Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Summer Love: 5 Ways to Create a Better Dating Experience

Monday, July 21st, 2014

summer loveI like to think of June through October each year as ‘Dating Season’. The warm weather and an abundance of social events provide the perfect recipe for love connection. I also find that many people want to prepare for cooler weather and the holiday season by focusing on finding love in the summertime.

Here are a few helpful tips for those who are solo and want to be part of a duet:

  1. Be yourself from the beginning. This is critical! Don’t put your ‘date face’ on.  Let your potential love connection fall in love with who you are from day one.  This means moving past the small talk and engaging in the hard conversations early on so you can establish a good foundation.
  2. Know yourself and who you are looking for. Be clear and honest about self-reflective questions. Ask yourself “What is my intention?” “What are my strengths?” “What do I want to work on?” It’s important to embody the qualities of the person you want to be with in order to attract that person into your life. If you find that you aren’t living these qualities yet – seek help. (Hire me!)
  3. Ask genuine questions.  Instead of just asking about favorite colors and where they like to shop – ask questions like “What do you want to create in your life?” “What is your purpose?” “What are you passionate about?” “Tell me about your family?” By showing care and interest, you allow the other person to be authentic and vulnerable, moving you into relationship in a more meaningful way.
  4. Listen! Ask the question, and then listen. Engage when it is appropriate, but for the most part just sit back, reflect, and absorb what your date is sharing with you.  Learn whether they reflect the same values as you do, the important things you have in common, and discover some areas where you may complement one another.
  5. Let go of the outcome. Be in the moment. Communicate. Be open, and let go of inward focus. By detaching from any expectation you may have – you allow yourself to experience quality time and build a connection. You don’t have to know whether this is the person you will spend the rest of your life with – just focus on enjoying the time you have with them right now.

Welcome Back!

Monday, July 14th, 2014

website.soniyahI want to take a moment to share what has been going on in my world, since I haven’t been very active in writing for Finding Bliss. Although I have not been sharing posts online, I have been as dedicated to my clients as ever, and continuously working to help create deep and meaningful relationships.

In 2013, I went through a divorce from a 4 year relationship.  This profound experience gave me the opportunity to recognize the 3 ways I have used to cope with grief.

  • Hibernate
  • Emotional eating
  • Withdraw into sadness

Fortunately I recognized this, and so the early part of 2014 has been focused on putting me first.

Although this has been a time of great sadness, I feel that because of this experience I am able to relate so much more deeply to my clients, and how their past relationships can affect their ability to move forward in finding love. I feel as though I was meant to go through this personal journey so I could have even more understanding and compassion in coming through to the other side.

Although the blog has been on the back burner, my coaching program has blossomed.  The new relationships that have been created throughout the past year have been nothing short of phenomenal!  I have also had the opportunity to share in some of the most rewarding experiences, with people who mean so much to me.

One of the most memorable occurred when I was in New York to meet with a client.  I was walking through Central Park when I unexpectedly bumped into a former client and his partner. Their relationship was thriving!  That was one of the most rewarding and heartwarming experiences, and ultimately it is the reason I am inspired to write again.

~Soniyah

P.S. Stay tuned for video blogs – coming soon!

Love is in the Air!

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

prideMark this date in history, the Supreme Court has overturned the DOMA! Love and gratitude is truly in the air today. Many of us will be able to ask our loved ones to marry, to give and receive the love, rights and protection we and our families deserve. This is a historical moment that I will be savoring and celebrating every moment of, I trust that you are as well.

Conceive, believe, achieve!

Its official!

 

 

 

How to Live Happily Ever After

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I want to share some topline concepts and pointers from one of my gay love relationship workshops. We all want to live happily ever after, right? Well here are five things to keep in mind when you’re still at the “once upon a time” stage.

 

1. Really learn about your partner

If you know each other’s dreams, hopes, fears, wants, needs and truths, it’s hard to ever “grow apart.” Talking about these things builds trust and connection. You should ask questions of each other daily. And be sure to listen to your partner when he answers. If you have trouble doing this, try passing a “talking feather” (or use another object) between the two of you. Taking turns talking and listening can help you focus when it’s your turn to use your ears. Because you want to avoid making assumptions.

 

2- Spend quality time together

Do things that engage you with each other. Watching TV together can be nice, especially when cuddling on the couch, but it’s not engaging with each other. Schedule date nights. Alternate picking the activity. Get creative. Push the envelope. Switch it up. (By the way, this includes in the bedroom. Oh yes, I went there.)

