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A Love Story: The Romance Behind the Romance Novelist

May 7, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (0)

Nina Ceves is the indie published author of several romance novels. Find out more at www.ninaceves.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ninacevesromancenovels.

How did you meet, and how did you know this relationship was special?

I was a bridesmaid in a wedding. He was in the wedding band. The rest is history! Our love story. I remember sitting with my friends, and feeling as though someone were looking at me. You know that feeling? I turned, and saw him. At that point, I did not know he was in the band. I thought he must be someone's boyfriend. I looked away. I felt so flustered, I actually got up, went to the bar for a glass of water, and went outside. He followed me. I made a joke. He laughed. I was only twenty-two years old with no interest in falling in love, and it happened right then. When I went home that night, I couldn't make sense of it. But, I didn't want to. I just knew. And every moment of that summer, as we first got to know one another, I could see what an incredibly special person he is.

Do you feel that you're connected on a soul level?

one month standYes. It is something inexplicable. I feel that my love for my husband will last forever, that our souls are timeless and so our love is timeless. In one of my novels, One Month Stand, the character Theo describes how he felt, the moment he met Ever, who is the woman he has fallen in love with:

"From the moment I met you, I felt there was a magnet within me, undiscovered until you walked up to me, asking if I wanted cake. The magnet drew me to you; I felt you had an answering shard within you, and they were pulling us together, to meet at the heart. Every moment since then, that pull grows stronger. For me. I love, I love the light and dark of you…"

What passions do you share?

We have a passion for laughter. I don't know why, but we make each other laugh so much. I tell him things that happen to me, or thoughts I have, and he laughs so hard. I feel as though I can share whatever quirky thing passes through my thoughts and he just *gets* it. He gets me. I think he is extremely funny and he cracks me up, just with his take on the world, his experiences, and how he relates them so comically.

Creativity is another shared passion. We both value it tremendously. My husband has always encouraged me to make time to write, and is so happy for me, so sincerely happy for me, that I'm now publishing, sharing what I'm writing. He is an incredibly gifted musician and I see how hard he works at it, and how much joy it brings him.

Tell us about one of the most soulful experiences you've had together.

One time, in the Sierras, we stretched on the ground, staring up at the sky as night fell. Then, bats started flying overhead. They were so beautiful, silhouetted against the twilight. Somehow, it was such a still, lovely moment, full of wonder, and I was so glad it was just the two of us together sharing it.

Dreaming Silas

Truly, nothing can compare to meeting our child for the first time. That morning, before sunrise, felt holy. The two of us together and then the three of us. My husband made up a song for our child on the spot. I'll never forget it.

How do you benefit from being in your relationship?

My husband helps me be the best version of myself and he says the same of me. He challenges me, gently. He protects me. He cares for me. He puts my happiness before his. I know he would lay down his life for me, in a heartbeat. That kind of love and loyalty? I'll never take it for granted. It blows me away. And I give it right back.

Our child sees that she has two parents who love one another deeply and love her unconditionally.

Do you feel that you have a shared purpose for being together?

I love this question, and I wish I knew. I wonder if that will be revealed over time. My husband and I both value kindness, and we try to practice that, if that doesn't sound weird, in any interaction that it is possible to do so.

What challenge have you faced together, and how did you find your way through them?

Illness, deaths, losses: life has its challenges, its ups and downs. I have had to learn to share my feelings and ask for the kind of help that I needed from my husband. He had to learn to be there for me when he could not fix things. We've learned so, so much about how to be there for each other. He knows I am beside him, no matter what. And I know he is with me, too. That connection means so much, there are barely words to describe the depth of my gratitude and appreciation for that.

What are you learning in your relationship right now?

I am learning how lucky, how blessed I am and just to savor that. I am learning how in love I am — the depth of that connection — and always will be. I am learning that a relationship can grow even better and better.

How do you keep your connection strong?

Shared laughter, heart to heart talks, wordless touches and looks . . . and I flirt outrageously, but only with my husband.

ninaIf you’ve read The Soulmate Experience, what ideas or suggestions have been most helpful to you? 

The entire book is highlighted, practically! There are so many insightful and practical ways of looking at growing closer, I loved it. If I had to choose just one, I would say: invitation instead of expectation. I loved the way that has helped me look at a few things in my relationship with my husband. Well, I can't just pick one, so I'll also add: how would this be if I were coming from a place of love? That has helped me so much, too. Oh, and just one more: the concept of the honored guest. That's so beautiful and so true. These three examples are just amazingly helpful and practical but they go to a very deep, spiritual level. They have truly helped me become a better wife to my husband if that doesn't sound too dorky...

What advice can you offer other couples to help them keep their connection strong?

Don't be scared. Or, be scared. Go ahead, but don't stop connecting, trying, reaching out, being brave, expressing yourself. Being vulnerable can be scary, and true love has a way of making you face your innermost fears. Don't shut down, don't start to skim on the surface of routine and responsibilities.

What advice can you offer single people who desire a relationship like yours?

Believe that its out there. Believe that you deserve it, because you do.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

I just have to merely think about kissing my husband and I get butterflies. We've been together over twenty years. I love him more every day.

With so much love in my soul, how could I not write romance novels, full of tenderness, heat, awkward vulnerability, tears, and laughter?

Thank you, Nina, for sharing your love story with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

The Key to Self-Love

May 1, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (0)

Today, we have the pleasure of being the host on Day 2 of Daniel Parmeggiani's virtual blog tour. His new book, The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence, is celebrating its official launch.

