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Worst Valentine's Day Ever

Can a disasterous Valentine’s Day actually be a good thing? I should know…

Worst Valentine's Day EverValentine’s isn’t always all hearts and flowers

Valentine’s Day can be wonderful.

If you choose to spend it with the person who you love, enjoying and indulging in the wonderful connection that you have, it can be magical.

If you’re alone, it can be difficult.

If your partner walked out on you unexpectedly the night before, it can be devastating.

I know.

Several years ago, this was how I spent Valentine’s Day.

At 11pm on February 13th, the man who I thought I would be spending the rest of my life with walked out on me unexpectedly.

I was in shock.

I was waiting for the punch line.

Surely this was just a bad joke. A very very bad joke.

But it wasn’t.

It was real.

It was painful.

It was heart-breaking.

The bottom fell out of my world.

When he walked out of the door, he took with him my partner, my best friend, my business mentor, my technical team, and the vast majority of my savings account.

I felt completely and totally alone.

My romantic life was in tatters, my business was up in the air, my financial stability had been removed and my confidence was in ruins.

My Worst Valentine’s Day Ever…

I woke up, Valentine’s morning feeling like I’d hit rock bottom.

I cried, I talked, I cried, I vented and cried even more.

Most of my friends and close family members were either married, in long-term relationships or having babies.

At that point it felt like I was a million miles away from “happily ever after”.

I was done.

For the first time in a long time I realised I didn’t want to be in a relationship.

I’d spent the last 10-15 years of my life pretty much going from one relationship to the next, without much time for me in between, and it felt like it was now my time.

Having spent so much time with other people, I’d lost touch a little with my ‘Inner Claire.’ What did she want? What did she need? What was important to her? How did she want to spend her time? What did she want to do?

It was time to find out.

So I decided to go on a bit of a journey of discovery. Learning more about myself, learning how to become my own best friend, learning to love myself, exactly as I was.

Spending quality time with me.

Going out dancing, travelling, spending time with friends, visiting places I loved, meditating, journaling…doing the things I loved, and enjoying them!

By spending this time making my life ‘All about me,’ I was feeling fulfilled in a way that I hadn’t done in years.

I was happy, having fun, enjoying life.

I was absolutely beaming, and everywhere I went, people were remarking about how I was radiating this great energy. I kept hearing that I was bringing a certain ‘sparkle’ when I entered a room.

After a while it occurred to me that it’s because for the first time in a long time I was being me. Unashamedly, unreservedly, undeniably me.

It was transforming how I felt, the work I was doing, the experiences I was having, and the people I was coming into contact with.

All of a sudden I realised that by being all of me, I was giving them permission to be all of them too.

Everywhere I went people were being magnetically drawn to my energy.

And not just any people, the people who I wanted to spend time with. The ones I resonated with, the kindred spirits, the soul sisters and brothers; my kinda people.

So I asked myself, what had changed? Why was I all of a sudden attracting a different kind of person into my life?

If it was happening with friends, would it start happening with men too?

And then it happened. The lightbulb moment.

In the work I was doing with women and men from around the world, I saw a pattern.

Those who were struggling to attract the kind of relationship they really wanted were following certain behaviours. More importantly those who had attracted the relationship they’d always desired WEREN’T following these same behaviours.

A Different Story

Suddenly the answers to so many questions became clear. Why I’d been attracting relationships that were doomed to failure, why I’d struggled to find any masculine men, where I’d been going wrong for all these years, why I couldn’t find love.

When I recognised the mistakes that both I and so many other women were making I started to change my approach to dating, and to men in general.

At that point everything began to change.

Not long after the most incredible man appeared in my life, and being conscious of avoiding these mistakes transformed the experience of dating for us.

That was some time ago now, and he and I are now travelling the world, living the life we’ve always wanted, and sharing the experience of helping others to transform their relationship lives.

He is everything I wanted in a man and more, our connection is deeper, more real, more intimate and more passionate than any man I’ve been with before.

This is the best relationship I’ve ever experienced in my life and we couldn’t be happier. What’s interesting is that without the Valentine’s Day from hell, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

So it turns out the worst V-Day ever, was actually the best gift I could have asked for.

Something to think about…

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

Feminine Head

What IS Feminine? What does femininity look like? – Part 2

Feminine woman 2

Last week I started answering the question “What IS Feminine and what does it look like” and we covered the first four aspects: Flow, Emotionally Connected, Making Connections & Inspiring.

This week, we finish with the final four aspects of the feminine:

Nurturing

People who are more feminine at core are at their heart nurturers…but this doesn’t mean that we all need to have children, or spend our afternoons tending flowerbeds!

Our feminine nurturing nature can be applied in any area of life…it is about supporting and helping to inspire growth in both ourselves and those around us.  It’s about caring for, supporting and protecting someone throughout a time of growth and development. That could be you, your partner, a friend, a family member, staff, pretty much anyone.

It can be important, especially in the area of adult intimate relationships, to understand the difference between nurturing and mothering, because without this clarity the lines can be very much blurred.

Mothering often comes from a place of ‘I know best, and I need to protect you from yourself,’ this approach can feel controlling, constricting and patronising. Nurturing on the other hand comes from a place of ‘I care about you, and I will support you in the way that you want and need support, not in the way that I want to.’

It respects another’s choices and decisions, and supports them through their journey rather than trying to direct the path that they ‘should’ take (based on the other person’s perspective and opinion). Nurturing brings together a beautiful combination of welcome support and allowing.

Intuition

Everyone has heard of female (or feminine) intuition – tales of it are legendary!  But it doesn’t have to be attributed to some form of supernatural ability.

The feminine has a very expanded awareness, we are ‘omni-aware,’ meaning that we are simultaneously aware of the huge range of elements and subtleties in both our external and internal worlds.

Unfortunately our conscious mind doesn’t have the capacity to be able to process all that we’re aware of consciously, so our intuition is often a blend of awareness, knowledge and experience. So many connections are made at a subconscious level that we don’t understand WHY we have the feeling that we do, just that something feels right, or not.

