What are new love affairs made of? Butterflies and rainbows. Fantasies and dreams. Sex that makes your toes curl spiced with passionate screams. These are the things new love affairs are made of. End scene. Exit characters. Time to face reality.
Falling in love has always made my head spin, in a beautiful flowy way. At least that’s what I thought in those moments. And each and every time, I eventually became dizzy, lost control, and bumped into the wall of reality. People are complicated and falling in love has a tricky way of gently coating this fact. So a challenge arose from this, one of the toughest I’ve encountered.
This magical encounter rekindles our longing to belong to someone deeply and have this other person belong to us. It’s almost inexplicable what exactly attracts us to a particular woman or man, and maybe that is precisely what turns us into unconscious love zombies where it’s ‘lights out’ and our vision becomes blurred.
It may be interesting to pause for a moment and inquire — maybe for the sake of being truthful to ourselves or our partners, maybe for the sake of taking responsibility for those moments of unconsciousness and its consequences, and maybe just for the sake of sheer curiosity to understand how our minds work. We may find signs that can reveal precious information to us about what we’re looking for, what we desire, or what we should run away from.
It’s worthwhile taking a moment and becoming aware of some red flags that may be true about your current love relationship or looking back at some relationships from the past or new ones that are forming right now. Not necessarily in order to end or change them, but rather to create conscious choice and less projection into them.
Here are a few of these red lights that can provide insight into the deeper dynamics behind what we call ‘love.’ Remember, it’s not necessarily about changing these, but being aware of what experience they might create. Mindfulness is key here.
I love your potential.
Potential is something everyone has. There is a sincere longing in most people to manifest that potential, but on the path of life there may be innumerable circumstances and misunderstandings that won’t allow us to realize it.
It is beautiful to recognize someone’s potential, but to build a relationship based on it is a wild bet at best. Even more than that, if that potential is not realized, we will usually feel disappointed because the love for it also carried the expectation and even the demand for its manifestation.
You challenge me to grow.
Suddenly there is someone out there who doesn’t allow us to find the easy way out, but demands that we give our best and try harder. Who doesn’t want someone to believe in us? In most cases this need to push another originates from our own need to discover something more in ourselves.
However, once the challenge has been taken and accomplished, we no longer have the need for that person to push us and the relationship lacks that urgency for change.
I can learn so much from you. (Imbalance)
This is more so about when we have an imbalance in roles. Learning from each other is what relationships are about. But what happens when just YOU see the other as a teacher? One partner becomes superior and the other inferior, as the teacher is leading the relationship and the other is following. The result is dependence.
In most cases the teacher doesn’t take his or her partner seriously and subsequently the mutual respect is hurt. The student can feel the imbalance and won’t feel good enough. Over time, once more matured, the student will look for a more balanced partnership.
I love someone much older or younger than me.
Love can cross many boundaries and age is one of them. When there is a large age gap it also means that one has already lived significant life stages while the other has not. Having a family is one such significant life experience. In order for partnerships to work it is important that both can look forward into a joint future, which for many people means having children. And for older partners this means being ready to start over again, while for the younger it’s critical to respect the past the older partner is coming with into the relationship.
You are a special person.
Who doesn’t want to feel special? We all do, and yet it is perhaps one of the most common relationship traps. “You’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met” is a common sentence when we’re in love, and yet, come on. It is a way for us to feel special by being with such a special person, but as time does it’s thing, we sober up and begin meeting the ordinary person our partner is.
Wanting and often manipulating the relationship to stay special by way of idealization is a sure way to stay blind to who our partner is and to avoid mature love. Oddly enough, a deep love needs to acknowledge the ordinariness both bring into the partnership, and find the love and care that wants to nourish this ordinariness by moving through the ups and downs of life.
‘I love your quirks’ and ‘I love you back because you love them.’
You surely know the personal traits of your partner that you found so cute and different at the outset of the love affair. Maybe it was an obsession with detail or an awkwardness when talking to people. In any case, it is only a matter of time until the quirk will create a division between you and your partner.
What we call quirks are often a distortion in our personality and they often create pain for ourselves and others. Seeing one another for who we really are is an act of love.
Our values and cultural backgrounds are not important; our love can withstand everything.
It is a high aspiration for us all to move beyond religion, traditions, beliefs, languages or any other defining characteristics. Yet our cultural upbringing can subconsciously define us. It gives us a large part of our identity and sets us apart from others. Often cultural differences within the same country can impact a relationship. Our background in many ways is our parents and as much as we want to break free, we are deeply connected to our roots.
A love that discards those difference dismisses what we deeply love, and that is our family and cultural heritage. Even if we call it a blind love, it still is love. Respecting our love for what is familiar keeps us humble to what is true to us, instead of using idealism to look away at what sets us apart.
