I’m Coming Out

I have a confession to make: I am conflicted when it comes to woo-woo.

I believe in it, I use it, I practice it, I pay others to practice it on me.

I believe energy is real. There’s the energy of attraction, the energy of our thoughts, how we hold our bodies and what that communicates, how our energy affects what we experience, give, receive. I’ve even practiced “Energetic Sex” (thank you, Reid Mihalko and Monique Darling!).

And yet, there’s a part of me that thinks I’m totally crazy-pants. There’s a part of society that thinks I’m totally crazy-pants as well.

What I’m finally realizing is that it doesn’t serve me anymore, or the people I wish to help, for me to stay in the closet about my woo-woo-ness.

If the woo-woo is not for you, I can still help you with your online dating profile. There’s enough science out there to back up most of what I want you to learn, and we can stay quite firmly rooted in the material world, with a splash of psychological theory.

However…

If you are curious about how to open yourself up more energetically, how to clear blocks to manifesting love, how to give and receive relaxing energetic healing just by holding a set of special points on a person’s head — and not only that, but also how to boost your good looks with an energy facelift, I am offering two classes this weekend, at my home in Oakland.

I will be facilitating (a.k.a. teaching) Access Bars(r) on Saturday: https://www.facebook.com/events/532594590232118/

And I will be hosting the amazing, grounded and youthful Pat Duran, facilitating the Access Energetic Facelift(tm) and Bodylift(tm) techniques on Sunday:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1634026773523287/

Preregistration for both classes is highly recommended.

If you’d like to skip Facebook and go straight to the registration pages (scroll to bottom for forms):

Bars class:
http://www.accessconsciousness.com/class_details.asp?cid=63769

Facelift class:
http://accessthepossibilities.com/classes/facelift-class/

I look forward to playing with you this weekend!

 

Posted in Magical Thinking, Online Dating Workshop

Parties Are Like a Bowl of French Fries (a.k.a. Why It Feels Like There Is No One Out There for Me)

There are two-and-a-half points to this post. So for those of you in a hurry or with short attention spans (a.k.a. almost all of us all the time in the digital age), here they are:

1.

Quantity gives a false sense of lack of quality. Just because you are at a big party, or have access to millions of profiles on a dating site, doesn’t mean that that night, or in that online search, you will find someone you like. Thus, the conclusion that there’s NO ONE for you is only temporarily, situationally true. Most people globalize this. Don’t. (Unless you LIKE being depressed and single. Then globalize like heck, baby.)

2.

In any situation, there will be one best choice, at least, and then seemingly diminishing returns. (We will see how far I can push the french fry metaphor.)

2.5

Frito Misto vs. French Fries, or the buffet dilemma: Research has shown that if you have more variety, you are more likely to overeat, or at least not feel full as quickly. And the first taste of any new food is the most exciting.

Where you start to have power is when you notice your patterns (Mmmm! Crispy french fry!) and start to make conscious choices about how you interpret what you experience.

The long version…

1.

Quantity

Frequently, I find myself giving clients this pep talk about quantity. How the online dating experience can have you more depressed than old-fashioned dating (which I, at 46, am old enough to remember), simply because of the vast quantity of people you have access to, and who have access to you. The large number makes it FEEL more hopeless, but this is an illusion created by ACCESS.

Last night, my husband and I went to a party. Everyone there was very nice, super friendly. Several people spontaneously introduced themselves to us soon after we walked in. Like I said, SUPER friendly. They were all good looking and stylish, each in their own way, albeit the whole crowd had a slightly hippie flavor — many of them had ecstatic dance and/or spiritual communities in common, several were artists, all were roughly 40-60 years old.

We spent about an hour or so at the party, chatting with different people we’d never met (we knew the host but are not members of her communities).

At the end of the evening, I noted to my husband how this is the moment when people get hopeless. All these nice people and none of them “clicked.” Fear-based conclusions: There must be something wrong with me, or there is no one out there for me and never will be.

