Let’s face it, we’re all ultimately alone on this journey, but the truth is – life is kinda sweeter in the company of another- especially someone you love. So if you’re tired of being alone and feel ready for love, realize the first step is knowing you’re ready, the second is preparation.
Laying a foundation for love requires us to let go of the past and begin anew without old baggage. It’s been said that if you carry old bricks from your past relationship into your new one, you will build the same house that fell before. We’re going to clear the slate in 2 ways: mentally and physically.
Mentally preparing for love might sound cold and clinical, but science has proven what spiritual teachings support, we create the world around us to match our inner thought patterns. Like something out of a science fiction movie, our amazing brain with its many functions and miracles, actually dictates our life experience. What we feed it thought-wise ultimately controls our experiences in love.
Now as you look forward towards the possibility of someone new, it’s time to clear out dysfunctional beliefs and outdated thought patterns. You see, when we have a belief and think a thought, there’s a key player in the brain called the left pre-frontal cortex (LP) that looks for examples in life to substantiate our thought and stops at nothing to prove our thinking correct.
Remember the saying looking at life through rose-colored glasses? Negative beliefs work in the opposite direction of rose colored glasses. Once we have an ingrained belief, this LPF immediately begins to evaluate everything it sees, hears and feels to prove our belief to be true. This is called neuro mapping. When we think a thought based on the past, such as men cheat, women will drag you to the altar, or love hurts, we lay down another neuro pathway.
The more neuro pathways we have, the busier our LPF is looking for proof. Can you say hypersensitive? Yep~your brain is literally looking for proof that love isn’t safe and doesn’t last. The brain has been proven to be elastic, not fixed, which means we actually change our brain with our every thought. This means our past does not have to equal our future.
With our every thought, we have two choices: we can deepen our current negative neuro pathways OR we can create new positive neuro pathways. We have the ability to literally starve out our old thought patterns and flood the brain with new positive thoughts.
Think about the ramifications this has on your love life.
When we’ve been hurt in the past, it makes sense that we’re going to be hyper-sensitive for a while because our brain is on the look out for more pain; yet what happens when time goes by and we’re ready to love again?
While we might think we’re ready for love, until we clean up our mental patterns, we’re going to look at every relationship potential through cloudy glasses for proof that love hurts-sadly missing the possibility that might be present because we’re literally blind to it.
Whatever you believe – good or bad – out goes your left pre-frontal cortex to evaluate the world around you and prove your thoughts correct. Think happy, loving thoughts while believing in the goodness of your partner, and your LPC is out there looking for proof that all is well in your world. Think thoughts like: there are no good men left or love doesn’t last, and your LPF is out there looking for proof. Good or bad, your left pre-frontal cortex has your back and will prove your every thought to be correct.
Now we understand scientifically why falling in love makes everything feel better. Colors are brighter, smells are sweeter, and the whole world seems to be lovelier, because our happy thoughts trigger our LPF to look for more things to be happy about.
So how do we close the door on the past and move forward towards what we do want?
I have a few exercises for you to begin this process. If love has been disappointing in the past, it’s important to take note of the negative beliefs you’ve accumulated over a lifetime. Who we attract in our life is a direct reflection on our self-esteem. Until we heal our insides, the outside world won’t reflect our deepest desires.
Each exercise has two parts: a release and a declaration. Please read each thoroughly before beginning and don’t skip a step, remember you are literally re-programming yourself.
Exercise 1/ Part 1: I suggest doing this in the evening before bedtime.
Find a safe and comfortable spot where you can have some privacy in case you need to cry, yell or scream. Now gather some blank paper and a pen. Please do not use your computer to do this exercise, it’s important to let your thoughts flow out your head, through your heart and out your hand onto the paper.
Now I want you to make a list of every single negative belief you’ve taken on about yourself, every negative thing that has ever been said about you that you still remember, and every negative thought you quietly believe about yourself. When I did this exercise, I heard my mother’s voice a lot. One memory led to another and another until eventually memories I had forgotten about were flooding my paper alongside my tears.
As an ex boyfriend’s labels came to surface, my anger rose and even old criticisms from grade school snuck their way into my adult psyche. When we open the gates on old memories, we create a breaking of the emotional dam so to speak and forgotten negative beliefs are released.
