12 Steps to Love!
I woke up with a HUGE AH HA this morning!
That the12 steps to JOY are the same 12 steps we need to be a great lover!
Hopefully this article will make it into Cosmopolitan and the other magazines that target young people and focus so much on being ‘great in bed’ rather than great lovers.
Or maybe you can show it to all your teens and discuss with your children!
If you do not have a partner or ‘lover’ in your life – YOU are your lover!
This is the most important part of this whole newsletter – until we love and unconditionally accept ourselves, we will never really be spectacular lovers! You ARE good enough and you ARE worth loving – no matter what your beliefs.
So use all these steps on yourselves – as well as your partners! Or friends, family, colleagues – anyone!
Why Stepping Stones?
Because if you follow them they take you through all sorts of rough areas – over water, through jungles or wooded areas, through muddy, slushy soil or through beautiful gardens…and they usually take you somewhere beautiful!
The first one is always – and has to be – gratitude.
It’s difficult to start your journey to RE-discovering your joy unless you begin there.
We are born with joy – we just spend the rest of our lives trying to rediscover it by looking for ‘happiness’ in all the wrong places!
JOY is already inside you. Look inside – not outside as we do for happiness.
We are ‘in pursuit’ of happiness. We think we will find it ‘when’ something else happens.
Even when that something happens, our happiness only lasts a short time until we find the next thing that will make us happy. It could be a new relationship, getting out of the relationship we are in, a new job, a new boss, a new family – anything but looking inside ourselves!
We think we want happiness – but what we really NEED is JOY! We just don’t know it!
So lets start!
STEPPING STONE 1
It is impossible to have a heart full of misery and a heart full of gratitude at the same time! Focus on gratitude every day – particularly gratitude for your partner or loved ones. Despite all their warts, which you could choose to focus on, they truly are astonishing beings of light and they have brought you many gifts!
The more grateful you are for your partner – with all the lessons they bring you, the more spectacular a lover you will be!
STEPPING STONE 2
COMPASSION AND GRACE.
We are given endless compassion and grace from God or the Spiritual Realms if you prefer – but how often as humans do we give it to others? Especially our partners! Or ourselves!
Be compassionate with yourself AND your partner today – give yourselves grace for all the many mistakes we make daily. Give yourselves grace for being who you are and where you are – we are all works in progress!
If you were enlightened or perfect, you’d be dead!
Being consciously compassionate with yourself AND your partner makes you a tender lover!
STEPPING STONE 3
People feel hopeless when they ‘close their eyes’! They don’t see or feel the constant help being given to them from the spiritual realms – if only they would listen! There is ALWAYS hope – always! For you – and your partner and your relationship.
Hope makes us resilient. If you give up hope on a relationship, or person, by constantly telling yourself negative stories about it or your partner, you are not a great lover!
Fear destroys hope. Face your fears first – they are rarely real – shine a light on them and watch them disappear. Stop projecting them onto your lover. You will find hope follows.
With hope, you will be a resilient lover and bounce back with love from the normal hiccups of any relationship.
STEPPING STONE 4
Imagine every person you meet has an invisible sign on their foreheads “The Divine Lives Here!” When Indians and Tibetans say ‘namaste’ they are saying ‘my spirit salutes your spirit’.
You LOOK for their spirit – rather than getting caught up in the battle of the egos!
Every day when you wake up, either silently or out loud say ‘namaste’ to your partner. It will remind you of the wonderful people and spiritual beings you really are! It will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Look every day with awe and wonder and reverence at your partner and all the blessings you have. Familiarity breeds complacency – we take each other for granted and stop making an effort.
A reverent lover who is AWE – FILLED sees their partner as AWE-SOME!
STEPPING STONE 5
GENEROSITY, GIVING AND RECEIVING..
Be generous with your spirit and your time with your lover. You were in the early days!
Remember how you wanted to spend ALL your time with your new partner then? As time goes by, we become busy, life takes over and making an effort to be generous with time slides away.
We were MUCH more generous with our spirit in the early days as well. We didn’t expect the worst, or problems; we gave them the benefit of the doubt; we laughed instead of growing frustrated; we truly listened to understand instead of vaguely paying attention and saying ‘uh hu’ in a distracted voice!
We were ‘good finders’. We found the good in them and everything they did – automatically! We didn’t even know the ‘bad’ existed!
Your capacity to receive love, and give love through a generous spirit will make you a ‘flowing lover’ – love will flow THROUGH you and TO you is so many ways!
STEPPING STONE 6
Forgiving yourself is one of the most important parts of your life!