Without fear, the same situation can be described as: What a nice group of people. That was interesting. No one at that party is going to be my new best friend, and that’s fine.

2.

Quality

I don’t know how you approach an order of french fries, but this is how I do it, how I’ve always done it. One time, I simply noticed that I had been doing this all along, since childhood, and then I noticed the metaphor…

I always start with the best french fry. The crispiest, most golden, almost translucent french fry in the pile. Once that one is gone, I find the next-most-perfect, crispiest, most golden… As I go along, one might say that there are diminishing returns. Although each fry is the best in that moment. Sometimes, you find a fry that exceeds the previous fry, but was initially hidden from view. Towards the bottom of the pile, there tends to be a kind of uniformity to what is left. Still satisfying, but less exciting. Or if they are too soggy, you move on.

You get where I am going with this? At a party, in a bar, after having entered your parameters in a search, you have a pile of french fries. Humans are a little more varied, but you start with what looks the best to you, and carry on from there. Sometimes, partway through, there’s a surprise. If you hit the point where all of your options are limp and soggy, you move on.

Some meals are better than others. When reflecting on the quality of the experience of that “restaurant,” you might realize that it isn’t a place you want to order fries from again. So you might try a different restaurant (community, party, search parameter set, online interface).

2.5

The Seeming Magic of Frito Misto

The problem with online dating, or really with dating in general, and it’s only a problem if your goal is a monogamous committed partnership, as is the case for many of my clients, is the variety.

Psychological/behavioral studies have shown that when you eat a meal, the first bite of any item in that meal is the best, most delicious, most satisfying. As you continue to eat the item, your satisfaction, that HIGH POINT of pleasure, diminishes. It’s still GOOD, it’s just not a peak bite. When you move on to a new item, you get to experience that peak again.

This is why at small plates/tapas restaurants, and at highly diverse buffets, you will have a tendency to overeat. You are so distracted by the delight in the diversity, that you don’t pay attention, or can’t notice, when you are full.

Online dating = infinite buffet

So, that plate of fries will fill you up far sooner than a mixed basket of fried vegetables or seafood.

Although the frito misto might be more fun.

What you order, how you choose to eat it, can (should?) be based on your goal. Being conscious about how each choice affects you, the mechanisms in our brains and bodies, can help you decide how to order, or/and how to interpret your dining (dating) experience.

Interestingly, people who practice polyamory, at least the ones who write and read books on the subject, stay deliberately conscious of what is known as “New Relationship Energy” — a physiological/chemical high one experiences in early dating that mirrors (or induces) temporary insanity and can last anywhere from months to about 2 years.

All of the excitement based on the diversity of choice in online dating is subject to these manic highs — and crashes.

Where you start to have power is when you notice your patterns (Mmmm! Crispy french fry!), and start to make conscious choices about how you interpret what you experience.

Posted in Dating Commentary, Matchmaking Musings, Online Dating Tips

Be Careful What You Wish For… Online

Faerie House (installation, mixed media: stones, cardboard, glue, moss, ribbon, glass bottle, glitter); by Jonah Adams

The Internet is a magical tool.

Think about it in terms of witches and wizards, cauldrons and spells.

You light a fire, fill and heat the pot, throw in some eye of newt, call upon the spirits, above and below, ancestors, angels, et. al., and then you make bold statements of desire and intention.

Today, you warm the computer up with a little electricity, which is brought to you by forces greater than yourself via wires above and below (okay, I’m stretching the metaphor a bit), and then…

You post a thought on Facebook.

You fill in a profile on an online dating site.

You upload a picture.

Faerie House (installation, mixed media: stones, cardboard, glue, moss, ribbon, glass bottle, glitter); by Jonah Adams

Faerie House (installation, mixed media: stones, cardboard, glue, moss, ribbon, bottles, glitter) by Jonah Edward Adams

What if… every intention you put behind every word and image you place on the Internet has power? What if you are — knowingly or unknowingly — changing the shape of your reality through these… incantations?

What if the Internet truly is a magical tool?