Daniel-Parmeggiani-Headshot-cropDaniel Parmeggiani is a modern-day spiritual teacher whose approach is unaligned with any particular religion or tradition. Driven by intense psychological turmoil when he was younger, Daniel discovered within himself a deeper reality that he says not only saved his life, but also showed him the way to permanent happiness and inner peace. Those revelations became the foundation of his new book.

Yesterday, Daniel visited Kate Beddow's 'Growing Spirits' blog at http://www.katebeddow.co.uk/blog/ where they discussed parental guilt and nature versus nurture in parenting. Today, we'd like to share with you a recent interview we had with Daniel on self-acceptance and increasing our ability to love.

MALI & JOE: Why do so many of us struggle with self-acceptance?

DANIEL:  We struggle with self-acceptance because of negative, erroneous concepts and beliefs we hold about ourselves. This, however, is not our natural state. As small children, we typically have no issues with self-acceptance. At that early age, we simply haven't yet learned that anything could possibly be wrong with us. But soon enough, we are taught that we can be good or bad, beautiful or ugly, worthy or unworthy, innocent or guilty, successful or a failure. We learn to judge and label everything, including ourselves, and we begin to wonder, “Am I smart enough, good enough, strong enough, attractive enough, popular enough?” The inevitable failures, rejections, traumas, and disappointments that accumulate intensify our self-criticism and self-doubt, and so begins our lifelong struggle to regain our own self-acceptance.

Most of our goals, obsessions and aspirations are driven by the need to prove ourselves worthy of our own self-acceptance. And this is a next to impossible task, as we try to live up to the impossible standards that society, fashion and our finicky culture in general throws at us. But in reality, there is nothing to prove because we are always entitled to our own self-embrace no matter what. We are born in a state of unconditional self-acceptance, and we just need to know that it's ok to return to that state.

MALI & JOE: How will increasing our ability to love and accept ourselves affect our relationships and our lives?

DANIEL:  There is nothing more rewarding in life than unconditional self-acceptance and self-love. It all begins with loving yourself.

When your own self-embrace is guaranteed no matter what happens, you no longer fear failure, ridicule, rejection or even humiliation. Filled with confidence and optimism, you are completely free to live life to the fullest, express yourself completely, and reach your true potential. Your relationships also take a quantum leap in quality, since you are now entering them from a place of completeness rather than neediness and incompleteness. With our insecurities gone, all the possessiveness, jealousy, defensiveness and insincerity that ruins relationships also disappear, replaced with openness, transparency and real love.

MALI & JOE: What is the easiest way to become more loving towards and accepting of ourselves?

DANIEL:  There is only one way to find true self-love, and that is by realizing we are all innocent, pure beings. We must replace the false, negative concepts we hold on to about ourselves with awareness of our true nature, which is perfectly innocent and spiritual. Awareness of our absolute innocence and our equality as flawless spiritual beings is the key to permanent and unconditional love not just for ourselves but towards everyone else. The more we awaken to who we really are, the more we are freed from the burden of proving our worth, and the closer we get to the “Inner Heaven” we all seek.

Lotus

MagnificentTruths-front-coverWe hope you enjoyed this interview with Daniel Parmeggiani, author of The Magnificent Truths of Our ExistenceIn Daniel’s words, “this book provides deep spiritual insight about who we really are, the cause of our suffering, and how to transform our lives.” If you are intrigued to find out more about Dan’s approach to achieving the highest spiritual aspirations of happiness, love and inner peace, pick up a copy of The Magnificent Truths of Our Existence at:

http://www.MagnificentTruths.com/order

When you buy the book now during the official launch, you’ll receive dozens of beautiful free gifts from Daniel and his friends and colleagues. It’s their way of saying "thank you" for supporting Daniel in this important spiritual work.

Be sure to follow Daniel tomorrow on the next stop of his Virtual Blog Tour, when he’ll be visiting Tina Games' 'Moonlight Musings' blog at http://moonlightmusepress.com/blog/ where she and Daniel will talk about the importance of unconditional acceptance and the four questions that we should ask ourselves when we make choices.

Thank you, Daniel, for sharing your insight and wisdom with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover

 

The Gifts of a Blind Eye

April 29, 2014

LABELS: Mali's musings, Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (15)

“Are you sure you don’t notice anything unusual about my face?” I asked her again.

It was Saturday afternoon. A gorgeous sunny day at a winery somewhere among the vineyards of Napa County. We’d been chatting about ten minutes when it struck me that this was the first time I’d ever met and had a conversation with someone who didn’t do that awkward double-take, nervously looking away from my face and back again, trying to figure out what was going on with me and which eye to look into.

I’d seen that response all my life. Having been born minus one optic nerve, my left eye generally just floated around. That plus the thick lenses I wore for the severe myopia in my "good" eye meant I was teased regularly in school.

Molly Nov 1964I remember standing against the gym wall with the two learning-disabled kids in my class, feeling humiliated that the team captains couldn’t decide which among the three of us to choose next.

You develop a thick skin. You come to understand that what a person looks like on the surface may not tell an accurate story about their capabilities and who they are.

I remember transferring to a new high school my sophomore year and, upon arriving my first day, being immediately escorted by a kind lady to the classroom for students with physical and mental limitations.

You learn to speak up for yourself.

“This can’t be my classroom,” I said. “It must be a mistake.”

I remember spending an entire summer trying to learn how to return a tennis ball until I realized, this is just not the sport for me. Along with baseball, basketball, frisbee . . .

You become resilient. You work hard to discover where you can excel.

I remember a woman in an aerobics class, who’d apparently gotten herself all worked up by the time she finally turned around and screamed: “Why do you keep staring at me?!”