At times I’m sure that we’ve all had a gut instinct about something, often that we couldn’t actually explain or rationalise, it could be that we’re connecting with some sort of “higher ability” or it could just be your subconscious is aware of things that your conscious mind hasn’t been able to process.  Either way, if it serves you and steers you in the right direction, then allow yourself to follow it.

Natural

Femininity comes from a place of complete and total authenticity.  As a feminine person it is about getting back to who you naturally are at your core, embracing and embodying it completely.

Being feminine is owning, honouring and celebrating the real you, from the heart, and sharing it with the world.  It’s not about looking, or acting a certain way or wearing certain things.  It’s about being you, through and through, inside and out, and recognising how beautiful that is.

It’s really getting in touch with who you are inside, with your ‘essence,’ and allowing that to radiate out. As such femininity is connected more to being than it is to doing. In our busy, ever-seeking masculine oriented culture, where we’re always looking to do more, achieve more, be more there is this constant feeling that we need to be ‘doing’ something to get ‘there,’ wherever our current goal resides.

The feminine, contrarily, is all about being, here, now, present. Breathing and being. Recognising that you’re enough, right here, right now, that you don’t need to do anything more, or be anything more. You were enough the second you were born and you have been, are and will be enough every second of your life. So nothing else is needed, nothing else is necessary, you can relax and just be who you naturally are.

Energy

Energy is where the spark is added to the mix.  This is where our sense of strength, passion and real feminine power comes from.  A person who is feminine at core is an absolute force of nature.

They don’t seek out power, or need to prove themselves, and when they’re really in their element there is absolutely no need for either.

You can feel the flow of feminine power coursing through you, and every single person you meet can feel it too. This comes from connecting with all of the different types of energy that are the life-blood of the feminine; Loving, sensual, passionate, playful, intense, light, dark, sad, joyful, embracing and expressing them all.

How can we do this? Through connecting to the pleasure of our sensuality, igniting all of our senses and then embracing and expressing the energy that this connects us to.

We can connect to our sense of being playful, childlike and having fun with life!  Not taking ourselves so seriously!

We can connect to our sense of wonder that life held when you were a child and bringing that joy and ability to appreciate the little things into your everyday life.

We can connect to our sense of intensity, our sense of passion, our sense of love and allow ourselves to express the feelings and energy that they produce in our bodies.

By allowing ourselves to live life through being present to the rich, multi-sensory experiences we are capable of, through vivid colours, exquisite textures, luscious aromas, intriguing sounds and delectable flavours we can connect to the energy inside ourselves.

Through connecting to and allowing the pleasure in every experience, we ignite the energy within.

The feminine has all of these of traits and aspects to it but primarily femininity is a feeling.  When we connect to the feminine part of ourselves it brings with it a feeling of relaxation, of expansion, of receptivity, of lusciousness, of our senses and bodies being alive and radiating through everything we are.

And the question now is – what’s YOUR experience of being feminine?

…and if you liked this article, please share it using the buttons below!

Finally, if you’d like some free tips and advice on how to improve your relationship situation, pop over here now and check out our free video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship”

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

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feminine woman

What IS Feminine? What does femininity look like? – Part 1

feminine woman

Having established what feminine isn’t the next obvious question is “what do we mean when we say ‘feminine’?”

Femininity can take on many forms, because it is unique to the individual woman.

For example, when I’ve asked for examples of feminine women in the public eye, three women who regularly get mentioned are Kate Middleton (the newest member of the royal family), the actress Kate Winslet and Dita Von Teese.

I’m sure you would agree that the appearance and behaviour of each of these women are very different, and yet they are all viewed as feminine women…because each of them are connecting to the aspects of the feminine in a way that it authentic to them.

936full-kate-middleton Kate_Winslet-2-The_Readerdita-von-teese-headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some women do it naturally, others (having spent their life behaving in a more masculine way to try and fit in, be accepted or be successful) find it benefits them to take a little time to play with femininity and masculinity to find the balance of the two that really feels natural to them as opposed to just following the habit they’ve formed over many years. I speak from personal experience.

Femininity isn’t something that you can put on the outside.  It comes from within, from a feeling deep in your core.  When you connect to it, it radiates out through every aspect of your being.

Contrary to popular belief wearing certain dresses, high heels or doing your hair in a certain way doesn’t MAKE you feminine, that would be like suggesting that putting on scrubs and a surgeon’s mask makes you a surgeon. However, sometimes those external choices (what to wear, how to spend your time) can help you to FEEL more feminine and (because femininity comes from an internal feeling) when you feel more feminine by very definition you are being more feminine.

What are the aspects of the feminine?

Because our femininity is as unique as we are, I can’t get you a step-by-step formula that if you follow the instructions and check all the items of the list will result in you blossoming into your feminine effortlessly, but what I can do is give you some guidance, tips and advice to find your very own unique Flavour Of Feminine, the way of being that resonates deeply with you and helps you to ignite the aspects of the feminine in the way that FEELS best to you.

What I can share with you, however, is that there are some core aspects of femininity which are common to all feminine women.  They may appear to a greater or lesser extent from person to person, and they may show up differently in different women, but in my experience they will all appear in some shape or form in a woman who is connected (or connecting) to her feminine nature.

In order to make it nice and easy for us to remember these aspects (in case we decide that we would like to focus on developing any of them), I’ve pulled them together into a simple acronym.  It couldn’t be simpler…it’s about connecting to our F.E.M.I.N.I.N.E.

Little Side Note: As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, we all have masculine and feminine in us, so for anyone who is more feminine at their core connecting with the feminine is never about denying our masculine or making it wrong, instead it’s about allowing our feminine aspects to go first, and then utilising the masculine traits as and when it serves us and those around us best, as is true in reverse for someone who is more masculine at core.

We will begin today with the first four aspects of the feminine:

Flow

Being feminine is all about being open, letting things flow and surrendering any desire to control.

A crucial element of flow is that it is two-way; it is about giving AND receiving in equal measure.  If you can maintain an openness in your daily life, and allow yourself to both give and to receive from those around you, you will naturally feel more relaxed and feminine.

