CAN I RECOGNISE MY SOUL MATE?

Very often I have heard and still hear people speaking about finding their SOUL MATES in life and love. I have, on occasion, even caught myself speaking about it. And whenever I’ve heard someone talk about their SOUL MATE, it’s always sounded somewhat tacky but also rather mystical. Usually these people have this completely transfigured look when they talk about it and seem to be in another world. So, as I am insatiably curious, I thought I would dive a little deeper into this topic and find out what it even means to meet your SOUL MATE and what a SOUL MATE is or can be. Just a little warning; this might get somewhat spiritual, which is a side most of you have not yet seen from me – yet.

“There are moments, when you’re getting to know someone, when you realize something deep and buried in you is deep and buried in them, too. It feels like meeting a stranger you’ve known your whole life.” – Leah Raeder

In my research of this fascinating topic I found the following definition from the Urban Dictionary that I would like to share with you:

SOUL MATE

“No one can predict when soul mates will meet. You will meet your soul mate when the souls are ready to meet. Fate and destiny contribute to the romantic bliss and happiness where both partners are so immersed in the strong karmic connection. The relationship between soul mates has a certain magical, mystical feel to it. The love is so strong the chemistry is unexplainable and sex is mind blowing. Destiny makes sure these people find each other and gives two people the opportunity to have a fabulous relationship, grow as people and learn valuable lessons. A soul mate relationship is a concert being conducted by the universe. With your soul mate before you, you shed the fears and masks that deny you real love. You both work together in balance and always striving for equality and respecting each others contributions. Love is the center of everything you do, the synergy will be magnified with the power you need to manifest your dreams together. Soul mates feel that their souls are connected no matter the distance. Everything blends together harmoniously, conversations flow seamlessly, you feel their touch when apart and their voice echoes in your mind peacefully. A soul mate is your twin, a reflection of yourself, someone that will hold your hand and walk with you in darkness. Your soul mate makes you proud and everything he/she does or says you find enlightening. A soul mate completes you.”

WOW, now I must admit that this sounds very Hollywood to me. Can it really be that perfect? It sounds like heaven on earth and all the peace that comes with it. As I know from experience that very little in life is that perfect so I started digging a little deeper and it seems that this one definition only shows the sunny side of this topic and there is so much more to it. Now my curiosity has been tickled there is no turning back. So I will dive in deep, really deep!

“Soulmates aren’t the ones who make you happiest, no. They’re instead the ones who make you feel the most. Burning edges and scars and stars. Old pains and pangs, captivation and beauty. Strain and shadows and worry and yearning. Sweetness and madness and dreamlike surrender. They hurl you into the abyss. They taste like hope.” – Victoria Erickson

One thing that is certainly true is that to love is to learn. We learn so much about ourselves in relationships. There are people who can transport us to heaven one moment and to the deepest hell the next (doesn’t that sound so much more realistic?). There are fateful connections, karmic relationships and there are spiritual soul connections – SOUL MATES.

“…and when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment…”
― Plato, The Symposium

So even the Greek philosopher Plato speaks of the fact that at the beginning of human existence souls or humans were divided into two halves. From now on they are condemned to feel a constant longing for their second half and the desire to reunite. This is what Plato calls love.

Love is born into every human being; it calls back the halves of our original nature together; it tries to make one out of two and heal the wound of human nature.”
― Plato, The Symposium

In more esoteric circles nowadays the term “dual soul” is also often used. This dual soul means nothing other than this one soul partner, two people who complement each other perfectly, who are one on a soul level, two parts of a whole – SOUL MATES.

It is said that soul partners meet again and again from incarnation to incarnation. They are closely connected with each other and in phases of separation both profit from the experiences of the other.

“With some we’re certain our hearts must’ve been aquainted long before we have ever met them.” – Shakieb Orgunwall

How can you recognise your SOUL MATE?

Here are some of the indications that you may have met your SOUL MATE:

  • Feelings that are as strong as you has never experienced before.
  • You seems to have known the other for a long time, even though you have just met.
  • It is an electrifying feeling between the two that words cannot describe.
  • It almost feels as if you had not lived before this reunion happened.
  • You feel a deep, almost divine connection with the other person that you have never felt before.
  • It brings feelings to the surface that you never thought were possible.
  • You feel inseparably connected to each other.
  • When you look into each other’s eyes, space and time seem meaningless.
  • No barriers seem to exist between the two partners. The connection is absolutely unique.
  • A conversation seems endless.
  • The relationship, whether romantic or not, has an intensity that can’t really be explained. You may even feel a strong past life connection.
  • You feel an unconditional love, you just love without demanding, no matter how the other person behaves.
  • You feel the others energy, intuitively knowing how the other is doing.
  • Because of many similarities, you will undoubtedly have the sense of completion by the other.
  • The encounter can often bring many life changes. Perhaps, meeting this person turns your life around in a dramatic way.
  • If in a romantic relationship, the strong build of energy may cause you to enter into an “on and off again” relationship.
  • You experience a degree of intimacy and friendship that is without equal.

