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Do YOU Sabotage Dates Because You’re NOT Ready for Love?

Sabotage Love?

I have no doubt that my husband, Benjamin, would NOT have been attracted to me when I first started dating 17 years ago. But the dating process helped me open my heart and get a handle on my emotions. Dating SHAPED me into the woman he fell in love with in that magic moment when we met two years and 100 first dates later.

When I started dating again, I approached it as a SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. I decided to see each interaction as an OPPORTUNITY to learn to open my heart wider and become a more loving person.

When I looked at others in the dating world, I watched as their hearts and minds became less open with each disappointing date, and the road ahead of them grew NARROWER.

As I dated, I wanted the road ahead to get WIDER. I wanted to become MORE openhearted, MORE open-minded, and MORE compassionate with each date.

If a man was unkind or disappointed me in some way, rather than get angry or blame him for what happened, I told myself that he didn’t owe me anything. He was doing me a favor by making space for the RIGHT MAN to come into my life.

After a while, I stopped caring why certain men behaved the way they did. It really didn’t matter. I knew how I wanted a man to treat me, I knew he was out there, and I was willing to keep dating until I found him.

None of this was any easier for me than it is for you. I wanted a partner more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. Facing one rejection after another was terribly painful, but the more I was willing to learn from my mistakes and focus on keeping my heart and mind open, the easier it got. I can show you how to do this. Check out my online workshop to learn more.

Today, I’m ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that everything I went through when I dated prepared me for the relationship of my dreams. By using my dating experience to work through my DRAMA, I wound up attracting an AMAZING man and together we have been able to create a relationship that is EVEN BETTER than anything I could have imagined!

I watch so many singles FLOUNDER in the dating world and become increasingly angry, disappointed, and discouraged when things don’t go the way they EXPECT them to.

What this tells me is that they still have WORK to do to prepare for The One. They need to learn how to HUMBLE themselves, SURRENDER to the process, and let each date TEACH them how to open their hearts to love and be loved. Maybe this speaks to you?

There is a BIG difference between thinking you are emotionally available and ready for the relationship of your dreams and truly being ready to meet The One. When you’re REALLY ready, you WILL know.

So, here’s my question for you:

Do you truly believe YOU are emotionally ready for the kind of relationship you want?

If that person walked into your life RIGHT NOW, do you have an OPEN HEART and are your fears of trusting someone or being rejected or abandoned UNDER CONTROL?

Or, would you SABOTAGE IT by reacting and pushing the person away the moment they let you down?

Warm Regards,


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P.S.  Don’t forget to check out my Free Online Workshop!

Personal Reflections: On Learning to Love Yourself

Personal Reflections: On Learning to Love Yourself

Personal Reflections: On Learning to Love Yourself

My little half-sister

According to her mother, my 18-year-old half-sister is really struggling. When my father died last year at 78 from the long term effects of drinking and smoking, my sister was hit the hardest. Now, she’s away at college for the first time and it sounds like she’s feeling very lost and lonely. Listening to her mom describe what a hard time my little sister is having, I was reminded of how, for the first 34 years of my life, I felt like I stumbled around in a fog, not sure of who I was or where I was going in life.

I’m 54 now and I know how my story works out. I’ve created a life I love complete with an adoring husband, two very amusing dogs, and a rewarding career as a dating and relationship coach. Most of all, I’m genuinely happy.

Sadly, I don’t know what’s in store for my little sister. I don’t know if she’ll figure out her life, but it breaks my heart to see her in so much pain. I can imagine how much she’s hurting and how insurmountable this situation must seem to her.

People like people who like themselves

The other day I phoned my little sister to see how she’s doing and she confided that she hasn’t made any real friends at school. Can you imagine being away at college and not making friends? I can. When I was her age, nothing seemed more terrifying than opening up to other people. I felt certain that, if they got to know me, they wouldn’t like me… but then I didn’t like much myself either.

Now that I’m older, I can see how hard it is for others to like you when you don’t like yourself. But it’s also hard to like yourself when it feels like nobody likes you. It’s a Catch-22. How could I possibly believe I was likable when I constantly felt like people were turned off by me? I felt so lonely and confused that I resented other people for how I felt, but I also desperately wanted their approval.