You learn to smile at the little ironies of life. Before that moment, I hadn’t even known she was there.

I remember a young woman in college I’d just met who said flat out, “Why don’t you get that eye fixed? It’s really unattractive.”

You develop empathy. It’s been said that facial defects are the most difficult for people to accept, and I’ve noticed that is true for me, too, when I meet people who have them.

“No, I don’t notice anything unusual about your face,” the woman sipping the chardonnay said again. “Now you must tell me why you’re asking!”

Mali post-surgeryWhat was different that day in Napa was that I’d just recovered from surgery to straighten my eye. It wasn’t 100% successful, but enough so that my misbehaving eye wasn’t the first thing someone noticed upon meeting me.

What a freeing feeling that was!

And yet . . .

This “defect” has been such a gift to me. The more I contemplate my blind eye and limited vision, the more I learn from it, the more I see how this “disability” has helped to shape who I am.

I’ve always recognized that my visual limitations encouraged my other senses to develop more fully, including my intuitive senses. Navigating life without them would be much harder than navigating it minus one eye.

Seeing the world without normal depth perception has made me into someone who searches for the depth in everything.

Having precarious vision in my sighted eye, with no spare to count on, has made me incredibly grateful for this truly magical sense. I’ve always been in love with sight. If you know me, you know I never take a sunrise, a rainbow, a baby’s face, or the cross-section of a red pepper for granted. (And I'll try to make sure you don't, either!)

Mali todayA while back, I overheard a couple in a restaurant talking about their baby daughter. They had just found out that she was blind in one eye. They sounded scared, really worried about what effects this would have on her life.

I just couldn't not go over and introduce myself.

“I wouldn’t say that there haven’t been challenges along the way,” I told them, “but facing those challenges has everything to do with the person I am today. Yes, she probably won’t be a natural at softball or tennis, she will need to learn some special tricks to be able to parallel park, but with you helping her to discover all the gifts in her special circumstances, her life is going to be exceptional.”

If you’re dealing with a challenging life situation, what’s to lose by spending a little time contemplating what gifts that situation just might have for you? 

~Mali Apple, coauthor of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover

A Woman with Soul: Christine Pratt

April 15, 2014

LABELS: Soul Interviews / COMMENTS (0)

Tell us about a deep soul connection that you’ve experienced.

The deepest soul connection I’ve experienced is one my mother (who’s departed from us now) and I experienced during the birth of my daughter, Tiger Lily. I was in the hospital, and had begun labor, but didn’t have time to contact my mom and family because contractions started all too suddenly. My mom—who by the way was blind—had to come to the hospital to have tests done, but she wasn’t aware that I was there.

Christine

While on the delivery room bed, in mid-birth, it was as if I experienced an out-of-body encounter—as if someone or something was controlling my every move, and seeing or watching everything occurring to me, and for me, in the delivery room, EXCEPT ME! To be honest, I can’t even recall the entire delivery process, only when it was over and done with.

About an hour later, a nurse is pushing my mom into my room to visit me! The nurse said, “I don’t know how your mom KNEW you were here, but she said, Take me to see my daughter, she’s in here having her baby.

I told my mom what I experienced, and she just smiled and said, ”I know! I have a special connection with all of you kids, something you wouldn’t understand until you are grown.” She told me she “saw” my daughter, too—through my eyes! And she is beautiful!

Describe one of the most soul-opening moments of your life.

The most soul-opening moment in my life was when I found myself through an awakening moment. I have been through many dead-end relationships, and unfaithful marriages, and I still thought, or rather hoped, that I could find love and happiness through another person. I prayed to God and the Universe to open my eyes and send me the love of my life, someone who would love me, teach me to love, lead and guide me through life, and that I could reflect the same kind of love back to.

Christine4Well, God got my attention, and He spoke in my spirit that “He” is the love that I have been running from all of my life, and that He is all the love I need! I wept bitterly as I fell down to my knees like a baby… Not long after that, I came across this page on the Internet. It ran through my newsfeeds, and I immediately fell In love with it! It has taught me so much about love, and life, how to love myself, and how to love others, too…

I couldn’t be more content, because I have time and space to work on ME, to LOVE ME, so I will be prepared to love someone else when the time comes! I’m a better person, and a wiser person, because I love myself and accept myself EXACTLY as I Am, I am more trusting of the decisions I make, Because now I KNOW that I deserve to be loved: by myself, my family, and my significant other whenever he vibrationally appears in my life!

When do you feel your most soulful?

I feel my most soulful between the hours of 2 am and 4 am each morning! I can feel my soul speaking to me in the “still” of the night. I will normally get up, and blog what God puts in my heart to write about, or just meditate and talk to God in prayer, praying for peace, and unity, among other things.... It’s amazing, how in the past, when I couldn’t sleep, it troubled me, and I would seek all kinds of pills and remedies to help me fall asleep, or, if there was a man by my side, I slept like a baby, because I saw him as the “protector” of the home... But now, I either sleep peacefully and undisturbed throughout the night, or if I’m up meditating, I would do so all the way up til it’s time for my daughter to go off to school, and me to work, and I would still be energized throughout my day! Wow! When God transformed me, He did a complete transformation—from inside out!

Christine1

Where do you feel the most in touch with your own soul?

The place I feel the most in touch with my own soul is my bedroom! I hear the birds outside singing each morning, I see wildlife interacting—like squirrels playing, birds singing, sometimes there’s deer in the winter in the back yard. And I see the setting of the sun from my balcony! I love to sit on the balcony (before the world come alive with cars, and horns, and train engines) and just enjoy the sound and the innocence of nature at its best. Such peace and beauty!