Be careful where you point that thing.

These last two days, I have rather cavalierly invoked a little magic. And not necessarily in a way I would have liked.

Last night, I received an email, notifying me that a team I’ve been involved with is losing a key player, possibly tanking the whole project.

My first thought was, PANIC.

My first action was to complain. To the next person I encountered. A nice woman who asked me, “How are you?” while we were waiting for our exercise class to start.

Oh, I am awful, I moaned. This thing happened, this person flaked on me. It’s so, so awful.

She listened, briefly, then averted her eyes and physically removed herself from my cloud of misery as quickly as possible.

And suddenly I noticed.

I noticed that my misery was an old story, an old reaction pattern, an old habit. I could feel the groove of it, worn into my brain, muscles, and bones.

And then I realized how this all relates to the two posts I just wrote in the last two days.

I have a choice.

So, I chose differently. I chose to be accepting and curious. I can’t stop this bad thing from happening. People will be disappointed, a whole cascade of effects will take place. I don’t know yet exactly what those effects will be.

Instead of fighting the idea of the situation, I decided to accept that someone else will probably step up to take the place of the person who left, accept that my plans were falling apart, and that maybe, just maybe, some wonderful surprise might occur in their place. And even if it doesn’t, whatever we face next in the process of picking up the pieces will be easier to handle if I’m not spending half my energy (or more) feeling angry at the Universe (or the people involved) and sorry for myself.

So, yes, the Universe is laughing it’s &ss off at me. Tell other people to embrace the suckage, will you? Awesome, here’s your chance to walk your talk.

That’s my takeaway.

Your takeaways?

Here:

1. If the Internet is your cauldron, how can you use it to create more of what you desire in your life? More love, more excitement, more contentment? Notice your energy when you create a post, write an email, tap out a text, fill in a profile, upload a photo. Recognize that this is the love letter, or hate letter, or fear letter, or curiosity letter, you are sending into the Ether, and know that the Ether will respond.

And if you notice that you are not feeling good at the moment that you are to click enter, send, submit, consider saving that as a draft and coming back to it later. You might be receiving information from your gut, your subconscious, your intuition, your Higher Self, that this is not the right action, this is not the right time, you are not ready. Stop and take inventory of that feeling and see what you discover. What are you afraid of? Are those fears real?

2. The next time you are facing a perceived obstacle or disappointment, experiment with reframing. Breathe into it. Make space around it. Notice where you are holding tension in your body when you think about this thing and try tensing that area more, then letting it go. Breathe again.

Not knowing what will come next is different from deciding that the outcome will be awful no matter what…

I have, in my life, been SO GOOD at talking about how awful things are. I can inflate the drama of a story for great effect. I can milk anything for all of the self-pity its worth. That used to be my story. Me, the queen of the black cloud.

So, just for a few moments last night, I was inspired to choose differently. And what I noticed is that I felt better. And people around me felt better. I still don’t know who is going to step in, if anyone, or how the project and its team might shift, change, continue. But something interesting will happen… not what I’d planned, obviously. But something else.

(Note, the shadow period of this Mercury Retrograde cycle ends on March 2. Please extinguish all flaming materials, replace blanket over head, and continue consuming chocolate and journaling until the pilot has turned off the fasten seat belt sign. Enjoy your flight.)

 

Posted in Magical Thinking, Online Dating Tips

I’m an Optimist? You’re Kidding!

So, my blog post yesterday, What Mercury Retrograde Really Means, might have seemed a little… cranky.

Half the year is going to suck, people! That was my general message. In an if-we-lovingly-accept-the-vissicitudes-of-life-we-will-actually-be-happier, sort of way.

There was another message in the message, again, assuming that you take Astrology with more than a few grains of salt, or if you are willing to explore the paradigm for just a minute longer…:

Half the year, you might be able to make plans, control outcomes, have your technology and your car and your flight all bend to your will. Half the year, you might not get those things, but during that half, you might get… lovely surprises, incredible coincidences, stronger intuitive hits, inspired discoveries, the joyful adrenaline that comes from sliding, gliding, flying, fleeing, tumbling, the deep satisfaction that comes after you surrender to being forced to give up control.

