love coaching

PODCAST - ‘Get Ready for Love’ series | EP: 2 ‘What can I do if I hate online dating?’

 
 

Ahhh it’s been so wonderful to see so many of you enjoying last week’s episode in the Get Ready for Love series!

Just in case you missed it, last week we launched the Get Ready for Love podcast series where we bring you bitesize episodes to help you to navigate the world of modern dating and find the right partner for you. In these episodes, we answer your burning questions on all things dating and we bring you practical guidance and ‘how to’s in less than 15 minutes (perfect for listening during the daily commute or en route to a date!). If you missed last week’s episode, ‘how you can relax and be yourself on a first date’ then head over here.  

Sooooo onto episode two! In this week’s episode, we talk about what you can do if you hate online dating (because we know that so many of you do!). We loved recording this one for you.

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

And if you are finding online dating to be a source of stress and frustration then imagine how it would feel to have your very own love coach and wing woman holding your hand and guiding you through the dating journey. Imagine if you could learn tools and techniques to help you to manage dating fears and dating freak outs. Imagine if you could discover ways to actually enjoy dating and make it fun?

Well that is what you get with the ‘Wing Woman’ Dating Coaching programme with Vicki.

With Vicki by your side as your personal love coach and wing woman, you'll be guided and supported through your dating journey so that you come out the other side with a whole new approach and outlook to dating (so that you are actually enjoying it)

Head over here for all of the details!

With love,


X Vicki and Selina




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PODCAST - Brand new Get Ready for Love series! | EP: 1 ‘How can I relax and be myself on a first date?’

 
 

We are SO excited to share the first episode in our * brand new * Get Ready for Love podcast series which just dropped today over on the Project Love podcast (woohoo!).

The Get Ready for Love series is dedicated to helping you to navigate the world of modern dating and find the right partner for you. We’ll be answering your dating questions and covering juicy topics like ghosting, dealing with dating burnout and whether you can actually make online dating fun. We’ve designed bitesize 10-15 minute episodes that are packed full of practical guidance and ‘how to’s (that can be listened to during the daily commute or en route to a date!)

Today’s episode looks at how you can relax and be yourself on a first date and we can’t wait for you to listen to it! Do let us know what you think, we always love to hear from you. And if you have any dating related questions that you would like us to answer in future podcasts then hit REPLY to this email and let us know.

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

And if you are on that dating journey and finding it to be a source of anxiety and frustration then we have a brand new coaching programme designed for you - Wing Woman, the 121 dating coaching programme with Vicki.

With Vicki by your side as your personal love coach and wing woman, you'll be guided and supported through your dating journey so that you come out the other side with a whole new approach and outlook to dating. You will emerge feeling empowered, supported and genuinely excited about what lies ahead!

So if you're ready for an approach to dating that actually works, then head over here and apply to join the programme (kicking off in March).

With love,
X Selina and Vicki




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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: 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: 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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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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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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The one thing we always recommend to clients… and here’s why

In the ancient practice of Zen, there’s a lesson called ‘taking off your shoes’. It’s the first instruction that students receive when they start their training. By walking around barefoot along a wooden floor, they become exposed in a way that feels unfamiliar, a bit scary and probably a bit awkward. Anyone caught sauntering around the zendo will be told to stop by the zen master, who will instruct them to “pay attention to the bottom of your feet as you walk”. It is the start of a process of opening up, letting go of our usual defences (‘why the hell do I need to take off my shoes?’) and to detach from external signs of value (shoes). In becoming exposed in this way, the student learns how to become present in every step they take to discover their true value.

The practice of Zen is actually the practice of falling in love. And taking off our shoes is a metaphor for opening up and becoming available to love. It’s about releasing control, cultivating patience, being mindful of our actions (and how they impact others) and paying attention to the world we live in. And it’s more important than ever as research suggests that we’re lost in thought nearly 50% of our lives, probably getting swept away by our internal shitty committee (that judgy, critical inner voice… you know the one), which makes it very hard to be present in life. But there is something we can do about it, and it doesn’t involve a zen master and burning incense.

Becoming available to love is simply another way of being present and we can learn this through the practice of mindfulness. This is a key part of getting ready for love because if you want a healthy and happy relationship then it has to start with you. A happy relationship is found in the happiness of your own mind and life {TWEET}. Does this mean that we’re happy 100% of the time. Hell no. Mindfulness isn’t about stopping negative thoughts and feelings and chasing after the good ones, it’s about our relationships with those thoughts and feelings so that when we get knocked off course (which we all invariably do), we can pick ourselves up, bounce back quickly and get back on track. We can become the observer when things go tits up in life and this is the difference between watching a shit storm unfold and being in the eye of a shit storm.