“Searching in all directions with your awareness, you find no one dearer than yourself.”   -The Buddha

When I ask myself how I got from where my sister is today to where I am, I realize that it came down to a single choice. One day, when I was 34-years-old and trapped in a bad marriage, I simply decided that it was time to start loving myself. I realized that the love I needed most of all was my own, and that I had to find a way to give it to myself. Of course I didn’t have a clue how to do this, but I needed to find out.

Turns out that setting an intention to start loving myself was, in and of itself, a powerful step in the right direction. I didn’t need to have it all figured out. Simply by changing a single thought, my entire way of thinking began to change. Instead of focusing on all the reasons why people didn’t like me, I started to think about what I liked about myself. When I did this, my negative thoughts receded into the background and my positive thoughts came to the forefront. My mind was like a camera lens; whatever I chose to focus on became sharper and clearer, while everything else fell away.

Just find one thing to like about yourself

You don’t have to start with anything big. Maybe you think you have pretty hair or a nice smile. Maybe you like the fact that you’re an out-of-the-box thinker. I loved my sense of adventure. At a time when the vast majority of people hadn’t traveled much, by the time I was nineteen, I had already been around the world to places like Sri Lanka and Katmandu. I thought this made me pretty cool. All you need to do is find one thing to like about yourself, however small. Make a list of 10 things you like about being you. Everyday add one more quality to the list. Watch it grow.

Eventually, I was able to start looking at the things I didnt like about myself, too. It was scary at first, but I owned them one by one. I took responsibility for everything about whom I was being and the choices I was making.

There were some parts of my personality that weren’t so attractive. For example, I could be defensive, obsessive, a know-it-all, and self-absorbed. The good news was that I was ready and willing to change. For most of my life I had felt like the world was against me. Figuring out that I could improve myself on the inside and change the results I was getting on the outside felt liberating.

In certain spiritual circles the word “change” has gotten a bad rap. Some say we’re all supposed to accept others and ourselves exactly the way we are. This isn’t exactly true. While it isn’t your job to try to change other people, you can change how other people respond to you by changing yourself. If something you’re doing isn’t working and you’re not getting the result you want, then you need to change your approach. We are all works in progress, but if you want to have a life you love, you can’t continue to blame the people around you for why your life isn’t working.

Beauty isn’t everything

One of the biggest challenges I faced when I was my little sister’s age is that I placed way too much emphasis on physical beauty. A voice inside my head was always saying things like, “Lisa, if you were thinner, your life would be different. If you just lost weight, people would like you. Then you could fit in. If you were prettier, people would like you and want to be your friend.” No wonder I didn’t like myself. I was mean and negative and I was making myself into a victim. I really believed that if I were prettier and thinner people would like me more. I never realized this until just now, but the few times I actually did lose weight, I was so uncomfortable with the attention I got that I put the weight back on again. It didn’t matter how I looked on the outside because I believed that, once people got to know what I was like on the inside, they wouldn’t like me. The problem with wishing I was thinner or prettier was that it set me up to never like myself. I was always disappointed in myself. The only way to love myself was to be willing to accept myself flaws and all. I still wanted to lose weight and keep improving, but I stopped beating up on myself up for not being perfect.

The other night I was invited to a fabulous party in the Hollywood Hills. I don’t think there was one person there who was classically beautiful, but every single person had his or her own distinct brand of charm. I met a famous actor, a world-renowned photographer, a jewelry designer, a frozen quiche and pizza manufacturer, a high-end photographic book publisher, a designer of exotic gardens, and a novelist. It was one of the most fascinating groups of people I’ve met in a long time. Not one person there was a head turner, but you could tell that they all liked themselves and they each left a lasting impression on me.

My friend Peggy

I really have come a long way in the past 20 years. My friend Peggy, who knew me when I was first trying to figure myself out, likes to remind me of how far I’ve come. She gets this mischievous twinkle in her eyes and says, “Lisa Minkin (my maiden name), you’ve come a l o n g way!” She’s seen the best and the worst of me, and you know what? She doesn’t just like me: she loves me.

When I first met Peggy, I fell in love with her spirit and I wanted to be her friend. She was the kind of person I wanted to like me back. I actually went out on a limb to cultivate a friendship with her—something I never would have had the guts to do when I was younger and more insecure. The old me would have told myself that Peggy wouldn’t want to be my friend, but the new me tells myself that I can have all the friends I want! Just writing those words makes my heart leap because I never imagined I would feel that way. Peggy’s love and friendship are proof that I’ve grown into the person I’ve always wanted to be because the people who love me are the very people I want to love me.

