PODCAST | Real Love Story with our very own Love Coach Vicki Pavitt

PODCAST | Real Love Story with our very own Love Coach Vicki Pavitt

This week we had our very own Vicki Pavitt in the hot seat telling her own Real Love Story. One thing you might not know about Vicki is that she finds telling her own story nerve wracking, so this is a real act of vulnerability for Vicki and I am so grateful for her courage because this interview offered sooo much in the way of inspiration and deep conversation about love, relationships and how to navigate doubts and fears at the start of relationships and how to help your relationship to flourish over the years.

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Podcast | Heartbreak - how to handle it and how to help our friends through it

 

🎧 You can also listen to this and all of our other podcasts on Apple Podcast (iTunes) and Spotify

This week's episode is one for everyone to listen to, whether you're going through heart break right now or not. 

Because heartbreak is an inevitable part of life, particularly when you put yourself out there in life and do things like follow your dreams and get into deep relationships with other beautifully complex human beings. And yet, while no-one gets through life without experiencing a painful heartbreak at least once (if not numerous times), when it does happen to us or the people we love, it seems that we are often at a total loss as how to deal with it.

So we decided it was time to dig deep into the topic, explore the science behind heartbreak and why it can be SO painful (yes, people CAN die from heartbreak!), share different women's tips on how to get through those early days of heartbreak, see if there is any way to avoid heartbreak in life, look at how heartbreak can often be turned into an opportunity for growth and making positive change in your life AND discuss how we can support our loved ones when they are going through painful heartbreak.

Told you it was a juicy one!

This was a truly heart-warming and touching episode to create, thanks to all of the women who shared their stories of heart break with us and of how they overcame some hugely heartbreaking moments in life. You are our heroes.

Thank you.

x Selina & Vicki

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PODCAST: Why self-love is key when it comes to finding love and making love last

 

🎧 You can also listen to this and all of our other podcasts on Apple Podcast (iTunes) and Spotify

Today we’re celebrating the 3rd birthday of Get Ready for Love - our 30 lesson online course that helps women to transform their love lives from the inside out.

It truly has been such a powerful course - in the three years since we launched it, 600+ women have been through the course, discovering the power of self-love and how to open up to invite love into their lives - we’ve already had a number of weddings and even babies amongst our Get Ready for Love community and we have received some wonderful features in the press with a fresh new one coming out in Red magazine in just a couple of weeks!

But what has been the most powerful of all has been to see so many women discover the power of self-love. They come alive with it and we get to witness it every day in the Love Zone - the incredible online community that has grown up around the Get Ready for Love course.

So we decided to dedicate this next Project Love podcast episode to the power and importance of self love when it comes to both finding love and making love last.

And we invited members of the Love Zone to share their stories and lessons on love with us so that we could share them with you, both in this podcast episode and on a brand new gallery we now have here where you can read stories and lessons on love shared by women who have been through the Get Ready for Love course. They are so moving!

So press play on this latest episode below or over on Apple podcast or Spotify and feed up on the love!

X Vicki & Selina

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Natasha Lunn

 

🎧 You can also listen to this and all of our other podcasts on Apple Podcast (iTunes) and Spotify.

So excited for you to listen to this week’s real love story interview with the fabulous Natasha Lunn.  Tune in as Natasha talks to Vicki about dating apps and 12 hour first dates, speaking your truth, wholeheartedness and choosing to go ‘all in’ on love (starting with going ‘all in’ with dating). And much much more!

This podcast is packed full of wisdom as Natasha shares her love story with Dan and also the lessons learnt from interviewing people about finding love and making it last (check out ‘Conversations on Love’ - Natasha’s bimonthly email newsletter investigating love, one conversation at a time).

So grab a cup of tea, hit play and enjoy! You can also listen on iTunes and now - *drum roll please* - on Spotify!

Really hope you enjoy this episode.

Much love,

x Selina and Vicki

P.S If you’re feeling stuck in your love life and finding dating to be frustrating and exhausting then come and join 'Get Ready for Love’, our online course that has helped 500+ women to find love. 'Get Ready for Love’ contains the 30 essential lessons that we've found to be the most effective and powerful in getting you ready for love and on your way to a happy and healthy relationship. It’s like having a love coach in your pocket, with advice, tools and guidance that can be listened to during the daily commute or en route to a date! Find out more over here.

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Selina Barker

I first interviewed Selina for a real love story back in 2015. We reflected on her journey of feeling completely stuck in love and wondering if it was ever going to happen for her, to feeling an abundance of love, and not just with a loving partner (we actually revealed in the podcast that she was expecting!) but the love that she discovered from the inside out.

And now, 3 years later, Selina is back in the hot seat, but this time to tell a much deeper love story.

This is a journey of hitting rock bottom in life and rising strong, healing and finding your way back home with love as your compass. A journey that starts and ends with ourselves.