Vintage Snoopy umbrella images (here and below) courtesy of eBay

Vintage Snoopy umbrella images (here and below) courtesy of eBay

I was also rather emphatic about taking ourselves off the hook for the suckage. To stop trying so hard to be happy, and stop overly blaming ourselves when we are not (if I just prayed harder, meditated more, ate better, did x, y, or z differently…). Which doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still brush our teeth and floss our brains, right?

Take cover, under the covers, until the sh*tstorm passes — because this is an empowered response.

This reminds me of my favorite book, back in the 80s, when I was a cranky teenager in high school — Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach. It had a book within the book, from which I quoted from liberally on my “senior page” in the school yearbook. Here’s the quote:

Perspective — Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you’re forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that.

Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place.

You’re going to die a horrible death, remember. It’s all good training, and you’ll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind.

Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced life forms, and they’ll call you crazy.

People didn’t get it. They thought me quite dark.

I also won a very special award that year, at the “senior brunch.” One of those kind of joke-awards that have a very big uncomfortable grain of truth in the center. I won the “Dark Cloud Award” because “Even on a sunny day, Julie has a dark cloud over her head.”

Wow.

Yeah. I had earned that. I was a worrier. Raised by worriers. From a long historical familial line of world class worriers.

But still, part of me was laughing with Richard Bach, or at least suspected I might laugh one day.

Fast forward to this past weekend. Sunday. I’m in a beginning-level Stand-Up Comedy workshop, with six other people. We have an exercise where we have to get in front of the group, one at a time, and the group tries to guess what our “story” is, our inner monologue or attitude, in the face of stress.

Optimistic!

(They shouted, almost uniformly.)

Goes with the flow, takes things in stride…

I was genuinely shocked. I started laughing. HARD. “I am much more neurotic than you all think I am!” I shouted, gleefully.

* * *

Consider this retrograde realization and re-frame:

A lot has changed since 1987. I am much less neurotic than I think I am.

I am much more optimistic, more fun, and more fabulous, than my inner 17-year-old self thinks I am.

(Thank you, therapy, meditation, 12-step, improv theater, marriage, motherhood, coaching, spiritual experiences, personal and professional failures and successes, improved nutrition, exercise, the passage of time, for all of the changes you’ve wrought.)

A few takeaways, as this pertains to dating, and anywhere in our lives that we have to present ourselves, in the hopes of connecting with other humans…

Where might you be wrong about who you are, and how others see you?

Where might you be convincing others that you are less fabulous than you actually are?

And where might you be putting yourself in less-than-appropriate situations because reality and your beliefs about yourself and others are out of sync?

I still love me some misery. A good cry releases awesome endorphins. I still love that Richard Bach quote. And I still stand behind yesterday’s proclamations about learning to love the suckage.

But here’s the other thing.

I’m also an optimist. A black-cloud optimist.

When I was much younger, maybe 9 or 10, I had Snoopy umbrella. It was one of those clear vinyl arc-shaped ones that you could pull down over your head and stand all the way inside of. Around the bottom of it was a cartoon and the phrase:

Every cloud has a silver lining.

 

Posted in Matchmaking Musings, Online Dating Tips, Oracles and Dating

What Mercury Retrograde Really Means

Whether you believe in Astrology or not, there’s a life lesson in the phenomenon known as Mercury Retrograde.

You’ve most likely heard SOMEONE reference it. Maybe in your Facebook feed. Something like, “UGH! My computer just crashed and I lost all of my work #mercuryretrogradesucks.” Maybe you believe in astrology a little, and a few times a year, when traffic is really bad and people are driving like idiots, you check this website, just to find out if there is a correlation, however coincidental: 

www.ismercuryinretrograde.com

For those reading this who have no idea what I’m talking about, a brief definition from the Farmer’s Almanac:

“Sometimes the planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion.

“Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.

“When Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.”

Short version: Communication and transportation are challenged during Mercury Retrograde, to say the least.

Here’s the thing. Mercury goes Retrograde 3 times per year, for about 3 weeks at a time.

So that’s 9 weeks of the year that you can expect, if you believe in this stuff, for the communication, connection, and travel aspects of life to suck eggs.

Add to that the fact/belief that the 2-and-1/2 weeks leading up to the Retrograde, and the 2-and-1/2 weeks after that it takes for the planet to traverse forward again to the point where it first reversed direction, known as the “shadow periods” also contain these challenging influences, we are now talking 24 weeks per year.

About 1/2 of the year is going to suck.

Or at least be… challenging.

So what are the takeaways here?

1. For those who take astrology more seriously: These retrograde and shadow periods may be considered a rough time for certain actions, however they are considered a good time to take actions with “re-” at the front: review, reconsider, reflect, revise. They are auspicious periods for introspection, going back over old ideas, picking up previously abandoned projects, finishing out, fulfilling, or signing contracts or agreements that began before the retrograde started.

And because planning is “conflicted” as they say in the lingo, retrograde periods may favor spontaneity, intuition, and coincidence, rather than logic or control.

In my personal experience, I have terrible writer’s block during retrogrades. I can revise, no problem, but for a few days each cycle, I find it physically impossible or at least terribly painful to create new written content, whether I want to accept the correlation or not.

(I have heard that people who were born during Mercury Retrograde periods have the opposite experience, that they are enlivened during these cycles.)

2. For those who take this with a grain of salt, albeit somewhat interesting salt: While it might be a bunch of whooey, this paradigm suggests that it’s possible for roughly about six months of the year to go NOT how you would like, no matter how hard you try. This can be a huge relief. You can’t control it. So, STOP trying so hard to be happy and content all the time. Embrace the periods of suckage. Life has its ebb and flow, a wavelike pattern of ups and downs. It’s not your fault. You don’t need to meditate more, say more affirmations, visualize harder, eat less carbs. You do need to do less. Surrender to the suckage. Take cover. Hide under the blanket with chocolate and a journal and pen. And just hang on. Everything will change again.

3. This topic, as it relates to dating, online or off-line: If it feels like your dating campaign is not going how you would like, it might be worth checking on the direction of Mercury’s travels. Maybe this isn’t the ideal time for you to be trying to communicate with new people? Maybe it’s time to go back over your relationship history for clues, information that might lead to revelations, or a previous lover who wasn’t ready “then,” but is perfect for you now…

You can ask yourself the same questions without consulting the skies: Are you fighting against what is happening, or have you surrendered to it?

Are you cursing the traffic, or finding a good song on the radio and waiting it out while singing at the top of your lungs?

No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we have choices.

And as a coach, I am all about discovering and making empowered choices.

Please note that I am not an Astrologer, but rather an Astrology hobbyist. If you are interested in delving deeper into this topic, I highly recommend Chani Nicholas’ website: http://www.chaninicholas.com/

* * *

A few words about paradigms and oracles, including Astrology (Western, Chinese, Vedic), the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, Tarot, Angel Cards, psychic readings, and more:

I love oracles. I love personality tests. I love anything that gives me the opportunity to feel and be seen, to reflect on who I am and what I have to offer, to clarify what I need and want and how I be in the world.

Every one of these tools is just that. A tool. The power of the tool depends on who is wielding it. And while there are experts who will use these tools, ultimately it is you who decides what feels right, what is useful about the information, if it is true or not.

Some say that you can read each of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types or 12 signs of Astrology without knowing which-is-which and feel like every single one applies to you.

I say, if you are drawn to any one of these paradigms, notice that. And if the perspective is helpful, use it.

 

Posted in Oracles and Dating

The Matchmaking Maven

I help highly intelligent, self-aware, and creative single women and men learn how to date more efficiently and effectively so that they can have the relationships they desire.

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