 

3- Appreciate each other

According to a survey by the Divorce Mediation Project, 80% of breakups happen because couples grow apart. They lose a sense of closeness, so one or both men end up not feeling loved or appreciated. Only 20-27% of couples break up because of affairs.

Acknowledging, appreciating, and complimenting each other is so important in a gay relationship. Here’s a great way to do that: once a month, write down five things you love about each other. How fun!

 

4- Have healthy conflict

Avoid what John Gottman calls “the four horsemen,” which are:

Criticism – change it to positive talking and talk about yourself

Defensiveness – this takes many forms, including attacking, playing the victim, making excuses, and whining

Contempt – insulting your partner, using sarcasm, and name-calling

Stonewalling – withdrawing from the relationship; giving him the silent treatment

Know that you can avoid the horsemen, and you can compromise. What’s important here is to understand how your partner deals with conflict and respect his boundaries. Quick idea: give him (and yourself) 20 minutes – that’s how long it takes your body to calm down. Be sure to accommodate each other’s “strange” side because we all have one. Handle his idiosyncrasies with care, respect, affection. Isn’t that the same treatment you’d like for your “thing,” whatever it might be? And if you do sometimes fall short in this area, remember that saying “I’m sorry” can create magic in any relationship.

 

5- Value your relationship

Be supportive, respectful and encouraging of each other. Make important decisions together. Do things because you want to, not because it’s expected. And the big one, which I’ve blogged about before: don’t play the What If? Game.

I know I packed a lot into just five things, but if you can do just a few things I mention here, it’s better than not doing any of them, and you’ll be on your way to finding – and keeping – your Prince Charming.

Living in the Heart

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Another new discovery is Drunvalo Melchizedek, which is a complicated name for someone who teaches a very simple concept – which is, basically all about thinking from the heart. Basically, he teaches that you can create miracles and all the things you thought impossible if you go from thinking from the brain to thinking from the heart. If your intention is from the heart, no ego is involved.

The “What’s in it for me?” angle comes from the head. But the “How can I give to my partner?” or “How can I show up for my partner?” question shifts the POV to your heart, and it’s something we can all do, even if we’ve had traumas in life. The vast majority of our society doesn’t do this, though. Most of us think from our head, which makes us walking, talking egos.

This shift brings up a lot for everyone, and gay men looking for a successful love relationship are no exception. One issue is forgiveness, something I daresay most all of us could use practice in. Imagine if, after an upsetting or traumatic episode, you could say, “I forgive everyone involved in this, including myself.” That’s incredibly powerful because you can then let go of everything from your emotional body and avoid carrying a wound into a relationship.

Drunvalo has lots to say and it’s all really fascinating. I encourage you to check out all his stuff, including his website.

It’s a Man Eat Man World

Monday, May 14th, 2012

May must be National Reading Month because I have another great book to tell you about. It’s called Finding True Love in a Man Eat Man World by Craig Nelson.

The very first chapter talks about how gay men successful go about avoiding  love and gives a few archetypes they often play in gay love relationships.

Mr. Miserable focuses on his weaknesses rather than his strengths. For him, the glass is always half empty. Mr. Sabotage is caught in a trap of feeling lonely so he looks for love but when it turns serious he looks for a way out. And he repeats the cycle. Mr. Ugly thinks he’s too ugly to find someone, and ignores all the fine qualities he has. There are others, but you get the picture.

So what’s the key to avoiding becoming one of these gentlemen and to finding what we’re all looking for: someone to love us unconditionally for who we are? Good self-esteem, self-respect, and a solid sense of yourself. These will take you further in attracting a long-term lover than any other qualities you may have. And that goes for the other man, too. Once you know and accept yourself and understand “I’m a real catch” you can avoid any guy who has self-hatred and attract great guys. Real serenity and comfort are incredibly attractive magnets.

Know what you have to give. Know that others are waiting for you to give it. Not in a conceited way, but from a realistic, honest way that comes from self-knowledge and perspective. Once you come at it from that angle, you’ll attract men like flies to honey.

The bottom line: You attract what you are, not what you want.

Think about that for a while.

Create Your Vision Board

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

I am so happy to have discovered another great resource to share with you in my never-ending quest to help my gay male clients find the successful love relationship they, and all gay men, deserve. It’s a fascinating book called Feng Shui Life Mapping by Salvatore Manzi. His website is here.

I particularly like the chapter on Vision Boarding, which is a process in which you create a collage on a feng shui bagua. You may know that in feng shui there are nine baguas, areas of your home that correspond to the nine areas of your life. The one I want to focus on is, of course, the Love and Partnership bagua located at the back, right-hand corner of your home.