Who is one of the most soulful people you know?

My daughter, Tiger Lily! She writes poetry (like myself) and she’s an angel to me! She has been through so much with me throughout my bad relationships, including the man who gave her his last name at birth, and later destroyed her image of him as a father by telling her that she was not his child...all done out of anger at ME! She got past the hurt in time, now she is looking forward to following her dreams going in the National Guard and attending college this summer after graduating. I am so proud of her! It is bittersweet, because I will experience the “empty nest” syndrome once she leaves. Time really flew fast with her. I’m missing her already!

Christine2

What do you feel your soul’s purpose is?

I feel that my soul’s purpose is to experience growth, and make me a better person. That I am to create a peaceful and happy life for myself, one in which takes me higher in my life, and that I should use my gift to enhance and contribute to the lives of others the same way!

Is there anything else youd like to share with us?

I am very pleased with the work that you two do, to enhance the lives of people and their relationships! You are an inspiration to all, and I am happy to be a part of “The Soulmate Experience” family.

Thank you, Christine, for sharing your life and love with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

A Man with Soul: Paul Nijar

April 9, 2014

LABELS: Soul Interviews / COMMENTS (0)

Hello! I am the founder of a yoga style called Yoga Do & Kali Do Yoga. They encompass my entire life, through my training in martial arts, personal training, studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine, meditation and yoga. All aspects of my spiritual journey have been implemented into these classes to provide an awakening experience for the practitioners. I am currently seeking out publishers for my first book, Everything I Thought I Was & What I Came to Be, a book that shares my struggle from shifting from a pessimist to a person realizing their divine spiritual path in life.

Describe one of your most soul-opening moments.

Paul Nijar Sunset MeditationGrowing up I experienced many struggles trying to find the person I was to become and struggling within finding the level of success I sought out. As I tried and tried harder over and over again, I became frustrated with myself. I felt at a loss, thinking that I was some sort of defect. As we talk to ourselves more than any other individual out there, I realized the only way I could remedy my bleak perspective was through checking the quality of my internal dialogue. I started to write in a journal as a coaching tool to shape my mind into something more preferred. The words that presented themselves before me came from somewhere else. They seemed very foreign to the current mind set I had been carrying. I began to investigate myself further through meditation.

Meditation coupled with writing has channeled a new energy within me. From further practise I learned that there was nothing wrong with me. I came to understand that as I was trying hard at things and failing, it was because I was simply making things hard from “trying hard.” It was from that realization that I started to just BE. I let go and unclasped the clench of control I had and allowed myself to free myself from the shackles of expectation. This was such a great spiritual awakening for me because I was consumed with great liberation at this moment.

From this liberation I was able to discover love: love for myself. Rather than berating myself through “setbacks” and “failures” I received each instance through compassion. Nothing was a failure, there are no setbacks, just building blocks contributing towards my spiritual evolution.

When and with whom do you feel your most soulful?

Writing is such a beautiful time for me. It provides an opportunity for self-expression and to actually connect with my true spirit. When I start writing, insights into questions that cycle through my mind present themselves before me. Writing creates an open dialogue with myself and my true spiritual self. I tune into a meditative state during this divine moment of conversation. Time is of no consideration during this time. This is an important note to ponder because time itself is manmade. The concept of time does not apply within the realms of spirituality. When I’m writing through a meditative state, I exist merely in form on this plane, while having full consciousness of my spiritual truth in the spiritual realm.

When I’m not marinating in the sweet solitude of my time writing, I am blessed to have met a beautiful soul of whom I am inspired by every day. Meeting this great woman has created such a beautiful harmonic balance to my life. It is such a great blessing to meet someone who is aware of our spiritual existence. We are in sync energetically and spiritually. All of a sudden I am experiencing the love that the movies, songs and poems are talking about.

This is a great realization for me because, rather than considering my role within this Universe as being separate, I see the inter-connectivity of us all. We all have a shared purpose in this realm and there is no differentiation of you, me and them. We are all one. This helps an individual who is struggling in their lives thinking that they are alone.

What qualities do you feel a soulful relationship has?

A soulful relationship is our greatest blessing on this plane. When it is provided for us upon the grace of the Universe, we gain a sense of oneness and purpose. We see that the relationship has a divine purpose to achieve some sort of work in this plane. Realizing the spiritual truth of your partner is such a great understanding to hold. When the two people recognize each other beyond form and see the infinite being for who they really are, they become one. As the relationship develops and the energetic connection builds, the couple is able to be communicate telepathically and feel one another no matter the distance. A cellphone call becomes obsolete when it comes to this connection, as it transcends all cellphone coverage.

Paul NijarBeing aware of one’s spiritual truth enhances the relationship beyond all numerical values ever associated in comparison. While many people fear aging as per not being able to hold a physical attraction for their lover, the spiritual awareness in a relationship will defy all time. The soul never ages and it is always pure and an embodiment of love. This love will hold the test of time.

What do you feel your soul’s purpose is?

This was a question that I struggled with for many years growing up. I never could see the purpose of my life. Through all the struggle and setbacks I felt I was having, I couldn’t seem to piece together what the point of all of it was. Through meditation and surrounding myself with like-minded people, I was able to understand the theme of my life. I first took on the role of teacher at age 7, this is something that I continue to do in different aspects of my life. This theme of teaching and sharing a piece of who I am and what I can offer others is my soul’s purpose.