The very nature of flow is one of ease and relaxation. Flow requires no effort, no force, no pushing, all it requires is allowing. When we allow things to flow, we get to let go of the tension in our bodies, minds and hearts.

So one of the paths to allowing more flow into our lives is to let go of the illusion of control.

Ultimately we know that we don’t really have the ability to control anything, but we make ourselves feel better about the uncertainty of life by believing in the illusion that we do.

Unfortunately when we try to control the uncontrollable (which life very much is!) it brings more tension, stress and worry.

The more we try to control, the more we realise we have to do to have control, the more effort we put into it, the more we realise that there is STILL something out of our control and the cycle begins again.

The reality is that there will always be something outside of our control and therefore the only way to really have peace, relaxation and calm inside is to accept, let go of the illusion and allow ourselves to be in flow.

Emotionally connected

People who are more feminine at core are natural relationship builders; we use our ability to connect emotionally with ourselves and others to develop genuine bonds with the people around us.

Our ability to express vulnerability, compassion and kindness are our biggest assets when it comes to connecting at an emotional level.  Emotion is such a crucial aspect of being feminine and as love is the most positive and powerful it is the best place to start, both with yourself and with others.

Love has managed to get itself a bit of a bad rap though…we’ve all heard sayings such as “Love Hurts” and “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”.  So when we talk about love it’s not the 21st century kind with all the rules, restrictions and pain associated with it.

We are talking about natural love, the kind that you have for your mother before you even know who she is.  Unconditional love, pure and simple.

Making connections

As we saw above, people who are more feminine at core are natural relationship builders, we seek out connections, community, bonds with other people. We are naturally inclined to reach out, to communicate and collaborate with others.

We see this in the way that we communicate. Women (who generally speaking tend to be more feminine at core than men, though it is important to note that this not true for all women) on average speak 20,000 words a day, whereas men (who tend more generally to the masculine at core) speak an average of only 7,000.The feminine looks for connections, we look to build our own ‘tribes’ to share the experiences of our lives.

When under stress, the feminine generally speaking will look to reach out and find comfort through connection with others, and will seek to do the same when they see others experiencing challenges, offering a space to share their difficulties, some words of encouragement or simply a hug.

Inspiring

Unlike the masculine counterpart, the feminine doesn’t have any inclination to use direction, force or pressure to affect people around them.

Our core strength lies in being able to inspire, motivate and positively influence anyone we come into contact with, simply from the way we are being. If you’re a feminine woman at core and you want to see your man be more masculine, demanding it out of him is coming from a more masculine place inside of you.

If your man is truly masculine at core he will either step into the masculine in competition with the masculine you are expressing (not a dynamic that works well in intimate relationships, remembering what we know about polarity!) or he will step back into a more feminine position as you are occupying the masculine space in the relationship.

If you want your man to step more into the masculine, the best approach is to step even further into your feminine and inspire him to step into the masculine by how you relate to him from that place.

Join me again next week when I will be sharing about the other four aspects of the feminine, and the impact they have on our lives…

…and if you liked this article, please share it using the buttons below.

Finally, if you’d like some free tips and advice on how to improve your relationship situation, pop over here now and check out our free video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship”

Wishing You Love,

Claire x

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LPPTV Episode 26 - What 1 secret will make Christmas better for any relationship situation? - Claire Brummell, The Relationist, Love Polarity and Passion

What 1 Secret Will Make Christmas Better For ANY Relationship Situation?

LPPTV Episode 26 - What 1 secret will make Christmas better for any relationship situation? - Claire Brummell, The Relationist, Love Polarity and PassionChristmas can be a really challenging time for relationships.  It doesn’t seem to matter what your relationship situation is, whether you’re single, you’ve newly met someone or have been together for years, Christmas can create some difficulties.

If you’re single the holiday season can seem to be a minefield of happy couples, relatives questioning when you’re finally going to meet that special someone and celebrations that you’d really rather attend with a plus one.

If you’re in a relationship and things seem to be going well, there can be a pressure to create the ‘Perfect Christmas,’ where everything is magical and each moment is filled with Christmas sparkle.

And if you’re in a relationship where things aren’t as ‘Merry and Bright’ as you would ideally like, the multitude of festive stresses from finances, to gift giving, to spending time with the family and juggling the Christmas cooking can create explosions out of the smallest disagreements.

Everyone at this time of year tends to be looking for advice on how to have the best Christmas possible.  Given that the season is usually about spending time with your nearest and dearest having a secret that can help you to have the best Christmas ever, regardless of your relationship status and situation, is pretty helpful.

So today I share with you the 1 secret that will make your Christmas more enjoyable for you and those around you, regardless of whether you’re single, have just met your partner, or have been together for years. Watch the video now to find out how this secret can help you to have the best Christmas possible…

Tweet the Love… The Best Gift You Can Give This Year Is Simply Being Present @LovePPassion

Now I’d love to hear from you. Are you concerned about relationship challenges at Christmas? Are you single and dreading the family gatherings? Are you worried about arguments ruining the festivities? Have you tried what I suggest in the video and found it’s made a real difference? Do you think this would be helpful from your experience? Has the video brought up any questions?

Or, is there a question that you would like me to answer on a future episode of LPPTV? What is the one thing you’d like to know? What is the biggest challenge you’re facing in your relationship situation right now?

Please share with as much detail as you can because your insight and questions may provide a breakthrough for someone else and I guarantee if you’re thinking it, someone else is too and they could benefit from you having the courage to share your thoughts and questions.

Thank you in advance for having the courage to share and being kind and understanding in the comments.

…and if you haven’t already, be sure to get your hands on the FREE video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship” by clicking here now.

Wishing You A Wonderful Christmas Filled With Love, Laughter and Special Memories.

With Love,

Claire x

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Couple Christmas Kissing

Last Christmas?

Couple Christmas KissingI love Christmas time.

It’s all about fun, family, friends…a season of magic to warm up the chill of winter outside. It’s a chance to be a big kid (not that I need any excuse!) and indulge in all the things that we spend the rest of the year saying “oh I shouldn’t…” to.

