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From New York Journalist to Farmer’s Wife: What The Dirty Life Teaches Us About Happiness

Good Husbandry by Kristin Kimball review – a new life on a community farm |  Society books | The Guardian

What are you?

A professional or an entrepreneur, a country bumpkin or a city slicker, a conformist or a free spirit? Or are you a hybrid – a suited and booted banker or lawyer with the ‘perfect job’ but a niggling desire to explore less well-trodden paths? Or maybe you’re just plain confused about where you fit and what really drives you.

Whatever category you fall into, most of us from Generation Y were bred by folks with far less opportunity than us professionally. With more conventional views of what constitutes a ‘proper’ job, our parents may have inadvertently left us stuck between a rock and a hard place – between what we should do and what we want to do. But ‘should’ is where it all goes wrong.

Expectations versus reality

OUR HOTELS IN NEW YORK

Nobody knows this better than Kristen Kimball, author of ‘The Dirty Life’ and former freelance journalist and Harvard graduate from New York. After a chance interview with a hunky farmer, she upped sticks to set up farm with her green-fingered interviewee, leaving the city lights and life as she knew it in her wake. You heard right – East Village in favour of mud and veg in the middle of nowhere. This is a story of two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of an intellectual glamour-puss’ life – one with farming and the other with a man who milks cows for a living. A striking tale about love, happiness and the power of instinct, ‘The Dirty Life’ is a must-read for anyone feeling a little disillusioned with the daily grind or what life’s all about.

The product of a neat, middle-class world, Kimball’s novel charts the mental and physical challenges she faced leaving the glitzy world of ‘convention’ in favour of rural slog. ‘Writ[ing] with precision, authority and gratitude about what is evidently, despite its rigours, an idyllic life’ (New York Times Book Review), Kimball challenges our views about wealth, success and love, giving food for thought as compelling as the gastronomical delights she chronicles.

Kimball’s union with Mark, a rugged hulk of a man with a passion for food and farming, is a world away from the corporate sphere she might have settled into. But as with the different kind of ‘wealth’ she finds farm-side, Kimball takes us on a journey full of surprises, a journey which exposes some stark ironies about our perceptions of ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ of City life.

Does success equal happiness?

How to Get Hens to Lay Eggs in Nest Boxes

‘The Dirty Life’ makes us question our ‘values’ as we know them. In Kimball we find a cosmopolitan New Yorker who, like many of us, supposedly ‘has it all’. A woman with all the trappings of refinement, yet one who is, by her own admission, blinded by ignorance. Openly admitting her surprise that a ‘salt-of-the-earth-type’ person such as Mark could talk with dexterity and intelligence and that ‘the physical world – the trades’ was not in fact ‘the place you ended up if you weren’t bright or ambitious enough to handle a white-collar job’, Kimball shows us the danger of defining people by what they do. In Kimball we find a highly educated woman who has travelled the world with her job, yet whose eyes are opened by an entirely different world, stunned by the happiness she finds ‘pulling warm eggs out of a nest box’.

Shake things up…

So, what is the moral of the tale? Keep meeting new people, keep an open-mind and be true to yourself. Work out what is important to you and don’t be afraid to question reality as you know it. Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you and remember, the most successful life is one which unearths what makes you truly happy. Fulfilment goes far deeper than an impressive job title and it will bring you fruits that money can’t buy.

Watch an interview with Kristin Kimball here.

 

 

The Theory of Everything: What Stephen Hawking’s Divorce Teaches Us About Love

The Theory of Everything' Review: Eddie Redmayne Is Stephen Hawking - Variety

The Theory of Everything was quite something for Eddie Redmayne. He was already high on my list just for being a dazzling, redhead, for his (inoffensive) public school charm and for those stunning green eyes, but his performance in The Theory of Everything propelled him into unchartered territory.