Whether I am teaching, yoga, martial arts, fitness, nutrition, life coaching, meditating, sharing spiritual insights on YouTube or writing, I am offering a piece of my spiritual understanding. As I share my insights and struggles with others, I do so in the hopes that they can live through their struggles with greater grace.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Indonesia Yoga Paul NijarOne of the greatest lessons I learned in my years is that success, happiness and peace are things that are not reserved for a select few. We all have the capacity to live the lives we fantasize about. We can make all desires a reality. The ego mind will tell us otherwise. We must remember our spiritual truth that we are infinite, unbound energy beings and everything is possible. The undesirable feelings and emotions we are plagued by at times do not belong us. Those feelings do not depict our truth. Realizing that all emotions pass is a great understanding in realizing that when they do leave, our true nature remains intact. Rather than identifying ourselves with those undesirable thoughts, emotions or feelings, we must continue to hold our spiritual truth close to our heart.

Visit Paul's blog and feel free to say hello to him on twitter, Facebook, Instagram (SatoriJewelryDesigns), and YouTube. 

We love knowing you're out there doing such great things, Paul! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

Kiss Your Fights Good-Bye: A Book Review

April 1, 2014

LABELS: Wisdom & Inspiration / COMMENTS (1)

KissYourFightsGoodbyeIf you're experiencing conflict, disagreements, or other communication issues in your relationship, you might take a look at the new book Kiss Your Fights Good-Bye: Dr. Love’s 10 Simple Steps to Cooling Conflict and Rekindling Your Relationship.

Dr. Jamie Turndorf, aka Dr. Love, shares in clear, understandable language her truly powerful method for healing destructive patterns of relating and transforming conflict into connection. What we think makes this book so special is that she’s willing to go deep into the trenches with you, help you assess exactly what’s been keeping you there, and then, step by step, help you free yourself again.

There's a lot of great information here, like:

  • Why we get into negative conflict and communication patterns in the first place
  • Why we can tend to misinterpret our partner’s words and actions in the most negative way
  • How to break through negative—and often unconscious—communication patterns
  • Why biological differences between the sexes can lead to poor communication patterns, and how to use that knowledge to increase connection
  • Ways to identify behaviors that cause conflicts to spiral out of control
  • How to recognize and defuse common “fight traps,” like scorekeeping, globalizing, power plays, and guilt trips
  • How to determine when old traumas or wounds are contributing to your conflict and start on your path to healing them

Here's just one of her powerful suggestions:

The next time you and your mate have a conflict discussion, turn on a voice recorder. Try to forget that it’s running and speak naturally. Then listen to yourselves afterward. Honestly examine how you both sound. I bet you’ll be surprised.

Even if you don’t often fight, we think this book is insightful for anyone who wants to understand more about how to make a good relationship great or turn conflict with anyone—like family, friends, and co-workers—into deeper connection.

Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

What Makes a Soulmate? A Love Story by Susan Paget

March 31, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (0)

Susan Paget is a writer, vlogger and podcaster who focuses on issues that impact women at midlife. Her first book “Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide for Thriving at Midlife” is available on Amazon. 

What is the secret to finding a soulmate?

It’s kind of a $64,000 question and the awesome exploration that Mali Apple and Joe Dunn forge with this subject provides a deep insight to what many of us consider a cosmic yet “needle in a haystack” type of connection.

I’ve often wondered about what ingredients go into this myself because I’ve been with my soulmate for 30 years now. The wondering comes from the fact that when we met, we were two young people, from opposite sides of the planet, during a time when there wasn’t any email, cable television or iPhones. It was an impossible romance. Long distance and long-term relationships couldn’t have been any farther from our minds, let alone a future of marriage and kids. We had both just turned 21 and our whole lives were ahead of us. But despite all this, a very precious connection was made and continues.

So what were the forces that brought us together and what can I add about meeting the person who is “meant” for you?

For the answer to this question — and I’ve thought about it often — I can only point out to the few hours before we actually met. In fact, that particular evening is very clear in my mind all these years later because it was an absolutely dark night of the soul for me.

When I say “dark” I mean it on all levels; it was pitch black except for the glare of streetlights and occasional car headlights. Psychologically, I was a third-year college student who was completely lost. I had no idea what I was doing in my life. Whether it was feeling disconnected from whatever it was I was supposed to be studying or the dysfunctional life I was living, this was a night where I was compelled to face a hard truth.

I was on my own.

No one was going to come to my rescue. I realized that I could no longer keep waiting for someone or something to make everything okay and all the deflection in the world wasn’t going to change things. I received a very clear message that it was time for me to once and for all grow up. And frankly, I knew that if I didn’t, I would pay dearly.

I wasn’t crying. I wasn’t overcome with emotion. I was steady, certain and agreed with everything that was coming at me.  I had gotten to a place where I was pretty much saying, “Universe, I give up. I’m ready to take responsibility for myself.”

And then, like a true college kid, I walked myself over to a frat party — because that’s what you do when you’re in college and you have an epiphany!

Not long after I arrived at the party, I heard an Australian accent across the crowded room. It was the time of “Crocodile Dundee” and “Throwing shrimps on the barbie” and curious, I made my way over to a table of four Aussies who were on a surfing trip along the coast of California.

One of those boys — and I can say boys because we were all so young — was my future husband, Dale. We connected immediately and long story short, we were together from that first night.

Sue and Dale

It was a magical encounter that I put partially down to extreme dumb luck on my part. I mean I must’ve done something pretty damn spectacular in another life to deserve it. And while I know there’s some of that in the mix, there’s more and it’s a tangible element that anyone can have.