This is a story that has never been told before and I’m actually hearing it for the first time. There is such a beautiful sense of vulnerability and intimacy to it. It’s everything our podcasts are about - hearing women opening up and sharing from the heart. And that takes real courage. Thank you Selina, it was an honour to hold the space and to hear you tell your story, your REAL love story.

 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

V xxx

P.S. next week (21st March), we’re running a free Masterclass  ‘A modern approach to finding love’ so if you’re feeling stuck in your love life then come and join us! Head here to save your seat (we’ll send you the recording if you can’t join us live)

P.P.S  'Get Ready for Love’ (our online course to help you to transform your love life) is on its way back 🎉🎉🎉 and almost (ALMOST!) ready to be released back into the world with all new videos, brand new bonus audios from amazing guests and a whole new sparkly platform to access the whole course...watch out for exciting announcements later this week! We are SO excited for you to get your hands on it!!!

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Caroline Atkinson

 

So excited to share this podcast with you - a real love story with a friend of mine, Caroline Atkinson, whose love story with Gus spans almost 10 years.

We talk about relationship challenges, the incredible lessons learnt from spending 6 years apart, the importance of taking responsibility for your own happiness and the absolute joy of brunching on your own.

I remember attending a talk with Alain de Botton and he made reference to the fact that novels and films (in particular, fairy tales and rom coms) often don't give us a correct map of love and 'leave us unprepared to deal adequately with the difficulties of being in a couple'. And so we grow up with slightly unrealistic notions of love and what it means to be in a relationship. Hearing Caroline share her story really helped me to understand this more deeply and how we can update our 'map of love' to be more in-line with the realities of relating in today's world. 

I was so inspired by Caroline's journey of self discovery and self love and how she and Gus were able to start a new chapter in their relationship and the strength and vulnerability that requires, on both parts. I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved recording it.

V xxx

 

 

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PODCAST: The trouble with online dating - why men and women alike struggle with it so much

We are so excited to share this with you - Selina interviews Vicki as she is fresh from hosting workshops on 'How to be Successful with Online Dating' for Match.com with both men and women. 

Listen in to hear about why men and women struggle so much when it comes to online dating and how you can get into the right headspace to enjoy it because what we've learnt is that while online dating can be hard at times, it can also be fun and a great learning journey when you approach it in the right way.

 

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did recording it!!

And we would love to hear from you - if this resonated with you or if you have any questions on online dating then do drop us a line at: hello<@>loveprojectlove.com and let us know your thoughts, comments and questions (of which we'll answer in future podcasts!)

Love, Vicki & Selina xxx

P.S. If you're feeling stuck in your love life then come and check out the 'Get Ready for Love' 3 month coaching programme with Vicki - she is taking on just two new clients this quarter - imagine if one of them were you. This is your chance to have Vicki as your personal love coach for 3 months, helping you to work through fears, limiting beliefs and negative relationship patterns that are holding you back in your love life. Limited spaces available - get in touch here and let Vicki know where you're stuck and she'll be in touch to arrange a discovery call with you.

PPS And if you'd love to start your 'Get Ready for Love' journey with us online then check out our online course over here which has had 500+ women learn how to approach dating in a loving way and how to get ready for a healthy and happy relationship. As well as having Selina and Vicki as your co-pilots on your 30 day journey, bringing you videos and audio tutorials bursting with energy and love, you would also have access to our private FB group full of like-minded women who support and celebrate each other to grow - it’s gorgeous. We look forward to welcoming you in there!

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The power of mindset to change the course of your love life (by looking at online dating in a whole new way!)

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When I help women who are really stuck in their love lives, the first place I begin is by looking at their mindset and how they feel about their love life and about dating. Because your mindset is THE biggest predictor of success in your life and plays a massive role in determining the health and happiness of your love life.

Research from Carol Dweck, who is the queen of this topic (after studying it for over 20 years) shows that there are two basic mindsets that shape our lives - a fixed mindset (“where success is based on innate ability”) and a growth mindset (“where success is based on hard work, learning and training”).

Dweck’s work shows how someone with a fixed mindset evaluates the world through the binary notions of ‘success/failure’, ‘winner/loser’ and being ‘accepted/rejected’, however someone with a growth mindset sees failure as a temporary setback because their priority is all about learning and growing. And they embrace challenges and learn from their mistakes, which makes them more resilient than someone with a fixed mindset.

When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world—the world of fixed traits—success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other—the world of changing qualities—it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.
— Carol Dweck

So how does this relate to online dating?

Well someone with a fixed mindset would think that they’re not getting results from online dating because they’re just not cut out for it or that they’re unlucky in love. Or they might believe that finding love is down to fate and that ‘it will happen when it’s meant to happen’. Online dating feels hopeless and exhausting from this place, compounded by the fact that other people seem to find guys online no problem.

However, someone with a growth mindset would see online dating as a tool for self growth and an opportunity to get to know people you wouldn’t otherwise have met. Someone with a growth mindset would add the word ‘yet’ to challenges, so they might say “I haven’t met the right person… yet” (usually when well meaning family members ask them that age old question ‘why are you still single’?). They are hopeful about the future and they draw inspiration from the people who are really enjoying online dating and who have met their match online. Rather than feeling threatened by the success of others, they are encouraged by it, as it shows what’s possible for them. They are curious to learn from the success of others and how they work through challenges.