I had assumed that The Theory of Everything would be about physics, planets and a famous scientist. And though it is, of course, about the incredible Stephen Hawking and his awe-inspiring achievements, it’s about far more than physical matter.

A Bit of A Game-Changer

IMAGINARY FOUNDATION COSMIC SYMBOLISM FLY-THROUGH

This is a tale about the great themes of life – love and loss, strength and frailty, courage and fear, comedy and tragedy. This isn’t a perfect love story with violins and roses, romantic longevity untainted by challenge, this is a story about the varied and subtle shades of life at its most difficult and most beautiful. This is a story of reality and hope united, a story of a young couple bound by a love so strong that we are carried to dizzying heights with Jane’s passionate commitment to Stephen, a commitment at its most beautiful on his diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease. Her inner courage is heightened by her miniature size, a gumption soaring way above the testing physical and emotional obstacles which are laid in their marital path. Stephen’s strength is as inspiring, manifest in his wicked sense of humour, sparkling eyes and remarkable scientific achievements despite his physical constraints. Nothing grips human nature more than strength in adversity and boy is this a hero’s tale – not just of the incredible scientist himself, but of his steadfast wife, unbending in love and sacrifice for the man she loves.

Where’s The Real Wow?

Jane Hawking with her ex-husband

But for me, a more subtle ‘wow factor’ lies in the twist towards the end. The Hawkings’ ability to adapt to new and uncomfortable truths is established early on through Stephen’s illness but later, with the breakdown of their marriage, come some truly powerful messages. That the changed status of their incredible relationship didn’t undermine their happy ending bears poignant testimony to the power of the human spirit, challenging our perception of romance, commitment, happiness and success. For despite being the most brilliant example of ‘for better or for worse’, this ended up being a tale whose value wasn’t determined by whether the couple remained together or apart… this was a tale about success in a far wider sense – the ability to accept the twists and turns of life and adapt to changes thrown your way, no matter how unfair or futile.

What Can We Learn From The Theory of Everything?

In this respect, The Theory of Everything is aptly named, for it really is rich in messages about so many aspects of human existence. The aforementioned twist, set against a tale of such supernatural love and professional achievement, shows us that imperfection can still be inspiring and that magnificence is not always born of picture perfect endings. Intelligence is not just about brilliance and jaw-dropping achievement. It can be of a quieter kind, found in dignity, courage and the ability to adapt to change. In an increasingly digital society dependant on the disposable, this film shows us that those who don’t end up with perfect Facebook statuses can still find immeasurable success in their lives, looking back and looking ahead, whether personal, professional or familial, external or internal – together or apart. Indeed, any other type of ‘perfection’ seems rather superficial and mundane set against a tale so rich in challenges and beauty that follows – but a static snap from a virtual world built to dazzle. The Theory of Everything challenges this empty cultural norm, showing that real beauty shifts and moulds to the circumstances of life – a life which can be rosy, shady and just plain difficult. A real life where real brilliance goes way beyond a perfect picture, inspiring hope in loss, beauty in pain, humour in suffering.

And it is in this vein that The Theory of Everything finds its cosmic power – in the quiet beauty of one of the closing scenes which sees the former couple united in the Queen’s perfectly manicured gardens, sharing their pride in the children that they have created together. The dignity with which they move on to confront life apart from one another after their incredible love story, without compromising the deep respect that they developed for one another, struck me as a great perfection. Nothing supernatural, nothing cosmic, nothing to write home about on a Facebook wall but a flawed reality rich in hope, humanity and dignity.

Why Should You See The Theory of Everything?

While there is life discovered by コカイン on We Heart It

The Theory of Everything is a remarkable tale about the power of the human spirit – a spirit which can be dazzling, other-earthly in abilities and passions and spell-bindingly inspiring but one which is also, just that – human – flawed, challenging and complex. A truly metaphysical tale, The Theory of Everything unites improbable points of likeness on so many levels to incredibly powerful effect – strength in adversity, humour in suffering, passion in frailty and happiness despite separation. I can see why Stephen Hawking said he was proud of Eddie Redmayne. Both seem to be remarkable men, probing life’s deepest questions in dazzling fashion.