Those are a lot of signs to look out for but at the end of the day I believe the only ways to really tell is by trusting your own intuitive feelings and your heart. If this were Hollywood than we would end here with the “happily ever after”. But this is not a cheesy film so let’s look into this just a little more.

Since SOUL MATES also have their karma, these relationships are not always easy. In any case, the encounter with the SOUL MATE, one’s own dual soul or twin flame, is something very special for many people, often a drastic experience that overturns the whole life or paves the way for great spiritual and personal growth processes. After meeting the soul partner, often nothing is as it was before…

“You were you, and I was I; We were two before our time. I was yours before I knew, and you have always been mine too.” – Lang Leav

“What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” This sentence is familiar to all of us from the church wedding ceremony and it is often used as an argument against divorce. However, if you believe in SOUL MATES, in the fact that there are people who are destined for each other by fate, this sentence immediately takes on a completely different, more conclusive meaning: what has been joined together by God, man shall not separate, because he cannot, this relationship is destiny.

Maybe you wonder if you have already met your soul mate, maybe you are sure that you have met him or her, but your relationship is difficult. This actually is not really that unusual. SOUL MATES don’t necessarily have to be forever. Often once the lesson you are to learn is learned, SOUL MATES can move on.

This may be very different to how you may have perceived the SOUL MATE connection, but it may also describe those exciting and very intimate relationships that change everything in your life yet they are not meant to last. Sometimes soulmate relationships can blossom into forever, and other times they are simply so intense that they need to be released.

Even though SOUL MATES may not physically stay together forever, the love that connects them is and always will be there. SOUL MATES touch us in such deep and profound ways that their memory will remain with us as long as we live (and possibly beyond).

Have I met my SOUL MATE in life yet? Yes, I have and it was not meant to be. We never had a real chance in this life. I remember something he said to me – it was at the beginning of a long on and off relationship. He said, “please make sure we meet at an earlier stage of our lives in our next life so we can stay together as we are meant to be.” Perhaps he already knew we were meant to be together even though it was impossible in this life. Looking back he was right and it took me a while to make my peace with what at the time felt was a very cruel injustice. Loving your SOUL MATE can be excruciatingly painful but love should not hurt like that.

Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love. But in reality, love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt” ― Liam Neeson

With time to think about it, process it and the necessary distance between us, I know that he was right all along. Sometimes souls still have a lot to learn before they can reunite and have their happily ever after. My story is a beautiful one and I am endlessly grateful for it as it has taught me so much and changed my life for the better.

Have you met your SOUL MATE? I would love to hear your story!

DO YOU BELIEVE IN CHANCES?

Why are so often afraid of taking CHANCES? I am not speaking of those people who do nothing else BUT take them, risking everything all the time or adrenaline junkies. I am talking about regular average everyday people (like me) that miss out on amazing chances because they do not dare to take that leap of faith.

“We all need to decide whether to ‘play it safe’ in life and worry about the downside, or instead take a chance, by being who we really are and living the life our heart desires. Which choice are you making?” – Charlie Badenhop

I have taken a lot of chances in my life, and believe me when I tell you that many of these left me heartbroken, crushed, frustrated, sad, humiliated and some even downright depressed. Do I regret having taken those chances? NEVER! There were also many chances I have taken that payed off and enriched my life in amazing ways. Taking a chance is always an investment. Only I don’t mean the investment in stock, in a company or anything like that. The investment I am speaking about is the investment in people, taking a chance with them to get chances but also to give them.

I once fell in love with the wrong man (or perhaps the right man at the wrong time) and all I ever longed for was that one CHANCE to see where it could lead us, if we could be something together. I never got that chance and this is one of the biggest regrets of my life. Not talking chances is cause for the nagging “WHAT IF’S” and these are terrible because they haunt you, sometimes for the rest of your life. Sometimes Love just isn’t enough!