This is the difference between a woman who believes that it’s never going to happen for her when it comes to having a relationship and that all the good guys are gone (so wonders whether there’s any point in persisting with online dating) to the woman who believes that of course it will happen for her, she just hasn't met the right person YET. And it's not a matter of ‘IF’, it’s ‘when’ she's going to meet someone.

When I was coaching a client recently, she was telling me how she has a growth mindset about pretty much everything in her life, particularly in her career but when it comes to love and dating, she feels like she should just ‘know’ how to be really good at it and she puts so much pressure on herself to ‘find the one’. Every date that she goes on that doesn’t result in her finding this person feels like a waste of time and has her feeling like a failure in the love department. Carol Dweck speaks to this in her book Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential’:

In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome. They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.
— Carol Dweck

You might think that this sounds very much like those quotes on Pinterest that encourage you to ‘focus on the journey and not the destination’ but Dweck’s work is grounded in rigorous research into the mind and the power that we have to change the course of our lives:

As you begin to understand the fixed and growth mindsets, you will see exactly how one thing leads to another—how a belief that your qualities are carved in stone leads to a host of thoughts and actions, and how a belief that your qualities can be cultivated leads to a host of different thoughts and actions, taking you down an entirely different road
— Carol Dweck

So taking inspiration from Dweck’s work, here are 5 ways that you can use the power of mindset to change the course of your love life, by looking at online dating in a whole new way:

1. Set yourself healthy intentions

Most of the online dating advice out there focuses on how to find a partner but that is a huge ask and puts so much pressure on those early interactions, not to mention the pressure it puts on you and your date. See online dating as a tool to meet like-minded people for a coffee, rather than a way to meet your future husband, which will help to take the pressure off those early interactions. And it means that the date is less likely to feel like a job interview and will be way more fun for you!

2. Get inspired

If you’re feeling disillusioned about online dating then time for a shot of inspiration to get you feeling optimistic again. Ask your friends if they know any couples who've met their partner online and go and speak to them and see what you can learn from them. And find examples of women who are really enjoying online dating (they are out there!) - let their optimism inspire you and get you excited about what’s possible for you.

3. Choose to see rejection as redirection

Dealing with rejection is one of the hardest parts of the online dating process because it brings up all of our fears and insecurities about not feeling good enough. Some people find rejection a lot harder to handle than others and it’s our ability to handle rejection that is key in developing resilience when it comes to online dating. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s a good thing (trust me) because it’s impossible to be all things to all people… not to mention exhausting. Rejection isn’t failure, it’s just feedback - maybe it’s feedback about the kind of person that you now know isn’t right for you or maybe there is an opportunity to learn and grow from the experience. Choose to see every rejection as re-directing you to something better.

4. See dating as an adventure to try new things

Clients tell me that they worry about ‘wasting time’ if the date doesn’t go anywhere after the first or second date. So why not see dating as an adventure to try new things? Make a list of places that you’d love to visit or activities that you’d love to try and start ticking things off the list, then if it doesn't go anywhere beyond the first date, you’ve still had fun in the process.

5. Recruit a dating wing woman

You may encounter a whole spectrum of emotions on your dating journey so ask a friend (someone who is positive and optimistic about online dating) to be your dating wing woman to support you and keep your spirits up when you need a boost.

Online dating gets a bad rep but if you think about it, never before have we been more supported and empowered in our love lives. You get to choose how to make online dating work for you (and not the other way around). So if you haven’t been enjoying online dating recently then try approaching it in a different way and see how that helps you to enjoy it more.

The power to change the course of your love life is in your hands and yours alone. And that is an incredibly liberating place to be.

V x

PS Let’s talk more - I would love to hear from you! Drop me an email on <hello[@]loveprojectlove.com> if any of this resonated or if you have any questions or comments. And let me know how you get on with the tips - I really hope they make a difference to you.

PPS If you’re reading this and feeling like you could really do with some help and support in your love life then check out ‘Get Ready for Love’, our 30 day online course that has helped 500+ women learn how to approach dating in a loving way and how to get ready for a healthy and happy relationship. As well as having Selina and me as your co-pilots on your 30 day journey, bringing you videos and audio tutorials bursting with energy and love, you would also have access to our private FB group full of like-minded women who support and celebrate each other to grow - it’s gorgeous. We look forward to welcoming you in there!

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PODCAST: Real Love Story with Luke Montgomery-Smith

If you're looking to have you spirits lifted this week then listen in to this beautiful love story of the gorgeous Luke Montgomery-Smith and his girlfriend Gina. Tune in to hear Luke talk about finding love when he wasn’t expecting it, how relationships can heal and the clarity that can be found when leaning into loneliness.

