How to Connect When It’s The Last Thing You Want To Do.


As people we have a choice: connect or disconnect.

Some of us have been disconnecting from a very early age because it feels safe. But it leaves us empty.

We may be in control when we’re disconnected, living our lives through our intellect, but we become anxious and unfulfilled. From the outside everything looks ok, but it feels like shit.

To be connected is risky because if you do not have control over your emotional state, the outside environment will have an influence over how you feel. That’s when we distance ourselves or cut off completely, hoping the influence of others will barely be felt.

On the other side is the fear of being alone, which no one really wants deep down inside. Physiologically we’re wired for connection to others. And so, the two competing forces can create a lot of inconsistency in how we show up–both with personal relationships and with complete strangers.

I love talking to strangers whenever possible, asking questions that lead right to getting to know something about them. Don’t confuse this with small talk, however, with which I usually fail. Small talk feels forced, and doesn’t come from an authentic place of curiosity, so it’s more of a disconnect when I engage from that space.

I recently had my old Acura overheat 100 miles from home.

The tow truck driver showed up an hour and a half late. It wasn’t his fault, but my Type A personality took over and I had to keep reminding myself it does no good to get uptight. After getting out of the truck, he reached out to shake my hand. I looked him in the eyes as our hands met and said, “I’m annoyed because I’ve been waiting 90 minutes, and I know it’s not your fault, but I’d rather say it then make it awkward.” He smiled as he lead me to the cab of the truck.

In the past, I may have been a Class A asshole, wanting someone to make me feel better. But I am mindful of my shit now, and it’s important to communicate. Once my car was hooked up, he jumped into the cab and our conversation started.

During the six mile drive to the mechanic, we started talking about cars and car payments. He shared that he was an ex-Marine, and when he got out of the service he couldn’t afford the $250 monthly payment on his car because he had difficulty getting a job. He was 32 years old at the time, and eventually lost his car.

He then became an electrician’s apprentice, but it hurt his back so he couldn’t continue. I was thinking, “WTF, here’s this dude who served our country and he came home to very little opportunity!” I wanted to cry.

He eventually became a tow truck driver. Somehow the conversation moved to discussing cable, family (he has a wife and a small daughter) and the craziness of anger, hatred and over-the-top behavior that is broadcast in the world today. Both of us shared how sad it made us because the connection to humanity is always available. We are all the same inside regardless of the appearance of our bodies, sex, color, choices, job, age or anything we use to define ourselves.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I felt so happy to have met this man. I learned something, as I do every time I connect with someone. If I had stayed pissed off at him for showing up late, which was my first inclination, I would’ve disconnected and missed out on a truly great moment of humanity.

As he unhooked my car and I stood inside doing my paperwork, we waved at each other a few times. He was grinning ear to ear… and so was I.

Connection is everywhere, and it’s always a choice.

Why Self-Help Books Are Failing You And What You Can Do Today!

Stacks of books

How many times have you read books, searching for strategies to help with some part of your life you’d like to improve, but you see no results? Maybe you’re inspired as you read, connecting with different parts saying, “yes, yes!” in your head, feeling like you’ve finally found some answers. But as much as you want to change, and you actually try to implement the strategies, life happens and you go right back to your same behavior.

You read a leadership book and see exactly where you can improve, but you aren’t able to translate that into the workplace when you’re in the moment. “I need to be more assertive” you say to yourself, but you don’t know how, and you don’t really know why you aren’t assertive to begin with, so you feel defeated.

You read a dating book and say to yourself, “Omg, I totally do that!” but it just sits in your head and the next time you go on a date, everything goes out the window. You’re on autopilot.

Why does that happen? You WANT to change, you’re COMMITTED to change, but you’re not SEEING change.

I’ll tell you why. Reading books is an intellectual pursuit, and change is an emotional endeavor. So if you don’t bring the emotional side into what you’re reading, it stays trapped in the intellect. Sure you may use tactics that work for a short time, but they’ll fade away because you’re operating from your head.

So how do you connect emotionally to a book? Well, it’s tricky to explain because you’re reading this just as you would a book… with your head. And as I write this, I’m using my intellectual brain to explain an emotional process. See how that’s hard? But I’m going to give it a try.

Below are steps to help you connect more emotionally with the books you read to affect true and lasting change.