“The roller-coaster is my life; life is a fast, dizzying game; life is a parachute jump; it’s taking chances, falling over and getting up again; it’s mountaineering; it’s wanting to get to the very top of yourself and feeling angry and dissatisfied when you don’t manage it.” – Paolo Coelho

And even if it did not work out in the end, I still took a huge chance, that leap of faith anyway and lost, without regretting any of it for a single moment. That chance brought me some of the most wonderful experiences and memories of my life and the worst heartaches ever. Was it worth it? HELL YES! Would I do it again? I am not sure, but probably, YES!

When taking a chance and investing in people we always take a high risk. We never know if we will get a ROI (return on investment), we never know when a crash may come where we could lose everything. I have no clue about stock markets but I believe, or rather guess investing in people is a bit like investing in stock. I know some people invest in companies because they like a product or even just the name and this can go horribly wrong and you could lose everything. This can be compared with investing in a person that has nothing to offer except she/he is incredibly good looking without any other substance like a brain. If their IQ is just above room temperature, you will most likely not get a ROI (of course depending on what you expect). But I think you get what I am trying to say.

At some point of our lives we begin to realise that more years lie behind than ahead of us (in my case that is most certainly true unless medicine makes some spectacular advancements…) and we don’t or we should not miss out. I am not speaking about some midlife-crisis and buying a sports car or getting a boob job etc. I am talking about dealing with us and our lives carefully and prudently, about seizing the chances that present themselves to us and also taking one or the other risk, even at the risk of being hurt. It makes life so much more colorful and worth living, don’t you think?

I can only speak for myself but I most cerainly prefer to take a chance and risk being hurt and suffering than having my life pass me by feeling little to nothing…

HOW CAN YOU DEAL WITH YOUR INNER CRITIC?

Our inner critic is probably one of our worst enemies and yet we often hamper and pamper it and give it so much more space in our lives than it deserves. We beat ourselves up, we judge ourselves, compare ourselves to others. Why does it seem so challenging, so difficult to shut the inner critic out and silence it?

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

The power of the inner critic differs for every individual and depends on many factors. It starts early in our childhood.

Were we accepted by the people around us as we are?

Were we encouraged and challenged?

Were we praised or blamed?

Were the good things taken for granted and the bad things overrated?

Were we constantly criticised and made to feel inadequate?

Were we strengthened and motivated?

Did we feel the need to always be better than others to be recognised or even loved?

I believe that this is the basis for the power that the inner critic has over us in our life.

But also in later life as we grow up, our inner critic is nourished again and again – today more than ever, especially through social media and the constant presence of any kind of media. We are shown an ideal at every turn that really no one can possibly live up to.

It is suggested to us that we are

not good enough not smart enough
not slim enough
not pretty enough
not lovable enough
simply not enough…

if we do not fit into a certain norm.

We react so much easier and stronger to negatives, often even finding it difficult to accept a kind word or a compliment. There is a quote from the film Pretty Woman that describes just that (from minute 1.18) so perfectly how we often feel.

But how can you deal and even silence your inner critic?

The first step to reduce the volume of the inner critic is to become aware of what it is trying to tell us. Unfortunately the messages the inner critic sends us are often inn our unconscious.

The beliefs of the inner critic that we have internalised since childhood often run unconsciously and it is not always easy to make ourselves aware of these. But if we do manage to recognise and grasp these recurring patterns and habits that we have been following almost religiously, we have the chance to reduce and even take away their power over us.

The Enneagram is an unbelievably great tool in quickly getting to the bottom of this.

What follows is possibly the most difficult part in silencing our inner critic. To get our of this spiral of negativity and self loathing and belittling ourselves, it is essential to rephrase what the inner critic is telling us and making ourselves aware what our strenghts and abilities are.

So instead of doubting ourselves we can have an inner dialog telling ourselves that we are

good enough and smart enough
in a perfect body
beautiful
lovable
simply enough…

and we are special and it is a good thing that we do not fit into a certain norm.

We are usually taught to overcome and work on our weaknesses an overcome these instead of strengthening our strengths – which is so much more fun and satisfying. The funny thing is that when you play on your strengths, is that you have a sense of achievement, which in turn strengthens your self-confidence and thus compensates for your possible weaknesses, making these less relevant. Unfortunately, the messages that our inner critic sends us very often run subconsciously. It is all the more important to bring them into our consciousness so that we can take away their power over us by rephrasing them.

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”
– Marilyn Monroe

I suppose we all have our inner critic and it can even be a good thing, something that encourages us to become better, to work on ourselves without belittling ourselves, allowing us to grow. It might sound like a contradiction to what I said before – to not work on your weaknesses or shortcomings – but both is possible in the end. If you imagine you inner critic like the angel and devil sitting on your shoulders and the dialog they might have, helping you decide if the message you are hearing is worth listening to or if there are arguments against it…

Knowing what you are up against is definitely a help in silencing your inner critic and perhaps you even manage to make him an ally.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
– Oscar Wilde

 

WHAT CHOICES DO WE HAVE IN LIFE?