It’s also the time of year where you get to hear from people that you haven’t heard from in the last 12 months, and often haven’t seen in much longer.

When the Christmas cards start appearing, it’s great hearing all the little bits of news that get included with the greetings inside.

A couple of years ago, however, one card had some news that we weren’t expecting.

News that came as quite a shock.

A family friend wrote and told us that her son lost his battle with colon cancer in the November before.

He was 30.

Now…this might sound like a bit of a depressing topic to be sharing just before Christmas…but bear with me…there is a string of festive fairy lights at the end of the tunnel, I promise.

I would like to say that Steven is the first person who I have known who has parted this life early. Unfortunately I can’t.

I lost a dear friend from university to cancer in her early twenties, one of my parents’ closest friends lost his wife to a sudden brain haemorrhage, my sister lost a friend from school to cancer, and a few years back a friend and shining light in the salsa dancing community was taken from us in a car accident at the age of 24.

This recent sudden loss cause me to reflect on this a lot…and it occurred to me that none of the people I have mentioned here would have had any clue that their last Christmas, was their last Christmas.

If they had known, if their families and loved ones had known, what would they have done differently? If they had the chance to have another ‘last Christmas’ what would they do to make it the most magical of all?

Now, I hope for myself and each and every one of you that we will all live long and happy lives into old age, spending many Christmases to come filled with fun and laughter, surrounded by friends and family all driving us crazy and creating more special memories together.

But if this were your last Christmas, what would YOU do to make it the most magical? What would you make sure you said to the people you love? How would you enjoy every single moment?

What are the insignificant niggles that you would let go because they just don’t matter? What are the moments that you would take a mental photograph of? How would you make every minute with the people you care about most matter? What could you do to make it the best Christmas you and your family and friends have ever had?

As some of you know, when I was doing my marathon training a few years back I had a revelation which totally changed the experience of running for me.

I realised that there must be hundreds of thousands of people in the world who would love to be able to experience what I was doing on my morning run, but couldn’t (for whatever reason). So I began running for them.

Each session was dedicated to someone else who couldn’t run for themselves…and when I ran, I ran the way I imagined that they would if they had the opportunity to run just once. It was a total game changer for me. Something which once felt like a chore became an incredible experience filled with gratitude and fun.

Now I know, that every single one of those people who didn’t realise that they were experiencing their last Christmas would LOVE the opportunity to have just one last festive season with their closest family and friends, and their family and friends would give anything to have one last Christmas with the person who’s no longer here with us.

A couple of years ago I took this message to heart and added a new tradition to my Christmas celebrations. I wanted to take the festive season as a prompt, a reminder to tell the people closest to me how I feel about them, to say thank you to them and to let them know how much they mean to me.

Christmas Thank yousSo every year, normally on Christmas Eve, I take the time to sit down and write a personal thank you note to each of the members of my family. I remind them of fun times we’ve had together, of memories from my childhood, of moments we’ve shared in the past year. I let them know how grateful I am for them, for the relationship we have and how much I love them.

I always shed a tear or two of love and appreciation when writing these letters, and the response they get always touches my heart. My 85 year old Grandmother is not normally one for sentiment, but she has often said how those letters, reminding her of special moments we shared when I was young, taking a moment to say all the things we forget to say most of the time, really mean something to her.

What started off as a single piece of inspiration, is now a Christmas tradition…and one that I always look forward to as I know every Christmas my family and loved ones get to hear, from my heart to theirs, just how much they mean to me.

So maybe this year as well as all the boxes and presents under your tree there could be a few simple envelopes that contain in them a gift that is priceless, for the people you care most about?  Hearing in your words how much they mean to you.

I’m sure that every single one of us knows someone who didn’t know they were having their last Christmas with someone special, whether they are the person who is still here, or the one who left before they expected to.

So how about this year we choose to celebrate this Christmas in their spirit? Enjoy every moment of this Christmas season the way that they would if they had the chance to do it again. To soak up every second and make memories which we will all cherish.

…and why not celebrate every special occasion…even every day like it were our last? We would focus on the best of each moment, and instantly dismiss any minor frustrations which don’t mean anything when you look at the big picture. What memories we would create!

I don’t know about you…but if my lifetime is going to be the long and happy one that I fully intend for it to be, then I want it to be filled with THOSE kinds of memories. 😀

How about you?

I wish every single one of you a Christmas celebrated with the people who you love as if it were the last you were going to get. One filled with happiness, laughter and love.

With Love,

Claire x

Why Does Heartbreak Hurt So Much?

Broken-HeartLast week I shared that December is known as the annual breakup season, and a lot of people shared how the article had come at the perfect time for them, because they were dealing with a recent break up themselves.

When I started hearing this, it took me back to some of my own personal experiences of heartbreak.

If a relationship has ended, at some level it wasn’t working. If you’re truly honest with yourself, I’m sure you don’t want to be in a relationship where you’re unhappy and unfulfilled or in a relationship where the other person is unhappy or unfulfilled, for whatever reason, because we know deep in our hearts that neither of those scenarios make for a good relationship in the long term. But that doesn’t stop it from hurting….and hurting deeply.

I know. I’ve experienced it first-hand many times.

…and I can vividly recall the times where I’ve felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world.

My experience with heartbreak…

Those moments in time where it felt like an effort just to keep breathing in and out.

The pain, the sadness, the numbness, the confusion, the fear…the complete and total overwhelm of experiencing so many emotions and thoughts at the same time, and not being able to make sense of any of them.

Mind and heart reeling, with no way out, only through.

When I brought these moments of my life to mind, I started to think about heartbreak, and why it hurts so much. As soon as I asked this question, two answers came to me.

The first you’ll no doubt have heard before. The second may be a bit of a surprise…

So why does heartbreak hurt so much?

So the first answer that came to me is that we’re experiencing a loss, which brings with it a sense of grief.

Whether a relationship has come to an end because we’ve chosen to end it, because someone else has chosen to end it, or because it’s been mutually decided that it’s for the best, we are still losing something.

