Updated: Mar 20, 2019
5 TIPS TO EXPERIENCING MORE FREEDOM, SUCCESS & LOVE IN A RELATIONSHIP
Imagine for a moment that freedom is our highest peak. Our ultimate value.
Now imagine that love is simply a stepping stone towards freedom.
When we get that love isn’t against freedom and they can coexist, we open ourselves up to a new level of awesome in our lives.
Stick with me for a second.
I once had a fear that relationships meant losing my freedom to be proactive, successful and creative. I was so scared of being hurt, I kept myself inside a bubble.
When I first started my adventure into personal development a few years back, I kept hearing this term that “love is all there is”.
In all honesty, I didn’t get it.
I looked a bit like Joseph Gordon-Levitt when anyone mentioned it.
"When we get that love isn’t against freedom and that they can coexist, we open ourselves up to a new level of awesome in our lives."
HOW THIS BLOG CAME TO BE?
Back then, I was so tuned into my masculine energy, focusing on goals and rushing through processes. I’d built up a big wall between myself and allowing myself to receive love.
On the other side of that wall, there was my feminine energy. Nurturing, connected and compassionate. I was drawn to helping others. I felt like I had so much love to give underneath my layers of academia *cough* Protection *cough*.
It’s no surprise I found my way to community roles in teaching, creating and artist management. I loved connecting with people, helping them grow and contributing in one way or another.
Despite my obsession with books on emotional intelligence, mindfulness and psychology – I was completely disconnected. I didn’t understand that I first needed to be open to receiving. Not only from others, but from myself. Put kindly, I was a work in progress.
I’ve come to learn that our deepest discoveries are a lifetime of realisations that continue to unfold. Everything is feedback. Everything is learning. I have been failing forwards all through my 20’s.
Then I hit 27.
I started asking questions. Why do human beings do the things they do? Why did I do the things I do? Believed the things I thought? Behaved the way I behaved?
This is where I began transitioning from the music industry and head first into the early beginnings of my career in human behaviour psychology.
I began challenging every pre-existing belief I had about myself to see what was on the other side. Instead of being a victim of past relationship pain, and making ineffective decisions daily to avoid future pain, I became responsible for myself and how I was showing up. What part I was playing in my relationships and life that was within my power to change.
I had this moment of bliss one day after reading Intimacy, by Osho. A favourite book recommendation by Alexi Panos.
The meaning I had around LOVE began to shift, as each page presented new insights. I must have made 10 cups of tea that all went cold as I suddenly recognised that true love leads us into freedom.
If you're anything like I was, my initial response was: WHAT!?
Here was my previous (ineffective) equation:
Love = Fear
Single life = Independence
Independence = Freedom
Relationships = Codependence
It couldn't have been further from the truth.
"I’ve come to learn that our deepest discoveries are a lifetime of realisations that continue to unfold. Everything is feedback. Everything is learning."
On this note, here are 5 tips to experiencing more freedom, success and love in a relationship inspired by Intimacy by Osho.
I'm talking complete, expansive, exciting and unconditional love that is trusting of oneself and the other
#1 COME FROM LOVE, NOT FEAR
FEAR is the polarity of LOVE.
Let that sink in.
Love and fear cannot coexist in the same space.
So, if we come from a space of love, why do we still experience fear?
When we experience fear around relationships, we may attribute this to a fear of rejection or abandonment. We may fear that we are not enough or that we won’t be loved. We may fear dependency and losing our freedom.
The only way to dissolve our fear, is to go into it. Explore it within ourselves. Relationships are a reflection of our internal state. If we are triggered, it is worth exploring why. Too often we REACT, rather than RESPOND resourcefully to what triggers us.
The reflection is there so we can learn the lesson. Once we have awareness of why we do the things we do, we can then let go of our barriers. Create new rules around how we experience love.
Remember my mathematical-like equation earlier? It looks a little more like this now:
Love = Freedom
Relationships = Interdependence
Single Life = Interdependence
To be clear, it's okay to feel fear and it does not mean you don't love someone. The key here is to get clear and identify whether you are experiencing fear, which can sometimes manifest itself through other emotions. Be emotionally intelligent and ask yourself, "Am I coming from love or fear?"rather than being quick to defend and give your perceived experience of love the wrong label.
#2 ASK YOURSELF BETTER QUALITY QUESTIONS AND YOU'LL GET BETTER QUALITY ANSWERS
A mentor of mine who specialises in the area of fear and anxiety, gave me some incredible insights on human behaviour and why we do the things we do.
What is it that I fear?
What do I get by holding on to this?
What is my definition of love?
What has to happen for me to feel loved?
Love is “a strong feeling of affection… A great interest a pleasure in something.”
What if love wasn’t defined and confined by our dictionary definitions?
Let’s play with this.
Envision love as uplifting, expansive and empowering. A force that magnifies and develops our consciousness towards greater levels of awareness in ourselves and the world we live in.
In other words, true love and intimacy are unconditional.