So often we feel stuck in a rut and believe we have no CHOICES. We go about our routines, snuggle up in our comfort zone and see this as our only choice, as our destiny on how we should live our lives. This can be the result of our upbringing, of what we have been brainwashed into or simply what we believe is expected of us, just to name a few. We feel we keep going around in circles…

Is that really true or do we just use it as an excuse?

Most likely it is a bit of both. It is so much easier to put the blame on our childhood, the difficult circumstances or whatever, than take charge and with that take the responsibility for our own life and our actions.

I truly believe in CHOICES (even the bad ones)!

I have made countless (and I really mean it) bad CHOICES in my life but just as many good and even some great ones. One CHOICE was to NOT be a victim. I had a challenging (but not all too shabby) childhood with ups and downs (like most of us). The greatest deliberate CHOICE I made when I was seven years old, was not to be like my parents when I grow up. I can say with absolute certainty that I didn’t and I have two amazing children to prove it. I have made some very bad CHOICES trusting the wrong people in my life but I must admit that it has made me the person I am today, and even if I find it more difficult to trust others, I still made the CHOICE to rather get hurt than to run around mistrusting everyone. And yes, I am one of those people who learn the hard way. When I realized that I do have CHOICES, that I do not have to follow the same pattern (sounds easier in theory than it actually is and I constantly struggle with those patterns) it was nevertheless very liberating. This is where the Ennegram was a great helper and still is.

I speak quite a bit about comfort zones in but I do not mind repeating myself once in a while (am I boring you?). These zones are so very often all but comfortable, they are wrong, painful and at times even toxic. So why do we stay in them and even snuggle up in them, carrying them like a trophy?

  1. We know what to expect
  2. We feel safe within the known
  3. We feel we have no choices
  4. We are creatures of habit
  5. We are terrified of the unknown outside of these zones

So what are options or possibilites to get out of this rut?

  1. We can embrace the unknown – takes some courage and one or the other leap of faith
  2. Really think about what could realistically happen if we change someting (start small)
  3. Analyse what other scenarios could be and what the concequences of different choises entail
  4. Write down your daily habits and take a critical look at what is really beneficial for you and your wellbeing
  5. Overcome your fear of the unknown and become a little more adventurous by dipping your toe outside your comfort zone (most of the time the anticipated catasprohe will not occur)

I realise it sounds so simple in theory and know all too well how unbelievalbly difficult and challenging it is, or can be, in reality. Sometimes we need help and support from the outside, when we ourselves often have a tunnel vision on things and the emotions keep bubbling to the surface at all times. We need someone with an outside and non-emotional view and no agenda to show us other ways to approach certain situations with a fresh perspective. This can be a good friend, a relative, a coach or a therapist or whoever. We all need help once in a while to show us that we really do have CHOICES and to help us make the right one or at least better ones. Someone to help us make more of the good CHOICES that help us to make our lives better, richer, more satisfying and in the end happier.

Just think about the CHOICES you have made in your life so far; which ones were forced by the circumstances of your life, which were made deliberately and which ones made intuitively. As long as you realise that you have choices in your life, you are on the right track. Start small and practice…

HOW MUCH BAGGAGE ARE WE SCHLEPPING AROUND?

We all have our baggage and it usually does not get less with age… So how do we deal with all that baggage we have collected thoughout our life?

There are several options as to what we can do:

  1. We leave it on the baggage carousel hoping that someone will come and take it away and destroy it – good luck!
  2. We take it off the carousel and schlepp it around with us, hoping it will somehow take care of itself – spoiler alert, it usually doesn’t!
  3. We take it off the carousel and start sorting it out step by step and get rid of as much of it as possible.

Option a. is usually a bad idea. Since when does some knight in shining armour come along to solve all our problems? Ignoring our baggage will only ensure that we are stuck and will not move forward in our life, making ourself feel like a hamster in a wheel – going absolutely nowhere… Sometimes ignorance can be bliss but rarely when it comes to our own life.