Set Your Intention
Before you even begin reading, tell yourself you want it to have an impact. Say “I want this book to help me with X or help me change X.”

Take It SLOW
Don’t devour the book in a few days. You need to break it up into pieces and digest it slowly. You can do this by only allowing yourself 1-2 chapters per week, or (even better) read until something strikes you and then stop.

Put It Down
Once you stop, set the book down for a week and don’t pick it up again. This is where the intellect-emotion part kicks in.

Sit With It
It’s time to bring that intellectual wisdom into your heart/gut/intuition/emotion. This is the tricky part to explain. Right after you put the book down, close your eyes. Drop your focus down to your heart or your gut, then allow yourself to expand, almost like meditation. Is anything there? Do you FEEL anything? At first the answer may be no because you’re numb and stuck in your head. This takes practice! Lots of practice. Keep sitting, but don’t force it. Are images coming to mind? Are you feeling uncomfortable? Is your body “abuzz”? Again, if you don’t feel anything, don’t worry. Try it again tomorrow. Try it every day for a week.

Look For Triggers
Maybe the book talked about taking things personally, and that resonated with you. You then sat with the feelings. Great! Now it’s time to look for where this shows up in your life. Maybe someone critiques an email you wrote and you notice you’re taking it personally. You’ve now identified a situation in your life that relates to something in the book.

Check In With Your Feelings
When this happens, ask yourself how you feel. Do you feel rejected, not valued, afraid, embarrassed, belittled? Do you want to fight back or turn around and hide? What comes up for you? Also, do you want the feeling to stop? Probably yes! Let yourself feel your feelings!

In What Other Situations Have You Felt This Way?
Let’s say you feel belittled. When have you felt that way in the past? What was the situation? Go back as far as you can remember. Maybe you were in 4th grade and you talked about your summer vacation as part of “show and tell.” The teacher chuckled at your destination, only 10 miles away, saying that’s not a “real” vacation. Your heart sank; you felt unimportant. Remember the keyword here is FEEL. The subconscious operates on images and feelings, not words or linear thinking.

Identify The Belief
Behind these recurring feelings is an old belief. Perhaps these feelings of belittling come from your belief that you have to do something monumental to be important. Small acts don’t count. Nearby vacation spots are worthless. Just being you isn’t enough. The email critique stems from feeling you’re worthless. BINGO. You take things personally because it hits the nerve of you not being good enough. You have now made an emotional connection to something in the book.

Change Your Response
The next time you take something personally, you’ll be able to identify it more quickly and know where it stems from. Now it’s time to change your response and behavior. Ask yourself, “Is this person intentionally belittling me, or is this because of an old pattern?” Yep, it’s almost always the latter and simply ACKNOWLEDGING this can make the feelings dissipate. You’re looking at it through a new lens. He/she isn’t belittling you at all, it was just your interpretation based on events from your past. Understanding this allows you to let go and move on. Each time it comes up in your life, you have the power to challenge the feeling, and when you do, it becomes weaker and weaker.

Go back to the book and read another section until it resonates with you and start the process over again. Yes, it’s a PROCESS and definitely takes time, but this is how you’ll turn an intellectual pursuit into real, actionable change.

Do you have a book on your nightstand now that you can try this with? I’ve put this 10-Step Guide into a free PDF so you can download it and use it with your next book. Reference it each time you repeat the process.

Download Turn Your Books Into Action

Download this BOOKMARK with the 10 Steps. Then print, cut and put it in your book as a reminder!

As always, I love feedback, so please let me know how this process works for you.

Much abundance,

Navigating From Insecure Attachment To The Awkwardness of Dating


Even as you make strides in your own growth, you experience hiccups.

You find yourself in a ‘same old situation,’ but feel differently, with fledgling confidence in your newer tools. With growing assurance what may have felt impossible in the past, can still make you choke a bit as you state your truth.

Remember to be prepared for people not hearing you; it’s okay.

Speaking your truth is not done to convince someone of what they should do (conditioning will tell you otherwise); it’s supporting yourself emotionally. Whether it’s early in dating or stepping into a relationship, if it’s not working it’ll be clear pretty quickly, just by observing the ensuing dialogue or reaction after you speak.

Recently I was at dinner with someone.

