Category Archives: Relationships

Visualizing Your Success

Watching the Olympics last night, I noticed something that I had never noticed before. Many of the women about to compete in the hurdles competition were swinging their arms and seemed to be talking to themselves while they gazed down the track. What they were most likely doing was visualizing their race – running it in their minds before they physically ran it. And by doing so, they were seeing themselves winning by projecting success in their minds before the race.

Visualizing success this way is not new. Sports coaches do this regularly when they are coaching their teams. In one of his many interviews, Michael Phelps mentioned that his coach “taught him to use his imagination” – probably starting when he suggested to Phelps at age 11 that one day he would be on the Olympic swim team.

Many health, career and life coaches also teach their clients to imagine succeeding to make success a reality.  Self-improvement gurus often tell clients to “act as if” what they want to happen has already happened. The Secret is built on this premise – that by keeping a thought in your mind, you will attract that wish into your life.

Anyone can use this to succeed at whatever they want. The question is, why doesn’t everyone use visualization to attract everything that makes life delicious? Instead, so many of us project things that we don’t want – worrying about the future, or living in the past.

But it’s easy to turn things around – just start today by visualizing something that you really want and seeing yourself getting it. Imagine your new job in the most ideal work environment, surrounded by people that you like and appreciate. Imagine finding that significant other, and how wonderful and beautiful they are and how they make you feel. Imagine yourself in the best shape of your life and enjoying your strong, healthy body. The clearer your picture is of your goal, the more likely the chances you will achieve it. If you can see it, and stay focused on how you can achieve it, you will find and seize it when the opportunity arrives.

Love and Diet

Diet is such a personal thing. Many people define themselves by what they eat. A steak and potatoes kind of guy. A crunchy granola girl.  Try to change them, taking away the foods they know and love, and they become massively defensive. Because you’re not just taking away their food, you’re also taking away part of the essence of their being.

Add love into the mix, and things can get tricky. Can a vegan ever love a carnivore or vice versa?

“Sharing meals has always been an important courtship ritual and a metaphor for love. But in an age when many people define themselves by what they will eat and what they won’t, dietary differences can put a strain on a romantic relationship. The culinary camps have become so balkanized that some factions consider interdietary dating taboo.”

I remember when I started living my delicious life. I was in transition – just started dating this guy who was really into health food, and I was starting a strict regime of Ayurvedic cleansing and rebuilding. I said to him, “I don’t want to become a vegetarian!” As if that was such a bad thing.

I did go vegetarian for a while – and it felt great for that time. Then I learned so much about eating and diet – and that, for me, vegetarianism might not be the best thing, but not for the reasons that had detracted me from it when I was starting my adventure.

Changing your diet when you’re in a relationship can be difficult. You and your partner start out eating a certain way together as a couple, and life is good. And then you decide that maybe you want to eat better, get healthier, lose weight, or whatever. You’re making a change.

If your partner is supportive, great. It will still take some lifestyle adjusting, but it’s not such a big deal. You learn and figure it out. If your partner doesn’t like this new change, however, watch out. They might try to subconsciously (or worse, deliberately) sabotage you. You’ll keep trying to change but feel torn. What’s more important? The relationship or the diet?

Food has a strong subconscious link to love, said Kathryn Zerbe, a psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. That is why refusing a partner’s food “can feel like rejection,” she said.

As with other differences couples face, tolerance and compromise are essential at the dinner table, marital therapists said. “If you can’t allow your partner to have latitude in what he or she eats, then maybe your problem isn’t about food,” said Susan Jaffe, a psychiatrist in Manhattan.

Quotes from I Love You, But You Love Meat found in the New York Times.