Something stemmed from that very stark night before we met and it’s that both of us take responsibility for ourselves. We keep ourselves strong — mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We continue to grow. We continue to challenge our own thinking. And this in turn allows us to be there for each other, to grow our relationship further, to support each other in the ways we think and move in the world. I can’t help but believe that this common thread through our lives, of not expecting the other to be the rescuer or be the one to do the heavy lifting, is the soulmate fruit that came from that seed that was planted that night that at first seemed like the loneliest of my life.

So that’s my thought process on what makes a soulmate. To have a soulmate, you must first, without a shadow of a doubt, be a soulmate to yourself. You must back yourself a 100% and stand by yourself even when the chips are so down to the ground that you aren’t sure you’ll be able to stand back up.

Change Guru

But you will.

I think that gift of knowing that I needed to be my own soulmate, even on the darkest night, was what helped me meet one.

For more information about Susan Paget and her book “Be Your Own Change Guru: The Ultimate Women’s Guide for Thriving at Midlife,” visit her website, www.thechangeguru.net.

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your love story with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love

A Woman with Soul: Diana Brunson

March 16, 2014

LABELS: Soul Interviews / COMMENTS (5)

Hi. My name is Diana Brunson. I have two blogs. One is Spiritually Speaking. I mostly write about synchronicity, which includes numerology. It is about my spirittual journey, but it is also to help others understand synchroncity better from another perspective. There are many. While it’s wise to look within yourself, sometimes it can help to see things from another point of view. My other blog is about the arts. It includes synchronicity as well. I think a better way to to describe it would be cosmic arts. Please take a look. I think it’ll help explain what I mean: Diana's Divine Diversity.

I hope that you feel the energy of love that I poured into this.

Describe one of the most soul-opening moments of your life.

One of the most soul-opening moments of my life, and a deep soul connection, was sometime after listening to Jason Mraz’s song I’m Yours. When I first heard it, I immediately liked it. I thought of it as a happy hippy song. And that was before I knew all the lyrics.

I think it was about a week or two later when I’m Yours became more than what I ever expected. Jason sings the words “divine intervention”, which I didn’t realize until much later. This was divine intervention preparing me for what was to come next.

Jason hums a little in this song. It was the frequency of that hum which touched my soul so deeply, that it caused the floodgates to be completely broken open. My soul felt the vibrations of his voice. Tears flowed every time I heard it. Heart-wrenching cries that happened no matter what mood I was in came bursting out.

I could have stopped listening to the song. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to hear the happy parts. I also had a deep desire to hear him hum. Not so I could cry again. But because I knew the longing of my soul was to feel the vibrations that matched her own at the time. This lasted maybe two or three weeks.

I was completely flabbergasted by these powerful emotions that were only felt when hearing that hum and yet I knew, intuitively that it was spiritual. I wrote about other experiences I had that pertained to this. It may help to understand better by reading it. Once in awhile, my soul lets go when I hear that sweet soulful sound that she connected with. And it’s still my happy hippy song.

Tell us about a deep soul connection that you’ve experienced.

I didn’t think it could get any deeper than that. Here is another divine intervention and the deepest soul connection yet. And who better to be the catalyst of such a spiritual event than someone who is considered a spiritual guru to so many? Many call him Master. Many others, including myself, call him Deepak, which, I wasn’t sure I should do at first. I’ve never met him, but he seems so down-to-earth!

butterfly synchronicitiesI began noticing synchronicities in the 90s. Butterflies and the ocean is how this confusing, strange, soulful, beautiful, synchronistic journey began. The number 22 has been very significant throughout my synchronistic journey since 1997. I wrote several articles about it last year on my spiritual blog. I mention this because Deepak’s birthday is October 22. Experiencing synchronicities with someone who teaches about synchronicity is so amazing. Having that someone be the one and only Deepak Chopra, mind-blowing.

I didn’t know who Deepak Chopra in the 90s. I saw a few quotes of his on the internet. Perhaps one or two were about synchronicity. Blogging didn’t even exist yet and I don’t believe he had a web presence at the time.

In the meantime, the synchronicities continued and I continued learning more of what they could mean. I believed I had a soul, but I didn’t think about myself as being a soul having a human experience. I did, however, connect synchronicities with the soul. I just didn’t understand the hows or whys of my experiences.

I felt like I was living in the Twilight Zone. It was driving me crazy, but I wanted it to continue because it also raised my vibrations and I was feeling closer to God.

Then four years ago I had a dream. Where the divine intervention occurred. That was a turning point in my life. I wasn’t consciously seeking spiritual answers or asking the question, “Who am I?” My life was far from perfect, but for the most part, I was happy and content.

I was already following him on Twitter, but I didn’t have much interest in Twitter. I was asked to sign up for work, which became unnecessary. Deepak wasn’t following me until I asked him a question about his latest book at that time. That was in 2010 and when the magic journey really began to take flight.

My first connection with him on Twitter occurred a year before. I had retweeted this quote by Rumi: “Let the waters settle, you will see stars & moon mirrored in your being.” His reply was so unexpected. “Just be with her.” As simple as that was, coming from Deepak Chopra left me speechless and highly emotional. I’m an emotional gal anyway, but this intensified it.

surfing synchronicitiesI love reading the reactions other people give when he tweets to them for the first time. Those that want him to connect with them get so excited it seems like they can hardly contain themselves. I laugh it tickles me so. My reaction was different. I didn’t respond directly to him. I just cried while sitting at my desk. I did a lot of crying during this journey. It was a soul-cleansing experience. Most of those tears were so full of pure love, though. Something I still don’t understand..

Thanks to Deepak, I began meditating, synchronicities increased and telepathy became a daily occurrence. Many of them with Deepak. Sometimes, all of the mystical, magical, mysterious phenomena of the universe still leaves me breathless.

