How To Bring Back The Love On Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day, a global day of celebration for love. Although for many people, whether they get a big bunch of flowers, chocolates or fancy dinners or not, feeling love simply won’t happen today.

There’s one big barrier to feeling love….FEAR. Having spent a lot of my life in some state of fear or anxiety I know all too well that the feelings of fear and love cannot co-exist simultaneously. We may feel one, or the other, but not both at the same time. We can have the most wonderful partner in our life but if we are in a state of fear or anxiety, then love will be absent and a feeling of disconnect will take over.

It’s a remarkable design of the body to protect us from dangerous situations. Our body’s primary objective over everything else is survival. If we are faced with a marauding tribe or a sabre tooth higher on the open plains, our body would immediately shift into sympathetic nervous system state. This would change the brain functionality from the frontal lobe of creativity and intuition into the survival mode of reptilian brain. Our breathing would change, our pulse would beat faster and our blood sugar levels would increase. But more importantly, our biochemistry would change. Our body will start pumping cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine into the blood and cut out any release of melatonin, serotonin and oxytocin. Oxytocin is the biochemical responsible for generating the sensations of love, empathy and kindness. When faced with a dangerous situation that may require you to fight or flee, the sensations of kindness, empathy and love are not going to be very useful at this point so for efficiency, the body shuts down any release of these biochemicals.

This is all well and good on the wild plains 10,000 years ago however in our nice comfortable and safe environment of modern day society, this extreme stress response doesn’t have the same requirements. I’m noticing ever increasing levels of anxiety, overwhelm and stress in the world today. With this will come reduced levels of empathy, love and kindness. This is a big price to pay, for a society without love empathy and kindness is not a society I’d like to contemplate too much.

There is a distinct correlation to feeling fear and egotism, ie. our attention being centred directly on ourselves. Anxiety and fear is all about the ‘I’, the ego. It’s extreme narcissism and when you are in that state of anxiety and panic, it’s very difficult to switch over to feeling love and kindness for others. In that state the ego demands all of our attention and everyone else’s needs get ignored. We shift from feeling part of a community, with the ability to feel connectedness with others, to being self-centred and self-obsessed. Anxiety and fear wreak havoc on our relationships, depriving the vessel of it’s most essential ingredient for it to flourish….LOVE. If even someone is showing us levels of love, in this state we are unable to feel it or acknowledge it.

There is a way to change this and it’s not by trying to feel love. That simply won’t work. Something has to happen before love enters the picture. We have to shift out of the sympathetic nervous system state to reduce fear and anxiety, so that oxytocin can be produced and love can prevail. If we want happy healthy loving relationships then we have to eradicate fear first. Sounds simple I know, however it does require some steps which I have listed here that can help reduce fear and anxiety in the body.

1. Twice a day meditation. When we quiet the mind, we move the body out of the hyper stimulated state of sympathetic nervous system state and into parasympathetic nervous system where the reversal of SNS occurs. The body spontaneously will produce more serotonin, melatonin and oxytocin in that quiet state. The challenge is that when we are stressed and anxious, sitting still in meditation can be quite difficult which leads me to the next step

2. Physical exercise. Work out, get up a sweat and burn off some of the cortisol! Sitting in a chair all day or slothing on the sofa aint going to cut it…you have to release those biochemicals that are expecting you to run from danger or fight your way out of it.

3. Re-wire your brain. Sounds like a complex process but really it means change the way you think. Our minds can default to fear based thoughts vey easily…mine certainly has a tendency to do this and so I’ve spent many years working on recoding my mind to think differently. Anxiety and fear is our mind distorting our currently reality and creating a fantasy world of future scenarios that aren’t real. So observing the mind and catching it before it leaps forward in to fear based fantasy land is key to being calm. As Eckhart Tolle says: “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.”

4. Connect with Being. This comes back to point one. In deep meditation we surrender our individual status and transcend all forms and phenomenon. WE become one with presence and pure awareness. We simply are. Amness. Being. Self. No story, no drama, no future, no past. In Being we become one with unconditional love. We discover we are love. It shines out of us. The ego or small self fades and what fades with it are all of its fear based sensations and thoughts. As Anita Moorjani said in her book ‘Dying To Be Me’: “I knew that was really the only purpose of life: to be the love that we are.”

Love is our essence and fear will hijack it from you. It’s like a thief that sneaks in and steals it from you and from your relationships. To reconnect to our lovingness, we have to remove fear first. Less fear more love. That sounds like a much nicer world doesn’t it? Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides group coaching through his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To find out more about joining this global community click here.

How To Find Love And Thriving Relationships

love handsFinding love is one of the most sought after experiences in life. A few years ago we surveyed our Stillness Tribe to find out what they are looking for most. This is how they responded:
1. Loving Relationships
2. Wealth
3. Life Purpose
4. Happiness
It seemed that if we find a love in a relationship, if we find wealth, if we find a life purpose, THEN we will be happy.

If the one thing we are mostly looking for in our life is a relationship, then why are relationships the source of so much frustration and suffering? Romance and relationships are one of the greatest causes of suffering on the planet. It creates some of the deepest wounds that for many can take years if not a lifetime to heal. For some, these wounds can leave permanent scars. And that’s for those that find a relationship, then there is the frustration of those that have been looking and still can’t find one. Swiping left, swiping right, seeking, seeking, and yet to no avail! Ugh! Damned if you do find it and damned if you don’t!