Luke had seen strong and loving relationships growing up but wasn't convinced this kind of relationship was available to him. It wasn't until he let his guard down and allowed himself to fall in love that things developed. I was so inspired by his openness and level of vulnerability and honesty.  

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I loved recording it

V xxx

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PODCAST | How to set healthy boundaries and learn the art of saying 'no'

We’ve got a fresh new podcast for you to enjoy, all about the importance of setting healthy boundaries and learning to say 'no' (the loving way).

It’s a topic that has been coming up a lot lately among our Project Love communities and our friends. It seems to be something everyone knows they need to get good at, but they get stuck on how to do it.

And so we’ve dug in deep and taken a look at why it is so important, why people often get stuck when it comes to setting boundaries and saying ’no’ to people, and how to do it the healthy loving way.

Listen to it below or download it over on iTunes or Soundcloud

Lots of love,

Selina & Vicki

 
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Write yourself a love letter this Valentine's day

This year, in true Project Love style, we are hijacking Valentine's Day and making it all about self-love. Instead of making this day of love all about romantic love and focusing your attention on others that you love or lust after, we want you to turn all that love right around and in on yourself, starting with the way that you speak to yourself. 

Why? Because learning to speak to yourself like you would your best friend - with love and support - is one of the most powerful things you can do. It is a life changer and key to your happiness and success.

Just imagine what it would be like to spend a day with a voice in your head that was loving and supportive, that was always there for you, that had your back and would remind you that you were loved.

Wouldn’t that feel great?

Imagine all the things you would have the confidence to do. You would make yourself a top priority in life and fill that life with the things that made you happy. You would look after yourself well, follow your dreams and design a life for yourself that you truly loved. A life that would feel as good as it looked.

Now think about the voice that you tend to use on yourself day to day. Often we are our own harshest critics, with a voice in our head that is constantly pointing out what we have done wrong or how we should have done better.

A day of listening to that is exhausting, feels rubbish and has you playing small.

So this Valentine’s Day we are encouraging everyone to turn up the volume on their loving inner voice to hear what it has to say.

How? By writing a letter to you, from your wise older self.

It is a simple exercise that can be surprisingly powerful.

The idea is that you imagine your wise older 80 year old self is sending a message back to the woman you are today. She has the gift of hindsight and knows that everything works out well for you in the end and right now she wants to give you some encouragement, love and support at this point in your life.

You might at first think that you won’t be able to come up with anything, but people are usually surprised at how much this side of them believes in them and loves them.

We invite you to give it a go and share with us how you get on!

Here is what you do:

1. Treat yourself to some special letter writing paper (some lovely sets over at Paperchase)

2. Download 'The Project Love Guide to Writing Yourself a Letter from your Wise, Older Self'

3. Share your favourite line from the letter you wrote to yourself over on Twitter using #selfloveletter and @ProjectLove or why not take a photo of your letter and share it with us on Instagram using #selfloveletter and @loveprojectlove

We will be sharing your love letters during Valentine’s Week <3

Selina & Vicki x

PS for those in London, we will be at Paperchase (Tottenham Court Rd store) on Weds 8th Feb for an evening of self love and letter writing - tickets here - come and write your love letter with us!

 

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BLOG POST: Who do you bring with you on a date? Yourself or your representative?

Ever wondered why the guys that you like never seem to fancy you BUT the ones that you don’t like, always seem to fancy the pants off you? Well you’re not alone, it’s been coming up quite a lot amongst the women I work with. The conversation goes something like this:

Client - “When I like a guy, they don’t fancy me. And when they like me, I just don’t fancy them”.
Me - “OK, so tell me about the last date that you went on where you didn’t fancy the guy.”
Client - “It was like going out with a friend, I wasn't that bothered about what he thought, I ordered a pint and I was just being myself”
Me - “And what about if you DID fancy him?”
Client - “I would have been more girly with him, I would have ordered wine instead of a pint and I would have sipped it and been more delicate and ladylike. I’m usually a bit of a loudmouth who likes to crack jokes but if I fancied him, I would have reigned that in and been more mysterious”

With the guy she fancied, she felt the need to perform and impress him, as there’s more at stake. This could be the one she could marry one day, so she needed to be on best behaviour, right?

We laughed about the Chris Rock sketch where he talks about dating:

Relationships, easy to get into, hard to maintain. Why are they so hard to maintain? Because it’s hard to keep up the lie! ‘Cause you can’t get nobody being you… When you meet somebody for the first time, you’re not meeting them. You’re meeting their representative.”

So my question to you is..

Who do you bring with you on a date? Yourself? Or your representative?