 

 

 

Elephant Journal: The 3 Types of Love & why the 2nd is Most Important of All

heartbreak

“People are put into our paths according to who we can learn the most from at any given time. Like a giant universal computer, higher forces know exactly what combination of energies, in exactly what context, would do the most to further us” ~ Marianne Williamson ~

I recently finished a powerful book I’d begun reading at the end of a four-year relationship.

Among other things, Marianne Williamson’s bestseller, A Return To Love, shares potent insights into the three types of romantic love:

1. Love born of ego;
2. Love that helps you grow; and
3. Divine love.

She explained that while the third is the one that helps you reach your highest potential, the second, the transformational kind of love, can feel like the most powerful of all three.

You’ll find the below pearls of wisdom helpful if:

a. You’re newly single and wanting to expedite the healing process;
b. You’ve been unattached for a while and are feeling flat about the coming year; or
c. You’re in a relationship you’re not sure about and are struggling to get clarity.

Read the full article here

Podcast Episode 11: Why Becoming A Parent Doesn’t Have to Mean Sleep Deprivation

Episode 11 of The School of Success Podcast Series is now live! An inspiring and eye-opening deep-dive into why becoming a parent doesn’t have to mean sleep deprivation!
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This interview with the accomplished Baby Sleep Consultant, Creator and Author of The Sleeping Baby Routine teaches you:

– top tips around the key pain points that stress new parents out;
– what’s really going on in most mums’ inner monologues in the early days;
– myth-busting around the trials and tribulations of breast-feeding;
– the impact of birth hormones on women’s bodies and brains; and
– the surprising impact of birth on men
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This is also for you if you have an interest in how to optimise sleep in the early days of parenting, why how couples interrelate with a newborn is so key and the ups and downs behind jolly social media posts many new parents don’t share. This is also for you if you’re not sure what a Baby Sleep Consultant is and the main benefits of investing in one!
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In this super informative interview, Charmian shares her expert wisdom from over 20 years as a Baby Sleep Consultant working with clients across a whole host of industries and countries on why getting a baby’s sleep right is the greatest luxury you can give yourself (and your relationships!)
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You can find Charmian at The Sleeping Baby Routine on Instagram and at www.thesleepingbabyroutine.co.uk
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Podcast Episode 4: All You Need to Know About Egg Freezing!

Baby girl… this is for you!

Episode 4 of The School of Success Podcast Series, ‘All You Need to Know About Egg Freezing‘ is now live!

This inspiring interview with Fertility Nurse, Egg Freezing Advocate and Founder of Eggvice @bridgetbrennanrn, teaches you everything you need to know about egg freezing, the pros, the cons, the cost (financial + emotional)and everything in between so you can make informed decisions about your fertility + your future.

This is for you if you’re feeling anxious about aging, finding the right man in time to have a family, pressured into ‘settling’ down before you’re ready or with the wrong person or unsure about options around fertility treatment. This isn’t to say you should be panicking if any of the above applies to you – it’s about awareness + empowerment so you can reach aligned decisions that feel right for you.

This is also for you if you want to find greater clarity + peace around your love + family ideals + have found it hard to find information online outside salesy egg freezing clinic blurb or polarised articles either hard pro or hard anti-fertility treatment.

This is also a safe space for getting curious about more complex emotions around the subject which you may find comfort exploring through my own egg freezing journey which I was initially quite anti. I found it challenging to find balanced articles on the subject or the right support and information even at ‘leading clinics’ + hope that all those questions you may have will be answered in this episode by a woman with the heart and expertise to truly give you what you need. This is so essential to gaining the clarity + calm that underpins confident decision-making, especially on such an important and sensitive subject.

