the love that is right in front of you? I challenge you for the next 90 days to write in a journal, or on social media what is in your heart. Every day start with the sentence “In my heart I feel…” (Fill in whatever comes up)! Deb Shapiro says the heart is our emotional home and here lays all of our struggles, anguishes, hurts, likes, dislikes, longings, yearnings and joy. In the case of heart transplants there have been many stories where they say the likes and dislikes of the donor were transplanted to the recipient.

It is a life lesson that we all must learn. In order to listen… to respect… to trust our feelings, we must first learn to open our heart. Alexander Lowen describes the heart as a king and the mind as the king’s advisors. The advisors go out into the world and then report to the king their findings. The king listens but makes his own decisions based on his intuition and deeper understanding of the bigger picture. So here is the skinny when you listen to your heart and not your mind you are making the right decision. Even though the heart may appear illogical or irrational, intuitively you know that it is a more real and meaningful decision. Our heart is the center of our being the center of our love. Native Americans have said about the white man: “It is strange the white man thinks with his head instead of his heart.” Our rhythm of our heart is affected by our deepest feeling such as increased undue stress, emotional trauma, shock, fear, passion, elation or joy and then once we become relaxed the heart returns to its natural normal rhythm.

Dr. Gary Chapman has a quiz on his website along with other books, dvd’s etc. on the Love Languages www.5lovelanguages.com My five love languages are in order of importance to me: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. My husband’s five love languages are in order of importance to him: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Receiving Gifts. Learning what your love languages are helps you to determine how you like to be loved and it allows you to learn to be open and to understand that not everyone loves like you so you can learn to respect and meet the needs of those around you. Don’t just throw darts without a bull’s-eye. Really, what good are a house, cars, beach, trips, and life without someone to share it with? I didn’t learn my love languages until I was in my 40’s and intuitively I knew that quality time was top for me and gifts were low. I’d much rather have memories than a material object any day.

“We are looking for love and reaching out for love, May the love that we are radiate into the world. We all have a common thread of shared love for ourselves.” – Kim Searl

I love rose quartz for the heart. Eros brought it to the earth in hopes that its beautiful color would arouse love and desire among people. It symbolizes trust and brotherly love. It is also so very helpful in affairs of the heart. It strengthens friendships, combats love sickness and opens the mind to beautiful things. I’m also reminded of candle quartz. Its energy radiates love and fosters harmony in groups; releases fear, worry and emotional dependence and heals the heart! We are all balls of light-energy filled with love. By placing a hand on the heart and a hand on your belly button in just 10 seconds with the added breath as the bridge linking these two centers of the body together you have connected to your heart anchor – I AM LOVE! (Aham Prema)

Anahata – hold your two hands together and this is the heart… it brings two things together and integrates them… it allows each to offer support to be present in its wholeness and to expand into something greater. Our love is a base within the heart. Our heart chakra is a means of going within and feeling all that we are. We learn about ourselves. We accept who we are, recognizing the positive and negatives and relaxing within them and being them. When we see another (both in a state of joy or a state of pain) we can look to that person and realize that we’ve been through the same thing. We feel compassion and if we share that compassion with them they feel our love. Because they gain the love that we are, they become stronger and they offer back love, understanding and acceptance back to us. Air is the element of our heart (which is our breath). As you reach the top of your inhale, allow it to be an offering to the exhale and vs versa. We find our whole breath within the integration of the “in” and “out” breath. The heart is an integrator it brings together two things that may seem separate and supports them on an energetic level. Anahata lies in the middle of the chakras being the energetic integrator of our earthly self and our spiritual self. The heart is reflected and balanced, when one overcomes the other there is no balance… it becomes weighted in one direction, heavy, overwhelmed. As both earthly and divine we become whole, we expand and we become everything.

“The ugliest thing that I have ever seen is a selfish human being without compassion and empathy.” Kim Searl

Does having sex make your life better or more complicated? Adam and Eve, Romance, Passion, etc. Stressed is Desserts spelled backwards Sex is the dessert that has no calories and is the antidote to stress. We are all here because of sex and the number one reason why people aren’t having sex is that they are tired!

Study yourself – determine what is enough, what you need, and then communicate it to those that love and support you. Our needs change with the seasons of life. What have you been dreaming about? It is your responsibility to determine what is enough and then to communicate it to those around you. But it starts with you. Don’t sweat the small stuff – slip of a tongue. Tone – be careful with what you say. Your words have an impact. Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love! Be mindful of your self-talk, it’s a conversation with the universe. Privately and publicly praise those you love. It feels good to hear this from someone you love. Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach – the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction – SO TRUE. Don’t give up even if the person doesn’t say how much it means to them – learn to speak up to say how much it means to you when someone praises you. A core value should be to never criticize someone you love publicly, including yourself. If you are in a relationship that is at a crossroads of restoration or destruction… I like the Jason Mraz song “I Won’t Give Up.” because my favorite four letter word is LOVE! Love is a choice! Start with you and then move to us. Starting with you? I love the two books by Miguel Ruiz The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love. I also like the book Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin (this is a good book to do with a loved one). Relationships (at best) are complicated and complex and yet many of us go it without any guidance. Not to say we should follow a plan labeled step 1, 2, 3, etc…… what works for one isn’t what will work for all. However, going it blind (as many of us do) and expecting for it to all fall into place isn’t necessarily correct either. What if we were well-informed, guided and learned tools to support our relationship with ourselves and others? We all want to feel loved, feel cherished, cared for, and protected. As human beings we are wired for this and human beings have been being recorded in this pursuit since the beginning of time. We are social animals. Yet, with the new age of technology we aren’t putting our romantic relationships or committed friendships first. We aren’t using them as advocates or allies against hostile forces. We get off on the accomplishment list and forget to do the joy and ingredient list of creating a home for one another that is a safe place to relax and feel accepted, wanted, protected and cared for. Remember if you aren’t taking care of you and your own self-care than you aren’t really taking care of others. Hire a counselor and start doing your own work and seek counselors to do couples work.

“Even After All this time the sun never says to the Earth “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.”– Hafiz

Humans are sensitive beings and we are also emotional because we perceive everything with the emotional body. The emotional body is the medium of emotions, feelings, passions and desires which is more subtle than the energy body. Using the emotional body, mankind is able to experience intense emotions including both lower and higher emotions ranging from anger, fear, stress, irritation to love, compassion and happiness. In other words, emotional body is specialized in feeling. Humans use fear to domesticate humans and fear increases with each experience of injustice. Some injustices open wounds in our emotional body and still yet some of these wounds continue to fill with emotional poison. We begin to transfer this emotional poison throughout our lives and generations to come. According to Miguel Ruiz we create the Judge in our mind that is judging everything we do, everything we don’t do, everything we feel and everything we don’t feel. In time, you begin to realize that and understand why relationships don’t work with our parents, children, friends, partners… even us. Why doesn’t a relationship work with us? …because we are wounded and filled with emotional poison. The dream that we thought relationships were doesn’t exist. Perfection doesn’t exist. We reject ourselves, we judge ourselves and we find ourselves guilty. We punish ourselves. Look around in the world. There is so much punishment and suffering going on and everyone is judging. What would happen if we each started to value and love ourselves? What would happen if today you accepted yourself as you are and that you are enough? What would happen if we gave up on abuse, blame, shame, guilt, and instead embraced love, peace, joy, compassion, accountability and gratitude?

Looking For Love
A strange passion is moving in my head. My heart has become a bird which searches in the sky. Every part of me goes in different directions. Is it really so that the one I love is everywhere? – Rumi

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