If you’re like some of my clients then it’s usually the latter. Why? Because it’s scary to reveal your whole self, dating feels like a job interview where you’re being judged on how you look and everything you do or say. Bringing the representative feels like the safer option, the mask to hide behind so if it all goes tits up then you never really lost anything. But when you don’t show up as your whole self, what you sacrifice is human connection and when you have two representatives show up on a date then it kind of makes the whole thing a bit pointless. Here’s what to do about it:

  1. Relax your expectations on what the date means - use online dating as a way to meet like-minded people and not a way to find a life partner. If you go into the date with huge expectations, it will put unnecessary pressure on yourself and your date and it will feel like a job interview where you need to perform and impress. Instead, see online dating as a tool to meet people for a coffee and a chat and go from there, taking the pressure off those early interactions.  
  2. Adopt an attitude of gratitude - dating can trigger all sorts of fears and insecurities, especially the fear of not being good enough. Instead of focusing on all the things you lack, shift your mindset by focusing on all the things that make you great. Step into the shoes of a loved one and think about all the things they love about you and all the ways they appreciate you and respect you. You could even ask a good friend to tell you! Make a list of all your best attributes and keep reminding yourself of these.
  3. Let go of the need to be ‘cool’ - it’s tempting to bring your ‘cool representative’ to a date but honestly, all people ever want from us is to show up as ourselves. Brene Brown says “The need to ‘be cool’ is an emotional straightjacket. It keeps us from moving, growing, stretching and feeling free” and if we’re hiding behind our cool then how can we connect fully with someone? Allow yourself to be un-cool and own it.
  4. Use your feelings as your compass - how do you want to feel on the date itself? Playful, inspired, at ease? Then work back from there when you plan the date itself so if it doesn’t go anywhere after the first date, then you’ve still had a great experience, which takes the pressure off your date and will help you to relax and have some fun. You could suggest one of your date ideas the next time someone asks you out. Or why not make the first move?
  5. Set out your boundaries - think about how much time and energy you’re willing to commit to dating and set out some boundaries that are suited to your needs. So for one of my clients, she knows that her energy levels are best in the mornings so she’s experimenting with brunch dates. And for another client, her working week is pretty full on and she’s been struggling to fit in evening dates so now she’s limited dating to just one night a week to keep the weekends free for catching up with friends and getting some me-time.
  6. See rejection as redirection - each time you get rejected, they are setting you free to find someone who would be right for you, so extend gratitude and see rejection as a weeding-out process to find someone better.

I think it's no coincidence that the guys that my clients don’t like seem to fancy them because when the stakes are lower, they have permission to be themselves. That is all anyone really wants from us. Authenticity is a choice, one that you can make right now. So dare to be you, show up as yourself and give your representative the day off!

Vicki x

If you’ve enjoyed this and feeling like you need some guidance to figure this dating stuff out then come and join us on our Get Ready for Love 30 day course

 

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Getting ready for marriage: one woman’s approach

As some of you know, I got married last month! It was mind blowing and life changing in ways I could never have imagined or anticipated. A huge celebration of love and friendship that I will treasure forever. But rather than indulge you with all the details of the wedding itself (this isn’t a wedding blog after all), I wanted to share the ways I prepared for it.

The preparation of marriage - emotionally, mentally, spiritually - is often overlooked, with the focus being firmly on ‘the big day’. Like with any big transition in life, fear plays a role and in preparing for the new, we say goodbye to the old.

Here are some of the ways that I consciously navigated the transition.

1. Making time to reflect

This was a great piece of advice from our friend Sam who married us in Spain. Through the process of preparing for our ceremony, I was given homework to start reflecting on the meaning of marriage and our decision to marry each other. I asked myself; what’s my intention for marriage? What makes a good one? What do I want to promise and commit to? How can I stay true to myself and not lose myself in this marriage?

Some pretty meaty questions that couldn’t be answered in one sitting. I got myself a new notebook (any excuse, I am stationary obsessed) and scheduled some dates with myself to start getting clearer on it all.

2. Feeding up on inspiration

To help answer some of my big questions, I read books on love, collected inspiring quotes and poems about marriage, I read blogs, listened to podcasts and drew inspiration from friends’ relationships that I admired. One of the biggest lessons? That marriage is about the union of two souls whilst also being faithful to the voice of your own soul.

This process of gathering inspiration helped me to get clear on what I wanted to commit to. I wrote about being fully present in my marriage, my promise to be Pav’s lifelong dancing partner and to make loving fun. And as well as committing my love to him, I made a commitment to my own self-love, as I know our marriage will flourish if I stay true to my needs and take responsibility for my own happiness.

I was inspired by a blog post by Melody Godfred, the co-founder of the Self Love Pinky Ring, where she talked about how self love saved her marriage. And I discovered a pretty cool ancient symbol of sacred geometry that consists of two circles overlapping in a way that creates a third circle in the middle (known as the Vesica Piscis):

One plus one equals three. This can only be possible, though, if each remains true to themselves - if they maintain their own boundaries by being honest about the desires and needs that cannot be compromised
— ‘How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People)’ by Meggan Watterson & Lodro Rinzler

3. Preparing to be vulnerable

The idea of standing up in front of our family and friends, celebrating our love felt super indulgent, even if a wedding gives you full permission to do it. That’s what they want, that’s why they are there! But I was still blocked around this. I went to Jody Shield’s LifeTonic event with a friend and I worked on my resistance to open up, I listened to heart-opening meditations, I meditated with the Headspace app and I prepared to get spiritually naked. I find giving love a whole lot easier than receiving it and actually when I thought about it, the idea of feeling love from all our family and friends all.at.once felt overwhelming. For me, being vulnerable will always feel uncomfortable, I am feeling vulnerable right now as I write to you. I am so used to writing from my comfort zone, speaking as a love coach, but recently (since my hen party) I have started to open up about my personal life in the Project Love space. In feeling the fear and doing it anyway, I normalise that discomfort so it doesn't have so much power over me. Our wedding ceremony felt like one big cuddle and by opening up to receive all the love that was showered on us, I realised just how supported I am in this next chapter of my life.  