In this warm-hearted interview, Bridget lovingly guides you to discover all you need to know about egg freezing so you can make empowered decisions about your future.

I wish I’d had something like this as a one stop shop for all my questions before wasting months with the wrong clinic + struggling with the second one in the most surprising of ways.

Check it out here. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Podcast Episode 2 with Marisa Ribordy: Re-align your Life + Develop A Toolkit for More Conscious Living

Episode 2 of The School of Success Podcast Series: How to Re-align your Life + Develop A Toolkit for More Conscious is now live!

This inspiring interview with the intuitive yogi, women’s guide, writer + workshop facilitator, @marisaribordy, teaches you How to Re-align your Life + Develop A Toolkit for More Conscious Living helping you connect more deeply to your true self so you can shift your life from the inside out.

This is for you if you’re feeling off-center, disconnected from your true self, constantly tired or drained by city living or otherwise or have a feeling you’re on the wrong path but you don’t know where to start to get clarity on who you really are and what you really want.

This is also for you if you want to find greater peace + balance in your life, develop your mind body connection + learn how to listen to your instincts more so you can get clear on areas of your life that aren’t truly aligned with you and your greater growth and happiness. And develop that strong sense of self + clarity that underpins confident decision-making.

In this warm-hearted interview, Marisa lovingly guides you to discover a range of powerful tools to help you develop greater self-awareness and connection to your true self so you can realign your life in a way that makes you feel truly happy and free. Formerly @wildhappyheart, you can now find Marisa at @marisaribordy on Instagram and at www.marisaribordy.com.
Since this podcast interview, Marisa has embarked on an inspiring series on women’s workshops centering around the magical cycles of the moon and how you can set powerful intentions around manifesting + letting go at these times. Be warned she is a powerful manifester with magical tools to help you create your dream life whether in work, love or otherwise.

I hope you enjoy it!

Manifest Love Workshop: Transformative Tools for Attracting Your Dream Mate

“The law of attraction says that like attracts like and when you think and feel what you want to attract on the inside, the law will use people, circumstances and events to magnetise what you want”

Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

It’s finally here! My “How To Manifest Love” workshop for smart, successful women is landing in London on Saturday 9 June 2018, 12 – 1.30pm in the cosy Balham Library – and I guarantee it will leave you on a high.

Never has manifesting love felt more important, in an age swamped by possibility and pressure in equal measure. The stress and overwhelm that comes with dating apps, the difficulty of juggling freedom with the ticking biological clock and social media ‘perfection’ hitting us left right and centre.

This is why I’m more excited than ever about this transformative workshop – because no matter how strong, smart or successful we are, managing the above can be damn hard. And with our ‘always on’ culture reaching almost volcanic intensity, the time has never been more ripe for carving out some time to discover a toolkit for expediting love.

This workshop is for you if:

* You’re looking for love, ideally your soulmate;
* You’re wondering how to move from deflation and disillusion to hope, action and results;
* You want a tried and tested magic method which bypasses dating App disillusion and actually works.

I’ll teach you:

*How to disconnect from the past and open your heart to new loves;
*How to overcome blocks that are keeping you stuck;
*How to work out what you really want in a love match;
*How to attract the man of your dreams (with top tips for staving off overwhelm); and
*Why gratitude is so important in the game of love.

If that’s you or one of your friends, please send them this link because this slice of time-out and tune-in may just change their life. And that’s a money-back promise.

And if you think this is too good to be true, think again. I know this toolkit works because it’s worked for every person who’s truly engaged with the process. Including me.

A word of warning though.

If you join us on 9 June, be prepared to leave a different woman… because when you think and feel what you want on the inside, the universe conspires to bring you exactly what you want. Sometimes we just need a little help getting there.

