How to trust yourself when it comes to choosing a relationship partner (and in other areas as well) and will love ever feel easier?
You´ve probably heard it said that you attract who you are. This is one of those half-truths, that if we hear it being said often enough, we start believing.
The effects of oversimplified advice like this one, especially on a woman for whom love feels hard and through her circumstances she has learned that she has to earn the right to enjoy life, can be heartbreaking.
She might be already experiencing some of the many effects of living in a cycle of stress responses, hungry for connection.
These effects can look like driving to his place after an exhausting day at work when all she wants to do is rest. Or waiting for a call from him before she can move on with her work and other responsibilities that would ultimately support her physical and financial well-being.
I call this place the DESERT. It feels like she is out in the desert on her own walking around trying to find her way back HOME, the Sun is overwhelmingly intense, and the water is scarce to non-existent.
Imagine if she meets a person driving a Jeep, with the air-conditioning cranked up, and plenty of water bottles to spare in the back of their car. “You attract who you are” – equals this person saying to her – “Just try harder, hun, I trust that you will find your way back home, see you there!”
Meanwhile, all she needs is to learn the right survival skills, a map or a ride HOME, and a bottle of water.
To find her way HOME – which may represent to her everything from safety to healthy relationships and a fulfilling career – she needs resources.
When it comes to a relationship, one of the resources that we can lean on, if we have been modeled healthy love and connection, is recognizing the same skills in other people – we are able to discern and see an empowered relationship partner.
This skill is instinctual in nature, but in case a woman was raised in an environment that taught her to disregard her feelings and perceptions, this natural skill tends to get lost and replaced by a cycle of confusing behaviors, like overextending herself even though she feels exhausted (disregarding her body´s need for rest and driving a long way to see him, because she is afraid of asking for too much or being a burden) or compromising her financial well-being for a fantasy of a non-existent relationship (delaying her responsibilities while dreaming about a relationship that is not rooted in reality).
She has lost her map. And she might feel a lot of shame and confusion around it.
However, “attracting” a different outcome often assumes that it is as easy as thinking a better feeling thought or that the person knows how to do it on their own.
And attracting “who you are” assumes that these women are somehow not “there yet” when in fact, the only thing standing between them and the relationship they want is building razor-sharp discernment and creating solid resources.
So what does it truly take to start trusting yourself and to feel more at ease in creating and sustaining fulfilling relationships?
The first phase I take women through is making sure they are well-equipped for their journey HOME.
Because the majority of them have already pitched a tent in the desert and wishful thinking is not helping them find their way home my individual support consists of giving them a map, making sure they have enough water, and giving them a ride if they need one. (The membership portal is the equivalent of learning the survival skills, getting the map and enough water for her journey home. The one-on-one support is like having the opportunity to take a ride).
1. Creating your personal map.
First of all, the self-help industry is a little bit (a lot) overestimated.
We are social species that thrive in communities and our body-mind systems are wired to learn to soothe distressing emotions and manage challenges through connection with reliable caregivers and later members of our tribe.
I hear so many clients say that it is easier for them to self-soothe and find their way home to their body and instincts when I guide them through the process versus when they have to practice on their own.
And it´s not because my energy is magical or because I have released some invisible subconscious blocks… lol… but because having a reliable person who is communicating to your body-mind system cues of safety, presence, and unconditional support is going to put your body in a state of ease (esp. if it wasn´t modeled to you before) – it´s the difference between being out in the DESERT on your own and someone handing you the map.
When a woman is about to drive to his place, extremely exhausted but yet her mind making her feel like it is the right choice, she is experiencing an adrenaline-fueled surge of energy that is at this point probably very well-known to her. This is not her first rodeo. This pattern feels very similar to addiction and sends so many women into a place where they feel small, hopeless, and insignificant – I call it the BASEMENT of her own home.
It is the I know better, but I don´t do better dissonance in her system.
To work with this dissonance she needs her own MAP. Moreover, she needs to become familiar with her own state of being = tracking her movement on the map.
When she is about to receive the impulse to hit the road she will need a lot of practice in self-regulation (which we do in sessions and in the community portal) to learn to break the cycle that feels so seductive to her system – Maybe this time it will be different… Maybe he will care… Maybe he will change… Maybe that sinking feeling in her gut is meaningless after all…
The next piece of the puzzle is that trusting her instincts = finding her way back home actually takes consistent work for many women, because the dissonance in their system is driven by biochemical reactions and our primal brain seeking familiarity.
2. Learning the survival skills
One of the survival skills many women miss is seeing the relationship for what it is.
I call this phase sobering.
If she is waiting for a message or a phone call from a man instead of moving on with her day and making sure she has enough internal and external resources to build a comfortable home for herself, she is already overextending her capacity and creating a fantasy relationship.
Our bodies are wired to detect cues of security in our environment and in others. A process important for our survival.
However, our brilliant brain learns to link security with familiarity in order for our bodies to survive.
You might have heard that hungry buyers make poor decisions.
When we are hungry for connection and love we learn to fabricate cues of love and connection that are not even there – reading too much into a text message or interpreting someone´s inconsistency in communication as there being something wrong with us or our “vibe”.
Honing our survival skills is a practice and an important part of my programs. It requires us to restore the link in our body-mind connection between familiarity and healthy relationships.
If a woman has pitched a tent in the desert it is only because she is not aware that she has the keys to a beautiful home with a fruitful garden that offers nourishment and shade for her soul and body.
3. Making sure you have enough water
Water represents the resources that we learn to build as we go about our life.
Programs such as The Sanctuary are equipping women with the internal resources and helping them build the capacity to engage in life and also gradually, one baby step at a time, build the external resources – relationships, routines, activities, support groups – that help them leave the desert behind and come home to their heart where they can rest in the shade of the garden they have learned to cultivate.
Some of us might be so deeply lost in the desert that we have to make peace with the fact that our body has a very low tolerance to adversity and it might be difficult for us to start engaging with life and looking for a new relationship right off the bat.
Building the resources might take a while, but the process of building them will help you learn to find your edges and learn the language of your instincts and your body.
As you build your resources, you will be able to read the cues of safety more easily and selecting the right partner and sustaining a healthy relationship will become less painful and more fulfilling and fun.
This is the process I teach in my one-on-one program (new clients initially sign up for 10 sessions over the course of ten weeks or 9 sessions over the course of three months + I also offer ongoing support for those who wish to work with me long-term). My individual program is for women who want to learn practical skills and improve the quality of their life and relationships while receiving individual support and guidance.
You can apply either by replying to this email or filling out the application form, where you will find even more details (exciting news is that I will be opening a couple of spots per year at a discounted rate to make the 1:1 program more accessible).
My Sanctuary membership is for women who are looking for a lower-investment option and want to start building new resources and learning body-based practices to help them hone their instincts. Once you sign up you gain access also to all the past resources and teachings in the portal. It is a no strings attached membership, which means that you pay a monthly fee but you can unsubscribe at any time.