We may not be grieving for the relationship as it was, but instead for the relationship that we thought it was going to be, the relationship it had the potential to be, or the relationship we wanted it to be.

It might seem strange to be grieving for something that you’ve never actually had…but losing the POSSIBILITY of something, is still a loss, and we still experience a sense of grief when the possibility appears to be no more.

We miss the other person…or maybe we don’t, maybe we miss who they used to be, who we thought they were, or who we thought they would become.

Whatever it is that we’re losing, whether it’s was something we had, something we thought we had, or something we thought we were going to have, it’s important to honour the fact that we will experience a sense of grief when the loss becomes a reality.

Most people have heard of the 5 stages of grief (or the Kübler-Ross model) where you go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance…but what most people don’t know is that the best way through all the stages, is to fully experience each stage, feel complete with it and then transition through to the next stage…in the timeframe that is right for you.

Do you allow yourself to ‘go through’ heartbreak?

When it comes to heartbreak though, a lot of people don’t allow themselves to go through this grieving process fully…they expect to just ‘feel better’ at some point, get told to snap out of it by someone trying to ‘help’, or distract themselves from really experiencing the feeling because it’s uncomfortable (whether that’s through alcohol, TV, another relationship or any other way to avoid the feelings)…and therefore get ‘stuck’ in one stage.

As I’ve said before, when you’re in this kind of emotional experience, the best way out of it really is through it…allowing yourself to fully feel each aspect of what you’re experiencing in order that you can then release it.

So if you’re in it right now, start to notice where you might be wanting to avoid or distract yourself from how you’re really feeling…because that in itself can be keeping you ‘in it’ and preventing you from moving through it to the other side.

The second answer that came to me when I asked the question “Why does heartbreak hurt so much?” hit me hard.

Because it was probably one of the hardest things for me to understand and begin to accept about my own experiences with heartbreak…and it was also the single, most powerful realisation that transformed my experience with heartbreak forever.

So join me again next week where I will be sharing the insight that changed how I experience heartbreak…and which helped me reach the point where, I began to eventually be able to see each one as a gift.

…and if you’re currently dealing with a break up and you’d like to find out how I might be able to help you through it, then either send me an email: claire@lovepolarityandpassion.com or book a discovery session here to get some help and support when dealing with heartbreak during the holiday season.

With Love,

Claire x

Would you like to know how to avoid the annual breakup season?

breakupThe festive season can be wonderful.

…it can also be a really challenging time of year.

Family commitments, present-buying, Christmas parties, money-worries, end of year deadlines…

It’s a recipe for a stress-cocktail.

It’s no surprise that according to Facebook, December is the month of the year with the highest number of breakups.

The problem with stress is that we have a tendency to take it out on the people who are closest to us. They are the people who see every side of us…the good, the bad and the very ugly.

We don’t put on pretenses for those who are closest to us…and we don’t tend to pull our punches.

You see, when we’re under stress our bodies jump into fight or flight mode.

Why is this the annual breakup season?

We learned our stress responses many years ago when ‘stress’ was caused by coming face-to-face with a saber-toothed tiger or a woolly mammoth. It was a matter of survival. Us or them.

Unfortunately our stress responses have not evolved with our lives…so we get the same rush of adrenaline and hormones when dealing with an urgent deadline as we did when being considered as a Paleolithic beast’s lunch.

So when we feel stress we see the world as a threat…including our partner.

When we see someone or something as a threat, all compassion and understanding tends to fly out of the nearest window. We have two go-to responses; protect & defend ourselves, and attack.

…and when one person gets defensive or confrontational, the other person often isn’t far behind.

So how can we avoid the stress-loop that often leads to a breakup?

The biggest problem when we enter this stress-pattern is that we forget that we are on the same side.

We’re on the same team.

They aren’t your adversary, they’re your team-mate.

Think about a football team. How successful do you think a team would be if they spent all their time tackling each other rather than focusing on the opposition, or the goal?

Not very.

You see, our response to stress often has us drawing battle lines against the person with whom you could instead be creating a battle strategy WITH.

So if you notice yourself dropping into ‘confrontation mode’ with your partner, here are a few simple steps to help you get back in each other’s corner again.

  1. Stop – So many of our troubles at this time of year start because rather than responding to what’s happening we react. We fire right back at the moment we feel upset or triggered without taking a moment to stop and consider how we want to respond, or the consequences of our reaction. Take a pause…it could make all the difference.
  2. Breathe – Take a deep breath, and allow yourself to let go of some of the tension in your body. When we go into fight of flight mode our muscles tense in order to be ready to swing a right-hook, or run for the hills. Taking a deep breath and shaking out your body can release some of this tension and help you to relax.
  3. Ask yourself a question (or two)…(or three) – When we feel this way, it tends to be because we’ve attributed a meaning to our partner’s behavior (what they’ve said / not said / done / not done) that might not be in-line with the intention behind it. So ask yourself “What else could this mean?”, could there be another reason than the one you’ve got in your mind? The other question to ask yourself here is “What is my outcome?” what do you really want in this moment? Do you want to be right? Or Do you want to be happy? Do you want to fight? Or do you want to build a bridge with the person who is usually your biggest ally? The final question to ask yourself is “How do I REALLY want to deal with this?” Your reaction has the potential to create a battleground or a dance floor, to fire an attack or wave a white flag, to metaphorically slap them in the face or reach out to connect with them. This is your moment to choose how you show up, which has the ability to completely transform the situation.
  4. Apologise – At this point you may be a little confused. Apologise? But they’re the one who’s upset me! While that may be true…step back a little bit. Is there something that you’ve said or done (or not said or done) that might have caused a reaction in them? Might they have misinterpreted your actions or words? If you can see how they might be upset, apologise for your part in what’s happened, without reservation, and without bringing how you’re feeling into it (for now).  When you do this for another person, they go from attack and defend mode to putting both their weapons and their defences down. This is the first step towards working together to find a solution.
  5. Ask for their help – This situation could simply be happening because they don’t really know what you want or need, and how to give it to you…so the easiest way for them to be able to do this is for you to tell them. But barking instructions at them is probably not going to help them feel you’re on the same side. Instead ask for their help…ask for what you want and need, show them how to help and support you.
  6. Remind them (and most importantly yourself) that you’re on the same team – Remember that you’re on the same team.  Remind them (with kindness) that you’re on their team…and that you know that they’re on your team too. Just verbalising this can make such a difference to how you both perceive what’s going on. It might be a misunderstanding, it might be a difference of opinion, but if you’re on the same side, you can figure it out together.