To book a tickets (spaces limited), please hop on over here – and for further information about me and my coaching, please check out my website ox

Ps. Here are some kind words from a recent client and a little video teaser of what you can expect on the day:

“Mel’s relationship coaching has been transformative. After years of heartache, I’ve finally learnt how to manifest my dream man and I think he has just showed up! Her warmth and empathy really put you at ease as she guides you to identify blocks that are keeping you stuck, what you want in your dream mate and how you want to feel. She also teaches you the tools to make those dreams a reality, from affirmations, reframing + NLP visualizations to simple exercises + book recommends which help you master your mind and reprogram your sub-conscious. I’ve loved working with her and guarantee you’ll leave her workshop feeling inspired, energised and ready to attract what you want”.

CATHERINE | ENTREPRENEUR | LONDON

Podcast with David McCrae: Success in Work + Love

Happy weekend, my lovelies! If you’re feeling a bit upside down, spaced out or shaken up about work or love, I have the perfect antidote for you – my interview with the wonderful David McCrae on his ‘Author Your Life podcast’  @authoryourlife 🖌

The episode focuses specifically on navigating the stresses of work and love, why we get confused and overwhelmed at times by both and how we can find happiness in these two core areas of our lives. There are more parallels between them than you’d think! 🧐 And once you learn some simple tools for managing that negative inner voice and mastering manifestation, you’re half way there.

You’ll find it a powerful toolkit for success if:

  •  You struggle with work life balance;
  • You’re not sure what you really want to do;
  • You worry about finding love or feel flat or confused about that whole subject (I get it…);
  • You want to identify what you want in a mate and how to manifest him / her;
  • You want to learn how to communicate better in relationships;
  • You need a magic tool for overcoming adversity in life in general (it’s much easier when you know how..) …and a whole lot more.So put your feet up this weekend or relax on a commute into work next week and enjoy some top tips for uplevelling your life here.

    Ps Stay tuned for my How to Manifest Love workshop coming to London Saturday 26 May. It’s gonna be a game changer! 👌

 

Podcast with Vienda Maria: How To Manifest Love

I’m thrilled to announce that my first episode of the Toolkit For Happiness Podcast Series on How To Manifest Love is now live!

In my interview with the amazing creative, mentor and writer @viendamaria, she shares top tips including:

– How to disconnect from the past and open your heart to new loves;
– How to overcome blocks that are keeping you stuck;
– How to work out what you really want in a love match;
– Why your soulmate may be nothing like you imagine; and
– Why gratitude is so important in the game of love

This lady is an orb of light — one of the most enlightened souls I’ve encountered — and I’m so excited to share her tools for building happiness and finding love with you.

Never has manifesting love felt more important than it does this 2018, an age swamped by dating apps, social media pressure and the inevitable stress that comes with that.

This is why I’m more excited than ever about this podcast. With the above reaching almost epidemic proportions, the time has never been more ripe for a magic tool to expedite love. And I know it works because it’s worked for every person who’s truly engaged with the process, including me!

This podcast is for you if:

– You’re looking for love, ideally your soulmate
– You’re wondering how to move from deflation and disillusion to hope, action and results
– You want a tried and tested magic method which bypasses dating App disillusion and actually works

If that’s you or one of your friends, then send them this podcast – it may just be what you’ve been waiting for.

Why The Love That Ends Can Be The Most Important Of All

“People are put into our paths according to who we can learn the most from at any given time. Like a giant universal computer, higher forces know exactly what combination of energies, in exactly what context, would do the most to further us”

Marianne Williamson

I recently finished a powerful book which I started reading in the wake of the end of a 4 year relationship. Amongst other things, Marianne Williamson’s bestseller, “A Return To Love”, shares potent insights into the 3 types of romantic love:

  1. Love born of ego;
  2. Love that helps you grow; and
  3. Divine love  and how, while the third is the one that helps you reach your highest potential, the second, the transformational kind of love, can feel like the most powerful of all three.

You’ll find the below pearls of wisdom helpful if:

  • You’re newly single and wanting to expedite the healing process;
  • You’ve been unattached for a while and are feeling flat about the coming year; or
  • You’re in a relationship you’re not sure about and are struggling to get clarity.