A vision board is good because creating clear intention and setting goals is not always enough for everyone. For love and partnership, your vision board could include visual representations like a candlelit dinner table, kissing lips, hands clasped together, etc. The key is to really think about specific images. You can also have verbal affirmations as part of your vision board, like, “I am going on a fabulous vacation with my ideal partner” or whatever inspires/motivates you.

There are three steps to creating a successful vision board:

• give yourself 25 minutes to find the images

• tear the whole page from the book/magazine instead of cutting it out and trying

to crop it perfectly or get the perfect size

• collage for 25 minutes

Don’t strive for perfection. It can be all over the place. In fact, that’s what a collage is supposed to be.

To “activate” your vision board (very important!) do these three things:

• share it with people you love – this is vital because the power of a shared intention makes it manifest faster

• display your feng shui map. Meditate on it. Put it on your phone, or make it the wallpaper for your laptop. Put it by your desk. The key is to have it where you’ll see it.

• put it in the actual love and partnership bagua – the rear, right-hand corner of your home

I love my vision board and I get lots of inspiration and power from it. I know you will too. Salvatore Manzi is all about creating a supportive environment that propels you to your dreams. I couldn’t agree more. Try vision boarding for yourself and let me know how it goes. Better yet, send me a picture of yours, if you’d like to. I’d love to see it!

Don’t Fear the Shadows

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

The path I’ve been talking about in this series of posts is, of course, the path of personal growth. I talk a lot about it because I believe it’s the key to finding bliss – the loving relationship you want. The transformational coach Debbie Ford has a lot say about this topic, too.

Ford writes that sometimes on this path we have to deal with what Carl Jung called the shadow. All the parts of ourselves we’ve tried to hide or deny, or that we think aren’t acceptable to our family, friends, and most important, ourselves. The message we get from this shadow is simple: there is something wrong with me. I’m not okay. I’m not lovable. I’m not deserving. I’m not worthy.

My message to clients is just the opposite. Of course you are worthy and lovable. We all are! The key to overcoming this obstacle on your path is to own and embrace the very things you’re most afraid of. As Debbie Ford asserts, they actually hold our most treasured gifts. And as I truly believe, this includes a sustained, beautiful loving relationship with another gay man. Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. You won’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not or prove you’re good enough. In other words, find the gifts of your shadow and you’ll find the freedom to create the life you’ve always desired.

Read more on defeating your shadows here.

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My dog ate my homework

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Stop making excusesSometimes on our path towards love we encounter all sorts of excuses why we can’t stay on the path and some of them have little or nothing to do with being gay. These excuses can crop up throughout our day when we least expect it –sometimes we don’t even notice them – and they prevent us from making progress toward the things we want.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, who as you know is one of my favorites, has created a mobile app you can take on the road with you as a weapon of sorts against all those excuses. It’s called The Excuses Begone app, and it’s based on his book by the same name. It features 18 of the most common excuses and the affirmations to defeat them. And, it’s free!

Just go to the iTunes store to download it. It’s an on-the-go way to help create the life you want. Let go of I’m too busy, I’m too tired, It’s too hard and all your other excuses. And get on with getting where you want to go.

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Use Your Words

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Another challenge on the road to a lasting relationship is learning the skill of conscious communication. It’s not an inborn gift, but with practice you can become a master of clear communication. According to psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, it’s a simple process:

1. Identify the event that triggered your emotional upset. Be as objective as possible when doing this. Saying “My boyfriend is never on time,” is less useful than saying “He said he’d be here at 7:00 and didn’t show up until 7:30.”

2. Take responsibility for your feelings. Describe your feelings like this: “I feel frustrated,” or “I feel jealous.” Avoid words that reinforce a sense of victimization, such as “I feel neglected” or “I feel rejected.” When you do this, you’re informing the other person, not blaming him.

3. Identify what you need that you’re not receiving. Most of us subconsciously expect our loved ones to know what we need and to spontaneously provide it. I don’t have to tell you that this rarely happens.

4. Ask for what you want. Be specific when doing this. For example, if you want more attention from your partner, don’t just ask him to spend more time with you.

Ask him to go on a walk with you after dinner, or to a movie on Saturday night. But don’t make demands because we all have an inherent impulse to resist demands. And the cool part is that our self-esteem is raised when we’re able to fulfill a request.

Follow these four steps, and you’re much more likely to feel comfortable and at ease – both in your own skin and in a gay relationship – as opposed to going through your days in emotional distress.

Conscious communication and emotional awareness are vital components of the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program. Learn more here.

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