In conclusion

Now that you’ve read this far, you might still be wondering, “But how did you learn to love yourself?” I’ve already told you. I changed a belief. I simply chose to stop telling myself that I was unlikable and, despite what anyone else thought of me, I decided to like myself. Changing this one belief opened up a whole new universe of thought for me. Over time, much of my negativity and fear fell away and it was replaced with loving-kindness and self-acceptance. This didn’t happen overnight. Transformation can take time. Just because I had a breakthrough didn’t mean that I was changed. The changes came gradually, but once I set foot on that path, I kept on going. I changed from a confused, frightened, insecure girl into a clear, confident woman. I hope with all my heart that my little sister will do the same.

If you are struggling to love yourself and meet the partner of your dreams, please contact me for a free consult. You can learn all the tricks of the dating trade, but if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself, it’s hard to be a great partner even if you meet someone wonderful. The good news is that you can learn to love and accept yourself and my guess is that you’ll find out you’re actually pretty fabulous!

Adventure, Mission & Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life is a Gift–Accept It!

Life is a Gift

Believe it or not, it can be a lot easier for people to get physically naked with a partner than to get emotionally naked. Usually, when we take off our clothes for someone, it’s because we are giving something to another other person—namely, SEX. It’s a whole different story when we get emotionally naked and bare what’s below our skin.

Our fear of rejection makes it hard to let down our guard and reveal ourselves to another person, especially when we want that person to find us attractive. No one can be more critical of us than we are of ourselves. But if we don’t even love and accept ourselves, how can we believe that another person could love us?

Fifteen years ago, I was walking down the beach contemplating this very question. Since my first marriage ended eight years earlier, I had been on what you might call a spiritual journey, actively searching for answers to life’s big questions. During that time I tried everything from traditional therapy to working with a world-renowned Mexican shaman. I had just started dating again and I couldn’t believe that, after all the hard work I’d done, my old feelings of self-doubt were resurfacing again.

I knew this place all too well, and I didn’t want to go back down that road. So, I started searching through my mental knapsack of self-empowerment tools. After all the work I’d done, there had to be something in that brain of mine to pull me out of my funk. As I was feeling good and sorry for myself, a voice inside me piped up. “Life is a gift,” it said, quite matter-of-factly.

I stopped in my tracks. Why was it telling me this now? I had heard this phrase countless times before, but what did it really mean? People say that a gift is something you give without any strings attached. I didn’t know how or why I was alive, but by some force of nature I was here. Someone or something had given me the gift of life, and as with any gift, I could choose to do whatever I wanted with it—no strings attached. If I wanted to sit on a street corner and do nothing, I could. I didn’t have to justify or explain my choice to anyone. I would probably starve to death, but I had been given the gift of life and I could choose to do whatever I wanted with it.

So, what had I been doing with my life? I realized that, mostly, I had been trying to prove my worth and impress other people. My choice of jobs, the way I dressed, and the people I surrounded myself with were mostly based on what I assumed others would think of me.  And who were these people I was seeking approval from, anyway? My parents? My friends? My enemies? It occurred to me that I was trying to live up to their standards instead of my own and that the one person I needed to please was myself.

It was then, for the first time in my life, that I stopped pretending and got real. I admitted to myself that I was angry because I didn’t think I was “the best” at anything. I didn’t think I was special. I wasn’t the prettiest, thinnest, youngest, smartest, richest, most interesting person I knew. When I compared myself to others, someone always seemed to outclass me in just about every area I could think of… and they always would. Every time I compared myself to other people, I felt inadequate. So I asked myself, “Lisa, can you accept that you are not better or worse than anyone else? You are simply a special combination of qualities that makes you unique?” In that moment, I saw that I didn’t need to be better than anyone else. I was able to accept myself for who I am and acknowledge that my life mattered—that I mattered. I stood on the beach that day feeling genuinely at peace and thought about what I enjoyed most about being me. I was surprised when I realized how many things I actually liked about myself!

I had done a lot of work on my character to become the woman I was in that moment. I had let go of a great deal of drama, suffering, and blame to become kinder and more compassionate towards others and myself. I knew how to take responsibility for myself and the life I had created, I knew how to have fun, and I was generous with the people I cared about. I appreciated beautiful things, but I wasn’t materialistic. While I was far from perfect, I wasn’t all that bad, either. I could see that I actually had a lot to offer someone in a relationship.

