February 14 is around the corner and don’t we all get to reflect, think about, or even hate the whole theme? Maybe there is a deeper longing underneath the reflection and emotional response. Here are some suggestions to ponder about on the subject of finding true love from the point of view of the path of yoga:
Yes, It means celibacy, and if you get the call to be a yogi in a cave that is what it is. However, interpretations from teachers of all times point to the understanding that what is meant is that we use our sexual energy efficiently.
In this context it means that when we find a partner we make a commitment to just have sexual and emotional relations with him or her, but also, to be truthful before then, even while on the search for a partner.
It means that we do not stay with someone we are dating just because of perceived personal gain or after seeing clear red-alert kinds of signals, or because of money, status, or anything else other than because real trust, support, and the possibility of love is present.
It means we get honest about being in a true relationship, we come clean about our deep desire to share life with someone who loves us and we love, it means we take a very grown-up step and accept responsibility for the power of our sexual energy, then decide to share it with one person only, in the context of love, exclusiveness, growth, dedication to God, and respect.
2.-Efficiency of resources
Sexual energy is our vital force, it is the power that can create life. A yogi recognizes this and uses it for the purpose of advancing on the spiritual path. This does not mean it gets to be hidden in a cave, on the contrary, yogis are encouraged to live in the world and have homes.
And if you look at all the great yogis of our times like B.K.S. Iyengar, the late K.P. Jois, A. Mohan, Richard Freeman, R. Sharath Jois, R. Saraswathi, Dharma Mitra, all the talented yoga teachers who share their wisdom right here in Elephant, etc, they are all householders, they live in the real world, in cities, teaching yoga, with business to run, with families.
Marianne Williamson says: “we don’t enter the kingdom of heaven alone, we go in pairs“. It is through relationships that we learn the biggest and most important lessons in life. Only by having a close mirror, a direct feedback system that we can we identify our blind spots, our areas that need growth, nourishing, insight and change.
3.- Getting clear about what we want
Example: “I want a man/woman that has a good heart, sexy muscles, does yoga, can speak French, is taller than me, loves to talk about spirit and do yoga, is ambitious, a good listener, always speaks the truth, loves me for exactly who I am, is generous and enjoys travel and popcorn during movies. I want a solid real relationship, based on truth and love, based on both of us wanting the other to grow, and to be happy“.
- Go ahead, write your own version but do write it down and get very specific. Many people discard this step and file it under the category of “stupid”. Big mistake, consider Alice story’s moral:
“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don’t know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter“
- Some SAY they want a relationship, but by not articulating exactly what they want, they fail to notice that what they really want is “drama”, they feel invisible and so they create complicated situations with unavailable people so that they sound interesting. How do I know? because I did that for years! until I got some level of clarity.
4.- Intend, detach, and trust
A Yogi recognizes the power of intention. Once the intention is clear it is important to release it so that the universe can fold itself in magical ways and act as a catalyst to attract exactly that which you say you want, provided of course, you are detached and open to all possibilities.
We never know exactly how things will happen, the twists and turns the universe will conjure to bring about the intended result, nobody does, and that is not up to you or me, that is up to destiny.
5.- Clean Vocabulary
I find that people dismiss this quickly, so much so that I began to suspect it is a very well-kept secret. When somebody wants to manifest a new and healthy relationship in their lives keeping the vocabulary clean (no curse words, no negativity), is key.
- If you keep saying: “I am too old and nobody will ever want me”, or “I have a lousy job, who will want to date me?, then that is what you are putting out and that is what you will get.
- Train yourself to say things like “I am open to the right man or woman to come into my life” “There is an abundance of men and the right one is attracted to me”
- Be careful of the word “no” or “don’t”. When you say “I don’t want a bad man” the universe will bring you a “bad man”, that is where the focus goes… phrase things in the positive “I want a good man”
- Forget naysayers. They are in the majority because it makes better silence fillers and have not read this article yet. That is OK, maybe they are not ready to hear it, maybe they prefer drama, bless them and continue on your path to finding love.
Note that I am not advocating denial, sometimes things are difficult, i.e.: if you are a woman living in an island isolated where there is only one man and he is happily married and the rest of the population is all women. I am exaggerating but you get my point.
Keeping it real is also important, the key is to find the right balance in your perspective.
6.- Aligning body mind and spirit
To attract the coolest man in the world the best recipe is to become the coolest woman in the world.