No doubt that these difference are meaningless on a deeper level and as spiritual beings, but still need to be met with respect and awareness.
Our intimacy creates such strong connection.
Sexual chemistry between two people is a substantial and important connecting force. We can be blinded by strong sexual attraction and chemistry, and label it as love. Good sex or intimacy can point to physical and emotional needs that are fulfilled, and at the same time we need to ask ourselves if other areas of the relationship are working well too. Intimacy often serves as an escape from dealing with our inner complexities and fear when it comes to relating with another person, while giving the impression that a deep connection is present.
Are You A ‘Self-Help’ Junkie Dying For REAL CHANGE?!
- The Facts:
The coaching industry is for the most part, unregulated. Anyone can decide they want to be a coach without having the skills, experience, self-awareness and depth of understanding of the complexities of the human condition, which are essential.
- Reflect On:
If you are considering or already working with a coach it is important firstly, that you are crystal clear on the primary role and responsibility you possess over your wellbeing. And secondly, that you do due diligence on any coach you hire.
As someone who’s been working closely with clients for the past 16 years in a personal growth capacity and who, in that time has been working on myself and my own growth as well, my life has changed more than I could ever have imagined was possible. I have been through many growth experiences that have seen me move countries twice, become a wife and a mother and now, I enjoy a beautiful existence in a small countryside town where I run my boutique-style business on Mallorca, off the coast of Spain.
My experience on both sides of the coaching and personal development industry however is what I want to highlight because it uniquely qualifies me to point out more than a few things. I want to speak to, in my experience, the many folks who have been blindsided and gotten caught up in searching for their next ‘fix’, be it through coaches or coaching programs ‘designed’ to address your most dire life/relationship/money/health problems and needs.
As they refer to it in the industry, your ‘pain’.
The thing is, I have come to believe that many of the promises made by some of the players in the self-improvement industry, are built (most times unconsciously) upon inherent untruths and assumptions about who YOU, the consumer ARE.
I don’t only believe this for you. I know it to be true because I, along with many of my colleagues and clients have been burned too.
I have have had to find another way. I have had to find my own way.
There are a significant number of coaches and coaching programs out there that simply FAIL to adequately acknowledge your inner resources, wisdom, resilience and strength, what you deserve, have the potential to create AND to bring these to the fore.
If your Facebook experience is anything like mine, these are the tentacles that reach out, flailing at you, trying to grab your attention every time you scroll down your feed.
It is both my observation and personal experience that as much as the industry is filled with practitioners who are conscious, in integrity and awake, it is also full of practitioners who, driven by their own fear, lack an overwhelming desire for a profitable bottom line, are unaware of the covert ‘personal development’ business building techniques they have been taught to bring unsuspecting, often vulnerable clients in.
Without calling any names, you can think here of some of the high-visiblity players in the industry. Consider the fanfare and energy around their launches, the tone of their copy, the well-oiled funnels, landing pages and up-selling strategies they use to bring large numbers of clients in. We are confronted by this kind of marketing everyday. It would be interesting to know exactly what percentage of their students/clients feel, by the end of these programs, that the promises made had been fulfilled. It is a number that we will never know, but what I do know is this…
Those who find themselves disappointed in their results and by extension, their coaches and themselves, THESE are the clients that tend to make the rounds because they feel forlorn, hopeless and lost. These are the ‘personal development junkies’ who are searching for their next FIX.
If this is YOU, I invite you to stop whatever it is you’ve been desperately throwing your energy, attention, hopes and dreams at and take this truth in:
No matter what shiny new modality, course, coach, coaching program or product promises to change your life, here is what 9 times out of 10, they won’t say…or if they do, they have no idea how to hold the space needed for it to root itself into your muscle memory and bones…
More than anything, it takes confidence and self-belief as well as deep connection and communication with YOURSELF to create what you most desire and need.
In other words, if you haven’t been actively acknowledging this truth, theres a good chance that you’ve been unwittingly been buying into the untruth for the solution to all your problems, your ability to call in your needs and heart’s desires lies outside of yourself, in someone else’s hands.
What can you do to change this subversive belief?
You can DECIDE once and for all that you are no longer going to let yourself be distracted by the plethora of ‘mindset’ modalities and teachers clamouring for your attention out there. That is not to say that there isn’t value in investing in mentorship and support, but the point here is this:
In your life, YOU call the shots.
The answers to your problems all lie within you and can only be unearthed firstly by cultivating a solid relationship with yourself so that YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
YOU get to take full ownership for your growth and decide, based on your wisdom, what support you most need.
You too can and are meant to find YOUR OWN WAY.
Your Vagina Is More Beautiful Than You Think
- The Facts:
Filmmaker Layla Martin was inspired to capture the gap that can sometimes exist between how a woman sees her body, and the way her lover views it.