No shooting stars; just enjoying my time with him, thinking he was really nice. And he IS nice. On our prior dates we casually talked about a variety of topics including what we both wanted in dating/relationships. It was cool.

This dinner turned out to be not so cool.

I felt as though I was on a date with someone totally different. The conversation did not flow, there was a huge interest in the food, but other than that not much laughter or further exploration of any deeper topics. In the past it would’ve stopped me cold from addressing something important to me. I’d have looked for the right time to speak and kept quiet if I didn’t find it and then ‘gone along’ with whatever happened afterwards.  As an ex-people-pleaser, it was finding courage to speak about intimacy, and get really uncomfortable.

In my heart, I had to express how I’m not rushing a physical relationship until I really get to know somebody, and I’m confident we’re headed in the same direction (I don’t care if anyone agrees or disagrees with my actions, it’s how I feel in taking care of myself emotionally). I stated this and it was acknowledged verbally, but not physically.

It was very clear we were on a different page.

As we drove after dinner, I realized what I said was for my ears only.

Is he bad? No.

This isn’t to pick his behavior apart. It’s to illustrate how difficult it can be to navigate saying something that another person may not want to hear. It can be very uncomfortable.

Many women (and some men) find themselves in the middle of somewhere they don’t want to be, by keeping quiet and making excuses, so they don’t hate themselves. You’re afraid to upset someone, but when action happens as a result of your silence, it is NOT what you want, and you blame yourself (and them too).

Insecure attachment holds you with a fear of loss. You’re used to it, but you want to avoid it, and when you’ve been wired this way for so long, it can be tough to speak the truth.

With insecure attachment as a basis for your conditioning, you try to exert control over others’ behavior. You refuse to listen or see reality as it is. And you’ll cross someone else’s boundaries. Someone with true confidence isn’t controlling or trying to prove anything; secure people respect themselves and others.

I stood for myself because my values matter. In setting the foundation for a HAPPY long-term relationship, you don’t want a tug-of-war, or a struggle for power.

Sometimes in speaking your truth, it’s challenging to be consistently connected to your heart, especially if others are resistant. You can’t control them.

I know what it feels like to not say the truth of how you feel out of fear, and have someone disregard it when you do speak.

Clarity around attachment is huge. A warm body will not do. What you’re looking for changes as you feel more secure, yet it can feel like a foreign land, especially when you can’t tell on the first date beyond whether he or she might be nice. It’s why I go slow, not protective, so I can stay in the rhythm of my own emotions. If I try to keep up with someone else’s desires and ignore my own, it will end ugly.

Insecure attachment has conditioned us to not trust ourselves, the world or others. So to trust yourself means going thru the discomfort of not pleasing someone else and not controlling the events outside of you by pretending to fill a role. Instead you must speak your truth.

The awkwardness of dating can make you feel you have to compromise to get what you want. YOU DO NOT compromise at that stage unless you want to repeat the same ol’ relationship. Always see reality as it is, not as you wish it.

Attachment can keep you on a merry-go-round.

Not just in dating someone who is ill-suited to a partnership with you, but repeating the relationship over and over with them, continuing to try making it work where it was never meant to go. It’s the fantasy, which deludes you from dealing with rejection or abandonment. I can’t tell you how many times I saw red flags in the past with others and kept dating them. I was ATTACHED! It then kept me in the cycle of breaking up and getting back together. Insecure attachment will keep you believing a fantasy. You keep going around and around hoping they have changed (cuz you fear there may not be someone else).

Stop for a moment in whatever dating situation you’re in and ask what you truly believe without bullshitting yourself. What’s YOUR truth? Remember, it is always okay to be where you are, even if it is hell. You can’t navigate from where you are not.

There are NO rules of engagement with how you should act or what you should do to develop a relationship. I really believe when it’s the right person, it’s the right person. It’s not necessarily magical, but there’s an ease to it. Everyone I know in a healthy, secure relationship (even those who had insecure attachment in the past) experiences ease.

In my dating life, the above scenario was another opportunity for me to trust myself more, instead of beating myself up. It was a chance to remain open and aware of what I want for myself. We are always at choice in keeping the old patterns alive or speaking then acting by taking a risk to stick with the truth of what we want!

Interested in learning more about attachment? Listen to this podcast.