As with most things we want more of in life (love, happiness, joy), it’s not a case of ‘finding’ those things, like a destination to get to, it’s about creating the right conditions for them to naturally arise. Through the practice of mindfulness, we can create the right inner conditions to support us through lifes ups and downs. 

There are many ways that you can practice mindfulness but there is one that we can’t recommend enough - the meditation app, Headspace. We are such big fans of these guys. Andy (a former Buddhist monk… who is a little bit dreamy) provides 10 minute guided meditations to help you sleep better, stress less and even smile more. It’s all through an app so you can meditate on the go and because it’s only 10 minutes, even us busy bodies can fit it in.

We’ve been recommending this app as the perfect accompaniment to our Get Ready for Love coaching package and online course since the beginning, which is why we are so excited to announce that the next 10 people that sign up for Get Ready for Love will receive 3 months free headspace subscription (worth about 25 quid). Woop!

Here is a beautiful visualisation on love from Andy to get you in the mood (plus a podcast on relationships)

Becoming present is about stepping into the here and now and stepping into the stillness. It’s about becoming the observer. Accepting life exactly as it is right now. Accepting yourself exactly as you are and accepting all the feelings you’re experiencing right now. Without any judgement and without any expectations. Not trying to change or fix anything but simply being.
— Project Love, Get Ready for Love

With love, Vicki x

PS we will email all lucky recipients with a unique code so you can start getting some headspace straight away!

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If you haven’t been enjoying online dating recently, THIS could be why

I was coaching a client recently on online dating and how she was struggling to find the energy for it. She wanted the end result but in no way did she want the journey. It was all becoming a bit of a chore and every time she fired up Tinder, she felt fed up and frustrated. Each time she had a bad experience, whether it was a guy who was just after sex or being sent generic copy + paste messages, it would only confirm her belief that all men are disrespectful and it made her want to give up on online dating completely.

So here is the advice I gave to her and I wanted to share it with you too.

Know when to take a break from online dating

Because when you’re feeling disappointed, fed up, frustrated or resentful about anything in life, we’re likely to attract that back. Dating is an energy exchange between two people and so we must be mindful of the energy that we’re putting into it. By taking a break, we can prepare energetically so that we’re able to come back to it with good vibes and a positive spirit.

But what about the guys who are just after hook ups and all the other perils of online dating I hear you say? Well we can’t control how others act, but we can choose how it affects us and we’re better able to build up resilience so that we can deal with situations like this if we’re in the right headspace.

Disconnecting from online dating gives us the opportunity to reconnect with ourselves so if you’re feeling like it’s time for a break then why not indulge in a week of self-love (check out 50 ways to practice self love for some ideas!) or choose to spend time doing things you love with the people in your life who make you feel great. Maybe you’ll need a week off or maybe you’ll need a whole month off. Do whatever it takes to get you feeling fully refreshed, inspired and ready to date again.

Then when you are ready to date again, here are 3 ways to start approaching online dating in the most loving way possible to have less of those ‘urgh’ moments and a lot more fun!

  1. Good intentions: Make sure that your intentions around online dating are healthy and realistic ‘To meet like-minded people I can go for coffee with’ is a much healthier intention than 'find me a husband” which puts unnecessary pressure and unrealistic expectations on your date and the whole dating experience
  2. Mindful swiping: Rather than fitting in a Tinder session in those ‘dead time’ zones in your day (e.g. waiting for the bus), dedicate some quality time to it. Ask yourself how much time you’re willing to dedicate and commit to it like a new hobby. E.g. 20 minutes x 3 days a week using 1 dating app. Putting a time limit on it will make you more mindful of the whole experience
  3. Be the energy you want to attract: If you want to attract in someone who is open, honest, loving, kind, available and respectful then it starts with you. Ask how you can bring that energy into your online dating experience so that you’re giving out what you want to attract. Woo yourself while you’re using dating apps! Turn off the TV and listen to music that you love, light a scented candle, wear red lipstick, <insert other woo’ing activity>. In doing this, you're raising your overall love energy and when you do this, you bring more love into the world. Because like attracts like, you'll get back what you put in

Love, V x

If you have a friend who really needs to hear this then forward this email or share the love on Facebook and Twitter

If you enjoyed this then check out our podcast ‘The Loving Way of Dating’ and if you enjoyed THAT then check out our 30 day Get Ready for Love online course, which has a whole section on approaching dating in a loving way!
 