When you’re on the same side, dealing with the stress of the season seems so much more manageable…and you know you’re not dealing with it alone. Navigating your way through the festive period can both pull you together, or tear you apart…choosing to be on the same team can make it more likely to be the former.

…but what if you do breakup?

If you do break up this time of year, there are a few things to bear in mind.

If the choice to separate wasn’t yours, then the other person has done you the favour of walking away from you. You want to be with someone who chooses you, who sees you, who values you…who wants to be with you. If this person has made another choice, you deserve more.

But knowing that doesn’t make the process of dealing with it any easier…so you might want to check out a couple of these articles to help you through the process:

The new year is a good time to move start afresh, to go through the process of letting go of the past and to begin to attract and create the relationship that you desire and deserve.

…and if you think the advice in this post could help someone you know, I would love for you take a few seconds to share it.

Would you like some help in navigating the annual breakup season?

Often when we’re dealing with relationship challenges, whether it’s stress, money, arguments, worries about trust or infidelity, it can be tough to do it on your own. It can feel isolating and lonely, especially when everyone around you seems to be enjoying a challenge-free festive season with their loved ones.

Or maybe you’re single and worried about how to enjoy the festivities without a special someone to share it with? Maybe you’re worried about the comments or questions from family about ‘When are you going to find someone?’ Maybe you’re just fed up of the thought of another Christmas and New Years Eve on your own?

So if you’d like to find out how I might be able to help you with your specific relationship concerns, worries or challenges at this time of year, then either send me an email: claire@lovepolarityandpassion.com or book a discovery session here to find out how you can avoid or reduce the relationship challenges that most people face at this time of year.

It can be a tough time to navigate, and it’s so much easier when you know you’re not doing it alone.

With Love,

Claire x

When to say "F*ck That" to Gratitude

When to say ‘F*ck That’ to gratitude

When to say "F*ck That" to GratitudeI’m all for an attitude of gratitude, in fact I’ve spent a lot of time blogging about it over the past 3-4 years.

If you’d prefer to read a nice, happy, focus on the positive blog post to celebrate this day of thanks, then my advice is to cut your losses now and head over to one of these other posts:

http://feminine1st.com/life-as-a-woman/the-attitude-of-gratitude/

http://feminine1st.com/life-as-a-woman/can-you-always-find-the-gratitude/

http://feminine1st.com/life-as-a-woman/grateful-things-dont-work-way-planned-expected/

http://feminine1st.com/life-as-a-woman/how-often-do-you-thank-you/

If you’re looking for a real, honest, pull no punches, I wanna get down to the nitty-gritty post, keep reading.

As we know, gratitude is a game-changer.

It’s the antidote to a lot of the emotions we label as ‘negative’.

It’s not possible to feel gratitude and fear at the same time, it’s not possible to feel gratitude and anger at the same time, it’s not possible to feel gratitude and judgment at the same time.

In fact a good old dose of gratitude can pretty much help you feel better in the midst of any emotional challenge.

…and therein lies the problem.

Feeling authentically grateful, because that’s the emotion that’s primary in your life at any point in time is wonderful.

But the challenge for a lot of us is that we try to use gratitude as a tool, to avoid, or distract ourselves from the other emotions we’re feeling and experiencing. In short, to make ourselves feel better when we’re really feeling something else instead.

I mean, who’d want to feel angry, if you can go for gratitude instead?

Who’d choose sadness over feeling grateful?

Who’d opt for disappointment over being thankful?

When we are faced with the alternative of something that, let’s face it, feel’s pretty crappy, why would you feel that over something that feels so much better?

Well, the answer is, because every emotion serves a purpose. It’s our body’s way of processing the experiences that we’re having. If we feel angry, there’s a reason for it, something has happened to trigger anger in us and it’s important for us to allow ourselves to be in the emotion, to feel the anger fully, in order that it can serve its purpose and we can learn from it and let it go.

If we don’t allow ourselves to feel it, we don’t ever really process the situation, instead we end up holding onto it (and the emotion), and it just sits deep inside us festering and fermenting away until one day it pops up unexpectedly out of nowhere and rears it’s ugly head.

Because now we’re not just dealing with the emotion, we’re dealing with the emotion + interest.

Being thanksgiving, I was going to write an article today about gratitude.

I had a few options available to me.

Maybe a piece about how shifting to a perspective of gratitude towards your partner instead of focusing on their shortcomings can transform a relationship (which it can, by the way).

Or a nice article on how feeling grateful for our heartbreaks can transform the experience and help you to see how each one has given you something and contributed to your learning along the way (again, a very valid topic), along similar lines to the final section in this piece: http://feminine1st.com/relationships/changed-experience-heartbreak-forever/.

Or perhaps a blog about how being grateful for yourself is the first step to having a better relationship with anyone (another important thing to know).

And then I realised that there are a million articles like that out there (especially today of all days) but not very many that actually give you permission NOT to be thankful when you’re actually feeling something else.

For example, I do genuinely believe that everything happens for a reason in life. I do believe that every heartbreak taught me something. I do believe that each broken heart ultimately was a gift. It was something to be grateful for.

But in the moment, at the point at which you can feel your heart shattering into a million pieces, if someone comes along and points out that it’s for the best and one day you’ll be grateful that this has happened, your first instinct is to say “F*ck That!”

Not “I don’t feel that way at the moment,” not “I’m sorry, but this feels crappy and I’m not ready to see the silver lining yet,” but literally “F*ck That.”

The F word has a certain power to it. If it’s used all the time, it can lose that power and just becomes another word in your vocabulary. But if it’s used sparingly and only when that level of emphasis and charge is needed, it can be very cathartic.