What Do I Have To Be?


I could ask anyone (friends, family, strangers and those who don’t like me) “What do I have to be?” and get a variety of answers.

Think about it… what would that mean in your life?

Of course you can ask people on Twitter and they will call you a “sweet soul” or say “you’re amazing,” or that they’re “honored to follow you” without even knowing you. Do you have to live up to those words?

What if you’re a pissed-off soul, a sad soul or (shudder) an asshole soul, like me?

I laugh as I write it because we all have our crap: things that aren’t very nice.

Many of us hide ’em to get past our own judgments, opinions and expectations.

I remember asking myself, “What do I have to be?”  because it seemed other people were always the answer. Their opinion mattered more than my own. As a kid my parents told me I was unlikeable, so I wanted to hide the fact that I was some kind of “asshole”. (Whatever we think we’re hiding, you can be guaranteed it will come to the surface sooner or later.)

I became a rescuer and a clown. I toned down my intellect and any needs I had. Problems? What problems? I fit on the outside, while the inside just cried and became resentful. Until one by one these facades I created to get validation I was OK were impossible to maintain.

Lying to myself became a non-option.

So the question remains, “What do I have to be?”

  • Successful
  • Beautiful
  • Talented
  • Wealthy
  • Youthful
  • Perfect
  • Nice
  • Smart
  • Lovable
  • Unblemished

And so on, and so on. It’s just stupid.

Ever notice the people on TV or in movies who’ve distorted how they look as they age? Or ruined their bodies trying to achieve “perfection”?

Who are they making happy? Certainly not themselves.

They asked the question, “What do I have to be?” and listened to someone else tell them there’s only one path to success. No one (not them or the person advising them) gave two shits about happiness, peace or personal joy. It’s what happens when you’re missing the keys to your own front door.

Ask one of them if they are happier or if in fact, just more insecure.

If you don’t value yourself, you feel like you could be easily discarded; tossed out like trash. It doesn’t matter how awesome people say you are. Until you value yourself, you’re disposable.

I nicknamed myself “asshole soul” because in my fear I hid the seven-year-old asshole in me, having no idea that my fear-based actions would someday be my undoing. All of it originated in my lack of value, so why did I think others could give me what I couldn’t give myself? I figured I could show up perfectly; I was the rescuer. So when I stopped devaluing myself and started standing my ground, I learned something.  You survive when people stop valuing you. You learn you don’t die.

Even when you’re an asshole soul like me, one thing I came to know is no matter what, people perceive you however they choose; not how I chose for them. So why not start valuing who you are, flaws and all?

How do you do that, you may ask?

Pay attention to your insides screaming NO (and don’t say yes).

Stop pretending. I didn’t realize how much I had been burying my true feelings… so when the end came to a relationship, a job, a business partnership, it held true: I couldn’t pretend that I felt differently or that I could go against myself any longer. 

To quite all facades requires an emotional opening, one which weighs into the side of “I can no longer conceal pain or suck it up,” you will feel it emotionally and physically when you’re ready to really step into valuing yourself.

What else?

Take inventory with yourself. For me, I can’t maintain relationships with people who are uncompromising, take NO responsibility, bash me and then pile blame on me. That is non-negotiable. So is inconsistency, and people who say things but their actions say something totally different.

Don’t make fear-based decisions (So what if someone makes a raspberry at you?). They always create pain for all involved. Let me explain this a bit. You can get caught up in processing fear; it can get your brain speeding through multiple scenarios and even convince you to head in a direction based on fear BUT you can stop yourself before a choice is made.

It might make you an asshole soul like me, but I guarantee you’ll be able to live more harmoniously with yourself in honesty. You’ll feel for other humans, contemplating “aw shucks, do I have to be the asshole this time?”  Folks, it doesn’t matter, people are going to think whatever they think. We can’t prevent them, and for those of us who try to be pious or self-righteous, that’s a bunch of bullshit too.

I had a brief exchange with a friend about the presidential race; she was stating one candidate was dirty. Statements backed by emotions, not facts, tend to irritate me.

Pious and self-righteous actions don’t fly with me, so I said to her, “I can go look in the mirror and so can ANY human being, and say I’m dirty.” Perhaps not with intention, but because we’ve all made shitty decisions and horrible mistakes. I said, “Can’t you say that you’ve done less than stellar things, perhaps even ‘dirty’ deeds?” And she said, “yes.” 