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"Project Love’s Selina Barker And Vicki Burtt: The Relationship Gurus Women Need Right Now"

Thank you to the gorgeous Naomi from LifeStyle Edit for this beautiful piece on Project Love and her own personal experiences of looking for love.

Read it here: http://www.thelifestyleedit.com/project-loves-selina-barker-and-vicki-burtt-the-relationship-gurus-women-need-right-now/

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We are hijacking Valentine's Day with #28daysoflove2016 - JOIN IN!

Waaaaaaah we are so excited!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and as ever we have hijacked it.

And this time we have gone ALL OUT and created something really special for you all.

Get ready for...

#28DaysofLove2016 is our brand new online campaign designed to get you, and all the amazing women you know, hooked on self-love by discovering how simple and how powerful it really is.

Because what we’ve found is that whilst we know that self-love is important, the challenge is knowing HOW the hell to do it. And that is what this campaign is all about. It will show you how to start exercising that self-love muscle so that it becomes a natural part of your day to day.

It’s super simple to use and really fun to do.

And it's free!

Check it out over here

We genuinely cannot wait to do this course ourselves and we hope you’ll join us!

All you have to do is pop your name below and you're ready to go!

x Selina and Vicki

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PODCAST SHOW | The Loving Way of Dating

What does it mean to approach dating in a loving way, in an era of swiping left and right?

What impact does believing common dating myths have on our self worth?

And how can we give up the game when it comes to dating?

 

These are just some of the questions that we answer in our latest podcast - 'The Loving Way of Dating', recorded especially for our good friends at Frame

Listen in as we share our top 5 tips on how you can step out of a fearful place and into a loving space around dating. A space where you can relax, take the pressure off meeting "the one", have some fun and dare to be you. 

With love,

X Vicki and Selina



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5 ways to stop your perfectionism from ruining your love life (Part 2)

So last week we looked at the ways your perfectionism could be getting in the way of finding love and making it last. Read Part 1 here

Following on from that, here is Part 2 which shows you the 5 things you can do about it:

1. Bookend your day with “coming home” exercises

Most of us lead very high pressured, stressful lives and we get into the habit of losing ourselves to other peoples demands and expectations and feeling the pressure to be “perfect” in everything we do. When we do that, we disconnect from our core authentic self. But no matter how far we’ve strayed from our core self, we can always return home. And this is what this exercise is all about - small "me time" activities that will allow you to return home, back to your authentic self. If you favour “getting shit done” over “me-time” then this one is for you...

  • List out the small bitesize “me-time” activities that you can do every day that will allow you to return home, connecting with your true self e.g. yoga stretches, meditation, journaling, gratitude, walking, running, looking at a photo that brings you joy, setting intentions for the day, simply being aware of your breath for 60 seconds  

  • Choose 1 thing from your list to start the day with and 1 thing to finish it with so you can start and end the day in the right way. E.g. my “coming home” bookend exercises are 10 minutes of meditation in the mornings (using the Headspace app) and a good old gratitude sesh in the evenings (writing down at least 5 things I’m grateful for using the Gratitude app). It means that I start the day on my terms, feeling calm and connected. Then no matter what happens during the day, I go to sleep feeling grateful (this is especially powerful if you can also be grateful for the negative as well as the positive things that come up during the day).

2. Detach yourself from outcomes in dating

The next time you get asked out on a date, go with an open heart and mind and leave the measuring stick at home! Instead of judging them on what they look like and how they come across, ask yourself how you feel when you’re with them? Use your feelings as your internal GPS system. By attaching yourself to how you feel rather than the end result, you can relax about the outcome, freeing you up to enjoy the experience instead. And it’s from this place then everything becomes so much easier and more enjoyable.

3. Talk to yourself like a best friend

Go easy on yourself, especially on those days where you’re feeling like it’s NEVER going to happen for you. Talk to yourself like you would talk to a best friend. If this is alien to you then imagine that your friend is going through it and she’s asking for some advice - what advice would you give her and how would you console her and make her feel better?

4. See envy as a form of inspiration

If you usually sigh when you see a couple holding hands or find it hard to be happy for the friend who’s just got engaged (as you’re secretly a little envious), then shift that energy into inspiration instead. They are showing you what it is you really want!

5. Practice being vulnerable

You can do this in really small ways like accepting compliments when they’re given to you, asking for help and support when you need it or smiling at strangers when you’re out and about e.g. on your way into work.

These are very small but very powerful techniques - try some of them on for size and let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below, or get in touch on FB or Twitter

Love V x

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