Despite some 12 years in relationships, it’s only now that I have clarity on love, its different forms, its wider purpose and its power to shape huge learning and growth. For even heartbreak, the antithesis of love, guides you lovingly towards better knowledge of yourself and greater awareness of your boundaries and needs, paving the way for the highest form of love – the one that lifts you and supports you above all others – divine love.

Yet despite that, the second kind of love – the transformational kind — has been my most significant experience of love yet — for that was the love that facilitated my waking up and helped me reconnect to myself, who I am and what I want.

The love that took me to the foothills of Chamonix, Mont-Blanc, to a freer lifestyle without rules and expectations, a place of sublime natural beauty which inspired my soul, gave me space to breathe and to explore worlds entirely different to fast-paced city living. It’s amazing what you discover with the simple luxury of time – time to feel, time to connect, time to explore your passions – fully and guiltlessly. Time with free spirits from paths less trodden who have mastered the art of living in the moment – and in doing so, one of the greatest secrets of happiness:

 “Think less, feel more”

Dr Wayne Dyer

How apt that Mother Nature was the backdrop for a love which held me in its arms as I cried, revealed my unhealed places and loved me anyway. The love that soothed wounds carried from the first kind of love – the egotistical love – born of passion and lust but little care. This second kind of love was entirely different to the first kind. This love spoke directly, lovingly, straight from the heart. A love which taught me that you can say anything, almost anything, if you say it with love. You can even say things without love – and it remains.

A love that showed me how to be vulnerable again — what intimacy really is. A love that helped me grow into a fuller version of myself – that moulded me whole – and in doing so, laid the foundations for the highest form of love – the one that supports you to fulfil your highest purpose on Earth – the third kind of love – divine love. Poignant that we must sometimes lose the former to make way for the latter – like the shedding of a cocoon so we can fly high where we ultimately belong.

Stepping into a relationship with a Mowgli lookalike I met, rather symbolically, on a ski-trip just after I’d left law, was the easiest decision I’ve ever made and the greatest risk I ever took to the outside world. How funny that something that can seem like a wrong turn to others, the path less trodden, can feel so right to you — exactly where you need to be.

I remember asking myself, as I sometimes do when making big decisions, what I’d do if I had a year left to live. I felt a strong knowing that I’d choose to spend it with Christophe. I had a strong sense he’d be good for me, would bring me balance and would help me heal after two damaging relationships which left me battered and bruised.

The love that may’ve looked defiant, reactive and downright bizarre to others, was a love that felt heaven-sent to me. A union that would leave more conventional bystanders confused, bemused and a little concerned — until they felt my joy – and saw a spirit set free.

This kind of transformative love is captured beautifully by Elizabeth Gilbert, the bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love:

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life”.

And while the slightly scruffy, long-haired French boy who rented me my skis was anything but my mirror at face value, he was the soulmate who brought me to my own attention and helped me find my feet again — as emotionally intuitive as he was ruggedly wild.

I remember the overwhelming peace I felt in his presence – his serenity in nature – his appreciation of the simple things – his ease.

The way he lived his life in accordance with his values gave rise to an authenticity which was striking – invigorating like a cold wind, it woke me up – refreshing and refined in its simplicity, it was of singular note. He knew exactly who he was and what he wanted – he was his own man – totally unconcerned by societal expectations.

He was free, at one with nature — like a wild bird that carries you home.

Apt that I met him then just as I was moving out of the thought-led, high pressure legal sphere into the more heart-centred world of coaching which hinges on helping people live more authentic lives aligned with who they really are.

The law of attraction right there.

The Alpha female that could have been found herself a little girl once more, craving the simplicity and freedom of the wilderness, never-ending forests like fairy tales and a Heathcliff to balm her bruised soul. And she got just what she was seeking, without even realising it –

a wild-hearted boy who would guide her back to herself.