Option b. is not much better than option a. – although slightly less naive. When we keep schlepping the same old baggage with us it will at some point weigh us down and make us utterly miserable. We may even carry it as a trophy, justifying failure, self-pity and even bad behavior. We follow a pattern and even make ourself comfortable, snuggling into our access baggage. The trouble is that at a certain point the load of baggage becomes so enormous that it threatens to overwhelm and smother us. The worst part though is that we tend to unload this baggage on others as we are so easily triggered. This may result in missed chances or broken relationships. Don’t ever let it get that far. I know what I am talking about…

 

At a certain point I went for option c. For so many years I carried my sad stories around with me, victimizing and justifying myself. At a certain point I even bored myself to death with it and was ashamed that I had used them as excuses for such a lot of things. I got over it (well most of it), I worked through it (hell yes, it’s painful), I got help where I could not cope alone (it was sometimes humiliating, which in retroperspective was just in my head).

What really helped me make that decision many years ago was actually the discovery of the Enneagram. It enabled me to take action and take my baggage off the belt and start looking through it, taking a step back and approaching it without the nagging emotions connected. At first this might be overwhelming but I just took out one piece at a time and definded if I need to work on it or with it or if it can just be filed under “experience”. I made the decision to not use my baggage as an excuse for the things that have gone wrong in my life anymore.

Does this process ever end?

I think not, at least not as long as we actually live a life. We will always have things that stay with us forever but I believe it is important to try and not let them out on others. And if we do, help them understand why we are reacting the way we do. We all have things in our lives that trigger reactions – the good and the ugly ones. It can be a song, a scent, the way something is said that can set you off. If we expect understanding, help others understand us… Just see it as work in progress.

The baggage that yoweu are schlepping around with us is usually not all negative and I believe it is important to concentrate on the good and understand and work through the ugly. Understand ourself a little better and the most important part is to be (sometimes brutally) honest with ourself.

Just don’t let the ugly define your life and who you are… You do have a choice (even if you cannot always see it right away)!

You

are

much

stronger

than

you

think!

WHAT IS A HEALTHY WAY TO COMMUNICATE?

There is one thing in our everyday lives that is probably the most important. In my practice I speak a lot about the importance of healthy communication. But what on earth does that even mean?

 

Essentially it can mean something very different to everyone, depending on what type you are on the Enneagram and what your preferences in communication are… Frustrating, isn’t it? But it’s true, we all have different ways of communicating and expressing ourselves. I have even started to write about it and hope to finish it sometime…

How to get men to talk

or

How men and women can communicate

People who know me personally know that I really love to talk and I will be the first to admit that no everything coming out of my mouth is gold. But I do have a huge amount of empathy and I am genuinely interested in people – which is a great help in my work as an iEQ9 Enneagram Practitioner.

As I really like things to be as simple as possible I would like to give a short guideline or some ‘rules’ if you like, for a healthy way to communicate. I must state that I did not come up with these but I would like to give you my short and simple interpretation of them. I am talking about the 4 ‘M’s’

Message – what is said

Matter – does it matter

Method – how is the message delivered

Moment – is it the right moment

Let’s begin with the Message: ever so often we get caught up in what we want to say. We sort of know what it is but have no real idea how to verbalise it. So why not either write it down first or even say it out loud – no worries, talking to yourself is alright als long as you don’t expect a reply. Start worrying though when you start hearing replies  – several times.

This brings us to the second ‘M’, Matter. This may actually be the most important one. We are more often than not, stuck in our heads. So when you know what the message is to be then it is great to dive in a bit deeper and check the facts. Is your message of real relevance? How much of what you want to say is happening in the real world and how much is just taking place in your own head. When you have sorted that out and have found that it does matter (does it really, perhaps check again to be sure), then proceed to the next ‘M’.

Method: how a message is delivered has a great influence on the outcome of a conversation. It can be the difference between a constructive conversation or an enormous fight (or anything in between). You most likely know the person you want to talk to and finding the right approach is key. Some people need the full monty, honest and even brutal and others might need some more sugar coating. We usually know quite well how we can trigger people we know well but we should avoid abusing this knowledge to manipulate someone. At the end of the day, whether sugar coated or not, being honest and fair is usually the best way to go.

Only one ‘M’ to go now, the Moment. Timing is everything! I know how hard it is to hold back when you feel you have a pressing matter you want to desperately talk about. But really consider the options. If you say it in the absolute wrong moment it may all be in vain. Is there ever a perfect moment?  No, hardly ever! There are really bad moments though and you should try to avoid those – for example when your partner comes home from work after a really bad day and is in a foul spirit. Chances of a fight are very high. On the other hand, when you find that good (or at least better) moment, you may actually be able to resolve your issue.

I know this all may be nothing new, it may not be fancy or even innovative, but sometimes it helps to be reminded of a possible approach to communicating in a constructive and healthy way…

Be creative…