It was only a matter of months after this insight that I met my future husband. He is so much more than I ever expected in a partner. Had I not accepted myself that day, I don’t know if I would ever have believed that someone could love me as much as he does. Now I know that I deserve to be loved not because I am better than anyone else.  I deserve to be loved because I love who I am.

If you’re struggling to love and accept yourself, I can help! Click here to set up a consultation and see what I can do for you:

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Your Inner Child, by “Naked” Dating & Relationship Expert, Lisa Shield

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” –Tom Robbins

All of us have an Inner Child. Yep, you read me right: There’s a part of us that still needs love and goodparenting.  Learning how to create a strong connection with this aspect of yourself is essential to becoming a Naked Dater.  In the second half of this article I will give you a technique that will show you how build this bond, but first let’s look at who this Inner Child is and why it’s so important for you to learn how to communicate with it.

So who is this Inner Child?

“We can bury it, distort it, handicap it, make it sick, but we can’t get rid of it.”
–Recovery of Your Inner Child

In the 60s and 70s, experts Hugh Missildine and Eric Berne introduced the idea of an Inner Child.  Nice work guys!  Even though most of us like to think of ourselves as mature and capable adults, Missildine and Berne believed there’s a child living in all of us that still needs parenting.  But here’s the kicker: Not only do we continue to need parenting, we are actually the ones who need to become our own parents.

Wait…what? read more

Become closer to yourself, schedule a valuable session today

Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach
(323) 939-1770
www.LisaShield.com

Listen In This Tuesday

I will be a guest on The Healing Place Radio Show on Tuesday the 19th at 7:30 pm. You can listen online by clicking Here or call in at 347-324-3102. By pressing “1” you can speak to the host and me. The topic of discussion will be:  Loving the Skin I’m In: Am I ready for a relationship?

Make the first step to finding the one, schedule an appointment with Dating & Relationship Expert, Lisa Shield.  pricing & scheduling

Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach
(323) 939-1770
www.LisaShield.com

“How To Get Married”

Laughing All the Way to the Alter

When people come to me for dating advice, what they really want to know is how to get married.  A couple weeks ago, I attended the wedding of one of my funniest, feistiest, and most opinionated clients.   I remember that we butted heads many times during in our six months of coaching.  I don’t know if she ever fully embraced the concept of Naked Dating, but I hope something sank in.

Naked Dating is my approach to attracting true love.  It shows how to use dating as the catalyst to bring up any blocks or behaviors that are in the way of finding a partner and then gives you the tools to work through them.  The theory is that if you keep going on dates but you don’t make changes, nothing is going to change.  I am not so certain this client ever agreed with much of what I said, but she stayed in touch long after she quit coaching, so I can only assume that I did something right.

When I received an email from her saying that she’d met someone and that they were engaged, I was stunned.  It appeared that she’d finally met the man of her dreams READ MORE

Make the first step to finding the one, schedule an appointment with Dating & Relationship Expert, Lisa Shield.  pricing & scheduling

Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach
(323) 939-1770
www.LisaShield.com

“A Slice of Pi”

You’re stranded on a raft in the middle of your life waiting for someone to come along and save you.

Do you ever feel like you’re stranded on a raft in the middle of your life waiting for someone to come along and save you?  Don’t worry.  You’re not alone.  Ok.  Maybe you are alone on your raft, but there are lots of other people floating around on rafts waiting to be rescued just like you.  Take that kid in “The Life of Pi.”  He was floating around out there for over 220 days.  That must have been horrible, but it made a good movie and even better book.  Check it out.

Pi was out there on that raft, but he wasn’t alone, and neither are you.  He was fighting off his demons.  His demons took the form of a Bengal tiger.  What form have your demons taken—are they in the shape of your high school sweetheart who cheated on you, your father who abandoned you when you were three, or your mother who was an emotionally unavailable alcoholic?  If you look closely, you will find them all there on the raft with you.  See.  You’re not alone.

The thing is that no one rescued Pi and no one is going to rescue you. People might want to rescue you.  They might even try, but they can’t.  They can’t save you because no one knows what you need but you. Read More

Make the first step to finding the one, schedule an appointment with Dating & Relationship Expert, Lisa Shield.  pricing & scheduling

Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach
(323) 939-1770
www.LisaShield.com

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