Forgiving your partner is a daily, ongoing activity of love! We ALL need forgiveness ALL the time! Make the decision, choose to forgive. You may not feel better immediately, but it will help your heart heal!
Remember the Biblical quote “forgive them for they know not what they do” – how true! How often are YOU conscious of your ‘transgressions’? Do you do things on purpose to hurt your partner? Usually not! Nor do they. Remember that.
Repeatedly say to yourself “I will forgive him or her, for they know not what they do”!
A forgiving partner is a truly joyful lover!
STEPPING STONE 7
ENERGY AND VITALITY.
Many polls have shown that energy, enthusiasm and vitality are three of the top indicators of sex appeal! True! People find energetic people, full of the joys of life very sexy!
Taking care of your energy levels means you need to be aware of what you eat and drink; how much you rest and relax; what quality of water you drink and how much; how much sleep you have; what rhythms and routines you follow to bring order to your life; and how much exercise you have. Just as a beginning!
Then you need to think about spiritual renewal in whatever way works for you. Prayer, meditation, being in nature, reading inspirational books or just sitting in silence being connected to oneness! You will never find inner peace and harmony without this balance.
An energetic, vibrant person full of ‘joie de vie’ (the joys of life) is a sexy lover!
STEPPING STONE 8
Truly listening to someone else, being present and genuinely wanting to understand their point of view and how they feel is HUGE! HUGE!
This is called listening with your heart. Your heart uses wisdom and discernment – it doesn’t perceive and judge!
It’s a very powerful way to let others know you really care for them. They feel heard and acknowledged – and special. We ALL want to feel special.
Listen to anyone you love in this way and watch how the relationship transforms. Have conversations that involve listening and sharing – not impatiently waiting and telling!
A lover who truly listens with (and speaks from) their heart is a great catch!
STEPPING STONE 9
Probably the most consistent comment I hear happily married women say about their partners is “he makes me laugh’!
If you can both make each other laugh you give each other a rare and wonderful gift.
No laughing at each other – unless it’s in a loving way! You don’t have to be a funny person – you just need to look for the funny things in life – and it is full of them. Look for the funny side of all situations.
Consider all the blessings in your life. Lighten up, be optimistic and actively look for things to laugh about!
A laughing lover is an angel!
STEPPING STONE 10
Firstly, love yourself!
When you can accept yourself unconditionally and love yourself as best you can – aiming for unconditional which is a tad challenging for most – then you are the BEST lover! You ARE good enough – remember that. And you ARE worth loving!
Until we truly love ourselves, and can dance between all of the 12 stepping stones above we can love others, but not fully! In the early days of a new and fabulous relationship, we feel so wonderful because we are not just ‘in love’ with the other person. We are in love with ourselves!
We see ourselves as they see us (in all our wonderfulness!) at that time, and it’s all fabulous until ……they see our warts.
Then we see our warts again – and we fall out of love with ourselves and in conditional love with them!
Love yourself unconditionally and you will be a lover who has a VERY happy partner!
STEPPING STONE 11
The ability to be cheerfully enthusiastic, no matter what happens, is a quality to be cherished and developed! It’s also a choice.
We can choose be optimistic – it’s not genetic! Ok, it is a tiny bit genetic but we can all learn optimism – if we want to.
It’s always sunny above the clouds – have you noticed that? No matter how stormy or cloudy or bad the weather is on earth, if we burst through the clouds, the sun is always shining and filling everything with light.
Life is full of clouds and storms and rain squalls. But the sun always returns; it always ‘peeks’ through; it brings rainbows; you know it is ALWAYS there. That by itself is enough reason to remain cheerfully enthusiastic!
We never see the true, big picture. How many times – with the power of ‘hindsight’ – do things that seemed a nightmare at the time turn out to be your greatest blessings?
A person who is cheerfully enthusiastic is a fun lover!
STEPPING STONE 12
Finding that space of peace and calm inside you is like being in the center of a tornado.
There is a vast, silent, gentle, loving space inside your heart, which is where your connection to the spiritual realms lives. And it is full of extraordinary love, peace and joy, no matter what is happening in the tornado of life around you.
Find this heart place every day. Sit down quietly and rest there. It will renew you in more ways than you can imagine. It will give you that connection that is the destination of all your stepping stones!
No matter what is happening outside you or around you, that place of stillness and peace is always in you and available to you. Become really good at finding it because it was make you a lover that is incomparable!
A lover who has connected with the vast, peaceful interior of their spiritual heart, is what we are all looking for!