Because trying to make yourself feel better when you’re in the midst of a painful experience is an insult to your emotions. It diminishes and dishonours what you’re going through.

And if anyone is trying to diminish your emotions and your experience (whether it’s you or someone else), the “F*ck that” response says: That’s not acceptable. I will not allow it. No.

That is a response you have every right to, because this is you respecting yourself, respecting your emotions, respecting your experience and taking back your power.

Not only do you have every right to say “F*ck That,” but it’s actually preferable.

Because you can’t get to genuine gratitude unless you go through the emotions first.

And at that point, at the point of pain, the situation just plain sucks.

It hurts.

It’s not good.

There seems no reason good enough for the fact that you’re feeling the way you feel.

You don’t want to feel it.

You don’t like feeling it.

But doing anything else is ultimately doing yourself a disservice.

So cry. Wail. Shout and scream. Sob into a cushion, and beat the crap out of a beanbag (my personal favourite in situations like these).

Talk to Friends. Spend a day under the duvet.

Be with it.

Be in it.

Feel it.

Experience it.

And when it’s served its purpose, you then have the choice to be able to release the emotion and let it go.

Then you can begin to think clearly about it.

You can begin to get some perspective. You can start to look for the lessons, the learnings, the gifts.

At this point you can allow yourself to step into gratitude, and step into it fully, completely, unreservedly and whole-heartedly.

So the next time you find yourself feeling a strong ‘negative’ emotion, you have my full permission to say “F*ck That” to that false, distracting gratitude, and instead allow yourself to actually feel what’s there first.

Because when you go through the emotion first, you can actually get to the other side, after which you can get to genuine gratitude.

Put simply, saying “F*ck that” to false gratitude is the path to experiencing REAL gratitude.

…and there are very few things more powerful in this world than genuine, from the heart, I feel it in my soul gratitude.

I invite you to Tweet the Love… Saying f*ck that to false gratitude is the path to REAL gratitude @LovePPassion

Now I’d like to know what you think. Have you learned to say “F*ck That” to false gratitude? Have you experienced it as the path to real, genuine gratitude? Does it feel like an edge for you? Does this resonate with you? Or do you think I’m totally wrong? Is it something that feels uncomfortable? What have YOUR experiences with this been?

And on thanksgiving I give you permission to say “F*ck That” to cheap imitations of gratefulness, the ones employed to distract, avoid and ‘make us feel better’, and instead to make the powerful choice to only embrace and express gratitude that is real.

In the short-term it can feel like it sucks, but in the long-term it’s the key to real, genuine emotional freedom.

And there’s no other feeling like it.

With Love,

Claire x

P.S. If you’d like some free tips and advice on how to create your perfectly imperfect relationship, pop over here now and check out our free video series “The First Steps to Transforming Any Relationship”

Man woman masculine feminine

The 11 Biggest Misperceptions About The Masculine – Part 2

Man woman masculine feminineLast week we began looking at the 11 biggest misperceptions about the masculine, but why is it important for us to understand them?

Unfortunately, working with both men and women around the world I see the consequences of the beliefs that both men and women hold about masculinity, and how it affects both them and their relationships.

So many men have lost touch with their sense of masculinity and it’s important for them to be able feel good about reclaiming their masculine power without feeling that they will be criticised for doing so, without misunderstanding what that really means (and therefore not wielding the power honourably) or that the burden of the mantle of the label ‘masculine’ will be too big.

The best way to navigate and avoid these potential challenges, is to truly understand what ‘the masculine’ means, and sometimes the best way to begin to understand what something is, is to understand what it is not.

So to celebrate that yesterday was international men’s day, here are the remaining biggest misperceptions of the masculine:

8. Masculine is not Invulnerable

Vulnerability is a real hot topic and major trigger point for many men. The belief that masculine equals strong, and vulnerability equals weakness creates a lot of misperceptions that the masculine cannot be vulnerable. In reality, vulnerability does not mean weakness at all. Vulnerable means ‘open to attack, harm or damage,’ which while a little scary does not imply weakness. In fact to risk being open to attack, harm or damage for the purposes of being also open to love, passion and connection takes real courage. Being vulnerable is courageous, and inside every masculine man beats the heart of a hero, ready to take brave risks for the purposes of a reward that’s worth it. Connecting with another’s heart takes courage, and the masculine is ready and willing to take that risk knowing the reward will give him more than he could possibly imagine.

9. Masculine is not Superior

There is this HUGE misperception that somewhere along the line someone decided that masculinity was in some way superior to femininity, and that the feminine was somehow less than its masculine counterpart. As with all opposite forces in nature, the masculine and feminine are EQUAL and opposite. That does not make them the same, it means that neither is better or worse, stronger or weaker than the other. The true masculine knows and respects the power of the feminine, and would never seek to diminish or demean it. The masculine does not feel more masculine by diminishing the feminine, and in fact understands that to diminish either actually disempowers them both. The real strength and power of the masculine and feminine comes when they combine, complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, where the whole becomes more than the sum of it’s parts.

10. Masculine is not Selfish

The masculine and feminine relate to their own needs in very different ways. The feminine, because of its nurturing nature, has a tendency to do its best to ensure that everyone else’s needs are met first, and because of its awareness of everything at all times gets easily distracted from its own needs. This means that the needs of the feminine tend to get met as a ‘last resort’ i.e. That the feminine meets its own needs when they get urgent, which tends of be at the last possible moment. On the flip side, the masculine tends to meet its needs immediately that it first becomes aware of them. If a masculine man is hungry, he eats (irrespective of whether dinner will be ready in 10 minutes), if he’s thirsty, he drinks, if he’s tired, he rests and if he needs the bathroom, he goes – the moment he’s aware of the need. As such women can sometimes view masculine men as selfish, putting their needs first above all others. What’s interesting is that in reality a big part of the reason the masculine ensures his needs get met immediately is because of the sense of responsibility he feels to provide and protect. If his needs aren’t met, if he’s hungry or tired, or needs the bathroom, this could impact his ability to provide and protect, meaning that he wouldn’t be able to look after the feminine and the family to the best of his ability. Often this process is happening at a subconscious level, he’s not even aware of it, but he looks after himself first to ensure that he can do the best job possible in taking care of the things he feels a responsibility for.

