Expect a Miracle: 7 Spiritual Steps to Finding the Right Relationshipby Kathy Freston
The miracle of a wonderful partnership awaits each of us. All we have to do is close our eyes and open our minds....
The search for the love of our lives is one we've all experienced. Those of us who feel we just can't find what we're looking for often get stuck in a rut of negative beliefs, unfulfilled needs, and blame. Instead of looking within/p>/b>… See more details below
The miracle of a wonderful partnership awaits each of us. All we have to do is close our eyes and open our minds....
The search for the love of our lives is one we've all experienced. Those of us who feel we just can't find what we're looking for often get stuck in a rut of negative beliefs, unfulfilled needs, and blame. Instead of looking within ourselves to discover who we truly are and what we desire, we often look to someone else "out there" to make us happy and whole. We bury our true needs, play games, and try to be someone we're not. The result is that we keep playing out the same unhealthy pattern, attracting more of what we don't really want, bringing ourselves only more frustration, loneliness, and pain.
Meditation counselor Kathy Freston has been through that vicious cycle herself--and finally broke free. In this honest, compassionate, and wise book, she illuminates the path to greater self-awareness--and the real love we all crave. Not a pat book of "dating advice" or a guide to manipulating others, Expect a Miracle is a wholly new kind of guide to the search for a great relationship, one that puts the focus back where it belongs: on our own personal transformation. Using principles from Eastern philosophy, meditation, A Course in Miracles, twelve-step recovery, and psychotherapy, the book helps us to become magnetic to the perfect relationship that awaits us.
With exercises, meditations, inspiring real stories, and the warm candor of a wise friend, Expect a Miracle is a positive, practical, and powerful book for all of us who are still looking for that one great love--the one that starts with a spiritual journey within.
“Kathy Freston gives sensible, practical advice for advancing spiritually in order to allow love and right relationships into your life. I can't think of anyone who would not benefit from following it.” Andrew Weil, M.D., author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health
“Anyone searching for a healthy, loving relationship will find a practical, honest approach in Kathy Freston's Expect a Miracle. Her seven simple steps take us deeper into ourselves, in order to attract what we truly desire.” John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and The Mars and Venus Diet and Exercise Solution
“This is a wonderful guide to the search for true love. Kathy Freston writes from the depth of her own knowing, as her faith is obviously based on real experience. She has more than survived; she has triumphed. And you get the feeling reading her book that if she can do it, then so can you.” Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love and Everyday Grace
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Expect a Miracle
7 Spiritual Steps to Finding the Right Relationship
By Kathy Freston
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2003 Kathy Freston
All rights reserved.
STEP 1 Be Still
You need not leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait. You need not even wait, just learn to become quiet, and still, and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice; it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. — Franz Kafka
You might think, as so many people do, that to find a great relationship you've got to grit your teeth, go out and make a great effort, and basically do whatever it takes to find the guy or gal. In fact, that might seem easier than what I'm about to propose because you're probably at least familiar with the rules of that game. No, expecting a miracle isn't about doing anything. It isn't about changing who you are on the outside. It isn't about getting fit or mastering the art of scintillating conversation or buying a whole new wardrobe.
It's about going deep within and finding out where you are holding yourself back from love. It's about preparing yourself to have the relationship that would fulfill your highest potential. It's about becoming still so that you can listen for cues from your heart and soul, and then just waiting and watching as everything unfolds exactly as it is supposed to. If you can take to heart this one simple idea — that all you need to do is be still and present — everything else, including finding a great relationship, will take care of itself.
In this first step we'll be looking at just how to bring about that sense of inner stillness, so that you are ready for the entry of Mr./Ms. Right into your life.
I am breathing and listening. In this stillness I am whole.
It's no wonder we have a hard time getting quiet inside. These days I find that there's almost a macho contest going on about who can work themselves hardest — who can fit more things into their day, survive on less sleep, or afford themselves less vacation time. Hmm, if you win at this game, what's the prize? Maybe you get the worker-bee award for getting the most done, but so what? At the end of the day, have you expressed yourself fully? Have you looked deeply into someone's eyes and known profound love? It's doubtful. When we operate at warp speed, as so many of us do, we go too fast to let the moment illuminate us. I would suggest that this pace is designed by the ego — that part of us that perceives the world as a hostile place, that gets us into power struggles, that keeps us living in fear — to keep us from ourselves and from God.
I rest in sacred stillness, knowing my partner is on the way.
Relationships are the perfect opportunity for growth and high expression, and because growth can be frightening, the best way to keep it away is to stay busy with the dramas of everyday life. Stay bogged down in the energy of simply keeping up and your soul will have no fertile ground for deep love to take root. Sure, life is busy, but it's worth looking at how much of your busy-ness is really necessary and how much is self-created to keep you from the daunting task of growth.
That's why the first step toward expecting a miracle is to become still, to free ourselves from self-created distractions, so that we can hear what's in our hearts and become wide open to love.