- Reflect On:
How do you deal with self-consciousness if it arises in your life? Can we all relate to feelings of self-consciousness and self-judgement?
It was 11 years ago and I was in a big documentary phase. I had watched hundreds of documentaries in a single year as I had come to realize the world around me was not quite what it seemed, and I was thirsty for knowledge.
After hours of UFO/ET docs, docs exploring the true history of our world and governments, and even health docs, I one day landed upon a documentary called ‘The Perfect Vagina.’ Quite honestly, my initial thought was, “what the heck is this?!” So I read the description: “Lisa Rogers investigates vaginal cosmetic surgery and why more and more women consider this surgical procedure.”
Wait, cosmetic surgery for what? I was 20 years old at the time and had not heard of people doing cosmetic surgery on their vagina. So I decided to watch the film.
The further I got into the film, the more I learned how many women, like men can be about their own bits, can be quite self-conscious about the look of their vagina. Sure, I was no stranger to the fact that everyone is slightly self-conscious about their parts, but how deep things can sometimes go, and the specifics that were focused on were all a bit of a surprise.
To make the story short, the documentary chronicles the journey of one woman who decides to have her labia minora ‘trimmed down.’ As you might imagine, it was an incredibly painful process following the procedure, and the subject was not all that jazzed about her choice in the end.
Where do these ideas about how our parts look come from? What stories do we tell ourselves about why we need to change them? How often do people actually make fun of our parts? These were all things I thought about. Sure, you see it in pop culture, men or women talking about specific positive details they want in the bits of their partners, but I never really saw this all that much in ‘real life.’
As I entered into more relationships in my life, I began to really realize that each of us may view our own private part in a very specific manner, while our partner often sees it in a very different and unique way. What we’re self-conscious about, they don’t see or actually love. And ultimately, connection, not our bits, were the core of what produced the greatest experiences involving those bits. (This is super family friendly as you notice lol)
This is partly why I was so interested to see the result of a video I came across just this morning, even though it had been out for some time. The video was done by Layla Martin as she was inspired to capture the difference that can sometimes exist between how a woman sees her body and the way her lover/partner views it.
Women were invited into a photography studio to have their vaginas photographed, they then viewed their own vaginas up close, and then watched in secret as their partner was shown the picture.
How did each react? Check out the video below, but be sure to read the important reflections I wrote below the video as well.
*Note: The feature image used for this piece was originally used and chosen by the filmmakers themselves.
We All Experience Hardship
To say that our world is experiencing polarity at the moment is an understatement. Things are VERY extreme right now. Whether it’s specific activist groups or political groups, everyone wants to be the biggest victim and pretend no one else can possibly know how they feel- and therefore should have no opinion.
This shows us how unwilling we are to face ourselves and how much we struggle with practicing true empathy.
Men, women, children – of any ethnicity or social class, experience feelings of doubt, fear, self-consciousness, worry, guilt, etc. You name it, in some way, others experience it. While it can be juicy to want to figure out who suffers the most, who the biggest victim is, this doesn’t really lead us anywhere productive as looking at things in this manner is from an extreme place, creating more extremity on the other side.
I bring this up in the context of this video simply because I know from direct experience of living in society on this planet, regardless of what extreme activists might suggest, that both men and women deal with self-consciousness issues about their private parts (and many other things) and it comes from many places. But ultimately, only WE, individually, can move beyond it. I mention this, because this understanding applies to all things we go through as humans, and it’s only within true empathy that we will be able to assist one another past our challenges.
In doing the work that we do here at CE, we are very careful to avoid creating divides or encouraging groups of people to feel victimized, simply because we know where that leads. Instead, we cut the BS and get to the core of why we suffer as humans and what we can do about it. We challenge us all, from all aspects of life, to view the challenges we face not through the light of looking at how others ruin things for us or make us feel sad, but instead how we can be solid within ourselves. As this is the only way we have true power individually and collectively.
A quick reflection I thought was worth sharing as we all can relate to what it feels like to struggle with aspects of self-consciousness and self-judgement.
Great News: Meditation Is On The Rise Among U.S. Adults & Kids
- The Facts:
Meditation is on the rise in the US amongst adults, kids and teens! A new NIH survey revealed increases in both yoga and meditation amongst said age demographics over the last 5 years. It appears people are turning within!
- Reflect On:
Have you tried meditation before? What is your perspective on what meditation even is? If you find yourself falling off meditation regularly, simplify your process and practice. Try out the free meditation at the bottom of the article.
11 years. The amount of time I have been observing the truth about what is going on in our world.
10 years. The amount of time I have been meditating while also learning about what is going on in our world.
Point blank: the benefits of meditation for health, lifestyle, wellness, and being able to see more clearly what’s going on in our world are undeniable.