4. Journalling one out

Preparing for marriage brought up a whole spectrum of emotions for me, from the incredible sense of joy to the confusion about my new identity as a wife and a woman with a new name. Even trying on my wedding dress for the first time triggered some insecurities, which sounds silly now but felt very real at the time (as someone who lives in jeans and trainers, I just didn’t feel ‘polished’ enough for a gorgeous silk dress. Aren’t beautiful dresses for really girly girls?). I turned to my journal to make sense of my feelings and developed a 3-part process for working through my fears:

  • Step 1: Raw and unfiltered mega riff - getting it all down on the page
  • Step 2: Asking myself, ‘Ok so what do I want instead?’
  • Step 3: Stepping into the shoes of a loved one and writing myself a loving note of kindness and support

When I read back to some of those notes, I recognise the voice of the loved one as the way I talk to clients or how I console a friend. I don’t always speak to myself in that way, often it’s a dance between my inner critic (AKA the Shitty Committee) and my inner cheerleader. In writing my thoughts out like this, I could manage my fears whilst having a huge amount of compassion for myself.

5. Feeling the feelings

In any period of change and expansion, even an immensely positive one like a wedding, it’s normal to feel a sense of loss. In the run up to the wedding, there were moments where I felt down for absolutely no reason. We tend to fuel our emotions with our thinking, so when I was feeling a bit sad, I’d then feel sad about feeling sad. This is rarely the stuff that’s covered in wedding mags or wedding blogs and it’s not really talked about, which brought up some guilt at not feeling ecstatically happy all the time. In honouring where I was at, and ignoring how I ‘should’ be feeling, I was able to just sit with it. Sometimes I would just say to myself ‘It is what it is’ or ‘I surrender’ when the shitty committee was giving me a hard time. It really helped to talk things through with friends and to talk it through with Pav, we had a really honest chat the week before the wedding, about the expectations on us and the worry of disappointing our guests - what if we’d had a really bad nights sleep the night before and we were quite low on energy? Or how about those days when you wake up in a weird mood and you just can’t shake it? Maybe those worries are totally unique to us but it was so great to talk about them. We both agreed that whatever we were feeling was totally normal and to just go with it. And that is exactly what we did, as a team.

There's a piece of advice that was read out by a friend during our wedding ceremony and it's something that I'll be carrying with me in this new chapter:

People evolve and develop over time
Don’t see this change as scary. It’s beautiful.
Wholeheartedly embrace getting to know
The new you’s every single day.

Like with any big transition in life, preparing for marriage is a soul journey, full of incredible highs and unexpected twists and turns. We close the door to a part of ourselves that we know so well to open the door to something new. I’m just getting my bearings here but my feeling so far is that it's pretty wonderful. 

V x

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Is your inner shitty committee getting in the way of you finding love?

 

This week we've cooked up a podcast dedicated to those of you who are out there dating. Because we LOVE you ladies. We know it isn't always an easy journey (mine certainly wasn't at first!), but what often makes it hard is actually your own Shitty Committee - that internal negative voice that is always quick to criticise you, tell you what you're doing wrong, tell you when you're not good enough and generally fill your head with doubts and fears.

And if that Shitty Committee voice has a strong power over you, then it can cause all sorts of havoc when you're dating.

So what can you do about that negative voice in your head that can cause so much dating discomfort?

Well that is what this podcast is all about. It's a good one. You can download or listen to it over on Soundcloud or iTunes.

And if you’re not already doing our Get Ready for Love course then what are you waiting for? Come and join us today and we’ll really get to work on your Shitty Committee straight away :)

x Selina

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How to love & be in a relationship without losing yourself

I'm writing this before I catch an early flight tomorrow to join Vicki and Pav for their huge wedding celebrations in Spain (I'll be documenting things over on instagram).

But before I go I wanted to leave you with a podcast that I've just put up on iTunes that we recorded just before Vicki left. It's all about 'How to love and be in a relationship without losing yourself'. It is a concern that a lot of our clients have been voicing recently, so we decided to dig deep into it and wow, what a fascinating conversation it turned out to be.

Have a listen to it below and let us know what experiences you've had of losing yourself or seeing friends lose themselves in relationships.

Much love,
x Selina

 
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PODCAST: Dating is shit... or is it?