The good news is that your life has led you here for a reason. Who you have become is just perfect and ripe for a miracle. And at this point, all you have to do is ... breathe. Deeply and slowly, breathe. Begin to feel your body, and get in touch with who you are and how you are right now. And with that groundedness, the change can begin.
Basic Grounding Meditation
First, let's take the mystery out of meditation: you don't need to do anything radical in order to meditate. Simply find a quiet space that you can call your own while you're meditating. It can be out in nature somewhere, in a church or temple, even in the corner of your bedroom.
If you've never meditated before, I would suggest that you start out lying on your back. That will induce the feeling of relaxation and openness that we're seeking here. Eventually you might want to try the lotus position, where you sit cross-legged with your spine perfectly straight, hands resting on your knees, palms facing up. But in the beginning, it's much more important to get used to being quiet and letting go than it is to force an uncomfortable discipline on yourself. Just start out simply and don't do anything that's painful to your body.
To set the mood, dim the lights, turn off the phone, and light a candle to change the energy of the room. You can also bring in an object that reminds you of your spirituality (such as rosary beads or a crystal) so that the feeling becomes more sacred.
Before you begin, read through the instructions for the meditation so that you don't have to keep interrupting yourself to find the next step. Many people find it helpful to record the instructions in their own voice so that they can just close their eyes and follow along. Remember, this is a personal and private journey, so do whatever you intuit is the right thing for yourself; there are no rules!
Now, let's begin.
Get out a piece of paper and a pen. Find a quiet place to which you can retreat.
1. Lie down.
2. Close your eyes and breathe into your belly.
3. Inhale through your nose, expanding up through the belly, the ribs, and then the chest; then exhale, feeling the breath at the back of your throat as it exits through your nose.
4. Begin to feel the weight of your body, the heaviness of your limbs resting on the ground.
5. Notice the tension buzzing through your nerves and breathe into it with the intention of calming it down.
6. As you breathe, repeat in your mind the word "now." As each breath brings you to a quieter place, feel your entire body relaxing.
7. Feel your toes wiggle, feel all the tension release in your ankles, up through your calves, your knees.
8. Let your thighs go limp, feel your hips opening and relaxing.
9. Breathe gently, allowing your belly to expand and release, moving that peace up and through your solar plexus. Then up to your chest.
10. Let your arms flop open and relax.
11. Drop any tension from your shoulders and let all the muscles in your neck go.
12. Stay in this position for a few more minutes, soaking up the feeling of groundedness.
13. Release the tension in your face; your jaw first, then your lips, eyebrows, and scalp. Your entire body is now free and open.
14. Take ten more deep breaths at this point.
15. Then slowly open your eyes, sit up, and take a moment to write a single page quickly and spontaneously about how you feel, without editing at all. Write down how your body feels and any strong thoughts you have.
The grounding meditation is particularly useful for helping you bring about the miracle of partnership because it clears your mind. When we are too "in our heads," thinking about our to-do lists and deadlines or rerunning old conversations, we are separated from our Higher Self and might not even notice Mr./Ms. Right if he/she were standing right in front of us. When clear and present to the moment, by contrast, we not only attract people to us but can recognize their grace as well.
I accept where I am at this moment and allow myself the possibility of change.
The meditation helps us become clear and still, and when we're clear and still power flows in to us as through a vessel, and extends outward. I like to think of it as being in the Miracle Zone. Here we experience a heightened sensitivity to ideas and inspiration; problems seem to dissolve or become unimportant, and, above all, we are in touch at the highest level with every living creature.
It's in the Miracle Zone that we just know things, and that we become more of who we are, as if our energy is amped up and projected through a magnificent instrument. And in that "just knowing" a magical thing happens: we become magnetic to a spiritual and rewarding relationship.
Becoming magnetic is what this work is all about. It isn't something you can see or hear; it's just that nameless quality that makes people want to be near you. It's not a matter of beauty or status but more of an inner radiance. Of course, the same can be said of its opposite; no matter how physically perfect we are, if we're not radiating an inner light, we're not really attractive on any deep or lasting level. Can we become magnetic? Absolutely.
In fact, becoming magnetic — by bringing together our body, mind, and spirit in perfect harmony, to a degree that we don't even have to think about it anymore — is the short order for attracting the right partner. As Marianne Williamson says in A Return to Love:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Of course what we cannot feel toward ourselves cannot be felt by a potential partner. If we don't like who we are, why would someone else? This may sound obvious, but so often we are less accepting and less forgiving of our own frailties than we are of anyone else's. Most of us have to work at becoming self-loving.
Now, I'm not suggesting that we can ever get to a place where we always get it right. Life is challenging and we often make mistakes or fall into traps of self-loathing because we know we could have been better. But it is also true that in the process of working through these difficulties we can find forgiveness for our shortcomings and, seeing the innocence and even perfection in ourselves, we can recognize it in another.
In fact, to perceive in such a Graceful way elicits a magnificent and radiant quality. So relax, stop being hard on yourself, accept who you are right now, and begin to open your heart to the possibility that you deserve a miracle.