We condemn so easily, and the question is, “What do I have to be for you to like me or not judge me or to cut me a break?  The answer is ME.

We have to accept ourselves, and stop blaming others, even politicians. They show up the way they do because we create the fear-based battlefield for it to happen (open up a history book and watch how we repeat fearful actions over and over). If we busied ourselves by being who we ARE and not who we think others will accept, then this world would be different.

It would be peaceful because if I’m loving me as asshole soul and you’re loving you as asshole soul, then we would have a love-fest going on and could really love each other because we would be filled with love, and recognize our shared humanity.

It’s not about having a revolution outside of us; it’s about having an evolution inside of us!

Fear is the only thing that asks: What Do I Have To Be?

The Secret We All Share…


Human beings. We are a funny bunch.

Many of us tend to focus on what makes us different. Not all of us, but when we get pissed or someone believes something contradictory to us or drives their car how we don’t like it….or makes decisions we would never make, we focus on the differences.

We share that as human beings. Is it the secret? No.

We’ve lost a lot of artists in 2016. The latest being Prince. It didn’t really hit me til later, as I remembered my early adult years coming out of high school, as his songs were the theme to my relationships. Prince, 1999 and later Purple Rain. It was an emotional connection. Leading me deeper to include the part of myself who was freer, wilder, daring and edgy, (having Scorpio rising like him and the love of purple was relatable too) especially with his earlier songs. In those years, I’d drive along listening to Head and Sister.

Though to all appearances I probably appeared pretty straight-laced–wrapped tightly.

My point in sharing here isn’t my grief, the connection to his music or the re-living of those times in the past few days, it is that many of us hide out. We hide from ourselves first and the rest of the world secondly. We all share insecurities. We share weirdness, provocations and the fear of accepting those parts of ourselves others may deem unsavory.

Creativity, namely music and even the expression of any art form elicits what is hidden.

Is it the secret? No, I am getting there.

To continue, I thank artists who live on the edge of that space, because deep inside we all do have an edge, for most a hidden edge. When you hear your favorite song, or one you’ve attached meaning to about an emotional situation how do you actually feel? Vulnerable? Or at others times, tough, sensual, sexual, happy and like dancing your ass off? It creates an emotional connection with yourself. Just like a sad song relating to a break up, or how you feel so alone inside or alienated, it can dig it up and bring it to the surface.

As a fan of all sorts of music on loneliness and alienation, from Grunge to the Church, Echo and The Bunnymen….to the 60’s, 70’s and other genres of music–it used to pull up those murky parts of myself that I wanted to hide….and let me feel myself.

The perfect picture many of us carry on the outside rarely relates to what is going on inside. The CEOs and semi-celebs I’ve worked with are never what they appear to be on the outside, even the most creative ones. Truly! Most are used to being someone else too. Real happiness is not found in hiding the other parts…the ones we tuck away in fear of being found out, doing it wrong or having to explain.

Always for me, I never fit in and in many instances I still don’t (but where I do is magical–any more scorpio rising peeps who love the color purple?)….and it’s okay now. Not fitting in isn’t the fault of others, I believe it is a failure to embrace our own quirks. When trying to be somebody else and fit in, it’s impossible to be fulfilled. We will always feel ill at ease. You and I have our own tribes and the only way to attract those people is to be YOU. If you’re always stuck in pretense, all you will attract are pretentious relationships.

Think about it. Like attracts like.

Is it the secret? Almost.

A step toward the secret we all share is as long as I’m connected to me, I feel free. Freedom is what we all desire, in some capacity. Some of us are waiting for something again, outside of us, to set us free.

As you see there are many things we have in common with one another. Including, the deeper desire to share, to be open and embrace who we really are, to express that freedom, love, happiness and inner peace. We have more in common than less. Really we do.

Let’s take those words and bundle them up into a meaningful place inside of us. The true living of such words is a paradox, because of what may matter more to us.

The secret: We all want to belong.

We all want to be connected.

We all want to be our weird ass selves (yes everyone is weird) and be accepted. We all want to come as we are and no matter what (perhaps only in the privacy of our car, shower, bedroom or the company of strangers) be voicing it from the bottom of our lungs.

