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.
🎧 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.
x Selina & Vicki
We have a fresh new episode for you today and we can’t wait for you to hear it and get involved in the conversation with us over on instagram. Because today we are looking at a topic that we have all had strong experiences in: friendship.
Our friendships have the capacity to give us every bit as much love, connection, pain, heartbreak, growth and belonging as our romantic relationships and when it comes to friendships between women, there is plenty of research that proves that close female friendships are essential to our happiness and health.
So in this episode we looked at the power of friendship, the pain that can come with friendship break ups, how to make new friends as an adult and how to deal with the ‘friends’ that you realise aren’t treating you right and, perhaps the juiciest of all, how to handle the relationship hierarchy that seems to be at play in our society that relegates friendships to bottom rung once partners and kids come along. It was one of the biggest topics that came up when we got this conversation started over on instagram and the Love Zone last week. And it’s time we challenged that hierarchy and brought an end to it. It’s no good for anyone!
Oooooor let us know what you think of this latest episode (or the podcast as a whole) over on Apple Podcast (a 5* review would make our day ;) ).
Lots of love,
Selina & Vicki
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).
Really hope you enjoy this episode.
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.
Ooh we can’t wait for you to get stuck into this week’s podcast!
Selina got together with Victoria Helen Roberts - body image and intimacy coach and certified sexological bodyworker to talk about sex, self-pleasure, self-love, orgasms and everything in between.
It is as juicy a podcast episode as you might expect it to be.
They talked about the taboo around discussing sex openly and honestly in our society - where that comes from and the impact it can have on us, the importance of exploring and experimenting when it comes to our bodies and what turns them on and why sometimes it’s best to take the orgasm off the menu for a bit to focus on the other aspects of sex and learning how to give your body pleasure all over.
Victoria shared loads of practical tips about how to get back in touch with your body and improve your sex life, whether you’re in a relationship, single or somewhere in between.
Honestly, it is SUCH a good one!
So hit play above or tune in over on iTunes and enjoy!
And as ever, if you’re a fan of our podcasts then it would make our day if you would leave us a review over on iTunes - every review makes a big difference in helping us to spread the love to even more people.
x Selina & Vicki
P.S. If you are used to finding our podcasts over on Soundcloud we have now moved over to Audioboom, so that soon you'll also be able to listen to our podcasts on Spotify.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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’:
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:
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.
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!
Vicki and I have been talking a lot recently about what it is to be an Ambassador of Love in life - to proactively spread love out in the world through action - the work that you do, through charity and through random acts of kindness and love.
And so we were SO excited to meet Gayle Berry when she joined Project Love 365 (our membership programme to support you designing a life you love).
Gayle is THE biggest Ambassador of Love I think I have ever met. From the work that she does, to the charity she helps to run to the #mamakindness campaign she ran recently.
Gayle is a Queen of LOVE.
She stands SO firmly in love and just hearing her talk about her work, her relationship, her family and the way she approaches life is truly inspiring.
So if you have ever wanted to do work you love, make a difference in the world, have a loving and happy relationship or help to spread more love out into the world, then tune in and be inspired...
Find out more and follow Gayle…
Her baby massage business: www.blossomandberry.com
Love Support Unite - the charity: www.lovesupportunite.org
This is a GORGEOUS and inspiring video about what they do: https://vimeo.com/114916198 (watch this space for a podcast interview with the women that started it!)
Get your hands on the love specs here: www.lovespecs.org
And check out Gayle’s #lovecreateslove campaign: https://www.blossomandberry.com/benefits/love-creates-love-campaign/
And to listen to the podcast I mention on Goddess Archetypes, head over here
For the past four years I’ve been enjoying being part of a growing sisterhood community. We gather together in circles in person and on whatsapp and talk about what is going on in our lives. We celebrate the things that are going well, share the challenges and the heartaches and set intentions for our lives and what we want to contribute to the world around us.
It can sound super cheesey from the outside, but every woman that has had their first experience of a sister circle has had the same response: ‘I really needed that’.
And I believe that as women we really do need it.
There is something about women coming together and supporting one another that seems to nourish and heal us on a very deep level
Which is why the sister circles that I’m part of are held in such high esteem and love by the women that are part of them.
And which is why we are always encouraging women to have a go at their own sister circles – to experience the simplicity and power of them.
So today I wanted to share with you a poem that expresses the power and beauty of sisterhood.