In this weeks podcast, I got to interview Gail Schock - happiness coach, meditation teacher and all round wonderful human. Gail had been out of the dating game for 8 years when she decided to do a Tinder experiment with her husband. The whole 'swipe if you like' vibe left her feeling empty and sad, which invited an interesting enquiry - 'was it possible to actually enjoy the dating process if we approached it from a different perspective - one that would give us more freedom and one where we could actually feel good about ourselves in the process?'

We talked dating struggles, relationship fears, speaking our truth, asking for what we need, connecting to our divine feminine and getting into our womb wisdom (oh yes). Plus so much more. This is a bloody juicy podcast and I can't wait for you to listen to it.

 
 

Gail also kindly recorded a special meditation just for us, designed to get you feeling in a great headspace around dating - use it before you fire up Tinder or before you leave the house for a date.

 

Love, Vicki x

PS this is a topic that we're really passionate about, which is why we've dedicated a third of our Get Ready for Love 30 day course to 'Approaching Dating in a Loving Way' - offering exclusive podcasts, videos (inc guided coaching vids), an online dating guide to writing a killer profile and special guest interviews. Approaching dating from this place transforms your whole experience of dating. Find out more here

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A very special Real Love Story: with Vicki's fiancee - Mark Pavitt

This weekend was Vicki's hen weekend (check out the glitter and celebrations on instagram @loveprojectlove) and as part of the fun we decided to rustle up a bit of a special surprise for her:

A Real Love Story with none other than the man she is going to marry in a couple of months: Mr Mark Pavitt (here he is with Vicki, the pair of cuties).

 
Pav and Vicki
 


It is a gorgeous interview, not only because it is Vicki’s fiancee talking about how they met and what he loves about her and their relationship, but because Mark offers wonderful insights into how baggage from past relationships and attempts to protect ourselves can heavily affect our behaviour in the early days of dating and he gives the most beautiful message to Vicki at the end.

So without further ado...here it is: A Real Love Story with Mr Mark Pavitt (the man Vicki is about to marry!)

You can listen to it over on iTunes or Soundcloud (it will be up on the site on Monday but I needed to hide it from Vicki for now!)

Lots of love,
Selina

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An open letter of gratitude to brave women who show up every day

Last week was a big one over at Project Love, as 3 of our coaching clients completed their 3 month ‘Get Ready for Love’ journey and we celebrated 1 year of love stories from our ‘Get Ready for Love’ online course.

We’ve been so moved by some of the stories that we've heard since we started Get Ready for Love and we feel a huge sense of gratitude for the brave women that we have worked with over the years and for the brave women that we haven’t yet worked with.

This week’s post is dedicated to them, and to you, an open letter of gratitude to brave women, showing up every day, even when it's hard.

Thank you for having the strength to rise up through challenges and difficulties in life and committing to what’s important, even when it feels really uncomfortable.

Thank you for your openness and willingness to be intimate with your own deep feelings, to create the space for intimacy with another.

Thank you for holding a space for other women to be brave and share their stories of struggle and transformation.

Thank you for having the courage to walk away from people that aren’t able to commit in the same way that you are, so that you can move on to find someone who can.

Thank you for not giving up and working through your deepest, darkest fears and letting the light in.

Thank you for dropping your expectations of who you think you should be so you can be who you are.

Thank you for respecting your needs and being brave enough to express them and loving and honouring yourself in a way that invites others to do the same.

Thank you for opening up to love, opening your heart and embracing your vulnerability, even when it feels like the scariest thing in the world.

Thank you for feeling everything, even the shit stuff, and even when that voice is saying ‘fuck this.. It’s too hard’.. knowing that feeling is healing.

Thank you for dropping your assumptions as to who you could be attracted to and being open-minded and open-hearted when dating.

Thank you for choosing the path of self love when you’re broken, even when the path of self destruction feels like the safest option.

Thank you for dating yourself, getting to know yourself and treating yourself like a true friend.

Thank you for having patience, taking the time to figure out what you want and the things that inspire you and make your cells dance.

Thank you for your tears, your laughter, your strength, your smile.

Thank you for accepting yourself, as you are, right here and right now.

We're all on this journey together, we’re all going through the same ups and downs and your bravery inspires us and it inspires a whole tribe of other women to keep showing up.

In awe of you,

Vicki and Selina x

P.S. If you’d like to join us and start your own Get Ready for Love journey today then simply head over here and we’ll send you your welcome pack straight away.

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Celebrating a year of helping women write their own love stories


Exactly one year ago we launched our online course ‘Get Ready for Love’.

Our aim was to take women on a journey that would transform their love lives, by challenging their beliefs around love and dating and showing them a whole new way of looking at love and how to find it.

We wanted to create an experience that was fun, inspiring and thought-provoking, that would help women to see what was really getting in their way of finding love and help them to shift those barriers once and for all, so that they could let love fully into their lives.

Well, one year later we’ve had over 300 women sign up and do the course and it’s been featured (with full page spreads and great reviews) in Psychologies magazine and Grazia.