And back to the artists, does it mean they live in this way, being who they truly are? They’re like the rest of us, some would say yes, others would say no. (They may have a persona to live into that they created)

It is again what they create in their art, it’s an avenue for us to experience ourselves. And it may be the only time we do experience a part of true selves. Listening to those songs, which take us somewhere else deep inside.

Many of us need outside permission to live in full expression of what lies deep inside of us, and many of us deny what is in those depths, because we want to belong so badly. We want to appear to have it all, (we need the validation, attention and admiration) but I am here to tell you….under the skin of every person who appears to have it all perfectly built is a contradiction.

It’s what makes us lonely, feel disconnected and as though the emptiness inside cannot be permanently filled up. For some it is to keep so busy there’s no connection, just go-go-go and for others it is to be immobilized, also afraid to step into who they really are…it’s where we differ.

We distance, even when we look like we’re belonging. We create drama and strife, because it’s easier than the possible rejection for what truly lives in each of us. It is really through our own creativity that we are re-born.

It is when we say yes to ourselves that it becomes ok. And it means accepting the things we do against ourselves (and others), the ways we do hide out, stand with a huge wall, hurry and get pissed off. It means we embrace ourselves in the messes we create and take responsibility.

Oh yeah, to belong may be a physiological wiring, but we have 1000s of ways we do not take responsibility for the reasons we need to show up in a certain way with particular people. We look emotionally from afar, as though they may have the key to our finally feeling we’ve arrived; if only we can belong and again, we feel the unrest. Looks good on the outside, but sucks on the inside.

I was at a dinner party and someone asked what I do, we had a short conversation where I stated a few things I do, including learning to take responsibility without blaming others. He said, “Don’t we all do that?” And I said those of us who want to remain powerless to change our lives and be happy, yes; we stay victims.

In wanting to belong to a tribe, we may not even know why. We may have picked up those are the cool kids over there and I want to belong. Or we may rebel and say screw the cool kids, I am going to hang with the outsiders. Our group may be tied together in our unhappiness at not living a fully expressed, creative life. We cannot imagine what would become of us if we really sought out those we do belong with, that unknown can keep us dangling our entire lives.

What can you do? What are you willing to risk? How creative do you want to get? How free, happy and at peace do you want to be? You have to look deeper to understand your reasons for where you belong and why, you have to get to your beliefs around self-worth.

Every time I write or share it is a risk for me. Yeah, I am intensely private (believe it or not) and a lot of what I did in my younger years was not about love. It was about winning, appearances and self-inflicted pain. I didn’t know any better, most of us don’t.

Who was I? At the time I had no idea, just a bundle of anxiety, unease, analyzation and intellectual hubris….of course covered with a sense of humor, over-doing, over-giving and trying to be the best.

Some think walls are a great idea, and people have to earn something from us that we’re not even willing to give to ourselves. We also think we need to show up a certain way, so we don’t lose the people around us….because we’re afraid who we really are is nothing.

Ugh, right? The judge that lives in and outside of us telling us our worth, setting the stage for who we are and for many it’s based off someone else’s rules for life. We may want to belong ‘somewhere’ so badly….we create castles in the sky. Nothing real just the appearance of it. If we’re cast out, do we vow to instead be more of who we are or more of who we think other people want?

Finding your creativity may not make you into a world famous artist, but it can open you up to the truth of your spirit. It can help you navigate the lonely waters as you sail toward your tribe. It will free you, release you and allow you to touch on inner peace, love and happiness.

Artists when performing and being in that creative state, touch that part of themselves, even if it is only for the moments they perform. I had a client who had a profession she had not chosen, other than it would satisfy her parents. She was really an artist; truly talented. as an exercise she had to visit an art store and purchase a medium which spoke to her, and create something, take a picture and send it to me.

She did…and it was amazing. Even more amazing was how she felt during the time she was creating it, it opened her up to herself and her joy. If she was to continue to do this on a daily basis, she would touch on the hidden parts of herself, letting them surface, perhaps even accepting them. It could set be the start in setting herself free!

Being who you are and belonging is truly an inner journey first. The one into self-acceptance of all the parts you’ve hidden, buried deeply and pretended are non-existent. Being who you are is not a human-made perfection, it is a spiritual perfection.