Deepak has taught me a lot about consciousness, the soul, the universe, and another way of seeing synchronicities. Not everything he teaches resonates with me. But what does is what I will take with me and use for a higher purpose, if that’s what I’m called to do. I am so grateful.

Love. He tweets about it a lot. He writes about it. The best way for me to understand love is to experience it. A soul connection is a way for this to happen. This has only happened to me a few times. Because of Deepak, I know that when it comes from soul, I love, whether it’s recipricated or not. With or without romance, the soul loves.

Deepak is the closest one to God that I know. He is the reason I am closer to God than I have ever been in my life. To experience God, is to experience pure love from the soul.

When do you feel your most soulful?

DianaB

I feel my most soulful when I am either talking to like-minded people or when I am alone and focused on writing about spirituality, the soul, and (mostly) synchronicity.

It is usually more intense being within the experience of a synchronicity when it is with someone I love or from the first moment that I feel a soul connection with someone, whether I know them or not. It’s more thrilling when the connection is felt by the both of us..

Who is one of the most soulful people you’ve ever known?

One of the most soulful people I know is my beautiful granddaughter, Kailyn. When she was three years old, I was talking to her on the phone. Or rather I was listening to her as she told me a story.

I didn’t understand her enough to know what she was talking about, but the tone in her voice told me of such passion, it was as though I was listening to someone who was stuck inside a little body aching to come out and speak, but couldn’t.

I am sure it was my granddaughter’s soul wanting to deeply share that story. The more she spoke, the more passionate she became and then suddenly, her emotions became so intense that she burst into tears. Kailyn is now four and her passionate soul is heard through the words she speaks. A beautiful, grownup soul in a little body. She is so amazing.

What qualities do you feel a soulful relationship has?

It’s been about 12 years since I’ve been in a romantic relationship. And none that I have had were soulful. Excluding synchronicity, I didn’t pay attention to my spiritual journey until the divine interventions. So, I didn’t make having a spiritual partner a necessary part of my life. Nor did I when I considered myself a Christian years before. I didn’t grow much as a Christian. There were too many questions and not enough answers. Now I consider myself “spiritual not religious”. I still have questions, but now I listen to my intuition a lot more often (sometimes I still falter in that area) and follow signs I receive from God through synchronicities.

This is what I would like to have: In soul relationships there should be the freedom to just be. To be who we are. To have trust in ourselves and in each other. To be vulnerable, open and honest with each other. To be comfortable in our skin and with each other enough while being together in silence. To be supportive of each other in good times and bad.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I think passion, laughter, playfulness and silliness are wonderful qualities to have in a soulful relationship. I don’t believe that soul wants us to live a humdrum life of boredom. Spontaneity can add spice to the relationship as well.

DianaBWhat do you feel your soul’s purpose is?

I believe that my soul purpose is to be doing whatever it is I am doing in the moment, with synchronicity at the heart of whatever it is. Right now that is blogging about journey. Synchronicity keeps me connected to my soul and therefore to God (or whatever word you choose). For whoever is open to it, synchronicity can show that we are all connected to everyone and to everything. And that ultimately, God is at the helm.

I don’t always live from soul. My ego does take control. That’s where the lessons are. I’d rather it not be that way, but I have a lot of learning to do. With each lesson I learn, I am aware that I am growing through each one and becoming more aware of who I am and of my soul’s purpose.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Thank you Mali and Joe for allowing me to share my story with you and your readers. Synchronicities are usually unexpected surprises while, for those who pay attention may expect to have them. For me it’s more about when and how they come that is the mystery. They can come in whispers or come with a big bang. It depends on the urgency of the message and whether the recipient has been paying attention. Our synchronicity was in the middle. And in Divine timing.

I am not a seeker of attention. I’m perfectly fine remaining in the background. Even as a blogger, I don’t expect to become well known. So, having these experiences with two famous people and to share my story for anyone in the world to read is uncharacteristic of me. Following synchronicities can change that. I am going with the flow, not knowing the outcome. Thank you for inspiring me to do so.

Deepak and Jason, I don’t know if you realize how deeply you both have affected my life. Thank you for reaching my soul with your words, your voice, your essence. My soul wanted my attention and wanted me to not just believe God exists, but to experience God. Anyone could have been the catalysts. But it was you. Look how the universe work it’s magic. How crazy beautiful it is that you two know each other. Soul Divine.

With Love,

Diana

Diana, we appreciate you more than you know. Love, Mali & Joe 

I Married a Sex God: A Love Story

March 7, 2014

LABELS: Love Stories / COMMENTS (3)

This love story comes from the woman behind I Married a Sex God, a blog dedicated to keeping monogamy sexy. Connect with Marie through twitter at  @MarieFranklin00. Artwork courtesy Freedom Bean.

How did you meet and how did you know this relationship was special?

One enchanted evening, he saw me, a stranger, across a crowded room.

For real, that’s how we met!

It was at an art museum. There was a music venue there that night, an event they call Museum After Hours. I went with a guy friend to dance on the small dance floor they provided. There were literally hundreds of people at this event in a small, crowded room. My husband was a volunteer at the art museum that night. When I went to check my coat, he was right there to take it from me and he looked me right in the eye when I handed it to him. I definitely paused and made eye contact with him.

After that, we talked a bit on and off through the night… I liked what I saw and heard. He had a great vibe. We exchanged numbers at the end of the night.

