IMG_2747The beginning of a relationship is often characterized by what we call the free-ride, infatuation, or honeymoon stage. This is when both of your hearts are open and there’s a sense of ease, calm, and joy that permeate your time together. For some people there’s a magical quality about this time; for others there’s a quiet sense of rightness. The intensity of the feelings of “in-loveness” may vary, but the sweet quality of the honeymoon stage is a lovely window into what’s possible when two open hearts intersect.

And then fear enters the picture. It may hit your heart like a poisoned arrow in one defining moment. It may begin with a thought like, “Do I love my partner enough (or at all?)?” and descend from there into the hell-realm of anxiety. It may be a subtle shutting down that occurs over a period of several weeks or months. It may first appear at two weeks or at two years. Whether subtle or abrupt, fear steals you away from your love, your truth, and your well-being. It’s a thief in the night of the soul of lovers, an ancient gatekeeper designed to protect you from the risk of loving. It harbors old and false beliefs about love that, unless illuminated under the clear light of consciousness, will seep into every layer of your relationship until you believe you have no choice but to walk away.

You do have a choice. The choice is to become a fear-warrior and commit to learning the Love Laws and taking the Loving Actions that will dissolve the fear and grow your love.

You can become a fear-warrior at any stage of your relationship because there are always deeper layers of the guards around your heart that can be etched away. You can be together for one year or twenty and still learn the Love Laws and Loving Actions that will bring you closer to the face-to-face and heart-to-heart intimacy which we all deeply long to experience.

But what are these Love Laws and Loving Actions?  Through fourteen years of working with clients and studying my own marriage closely, I’ve distilled these Laws and Actions into a digestible, inspiring 30-day program during which I will personally guide you through the terrain of opening your heart. The first Loving Action you can take is to say YES, I will commit to learn about what it means to open my heart, to learn about my fear and resistance, to learn to love myself so that I can love another. I will say YES to the path of conscious relationship, which means being willing to face myself and deepen my commitment to loving my partner.

M. Scott Peck wrote in “The Road Less Traveled”: “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.”

We are culturally addicted to the feeling of love. Conditioned to equate love with longing, we simply become tongue-tied and paralyzed in the presence of a partner who’s emotionally available and committed to forging a shared life. But what if I don’t really love him? says anxiety. What if I’m only here because I’m too scared to be alone? These are classic fear lines designed to convince you to run. And fear has so many convincing arguments which are supported by the rampant and dysfunctional cultural messages about love. If the in-love feelings are dim, the culture at large and even your personal community is often quick to say: RUN!

Here’s the paradox:

When you let go of chasing the feelings and learn to face your fear and take loving actions, the feelings return tenfold.

In my second decade of marriage I’m more in love with my husband than ever.

It’s a rich, deep love, so much more nuanced and multi-layered than the flighty feelings that often characterize the early, “in love” stage of a relationship. Had I listened to fear when it hit at the two-month mark, had I not learned about the Love Laws and Loving Actions that allowed me to break through the gatekeeper’s mythology and say YES to the beautiful man that was holding out his unwaveringly solid hand, I would have walked away from this life of blessings that emanates from the nucleus of our marriage.

M. Scott Peck’s words above are one of my favorite quotes about what real love entails. But what Peck fails to clearly delineate is what are these Loving Actions? It’s not enough to set an intention to love another. It’s not enough to orient your compass in the direction of loving. While these are essential pieces to the puzzle, they’re not the whole picture. We need a roadmap. We need the alphabet of loving. We need the mathematical parts which, when added together, synthesize to create the whole. And that’s what my Open Your Heart Program offers.

Open registration begins today and space is limited. So if you’re longing to feel more love and attraction for your partner and deepen the intimacy between you, allow me to guide you on the courageous, life-changing, enlivening path of opening your heart. Love is choice. Do you choose to learn the Love Laws and Loving Actions that will affirm your choice and grow your love and attraction? If so, then join me as I personally guide you and group of committed people as you learn together what it means to open your heart. 

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