If You Really Love Someone, You’ll Never Stop Surrendering To Make It Work.

freeyourself-600x250Love is a feeling and an action, it is not an anxiety-provoking drama. Before we share it, the commitment is to oneself first and foremost. Only then can we enter into an intimate relationship from a healthy, loving space.

All relationships are distinctly different, but often we compare them to one another. And instead of this bringing us closer, it provokes emotional distance. Judgment. Comparing each relationship can bring out our inner scarcity though and even though we’re emotionally distant, it makes us physically hold on tighter. What if there is no one else?

Comparison is the biggest block to love and keeps us stuck in struggle.

Just as no relationship is alike, neither is the way we act in any relationship. So why do we look at others and think they have some magical potion that we seem unable to conjure up in our own life?

We don’t see the love in ourselves that is already there. We believe it is only outside of us based on how someone else sees us, so when we meet someone, we wonder how this person will feel about us. Our focus in on them and not ourselves.

The older we get, the more experiences we have, even if we recognize it — we may deny an attraction or possibility comparing him or her to someone else. And yet, begrudgingly, or tripping over ourselves, we do it once again, as though some force is pulling us into it, as we fight against it.

Will it be a struggle, painful and soul-crushing, or will it be different this time?

As we move forward and find ourselves in love with another human being, it brings up all kinds of resistance. If we trusted ourselves to handle possible pain or disappointment, all we’d have to know is this: If you really love someone, you’ll never stop surrendering to make it work.

It’s not about comparing the relationship to others, or fighting for it; that indicates the relationship needs rescuing. It’s also not about a willingness to suffer, because that choice is there whether we are in a relationship or not.

The only love worth having is the one worth surrendering for. Anything short of that will be a struggle: right versus wrong, winner vs. loser.

If you aren’t willing to surrender, then you don’t want it enough. And if you think other happy, healthy relationships are not based in love and surrender, then you’re comparing it to a picture that only exists in your head.

If you’re in a relationship for a reason other than love, or if you forgot that love is the reason you’re there, surrendering will be a whole new experience.

It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about love specifically or life in general. If you aren’t willing to surrender to a deeper knowing, then your ego is running the show. You have to be willing to look a fool (it’s just your pride shaming you), and go out of your way to get real with your feelings. Otherwise, you just don’t want it enough.

Here’s the quandary: you may desire it, want it and believe you’re committed to love and your relationship, but many do not know how to commit to love. We know how to commit to winning, to having it our way, and not feeling the deeper emotionally intimate connection love has to offer. In fact, you may even feel you don’t deserve it.

On the one hand you say you want it, but your subconscious sabotages that closeness, that innate craving, and you scratch your head wondering why you’re always in struggle. The truth is you don’t believe you can have what you want without a state of struggle. You think there needs to be a winner and a loser.

And you may compare it to easier moments in past relationships, or to relationships with strangers, to make your position more solid. But this just works against you.

The attachment to the mind rather than the heart destroys relationships. It is when we our core false beliefs based off past experiences run the show; many of us believe we must force our will to be loved, taken care of and truly connected, instead of surrendering to love.

The question becomes: Do you love yourself and the other person enough to step out of your comfort zone and into surrender? If you never surrender to the purpose of the relationship (love), you remain in resistance, repeating your struggle again and again.

Want personal growth, connection and excitement? Surrender. Oh, and don’t confuse that with becoming a doormat. Not the same thing at all.

It can sound scary, but when I speak to clients about what they want deep within, it’s love. If all your actions in a relationship are toward winning, then love is buried.

Love makes the relationship feel like less work because many problems fall away. When you’re not resisting your partner, but instead remembering your love for yourself and for them, it changes how you show up. You feel better and it’s reflected in the actions you choose. Plus you stop comparing yourself to others.

It’s about finding love within and surrendering to that desire, believing we aren’t going to lose ourselves if we back off our position. It’s knowing we can trust ourselves to be connected yet not engulfed.

Now, here’s the part that most people overlook entirely: When you find yourself in an intense struggle, ask “What would love do?” You will feel the tension release and the answer will come independent of the reaction of the other person.

Often we forget the reason we came together in the first place. And when we’ve loved and lost in the past, we may have buried our ability to let love lead.