In the space of unconditional love, we are authentic and accepting of who we are. We trust in ourselves and others. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
#3 VISUALISE WHAT YOU WANT INSTEAD OF WHAT YOU DON'T WANT
This is a simple yet powerful tool. Adjust your focus from all the things you don't want and what could go wrong.
If you don't know where to start, I have an exercise for you for some home play.
Step 1: Get on Pinterest, and start looking for pictures that are reflective of how you see yourself and your life with a relationship.
Step 2: Write up everything you would like in a relationship.
Step 3: Write up everything you need to be and bring to this relationship.
Remember, focus on what you do want - not what you don't want. Ensure these are things you can access within you, are in line with your values and can cultivate for your highest growth. Example: Playfulness, Kindness, Humour, Unconditional Love...
This is one step towards a greater whole. Whilst this step is fun - don't get stuck here!
#4 DATE YOURSELF. THAT'S RIGHT. BE WHAT YOU ARE CALLING IN.
Now that you have a visual, it's time to take some action.
Most of us are out there seeking something. We are out there looking to “fill our cup” from external sources. Relationships included.
My question to you is, are you looking for a relationship to complete you, to fill a void or because it's what's expected of you or you expect of yourself?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, I highly recommend you keep reading. If you answered no, then you might possibly dig this next part anyway.
My biggest tip here is to DATE YOURSELF.
Give yourself that love first so you know what it feels like. If you give yourself a healthy point of reference, you create internal standards and boundaries of what you will and won't accept.
Take yourself out to cafes, nature, movies, road trip or lunch. Carve out time to reflect and journal. This is dedicated YOU TIME to be present. Connect in with yourself.
You've got to be willing to step into being what you are asking of another. If you go into a relationship with any fear around success, trust, control, freedom, love - that is personal feedback for you to look at and get curious on WHY that is a trigger.
Coming from a space of blame, victim or justification will get you nowhere fast. To give it it you straight, you'll be experiencing more of what you 'say' you don't want. Stop the pattern in its tracks. Take ownership of yourself. Remember, love and fear cannot coexist in the same space at any given point.
This is your time time to cultivate self-mastery and awareness of your patterns. It's time to learn where you fall on the scale between INDEPENDENCE and CO-DEPENDANCE and make it a goal to work towards INTERDEPENDENCE.
Don't just talk about concepts and try prove yourself to others. Do it for yourself without feeling the need to tell everyone around you. Do it for a higher purpose. It's like that saying, if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, did it really fall? Yes. That great big tree in all it's glory did indeed fall, and boy did it do an incredible job. Who cares if no one heard. The personal satisfaction you'll get from showing up for yourself is a worthwhile stretch to practice to cultivate more interdependence of self.
"Be what you are calling in... I cannot give you what I do not hold in my hands." Preston Smiles
To finish up on this point, I will share something personal with you to provide a contrast.
I know myself so intimately now - and what i mean by this is, I know my patterns, my triggers, my values, core drivers, my weaknesses, my strengths...
I also know who "my one" is on a very intimate level too. In the process of consciously choosing to BE SINGLE during this period of my life, if I were to bump into him, I would know. It's incredibly exciting and I'm looking forward to meeting him.
I go on dates to keep myself open. A strong connection to self allows me to ensure I honour my standards, boundaries "in the moment". We've all been there. Something feels a little off or there's just one red flag you choose to ignore and justify. Maybe you tell yourself, it's not that bad, I can handle it or worse, part of you thinks you can change "that" for them.
PATTERNS TO SPOT IN THE CONTEXT OF DATING OR RELATIONSHIP HICCUPS TO KNOW WHERE YOU SIT:
Co-dependent: Investing all my energy into this person... Trying to connect with them... Trying to help or fix... Rescuer... Caretaker... Trying to prove worth... Fear based...
Independent: This person is taking up all my time and energy... I need space... I need freedom... Trying to prove worth... Fear based...
Interdependent: Finds the balance reflective of their own needs, followed by the needs of others... Can let go of needing control... Knows worth... Love based...
We've all been there! If you're in the minority, I take my hat off to you.
I've been in the work of choosing to be an interdependent single woman which is the essence of this blog. Essentially, interdependence is the balance between the two.
Know your worth to say NO to any less that what you deserve and to trust your intuition. If we say YES, there's a lesson to lean into. 9 times out of 10 it's juicy game changing one too!
#5 WE NEVER LAND
One final short and sweet golden nugget to leave you with.
WE NEVER LAND.
These words still ring in my ears after working with Preston Smiles during a workshop called The Bridge Experience.
It's more about the journey, than the final destination. If we spend our lives focusing on that end goal, we can miss life altogether!
"Trust in the process." Alexi Panos
The reality is that the future doesn’t exist yet. It’s illusive. Now is now. When we allow ourselves to simply be, without our masks or identities – we are undivided, whole and complete already. Our self-worth and love is intrinsic. We already have it. We just need to allow ourselves to access it and activate it.
Whether you're single, dating or in a relationship, trust in the process and keep being open and curious to learn.