All You Need is Love

Getting Courage to Look

I found this article on Daily OM and thought I would share it:

Not Alone In The Dark
Looking At What We Don’t Want To See

It is one of life’s great paradoxes that the things we don’t want to look at in ourselves are the very things we need to look at in order to know ourselves better and to become more fully who we are. The feelings that make us want to run away are buried treasure full of energy and inspiration if we are willing to look. These feelings come in many forms, from strange images or snippets of information to recurring dreams and feelings that rise up seemingly without a reason. Whatever shape they come in, and no matter how scary they seem, these messengers bring the information we need in order to grow.

When we are tired of pushing something down, or trying to run away from it, a good first step is to write down what we think we are avoiding. Often this turns out to be only the surface of the issue or a symbol of something else. Expressing ourselves fully on paper is a safe way to begin exploring the murky territory of the unconscious. The coolness of the intellect can give us the distance we need to read what we have written and feel less afraid of it. It helps if we remember that no matter how dark or negative our thoughts or feelings may be, these are energies shared by all humanity. We are not alone in the dark, and all the gurus and teachers we admire had to go through their own unprocessed emotional territory in order to come out the other side brighter and wiser. This can give us the courage we need to open the treasure chest of what we have been avoiding.

Within the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to look at, there are emotions that need to be felt. Unfelt emotions are stuck energy, and when we leave emotions unprocessed, we deprive ourselves of access to that energy. When we feel strong enough, we can begin the process of feeling those emotions, on our own or with guidance from a spiritual counselor. It is through this work that the buried treasure of energy and inspiration will pour forth from our hearts, giving us the courage to look at all the parts of ourselves with insight and compassion.

I don’t like writing when I’m not in a good mood – I feel like this sentiment translates in my work. I want my messages to encourage positive thoughts that help people. But I also realize that if I show my real self to the world, that can be helpful too.

Right now, I’m dealing with some heavy emotions from things that happened long ago. I have been afraid to examine them, so instead I buried them. That’s tough to live with though. You can do it for a while, but inevitably, they will come up. The good news is that I’m getting the courage to look. And while it can be painful at times, this article reminds me that releasing this old energy is healthy – it’s necessary in order to grow and it makes room for new good things to come.

Happy Days

My boyfriend and I went on vacation to Mexico for two weeks. We traveled from Mexico City to Playa Del Carmen on a GAP Adventures tour, seeing many ruins and pyramids, enjoying Mexican culture and mouthwatering food.

At the very end, we went to Tulum, the famous Mayan ruin on the Caribbean Sea. In front of, and with help from, our whole tour group, he proposed to me behind the pyramid. This photo is of the moment after I said yes.

Day 31 – Review and Renew

It’s the last day of 2007, and everyone is getting ready to start fresh with a new year. What will you do differently?

First, acknowledge yourself for everything that you’ve accomplished over the past 365 days. If you have a list of goals that you wrote out at the beginning of the year, look over them and see how you did. Were you able to accomplish everything you wanted and more? Or did you fall short? If you did what you wanted, give yourself a nice pat on the back for all the good work you did over the year. If not, think about why you fell short. Maybe your goals were too ambitious, or maybe you didn’t focus on them on a regular basis. Whatever you decide, see how you can do better next year.

Then take the time to renew your list of goals, adding on fresh priorities and getting rid of old ideas that no longer suit you. The more specific you can get about what you want, the better your chances for achieving it. Then keep your list where you will be able to review it on a daily basis to keep your goals top of mind.

What are your goals for 2008?  How do you plan to achieve them?

Day 29 – Journal

Got something on your mind that’s eating at you? Get it out of your system by writing it out. Take a pen and some paper and find a quiet space to write. Keep your hand moving for at least 15 minutes. Let whatever comes to you flow out on the paper – don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or other mistakes. They don’t matter. All that matters is that you get the raw emotion out on paper without thinking about it.

As you go through this exercise, you might find yourself softening and your emotional state calming down. This is good – writing can help you release the negative energy that  you hold inside. Once you’re done, you can do whatever you want with the results – throw them away, shred them, or burn the paper and release the energy into the ether.