The Mowgli my parents were worried about me moving to the mountains with —

the boy people flippantly said ‘would be fun for a while’ —

the boy I felt an immediate sense of peace with —

the boy so at ease with his own emotions that he barely flinched as I sobbed on him on the third date (think streams of snot pouring down my face). I remember feeling shocked that someone who barely knew me could love me unconditionally like that. Being loved when you feel broken is a powerful thing.

And while I patched myself up through hard work and determination, he facilitated huge change and growth.

I’m convinced he was picked out and dropped into my path quite specifically, at that very moment, to help me heal and to teach me how to be vulnerable again, to show me that deep love is unconditional, imperfect, challenging and beautiful. That strong love remains through arguments, with highs that open hearts and lows that strengthen your faith in love that lasts a lifetime. And, most importantly, that true love is a partnership which embraces vulnerabilities and loves you anyway:

“Je t’aime quand-même”

So these are a few learnings I’d like to share with you. I hope they help you on your journey through dating, love and the highs and lows in between:

  1. Trust your gut – it rarely lies. Every person comes into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Christophe came into my life to help me reconnect with myself and learn how to be vulnerable again. No matter others’ concerns at the start, I had a deep knowing he was what I needed. I feel real gratitude that our paths crossed despite their divergence in the end and blessed that I trusted my instinct and followed him to the mountains.
  2. Think less, feel more. Be mindful of your emotional needs and connect with yourself by journaling at important life moments. I rarely journaled back then, but such was the overwhelming sense of peace I felt when I met him, that I did a little writing. What came through was an ethereal feeling that he would be a powerful source of healing and growth and that whatever happened, it would be a positive experience. I also noted down worries which might separate us and those also bore true. This was useful to reflect on when we parted and reminded me of the power of instinct from the earliest moments.
  3. The journey is more important than the destination. A relationship ending does not demean what it was or how it has shaped you. Despite my greatest love story ending, I feel gratitude for it having come into my life because it took me to places I may otherwise never have gone and guided me down paths I might have never otherwise discovered. The Alps, fluent French, a coaching qualification, setting up my blog and taking my business to the next level. Ultimately, though, those four years taught me so much about myself and love, partnership, authenticity and respect. The peace you feel when you’re with the right person at the right time, the importance of internal balance and self-love and balance within romantic partnerships. Your perfect partner may not be just like you or look anything like you to the outside world, but they may have everything you don’t have and vice versa — the yin to your yang. So be led by your inner voice — not the judgment of others — and remember what Marianne Williamson says: “Relationships are assignments. They are part of a vast plan for our enlightenment by which each soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love. They bring together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth. People are put into our paths according to who we can learn the most from at any given time. Like a giant universal computer, higher forces know exactly what combination of energies, in exactly what context, would do the most to further us. No meetings are accidental. Those who are to meet, will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship”
  4. Communication is key. There’s no side-stepping communication and vulnerability if you want a healthy relationship. If you’re not ok with something deep down, it will come out in the end, usually far more dramatically if you repress it. Far better to say how you feel in a loving way, almost as soon as you feel it and open the channels of honest communication early on (‘I really love you but when you do this I feel… please could you…’) If someone flees when they see the truth of who you are, it’s better to know sooner rather than later.
  5. Have faith. That great love may have been your best yet. And you know what? You may never have another quite like it – quite as free spirited, quite as unlikely or quite as dissonant, refreshing or beautiful. You might miss that person beyond belief at times, especially times like Christmas, but stay true to what you trust deep down. They helped you grow into the fullest version of yourself, paving the way for the love that will raise you even higher, that will see you for everything that you are and everything that you hope to be.

Because that’s what divine love is — the highest form of love which transcends all others and raises you up to be your fiery, beautiful, flawed, fullest self —

“The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,

That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;

The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,

The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice”

Sir Cecil Spring Rice

 

 

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