10 Things I’ve Learned About Love

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Finding Matt and falling in love has been the single most amazing thing that has happened in my 29 year-old life thus far. Having this relationship as the foundation for everything else to happen in my day to day life, has made me stronger. Every feat, challenge, or disappointment doesn’t seem so bad with the love and support that Matt gives me unconditionally. In the 8 and a half years that we’ve been together, would you believe that we’ve never gotten in a fight? It’s hard for me to believe sometimes too. Of course, I’ve had my moments where I am completely annoyed with something that he does, and I feel upset or resentful towards him, but when that happens we talk about it. We’ve never both been upset with the other at the same time. We’ve never shouted at one another, and I’ve never felt like I needed a break from him (besides the night before he proposed, but I blame his annoying behavior that night on the stress he was experiencing in anticipation of the proposal). Kahlil Gibran described love as a “quenchless thirst” and that’s how I feel about Matt. I can never get enough of him. He’s my best friend, my favorite person in the world. I respect him, I like him so much (as well as love him of course) and I’m so proud to be his partner in life. These are a few lessons I’ve learned about love along the way, and I hope to continue learning more as time goes on.

 

1. Love Begins Internally. The perfectly matched couple will F**** it up if they haven’t first addressed their own issues. Rumi said not to seek love, but rather to first address your internal barriers to love. You need to be deserve a true love before you can expect to find one. Insecurities, jealousy, personal voids will all push away the most supportive partner. You have to address your own issues and work on yourself before you can expect to nurture a relationship. This is probably why Alcoholics Anonymous suggests people don’t start relationships in the first year of sobriety. Matt was sober for 4 years before we met, and had already had that time to deal with his own issues. I had made my share of mistakes in relationships prior, and thankfully, learned from them. Of course, we weren’t perfect when we met, and I still continue to work on myself, but our major issues had been worked out for the most part.

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Happy Weekend!

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I was feeling sorry for myself this morning because I injured myself in headstand a few days ago while practicing my yoga routine for competition. I went to a chiropractor and I’m going to be fine, but for a few days I can’t practice my full routine. The choices we make consistently, everyday, speak more about our values, beliefs, integrity, faith, and character than words ever could. Remember that today is your temple and you have the opportunity to fill it with whatever you want your religion to be. I want to fill my temple today with gratitude, happiness, love, integrity, and faith that everything will be okay. What will you fill yours with today? Happy Weekend!

Creating Space

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I was recently watching Kris Carr (author of “Crazy Sexy Diet” and “Crazy Sexy Kitchen”) talk about vacations. On her website she posts information about health and wellness from a variety of professionals. Kris met with a well-known holistic oncologist for a personal check-up, and also to discuss his potential contributions to her website. During her visit, this doctor prescribed her more vacations, and emphasized the importance of taking vacations regularly. He recommended at least one day/week and 1 week of vacation every 6 weeks. These “vacations times” are times when everything is turned off (e.g. email, television, cell phones) and I would bet that almost none of us get this recommended dose of vacations/year. Kris Carr emphasized the importance of “creating space” and it got me thinking.

In yoga, we try to create space in asanas, moving our shoulders away from our ears to create and open space in our shoulders, performing back-bends and chest openers to create space in the front of our bodies. When we are tired, or depressed our tendency, physically, is to scrunch and shrink…to diminish space in a sense. When we are feeling powerful we often stand up straight, open our shoulders and assume a stance that occupies more space. So, what is the importance of space, and what is the link between creating space and the way that we feel?

In today’s American culture, a sense of busy-ness and constant cognitive stimulation is common. You can browse the internet while you watch the morning news, simultaneously eating your AM oatmeal and checking your emails on your smartphone. It’s also not uncommon to have your entire week planned out, weekend activities included. Current technologies provide us with entertainment at our fingertips, but also make it harder to create space and downtime from being “tuned-in”. The trend of busy-ness has almost (if not already) become an expectation. Email and cellphones allow employers to feel entitled to contact employees anytime. One didn’t have to worry about getting called into work while grocery shopping, or receiving a work related email on a Saturday morning and the boundaries between personal time and “official business” were much more clear cut before these technologies were created.

Certain things, special things can only happen during open space. Inspiration, creativity, emotional connection, clarity, and introspection can only happen in an environment free of distractions and pressures. I remember reading a book called The Psychology of Romantic Love written by Nathaniel Brandon a psychologist specializing in couples counseling. He explained that one thing he prescribes his couples is an entire day spent in the same room with one another completely unplugged. He described that when couples spend an entire day in the same room together, absent of distractions, they begin talking about things they never talked about with one another before. They open up. They connect. The thing is, you can’t plan for these things to occur. You can’t pencil in “inspiration” to your daily planner and yet current cultural values don’t necessarily support the notion of making oneself “unavailable”. So what would happen if you rebelled against this notion and asserted, your right to free space, open space. What if you set aside weekends for you and the people you loved just once every 6-weeks….set an automatic email that let people know you were unavailable until Monday, updated your Facebook, Instagram, twitter of your temporary absence and then unplugged? What could be created in this space? You’ll never know unless you try.