It was written last month to welcome little Loli into the world. She is the first baby girl to have been born into our sisterhood crew and when her mother was planning her naming ceremony she asked all of the women in the sister circle to write something about what sisterhood meant to them, so that it could be woven together and read out at the ceremony.
And so here are the words that Loli’s godmother (also part of the sister circle) stood up and read out at a ceremony to welcome her god daughter into the world. A message of love and sisterhood, woven from the words of the sisterhood of women that support her mother.
And it is truly powerful
It's the strength of a united force
One that's immediate with the women you surround yourself with
And one that’s universal with your sisters from around the world
Sisterhood creates a space of nourishment and love
A place to celebrate your everyday joys and triumphs
And one to hold one another when joy seems far away
Sisterhood is where you are supported when you are at your most vulnerable
It's a space to listen, and to be heard
For both the laughter
And where you ask for help
Sisterhood is surrounding yourself with women
whose energy ignites your spirit.
A space to grow and flourish.
It is listening without judgement,
Without needing to give advice.
It is allowing women to be beautifully real
And fearlessly be themselves
And it is truly powerful
It’s a force that when it’s awakened
has the power to heal
both one another
And the world around us
Loli –You will always have the support and strength of your mama's sisters around you. And with this, hopefully, you will learn how to choose and find your own sisterhood.
Which is one of the most powerful things a girl can have.”
P.S. If you want to start your own sister circle (all you need is three of you to create one) then download our ‘Guide to starting a sister circle’
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
For our second podcast in the series ‘Women who follow their hearts’ I got to interview one of my coaching clients - the wonderful Victoria Roberts. She has been on a beautiful journey of transformation over the last few years and I wanted her to share her story to inspire others that it is never too late to change...
Victoria came to me two years ago when she was living a fast-paced life in London. On paper it looked like she had a great life - money was good and she had a busy social life, with lots of friends and a successful career. But when we finally chatted on the phone she burst into tears. This wasn't the life she wanted to be living. Something was missing but she wasn't sure what. All she knew was that something needed to change.
After that first teary phone call Vic embarked on an amazing journey during which we saw her transform her relationship with herself, her love life, how she lives and what she does for a career.
She is a wonderful and inspiring example of someone who, despite the fear (and there was a lot of it at times) remained true to her commitment to creating a life and career that she loved.
I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you what her new career path is but I will say that in October she will be our special guest on our Project Love Salon that month and we expect it to be packed out…
So with that I will leave you to have a listen in. My heart was bursting by the end of it - I hope you’ll find it equally as inspiring and heart-warming.
Lots of love,
P.S. IF YOU'RE READY TO MAKE A CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE OR CAREER (even if you don't know what that change might be) then come and check out my 3 month 1-2-1 'Design a Life You Love' coaching programme - I am opening up the doors to two new clients this month. So if you're ready to make a career or life change then that client could be you!
>>> Head over here to arrange a call with me.
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
We have such a delicious treat for you this week: The first in our series of interviews where we talk to women who have had the courage to follow their heart.
Our aim with these interviews is for you to feel inspired, fired up and connected to a tribe of women who, like you, are committed to following their heart in life.
This is your tribe.
And we want their stories to inspire you to continue following your own heart in life more and more.
So to kick things off we have an interview with the wonderful and inspiring Laura Lee.
Two years ago she was settled in her marriage and job in London and had just completed her first album with her band, Kurangbing. She felt change was ahead, but wasn’t sure what that change would be and was afraid of what that change could bring.
Two years later and her life looks totally different. Things changed exactly as she had feared and more, but that change turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened. Not just for her, but for all involved.
I won't spoil it for you by telling you what happens, only to say it is a truly beautiful story of transformation and one that has been a huge source of inspiration to me and the people around her.
I came away so full of love after recording it.
I hope you will too.
P.S. if you are ready to make a career change then make sure you check out our 'Career Change Day' intensive - it's on 8th May and with only 4 spaces available you must apply by TODAY
We have a juicy podcast for you this week on 'Imposter Syndrome' - something that a LOT of people seem to suffer from these days.
It's that feeling that any minute now you're going to be found out for being a fraud. That you're not everything people seem to think you are. That you don't deserve the position you have. That it's all been a big mistake and soon people are going to figure it out.
So why are so many people, including a lot of big name celebrities, suffering from this? And if it's something you suffer from, what can you do about it?
Tune in to deep dive into the topic with us.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Over at Project Love this year, we are celebrating International Women’s Day by thanking the women that inspire us.
From our best friends, to our work colleagues, to the women in the world whose words, actions and creations have inspired us.