Ok I’m giving relationships a bad wrap, which is totally unfair. It’s not relationships that are the problem; it’s the perspective of what a relationship is that causes the problem. Often love and relationships can get confused as the same thing yet love and relationships are two very different things. A relationship is a container that we put between two people, and what we put in the container determines the quality of the relationship. Where as love is what you feel within yourself. Love isn’t the relationship. We can feel love in a relationship, we can feel love outside of a relationship. We can feel NO love in a relationship, and we can feel NO love outside of a relationship.

When we rely on the relationship as the seeming source of love, then we are putting our hope into something that is a big variable. Relationships can change from day to day, moment to moment. All it takes is a different viewpoint on how to parent a child, on which route to take to the in-laws for dinner, what emotional state you are both in or even whether to slice an onion in rings or segments!! (Yes we have even had disagreements about this!) Relationships are tricky things. They thrive on unity and become fractured by disunity. They are complicated and due to their relative nature, they are polarising. That is, they will bring you the best of times and worst of times (and this could be within the one week or even a day!)

Where as love isn’t polarising. Love isn’t variable. Love doesn’t have positive and negative charge to it. Love is simply love. Love is neither good nor bad. Love has no pain, love is fearless, love is pure and love can never be damaged. So why is there so much angst and suffering around love? When we separate love and relationships as two different things then we are starting to get it. Relationships aren’t the source of love, they are the outlets for our love. Love is what we put INTO the container.

So where do we find love…look within. Love is our essence. It’s the very core of who we are. Love is the subtlest aspect of our being. As Anita Moorjani, author of Dying To Be Me said: “I knew that was really the only purpose of life: to be our self, live our truth, and be the love that we are.”

Why is love so hard to find? Because we are seeking it in relationships when it’s not there. Finding love requires turning our gaze inward, deep through the layers of the ego to our fiery heart centre within. It’s there, always there, whether there is a relationship container or not. And yes it’s hard to find at times. When you do find this unlimited source of love then we have something to pour into that container and fill it up with. Imagine pouring unlimited love into that container instead of your stress, your angst, your regrets, your unworthiness, your anger and shame? What happens then to the relationship? Voila! It changes completely! My high school motto at St Gregory’s College was Quae Seminaveris Metes which translated from the Latin means, ‘You will reap what you sow’. Put love in and see what you inspire in the relationship.

__________________________

The Empowerment Series consists of 3 one hour power-packed audios on Finding Love, Manifesting Abundance and Discovering Your Life Purpose. You will not only receive the three downloadable audios, but also get the ebook versions and a companion book to capture those big nuggets of gold that will transform your life.
The Empowerment Series has been empowering and elevating people all over the world with comments like Susana who said:
“I wanted to express my gratitude to you as you have open a door to something I have been trying to reach for a long time: Myself, my inner strength. Your empowerment series talked straight to my heart and inspired me to be love. So thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work and for putting all that knowledge in such a beautiful and simple way.”
And then Joseph D said “The possibility of loving yourself unconditionally, creating abundance and understanding your life purpose has been brought to life through the empowerment series. Congratulations Tom, the world needs to hear this.”

Empowerment Banner

How To Make It Valentine’s Day Every Day!

loveHey Happy Valentines’ day!!

Yes to the Fellas also! 😉

Isn’t this the one day of the year we express how much we love someone?

And the other 364 days of the year we don’t do anything about it? That’s how it goes right??

Ok, sure I’m playing around a bit, but let’s look at our love model.

There’s a deep yearning for more love on our planet. Every day millions of people scour Tinder, RSVP, eHarmony and other avenues in the quest for that elusive love. For most people this is the ultimate quest in life, to find that one person to love us. The question is, what is compelling us to search for a relationship? If it’s coming from a place of lack and emptiness, or a hunger to be loved, then we are building a relationship on very unstable ground. When we relate for the purpose of seeking fulfilment, we are ignoring the completeness of who we are. Over time the cracks will appear and the demands placed upon each person to fill in that lack will create a huge burden on the relationship.

Each day you are in a relationship with thousands of people. From the person in the corner store you are buying your bread from, the bus driver, your colleagues at work, the dry cleaners, your family and your partner. Some are short relationships and some are life-long.

Every relationship is an expression of you and your energy. So pause and ask yourself, what is the energy you are in right now.

The truth of love is that it’s not something that we receive or don’t receive, it’s something that we realise we are or don’t realise we are.

When we realise we are love, that’s when we achieve the ultimate freedom.

This is true liberation, to walk as the embodiment of love. And all our yearning, all of our desires, the constant search, leads back to this one simple thing.

We are seeking to discover our Truth – We Are Love.

This is not love as an idea, but as an experience. This is an essence that wells up from deep within us. It surges up from our very core and flows outward to the world around us. Sure, love will come and go at times, and even feel like it is totally non-existent in your life. You may be engulfed in a dark hollowness where it feels like love has become extinct. This is our guiding force to nudge us to seek our inner light. We are here in the exploration of this Truth and reconnect to our Source. And the exciting news is you are closer than you think!

When you re-connect, you will walk in the glow of your inner-love every day, and it will never be taken from you, you will never need to receive it….because you will simply BE IT.

On that note, Happy Valentine’s Day! Please share with us below, what does love mean to you?

And if you would like to expand your heart and feel more love flowing through your body my Golden Heart Meditation will open you up to more inner love. This beautiful short guided meditation is an ideal start to your day so that you live each moment FROM the space of love.

GoldenHeatMed

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 3.39.20 pm