* * *
I met Stephanie when she came to one of my workshops with a goal of learning how to hang on to a guy. I of course pointed out that "hanging on" isn't exactly an attractive quality, and that maybe there were other issues to deal with.
When she'd met Andrew, a man with whom she might have been a good match, she blew it without knowing exactly how. The truth that came out was that, even though she presented herself in the way she thought would attract him, Andrew said there was something disingenuous and desperate about her, and moved on.
I noticed that Stephanie was visibly uncomfortable in her own skin, not quite inhabiting her body. Even with me, I could see that she was looking for cues on how she should be acting, rather than just being herself. Although she knew she was quite pretty, Stephanie said that men ultimately never wanted to commit to her. She eventually admitted that the more insecure she felt, the more makeup and shorter dresses she wore, but to no avail; everything was a desperate attempt to be liked.
Stephanie did not realize that only by relaxing into her own unique energy and accepting herself would she get the relationship she wanted. She was miserable with herself and hated to be alone, but couldn't understand why no one wanted to commit to her for a lifetime. I told her that the peace and security she sought from a man would surely not come her way when she herself did not know from it. I explained to her that no one wanted to feel like they were the source of someone else's good feeling because, although at first it might be a heady compliment, it would soon become a burden.
Stephanie had no choice but to quietly withdraw into her own energy and make peace with herself. She did this by taking up the rituals of meditation and saying daily mantras. I also coached Stephanie to spend a good month alone, learning to enjoy her own company.
Once she got centered and connected with her Higher Self, she became attractive in a whole new sense of the word. Gone were the short skirts and the desperate measures to lure someone in; Stephanie no longer came from a place of lack (i.e., the fearful ego) but instead radiated magnetism. As a footnote, Stephanie is now engaged to be married to a wonderful man.
The signal that Stephanie was sending was that she was unlikable, even to herself, and hence unattractive to her potential mate in any way other than the superficial. She was resisting the idea that she was, of herself, enough.
Putting on an act in order to gain someone's love is sending a message that who you are is not good enough. There is no self-love in that, and certainly no magnetism. Until we know that we are, of ourselves, enough, we will sabotage anything that comes along indicating otherwise. When we are comfortable with all the aspects of ourselves, self-love and magnetism come naturally.
The Trinity Self
We attract and respond to people at many different levels. We are three-dimensional creatures, after all, comprised of body (our physical manifestation), mind (our particular personality and identity), and spirit (our unique spiritual path). I call this the Trinity Self. Each element has its own role to play in helping us navigate our lives and connect with other people.
The synergy of the integrated self is what makes us rich and attractive. Without the magic of the spirit, the mind is nothing more than an intellectual machine. And without the rationale and curiosity of the mind, the spirit does not have a vessel through which to express itself. Without the body to contain these ideals, abstracted energies remain ungrounded. Each aspect of ourself influences and enriches the others. We might find a partner we connect with on one level, but still feel unfulfilled because the other two aspects have been asleep.
For instance, we might connect with someone on the "mind" aspect because we admire their wit and intelligence, but if we aren't in sync with each other's sexual needs or spiritual inclinations, we will eventually become disenchanted and feel unfulfilled. This is not to say one of the two people is in any way to blame, only that the match is not ideal. To settle on someone because he or she connects well with one or even two aspects of ourselves is a compromise that ultimately cheats the soul of full expression. By the same token, we can't expect to find a partner until we have fully awakened each of the aspects within ourselves.
When all parts of the Trinity Self are operating at the highest level possible, we become powerful magnets for love. Only then do we naturally link up with the partner who can join with us for the lessons and experiences we most need in order to further grow and evolve.
Now, let's get working on becoming magnetic. Remember, this is not about doing, it's about aligning ourselves internally so that we are radiant on every level.
Beginning with the Body
Since our first contact with people is by our physical presence, it is essential to start the process of becoming magnetic by being aware of the messages that we are always imparting through our bodies. We are constantly signaling, communicating who we are through our physical being: whether open, attentive, or needy, etc. If we are pent up and tense, we are essentially saying, "I am too busy — not open for a relationship — go away!" People can almost immediately determine your emotional state by the vibration your body exudes. It goes as far as telling a potentially unhealthy partner where you are weak and can be manipulated, or, on the other hand, someone who might be a good partner, how you can be celebrated and honored.
Excerpted from Expect a Miracle by Kathy Freston. Copyright © 2003 Kathy Freston. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
A former actress and Ford model, Kathy Freston is a meditation counselor who conducts popular workshops in New York and Los Angeles. Her CDs offering guided meditation have been featured in W, Self, Fitness, and Mode. She and her husband divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.
A former actress and Ford model, Kathy Freston is a meditation counselor who conducts popular workshops in New York and Los Angeles. Her CDs offering guided meditation have been featured in W, Self, Fitness, and Mode. She is the author of Expect a Miracle: 7 Spiritual Steps to Finding the Right Relationship. She and her husband divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.
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