We may not have had the best role models for love growing up, but we can unlearn those earlier lessons and teach ourselves to live in a state of surrender because it gives us what we crave most… meaning.

Giving meaning to resistance and looking tough, like you won’t take shit from anyone, makes it impossible to feel love. Then we wonder why we feel disconnected, depressed, and lonely.

Ever feel lost or unsure of who you are and the direction to take? In surrendering to the love within, it can guide you in the direction of meaning, connection and fulfillment. But first you have to trust you can do it.

When you take action from a place of love, it grows your trust and your connection with your deeper desires, making that voice in your head less dominant.

Every person deserves to love themselves so much that he or she is willing to surrender to that true desire: a committed, emotionally intimate relationship with another person.

Anytime there’s a winner and loser, no one is happy. So why do we think this formula makes for a healthy relationship? No loser I’ve seen wants to remain that way. They will be resentful, plotting their way to win, even if it’s done in secrecy.

Let yourself surrender… now. Even if the relationship you are in ultimately fails, you want to continue surrendering, because love is within each of us. And when it doesn’t work with another person, we’re still left with the love we’re connected to within us.

There’s nothing to win or lose, only to gain what you’ve been wanting your entire life… love.

What Does it Mean to Follow Your Heart?


I always encourage people to follow their heart, to follow their dreams. And for most, they have no idea what that actually means.

Thinking we know ourselves is different than actually being connected; being in alignment and confident with who we are, what we want and where we’re headed. And so often people cannot even answer what following their heart means to them.

When I encourage people to follow their heart, does that mean it always works out how they would like it to? Nope.

And there are a few reasons why it is not a smooth road.

First of all, when your dream is about external circumstances–rather than how you learn, grow and really embrace who you are–it’s bound to fail. The perfect picture rarely shows up in reality, and when we think our happiness is tied to it, we end up sorely disappointed.

The second part of the equation is having patterns that uphold a negative belief inside you. In venturing out into the land of doing something you think you’ve always wanted to do (perhaps for your entire life), it will bring up questions around value. YOUR value, to be specific.

Feel like you’ve never achieved enough or been “enough”? Maybe you’ve been looked over for promotions, relationships or the volleyball team. Well, going in a new direction that relies completely on you will bring up every sorry-ass belief you’ve held deep inside about your abilities.

The third pothole in the road makes an appearance as you standing in your own way. Not only do you have some crappy beliefs that come up, but you have a certain way of doing things. Perhaps you require a lot of structure and now it is no longer available. Or you have been doing something the same way for years and now you realize it doesn’t bring the results you want, so you think it must be something around you. Newsflash: it’s most likely YOU. We stand in our own way all the time.

Ok, so there are hurdles, but what’s the alternative? Feeling that life isn’t complete at the end of each day? The regrets will be staring you in the face and you won’t be able to do anything about it. Following your heart also means lessons will be learned. You will grow and sometimes that’s scary. It can result in some kind of loss, BUT if you hang with yourself long enough and you ride the wild tiger, there’s a huge payoff!

External rewards are not the fulfilling part of following your heart, so the results will probably look different and that’s okay. The fulfilling part is internal: how you feel doing what you do on the everyday journey.  If you want things to change, it starts from the inside out.  And it’s not that you become someone else, it’s that you have to let go of these preconceived beliefs that don’t serve you.

Following your heart is an excellent way to let go of the chains that bind you to a false belief system. Otherwise you’re doing things you don’t enjoy and don’t want to do. That’s never fun… and frankly, isn’t life supposed to be fun?

Many of us struggle with the idea of fun. We don’t even know what that is, and when people tell me they want to find their meaning, I have to break it to them that no brick is going to fall on their head. Honestly, how many people are waiting for a lightening bolt moment? A point where the dream becomes visible, or the path opens up, or the perfect conditions present themselves.Those people spend their whole lives waiting.

Life is an experience.

We only know our destiny by living it. From the experience of doing. People who live in their heads, hoping they’re gonna come up with the solution, end up stuck. You’ll never be satisfied if you stay at the level of the mind. Go for the experiences instead of a path of regrets. If we play it safe our whole life and we get to the end, what do we have to show for it?

And for those wanting meaning, the head will never satisfy. The heart is what drives us. Follow it.