 

But for us, the most rewarding part has been to hear the difference the course really has made to people.

Just days after we launched, a woman wrote to us with this extraordinary story...

 “I have a rather lovely story to share with you. On Thursday last week I signed up for the course - one of the reasons being that I never meet anyone in the real world, or have the courage to chat people up and I hide behind dating apps. Thursday evening I walked into my local pub and spotted a very good looking man at the bar. Signing up to the course gave me the courage to go and chat to him and I offered to buy him a drink. We flirted and spent the evening chatting and getting to know each other and generally having a lovely time. After a few hours of finding out about each other we had a sudden realisation that we did in fact know each other already. We'd been each other’s first boyfriend and girlfriend 25 years ago at school. We haven't seen each for 23 years and we didn't recognise each other in the slightest which was pretty funny as you can imagine. We're both single and seem really attracted to each other and are going on a date tonight. So I guess it just goes to show you never know what's round the corner. I really don't think I'd have gone over to him if I hadn't signed up for the course so thank you :)"

The last time we heard from her they were still going strong.

Since then we have had more wonderful emails like that and invited people to share their stories on our blog.

Shani found that the Get Ready for Love course was a journey that gave her back her power...

"GRFL came to me during a time when I was completely exhausted from being disappointed so many times, but after 30 lessons and the support of the other GRFLers, something magical happened.

I realized I AM THE ONE.

I realized it is in my power to create life full of love. I realized that no one can give me the love I want, because all that love is in me. All of these realizations (and many more), along with turning self-love into a daily practice and a way of life, make me look at myself in the mirror every morning and feel like the most fabulous, powerful, loved and loving woman out there.

And I wish this feeling upon every woman everywhere! ”

Read Shani’s guest blog post 'My Unapologetic Self' over here.

Meanwhile Laina wrote a guest blog post about her GRFL journey and what she learnt along the way, that has been one of our most shared blog posts yet…

 "I had got it into my head that that a relationship would complete me. We’ve all seen the Jerry Maguire film - ‘You complete me. You. Complete. Me’. Well, to the Jerrys out there, Project Love has taught me: You don’t complete me, I complete me.

Read the whole post here.

Then last week when we sent out an email to invite the Get Ready for Love tribe to celebrate our one year anniversary we got this email from Katherine…

 Unfortunately I can't make it to the picnic on that date ladies which is a shame as I would have loved to have come because Get Ready for Love lead to me meeting the man of my dreams! On day 21 of the course, 4th December 2015, I met Jake, my now boyfriend of 6 months and I can truly say I am the happiest I think I've ever been in my life. I was already in a pretty good place when I started project Love. I had slowly learnt lessons along the way and could feel myself getting closer to having the relationship I wanted, I just wasn't sure how to find the person for me. I was in a positive frame of mind and willing to try anything. The biggest takeaway from Get Ready for Love for me was engaging with the world around me and opening up my mind to meeting someone different. I met Jake at a bar and from the moment I met him it just felt right. He said that the reason he noticed me was because of my big smile. Since that day we have had such a positive dating experience and I think a lot of it has been helped by the lessons learned in your course so thank you! I truly didn't even believe guys like Jake existed!

Keep up all the hard work ladies because I think you are doing a great job and your course really has helped me and I'm sure lots of other women too! I always talk about it with my friends so hopefully some of them will sign up too!

How gorgeous is that?

So next weekend we’ll be gathering with some of the London-based ladies from our Get Ready for Love tribe to celebrate a year of opening up and letting love in. But for now we’d like to thank all of you who have joined us on the Get Ready for Love journey - you have made this a truly wonderful experience for us and we look forward to seeing even more of you joining us as we step into our second year.

With lots and lots and LOTS of love,

 x Selina & Vicki

P.S. If you’d like to join us and start your own Get Ready for Love journey today then simply head over here and we’ll send you your welcome pack straight away.
 

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Our top personal lessons on how to keep the love flowing when you're in a relationship

 

Last month Vicki and I both celebrated our anniversaries with our partners (must be something about May!) - Vicki celebrated 5 years (and is soon to get married) and I celebrated 2 years (and a baby!).

So we decided to use it as an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what we have each learnt this year on how to keep the love flowing in our relationships.

And we decided to do it in front of a camera - our first Project Love VLOG!

We talk about having the courage to ask for what you need in a relationship (most people aren't mind readers after all!), the importance of self-care in a relationship and how easily a relationship is impacted when one or both of you aren't looking after yourselves properly. Vicki shares what she does when her relationship needs a bit of a reset and I talk about the lessons I've learnt this year on how to manage my anger and express it the right way .

And this one isn't just for the couples out there. I found when I was single that listening to conversations about how to keep the love alive in relationships and how to make relationships last, helped me to get clear on how I wanted to be in my next relationship and it really has made a big difference.

So I hope you enjoy the video and please share with us the lessons that you have learnt in love by leaving comments below.

Lots of love,

x Selina

 

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