My husband says that when I walked into the museum that night, God turned his head toward me and whispered in his ear “Hey, look over there…”

He says that got his attention and his eyes went right on me from then on out. He watched me walk in with my friend, watched us get in a very long line for a glass of wine; he assessed correctly that the friend I entered with was not a date or romantic interest. By the time my friend and I got through the line and meandered through the crowd over to the coat check, he had been discreetly watching me for a good 10 minutes. He says he felt he definitely needed to check me out, and right away he was glad he did.

I called him the next day because I had such a good feeling about him. We arranged a first date on the phone.

islandladyThat date was literally the best date of my life! It wasn’t that what we did was so special (a comedy club, dinner, and then drinks); it was just that really great vibe I got from him, from “us”—and I felt it all night long. I will never forget the feeling. I can call it up in my mind and relive it like it was yesterday. I remember the outfit I wore, the things we talked about, what the weather was like.

That was ten years ago, January 2004.

When really dug each other a LOT right from the start. It felt really great to have this man pursuing me. The feelings we had for each other were strong and mutual from the very beginning. There were moments when I found out for real what swooning feels like. It was like being intoxicated!

But I’m not sure I can pinpoint when it went from just a really great boyfriend/girlfriend feeling to the “Wow, this is a life-changing soul connection.” It didn’t happen overnight. It was more like it dawned on me over time that this was not just a fun, new relationship; it had much deeper lifetime implications. I guess after the first year we dated, I was awake to the potential that this was life changing—and by then I was certainly madly in love!

Even before then, I knew that having known him had changed my life forever. Even if we hadn’t made it from dating to relationship all the way to marriage, if we had broken up along the way, I would have never regretted that spectacular first date and whatever came after that.

How do you feel that you benefit from being in your relationship?

When you are truly deeply in love and having a soulmate experience, your whole spirit sparkles. You feel alive and refreshed. You wake up hopeful and happy. Your fears are quieted, because you don’t focus on them. Instead you find yourself thinking about your beloved and your delight at being in love.

Although we have normal lives and face daily stress and challenges, our love for each other is something I can call on in my mind at any moment and be suddenly happy all over again. I can pull up an infinite number of happy images and memories I have about our love whenever I need a reminder that there is something meaningful and worthwhile in my life, supporting all of my endeavors.

I am in generally excellent health, and I attribute this to the benefits of being in love. I can feel the warmth and goodness literally flowing through my veins!

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m very much in love. They say it is obvious when looking at me, like I have some great secret, and I am blushing like a schoolgirl most of the time.

riderrainbo

How do you keep your sexual connection strong?

We are both highly sexual people, and this was a strong attraction for us both from the very beginning. Being highly sexual, I know that the sexual component of any relationship I enter will always be very important to me. When I met my husband, it was clear that base was covered.

We are blessed with a wonderful, rich, experimental sex life that is never boring, never unexciting. I attribute most of this success to my husband because he’s a Sex God. I’m not too shabby myself either, so together we have a really good thing going on between the sheets. Heavenly, in fact.

For us, keeping the sexual connection strong is easy because we both value intimacy. Therefore, we are self-motivated to be close to one another emotionally and physically. We are always touching, kissing, and finding dark corners to sneak off to and make out. This high level of touching isn’t for everyone, but we both really love to touch and be touched. But it is more than the physical; the emotional intimacy just flows really well with us, too. It is mostly him, I have to say. He is blessed with an intuitive understanding of how to share real intimacy. He has taught me so much in that area. I seem to have been blessed with a lot of love capacity and ability. Putting together the intimacy with the love and the physical intimacy makes our sex life really amazing.

Do you feel that you have a shared purpose for being together?

I do have a sense that we have a shared purpose, but I’m pretty sure that purpose is simply to love each other and really experience that love. I feel the love we have is metaphysical, and that it is literally healing us and transforming us to be ready for something even bigger, a love from above perhaps.

I know that there is an evolution going on in me, right now. I’m growing and changing, and our shared love is causing me to expand into new areas of myself.

medicinebuddha

What challenge have you faced together, and how did you find your way through it?

My husband and I have had to work through an incredible stubborn streak—in both of us. We don’t have this completely worked through yet; we continue to work on it year after year. It would sound from the rest of my account that we are just in love all day, every day—and that is true. But we also have a bad habit of fighting like silly children over the stupidest things. This is where the stubborn parts of us come out and do battle together. If an outside observer saw us in one of our many fights, they might think we hated each other!

Both of us dislike the fighting and it has been a real challenge to get it under control over the years. But the deal is, we really do love each other, flaws and all. So even though we both may think the other is the one who is being unreasonable during our fights, in the end we kiss and make up and realize that seeing the worst in each other is ok sometimes. We are committed to working out our silly stubbornness issues and all the other things that need to be addressed.

And this is no small deal either: we both have a freight train carrier full of baggage to wade through… but I’m willing to do all the inner or outer work I need to do. Our love is worth it. I have never regretted growing and learning to be a better person and partner. Real love transforms you from the inside out.

What advice can you offer single people who desire a relationship like yours?

My husband and I both know we are deserving of love, and we knew this when we were single. We also both believed that there was someone out there for us. Therefore, we did not have self-limiting beliefs that were working against us. It isn’t that we expected the world to just cough up the perfect person to us on demand. And it certainly didn’t. We both went through many relationships before finding each other.

But we felt ready and deserving and hopeful to find the perfect person for us. That feeling of “deserving it” is very important. This is what I would encourage single people to develop, if they don’t have it yet: The sense that they deserve real love.

Thanks for sharing your unique perspective on love with us! ~Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships52 Prescriptions for Happiness, and the upcoming book The Soulmate Lover, and creators of Mantras for Making Love