Once you’ve completed your list, take some time to reread each line silently. When you feel complete, cut these memories into strips leaving each sentence legible.
Now it’s time to play urban shaman. A shaman is a healer that uses the power of the elements and nature to move energy and create healing. We’re going to call in the transformational power of fire and the cleansing power of water right in the comfort of your own bathroom. Find something soft to sit on in front of your toilet. Light your candle and one by one, read your negative beliefs out loud. Next, light the strip of paper on fire over your toilet until you can no longer safely hold it and then let it drop into the water.
As you watch each negative belief burn, imagine the energy of that belief leaving your body and your life. When you’ve burned them, flush the toilet and say a prayer or blessing of gratitude. At this point, you might like to burn some sage or incense to purify the air, and then slip into a hot shower or bath before heading to bed. Exposing old beliefs can leave you feeling vulnerable and raw, so be gentle with yourself this evening.
Exercise 1/ Part 2: Within 24 hours, it’s time to set some new neuro-pathways on fire.
This can be done at any time of day. Gather some blank paper and a pen, a candle, a cup of something wonderful to enjoy, some dark chocolate and a cozy blanket. This time you’re going to make a list of 100 things that you love about yourself. Whether this sounds easy or hard, trust me- it’s going to be the opposite of what you imagine. Writing 100 things is non-negotiable, so give me your word and pinky swear you’ll do this. Trust me, we are blasting your brain with new neuro-pathways. You might start out listing obvious traits like: I’ve got great hair, I’m tall, I graduated college, I have a successful career, etc., yet as you create your list of 100, deeper attributes will begin to surface. Things like: I’m a good friend, I’m a great listener, I forgive easily, I’m trustworthy, I’m honest, etc., will begin to surface.
It is extremely important to create your list of 100 in one setting, so set aside some quality time for yourself. Once you’ve finished, take a moment to read your list silently before reading the entire list out loud. This list you will keep and have near by to reread everyday for 30 days.
Exercise 2/ Part One: Now it’s time to uncover your negative beliefs about love.
Perhaps deep down you believe that people cheat or can’t be trusted. Maybe you think relationships are hard, don’t last, or take too much of your time. Do you believe you can’t do relationship well or have a hard time communicating? Write all of your negative thoughts down. Use past relationship memories as fodder for this exercise, you’ll be surprised at what comes to the surface. Again, rip these up and burn them in the ritual described earlier. Then, wait 24 hours before doing the next step.
Exercise 2 / Part Two: Now it’s time to write down your thoughts and beliefs about love and relationships you would like to embody.
This is your time to literally rewrite your future from a fresh slate. Write this list as though it were true in the present moment. My relationship is loving and safe, I feel happy and secure, my partner is a great listener and communicates well, our relationship is solid and stands the tests of time, etc. Keep this list nearby and reread it out loud every morning for 30 days.
Now to seal the deal I have one last exercise for you.
The left pre-frontal cortex needs to be engaged and interested on a daily basis to create new neuro-pathways, otherwise we fall into old habits. Ever wonder why vacations are so wonderful? Sure getting away is nice, but when we’re surrounded by new sights, sounds and experiences, the LPF is engaged and firing. When the LPF is engaged, we are ripe to create permanent new change in our life. It’s like saying: hey pay attention LPF, I want you to write a new neuro-pathway for me right now, and it does.
So… the very best way to grab your brain’s attention and feed it a new belief is to change things up in your home. Rearrange your furniture, clear out clutter, move the items in one kitchen cabinet over to another kitchen cabinet, switch your bathroom toiletries into new places and rearrange all of your drawers. Each time you go to grab something in it’s old location and realize it’s no longer there, you have gained your LPF’s attention and can reinforce the new belief patterns you are adopting.
Now you know why I want you to read your two positive lists daily. When we combine reading our lists daily with the changes around our home, we literally light the LPF on fire to create permanent change. Not up for rearranging things? Brush your teeth with your non dominant hand, take a new route to work, rearrange your desk drawers, or stop eating anything you eat on a daily basis and instead mix it up. Each time you experience something new, your LPF says huh? And BOOM, you’ve got its attention-then feed it with your new belief list.
Clearing the slate for new love isn’t hard, but like anything good in life, it just takes a little mindful effort.