11. Masculine is not Inferior

Last, but by no means least, in the same way that the masculine is not superior to the feminine, it is not inferior either. Over the last 20-40 years the role of men in our culture has often become that of ridicule and mockery. The subconscious fear from many women that men won’t know how to wield their masculine power honourably and in a trustworthy way has led to them wanting to take this power from them. Emasculation in the form of humour has become a dominant part of our lives, and in the same way as undermining women disempowers both men and women, the same is true in the other direction too. If either sex believes it needs to take power from the other to feel powerful itself, it doesn’t understand the true meaning and nature of power. It comes from the inside out, not the outside in – you can’t take it from anyone else, and the attempt to do so only demonstrates an underlying feeling of insecurity and disempowerment. The jokes, eye rolls, and put downs at the expense of men and masculinity are equally offensive and damaging to men, women and relationships, as the equivalent slights against women did and continue to do. The true masculine and feminine seek to build each other up, rather than tear each other down, because it’s in combining our strengths that we really see what’s possible together.

So I’m curious, what are your experiences of the word masculine? Do any of the misperceptions I’ve mentioned above ring true for you? Have you felt that any of these were true at one point or another, and what did that mean for you and your relationships? Are you aware of other misperceptions about masculinity that have created some challenges for you?

…and watch this space because in the next couple of week’s I’ll be sharing the other side of the coin for you to understand what true masculine and real feminine is really all about…

With Love,

Claire x

The 11 Biggest Misperceptions About The Masculine – Part 1

man-164962_1280A while ago I posted an article explaining what feminine is not because the word ‘feminine’ has become so misunderstood that many women have actively avoided or denied any association with it.

Unfortunately I see a similar situation when it comes to the word masculine. When I hear the words masculine and feminine used in conversation they’re often associated with concepts or linked to ideas that have nothing at all to do with either.

Before I set the record straight on what masculinity IS, I wanted to help us to get clear on what it is not. So here are 10 commonly held misperceptions about the masculine that are untrue:

1. Masculine is not Neanderthal

So many people as soon as you mention the word masculine envisage a caveman with a club whose first instinct is to smack the nearest women over the head and drag her back to his cave. While I have no judgment if that’s your idea of a fun Saturday night, that’s not what the masculine is about, nor is it about macho peacocking behavior either. While masculine energy, aspects and behaviours might have evolved from our cavemen ancestors, these days he’s upright, out of the cave and knows how to respect and honour a woman of this day and age in a way that she’ll really respond to.

2. Masculine is not Aggressive

Many people equate masculinity with aggression, but aggression is simply a tool to cover an underlying sense of lack or insecurity. Empowered masculine energy is confident and assertive, but has no need to be aggressive. It doesn’t need to prove its power or strength, because it’s innate.

3. Masculine is not Arrogant

When people call to mind alpha males who are connected to their masculine, one of the biggest complaints is an air of arrogance. Like with the ‘masculine is not aggressive’ point, arrogance tends to come from a need to compensate from a lack of truly feeling confident in one’s own abilities and importance, creating a need to ‘prove’ and in doing so overinflate the ego in these areas. A man who truly owns his masculinity has no need to prove anything, and is confident in his value and abilities.

4. Masculine is not Lazy

Men tend to get a bad rap from us women because when we see them doing ‘nothing’ or doing the minimum required to get a job done, and often they get labeled as lazy. Compared to us and our constant and never-ending to-do lists, (and often our identity and sense of significance being tied to how busy we are and how much we have to do) doing less, or nothing seems unacceptable. In reality most men aren’t lazy at all, they are just incredibly aware of a desire to be efficient. Men know that in order to continue to perform, they need to relax, they need to have down time, they need to recharge their batteries, to continue to ‘do’ when they will no longer be effective is futile. The masculine sees inefficiency as a waste of energy and avoids it wherever possible.

5. Masculine is not Destructive

While we’re aware that masculine is competitive, we can sometimes misunderstand this as being destructive and expect a man to do whatever it takes to win, including destroying anything and anyone that gets in it’s path. In reality, the masculine is about rising to the challenge rather than destroying anything that threatens it’s potential to win. The true, empowered masculine doesn’t want to win by destroying another, it wants to win by being and becoming better itself. The masculine wants to win, but it wants to do so in an honourable way; if it has to take someone else out to get the prize, it knows it’s not truly won.

6. Masculine is not Void of Emotion

While the masculine does tend more to the logical, it also isn’t void of emotion either. Often the perception of a masculine man is a strong, silent type, who never speaks about how he feels, and doesn’t understand or relate well to his emotions. A man truly connected with his masculinity understands that we all have both masculine and feminine inside us, and that neither can flourish without the other. While emotions are not as dominant in the masculine as they are in the feminine, an embodied masculine man is connected to, understands and can communicate his emotions.

7. Masculine is not Infallible

The masculine can sometimes be perceived as being all-knowing, and sometimes it can feel like the masculine has to always get it ‘right.’ The responsibility of leading can weigh heavy on a man’s shoulders and the pressure he can put on himself to have all the answers can be immense. In reality, the true masculine regularly learning, growing and stepping up and into more of himself. Most importantly it is not just OK for the masculine to make mistakes, it’s important for him to be able to and give himself permission do so as it’s one of the most effective ways to learn and grow. Being masculine does not stop a man from being human, in fact the true masculine is wonderfully real, beautifully flawed and perfectly imperfect.

Come back next week to discover the final four, and in some ways the most important misperceptions about the masculine. Click here now to see part 2

So I’m curious, what are your experiences of the word masculine? Do any of the misperceptions I’ve mentioned above ring true for you? Have you felt that any of these were true at one point or another, and what did that mean for you and your relationships? Are you aware of other misperceptions about masculinity that have created some challenges for you?

…and watch this space because in the next couple of week’s I’ll be sharing the other side of the coin for you to understand what true masculine and real feminine is really all about…

With Love,

Claire x