I’ve said this for a very long time, there is no separation between what you can learn via independent media about what’s truly happening in our world and spirituality. Sure, this is a more specific statement when you are accessing conscious media, like what we do here at Collective Evolution, but in general, the world around us IS a reflection of our individual and collective consciousness. For us to properly understand our world and move past what we don’t favor, we must understand the nature of why certain things are happening in the first place. And no, it’s not because of political policies.
This is why it’s inspiring to see that more and more people are becoming friends with meditation. Trying it is half the battle!
The good news is that in the last 5 years, the number of American adults and children who practice meditation has significantly increased. This is known through the results of a questionnaire administered by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) every 5 years. Thousands of Americans respond to questions about their health, wellness, and illness-related experiences.
Results indicate that about 14 percent of adults practiced yoga and meditation in 2017. That’s up from about 9.5 percent and 4 percent respectively compared to a similar survey fielded five years ago.
“The survey data suggest that more people are turning to mind and body approaches than ever before,” NCCIH acting director David Shurtleff said in a press release.
Kids & Teens Are Meditating More Too
Children between the ages 4 to 17 are also practicing yoga more often. Those numbers jumped from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017. Meditation rose by around 5% as well amongst younger people, jumping from 0.6 percent in 2012 to 5.4 percent in 2017.
What is the cause of this increase? It’s tough to say. Personally, I point to what we have pointed to over the last 10 years in reporting about news, consciousness and more here at CE: there is a shift taking place within our individual and collective consciousness. At a foundational level, we are moving from the mind to the heart a hell of a lot more often because we, as a collective, feel the old ways simply aren’t working anymore and it’s time for something different.
When there is an innate evolution of consciousness like this taking place across the planet, trends begin, increase and we eventually see what sticks. Meditation is an age-old practice and its benefits were always widely discussed. Now that people are realizing the corporate influence over science and general health care, they are turning to different methods for certain daily challenges and illnesses. Maybe not virally yet, but it’s growing.
As I have always said, if you feel our world around us is chaotic with all that is going on, there is no better reason to begin meditation. I work in media every day, combing through the different stories, drama and crazy reactions people are having to our world events. You would think it’s exhausting, negative or taxing, but it isn’t. The reason for this is I have developed a deep meditative practice over the years that has helped me see the truth about myself, the world and us all as humans. Drama, negativity and polarity are things of the ego. The less you exist in that state, the more you see things for what they are and remain in peace. It’s powerful. Once again, this is why CE is built the way it is. neutral, conscious media that explores the deep truth behind our daily events.
We believe this form of media is truly what the world needs in a time where things are so divided, bias, misleading and emotional. This is why we created our conscious media movement campaign as well.
Here are some further details from the report regarding adults:
– Yoga was the most commonly used complementary health approach among U.S. adults in 2012 (9.5 percent) and 2017 (14.3 percent). The use of meditation increased more than threefold from 4.1 percent in 2012 to 14.2 percent in 2017.
– The use of chiropractors increased from 9.1 percent in 2012 to 10.3 percent in 2017.
– In 2017, women were more likely to use yoga, meditation and chiropractors in the past 12 months than men.
– Non-Hispanic white adults were more likely to use yoga, meditation and chiropractors than Hispanic and non-Hispanic black adults.
And here are some for children:
– The percentage of children aged 4-17 years who used yoga in the past 12 months increased significantly from 3.1 percent in 2012 to 8.4 percent in 2017.
– Meditation increased significantly from 0.6 percent in 2012 to 5.4 percent in 2017.
– There was no statistically significant difference in the use of a chiropractor between 2012 and 2017 (3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively).
– In 2017, girls were more likely to have used yoga during the past 12 months than boys.
– In 2017, older children (aged 12-17 years) were more likely to have used meditation and a chiropractor in the past 12 months than younger children (aged 4-11 years).
– Non-Hispanic white children were more likely to have used yoga and a chiropractor in the past 12 months than non-Hispanic black children or Hispanic children.
When it comes to daily life, or when you dive into understanding what is happening in our world, there are serious benefits to including meditation into this practice. I go into this in deep detail when I discuss the link between ‘conspiracies’ and spirituality in an episode of the CE podcast.
Meditation is an excellent practice to be using regularly as it not only helps in exploring our consciousness, changing our lives, making an impact on our world but also helps us to find ease and peace within what we see happening around us. From there, from the state of peace, we actually see VERY CLEARLY the actions to take in order to help make change. You will notice they never come from an aggressive, emotional place – like much of what we see happening today.
Not sure where to get started with meditation? Grab this meditation I have used for the last 10 years that I built from a number of different techniques. It’s simple, quick and effective.
Your Vagina Is More Beautiful Than You Think
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