And we are inviting you to do the same…
Because when women drop the comparison and competition with one another and instead create a chain of women helping women, inspiring one another and thanking one another for all that they do and all that they are in the world, magic happens.
Women step fully into their power, a power that is fueled and magnified by the support and love of other women.
So give it a go today and join that chain.
So who are the women that you would like to thank?
Think of all the women that inspire you and choose your top three at the moment.
Write down the reasons WHY they inspire you so much. What is it about them?
What are the qualities that they possess that you most admire? Courage, empathy, love, passion, strength, resilience, wholeheartedness, boldness, self-expression...etc
Take some time to think about what it is about them and the way they are in the world that most inspires you about them.
AND THEN MAKE THIS THE DAY YOU GO AND LET THEM KNOW.
Write them a letter, send them a text, tweet them, email them, drop them a line on instagram. Whether it’s your sister, Michelle Obama, your boss or Bjork. Reach out and thank them.
Thank them for the ways that they inspire you.
Thank them for having the courage to be who they are.
Thank them for all they have done to get to where they are today.
Thank them for the way they contribute to the world.
And then let them be your guide
Choose the woman from your list of three that inspires you the most at the moment.
And let her be your guide and inspiration for the rest of the year.
If you know her personally, spend time with her, ask her questions, learn from her.
If you don’t know her, read up about her, read the things that she has to say, learn about her story, the challenges she has over-come, the lessons she has learnt, the beliefs that guide her in life.
And as you hold her up as your inspiration, know this: the qualities you see in her, that you so admire, are qualities that you have in you.
That is why you have chosen her as your guide, because whether you are aware of it or not, you see yourself and your potential reflected in her.
She and you are far more similar than you might realise.
You are part of the same tribe.
Which is why she calls to you and awakens something within you.
And which is why she will be able to show you how to step into your true power, just as someone did for her.
Let her inspire you and show you the way.
X Selina & Vicki
P.S. Global Sisterhood Day is on 18th March - book a handful of girlfriends in on that day to run a sister circle and experience the power of sisterhood. If you’re new to sister circles and have never done one before YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT - download our free guide to running a sister circle over here
If there is one thing we would love to see happen in 2017, it would be for all women to get into sister circles.
We mean it. We’ve been enjoying sister circles a lot over the past year and getting our friends involved in them too, even the ones that didn’t think they’d be into something called a ‘sister circle’. And without exception, every woman has found it to be a profound and often life-changing experience.
And before you go thinking that sister circles don’t sound like your kind of thing, think again.
Sister circles are designed to suit ALL kinds of women.
Our own circles have included bankers, creative directors, business women, singers, scientists, film directors, entrepreneurs, doctors...they couldn’t be a more eclectic bunch of women.
And yet they have all had similar experiences in the sister circles: the experience of being heard, being seen, being held by other women in a way that has them connect deeply, not only with one another, but with themselves. That kind of support and nourishment can be truly life changing. And we’re not the only ones that think so...
A recent Harvard study revealed that women with strong female friendships were significantly happier and healthier than those without. A cancer study in 2012 revealed that women with breast cancer that had a strong supportive circle of friends were four times more likely to make a full recovery than those who didn’t. And study after study has found that strong and nourishing friendships reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol. Our female friendships literally have the power to help us heal.
More than that, they have the power to help us achieve our dreams and remember who we really are.
And that is why we want to get everyone into sister circles.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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!
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
Ooh we’ve got a great podcast for you this week!
We invited the gorgeous Helen Johnson, founder of Goddess Acumen, to talk to us about the fascinating topic of Goddess Archetypes and what they can teach us about the way we live and love.
Every time I hear Helen talk on this topic I walk away with profound new insights into myself and the world around us. And this podcast was no exception.
We explored how the goddess Aphrodite (goddess of love and sexuality) and goddess Demeter (goddess of motherhood) are in crisis in our society and the HUGE impact that has on us as women and how the Archetypes can be used as a practical tool and guide to help us bring those aspects of ourselves back into full power.
The way Helen illuminates the world we live in through the goddess archetypes is fascinating. I dare you to have a listen and NOT take something valuable for yourself from it!
Have a listen and let us know what you think.
AND if you are in or near London on 21st November then come and join us for our next Project Love Salon with Helen ‘The Goddess Within: how to use goddess archetypes as a practical tool in life and love'.
Grab your early bird tickets here and we’ll see you there!
x Selina and Vicki
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):
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:
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.