Do you feel good? are you eating healthy? are you practicing your yoga or you running or your whatever it is that makes you happy? Do you already reflect the happy person you want to be?
If you would like a generous sexy partner, start by becoming that yourself. Take care of you first.
I am surprised when I hear men ask where can they meet women. Easy! yoga classes, tango classes. As per women, there are plenty of places too: salsa classes, tango classes, chess clubs, meetups.
Thinking that “there are no men/women out there” is not true. There are plenty of good men looking for good women and the same applies the other way around.
It is important to keep the social life active, take that salsa class, go to that tango practice. Find a Meetup.com that enjoys talking about sustainability or whatever it is that tickles your fancy.
Dating sites can work too, (they worked for me) but for dating sites to be effective all other steps must be very much in place because of the nature of the introductions, i.e.: both parties come in expecting a “date” rather than casually meeting.
8.- The “one hour cup of tea” rule
When I was dating I had a one hour cup of tea rule. This was effective because it allowed me enough time to share a conversation with no strings attached (i.e.: nobody had to pay for an expensive dinner), and, most importantly, it came with a clear exit strategy.
If the chemistry was not there, then one hour was not a long time and nobody’s feelings got hurt. If it did work out it provided a safe container in which to talk and make plans for a future date.
Through this method I met many men over coffee, tea, hot chocolate and, once, bubble tea. Whenever they offered to go for dinner I kindly declined, even if I liked them. This gave me the buffer of time of another date, a little time to settle in, and to check the following things:
- How did I feel?
- Did I change my behavior to try to please?
- Did I exaggerate to make myself sound more interesting?
- Did I lie?
- Did I like the person I became in front of this man?
- Did I already start planning the wedding at hello?
- or was I able to remain in the moment and really see who was there?
- Where there silences in the conversation or did I rush to fill every bit of possibility for it?
- Did he want to know how much money I make right away? or was he interested in ME?
- Did he pay attention?
- Did he offer to pay for the tea?
- Do I feel like I can trust him?
- Were there awkward silences here and there?
The way of the yogi is the way of self-reflection. Yoga happens as we learn of our habitual patterns and perform the most magical alchemy of all, that of transforming ourselves.
9.-No bed for 13 dates
Bed must be handled with care (see #1 above). It is important to get to know the person before the sexual communication begins because sex tends to color things, make it all strange, a little disorienting, and “the right man will wait”, if he does not want to, then he is simply not the right man. You can read that again, it was the best advise my friend Michele ever gave me.
Many women feel they need to get in bed to hold on to a man. I know because when I was younger I felt that way too and in my case this reflected insecurity, a thinking that perhaps I was not good enough and so I had to jump through steps quickly to keep things interesting. I was mistaken.
The reality is that what is more intimate is to open up slowly, to let him discover you, share stories, laugher, walks, get to know the other person, become best friends. The sex part will take care of itself.
The other side of the coin of this topic is manipulation by withholding. just like in every yoga pose, in life, and in dating, a balance needs to be what we strive for.
And yes I know many people may disagree with this 13 date wait time. Is the number arbitrary? Yes. You can make up your own, just make sure it works.
I cried so many times over perceived broken hearts and unavailable men in the past that one day I decided I wanted to learn what I was doing wrong.
I realized that I had an “addiction to love” because I always ended up not just in “love” but “obsessed” with men that were unavailable. I was into “intrigue” and “drama” not into finding love. So I attended support group meetings.
The important thing about these meetings for me is that I built a community of support through them. At any given time I had 10 people I could call and run a “reality check” see if I was trying to please, if I was forgetting about what I wanted, if I was acting out.
11.-Keeping the life you have
Ensure to keep your own life going when you are dating, do not stop going to yoga or doing the activities that bring you joy. Remember you will not be building a life together for a while, becoming two is a transitional work, it takes time, and the slower and most awkward the better!
Becoming two is like learning a new pose, it needs time, space, nurturing, practicing, flexibility…
12.- It’s work!
You are on the search for the relationship of your life, for your partner, so it is a good idea to consider it a serious assignment. It is a good suggestion to schedule things, approach it with care.
It is true that it takes energy but the payoff is beautiful, rewarding, loving, amazing.
As with every endeavor worth striving for, we must begin with learning to love ourselves, it is in our own self esteem that we project the energy that attracts wonderful things, life experiences, and people into our lives. If you enjoyed reading this, consider looking at these 32 unusual ways to love ourselves.